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Surprised, indignant at such a strange and insolent demand, he prepares to resist. Whereupon the American, drawing a pistol from his belt to meet the other's sword, conscious of his power, but unwilling to shed the blood of a gallant man, coolly added:" You must surrender, for your men are all drunk below."
4. The officer, however, did resist, and was shot dead. His life was thrown away; his gallant bravery was of no avail. Intemperance had betrayed the ship the men had all been drenched with rum and laudanum.
5. This story is as instructive as tragic. For that ship -won, not by fair fighting, but by a foul trick-carrying at her mast-head foreign colours, with a new commander pacing her quarter-deck, her crew below in irons, and her head brought round, and bearing away to the coasts of the enemy, presents to the eye a picture of the fate of many. By the same means they are betrayed into the hands of the Adversary. By intemperance, also, they are "taken captive of the devil at his will."
6. Had there been no intoxicating liquors on board, had she sailed under the temperance flag, as it is called, that ship had not been lost, nor had her crew pined in a foreign prison, nor had that gallant man, who had otherwise returned to his mother's arms, rich with prize-money, and wearing laurels on his brow, lain there a bleeding corpse upon the deck. There is no doubt of that. No man will attempt to deny that.
7. We appeal to your candour, if this is not as true, that thousands of our fellow-creatures had never been
lost, many a tradesman had never been reduced to beggary, many a merchant had never lost his business and become a bankrupt, many a man and woman had never lost both soul and body, if they had practised
habits of abstinence. Drink has been their ruin. their ruin had never been, if, so to speak, they had sailed the voyage of life with no intoxicating liquors on board.
8. These stimulants weaken the reason, while they inflame the passions. They quicken corruption, whilst they stupify conscience. And I believe that, but for the use of them, thousands would never have taken that first step in sin, which, step by step, and day by day, has conducted their feet down to ruin.
9. Believing as I do in the weakness of our nature, I think that we have little need by anything to increase our proneness to fall. The path of a man in this life is never one of perfect safety, and is often one of imminent danger. It resembles those mountain passes in the Higher Alps, where the narrow road, its broken surface, and the dizzy depths below, require a steady foot and the coolest head. Take but one false, one stumbling step, and you are gone, over the rocks, sheer down a hundred fathoms, where the angry torrent foams in the bottom of a gloomy gorge, or you are left lying, midway down, on some projecting crag, a mangled mass-a banquet for the vultures.
10. Many such dangerous passes there are in the journey of life. The very next turn, for anything we know, may bring us on one. Turn that projecting point, which hides the path before you, and you are suddenly in circumstances which demand that reason be strong, and conscience be tender, and hope be bright, and faith be vigorous, and the prayer be ready to spring from our lips, "Lord, hold up my goings, that my footsteps slip not."
11. Let me put it to parents, then. whether they are
not most likely to preserve their children from many temptations, and lay a good foundation for their welldoing, by training them up in the early and entire disuse of what proves the ruin of so many families, the curse of so many homes, and what, if not taught to like, they have no craving for. Apply to this, as to other things, the lesson of holy Scripture, "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it."--Dr. Thomas Guthrie.
SUMMARY.-The dangers of drink are well illustrated by an incident in the American war of independence. A ship had been taken, and a brave young officer was placed in command. There were men enough on board to overpower the prisoners, if they attempted to re-take the vessel, but they were induced to drink, and became intoxicated. The officer refused to surrender, and was shot by the American captain. The men were placed in irons, and the vessel sailed away to the west. Intemperance had betrayed the ship, and delivered the crew into the hands of the enemy. It is in this way that thousands are ruined every year. Stimulants weaken the reason, and lead men astray. It is wiser, therefore, by far, to abstain altogether from their use.
Be-trayed', sold to an enemy.
Re-sist', oppose, stand against.
Between whom had there been war? What prize was taken? How was the vessel commanded? What are "British colours?" How were the crew overcome? What
happened to the officer? the crew? Where did the vessel sail to? In what ways are intoxicants hurtful? Which is the better plan to follow?
EXERCISES.-1. Parse and analyse-We have little need by any thing to increase our proneness to fall.
2. Nouns are formed from other nouns or verbs, by adding age and ry, which mean things or persons in a collective sense; as coin, coinage; assembly, assemblage; machine, machinery. Make other nouns in the same way from the following-plume, cord, peasant, yeoman. Make interrogative sentences to show the use of these words.
[JOHN KEATS (b. 1795, d. 1821) was born in London, and educated at Enfield. At the age of fifteen he was apprenticed to a surgeon. Poetry and surgery, however, do not readily combine, so Keats resolved to win for himself a name as a poet. He was self-instructed, and by dint of energy and perseverance, he gained so much knowledge of the gods and goddesses of ancient Greece, that he was able to write a classical poem, entitled "Endymion." This poem was very severely criticised, and he took it so much to heart that he became almost insane. On recovering, he examined the faults pointed out by his critics, and endeavoured to correct them. As a result, his later poems show great improvement, and were correspondingly successful. Just as he was beginning to give evidence of becoming a great poet, he died at Rome in the twenty-fourth year of his age.]
1. Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run:
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more
2. Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
3. Where are the songs of spring? Ay, where are they?
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.-Keats.
SUMMARY.-Autumn is the time of mists and ripeness,-here said to be a friend of the sun who ripens all the fruits. They join together to load the vines with grapes and the orchard with apples. They provide the bees with later stores of flowers, till they seem to think that the warm days will never end. The personification of Autumn is continued in the second verse, where he is described as sitting on the granary floor, in the half-reaped furrows of the field, or by the side of the cider press. The third verse describes the sounds of Autumn, --the moan of the gnats, the bleating of the lambs, the chirp of the crickets in the hedge, the song of the redbreast, and the twitter of the swallows.