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THE BISHOP AND THE KING.
1. A HEATHEN king once caused a pious bishop to be brought before him, and required of him that he should deny his faith and sacrifice to the gods. But the bishop said, “My lord and king, that I shall not do." Then was the king exceeding angry, and said, "Knowest thou not that thy life is in my power, and I can kill thee? One look, and it will be done."
2. "I know that," answered the bishop; "but allow me first to state a case to thee, and a question for thy decision. Suppose that one of thy most faithful servants should fall into the power of thine enemies, and that they should seek to move him to be unfaithful toward thee, so that he should betray thee. But, seeing that thy servant remained steadfast in his fidelity, the enemies should take him, and, stripping him of all his clothes, send him away naked, in the midst of mockings and insults. Say, O king, when he should return to thee thus, wouldst thou not give him thy best robes, and recompense him for his disgrace with honor ?"
3. And the king answered and said, "Well, yes; but what does all this mean, and where has such a thing happened ?" Then spake the holy bishop, "Behold, thou canst strip me of this earthly garment; but I have a Master who will robe me anew. Ought I then to regard the dress, and give up fidelity for it?" Then said the heathen monarch, “Go! I give thee thy life!"
CONSIDER BOTH SIDES OF A QUESTION.
1. In the days of knight-errantry1 and paganism, one of our old British princes set up a statue to the goddess of Victory, in a point where four roads met together. In her right hand she held a spear, and her left hand rested upon a shield.
The outside of this shield was of gold, and the inside of silOn the former was inscribed,2 in the old British language, "To the goddess ever favorable ;" and on the other, For four victories obtained successively over the Picts and other inhabitants of the northern islands."
2. It happened one day that two knights completely armed, one in black armor, the other in white, arrived from opposite parts of the country at this statue, just about the same time; and, as neither of them had seen it before, they stopped to read the inscription, and observe the excellence of its workmanship.
3. After contemplating it for some time, "This golden shield," says the black knight-"Golden shield!" cried the white knight (who was as strictly observing the opposite side), "why, if I have my eyes, it is silver." "I know nothing of your eyes," replied the black knight; "but if ever I saw a golden shield in my life, this is one." "Yes," returned the white knight, smiling, "it is very probable, indeed, that they should expose a shield of gold in so public a place as this! For my part, I wonder even a silver one is not too strong a temptation for the devotion of some people who pass this way; and it appears, by the date, that this has been here above three years."
4. The black knight could not bear the smile with which this was delivered, and grew so warm in the dispute that it soon ended in a challenge; they both, therefore, turned their horses, and rode back so far as to have sufficient space for their career; then, fixing their spears in their rests, they flew at each other with the greatest fury and impetuosity. Their shock was so rude, and the blow on each side so effectual, that they both fell to the ground, much wounded and bruised, and lay there for some time, as in a trance.
5. A good Druid, who was traveling that way, found them in this condition. The Druids were the physicians of those times as well as the priests. He had a sovereign balsam about him, which he had composed himself, for he was very skillful in all the plants that grew in the fields or in the for ests; he stanched their blood, applied his balsam to their wounds, and brought them, as it were, from death to life
again. As soon as they were sufficiently recovered, he began to inquire into the occasion of their quarrel. "Why, this man," cried the black knight, "will have it that yonder shield is silver." "And he will have it," replied the white knight, "that it is gold." And then they told him all the particulars of the affair.
6. "Ah!" said the Druid, with a sigh, "you are both of you, my brethren, in the right, and both of you in the wrong. Had either of you given himself time to look at the opposite side of the shield, as well as that which first presented itself to view, all this passion and bloodshed might have been avoided. However, there is a very good lesson to be learned from the evils that have befallen you on this occasion. Permit me, therefore, to entreat you by all our gods, and by this goddess of Victory in particular, never to enter into any dispute for the future till you have fairly considered both sides of the question."
1 KNIGHT-ER-RANT-RY, the practice of wan-2 IN-SCRIBED, written or printed. dering about in quest of adventures. 3 IM-PET-U-OS'-I-TY, violence.
1. THE chameleon is an animal of the lizard kind, chiefly found in Arabia and Egypt, whose color often changes without any apparent1 cause; which circumstance has given rise to the following fable, showing, in a lively and striking manner, the folly of positiveness in opinion:
2. Two travelers of conceited2 cast,
3. "A stranger animal," cries one,
Its foot with triple3 claw disjoined';4
4. "Hold there," the other quick replies;
5. " I've seen it, sir, as well as you',
6. ""Tis green, 'tis green, sir, I assure ye." "Green'!" cries the other, in a fury:
'Why, sir, d'ye think I've lost my eyes'?" ""Twere no great loss'," the friend replies'; "For if they always serve you thus', You'll find them but of little use."
7. So high at last the contest rose,
From words they almost came to blows;
8. "Sirs'," cries the umpire,5" cease your pother
9. "And I'll engage that, when you've seen The reptile, you'll pronounce him green."
"Well, then, at once to ease the doubt,"
10. Both stared; the man looked wondrous wise!
(Then first the creature found a tongue),
14 DIS-JOIN'ED, separated.
AP-PAR'-ENT, plain; evident. CON-CEIT'-ED, having too high an opinion 5 UM'-PIRE, a person called in to decide a of one's self. controversy; a judge.
TRIPLE, three-fold; three parted. 1
6 POTH'-ER, foolish controversy.
1. I MET a little cottage girl,
She was eight years old, she said;
2. She had a rustic, woodland air,
3. "Sisters and brothers, little maid,
4. "And where are they, I pray you tell'?"
And two are gone to sea;