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eloquence, and spout forth another stream of water, to replenish the trough for this teamster and his two yoke of oxen, who have come from Topsfield, or somewhere along that way. No part of my business is pleasanter than the watering of cattle. Look! how rapidly they lower the watermark on the sides of the trough, till their capacious stomachs are moistened with a gallon or two a-piece, and they can afford time to breathe it in, 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.
But I perceive, my dear auditors, that you are impatient for the remainder of my discourse. Impute it, beseech you, to no defect of modesty, if I insist a little longer on so fruitful a topic as my own multifarious merits. It is altogether for your good. The better you think of me, the better men and women will you find yourselves. I shall say nothing of my all-important aid on washing-days, though on that account alone I might call myself the household god of a hundred families. Far be it from me also to hint, my respectable friends, at the show of dirty faces which you would present without my pains to keep you clean. Nor will I remind you how often, when the midnight bells make you tremble for your combustible town, you have fled to the Town Pump, and found me always at my post, firm amid the confusion, and ready to drain my vital current in your
behalf. Neither is it worth while to lay much stress on my claims to a medical diploma —as the physician whose simple rule of practice is preferable to all the nauseous lore, which has found men sick or left them so, since the days of Hippocrates. Let us take a broader view of my beneficial influence on mankind.
No; these are trifles compared with the merits which wise men concede to me- —if not in my single self, yet as representative of a class—of being the grand reformer of the age. spout, and such spouts as mine, 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 copartnership 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 phrensy of hereditary fever has raged in the human blood, transmitted from sire to son, and rekindled in every generation, by fresh draughts of 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 practised 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 (lear 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 marble fountain, richly sculptured, take my place upon this 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.
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 not otherwise exemplified than by plunging, slapdash, into hot water, and wofully scalding yourselves 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 turbulence 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!”
THE ATMOSPHERE.—(QUARTERLY REVIEW.)
The atmosphere rises above us with its cathedral dome arching towards the heavens, of which it is the most familiar synonyme and symbol. It floats around us like that grand object which the apostle John saw in his vision—“ a sea of glass like unto crystal.” So massive is it, that when it begins to stir, it tosses about great ships like playthings, and sweeps cities and forests to destruction before it. And yet it is so mobile, that we have lived years in it before we can be persuaded that it exists at all, and the great bulk of mankind never realize the truth that they are bathed in an ocean of air. Its weight is so enormous that iron shivers before it like glass, yet a soap-bubble sails through it with impunity, and the tiniest insect waves it aside with its wing.
It ministers lavishly to all the senses. We touch it not, but it touches us. Its warm south wind brings back colour to the pale face of the invalid ; its cool west winds refresh the fevered brow, and make the blood mantle in our cheeks; even its north blasts brace into new vigour the hardy children of our rugged clime.
The eye is indebted to it for all the magnificence of sunrise, the full brightness of midday, the chastened radiance of the “gloamin,” and the “ clouds that cradle near the setting sun.” But for it the rainbow would want its “triumphal arch," and the winds would not send their fleecy messengers on errands round the heavens. The cold weather would not shed its snow feathers on the earth, nor would drops of dew gather on the flowers. The kindly rain would never fall, nor hail, storm, nor fog, diversify the face of the sky. Our naked globe would turn its tanned and unshadowed forehead to the sun, and one dreary, monotonous blaze of light and heat dazzle and burn up all things.
Were there no atmosphere, the evening sun would in a moment set, and without warning plunge the earth in darkness. But the air keeps in her hand a sheaf of his rays, and lets them slip slowly through her fingers ; so that the shadows of evening gather by degrees, and the flowers have time to bow their heads, and each creature space to find a place of rest and nestle to repose. In the morning the garish sun would at once burst from the bosom of night and blaze above the horizon, but the air watches for his coming, and sends at first one little ray to announce his approach, and then another, and by and by a handful ; and so gently draws aside the curtain of night, and slowly lets the light fall on the face of the sleeping earth, till her eyelids open, and like man, she “goeth forth again to her labour till the evening.”
THE WONDERS OF NATURE.—(Sir Thomas BrowNE.*)
I could never content my contemplation with those general pieces of wonder, the flux and reflux of the sea, the increase of the Nile, the conversion of the needle to the north ; and I have studied to match and parallel these in the more obvious and neglected pieces of nature, which without further travel, I can do in the cosmography of myself. carry
with us the wonders we seek without us ; there is all Africa and her prodigies in us. that bold and adventurous piece of nature which he that studies wisely learns in a compendium, what others labour at in a divided piece and endless volume.
Thus there are two books from whence I collect my divinity. Besides that written one of God, another of His servant Nature,
that universal and public manuscript that lies exposed unto the eyes of all. Those that never saw Him in the one have discovered Him in the other ; this was the scripture and theology of the heathens ; the natural motion of the sun made them more admire Him, than its supernatural station i did the children of Israel. The ordinary effects of nature wrought more admiration in them than did in the other all His miracles. Surely the heathens knew better how to join and read these mystical letters than we Christians, who cast a more careless eye on those common hieroglyphics, and disdain to suck divinity from the flowers of nature. Nor do I so forget God as to adore the name of Nature ; which I define not, with the schools, to be the principle of motion and rest, but that straight and regular line, that settled and constant course the wisdom of God hath ordained the actions of His creatures, according to their several kinds. To make a revolution every day is the nature of the sun, because of that necessary course which God hath ordained it, from which it cannot swerve but by a faculty from that voice which first did give it motion. Now this course of nature God seldom alters or perverts ; but like an excellent artist, hath so contrived His work that, with the self-same instrument, without a new creation, He may effect His obscurest designs. I call the effects of nature the works of God, whose hand and instrument she only is ; and therefore, to ascribe His actions unto her is to devolve the honour of the principal agent upon the instrument ; which if with reason we may do, then let our hammers rise up and boast they have built our houses, and our pens receive the honour of our writings. I hold there is a general beauty in the works of God, and therefore no deformity in any kind of species or creature whatsoever. I cannot tell by what logic we call a toad, a bear, or an elephant ugly ; they being created in those outward shapes and figures which best express the actions of their inward forms, and having passed that general visitation of God, who saw that all that He had made was good, that is, conformable to His will, which abhors deformity, and is the will of order and beauty. There is no deformity but in monstrosity ; wherein, notwithstanding, there is a kind of beauty, nature so ingeniously contriving the irregular parts, as they become sometimes more remarkable than the principal fabric. To speak yet more narrowly, there was never anything ugly or misshapen
1 In the literal sense of “standing still."