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Upon this, the weights, who had never been accused of light conduct, used all their influence in urging him to proceed; when, as with one consent, the wheels began to turn, the hands began to move, the pendulum began to wag, and, to its credit, ticked as loud as ever; and a beam of the rising sun that streamed through a hole in the kitchen shutter, shining full upon the dial plate, it brightened up as if nothing had been the matter.
When the farmer came down to breakfast that morning, upon looking at the clock he declared that his watch had gained half an hour in the night.
MORAL. — It is said by a celebrated modern writer, " Take care of the minutes, and the hours will take care of themselves.” This is an admirable hint, and might be very seasonably recollected when we begin to be “ weary in well doing,” from the thought of having a great deal to do. The present is all we have to manage : the past is irrecoverable ; the future is uncertain ; nor is it fair to burden one moment with the weight of the next. Sufficient unto the moment is the trouble thereof. If we had to walk a hundred miles, we still need set but one step at a time, and this process, continued, would infallibly bring us to our journey's end. Fatigue generally begins, and is always increased, by calculating in a minute the exertion of hours.
Thus, in looking forward to future life, let us recollect that we have not to sustain all its toil, to endure all its sufferings, or encounter all its crosses at once. One moment comes laden with its own little burden, then flies, and is succeeded by another no heavier than the last: if one could be sustained, so can another, and another.
Even in looking forward to a single day, the spirit may sometimes faint from an anticipation of the duties, the labors, the trials to temper and patience, that may be expected. Now, this is unjustly laying the burden of many thousand moments upon one.
Let any one resolve to do right now, leaving then
to do as it can, and if he were to live to the age of Methuselah, he would never err. But the common error is, to resolve to act right to-morrow, or nex: time; but now, just this once, we must go on the same as ever.
It seems easier to do right to-morrow than to-day, merely because we forget that when to-morrow comes, then will be
Thus life passes, with many, in resolutions for the future which the present never fulfils.
It is not thus with those who, “by patient continuance in well doing, seek for glory, honor, and immortality.” Day by day, minute by minute, they execute the appointed task to which the requisite measure of time and strength is proportioned; and thus, having worked while it was called day, they at length rest from their labors, and their “works follow them.”
Let us then, “whatever our hands find to do, do it with all our might,” recollecting that now is the proper and the accepted time.
XVII. -- THE SCHWEIN-GENERAL.*
SIR F. B. HEAD.
[SIR FRANCIS BOND HEAD is a living English author, who has written Rough Notes taken during some rapid journeys across the Pampas, Bubbles from the Brunnen of Nassau, The Emigrant, and A Fagot of French Sticks. His style is animated and picturesque, and his works are deservedly popular. He was formerly governor of Upper Canada.
The following sketch is taken from his Bubbles from the Brunnen of Nassau, a work describing the mineral springs of the grand duchy of Nassau, and the ways and habits of German watering-places in general.]
Every morning, at half past five o'clock, I hear, as I am dressing, the sudden blast of an immense wooden horn, from which always proceed the same four notes.
I have got quite accustomed to this wild sound, and the vibration has scarcely subsided; it is still ringing among the distant hills, when, leisurely proceeding from almost every door in the street, behold a pig! Some, from their jaded, care-worn, dragged appearance, are evidently leaving behind them a numerous litter; others are great, tall, monastic-looking creatures, which seem to have no other object left in this wretched world than to become bacon; while „thers are thin, tiny, light-hearted, brisk, petulant piglings, with the world and all its loves and sorrows before them. Of their own accord these creatures proceed down the street to join the herdsman, who occasionally continues to repeat the sorrowful blast from his horn.
* Schwein, pronounced schwine, is the German for swine. The whole word means svine-leader, or swine-herd.
Gregarious, or naturally fond of society, with one curl in their tails, and with their noses almost touching the ground, the pigs trot on, grunting to themselves and to their comrades, halting only whenever they come to any thing they can manage to swallow.
