« PreviousContinue »
it caught your attention; yet there are many things on record of a similar kind, in ancient history. You know that there are various parts of the East, where, even to the present day, people of quality use their hands at their meals, and know nothing of knives or forks."
:66 But do you recollect any thing like the story of the Emperor of Morocco, which I have read this morning ?”
“ No, Harry, not immediately; but there are allusions in Scripture, of which that account reminds me."
“Will you mention some of them ?”
“ In the fifteenth chapter of Matthew you will find an account of a woman of Canaan coming to our Lord, and asking his merciful interposition on behalf of her daughter; but he said to her, that it was not meet, to take the children's bread, and to cast it to the dogs;' meaning, that it was not proper at that time to give the privileges of the Jews, or of the people of God, to the Gentiles. Do you recollect what her reply was on that occasion ?”
“ She said, “Truth, Lord ; yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their master's table.''
“ You are right, Harry; and here, I think, we have an allusion to a custom in the East. They did not anciently use napkins, but were accustomed to wipe their fingers and hands with the soft part of the bread, which they afterwards, or at the moment, threw to the dogs. Homer alludes to this custom in his · Odyssey.'
• As from some feast a man returning late,
“ In the striking parable of Dives and Lazarus there is an allusion, most likely, to the same practice. Do you recollect what the poor afflicted man, who lay at the proud rich man's gate, desired to be fed with, Harry ?”
“ Yes; with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table.”
True; and no doubt these, in ancient times, were much more than the crumbs which fall from our's, which, you know, would not be worth desiring; no doubt the offal bread, with which they wiped their hands, and which was thrown away under their tables, is alluded to; as this must have been considerable, and would have been sufficient to preserve any poor creature from starving. More than enough is often still wasted in a wealthy family, amply to supply the entire wants even of a poor household. How should every one, for the purposes of benevolence, if on no other account, practically obey our Lord's admonition, Gather up the fragments which remain, that nothing be lost. We are sure that he does not feel as he ought, who has no compassion for the poor and the wretched. Surely, in this respect, as in all others, the divine precept, · Do to others, as you would have them do to you,' should regulate our deportment.”
“ Memorable are the lines of one of our own poets,*
“ No radiant pearl which crested Fortune wears ;
No gem that twinkling hangs from Beauty's ears;
BOOKS AND WRITING.
your own fault.”
HARRY, one day, when walking with his father, said,
“ You have not told me any thing lately about the Eastern customs.” " Have I not? Then it is
My own fault, father?” “Yes, Harry; because I have assured you, that whenever you find any allusion to them in the Bible, I will explain them to you ; and you know that this is always a great pleasure to me."
“ But there have not been any such allusions in the chapters which you have lately read in the family."
“ I think you mistake, Harry; or you have not observed with care. But
should search the Scripture in private or yourself. It is a