« PreviousContinue »
when they called to mind how she had looked, and spoken, and her early death, some thought it might be so, indeed. Thus, coming to the grave in little knots, and glancing down, and giving place to others, and falling off in whispering groups of three or four, the church was cleared, in time, of all but the sexton and the mourning friends.
They saw the vault covered, and the stone fixed down. Then, when the dusk of evening had come on, and not a sound disturbed the sacred stillness of the place when the bright moon poured in her light on tomb and monument, on pillar, wall and arch, and most of all, it seemed to them, upon her quiet grave in that calm time, when all outward things and inward thoughts teem with assurances of immortality, and worldly hopes and fears are humbled in the dust before them — then, with tranquil and submissive hearts, they turned away, and left the child with God.
ROBERT NICOLL. 1814–1837. Nicoll was a Scottish poet, of high promise and amiable character. His exertions as editor of the Leeds Times were too severe for his weak constitution, and he sunk under consumption, at an early age, much regretted by those who knew him. His poems consist of short occasional pieces and songs.
THOUGHTS OF HEAVEN.
While round me flow
While the leaves quiver
And garners all
Earth grows a shadow
In the blessed soul !
They are with me,
Thy morning melody,
of bees When every
branch has its own favorite bird,
Where the owl flitteth,
Seems sleeping there ;
While Nature's prayer
up to Heaven
And joy to me!
High thoughts !
They are my own,
And see below me strewn
Where blue-bell and heather
The Sabbath bell,
I hear the beating
Of Nature's heart;
God! Thou art !
They visit us In moments when the soul is dim and darkened ;
They come to bless,
In joy and gladness,
Life's angel brings
Upon its wings
The soul doth keep —
So pure and deep.
II. AMERICAN LITERATURE.
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN. 1706-1790. Franklin was born in Boston, of poor parents, and was early apprenticed to the printing business. While thus engaged, he stole hours from sleep, for the purpose of reading, and soon composed and printed ballads, which he sold in the streets. When about sixteen years of age, he dispensed with the use of animal food, that he might savo money to buy books; and went on studying nights, and digesting what he had read while working at the press the next day. He began to write anonymously for the New England Courant, pieces which were much thought of, and ascribed to some of the ablest men.
At seventeen, he went to Philadelphia, with scarcely money enough to buy a penny roll, after he got there. Soon, under false pretences of being set up in business, he went to London, but accomplished nothing by it. On his return to Philadelphia, through his industry, integrity, and business talent, he succeeded in establishing himself in a printing-office. His future history, as statesman and philosopher, is too well known, and would require too much space, to be noticed here.
THE WAY TO WEALTH. It would be thought a hard government, that should tax its people one tenth part of their time, to be employed in its service; but idleness taxes us much more -sloth, by bringing on diseases, absolutely shortens life. “Sloth, like rust, consumes faster than labor wears; while the used key is always bright,” as Poor Richard says.
“But dost thou love life, then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of,” as Poor Richard says. How much more than is necessary do we spend in sleep, forgetting that “The sleeping fox catches no poultry," and that “There will be sleeping enough in the grave," as Paor Richard says.
“If time be, of all things, the most precious, wasting time must be,” as Poor Richard says, “ the greatest prodigality;" since, as he elsewhere tells us, “Lost time is never found again; and what we call time enough, always proves little enough.” Let us, then, up and be doing, and doing to the purpose; so by
diligence shall we do more, with less perplexity. “Sloth makes all things difficult; but industry, all easy;” and “ He that riseth late, must trot all day, and shall scarce overtake his business at night ;” while “Laziness travels so slowly, that Poverty soon overtakes him." “Drive thy business; let not that drive thee;" and “Early to bed, and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise,” as Poor Richard says. “Diligence is the mother of good luck, and God gives all things to industry. Then plough deep, while sluggards sleep, and you shall have corn to sell and to keep.” Work while it is called to-day; for you know not how much you may be hindered tomorrow. “One to-day is worth two to-morrows;” as Poor Richard says; and further, “ Never leave that till to-morrow, which
you to-day.” It is true, there is much to be done, and perhaps you are weak-handed; but stick to it steadily, and you will see great effects; for “ Constant dropping wears away stones ; ” and “By diligence and patience, the mouse ate in two the cable ; and “ Little strokes fell great oaks.”
Methinks I hear some of you say, Must a man afford himself no leisure ? I will tell thee, my friend, what Poor Richard says; “ Employ thy time well, if thou meanest to gain leisure ; and, since thou art not sure of a minute, throw not away an hour.” Leisure is time for doing something useful; this leisure the diligent man will obtain, but the lazy man, never; for “A life of leisure, and a life of laziness, are two things."
But with our industry, we must likewise be steady, settled and careful, and oversee our own affairs with our own eyes, and not trust too much to others; for, as Poor Richard says,
“I never saw an oft-removed tree,
That throve so well as those that settled be." And again, “ Three removes are as bad as a fire ;” and again, “Keep thy shop, and thy shop will keep thee;” and again, “ If you would have your business done, go ; if not, send.” “A little neglect mạy breed to great mischief: for want of a nail, the shoe was lost ; for want of a shoe, the horse was lost; and for want of a horse, the rider was lost, being overtaken and slain by the enemy; all for want of a little care about a horse-shoe nail.”