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ternal love; for being in a battle with the Argives, and seeing his brother fall down dead with the wounds he had received, he instantly leapt over his dead body, and with his shield protected it from insult and plunder; and though sorely wounded in this generous enterprise, he would not by any means retreat to a place of safety, until he had seen the corpse carried off the field by his friends. How happy for Christians would they imitate this Heathen, and as tenderly screen from abuse and calumny the wounded reputation or dying honor of an absent or defenceless brother!
THE Beaver has a flat, broad tail, covered with scales, which serves it as a rudder in the water, and as a cart on land to carry materials for its buildings. The hind feet are webbed, but the fore feet are not, from the necessity of using them as hands. The fore part, in general, resembles a land animal, and the hind part a fish. The teeth are formed like a saw, and are used as such in cutting down the wood with which it builds its hut and keeps the water out of it. The fur, which is of a deep chesnut brown, is the most valuable material used in making hats. And hence the name given to our best kind of hats, beaver hats. Its length from
nose to tail, is about three feet; the tail is eleven inches long, and three broad.
In June and July, beavers form their societies, of two or three hundred, which they continue all the rest of the year. They always assemble by the side of a lake or river, where they take up their abode. The skill of these creatures is very extraordinary; and it may teach us a lesson of humility, when we see a beaver, with only its feet, teeth, and tail, capable of building a hut, as commodious for itself and young, as a cottage can be rendered to a peasant, even with the aid of reason and proper tools.
If they fix their station by a river subject to floods, they build a sort of pier which crosses the stream, so as to form a piece of water; but if they settle near a lake not liable to overflow its banks, they save themselves this trouble. To form this pier, they drive stakes of about five or six feet in length, wattling each row with twigs, and filling up the space between the rows with clay and earth, and other materials, calculated to make it firm. The side next the water is sloped, and the other perpendicular. The bottom is from ten to twelve feet thick, gradually diminishing to the top, which is about two or three feet at most. This pier is generally from eighty to a hundred feet in length. The greatness of the work, considering the architect, is not more wonderful than its firmness and solidity.
The houses are erected near the shore, in the water collected by the piers. They are either round or oval, and are built on piles. The tops being vaulted, the inside resembles an oven, and the outside a dome. Some of the houses have only one floor, and others three. The walls, which are two feet thick, are made of earth, stones, and sticks, and plastered with all the skill of an expert mason. Every house has two openings, one into the water, and the other towards the land. The height is about eight feet. From two to thirty beavers inhabit each dwelling; and in each pond there are from ten to twenty-five houses. They have each a bed of moss; and for their support in winter, ample stores are laid up near each separate cabin. For one tenant to steal from the magazine belonging to the tenants of another cabin is unknown. The notions of property and honesty are universal. Strangers are not permitted to intrude, but strict friendship prevails among the members of the same society. The approach of danger is announced by the violent striking of the tail against the surface of ihe water, which extends the alarm to a considerable distance, when some throw themselves into the water, and others retire into their houses, where they are safe from every enemy but man. During the summer time they quit their houses, and ramble about from place to place, sleeping under the covert of bushes by the water side.
Were a person unacquainted with the history of beavers, to be shown their dwellings, he would doubtless conclude they were the works of eminent architects who were endowed with reason. But on a nearer examination, we shall perceive, that whatever sagacity appears in their works, yet they act only from instinct. Were they guided by reason, there would be a difference in their buildings, and a gradual advancing towards perfection ; but we find they never vary from the rules of their forefathers, and the beavers of the present day build just as beavers did two thousand years ago.
Man, therefore, still stands alone upon earth, the chief and head of this lower world. He, only, possesses that degree of reason which renders him accountable for his actions unto God his Creator. He, only, is capable of knowing God as his God, of serving and enjoying him for ever.
INTERESTING AND INSTRUCTIVE EXTRACTS.
The mental fountain is unsealed to the eye of a mother, ere it has chosen a channel, or breathed a murmur. She may tinge with sweetness or bitterness, the whole stream of future life. Other teachers have to contend with unhappy combinations of ideas. She rules the simple and plastic elements. Of her, we may say, she “ hath entered into the magazine of snow, and seen the treasures of the hail." In the moral field, she is a privileged laborer. Ere the dews of morning begin to exhale, she is there. She breaks up a soil which the root of error, and the thorns of prejudice have not preoccupied. She plants germs whose fruit is for eternity. While she feels that she is required to educate not merely a virtuous member of society, but a Christian, an angel, a servant of the most High, how does so holy a charge quicken piety, by teaching the heart its own insufficiency!
“The soul of her infant is uncovered before her.She knows that the images which she enshrines in that unoccupied sanctuary must rise before her at the bar of doom.--Trembling at such tremendous rex. ponsibility, she teaches the little being, whose life is her dearest care, of the God who made him; and who can measure the extent of a mother's lessons of piety, unless his hand might remove the veil which divides terrestrial things ?
“ When I was a little child, said a good man, my mother used to bid me kneel beside her, and place her hand upon my head while she prayed. Ere I was old enough to know her worth, she died, and I was left too much to my own guidance. Like others, I was inclined to evil påssions, but often felt myself checked, and as it were drawn back, by a soft hand upon my head. When a young man, I travelled in foreign lands, and was exposed to many temptations. But when I would have yielded, that same hand was upon my head, and I was saved. I seemed to feel its pressure as in days of my happy infancy, and sometimes there came with it a voice, in my heart, a voice that must be obeyed—“O! do not this wickedness, my son, nor sin against thy God.”—
“I HAVE SEEN AN END OF ALL PERFECTION."
I have seen a man in the glory of his day and the pride of his strength. He was built like the tall cedar
that lifts its head above the forest trees; like the strong oak that strikes its roots deeply into the earth. He feared no danger-he felt no sickness. His mind was vigorous like his body; he was perplexed at no intricacy, he was daunted at no difficulty ; into hidden things he searched, and what was crooked he made plain. He went forth fearlessly upon the face of the mighty deep; he surveyed the nations of the earth; he measured the distance of the stars, and called them by their names ; he gloried in the extent of his knowledge, in the vigour of his understanding, and strove to search even into what the Almighty had concealed. And when I looked on him I said, “What a piece of work is man! how noble in reason! how infinite in faculties! in form and moving how express and amiable! in action how like an angel! in apprehension how like a god!”.
I returned-his look was no more lofty nor his step proud! his broken frame was like some ruined tower; his hairs were white and scattered ; and his eyes gazed vacantly upon what was around him. The vigour of his intellect was wasted, and of all that he had gained by study nothing remained. He feared when there was no danger, and when there was no sorrow he wept. -His memory was decayed and treacherous, and showed him only broken images of the glory that was departed. His house was to him, like a strange land, and his friends were counted as enemies; and he thought himself strong and healthful while his foot tottered on the verge of the grave. He said of his son
-he is my brother; of his daughter-I know her not; and inquired what was his own name. And one who supported his steps, and ministered to his many wants, said to him, as I looked on the melancholy scene“Let thine heart receive instruction, for thou hast seen an end of all earthly perfection."
I have seen a beautiful female treading the first stages of youth, and entering joyfully into the pleasures of life. The glance of her eye was variable and sweet, and on her cheek trembled something like the first blush of the morning; her lips moved, and there