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To idle, silly, flattering words,

I pray you, ne'er give heed.
Unto an evil counsellor

Close heart and ear and eye,
And take a lesson from this tale

Of the spider and the fly.

JUPITER AND THE BEE.

Æsop.

In days of yore when the world was young, a Bee that had stored her combs with a beautiful harvest, flew up to heaven to present as a sacrifice an offering of honey. Jupiter was so delighted with the gift that he promised to give her whatsoever she should ask for. She therefore besought him saying, “O glorious Jove, maker and master of every poor Bee, give thy servant a sting, that when any one approaches my hive to take the honey I may kill him on the spot.”

Jupiter, out of love to man, was angry at her request and thus answered her: “Your prayer shall not be granted in the way you wish, but the sting which you ask for you shall have; and when any one comes to take away your honey and you attack him, the wound shall be fatal not to him but to you, for your life shall go with your sting.'

He that prays harm for his neighbor, begs a curse

upon himself.

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A FLYING-FISH, tired of her lot,

Unto her mother thus complained, “You may be pleased, but I am not,

To live forever thus constrained. I cannot leap into the air But what the eagle's waiting there; And if I dive into the sea, The dolphin there is after me.” The dame replied, in accents mild, “ I've found in this strange world, my child,

And now must let you know, That medium folks, as you and I, Should not aspire to soar too high,

Nor seek to dive too low."

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To a dairy a crow,

Having ventured to go,
Some food for her young ones to seek,

Flew up to the trees,

With a fine piece of cheese,
Which she joyfully held in her beak.

A fox, who lived by,
To the tree saw her fly,

And to share in the prize made a vow;

For having just dined,

He for cheese felt inclined, So he went and sat under the bough.

She was cunning, he knew,

But so was he too,
And with flattery adapted his plan;

For he knew if she'd speak,

It must fall from her beak, So, bowing politely, began.

« 'Tis a very fine day:”

(Not a word did she say ;) 6 The wind, I believe, ma'am, is south;

A fine harvest for peas :

He then look'd at the cheese, But the crow did not open her mouth.

Sly Reynard, not tired,

Her plumage admired, “How charming! how brilliant its hue!

The voice must be fine,

Of a bird so divine,
Ah, let me just hear it, pray do.

“ Believe me, I long

To hear a sweet song. The silly crow foolishly tries :

She scarce gave one squall,

When the cheese she let fall, And the fox ran away with the prize.

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Ye innocent fair,

Of coxcombs beware,
To flattery never give ear :

Try well each pretence,

And keep to plain sense,
And then you have little to fear.

THE ANT AND THE CRICKET.

ANONYMOUS.

66

A silly young cricket, accustomed to sing
Through the warm, sunny months of gay summer and

spring,
Began to complain, when he found that at home
His cupboard was empty and winter was come.

Not a crumb to be found
On the snow-covered ground;
Not a flower could he see,

Not a leaf on a tree:
Oh, what will become,” says the cricket, “ of me?”
At last by starvation and famine made bold,
All dripping with wet and all trembling with cold,
Away he set off to a miserly ant,
To see if, to keep him alive, he would grant

Him shelter from rain :
A mouthful of grain
He wished only to borrow,

He'd repay it to-morrow :
If not, he must die of starvation and sorrow.

Says the ant to the cricket, “I'm your servant and

friend, But we ants never borrow, we ants never lend; But tell me, dear sir, did you lay nothing by When the weather was warm ?" Said the cricket, 66 Not I.

My heart was so light
That I sang day and night,
For all nature looked gay.
- You sang, sir, you say

T?
Go then,” said the ant, “and dance winter away.”

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Thus ending, he hastily lifted the wicket
And out of the door turned the poor little cricket.
Though this is a fable, the moral is good :
If

you live without work, you must live without food.

THE WIND AND THE SUN.

Æsop.

A DISPUTE once arose between the Wind and the Sun which was the stronger of the two, and they agreed to put the point upon this issue : that whichever soonest made a traveller take off his cloak should be accounted the more powerful. The Wind began, and blew with all his might and main a blast, cold and fierce as a Thracian storm ; but the stronger he blew the closer the traveller wrapped his cloak around him and the tighter he grasped it with his hands. Then broke out the Sun:

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