Tales eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 328 pages of information about Tales.
   “Oh!  I shall die—­my father! do receive
My dying words; indeed I do believe. 
The books are lying books, I know it well;
There is a devil, oh! there is a hell;
And I’m a sinner:  spare me, I am young,
My sinful words were only on my tongue;
My heart consented not; ’tis all a lie: 
Oh! spare me then, I’m not prepared to die.” 
   “Vain, worthless, stupid wretch!” the Father cried;
“Dost thou presume to teach? art thou a guide? 
Driveller and dog, it gives the mind distress
To hear thy thoughts in their religious dress;
Thy pious folly moved my strong disdain,
Yet I forgave thee for thy want of brain;
But Job in patience must the man exceed
Who could endure thee in thy present creed. 
Is it for thee, thou idiot, to pretend
The wicked cause a helping hand to lend? 
Canst thou a judge in any question be? 
Atheists themselves would scorn a friend like thee. 
   “Lo! yonder blaze thy worthies; in one heap
Thy scoundrel favourites must for ever sleep: 
Each yields its poison to the flame in turn,
Where whores and infidels are doomed to burn;
Two noble faggots made the flame you see,
Reserving only two fair twigs for thee;
That in thy view the instruments may stand,
And be in future ready for my hand: 
The just mementos that, though silent, show
Whence thy correction and improvements flow;
Beholding these, thou wilt confess their power,
And feel the shame of this important hour. 
   “Hadst thou been humble, I had first design’d
By care from folly to have freed thy mind;
And when a clean foundation had been laid,
Our priest, more able, would have lent his aid: 
But thou art weak, and force must folly guide;
And thou art vain, and pain must humble pride: 
Teachers men honour, learners they allure;
But learners teaching, of contempt are sure;
Scorn is their certain meed, and smart their only cure!”


{1} Note:  Indentation and hyphenation as original.

{2} The reader will perceive, in these and the preceding verses, allusions to the state of France, as that country was circumstanced some years since, rather than as it appears to be in the present date; several years elapsing between the alarm of the loyal magistrate on the occasion now related, and a subsequent event that further illustrates the remark with which the narrative commences.

{3} As the author’s purpose in this tale may be mistaken, he wishes to observe that conduct like that of the lady’s here described must be meritorious or consurable just as the motives to it are pure or selfish; that these motives may in a great measure be concealed from the mind of the agent; and that we often take credit to our virtue for actions which spring originally from our tempers, inclinations, or our indifference.  It cannot therefore be improper, much less immoral, to give an instance of such self-deception.

Project Gutenberg
Tales from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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