Page images


Selfish sorro reproved. 1. ONE day, during the summer vacation, Alexis had prepared himself to set out, with a party of his companions, upon a little journey of pleasure. But the sky lowered, the clouds gathered, and he remained for some time in anxious suspense about his expedition ; which at last was prevented by heavy and continued rain.

2. The disappointment overpowered his fortitude; he burst into tears; lamented the untimely change of wcather; and sullenly refused all consolation.

3. In the evening, the clouds were dispersed; the sun shone with unusual brightness; and the face of nature seemed to be renewed in vernal beauty.

4. Euphronius conducted Alexis into the fields. The storm of passion in his breast was now stilled; and the se renity of the air, the music of the feathered songsters, the verdure of the meadows, and the swcet perfumes which breathed around, regaled every sense, and filled his mind with delightful emotions.

5.- Do not you remark," said Euphronius," the delightful change which has suddenly taken place in the whole creation Recollect the appearance of the scene before us yesterday. The ground was then parched with a long drought; the flowers hid their drooping heads; no fragrant odours were perceived ; and vegetation seemed to cease. To what cause must we impute the revival of naturo ”

6. “ To the rain which fell this morning," replied Alexis, with a modest confusion. He was struck with the selfishness and folly of his conduct; and his own bitter reflections anticipated the reproofs of Euphronius.

SECTION V. We are often deceived by appearances. 1. A YOUTH, who lived in the country, and who had not acquired, either by reading or conversation, any knowledge of the animals which inhabit foreign regions, came to Manchester, to see an exhibition of wild beasts.

2. The size and figure of the elephant struck him with

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]



awe; and he viewed the rhinoceros with astonishment But his attention was soon withdrawn from these animals, and directed to another, of the most elegant and beautiful form.

3. He stood contemplating, with silent admiration, the glossy smoothness of his hair; the blackness and regularity of the streaks with which he was marked ; the symmetry of his limbs; and, above all, the placid sweetness of his countenance.

4. “ What is the name of this lovely animal," said he to the keeper," which you have placed near one of the ugliest beasts in your collection; as if you meant to contrast, beauty with deformity ?”

5. Beware, young man," replied the intelligent keeper, s of being so easily captivated with external appearance The animal which you admire is called a tiger; and notwithstanding the meekness of his looks, he is fierce and sa vage beyond description. I can neither terrify him by cor. rection, nor tame him by indulgence. But the other beast which you despise, is in the highest degree docile, affectionate, and useful.

6. “ For the benefit of man he traverses the sandy deserts of Arabia, where drink and pasture are seldom to be found; and will continue six or seven days without sustenance, yet still patient of labour. His hair is manufactured into clothing; his flesh is deemed wholesome nourishment; and the milk of the female is much valued by the Arabs.

7. “ The camel, therefore, for such is the name given to this animal, is more worthy of your admiration than the tiger; notwithstanding the inelegance of his make, and the two bunches upon his back. For mere external beauty is of little estimation; and deformity, when associated with amiable dispositions and useful qualities, does not preclude our respect and approbation.”

[ocr errors]



The two bees.

1. On a fine morning in summer, two bees set forward in quest of honey, the one wise and tenperate, the other careless and extravagant. They soon arrived at a garden enriched with aromatic herbs, the most fragrant flowers, and the most delicious fruits.

2. They regaled themselves with the various dainties that were spread before them: the one loaded his thighs, at intervals, with provisions for the hive against the distant winter; the other revelled in sweets, without regard to any thing but his present gratification.

$. At length ihey found a wide-mouthed phial, that hung beneath the bough of a peach-tree, filled with honey ready tempered, and exposed to their taste in the most alluring manner. The thoughtless epicure, in spite of his friends remonstrances, plunged headlong into the vessel, resolving to indulge himself in all the pleasures of sensuality,

4. His philosophic companion, on the other hand, sipped a little, with caution; but being suspicious of danger, flew of to fruits and flowers; where, by the moderation of his meals, he improved his relish for the true enjoyment of them.

