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sive by the little stream that falls from rock to rock down the channel. The sun is darkened, and the boys have uncovered their heads, as if standing in the presence-chamber of the Majesty of the whole earth. At last this feeling begins to wear away; they look around them : and find that others have been there before them. They see the names of hundreds cut in the limestone butments. A new feeling comes over their young hearts, and their knives are in their hands in an instant. “ What man has done, man can do," is their watchword, while they draw themselves up, and carve their name a foot above those of a hundred full-grown men who have been there before them.
They are all satisfied with this feat of physical exertion-except one, whose example illustrates perfectly the forgotten truth, that there is “no royal road to learning.” This ambitious youth sees a name just above his reach—a name which will be green in the memory of the world when those of Alexander, Cæsar, and Buonaparte shall rot in oblivion. It was the name of Washington. He had been there and left his name, a foot above any of his predecessors. It was a glorious thought to write his name side by side with that great father of his country. He grasps his knife with a firmer hand, and, clinging to a little jutting crag, he cuts again into the limestone, about a foot above where he stands; he then reaches up and cuts another for his hands. 'Tis a dangerous adventure; but as he puts his feet and hands into those gains, and draws himself up carefully to his full length, he finds himself a foot above every name chronicled in that mighty wall. While his companions are regarding him with concern and admiration, he cuts his name in wide capitals, large and deep into that flinty album. His knife is still in his hand, and strength in his sinews, and a new-created aspiration in his heart. Again he cuts another niche, and again be carves his name in larger capitals. This is not enough; heedless of the entreaties of his companions, he cuts and climbs again. The gradations of his ascending scale grow wider apart. He measures his length at every gain he cuts. The voices of his friends grow weaker and weaker, till their words are finally lost on his ear. He now for the first time casts a look beneath him—had that glance lasted a moment, that moment would have been his last. He clings with a convulsive shudder to his little niche in the rock. An awful abyss awaits his almost certain fall. He is faint with severe exertion, and trembling from the sudden view of the dreadful destruction to which he is exposed. His knife is worn half-way to the haft. He can hear the voices, but not the words, of his terror-stricken companions below! What a moment! what a meagre chance to escape destruction ! there is no retracing his steps. It is impossible to put his hands into the same niche with his feet and retain his slender hold a moment. His companions instantly perceive this new and fearful dilemma, and await his fall with emotions that "freeze their young blood.” He is too high to ask for his father and mother, his brothers and sisters, to come and witness or avert his destruction.
But one of his companions anticipates his desire.
Swift as the wind he bounds down the channel, and the situation of the fated boy is told upon his father's hearthstone.
Minutes of almost eternal length roll on, and there are hundreds standing in that rocky channel, and hundreds on the bridge above, all holding their breath, and awaiting the fearful catastrophe. The poor boy hears the hum of new and numerous voices both above and below. He can just distinguish the tones of his father, who is shouting with all the energy of despair:
“ William ! William! Don't look down! Your mother, and Henry, and Harriet, are all here praying for you! Don't look down! Keep your eye towards the top!” The boy didn't look down. His eye is fixed like a flint towards heaven, and his young heart on Him who reigns there. He grasps again his knife. He cuts another niche, and another foot is added to the hundreds that remove him from the reach of human help from below. How carefully he uses his wasted blade! How anxiously he selects the softest places in that vast pier! How he avoids every flinty grain ! How he economizes his physical powers, resting a moment at each gain he cuts ! How every motion is watched from below! There stand his father, mother, brother, and sister, on the very spot, where if he falls he will not fall alone.
The sun is half-way down in the west. The lad has made fifty additional niches in the mighty wall, and now finds himself directly under the middle of that vast arch of rock, earth, and trees. He must cut his way in a new direction to get from this overhanging mountain. The inspiration of hope is in his bosom ; its vital heat is fed by the increasing shouts of hundreds, perched upon cliffs and trees, and others who stand with ropes in their hands upon the bridge above, or with ladders below. Fifty more gains must be cut before the longest rope can reach him. His wasting blade strikes again into the limestone. The boy is emerging painfully foot by foot from under that lofty arch. Spliced ropes are in the hands of those who are leaning over the outer edge of the bridge. Two minutes more and all will be over, That blade is worn to the last half-inch. The boy's head reels ; his eyes are starting from their sockets. His last hope is dying in his heart; his life must hang upon the next gain he cuts. That niche is his last. At the last flint dash he makes, his knife-bis faithful knife-falls from his little nerveless hand, and ringing along the precipice, falls at his mother's feet. An involuntary groan of despair runs like a death-knell through the channel below, and all is still as the grave. At the height of nearly three hundred feet, the devoted boy
lifts his hopeless heart and closing eyes to commend his soul to God. 'Tis but a moment—there ! one foot swings off !—he is reeling-trembling—toppling over into eternity. Hark !—a shout falls on his ears from above! The man who is lying with half his length over the bridge has caught a glimpse of the boy's head and shoulders. Quick as thought the noose rope is within reach of the sinking youth. No one breathes. With a faint convulsive effort the swooning boy drops his arm into the noose. Darkness comes over him, and with the words “GOD!” and “MOTHER !” whispered on his lips just loud enough to be heard in heaven, the tightening rope lifts him out of his last shallow niche. Not a lip moves while he is dangling over the fearful abyss; but when a sturdy Virginian reaches down and draws up the lad, and holds bim up in his arms before the tearful, breathless multitude—such shouting! and such leaping and weeping for joy never greeted a human being so recovered from the yawning gulf of eternity.
Virginia.–One of the Southern States of America, called
Virginia after the virgin Queen Elizabeth, in whose reign it was colonised. Virginia is noted for the beauty of its scenery, and still more for its many natural curiosities ; among the most celebrated of which is the natural rock-bridge, formed by some great convulsion of nature, which appears to have rent a mountain asunder by a mighty chasm, and joined it at the top by a mass
of rock. Alexander. - Alexander the Great, the conqueror of Asia. Cæsar.—Julius Cæsar, the most famous of all the Roman
generals. Buonaparte.- Napoleon Buonaparte. Washington.- George Washington, under whom the United
States achieved their independence. He was born in
ICEBERGS IN THE ATLANTIC.
ONE morning, earlier than the usual time of rising, the steward awakened us with the news that icebergs were close at hand. This was charming intelligence, for, so late in the season, they are but rarely met with. We were all soon on deck, and for a worthy object. One was a grand object, with two great domes, each as large as that of St. Paul's; the lower part was like frosted silver. Where the heat of the sun had melted the surface, and it had frozen again, in its gradual decay it had assumed all sorts of angular and fantastic shapes, reflecting from its green transparent mass thousands of prismatic colours, while, below, the gentle swell dallied with its cliff-like sides. The action of the waves had worn away a great portion of the base over the water into deep nooks and caves, destroying the balance of the mass. While we were passing, the crisis of this tedious process chanced to arrive; the huge white rock tottered for a moment, then fell into the calm sea with a sound like the roar of a thousand cannon, the spray rose to a great height into the air, and large waves rolled round, spreading their wide circles over the ocean, each ring diminishing till at length they sank to rest. When the spray had fallen again, the glittering domes had vanished, and a long, low island of rough ice and snow lay on the surface of the water.
There is something impressive and dismal in the fate of these cold and lonely wanderers of the deep. They break loose, by some great effort of nature, from the shores and rivers of the unknown regions of the north, where for centuries, perhaps, they have been accumulating, and commence their dreary voyage, which has no end but annihilation. For years they may wander in the Polar Sea, till some strong gale or current bears them past its iron limits; then, by the predominance of winds and waters to the south, they