« PreviousContinue »
SCYTHIAN AMBASSADORS, ETC.
O thee. With one hand thou wouldst touch the east, and with the other the west; and not satisfied with this, thou wouldst
follow the sun, and know where he hides himself. Such as 7 thou art, thou yet aspirest after what it will be impossible for 8 thee to attain. Thou crossest over from Europe into Asia; and when thou shalt have subdued all the race of men, then
thou wilt make war against rivers, forests, and wild beasts. 9 Dost thou not know, that tall trees are many years a growing, but may be torn up in an hour's time: that the lion serves sometimes for food to the smallest birds : that iron, though so hard, is consumed by rust: in a word, that there is nothing so strong, which may not be destroyed by the
weakest thing? 10 “What have we to do with thee? 11 We never set foot 12 in thy country'. May not those who inhabit woods be al
lowed to live, without knowing who thou art, and whence 13 thou comest? We will neither command over, nor submit 14 to, any man. And that thou mayst be sensible what kind
of people the Scythians are, know that we received from
heaven, as a rich present, a yoķe of oxen, a ploughshare, 15 an arrow, a javelin, and a cup. These we make use of, both
with our friends, and against our enemies. To our friends 16 we give corn, which we procure by the labor of our oxen;
with them we offer wine to the gods in our cup; and with regard to our enemies, we combat them at a distance with
our arrows, and near at hand with our javelins. It is with 17 these we formerly conquered the most warlike nations, sub
dued the most powerful kings, laid waste all Asia, and opened ourselves a way into the heart of Egypt.
“But thou, who boastest thy coming to extirpate robbers, 18 thou thyself art the greatest robber upon earth ; thou hast
plundered all the nations that thou hast overcome; thou hast possessed thyself of Lydia, invaded Syria, Persia, and Bactriana ; thou art forming a design to march as far as
India ; and thou now comest hither to seize upon our herds 19 of cattle. The great possessions thou hast, only make thee
covet more eagerly what thou hast not.” DEFINITIONS, &c.—Define passage, Scythian, ambassadors, camp, stat. ure, fame, roportionable, subdued, race, rust, javelin, combat, extirpat: robbers, C'svet, eagerly, Lydia, Syria, Persia, Bactriana.
QIL BLAS SELLING HIS MULE.
SECT CCLXIII.-GIL BLAS SELLING HIS MULE. 1 He concluded, at length, however, by telling me that if I
had a mind to sell my mule, he was acquainted with a very honest jockey, who would buy her. I assured him he would 2 oblige me in sending for him; upon which he went in quest
of him with great eagerness. 3 It was not long before he returned with his man, whom he introduced to me as a person of exceeding honesty; and
we went into the yard all together. There my mule was 4 produced, and passed and repassed before the jockey; who
examined her from head to foot, and did not fail to speak very disadvantageously of her: I own there was not much 5 to be said in her praise' ; but, however, had it been the
pope's mule, he would have found some defects in her. He 6 assured me she had all the faults a mule could have; and,
to convince me of his veracity, appealed to the landlord, who, doubtless, had his reasons for supporting his friend's asser7 tions. “Well,” said this dealer, with an air of indifference,
“how much money do you expect for this wretched animal ?” 8 After the eulogium he had bestowed on her, and the attest
ation of Signor Corcuelo, whom I believed to be a man of honesty and understanding, I would have given my mule for nothing; and therefore told him I would rely on his integrity: bidding him appraise the beast in his own conscience, and I would stand to the valuation. Upon this he assumed & the man of honor, and replied, that, in engaging his con
science, I took him on the weak side. In good sooth, that 10 did not seem to be his strong side'; for, instead of valuing
her at ten or twelve pistoles, as my uncle had done, he fixed the price at three ducats; which I accepted with as much
joy as if I had made an excellent bargain. DEFINITIONS, &c.—He concluded-ended. Define sell, mule, jockey, buy, assured, oblige, sending, quest, eagerness, exceeding, yard, produced, (brought or led forward,) repassed, disadvantageously, head to foot, (all over ?) in her praise, (in praise of her,) pope, (who is the pope ?) defects, faults, convince, veracity, appealed, landlord, reasons, supporting, asser. tions, dealer, air, (manner ?) eulogium, bestowed, attestation, rely, integ. rity, bidding, appraise, stand to, (agreo to,) valuation, assumed, (viz. the tone and manner of,) the man of honor, (the man who will do from a sense of honor, from a regard for his honor, what other men do from necessity,) in good sooth, (in good truth, in reality,) valuing, pistole, (how much is a pistole in value ?) price, decepted, excellent, bargain.
SUPPOSED SPEECH OF JOHN ADAMS, ETC.
