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BATTLE FIELDS, OR VULTURES' SHAMBLES.

177

- 2. I soon perceived that my labor would be well repaid ; for an old vulture was sitting on a naked prominence,' with her young about her, whom she was instructing in the arts of a vulture's life, and preparing, by her last lecture, for their final dismission to the mountains and the skies.

3. “My children,” said the old vulture, "you will the less want my instructions, because you have had my practice before your eyes. You have seen me snatch from the farm the household fowl; you have seen me seize the leveret’in the bush, and the kid in the pasture; you know how to fix your talons, and how to balance your flight when you are laden with your prey. But you remember the taste of more delicious food : I have often regaled you with the flesh of man.”

4. “Tell us,” said the young vultures, “where man may be found, and how he may be known. His flesh is surely the natural food of a vulture! Why have you never brought a man in your talons to the nest ?” “He is too bulky,” said the mother. “When we find a man, we can- only tear ăwāy his flesh, and leave his bones upon the ground.”

5. “Since man is so big,” said the young ones, "how do you kill him? You are afrāid of the wolf and of the bear. By what power are vultures superior to man? Is man more defenseless than a sheep?” “We have not the strength of man,” returned the mother, “and the vulture would seldom feed upon his flesh, had not nature, that devoted him to our noŭrishment, infused into him a strange ferocity,which I have never observed in any other being that feeds upon the earth.

6. “Two herds of men," continued she, “will often meet, and shake the earth with noise, and fill the air with fire. When you hear noise, and see fire, with flashes along the ground, hasten to the place with your swiftèst wing, for men are surely destroying one another : you will then find the ground smoking with blood, and covered with carcasses, of which many are mangled, for the convenience of the vulture.”

7. “But when men have killed their prey,” said a young vulture, “why do they not eat it? When the wolf has killed a sheep, he suffers not the vulture to touch it, till he is satisfied

1 Prom' i nence, a point jutting ? Lěv'er et, a hare in its first year. or standing out from the surface of 3 Fē roc' i tỹ, savage wildness of something

fierceness: fury; cruelty.

himself. Is not man a kind of wolf ?” “Man," said the mother, “is the only beast who kills that which he does not devour, and this quality makes him the greatest benefactor to our species.”

8. “If men kill our prey, and lay it in our way," said the young one, “what need shall we have of laboring for ourselves?” “ Because man will, sometimes,” replied the mother, “ remain for a long time quiet in his den. The old vultures will tell you when you are to watch his motions. When you see men in great numbers moving close together, like a flock of storks, you may conclude that they are hunting, and that you will soon revel' in human blood.”

9. “But still,” said the young one, “I would gladly know the reason of this mutual slaughter. I could never kill what I could not eat.” “My child,” said the mother, "this is a question which I can not answer, though I am reckoned the most subtle bird of the mountain.

10. “When I was young, I used frequently to visit the eyry. of an old vulture, who dwelt upon the Carpathian rocks. He had made many observations ; he knew the places that afforded prey round his habitation, as far in every direction as the strongest wing can fly, between the rising and setting of the summer sun; and he had fed year after year on the vitals of men.

11. "His opinion was, that men had only the appearance of animal life, being really vegetables, with a power of motion ; and that as the boughs of an oak are dashed together by the storm, that swine may fatten on the falling acorns, so men are, by some unaccountable power, driven one against another till they lose their motion, that vultures may be fed.

12. “Others think they have observed something of contrivance and policy among these cā'terers of ours; and those that hover more closely around them, pretend that there is in every herd one that gives directions to the rest, and seems to be more eminently delighted with carnage.' What it is that entitles him

* Rěv el, to feast in a riotous and tains in Europe, chiefly in Austria. lawless manner, or with noisy mer. Vi' tals, parts of animal bodies riment.

necessary to life. 2 Subtle, (sůť 1), artful; cunning. Cā' ter ers, those who buy or

* Eyry, (a' rl), the place where provide food. birds of prey build their nests and Carnage, (kår naj), the flesh of hatch their young.

slain animals; slaughter; great de • Car pā' thì an, a range of moun. struction of lives.

THE WATCHER ON THE TOWER.

179

to such preëminence,' we know not. He is seldom the biggest or the swiftèst; but such are his eagerness and diligence in providing and preparing food for us, that we think the leader of such human herds is entitled to our warmèst gratitude, and should be styled, THE FRIEND OF THE VULTURES !”

DR. JOHNSON.

VII.

63. THE WATCHER ON THE TOWER.

VTHAT dost thou see, lone watcher on the tower?

V Is the day breaking? comes the wished-for-hour? Tell us the signs, and stretch ăbroad thy hand,

If the bright morning dawns upon the land.” 2. “The stars are clear above me, scarcely one

Has dimmed its rays in reverence to the sun;
But yět I see on the hori'zon's verge,

Some fair, faint streaks, as if the light would surge." 3. “And is that all, O watcher on the tower ?

