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These held the hot stuff from the jug, however, as well as golden goblets would have done; and Bob served it out with beaming looks, while the chesnuts on the fire sputtered and crackled noisily. Then Bob proposed:
"A Merry Christmas to us all, my dears. God bless us !"
Which all the family re-echoed.
"God bless us every one!" said Tiny Tim, the last of all.-Charles Dickens.
Lewis the Thirteenth, king of France, succeeded Henry the Fourth, at the age of nine years. Because the king could have no beard, the courtiers resolved that they would have none themselves; they consequently all became beardless, except that honest old-schooled statesman, Sully, who appeared in the royal presence with his old friend. The courtiers went further still in compliment to the royal chin; they cut off the horses' tails, which made Bassompiere remark upon his deliverance from a twelve years' imprisonment, that he saw no difference in the world since his exclusion, but that men had lost their beards and the horses their tails.-Pogonologia.
Nature, regardful of the babbling race,
THE VICISSITUDES OF LIFE.
So farewell to the little good you bear me. Farewell, a long farewell to all my greatness! This is the state of man: To-day he puts forth The tender leaves of hope, to-morrow blossoms, And bears his blushing honours thick upon him The third day comes a frost, a killing frost, And when he thinks, good easy man, full surely His greatness is a ripening, nips his root, And then he falls as I do. I have ventur'd, Like little wanton boys, that swim on bladders, These many summers in a sea of glory; But far beyond my depth: my high-blown pride At length broke under me; and now has left me, Weary and old with service, to the mercy Of a rude stream, that must for ever hide me. Vain pomp and glory of this world, I hate ye! I feel my heart new open'd. O, how wretched Is that poor man that hangs on princes' favours! There is, betwixt that smile we would aspire to, That sweet aspect of princes, and their ruin, More pangs and fears than wars or women have; And, when he falls, he falls like Lucifer, Never to hope again.
THE GOLD KING.
"Sole and supreme, the Spirit-King, I reign o'er all mankind;
Who rules the working hand, but he who sways the moving mind?
The heart of Adam's earth-born race I govern and control,
Mine is the inner monarchy, the kingdom of the soul.
"For me, their master, mortals all, as bondsmen toil and slave,
For me the tiller ploughs the field, the mariner the wave;
For me the builder rears the pile, a temple though it be ;
Aye, not a steeple points to heaven without the leave of me.
"Why delve they many a fathom deep, and pierce their mother earth?
Why, but for me, the sum of all her countless treasures worth?
It is by me they buy and sell whate'er is bought and sold,
The metal of all metals, and the prize of prizes, Gold.
"The arts of beauty and their works, what are they but my own?
The canvas with its life-like hues, the all but breathing stone.
Would limner paint, or sculptor carve, without the golden fee?
Man makes his graven images, in very truth, like me.
"Steel may the work of murder do; 'tis I who whet the knife,
Gold prompts the felon, and impels the hero to the strife;
The sword the blood of myriads on the battlefield may spill:
But the warrior cannot draw it to destroy, unless I will.
"War's instruments their thousands slay, their tens of thousands I ;
I but withhold my aid, and lo! what famish'd wretches die!
Can ye count what hearts are broken, for my help who vainly crave,
And with what despairing suicides my want hath gorg'd the grave?
"The scaffold is my altar, with its block and fatal tree;
Thereon how many have laid down their lives for love of me!
Ne'er Moloch, in his palmy days, upon his burning throne,
Could gloat o'er human hecatombs more glorious than my own.
"The advocate with venal voice for right or wrong contends
For me; and for my sake the leech his healing balsam vends;
Nay, am I not the price of all that men most sacred hold?
For the priest himself his claspèd hands uplifts, and prays for GOLD !"
Thus finish'd Gold. And thus the hall
"Thou the seat of power hast won,
Thou our sovereign king shall be ;
Libraries are as the shrines where all the relics of the ancient saints, full of true virtue, and that without delusion or imposture, are preserved and reposed.-Lord Bacon.
And touching the guiding of thy house, let thy hospitality be moderate, and, according to the means of thy estate, rather plentiful than sparing, but not costly. For I never knew any man grow poor by keeping an orderly table. But some consume themselves through secret vices, and their hospitality bears the blame. But banish swinish drunkards out of thine house, which is a vice impairing health, consuming much, and makes no show. I never heard praise ascribed to the drunkard, but for the well-bearing of his drink; which is a better commendation for a brewer's horse or a drayman, than for either a gentleman or a servingman. Beware thou spend not above three of four parts of thy revenues; nor above a third part of that in thy house. For the other two parts will do no more than defray thy extraordinaries, which always surmount the ordinary by much; otherwise thou shalt live like a rich beggar, in continual want. And the needy man can never live happily nor contentedly. For every disaster makes him ready to mortgage or sell. And that gentleman, who sells an acre of land, sells an ounce of credit. For gentility is nothing else but ancient riches. So that if the foundation shall at any time sink, the building must needs follow.-Lord Burleigh.
ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF ERROR.
A man should never be ashamed to own he has been in the wrong, which is but saying, in other words, that he is wiser to-day than he was yesterday.-Pope.