Imágenes de páginas

2. Dexterously' swaying his long rod, he follows the little stream till it is lost in the bosom of the woodland lake : if unsuccessful from the bank, he seeks the frail skiff, which is the common property of laborious idlers like himself, and, pushing off shore, sits dreaming under the sun's wilting beams, until he has secured a supply for the day. Home again-an irregular meal at any time of day—and he goes to bed with the agüe; but he murmurs not, for fishing is not work.

3. Then come the whortleberries ; not the little, stunted, seedy things that grow on dry uplands and sandy commons, but the produce of towering bushes in the plashy meadow; generous, púlpy berries, covered with a fine bloom; the "blaeberry" of Scotland ; a delicious fruit, though of humble reputation, and, it must be confessed, somewhat enhanced' in value by the scarcity of the more refined productions of the garden.

4. We scorn thee not, O bloom-covered neighbor! but gladly buy whole bushels of thy prolific family from the lounging Indian, or the still lazier white man. We must not condemn the gătherers of whortleberries, but it is a melancholy truth that they do not get rich.

5. Baiting for wild bees beguiles the busy shunner of work into many a wearisome tramp, many a night-watch, and many a iðst day. This is a most fascinating chase, and sometimes excites the věry spirit of gambling. The stake seems so small in comparison with the possible prize—and gamblers and honeyseekers think all possible things probable—that some, who are scarcely ever tempted from regular business by any other disguise of idleness, can not withstand a bee-hunt.

6. A man, whose arms and ax are all-sufficient to insure a comfortable livelihood for himself and his family, is chopping, perhaps, in a thick wood, where the voices of the locust, the cricket, the grasshopper, and the wild bee, with their kindred, are the only sounds that reach his ear from sunrise till sunset. He feels lonely and listless; and, as noon draws on, he ceases from his hot toil, and, seating himself on the tree which has just fallen benēafh his ax, he takes out his lunch of bread and

[ocr errors]

1 Děx' ter oŭs ly, adroitly; skill. Scarcity, (skår si ti). fully.

* Pro lif ic, producing young or • Enhanced, (en hånst), added fruit; fruitful; bringing forth in tc; increased.






RAILROAD train was rushing ălòng at almost light

ning speed. A curve was just ahead, beyond which was ă station at which the cars usually passed each other. The conductor was late, so late that the period during which the down train was to wait had nearly elapsed; but he hoped yệt to pass

the curve safely. Suddenly a locomotive dashed into sight right ahead. In an instant there was a collision.' A shriek, a shock, and fifty souls were in eternity; and all because an engineer had been behind time.

2. A great battle was going on. Column: after column had been precipitated for eight mortal hours on the enemy posted along the ridge of a hill. The summer sun was sinking to the west ; reënforcements for the obstinate defenders were already in sight; it was necessary to carry the position with one final charge, or every thing would be lost.

A powerful corps had been summoned from ăcross the country, and if it came up in season all would yět be well. The great conqueror, confident in its arrival, formed his reserve into an attacking column, and ordered them to charge the enemy. The whole world knows the result. Grouchye failed to

appear ; the imperial guard was beaten back ; Waterloo was lost. Napoleon died a prisoner at St. Helē'na because one of his marshals was behind time.






Collision, (kôl liz' un), the act of Corps, (kór), a body of soldiers; striking together; a striking to- a division or part of an army. gether, as of two hard bodies.

Reserve, (re zërv'), a select body 'Eternity, (e têr' ni tl), the state of troops, in the rear of an army, or condition which begins at death; drawn up in order of battle, kept everlastingness.

back to sustain the other lines as * Column, (kolum), a body of may be necessary. troops drawn up in files, or rows,

Grouchy, (gr8 shd), Marshal with a narrow front.

Grouchy, who was expected to aid * Pre cïp' i tāt ed, thrown head. Napoleon Bonaparte, emperor of long; pressed violently; hurried. France, with a body of troops, at

• Rē' en force' ment, additional Waterloo, June 18th, 1815 ; but, as force ; additional troops or force to he failed to appear, the French were increase the strength of an army, defeated by the Allies under the or ships to strengthen a navy.

Duke of Wellington

4. A leading firm in commercial circles had long struggled against bankruptcy. As it had enormous assets' in Căl'ifor’niä, it expected remittances by a certain day, and if the suns promised arrived, its credit, its honor, and its future prosperity would be preserved. But week after week elapsed without bringing the gold.

5. At last came the fatal day on which the firm had bills maturing* to enormous amounts. The steamer was telegraphed at daybreak; but it was found, on inqui'ry, that she brought no funds, and the house failed. The next arrival brought nearly half ă million to the insolvents, but it was too late ; they were ruined because their agent, in remitting,' had been behind time.

