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THE Upper Lake at Killarney, lying to the westward of the Lower Lakes, is embosomed above them in the mass of mountains which, for some distance, covers the country beyond them in that direction. The lofty wall thus separating it from them, is perforated only at one point, where a deep defile affords a narrow channel for the waters descending from the Upper Lake to the Lower Lakes. For a long time the only convenient mode of passing from the Lower Lakes to the Upper Lake was by ascending this connecting stream in a boat; but within the last few years a new road has been constructed, running up along the margin of the channel. This road does not end at the top of the channel; it passes by the Upper Lake, (at one part through a tunnel,) and continuing its course to the westward between the mountains, at length reaches the town of Kenmare, upon that inlet of the Atlantic which is called Kenmare River. The channel of communication itself is about three miles in length; it winds considerably, and varies very much in its breadth. The narrowest part is at the very top, where it is contracted into a little passage, scarcely more than thirty feet broad. This pass bears the appellation of Coleman's Leap ; and it is said to be so called after a legendary hero of that Vol. XII.
name, who, in the eagerness of the chase, or in the pursuit of an enemy, leaped across the chasm here, and left the impression of his foot or feet (for the accounts differ,) in the solid rock. There is a mark still shown as his veritable foot-print, and the wonderful phenomenon is “minutely described, and studiously exaggerated, by the credulous guides.” To a traveller ascending this connecting river in his passage from the Lower Lakes to the Upper Lake, this extraordinary contraction of the channel at Coleman's Leap has a very remarkable appearance. The devious course of the river above the Eagles' Nest", and the numerous impediments which commonly arise from rocks, shoals, and the rapidity of the current, are productive of repeated disappointment, and excite no small degree of impatience in those who anticipate the view of the romantic confines of the Upper Lake. The long-wished for scene is expected to open at every turn; but one short reach of the river succeeds to another, terminated by huge rocks, beyond which nothing is visible, but distant mountains. At length the boat arrives in a little basin, bounded for the most part by steep rocks, to which several different outlets appear. The stranger naturally concludes that one to be the proper channel which is the widest, and whose direction accords best with the course of the river; it is not without
• Of this remarkable rock we have already given a description. See Killarney, No. I., Vol. XI., p. 57. 376
surprise therefore that he beholds the oars, after a few strong and rapid stokes, drawn in, and the boat suddenly put a out and directed through a narrow pass lootween the rocks, barely §.". * its admission. This is the entrance to the Upper Lake, and soon after passing it, the most distant shores are revealed to view, with the immense mountains which rise beyond them. On passing Coleman's Leap the traveller enters at once upon the Upper Lake. He finds it to be entirely encompassed by mountains ; and if, after proceeding a short distance, he cast his eyes back, he is unable to distinguish the narrow opening by which he entered, so completely is it lost in the confusion of hill, bay, and promontory. “In this retreat from the busy scenes of life, the beautiful and the sublime are exquisitely united.” - On the south of the lake stands Cromiglaun or the Drooping Mountain, which rises from the very water. Adjoining this, on the west, is Derricunnihy, after which comes Derry-Dinma, separated from it by the little 'river Kavoge. The Coombui Mountains are seen in the distance towards the south-west; and further to the west is Barnasna. In the west are also seen Baum, with its conical summit, and the Macgillicuddy's Reeks, with their lofty, shattered, and shelving tops. The nearest of the Reeks to the lake is that called Ghirmeen, at the foot of which is the entrance to the sequestered defile of Comme Duff, or the Black Valley. On the north and east are Ghirmeen and the Purple Mountain at a distance, and the Long Range (as the mountains on the north of the channel between the Upper and Lower Lakes are called.) backed by Tomies and Glena. From its situation in the midst