SECT. CCLXIV.-SUPPOSED SPEECH OF JOHN ADAMS IN SUP
PORT OF AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE. I Sink or swim, live or die, survive or perish, I give my
hand, and my heart, to this vote. It is true, indeed, that in 2 the beginning, we aimed not at Independence'; but there's
a Divinity which shapes our ends. The injustice of England 3 has driven us to arms; and blinded to her own interest for
our good, she has obstinately persisted, till Independence is 4 now within our grasp. We have but to reach forth to it, 5 and it is ours. Why then should we defer the Declaration ? 6 Is any man so weak as now to hope for a reconciliation with
England ? do we mean to submit to the measures of par7 liament, Boston port-bill and all ? I know we do not mean to submit: we never shall submit.
The war, then, must go on; we must fight it through; 8 and if the war must go on, why put off longer the Declara
tion of Independence? That measure will strengthen us; it will give us character abroad: the nations will then treat with us; which they never can do while we acknowledge ourselves subjects, in arms against our sovereign: nay, I 9 maintain that England herself will sooner treat for peace with us on the footing of Independence, than consent, by repealing her acts, to acknowledge that her whole conduct
towards us has been a course of injustice and oppression. 10 Sir, the Declaration will inspire the people with increased
courage. Instead of a long and bloody war for restoration 11 of privileges, for redress of grievances, for chartered im
munities, held under a British king, set before them the glorious object of entire Independence, and it will breathe into them anew the breath of life. DEFINITIONS, &c.—Define sink, swim, survive, perish, vote, shapes out ends, (i. e. determines what the end shall be,) arms, obstinately, persisted, independence, grasp, defer, Declaration, (of independence,) reconciliation, submit, parliament, port-bill, (bill regulating the commerce of a port,) character, (reputation,) treat, (make treaties with us,) footing, (basis ?) repcaling edress, grievances, chartered, immunities, anew.
SECT. CCLXV.-ADDRESS TO THE OCEAN.
To mingle with the Universe, and feel
Roll on, thou deep and dark blue ocean! roll!
He sinks into thy depths with bubbling groan, Without a grave, unknelled, uncoffined, and unknown. DefinitioNS, &c.—Define pathless, rapture, society, intrudes, roar, interviews, mingle, universe, conceal, ocean, feets, sweep over, in vain, ravage, save, drop, bubbling, groan, grave, unknelled, uncoffined, un. known.
SECT. CCLXVI.--ENEMIES AT HOME. i Man has enemies who pursue him everywhere : in winter 2 and summer : by night and by day. What course must be 3 pursue ? Shall he fly from them? 4 No'; he waits their 5 approach : he does more ; he attacks them. He is but a dwarf, however, and his adversaries are giants. It matters
not'; the conflict will be fearful'; his blood must flow'; yet 6 he shrinks not from the strife: he is determined to bring them under subjection to himself; and they are brought
under subjection. 7 Do you ask me where these enemies dwell? They are
beneath his roof: struggling, and ever ready to break their 8 bonds, and sometimes bursting forth with destructive fury;
yet he lives among them, calm and serene, and apparently unconscious of his danger. 9 “ Father,” said my son, who could no longer restrain his 10 curiosity, “where does this wonderful man dwell? Tell me
something about him.” 11 “He dwells in this very room ; and this wonderful being
is yourself.” 12 “I, father !” exclaimed he, with mingled surprise and
terror. 13 “Yes, you ; for you, too, belong to the race of man." 14 “And does death threaten me on all sides? do I live in
the midst of enemies ?” 15 “Yes : assuredly you do." 16 “ And who and where are they?" 17 “Would you like to see one of them appear forthwith ?" 18 « Yes." 19 “Well, then, you shall summon it to your presence; but
first listen to me. Do you remember our walk on foot last 20 year into the country, and the frightful storm we encoun
tered ?” 21 “ Yes, father.” 22 “What a hurricane it was ! 23 And such torrents of 24 rain! It seemed almost like a waterspout! In one moment, 25 cloaks, coats, shoes, and stockings—all were drenched by the
water, and the very traces of our road destroyed : we knew 26 not which way to turn.--Now follow me to this end of the
room where the bath stands: turn this stop.” 27 He turned it: the water spouted out. “See here,” I 28 exclaimed, “ this formidable enemy; or rather behold it con
quered. Sheltered beneath his walls, man braved the inun29 dation, but he desired to do more: water no longer fell on
his defenceless head, but this was not enough: he would have
it fall for his benefit. By placing at the edge of the roof 30 which shelters him, little channels to receive the rain, he
spreads, as it were, a trap for his enemy: he takes him cap
tive and conducts him through pipes into reservoirs made to 31 receive him. Soon a further progress is effected. Armed
with the discovery that water finds its level,' man raises rivers from their beds: he brings within his reach, from the most distant hills, springs which hitherto ran to waste; and subjugating them by means of their own laws, he carries them