6. A condemned man was led out for execution. He had taken human life, but under cir'cumstances of the greatest provocation, and public sympathy was active in his behalf Thousands had signed petitions for a reprieve, a favorable answer had been expected the night before, and though it had not come, even the sheriff felt confident that it would yet arrive in season.

7. Thus the morning passed without the appearance of the messenger. The last moment was up. The prisoner took his place on the drop, the cap was drawn over his eyes, the bolt was drawn, and a lifeless body swung revolving in the wind.

8. Just at that moment a horseman came into sight, galloping down hill, his steed covered with foam. He carried a packet in his right hand, which he waved rapidly to the crowd. He was the

express rider with the reprieve. But he had come too late. A comparatively innocent man had died an ignominious' death, because a watch had been five minutes too slow, making its bearer arrive behind time.

As’ sets, property of a person

* Re mỉt ting, giving up; send. who is dead, or of a debtor who is ing back; sending money, bills, and anable to pay; the entire property the like, to a distance. of all sorts belonging to a merchant 6 Ex'e cũ' tion, the act of carry or to a trading company.

ing into effect; a putting to death Ma tūr' ing, ripening; becoming for crime. full-grown or perfect; reaching the • Re priēve', the delay for a time time fixed for payment; becoming of an execution. due, as a note.

Ig'no min' i oŭs, marked with * In sõlv'ents, persons who are public disgrace or dishonor; shame unable to pay their debts.

ful; infamous.


[blocks in formation]

9. It is continually so in life. The best laid plans, the most important affairs, the fortunes of individuals, the weal' of nations, honor, happiness, life itself, are daily sacrificed because somebody is “ behind time.” There are men who always fail in whatever they undertake, simply because they are “behind time.There are others who put off reformation year by year, till death seizes them, and they perish unrepentant, because forever behind time.

10. Five minutes in a crisis is worth years. It is but a little period, yět it has often saved a fortune or redeemed a people. If there is one virtue that should be cultivated more than another by him who would succeed in life, it is punctuality ; if there is one error that should be avoided, it is being behind time.




[ocr errors]

10-MORROW, didst thou say?

Methought I heard Horātiö say, To-morrow!
Go to — I will not hear of it. To-morrow?
It is a sharper,—who stakes penury
Against thy plenty ;-takes thy ready cash,
And pays thee naught but wishes, hopes, and promises,
The cŭrrency of idiots ;'-injurious bankrupt,

That gulls the easy creditor! 2.

To-morrow? It is a period no where to be found In all the hoary registers of Time, Unless perchance in the fool's calendar." Wisdom disclaims the word, nor holds society With those who own it. No, my dear Horātiö, 'Tis Fancy's child, and Folly is its father; Wrought of such stuff as dreams are ; and as baseless As the fantastico visions of the evening. Wéal, a sound, healthy, or pros- * Hòar' y, white or gray with age. perous condition of a person or thing. • Cal en dar, an orderly arrange

* Id' i ot, a natural fool; a fooi ment of the divisions of time, as days, from birth.

weeks, months, etc.; an almanac • Gălls, cheats ; deceives

• Fan tås' tic, fanciful ; not real.




1 M


3. But soft, my friend, arrest the present moments,

For, be assured, they all are ărrant'telltales;
And though their flight be silent, and their pafhs
Trackless as the winged couriers of the air,
They post to Heaven, and there record thy folly;
Because, though stationed on the important watch,
Thou, like a sleeping, faithlèss sentinel,

Didst let them pass unnoticed, unimproved.
4. And know, for that thou slumberedst on thy guard,

Thou shalt be made to answer at the bar
For every fugitive; and when thou thus
Shalt stand implēaded' at the high tribunal

Of hoodwinked' Justice, —who shall tell thy audit ? 5. Then stay the present instant, dear Horatio

Imprint the marks of wisdom on its wings ;
'Tis of more worth than kingdoms! far more precious
Than all the crimson treasures of life's fount.
0! let it not elude thy grasp,-
But, like the good old pātriarch upon rec'ord,
Hold the fleet angel fast until he bless thee.




[ocr errors]

VIME we ought to consider as a sacred trust, committed to us

by God; of which we are now the depositaries, and are to render an account at the last. That portion of it which he has allotted to us is intended partly for the concerns of this world, partly for those of the next. Let each of these occupy, in the distribution of our time, that space which properly belongs to it.

2. Let not the hours of hospitality and pleasure interfere with

* Ar' rant, infamous; vile; mean. of an account or of accounts, with

· Im plēad' ed, prosecuted; sued the hearing of the persons concerned, at law.

by proper officers or other persons * Hood' winked, blinded by cov- appointed; final account. ering the eyes. Justice, because im- Pā' tri arch, Jacob, see Genesis, partial, is represented with a band- chapter XXXII. age over her eyes.

• De pos' it a ry, a guardian ; a Audit, (&' dit), an examination person trusted with something.


« AnteriorContinuar »