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DESCRIPTIVE ESSAYS. DESCRIPTIVE Essays give an account of persons, animals, places, objects, &c.
EXERCISES. 1. The Apostle Paul ; his birthplace ; by whom educated ; in the opin ions of what sect; on what occasion first mentioned in Scripture ; for what then remarkable ; his conversion ; subsequent history; for what distinguished.
2. Jerusalem ; its situation ; remarkable localities in the city and neighborhood ; when first mentioned in history; to whom originally belonged; when the citadel taken by the Israelites; by whom made the capital, the most famous of its public buildings; how many times taken and plundered ; the most remarkable events in its history ; by whom destroyed; by whom rebuilt; present state.
3. Rome ; by whom founded ; on what built ; most famous public buildings mentioned in history; extent and population in the time of Augustus, present state.
4. The elephant ; where found ; size ; appearance ; food ; habits ; utility 5. The seasons ; appearances of nature ; operations; amusements, &c. at the different periods of the year.
6. Give the principal events in the lives of characters recorded in the Scriptures.
7. Give an account of several events recorded therein.* B. Describe certain animals, their habits, uses, &c. 9. Describe scenes and events that have been observed by the scholar. 10. Describe various occupations of life-kinds of business-amusements, &c.
11. Describe various studies—their uses, &c.
12. Give a description of familiar objects of sight-their forms, materiale, structure, &c.
CHAPTER IV. DESCRIPTIVE ESSAYS (continued). COMPARE one bject with another, pointing out the things in which they agree and in which they differ. For Examples take the following:
Water and air-a newspaper and a book-a tea-cup and a wineglass-a canal and a rail-road-awagon and a sleigh- a horse and
*. As recommended in the preceding note, the teacher may discontinue giving hints, when his pupils have had some practice in writing descriptive essays.
When they have a competent knowledge of geography and local history, narration and description may be combined by making them write imaginary excursione, travels, &c., either in the form of essays, letlers, or journals.
an ox-a common school and an academy-a barometer and a thermometer-a pin and a needle-food and education-a tree and an animal-snow and rain.
MISCELLANEOUS ESSAYS. WRITE miscellaneous essays according to the following method :
I. The DEFINITION: state the subject distinctly, and, if necessary, explain it by a formal definition, a paraphrase, or a description.
II. The Cause: show what is the occasion of the subject, or from what it proceeds.
III. The ANTIQUITY or NOVELTY: show whether the subject was known in ancient times; in what state it was, if known; and in what state it is in modern times.
IV. The UNIVERSALITY or LOCALITY : show whether the sub. ject relates to the whole world, or only to a particular portion of it.
V. The EFFECTS: examine whether the subject be good oi bad; show wherein its excellence or inferiority consists; and point out the advantages or disadvantages which arise from it Describe the feelings or reflections excited.
On Friendship.* I. Friendship is an attachment between persons of congenial dispositions, habits, and pursuits.
II.' It has its origin in the nature and condition of man. He is a socia) creature, and naturally loves to frequent the society, and enjoy the affections, of those who are like himself. He is also, individually, a feeble creature, and a sense of this weakness renders friendship indispensable to him. When he has all other enjoyments within his reach, he still finds his happiness incomplete, unless participated by one whom he considers his friend. When in difficulty and distress, he looks around for advice. assistance, and consolation.
(III. No wonder, therefore, that a sentiment of such importance to man should have been so frequently and so largely considered. We can scarcely open any of the volumes of antiquity without being reminded how excellen
* This subject, and those which follow, may also be proposed in the form of questions ; thus:
1. What is friendship? II. What is the cause of friendship? III. What was anciently thought of friendship, and what examples are on record ?. What is friendship seldom remarkable for in modern times ?
IV. Is friendship confined to any particular rank in life, or state of V. What are the benefits of true, and the evils of false friendship
* thing is friendship. The examples of David and Jonathan, Achilles and Patroclus, Pylades and Orestes, Nisus and Euryalus, Damon and Pythias, all show to what a degree of enthusiasm it was sometimes carried. But it is to be feared that, in modern times, friendship is seldom remarkable for similar devotedness. With some it is nominal rather than real, and with others it is regulated entirely by self-interest.
IV. Yet it would, no doubt, be possible to produce, from every rank in life, and from every state of society, instances of sincere and disinterested friendship, creditable to human nature, and to the age in which we livé.
V. After these remarks, to enlarge on the benefits of possessing a real friend appears unnecessary. What would be more intolerable than the consciousness that, in all the wide world, not one heart beat in unison with our own, or cared for our welfare? What indescribable happiness must it be, on the other hand, to possess a real friend; a friend who will counsel, instruct, assist; who will bear a willing part in our calamity, and cordially rejoice when the hour of happiness returns! Let us remember, however, that all who assume the name of friends are not entitled to our confidence. History records many instances of the fatal consequences of infidelity in friendship; and it can not be denied
that the world contains men, who are happy to find a heart they can pervert, or a head they can mislead, if thus their unworthy ends can be more surely attained
EXERCISES. 1. Periodical Literature.
