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Talkers With Illustrations   By:

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With Illustrations.



Author of "Cyclopædia of Illustrations of Moral and Religious Truths," etc., etc.

"Sacred interpreter of human thought, How few respect or use thee as they ought." COWPER.

London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, E.C.; and Sold at 66, Paternoster Row. 1878.

Hazell, Watson, and Viney, Printers, London and Aylesbury.


The power to talk, like every other natural power of man, is designed for profit and pleasure; but in the absence of wisdom in its government, it fails to fulfil either.

The revelations of human life in the past show that the improper employment of this power has brought upon individuals, families, churches, and empires some of their most grievous evils. The revelations of human life in the present show that this power is still unwisely used, and the cause of similar lamentations and woes. Every man in his own circle, to go no farther, may learn the sad effects following the abuse of the faculty of speech. That member of the body, when "set on fire of hell" (and how often is this!) what conflagrations it brings about wherever its sparks and flames are spread! As a lucifer match in the hands of a madman, when struck, may be the occasion of blowing up castles or burning down cities, so the tongue may "set on fire the course of nature."

Not only are talkers the cause of evils on such a large scale, but of evils which, while not so distinguished, are still evils annoyances that mar the happiness and disturb the peace of individuals and societies thorns in the flesh contagion in the atmosphere, which, if they do not create disease, cause fear and alarm. Any one, therefore, who contributes to the lessening of these evils, does a beneficent work, and deserves the patronage and co operation of all lovers of his species.

The prominence given to the use and abuse of the power of speech, in the Scriptures, at once shows the importance of the subject.

The connection between talkers and Christianity teaches that this book belongs as much to Christianity in its interests as to ethics in its interests.

If in any of the illustrations there may seem to be an excess of colouring, the reader is at liberty to modify them in his own mind as much as he may desire; only let him not forget that "fact is stranger than fiction," and that what may not have come within the range of his experience, others may be familiar with.

It may be that the style in which some of the characters appear will not please the taste of every one. It would be a wonder of wonders if it did. Taste in respect to style in writing differs, perhaps, as much as taste in respect to style in dress. By the bye, one likes Dr. Johnson's idea of dress, which is, that a man or a woman, in her sphere, should wear nothing which is calculated to attract more attention and observation than the person who wears it. This is the author's idea of style in writing; whether he has embodied it in the following pages others must judge. His aim has been to show the character more than the dress in which it appears.

If in two or three instances a similarity of character should be observed, let it be remembered that it is in talkers in society as in pictures in an album, in general features they are alike, but in particular expression each one is distinctly himself and not another.

Should it be thought that the number of talkers might have been reduced, the answer is, that difficulty has been experienced in keeping them within the number given. One after another has risen in such rapidity, that a selection has only been made. Some have not been admitted which claimed sympathy and patronage among the rest.

The author has not purposely introduced any talker whose faults were unavoidable through defect of nature or providential circumstances... Continue reading book >>

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