Imágenes de páginas

groves. When we listen to the brilliant sounds of that voice, we are apt to conclude, that the bird must be large, that the throat must have great strength; and the inimitable charm of ther melodious notes makes us presume that she surpasses all others in the beauty of her form. But it would be to no purpose to seek these advantages in the nightingale: it is a bird of poor appearance, whose colour, form, and the whole of its exterior, is void of any thing attractive or majestic, and has nothing in the least distinguishing. Nature has, however, compensated for its plainness, by giving it a voice irresistibly charming. Listen to its fine long quivering notes: what variety, sweetness, and brilliancy in them! When she begins her song, she seems to study and compose beforehand the melodious notes she wishes to be heard. She begins softly; then the notes swell gradually, till they run with the rapidity of a torrent: she goes from serious to gay-from simple notes to the wildest warblings; and has, throughout the whole, the art to please the ear. • This bird may give rise to many useful and edifying reflections: we may learn this truth from it, that homeliness of body is sometimes united with very estimable qualities, and does not exclude beauty from the soul. How unjust then are those who, only attaching themselves to the features of the face, and to exterior qualities, praise or blame nothing but what strikes their senses, and despise those who have bodily defects. Let us learn to judge with more equity. Any man, though deprived of the advantages of figure and fortune, who proves himself by his conduct to have the soul of a sage or a saint, is by much the more worthy of our esteem. It is the perfection of the soul only that gives true merit to man, or is worthy our admiration; the rest can only seduce those who do not know the value of wisdom and vir tue. Have we not often known persons, neither distinguished by rank nor exterior qualities, who have

done the greatest services to mankind, and who have often shown more greatness of soul, than others possessed of the most beautiful person and finest form. It is a lesson not to trust to appearances. Those we despise may often prove to be superior to ourselves.

[ocr errors]

[ocr errors]

! Dein LESSON LXVIII. 1.114 2015!

ið siiT statis} TOOK I. The Pleasures which Summer affords to our Senses.. Irma

9:. SUMMER has inexpressible charms, and gives us daily proofs of the infinite beneficence of our Creator: it is the happy season in which he pours out the treasures of his blessings, in the greatest abundance, on every living creature. . Nature, after having revived us with the pleasures of spring, is continually employed all the summer, in providing for us every thing to please our senses, to make our subsistence easy, to satisfy, our wants, and awaken in our hearts just sentiments of gratitude. Before our eyes there grows, by virtue of the secret laws of nature, an innumerable quantity of fruit in the fields and gardens: fruits which, after having pleased the sight, may be gathered and preserved for our food. The flowers afford the most agreeable variety to our senses; we admire their rich dress, and the inexhaustible fertility of nature in the multiplicity of their species. What variety and beauty also in the plants, from the humble moss to the stately oak! Let us climb the highest mountains, seek the cool shade of the woods, or descend into the valley, we shall every where find new beauties. A multitude of objects strike our eyes at once, all different from each other; but each in itself has charms enough to

fix our attention. There we see innumerable flowers; here living creatures of different kinds. If we lift up our eyes, they are delighted with the blue sky; if we cast them on the ground, they are refreshed by the beautiful verdure with which it is clothed. Our ear is charmed with the cheerful notes of the winged songsters; the variety and simplicity of their melody fills the soul with the sweetest sensations. The murmuring of the brooks, and the silver waves of a fine flowing river, also please the ear and eye. It is to indulge our taste that the strawberries and other pleasant fruit ripen; while at the same time they cool the blood. Our barns and granaries are filled with the new productions of the fields and gardens, which afford us wholesome, agreeable food. The smell is struck with the sweet perfume that exhales on every side. A number of pleasing objects affect the senses, and raise our sensibility: Numerous flocks feed on the profusion of bountiful nature, to procure us pleasant and wholesome milk and nourishing meats. · Abundant rains moisten the ground, and open to us new sources of blessings. Tufted trees and groves afford ús a delightful shade. AII that we see and hear, all that taste or smell can cons vey, increases our pleasures, and contributes to our happiness. But the creation is a still greater and more enchanting object for the mind than for the senses. In points where the latter cannot rcach, the mind discovers beauty, harmony, variety, and new pleasures...

pasat la b aron . .., se for break; 4 ystá otilia un 9. D eberlin Etowolt IT .booi

esanos THOU' EKS" E199335,',tos litt oldipucdx9i' Basi .i V 4.1 kr

Bin 8919902 119K e nient . I sind od 9011 petual 9 .L!

fun wilt doilo u 9 Eur

; but seats qu 2boow dito ghadh .' Betes

k ast 91917 yive fleste das in "b r a JE SV3 UO sine a199ido 1 {* , A ISI 18. }ize"I! 9L ID ; vidro dan

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

It is admirable that, in an age so enlightened an ours, not only the multitude, but even those who pretend to be superior to the common people, should be still so ignorant in respect to those bodies. From thence proceed the superstitious notions which are raised by eclipses of the sun and moon. If any one took the trouble to inquire into the cause of them, it would be found how absurd it is to shut up wells during an eclipse, to prevent the water from acquiring any hurtful quality, or to take other superstitious precautions, which are melancholy proofs of the ignorance and want of piety in mankind. Let us, then, examine into this phenomenon, because it is in itself very remarkable, and furnishes us with a new oecasion to glorify our great Creator. The eclipse of the sun is an effect entirely natural; it is caused by the - moon passing between the earth and the sun. But

it can only take place when the moon, which is an opaque, body, and dark in itself, comes nearly in a direct line between the sun and our earth. It then conceals from us part of that globe, or the whole of it. The former is called, in the almanacks, a partial eclipse; the latter, a total eclipse. Thus the solar eclipse is nothing more than the situation of the earth when the moon passes between it and the sun, interrupting the solar rays, We must not imagine that the sun is at that time really darkened. It is only concealed from us. It retains its usual splendour; and all the difference is, that the rays which issue from it cannot reach us, because the moon is placed between the sun and our globe. This is the reason that a solar eclipse is never visible at the same time in all parts of our earth; for, unless the sun had really lost its light, the eclipse could not be visible at the same time in every point of the hemisphere. It is, on the contrary, always more in one country than in another, and in some places it is never seen at any time. The moon not only darkens our earth sometimes, but the latter also casts its shade upon the moon, and by that means intercepts the rays of the sun from it, either wholly or in part; and this is called an eclipse of the moon: but it can only be when the moon is at one side of the earth, and the sun at the opposite side, and consequently when it is full moon. As that planet is really darkened by the shadow of the earth, the eclipse is perceived at the same time on all the points of an hemisphere of our globe. Some people may ask what is the use of eclipses of the sun and moon ? To those even who only calculate the use of natural things from the immediate advantage that accrues to them, the eclipses are of no importance. It is by their means that the true position and distance of towns and countries are known; and it is from thence that we have been able to tracé accurately, the geographical maps of the most remote

countries. Eclipses, if well observed, serve 'also to * confirm chronology, and to direct the navigator, by showing him how far he is from the east or west.

However inattentive we may be to the importance of these advantages, they are not the less essential to



[ocr errors][ocr errors]

. ..*; LESSON LXX...e vel

Business Mod The Stalk of the Wheat. Di We see that the wheat is growing every day, that the tender ears of corn are insensibly ripening, in order to furnish us, some weeks hence, with whole

« AnteriorContinuar »