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There are many who encounter adversity, that are happy; while some in the midst of riches are miserable; every thing depends on the fortitude with which the former bear their misfortune, and on the manner in which the latter employ their wealth.
Be it happiness or sorrow, be it agreeable or disagreeable, whatever comes should be borne with an unaffected heart.
Happiness and misery, prosperity and adversity, gain and loss, death and life, in their turn, wait upon all creatures. For this reason the wise man of tranquil soul would neither be elated with joy, nor be depressed with
Receive blessings with thankfulness, and afflictions with resignation.
I have felt so many quirks of joy and grief
Can woman me unto 't.
0 poor man murmur not at the vicissitude of fortune, For wretched wilt thou be if in that same mood
O rich man! when thy heart and hand are blessed, Enjoy, bestow, that thou mayest secure the happiness of this world and the next.
*Translated by Platts.
Though from thy grasp all worldly things should flee,
Joy not, for worthless are the things of earth.
Whosoever desires a succourer in the day of adversity,
Fortune and futurity are not to be guessed at.
If fortune disregard thy claim,
By worth her slight attest,
Nor blush and hang thy head for shame
Alike in joy and in distress
Oh let me trace thy hand Divine ;
Still, Father may Thy will be mine.
-LADY FLORA HASTINGS.
HYMN TO ADVERSITY.
Daughter of Jove, relentless power,
• Translated by Eastwick.
† Translated by Platts.
Bound in thy adamantine chain,
The proud are taught to taste of pain,
With pangs unfelt before, unpitied and alone.
When first thy Sire to send on earth
And from her own she learn'd to melt at others' woe.
Scar'd at thy frown terrific, fly
Self-pleasing Folly's idle brood,
With Laughter, Noise, and thoughtless Joy,
And leave us leisure to be good.
Light they disperse, and with them go
The summer friend, the flattering foe;
By vain Prosperity receiv'd,
To her they vow their truth, and are again believ'd.
Wisdom in sable garb array'd,
Immers'd in rapturous thought profound,
And melancholy, silent maid,
With leaden eye, that loves the ground,
Still on thy solemn steps attend :
Warm charity, the general friend,
With Justice, to herself severe,
And Pity dropping soft the sadly-pleasing tear.
Oh! gently on thy suppliant's head,
Dread goddess, lay thy chastening hand!
Not in thy Gorgon terrors clad,
Not circled with the vengeful band
(As by the impious thou art seen)
With thundering voice, and threatening mien,
Despair and fell Disease, and ghastly Poverty;—
Thy form benign, oh goddess, wear,
To soften, not to wound my heart.
What others are to feel, and know myself a man.
THE OLD MAN AND KRISHNA.
There was once a certain old man, who, whatever he did, used to say, 'Krishna, Krishna, this is thy doing.' One day some paddy had been spread at his door for getting dried in the sun, when a cow came and ate it. The man at once took a stick in his hand and severely beat the poor cow, which consequently fell down and expired. At once the man began to exclaim, Hari-HariKrishna-Krishna. This is thy doing.' Just then Rukminî happened with Krishna, and she addressing her Lord said, 'O my Lord, what a sin has now fallen to your account.' Krishna replied, Fear not, my dear, the sin of having killed the cow is the man's, and not mine. You will shortly see how it is so.'
A few days after, the old man was giving a feast to Brahmins when Krishna assuming the guise of a dirty old Brahmin, entered his house, spat on the ground here and there, and committed diverse acts of nuisance.
host thereupon began to rebuke him, saying, 'Is this the reward for my charity? Why do you come and disturb the feast which I am holding?' The disguised Krishna replied, 'Who are you to rebuke me? Are you the real host?" The man got exceedingly angry and said, 'Did I not tell you that I was the host? I will show you who I am :' and so saying, he began to shove him out. At once Krishna showed his real form and said, 'The merit of this feast is yours, while the sin of killing the cow is mine, I suppose! A very fair division to be sure! Let both be yours,' and so saying he disappeared.
Like the old man in this story, how often are we prone to take the merit of our successes and good deeds to ourselves, while ascribing our failures and evil deeds to the Lord.
-"THE AWAKENED INDIA."