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THE POPLAR FIELD.
The poplars are felled, farewell to the shade,
Twelve years have elapsed, since I last took a view,
The blackbird has fled to another retreat,
My fugitive years are all hasting away,
'T is a sight to engage me if anything can,
WIT BY THE WAY SIDE.
In the neighborhood of Haddam Castle, Dumfriesshire, there is a tower called repentance. A pleasant answer of a shepherd's boy to Sir Richard Steele, founded on the name of this tower, is thus related: — Sir Richard, having observed a boy lying on the ground, and very attentively reading his bible, asked if he could tell him the way to Heaven 2 ” “Yes, sir,” said the boy, “you must go by that tower.”
PRUDENCE. — FABLE. 309
ARIstotle is praised for naming fortitude first of the cardinal virtues, as that, without which, no other virtue can steadily be practised; but he might with equal propriety, have placed prudence before it, since without prudence fortitude is madness. The foundation of human prudence is, first, a knowledge of ourselves. What is my temper and natural inclination; what are my most powerful appetites, and my most prevailing passions; what are my chief talents and capacities; and what are the weaknesses and follies to which I am most liable 2
Second, The knowledge of mankind. What are the peculiar tempers, appetites, passions, powers, good and evil qualities of the persons whom we have most to do with in the world 2
Third, The knowledge of those things which have the more immediate relation to our own business and duty, to our own interest, and welfare, whether we consider ourselves as men or as Christians.
THE CARRIER PIGEON.
A cARRIER pigeon, having been sent home with a letter round his neck, and performed a journey of forty miles in as many minutes, was asked by his companions how he could manage to travel so fast; “I go straight forward,” said he, “never looking about me, nor turning at all, to the right or left.” Children may learn by this, that perseverance or going forward like this bird, is the only way soon to attain any end.
IMPORTANCE OF DESPATCH.
THE benevolent Dr Wilson once discovered a clergyman at Bath, who was sick, poor, and had a numerous family. In the evening, he gave a friend fifty pounds, requesting he would deliver it, as from an unknown person. The friend replied, “I will wait upon him early in the morning.” “You will oblige me by calling upon him directly. Think, sir, of what importance a good night's rest may be to a poor man.”
THE FARMER AND HIS TWO SONS.
A FARMER lying at the point of death, and being willing that his sons should pursue the same honest course of life which he had done, called them to his bedside, and thus bespoke them: “My dearest children,” said he, “I have no other estate to leave you than my farm and my large vineyard, of which I have made you joint heirs; and I hope that you will have so much respect for me when I am dead and gone, and so much regard to your own welfare, as not to part with what I have left you on any account.
“All the treasure I am master of, lies buried somewhere in my vineyard, within a foot of the surface, though it is not now in my power to go and show you the spot. Farewell, then, my children; be honest in all your dealings, and kind and loving to each other, as children ought to be ; and be sure that you never forget my advice about the farm and the vineyard.”
Soon after the old man was in his grave, his two sons set about searching for the treasure, which they supposed was hidden in the ground. “When it is found,” said they,
FILIAL AFFECTION. - SUBLIME. 311
“we shall have enough and to spare, and may live like sons of kings.” So to work they went as briskly as could be, and though they missed the golden treasure which they expected to find, yet by their joint labor, the vineyard was so well dug and turned up, that it yielded a noble crop of fruit, which proved a treasure indeed.
By this we see that honest labor is the surest road to riches.
Disobedience to parents hath ever been awfully marked with God's displeasure, while affection for them and attention to them have been eminently sanctioned by him, as the means of promoting their felicity, and our honor and eSteem.
So justly is filial affection appreciated by the Chinese, that they erect public monuments and triumphal arches ir honor of those children who have given proofs of gree filial affection.
“My joy,” said the celebrated Epaminondas of Greece, “arises from my sense of that, which the news of my victory will give my father and mother.”
SUBLIME AND BEAUTIFUL.
CHATEAUNEUF, keeper of the seals of Louis XIII. when a boy of only nine years old, was asked many questions by a bishop, and gave very prompt answers to them all. At length the prelate said “I will give you an orange if you will tell me where God is.” “My Lord,” replied the boy, “I will give you two if you will tell me where he is not.”