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steals a portion of his time, either patiently plods through his task, in expeo tation of its approach, or anticipates its arrival by deserting his work before the legal period for amusement is arrived. It may fairly be questioned, whether the most innocent of these amusements is either so honorable or so safe as the avocation of learning or of science. Of minds uninformed and gross, whom youthful spirits agitate, but fancy and feeling have no power to impel, the amusement will generally be boisterous or effeminate, will either dissipate their attention, or weaken their force. The employment of a young man's vacant hours is often too little attended to by those rigid mas ters, who exact the most scrupulous observance of the periods destined for business. The waste of time is undoubtedly, a very calculable loss; but the waste or the depravation of mind is a loss of a much higher denomination.
l'he votary of study, or the enthusiast of fancy, may incur the first, but the latter will be suffered chiefly by him whose ignorance or want of imag ination has left him to the grossness of mere sensual enjoyments.
In this, as in other respects, the love of letters is friendly to sober man ners and virtuous conduct, which, in every profession, is the road to success and to respect. Without adopting the common-place reflections against. some particular departments, it must be allowed, that, in mere men of busi ness, there is a certain professional rule of right, which is not always honor able, and, though meant to be selfish, very seldom profits. A superior education generally corrects this, by opening the mind to different motives of action, to the feelings of delicacy, the sense of honor, and a contempt of wealth, when earned by a desertion of those principles.
To the improvement of our faculties as well as of our principles, the love of letters appears to be favorable. Letters require a certain sort of application, though of a kind, perhaps, very different from that which business would recommend. Granting that they are unprofitable in themselves, as that word is used in the language of the world, yet, as developing the powers of thought and reflection, they may be an amusement of some use, as those sports of children, in which numbers are used to familiarize them to the elements of arithmetic. They give room for the exercise of that discern ment, that comparison of objects. that distinction of causes, which is to in crease the skill of the physician, to guide iiie spculations of the merchant, and to prompt the arguments of the lawyer; and, though some professions employ but very few faculties of the mind, yet ihere is scarcely any branch of business in which a man who can think will not excel him who can only labor. We shall accordingly find, in many departments where learned in formation seemed of all qualities the least necessary, that those who pos sessed it, in a degree above their fellows, have found, from that very circum stance, the road to eminence and wealth.
But I must often repeat, that wealth does not necessarily create happi ness, nor confer dignity; a truth which it may be thought declamation to insist on, but which the present time seems particularly to require being told.
The love of letters is connected with an ir dependence and delicacy of mind, which is a great preservative against that servile homage, which abject men pay to fortune ; and there is a certain classical pride, which, from the society of Socrates and Plato, Cicero and Atticus, looks down with an honest disdain on the wealth-blown insects of modern times, neither en " lightened by knowledge, nor ennobled by virtue.
In the possession, indeed, of what he has attained, in that rest and retire ment from his labors, with the hopes of which his fatigues were lightened and his cares were smoothed, the mere man of business frequently under goes suffering, instead of finding enjoyment. To be busy as one ought is an easy art; but to know how to be idle is a very superior accomplishment. This difficulty is much increased with persons to whom the habit of em ployment has made some active exertion necessary; who cannot sleep contented in the torpor of indolence, or amuse themselves with those ligbtej
tarifles in which he, who inherited idleness as he did fortune, from his an cestors, has been accustomed to find amusement. The miseries and inis ortunes of the retired pleasures of men of business, have been frequently matter of speculation to the moralist, and of ridicule to the wit. But he who has mixed general knowledge with professional skill, and literary amusements with professional labor, will have some stock wherewith to support him in idleness, some spring for his mind when unbent from busi ness, some employment for those hours, which retirement and solitude has left vacant and unoccupied. Independence in the use of one's time is not the least valuable species of freedom. This liberty the man of letters enjoys, while the ignorant and the illiterate often retire from the thraldom of business, only to become the slaves of languor, intemperance, or vice. But tne situation in which the advantages of that endowment of mind, which letters bestow, are chiefly conspicuous, is old age, when a man's society is necessarily circumscribed, and his powers of active enjoyment are unavoidably diminished. Unfit for the bustle of affairs, and the amusements of his youth, an old man, if he has no source of mental exertion or employment, often settles into the gloom of melancholy and peevishness, or petrifies his feelings by habitual intoxication. From an old man, whose gratifications were solely derived from those sensual appetites which time has blunted, or from those trivial amusements which youth only can share, age has cut off almost every source of enjoyment. But to him who has stored his mind with the information, and can still employ it in the amusement of letters, this blank of life is admirably filled up. He acts, he thinks, and he feels with that literary world, whose society he can at all times enjoy. There is, per haps, no state more capable of comfort to ourselves, or more attractive o' veneration from others, than that which such an old age affords; it is ther the twilight of the passions, when they are mitigated, hut not extinguished, and spread their gentle influence over the evening of our day, in alliance with reason and in amity with virtue.
