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Sad is your tale of the beautiful earth,
LESSON XLIV. EARTHQUAKES.
In various parts of the world, and at various tlmes, there have been felt movements of the superficial crust of the earth, consisting for the most part of one or more rapidly succeeding undulations, accompanied often by sounds, and traceable distinctly in some particular direction, chiefly linear, taking time to proceed from one point to another. They are called earthquakes, and are recognised phenomena in all volcanic countries; but occur also in districts which present no mark whatever of volcanic origin, and no trace of volcanic products. The following account of the great earthquake that destroyed Lisbon well describes the chief phenomena.
"There was a sensible trembling of the earth in 1750, after which it was excessively dry for four years together, insomuch that some springs, formerly very plentiful of water, were dried, and totally lost; at the same time the predominant winds were east and northeast, accompanied with various, though very small> tremors of the earth. The year 1755 proved very wet and rainy, the summer cooler than usual, and for forty days before the great earthquake, clear weather, yet not remarkably so. The 31st of October, the atmosphere and light of the sun had the appearance of clouds, with a notable obfuscation. The 1st of November, early in the morning, a thick fog arose, which was soon dissipated by the heat of the sun; no wind stirring, the sea calm, and the weather as warm as in England in June or July. At thirty-five minutes after nine o'clock, without the least warning, except a rumbling noise, not unlike the artificial thunder at our theatres, immediately preceding, a most dreadful earthquake shook, by short but quick vibrations, the foundations of all Lisbon, so that many of the tallest edifices fell that instant. Then, with a scarcely perceptible pause, the nature of the motion changed, and every building was tossed like a waggon driven violently over rough stones, which laid in ruins almost every house, church, convent, and public building, with an incredible slaughter of the people. It continued, in all, about six minutes. At the moment of the beginning, some persons on the river, near a mile from the city, heard their boat make a noise, as if run aground or landing, though then in deep water, and saw at the same time the houses falling on both sides the river. Four or five minutes after, the boat made the like noise, which was another shock, which brought down more houses. The bed of the Tagus was in many places raised to its surface. Ships were driven from their anchors, and jostled together with great violence nor did the masters know if they were afloat or aground. The quay was overturned, with many hundreds of people on it, and sunk to an unfathomable depth in the water, not so much as one body afterwards appearing. The bar was seen dry from shore to shore; then suddenly the sea, like a mountain, came rolling in, and about Belem Castle the water rose fifty feet almost in an instant; and, had it not been for the great bay opposite to the city, which received and spread the great flux, the low part of
it must have been under water. As it was, it came up to the houses, and drove the inhabitants to the hills. About noon there was another shock, when the walls of several houses which were yet standing, were seen to open from top to bottom more than a quarter of a yard, but closed again so exactly as to leave scarce any mark of the injury. This earthquake came on three days before the new moon, when three quarters of the tide had run up. The direction of its progress seems to have been from north to south nearly, for the people on the river, south of the town, observed the remotest buildings to fall first, and the sweep to be continued down to the water's edge. Few days passed without some shock lor the space of an ensuing year."—Ansted.
LESSON XLV. DUTY TO PARENTS.
As children are, in early life, entirely helpless and dependent, God has made it the duty of their parents to feed, clothe, instruct, and govern them, until they shall be old enough to take care of and govern themselves. "While, therefore, their parents are fulfilling this duty, children ought to submit to their authority, respect and honour their parental office, attend to their instructions, and be grateful and affectionate, in return for their kindness and love.
Children ought to be submissive to parental authority. To be submissive is to yield a willing and cheerful obedience. The child, who openly disobeys his father or mother, is guilty of great sin. He is not submissive. He rebels. He rebels against the authority of his parents, and thus breaks the commands of God. So with the child who secretly disobeys. If we do what our parents command while they see us, and then, when we suppose we are not observed, secretly disobey, we violate our duty.
Children should respect and honour their father and mother. It is very wrong ever to speak disrespectfully to them. Children often do this: sometimes when they are displeased, and sometimes from thoughtlessness. But it is always wrong. If we answer them in an illnatured manner, or express feelings of dislike or resentment, or make them subjects of jest or ridicule, or trifle with their feelings in any way, we do very wrong. Such treatment is entirely inconsistent with the principles which ought to govern the intercourse between the child and his parent.
Children ought to pay very ready and careful attention to their parents' instructions. They are very dependent upon the instruction which their parents give them, and provide for them, for all that they learn; and they ought toreceive the3e instructions with docility and readiness.
Children ought to be grateful to their parents for all their kindness and care. It is true, that it is the duty of parents to provide for their children; but, in doing it, they do not act coldly and formally, as if they were merely discharging a duty,—their hearts are filled with warm affection and love. How tenderly will a mother watch over her sick child in its cradle! She sits by ils side, gently soothing its uneasiness and pain while it wakes, and watching it while it sleeps. She hushes every noise, keeps off every cold breath of air—bathes the little sufferer's face and hands, to soothe his restlessness—carries him, back and forth, across the room, with his cheek upon her s'.oulder, until her arms ache with the fatigue,—and, at midnight, when she lies down, at last, to steal a few moments' rest, the least movement at his cradle brings her to his side.
When we consider how much fatigue, and anxiety, and suffering, parents endure for their children, it would seem, at first thought, that they never can be repaid; and yet, on the other hand, when we consider how much power children have to gladden their parents' hearts, and lighten all their labours and cares, by a kind and dutiful deportment, we are almost ready to believe that they may fully compensate them day by day.—J. Abbott.
LESSON XLVI.—COLUMBU8 AT BARCELONA.
The entrance of Columbus into Barcelona has been compared to one of those triumphs which the Eomans were accustomed to decree to conquerors. First were paraded the Indians, painted according to their savage fashion, and decorated with tropical feathers and with their national ornaments of gold; after these were borne various kinds of live parrots, together with stuffed birds and animals of unknown species, and rare plants supposed to be of precious qualities; while great care was taken to make a conspicuous display of Indian coronets, bracelets, and other decorations of gold, which might give an idea of the wealth of the newly-discovered regions. After these followed Columbus, on horseback, surrounded by a brilliant cavalcade of Spanish chivalry. The streets were almost impassable from the countless multitude; the windows and balconies were crowded with the fair; the very roofs were covered with spectators. It seemed as if the public eye could not be sated with gazing on these trophies of an unknown world, or on the remarkable man by whom it was discovered.