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bubbled out of the leaf-strewn earth, in the very spot where you now behold me on the sunny pavement. The water was as bright and clear, and deemed as precious, as liquid diamonds. The Indian sagamores" drank of it from time immemorial, till the fearful deluge of fire-water" burst upon the red men, and swept their whole race away from the cold fountains. Endicott and his followers came next, and often knelt down to drink, dipping their long beards in the spring. The richest goblet then was of birch bark.
9. Governor Winthrop drank here out of the hollow9' of his hand. The elder Higginson here wet his palm, and laid it on the brow of the first town-born child. For many years it was the watering-place, and, as it were, the wash-bowl of the vicinity, whither all decent folks resorted, to purify their visages and gaze at them afterwards — at least, the pretty maidens did — in the mirror which it made. On Sabbath days, whenever a babe was to be baptized, the sexton filled his basin here, and placed it on the communion-table of the humble meeting-house which partly covered the site of yonder stately brick one. Thus one generation after another was consecrated to heaven by its waters, andjesfst its waxing and waning shadows into its glassy bosom, and vanished from the earth as if mortal life were but a flrttlfig image in a fountain. Finally the fountain vanished also. Cellars were dug on all sides, and cart-loads of gravel30 flung upon its source whence oozed a turbid stream, forming a mud-puddle at the corner of two streets.
10. In the hot months, when its refreshment was most needed, the dust flew in clouds over the forgotten birthplace of the waters, now their grave. But, in the course of time, a Town Pump was sunk into the source of the ancient spring; and when the first decayed, another took its place, and then another, and still another, till here stand I, gentlemen and ladies, to serve you with my iron goblet. Drink, and be refreshed! The water ia pure and cold as that which slaked the thirst of the red sag/imoro beneath the aged boughs, though now the gem of the wilderness is treasured under these hot stones, where no shadow falls but from the brick buildings. And be it the moral of my story, that, as the wasted and long-lost fountain is now known and prized again, so shall the virtues of cold water, too little valued since your fathers' days, be recognized by all.
11. Your pardon, good people! I must interrupt my stream of eloquence, and spout forth a stream of water, to replenish the trough for this teamster and his two yoke of oxen, who have come from Topsfield, or somewhere along that way. No part of my business is pleasanter than the watering of cattle! Look! how rapidly they lower the water-mark on the sides of the trough, till their capacious stomachs are moistened with a gallon or two apiece, and they can afibrd time to breathe it in, with sighs of calm enjoyment. Now they roll their quiet eyes around the brim of their monstrous driuking-vessel. An ox is your true toper.
CVIII.— A KILL FROM THE TOWN PUMP.
1. But I perceive, my dear auditors, that you are impatient for the remaincler of my discourse. Impute it, I beseech you, to no defect of modesty, if I insist a little longer on so fruitful a topic as my own multifarious" merits. It is altogether for your good. The better you think of me, the better men and women will you find yourselves. I shall say nothing of my all-important aid on washing-days. Par be it from me also to hint, my respectable friends, at the show of dirty faces which you would present without my pains to keep you clean.
2. Nor will I remind you how often, when the midnight bells"' make you tremble for your combustible" town, you have fled to the Town Pump, and found me always at my post, firm amid the confusion, and ready to drain my vital current in your behalf. Neither is it worth while to lay much stress on my claims to a medical diplo'ma," as the physician whose simple rule of practice is preferable to all the nauseous lore which has found men sick, or left them so, since the days of Hippoc'rates." Let us take a broader view of my beneficial influence on mankind.
3. No; these are trifles compared with the merits which wise men concede to me, — if not in my single self, yet as the representative of a class, — of being the grand reformer of the age. From my spout, and such spouts as mine, must flow the stream that shall cleanse our earth of the vast portion of its crime and anguish which has gushed from the fiery fountains of the still.TM In this mighty enterprise, the cow shall be my great confederate. Milk and water! The Town Pump and the Caw! Such is the glorious copartnership that shall tear down the distilleries and brew-houses, uproot the vineyards, shatter the cider-presses, ruin the tea and coffee trade, and finally monopolize the whole business of quenching thirst. Biessed consummation! Then Poverty shall pass away from the land, finding no hovel so wretched where her squalid form may shelter itself.
. 4. Then Disease, for lack of other victims, shall gnaw its own heart and die. Then Sin, if she do not die, shall lose half her strength. Until now the frenzy of hereditary fever has raged in the human blood, transmitted from sire to son, and rekindled, in every generation, by'fresh draughts52 of liquid flame. When that inward fire shall be extinguished, the heat of passion cannot but grow cool, and war — the drunkenness of nations — perhaps will cease. At least, there will be no war of households. The husband" and wife," drinking deep of peaceful joy, —a calm bliss of temperate affections, — shall pass hand in hand through life, and lie down, not reluctantly, at its protracted close. To them the past will be no turmoil of mad dreams, nor the future an eternity of such moments as follow the delirium of the drunkard. Their dead faces shall express what their spirits were, and are to be, by a lingering smile of memory and hope.
5. Ahem! Dry work, this speechifying; especially to an unpractised orator. I never conceived, till now, what toil the temperance lecturers undergo for my sake. Hereafter they shall have the business to themselves. Do, some kind Christian, "pump a stroke or two, just to wet my whistle. Thank you, sir! My dear hearers, when the world shall have been regenerated through my instrumentality, you will collect your useless vats and liquorcasks into one great pile, and make a bonfire in honor of the Town Pump. And when I shall have decayed, like my predecessors, then, if you revere my memory, let a marble fountain, richly sculptured, take my place upon the spot. Such monuments" should be erected everywhere, and inscribed with the names of the distinguished champions of my cause. Now listen • for something very important is to come next.
