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The Illustrated London Reading Book by Various

Part 3 out of 8

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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.

* * * * *


[Illustration: Letter H.]

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

_Highland Note-Book_.

[Illustration: FINGAL'S CAVE, STAFFA.]

* * * * *


[Illustration: Letter I.]

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

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

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.


* * * * *


[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

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.]

* * * * *


[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.

He call'd his child--no voice replied;
He search'd--with terror wild;
Blood! blood! he found on every side,
But nowhere found the child!

"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!

[Illustration: SYRIAN WOLF.]

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.


* * * * *


[Illustration: Letter T.]

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.]

* * * * *


[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:--


"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."

[Illustration: Letter O.]

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

[Illustration: THE MANGOUSTE.]

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.

* * * * *


[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_.


* * * * *


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.


[Illustration: THE PNYX AT ATHENS.]

* * * * *


[Illustration: Letter T.]

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."

The mountains look on Marathon--
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: CORINTH.]

* * * * *


[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_.

* * * * *


[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.


* * * * *


Mariana in the moated grange.--_Measure for Measure_.


With blackest moss the flower-plots
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.


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.

Not to enquire about the songs of triumph mentioned even in Romulus's
time, there was certainly something of poetry among them in the next
reign, under Numa; a Prince who pretended to converse with the Muses as
well as with Egeria, and who might possibly himself have made the verses
which the Salian priests sang in his time. Pythagoras, either in the
same reign, or if you please some time after, gave the Romans a
tincture of poetry as well as of philosophy; for Cicero assures us that
the Pythagoreans made great use of poetry and music; and probably they,
like our old Druids, delivered most of their precepts in verse. Indeed,
the chief employment of poetry in that and the following ages, among the
Romans, was of a religious kind. Their very prayers, and perhaps their
whole liturgy, was poetical. They had also a sort of prophetic or sacred
writers, who seem to have written generally in verse; and were so
numerous that there were above two thousand of their volumes remaining
even to Augustus's time. They had a kind of plays too, in these early
times, derived from what they had seen of the Tuscan actors when sent
for to Rome to expiate a plague that raged in the city. These seem to
have been either like our dumb-shows, or else a kind of extempore
farces--a thing to this day a good deal in use all over Italy and in
Tuscany. In a more particular manner, add to these that extempore kind
of jesting dialogues begun at their harvest and vintage feasts, and
carried on so rudely and abusively afterwards as to occasion a very
severe law to restrain their licentiousness; and those lovers of poetry
and good eating, who seem to have attended the tables of the richer
sort, much like the old provincial poets, or our own British bards, and
sang there to some instrument of music the achievements of their
ancestors, and the noble deeds of those who had gone before them, to
inflame others to follow their great examples.

[Illustration: ANCIENT ROMAN SHOES.]




The names of almost all these poets sleep in peace with all their works;
and, if we may take the word of the other Roman writers of a better
age, it is no great loss to us. One of their best poets represents them
as very obscure and very contemptible; one of their best historians
avoids quoting them as too barbarous for politer ears; and one of their
most judicious emperors ordered the greatest part of their writings to
be burnt, that the world might be troubled with them no longer.

All these poets, therefore, may very well be dropped in the account,
there being nothing remaining of their works, and probably no merit to
be found in them if they had remained. And so we may date the beginning
of the Roman poetry from Livius Andronicus, the first of their poets of
whom anything does remain to us; and from whom the Romans themselves
seem to have dated the beginning of their poetry, even in the Augustan

[Illustration: ANCIENT ROMAN MILL.]

The first kind of poetry that was followed with any success among the
Romans, was that for the stage. They were a very religious people; and
stage plays in those times made no inconsiderable part in their public
devotions; it is hence, perhaps, that the greatest number of their
oldest poets, of whom we have any remains, and, indeed, almost all of
them, are dramatic poets.


* * * * *


[Illustration: Letter C.]

Caesar was endowed with every great and noble quality that could exalt
human nature, and give a man the ascendant in society. Formed to excel
in peace as well as war; provident in council; fearless in action, and
executing what he had resolved with an amazing celerity; generous beyond
measure to his friends; placable to his enemies; and for parts,
learning, and eloquence, scarce inferior to any man. His orations were
admired for two qualities, which are seldom found together, strength and
elegance: Cicero ranks him among the greatest orators that Rome ever
bred; and Quintilian says, that he spoke with the same force with which
he fought; and if he had devoted himself to the bar, would have been the
only man capable of rivalling Cicero. Nor was he a master only of the
politer arts; but conversant also with the most abstruse and critical
parts of learning; and, among other works which he published, addressed
two books to Cicero on the analogy of language, or the art of speaking
and writing correctly. He was a most liberal patron of wit and learning,
wheresoever they were found; and out of his love of those talents, would
readily pardon those who had employed them against himself; rightly
judging, that by making such men his friends, he should draw praises
from the same fountain from which he had been aspersed. His capital
passions were ambition and love of pleasure, which he indulged in their
turns to the greatest excess; yet the first was always predominant--to
which he could easily sacrifice all the charms of the second, and draw
pleasure even from toils and dangers, when they ministered to his glory.
For he thought Tyranny, as Cicero says, the greatest of goddesses; and
had frequently in his mouth a verse of Euripides, which expressed the
image of his soul, that if right and justice were ever to be violated,
they were to be violated for the sake of reigning. This was the chief
end and purpose of his life--the scheme that he had formed from his
early youth; so that, as Cato truly declared of him, he came with
sobriety and meditation to the subversion of the republic. He used to
say, that there were two things necessary to acquire and to support
power--soldiers and money; which yet depended mutually upon each other:
with money, therefore, he provided soldiers, and with soldiers extorted
money, and was, of all men, the most rapacious in plundering both
friends and foes; sparing neither prince, nor state, nor temple, nor
even private persons who were known to possess any share of treasure.
His great abilities would necessarily have made him one of the first
citizens of Rome; but, disdaining the condition of a subject, he could
never rest till he made himself a Monarch. In acting this last part, his
usual prudence seemed to fail him; as if the height to which he was
mounted had turned his head and made him giddy; for, by a vain
ostentation of his power, he destroyed the stability of it; and, as men
shorten life by living too fast, so by an intemperance of reigning he
brought his reign to a violent end.




* * * * *


It appeared to Alexander a matter of great importance, before he went
further, to gain the maritime powers. Upon application, the Kings of
Cyprus and Phoenicea made their submission; only Tyre held out. He
besieged that city seven months, during which time he erected vast
mounds of earth, plied it with his engines, and invested it on the side
next the sea with two hundred gallies. He had a dream in which he saw
Hercules offering him his hand from the wall, and inviting him to enter;
and many of the Tyrians dreamt "that Apollo declared he would go over to
Alexander, because he was displeased with their behaviour in the town,"
Hereupon, the Tyrians, as if the God had been a deserter taken in the
fact, loaded his statue with chains, and nailed the feet to the
pedestal, not scrupling to call him an _Alexandrist_. In another dream,
Alexander thought he saw a satyr playing before him at some distance,
and when he advanced to take him, the savage eluded his grasp. However,
at last, after much coaxing and taking many circuits round him, be
prevailed with him to surrender himself. The interpreters, plausibly
enough, divided the Greek name for _satyr_ into two, _Sa Tyros_, which
signifies _Tyre is thine_. They still show us a fountain near which
Alexander is said to have seen that vision.

[Illustration: CITY OF TYRE.]

About the middle of the siege, he made an excursion against the Arabians
who dwelt about Anti-Libanus. Here he ran a great risk of his life, on
account of his preceptor Lysimachus, who insisted on attending
him--being, as he alleged, neither older nor less valiant than Phoenix;
but when they came to the hills and quitted their horses to march up on
foot, the rest of the party got far before Alexander and Lysimachus.
Night came on, and, as the enemy was at no great distance, the King
would not leave his preceptor, borne down with fatigue and with the
weight of years. Therefore, while he was encouraging and helping him
forward, he was insensibly separated from the troop, and had a cold and
dark night to pass in an exposed and dismal situation. In this
perplexity, he observed at a distance a number of scattered fires which
the enemy had lighted; and depending upon his swiftness and activity as
well as being accustomed to extricate the Macedonians out of every
difficulty, by taking a share in the labour and danger, he ran to the
next fire. After having killed two of the barbarians who watched it, he
seized a lighted brand and hastened with it to his party, who soon
kindled a great fire. The sight of this so intimidated the enemy, that
many of them fled, and those who ventured to attack him were repulsed
with considerable slaughter. By this means he passed the night in
safety, according to the account we have from Charis.

[Illustration: COIN OF TYRE.]

As for the siege, it was brought to a termination in this manner:
Alexander had permitted his main body to repose themselves after the
long and severe fatigues they had undergone, and ordered only some small
parties to keep the Tyrians in play. In the meantime, Aristander, his
principal soothsayer, offered sacrifices; and one day, upon inspecting
the entrails of the victim, he boldly asserted among those around him
that the city would certainly be taken that month. As it happened to be
the last day of that month, his assertion was received with ridicule and
scorn. The King perceiving he was disconcerted, and making it a point to
bring the prophecies of his minister to completion, gave orders that the
day should not be called the 30th, but the 28th of the month; at the
same time he called out his forces by sound of trumpet, and made a much
more vigorous assault than he at first intended. The attack was violent,
and those who were left behind in the camp quitted it, to have a share
in it and to support their fellow-soldiers, insomuch that the Tyrians
were forced to give out, and the city was taken that very day.

LANGHORNE'S _Plutarch_.

* * * * *


[Illustration: Letter T.]

The river Niagara takes its rise in the western extremity of Lake Erie,
and, after flowing about thirty-four miles, empties itself into Lake
Ontario. It is from half a mile to three miles broad; its course is very
smooth, and its depth considerable. The sides above the cataract are
nearly level; but below the falls, the stream rushes between very lofty
rocks, crowned by gigantic trees. The great body of water does not fall
in one complete sheet, but is separated by islands, and forms three
distinct falls. One of these, called the Great Fall, or, from its shape,
the Horse-shoe Fall, is on the Canadian side. Its beauty is considered
to surpass that of the others, although its height is considerably less.
It is said to have a fall of 165 feet; and in the inn, which is about
300 yards from the fall, the concussion of air caused by this immense
cataract is so great, that the window-frames, and, indeed, the whole
house, are continually in a tremulous motion, and in winter, when the
wind drives the spray in the direction of the buildings, the whole scene
is coated with sheets of ice.

[Illustration: THE FALLS OF NIAGARA.]

The great cataract is seen by few travellers in its winter garb. I had
seen it several years before in all the glories of autumn, its
encircling woods, happily spared by the remorseless hatchet, and tinted
with the brilliant hues peculiar to the American "Fall." Now the glory
had departed; the woods were still there, but were generally black, with
occasional green pines; beneath the grey trunks was spread a thick
mantle of snow, and from the brown rocks inclosing the deep channel of
the Niagara River hung huge clusters of icicles, twenty feet in length,
like silver pipes of giant organs. The tumultuous rapids appeared to
descend more regularly than formerly over the steps which distinctly
extended across the wide river. The portions of the British, or
Horse-shoe Fall, where the waters descend in masses of snowy whiteness,
were unchanged by the season, except that vast sheets of ice and icicles
hung on their margin; but where the deep waves of sea-green water roll
majestically over the steep, large pieces of descending ice were
frequently descried on its surface. No rainbows were now observed on the
great vapour-cloud which shrouds for ever the bottom of the Fall; but we
were extremely fortunate to see now plainly what I had looked for in
vain at my last visit, the _water-rockets_, first described by Captain
Hall, which shot up with a train of vapour singly, and in flights of a
dozen, from the abyss near Table Rock, curved towards the east, and
burst and fell in front of the cataract. Vast masses of descending fluid
produce this singular effect, by means of condensed air acting on
portions of the vapour into which the water is comminuted below.
Altogether the appearance was most startling. It was observed at 1 P.M.
from the gallery of Mr. Barnett's museum. The broad sheet of the
American Fall presented the appearance of light-green water and feathery
spray, also margined by huge icicles. As in summer, the water rushing
from under the vapour-cloud of the two Falls was of a milky whiteness as
far as the ferry, when it became dark and interspersed with floating
masses of ice. Here, the year before, from the pieces of ice being
heaped and crushed together in great quantities, was formed a thick and
high bridge of ice, completely across the river, safe for passengers for
some time; and in the middle of it a Yankee speculator had erected a
shanty for refreshments. Lately, at a dinner party, I heard a
staff-officer of talent, but who was fond of exciting wonder by his
narratives, propose to the company a singular wager,--a bet of one
hundred pounds that he would go over the Falls of Niagara and come out
alive at the bottom! No one being inclined to take him up, after a good
deal of discussion as to how this perilous feat was to be accomplished,
the plan was disclosed. To place on Table Rock a crane, with a long arm
reaching over the water of the Horse-shoe Fall; from this arm would
hang, by a stout rope, a large bucket or cask; this would be taken up
some distance above the Fall, where the mill-race slowly glides towards
the cataract; here the adventurer would get into the cask, men stationed
on the Table Rock would haul in the slack of the rope as he descended,
and the crane would swing him clear from the cataract as he passed over.
Here is a chance for any gentleman sportsman to immortalize himself!


* * * * *



The Sloth, in its wild condition, spends its whole life on the trees,
and never leaves them but through force or accident; and, what is more
extraordinary, it lives not _upon_ the branches, like the squirrel and
the monkey, but _under_ them. Suspended from the branches, it moves, and
rests, and sleeps. So much of its anatomical structure as illustrates
this peculiarity it is necessary to state. The arm and fore-arm of the
sloth, taken together, are nearly twice the length of the hind legs; and
they are, both by their form and the manner in which they are joined to
the body, quite incapacitated from acting in a perpendicular direction,
or in supporting it upon the earth, as the bodies of other quadrupeds
are supported by their legs. Hence, if the animal be placed on the
floor, its belly touches the ground. The wrist and ankle are joined to
the fore-arm and leg in an oblique direction; so that the palm or sole,
instead of being directed downwards towards the surface of the ground,
as in other animals, is turned inward towards the body, in such a manner
that it is impossible for the sloth to place the sole of its foot flat
down upon a level surface. It is compelled, under such circumstances, to
rest upon the external edge of the foot. This, joined to other
peculiarities in the formation, render it impossible for sloths to walk
after the manner of ordinary quadrupeds; and it is indeed only on broken
ground, when he can lay hold of stones, roots of grass, &c., that he can
get along at all. He then extends his arms in all directions in search
of something to lay hold of; and when he has succeeded, he pulls himself
forward, and is then enabled to trail himself along in the exceedingly
awkward and tardy manner which has procured for him his name.

Mr. Waterton informs us that he kept a sloth for several months in his
room, in order to have an opportunity of observing his motions. If the
ground were rough he would pull himself forward in the manner described,
at a pretty good pace; and he invariably directed his course towards the
nearest tree. But if he was placed upon a smooth and well-trodden part
of the road, he appeared to be in much distress. Within doors, the
favourite position of this sloth was on the back of a chair; and after
getting all his legs in a line on the topmost part of it, he would hang
there for hours together, and often with a low and plaintive cry would
seem to invite the notice of his master. The sloth does not suspend
himself head downward, like the vampire bat, but when asleep he supports
himself from a branch parallel to the earth. He first seizes the branch
with one arm, and then with the other; after which he brings up both his
legs, one by one, to the same branch; so that, as in the Engraving, all
the four limbs are in a line. In this attitude the sloth has the power
of using the fore paw as a hand in conveying food to his mouth, which he
does with great address, retaining meanwhile a firm hold of the branch
with the other three paws. In all his operations the enormous claws with
which the sloth is provided are of indispensable service. They are so
sharp and crooked that they readily seize upon the smallest inequalities
in the bark of the trees and branches, among which the animal usually
resides, and also form very powerful weapons of defence.

The sloth has been said to confine himself to one tree until he has
completely stripped it of its leaves; but Mr. Waterton says, "During the
many years I have ranged the forests, I have never seen a tree in such a
state of nudity; indeed, I would hazard a conjecture, that, by the time
the animal had finished the last of the old leaves, there would be a new
crop on the part of the tree it had stripped first, ready for him to
begin again--so quick is the process of vegetation in these countries.
There is a saying among the Indians, that when the wind blows the sloth
begins to travel. In calm weather he remains tranquil, probably not
liking to cling to the brittle extremities of the branches, lest they
should break with him in passing from one tree to another; but as soon
as the wind arises, and the branches of the neighbouring trees become
interwoven, the sloth then seizes hold of them and travels at such a
good round pace, that any one seeing him, as I have done, pass from tree
to tree, would never think of calling him a sloth."

* * * * *


"The dividing ridge of the Sierra Nevada is in sight from this
encampment. Accompanied by Mr. Preuss, I ascended to-day the highest
peak to the right, from which we had a beautiful view of a mountain lake
at our feet, about 15 miles in length, and so entirely surrounded by
mountains that we could not discover an outlet. We had taken with us a
glass, but though we enjoyed an extended view, the valley was half
hidden in mist, as when we had seen it before. Snow could be
distinguished on the higher parts of the coast mountains; eastward, as
far as the eye could extend, it ranged over a terrible mass of broken
snowy mountains, fading off blue in the distance. The rock composing the
summit consists of a very coarse, dark, volcanic conglomerate: the lower
parts appeared to be of a very slatey structure. The highest trees were
a few scattered cedars and aspens. From the immediate foot of the peak
we were two hours in reaching the summit, and one hour and a quarter in
descending. The day had been very bright, still, and clear, and spring
seems to be advancing rapidly. While the sun is in the sky the snow
melts rapidly, and gushing springs cover the face of the mountain in all
the exposed places, but their surface freezes instantly with the
disappearance of the sun.

"The Indians of the Sierra make frequent descents upon the settlements
west of the Coast Range, which they keep constantly swept of horses;
among them are many who are called Christian Indians, being refugees
from Spanish missions. Several of these incursions occurred while we
were at Helvetia. Occasionally parties of soldiers follow them across
the Coast Range, but never enter the Sierra."


The party had not long before passed through a beautiful country. The
narrative says:--"During the earlier part of the day our ride had been
over a very level prairie, or rather a succession of long stretches of
prairie, separated by lines and groves of oak timber, growing along dry
gullies, which are tilled with water in seasons of rain; and perhaps,
also, by the melting snows. Over much of this extent the vegetation was
spare; the surface showing plainly the action of water, which, in the
season of flood, the Joaquin spreads over the valley. About one o'clock,
we came again among innumerable flowers; and, a few miles further,
fields of beautiful blue-flowering _lupine_, which seems to love the
neighbourhood of water, indicated that we were approaching a stream. We
here found this beautiful shrub in thickets, some of them being twelve
feet in height. Occasionally, three or four plants were clustered
together, forming a grand bouquet, about ninety feet in circumference,
and ten feet high; the whole summit covered with spikes of flowers, the
perfume of which is very sweet and grateful. A lover of natural beauty
can imagine with what pleasure we rode among these flowering groves,
which filled the air with a light and delicate fragrance. We continued
our road for about half a mile, interspersed through an open grove of
live oaks, which, in form, were the most symmetrical and beautiful we
had yet seen in this country. The ends of their branches rested on the
ground, forming somewhat more than a half sphere of very full and
regular figure, with leaves apparently smaller than usual. The
Californian poppy, of a rich orange colour, was numerous to-day. Elk and
several bands of antelope made their appearance. Our road now was one
continued enjoyment; and it was pleasant riding among this assemblage of
green pastures, with varied flowers and scattered groves, and, out of
the warm, green spring, to look at the rocky and snowy peaks where
lately we had suffered so much."

Again, in the Sierra Nevada:--"Our journey to-day was in the midst of an
advanced spring, whose green and floral beauty offered a delightful
contrast to the sandy valley we had just left. All the day snow was in
sight on the butt of the mountain, which frowned down upon us on the
right; but we beheld it now with feelings of pleasant security, as we
rode along between green trees and on flowers, with humming-birds and
other feathered friends of the traveller enlivening the serene spring
air. As we reached the summit of this beautiful pass, and obtained a
view into the eastern country, we saw at once that here was the place to
take leave of all such pleasant scenes as those around us. The distant
mountains were now bald rocks again; and, below, the land had any colour
but green. Taking into consideration the nature of the Sierra Nevada, we
found this pass an excellent one for horses; and, with a little labour,
or, perhaps, with a more perfect examination of the localities, it might
be made sufficiently practicable for waggons."

FREMONT'S _Travels_.

* * * * *


[Illustration: Letter W.]

We have but few European birds presenting more points of interest in
their history than the Grouse, a species peculiar to the northern and
temperate latitudes of the globe. Dense pine forests are the abode of
some; others frequent the wild tracts of heath-clad moorland, while the
patches of vegetation scattered among the rocky peaks of the mountains,
afford a congenial residence to others. Patient of cold, and protected
during the intense severities of winter by their thick plumage, they
give animation to the frozen solitude long after all other birds have
retired from the desolate scenery. Their food consists of the tender
shoots of pines, the seeds of plants, the berries of the arbutus and
bilberry, the buds of the birch and alder, the buds of the heather,
leaves, and grain. The nest is very simply constructed, consisting of
dried grasses placed upon the ground and sheltered among the herbage.

Two species of this bird, called forest grouse, are indigenous in
England: one is the black grouse, common in the pine woods of Scotland
and of the northern part of England, and elsewhere; the other is the
capercailzie or cock of the woods. Formerly, in Ireland, and still more
recently in Scotland, this noble bird, the most magnificent of the whole
of the grouse tribe, was abundant in the larger woods; but it gradually
disappeared, from the indiscriminate slaughter to which it was subject.
Selby informs us that the last individual of this species in Scotland
was killed about forty years ago, near Inverness. It still abounds in
the pine forests of Sweden and Norway, and an attempt has been made by
the Marquis of Breadalbane to re-introduce it into Scotland.

The red grouse, or moor grouse, is found in Scotland; and it is somewhat
singular that this beautiful bird should not be known on the Continent,
abundant as it is on the moorlands of Scotland, England, and Ireland.
The breeding season of the red grouse is very early in spring, and the
female deposits her eggs, eight or ten in number, in a high tuft of
heather. The eggs are peculiarly beautiful, of a rich brown colour,
spotted with black, and both herself and her mate attend the young with
great assiduity. The brood continue in company during the winter, and
often unite with other broods, forming large packs, which range the high
moorlands, being usually shy and difficult of approach. Various berries,
such as the cranberry, the bilberry, together with the tender shoots of
heath, constitute the food of this species. The plumage is a rich
colouring of chestnut, barred with black. The cock grouse in October is
a very handsome bird, with his bright red comb erected above his eyes,
and his fine brown plumage shining in the sun.

[Illustration: GROUSE.]

The ptarmigan grouse is not only a native of Scotland but of the higher
latitudes of continental Europe, and, perhaps, the changes of plumage in
none of the feathered races are more remarkable than those which the
ptarmigans undergo. Their full summer plumage is yellow, more or less
inclining to brown, beautifully barred with zig-zag lines of black.
Their winter dress is pure white, except that the outer tail-feathers,
the shafts of the quills, and a streak from the eye to the beak are
black. This singular change of plumage enables it, when the mountains
are covered with snow, to escape the observation of the eagle, Iceland
falcon, and the snowy owl: the feathers become much fuller, thicker, and
more downy; the bill is almost hidden, and the legs become so thickly
covered with hair-like feathers, as to resemble the legs of some
well-furred quadruped.

* * * * *


[Illustration: Letter P.]

Patmos affords one of the few exceptions which are to be found to the
general beauty and fertility of the islands of the Aegean Sea. Its
natural advantages, indeed, are very few, for the whole of the island is
little else than one continued rock, rising frequently into hills and
mountains. Its valleys are seldom susceptible of cultivation, and
scarcely ever reward it. Almost the only spot, indeed, in which it has
been attempted, is a small valley in the west, where the richer
inhabitants have a few gardens. On account of its stern and desolate
character, the island was used, under the Roman Empire, as a place of
banishment; and here the Apostle St. John, during the persecution of
Domitian, was banished, and wrote the book of the Revelations. The
island now bears the name of Patino and Palmosa, but a natural grotto in
the rock is still shown as the place where St. John resided. "In and
around it," says Mr. Turner, "the Greeks have dressed up one of their
tawdry churches; and on the same site is a school attached to the
church, in which a few children are taught reading and writing."

[Illustration: PATMOS.]

Patmos used to be a famous resort of pirates. Dr. Clarke, after
describing with enthusiasm the splendid scene which he witnessed in
passing by Patmos, with feelings naturally excited by all the
circumstances of local solemnity, and "the evening sun behind the
towering cliffs of Patmos, gilding the battlements of the Monastery of
the Apocalypse with its parting rays; the consecrated island, surrounded
by inexpressible brightness, seeming to float upon an abyss of fire,
while the moon, in milder splendour, was rising full over the opposite
expanse," proceeds to remark, "How very different were the reflections
caused upon leaving the deck, by observing a sailor with a lighted match
in his hand, and our captain busied in appointing an extraordinary watch
for the night, as a precaution against the pirates who swarm in these
seas." These wretches, as dastardly as they were cruel, the instant they
boarded a vessel, put every individual of the crew to death. They lurked
about the isle of Fouri, to the north of Patmos, in great numbers,
taking possession of bays and creeks the least frequented by other
mariners. After they had plundered a ship, they bored a hole through her
bottom, and took to their boats again. The knights of Malta were said to
be amongst the worst of these robbers. In the library of the Monastery,
which is built on the top of a mountain, and in the middle of the chief
town, may be seen bulls from two of the Popes, and a protection from the
Emperor Charles the Sixth, issued to protect the island from their

Though deficient in trees, Patmos now abounds in flowering plants and
shrubs. Walnuts and other fruit trees grow in the orchards; and the wine
of Patmos is the strongest and best flavoured of any in the Greek
islands. The view of Patmos from the highest point is said to be very
curious. The eye looks down on nothing but mountains below it; and the
excessive narrowness of the island, with the curious form of its coast,
have an extraordinary appearance.

* * * * *


[Illustration: Letter M.]

Memorable in the history of genius is the 23rd of April, as being at
once the day of the birth and death of Shakspeare; and these events took
place on the same spot, for at Stratford-upon-Avon this illustrious
dramatist was born, in the year 1564, and here he also died, in 1616. It
has been conjectured, that his first dramatic composition was produced
when he was but twenty-five years old. He continued to write for the
stage for a great number of years; occasionally, also, appearing as a
performer: and at length, having, by his exertions, secured a fortune of
two or three hundred a year, retired to his native town, where he
purchased a small estate, and spent the remainder of his days in ease
and honour.


When Washington Irving visited Stratford-upon-Avon, he was led to make
the following elegant reflections on the return of the poet to his early
home:--"He who has sought renown about the world, and has reaped a full
harvest of worldly favours, will find, after all, that there is no love,
no admiration, no applause, so sweet to the soul as that which springs
up in his native place. It is there that he seeks to be gathered in
peace and honour among his kindred and his early friends. And when the
weary heart and failing head begin to warn him that the evening of life
is drawing on, he turns as fondly as does the infant to the mother's
arms, to sink in sleep in the bosom of the scene of his childhood. How
would it have cheered the spirit of the youthful bard, when, wandering
forth in disgrace upon a doubtful world, he cast a heavy look upon his
pastoral home, could he have foreseen that, before many years, he should
return to it covered with renown; that his name should become the boast
and glory of his native place; that his ashes should be religiously
guarded as its most precious treasure; and that its lessening spire, on
which his eyes were fixed in tearful contemplation, should one day
become the beacon, towering amidst the gentle landscape, to guide the
literary pilgrim of every nation to his tomb!"

The accredited birth-place of Shakspeare has always been regarded with
great interest: it is situate in a street in Stratford, retaining its
ancient name of Henley, being the road to Henley-in-Arden. In 1574, here
stood two houses, with a garden and orchard attached to each; and these
houses were then purchased by John Shakspeare, whose son William was
born in one of them, which still remains, though altered according to
modern fashion. Its gable roofs are destroyed. Divided and subdivided
into smaller tenements, part was converted into a little inn; part, the
residence of a female who formerly showed the room where Shakspeare
first saw the light, and the low-roofed kitchen where his mother taught
him to read. The walls of the room in which he was born are literally
covered with thousands of names, inscribed in homage by pilgrims from
every region where the glory of Shakspeare is known. At the time when
Shakspeare's father bought this house, it was, no doubt, quite a
mansion, as compared with the majority of the houses in Stratford; but
he little guessed the fame that would attach itself to this birth-place
of his gifted son; long, we trust, to be preserved for the gratification
of future generations of visitors to the hallowed spot. Besides his
plays, Shakspeare was the author of several other poetical productions,
and especially of a collection of sonnets.


* * * * *



There hope in the Ark at the dawning of day,
When o'er the wide waters the Dove flew away;
But when ere the night she came wearily back
With the leaf she had pluck'd on her desolate track,
The children of Noah knelt down and adored,
And utter'd in anthems their praise to the Lord.
Oh bird of glad tidings! oh joy in our pain!
Beautiful Dove! thou art welcome again.

When peace has departed the care-stricken breast,
And the feet of the weary one languish for rest;
When the world is a wide-spreading ocean of grief,
How blest the return of the Bird and the Leaf!
Reliance on God is the Dove to our Ark,
And Peace is the olive she plucks in the dark.
The deluge abates, there is sun after rain--
Beautiful Dove! thou art welcome again!


[Illustration: SYRIAN DOVE.]

* * * * *


[Illustration: Letter T.]

There are several varieties of this venomous serpent, differing in point
of colour; and the aspic of Egypt, with which Cleopatra destroyed
herself, is said to be a very near ally to this species; but the true
cobra is entirely confined to India.

The danger which accompanies the bite of this reptile, its activity when
excited, the singularity of its form, and the gracefulness of its
action, combine to render it one of the most remarkable animals of the
class to which it belongs. When in its ordinary state of repose the neck
is of the same diameter as the head; but when surprised or irritated,
the skin expands laterally in a hood-like form, which is well known to
the inhabitants of India as the symptom of approaching danger.
Notwithstanding the fatal effects of the bite of these serpents, the
Indian jugglers are not deterred from capturing and taming them for
exhibition, which they do with singular adroitness, and with fearful
interest to the unpractised observer. They carry the reptiles from house
to house in a small round basket, from which they issue at the sound of
a sort of flute, and execute certain movements in cadence with the

The animal from which our Engraving was taken is now in the menagerie of
the Zoological Society in the Regent's Park, and is probably one of the
finest which has ever reached England alive.

The Indian mangouste is described to be the most deadly enemy of the
cobra di capello, and the battles between them have been frequently
described. The serpent, when aware of the approach of the mangouste,
rises on its tail, and with neck dilated, its head advanced, and eyes
staring, awaits with every look of rage and fear the attack of its foe.
The mangouste steals nearer and nearer, and creeping round, endeavours
to get an opportunity of springing on the serpent's back; and whenever
it misses its purpose and receives a bite, it runs perhaps some
distance, to eat the mangouste-grass, which is an antidote against the
poison: it then returns to the attack, in which it is commonly

The bite of the cobra di capello is not so immediately fatal as is
commonly supposed; fowls have been known to live two days after being
bitten, though they frequently die within half an hour. The snake never
bites while its hood is closed, and as long as this is not erected the
animal may be approached, and even handled with impunity; even when the
hood is spread, while the creature continues silent, there is no danger.
The fearful hiss is at once the signal of aggression and of peril.
Though the cobra is so deadly when under excitement, it is,
nevertheless, astonishing to see how readily it is appeased, even in
the highest state of exasperation, and this merely by the droning music
with which its exhibitors seem to charm it.

[Illustration: COBRA DI CAPELLO.]

The natives of India have a superstitious feeling with regard to this
snake; they conceive that it belongs to another world, and when it
appears in this, it is only as a visitor. In consequence of this notion
they always avoid killing it, if possible.

* * * * *


[Illustration: Letter P.]

Perhaps of all the localities of the Oregon territory so vividly
described in Captain Fremont's adventurous narrative, the Pyramid Lake,
visited on the homeward journey from the Dallas to the Missouri river,
is the most beautiful. The exploring party having reached a defile
between mountains descending rapidly about 2000 feet, saw, filling up
all the lower space, a sheet of green water some twenty miles broad. "It
broke upon our eyes," says the narrator, "like the ocean: the
neighbouring peaks rose high above us, and we ascended one of them to
obtain a better view. The waves were curling to the breeze, and their
dark green colour showed it to be a body of deep water. For a long time
we sat enjoying the view, for we had become fatigued with mountains, and
the free expanse of moving waves was very grateful. It was like a gem in
the mountains, which, from our position, seemed to enclose it almost
entirely. At the eastern end it communicated with the line of basins we
had left a few days since; and on the opposite side it swept a ridge of
snowy mountains, the foot of the great Sierra. We followed a broad
Indian trail or tract along the shore of the lake to the southward. For
a short space we had room enough in the bottom, but, after travelling a
short distance, the water swept the foot of the precipitous mountains,
the peaks of which are about 3000 feet above the lake. We afterwards
encamped on the shore, opposite a very remarkable rock in the lake,
which had attracted our attention for many miles. It rose according to
our estimation 600 feet above the level of the water, and, from the
point we viewed it, presented a pretty exact outline of the great
pyramid of Cheops. Like other rocks along the shore, it seemed to be
encrusted with calcareous cement. This striking feature suggested a name
for the lake, and I called it Pyramid Lake. Its elevation above the sea
is 4890 feet, being nearly 700 feet higher than the Great Salt Lake,
from which it lies nearly west." The position and elevation of Pyramid
Lake make it an object of geographical interest. It is the nearest lake
to the western river, as the Great Salt Lake is to the eastern river, of
the great basin which lies between the base of the Rocky Mountains and
the Sierra Nevada, and the extent and character of which it is so
desirable to know.

Many parts of the borders of this lake appear to be a favourite place of
encampment for the Indians, whose number in this country is estimated at
140,000. They retain, still unaltered, most of the features of the
savage character. They procure food almost solely by hunting; and to
surprise a hostile tribe, to massacre them with every exercise of savage
cruelty, and to carry off their scalps as trophies, is their highest
ambition. Their domestic behaviour, however, is orderly and peaceable;
and they seldom kill or rob a white man. Considerable attempts have been
made to civilize them, and with some success; but the moment that any
impulse has been given to war and hunting, they have instantly reverted
to their original habits.


* * * * *


Now came still evening on, and twilight grey
Had in her sober livery all things clad.
Silence accompanied: for beast and bird,
They to their grassy couch, these to their nests,
Were slunk--all but the wakeful nightingale:
She, all night long, her am'rous descant sung.
Silence was pleased. Now glow'd the firmament
With living sapphires: Hesperus, that led
The starry host, rode brightest; till the moon,
Rising in clouded majesty, at length,
Apparent queen, unveil'd her peerless light,
And o'er the dark her silver mantle threw--
When Adam thus to Eve: "Fair consort, the hour
Of night, and all things now retired to rest,
'Mind us of like repose: since God hath set
Labour and rest, as day and night, to men
Successive; and the timely dew of sleep,
Now falling with soft slumberous weight,
Inclines our eyelids."--


To whom thus Eve, with perfect beauty adorn'd:
"My author and disposer, what thou bidst
Unargued I obey. So God ordains.
With thee conversing I forget all time,
All seasons and their change: all please alike.
Sweet is the breath of morn--her rising sweet,
With charm of earliest birds; pleasant the sun,
When first on this delightful land he spreads
His orient beams on herb, tree, fruit, and flower,
Glistering with dew; fragrant the fertile earth
After short show'rs; and sweet the coming on
Of grateful evening mild--then silent night,
With this her solemn bird, and this fair moon,
And these the gems of heav'n, her starry train:
But neither breath of morn, when she ascends
With charm of earliest birds; nor rising sun
On this delightful land; nor herb, fruit, flower
Glistering with dew, nor fragrance after showers,
Nor grateful evening mild; nor silent night,
With this her solemn bird; nor walk by moon
Or glitt'ring starlight, without thee is sweet."--

Thus talking, hand in hand alone they pass'd
On to their blissful bower.

Thus at their shady lodge arrived, both stood,
Both turn'd, and under open sky adored
The God that made both sky, air, earth, and heaven,
Which they beheld, the moon's resplendent globe,
And starry pole. "Thou also madest the night,
Maker Omnipotent! and Thou the day,
Which we, in our appointed work employ'd,
Have finish'd; happy in our mutual help
And mutual love, the crown of all our bliss
Ordain'd by thee, and this delicious place,
For us too large, where thy abundance wants
Partakers, and uncropt, falls to the ground.
But Thou hast promised from us two a race
To fill the earth, who shall with us extol
Thy goodness infinite, both when we wake,
And when we seek, as now, thy gift of sleep."


* * * * *


[Illustration: Letter G.]

Goldsmith's poetry enjoys a calm and steady popularity. It inspires us,
indeed, with no admiration of daring design or of fertile invention; but
it presents within its narrow limits a distinct and unbroken view of
poetical delightfulness. His descriptions and sentiments have the pure
zest of nature. He is refined without false delicacy, and correct
without insipidity. Perhaps there is an intellectual composure in his
manner, which may, in some passages, be said to approach to the reserved

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