« AnteriorContinuar »
work with the sickle. God, in his goodness, gave the shower and the sunshine, and the corn is now safe in the barn, and will soon be carried to market,
“ Look at those pease at the bottom of the garden. If I had not sown them early in the spring, and seen well to them, they would not have yielded such a supply for our table as they do.
“ The path along the lane you see yonder was nothing but mud and mire in wet weather, so that it was not passable. Some of the farmers said that it would be a good thing if a few loads of stones and gravel were thrown upon it. Others declared that they had been thinking for a long time of proposing to the parish to have it put to rights. And one or two said that they meant, some time or other, to attend to the matter themselves, so that it might be no longer a discredit to the village.
“ Thus it went for years ; yet nothing was done ; it even got worse and worse. Then one day I called my men to follow me, and to work we went, and before the week was over, the old lane looked as clean and was as passable as the high road, along which we took our morning ride.
“I think, then, Luke, that it is quite clear, if anything is to be done, it should be done without delay; and we must be diligent, whatever we take in hand, whether we be school-boys or farmers."
As Uncle Hodges spoke in his usual kind and cheerful way, the heart of Luke was touched, and he, as well as Arthur, listened with much attention, They now left the garden and went into the house to tea.
That evening, as the farmer opened his large print Bible at family worship, he said, looking the same time at his nephews :
“If wishing and intending be a bad plan for the things of this world, it is still worse for the great concerns of the world to come. • The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing.' I hope, my dear lads, that you will not only be true Christians, but active ones. The sum of all I have to tell you is this—Fall not into the habit of being idle, either in earthly or heavenly things. Show that you belong not to the family of dreamers, but to the noble band of doers of good things."
KING BRUCE of Scotland flung himself down,
In a lonely mood to think;
But his heart was beginning to sink,
For he had been trying to do a great deed,
To make his people glad ;
And so he became quite sad.
He flung himself down to low despair,
As grieved as man could be,
“I'll give it up,” cried be.
Now just at the moment a spider dropped,
With its silken cobweb clew;
And the king in the midst of his thinking stopped
To see what the spider would do.
And it hung by a rope so fine,
King Bruce could not divine.
It soon began to cling and crawl
Straight up with strong endeavour;
As near to the ground as ever.
To make the least complaint,
A little dizzy and faint.
Its head grew steady—again it went,
And travelled a half yard higher ; 'Twas a delicate thread it had to tread,
And a road where its feet would tire.
Again it fell, and swung below;
But up it quickly mounted,
Nine brave attempts were counted.
“Sure," said the king, “that foolish thing
Will strive no more to climb,
And tumbles every time."
the insect went once more; Ah me! 'tis an anxious minute;
He's only a foot from his cobweb door ;
Oh, say, will he lose or win it ?
Steadily, steadily, inch by inch,
Higher and higher he got,
Put him into the wished-for spot.
* Bravo, bravo !” the king cried out;
“All honour to those who try: The spider up there defied despair ;
He conquered, and why should not 1 ?”
And Bruce of Scotland braced his mind,
And gossips tell the tale,
And that time he did not fail.
Pay goodly heed, all you who read,
And beware of saying, "I can't;"
THE KHAN AND THE DERVIS.
A TARTAR klan was once riding with his nobles on a hunting expedition. On the way he met with a dervis, who proclaimed with a loud voice that he would give some good advice to any one who would bestow upon him a hundred pieces of gold. The khan was curious, and asked the dervis what this valuable counsel might be.
"I will tell you, O king,” was the reply, “when you shall have paid me the hundred pieces of gold." The khan ordered the money to be given him ; and he then said, in a very impressive manner, “ Undertake nothing of which thou hast not well considered the end.” He then went on his way.
The followers of the khan smiled, and made merry with the counsel which he had bought at so high a price. “ It is true," said he, “that the words of the dervis convey a very simple and obvious rule of prudence; but on that very account it may be the less heeded; and that is probably the reason why the dervis inculcated it so earnestly. For the future it shall always be present in my mind. I will have the words written over the doors of my palace, upon the walls of my chambers, and upon the household articles of daily use."
After some time, an ambitious governor made a plot to kill the khan and possess himself of the crown. He bribed the royal physician with a great sum of money, to further his wicked plans; and the physician promised to bleed the khan with a poisoned lancet, as soon as an occasion offered. The desired opportunity soon occurred.
But when the attendants brought in a silver basin to receive the blood, the physician saw engraved upon the rim the words, “ Undertake nothing of which thou hast not well considered the end.” Reading this inscription, he started back, and with obvious embarrassment laid down the poisoned lancet and took up another.
The khan observed this, and asked him why he had changed the lancets On being told that it was