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you laid in bed and enjoyed your estate ; I rose in the morning and minded my business."
Men of business are accustomed to say, Time is money,” but it is more. An hour wasted daily on trifles, or in indolence, would, if devoted to selfimprovement, make an ignorant man wise in a few years, and employed in good works, would make his life fruitful, and death a harvest of worthy deeds. An economical use of time is the true mode of securing leisure : it enables us to get through business, and carry it forward, instead of being driven by it. Nelson once said, “I owe all my success in life to having been always a quarter of an hour before my time.” Lost wealth may be replaced by industry, lost knowledge by study, lost health by temperance or medicine, but lost time is gone for ever. A proper consideration of the value of time will also inspire habits of punctuality. Nothing begets confidence in a man sooner than the practice of this virtue, and nothing shakes confidence sooner than the want of it. He who holds to his appointment, and does not keep you waiting for him, shows that he has regard for your time as well as for his own.
Thus punctuality is one of the modes by which we testify our personal respect for those whom we are called upon to meet in the business of life. It is also conscientiousness in a measure ; for an appointment is a contract, expressed or implied, and he who does not keep it breaks faith. We naturally come to the conclusion that the person who is careless about time, will be careless about business, and that he is
not one to be trusted. When Washington's secretary excused himself for the lateness of his attendance, and laid the blame on his watch, his master quietly said, “Then you must get another watch, or I another secretary.” Adapted from Self Help (Smiles.)
wheat Often after a storm, when one goes through a field in which buck-wheat grows, one sees that it has be.come quite black and scorched; it looks just as if a flame of fire had passed over it, and then the farmer says, " That is what the lightning has done!” ,
But why has it had that done to it? I will relate what the sparrow said to me, and the sparrow heard it from a willow tree, which stood, and is yet standing, by a field of buck-wheat. It is such a large respectable willow tree, but crippled and old; in the middle it is
quite split, and tufts of grass and blackberries grow out of the cleft. The tree bends forwards, and the branches hang right down to the ground, just as if they were so much long green hair.
On all the fields around grew corn as well as rye, barley, and oats, yes, the splendid oats which, when they are ripe, look just like a crowd of little golden canary-birds on a twig. The corn grew abundantly, and the heavier it was the lower it bowed its head down in pious humility.
But there was also a field with buck-wheat, and this field was exactly opposite to the old willow tree. The buck-wheat would not on any account bow down, as the rest of the corn did, but held itself up proudly and stiffly.
“I am quite as rich as the ears of corn,” said it, "and besides that, I am far prettier. My flowers are as pretty as those of the apple tree, it is a real pleasure to any one to look on me and mine. Dost thou know anything more splendidly beautiful than we are, thou old willow tree?"
And the willow tree nodded with its head, just as if it meant by that to express, “ Yes, indeed I do."
“ But the buck-wheat strutted in pure pride, and said, “ The stupid tree, he is so old, that actually grass grows in his body."
Now came on a terribly bad storm : all the flowers of the field folded up their leaves together, or bent down their little heads whilst the storm passed over them ; but the buck-wheat displayed itself in its pride.
"Bend your head down as we do," said the flowers.
“There is not the least need for me to do that,” answered the buck-wheat.
"Lower your head, as we do," cried the corn. angel of the storm is coming now, he has wings which reach from the sky down to the very ground; and he will strike you through and through, before you can ask him to be merciful.” “Indeed, but I do not intend to bend down, I will not do it," said the buckwheat. "Shut your flowers, and bend down your leaves," said the old willow tree,“ don't look up at the lightning if the cloud breaks asunder ; even men dare not do that, for in lightning one can see right into heaven ; but this sight blinds even men sometines, so what would happen to us plants of the earth, if we dared to do it, we who are so much meaner than they."
“Much inferior !” said the buck-wheat, “well, now, I will look straight up into heaven.” And it did it in its foolhardiness and pride, and it lightened so that it seemed as if the whole world were in flames.
When the bad weather was over, the flowers and the corn stood up in the pure motionless air, quite refreshed with the rain ; but the buck-wheat was burnt as black as a coal by the lightning, and was nothing more than a dead weed in the field.
And the old willow tree moved its branches in the wind, and great drops of water fell from the green leaves just as if the tree was weeping, and the sparrows asked, “Why art thou weeping? All is so happy here ! Look how the sun is shining, look how the clouds move on ; dost thou not remark the scent of the flowers ? Why art thou weeping, old willow tree?”
And the willow tree told of the pride of the buckwbeat, of its haughtiness and the punishment which always follows. I, who tell the story, heard it from the sparrows. They told it to me one evening when I begged them for a story.
From the German of Andersen.
Be beside me in the light,