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THE NIGHTINGALE AND THE PEACOCK.
A Nightingale found among the songsters of the wood many to flatter, but not a single friend. Perhaps, thought he, I shall find one among some other species, and flew down to the Peacock.
“ Beautiful Peacock, I admire you!" “ And I, too, admire you, melodious Nightingale!” “ Then let us be friends," said the Nightingale. “ We shall not need to envy each other. You are as beautiful to the eye as I am to the ear.”
And the Nightingale and the Peacock became friends.
THE ASS AND THE FOX.
“ Tell me of any animal I cannot imitate,” boasted the Ass to the Fox.
“And you," the Fox returned, “ tell me of one who would try any chance to imitate you.”
THE WARLIKE WOLF.
“My father of glorious memory,” said a young Wolf to a
was a true hero! with what awe did he inspire the whole country round! He triumphed in his day over more than two hundred enemies, and sent their black souls to destruction. The only wonder is that he was at last vanquished himself.”
“ The orator has one way of representing things and the historian another," replied the Fox. “For instance, the historian would say—the two hundred enemies over whom he triumphed were sheep and asses, and the one enemy by whom he was subdued was the first bull he ever had the courage to attack.”
“I am going to fly,” cried the gigantic Ostrich.
The whole race of birds gathered round in earnest expectation.
“I am going to fly,” he cried again.
Stretching out his immense pinions he shot, like a ship with outspread sails, away over the ground without however rising an inch above it.
Let your gifts be the measure of your pretensions.
When Jupiter celebrated his marriage feast, and all the animals brought him presents, Juno missed the Sheep.
“Where tarries the Sheep!” asked the Goddess; “Why does the innocent lamb neglect to bring us her well-meant offering?"
And the Dog answered her saying, “Be not angry, O Goddess! I have seen the Sheep to-day; she was very sorrowful, and wept aloud."
“And why did the Sheep weep?" asked the compassionate Goddess. “I am most miserable!' thus she spoke.
I have now neither wool nor milk; what shall I give for my present to Jupiter ? Shall I alone appear before him without a gift ? Rather would I go and pray the Shepherd to offer me up to him as an oblation !'"
Meanwhile the prayers of the Shepherd, and the smoke of the offered lamb ascended through the clouds, with a sweet savour to Jupiter.' Juno had now wept her first tears, if tears could moisten immortal eyes.
At the time Jupiter was sharing the goods of the earth among mortals, after he had given to each his portion, the Poet presented himself at his throne, and begged that something might be given him.
“ You are too late, my friend," replied Jupiter; “I have already given the lands to the farmers, the magazines to the merchants-nothing is left. Where were you when all thes: things were divided ?
“At that time,” replied the Poet, “I was with you; I looked upon your countenance, and listened to your voice.”
“What can I do for you?” said Jove; “the earth is given away; the fruits, the produce of the chase, the merchandize are no longer mine to give; but if you are content to live with me in heaven, you shall not be denied access there."
THE GHOST OF SOLOMON.
A venerable old man bore the burden and heat of the day; ploughed his field with his own hand, and with his own hand strewed the pure seed into the soft bosom of the fruitful earth.
One day a heavenly apparition stood before him under the shadow of a broad terebinth : the old man was startled.
“I am Solomon," said the phantom, in a friendly voice. " What are you doing, old man ?” “ If you are Solomon," returned the old man,
“ how can you ask? You sent me in my youth to the ant, I saw their way of life, and learnt from them to be industrious, and to gather stores. What I learnt there, I still remember.”
You have but half learnt your lesson,” returned the spirit; go once more to the ant, and learn from him to rest the winter of your years, and enjoy your collected treasure.”
THE PRESENT OF THE FAIRIES.
By the cradle of a young prince, who afterwards became one of the greatest kings of his country, stoud two benevolent Fairies.
"I present to this, my favorite," said the first, “ the penetrating glance of the eagle, who does not fail to see the slightest fault that is committed throughout his wide kingdom"
“ The present is a beautiful one,” interrupted the second Fairy. “The prince will be a sensible monarch; but the eagle not only possesses the penetration to remark the least faults, but he possesses also, a noble contempt for the habit of seeking them out-and this will I give to the prince, for my present.”
“I thank you, sister, for this wise provision,” returned the first Fairy; “many kings would have been far greater, if they had not lowered themselves by too great a prying into small matters."
IN TWO FABLES.
I. “ Have you, among all the beasts, a greater benefactor than we are ?'' said a Bee to a man.
“Yes; a much greater," returned he. “ And who is it?"
“The sheep; for his wool is necessary to us, and your honey is only pleasant."
II. “And would you know another reason why I think the sheep so much greater a benefactor to us than you, O Bee? The sheep gives me his wool without reluctance; but when you give me your honey, I have always to fear your sting."
NIGHT AND DAY.
Night and Day strove with each other for the pre-eminence. The fiery, resplendent boy, Day, began to dispute. “Poor, dark mother,” said he, “what hast thou like my sun, my sky, my fields; like my busy restless life? What thou hast killed, I awake to the feeling of a new existence; what thou hast relaxed, I revive."
“But does man always thank you for your rousing," said the modest veiled Night. “ Must not I refresh what thou weariest? and how can I do this otherwise than chiefly through forgetfulness of thee. I go—the mother of gods and men, and take back all that I have produced into my bosom, with contentment to itself. As soon as it touches the hem of my garment, it forgets thy false glare, and gently bends down its head; and then I elevate, then I nourish the soul. Now become calm and peaceful, with my heavenly dew, to the eye which, under thy sun's rays, never ventured to look towards heaven, I, the veiled Night, unveil innumerable suns, innumerable images, new hopes, new stars.”
The prating Day touched the border of her garment, and silent and languid, sank down into her enveloping bosom. But she sat in her starry robe, on her starry throne, with ever peaceful countenance.
I. A Sparrow once caught upon a bough a fat Fly. Neither struggling, nor lamentation availed; she was seized. “Ah,"