Look forth again ; it must be near the hour.
Dost thou not see the snowy mountain copes,"

And the green woods benēath them on the slopes ?” 4. “A mist envelopes them ; I can not trace

Their outline ; but the day comes on apace.5
The clouds roll up in gold and amber flakes,

And all the stars grow dim. The morning breaks.” 5. “We thank thee, lonely watcher on the tower ;

But look again ; and tell us, hour by hour,
All thou beholdest ; many of us die
Ere' the day comes ; oh, give them a reply!”

1 Pre è m'i nence, superiority; thing regarded as extended over tin the condition of being first in place head, as the concave or arch of the or rank.

sky; a priest's cloak. * Rěv' er ence, fear mingled with A pāce', with a quick pace ; respect and affection.

quick ; fast ; hastily. * Surge, (sểrj), to swell; to run Am'ber, of the color of amber, high like waves.

which is yellowish. • Cope, a cover; a hood ; any 'Ere, (år), before ; sooner than.

6. “I hope, but can not tell. I hear a söng,

Vivid' as day itself, and clear and strong,
As of a lark-young prophet of the noon-

Pouring in sunlight his seraphic' tune.”
7. “What doth ho say-O watcher on the tower?

Is he a prophet? Doth the dawning hour
Inspire his music? Is his chant sublime,

Filled with the glòries of the future time?”
8. “He prophesies ;—his heart is full ;-his lay

Tells of the brightness of a peaceful day-
A day not cloudless, nor devoid of storm,

But sunny for the most, and clear and warm.” 9. “We thank thee, watcher on the lonely tower,

For all thou tellèst. Sings he of an hour
When Error shall decay, and Truth grow strong,

And Right shall rule supreme, and vanquish Wrong?" 10. “He sings of brotherhood, and joy, and peace,

Of days when jealousies and hate shall cease;
When war shall die, and man's progressive mind

Soar as unfettered as its Göd designed.”
11. “Well done! thou watcher on the lonely tower!

Is the day breaking ? dawns the happy hour?
We pine to see it :-tell us, yět again,

If the broad daylight breaks upon the plain ?" 12. “It breaks—it comes—the misty shadows fiy :

A rosy radiance* gleams upon the sky;
The mountain-tops reflect it calm and clear ;
THE PLAIN IS YET IN SHADE, PUT DAY IS NEAR.”

CHARLES MACKAY.

? Vivid, bright; lively; glow. De void', destitute; not in pos ing; alive.

session ; free from. * Se răph' ic, pertaining to a “Rā' di ance, brightness shooting seraph, or angel of the highest or- in rays of light or hent; vivid light, der; sublime; pure.

brilliancy; luster.

THE OLD FAMILY BIBLE.

181"

SECTION XV.

64. THE OLD FAMILY BIBLE.

ITTHOEVER has traveled among the Scottish hills and

V dales, can not have failed to observe the scrupulous' fidelity' of the inhabitants to the old family Bible. A more honorable trait of character than this can not be found; for all men, whether Christians or infidels,' are prone to put reliance in those who make the Bible their companion, the well-thumbed pages of which show the confidence their owners repose in it.

2. A few years ago, there dwelt in Ayrshire o an ancient couple, possessed of this world's gear' sufficient to keep them independent from want or woe, and a canny daughter to bless their gray hair and tottering steps. A gallănto of a farmer became enamoredo of the daughter, and she, nothing loth," consented to be his.

3. The match being every way worthy of her, the old folks gave their approval, and as they were desirous to see their child comfortably settled, the two were made one. In a few short years, the scythe of time cut down the old people, and they gave their bodies to the dust, and their souls to the Creätor.

4. The young farmer, having heard much of the promised land beyond the sea, găthered togěther his property, and, selling such as was useless, packed up what was calculated to be of service to him at his new home. Some neighbors, having the same desire for adventure, sold off their homes and homesteads, and, with the young couple, set sail for America.

Scrupulous, (skrå pu lús), carc. in the southwest part of Scotland, ful; conscientious.

bordering on the sea. ? Fi děl'i tý, loyalty; faithfulness. Gēar, goods ; furniture.

* Trāit, a stroke; a touch ; a 8 Căn ny, skillful ; dexterous marked feature or peculiarity. prudent.

* In' fi dels, unbelievers ; persons Gal lănt", a gay or fashionable who deny Christianity and the truth man; one fond of paying attention of the Bible.

to ladies; one who wooes; a lover. • Re põse', place, as in confidence. 10 Enăm' ored, in love with. • Ayrshire, (dr sher), a country 11 Loth, reluctant; unwilling.

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