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Through them it flows back to the heart in a manner just the reverse of that in which it sets out; the minute veins unite in larger branches, the larger branches unite in still larger trunks, till the collected blood is at length poured into the heart through one opening.
The engine that works this curious machinery is the heart. The heart is composed of four cavities. Like other muscles, it has the power of contracting ; and when it contracts, the sides of its cavities are squeezed together, so as to force out any fluid the heart may at that moment contain. This purpose being effected the fibres relax, the heart once more becomes hollow, and as it dilates, the blood pours into the cavities from the large vein which brings it back to the heart. The next contraction forces the blood into the arteries, the quantity thus impelled being always equal to that which has just been received ; and thus this wonderful organ goes on, alternately contracting and dilating itself, four thousand times in an hour. Month after month, year after year, it goes on without weariness or interruption, conveying renewed strength to every part of the body. The two largest cavities of the heart, which send out the blood to the arteries, are called ventricles ; the two smallest, which receive it from the veins, auricles. All the arteries are furnished with valves that play easily forward, but admit not the blood to return to the heart.
In all this there is abundant evidence of wise contrivance. The blood in going out from the heart, is continually passing from wide tubes into those which are narrower; in coming back, it passes from narrow vessels into wider ; consequently the blood presses the sides of the arteries with greater force than it acts against the coats of the veins. To prevent any danger from this difference of pressure, the arteries are formed of much tougher and stronger materials than the veins. This is one difference between the two ; there is another still more strikingly illustrative of the care of the Great Artificer. As a wound in the arteries, through which the blood passes with such force from the heart, would be more dangerous than a wound in the veins, the arteries are defended, not only by their stronger texture, but by their more sheltered situation. They are deeply buried among the muscles, or they creep along grooves made for them in the bones. The under side of the ribs is sloped and furrowed, to allow these important tubes to pass along in safety ; and in the fingers, which are liable to so many casualties, the bones are hollowed out in the inside like a scoop. Along this channel the artery runs in such security, that you might cut your finger across to the bone without doing it any injury.
Mrs. Hack. 1. What does the arrangement of the 11. How many contractions and dilablood vessels in the human body resem. tations of the heart take place in an ble?
hour? 2. Describe the manner in which Lon- 12. Name the two larger and the two don is supplied with water.
smaller cavities of the heart. 3. Name the vessels which distribute 13. How is the blood prevented from the blood through the body.
flowing back through the arteries ? 4. What may the citizens of London do 14. What provision is made against the with the water if they please?
arteries being burst by the pressure of 5. May we waste the blood, the precious the blood ? fluid, and why not?
15. Whether would a wound in an ar6. What office do the veins fulfil? tery or a vein be the more dangerous ?
7. Do the arteries increase or diminish 16. How are the arteries placed in the in size from the heart to the extremities ? muscles, in the ribs, and in the fingers ?
8. Point out the difference between the 17. Are not the wisdom and goodness arteries and the veins in this respect. of God strikingly manifested in all these
9. Describe the heart, and show in what arrangements ? way it sends the blood out.
18. Repeat to me the words of Psalm 10. How is the blood received back into cxxxix. 13th and 14th, the heart?
THE BURNING OF MOSCOW, 1812.
E-qui-noc'tial, adj.......æquus, nox.
S archos, tek Lux-u'ri-ous-ly, adv. ...luxus.
ton. In-ac-ces'si-ble, adj.....ceděre. Me-trop'o-lis, N. ........
. Com-bus'ti-bles, n........
..urěre. Pan-de-mo'ni-um, n.....pan, daimon
On the 14th September, 1812, while the rear-guard of the Russians were in the act of evacuating Moscow, Napoleon reached the hill called the Mount of Salvation, because it is there where the natives kneel and cross themselves at first sight of the Holy City.
Moscow seemed lordly and striking as ever, with the steeples of its thirty churches, and its copper domes glittering in the sun ; its palaces of Eastern architecture mingled with trees, and surrounded with gardens ; and its Kremlin, a huge triangular mass of towers, something between a palace and a castle, which rose like a citadel out of the general mass of groves and buildings. But not a chimney sent up smoke, not a man appeared on the battlements, or at the gates. Napoleon gazed every moment, expecting to see a train of bearded boyards arriving to fling themselves at his feet, and place their wealth at his disposal. His first exclamation was, “ Behold at last that celebrated city!"His next, “ It was full time.” His army, less regardful of the past or the future, fixed their eyes on the goal of their wishes, and a shout of “ Moscow !—Moscow !"-passed from rank to rank.
