Page images

would like to be shut up for life in this dark closet, and to wag backward and forward year after year, as I do.”

" As to that,” said the dial, “is there not a window in your house on purpose for you to look through ? ”

“For all that,” resumed the pendulum, “it is very dark here; and, although there is a window, I dare not stop even for an instant to look out at it. Besides, I am really tired of my way of life ; and, if you wish, I'll tell you how I took this disgust at my employment. I happened, this morning, to be calculating how many times I should have to tick in the course of only the next twenty-four hours; perhaps some one of you above there can give me the exact sum.”

The minute hand, being very quick at figures, presently replied, “ Eighty-six thousand four hundred times.”

“ Exactly so,” replied the pendulum. “Well, I appeal to you all, if the very thought of this was not enough to fatigue any one; and when I began to multiply the strokes of one day by those of months and years, really it was no wonder if I felt discouraged at the prospect. So, after a great deal of reasoning and hesitation, thinks I to myself, I'll stop.”

The dial could scarcely keep its countenance during this harangue; but, resuming its gravity, thus replied : “Dear Mr. Pendulum, I am really astonished that such a useful, industrious person as yourself should have been seized by this sudden weariness. It is true, you have done a great deal of work in your time ; so have we all, and are likely to do; which, although it may fatigue us to think of, the question is, whether it will fatigue us to do. Would you now do me the favor to give about half a dozen strokes to illustrate my argument?”

the hands made a vain effort to continue their color THE DISCONTENTED PENDULUM.

BY JANE TAYLOR. An old clock that had stood for fifty years in a farm kitchen, without giving its owner any cause of compla early one summer's morning, before the family was ring, suddenly stopped. Upon this, the dial plate (i may credit the fable) changed countenance with al:


would like to be su te wag backward

ama As to that," said house on purpose Sir all that," resume

band, although there
scan instant to look on th )
ay way of life, anchyou wil)
this disgust at my omplaymo )

to be ealeulating how many m.)
in the course of only the WWW
some one of you above the 10

sering very guy a PR

[ocr errors]

usual pace.

The pendulum complied, and ticked six times at its

“Now," resumed the dial, “may I be allowed to inquire if that exertion is at all fatiguing or disagreeable to you

?“ Not in the least,” replied the pendulum ; “it is not of six strokes that I complain, nor of sixty, but of millions."

“Very good,” replied the dial; “but recollect that, although you may think of a million of strokes in an instant, you are required to execute but one; and that, however often you may hereafter have to swing, a moment will always be given you to swing in.”

" That consideration staggers me, I confess," said the pendulum.

“ Then I hope," resumed the dial plate, “ that we shall all return to our duty immediately; for the maids will lie in bed if we stand idling thus.”

Upon this, the weights, who had never been accused of light conduct, used all their influence in urging him to proceed; when, as if with one consent, the wheels began to turn, the hands began to move, the pendulum began to swing, and, to its credit, ticked as loud as ever; while a red beam of the rising sun, that streamed through a hole in the kitchen, shining full upon the dial plate, it brightened up as if nothing had been the matter.

When the farmer came down to breakfast that morning, upon looking at the clock, he declared that his watch had gained half an hour in the night.

DEFINITIONS. — In'sti tūt ed, commenced, began. Pro těst'ed, solemnly declared. Căl'eu lāt ing, reckoning, computing. Pros'peet, anticipation, that to which one looks forward. Ha răngue'




The melancholy days are come,

The saddest of the year,
Of wailing winds, and naked woods,

And meadows, brown and sear.
Heaped in the hollows of the grove,

The autumn leaves lie dead;
They rustle to the eddying gust,

And to the rabbit's tread.
The robin and the wren are flown,

And from the shrubs the jay,
And from the wood top calls the crow

Through all the gloomy day.

Where are the flowers, the fair young flowers,

That lately sprang and stood
In brighter light and softer airs,

A beauteous sisterhood ?
Alas! they all are in their graves;

The gentle race of flowers
Are lying in their lowly beds

With the fair and good of ours.
The rain is falling where they lie;

But the cold November rain
Calls not from out the gloomy earth

The lovely ones again.

The windflower and the violet,

They perished long ago,

« PreviousContinue »