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cannot talk about what you learn, without digesting it. Sometimes two persons read together, aloud, by turns; each one freely remarking upon what is read, making inquiries, or bringing forward additional facts or illustrations connected with the subject. Sometimes two persons, after reading separately, come together for a walk; and each one describes his own book, and relates the substance of what it contains as far as he has read, bringing down at each successive meeting the narrative or the description as far as the reader has gone. By this means, each acquires the power of language and expression, digests and fixes what he has read, and also gives information to his companion. If any two of my readers will try this experiment, they will find much pleasure and improvement from it.

III. WRITING. The third, and perhaps the most important of the means of intellectual improvement, is the use of the pen. The powers of the pen, as an instrument for accomplishing all the objects of intellectual effort-discipline, knowledge, and skill-are almost altogether unknown, among the young. I am satisfied, however, that any general remarks which I might make would be less likely to interest my readers in this subject, than a particular description of the manner in which they can best use the pen, to accomplish the objects in view. I shall accordingly come at once to minute detail.

1. Personal Journals.-Every young person, old enough to write, may take a great deal of pleasure in keeping a Journal of his own personal history. After a very little practice, the work itself will be pleasant; and the improvement which it will promote is far greater than one, who has not exactly experienced it, would expect. The style should be a simple narrative of facts-chiefly descriptions of scenes through which you have passed, and Memoranda in regard to important points of your history. Every thing relating

to your progress in knowledge, your plans for your own improvement, the books you read, and the degree of in terest which they excited, should be notified. You ought not to resolve to write every day, because sometimes it will be impossible; and then, when your resolution has once yielded to necessity, it will afterwards more easily be broken by negligence. Resolve simply to write when you can only be careful to watch yourself; and see that you persevere in your plan, whatever interruptions may for a time suspend it. At the close of the week, think how you have been employed during the week; and make a record, —a short one at least you certainly can-of what has interested you. When, from forgetfulness, or loss of interest in it, or pressure of other duties, you have for a long time neglected your journal, do not throw it aside, and take up a new book and begin formally once more; but begin where you left off, filling up with a few paragraphs the interval of the history: and thus persevere.

There should be in the Journal, and in all the other sets of books which I shall describe, a double runningtitle, with two lines ruled; so that the general title may be above the upper one, and the particular subjects of each individual page above the under one. This double running-title would be as follows:

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The reader will understand that the number 62 represents the page. Corresponding with 1832, on the righthand page, should be written the name of the place in which the writer resides: and " THE PRIVATE" may be used instead of " PERSONAL," if it is preferred. The book should be of such a form as can easily be written in; and of moderate or small size. You can begin a second


volume when you have finished the first; and the volumes will in a few years begin to be numerous. Some persons adopt the plan of writing in little books stitched together, made of ten half-sheets of letter-paper folded once, with a plain marble paper cover. These little pamphlets are more easily written in than bound volumes; and after a dozen of them are filled, they may be bound up by a bookbinder, into a volume of the size of this book. I

have seen very many manuscript volumes made in this way.

A Journal kept in this systematic manner will be interesting and valuable, if you describe in it the things that most interested you at the age in which you kept it: and if it is carried on regularly through life, even with such interruptions as I have alluded to, it will be a most valuable and most interesting document. You will read its pages, again and again, with profit and pleasure.

2. Family Journal.-Let three or four of the older brothers and sisters of a family agree to write a history of the family. Any father would procure a book for this purpose and if the writers are young, the articles intended for insertion in it might be first written, on separate paper, and then corrected and transcribed. The subjects suitable to be recorded in such a book will suggest themselves to every one:—a description of the place of residence at the time of commencing the book; with similar descriptions of other places, from time to time, in case of removals-the journeys or absences of the head of the family or its members-the sad scenes of sickness or death which may be witnessed, and the joyous ones of weddings, or festivities, or holidays—the manner in which the members are from time to time employed-and pictures of the scenes which the fireside group exhibits in the long winter evening; or the conversation which is heard, and the plans formed, at the supper table, or in the morning walk.

If a family, when it is first established, should commence such a record of their own efforts and plans, and the various dealings of Providence towards them, the father and the mother carrying it on jointly until the children are old enough to take the pen, they would find the work a source of great improvement and pleasure. It would tend to keep distinctly in view the great objects for which they ought to live: and repeatedly recognising, as they doubtless would do, the hand of God, they would feel more sensibly and more constantly their dependence upon Him.

The form and manner in which such a Journal should be written might properly be the same with that described under the last head: the word "FAMILY" being substituted for "PERSONAL," in the general title. It ought also to be written in such a style, and upon such subjects, as shall render it proper to give children free access to it. On this account, it will be well to avoid such particulars, in regard to any child, as may be flattering to his vanity when he shall become old enough to read them; and to refrain from making a record of faults, which will remain a standing source of suffering and disgrace, when perhaps they ought soon to be forgotten. It is true, that one of the most important portions of such a Journal would consist of the description of the various plans adopted for correcting faults, and for promoting improvement; the peculiar moral and intellectual treatment which each child received; the success of the various experiments in education which intelligent parents will always be disposed to try; and anecdotes of children; illustrating the language, or the sentiments, or difficulties of childhood. With a little dexterity, however, on the part of the writer, a faithful record of all these things can be kept; and yet, by an omission of names, or of some important circumstances, the evils I have above alluded to may be avoided.

3. Notes and Abstracts.-It is sometimes the case, that young persons, when they meet any thing remarkable in the course of their reading, transcribe it, with the expectation of referring to their copy afterwards to refresh their memories; and thus, after a while, they get their desks very full of knowledge, while very little remains in the head. Now, it ought to be remembered, that knowledge is of no value, or at least of scarcely any, unless it is fairly lodged in the mind, and so digested, as I have before shewn, as to become a permanent possession. Now, if transcribing, and writing notes and abstracts of what you read, is made the means of fixing thus firmly in the mind your various acquisitions, it is of immense value: if made the substitute for it, it is worse than useless. It may be a most powerful means, as any one may prove to himself, by the following experiment.

Read some history in the ordinary way, without the use of the pen; with the exception, that you select some chapter in the middle of the work, with which you may try the experiment of an abstract. After having read it attentively, shut the book, and write the substance of the narrative it contains. The more you deviate in style and language from your author, the better; because, by such a deviation, you employ more your own original resources, you reduce the knowledge you have gained to a form adapted to your own habits of thought; and you consequently make it more fully your own, and fix it more indelibly in the mind. After finishing the abstract of that chapter, go on with the remainder of the book in the usual way, by simply reading it attentively. You will find, if you carefully try this experiment, that the chapter which you have thus treated will for many years stand out most conspicuous from all the rest, in your recollections of the work: the facts which it has stated will retain possession of your minds, when all the rest

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