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For the double purpose of rendering the book more appropriate and reducing its price, I have made a pretty free use, not only of the pruninghook, but the exterminator ; not merely paring away excrescences, but eradicating some parts, which, in the doting eyes of their author, seem to claim a gentler usage. The papers extruded are such as I thought less suitable for schools, and most of them have been extruded for that reason alone. To those retained I have added numerous new sentences and paragraphs, while, in sundry instances, some parts of their original have been suppressed; and all for the sake of adapting‘it to its present destination. Only one whole chapter is new—the seventy-third. In short, I have endeavored to make it such a manual as had been greatly needed by myself in the green years of my own life, and such as may relieve the needs of the young and inexperienced at all times. If there be found in it improprieties of any kind, they are to be attributed to want of judgment, rather than to negligence.

Throughout the whole of these compositions I have essayed to give descriptions of life and lessons of conduct, with particular reference to American society; to describe mankind as found in whole groups or clusters, and never, even in one solitary instance, aiming to fix a stigma or cast a slur upon any particular individual. If some passages or expressions are pointed, they are pointed at foibles and follies rather than persons, and at foibles and follies belonging alike to a multitude of human beings.

The recommendations bestowed upon the first edition from so many respectable quarters, occasioned a momentary gleam of hope that there might be sufficient encouragement to reprint the Brief Remarker more entire, with necessary emendations and improvements, and in a typographical drapery calculated to give it an engaging appearance. Though the consummation of that hope might have given me some pleasure, its extinction can give me no pain. In all probability the last sands in my glass are running; and what might have been not a little gratifying to me in other days, I am reckless of now. But a flower there is that blooms in the wintery and withering bosom of age. Might I hope that these essays will be benefiting the community, not only during tne short remainder of my life, but even after my mortal part shall have been enclosed in the grave, it would tend to smooth and gild my passage to that dreary mansion. If they should be read by many, and with profit ; if they should be the means of curing peccant dispositions or erroneous conceptions in some, and of preventing them in others; if not a few, by perusing these chapters should receive real aid in the snary and perilous journey of their lives, and be made, in any respects, wiser and better thereby, I shall have attained the summit of my ambition.

To the American Youth of both sexes I dedicate this little volume, and with it some of the best wishes of my heart.

Farewell, beloved pen! thou dear companion of lonely age, thou sweet beguiler of my vacant and solitary hours, I row bid thee a final adieu !

EZRA SAMPSON. Hudson, August 4, 1820.





XIX. Of the use and necessity of small change in

social and domestic Commerce, • . 62

XX. Of the great social Law enjoining it upon each

to yield place to each, -

XXI. Of the necessity of learning how to use money,

XXII. Of the wonderful Boy,

XXIII Of bridling the Tongue,

XXIV. Of saying too much,

XXV. Of the salutary effects of the necessity laid

upon man to labor, - -

XXVI. Of the design and use of the thumb,:.

XXVII. Of Idlers, ..

XXVIII. Of productive labor, other than that of

the hands, - - - - - - 85

XXIX. A sorrow-soothing Scottish Legend, -

XXX. Of maternal tenderness or the sorrows of

the daughter of Aiah, • • 92

XXXI. Of Prudence in the ordinary concerns of

Life, -

XXXII. Of Truth speaking as denoting courage, 97

XXXIII. Of Vulgarity, - - - . - - 100

XXXIV. Of friendship and the choice of friends, 102

XXXV. Of the importance of learning to say No, 106

XXXVI. Of the calamities of hereditary idleness, 108

XXXVII. Of the lamentable species of helpless-

ness, occasioned by Pride and false Shame, 11)

XXXVIII. Of the Proper and Improper, as depend-

ing upon the diverse circumstances and ages

of Life, - - - - - - 113

XXXIX. Of keeping children from the company

of children, - - - - - 116

XL. Of habitual discontent, arising from imaginary

wants, ' -


XLI. Of Custom, as respects individuals and whole

communities, • - - - - 123

XLII. Of one, of the many, remarkable instances

of Divine Providence, rewarding filial piety, 126

XLIII. Qf the inestimable benefits of Law, - 129

XLIV. Of a disputatious temper and habit, -

XLV. Of Procrastination, .

XLVI. Of the Well-Informed, - - -



XLVII. Of general diffusion of knowledge, • 141

XLVIII. Of adapting Education to the various

callings of Life, - - - - 144

XLIX. Of adapting female education to the pecul-

iar habitudes of the sex, . . . 147

L. Of cruelty to the brute animals—instanced in

the barbarous usage of that noble animal,

the Horse,

- - 151

LI. Of the Folly of trying to please every body, 154

LII. A comment upon a celebrated Allegory of

Antiquity, - - - - - 156

LIII. Of devotedness to Pleasure, . - 159

LIV. Of Vanity, as making part of the warp of

our general nature, - - - - 163

LV. Of the rueful consequences of living too fast, 166

LVI. Of banqueting upon horrowing,


LVII. Of the principle of Shame, - - 172

LVIII. Of Virtuous Poverty, - • • 176

LIX. Of Frivolity of Character, - - - 178

LX. Of the Natural and the Moral Heart,


LXI. Of an interesting Trial of old, before the

royal court of Persia, - - - 185

LXII. Of Moral Education,


LXIII. Of the power of the imagination over young

minds-instanced in George Hopewell, 192

LXIV. Of the almost insuperable power of Habit, 195

LXV. Of the World, - - - - - 198

LXVI. Of the attention due both to mind and body, 201

LXVII. Of the general propensity to petty scandal, 205

LXVIII. Of enjoying Independence without pos-

sessing Wealth,

- - 209

LXIX. Of giving in Marriage, - - - 212

LXX. Of useful Industry, considered as a Moral

Duty, - - - - - - 214

LXXI. Of the two opposite errors—the extreme of

suspicion and the extreme of confidence, 217

LXXII. Of the mis-usage of the Faculty of Mem-

ory, - - - - - - 220

LXXIII. Of attaining a facility of utterance, or

vocal expression, - -


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