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Louisa. How glad I shall be when this exercise is written! I am quite tired of conjugating verbs, and declining nouns, and looking in Boyer's Dictionary for French words.
Mamma. A little patience, my dear. Patience and perseverance can alone enable you to overcome difficulties.
Louisa. Indeed, mamma, I believe I have more perseverance than you give me credit for. I have been ever since tea about this tiresome exercise.
Mamma. Hush! Louisa. I fear your perseverance, as you call it, might, with more propriety, be termed indolence; and these are very opposite qualities: you may,
most assuredly, when under the influence of the latter, spend hours about the same thing, but without making any progress; whereas, on the contrary, if you made a good use of the former, it is almost impossible that you should not succeed. The habit of persevering application is one well worth acquiring; and such a habit I would wish you vigilantly to cultivate, because I am assured, that, destitute of it, you never can succeed in any undertaking.
Louisa. Indeed, dear mamma, I am sorry for you to think me an indolent little girl. I will make a resolution not to think about any thing else, till my exercise in Levizac is quite completed.
Mamma. I have been much gratified by observing how nobly you have adhered to your resolution, and with what attention you have translated your French, my dear Louisa. Are you not now willing to acknowledge, that “perseverance enables us to surmount trifling obstacles?"
Louisa. Oh yes, mamma: you are quite right. I hope I shall never be so idle again; or, at all events, that I shall not mistake my indolence for perseverance.
Mamma. I have been lately perusing the Life of Sir William Jones, a man whose indefatigable industry in the attainment of various languages has rarely been equalled, certainly never surpassed; and whose exalted talents, chastened by Christian humility, (which can alone throw a permanent lustre over genius) have placed him on the highest pinnacle of human literature.
Louisa. Pray, mamma, give us some account of his early childhood.
Henry. Do, if you please, mother: it will give us so much pleasure; and you do not know but his example may act as a stimulus to increase our industry.
Mamma. I believe you may, my dear children, derive both advantage and instruction, from tracing the progress
of youth of talent and abilities, from his
earliest efforts, to that proficiency in universal literature which he afterwards attained; and I will, therefore, relate what little I know of the childhood of Sir William Jones; in the hope, that this “bud of genius” will, in time, tempt you to explore the beauties of the “full-blown flower;" or, in other words, that the account of the youthful years of this extraordinary man, will induce you to wish to become acquainted with his character in more advanced life. Sir William Jones was born in London, in 1746. His father died when he was only three years old, and his education consequently devolved upon a tender and affectionate mother, who was well qualified for the task. While engaged in forming the mind of her little boy, she resolved to lead him, as it were, insensibly, to knowledge and exertion, by awakening his curiosity, and direeting it to useful objects. Her constant reply to his desires for information upon various subjects, was, “ Read, and
you will know;" a maxim to the observance of which he always considered himself indebted for his future attainments.
Henry. Ah! now. I know, mamma, why, when I asked you to tell me one day, of what country the beaver was a native, you replied, “Read, and you will know.” I did read a long and entertaining account of the beaver in “ Church's Cabinet of Quadrupeds; and I dare say I shall remember the curious description of its little mud-houses, its manners and habits, much better than if you had told me; and I intend to keep to the plan of reading for myself, because it is such a good one. Now will you go on with your history.
Mamma. By the admirable method his mother pursued, her little William's desire to learn became as eager as her wish to teach; and such rapid progress did he make under her tuition, that in his fourth year he was able to read any English book. She particularly attended at the same time to the cultivation of his