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L A CONIC MAN U AL
OVER A THOUSAND SUBJECTS, ALPHABETICALLY AND
FIRST EDITION 2000.
NORTH WRENTHAM, MASS.,
Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1852, by
CHARLES SIMMONS, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts.
ANDOVER: JOHN D. FLAGG,
STEREOTYPER AND PRINTER.
In preparing Laconics, it is of paramount importance to make them truthful. Even latent errors mar their beauty, and detract from their strength. A very luminous and pungent apothegm must needs be a truism. The next thing is to be profound. To make deep and lasting impressions requires sublime and comprehensive thoughts. The best materials for these, lie in the leading facts of natural and revealed religion. In this comparatively unexplored field, will yet be found the intellectual pearls and diamonds, which will enrapture the world. Then comes “ the dress of thought.” There is a fitness in things, and the gems of thought should not be clad in bearskin, but in the finest beaver. Says the great master of apothegms, “ A word fitly spoken, is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.” Euphonic and harmonious expressions, forcible and just expressions, descriptive, elevated, and beautiful expressions, profound and comprehensive expressions, and especially apt and witty expressions, each have their specific influence upon different minds, and their common influence upon all minds. Nor is it easy to measure the power of striking thoughts, clothed in suitable expressions, either in prose or verse, oft repeated or sung, upon the juvenile and popular mind. It is therefore high time our most valuable aphorisms and paragraphs were put in order for frequent perusal, and for handy reference, as the circumstances of life call up subjects. Not every memory is a capacious and well-arranged storehouse. The letter writer, the orator, the sermonizer, the teacher, indeed all professional men, and especially all young persons, need a well-arranged manual of this choice furniture, from whence to derive suggestive thoughts, and obtain tropes, and figures, and imagery, and comparisons. I marvel that this has been so long neglected. We have not a single volume of aphorisms, and sententious paragraphs, in alphabetical
and systematic order, convenient for reference. Hence the LACONIC MANUAL AND BRIEF REMARKER, designed as an introduction to an enterprise which ought to be carried to a high degree of perfection. The reader will find many subjects in this work, upon
which the poets have not usually sung, nor the oracles for aphorisms spoken. This self-seeking world has always been inclined to avoid such themes as the chief end and peculiar prerogatives of God, a particular providence, the distinctive features of the Gospel of his grace, and those reproving, self-denying principles of universal righteousness and reform, which were “to the Jews a stumbling-block, and to the Greeks, foolishness.” But who can doubt that the glory, interests, and majesty of God, must be exalted high above the tiny objects and interests of the intelligent creation; and the principles of the disinterested religion and morality of the Bible be exalted to their own eminence, in order to impart light and power to inferior truths, and thus prepare the way for the most salutary and effective impressions ?
Besides the invaluable and transforming thoughts with which weighty and truthful aphorisms and apothegms are laden, there is a great advantage in the frequent perusal of laconics and terse paragraphs, by reason of their powerful influence upon our mode of expression and style of writing. A familiarity with these gems of thought, imperceptibly corrects a loose and indiscriminate style of expression, and creates a terse and elevated mode of uttering our thoughts.
The public are indebted to several friends of this enterprise, who promptly responded to the invitation to render aid, for a considerable portion, both of its original and selected aphorisms and paragraphs. I have given credit to some authors, by prefixing their names, and regret that this was not contemplated earlier. Curious minds like to know who speaks, as well as what is spoken. In occasionally abridging sentences or paragraphs, to suit the design of this work, I have aimed to avoid misrepresentation, where there was not room fully to represent.
CHARLES SIMMONS. North Wrentham, Sept. 10, 1852.
PUBLISHER'S NOTICE. TRAVELLING or local agents, desirous of giving circulation to this work, or the Scripture Manual, and especially those who wish to distribute either of them gratuitously, will find it an object to make application to the Proprietor.
CHARLES SIMMONS. NORTH WRENTHAM, Mass., Ост.
NOTICE TO THE READER. In the Index, the reference is to the pages. The bracket references at the end of some sections, refer to other kindred sections, by number. The occasional references, in parentheses, to the works of authors, are generally to the stereotype or standard editions of their works.
I have used an abbreviation of Em. for Dr. Emmons, Sh. for Shakspeare, and Ed. for the editorials.