Зображення сторінки

thus acting in compliance with custom, in opposition to one's own convictions of duty ? It is to lose the esteem and respect of the very men whom you thus attempt to please. Your defect of principle, and hollow heartedness, are easily perceived ; and though the persons to whom you thus sacri. fice your conscience, may affect to commend your complaisance, you may be assured, that, inwardly, they despise you for it.

6. Young men hardly commit a greater mistake, than to think of gaining the esteem of others, by yielding to their wishes, contrary to their own sense of duty. Such conduct is always morally wrong, and rarely fails to deprive one, both of self respect and the respect of others.

7. It is very common for young men, just commencing business, to imagine that, if they would advance their secu. lar interests, they must not be very scrupulous in binding themselves down to the strict rules of rectitude. They must conform to custom ; and if, in buying and selling, they sometimes say the things that are not true, and do the things that are not honest; why, their neighbors do the same ; and verily, there is no getting along without it. There is so much competition and rivalry, that to be strictly honest, and yet succeed in business, is out of the question.

8. Now, if it were indeed so, I would say to a young man; then, quit your business. Better dig, and beg too, than to tamper with conscience, and sin against God. But, is it sò ?-is it necessary in order to succeed in business, that you should adopt a standard of morals, more lax and pliable, than the one placed before you in che Bible ?

9. Perhaps for a time, a rigid adherence to rectitude might bear hard upon you ; but how would it be in the end ? Possibly, your neighbor, by being less scrupulous than yourself, may invent a more expeditious way of acquiring a fortune. If he is willing to violate the dictates of conscience,—to lie and cheat, and trample on the rules of justice and honesty, he may, indeed, get the start of you, and rise suddenly to wealth and distinction.

10. But would you envy him his riches, or be willing to place yourself in his situation ? Sudden wealth, especially when obtained by dishonest means, rarely fails of bringing with it sudden ruin. Those who acquire it, are of course, beggared in their morals, and are often, very soon, beggared in property. Their riches are corrupted, and while they bring the curse of God on their immediate possessors, they usually entail misery and ruin upon their families.

11. If it be admitted, then, that strict integrity is not al. ways the shortest way to success; is it not the surest, the happiest, and the best? A young man of thorough integrity, may, it is true, find it difficult in the midst of dishonest competitors and rivals, to start in his business or profession; but how long, ere he will surmount every difficulty,—draw around him patrons and friends, and rise in the confidence and support of all who know him?

12. What, if in pursuing this course, you should not, at the close of life, have so much money by a few hundred dollars? Will not a fair character, an approving conscience, and an approving God, be an abundant compensation for this little deficiency of pelf? O, there is an hour coming, when one whisper of an approving mind, one smile of an approving God, will be accounted of more value, than the wealth of a thousand worlds like this. In that hour, my young friends, nothing will sustain you, but the conscious. ness of having been governed in life by worthy and good principles.

QUESTIONS.-1. Ought we to be wholly regardless of the opinion of others in relation to ourselves? 2. How should we regard public opinion? 3. How is one situated who adopts public opinion as a rule of action? 4. How is such a one regarded by others? 5. What erroneous opinions are frequently entertained by young men, just commencing business? 6. What is said of those who acquire a fortune dishonestly?

What relative terms are ound in the second verse? What inflection has each? Why is rule, second verse, emphatic? Why the falling inflection at so, and Bible, eighth verse ? '(Rule I. Note I.) What inftection at best, eleventh verse ?


SPELL AND DEFINE-1. Mos'lem, a name given to a Mohammedan oi a follower of Mohammed. 2. Arch'i tect ure, style of building; the art of building. 3. Pe nin'su la, a portion of land nearly surrounded by water 4. Le git'i mate, lawful. 5. Inundation, literally, an overflow of water. 6. Tours, a city in France. 7. Volup'tuous, luxurious. 8. Cres'cent, a figure or likeness of the new moon, which is the Moslem ensign. 9. Fanes, temples. 10. Ir rup'tion, a bursting in; a sudden invasion. 11. Allah, the Mohammedan name for the Deity. 12. Chiv'al ry (shiv'al ry), a military dignity founded on the services of soldiers on horseback, who wero called knights; the system of knighthood. 13. Ex ot'ic, a plant removed from its native soil. '14. Is'o la ted, detached from others of a like kind.

15. Me men'to, something to awaken memory; a memorial. 16. Orient's al, eastern. 17. Inscription, that which is written on something.

NotE.-The Moors, a nation af Mohammedans, who now principally inhabit the northern parts of Africa, originated from the Arabs. They conquered the Spanish peninsula in the eighth century, and established a tourishing empire; but were dispossessed of it, and expelled, after their dominion had lasted about 800 years.

Moslem Rule in Spain.-W. IRVING.

[Reflections at the palace of Alhambra.] 1. As I sat watching the effect of the declining daylight apon this Moorish pile, I was led into a consideration of the light, elegant, and voluptuous character of its internal archi. tecture, and to contrast it with the grand but gloomy solemnity of the edifices, reared by the Spanish conquerors. The very architecture thus bespeaks the opposite and irreconcilable natures of the two warlike people, who so long battled here for the mastery of the peninsula.

