Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

said, snow covers the whole earth, and there can be no 'snow line.'

"From this, one would suppose that an exact scale might be formed, giving the elevation of the snow-line for all latitudes. But that could not be done. Observation has shown that it not only differs on mountains that lie in the same latitude, but that on the same mountain it is often higher on one side than the other— particularly on those of great extent, as the Himalayas of India. This is all quite natural, and easily accounted for. The position of mountains to one another, and their proximity or great distance from the sea, will give them a colder or warmer atmosphere, independent of latitude. Moreover, the same mountain may have a warmer climate on one side than the other; and of course the snow-line will be higher on that side which is the warmer, in consequence of the greater melting of the snow. This line, too, varies in summer and winter for a like reason—as we see here upon our own mountain, where it has already descended several feet since the weather became colder. This, you will acknowledge, is all very natural; and you will see, too, that Nature, although apparently capricious in many .of her operations, acts most regularly in this one, as perhaps in all others."

"But, mamma," inquired Harry, "can we not get to the top of the mountain? I should like to have some snow to make snowballs and pelt Frank with them."

"It would be a very difficult task,. Master Hal; and more than either you or I could get through with. I think Frank will escape being snow-balled this time."

"But people have climbed to the top of the Himalaya mountains; and they are far higher than this, I am sure."

"Never," interrupted Frank; "no one has ever climbed the Himalayas. Have they, mamma?"

"No mortal has ever been so high as the summits of those great mountains, which are more than five miles above the level of the ocean. Even could they be climbed, it is not likely that any animal could live at their top. These inaccessible things seem to have been designed by the Creator to afford us objects for sublime contemplation—objects far above the reach of mortal man, and that can never be rendered common by his contact. Do they not seem so ?"—Captain Mayne Reid.

LESSON LXV. SELF-DECEPTION.

There is nothing in which the self-deception of the heart is more evident, than in leading us to believe that if we were placed in any other situation than our own, we should perform its duties faithfully. Our Saviour says, that it is he who is faithful in that which is least, who is faithful also in that which is much: but we flatter ourselves that we should be faithful in much, though we confess that we are deficient in regard to the little that is entrusted to us.

Maria was very prone to this species of self-deception. Nothing pleased her more than to imagine situations of trial and difficulty, in which she supposed herself to behave with the most edifying propriety. Though she knew that she was not so dutiful and attentive to her parents as she ought to have been, yet she flattered herself that if she were only placed in circumstances •where filial duties would be more difficult, she would perform them without fault.

She once read an account of a young peasant girl who supported her infirm parents by the labour of her hands, ministering to their wants with the most patient kindness, while she denied herself sufficient food, in order to supply them with comforts.

Nothing could exceed Maria's enthusiasm on reading this story. Her father being gone out, she stationed herself at the window to watch for his return, and when he came, she ran to him with the exclamation—

"O, papa, here is the most beautiful story you ever read of a girl who—0, papa, do read it—it will not take you long."

Her father sat down, and taking Maria on his lap complied with her request.

"Isn't it beautiful, papa?" cried she, as soon as he had finished.

"Yes, my dear, it is a beautiful instance of filial piety."

"O, papa, I wish—" but Maria stopped, blushing.

"Well, my dear, go on, what do you wish?"

"I was going to say, papa, that I almost wished you were poor, so that I might have the pleasure of working for you."

"Thank you, my dear; I have no doubt you would be willing to help me, though it might perhaps be less pleasant than you think now."

"O no, papa, I am sure I should always love to do anything for you."

"And do you really suppose, Maria, that it would be easier to go without food, and work day and night, than it is to perform the light services required of you now?"

"No, papa, it would not be easier, exactly; but—"

"But there would be more glory about it?"

"Not exactly that, papa; but I should feel as if I were doing something."

"Well, are you not doing something now, when you take care of the baby, and help your mother sew?"

"But then, papa, that is such a little; and, besides, you could get somebody else to do it if I did not."

"As to that, my dear, you are mistaken. To be sure, we are not poor, in the sense that Dorothea's parents were; but I could not afford to keep another servant to take care of the children—so, you see, you can do some good."

This seemed to console Maria for a few moments, but then she sighed to think it was so little in comparison with what Dorothea did.

"You may depend upon it, Maria," said her father "that all the wishing for some other situation to show your love, is self-deception. You can just as well give proofs of your affection now, as you could in any other circumstances; and it is folly for a person who does not faithfully perform his present duties, to pretend that he should do better in a different station. I can tell you why it looks so easy to you now. We never see fully the difficulties and discomforts of any situation till we are placed in it. You look at it now at a distance, and it seems easy to you to make sacrifices; but if you had to rise early and go to bed late, to work hard, and eat only black bread, and not enough of that, and all this day after day, and week after week, I suspect you would alter your mind. Suppose that Dorothea had been placed in your situation; do you not think she would have found opportunities of being useful?"

"Yes, papa, I suppose she would."

"Yes, she would have been useful in any situation; but she had a principle of action, which you have not. Do you remember how she encouraged herself to do right?" '' Yes, papa, she thought of Christ all the time." "Yes, and looking to Him will make everything easy.'' The next evening, when Maria again took her seat by her father, he resumed the conversation of the previous day.

"Maria, there is probably another reason why you imagine it would be easier to do what Dorothea did, than what is required of you. You think of her as loved and admired by all who read this story, and this makes the self-denial appear less difficult. But, remember, she did not suppose her conduct would ever be known; she laboured on meekly and patiently, from day to day, with no other reward than the approbation of God and her own conscience. Do you think you could do this?" Maria was not sure.—Paysoris Conversations.

LESSON LXVI..—EDINBURGH AND GLASGOW.

The two largest and most celebrated cities in Scotland are situated in the valleys of two rivers, the Forth and the Clyde. They are Edinburgh and Glasgow. Edinburgh is on the Forth, though situated at some little distance from its banks. Glasgow is on the Clyde. There is a railway extending across from Edinburgh to Glasgow, and also a canal, connecting the waters of the Forth with the Clyde. The region of these cities, and of the canal and railroad connecting them, is altogether the busiest, the most densely peopled, and the most important portion of Scotland.

The cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh, though both greatly celebrated, are celebrated in very different ways. Edinburgh is the city of science, of literature, and of the arts. Here are many learned institutions, the fame and

« ElőzőTovább »