Page images

River! River! headlong River !
Down you dash into the sea;
Sea, that line hath never sounded,
Sea, that voyage hath never rounded,

Like eternity.


When Socrates, the Athenian philosopher, had built himself a small house, one of the common people stepped up to him ; “ And pray, sir,” said he, “what can be the reason that you, who are so great a man, should build such a little box as this for your dwelling house ? ” “ Indeed, neighbor," replied the sage, “ I shall think myself happy if I can fill even this with real friends."

True friends are indeed great treasures, and the wise know how to prize them.

PROVERBS HEARTs may agree, though heads differ.

Since you wronged me, you never had a good thought of me. There is no better looking-glass than a true friend.

After dinner, sit awhile ;

After supper, walk a mile.
Go to bed with the lamb, and rise with the lark.
As the wind blows, you must set your sail.
As love thinks no evil, so envy speaks no good.

As virtue is its own reward, so vice is its own punishment.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]


A FABLE. Two mules, who were each of them loaded with a pack, happened to travel in company. One of them was carrying money to the public treasury, and the other sustaining the weight of a large sack, which was full of barley. The former, being proud of his burden, tossed up his head with an air, and shook the tinkling bell, which dangled upon his neck; while his partner followed him at a distance with a humble and easy pace.

On a sudden, out rushed a gang of robbers from their ambush, and in the heat of the skirmish, they wounded the , mule, who had been so vain of his money, and carried off the bags, leaving the barley for the next comer. Thus plundered and crippled, while he was bewailing his cruel fate, “For my part,” said the other mule, “ I am heartily glad they did not think me worthy of notice ; for I have lost nothing by their contempt, and am still as whole and sound as ever.”

THE PHILOSOPHER OUTDONE. A LEARNED pbilosopher being very busy, in his study, a little girl came to ask him for some fire. “But,” says the doctor, “ you have nothing to take it in ;” and as he was going to fetch something for the purpose, the little girl stooped down to the fireplace, and taking some cold ashes in one hand, she put live embers on them with the other. The astonished doctor threw down his books, saying, 6. With all my learning, I should never have found out that expedient.”


After the capture of Lord Cornwallis, at Yorktown, he was one day standing in the presence of General Washington, with his head uncovered. His excellency politely said to him, “ My Lord, you had better be covered from the cold.” His Lordship, applying his hand to his head, replied, " It matters not, sir, what becomes of this head now.”

PATRIOTIC INTEGRITY. During the American Revolution, while General Reed was President of Congress, the British commissioners offered him a bribe of ten thousand guineas, to desert the cause of his country. His reply was, “ Gentlemen, I am poor, very poor; but your king is not rich enough to buy

[ocr errors]

SHORT EXHORTATIONS. 1. Let your thoughts be divine and upright. 2. Let your talk be honest, true and concise. 3. Let your manners be courteous and cheerful.

4. Let your works be holy, charitable, profitable, and useful.

5. Let your diet be temperate, convenient, and frugal. 6. Let your apparel be neat and comely. 7. Let your will be compliant, obedient, and ready. 8. Let your prayers be devout, fervent, and often. 9. Let your recreations be lawful, brief, and seldom. 10. Let your meditations be of death, judgment, and eternity.

POWDER AND BALLS. Let ancient or modern history be produced, they will not afford a more heroic reply than that of the Yankees at Stonington, to the British commanders. The people were piling the balls, which the enemy had wasted, when the foe applied to them, “ We want balls ; will you sell them ?” They answered, “We want powder; send us powder, and we'll return your balls."

REPUTATION. The desire of praise, when it is discreet and moderate, is always attended with emulation and a strong desire of excelling; and so long as we can stop here, there is 'no harm done to ourselves or others. St Paul exhorts christians to follow, not only whatsoever things are right, but whatsoever things are of good report. The love of reputation, therefore, if it be not joined to a bad disposition, will scarcely of itself lead us to immoral actions.

Yet the things which the world generally admires and praises most, are not the things in their own nature most valuable. They are those bright abilities and fair endow. ments, which relate to the present life, and terminate with it. Christian virtues are of a more silent and retired nature. God and good angels approve them; but the busy world overlooks them. So that he who principally affects popular approbation, runs some danger of living and dying, well known to others, and little known to himself; ignorant of the state of his own soul, and forgetful of the account which he has to render up to God.

THE LITTLE VOYAGERS. The lake was smooth and not a breath

Stirr'd through the sleeping grove; The oak tree hung as mute as death

Upon the hills above: “Come, sister," said the young Arnest,

While sporting on the bank; “Come, o'er this water's silvery breast

Let's sail upon this plank.”
“Yes, brother," and the plank she drew

Along the slippery sand,
Around his neck her arms she threw

And they drifted from the land.
Poor children! though these waters lie

Sleeping in sunshine bright,
That ray, which dazzles now the eye,

Shall melt away in night.

Yet forth they drifted, till the lake,

Roused by the evening breeze, Around the plank began to break,

And swell in little seas : Alas, my brother!cried Florelle,

And raised a piteous scream ; Till both grown sick and dizzy, fell

Into the treacherous stream.

So, they who sail on pleasure's streams,

Move beauteously away;
For every scene around them, seems

Elysian and gay ;
But, when attracted from the shore

By zephyr's scented breath,
The threat'ning waves begin to roar,

And waft them on to death.

« PreviousContinue »