B. On Poetry 2. Education.
9. On Painting 3. On Youth.
10. On Music. 4. On Old Age.
11. On Commerce. 5. On Dramatic Entertainments. 12. On Gaming. 6. On Books.
13. On Chivalry, 7. On Traveling.
14. On Philosophy. 15. Difference between Happiness and Wisdom.
CHAPTER VI. MISCELLANEOUS ESSAYS (continued). WRITE miscellaneous essays' according to the following method :
1. The PROPOSITION, or NARRATIVE: where you show the meaning of the subject, by amplification, paraphrase, or explanation.
II. The REASON: where you prove the truth of the proposition by some reason or argument.
III. The CONFIRMATION: where you show the unreasonableness of the contrary opinion, or advance some other reason in support of the former.
IV. The SIMILE: where you illustrate the truth of what is affirmed by introducing some comparison.
V. The Example: where you bring instances from history to corroborate the truth of your affirmations or the soundness of your reasoning.
VI. The TESTIMONY: where you introduce proverbial sentences,
or passages from good authors, whieh show that others think as
VII. The CONCLUSION: where you sum up the whole, and show the practical use of the subject by some pertinent observations.
Virtue is its own Reward.
1. Virtue consists in doing our duty to God and our neighbor, in opposition to all temptations to the contrary. Such conduct is so consonant te the light of reason, and so agreeable to our moral sentiments, and produces 80 much peace of mind, that it may be said to carry its reward along with it, even if unattended by that recompense which it generally meets in the world.
II. The reason of this seems to lie in the very nature of things. The all-wise and benevolent Author of nature has so framed the soul of man, that he can not but approve of virtue ; and has annexed to the practice of it an inward satisfaction, that mankind may be encouraged to become vir tuous.
III. If it were not so, if virtue were accompanied with no self-satisfae tion, we should not only be discouraged from practicing it, but should be tempted to think that there was something very wrong in the laws and the administration of Providence.
IV. But the reward of virtue is not always confined to this internal peace and happiness. As, in the works of nature and art, whatever is really beautiful is generally useful, so, in the moral world, whatever is truly virtuous is, at the same time, so beneficial to society, that it seldom goes without some external recompense.
V. How has the approbation of all future ages rewarded the virtue of Scipio! That young warrior had taken a beautiful captive, with whose charms he was greatly enamored ; but, finding that she was betrothed to a young nobleman of her own country, he, without hesitation, generously delivered her up to him. This one action of the noble Roman has, more than all his conquests, shed an imperishable lustre around his character.
VI. Nor has the approbation of mankind been limited to the virtuous actions of individuals. The loveliness of virtue generally has been the constant topic of all moralists, anoient and modern. Plato remarks, that if virtue were to assume a human form, it would command the admiration of the whole world. A late writer has said, “In every region, every clime, the homage paid to virtue is the same. In no one sentiment were ever mankind more generally agreed."
VII. If, therefore, virtue is in itself so lovely-if it generally commands the approbation of mankind-if it is accompanied with inward peace and satisfaction-surely it may be said to be its own reward; for, though i must be acknowledged that it is frequently attended with crosses and mis fortunes in this life, and that there is something of self-denial in the very idea of it, yet, in the words of the poet, is
“ The broadest mirth unfeeling folly wearr,
6. Custom is second nature.
LIST OF SUBJECTS FOR ESSAYS. 1. History and character of Abraham. 2. History and character of Joseph. 3. History and character of Moses, &c. 4. Description of Athens. 5. Description of London. 6. Description of Paris, &c. 7. Biography of Pompey: 8. Biography of Columbus. 9. Biography of Napoleon Bonaparte, &c. 10. History of a hat. ul. History of a pin. 12. History of a shilling, &c. 13. Tour through Great Britain. 14. Tour through France. 15. Tour through Spain, &c. 16. Journal of a voyage round the world. 17. Different forms of government. 18. Different forms of religion.
HINTS TO WRITERS FOR NEWSPAPERS. Writing for newspapers is now so universal an occupation, that it seems in portant to furnish some specific hints to correspondents; and as no per sops are more competent to furnish such as are appropriate than editors of newspapers, the following are selected from the New-York Tribune, Feb. 10, 1845 :
“Do oblige us by omitting all such flourishes as your interesting and valuable paper,' 'your able and patriotic course,' &c. Our subscriberg and the public know all about that sort of thing, and we also have a tolerable opinion of our own merits. If you think by this to improve your chances of insertion, you mistake ruinously.
“When you have written what you have to say, run it over and see if there are not some sentences that could be spared without serious injury. If there are, out with them! We are often compelled to decline good articles because we cannot make room for them. A half column has tek chances where two columns have one and three columns none..
“ Try to disparage as little as possible, and where you must condemn, let your facts be stronger than your words.
: When you assail any cause or person, always give us your real name, which we shall give up to whoever has a right to demand it. He is a sneak and a coward who could ask us to bear the responsibility of his attacks op. others.
“Don't write on both sides of a sheet.
“If you send us word that you have written in great haste, and have no time to correct,' we shall put your manuscript quietly into the fire. Why should you throw on us the task of correcting your scrawl, when we are obliged to slight our own work daily for want of time?
“Give us facts, incidents, occurrences, at the earliest moment, and we shall be grateful, though you wrote with a pudding-stick ; but if you attempt logic or sentiment, do it up right, instead of leaning on us."
* The exercises on these subjects may also be written in the form of fir titious narratives.