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npon the walls; and beneath the feet lay the rich fabrics of Persia.* Rare vases of flowers stood on the marble stands; and their perfume went up like incense before the lifelike pictures shrined in their frames above.
2. In/the great hall stood immense tables, covered with delicacies from all lands and climes. Upon the sideboard glittered massive plate, and the rich glass of Murano.f Music, now low and soft, now high and bold, floated in through the open casement, and was answered at intervals by tones of magic sweetness.
3. All was ready. The noble and gifted poured into the gorgeous saloons. Silks rustled, plumes waved, and jeweled embroideries flashed from Genoa J velvet. Courtly congratulations fell from every lip; for the duke had taken a new step in the path to power.
4. Wit sparkled, the laugh went round; and his guests pledged him in wine that many years had mellowed. Proudly the duke replied. But soon his brow darkened, and his cheek paled with passion; for his son sat motionless before his untasted cup.
5. "Wherefore is this?" he angrily demanded. "When did my first-born learn to insult his father?"
6. The graceful stripling rose from his seat, and meekly knelt before his father. His sunny curls fell back from his upturned face; and his youthful countenance was radiant-with a brave and generous spirit.
7. "Father," said he, "I last night learned a lesson which sunk deep into my heart! Let me repeat it; and then, if you desire it, I will drain the cup. I saw a laborer standing at the door of a gay shop. The earnings of a week were in his
* Persia, a country of Asia. Its inhabitants are distinguished for their skill lu dyeing, and in silk and woolen manufactures.
t Mu-r'j'no, a town in Austrian Italy, on an island one mile north of Venice. It has been celebrated for its beautiful mirrors and other glass wares, since the eleventh century.
i Ge no'a, a famous seaport city of Northern Italy. It is renowned for its mana fectures of rich velvet and silk goods.
hands. His wife and famishing little ones clung to his garments, and besought him not to enter. But his thirst* was strong; and he tore himself from them; and but for the care of strangers his starving family would have perished!
8. "Passing a splendid mansion, I saw a noble and majestic form descend the wide steps. His wife put back the curtains, and watched him eagerly and wistfully as he rode away. She was fair and lovely; but the shadow of a sad heart was fast falling on her beauty.
9. "I saw her gaze around upon the desolate splendor of her saloon, and then clasp her hands in the wild agony of despair! When I returned, her husband, with haggard looks, lay helpless on a couch; and the-heart-broken wife sat weep-, ing beside him!
10. "Once more I paused. A carriage stopped before a palace. It was rich with burnished gold; and the armorial bearings of a duke were visible in the moonbeams. I waited for its owner to alight; but he did not move, and gave no orders.
11. "Soon the servants came crowding out. Sorrowfully they lifted him in their arms; and 1 saw that some of the jewels were torn off his mantle; and his plumed cap was torn and soiled, as if by the pressure of many footsteps. They bore him into the palace; and I wondered if his duchess wept like the beautiful wife of the citizen.
12. "As I looked on all this, my tutor told me that it was the work of the red wine! I shuddered, father, and resolved never again to taste it, lest I, too, should fall. But your word is law to me. Shall I drain the cup?"
13. The astonished duke, placing his hand gravely but kindly upon his son's head, answered, "No, my son, touch it not! It is truly poison. It fires the brain, darkens the intellect, and destroys the soul! Put it away; and you shall grow up wise and virtuous, — a blessing to yourself and country."
14. He glanced around the circle. Surprise and admiration were on every face; and, moved by the same impulse, all arose, while one of the number thus addressed the intrepid boy.
15. "You have indeed done nobly! The just rebuke yon have so boldly given shall not soon be forgotten. We have congratulated your father upon the passing season. We now congratulate him upon that best of all possessions, a son worthy ot France and of himself!"
16. The haughty courtiers bowed a cordial assent; and each clasped the hand of the boy. But the father took him to his heart; and even now, among the treasured relics of the family, is numbered that "silver cup."
Questions. —1,2. Describe the palace of the duke. 3- Who were assembled there? 4. How did the company appear? 7-12. Why did not the duke's son drink .his glass of wine? 13. What did the duke say to him on hearing his reasons? 13. What will wine do? 14-16. Was the son commended for his conduct ? — What is -the character of the composition of this piece? What rules are applicable in reading such composition? Point out the questions and their answers in the piece, and give the rule for reading each.
