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well done as what we do for ourselves. Often, too, it is not done at all. We should never, then, commit any duty to another which we ourselves can perform.
HERCULES AND THE CARTER: A FABLE.
As a clownish fellow was driving his cart along a deep miry lane, the wheels stuck so fast in the clay, that the horses could not draw them out. Upon this he fell a-bawling and praying to Hercules (the god of strength among the ancient Greeks) to come and help him. Hercules, looking down from a cloud, bid him not lie there, like an idle rascal, as he was, but get up and whip his horses stoutly, and clap his shoulder to the wheel; adding, that this was the only way for him to obtain his assistance.
THE LARK AND THE FIELD OF CORN: A FABLE.
In a ripe field of corn, a lark had a brood of young ones ; and when she went abroad to forage for them, she ordered them to take notice of what should happen in her absence. They told her at her return, that the owner of the field had been there, and had requested his neighbours to reap his
“ Well,” says the lark, “ there's no danger as yet.” They told her the next day that he had been there again, with the same request to his friends. “ Well, well,” says she, “there's no danger in that neither;" and so she went out for provisions as before. But being informed the third day, that the owner and his son were to come next morning and do the work themselves; “ Nay, then,” says she, “it is time to look about us : for the neighbours and friends, I feared them not; but the owner, I'm sure, will be as good as his word, for it is his own business."
SIR ROBERT INNES OF ORTON.
In the year 1722, Sir Robert Innes, of Orton, in the north of Scotland, had the misfortune to be left at nineteen with a title, but no fortune to support it. Many men, in his circumstances, would have become a burden upon their friends, or the state; but he resolved to maintain his independence. Having learned no profession, he found that the
best line of life he could adopt was that of a soldier, and he enlisted as a private in a dragoon regiment.
IIe was one day standing sentry at head-quarters, when a gentleman who had formerly seen him, but who did not know of the step he had taken, came up to inquire for the colonel on some business. Finding that the colonel was engaged with another person, this gentleman entered into conversation with the sentinel, and soon convinced himself that he was no other than Sir Robert Innes. When called into the colonel's presence, the gentleman told him that he had a greater honour than many crowned heads, inasmuch as he had a knight-baronet for his guard. The colonel, whose name was Winram, was greatly surprised at the intelligence. He immediately sent for another soldier to replace the sentinel, whom he ordered to appear before him. When the sentinel entered, he asked if he was Sir Robert Innes, and what could have induced him to enlist as a private soldier. The youth modestly acknowledged his title, and stated, that, having been left penniless, he had thought it better to forget his rank, and seek for support in an honest calling, than depend upon friends who might be neither able nor willing to assist him.
Colonel Winram was as much pleased as he had a little before been surprised. He reflected that the man who could act thus must be one of no common merit, and he immediately released him from his duty for the day, and asked him to dinner. He at the same time offered him the choice of a dress from his own wardrobe; but Sir Robert informed him that he was in no need of such an accommodation, as he had still some of the clothes he had worn in his private condition. On further intercourse, the generous colonel was still more pleased with the young baronet, for whom he soon succeeded in obtaining a cornetcy. He then took him to visit his daughter at the boarding-school where she was finishing her education, and, finding that the young pair liked each other, he at once proposed that they should be married, the fortune of the young lady being, he thought, a fair set-off against the title of her admirer, and sufficient, with his pay, to maintain them respectably. The match took place, and was a very happy one. A daughter of the worthy baronet became the wife of Lord Forbes, and was the mother of several children who inherited or attained very high rank.
DIFFERENCE OF GO AND COME.
A gentleman in Surrey had land worth two hundred pounds a-year, which he cultivated himself; but, nevertheless, he fell into debt, to pay off which he was obliged to sell one half of his property. He then let the remaining half to a farmer for twenty-one years. Before that time had expired, the farmer, one day bringing his rent, asked the landlord if he would sell his land. “ And would you buy it?" said the landlord. “ If so please you," answered the farmer.
