« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
A man entirely without ceremony has need of great merit.
He who cannot bear a jest, ought never to make one. In the deepest distress, virtue is more illustrious than vice in its highest prosperity.
No man is so foolish but he may give good counsel at a time; no man so wise but he may err, if he take no counsel but his own.
He whose ruling passion is love of praise, is a slave to every one who has a tongue for detraction.
Always to indulge our appetites, is to extinguish them. Abstain, that you may enjoy.
To have your enemy in your power, and yet to do him good, is the greatest heroism.
Modesty, were it to be recommended for nothing else, leaves a man at ease, by pretending to little, whereas vain glory requires perpetual labor, to appear what one If we have sense, modesty best sets it off; if not, best hides the want.
When, even in the heat of dispute, 1 yield to my antagonist, my victory over myself is more illustrious than over him, had he yielded to me.
The refined luxuries of the table, besides enervating the body, poison that very pleasure they are intended to promote; for, by soliciting the appetite, they exclude the greatest pleasure of taste, that which arises from the gratification of hunger.
VI.-The Fox and the Goat.-DoDSLEY'S FABLES.
A FOX and a goat travelling together, in a very sultry day, found themselves exceedingly thirsty; when looking round the country in order to discover a place where they might probably meet with water, they at length descried a clear spring, at the bottom of a well. They both eagerly descended; and having sufficiently allayed their thirst, began to consider how they should get out. Many expedients for that purpose, were mutually proposed and rejected. At last, the crafty Fox cried out with great joy-I have a thought just struck into my mind; which, I am confident, will extricate us out of our dfficulty: Do you, said he to the Goat, on
ly rear yourself up upon your hind legs, and rest your fore feet against the side of the well. In this posture [ will climb up to your head, from which I shall be able with a spring, to reach the top; and when I am once there, you are sensible it will be very easy for me to pull you out by the horns. The simple Goat liked the proposal well, and immediately placed himself as directed ; by means of which, the Fox, without much difficulty, gained the top. And now, said the. Goat, give me the assistance you promised. Thou old fool, replied the Fox, hadst thou but half as much brains as beard, thou wouldst never have believed that I would hazard my own life to save thine. However, I will leave with thee a piece of advice, which may be of service to thee hereafter, if thou shouldst have the good fortune to make thy escape: Never venture into a well again, before thou hast well considered how to get out of it.
VII-The Fox and the Stork.—IB.
THE Fox, though, in general more inclined to rogue. ry than wit, had once a strong inclination to play the wag with his neighbor the Stork. He accordingly invited her to dinner in great form; but when it came upon the table, the Stork found it consisted entirely of dif ferent soups, served up in broad shallow dishes, so that she could only dip in the end of her bill, but could not possibly satisfy her hunger. The Fox lapped it up very readily; and every now and then, addressing himself to his guest, desired to know how she liked her entertainment; hoped that every thing was seasoned to her mind; and protested he was very sorry to see her eat so sparingly. The Stork perceiving she was played upon, took no notice of it,but pretended to like every dish. extremely; and, at parting, pressed the Fox so earnestly to return her visit, that he could not in civility refuse. The day arrived, and he repaired to his appointment; but to his great mortification, when dinner appeared, he found it composed of minced meat, served up in long narrow necked glasses; so that he was only tantalized with the sight of what it was impossible for him to taste. The Stork thrust in her long bill and
helped herself very plentifully; then, turning to Rey nard, who was eagerly licking the outside of a jar, where some sauce had been spilled-I am very glad, said she, smiling, that you seem to have so good an appetite; I hope you will make as hearty a dinner at my table, as I did the other day, at yours. Reynard hung down his head, and looked very much displeased. Nay, nay, said the Stork, don't pretend to be out of humor about the matter; they that cannot take a jest should never make one.
