« PreviousContinue »
comes to the subject-matter at once; who presents in a clear, concise, and forcible manner the strong points of his case; whose every sentence strikes home; who says just all that is necessary, and there stops, — is always listened to with a marked attention, unknown to those who indulge in flights of oratory, plucking flowers from the regions of fancy, drawing more largely upon the imagination than upon sound logic and plain common sense.
4. In the private walks of life, there are thousands who say too much. The liar and the profane swearer are constantly saying too much. The whisperer of scandal, the mysterious guesser, the impertinent meddler, the fiery and passionate, the jealous and suspicious, the malicious and revengeful, the curious and reckless, are usually saying quite too much, and from influences always wrong, — often criminal.
5. There are others who, in perfect innocence, often say too much. The young man, whose stock of knowledge is small, by talking when he should listen, may miss of intelligence that might be of great use to him; and the man of maturer years who engrosses all the conversation in company, to show his learning and superiority, often disgusts his companions by saying too much.
6. In mixed company, in public meetings, in private conversation, men and women very readily say too much. If we know a fault of our neighbor, and, instead of going to him and kindly endeavoring to reclaim him, we proclaim it to others, we violate the duty we owe him, by saying too much.
7. Let us all, then, strive to arrest this evil, by commencing at the fountain-head, and, first of all, correct the heart, and keep it with all diligence; remembering that, for every idle word, we are accountable to God.
Questions. —1. What advice did the dying mother give to her son? 2. What is said of the speeches of Washington, &c.? 3. What speaker is listened to with the most attention? 4. What persons in private life say too much? 5. When does the young man say too much? 5. When, the man of maturer years? 6. Where are persons very apt to say too much? 7- How should we all strive to arrest this evil of saying too much ? — What is the character of the composition of this lesson? Point out the examples of the pause of suspension, and tell how they should be read.
A STORY OF THE REVOLUTION.
1. There seems to be something in the very name of Washington, which every American is led, as it were, instinctively, tp venerate; so that every incident of his life is becoming more and more interesting, as the time in which he lived becomes more distant.'
2. As I was sitting, one afternoon, in a hotel, a plain, welldressed, elderly man, observing me apparently at leisure, drew a chair toward me, and evinced a disposition to enter into conversation, when I observed, "Well, friend, it appears, from all accounts, our President has left us! "*
3. "Yes, sir, so it seems, and on so short notice!" he replied. "He was quite an aged man, — not so old as myself, though, by several years."
4. "Were you in this country during the Revolution,! sir?"'
5. "O yes, sir; I was born in this country, thank God!"
6. "Then, sir, you must have some recollection of the events of that period."
7. "Yes, sir-; but I was too young to enter the service at that time."
* Allusion is probably made here to President Harrison, who died very suddenly at Washington, while in office, iu 1811, aged 68. He was born in Virginia iu 1773.
t Revolution. The revolution here referred to, called the American Involution, relates to the contest in which the American people were engaged, in freeing themselves from the sovereignty of England, and establishing an independent government for themselves.
8. "And where were you, sir?"
9. "In Westchester* sir."
10. "O, then you had an opportunity of knowing a great deal about the movements of that day; and do you recollect the features of General Washington?"
11. "Yes," said he, laughing heartily, "as perfectly as though it was but yesterday; and Lafayettef too,and Charles Pinckney. J I should like to tell you," he continued, "a little circumstance which took place between General Washington and myself."
12. I observed that I should be delighted to hear it; and he related the following history of a day in the General's employ.
13. "Well, one morning father told me to take the black mare, and go and get her shod, and wait till the blacksmith had shtjd her. So while I stood at the door of the shop, who should drive up to the tavern opposite, but Washington in his coach, and Lafayette with him. They both got out, and I saw them pass into the back room, and the landlord followed.
14. "In a few seconds, the landlord beckoned to me from the piazza. I felt frightened at first, and wondered what it meant; 'but,' thought I, 'they probably want some fresh, cool water.' I was in my shirt and trowsers, without shoes, and
•had on my head an old cocked hat; and of my feet and ankles you may judge, as I had been hoeing corn in the morning; but in I went.
