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XI. "A LETTER TO MY DAUGHTER.”
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1. I write this note to-day, because your going away is much upon my mind, and because I want you to have a few parting words from me, to think of now and then at quiet times.
2. I need not tell you that I love you dearly, and am very, very sorry in my heart to part with you. But this life is half made up of partings, and these pains must be borne.
3. It is my comfort and my sincere conviction that you are going to try the life for which you are best fitted. I think its freedom and wildness more suited to you than any experiment in a study or office would have been; and without that training you could have followed no other suitable occupation.
4. What you have always wanted until now has been a set, steady, constant purpose. I therefore exhort you to persevere in a thorough determination to do whatever have to do as well as you can do it. I was not so old as you are now when I first had to win my food, and to do it out of this determination, and I have never slackened in it since.
5. Never take a mean advantage of any one in any transaction, and never be hard upon people who are in your power. Try to do to others as you would have them do to you, and do not be discouraged if they fail sometimes. It is much better for you that they should fail in obeying this Golden Rule than that you should.
6. I put a New Testament among your books for the very same reasons, and with the very same hopes, that made me write an easy account of it for you when you were a little child; because it is the best book that ever was, or will be, known in the world, and because it teaches you the best lessons by which any human creature, who tries to be faithful and truthful to duty, can possibly be guided.
7. As your brothers have gone away, one by one, I have written to each such words as I am now writing to you, and have entreated them all to guide themselves by this Book, putting aside the interpretations and inventions of man. You will remember that you have never at home been troubled about the mere formalities of religion.
8. I have always been anxious not to weary my children with such things before they are old enough to form opinions respecting them. You will therefore understand the better that I would now most solemnly impress upon you the truth and beauty of Religion, and the impossibility of your going far wrong if you humbly but heartily respect it.
9. Only one thing more on this head. The more we are in earnest as to feeling it, the less we are disposed to hold forth about it. Never abandon the wholesome practice of saying your own private prayers, night and morning. I have never abandoned it myself, and I know the comfort of it.
10. I hope you will always be able to say in after-life that you had a kind father. In no other way can you show your affection for him so well, or make him so happy, as by doing your duty.--Charles Dickens.
SUMMARY.-The letter of Charles Dickens to his daughter is full of sound sense. After some expressions of his fatherly love, he offers words of advice which are suitable for all. He holds up the golden rule as a guide for life,-always to do to others as we would like others to do to us, and never to take a mean advantage of any one in our power. He commends the New Testament to her as the best book in the world, which teaches her the best lessons by which we can possibly be guided. He exhorts her never to forget her private prayers; and, after trusting that she will be able always to say that she had a kind father, he hopes that she will show her affection by always doing her duty.
A-ban-don, to give up, put aside. | For-mal-i-ty, form without subCon-vic-tion, firm belief.
En-treat', ask earnestly, im
Ex-hort', to advise earnestly.
Slack-en, to neglect.
On what occasion was this letter written? By whom? To whom? What did the writer consider to be the want of his daughter hitherto ?
How does he advise her to act to others? What book does he commend to her attention? For what reasons?
EXERCISES.-1. Parse and analyse-In no other way can you show your affection for him so well.
2. Nouns are formed by adding age, ment, ion, ure, which mean the "act of;" as, passage, the act of passing; interment, the act of burying (in, into, terra, the earth); operation, the act of working (opus, operis, a work); capture, the act of taking (capio, I take). Give the exact meaning of the following words-portage (porto, I carry), concealment, passion (patior, passus, I suffer), departure.
"Higher, higher will we climb
Up the mount of glory,
That our names may live through time
Happy when her welfare calls,
He who conquers, he who falls.
"Onward, onward may we press
Excellence true beauty.
Minds are of celestial birth;
Make we, then, a heaven of earth."
[WILLIAM WORDSWORTH (b. 1770, d. 1850), was born at Cockermouth, Cumberland. From his boyhood he was a great lover and student of nature, and it is largely to his beautiful descriptions of landscape that he owes his fame. Wordsworth's poetry is remarkable for its extreme simplicity of language. On the death of Southey, in 1843, he was made poet-laureate. "The Excursion is by far the most beautiful and most important of Wordsworth's poems. 'Salisbury Plain," "The White Doe of Rylston," "Yarrow Revisited," and many of his sonnets and minor poems are also much admired.]
-The sky is overcast
Heavy and wan, all whitened by the moon,
So feebly spread that not a shadow falls,
Chequering the ground-from rock, plant, tree, or
2. At length a pleasant, instantaneous gleam
The clear moon, and the glory of the heavens.
3. There, in a black-blue vault, she sails along,
But they are silent ;-still they roll along
Built round by those white clouds, enormous clouds,
4. At length the vision closes; and the mind,
Is left to muse upon the solemn scene.— -Wordsworth.
SUMMARY.-The sky is overcast and feebly lit by the moon, which is indistinctly seen through a veil of clouds. At length a sudden gleam shoots out, and the clouds are rent asunder. The clear moon shines forth. She sails along through the vault of heaven, while the multitude of stars roll along their silent pathway. The traveller settles steadily into a peaceful calm to meditate upon the solemn scene.
HYMN TO THE NIGHT.
1. I heard the trailing garments of the Night
I saw her sable skirts all fringed with light
2. I felt her presence, by its spell of might,
The calm, majestic presence of the Night,