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stagnant water is a world teeming with inhabitants. By one of these instruments, the experimental philosopher measures the ponderous globes, that the omnipotent hand has ranged in majestic order through the skies; by the other, he sees the same hand employed in rounding and polishing five thousand minute, transparent globes in the eye of a fly. Yet all these discoveries of modern science, exhibiting the intelligence, dominion, and agency of God, we owe to the transient amusement of a child.
It is a fact, commonly known, that the laws of gravitation, which guide the thousands of rolling worlds in the planetary system, were suggested at first, to the mind of Newton, by the falling of an ap
The art of printing shows from what casual incidents the most magnificent events in the scheme of Providence may result. Time was, when princes were scarcely rich enough to purchase a copy of the Bible. Now every cottager in Christendom is rich enough to possess this treasure. “Who would have thought that the simple circumstance of a man amusing himself by cutting a few letters on the bark of a tree, and impressing them on paper, was intimately connected with the mental illumination of the world !"
THE ORPHAN BOY.
Alas! I am an orphan boy,
· My lodging is the cold, cold ground,
I eat the bread of charity;
Yet once I had a father dear,
But ah! there came a war, they say :
A scarlet coat my father took,
My mother shrieked, her heart was woe;
THE SPIDER, CATERPILLAR, AND SILK-WORM.
“What sort of a weaver is your neighbour, the Silk-Worm ?" said the Spider to a Caterpillar. “ She is the slowest, dullest creature imaginable,” replied the Caterpillar; “I can weave a web sixty times as quick as she can. But then she has got her name up in the world, while I am constantly the victim of envy and hatred. My productions are destroyed, sometimes rudely and boldly, sometimes with insidious cunning; but her labours are praised all the world oyer-mankind wreath them with flowers, embroider them with gold, and load them with jewels." “I sympathize with you deeply," said the Spider ; for I too am the victim of envy and injustice. Look at my web extended across the window-pane? Did the Silk-Worm ever do any thing to equal its delicate transparency? Yet in all probability to-morrow's sun will see it swept away by the unfeeling housemaid. Alas, my sister! genius and merit are always pursued by envy."
“Foolish creatures,” exclaimed a gentleman, who overheard their complaints. - You, Mrs. Caterpillar, who boast of your rapid performances, let me ask you, what is their value? Do they not contain the eggs that will hereafter develope themselves, and destroy blossom and fruit?-even as the hasty and selfish writer winds into his pages principles wherewithal to poison the young heart's purity and peace?
“As for you, Mrs. Spider, you are hardly worthy of a rebuke. Your transparent web is broken by a dew-drop, as some pretty poetry is marred by the weight of a single idea. Like other framers of flimsy snares, you will catch a few silly little flies, and soon be swept away—the ephemera* of an hour. But rail not at productions, which ye cannot understand ! How can such as you estimate the labours of the Silk-Worm? Like genius expiring in the intensity of its own fires, she clothes the world in the beauty she dies in creating.”
THE SILKWORM'S WILL.
On a plain rush hurdle a Silkworm lay, When a proud young princess came that way, The haughty child of a human king Threw a sidelong glance at the humble thing, That took with a silent gratitude From the mulberry-leaf her simple food And shrunk, half scorn and half disgust, Away from her sister child of dust; Declaring she never yet could see Why a reptile form like this should be, And that she was not made with nerves so firm, As, calmly to stand by a “crawling worm !"
With mute forbearance the Silkworm took The taunting words and the spurning look. Alike a stranger to self and pride, She'd no disquiet from aught beside And lived of a meekness and peace possessed, Which these debar from the human breast. She only wished, for the harsh abuse, To find some way to become of use To the haughty daughter of lordly man. And thus did she lay a noble plan, To teach her wisdom and make it plain That the humble worm was not made in vain ; A plan so generous, deep and high, That to carry it out she must even die !
“No more," said she, “ will I drink or eat! I'll spin and weave me a winding sheet, To wrap me up from the sun's clear light, And hide my form from her wounded sight.