5. In the evening, however, he called upon his friend, to inquire whether he would return to the hive: but he found him surfeited in sweets, which he was as unable to leave, as to enjoy

6. Clogged in his wings, enfeebled in his feet, and his whole frame totally enervated, he was but just able to bid his friend adieu ; and to lament, with his latest breath,that though a taste of pleasure may quicken the relishi o life an unrestrained indulgence leads to inevitable destruction.



Ingenuity and industry rewarded. 1. A RICH hushandman had two sons, the one exactly a year older than the other. The very day the second was born, he set, in the entrance of his orchard, two young apple-trees of equal size; which he cultivated with the same care, and which grew so equally, that no person could perceive the least difference between them.

2. When his children were capable of handling gardentools, he took them, one fino morning in spring; to see these two trees, which he had planted for them, and called after their names: and when they had sufficiently admired their

growth, and the number of blossoms that covered thein, he said: “ My dear children, I give you these trees: you see they are in good condition.

3. « They will thrive as much by your care, as they will decline by your negligence, and their fruit will reward you in proportion to your labour.”

4. The youngest, named Edmund, was industrious and attentive. He busied hinıself in clearing his treo of in. sects that would hurt it; and he propped up its stem, to prevent its taking a wrong bent.

5. He loosened the earth about it, that the warmth of the sun, and the moisture of the dews, might the roots. His mother had not tended him more carefully:in. his infancy, than he tended his young apple-tree.

6. His brother, Moses, did not imitate his example He spent a great deal of time on a mount that was near, throw: ing stones at the passengers in the road. He went among all the little dirty country boys in the neighbourhood, to box with them; so that he was often seen with broken shing and black eyes, from the kicks and blows he received in his quarrels.

7. In short, he neglected his tree so far, that he never thought of it, till, one day in autumn, he, by chance, saw Edmund's tree so full of apples streaked with purple and gold, that had it not been for the

supported its branches, the weight of its fruit must have bent it to the ground.

8. Struck with the sight of so fine a tree, he hastened to his own, hoping to find as large a crop upon it: but, to his great surprise, he saw scarcely any thing, except branches covered with moss, and a few yellow withered leaves.

9. Full of passion and jealousy, he ran to his father, and said; “ Father, what sort of a tree is that which you have given me? It is as dry as a broomstick; and I shall not have ten apples on it. My brother you

have used better : bid him at least share his apples with me.

10. “ Share with you!” said his father ; so the industrious must lose his labour, to feed the idle! Be satisfied with your lot: it is the effect of your negligence: and do not think to accuse me of injustice, when you see your brother's rich crop. Your tree was as fruitful, and in as good

props which

order as his: it bore as many blossoins, and grew in the same soil, only it was not fostered with the same care.

11. 6 Edmund has kept his tree ciear of hurtful insects; but

you have suffered them to eat up yours in its blossoms. As I do not choose to let any thing which God has given me, and for which I hold myself accountable to him, go to rum, I shall take this tree from you, and call it no more by your name.

12." It must pass through your brother's hands, before it can recover itself; and from this moment, both it and the truit it may bear, are his property. You may, if you will, go into my nursery, and look for another; and rear it, to make amends for your fault: but if you neglect it, thai too shall be given to your brother, for assisting me in my labour."

13. Moses felt the justice of his father's sentence, and the wisdom of his design. He therefore went that moment into the nursery, and chose one of the most thriving appletrees he could find. Edmund assisted him with his advice in rearing it; and Moses embraced every occasion of paying attention to it.

14. He was now never out of his comrades, and still less with himself; fur he applied cheerfully to work : and, in autumn, he had the pleasure ot' seeing his tree fully answer his hopes. Thus he had the double advantage, of enriching hirnself with a spiendid crop of fruit; and, at the same time, of subduing the vicious habits he had contracted. His father was so well pleased with this change, that, the following year, he divided the produce ot a small orchard between him and his brother: BERQUIN.

SECTION VIII. The secret of being alwuys satisfied. 1. A CERTAIN Italian bishop, was remarkable for his hap py and cuntented disposition. He met with much opposilion, and encountered many difficulties in his journey through life: but it was observed, that he never repined at his condition, or betrayed the least degree of impatience.

2. An intimate friend of his, who highly admired the virtue which he thought it impossible to imitate, one day asked the prelate, if he could comiténicate the secret of

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »