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XI. Dißonelty punished. AN usurer, having lost an hundred pounds in a bag,
promised a reward of ten pounds to the person wlio should restore it. A man having brought it to him, demanded the reward. The usurer, loath to give the reward now that he had got the bag, alleged, after the bag was opened, that there were an hundred and ten pounds in it when he loft it. The usurer being called before the judge, unwarily acknowledged that the seal was broke open in his presence, and that there were no more at that time but a hundred pound in the bag. “ You fay,” 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."
XII. The Picture. SIR IR WILLIAM LELY, a famous painter in the reign of
Charles I. agreed before-hand 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 endeavoured to beat down the price, alleging, that if he did not purchase it, it would lie on the painter's hand. " That's your mis. take," says Sir William ; * For I can sell it at double the price I demand.” “ How can that be,” says the alderman, “ for 'tis like nobody but myself?" “ 'True," replied Sir William ; but I will 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.
XIII. The two Bees, ON a fine morning in May, two bees set forward in
quest of honey; the one wise and temperate, the other careless and extravagant. They soon arrived at a garden enriched with aromatic herbs, the most fragrant Howers, and the most delicious fruits. They regaled themselves for a time on the various dainties that were
spread before them; the one loading his thigh at intervals with provisions for the hive against the distant winter ; the other revelling in sweets, without regard to any thing but his prefent gratification. At-length they found a wide-mouthed phial, that hung beneath the bough of a peach-tree, filled with honey ready tempered, and exposed to their taste in the most alluring manner. The thoughtless epicure, spite of all his friend's remonstrances, plunged headlong into the vessel, resolving to indulge himself in all the pleasures of sensuality. The philofopher, on the other hand, fipped a little with caution ; but, being suspicious of danger, few off to fruits and flowers; where, by the moderation of his meals, he improved his relish for the true enjoyment of them. In the evening, however, he called upon his friend, to inquire whether he would return to the hive; but he found him furfeited in sweets, which he was as unable to leave as to enjoy. Clogged in his wings, enfeebled in his feet, and his whole frame totally enervated, he was but just able to bid his friend adieu, and to lament with his latest breath, that though a taste of pleasure might quicken the relish of life, an unrestrained indulgence is inevitable destruction.
XIV. Beauty and Deformity.
not acquired, either by reading or conversation, any knowledge of the animals which inhabit foreign regions,
anchester to see an exhibition of wild bearts The fize and figure of the elephant ftruck him with awe; and he viewed the rhinoceros with astonishment. But his attention was soon withdrawn from these animals, and directed to another of the most elegant and beautiful form ; and he stood contemplating with filent admiration the gloffy smoothness of his hair, the blackness and regularity of the streaks with which he was marked, the symmetry of his limbs, and, above all, the placid sweetness of his countenance. What is the name of this lovely animal, faid he to the keeper, which you have placed near one of the uglieít bealts in your collection, as if you meant to contrait beauty with deformity? Keware, young man, replied the intelligent keeper, of being fo easily captivated with external appearance. The animal which you admire is called a tiger; and, notwithlanding the meekness of his looks, he is fierce and favage beyond description : I can neither terrify him by corre&tion, nor tame him by indulgence. But the other beast, which you despise, is in the highest degree docile, affectionate, and useful. For the benefit of man, he traverses the fandy deserts of Arabia, where drink and pa. sture are seldom to be found ; and will continue fix or leven days without sustenance, yet still patient of labour. His hair is manufa&ured into clothing ; his fielh is deemed wholesome nourishment; and the milk of the female is much valued by the Arabs. The camel, therefore, for such is the name given to this animal, is more worthy of your admiration than the tiger ; notwithstanding the inelegance of his make, and the two bunches upon his back. For mere external beauty is of little estimation ; and deformity, when associated with amiable dispositions and useful qualities, does not preclude our respect and approbation.
