Page images
PDF
EPUB

or the single glass, and not a copper to pay. Walk up, gentlemen, walk up, and help yourselves !”

5. It were a pity if all this outcry should draw no customers. Here they come. A hot day, gentlemen. Quaff and away again, so as to keep yourselves in a nice, cool sweat. You, my friend, will need another cupful to wash the dust out of your throat, if it be as thick there as it is on your cowhide shoes. I see that you have trudged half a score of miles to-day, and, like a wise man, have passed by the taverns, and stopped at the running brooks and well-curbs. Otherwise, betwixt heat without and fire within, you would have been burnt to a cinder, or melted down to nothing at all-in the fashion of a jelly-fish.

6. Drink, and make room for that other fellow, who seeks my aid to quench the fiery fever of last night's potations, which he drained from no cup of mine. Welcome, most rubicund, sir! You and I have been strangers hitherto ; nor, to confess the truth, will my nose be anxious for a closer intimacy, till the fumes of your breath be a little less potent.

7. Mercy on you, man! The water absolutely hisses down your red-hot gullet, and is converted quite into steam in the miniature Tophet which you mistake for a stomach. Fill again, and tell me, on the word of an honest toper, did you ever, in cellar, tavern, or any other kind of dram-shop, spend the price of your children's food for a swig half so delicious ? Now, for the first time these ten years, you know the flavour of cold water. Goodbye ; and whenever you are thirsty, recollect that I keep a constant supply at the old stand.

8. Who next ? Oh, my little friend, you are just let loose from school, and come hither to scrub your blooming face, and drown the memory of your school-boy troubles, in a draught from the Town Pump. Take it, pure as the current of your young life; take it, and may your heart and tongue never be scorched with a fiercer thirst than now.

9. There, my dear child, put down the cup, and yield your place to this elderly gentleman, who treads so tenderly over the paving-stones that I suspect he is afraid of breaking them. What! he limps by without so much as thanking me, as if my hospitable offers were meant only for people who have no wine-cellars.

10. Well, well, sir, no harm done, I hope ! Go, draw the cork, tip the decanter; but when your great toe shall set you a-roaring, it will be no affair of mine. If gentlemen love the gout, it is all one to the Town Pump. This thirsty dog, with his red tongue lolling out, does not scoin my hospitality, but stands on his hind legs and laps eagerly out of the trough. See how lightly he capers away again! Jowler, did your worship ever have the gout ?

11. Your pardon, good people! I must interrupt my stream of eloquence, and spout forth a stream of water, to replenish the trough for this teamster and his two yoke of oxen, who have come all the way from Staunton, or somewhere along that way. No part of my business gives me more pleasure than the watering of cattle. Look! how rapidly they lower the water-mark on the sides of the trough, till their capacious stomachs are moistened with a gallon or two apiece, and they can afford time to breathe, with sighs of calm enjoyment! Now they roll their quiet eyes around the brim of their monstrous drinking vessel. An ox is your true toper.

12. I hold myself the grand reformer of the age. From

my sake.

my spout, and such spouts as mine, must flow the stream that shall clean our earth of a vast portion of its crime and anguish, which have gushed from the fiery fountains of the still. In this mighty enterprise, the cow shall be my great confederate. Milk and water !

13. Ahem! Dry work this speechifying, especially to all unpractised orators. I never conceived, till now, what toil the temperance lecturers undergo for

Do, some kind Christian, pump a stroke or two, just to wet my whistle. Thank you, sir. But to proceed.

14. The Town Pump and the Cow! Such is the glorious partnership that shall finally monopolise 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 his own heart and die. Then Sin, if she do not die, shall lose half her strength.

15. Then there will be no war of households. The husband and the 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 a drunkard. Their dead faces shall express what their spirits were, and are to be, by a lingering smile of memory and hope.

16. Drink, then, and be refreshed! The water is as pure and cold as when it slaked the thirst of the red hunter, and flowed beneath the aged bough, though now this gem of the wilderness is treasured under these hot stones, where no shadow falls, but from the brick build

ings. But, still is this fountain the source of health, peace, and happiness, and I behold, with certainty and joy, the approach of the period when the virtues of cold water, too little valued since our father's days, will be fully recognised by all.—Nathaniel Hawthorne.

