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laudable improvement of mind, or of fortune, to mere sensual gratifications; Mistaken man! said I, you are providing pain for yourself, instead of pleasure ; you give too much for your whistle.
9. If I saw one fond of fine clothes, fine furniture, fine equipages, all above his fortune, for which he contracted debts, and ended his career in prison ; Alas! said I, he has paid dear, very dear for his whistle.
10. In short, I conceived that great part of the miseries of mankind, are brought upon them by the false estimate they make of the value of things, and by their giving too much for their whistles.
SECTION VIII. A generous mind does not repine at the advantages others
enjoy. 1. Ever charming, ever new,
When will the landscape tire the view ?
Each gives each a double charm. Alexis was repeating these lines to Euphronius, who was reclining upon a seat in one of his fields, enjoying the real beauties of nature which the poet describes.
2. The evening was serene, and the landscape appeared in all the gay attire of light and shade. " A man of lively imagination," said Euphronius, " has a property in every thing which he sees; and you may now.conceive yourself to be the proprietor of the vast expanse around us; and exult in the happiness of myriads of living creatures, that inhabit the woods, the lawns, and the mountains, which present themselves to our view." The house, garden, and pleasure grounds of Eugenio, formed a part of the prospect; and Alexis expressed a jocular wish, that he had more than an imaginary property in those possessions.
3. "Banish the ungenerous desire," said Euphronius,
“ for if you indulge such emotions as these, your heart will soon become a prey to envy and discontent. Enjoy, with gratitude, the blessings which you have received from the liberal hand of Providence ; increase them if you can, with honor and credit, by a diligent attention to the business for which you are designed: and though your own cup may not be filled, rejoice that your neighbor's overflows with plenty. Honor the abilities, and einulate the virtues of Eugenio ; but repine not that he is wiser, richer, or more powerful than yourself.”
4. His fortune is expended in acts of humanity, generosity, and hospitality. His superior talents are applied to the instruction of his children ; to the assistance of his friends; to the encouragement of agriculture, and of every useful art; and to support the cause of liberty, and the rights of mankind. And his power is exerted to punish the guilty, to protect the innocent, to reward the good, and to distribute justice, with an equal hand, to all. I feel the affection of a brother for Eugenio; and esteem myself singularly happy in his friendship.
SECTION IX. Insolent deportment towards inferiors reproved. 1. SacchAPISSA was about fifteen years of age. Nature had given her a high spirit, and education had fostered it into pride and haughtiness. This temper was displayed in every little competition, which she had with her companions. She could not brook the least opposition from those whom she regarded as her inferiors; and if they did not instantly submit to her inclination, she assumed all her airs of dignity, and treated them with the most supercilious contempt. She domineered over her father's servants; always commanding their good offices with the voice of authority, and disdaining the gentle language of request.
2. Euphronius was one day walking with her, when the gardener brought her a nosegay, which she had ordered him to collect. “Blockhead!" she cried, as he delivered it to her, “what strange flowers you have chosen ; and how awkwardly you have put them together !" “Blame not the man with so much harshness," said Euphronius, " because his taste is different from yours! he meant to please you, and his good intention merits your thanks and not your censure." " Thanks!" replied Saccharissą, scornfully. “He is paid for his services, and it is his duty to perform them.”
3. “And if he does perform them, he acquits himself of his duty," returned Euphronius." The obligation is fulfilled on his side; and you have no more right to upbraid him for executing your orders according to his best ability, than he has to claim from your father more wages than were covenanted to be given him." “ But he is a poor dependent," said Saccharissa, “and earns a livelihood by his daily labor."
4. “That livelihood," answered Euphronius, “ is the just price of his labor; and if he receive nothing farther from your hands, the account is balanced between you. But a generous person compassionates the lot of those, who are obliged to toil for his benefit or gratification. He lightens their burdens ; treats them with kindness and affection ; studies to promote their interest and happiness; and, as much as possible, conceals from them their servi. tude, and his superiority.”
