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God ignorantly. When the people are kept in ignorance of the right principles of their belief it is easy to conceive how they are deceived in the notions which they are directed to form of the Godhead."
The monasteries are now uninhabited, the religious orders in Portugal, as well as in Spain, having been suppressed since the establishment of the liberal system. The convent of St. Benedict formerly contained fifty nuns, who had taken the veil, and was also a sort of asylum for unprotected females, termed secularies, who of course might quit the establishment at pleasure; the number of these was about two hundred and fifty. The Franciscan convent, as well as the street in which it stands, suffered severely during the late civil war. In the church attached to the convent is a dwarfish figure of St. Francis, which is greatly honoured by the religious of the fair sex, who are accustomed to wash the hands of the sacred effigy in a basin, with soap and a towel; after which they either drink the water, or bottle it up as a holy relic.
The churches are described as being in a very filthy state, and from the invariable custom of burying the dead within their walls, they are most unwholesome; moreover the behaviour of the lower orders is so indecent that the better classes purchase permission from the Pope to have mass said in their own houses.
As the holy sacrament is conveyed from the church hrough the streets to the chamber of some dying person, all passengers fall on their knees and cross themselves, keeping their eyes fixed upon the ground; carriages pull up; the leathern curtains of cabriolets are drawn, and strings of muleteers remain uncovered as long as the sacred procession is in sight.
The Torres dos Clerigos, or Tower of the Clergy, is one of the most striking objects among the public buildings of Oporto. The steeple is the loftiest in Portugal, after that of Mafra: from its summit, a most commanding view may be obtained over the town and neighbouring wooded heights, the windings of the Douro, a large extent of coast, and the Atlantic ocean. This steeple was once struck by lightning, to the great alarm of the inhabitants, who actually met for the purpose of deliberating on the best means of protecting the tower from the destructive agent. Two plans were proposed, and
each was warmly supported: one was to fix a conductor to the steeple, and the other to put up a lamp to be lit every night in honour of St. Barbara, the patroness of the church. The latter proposal was finally adopted, as the most effectual protection against the effects of future
In the vicinity of this church is the market called Cordoaria. It is well supplied with fish, fruit, and vegetables, which are all sold by women. "It is curious to observe them, when business is dull, running every now and then from their merchandize to the church to breathe a prayer, and then hurrying back to business; while others unwilling to lose the chance of a customer, content themselves by telling their beads at their stations in the market place."
The lower orders are passionately fond of trinkets and articles of jewellery; and the taste seems to have been created by a curious kind of necessity, in addition to the usual stimulus of vanity. As there are no savings' banks in Portugal, the peasants either hoard their earnings in strong boxes or lay them out in the purchase of trinkets. The handsome ear-rings and chains of solid gold worn by women among the lower classes excite surprise, until it is known that they regularly invest their money in the acquisition of these ornaments; so that by an unusual combination the increase of the family wealth, and the gratification of their taste for personal decoration, go hand in hand; and as these trinkets are generally of solid gold, and made with little regard to fashion, their value is easily ascertained, and they are converted into cash without difficulty. Many women who go about barefooted, are ornamented with valuable necklaces of
| gold. The lady of an English merchant having engaged a servant who seemed every way competent to her duties, was shocked at her wearing no shoes, and thinking this might arise from poverty, kindly offered to advance part like indignation by the domestic, who immediately opened of her wages. The offer was received with something her box and displayed a wealth of jewelry which quite astonished her mistress, and proved beyond doubt that if shoes had not been procured, it was not on account of poverty, but because they were deemed useless incumbrances to the wardrobe.
The principal trade of Oporto is in wine, white or red, but chiefly red. This is made in the province of Tras-os-Montes, to the north-west, and in some districts of Entre-Douro-é-Minho, to the north. Throughout the wine country the precaution is adopted of fencing in the vineyards on those sides lying near the roads with a light frame work, composed of the Arundo domax, covered with furze, to secure the grapes from the grasp and be paid, but don't rob me of my property," said a of the passing traveller. "If we owe you money, come farmer to a party supposed to belong to the company who were observed helping themselves to what came within their reach.
In the gardens of the quintas, small channels of water, kept constantly filled from some overflowing fountain, are so skilfully constructed, as to furnish a never-failing supply of moisture to the shrubs and plantations, which would otherwise in summer be burnt up by the heat. The ulmis adjungere vitem is well known in poetical description; but in Portugal, besides overshadowing their artificial supporters, the vines are seen attaching themselves to, or hanging down in luxuriant festoons from forest trees, such as the oak, chesnut and cork, in all the wildness of nature, and not unfrequently insinuating themselves among the branches of myrtle-trees, which attain a considerable size in the hedge-rows, and contrasting their large purple bunches with the snow-white blossom. The union is truly poetical, and its novelty is charming to the eye of a the farmer under an oak tree, whose boughs it soon overnorthern traveller. A vine is often purposely planted by by its fruit, and the lop of its branches. runs, repaying the little labour expended in its cultivation
The red wine is exported, largely, to various parts of
Europe and America; but the greatest consumption is that of this country, where it is known as "Port wine." The amount yearly exported varies from 50,000 to 70,000 Pipes. Other exports are oil, sumac, linen, lemons, and oranges. The imports are woollen, cotton, iron, and hardwares from England. Manufactures at Oporto are not in a thriving state.
The loss of the Portuguese colonies, and the frequent wars of which the town has been the scene, have been ruinous to its commerce. Oporto was taken and sacked In 1831-3, by the French during the Peninsular war. it was the scene of a fierce contest for the throne of Portugal, between Don Pedro, ex-emperor of Brazil, and his brother Don Miguel, who had usurped the Crown from his niece Donna Maria. The siege lasted above a year: the town was partly destroyed by the artillery, and several wealthy mercantile houses were ruined by the suspension of trade, and the wanton destruction or property by the troops of the usurper, who, on their retreat from before the lines of Oporto, blew up with gunpowder several wine-cellars belonging to the merchants, and thus caused the destruction, it is said, of 13,000 pipes of wine. An eye-witness says, hissing streams of wine were like rivulets pouring out of the smoking ruins into the Douro, whose waters were tinged to a deep red."
From the mountainous situation of Oporto, the climate is damp and foggy in winter. The unhealthy season is from the beginning of July, to the end of August. The heat during the day is quite oppressive, although a cold wind prevails on the river, and a chilling sea-fog come up the Douro every evening at the turn of the tide. These almost hourly variations in the state of the
atmosphere have a serious influence on the health of a stranger. In summer the heat is excessive, especially in the narrow valley formed by the hills on the southern declivity of which Oporto is situated.
The following graphic description of a storm in the neighbourhood of Oporto, is from an anonymous work entitled Portugal and Gallicia.
The extreme and long-continued heat that prevailed in Portugal during the summer of 1827, was, I believe, almost unparalleled: the vines were everywhere injured, in some places destroyed, and the agriculture had universally suffered; but during the last two days an evident change had taken place, the weather was becoming more temperate, and clouds of a leaden hue were gradually collecting from all points of the horizon. They must have concentrated their strength during the night of the 26th, for on the following morning the sky resembled a great sea of ink; deep black masses overhung our heads, gradually sinking lower and lower, and a faint moaning wind alone interrupted the heavy repose that had settled upon the face of the earth. At length the storm burst; not ushered in by any light showers, not even by any warning drops, but descending at once and vertically, in sheets of water, as if hurled by an offended God against a world which he had resolved to submerge again.
I had never seen so fierce a conflict of the elements. Those hills, a few minutes before so destitute of water that I could have hailed with pleasure the most trifling rill, now resounded with the roar of a thousand torrents rushing impetuously into the valley; and my path, which led along a natural channel between two rocks, at once became the main artery that received these tributary streams. As the water was rising fast, and every moment assumed more the character of a raging torrent, I endeavoured to escape from its vortex by turning my mule and retracing my steps; but the strength of the current and the terror of the animal, when required to stem it, rendered this manoeuvre impracticable, and I was therefore obliged to continue my amphibious journey till I found an outlet.