of a stupendous amphitheatre of mountains, the Upper Lake displays the most wild and romantic scenery. Its length is nearly the same as that of Turk, its breadth somewhat inferior." The mountains which bound it on every side, are a continuation of those forming the defile through which it is a proached, and their characte: ristic i. are o they are loftier, and all their parts are on a "grander scale; the glens are deeper, the woods more extensive and of older growth, the rivers larger, an the falls more lofty and precipitous. The highes mountains 'are those at the upper end of the lake, which are likewise the most varied in their outline ; among them rise Macgillicuddy's Reeks, “pre-eminent in grandeur." Of these Reeks, which are the highest mountains in Ireland, we have already given an account *. They are visible from the Lower Lake, but their appearance, from the Upper Lake, is so different, that they would scarcely be recognised for the same. On entering the Upper Lake (says Mr. Weld,) the attention is at first wholly engaged by the vastness of the mountains, and next by the extreme wildness and ruggedness of the scene. The numerous islands, as well as the shores, present on every side immense rocks: some bleak and terrific, others of a less savage aspect, teeming with vegetable life. The islands in the Upper Lake are very numerous; the rocks along their shores generally consist of a green stone, which, close to the edge, assumes a dark hue, agreeing so nearly with the reflections of overshadowing trees in calm weather, that the line of separation cannot be traced without difficulty. And here (says Mr. Wright), as in all her works, Nature has proved herself the most accomplished artist, in adapting the light and airy tints of the limestone-rock to the gay and luxuriant shores of Glena and Mucruss, and the more dingy shadows to the bold, terrific, and savage features of the Upper Lake. This exposure of the rocky bases of the islands and stony strands, which occur in the lakes of Kerry, forms a distinguishing character between
* See Saturday Magazine, Vol. XII., p. 137.
them and the English lakes, where the green sod always continos the apparently overflowing waters, producing the idea of eternal plenitude. - The most striking of the islands upon entering the lake is, Oak Isle, or Rossburkree, which in the Winter season, is separated into several parts, so as to form a cluster of islets. It rises from a rocky base, and is crowned with wood; from its shores is obtained a splendid and majestic view of the lofty mountains, which form so characteristic a feature of Killarney, grouped in the most varied manner. The shores of the Upper Lake are extremely intricate, being indented by numerous wooded and rocky promontories, by bays, inlets, and long creeks, which wind towards the base of the mountains, as if purposely to receive the streams which rush through the glens, and conduct their waters in silence and tranquillity to the lake. The largest of these inlets is that bearing the name of Newfoundland, which lies at the eastern extremity of the lake, and is nearly three quarters of a mile long. The entrance into this Inlet lies through a narrow pass, defended by two vast perpendicular rocks, in passing w lich an extensive basin suddenly opens to ...i. the appearance of a fourth lake. On the right of this inlet rises a steep overshadowing cliff, clothed with straggling trees: on the opposite side it "is bounded by masses of bleak rocks, while the distant view in the middle of the picture is occupied
the banks of this stream will surprise and delight the tourist. An irregular path winds aloh; the banks between trees whose thick foliage oftes the view until at the end of about half a misé"a"space Suddenly opens, discovering some &ottages, surrounded by a few small enclosures. The shun of Él ing wa ter here strikes the ear; and Öh" uring the eye towards the Turk mountain, which the visiter has thus insensibly approached, a beautiful cascade is seen over the trees at the head of a deep glen. ” It is scarcely in the power of imagination to conceive a more romantic retreat. "No" vestige of human indus appears beyon the precincts of this little hamlet: woods and mountails surround it; and the inhabitants seem totally cut off from the society of their fellow creatures. Nor is the retreat less remote in reality from the busy scenes of life than it appears to be : the plough has never left the traces of its furrows on the vale; the soil is turned with the spade ; and the produce, if more than sufficient for the maintenance of the humble cultivators, is conveyed away on horses, by a craggy path which winds along the borders of the stream. -
