Neri, as old readings say,
Met a young stranger in Rome’s streets one day,
And being ever courteously inclined
To give young folks a sober turn of mind,
He fell into discourse with him, and thus
The dialogue they held comes down to us.
Saint.—Tell me what brings you, gentle youth, to Rome?
Youth.—To make myself a scholar, sir, I come.
St.—And when you are one, what do you intend?
Y.—To be a priest, I hope, sir, in the end.
St.—Suppose it so; what have you next in view?
Y.—That I may get to be a canon too.
St.—Well; and what then?
Y.— Why then, for aught I know,
I may be made a bishop.
St.— Be it so,—
Y.— Why, cardinal’s a high degree;
And yet my lot it possibly may be.
St.—Suppose it was; what then?
Y.— Why, who can say
But I’ve a chance of being pope one day?
St.—Well, having worn the miter and red hat,
And triple crown, what follows after that?
Y.—Nay, there is nothing further, to be sure, Upon this earth, that wishing can procure: When I’ve enjoyed a dignity so high As long as God shall please, then I must die.
St.—What! must you die? fond youth, and at the best, But wish, and hope, and may be, all the rest! Take my advice—whatever may betide, For that which must be, first of all provide; Then think of that which may be; and indeed, When well prepared, who knows what may succeed, But you may be, as you are pleased to hope, Priest, canon, bishop, cardinal, and pope.
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ST. PHILIP NERI, born in Florence, Italy, in 1515. Went to Rome in 1533, where he founded the “Priests of the Oratory,” and where he died in 1595.
TRIPLE CROWN, the tiara; the crown worn by our Holy Father, the Pope.
Use correctly in sentences the words canon, cannon, canon.
NOTE.—It will prove interesting if one pupil reads the first six lines of the selection, and two others personate St. Philip and the Youth.
The whole selection might be given from memory.
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mag’ ic sta’ mens de sert’ ed pet’ als pic’ tures dis cour’ aged liq’ uid sat’ is fied per se ver’ ance
There was once a little boy who was very fond of pictures. There were not many pictures for him to look at, for he lived long ago near a great American forest. His father and mother had come from England, but his father was dead now. His mother was very poor, but there were still a few beautiful pictures on the walls of her house.