« PoprzedniaDalej »
and had like to have brought me down again. However, by exerting all my strength, I got out of his reach, and did not cease running till I was at a considerable distance. I was afterwards informed that this was the den of an antlion, a terrible foe of our species, which, not equalling us in speed, is obliged to make use of this crafty device to entrap his heedless
prey. This was the last of my perils. To my great joy, I reached my native place last night, where I mean to stay content for the future. I do not know how far I have benefited from my travels, but one important conclusion I have drawn from them.
What is that? (said his friend).
Why, you know it is the current opinion with us, that every thing in this world was made for our use. Now, I have seen such vast tracts not at all fit for our residence, and peopled with creatures so much larger and stronger than ourselves, that I cannot help being convinced that the Creator had in view their accommodation as well as ours, in making this world.
I confess this seems probableenough; but you
had better keep your opinion to yourself.
Why so ?
You know we ants are a vain race, and make high pretensions to wisdom as well as antiquity. We shall be af. fronted with any attempts to lessen our importance in our own eyes.
But there is no wisdom in being deceived. Well-do
proper. Meantime, farewell, and thanks for the entertainment you have given me.
SHOW AND USE;
THE TWO PRESENTS.
ONE morning, Lord Richmore, coming down to breakfast, was welcomed with the tidings that his favourite mare Miss Slim, had brought a foal, and also, that a she-ass, kept for his lady's use as a milker, had dropped a young one. His lordship smiled at the inequality of the presents nature had made him.“ As for the foal (said he to the groom), that, you know, has been long promised to my neighbour Mr. Scamper. For young Balaam, you may dispose of him as you please.” The groom thanked his lordship, and said he would then give him to Isaac the woodman.
In due time, Miss Slim's foal, which was the son of a noted racer, was taken
to Squire Scamper’s, who received him with great delight, and out of compliment to the donor, named him Young Peer. He was brought up with at least as much care and tenderness as the Squire's own children-kept in a warm stable, fed with the best of corn and hay, duly dressed and regularly exercised. As he grew up, he gave tokens of great beauty. His colour was bright bay, with a white star on his forehead; his coat was fine, and shone like silk; and every point about him seemed to promise perfection of shape and make. Every body admired him as the completest colt that could be seen.
So fine a creature could not be des. tined to any useful employment. After he had passed his third year, he was sent to Newmarket to be trained for the turf, and a groom was appointed to the care of him alone. His master, who could not well afford the expense, saved part
of it by turning off a domestic tutor whom he kept for the education of his sons, and was content with sending them to the curate of the parish.
At four years old, Young Peer started for a subscription purse, and came in second out of a number of competitors. Soon after, he won a country plate, and filled his master with joy and triumph. The Squire now turned all his attention to the turf, made matches, betted high, and was at first tolerably successful. At length having ventured all the money he could raise upon one grand match, Young Peer ran on the wrong side of the post, was distanced, and the Squire ruined.
Meantime young Balaam went into Isaac's possession, where he had a very different training. He was left to pick. up his living as he could in the lanes and commons; and on the coldest days in winter he had no other shelter than