REMARKS AND ANALYSIS.
In examining the preceding example of argumentative writing, the principal object of attention will be, the plan or management of the subject.
The introduction consists of an indirect statement of the question to be agitated. We are told how those have thought and reasoned, whose opinions are opposed to the opinions of the writer. This statement is distinctly, and fairly, and skilfully made. Our literary taste is gratified by the illustrations and ornaments of language which are found. Our curiosity is roused, and we are ready to enter with interest on the proposed investigation. It should be noticed, that there is no formal statement of the proposition which is to be supported, but that it is clearly and happily implied in the introductory paragraphs.
After the introduction, follows the refutation of an objection. That this is the proper place for considering the objection stated, is evident, since, had it been unnoticed, or its refutation deferred to the closc of the essay, the minds of readers might have been prevented by its influence from giving due weight to the arguments adduced. There are two modes of refuting objections; one, by denying the premises from which a conclusion is drawn, - the other, by showing that the conclusion does not truly follow from the premises. The objection here considered is, that facts establish the opposite of the opinion advanced by the writer; of course, the opinion can have no good foundation. To refute the objection, the premise is denied. Facts as a rtherwise, says the writer, and a satisfactory reason is assigned why a different impression as to the bearing of facts on the case has prevailed. Having assigned this reason, the writer leaves the point at issue, as to facts in the case, to be determined by the observation and the good sense of his readers. Having thus introduced his subject to our attention, stating by implication the proposition to be examine.l, and having removed an objection which presented itself at the threshold, the writer now enters on the direct examination of his subject.
The following proposition is supported : Men of business may advan. tageously devote a portion of their time to literary pursuits.
1st Argument. Young men of business should engage in literary studies, since in them is found a pleasant relaxation and security against hurtful indulgences.
2d Argument. Young men of business should engage in literary studies, because in this way they acquire a refinement and exaltation of mind, which raises them above grovelling and selfish principles and conduct.
3d Argument. Young men of business should engage in literary studies, because the cultivation of letters is favorable to the improvement of the mind.
4th Argument. A man of business should engage in literary pursuits, because in this way he acquires an independence of feeling, which prepares him to enjoy his wealth. Without cultivation of mind and literary taste, the retirement of the man of wealth is wearisome and disgusting to him
5th Argument. Men of business should cultivate letters, that they may find in them grateful employment for old age.
This is the plan. Upon examination, we find that it conforms to the general directions given. The several heads are distinct from each other. They have a similar bearing on the leading proposition to be supported, and taken together they give a unity to the subject.
The kind of argument here used, is the argument from cause to effect. Different reasons are stated, which account for and support the assertion that is made, and which forms the leading proposition. Let us now take a nearer view of these different arguments, and see in what way they are supported. Under the first argument, the reasoning is as follows: 1. Young men in business will have relaxation and amusement. 2. Unless thuse of a salutary kind are provided, they will fall into such as are hurtful. Hence the importance of their being directed to literary pursuits, which may interest and benefit them. It may be asked, on what authority do these assertions of the writer rest? How do we know that young men thus will have relaxation and amusement ? and that, unless those of a salutary kind are provided, they will fall into such as are hurtful? I answer, that these assertions rest on the common observation and experience of men. Hence the writer takes it for granted, that those whom he addresses will yield their assent to his premises, and, consequently, if his conclusion is correctly drawing will acknowledge the validity of his argument.
