Page images

The pow

tion. That which was before sown, begins now to discover signs of successful vegetation. The labourer observes the change, and anticipates the harvest; he watches the progress of nature, and smiles at her influence; while the man of contemplation walks forth with the evening, amidst the fragrance of flowers, and promises of plenty; nor returns to his cottage till darkness closes the scene upon his eye.

4. Then cometh the harvest, when the large wish is satisfied, and the granariesk of nature are loaded

with the means of life, even to a luxury of abundance. ers of language are unequal to the description of this happy season. It is the carnivall of nature: sun and shade, coolness and quietude," cheerfulness and melody, love and gratitude, unite to render every scene of summer delightful.

5. The division of light and darkness is one of the kindest efforts of Omnipotent Wisdom. Day and night yield us contrary blessings; and, at the same time, assist each other, by giving fresh lustre to the delights of both. Amidst the glare of day, and bustle of life, how could we sleep? Amidst the gloom of darkness, how could we labour?

6. How wise, how benignant," then, is the proper division! The hours of light are adaptedo to activity: and those of darkness, to rest. Ere the day is passed, exercise and nature prepare us for the pillow; and by the time that the morning returns, we are again able to meet it with a smile. Thus, every season has a charm peculiar to itself; and every moment affords some interesting innovation,



SECTION II. a Dis-charge, dis-tshårje', to vent,je Cat-a-ract, kåt'-a-råkt, a fall of

release, an explosion, a vent, a release.

f Ob-sta-cle, ob'-stå-kl, hindrance, 6 Per-pen-dic-u-lar, pêr-pên-diki-u-bar, let. lår, crossing at right angles. & Tre-men-dous,

tre-men'-důs, c Rap-id, rap-1d, quick, swift, vio dreadful, horrible. lent.

Ih Fu-ry, fa'-re, madness, rage. -d Ledge, lédje, a ridge rising above i U-nite, yd-nite', to join, to con. the rest,

The cataract of Niagara, in Canada, North-America. 1. This amazing fall of water is made by the river St Lawrence in its passage from lake Erie into the lake On


tario. The St. Lawrence is one of the largest rivers in the world; and yet the whole of its waters is dischargeda in this place, by a fall of a hundred and fifty feet perpendicular. It is not easy to bring the imagination to correspond to the greatness of the scene.

2. A river extremely deep and rapid, and that serves to drain the waters of almost all North America into the Atlantic Ocean, is here poured pecipitately down a ledged of rocks, that rises, like a wall, across the whole bed of its stream. The river, a little above, is near three quarters of a mile broad; and the rocks, where it grows narrower, are four hundred yards over.

3. Their direction is not straight across, but hollowing inwards like a horse-shoe: so that the cataract, which bends to the shape of the obstacle, rounding inwards, presents a kind of theatre the most tremendouss in nature, Just in the middle of this circular wall of waters, a little island, that has braved the fury of the current, presents one of its points and divides the stream at top into two parts; but they unite again, long before they reach the bottom.

4. The noise of the fall is heard at the distance of seyeral leagues; and the fury of the waters, at the termination of their fall is inconceivable. The dashing produces a mist that rises to the very clouds; and which forms a most beautiful rainbow, when the sun shines. It will be readily supposed, that such a cataract entirely destroys the navigation of the stream: and yet some Indians in their canoes, it is said, have ventured down it with safety.


SECTION III. a Sub-ter-ra-ne-ous, s'b-tér-ra-nezh Yawn, yảwn, to gape, to opc ůs, lying under the earth.

wide. 6 Grot-to, grðt'-to, a cavern made i Re-press, re-prés', to crush, sul for coolness.

due. c In-crus-ta-tion, in-krůs-ta'-shủn, k Ig-no-rant, ig'-nd-rånt,uninstruc the act of incrusting;

ed, rude. d Cel-e-brate, sėl'-e-brate, to praise,1 Con-cre-tion, kön-kré'-shún, coa commend.

ition, a union of particles. e Mag-ni, måg'-ni, an Italian trav-m In-cite,in-site ,to stir up, animatc. eller.

n Spar, spår, a small beam, bar. f Gi-gan-tick, jl-gån’-tik, bulky,lo Pet-ri-fy, pét -tre-fi, to change to

stone & Con-sul, kðn'-sol, an officer 'sent p Re-cede, ré-séed', to retreat, des

to foreign parts to manage trade. I sist, fall back.


9 Per-spec-tive, pêr-spék'-tiv, aju Ap-er-ture, ap'-år-tshůre, a passcene, a view.

sage into, an open place. ✓ Res-er-voir, réz-er-vwòr', a place v Anx-ious-ly, ank'-shus-le, solicit

where any thing is kept in store. ously, inquietly. • Quash, kwôsh, to crush, to make w Cau-tious-ly, kaw'-shús-lė,watch a noise,

fully. t Flam-beau, ilåm'-bò, a lighted a Ex-pe-dite, éks-pè-dite, to hastorch.

ten, quicken. The grotto of Antiparos. 1. Of all the subterraneousa caverns now known, the grottob of Antiparos is the most remarkable, as well for its extent, as for the beauty of its sparry incrustations. This celebratedd cavern was first explored by one Magni, an Italian traveller, about one hundred years ago, at Antipal'os, an inconsiderable island of the Archipelago.

