This section is from the book "Hill's Manual Of Social And Business Forms: A Guide To Correct Writing", by Thos. E. Hill. Also available from Amazon: Hill's Manual Of Social And Business Forms: The How-To-Do-Everything Book Of Victorian America.
It should be the aim of the student to be punctual in attendance at school, to be thorough in study, and good in recitation. The boy or girl who would be successful in after-life must lay the foundation of success in youth. They should fully understand the importance of improving their school days for this purpose.
The student who seeks every opportunity to idle away his time in making sport and amusement for himself and fellow-students will live to regret that he thus wasted his time. The happy, sportive, joyous, laughing boy and girl shed happiness wherever they go if they are careful to control their gayety and allow its flow only in the proper place; but they should never permit the love of the mirthful to infringe on the rules of the schoolroom or the laws of etiquette. On the contrary, true courtesy should teach them to use every endeavor to aid the teacher in his work, as in so doing they are themselves reaping the benefits.
The boy and girl at school foretell the future man and woman. Those who are prompt, punctual and orderly will be so in after-life. Those who are truthful, reliable and honest in childhood, will be trusted in position and place in after-years; and those who store the mind in youth with valuable knowledge will possess that which can never be lost, but on the contrary will always be a means by which they may procure a livelihood; and, if united with energy and perseverance, will be sure to give them reputation, eminence of position, and wealth.
The boy should never take pride in disobedience to the rules of school. To be a truant, to be indolent, to be working mischief, evinces no talent; any rowdy could do this; most worthless men did this when they attended school. It requires effort to be a good scholar; it evinces brain-power to be a good student.
The youth should earnestly resolve to achieve an honorable and noble position in life. With the wide opportunities which open to the ambitious and the enterprising in this age of progression there is no limit to the greatness which the thoroughly earnest student may attain. The idle and dissolute will, naturally, of their own weight drop out by the wayside and sink from sight. The plodder who is content to go the dull, daily round in the same narrow rut will get the reward of his labor, though he never betters his condition. But the earnest, original, aspiring, energetic, intelligent worker can always be sure of new fields to enter, nobler victories to gain, and grander work to be accomplished.