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This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.netTitle: The Illustrated London Reading Book Author: Various Release Date: April 6, 2004 [EBook #11921] Language: English Character set encoding: ASCII *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK LONDON READING BOOK *** Produced by PG Distributed Proofreaders. Produced from images provided by the Internet Archive Children's Library and University of Florida. THE ILLUSTRATED LONDON READING BOOK LONDON: PRINTED AND PUBLISHED AT THE OFFICE OF THE ILLUSTRATED LONDON NEWS, 198, STRAND. 1851. THIRD EDITION, WITH ADDITIONS AND CORRECTIONS * * * * * [Illustration: PRINCE ALBERT IN HIS ROBES AS CHANCELLOR OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE.] * * * * * INTRODUCTION. [Illustration: INTRODUCTION.]
To read and speak with elegance and ease, Are arts polite that never fail to please;
Yet in those arts how very few excel!
Ten thousand men may read--not one read well. Though all mankind are speakers in a sense, How few can soar to heights of eloquence! The sweet melodious singer trills her lays, And listening crowds go frantic in her praise; But he who reads or speaks with feeling true, Charms and delights, instructs, and moves us too.
To deprive Instruction of the terrors with which the young but too often regard it, and strew flowers upon the pathways that lead to Knowledge, is to confer a benefit upon all who are interested in the cause of Education, either as Teachers or Pupils. The design of the following pages is not merely to present to the youthful reader some of the masterpieces of English literature in prose and verse, arranged and selected in such a manner as to please as well as instruct, but to render them more agreeable to the eye and the imagination by Pictorial Representations, in illustration of the subjects. It is hoped that this design has not been altogether unsuccessful, and that the ILLUSTRATED LONDON READING BOOK will recommend itself both to old and young by the appropriateness of the selections, their progressive arrangement, the fidelity of their Illustrations, and the very moderate price at which it is offered to the public.
It has not been thought necessary to prefix to the present Volume any instructions in the art of Elocution, or to direct the accent or intonation of the student by the abundant use of italics or of large capitals. The principal, if not the only secrets of good reading are, to speak slowly, to articulate distinctly, to pause judiciously, and to feel the subject so as, if possible, "to make all that passed in the mind of the Author to be felt by the Auditor," Good oral example upon these points is far better for the young Student than the most elaborate written system.
A series of Educational Works, in other departments of study, _similarly illustrated,_ and at a price equally small, is in preparation. Among the earliest to be issued, may be enumerated a Sequel and Companion to the ILLUSTRATED LONDON READING BOOK, designed for a more advanced class of
Students, and consisting of extracts from English Classical Authors, from the earliest periods of English Literature to the present day, with a copious Introductory Chapter upon the arts of Elocution and
Composition. The latter will include examples of Style chosen from the beauties of the best Authors, and will also point out by similar
examples the Faults to be avoided by all who desire to become, not simply good Readers and Speakers, but elegant Writers of their native language.
Amongst the other works of which the series will be composed, may be mentioned, profusely Illustrated Volumes upon Geographical, Astronomical, Mathematical, and General Science, as well as works essential to the proper training of the youthful mind._January_, 1850. [Illustration] CONTENTS.
Abbey, Account of Strata Florida
Adam and Eve in Paradise (MILTON)
Alfred, Anecdote of King (BEAUTIES OF HISTORY) Alfred, Character of King (HUME)
Angling, Lines on (DOUBLEDAY)
Antioch, The Siege of (POPULAR DELUSIONS) Artillery Tactics
Athens, Present Appearance of
Attock, Description of the Fort of
Bacon, Remarks on Lord (D'ISRAELI) Balloons, Account of
Baltic, Battle of the (CAMPBELL) Beetle, The
Bell, The Founding of the (MACKAY)
Bible, Value of the (BUCK)
Birds, Appropriateness of the Songs of (DR. JENNER) Bower-Birds, Description of the
Bridges, Account of Tubular Railway
Bunyan's Wife, Anecdote of (LORD CAMPBELL) Bushmen, Account of the
Caesar, Character of Julius (MIDDLETON)
Canada, Intense Cold of (SIR F. HEAD)
Canary, Account of the
Chatterton, Lines by
Cheerfulness, Description of (ADDISON)
China, Account of the Great Wall of
Christian Freedom (POLLOCK)
Clarendon, Account of Lord
Cobra di Capello, Description of the
Condors, Account of
Cruelty to Animals, Wickedness of (JENYNS)
Culloden Battle-field, Description of (HIGHLAND NOTE-BOOK) Cyprus, Description of
Danish Encampment, Account of a Deity, Omniscience of the (ADDISON) Dogs, A Chapter on
Dove, Return of the (MACKAY)
Edward VI., Character of (BURNET)
Elegy in a Country Churchyard (GRAY)
Elizabeth (Queen), at Tilbury Fort (ENGLISH HISTORY) Envy, Wickedness of (DR. JOHNSON)
Faith's Guiding Star (ELIZA COOK)
Filial Love (DR. DODD)
Fox, Description of the Long-eared
Frederick of Prussia and his Page (BEAUTIES OF HISTORY)
Gambier Islanders, Account of
Gelert (W. SPENCER)
Gentleness, Character of (BLAIR)
Goldsmith, Remarks on the Style of (CAMPBELL) Goliah Aratoo, Description of the
Greece, Isles of (BYRON)
Greece, The Shores of (BYRON)
Gresham, Account of Sir Thomas
Grief, The First (MRS. HEMANS)
Grouse, Description of the
Hagar and Ishmael, Story of Hampden, Account of John Hercules, The Choice of (TATLER) Holly Bough (MACKAY)
Iguana, Description of the Industry, Value of (BLAIR) Integrity (DR. DODD)
Ivy in the Dungeon (MACKAY)
"Jack The Giant Killer," Origin of (CARLYLE) Jalapa, Description of
Jewels, Description of the Crown
Joppa, Account of
Jordan, Description of the River
Jordan's Banks (BYRON)
Juggernaut, Account of the Car of
Kaffir Chiefs, Account of
Kaffir Letter-carrier, Account of
Kangaroo, Description of the
Knowledge, on the Attainment of (DR. WATTS)
Leopard, Description of the Black Lighthouse, Description of Hartlepool Lilies (MRS. HEMANS)
Mangouste, Description of the
Mariners of England (CAMPBELL)
Martello Towers, Account of
Mary's (Queen) Bower, at Chatsworth Microscope, Revelations of the (DR. MANTELL) Midnight Thoughts (YOUNG)
Mill-stream, Lines on a (MARY HOWITT) Music, Remarks on (USHER)
Napoleon, Character of (GENERAL FOY)
Nature and its Lord
Nature, The Order of (POPE)
Nests of Birds, Construction of (STURM)
Niagara, Account of the Falls of (SIR JAMES ALEXANDER) Nightingale and Glowworm (COWPER)
Olive, Description of the
Othello's History (SHAKESPEARE) Owls, Account of
Owls, (Two) and the Sparrow (GAY)
Palm-Tree, Account of the
Palm-Tree, Lines on a (MRS. HEMANS)
Parrot, Lines on a (CAMPBELL)
Patmos, Description of the Isle of
Paul and Virginia, Supposed Tombs of
Pekin, Description of
Peter the Hermit Preaching the First Crusade (POPULAR DELUSIONS) Poetry, Rise of, among the Romans (SPENCE)
Polar Regions, Description of the
Pompeii, Account of
Poor, The Afflicted (CRABBE)
Pyramid Lake, Account of the
Railway Tunnels, Difficulties of
Rainbow, Account of a Lunar
Rattlesnake, Account of the (F.T. BUCKLAND) Rome, Lines on (ROGERS)
Rookery, Dialogue about a (EVENINGS AT HOME)
Sardis, Description of
Schoolboy's Pilgrimage (JANE TAYLOR)
Shakspeare, Remarks on
Sheep, Description of Thibetan
Sierra Nevada, Description of the (FREMONT'S TRAVEL) Siloam, Account of the Pool of
Sleep, Henry IV.'s Soliloquy on (SHAKSPEARE) Sloth, Description of the
Smyrna, Description of
Staffa, Description of (HIGHLAND NOTE-BOOK) Stag, The hunted (SIR W. SCOTT)
Starling, Story of a (STERNE)
St. Bernard, Account of the Dogs of (THE MENAGERIES) St. Cecilia, Ode to (DRYDEN)
Stepping-stones, The (WORDSWORTH)
Stony Cross, Description of
Stream, the Nameless (MACKAY)
Study, Remarks on (LORD BACON)
Sun Fish, Capture of a (CAPTAIN BEDFORD, R.N.) Sydney, Generosity of Sir Philip (BEAUTIES of HISTORY)
Tabor, Description of Mount
Tapir, Description of the
Telegraph, Account of the Electric (SIR F. HEAD) Time, What is it? (REV. J. MARSDEN)
Tyre, the Siege of (LANGHORNE'S PLUTARCH) Una and the Lion (SPENSER)
Universe, Grandeur of the (ADDISON)
Waterloo, Description of the Field of Winter Thoughts (THOMSON) Writing, On Simplicity in (HUME)* * * * * THE ILLUSTRATED LONDON READING BOOK * * * * * THE SCHOOLBOY'S PILGRIMAGE. [Illustration: Letter N.]
Nothing could be more easy and agreeable than my condition when I was first summoned to set out on the road to learning, and it was not without letting fall a few ominous tears that I took the first step. Several companions of my own age accompanied me in the outset, and we travelled pleasantly together a good part of the way.
We had no sooner entered upon our path, than we were accosted by three diminutive strangers. These we presently discovered to be the advance-guard of a Lilliputian army, which was seen advancing towards us in battle array. Their forms were singularly grotesque: some were striding across the path, others standing with their arms a-kimbo; some hanging down their heads, others quite erect; some standing on one leg, others on two; and one, strange to say, on three; another had his arms crossed, and one was remarkably crooked; some were very slender, and others as broad as they were long. But, notwithstanding this diversity of figure, when they were all marshalled in line of battle, they had a very orderly and regular appearance. Feeling disconcerted by their numbers, we were presently for sounding a retreat; but, being urged forward by our guide, we soon mastered the three who led the van, and this gave us spirit to encounter the main army, who were conquered to a man before we left the field. We had scarcely taken breath after this victory, when, to our no small dismay, we descried a strong
reinforcement of the enemy, stationed on the opposite side. These were exactly equal in number to the former army, but vastly superior in size and stature; they were, in fact, a race of giants, though of the same species with the others, and were capitally accoutred for the onset. Their appearance discouraged us greatly at first, but we found their strength was not proportioned to their size; and, having acquired much skill and courage by the late engagement, we soon succeeded in subduing them, and passed off the field in triumph. After this we were perpetually engaged with small bands of the enemy, no longer extended in line of battle, but in small detachments of two, three, and four in company. We had some tough work here, and now and then they were too many for us. Having annoyed us thus for a time, they began to form themselves into close columns, six or eight abreast; but we had now attained so much address, that we no longer found them formidable.
After continuing this route for a considerable way, the face of the country suddenly changed, and we began to enter upon a vast succession of snowy plains, where we were each furnished with a certain light weapon, peculiar to the country, which we flourished continually, and with which we made many light strokes, and some desperate ones. The waters hereabouts were dark and brackish, and the snowy surface of the plain was often defaced by them. Probably, we were now on the borders of the Black Sea. These plains we travelled across and across for many a day.
Upon quitting this district, the country became far more dreary: it appeared nothing but a dry and sterile region, the soil being remarkably hard and slatey. Here we saw many curious figures, and we soon found that the inhabitants of this desert were mere ciphers. Sometimes they appeared in vast numbers, but only to be again suddenly diminished.
Our road, after this, wound through a rugged and hilly country, which was divided into nine principal parts or districts, each under a different governor; and these again were reduced into endless subdivisions. Some of them we were obliged to decline. It was not a little puzzling to perceive the intricate ramifications of the paths in these parts. Here the natives spoke several dialects, which rendered our intercourse with them very perplexing. However, it must be confessed that every step we set in this country was less fatiguing and more interesting. Our course at first lay all up hill; but when we had proceeded to a certain height, the distant country, which is most richly variegated, opened freely to our view.
I do not mean at present to describe that country, or the different stages by which we advance through its scenery. Suffice it to say, that the journey, though always arduous, has become more and more pleasant every stage; and though, after years of travel and labour, we are still very far from the Temple of Learning, yet we have found on the way more than enough to make us thankful to the kindness of the friends who first set us on the path, and to induce us to go forward courageously and rejoicingly to the end of the journey.JANE TAYLOR. * * * * * PEKIN.
Pekin, or Peking, a word which in Chinese means "Northern Capital," has been the chief city of China ever since the Tartars were expelled, and is the residence of the Emperor. The tract of country on which it stands is sandy and barren; but the Grand Canal is well adapted for the purpose of feeding its vast population with the produce of more fertile provinces and districts. A very large portion of the centre of the part of Pekin called the Northern City is occupied by the Emperor with his palaces and gardens, which are of the most beautiful description, and, surrounded by their own wall, form what is called the "Prohibited City."[Illustration: GRAND CANAL AT THE ENTRANCE TO PEKIN.]
The Grand Canal, which runs about five hundred miles, without allowing for windings, across the kingdom of China, is not only the means by which subsistence is brought to the inhabitants of the imperial city, but is of great value in conveying the tribute, a large portion of the revenue being paid in kind. Dr. Davis mentions having observed on it a large junk decorated with a yellow umbrella, and found on enquiry that it had the honour of bearing the "Dragon robes," as the Emperor's garments are called. These are forwarded annually, and are the peculiar tribute of the silk districts. The banks of the Grand Canal are, in many parts through which it flows, strongly faced with stone, a precaution very necessary to prevent the danger of inundations, from which some parts of this country are constantly suffering. The Yellow River so very frequently overflows its banks, and brings so much peril and calamity to the people, that it has been called "China's Sorrow;" and the European trade at Canton has been very heavily taxed for the damage occasioned by it.
The Grand Canal and the Yellow River, in one part of the country, run within four or five miles of each other, for about fifty miles; and at length they join or cross each other, and then run in a contrary direction. A great deal of ceremony is used by the crews of the vessels when they reach this point, and, amongst other customs, they stock themselves abundantly with live cocks, destined to be sacrificed on crossing the river. These birds annoy and trouble the passengers so much by their incessant crowing on the top of the boats, that they are not much pitied when the time for their death arrives. The boatmen collect money for their purchase from the passengers, by sending red paper petitions called _pin_, begging for aid to provide them with these and other needful supplies. The difficulties which the Chinese must have struggled against, with their defective science, in this junction of the canal and the river, are incalculable; and it is impossible to deny them the praise they deserve for so great an exercise of perseverance and industry.* * * * * THE GOLIAH ARATOO.
The splendid family of parrots includes about one hundred and sixty species, and, though peculiar to the warmer regions of the world, they are better known in England than any other foreign bird. From the beauty of their plumage, the great docility of their manners, and the singular faculty they possess of imitating the human voice, they are general favourites, both in the drawingroom of the wealthy and the cottage of humble life.
The various species differ in size, as well as in appearance and colour. Some (as the macaws) are larger than the domestic fowl, and some of the parakeets are not larger than a blackbird or even a sparrow.
The interesting bird of which our Engraving gives a representation was recently brought alive to this country by the captain of a South-seaman (the _Alert_), who obtained it from a Chinese vessel from the Island of Papua, to whom the captain of the _Alert_ rendered valuable assistance when in a state of distress. In size this bird is one of the largest of the parrot tribe, being superior to the great red Mexican Macaw. The whole plumage is black, glossed with a greenish grey; the head is ornamented with a large crest of long pendulous feathers, which it erects at pleasure, when the bird has a most noble appearance; the orbits of the eyes and cheeks are of a deep rose-colour; the bill is of great size, and will crack the hardest fruit stones; but when the kernel is detached, the bird does not crush and swallow it in large fragments, but scrapes it with the lower mandible to the finest pulp, thus differing from other parrots in the mode of taking food. In the form of its tongue it differs also from other birds of the kind. A French naturalist read a memoir on this organ before the Academy of Sciences at Paris, in which he aptly compared it, in its uses, to the trunk of an elephant. In its manners it is gentle and familiar, and when approached raises a cry which may be compared to a hoarse croaking. In its gait it resembles the rook, and walks much better than most of the climbing family.[Illustration: GOLIAH ARATOO.]
From the general conformation of the parrots, as well as the arrangement and strength of their toes, they climb very easily, assisting themselves greatly with their hooked bill, but walk rather awkwardly on the ground, from the shortness and wide separation of their legs. The bill of the parrot is moveable in both mandibles, the upper being joined to the skull by a membrane which acts like a hinge; while in other birds the upper beak forms part of the skull. By this curious contrivance they can open their bills widely, which the hooked form of the beak would not otherwise allow them to do. The structure of the wings varies greatly in the different species: in general they are short, and as their bodies are bulky, they cannot consequently rise to any great height without difficulty; but when once they gain a certain distance they fly easily, and some of them with rapidity. The number of feathers in the tail is always twelve, and these, both in length and form, are very varied in the different species, some being arrow or spear-shaped, others straight and square.
In eating, parrots make great use of the feet, which they employ like hands, holding the food firmly with the claws of one, while they support themselves on the other. From the hooked shape of their bills, they find it more convenient to turn their food in an outward direction, instead of, like monkeys and other animals, turning it towards their mouths.
The whole tribe are fond of water, washing and bathing themselves many times during the day in streams and marshy places; and having shaken the water from their plumage, seem greatly to enjoy spreading their beautiful wings to dry in the sun.* * * * * THE PARROT. A DOMESTIC ANECDOTE. [Illustration: Letter T.]
The deep affections of the breast, That Heaven to living things imparts,
Are not exclusively possess'd
By human hearts.
A parrot, from the Spanish Main, Full young, and early-caged, came o'er,
With bright wings, to the bleak domain Of Mulla's shore.
For these he changed the smoke of turf, A heathery land and misty sky;
And turn'd on rocks and raging surf His golden eye.
He lived and chatter'd many a day; Until, with age, from green and gold
His wings grew grey.
At last, when blind and seeming dumb, He scolded, laugh'd, and spoke no more,
A Spanish stranger chanced to come To Mulla's shore.
He hail'd the bird in Spanish speech, The bird in Spanish speech replied:
Flapt round his cage with joyous screech-- Dropt down and died.
'Tis true, said I, correcting the proposition--the Bastile is not an evil to be despised; but strip it of its towers, fill the fosse,
unbarricade the doors, call it simply a confinement, and suppose it is some tyrant of a distemper, and not a man which holds you in it, the evil vanishes, and you bear the other half without complaint. I was interrupted in the heyday of this soliloquy, with a voice which I took to be of a child, which complained "It could not get out." I looked up and down the passage, and seeing neither man, woman, or child, I went out without further attention. In my return back through the passage, I heard the same words repeated twice over; and looking up, I saw it was a starling, hung in a little cage; "I can't get out, I can't get out," said the starling. I stood looking at the bird; and to every person who came through the passage, it ran fluttering to the side towards which they approached it with the same lamentation of its captivity. "I can't get out," said the starling. "Then I will let you out," said I, "cost what it will;" so I turned about the cage to get at the door--it was twisted and double twisted so fast with wire there was no getting it open without pulling the cage to pieces; I took both hands to it. The bird flew to the place where I was attempting his deliverance, and thrusting his head through the trellis, pressed his breast against it, as if impatient. "I fear, poor creature," said I, "I cannot set thee at liberty." "No," said the starling; "I can't get out, I can't get out," said the starling.
I vow, I never had my affections more tenderly awakened; nor do I remember an incident in my life, where the dissipated spirits to which my reason had been a bubble were so suddenly called home. Mechanical as the notes were, yet so true in tune to nature were they chaunted, that in one moment they overthrew all my systematic reasonings upon the Bastile, and I heavily walked up-stairs unsaying every word I had said in going down them.STERNE. * * * * * THE CAR OF JUGGERNAUT. [Illustration: Letter J.]
Juggernaut is the principal idol worshipped by the Hindoos, and to his temple, which is at Pooree, are attached no less than four thousand priests and servants; of these one set are called Pundahs. In the autumn of the year they start on a journey through India, preaching in every town and village the advantages of a pilgrimage to Juggernaut, after which they conduct to Pooree large bodies of pilgrims for the Rath Justra, or Car Festival, which takes place in May or June. This is the principal festival, and the number of devotees varies from about 80,000 to 150,000. No European, Mussulman, or low cast Hindoo is admitted into the temple; we can therefore only speak from report of what goes on inside. Mr. Acland, in his manners and customs of India, gives us the following amusing account of this celebrated idol:--
"Juggernaut represents the ninth incarnation of Vishnoo, a Hindoo deity, and consists of a mere block of sacred wood, in the centre of which is said to be concealed a fragment of the original idol, which was fashioned by Vishnoo himself. The features and all the external parts are formed of a mixture of mud and cow-dung, painted. Every morning the idol undergoes his ablutions; but, as the paint would not stand the washing, the priests adopt a very ingenious plan--they hold a mirror in front of the image and wash his reflection. Every evening he is put to bed; but, as the idol is very unwieldy, they place the bedstead in front of him, and on that they lay a small image. Offerings are made to him by pilgrims and others, of rice, money, jewels, elephants, &c., the Rajah of Knoudah and the priests being his joint treasurers. On the day of the festival, three cars, between fifty and sixty feet in height, are brought to the gate of the temple; the idols are then taken out by the priests, Juggernaut having golden arms and diamond eyes for that one day, and by means of pulleys are hauled up and placed in their respective carriages: to these enormous ropes are attached, and the assembled thousands with loud shouts proceed to drag the idols to Juggernaut's country-house, a small temple about a mile distant. This occupies several days, and the idols are then brought back to their regular stations. The Hindoos believe that every person who aids in dragging the cars receives pardon for all his past sins; but the fact that people throw themselves under the wheels of the cars, appears to have been an European conjecture, arising from the numerous deaths that occur from accidents at the time the immense cars are in progress."[Illustration: CAR OF JUGGERNAUT.]
These cars have an imposing air, from their great size and loftiness: the wheels are six feet in diameter; but every part of the ornament is of the meanest and most paltry description, save only the covering of striped and spangled broad-cloth, the splendid and gorgeous effect of which makes up in a great measure for other deficiencies.
During the period the pilgrims remain at Pooree they are not allowed to eat anything but what has been offered to the idol, and that they have to buy at a high price from the priests.* * * * * CYPRUS. [Illustration: Letter C.]
Cyprus, an island in the Levant, is said to have taken its name from the number of shrubs of that name with which it once abounded. From this tall shrub, the cypress, its ancient inhabitants made an oil of a very delicious flavour, which was an article of great importance in their commerce, and is still in great repute among Eastern nations. It once, too, abounded with forests of olive trees; and immense cisterns are still to be seen, which have been erected for the purpose of preserving the oil which the olive yielded.
Near the centre of the island stands Nicotia, the capital, and the residence of the governor, who now occupies one of the palaces of its ancient sovereigns. The palaces are remarkable for the beauty of their architecture, but are abandoned by their Turkish masters to the destructive hand of time. The church of St. Sophia, in this place, is built in the Gothic style, and is said to have been erected by the Emperor Justinian. Here the Christian Kings of Cyprus were formerly crowned; but it is now converted into a mosque.
The island was formerly divided into nine kingdoms, and was famous for its superb edifices, its elegant temples, and its riches, but can now boast of nothing but its ruins, which will tell to distant times the greatness from which it has fallen.
The southern coast of this island is exposed to the hot winds from all directions. During a squall from the north-east, the temperature has been described as so scorching, that the skin instantly peeled from the lips, a tendency to sneeze was excited, accompanied with great pain in the eyes, and chapping of the hands and face. The heats are sometimes so excessive, that persons going out without an umbrella are liable to suffer from _coup de soleil_, or sun-stroke; and the inhabitants, especially of the lower class, in order to guard against it, wrap up their heads in a large turban, over which in their journeys they plait a thick shawl many times folded. They seldom, however, venture out of their houses during mid-day, and all journeys, even those of caravans, are performed in the night. Rains are also rare in the summer season, and long droughts banish vegetation, and attract numberless columns of locusts, which destroy the plants and fruits.[Illustration: CYPRUS.]
The soil, though very fertile, is rarely cultivated, the Greeks being so oppressed by their Turkish masters that they dare not cultivate the rich plains which surround them, as the produce would be taken from them; and their whole object is to collect together during the year as much grain as is barely sufficient to pay their tax to the Governor, the omission of which is often punished by torture or even by death.
The carob, or St. John's bread-tree, is plentiful; and the long thick pods which it produces are exported in considerable quantities to Syria and Egypt. The succulent pulp which the pod contains is sometimes employed in those countries instead of sugar and honey, and is often used in preserving other fruits. The vine grows here perhaps in greater perfection than in any other part of the world, and the wine of the island is celebrated all over the Levant.* * * * * THE RATTLESNAKE. [Illustration: Letter T.]
This terrible reptile is found in great abundance on the continent of America; and if its instinct induced it to make use of the dreadful means of destruction and self-defence which it possesses, it would become so great a scourge as to render the parts in which it is found almost uninhabitable: but, except when violently irritated, or for the purpose of self-preservation, it seldom employs the fatal power bestowed upon it. The rattlesnake inserts its poison in the body of its victim by means of two long sharp-pointed teeth or fangs, which grow one on each side of the forepart of the upper jaw. The construction of these teeth is very singular; they are hollow for a portion of their length, and in each tooth is found a narrow slit communicating with the central hollow; the root of the fang rests on a kind of bag, containing a certain quantity of a liquid poison, and when the animal buries his teeth in his prey, a portion of this fluid is forced through these openings and lodged at the bottom of the wound. Another peculiarity of these poison teeth is, that when not in use they turn back, as it were, upon a hinge, and lie flat in the roof of the animal's mouth.
The name of rattlesnake is given to it on account of the singular apparatus with which the extremity of its tail is furnished. This consists of a series of hollow horn-like substances, placed loosely one behind the other in such a manner as to produce a kind of rattling noise when the tail is shaken; and as the animal, whenever it is enraged, always carries its tail raised up, and produces at the same time a tremulous motion in it, this provision of nature gives timely notice of its dangerous approach. The number of pieces of which this rattle is formed points out the age of the snake, which acquires a fresh piece every year. Some specimens have been found with as many as from forty to fifty, thus indicating a great age.[Illustration: RATTLESNAKE AND YOUNG.]
The poison of the Viper consists of a yellowish liquid, secreted in a glandular structure (situated immediately below the skin on either side of the head), which is believed to represent the parotid gland of the higher animals. If a viper be made to bite something solid, so as to avoid its poison, the following are the appearances under the microscope:--At first nothing is seen but a parcel of salts nimbly floating in the liquor, but in a very short time these saline particles shoot out into crystals of incredible tenuity and sharpness, with something like knots here and there, from which these crystals seem to proceed, so that the whole texture in a manner represents a spider's web, though infinitely finer and more minute. These spiculae, or darts, will remain unaltered on the glass for some months. Five or six grains of this viperine poison, mixed with half an ounce of human blood, received in a warm glass, produce no visible effects, either in colour or consistence, nor do portions of this poisoned blood, mixed with acids or alkalies, exhibit any alterations. When placed on the tongue, the taste is sharp and acrid, as if the tongue had been struck with something scalding or burning; but this sensation goes off in two or three hours. There are only five cases on record of death following the bite of the viper; and it has been observed that the effects are most virulent when the poison has been received on the extremities, particularly the fingers and toes, at which parts the animal, when irritated (as it were, by an innate instinct), always takes its aim.F.T. BUCKLAND * * * * * ORIGIN OF "JACK THE GIANT-KILLER." [Illustration: Letter A.]
After various adventures, Thor, accompanied by Thialfi and Loke, his servants, entered upon Giantland, and wandered over plains--wild uncultivated places--among stones and trees. At nightfall they noticed a house; and as the door, which indeed formed one whole side of the house, was open, they entered. It was a simple habitation--one large hall, altogether empty. They stayed there. Suddenly, in the dead of the night, loud voices alarmed them. Thor grasped his hammer, and stood in the doorway, prepared for fight. His companions within ran hither and thither, in their terror, seeking some outlet in that rude hall: they found a little closet at last, and took refuge there. Neither had Thor any battle; for lo! in the morning it turned out that the noise had been only the snoring of a certain enormous, but peaceable, giant--the giant Skrymir, who lay peaceably sleeping near by; and this, that they took for a house, was merely his glove thrown aside there: the door was the glove-wrist; the little closet they had fled into was the thumb! Such a glove! I remark, too, that it had not fingers, as ours have, but only a thumb, and the rest undivided--a most ancient rustic glove!
Skrymir now carried their portmanteau all day; Thor, however, who had his suspicions, did not like the ways of Skrymir, and determined at night to put an end to him as he slept. Raising his hammer, he struck down into the giant's face a right thunderbolt blow, of force to rend rocks. The giant merely awoke, rubbed his cheek, and said, "Did a leaf fall?" Again Thor struck, as soon as Skrymir again slept, a better blow than before; but the giant only murmured, "Was that a grain of sand!" Thor's third stroke was with both his hands (the "knuckles white," I suppose), and it seemed to cut deep into Skrymir's visage; but he merely checked his snore, and remarked, "There must be sparrows roosting in this tree, I think."
At the gate of Utgard--a place so high, that you had to strain your neck bending back to see the top of it--Skrymir went his way. Thor and his companions were admitted, and invited to take a share in the games going on. To Thor, for his part, they handed a drinking-horn; it was a common feat, they told him, to drink this dry at one draught. Long and fiercely, three times over, Thor drank, but made hardly any impression. He was a weak child, they told him; could he lift that cat he saw there? Small as the feat seemed, Thor, with his whole godlike strength, could not: he bent up the creature's back, could not raise its feet off the ground--could at the utmost raise one foot. "Why, you are no man," said the Utgard people; "there is an old woman that will wrestle you." Thor, heartily ashamed, seized this haggard old woman, but could not throw her.[Illustration: THE GIANT SKRYMIR.]
And now, on their quitting Utgard--the chief Jotun, escorting them politely a little way, said to Thor--"You are beaten, then; yet, be not so much ashamed: there was deception of appearance in it. That horn you tried to drink was the sea; you did make it ebb: but who could drink that, the bottomless? The cat you would have lifted--why, that is the Midgard Snake, the Great World Serpent--which, tail in mouth, girds and keeps up the whole created world. Had you torn that up, the world must have rushed to ruin. As for the old woman, she was Time, Old Age, Duration: with her what can wrestle? No man, nor no god, with her. Gods or men, she prevails over all! And then, those three strokes you struck--look at these valleys--your three strokes made these." Thor looked at his attendant Jotun--it was Skrymir. It was, say old critics, the old chaotic rocky earth in person, and that glove house was some earth cavern! But Skrymir had vanished. Utgard, with its sky-high gates, when Thor raised his hammer to smite them, had gone to air--only the giant's voice was heard mocking; "Better come no more to Jotunheim!"CARLYLE. * * * * * VALUE OF THE BIBLE.
What an invaluable blessing it is to have the Bible in our own tongue. It is not only the oldest, but the best book in the world. Our forefathers rejoiced when they were first favoured with the opportunity of reading it for themselves. Infidels may reject, and the licentious may sneer; but no one who ever wished to take away this
foundation-stone, could produce any other equal to it, on which the structure of a pious mind, a solid hope, a comfortable state, or wise conduct, could be raised. We are told, that when Archbishop Crammer's edition of the Bible was printed in 1538, and fixed to a desk in all parochial churches, the ardour with which men flocked to read it was incredible. They who could, procured it; and they who could not, crowded to read it, or to hear it read in churches. It was common to see little assemblies of mechanics meeting together for that purpose after the labour of the day. Many even learned to read in their old age, that they might have the pleasure of instructing themselves from the Scriptures.
It is recorded of Edward VI., that upon a certain occasion, a paper which was called for in the council-chamber happened to be out of reach; the person concerned to produce it took a Bible that lay near, and, standing upon it, reached down the paper. The King, observing what was done, ran to the place, and taking the Bible in his hands kissed it, and laid it up again. This circumstance, though trifling in itself, showed his Majesty's great reverence for that _best of all books_; and his example is a striking reproof to those who suffer their Bibles to lie covered with dust for months together, or who throw them about as if they were only a piece of useless lumber.BUCK'S _Anecdotes_. * * * * * NATURE AND ITS LORD. [Illustration: Letter T.]
There's not a leaf within the bower, There's not a bird upon the tree,
There's not a dew-drop on the flower, But bears the impress, Lord, of Thee!
Thy hand the varied leaf design'd, And gave the bird its thrilling tone;
Thy power the dew-drops' tints combined, Till like a diamond's blaze they shone!
Yes, dew-drops, leaves, and buds, and all-- The smallest, like the greatest things--
The sea's vast space, the earth's wide ball, Alike proclaim thee King of Kings.
But man alone to bounteous heaven Thanksgiving's conscious strains can raise;
To favour'd man alone 'tis given,
To join the angelic choir in praise!
The struggling rill insensibly is grown
Into a brook of loud and stately march, Cross'd ever and anon by plank or arch;
For the clear waters to pursue their race
Without restraint. How swiftly have they flown-- Succeeding, still succeeding! Here the child Puts, when the high-swoll'n flood runs fierce and wild,
His budding courage to the proof; and here Declining manhood learns to note the sly
And sure encroachments of infirmity--
During the retreat of the famous King Alfred at Athelney, in
Somersetshire, after the defeat of his forces by the Danes, the following circumstance happened, which shows the extremities to which that great man was reduced, and gives a striking proof of his pious and benevolent disposition:--A beggar came to his little castle, and requested alms. His Queen informed him that they had only one small loaf remaining, which was insufficient for themselves and their friends, who were gone abroad in quest of food, though with little hopes of success. But the King replied, "Give the poor Christian the one half of the loaf. He that could feed live thousand with five loaves and two fishes, can certainly make that half of the loaf suffice for more than our necessities." Accordingly the poor man was relieved; and this noble act of charity was soon recompensed by a providential store of fresh provisions, with which his people returned.
Sir Philip Sydney, at the battle near Zutphen, displayed the most undaunted courage. He had two horses killed under him; and, whilst mounting a third, was wounded by a musket-shot out of the trenches, which broke the bone of his thigh. He returned about mile and a half on horseback to the camp; and being faint with the loss of blood, and parched with thirst from the heat of the weather, he called for drink. It was presently brought him; but, as he was putting the vessel to his mouth, a poor wounded soldier, who happened to be carried along at that instant, looked up to it with wistful eyes. The gallant and generous Sydney took the flagon from his lips, just when he was going to drink, and delivered it to the soldier, saying, "Thy necessity is greater than mine."
Frederick, King of Prussia, one day rang his bell and nobody answered; on which he opened the door and found his page fast asleep in an elbow-chair. He advanced toward him, and was going to awaken, him, when he perceived a letter hanging out of his pocket. His curiosity prompting him to know what it was, he took it out and read it. It was a letter from the young man's mother, in which she thanked him for having sent her part of his wages to relieve her in her misery, and finished with telling; him that God would reward him for his dutiful affection. The King, after having read it, went back softly into his chamber, took a bag full of ducats, and slipped it with the letter into the page's pocket. Returning to his chamber, he rang the bell so violently that he awakened the page, who instantly made his appearance. "You have had a sound sleep," said the King. The page was at a loss how to excuse himself and, putting his hand into his pocket by chance, to his utter astonishment he there found a purse of ducats. He took it out, turned pale, and looking at the bag, burst into tears without being able to utter a single word. "What is that?" said the King; "what is the matter?" "Ah, sire!" said the young man, throwing himself on his knees, "somebody seeks my ruin! I know nothing of this money which I have just found in my pocket!" "My young friend," replied Frederick, "God often does great things for us even in our sleep. Send that to your mother, salute her on my part, and assure her that I will take care of both her and you."_Beauties of History_. * * * * * THE SPANIELS OF THE MONKS OF ST. BERNARD.
The convent of the Great St. Bernard is situated near the top of the mountain known by that name, near one of the most dangerous passes of the Alps, between Switzerland and Savoy. In these regions the traveller is often overtaken by the most severe weather, even after days of cloudless beauty, when the glaciers glitter in the sunshine, and the pink flowers of the rhododendron appear as if they were never to be sullied by the tempest. But a storm suddenly comes on; the roads are rendered impassable by drifts of snow; the avalanches, which are huge loosened masses of snow or ice, are swept into the valleys, carrying trees and crags of rock before them.[Illustration: CONVENT OF MONT ST. BERNARD.]
The hospitable monks, though their revenue is scanty, open their doors to every stranger that presents himself. To be cold, to be weary, to be benighted, constitutes the title to their comfortable shelter, their cheering meal, and their agreeable converse. But their attention to the distressed does not end here. They devote themselves to the dangerous task of searching for those unhappy persons who may have been overtaken by the sudden storm, and would perish but for their charitable succour. Most remarkably are they assisted in these truly Christian offices. They have a breed of noble dogs in their establishment, whose extraordinary sagacity often enables them to rescue the traveller from destruction. Benumbed with cold, weary in the search of a lost track, his senses yielding to the stupefying influence of frost, the unhappy man sinks upon the ground, and the snow-drift covers him from human sight. It is then that the keen scent and the exquisite docility of these admirable dogs are called into action. Though the perishing man lie ten or even twenty feet beneath the snow, the delicacy of smell with which they can trace him offers a chance of escape. They scratch away the snow with their feet; they set up a continued hoarse and solemn bark, which brings the monks and labourers of the convent to their assistance.
To provide for the chance that the dogs, without human help, may succeed in discovering the unfortunate traveller, one of them has a flask of spirits round his neck, to which the fainting man may apply for support; and another has a cloak to cover him. Their wonderful exertions are often successful; and even where they fail of restoring him who has perished, the dogs discover the body, so that it may be secured for the recognition of friends; and such is the effect of the cold, that the dead features generally preserve their firmness for the space of two years. One of these noble creatures was decorated with a medal, in commemoration of his having saved the lives of twenty-two persons, who, but for his sagacity, must have perished. Many travellers, who have crossed the pass of St. Bernard, have seen this dog, and have heard, around the blazing fire of the monks, the story of his extraordinary career. He perished about the year 1816, in an attempt to convey a poor traveller to his anxious family._The Menageries._ [Illustration: HEAD OF ST. BERNARD DOG.] * * * * * JOPPA. Joppa is the principal sea-port town of Palestine and it is very often mentioned in Scripture.
Hiram, King of Tyre, is said to have sent cedars of Lebanon by sea to Joppa, for the building of Solomon's Temple; and from Joppa the disobedient Jonah embarked, when ordered by God to go and preach to the people of Nineveh.
It was at Joppa that the apostle Peter lived, for some time, with one Simon, a tanner, whose house was by the sea-shore; and it was on the flat roof of this dwelling that he saw the wonderful vision, which taught him not to call any man common or unclean.[Illustration: JOPPA.]
Tabitha or Dorcas, the pious woman who spent all her life in working for the poor, and in giving alms to those who needed relief, lived in Joppa; and here it pleased God that she should be taken ill and die, and her body was laid out in the usual manner before burial, in an upper chamber of the house where she lived. The apostle Peter, to whom this pious woman had been well known, was then at Lydda, not far from Joppa, and the disciples sent to tell him of the heavy loss the Church had met with in the death of Dorcas, and begged that he would come and comfort them. The apostle directly left Lydda and went over to Joppa. He was, by his own desire, taken to the room where the corpse lay, and was much moved when he saw the tears of the poor women who had been fed and clothed by the charity of Dorcas, and who were telling each other how much good she had been the means of doing them.
Peter desired to be left alone with the body, and then he knelt down and prayed, and, receiving strength from God, he turned to the body and cried, "Tabitha, arise!" She then, like one awaking from sleep, opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up. He then took her by the hand, and she arose and was presented alive to those who, thinking she was dead, had so lately been mourning for her loss. This was the first miracle performed by the apostles, and it greatly surprised the people of Joppa, who began one and all to believe that Peter was really a preacher sent by God.
The name of Joppa signified beautiful. It was built upon the side of a rocky mountain, which rises from the sea-shore, and all around it were lovely gardens, full of vines, figs, and other fruits.* * * * * THE AMERICAN TAPIR.
There are but three known species of the Tapir, two of which--the Peccary and the Tapir--are natives of South America, the other of Sumatra and Malacca. Its anatomy is much like that of the rhinoceros, while in general form the tapir reminds us of the hog. It is a massive and powerful animal, and its fondness for the water is almost as strong as that displayed by the hippopotamus. It swims and dives admirably, and will remain submerged for many minutes, rising to the surface for breath, and then again plunging in. When hunted or wounded, it always, if possible, makes for the water; and in its nightly wanderings will traverse rivers and lakes in search of food, or for pleasure. The female is very attentive to her young one, leading it about on the land, and accustoming it at an early period to enter the water, where it plunges and plays before its parent, who seems to act as its instructress, the male taking no share in the work.
The tapir is very common in the warm regions of South America, where it inhabits the forests, leading a solitary life, and seldom stirring from its retreat during the day, which it passes in a state of tranquil slumber. During the night, its season of activity, it wanders forth in search of food, which consists of water-melons, gourds, young shoots of brushwood, &c.; but, like the hog, it is not very particular in its diet. Its senses of smell and hearing are extremely acute, and serve to give timely notice of the approach of enemies. Defended by its tough thick hide, it is capable of forcing its way through the thick underwood in any direction it pleases: when thus driving onwards, it carries its head low, and, as it were, ploughs its course.
The most formidable enemy of this animal, if we except man, is the jaguar; and it is asserted that when that tiger of the American forest throws itself upon the tapir, the latter rushes through the most dense and tangled underwood, bruising its enemy, and generally succeeds in dislodging him.
The snout of the tapir greatly reminds one of the trunk of the elephant; for although it is not so long, it is very flexible, and the animal makes excellent use of it as a crook to draw down twigs to the mouth, or grasp fruit or bunches of herbage: it has nostrils at the extremity, but there is no finger-like appendage.
In its disposition the tapir is peaceful and quiet, and, unless hard pressed, never attempts to attack either man or beast; when, however, the hunter's dogs surround it, it defends itself very vigorously with its teeth, inflicting terrible wounds, and uttering a cry like a shrill kind of whistle, which is in strange contrast with the massive bulk of the animal.[Illustration: AMERICAN TAPIR.]
The Indian tapir greatly resembles its American relative; it feeds on vegetables, and is very partial to the sugar-cane. It is larger than the American, and the snout is longer and more like the trunk of the elephant. The most striking difference, however, between the eastern and western animal is in colour. Instead of being the uniform dusky-bay tint of the American, the Indian is strangely particoloured. The head, neck, fore-limbs, and fore-quarters are quite black; the body then becomes suddenly white or greyish-white, and so continues to about half-way over the hind-quarters, when the black again commences abruptly, spreading over the legs. The animal, in fact, looks just as if it were covered round the body with a white horse-cloth.
Though the flesh of both the Indian and American tapir is dry and disagreeable as an article of food, still the animal might be domesticated with advantage, and employed as a beast of burthen, its docility and great strength being strong recommendations.* * * * * THE FIELD OF WATERLOO.
Waterloo is a considerable village of Belgium, containing about 1600 inhabitants; and the Field of Waterloo, so celebrated as the scene of the battle between two of the greatest generals who ever lived, is about two miles from it. It was very far from a strong position to be chosen for this purpose, but, no doubt, was the best the country afforded. A gently rising ground, not steep enough in any part to prevent a rush of infantry at double-quick time, except in the dell on the left of the road, near the farm of La Haye Sainte; and along the crest of the hill a scrubby hedge and low bank fencing a narrow country road. This was all, except La Haye Sainte and Hougoumont. This _chateau_, or country-seat, one of those continental residences which unite in them something of the nature of a castle and a farm-house, was the residence of a Belgic gentleman. It stands on a little eminence near the main road leading from Brussels to Nivelles. The buildings consisted of an old tower and a chapel, and a number of offices, partly surrounded by a farm-yard. The garden was enclosed by a high and strong wall; round the garden was a wood or orchard, which was enclosed by a thick hedge, concealing the wall. The position of the place was deemed so important by the Duke of Wellington, that he took possession of the Chateau of Goumont, as it was called, on the 17th of June, and the troops were soon busily preparing for the approaching contest, by perforating the walls, making loop-holes for the fire of the musketry, and erecting scaffolding for the purpose of firing from the top.
