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BIDAH, the son of Abensina, left the caravansary1 early

plains of Indostan'. He was fresh and vigorous with rest; he was animated with hope; he was incited by desire; he walked swiftly forward over the valleys, and saw the hills gradually rising before him.

2. As he passed along, his ears were delighted with the morning song of the bird of paradise, he was fanned by the last flutters of the sinking breeze, and sprinkled with dew by groves of spices; he sometimes contem'plated the towering height of the oak, monarch of the hills; and sometimes caught the gentle fragrance of the primrose, eldest daughter of the spring all his senses were gratified, and all care was banished from his heart.

3. Thus he went on till the sun approached his meridian,' and the increasing heat preyed upon his strength: he then looked round about him for some more commodious path. He saw, on his right hand, a grove that seemed to wave its shades as a sign of invitation: he entered it, and found the coolness and verdure irresistibly pleasant.

4. He did not, however, forget whither he was traveling, but found a narrow way, bordered with flowers, which appeared to have the same direction with the main road, and was pleased, that, by this happy experiment, he had found means to unite pleasure with business, and to gain the reward of diligence without suffering its fatigues. He, therefore, still continued to walk, for a time, without the least remission of his ardor, except that he was sometimes tempted to stop by the music of the birds, whom the heat had assembled in the shade, and sometimes ǎmused himself with plucking the flowers that covered the banks on either side, or the fruits that hung upon the branches.


1 Căr`a văn' sa ry, a kind of inn or public house, in the East, where caravans rest at night, being a large, square building, with an extensive area or yard in the middle.

3 Remission, (re mish' un), the act of remitting, surrendering, or giving Me rid' i an, mid-day; the point up; relaxation; decrease.

directly overhead; hence, the highest point, as of success, prosperity, or the like.



5. At last, the green path began to decline from its first tendency, and to wind among hills and thickets, cooled with fountains, and murmuring with waterfalls. Here Obidah paused for a time, and began to consider whether it were longer safe to forsake the known and common track, but remembering that the heat was now in its greatest viölence, and that the plain was dusty and uneven, he resolved to pursue the new path, which he supposed only to make a few meanders,' in compliance with the varieties of the ground, and to end at last in the common road.

6. Having thus calmed his solicitude, he renewed his pace though he suspected he was not gaining ground. This uneasi ness of his mind inclined him to lay hold on every new object, and give way to every sensation that might soothe or divert him. He listened to every echo, he mounted every hill for a fresh prospect, he turned aside to every cascade, and pleased himself with tracing the course of a gentle river, that rolled among the trees, and watered a large region, with innumerable circumvolutions.3

7. In these ǎmüsemènts the hours passed away unaccounted, his deviations' had perplexed his memory, and he knew not toward what point to travel. He stood pensive and confused, afraid to go forward, lest he should go wrong, yet conscious that the time of loitering was now past. While he was thus tortured with uncertainty, the sky was overspread with clouds, the day vanished from before him, and a sudden tempest gåthered round his head.

8. He was now roused by his danger to a quick and painful remembrance of his folly; he now saw how happinèss was lost when ease is consulted; he lamented the unmanly impatience that prompted him to seek shelter in the grove, and desnised the petty curiosity that led him on from trifle to trifle. While he was thus reflecting, the air grew blacker, and a clap of thunder broke his meditation."

9. He now resolved to do what remained yet in his power,

'Me ăn' ders indirect or winding courses; turnings.

Cas cade', a small cataract or waterfall.

1 Dē`vi ā′tion. a wandering from one's course or way.

5 Păn' sive. thoughtful, or sad. Měd`i ta' tion, the revolving or

• Cir' cum vo lū'tion, a turning turning of a subject in the mind; or rolling round.

close or continued thought.

to tread back the ground which he had passed, and try to find some issue, where the wood might open into the plain. He prostrated himself upon the ground, and commended his life to the Lord of nature.

10. He rose with confidence and tranquillity,' and prcssed on with his saber in his hand; for the beasts of the desert were in motion, and on every hand were heard the mingled howls of rage and fear, and ravage' and expiration: all the horrors of darkness and solitude surrounded him ;-the wind roared in the woods, and the torrents tumbled from the hills.

11. Thus forlorn and distressed, he wandered through the wild, without knowing whither he was going, or whether he was every moment drawing nearer to safety or to destruction. At length, not fear but labor began to overcome him; his breath grew short, and his knees trembled, and he was on the point of lying down, in resignation to his fate, when he beheld, through the brambles, the glimmer of a taper. He advanced toward the light, and finding that it proceeded from the cottage of a hermit, he called humbly at the door, and obtained admission. The old man set before him such provisions as he had collected for himself, on which Obidah fed with eagernèss and gratitude.

