from a neglect of this great truth--that evil can produce only evil — that good ends must be wrought out by good means."

“I will never forget it again,” said Benjamin, bowing his head.

“ Remember,” concluded his father, “ that, whenever we vary from the highest rule of right, just so far we do an injury to the world. It may seem otherwise for the moment; but, both in time and in'eternity, it will be found so."

To the close of his life Ben Franklin never forgot this conversation with his father; and we have reason to suppose that, in most of his public and private career, he endeavored to act upon the principles which that good and wise man had then taught him.



BETWEEN Nose and Eyes a strange contest arose ;

The spectacles set them unhappily wrong;
The point in dispute was, as all the world knows,

To which the said spectacles ought to belong.

So the Tongue was the lawyer, and argued the cause

With a great deal of skill, and a wig full of learning; While Chief Justice Ear sat to balance the laws,

So famed for his talent in nicely discerning.

* In behalf of the Nose, it will quickly appear,

And your lordship," * he said, “will undoubtedly find, That the Nose has had spectacles always in wear,

Which amounts to possession time out of mind.”

* In England, a judge is addressed as “your lordship,” when spoken to in court; here, as “your honor.”

Then holding the spectacles up to the court,

“ Your lordship observes they are made with a straddle As wide as the ridge of the Nose is ; in short,

Designed to sit close to it, just like a saddle.

“ Again, would your lordship a moment suppose

('Tis a case that has happened, and may be again) That the visage or countenance had not a nose,

Pray who would or who could wear spectacles then?

“On the whole, it appears, and my argument shows,

With a reasoning the court will never condemn, That the spectacles plainly were made for the Nose,

And the Nose was as plainly intended for them.”

Then shifting his side, as a lawyer knows how,

He pleaded again in behalf of the Eyes;
But what were his arguments few people know,

For the court did not think they were equally wise.

So his lordship decreed, with a grave, solemn tone, –

Decisive and clear, without one if or but, That whenever the Nose put his spectacles on,

By day light or candle light, Eyes should be shut.

[blocks in formation]

[St. Nicholas, or Santa Claus, as he is sometimes called, is an imaginary personage who is supposed to fill the stockings of good little boys and girls with presents, the night before Christmas.]

'Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse ;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In the hope that St. Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads,
And mamma in her kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap;
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,

from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash,
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of midday to objects below,-
When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver so lively and quick
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled and shouted, and called them by name:-
“Now, Dasher ! now, Dancer! now, Prancer! now, Vixen !
On, Comet ! on, Cupid ! on, Dunder and Blixen !
To the top of the porch, to the top of the wall,
Now dash away! dash away! dash away, all !”
As dry leaves before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle mount to the sky,
So up to the house top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each tiny hoof;
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys was flung on his back,
And he looked like a pedler just opening his pack.
His eyes, how they twinkled ! his dimples, how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry;
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him in spite of myself.
A wink of his eye, and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all his stockings, — then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew, like the down of a thistle ;
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!"


A LAW there is, of ancient fame,
By nature's self in every land implanted;

Lex Talionis * is its Latin name;
But if an English term be wanted,

Give our next neighbor but a pat, He'll give you back as good, and tell you,“ Tit for tat.

This tit for tat, it seems, not men alone,
But elephants for legal justice own;
In proof of this, a story I shall tell ye,
Imported from the famous town of Delhi.f

A mighty elephant, that swelled the state

Of Aurengzebe | the Great,

* The literal meaning of these two words is, the law of retaliation.

+ Delhi is a city in India, on the River Jumna, containing about two hundred thousand inhabitants.

Aurengzebe was a powerful monarch, who reigned over the Mogul empire in Hindostan. He was born in 1618, and died in 1707.

One day was taken by his driver

To drink and cool him in the river. The driver on his neck was seated,

And as he rode along,

By some acquaintance in the throng With a ripe cocoa nut was treated.

A cocoa nut's a pretty fruit enough,
But guarded by a shell both hard and tough.

The fellow tried, and tried, and tried,
Working and fretting

To find out its inside,
And pick the kernel for his eating.

At length, quite out of patience grown,
6 Who'll reach me up,” he cries, “ a stone

To break this plaguy shell ?
But stay; I've here a solid bone

May do perhaps as well."
So half in earnest, half in jest,
He banged it on the forehead of his beast.

An elephant, they say, has human feeling,

And full as well as we he knows

The difference between words and blows, Between horse play and civil dealing.

Use him but well, he'll do his best, And serve you faithfully and truly;

But insults unprovoked he can't digest; He studies o'er them, and repays them duly.

“ To make my head an anvil,” thought the creature,
“Was never, certainly, the will of nature;
So, master of mine, you may repent.”
Then, shaking his broad ears, away he went.

The driver took him to the water,
And thought no more about the matter.

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