Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

support of his whole race; and his care le continued to you all, in your love to each other. ECONOMY OF HUMAN LIFE.

SECTION V. . !

Benevolence. 1. WHEN thou considerest thy wants, when thou beholdest thy imperfections, acknowledge his goodness, ( son of humanity! who honoured thee with reason; endued thee with speech; and placed thee in society, to receive and confer reciprocal helps and mutual obligations.. . ..

2. Thy food, thy clothing, thy convenience of habitas tion; thy protection from the injuries, thy enjoyment of the comforts and the pleasures of life; all these thou owest to the assistance of others, and couldst not enjoy but in the bands of society. It is thy duty, therefore, to be a friend to mankind, as it is thy interest that man should be friendly to thee.

3. Rejoice in the happiness and prosperity of thy neighbour. Open not thy ear to slander: the faults and failings of men give pain to a benevolent heart. Desire to do good, and search out occasions for it; in removing the oppression of another, the virtuous mind relieves itself.

4. Shut not thine ear against the cries of the poor ; nor harden thy heart against the calamities of the innocent. When the fatherless call upon thee, when the widow's heart is sunk, and she implores thy assistance with tears of sorrow; pity their affliction, and extend thy hand to those who have none to help them. When thou seest the naked wanderer of the street, shivering with cold, and destitute of habitation, let bounty open thy heart; let the wings of charity shelter him from death, that thy own soul may live.

5. Whilst the poor man groans on the bed of sickness: whilst the unfortunate languish in the horrors of a dungeon; or the hoary head of age lifts up a feeble eye to thee for pity; how canst thou riot in superfluous enjoyments regardless of their wants, unfeeling of their woes?

ECONOMY OF HUMAN LIFE.

EQUNU

SECTION VI. Ingratitude to our Supreme Benefactor, is highly culpable.

1. ANTAPANES was distinguished with peculiar favour by a wise, powerful, and good prince. A magnificent palace, surrounded with a delightful garden, was provided for his residence. He partook of all the luxuries of his sovereign's table, was invested with extensive authority, and adınitted to the honour of a free intercourse with his gracious mas. ter. But Atabanes was insensible of the advantages which he enjoyed'; his heart glowed not with gratitude and respect; he avoided the society of his benefactor, and abu. sed his bounty.,

2. “I detest such a character,” said Alexis, with generous indignation ! It is your own picture which I have drawn,” replied Euphronius. The great Potentate of heaven and earth has placed you in a world which displays the highest beauty, order, and magnificence; and which abounds with every means of convenience, enjoyment, and happiness. He has furnished you, with such powers of bo. dly and mind, as give you dominion over the fisies of the sea, the fowls of the air, and the beasts of the field. Ilc has invited you to hold cominunion with him, and to exalt your own nature, by the love and imitation of his divine perfections.

3. “ Yet have your eyes wanderell, with brutal gaze over the fair creation, unconscious of the mighty hand from which it sprung. You have rioted in the profusion of na. ture, without suitable emotions of gratitude tothe sovereign Dispenser of all good ; and you have too often slighted the glorious converse, and forgotten the presence of that omni. potent Being, who fills ail space, and exists through all eternity.”

PERCIVAL, SECTION VII.

Speculation and practice. 1. A CERTAIN astronomer was contemplating the moon through his telescope, and tracing the extent of her seas, the height of her mountains, and the number of habitable territories which she contains. « Let him spy what he

pleases," said a clown to his companions ; " he is not nearer to the moon than we are."

2. Shall the same observation be made of you, Alexis ? Do you surpass others in learning, and yet in goodness remain upon a level with the uninstructed vulgar Have you so long gazed at the temple of virtue, without advancing one step towards it? Are you smitten with moral beauty, yet regardless of its attainmen: ? Are you a philosopher in theory, but a novice in practice? The partiali. ty of a father, inclines me to hope, that the reverse is true. I flatler myself, that by having learned to think, you will be qualified to act; and that the rectitude of your conduct will be adequate to your improvements in knowledge.

3. May that wisdom which is justified in her works, be your guide through life! And may you enjoy all the felicity which Aows from a cultivated understanding, pious and well. regulated affections, and extensive benevolence! In, these consist that sovereign good, which ancie:it siges so much extol; which reason recommends, religion authorises, and God approves.

