ON a hot summer day, I was standing near

a well, when a little bird flew down, seeking

water. There was, indeed, a large trough

near the well, but it was empty, and I grieved

for a moment to think that the little creature

must go away thirsty; but it settled upon the

edge of the trough, bent its little head forward,

then raised it again, spread its wings,

and soared away, singing; its thirst was 


I walked up to the trough, and there, in the 

stonework, I saw a little hole about the size of a

 wren's egg.  The water held there had been a

 source of revival and refreshment; it had found

 enough for the present, and desired no more.

This is contentment. Again I stood by a

lovely, sweet-smelling flower, and there came

a bee humming and sucking; and it chose the

flower for its fields of sweets. But the flower

had no honey. This I knew, for it had no

nectar. What, then, thought I, will the bee

do? It came buzzing out of the cup to take

a further flight; but it spied the stamina full

of golden farina, good for making wax, and it

rolled its legs against them, until they looked

like yellow hose, as the bee-keepers say; and

then, heavily laden, flew away home. Then

said I, "Thou earnestly seeking honey, and

 finding none, hast been satisfied with wax, and

hast stored it for thy house, that thy labor may

not be in vain. This, likewise, shall be some

a lesson of contentment."

The night is far spent the dark night of

trouble that sometimes threatens to close

around us; but the day is at hand, and even

in the night there are stars, and I have looked

out on them, and been comforted; for as one

sets, I could always see another rise, and each

was a lamp showing me somewhat of the depth 

of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of