Page images
PDF
EPUB

would suffer him to place any piece of his in view, at the same time with one of Guidotto's.

There was a certain day in the year on which it was customary for all the students to exhibit their best painting in a public hall, where their merit was judged by a number of select examiners, and a prize of value awarded to the best. Guidotto had prepared for this 13 anniversary a piece which was to excel all he had before executed. On the evening before the exhibition, he had given the last touches to his painting, and nothing remained but to heighten the colouring, by means of a transparent varnish. The 14 malignant Brunello contrived artfully to put into the phial, containing this varnish, some drops of a 15 caustic preparation, which would have the effect of destroying the beauty and splendour of the painting.

Guidotto laid it on by candlelight, and then with great satisfaction hung up his picture in the public room.

Lorenzo, too, with beating heart, had prepared himself for the day. With vast 16 application he had finished a piece which he humbly hoped might appear not greatly inferior to some of Guidotto's earlier performances.

The important day arrived. The company assembled, and were introduced into the great room, where the light had just been fully admitted by drawing up a curtain. All went up with raised

expectations to Guidotto's picture ; when behold! instead of the brilliant beauty they had conceived, there was nothing but a dead surface of confused

17

66

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

and blotched colours. Surely,” they cried, “ this cannot be Guidotto's !” The unfortunate youth himself came up, and on beholding the dismal change of his favourite piece, burst out into an agony of grief, and exclaimed that he was 18 betrayed and 19 undone. The vile Brunello in a corner was enjoying his distress. But Lorenzo was little less affected than Guidotto himself. “Trick! knavery!” he cried. “Indeed, gentlemen, this is not Guidotto's work. I saw it when only half-finished, and it was beautiful. Look at the outline, and judge what it must have been before it was so basely spoilt.”

The spectators were all struck with Lorenzo's generous warmth, and sympathised in the distress of Guidotto ; but it was impossible to criticise his picture. They examined all the others attentively ;

. and that of Lorenzo gained a great majority of 20 suffrages. The prize was therefore awarded to him ; but Lorenzo, on receiving it, went up to Guidotto, and presenting it to him, said, “Take what merit would undoubtedly have acquired for you, had not the basest malice and envy defrauded you of it. To me it is honour enough to be accounted your second. If hereafter I may aspire to equal you, it shall be by means of fair competition, not by the aid of treachery.

Lorenzo's nobleness of conduct excited the warmest encomiums among the judges, who determined to settle the matter by giving each of the young men a prize of equal value ; for if Guidotto

[ocr errors]

WHERE THERE'S A WILL THERE'S AWAY.” 77

3

5

7

had deserved the prize for his painting, Lorenzo was entitled to one for his magnanimity.

I envy, pain or ill-feeling caused by the success or superiority of another. emulation, an ardent desire for superiority arising from competition (two or more struggling or striving for the same object). The story shows the difference between envy and emulation. 2 rancorous, spiteful ; malicious; bitter. 8 decry, to cry down ; to censure as faulty, mean, or worthless. insinuation,

li hint; suggestion; not saying a thing plainly, but leading people to suppose it is so. 5 reputed, by repute; according to general opinion or estimation. 6 comprehended, understood; conceived. ? ambition, eagerness; aspiration ; an eager and sometimes inordinate (immoderate, excessive) desire for honour, superiority, or power. 8 designing-room, the room in which the designs or patterns or models of drawings were made. 'palm, token of success or triumph. The ancients used to wear a branch of palm as a symbol of victory or rejo sarcasm, a satirical (cutting, bitter) remark, uttered with some degree of scorn or contempt. " petulant, peevish ; fretful ; ill-humoured. 12 criticism, judgment or opinion passed on anything after a careful examination of it. 13 anniversary, a day celebrated (kept up) as it returns

1 malignant, envious ; malicious. 15 caustic, burning ; corrosive. 16 application, diligent and attentive employment. 17 expectation, expecting or looking forward to anything. 18 betrayed, deceived or wronged by treachery. 19 undone, ruined, brought to misery, etc. 20 suffrages, votes.

9

10

[ocr errors]

each year.

“WHERE THERE'S A WILL THERE'S

A WAY."

We have faith in old proverbs full surely,

For wisdom has traced what they tell,
And truth may be drawn up as purely
From them, as it may

from a " well.”
Let us question the thinkers and doers,

And hear what they honestly say,
And you'll find they believe, like bold wooers,

In " Where there's a WILL there's a WAY."

[ocr errors]

66

The hills have been high for man's mounting,

The woods have been dense for his axe ;
The stars have been thick for his counting,

The sands have been wide for his tracks :
The sea has been deep for his diving,

The poles have been broad for his sway,
But bravely he's proved by his striving,

That Where there's a WILL there's a way.”
Have ye vices that ask a destroyer,

Or passions that need your control ?
Let ? Reason become your employer,

And your body be ruled by your soul.
Fight on, though ye bleed at the trial,

Resist with all strength that ye may,
Ye may conquer Sin's host by denial,

For “ Where there's a WILL there's a WAY.".
Have ye poverty's pinching to cope with ?

Does suffering weigh down your might?
Only call up a 3 spirit to hope with,

And * dawn may come out of the night.
Oh! much may be done by defying

The ghosts of 5 Despair and 6 Dismay,
And much may be gained by relying

On “ Where there's a WLLL there's a way.”
Should ye see afar off that worth winning,

Set out on a journey with trust,
And ne'er heed though your path at beginning

Should be among 'brambles and dust.
Though it is by footsteps ye do it,

And hardships may hinder and stay,
Keep a heart and be sure ye go through it,
For " Where there's a WILL there's a way."

9 E. Cook.

3

6

7

8

9

1

To illustrate this verse, think of the roads across the Alps and other high mountains ; the forests through which man has penetrated in North America ; the wonderful discoveries made by astronomers ; the caravans crossing vast deserts; the diving bell and apparatus; and the voyages of discovery to the North and South Poles. 2 reason, the faculty or capacity of the mind which thinks, and so enables man to form opinions and judgments ; reason is the highest of the faculties, and as such should reign over them and guide them, and not be subject to them. It is the faculty of reason which makes man so superior to the lower animals. 3 spirit, the spirit of Hope, Faith, or Love. "dawn may come, etc., happiness follow trouble and sorrow. 5despair, loss of hope ; the giving up of expectation ; despondency. dismay, distressing fear ; alarm, horror, terror; consternation. a brambles and dust : by this may be understood difficulties, hardships, suffering. 8 footsteps, that is, step by step; by perseverance. 'Eliza Cook, authoress of " The Old Arm-chair,” “King Bruce," and many other beautiful pieces of poetry.

5

9

THE SWISS GUARD.

re-pre-sent-a-tives mag'-is-tra-cy a-maze'-ment sov'-er-eign re-yol-u'-tion-a-ry ex-pec-ta'-tion slaugh'-tered squad'-rons neigh'-bour-hood pre-cip’-it-ous pro-tec'-tion Tuil'-er-ies op-pres'-sive-ly in-di-vid'-u-al as-sail'-ants as-sem'-bly in-sur-rec'-tion des-truc'-tion ad-he'-rents fu'-ri-ous

On the 9th of August, 1792, there was much noise and confusion throughout Paris ; it was the eve of a terrible 1 insurrection.

Night closed in oppressively hot; and the rooms of the palace were crowded with gentlemen, 2 adherents of the court, who had come to defend their king and his family. The Swiss guards-picked Swiss soldiers, strong and brave, hired to guard the person and palace of the sovereign-stood silently at their posts, yet the defenders were but a small company to withstand the furious Paris mob.

« PreviousContinue »