1. Se-duc'titb, tending to lead astray.
2. De-lu'sive, tending to mislead the mind. 4. Fd'oi-tite, one who flees from danger. 5. Thi-bu'nals, courts of justice.
6. Crest'ed, having a crest or comb.
6. A-gil'i-ty, quickness of motion.
7. Frag'ile, easily broken.
8. Fe-ro'cious, fierce, savage.
15. So-bri'e-ty, freedom from intoxication.
Errors.—In-tem'^rance for In-tem|per-ance; de-sa/e'ful for de-ceii"ful; ole dage for old age} cdlm for cdlm; thus'ty for thirsty; whis'lin for whis'iling-.
INTEMPERANCE. — D. C. Eddy.
1. Intemperance, like other vices, is deceitful and seductive. It frequently presents a beautiful exterior, while within it is all corruption, and as loathsome as a sepulcher, full of dead men's bones! Youth is charmed and cheated by it; and it often covers old age with shame and disgrace.
2. You have seen a calm cloud appear in the heavens in a clear, summer day. At a distance, it looked beautiful Its, shining edges glittered with delusive splendor; and it moved up the sky as majestically as the chariot of Jehovah.
3. As it approached, the beauty disappeared. On man below, it cast dark, threatening glances; the golden fringes vomited forth forked lightning; and what afar seemed mellow music was soon found to be harsh and terrific thunder!
4. Soon the tempest was abroad on the earth. The beasts of the field fled for shelter to the shadow of the high rock; the yellow harvest of the husbandman was swept away; and man himself fled, a fugitive before the storm.
5. Intemperance is like that cloud 1 It promises shelter and shade to the -thirsty spirit, but soon bursts upon human life with all the fury of the tempest. It sends its blast and sweeps its tide into the domestic retreat, across tribunals of justice, and up to the very altars of the. sanctuary!
6. Look at that huge serpent as he winds himself noiselessly through a bed of flowers, anon lifting his crested head above the foliage, and sporting himself with many a gambol! With intense delight, you watch his movements and admire his beauty, agility, and strength.
7. Even the wild-flowers, which bloomed in his path, seemed to bend forward to kiss his beautiful form; and he, in return, moved aside, lest he should crush the fragile things, and scatter their tiny leaves.
8. As you gazed, a mother and her child came along, and stooped to pluck the flowers. Then was the ferocious nature of the monster developed. Around those shrinking forms, he coiled himself, and, with a hissing sound, struck them with his fangs!
9. Crushed and wounded, the child and mother, were to die; while the splendid monster moved away, and was soon lost from view in a dense forest!
10. Intemperance is such a serpent! To youth, it presents a beautiful exterior. The wine sparkles in the cup; and the guy festival attracts the unthinking throng. "At last, it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder I"
11. Within its coil, the victim groans and writhes in agony; nntil the poisonj like boiling blood, flows through all his veins, reaching his brain and setting his soul on Are, and he falls a victim to the deadly foe!
12. You have seen the ocean, calm and tranquil. As far as the eye could reach, not a ruffle disturbed the surface of the waters, Like a sea of glass, it reflected the form of every bird which took passage over it, and gave back from its clear bosom, the polished beauty of the heavens above.
13. Invited by the serenity of ocean and sky, -the marintr launched his vessel, and spread his canvas to catch the gentle breeze. Soon a change came on. The wind blew like the hurricane. The waves tumbled and foamed upon one another. The ship plunged, and quivered, and strained in the trough of the sea!
14. Sunken rocks now lifted their huge forms and sharp peaks high above the water, and anon were buried deep by the mountain billow. Morning came; and a vessel, without mast, or rudder, or sail, or chart, or compass, or crew, floated upon the bosom of the surge!
15. Intemperance is like that ocean. To the youthful voy-' ager, it seems as calm and placid as a sea of glass. But, as he ventures out, as the green hills of sobriety disappear, the waves of destruction begin to dash around him.
1G. The whistling blasts of poverty make frightful music in his ears; the moaning of the pitiless storm disturbs his dream of pleasure; and soon, ah, how soon! he is tossing, an unmanageable wreck, upon the shoreless sea of irretrievable ruin!
Questions. — 1. What is the character of intemperance? 2 - 5. To what is it compared? 6-11. In what respect does it resemble a serpent? 12-16. What resemblance is there between intemperance and the ocean? " What should all persons do iu order to avoid intemperance?—Point out the diphthongs, digraph}, and triphthongs in this piece.