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wildered; and nark the alarm of the mourners as the animals become entangled among their ranks; and see how they rush to the river, and with their clothes on, plunge in to cleanse their souls from the pollution caused by the swinish contact.*
* Ancient Memphis ! our spell has been too potent, and wrought too effectually for the. safety of our enthusiasm; and so we bid thee good night. Thou art well where thou art laid low in the dust and almost forgotten."
* That this is not an overdrawn picture of Egyptian superstitions see the proofs in Herodotus, Euterpe.
Vegetable Beauties of South Africa. From “ Portraits of the Gañe and Wild Animals of Southern Africa, delineated from Life in their Native Haunts during a hunting Expedition from the Cape Colony as far as the Tropic of Capricorn, in 1836 and 1837, with Sketches of the Field Sports, by Major Sir William Cornwallis Harris, drawn on stone by Frank Howard. London : Pelham Richardson, 1844.".
“At every step we take, what thousands and tens of thousands of gay flowers rear their lovely heads around us! Of a surety the enthusiasm of the botanist has not painted the wonders of these regions in colors more brilliant than they deserve; for Africa is the mother of the most magnificent exotics that grace the green-houses of Europe. Turn where we will, some new plant discovers itself to the admiring gaze, and every barren rock being decorated with some large and showy blossom, it can be no exaggeration to compare the country to a botanical garden, left in a state of nature.
« The regal Protea, for whose beauties we have from childhood entertained an almost instinctive respect, here blossoms spontaneously on every side, the buzzing host of bees, beetles, and other parasites by which its choice sweets are surrounded, being often joined by the tiny humming-bird, herself scarcely larger than a butterfly, who perches on the edge of a broad flower, and darts her tubular tongue into the chalice.
“But the bulbulous plants must be considered to form the most characteristic class : and in no region of the globe are they to be found so numerous, so varied, or so beautiful. To the brilliant and sweet-smelling Ixia, and to the superb species of the iris, here is no end ; the morell, the corn-flag, the amaryllis, the hamanthus, and pancratium, being countless as the sands upon the sea-shore. After the autumnal rains their gaudy flowers, mixed with those of the brilliant orchidæ, impart life and beauty, for a brief season, to the most sandy wastes, and covering alike the meadows and the foot of the mountains, are succeeded by the gnaphalium, the xeranthemum, and a whole train of everlastings, which display their red, blue, or silky white flowers among a host of scented geraniums, flourishing like so many weeds.
“Even in the midst of stony deserts arise a variety of aloes and other fleshy plants-the stapelia, or carrion-flower, with square, succulous, leafless stems, and flowers resembling star-fish, forming a numerous and highly excentric genus, in odor so nearly allied to putrescent animal matter, that insects are frequently induced to deposit their larvæ there. on. The brilliant mesanbryanthemum, or fig marigold, comprising another genus almost peculiar to South Africa, extends to nearly three hundred species and while they possess a magazine of juices, which enables them to bear without shrinking a long privation of moisture, their roots are admirably calculated to fix the loose shifting sand which form the superfices of so large a portion of the soil. But amid this gay and moiley assemblage, the heaths, whether in number or in beauty, stand confessedly unrivalled. Nature has extended that elegant shrub to almost every soil and situation-the marsh, the river brink, the richest loam, and the barest mural cliff, being alike
'Empurpled with the heather's dye.' “Upwards of three hundred and fifty distinct species exist, nor is the form of their flowers less diversified than are their varied hues. Cup-shaped, globular, and bell-shaped, some exhibit the figure of a cone, others ihat of a cylinder; some are contracted at the base, oihers in the middle, and still more are bulged out like the mouth of a trumpet. Whilst many are smooth and glossy, some are covered with down, and others, again, are encrusted with mucilage. Red, in every va. riety and depth of shade, from blush to the brightest crimson, is their prevailing complexion; but green, yellow and purple are scarcely less abundant, and blue is almost the only color whose absence is remarked.” " In emerald tufis, flowers purple, pink, and white, Like sapphire, pearl, and rich embroidery, Buckled below fair knighthood's bending knee, Fairies use flowers for their charactery.” “On the morning of the 9th of October, when the wagons had started on their way to the Meritsane river, our next stage, I turned off the road in pursuit of a group of brindled gnoos, and presently came upon another which was joined by a third still larger; then by a vast herd of zebras, and again by more gnoos, with sassaybes and hartebeests pouring down from every quarter, until the landscape liierally presented the appearance of a moving mass of game. Their incredible numbers so impeded their progress, that I had no difficulty in closing in with them, dismounting as opportunity offered, firing both barrels of my rifle into the retreating phalanx, and leaving the ground strewed with the slain. Sull unsatisfied, I could not resist the temptation of mixing with the fugitives, loading and firing, until my jaded horse suddenly exhibited symptoms of distress, and shortly afterwards was unable to move. At this moment I discovered that I had dropped my pocket compass, and being unwilling to lose so valuable an
