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result. But, like the revolving luminaries of a lighthouse, it wanes or vanishes only to reappear and blaze with increased splendour and effect. For its acquirement, no proper exertion or sacrifice can be too great, no vigilance too severe or protracted, no internal scrutiny too close, or external circumspection too strict, no solicitude too ardent, no resolve too firm, no declaration or avowal too strong or explicit. Its full possession constitutes the most ample reward.”
On what a slender thread, not only life, but that which, to many, is dearer than life-character such as we are describing-is suspended. Like a thread, it is soon snapped or injured. A false rumour may damage it, but a momentary sinful gratification or indulgence, and it is gone for ever! As an invaluable treasure, it cannot be too carefully guarded. With many, this is their all; and this gone, all is gone. A good character must be established and maintained, to secure respect and influence. While it is easier to gain a character than to keep it, the thing is not impossible. Aim then at excellence of character.
THE JACK KNIFE. A SHIP was driven out of her course, and cast away within sight of an unknown coast. All on board might have escaped in the boats, though rather crowded, but one of the passengers, on their refusing to admit his trunk into the boat, remained in the ship to unfasten it and get out his pocket-book, which contained notes to the amount of 20,0001. This he thought would not detain him a moment, and he requested them to wait, but in the hurry and confusion of the moment, he could not immediately recollect what he had done with the key of the trunk. Having found it at last and secured the money, he perceived to his dismay that every boat was out of sight, while the ship was falling apart, and suddenly he found himself in the sea. Catching at some article that was floating by, he clung to it almost mieonsciously, not relaxing his hold even when his senses were failing. Fortunately, he was floated to land, and when he revived, he found himself lying on the beach. As soon as his strength returned, he ascended an eminence, but could see no sign of the wreck or boats, or of any human creature. But as he was leaning despondingly against a tree, he was suddenly startled by being slapped on the shoulder, while a voice to his ear exclaimed, “ What cheer, my heart ? ” Turning around he gladly recognized one of the crew, and inquired what had become of the rest.
" Why, I don't know, but I suppose they are safe by this time, but I have seen nothing of them.”
“ Were you with them in the boats ?” “No, I staid on board to the last.”
“ And so did I, though I was not aware of your being aboard. I hope you succeeded, as well as I did, in saving your property.”
“I had nothing to save but a jack knife and plug of tobacco—both safe enough in my trowsers' pockets."
“ Then why did you not think of saving yourself at once ?”
“No, I could not think of leaving the ship as long as the planks held together. She could not say I was not true to the last. But come, comrade, let us see what kind of quarters we have got into."
They travelled some distance without any sight of a habitation. Necessity quickened their ingenuity, they were successful, occasionally, in catching fish, oysters, or birds, in which the sailor's jack knife proved of invaluable service, in preparing the proper snares and weapons, in opening the oysters, cutting up, or cleaning the fish or birds-above all, in striking a light to make a fire for the purpose of cookery. Once also, when they were attacked by a wild beast, the sailor, by a prompt use of his jack knife, saved their lives.
They had lived in this manner for some months, when, arriving at the opposite part of the island, they found it inhabited by savages, who conducted them to their king. The gentleman, being very anxious to conciliate his majesty, produced a five-hundred pound bank note, and politely offered it to his acceptance. The king, examined it with
curiosity, applied it to his nose and tongue, and being satisfied that it was not good to eat, returned it with contempt. The gentleman soon found that his twenty thousand pounds could not procure him the smallest consideration. The sailor, on the contrary, in a few days became a personage of great importance, for the many services which he was enabled to render with his jack knife, among a people where iron was unknown. They liberally supplied their wants, and his rich friend was glad to profit by his bounty.
One day, as they were attending the king on an eminence overlooking the sea, they descried a distant sail evidently passing the island.—They kindled a bonfire and hoisted signals, but they did not succeed in attracting notice.
"If we only had a boat,” exclaimed the sailor, “I think we could get within hail as she does not stand far out, though it is plain she intends to pass without touching this way."
The gentleman produced his twenty thousand pounds, and offered it to the king in exchange for a canoe, but his majesty rejected the roll of paper, and turned to the sailor, with a single word "knife."
The bargain was instantly closed, the jack knife was received by the king with no less delight than was experienced by the Englishmen as they jumped into the canoe. By dint of hard paddling, and a favorable current, they got within bail, and were taken aboard of the ship, which proved to be an English vessel homeward bound.
As they came within sight of the white cliffs, the gentleman took the sailor apart, and handed him two notes, which amounted to a thousand pounds, and said: “ You must not refuse to accept this, for you have done more than twenty times as much as I could have done. I trust you may find these bills, one day or other, as useful as your jack knife has been. I have learned by this time that a man's wealth is to be measured, not by the extent of his possessions, but by the use he can make of them.”
“Now, should you offer prayers to heaven,
And each but one might say ; For what, my precious children,
Would you this moment pray?"
“O I would pray, that God would send
His bright heaven down to earth ; Nor take us from his loved ones :"
Said George, in thoughtless mirth.
“And I,” said loving Isabel,
“Would ask, my darling mother, That we might die together,
Thou, Marian, I, and brother.”
Then Marian raised her thoughtful eyes,
The little dreaming one :“Be this my prayer, my mother dear, “Father, thy will be done."
A GLASS MANUFACTORY. GLASS is a very useful, transparent substance, which is applied to many important purposes. Our houses would be very uncomfortable if we had no glass for windows; we should frequently have the wind and rain beating into them, or be without the light of the sun in them.
Pliny, an ancient writer, says, that the art of making glass was discovered in the following manner. A merchant vessel, laden with nitre, having been driven ashore on the coast of Palestine, near the river Belus, the crew went in search of provisions, and set the kettles in which they boiled their food on some lumps of nitre. Some of the nitre was dissolved by the fire, and mingled with the river sand, and formed a mass of glass. This suggested the mode of making this beautiful substance for useful purposes; and, by gradual improvements, its manufacture was brought to a high state of perfection.
The principal materials of which glass is composed are