Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

must flow the stream that shall cleanse our earth of the vast portion of its crime and anguish, which has gushed from the fiery fountains of the still. In this mighty enterprise the cow shall be my great confederate. Milk and water! The Town Pump and the Cow! Such is the glorious co-partnership that shall tear down the distilleries and brewhouses, uproot the vineyards, shatter the cider-presses, ruin the tea and coffee trade, and finally monopolize the whole business of quenching thirst. Blessed consummation! Then, poverty shall pass away from the land, finding no hovel so wretched where her squalid form may shelter itself. Then disease, for lack of other victims, shall gnaw its own heart, and die. Then sin, if she do not die, shall lose half her strength. Until now, the frenzy of hereditary fever has raged in the human blood, transmitted from sire to son, and rekindled in every generation by fresh draughts from the liquid flame. When that inward fire shall be extinguished, the heat of passion cannot but grow cool, and war-the drunkenness of nations-perhaps will cease. At least, there will be no war of households. The husband and wife, drinking deep of peaceful joy—a calm bliss of temperate affections-shall pass hand in hand through life, and lie down, not reluctantly, at its protracted close. To them the past will be no turmoil of mad dreams, nor the future an eternity of such moments as follow the delirium of the drunkard. Their dead faces shall express what their spirits were, and are to be, by a lingering smile of memory and hope.

Ahem! Dry work this speechifying, especially to an unpractised orator. I never conceived, till now, what toil the temperance lecturers undergo for my sake. Hereafter they shall have the business to themselves. Do, some kind Christian, pump a stroke or two, just to wet my whistle. Thank you, sir! My dear hearers, when the world shall have been regenerated by my instrumentality, you will collect your useless vats and liquor casks into one great pile, and make a bonfire in honour of the Town Pump. And when I shall have decayed, like my predecessors, then, if you revere my memory, let a marbled fountain, richly sculptured, take my place upon the spot. Such monuments should be erected everywhere, and inscribed with the names of the distinguished champions of my cause. Now listen, for something very important is to come next.

There are two or three honest friends of mine-and true friends I know they are—who, nevertheless, by their fiery pugnacity in my behalf, do put me in fearful hazard of a broken nose, or even a total overthrow upon the pavement, and the loss of the treasure which I guard. I pray you, gentlemen, let this fault be amended. Is it decent, think you, to get tipsy with zeal for temperance, and take up the honourable cause of the Town Pump, in the style of a toper fighting for his brandy bottle ?" Or can the excellent qualities of cold water be no otherwise exemplified than by plunging, slap dash, into hot water, and wofully scalding yourself and other people ? Trust me, they may. In the moral warfare which you are to wage—and indeed in the whole conduct of your lives, you cannot choose a better example than myself, who have never permitted the dust and sultry atmosphere, the tur. bulent and manifold disquietudes of the world around me, to reach that deep, calm well of purity which may be called my soul. And whenever I pour out that soul, it is to cool earth's fever, or cleanse its stains.

One o'clock. Nay, then, if the dinner-bell begins to speak, I may as well hold my peace. Here comes a pretty young girl of my acquaintance, with a large stone pitcher for me to fill. May she draw a husband, while drawing her water, as Rachel did of old. Hold out your vessel, my dear! There it is, full to the brim; so now run home, peeping at your sweet image in the pitcher as you go; and forget not, in a glass of my own liquor, to drink“ SUCCESS TO THE TOWN PUMP!”

EXERCISE.-62.

COMPOSITION.

1. Give other expressions for the following: a true toper, a fruitful topic, a medical diploma, nauseous lore, an unpractised orator. 2. Of what figure of speech is this lesson an example ?

3. Write out the last paragraph, altering as many words as you can, and using synonyms for all the nouns.

[graphic][ocr errors]

HAWKING IN THE EAST. quar-ter (L. quartus, the fourth], a portion of the earth's surface, any particular region or district of a city or country, the fourth part. re-lates (L. relatus, brought back, from re, back; fero, to bring], tells, narrates. as-sail-ant[L. assilio, from ad, to; salio, to leap), one who makes an attack on another. To what country or people the world is indebted for the invention of this renowned pastime, it is impossible to tell ; but there can be little doubt that, if not the very first, the eastern quarter of the world was about the earliest to cherish the hawk for its special attributes. Marco Polo, who was sent by Pope Gregory X., in 1272, on an embassy to Kublai Khan, the emperor of Chinese Tartary at that time, relates that he found hawking to be a fashionable sport in the eastern monarch's vast empire, and describes with great particularity his celestial majesty's retinue of falconers, and his large establishment of falcons, pigeons, pheasants, and other birds used in the sport.

