Imagens da página

insufficient to prevail on her to take any more than five crowns. Wherefore, to end the controversy, he offered to go back with her to the cardinal, and refer it to him. Wheni they came before that munificent prince, and he was fully informed of the business; « It is true, said he, I mistook in writing

fifty crowns, give me the paper , and I » will rectify it. » Upon which he wrote again , saying to the woman, a So much mo

desty and virtue deserves a recompense : » here I have ordered you five hundred » crowns; what you can spare of it, lay up » as a dowry to give with your daughter in ► marriage.



LABOUR, the offspring of Want, and the mother of Health and Conteniment, lived with her two daughters in a little cottage, by the side of a hill, at a great distance from town. They were totally unacquainted with the great , and kept no better company than the neighbouring villagers ;


but having a desire of seeing the world, they forsook their companions and habitation, and determined to travel. Labour went soberly along the road with Health on the right hand, who by the sprightliness of her conversation, and songs of cheerfulness and joy, softened the toils of the way; while Contentment went smiling on the left, supporting the steps of her mother, and by her perpetual good humour inereasing the vivacity of her sister.

In this manner they travelled over forests and through towns and villages, till at last they arrived at the capital of the kingdom. At their entrance into the great city, the Mother conjured her daughters never to lose sight of her; for it was the will of Jupiter, she said, that their separation should be attended with the utter ruin of all three. But Health was of too gay a disposition to regard the counsels of Labour : she suffered herself to be debauched by Intemperance, and at last died in child-birth of Disease. Contentment, in the absence of her sister, gave herself up to the enticements of Sloth, and was never heard of after : while Labour, who could have no enjoyment withput her daughters, went every where in search of them, till she was at last seized by Lassitude in her way, and died in misery



An old man and a little boy were driving an ass to the next market to sell. What a fool is this fellow says a man upon the road) to be trudging it on foot withi his son, that his ass may go light! The old man, hearing this, set his boy upon the ass, and went whistling by the side of him. Why , sirrah! (cries a second man to the boy ) is it fit for you to be riding, while your poor old father is walking on foot? The father, upon this rebuke, took down his boy from the ass, and mounted himself. Do you see ( says a third) how the lazy old knave rides along upon his beast, wliile his poor little boy is almost crippled with walking? The old man no sooner heard this than he took up his son behind him. Pray, honest friend ( says a fourth ) is that ass your own ? Yes, says the man. One would

[ocr errors]

not have thought so, replied the other, by your loading him so unmercifully. You and your son are better able to carry the poor beast than he you. Any thing to please, says the owner; and alighting with his son, they tied the legs of the ass together, and by the help of a pole endeavoured to carry him upon their shoulders over the bridge that led to the town. This was so entertaining a sight, that the people ran in crowds to laugh at it; till the ass, conceiving a dislike to the over complaisance of his master , burst asunder the cords that tied him , slipt from the pole, and tumbled into the river. The poor old man made the best of his way home, ashamed and vexed, that by endeavouring to please every body, he had pleased no body, and lost his ass into the bargain.



W. I EN Hercules was in that part of his youth, in which it was natural for him to consider what course of life he ouglit to pursue, he one day retired into a desert

? where the silence and solitude of the place very much favoured his meditations. As he was musing on his present condition, and very much perplexed in himself on the state of life he should chuse, he saw two women of a larger stature than ordinary approaching towards him. One of them had a very

noble air, and graceful deportment; her beauty was natural and easy, her person

clean and unspotted , her eyes cast towards the ground with an agreeable reserve , her motion and behaviour full of modesty, and her 'rạiment as white 'as snow. The other had a great deal of health and floridness in her countenance, which she had helped with an artificial white and red ; and endeavoured to appear more graceful than ordinary in her 'mien , by a mixture of affectation in all her gestures. She' had a wonderful confidence and assurance in her looks, and all the variety of colours in her dress, that she thought were the most proper to shew her complexion to advantage. She cast her eyes upon herself, then turned them on those that were present, to see how they liked her, and often looked on the figure she made in her own

« AnteriorContinuar »