* West'ches-ter, a town in Westchester County, twelve miles from New York city.
t La-fay-ette', (Marquis de,) a distinguished general during the American Revolution, born at Auvergne, in France, 1757. At the age of nineteen, he fitted out a vessel at his own expense, and came to America. He entered the army as a volunteer soldier, but was soon elevated to the rank of major-general, in which capacity he distinguished himself'as an able and brave commander. He died in 1834, at the advanced age of seventy-seven years. •
t Pinck'ney, (Charles Cotesworth,) a general of considerable distinction in the American Revolution, and aid-de-camp of Washington. He received his education in the university of Oxford, England, and studied law at the Temple. Washingtou appointed him- minister to France; and he was a member of the Convention which formed the Constitution of the United States. He died in 1825.
15. "As I approached the square bar, I met the landlord, who said, 'There are two gentlemen in the back room, who wish to see you.'
16. '" Unable to smother a laugh, I said, 'My stars, I can't go; only see me!' and I pointed to my feet and dress. • Come along; I 'll go with you.' So in we went. As 1 pulled off my hat, Washington'said, 'Sit down, young man.'
17. "'This boy,' said the landlord, 'I am confident, will'do any service you may intrust him with, to your satisfaction.' He then withdrew from the room; and the General began: 'Young man, I wish to get the newspaper of to-day, from New York; can you procure it for me?'
18. "I hesitated a moment, and replied, 'I think I can, sir.' .19. "'Well,' said he to the Marquis, 'please inquire of the
landlord if he will furnish a good horse.'
20. "' No, no,' said I,' I don't want a horse.'
21. "' How will you go, then?'
22. "' In my canoe,' I said.
23. "The Marquis could not refrain from a downright laugh, which brought the landlord to the door. "'You'll be drowned,' said the Frenchman.
24. '"There is not water enough in.the North River to drown this child,' said I.
25. "The Marquis and the landlord enjoyed the retort by a hearty laugh; but Washington turned to the window, looked on the river a few seconds, and observed, 'The tide serves, and I wish to see you off. What time will you probably return?'
26. "'Between seven and eight this afternoon,' I replied. He handed me a gold-piece. 'I don't want half so much; I only want sufficient to buy some fowls and eggs with; for 1 am going to market.'
27. "The General turned to the landlord, and said to him, 'Give him as much as he wishes'; on which he handed me about twelve shillings; while I observed, 'Now, I'll run home, and change my clothes in a few minutes.'
28. "' I wish to speak a few words with you before you start,' said Washington.
29. "' I shall not be here again, till I come from New York, sir. In fifteen minutes I shall start from the little stone dock'; and I pointed to it out of the window.
SO. "' I desire you to be prudent, and keep your own counsel,' said the General; 'and, should any mischief befall you so fhat you are detained, do not fail to let me know all the circumstances immediately, so that I may relieve you.'
31. "So, saying 'Good-by,' I took my hat and started; and, by the time I stated, I left the dock, and saw the carriage drive off.
32. "I soon reached the city, and went to Claus Vaudara's in the Bowery,* who used to keep the Sour-krout Club-House, as it was then called, and where I had often been with my father, who was an old friend of'his. I told him my errand and the haste I was in, on account of the turn of the tide.
33. "'Well,' said he, 'here is Hughey Gaines's paper of to-day, and here is an English paper, which came in the British packet, last night, — take that too; and the sooner you are off, the better; it is now dead low water.'
34. "I felt rejoiced to get the other paper, and very soon hid them in my bosom between my shirt and skin. I left my fowls and eggs with him, and took the baskets back, but not till the good old Dutchman had tossed into one a good large roll of gingerbread, which I began to need very much.
35. "As I approached the wharf, there were three red-coats looking toward a ship at anchor in the river. As I stepped into my canoe, they walked to the place, and one of them inquired, ' Where are you going?'
36.."' To Weehawk,' said I.
37. ".' Where have you been?'
38. "'To market, to sell some chickens and eggs,' I answered.'
* Bow'er-y, a noted street iu New York.