Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

go

How many

And preaches to us all : admonishing
That we should dress us fairly for our end.

O momentary grace of mortal men,
Which we more huit for than the grace of God!
Who builds his hope in the air of men's fair looks,
Lives liste a drunken sailor on a mast,
Ready with every nod to tumble down
Into the fatal bowels of the deep,

Who shall about
To cozen fortune and be honorable
Without the stamp of merit ; let none presume
To wear an undeferved dignity.

that eftates, degrees, and offices,
Were not derived corruptly, that clear honour
Were purchased by the merit of the wearer!
How many then should cover, that stand bare !

he commanded, that coinmand !

serveerimine? Tis flander!
Whofe edge is tharper than a sword; whose tongue
Outvenoms all the worms of Nile! whole breath

Rides on the posting winds, and doth belie
All corners of the world. Kings, queens and states,
Maids, matrons, nay, the secrets of the grave,
This viperous slander enters.
There is a tide in the affairs of inen,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune :
Omitted all the voyage of their life
Is bound in thallows, and in miseries.

To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty space from day to day,
To the last fyllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusky death. Out, out, brief candle !
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more! It is a tale
Told by an ideot, full of found and fury,
Signifying nothing.

He that would pass the latter part of his life with ho nour and decency, inuit, when he is young, consider that he

Ihall one day be old and remember, when he is old, that he hath once been young.

Avarice is always poor, but poor by her own fault.

The maxim which Periander of Corinth, one of the leven sages of Greece, left as a memorial of his knowledge and benevolence, was, “ Be master of your anger." He considered anger as the great difturber of human life's the chief enemy both of public happiness and private tranquility; and thought he could not lay on pəfterity a stronger obligation to reverence his memory, than by leaving them a falutary caution against this outrageous passion.

The universal axiom, in which all complaisance is in. claded, and from which flow all the formalities which custom has established in civilized nations, is, “ That no man should give any preference to himself.” A rule fo comprehensive and certain, that, perhaps, it is not eafy for the mind to imagine an incivility, without fuppofing it to be broken.

The foundation of content must spring up in a man's owo mind ; and he who has so little knowledge of human nature, as to seek happiness by changing any thing but his own disposition, will waste his life in fruitless efforts, and multiply griefs which which he purposes to remove.

No rank in life precludes the efficacy of a well timed compliment. When Queen Elizabeth asked an Ambarsador how he liked her ladies, he replied, “ It was hard to judge of stars in presence of the fun.”

The crime which has been once committed, is commit. ted again with less reluctance.

The great disturbers of our happiness in this world, are our desires, our griefs, and our fears ; and to all these the consideration of mortality is a certain and adequate

remedy. “ Think, (says Epictetus) “ frequently on poverty, banishment, and death, and thou wilt never indulge violent desires, or give up thy heart to mean sentences.”

The certainty that life cannot be long, and the proba. bility that it will be shorter than nature allows, ought to awaken every man to the active prosecution of whatever he is desirous to perform. It is true that no diligence can ascertain fuccefs; death may intercept the Twitter career; but he who is cut off in the execution of an honest undertaking, has at least the honour of falling

in his rank, and has fought the battle, though he miffed the victory.

Whien we act according to our duty, we commit the event to him by whose laws our actions are governed, and who will suffer none to be finally punished for obedience. But, when in prospect of foie good, whether natural or moral, we break the rules prescribed to us, we withdraw from the direction of superior wifdom, and take all confequences upon ourselves,

Einployment is the great instrument of intellectual do. minion. The mind cannot retire from its enemy into to:al vacancy, or turn aside from one object, but by passing to another.

Without frugality, none can be rich; and with it; very few would be poor.

Though in every age there are fome, who by bold adven. tures, or by favourable accidents, rise suddenly ilito richie es; the bulk of inankind must owe their affluence to firall and gradual profits, b-low which their expenses must be resolutely reduced.

A man's voluntary expenses should not exceed his in. conne,

Let not a man anticipate uircertain profits.

The happiness of the generality of the people is nothing if it is not known ; and very little, if it is not envied.

