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The Young Man's Guide
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Title: The Young Man's Guide


INTRODUCTION. Mistakes in regard to the disposition and management of the young. 19-26

Section I. Importance of having a high standard of action.-The young should determine to rise. We may usually become what we desire to be. An anecdote. Studying the lives of eminent and useful men. 27-30
Section II. Motives to action.-A regard to our own happiness. To family and friends. To society. To country. To the will of God. The love of God, the highest motive. 31-38
Section III. Industry.-No person has a right to live without labor. Determine to labor as long as you live. Mistaken method of teaching industry. Labor in the open air. Guide labor schools. 38-43
Section IV. Economy.-False and true; Examples of the false. Time is money. Sixty minutes shown to be an hour. Economical habits. 1. Do every thing at the time. Anecdote. 2. Every thing should have its place. Examples. 43-47
Section V. Indolence.-The indolent only half human. Characteristics of an indolent man. His epitaph. 47-49
Section VI. Early Rising and rest.-He who would rise early, must retire early. Morning air. Advantages of early rising. 1. Things go better through the day. 2. Morning hours more agreeable. 3. Danger of the second nap. 4. Early risers long-lived. 5. One hour's sleep before midnight worth two after. 6. Saving of time and money. Estimates. Examples of early rising. 49-55
Section VII. Duty to Parents.-Reasons. 1. For the sake of our own reputation. 2. From love to our parents. 3. Better to suffer wrong, than to do wrong. 4. Nothing gained by going away. Franklin an exception to the general rule. No sight more beautiful than a well ordered and happy family. Obedience the great lesson of life. 56-59
Section VIII. Faithfulness.-Our duty to our employers. Common error of the young. Examples. The Mahratta prince. 59-61
Section IX. On Forming Temperate Habits.-Drunkenness and gluttony. Indulgence short of these Indulgences very expensive. Spending time at meals. Water drinkers the best guests. Temperate habits tend to health. Ecclesiasticus. Examples of rational living. Tea, coffee, soups, and all warm drinks injurious. General rules. 62-70
Section X. Suppers.-Customs of our ancestors; and of the Jews. Advantages gained by avoiding suppers. Eating-houses. 70-73
Section XI. Dress.-Its uses. Neither be first nor last in a fashion. Fondness for dress. Women not often misled by dress. 73-75
Section XII. Bashfulness and Modesty.-We may be both bashful and impudent. Bashfulness injurious. Set up for just what we are, and no more. 76-78
Section XIII. Politeness and Good Breeding.-Not to be despised. In what good breeding consists. How acquired. Ten plain rules. 78-82
Section XIV. Personal Habits.-Business of the day planned in the morning. Dressing, shaving, &c. Shaving with cold water. Anecdote. 82-88
Section XV. Bathing and Cleanliness.-Connection of Cleanliness with Moral Purity. Neglect of this subject. 88-89
Section XVI. Little Things.-Not to be disregarded. Zimmerman. The world made up of little things. 89-93
Section XVII. Anger, and the means of restraining it. Avoid the first steps. An error in education. Opinion of Dr. Darwin. The Quaker and the Merchant. Zimmerman's method of overcoming anger. Unreasonableness of returning evil for evil. 93-99
Section I. Commencing Business.-Avoid debt. Do not begin too early. Facts stated. Why young men do not take warning. Students of Medicine and Divinity. Examples for imitation. 100-108
Section II. Importance of Integrity.-Thieves and robbers respect it. What it is. Many kinds of dishonesty. 1. Concealing the market price. 2. Misrepresenting it. 3. Selling unsound or defective goods, and calling them sound and perfect. Quack medicines. 4. Concealing defects. 5. Lowering the value of things we wish to buy. 6. Use of false weights and measures. Other kinds of dishonesty. 108-115
Section III. Method.-Memorandum ebook; its uses. Rules for doing much business in little time. 116-117
Section IV. Application to Business.-Every person ought to have one principal object of pursuit, and steadily pursue it. Perseverance of a shopkeeper. All useful employments respectable. Character of a drone. 117-120
Section V. Proper Time and Season of doing Business.-When to deal with the gloomy; the intemperate; those unhappy in domestic life; men involved in public concerns. 120-122
