« ПредишнаНапред »
many an aching heart has found relief–how many a weary mind has been enlivened-how many a rugged nature has been softened-how many a cruel purpose has been diverted and disarmed, by the mediation of this enchanting art ! On the field of war, when all things round are overcast with a hue of death and ruin; and when even reason, duty, and the love of country itself, are insufficient to prevent the spirits from sinking at the sight of the terrible pomp of destruction that stalks around, the sound of the fife and drum is able to confirm the staggering soul, to arouse the drooping energies of the heart, and hurry them on to an intoxication of bravery and defiance, which all the persuasions of reason could never have produced. In the bosom of domestic life, how effectual is the moderate intervention of this science, in strengthening the bonds of social love, and in cheering the exertions of industry! The poor artisan, who is fed by the labour of his hands, forgets his toil, while he unburdens his heart in song; and the fond father and brother feel their affection sensibly increased, when the object of their care is charming the hours away with a melody of other times. In the temples of the living God, when the mind is distracted by the memory of earthly cares, or the assaults of indolence and tepidity, the choir and the organ are used to direct its attention, and to elevate its aspirations. Here, too, they are made to the Supreme Being a faint echo of that homage which he receives, in its perfection, from the seraphim
in heaven. How precious, therefore, is this art, which is capable of soothing the unhappy, of refreshing the weary, of softening the hard of heart, of re-animating a drooping courage, of strengthening a social affection, of inspiring even labour itself with a multitude of pleasing and cheerful associations !
THE CROSS OF THE SOUTH.
The pleasure we felt on discovering the constellation, called the Southern Cross, was warmly shared by such of the crew as had lived in the colonies. In the solitude of the sea, we hail a star, as a friend from whom we have been long separated. Among the Portuguese and Spaniards, peculiar motives seem to increase this feeling; a religious sentiment attaches them to a constellation, the form of which recalls the sign of the faith planted by their ancestors in the deserts of the New World. The two great stars which mark the summit and the foot of the cross, having nearly the same right ascension, it follows that the constellation is almost perpendicular, at the moment when it passes the meridian. This circumtance is known to every nation that lies beyond the tropics, or in the southern hemisphere. It has been observed at what hour of the night, in
different seasons, the Cross of the South is erect or inclined. It is a time-piece, that advances very regularly nearly four minutes a day, and no other group of stars exhibits, to the naked eye, an observation of time so easily made. How often have we heard our guides exclaim in the savannahs of Venezuela, or in the desert extending from Lima to Truxillo, "Midnight is past; the Cross begins to bend !"
DE HUMBOLDT'S TRAVELS.
In the silence and grandeur of midnight I tread, Where Savannahs in boundless magnificence
spread, And bearing sublimely their snow-wreaths on high, The far Cordilleras unite with the sky.
The fern-tree waves o'er me, the fire-flies' red light With its quick-glancing splendour illumines the
night, And I read in each tint of the skies and the earth, How distant my steps from the land of my birth. .
But to thee, as thy lode-stars resplendently burn In their clear depths of blue, with devotion I turn, Bright Cross of the South ! and beholding thee
shine, Scarce regret the loved land of the olive and vine.
Thou recallest the ages when first o'er the main My fathers unfolded the streamer of Spain,
And planted their faith in the regions that see
How oft in their course o'er the oceans unknown,
As the vision that rose to the Lord of the world*, When first his bright banner of faith was un
furled ; Even such to the heroes of Spain, when their
prow Made the billows the path of their glory, wert thou.
And to me, as I traversed the world of the west, Through deserts of beauty in stillness that rest, By forests and rivers untamed in their pride, Thy beams have a language, thy course is a guide.
Shine on-my own land is a far distant spot,
O'er the firmament wand'ring, can gaze not on
But thou to my thoughts art a pure-blazing shrine,
Yenisei China Archipelago Brahmapoutra This grand division of the globe, the second in rank and importance, even in modern times, is first in extent and population. It is bounded north, by the Northern Ocean; west, by Europe, the Sea of Azoph, the Black Sea, the Sea of Marmora, the Archipelago, the Mediterranean, the Isthmus of Suez, and the Red Sea; south, by the Indian Ocean; and east, by the Pacific Ocean. It contains the following countries: Turkey in Asia, Arabia, Persia, Afghanistan, Hindostan, Eastern Peninsula, China, Thibet, Eastern or Chinese Tartary, Western or Independent Tartary, and Siberia or Asiatic Russia; to which may be added the islands of Japan. Its length from the Dardanelles to the eastern shores of Tartary is about 6000 miles ; its breadth, from the south of Malacca to Cape Severo in Siberia, is 5200 miles. It is said to contain 16 millions of square miles, with a population of 460 millions.
The greater portion of this vast continent is situated in the north temperate zone; that in the torrid zone being only one-seventh, and that in