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Yet it is certain, that these admonitions of nature, how. ever forcible, however importunate, are too often vain ; and that many, who mark with such accuracy the course of time, appear to have little sensibility of the decline of life. Every man has something to do, which he neglects; every man has faults to conquer, which he delays to combat.*
So little do we accustom ourselves to consider the effects of time, that things necessary and certain often surprise us like unexpected contingencies. We leave the beauty in her bloom, and, after an absence of twenty years, wonder, at our return, to find her faded. We meet those whom we left children, and can scarcely persuade ourselves to treat them as men. The traveller visits, in age, those countries through which he rambled in his youth, and hopes for mer. riment at the old place. The man of business, wearied with unsatisfactory prosperity, retires to the town of his nativity, and expects to play away his last years with the comps rions of his childhood, and recover youth in the fields wher: he once was young.
Froin this inattention, so general and so mischievous, let it be every man's study to exempt himself. Let him that desires to see others happy, make haste to give while his gist can be enjoyed, and remember, that every moment of delay takes away something from the value of his beriefacLion; and let him, who proposes his own happiness, reflect, that, while he forms his purpose, the day rolls on, and "the night cometh, when no man can work."
Lines written by one who had long becn resident in India, on
his return to his native country.--ANONYMOUS.
I CAME, but they had passed away-
Where all are strange, and none are kindero
That pants, that struggles, for repose.
Where earthly sighs and sorrows close'
* Pron, cum'-bat.
Years have passed o'er me, like a dream
That leaves no trace on memory's page. I look around me,
and I seem Some relic of a former age. Alone, as in a stranger clime,
Where stranger voices mock my ear, I mark the lagging course of time,
Without a wish,—a hope,-a fear!
Yet I had hopes—and they have fled;
And fears—and they were all too true ; My wishes too—but they are dead;
And what have I with life to do? 'Tis but to wear a weary load
I may not, dare not, cast away; To sigh for one small, still abode,
Where I may sleep as sweet as they,
As they, the loveliest of their race,
Whose grassy tombs my sorrow steep, Whose worth my soul delights to trace, Whose
loss 'tis sweet to weep, To weep beneath the silent moon,
With none to chide, to hear, to see :
whom death disdains to free.
I leave the world, that knows me not,
To hold communion with the dead; And fancy consecrates the spot
Where fancy's softest dreams are shed. I see each shade-all silvery white
I hear each spirit's melting sigh; I turn to clasp those forms of light,
And the pale morning chills my eye.
But soon the last dim morn shall rise,
The lamp of life burns feebly now,When stranger hands shall close my eyes,
And smooth my cold and dewy brow. Unknown I lived; so let me die ;
Nor stone, nor monumental cross, Tell where his nameless ashes lie, Who sighed for gold, and found it dross. LESSON XXXII.
“He shall fly away as a dream."-ANONYMOUS.
| DREAMED :-I saw a rosy child,
Now stooping here, and then afar off straying,
'Twas changed; one summer's day I stepped aside,
To let him pass; his face had manhood's seeming,
And that full eye of blue was fondly beaming On a fair maiden, whom he called his bride. Once more ; 'twas evening, and the cheerful fire
I saw a group of youthful forms surrounding,
The room with harmless pleasantry resounding; And, in the midst, I marked the smiling sire.
The heavens were clouded-and I heard the tone
The Journey of a Day - A Picture of Human Life.
OBIVAH, the son of Abensina, left the caravansary early in the morning, and pursued his journey through the plains of Hindostan. He was fresh and vigorous with rest; he was animated with hope ; he was incited by desire: he walked swiftly forward over the valleys, and saw the hills gradually rising before him.
As he passed along, his ears were delighted with the morning song of the bird of paradise; he was fanned by the last flutters of the sinking breeze, and sprinkled with dew by groves of spices: he sometimes contemplated the towering height of the oak, monarch of the hills; and sometimes caught the gentle fragrance of the primrose, eldest daughter of the spring: all his senses were gratified, and all care was banished from his heart.
Thus he went on till the sun approached his meridian, and the increasing heat preyed upon his strength; he then looked round about him for some more commodious path. He saw, on his right hand, a grove, that seemed to wave its shades as a sign of invitation; he entered it, and found the coclness and verdure irresistibly pleasant. He did not however, forget whither he was travelling, but found a narrow way, bordered with flowers, which appeared to have the same direction with the main road, and was pleased, that, by this happy experiment, he had found means to unite pleasure with business, and to gain the rewards of diligence without suffering its fatigues.
He, therefore, still continued to walk for a time, without the least remission of his ardour, except that he was some. times tempted to stop by the music of the birds, whom the heat had assembled in the shade, and sometimes amused himself with plucking the flowers that covered the banks on either side, or the fruits that hung upon the branches. At last, the green path began to decline from its first tendency, and to wind among the hills and thickets, cooled with fountains, and murmuring with water-falls.
Here Obidah paused for a time, and began to consider, whether it were longer safe to forsake the known and common track; but, remembering that the heat was now in its greatest violence, and that the plain was dusty and uneven, he resolved to pursue the new path, which he supposed only to make a few meanders, in compliance with the varieties of the ground, and to end at last in the common road.
Having thus calmed his solicitude, he renewed his pace, though he suspected he was not gaining ground. This uneasiness of his mind inclined him to lay hold on every new object, and give way to every sensation that might soothe or divert him. He listened to every echo, he mounted every hill for a fresh prospect, he turned aside to every cascade, and pleased himself with tracing the course of a gentle river, that rolled among the trees, and watered a large region, with innumerable circumvolutions.
In these amusements, the hours passed away unaccounted; his deviations had perplexed his memory, and he knew not towards what point to travel. He stood pensive and confused, afraid to go forward, lest he should go wrong, yet conscious that the time of loitering was now past.
While he was thus tortured with uncertainty, the sky was overspread with clouds, the day vanished from before him, and a sudden tempest gathered round his head.
He was now roused, by his danger, to a quick and pain. ful remembrance of his folly; he now saw how happiness is lost when ease is consulted; he lamented the unmanly impatience that prompted him to seek shelter in the grove, and despised the petty curiosity that led him on from trifle to trifle. While he was thus reflecting, the air grew blacker, and a clap of thunder broke his meditation.
He now resolved to do what remained yet in his power,to tread back the ground which he had passed, and try to find some issue, where the wood might open into the plain. He prostrated himself upon the ground, and commended his life to the Lord of nature. He rose with confidence and tranquillity, and pressed on with his sabre in his hand; for the beasts of the desert were in motion, and on every hand were heard the mingled howls of rage, and fear, and ravage, and expiration : all the horrors of darkness and solitude surrounded him ; the winds roared in the woods, and the torrents tumbled from the hills.
“Worked into sudden rage by wintry showers,
Thus, forlorn and distressed, he wandered through the wild, without knowing whither he was going, or whether he was every moment drawing nearer to safety or to destruction. At length, not fear, but labour, began to overcome him; his breath grew short, and his knees trembled, and he was on the point of lying down, in resignation to his fate, when he beheld, through the brambles, the glimmer of a taper. He advanced towards the light, and, finding that it proceeded from the cottage of a hermit
, he called humbly at the door, and obtained admission. The old man sat before him such provisions as he had collected for himself, on which Obidah fed with eagerness and gratitude.
When the repast was over, “ Tell me,” said the hermit, " by what chance thou hast been brought hither: I have been now twenty years an inhabitant of this wilderness, in which I never saw a man before.” Obidah then related the occurrences of his journey, without any concealment or palliation.
“Son,” said the hermit, “let the errors and follies, the dangers and escapes, of this day, sink deep into thy heart.