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in the vivaciousness of their temper, which we are apt to mistake for the bud of genius. But the expectation is often disappointed at the period of mature age. There is then found a gạy surface, but no depth; a high fed fancy, but a barren understanding and feeble judgment
. The Man, even the aged Man, is still as volatile, still as fond of little sports and of little things, still as boyish, as when he was a boy.
The fruit of age generally accords with the education of childhood. Education goes far, very far, in determining and fixing characters, and of none inore than of young minds remarkably vivacious. Though a more than ordinary degree of vivacity, in the early years
of life, affords no sure promise of superior strength of understanding, so neither is it to be interpreted on the other hand, as a sign that the understanding will be weak; for it sometimes is an accompaniment of great and shining parts. But in either case, the management of children of this description is a matter of peculiar delicacy. If prudent care be taken to curb and regulate, without extinguishing, the vivacity of their tempers; if their attention be directed betimes to things most important and serious; if the solid parts of education be well wrought into their minds :-in such cases, although at last they should prove to be not above me diocrity, yet they would stand a fair chance of being not only useful, but peculiarly agreeable, members of the community. Contrarywise, if their education be conducted, as too often it happens, in a manner calculated to nourish and confirm the volatile bias of their nature, there will be very little hope of their future respectability or usefulness. For should they have bright talents, the chances are ten to one that they will misemploy them. Or, on the other hand, if their understandings prove but slender, they will be always children, in manners and behaviour; pert, lively, frolicksome children, with hoary heads, and spectacles on the nose.
“ Habit is second nature.” Especially, when habit is superadded to the strong bias of nature, it is the hard
the world to overcome it. And thus it happens that children of more than common vivacity of temper, so seldom learn to “put away childish things,"
when they become full grown men and women. Permitted to spend their early days in little else but trifles, the habit of trifling becomes firmly rooted, and triflers they continue to be throughout the whole of their lives. The same volatileness, which made them so pleasing in their childhood, renders them worthless, and of small repute, ever after.
When we want diversion we send for you, but when we want business done we send for him—was the plainhearted reply of Governor Dinwiddie to a jocund young Virginian, who was complaining, at the Governor's table, of his comınitting an important trust to young George Washington, in preference to himself.
This anecdote, in which I give the sense, without repeating the express words of my author, is a teaching one.
:-Would that it may be kept in remembrance by our American youth!
Of the natural and the moral heart.
“ Thine own things, and such as thou canst not know.”
are grown up with thcc,
To obtain conviction of the truth of this observation of Esdras the Jewish Sage, we need look only to that part of our own system called the Heari. Both the material and the moral heart of man are of mysterious and wonderful construction; too deep to be fathomed by the line of philosophy, and too intricate to be explored by human ken.
In regard to the material heart, as stated in Keil's Anatomy, each ventricle of the heart will at least contain one ounce of blood. The heart contracts four thousand times in one hour : from which it follows, that there passes through the heart, every hour, four thousand ounces, or three hundred and fifty pounds of blood. Now the whole mass of blood in a commonsized human body) is said to be about twenty-five pounds; so that a quantity of blood equal to the whole mass of blood passes throught the heart fourteen times in one hour; which is about once in every four minutes."
Dr. Paley, upon this stupendous subject, says, “ The heart is so complex in its mechanism, so delicate in many of its parts, as seemingly to be little durable, and always liable to derangement: yet shall this wonderful machine go, night and day, for eighty years together, at the rate of a hundred thousand strokes every twenty-four hours, having, at every stroke, a great resistance to overcome; and shall continue this action this length of time, without disorder, and without wearinesss.
It is a fact worthy of notice, that in this wonderful piece of mechanism there is, as it were, thép
power of repelling the meddlesome eye of curiosity; since, whilst we are in sound health, the mighty labor that is perpetually going on in the little laboratory within, gives us no sort of disquietude, so long as we pay no close attention to the process; but no sooner does one contemplate it with close and divided attention, than unpleasant and almost insupportable sensations check his impertinent inquisitiveness. Perhaps no one living would be able to fix his whole mind, for the space of a single minute, upon the pulsations of his own heart without experiencing sensations of undescribable uneasiness.
