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I say unarmed he stood.
Against those frightful paws The rifle but, or club of wood,
Could stand no more than straws.
George Nidiver stood still;
And looked him in the face;
The wild beast stopped amazed,
Then came with slackening pace.
Still firm the hunter stood,
Again the creature stopped,
The hunter met his gaze,
The bear turned slowly round,
What thoughts were in his mind
It would be hard to spell: What thoughts were in George Nidiver
I rather guess than tell.
But sure that rifle's aim,
Swift choice of generous part,
Showed in its passing gleam
Our American people cannot be taxed with slowness in performance or in praising their performance. The earth is shaken by our engineries. We are feeling our youth and nerve and bone. We have the power of territory and of sea-coast, and know the use of these. We count our census, we read our growing valuations, we survey our map, which becomes old in a year or two. Our eyes run approvingly along the lengthened lines of railroad and telegraph. We have gone nearest to the Pole. We have discovered the Antarctic continent. We interfere in Central and South America, at Canton, and in Japan; we are adding to an already enormous territory. Our political constitution is the hope of the world, and we value ourselves on all these feats.
'T is the way of the world; 't is the law of youth, and of unfolding strength. Men are made each with some triumphant superiority, which, through some adaptation of fingers, or ear, or eye, or ciphering, or pugilistic or musical or literary craft, enriches the community with a new art; and not only we, but all men of European stock value these certificates. Giotto could draw a perfect circle; Erwin of Steinbach could build a minster; Olaf, king of Norway, could run round his galley on the blades of the oars of the rowers, when the ship was in motion; Ojeda could run out swiftly on a plank projected from the top of a tower, turn round swiftly, and come back; Evelyn writes from Rome: "Bernini, the Florentine sculptor, architect, painter, and poet, a little before my coming to Rome, gave a public opera, wherein he painted the scenes, cut the statues, invented the engines, composed the music, writ the comedy, and built the theatre."
"There is nothing in war," said Napoleon, " which I cannot do by my own hands. If there is nobody to make gunpowder, I can manufacture it. The gun-carriages I know how to construct. If it is necessary to make cannons at the forge, I can make them. The details of working them in battle, if it is necessary to teach, I shall teach them. In administration, it is I alone who have arranged the finances, as you know."
It is recorded of Linnaeus, among many proofs of his beneficent skill, that when the timber in the shipyards of Sweden was ruined by rot, LinnEeus was desired by the government to find a remedy. He studied the insects that infested the timber, and found that they laid their eggs in the logs within certain days in April, and he directed that during