« ForrigeFortsæt »
mediate dependence upon God, as the husbandman. For all his peculiar blessings, he is invited to look immediately to the bounty of Heaven. No secondary cause stands between him and his Maker. To him are essential the regular succession of the seasons, and the timely fall of the rain, the genial warmth of the sun, the sure productiveness of the soil, and the certain operations of those laws of nature, which must appear to him nothing less than the varied exertions of omnipresent energy.
In the country we seem to stand in the midst of the great theatre of God's power, and we feel an unusual proximity to our Creator. His blue and tranquil sky spreads itself over our heads, and we acknowledge the intrusion of no secondary agent in unfolding this vast expanse. Nothing but Omnipotence can work up the dark horrors of the tempest, dạrt the flashes of the lightning, and roll the longresounding rumor of the thunder. The breeze wafts to his senses the odors of God's beneficence; the voice of God's power is heard in the rustling of the forest; and the varied forms of life, activity, and pleasure, which he observes at every step in the fields, lead him irresistibly, one would think, to the Source of being, and beauty, and joy.
How auspicious such a life to the noble sentiments of devotion! Besides, the situation of the husbandman is peculiarly favorable, it should seem, to purity and simplicity of moral sentiment. He is brought acquainted chiefly with the real and native wants of mankind. Employed solely in bringing food out of the earth, he is not liable to be fascinated with the fictitious pleasures, the unnatural wants, the fashionable follies, and tyrannical vices of more busy and splendid life.
Still more favorable to the religious character of the husbandman is the circumstance, that, from the nature of agricultural pursuits, they do not so completely engross the attention as other occupations. They leave much time for contemplation, for reading, and intellectual pleasures; and these are peculiarly grateful to the resident in the country. Especially does the institution of the Sabbath discover all its value to the tiller of the earth, whose fatigue it solaces, whose hard labors it interrupts, and who feels, on that day, the worth of his moral nature, which cannot be understood by the busy man, who considers the repose of this day as interfering with his hopes of gain, or professional employments. If, then, this institution is of any moral and reli
gious value, it is to the country we must look for the continuance of that respect and observance, which it meritş.
Description of the Speedwell Mine in England. ---SILLIMAN.
We entered a wooden door, placed in the side of a hill, and descended one hundred and six stone steps, laid like those of a set of cellar stairs. The passage was regularly arched with brick, and was in all respects convenient.
Having reached the bottom of the steps, we found a handsome vaulted passage cut through solid limestone. The light of our candles discovered that it extended horizontally into the mountain, and its floor was covered with an unruffled expanse of water, four feet deep. The entrance of this passage was perfectly similar in form to the mouth of a common oven, only it was much larger. Its breadth, by my estimation, was about five feet at the water's surface, and its height four or five feet, reckoning from the same place.
On this unexpected, and to me, at that moment, incomprehensible canal, we found launched a large, clean and convenient boat. We embarked, and pulled ourselves along, by taking hold of wooden pegs, fixed for that purpose in the walls. Our progress was through a passage wholly artificial, it having been all blasted and hewn out of the solid rock.
You will readily believe that this adventure was a delightful recreation. I never felt more forcibly the power of contrast. Instead of crawling through a narrow, dirty passage, we were now pleasantly embarked, and were pushing along into I knew not what solitary regions of this rude earth, over an expanse as serene as summer seas.
We had not the odors nor the silken sails of Cleopatra's barge, but we excelled her in melody of sound, and distinctness of echo; for, when, in the gayety of my spirits, I began to sing, the boatman soon gave me to understand that no one should sing in his mountain, without his permission; and, before I had uttered three notes, he broke forth in such a strain, that I was contented to listen, and yield the palm without a contest,
His voice, which was strong, clear and melodious, made all those silent regions ring; the long, vaulted passage augmented the effect; echo answered with great distinctness, and had the genii of the mountain been there, they would doubtless have taken passage with us, and hearkened to the song. In the meantime we began to hear the sound of a distant water-fall, which grew louder and louder, as we advanced under the mountain, till it increased to such a roaring noise that the boatman could no longer be heard.
In this manner we went on, a quarter of a mile, till we arrived in a vast cavern formed there by nature. The miners, as they were blasting the rocks, at the time when they were forming the vaulted passage, accidentally opened their way into this cavern. Here I discovered how the canal was supplied with water;-I found that it communicated with a river running through the cavern at right angles with the arched passage, and falling down a precipice twentyfive feet into a dark abyss.
After crossing the river, the arched way is continued a quarter of a mile farther, on the other
side, making in the whole half a mile from the entrance. The end of the arch is six hundred feet below the summit of the mountain.
When it is considered that all this was effected by mere dint of hewing and blasting, it must be pronounced a stupendous performance. It took eleven years of constant labor to effect it. In the meantime the fortune of the adventurer was consumed, without any discovery of ore, except a very little lead, and, to this day, this great work remains only a wonderful monument of human labor and perseverance.
During the whole period of five years that they continued this work, after they crossed the cavern, they threw the rubbish into the abyss, and it has not sensibly filled it up.
They have contrived to increase the effect of the cataract by fixing a gate along the ledge of rocks over which the river falls. This gate is raised by a lever, and then the whole mass of water in the vaulted passage, as well as that in the river, presses forward towards the cataract. I ascended a ladder made by pieces of timber fixed in the sides of the cavern, and, with the aid of a candle elevated on a pole, I could discover no top; my guide assured me that none had been found, although they had ascended very high,
This cavern is, without exception, the most grand and solemn place that I have ever seen. When
in the centre of a mountain, in the midst of a void, where the regularity of the walls looks like some vast rotunda; when you think of a river as flowing across the bottom of this cavern, and falling abruptly into a profound abyss, with the stunning noise of a cataract; when you imagine, that, by the light of a firework of gunpowder, played off on purpose to render this darkness visible, the foam of the cataract is illuminated even down to the surface of the water in the abyss, and the rays, emitted by the livid blaze of this preparation, are reflected along the dripping walls of the cavern, till they are lost in the darker regions above, you will not wonder that such a scene should seize on my whole soul, and fill me with awe and astonishment, causing me to exclaim, as I involuntarily did, 'Marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty!'
To thee I gave my early youth,
Who late and lingering seeks thy shrine,
And dire Remembrance interlope
But me thy gentle hand will lead
And when the gust of Autumn crowds,
And breaks the busy moonlight clouds,
The feeling heart, the searching soul,
The present works of present man-
TO A Cloud.-BRYANT.
BEAUTIFUL cloud! with folds so soft and fair,
Swimming in the pure quiet air!
Thy shadow o'er the vale moves slow:
In thy calm way o'er land and sea:
On Earth as on an open book;
And the long ways that seam her lands;
Of the great ocean breaking round.
To blooming regions distant far,
On his own olive groves and vines,
In smiles upon her ruins lie.
O’er Greece long fettered and opprest,
From the old battle fields and tombs,