VIII. The Court of Death-IB.
DEATH, the king of terrors, was determined to choose a prime minister; and his pale courtiers, the ghastly train of diseases, were all summoned to attend ; when each preferred his claim to the honor of this illustrious office. Fever urged the numbers he destroyed; cold Palsy set forth his pretentions, by shaking all his limbs; and Dropsy, by his swelled, unwieldy carcase. Gout hobbled up, and alleged his great power in racking every joint; and Asthma's inability to speak, was a strong though silent argument in favour of his claim. Stone and Colic pleaded their violence; Plague his rapid progress in destruction; and Consumption, though slow, insisted that he was sure. In the midst of this contention, the court was disturbed with the noise of music, dancing, feasting and revelry; when immediately entered a lady, with a bold lascivious air, and a flushed and jovial countenance; she was attended on one hand by a troop of cooks and bacchanals: and on the other by a train of wanton youths and damsels, who danced, half naked, to the softest musical instruments; her name was INTEMPERANCE. She waved her hand, and thus addressed the croud of diseases; give way ye sickly band of pretenders, nor dare to vie with my supcrior merits in the service of this great monarch. Am I not your parent? the author of your being? do ye not derive the power of shortening human life almost wholly from me? Who, then, so fit as myself for this important office? The grisly monarch grinned a smile of approbation, placed her at his right hand, and she immediately became his principal favorite and prime minister.
IX.-The Partial Judge.—IB.
A FARMER came to a neighboring Lawyer, expressing great concern for an accident which, he said, had just happened. One of your oxen, continued he, has been gored by an unlucky bull of mine; and I should be glad to know how I am to make you reparation. Thou art a very honest fellow, replied the Lawyer, and wilt not think it unreasonable, that I expect one of thy_oxen in return. It is no more than justice, quoth the Farmer, to be sure: But, what did I say?—I mistake. It is your bull that has killed one of my oxen. Indeed! says the Lawyer; that alters the case; I must inquire into the affair; and if—And IF! said the Farmer-the business, I find, would have been concluded without an IF, had you been as ready to do justice to others, as to exact it from them."
X.-The sick Lion, the Fox, and the Wolf.-[B.
A LION, having surfeited himself with feasting too luxuriously on the carcase of a wild Boar, was seized with a violent and dangerous disorder, The beasts of the forest flocked, in great numbers, to pay their respects to him upon the occasion, and scarce one was absent except the Fox. The Wolf an illnatured and malicious beast, seized this opportunity to accuse the Fox of pride, ingratitude and disaffection, to his majesty. In the midst of this invective, the Fox entered; who, having heard part of the Wolf's accusation, and observed the Lion's countenance to be kindled into wrath, thus adroitly excused himself, and retorted upon his accaser; I see many here, who, with mere lip service, have pretended to show you their loyalty; but, for my part, from the moment i heard of your majesty's illness, neglecting useless compliments, I employed my self, day and night, to inquire, among the most learned physicians, an infallible remedy for your disease, and have, at length happily been informed of one. It is a plaster made of part ofa Wolf's skin taken warm from his
back, and laid to your majesty's stomach. This remedy was no sooner proposed than it was determined that the experiment should be tried; and whilst the operation was performing, the Fox, with a sarcastic smile, whispered this useful maxim in the Wolf's ear; if you would be safe from harm yourself, learn, for the future not to meditate mischief against others.
XI-Dishonesty punished.-KANE'S HINTS.
AN usurer having lost an hundred pounds in a bag, promised a reward of ten pounds to the person who should restore it. A man having brought it to him, demanded the reward. The usurer, loth to give the reward, now that he had got the bag, alledged, after the bag was opened, that there was an hundred and ten pounds in it, when he lost it. The usurer, being called before the judge, unwarily acknowledged that the seal was broken open in his presence, and that there was no.. more at that time but a hundred pounds in the bag. "You say," says the judge, "that the bag you lost had a hundred and ten pounds in it."- "Yes my lord.” "Then," replied the judge," this cannot be your bag, as it contained but a hundred pounds; therefore the plaintiff must keep it till the true owner appears; and you must look for your bag where you can find it.”
SIR WILLIAM LELY, a famous painter in the reign of Charles I. agreed beforehand, for the price of a picture he was to draw for a rich London Alderman, who was not indebted to nature, either for shape or face. The picture being finished, the Alderman endeavored to beat down the price, alledging, that if he did not purchase it, it would lie on the painter's hand. "That's your mistake," says Sir. William; for I can sell it at double the price I demand." "How can that be," says the Alderman," for 'tis like no body but myself?" "True," replied Sir William ; " but I can draw a tail to it, and then it will be an excellent monkey." Mr. Alderman to prevent being exposed, paid down the money demanded, and carried off the picture.