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John Ploughman's Talk (C.H. Spurgeon)

John Ploughman's Talk (C.H. Spurgeon)

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Published by Lane Chaplin
John Ploughman's Talk (C.H. Spurgeon)
John Ploughman's Talk (C.H. Spurgeon)

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Published by: Lane Chaplin on Nov 27, 2007
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HEdoes not look much like a hunter !

Nimrod would never own him.
But how he blows! Goodness, gracious,
what a row! as the linnet said when he

(38)

AHORN-BLOWER, BUTNOTA HUNTER. 39

heard a

donkey singing his

evening hymn.

There's more goes to

ploughing than know-

ing how to whistle, and

hunting is not all

tally-ho and horn-blowing. Appearances
are deceitful. Outward show is not

every-

thing. All are not butchers that

carry a

steel, and all are not

bishops that wear

aprons. You must not

buy goods by the

label; for I have heard that the finer the
trade-mark the worse the article. Never

have we seen more horn or less hunter than

in our

picture. Blow

away, my hearty, till

your toes look out of

your boots

; there's

no fear of

your killing either fox or

stag !

Now, the more

people blow, the more

they may, but he is a fool who believes all

they say. As a rule, the smallest

boy car-

ries the

biggest fiddle, and he who makes
most boast has least roast. He who has

least wisdom has most

vanity. John Lack-

land is

wonderfully fond of

being called

Esquire, and there's none so

pleased at be-

ing dubbed a doctor as the man who least
deserves it.

Many a D.D. is fiddle-dee-dee.

I have heard

say,

"

Always talk

big and

somebody will think

you great," but

my

old friend Will

Shepherd says,

"

Save your

40 JOHN PLOUGHMAN1

S PICTURES.

wind for

running up a hill, and don't

give

us

big words off a weak stomach. Look,"
said he once to me, "There's Solomon

Braggs holding up his head like a hen

drinking water, but there's

nothing in it.

With him it's much din and little done."

"

Of all

speculations the market holds forth,
The best that I know for a lover of

pelf,

Were to

buy up this

Braggs at the

price he is

worth,

And sell him at that which he sets on himself."

Before honor is

humility, but a

prating

fool shall

fall, and when he falls

very few

will be in a

hurry to

pick him

up.

A long tongue generally goes with a
short hand. We are most of us better at

saying than

doing. We can all tattle

away

from the

battle, but

many fly when the

fight

is

nigh. Some are all sound and

^ry, and

when they have

bragged their

b*ag all is

over, and amen. The fat Dutchman was

the wisest

pilot in

Flushing, only he never

went to

sea; and the Irishman was the

finest rider in

Connaught, only he would
never trust himself on a horse, because, as
he said,

"

he

generally fell off before he

got

on." A bachelor's wife is

always well

managed, and old maids

always bring up

AHORN-BLOWER, BUTNOTAHUNTER.41

their children in

prime style. We think we
can do what we are not called to, and if

by chance the

thing falls to our lot we do
worse than those we blamed. Hence it is

wise to be slow in

foretelling what we will

do, for

"

Thus saith the

proverb of the wise,
Who boasteth least tells fewest lies.' "

There is another old

rhyme which is as full

of reason as a

pod is full of

peas,

"

Little

money is soonest

spended ;
Fewest words are soonest mended."

Of course, every potter praises his own

pot, and we can all toot a little on our own

trumpet, but some blow as if

nobody ever
had a horn but themselves. "After me the

flood," says the

mighty big man, and
whether it be so or no we have floods

enough while he lives. I mean floods of
words, words, words, enough to drown all

your senses. O that the man had a mouth

big enough to

say all he has to

say at one

go, and have done with it

; but then one

had need

get to the other end of the world

till his talk had run itself

dry. O for a

quiet hay-loft, or a

saw-pit, or a

dungeon,

42 JOHN PLOUGHMAN'S PICTURES.

where the sound of the

jawbone would no

more be heard.

They say a brain is worth

little if

you have not a

tongue ; but what is

a

tongue worth without a brain ? Bellow-

ing is all

very well, but the cow for me is

that which fills the

pail. A braying ass

eats little

hay, and that's a

saving in fodder

;

but a

barking dog catches no

game, and
that's a loss to the owner. Noise is no

profit, and talk hinders work.
When a man's

song is in his

praise, let

the

hymn be short metre, and let the tune

be in the minor

key. He who talks for ever

about himself has a foolish

subject, and is

likely to

worry and

weary all around him.
Good wine needs no bush, and a man who
can do well seldom boasts about it. The

emptiest tub makes the loudest noise.
Those who

give themselves out to be fine

shots kill

very few birds, and

many a crack

ploughman does a shorter

day's work than

plain John, though he is

nothing off the

common ; and so on the whole it is

pretty
clear that the best huntsmen are not those
who are for

everlastingly blowing the horn.

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