5. On the distinctions of rank and fortune, he does not set too high a value ; and though the circumstances of life require that there should be hewers of wood, and drawers of water, yet he forgets not that mankind are by nature equal ; alí being the offspring of God, the subjects of his moral government, and joint heirs of immortality. A conduct directed by such principles, gives a master claims, which no money can purchase, no labor can repay. His affection can only be compensated by love; his kinda ness by gratitude ; and his cordiality, by the service of the heart.
SECTION X. Arachne and Melissa; or, the happiness of cultivating a
good temper. 1. A good temper is one of the principal ingredients of happiness. This, it will be said, is the work of nature, and must be born with us; and so in a good measure it is; yet it may be acquired by art, and improved by culture. Almost every object that attracts our notice, has a bright and a dark side,
2. He that habituates himself to look at the displeasing side, will sour his disposition, and consequently impair his happiness ; while he, who beholds it on the bright side, insensibly meliorates his temper; and, by this means, improves his own happiness, and the happiness of all about him.
3. Arachne and Melissa are two friends. They are alike in birth, fortune, education, and accomplishments. They were originally alike in temper too; but by different management, are grown the reverse of each other. Arachne has accustomed herself to look only on the dark side of every object.
4. If a new literary work makes its appearance, with a thousand beauties, and but one or two blemishes, she slightly skims over the passages that should give her pleasure, and dwells upon those only that fill her with dislike. If you show her an excellent portrait, she looks at some part of the drapery, that has been neglected, or to a hand or finger which has been left unfinished.
5. Her garden is a very beautiful one, and kept with great neatness, and elegance; but if you take a walk with her into it, she talks to you of nothing but blights and storms, of snails and caterpillars, and how impossible it is to keep it from the litter of falling leaves, and wormcasts.
6. If you sit down in one of her temples, to enjoy a delightful prospect, she observes to you, that there is too much wood, or too little water ; that the day is too sunny, or too gloomy; that it is sultry, or windy; and finishes with a long harangue upon the wretchedness of our climate.
7. When you return' with her to the company, in hopes of a little cheerful conversation, she casts a gloom over all, by giving you the history of her own bad health, or of some melancholy accident that has befallen one of her children. Thus she insensibly sinks her own spirits, and the spirits of all around: her; and at last discovers, she knows not why, that her friends are grave.
8. Melissa is the reverse of all this. By habituating herself to look on the bright side of objects; she preserves a perpetual cheerfulness in herself, which, by a kind of happy contagion, she communicates to all about her. If any misfortune has befallen. her, she considers that it might have been worse, and is thankful to providence for an escape.
9. She rejoices in solitude, as it gives her an opportunity of knowing herself; and in society, because she communicates the happiness she enjoys. She opposes every man's virtues to his failings, and can find out something to cherish and applaud, in the very worst of her acquaintance.
10. She opens every book with a desire to be entertained or instructed ; and therefore seldom misses what she looks for.-Walk with her, though it be but on a heath or a common, and she will discover numberless beauties, unobserved before, in the hills, the dales, the brooms, brakes, and rariegated flowers of weeds and poppies. She enjoys every change of weather, and of season, as bringing with it some advantages of health or convenience.
11. In conversation, you never hear her repeating her own grievances, or those of her neighbors, or, (what is worst of all,) their faults and imperfections. If f any thing of the latter kind is mentioned in her hearing, she has the address to turn it into entertainment by changing the most edious railing into a pleasant raillery.
12. Thus Melissa, like the bee, gathers honey from every weed; while Arachne, like the spider, sucks poison from the fairest flowers. The consequence is, that of two tempers, once very nearly allied, the one is for ever sour and dissatisfied, the other always pleased and cheerful; the one spreads a universal gloom, the other a continuad sunshine.
SOCRATES AND LEANDER.
Disrespect to parents is in no case allowable. 1. LEANDER, the eldest son of Socrates; fell into a vios Bent passion with his mother. Socrates was witness to this shameful misbehavior, and attempted the correction of it in the following gentle and rational manner.
2. “Come hither, son," said he, " have you never heard of men, who are called ungrateful ?" "Yes, frequently," answered the youth. “And what is atitude ?" demanded Socrates. “It is to receive a kindness," said: