Page images
PDF

CRATER OF KIRAUEA.

The volcano of Kirauea, which is the subject of our plate, is situated in Hawaii (Owhyee) the largest of the Sandwich Islands, about twenty-five miles from the seashore. It was visited some time since by the missionaries in those islands, and described in the journal of their tour. The following description is collected from it. “We travelled on, clearing every ohelo bush that grew near the path, till about 2 o'clock, P. M. (August 1,) when the Crater of Kirauea all at once burst upon our view.— We expected to have seen a mountain with a broad base, and rough indented sides, composed of loose slags, or streams of lava, and whose summit would have presented a rugged wall of scoria, forming the rim of a mighty chaldron. But instead of this, we found ourselves on the edge of a steep precipice, with a vast plain before us, fifteen or sixteen miles in circumference, and sunk from 200 to 400 feet below its original level. The surface of the plain below was uneven, and strewed over with large stones, and volcanic rocks, and in the centre of it was the great crater, a mile or a mile and a half distant from the precipice on which we were standing.” 1. “Led by our guides, we walked on to the north end of the ridge, where, the precipice being less steep, a descent to the plain below seemed practicable. It required, however, the greatest caution, as the stones and fragments of rocks frequently gave way under our feet, and rolled down from above; and with all our care we did not reach the bottom without several falls and slight bruises. After walking some distance over the sunken plain, which in several places sounded hollow under our feet, we came suddenly to the edge of the great crater, where a spectacle sublime and appalling presented itself before us. * “Astonishment and awe for some moments deprived us of speech, and like statues we stood fixed to the spot with our eyes rivetted on the abyss below. “Immediately before us yawned an immense gulf, in the form of a crescent, upwards of two miles in length, about a mile across, and apparently eight hundred feet deep. The bottom was filled with lava, and the southwest and northern parts of it were one vast flood of liquid fire, in a state of terrific ebullition, rolling to and fro’ its “fiery surge,’ and flaming billows. varied form and size, rose like so many conical islands, from the surface of the burning lake. Twenty-two constantly emitted columns of gray smoke, or pyramids of brilliant flame.” “The sides of the gulf before us were perpendicular for about four hundred feet; when there was a wide horizon

Fifty-one craters, of

talledge of solid black lava, of irregular breadth, but extending completely round. Beneath this black ledge the sides sloped towards the centre, which was, as nearly as we could judge, 300 or 400 feet lower. It was evident that the crater had been recently filled with liquid lava up to this black ledge, and had, by some subterranean canal, emptied itself into the sea, or inundated the low land on the shore. “Removing then along the western side of the crater, till we reached the north end, we deposited the few pro| visions and little baggage that we had, and having quenched our thirst with water brought in canteens, we directed the natives to build a hut for us to pass the night in, in such a situation as to command a view of the burning lava; and while they were thus employed, we prepared to examine the many interesting objects around us. “Between nine and ten, the dark clouds and heavy fog, that since the setting of the sun had hung over the volcano, gradually cleared away, and the fires of Kirauea, darting their fierce light athwart the midnight gloom, unfolded a sight terrible and sublime beyond all we had yet seen.

