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REFLECTIONS OF A WORKING MAN.
junction of the foot to the limb; the other to be an adhesive substance on the torgue, four are of enormous length, and propor- by which the food was drawn in. The Ronately stout, taking a curved direction animal died suddenly off Cape Horn, outwards. Of these four, the first is the whilst the vessel was amidst the ice; perlongest, the rest decrease in due gradation. haps in consequence of the cold, but not From the base of the claws to the union of improbably on account of the egys with the foot with the limb, both before and be- which it was fed being extremely bad.” hind, the interval is very trifling, so that The arrival of the echidna and the the foot appears as if made up of claws ornithorhynchus alive in Europe, would alone. The general shape of the body is prove highly gratifying to all scientific nabroad and compressed, and not unlike that turalists, much connected with their habits of a hedge-hog; a resemblance the more and structure yet remaining to be cleared striking, from the nature of the clothing on up.
M. its upper surface, which consists of an impenetrable phalanx of bristling spines, much longer and stouter than those of the hedge-hog, much harder and firmer than My Madge had an elderly neighbour, a those of the porcupine. They are directed widow woman, poor as to the things of this obliquely upwards, converging in a middle world, but rich in God's grace, and healine down the back, and acted upon by a venly hope and consolation.
This neighstrong muscular expansion beneath the bour, by what some call “good luck,” skin. The under surface and limbs are but what I call God's good providence, merely covered with stiff hairs. The tail got into a nice, snug, alms-house, at some is short and broad, and armed above, like distance, where, living in the fear of the the rest of the upper surface, with a Lord, and trusting in Christ continually, rosette of formidable spines. Rolled up she enjoyed that peace of God which passeth like the hedgehog, the echidna, when at all understanding. tacked, presents to his enemy a chevaux de One afternoon, this summer, my Madge frise of spines which defy his assaults. took it into her head to go with two of her
In the second part of the Proceedings of children, to see her old neighbour, who the Zoological Society of London, for 1834, had often asked her; for Madge is not one p. 23, we find a notice of one of these to go visiting where she is never invited ; animals, which a gentleman was endea- and I was to leave work a little earlier vouring to bring to England, no living spe- in the evening, and go and fetch them cimen having yet been seen in Europe. home. The subjoined extract, which we take the The afternoon was uncommonly fine; liberty of making, may not be uninter- the sky had colours in it, that none but the esting :
Lord of life and glory could have placed “A note from Lieut. Breton, Corre- there ; and the angels in heaven, I should sponding Member of the Zoological So- think, could not have looked straight at the ciety, was read, giving an account of an sun, without holding up their wings before echidna, which' lived with him for some their faces. When evening came, thinks I time in New Holland, and survived a part to myself, “I'll fetch a bit of a compass of the voyage to England. The animal round the lanes, and so lengthen my walk, was captured by him on the Blue Moun- for," thinks I, “ Madge will have a world tains ; it is now very uncommon in the to talk about, for she is a jewel at keeping colony of New South Wales. He regards it up when she begins : her old neighbour, it as being of its size the strongest quad- too, is pretty much like er; so they shall ruped in existence. It burrows readily, have it out. but he knows not to what depth. Previous It was on a thursday, which is marketto embarkation this individual was fed on day, and as I passed a public-house ant eggs and milk, and when on board, its on the road, there sat, on horseback, a diet was, egg chopped small with liver and youngster chap, with a glass of brandy meat. It drank much water. Its mode of and water in his hand. He seemed very eating was very curious, the tongue being much at his ease, for he sat a little sideused at some times in the manner of that ways like, with one ley stretched out very of the chameleon, and at others in that in low in the stirrup, and the other cocked which a mower uses his scythe, the tongue up almost as high as the flap of the saddle. being curved laterally, and the food, as it I should not have known the liquor he were, swept into the mouth. There seemed was drinking from ale, had it not been for
the silver spoon in it, with which he was will make no more of riding over me, than trying to crush a lump of sugar against if I were a good tall thistle, or a dock the side of the glass.
root.” Thinks I to myself, young
fellow In half a minute the horse dashed round: is not over-wise, for he has only come the corner, and off went the young fellow a mile from the town, and is baiting al- from the saddle; but that was not the ready; he is kindling a fire inside of him, worst of it, for his foot was fast in one of that will want more brandy and the stirrups, and his head went thumping water to quench before he gets many miles against the ground like a foot-ball. It further.