ally, I turned loose my steed to graze, and retraced my steps several miles without success: the prints of my horse's hoofs being at length lost in those of the countless herds which had crossed the plain. Completely absorbed in the chase, I had retained but an imperfect idea of my locality, but returning to my horse, I led him in what I believed to be a north-easterly direction, knowing, from a sketch of the country which had been given me by our excellent friend, Mr. Moffatt, and which together with drawing materials I care ried about me, that that course would eventu. ally bring me to the Meristane. Afier drag. ging my weary horse nearly the whole of the day, under a burning sun, my flagging spirits were at length revived by the appearance of several villages. Under other circumstances I shoud have avoided intercourse with their in hospitable inmates, but dying with thirst, I eagerly entered each in succession, and to my inexpressible astonishment found them de serted—the same evidence existing of their having been recently inhabited. I shot a hartebeest, in the hope that the smell of meat would as usual bring some stragglers to the spot, but no: the keen-sighted vultures, that were my only attendants, descended in multi. tudes, but no woolly-headed negro appeared to dispute the prey. In many of the trees I observed large thatched houses resembling hay-stacks, and under the impression that these had been erected in so singular a posi. tion by the natives, as a measure of security against the lions, whose recent tracks I distinguished in every direction, I ascended more than one, in the hope of at least finding some vessel containing water; alas! they proved to be the habitations of large communities of social grosbeaks, those winged republicans, of whose architecture and magnificent edifices I had till now entertained a very inadequate conception. Faint and bewildered, prospects began to brighten as the shadows of evening lengthened ; large troops of ostriches running in one direction plainly indicating that I was approaching water-and immediately afterwards I struck into a path impressed with the foot-marks of women and children, soon ar. riving at a nearly dry river, which, running east and west, I at once concluded to be that of which I was in search.
“Those only who have suffered as I did during this day from prolonged thirst, can form a competent idea of the delight, and, I may say, energy, afforded me by the first draught of the putrid waters of the Meritsane. They equally invigorated my exhausted steed, which I mounted immediately, and cantered up the bank of the river, in order, if possible, to reach the wagons before dark. The banks are precipitous, the channels deep, broken, and rocky, clusters of reeds and long grass indicating those spots which retain the water during the hot months. It was with po small difficulty, after crossing the river, that I forced my way through the broad belt of tangled S bushes which margined the edge. The moon
less night was fast closing round, and my weary horse again began to droop. The lions, commencing their nightly prowl, were roaring in all directions, and no friendly fire or beacon presenting itself to my view, the } only alternative was to bivouac where I was, s and to renew my search in the morning. Kindling a fire, I formed a thick bush into a pretty secure hut, by cutting away the middle, and closing the entrance with thorns ; and having knee-haltered my horse, to prevent his straying, I proceeded to dine upon a guinea-fowl that I had killed, comforting myself with another draught of aqua pura. The monarchs of the forest roared incessantly, and so alarmed my horse that I was obliged repeatedly to fire my rifle to give him confidence. It was piercingly cold, and all my fuel being expended, I suffered as much from the chill as I had during the day from the scorching heat. About three o'clock, completely overcome by fatigue, I could keep my eyes open no longer, and, commending myself to the protecting care of Providence, fell into a profound sleep. On opening my eyes, my first thought was of my horse. I started from my heathy bed, in the hope of finding him where I had last seen him, but his place was empty. I roamed everywhere in search of him, and ascended trees which offered a good look out; but he was nowhere to be seen. It was more than probable he had been eaten by lions, and I had almost given up the search in despair, when I at length found his foot mark, and traced him to a deep hollow near the river, where he was quietly grazing. The night's rest, if so it could be called, had restored him to strength, and I pursued my journey along the bank of the river, which I now crossed opposite to the site of some former scene of strife, marked by numerous human bones, bleached by exposure. A little further on I disturbed a large lion, which walked slowly off, occasionally stopping and looking over his shoulder, as he deliberately ascended the opposite bank. In the course of half an hour I reached the end. of the dense jungle, and immediately discov. ? ered the wagon-road; but, as I could detect no recent traces of it, I turned to the southward, and, after riding seven or eight miles in the direction of Sicklajole, had the unspeakable satisfaction of perceiving the wagons, drawn up under a large tree in the middle of the plain."
