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of those they attack; that after a bite from either of these serpents, no man could exist longer than fifteen minutes, and that there was no remedy for any but thosc who were endowed by the Almighty with power to charm and manage them ; and that he and his associates were of that favoured number.
Two young Greeks were kneeling at the feet of a statue of Minerva, in her temple, at Athens, one was from Megara, the other an Athenian. The first said : “ Powerful goddess, grant me 'the riches which I am destitute of, and which all Megarians desire ; I wish to be happy by thy benefits alone." The Athenian heard this prayer, and made his in the following
“O! Minerva ! I am not rich but I shall acconnt myself so, and I have nothing farther to desire, if thou deignest to grant me the most precious of all gifts, wisdom, virtue, and health.” The goddess smiled, as if to say, “ You both deserve to be heard."
The covetous Megarian learned with joy, the moment that he left the temple, that a rich inheritance had just fallen to him. What is acquired suddenly, and without labour, is seldom long preserved, the young heir forgot his own country and went to display his luxury at Athens. He abandoned himself to his pleasures, and shortly dissipated all his fortune. The wise Athenian continued to attend the school of Zeno, and arrived at the first offices of the republic.
He one day, at the temple, met the Megarian, abandoned by his parasites, and begging his bread. He blamed himself too late for his rash prayer, and the judge did not refuse his assistance to a repentant wretch. He had seen him in his state of opulence and gaiety without envy; he could not see him in grief and indigence without compassion. He afforded him assistance, but he had asked for wisdom, 'virtue and health ; and he added ; O! great goddess, may these happy gifts be the eternal inheritance of my children and fellow citizens. Minerva reign over Athens with philosophy and the arts of peace, and may our enemies offer their incense to Fortune, the blind deity of blind mortals.
tot tos In visiting Alexandria, what most engages the attention of travellers is the pillar of Pompey, as it is commoly called, situated at a quarter of a league from the southern gate. It is composed of red granite. The capital is Corinthian, with palm leaves, and not intented, It is nine feet high. The shaft and the upper member of the base are of one piece ninety feet long, and nine in diameter. The base is a square of about fifteen feet on each side. This block of marble, sixty feet in circumference, rests on two layers of stone bound together with lead ; which however, has not prevented the Arabs from forcing out several of them, to search for an imaginary treasure. The whole column is one hundred and fourteen feet high. It is perfectly polished, and only a little shivered on the eastern side. Nothing can equal the majesty of this monument; seen from a distance, it overtops the towu, and serves as a signal for véssels. Approaching it nearer, it produces an astonishment mixed with awe. One can never be tired with admiring the beauty of the capital, the length of the shaft, nor, the extraordinary simplicity of the pedestal. This last has been somewhat damaged by the instruments of travellers, who are curious to possess a relic of this antiquity; and one of the volutes of the column was prematurely brought down twelve years ago, by, a prank, of some English captains, which is thus related by Mr Irwin.,i! ..". These jolly sons of Neptune had been pushing about the can on board one i of the ships in the harbour, until a strange freak entered into one of their brains. The eccentricity of the thought occasioned it inmediately to be adopted ; and its apparent impossibility was but a spur for the putting it into execution. The boat was ordered ; and with proper implements for the attempt, these enterprising heroes pushed ashore to drink a bowl of punch on the top of Pompey's Pillar! At the spot they arrived ; and many contrivances were proposed to accomplish the desired point. But they were vain; and they began to despair of success, when the genius who struck out the frolic happily suggested the means of performing it. A man was dispatched to the city for a paper kite. The inhabitants were by this time apprised of what was going forward, and flocked in crowds to witness the address and boldness of the English. The governor of Alexandria was told that those seamen were about to pull down Pompey's Pillar. But whether he gave them credit for their respect to the Roman warrior, or to the Turkish government, he left them to themselves, and politely answered, that the English were too great patriots to' injure the remains of Pompey. He knew little, however, of the disposition of the people who were engaged in this undertaking. Had the Turkish empire risen in opposition, it would not at that moment have deterred' them. The kite was brought, and flown so directly over the Pillar, that when it fell on the other side, the string lodged upon the capital. The chief obstacle was now overcome. A two inch-rope was tied to one end of the string, and drawn over the pillar by the end to which the kite was affixed. By this rope one of the seamen ascended to the top; and in less than an hour a kind of shroud was constructed, by which the whole company went up, and drank their punch amid the shouts of the astonished multitude. To the eye below, the capital of the pillar does not appear capable of holding more than one man upon it ; but our seamen found it would contain no less than eight persons very conveniently. It is astonishing that no accident befel these madcaps, in a situation so elevated, that would have turned a land-man giddy in his sober senses.
The only detriment which the pillar received was the loss of the voluté before mentioned, which came down with a thuddering sound, and was carried to England by one of the captains, as a present to a lady who had commissioned him for a piece of the pillar. The discovery which they made amply compensated for this mischief ; as without their evidence, the world would not have known at this hour that there was originally a statue on this pillar, one foot and ancle of which are still remaining. The státue must have been of a'gigantic size, to have appeared of a man's proportion'at so great a height.
There are circumstances in this story which might give it an air of fiction, were it not demonstrated beyond all doubt. Besides the testimonies of many eye-witnesses, the adventurers themselves have left us. a token of the fact, by the initials of their names, which are very legible in black paint just beneath the capital."
COMPLAINT OF THE DYING YEAR.*
Reclining on a couch of fallen leaves, wrapped in a fleecy mantle, with withered limbs, hoarse voice, and snowy beard, appears a venerable old man. His pulse beats feebly, his breath becomes shorter ; he exhibits every mark of approaching dissolution.
This is old Eighteen Hundred and Seventeen ; and as every class of readers must remember him a young man, as rosy and blithesome as themselves, they will, perhaps, feel interested in hearing some of his dying expressions, with a few particulars of his past life. His existence is still likely to be prolonged a few days by the presence of his daughter December, the last and sole survivor of his twelve fair children ; but it is thought the father and daughter will expire together. The following are some of the expressions which have been taken down as they fell from his dying lips.
“ I am,” said he, “the son of old father Time, and the last of a numerous progeny; for he has had not less than five thousand eight hundred and seventeen of us; but it has ever been his fate to see one child expire befor another was born. It is the opinion of some, that his own constitution is beginning to break up, and that when he has given birth to a hundred or two more of us, his family will be complete, and then he himself will be no
Here the Old Year called for his account book, and turned over the pages with a sorrowful eye. He has kept, it appears, an accurate account of the moments, minutes, hours, and months which he has issued, subjoined, in some places, memorandums 'of the uses to which they have been applied, and of the losses he has sustained. These particulars it would be tedious to detail, and perhaps the recollection of the reader may furnish them as well or better. But we must notice one circumstance ; upon turning to a certain page in his accounts, the old man was much affected, and the tears streamed down his furrowed cheeks as he examined it. This was the register of the forty-eight Sundays which he had issued ; and which, of all the wealth he had to dispose of, has been, it appears, the most scandalously wasted. “These," said he, “were my most precious gifts. I had but fifty-two of them to bestow. Alas! how lightly have they been esteemed !”. Here, upon referring back to certain old memorandums, he found a long list of vows and resolutions, which had à particular reference to these fifty-two Sundays. This, with a mingled emotion of grief and anger, he' tore into a hundred pieces, and threw them on the embers, by which he was endeavouring to warm his shivering limbs.
* This pleasing allegory first appeared in the “Edinburgh Star," and was written, we believe, by the Rev. Dr. Henderson, the well-known Missionary, and author of Travels in Iceland.
“I feel, however," said he, “ more pity than indignation towards these offenders, since they were far greater enemies to themselves than to me. But there are a few outrageous ones, by whom I have been defrauded of so much of my substance, that it is difficult to think of them with patience, particularly that notorious thief Procrastination, of whom every body has heard, and who is well known to have wronged my venerable father of much of his property. There are also three noted ruffians, Sleep, Sloth, and Pleasure, from whom I have suffered much; besides a certain busy-body called Dress, who, under pretence of making the most of me, and taking great care of me, steals away more of my gifts than any two of them.
• As for me, all must acknowledge that I have performed my part towards my friends and foes. I have fulfilled my utmost promise, and been more bountiful than many predecessors. My twelve fair children have, each in their türn, aided my exertions ; aud their various tastes and dispositions have all conduced to the general good. Mild February, who sprinkled the naked boughs with delicate buds, and brought her wonted offering of early flowers, was not of more essential service than that rude blustering boy, March, who, though violent in his temper, was wellintentioned and useful.-April, a gentle tender-hearted girl, wept for his loss, yet cheered me with many a smile.
June came crowned with roses, and sparkling in sunbeams, and laid up a store of costly ornaments for her luxuriant successors. But I cannot stop to enumerate the good qualities and graces of all my children. You, my poor December, dark in your complexion, and cold in your temper, greatly resemble my
first-born January, with this difference, that he was most prone to anticipation, and you to reflection.
“If there should be any, who, upon hearing my dying lamentation, may feel regret that they have not treated me more kindly, I would beg leave to hint, that it is yet in their power to make some compensation for their past conduct, by rendering me, during my few remaining days, as much service as is in their power ; let them testify the sincerity of their sorrow by an immediate alteration in their behaviour. It would give particular pleasure to see my only surviving child treated with respect : let no' one slight her offerings ; she has a considerable part of my