PERCIVAL.

CHAPTER IV.

DESCRIPTIVE PIECES.

SECTION I. :

The Eagle. .. 1. THE Golden Eagle is the largest and the noblest of all those birds that bave received the name of Eagle. It weighs above twelve pounds. Its lergth is three feet; the extent of its wings, seven feet four inches; !he bill is three inches long, and of a deep blue; and the eye of a hazel co. ' lour. In general, these birds are found in mountains and thinly inhalvited countries; and breed among the loftiest cliffs. They choose those places which are remotest front man, upon whose possessions they but seldom make their depredalions, being contented rather to follow the wild

gaine in the forest, than to risk their safety to satisfy their hunger.

2. This fierce animal may be considered among birds, as the lion among quadrupeds: and, in many respects, they have a strong similitude to each other. They are both possessed of force, and an empire over their fellows of the forest. Equally nagnapimous, thev disdain small plunder; and only pursuc animals worthy the conquest. It is not till after having bech long provoked, by the cries of the rook or the magpie, that this generous bird thinks fit to punish them with death.

3. The eagle also distlains to share the plunder of another bird ; and will take up with no other prey than that wiich he has acquired by his own pursuits. How hungry soever he may be, he stoops not to carrion ; and when satiated, never returps to the same carcass, but leaves it for other animals, more rapacious and less delicate than himself. Solitary, like the lion, he keeps the desert to himself alone ; it is as extraordinary to see two pair of eagles in the same niountain, as two lions in the same forest.

4. They keep separate, to find a more ample supply; aad consider the quantity of their game as the best proof of their dominion; Nor does the similitude of these animals stop here; they have both sparkling eyes, and nearly of the same colour; their claws are of the same form, their breath equally strong, and thcir cry equally loud and terrifying. Bred both for war, they are enemies of all society ; alike

fierce, proud, and incapable of being easily tamed. ****** 5. Of all the feathered tribe, the eagle fijes the highest:

and from thence thc ancients have given him the title of the bird of heaven. He possesses also the sharpest sight; but his sense of smelling, though acute, is inferior to that of a vulture. He never pursues, but when his object is in view; and having seized his prey, he sloops from his height, as if to examine its weight, always laying it on the ground before he carries it off. He finds no difficulty in taking up geese and cranes. He also carries away harès, lambs, and kids; and often destroys fawns and calves, to drink their Llood ; and bears a part of their flesh to his retreat.

6. Infants themseives, when left unattended, have been destroyed by these rapacious creatures. An instance is recorded in Scotland, of two children having been carried off by eagles; but fortunately they received no hurt by tlie way; and, the eagles being pursued, the children were found unhurt in the nests, and restored to the affrighted parents.

. The eaglc is thus at all times a formidable neighbour: but peculiarly so when bringing up its young. It is then that the male and female exert all their force and inAustry to supply their offspring. Smith, in bis history of Kerry, relates, that a poor man in that country got a com.. fortable subsistence for his family, during a sunimer of famine, out of an eagle's ncst, by robbing the eaglets of food which was pleutifully supplied by the old ones.

8. He protracted their assiduity beyond the usual time, by clipping the wings and retarding the flight of the young; and very probably also, as I have known inyself, by so tying them, as to increase their cries, which are always found to increase the parent's despatch to procure them provi- . sion. It was fortunate, however, that the old eagles did not surprise the countryman thus employed, as their resentment might have been dangerous. **9. It requires great patience and much art to tame an eagle; and even though taken young, and subdued by long assiduity, yet it is a dangerous comestic, and often turns its force against its master. When brought into the field for the purposes of fowling, the falconer is never sure of its at. tachment: its inpate pride, and love of liberty, still prompt it to regain its native solitudes. Sometimes, however, eagles are brought to have an attachment to their feeder; they are then highly serviceable, and liberally provide for his pleasures and support.

- 10. When the falconer lcts them go from his hand, they play about and hover round liin till their game presents, which they see at an immense distance, and pursue with certain destruction...

11. It is said that the eagle can live inany wecks without food; and that the period of its life exceeds a liundred years.

GOLDSMITH,
SECTION II.

The humming-bird. 1. Or all the birds that flutter in the garden, or paint

« ZurückWeiter »