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let me die for you.” “No," said the master, we
will live together or die together; it must not be so.”
But the entreaties of the man at length prevailed. " I shall leave my wife and children to you; you will be a father to them; you have been a father to me; when the wolves next reach us, I will jump down and do my best I can to arrest their progress.”
The carriage rolls on as fast as the two remaining horses can drag it; the wolves are close on their track, and almost dash against the doors of the carriage. Presently is heard the discharge of the servant's pistols as he leaps from his seat. Soon the door of the post-house is reached, and the family is safe.
They went to the spot the following morning where the wolves had pulled the devoted servant to pieces. There now stands a large wooden cross, erected by the nobleman, with this text upon it, “Greater love hath no man than this, that one lay down his life for his friend."
ONE winter evening, as Captain Compass was sitting by the fire, with his children all around him, he began, after being coaxed a little, to tell them the following story :
I was once, at this time of the year, in a country where it was very cold, and the poor inhabitants had much ado to keep themselves from starving. They were clad partly in the skins of animals, and partly in garments made from the outer covering of a middle-sized quadruped, which they were so cruel as to cut off his back while he was alive.
They dwelt in dwellings, part of which was sunk under ground. The materials were either stones, or earth hardened by fire; and so violent in that country were the storms of wind and rain, that many of them covered their roofs all over with stones. The walls of their houses had holes to let in the light; but to prevent the cold air and wet from coming in, they were covered with a sort of transparent stone, made of melted sand or Alints. As wood was rather scarce, I know not what they would have done for firing, had they not discovered in the bowels of the earth a very extraordinary kind of stone, which when put among burning wood, caught fire and flamed like a torch.
Well but their diet too was remarkable. Some of them ate fish that had been hung up in smoke till they were quite dry and hard ; and along with it they ate either
; the roots of plants, or a sort of coarse black cake made of powdered seeds. These were the poorer class: the richer had a whiter kind of cake, which they were fond of daubing over with a greasy matter; this was the product of a certain large animal. This grease they used, too, in almost all their dishes, and when fresh, it really was not unpalatable. They likewise devoured the flesh of many birds and beasts when they could get it; and ate the leaves and other parts of a variety of vegetables growing in the country, some absolutely raw, others variously prepared by the aid of fire.
Another great article of food was the curd of milk, pressed into a hard mass and salted. This had so rank a smell, that persons of weak stomachs often could not bear to come near it. For drink, they made great use of water in which certain dry leaves had been steeped. These leaves, I was told, came from a great distance. They had likewise a method of preparing a liquor of the seeds of a grass-like plant steeped in water, with the addition of a bitter herb, and then set to "work" or ferment. I was prevailed upon to
taste it, and thought it at first nauseous enough, but in time I liked it pretty well.
When I had sojourned in this cold climate about half a year, I found the same people enjoying a delicious temperature and a country full of beauty and verdure. The trees and shrubs were furnished with a great variety of fruits, which with other vegetable products, made up a large part of the food of the inhabitants. I particularly relished certain berries growing in bunches, some white and some red, of a very pleasant sourish taste, and so transparent, that one might see the seeds at their very centre. Here were whole fields full of extremely sweet-smelling flowers, which they told me were succeeded by pods bearing seeds, that afforded good nourishment to man and beast. variety of birds enlivened the groves and woods ; among which I was entertained with one, that, with little teaching, spoke as plainly as a parrot.
The people were tolerably gentle and civilised, and possessed many of the arts of life. Their dress in warm weather was very
various. Many were clad only in a thin cloth made of the long fibres of the stalk of a plant cultivated for the purpose: this they prepared by soaking in water, and then beating with large mallets. Others wore cloth woven from a sort of vegetable wool, growing in pods upon bushes. But the most singular material was a fine glossy stuff, used chiefly by the richer classes, which, as I was credibly informed, is manufactured out of the webs of a certain kind of grub-worm. This is a most wonderful circumstance, if we consider the immense number necessary to the production of so large a quantity of the stuff as I saw used.
This people are very peculiar in their dress, especially the women : their clothing consists of a great number of articles impossible to be described, and strangely disguising
the natural form of the body. In some instances they seem very cleanly; but in others, the Hottentots can scarcely go beyond them. Their mode of dressing the hair is remarkable : it is all matted and stiffened with the fat of swine and other animals, mixed up with powders of various kinds and colors. Like
many Indian nations, they use feathers in the head-dress. One thing surprised me much, which was, that they bring up in their houses an animal of the tiger kind, with formidable teeth and claws, which is played with and caressed by the tiniest and most timid of their children.
“I am sure I would not play with it,” said Jack. Why, you might chance to get an ugly scratch if you did,” said the Captain.
The language of this nation seems very harsh and unintelligible to a foreigner, yet they talk to one another with great ease and quickness. One of the oddest customs is that which men use on saluting each other. Let the weather be what it will, they uncover their heads, and remain uncovered for some time, if they mean to be extremely respectful.
“Why, that's like pulling off our hats,” said Jack. ha! Papa,” cried Betsy, “I have found you
out. You have been telling us of our own country and what is done at home all this while." ' But,” said Jack, “we don't burn stones, nor eat grease and powdered seeds, nor wear skins and webs, nor play with tigers.” “ No?" said the Captain ; "pray what are coals but stones; and is not butter, grease; and corn, seeds; and leather, skins; and silk the web of a kind of caterpillar ; and may we not as well call a cat an animal of the tiger kind, as a tiger an animal of the cat kind ?”
Evenings at Home.
UNCLES and aunts are very delightful people, as every child knows, — most particularly on a birthday, on which occasion they are hardly ever empty handed. Little Nina Musgrove, then, was a fortunate child, for she had nine of these relatives, besides three great aunts, who lived in a fine old-fashioned house up many steps, in a beautiful garden, with a pond full of gold fish, and rose
e-beds that could be smelt almost a mile off. I could fill this book, and not tell of half the gifts which came to Nina; so I will pass by all save one,
the only gift of her “Uncle Captain,” as she used to call him. He had brought it from the Brazils on purpose for her; and this was neither more nor less than a grey parrot.
But, then, such a parrot had never been seen in or about Ridsden before. Poll was not one of your sulky birds that prate a word or two, and either sicken you with repeating these again and again, or vex you with being stupid all day. She could talk finely, and said such strange things that it was hard to believe it was only a bird talking. When she heard the baker's knock, she would cry, “Walk in, Mr. Toast,” without being bidden. She knew the names of
every one in the family, and used to bid them good morning as a civil bird should. She could sing, “ I'd be a Butterfly," though sometimes that long word puzzled her; and she would then cry, “How droll !"and try again; but, what Nina liked better than all, she could cry, “ Captain, come home;" and whistle, “ Hearts of Oak,” and “God save the Queen,” as well as any
sailor on board the good ship in which she came over.
It was no wonder that, with all her cleverness, Polly was a favorite on her own account, as well as for the sake