2. “Having been informed,” says he, by the natives of Paros, that, in the little island of Antiparos, which lies about two miles from the former, a gigantick' statue was to be seen at the mouth of a cavern in that place, it was resolved, that we, (the French consul: and myself) should pay it a visit. In pursuance of this resolution, after we had landed on the island, and walked about four miles through the midst of beautiful plains, and sloping woodlands, we at length came to a little hill, on the side of which yawnedh a most horrid cavern, that, by its gloom, at first struck us with terrour, and almost repressedi curiosity.

Recovering the first surprise, however, we entered holdly; and had not proceeded above twenty paces, when the supposed statue of the giant presented itself to our view. We quickly perceived, that what the ignorantk natives had been terrified at as a giant, was nothing more than a sparry concretion,' formed by the water dropping from the roof of the cave, and by degrees hardening into a figure, which their fears had formed into a monster.

4. “Incitedm by this extraordinary appearance, we were induced to proceed still further, in quest of new adventures in this subterranean abode. As we proceeded, new wonders offered themselves; the spars,"

. formed into trees and shrubs, presented a kind of petrifiedo grove; some white, some green; and all receding' in due perspective, They struck us with the more amazement, as we knew them to be mere productions of nature, who, hitherto in solitude, bad, in her playful moments, dressed the scene, as if for her own amusement.

[ocr errors]

5. “We had as yet seen but a few of the wonders of the place; and we were introduced only into the portico of this amazing temple. In one corner of this half illuminated recess, there appeared an opening of about three feet wide, which seemed to lead to a place totally dark, and which one of the natives assured us contained nothing more than a reservoir" of water. Upon this information, we made an experiment, by throwing down some stones, vihich rumbling along the sides of the descent for some time, the sound

seemed at last quashed in a bed of water. 6. “ In order, however, to be more certain, we sent in a Levantinė mariner, who, by the promise of a good reward, ventured, with a flambeau' in his hand, into this narrow aperture. After continuing within it for about a quarter of an hour, he returned, bearing in his hand, some beautiful pieces of white spar, which art could neither equal nor imitate. Upon being informed by him that the place was full of these beautiful incrustations, I ventured in once more with him, about fifty paces, anxiously' and cautiously descending, by a steep and dangerous way.

7. "Finding, however, that we came to å precipice which led into a spacious amphitheatre, (if I may so call it,) still deeper than any other part, we returned, and being provided with a ladder, flambeau, and other things to expediteour descent, our whole company, man by man, ventured into the same opening; and descending one after another, we at last saw ourselves all together in the most magnificent part of the cavern."

SECTION IV. a Glit-ter-ing, glit’-túr-ing, shiningi tir, a building in a circular or oval brightly

form, having its area encompassed 0 Trans-pa-rent, tråns-på'-rent, with rows of seats one above anclear, translucent.

other. c Col-umn, kol -Iům, a pillar, file k Pres-sure, présh-shåre, force, opof troops.

pression. d Throne, throne, the seat of a king. ? Crys-ial, kris'-tål, a hard pelucid e Al-tar, ál'-túr, the place where 01- stone.

ferings to heaven are laid. m E-gress, d'-grés, the act of going f Re-ver-ber-a-tion, ré-vềr-bér-d'

shin, the act of driving back, orn In-scrip-tion, in-skrip'-shủn,somesounding back.

thing written or engraved', a title. g Ven-ture, vén -tshůre, to hazard,o Ob-lit-er-ate, ob-lit-tér-rate,to efa chance.

face, blot out. h Mar-in-er, mår'-rin-úr, a seaman, p Pen-e-trate, pen'-ne-trato, a sailor.

pierce the surface. s Am-phi-the-a-tre, ám-phe-the-a.!


The grotto of Antiparos, continued. 1. “Our candles being now all lighted up, and the whole place completely illuminated, never could the eye be presented with a more glittering,” or a more magnificent scene. The whole roof hung with solid icicles, transparents as glass, yet solid as marble. The eye could scarcely reach the lofty and noble ceiling; the sides were regularly formed with spars; and the whole presented the idea of a magnificent theatre, illuminated with an immense profusion of lights.

2. “ The floor consisted of solid marble; and, in several places, magnificent columns, thrones,altars, and other objects, appeared, as if nature had designed to mock the curiosities of art. Our voices, upon speaking or singing, were redoubled to an astonishing loudness; and upon the firing of a gun, the noise and the reverberations were almost deafening.

3. “ In the midst of this grand amphitheatre rose a concretion of about fifteen feet high, that, in some measure, resembled an altar; from which, taking the hint, we caused mass to be celebrated there. The beautiful columns that shot

up round the altar, appeared like candlesticks; and many other natural objects represented the customary ornaments of this rite.

4. “Below even this spacious grotto, there seemed another cavern; down which I venturedó with my former mariner, and descended about fifty paces by means of -a rope. I at last arrived at a small spot of level ground, where the bottom appeared different from that of the amphitheatre, being composed of soft clay, yielding to the pressure, and in which I thrust a stick to the depth of six feet. In this, however, as above, numbers of the most beautiful crystals' were formed; one of which, particularly, resembled a table.

5. Upon our egress" from this amazing cavern, we perceived a Greek inscription" upon a rock at the mouth, but so obliteratedo by tine, that we could not read it distinctly. It seemed to import, that one Antipater, in the time of Alexander, had come bither; but whether he

penetratedp into the depths of the cavern, he does not think fit to inform us.”This account of so beautiful and striking a scene, may serve to give us some idea of the subterraneous wonders of nature.


« PreviousContinue »