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by works of fiction, if the young can never lose the influence of the knowledge obtained, and of the habit of reading then formed, then an enemy could hardly do you a worse injury than to pile up your table with novels, or encourage you to read them. We have known multitudes made foolish, nervous, sickly in sentimentalism, morbidly silly, by such reading ; but have yet to find the first instance of any one's being benefitted by it. You cannot be nourished by eating phosphorus, or even honey; the one will burn you up bodily, and the other will give you the apoplexy.



" Three things bear mighty sway with men,

The Sword, the Sceptre, and the Pen;
And he who can the least of these command,
In the first ranks of fame is sure to stand.”

How to preserve Thought. Fresh as ever. Not à Little

Undertaking. Composition dreaded. Watered by Tears. Theory mistaken. No Time for Newspapers. Factories near the Waterfall. Whitefield's Pathos. Passion-flower. Women must do the Letter-writing. Chain kept bright. How Letters are treated in Turkey. Graceful Handwriting. First Specimen. Learn to bear the Yoke of Discipline. Graces of Time run into Glories of Eternity. Economist of Time. Thousand Years before Noah. Arrow ruined. Life hurried.

By commanding the pen, we do not mean merely the mechanical art of holding and guiding the quill, so as to have the lines graceful, open, and easy, but we mean the higher



quality of composition. The objects of writing


1. To record your thoughts, observations, and discoveries for the use of others, so that you can make thought permanent, and be able to transmit it from one place to another, and also preserve it for future generations. So anxious have men been, in all ages, to do this, that they have used stone, slate, brass, bones, wax, parchment, paper, everything, any thing, on which to write.

The greater part of what is done and said and thought by the generations of men goes unrecorded : and of that which is written, but little is read, or perhaps worth reading. But the power to fix thought on paper, and then to send it off to some friend, is a talent of inestimable value.

2. A second object of the pen is to record your thoughts, your observations, or your reading for future use.

You have read to-day an article of great value. The thoughts were new, fresh, beautiful, and important. You cannot retain them in the memory; but with the pen you can make

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them your own for all the future. You listen to a conversation to-day which interested you much ; you will forget it shortly; but if your pen notes it down on paper, you have hence, as fresh and as beautiful as the day you heard it. Thought does not lose its fragrance by keeping, and the time may come when a single thought may be of unspeakable value to you.

3. A third object in using the pen is to discipline your own mind.

Were I to set out to make a perfect scholar of myself or of some other one, I would make the pen the great instrument. Reading," says my Lord Bacon, “maketh a full man, conversation a ready man, and writing an accurate man. A child may mistake in the spelling of a word, many times, when addressed to the ear; but let him learn to spell with the pen, and he will seldom mistake the same word more than once. You take the pen and you cannot make the letters, the words, or put down your thoughts, at random.

But if any one thinks that the art of writing clearly, simply, and elegantly, is to be


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acquired without much painstaking, he has forgotten how he obtained his art, or else he never had it, and never will have it. It is of the highest importance, that every one who professes to have an educated mind should be able to express his thoughts on paper, And the power must he acquired in early life, or it never will be obtained. Some make it a hard and most disagreeable duty, while others find it a pleasure. It can hardly be commenced too early.

It can hardly be followed too closely or too carefully. It is the daughter of practice. You may read good authors, may see good society, may be able to express yourself appropriately, and even elegantly, and yet not be able to write well. How many young ladies at school sit down and sigh, and dread the day of composition ! How they dread to read what they have written! Why do they ?

Because they are aware that they have nothing written worth hearing. And how do they go to work to write a composition ? First, they are a great while

— days, if not weeks—in selecting a subject on which to write; rejecting one and another,

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