When he entered the gates of Moscow, Buonaparte, as if unwilling to encounter the sight of the empty streets, stopt immediately on entering the first suburb. His troops were quartered in the desolate city. During the first few hours after their arrival, an obscure rumour, which could not be traced, but one of those which are sometimes found to get abroad before the approach of some awful certainty, announced that the city would be endangered by fire in the course of the night. The report seemed to arise from those evident circumstances which rendered the event probable, but no one took any notice of it, until at midnight, when the soldiers were startled from their quarters by the report that the town was in flames. The memorable conflagration began amongst the coachmakers' warehouses and workshops in the Bazaar, or general market, which was the most rich district of the city. It was imputed to accident, and the progress of the flames was subdued by the exertions of the French soldiers. Napoleon, who had been roused by the tumult, hurried to the spot, and when the alarm seemed at an end, he retired, not to his former quarters in the suburbs, but to the Kremlin, the hereditary palace of the only sovereign whom he had ever treated as an equal, and over whom his successful arms had now attained such an apparently immense superiority, Yet he did not suffer himself to be dazzled by the advantage he had obtained, but availed himself of the light of the blazing Bazaar, to write to the Emperor proposals of peace with his own hand. They were dispatched by a Russian officer of rank, who had been disabled by indisposition from following the army. But no answer was ever returned.
Next day the flames had disappeared, and the French officers luxuriously employed themselves in selecting out of the deserted palaces of Moscow, that which best pleased the fancy of each for his residence. At night the flames again
arose in the north and west quarters of the city. As the greater part of the houses were built of wood, the conflagration spread with the most dreadful rapidity. This was at first imputed to the blazing brands and sparkles which were carried by the wind ; but at length it was observed, that, as often as the wind changed, and it changed three times in that terrible night, new flames broke always forth in that direction, where the existing gale was calculated to direct them on the Kremlin. These horrors were increased by the chance of explosion. There was, though as yet unknown to the French, a magazine of powder in the Kremlin ;. besides that a park of artillery, with its ammunition, was drawn up under the Emperor's window. Morning came, and with it a dreadful scene. During the whole night, the metropolis had glared with an untimely and unnatural light. It was now covered with a thick and suffocating atmosphere, of almost palpable smoke. The flames defied the efforts of the French soldiery ; and it is said that the fountains of the city had been rendered inaccessible, the water-pipes cut, and the fire-engines destroyed or carried off.
Then came the reports of fire-balls having been found burning in deserted houses ; of men and women, that like demons, had been seen openly spreading the flames, and who were said to be furnished with combustibles for rendering their dreadful work more secure. Several wretches against whom such acts had been charged, were seized
upon, and, probably without much inquiry, were shot on the spot. While it was almost impossible to keep the roof of the Kremlin clear of the burning brands which showered down the wind, Napoleon watched from the windows the course of the fire which devoured his fair conquest, and the exclamation burst from him, “ These are indeed Scythians!”
The equinoctial gales rose higher and higher upon the third night, and extended the flames, with which there was no longer any human power of contending. At the dead hour of midnight, the Kremlin itself was found to be on fire. A soldier of the Russian police, chiarged with being the incendiary, was turned over to the summary vengeance of the Imperial Guard. Buonaparte, was then, at length, persuaded, by the entreaties of all around him, to relinquish his quarters in the Kremlin, to which, as the visible mark of his conquest, he had seemed to cling with the tenacity of a lion holding a fragment of his prey. He encountered both difficulty and danger in retiring from the palace, and before he could gain the city-gate, he had to traverse with his suite streets arched with fire, and in which the very air they breathed was suffocating. At length, he gained the open country, and took up his abode in a palace of the Czar's called Petrowsky, about a French league from the city. As he looked back on the fire, which, under the influence of the autumnal wind, swelled and surged round the Kremlin, like an infernal ocean around a sable Pandemonium, he could not suppress the ominous expression, “ This bodes us great misfortune.”
The fire continued to triumph unopposed, and consumed in a few days what it had cost centuries to raise. Palaces and temples," says a Russian author, “monuments of art, and miracles of luxury, the remains of ages which had past way, and those which had been the creation of yesterday ; the tombs of ancestors, and the nursery-cradles of the present generation, were indiscriminately destroyed. Nothing was left of Moscow save the remembrance of the city, and the deep resolution to avenge its fall."
The fire raged till the 19th with unabated violence, and then began to slacken for want of fuel. It is said, fourfifths of this great city were laid in ruins.
Scott's Life of Buonaparte.
1. When did the French enter MosCow?
2. Describe the city, as seen from the Mount of Salvation.
3. What is the Kremlin ?
5. What was Napoleon's exclamation on entering it?
6. What fearful rumour was spread about, shortly after their arrival ?
7. In what quarter of the city did the fire begin ?
8. What did Napoleon do on being roused by the cry of tire?
9. What did Buonaparte write by the light of the blazing bazaar?
10. Did the French soldiers succeed in putting out the fire at first?
11. What happened again, the second night?
12. Of hat material was the greater part of the houses built ?
13. On the wind changing where was the fire seen to break forth?
14. What was the probable intention of directing the fire on the Kremlin ?
15. Describe the city when daylight appeared.
16. What had been done to prevent the soldiers from extinguishing the flames ?
17. What reports were brought to the Emperor's ears ?
18. What did he say when watching the fire at the palace window?
19. What was the state of matters on the third night?
20. What dangers did Napoleon meet on leaving the city, and where took he up his abode ?
i Napoleon entered Russia June 24th, 1812, with an immense host, numbering half-a-million of men. Of this great army it has been calculated that 125,000 perished in battle, 132,000 died of fatigue, hunger, and cold, during their retreat after the burning of Moscow, and 193,000 were taken prisoners, including 48 generals and 3000 inferior officers,