Графични страници
PDF файл

turns to the same carcass, if there be any left of his former meal. His breath is extremely rank, and the smell of his urine most intolerable, notwithstanding he lives on fresh meat.

Instances have occurred wherein the wild boar has proved a match for the lion ; but these events are rare; and, in general, the lion is the undisputed master of the forest. Most animals shun and dread him, except the elephant, rhinoceros, tiger, and the hippopotamus, which are the only animals who are not afraid of entering into single combat with him. The leopard also, and the wild boar, when provoked, will engage with him: but man, when assisted by dogs and guns, is the only creature capable of attacking him with any certainty of success. In this sport the hunters pursue on horseback with horses and dogs trained for that purpose. All horses, in their natural state, fly from the presence of this creature. When first roused to the chase, he recedes with a slow, stately, proud motion, moving obliquely from side to side; and when he mends his pace, he rather bounds than runs. The hunters first disable him, either by shooting or throwing at him their javelins; after which the dogs set upon him, and a desperate combat often ensues; the lion defending himself, after receiving his mortal wounds, with great bravery to the last gasp of life. He is sometimes taken in pit-falls made for that purpose. But the most safe and usual way of taking him is when young, and incapable of resistance, when the natives take the advantage of the absence of the lioness to carry off the cubs.—Dict. of Nat. Hist.

The Lion.

Fiercest of all, the lordly lion stalks,
Grimly majestic in his lonely walks ;
When round he glares, all living creatures fly;
He clears the desert with his rolling eye.
Say, mortal, does he rouse at thy command,
And roar to thee, and live upon thy hand ?
Dost thou for him in forests bend thy bow,
And to his gloomy den the morsel throw,
Where bent on death lie bid his tawny brood ;
Or, stretched on broken limbs, consume the day
In darkness wrapt, and slumber o'er their prey ?
By the pale moon they take their destined round,
And lash their sides, and furious tear the ground.
Now shrieks and dying groans the desert fill;
They rage, they rend; their ravenous jaws distil
With crimson foam; and when the banquet's o'er,
They stride away, and print their steps with gore:
In flight alone the shepherd puts his trust,
And shudders at the talon in the dust. ---Young.

46. On Sugar, and the Sugar-Cane. Principal'ly ; chiefly. Espe'cially ; particularly. Flour'ished ; , lived. Probably ; likely. Immemo. rial ; out of mind. Process; course. Inebriating; intoxicating, Introduced'; brought in. Adja'cent; neighbouring. Culture ; rearing. Supplies'; furnish

Lux'ury ; delicacy. Con'diment ; seasoning. Horizon'tally ; level. Crushed ; bruised. Conveyed'; carried. Spa'cious; large, roomy Clar'ifier ; purifier.


ALTHOUGH sugar is principally obtained from the

sugar-cane, yet other plants yield it. In North

The cane,

America it is made from the juice of the mapletree; it is likewise contained in the roots of plants, as those of the carrot and beet—in the stems, as the birch, maple, sugar-cane, some palms—in the leaves, as those of the ash—in the flowers, the fruits, and the seeds. It exists in wheat, barley, beans, peas, and other leguminous seeds, especially when they are young, in considerable quantity. Sugar was first noticed by Paul Eginettu, a physician, in the year 625. It is twice mentioned by Chaucer, who flourished in the 14th century. The Greeks and Romans seem to have been but little acquainted with the sugar-cane. Among the latter, Lucan and Pliny are the only authors who name it; and Arrian the only Greek. however, as it was a native of the East, has been probably cultivated there from time immemorial. The raw juice was, doubtless, first made use of; they afterwards boiled it into a syrup, and in process of time an inebriating spirit was prepared by fermentation. We have no historical record of the period when the distillation of spirits was invented. The Greeks and Romans were ignorant of ardent spirits ; but it is certain that spirits were very early known to the northern nations. The sugar-cane itself was unknown to Europe, till the Arabians introduced it into the southern parts of Spain, Sicily, and those provinces of France which border on the Pyrenean mountains. Although it is undoubtedly a native of the American continent, and islands adjacent, yet the culture of it, and the art of making sugar, were carried from Spain to the Canary Islands, and thence extended, about the 15th century, to the West Indies and the Brazils, the former of which supplies the greater part of the consumption of Europe. From being a luxury, it has now become one of the necessaries of life; and although solely used as a condiment, it is a very wholesome and powerful article of nourishment; for, during crop time, the negroes in the West Indies, notwithstanding their increased labours, always grow fat. The plant is propagated by cutting off the stalk, taken near its top, and laid horizontally in the ground. The canes are cut, for the purpose of making sugar, between the sixth and thirteenth month of their growth, when the stems have acquired from seven to ten feet in height, and a proportionate size. This generally happens in the months of February, March, and April. As soon as they are cut, the canes are stripped of their leaves, and crushed between iron rollers, to express the juice, which is received into large leaden vessels, called receivers, whence it is immediately conveyed into a spacious copper vessel, named the clarifier, where it is mixed with lime, in the proportion of a pint to a 100 gallons of juice, and heated to the temperature of 140°. A thick scum soon forms on the top, from under which the clear liquor is drawn off by a cock, into a large copper boiler, where it is boiled till the bulk of the liquor is very considerably diminished. The boiling is successively repeated in four other coppers, progressively smaller; and from the last, it is conveyed into shallow wooden coolers, where it grains, and the concreted mass separates from the uncrystallizable matter, or molasses. This mass is then put into hogsheads, having holes at the bottom, through each of which the stalk of a plantain leaf is thrust; and when the molasses is drained off, the process is finished. In this state the sugar is brought home, under the name of raw, or muscovado sugar. In Europe, however, it undergoes another process for its purification. This was first practised in England in 1569. It is coarsely ground, dissolved in lime water, and clarified with bullock's blood; then boiled down to a proper consistency, the impurities being skimmed off as they rise, and poured into conical earthen vessels, where it is allowed to grain. The point of the cane is perforated, and the base covered with moist clay, the moisture of which percolates the sugar, and runs off through the perforated apex, which is placed undermost, carrying with it any uncrystallized impure syrup. In this state it is called loaf-sugar, and requires a second purification before it is considered completely refined sugar. When the evaporization is carried only to a certain length, and the syrup permitted to cool slowly, the sugar assumes a regular form of crystallization, and becomes sugar-candy-either brown or white, according to the degree of its purity. In the West Indies, the skimmings of the sugar, &c. are fermented, and by distillation yield that agreeable liquor called rum, (that from Jamaica being reckoned the best), which, in its natural state, is pellucid like water, but derives its colour from the wooden puncheons in which it is brought to England.-Mirror.


Observe the insect race, ordain'd to keep
The lazy sabbath of a half-year's sleep.
Entomb'd beneath the filmy web they lie,
And wait the influence of a kinder sky.
When vernal sun-beams pierce their dark retreat,
The heaving tomb distends with vital heat ;
The full-form'd brood, impatient of their cell,
Start from their trance and burst their silken shell ;

« ПредишнаНапред »