Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

We have visited the Castle Rock, which is situated on the north-eastern side of Nahant, at the extremity of Cedar Point, It looks something like the front of an old castle, with its huge bastions and buttresses. By the aid of a little fancy, we might see the warders on the walls, and witness arrow flights from the loop holes ; but the sea-bird is its only inhabitant, and the wail of ocean resounds there, instead of the clang of mailed feet, and the cry of battle.

The Spouting Horn is merely a winding fissure in the shape of a horn, passing into a deep cavern under the rock. Through a tunnel the water is driven into this cavern, and thence ejected through another fissure with great force. Coleridge should have been here to hear the old deity “wind his wreathed horn." During a great easterly storm the scene must be amazingly

fine.

But, perhaps, there is nothing more attractive in and about Nahant than its beaches, one of which connects great with the little Nahant; and the other, little Nahant, with the town of Lynn. The former is only about half a mile in length, very smooth and beautiful ; and the latter, between two and three miles in length, forming a causeway of fine shining sand, hard and smooth-so hard, that in driving over it, the horses' hoofs make scarcely any impression, and so delightfully smooth that you glide over it without a sound. When the tide has lately receded, the surface, owing to its power of retaining moisture, appears like an immense mirror ; and as the horse and vehicle pass noiselessly over it, and perfectly reflected below, one seems to be travelling in

“ Cloudland-gorgeous land,” for there is “blue above, and blue below,” every cloudlet which passes over the expanse of heaven like a floating island in a sea of light, being faithfully mirrored in this monstrous ocean looking-glass.

The visitor to Nahant will find many sources of enjoyment, albeit the place is so small. The appearances produced by atmospheric phenomena are frequently of the most interesting kind : such as the Parhelia, or Mock Suns, the Mirage, and the Fata Morgana ; and we now add to these wonders that of the

albeit the place is mana are frequently.ona. the Mirage, an

Sea Serpent!* which veritable chroniclers declare to have been often seen off the Point since 1819, but which I was disappointed in seeing in 1845.—Local Loiterings.

“INTERFERENCE" AND DEVELOPMENT. In this age of mechanical improvement, when the skill and art of the machinist have been tasked to the utmost, there is a danger lest the high and holy exercises of our moral and religious powers should remain unemployed, and even be kept out of view. Some, who are thought to be very deeply versed in all scientific matters, have, in their productions, hinted at means by which they may free themselves from the spiritual and immaterial, which they cannot comprehend, by substituting the material and the mechanical, which they flatter themselves they fully

• We believe the existence of this monster to be now proved beyond all doubt by the testimony of Capt. P McQuhae, of H.M. S Dædalus, lately arrived at Plymouth. In his letter to Admiral Sir W. Gage, Devonport, dated Hamoaze: Ilth October, 1818, which may be regarded as official, he gives a short but circumstantial account of this singular creature, as seen by himself, by Mr. Sartoris, a midshipman, who first discovered it; by Lieut. Edgar Drummond, officer of the wach; Mr. William Barrett, master ; the boatswain's mate; the quarter-master, and the man at the wheel- in all seven individuals. The vessel, at the time of this occurrence, which took place at 5. p. m, on the 6th August last, was in latitude 240. 41' south, and longitude 9o. 22 east, somewhere about midway between the Cape and St. Helena, on her homeward passage.

The serpent passed the ship rapidly, but sufficiently close to be distinctly seen-so distinctly that had it been a man known to the captain, he could have recognized the features. About sixty feet of it lay extended on the surface of the water, and its entire length is supposed to have been about half as much more. Its colour was a dark brown, varied with yellowish white about the throat. It kept its head, which was “without any doubt that of a snake," and fifteen or sixteen inches in diameter at the back, constantly about four feet above the level of the sea. Ir appeared to be without fins, and as no wriggling motion of the body was perceptible, it is not easy to conjecture how it was propelled at the rate of fifteen miles an hour, which is the velocity ascribed to it. Adding to this the motion of the ship, at that time making the most of a fresh breeze, it must have remained under close inspection for a short time only, though it was watched with glasses for about twenty minutes, by the termination of which time it was probably six or seven miles off. Something like the mane of a horse, or a bunch of sea-weed “washed about" its back.

Such is the best description we have as yet received of this creature, a drawing of which, from a sketch made immediately aftcr the occurrence, is promised by Capt. McQuhae. When it appears, we may probably revert to this interesting subject.

understand; and as words, in the absence of luminous and accurate thought, afford a very convenient substitute for ideas, they imagine they have cleared away every difficulty, and taught us most satisfactorily how the world, and all that it contains, was gradually brought to its present state of perfection, when they utter the mystic sounds —"organization and development." Thus they account, not only for the minor works of God in this lower world, but

“ Contrive Creation : travel nature up
To the sharp peak of her sublimest height,
And tell us whence the stars: why some are fixed,
And planetary some; what gave them first
Rotation, from what fountain flowed their light.
Great contests follow, and much learned dust,
Involves the combatants; each claiming truth,
And truth disclaiming both. And thus they spend
The little wick of life's poor shallow lamp,
In playing tricks with nature, giving laws
To distant worlds, and trifling in their own.
Defend me, therefore, Common Sense! say I,
From reveries so airy, from the toil
Of dropping buckets into empty wells,
And growing old in drawing nothing up."

