Imagens da página
PDF
ePub

mouth, and adroitly picking fruit from the pockets of the beholders. When at leisure, his favourite amusement was to gather wisps of hay with his trunk and throw them upon his back.

7. In a savage state, elephants are peaceable and gentle creatures, and are said never to use their weapons except in self-defence. It is dangerous to offer them the least injury, however, for they run directly upon the offender, and although the weight of their body be great, their steps are so long that they easily overtake the swiftest man. The following anecdotes will prove that besides his sagacity the elephant is endowed with other noble qualities.

8. In India, they were once employed in the launching of ships. One was directed to force a very large ship into the water; the work proved superiour to his strength; his master, with a sarcastick tone, bid the keeper take away this lazy beast and bring another; the poor animal instantly repeated his efforts, fractured his skull, and died on the spot.

9. In Delhi, an elephant passing along the streets put his trunk into a tailor's shop, where several people were at work; one of them pricked the end of it with a needle; the beast passed on; but, in the next dirty puddle, filled his trunk with water, returned to the shop, and spurting every drop among the people who had offended him, spoiled their work.

10. An elephantin Adsmeer, which often passed through the market, as he went by a certain herb woman, always received from her a mouthful of greens. At length he was seized with one of his periodical fits of rage, broke his setters, and running through the market, put the crowd to flight; among others this woman, who, in her haste, forgot a little child she had brought with her.

11. The animal recollecting the spot where his benefac. tress was wont to sit, took up the infant gently in his trunk, and placed it in safety on a stall before a neighbouring house. Another, in his madness, killed his governour; the wife seeing the misfortune, took her two children, and flung them before the elephant, saying, "Now you have destroyed their father, you may as well put an end to their lives and mine."

12. He instantly stopped, relented, took the greatest of the children, placed it on his neck, adopted it for his cor

nack or governour, and never afterwards would permit aný body else to mount him.

13. A soldier at Pondicherry, who was accustomed, whenever he received the portion that came to his share, to carry a certain quantity of it to one of these animals, having one day drank rather too freely, and finding himself pursued by the guards, who were going to take him to prison, took refuge under the elephant's body, and fell asleep.

14. In vain did the guard try to force him from this asylum, as the elephant protected him with his trunk. The next morning, the soldier, recovering from his drunken fit, shuddered with horrour to find himself stretched under the belly of this huge animal. ! 15. The elephant, which without doubt perceived the man's embarrassment, caressed him with his trunk, in order to inspire him with courage, and make him understand that he might now depart in safety.

16. A painter was desirous of drawing the elephant which was kept in the menagerie at Versailles in an uncommon attitude, which was that of holding his trunk raised up in the air with his mouth open. The painter's boy, in order to keep the animal in this posture, threw fruit into his mouth.

17. But as the lad frequently deceived him, and made an offer only of throwing him fruit, he grew angry; and as if he had known that the painter's intention of drawing him was the cause of the affront that was offered him, instead of revenging himself on the lad, he returned his resentment on the master, and taking up a quantity of water in his trunk, threw it on the paper on which the painter was drawing, and spoiled it.

SPEECH OF MR. WALPOLE IN THE British PARLIAMENT, IN

OPPOSITION TO Mr. Pitt, LATE EARL OF CHATHAM.

SIR,

I

WAS unwilling to interrupt the course of this debate while it was carried on with calınness and decency, by men who do not suffer the ardour of opposition to cloud

their reason, or transport them to such expressions as thie dignity of this assembly does not admit.

2. 1 have hitherto deferred to answer the gentleinan who declaimed against the bill with such fluency of rhetorick, and such vehemence of gesture; who charged the advocates for the expedients now proposed, with having no regard to any Interest but their own, and with making laws only to consume papers and threatened them with the defection of their adherents, and the loss of their influence, upon this new discovery of their folly and ignorance. 3. Nor, Sir, do I now answer him for any other

purpose than to remind how little the clamours of rage, and petulency of invective, contribute to the purpose for which this assembly is called together; how little the discovery of truth is promoted, and the security of the nation established by pompous diction and theatrical emotions.

4. Formidable sounds and furious declamations, confident assertions and losty periods, may affect the young and unexperienced ; and perhaps the gentleman may have contracted his habits of oratory by conversing more with those of his own age, than with such as have had more opportuniwes of acquiring knowledge, and more successful methods of communicating their sentiments.

5. If the heat of his temper, Sir, would suffer him to attend to those whose age and long acquaintance with business give them an indisputable right to deference and superiority, he would learn, in time, to reason rather than declaim, and to preser justness of argument, and an accurate knowledge of the facts, to sounding epithets and splendid superlatives, which inay disturb the imagination for a moment, but leave no lasting impression on the mind.

6. He will learn, Sir, that to accuse and prove are very different, and that reproaches, unsupported by evidence, affect only the character of him who utters them, Excurs sions of fancy and flights of oratory are indeed pardonable in young men, but in no other; and it would surely contribute more, even to the purpose for which some gentlemen appear to speak, that of depreciating the conduct of the administration, to prove the inconveniences and injustice of this bill, than barely to assert them, with whatever magnificence of language or appearance of zeal, honesty, or compassion.

[merged small][ocr errors]

THE atrocious crime of being a young man, which the honourable gentleman has, with such spirit and decency, charged upon me, I shall neither attempt to palliate or deny ; but content myself with wishing, that I may be one of those whose follies may cease with their youth, and not of that number who are ignorant in spite of experi

ence.

2. Whether youth can be imputed to any man as a reproach, I will not, Sir, assume the province of determining; but surely age may become justly contemptible, if the opportunities which it brings have passed away without improvement, and vice appears to prevail, when the passions have subsided.

3. The wretch who, after having seen the consequences of a thousand errours, continues still 10 blunder, and whose age has only added obstinacy to stupidity, is surely the object of either abhorrence or contempt, and deserves not that his gray

head should secure bim froin insult. 4. Much more, Sir, is he to be abhorred, who, as he has advanced in age, has receded from virtue, and becomes more wicked with less temptation; who prostitutes himself for money which he cannot enjoy, and spends the remains of his life in the ruin of his country.

5. But youth, Sir, is not my only crime; I have been aceused of acting a theatrical párt. A theatrical part may either imply some peculiarities of gesture, or a dissimulation of my real sentiments, and an adoption of the opinions and language of another man.

6. In the first sense, Sir, the charge is too trifling to be confuted, and deserves only to be mentioned that it may be despised. I am at liberty, like every other man, to use my own language ; and though I may perhaps have some ambition to please this gentleman, I shall not lay myself under any restraint, nor very solicitously copy his diction or his mien, however matured by age, or modelled by experience.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

7. If any man shall,. by charging me with theatrical behaviour, imply, that I utter any sentiments but my own, 1 shall treat him as a calumniator and a villain; nor shall any protection shelter him from the treatment which he deserves.

8. I shall, on such an occasion, without scruple, trample upon all those forms with which wealth and dignity entrench themselves; nor shail any thing but age restrain my resentment. Age, which always brings one privilege, that of being insolent and supercilious without punishment.

9. But with regard, Sir, to those whom I have offended, I am of opinion, that if I had acted a borrowed part, I should have avoided their censure. The heat which offended them is the ardour of conviction, and that zeal for the service of my country, which neither hope nor fear shall influence me to suppress.

10. I will not sit unconcerned while my liberty is invaded, nor look in silence upon publick robbery. I will exert my endeavours, at whatever hazard, to repel the aggressor

and drag the thief to justice, whoever may protect them in their villany, and whoever may partake of their plunder,

STORY OF A SECOND JOSEPH.

The following relation proves that incidents, somewhat similar to those in the times of Jacob, are still renewed in Egypt. In 1776, the plains of Syria were ravaged by clouds of locusts, which devoured the corn to the very root.

2. A famine followed, and a farmer near Damascus felt the effects of the general distress. To supply the wants of a numerous family, he sold his cattle; which resource being soon exhausted, the unhappy father, wretched at present, but foreseeing greater wretchedness, to come, pressed by hunger, sold his instruments of husbandry at Damascus.“

3 Led by the invisible hand of Providence, as formerly Tobias was by the angel, while he bargained for corn, lately arrived from Damietta, he lieard speak of the success of Mourad Bey, who had entered Grand Cairo victorious, and in triumph

« AnteriorContinuar »