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Said the cunning spider to the fly—“Dear friend,
what can I do To prove the warm affection I've always felt for you? I have within my pantry good store of all that's nice; I'm sure you're very welcome-will you please to
take a slice ?” "Oh no, no,” said the little fly, “kind sir, that can
not be ; I've heard what's in your pantry, and I do not wish
“Sweet creature,” said the spider, "you're witty and
you're wise ; How handsome are your gauzy wings, how brilliant
are your eyes ! I have a little looking-glass upon my parlour shelf, If you'll step in one moment, dear, you shall behold
yourself." “I thank you, gentle sir,” she said, " for what you
please to say, And bidding you good morning now, I'll call another
The spider turned him round about, and went into
his den, For well he knew the silly fly would soon come back
again; So he wove a subtle web in a little corner sly, And set his table ready to dine upon the fly. Then he came out to his door again, and merrily did
sing: “Come hither, hither, pretty fly, with the pearl and Your robes are green and purple—there's a crest upon
your head; Your eyes are like the diamond bright, but mine are
dull as lead !”
Alas! alas ! how very soon this silly little fly, Hearing his wily, flattering words, came slowly flit
ting by; With buzzing wings she hung aloft, then near and
nearer drew, Thinking only of her brilliant eyes, and her green
and purple hueThinking only of her crested lead-poor foolish
thing! At last, Up jumped the cunning spider, and fiercely held her
fast ! He dragged her up his winding stair, into his dismal
den, Within his little parlour—but she ne'er came out
And now, dear little children, who may this story read, To idle, silly, flattering words, I pray you, ne'er give
Unto an evil counsellor close heart and ear and eye, And take a lesson from this tale of the spider and
THE STINGING NETTLE.
ALFRED saw a beautiful flower growing on the other side of a deep ditch, and he ran forward to get it for his sister Mary. Mary begged him not to do so, lest he should tumble into the ditch. But Alfred would have his own way. As he was getting down the bank, his foot slipped ; and he would have fallen into the ditch, had he not caught hold of some nettles which grew on the bank. He was not long in getting up the bank again ; for the sharp sting of the nettles made him forget the beautiful flower.
“There now!” said he ; "talk of everything being useful ! I am quite sure a stinging nettle is of no use in the world. See how it has stung my fingers ! They are all over white blisters, and tingle terribly. I am quite sure grandpapa was wrong when he said that everything was useful."
“Perhaps not!” said the old gentleman, who at that moment peeped over the hedge; “but I will go round by the gate, and come to you.”
In a few minutes the old gentleman was with them, examining the smarting fingers of his grandson.
“Well now, grandpapa, please to tell me of what use nettles are ; for I cannot think that they are of the least use whatever.”
“The nettle has, no doubt, many uses,” replied the old gentleman, " of which I am ignorant; but I will point out a few, which may show you that God has not formed it in vain. And I may begin with
. the use the nettle has been of to you, Alfred.”
“ To me, grandpapa ! I am quite sure it has been of no use to me.”
“No!" said the old gentleman, smiling; "why, did it not save you from tumbling into the ditch ?” Here Alfred looked rather foolish, while his grandpapa went on: “It is not a very long time ago, Alfred, since you were praising your nettle-porridge.
The porridge was made of the tender tops of young nettles; and I daresay you remember it very well,”
“Oh yes!” said Mary. “It was old Esther Hodges who told my mother to give it to us; she said it would do us a power of good.""
“I am glad you remember it; but let us look at the nettle a little nearer.' Just then a bee alighted on one of the nettle flowers. “Do you think that bee, if he could speak, would say that the nettle was of no use? See, he is gathering honey from it, and, perhaps, finds it as useful as the blooming rose.
The old gentleman then set himself down on the bank; and, having his gloves on, he turned over some of the nettle leaves.
“Look here," said he ; "here is the insect called the ladybird, with its red back spotted with black : I daresay this ladybird finds the nettle of some use, or it would not take shelter under its leaves. Then, again, here is a spider who has woven his web from one leaf to another; no doubt the spider finds the nettle of some use too : so that the bee, the lady bird, and the spider are all against you.”
Here Alfred and Mary looked at each other, as if now quite satisfied that the nettle had not been made in vain. But their grandfather still went on: “Nettles are often useful in keeping young people in the right path.
When your sister begged you, Alfred, not to go near the ditch, you heeded her not; but when the nettle pointed out your error, you were .convinced of it in a moment. The nettle, moreover, , teaches a useful lesson. Look at Alfred's fingers ; they are not stung where he grasped the nettle firmly,
but only in the parts that touched it lightly. Many little trials of the world are of the same character: give way to them, they annoy you; meet them bravely, they injure you not, for you overcome them. Another excellent lesson to be got from the pettle is, to mind your own business, and not to meddle with that of other people. Let the nettle alone, it never stings you; trespass upon it, you must take the consequences. I might say a good deal more ; but if the nettle assists in forming a wholesome food -if it affords honey to the bee, shade and shelter to the ladybird and the spider—if it keeps young people in the proper path, and furnishes us with lessons of useful instruction, you must allow that the stinging nettle has not been made in vain.”
THE BUTTERFLY'S BALL.
COME, take up your bats, and away let us haste To the butterfly's ball and the grasshopper's feast; The trumpeter gadfly has summoned the crew, And the revels are now only waiting for you.
On the smooth-shaven grass by the side of the wood,
And there came the beetle, so blind and so black,