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a medium between triumph and ruin; and a single mistake or omission is often fatal. Thus Pompey, when contending with Cæsar for unlimited empire, gained an advantage over his opponent at Dyrrachium ; but, having failed to improve it, his career, in the language of the poet, was thenceforth “bound in shallows and in miseries.” Cæsar afterwards said of himself that he would have been lost, if Pompey had on that occasion availed himself of his good fortune. Actum de nobis fuerat, si hostis scivisset victoriâ uti.

The fortunes of the renowned Clive were at issue on the celebrated battle of Plassey. With a force of only 3000 men, he there attacked and defeated an army of 60,000, under the command of the Nabob of Bengal. Struggling with a sense of the responsibility he incurred by engaging with such fearful odds, he had held a council of war the night before the battle ; and a retreat was then unanimously decided on. Leaving the council, and retiring under the shade of some trees, for the purpose of indulging in solitary thought, his mighty spirit regained its native resolution; and in an hour he returned to give orders for the advance. His genius and intrepidity had triumphed over his temporary indecision. He took the tide of his destiny at the flood, and it swept him on to fortune.

The emblem might be illustrated by endless examples from history; and the moral it establishes will be found applicable, in a great measure, to the affairs of all men who abandon themselves wholly to the pursuit of fortune. It is not necessary, however, to suppose that the same fatality controls the career of those who may justly expect to reap the reward of perseverance and industry. Disappointments, it is true, are not of rare occurrence; and the caprice of fortune will sometimes favour the undeserving to the prejudice of the meritorious. But even disappointments are sometimes beneficial to those who know how to receive them; and of such men it may generally be asserted, that they are the controllers and not the creatures of fortune.

EXERCISES.

I.

All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players.

II.
Pleasures are like poppies spread;
You seize the flower-its bloom is shed.

III. The tear down childhood's cheek that flows, Is like the dewdrop on the rose ; When next the summer breeze comes by, And waves the bush, the flower is dry.

IV.
When winds the mountain oak assail,

And lay its glories waste,
Content may slumber in the vale,

Unconscious of the blast.

V.
Contemplate, when the sun declines,

Thy death with deep reflection ;
And when again he rising shines,

Thy day of resurrection.

VI.
How oft a cloud, with envious veil,
Obscures

yon

bashful light, That seems so modestly to steal

Along the waste of night!
'Tis thus the world's obtrusive wrongs

Obscure, with malice keen,
Some timid heart, which only longs

To live and die unseen.

SECTION II.

PROVERBS.

1. Write a short illustration of the following Proverbs.

MODEL.

pass current.

Al is not gold that glitters. This proverb is of frequent and various application in the affairs of life, since nothing is more common than the disappointments that result from trusting too much to appearances. Regarding the subject with special reference to that kind of ostentation which displays itself in an unwarranted assumption of mental superiority, we find that such pretensions too frequently

While real merit is modest and retiring, its counterfeit is generally arrogant and obtrusive. The mere presence of these opposite traits would therefore seem to afford a sufficient test for the discovery of the genuine metal, and the detection of the specious glitter; but multiplied and immemorial experience attests the ready preference accorded to the one, and the neglect or tardy acknowledgment of the other. Such, indeed, is the effect of a voluble assurance, that we too frequently yield to an impression in its favour which the modest dignity of conscious merit would disdain to court by similar means.

The maxim is finely illustrated by the poet in the following lines :

“How is the world deceived by noise and show!
Alas! how different to pretend and know !
Like a poor highway brook, pretence runs loud,
Bustling, but shallow, dirty, weak, and proud ;
While, like some nobler streamı, true knowledge glides,
Silently strong, and its deep bottom hides.”

EXERCISES.

1. Better late than never. 2. Look before you leap. 3. A friend in need is a friend indeed. 4. A rolling stone gathers no moss. 5. Many a slip betwixt the cup and the lip. 6. Empty vessels make the greatest sound. 7. No rose without a thorn. 8. Strike while the iron is hot. 9. Prevention is better than cure. 10. A small spark makes a great fire. 11. Where there's a will there's a way. 12. The burnt child dreads the fire.

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2. Write a short illustration of the following Scripture Proverbs.

MODEL.

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Iron sharpeneth iron, so a man sharpeneth the countenance

of his friend Intercourse and conversation with our fellow-men, besides exercising an important influence on the moral character, are of great account in the improvement of the intellect. Meditation and study undoubtedly require the silence and retirement of the closet ; but, if we would preserve the powers of the mind in due vigour and healthy tone, we must beware of contracting the habits of a recluse. Solitary reflection and seclusion from the world, when indulged in to excess, may sometimes be said to produce such effects on the mind as rust does upon iron, encrusting it with prejudices, and blunting or impairing some of its valuable faculties. Opinions which, adopted in privacy, have been allowed to slumber for a long time in undisturbed security, are often startled by a rude shock when brought to the ordeal of discussion, which places an argument in various points of view, exposes its defects, and sharpens the wits of those who may be engaged in defending or opposing it. In considering the proverb, however, we must not disregard the pleasure to be derived from cheerful conversation, and its beneficial effects on the spirits. How welcome, too, are the tones of friendship in danger or difficulty, and how soothing its voice

in the time of trouble! Such are the circumstances in which we most readily yield to the counsels of our friend, and seek his assistance in brightening or sharpening the countenance.

EXERCISES.

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1. A soft answer turneth away wrath. 2. They that are whole need not a physician. 3. Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein. 4. Death and life are in the power of the tongue. 5. The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong. .6. Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox with hatred therewith. 7. Faithful are the wounds of a friend. 8. The hand of the diligent maketh rich. 9. As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country. 10. As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly. 11. There is that scattereth and yet increaseth, and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty. 12. As in water face answereth to face, so the heart of man to man.

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SECTION III.

PRECEPTS.

1. Write a short illustration of the following Precepts.

MODEL.

Judge not, that ye be not judged. A propensity to discover and exaggerate the failings of our neighbour, is one of the most ordinary forms of that selfishness which is too often so predominant in the human character; and many are the considerations which render it imperative upon us to be careful that we do not encourage it. Nothing is more likely to blind us entirely to our own imperfections than the habit of dexterously spying out and descanting upon the faults of others; while, at the same time, so far from thereby gaining credit or esteem, there is much

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