Imagens das páginas

noble songs:

always a minstrel in heart and in deed : and his song was like a song of triumph. When it was ended, he sprang over into the sea; and a wind arose and bore them quickly away from the place.

But the gods desert not any man of pure and simple heart. There was a sudden flashing of the waves afar off; and a troop of dolphins came, lifting their glittering backs above the water, to meet him. One bore him like a gallant war-horse, whilst the rest followed the ringing of his harpstrings, and his song of thankfulness and victory. Thus wondrously was he carried to the shores of Greece ; and landed by the temple of Neptune on the cape of Tænarus. The Spartans received him gladly for the love of his

For they said, We remember how Tyrtæus cheered our fathers, in the long Messenian wars, with his

songs, which were so like a trumpet.” So he passed on by mount Parthenion—from whence the voice of Pan was heard in the after-time-to Argos, the land where flute-playing is sweetest. And from thence he journeyed on by the staff-road, where the rocks stand upright on the right hand and upon the left. But when the pass was ended, he could see Sicyon upon his left, and upon his right the meeting seas of Corinth, and its citadel overhung by Cithæron.

But Periander said, “ Arion is turned boaster, and we may not believe his tales.” So he was kept in ward until the ship in which he had sailed was come to land. Then Periander hid him behind the arras; and he said to the mariners, when they came before him, " What news of my trusty servant Arion ?" And they made answer readily, O king, we left him in good case at Tarentum.” Then Arion stood forth; and they were dumb with fear and wonder. So they were slain, and no man pitied them.

But Arion sent a thankoffering to the temple on Cape Tænarus. And his offering was a man in bronze, with a dolphin bearing him lovingly across the foaming sea.

C. Ě. Moberly.


A GOOD temper is one of the principal ingredients of happiness. This, it may be said, is the work of nature, and must be born with us,—and so, in a good measure, it is; yet sometimes it may be acquired by art, and always improved by culture. Almost every object that attracts our notice has its bright and its dark side : he that habituates himself to look at the displeasing side, will sour his disposition, and consequently impair his happiness; while he who constantly beholds it on the bright side, insensibly meliorates his temper, and, in consequence of it, improves his own happiness, and the happiness of all about him.

Arachne and Melissa are two friends. They are both of them women in years, and alike in birth, fortune, education, and accomplishments. They were originally alike in temper, too; but by different management, are grown the reverse of each other.

Arachne has accustomed herself to look only on the dark side of every object. If a new literary work makes its appearance with a thousand beauties, and but one or two blemishes, she slightly skims over the passages that should give her pleasure, and dwells upon those only that fill her with dislike. If you show her an excellent portrait, she looks at some part of the drapery that has been neglected, or to a hand or finger which has been left unfinished. Her garden is a very beautiful one, and kept with great neatness and elegance; but if you take a walk with her into it, she talks to you of nothing but blights and storms, of snails and caterpillars, and how impossible it is to keep it from the litter of falling leaves and worm-casts. sit down in one of her temples, to enjoy a delightful prospect, she observes to you, that there is too much wood, or too little water; that the day is too sunny, or too gloomy; that it is sultry or windy; and finishes with a long harague upon the wretchedness of our climate. When you return with her to the company, in hopes of a little cheerful conversation, she casts a gloom over all, by giving you the history of her own bad health, or of some melancholy accident that has befallen one of her children. Thus she insensibly sinks her own spirits, and the spirits of all around her, and at last discovers, she knows not why, that her friends are grave. Melissa is the reverse of all this. By habituating herself to look on the bright side of objects, she preserves a perpetual cheerfulness,

If you

which, by a kind of happy contagion, she communicates to all about her. If any misfortune has befallen her, she considers that it might have been worse, and is thankful to Providence for an escape. She rejoices in solitude, as it gives her an opportunity of knowing herself; and in society, because she communicates the happiness she enjoys. She opposes every man's virtues to his failings, and can find out something to cherish and applaud in the very worst of her acquaintance. She opens every book with a desire to be entertained or instructed, and therefore seldom misses what she looks for. Walk with her, though it be on a heath or a common, and she will discover numberless beauties, unobserved before, in the hills, the dales, the brooms, the tracks, and the variegated flowers of weeds and poppies. She enjoys every change of weather and of season, as bringing with it some advantages of health or convenience. In conversation, you never hear her repeating her own grievances, or those of her neighbours, or (what is worst of all) their faults and imperfections. If anything of the latter kind is men- . tioned in her hearing, she has the address to turn it into entertainment, by changing the most odious railing into a pleasant raillery. Thus, Melissa, like the bee, gathers from every weed; while Arachne, like the spider, sucks poison from the fairest flowers. The consequence is, that of two tempers, once very nearly allied, the one is for ever sour and dissatisfied—the other always pleased and cheerful; the one spreads a universal oom—the other continual sunshine.- World.


