Page images

portance to say, I only wished to return your master's visit, as he left his name at my door in the morning." --ANON.



When a Roman general, sitting at supper with a plate of turnips before him, was solicited by large presents to betray his trust, he asked the messengers whether he that could sup on turnips was a man likely to sell his own country. Upon him who has reduced his senses to obedience, temptation has lost its power; he is able to attend impartially to virtue, and execute her commands without hesitation.-Johnson.


A young man who was a great talker, was sent by his parents to Socrates to learn oratory. On being presented to Socrates, the lad spoke so much that Socrates was out of patience. When the bargain came to be struck, Socrates asked him double the price.-"Why charge me double?” said the young fellow, “ Because," said the orator, “ I must teach you two sciences; the one to hold your tongue, and the other how to speak.”-ANON.



A blind man one dark evening took a lantern in his hand, and a pitcher on his shoulders, and went to the market. A person enquired of him, “O foolish fellow! since day and night are the same to your eyes, of what advantage is a lantern to you.?” The blind man smiled and said, “ This

lantern is not on my own account, but rather that the evening being dark you may not break my pitcher.-PERSIAN Tales.


King George I. on a journey to Hanover, stopped at a village in Holland, and while horses were getting ready for him, he asked for two or three eggs, which were brought him, and charged a hundred florins. “How is this ?” said the King, “eggs must be very scarce here." " Pardon me,” said the host, “eggs are plentiful enough, but Kings are scarce."-ANON.

ANECDOTE OF LUKMAN THE SAGE. They said to Lukman the Sage, “ Of whom didst thou learn manners ?” “ Of all the ill-mannered,” he replied, “for anything on their part which was disapproved in my sight I avoided."

People utter not a word, even in jest,
But what sensible men learn a lesson therefrom;
But if to a fool a hundred chapters on wisdom
People read, they would be as jesting to his ear.-


DR. JOHNSON AND THE WIDOW. When Dr. Johnson asked the Widow Porter to be his wife, he told her candidly that he had no money, and that his uncle had been banged. The widow replied that she cared nothing for his parentage; that she had no money herself; and that, though she had no relation hanged, she had fifty who deserved hanging.-ANON.

SULTAN ALEXANDER AND THE MADMAN. Sultán Alexander the Great one day passed by a man who was mad, and said, “ O friend ! ask somewhat of me." He replied, “ The flies are annoying me, bid them cease.” The King rejoined, “Omad fellow! demand something which is in my power.” The man said, “ Seeing that not even a fly is under your control, what can I ask.”—PERSIAN Tales.

THE MAN WITH A BAD MEMORY. . A gentleman had so bad a memory, and so circumscribed that he scarce knew what he read. A friend, aware of this, lent him the same book to read seven times over; being asked afterwards how he liked it, he replied, “I think it is an admirable production, but the author sometimes repeats the same things.”-ANON.

CHINESE MAXIMS. Let every man sweep the snow away from his own door, and not busy himself about the frost on his neighbour's tiles.

Great wealth comes by destiny; moderate wealth by industry.

The ripest fruit will not fall into your mouth.

The pleasure of doing good is the only one that does not wear out.

Dig a well before you are thirsty. Water does not remain in the mountains, nor vengeance in a great mind.-ANON.

An Earthen Pot, and one of Brass, standing together

upon the river's brink, were both carried away by the flowing in of the tide. The Earthen Pot shewed some uneasiness, as fearing he should be broken ; but his companion of Brass bid him be under no apprehension, for that he would take care of him. “0," replies the other, “keep as far off as ever you can I entreat you! it is you I am most afraid of; for, whether the stream washes you against me, or me against you, I am sure to be the sufferer! and therefore I beg of you do not let us come near one another.''-Æsop's FabLES.

LORD CHESTERFIELD AND THE WAITER. Lord Chesterfield one day, at an inn where he dined, complained very much that the plates and dishes were very dirty. The waiter, with a degree of pertness, observed, “ It is said that one must eat a peck of dirt before he dies.”

That may be true," said Chesterfield, “ but no one is obliged to eat it all at one meal."-ANON.

AFRICAN ANTS. African ants sometimes set forward in such multitudes that the whole earth seems to be in motion. A body of them was once seen to attack and cover an elephant, quietly feeding in a pasture. In eight hours nothing was to be seen but the skeleton of that enormous animal completely picked. The business was done, and the enemy marched on after fresh prey. Such power have the smallest creatures acting in concert.-Anon.

THE POET AND THE RICA MAN. A certain poet went to the presence of a rich man, and sang his praises : the grandee was delighted and said, “I have no money with me, but if you call to-morrow I will

give you some corn.” The poet returned to his own home, and next day at dawn repaired to the rich man, who enquired, “why have you come ?” “ Yesterday” said the man “you promised to give me some corn, for this reason am I here.” The grandee smiled, and said “ you are a wonderfully foolish fellow; you pleased me with your words, and I, too, rendered you happy, now why should I give you any corn?” The poet was ashamed, and retired.-PERSIAN TALES.


A man got sore eyes. He went to a horse-doctor, and said, “ Treat me.” The veterinary surgeon applied to the eyes a little of what he was in the habit of putting into the eyes of quadrupeds, and the man became blind. They carried the case before the judge, who said, “No damages are to be recovered from him; if this fellow had not been an ass, he would not have gone to a farrier.” The object of this story is, that thou mayest know, that he who entrusts an important matter to an inexperienced person, will suffer regret, and the wise will impute weakness of intellect to him.GULISTAN.

FABLE—THE DOG AND THE PIECE OF FLESH. A dog, crossing a rivulet, with a piece of flesh in his mouth, saw his own shadow represented in the clear mirror of the limpid stream; and believing it to be another dog, who was carrying also a piece of flesh, he could not forbear catching at it; but was so far from getting anything by his greedy design, that he dropt the piece he had in his mouth, which immediately sunk to the bottom, and was irrecoverably lost. Æsop's FABLES.

« PreviousContinue »