Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

deserves to be, and often will be, kicked. There is another sort of lies, inoffensive enough in themselves, but wonderfully ridiculous : I mean those lies which a mistaken vanity suggests, that defeat the very end for which they are calculated, and terminate in the humiliation and confusion of their author, who is sure to be detected. These are chiefly narrative and historical lies, all intended to do infinite honour to their author.

He is always the hero of his own romances; he has been in dangers, from which nobody but himself ever escaped; he has seen with his own eyes whatever other people have heard or read of; and has ridden more miles post in one day, than ever courier went in two. He is soon discovered, and as soon becomes the object of universal contempt and ridicule.

Remember, then, as long as you live, that nothing but strict truth can carry you through the world, with either your conscience or your honour unwounded. It is not only your duty, but your interest: as a proof of which, you may always observe, that the greatest fools are the greatest liars. For my own part, I judge, by every man's truth, of his degree of understanding.

[ocr errors]

LESSON VI.

Portrait of a Patriarch.-ADDISON.

I CANNOT forbear making an extract of several passages, which I have always read with great delight, in the book of Job. It is the account, which that holy man gives, of his behaviour in the days of his prosperity, and, if considered only as a human composition, is a finer picture of a charitable and good-natured man than is to be met with in any other author.

“Oh that I were as in months past, as in the days when God preserved me; when his candle shined upon my head, and when, by his light, I walked through darkness; when the Almighty was yet with me; when my children were about me; when I washed my steps with butter, and the rock poured out rivers of oil.

“When the ear heard me, then it blessed me; and when the eye saw me, it gave witness to me; because I delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and him that had none to help him. The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me; and I caused the widow's heart to sing for joy. I was eyes to the blind, and feet was I to the lame; I was a father to the poor; and the cause which I knew not I searched out.

“ Did not I weep for him that was in trouble? Was not my soul grieved for the poor? Let me be weighed in an even balance, that God may know mine integrity. If I did despise the cause of my man-servant or of my maid-servant, when they contended with me, what then shall I do when God riseth ? and when he visiteth, what shall I answer him? Did not he that made me make him also ?

“If I have winield the poor from their desire, or have caused the eyes of the widow to fail, or have eaten my morsel myself alone, and the fatherless hath not eaten thereof; if I have seen any perish for want of clothing, or any poor without covering; if his loins have not blessed me, and if he were not warmed with the fleece of my sheep; if I have lifted up my hand against the fatherless, when I saw my help in the gate ; then let mine arm fall from my shoulder-biade, and mine arm be broken from the bone.

“I rejoiced not at the destruction of him that hated me, por listed up myself when evil found him; neither have Í suffered

my mouth to sin, by wishing a curse to his soul. The stranger did not lodge in the street; but I opened my doors to the traveller. If my land cry against me, or the furrows thereof complain; if I have eaten the fruits thereof without money, or have caused the owners thereof to lose their life; let thistles grow instead of wheat, and cockles instead of barley."

[ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

And it came to pass, after these things, that Abraham sat in the door of his tent, about the going down of the sun. And behold, a man, bent with age, came from the way

of the wilderness, leaning on a staff! And Abraham arose, and met him, and said unto him, “Turn in, I pray thee, and wash thy feet, and tarry all night; and thou shalt arise

early in the morning, and go on thy way.

And the man said, “Nay; for I will abide under this tree.”

But Abraham pressed him greatly: so he turned, and they went into the tent: and Abraham baked unleavened bread, and they did eat. And when Abraham saw that the man blessed not God, he said unto him, “Wherefore dost thou not worship the most high God, Creator of heaven and earth ?” And the man answered, and said, “I do not worship thy God, neither do I call upon his name; for I have made to myself a god, which abideth always in my house, and provideth me with all things.”

And Abraham's zeal was kindled against the man, and he arose, and fell upon him, and drove him forth, with blows, into the wilderness. And God called unto Abraham, saying, “ Abraham, where is the stranger ?” And Abraham answered, and said, “Lord, he would not worship thee, neither would he call upon thy name; therefore have I driven him out from before my face into the wilderness.”

And God said, “Have I borne with him these hundred and ninety and eight years, and nourished him, and clothed him, notwithstanding his rebellion against me; and couldst not thou, who art thyself a sinner, bear with him one night?”

LESSON VIII.

Paraphrase of the Nineteenth Psalm.--ADDISON.

The spacious firmament on high,
With all the blue ethereal sky,
And spangled heavens, a shining frame,
Their great Original proclaim :
The unwearied sun, from day to day,
Does his Creator's power display,
And publishes to every land
The work of an Almighty Hand.

Soon as the evening shades prevail,
The moon takes up the wondrous tale,
And nightly, to the listening earth,
Repeats the story of her birth* :

* Pron. běrth.

Whilst all the stars, that round her burn,
And all the planets, in their turn,
Confirm the tidings, as they roll,
And spread the truth from pole to pole.

What though, in solemn silence, all
Move round this dark terrestrial ball!
What though nor real voice, nor sound,
Amid their radiant orbs be found !
In reason's ear they all rejoice,
And utter forth a glorious voice,
For ever singing, as they shine,
“ The Hand that made us is Divine."

[ocr errors]

LESSON IX.

Morning Meditations.—HAWKESWORTH. In sleep's serene oblivion laid,

I've safely passed the silent night; Again I see the breaking shade,

Again behold the morning light. New-born, I bless the waking hour;

Once more, with awe, rejoice to be; My conscious soul resumes her power,

And soars, my guardian God, to thee. O guide me through the various maze

My doubtful feet are doomed to tread; And spread thy shield's protecting blaze

Where dangers press around my head.

A deeper shade shall soon impend

A deeper sleep mine eyes oppress : Yet then thy strength shall still defend;

Thy goodness still delight to bless.

That deeper shade shall break away;

That deeper sleep shall leave mine eyes; Thy light shall give eternal day;

Thy love, the rapture of the skies.

LESSON X

Nature's Music.-ANONYMOUS.
Nay, tell me not of lordly halls !

My minstrels are the trees;
The moss and the rock are my tapestried walls,

Earth's sounds my symphonies.
There's music sweeter to my soul

In the weed by the wild wind fanned, In the heave of the surge, than ever stole

From mortal minstrel's hand.

There's mighty music in the roar

Of the oaks on the mountain's side, When the whirlwind bursts on their foreheads hoar,

And the lightning flashes wide.

There's music in the city's hum,

Heard in the noontide glare,
When its thousand mingling voices come

On the breast of the sultry air.

[ocr errors]

There's music in the forest stream,

As it plays through the deep ravine, Where never summer's breath or beam

Has pierced its woodland screen.

There's music in the thundering sweep

Of the mountain waterfall,
As its torrents struggle, and foam, and leap

From the brow of its marble wall.

There's music in the dawning morn,

Ere the lark his pinion driesIn the rush of the breeze through the dewy corn,

Through the garden's perfumed dyes.

There's music on the twilight cloud,

As the clanging wild swans spring; As homeward the screaming ravens

crowd, Like squadrons on the wing.

* Prom. ra-ven.

« AnteriorContinuar »