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natural embellishment, the facts presented may be regarded as a fair specimen of the adventures which constitute so great a portion of the romance of a whaler's life ; a life which, viewing all the incidents that seem inevitably to grow out of the enterprise peculiar to it, can be said to have no parallel. Yet vast as the field is, occupied by this class of our resolute seamen, how little can we claim to know of the particulars of a whaleman's existence! That our whale ships leave port, and usually return, in the course of three years, with full cargoes, to swell the fund of national wealth, is nearly the sum of our knowledge concerning them. Could we comprehend, at a glance, the mighty surface of the Indian or Pacific seas, what a picture would open upon us of unparalleled industry and daring enterprise! What scenes of toil along the coast of Japan, up the straits of Mozambique, where the dangers of the storm, impending as they may be, are less regarded than the privations and sufferings attendant upon exclusion from all intercourse with the shore! Sail onward, and extend your view around New-Holland, to the coast of Guinea; to the eastern and western shores of Africa; to the Cape of Good Hope ; and south, to the waters that lash the cliffs of Kergulan's Land, and you are ever upon the whaling-ground of the American seaman. Yet onward, to the vast expanse of the two Pacifics, with their countless summer isles, and your course is still over the common arena and highway of our whalers. The varied records of the commercial world can furnish no precedent, can present no comparison, to the intrepidity, skill, and fortitude, which seem the peculiar prerogatives of this branch of our marine. These characteristics are not the growth of forced exertion; they are incompatible with it. They are the natural result of the ardor of a free people; of a spirit of fearless independence, generated by free institutions. Under such institutions alone, can the human mind attain its fullest expansion, in the various departments of science, and the multiform pursuits of busy life.
What is fame, when the spade our last bed hath designed,
Pain, thou sole perfect thing to earth assigned,
That promise autumn pays, which spring began,
Harp of the North! who shall disturb thy slumbers ?
The hand that tuned thee first, is cold and chill;
The voice that sang to thee, for a ye are still!
No more beneath the poet's touch of fire,
Thy rich and flowing cadences shall swell;
Which knew the great Magician's mighty spell.
Thou hangest sadly on the drooping willow,
That bends its long dark tresses o'er his iomb;
Silent, thou art content to share his doom.
But when the night-wind, on its gloomy wings,
Passeth the lonely walls of Dryburgh by,
Soft and melodious as an angel's sigh;
Who guards the spot where the Last Minstrel sleeps!
GENOA AND THE GENOESE.
BY REV. WALTER COLTON, UNITED STATES' NAVY, AUTHOR or
SHIP AND SHORE,' ETC.
The streets of Genoa, with a few splendid exceptions, are extremely narrow; and their confined, alley-like character is rendered seemingly still more restricted, by the altitude of the buildings. You look up from the pavement as from the bottom of some deep chasm, and discover, with a feeling bordering on insecurity, the elevation of the aperture communicating with the blue sky; but you quite despair of reaching that place of freer respiration, except by some ladder little less in length than the one which rose on the patriarch's dream. You occasionally discover an arch thrown across from the balcony of one dwelling to another, though a youth of elastic limb would hardly need that giddy bridge to aid his transit, especially if winged by the impatient hope of meeting there the Madonna of his heart. The arch may perhaps sometimes be the mutual refuge or resting place of affection. I once saw on one of these, at the dead of night, between me and the moon, two clasping forms, so light, distinct, and soft in outline, you would have said the grave had given up the most beautiful of its tenants, or that two embodied spirits had stepped from their wandering cloud, to linger there in admiration of the splendor and silence which reign over the sleeping life of the city.