“The agitated mass of lava, like a flood of melted metal, raged with tumultuous whirl. The lively flame that danced over its surface, tinged with sulphureous blue, or glowing with red, cast a broad glare of light on the inden|ted sides of the insulated craters, whose bellowing mouths, amidst flames and eddying streams of fire, shot up at intervals, with loudest detonations, spherical masses of fusing lava or ignited stones. “The dark bold outline of the perpendicular and jutting rocks around formed a striking contrast with the luminous lake below, whose rays, thrown on the rugged promontories, and reflected by the overhanging clouds, combined to complete the awful grandeur of the scene.” The following is from a description of the same volcano by the Rev. Charles S. Stewart, who afterwards visited it in company with Lord Byron, a British officer. “The gulf below contains between fifty and sixty smaller conical craters, many of which are in constant action.— The tops and sides of two or three of these are covered with sulphur of mingled shades of green and yellow ; with the exception of these, the ledge and everything below it is of a dismal black. “As the darkness of the night gathered round us, new and powerful effect was given to the scene. Fire after fire, which the glare of mid-day had entirely concealed, began to glimmer on the eye with the first shades of the evening; and as the darkness increased, appeared in such rapid succession, as forcibly to remind me of the hasty lighting of the lamps of a city on the sudden approach of a gloomy night. Two or three of the small craters nearest the north side where we lodged, were in full action, every moment casting out stones, ashes, and lava, with heavy detonations, while the irritated flames accompanying them glared wildly over the surrounding obscurity, against the sides of the ledge and upper cliffs, richly illuminating the volumes of smoke at the south end, and occasionally casting a bright reflection on the bosom of a passing cloud. The great seat of action, however, seemed to be at the southern and western end, where an exhibition of ever-varying fireworks was presented, surpassing in beauty and sublimity all that the ingenuity of art ever devised. Rivers of fire were seen rolling in splendid corruscation among the laboring craters; and on one side a whole lake, whose surface constantly flashed and sparkled with the agitation of contending currents. On the night previous to his departure from the scene, Mr Stewart and his company had the rare good fortune, clay model is a fundamental defect, which, even if it be afterwards discovered, it is extremely difficult to remedy. In the third place, the clay body is cast in plaster, for the purpose of fixing and preserving the figure, and of enabling the artist to mark his lines, and to judge of the total effect of his composition on a white surface. After all this, the sculptor having so placed his block of marble immediately before the cast as to be able to measure any distance on one or the other by means of an instrument fixed between them, begins the last and delicate operation of cutting or chipping away the stone itself; and so proceeds, from rougher to finer strokes, till he ends with working for days together with his chisel, in drawing out the rich folds of a woman's hair or giving life and pliability to a hero's muscle. By this process are produced the statues that adorn our squares and other public places, and the decorations of palaces, castles, and public buildings. To the ancient and noble art of sculpture we are also indebted for those beautiful monuments in our churches and cathedrals by which the ...Y and the example of the good and the great are transmitted from generation to generation. The work from which the annexed engraving is taken, is what is called a bas-relief, or basso-relievo, the cast of which (for it is not yet executed in marble) was exhibited by Mr. Behnes, a sculptor of deserved eminence, at one of the annual exhibitions of the Royal Academy at Somerset-house. It is the most recent work of its kind brought before the public, and is deserving of notice both as a composition and for its execution. The subject proposed by the sculptor, is Shakspeare's course of human life, as that great poet has drawn it, in a well known passage of his beautiful play, As You Like It. Any good É. from the works of the greatest dramatic poet of England ought never to come amiss; and, as it must be the basis for a few remarks on Mr. Behnes's composition, we will quote it at once:—

[graphic]

to witness an uncommon convulsion and eruption of the crater, which he thus describes. “Every monition momentarily increased and Lord B. springing up in his cot, exclaimed, “We shall certaintly have an eruption—such power must burst through every thing.” He had scarcely ceased speaking, when a dense column of black smoke, was seen rising from the crater, directly in front of us—the subterranean struggle at the time ceased, and immediately after, flames burst from a large cone, near which we had been in the morning, and which then appeared to have been long inactive. “A whole lake of fire also opened in a more distant part. This could not have been less than two miles in circumference, and its action was more horribly sublime than anything I ever imagined to exist even in the idler visions of unearthly things. Its surface had all the agitation of an ocean—billow after billow, tossed its monstrous bosom in the air, and occasionally, those from opposite directions met with such violence as to dash the fiery spray in the concussion, forty or fifty feet high.”

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][graphic]

- - - - - - - - - - - All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits, and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts been seven ages. At first the Infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms;
And then, the whining School-boy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school: and then, the Lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woful ballad
Made to his mistress' eye-brow: then a Soldier,
Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation,
Even in the cannon's mouth : and then the Justice;
In fair round belly, with good capon lined ;
With eyes severe, and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances,
And so he plays his part : the sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slipper'd Pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;
His youthful hose well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
Turning again tow'rd childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound: last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second Childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans every thing.