The importance of this place was also so well appreciated by Bonaparte, that the battle of the 18th began by his attacking Hougoumont. This name, which was bestowed upon it by the mistake of our great commander, has quite superseded the real one of Chateau Goumont. The ruins are among the most interesting of all the points connected with this memorable place, for the struggle there was perhaps the fiercest. The battered walls, the dismantled and fire-stained chapel, which remained standing through all the attack, still may be seen among the wreck of its once beautiful garden; while huge blackened beams, which have fallen upon the crumbling heaps of stone and plaster, are lying in all directions.
On the field of battle are two interesting monuments: one, to the memory of the Hon. Sir Alexander Gordon, brother to the Earl of Aberdeen, who there terminated a short but glorious career, at the age of twenty-nine, and "fell in the blaze of his fame;" the other, to some brave officers of the German Legion, who likewise died under circumstances of peculiar distinction. There is also, on an enormous mound, a colossal lion of bronze, erected by the Belgians to the honour of the Prince of Orange, who was wounded at, or near, to the spot.
Against the walls of the church of the village of Waterloo are many beautiful marble tablets, with the most affecting inscriptions, records of men of various countries, who expired on that solemn and memorable occasion in supporting a common cause. Many of these brave men were buried in a cemetery at a short distance from the village.[Illustration: FIELD OF WATERLOO] * * * * * THE TWO OWLS AND THE SPARROW. [Illustration: Letter T.]
Two formal Owls together sat,
Conferring thus in solemn chat:
"How is the modern taste decay'd! Where's the respect to wisdom paid? Our worth the Grecian sages knew; They gave our sires the honour due: They weigh'd the dignity of fowls, And pry'd into the depth of Owls. Athens, the seat of earned fame, With gen'ral voice revered our name; On merit title was conferr'd,
And all adored th' Athenian bird." "Brother, you reason well," replies The solemn mate, with half-shut eyes: "Right: Athens was the seat of learning, And truly wisdom is discerning.
Besides, on Pallas' helm we sit,
The type and ornament of wit:
But now, alas! we're quite neglected, And a pert Sparrow's more respected." A Sparrow, who was lodged beside, O'erhears them sooth each other's pride.
And thus he nimbly vents his heat:
"Who meets a fool must find conceit.
I grant you were at Athens graced,
And on Minerva's helm were placed;
But ev'ry bird that wings the sky,
Except an Owl, can tell you why.
From hence they taught their schools to know How false we judge by outward show; That we should never looks esteem,
Since fools as wise as you might seem. Would you contempt and scorn avoid, Let your vain-glory be destroy'd:
Humble your arrogance of thought,
Pursue the ways by Nature taught:
So shall you find delicious fare,
And grateful farmers praise your care; So shall sleek mice your chase reward, And no keen cat find more regard."
See the beetle that crawls in your way, And runs to escape from your feet;
His house is a hole in the clay,
And the bright morning dew is his meat.
But if you more closely behold
This insect you think is so mean,
You will find him all spangled with gold, And shining with crimson and green.
Tho' the peacock's bright plumage we prize, As he spreads out his tail to the sun,
The beetle we should not despise,
Nor over him carelessly run.
They both the same Maker declare-- They both the same wisdom display,
The same beauties in common they share-- Both are equally happy and gay.
And remember that while you would fear The beautiful peacock to kill,
You would tread on the poor beetle here, And think you were doing no ill.
But though 'tis so humble, be sure, As mangled and bleeding it lies,
A pain as severe 'twill endure, As if 'twere a giant that dies.
Hark! how the furnace pants and roars, Hark! how the molten metal pours, As, bursting from its iron doors, It glitters in the sun.
Now through the ready mould it flows, Seething and hissing as it goes, And filling every crevice up,
As the red vintage fills the cup--
Unswathe him now. Take off each stay That binds him to his couch of clay, And let him struggle into day!
Let chain and pulley run,
With yielding crank and steady rope, Until he rise from rim to cope,
In rounded beauty, ribb'd in strength, Without a flaw in all his length--
The clapper on his giant side
Shall ring no peal for blushing bride, For birth, or death, or new-year tide,
Or festival begun!
A nation's joy alone shall be
The signal for his revelry;
And for a nation's woes alone His melancholy tongue shall moan--
Borne on the gale, deep-toned and clear, His long, loud summons shall we hear, When statesmen to their country dear
Their mortal race have run;
When mighty Monarchs yield their breath, And patriots sleep the sleep of death, Then shall he raise his voice of gloom, And peal a requiem o'er their tomb--
Should foemen lift their haughty hand, And dare invade us where we stand, Fast by the altars of our land
We'll gather every one;
And he shall ring the loud alarm, To call the multitudes to arm,
From distant field and forest brown, And teeming alleys of the town--
And as the solemn boom they hear, Old men shall grasp the idle spear, Laid by to rust for many a year, And to the struggle run:
Young men shall leave their toils or books, Or turn to swords their pruning-hooks; And maids have sweetest smiles for those Who battle with their country's foes--_Hurra! the work is done!_
And when the cannon's iron throat Shall bear the news to dells remote, And trumpet blast resound the note--
That victory is won;
When down the wind the banner drops, And bonfires blaze on mountain tops, His sides shall glow with fierce delight, And ring glad peals from morn to night--
But of such themes forbear to tell-- May never War awake this bell
To sound the tocsin or the knell--
Hush'd be the alarum gun.
Sheath'd be the sword! and may his voice But call the nations to rejoice
That War his tatter'd flag has furl'd, And vanish'd from a wiser world--
Still may he ring when struggles cease-- Still may he ring for joy's increase,
For progress in the arts of peace,
And friendly trophies won;
When rival nations join their hands, When plenty crowns the happy lands, When Knowledge gives new blessings birth, And Freedom reigns o'er all the earth--
With his passions, and in spite of his errors, Napoleon was, taking him all in all, the greatest warrior of modern times. He carried into battle a stoical courage, a profoundly calculated tenacity, a mind fertile in sudden inspirations, which, by unlooked-for resources, disconcerted the plans of his enemy. Let us beware of attributing a long series of success to the organic power of the masses which he set in motion. The most experienced eye could scarcely discover in them any thing but elements of disorder. Still less, let it be said, that he was a
successful captain because he was a mighty Monarch. Of all his campaigns, the most memorable are the campaign of the Adige, where the general of yesterday, commanding an army by no means numerous, and at first badly appointed, placed himself at once above Turenne, and on a level with Frederick; and the campaign in France in 1814, when, reduced to a handful of harrassed troops, he combated a force of ten times their number. The last flashes of Imperial lightning still dazzled the eyes of our enemies; and it was a fine sight to see the bounds of the old lion, tracked, hunted down, beset--presenting a lively picture of the days of his youth, when his powers developed themselves in the fields of carnage.
Napoleon possessed, in an eminent degree, the faculties requisite for the profession of arms; temperate and robust; watching and sleeping at pleasure; appearing unawares where he was least expected: he did not disregard details, to which important results are sometimes attached. The hand which had just traced rules for the government of many millions of men, would frequently rectify an incorrect statement of the situation of a regiment, or write down whence two hundred conscripts were to be obtained, and from what magazine their shoes were to be taken. A patient, and an easy interlocutor, he was a home questioner, and he could listen--a rare talent in the grandees of the earth. He carried with him into battle a cool and impassable courage. Never was mind so deeply meditative, more fertile in rapid and sudden illuminations. On becoming Emperor he ceased not to be the soldier. If his activity decreased with the progress of age, that was owing to the decrease of his physical powers. In games of mingled calculation and hazard the greater the advantages which a man seeks to obtain the greater risks he must run. It is precisely this that renders the deceitful science of conquerors so calamitous to nations.[Illustration: NAPOLEON.]
Napoleon, though naturally adventurous, was not deficient in consistency or method; and he wasted neither his soldiers nor his treasures where the authority of his name sufficed. What he could obtain by negotiations or by artifice, he required not by force of arms. The sword, although drawn from the scabbard, was not stained with blood unless it was impossible to attain the end in view by a manoeuvre. Always ready to fight, he chose habitually the occasion and the ground: out of fifty battles which he fought, he was the assailant in at least forty. Other generals have equalled him in the art of disposing troops on the ground; some have given battle as well as he did--we could mention several who have received it better; but in the manner of directing an offensive campaign he has surpassed all. The wars in Spain and Russia prove nothing in disparagement of his genius. It is not by the rules of Montecuculi and Turenne, manoeuvring on the Renchen, that we ought to judge of such enterprises: the first warred to such or such winter quarters; the other to subdue the world. It frequently behoved him not merely to gain a battle, but to gain it in such a manner as to astound Europe and to produce gigantic results. Thus political views were incessantly interfering with the strategic genius; and to appreciate him properly, we must not confine ourselves within the limits of the art of war. This art is not composed exclusively of technical details; it has also its philosophy.
To find in this elevated region a rival of Napoleon, we must go back to the times when the feudal institutions had not yet broken the unity of the ancient nations. The founders of religion alone have exercised over their disciples an authority comparable with that which made him the absolute master of his army. This moral power became fatal to him, because he strove to avail himself of it even against the ascendancy of material force, and because it led him to despise positive rules, the long violation of which will not remain unpunished. When pride was bringing Napoleon towards his fall, he happened to say, "France has more need of me than I have of France." He spoke the truth: but why had he become necessary? Because he had committed the destiny of France to the chances of an interminable war: because, in spite of the resources of his genius, that war, rendered daily more hazardous by his staking the whole of his force and by the boldness of his movements, risked, in every campaign, in every battle, the fruits of twenty years of triumph: because his government was so modelled that with him every thing must be swept away, and that a reaction, proportioned to the violence of the action, must burst forth at once both within and without. But Napoleon saw, without illusion, to the bottom of things. The nation, wholly occupied in prosecuting the designs of its chief, had previously not had time to form any plans for itself. The day on which it should have ceased to be stunned by the din of arms, it would have called itself to account for its servile obedience. It is better, thought he, for an absolute prince to fight foreign armies than to have to struggle against the energy of the citizens. Despotism had been organized for making war; war was continued to uphold despotism. The die was cast--France must either conquer Europe, or Europe subdue France. Napoleon fell--he fell, because with the men of the nineteenth century he attempted the work of an Attila and a Genghis Khan; because he gave the reins to an imagination directly contrary to the spirit of his age; with which, nevertheless, his reason was perfectly acquainted; because he would not pause on the day when he felt conscious of his inability to succeed. Nature has fixed a boundary, beyond which extravagant enterprises cannot be carried with prudence. This boundary the Emperor reached in Spain, and overleaped in Russia. Had he then escaped destruction, his inflexible presumption would have caused him to find elsewhere a Bayleu and a Moscow.
I am in Rome! Oft as the morning ray
Visits these eyes, waking at once, I cry,
Whence this excess of joy? What has befallen me? And from within a thrilling voice replies-- Thou art in Rome! A thousand busy thoughts Rush on my mind--a thousand images;
And I spring up as girt to run a race!
Thou art in _Rome!_ the city that so long Reign'd absolute--the mistress of the world! The mighty vision that the Prophet saw
And trembled; that from nothing, from the least, The lowliest village (what, but here and there A reed-roof'd cabin by a river side?)
Grew into everything; and, year by year, Patiently, fearlessly working her way
O'er brook and field, o'er continent and sea; Not like the merchant with his merchandise, Or traveller with staff and scrip exploring; But hand to hand and foot to foot, through hosts, Through nations numberless in battle array, Each behind each; each, when the other fell, Up, and in arms--at length subdued them all.
Thou art in _Rome!_ the city where the Gauls, Entering at sun-rise through her open gates, And through her streets silent and desolate Marching to slay, thought they saw gods, not men; The city, that by temperance, fortitude,
And love of glory tower'd above the clouds, Then fell--but, falling, kept the highest seat, And in her loveliness, her pomp of woe,
Where now she dwells, withdrawn into the wild, Still o'er the mind maintains, from age to age, Its empire undiminish'd. There, as though Grandeur attracted grandeur, are beheld
All things that strike, ennoble; from the depths Of Egypt, from the classic fields of Greece-- Her groves, her temples--all things that inspire Wonder, delight! Who would not say the forms. Most perfect most divine, had by consent Flock'd thither to abide eternally
Within those silent chambers where they dwell In happy intercourse?
_Mr. S._ They are a species of crow. But they differ from the carrion crow and raven, in not feeding upon dead flesh, but upon corn and other seeds and grass, though, indeed, they pick up beetles and other insects and worms. See what a number of them have alighted on yonder ploughed field, almost blackening it over. They are searching for grubs and worms. The men in the field do not molest them, for they do a great deal of service by destroying grubs, which, if suffered to grow to winged insects, would injure the trees and plants._F_. Do all rooks live in rookeries?
_Mr. S._ It is their nature to associate together, and they build in numbers of the same, or adjoining trees. They have no objection to the neighbourhood of man, but readily take to a plantation of tall trees, though it be close to a house; and this is commonly called a rookery. They will even fix their habitations on trees in the midst of towns._F_. I think a rookery is a sort of town itself.
_Mr. S._ It is--a village in the air, peopled with numerous inhabitants; and nothing can be more amusing than to view them all in motion, flying to and fro, and busied in their several occupations. The spring is their busiest time. Early in the year they begin to repair their nests, or build new ones.[Illustration: CROW.] _F_. Do they all work together, or every one for itself?
_Mr. S._ Each pair, after they have coupled, builds its own nest; and, instead of helping, they are very apt to steal the materials from one another. If both birds go out at once in search of sticks, they often find at their return the work all destroyed, and the materials carried off. However, I have met with a story which shows that they are not without some sense of the criminality of thieving. There was in a rookery a lazy pair of rooks, who never went out to get sticks for themselves, but made a practice of watching when their neighbours were abroad, and helping themselves from their nests. They had served most of the community in this manner, and by these means had just finished their own nest; when all the other rooks, in a rage, fell upon them at once, pulled their nest in pieces, beat them soundly, and drove them from their society._F_. But why do they live together, if they do not help one another?
_Mr. S._ They probably receive pleasure from the company of their own kind, as men and various other creatures do. Then, though they do not assist one another in building, they are mutually serviceable in many ways. If a large bird of prey hovers about a rookery for the purpose of carrying away the young ones, they all unite to drive him away. And when they are feeding in a flock, several are placed as sentinels upon the trees all round, to give the alarm if any danger approaches._F_. Do rooks always keep to the same trees?
_Mr. S._ Yes; they are much attached to them, and when the trees happen to be cut down, they seem greatly distressed, and keep hovering about them as they are falling, and will scarcely desert them when they lie on the ground._F_. I suppose they feel as we should if our town was burned down, or overthrown by an earthquake.
_Mr. S._ No doubt. The societies of animals greatly resemble those of men; and that of rooks is like those of men in the savage state, such as the communities of the North American Indians. It is a sort of league for mutual aid and defence, but in which every one is left to do as he pleases, without any obligation to employ himself for the whole body. Others unite in a manner resembling more civilised societies of men. This is the case with the heavers. They perform great public works by the united efforts of the whole community--such as damming up streams and constructing mounds for their habitations. As these are works of great art and labour, some of them probably act under the direction of others, and are compelled to work, whether they will or not. Many curious stories are told to this purpose by those who have observed them in their remotest haunts, where they exercise their full sagacity._F_. But are they all true?
_Mr. S._ That is more than I can answer for; yet what we certainly know of the economy of bees may justify us in believing extraordinary things of the sagacity of animals. The society of bees goes further than that of beavers, and in some respects beyond most among men themselves. They not only inhabit a common dwelling, and perform great works in common, but they lay up a store of provision, which is the property of the whole community, and is not used except at certain seasons and under certain regulations. A bee-hive is a true image of a commonwealth, where no member acts for himself alone, but for the whole body._Evenings at Home._ [Illustration: A HERONRY.] * * * * * PALMS.
These beautiful trees may be ranked among the noblest specimens of vegetation; and their tall, slender, unbranched stems, crowned by elegant feathery foliage, composed of a cluster of gigantic leaves, render them, although of several varieties, different in appearance from all other trees. In some kinds of palm the stem is irregularly thick; in others, slender as a reed. It is scaly in one species, and prickly in another. In the _Palma real_, in Cuba, the stem swells out like a spindle in the middle. At the summit of these stems, which in some cases attain an altitude of upwards of 180 feet, a crown of leaves, either feathery or fan-shaped (for there is not a great variety in their general form), spreads out on all sides, the leaves being frequently from twelve to fifteen feet in length. In some species the foliage is of a dark green and shining surface, like that of a laurel or holly; in others, silvery on the under-side, as in the willow; and there is one species of palm with a fan-shaped leaf, adorned with concentric blue and yellow rings, like the "eyes" of a peacock's tail.[Illustration: PALMS OF ARIMATHEA.]
The flowers of most of the palms are as beautiful as the trees. Those of the _Palma real_ are of a brilliant white, rendering them visible from a great distance; but, generally, the blossoms are of a pale yellow. To these succeed very different forms of fruit: in one species it consists of a cluster of egg-shaped berries, sometimes seventy or eighty in number, of a brilliant purple and gold colour, which form a wholesome food.
South America contains the finest specimens, as well as the most numerous varieties of palm: in Asia the tree is not very common; and of the African palms but little is yet known, with the exception of the date palm, the most important to man of the whole tribe, though far less beautiful than the other species.* * * * * THE PALM-TREE. [Illustration: Letter I.]
It waved not through an Eastern sky, Beside a fount of Araby;
It was not fann'd by Southern breeze In some green isle of Indian seas; Nor did its graceful shadow sleep O'er stream of Afric, lone and deep.
But fair the exiled Palm-tree grew, 'Midst foliage of no kindred hue: Through the laburnum's dropping gold Rose the light shaft of Orient mould; And Europe's violets, faintly sweet, Purpled the moss-beds at its feet.
Strange look'd it there!--the willow stream'd Where silv'ry waters near it gleam'd; The lime-bough lured the honey-bee To murmur by the Desert's tree,
And showers of snowy roses made
A lustre in its fan-like shade.
There came an eve of festal hours-- Rich music fill'd that garden's bowers; Lamps, that from flow'ring branches hung, On sparks of dew soft colours flung; And bright forms glanced--a fairy show, Under the blossoms to and fro.
But one, a lone one, 'midst the throng, Seem'd reckless all of dance or song: He was a youth of dusky mien, Whereon the Indian sun had been; Of crested brow, and long black hair-- A stranger, like the Palm-tree, there.
And slowly, sadly, moved his plumes, Glittering athwart the leafy glooms: He pass'd the pale green olives by, Nor won the chesnut flowers his eye; But when to that sole Palm he came, Then shot a rapture through his frame.
To him, to him its rustling spoke; The silence of his soul it broke.
It whisper'd of his own bright isle, That lit the ocean with a smile.
Aye to his ear that native tone
Had something of the sea-wave's moan.
His mother's cabin-home, that lay Where feathery cocoos fringe the bay; The dashing of his brethren's oar, The conch-note heard along the shore-- All through his wak'ning bosom swept: He clasp'd his country's tree, and wept.
Oh! scorn him not. The strength whereby The patriot girds himself to die;
The unconquerable power which fills
The foeman battling on his hills:
These have one fountain deep and clear, The same whence gush'd that child-like tear!--
Newfoundland Dogs are employed in drawing sledges laden with fish, wood, and other articles, and from their strength and docility are of considerable importance. The courage, devotion, and skill of this noble animal in the rescue of persons from drowning is well known; and on the banks of the Seine, at Paris, these qualities have been applied to a singular purpose. Ten Newfoundland dogs are there trained to act as servants to the Humane Society; and the rapidity with which they cross and re-cross the river, and come and go, at the voice of their trainer, is described as being most interesting to witness. Handsome kennels have been erected for their dwellings on the bridges.* * * * * DALMATIAN DOG.
There is a breed of very handsome dogs called by this name, of a white colour, thickly spotted with black: it is classed among the hounds. This species is said to have been brought from India, and is not remarkable for either fine scent or intelligence. The Dalmatian Dog is generally kept in our country as an appendage to the carriage, and is bred up in the stable with the horses; it consequently seldom receives that kind of training which is calculated to call forth any good qualities it may possess.[Illustration: DALMATIAN DOG.] * * * * * TERRIER.
The Terrier is a valuable dog in the house and farm, keeping both domains free from intruders, either in the shape of thieves or vermin. The mischief effected by rats is almost incredible; it has been said that, in some cases, in the article of corn, these little animals consume a quantity in food equal in value to the rent of the farm. Here the terrier is a most valuable assistant, in helping the farmer to rid himself of his enemies. The Scotch Terrier is very common in the greater part of the Western Islands of Scotland, and some of the species are greatly admired. Her Majesty Queen Victoria possesses one from Islay--a faithful, affectionate creature, yet with all the spirit and
determination that belong to his breed.
The modern smooth-haired Greyhound of England is a very elegant dog, not surpassed in speed and endurance by that of any other country. Hunting the deer with a kind of greyhound of a larger size was formerly a favourite diversion; and Queen Elizabeth was gratified by seeing, on one occasion, from a turret, sixteen deer pulled down by greyhounds upon the lawn at Cowdry Park, in Sussex.[Illustration: HEAD OF THE GREYHOUND.] * * * * * OLD ENGLISH HOUND.
The dog we now call the Staghound appears to answer better than any other to the description given to us of the old English Hound, which was so much valued when the country was less enclosed, and the numerous and extensive forests were the harbours of the wild deer. This hound, with the harrier, were for many centuries the only hunting dogs.[Illustration: HEAD OF THE OLD ENGLISH HOUND.] * * * * * SHEPHERD'S DOG.
Instinct and education combine to fit this dog for our service: the pointer will act without any great degree of instruction, and the setter will crouch; but the Sheep Dog, especially if he has the example of an older one, will, almost without the teaching of his master, become everything he could wish, and be obedient to every order, even to the slightest motion of the hand. If the shepherd's dog be but with his master, he appears to be perfectly content, rarely mingling with his kind, and generally shunning the advances of strangers; but the moment duty calls, his eye brightens, he springs up with eagerness, and exhibits a sagacity, fidelity, and devotion rarely equalled even by man himself.
