« ПредишнаНапред »
foreground, fountains, with their margins of white marble, and groups of bronze figures, are very fine; and still more magnificent is the Fountain of Latona, with the white marble figures on the red marble steps, surrounded by seventy-four gigantic frogs spouting out crystal streams. The spectator, unacquainted with the fable of Jupiter, metamorphosing the peasants of Lybia into frogs, for refusing refreshments to Latona, will be at a loss to make out what is signified by the scene.
The canal there, more than four thousand feet long, crossed by one whose length is three thousand, forms a prominent feature in the representation. I could dwell on the particular points that afford me satisfaction; but all appear beautiful. The sky is bright, and the park is delightful. The palace and park of Versailles, most certainly, form one of the most attractive scenes in the world.
The Village Of Baden, though presenting to the eye of the spectator a view of one of the most picturesque spots in all Syria, is to me one of the least impressive scenes in the exhibition.
When the fierce and fiery beams of the summer sun drive away the inhabitants of Scanderoon from the marshy and unhealthy situation of their dwellings, they find an agreeable retreat in the village of Baden, where excellent fruits and good water await them. The aqueduct arches, the San ton's tomb, the minaret and dome of the mosque, the gulf of Ajazza, and the distant mountains of Lebanon, are not without interest; but so much are they eclipsed by several of the other scenes, that I will not dwell upon them.
The Lake Ofthun,ui Switzerland, is to me by far the most attractive representation of the Cosmorama. It is enough to make the common-place spectator imaginative, and to inspire the poetic visitant with high-wrought visions of romantic beauty. To decide whether the mountains, the trees, or the skies are the most lovely, would be an arduous undertaking. If the sublime and beautiful were ever closely connected, they are so in these smiling valleys, these cultivated hills, and mighty mountains, whose cloud-capped, icy pinnacles are lost amid the skies.
Well may such scenes be valued by the Switzer peasant! Well may they afford pleasure to him by day, and mingle with his dreams by night!
Dear is that shed to which his soul conforms,
The lake of Thun is more than seventeen hundred feet above the level of the sea, while the Niesen, Moine, Riger, and Jungfrau mountains lift their snowy heads thirteen thousand feet and more amid the clouds. All that is picturesque and fair in Alpine scenery seems here embodied. The river Aar, which runs below the spot whence this view is taken, descending from the FinsterAar-horn, rolls along the base of the glaciers, collecting all their tributary waters, and distributing them among the lakes of Thun and Brienta. It afterwards pursues a course somewhat circuitous to the Rhine on the German frontier. I must now bid adieu to the Cosmorama.
In perambulating from one exhibition to another, of panoramas, dioramas, and cosmoramas; of architecture, statuary, painting, science, and literature—the thought intrudes itself, Oh that all who have talent, all who excel among mankind, would bear in mind whence their powers were derived, and would humbly adore the Giver of all good for the endowments with which he has favoured them in this world, and the revelation of his mercy through the Redeemer!
There are in London many institutions and exhibitions which do little more than communicate pleasure to those who visit them, or promote the advancement of particular branches in arts and sciences. There are others more closely connected with our common comforts, our every day luxuries, and, indeed, with our very existence as a great nation. Among these latter, the Docks occupy a high place. In a national and individual point of view, they are of incalculable importance.
What a night on the globe would prevail,
When, for a moment, we consider that not less than four thousand ships are employed in bringing the products of other countries into the port of London, and in bearing away thence the manufactures and merchandize of England; that fifteen thousand cargoes enter the port every year, and that there are seldom less than two thousand vessels in the Docks and the river, to say nothing of three thousand barges and small craft occupied in lading and unlading: when we think of these things, and at the same time call to mind that more than two thousand boats and wherries enable at least eight thousand watermen to pick up a living in plying them; that four thousand labourers find employment in lading and unlading the ships; and that twelve thousand revenue officers are required to discharge the duties of the port and the river, we cannot but regard the Docks with interest as well curiosity.
The East India Docks are at Blackwall; the West India Docks lie across the neck of the Isle of Dogs, between Limehouse and Blackwall; the London Docks are at Wapping; and St. Katharine's Docks lie between Wapping and the Tower. I visited them all years ago, and walking over the same ground again to-day, brings many things to my mind, which for sometime have escaped my memory. How often the things of earth remind us of friends who are in heaven! How often do inanimate objects around us cry aloud to us, "What man is he that liveth, and shall not see death 1" "Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return," Psa. lxxxix. 48; Gen. iii. 19.
As a stranger approaches the Docks, he will have many indications of their locality. A solitary, chop-fallen sailor walks along slowly, with his hands in the pockets of his trowsers. He