Section VI. Buying upon Trust.-Live within our income. Calculate. Buy nothing but what you need. Estimates and examples to show the folly of credit. Not intended as lessons of stinginess. 122-127
Section VII. We should endeavor to do our business ourselves. Four reasons. Trusting dependants. We can do many little things without hindrance. 127-130
Section VIII. Over Trading.-A species of fraud. Arises from a desire to get rich rapidly. Wickedness of monopolies. 130-131
Section IX. Making contracts beforehand. Always make bargains beforehand. Three reasons. If possible, reduce every thing to writing. 131-132
Section X. How to know with whom to deal.-Two rules. How to detect a knave. All men by nature, avaricious. Avoid those who boast of good bargains. Avoid sanguine promisers. 133-135
Section XI. How to take Men as they are.-How to regard a miser; a passionate man; a slow man; the covetous; those ruled by their wives; the boasting; the mild tempered; the bully. Six sorts of people from whom you are not to expect much aid or sympathy in life: the sordid, the lazy, the busy, the rich, those miserable from poverty, and the silly. 136-140
Section XII. Of desiring the good opinion of others.-Those not far from ruin who don't care.-The other extreme to be avoided. 140-141
Section XIII. Intermeddling with the affairs of others.-Matchmakers. Taking sides in quarrels. Ishmaelites. 142-143
Section XIV. On keeping Secrets.-Who may safely be trusted. Anecdotes. 143-145
Section XV. Fear of Poverty.-Little real poverty in this country. Shame of being thought poor leads to worse evils than poverty itself. Fear of poverty often a cause of suicide. 145-150
Section XVI. Speculation.-The habit early formed. It is a species of gaming. Its sources. 150-152
Section XVII. Lawsuits.-Avoid the law. Litigiousness, a disease. Consider what is gained by it. Examples of loss. Subdue the passions which lead to it. Lawsuits unnecessary. 152-156
Section XVIII. Hard dealing.-Its unchristian nature. Two prices. Habits of the Mohammedans. 156-157
Section I. On Gaming.-Every gambler a robber. The first player. Gaming produces nothing. Corrupts manners. Discourages industry. Opinions of Locke and others. What tremendous evils it leads to. France, England. Different sorts of gaming. 1. Cards, dice, and billiards. 2. Shooting matches. These brutal practices still sometimes tolerated. 3. Horse racing and cock fighting. A recent bull fight. 158-171
Section II. On Lotteries.-Lotteries the worst species of Gaming. They are a species of swindling. Estimates to show their folly. Appeal to the reader. 171-176
Section III. The Theatre.-A school of vice. Injurious to health. Diseases produced by it. Its danger to morals. Opinions and facts from Griscom, Rousseau, Hawkins, Tillotson, Collier, Hale, Burgh, and Plato. Anecdote. Antiquity of theatres. No safety but in total abstinence. 176-183
Section IV. Use of Tobacco.-1. Smoking. Picture of its evils in Germany. Tobacco consumed in the United States. When it was introduced. None recommend it to their children. A most powerful poison. Savages fond of it, in proportion to their degradation. No poisonous plant, so much used, except the betel of India. How smoking can be abolished. 2. Chewing. Apologies for the practice. Tobacco does not preserve teeth. 3. Taking snuff. Disgust and danger of this habit. 183-191
Section V. Useful Recreations.-Recreations in the open air. Playing ball; quoits; nine pins, &c. Skating. Dancing. Its uses and dangers. Reading sometimes a recreation. Sports of the field considered. 191-194
Section I. Habits of Observation.-We should keep our 'eyes open.' Anecdote from Dr. Dwight. Avoid pedantry. Anecdote of a surgeon;-of the elder and younger Pliny. 195-199
Section II. Rules for Conversation.-Rules of profiting from it. Hear others. Do not interrupt them. Avoid those who use vulgar or profane language. Speak late yourself. Avoid great earnestness. Never be overbearing. 199-202
