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There is yet one point more which, in this age of theological warfare, we cannot mention without just encomium; we mean that exemption from party spirit which appears throughout the work. The author has evidently felt the responsibility of his undertaking, and has written every page with a salutary fear lest he should mislead himself or his reader, or should preju❤ dice the cause of truth by an unhallowed infusion of human system and party predilection. The work is throughout as temperate and modest, as it is correct and learned; and we trust it will produce a most beneficial influence in turning the attention of the younger clergy in particular to the appropriate studies of their profession, and that the blessing of God will rest upon this and every other undertaking of the pious author.
ART. VI.-Letters on the Importance, Duty, and Advantages of Early Rising, addressed to Heads of Families, the Man of Business, the Lover of Nature, the Student, and the Christian. Third Edition. 12mo. Taylor and Hessey. London, 1820. WHEN we first took up this little volume, we regarded it as a mong the many proofs by which the present epoch of literature is characterised, of improvement in authorship, considered as an art, independently of its connexion with the advancement of learning. We took it to be a fresh instance of the ramifications into which the craft and mystery of book-making is subdividing its subjects, in the same manner as other fabrics and manufac tures multiply their minute and subordinate processes as they advance towards their perfection. We found also a parallel to these ethics of early rising in the manner in which the young aspirants at the bar are propagating treatises on every relation, duty, dealing, business, practice, or pastime, to which the princi ples or adjudications of law can be supposed applicable, in the hope that in some twenty years the accidents of litigation may bring their law into practice, whether it be on horse-racing or hackney-coaches. After reading a few pages, however, we found ourselves mistaken. The subject accumulates dignity as it proceeds. The author has made good the promise implied in the title of his book, by proving the importance of the object for which it was written, to the several descriptions of persons to whom it is addressed.
The vehicle adopted by the author for his useful and interesting remarks, is a series of letters to the different members of a family with which he has been residing, among whom the practice of
lying long in bed appears to have obstructed the efficacy and utility of their many amiable characteristics and endowments. The head of this family is the man of business, much engaged in the negociations of commerce, with a propensity to literature and tasteful pursuits, but unable to indulge it by the surrender of any part of that short interval into which the family practice of late rising had compressed the operative portion of the day. The arguments of the letter writer, to induce his friend to enter upon a wiser and more beneficial course, are very judicious, and such as, we doubt not, will find their way to the conviction of many whose conscience must second these well-meant and well-executed efforts.
All that is wanting to the author, is a little more vivacity of manner. The subject, it is true, is of grave consequence to the characters of men, to individual usefulness, and to the right order and well-being of society; but its connexion with morality is not so immediate and direct as to invest it with the solemnity of a strictly ethical character. It is among those semi-moral subjects to which the Spectator's manner was so well adapted. A little raillery thrown into the style, would have mellowed and animated the didactical strain of the composition, and have seasoned it with a sort of urbanity by which it would have lost nothing of its cogency, and gained something in attraction and in
In these secondary topics of morality, truth is most successful and persuasive, when it plays amusively about the heart, circum præcordia ludit. The delicacy of Addison's touch, his gaiety of reproof, his courtesy of satire, his happy combinations of words, and familiar controul of imagery and illustration, with his varied intertexture of narration and admonition, rendered him a formidable antagonist to folly in all its shapes, and to all those habits which, if not in themselves decidedly vicious, are at least the handmaids of vice, and strew the path with flowers by which her votaries proceed to her temple.
The anonymous author of this little work has, however, probably taken the best course in following the bent of his own character and natural train of thought and expression, in his treatment of his subject. To assume the manner and style of another, is rarely a successful experiment, and as he appears to have felt the subject in its most extended connexion with our moral and religious obligations, and with a sensibility as to its consequences which such views would naturally produce in serious dispositions, we can neither be surprised nor displeased at the solemn charac ter of his book. His apology for the grave style of his argu-ment, is to be found in his matter, and in the solidity of the proofs
by which his charges are sustained against the practice to which he opposes himself,
From among these topics, we can select but two or three for special notice, trusting that this little treatise will be heard very generally and widely in its own behalf, as it cannot fail of being of essential service to the family into which it finds admission. It will do no little good, if it urge upon them only the following truth, that the difference between rising at five and at seven o'clock in the morning, for the space of forty years, supposing the person to go to bed at the same hour every night, is nearly equivalent to the addition of ten years to his life, to which passage, borrowed from Doddridge's Family Expositor, our author adds the following corollary: Propose to them, that instead of gaining ten years, the same period be expunged; that it be given up to sleep and inaction; and you will convince them what a treasure may be acquired, and what a loss may be sustained."