.” When I got nearer, I saw that he wasn't a moment for me to stand still, when was quite tipsy, and his face almost as a fellow-sinner was in danger of being sudthe sun in a misty morning. Thinks I to denly plunged into an eternal world; so I myself, “that is not the first glass of ran, hallooing after the horse, hoping soon brandy and water, by a many, that he has to make somebody hear. It so happened, taken to-day: he looks as fierce as a that a double team was coming along the fighting cock, now he's on horseback, but, lane; and so what with the impediment of for all that, if I had him to walk with me, the wagon and horses, and the exertions of I'd leave him far enough behind, before I the wagoner, the horse was stopped, and got to the alms-houses.
the foot of the young fellow got out of the The sight of the young fellow, and his stirrup. But this wasn't done without a red face, and the brandy and water, set me world of trouble; for the horse, frightened, I a-thinking about the time when I was a reckon, at the young chap dangling at his great deal too fond of a drop of spirits my- side, dashed against the wagon, knocked self; and I thought, as I walked on, off the skin from his shoulder, and limped “ what a good day that was for Madge and as if he had been lamed for life. The I, when I first saw the Temperance bill wagoner caught the reins of the horse, and posted against the wall. If it had not I lifted up the poor young fellow to get his been for that bill, mayhap I should never foot from the stirrup. I never saw a head have gone to a Temperance meeting, and and face cut so in all my life. then I should never, I fear, have had the Leaving a lad with the lame horse and comforts I have now about me, nor have seen the team, the wagoner and I carried the Madge and my children so well clad, nor young fellow back to the white house : he had what I have now got in the savings' was more like a dead thing than a living bank.” Well, I mused over these things, man. The doctor happened to be at home, and thought too what a poor blind creature and he cut half the hair off the young felI must have been, not to see how much I low's head to get at his wounds, and I vewas spiting myself when I drank gin, and rily believed, though the doctor said otherrum, and brandy: and then I felt thankful wise, that he would never open his eyes to God for his goodness to me, in opening again in this sinful world. In two hours' my eyes, and said over to myself the text time, however, he was sufficiently recoin Isaiah, “ I will bring the blind by a way vered to call the nurse ugly names for not that they knew not; I will lead them bringing out his horse that he might ride in paths that they have not known; I will home. make darkness light before them, and As I left the house, I thought to myself, crooked things straight. These things will that Madge would wonder what was beI do unto them, and not forsake them." come of me; so I put my best leg foremost
By this time I had got to the turn in the after I had just spoken a word to the lad lane where Dr. Chase lives, in the white who had been left with the team. house, with the yew-trees before it cut into Well, thinks I, this comes of drinking shapes odd and ugly enough to frighten brandy and water : I have often reckoned any body on a moonshiny night who up how much I have saved by not spenddidn't know what they were. I heard the ing my money in spirits, but I forgot to trampling of horse's feet, coming helter reckon how much I have saved in keeping skelter, at a pretty rate behind me, and, out of scrapes. Let me see, now there looking back, there I saw the young fellow is this poor fellow who lies at Doctor that I had left drinking the brandy and Chase's, I warrant he has drunk, at the water, riding along, neck-or-nothing, like least, half a dozen glasses of brandy and a mad thing. You may be sure I lost no water, or something next door to it, in the time in turning the corner of the lane, and course of the day. That will amount to in screwing myself up close against the three shillings, if I reckon them at sixhedge; “ for," thinks I, “this drunkard
