Page images
PDF
EPUB

myself with the prospect of the various inter. esting objects that lay all around me, and which can no where be better seen than from hence.

« Every view and every object I studied at. tentively, by viewing them again and again on every side, for I was anxious to make a lasting impression of it on my imagination. Below me lay steeples, houses, and palaces, in count. less numbers; the squares, with their grass plots in the middle, that lay agreeably dispersed intermixed with all the huge clusters of build. ings, forming meanwhile a pleasing contrast and a relief to the jaded eye.

" At one end rose the Tower, itself a city, with a wood of masts behind it; and, at the other, Westminster Abbey, with its steeples. There I heheld, clad in smiles, those beautiful green hills that skirt the environs of Padding. ton and Islington ; here, on the opposite bank of the Thames, lay Southwark. The city it. self it seems to be impossible for any eye to take in entirely, for, with all my pains, I found it impossible to ascertain either where it ended or where the circumjacent villages hegan : far as the eye could reach it seemed to be all one continued chain of buildings.

“ It is, however, idle and vain to attempt giv. ing you in words any description, however faint and imperfect, of such a prospect as I have just been viewing. He who wishes, at one view, to see a world in miniature, must come to the dome of St. Paul's !"

THE CULTIVATION OF THE MIND Is an essential duty ; and of such signal advantage, that it lies at the foundation of individual and national respectability.

GREAT and almost incredible have been the effects of diligence and industry in the cul. tivation of the mind, even in those persons who have enjoyed the fewest advantages; of this our own country has afforded several illustrious examples ; many instances have occurred of persons, who, amidst all the disadvantages of poveity, and destitute of the usual means of improvement, have soared to such heights in the regions of literature, as have astonished the world, and will cause their names to be remem. bered with veneration and delight, as long as a taste for science continues to exist : the la. bours of these untutored geniuses are so many striking proofs of the powerful effects of patient persevering exertion ; let the indolent and careless consider this circamstance and blash at their own folly !

“ If we take a survey of the state of those countries which have not yet experienced the blessings of civilization, upon whom the light of the gospel has not yet dawned, nor science shed her divine influence-dreadful indeed are the scenes which will present themselves to our view ; ignorance and superstition, main. taining an unlimited ascendency over the hu. man mind, and introducing a thousand bar. barous customs, at the thoughts of which the feeling mind turns away with horror and dis. gust ; the little appearance of religion that is to be found amongst them overclouded with

the most shocking absurdities, and its utility destroyed by the most impious and cruel rites. Can we reflect on these circumstances, and not be sensible of the value of those superior means of improvement which we enjoy? How dili. gent ought we to be in appropriating them to our own advantage, and in rendering them subservient to the best interests of society !" Maidstone.

A.

MOUNT VERNON, WHERE General Washington resided, and where he closed his days, is a most delightful spot. It is thus pleasingly described.

“ THE celebrated seat of the late president Washington is pleasantly situated on the Vir. tinian bank of the Potomack, where it is nearly two miles wide, and is about two hundred and eighty miles from the sea. It is nine miles below Alexandria. The area of the mount is two hundred feet above the surface of the river, and after furnishing a lawn of five acres in front, and about the same in the rear of the buildings, falls rather abruptly on those two quarters. On the north end it subsides gradu. ally into extensive pasture grounds, while, on the south, it slopes more steeply in a shorter distance, and terminate; with the coach-house, stables, vineyard, and nurseries. On either wing is a thick grove of different foweriug fo. rest trees. Parallel with them, on the land side, are two spacious gardens, into which we are led by two serpentine gravel walks, planted with weeping willows and shady shrubs. The mansion house appears venerable and conve. nient. The superb banquetting room has been

Anished since he returned home from the army. A lofty portico, ninety feet in length, supported by eight pillars, has a pleasing effect when viewed from the water. The whole as. semblage of the greenhouse, school-house, offices, and servant's halls, when seen from the land side, bears a resemblance to a rural village, especially as the lands on that side are laid out somewhat in the form of English gardens, in meadows and grass grounds, ornamented with little copes, circular clumps, and single trees. A small park on the margin of a river, where the English fallow deer and the American wild deer are seen through the thickets alternately with the vessels as they are sailing along, add a romantic and picturesque appearance to the whole scenery. On the opposite side of a small creek, to the northward. an extensive plain, exhibiting corn fields an! cattle grazing, affords, in summer, a luxuriant landscape ; while the blended verdure of wood. lands and cultivated declivities on the Maryland shore, variegates the prospect in a charm. ing manner. Such are the philosophic shades to which the late commander in chief of the American armies retired from the tumultuous scenes of a busy world.”

WONDERFUL EFFECT OF MUSIC WHICH, says the Poet, hath charms" to soothe a savage's breast;" take the following proof of its truth, recorded in the page of history.

« Sultan Amurath, having laid seige to Bag. dad, and taken it, ordered 30,000 Persians to be put to death, though they had submitted and laid down their arms. Amongst these un.

fortunate victims was a musician. He besought the officer who had the command to see the sultan's orders executed, to spare him but for a moment, and permit him to speak to the em peror. The officer indulged him, and, being brought before the sultan, he was suffered to give a specimen of his art. He took ap a kind of psaliry, which resembles a lyre, and has six strings on each side, and accompanied it with his voice. He sung the taking of Bagdad, and the triumph of Amurath. The pathetic tones and exulting sounds of the instrument, together with the alternate plaintiveness and boldness of his strains, melted even Amurath; he suffered him to proceed, till overpowered with harmony, tears of pity gushed forth, and he revoked his cruel orders. In consideration of the musician's abilities, he not only ordered those of the prisoners who remained alive to be spared, but gave them their liberty. This anecdote is related by Prince Cantimir, in his account of the transactions of the Ottomans.

THE ADVENTUROUS DUTCHMAN SHEWS the aversion which man has to solitude and desertion ; it is in many cases worse than death.

A Dutch ship returning from the East In dies; one of the seaman was condemned to deatlı, for some capital crime ; soon after arri. ving at St. Helena, at that time uninhabited. they changed his punishment, determining to leave him there, and accordingly put him on shore.

“ The unhappy man representing to himself the horrors of such a solitude, perhaps in *

« PreviousContinue »