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utmost gravity, "The one as well as the other." "Well," said Frederick, "this is the first time that I was ever called a fool at the head of my army." The soldier, who had exhausted his stock of German, was silent; and when the king again questioned him, in order to penetrate the mystery, he told the king, in French, that he did not understand German. Frederick laughed, advised him to learn the language which was spoken in his dominions, and exhorted him, with much kindness, to strive to distinguish himself in this particular as well as in the field.
XLV.-UTILITY OF A FOREIGN LANGUAGE.
THE following singular circumstance occurred in the English expedition against Quebec on landing the troops at the heights of Abraham. The French had posted sentries along shore to challenge boats and vessels and give the alarm occasionally. The first boat that contained the English troops being questioned accordingly, a captain of Fraser's regiment, who had served in Holland, and who was perfectly well acquainted with the French language and customs, answered without hesitatoin to qui vive, which is their challenging word, France: nor was he at a loss to answer the second question which was more particular and difficult. When the sentinel demanded quel regiment? the captain replied de la Reine, which he knew by accident, to be one of those that composed the body commanded by Bougainville. The soldier took it for granted this was the expected convoy, and saying passe, al lowed all the boats to proceed without further question. In the same manner the other sentries were deceived, though one more wary than the rest, came running down to the water's edge, and called "Pourquoi ne parlez-vouz pas plus haut?" To this interrogation, which implied doubt, the captain answered, with admirable presence of mind, in a soft tone of voice: "Tais-toi, nous serons entendus !" Thus cautioned, the sentry retired without further altercation. SMOLLETT.
XLVI.-FRANKLIN'S ACCOUNT OF HIS STUDY OF LANGUAGES.
"I HAD begun," says he, "in 1733, to study languages. I soon made myself so much a master of the French, as to be able to read the books in that language with ease. I then
undertook the Italian. An acquaintance, who was also learning it, used often to tempt me to play chess with him. Finding this took up too much of the time I had to spare for study, I, at length, refused to play any more, unless on this condition, that the victor in every game should have a right to impose a task, either of parts of grammar to be got by heart, or in translations, &c., which task the vanquished was to perform upon honor before our next meeting. As we played pretty equally, we thus beat one another into that language. I afterwards, with a little pains-taking, acquired as much of the Spanish as was requisite to read their books also. I have already mentioned that I had only one year's instruction in a Latin school, and that, when very young; after which I neglected that language entirely. But when I had attained an acquaintance with the French, Italian, and Spanish, I was surprised to find, on looking over a Latin testament, that I understood more of that language than I had imagined, which encouraged me to apply myself again to the study of it; and I met with the more success, as those preceding languages had greatly smoothed my way." FRANKLIN.
"I TAKE the liberty, sir, of appealing to you on a subject which, though considered as a very good joke, has caused me great vexation and expense. I mean the exchange of hats which takes place in balls and soirees. There are, I believe, certain young men who consider fashionable parties as mere places to barter old hats. It was but lately I went to a private ball with a new hat, and on asking for it when I was leaving, the servant told me with a broad grin, that the new hats had been dealt out half an hour since, and they were then on the third quality. So I was obliged to put up with what I could find. I think, Mr. Editor, the ladies would do well to mention in their cards of invitation: 'Exchanging hats and shawls positively prohibited.'
"To the Editor of the
XLVIII.-EXTRACT FROM A LEISURELY GENTLEMAN'S DIARY.
MONDAY, 8 o'clock. I put on my clothes and walked into the parlor.
9 o'clock. Tied my knee-strings and washed my hands. Hours 10, 11 and 12. Smoked three segars. Read the Times and Morning Chronicle. Things go ill in the north. Mr. Nisby's opinion on them.
Scolded Frank for mislay
One o'clock in the afternoon. ing my segar-case.
2 o'clock. Sat down to dinner, too many plums, and no
From three to four.
Took my afternoon's nap.
Walked in St. James's Park. Wind
From six to ten. At the coffee-house. Mr. Nisby's opin
ion about the peace.
Ten o'clock. Went to bed, slept soundly.
XLIX.-MAXIMS AND EXERCISES OF THE LOUNGERS.
