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received, though not unkindly, yet without any excess of fondness, or exclamations of rapture. His father had, in his absence, suffered many losses; and Gelaleddin was considered as an additional burden to a falling family.
When he recovered from his surprise, he began to display his acquisitions, and practised all the arts of narration and disquisition; but the poor have no leisure to be pleased with eloquence; they heard his arguments without reflection, and his pleasantries without a smile. He then ap
plied himself singly to his brothers and sisters, but found them all chained down by invariable attention to their own fortunes, and insensible of any other excellence than that which could bring some remedy for indigence.
It was now known in the neighbourhood that Gelaleddin was returned; and he sat for some days in expectation that the learned would visit him for consultation, or the great for entertainment. But who will be pleased or instructed in the mansions of poverty? He then frequented places of public resort, and endeavoured to attract notice by the copiousness of his talk. The sprightly were silenced, and went away to censure in some other place his arrogance and his pedantry; and the dull listened quietly for a while, and then wondered why any man should take pains to obtain so much knowledge which would never do him good.
He next solicited the viziers for employment, not doubting but his service would be eagerly accepted. He was told by one that there was no vacancy in his office; by another, that his merit was above any patronage but that of the emperor; by a third, that he would not forget him; and by the chief vizier, that he did not think literature of any great use in public business. He was sometimes admitted to their tables, where he exerted his wit and diffused his knowledge; but he observed, that where, by endeavour or accident, he had remarkably excelled, he was seldom invited a second time.
He now returned to Bassora, wearied and disgusted; but confident of resuming his former rank, and revelling again in satiety of praise. But he who had been neglected at Tauris was not much regarded at Bassora. He was considered as a fugitive, who returned only because he could live in no other place; his companions found that they had formerly over-rated his abilities, and he lived long without notice or esteem.- The Idler.
A LESSON FROM NATURE.
AFTER a day spent in hard study, Herbert, with flushed cheek and beating heart, lay down to rest. Being of an active mind, and feeling an intense desire for knowledge, he sought it with an eagerness that could brook no delay; and his health, which was far from strong, was already beginning to give way under exertions too great for his young mind.
"Would," he passionately cried, "that all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge were at once within my grasp;-that, instead of wearily toiling step by step. I could at once reach the summit of the ladder of Fame !"
When, after many a long and wakeful hour, sleep at length pressed her welcome sceptre upon his eyelids, a host of dreamy visions presented themselves to his excited imagination.
A soft light was suddenly shed around, and delightful fragrance filled the air, and Herbert heard a sweet voice bid him "Follow!" and, though he could not tell from whom it came, he felt compelled, as by some invisible power, to obey the command.
"Say, who art thou?" he tremblingly asked.
"I," replied the voice, "am the good genius,-Perseverance, who presided at thy birth: my bitter enemy,Impatience, has for many a long year usurped my sceptre ; but I have at length conquered, and she shall bear rule no more. I heard thee wish that, without trouble or effort on thy part, thou couldst at once attain what thou most covetest.-Know, this is impossible! Follow: and I will show thee how it is in nature."
Herbert soon felt the soft breeze fanning his brow, and found that he was threading the winding paths of a green
See," said his invisible guide," yon little bird, which is darting into a hole in the trunk of that plane-tree, with a straw in his beak. Now he has flown out again, and again returned. What has he now ?-a tuft of moss. That little bird is building his nest. Many a weary journey to and fro must he make ere the nest will be completed. Strange that he abandons not, in despair, the arduous
task! But no: when once it is finished, and the mottled eggs are laid within it, nought can tempt the patient little creature to withdraw, even for a moment, the shelter of her fostering wings; for Instinct has taught her that, if she were to do so, her offspring would be sacrificed. And, when they are hatched, with what tender care do the parent-birds supply their young with food!
"Behold the spider, busily engaged in hanging his web among the long grass. How often must he trace and retrace the same giddy circle, ere the beautiful fabric can be completed, with a neatness and regularity which no human hand could excel, even though aided by rule and compass; and then (concealed beneath the dew-bespangled web), with untiring patience, the spider watches for his prey!
"Look at the industrious bee! How many a blossom must he rifle ere he can obtain sufficient honey to fill one cell;-and how long before the wax,-likewise collected with laborious industry,-is of quantity enough to form the comb!
"The trees which now make a verdant bower over your head, were, but a few months ago, perfectly bare; but, by degrees, the bud swelled and burst, and each naked twig was clothed with countless leaves.