A DELIGHTFULLY pleasant evening succeeding a sultry summer day, invited me to take a solitary walk; and leaving the dust of the highway, I fell into a path which led along a pleasant little valley watered by a small meandering brook. The meadow ground on its banks had been lately mown, and new grass was springing up with a lively verdure. The brook was hid in several places by the shrubs that grew on each side, and intermingled their branches. The sides of the valley were roughened by small irregular thickets, and the whole scene had an air of solitude and retirement uncommon in the neighbourhood of a populous town. The Duke of Bridgewater's canal crossed the valley, high raised on a mound of earth, which preserved a level with the elevated ground on each side. An arched road was carried under it, beneath which the brook that ran along the valley was conveyed by a subterraneous passage. I threw myself upon a green bank, shaded by a leafy thicket, and resting my head upon my hand, after a welcome indolence had overcome my senses, I saw, with the eyes of fancy, the following scene.

The firm-built side of the aqueduct suddenly opened, and a gigantic form issued forth, which I soon discovered to be the genius of the canal. He was clad in a loose garment of russet hue. A mural crown, indented with battlements, surrounded his brow. His naked feet were discoloured with clay. On his left shoulder he bore a huge pickaxe; and in his right hand he held certain instruments, used in surveying, and levelling. His looks were thoughtful, and his features harsh. The breach through which he proceeded instantly closed, and with a heavy tread he advanced into the valley. As he approached the brook, the deity of the stream arose to meet him. He was habited in a light green mantle, and the clear drops fell from his dark hair, which was encircled with a wreath of water-lily, interwoven with sweet-scented flag; an angling rod supported his steps. The genius of the canal eyed im with a contemptuous look, and in a hoarse voice thus began :-“ Hence, ignoble rill! with thy scanty tribute, to thy lord the Mersey; nor thus waste thy almost exhausted urn in lingering windings along the vale. Feeble as thine aid is, it will not be unacceptable to that master-stream himself; for, as I lately crossed his channel, I perceived his sands loaded with stranded vessels. I saw, and pitied him for undertaking a task to which he is un. equal. But thou, whose languid current is obscured by weeds, and interrupted by mistaken pebbles; who losest thyself in endless mazes, remote from any sound but thy own idle gurgling; how canst thou support an existence so contemptible and useless ? For me, the noblest work of art, who hold my unremitting course from hill to hill, over hills and rivers; who pierce the solid rock for my passage, and connect unknown lands with distant seas; wherever I appear, I am viewed with astonishment, and exulting commerce hails my waves. Behold my channel thronged with capacious vessels for the conveyance of merchandise, and splendid barges for the use and pleasure of travellers; my

banks crowned with airy bridges, and huge warehouses, and echoing with the busy sounds of industry! Pay, then, the homage due from sloth and obscurity to grandeur and utility.”

"I readily acknowledge," replied the deity of the brook, in a modest accent, “ the superior magnificence, and more extensive utility, of which you so proudly boast; yet, in my humble walk, I am not void of a praise less shining, but not less solid, than yours. The nymph of this peaceful valley, rendered more fertile and beautiful by my stream; the neighbouring sylvan deities, to whose pleasure I contribute, will pay a grateful testimony to my merit. The windings of my course, which you so much , blame, serve to diffuse over a greater extent of ground the refreshment of my waters; and the lovers of nature and the muses, who are fond of straying on my banks, are better pleased that the line of beauty marks my way, than if, like yours, it were directed in a straight, unvaried line. They prize the irregular wildness with which I am decked as the charms of beauteous simplicity. What you call the weeds, which darken and obscure my waves, afford to the botanist a pleasing speculation of the works of nature, and the poet and painter think the lustre of my stream greatly improved by glittering through them. The pebbles which diversify my bottom, and make these ripplings in my current, are pleasing objects to the eye of taste; and my simple murmurs are more melodious to the learned ear than all the rude noises of your banks, or even the music that resounds from your stately barges. If the unfeeling sons of wealth and commerce judge of me by the mere standard of usefulness, I may claim no undistinguished rank. While your waters, confined in deep channels, or lifted above the valleys, roll on, a useless burden to the fields, and are only subservient to the drudgery of bearing temporary merchandises, my stream will bestow unvarying fertility on the meadows during the summer of future ages. Yet I scorn to submit my honours to the decision of those whose hearts are shut up in taste and sentiment: let me appeal to nobler judges. The philosopher and poet, by


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