Against Idleness and Mischief.

HOW doth the little busy Bee  
  Improve each shining Hour,  
And gather Honey all the day  
  From every opening Flower!

How skilfully she builds her Cell!  
  How neat she spreads the Wax!  
And labours hard to store it well  
  With the sweet Food she makes.

In works of Labour or of Skill,  
  I would be busy too;  
For Satan finds some Mischief still  
  For idle Hands to do.

In Books, or Work, or healthful Play,  
  Let my first years be past,  
That I may give for every Day  
  Some good Account at last.

― Isaac Watts
Divine Songs Attempted in Easy Language for the Use of Children (1715)

~ ~ ~

If you give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest of men, I will find something in them which will hang him.

(Qu'on me donne six lignes écrites de la main du plus honnête homme, j'y trouverai de quoi le faire pendre.)

Cardinal Richelieu, French clergyman, noble, and statesman

~ ~ ~

The microbe is so very small
You cannot make him out at all,
But many sanguine people hope
To see him through a microscope.
His jointed tongue that lies beneath
A hundred curious rows of teeth;
His seven tufted tails with lots
Of lovely pink and purple spots,
On each of which a pattern stands,
Composed of forty separate bands;
His eyebrows of a tender green;
All these have never yet been seen –
But Scientists, who ought to know,
Assure us that they must be so …
Oh! let us never, never doubt
What nobody is sure about.

Hilaire Belloc

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