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WHAT ARE EMBLEMS?
What are Emblems? a Familiar
Cecilia. Pray, papa, what is an emblem ? I have met the word in my lesson to-day, and I do not quite understand it.
Papa. An emblem, my dear, is a visible image of an invisible thing.
C. An invisible image of, -1 can hardly comprehend.
P. Well, I will explain it more at length. . There are certain notions that we form in our minds without the help of our eyes or any of our senses. Thus, virtue, vice, honor, disgrace, time, death, and the like, are not sensible objects, but ideas of the understanding.
C. Yes, we cannot feel them, nor see them, but we can think about them.
P. Now it sometimes happens, that we wish to represent one of these in a visible form, - that is, to offer something to the sight that shall raise a similar notion in the minds of the beholders. For instance, you know the Court-house, where trials are held. It would be easy to write over the door, in order to distinguish it, “ This is the Courthouse; but it is a more ingenious and elegant way of pointing it out, to place upon the building a figure representing the purpose for which it was erected, namely, to distribute justice. For this end, a human figure is made, distinguished by tokens which bear a relation to the character of that virtue. Justice carefully weighs both sides of a cause; she is, therefore, represented as holding a pair of scales. It is her office to punish crimes; she therefore holds a sword. This is then an emblematical figure, and the sword and scales are emblems.
C. I understand this very well. I have a figure of Death in my fable-book. I suppose that is emblematical.
P. Certainly, or you would not know it meant death. How is it represented ?
C. He is nothing but bones, and he holds a scythe in one hand, and an hour-glass in the other.
P. Well, how do you interpret these emblems?
C. I suppose he is all bones, because nothing but bones are left, after a dead body has lain long in the grave.
P. What does the scythe represent ?
C. Is it not because Death mows down everything?
P. Yes. No instrument could so properly represent the wide-wasting sway of death, which sweeps down the race of animals, like flowers falling under the hands of the mower. It is a simile used in the Scriptures.
C. The hour-glass is to show people, I suppose, that their time is come.
P. Right. In the hour-glass that Death holds, all the sand has run from the upper to the lower part. Have you ever observed upon a monument, an old figure with wings, and a scythe, and with his head bald, all but a single lock before?
C. O'yes, and I have been told it is Time.
and flies away.
P. I thought that would puzzle you. It relates to time, as giving opportunity for doing anything. It is to be seized as it presents itself, or it will escape, and cannot be recovered. Thus, the proverb says, " Take Time by the forelock.” I have here got a few emblematical pictures. Let us see if you can find out their meaning. Here is an old, half-ruined building, supported by props; and the figure of Time is sawing through one of the props.
C. That must be Old Age, surely.
P. Yes. Here is a man standing on the summit of a steep cliff, and going to ascend a ladder, which he has placed against a cloud.
C. Let me see, - that must be Ambition, I think. He is very high, already, but he wants to be higher still, though his ladder is only supported by a cloud.
P. Very right. Here is a walking-stick, the lower part of which is set in the water, and it appears crooked. What does that denote?
C. Is the stick really crooked ?
P. No, but it is the property of the water to give it that appearance.
C. Then it must signify Deception.
NAOMI AND RUTH.
who is running as fast as his legs will carry him, and looking back at his shadow. C. He must be Fiar or Terror, I fancy. P. Yes, you may call him which you please.
What do you think of this candle held before a mirror, in which its figure is exactly reflected?
C. I do not know what it means.
P. It represents Truth. The object is a luminous one, to show the clearness and brightness of truth. You see here a woman disentangling and reeling off a very perplexed skein of thread.
C. She must have a great deal of patience.
P. True, she is Patience herself. What do you think of this pleasing female, who looks with such kindness upon the drooping plants she is watering?
C. That must be Charity, I believe.
P. Here is a lady sitting demurely with one finger on her lip, while she holds a bridle in her other hand.
C. The finger on her lip, I suppose, denotes Silence. The bridle must mean confinement. " I should almost fancy her to be a schoolmistress.
P. Ha! ha! I hope indeed, many schoolmistresses are ndued with her spirit, for she is Prudence, or Discretion. Well, we have now got to the end of our pictures, and, upon he whole, you have interpreted them very well.
LESSON LIV. Naomi and Ruth. Ruth, chap. i.
1. Now it came to pass, in the days when the judges ‘uled, that there was a farine in the land. And a certain nan of Bethlehem-judah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons.
2. And the name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi, and the name of his two sons Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehem-judah. And they came into the country of Moab, and continued there.
3. And Elimelech, Naomi's husband, died; and she was left, and her two sons. 4. And they took them wives of the women of Moab;
the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth; and they dwelled there about ten years.
5. And Mahlon and Chilion died also both of them; and the woman was left of her two sons and her husband.
6. Then she arose, with her daughters-in-law, that she might return from the country of Moab; for she had heard in the country of Moab, how that the Lord had visited his people, in giving them bread.
7. Wherefore she went forth out of the place where she was, and her two daughters-in-law with her; and they went on the way to return unto the land of Judah.
8. And Naomi said unto her two daughters-in-law, Go, return each to her mother's house; the Lord deal kindly with you, as ye have dealt with the dead, and with me.
9. The Lord grant you that ye may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband. Then she kissed them; and they lifted up their voice and wept.
10. And they said unto her, Surely we will return with thee unto thy people.
11. And Naomi said, Turn again, my daughters, why will ye go with me? It grieveth me much, for your sakes, that the hand of the Lord is gone out against me.
12. And they lifted up their voice, and wept again; and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clave unto her.
13. And she said, Behold, thy sister-in-law is gone back unto her people, and unto her gods; return thou after thy sister-in-law.
14. And Ruth said, Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee; for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge; thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God;
15. Where thou diest will I die, and there will I be buried. The Lord do so to me, and more also, if aught but death part thee and me.
16. When she saw that she was steadfastly minded to go with her, then she left speaking unto her.
17. So they two went until they came to Bethlehem. And it came to pass, when they were come to Bethlehem, that all the city was moved about them; and they said, Is this Naomi ?
18. And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me Mara; for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me.
WEALTH AND FASHION.
19. I went out full, and the Lord hath brought me home again empty; why then call ye me Naomi, seeing the Lord hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me?
20. So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter-in-law, with her, which returned out of the country of Moab; and they came to Bethlehem in the beginning of barley-harvest.
The following dialogue took place between a brother and sister, both unusually endowed with talent. Horace had just received his license as attorney at law ; Caroline had entered her eighteenth year, and was a belle in her own circle.
Caroline. What a pity it is, Horace, that we are born under a republican government.
Horace. Upon my word, that is a patriotic observation for an American.
C. O, I know that it is not a popular one; we must all join in the cry of liberty and equality, and bless our stars that we have neither kings nor emperors to rule over us. If we don't join in the shout, and hang our hats on hickory trees, or liberty poles, we are considered unnatural monsters. For my part, I am tired of it, and I am determined to say what I think. I hate republicanism; I hate liberty and equality; and I don't hesitate to declare, that I am for monarchy. You may laugh, but I would say it at the stake.
H. Bravo! why you have almost run yourself out of breath, Cara; you deserve to be prime minister to the king.
C. You mistake me, Horace. I have no wish to mingle in political broils, not even if I could be as renowned as Pitt or Fox; but I must say, I think our equality is odious. What do you think? to-day the new chambermaid put her head into the door, and said, “ Caroline, your marm wants you.”
H. (Clapping his hands.) Excellent! I suppose if ours were a monarchical government, she would have bent one knee to the ground, and saluted your little foot, before she spoke.
C. No, Horace, you know there are no such forms as