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pered round them. Cicero raised his broad graze to heaven: “ Are these the men of my country-these the orators, the poets, the patriots of mankind? What scorn and corse of Providence can have fallen upon them!” As he gazed, tears suddenly suffused his eyes; the first sunbeam strack across the spot where he stood, a purple mist rose round him, and he was gone!

The Venetians, with one accord, started from their seats, and rushed out of the hall. The prince and his suite had previously arranged every thing for leaving the city, and they were beyond the Venetian territory by sunrise. Another night in Venice, and they would have been on their way to the other world.

AN AUTHOR'S EVENINGS.-FOR THE PORT FOLIO.

THE CONTRAST.

It is not, perhaps, desirable, that the anticipations of youth should be reduced to the melancholy colouring of such a retrospect, as we find in one of Miss Taylor's excellent “ Essays;" which reflect so much credit on her heart and her understanding, but indeed there is no danger of our being led to expect too little from the world. We do not recollect, however, 10 have had the utter insufficiency of earthly pleasures and possessions, brought home to the feelings with so affecting an emphasis, as in this simple unexaggerated tale of the heart. It is not by the " complaint" of disappointed ambition, by weeping monodies, or by philosophic declamations on the nothingness of grandeur, that the mind can be made to renounce its own peculiar projects of happiress. Those writers who throw all the blame of our disappointment on the objects of life, only betray their ignorance of the true seat of unhappiness; while those who represent life as altogether glooiny, show that they have ill performed its duties, and that they have not appreciated in the spirit of gratitude these common mercies, which fall to the lot of all. The view of life which is given in this Essay, will appear gloomy to those only who have never known what it is to be awakened out of the day dreams of romance to “ tasteless cold reality.” The picturesque of fancy, and the real of truth, are admirably contrasted in the following lines:

A tatter'd cottage, to the view of taste,
In beauty glows, at needful distance plac'd;
Its broken panes, its richly ruin'd thatch
Its gable grac'd with many a mossy patch,

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The sun-set lighting up its varied dyes,
Form quite a picture to poetic eyes;
And yield delight that modern brick and board,
Square, sound, and well arrang'd would not afford.
But cross the mead to take a nearer ken,-
Where all the magic of the vision then?
The picturesque is vanish'd, and the eye
Averted, turns from loathsome poverty;
And while it lingers, e'en the sun's pure ray
Seeins almost sullied by its transient stay.
The broken walls with slight repairs emboss'd,
Are but cold comforts in a winter's frost:
No smiling, peaceful peasant, half refin'd,
There tunes his reed on rustic seat reclin'd;
But there, the bending form and haggard face.
Worn with the lines that vice and mis'ry trace.
Thus fade the charm by vernal liope supplied
To every object it has never tried.

In the following passage a learned cosmogonist of the present day has strayed beyond the narrow path of an elementary treatise to wander in the gardens of rhetorical embellishment; and the trespass may surely be pardoned in a writer who produces such admirable specimens of animated and sublime painting:

It is in the regions of mountains that Nature displays her most astonishing aspects, and all the charms of her picturesque beauty. Smiling and fruitful valleys, the refuge of industry and happiness, are contrasted with the naked and barren summits which encompass them,--with those huge ridges invested in eternal snow-with those resplendent glaciers, the abode of silence and death. It is on the sublime heights of mountains that we breathe a purer air, that we are conscious of a more lively and delightful sensation of existence, that we contemplate the clouds and thunder rolling far beneath our feet, and that we embrace in vision that immense borizon on which whole kingdoms appear like patch-work, and flattened as on our maps. But it is also on mountains that the powers of nature seem to maintain a perpetual struggle, and that they threaten, in the most alarm. ing manner, the existence of men and of all animals. Snow and stones agglomerate in their fall, accumulate as they roll, and forin those dreadful avalanches which bury entire villages: rocks break asunder, or tumble down, crushing the habitations, filling up lakes, or obstructing rivers, causing them to overflow: the storms murmur and explode with hideous fire, and let loose winds which overturn every thing in their course; the rains, in an instant, produce devastating torrents, and change into a rapid and menacing river the limpid stream, on whose margin, a few moments before, the feeble child fearlessly sported.

