Page images
PDF
EPUB

THE BLANK BOOK AND PRINTED BOOK.

A FABLE. A BLANK book and a printed book were placed by the side of each other on a shelf. The blank book was often pulled out, and as often shut again with a bang, and put up with an air of vexation by those who had opened it, and sometimes with the remark,“ O, there is nothing in this." But the printed book, as soon as it was opened, and glanced at, was applauded with, “ This will just do.”

It was allowed a place near the fire, – introduced into company with sociable parlor guests, – taken out as a companion for a walk with some of the ladies, when they rambled the fields, or strolled into the pleasure grounds, and the garden, - indulged with lying on their laps in the bower, and sometimes it went out visiting, and was brought home again, much praised for the pleasure its company had afforded.

One day, when returned for a short time to its place on the shelf, the blank book inquired, what it was that gave the printed book so many privileges. “You are often taken down, and admired,” said the blank book," and you go out visiting with the gentlemen and ladies, while I remain here neglected, and as dull as one of the dark days before Christmas. I think I am as big as you, - as old as you, - as well dressed as you, and as much by right, one of the family as you; what then makes people neglect me, and always desire your society ?” “ Neither of the things you mention,” said the printed book, "give me any preference; it is what I have got printed inside.”

We can never expect to enjoy the society of the wise and good, if we are like the blank book, with not a page of knowledge in us.

[merged small][merged small][graphic][subsumed][merged small]

When near him a Chameleon seen
Was scarce distinguished from the green.

“ Dear emblem of the flatt'ring host,
What, live with clowns! a genius lost !
To cities and the court repair ;
A fortune cannot fail thee there.
Preferment shall thy talents crown;
Believe me, my friend, I know the town."

“Sir," says the sycophant,“ like you,
Of old, politer life I knew;
Like you, a courtier born and bred;
Kings lean'd an ear to what I said,
My whisper always met success;
The ladies praised me for address.
I knew to hit each courtier's passion,
And flatter'd every vice in fashion.
But Jove who hates the liar's ways,
At once cut short my prosp'rous days;
And sentenced to retain my nature,
Transform’d me to this crawling creature :
Doom'd to a life obscure and mean,
I wander in a sylvan scene.
For Jove, the heart alone, regards;
He punishes, what man rewards.
How different is thy case, and mine!
With men, at least, you sup and dine ;
While I, condemo'd to thinnest fare,
Like those I flatter'd, feed on air.”

PRUDENT SIMPLICITY. That thou may'st injure no man, dove-like be, And serpent-like that none may injure thee.

SYMPATHY AND BENEVOLENCE. Sympathy and benevolence constitute those finer feelings of the soul, which at once support and adorn human nature. What is it that guards our helpless infancy, and instructs our childhood, but sympathy? What is it that performs all the kind offices of friendship, in riper years, but sympathy ? What is it that consoles us in our last moments, and defends our characters when dead, but sympathy ?

A person without sympathy, and living only for himself, is the basest and most odious of characters. Can one behold such a character sickening at another's good, and not be filled with indignation ? Devoted as the world is to selflove, and estranged as it is from benevolence, no character of this kind, ever passed through life with respect, or sunk into the grave with pity.

THE PILOT AND THE SAILORS. AFTER a ship at sea had been driven some time before a furious storm, exposed every moment to the mercy of the waves, while the trembling passengers were bewailing their hard fate with many tears and sighs, and expected nothing but death, the weather suddenly cleared up, and the face of the ocean was covered with a smile. As the mariners were exulting with all the extravagance of joy at this happy change of their affairs, the weary Pilot, who was grown wise by experience, thus reproved their hasty mirth. “My good lads,” said he, " we ought to rejoice with caution, and complain without despair ; for the life of man is checkered alternately with joy and grief, and the frowns and smiles of fortune are alike inconstant."

GYPSIES. The Gypsies are a race of people with dark skins, who wander about from place to place, carrying their few articles of furniture with them. They are common in Spain, and parts of Germany, and a few are occasionally seen in England and France. They are never seen in America.

UNDERNEATH the greenwood tree,
Here we dwell right merrily,
Lurking in the grassy lane,
Here this hour - then gone again.
You may see where we have been,
By the burned spot on the green;
By the oak's branch drooping low,
Wither'd in our fagot's glow;
By the grass and hedge-row cropp'd,

Where our asses have been grazing :
By some old torn rags we dropp'd

When our crazy tents were raising:
You may see where we have been;
Where we are that is not seen,
Where we are, it is no place
For a lazy foot to trace.
Over heath and over field,

He must scramble who would find us;
In the copse-wood close conceald,

With a running brook behind us.
Here we list to village clocks;
Livelier sound the farmyard cocks;
Crowing, crowing round about,
As if to point their roostings out;
And many a cock shall cease to crow,
Ere we shall from the copse-wood go.

« PreviousContinue »