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HAPPINESS designed for man-Afflictions not incompatible with the object, but necessary to a state of probation-Virtue tried by solicitations to unlawful pleasure-What pleasures are unlawful?-The world divided on the question-The professors of religion distinguished by the avoidance of popular amusements-Reasons of the peculiarity have not been clearly stated-False objections exposed-The evils arising from ignorance on the subject, especially to young persons of the present age-Advantages of correct knowledge on the subject-Plan of the work.

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DIFFICULTY of selecting common ground for the discussion-That of general utility or injury chosen -Benefits of the Amusement-Intellectual qualification and instruction-The circumstances which qualify these benefits to a mind of taste and imagination-The intellectual pleasures not inconsiderable-Good acting is like a good painting-An actor is a commentator-Critical study of the art of pleasing-The claim of the Theatre to the appellation, "the school of morals" considered-Its representations are not purely virtuous-Its real object is to please-Prevailing taste of a theatrical assembly not virtuous-The stage, therefore, cannot be strictly moral-Expediency of a national theatre suggested -Modern 'improvement of the drama owing to a modification of public taste-In its relation to popular manners and morals the theatre is unchangeable -Present taste for the best specimens of tragedy accounted for The moral evils of the stage considered-The reformation it has effected compared with opposite results-Evils accruing to the performers-Their loss of public esteem-An estimate of this evil-The female performers especially sustain injury-A theatrical life immoral in its tendencies-Objections from this quarter-Conclusion. . 21

-Dancing in itself not criminal; it is elegant as an
art, and useful as an exercise-Proper for young
persons-Objection to this opinion examined-The
amusement unsuitable for adults-The pleasure it
affords must be produced by artificial excitement
With such must be a mere amusement-Amusement
should blend with it benefit-Pleasures of the ball-
room intoxicating-Experience appealed to-Temp-
tation is found every where, but in the path of duty
we may hope for escape-The ball-room excites
vanity, display, rivalry and envy-Its influence on
the sex, especially injurious-Destructive of modesty
-Produces love of general admiration-Weakens
the capacity for exclusive tender attachment-Dis-
qualifies for domestic duties-Mixed society of the
ball-room injurious.




Books next to society influence the character-Works
of imagination most influential-Exercise of the
imagination fascinating-The avidity with which
works of fiction are read proves this-Evils of an
indiscriminate perusal of novels universally admitted
-Difficulty of determining suitable limits-The
importance of this task-Bad novels extremely mis-
4chievous-The writers of them moral assassins-

Young persons warned against them-The evils of
a corrupted imagination-The number of injurious
novels greater than many imagine-The majority
defective, as they lower the standard of morals, and
seldom exhibit Christian virtues-Aversion to New
Testament morality occasioned in part by this—
Select novel-reading to be cautiously allowed-
The evils of an imagination unduly excited-Effe-
minacy of intellect, incapacity for the duties and
pleasures of actual life-They weaken benevolent
sympathies, produce inconstancy in friendship-
Novels generally give false views of life-Create
undue attachment to the present state of being,
and divert the mind from the true end of life-In-
stances illustrative of this truth-Some works of fic-
tion may be profitably perused-Imagination, when
properly disciplined, subserves character and hap-
piness, heightens benevolent feeling, strengthens
friendship, gratifies the mind's love of perfection
and novelty-Novels ought not to be read in the
early stages of education-A small portion of time
only should be devoted to them-The character of
the mind should be consulted-Unimaginative per-
sons may read them with advantage-Too stimu-
lating to romantic minds-The author of Waverly
the best novel writer-Defects of his productions
pointed out-Poetry rather than novels should be
read-Cowper recommended.


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