We thought it a very sound observation of this writer, that lying late in bed induces indecision of character, for certainly there is no custom or habit which keeps a man so long in a fluctuating state of mind, balancing between duty and indulgence, self-accusation and self-surrender, determining and determining still, resolving and resolving only, too near the moment of exertion to slumber quietly, and yet morbidly pushing the moment from him till he sees the account swelled to hours against him. The reasons for early rising, peculiarly applying to the case of a man immersed in business, with a taste for elegant and intellectual pursuits, as the only means of gratifying his laudable inclinations, are very forcibly and ingeniously urged, as will appear by the following
"Your mercantile engagements completely absorb every minute of the day, and the pleasures of the family circle and social party generally occupy the evening. Where then can you look? If I point you to a part of your life which is spent in a manner that is uselessthat is worse than useless-is prejudicial to your mind and destructive of your health, I shall not be asking too much of you, if I only solicit you for one week, to try the experiment which I would recommend. Rise two hours earlier every morning. Calculate this. It gives you fourteen hours in a week-an additional day-and your most sanguine wishes would be satisfied by one-seventh of your time being devoted to literary pursuits. I only fear that you have started at the thought of allowing them so much; if so, my dear friend, let me remind you, that after having given you the time, I accompany the present with no stipulations, it is your own; and you may use it as you please." -(P. 33, 34.)
To the lady of the house, who appears to be in the same de
linquency with her husband, in respect to the waste of the morning hours, our author thus explicitly and pertinently addresses his useful lecture.
"The secret cause- (if it be right to style it so when writing to one to whom it has long been revealed, and in a great measure acted upon)—the secret cause of all that disorder and confusion which prevail in many families, is the want of a systematic arrangement, which will always correct and remove the evil. We often see a vast deal of bustle, an uninterrupted succession of exertions, and a continued round of occupations, and yet scarcely any thing appears to be effected: : or, if done, it is so ill-timed and so out of place, that one would almost wish it had been left unattempted. It is the want of method and the want of time that occasion this. Plans are formed, but no thought is previously bestowed upon them, because the design is resolved upon when the execution is needed. And even when there does appear something like wisdom in the intention, some unexpected occurrence intervenes, some hinderance is presented, which disarranges every thing, and throws all into confusion." (P. 41, 42.). And again :
"I may perhaps have allotted too large a space of time for previous deliberation. You may tell me, that it requires no such forethought to manage the concerns of a family; and that I am recommending time to be spent in inactivity, which might be turned to much better advantage. You are probably right. But you cannot refuse to grant me, that the time which would be thus gained would enable you to get through the duties of the day, in a manner much more consistent with the principles of good order and proper arrangement. The activity of mind and body that is felt in the morning, would render your occupations much less irksome than they must often prove at a later period of the day. Those employments which succeeded would be conducted better, for however trifling some of them may appear, if they are worth doing at all, they are worth doing well. You will have set an example to your servants and domestics, which will produce an effect that entreaty or threats could never have obtained. Surely no servant would lie in bed when she knew that her mistress was up and active. A principle of shame would operate with all its force, and render her incapable of self-indulgence, when she would receive such a pointed practical reproof. You would provide for the casualities of the day: unexpected hindrances would not disarrange your plans: unlooked for interruptions would still leave you much time upon hand. And one great advantage would be the result. The surplus hours (ah! surplus hours!! my dear madam, for I must believe that you have affixed a few mental marks of exclamation after these words,) would afford an opportunity for intellectual improvement. Your favourite authors would again be read. The pursuits of your earlier days, before the cares of a family and the anxieties of a mother were known, would again be indulged in: and thus would you render yourself even still better qualified than at present for your favourite employment,-the instruction of your children." (P.43-45.)
Upon the whole, we incline to think that the letters to Mrs. G. the lady of the mansion, where our author had observed the neglect of his favourite maxim so prevalent, are the most interesting and important in the volume. In an age wherein the plan of nature, and it is not too much to say, of Providence, in the appointment to man of his periods of labour, refreshment, and repose, is traversed by a perverse artificial distribution of the twenty-four hours of the day, the remarks of this writer for bring ing his female correspondent under better regulation, are a very valuable present to all our British mothers. The bracing and invigorating effort of early rising, both upon mind and body, is placed so convincingly before them, that if this book becomes, as it deserves to be, a very general manual in families where there is at least a principle and a tendency on the side of improvement in virtue and efficiency, we cannot but hope from it a real practical movement towards better things. We think, too, that the long train of maladies, called nervous, for want of a more accurate appellation, is rightly ascribed by our author to the immoderate portion of time which is usually spent in bed. In confirmation of some good reasoning of his own on this point, he quotes a passage from Robinson's Morning Exercises with which we were forcibly struck. "This tyrannical habit attacks life in its essential powers; it makes the blood forget its way, and creep lazily along the veins; it relaxes the fibres; unstrings the nerves; evaporates the animal spirits; saddens the soul; dulls the fancy; and subdues and stupifies man to such a degree, that he, the lord of the creation, hath no appetite for any thing in it."
Some of these letters are afterwards addressed to the daughter, and some to the son of the respectable persons with whom the author commenced his correspondence; and each set of letters convey arguments, respectively calculated to operate most persuasively and beneficially upon the parties to whom they are addressed. To the young lady, the lovely hues and fresh delights of morning scenery are set forth with eloquence and feeling. We will produce an example..
"Do you know what you lose, by spending those hours in sleep which might be devoted to the most pleasing and most substantial enjoyment? Only recollect the peculiar fascinations of the morning. Think upon the feelings which they are calculated to excite. Picture to yourself (and if you imagine I have painted in too glowing colours, rise to-morrow and compare it with the reality, and if there be one tint too vivid, one touch too flattering, destroy the painting and forget the artist,)-picture to yourself a summer morning. The sun rising in all his native majesty, shedding his beams with a gentle influence, which, whilst it predicts their increasing power, teaches us