To improve the Golden moment of opportunity, and catch the good that is within our reach, is the great art of life. Many wants are suffered which might bave once been supplied, ard much time is loft in regretting the time which bas been lost before.

One of the golden precepts of Pyibagoras dire as us, « That a friend should rot be hated for litile faults,"

NARRATION.

CHAP. IX.

Story of the Eobler and bis Son. "A

YOUNG man, fun of a cubler in a finall village

near Madrid, having pushed his fortane in the Indies, returned to his native country with a considerable

stock, and set up as a Banker in Madrid. In his abfence, his parents frequently talked of him, praying fervently that Heaven would take him under its proteQion ; and the vicar being their friend, gave them frequently the public prayers of the congregation for him.

2. The banker was 'not less dutiful on his part ; for, fo foon as he was settled, he mounted on horseback, and went alone to the village. It was ten at night before he got there, and the honest cobler was a bed with his wife, in a sound Deep, when he knocked at the door. Open the door, fays the banker, 'tis your fon Francillo.

3. Make others believe that if you can, cried the old man, starting froin his fleep, go about your business you thieving rogues, here is nothing for you: Francillo, if not dead, is now in the Indies. He is no longer there, replied the banker; he is returned home, and it is he who now fueaks to you ; open your door and receive him.

4. Jacobo, said the woman, let us arise then; I really believe it is Francillo I think I know his voice. The father, starting from bed, lighted a candle ; and the mother, putting on her gown in a hurry, opened the door

.. Dooking earnestly on Francillo, she flung her arms about his neck, and hugged him with the utmost aflection.-Jacobo embraced his son in his turn; and all three, transported with joy after so long an absence, had no end in exprefsing their tenderness.

S. After these pleasing transports, the banker put his horse into the stable, where he found an old milk.cow, 1 nurse to the whole family. He then gave the old folks an account of his voyage, and of all the riches he bad brought from Peru. They listened greedily, and every the least particular of his relation made on them a sensible impresion of grief or joy. Having finished his story, he offered them a part of his estate, and entreated' his father not to work any more.

6. No, my son, said Jacobo, I love my trade and will not leave it off. Why, replied the banker, is it not now high time to take your ease ?. I do not propose your living with me at Madrid ; Lknow well that a city life will not please you ; enjoy your own way of living ; but give over your haid labour, and pass the remainder of ye ur days in cafe and plenty

C 2

[ocr errors]

3. The mother feconded the fon; and Jacobo yielded. To pleafe you, Francilo, faid he, I will not work any more for the public, but will only mend my own shoes and thofe of my good friend the vicar. "The agreement being con- : cluded, the banker ate a couple of eggs, and went to his bed, enjoying that pleasing satisfaction which nonc but dutiful children can feel or understand.

8. The next morning the banker, leaving his parents a purse of three hundred ducats returned to Madrid ; but was surprised to fee Jacobo at his house a few days thereafter. My father, said he, what brings you here ? Francillo, answered the honest cobler, I have brought your purfe ; take it again : for I defire to live by my trade, and have been ready to die with uneasiness ever finee I left off working.

P

CHAP. X.

HONESTY REWARDED.
ERRIN loft both parents before he could articu-

late their names, and was obliged to a charity house for his education. At the age of kfteen he was hired by a farmer to be a shepherd, in the neighbourhood of Lucetta, who kept her father's fheep. They often met, and were foud of being together.

2. Five years thus paffed, when their fensations became more serious. Perrin proposed to Lucetta to demand her from her father ; She blushed, and confeffed her willingnels. As she had an errand to town next day, the oppor. tunity of her absence was chosen for making the proposah: You want to marry my daughter, said the old man. Have you a house to cover her, or money to maintain her? Lucetta's fortune is not enough for both.

3. It won't do, Perrin, it won't do. But, replied Perrin, I have hands to work,

I have laid op twenty crownis" of my wages, which will defray the expence of the wedding. I'll work harder, and lay up more.

Well, Faid the old inan, you are young, and may wait a little. Get rich, and my daughter is at your service. Pervin waited for Lucetta's returning in the evening. Has my father given you a refulal, cried Lucetta ? Ah, Leicet.

! replied, Berrin, how unbappy am I for being

« НазадПродовжити »