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polite Chinaman had lifted a small bit of something with his chopstick and, after biting off a piece, passed it for Charley to taste.
17. The chopsticks we could not manage,—the meat would slip out of them,—and but for the soups and the rice we should have had no dinner. Tea was passed continually, as were also little bowls of “samshu,” a liquor distilled from rice.
18. During dinner the “sing-song” girls played on the native two-stringed instruments and sang in falsetto voice music which was undoubtedly fine from a Chinese point of view, but which we could not abide, and so we slipped off to the boat and sought our beds. Waking in the early morning, we found the fleet of tea boats under way and carrying us rapidly down the creek.
1. Monotonous, systematically, huckleberry, expedition, deteriorates, dexterity, barbarians, edification, kneaded, porcelain.
2. What is the color of tea plants ? Describe the picking and drying of tea leaves. What is a chopstick ?
1. Speak sober truths with smiling lips ;
The bitter, wrap in sweetness, -
As the grain is hid in chaff ;
And fear not that the lesson
E’er may seem to lack completeness,
it with a laugh.
2. Then is not he the wisest man
Who rids his brow of wrinkles;
And lightens it by half ?
As mirthful music tinkles,
Though they echo in a laugh ?
When evil comes to try us?
'Twill cheer us if we quaff;
Of despondency stands by us,
Exorcise it with a laugh!
1. Forlorn, quaff, phantom, despondency, defiance, exorcise.
2. What is the lesson in this poem? Give the meaning of “sober truths," "smiling lips,” “the bitter, wrap in sweetness," “ bears his load,” “the fount of hope wells ever nigh,” "gloomy phantom.” How is grain hid in chaff? How do exorcise and exercise differ in meaning ?
XXI. AN AMERICAN KING DAVID.
1. When the Spaniards, under the famous Cortez, came to Mexico in 1519, they found the country inhabited by a people very unlike our North American Indians.
2. They had cities, palaces, and temples, which astonished the Europeans by their riches and magnificence; and they were governed by monarchs who lived in the greatest luxury. In some of the arts of civilization they excelled the Spaniards themselves. They had a knowledge of astronomy; and Cortez found their method of reckoning timemaking allowance for the fraction of a day over the three hundred and sixty-five days in each year —more exact than the Christian calendar.
3. They had vast farm lands watered by artificial means; and their beautiful gardens gave Europe a lesson in horticulture. On the lakes about the City of Mexico were floating gardens, formed of rafts covered with rich mud from the lake bottom and glowing with the luxuriant flowers and fruits of the tropics—the wonder of the Spaniards.
4. They were skilled in the arts of war as well as in those of peace. They had bows and arrows, lances, and other weapons; and their generals knew something of stratagem and the wielding of great armies. But they knew nothing of powder or guns; and they had no horses. So when the Spaniards came
with their loud-roaring artillery and musketry, and with mounted men who seemed a part of the strange beasts they managed, the natives, though they fought desperately for a while, gave way at last; and in their defeat we have the romantic story of a numerous and powerful people conquered by a mere handful of Spanish troops.
5. The most enlightened of all the tribes then inhabiting the country were the Tezcucans. Tezcuco, the capital of their country, was on the eastern side of the lake of Tezcuco, near the western side of which was Mexico, the capital of the renowned Aztec emperor, Montezuma.
6. The Tezcucans and Aztecs were confederates in war, and, if left to themselves, would probably have become one nation, in the course of time extending their sway over all the races of North America. But the swelling wave of native civilization was met by a mightier wave from the Old World, and the spirit and power of these extraordinary people sank, never to rise again. In the sad and broken-spirited Mexican Indians of to-day, it is hard to recognize the children of the warlike and industrious tribes whom the Spaniards came to plunder and to convert to their own religion.
7. About a hundred years before the coming of Cortez there lived a Tezcucan prince, Nezahualcoyotl, whose history is of peculiar interest.
In his youth,
like David, the Hebrew king, whom in many points he resembled, he was obliged to flee for his life from the wrath of a morose monarch who occupied the throne, and he met with many romantic adventures and had many hairbreadth escapes.
8. Once, when some soldiers came to take him in his own house, he vanished in a cloud of incense, such as attendants burn before princes, and concealed himself in a sewer until his enemies were gone. He fled to the mountains, where he slept in caves and thickets and lived on wild fruits, occasionally showing himself in the cottages of the poor people, who befriended their prince at the peril of their own lives.
9. Again, when closely pursued, in passing a girl who was reaping in a field he begged her to cover him from sight with the stalks of grain she was cutting. She did so, and, when his enemies came up, directed the pursuit into a false path. At another time he took refuge with some soldiers who were friendly to him, and who covered him with a war drum around which they were dancing. No bribe could induce his faithful people to betray him.
10. The prince was the rightful heir to the throne, and, growing every day in the favor of the people, he found himself at last at the head of an army. The bad king was more and more detested as a