But these slight arches, trod by love, are far less lofty than one connecting two more substantial elevations, within the precincts of the town. This springs bold and free over the tops of buildings, high enough up themselves to dwindle the jostling crowd in the street into dwarfs. From this the ruined in fortune and the broken in hope frequently cast themselves down, ending at once life and its
pressing sorrows. This fatal step would less deserve our criminating rebuke, could they, in that fall, leap the life to come ;' but they only pass to the fearful realities of that existence, from which, even in the last extremities of wo, there is no escape. Yet I never paused at the grave of a suicide, without a feeling more inclined to tears than maledictions. The bitterness of disappointment, the night of anguish, that can in themselves reconcile a man to death, and make him consent to become his own executioner, must have an energy which none but those who have some time or other partially harbored the frightful purpose, can fully comprehend. What man of intellect and sensibility could rail at the grave of the author of Lacon ? Even merited reproach falters at a recollection of his transcendent
erring charity veils the terrors of his suicidal guilt.
Near this bridge of death, as if to lure the despairing to the light and promises of a better hope, stands the beautiful church of Čarignano. A dome of graceful spring lets in the soft light upon the worshipper, as he kneels in the low nave, amid the breathing statues of those who, like himself, have meekly wrestled with their lot. He feels here not utterly forsaken in his sorrows; around him are those who once wept, trusted, and triumphed; here is the sweet face of Her whose all-pitying eye sheds encouragement over the broken heart of the penitent; and here too is the boundless compassion of Him whose merits and mercy are the refuge of a ruined world. To this altar let me come : but alas ! I have no offerings to bring, except the blighted remains of betrayed purposes and violated vows; these, bathed in tears, I lay down, with a blush of contrition and shame. May the strength of higher and holier resolves brace me to the responsibilities which gather wide and deep over this deathless soul! I have slumbered too long; the fresh hours of the morning have passed from the dial of my life; the meridian have come, and nothing yet has been attempted worthy of myself, or the duty I owe to my God and my fellow-men. Awake, my heart ! though pulseless, prostrate, and cold, awake!
The bent reeds, where the tempest hath been, have risen ; the fettered earth, on which the winter had cast its icy chain, has opened into blossom and song; but thou, like one on whom the grave bath closed, stirrest not. In rallied life and strength, awake! though it be but to struggle, bleed, and die!
Though these confessions and self-reproaches flow unbidden from my inmost heart, yet I must turn to objects in which the reader can find a more immediate interest. Leaving the statues which adorn the nave of Carignano, and which are, the work of Puget, the Michael Angelo of France, we went to the cathedral which derives its interest less from its architectural pretensions, than its venerable age. The exterior is cased with alternate layers of white and black marble, distinctly and strongly marked. When these lines shall rush together, and blend into one color, the amalgamating schemes of abolition phrenzy may perhaps triumph. The shores of my native land will then be shaded with that material twilight, which even the freshly risen stars cannot change! In one of the chapels of the cathedral, dedicated to John the Baptist, we were shown the iron urn supposed to contain the ashes of that saint. As this righteous man was sacrificed to the frivolous whim of a wanton female, none of her frail sex are allowed to approach his shrine. We found here also the celebrated emerald vase, reputed to have been presented to Solomon by the Queen of Sheba, and which was taken from the infidels at Cesarea, by the battling hosts that went out for the rescue of the Holy Land. I cannot but regret that the recent tests of sceptical science have decided this splendid trophy to be only a composition of polished glass ! Life itself is only an illusion, and why break the bubbles that float on its breath?
A monumental group in this church struck me as one of the most delicate and pleasing efforts of Canova's genius. Grief, in the likeness of a weeping angel, is looking down with tender resignation on the tomb; while Hope, in seraphic beauty, with the earnestness of an unfaltering faith, is looking up to that anchor which piety hath cast within the veil. Never before has death appeared to me so disarmed of its terrors. Say what we will against the visible representation of spiritual existences, they certainly affect us the most deeply in this tangible shape. In the one case, we have form, substance, sympathy; in the other, only a vague ideal conception, that addresses itself to no outward sense. Think you the multitude would linger 80 around that statue which enchants the heart,' if there were nothing there but the invisible creation of some poetic dream? I think not; hence the advantage which the Catholic faith derives from its striking palpable symbols, and which it must ever possess, so long as men are influenced more by their outward senses, than their mental abstractions.
The church of St. Stephen derives its leading interest from a representation of that first martyr, by Raphael, as he bows himself, in the forgiving spirit of his Master, to the violence of his murderers. His very look of innocence and meekness were enough, one would suppose, to disarm the most savage breast of its malice. But man, when he persecutes in the name of religion, seems only the more steeled against the kindlier impulses of his nature. He lights his profane brand at the altar of heaven, and then kindles up a conflagration at which hell might shudder.
The church of the Annunziata is splendid in its marbles, but frightful in the malefactor of Carloni, broken on the wheel; while the Ambrozia, of less ambition in design, and richness in ornament, has the milder and deeper attractions derived from the life-imparting pencil of Rubens and Guido. But of all the sanctuaries here, none charmed me more than the chapel of the Carmelite nuns. This is small, simple, chaste, and in harmony with the noiseless habits of those who here enshrine their timid hopes of immortality. Would that she were here, who weeps within the walls of Santa Clara, here to kneel, to hymn her vesper prayer, and then with the wings of a dove to flee away and be at rest! But into whatever quarter of the heavens she might pass, I should watch her flight as one that would pursue. But, Maria, that the wing of the turtle were lent thee, and a pinion granted me of equal fleetness, yet whither could we fly? Where escape from the all-shadowing upas that blights this earth? There is no isle in the most sunny clime, that sorrow hath not touched, no shore in the remotest sea, where death hath not his empire. The pall, the plume, and the sable hearse, move from every point of this globe to that shadowy realm, where the mourner soon becomes the mourned. We will then, sweet one! build our altar to hope, and earnestly look for that promised land where tears and farewells are unknown; where the countenance of the dweller is ever filled with perfect light; where the unwithered and uncrushed flowers still breathe their fragrant homage ; and where the rich harp-string mingles its music with the voice of the streams, as they flow
'Fast by the oracle of God.' Could any thing, reader, tempt our thoughts back to this earth, and the brilliant vanity of its cities, it might perhaps be the splendors of a saloon in the Serra palace of Genoa. Here walls and columns, covered with mirrors and gold, a floor of tesselated marble, and tables of richest Mosaic, fascinate the eye; and you at first half conceive yourself realizing the gorgeous fictions of some oriental dream; and you begin to forget the poverty, strife, and wretchedness, which disfigure the condition of man. But there is one painting among the many which adorn the costly galleries of this mansion, that brings you back to the painful reality; it is from the vivid pencil of Carlo Dolci, and represents that scene in the garden of Gethsemane, in which innocence, amid the sorrows and dismay of our shrinking natures, resigned itself to the agonies and ignominy of the cross ! He that can gaze on this scene, and feel no emotions of grief and reverence, must have a heart that pity cannot touch, or heaven forgive !
I could take the reader to other princely edifices, to the unrivalled paintings which adorn them, the statues and marbles which heighten their claims to admiration for no city in the world is so rich in palaces as Genoa but I have not room to record my impressions, nor he time to peruse them. But there is one feature of this city which must not be passed unnoticed; it is the provision which has been made, by individual wealth, for the relief of the unfortunate and poor. Here the deaf and dumb are taught to communicate their feelings, and catch the meaning of others, without the aid of an articulate language; here the aged, whom the turning tide of fortune has left wrecked on the shore, find a simple but generous asylum ; here the orphan boy is furnished the means of procuring a present subsistence, and of acquiring a knowledge that may subserve his after years; and here the little girl, who has no mother and no home, may find a cheerful refuge, where she may braid her flowers, receive the avails of her work, and at a becoming age, perhaps make another happy with her beauty and timid worth. These are the benefactions of the more wealthy citizens of Genoa, and bespeak virtues that will be revered when the usual forms in which wealth expresses itself shall be remembered only to be pitied and despised.
We were cautioned in coming here not to go in our purchases beyond the assurances of our own knowledge ; and we at first hesitated distrustingly over the genuineness of a string of coral beads, those little gifts which one gets abroad for an infant sister, a lisping niece, or one deeper in the bond of years, but capable of receiving them without a surrender of the heart. But in all the purchases we made, and they were many, and some of no inconsiderable value, I heard