6. There are two or three honest friends of mine — and true friends I know they are — who, nevertheless, by their fiery pugnacity in my behalf, do put me in fearful hazard of a broken nose, or even a total overthrow upon the pavement, and the loss of the treasure which I guard. I pray you, gentlemen, let this fault be amended. Is it decent, think you, to get tipsy with zeal" for temperance, and take up the honorable cause of the Town Pump in the style of a toper fighting for his brandybottle? Or can the excellent qualities of cold water be no otherwise exemplified than by plunging, slap-dash, into hot water, and wofully scalding yourselves and other people?
7. Trust me, they may. In the moral warfare which you are to wage, — and, indeed, in the whole conduct of your lives, —you cannot choose a better example than myself, who have never permitted the dust and sultry atmosphere," the turbulent and manifold disquietudes of the world around me, to reach that deep, calm weJ1 of purity, which may be called my soul. And whenever I pour out that soul, it is to cool earth's fever, 01 cleanse ita
8. One o'clock! Nay, then, if the dinner-bell begins to speak, I may as well hold my peace. Here comes a pretty young girl of my acquaintance, with a large stone pitcher for me to fill. May she draw a husband, while drawing water, as Rachel did of old. Hold out your vessel, my dear! There it is, full to the brim; so now run home, peeping at your sweet image in the pitcher as you go, and forget not, in a glass of my own liquor, to drink, " Success To The Town Pump." Hawthorne.
CIX. — SOUND AND SENSE.
1. That, in the formation of language, men have been much influenced by a regard to the nature of the things and actions meant to be represented, is a fact of which every known speech gives proof. In our own language, for instance, who does not perceive in the sound of the words thunder, boundless, terrible, a something appropriate to the sublime ideas intended to be conveyed? In the word crash we hear the very action implied. Imp, elf, — how descriptive of the miniature beings to which we apply them! Fairy, —how light and tripping, just like the fairy herself! — the word, no more than the thing, seems fit to bend the grass-blade, or shake the tear from the blue-eyed flower.
2. Pea is another of those words expressive of light, diminutive objects; any man born without sight and touch, if such ever are, could tell what kind of thing a pea was from the sound of the word alone. Of picturesque words, sylvan and crystal are among our greatest favorites. Sylvan! — what visions of beautiful old sunlit forests, with huntsmen and bugle-horns, arise at the sound! Crystal! — does it not glitter like the very thing it stands for? Yet crystal is not so beautiful as its own adjective. Crystalline! — why, the whole mind is lightened up with its shine. And this superiority is as it should be; for crystal can only be one comparatively small object, while crystalline may refer to a mass—to a world of crystals.
3. It will be found that natural objects have a larger proportion of expressive names amongst them than any other things. The eagle,—what appropriate daring and sublimity! the dove,— what softness! the linnet,— what fluttering gentleness!" That which men call a rose" would not by any other name, or at least by many other names, swell as sweet. . Idly, — what tall, cool, pale. lady-Kke beauty have we here! Violet," jessamine, hyacinl.i, a-ntrn'mie, geranium!—beauties, all of them, to the ear as well as the eye.
4. The names of the precious stones have also a beauty and magnificence above most common things. TUsynmirt. sagglare, an^fthmt fytpyl.. rujiy, atf (dp. peaxl, jasper, ttygaz, garjiet, emeteld, — what a caskanet of sparkling sounds! Diadem and coronet glitter with gold and precious stones, like the objects they represent. It is almost unnecessary to bring forward instances of the fine things which are represented in English by fine words. Let us take any sublime passage of our poetry, and we shall hardly find a word which is inappropriate in sound. For ex ample:
The cloud-capt towers, and gorgeous palaces,"
The "gorgeous palaces," "the solemn temples," — how admirably do these lofty sounds harmonize with the objects!
5. The relation between the sound and sense of certain words is to be ascribed to more than one cause. Many are evidently imitative representations of the things, movements, and acts, which are meant to be expressed. Others, in which we only find a general relation, as between a beautiful thing and a beautiful word, a ridiculous thing and a ridiculous word, or a sublime idea and a sublime word, must be attributed to those faculties, native to every mind, which enable us to perceive and enjoy the beautiful, the ridiculous, and the sublime.
6. Doctor Wallis, who wrote upon English grammar in the reign of Charles II., represented it as a peculiar excellence of our language, that, beyond all others, it expressed the nature of the objects which it names, by employing sounds sharper, softer, weaker, stronger, more obscure, or more strid'ulous," according as the idea which is to be suggested requires. He gives various examples. Thus, words formed upon st always denote firmness and strength, analTJgous to the Latin sto; as, stand, stay, staff, stop; stout, steady, stake stamp, &c.
7. Words beginning with sir intimate violent force and energy, as, strive, strength, stress, stripe, &c. Tkr implies forcible motion; as, throw, throb, thrust, threaten, thraldom, thrill. Gl, smoothness or silent motion; as, glib, glide. Wr, obliquity or distortion; as, wry, wrest, wrestle, wring, wrong, wrangle, wrath &c. Sw, silent agitation, or lateral motion; as, sway, swing swerve, sweep, swim. SI, a gentle fall or less observable motion: