Imatges de pÓgina
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patience," said the bee," or you'll spend your substance, and, for aught I see, you may stand in need of it all, toward the repair of your house."-" Rogue, rogue," replied the spider, "yet methinks you should have more respect to a person whom all the world allows to be so much your better."-"By my troth," said the bee, "the comparison will amount to a very good jest; and you will do me a favour to let me know the reasons that all the world is pleased to use in so hopeful a dispute."

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THE SPIDER AND THE BEE (2).

6. AT this the spider, having swelled himself into the size and posture of a disputant, began his argument in the true spirit of controversy, with resolution to be heartily scurrilous and angry; to urge on his own reasons without the least regard to the answers or objections of his opposite;1 and fully predetermined in his mind against all conviction. "Not to disparage* myself," said he, "by the comparison with such a rascal, what art thou but a vagabond without house or home, without stock or inheritance, born to no possession of your own, but a pair of wings and a drone-pipe ? Your livelihood is a universal plunder upon nature; a freebooter over fields and gardens; and, for the sake of stealing, you will rob a nettle as easily as a violet. Whereas I am a domestic animal, furnished with a

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native stock within myself. This large castle (to show my improvements in the mathematics) is all built with my own hands, and the materials extracted altogether out of my own person."

7. "I am glad," answered the bee, "to hear you grant at least that I am come honestly by my wings and my voice; for then, it seems, I am obliged to Heaven alone for my flights and my music; and Providence would never have bestowed on me two such gifts, without designing them for the noblest ends. I visit indeed all the flowers and blossoms of the field and garden; but whatever I collect thence enriches myself, without the least injury to their beauty, their smell, or their taste. Now, for you and your skill in architecture and other mathematics, I have little to say: in that building of yours there might, for aught I know, have been labour and method enough; but, by woeful experience for us both, it is too plain the materials are naught; and I hope you will henceforth take warning, and consider duration and matter, as well as method and art.

8. "You boast indeed of being obliged to no other creature, but of drawing and spinning out all from yourself; that is to say, if we may judge of the liquor in the vessel by what issues out, you possess a good plentiful store of dirt and poison in your breast; and, though I would by no means lessen or disparage your genuine stock of either, yet I doubt you are somewhat obliged, for an increase of both, to a little foreign3 assistance. Your inherent portion of dirt does not fail of acquisitions," by sweepings exhaled from below; and one insect furnishes you with a share of poison to destroy another. So that, in short, the question comes all to this; whether is the

nobler being of the two, that which, by a lazy contemplation of four inches round, by an overweening pride, feeding and engendering on itself, turns all into excrement and venom, producing nothing at all but flybane and a cobweb; or that which, by a universal range, with long search, much study, true judgment, and distinction of things, brings home honey and wax.”

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CURIOSITIES OF WORDS (1).

1. KIND. We speak of a "kind" person, and we speak of man-" kind," and, perhaps, if we think about the matter at all, fancy that we are using quite different words, or the same words in senses quite unconnected. But they are connected, and by closest bonds. A "kind" person is a "kinned" person, one of kin; one who acknowledges his kinship with other men and acts upon it; confesses that he owes to them, as of one blood with himself, the debt of love. And so mankind is mankinned. Beautiful before, how much more beautiful do"kind" and "kindness" appear when we apprehend the root out of which they grow, and the truth which they embody; that they are the acknowledgment in loving deeds of our kinship with our brethren; of the relationship which exists between all

the members of the human family, and of the obligations growing out of this!

2. PAGAN AND HEATHEN.-You are aware that "pagani," derived from "pagus," a village, had at first no religious significance, but designated the dwellers in hamlets and villages, as distinguished from the inhabitants of towns and cities. The Church fixed itself first in the seats and centres of intelligence, in the towns and cities of the Roman Empire; in them its earliest triumphs were won; while, long after these had accepted the truth, heathen superstitions and idolatries lingered on in the obscure hamlets and villages; so that "pagans," or villagers, came to be applied to all the remaining votaries of the old and decayed superstitions, although not all, but only most of them, were such. We explain "heathen" in exactly the same way. When the Christian faith was first introduced into Germany, it was the wild dwellers on the heaths who longest resisted the truth.

3. ASTROLOGY. -No one now puts any faith in astrology, counts that the planet under which a man is born will affect his temperament,* make him for life of a disposition grave or gay, lively or severe. Yet our language affirms as much; for we speak of men as "jovial," or "saturnine," or "mercurial,”—“ "jovial," as being born under the planet Jupiter or Jove, which was the joyfullest star, and of happiest augury of all. A gloomy, severe person is said to be "saturnine," born, that is, under the planet Saturn, who makes those that own his influence, being born when he was in the ascendant, grave and stern as himself. Another we call "mercurial," or light-hearted, as those born under the planet Mercury were accounted to be.

4. ANGLES, SAXONS, ANGLE-LAND, WALES, CORNWALL. Of all the thousands of Englishmen who are aware that Angles and Saxons established themselves in this island, and that we are in the main descended from them, it would be curious to know how many have realised to themselves a fact so obvious as that this

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England" means "Angle-land," or that, in the names "Essex," "Sussex," and "Middlesex," we preserve a record of East Saxons, South Saxons, and Middle Saxons, who occupied those several portions of the land; or that "Norfolk" and "Suffolk" are two broad divisions of "northern" and "southern folk," into which the East Anglian Kingdom was divided. "Cornwall" does not bear its origin quite so plainly upon its front, or tell its story so that every one who runs may read. At the same time its secret is not hard to attain to. As the Teutonic immigrants advanced, such of the British population as were not either destroyed or absorbed by them retreated, as we have all learned, into Wales and Cornwall, that is, till they could retreat no further. This fact is evidently preserved in the name of "Wales," which means properly "The Foreigners,"-the nations of Teutonic blood calling all bordering tribes by this name. But though not quite so apparent on the surface, this fact is also preserved in "Cornwall," written formerly "Corn-Wales," or the land inhabited by the Welsh of the Corn or Horn. The chroniclers uniformly speak of North Wales and Corn-Wales. These Angles, Saxons, and Britons or Welshmen, about whom our pupils may be reading, will be to them more like actual men of flesh and blood, who, indeed, trod this same soil which we are treading now, when we can

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