DISINTERMENT OF NINEVEH. Eugene Flander, an artist, has been sent out by the French Government, for the pur. pose of making drawings of the excavations which are actually going on. Botta has discovered two doors uniformly adorned with bas reliefs ; on one side is represented a colossal bull, with a human head and wings. These doors are fifteen feet in height, and they open into a hall 120 feet long. The only wall which is yet cleared from rubbish-that on the south side-is covered with a series of 3
other inscriptions, and it appears that the latter are not in the Assyrian, but the Babylonian language. As it is not reasonable to suppose that the architects would have been so foolish as to cause inscriptions to be engraved wbich could not be read unless the walls were demolished, it must be presumed that these pieces of alabaster have been twice made use of—that is, they first belonged to a Babylonian palace—and then the Assyrians, having carried them away to be used in new buildings, caused other inscriptions to be engraved on them. As yet the sculpture found on the reverse of these blocks has not been explained, the museums of Europe containing . nothing from the chisel of Babylonian artists.
Some of these latter bas reliefs are remarkable. The most interesting respects the siege of a city situated on an island ; the sea is cor. ered with vessels, the poops of which terminate in the head of a horse; the soldiers on board these vessels are employed in carrying trunks of trees to build a dyke. In the water appear numerous marine animals, fish, crabs, and winged sea horses. The rich ornament and quantity of the sculpture with which this palace is embellished is truly extraordinary, and it is difficult to understand how such a magnificent construction could have been so swallowed up. -Paris Journal des Debals.
bas reliefs, representing battles, explained by / inscriptions. The hill on which this buildings stands, is surrounded by a stone wall with bastions. Botla is actively exploring these ruins; he has fifty laborers at work, and it is hoped that, in the space of ten months, he will lay open the whole. He has ascertained that there is, on the direct road from Nineveh to Khorsabad, a chain of hills covered with brick and marble, bearing inscriptions. He infers that these hills were formerly the bases of palaces, and that Khorsabad was a fortress situated at one end of the city. The quadrangular space, which is surrounded by the wall, and which contains the hill of Jo. nas, has hitherto been supposed to include the whole extent of the city of Nineveh. But Botta considers it more probable that this space was only the great court of the palace, whilst the city extended far as the hill of Khorsabad, a distance of five caravan stages. The conjecture accords with the possibility of
the prophet Jonas having wandered for three 5 days about the city, which would be incom
prehensible, if the limited space of the quadrangle on the Tigris be supposed to have been
the whole extent of the city.--Paris paper , 3 ANCIENT NINEVEN.—The information re
ceived respecting the researches which are now being made on the spot of Ancient Nineveh, (Korsabad, near Mosul in Palestine,) by order of the French Government, under the direction of M. Botta, continues to be very interesting. A hundred and sixty workmen are - now employed in making discoveries there; and besides the walls, which are literally covered with sculpture and inscriptions, several specimens of antiquity have been brought to light, the use and the character of which have to this moment been entirely unknown. For example, under the large bricks which form the floor of the place, large stones have been found, hollowed underneath and ornamented on the outside by figures in enamel, representing men and animals; nothing on the surface of the soil indicates the existence of these stones, or their destination. In another place were discovered long ranges of earthen vases, of remarkable dimensions, placed on a brick floor and filled with human bones.