pence a glass. Then his horse is lamed, most likely, for many a day to come; if I that the strongest armour is that which a put him down at a couple of pounds, it man wears within his bosom; and sure will be under the mark. Then there's the enough when a man knows himself in the doctor's bill, and if the doctor can put his right, he doesn't shuffle in his replies, and patient again on his legs, sound wind and blink and shirk out of sight, as he does limb, for a couple of pounds more, he will when ashamed of himself. do what I take it few doctors would be “Sam,” says I, again looking up at him, able to do. Then if I reckon a trifle for “ I don't go to the Black Bull now, as I the
young fellow's time, though I won't go used to do." to rate that very high, seeing that few drunk- Perhaps not,” says Sam, mayhap ards occupy themselves to much pur- the Red Cow may give better milk just pose ; putting all together, if I let him off now;" meaning that a better tap might be for five pounds, I shall not be over hard at the sign of the Red Cow than at the upon him. Thinks I to myself, what rap- sign of the Black Bull. ing and scraping there is in the world, be- " You're rather hard upon me, Sam," fore a man can get together five pounds in says I, “though I know that I deserve it; an honest way; and then, thinks I again, if but, to tell you the truth, I am a temperI was to get into such a scrape, and it was ance man now, and bring home what I to cost me five pounds, what a life Madge get to my Madge, instead of fooling it would lead me! She is as decent a wo- away in giving it to the landlady of the man, though I say it, as any that walks in Black Bull. I am better in my health, we shoe-leather; but for all that, whenever I have got comforts about us, and a few have played the fool, I have always feared pounds in the savings-bank against a rainy her more than any body else in the world, day.” ding donging it in my ears, and letting me Sam turned quick upon me, with a have no peace till I had confessed my folly, sharpish look, as if he wanted to know and promised to keep my cup more upright whether I was telling him a lie; but, not another time. Well, thinks I, this young reading a lie in my face, he began to fellow has made a five-pound job of it, to inquire all about the matter. So I told him say nothing of the pain he has to endure, how many things he had said had stuck and remorse of conscience too, if there be close to me, and how I saw the temperance any feeling in him, and I shall be more bill against the wall, and went to the meetthankful for the future that I am a member ing; and how the man that stood up there of the Temperance Society, than I ever was told us that three-fourths of the crime, poyet.
verty, and wretchedness of the country, In this manner I kept musing and talk- came at first from drunkenness; that drunking to myself, as I made the best of iny way enness brought about one-half of the madto the alms-houses, when who should ness into the land, and that intemperance was come across me but Sam Peters! When as unsparing as death; and, last of all, Sam worked with me at our shop, we used that I signed my name to the paper, and to call him“ Sobersides,” because he spoke became a temperance man. up against drunkenness, and wouldn't join When I had finished my story, I held us in drinking, or go with us to the out my hand to Sam, saying, I was not public-house, though, in my heart, I re- ashamed to confess that what he had said spected him not a bit the less for it. in old times had done me good, and that I After that he left us, and I hadn't dropt verily believed, if it had not been for him, upon him for a matter of two years, to talk I should never have troubled my head with him, for he shyed me, or, as the folks about the temperance bill on the wall. say, “cut” me, whenever we met. Being Sam did not speak a word, and this set full of what had taken place at Doctor me a wondering till I looked at him Chase's door, I spoke first to Sam, think- out of the corner of my eyes, and I then ing, mayhap, he'll be for tipping me the saw that be seemed very thoughtful, as if go-bye, if I don't stop him.
he was a little overcome with what I had Sam,” says I, “ how are you? you said ; and if I ever saw a tear roll down a may venture to speak to me, for I shall man's face in my life, I saw one on the neither ear you nor drink you.”
cheek of Sam Peters. God above, who “ How are you, John ?” replied Sam, formed us, only knows our hearts; but as civilly, but yet as if he was not over anxious far as a poor short-sighted sinner is at to have any thing to do with me.
