Imágenes de páginas

and use,

ing, which is to them at once skin and skeleton. This, in its composition, is a good deal like horn, though it is not fibrous, like that substance. Sometimes, too, it is elastic. We know of no surface, so perfectly smooth, as the covering of some insects. It admits also of every degree of color and transparency.

The wings of insects are worthy of attention, from the beauty of their structure, and the nicety with which they are adapted to the habits of the animal. Most winged insects have four wings. These are constructed of a delicate net work of horny substance, and are sometimes covered with feathers or scales.

The form of the legs is often exceedingly curious, and we find in them all that perfect harmony of organization

which can be so clearly traced in all the mechanism of animated nature. Thus, if the insect has only to walk, and not to leap, the thighs are slender; but when it has to leap, they are swelled out in breadth, to afford room for the action of the muscles.

The claw is equally varied in its structure. Sometimes it is in the form of a rake for hewing down and drawing along mud; sometimes the claws are hooked, all bending in the same direction, by means of which it can suspend itself; sometimes, again, the claws act opposite to each other, like a hand, and at other times, there is but a single claw, to which a little protuberance serves as a thumb.

Such are the outlines of the merely mechanical structure of insects. The other parts are equally curious. The nervous system, which is ramified from the brain, is contained in the head; the singular formation that is often displayed in the mouth, which is, at one time, a pump, and at another a pair of scissors ; and the long and singular changes, through which many of them have to pass, before they can enjoy the day or the hour, which is given them to wanton in the sun; taking them, diversified as they are among many genera and species, they form ample and delightful study for the most active mind, through the most prolonged life.

Oh! mark the withered leaves that fall

In silence to the ground;
Upon the human heart they call,

And preach without a sound.
They say,

so passes man's brief year!
Today his green leaves wave;
Tomorrow, changed by time, and sere,

He drops into the grave.
Let wisdom be our sole concern,

Since life's green days how brief !
And faith and heavenly hope, shall learn,

A lesson from the leaf.

GRACEFULNESS. Be graceful in your manners. The different effect of the same thing, said or done, when accompanied or deserted by graceful manners, is almost inconceivable; they prepare the way to the heart.

From your own observation, reflect what a disagreeable impression an awkward address, a slovenly figure, an ungraceful manner of speaking, whether fluttering, muttering, or drawling, make upon you at first sight, in a stranger, and how they prejudice you against him.

PEEVISHNESS AND ANGER: PEEVISHNESS, though not so violent and fatal in its immediate effects, is still more unamiable than passion, and if possible more destructive of happiness; inasmuch as it operates more continually.

ugh the fretful man injures us less, he disgusts us more than the passionate one, - because he betrays a low and little mind, intent on trifes, and engrossed by a paltry selflove, which knows not how to bear the apprehension of any inconvenience. By voluntarily enduring inconveniences, we shall habituate ourselves to bear them with ease and good humor, when occasioned by others.

COMPLAISANCE. If we wish for the good will and esteem of our acquaintance, our good breeding must be active, cheerful and winning

Answer with complaisance when you are spoken to; sit not while others stand; do everything with an air of cheerfulness, and not with a grave, sour look, as if you did it unwillingly.

CIRCLES are praised, not that abound
In largeness, but th' exactly round;
So life we prize, that doth excel,
Not in much time, but acting well.

What though short my date ?
Virtue, not rolling suns, the mind matures -
That life is long, which answers lise's great end.

COMMODORE PERRY. At the famous battle of Lake Erie, when in the sweeping havoc, which was sometimes made, a number of men were shot away from around a gun, the survivors looked silently around to Perry, and then stepped into their places. When he looked at the poor fellows, who lay wounded and weltering on the deck, he always found their faces turned towards him, and their eyes fixed on his countenance. It is impossible for words to heighten the simple and affecting eloquence of this anecdoto. It speaks volumes in praise of the heroism of the commander, and the confidence and affection of his men.

NIGHT. All men are stretched upon their quiet beds; darkness is spread over the skies; every eye is shut, and every hand is still. The eye that sleeps not, is God's; his hand always protects us. He made sleep to refresh us when we are weary; he made night that we might sleep in quiet. As the affectionate mother stills every little noise that her infant may not be disturbed ; as she draws the curtains round its bed, and shuts out the light from its tender eyes ; 80 God draws the curtain of darkness around us; so he makes all things to be hushed and still, that his large family may sleep in peace.

When the darkness has passed away, and the beams of the morning sun strikes through our eyelids, let us begin our day by praising God, who has taken care of us through the night. Let bis praise be in our hearts when we lie down; let his praise be on our lips when we awake.

[merged small][merged small][graphic]

A man was angling in a river, and caught a small perch, which, as he was taking off the hook, and, going to put into his basket, opened its mouth, and began to implore his pity, begging that he would throw it into the river again.

Upon the man's demanding what reason he had to expect such a favor; “Why," says the fish, “because at present, I am young and little; and consequently not so well worth your while, as I shall be, if you take me some time hence, when I shall be grown larger.”

« AnteriorContinuar »