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a sloven; he slouches about with his hands in his pockets, his face and hands dirty, his shoe strings untied, and his hair rough and untidy. Alas ! what will he do when he grows up to be a man ?
“Idleness,” says Jeremy Taylor, “is called the sin of Sodom and her daughters, and indeed is the burial of a living man. An idle person is so useless for any purposes of God and man that he is like one that is dead; and only lives to spend his time, and eat the fruits of the earth, like a vermin or a wolf; when their time comes they die and perish, and in the meantime do no good; they neither plough nor carry burthens s all that they do is either unprofitable or mischievous.”
We do not mean that boys and girls are to be expected to work all day. We should not like them to do so. As God has made kittens of a playful nature, so He is pleased that boys and girls should play too. A boy that cannot play is like a cock that cannot crow. For not only is the play of children pleasant to them, but grown men and women delight to see it. The poet Longfellow writes
“ Come to me, 0 ye children!
For I hear you at your play ;
Have vanished quite away.
"Ah! what would the world be to us
If the children were no more?
Worse than the dark before.”
And in the beautiful picture of the “ Deserted Village,” giren us by the poet Goldsmith, we have
6. The noisy geese that gabbled o'er the pool,
The playful children just let loose from school.” We trust, therefore, that no boy or girl who reads this paper will be so eager to avoid idleness as to give up their play; for we don't like children that never play. Besides, it is idle children who don't enjoy their play. The boy that's the best at cricket or football, is, in most cases, the best at his lessons too. The idle boy is idle in school and idle in the playground. He lounges about, trying first this game and then that, and never enters heartily into anything.
For, depend upon it, half work and half play is the very worst thing you can do. Better be idle altogether—far better. When you work, give up your whole mind to it; you cannot, perhaps, do this at first, but you can try more and more to do it. If you fail to-day, try again to-morrow; if you fail then, try again the next day. By constantly trying, and never giving up, you will conquer at last. Work while you work, and play while you play; don't try to work and play at the same time, or you will get into a habit that will certainly bring you to poverty and misery.
If a boy has done his work in school well, and carefully learnt his lessons at night, he may spend the rest of his time in play, without his conscience reproaching him with wasting his time. Children that live in the country must run about the green fields and lanes, for God has much to teach them there which it would be a sad thing for them to lose.
One of our poets has drawn a beautiful picture of a boy brought up in a country village
“A pretty boy, but most unteachable-
With earth and water on the stumps of trees.” There is a poem that follows this paper, which we advise every boy and girl to learn off by heart, so that they may think of it when they are tempted to be idle. It is a beautiful poem, and is as true as it is beautiful.
And in this, as in other matters, we should think of Him who is our great example, who went about doing good ; who, many times, leaving His disciples sleeping, rose up a great while before it was day to pray to His Father. What a vast amount of work He did in the three short years of His ministry here on earth! And how kind he was to children !
“O boys, be strong in Jesus,
To toil for Him is gain;
With chisel, saw, and plane.
Who was a maiden's Son;
And perfect grace begun.
“Soon in the golden city
The boys and girls shall play,
Rejoice in endless day.
With that triumphant throng
And sing the eternal song."
The Dignity of Labour.
AUSE not to dream of the future before us,
Pause not to weep the wild cares that come o'er us; Hark! how creation's deep musical chorus
Unintermitting goes up into heaven !
Till from its nourishing stem it is riven.
Speaks to thy soul from out Nature's great heart.
Only man, in the plan, shrinks from his part.
Flowers droop and die in the stillness of noon.
Play the sweet keys wouldst thou keep them in tune.
Rest from world syrens that lure us to ill. Work—and
slumbers shall rest on thy pillow; Work—thou shalt ride over care's coming billow ; Lie not down wearied 'neath woe's weeping willow;
Work with a stout heart and resolute will.
Labour is health ! lo, the husbandman reaping,
True as a sunbeam the swift sickle guides.
Temple and statue the marble block hides.
Rest not content in thy darkness—a clod.
F. S. OSGOOD.
THE TRAVELLING MUSICIANS.
N honest farmer had once an ass that had been a faithful servant to him a great many years, but it was now growing old, and every day more and more unfit for work. His master, therefore, was tired of keeping him, and began to think of putting an end to his life ; but the ass, who saw that some mischief was in
the wind, took himself slyly off, and began his journey towards the great city, “for there,” thought he, “I may
After he had travelled a little way, he spied a dog lying by the road side, and panting as if he were very
tired. 6 What makes you pant so, my friend ?” said the ass. “Alas !" said the dog, “my master was going to knock me on the head, because I am old and weak, and can no longer make myself useful to him in hunting ; so I ran away. But what can I do to earn my living?" “ Hark ye," said the ass, “I am going to the great city to turn
musician ; suppose you go with me and try what you can do in the same way?” The dog said he was willing, and they jogged on together.
They had not gone far before they saw a cat sitting in the middle of the road, and making a most rueful face. “Pray, my good lady,” said the ass, “what's the matter with you? You look quite out of spirits.” “ Ah me !" said the cat, “how can one be in good spirits when one's life is in danger? Because I am beginning to grow old, and would rather lie at my ease by the fire than run about the house after the mice, my mistress laid hold of me, and was going to drown me; and though I have been lucky enough to get away from her, I do not know what I am to live upon.” “Oh!” said the ass, “by all means go with us to the great city; you are a good night-singer, and may make your fortune as a musician.” The cat was pleased with the thought, and joined the party.
Soon afterwards, as they were passing by a farm-yard, they saw a cock perched upon a gate, screaming with all his might and main. “ Bravo!” said the ass, “ upon my word you make a famous noise ; pray what is this all about?” Why,” said the cock, "I was just now saying that we should have fine weather for our washing day, and yet my mistress and the cook don't thank me for my pains, but threaten to cut off my head to-morrow, and make broth of me for the guests that are coming on Sunday !"
“Heaven forbid !” said the ass; come with us, master chanticleer; it will be better, at any rate, than staying here to have
your head cut off. Besides, who knows? if we take care to sing in tune, we may get up some kind of a concert; so come along with us." “With all my heart,” said the cock ; so they all four went on merrily together.
They could not, however, reach the great city the first day; so when night came on, they went into the wood to sleep.
The ass and the dog laid themselves down under a great tree, and the cat climbed up into the branches ; while the cock, thinking that the higher he sat the safer he should be, flew up to the very top of the tree ; and then, according to his custom, before he went to sleep looked out on all sides of him, to see that everything was well. In doing this, he saw afar off something bright and shining, and, calling to his companions, said : “ There must be a