« AnteriorContinuar »
That voice divinely sweet, and soft
As music of a sacred stream,
Like angels' whispers in a dream.
Reveal her love for ever new,
And say, “She loves you-lives for you."
COURAGE AND COWARDICE. JOHN BRAG and Joseph Wise had a quarrel when they were at school together, and some of their more wicked playmates tried hard to get up a battle between them. Brag was ready enough to pull off his jacket, and to set to at once, but Wise would not fight.
Somehow or other their teacher heard of the affair, so he took Brag to task. “Tell me, John,” said he, “why you want to fight with Wise."
“Because, sir," replied Brag, “the boys will call me a coward if I refuse."
“Oh! oh!" said the teacher, "and so you had rather do wrong than be called a coward : John, I am ashamed of you."
The teacher next questioned Wise. “Joseph,” said he, "what reason have you for not fighting with Brag ?"
“I have many reasons, sir," replied Joseph.
" Then let me have them all," said the teacher, " that I may judge what they are worth."
“ In the first place, sir," said Wise, “if I were to fight Brag, I should hurt him I know I should, and I do not want to hurt him."
“Very good," said the teacher.
“In the next place, sir, if I did not hurt him, he would be sure to hurt me."
“No doubt of it," said the teacher.
“And then, sir, I had rather be called a coward, than do that which I know to be wrong."
“Very good again," said the teacher.
“And lastly, sir, to fight with one another is not only against the rules of the school, but also against the commands of our Saviour, who has told us to love and forgive one another. The text last Sunday morning was, 'Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: and be kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.'
The teacher commended Joseph Wise for the prudent answer he had given, and hoped he would be able always to act up to his principles. “In my opinion," said he, “you have shown more true courage than you would have done in fighting with Brag, even had you won the victory."
About a week after the quarrel which had taken place, the cottage of poor old Margery Jenkins, by some accident or other, took fire. Margery made her escape, and her daughter was absent from home, but an infant grand-daughter was sleeping in a little cot upstairs, while the flames were rising to the stairs. At this time there were present several of the school-boys, one of whom boldly dashed through the fire and smoke, made his way up the narrow staircase, and let drop the child through the window into the arms of a man who stood ready to receive it, and then made his own escape.
But who was the boy who thus showed his bravery, and saved the life of a child? Was it the brave Brag, who was 80 forward to fight? No, it was Joseph Wise-he who by many had been called a coward. This kind and daring act of his raised him in the minds of all, and no one any longer called his courage in question.
The following day some of the school-boys went to bathe in the river, and Brag and Wise were among them. Brag, who could not swim, soon got out of his depth, and would no doubt have been drowned, had not Wise, who was a good swimmer, plunged headlong from the bank to his rescue. Seizing hold of the arm of his drowning companion, he dragged him to land.
If the affair of the fire had shown the calm courage of Joseph Wise, this of the water went still further to convince the minds of his playmates.
On the return of Joseph Wise to the school-room, all the boys received him with upraised hands. “Let the conduct of Joseph Wise," said the teacher, when a short time after speaking to the boys, “ be an example to you, so that you may be able to distinguish between idle boasting and true courage. Joseph Wise has proved himself worthy, by going through fire and through water for the benefit of others. Remember that he who dares do what is right, though it draws down upou him an ill name, is truly courageous; while he who is afraid to pursue an upright course, lest those around should mock him, must be in his heart a coward."
THE LION AND THE LIONESS
HUNTING THE ANTELOPES.
BOTH the lion and the antelope are natives of South Africa. You have read about the lion; so I need not say anything about him. But of the antelope you may not have read much. It is a beautiful creature, like one of the deer in a nobleman's park, and like the deer it is very swift of foot. The lions are very fond of them but as they cannot take them by speed they mostly lay in ambush for them.
There are several kinds
of antelopes, but those called the oryx are the finest, and are armed with two long sharp horns. Captain Reid tells the following tale of a trick played by a lion and a lioness to catch their prey, and what was the result.
A party went out to try if they could shoot down an oryx for the sake of the venison. They saw two at a distance and crept towards them. Finding that the antelopes were approaching, they hid themselves until they came nearer. But now they found that there were other hunters in the field. A lion and a lioness were on the track of these harmless and timid creatures.
“The strategem of the lions was now perceived. They had evidently planned it before separating. The lion was to place himself in ambush upon the path, while the lioness swept round to the rear and forced the antelopes forward ; or should the latter become alarmed and retreat, the lion would then show himself in pursuit, and run the frightened game back into the clutches of the lioness. The ambuscade was well planned, and in a few minutes its success was no longer doubtful. The antelopes advanced steadily towards the ant-hill, occasionally swithing about their black bushy tails; but that was to rid their flanks of the flies, and not from any apprehension of danger. The lioness had completed her task, and was now seen crouching after them, though still far in the rear.
As the antelopes drew near the ant-hill, the lion was observed to draw back his head until it was nearly concealed in his black shaggy mane. The antelopes could not possibly see him where he lay, nor he them, and he now appeared to trust to his ears to inform him of their approach. He waited till both were opposite and broadside towards him, at the distance of less than twenty paces from the hill. Then his tail was seen to vibrate with one or two quick jerks, his head shot suddenly forth, his body spread out apparently to twice its natural size, and the next moment he rose like a bird into the air! With one bound he cleared the wide space that separated him from the nearest of the antelopes, alighting on the hind quarters of the terrified animal. A