Having extricated myself from this master-flood, I became involved with the lesser streams, that dashing around me, tumbling from crag to crag, and crossing each other in all directions, presented a magnificent scene of uproar and confusion. I called to the muleteer and Antonio, who had lingered in the rear, to warn them from the main channel, which might have been dangerous to them, and would probably have been fatal to the loaded mules, but my shouts were drowned in the noise of many waters. Some of our luggage was carried off, and had the inundation continued, we must have lost the whole; but fortunately the sky relented, in mercy to a country which had so long withered under its burning eye, and was now visited by a still more tremendous infliction.
ONE'S age should be tranquil, as one's childhood should be playful: hard work, at either extremity of human existence, seems to me out of place; the morning and the evening should be alike cool and peaceful; at midday the sun may burn, and men may labour under it.-DR. ARNOLD.
Be it a weakness, it deserves some praise,-
TEMPERATURE does not vary so much with latitude as with height above the level of the sea; and the decrease is more rapid in the higher strata of the atmosphere than in the lower, because they are farther removed from the radiation of the earth, and being highly rarefied, the heat is diffused through a wider space.-Connexion of the Physical Sciences.
IN the life of Sir Astley Cooper, it does not appear that he was an absent man, but the following amusing act of forgetfulness is related by his biographer.
"It was during this session that my uncle, one night after a surgical lecture, said to me, Come, Bransby, jump into the carriage, and I'll take you home.' I was living in Cannon-street, not seven minutes' walk from the hospital. I was no sooner seated in the carriage than he said, 'I have to call at the West End of the town first,' and off we drove for Westminster, I caring little about the distance, as it gave me an opportunity of being with my uncle. At last we arrived at a nobleman's house, I think in Grosvenorsquare, and, as it was a cold night, he told me I had better get out and sit in the drawing-room while he went up stairs elegantly furnished room, and at first was sufficiently to see his patient. Accordingly I was ushered into an amused by examining the pictures, and the bijouterie upon the tables. I then took up a book, and sat down close to the fire, after which I lost all recollection until I awoke cold and comfortless, and with only a few expiring embers left in the grate. The last glimmer of the candle just gave me light enough to see my way to the staircase, but the hall-lamp was out, and all was dark and silent. I now felt assured that I had been forgotten by my uncle, and that I was the only person in the house who was not in bed. I began to think how I should extricate myself from my difficulty; I listened for the least noise to indicate that some one was stirring, but all was silent as the grave, excepting, as I moved to and fro, the noise made by the creaking of my shoes, which, so far from calming my dis quiet, filled me with apprehension, lest it should be heard and mistaken for the footstep of some nocturnal depredator. "My situation became every instant more painful. At last I summoned up resolution, and rang the bell gently; I listened for the effect, but as the tinkling ceased, the death-like stillness of the house was resumed. A second pull at the bell was more successful, for I soon after heard footsteps approaching, so cautiously, however, as to make it evident to me, that the trepidation of the person roused by my summons was equal to my own. I advanced towards the staircase, and there meeting a man whose looks, as he started with surprise at seeing me, sufficiently told
his state of mind,-I asked, 'Is Mr. Cooper gone?" "Gone, sir!' exclaimed he in return, these four hours!' This led to an explanation, and about three o'clock in the morning I turned out of the house, and at once endeavoured to find my way to Cannon-street, at which place, from my ignorance of London at that period, it took me no little time to arrive. I thought my uncle never would have ceased laughing, when I told him the ext day at the hospital of the unpleasant situation he had left me in. He declared he had lost all recollection of having taken me with him, until I recalled it by my relation of the fact."-Life of Sir Astley Cooper.
VARIOUS Opinions have been formed on the original or primitive distribution of plants over the surface of the globe; but since botanical geography became a regular science, the phenomena observed have led to the conclusion, that vegetable creation must have taken place in a number of distinctly different centres, each of which was the original seat of a certain number of peculiar species, which at first grew there and no where else. Heaths are exclusively confined to the old world, and no indigenous rosetree has ever been discovered in the new, the whole southern hemisphere being destitute of that beautiful and fragrant plant. But this is still more confirmed by multitudes of particular plants, having an entirely local and insulated existence, growing spontaneously in some particular spot, and in no other place; as, for example, the cedar of Lebanon, which grows indigenously on that mountain and in no other part of the world. The same laws obtain also in the distribution of the animal creation.—MRS. SOMERVILLE.
WIDE Ocean! boundless, measureless,
Into a dread infinity;
Thy mountain-billow head, all space
Thine unapproachable high place;
Thy might and thy magnificence;
Myriads of unknown things, deep, deep Thou hast a bed; and who may tell
What wonders in that wide bed sleep? What thing is imaged by thee In thine unravelled mystery?
SOME ACCOUNT OF WHALE FISHING. Ir is a common remark that sailors are proverbially superstitious, and we cannot expect to find an exception in those who are engaged in the Greenland whale fisheries. The ships employed in this service are for the most part manned by natives of the Orkney and Shetland isles; who of course communicate to their more southern messmates the wonderful tales, traditions, spells, and magic, of their own romantic land. It will not, therefore, surprise us to find many singular and superstitious customs prevailing amongst those engaged in the exciting, but hazardous occupation of whale fishing. The following account is given by an eye witness:
After some days' sail, the first ceremony or preparation commenced, and was called "spanning the harpoons." The harpoon is a weapon of iron, the barb being in the shape of an arrow, with a socket, into which is fixed a staff six feet in length. The harpooners are first invited into the cabin, and each is required to drink, from the socket of his weapon, a bumper to the success of the fishery. The men appeared to bear this sentence with great resignation, though the length of the shafts appended to their drinking vessels, gave them a most ludicrous appearance, when turned end upwards, and caused many jokes, and much laughter.
After this began the "spanning," which is accomplished by splicing a piece of new untarred rope round the shank. This rope is called the "foreganger," and is made from the best hemp, and unsoiled by pitch, that it may bend freely with the weapon. It is about thirty feet long, and the loose end is spliced to the end of the whale line. Several other ceremonies then take place, and the evening ends in dancing, singing, tale-telling, and mirth.
We kept hovering and beating about the eightieth degree of north latitude for some days, in hopes of falling in with game, when the weather became mild, in comparison with the former intense cold. One day, about the time of eight bells, our anxious wishes were gratified the cry of "Fish, fish," from the crow's nest, (or post of observation at the top-gallant-masthead,) resounded through the ship. I ran upon deck, at the welcome sound, and beheld in the act of sinking behind a flat piece of ice, the broad black tail of an enormous whale. Two boats were immediately lowered down, and the eagerness of the crew to man them could only be compared to the impatience of dogs to be let loose on their game. In three minutes they were off, and the mate would soon have got fast (as it is called) to the huge monster, but just as he expected to be rowed upon its back, his boat-steerer fell overboard, and the crew being obliged to "hold water," or keep back, in order to pick up the poor fellow, the whale disappeared, and rose no more; and thus our philosophy was severely tried in having to bear the disappointment like men. Had the fish gone "tail up, as the sailors term it, that is, dived perpendicularly, throwing up her tail with a flourish as she descended, her reappearance might have been expected somewhere near the same spot, because that mode of diving denotes that the fish is in a gay humour, and amusing itself with exercise and feeding; but when a whale is going "right an end," or running straight forward, occasionally disappearing, and then coming to the surface at a considerable distance, till it is seen no more, there is little chance of her being taken. It was a terrible blow, and "Lost, lost!" cried all hands mournfully to each other; while many began to pull off their caps and mittens, which they had put on to be ready to join in killing the fish, when it should be struck. "We shall have no luck this year," said an old sailor to other, "while we have that ugly black, curly-hided the spectioneer: "How could you hope it?" cried andog on board! Nothing is more unlucky than such a brute." "You would not stick that heart, I wanted you to burn last night," said a third; "I killed the poor cat
on purpose, that we might have a chance of getting something; you see now what we lose by it." "Well," replied the man, "you might have done it yourself; but I think it's all along of Billy Morris, who will poke the fire with a harpoon, on purpose to bring us bad luck."
While the dispute was at its height, and might have terminated in violence, a cry of "Fish !" again resounded from the mast-head; and on looking round I saw three great whales lying on the surface, and sending up tall columns of steam, like jets of water from a fountain. In a moment one of them went "tail up," displaying a vast sheet of black fin-like substance, as large as the floor of a good-sized room. One fish, however, lay still on the water, and the mate's boat being nearest to her, pulled swiftly to it. The foolish animal did not appear to be aware of its approach, but remained motionless on the water, the ridge of the back being alone visible. As silent and motionless as the whale, was every man on board, when the mate, taking his harpoon, stood up at the head of his boat, balancing the fatal weapon for the plunge. The fish made a slight movement, when her enemies were within thirty yards of her. "She'll be lost," muttered an old sailor, close to my ear, but the mate spoke to his men, when they ceased rowing, and the boat-steerer began to skull warily, yet briskly, with his long steer-oar. The boat glided onward noiselessly, and again breathless quiescence reigned over all around. The crews of the numberless boats on the water rested on their oars; the men were still as the icebergs around them. The sun shone brilliantly, though not warmly, for it was near midnight, the blocks of ice lay in slumber on their liquid bed, glittering and gleaming in jewelled splendour; beauty, peace, and harmony dwelt on the surface of the pure, calm ocean; when, as if by a sudden impulse of the demon of discord, the boat's crew dashed their ready oars into the water, and by a long and strong pull brought their little vessel on the back of the whale.
The boat rose against the side of the enormous animal, as if it were running up a shelving bank; and the mate, pointing his harpoon over the larboard bow, drove it with all his force and weight deep into the unresisting body, adroitly pushing himself and skiff away from the wounded animal, as he forced the instrument farther in. He was ably seconded by his men, who "backed oars," just in time to avoid a tremendous blow, for the enraged animal raised its sinewy tail, and dealt such a blow on the very spot where the boat had previously been, as must inevitably have sent it to the bottom, had it been struck; the vengeful limb of the mighty Leviathan, however, dashed up such a shower of spray, that the boat's crew were plentifully drenched. This was an event of little moment; and as soon as the harpoon was actually "delivered," (that is, had entered the body of the fish,) a cry burst forth with such a tremendous shout, "A fall, a fall, a fall!" as made the welkin ring," and awoke, as it were, from the lethargy of ages, a thousand echoes in "icy caves and crystal grots." "A fall, a fall!" rung out from the mast-head; "a fall, a fall!" resounded from every man and boy, who ran stamping upon deck, to call forth the sleepers for the next watch; and the half-naked seamen came pouring through the hatches, and with their eyes scarcely open, echoed the cry, as it were, mechanically, "a fall, a fall!" Without stopping to dress, all hands jumped aboard the boats, and away they went, as swiftly as if borne on the smooth ocean, amidst the still and beauteous scenery of that marble paradise.
going on, the fish continued to "draw rope" from the first boat so rapidly, that smoke might be seen rising from the "bollard," or piece of wood round which the rope of the harpoon is fastened, to increase the fatigue of the whale's "run," and great care must be taken in uncoiling the rope, as the slightest hitch would either cause it to snap, or occasion the submersion of the boat. If the animal should take out the whole line, and there be no other boat at hand "to bend on her lines," it is considered the most perfect sport, to "give the whale the boat;" that is, for the crew to quit the little vessel, and betake themselves to the ice, if she gives them the opportunity, by dragging the boat near the edge of a piece. The boat thus serves as a buoy, and unless the rope snaps, will of course appear again, when the dying or dead animal rises to the surface. In about twenty minutes the whale again made its appearance; it blew very fast and high, and seemed much exhausted; the mallemawks (a species of gull) began to wheel round it in circles, as if anticipating a feast. A number of harpoons were now driven deeply into the blubber of the ill-fated animal, and it could no longer dive, but ran along the surface of the water, panting excessively. This was the signal for a new mode of attack on the simple monster, which, had it known how to apply the immense power it possessed, might have sent all its assailants to the oozy bottom of its native element. The boats now pulled up close to the whale, and long spears were thrust into the vital parts of the fish. The effects of this assault were soon visible in the rapidly decreasing strength of the exhausted animal, and in the deepening tints in which the surrounding waters were dyed. At length the vast creature flung round its tail in agony, and dived headlong to the bottom, from which it arose in about a quarter of an hour,-dead!
During their progress, the men contrived to put on their upper garments, over the close dresses of flannel, in which they always sleep, in readiness for summons; and the harpooners all prepared to strike the fish, when she next appeared. The boats by degrees all taking up the most convenient positions to surround her, on her emerging from the deep. While this was
Three boats were then employed in towing the enormous carcase along, and in slinging it to the side of the ship with a series of ropes and pulleys, called "cant falls." And now began the active and important pation of "flenching," or separating the blubber from the bones, and as nothing can be imagined more greasy and contaminating than the whole affair, every man provides himself with a dress that he thinks least likely to suffer detriment from oil and blood. Hence I beheld my old friends and shipmates start up from the hatches in such various disguises of canvass, bear-skin, oil-skin, tarpaulin, and leather, that it was some time before I could recognise one person familiar to my eyes. The flenching of the whale was no sooner completed, than the " crang," or carcass, was cast loose from the "cant falls," and committed to the bosom of the waters, in which but a few hours before, it had sported in all the giant strength and gaiety of a happy monster. M. A. B.
A CLOCK is nothing more than a piece of machinery to maintain the action of the pendulum, and at the same time to count and register the number of its oscillations; and by that peculiar property, that one vibration_commences exactly where the last terminates, no part of time is lost or gained in the juxtaposition of the units so counted. If some extraneous force were not applied, in a clock or watch, to maintain or perpetuate the natural vibrations of a pendulum, or oscillations of a balance, they would soon come to rest by reason of friction in the mechanisın, and the resistance opposed by the air to the parts in motion. This force in the larger clocks is usually a suspended weight, but in the portable clock and watch it is a spring, coiled in a metallic box, that actuates the wheel-work by gradually unbending itself.-Philosophy in Sport.
To conquer difficulties, whether great or small, is to increase our pleasures. When advancing towards any proposed object, or when we see with inward satisfaction, the completion of some favourite scheme, the mind feels tranquil and contented, and looks forward with pleasure to the coming day.-Zimmermann.
A name given to a kind of salt, harder than common salt, and which sometimes has the transparency and colour of precious stones. It is found invariably in the same soil as gypsum, in the neighbourhood of which constant observation has proved it to be never wanting; and even the strata of salt and gypsum frequently alternate. The sal gem forms itself into large undivided beds, sometimes it runs in large detached cubes, behind beds of clay and rock.
The mines of sal gem are found at every height, and now and then on a level with the plains. In all parts of the known world, no production of nature is more abundant than salt. Most of the sal gem mines in Spain and England are several hundred feet in extent. The town of Cardona, in Spain, is situated at the foot of a rock of solid salt, rising almost perpendicularly to the height of four or five hundred feet, without interstice, fissure, or separate layer. This immense mass of salt is about a league in circuit; its depth, and consequently the bed on which it rests, is unknown. From top to bottom the salt is either of the purest white, or of a light transparent blue. This prodigious mountain of salt, quite free from gypsum and other extraneous matter, is the only one of the kind in Europe. In the county of Chester, on the coast, is a very extensive mine of sal gem behind a ledge of rock; and, after having worked through twenty-five feet of salt, in several places, of a fine deep red, from twelve to fifteen feet of rock again appeared, and salt again under that, a fact which destroys the hypothesis of sal gem being produced from saline lakes dried up.-Dictionnaire d'Histoire Naturelle.
ICE IN THE LAKE LADOGA.
THE large expanse of water forming the LAKE LADOGA is soon frozen over after the commencement of the frost, and, if there be no wind and boisterous weather, the ice acquires a considerable degree of thickness. It is soon, however, broken up by the wind, and then large pieces enter the river as it is continued from the lake. These masses perform a journey of about forty miles before they reach the city, and by the constant collision which they meet with in their course, appear in the shape of rounded masses of all possible sizes. Previous to their approaching the bridges, the latter are loosened from their moorings, to prevent their being broken to pieces by the force of the accumulated ice hurried down by the stream and pressing upon them, an accident which sometimes happens when the ice comes down in the night, and when the watchmen are asleep, whose duty it is to guard against such accidents. This transit of ice, from the Lake Ladoga, along the Neva, to the Gulf of Finland is of longer or shorter duration according to circumstances. It is much influenced by the direction in which the wind blows. If it be a side-wind, then small masses of ice are blown to one shore, and two-thirds of the river's breadth are free. If the wind be directly against the current, then insulated pieces float down, and several days will elapse before consolidation takes place. If wind and current coincide, then that which was one day a flowing strean, will in a few hours present no other surface than a mass of solid ice. It is effected in this wise: at first small masses only appear in the river, such as are broken off from the edges of the frozen lake. These rolling slowly along, breaking up into smaller masses, and rounding off their edges as they float, find space enough for their transit in the breadth of the stream. As the lake breaks up in toto, larger masses, in shape of floating islands, move slowly along, for the current does not exceed three miles an hour. These, occasionally arrested in their progress, allow other smaller masses to insinuate themselves into the broken surfaces which the larger masses present, and resistance being made by the shores, so of a sudden does the whole mass halt and form one continuous surface. So instantaneously does this halt occur, that boats which are crossing the river are often arrested in the middle of the stream, not without danger to the passengers, who are obliged to get out and walk over masses of ice covering a flowing stream, through which but a few seconds previously they were paddled along. In attempting this some occasionally slip under the ice, and are heard of no more.-Life of a Travelling Physician.
