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XXXVIIITIE BEGGAR WOMAN.
Once in a time of famine an unknown beggar woman, poorly but cleano ly clad, went through a certain village asking alms.
From some houses she was sent away with rough words; at others she received a very small gift; only one poor gardener, as she was very cold, invited her into his warm room ; and his wife, who had just baked cakes, gave her a nice large piece.
The next day all the people at whose door the beggar woman had called, were invited to supper in the Queen's palace. When they came into the dining room they beheld a small table ladened with the richest food, and also a large table with many plates on which there was here and there a piece of mouldy bread, a few artichokes, or a handful of bran, but for the most part the plates were entirely empty.
The Queen said: “I was myself that beggar woman in disguise, wishing, in this time of distress, when the poor are in such great need, to prove the charity of my people. These two poor gardeners took me in and entertained me as best they could; hence they will now eat with me, and I will fix a pension for life on them. The rest of you will entertain yourselves with the same fare which you gave me, and which you will find on these plates. With this, remember that in the future world you will also one day be served as you serve others.
Wbat we give unto His poor
To our Lord Himself is given :
We shall ricbly reap in Heaven.
THE CIRCUS. A CIRCUS came to town, and every body knows how the masic and the grand tent and horses set all the boys agog. Quarters of dollars and shillings are in great demand; and many a choice bit of money have the circus riders carried away which was meant for better purposes.
A little boy was seen looking round the premises with a great deal of curiosity. “Halloa, Johnny,” said a man who knew him, "going to the circus ? “No sir," answered Johnny, “ father don't like 'em.”
Oh, well, I'll give you money to go, Johnny,” said the man. “Father don't approve of them," answered Johnny. "Well, go in for once, and I'll pay for you."
"No, sir,” said Johnny, “my father would give me money if he thought it were best ; besides, I've got twenty-five cents in my strong box, twice enough to go."
“I'd go, Johnny, for once ; it's wonderful the way the horses do," said the man.
“Your father needn't know it." “I shan't," said the boy. "Now why ?" asked the man.
"'Cause,” said Johnny, twirling his bare toes in the sand, “after I've been in couldn't I look my father right in the eye, and I can now."
Thou chiefest good!
Bestowed by Heaven, but seldom understood. O blessed Health ! thou art above all gold and treasure ; 'tis thou who enlargest the soul, and openest all its powers to receive instruction, and to relish virtue. He that has thee, has little more to wish for; and he that is so wretched as to want thee, wants everything with thee.
Health is the soul that animates all enjoyments of life which fade and are tasteless, if not dead, without it. Without health, am an starves at the best tables, makes faces at the most delicate wines, is old and frigid in seraglios of the most sparkling beauties, poor in the midst of the greatest treasures : Without health, strength grows decrepid, youth loses all vigor, and beauty all charms; music grows harsh and conversation disagreeable; palaces are prisons or of equal confinement; riches are useless, honor and attendance are cumbersome, and crowns themselves are a burden.
There is this difference between the two blessings, health and money : money is the most envied, but the least enjoyed ; and the superiority of the former is the more obvious when we reflect, that the poorest man would not part with health for money, but the richest would gladly part with all their money for health. Health is certainly more valuable than money, because it is by health that money is procured; but thousands and millions are of small avail to alleviate the tortures of the gout, to repair the broken organs of sense, or recuperate the powers of digestion.
Now though it be true, that preserving the health by too strict a regimen is a wearisome malady, and that people who are always taking care of their health are like misers, who are hoarding up a treasure which they have never spirit to enjoy, yet a due regard to the means of securing so inestimable a blessing, is a point of good sense as well as duty. In this respect, theirs is a wisdom beyond that of medical prescriptions; and it consists in one's own observation as to what is good for him and what is hurtful, and in living accordingly. But it is safer to say, this agrees not well with me, therefore I will discontinue it, than to say, I find no offence in this, therefore I may use it. For strength of constitution in youth, will carry one through many excesses, which only show their effects in age. Be not unmindful of the approach of years, nor think of doing in old age, the same things you performed in the vigor of manhood-for age will not be defied. Beware of sudden change in any material point of diet; and, if it be necessary, change all with it: for it is a secret both in nature and the state, that it is safer to change many things than one. Consider your custom of diet, sleep, ex
ercise, arparel and the like, and discontinue by little and little any thing you shall judge to be hurtful; but so, that if you find inconvenience by the changu, you may return to it again ; for it is hard to distinguish what is general y held good and wholesome, from that which is specially good and fit palrticularly for you.