Advancing up the lake towards its western end the visiter passes Arbutus Island, which lies on the northern shore, about half a mile to the west of the entrance into the lake at Coleman's Eye. It is so called on account of the profusion of the arbutus plant which it displays, and which indeed covers the rocky sides of its pyramidal form. Of these strawberry trees, which are to be found in abundance on every part of the shores of Killarney, but in especial luxuriance in the islands of the Upper Lake, which are celebrated for possessing the finest specimens of the plant in the British Islands,-an anonymous writer thus speaks :
In the latter end of October, when I first visited Killarney, they were in high beauty, many of their bells and blossoms still remaining, the fruit on some just forming, and on others nearly ripe. The same bough often exhibited all these varieties. The ordinary height of the tree is ten or twelve feet; but I have seen some, of a happier growth, which rose to eighteen or twenty. "The blossom is shaped like a goblet, and the fruit nearly spherical; it is at first
of a pale yellow, which deepens as it advances to ripeness,
It is from Ronayn's Island that the view represented in our engraving is taken : the large mountain in the background is that which bears the name of Derricunnihy. The surface of the island is covered with successive layers of the decayed vegetable
matter, which is furnished by the trees, and the ap-
ILLUSTRATIONS OF THE BIBLE FROM THE
PHARAoh had no sooner given the children of Israel liberty to depart than he became sorry for his concessions, and resolved to pursue them. From what we have said before, it is evident that the Hebrews were valuable subjects; they occupied rich pastures which the native Egyptians would have neglected, partly from their dislike of a pastoral life, and partly from dread of the Arab tribes; they had been profitable slaves in executing the public works, which the usurping invaders had deemed necessary for their security; and, finally, their example was likely to influence other races in Upper and Middle Egypt, to withdraw themselves from their allegiance to the foreign intruders. The Scripture narrative very clearly intimates the motives which actuated the wicked king. And it was told the king of Egypt that the people fled: and the heart of Pharaoh and of his servants was turned against the people, and they said, Why have we done this, that we have let Israel go from serving us? (Exod. xiv. 5.) It was no point of duty, no feeling of pride, and still less was it any sense of wrong, which induced the monarch to violate the compact he had so recently made with Moses. Avarice, not ambition, hurried him forward; he was enraged at the thought of losing such profitable slaves. His preparations for the pursuit must next engage our attention.
chi Anior, charioTEER, AND war RIOR.
And he made ready his chariot, and took his people with him : And he took six hundred chosen chariots, and all the chariots of Egypt, and captains over every one of them. And the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued after the children of Israel: and the children of Israel went out with an high hand. But the Egyptians pursued after them, all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, and his horsemen, and his army, and overtook them encamping by the sea, beside Pi—hahiroth, before Baal-zephon. (Exod. xiv. 6–9.)
It is first mentioned, that “he made ready his chariot;" on the monuments kings and noble warriors appear always mounted in chariots, when they are going out to war or to a distant chase. The chariot appears generally to have been framed of wood, but in one or two instances it would seem as if at least part of the frame was made of brass. It was mounted on two wheels, which were sometimes of wood and sometimes of metal. In the age of Solomon cast wheels appear to have been principally used, for in the description of the great brazen laver, we read,
Under the borders were four wheels; and the axletrees of the wheels were joined to the base: and the height of a wheel was a cubit and half a cubit. And the work of the wheels was like the work of a chariot-wheel: their axletrees, and their naves, and their felloes and their spokes, were all molten. (I. Kings, vii. 32, 33.)