Mr. Behnes has very aptly represented these several stages of life, or his conceptions of them, in a circle, so as to bring together the extremes of new-born infancy and scarcely conscious old age, at the door of the tomb. This tomb, with the latin inscription, mors janua vitat, “Death the gate of life,” on its face, is so placed, as to form, by its open side or angle, a base for the weight of the soldier —the principal figure in the centre of the work—who is thus seen trampling on death, in his eagerness to plant a conquering standard on the enemy's ramparts; regardless alike of the cannon's mouth at his side, and of the fallen warrior beneath his feet. The central figure is very spirited and noble, but exhibits something of that pedantry of muscle, as it has been called, that striving after mere anatomical effect, which may be observed in almost all the athletic statues of our modern sculptors, under Westmacott and Chantrey.

Passing over Mr. Behnes's very pretty groups of infancy, and of early and latter boyhood, we come to the Lover, musing, as we must suppose, upon the charms of his mistress, whose perfect image is brought before his mind, by the imaginative power of his passion. This is a beautiful group, as far as the two principal figures are concerned; but we are surprised that so ingenious a designer as Mr. Behnes should have been reduced to so very awkward a mode of representing the power of an ardent imagination as that of horsing a chubby Cupid upon a young man's right shoulder, and of giving the said Cupid leave to drag-for it looks like dragging, the lady forward by force of arms.

In the declining state of life we come to a very grand figure, intended to be the equivalent, for Shakspeare's Justice. We say equivalent, because it is impossible that Mr. Behnes should have supposed that the poet was speaking of a Judge, as that term is generally understood by us or represented by him instead of a Justice of the Peace, a character into which many modern soldiers very naturally and comfortably descend, after their campaigns are over. Mr. Behnes, indeed, as a sculptor of the course of human life, would have done very well in substituting a general representative of the judicial office, if he had been minded to make his figure as truly general and abstract as all his other figures properly are. . But where could this ingenious artist's good sense and taste have been slumbering, when he took it into his head, in such an ideal scene as this, to introduce a crude and ignorant satire on the administration of the English criminal law, in the shape of an unequal balance, and a condemned youth, whose countenance and demeanour are intended to bespeak his innocence 1 This is a positive fault, and one of a grave description with reference to Mr Behnes's character as an artist; it seems to denote a want of judgment, and of due feeling of the nature and limits of sculpture, which is the most ideal of all the fine arts, and from which any touch of particular satire or local sarcasm is utterly abhorrent.

Lower still in the scale, is seen the “slipper'd Pantaloon,' as shakespeare calls him, bending over the tomb, and examining, by the help of an eye glass, the horoscope of his nativity. The circle is completed in the figure of that second childishness which sits at the door of the sepulchre, waiting its hour of release from a state of total incapacity of mind and body.

It will be seen that we have expressed our opinion on some parts of this very noble and beautiful work with freedom. Mr. Behnes must construe that freedom into a sincere tribute paid to the great general excellence of his performance; he is a sculptor of such decided promise, as to deserve the boldest and most impartial criticism. We hope some of ours will not be altogether useless to him.-Saturday Magazine

THE HUMAN STATURE.

The idea that the original progenitors of the human race were exceedingly large and tall in stature, is still held some European writers. Not many years since, a Frenc author published a work in which he endeavoured to prove that there has been a gradual depreciation in the size of man, from the commencement of the world, downwards, and that the same lessening control will continue to exert an influence until the end of time. A corresponding decrease in the age of mankind may be observed, it is alleged by enquiry into the longevity of the human race, in the several centuries of the world. Some contend, also, that the deficiency in the number of years between various personages noticed in the ancient sacred writings and those of our day, is more than counter balanced by the great increase of our species throughout the world, and that in the place of accumulated years, we have accumulated numbers whose existence is brief, that the earth may not be filled to overflowing. All these are curious speculations, not without interest to the enquiring mind.

A French author, an academician of some note, calculates that Adam was 123 feet 6 inches in height, Noah a

little more than 100 feet, Abraham 80, Moses 30, Hercules 10, Alexander 6, and Caesar less than five. Progress

ing in this ratio, in a few years hence the world will be filled with a race of Lilliputians.

