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Art thou poor, yet hast thou golden slumbers ?
Oh, sweet content !
Oh, punishment !
Work apace, apace, apace, apace;
Then hey noney, noney, hey noney, noney.
Oh, sweet content !
Oh, punishment !
Work apace, apace, &c.—T. Dekker.
EXAMPLE FOR PRACTICE. Man's criticism has chiefly had for its objects the appearances of Nature and the characters of other men and their doings. When we think what for centuries was the criticism upon Nature among people fully equal to ourselves; how they pronounced without the slightest experience upon the gravest matters; how they put words for facts, declaring that bodies descended because it was the nature of bodies to descend, or dicta of that kind; it may occur to us how often, in questions of social and political life and the judgment of character, we may be exercising a similar rashness and indiscretion. When you have an opportunity of looking well into any one human character you may see meanness and generosity, sensuality and abstinence, softness and ferocity, profound dissimulation and extreme imprudence, all mixed up in one man. And I have seen in the same character great sensitiveness, lively appreciation of difficulties and defects, and extreme fastidiousness, joined to the utmost tenacity of purpose, –a combination like that of a bulldog's head to the shivering, delicate body of an Italian greyhound. These strangely intermingled characters are then thrown amidst the ever-varying circumstances of life; and we, the bystanders, having a partial view of the circumstances and no conception of the original texture of the character, and judging it by an artificial standard of our own, pronounce opinions formed, perhaps, in the greatest haste, and in answer to somebody else, -fatal opinions on our fellow men.-Helps' Friends in Council.
SKELETON FORM_SUBJECT IN ITALICS. "I wonder wbat becomes of the Frog, when be climbs up, and disappears, so that we do not see his shadow till he is among us, when we least expect him. Does anybody know where he
Tell me, somebody.' Thus chattered the Grub of a Dragon-fly, as be darted about.
The water formed a pond. Stately trees grew round it, and the bulrushes and forget-me-nots, which fringed its sides, seemed to have a twofold life, so perfect was their image below.
• Who cares what the Frog does ?' answered one of those who overheard the inquiry. What is it to us ?'
• Look out for food,' cried another.
* But I have a curiosity,' expostulated the first speaker. 'I can see all of you when you pass by me; and when I don't see you, I know you have
But I followed a Frog as he went upwards, and be went to the side, and presently he was gone. Did be leave this world, do you think, and what can there be beyond ?'
• You idle fellow,' cried another, attend to the world you are in, and leave the “beyond” to those that are there. See what a morsel you have missed.' So saying the speaker seized an insect.
The curiosity of the Grub was a little checked, and be resumed his employment.
But do what he would, he could not help thinking of the disappearance of the Frog. What becomes of the Frog when he leaves this world, being the burden of his inquiry.
The Minnows eyed him askance, and passed on, for they knew no more than he did; and the eels wriggled away, for they could not bear to be disturbed.
The Grub got impatient, but be succeeded in inspiring several of his tribe with some of his own curiosity, and then went scrambling about, asking the same questions of all the creatures be met.
Suddenly there was a splash, and a Frog swam down.
* Ask the Frog,' suggested a Minnow, and very good advice it seemed to be, only the thing was much easier said than done. For the Frog was a dignified sort of personage, of whom the smaller inhabitants stood a good deal in awe. It required no common amount of assurance to ask where he had been to. He might justly consider such an inquiry impertinent. Still, such a chance was not to be lost, and the Grub screwed up his courage, and approaching the Frog, be asked:
• Is it permitted to a very unhappy creature to speak ?'
The Frog turned his eyes upon him, and answered :
* Very unhappy creatures had better be silent. I never talk but when I am happy.'
• But I shall be happy, if I may talk,' interposed the Grub.
Respected Frog,' replied the Grub, but it is something I want to ask you.'
Ask away,' exclaimed the Frog : the permission was given. • What is there beyond the world ?' inquired the Grub. • What world do you mean?' cried the Frog. • This world,' answered the Grub. • This pond you mean,' remarked the Frog.
• I mean the place we live in, whatever you may choose to call it,' cried the Grub; "I call it the world.'
• Do you?' rejoined the Frog. • Then what is the place you don't live in ?'
And the Frog shook his sides with merriment as he spoke.
Oh, indeed !' exclaimed Froggy. 'I shall tell you then. It is dry land.' There was a pause; and then — Can one swim about there?' inquired the Grub.
• I should think not,' chuckled the Frog. • Dry land is not water, little fellow. That is just what it is not.'
• But I want you to tell me what it is,' persisted the Grub.
“Of all the inquisitive creatures I ever met, you certainly are the most troublesome, cried the Frog. Well then, dry land is something like the sludge, only it is not wet, because there is no water.'
* Really,' interrupted the Grub. • What is there then ?'
