« PreviousContinue »
THE FROGS WHO DESIRED A KING.
THE commonwealth of Frogs, a discontented, variable race, weary of liberty, and fond of change, petitioned Jupiter to grant them a king.
The good natured deity, in order to indulge their request with as little mischief to the petitioners as possible, threw them down a log. At first, they regarded their new monarch with great reverence, and kept from him at a most respectful distance ; but perceiving his tame and peaceable disposition, they, by degrees, ventured to approach him with more familiarity, till, at length, they conceived for him the utmost contempt. In this disposition they renewed their request to Jupiter, and entreated him to bestow upon them another king. The thunderer, in his wrath, sent them down a Crane; who no sooner took possession of his new dominions, than he began to devour his subjects, one after another, in a most capricious and tyrannical Inanner. They were now more dissatisfied than before; when, applying to Jupiter a third time, they were dismissed with this reproof; that the evil they complained of they had brought upon themselves; and that they had no remedy now but to submit to it with patience.
MORAL. Be content; or you may change from bad to worse.
HUMANE DRIVER REWARDED.
A poor Macedonian soldier was one day leading before Alexander a mule, laden with gold for the king's use. The beast, being so tired that he was neither able to go, nor to sustain the load, the mule-driver took it off, and carried it himself, with great difficulty, a considerable way. Alexander, seeing him just sinking under the burden, and about to throw it on the ground, cried out, “Friend, do not be weary yet; try and carry it quite through to thy tent, for it is all thine own.”
To JANE. - A REPARTEE. 135
THE wild dove, to the garden spring,
In reply to some observations of Mr Dundas in the House of Commons, Sheridan observed—“The right honorable gentleman is indebted to his memory for his jests, and to his imagination for his facts.”
THE POOR OLD LION.
A Lion, who was so much worn out with age that he had lost his strength, lay groaning in his den ready to die. First came the boar to take his revenge upon him, with foaming tusks, for an old affront; next advanced the bull, and gored the sides of the enemy with his pointed horn. A spiteful ass, who saw the old monarch thus lying at the mercy of every one that had a mind to abuse him, trotted up, and gave him a kick on his forehead.
“Ah,” said the dying lion, “I thought it hard to be insulted in my last moments even by the brave; but to be thus spurned at by thee, who art the meanest of beasts — this alas! is a double death !”
The resentment of the noble is more easily to be borne than the malice of the base.
“Of all the nauseous, complicated crimes That both infect and stigmatize the times, There's none that can with impious oaths compare, Where vice and folly have an equal share.” THERE is something so low, coarse, and wicked in swearing, that it is surprising that men, who wish to be considered as wise and polite, should ever be found in the habit of it. It is a vice to which there is no temptation, and one of those sins which are called presumptuous. Swearing is not only reprobated by the laws of good taste and good manners, but forbidden by the commandment of God. He, who makes use of oaths, would seem to tell us that his bare word is not to be taken.
TO SENECA LAKE, 137
TO SENECA LAKE.
On thy fair bosom, silver lake!
And round his breast the ripples break,
On thy fair bosom, waveless stream |
And flashes in the moonlight gleam,
The waves along thy pebbly shore,
And curl around the dashing oar,
As sweet, at set of sun, to view
And see the mist of mantling blue,
At midnight hour, as shines the moon,
And swift she cuts, at highest noon,
On thy fair bosom, silver lake
When early birds at morning wake,