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5. Consider before you speak, especially when the business is of moment; weigh the sense of what you mean to utter, and the expressions you intend to use. Thoughtless persons do not think till they speak; or they speak, and then think.
6. Some men excel in husbandry, some in gardening, some in mathematics. In conversation, learn, as near as you can, where the skill or excellence of any person lies; put him upon talking on that subject, observe what he says, keep it in your memory, or commit it to writing. By this means you will glean the worth and knowledge of everybody you converse with; and at an easy rate, acquire what may be of use to you on many occasions.
7. If any one, whom you do not know to be a person of truth, sobriety, and weight, relates strange stories, be not too ready to believe or report them; and yet (unless he is one of your familiar acquaintance) be not too forward to contradict him. If the occasion requires you to declare your opinion, do it modestly and gently, not bluntly nor coarsely; by this means you will avoid giving offence, or being abused for too much credulity.
8. Beware also of him who flatters you, and commends you to your face, or to one who he thinks will tell you of it; most probably he has either deceived and abused you, or means to do so. Remember the fable of the fox commending the singing of the crow, who had something in her mouth which the fox wanted.
9. Be careful that you do not commend yourselves. It is a sign that your reputation is small and sinking, if your own tongue must praise you; and it is fulsome and unpleasing to others to hear such commendations.
10. Speak well of the absent whenever you have a suitable opportunity. Never speak ill of them, or of anybody, unless you are sure they deserve it, and unless it is necessary for their amendment, or for the safety and benefit of others.
11. Forbear scoffing and jesting at the condition or natural defects of any person. Such offences leave a deep impression; and they often cost a man dear.
12. Be very careful that you give no reproachful, menacing, or spiteful words to any person. words make friends; bad words make enemies. It is great prudence to gain as many friends as we honestly can, especially when it may be done at so easy a rate as a good word; and it is great folly to make an enemy by ill words, which are of no advantage to the party who uses them. When faults are committed, they may, and by a superior they must, be reproved: but let it be done without reproach or bitterness; otherwise it will lose its due end and use, and, instead of reforming the offence, it will exasperate the offender, and lay the reprover justly open to reproof.
13. If a person be passionate, and give you ill language, rather pity him than be moved to anger. You will find that silence, or very gentle words, are the most exquisite revenge for reproaches; they will either cure the distemper in the angry man, and make him sorry for his passion, or they will be a severe reproof and punishment to him. But, at anyrate, they will preserve your innocence, give you the deserved reputation of wisdom and moderation, and keep up the serenity and composure of your mind. Passion and anger make a man unfit for everything that becomes him as a man or as a Christian.
Sir M. Hale.
EXERCISES.-1. The Latin prefix con- (which also takes the forms co-, cog-, col-, com-, con-, cor-) means together; as conjoin, to join together; co-operate, to work together; cohere, to stick together; cognate, born together, of the same family; collect, to gather together; collide, to strike or dash together; compress, to press together; concur, to run together, to agree; corroborate, to strengthen together.
2. Analyse and parse the following: 'Consider before you speak, especially when the business is of moment.'
3. Make sentences of your own, and use in each one or more of the following words: Opponent, necessity, acquire, contradict.
MR WINKLE ON SKATES.
[This scene is from the Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens, and affords an example of the genial and overflowing humour with which the doings of the different members of the Pickwick Club are there described. ]
1. 'Now,' said Wardle, after a substantial lunch had been done ample justice to, 'what say you to an hour on the ice? We shall have plenty of time.'
Capital!' said Mr Benjamin Allen. 'Prime!' ejaculated Mr Bob Sawyer.
'You skate, of course, Winkle?' said Wardle. 'Ye-es; oh yes,' replied Mr Winkle.
rather out of practice.'
'Oh, do skate, Mr Winkle,' said Arabella. 'I like to see it so much.'
'Oh, it is so graceful,' said another young lady.
2. A third young lady said it was elegant, and a fourth expressed her opinion that it was 'swan-like.' 'I should be very happy, I'm sure,' said Mr Winkle, reddening; but I have no skates.'
This objection was at once overruled. Trundle had a couple of pairs, and the fat boy announced that there were half a dozen more downstairs: whereat Mr Winkle expressed exquisite delight, and looked exquisitely uncomfortable.
3. Old Wardle led the way to a pretty large sheet of ice; and the fat boy and Mr Weller having shovelled and swept away the snow which had fallen on it during the night, Mr Bob Sawyer adjusted his skates with a dexterity which to Mr Winkle was perfectly marvellous. He described circles with his left leg, and cut figures of eight, and inscribed upon the ice, without once stopping for breath, a great many other pleasant and astonishing devices, to the
excessive satisfaction of Mr Pickwick, Mr Tupman, and the ladies: which reached a pitch of positive enthusiasm, when old Wardle and Benjamin Allen, assisted by the aforesaid Bob Sawyer, performed some strange evolutions, which they called a reel.
4. All this time, Mr Winkle, with his face and hands blue with the cold, had been forcing a gimlet into the soles of his feet, and putting his skates on, with the points behind, and getting the straps into a very complicated and entangled state, with the assistance of Mr Snodgrass, who knew rather less about skates than a Hindu. At length, however, with the assistance of Mr Weller, the unfortunate skates were firmly screwed and buckled on, and Mr Winkle was raised to his feet.
5. Now, then, sir,' said Sam in an encouraging tone; 'off vith you, and show 'em how to do it.'
'Stop, Sam, stop!' said Mr Winkle, trembling violently, and clutching hold of Sam's arms with the grasp of a drowning man. How slippery it is, Sam!'
'Not an uncommon thing upon ice, sir,' replied Mr Weller. Hold up, sir!'
6. This last observation of Mr Weller's bore reference to a demonstration Mr Winkle made at the instant, of a frantic desire to throw his feet in the air, and dash the back of his head on the ice.
'These-these-are very awkward skates; ain't they, Sam?' inquired Mr Winkle, staggering.
'I'm afraid there's an awkward gentleman in 'em, sir,' replied Sam.
7. 'Now, Winkle,' cried Mr Pickwick, quite unconscious that there was anything the matter. 'Come; the ladies are all anxiety.'
'Yes, yes,' replied Mr Winkle, with a ghastly smile. 'I'm coming.'