XV. Remarkable infiance of Friendship, DAMON and Pythias, of the Pythagorean feet in phi
lofophy, lived in the time of Dionysius the tyrant of Sicily. ''Their mutual friendship was so strong, that they were ready to die for one another. One of the two (for it is not known which) being condemned to death by the tyrant, obtained leave to go into his own country to settle his affairs, on condition that the other should consent to be imprisoned in his stead, and put to death for him if he did not return before the day of execution. The attention of every one, and especially of the tyrant himself, was excited to the highest pitch, as .every body was curious to see what should be the event of so strange an affair. When the time was almoft elapsed, and he who was gone did not appear, the rashness of the other, whose fanguine friendship had put him upon running fo seemingly desperate a hazard, was universally blamed. But he ftill declared, that he had not the least shadow of doubt in his mind of his friend's fidelity. The event showed how well he knew him. He came in due time, and surrendered himself to that
fate which he had no reason to think he fhould escape ; and which he did not desire to escape by leaving his friend to suffer it in his place. Such fidelity softened even the favage heart of Dionyfius himself. He pardoned the condemned; he gave the two friends to one another, and begged that they would take himself in for a third,
XVI. Dionyfius and Damocles, DIONYSIUS, the tyrant of Sicily, showed how far he
was from being happy, even whilft he abounded in riches, and all the pleasures which riches can procure. Damocles, one of his flatterers, was complimenting him upon his power, his treasures, and the magnificence of his royal state, and affirming that no monarch ever was greater or happier than he. “ Have you a mind, Damocles," says the king, “ to taste this happiness, and know by experience what my enjoyments are, of which you have fo high an idea ?” Damocles gladly accepted the offer. Upon which the king ordered, that a royal banquet fhould be prepared, and a gilded couch placed for him, covered with rich embroidery, and side-boards loaded with gold and silver plate of immense value. Pages of extraordinary beauty were ordered to wait on him at table, and to obey his commands with the greatest, readiness and the most profound submission. Neither ointments, chaplets of Aowers, nor rich perfumes were wanting. The table was loaded with the most exquisite delicacies of every kind. Damocles fancied himielt a. mongst the gods. In the midst of all his happiness, he fees let down from the roof, exactly over his neck, as he lay indulging himself in state, a glittering sword hung by a single hair. The fight of destruction thus threatening him from on high, foon put a stop to his joy and revelling. The pomp of his attendance, and the glitter of the carved plate, gave him no longer any pleafure. He dreads to stretch forth his hand to the table ; he throws off the chaplet of roses; he haftens to remove from his dangerous situation ; and at lait begs the king to restore him to his former humble condition, having no desire to enjoy any longer luch a dreadful kind of happiness,
XVII. Character of Catiline. LUCIUS CATILINE, by birth a Patrician, was by na
ture endowed with superiour advantages both bodily and mental ; but his difpofitions were corrupt and wicked from his youth, his supreme delight was in violence, slaughter, rapine, and inteftine confusions; and such works were the employment of his earliest years. His constitution qualified him for bearing hunger, cold, and want of sleep, to a degree exceediug belief. His mind was daring, fubtle, unsteady. There was no character which he could not assume and put off at pleasure. Rapacious of what belonged to others, prodigal of his own, violently bent on whatever became the object of his pursuit. He possessed a considerable share of eloquence, but little folid knowledge. His insatiable temper was ever pushing him to grasp at what was immoderate, romantic, and out of his reach.
About the time of the disturbances. raised by Sylla, Catiline was seized with a violent lust of power ; nor did he at all hesitate about the means, so he could but attain his purpose of raising himself to supreme dominion. His restless spirit was in a continual ferment, occasioned by the confufion of his own private affairs and by the horrours of his guilty conscience ; both which lie had brought upon himself by living the life above described. He was encouraged in his ambitious projects by the general corruption of manners which then prevailed amongst a people infected with two vices, not less opposite to one another in their natures than mischievous in their tendencies ; I mean, Luxury and Avarice.
XVIII. Avarice and Luxury. There were two very powerful tyrants engaged in a
perpetual war against each other : the name of the firit was Luxury, and of the second Avarice. The aim of each of them was no less than universal monarchy over the hurts of mankind. Luxury had many generals under him who did him great fervice; as Pleafure, Mirth, Pomp, and Fashion. Avarice was likewile. very strong in his officers, being faithfully served by Hunger, Industry, Care, and Watchfulnefs á he had