Bishop Stanley, writing on this subject, says, “ About two thousand years ago, ancient writers speak of hawking as a common sport. People used to go out into the marshy grounds, and beat among the reeds and bushes for small birds which harboured there ; and, as they flew away, hawks were let loose in pursuit, and when the game fell to the ground, either through fright or struck by the hawks, the men ran up and secured them. In China, it is a favourite sport with some of the mandarins to hawk for butterflies and other large insects, with birds trained for that particular pastime.

The agile, graceful gazelle is found in great numbers in Persia and Central Asia, and, in these countries, it is frequently hunted and caught by the aid of falcons ; as, on account of its great speed, it is by no means an easy matter to run it down with dogs.

The falcons are trained for the sport by being accustomed to take their food from the head of a figure of a gazelle prepared for this purpose. When in the field, two birds are thrown up in the air by the falconer, as soon as he catches sight of a gazelle feeding quietly in the distance. The birds instantly make towards the unsuspecting animal, and the one that is the first to reach it, swoops suddenly down on the head the gazelle, fixing its claws in the startled creature's nose, and beating it about the eyes with its wings. The gazelle struggles to extricate itself from the clutches of its assailant's claws; but as soon as it is shaken off, the attack is renewed by the second bird, which has been circling round the combatants, waiting its opportunity. And thus the contest goes on, each falcon settling on the gazelle's nose in turn, and, beating it about the head with its wings, effectually preventing it from running until the hunters have had time to reach the scene of action, when the quarry is soon pulled down by dogs, and secured.

The Arabians used to employ the falcon to hunt the goats, and a very good description of how this sport was managed is given by a very quaint and interesting writer, Hasselquist. He

says, "I had an excellent opportunity of seeing this sport near Nazareth, in Galilee. An Arab mounted a swift cour. ser, and held the falcon in his hand, as huntsmen commonly

do. When he espied the rock-goat on the top of a mountain, he let loose the falcon, which flew in a direct line, like an arrow, and attacked the animal, fixing the talons of one of his feet into the cheek of the creature, and the talons of the other into its throat ; extending his wings obliquely over the animal, spreading one towards one of its ears, and the other to the opposite hip. The animal attacked made a leap twice the height of a man, and freed himself from the falcon; but being wounded, and losing its strength and speed, it was again attacked by the falcon, which fixed the talons of both its feet into the throat of the animal, and held it fast, till the huntsman, coming up, took it alive and cut its throat, the falcon drinking up the blood as a reward for its labour."

Among the Persians, the falcon largely figures in their poetry and romances. One of these stories, related in “My Feathered Friends,” has such an exquisite moral attached to it that I shall extract it for the delectation of my readers :

“ Once upon a time,” runs the legend, "a king of Persia went out hawking, carrying his favourite falcon on his wrist. A deer started up, and the king let fly his bird, which pursued the deer, and finally brought it to the ground. The king, being eager in the chase, outstripped his attendants and courtiers, and at the death of the deer found himself alone.

“ He took the falcon again upon his wrist, and, remounting his horse, began to search for water, for the chase had been a very severe one, and he was exceedingly heated and thirsty. At last he discovered, at the foot of a mounta stream of water that came trickling down among the rocks. So he took out of his quiver a little cup, and with some trouble filled it at the spring, for the water dropped very slowly. By patiently waiting, however, he filled the cup, and raised it to his lips. Just as his hand was raising the cup, the hawk clapped his wings and upset the contents.

" The king was vexed at the interruption, but, thinking it an accident, he again applied the cup to the gently trickling stream, and again raised it to his lips. A second time the falcon shook his pinions, and threw the water out of

a

« НазадПродовжити »