• That's the difficulty,' exclaimed Froggy. • There is something, and they call it air, but how to explain it I don't know. My own feeling is that it's the nearest approach to nothing possible; do you comprehend ?'
Not quite,' replied the Grub.
• Exactly; I was afraid not. Now just take my advice, and ask no more questions; no good can come of it,' urged the Frog.
• Honoured Frog,' exclaimed the Grub, “I must differ from you there. Great good will, as I think, come of it, if my curiosity can be stilled by the knowledge I seek. If I learn to be contented where I am, it will be something. At present I am miserable.'
• You are a sily fellow,' cried the Frog, 'who will not be satisfied with the experience of others. I tell you the thing is not worth your troubling yourself. But as I rather admire your spirit, which is astonishing, I will make you an offer. If you choose to take a seat on my back, I will carry you up to dry land, and then you can judge what there is there, and how you like it. I consider it a foolish experiment, but that is your look out; I make my offer.'
* And I accept it with a gratitude that knows no bounds,' exclaimed the Grub.
• Drop yourself down then, and cling as well as you can, for if you go gliding off, you will be out of the way when I leave the water.'
The Grub obeyed, and the Frog reached the bulrushes. “Hold fast,' cried be, and then be clambered up. * Now then, here we are,' exclaimed be, • What do you think of dry land ?'
But no one spoke.
• Halloa ! gone ?' be continued ; that's just what I was afraid of. He has floated off, I declare; but it cannot be helped. And perhaps be may make his way here, and then I can help him out. I will wait and see.'
And away went Froggy, glancing every now and then, to see if he could spy the figure of the Dragon-fly Grub.
But the Grub, meanwhile. Ah, be had clung with tenacity, and the moment came when the mask of his face began to issue from the water.
But the same moment sent him reeling into the pond. A shock seemed to have struck his frame, a deadly faintness succeeded, and it was several seconds before he could recover himself.
• Horrible,' cried be, as soon as he had rallied. 'Beyond this world there is nothing but death. The Frog has deceived me, he cannot go there.' And the Grub moved away, his ardour grievously checked, though his spirit was unsubdued.
He contented himself with talking over what he had done and where he had been. And who could listen unmoved? The novelty, the mystery, lbe danger, the all but fatal result, and the still unexplained wonder of what became of the Frog, all invested the affair with interest. And the Grub had soon a host of followers at his heels.
By this time the day was declining, and the pursuit of prey was becoming suspended. When as the Grub was returning from a ramble, he suddenly encountered the Frog. You here,' cried the Grub. You never left this world then, I suppose? What a deception you must have practised! But this comes of trusting to strangers, as I was foolish enough to do.'
• You perplex me,' replied the Frog : 'nevertheless I forgive you, because you are so clumsy that civility cannot be expected from you. It never struck you, I suppose, to think what my sensations were, when I landed and discovered that you were no longer on my back? Why did you not sit fast, as I told you? But this is always the way with you who think you can fathom everything. You are thrown over by the first difficulty you meet.'
• Your accusations are full of injustice,' exclaimed the Grub.
It was clear they were on the point of quarrelling, and would have done so, had not the Frog desired the Grub to tell his own story, and clear himself if he could. It was soon told, the Frog staring at him while be went through the details of his adventure.
• And now,' said the Grub, as it is clear that there is nothing beyond this world but death, all your stories of going there must be inventions. Of course, therefore, if you do leave this world, you go to some place you are unwilling to tell me of. You have a right, I admit, but as I have no wish to be fooled, I will wish you good evening.'
* You will do no such thing, till you have listened to my story as I have to yours,' exclaimed the Frog.
That is but just, I allow,' said the Grub. Then the Frog told how he had lingered, how be had hopped about, how he had peeped, and at last,' continued be,' though I did not see you, I saw a sight which has more interest for you than for any creature that lives.' There be paused.
* And that was— ?? asked the Grub, his curiosity reviving, and his wrath becoming appeased.
• Up the stalk of a bulrush, continued the Frog, "I beheld one of your race climbing, till be had left the water. Rather wondering at such a sight, considering the fondness you all of you show for the pond, I continued to gaze, and observed presently—but I cannot tell you in what way the thing happened—that a rent seemed to come in your friend's body, and there emerged from it one of those radiant creatures, wbo float through the air I spoke to you of, and dazzle the eyes of all who catch glimpses of them as they pass,—a glorious Dragon-fly. As if scarcely awakened, be lifted his wings out of the carcase he was forsaking, and they stretched till they glistened as if with fire. How long the process continued I can scarcely tell, so fixed was I in astonishment; but I saw the creature at last poise himself before he took flight, I saw the four pinions flash back the sunshine that was poured on them, I heard the clash with which they struck the air, and I beheld his body give out rays as be darted along in circles that seemed to know no end. Then I plunged below, rejoicing in the news I brought.'
Tbe Frog stopped, and a pause followed.