To be free of mind and cheerful at meals, and in the hours of sleep and exercise, is one of the best precepts of longevity. Sir Philip Sidney's maxim, was
Great temperance, open air,
Easy labor, little care. As to passions, affections and engagements of the mind, avoid envy, anxious fears, anger, fretting inwardly, subtle and difficult inquiries, joys and exhilarations in excess, and secret grief. Entertain hopes, mirth, rather than joy; variety of delights, rather than a surfeit of them ; wonder and admiration—therefore novelties; and studies which fill the mind with splendid and illustrious objects, as histories, poems, travels and contemplations of nature.
If you reject medicine altogether in health, your body will be too unused to it when you need it; if you make it too familiar, it will work no extraordinary effect when sickness requires it. Diet for certain seasons is commended, rather than frequent use of medicine : for such diets alter the body more, and trouble it less. Be not careless of any new symptom, but consult your physician. In sickness regard health chiefly; and in health, exercise ; for those who so live as to preserve their health by keeping their bodies sound, may in most sicknesses that are not very sharp, be cured by diet and careful nursing.
Celsus was a wise man as well as a physician, or else he could have never spoken to this effect; that a man should vary bis living and interchange contraries, but with an iuclination to the generous extreme. Use fasting and feasting, but more frequently the latter ; watching and sleep, but oftener sleep; sitting and exercise, but more generally exercise, and the like. So shall nature be cherished and yet controlled.
Some physicians are so complaisant and yielding to the humor of the patient, that they will not press the proper remedies for the cure of the disease; while others are so systematic and regular, that they respect not sufficiently the condition of the patient. 'Take one of a middle temper, or two of either sort; and forget not to engage one best acquainted with your constitution, as well as one whose reputation is highest for skill and learning.
YOUTH AND AGE.
My hair was black, but white my life :
The colors in exchange are cast !
THE HOPE OF THE NATIONS.
In a deep sense is Christ, as He is called by the prophet, “the Desire of all Nations.” He is the fulfiller of the world's hope—the stiller of creation's groans--the great birth of time, unto which all the unpeakable woes of a suffering humanity had been tending from the first." Hence everywhere, and in all ages, tehre are soundings in heathenism which are not unlike prophtic voices. In judaism, as a positive revelation, we ve of course alone the clear ar steady foretellings of the Redeemer. “They yearned, and knew what they yearned for : the nations yearned, and knew not for what. But still they yearned; for as the earth in its long polar night seeks to supply the absence of the day by the generation of the northern lights, so does each people in the long night of its heathen darkness bring forth its yearnings after the life of Christ, a faint and glimmering substitute for the same. From these dreamy longings after the break of day have proceeded oracles, priests, sacrifices, lawgivers, and the like. Men have no where given up hoping; nor acquiesced in the world's evil as the world's law. Everywhere they have had a tradition of a time when they were nearer to God than now, a confident hope of a time when they should be brought nearer again.”
In the Frithiofssage of Esias Tegner, a Scandinavian legend wrought into a beautiful poem, this hope and longing among the Northmen is beautifully represented. Balder, the son of Odin and Frigga, was the God of light, and of all that is good. He was regarded the best of the Gods, and was beloved by all. In his palace of light he reigned in peace over the Northmen. In the last canto of this charming poem, entitled "The Feast of Reconciliation,” we have a touchingly beautiful allusion to the first glimmering light of the Messiah as it began to dawn like a genial spiritual spring in the cold cloudy regions of the north. Gottfried V. Leinburg has rendered the whole poem in German, from which we translate the passage referred to, without attempting to retain the metric form of the original, which, though given along with the German by Leinburg, is not in this respect followed by the translator. Still, without the form, the poetic beauty remains.
TII E IOPE OF TIIE COMING MESSI AH.
Also in the South Land, men speak of a BALDER, the Virgin's son, sent by the All-Father to interpret the runic characters on the black shield-borders of the Northmen-unexplained as yet.
Peace was the march-word of his hosts, love was his bright sword, and innocence in the form of a dove, sat upon his helmet of silver.
He lived piously, and taught; holy was his death and departure, and under far-off plains is his grave in beautiful light.
His teaching-so it is said-travels from vale to vale, softens hard
hearts, causes hand to be laid in hand, and establishes the reign of peace upon the reconciled earth.
I know not rightly the doctrine, but darkly shadowed forth bare I felt it in my better hours; in every human heart it sounds prophetic at times as it does in my own.
Once--I know it-once will it come and softly spread its white dovewings over the heights of the North. But then there will be here no more any North to us, and oak-leaves will rustle over the grave of the forgotten.
O, ye happier generations, who shall then drink the sparkling cup of the new light, I greet you! Blessed will ye be when it shall break through every cloud which till now has hung its damp veil over the sun of life.
But do not then despise us, who, with honest earnestness, have sought its divine light; one is the All-Father—but many are his messengers !