« НазадПродовжити »
15. He acquiesced, and suffered the gallant youth to supply his place, who, being cast into the sea, and a good swimmer, soon got to the stern of the pinnance, and laid hold of the rudder with his right hand, which being perceived by one of the sailors, he cut off the hand with his sword; then dropping into the sea, he presently caught hold again with his left, which received the same fate by a second blow.
16. Thus dismembered of both hands, he made a shift, notwithstanding, to keep himself above water with his feet and two stumps, which he held bleeding upwards.
17. This moving spectacle so raised the pity of the whole company, that they cried out, "He is but one man, let us endeavor to save his life;" and he was accordingly taken into the boat, where he had his bands bound up as well as the place and circumstances could permit.
18. They rowed all that night; and the next morning, when the sun arose, as if Heaven would reward the piety of this young man, they descried land, which proved to be the mountains of Mozambique, in Africa, not far from a Portuguese colony. Thither they all safely arrived, where they remained until the next ship from Lisbon passed by and carried them to Goa.
CONVENIENCIES NOT ALWAYS NECESSARIES.
How few of what are now considered necessa
ries really deserve the name. So accustomed are we to the many comforts which the ingenuity of man has procured for us, that we can hardly imagine how people could subsist without them. The history of our race, however, furnishes abundant proofs that our real wants are few, and many which we cherish are by no means indispensable to our health or happiness.
2. We should perhaps find it difficult to dispense with our tea and coffee,and yet it is not two hundred years since these common beverages were first introduced into Europe. Tea is supposed to have been introduced into England in 1650, when a pound weight sold for about ten guineas. It
was only used by princes and grandees until 1657, when a tea shop was opened in London and resorted to by all who could afford to drink it.
3. Probably tea was not in general use in families until after the year 1687. Coffee was introduced into England about the year 1652, and was sold only at public houses, which from that circumstance acquired the name of coffee houses. These soon became the resort of literary men and politicians, and on that account, rather than from any hostility to the berry itself, these houses were all shut up by royal proclamation in 1675.
4. Previous to the introduction of tea and coffee into England, the people were accustomed to drink beer and wine, but their use had long been known in the east. The Chinese were the first who prepared tea, and the following anecdote will show that they are at least as whimsical as Europeans, while it proves that the virtues attributed to tea are either imaginary, or may be found in many plants in our own country, whose cheapness has prevented them from being noticed.
5. When the Dutch first visited China, they could not obtain their tea without disbursing money; but on their second voyage, they carried a great quantity of dried sage, and bartered it with the Chinese at the rate of three or four pounds of tea for one of sage, but at length the Dutch could not procure a sufficient quantity of sage to supply the demand.
6. Tobacco, which is now consumed in such quantities under various forms was first brought to England from America by Sir Francis Drake and Sir Walter Raleigh, about the year 1586, and met with an early and most violent opposition. The use of it was exclaimed against by the clergy and physicians, and even King James wrote a book against it, entitled the Counter-Blast to Tobacco.
7. In 1530, the usual dinner hour among the upper classes in England was eleven in the forenoon; and wooden -trenchers for plates were still to be found at the most sumptuous tables in 1592. Forks were not introduced into England before 1611. previous to which time the fingers had been the sole substitute. A writer of that day mentions the invention of forks to the great saving of napkins.
8. Potatoes, that infinitely useful root, which forms almost an indispensable part of our daily meal, and in some countries often the entire meal of the poor man, were introduced into Europe by Sir Walter Raleigh on his return from one of his voyages to America. A writer of celebrity remarks that in justice to that great man the potatoe deserved to have been called a Raleigh.
9. Carpets are now an article of considerable importance, yet, in the year 1580, the floors of the first mansions in England were only strewed with common rushes. Coaches were first introduced into that kingdom from Holland in 1564, when, says a writer of that day, the sight of one put both man and horse into amazement.
10. Cards are now the most general although often abused means of amusement, and are used in almost every civilized country by both Prince and peasant; yet it is not many centuries since they were invented in France for the entertainment of the court. Hats were not worn by men until about the year 1400, previous to that time they wore hoods and cloth caps.
11. We are so accustomed to the conveniences of modern dwellings that we should find it difficult to live in houses without chimneys or windows, but glass was not used in private houses until the year 1180, and chimneys were not known in the year 1200.
12. Pins are very common, and extremely cheap, although they pass through the hands of twenty workmen before they are ready for sale. They were invented in 1543, before which time the ladies used small skewers. The consumption of this little article is now prodigious, and in England alone, several thousand persons are employed in the pin manufactories.
13. Sugar has long been used, but the consumption of this article is far greater now than it has been at any former period. The consumption of ardent spirits, which has so rapidly increased during the last century, for the extent. of its influence on the character of mankind, has no parallel in the catalogue of luxuries. Other luxuries are innocer t or only affect the property of those who use them, but the introduction of ardent spirits, like the last of the desert has tainted or destroyed the health, morals, and consequently the happiness of millions,
14. Commerce, since the fifteenth century, has rapidly spread these luxuries over the world, and the rulers of the nations have contrived to collect an immense revenue from them. They were chiefly brought to America from England, and the attempt of the mother country to impose a duty on tea imported into her colonies, without their consent, involved a principle, which produced that spirited resistance to her usurpations called the war of independence.
THE HOTTENTOT AND THE LION.
N elderly Hottentot in the service of a Christian, near the upper part of Sunday river on the Cambdebo side, perceived a lion following him at a great distance for two hours together. Thence he naturally concluded, that the lion only waited for the approrch of darkness, in order to make him a prey; and in the mean time, could not expect any other than to serve for this fierce animal's supper; ina much as he had no other weapon of defence than a stick, and he knew that he could not get home before it was dark.
2. But as he was well acquainted with the nature of the lion, and the manner of its seizing upon its prey; and at the same time had leisure to ruminate on the. ways and means in which it was most likely that his existence would be terminated, he at length hit on a method of saving his life.
3. For this purpose, instead of making the best of his way home, he looked out for a precipice: and, setting himself down on the edge of it, found to his great joy, that the lion likewise made a halt, and kept at the same distance as before.
4. As soon as it grew dark, the Hottentot sliding a little forwards, let himself down below the upper edge of the precipice upon some projecting part or cleft of the rock, where he could just keep himself from falling. But in order to cheat the lion still more, he set his hat and cloak on the stick, making with it a gentle motion just over his head, a little way from the edge of the precipice.
5. This crafty expedient had the desired effect. He did not stay long in that situation, before the lion came
creeping softly towards him like a cat, and, mistaking the skin coat for the Hottentot himself, took his leap with such exactness and precision, as to fall headlong down the precipice, and was dashed in pieces.
SCENE BETWEEN GUSTAVUS VASA AND CHRISTIERN.
ELL me, Gustavus, tell me why is this,
Are the lives
Of my misguided people held so light,
All awful and resistless, to assert
Th' impervious rights, the sanctitude of kings,
And rights! O, patience! Rights! what rights, thou tyrant?
If wrongs give right, O then, supreme in mischief,
Of frank election,
Not ev❜n the high annointing hand of Heaven,
For lawless pow'r, wed faith to violation,