The pump

SUMMARY.—The town pump delivers an address. has a high opinion of its own merits, and considers itself more important than any of the town officers. It claims to be treasurer, since it is the guardian of the most valuable thing in the place. It assists the town clerk by publishing the notices which he has prepared. It supplies the wants of people by day, and a lantern over its head is a guide for their footsteps in the night. It wel. comes all comers and has a friendly word for every one, whether man or beast. It looks upon itself as the grand reformer of the age, and longs for the time when the cow shall be its great confederate for the distribution of milk and water. That will be in. deed a happy time when the people will find in the town pump the source of health, and peace, and happiness.

a

All and sun'dry, everybody. Mus-ter-day, parade-day.
Cog-nac (pro. Kon-yak), Po-ta-tions, drinkings.
French brandy.

Pro-tract-ed, delayed.
Con-sum-ma-tion, completion, Re-luct-ant-ly, unwillingly.
termination, end.

Re-plen'-ish, to fill again. Mo-nop-o-lise, to obtain the Ru-bi-cund, inclining to redness. whole.

Slaked, quenched. Mu-nic-i-pal-i-ty, a division of Squal-id, filthy. a country or of a city.

Toʻphet, the infernal regions.

Questions. Who is the speaker in this lesson? | by the pump? How is it refreshed Who are addressed ? When ? after speaking? What will hapWhere?

What does the pump pen when the town pump and the claim for itself as treasurer? How cow are in partnership? What is many are addressed individually a fountain of health?"

Exercises.-1, Parse and analyse-Truly, we public characters have a tough time of it.

2. Nouns are formed by adding the following postfixes—an, ant, ar, ard, which mean one who;" as, veteran, one who is old (vetus, old); vagrant, one who wanders (vagor, I wander); liar, one who lies ; drunkard, one who drinks too much. Give the exact meanings of equestrian (equus, a horse); litigant (lis, litis, strife); scholar (schola, a school); wizard.

II.-HOW I LEARNED TO WRITE PROSE. ac-quire ac-quaint-ance

read-i-ness ne-ces-si-ty bor-rowed dif-fer-ent sep-ar-ate or-ig-in-al Cour-ant' en-cour-aged spec-ta-tor rec-ol-lection dis-guise ex-cel-lent suit-a-ble

tol-er-a-ble jum-bled ar-range-ment ap-pren-tic-es par-tic-u-lars lan-guage ex-treme-ly ap-pro-ba-tion va-ri-e-ty. piec-es im-pa-tient his-tor-ic-al in-gen-u-i-ty

(BENJAMIN FRANKLIN (6. 1706, d. 1790) was the son of a tallow chandler, who emigrated from England to America in 1685. He was born in Boston, and received very little education. But notwithstanding the many disadvantages under which he laboured he became an eminent writer, and on account of his great talents and uprightness of character was often employed in the management of the disputes between America and England. As a philosopher, Franklin was rendered famous by his discovery of the identity of lightning with electricity. As a writer, Franklin commenced his career when only twelve years of age. His letters and papers on electricity, afterwards enlarged by essays on various philosophical subjects, have been translated into various languages. The most noted of his works is his

Autobiography," which has been published in nearly every written language. His life is a noble example of the results of industry and perseverance.]

1. From a child I was fond of reading, and all the little money that came into my hands was laid out in books. Pleased with the "Pilgrim's Progress," my first collection was of John Bunyan's works, in separate little volumes. I afterwards sold them to enable me to buy Burton's “Historical Recollections.” They were sınall books and cheap, forty or fifty in all.

2. This bookish inclination at length determined my father to make me a printer, though he had already one son of that profession. In 1717 my brother James returned from England with a press and letters, to set up his business in the city of Boston. I liked it much better than that of my father, but still had a hankering for the sea.

To prevent the probable effect of such inclination, my father was impatient to have me bound to my brother.

« PreviousContinue »