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you from doing many things without consideration, and might often prevent your causing pain, where you would otherwise do so, from mere thoughtlessness. I see that you do not exactly understand me,” the lady proceeded ; “ so, to make the matter clearer, I will give you a few more examples.”
Well, we will suppose, my dear, that I came down to breakfast one morning (as I often do) with a very bad headache, and my little daughter comes running to me, saying, ' Dear mother, I am very sorry to see that you are not well: I hope you will be better soon ;' but instead of being very quiet, she laughs loud, and talks a great deal. When breakfast is over, suppose she sits down to the piano-forte to practise, without asking whether I can bear it; and when I tell her that the noise is too much for me, she pouts and looks angry. What do you think all this would
y?” Little Fanny's smiles were quite put to flight by this example, for she felt it was a correct representation of what had passed that very morning. Her eyes filled with tears, and she could not answer.
“ Don't you think, my love,” Mrs. Montague resumed, “it would say, 'I did not mean what I said, mother: was not really sorry
head ached'?” “No, no, not quite that,” she sobbed out; “I was sorry, I am always sorry, to see you ill.”
“ Well, my dear, I do not accuse you of want of affection or feeling in general. But when your own wishes or pleasures are concerned, you are apt to consult them, instead of what will be agreeable to other people."
Fanny blushed, for she felt that the condemnation was just.
“Now," Mrs. Montague proceeded, " we will imagine a little girl who is very fond of her father and mother. She wishes that they should know it; but to be constantly saying, “ Dear father, or dear mother, I love you very dearly,' would sound silly, and be very tiresome. Can you think of any other way in which she could express the same words ? "
“O, yes; if she were to do every thing she could to please them, that would tell them that she loved them.”
“ So it would, my child ; that is a good guess. But what say you to trying this sort of language yourself?
Again Fanny blushed. “I thought I did,” she said; “but I'll try to use it more.”
“ Your actions must prove the sincerity of your words, my love. I shall see what they say. But I will give you one more illustration. We will conceive a poor family reduced to great distress by the burning of their house, and some benevolent ladies and gentlemen go about collecting money to relieve them. They call upon you, and ask you to subscribe. Now, it so happens that you have just laid out all your pocket money, or perhaps you have only a very small sum left. You say that you are very sorry that you have nothing to give, or apologize for the trifling amount of your donation.
“ But suppose that, an hour after these good people have gone, some one makes you a present of a dollar; if, instead of seeking them out, in order to make up for the want of ability to help them which you previously lamented, you spend it in buying new dresses for your doll, or some other trifle you fancy that you want, what would that action say ? ”
“O, it would certainly say that I was not really sorry that I could not help the poor people; because, if I had been, I should have given them the money when I had it.”
“ Very true, my dear; but I must not leave the subject without telling you that little folks, ay, and big ones too, are apt to practise self-deception in such matters. They think that if they had the means, they would do such great things ; but when they are possessed of those means, they neglect to use them, because some selfish desires come into their hearts which are more powerful than their benévolent feelings had been.
“ The same principle influenced your conduct this morning. You really felt some degree of pain when you saw me so ill; but it was not strong enough to induce you to subdue your inclination for laughing, talking, and practising your music. You
must, however, bear in mind that though what we say is very important, what we do is even more so. It is more easy to make amends for an unkind word than an ungenerous action; because actions are not actions only, but speak in powerful language which no words can contradict.”
XXVI. - OUR FATHERS.
Our fathers were high-minded men,
Who firmly kept their faith,
In danger and in death.
Nor should their deeds be e'er forgot,
For noble men were they,
And bravely won the day.
And such as our forefathers were,
May we, their children, be,
That baffled tyranny.
Then we'll uphold the cause of right;
The cause of mercy too;
Is the noblest thing to do.
XXVII. --IVAN THE CZAR.
[Ivan, the czar of Russia, surnamed the Terrible, in his old age was besieging the town of Novogorod. His nobles, perceiving that his powers were impaired by age, requested that the assault might be made under the command of his son. posal threw him into the greatest fury; and nothing could soothe him. His son threw himself at his feet; but his savage father repulsed him, and struck him so cruel a blow that the unhappy youth died from the effects of it in two days after. The father then sank into the deepest despair. He abandoned alike the conduct of the war and the government of the empire, and soon followed his son to the tomb.]
He sat in silence on the ground,
The old and haughty czar ;
And leaders of the war:
That many a field had won,
His fair and first-born son.
With a robe of ermine for its bed
Was laid that form of clay,
Through the rich tent made way;
On the pallid face came down,
In the dust with his renown.
Low tones, at last, of woe and fear
From his full bosom broke;
How then the proud man spoke.
The voice that through the combat
Had shouted far and high,
Burdened with agony.
“ There is no crimson on thy cheek,
And on thy lip no breath ;
They tell me this is death!
That I the deed have done -
up, my son !
“Well might I know death's hue and mien ;
But on thine aspect, boy,
Save pride and tameless joy?
And bravest there of all;
“I will not bear that still, cold look ;
thou fierce and free;
All, save this calm, from thee. Lift brightly up and proudly
Once more thy kindling eyes ! Hath
my word lost its power on earth? I say to thee, Arise!