In analyzing the second argument, the inquiry arises, How is it know, that literary studies give refinement and elevation to the mind, raising it above mean and grovelling pursuits? Here the apr eal is to consciousness Men who have thus cultivated their intellectual powers, are conscious, when they look in upon the operations of their own minds, that these salutary influences have been exerted upon them. The third argument. which asserts that the ove of letters is favorable to the cultivation of thu intellectual powers, rests principally upon experienre and observation. There is also found an illustration, which is of an analogical kind. It is where the writer refers to the sports of children, which familiarize them with the elements of arithmetic. This argument from analogy may be regarded as an appeal to the common sense of the readers. The remaining argument rests in like manner on appeals to experience, observation, common sense, and consciousness, and it is not necessary to analyze them. The student, in the analysis which has been made, has had an opportunity of seeing some of the grounds on which assertions and reasonings are founded
GENERALIZATION OF A SUBJECT.
Generalization is the act of extending from particulars to generals, or the act of making general.
In the treatment of all subjects there is a tendency in young writers to dwell too much on isolated particulars, without reference to their general application. The object of all investigations, whether literary, physical, or intellectual, and the purport of all inquiries, should be, the establishment of general principles; and every thought, which may tend to their elucidation, and every idea which may contribute to their discovery, must be reckoned among the most valuable of all literary labors. Hence, the efforts of the student should be directed towards the attainment of so valuable an end, and in the training of his mind, on the part of the teacher, there should always be a distinct reference to this consideration.
In the study, therefore, which the writer should always employ in his preparation for his work, it should be his aim to discover some general principle, with which his subject is directly or remotely connected, and endeavor to follow out that principle in all its consequences, - to show how his subject affects, or is affected, by this general principle, and how that principle influences the interest of learning and science, or contributes to the well-being of society, and the moral, physical, and intellectual condition of the world. Let us suppose, for instance, that the teacher has assigned to a class in composition, Truth, as the subject of a theme. The young writer, who is too much in haste to finish his task, would, perhaps, commence his exercise with some hackneyed observations on its importance, and dwell with considerable prolixity on its influence on a particular individual.
Individual instances, it is true, may have their influence in establishing the importance, or illustrating the effects of a general principle; but to confine an exercise upon a general subject to individual instances, is to present but narrow views of its importance. So far as the example introduced into the exercise of the student may serve to show the importance of a general principle, that example may be valuable, but it should by no means form the body of his work. It may
be introduced into the exercise, as an illustration, or as a subsidiary portion of his labor, but it should not be dwelt upon to the exclusion of the principle which it is designed to illustrate. Thus, in the subject to which reference has already been made, namely, “Truth," the well-known story of Petrarch may incidentally be mentioned, to show the dignity which attends the strictest observance of veracity; but, an exhibition of the effects on society in general of the presence or absence of the subject itself, would be a more useful and, of course, a more valuable mode of considering the subject, than any attempts to show its importance in individual cases. It should be the constant endeavor of the teaches to lead the student to the consideration of causes and effects, their operations and their tendencies, and, by the method of reasoning from particulars to generals, to show how general truths are inferred from particular instances, and general principles are established by the consideration of the effects of particular causes.
The student who is thus led to perceive the general bearings of a subject, will not take partial views, -- he will go out into the world, - on board ship, into factories and other large establishments, and view the operations of general principles; will have the sphere of intellectual vision enlarged, and insensibly acquire a comprehensiveness of mental perception, which will release him from the shackles of a narrow education, and enable him to take in, as it were at a glance, the. grand theatre of the moral world, with all the stupendous machinery by which the changes in its scenery are effected.
As an exercise in generalization, the student may fill out some one or more of the following models from the outline presented.