2. By degrees, I fell into a course of musing upon the singular fortunes of the Moors, whose whole existence is as a tale that is told. Potent and durable as was their dominion, we scarcely know how to call them. They were a nation without a legitimate country, or a name.

A remote wave of the great Arabian inundation, cast upon the shores of Europe, they seem to have all the impetus of the first rush of the torrent.

3. Their career of conquest, from the rock of Gibraltar to the cliffs of the Pyrenees, was as rapid and brilliant, as the Moslem victories of Syria and Egypt. Nay, had they not been checked on the plains of Tours, all France, all Europe, inight have been overrun with the same facility, as the empires of the East, and the crescent might at this day have glittered on the fanes of Paris and of London.

4. Repelled within the limits of the Pyrenees, the mixed hordes of Asia and Africa, that formed this great irruption, gave up the Moslem principle of conquest, and sought to establish in Spain a peaceful and permanent dominion. As conquerors, their heroism was only equaled by their moderation ; and in both, for a me; they excelled the nations with whom they contended. Severed from their native homes, they loved the land given them, as they supposed, by Allah, and strove to embellish it with every thing that could promote the happiness of man.

5. Laying the foundation of their power in a system of wise and equitable laws, diligently cultivating the arts and sciences, and promoting agriculture, manufactures, and commerce, they gradually formed an empire, unrivaled for its prosperity by any of tl e empires of Christendom; and diligently drawing around them the graces and refinements that marked the Arabian empire in the East, at the time of its greatest civilization, they diffused the light of oriental knowledge, through the western regions of benighted Europe,

6. The cities of Arabian Spain became the resort of Christian artisans, to instruct themselves in the liberal arts. The universities of Toledo, Cordova, Seville, and Granada, were sought by the pale student of other lands, to acquaint himself with the sciences of the Arabs, and the treasured lore of antiquity; the lovers of the gay science, resorted to Cordova and Granada, to imbibe the poetry and music of the East; and the steel clad warriors of the north, hastened thither to accomplish themselves in the graceful exercises, and courteous usages of chivalry.

7. If the Moslem monuments in Spain still bear inscriptions, fon lly boasting of the power and permanency of their dominion, can the boast be derided as arrogant and vain ? Generation after generation, century after century, had passed away, and still they maintained possession of the land. A period had elapsed, longer than that which has passed since England was subjected by the Norman conqueror, and the descendants of Musa and Taric, might as little anticipate being driven into exile across the same straits, traversed by their triumphant ancestors, as the descendants of Rollo and William, and their veteran peers, may dream of being driven back to the shores of Normandy.

8. With all this, however, the Moslem empire in Spain was but a brilliant exotic, that took no permanent root in the soil it embellished. Severed from all their neighbors in the West, by impassable barriers of faith and manners, and separated by seas and deserts from their kindred of the East, they were an isolated people. Their whole existence was a prolonged, though gallant and chivalric struggle, for a foot. hold in a usurped land.

9. They were the outposts and frontiers of Mohammedanism, The peninsula was the great battle ground, where the Gothic conquerors of the North, and the Moslem conquerors of the East, met and strove for mastery; and the fiery courage of

[ocr errors]

the Arab was at length subdued by the obstinate and perse vering valor of the Goth.

10. Never was the annihilation of a people more complete, than that of the Spanish Moors. Where are they? Ask the shores of Barbary and its desert places. The exiled remnant of their once powerful empire, disappeared among the barba.rians of Africa, and ceased to be a nation. They have not even left a distinct name behind them, though for eight centuries they were a distinct people. The home of their adoption, and of their occupation for ages, refuses to acknowledge them, except as invaders and usurpers.

11. A few broken monuments are all that remain to bear witness of their power and greatness, as solitary rocks left far in the interior, bear testimony to the extent of some vast inundation. Such is the Alhambra,-a Moslem pile in the midst of a Christian land,—an oriental palace amidst the Gothic edifices of the West,- an elegant memento of a brave, intelligent, and graceful people, who conquered, ruled, ind passed away.

QUESTIONS.—1. What was the origin of the Moors ? 2. Where was their career of conquest checked? 3. What did they then establish, and where? 4. What was their character as a nation? 5. Who resorted to their cities and universities ? 6. How long did their empire continue ? 7. What is said of their entire overthrow ? 8. What remain to bear witness of them?

LESSON CVIII. SPELL AND Define-1. Margin, border; brink; as of a stream, or page of a book. 2. Crystal, clear like a crystal; transparent. 3. Aye, yes; yea 4. Rife, abounding in; prevalent. 5. Palmy, bearing palms, emblematical of victory. 6. Pearly, bright like a pearl. 7. Lave, to bathe; to wash. 8. Emerald, a gem of a green color; here, foliage of trees, resembling the emerald.

The Eternal River.-HESPERIAN. 1. Beyond the silence, beyond the gloom,

Of the vale of death and the dreary tomb-
Beyond the sorrow, beyond the sin,

Of earthly ages, its waves begin.
2. Along the slope of its margin bright,

in a land of light ; And the shining floods of the crystal rills, Come leaping down from the jasper hills;

rise up

« НазадПродовжити »