The poet (the result of the theory which he satirizes, and in the concluding lines so severely yet justly ridicules, almost entitles him to be designated a prophet) — tells of philosophers in his days who travelled nature up. We have those in our times who travel nature down. They prefer the bathos to the climax, and grasping first at something beyond the stars, after certain gyrations in the more lofty fields of creation, are found amongst the zoophytes and limpets embedded in the mud. The nebulae of the glorious regions above respond not to their notes, answer not to their call, and now, resolved by the magnificent instrument of Lord Rosse, laugh to scorn their false science by the development of the true. Nothing now remains to them but to take a step or two downward, and since they can no longer impose on the ignorant, by teaching them how suns are formed and worlds developed, they may amuse themselves and their unreasoning followers, by showing how a developed oyster or a ramified spider, or an expanded crab, assumes at length the mens dirina, with the form erect, and becomes a veritable and accredited individual of the genus homo, of which, according to this theory, man is a species. And thus it is, that not a little of what would assume to itself the name of science, and pretend to inform and instruct the minds of our ingenious young persons of the present day, is no better than a mockery, a delusion, and a snare, designed to exclude the Deity from his own world, to resture the old philosophic dream of an apathetic divinity; to invest Nature, the effect, with the attributes of God, the cause, and so contradict his words, who is truth personified, and who says, “My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.”— Daris' Difficulties of Education.

A MOTHER'S TEARS.

(Translated from the German.) Monica, the pious mother of Augustine, the renowned Bishop of Hippo, had retired into an inner room of her house. Fearful forebodings of coming evil oppressed her heart, and the dangers which threatened her darling son during his intercourse with the Manichæan philosuphy in luxurious Carthage, rose up before her timid mind like ghastly spectres, and drew forth from her loving breast the warmest prayers on his behalf.

Whilst pouring forth her requests to God one day in her solitude, a youth of noble appearance was announced to the lonely widow. His form was handsome, and his look cheerful ; roses were interwoven with his waving hair, and the rich cloak descended gracefully from his shoulders. With the air of a messenger of joy, he stepped up to the expectant mother, and thus hastily addressed her: “ Rejoice, mother, for thy son is well; he has been initiated into the only true philosophy, and now hastens eagerly, with unbridled spirit, from one rich enjoyment of life to another. We have sought and found the key stone to true pleasure !-Aurelius salutes his mother!”

That was sad news for thee, Monica! For see how closely she draws her mourning robe around her ; how she lies day

and night before the Lord in prayer, and her eye is never bright and cheerful.

Eve, assuredly, never wept thus for Abel, the murdered one ; nor Rachel for the soul of Joseph, who—as they told her-had been torn in pieces by a wild beast in the wilderness!

Just tears ! or is the bodily death of a child more heart-rending to such a pious mother than the fall from the heaven of his youth headlong into the hideous depths of sensuality?

And the report came to Ambrosius, the holy bishop of stately Milan, “ Behold, Monica, thy friend, has lost her son, for he is now in thought and action a Manichean, and she mourns for him as for one dead, and her eye will never again be bright and cheerful ; alas, it is all over with her!"

Then the venerable bishop arose from his seat, and cried out with joyful emotion, "Rejoice with me, ye sympathising friends, rejoice that ye have seen this most pious mother weep thus : Oh, the son of such tears can never be lost!

And after a lapse of some time, behold, Augustine sat at the feet of the bishop, a neophyte, (a newly baptized convert,) with his heart burning with holy love to the Redeemer. And there was great joy in heaven over him.

J. T.

[ocr errors]

EARLY LIFE OF GOLDSMITH. MR. Editor :

IN · Forster's Life and Adventures of Oliver Goldsmith,' lately published, I was surprised to find the writer following in the wake of all his other biographers, and perpetuating an error, corrected seven years ago, in a work entitled Collections, illustrative of the Geology and History of Camberwell.' A volume of topography, to be sure, seldom enjoys a very extensive circulation, and might, therefore, have been easily overlooked ; but in this case, the fact referred to had been noticed in several of our most popular prints and amongst them a leading Morning Newspaper, the Penny Magazine,' and 'Chambers's Edinburgh Journal.'

Few of your readers are ignorant of the writings of Goldsmith, although not exactly the character adapted to figure prominently

« ZurückWeiter »