- How comes it,” cried the gentleman, “ that, after I was unable to live upon double the quantity of land, paying no rent, you, living on this small piece, for which you paid rent, have gained enough to purchase it?" "Oh," said the farmer, smiling, but two words made the difference; you said Go, and I said Come.” “What is the meaning of that?" inquired the gentleman. “ You lay in bed," quoth the farmer, “ or took your pleasure, and sent others about your business: I rose betimes, and saw my business done myself.”
Man was marked
The right and noble way.-MASSINGER. Assist yourself, and heaven will assist you.--French Proverb.
The master's eye doeth much.-English Procerb.
PRESENCE OF MIND.
PRESENCE OF MIND.
We should never seek danger, for that is folly; but if danger occur, we should call up courage, and meet it firmly and calmly. However cautious we may be, we cannot expect to pass through life without being occasionally in some danger. Our clothes, or the house we live in, may catch fire; we may be thrown into the water; or when we travel in a carriage, the horse may take fright and run away with
In such circumstances our persons may suffer great hurt, or we may even be killed. But there is the less chance of our coming to harm, if we act with prudence, and coolly do the best we can to save ourselves.
In danger, some are so confounded by fright, that they are quite unable to do any thing for their own protection or relief. The danger is thus greatly increased, and they may be hurt or killed, when others would escape. In all dangers, it is of the greatest consequence not to become alarmed. We ought to try to keep ourselves quiet and watchful, so as to be able to do all that can be done to escape the impending evil. This is called preserving our presence of mind a quality which is always admired.
Any one whose clothes catch fire, ought not to run away for assistance. While we stand or run, the clothes burn very quickly, and soon scorch the body. It is best to throw ourselves on the floor,' and roll ourselves there; for then the burning does not proceed so rapidly. If we can wrap a carpet or heavy woollen coverlet closely round us, we shall almost instantly extinguish the flames.
In making our way through a burning house, we ought not, if it be full of smoke, to walk upright. We are then in danger of being suffocated. It is best to creep along on hands and knees, for the freest air is to be had close to the floor.
If thrown into the water, and unacquainted with the art of swimming, we should not struggle or plash, for then we shall soon sink. We should be as quiet as possible, and keep our lungs inflated with air. The body is lighter than water, and is sure to rise to the surface, and remain there, if we do not exert ourselves too violently.
If it appear
If run away with in a light vehicle by a frightened horse, we should not immediately throw ourselves out. We should sit quietly, if we can, till we consider what is best to be done. It
may be most likely that the horse will stop of itself; in which case, no harm will occur. most prudent to leave the vehicle, we should try to let ourselves softly down behind. It is to be remembered, that, in going along in a vehicle, we acquire an impetus, or tendency to move forward, which our will cannot check. We ought, therefore, in quitting the vehicle, to throw ourselves in the contrary way from the way the vehicle is going, so as to prevent this impetus from dashing us violently against the ground.
OPPOSITE CONDUCT OF TWO LADIES IN A BURNING HOUSE,
The mistress of a family was awakened, during the night, by flames bursting through the wainscot into her chamber. She flew to the staircase; and in her confusion, instead of going up stairs to call her children, who slept together in the nursery over-head, and who might all have escaped by the top of the house, she ran down, and with much danger made her way, through the fire, into the street. When she had got thither, the thought of her poor children rushed into her mind, but it was too late. The stairs had caught fire, so that nobody could get near them, and they were burned in their beds.
Another lady was awakened one night by the crackling of fire, and saw it shining under her chamber floor. Her husband would immediately have opened the door, but she prevented him, since the smoke and flames would then have burst in upon them. The children, with a maid, slept in a room opening out of theirs. She went and awakened them; and tying together the sheets and blankets, she sent down the maid from the window first, and then let down the children one by one to her. Last of all, she descended herself. A few minutes after, the floor fell in, and all the house was in flames.