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“ There we are again,” said uncle Tim; what is an abstraction?"

31. “ It is a thing," continued the doctor, " that cannot be felt, seen, heard, smelt, or tasted; it has no substance, nor solidity; it is neither large nor small, hot nor cold, long nor short."

" Then, what is the long and short of it?" asked the schoolmaster..

“ Abstraction,” replied the doctor.

32. “ Suppose, for instance," said Malachi, “ that I had a pitchfork

" Ay,' said the doctor, “consider a pitchfork in general; that is, neither this one, nor that one, nor any particular one, but a pitchfork or pitchforks divested of their materialty - these are things in the abstract."

33. “They are things in the haymow," said Malachi.

Pray,” said uncle Tim, "have there been many such things discovered?"

34. “ Discovered!” returned the doctor; “why, all things, whether in heaven or upon the earth, or in the waters under the earth, whether small or great, visible or invisible, animate or inanimate; whatever the eye can see, or the ear can hear, or the nose can smell

, or the fingers touch ; finally, whatever exists or is imaginable, past, present, or to come, — all may be abstractions."

35. Indeed!” said uncle Tim; “pray, what do you make of the abstraction of a red cow ?'

A red cow," said the doctor, “considered metaphysically, or as an abstraction, is an animal pos- · sessing neither hide nor horns, bones nor flesh, but is the mere type, image, and fantastical semblance of these parts of a quadruped. It has a shape without any substance, and no color at all, for its redness is the mere counterfeit or imagination of such.

36. “ As it lacks the positive, so is it also deficient in the accidental properties of all the animals of its tribe; for it has no locomotion, stability, or endurance, neither goes to pasture, gives milk, chews the cud, nor performs any other function of a horned beast, but is a mere creature of the brain, a freak of the fancy, a conceit of the imagination.'

37. “ An abstract cow, indeed!” exclaimed aunt Judy. “All the metaphysics under the sun would not make a pound of butter.”

6 That is a fact!” said uncle Tim.


1. To learn what is right and what is wrong, to choose the good and avoid the evil, to strive after perfection in all that is pure, good, and lovely, should be the highest aim of our lives.

2. God looks at the heart, and understands our feelings and intentions. He witnesses our efforts to do right, or our readiness to yield to evil, and in his sight, true goodness is more estimable than any thing else.

It is this which causes him to look upon us with an approving smile, and this alone which decides in regard to our happiness in a world to come.

3. We are loved and approved by the good in this world, just in proportion as we strive to do right and to be good ourselves. In the lines which follow, the poet Cowper beautifully contrasts the moral worth of a poor ignorant lace weåver, with the great intellectual distinction of the poet and philosopher Voltaire :

4. Yon cottager, who weaves at her own door, Pillows and hobbins all her little store;


Content, though mean, and cheerful, if not gay
Shuffling her threads about the livelong day,
Just earns a scanty pittance, and at night
Lies down secure, her heart and pocket light;
She, for her humble sphere by nature fit,

Has little understanding and no wit, —
5. Receives no praise, but though her lot be such,

Toilsome and indigent, she renders much;
Just knows, and knows no more, her Bible true,
A truth the brilliant Frenchman never knew,
And in that charter reads, with sparkling eyes,
Her title to a treasure in the skies.

6. O, happy peasant! 0, unhappy bard!

His the mere tinsel, her's the rich reward ;
He praised, perhaps, for ages yet to come,
She, never heard of half a mile from home,
He, lost in errors his vain heart prefers,
She, safe in the simplicity of hers.



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1. WHENEVER any one doubted the extent ou accuracy of Harry Hilton's information, he always said, “ I'm just as sure as can be.” This habit of being so positive often led him into difficulty.

2. One Saturday afternoon, he sat at his father's writing desk, preparing a composition. His teacher was very critical and extremely particular. If any of his pupils made a mistake in spelling, in punctuation, in the use of capitals, or even in regard to dates, he reproved them severely, saying, that such blundering was the result of carelessness, which he could not overlook.

3. “ It is the twenty-fifth, mother — is it not?asked Harry.

“ I think not, my dear. There is the almanac in the desk; you had better look.”

4. “O, no, mother, I am quite certain I am right; and indeed, now I think of it, I am just as sure as can be; for don't you know, we went to the missionary lecture last Tuesday evening, and that was the twenty-first?'

5. Harry handed in his composition on Wednesday, and on Thursday he was surprised to hear his teacher say to him, “ Harry, step this way.

6. Harry walked up to the desk : the teacher, fixing on him a look of disapprobation, said, "Have I not expressly forbidden my pupils to write on the Sabbath ?"

“ Yes, sir."

7. “ On what day did you prepare your last composition?

“ On Saturday, sir.”

“ It was dated on the twenty-fifth, which was the Sabbath.”

8. " Why, Master Thirlow, I did write it on Saturday. I thought that Saturday was the twentyfifth. Mother said I was mistaken, but I did not look in the almanac, because I was just as sure as could be.”

9. “I have cautioned you before against such mistakes. Take this composition, write a new one, date it correctly, and bring it in to-morrow morning.”

10. When Harry returned home, he found that his parents had gone to spend the afternoon with a friend, and had left permission for him to follow them in the evening.

11. “ How provoking!” said Harry, “ that I have got that old composition to write. I wish I had looked when -mother told me. Well, I don't care; I will go, for all that.”

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66 You had better write first," said his sister.

12. “ No, I shall not; I shall leave it till I corne back." “ You may not have time.”

yes, I shall ; I'm just as sure as can be.” 13. Harry staid so late, that when he returned he could not finish his composition ; and when he appeared in school, next morning, without it, his only excuse was, “I thought I should have time, sir; I was just as sure as could be."

14. Mr. Thirlow, his teacher, directed him to write another composition, at the same time saying, “ Take for your subject the expression, I was JUST AS SURE AS COULD BE.')

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1. Harry, on this oecasion, was much mortified, and determined not to trust so confidently in his own opinions; but still “ I'M JUST AS SURE AS CAN BE" again got the ascendency over him, and subjected him to a grievous disappointment. It happened in this way.

2. His uncle Williams, who resided in the next town, had a large garden, filled with delicious fruit. Every autumn, when it was ripe, he was accustomed to invite a large party of_his friends with their children, to partake of it. To this Harry always looked forward with delight.

3. The meeting was to be much more attractive, than on any previous occasion. A distinguished traveller had arrived in the village ; and he was invited to be present and relate his adventures.

4. Mr. Williams, having completed his arrangements for a brilliant display, sent invitations to all

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