All this is wonderful—“A mighty maze, but not without a plan.”—Who that takes a sober view of the mechanism of his own heart, can say, in that very heart, There is no God!
Nor is the moral heart of man less wonderful. It is remarkable that this too, as well as the material or natural heart, is repulsive to careful and strict scrutiny. Who can know it? None but the omniscient eye has the power of seeing a naked human heart. It is one of the most difficult of performances for one to scrutinize the moral frame and operations of one's own head with a steadfast and impartial eye; the difficulty principally consisting in violent aversion to that kind of scrutiny and the irksomeness of the process.
And hence it is, that a great many persons know less of their own
hearts, considered in a moral point of view, than of any thing else with which they are in a considerable degree conversant. Partial as we always are to our own understandings and our intellectual powers in general, we judge of them with a great deal more uprightness and truth, than we do of our hearts. The defects of the former we perceive, and own; but those of the latter we conceal as much as possible, not only froni others, but from ourselves; and are mightily offended when the finger even of a friend points them out to us.
As the heart is the source of the affections and the volitions, so it is the seat of all real beauty and of all real deformity belonging to man or woman.
By its qualities, and by no standard else, is the worth or the vileness of every human character to be determined. No splendor of talent, no brilliancy of action even on virtue's side, can countervail the want of rightness of heart. Hence, while we are bound to judge others to be virtuous, in so far as they appear so from the tenor of their cvert acts, we must look deeper, far deeper, in forming a judgment upon ourselves.
In choosing a wife, a husband, or any familiar and bosom friend, the very first consideration is to be had to the qualities of the heart; for if those be vile, no intellectual excellence can give promise of good. A man, or a woman, either bad-hearted or heartless, however gifted with intellect or furnished with accomplishments, is not one that will brighten the chain of friendship, or sinooth the path of life.
The heart that gravitates the wrong way, draws the understanding along with it; blinding, perverting, and duping that noble faculty: so that it judges of the thing, not according to what it really is, but according to the feeling and inclination of its treacherous adviser. This makes it so difficult for one to determine right in one's own cause.
It is much less difficult to operate successfully upon the understanding than upon the heart : sound and cogent reasoning may remove the speculative errors of the former ; but the blind and stubborn prejudices of the latter no reasoning car reach.
“ Convince a man against his will,
It is no less melancholy than true, that, in general, we take infinitely less pains to improve our hearts than to improve our understandings. Yet no point is clearer, than that the improvement of the intellectual faculties can turn to no good account, without a corresponding improvement of the moral faculties.
Again, in educating children, the least degree of paine is usually taken with their hearts. It is not their moral education that is so much attended to: the body and the mind are too generally made the chief subjects of tuition, and not the heart, the temper, the moral frame. The vast superiority of the christian morality over the best part of the morality of the wisest pagans, consists very materially in this, that the former embraces the views, motives and feelings of the heart, whereas the latter regards the outward act alone. Socrates taught some things excellent in themselves, but his system reached only the surface of morality. It was for the Divine Teacher alone, to inculcate moral duties upon true principles, by prescribing the cleansing of the fountain, as not only the best and the shortest, but as the only way to purify the streams.
I will conclude this paper with a few remarks upon that particular quality of the heart, which goes by the name of Sensibility. No quality, especially in female character, is so much praised, admired, and loved; and, for that reason, no quality is so often counterfeited. And what is it? Not the susceptible temperament, which feels only for self or for one's own-Not that sickly sensibility, which so enervates the mind that it yields to even the lightest wind of adversity-Not that mock-sensibility, which weeps over a fictitious tale of woe, but has no sympathy for the real woes of life. Genuine sensibility—that sensibility which is indeed so estimable and lovely—is a moral quality; of which it would be difficult to find a better definition than is given in the following admirable lines of the poet Gray:
“Teach me to love and to forgive;
What others are to feel; and know myself a man.” Extraordinary sensibility, under the guidance of sound discretion, is the sonrce of noble virtues; but if discre