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as to consider ourselves in these perpetual approaches to HIM, who is the standard not only of perfection, but of hap piness!

ADDISON.

CHAPTER V.

DESCRIPTIVE PIECES.

SECTION 1.

The Seasons.

AMONG the great blessings and wonders of the crea tion, may be classed the regularities of times and seasons. Immediately after the flood, the sacred promise was made man, that seed time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, should continue to the very end of all things. Accordingly, in obedience to that promise, the rota tion is constantly presenting us with some useful and agree able alteration; and all the pleasing novelty of life arises from these natural changes: nor are we less indebted to them for many of its solid comforts. It has been frequently the task of the moralist and poet, to mark, in polished peri ods, the particular charms and coveniences of every change and, indeed, such discriminate observations upon natural v riety cannot be undelightful; since the blessing, which er ery month brings along with it, is a fresh instance of the wisdom and bounty of that Providence, which regulates the glories of the year. We glow as we contemplate; we feel a propensity to adore, whilst we enjoy. In the time of seed sowing, it is the season of confidence: the grain which the husbandman trusts to the bosom of the earth shall, haply yield its sevenfold rewards. Spring presents us with a scene of lively expectation. That which was before sown, begi now to discover signs of successful vegetation. The labour er observes the change, and anticipates the harvest: he watches the progress of nature, and smiles at her influence while the man of contemplation walks forth with the even ing, amidst the fragrance of flowers, and promises of plen ty; nor returns to his cottage till darkness closes the scene pon his eye. Then cometh the harvest, when the larg wish is satisfied, and the granaries of nature are loaded with the means of life, even to a luxury of abundance. The pow ers of language are unequal to the description of this happy season. It is the carnival of nature; sun and shade,

cool

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ess and quietude, cheerfulness and melody, love and ratitude, 'unite to render every scene of summer delightful. The division of light and darkness is one of the kindest fforts of Omnipotent Wisdom. Day and night yield us ontrary blessings; and, at the same time, assist each other, y giving fresh lustre to the delights of both. Amidst the lare of day, and bustle of life, how could we sleep? Amidst he gloom of darkness, how could we labour?

How wise, how benignant, then, is the proper division! he hours of light are adapted to activity; and those of arkness, to rest. Ere the day is passed, exercise and nature repare us for the pillow; and by the time that the morning eturns, we are again able to meet it with a smile. Thus, very season has a charm peculiar to itself, and every monent ffords some interesting innovation.

MELMOTH,

SECTION II.

The Cataract of Niagara, in Canada, North America.

THIS amazing fall of water is made by the river St. Law. rence, in its passage from lake Erie into the lake Ontario. The St. Lawrence is one of the largest rivers in the world; and yet the whole of its waters is discharged in this place, by a fall of a hundred and fifty feet perpendicular. It is not easy to bring the imagination to correspond to the greatness of the scene. A river extremely deep and rapid, and that serves to drain the waters of almost all North America into the Atlantic Ocean, is here poured precipitately down a ledge of rocks, that rises, like a wall, across the whole bed of its stream. The river, a little above, is near three quarters of a mile broad; and the rocks, where it grows narrower, are four hundred yards over. Their direction is not straight across, but hollowing inwards like a horse-shoe: so that the eataract, which bends to the shape of the obstacle, rounding inwards, presents a kind of theatre the most tremendous in nature. Just in the middle of this circular wall of waters, a little island, that has braved the fury of the current, presents one of its points, and divides the stream at top into two parts; but they unite again long before they reach the bottom. The noise of the fall is heard at the distance of several leagues; and the fury of the waters at the termination of their fall, is inconceivable. The dashing produces a mist that rises to the very clouds; and which forms a most beautiful rainbow when the sun shines. It will readily be supposed, that such a

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ataract entirely destroys the navigation of the stream; and et some Indians in their canoes, as it is said, have ventur d down it with safety.

GOLDSMITH...

SECTION 111.

The Grotto of Antiparos.

Of all the subterraneous caverns now known, the grotto of Antiparos is the most remarkable, as well for its extent, s for the beauty of its sparry incrustations. This celebraed cavern was first explored by one Magni, an Italian traveler, about one hundred years ago, at Antiparos, an inconsiderble island of the Archipelago. "Having been informed," ays he, "by the natives of Paros, that in the little island of Antiparos, which lies about two miles from the former, a igantic statue was to be seen at the mouth of a cavern in hat place, it was resolved that we (the French consul and imself) should pay it a visit. In pursuance of this resolution fter we had landed on the island, and walked about four niles through the midst of beautiful plains, and sloping woodands, we at length came to a little hill, on the side of which awned a most horrid cavern, that by its gloom at first struck s with terror, and almost repressed curiosity. Recovering he first surprise, however, we entered boldly; and had not roceeded above twenty paces, when the supposed statue f the giant presented itself to our view. We quickly per eived, that what the ignorant natives had been terrified s a giant, was nothing more than a sparry concretion, form ed by the water dropping from the roof of the cave, and by egrees hardening into a figure, which their fears had form d into a monster. Incited by this extraordinary appearance, we were induced to proceed still further, in quest of new ad ventures in this subterranean abode. As we proceeded, new vonders offered themselves; the spars, formed into trees and hrubs, presented a kind of petrified grove; some white, some green; and all receding in due perspective. They struck is with the more amazement, as we knew them to be mere productions of nature, who, hitherto in solitude, has, in her playful moments, dressed the scene, as if for her own amuse

ment.

