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The old Man and his Ass,
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The two Bees.
forward in quest of honey, the one wise and temperate, the other careless and extrava. gant. They soon arrived at a garden enriched with aromatic herbs, the most fragrant flowers, and the most delicious fruits. They feasted for some time upon the various dainties that were spread before them : the one loaded his thighs, at intervals, with provisions for the hive against the distant winter; the other revelled in sweets, without regard to any thing but his present gratification. At length, they found a wide-mouthed phial, that hung beneath the bough of a peach-tree, filled with honey ready tempered, and exposed to their taste in the mos alluring manner. The thoughtless epicure, in spite of his friend's remonstrances, plunged headlong into the ves.
sel, resolving to indulge himself in all the pleasures of sensuality. His prudent coinpanion, on the other hand, sipped a little, withi caution ; but being suspicious of danger, flew off to fruits and flowers; where, by the moderation of his meals, he improved his relish for the true enjoyment of them. In the evening, however, he called upon his friend, to inquire whether he would return to the hive: but he found him surfeited in sweets, which he was as unable to leave, as to enjoy. Clogged in his wings, enfeebied in his feet, and his whole frame totally, weakened by excess, he was but just able to bid his friend adieu ; and to lament with his latest breath,—that though a taste of pleasure may quicken the relish of life, an unrestrained indulgence leads to inevitable destruction.
Appearances often Déceive. A YOUTH, who lived for the most part in the country, and who had not acquired, either by reading or conversation, any knowledge of the animals which inhabit foreign'regions, was taken to see an exhibition of wild beasts. The size and figure of the elephant struck him with awe ; and he viewed the rhinoceros with astonishment. But his attention was soon withdrawn from these animals, and directed to another, of the most elegant and beautiful
form. He stood observing wtth silent admiration, the glossy smoothness of his hair; the blackness and regularity of the streaks with which he was marked ; the symmetry of his limbs; and, above all, the placid sweetness of his countenance. " What is the name of this lovely animal," said he to the keeper, “ which you have placed near one of the ugliest beasts in your collection; as if you meant to contrast beauty with deformity?"
“ Beware, young man," replied the intelligent keeper,“ of being so easily captivated with external appearance. The animal which you admire is called a tiger : and notwithstanding the meekness of his lookis, he is fierce and savage beyond description. I can neither terrify him by correction, nor tame him by indulgence. But the other beast which you despise, is in the highest degree docile, affectionate, and useful. For the benefit of man he traverses the sandy deserts of Arabia, where drink and pasture are seldom to be found; and will continue six or seven days without sustenance, yet still patient of labour. His hair is manufactured into clothing;
his flesh is deemed wholesome nourish. ment; and the milk of the female is much valued by the Arabs. The camel, therefore, for such is the name given to this animal, is more worthy of your admiration than the tiger ; notwithstanding the inelegance of his make, and the two bunches upon his baek: for