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And this is the sense of the word "grammar" which our inaccurate student detests, and this is the sense of the word which every sensible tutor will maintain. His maxim is "a little, but well"; that is, really know what you say you know: know what you know and what you do not know; get one thing well before you go on to a second; try to ascertain what your words mean; when you read a sentence, picture it before your mind as a whole, take in the truth or information contained in it, express it in your own words, and, if it be important, commit it to the faithful memory. Again, compare one idea with another; adjust truths and facts; form them into one whole, or notice the obstacles which occur in doing so. This is the way to make progress; this is the way to arrive at results; not to swallow knowledge, but (according to the figure sometimes used) to masticate and digest it.
the most sublime efforts of philosophy can extend no farther than feebly to point out the desire, the hope, or, at most, the probability, of a future state, there is nothing, except a divine revelation, that can ascertain the existence, and describe the condition of the invisible country which is destined to receive the souls of men after their separation from the body.
It was all Mrs. Bumble. She would do it," urged Mr. Bumble; first looking round, to ascertain that his partner had left the room. That is no excuse," returned Mr. Brownlow. "You were present on the occasion of the destruction of these trinkets, and, indeed, are the more guilty of the two, in the eye of the law; for the law supposes that your wife acts under your direction."If the law supposes that," said Mr. Bumble, squeezing his hat emphatically in both hands, "the law is a ass? a idiot. If that's the eye of the law, the law is a bachelor; and the worst I wish the law is, that his eye may be opened by experience? by experience.
He awoke, opened his eye. The room meant very little to him; he was too deeply immersed in the non-being from which he had just come. If he had not the energy to ascertain his position in time and space, he also lacked the desire. ... In utter comfort, utter relaxation he lay absolutely still for a while, and then sank back into on the the light momentary sleeps that occur after a long, profound one.
I am approached with the most opposite opinions and advice, and that by religious men, who are equally certain that they represent the Divine will. I am sure that either the one or the other is mistaken in that belief, and perhaps in some respects both. I hope it will not be irreverent for me to say that if it is probable that God would reveal his will to others, on a point so connected with my duty, it might be supposed he would reveal it directly to me; for, unless I am more deceived in myself than I often am, it is my earnest desire to know the will of Providence in this matter. And if I can learn what it is, I will do it! These are not, however, the days of miracles, and I suppose it will be granted that I am not to expect a direct revelation. I must study the plain, physical facts of the case, ascertain what is possible and learn what appears to be wise and right.
Nature is a hanging judge," goes an old saying. Many tragedies come from our physical and cognitive makeup. Our bodies are extraordinarily improbable arrangements of matter, with many ways for things to go wrong and only a few ways for things to go right. We are certain to die, and smart enough to know it. Our minds are adapted to a world that no longer exists, prone to misunderstandings correctable only by arduous education, and condemned to perplexity about the deepest questions we can ascertain.