Section III. On Ebooks and Study.-How to overcome a dislike to them. Lyceums, Travels, Histories, Newspapers. A common mistake. Education only the key to knowledge. Men have commenced students at 40. Franklin always a learner. We can find time for study. Practical Studies. 1. Geography. How to study it. Its importance. 2. History. How pursued. 3. Arithmetic. Practical arithmeticians. The mere use of the pen and pencil do not give a knowledge of this branch. 4. Chemistry, and other Natural Sciences. Usefulness of Chemistry. 5. Grammar and Composition. One method of obtaining a practical knowledge of these branches. 6. Letter writing. 7. Voyages, travels, and biography. 8. Novels. Not recommended, especially to those who have little leisure. 9. Newspapers. Newspapers, though productive of much evil, on the whole useful. Five rules to assist the reader in making a judicious selection. Politics. History and constitution of our country studied. 10. Keeping a Journal. Examples. Other ways of improving the mind. Blank ebook, with pencil in our pockets. 11. Preservation of Ebooks and Papers. Ebooks should be covered; kept clean; used with dry hands. Turning down leaves. Using ebooks for pillows, props to
windows, seats, &c. 202-229
Section I. Female Society, in general.-Both sexes should be educated together. What we are to think of those who despise female society. How it polishes and improves us. 230-234
Section II. Advice and Friendship of Mothers. 234-235
Section III. Society of Sisters-Attentions due them. Their benefit. 236-237
Section IV. General Remarks and Advice.-Too great intimacy. Avoid trifling. Beware of idolatry. 238-241
Section V. Lyceums and other Social Meetings.-Value of Lyceums, and courses of lectures. How they might be improved. Their cheapness. 241-243
Section VI. Moral Manual.-Sabbath Schools and Bible Classes. Value of the latter. 243-244
Section VII. Of Female Society in reference to Marriage.-Every youth should keep matrimony in view. Particular advice. The wish to marry, prudently indulged, will have a great influence on our character. Error of a pedagogue. 244-250
Section I. Why Matrimony is a duty.-Importance of the subject. Considered as a school. Early marriage. Objections. Seven great evils from late marriages. 251-258
Section II. General Considerations.-Husbands and wives gradually resemble each other. Considerations for those who embark in matrimony. 258-262
Section III. Female Qualifications for Matrimony.-1. Moral Excellence. 2. Common Sense. 3. Desire for improvement. 4. Fondness for children. Miserable condition of a husband or wife, where this is wanting. 5. Love of domestic concerns. Evils of ignorance on this point. Fashionable education in fault. 6. Sobriety. Definition of the term. An anecdote. Love of mental and bodily excitement usually connected. 7. Industry. How to judge whether a person is industrious. 8. Early rising. A mark of industry. Late rising difficult of cure. 9. Frugality. Its importance shown. 10. Personal Neatness. Its comforts. 11. A good temper. Its importance illustrated. 12. Accomplishments. 263-305
Section I. Inconstancy and Seduction.-Constancy. Its importance illustrated by an example. Cruelty of sporting with the affections of a female. Opinion of Burgh. 306-313
Section II. Licentiousness.-Most common in cities. New Orleans. Hint to legislators. A horrid picture. Not wholly imaginary. Avoid the first erring step. Example of premature decrepitude. Anecdote of C. S. Solitary vice. This vice compared with intemperance. A set of wretches exposed. Apologies sometimes made. Nature of the evils this error produces. The law of God. Medical testimony. Entire celibacy, or purity, not unfavorable to health. Youth ought to consider this, and study the human frame. Causes of the error in question. 1. False delicacy. Our half Mohammedan education. 2. Ebooks, Pictures, &c. Great extent of this evil. Opinion of Dr. Dwight. 3. Obscene and improper songs. Anecdote of a schoolmaster. 4. Double entendres. Parental errors. Evening Parties. 314-337
Section III. Diseases of Licentiousness. Nine or ten of them enumerated. The ninth described. Four examples of suffering. When the young ought to tremble. Happiness of having never erred. What ebooks may be safely and usefully consulted. Extract from Rees' Cyclopedia. Other forms of disease. Of excess. All degrees of vice are excessive. Duties of Parents as manuals to the young. Obligations of Medical men. Concluding Remarks. 337-354
Section I. Choice of Friends. Importance of a few female friends. Caution necessary in making a choice. Story of Lucius-his mistake. Reflections. Character of friends. Select a small number only. Section II. Rudeness of manners. Wearing hats in the house-its tendency. Practical questions. Manners in families. Section III. Self-praise. Egotism. We should say little about ourselves.

