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MANY of the islands which stud the sea around the north and west coasts of Scotland, are remarkable for the stern grandeur of their precipitous cliffs. One might almost imagine that the surges of the mighty Atlantic, dashing against them for ages with unbroken fury, had underminded their solid foundations, and worn for themselves numerous passages, leaving only columnar rocks of vast height, detached from one another, though of similar formation and construction. Such a rock is the Holm of Noss, apparently severed from the Isle of Noss, from which it is about a hundred feet distant. Both the cliffs are of stupendous height, and far below in the narrow gorge, the raging sea boils and foams, so that the beholder can scarcely look down without horror. But stern necessity compels men to enterprises, from which the boldest would otherwise shrink. To obtain a scanty supply of coarse food for himself and family, the hardy inhabitant of the Orkneys dares even the terrors of the Holm of Noss. In a small boat, with a companion or two, he seeks the base of the cliff, and leaving them below, he fearlessly climbs the precipice, and gains the summit.
A thin stratum of earth is found on the top, into which he drives some strong stakes; and having decended and performed the same operation on the opposite cliff, he stretches a rope from one to the other, and tightly fastens it. On this rope a sort of basket, called a cradle, is made to traverse ; and the adventurous islander now commits himself to the frail car, and, suspended between sea and sky, hauls himself backward and forward by means of a line. And do you ask what prize can tempt man to incur such fearful hazard, lavish of his life? It is the eggs and young of a sea-bird called the Gannet, countless myriads of which lay their eggs and rear their progeny, wherever the surface presents a ledge sufficiently broad to hold them.
In some other situations the fowlers have recourse to a still more hazardous mode of procedure. The cliffs are sometimes twelve huudred feet in height, and fearfully over-hanging. If it is determined to proceed from above, the adventurer prepares a rope, made either of straw or hogs' bristles ; because these materials are less liable to be cut through by the sharpe edge of the rock. Having fastened the end of the rope round his body, he is lowered down by a few comrades at the top, to the depth of five or six hundred feet. He carries a large bag affixed to his waist, and a pole in his hand, and wears on his head a thick cap as a protection against the fragments of rock which the friction of the rope perpetually loosens: large masses, however, occasionally fall, and dash him to pieces.
Having arrived at the region of birds, he proceeds with the utmost coolness and address, placing his feet against a ledge, he will occasionally dart out many fathoms over the water, to obtain a better view of the crannies in which the birds are nestling, take in all the details at a glance, and again swing back into their haunts. He takes only the eggs and young, the old birds being too tough to be eaten. Caverns often occur in the perpendicular face of the rock, which are favourite resorts of the fowls; but the only way of getting at such situations is by disengaging himself from the rope, and either holding the end in his hand, while he collects his booty, or fastening it round some projecting corner. One of these daring men was accustomed to go alone on these expeditions ; supplying the want of confederates by firmly planting a stout iron bar in the earth, from which he lowered himself. One day, having found a cavern, he imprudently disengaged the rope from his body, and entered the cave with the end of it in his hand. In the eagerness of collecting, however, he slipped his hold of the rope, which immediately swung out several yards beyond his reach. The poor man was struck with horror! No soul was within hearing, nor was it possible to make his voice heard in such a position. Death seemed inevitable, for he felt his situation to be hopeless. He remained many hours in a state bordering on stupefaction, but at length he resolved to make one effort, which, if unsnccessful, must be fatal. The rope was swinging in the breeze, and altogether beyond his reach. Having however commended himself to the protection of Divine Providence, he rushed to the edge of the cave, and sprang with all his might into the air :-he grasped the pendulous rope, and was saved !
Who would suppose that the beautiful spot represented by Miss R. W. Hare's highly-finished and elaborate engraving above, was to be found in the dark recesses of the celebrated Black Gang Chine! This chine, or chasm is in the Isle of Wight, and is said to have received its name from being the resort of a notorious band of pirates called the “Black Gang; and it certainly seems well adapted for the strong-hold of such desperate adventurers. It is, altogether, a place which inspires the mind with horror. The sides of the chasm, which are little short of five hundred feet high, rise abruptly from their base, overhung in many places with trees and shrubs, presenting an awe-inspiring, but most romantic spectacle, not easily conceived by those who have never roved beyond
the gentle undulations of this eastern quarter of England.
On the summit rises a spring of medicinal quality. When the water is first poured into a bottle, it is as clear as crystal ; but after some time, it deposits a considerable sediment, which contains particles of iron-ore, and emits a sulphureous exhalation.
Ships have frequently experienced the destructive effects of the rocks that line Chale Bay. They lie just beneath the surface of the water, and in conjunction with the cape of Rocken-end, occasion in some states of the winds, very heavy swells. Not many years ago, during one tempestuous night, no fewer than fourteen sail were lost in this dangerous bay ; and scarcely a winter passes without some such melancholy accidents.
[In Original Poetry, the Name, real or assumed, of the Author, is printed in small Capitals under the title ; in Selections it is printed in Italics at the end.]
And thou, too, O! Prussia, for freedom
who fought, Say, must thy 2 sabre its lustre forego? That lesson to tyrants thine own Blucher
taught! Be remembered no more and forgot
Waterloo ? Soham.
2. Bright is the blade that for liberty strikes, But where is its lustre-for slavery drawn?
BY THE LATE MRS. MOODY.
On, on to the rescue, to succour--to save The valiant who struggle in liberty's
cause, Can Britain be deaf to the cries of the
brave? When tyranny threatens, can Albion
pause? Let Albion blush, and blush Gallia too,
(Ever rivals in power, as rivals in fame) Say, shall the cold blooded northern undo That which Vienna saw done in thy
name? Shall treaties be made to be broken at
will ? Oh! where is your boasted security
then, Yes, as it hath ever been, so is it still, What the sword can achieve is not
stay'd by the pen. KOSCIUSKO,-thy ashes are cold in the
grave, But oh! could thy spirit revive them
again, Again should the white flag' of liberty
wave, The cannon be heard on thy mountain
and plain, Brave Poland hath fallen! and histry
alone The deeds and the day of her glory
recalls, Warsaw hath wept the decline of her sun, The last 'shriek of freedom' i was heard
on her walls. Tho it slumber awhile, yet its spirit ne'er
dies, Nor shackles can bind it, nor tyranny
bow, And Poland, thy star shall hereafter arise More bright from the clouds that o'er
shadow it now. And Cracow—thy towers, if destin'd to
stand. Shall stand a memento of Austria's
shame, One spark is sufficient to kindle the
brand When lighted—then let her beware of
the flame. 1 Freedom shriek'd when KOSCIUSKO fell.
Passing shadow of the mind,
Written upon reviewing Soham Church
after a long absence.
Dim are the eyes that once were bright,
And furrow'd many a brow;
Lies cold and silent now!
With awe I gaz'd on that old church tower
Upraising its noble head; Standing alone as a giant power,
'Mid the silent homes of the dead ! And a thousand thoughts through my
mind flew fast
When my childish heart was gay.
Where once I lov'd to play ;
They were all to me unknown :Yet I felt a glow of strange delight,
As I wandered there alone.
The playmates dear of my early days,
Were scatter'd far away;
At the changes that here befall;
Such changes are seen by all.”
And check each grov’ling fear,
Of a pure and holier sphere,
When friendship’s ties are riv'n
OUR CHILDREN'S PAGE.
FACTS WORTH REMEMBERING.
Gold leaf can be reduced to the 300-thousandth part of an inch,
and gilding to the ten millionth. Silver leaf to the 170-thousandth part of an inch. Lace gilding is the millionth of an inch thick; gold leaf the 200
thousandth. One grain of gold will cover 71 inches each way;
or 52 square inches ; or be 1500 times thinner than writing paper. The earth is 24,869 miles in circumference; its diameter is 7,916
miles; its mean distance from the sun is 95 millions of
miles; from the moon, 240,000 miles. 880,000 miles, the diameter of the sun. 2,180 miles, the diameter of the moon. In a square foot there are 144
inches. In an acre of ground there are 4840 square yards.
I remember to have read in an old book, written by an Italian, a very singular matter relative to the laws of Athens, of which the Romans asked for a copy; and as I know of no other author who has spoken of it but him, I shall lay it before my readers as a curiosity.
He says, that the Roman Ambasadors being arrived at Athens, and having explained the subject of their deputation, the grand council assembled to deliberate whether they should agree with the request. After having examined the proposition, the judges resolved to send to Rome a wise and sensible man, to know whether the Romans were by their wisdom worthy of receiving the laws, which Solon had given to the people of Greece; but if the ambasador found them rude and ignorant, he was to bring them back without communicating them to the Romans.
This resolution of the grand council of Athens could not be so concealed, but that the Romans got knowledge of it. The senate found themselves very much embarrassed, as at that time Rome was not provided with philosophers capable of arguing with one of the wise men of Greece. The matter therefore to be considered, was by what means they should get over this difficulty. The senate could think of no better method than to oppose a madman to the Greek philosopher; and with this view, that if the madman should happen by chance to prevail, the honour of Rome would be so much the more glorious, as a mad Roman would in that case confound & Grecian philosopher; and, if the latter should triumph, Athens would derive but little honour in boasting of having closed the mouth of a madman at Rome.
The Athenian ambassador being arrived at Rome, he was let immediately to the capitol, and introduced into an apartment richly furnished, where was seated, in an elbow chair, a madman dressed in the habit of a senator, whom they had expressly ordered not to speak a word. At the same time, the Grecian philosopher was told that the senator was very learned, but that he was a man of few words.
The Athenian was then introduced and without speaking a word, lifted up one
finger of his hand. The madman, supposing this was a threatning signal to to pull out one of his eyes, and remembering that he was ordered not to speak, lified up three of his fingers, wishing to signify thereby, that if the Grecian should put out one of his eyes, he would put out both his, and strangle him with the third finger. The philosopher, in lifting up one of his fingers, wished to be understood, that there was but one Supreme Being, who directed everything; and believed that the three fingers the madman had lifted up implied, that with God the past, present, and future, were the same thing, and from thence concluded that he, who in fact was only a madman, was a great philosopher.
The Grecian sage then held his hand opened to the innocent man, meaning thereby, that nothing is concealed from God; but the madman, supposing this to be a sign that he meant to give him a slap on the face, clinched his fist fast, and shook it at the philosopher, wishing him thereby to understand, that, if he executed his threats, he would meet with
solute opposition, the Greek being already prepossessed in favour of the madman, conceived the meaning in a very differeut light, and concluded in himself, that the Romans meant, by a clinched fist, that God comprises all the universe in his hand. Judging from thence of the profound wisdom of the Romans, he granted them without any further enquiry the laws of Solon, according to their request.
Boast not thyself of tomorrow, for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth. For the same reason, despair not of to-morrow; it may bring forth good as well as evil. Vex not thyself with imaginary fears. The impending cloud which is regarded with so much dread, may pass by harmless ; or though it should discharge the storm, yet before it breaks, thou mayst be lodged in that lowly mansion which no storms ever touch.
THE velocity of the rays of light amounts to nearly two hundred thousand miles in a second of time, which is about a million times greater than the velocity of a cannon ball.