I have observed that the old ones pass all the carcasses, which, trailing to the ground, are hanging before the butcher's shops, as if they were on a sort of bond of honor not to touch them; the middle-aged ones wistfully eye this meat, yet jog on also; while the piglings, that (so like mankind) have more appetite than judgment, can rarely resist taking a nibble; yet no sooner does the dead calf begin again to move, than from the window immediately above out pops the head of a butcher, who, drinking his coffee, whip in hand, inflicts a prompt punishment, sounding quite equal to the offence.
As I have stated, the pigs, generally speaking, proceed of their own accord; but shortly after they have passed, there comes down our street a little bareheaded, harefooted, stunted dab of a child, about eleven years old—a Flibbertigibbet sort of creature, which, in a drawing, one would express by a couple of blots; the small one for her head, the other for her body; while streaming from the latter there would be a long line ending in a flourish, to express the immense whip which the child carries in her hand.
This little goblin page, the whipper-in attendant or aide-decamp of the old pig-driver, facetiously called, at Langen. Schwalbach, the “Schwein-general,” is a being no one looks at, and who looks at nobody.
Whether the inns of Schwalbach are full of strangers os empty; whether the promenades are occupied by princes or peasants; whether the weather be good or bad, hot or rainy,– she apparently never stops to consider; upon such
sub- jects, it is evident, she never for a moment has reflected. But
such a pair of eyes, for a pig, have perhaps seldom beamed
the herd was preceded by a boy about fourteen, whose duty it was not to let the foremost, the most enterprising, or, in other words, the most empty pig, advance too fast. In the middle of the drove, surrounded like a shepherd by his flock, slowly stalked the “Schwein-general," a wan, spectral-looking old man, worn out, or nearly so, by the arduous and every-day duty of conducting, against their wills, a gang of exactly the most obstinate animals in creation. A single glance at his jaundiced, ill-natured countenance was sufficient to satisfy one that his temper had been soured by the vexatious contrarieties and “ untoward events” it had met with.
In his left hand he held a staff to help himself onwards, while round his right shoulder hung one of the most terrific whips that could possibly be constructed. At the end of a short handle turning upon a swivel there was a lash about nine feet long, formed like the vertebræ of a snake, each joint being an iron ring, which, decreasing in size, was closely connected with its neighbor by a band of hard, greasy leather. The
pliability, the weight, and the force of this iron whip rendered it an argument which the obstinacy even of the pig was unable to resist; yet, as the old man proceeded down the town, he endeavored to speak kindly to the herd, and as the bulk of them preceded him, jostling each other, grumbling and grunting on their way, he occasionally exclaimed in a low, hollow, worn-out tone of encouragement, “Nina! Anina!” (drawling of course very long on the last syllable.)
little savory morsel caused a contention or stoppage on the march, the old fellow slowly unwound his dreadful whip, and by merely whirling it round his head, like reading the riot act, he generally succeeded in dispersing the crowd; but if they neglected this solemn warning, if their stomachs proved stronger than their judgments, and if the group of greedy pigs still continued to stagnate, “ Arriff!” the old fellow exclaimed, and rushing forwards, the lash whirling round his head, he inflicted, with strength which no one could have fancied he nossessed, a smack that seemed absolutely to electrify the leader. As lightning shoots across the heavens, I observed the culprit fly forward; and for many yards, continuing to sidle towards the left, it was quite evident that the thorn was still smarting in his side; and no wonder, poor fellow! for the blow he received would almost have cut a piece out of a door.
As soon as the herd got out of the town they began gradually to ascend the rocky, barren mountain which appeared towering above them; and then the labors of the Schwein-general and his staff became greater than ever; for as the animals from their solid column began to extend or deploy themselves into line, it was necessary constantly to ascend or descend the slippery hill, in order to outflank them. “Arriff!” vociferated the old man, striding after one of his rebellious subjects. “Arriff!” in a shrill tone of voice, was reëchoed by the lad, as he ran after another. However, in due time the drove reached the grourd which was devoted to their day's exercise, the whole mountain being thus taken in regular succession. The Schwein-general now halted, and the pigs being no