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then seemed to wish for more. La Tude threw another piece to a less distance, and the animal came and took that piece also. He then threw another to a still less distance, by which the rat was tempted to come still nearer to him. Thus he induced95 it to have some confidence in him. As long as he threw bread, the creature remained; and when it could eat no more, it carried off to its hole the fragments which it had not devoured.
5. The next day, the rat appeared again. La Tude threw it some bread, and also a small piece of beef, which it seemed to relish very much. On the third day it came again, and was now so tame as to eat from the prisoner's hands. On the fifth day it changed its residence to a small hole near the inner end of the slit, apparently wishing to be nearer to its benefactor. It came very early the next morning98 to get its breakfast from La Tude, and appeared no more that day.
6. On the ensuing morning it came again, but it now had a companion.97 This was a female rat, which peeped cautiously from the hole, apparently very much afraid of the prisoner. La Tude tried to enfice the stranger towards" him, by throwing bread and meat to her; but for a long time she refused to venture out. At length, seeing the other rat eat so heartily, she rushed forward, seized a piece, and immediately retreated.
7. In a little while she became bolder, and even disputed somo pieces with the male rat. Whenever she succeeded in taking a piece out of his teeth, he came up to La Tude, as if to make complaint, and receive consolation. When La Tude gave him a piece to make up for what he had lost, the little creature34 sat down close by, and ate it in an ostentatious manner, sitting on his haunches, and holding the meat in his pasrs like a monkey, as if he meant to defy his female friend to come and take it from him, now that he was so near one who could protect him.
8. For some days the female continued to be very shy, though the male rat ate in peace near La Tude. But at length she could bear no longer to see her companion faring so well, while she was starving. One day, just as La Tude had given the male rat his first piece, she sprang out, and seized it in her teeth. The male rat held fast; she pulled violently; a severe struggle took place; and the two creatures rolled away together towards their hole, into which the female pulled the male. La Tude was greatly diverted by this contest, and, for the moment, almost forgot his misfortunes.
9. By and by the female rat became as familiar as the other, and daily ate her dinner out of La Tude's hand. There then appeared a third, who was much less shy at first than either of the others had been.98 At the second visit, this third rat constifcuted himself one of the family, and made himself so perfectly at home, that he resolved to introduce certain companions. The next day he came accompanied by two others, who, in the course of a week, brought five more; and thus, in less than a fortnight, La Tude found himself surrounded by ten large rats.
10. He now gave them, severally, names, which they learned to distinguish. They would also come out whenever he called them. He allowed them for some time to eat out of his own plate; but, their habits being rather slovenly, he was afterwards glad to give them a separate dish. He would also make them leap, like dogs, for bits of bread and meat. When they had dined, he made them all dance around him. In short, they became to him like a family of gamesome little children, and he almost felt happy in their presence.
11. He now scarcely wished for freedom, for in the world he had met with nothing but cruelty and oppression, while here all was affection and peace. But his pleasure with his rats was not of long continuance: at the end of two years he was removed to another room in a distant part of the prison, whither his rats, of course, could not follow him. He wept bitterly at thus parting with the friendly creatures, and, for some time, felt the pains of imprisonment to be more severe than they ever appeared before.
12. We thus see how painful is complete solitude, and how gladly a human being will associate with any kind of company, rather than be altogether alone. The story also shows that, in certain circumstances, the creatures which we most loathe and despise may be of service to us.
V.—THE SCHOLAR'S PILGRIMAGE."
1. Nothing could be more easy and agreeable than my condition when I was first summoned to set out on the road to learning, and it was not without letting fall a few ominous tears that I took the first step. Several companions of my own age accompanied me in the outset, and we travelled pleasantly together a good part of the way.
2. We had no sooner entered upon our path, than we were accosted by three diminutive strangers. These we presently discovered to be the advance-guard of a Lilliputian11 army, which was seen advancing towards us in battle array. Their forms were singularly grotesque: seme were striding across the path, others standing with their arms a-kimbo \ some hanging down their heads, others quite erect; some standing on one leg. athers on two; and one, strange to say, on three; another had ais arms crossed, and one was remarkably crooked; some were very slender, and others as broad as they were long.
3. But, notwithstanding this diversity of figure, when they were all marshalled in line of battle they had a very orderly and regular95 appearance. Feeling disconcerted by their numbers, we were presently for sounding a retreat; but, being urged forward by our guide, we soon mastered the three who led the van, and this gave us spirit to encounter the main army, who were conquered to a man before we left the field. We had scarcely taken breath after this victory, when, to our no small dismay, we descried a strong reinforcement" of the enemy, stationed on the opposite side. These were exactly equal in number to the former army, but vastly superior in size and stature; they were, in fact, a race of giants, though of the same species with the others, and were capitally accoutred" for the onset.
