Page images
PDF

ETON BOYS.

DURING the reign of George III., two Eton boys were spending their holidays with a friend at Summerville, and had wandered into the forest, where they met a fresh looking old gentleman in the Windsor uniform, who stopped them, and jestingly asked if they were playing the truant. They gave an account of themselves, and said they had come to see the king's stag-hounds throw off. “The king does not hunt today,” said the stranger, “but when he does, I will let you know; and you must not come by yourselves, lest you should meet with some accident.” They parted; and two or three days after, while the family at Summerville was at breakfast, one of the royal yeomen prickers rode up to the gate, to acquaint them that the king was waiting, till he brought the two young gentlemen to a place where they might see in safety.

DECEIT.

EveRy day's experience evinces the justness of that representation in the scriptures, in which it is said, that “the heart is deceitful above all things; who can know it?” In the most trifling intercourse, where neither pleasure nor profit are in view, the propensity to deceit appears in the little promises, professions, and compliments which are mutually made, usually, without any sincerity of regard, and often with real and inveterate aversion.

Early and late, by night and by day, in season and out of season, we should inculcate in the breast of youth the just remark of the moral poet, that “an honest man is the noblest work of God.”

FRANKLIN’s ToAST.-FooD. 229

FRANKLIN’S TOAST.

Long after Washington's victories over the French and English, had made his name familiar to all Europe, Dr Franklin chanced to dine with the English and French Ambassadors, when the following toasts were drunk. By the British Ambassador, “England— the Sun, whose bright beams enlighten and fructify the remotest corners of the earth.” The French Ambassador, glowing with national pride, but too polite to dispute the previous toast, drank, “France — the moon, whose mild, steady and cheering rays, are the delight of all nations: consoling them in darkness, and making their dreariness beautiful.”

Dr Franklin then arose, and with his usual dignified simplicity, said, “George Washington—the Joshua, who commanded the sun and moon to stand still ; and they obeyed him.”

FOOD.

WE ought to partake of food only when we have a natural appetite for it, and this ought to be plain and wholesome, and simply cooked. An unnatural and inordinate appetite for food is produced by partaking of a great variety of food, or of that which is richly cooked; by rich sauces, high seasoning, and by the use of wine at meals. A very moderate quantity of plain food is all that is necessary, for the support of health and strength. By this means the healthy powers of the stomach are best preserved. On the contrary, the powers of the stomach are impaired by eating too freely of rich food, and drinking immoderate quantities of wine, or spirits. Bread is the most important article of food in civilized countries. This should be made of good flour, well baked, and at least a day old before it is eaten, as warm or new bread generally disorders the stomach. Potatoes are a very wholesome food; tea and coffee when strong cannot fail of being prejudicial to health; good chocolate is both wholesome and nourishing; and milk and all its preparations are among the most excellent articles of food.

Pure water should be drank at meals, as it promotes a keen appetite for food. Wine, in any quantity, is injurious to the health of young persons. Beer, ale, and porter, may be drank occasionally without producing injurious consequences. Sweet cider also agrees with most persons in health.

The invariable effects resulting from the intemperate use of distilled spirits are the entire destruction of health, reason, and virtue; they therefore should be entirely abstained from.

THE AMERICAN AUTUMN.

This season is proverbially beautiful and interesting. Our springs are too humid and chilly ; our summers too hot and dusty; and our winters too cold and tempestuous. But autumn, that soft twilight of the waning year, is ever delightfully temperate and agreeable. Nothing can be more rich and splendid, than the variegated mantles which our forests put on, after throwing off the light green drapery of summer. In this country, autumn comes not in “sober guise,” or in “russet mantle clad,” but, as expressed in the beautiful language of Miss Kemble, like a triumphant emperor, arrayed in “gorgeous robes of Tyrian dyes.” This is the only proper season in which one truly enjoys, in all

AMERICAN AUTUMN. 231

its maturity of luxurious loveliness, an excursion into the country : - “There, the loaded fruit trees bending, Strew with mellow gold the land ; Here, on high, from vines impending, Purple clusters court the hand.” Autumn now throws her many tinted robe over our landscape, unequalled by the richest drapery which nature's wardrobe can furnish in any part of the world. We read of Italian skies and tropical evergreens, and often long to visit those regions where the birds have “no sorrow in their song, no winter in their year.” But where can we find such an assemblage of beauties as is displayed, at this moment, in the groves and forests of our native state 2 Europe and Asia may be explored in vain. To them has prodigal nature given springs like Eden, summers of plenty, and winters of mildness. To the land of our nativity alone, has she given autumns of unrivalled beauty, magnificence and abundance. Most of our poets have sung the charms of this season — all varying from each other, and all beautiful, like the many tinted hues of the foliage of the groves. The pensive, sentimental, moralizing Bryant, says, “The melancholy days are come, the saddest of the year; ” but his exquisite lines are so well known, that we must resist the temptation to quote them. The blithe, jocund, bright-hearted Halleek sings in a strain of quite a different tune, in describing the country at this period. Wh9 would not know these lines to be his ; “In the autumn time, Earth has no holier, nor no lovelier clime.” But we must not quote him either, for the same reason. This objection, however does not apply to the delicate anorceau of poor Brainard, which has seldom been copied, is in little repute, but which contains the true inspiration of poetry.

“‘What is there sadd’ning in these autumn leaves?”
Have they that “green and yellow melancholy,”
That the sweet poet spake off Had he seen
Our variegated woods, when first the frost
Turns into beauty all October's charms—
When the dread fever quits us — when the storms -
Of the wild equinox, with all its wet,
Has left the land, as the first deluge left it,
With a bright bow of many colors hung
Upon the forest tops — he had not sighed.
The moon stays longest for the hunter now
The trees cast down their fruitage, and the blithe
And busy squirrel hoards his winter store;
While man enjoys the breeze that sweeps along
The bright blue sky above him, and that bends
Magnificently all the forest’s pride,
Or whispers through the evergreens, and asks,
“What is there sadd’ning in the autumn leaves?’”

“ALL THAT’S BRIGHT MUST FADE.”

I’ve seen in blooming loveliness,
The youthful maiden's angel form;
I’ve seen in towering stateliness,
The hero, breasting battle's storm;
The cankerworm of hopelessness
, Has blighted all her bloom;
War's iron bolt, in ruthlessness,
Has sped him to the tomb;
Thus ever fades earth's loveliest,
Thus dies the brightest and the best.
Then count not maiden's loveliness,
Nor hero's towering stateliness.

« PreviousContinue »