Page images

That you with music, I with light,
Might beautify and cheer the night.”

The songster heard this short oration,
And warbling out his approbation,
Released him, as my story tells,
And found a supper somewhere else.
Hence jarring sectaries may learn
Their real interest to discern;
That brother should not war with brother,
And worry and devour each other ;
But sing and shine with sweet consent,
Till life's poor transient night is spent ;
Respecting, in each other's case,
The gifts of nature and of grace.

3. Philip, king of Macedon, is celebrated for an act of private justice, which does greater honour to his memory than all his public victories. A certain soldier, in the Macedonian army, had, in various instances, distinguished himself by extraordinary acts of valour, and had received many marks of Philip's approbation and favour. On a particular occasion, he embarked on board a vessel, which was wrecked in a violent storm, and he himself cast on the shore naked and helpless, with scarcely any signs of life. A Ma. cedonian, whose lands were contiguous to the sea, came opportunely to be witness of his distress, and with all possible tenderness flew to the relief of the unhappy stranger. He bore him to his house, laid him on his bed, revived, cherished, and comforted him; and, for forty days, supplied him freely with all the necessaries and conveniences, which his languishing condition could require. The soldier, thus happily rescued from death, was incessant in the warmest expressions of gratitude to his benefactor, and assured him of his interest with the king, and of his resolution to obtain for him, from the royal bounty, the noble returns which such extraordinary benevolence deserved. He was at length completely recovered, and was supplied by his kind host with money to pursue his journey. Some time after, he presented himself before the king; he recounted his misfortunes, magnified his services, and, having looked with an eye of envy on the possessions of the man who had preserved his life, was so devoid of every feeling of gratitude, as to request the king to bestow upon him the houses and lands where he had been so kindly and so tenderly entertained. Unhappily,

hilip, without examination, inconsiderately granted his infamous

request. The soldier then returned to his preserver, and repaid his kindness by driving him from his settlement, and taking immediate possession of all the fruits of his honest industry. The poor man, stung with this instance of unparalleled ingratitude, boldly determined to seek relief; and, in a letter addressed to Philip, represented his own and the soldier's conduct in a lively and affecting manner. The king was instantly fired with indignation : he ordered that justice should be done without delay; that the pos. sessions should be immediately restored to the man, whose chari. table offices had been thus horribly repaid ; and that the soldier should be seized, and have these words branded on his forehead, “ The Ungrateful Guest.”

4. Oft has it been my lot to mark

A proud, conceited, talking spark,
With eyes that hardly serv'd at most
To guard their master 'gainst a post;
Yet round the world the blade had been,
To see whatever could be seen.
Returning from his finish'd tour,
Grown ten times perter than before ;
Whatever word you chance to drop,
The travellid fool your mouth will stop :

Sir, if my judgment you'll allow-
I've seen—and sure I ought to know”—
So begs you'd pay a due submission,
And acquiesce in his decision.

Two travellers of such a cast,
As o'er Arabia's wilds they pass'd,
And on their way, in friendly chat,
Now talk'd of this, and then of that,
Discours’d a while, 'mongst other matter,
Of the chameleon's form and nature.

“ A stranger animal,” cries one,
" Sure never lived beneath the sun :
A lizard's body lean and long,
A fish's head, a serpent's tongue,
Its foot with triple claw disjoin'd,
And what a length of tail behind !
How slow its pace! and then its hue-
Who ever saw so fine a blue ?"

“ Hold there,” the other quick replies,
“ 'Tis green— saw it with these eyes,

As late with open mouth it lay,
And warm'd it in the sunny ray;
Stretch'd at its ease the beast I view'd,
And saw it eat the air for food.”

“ I've seen it, sir, as well as you,
And must again affirm it blue;
At leisure I the beast survey'd,
Extended in the cooling shade."
“ 'Tis green, 'tis green, sir, I assure ye.”-
“ Green !” cries the other in a fury-
“ Why, sir, d'ye think I've lost my eyes ?”.
“ 'Twere no great loss,” the friend replies ;
« For, if they always serve you thus,
You'll find them but of little use.”

So high at last the contest rose, From words they almost came to blows ; When luckily came by a third : To him the question they referr’d; And begg'd he'd tell them if he knew, Whether the thing was green or blue. “ Sirs,” cries the umpire, “ cease your pother ; The creature's neither one nor t’other : I caught the animal last night, And view'd it o'er by candle-light: I mark'd it well,—'twas black as jetYou stare—but, sirs, I've got it yet, And can produce it.” "Pray, sir, do; I'll lay my life the thing is blue.” “ And I'll be sworn, that when you've seen The reptile, you'll pronounce him green.” “ Well then, at once to ease the doubt,” Replies the man, " I'll turn him out; And when before your eyes I've set him, If you don't find him black, I'll eat him.” He said ; then full before their sight Produced the beast, and, lo! 'twas white ! Both stared; the man look'd wondrous wise. « My children,” the chameleon cries, (Then first the creature found a tongue), c. You all are right, and all are wrong: When next you talk of what you view, Think others see as well as you;

Nor wonder if you find that none
Prefers your eyesight to his own.”


EXPRESSION OF IDEAS (continued). Let the Pupil amplify the following passages, expressing the ideas in sentences of his own construction and arrangement:


In whatever state I am, I first of all look up to heaven; I next look down upon the earth ; I then look abroad into the world : and thus I learn where true happiness is placed ; where all our cares must end ; and how very little reason I have to repine or to complain.

In whatever condition or situation Divine Providence places me, I first of all look up to heaven, and reflect that my principal business here is to get to that blest abode. I next look down upon the earth, and call to mind that, when I am dead, I shall occupy but a small space in it. I then look abroad into the world, and observe what multitudes there are, who, in every respect, are less fortunate than myself. . Thus I learn where true happiness is placed; where all our cares must end; and how very little reason I have to repine or to complain.


1. Our needful knowledge, like our needful food,

Unhedged, lies open in life's common field,

And bids all welcome to the vital feast. 2. A fox, being inclined to play a practical joke upon his neighbour the stork, asked him to dinner, which he caused to be served up in broad shallow dishes. The stork, perceiving the trick, took no notice, but, at parting, pressed the fox very much to return the visit. When the day arrived, and he repaired to his appointment, reynard was very much displeased to see the dinner served up in long narrow-necked glasses. They that cannot take a jest,” said the stork, “ should never make cne.

3. Alexander the Great, having taken Sidon, ordered one of his

generals to bestow the crown upon the citizen who seemed to be most worthy, when he offered it to two brothers in whose house he was quartered. Both, however, refused it, stating that it was contrary to the laws for any one to wear the crown, who was not of the royal family, and, at the same time, recommending Abdolonymus, whom misfortune had reduced to the necessity of cultivating a small garden in the suburbs of the city. Abdolonymus was weeding his garden, when the messengers went to him, and at first thought that they were insulting his poverty, when they saluted him as king ; but at last he was prevailed upon to go to the palace, and accept the regal office. Pride and envy created him so many enemies, that Alexander sent for him, and inquired with what temper of mind he had borne his poverty. “I pray,” replied Abdolony. mus, “ that I may bear my crown with equal moderation.” Alexander was so highly pleased with his answer, that he confirmed him in the throne, and added a neighbouring province tu his government.


4. Once I beheld a captive, whom these wars

Had made an inmate of the prison-house,
Cheering with wicker-work (that almost seem'd
To him a sort of play) his dreary hours.
I ask'd his story : in my native tongue
(Long use had made it easy as his own),
He answer'd thus :- Before these wars began,
I dwelt upon the willowy banks of Loire :
I married one, who, from my boyish days,
Had been my playmate. One morn, -I'll ne'er forget !-
While busy choosing out the prettiest twigs,
To warp a cradle for our child unborn,
We heard the tidings, that the conscript-lot
Had fall’n on me: it came like a death-knell,
The mother perishd, but the babe survived ;
And ere my parting day, his rocking couch
I made complete, and saw him sleeping smile,
The smile that play'd upon the cheek of her
Who lay clay-cold. Alas! the hour soon came
That forced my fetter'd arms to quit my child :
And whether now he lives to deck with flowers
The sod upon his mother's grave, or lies beneath it
By her side, I ne'er could learn :
I think he's gone; and now I only wish

« PreviousContinue »