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Dec. Your high unconquer'd heart makes you forget
You are a man.
THE BEGGAR'S PETITION.
PITY the sorrows of a poor old man,
Whose trembling limbs have borne him to your door,
2. These tatter'd clothes my poverty bespeak,
3. Yon house, erected on the rising ground,
4. Hard is the fate of the infirm and poor!
5. Oh! take me to your hospitable dome;
6. Should I reveal the sources of my grief,
7. Heaven sends misfortunes; why should we repine, "Tis Heaven has brought me to the state you see ; And your condition may be soon like mine, The child of scrrow, and of misery.
8. A little farm was my paternal lot,
9. My daughter, once the comfort of my age,
10. My tender wife, sweet soother of my care,
11. Pity the sorrows of a poor old man,
THE TEST OF GOODNESS.
REAL goodness consists in doing good to our enemies. Of this truth the following apologue may serve for an illustration. A certain father of a family, advanced in years, being desirous of settling his worldly matters, divided his property between his three sons.
2. Nothing now remains, said he to them, but a diamond of great value; this I have determined to appropriate to whichever of you shall, within three months, perform the best actions.
3. His three sons accordingly departed different ways, and returned by the limited time. On presenting themselves before their judge, the eldest thus began.
4. Father, said he, during my absence, I found a stranger so circumstanced, that he was under a necessity of entrasting me with the whole of his fortune..
5. He had no written security from me, nor could he possibly bring any proof, any evidence whatever of the deposit. Yet I faithfully returned to him every shilling. Was there not something commendable in this action ?
6. Thou hast done what was incumbent upon thee to do, my son, replied the old man. The man who could have acted otherwise were unworthy to live ; for honesty is a duty ; thy action is an action of justice, not of goodness.
7. On this, the second son advanced. In the course of my travels, said he, I came to a lake in which I beheld a child struggling with death; I plunged into it and saved his life in the presence of a number of the neighbouring villagers, all of whom can attest the truth of what I assert.
8. It was well done (interrupted the old man ;) you have only obeyed the dictates of humanity. At length the youngest of the three came forward.
9. I happened, said he, to meet my mortal enemy, who, having bewildered himself in the dead of night, had imperceptibly fallen asleep upon the brink of a frightful precipice. The least motion would have infallibly plunged him headlong into the abyss; and though his life was in my hands, yet with every necessary precaution, I awaked him, and removed him from his danger.
10. Ah, my son! exclaimed the venerable good man with transport, while he pressed him to his heart; to thee belongs the diamond; well hast thou deserved it.
DESCRIPTION OF MOUNT ETNA.
THERE is no point on the surface of the globe, which unites so many awful and sublime objects, as the summit of Mount Etna. The immense elevation from the surface of the earth, drawn as it were to a single point, without any neighbouring mountain for the senses and imagination to rest upon, and recover from their astonishment in their way down to the world:
2. This point or pinnacle, raised on the brink of a bottomless gulph, as old as the world, often discharging rivers of fire, and throwing out burning rocks, with a noise which shakes the whole island:
3. Add to this, the unbounded extent of the prospect, comprehending the greatest diversity, and the most beautiful scenery in nature; with the rising sun, advancing in the east, to illuminate the wondrous scene.
4. The whole atmosphere by degrees kindled up, and showed dimly and faintly the boundless prospect around. Both sea and land looked dark and confused, as if only
emerging from their original chaos; and light and darkness seemed still undivided; till the morning, by degrees advancing, completed the separation.
5. The stars are extinguished, and the shades disappear. The forests, which but now seemed black and bottomless gulfs, from whence no ray was reflected to show their form or colours, appear a new creation rising to the sight, catching life and beauty from every increasing beam.
6. The scene still enlarges, and the horizon seems to widen and expand itself on all sides; till the sun, like the great Creator, appears in the east, and with his plastic ray, completes the mighty scene.
7. All appears enchantment; and it is with difficulty we can believe we are still on earth. The senses, unaccustomed to the sublimity of such a scene, are bewildered and confounded; and it is not till after some time, that they are capable of separating and judging of the objects which compose it.
8. The body of the sun is seen rising from the ocean, immense tracts both of sea and land intervening; the islands of Lipari, Panari, Alicudi, Strombolo, and Volcano, with their smoking summits, appear under your feet; and you look down on the whole of Sicily as on a map; and can trace every river through all its windings, from its source to its mouth.
9. The view is absolutely boundless on every side ; nor is there any one object, within the circle of vision, to interrupt it; so that the sight is every where lost in the immensity.
10. The circumference of the visible horizon on the top of Etna cannot be less than 2000 miles. At Malta, which is nearly 200 miles distant, they perceive all the eruptions from the second region; and that island is often discovered from about one half of the elevation of the mountain; so that at the whole elevation, the horizon must extend to nearly double that distance.
11. But this is by much too vast for our senses, not intended to grasp so boundless a scene. I find by some of the Sicilian authors, that the African coast, as well as that of Naples, with many of its islands, has been discovered from the top of Ætna. Of this, however, we cannot boast, though we can very well believe it.
12. But the most beautiful pait of the scene is certainly the mountain itself, the island of Sicily, and the numerous islands lying round it. All these, by a kind of magic in vision, seem as if they were brought close round the skirts of Ætaa; the distances appearing reduced to nothing.
13. The present crater of the volcano is a circle of about three miles and a half in circumference. It goes shelving down on each side, and forms a regular hollow like a vast amphitheatre.
14. From many places of this space, issue volumes of smoke, which, being much heavier Than the circumambient air, instead of rising in it, as smoke generally does, rolls down the side of the mountain like a torrent, till, coming to that part of the atmosphere of the same specific gravity with itself, it shoots of horizontally, and forms a large tract in the air, according to the direction of the wind.
15. The crater is so hot, that it is very dangerous, if not impossible, to go down into it. Besides, the smoke is very incommodious; and in many places, the surface is so soft, that there have been instances of people sinking down into it, and paying for their temerity with their lives.
16. Near the centre of the crater, is the great mouth of the volcano. And when we reflect on the immensity of its depth, the vast caverns whence so many lavas have issued; the force of its internal fire, sufficient to raise up those lavas to so great a height; the boiling of the matter, the shaking of the mountain, the explosion of flaming rocks, &c. we must allow, that the most enthusiastic imagination, in the midst of all its terrors, .can hardly form an idea more dreadful.
A DIALOGUE BETWEEN TWO SCHOOL BOYS, ON DANCING.
Harry. TOM, when are you going to begin your dancing? You will be so old in a short time as to be ashamed to be seen taking your five positions.
Thomas. I don't know as I shall begin at all. Father says he don't care a fig whether I learn to jump any better