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opposite direction. There are few appearances more deceptive than that amount of inclination which a distant mountain exhibits to the eye; the apparent steepness very far exceeding the real declivity. The Silla mountain, near Caraccas, rising to the height of from eight to nine thousand feet, at an angle of 53" 28', probably makes the nearest approach to perpendicularity of any great elevation yet known. Occasional interruptions occur in the general direction of a chain, from its component parts spreading out laterally, beyond which the general direction is resumed. These deviating masses, common in the Andes, are called mountain-knots.—Milner.
LESSON XX. THE SOUL IMMORTAL.
Babert. Will my soul live, mother, after my body is dead?
Mother. Robert, your soul will never die. Your body will die, and be laid in the grave, and turn to dust. But your soul will never die. It will live always.
Eobert. I do not understand you, mother.
Mother. Look here, Robert; I will make as many marks on this slate as there are days in one year. There, I have made the marks. Now, do you count them.
Eobert. I have counted them, mother, and there are three hundred and sixty-five.
Mother. That is right: there are three hundred and sixty-five days in one year, and if I were to make as many marks again, they would amount to as many as there are days in two years. Now, suppose I were to fill all the slate full of marks on both sides, how many years do you suppose they would all represent?
Eobert. I do not know, mother. Perhaps they would represent as many as ten years.
Mother. Well, they would, —about that. Now, suppose I were to fill ten slates full, how many years would that amount to?
Robert. One hundred, mother; because ten tens make one hundred.
Mother. Suppose this room were full of slates— as full as it could hold, one piled on the top of another, and every slate were full of marks, and every mark made one year, how many years would they all make?
Robert. Oh! I do not know, mother—I could not count them.
Mother. Suppose every room in this house were full of slates, all covered with marks, and every house in this town full of them, and you should carry them all into a large field, and pile them all, one on the top of another, how many years would they all make?
Robert. Oh, mother, nobody could tell! It would take you all your life to count them.
Mother. Well, my son, your soul will live as many years as could be represented by all the marks on all the slates.
Robert. And will my soul die then, mother?
Mother. No, Robert, it will not die then; but will keep on living. It will live as many years again as all the marks on the slates in the great pile; and then it will not die—it will still keep on living. It will live as many years as all the marks would amount to on a hundred such piles of slates—on a thousand such piles of slates— on as many such piles as you can think of, from the ground away up to the sky, one on the top of another. And even then your soul will not die—it will still keep on living. Your soul will live for ever. It will never, never die.
Robert. Oh, mother, how long my soul will live! I cannot think how long it •will live. But where will it live? Where will it go to when I die? Who will take care of my soul? What will it do? Will it keep thinking? Will your soul, and mine, and dear sister Eliza's, go to the same place, mother, after we are all dead? Do you know? If you do, do tell me. I wish to know all about it, very much indeed.
MotJier. Robert, I am afraid we have not time now, but it shall not be long before I will tell you more. You will have a great deal to learn about your soul; and about where it is going to, after your body is dead and laid in the grave; and what you must do, that your soul may be happy for ever. For, remember, your soul will never die. Your soul will live for ever.—Gallaudet.
LESSON XXI. THE HERO AND THE ROBBER.
Alexander. What, art thou the Thracian robber, of whose exploits I have heard so much?
Robber. I am a Thracian, and a soldier.
Alexander. A soldier!—a thief, a plunderer, an assassin! the pest of the country! I could honour thy courage, but I must detest and punish thy crimes.
Robber. What have I done of which you can complain?
Alexander. Hast thou not set at defiance my authority, violated the public peace, and passed thy life in injuring the persons and properties of thy fellow-subjects?
Robber. Alexander, I am your captive. I must hear what you please to say, and endure what you please to inflict. But my soul is unconquered; and if I reply at all to your reproaches, I will reply like a free man.
Alexander. Speak freely. Far be it from me to take the advantage of my power to silence those with whom I deign to converse.
Robber. I must then answer your question by asking another. How have you passed your life?
Alexander. Like a hero. Ask Fame, and she will tell you. Among the brave I have been the bravest; among sovereigns, the noblest; among conquerors, the mightiest.
Bobber. And does not Fame speak of me, too? Was there ever a bolder captain of a more valiant band? Was there ever—but I scorn to boast. You yourself know that I have not been easily subdued.
Alexander. Still, what are you but a robber—a base, dishonest robber?
Bobber. And what is a conqueror? Have not you, too, gone about the earth like an evil genius, blasting the fair fruits of peace and industry; plundering, ravaging, killing, without law, without justice, merely to gratify an insatiable lust for dominion? All that I have done to a single district with a hundred followers, you have done to whole nations with a hundred thousand. If I have stripped individuals, you have ruined kings and princes. If I have burned a few hamlets, you have desolated the most flourishing kingdoms and cities of the earth. What is then the difference, but that, as you were born a king, and I a private man, you have been able to become a mightier robber than I?
Alexander. But if I have taken like a king, I have given like a king. If I have subverted empires, I have founded greater. I have cherished arts, commerce, and philosophy.
Bobber. I, too, have freely given to the poor what I took from the rich. I have established order and discipline among the most ferocious of mankind, and have stretched out my protecting arm over the oppressed. I know, indeed, little of the philosophy you talk of; but I believe neither you nor I shall ever atone to the world for the mischief we have done it.
Alexander. Leave me—take off his chains, and use him well. Are we then so much alike? Alexander a robber! Let me reflect.—Mrs. Barbauld.
LESSON XXII. THE ELEPHANT.
The elephant is widely diffused through the vast forests of Africa, and is met with in herds of various numbers. The male is very much larger than the female. He is provided with two enormous tusks. These are long, tapering, and beautifully arched; their length averages from six to eight feet, and they weigh from sixty to a hundred pounds each. Near the equator, elephants attain a greater size than to the southward. I am in possession of a pair of tusks of the African bull elephant, the larger of which measures ten feet nine inches in length, and weighs one hundred and seventythree pounds. The females, unlike the Asiatic elephants in this respect, are also provided with tusks. Old bull elephants are found singly, or in pairs, or consorting together in small herds, varying from six to twenty individuals. The young bulls remain for many years in the company of their mothers, and these are met together in large herds of from twenty to a hundred. The food of the elephant consists of the branches, leaves, and roots of trees, and also of a variety of bulbs, of the situation of which he is advised by his exquisite sense of smell. To obtain these, he turns up the ground with his tusks,