advice, and something may be done for us; 'God helps them that help themselves,' as poor Richard says.

4. "It would be thought a hard government that should tax its people one-tenth part of their time to be employed in its service; but idleness taxes many of us much more sloth, by bringing on disease, absolutely shortens life. " Sloth, like rust, consumes faster than labour wears, while the used key is always bright.' 'But dost thou love life, then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.' How much more than is necessary do we spend in sleep! forgetting that 'The sleeping fox catches no poultry, and that there will be sleeping enough in the grave,' as poor Richard says.

5. "If time be of all things the most precious, wasting time must be the greatest 'prodigality;' since, as he tells us, 'Lost time is never found again; and what we call time enough, always proves too little enough.' Let us then be up and doing, and be doing to purpose, so by diligence we shall do more with less perplexity. 'Sloth makes all things difficult, but industry all easy. He that riseth late must trot all day, and shall scarce overtake his business at night; while laziness travels so slowly that poverty soon overtakes him. Drive thy business, let not that drive thee; and early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.'

6. "So what signifies wishing and hoping for better times? We may make these times better if we bestir ourselves. Industry need not wish, and he that lives upon hope will die fasting. There are no gains without pains; then help hands for I have no lands,' or if I have they are smartly taxed. 'He that hath a trade hath an estate; and he that hath a calling, hath an office of profit and honour; but then the trade must be worked

at, and the calling well followed, or neither the estate nor the office will enable us to pay our taxes. If we are industrious we shall never starve; for at the workingman's house hunger looks in but does not enter.' Nor will the bailiff or the constable enter, 'for industry pays debts, while despair increaseth them.' What though you have found no treasure, nor has any rich relation left a legacy? 'Diligence is the mother of good luck, and God gives all things to industry. Then plough deep, while sluggards sleep, and you shall have corn to sell and to keep.' Work while it is called to-day, for you know not how much you may be hindered to-morrow. 'One to-day is worth two to-morrows;' and 'Never leave that till to-morrow which you can do to-day.'

7. "If you were a servant, would you not be ashamed that a good master should catch you idle? Are you then your own master? Be ashamed to catch yourself idle, when there is so much to be done for yourself, your family, your country, and your God. Handle your tools without mittens; remember that The cat in gloves catches no mice.' It is true that there is much to be done, and perhaps you are weak-handed; but stick to it steadily, and you will see great effects; for Constant dropping wears away stones; and by diligence and patience the mouse ate in two the cable; and little strokes fell great oaks.'


"Methinks I hear some of you say, 'Must a man afford himself no leisure?' I will tell thee, my friend, what poor Richard says: 'Employ thy time well if thou meanest to gain leisure; and, since thou art not sure of a minute, throw not away an hour.' Leisure is made for doing something useful; this leisure the diligent man will obtain, but the lazy man never; for A life of leisure

and a life of laziness are two things. Many, without labour, would live by their wits only, but they break for want of stock;' whereas industry gives comfort, and plenty, and respect. Fly pleasures and they will follow you. The diligent spinner has a large store; and now I have a sheep and a cow, everybody bids me good morrow.'

9. "But with our industry we must likewise be steady, settled, and careful, and oversee our own affairs with our own eyes, and not trust too much to others; for, as poor Richard says,


"I never saw an oft-removed tree,

Nor yet an oft-removed family,

That throve so well as those that settled be.'


And again, Three removes are as bad as a fire; and again,Keep thy shop, and thy shop will keep thee;' and again, If you would have your business done, go; if not, send;' and again,

[ocr errors]

"He that by the plough would thrive,
Himself must either hold or drive.'


[ocr errors]

And again, The eye of the master will do more work than both his hands;' and again, Want of care does us more damage than want of knowledge and again, Not to oversee workmen is to leave them your purse open.' Trusting too much to others' care is the ruin of many; for, 'In the affairs of this world, men are saved, not by faith, but by want of it; but a man's own care is profitable, for if you would have a servant, and one that you like, serve yourself. A little neglect may breed great mischief; for want of a nail the shoe was lost; for want of a shoe the horse was lost; and for want of a horse the rider was lost,' being overtaken and slain by the enemy; all for want of a little care about a horse-shoe nail.

I.R. V.


10. "And now to conclude: Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other,' and scarce in that for it is true, 'We may give advice, but we cannot give conduct.' However, remember this, that, 'If you will not hear reason, she will surely rap your knuckles.'

11. Thus the old gentleman ended his harangue. The people heard it, and approved the doctrine, and immediately practised the contrary, just as if it had been a common sermon; for the auction opened and they began to buy extravagantly.-Dr. Franklin.

[ocr errors]

SUMMARY.-This selection is made up in a great measure of proverbs for popular guidance. A proverb has been described as 'the wisdom of many expressed by the wit of one." These proverbs of poor Richard are full of sound advice as to the manner in which we ought to carry on our daily business concerns. We ought to be diligent in all things. We should not put off till to-morrow what we can do to-day. We should not let a love of pleasure take hold of us to the neglect of our daily duties. We ought not to leave others to do the things which should be done by ourselves. We should be attentive even in little things, and profit by our daily experience.

A-bate-ment, a smaller demand.
Coun-selled, advised.
Ex-trav-a-gant-ly, beyond what
can be prudently afforded.
Har-angue', speech.

Per-plex-i-ty, difficulty.
Prod-i-gal-i-ty, wastefulness.
Quote, to give extracts from.
Slug-gard, a lazy person.
Squan-der, spend foolishly.


the speaker? What proverb is used on the subject of laziness? the value of a trade? the benefit of regular and steady work?

Between whom does this conversation take place? Who is often quoted? What is a proverb? What are the first three quoted by EXERCISES-1. Parse and analyse-The diligent spinner has a large


2. Verbs are formed by adding ate, en, fy, which mean "to make;" as perforate, to make holes through (per, through, foro, I bore); quicken, to make quick; rectify, to make straight or right (rectus, straight). Give the exact meaning of the following words-accelerate, (celer, swift), terminate (terminus, an end), brighten, lengthen, verify (verus, true).

[blocks in formation]

[The "Knight" in the following story is the Prince of Scotland, who has come in disguise to Palestine as a Crusader. He is the hero of the romance called The Talisman. The "Saracen" is no other than the famous Saladin, Emir or Chief of the Saracens, whose valour and chivalry are widely celebrated.]

1. As the Knight of the Couchant Leopard continued to fix his eyes attentively on the yet distant cluster of palm trees, it seemed to him as if some object was moving among them. The distant form separated itself from the trees, which partly hid its motions, and advanced towards the knight with a speed which soon showed a mounted horseman, whom his turban, long spear, and green caftan floating in the wind, on his near approach, showed to be a Saracen cavalier.

2. "In the desert," saith an Eastern proverb, 66 no man meets a friend." The Crusader was totally indifferent whether the infidel, who now approached on his gallant barb, as if borne on the wings of an eagle, came as a friend or a foe. He disengaged his lance from the saddle, seized it with the right hand, placed it in rest, with its point half raised, gathered up the reins in the left, waked his horse's mettle with the spur, and prepared to encounter the stranger.

3. The Saracen came on at the speedy gallop of an Arab horseman, managing his steed more by his limbs, and the inflection of his body, than by any use of the reins, which hung loose in his left hand. He was enabled to wield the light round buckler, ornamented

« VorigeDoorgaan »