PLOUGHING IN THE EAST.

The machines used by the Eastern nations for ploughing, are constructed upon the same general principle, though with considerable variation. The whole power of these instruments, however, seems only adapted to what our farmers would call scratching rather than ploughing the earth. It is evident from the above sketch of the eastern plough while at work, that it can only operate on the sur: face of the ground, and is not like our machine, intended to turn up fresh earth, and subject it to the influences of the atmosphere. The plough-share of the latter is a mass of iron of great strength and magnitude; our swords also are of a length and form so ill adapted to be converted into plough-shares, and applied to peaceful purposes, that we do not feel the full force of the delightful idea conveyed in the prophet's prediction, “they shall beat their swords into plough-shares,” until we observe that the plough-share employed by the oriental nations is a broad but not a large piece of iron, which tips the end of the shaft; and are also informed that the swords of the ancient warriors were short and thick, so that a very little trouble indeed would convert them into plough-shares. The oxen at plough will naturally remind the reader of several passages of scripture, wherein this labor is referred to as performed by oxen: so we read in 1 Kings, xix. ver. 19, that Elisha “ was ploughing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth.” This great number of oxen suggests the idea of great riches in the owner, and as they appear to have been the property of Elisha himself, or at least of his family, they *. us to suppose that he would not have quitted so much wealth, nor have offered his oxen as a farewell feast to his people, as related in the last two verses of the chapter above quoted, previously to his departure to follow after Elijah, had he not been conscious of a divine power influencing his mind and directing his actions. Ploughing in the East was not always performed by once going over the land; the first time it was done chiefly for the purpose of preparing it: after this the seed was sown, and a second ploughing answered the purpose of our harrowing, by covering the seeds previously committed to the ground. It was in short harrowing and ploughing combined in one operation. That the first ploughing was a work requiring attention, seems to be implied in the form of the phrase in Isaiah xxviii. 24. “Doth the ploughman o: All day to sow !” literally, does he all day plough ougn : p In addition to the ploughman at his labor, our sketch presents a view of part of a cultivated field, the corn of

which is nearly ripe: near this corn is a kind of stage, of more than one story in height, whereon sits a man to guard the corn from depredators of every kind, and especiall from those birds which are the enemies of the farmer o over the globe.

THE MANIAC'S ACCOUNT OF HIMSELF.

I am a wild horse in the midst of a boundless prairie, urged onward by the whips of a legion of demons.

I am a comet, driven by an unknown impulse through unlimited space, with neither end nor aim.

I am a sea-gull, tossed by furious winds upon the shoreless sea, whose waves assault the throne of Heaven, and anon sink down to the fathomless abyss.

I am a chronometer with a broken balance, onward driven, regardless of time or space, and though shafts may break and cogs drop out in the giddy whirl, my motto is always onward, onward, onward.

My brain is a furnace, my heart is an ice-house, my pulse is a death-watch, whose every beat announces the approach of anguish and despair. Anon the congregation of my visions and my troubled thoughts sink down in stagnant pools whose slimy depths exhale a stench as nauseous as a stygian lake.

This is my resting place. But ere mature, the congregated myriads of noisome reptiles that hatch prolific in a bog like this, uprising from the stagnant surface of the poisonous lake, with scales erect and tongues of fire, fasten on my lungs. Horror-stricken and oppressed by an incubus of a thousand tons, my jaded spirit, impatient longer of a load so vile, seeks to escape by suicide. But daggers, knives of murderous length, and flexile twine, are all deceptive in my grasp, and like cobwens in the circling eddies of intensest flame, exhale by the slightest touch — Portland Courier.

[ocr errors]

If a man of business wishes to get rid of dyspepsia, he must give his stomach and brain less to do. It will be of no service to him to follow any particular regimen—to live . on chaff bread or any such stuff—to weigh his food &c. so long as the brain is in a state of constant excitement. Let that have proper rest, and the stomach will perform its functions. But if he pass fourteen or fifteen hours a day in his office or counting room, and take no exercise, his stomach will inevitably become paralyzed, and if he

[graphic]

puts nothing into it but a cracker a day, it will not digest it.