The young are often accused of being thoughtless, rash, and unwilling to be advised.
That the former of these charges is in a great measure just, is not denied. Indeed, what else could be expected? They are thoughtless, for they are yet almost strangers to the world, and its cares and perplexities. They are forward, and sometimes rash; but this generally arises from that buoyancy of spirits, which health and vigor impart. True, it is to be corrected, let the cause be what it may; but we shall correct with more caution, and probably with greater success, when we understand its origin.
That youth are unwilling to be advised, as a general rule, appears to me untrue. At least I have not found it so. When the feeling does exist, I believe it often arises from parental mismanagement, or from an unfortunate method of advising.

The infant seeks to grasp the burning lamp;-the parent endeavors to dissuade him from it. At length he grasps it, and suffers the consequences. Finally, however, if the parent manages him properly, he learns to follow his advice, and obey his indications, in order to avoid pain. Such, at least, is the natural result of rational management. And the habit of seeking parental counsel, once formed, is not easily eradicated. It is true that temptation and forgetfulness may lead some of the young occasionally to grasp the lamp, even after they are told better; but the consequent suffering generally restores them to their reason. It is only when the parent neglects or refuses to give advice, and for a long time manifests little or no sympathy with his child, that the habit of filial reliance and confidence is destroyed. In fact there are very few children indeed, however improperly managed, who do not in early life acquire a degree of this confiding, inquiring, counsel-seeking disposition.

Most persons, as they grow old, forget that they have ever been young themselves. This greatly disqualifies them for social enjoyment. It was wisely said; 'He who would pass the latter part of his life with honor and decency, must, when he is young, consider that he shall one day be old, and when he is old, remember that he has once been young.' But if forgetfulness on this point disqualifies a person for self enjoyment, how much more for that which is social?

Still more does it disqualify us for giving advice. While a lad, I was at play, one day, with my mates, when two gentlemen observing us, one of them said to the other; 'Do you think you ever acted as foolishly as those boys do?' 'Why yes; I suppose I did;' was the reply. 'Well,' said the other, 'I never did;-I know I never did.'

Both of these persons has the name of parent, but he who could not believe he had ever acted like a child himself, is greatly destitute of the proper parental spirit. He never-or scarcely ever-puts himself to the slightest inconvenience to promote, directly, the happiness of the young, even for half an hour.

He supposes every child ought to be grave, like himself. If he sees the young engaged in any of those exercises which are really adapted to their years, he regards it as an entire loss of time, besides being foolish and unreasonable. He would have them at work, or at their studies. Whereas there is scarcely any thing that should give a parent more pleasure than to see his children, in their earliest years, enjoying that flow of spirits, which leads them forth to active, vigorous, blood-stirring sports.

Of all persons living, he who does not remember that he has once been young, is the most completely disqualified for giving youthful counsel. He obtrudes his advice occasionally, when the youth is already under temptation, and borne along with the force of a vicious current; but because he disregards it, he gives him up as heedless, perhaps as obstinate. If advice is afterwards asked, his manners are cold and repulsive. Or perhaps he frowns him away, telling him he never follows his advice, and therefore it is useless to give it. So common is it to treat the young with a measure of this species of roughness, that I cannot wonder the maxim has obtained that the young, generally, 'despise counsel.' And yet, I am fully convinced, no maxim is farther from the truth.

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