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While he thus spake, a stranger came up to him, saluting him, and saying, “Be of good comfort, I am going the same road as you, and I am well acquainted with it. Follow me, and be not afraid !”
Upon this the stranger walked before him over steep rocks and along high precipices, and between roaring torrents; and the traveller with cheerful steps followed his leader. They crossed the mountains before it was dark, and reached a delightful valley, the term of their journey, where myrtles and pomegranates were in full blossom.
The traveller then thanked his friend and said, “How shall I recompense thee for thy kindness? for thou hast not only shewn me the right path, but by thy example thou hast given me strength and courage to pursue it."
to the song.
A Countryman one day went to the mansion of a wealthy lord. Here he heard the singing of a bird in a gilt cage. On approaching it, he saw it was a Nightingale. With a feeling of melancholy, he stood and leant upon his staff, and listened
Then the servants of the rich man came to him and said, “Wherefore art thou amazed, that thou standest thus musing there?"
“I am amazed," answered the countryman, “that your master can hear the sad notes of the imprisoned bird in your splendid mansion."
“Thou fool,” replied one of the servants, “ does the song of the Nightingale seem sad to thee in thy fields and woods?”
“No," rejoined the farmer ; "there its song fills one with delight and admiration."
“ Are its notes then different there?” asked the man with a contemptuous smile.
“Certainly," said the countryman. “Our Nightingales, amidst sprays covered with leaves and blossom, chant the praises of renewed Nature; they sing under the open canopy of heaven the song of liberty, and over their brooding mates the notes of love."
At this, the servants raised a loud laugh, and called the countryman a simple clown. But he held his peace, and returned quietly to his cottage and his fields.
THE COURT OF DEATH.
Death, the king of terrors, determined to choose a prime minister; and his pale courtiers, the ghastly train of diseases, were all summoned to attend, when each preferred his claim to the honour of this illustrious office. Fever urged the numbers he destroyed; cold Palsy set forth his pretensions by shaking all his limbs; and Dropsy by his swelled, unwieldy carcase. Gout hobbled up, and alleged his great power in racking every joint; and Asthma's inability to speak was a strong, though silent, argument in favour of his claim. Stone and Cholic pleaded their violence; Plague, his rapid progress in destruction; Consumption, though slow, insisted that he was sure. In the midst of this contention, the court was disturbed with the noise of music, dancing, feasting, and revelry; when immediately a lady entered, with a bold and wanton air, and a flushed and jovial countenance. She was attended, on one hand, by a troop of cooks and bacchanals, and on the other by a train of wanton youths and damsels, who danced to the softest musical instruments ;-her name was Intemperance. She waved her hand, and thus addressed the crowd of diseases. “Give way, ye sickly band of pretenders, nor dare to vie with my superior merits in the service of this great monarch. Am I not the Author of you all ? Do you not derive your power of shortening human life almost wholly from me ? Who, then, so fit as myself for this important office ?” The monarch grinned a smile of approbation, placed . her at his right hand, and she immediately became his prime favourite and principal minister.
JUPITER AND THE HORSE.
“Father of beasts and man,” thus spoke the horse as he approached the throne of Jupiter ; "men say that I am one of the most beautiful of creatures, and my self-love inclines me to believe it; but is there not some possibility of improvement?” “And what improvements would you suggest ?”
Perhaps," said the Horse, “I should move more swiftly if my legs were longer and more slender ; a longer swan-like neck would do me no harm; a broader chest would improve my strength; and since you have desired me to carry your favorite-man-would it not be better if I were provided with a saddle beforehand ?"
“Restrain your impatience for a moment," interrupted Jupiter. The Word was spoken. Life rose from the dust; disjoined atoms were united, and suddenly there stood before the throne the mis-shapen Camel.
The Horse beheld and shuddering at the sight withdrew, not without thanking Jupiter that he was still himself.
THE POOR MAN'S EWE LAMB.
There were two men in one city; the one rich, and the other poor.
The rich man had exceeding many flocks and herds.
But the poor man had nothing, save one little ewe lamb, which he had brought and nourished up: and it grew up together with him, and with his children ; it did eat of his own meat, and drank of his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was unto him as a daughter.
And there came a traveller unto the rich man, and he spared to take of his own flock and of his own herd, to dress for the wayfaring man, but took the poor man's lamb, and dressed it for the man that was come to him.
And David's anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan, As the Lord liveth, the man that hath done this shall surely die; and he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this and because he had no pity.
And Nathan said unto David, Thou art the man!