Изображения страниц

tuted 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 Icap, 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 opprexsion, 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.

1. — THE SCHOLAR'S PILGRIMAGE. SI 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 Lilliputian army, which was seen advancing towards us in battle, array. Their forms were singularly grotesque: some were striding across the path, others standing with their arms a-kimbo; some hanging down their headis, others quite erect; some standing on one leg,

others on two; and one, strange to say, on three; another had his arms crossed, and one was remarkably crookec ; 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 regular 95 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 reënforcementer of the enerny, 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 accoutrede 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, 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 moro dreary: it appeared nothing but a dry and sterile region, the soil 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 vast numbers, but only to be again suddenly diminished.

7. Our road, after this, wound through a rugged and billy

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 we 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 varië. gated, 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.


VI. — THE COMPLAINTS OF THE POOR. " AND 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 frozen "l streets were cheerless to beliold, And we were wrapt and coated well, and yet we were a-cold. *We met an old barchcaded man, - his locks were few and white;

I asked him what he did abroad in that cold winter's night.
'T was bitter keen, indeed, he said, but at home no fire had he,
And therefore he had come abroad to ask for charity.
We met a young barefooted child, and she begged loud and bold;
I asked her what she did abroad when the wind it blew so cold.
She said her father was at home, and he lay sick abed ;
And therefore was it she was sent abroad to beg for bread.
We saw a woman sitting down upon a stone to rest;
She had a baby at her back, and another at 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 husbandes 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


VII. — PROVERBS OF ALL NATIONS. * 1 A GOOD proverbe is never out of season. A word once utte.ed can never be recalled. A wise man may appear like a fool in the company of a fool. A goose-quille is more dangere ous 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. Booksul 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”Ei 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 capacity. Cater frugally for the. boly, if you would feed the mind sumptuously. Choleric men sin in haste and repent at leisure. Common fameki 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. Curdese, 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 nore; despair of none. Diet cures more than the doctor. Dissembled holiness

* It will be found a good intellcotual exercise for pupils, to question them on the meaning of these proverbs, whioh the editor has carefully compiled from a great variety of sources. Several explanatory references to tho index have been mado, as hints tu teachers, and to stimulate thought on the part of pupils.

is double iniquity. Drunkenness is an egg from which all viceg may he hatched.

5. Deliver your words not by number, but hy weight. Do nothing you would wish to conceal. Death hath nothing terrible in it but what life has made so. Each day is a new life: regard it, therefore, as an epit'omën of the whole. Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other. Entertain no thoughts which you would blush at in words. Economy is itself a great income. Fortune often makes a feast, and then takes away the appetite.

6. Fear not death so much as an evil course of life. Fling him into the Nile, El and he will come up with a fish in his mouth. Fortune can take nothing from us but what she gave. Few, that have any merit of their own, envy that of others. Force witnout forecast is little worth. Gaming finds a man a dupe and leaves him a knave. Gluttony kills more than the sword. Heaven helps him who helps himself. He is the best gentleman who is the son of his own deserts.83 He who will not be ruled by the rudder!I must be ruled by the rock. His is a happy memory which forgets nothing so soon as his injuries. He that shows his passion tells his enemy where to hit him.

7. He is a wise man who is willing to receive instructions from all men. He is a mighty man who subdueth his evil inclinations. He is a rich man who is delighted with his lot. He keeps his road well who gets rid of bad company. He is an ill boy that goes, like a top, no longer than he is whipped. He that “ will consider of it” takes time to deny you handsomely. Happy he who happy thinks. He who hath good health is young, and he is rich who owes nothing. He that would know what shall be, must consider what has been. Hungry men call the cook lazy. He who sows brambles must not go barefoot.

8. If the counsel be good, no matter who gave it. Industry is Fortune's right hand, and Frugality her left. If you wish a thing done, go; if not, send. If you would enjoy the fruit, pluck not the blossom. It is easy to go afoot when one leads one's horse by the bridle. In a country of blind people the one-eyed is king. It is an ill wind that blows nobody good. If God be with us, who can be a gainst us? Keep good company, and be one of the number. Know thyself. Knowledge is the treasure of the mind, and discretion the key to it. Levity in manner leads to laxity in principles.

9. Learning is wealth to the poor, and an ornament to the rich. Let pleasures be ever so innocent, the excess is criminal, wight griefs are loquacious. Less of your courtesy, and more of your coin. Let not the tongue forerun the thought. Lying

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »