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THE GRECIAN PHILOSOPHER AND THE
When many Grecian philosophers had a solemn meeting before the ambassador of a foreign prince, each endeavoured to show his parts by the brilliancy of his conversation, that the ambassador might have something to relate of the Grecian wisdom. One of them, offended no doubt, at the loquacity of his companions, observed a profound silence; when the ambassador, turning to him, asked, "But what have you to say, that I may report it?" He made this laconic, but very pointed reply, "Tell your King that you have found one among the Greeks who knew how to be silent."
152. THE TRAVELLER (foolish).
THE FOOLISH TRAVELLER.
There was a prince of high degree,
As great and good as prince could be;
Much power and wealth were in his hand,
With lands and lordships at command.
One son, a favourite son, he had,
The son escaped to foreign lands,
The youth, detesting peace and quiet,
The tender sire, to pity prone,
The youth the pardon little minded,
But though he mourned no past transgression,
He liked the kingdom when obtained,
But not the terms on which 'twas gained; He hated pain and self-denial,
Chose the reward, but shun the trial.
He knew his father's power, how great;
His sire had sent a friend to say,
The thoughtless youth set out indeed,
By every casual impulse swayed,
For every sport, for every song,
Whate'er was present seized his soul,
His father's house he quite forgot.
Those slight refreshments by the way,
Which were but meant his strength to stay,
So sunk his soul in sloth and sin,
His father's friend would oft appear,
Displeased he answers, "Come what will,
Thus perished, lost to worth and truth,
My fable, reader, speaks to thee :--
The friend the generous father sent,
Who calls the wandering, warns the blind.
Reader awake: this youth you blame :
The pleasures which beguile the road,
To these your whole desires you bend,
The meanest toys your soul entice,
Then listen to a warning friend,
Who bids you mind your journey's end;
This world 's your Inn, the next your Home.