These vases exactly resemble those found in Babylon, at Ahwaz, and other localities of the south of Persia. The palace about which these researches have been made, was probably entirely pillaged before it was destroyed — for no jewels, or utensils of metal, not even those small rings, so common in that neighborhood, have been discovered. Some animals in bronze have been drawn out-parricularly a lion, of a fine style of execution, and a part of a wheel belonging to a chariot of war.
But the most extraordinary circumstances connected with these discoveries is the pieces of alabaster with which the walls are covered, and which are filled with sculpture and inscriptions; they have also on the reverse
THE FIRE-BIRD'S NEST. We have chosen, from a variety of names by which the Baltimore Oriole or Starling is known, one of the most descriptive, as well as most familiar in some parts of our country. When the writer, in childhood, from å grass-plat where he was resting in a warm summer day, first discovered a sin. gular object pendant from the extremity of a tall and noble elm, whose shade he was enjoying, and saw a splendid, orange-colored
bird shoot towards it and disappear, like a flash of lightning, or rather like a meteor, the name above given appeared peculiarly appropriate. Not so, however, is the figure of the nest, its form, size, or apparent texture, although copied from a drawing by an experienced hand. The cut does no justices to the light, graceful form, or delicate structure of the habitation of the Hanging bird, or Fire-hang bird, as he is also sometimes called. This is at least twice as large as it should be in comparison with the size of its beautiful architect and inhabitant; and in stead of exhibiting its rotundity at the bottom and lengthened upper part, gracefully tapering towards the points of attachment to the outermost twigs of a lofty tree, its usual situation, it appears broad, flat, awkward and heavy, as if the fabric of an unskilful and careless builder. The real nest, on the con- 3 trary, is constructed with such art, and of such small dimensions, that it surprises the spectator to see a bird so large when its wings are spread, able to find room within ; and probably some of our readers may have wondered how it has disappeared, when it has only entered its home. At the same time those who have had opportunity to examine the nest, which is rarely got without cutting down the tree, must have admired its close texture, resembling thin felt, of a light brown, quite impenetrable by the rain, and attached to the twigs by ligaments which often secure it long after its desertion by the occupants, through the equinoctial storms and tempests of autumn and winter.
“ Almost the whole genus of orioles," says Wilson, " belong to America, and, with a few exceptions, build pensile nests. Few of them, however, equal the Baltimore in I the construction of these receptacles for their young, and in giving them, in such a superior degree, convenience, warmth, and security. For these purposes he generally fixes on the high bending extremities of the branches, fastening strong strings of hemp or flax round two forked twigs corresponding to the intended width of the nest ; with the same materials, mixed with quantities of loose tow, he interweaves or fabricates a strong, firm kind of cloth, not unlike the substance of a hat in its raw state, forming it into a pouch of six or seven inches in depth, lining it substantially with various soft substances, well interwoven with the outward netting, and lastly finishes with a layer of horsehair, the whole being shaded from the sun and rain by a canopy of leaves.
Though birds of the same species have, s generally speaking, a common form of build
ing, yet, contrary to the usually received opinion, they do not build exactly in the same manner. As much difference will be found in the style, neatness, and finishing of the nests of the Baltimores as in their voices. Some appear far superior workmen to others, and probably age may improve them in this as it does in their colors. "I have a number of their nests now before me, all completed and with eggs. One of these, the neatest, is in the form of a cylinder, of five inches diameter, and seven inches in depth, rounded at the bottom. The opening at top is narrowed by a horizontal covering to two inches and a half in diameter. The materials are flax, hemp, tow, hair, and wool, woven into a complete cloth, the whole tightly sewed through and through with long horsehairs, several of which measure two feet in length. The bottom is composed of thick tusts of cowhair, sewed also with strong horsehair. This nest was hung on the extremity of the horizontal branch of an apple-tree, fronting the southeast, was visible one hundred yards off, though shaded by the sun, and was the work of a very beautiful and perfect bird. The eggs are five, white, slightly tinged with flesh color, marked on the greater end with purple dots, and on the other parts with long hairlike lines, intersecting each other in a variety of directions. I am thus minute in these particulars from a wish to point out the specific difference between the true and bastard Baltimore, which Dr. Latham and some others suspect to be only the same bird in different stages of color.
