Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

two hundred and fifty men was the immediate result, and in the confusion of the moment, four couples of my dogs which they had been leading were allowed to escape. These instantly faced the lion, who, finding that by his bold bearing he had succeeded in putting his enemies to flight, now became solicitous for the safety of his little family, with which the lioness was retreating in the back ground. Facing about, he followed them with a haughty step, growling fiercely at the dogs, which trotted along on either side of him. On running down the hill side ta recall my dogs, I for the first time observed the retreating lioness, with four cubs.—Cumming.

LESSON XXXVIII. THE NAUTILUS.

Where Ausonian summers glowing,
Warm the deep to life and joyance,
And gentle zephyrs, nimbly blowing,
Wanton with the waves, that flowing
B}" many a land of ancient glory,
And many an isle renowned in story,
Leap along with gladsome buoyance;

There, Marinere,

Dost thou appear,
In faery pinnace gaily flashing,
Through the white foam proudly dashing—
The joyous playmate of the buxom breeze,
The fearless fondling of the mighty seas.

Thou the light sail boldly spreadest,
O'er the furrowed waters gliding:
Thou nor wreck, nor foeman dreadest—
Thou nor helm, nor compass needest,

While the sun is bright above thee,
While the bounding surges love thee,
In their deepening bosom hiding,

Thou canst not fear,

Small Marinere;
For—though the tides, with restless motion,
Bear thee to the desert ocean—
Far as the ocean stretches to the sky,
'Tis all thine own, 'tis all thy empery.

Lame is art, and her endeavour
Follows nature's course but slowly,
Guessing, toiling, seeking ever,
Still improving, perfect never;
Little Nautilus, thou showest
Deeper wisdom than thou knowest
Lore, which man should study lowly:

Bold faith and cheer,

Small Marinere,
Are thine, within thy pearly dwelling—
Thine, a law of life compelling
Obedience—perfect, simple, glad, and free—
To the Great Will that animates the sea.

Hartley Coleridge.

LESSON XXXIX. VOLCANOES.

Mountains of this class require specific notice, on account of their peculiar features, and powerful influence in modifying the physiognomy of the districts in which they are situated. The Bomans applied the term Vulcania, derived from Vulcanus, the name of their imaginary god of fire, to a small island in the Lipari group, on the north of Sicily, which exhibited signs of fiery activity before the Christian era, and still emits gaseous exhalations. Our word "volcano" is from the same source, and has become the common denomination of all sites remarkable in the economy of the globe for discharges of smoke, flame, steam, ashes, and molten products, which, being generally elevated, are hence styled burning mountains. They commonly form very regular cones, with a hollow at the summit, called the crater, or cup, the sides of which are sometimes entire, like the walls of a circus, but often rent. The inclosed space, more immediately the scene of luminous phenomena during eruptions, is of very various extent, and undergoes great changes from the tremendous action of the eruptive forces. While the interior of some craters is perfectly inaccesslble, owing to the steepness of the sides, others may be descended in seasons of repose to the floor, which usually presents a series of ashy cones, with cracks and fissures, through which jets of smoke, steam, and flame issue at the most tranquil intervals.

Volcanoes are either active or extinct. Those of the first class are either incessantly active, like Stromboli, which has never been known to extinguish its torch; or intermittent, intervals of quiet, more or less extended, occurring between successive outbursts. The oldest volcano, or the one whose activity has been known to the civilised world for the longest period, is Etna. Vesuvius was not known to be in action before the year A.d. 79, when the cities of Herculaneum and Pompeii were overwhelmed by its products. Both mountains have since had long periods of inactivity, Etna having reposed for several centuries in the middle ages; but the eruptions of both have increased in frequency and violence in more modern times. Extinct volcanoes are those whose form and materials plainly denote them to have once been scenes of fiery explosions, but which have not been known to exhibit any signal of energy. Yet, as Europeans have only been acquainted with the great majority of volcanoes for a comparatively short period, it is possible that some may be classed as extinct which are merely intermittent. An explosion, after a long interval of intermission, is usually most tremendous.

The vast majority of volcanoes occupy the basin and shores of the Pacific Ocean, extending from the South Shetlands, along the west coast of America, from Tierra del Fuego (Land of Fire) to the Aleutian Isles, stretching through that chain to Kamschatka, and thence proceeding by the Kurile, Japanese, and Philippine Islands, into the Indian Archipelago, on the one hand, and through the Australian Isles to New Zealand, on the other.

MUner.

LESSON XL. INDUSTRY.

Industry, to be successful, ought to be steady, persevering, and wisely directed. Industry ought to be steady. If we look upon a young boy, and a man of maturity and experience, going out together to work, we shall observe a very marked difference in their manner. We will suppose that they are going out into the forests, upon a winter morning, with a sled drawn by oxen, to get in wood. The boy is running hither and thither, and jumping about the sled; and when he comes to the woods, he begins cutting with great zeal and earnestness, to see if he cannot get a log cut off before his father. His father, on the other hand, moves deliberately. He takes no unnecessary steps; he makes no violent exertion. The consequence is, that the boy is exhausted in an hour, and after that can do very little more; whili the man is able to continue his labour steadily till tl sun goes down in the evening.

Industry must be persevering. One great cause of want of perseverance among all persons, is their losing their interest in what they have begun, and then abandoning it for something else. Thus they go on and waste a great deal of time and strength upon unfinished undertakings.

Children very often manifest a great want of perseverance in respect to the studies which they commence at school. When some new study is thought of, they are often very desirous of undertaking it. They petition their parents and the teacher to allow them to get the books and begin. They are sure that they shall like it. And so they will like it; that is, they will like the beginning of it, which is all, in fact, that they can distinctly foresee. They see clearly that they shall like the beginning; and the interest and pleasure which really belong to the novelty of the undertaking, they think will attach permanently to the study itself. They begin, accordingly, with great zeal; but when the first ardour is over, and they find that the new study, which looked so alluring, requires the same patient assiduity that the old studies demanded, they are disappointed and discouraged, and all their interest is gone.

Industry must be well directed. The building of the Egyptian pyramids seems to have been ill-directed industry. A vast amount of labour and expense was devoted to them; but the mighty structures were almost utterly useless when they were done. The work of

« ElőzőTovább »