12. When the repast was over, "Tell me," said the hermit, "by what chance thou hast been brought hither; I have been now twenty years an inhabitant of the wilderness, in which I never saw a man before." Obidah then related the occurrences of his journey, without any concealment or palliation.*

13. "Son," said the hermit, "let the errors and follies, the dangers and escapes of this day, sink deep into thy heart. Remember, my son, that human life is the journey of a day. We rise in the morning of youth, full of vigor, and full of expectation; we set forward with spirit and hope, with gayety and with diligence, and travel on awhile in the straight road of piety, toward the mansions of rest.

14. "In a short time we remit our fervor, and endeavor to

1 Trăn quil' li tỷ, peace; quiet; freedom from care or trouble.

2 Rǎv' age, violent ruin or destruction; havoc.

'Ex`pi ra' tion, a breathing out or expulsion of air from the lungs

through the mouth or nose; the last act of breathing out; death.

'Păl`li a' tion, concealment of the worst circumstances of an offense; lessening by favorable description.



find some mitigation' of our duty, and some more easy means of obtaining the same end. We then relax our vigor, and resolve no longer to be terrified with crimes at a distance, but rely upon our own constancy, and venture to approach what we resolve never to touch.

15. "We thus enter the bowers of ease, and repose in the shades of security. Here the heart softens, and vigilance' subsides; we are then willing to inquire whether another advance can not be made, and whether we may not, at least, turn our eyes upon the gardens of pleasure. We approach them with scruple and hesitation; we enter them, but enter timorous and trembling, and always hope to pass through them without losing the road of virtue, which we for awhile keep in our sight, and to which we propose to return. But temptation succeeds temptation, and one compliance prepares us for another; we in time lose the happiness of innocence, and solace our disquiet with sensual' gratifications.


16. "By degrees we let fall the remembrance of our original intention, and quit the only adequate' object of rational desire. We entangle ourselves in business, immerge ourselves in luxury, and rove through the labyrinths of inconstancy,' till the darknèss of old age begins to invade us, and disease and anxiety obstruct our way. We then look back upon our lives with horror, with sorrow, with repentance; and wish, but too often vainly wish, that we had not forsaken the ways of virtue.

17. "Happy are they, my son, who shall learn from thy example not to despair, but shall remember, that though the day is past, and their strength is wasted, there yet remains one effort to be made; that reformation is never hopeless, nor sincere en

'Ad'equate, equal; fully suffi


" Lăb' y rinth, a labyrinth, among the ancients, was a building made with many winding passages, so that a person could hardly avoid

Víg i lance, watchfulness.

• Sub sides', falls into a state of being lost. Hence, any difficult quiet; rests; ceases. windings or ways; any thing that is

Solace, to cheer in grief; to much entangled or very perplexing. comfort; to allay. 'In con' stan cy, a want of fixed• Sensual (sen ́shỏ al), lewd; pleas- ness or firmness of mind; unsteadiing to the senses; bodily. ness; fickleness.

1 Mít`i gā' tion, softening; making easier or milder.

2 Con'stan cy, the quality of being constant or steadfast; freedom from change; fixedness of mind.


deavors ever unassisted; that the wanderer may at length return, after all his errors; and that he who implores strength and courage from above, shall find danger and difficulty give way before him. Go now, my son, to thy repose; commit thyself to the care of Omnipotence;' and when the morning calls again to toil, begin anew thy journey and thy life." DR. JOHNSON.




MERGUS was a gentleman of good estate : he was bred to no business, and could not contrive how to waste his hours agreeably; he had no relish for any of the proper works of life, nor any taste for the improvement of the mind; he spent generally ten hours of the four-and-twenty in bed; he dozed away two or three more on his couch; and as many more were dissolved in good liquor every evening, if he met with company of his own humor. Thus he made a shift to wear off ten years of his life since the paternal' estate fell into his hands.

2. One evening, as he was musing alone, his thoughts happened to take a most unusual turn, for they cast a glance backward, and he began to reflect on his manner of life. He bethought himself what a number of living beings had been made a săcrifice to support his carcass, and how much corn and wine had been mingled with these offerings; and he set himself to compute what he had devoured since he came to the age of man.


3. "About a dozen feathered creatures, small and great, have, one week with another," said he, "given up their lives to prolong mine, which, in ten years, amounts to at least six thousand. Fifty sheep have been sacrificed in a year, with half a hecatomb of black-cattle, that I might have the choicèst parts offered weekly upon my table. Thus a thousand beasts, out of the


1 Om nĭp' o tence, almighty power; God.

2 Paternal, (på tårnal), belonging to or derived from one's father.

* Sacrifice, (såk' rf fiz), destruction or surrender of anything, made for the sake of something else; the

thing destroyed or given up.

* Hěcí a tomb, the sacrifice of a hundred.

"Black'-cat tle, cows, bulls, and oxen, as distinguished from sheep and goats, which are called small cattle.

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