liberty to judge, I should say that Sam Now, knowing that I had left off tippling, Peters is a kind-hearted, God-fearing, I felt bold. Oftes enough have I heard christian man. He wrung me by the
haud as I left him to turn into the alms- day I again fell in with Sam Peters, who houses, saying he must have some talk held out his hand instead of shying me, as with me another time.
he used to do. Sam convinced me that In coming home with Madge, I told her I had risen in his estimation; and this all about the young chap at Doctor Chase's, made me rise in my own. I was aware and some sharp things popped out of my of it at the time, but could not help it. mouth against him; and I rattled away at a “John,” says Sam to me, as we walked strange rate about my own leaving off along the same way together, “ I have been drinking, till Madge, who is as keen as a thinking, since I met you yesterday, about hawk in seeing what is what, saw that I your being a temperance man; but I can't was over hard on the young fellow, and make it out at all, why signing a piece of mighty vain-glorious about myself; nor did paper should have made you a sober she forget to tell me soon after what she man, when all the good advice you have thought; for trust her to keep her tongue had, and all the scrapes that the love of quiet when she thinks she can do me good drink has got you into, failed to do it. by talking. I had raised my voice pretty Didn't you often go to the house of God high in scolding one of the children, for I on a sabbath-day?” had told him, as we went along a narrow “Yes,” says Í,“ before I took to drinkpathway, to take care of the mud on one ing.” side, and he had got into the gutter on the Well, then," says Sam,“ didn't you other.
hear a good deal of scripture read sabbath “ You needn't snubb the little creature after sabbath ? and didn't you learn that for doing just the same thing that you do no drunkard shall inherit the kingdom of yourself,” said she.
heaven ? and didn't you hear warning after “What's coming now ?" thinks I, look- warning to flee from the fleshly lusts that ing at my own shoes, for I didn't know
war against the soul ?" whe her I mightn't have put my foot into “Yes, to be sure I did,” says I. the same puddle.
“Well, then,” says Sam, "I can't un“What I mean is,” says Madge," that derstand why, if the fear of God's wrath in tr ying to keep out of one fault, you get didn't keep you from drunkenness, that the into a nother. It's all very well for you to fear of breaking your temperance oath keep from the public-house, and from should.” drinkin g spirits ; but that's no reason why “ I'll tell you,” says I, “ how I think you should be bitter against any body, it was. I heard a good deal against and puff off yourself: for, after all, you drunkenness, sure enough; but then when have done no more than what every I went to the public-house, or began to christian man is bound to do."
drink a glass of gin, I never meant to 'These words put an end to my vapour- be a drunkard, so that the cap seemed ing about myself, for I felt that Madge never to fit me. It was the drunkard was right, though I didn't like to tell her that was not to go to heaven, but I always so, lest she should carry her chin a little intended to be moderate; and when, by higher than she ought to do. When we little and little, I drank more and more, I got home at night, thinks 1 to myself, that was fool enough to leave off going to a was ra ther a cute lesson that Madge gave place of worship altogether. Now, at the me; and when at prayer time I opened temperance meeting it was pointed out to the Bible to read the chapter, which was me in a way that I couldn't mistake, that the second in Romans, the very first verse the safest way was not to take the first went to my heart, for it seemed as if the glass, or to venture on the path of the words were written for me more than for drunkard. These principles are in the any body else. “ Therefore thou art inex- Bible, which warns us to avoid the becusable, man, whosoever thou art that ginning evil; but the Temperance Sojudgest: for wherein thou judgest another, ciety, by their speeches and publications, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that brought out these principles, and so spread judgest, doest the same things.”
before my eyes the sin and the sorrow of Well,” thinks I, after I had got up drunkenness, that I must have been stone from my knees, “ with God's grace and blind not to see my error.
