Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

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 have, been the better for it !"

As my mind has not yet been suffi. ciently contaminated by the practices of Christians, to take pleasure in beholding misery inflicted upon any part of the animated creation, I hastened from this cruel scene, and took refuge in my own apartment. After some ime 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 the 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 unques. tionable. « But the change I speak of, has nothing to do with the doctrine of tranfmigration," 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 circumstances.. So young Sceptic declared this morning at breakfast, and my brother, whose imagination takes fire at every new idea, declared inftantly, 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 philofopher, I see no reason, why, by a proper course of education, a monkey may not be a Minister of State, or a goofe, Lord Chancellor, of England.”

Here a stop was put to our conversa'tion, 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 sun-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; this was made exactly after the inodel 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 plant. This hut, or hive, as it is called, bore the same proportion, to its model, as the size of a sparrow does 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 iminediately to work, great care was taken that no convepience usually afforded to the bees, should he wanting.-- After undergoing a careful examination by the philosophers, this huge-sparrow-hive was placed upon a platform, that had been reared for its reception; 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 fatisfaction 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 bands with the young philosopher, and requesting the rest of the party would excuse him for the evening, he retired to his studŷ, to begin a journal of these important proceedings, with which he intended to illu

ceedings e world.tication of

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 accustomary poojah, and having bathed in the refreshing stream, I strolled into that part of the garden, where the honey-making fparrows were placed.

It was at an hour when my medita.. tions have here never been disturbed by the appearance of a fellow mortal. Judge then of my surprife, at beholding the Baronet, who, wrapped in his nightrobes, stood at the side of the new erečted hut, listening with eager ears, to catch the first found that should emanate from

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 be. lieved, that it proceeded from a solitasy bee, which was hovering over the adjoining shrubs. Chagrined at my difcovery, 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 fparrows had been so far impelled by the pressure of existing circumstances, as to go abroad in the morning, in quest 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 fparrow 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 fpar. rows had probably swarmed on some tree in the neighbourhcod, where they might

To all the past the vexatione fpar

« EdellinenJatka »