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1. In 1755, Washington, then a young man, twentytwo years of age, was stationed with his regiment at Alexandria. At this time an election for public officers took place, and the contest between the candidates became close and exciting.

2. A dispute took place between Mr. Payne and Washington, in which the latter (an occurrence very uncommon with him) became warm, and said something which gave Mr. Payne so much offense that he knocked Washington down.

3. Instead of flying into a passion, and sending Payne a challenge to fight a duel, as was expected, Washington, upon mature reflection, finding he had been the aggressor, resolved to ask pardon of Mr. Payne on the


4. Accordingly he met Mr. Payne the next day, and extended his hand in a friendly manner. "Mr. Payne," said he, "to err is nature; to rectify error is glory. I find I was wrong yesterday, but I wish to be right to-day. You had some satisfaction yesterday, and if you think that was sufficient, here is my hand, let us be friends." It is hardly necessary to state that ever afterwards they

were so.


1. The frost looked forth one still clear night,
And whispered, "Now I shall be out of sight;
So through the valley and over the height,
In silence I'll take my way;

I will not go on like that blustering train,
The wind and the snow, the hail and the rain,
Who make so much bustle and noise in vain;-
But I'll be as busy as they."

2. Then he flew to the mountain and powdered its crest;

He lit on the trees, and their boughs he dressed
In diamond beads; and over the breast

Of the quivering lake he spread

A coat of mail, that it need not fear
The downward point of many a spear
That he hung on its margin, far and near,
Where a rock could rear its head.

3. He went to the windows of those who slept, And over each pane like a fairy crept: Wherever he breathed, wherever he stept,

By the light of the moon were seen

Most beautiful things. There were flowers and trees,
There were bevies of birds and swarms of bees;
There were cities with temples and towers, and these
All pictured in silver sheen.

4. But he did one thing that was hardly fair:
He peeped in the cupboard, and finding there
That all had forgotten for him to prepare-
"Now, just to set them a-thinking,

I'll bite this basket of fruit," said he;
"This costly pitcher I'll burst in three;
And the glass of water they've left for me

Shall click! to tell them I'm drinking."


Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.


1. Newton was born in 1642. He discovered the principle of gravitation by which all bodies attract one another in proportion to their size and solidity. This power makes things fall to the ground, and, in like manner, makes the earth itself move round the sun.

2. The earth is prevented from falling into the sun by a force originally given to it, which tends to drive it off in a straight line; but the two forces acting together compel it to move in a circular direction. This is the Newtonian system, which is now universally received.

3. It was thought so remarkable that such discoveries, respecting bodies so far removed from us as the sun and stars, and apparently so much beyond our comprehension, should be made by mortal man, that those who lived in Newton's time were almost disposed to believe that there was something miraculous in it.

4. This is expressed in the lines inscribed on Newton's monument:

"Nature and Nature's laws lay hid in night;

God said, 'Let Newton be,' and all was light." He died in 1727, aged eighty-four years.

5. There are several interesting anecdotes of Newton. The first relates to his great discovery of gravitation. Being in the country, and sitting at his door one day, overlooking his garden, he saw an apple fall to the ground.

6. The thought occurred to him, "Why does the apple fall?" It is no answer to say, "Its weight makes it fall;" for then the question would only take a different form, and be, "Why do heavy bodies fall?" He could find no answer satisfactory to his own mind but this: "The earth attracts them."

7. But why suppose the earth only to have this attractive power? This led to the conclusion that all bodies have it in proportion to their bulk; and if all bodies on this earth have it, then why not also the heavenly bodies the sun, moon and stars? This idea, reflected upon, and submitted to mathematical investigation, resulted in the theory of gravitation.

8. Another anecdote illustrates his self-command. He had been laboring for many years on very abstruse calculations relating to a particular branch of inquiry; and one day, returning to his study, he found that his favorite dog, Diamond, had overturned a lighted candle, which had set fire to his papers and completely destroyed them. He only said, "O Diamond, Diamond! little do you know the mischief you have done!"

9. Another anecdote illustrates his modesty. A short time before his death he remarked, "I know not what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me."



1. The life of every individual may be compared to a river, rising in obscurity, increasing by the accession of tributary streams, and, after flowing through a longer or shorter distance, losing itself in some common receptacle.

2. The lives of individuals also, like the course of rivers, may be more or less extensive, but will all vanish and disappear in the gulf of eternity.

3. While a stream is confined within its banks, it fer

tilizes, enriches, and improves the country through which it passes; but if it deserts its channel, it becomes injurious and destructive—a sort of public nuisance; and, by stagnating in lakes and marshes, its exhalations diffuse pestilence and disease around.

4. Some glide away in obscurity and insignificance, while others become accelerated, traverse continents, give names to countries, and assign the boundaries of empires. Some are tranquil and gentle in their course, while others, rushing in torrents, dashing over precipices, and tumbling in water-falls, become objects of terror and dismay.

5. But however diversified their character or their direction, all agree in having their course short, limited and determined. Soon they fall into one capacious receptacle: their waters eventually mix in the waves of the


6. Thus human characters, however various, have one common destiny. Their course of action may be greatly diversified, but they all lose themselves in the ocean of eternity.



1. There was joy in the ship as she furrowed the foam, For fond hearts within her were dreaming of home. The young mother pressed fondly her babe to her breast,

And sang a sweet song as she rocked it to rest;
And the husband sat cheerily down by her side,
And looked with delight on the face of his bride.

2. "O, happy!" said he, "when our roaming is o'er, We'll dwell in a cottage that stands by the shore!

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