Page images

14. “ An act that caused me more pain than any other when I was a boy, was the killing of a bird. It was a pretty little chipping bird. The event happened in this wise. The bird had built its nest on a thorn bush that stood near the garden, in front of my father's house. I used to go and look at the nest every day, and was delighted, one morning, to find in it a beautiful little speckled egg. In a few days, the nest contained five eggs.

15. “ One morning, just before school time, I went out to take a look at the bird's nest. The bird few up chipping from the nest, as I approached, and alighted in an apple tree near by, the leaves of which hid her from my view. I took up a stone and threw it violently into the tree, without the least design of doing any harm.

16. “But, to my astonishment, the poor little bird dropped through the thick branches, and fell to the ground. I ran trembling to it, and taking it up, held it in my hands. It struggled a little, raised its head feebly, then dropped it, gasped, and breathed no more.

17. “I would have given the world to have restored that little bird to life; but I could not do it. I took it and placed it on the nest, where it had rested in such apparent safety only a few minutes before. I could not go to school, I felt so badly.

18. “It would have melted any but a heart of stone, to see the mate of the little bird come and sit on the bush, and mourn the death of its companion that lay motionless upon its nest. I always think of this bird, when I go into the country and see a little bird flying and hopping from branch to branch, though many a summer has come and gone since then.

19. “ Now, Harry, that little incident is really touching; and I wish that every one who kills a bird could hear you relate it.”

20. “ Allow me to read to you a passage that I cut the other day out of an old review:

21. “. It may perhaps be said, that a discourse on the iniquity and evil consequences of murder, would come with a bad grace from one who was himself a murderer. So it would ; but not if it came from the lips of a repentant murderer.

22. “ Never shall I forget an incident which occurred to me during my boyish days -- an incident which many will deem trifling and unimportant, but which has been particularly interesting to my heart, as giving origin to sentiments and rules of action, which have since been dear to me.

23. “. Besides a singular elegance of form and beauty of plumage, the eye of the common lapwing is peculiarly soft and impressive. It is large, black, and full of lustre, rolling, as it seems to do, in liquid gems of dew.

24. “ I had shot a bird of this beautiful species; but, on taking it up, I found that it was not dead. I had wounded its breast, and some big drops of blood stained the pure whiteness of its feathers.

25. “As I held the hapless bird in my hand, hundreds of its companions hovered around my head, uttering continued shrieks of distress, and, by their plaintive cries, appeared to bemoan the fate of one, to whom they were connected by ties of the most tender and interesting nature; whilst the poor wounded bird continually moaned, with a kind of inward, wailing note, expressive of the keenest anguish; and, ever and anon, it raised its drooping head, and turning towards the wound in its breast, touched it with its bill, and then looked up in my

face with an expression that I have no wish to forget, for it had the power to touch my heart whilst yet a boy, when a thousand dry precepts in the academical closet, would have been of no avail.'"

26. “ Well, now, Harry, that's touching. A lapa ing! Hang me, if I shall have the heart to touch another lapwing."

“But other birds, Jack, have feelings as well as lapwings.”


1. A LOBSTER from the water came,

And saw another just the same
In form and size, but gayly clad
In scarlet clothing; while she had
No other raiment to her back
Than her old suit of greenish black.

2. “ So ho!” she cried, "'tis very fine ;

Your dress was yesterday like mine;
And in the mud below the sea,
You lived, a crawling thing, like me.
But now, because you've come ashore,
You've grown so proud, that what you wore
Your strong old suit of bottle-green
You think improper to be seen.

3. “ To tell the truth, I don't see why

You should be better dressed than I;
And I should like a suit of red
As bright as yours, from foot to head.
I think I'm quite as good as you,
And might be clothed in scarlet, too.”.

4. “ Will you be boiled,” her owner said,

“ To be arrayed in glowing red ?
Come here, my discontented miss,
And hear the scalding kettle hiss ;
Will you go in there and be boiled,
To have your dress, so old and soiled,

Exchanged for one of scarlet hue?
“ Yes," cried the lobster, " that I'll do,
And twice as much, if needs must be,
To be as gayly dressed as she.”
Then, in she made a fatal dive,
And never more was seen alive!

5. Now, if you ever chance to know

Of one as fond of dress and show
As that vain lobster, and withal
As envious, you'll perhaps recall
To mind her folly, and the plight
In which she reappeared to light.
She had obtained a bright array,
But for it, thrown herself away!
Her life and death were best untold,
But for the moral they unfold!


1. To those who are thoughtful, there are every. day opportunities to prove the instability, not only of riches, but of all earthly things. This is not, perhaps, a very pleasant conclusion to arrive at, but it is nevertheless a very useful one. For it leads us to seek after, and lean upon, another and higher support - one that is unfailing, and one that may always be ours. That support is God.

2. Think not too much on earthly things then, children. Sigh not after riches and pleasures, and the unstable things of this world, but while you are yet young, learn to seek after Him who is everenduring — “Remember thy Creator in the days of thy youth!” Heed this admonition, and you will. : be good and happy. So ends my sermon.

3. Now for my story

a story of one who stum. bled

upon the truth that earthly things are unstable, and arrived at the right goal through a very crooked and erroneous path.

4. “Mother,” said Jonathan, “I am tired of digging and scratching among the stumps and rocks, for a living on this old farm. If I don't find some easier way of getting a living, I'm no Yankee, that is all.”

5. “ Why, Jonathan,” exclaimed his mother, pushing up her spectacles, and looking at her son with the most alarmed air, “how can you talk in such a way about this nice farm, where your blessed father

, man and boy, got his living for fifty years ? It was good enough for him, and I am sure it is good enough for his son."

6. " That is just one of your old-fashioned notions, mother," said Jonathan, good naturedly ; “ don't every generation grow wiser, and ought it not to show its wisdom by turning its back on old, stupid, foolish customs?

7. “Why, Jonathan! - do you call your father's notions stupid and foolish ?” said the old lady, dropping her knitting work in her lap. “O dear! don't talk disrespectfully of our old farm.”

8. “I won't, mother! I'll reverence every stump and stone in the whole clearing; but then I don't think I shall grow

rich on it. I want to be rich. I am determined to get rich.”

9. “Don't sigh after riches, Jonathan; no good ever comes of that,” said his mother : rich enough for your father, and I am sure his son might be contented.”

10. “ Well, mother, I will, when I have tried my luck a while somewhere else. I am going to seek my fortune in the old country.”

11. “In the old country!" screamed the old lady, in utter dismay

“ You can't mean it, Jonathan!"

we were

« PreviousContinue »