The books of blessing, I'll look a little sharper after the society put us up to all the snares myself for the future, and be more mer- that are laid to catch the drunkard, and ciful to others."
surely in vain the net is spread in the sight It was an odd thing, but odd things of any bird.” will happen sometimes, that the very next “ Well,” says Sam, “there is some
thing in what you say, but there is an- firmly on the ground, and, I dare say, other thing that I could never get over looked a little fiercer than common, like a There are some masters who strain at a man who is quite satisfied with his own spoonfull of spirits and water, who will resolution, and determined to stick to it. swallow a bottle of wine without scruple; Still, as Í went forward, what Sam had and some workmen, who will hardly come said came uppermost in my mind, and within the smell of brandy or rum, who then, too, what I had read about watercan day after day take three times the drinking in Dr. Franklin's book, jumped quantity of ale that is good for them.” into my head, and this brought me back
“ Ay,” thinks I to myself, “ that is a again to my barrel of beer. Thinks I to weak place in our society for certain; but myself, “ Two shillings a week is two nothing is perfect under the skies, and I shillings a week, after all, and money hope there are not many temperance men saved is money got; and if it be true that of that sort. What think you of the there's no strength in malt liquor, and weather ?” says I, for I wanted to get some people say so, why the cost of it him off that subject; but Sam was not would look as well in my pocket, as in such a ninny as to let me slip through his the pocket of the brewer that I buy it of. fingers so easily.
I've a great mind to give it up.” “Do you mean to continue a temper- In this manner I went on balancing the ance man ?" says he.
affair in my mind, sometimes having one Yes,” says I, “I do, and to per- scale up and sometimes the other : but I suade every body I can to do the same.”. have observed, that in nine cases out of
“Well, then," says he, “ if you will ten, whenever a hesitating man has to promise me to become a water-drinker, judge between his prudence and his inlike me, I will join your society, and be clination, he decides in favour of the lata temperance man like you.”
ter. The barrel of beer got uppermost, This put me in a terrible stew, for I for, thinks I, to work hard in the winter, seemed to have been making a halter to and to drink nothing but water, as cold as hang myself. I had gone on very well ice, would kill me, I know it would ; and without gin, but to live without malt then, even if it didn't, and only laid me up liquor, and work hard too, was quite out for a month, why, what with loss of work, of the question. We had just come to a and paying the doctor, it would amount, turning, in the very nick of time, so says mayhap, to three or four times as much as I,“ This will be my nearest way, and if I should save by not drinking beer. So I don't get along at a rare rate, I shall be once more my mind was made up, not to too late where I am going.” Sam wished be persuaded to drink water by all the me a good day, without saying any thing Sam Peters' in England. else; but I knew clear enough by his Not being, however, quite satisfied with face that he saw through the shuffle I had myself, I began to cast about for somemade; however, it helped me out of the thing to bolster myself up in my resoluscrape for the time, and that was what I tion. Thinks I, “ There's poor Madge wanted.
too, and the young ones; they have been As I went forward, I began to turn the used to a drop of beer ever since I joined matter over in my mind. Thinks I to the Temperance Society, for they got right myself, “I see no use in leaving off malt little of it before ; it would be a hard thing liquor altogether, and so moderate as we to deprive them of what they naturally
Our barrel is just out, to be sure, look for. No," thinks I, “I'll never conand it cost me twenty-six shillings, which sent to rob Madge and her young ones of is a pretty penny; but then it is thirteen what does them so much good, as I know weeks since we tapped it. What is two a drop of good beer does.” shillings a week for drink among us all ? This thought helped me up rarely, for I for I do not guzzle it down all myself, as I persuaded myself, or at least tried to do used to do. No, no : Sam Peters may it, that it was not my own comfort, but drink his cold spring water by himself, that of my wife and children, that had and much good may it do him, but it determined me not to give up my barrel of would give me the ague ; come what will, beer. Before I got home, I thought it I'll never give up having a drop of good might be as well to mention the thing to beer in the house, while I can raise the Madge, as it would show me to be pruwind to get it.”
dently inclined; besides, I made sure that As I said this to myself, I trod more she would say she wouldn't be robbed of