"So solicitous is the Baltimore to procure proper materials for his nest, that, in the season of building, the women in the country are under the necessity of narrowly watching their thread that may chance to be bleaching, and the farmer to secure his young grafts, as the Baltimore, finding the former, and the strings which tie the latter, so well adapted for his purpose, frequently carries off both; or should the one be too heavy and the other too firmly tied, he will tug at them a considerable time before he gives up the attempt. Skeins of Silk and hanks of thread have been often found, after 3 the leaves were fallen, hanging round the Baltimore's nest, but so woven up and entangled as to be entirely irreclaimable. Before the introduction of Europeans no such material could have been obtained here; but, with the sagacity of a good architect, he has improved this circumstance to his advan: tage, and the strongest and best materials are uniformly found in those parts by which the whole is supported."
THE AMERICAN PENNY MAGAZINE
UT WASHINGTON'S TOMB. Mount Vernon, the estate of the Washing. } little grove of cedars, a short distance southton family, is nine miles south from Alexan- ward from the house, and near the brow of dria, and is remarkable as containing the the precipitous shore. It is now at a short tomb of Gen. Washington. The road is distance from that spot, a new family tomb somewhat intricate, and has but few inhabi having been erected. The great man, who tants; so that the stranger, unless he goes in had rendered to his country the most impora steamboat, will need to make careful inqui tant military and civil services she ever reries. The house stands on an eminence, ceived, left his mortal remains to be deposited looking down upon the Potomac. The in this humble cemetery; and that country buildings which project from each end are has never yet, expressed its gratitude by the offices, and habitations of the negroes. erecting a monument to his memory, though
The key of the Bastile of Paris is hung to her he devoted his life, and to her he has up in the ball; and a miniature portrait of bequeathed a character, on which no sucWashington, from an earthen pitcher, is pre cessful attempt has ever yet been made to served, which is considered by the family discover a shadow or to fixa stain.-N. Trav. the best likeness of him ever made. A beau We add the lines of Brainerd :tiful lawn, partly shaded by trees, extends from the front of the mansion to the verge of
On the Birthday of Washington. the precipice, which overhangs the Poto Behold the moss'd corner-stone dropp'd from the wall, mac, affording a delightful view of the river
And gaze on its date, but remember its fall,
And hope that some hand may replace it; and a tract of hilly country above and below. Think not of its pride wben with pomp it was laid. This is the place to which Washington
But weep for the ruin its absence has made,
And the lapse of the years that efface it. retired after he had accomplished the inde
Mourn Washington's death, when ye think of his birth, pendence of his native land, and again when
And far from your thoughts be the lightness of mirth, he had presided at the consolidation of the
And far from your cheek be its smile. government; voluntarily resigning the sta
To-day he was born-twas a loan-not a gift :
The dust of his body is all that is left, tions he had consented to accept, and the To hallow bis funeral pile. power he had exercised, only for the good Flow gently, Potomac ! thou we rest a way of his country. To an American, this place The sands where he trod, and the turf where lie lay, is interesting, in a degree which no language
When Youth brush'd his cheek with her wing;
Breathe softly, ye wild winds, that circle around can either heighten or describe. Whoever That dearest, and purest, and holiest ground, appreciates the value of private and social Ever press'd by the footsteps of Spring. virtue, will rejoice to find it associated with
Each breeze be a sigh, and each dewdrop a tear,
Each wave be a whispering monitor pear, the traits of a personage so distinguished and
To remind the sad shore of his story; influential; while any one, who can duly And darker, and softer, and sadder the gloom estimate the extent of the blessings he has
Of that evergreen mourner that bends o'er the tomb, conferred on his country, and the influence
Where Washington sleeps in his glory. of his actions on the happiness of the world,
Great God! when the spirit of freedom shall fail,
And the sons of the pilgrims, in sorrow, bewail will wish that his history may ever be cher
Their religion and liberty gore; ished, as a model of disinterested patriotism.
Oh! send back a form that shall stand as he stood,
Unsubdu'd by the tempest, unmoved by the flood; Washington's Tomb was until lately in a And to Thee be the glory alone.