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a desert where no rains fall, where the surface of the earth is covered with burning sands, where there is hardly the appearance of any soil, and where nothing but a few sickly plants are produced. In this miserable country, wells are so rare that travelers enumerate only five between Cairo and Mount Sinai, and the water they contain is bitter and saltish.

When the superficial waters can find no outlets or channels, they form marshes and fens. The most celebrated fens in

. Europe are those of Russia, at the source of the Tanais; and those of Savolaxia and Enasak, in Finland : there are also considerable marshes in Holland, Westphalia, and other countries. In Asia are the marshes of the Euphrates, of Tartary, and of the Palus Meotis. However, marshes are less frequent in Asia and Africa than in Europe. But the whole plains of America may be regarded as one continued marsh, which is a greater proof of the modernness of this country, and of the scarcity of its inhabitants, than of their want of industry.

There are extensive fens in England, particularly in Lincolnshire, near the sea, which has lost a great quantity of land on one side, and gained as much on the other. In the ancient soil, many trees are found buried under the new earth, which has been transported and deposited by the water; the same phenomenon is common in the marshes of Scotland. Near Bruges in Flanders, in digging to the depth of forty or fifty feet, a vast number of trees were found as close to each other as they are in a forest. Their trunks, branches, and leaves were so well preserved that their different species could be easily distinguished. About 500 years ago the earth where these trees were found was covered with the sea, and before this time we have neither record nor tradition of its existence. It must, however, have been dry land when the trees grew upon it. Thus the land that, in some remote period, was firm and covered with wood, has been overwhelmed with the waters of the sea, which in the course of time have deposited forty or fifty feet of earth upon the ancient surface, and then retired. A number of subterranean trees was likewise discovered at Youle in Yorkshire, near the river Humber. Some of them are so large as to be of use in building; and it is affirmed that they are as durable as oak. The country people cut them into long thin slices, and sell them in the neighboring villages, where the inhabitants employ them for lighting their pipes. All these trees appear to be broken, and the trunks are separated from the roots, as if they had been thrown down by a hurricane or an inundation. The wood appears to be fir, it has the same smell when burnt, and makes the same kind of charcoal. In the Isle of Man, there is a marsh called Curragh, about six miles long and three broad, where subterraneous fir trees are found, and, though eighteen or twenty feet below the surface, they stand firm on their roots. These trees are common in the marshes and bogs of Somerset, Chester, Lancashire, and Stafford. In some places, there are subterraneous trees which have been cut, sawed, and squared by the hands of men, and even axes and other implements are often found near them. Between Birmingham and Bromley, in the county of Lincoln, there are hills of a fine light sand, which is blown about by the winds, and transported by the rains, leaving bare the roots of large firs, in which the impressions of the ax are still exceedingly apparent. These hills have unquestionably been formed, like downs, by successive accumulations of sand transported by the motions of the sea. Subterraneous trees are also frequent in the marshes of Holland, Friesland, and near Groningen, which abound in turfs.

In the jurisdiction of Bergues-Saint-Winock, Furnes, and Bourbourgh, we find turf at three or four feet below the surface. These beds of turf are generally two feet thick, and are composed of corrupted wood, of entire trees with their branches and leaves, and particularly of filberts, which are known by their nuts, and the whole is interlaced with reeds and the roots of plants.

What is the origin of these beds of turf which extend from Bruges through the whole flat country of Flanders as far as the river Aa, between the downs and the high country in the environs of Bergues, etc. ? In remote ages, when Flanders was only a vast forest, a sudden inundation of the sea must have deluged the whole country, and, in retiring, deposited all the trees, wood, and twigs which it had eradicated and destroyed in this lowest territory of Flanders; and this event must have happened in the month of August or September, because we still find the leaves of trees, as well as nuts, on the filberts. This inundation must have taken place long before that province was conquered by Julius Cæsar, since no mention is made of it in the writings of the ancients.

ADVENTURES OF TOM JONES.

BY HENRY FIELDING.

[For biographical sketch, see page 118.]

ENSIGN NORTHERTON'S LITTLE JOKE OF SLANDERING SOPHIA.

THE tenderness of lovers can ill brook the least jesting with the names of their mistresses. However, Jones, though he had enough of the lover, and of the hero too, in his disposition, did not resent these slanders as hastily as, perhaps, he ought to have done.. To say the truth, having seen but little of this kind of wit, he did not readily understand it, and for a long time imagined Mr. Northerton had really mistaken his charmer for some other. But now, turning to the ensign with a stern aspect, he said, “ Pray, sir, choose some other subject for your wit ; for I promise you I will bear no jesting with this lady's character.” “ Jesting !” cries the other, “d—n me if ever I was more in

, earnest in my life. Tom French, of our regiment, had both her and her aunt at Bath.” “ Then I must tell you in earnest," cries Jones, “ that you are one of the most impudent rascals

upon earth."

