Page images

that we will do as much for them, the next time they want us.” When the old lark came back to her nest, the young ones began to nestle and chirp about her, begging her to remove them as fast as she could. “Hush,” said she, “hold your silly tongues; for if the old farmer depends upon his friends and his neighbors, you may take my word for it, that his wheat will not be reaped tomorrow.” The next morning, therefore, she went out again, and left the same orders as before. The owner of the field came soon after to wait for those he had sent to, but the sun grew hot, and not a single man of them came to help him. “Why, then,” said he to his son, “I’ll tell you what; you see those friends of ours have left us in the lurch, so that you must run to your uncles and cousins, and tell them that I shall expect them tomorrow betimes, to help us reap.” Well, this, also, the young ones told their mother, as soon as she came home, and in a sad fright they were. — “Never mind it, children,” said the old one, “for if that be all, you may take my word for it, that his kinsmen will not be so forward to assist him as he seems willing to persuade himself. But be sure to mind,” said she, “what you hear the next time, and let me know it without fail.” She went abroad the next day, as before; but when the poor farmer found that his kinsmen were to the full as backward as his neighbors, “Why, there now,” said he, “these are your uncles and your cousins ! Hark ye, George, do you get a couple of good sickles against tomorrow morning, and we will e'en reap the wheat ourselves, my boy!” When the young ones told their mother this, “Now, my little dears,” said she, “we must be gone indeed, for when a man takes it in hand to do his own work himself, you may depend upon it that it will be done.”



THE hero of Poland once wished to send some bottles of good wine to a clergyman at Soluthurn; and as he hesitated to trust them by his servant, lest he should smuggle a part, he gave the commission to a young man of the name of Seltner, and desired him to take the horse which he himself usually rode. On his return, young Seltner said that he would never ride his horse again, unless he gave him his purse at the same time. Kosciusko inquiring what he meant, he answered; “as soon as a poor man on the road takes off his hat and asks charity, the horse immediately stands still, and will not stir till something is given to the petitioner; and as I had no money about me, I was obliged to feign giving something, in order to satisfy the horse.”


“Why do you trouble yourself to fly from flower to flower, in search of honey ’’’ said an earthworm one day to a bee; “I am sure it must be great toil; now I take my ease, and only lounge about, and can always satisfy my appetite with fine mold, and nothing can be more rich or delicious. Nor have I need to lay up in store for a future day, for the earth is all before me, and I can eat when and where I please, without the plague of filling a hive.”

“Ah,” replied the bee, “thou knowest not, poor crawling creature, how much pleasure I have in flying from flower to flower, and how much sweeter honey is than earth; and though thou boastest so much of thy large dish, all who know the taste of mine, know that for food, my hive of honey is worth more than all thy earth.


BEND on your oars—for the sky it is dark,
And the wind it is rising apace

For the waves they are white with their crests all so bright,
And they strive, as if running a race.

Tug on your oars — for the day's on the wane,
And the twilight is deepening fast;

For the clouds in the sky show the hurricane nigh,
As they flee from the face of the blast.

Stretch on your oars — for the sun it is down,
And the waves are like lions in play,

The stars they have fled, and no moon is o'erhead
Or to point, or to cheer our lone way.

Rise on your oars—let the bright star of hope
Be seen 'mid the tempest's wild roar;

And cheer, lads! for we who were born on the sea,
Have weather'd such tempests before.

Rest on your oars—for the haven is won,
And the tempest may bluster till morn;

For the bold and the brave are now freed from the wave,
Where they late roamed so lonely and lorn.


No radiant pearl which crested fortune wears,
No gem that twinkling hangs from beauty's ears,
Not the bright stars which heaven's high arch adorn,
Nor vermal sun that gilds the rising morn;
Shine with such lustre as the tears that streak,
For others' wo, down virtue's manly cheek,



DILIGENCE, industry, and proper improvement are material duties of the young. To no purpose are they endowed with the best abilities, if they want activity for exerting them. Unavailing, in this case, will be every direction that can be given them, either for their temporal or spiritual welfare.

In youth, habits of industry are most easily acquired. In youth, the incentives to it are strongest, from ambition and from duty, from emulation and from hope; from all the prospects which the beginning of life affords. If, dead to these calls, you already languish in slothful inaction, what will be able to quicken the more sluggish current of advancing years.

Industry is not only the instrument of improvement, but the foundation of pleasure. Industry is the appointed vehicle of every good to man, and is the indispensable condition of our possessing a sound mind in a sound body. Fly, therefore, from idleness, as the certain parent both of guilt and ruin.


Ask questions and many questions, and leave nothing till you are thoroughly informed of it, but be careful of asking only proper questions.

Such pertinent questions are far from being ill-bred, or troublesome to those of whom you ask them : on the contrary, they are a tacit compliment to their knowledge, and people have a better opinion of a young man, when he seems desirous to be informed.


ONE moonshiny night
With a great appetite
A hog feasted on acorns with all his might.
Quite pleased with his prize,
Both in taste and in size,
While he ate, he devour'd the rest with his eyes.

You know I’m in joke,
When I say that the oak,
Moved a bough to the grunter before she spoke.
But you know too, in fable,
We feel ourselves able
To make anything speak, tree, flower, or table,

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »