1. One of the first things we ought to learn is to understand the value of thrift, and how to practise it in the various circumstances of life.

This is necessary

not only for our own happiness, but for the happiness of all with whom we are connected. No sensible man cares to have wasteful and extravagant friends.

2. Thrift consists in turning everything to a good and proper use, in making the most of what we have, in avoiding all waste and extravagance and useless display. The virtue of thrift is well expressed in the homely saying, 'Waste not;' and the benefits secured by its exercise are summed up in the other half of the saying, Want not.' 'Waste not, want not,' should be the motto of everybody, and on all occasions.

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3. Some people seem to believe that thrift is very necessary for the poor, but that it does not deserve the attention of the rich. Why should they, who have an abundance of all things, trouble themselves with the exercise of so mean a virtue? There are two very good reasons why even they should not neglect it. In the first place, this is a world of change. Those who are wealthy and prosperous to-day, may to-morrow be overtaken by misfortune. Savings that might once have been considered paltry, may then be useful in helping them through their distresses. In the second place, the superfluity of the rich may be beneficial to the poor and unfortunate. If not on own account, at least for the sake of others, nothing should be wasted.


4. For all classes and conditions of men, thrift is a


virtue of the greatest importance. The blessings of life were never meant to be wasted or thrown away. This world has been furnished with all excellent and desirable things, not that they may be abused and squandered in extravagance and profligacy, but that the true wants of men and other living creatures may be duly satisfied.

5. The exercise of thrift, however, is specially important for the working classes. They ought to make provision for old age, when they are unfit for work. They ought also to provide against times of sickness and misfortune, when they are disabled from work, or unable to obtain it; and they ought to esteem it a privilege if their own habits of providence have enabled them to help their needy brethren in their time of distress.

6. But thrift ought never to degenerate into meanness and avarice. No character is so unamiable and pitiable as the miser, who hoards his gold without any rational purpose, who accumulates wealth without enjoying it himself or affording to others the enjoyment of it. His money is no blessing to him; it is rather a cause of anxiety, making him restless, suspicious, and uncomfortable.

7. In thrift, as in everything else, we ought to aim at the golden mean. We have no right to waste anything that Providence has furnished us with. It is folly and selfishness to revel in display and luxury and profuse expenditure, while others are starving. But we should not carry economy so far as to incur the reproach of avarice in our dealings with others. We should not sacrifice true comfort or pure rational enjoyment for the sake of gain; and it is a serious mistake to injure our health in economising.

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EXERCISES.-1. The Latin prefix post- means after; as postscript, written after; posterity, those coming after; postpone, to put off to another time; postdate, to date after the real time.

2. Analyse and parse the following: 'No character is so unamiable and pitiable as the miser, who hoards his gold without any rational purpose.'

3. Make sentences of your own, and use in each one or more of the following words: Beneficial, accumulate, squander, postpone.


[This extract is from Washington Irving's Tour on the Prairies. The Tour on the Prairies is the record of a journey made by this well-known American author to the Western States in 1832.]

1. On returning from our expedition in quest of the young count, I learned that a burrow, or village, as it is termed, of prairie dogs had been discovered on the level summit of a hill, about a mile from the camp. Having heard much of the habits of these little animals, I determined to pay a visit to the community. The prairie dog is, in fact, one of the curiosities of the Far West, about which travellers delight to tell marvellous tales.

2. The prairie dog is an animal of the coney kind, and about the size of a rabbit. He is of a sprightly nature; quick, sensitive, and somewhat petulant. He is very gregarious, living in large communities, sometimes of several acres in extent, where innumerable

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little heaps of earth show the entrances to the subterranean cells of the inhabitants, and the well-beaten tracks, like lanes and streets, show their restlessness.

3. According to the accounts given of them, they would seem to be continually full of sport, business, and public affairs; whisking about hither and thither, as if on gossiping visits to each other's houses, or congregating in the cool of the evening, or after a shower, and gamboling together in the open air. Sometimes, especially when the moon shines, they pass half the night in revelry, barking or yelping with short, quick, yet weak tones, like those of very young puppies.

4. While in the height of their playfulness and clamour, however, should there be the least alarm,

they all vanish into their cells in an instant, and the village remains blank and silent. In case they are hard pressed by their pursuers, without any hope of

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escape, they will assume a pugnacious air, and a most whimsical look of wrath and defiance.

5. The prairie dogs are not permitted to remain sole and undisturbed inhabitants of their own homes. Owls

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