Page images
PDF
EPUB

Bad customs of bygone times should certainly be given up.

Just as the body gets clean and hale by bathing,

So does the soul become pure and holy by good thoughts.

He who is not ashamed of vice and does not repent for it when alone,

Is base and shameless enough to practise it openly. That a man's own sins are fewer than those of another,

Should in no way be considered a justification for committing fresh sins.

So long as a single boil continues on the skin the body cannot be said to be healthy;

So long as a man has got one vicious habit in him, he enjoys no security of happiness.

-NARMADASHANKAR.*

Hypocrisy is the homage that vice pays to virtue.

-ROCHEFOUCAULD.

A wicked man who reproaches a virtuous one, is like one who looks up and spites at Heaven; the spittle soils not the Heaven, but comes back and defiles his own person. So again, he is like one who flings dirt at another, when the wind is contrary, the dirt does but return on him who threw it. The virtuous man cannot be hurt the misery that the other would inflict comes back on himself.

-BUDDHA.

Live, vile, and evil, have the self-same letters,
He lives but vile, whom evil holds in fetters.

t;

* A Gujarâti poet.

Avoid doing all wicked actions, practise most perfect virtue, thoroughly subdue your mind.

-DOCTRINE Of Buddha.

If I am right, thy grace impart
Still in the right to stay;

If I am wrong, oh teach my heart

To find the better way.

-POPE.

The end and the reward of toil is rest.

Be all my prayer for virtue and for peace.
Of wealth and fame, of pomp and power possess'd,
Who ever felt his weight of woe decrease?

-BEATTIE.

A PRAYER.

O God! My Father and my Friend,
Ever thy blessings to me send;
Let me have Virtue for my guide,
And wisdom always at my side.
Thus cheerfully through life I'll go,
Nor ever feel the sting of woe;
Contented with the humblest lot-
Happy, though in the meanest cot.

*

-MRS. HEMANS.

THE STORY OF THE THREE ROBBERS.

Three robbers, having acquired by various atrocities, what amounted to a very valuable booty, agreed to divide the spoil, and to retire from so dangerous a vocation. When the day, which they had appointed for this pur

* Written at the age of nine.

pose, arrived, one of them was dispatched to a neighbouring town, to purchase provisions for their last feast. The other two secretly agreed to murder him on his return, that they might come in for one half of the plunder, instead of a third. They did so. But the murdered man was a closer calculator even than his assassins, for he had previously poisoned a part of the provisions, that he might appropriate unto himself the whole of the spoil. These three persons were found dead together, a signal instance that nothing is so blind and suicidal, as the selfishness of vice.

ZAAXAR

158. WANTS.

Man wants but little here below,

Nor wants that little long.

-GOLDSMITH.

Nature furnishes what nature absolutely needs.

-SENECA.

Nature makes us poor only when we want necessaries (the number thus in want are comparatively few): but custom gives the name of poverty to the want of superfluities.

Our natural and real wants are confined to narrow bounds, while those, which fancy and custom create, are confined to none.

Man's rich with little, were his judgment true;
Nature is frugal, and her wants are few:
Those few wants answer'd, bring sincere delights,
But fools create themselves new appetites.

--YOUNG.

The chief source of human discontent is to be looked for not in real but in our fictitious wants: not in the demand of nature, but in the artificial cravings of desire.

We are ruined, not by what we really want, but by what we think we do; therefore never go abroad in

search of your wants. If they be real wants, they will come home in search of you; for he that buys what he does not want, will soon want what he cannot buy.

-COLTON.

Men are not influenced by things but by their thoughts about things.

-EPICTETUS.

The necessities that exist are generally created by the superfluities that are enjoyed.

"How came you to go to the bad so horribly ?" asked a man of another, whom he found in destitute circumstances. "The truth is," the reply was, "I bought so many superfluities, that at last had to sell my necessaries."

To be without any wants is the Divine prerogative; our praise is, that we add not to the number of those to which we were appointed-that we have none which we can avoid-that we have none from conduct. In this we attain the utmost fection within our reach.

our own misdegree of per

On the other hand when fancy has multiplied our necessities-when we owe I know not how many to ourselves when our ease is made dependent on delicacies, to which our Maker never subjected it-when the cravings of our luxury bear no proportion to those of our natural hunger, what a degenerate race do we become! What do we but sink our rank in the creation.

-DEAN BOLTON.

Happy is he who limits his wants to his necessities.

« PreviousContinue »