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The boys in their turn, tried their hardest and strongest,
But no, not a twig of the fagot would crack; And at last, when the stoutest had bent it the longest,
They gave up the trial, and carried it back. “Stay, stay," cried the father, “now take off the bind
ing, And see if your might be expended in vain ;'' "They tried, and the father spoke louder on finding
The sticks, one by one, were all broken in twain. “Now remember, my boys, be this lesson implanted In each of your hearts, when I've passed from
your sight, ?Tis firm Moral Unity chiefly is wanted To bring Human Peace and preserve Human Right.”
A good old man, no matter where,
Whether in York or Lancashire,
Or on a hill or in a dale,
It cannot much concern the tale,
Had children very much like others,
Compos'd of sisters and of brothers;
In life he had not much to give
Save his example how to live ;
His luck was what his neighbours had,
For some were good and some were bad !
This good old man, who long had lain,
Afficted with disease and pain,
With difficulty drew his breath,
And felt the sure approach of death.
He call'd his children round his bed,
And, with a feeble voice, he said :
“Alas, Alas! my children dear,
I well perceive my end is near;
I suffer much, but kiss the rod,
And bow me to the will of God.
Yet ere from you I'm quite removed ;
From you whom I have always loved,
I wish to give you all my blessing,
And leave you with a useful lesson ;
That when I've left this world of care,
Each may his testimony bear,
How much my latest thoughts inclined
To prove me tender, good, and kind!
Observe that faggot on the ground,
With twisted hazel firmly bound.”
The children turn'd their eyes that way,
And view'd the faggot as it lay;
But wonder'd what their father meant,
Who thus expounded his intent.
“I wish that all of you would take it,
And try if any one can break it.”
Obedient to the good old man,
They all to try their strength began ;
Now boy, now girl, now he, now she,
Applied the faggot to their knee;
They tugg'd and strain'd. and tried again,
But still they tugg'd and tried in vain ;
In vain their skill and strength exerted,
The faggot every effort thwarted ;
And when their labour vain they found,
They threw the faggot on the grond.
Again the good old man proceeded,
To give the instruction which they needed :
"Untwist,” says he, “the hazel bind,
And let the faggot be disjoined."
Then, stick by stick, and twig by twig,
The little children and the big,
Following the words their father spoke,
Each sprig, and spray they quickly broke;
“There, father !” all began to cry,
“I've broken minel--and Il--and II"
Replied the sire, “ 'Twas my intent
My family to represent !
While you are joined in friendship’s throng,
My dearest children, you'll be strong;
But if by quarrel and dispute
You undermine affection's root,
And thus the strength’ning cord divide,
Then will my children ill betide ;
E'en beasts of prey in bands unite,
And kindly for each other fight;
And shall not every Christian be,
Join'd in sweet links of amity ?
If sep’rate, you will each be weak;
Each, like a single stick, will break;
But if you 're firm, and true, and hearty,
The world, and all its spite, can't part ye."
The father having closed bis lesson,
Proceeded to pronounce his blessing :
Embraced them all, then pray'd and sigh'd,
Look'd up, and droop'd his head--and died.
-“ TEMPERANCE RECITER.”.
THE LION AND THE FOUR BULLS.
Four bulls, which had entered into a very strict friendship, kept always near one another, and fed together. The lion often saw them, and as often had a mind to make one of them bis prey; but, though he could easily
have subdued any of them singly, yet he was afraid to attack the whole alliance, as knowing they would have been too hard for him, and therefore contented himself, for the present, with keeping at a distance. At last, perceiving no attempt was to be made upon them, as long as this combination held, he took occasion, by whispers and hints to foment jealousies, and raise divisions among them. This stratagem succeeded so well, that the bulls grew cold and reserved towards one another, which soon after ripened into a downright hatred and aversion : and, at last, ended in a total separation. The lion had now obtained his ends, and, as impossible as it was for him to hurt them, while they were united, he found no difficulty, now they were parted, to seize and devour every bull of them, one after another.
156. VANITY AND HUMILITY.
The egotist is one who seems to try
To quell all other creatures with his I.
What is that, which though always invisible is never out of sight? Ans. The letter "I.”
But man, proud man!
Dressed in a little brief authority;
Most ignorant of what he's most assured,
His glassy essence-like an angry ape,
Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven,
As make the angels weep.
Entangled in a hundred worldly snares,
Self-seeking men, by ignorance deluded,
Strive by unrighteous means to pile up riches.
Then in their self-complacency, they say,
*This acquisition I have made to-day,
That I will gaia to-morrow; so much pelf
Is boarded up already, so much more
Remains that I have yet to treasure up.
This enemy I have destroyed, him also
And others in their turn I will despatch.
I am a lord; I will enjoy myself ;
.I'm wealthy, noble, strong, successful, happy;
I'm absolutely perfect; no one else
In all the world can be compared to me.
Now I will offer up a sacrifice,
Give gifts with lavish hand and be triumphant.'