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aided to prepare the vile pages of “Le Roi est mort— Vive le Roi!” with which the capricious Frenchman afterward welcomed the tenth Charles of Bourbon. Disgusted with the servile race of courtiers, I hastened to England, in hopes of finding an aristocracy too proud, in their long inherited greatness, to sue for the favor of a never satisfied multitude, or to triumph over them with all the vulgar superciliousness of newly acquired power. Few, very few such I found; for true nobility of soul is rare ; but many a glorious exploit was achieved by me in that favored land of intelligence and freedom. Once, while hovering listlessly in the air, I aided in forming the rainbow which Campbell has immortalized in such splendid verse; and on the next day, Wordsworth apostrophized me, as I lay quivering on the edge of his favorite daisy.
I moistened some of the pages of Scott, before they were wet with the world's tears; and I trickled from the point of Mrs Hemans' pen, when her eloquent spirit held communion with Tasso. I have evaporated on the burning page of Byron, and sparkled on the spangled lines of Moore.
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It would take too long a time to detail all the services I rendered the great, the gifted, and the fair, during my residence in the “fast anchored isle.” Suffice it to say, with all its advantages, I found much to displease me; and I was anxious to visit a new republic, which I had heard of, “beyond the ocean, where the laws were just, and men were happy.” This land, too, has its evils; but I love it better than any spot I have
ADVENTURES OF A RAIN DROP. 129
seen in all my wanderings. Niagara has thrown me forth in spray; and, frozen on its rugged cliffs, I have seemed “like a giant's starting tear.” I have streamed from the Indian oar into the mighty rivers of the West, and slumbered in the cold, blue depths of Canadian lakes. I frolicked in the joyous little stream which honest Aunt Deborah Lenox praised so sensibly, and I formed a part of the “Rivulet” which brought back the happy dream of childhood to the soul of Bryant; that soul on whose waveless mirror, nature is ever reflected in a placid smile, all radiant with poetry.
But, in good truth, I have had little leisure for recreations like these; for rain drops, as well as every thing else, are pressed into full employment in this land of business. I have labored hard in mills, manufactories, and distilleries; and died a thousand deaths in pushing forward the swift sailing boats on the Hudson and the Mississippi. A few months since, I rose from the water works of Philadelphia, and soon hovered over the Boston Athenaeum. I happened to alight on the head of a poet, who was just quitting the gallery, and was scorched to vapor in an instant. I descended just in time for a Frenchman to mix me with the “eau de miel,” which he was pouring into an elegant cut glass vial. A fashionable fop, who considered perfume “the sovereign'st thing on earth,” presented me to a celebrated belle. I shall probably die on the corner of her embroidered handkerchief; but for me to die, is only to exist again; of course, my adventures will be as long as the world's history.
“Every man thinks his own geese swans.” This proverb intimates that self-love is the mother of vanity, pride and mistake. It blinds the understanding, and perverts the judgment. It makes a man so fondly conceited of himself, that his vices seem to him virtues, and his deformities, beauties. “Good wine needs no bush.” This proverb intimates, that virtue is valuable for itself, and that internal goodness stands in need of no external ornaments. “Harm watch, harm catch.” This is a trite adage, and intimates that malice, spite and envy, are generally self. injurers; that to intend study, or contrive any harm to our neighbors, will injure ourselves at last. He who prepares evil for another, prepares it for himself. “Hunger's the best sauce.” This proverb is a severe satire against all unnecessary varieties and delicacies of food, and dictates the best way of living in the world, with an injunction of temperance, and frugality. “...A lark is better than a kite.” This proverb intimates, that things are not to be valued by their bulk, but according to their intrinsic worth and value. “A shoemaker must not go beyond his last.” The moral instruction of this proverb is, that persons, though skilful in their own art, ought not to meddle or make with things out of their own sphere, and not presume to correct or amend what they do not understand.
FRANKLIN ON DEATH.
“I Look upon death,” says Dr Franklin, “to be as necessary to our constitution as sleep. We shall rise refreshed in the morning.”
FABLE. - EXAMPLE. 131
THE WESSEL WITHOUT A PILOT.
A Pilot having refused to take a ship out of port, during very stormy weather, the vessel resolved to break through all restraint; and having reasoned with herself that the sea was large enough to ramble in without danger, and that she was capable of travelling anywhere if she had sea room, she one night broke from her moorings, and set off without a guide. For a while, she rode in a very stately manner on the water. “How finely I go,” said she, “I need no rudder to guide me. Here is room enough; what danger can there be in the midst of this mighty ocean o' While indulging these dreams, she struck upon a rock, which lay concealed under the water, and instantly split, and went to the bottom.
Every man, in whatever station, has, or endeavors to have, his followers, admirers, and imitators; and has therefore the influence of his example to watch with care; he ought to avoid not only crimes, but the appearance of crimes, and not only to practise virtue, but to applaud, countenance and support it. It is possible for want of attention, that we may teach others faults, from which we ourselves are free ; or by a cowardly desertion of a cause, which we ourselves approve, may pervert those who fix their eyes upon us, and having no rules of their own to guide their course, are easily misled by the errors of that example which they choose for their direction.
THE PARABLES OF CHRIST.
THERE are two ways of communicating knowledge and instruction; by plain and direct precepts, of which the greatest part of the sermon on the mount consists; and by moral similitudes, or fables, such as the parables which our Saviour used, in order to recommend his doctrines, and enforce their duty upon men.
The parables are full of sublime truths and important instructions. Read them with attention and candor, and endeavor to discover the spiritual wisdom and good sentiments, which are concealed in them; consider their particular meaning and design, the main object, and leading point in view, and bring the application home to your own mind.
A Russian was travelling from Tobolsk to Beresow. On the road, he stopped one might at the hut of an Ostiack. In the morning, on continuing his journey, he discovered that he had lost his purse, containing about one hundred roubles. The son of the Ostiack, a boy about fourteen years of age, found the purse while hunting deer; but instead of taking it up, he went and told his father, who was equally unwilling to touch it, and ordered the boy to cover it with some bushes. A few months after, the Russian returned, and stopped at the same hut, but the Ostiack did not recognise him. He related the loss he had met with. The Ostiack listened very attentively; and when he had finished, “You are welcome,” said he ; “here is my son, who will show you the spot where it lies; no hand has touched it, but the one which covered it, that you might recover what you had lost.”