REFLECTIONS ON GRAVE-YARDS.
Wo with a head to think, and a heart to feel, a spirit sobered by experience, and a mind shaded by disappointment, has ever wandered alone to the place of graves, and stood beside "the house appointed unto all living," without saying, "It is good for me to be here." While a child, I loved to rest over "the grey sepulchral stone," when wearied in the course of some midsummer
day's ramble; and in after years, when much that had been dear to me was laid in the dust, I have found a tranquil, pensive, meditative pleasure, beyond my power to describe, as my unheeded steps have slowly traversed, with many a pause, the church-yard's hallowed turf. And whether my ramble has led me to the English burial-ground, adorned with its antique yew, its scathed ash, and melancholy clumps of cypress; or to the neglected Irish relig*, where the ivy twines profusely round the scanty ruins of what was once the house of prayer, and long grass, and rank weeds treacherously conceal the shattered grave-stone, and sunken cell of death, from the eye of the careless passenger; I have found the sensation alike in either scene; for each such
spot has equally pressed on my mind the same solemn conviction,-"Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt
On a fine summer evening, not many years ago, I strolled from my solitary out-post, in the south of England, to a church-yard of extraordinary dimensions, about a mile distant. By the time I reached its entrance, every lingering trace of daylight had faded away; and I was left to explore its mazes under the glimmer of the stars, for the Queen of night had not yet shed her radiance over the earth. Tombs and head-stones formed, in many parts, what might be termed streets of the city of the dead; some monuments gleamed white on the sight, in the snowy hue of unsullied marble; others were hoary with age, and mantled with moss and lichens; and some totterred and hung toppling over their basis, the pilasters fallen away, and the rent sides yawning, as if to give egress to the corpse summoned forth to its resurrection. My foot-fall resounded in long, low, reverberated echoes, over the hollow vaults, and among the memorial tokens, which love, in its simplicity, or wealth, in its ostentation, had reared above the poor "kneaded clod," that knew no more the delights of affection, or the gauds of pomp. An undefined feeling of awe and dread began to chill my heart, as I reached the centre of this Golgotha; and with a cold shudder, I turned round and sought the village road. Again I passed the gate, and stood awhile beside the inclosing fence; the moon now shone brightly from between the rifted clouds, casting the shadows of the church far over the grassy graves church-tower, began to repeat its slow and solemn and sculptured tombs; and suddenly the clock, in the chime. It was a moment I shall never forget; I listened, scarce breathing, till the last sound had died tremulously away; and then exclaimed-Time has been, and is, and (perchance) is to come for me; for me the sun and the moon continue to shine, and the stars to shed their light: but to those who rest within, "Time shall be no more!" Their race is run; and sun, and moon, and stars, shall never more greet their sight, till they behold a new heavens, and a new earth, on the judgment-day. Yet time to them was: once they knew the cares and joys of life; and reclined on the lap of ease, or laboured amid the turmoil of the world: and once the Law's denunciation of wrath, and the Gospel's call of mercy, bade them repent, for the kingdom of heaven was at hand. But here they have ceased alike from their loves and their labours, their joys and sorrows; and here no warning voice awakes, or promise soothes the conscience. Each one sleeps the sleep of
Relig, in the Irish language, signifies place of burial; and, as every one acquainted with Ireland must know, the grave-yard is often used for centuries after the church (Keile,) has fallen to decay