"Think how many and wondrous are the changes, ere the little grain of corn is converted into a full and golden ear! Long it lies in the damp earth,-till at last a tender sprout rises from the spot where it was buried; and it must then be tended by sun and shower, for many a long month, ere it be fit for the sickle.
"See the spring bubbling at your feet!"
Herbert beheld it sprinkling the grass and flowers, and followed the silver thread with his eye.
"Its origin," continued the voice, "is humble and small; yet observe how it increases by degrees, till it widens from a rivulet to a stream,-and yet, further on, from a stream into a mighty river, bearing upon its rippling bosom many a tall, majestic vessel,-till it is lost in the boundless ocean!"
"I see, I see!" cried the youth: "I will be the streamlet;-I the mighty river!"
"Wait yet awhile," interrupted the voice; "I have still more to show thee."
Herbert was told to look up to the clear blue sky; and
he saw a tiny cloud, like a scattered handful of swans' down, float into sight. And it spread till the blue canopy was all fleecy white, which deepened in tint, till it merged into one dark and lurid cloud, which poured down a freshening shower.
And Herbert passed on.
Presently, he found himself standing upon the brow of a hill, and a noble city lay stretched before him in the valley beneath. Many a tall church steeple pointed upwards to the skies, and raised its glittering cross far above the surrounding buildings-meet emblem of the superiority of heavenly over earthly things. Busy multitudes were thronging the wide and well-built streets, each intent on his own business or pleasure.
But it was towards a miserable alley, in the most thickly populated part of the town, that the voice directed Herbert's attention.
He saw nought but a flickering light, that gleamed through the broken casement of one cottage yet more wretched than the rest. He strained his eyes intently, and at length found that it proceeded from the almost expiring embers of a wood fire that smouldered on the hearth.
It was evening, and of the busy crowd each returned to his own home, and the shades of night drew on. The voice bade Herbert fix his eyes on the now almost imperceptible flicker of that little ember on the peasant's hearth. Suddenly it shot up a tiny spark, which fell on the dry floor, and lo! the hut was instantly in a blaze!
The unhappy inmates, awakened from their sleep, filled the air with cries of terror, as they rushed, half clad, through the flames into the street. But they suffered not alone. A few moments longer, and the adjoining houses were also in a blaze!
It was even so-that ONE little spark,-that one spark had done its work. The city was in flames!
House after house now illuminated the very skies with a lurid glare, and now darkened them with thick columns of smoke. Onward they rushed, more fiercely than ever, and gathered strength every minute.
That morning's dawn saw the smiling and prosperous city one vast heap of black and smoking ruins!
"The beginning was small, but not so the result," sorrowfully whispered the voice.
Then Herbert thought he was in a grove of low shrubs, from the broad leaves of which hung bright yellow balls, like golden fruit.
'These," said the voice, "are the cocoons of the silkworm. It is from threads woven by a little crawling worm, that are formed the rich robes of silk and velvet worn by the great ones of the earth."
It is a
Then Herbert found himself, as in an instant, floating in a light skiff upon the mighty ocean. “Seest thou yon white speck, barely visible above the foaming waves ? coral island, the work of an insect, so small, as to be invisible to the naked eye. Yet has it increased day by day, atom upon atom, and will increase yet more."
And then it seemed to Herbert as though many years had flown swiftly by, and he was again sailing in the light skiff.
And the voice bade him look once more towards the spot where he had last seen but a little speck; and behold! a green and fertile island.
"Now," cried the voice, "wilt thou not, impatient youth, be content with small beginnings?' Shall Nature, in all her forms, progress with slow and gradual development, whilst thou strugglest to grasp at once what thousands such as thou have acquired but with pains and difficulty, and by a steady course of patient application? Distrust not, then, again, the power of Perseverance!"
Herbert heard no more; for the rays of the morning sun darted in upon his face, and he awoke.-The Churchman's Companion.
WHEN, in the beginning of time, nature had founded the mountains, and hollowed out the basin of the sea, she walked forth from her cloudy pavilion to the Gotthards, and spake, "It is right that goodness should unite itself to greatness, and that an extensive sphere of activity should be allotted to strength. Thou standest firm, but I will give thee a son, who shall carry afar the power and blessing which thou receivest from the heavens."
She spake, and the Rhine gushed out of the mountain. Joyful and free, full of spirit and vigour, the young stream bubbled down from the mountain. Playfully he