The engraving which we have copied, represents a Jewish, not an Egyptian chariot, but the description of one is, in a great degree, applicable to the other; and we shall, as we proceed, point out the most remarkable points in which they differed. The chariots were intended to carry two warriors, one of whom principally attended to the management of the horses, while the other wielded the weapons of war. But in the Egyptian representations, we frequently find the king or warrior alone in the chariot, and in one example we see the charioteer with the reins fastened round his body, while his hands are engaged in wielding his bow and arrows. No mention is made of any similar practice in Holy Writ; whenever there is mention made of a royal chariot, the driver or charioteer is particularly noticed. Thus, in the account of Ahab's death at the battle of Ramoth Gilead : And a certain man drew a bow at a venture, and smote the king of Israel between the joints of the harness: wherefore he said unto the driver of his chariot, Turn thine hand, and carry me out of the host; for I am wounded. And the battle increased that day: and the king was stayed up in his chariot against the Syrians, and died at even: and the blood ran out of the wound into the midst of the chariot. (I. Kings, xxii. 34, 35.) The second verse which we have quoted, leads us to remark a peculiarity of the ancient chariots, which we shall again have occasion to notice; they were open at the back, and unprovided with a seat; hence when Ahab was mortally wounded, his servants were obliged “to stay him up” in his chariot, otherwise he must have fallen out in the hurry of the retreat. This circumstance also enables us to appreciate the fulfilment of Elijah's remarkable denunciation against Ahab Thus saith the Lord, Hast "thou killed, and also taken possession? And thou shalt speak unto him, saying, Thus saith the Lord, In the place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick thy blood, even thine. (I. Kings, xxi. 19.) The blood welling from the wound coagulated on the floor of the chariot, and when the servants washed it in the pool of Samaria, the dogs licked the drops as they trickled on the ground. Every chariot was drawn by two horses, and great attention was bestowed on the breeding and training of the steeds. They were richly caparisoned, and their heads were frequently adorned with olumes of ostrich feathers. The Egyptian chariots had usually a quiver and bow-case fixed outside them, which were decorated with extraordinary taste and skill, so that they contributed very much to the picturesque effect of the chariot. The cover of the quiver was frequently fashioned into the head of some animal, and the sides of it were covered with embossed leather, or inlaid with variegated woods and ivory. The Hebrews did not make so much use of the bow as the Syrians and Egyptians. We find that one of the earliest improvements made by David after his accession, was the formation of a company of archers, which he levied from the tribe of Judah. In close combat the Egyptian cha
rioteers used either the curved sword, commonly called the falchion, or a heavy and formidable weapon,
similar to the pole-axe of the middle ages; and as the cars were hung low, the warrior in the chariot could easily cut down an enemy who opposed him on foot.
Chariots were regarded as the most valuable part or an army's equipment in ancient times, and those of Egypt were particularly celebrated. The number with which Pharaoh pursued the Israelites is very remarkable, for six hundred are mentioned as “chosen chariots,” that is, such as were used by kings, nobles, and eminent warriors, which must, of course, have been only a small proportion of “all the chariots of Egypt.” The Scriptural expression, that there were “captains over every one of the chariots,” seems to intimate that the use of these vehicles was restricted to warriors of high rank, and this is confirmed by the monuments, which do not exhibit soldiers of the lowel castes mounted in chariots. It is generally believed that the use of warchariots was anterior to that of cavalry or mounted horsemen. Homer mentions chariots only in all his descriptions of the battles round the walls of Troy. It is indeed very probable, that the motion of employing cavalry arose from the custom of bringing spare horses, as relays for the steeds which were either wearied from drawing the chariots or wounded in battle. This opinion is greatly strengthened by the account given of the entrance of the Egyptians into the dry bed of the Red Sea. And the Egyptians pursued, and went in after them to the midst of the sea, even all Pharaoh's horses, his chariots, and his horsemen. (Exod. xiv. 23.) The word rendered “ horsemen” may, with more propriety, be translated charioteers, and the horses, which are mentioned distinct from the chariots, were probably the relays. Even so late as the days of Ahab, we find that chariots were preferred to cavalry, for when Benhadad, king of Syria, was about to invade Israel, his servants advised him, Do this thing, Take the kings away, every man out of his place, and put captains in their rooms: And number thee an army, like the army that thou hast lost, horse for horse, and chariot for chariot: and we will fight against them in the plain, and surely we shall be stronger than they. And he hearkened unto their voice, and did so. (I. Kings xx. 24–28.) The horses here mentioned are clearly designed for the service of the chariots, and not for mounted cavalry. From Isaiah indeed we learn, that the Medes and Persians were the first nation that employed cavalry in aid of the corps of chariots, for in the beautiful description of the destruction of Babylon, we find that the circumstance which proved that the Assyrians must have been overthrown, was that the watchman saw a couple of horsemen accompanying a chariot. Thus hath the Lord said unto me, