Page images

the American Republic is well known ; its centennial birth-day has not dawned yet; whereas the Golden Era of literature in England did reach its zenith in the sixteenth century.

26. The development of this young nation in the liberal, as well as in the mechanic arts, in so short a period, borders upon the marvelous and incredible. Her strides in that line have kept pace with her civilization and territorial aggrandizement. Like the Goddess Minerva, who, according to the ancient fable, clad in full armor, sprung out of the brain of a divinity; or like the colossal statue, spoken of in the Bible, which started from a pebble; this great nation—the creature of man panting for liberty—has almost instantaneously taken a high position among the great powers of the earth. It has become the leading star of the West, whose rays of political, artistic, and scientific knowledge, are reflected with dazzling splendor on the Eastern Hemisphere.

27. The secret of this wonderful progress of America in the political, religious, and scientific world, is to be found in the emancipation of man from intellectual bondage; in the concession of the free exercise of a right-which is also a duty-derived from the Author of Nature, viz: To express his sentiments according to the inward conviction of his conscience, in all matters, whether religious or political.The free exercise of this right elevates the social and moral condition of man; it makes him conscious of his power and dignity in council, and at the comitia ; it gains for him respect and fear from his fellow-men, however wealthy and exalted their position may be; and as a natural result, it revives his drooping energies; it excites in him a laudable ambition and emulation; it awakens his genius for discovery, and inspires him with an unquenchable desire of improving evermore his physical, moral, and social condition. The beneficial results of such a liberal and just concession are evident in this country; and they, better than any reasons, prove the good of the cause.

(26.) What do you remark respecting the progress of America

in the mechanic and liberal arts? (27.) What is the secret cause of this wonderful progress ?

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

1. The word fable originates from the Latin verb fari, to speak, and is " a fictitious narrative,

à either improbable, or very doubtful, relating to rational or irrational beings, and having for its object, either a moral instruction, or the illustra

a tion of a truth.”

2. Fables are of three kinds; first, reasonable fables, which relate to rational beings; second, moral fables, or apologi; third, mixed fables, which refer both to rational and irrational beings.

3. Fables, on account of their object being to instruct, .or to illustrate a truth, were very much in favor among the ancient writers and speakers, as their works testify.

We shall treat in this part of the different kinds of fables; of their qualities, style, and object, in five articles.

[ocr errors]

(1.) Whence is the word fable derived ?

What is a fable? (2.) How many kinds of fables are there? (3.) Among whom were fables in great favor ?



A reasonable fable " is that which relates human facts or words.” It is called reasonable, not because the facts related are probable, but because it refers to rational beings.

2. Parables, which narrate events that are probable, are better classed among narrations ; such are the parables in the Gospel.

3. The following is an example of the reasonable fable, related by Phædrus.


“A certain miscreant threw a stone at Æsopus. • Much the better,' said Æsopus; and then gave him a small piece of money, saying, “I have no more, by Hercules! but where thou canst obtain more, I will show to thee. Behold, a wealthy and mighty man is coming; throw a stone at him also, and thou wilt soon obtain a proper reward.'” The wretch, being persuaded, did as he was told; but impudence was disappointed in the expectation ; for being captured, he paid the penalty on the gibbet.”


(1.) What is a reasonable fable ?
(2.) To what class of composition do parables belong?

Give an example of the reasonable fable.



[ocr errors]

1. A moral fable or apologue is “ a narrative which relates facts or dialogues of irrational beings.” It is called moral ; because, among the ancients, it had for its object a moral instruction only.

2. Piedrus affords a fine example of an apologue, in the fable of “The Ruptured Frog and the Or."

MORAL.-—" While the Impotent strives to imitate the Powerful, he often perishes."

• In times past, a frog saw an ox in the field; being envious to see so large a body, began to stretch her skin, and asked her little ones if she was larger than the ox. They said no.' Again she expanded her skin with greater effort, and asked likewise who was the largest ? They answered, the ox. At last, being angry, while with a greater struggle she was striving to inflate herself, she burst asunder, and fell dead.”

[ocr errors]



A mixed fable " is a narrative wherein ra

(1.) What is a moral fable ?
(2.) Cite an example of the moral fable.
(1.) What is a mixed fable ?

« PreviousContinue »