[Illustration: HEAD OF THE SHEPHERDS DOG.]
Of all dogs, none surpass in obstinacy and ferocity the Bull-dog. The head is broad and thick, the lower jaw generally projects so that the under teeth advance beyond the upper, the eyes are scowling, and the whole expression calculated to inspire terror. It is remarkable for the pertinacity with which it maintains its hold of any animal it may have seized, and is, therefore, much used in the barbarous practice of bull-baiting, so common in some countries, and but lately abolished in England.[Illustration: HEAD OF THE BULL-DOG.] [Illustration] * * * * * LORD BACON. [Illustration: Letter I.]
In those prescient views by which the genius of Lord Bacon has often anticipated the institutions and the discoveries of succeeding times, there was one important object which even his foresight does not appear to have contemplated. Lord Bacon did not foresee that the English language would one day be capable of embalming all that philosophy can discover, or poetry can invent; that his country would at length possess a national literature of its own, and that it would exult in classical compositions, which might be appreciated with the finest models of antiquity. His taste was far unequal to his invention. So little did he esteem the language of his country, that his favourite works were composed in Latin; and he was anxious to have what he had written in English preserved in that "universal language which may last as long as books last."
It would have surprised Bacon to have been told that the most learned men in Europe have studied English authors to learn to think and to write. Our philosopher was surely somewhat mortified, when, in his dedication of the Essays, he observed, that, "Of all my other works, my Essays have been most current; for that, as it seems, they come home to men's business and bosoms." It is too much to hope to find in a vast and profound inventor, a writer also who bestows immortality on his language. The English language is the only object, in his great survey of art and of nature, which owes nothing of its excellence to the genius of Bacon.
He had reason, indeed, to be mortified at the reception of his philosophical works; and Dr. Rowley, even, some years after the death of his illustrious master, had occasion to observe, "His fame is greater, and sounds louder in foreign parts abroad than at home in his own nation; thereby verifying that Divine sentence, 'A Prophet is not without honour, save in his own country and in his own house,'" Even the men of genius, who ought to have comprehended this new source of knowledge thus opened to them, reluctantly entered into it: so repugnant are we to give up ancient errors, which time and habit have made a part of ourselves.D'ISRAELI. [Illustration: STATUE OF LORD BACON.] * * * * * THE LILIES OF THE FIELD. [Illustration: SYRIAN LILY.] Flowers! when the Saviour's calm, benignant eye Fell on your gentle beauty; when from you
That heavenly lesson for all hearts he drew. Eternal, universal as the sky;
Then in the bosom of your purity
A voice He set, as in a temple shrine,
That Life's quick travellers ne'er might pass you by
Unwarn'd of that sweet oracle divine.
And though too oft its low, celestial sound
By the harsh notes of work-day care is drown'd,
And the loud steps of vain, unlist'ning haste, Yet the great lesson hath no tone of power, Mightier to reach the soul in thought's hush'd hour, Than yours, meek lilies, chosen thus, and graced.
The earliest and one of the most fatal eruptions of Mount Vesuvius that is mentioned in history took place in the year 79, during the reign of the Emperor Titus. All Campagna was filled with consternation, and the country was overwhelmed with devastation in every direction; towns, villages, palaces, and their inhabitants were consumed by molten lava, and hidden from the sight by showers of volcanic stones, cinders, and ashes.
Pompeii had suffered severely from an earthquake sixteen years before, but had been rebuilt and adorned with many a stately building, particularly a magnificent theatre, where thousands were assembled to see the gladiators when this tremendous visitation burst upon the devoted city, and buried it to a considerable depth with the fiery materials thrown from the crater. "Day was turned to night," says a classic author, "and night into darkness; an inexpressible quantity of dust and ashes was poured out, deluging land, sea, and air, and burying two entire cities, Pompeii and Herculaneum, whilst the people were sitting in the theatre."[Illustration: POMPEII--APARTMENT IN "THE HOUSE OF THE HUNTER"]
Many parts of Pompeii have, at various times, been excavated, so as to allow visitors to examine the houses and streets; and in February, 1846, the house of the Hunter was finally cleared, as it appears in the Engraving. This is an interesting dwelling, and was very likely the residence of a man of wealth, fond of the chase. A painting on the right occupies one side of the large room, and here are represented wild animals, the lion chasing a bull, &c. The upper part of the house is raised, where stands a gaily-painted column--red and yellow in festoons; behind which, and over a doorway, is a fresco painting of a summer-house perhaps a representation of some country-seat of the proprietor, on either side are hunting-horns. The most beautiful painting in this room represents a Vulcan at his forge, assisted by three dusky, aged figures. In the niche of the outward room a small statue was found, in _terra cotta_ (baked clay). The architecture of this house is singularly rich in decoration, and the paintings, particularly those of the birds and vases, very bright vivid.
[Illustration: PORTABLE KITCHEN, FOUND AT POMPEII.] At this time, too, some very perfect skeletons were discovered in a house near the theatre, and near the hand of one of them were found thirty-seven pieces of silver and two gold coins; some of the former were attached to the handle of a key. The unhappy beings who were perished may have been the inmates of the dwelling. We know, from the account written by Pliny, that the young and active had plenty of time for escape, and this is the reason why so few skeletons have been found in Pompeii.
In a place excavated at the expense of the Empress of Russia was found a portable kitchen (represented above), made of iron, with two round holes for boiling pots. The tabular top received the fire for placing other utensils upon, and by a handle in the front it could be moved when necessary.* * * * * THE NIGHTINGALE AND GLOWWORM.
A Nightingale that all day long Had cheer'd the village with his song, Nor yet at eve his note suspended, Nor yet when even-tide was ended-- Began to feel, as well he might, The keen demands of appetite: When, looking eagerly around, He spied, far off upon the ground, A something shining in the dark, And knew the glowworm by his spark: So stooping down from hawthorn top, He thought to put him in his crop.
The worm, aware of his intent, Harangued him thus, right eloquent:-- "Did you admire my lamp," quoth he, "As much as I your minstrelsy, You would abhor to do me wrong, As much as I to spoil your song; For 'twas the self-same power Divine Taught you to sing and me to shine, That you with music, I with light, Might beautify and cheer the night."
The songster heard his short oration, And, warbling out his approbation, Released him, as my story tells, And found a supper somewhere else.COWPER. * * * * * THE INVISIBLE WORLD REVEALED BY THE MICROSCOPE.
A fact not less startling than would be the realisation of the
imaginings of Shakespeare and of Milton, or of the speculations of Locke and of Bacon, admits of easy demonstration, namely, that the air, the earth, and the waters teem with numberless myriads of creatures, which are as unknown and as unapproachable to the great mass of mankind, as are the inhabitants of another planet. It may, indeed, be questioned, whether, if the telescope could bring within the reach of our observation the living things that dwell in the worlds around us, life would be there displayed in forms more diversified, in organisms more marvellous, under conditions more unlike those in which animal existence appears to our unassisted senses, than may be discovered in the leaves of every forest, in the flowers of every garden, and in the waters of every rivulet, by that noblest instrument of natural philosophy, the Microscope.
[Illustration: LARVA OF THE COMMON GNAT. A. The body and head of the larva (magnified). B. The respiratory apparatus, situated in the tail. C. Natural size.]
To an intelligent person, who has previously obtained a general idea of the nature of the Objects about to be submitted to his inspection, a group of living animalcules, seen under a powerful microscope for the first time, presents a scene of extraordinary interest, and never fails to call forth an expression of amazement and admiration. This statement admits of an easy illustration: for example, from some water containing aquatic plants, collected from a pond on Clapham Common, I select a small twig, to which are attached a few delicate flakes, apparently of slime or jelly; some minute fibres, standing erect here and there on the twig, are also dimly visible to the naked eye. This twig, with a drop or two of the water, we will put between two thin plates of glass, and place under the field of view of a microscope, having lenses that magnify the image of an object 200 times in linear dimensions.
Upon looking through the instrument, we find the fluid swarming with animals of various shapes and magnitudes. Some are darting through the water with great rapidity, while others are pursuing and devouring creatures more infinitesimal than themselves. Many are attached to the twig by long delicate threads, several have their bodies inclosed in a transparent tube, from one end of which the animal partly protrudes and then recedes, while others are covered by an elegant shell or case. The minutest kinds, many of which are so small that millions might be contained in a single drop of water, appear like mere animated globules, free, single, and of various colours, sporting about in every direction. Numerous species resemble pearly or opaline cups or vases, fringed round the margin with delicate fibres, that are in constant oscillation. Some of these are attached by spiral tendrils; others are united by a slender stem to one common trunk, appearing like a bunch of hare-bells; others are of a globular form, and grouped together in a definite pattern, on a tabular or spherical membranous case, for a certain period of their existence, and ultimately become detached and locomotive, while many are permanently clustered together, and die if separated from the parent mass. They have no organs of progressive motion, similar to those of beasts, birds, or fishes; and though many species are destitute of eyes, yet possess an accurate perception of the presence of other bodies, and pursue and capture their prey with unerring purpose.[Illustration: FOOT OF COMMON HOUSE-FLY.]
[Illustration: HAIR, GREATLY MAGNIFIED. A. Hairs of the Bat.
B. Of the Mole.
C. Of the Mouse.]
This bird, which is now kept and reared throughout the whole of Europe, and even in Russia and Siberia, on account of its pretty form, docility, and sweet song, is a native of the Canary Isles. On the banks of small streams, in the pleasant valleys of those lovely islands, it builds its nest in the branches of the orange-trees, of which it is so fond, that even in this country the bird has been known to find its way into the greenhouse, and select the fork of one of the branches of an orange-tree on which to build its nest, seeming to be pleased with the sweet perfume of the blossoms.[Illustration: CANARY.]
The bird has been known in Europe since the beginning of the sixteenth century, when a ship, having a large number of canaries on board destined for Leghorn, was wrecked on the coast of Italy. The birds having regained their liberty, flew to the nearest land, which happened to be the island of Elba, where they found so mild a climate that they built their nests there and became very numerous. But the desire to possess such beautiful songsters led to their being hunted after, until the whole wild race was quite destroyed. In Italy, therefore, we find the first tame canaries, and here they are still reared in great numbers. Their natural colour is grey, which merges into green beneath, almost resembling the colours of the linnet; but by means of domestication, climate, and being bred with other birds, canaries may now be met with of a great variety of colours. But perhaps there is none more beautiful than the golden-yellow, with blackish-grey head and tail. The hen canary lays her eggs four or five times a year, and thus a great number of young are produced.
As they are naturally inhabitants of warm climates, and made still more delicate by constant residence in rooms, great care should be taken in winter that this favourite bird be not exposed to cold air, which, however refreshing to it in the heat of summer, is so injurious in this season that it causes sickness and even death. To keep canaries in a healthy and happy state, it is desirable that the cage should be frequently hung in brilliant daylight, and, if possible, placed in the warm sunshine, which, especially when bathing, is very agreeable to them. The more simple and true to-nature the food is, the better does it agree with them; and a little summer rapeseed mixed with their usual allowance of the seed to which they have given their name, will be found to be the best kind of diet. As a treat, a little crushed hempseed or summer cabbage-seed may be mixed with the canary-seed. The beautiful grass from which the latter is obtained is a pretty ornament for the garden; it now grows very abundantly in Kent.
The song of the canary is not in this country at all like that of the bird in a state of nature, for it is a kind of compound of notes learned from other birds. It may be taught to imitate the notes of the nightingale, by being placed while young with that bird. Care must be taken that the male parent of the young canary be removed from the nest before the young ones are hatched, or it will be sure to acquire the note of its parent. The male birds of all the feathered creation are the only ones who sing; the females merely utter a sweet chirrup or chirp, so that from the hen canary the bird will run no risk of learning its natural note.* * * * *
INDUSTRY AND APPLICATION. Diligence, industry, and proper improvement of time are material duties of the young. To no purpose are they endowed with the best abilities, if they want activity for exerting them. Unavailing, in this case, will be every direction that can be given them, either for their temporal or spiritual welfare. In youth the habits of industry are most easily acquired; in youth the incentives to it are strong, from ambition and from duty, from emulation and hope, from all the prospects which the beginning of life affords. If, dead to these calls, you already languish in slothful inaction, what will be able to quicken the more sluggish current of advancing years? Industry is not only the instrument of improvement, but the foundation of pleasure. Nothing is so opposite to the true enjoyment of life as the relaxed and feeble state of an indolent mind. He who is a stranger to industry, may possess, but he cannot enjoy. For it is labour only which gives the relish to pleasure. It is the appointed vehicle of every good man. It is the indispensable condition of our possessing a sound mind in a sound body. Sloth is so inconsistent with both, that it is hard to determine whether it be a greater foe to virtue or to health and happiness. Inactive as it is in itself, its effects are fatally powerful. Though it appear a
slowly-flowing stream, yet it undermines all that is stable and flourishing. It not only saps the foundation of every virtue, but pours upon you a deluge of crimes and evils.
It is like water which first putrefies by stagnation, and then sends up noxious vapours and fills the atmosphere with death. Fly, therefore, from idleness, as the certain parent both of guilt and of ruin. And under idleness I include, not mere inaction only, but all that circle of trifling occupations in which too many saunter away their youth; perpetually engaged in frivolous society or public amusements, in the labours of dress or the ostentation of their persons. Is this the foundation which you lay for future usefulness and esteem? By such accomplishments do you hope to recommend yourselves to the thinking part of the world, and to answer the expectations of your friends and your country? Amusements youth requires: it were vain, it were cruel, to prohibit them. But, though allowable as the relaxation, they are most culpable as the business, of the young, for they then become the gulf of time and the poison of the mind; they weaken the manly powers; they sink the native vigour of youth into contemptible effeminacy.BLAIR. * * * * * THE RIVER JORDAN. [Illustration]
The river Jordan rises in the mountains of Lebanon, and falls into the little Lake Merom, on the banks of which Joshua describes the hostile Kings as pitching to fight against Israel. After passing through this lake, it runs down a rocky valley with great noise and rapidity to the Lake of Tiberias. In this part of its course the stream is almost hidden by shady trees, which grow on each side. As the river approaches the Lake of Tiberias it widens, and passes through it with a current that may be clearly seen during a great part of its course. It then reaches a valley, which is the lowest ground in the whole of Syria, many hundred feet below the level of the Mediterranean Sea. It is so well sheltered by the high land on both sides, that the heat thus produced and the moisture of the river make the spot very rich and fertile. This lovely plain is five or six miles across in parts, but widens as it nears the Dead Sea, whose waters cover the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, destroyed for the wickedness of their inhabitants.* * * * * ON JORDAN'S BANKS.
On Jordan's banks the Arab camels stray, On Sion's hill the False One's votaries pray-- The Baal-adorer bows on Sinai's steep;
Yet there--even there--O God! thy thunders sleep:
There, where thy finger scorch'd the tablet stone; There, where thy shadow to thy people shone-- Thy glory shrouded in its garb of fire
(Thyself none living see and not expire).
Oh! in the lightning let thy glance appear-- Sweep from his shiver'd hand the oppressor's spear! How long by tyrants shall thy land be trod? How long thy temple worshipless, O God!BYRON. * * * * *
FORTITUDE. Without some degree of fortitude there can be no happiness, because, amidst the thousand uncertainties of life, there can be no enjoyment of tranquillity. The man of feeble and timorous spirit lives under perpetual alarms. He sees every distant danger and tremble; he explores the regions of possibility to discover the dangers that may arise: often he creates imaginary ones; always magnifies those that are real. Hence, like a person haunted by spectres, he loses the free enjoyment even of a safe and prosperous state, and on the first shock of adversity he desponds. Instead of exerting himself to lay hold on the resources that remain, he gives up all for lost, and resigns himself to abject and broken spirits. On the other hand, firmness of mind is the parent of tranquillity. It enables one to enjoy the present without disturbance, and to look calmly on dangers that approach or evils that threaten in future. Look into the heart of this man, and you will find composure, cheerfulness, and magnanimity; look into the heart of the other, and you will see nothing but confusion, anxiety, and trepidation. The one is a castle built on a rock, which defies the attacks of surrounding waters; the other is a hut placed on the shore, which every wind shakes and every wave overflows.BLAIR. * * * * * THE IVY IN THE DUNGEON. [Illustration: Letters "The".]
The Ivy in a dungeon grew
Unfed by rain, uncheer'd by dew; Its pallid leaflets only drank
Cave-moistures foul, and odours dank.
But through the dungeon-grating high There fell a sunbeam from the sky: It slept upon the grateful floor
In silent gladness evermore.
The ivy felt a tremor shoot
Through all its fibres to the root; It felt the light, it saw the ray, It strove to issue into day.
It grew, it crept, it push'd, it clomb-- Long had the darkness been its home; But well it knew, though veil'd in night, The goodness and the joy of light.
Its clinging roots grew deep and strong; Its stem expanded firm and long; And in the currents of the air
Its tender branches flourish'd fair.
It reach'd the beam--it thrill'd, it curl'd, It bless'd the warmth that cheers the world; It rose towards the dungeon bars--
It look'd upon the sun and stars.
It felt the life of bursting spring, It heard the happy sky-lark sing. It caught the breath of morns and eves, And woo'd the swallow to its leaves.
By rains, and dews, and sunshine fed, Over the outer wall it spread;
And in the daybeam waving free, It grew into a steadfast tree.
Upon that solitary place
Its verdure threw adorning grace. The mating birds became its guests, And sang its praises from their nests.
Wouldst know the moral of the rhyme? Behold the heavenly light, and climb! Look up, O tenant of the cell,
Where man, the prisoner, must dwell.
To every dungeon comes a ray Of God's interminable day. On every heart a sunbeam falls To cheer its lonely prison walls.
The ray is TRUTH. Oh, soul, aspire To bask in its celestial fire;
So shalt thou quit the glooms of clay, So shaft thou flourish into day.
So shalt thou reach the dungeon grate, No longer dark and desolate;
And look around thee, and above, Upon a world of light and love.
How curious is the structure of the nest of the goldfinch or chaffinch! The inside of it is lined with cotton and fine silken threads; and the outside cannot be sufficiently admired, though it is composed only of various species of fine moss. The colour of these mosses, resembling that of the bark of the tree on which the nest is built, proves that the bird intended it should not be easily discovered. In some nests, hair, wool, and rushes are dexterously interwoven. In some, all the parts are firmly fastened by a thread, which the bird makes of hemp, wool, hair, or more commonly of spiders' webs. Other birds, as for instance the blackbird and the lapwing, after they have constructed their nest, plaster the inside with mortar, which cements and binds the whole together; they then stick upon it, while quite wet, some wool or moss, to give it the necessary degree of warmth. The nests of swallows are of a very different construction from those of other birds. They require neither wood, nor hay, nor cords; they make a kind of mortar, with which they form a neat, secure, and comfortable habitation for themselves and their family. To moisten the dust, of which they build their nest, they dip their breasts in water and shake the drops from their wet feathers upon it. But the nests most worthy of admiration are those of certain Indian birds, which suspend them with great art from the branches of trees, to secure them from the depredations of various animals and insects. In general, every species of bird has a peculiar mode of building; but it may be remarked of all alike, that they always construct their nests in the way that is best adapted to their security, and to the preservation and welfare of their species.[Illustration: SWALLOW PREPARING A WALL FOR HER NEST.] [Illustration: BLACKBIRD BUILDING HER NEST.]
Such is the wonderful instinct of birds with respect to the structure of their nests. What skill and sagacity! what industry and patience do they display! And is it not apparent that all their labours tend towards certain ends? They construct their nests hollow and nearly round, that they may retain the heat so much the better. They line them with the most delicate substances, that the young may lie soft and warm. What is it that teaches the bird to place her nest in a situation sheltered from the rain, and secure against the attacks of other animals? How did she learn that she should lay eggs--that eggs would require a nest to prevent them from falling to the ground and to keep them warm? Whence does she know that the heat would not be maintained around the eggs if the nest were too large; and that, on the other hand, the young would not have sufficient room if it were smaller? By what rules does she determine the due proportions between the nest and the young which are not yet in existence? Who has taught her to calculate the time with such accuracy that she never commits a mistake, in producing her eggs before the nest is ready to receive them? Admire in all these things the power, the wisdom, and the goodness of the Creator!STURM. * * * * * THE BUSHMEN. [Illustration: Letter T.]
The Bosjesmans, or Bushmen, appear to be the remains of Hottentot hordes, who have been driven, by the gradual encroachments of the European colonists, to seek for refuge among the inaccessible rocks and sterile desert of the interior of Africa. Most of the hordes known in the colony by the name of Bushmen are now entirely destitute of flocks or herds, and subsist partly by the chase, partly on the wild roots of the wilderness, and in times of scarcity on reptiles, grasshoppers, and the larvae of ants, or by plundering their hereditary foes and oppressors, the frontier Boers. In seasons when every green herb is devoured by swarms of locusts, and when the wild game in consequence desert the pastures of the wilderness, the Bushman finds a resource in the very calamity which would overwhelm an agricultural or civilized community. He lives by devouring the devourers; he subsists for weeks and months on locusts alone, and also preserves a stock of this food dried, as we do herrings or pilchards, for future consumption.
The Bushman retains the ancient arms of the Hottentot race, namely, a javelin or assagai, similar to that of the Caffres, and a bow and arrows. The latter, which are his principal weapons both for war and the chase, are small in size and formed of slight materials; but, owing to the deadly poison with which the arrows are imbued, and the dexterity with which they are launched, they are missiles truly formidable. One of these arrows, formed merely of a piece of slender reed tipped with bone or iron, is sufficient to destroy the most powerful animal. But, although the colonists very much dread the effects of the Bushman's arrow, they know how to elude its range; and it is after all but a very unequal match for the fire-lock, as the persecuted natives by sad experience have found. The arrows are usually kept in a quiver, formed of the hollow stalk of a species of aloe, and slung over the shoulder; but a few, for immediate use, are often stuck in a band round the head.
A group of Bosjesmans, comprising two men, two women, and a child, were recently brought to this country and exhibited at the Egyptian Hall, in Piccadilly. The women wore mantles and conical caps of hide, and gold ornaments in their ears. The men also wore a sort of skin cloak, which hung down to their knees, over a close tunic: the legs and feet were bare in both. Their sheep-skin mantles, sewed together with threads of sinew, and rendered soft and pliable by friction, sufficed for a garment by day and a blanket by night. These Bosjesmans exhibited a variety of the customs of their native country. Their whoops were sometimes so loud as to be startling, and they occasionally seemed to consider the attention of the spectators as an affront.[Illustration: BUSHMEN.] * * * * * CHARACTER OF ALFRED, KING OF ENGLAND.
The merit of this Prince, both in private and public life, may with advantage be set in opposition to that of any Monarch or citizen which the annals of any age or any nation can present to us. He seems, indeed, to be the realisation of that perfect character, which, under the denomination of a sage or wise man, the philosophers have been fond of delineating, rather as a fiction of their imagination than in hopes of ever seeing it reduced to practice; so happily were all his virtues tempered together, so justly were they blended, and so powerfully did each prevent the other from exceeding its proper bounds. He knew how to conciliate the most enterprising spirit with the coolest moderation; the most obstinate perseverance with the easiest flexibility; the most severe justice with the greatest lenity; the greatest rigour in command with the greatest affability of deportment; the highest capacity and inclination for science, with the most shining: talents for action. His civil and his military virtues are almost equally the objects of our admiration, excepting only, that the former, being more rare among princes, as well as more useful, seem chiefly to challenge our applause. Nature also, as if desirous that so bright a production of her skill should be set in the fairest light, had bestowed on him all bodily accomplishments, vigour of limbs, dignity of shape and air, and a pleasant, engaging, and open countenance. Fortune alone, by throwing him into that barbarous age, deprived him of historians worthy to transmit his fame to posterity; and we wish to see him delineated in more lively colours, and with more particular strokes, that we may at least perceive some of those small specks and blemishes, from which, as a man, it is impossible he could be entirely exempted.HUME. * * * * * THE FIRST GRIEF. [Illustration: Letter O.]
Oh! call my brother back to me,
I cannot play alone;
The summer comes with flower and bee-- Where is my brother gone?
The butterfly is glancing bright Across the sunbeam's track;
I care not now to chase its flight-- Oh! call my brother back.
The flowers run wild--the flowers we sow'd Around our garden-tree;
Our vine is drooping with its load-- Oh! call him back to me.
"He would not hear my voice, fair child-- He may not come to thee;
The face that once like spring-time smiled, On earth no more thou'lt see
"A rose's brief bright life of joy, Such unto him was given;
Go, thou must play alone, my boy-- Thy brother is in heaven!"
And has he left the birds and flowers, And must I call in vain,
And through the long, long summer hours, Will he not come again?
And by the brook, and in the glade, Are all our wand'rings o'er?
Oh! while my brother with me play'd, Would I had loved him more!--
Man is that link of the chain of universal existence by which spiritual and corporeal beings are united: as the numbers and variety of the latter his inferiors are almost infinite, so probably are those of the former his superiors; and as we see that the lives and happiness of those below us are dependant on our wills, we may reasonably conclude that our lives and happiness are equally dependant on the wills of those above us; accountable, like ourselves, for the use of this power to the supreme Creator and governor of all things. Should this analogy be well founded, how criminal will our account appear when laid before that just and impartial judge! How will man, that sanguinary tyrant, be able to excuse himself from the charge of those innumerable cruelties inflicted on his unoffending subjects committed to his care, formed for his benefit, and placed under his authority by their common Father? whose mercy is over all his works, and who expects that his authority should be exercised, not only with tenderness and mercy, but in conformity to the laws of justice and gratitude.
But to what horrid deviations from these benevolent intentions are we daily witnesses! no small part of mankind derive their chief amusements from the deaths and sufferings of inferior animals; a much greater, consider them only as engines of wood or iron, useful in their several occupations. The carman drives his horse, and the carpenter his nail, by repeated blows; and so long as these produce the desired effect, and they both go, they neither reflect or care whether either of them have any sense of feeling. The butcher knocks down the stately ox, with no more compassion than the blacksmith hammers a horseshoe; and plunges his knife into the throat of the innocent lamb, with as little reluctance as the tailor sticks his needle into the collar of a coat.
If there are some few who, formed in a softer mould, view with pity the sufferings of these defenceless creatures, there is scarce one who entertains the least idea that justice or gratitude can be due to their merits or their services. The social and friendly dog is hanged without remorse, if, by barking in defence of his master's person and property, he happens unknowingly to disturb his rest; the generous horse, who has carried his ungrateful master for many years with ease and safety, worn out with age and infirmities, contracted in his service, is by him condemned to end his miserable days in a dust-cart, where the more he exerts his little remains of spirit, the more he is whipped to save his stupid driver the trouble of whipping some other less obedient to the lash. Sometimes, having been taught the practice of many unnatural and useless feats in a riding-house, he is at last turned out and consigned to the dominion of a hackney-coachman, by whom he is every day corrected for performing those tricks, which he has learned under so long and severe a discipline. The sluggish bear, in contradiction to his nature, is taught to dance for the diversion of a malignant mob, by placing red-hot irons under his feet; and the majestic bull is tortured by every mode which malice can invent, for no offence but that he is gentle and unwilling to assail his diabolical tormentors. These, with innumerable other acts of cruelty, injustice, and ingratitude, are every day committed, not only with impunity, but without censure and even without observation; but we may be assured that they cannot finally pass away unnoticed and unretaliated.
The laws of self-defence undoubtedly justify us in destroying those animals who would destroy us, who injure our properties, or annoy our persons; but not even these, whenever their situation incapacitates them from hurting us. I know of no right which we have to shoot a bear on an inaccessible island of ice, or an eagle on the mountain's top; whose lives cannot injure us, nor deaths procure us any benefit. We are unable to give life, and therefore ought not wantonly to take it away from the meanest insect, without sufficient reason; they all receive it from the same benevolent hand as ourselves, and have therefore an equal right to enjoy it.
God has been pleased to create numberless animals intended for our sustenance; and that they are so intended, the agreeable flavour of their flesh to our palates, and the wholesome nutriment which it administers to our stomachs, are sufficient proofs: these, as they are formed for our use, propagated by our culture, and fed by our care, we have certainly a right to deprive of life, because it is given and preserved to them on that condition; but this should always be performed with all the tenderness and compassion which so disagreeable an office will permit; and no circumstances ought to be omitted, which can render their executions as quick and easy as possible. For this Providence has wisely and benevolently provided, by forming them in such a manner that their flesh becomes rancid and unpalateable by a painful and lingering death; and has thus compelled us to be merciful without compassion, and cautious of their sufferings, for the sake of ourselves: but, if there are any whose tastes are so vitiated, and whose hearts are so hardened, as to delight in such inhuman sacrifices, and to partake of them without remorse, they should be looked upon as demons in human shape, and expect a retaliation of those tortures which they have inflicted on the
innocent, for the gratification of their own depraved and unnatural appetites.
So violent are the passions of anger and revenge in the human breast, that it is not wonderful that men should persecute their real or imaginary enemies with cruelty and malevolence; but that there should exist in nature a being who can receive pleasure from giving pain, would be totally incredible, if we were not convinced, by melancholy experience, that there are not only many, but that this unaccountable disposition is in some manner inherent in the nature of man; for, as he cannot be taught by example, nor led to it by temptation, or prompted to it by interest, it must be derived from his native constitution; and it is a remarkable confirmation of what revelation so frequently inculcates--that he brings into the world with him an original depravity, the effects of a fallen and degenerate state; in proof of which we need only to observe, that the nearer he approaches to a state of nature, the more predominant this disposition appears, and the more violently it operates. We see children laughing at the miseries which they inflict on every unfortunate animal which comes within their power; all savages are ingenious in contriving, and happy in executing, the most exquisite tortures; and the common people of all countries are delighted with nothing so much as bull-baitings, prize-fightings, executions, and all spectacles of cruelty and horror. Though civilization may in some degree abate this native ferocity, it can never quite extirpate it; the most polished are not ashamed to be pleased with scenes of little less barbarity, and, to the disgrace of human nature, to dignify them with the name of sports. They arm cocks with artificial weapons, which nature had kindly denied to their malevolence, and with shouts of applause and triumph see them plunge them into each other's hearts; they view with delight the trembling deer and defenceless hare, flying for hours in the utmost agonies of terror and despair, and, at last, sinking under fatigue, devoured by their merciless pursuers; they see with joy the beautiful pheasant and harmless partridge drop from their flight, weltering in their blood, or, perhaps, perishing with wounds and hunger, under the cover of some friendly thicket to which they have in vain retreated for safety; they triumph over the unsuspecting fish whom they have decoyed by an insidious pretence of feeding, and drag him from his native element by a hook fixed to and tearing out his entrails; and, to add to all this, they spare neither labour nor expense to preserve and propagate these innocent animals, for no other end but to multiply the objects of their persecution.
What name would we bestow on a superior being, whose whole endeavours were employed, and whose whole pleasure consisted in terrifying, ensnaring, tormenting, and destroying mankind? whose superior faculties were exerted in fomenting animosities amongst them, in contriving engines of destruction, and inciting them to use them in maiming and murdering each other? whose power over them was employed in assisting the rapacious, deceiving the simple, and oppressing the innocent? who, without provocation or advantage, should continue from day to day, void of all pity and remorse, thus to torment mankind for diversion, and at the same time endeavour with his utmost care to preserve their lives and to propagate their species, in order to increase the number of victims devoted to his malevolence, and be delighted in proportion to the miseries he occasioned. I say, what name detestable enough could we find for such a being? yet, if we impartially consider the case, and our intermediate situation, we must acknowledge that, with regard to inferior animals, just such a being is a sportsman.JENYNS. * * * * * PETER THE HERMIT, AND THE FIRST CRUSADE.
It was in Palestine itself that Peter the Hermit first conceived the grand idea of rousing the powers of Christendom to rescue the Christians of the East from the thraldom of the Mussulman, and the Sepulchre of Jesus from the rude hands of the Infidel. The subject engrossed his whole mind. Even in the visions of the night he was full of it. One dream made such an impression upon him, that he devoutly believed the Saviour of the world Himself appeared before him, and promised him aid and protection in his holy undertaking. If his zeal had ever wavered before, this was sufficient to fix it for ever.
Peter, after he had performed all the penances and duties of his pilgrimage, demanded an interview with Simeon, the Patriarch of the Greek Church at Jerusalem. Though the latter was a heretic in Peter's eyes, yet he was still a Christian, and felt as acutely as himself for the persecutions heaped by the Turks upon the followers of Jesus. The good prelate entered fully into his views, and, at his suggestion, wrote letters to the Pope, and to the most influential Monarchs of
Christendom, detailing the sorrows of the faithful, and urging them to take up arms in their defence. Peter was not a laggard in the work. Taking an affectionate farewell of the Patriarch, he returned in all haste to Italy. Pope Urban II. occupied the apostolic chair. It was at that time far from being an easy seat. His predecessor, Gregory, had bequeathed him a host of disputes with the Emperor Henry IV., of Germany; and he had made Philip I., of France, his enemy. So many dangers encompassed him about that the Vatican was no secure abode, and he had taken refuge in Apulia, under the protection of the renowned Robert Guiscard. Thither Peter appears to have followed him, though the spot in which their meeting took place is not stated with any precision by ancient chroniclers or modern historians. Urban received him most kindly, read with tears in his eyes the epistle from the Patriarch Simeon, and listened to the eloquent story of the Hermit with an attention which showed how deeply he sympathised with the woes of the Christian Church.
[Illustration: PETER THE HERMIT PREACHING THE FIRST CRUSADE.]
Enthusiasm is contagious, and the Pope appears to have caught it instantly from one whose zeal was so unbounded. Giving the Hermit full powers, he sent him abroad to preach the Holy War to all the nations and potentates of Christendom. The Hermit preached, and countless thousands answered to his call. France, Germany, and Italy started at his voice, and prepared for the deliverance of Zion. One of the early historians of the Crusade, who was himself an eye-witness of the rapture of Europe, describes the personal appearance of the Hermit at this time. He says that there appeared to be something of divine in everything which he said or did. The people so highly reverenced him, that they plucked hairs from the mane of his mule, that they might keep them as relics. While preaching, he wore, in general, a woollen tunic, with a dark-coloured mantle which fell down to his heels. His arms and feet were bare, and he ate neither flesh nor bread, supporting himself chiefly upon fish and wine. "He set out," said the chronicler, "from whence I know not; but we saw him passing through towns and villages, preaching everywhere, and the people surrounding him in crowds, loading him with offerings, and celebrating his sanctity with such great praises, that I never remember to have seen such honours bestowed upon any one." Thus he went on, untired, inflexible, and full of devotion, communicating his own madness to his hearers, until Europe was stirred from its very depths._Popular Delusions._ * * * * * FAITH'S GUIDING STAR. [Illustration: Letter W.]
We find a glory in the flowers
When snowdrops peep and hawthorn blooms;
We see fresh light in spring-time hours, And bless the radiance that illumes.
The song of promise cheers with hope, That sin or sorrow cannot mar;
God's beauty fills the daisyed slope,
And keeps undimm'd Faith's guiding star.
We find a glory in the smile
That lives in childhood's happy face,
Ere fearful doubt or worldly guile Has swept away the angel trace.
The ray of promise shineth there, To tell of better lands afar;
God sends his image, pure and fair, To keep undimm'd Faith's guiding star.
We find a glory in the zeal
Of doating breast and toiling brain;
Affection's martyrs still will kneel,
And song, though famish'd, pour its strain.
They lure us by a quenchless light,
And point where joy is holier far;
They shed God's spirit, warm and bright, And keep undimm'd Faith's guiding star.
We muse beside the rolling waves; We ponder on the grassy hill;
We linger by the new-piled graves, And find that star is shining still.
God in his great design hath spread, Unnumber'd rays to lead afar;
They beam the brightest o'er the dead, And keep undimm'd Faith's guiding star.
My loving people! we have been persuaded by some that are careful of our safety, to take heed how we commit ourself to armed multitudes, for fear of treachery; but, I assure you, I do not desire to live to distrust my faithful and loving people. Let tyrants fear: I have always so behaved myself, that, under God, I have placed my chief strength and safeguard in the loyal hearts and good-will of my subjects. And, therefore, I am come among you at this time, not for my recreation or sport, but being resolved, in the midst and heat of the battle, to live or die among you all, and to lay down for my God, and for my kingdom, and for my people, my honour and my blood--even in the dust. I know I have the body of a weak and feeble woman; but I have the heart of a King, and the heart of a King of England, too! and think foul scorn, that Parma, or Spain, or any Prince of Europe, should dare to invade the borders of my realms; to which, rather than dishonour should grow by me, I myself will take up arms--I myself will be your general, your judge, and the rewarder of every one of your virtues in the field. I know already, by your
forwardness, that you have deserved rewards and crowns; and we do assure you, on the word of a Prince, they shall be duly paid you. In the meantime, my Lieutenant-General shall be in my stead, than whom never Prince commanded more noble and worthy subject; nor do I doubt, by your obedience to my General, by your concord in the camp, and your valour in the field, we shall shortly have a famous victory over the enemies of my God, my kingdom, and my people.
The city of Jalapa, in Mexico, is very beautifully situated at the foot of Macultepec, at an elevation of 4335 feet above the level of the sea; but as this is about the height which the strata of clouds reach, when suspended over the ocean, they come in contact with the ridge of the Cordillera Mountains; this renders the atmosphere exceedingly humid and disagreeable, particularly in north-easterly winds. In summer, however, the mists disappear; the climate is perfectly delightful, as the extremes of heat and cold are never experienced.
On a bright sunny day, the scenery round Jalapa is not to be surpassed. Mountains bound the horizon, except on one side, where a distant view of the sea adds to the beauty of the scene. Orizaba, with its snow-capped peak, appears so close, that one imagines that it is within a few hours' reach, and rich evergreen forests clothe the surrounding hills. In the foreground are beautiful gardens, with fruits of every clime--the banana and fig, the orange, cherry, and apple. The town is irregularly built, but very picturesque; the houses are in the style of the old houses of Spain, with windows down to the ground, and barred, in which sit the Jalapenas ladies, with their fair complexions and black eyes.
Near Jalapa are two or three cotton factories, under the management of English and Americans: the girls employed are all Indians, healthy and good-looking; they are very apt in learning their work, and soon comprehend the various uses of the machinery. In the town there is but little to interest the stranger, but the church is said to have been founded by Cortez, and there is also a Franciscan convent. The vicinity of Jalapa, although poorly cultivated, produces maize, wheat, grapes, and jalap, from which plant the well-known medicine is prepared, and the town takes its name. A little lower down the Cordillera grows the vanilla, the bean of which is so highly esteemed for its aromatic flavour.[Illustration: TOWN OF JALAPA, IN MEXICO]
The road from Jalapa to the city of Mexico constantly ascends, and the scenery is mountainous and grand; the villages are but few, and fifteen or twenty miles apart, with a very scanty population. No signs of cultivation are to be seen, except little patches of maize and chile, in the midst of which is sometimes to be seen an Indian hut formed of reeds and flags. The mode of travelling in this country is by diligences, but these are continually attacked and robbed; and so much is this a matter of course, that the Mexicans invariably calculate a certain sum for the expenses of the road, including the usual fee for the banditti. Baggage is sent by the muleteers, by which means it is ensured from all danger, although a long time on the road. The Mexicans never think of resisting these robbers, and a coach-load of eight or nine is often stopped and plundered by one man. The foreigners do not take matters so quietly, and there is scarcely an English or American traveller in the country who has not come to blows in a personal encounter with the banditti at some period or other of his adventures.* * * * * CONDORS. [Illustration: Letter C.]
Condors are found throughout the whole range of the Cordilleras, along the south-west coast of South America, from the Straits of Magellan to the Rio Negro. Their habitations are almost invariably on overhanging ledges of high and perpendicular cliffs, where they both sleep and breed, sometimes in pairs, but frequently in colonies of twenty or thirty together. They make no nest, but lay two large white eggs on the bare rock. The young ones cannot use their wings for flight until many months after they are hatched, being covered, during that time, with only a blackish down, like that of a gosling. They remain on the cliff where they were hatched long after having acquired the full power of flight, roosting and hunting in company with the parent birds. Their food consists of the carcases of guanacoes, deer, cattle, and other animals.
The condors may oftentimes be seen at a great height, soaring over a certain spot in the most graceful spires and circles. Besides feeding on carrion, the condors will frequently attack young goats and lambs. Hence, the shepherd dogs are trained, the moment the enemy passes over, to run out, and, looking upwards, to bark violently. The people of Chili destroy and catch great numbers. Two methods are used: one is to place a carcase within an inclosure of sticks on a level piece of ground; and when the condors are gorged, to gallop up on horseback to the entrance, and thus inclose them; for when this bird has not space to run, it cannot give its body sufficient momentum to rise from the ground. The second method is to mark the trees in which, frequently to the number of five or six together, they roost, and then at night to climb up and noose them. They are such heavy sleepers that this is by no means a difficult task.
The condor, like all the vulture tribe, discovers his food from a great distance; the body of an animal is frequently surrounded by a dozen or more of them, almost as soon as it has dropped dead, although five minutes before there was not a single bird in view. Whether this power is to be attributed to the keenness of his olfactory or his visual organs, is a matter still in dispute; although it is believed, from a minute observation of its habits in confinement, to be rather owing to its quickness of sight.[Illustration: CONDORS.] * * * * * OMNISCIENCE AND OMNIPRESENCE OF THE DEITY.
I was yesterday, about sun-set, walking in the open fields, till the night insensibly fell upon me. I at first amused myself with all the richness and variety of colours which appeared in the western parts of heaven; in proportion as they faded away and went out, several stars and planets appeared one after another, till the whole firmament was in a glow. The blueness of the ether was exceedingly heightened and enlivened by the season of the year, and the rays of all those luminaries that passed through it. The Galaxy appeared in its most beautiful white. To complete the scene, the full moon rose at length in that clouded majesty which Milton takes notice of, and opened to the eye a new picture of nature, which was more finely shaded, and disposed among softer lights, than that which the sun had before discovered to us.
As I was surveying the moon walking in her brightness, and taking her progress among the constellations, a thought arose in me, which I believe very often perplexes and disturbs men of serious and contemplative natures. David himself fell into it in that reflection, "When I consider the heavens the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars which thou hast ordained, what is man that though art mindful of him, and the son of man that thou regardest him!" In the same manner, when I consider that infinite host of stars, or, to speak more philosophically, of suns, which were then shining upon me, with those innumerable sets of planets or worlds, which were moving round their respective suns; when I still enlarged the idea, and supposed another heaven of suns and worlds rising still above this which we discovered, and these still enlightened by a superior firmament of luminaries, which are planted at so great a distance, that they may appear to the inhabitants of the former as the stars do to us; in short, while I pursued this thought, I could not but reflect on that little
insignificant figure which I myself bore amidst the immensity of God's works.
Were the sun, which enlightens this part of the creation, with all the host of planetary worlds that move about him, utterly extinguished and annihilated, they would not be missed more than a grain of sand upon the sea-shore. The space they possess is so exceedingly little in comparison of the whole, it would scarce make a blank in creation. The chasm would be imperceptible to an eye that could take in the whole compass of nature, and pass from one end of creation to the other; as it is possible there may be such a sense in ourselves hereafter, or in creatures which are at present more exalted than ourselves. We see many stars by the help of glasses, which we do not discover with our naked eyes; and the finer our telescopes are, the more still are our discoveries. Huygenius carries this thought so far, that he does not think it impossible there may be stars whose light is not yet travelled down to us since their first creation. There is no question but the universe has certain bounds set to it; but when we consider that it is the work of infinite power, prompted by infinite goodness, with an infinite space to exert itself in, how can our imagination set any bounds to it?
To return, therefore, to my first thought, I could not but look upon myself with secret horror, as a being that was not worth the smallest regard of one who had so great a work under his care and superintendency. I was afraid of being overlooked amidst the immensity of nature, and lost among that infinite variety of creatures, which in all probability swarm through all these immeasurable regions of matter.
In order to recover myself from this mortifying thought, I considered that it took its rise from those narrow conceptions which we are apt to entertain of the Divine nature. We ourselves cannot attend to many different objects at the same time. If we are careful to inspect some things, we must of course neglect others. This imperfection which we observe in ourselves is an imperfection that cleaves in some degree to creatures of the highest capacities, as they are creatures, that is, beings of finite and limited natures. The presence of every created being is confined to a certain measure of space, and consequently his observation is stinted to a certain number of objects. The sphere in which we move, and act, and understand, is of a wider circumference to one creature than another, according as we rise one above another in the scale of existence. But the widest of these our spheres has its circumference. When therefore we reflect on the Divine nature, we are so used and accustomed to this imperfection in ourselves, that we cannot forbear in some measure ascribing it to Him in whom there is no shadow of imperfection. Our reason indeed assures us that his attributes are infinite; but the poorness of our conceptions is such, that it cannot forbear setting bounds to every thing it contemplates, till our reason comes again to our succour and throws down all those little prejudices which rise in us unawares, and are natural to the mind of man.
We shall, therefore, utterly extinguish this melancholy thought of our being overlooked by our Maker in the multiplicity of his works, and the infinity of those objects among which He seems to be incessantly employed, if we consider, in the first place, that He is omnipresent; and in the second, that He is omniscient.
If we consider Him in his omnipresence; his being passes through, actuates, and supports the whole frame of nature. His creation, and every part of it, is full of Him. There is nothing He has made that is either so distant, so little, or so inconsiderable, which He does not essentially inhabit. His substance is within the substance of every being, whether material or immaterial, and as intimately present to it as that being is to itself. It would be an imperfection in Him, were He able to move out of one place into another, or to draw himself from any thing He has created, or from any part of that space which He diffused and spread abroad to infinity. In short, to speak of Him in the language of the old philosophers, He is a being whose centre is everywhere and his circumference nowhere.
In the second place, He is omniscient as well as omnipresent. His omniscience indeed necessarily and naturally flows from his omnipresence. He cannot but be conscious of every motion that arises in the whole material world which He thus essentially pervades; and of every thought that is stirring in the intellectual world, to every part of which He is thus intimately united. Several moralists have considered the creation as the temple of God, which He has built, with his own hands, and which is filled with his presence. Others have considered infinite space as the receptacle, or rather the habitation of the Almighty; but the noblest and most exalted way of considering this infinite space, is that of Sir Isaac Newton, who calls it the _se sorium_ of the Godhead. Brutes and men have their _sensoriola_, or little _sensoriums_, by which they apprehend the presence and perceive the actions of a few objects that lie contiguous to them. Their knowledge and observation turn within a very narrow circle. But, as God Almighty cannot but perceive and know everything in which He resides, infinite space gives room to infinite knowledge, and is, as it were, an organ to omniscience.
Were the soul separate from the body, and with one glance of thought should start beyond the bounds of the creation, should it millions of years continue its progress through infinite space with the same activity, it would still find itself within the embrace of its Creator, and encompassed round with the immensity of the Godhead. While we are in the body, He is not less present with us, because He is concealed from us. "Oh, that I knew where I might find Him!" says Job. "Behold I go forward, but He is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive Him; on the left hand, where He does work, but I cannot behold Him; He hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see Him." In short, reason as well as revelation assures us that He cannot be absent from us, notwithstanding He is undiscovered by us.
In this consideration of God Almighty's omnipresence and omniscience, every uncomfortable thought vanishes. He cannot but regard everything that has being, especially such of his creatures who fear they are not regarded by Him. He is privy to all their thoughts, and to that anxiety of heart in particular, which is apt to trouble them on this occasion; for, as it is impossible He should overlook any of his creatures, so we may be confident that He regards, with an eye of mercy, those who endeavour to recommend themselves to his notice, and in unfeigned humility of heart think themselves unworthy that He should be mindful of them._Spectator_. * * * * * THE MILL STREAM. [Illustration]
Long trails of cistus flowers
Creep on the rocky hill,
And beds of strong spearmint
Grow round about the mill;
And from a mountain tarn above, As peaceful as a dream,
Like to a child unruly,
Though school'd and counsell'd truly, Roams down the wild mill stream!
The wild mill stream it dasheth In merriment away,
And keeps the miller and his son So busy all the day.
And fern and adder's-tongue Grow on the old mill wall.
The tarn is on the upland moor, Where not a leaf doth grow;
And through the mountain gashes,
The merry mill stream dashes Down to the sea below.
But in the quiet hollows
The red trout groweth prime,
For the miller and the miller's son To angle when they've time.
Then fair befall the stream
That turns the mountain mill;
And fair befall the narrow road That windeth up the hill!
And good luck to the countryman, And to his old grey mare,
That upward toileth steadily,
With meal sacks laden heavily, In storm as well as fair!
And good luck to the miller, And to the miller's son;
And ever may the mill-wheel turn
While mountain waters run!
Envy is almost the only vice which is practicable at all times, and in every place--the only passion which can never lie quiet for want of irritation; its effects, therefore, are everywhere discoverable, and its attempts always to be dreaded.
It is impossible to mention a name, which any advantageous distinction has made eminent, but some latent animosity will burst out. The wealthy trader, however he may abstract himself from public affairs, will never want those who hint with Shylock, that ships are but boards, and that no man can properly be termed rich whose fortune is at the mercy of the winds. The beauty adorned only with the unambitious graces of innocence and modesty, provokes, whenever she appears, a thousand murmurs of detraction and whispers of suspicion. The genius, even when he endeavours only to entertain with pleasing; images of nature, or instruct by uncontested principles of science, yet suffers persecution from innumerable critics, whose acrimony is excited merely by the pain of seeing others pleased--of hearing applauses which another enjoys.
The frequency of envy makes it so familiar that it escapes our notice; nor do we often reflect upon its turpitude or malignity, till we happen to feel its influence. When he that has given no provocation to malice, but by attempting to excel in some useful art, finds himself pursued by multitudes whom he never saw with implacability of personal resentment; when he perceives clamour and malice let loose upon him as a public enemy, and incited by every stratagem of defamation; when he hears the misfortunes of his family or the follies of his youth exposed to the world; and every failure of conduct, or defect of nature, aggravated and ridiculed; he then learns to abhor those artifices at which he only laughed before, and discovers how much the happiness of life would be advanced by the eradication of envy from the human heart.
Envy is, indeed, a stubborn weed of the mind, and seldom yields to the culture of philosophy. There are, however, considerations which, if carefully implanted, and diligently propagated, might in time overpower and repress it, since no one can nurse it for the sake of pleasure, as its effects are only shame, anguish, and perturbation. It is, above all other vices, inconsistent with the character of a social being, because it sacrifices truth and kindness to very weak temptations. He that plunders a wealthy neighbour, gains as much as he takes away, and improves his own condition in the same proportion as he impairs another's; but he that blasts a flourishing reputation, must be content with a small dividend of additional fame, so small as can afford very little consolation to balance the guilt by which it is obtained.
I have hitherto avoided mentioning that dangerous and empirical morality, which cures one vice by means of another. But envy is so base and detestable, so vile in its original, and so pernicious in its effects, that the predominance of almost any other quality is to be desired. It is one of those lawless enemies of society, against which poisoned arrows may honestly be used. Let it therefore be constantly remembered, that whoever envies another, confesses his superiority; and let those be reformed by their pride, who have lost their virtue.
Almost every other crime is practised by the help of some quality which might have produced esteem or love, if it had been well employed; but envy is a more unmixed and genuine evil; it pursues a hateful end by despicable means, and desires not so much its own happiness as another's misery. To avoid depravity like this, it is not necessary that any one should aspire to heroism or sanctity; but only that he should resolve not to quit the rank which nature assigns, and wish to maintain the dignity of a human being.
No tree is more frequently mentioned by ancient authors, nor was any more highly honoured by ancient nations, than the olive. By the Greeks it was dedicated to the goddess of wisdom, and formed the crown of honour given to their Emperors and great men, as with the Romans. It is a tree of slow growth, but remarkable for the great age it attains; never, however, becoming a very large tree, though sometimes two or three stems rise from the same root, and reach the height of from twenty to thirty feet. The leaves grow in pairs, lanceolate in shape, of a dull green on the upper, and hoary on the under side. Hence, in countries where the olive is extensively cultivated, the scenery is of a dull character, from this colour of the foliage. The fruit is oval in shape, with a hard strong kernel, and remarkable from the outer fleshy part being that in which much oil is lodged, and not, as is usual, in the seed. It ripens from August to September.
Of the olive-tree two varieties are particularly distinguished: the long-leafed, which is cultivated in the south of France and in Italy; and the broad-leafed in Spain, which has its fruit much longer than that of the former kind.[Illustration: OLIVE TREES, GETHSEMANE.]
That the olive grows to a great age, has long been known. Pliny mentions one which the Athenians of his time considered to be coeval with their city, and therefore 1600 years old; and near Terni, in the vale of the cascade of Marmora, there is a plantation of very old trees, supposed to consist of the same plants that were growing there in the time of Pliny. Lady Calcott states that on the mountain road between Tivoli and Palestrina, there is an ancient olive-tree of large dimensions, which, unless the documents are purposely falsified, stood as a boundary between two possessions even before the Christian era. Those in the garden of Olivet or Gethsemane are at least of the time of the Eastern Empire, as is proved by the following circumstance:--In Turkey every olive-tree found standing by the Mussulmans, when they conquered Asia, pays one medina to the treasury, while each of those planted since the conquest is taxed half its produce. The eight olives of which we are speaking are charged only eight medinas. By some it is supposed that these olive-trees may have been in existence even in the time of our Saviour; the largest is about thirty feet in girth above the roots, and twenty-seven feet high.
* * * * *
ACCORDANCE BETWEEN THE SONGS OF BIRDS AND THE DIFFERENT ASPECTS OF THE
There is a beautiful propriety in the order in which Nature seems to have directed the singing-birds to fill up the day with their pleasing harmony. The accordance between their songs and the external aspect of nature, at the successive periods of the day at which they sing, is quite remarkable. And it is impossible to visit the forest or the sequestered dell, where the notes of the feathered tribes are heard to the greatest advantage, without being impressed with the conviction that there is design in the arrangement of this sylvan minstrelsy.--[Illustration: THE ROBIN.]
First the robin (and not the lark, as has been generally imagined), as soon as twilight has drawn its imperceptible line between night and day, begins his lovely song. How sweetly does this harmonise with the soft dawning of the day! He goes on till the twinkling sun-beams begin to tell him that his notes no longer accord with the rising scene. Up starts the lark, and with him a variety of sprightly songsters, whose lively notes are in perfect correspondence with the gaiety of the morning. The general warbling continues, with now and then an interruption by the transient croak of the raven, the scream of the jay, or the pert chattering of the daw. The nightingale, unwearied by the vocal exertions of the night, joins his inferiors in sound in the general harmony. The thrush is wisely placed on the summit of some lofty tree, that its loud and piercing notes may be softened by distance before they reach the ear; while the mellow blackbird seeks the inferior branches.[Illustration: THE LARK.] [Illustration: THE LINNET.]
Should the sun, having been eclipsed by a cloud, shine forth with fresh effulgence, how frequently we see the goldfinch perch on some blossomed bough, and hear its song poured forth in a strain peculiarly energetic; while the sun, full shining on his beautiful plumes, displays his golden wings and crimson crest to charming advantage. The notes of the cuckoo blend with this cheering concert in a pleasing manner, and for a short time are highly grateful to the ear. But sweet as this singular song is, it would tire by its uniformity, were it not given in so transient a manner.
At length evening advances, the performers gradually retire, and the concert softly dies away. The sun is seen no more. The robin again sends up his twilight song, till the more serene hour of night sets him to the bower to rest. And now to close the scene in full and perfect harmony; no sooner is the voice of the robin hushed, and night again spreads in gloom over the horizon, than the owl sends forth his slow and solemn tones. They are more than plaintive and less than melancholy, and tend to inspire the imagination with a train of contemplations well adapted to the serious hour.Thus we see that birds bear no inconsiderable share in harmonizing some of the most beautiful and interesting scenes in nature. DR. JENNER. * * * * * CHARACTER OF EDWARD VI.
Thus died Edward VI., in the sixteenth year of his age. He was counted the wonder of his time; he was not only learned in the tongues and the liberal sciences, but he knew well the state of his kingdom. He kept a table-book, in which he had written the characters of all the eminent men of the nation: he studied fortification, and understood the mint well. He knew the harbours in all his dominions, with the depth of the water, and way of coming into them. He understood foreign affairs so well, that the ambassadors who were sent into England, published very extraordinary things of him in all the courts of Europe. He had great quickness of apprehension, but being distrustful of his memory, he took notes of everything he heard that was considerable, in Greek characters, that those about him might not understand what he writ, which he afterwards copied out fair in the journal that he kept. His virtues were wonderful; when he was made to believe that his uncle was guilty of conspiring the death of the other councillors, he upon that abandoned him.
Barnaby Fitzpatrick was his favourite; and when he sent him to travel, he writ oft to him to keep good company, to avoid excess and luxury, and to improve himself in those things that might render him capable of employment at his return. He was afterwards made Lord of Upper Ossory, in Ireland, by Queen Elizabeth, and did answer the hopes this excellent King had of him. He was very merciful in his nature, which appeared in his unwillingness to sign the warrant for burning the Maid of Kent. He took great care to have his debts well paid, reckoning that a Prince who breaks his faith and loses his credit, has thrown up that which he can never recover, and made himself liable to perpetual distrust and extreme contempt. He took special care of the petitions that were given him by poor and opprest people. But his great zeal for religion crowned all the rest--it was a true tenderness of conscience, founded on the love of God and his neighbour. These extraordinary qualities, set off with great sweetness and affability, made him universally beloved by his people.BURNET. * * * * * THE HUNTED STAG. [Illustration: Letter W.]
What sounds are on the mountain blast, Like bullet from the arbalast?
Was it the hunted quarry past
Right up Ben-ledi's side?
So near, so rapidly, he dash'd,
Yon lichen'd bough has scarcely plash'd
Into the torrent's tide.
Ay! the good hound may bay beneath,
The hunter wind his horn;
He dared ye through the flooded Teith,
As a warrior in his scorn!
Dash the red rowel in the steed!
Spur, laggards, while ye may!
St. Hubert's staff to a stripling reed,
He dies no death to-day!
"Forward!" nay, waste not idle breath, Gallants, ye win no greenwood wreath; His antlers dance above the heath,
Like chieftain's plumed helm;
Right onward for the western peak, Where breaks the sky in one white streak, See, Isabel, in bold relief,
To Fancy's eye, Glenartney's chief,
Guarding his ancient realm.
So motionless, so noiseless there, His foot on rock, his head in air,
Like sculptor's breathing stone:
Then, snorting from the rapid race, Snuffs the free air a moment's space, Glares grimly on the baffled chase,
And seeks the covert lone.
Hunting has been a favourite sport in Britain for many centuries. Dyonisius (B.C. 50) tells us that the North Britons lived, in great part, upon the food they procured by hunting. Strabo states that the dogs bred in Britain were highly esteemed on the Continent, on account of their excellent qualities for hunting; and Caesar tells us that venison constituted a great portion of the food of the Britons, who did not eat hares. Hunting was also in ancient times a Royal and noble sport: Alfred the Great hunted at twelve years of age; Athelstan, Edward the Confessor, Harold, William the Conqueror, William Rufus, and John were all good huntsmen; Edward II. reduced hunting to a science, and established rules for its practice; Henry IV. appointed a master of the game; Edward III. hunted with sixty couples of stag-hounds; Elizabeth was a famous huntswoman; and James I. preferred hunting to hawking or shooting. The Bishops and Abbots of the middle ages hunted with great state. Ladies also joined in the chase from the earliest times; and a lady's hunting-dress in the fifteenth century scarcely differed from the riding-habit of the present day.SIR WALTER SCOTT. [Illustration: THE DEER-STALKER'S RETURN.] * * * * * JOHN BUNYAN AND HIS WIFE. [Illustration: Letter E.]
Elizabeth his wife, actuated by his undaunted spirit, applied to the House of Lords for his release; and, according to her relation, she was told, "they could do nothing; but that his releasement was committed to the Judges at the next assizes." The Judges were Sir Matthew Hale and Mr. Justice Twisden; and a remarkable contrast appeared between the well-known meekness of the one, and fury of the other. Elizabeth came before them, and, stating her husband's case, prayed for justice: "Judge Twisden," says John Bunyan, "snapt her up, and angrily told her that I was a convicted person, and could not be released unless I would promise to preach no more. _Elizabeth_: 'The Lords told me that releasement was committed to you, and you give me neither releasement nor relief. My husband is unlawfully in prison, and you are bound to discharge him.' _Twisden_: 'He has been lawfully convicted.' _Elizabeth_: 'It is false, for when they said "Do you confess the indictment?" he answered, "At the meetings where he preached, they had God's presence among them."' _Twisden_: 'Will your husband leave preaching? if he will do so, then send for him.' _Elizabeth_: 'My Lord, he dares not leave off preaching as long as he can speak. But, good my Lords, consider that we have four small children, one of them blind, and that they have nothing to live upon while their father is in prison, but the charity of Christian people.' _Sir Matthew Hale_: 'Alas! poor woman.' _Twisden_: 'Poverty is your cloak, for I hear your husband is better maintained by running up and down a-preaching than by following his calling?' _Sir Matthew Hale_: 'What is his calling?' _Elizabeth_: 'A tinker, please you my Lord; and because he is a tinker, and a poor man, therefore he is despised and cannot have justice.' _Sir Matthew Hale_: 'I am truly sorry we can do you no good. Sitting here we can only act as the law gives us warrant; and we have no power to reverse the sentence, although it may be erroneous. What your husband said was taken for a confession, and he stands convicted. There is, therefore, no course for you but to apply to the King for a pardon, or to sue out a writ of error; and, the indictment, or subsequent proceedings, being shown to be contrary to law, the sentence shall be reversed, and your husband shall be set at liberty. I am truly sorry for your pitiable case. I wish I could serve you, but I fear I can do you no good.'"
Little do we know what is for our permanent good. Had Bunyan then been discharged and allowed to enjoy liberty, he no doubt would have returned to his trade, filling up his intervals of leisure with field-preaching; his name would not have survived his own generation, and he could have done little for the religious improvement of mankind. The prison doors were shut upon him for twelve years. Being cut off from the external world, he communed with his own soul; and, inspired by Him who touched Isaiah's hallowed lips with fire, he composed the noblest of allegories, the merit of which was first discovered by the lowly, but which is now lauded by the most refined critics, and which has done more to awaken piety, and to enforce the precepts of Christian morality, than all the sermons that have been published by all the prelates of the Anglican Church.LORD CAMPBELL'S _Lives of the Judges._ * * * * * THE LONG-EARED AFRICAN FOX.
This singular variety of the Fox was first made known to naturalists in 1820, after the return of De Laland from South Africa. It is an inhabitant of the mountains in the neighbourhood of the Cape of Good Hope, but it is so rare that little is known of its habits in a state of nature. The Engraving was taken from a specimen which has been lately placed in the Zoological Society's gardens in the Regent's Park. It is extremely quick of hearing, and there is something in the general expression of the head which suggests a resemblance to the long-eared bat. Its fur is very thick, and the brush is larger than that of our common European fox. The skin of the fox is in many species very valuable; that of another kind of fox at the Cape of Good Hope is so much in request among the natives as a covering for the cold season, that many of the Bechuanas are solely employed in hunting the animal down with dogs, or laying snares in the places to which it is known to resort.[Illustration]
In common with all other foxes, those of Africa are great enemies to birds which lay their eggs upon the ground; and their movements are, in particular, closely watched by the ostrich during the laying season. When the fox has surmounted all obstacles in procuring eggs, he has to encounter the difficulty of getting at their contents; but even for this task his cunning finds an expedient, and it is that of pushing them forcibly along the ground until they come in contact with some substance hard enough to break them, when the contents are speedily disposed of.
The natives, from having observed the anxiety of the ostrich to keep this animal from robbing her nest, avail themselves of this solicitude to lure the bird to its destruction; for, seeing that it runs to the nest the instant a fox appears, they fasten a dog near it, and conceal themselves close by, and the ostrich, on approaching to drive away the supposed fox, is frequently shot by the real hunter.
The fur of the red fox of America is much valued as an article of trade, and about 8000 are annually imported into England from the fur countries, where the animal is very abundant, especially in the wooded parts.
Foxes of various colours are also common in the fur countries of North America, and a rare and valuable variety is the black or silver fox. Dr. Richardson states that seldom more than four or five of this variety are taken in a season at one post, though the hunters no sooner find out the haunts of one, than they use every art to catch it, because its fur fetches six times the price of any other fur produced in North America. This fox is sometimes found of a rich deep glossy black, the tip of the brush alone being white; in general, however, it is silvered over the end of each of the long hairs of the fur, producing a beautiful appearance.
The Arctic fox resembles greatly the European species, but is considerably smaller; and, owing to the great quantity of white woolly fur with which it is covered, is somewhat like a little shock dog. The brush is very large and full, affording an admirable covering for the nose and feet, to which it acts as a muff when the animal sleeps. The fur is in the greatest perfection during the months of winter, when the colour gradually becomes from an ashy grey to a full and pure white, and is extremely thick, covering even the soles of the feet. Captain Lyon has given very interesting accounts of the habits of this animal, and describes it as being cleanly and free from any unpleasant smell: it inhabits the most northern lands hitherto discovered.[Illustration: SYRIAN FOX.] * * * * * MOUNT TABOR.
The Plain of Esdraelon, in Palestine, is often mentioned in sacred history, as the great battle-field of the Jewish and other nations, under the names of the Valley of Mejiddo and the Valley of Jizreel, and by Josephus as the Great Plain. The convenience of its extent and situation for military action and display has, from the earliest periods of history down to our own day, caused its surface at certain intervals to be moistened with the blood, and covered with the bodies of conflicting warriors of almost every nation under heaven. This extensive plain, exclusive of three great arms which stretch eastward towards the Valley of the Jordan, may be said to be in the form of an acute triangle, having the measure of 13 or 14 miles on the north, about 18 on the east, and above 20 on the south-west. Before the verdure of spring and early summer has been parched up by the heat and drought of the late summer and autumn, the view of the Great Plain is, from its fertility and beauty, very delightful. In June, yellow fields of grain, with green patches of millet and cotton, chequer the landscape like a carpet. The plain itself is almost without villages, but there are several on the slopes of the inclosing hills, especially on the side of Mount Carmel. On the borders of this plain Mount Tabor stands out alone in magnificent grandeur. Seen from the south-west its fine proportions present a semi-globular appearance; but from the north-west it more resembles a truncated cone. By an ancient path, which winds considerably, one may ride to the summit, where is a small oblong plain with the foundations of ancient buildings. The view from the summit is declared by Lord Nugent to be the most splendid he could recollect having ever seen from any natural height. The sides of the mountain are mostly covered with bushes and woods of oak trees, with occasionally pistachio trees, presenting a beautiful appearance, and affording a welcome and agreeable shade. There are various tracks up its sides, often crossing each other, and the ascent generally occupies about an hour. The crest of the mountain is table-land, 600 or 700 yards in height from north to south, and about half as much across, and a flat field of about an acre occurs at a level of some 20 or 25 feet lower than the eastern brow. There are remains of several small ruined tanks on the crest, which still catch the rain water dripping through the crevices of the rock, and preserve it cool and clear, it is said, throughout the year.[Illustration: MOUNT TABOR.]
The tops of this range of mountains are barren, but the slopes and valleys afford pasturage, and are capable of cultivation, from the numerous springs which are met with in all directions. Cultivation is, however, chiefly found on the seaward slopes; there many flourishing villages exist, and every inch of ground is turned to account by the industrious natives.[Illustration: FIG TREE.] [Illustration: SYCAMORE.]
Here, amidst the crags of the rocks, are to be seen the remains of the renowned cedars with which Lebanon once abounded; but a much larger proportion of firs, sycamores, mulberry trees, fig trees, and vines now exist.* * * * * UNA AND THE LION. [Illustration: Letter S.]
She, that most faithful lady, all this while,
Forsaken, woful, solitary maid,
Far from the people's throng, as in exile,
In wilderness and wasteful deserts stray'd
To seek her knight; who, subtlely betray'd
By that false vision which th' enchanter wrought,
Had her abandon'd. She, of nought afraid,
Him through the woods and wide wastes daily sought, Yet wish'd for tidings of him--none unto her brought.
One day, nigh weary of the irksome way, From her unhasty beast she did alight;
And on the grass her dainty limbs did lay In secret shadow, far from all men's sight:
From her fair head her fillet she undight, And laid her stole aside; her angel face,
As the great eye that lights the earth, shone bright, And made a sunshine in that shady place, That never mortal eye beheld such heavenly grace.
It fortun'd that, from out the thicket wood A ramping lion rushed suddenly,
And hunting greedy after savage blood, The royal virgin helpless did espy;
At whom, with gaping mouth full greedily To seize and to devour her tender corse,
When he did run, he stopp'd ere he drew nigh, And loosing all his rage in quick remorse, As with the sight amazed, forgot his furious force.
Then coming near, he kiss'd her weary feet, And lick'd her lily hand with fawning tongue,
As he her wronged innocence did meet:
Oh! how can beauty master the most strong,
And simple truth subdue intent of wrong! His proud submission, and his yielded pride,
Though dreading death, when she had marked long, She felt compassion in her heart to slide, And drizzling tears to gush that might not be denied.
And with her tears she pour'd a sad complaint, That softly echoed from the neighbouring wood;
While sad to see her sorrowful constraint, The kingly beast upon her gazing stood:
With pity calm'd he lost all angry mood.
At length, in close breast shutting up her pain,
Arose the virgin born of heavenly brood,
And on her snowy palfrey rode again
To seek and find her knight, if him she might attain.
The lion would not leave her desolate,
But with her went along, as a strong guard
Of her chaste person, and a faithful mate Of her sad troubles and misfortunes hard:
Still when she slept, he kept both watch and ward, And when she waked, he waited diligent
With humble service to her will prepared. From her fair eyes he took commandment, And ever by her looks conceived her intent.
Seven miles from the sea-port of Boston, in Lincolnshire, lies the rural town of Swineshead, once itself a port, the sea having flowed up to the market-place, where there was a harbour. The name of Swineshead is familiar to every reader of English history, from its having been the resting-place of King John, after he lost the whole of his baggage, and narrowly escaped with his life, when crossing the marshes from Lynn to Sleaford, the castle of which latter place was then in his possession. The King halted at the Abbey, close to the town of Swineshead, which place he left on horseback; but being taken ill, was moved in a litter to Sleaford, and thence to his castle at Newark, where he died on the following day, in the year 1216.
Apart from this traditional interest, Swineshead has other antiquarian and historical associations. The circular Danish encampment, sixty yards in diameter, surrounded by a double fosse, was, doubtless, a post of importance, when the Danes, or Northmen, carried their ravages through England in the time of Ethelred I., and the whole country passed permanently into the Danish hands about A.D. 877. The incessant inroads of the Danes, who made constant descents on various parts of the coast, burning the towns and villages, and laying waste the country in all directions, led to that stain upon the English character, the Danish massacre. The troops collected to oppose these marauders always lost courage and fled, and their leaders, not seldom, set them the example. In 1002, peace was purchased for a sum of L24,000 and a large supply of provisions. Meantime, the King and his councillors resolved to have recourse to a most atrocious expedient for their future security. It had been the practice of the English Kings, from the time of Athelstane, to have great numbers of Danes in their pay, as guards, or household troops; and these, it is said, they quartered on their subjects, one on each house. The household troops, like soldiers in general, paid great attention to their dress and appearance, and thus became very popular with the generality of people; but they also occasionally behaved with great insolence, and were also strongly suspected of holding secret intelligence with their piratical countrymen. It was therefore resolved to massacre the Hus-carles, as they were called, and their families, throughout England. Secret orders to this effect were sent to all parts, and on St. Brice's day, November 13th, 1002, the Danes were everywhere fallen on and slain. The ties of affinity (for many of them had married and settled in the country) were disregarded; even Gunhilda, sister to Sweyn, King of Denmark, though a Christian, was not spared, and with her last breath she declared that her death would bring the greatest evils upon England. The words of Gunhilda proved prophetic. Sweyn, burning for revenge and glad of a pretext for war, soon made his appearance on the south coast, and during four years he spread devastation through all parts of the country, until the King Ethelred agreed to give him L30,000 and provisions as before for peace, and the realm thus had rest for two years. But this short peace was but a prelude to further disturbances; and indeed for two centuries, dating from the reign of Egbert, England was destined to become a prey to these fierce and fearless invaders.[Illustration: DANISH ENCAMPMENT AT SWINESHEAD, LINCOLNSHIRE.] The old Abbey of Swineshead was demolished in 1610, and the present structure, known as Swineshead Abbey, was built from the materials. * * * * * THE NAMELESS STREAM [Illustration: Letter B.]
Beautiful stream! By rock and dell
There's not an inch in all thy course
I have not track'd. I know thee well:
I know where blossoms the yellow gorse;
I know where waves the pale bluebell,
And where the orchis and violets dwell.
I know where the foxglove rears its head,
And where the heather tufts are spread;
I know where the meadow-sweets exhale,
And the white valerians load the gale.
I know the spot the bees love best,
And where the linnet has built her nest.
I know the bushes the grouse frequent,
And the nooks where the shy deer browse the bent.
I know each tree to thy fountain head--
The lady birches, slim and fair;
The feathery larch, the rowans red, The brambles trailing their tangled hair;
And each is link'd to my waking thought
By some remembrance fancy-fraught.
Yet, lovely stream, unknown to fame,
Thou hast oozed, and flow'd, and leap'd, and run, Ever since Time its course begun,
Without a record, without a name. I ask'd the shepherd on the hill-- He knew thee but as a common rill; I ask'd the farmer's blue-eyed daughter-- She knew thee but as a running water; I ask'd the boatman on the shore (He was never ask'd to tell before)-- Thou wert a brook, and nothing more.
Yet, stream, so dear to me alone,
I prize and cherish thee none the less
That thou flowest unseen, unpraised, unknown, In the unfrequented wilderness.
Though none admire and lay to heart
How good and beautiful thou art,
Thy flow'rets bloom, thy waters run,
And the free birds chaunt thy benison.
Beauty is beauty, though unseen;
And those who love it all their days,
Find meet reward in their soul serene,
And the inner voice of prayer and praise.
Having surveyed the various objects in Iona, we sailed for a spot no less interesting. Thousands have described it. Few, however, have seen it by torch or candle light, and in this respect we differ from most tourists. All description, however, of this far-famed wonder must be vain and fruitless. The shades of night were fast descending, and had settled on the still waves and the little group of islets, called the Treshnish Isles, when our vessel approached the celebrated Temple of the Sea. We had light enough to discern its symmetry and proportions; but the colour of the rock--a dark grey--and the minuter graces of the columns, were undistinguishable in the evening gloom. The great face of the rock is the most wonderful production of nature we ever beheld. It reminded us of the west front of York or Lincoln cathedral--a resemblance, perhaps, fanciful in all but the feelings they both excite--especially when the English minster is seen by moonlight. The highest point of Staffa at this view is about one hundred feet; in its centre is the great cave, called Fingal's Cave, stretching up into the interior of the rock a distance of more than 200 feet. After admiring in mute astonishment the columnar proportions of the rock, regular as if chiselled by the hand of art, the passengers entered a small boat, and sailed under the arch. The boatmen had been brought from Iona, and they instantly set themselves to light some lanterns, and form torches of old ropes and tar, with which they completely illuminated the ocean hall, into which we were ushered.
The complete stillness of the scene, except the low plashing of the waves; the fitful gleams of light thrown first on the walls and ceiling, as the men moved to and fro along the side of the stupendous cave; the appearance of the varied roof, where different stalactites or petrifactions are visible; the vastness and perfect art or semblance of art of the whole, altogether formed a scene the most sublime, grand, and impressive ever witnessed.
The Cathedral of Iona sank into insignificance before this great temple of nature, reared, as if in mockery of the temples of man, by the Almighty Power who laid the beams of his chambers on the waters, and who walketh upon the wings of the wind. Macculloch says that it is with the morning sun only that the great face of Staffa can be seen in perfection; as the general surface is undulating and uneven, large masses of light or shadow are thus produced. We can believe, also, that the interior of the cave, with its broken pillars and variety of tints, and with the green sea rolling over a dark red or violet-coloured rock, must be seen to more advantage in the full light of day. Yet we question whether we could have been more deeply sensible of the beauty and grandeur of the scene than we were under the unusual circumstances we have described. The boatmen sang a Gaelic _joram_ or boat-song in the cave, striking their oars very violently in time with the music, which resounded finely through the vault, and was echoed back by roof and pillar. One of them, also, fired a gun, with the view of producing a still stronger effect of the same kind. When we had fairly satisfied ourselves with contemplating the cave, we all entered the boat and sailed round by the Clamshell Cave (where the basaltic columns are bent like the ribs of a ship), and the Rock of the Bouchaille, or the herdsman, formed of small columns, as regular and as interesting as the larger productions. We all clambered to the top of the rock, which affords grazing for sheep and cattle, and is said to yield a rent of L20 per annum to the proprietor. Nothing but the wide surface of the ocean was visible from our mountain eminence, and after a few minutes' survey we descended, returned to the boat, and after regaining the
steam-vessel, took our farewell look of Staffa, and steered on for Tobermory.
I have always preferred cheerfulness to mirth. The latter I consider as an act, the former as a habit of the mind. Mirth is short and transient, cheerfulness fixed and permanent. Those are often raised into the greatest transports of mirth, who are subject to the greatest depressions of melancholy: on the contrary, cheerfulness, though it does not give the mind such an exquisite gladness, prevents us from falling into any depths of sorrow. Mirth is like a flash of lightning, that breaks through a gloom of clouds, and glitters for a moment; cheerfulness keeps up a kind of daylight in the mind, and fills it with a steady and perpetual serenity.
Men of austere principles look upon mirth as too wanton and dissolute for a state of probation, and as filled with a certain triumph and insolence of heart that is inconsistent with a life which is every moment obnoxious to the greatest dangers. Writers of this complexion have observed, that the sacred Person who was the great pattern of perfection, was never seen to laugh.
Cheerfulness of mind is not liable to any of these exceptions; it is of a serious and composed nature; it does not throw the mind into a condition improper for the present state of humanity, and is very conspicuous in the characters of those who are looked upon as the greatest philosophers among the heathen, as well as among those who have been deservedly esteemed as saints and holy men among Christians.
If we consider cheerfulness in three lights, with regard to ourselves, to those we converse with, and the great Author of our being, it will not a little recommend itself on each of these accounts. The man who is possessed of this excellent frame of mind, is not only easy in his thoughts, but a perfect master of all the powers and faculties of the soul; his imagination is always clear, and his judgment undisturbed; his temper is even and unruffled, whether in action or solitude. He comes with a relish to all those goods which nature has provided for him, tastes all the pleasures of the creation which are poured about him, and does not feel the full weight of those accidental evils which may befall him.
If we consider him in relation to the persons whom he converses with, it naturally produces love and good-will towards him. A cheerful mind is not only disposed to be affable and obliging, but raises the same good-humour in those who come within its influence. A man finds himself pleased, he does not know why, with the cheerfulness of his companion: it is like a sudden sunshine, that awakens a secret delight in the mind, without her attending to it. The heart rejoices of its own accord, and naturally flows out into friendship and benevolence towards the person who has so kindly an effect upon it.
When I consider this cheerful state of mind in its third relation, I cannot but look upon it as a constant, habitual gratitude to the great Author of nature.
There are but two things which, in my opinion, can reasonably deprive us of this cheerfulness of heart. The first of these is the sense of guilt. A man who lives in a state of vice and impenitence, can have no title to that evenness and tranquillity of mind which is the health of the soul, and the natural effect of virtue and innocence. Cheerfulness in an ill man deserves a harder name than language can furnish us with, and is many degrees beyond what we commonly call folly or madness.
Atheism, by which I mean a disbelief of a Supreme Being, and consequently of a future state, under whatsoever title it shelters itself, may likewise very reasonably deprive a man of this cheerfulness of temper. There is something so particularly gloomy and offensive to human nature in the prospect of non-existence, that I cannot but wonder, with many excellent writers, how it is possible for a man to outlive the expectation of it. For my own part, I think the being of a God is so little to be doubted, that it is almost the only truth we are sure of, and such a truth as we meet with in every object, in every occurrence, and in every thought. If we look into the characters of this tribe of infidels, we generally find they are made up of pride, spleen, and cavil: it is indeed no wonder that men who are uneasy to themselves, should be so to the rest of the world; and how is it possible for a man to be otherwise than uneasy in himself, who is in danger every moment of losing his entire existence and dropping into nothing?
The vicious man and Atheist have therefore no pretence to cheerfulness, and would act very unreasonably should they endeavour after it. It is impossible for any one to live in good-humour and enjoy his present existence, who is apprehensive either of torment or of annihilation--of being miserable or of not being at all.
After having mentioned these two great principles, which are destructive of cheerfulness in their own nature, as well as in right reason, I cannot think of any other that ought to banish this happy temper from a virtuous mind. Pain and sickness, shame and reproach, poverty and old age; nay, death itself, considering the shortness of their duration and the advantage we may reap from them, do not deserve the name of evils. A good mind may bear up under them with fortitude, with indolence, and with cheerfulness of heart. The tossing of a tempest does not discompose him, which he is sure will bring him to a joyful harbour.
A man who uses his best endeavours to live according to the dictates of virtue and right reason, has two perpetual sources of cheerfulness, in the consideration of his own nature and of that Being on whom he has a dependence. If he looks into himself, he cannot but rejoice in that existence which is so lately bestowed upon him, and which, after millions of ages, will be still new and still in its beginning. How many self-congratulations naturally arise in the mind when it reflects on this its entrance into eternity, when it takes a view of those
improvable faculties which in a few years, and even at its first setting out, have made so considerable a progress, and which will be still receiving an increase of perfection, and consequently an increase of happiness! The consciousness of such a being spreads a perpetual diffusion of joy through the soul of a virtuous man, and makes him look upon himself every moment as more happy than he knows how to conceive.
The second source of cheerfulness to a good mind is its consideration of that Being on whom we have our dependence, and in whom, though we behold Him as yet but in the first faint discoveries of his perfections, we see every thing that we can imagine as great, glorious, and amiable. We find ourselves every where upheld by his goodness and surrounded with an immensity of love and mercy. In short, we depend upon a Being whose power qualifies Him to make us happy by an infinity of means, whose goodness and truth engage Him to make those happy who desire it of Him, and whose unchangeableness will secure us in this happiness to all eternity.
Such considerations, which every one should perpetually cherish in his thoughts, will banish from us all that secret heaviness of heart which unthinking men are subject to when they lie under no real affliction, all that anguish which we may feel from any evil that actually oppresses us, to which I may likewise add those little cracklings of mirth and folly, that are apter to betray virtue than support it; and establish in us such an even and cheerful temper, as makes us pleasing to ourselves, to those with whom we converse, and to Him whom we are made to please.ADDISON. * * * * * STONY CROSS. [Illustration: Letter T.]
This is the place where King William Rufus was accidentally shot by Sir Walter Tyrrel. There has been much controversy on the details of this catastrophe; but the following conclusions, given in the "Pictorial History of England," appear to be just:--"That the King was shot by an arrow in the New Forest; that his body was abandoned and then hastily interred, are facts perfectly well authenticated; but some doubts may be entertained as to the precise circumstances attending his death, notwithstanding their being minutely related by writers who were living at the time, or who flourished in the course of the following century. Sir Walter Tyrrel afterwards swore, in France, that he did not shoot the arrow; but he was, probably, anxious to relieve himself from the odium of killing a King, even by accident. It is quite possible, indeed, that the event did not arise from chance, and that Tyrrel had no part in it. The remorseless ambition of Henry might have had recourse to murder, or the avenging shaft might have been sped by the desperate hand of some Englishman, tempted by a favourable opportunity and the traditions of the place. But the most charitable construction is, that the party were intoxicated with the wine they had drunk at Malwood-Keep, and that, in the confusion consequent on drunkenness, the King was hit by a random arrow."
In that part of the Forest near Stony Cross, at a short distance from Castle Malwood, formerly stood an oak, which tradition affirmed was the tree against which the arrow glanced that caused the death of Rufus. Charles II. directed the tree to be encircled by a paling: it has disappeared; but the spot whereon the tree grew is marked by a triangular stone, about five feet high, erected by Lord Delaware, upwards of a century ago. The stone has since been faced with an iron casting of the following inscription upon the three sides:--
"Here stood the oak-tree on which an arrow, shot by Sir Walter Tyrrel at a stag, glanced and struck King William II., surnamed Rufus, on the breast; of which stroke he instantly died, on the 2nd of August, 1100.
"King William II., surnamed Rufus, being slain, as before related, was laid in a cart belonging to one Purkess, and drawn from hence to Winchester, and buried in the cathedral church of that city.
"That where an event so memorable had happened might not hereafter be unknown, this stone was set up by John Lord Delaware, who had seen the tree growing in this place, anno 1745."
Stony Cross is a favourite spot for pic-nic parties in the summer. It lies seven miles from Ringwood, on a wide slope among the woods. From the road above, splendid views over the country present themselves.[Illustration: STONY CROSS, NEW FOREST.] * * * * * GELERT. [Illustration: Letter T.]
The spearman heard the bugle sound, And cheerily smiled the morn;
And many a brach, and many a hound, Attend Llewellyn's horn.
And still he blew a louder blast, And gave a louder cheer:
"Come, Gelert! why art thou the last Llewellyn's horn to hear?
"Oh, where does faithful Gelert roam-- The flower of all his race!
So true, so brave--a lamb at home, A lion in the chase?"
That day Llewellyn little loved
The chase of hart or hare;
And scant and small the booty proved, For Gelert was not there.
Unpleased Llewellyn homeward hied, When, near the portal-seat,
His truant Gelert he espied,
Bounding his lord to greet.
But when he gained the castle-door, Aghast the chieftain stood;
The hound was smear'd with gouts of gore-- His lips and fangs ran blood!
Llewellyn gazed with wild surprise, Unused such looks to meet;
His favourite check'd his joyful guise, And crouch'd and lick'd his feet.
Onward in haste Llewellyn pass'd (And on went Gelert too),
And still where'er his eyes were cast, Fresh blood-gouts shock'd his view!
O'erturn'd his infant's bed he found, The blood-stain'd cover rent,
And all around the walls and ground With recent blood besprent.
"Hell-hound! by thee my child's devour'd!" The frantic father cried,
And to the hilt his vengeful sword
He plunged in Gelert's side!
His suppliant, as to earth he fell, No pity could impart;
But still his Gelert's dying yell Pass'd heavy o'er his heart.
Aroused by Gelert's dying yell, Some slumberer waken'd nigh:
What words the parent's joy can tell, To hear his infant cry!
Conceal'd beneath a mangled heap, His hurried search had miss'd:
All glowing from his rosy sleep, His cherub boy he kiss'd!
Nor scratch had he, nor harm, nor dread; But the same couch beneath
Lay a great wolf, all torn and dead-- Tremendous still in death!
Ah! what was then Llewellyn's pain, For now the truth was clear;
The gallant hound the wolf had slain To save Llewellyn's heir.
Vain, vain was all Llewellyn's woe-- "Best of thy kind, adieu!
The frantic deed which laid thee low, This heart shall ever rue!"
And now a gallant tomb they raise, With costly sculpture deck'd;
And marbles, storied with his praise, Poor Gelert's bones protect.
Here never could the spearman pass, Or forester, unmoved;
Here oft the tear-besprinkled grass Llewellyn's sorrow proved.
And here he hung his horn and spear; And oft, as evening fell,
In fancy's piercing sounds would hear Poor Gelert's dying yell.