4. Their appearance discouraged us greatly at first, but we found their strength was not proportioned to their size; and, having acquired much skill and courage by the late engagement, we soon succeeded in subduing them, and passed off the field in triumph. After this we were perpetually engaged with small bands of the enemy, no longer extended in line of battle, but in small detachments of two, three, and four in company. We had some tough work here, and now and then they were too many for us. Having annoyed us thus for a time, they began to form themselves into close columns,59 six or eight abreast; but we had now attained so much address, that we no longer found them formidable.
5. After continuing this route for a considerable way, the face of the country suddenly changed, and we began to enter upon a vast succession of snowy plains, where we were each furnished with a certain light weapon, peculiar to the country, which we flourished continually, and with which we made many light strokes, and some desperate ones. The waters hereabouts were dark and brackish, and the snowy surface of the plain was often defaced by them. Probably we were now on the borders of the Black Sea. These plains we travelled across and across for many a day.
6. Upon quitting this district, the country became far more dreary: it appeared nothing but a dry and sterile region, the foil being remarkably hard and slaty. Here we saw many curious figures, and we soon found that the inhabitants of this desert were mere ciphers. Sometimes they appeared in vasi D'imbers, but only to be again suddenly diminished.
7. Our road, after this, wound through i rugged and hilly country, which was divided into nine principal parts or districts, each under a different governor ;6 and these again were reduced into endless subdivisions. Some of them we were obliged to decline. It was not a little puzzling to perceive the intricate ramifications of the paths in these parts. Here the natives spoke several dialects,100 which rendered our intercourse with them very perplexing. However, it must be confessed that every step wo set in this country was less fatiguing and more interesting. Our course at first lay all up hill; but when we had proceeded to a certain height, the distant country, which is most richly variegated, opened freely to our view.
8. I do not mean at present to describe that country, or the different stages by which we advanced through its scenery. Suffice it to say, that the journey, though always arduous, has become more and more pleasant every stage; and, though, after years of travel and labor, we are still very far from the Temple of Learning, yet we have found on the way more than enough to make us thankful to the kindness of the friends who first set us on the path, and to induce us to go forward courageously and rejoicingly to the end of the journey. Jane Taylor.
VI. — THE COMPLAINTS OF THE POOR.
"Ann wherefore do the poor complain? " the rich man asked of me. "Come, walk abroad with me," I said, " and I will answer thee." 'T was evening, and the frozen91 streets were cheerless to behold, And we were wrapt and coated well, and yet we were a-cold.
We met an old bareheaded man, — his locks were few and white;
We met a young barefooted child, and she begged loud and bold;
We saw a woman sitting down upon a stone to rest;
She had a baby at her back, and another a( her breast.
I asked her why she loitered there, when the night-wind was so chill,
She turned her head, and bade the child that screamed behind be still.
She told us that her husband1' served, a soldier, far away, And therefore to her parish she was begging back her way. I turned me to the rich man then, for silently stood he ;— "You asked me why the poor complain, and these have answered thee." soumsr.
VII. — PROVERBS OF ALL NATIONS.*
1. A Goon proverb" is never out of season. A ward onoa altered can never be recalled. A wise man may appear like a fool in the company of a fool. A goose-quill" is more dangerous than a lion's claw. A thousand probabilities will not make one truth. A great man will neither trample on a worm, nor cringe before a king. A jest is no argument, and loud laughter no demonstration. A crown will not cure the headache, nor a golden slipper the gout. Avoid a slander as you would a scorpion.
2. A wager is a fool's argument. A stumble may prevent a fall. A lie begets a lie, till they come to generations. A fault once denied is twice committed. A willing mind makes a light foot. A fool's bolt is soon shot. Be not misled by evil examples never think, "others do it, too." "Bear and forbear" is good philosophy. Better to live well than long. Better to be untaught than to be ill-taught. Books" alone can never teach the use of books. Brevity is the soul of wit. By the approval of evil, you become guilty of it. By learning to obey, you will know how to command. By the street of "By-and-by"" one arrives at the house of " Never."
3. Begin and end with God. Beauty is the flower, but virtue is the fruit, of life. By entertaining good thoughts, you will keep out evil ones. Between virtue and vice is no middle path. By doing nothing, we learn to do ill. Combat vice in its first attack, and you will come off conqueror. Cunning and treachery often proceed from want of xjapacity. Cater frugally for the body, if you would feed the mind sumptuously. Choleric men sin in haste and repent at leisure. Common fame" is often a common liar. Confine your tongue,, lest it confine you.
4. Constant occupation prevents temptation. Credit lost is like a broken looking-glass. Charity should begin at home, but not end there. Covetous men are bad sleepers. Consider each day your last. Curses", like chickens, always come home to roost. Deem every day of your life a leaf in your history. Do good with what thou hast, or it will do thee no good. Defile not thy mouth with impure words. Despise none; despair of none. Diet cures more than the doctor. Dissembled holiness
* It will be found a good intellectual exercise for pupils, to question thorn on the meaning of these proverbs, which the editor has carefully compiled from a great variety of sources. Several explanatory references to the Index have been made, as hints to teachers, and to stimulate thought on the part of pupils.