In many cases it is the brain that is the primary cause. Give that delicate organ some rest. Leave your business behind you when you go to your home. Do not sit down to your dinner with your brows knit, and your mind absorbed in casting up interest accounts. Never abridge the usual hours of sleep. Take more or less of exercise in the open air every day. Allow yourself some innocent recreation. Eat moderately, slowly, and of just what you please—provided it be not the shovel and tongs. If any particular dish disagree with you, however, never touch it nor look at it. Þo not imagine that you must live on rye bread nor oat meal porridge: a reasonable quantity of nutritious food is essential to the mind as well as the body. Above all, banish all thoughts of the subject. If you have any treatises on dyspepsia, domestic medicines, &c., put them directly into the fire. If you are constantly talking and thinking about dyspepsia, you will surely have it.— Endeavor to forget that you have any stomach. Keep a clear conscience; live temperately, regularly, and cleanly —be industrious too, but be temperate in that.

[blocks in formation]

mond Compiler, states, “that by two Choleras and two Fevers, New Orleans has lost twelve thousand persons in one year—say onefourth of the population' Still it is gay, busy New Orleans”

The o: of slaves in the United States is estimated at 60,000 per annum.

Gen. Jones, of Washington city, has liberally offered his plantation, about two miles from Alington, in the District of Columbia, for the purpose of educating African youth. What a contrast to the course pursued by the people of Canterbury !

A battle has been fought between the "Mormonites and some of the inhahitants of Jackson Co. Missouri, in which the latter were repulsed, with the loss of several killed! It is understood that the Mormonites were not the aggressors, but merely acted in self-defence It is further understood that they have determined to leave that part of the country.

LECTURES TO SCEPTICS.

The Editor of the Magazine having been requested by one of the Societies of Sceptics in this city to give them several Lectures on such subjects as he might think proper, has concluded to treat on the Truth and Importance of the Gospel. His first Lecture is to be delivered at Concert Hall, 406 Broadway, TO-MORROW AFTERNOON, commencing at 3 o'clock—On the Truth of the Gospel.

AGENTS WANTED.

ONE HUNDRED good AGENTs could be advantageously employed in obtaining subscribers for this paper in different sections of the United States.

LOCAL AGENTS.

, Henry G. Woodhull, Wheatland,
Noah Fuller, Lockport,
A. C. Lathrop, Oneida Institute, Whitestown, N.Y.
Apollos Rawsoil, Marshall, Oneida Co. N. Y.
Aaron Gilbert, New Lebanon, N. Y.
P. Wetmore, Canajoharie, N. Y.
J. B. Headly, New York Mills, N.Y.
Caleb Rice jun. Orleans, Ontario, Co. N. Y.
Ornaldo D. Wood, Rodman, Jefferson Co. N. Y.
D. A. M. Farlan, Plymouth, Wayne Co. M. T.
H. L. & H. S. Barnum, Cincinnati, O.
J. B. Snowdon and Co., Nashville, Ten.
Joseph Painter, Westchester, Pa.
Editor of the Germantown Telegraph, Germantown, Pa.
John A. Weed, Norwalk, Ct.
Austin Hayden, Pittsfield Ms.
Thos. S. Robinson, Richmondville, Lincoln Co. Me.
Rev. Ray Potter, Pawtucket, R. I.

Western New York

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

TERMs,
One Dollar and Fifty Cents per annum, in advance.

Should an order for the Magazine be received unaccompanied by advance payment, one number will be sent showing our terms, after which no more will be forwarded till payment shall have been received.

Companies of four individuals sending five Dollars, current here, free of postage, will be furnished with four copies for one year. Companies of ten, sending Ten Dollars as above, will be furnished with ten copies.

As the sum of $150, which is the price of the Magazine to a single subscriber, cannot conveniently be sent by jo will be ..., that two subscribers at least send payment in a letter together.

IF Schools adopting the Magazine will be supplied at One Dollar per annum for each copy.

The postage on the Magazine is 3-4 of a cent under one hundred off. and 1 cent and 1.4 for any distance over.

« PreviousContinue »