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While the foolish animal was giving himself these airs, he was startled by the yelling of a pack of hounds, who had just been laid on the scent, and were making up nimbly towards him. Away he fled on the first alarm, and bounding swiftly over the lawn, he left the dogs and huntsmen at a great distance behind him ; but darting into a thick copse, his horns were so fast wedged among the branches of the trees, that he could go no farther; so that the hounds soon came up with him, and tore him down to the ground.
When he was in the pangs of death, “Ah !” said he, “the branching horns of which I was so proud, have been the only cause of my ruin; while those slender legs, which I treated with so much contempt, were the only things which could have saved my life, if I had not run into the thicket.”
We learn by this fable that those things which are most pleasing to the fancy, are often found to be most hurtful to our real welfare; and what we most despise, may sometimes be of the greatest service.
“What stronger breastplate than a heart untainted: Thrice is he armed that hath his quarrel just, And he but naked, (though locked up in steel) Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted.” THE severest punishment of an injury is the consciousness of having done it; and no man suffers more than he that is turned over to the pain of repentance. No man ever offended his own conscience, but first or last, it was revenged upon him. If a man cannot find ease within himself, it is to little purpose to seek it anywhere else.
Oh, mother! here's the very top,
“My dear, I’d put the things away
THE WIND AND THE SUN.
A disput E once arose between the north wind and the sun, which of the two was the strongest. To decide the matter, they agreed to try their power on a poor honest traveller, who was then walking along the road; and that party which should first strip the man of his cloak, was to win the day.
The north wind began the attack, and a cutting blast he blew, which tore up the mountain oaks by their roots, and made the whole forest look like a wreck; but the traveller, though at first he could scarcely keep the cloak on his back, ran under a hill for shelter, and buckled his threadbare mantle so tight about him, that it would have kept
THE HOUR OF PRAYER. 165
pace with him, if he had been blown from England to France. The wind having thus tried its utmost, the sun began next; and bursting forth through a thick watery cloud, he by degrees darted his sultry beams with so much force upon the man's head, that at last the poor fellow was almost melted. “Heigh ' " said the traveller, “this is past all bearing; for it is now so hot, that one might as well be in an oven " and with that, he threw off his cloak as fast as he could, and sat under the shade of the next tree to cool himself. This fable describes the state of a person who has bad tempers of different kinds to deal with. The only remedy in such cases is, for those who are thus attacked, to keep their own tempers cool and even.
THE HOUR OF PRAYER.
CHILD, amidst the flowers at play,
Traveller, in the stranger's land
Warrior, that from battle won,
It nought avails thee, where, but what thou art.
SPEAKING OF YOURSELF.
Be particularly careful not to speak of yourself if you can help it. The less you say of yourself, the more the world will give you credit for.
Whatever perfections you may have, be assured people will find them out; but whether they do or not, nobody will take them upon your own word.
THE STUDY OF NATURAL HISTORY.
THE pursuit of Natural History in almost any way, as a study, or an amusement, is both indicative, and productive of gentleness, refinement and virtue. I know of no indication which would sooner predispose me in favor of a person with whom I might be accidentally thrown in a stage coach, than a familiarity manifested by him, with any branch of natural science, or an intelligent love evinced for its objects. If he could tell me the names of the flowers by the road side, or the insects as they flitted by us, I should be exceedingly surprised if he ran into the bar-room for liquor, at every stopping place, or let fall from his lips an oath, or an indecent word. I should know that he occupied some of his hours with the observation and study of the sweet and tranquillizing features of nature. I should judge that he preferred a quiet walk, to a noisy revel ; that when among men, he chose the society of good men, and that he was fond of books, which are the choicest portions of the spirits of men. And if I should see in one who had been led astray, sadly astray, by the force of passion, or the tendencies of bad example, if I should see in such a one the love of any department of nature, the disposition to cultivate any branch of natural science, I should hail it as a spring in the desert, and trust that through the “scent of that water,” his life would bud again, “and bring forth boughs like a plant.” And why should I entertain that trust? Because I should know that some of his tastes, at least, were pure, that some