The Great Serpent. During the late portentous visit of this personage to our shores, every paragraph on the subject was read with lively interest. But the contents of every mail seemed to represent it under a new aspect. At length the appearance of a correspondence between and colonel Humphreys authorized sanguine expectations of something like a scientific account of the prodigy; but behold! the colonel simply thanks his correspondent, and informs him-or rather the public,-that he had transmitted his four letters to the Secretary of the Royal Society in London! Not long after this Dr. Mitchill who was most unaccountably silent on the subject for many weeks, burst upon us with an account of a visit with which he was honoured by the colonel. “ Now for the Snake;" every one exclaimed when he looked at the first paragraph of the letter. But how cruel was the disappointment. After having condoled with each other on the loss which ichthyology had sustained in the escape of this wonder, the philosophers adjourned into the worthy doctor's cabinet, where I must leave them at present, in order' to introduce another odd fish to my readers. In Warton's history of English poetry, and in Turner': Anglo-Saxons, mention is made of an ancient epic poem, entitled Beowulf. In the latter work, several cantos are given; the original is said to be deposited in one of the public libraries of Great Britain. It has lately been published at Copenhagen (1815.) Beowulf contains the history of a seaking of the West Danes, who after reigning half a century voluntarily puts a period to his power and life by burning himself on a funeral pile. In one of the cantos, Beowulf, while he is innocently amusing himself in bobbing for whales, catches a sea-worm of prodigious dimensions, long enough to tie round an island, and with this strange luck, for which it seems he is indebted to the magic of the widow of one of his enemies whom he had slain, he returns home. But in the scaly conflict he had received some wounds which threatened his life, and he, accordingly, anticipated the visit of the inflexible mower, in the manner I have described. As the poet was cotemporary with this hero, I would advise the doctor, if he has as much modesty as one of our late professors, to despatch a Latin letter to the king of Denmark, requesting a copy of the records deposited in the archives of this sea-king. How much might our ichthyology be enriched by such a treasure?

In Purchas's Microcosmus, “ Anno 1619," we meet with the following hint to parents: “A woman much dreading her three Sonnes, one to incurre the law for his busie meddling, the second like to prove a murthurer, by bis blodie frays; the third by unthriftie courses, like to come to beggarie; was advised to make the first a Lawer, the second a Physician, and the third a Divine; and so the two former might continue their humours with gaine, with authoritie; the third his with honour."

We are indebted to some English wag for the following “ Inscription, to be engraved on the stone on which G. Rose, jun. fell, going into the House of Commons.”

Super lapidem cadit

Georgius Rose, jun.
Unus Domus Parliamentari,

xvi June 1804.
sine injuria

ipsi
aut lapidi.
O durum Saxum!
o durissimum CAPUT!

THE RIVER MISSOURI. The Missouri presents a grand object of contemplation to the mind. This river which was navigated in 1805 and 1806 by captains Lewis and Clarke from its junction with the Missisippi to its source, runs a course east and south of above 3000 miles. It rises in a very elevated group of mountains situated between north lat. 44° and 45°, and about west long. 112°. The height of these mountains is unknown; but as their summits are perpetually covered with snow, we are sure that it at least exceeds 3000 feet. It runs in a northerly direction for nearly three degrees of latitude; then nearly south; afterwards south-east; and lastly, nearly east, over a space occupping nine degrees of latitude and thirteen degrees of longitude. Its size is fully as great above 1000 miles before it joins the Missisippi as at the junction, yet a great number of large rivers join it in the interval. This shows the great evaporation to which it is subjected. It joins the Missisippi nearly in north latitude 39° west longitude 90* from Greenwich. After this junction it flows for 10° of lat. south, a course including the windings, certainly not so little as 2000 miles; so that the whole course of the Missouri, from its source to the ocean, exceeds 5000 miles. This is a length, of course, that will not easily be parallel. ed, and almost the whole of this river is navigable. What is still more important, a great part of its banks consist in fertile plains; and from the observation of Lewis and Clarke, it would appear that a coal country occupies about 1000 miles of these plains. Well may an English philosopher of liberal views, exclaim after making these calculations-- What a country is this likely one day to become!

Population of England and Wales from the Conquest to the

Revolution.

Lord Chief Justice Hale and Mr. Gregory King agree in computing the people of England at the arrival of the Normans to have been somewhat more than

In the year 1377 by a poll tax of four pence, im

2,000,000 1,367,239

posed on every lay person, that being the 51st of Edward III, it appears that the number of lay persons above 14 years of age were

Add half for those under that and for omis. sions

For beneficed clergy
Non-beneficed clergy
For Wales
Cheshire
Durham

683,619 15,229 13,932 196,560 51,411 25,213

2,353,203

1,172,000

5,860,000

Whole population of England and Wales in 1377

About the year 1577 (during the reign of Queen Elizabeth) according to Sir Walter Raleigh, a review of all men capable of bearing arms was made and found to amount to

And estimating these at a fifth part of the population, the whole will amount to

At the Revolution in 1688, there are estimated by Gregory King's Political Observations to have been 1,300,000 inhabited houses; and Dr. Price admits from various enumerations that five and onesixths persons may be assigned to each housetherefore the stationary population was

G. King adds for the transitory population such as sea-faring people and soldiers

And for vagrants, pedlars, &c.

6,730,000

60,000 15,000

Whole population in 1688

6,805,000

The following is a summary of the comparative statement of the population of Great Britain in the year 1811: ordered by the House of Commons to be printed, 17th January 1812.

Males. Females. Total. England 4,555,237 4,944,145 9,499,402 Wales

289,414 317,066 606,480 Scotland

825,377 979,487 1,804,864 Army, Navy, &c. 640,500

640,500 12,551,246 Since the revolution the increase of the population of England and Wales (reckoning two thirds only of the navy and army estimate to belong to South Britain) will be 3,627,980; or about one third.

Since the Conquest the increase has been rather more than five-fold.

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