THE fundamental maxim upon which their whole system is built, is that time, being the implacable enemy and destroyer of all things, ought to be paid in his own coin, and be destroyed and murdered without mercy, by all the ways that can be invented. Another favorite saying of theirs is, that business was designed only for knaves, and study for blockheads. A third seems to be a ludicrous one, but has a great effect upon their lives; and is this, that the devil is at home. Now for one or two of their principal exercises. The elder proficients employ themselves in inspecting the manners of many men, in getting acquainted with all the signs and windows in the town: some have arrived at so great a knowledge, that they can tell every time any butcher kills a calf, every time any old woman's cat has kittens; and a thousand other matters as important. Younger students, however, are content to carry their speculations as yet no further than bowling-alleys, billiard-tables, and such like places. But of all, it may be said that they rather suffer their time to pass than spend it, without regard to the past, or prospect of the future.
L.-YOUTH THE TIME FOR IMPROVEMENT.
To No purpose are the young endowed with the best abili. ties, if they want activity for exerting them. Unavailing in this case will be every direction that can be given them, either for their temporal or spiritual welfare. In youth the habits of industry are most easily acquired. In youth the incentives to it are strongest, from ambition and from duty, from emulation and hope, from all the prospects which the beginning of life affords. If, dead to these calls, you already languish in slothful inaction, what will be able to quicken the more sluggish current of advancing years?
Industry is not only the instrument of improvement, but the foundation of pleasure. Nothing is so opposite to the true enjoyment of life as the relaxed and feeble state of an indolent mind. He who is a stranger to industry may possess, but he cannot enjoy. For it is labor only which gives the relish to pleasure. It is the appointed vehicle of every good to man. It is the indispensable condition of our possessing a sound mind in a sound body. Sloth is so inconsistent with both that it is hard to determine whether it be a greater foe to virtue or to health and happiness. Inactive as it is in itself, its effects are fatally powerful. Though it appear a slowly flowing stream, yet it undermines all that is stable and flourishing. It not only saps the foundation of every virtue, but pours upon you a deluge of crimes and evils. It is like water which first putrifies by stagnation, and then sends up noxious vapors, and fills the atmosphere with death.
Fly therefore from idleness, as the certain parent both of guilt and of ruin. And under idleness is included not mere inaction only, but all that circle of trifling occupations, in which too many saunter away their youth, perpetually engaged in frivolous society or public amusements, in the labors of dress or the ostentation of their persons. Is this the foundation which you lay for future usefulness and esteem? By such accomplishments do you hope to recommend yourselves to the thinking part of the world, and to answer the expectations of your friends and your country? Amusements youth requires. It were vain, it were cruel to prohibit them; but though allowable as the relaxation, they are most culpable as the business of the young. For they then become the gulf of time and the poison of the mind. They foment bad passions. They weaken the manly powers. They sink the native vigor of youth into contemptible effeminacy. BLAIR.
LI. THE STEAM ENGINE.
In the present perfect state of the steam engine, in which the fertile genius of Watt contrived miracles of simplicity and usefulness, it appears a thing almost endowed with intelligence. It regulates with perfect accuracy and uniformity the number of its strokes in a given time, and counts and records them moreover, to tell how much work it has done, as a clock records the beats of its pendulum; it regulates the quantity of steam admitted to work, the briskness of the fire, the supply of water to the boiler, the supply of coals to the fire; it opens and shuts its valves with absolute precision as to time and manner; it oils its joints; it takes out any air which may accidentally enter into parts that should be vacuous; and when any thing goes wrong which it cannot of itself rectify, it warns its attendants by ringing a bell: yet with all these talents and qualities, and even when possessing the power of six hundred horses, it is obedient to the hand of a child; its aliment is coal, wood, charcoal or other combustible; it consumes none while idle; it never tires, and wants no sleep; it is not subject to malady when originally well made; and only refuses to work when worn out with age; it is equally active in all climates, and will do work of any kind; it is a water pumper, a miner, a sailor, a cotton-spinner, a weaver, a blacksmith, a miller, &c.; and a small engine in the character of a steam-pony may be seen dragging after it on a railroad a hundred tons of merchandise, or a regiment of soldiers with greater speed than that of our fleetest coaches. It is the king of machines, and a permanent realization of the genii of Eastern fable, whose supernatural powers were occasionally at the command of man. ARNOTT.
LII. THE DERVIS AND THE KING.
A DERVIS, travelling through Tartary, having arrived at the town of Balk, went into the king's palace by mistake, thinking it to be a public inn or caravansary. Having looked about him for some time he entered into a long gallery, where he laid down his wallet and spread his carpet, in order to repose himself upon it after the manner of the eastern nations. He had not been long in this posture, before he was discovered by some of the guards, who asked him what was