"We had as yet seen but a few of the wonders of the place; and we were introduced only into the portico of this amazing temple. In one corner of this half illumniated recess, there appeared an opening of about three feet wide, which seemed to lead to a place totally dark, and which one of the natives assured us contained nothing more than a re

servoir of water. Upon this information, we made an experiment, by throwing down some stones, which rumbling along the sides of the descent for some time, the sound seemed at last quashed in a bed of water. In order, however, to be more certain, we sent in a Levantine mariner, who, by the promise of a good reward, ventured, with a flambeau in his hand, into this narrow aperture. After continuing within it for about a quarter of an hour, he returned, bearing in his hand, some beautiful pieces of white spar, which art could neither equal nor imitate. Upon being informed by him that the place was full of these beautiful incrustations, I ventured in once more with him, about fifty paces, anxiously and cautiously descending, by a steep and dangerous way. Finding however, that we came to a precipice which led into a spacious amphitheatre, (if I may so call it,) still, deeper than any other part, we returned, and being provided with a ladder flambeau, and other things to expedite our descent, our whole company, man by man, ventured into the same opening; and descending one after another, we at last saw ourselves all together in the most magnificent part of the cavern."

SECTION IV.

The Grotto of Antiparos continued.

"OUR candles being now all lighted up, and the whole place completely illuminated, never could the eye be presented with a more glittering, or a more magnificent scene. The whole roof hung with solid icicles, transparent as glass, yet solid as marble. The eye could scarcely reach the lofty and noble ceiling; the sides were regularly formed with spars; and the whole presented the idea of a magnificent theatre, illuminated with an immense profusion of lights. The floor consisted of solid marble; and, in several places, magnificent columns, thrones, altars, and other objects, appeared, as if nature had designed to mock the curiosities of art. Our voices, upon speaking or singing, were redoubled to an astonishing loudness; and upon the firing of a gun, the noise and reverberations were almost deafening. In the midst of this grand amphitheatre rose a concretion of about fifteen feet high, that in some measure, resembled an altar; from which, taking the hint, we caused mass to be celebrated there. The beautiful columns that shot up round the altar, appeared like candlesticks; and many other natural objects represented the customary ornaments of this rite.

"Below even this spacious grotto there seemed another

cavern; down which I ventured with my former mariner, and descended about fifty paces by means of a rope. I at last arrived at a small spot of level ground where the bottom appeared different from that of the amphitheatre, being com posed of soft clay, yielding to the pressure, and in which I thrust a stick to the depth of six feet. In this, however, as above, numbers of the most beautiful crystals were formed one of which particularly resembled a table. Upon our egress from this amazing cavern, we perceived a Greek inscription upon a rock at the mouth, but so obliterated by time, that we could not read it distinctly. It seemed to import that one Antipater, in the time of Alexander, had come hither; bat whether he penetrated into the depths of the cavern, he does not think fit to inform us. "This account of so beautiful and striking a scene, may serve to give us some idea of the subterraneous wonders of nature. GOLDSMITH,

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SECTION V.

Earthquake at Catanea.

ONE of the earthquakes most particularly described in his tory, is that which happened in the year 1693; the damages of which were chiefly felt in Sicily; but its motion was perceived in Germany, France and England. It extended to à circumference of two thousand six hundred leagues; chiefly affecting the sea coasts and great rivers; more perceivable also upon the mountains than in the valleys. Its motions were so rapid, that persons who lay at their length were tossed from side to side as upon a rolling billow. The walls were dashed from their foundations; and no fewer than fifty four cities, with an incredible number of villages, were either destroyed or greatly damaged. The city of Catanea, in par ticular, was utterly overthrown. A traveller, who was on his way thither, perceived, at the distance of some miles, a black cloud, like night, hanging over the place. The sea, all of sudden began to roar ; Mount Etna to send forth great spires of flame; and soon after a shock ensued, with a noise as all the artillery in the world had been at once discharged Our travelier, being obliged to alight instantly, felt himself raised a foot from the ground; and turning his eyes to the city, he with amazement saw nothing but a thick cloud of dust in the air. The birds flew about astonished; the sun was darkened; the beasts ran howling from the hills; and although the shock did not continue above three minutes, yet near nineteen thousand of the inhabitants of Sicily perished in the ruins. Catanea, to which city the describer wa

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