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Sparrows, Sir," returned the lad, in breathless hurry. "Catching Sparrows!" repeated the good Steward. "Philosophers, catching Sparrows! That is doing some good with their learning, indeed! If they had begun to this work sooner, the early corn in the South field would hav$ been the better for it!"
As my" mind has not yet been sufficiently contaminated by the practices of Christians, to take pleasure in beholding misery inssicted upon any part of the animated creation, I hastened from- this cruel scene, and took refuge in my Own apartment. After some time spent in meditating on the cruel dispositions of Europeans, and in performing poojah to the benignant Dewtah of our fathers. —I descended, to pay my respects to Miss Ardent, whose "voice I heard in she Hall. "How happy it is, that you have returned to-night!" exclaimed she, on perceiving me. "You have come in time, to assist at the most wonderful of all discoveries! What will your friends in India think, when you tell them, that sparrows may be changed into honeybees?"'' . It is a subject;, on which none of my friends could possibly entertain a doubt, returned I; the transmigration of soul, from body to body, is evidently necessary for its purification.—*It is the doctrine of the Vedas—and its authority is unquestionable. "But the change I speak of, has nothing to do with the doctrine of transmigration," rejoined Miss Ardent. "Our sparrows are still to continue good and real sparrows: it is only their instincts, that are to undergo a change, from the power of external circum fiances.- So young Sceptic declared this morning at breakfast, and my brother, whose imagination tikes fire at every new idea, declared instantly, that the experiment should be made. It is true," continued Miss Ardent, "this theory is not confined to sparrows —The reasoning faculties, of which we, poor two-legged animals are so proud^and the various instincts, which mark each tribe of the brute creation, all equally originate in a combination of external circumstances. And, according to the arguments of the young philosopher, I see no' reason, why, by a proper course of education, a monkey may not be a Minister of State, or a goose, Lord Chancellor, of England."
Here a stop was put to our conversation, by the entrance of the gentlemen each of whom was so full of his deeds of prowess, in the engagement with the sparrows, that he could talk of nothing else. One hundred sparrows, were already taken prisoners:—but as this was only one third of the number declared necessary to form a hive, a reward was offered by the Baronet, for each live sparrow that should be brought to the Hall in the course of the succeeding day: —a measure which was crowned with such success, that, before fun-set on the following evening, the number was declared complete.
Another tedious- day elapsed, before the hut destined for their future residence, could be finished; thia was made exactly after the model of those of the domestic bees, which in this country, are built of straw, made- into small bundles, and bound- together by the fibres of an aquatic plans. This- hut, or hive, as it is called, bore the fame proportion- to its model;, as the si.se of a sparrow dees to that of a bee; it was furnished with cross sticks for the support of the combs, and that the sparrows might have no apology for not beginning immediately to work, great care was taken that no convenience usually afforded to the bees, should be wanting.—After undergoing a careful examination by the philosophers, this huge.-sparrow-hi.ve was placed upon aplatform, that had been reared for its receptions' and the sparrows having been
brought in baskets to the spot, Sir Caprice Ardent, in presence of all the philosophers, with his own hand, pair by pair, deposited them in their new abode^. The apparent satisfaction with .which they entered their hive, gave such a convincing proof of the power of external circumstances, as already rendered Sir Caprice a complete convert to the system. At the conclusion of the ceremony, he cordially shook hands with the young philosopher, and requesting the rest of the party would excuse him for the evening, he retired to his study, to begin a journal of these important proceedings, with which he intended to illuminate the world.
At the first indication of the dawn of morning, I went, as is my constant practice, to the river side, and after the performance of the accustomarypoojab, and having bathed in the refreshing stream, I strolled into that part of the garden, where the honey-making sparrows were placed.
It was at an hour when my meditations have here never been disturbed by the appearance of a fellow mortal. Judge then of my surprise, at beholding the Baronet, who, wrapped in his nightrobes, stood at the fide of the new erected hut, listening with eager ears, to catch the first found that should emanate fronfc its precincts—on perceiving me, he made the signal of silence, and - then beckoning me to approach—enquired in a soft whisper, whether I did not hear the sparrows hum? I told him, that I did indeed hear a humming noise; but believed, that it proceeded from a solitary bee, which was hovering over the adjoining shrubs. Chagrined at my discovery, the Baronet turned from me, in displeasure, and went into the house.
Many, were the visits, which, in the course of this day, were made to the new hive. It was soon discovered, that the sparrows had been so far impelled by the pressure of exijiing circumfiancei, as to go abroad in the morning, in (juest of necessary food; and it was hoped by the philosophers, that, as is the custom of bees, they would return before the decline of day, to deposit their yellow spoils. But alas! fallacious is the hope of mortals! The shades of evening arrived, and night succeeded, spreading her dark mantle over the face of Nature, but not a sparrow appeared!
Miss Ardent, whose knowledge extends to all the particulars of rural economy, on perceiving the vexation of her brother, suggested the idea, that the sparrows had probably swarmed on some tree in the neighbourhood, where they might