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judge ordered them both to put their heads out of window. When they had done so, he commanded an executioner to cut off the slave's head. When the slave heard this order he at once drew in his head, while his master did not move. The judge punished the miscreant and delivered him over to his owner.-PERSIAN TALES.
MICHAEL ANGELO AND THE STATUE.
A friend called on Michael Angelo, who was finishing a statue: Some time afterwards he called again. The sculptor was still at his work. His friend, looking at the figure, exclaimed, “You have been idle since I saw you last.” " By no means," replied the sculptor ; "I have retouched this part and polished that; I have softened this feature and brought out this muscle; I have given more expression to this lip, and more energy to this limb.” · Well, well !” said his friend, “but all these are trifles.” “It
may be so," replied Angelo, " but recollect that trifles make perfection, and that perfection is no trifle."--Anon.
A PIECE OF CHALK.
If a small piece of chalk is moistened and rubbed on a piece of glass, and placed under a powerful microscope, myriads of very small things are seen. Some are fragments of larger things, but the greater part consist of the minute skeletons and shells of little tiny creatures. Much of the chalk consists, also, of round grains, which when broken are found to contain other grains arranged in circles round a centre. These are all remnants of very small creatures, which were once alive. So small are they, that 10,000 of them placed in a row would not make up an inch in length. The shapes of the little sheļls are very pretty, and they are beautifully marked with dots and lines, so as to form very interesting objects under a good microscope.—WORLD OF WONDERS.
THE PARROT WHICH SPOKE PERSIAN.
A certain person reared a parrot, and taught it the Persian language, so that to every question which might be asked it should answer, “What doubt?” 'One day the man took it to the bāzār with the object of selling it, and demanded a large sum as the price thereof. A person
who had happened to see the bird enquired of it, “Are you worth so much money?” It replied, “What doubt ?” The man was delighted, and purchasing the parrot took it to his own home. To every word he uttered the creature gave the same answer. Ashamed and with a heart filled with regret the fellow exclaimed, “What a fool I was to buy this parrot!"
· What doubt?” was the immediate rejoinder. Smiling at the drollness of the incident, the man gave the bird its freedom.-PERSIAN TALES.
FABLE-THE OLD HOUND.
An old hound, who had been an excellent good one in his time, and given his master great sport and satisfaction in many a chase, at last by the effect of years became feeble and unserviceable. However, being in the field one day when the stag was almost run down, he happened to be the first that came in with him, and seized him by one of his haunches; but his decayed and broken teeth not being able to keep their hold, the deer escaped and threw him quite out. Upon which his master, being in a great passion, and going to strike him, the honest old creature is said to have barked out this apology :—“Ah! do not strike your poor old servant; it is not my heart and inclination, but my strength and speed that fail me.
If what I now am
displeases, pray don't forget what I have been.”—Æsop's FABLES.
ANECDOTE OF ALFRED THE GREAT. Judith, mother-in-law of Alfred the Great, sitting one day amidst her husband's sons, is reported to have proposed a volume of Saxon poems, which she held in her hand as the prize of him who would first learn to read it. The elder princes remained untempted by this offer, but Alfred, who, though he had accompanied his father, Ethelwulf, to Rome and to the French Court, and was now in his twelfth year, was, like his brothers, unable to read, felt, unlike them, very anxious to gain the power of doing so, and having found a teacher, he, after due labour, acquired the book, by complying with the condition of being able to read it. From this time he became much addicted to study, but this did not render him inactive or slothful; on the contrary, he is eulogized as incomparably skilled in the chase, and almost recklessly brave in war.–STORIES FROM ENGLISH HISTORY (HALL.)
THE MISER AND HIS FRIEND.
A miser said to a friend, “I have a sum of money
which I want to take out from the city and bury; save to you I will not tell the secret to anyone.” In short, both of them quitting the city deposited the coin under a certain tree. After several days, the miser went alone to the spot, but found no trace of the gold. He said to himself, “ Save that individual no one else knows the secret, but if I question him he will not confess." Accordingly he went to the man's house and said, “ A great quantity of money has come into my possession, and I am desirous of depositing it in the same spot as before; if you will come to
we will go together.” The said friend in the desire after the larger sum, put back what he had carried off. Next day the miser repaired alone to the spot, where he found his money. Pleased with his plan, he never afterwards placed any reliance on the friendship of companions.-PERSIAN TALES.
ANECDOTE OF THE EMPEROR JOSEPH II.
When the Emperor Joseph II. was in Paris, in the reign of Louis XVI., he was in the habit of walking about the city in disguise. One morning he went into an elegant hotel, and asked for a cup of coffee.
He was plainly dressed, and the waiters insolently refused it, saying it was too early. Without making any reply, he walked out, and went into a little inn. He asked for a cup of coffee, and the host politely answered that it should be ready in a moment. While he waited for it, as the inn was empty, he walked up and down and was conversing on different subjects, when the landloru's daughter, a very pretty girl, made her appearance. The Emperor wished her "good morning,” according to the French mode, and observed to her father that it was time she should be married. “Ah,” replied the old man, “if I had but a thousand crowns, I could marry her to a man who is very found of her.—but sir, the coffee is ready." The Emperor called for pen, ink, and paper, which the girl ran and fetched : he gave her an order on his banker for six thousand livres.-Anon.
FABLE-THE PEACOCK AND JUNO. The peacock presented a memorial to Juno, importing how hardly he thought he was used, in not having so good a voice as the nightingale; how that pretty animal was
agreeable to every ear that heard it, while he was laughed at for his ugly screaming noise, if he did but open his mouth. The goddess, concerned at the uneasiness of her favourite bird, answered him very kindly to this purpose. “ If the nightingale is blest with a fine voice you have the advantage in point of beauty and largeness of person.” “Ah," says he, “but what avails my silent unmeaning beauty, when I am so far excelled in voice !" The goddess dismissed him, bidding him consider that the properties of every creature were appointed by the decree of fate: to him beauty ; strength to the eagle ; to the nightingale a voice of melody ; the faculty of speech to the parrot ; and to the dove innocence. That each of these was contented with his own peculiar quality, and unless he had a mind to be miserable, he must learn to be so too.— Æsop's Fables.
A RAVEN THAT ENTERTAINED THE CHICKENS.
There was a raven kept at an inn in the neighbourhood of Newhaven. This bird had been taught to call the poultry, and could do it very well too. One day-the table being set out for dinner-the cloth was laid, with the knives and forks, spoons and bread; and in that state it was left for some time, the room being shut, though the window was open. The raven had watched the operation very quietly, and as we may suppose, felt a strong ambition to do the like.
In due course of time the dinner was carried in-but, behold! everything had vanished from the table-silver spoons, kuives, forks, all gone! But what was their surprise and amusement to see, through the open window, upon a heap of rubbish in the yard, the whole array very carefully set out, and the raven performing the honours of the table to a numerous company of poultry which he had