The important feature which the Great Wall makes in the map of China, entitles this vast barrier to be considered in a geographical point of view, as it bounds the whole north of China along the frontiers of three provinces. It was built by the first universal Monarch of China, and finished about 205 years before Christ: the period of its completion is an historical fact, as authentic as any of those which the annals of ancient kingdoms have transmitted to posterity. It was built to defend the Chinese Empire from the incursions of the Tartars, and is calculated to be 1500 miles in length. The rapidity with which this work was completed is as astonishing as the wall itself, for it is said to have been done in five years, by many millions of labourers, the Emperor pressing three men out of every ten, in his dominions, for its execution. For about the distance of 200 leagues, it is generally built of stone and brick, with strong square towers, sufficiently near for mutual defence, and having besides, at every important pass, a formidable and well-built fortress. In many places, in this line and extent, the wall is double, and even triple; but from the province of Can-sih to its eastern extremity, it is nothing but a terrace of earth, of which the towers on it are also constructed. The Great Wall, which has now, even in its best parts, numerous breaches, is made of two walls of brick and masonry, not above a foot and a half in thickness, and generally many feet apart; the interval between them is filled up with earth, making the whole appear like solid masonry and brickwork. For six or seven feet from the earth, these are built of large square stones; the rest is of blue brick, the mortar used in which is of excellent quality. The wall itself averages about 20 feet in height, 25 feet in thickness at the base, which diminishes to 15 feet at the platform, where there is a parapet wall; the top is gained by stairs and inclined planes. The towers are generally about 40 feet square at the base, diminishing to 30 feet a the top, and are, including battlements, 37 feet in height. At some spots the towers consist of two stories, and are thus much higher. The wall is in many places carried over the tops of the highest and most rugged rocks; and one of these elevated regions is 5000 feet above the level of the sea.[Illustration: MILITARY MANDARIN.] [Illustration: THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA.]
Near each of the gates is a village or town; and at one of the principal gates, which opens on the road towards India, is situated Sinning-fu, a city of large extent and population. Here the wall is said to be sufficiently broad at the top to admit six horsemen abreast, who might without inconvenience ride a race. The esplanade on its top is much frequented by the inhabitants, and the stairs which give ascent are very broad and convenient.[Illustration: CHINESE SOLDIER.] * * * * * THE TOMBS OF PAUL AND VIRGINIA. [Illustration: Letter T.]
This delicious retreat in the island of Mauritius has no claims to the celebrity it has attained. It is not the burial-place of Paul and Virginia; and the author of "Recollections of the Mauritius" thus endeavours to dispel the illusion connected with the spot:--[Illustration: TOMBS OF PAUL AND VIRGINIA.]
"After having allowed his imagination to depict the shades of Paul and Virginia hovering about the spot where their remains repose--after having pleased himself with the idea that he had seen those celebrated tombs, and given a sigh to the memory of those faithful lovers, separated in life, but in death united--after all this waste of sympathy, he learns at last that he has been under a delusion the whole time--that no Virginia was there interred--and that it is a matter of doubt whether there ever existed such a person as Paul! What a pleasing illusion is then dispelled! How many romantic dreams, inspired by the perusal of St. Pierre's tale, are doomed to vanish when the truth is ascertained! The fact is, that these tombs have been built to gratify the eager desire which the English have always evinced to behold such interesting mementoes. Formerly only one was erected; but the proprietor of the place, finding that all the English visitors, on being conducted to this, as the tomb of Virginia, always asked to see that of Paul also, determined on building a similar one, to which he gave that appellation. Many have been the visitors who have been gratified, consequently, by the conviction that they had looked on the actual burial-place of that unfortunate pair. These 'tombs' are scribbled over with the names of the various persons who have visited them, together with verses and pathetic ejaculations and sentimental remarks. St. Pierre's story of the lovers is very prettily written, and his description of the scenic beauties of the island are correct, although not even his pen can do full justice to them; but there is little truth in the tale. It is said that there was indeed a young lady sent from the Mauritius to France for education, during the time that Monsieur de la Bourdonnais was governor of the colony--that her name was Virginia, and that she was shipwrecked in the _St. Geran_. I heard something of a young man being attached to her, and dying of grief for her loss; but that part of the story is very
doubtful. The 'Bay of the Tomb,' the 'Point of Endeavour,' the 'Isle of Amber,' and the 'Cape of Misfortune,' still bear the same names, and are pointed out as the memorable spots mentioned by St. Pierre."
Oh! gentle story of the Indian Isle!
I loved thee in my lonely childhood well,
On the sea-shore, when day's last purple smile Slept on the waters, and their hollow swell
And dying cadence lent a deeper spell
Unto thine ocean pictures. 'Midst thy palms
And strange bright birds my fancy joy'd to dwell,
And watch the southern Cross through midnight calms,
And track the spicy woods. Yet more I bless'd Thy vision of sweet love--kind, trustful, true--
Lighting the citron-groves--a heavenly guest-- With such pure smiles as Paradise once knew.
Even then my young heart wept o'er this world's power,
To reach and blight that holiest Eden flower.
The Mangoustes, or Ichneumons, are natives of the hotter parts of the Old World, the species being respectively African and Indian. In their general form and habits they bear a great resemblance to the ferrets, being bold, active, and sanguinary, and unrelenting destroyers of birds, reptiles, and small animals, which they take by surprise, darting rapidly upon them. Beautiful, cleanly, and easily domesticated, they are often kept tame in the countries they naturally inhabit, for the purpose of clearing the houses of vermin, though the poultry-yard is not safe from their incursions.
The Egyptian mangouste is a native of North Africa, and was deified for its services by the ancient Egyptians. Snakes, lizards, birds, crocodiles newly hatched, and especially the eggs of crocodiles, constitute its food. It is a fierce and daring animal, and glides with sparkling eyes towards its prey, which it follows with snake-like progression; often it watches patiently for hours together, in one spot, waiting the appearance of a mouse, rat, or snake, from its lurking-place. In a state of domestication it is gentle and
affectionate, and never wanders from the house or returns to an independent existence; but it makes itself familiar with every part of the premises, exploring every hole and corner, inquisitively peeping into boxes and vessels of all kinds, and watching every movement or operation.
The Indian mangouste is much less than the Egyptian, and of a beautiful freckled gray. It is not more remarkable for its graceful form and action, than for the display of its singular instinct for hunting for and stealing eggs, from which it takes the name of egg-breaker. Mr. Bennett, in his account of one of the mangoustes kept in the Tower, says, that on one occasion it killed no fewer than a dozen full-grown rats, which were loosened to it in a room sixteen feet square, in less than a minute and a half.
Another species of the mangouste, found in the island of Java, inhabiting the large teak forests, is greatly admired by the natives for its agility. It attacks and kills serpents with excessive boldness. It is very expert in burrowing in the ground, which process it employs ingeniously in the pursuit of rats. It possesses great natural sagacity, and, from the peculiarities of its character, it willingly seeks the protection of man. It is easily tamed, and in its domestic state is very docile and attached to its master, whom it follows like a dog; it is fond of caresses, and frequently places itself erect on its hind legs, regarding every thing that passes with great attention. It is of a very restless disposition, and always carries its food to the most retired place to consume it, and is very cleanly in its habits; but it is exclusively carnivorous and destructive to poultry, employing great artifice in surprising chickens.* * * * * CULLODEN. [Illustration: Letter C.]
Culloden Moor--the battle-field--lies eastward about a mile from Culloden House. After an hour's climbing up the heathy brae, through a scattered plantation of young trees, clambering over stone dykes, and jumping over moorland rills and springs, oozing from the black turf and streaking its sombre surface with stripes of green, we found ourselves on the table-land of the moor--a broad, bare level, garnished with a few black huts, and patches of scanty oats, won by patient industry from the waste. We should premise, however, that there are some fine glimpses of rude mountain scenery in the course of the ascent. The immediate vicinage of Culloden House is well wooded; the Frith spreads finely in front; the Ross-shire hills assume a more varied and commanding aspect; and Ben Wyvis towers proudly over his compeers, with a bold pronounced character. Ships were passing and re-passing before us in the Frith, the birds were singing blithely overhead, and the sky was without a cloud. Under the cheering influence of the sun, stretched on the warm, blooming, and fragrant heather, we gazed with no common interest and pleasure on this scene.
On the moor all is bleak and dreary--long, flat, wide, unvarying. The folly and madness of Charles and his followers, in risking a battle on such ground, with jaded, unequal forces, half-starved, and deprived of rest the preceding night, has often been remarked, and is at one glance perceived by the spectator. The Royalist artillery and cavalry had full room to play, for not a knoll or bush was there to mar their murderous aim. Mountains and fastnesses were on the right, within a couple of hours' journey, but a fatality had struck the infatuated bands of Charles; dissension and discord were in his councils; and a power greater than that of Cumberland had marked them for destruction. But a truce to politics; the grave has closed over victors and vanquished:"Culloden's dread echoes are hush'd on the moors;"
and who would awaken them with the voice of reproach, uttered over the dust of the slain? The most interesting memorials of the contest are the green grassy mounds which mark the graves of the slain Highlanders, and which are at once distinguished from the black heath around by the freshness and richness of their verdure. One large pit received the Frasers, and another was dug for the Macintoshes._Highland Note-Book_. [Illustration] * * * * * ATHENS.
The most striking object in Athens is the Acropolis, or Citadel--a rock which rises abruptly from the plain, and is crowned with the Parthenon. This was a temple dedicated to the goddess Minerva, and was built of the hard white marble of Pentelicus. It suffered from the ravages of war between the Turks and Venetians, and also more recently in our own time. The remnant of the sculptures which decorated the pediments, with a large part of the frieze, and other interesting remains, are now in what is called the Elgin collection of the British Museum. During the embassy of Lord Elgin at Constantinople, he obtained permission from the Turkish government to proceed to Athens for the purpose of procuring casts from the most celebrated remains of sculpture and architecture which still existed at Athens. Besides models and drawings which he made, his Lordship collected numerous pieces of Athenian sculpture in statues, capitals, cornices, &c., and these he very generously presented to the English Government, thus forming a school of Grecian art in London, to which there does not at present exist a parallel. In making this collection he was stimulated by seeing the destruction into which these remains were sinking, through the influence of Turkish barbarism. Some fine statues in the Parthenon had been pounded down for mortar, on account of their affording the whitest marble within reach, and this mortar was employed in the construction of miserable huts. At one period the Parthenon was converted into a powder magazine by the Turks, and in consequence suffered severely from an explosion in 1656, which carried away the roof of the right wing.[Illustration: ATHENS.]
At the close of the late Greek war Athens was in a dreadful state, being little more than a heap of ruins. It was declared by a Royal ordinance of 1834 to be the capital of the new kingdom of Greece, and in the March of that year the King laid the foundation-stone of his palace there. In the hill of Areopagus, where sat that famous tribunal, we may still discover the steps cut in the rock by which it was ascended, the seats of the judges, and opposite to them those of the accuser and accused. This hill was converted into a burial-place for the Turks, and is covered with their tombs.
Ancient of days! august Athena! where,
Where are thy men of might--thy grand in soul?
Gone, glimmering through the dream of things that were-- First in the race that led to Glory's goal;
They won, and passed away. Is this the whole?
A schoolboy's tale, the wonder of an hour!
The warrior's weapon and the sophist's stole
Are sought in vain, and o'er each mouldering tower,
Dim with the mist of years, gray flits the shade of power.
Here let me sit, upon this massy stone,
The marble column's yet unshaken base;
Here, son of Saturn, was thy fav'rite throne-- Mightiest of many such! Hence let me trace The latent grandeur of thy dwelling-place.
It may not be--nor ev'n can Fancy's eye
Restore what time hath labour'd to deface:
Yet these proud pillars, claiming sigh,
Unmoved the Moslem sits--the light Greek carols by.
The Isles of Greece! the Isles of Greece! Where burning Sappho loved and sung--
Where grew the arts of war and peace, Where Delos rose and Phoebus sprung!
Eternal summer gilds them yet,
But all except their sun is set.
The Scian and the Teian muse,
The hero's harp, the lover's lute,
Have found the fame your shores refuse; Their place of birth alone is mute,
To sounds which echo further west
Than your sires' "Islands of the Blest."
And Marathon looks on the sea;
And musing there an hour alone,
I dream'd that Greece might still be free; For standing on the Persian's grave, I could not deem myself a slave.
A King sat on the rocky brow, Which looks o'er sea-born Salamis;
And ships by thousands lay below, And men in nations--all were his! He counted them at break of day-- And when the sun set, where were they?
And where were they? and where art thou, My country? On thy voiceless shore
The heroic lay is tuneless now--
The heroic bosom beats no more!
And must thy lyre, so long divine,
Degenerate into hands like mine?
'Tis something, in the dearth of fame, Though link'd among a fetter'd race,
To feel at least a patriot's shame, Even as I sing, suffuse my face;
For what is left the poet here?
For Greeks a blush--for Greece a tear.
Must _we_ but weep o'er days more blest? Must _we_ but blush?--Our fathers bled
Earth! render back from out thy breast A remnant of our Spartan dead!
Of the three hundred grant but three,
To make a new Thermopylae!
What! silent still? and silent all? Ah! no!--the voices of the dead
Sound like a distant torrent's fall, And answer, "Let one living head--
But one--arise! we come, we come!"
'Tis but the living who are dumb.
In vain--in vain: strike other chords; Fill high the cup with Samian wine!
Leave battles to the Turkish hordes, And shed the blood of Scio's vine!
Hark! rising to the ignoble call--
How answers each bold Bacchanal?
You have the Pyrrhic dance as yet; Where is the Pyrrhic phalanx gone?
Of two such lessons, why forget The nobler and the manlier one?
You have the letters Cadmus gave--
Think ye he meant them for a slave?
Fill high the bowl with Samian wine! We will not think of themes like these!
It made Anacreon's song divine; He served--but served Polycrates--
A tyrant: but our masters then
Were still at least our countrymen.
The tyrant of the Chersonese
Was freedom's best and bravest friend--
That tyrant was Miltiades!
Oh! that the present hour would lend
Another despot of the kind!
Such chains as his were sure to bind.
Fill high the bowl with Samian wine! On Suli's rock and Perga's shore
Exists the remnant of a line
Such as the Doric mothers bore;
And there, perhaps, some seed is sown,
The Heracleidian blood might own.
Trust not for freedom to the Franks-- They have a King who buys and sells;
In native swords and native ranks, The only hope of courage dwells:
But Turkish force and Latin fraud
Would break your shield, however broad.
Fill high the bowl with Samian wine! Our virgins dance beneath the shade--
I see their glorious black eyes shine; But gazing on each glowing maid,
My own the burning tear drop laves,
To think such breasts must suckle slaves!
Place me on Sunium's marble steep, Where nothing, save the waves and I,
May hear our mutual murmurs sweep; There swan-like let me sing and die:
A land of slaves shall ne'er be mine--
Dash down yon cup of Samian wine!
[Illustration: Letter B.] Baghasihan, the Turkish Prince, or Emir of Antioch, had under his command an Armenian of the name of Phirouz, whom he had entrusted with the defence of a tower on that part of the city wall which overlooked the passes of the mountains. Bohemund, by means of a spy, who had embraced the Christian religion, and to whom he had given his own name at baptism, kept up a daily communication with this captain, and made him the most magnificent promises of reward if he would deliver up his post to the Crusaders. Whether the proposal was first made by Bohemund or by the Armenian, is uncertain, but that a good understanding soon existed between them is undoubted; and a night was fixed for the execution of the project. Bohemund communicated the scheme to Godfrey and the Count of Toulouse, with the stipulation that, if the city were won, he, as the soul of the enterprise, should enjoy the dignity of Prince of Antioch. The other leaders hesitated: ambition and jealousy prompted them to refuse their aid in furthering the views of the intriguer. More mature consideration decided them to acquiesce, and seven hundred of the bravest knights were chosen for the expedition, the real object of which, for fear of spies, was kept a profound secret from the rest of the army.[Illustration: ANTIOCH.]
Everything favoured the treacherous project of the Armenian captain, who, on his solitary watch-tower, received due intimation of the approach of the Crusaders. The night was dark and stormy: not a star was visible above; and the wind howled so furiously as to overpower all other sounds. The rain fell in torrents, and the watchers on the towers adjoining to that of Phirouz could not hear the tramp of the armed knights for the wind, nor see them for the obscurity of the night and the dismalness of the weather. When within bow-shot of the walls, Bohemund sent forward an interpreter to confer with the Armenian. The latter urged them to make haste and seize the favourable interval, as armed men, with lighted torches, patrolled the battlements every half-hour, and at that instant they had just passed. The chiefs were instantly at the foot of the wall. Phirouz let down a rope; Bohemund attached to it a ladder of hides, which was then raised by the Armenian, and held while the knights mounted. A momentary fear came over the spirits of the adventurers, and every one hesitated; at last Bohemund, encouraged by Phirouz from above, ascended a few steps on the ladder, and was followed by Godfrey, Count Robert of Flanders, and a number of other knights. As they advanced, others pressed forward, until their weight became too great for the ladder, which, breaking, precipitated about a dozen of them to the ground, where they fell one upon the other, making a great clatter with their heavy coats of mail. For a moment they thought all was lost; but the wind made so loud a howling, as it swept in fierce gusts through the mountain gorges, and the Orontes, swollen by the rain, rushed so noisily along, that the guards heard nothing. The ladder was easily repaired, and the knights ascended, two at a time, and reached the platform in safety. When sixty of them had thus ascended, the torch of the coming patrol was seen to gleam at the angle of the wall. Hiding themselves behind a buttress, they awaited his coming in breathless silence. As soon as he arrived at arm's length, he was suddenly seized; and before he could open his lips to raise an alarm, the silence of death closed them up for ever. They next descended rapidly the spiral staircase of the tower, and, opening the portal, admitted the whole of their companions. Raymond of Toulouse, who, cognizant of the whole plan, had been left behind with the main body of the army, heard at this instant the signal horn, which announced that an entry had been effected, and advancing with his legions, the town was attacked from within and from without.
Imagination cannot conceive a scene more dreadful than that presented by the devoted city of Antioch on that night of horror. The Crusaders fought with a blind fury, which fanaticism and suffering alike incited. Men, women, and children were indiscriminately slaughtered, till the streets ran in gore. Darkness increased the destruction; for, when the morning dawned the Crusaders found themselves with their swords at the breasts of their fellow-soldiers, whom they had mistaken to be foes. The Turkish commander fled, first to the citadel, and, that becoming insecure, to the mountains, whither he was pursued and slain, and his gory head brought back to Antioch as a trophy. At daylight the massacre ceased, and the Crusaders gave themselves up to plunder._Popular Delusions_. * * * * * ANGLING. [Illustration: Letter G.]
Go, take thine angle, and with practised line, Light as the gossamer, the current sweep; And if thou failest in the calm, still deep,
In the rough eddy may a prize be thine. Say thou'rt unlucky where the sunbeams shine; Beneath the shadow where the waters creep Perchance the monarch of the brook shall leap--
For Fate is ever better than Design.
Still persevere; the giddiest breeze that blows For thee may blow with fame and fortune rife.
Be prosperous; and what reck if it arose Out of some pebble with the stream at strife,
Or that the light wind dallied with the boughs: Thou art successful--such is human life. DOUBLEDAY.
Were thickly crusted, one and all; The rusted nails fell from the knots
That held the peach to the garden wall. The broken sheds look'd sad and strange--
Uplifted was the clinking latch,
Weeded and worn the ancient thatch, Upon the lonely moated grange.
She only said, "My life is dreary-- He cometh not," she said;
She said, "I am aweary, weary,
I would that I were dead!"
Her tears fell with the dews at even-- Her tears fell ere the dews were dried;
She could not look on the sweet heaven, Either at morn or eventide.
After the flitting of the bats,
When thickest dark did trance the sky, She drew her casement-curtain by,
And glanced athwart the glooming flats. She only said, "The night is dreary-- He cometh not," she said;
She said, "I am aweary, weary,
I would that I were dead!"
Upon the middle of the night,
Waking, she heard the night-fowl crow:
The cock sung out an hour ere light; From the dark fen the oxen's low
Came to her. Without hope of change, In sleep she seem'd to walk forlorn, Till cold winds woke the gray-eyed morn
About the lonely moated grange.
She only said, "The day is dreary He cometh not," she said;
She said, "I am aweary, weary, I would that I were dead!"
About a stone-cast from the wall A sluice with blacken'd waters slept;
And o'er it many, round and small, The cluster'd marish-mosses crept.
Hard by, a poplar shook alway, All silver-green with gnarled bark; For leagues, no other tree did dark
The level waste, the rounding gray. She only said, "My life is dreary-- He cometh not," she said;
She said, "I am aweary, weary, I would that I were dead!"
And ever, when the moon was low, And the shrill winds were up and away
In the white curtain, to and fro
She saw the gusty shadow sway.
But when the moon was very low, And wild winds bound within their cell, The shadow of the poplar fell
Upon her bed, across her brow.
She only said, "The night is dreary-- He cometh not," she said;
She said, "I am aweary, weary,
I would that I were dead!"
All day, within the dreary house,
The doors upon their hinges creak'd;
The blue-fly sang i' the pane; the mouse Behind the mould'ring wainscot shriek'd,
Or from the crevice peer'd about.
Old faces glimmer'd through the doors; Old footsteps trod the upper floors;
Old voices called her from without: She only said, "My life is dreary-- He cometh not," she said;
She said, "I am aweary, weary,
I would that I were dead!"
The sparrow's chirrup on the roof, The slow clock ticking, and the sound
Which to the wooing wind aloof
The poplar made, did all confound
Her sense; but most she loathed the hour When the thick-moated sunbeam lay Athwart the chambers, and the day
Was sloping towards his western bower. Then said she, "I am very dreary-- He will not come," she said;
She wept, "I am aweary, weary, I would that I were dead!"
The Romans, in the infancy of their state, were entirely rude and unpolished. They came from shepherds; they were increased from the refuse of the nations around them; and their manners agreed with their original. As they lived wholly on tilling their ground at home, or on plunder from their neighbours, war was their business, and agriculture the chief art they followed. Long after this, when they had spread their conquests over a great part of Italy, and began to make a considerable figure in the world--even their great men retained a roughness, which they raised into a virtue, by calling it Roman spirit; and which might often much better have been called Roman barbarity. It seems to me, that there was more of austerity than justice, and more of insolence than courage, in some of their most celebrated actions. However that be, this is certain, that they were at first a nation of soldiers and husbandmen: roughness was long an applauded character among them; and a sort of rusticity reigned, even in their senate-house.[Illustration: ANCIENT ROMAN CENTURION.]
In a nation originally of such a temper as this, taken up almost always in extending their territories, very often in settling the balance of power among themselves, and not unfrequently in both these at the same time, it was long before the politer arts made any appearance; and very long before they took root or flourished to any degree. Poetry was the first that did so; but such a poetry as one might expect among a warlike, busied, unpolished people.