He had no sooner spoken these words than the ensign, together with a volley of curses, discharged a bottle full at the head of Jones, which, hitting him a little above the right temple, brought him instantly to the ground.

The conqueror perceiving the enemy to lie motionless before him, and blood beginning to flow pretty plentifully from his wound, began now to think of quitting the field of battle, where no more honor was to be gotten; but the lieutenant interposed by stepping before the door, and thus cut off his retreat.

Northerton was very importunate with the lieutenant for his liberty, urging the ill consequences of his stay, asking him what he could have done less? “ Zounds !” says he, “ I was but in jest with the fellow. I never heard any harm of Miss Western in my life.” “Have you not ?" said the lieutenant ; "then you

” richly deserve to be hanged, as well for making such jests, as for using such a weapon : you are my prisoner, sir ; nor shall you stir from hence till a proper guard comes to secure you.

Such an ascendant had our lieutenant over this ensign that all that fervenoy of courage which had leveled our poor hero

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with the floor would scarce have animated the said ensign to have drawn his sword against the lieutenant, had he then had one dangling at his side ; but all the swords being hung up in the room, were, at the very beginning of the fray, secured by the French officer. So that Mr. Northerton was obliged to attend the final issue of this affair.

The French gentleman and Mr. Adderly, at the desire of their commanding officer, had raised up the body of Jones ; but as they could perceive but little (if any) sign of life in him, they again let him fall, Adderly damning him for having blooded his waistcoat, and the Frenchman declaring, “ Begar, me no tush the Engliseman de mort: me have heard de Englise ley, law, what you call, hang up de man dat tush him last."

When the good lieutenant applied himself to the door, he applied himself likewise to the bell; and the drawer immediately attending, he dispatched him for a file of musketeers and a surgeon. These commands, together with the drawer's report of what he had himself seen, not only produced the soldiers, but presently drew up the landlord of the house, his wife, and servants, and, indeed, every one else who happened at that time to be in the inn.

To describe every particular, and to relate the whole conversation of the ensuing scene, is not within my power, unless I had forty pens, and could, at once, write with them all together, as the company now spoke. The reader must, therefore, content himself with the most remarkable incidents, and perhaps he may very well excuse the rest.

The first thing done was securing the body of Northerton, who, being delivered into the custody of six men with a corporal at their head, was by them conducted from a place which he was very willing to leave, but it was unluckily to a place whither he was very unwilling to go. To say the truth, so whimsical are the desires of ambition, the very moment this youth had attained the above-mentioned honor, he would have been well contented to have retired to some corner of the world where the fame of it should never have reached his ears.

It surprises us, and so, perhaps, it may the reader, that the lieutenant, a worthy and good man, should have applied his chief care rather to secure the offender than to preserve the life of the wounded person.

We mention this observation not with any view of pretending to account for so odd a behavior, but lest some critic should hereafter plume himself on discovering

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it. We would have these gentlemen know we can see what is odd in characters as well as themselves, but it is our business to relate facts as they are; which, when we have done, it is the part of the learned and sagacious reader to consult that original book of nature whence every passage in our work is transcribed, though we quote not always the particular page for its authority.

The company which now arrived were of a different disposition. They suspended their curiosity concerning the person of the ensign, till they should see him hereafter in a more engaging attitude. At present, their whole concern and attention were employed about the bloody object on the floor ; which being placed upright in a chair, soon began to discover some symptoms of life and motion. These were no sooner perceived

. by the company (for Jones was at first generally concluded to be dead) than they all fell at once to prescribing for him (for as none of the physical order was present, every one there took that office upon him).

Bleeding was the unanimous voice of the whole room ; but unluckily there was no operator at hand; every one then cried, “ Call the barber;” but none stirred a step. Several cordials were likewise prescribed in the same ineffective manner, till the landlord ordered up a tankard of strong beer, with a toast, which he said was the best cordial in England.

The person principally assistant on this occasion, indeed the only one who did any service, or seemed likely to do any, was the landlady: she cut off some of her hair, and applied it to the wound to stop the blood; she fell to chafing the youth's temples with her hand; and having expressed great contempt for her husband's prescription of beer, she dispatched one of her maids to her own closet for a bottle of brandy, of which, as soon as it was brought, she prevailed on Jones, who was just returned to his senses, to drink a very large and plentiful draught.

Soon afterwards arrived the surgeon, who, having viewed the wound, having shaken his head, and blamed everything which was done, ordered his patient instantly to bed; in which place we think proper to leave him some time to his repose, and

, shall here, therefore, put an end to this chapter.

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