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CATO'S SPEECH OVER HIS DEAD SON.
1. THANKS to the gods! my boy has done his duty.
2. Porcius, behold thy brother! and remember
Thy life is not thy own, when Rome demands it! When Rome demands—but Rome is now no more! The Roman empire 's fallen! (Oh! cursed ambition!) Fallen into Cæsar's hands! Our great forefathers Had left him nought to conquer but his country. 3. Porcius, come hither to me! Ah! my son, Despairing of success,
Let me advise thee to withdraw, betimes,
To our parental seat, the Sabine field,
Where the great Censor toiled with his own hands,
And all our frugal ancestors were blessed
In humble virtues and a rural life.
There live retired; content thyself to be
When vice prevails, and impious men bear sway,
4. Farewell, my friends! If there be any of you
5. The conqueror draws near; once more farewell!
IMPROVEMENT OF TIME."
1. To make a proper use of that short and uncertain por tion of time allotted us for our mortal pilgrimage, is a proof of wisdom; to use it with economy, and dispose of it with care, discovers prudence and discretion. Let, therefore, no part of your time escape without making it subservient to the wise purposes for which it was given; it is the most inestimable of treasures.
2. You will find a constant employment of your time conducive to health and happiness, and not only a sure guard against the encroachments of vice, but the best recipe for contentment. Seek employment; languor and ennui shall be unknown; avoid idleness; banish sloth; vigor and cheerfulness will be your enlivening companions; admit not guilt to your hearts, and terror shall not interrupt your slumbers. Follow the footsteps of virtue; walk steadily in her paths; she will conduct you through pleasant and flowery paths to the temple of peace; she will guard you from the wily snares of vice, and heal the wounds of sorrow and disappointment which time may inflict.
a The sentiment of the following piece should be indelibly impressed on the mind of overy youth.
3. By being constantly and usefully employed, the destroyer of mortal happiness will have but few opportunities of making his attacks; and by regularly filling up your precious moments, you will be less exposed to dangers. Venture not, then, to waste an hour, lest the next should not be yours to squander. Hazard not a single day in guilty or improper pursuits, lest the day which follows should be ordained to bring you an awful summons to the tomb; a summons to which youth and age are equally liable.
4. Reading improves the mind; and you cannot better employ a portion of your leisure time than in the pursuit of knowledge. By observing a regular habit of reading, a love of it will soon be acquired. It will prove an unceasing amusement, and a pleasant resource in the hours of sorrow and discontent; an unfailing antidote against languor and indolence. Much caution is, however, necessary in the choice of books; it is among them as among human charactersmany would prove dangerous and pernicious advisers; they tend to mislead the imagination, and give rise to a thousand erroneous opinions and ridiculous expectations.
5. I would not, however, wish to deprive you of the pleasures of society or of rational amusement; but let your companions be select; let them be such as you can love for their good qualities, and whose virtues you are desirous to emulate ; let your amusements be such as will tend, not to corrupt and vitiate, but to correct and amend the heart.
6. Finally, I would earnestly request you never to neglect employing a portion of your time in addressing your heavenly Father, in paying him that tribute of prayer and praise which is so justly his due as "the Author of every good and perfect gift," as our Creator, Preserver, and Redeemer, " in whom we live, and move, and have our being," and without whose blessing none of our undertakings will prosper.
7. Thus, by employing the time given you in the service of virtue, you will pass your days with comfort to yourself and those around you, and by persevering to the end, shall at length obtain "a crown of glory which fadeth not away."