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30,000,000 times their natural power. This capacity of the mind is not a mere prospective possibility; it is a fact, a tried, practical fact; and the human mind is more busy than ever in extending this prerogative.
2. Let us look in upon man while engaged in the very act of adding to his natural strength these gigantic faculties. See him yonder, bending over his stone mortar, and pounding, and thumping, and sweating, to pulverize his flinty grain into a more esculent form. He stops and looks a moment into the precipitous torrent thundering down its rocky channel. There! a thought has struck him. He begins to whistle ; he whittles some, for he learned to whittle soon after he learned to breathe. He gears together, some horizontally, and others perpendicularly, a score of little wooden wheels. He sets them a going, and claps his hands in triumph to see what they would do, if a thousand times larger.
3. Look at him again. How proudly he stands, with folded arms, looking at the huge things that are working for him! He has made that wild, raging torrent as tame as his horse. He has taught it to walk backward and forward, he has given it hands, and put the crank of his big wheel into them, and made it turn his ponderous grindstone. What a taskmaster!
4. Look at him again! He is standing on the ocean beach, watching the crested billows as they move in martial squadrons over the deep. He has conceived, or heard, that richer productions, more delicious fruits and flowers, may be found on yonder invisible shore. In an instant his mind sympathizes with the yearnings of his physical nature.
5. See! there is a new thought in his eye. He remembers how he first saddled the horse ; he now bits and saddles the mountain wave. Not satisfied with taming this proud element, he breaks another into his service. Remembering his mill-dam, he constructs a floating dam of canvass in the air, to harness the winds to his ocean-wagon. Thus, with his water-horse and air-horse harnessed in tandem, he drives across the wilderness of waters with a team that would make old Neptune hide his diminished head for envy, and sink his clumsy chariot beneath the waves.
6. See now! he wants something else ; his appetite for something better than he has grows upon what he feeds on. The fact is, he has plodded about in his one horse wagon till he is disgusted with his poor capacity of locomotion. The wings of Mercury, modern eagles and paper kites, are all too impracticable for models. He settles down upon the persua- • sion that he can make a great IRON HORSE, with bones of steel and muscles of brass, that will run against time with Mercury or any other winged messenger of Jove ; — the daring man !
7. He brings out his huge, leviathan hexaped upon the track. How the giant creature struts forth from his stable, panting to be gone! His great heart is a furnace of glowing coals; his lymphatic blood is boiling in his veins; the strength of a thousand horses is nerving his iron sinews. But his master reins him in with one finger, till the whole of some western village, men, women, children, and half their horned cattle, sheep, poultry, wheat, cheese and potatoes, have been stowed away in that long train of wagons
he has harnessed to his foaming steam-horse.
8. And now he shouts, interrogatively, ALL RIGHT? and applying a burning goad to the huge creature, away it thunders over the iron road, breathing forth fire and smoke in its indignant haste to outstrip the wind. More terrible than the war-horse in Scripture, clothed with louder thunder, and emitting a cloud of flame and burning coals from his iron nostrils, he dashes on through dark mountain passes, over jutting precipices and deep ravines. His tread shakes the earth like a travelling Niagara, and the sound of his chariot wheels warns the people of distant towns that he is coming; coming whither ? To Boston, of course!
9. These are a few of the faculties which the human mind has invented to increase our physical capacity, and improve
our physical condition. And they are the personal property of every individual, and ever ready and able, put him into communication with all the comforts and conveniences they can procure. The steam-engine, the packet ship, are my own personal faculties, as much, yea more than they would be, if they were an inseparable part of my being. They are far more available to me than if my feet were welded to each of them.
10. Therefore, all these artificial faculties; every invention and implement to give a new capacity to labor; every inch of progress in the arts and sciences; every degree of intellectual development that has been made since the birth of humanity; have all been the result of that impulse of perpetual activity which the yearning necessities of man's physical nature have communicated to his mind. To ameliorate our physical condition, has been the inspiring object of every intellectual attainment. It has led to the discovery of every principle of natural philosophy and science; it has inspired every conception of taste, prompted every act of patriotism and Christian philanthropy.
11. It was not to indulge a few mere intellectual abstractions, that the ancient shepherds and sailors clambered up into the blue heavens and constellated the stars: they wanted them for guide-boards to guide them by night over the vast plains of the East, and the unchartered waters of the ocean. If Phidias and Praxiteles were only bent on a mere diversion of the imagination, neither of them needed to have touched a chisel.
12. The man who created the Apollo Belvidere, looked into the mountain side, and saw the silver-bowed deity invested in all his God-like attributes in the unquarried marble. But he could not bear to see him hampered there in his lapideous shroud before his mind's eye; he seized his chisel, and with indignant strokes he tore away the cerement of marble, and let out the god before his BODY'S EYE, to be worshipped by millions who, if they dared, might even touch his marble flesh.
13. All the beautiful orders of architecture and creations of the pencil; all the conceptions of the beautiful in nature, and art, and humanity, are inventions extorted, as it were, from the mind, to extend and increase the pleasures of sense. All the institutions of human government, the principles of political economy, the aspirations of patriotism, and the efforts of philanthropy, have been called forth by the necessities of our physical nature, which Divine Wisdom ordained should never be supplied without the busy occupation of the MIND.
STORIES ABOUT LIONS.
1. On our route homeward we halted at a spot where a novel scene once occurred, and which was described by an individual who witnessed it when a boy. Near a very small fountain, which was shown to me, stood a camel thorn-tree, (Acacia Giraffe.) It was a stiff tree, about twelve feet high, with a flat, bushy top. Many years ago, the relater, then a boy, was returning to his village, and having turned aside to the fountain for a drink, lay down on the bank and fell asleep. Being awoke by the piercing rays of the sun, he saw, through the bush behind which he lay, a giraffe browsing at ease on the tender shoots of the tree, and, to his horror, a lion, creeping like a cat, only a dozen yards from him, preparing to pounce on his prey.
2. The lion eyed the giraffe for a few moments, his body gave a shake, and he bounded into the air, to seize the head of the animal, which instantly turned his stately neck, and the lion, missing his grasp, fell on his back in the centre of the mass of thorns, like spikes, and the giraffe bounded over the plain. The boy instantly followed the example, expecting, as a matter of course, that the enraged lion would soon find his way to the earth. Sometime afterwards, the people of the village, who seldom visited that spot, saw the eagles hovering in the air; and as it is almost always a certain sign that the lion has killed game, or some animal is lying dead, they went to the place, and sought in vain, till, coming under the lee of the tree, their olfactory nerves directed them to where the lion lay dead in his thorny bed. I still found some of his bones under the tree, and hair on its branches, to convince me of what I scarcely could have credited.
3. The lion will sometimes manage to mount the back of a giraffe, and, fixing his sharp claws into each shoulder, gnaw away till he reaches the vertebræ of the neck, when both fall, and oft times the lion is lamed for his trouble. If the giraffe happens to be very strong, he succeeds in bringing his rider to the ground. Among those that we shot on our journey, the healed wounds of the lion's claws on the shoulder, and marks of his teeth on the back of the neck, gave us ocular demonstration that two of them had carried the monarch of the forest on their backs, and yet come off triumphant.
4. When I had the pleasure of meeting occasionally with the late Mr. Pringle in Cape Town, and mentioned some of these facts, his poetical genius instantly caught the image, and threw the picture into the following graphic lines :
“ Wouldst thou view the lion's den?
5. Close beside the sedgy brim
Couchant lurks the lion grim ;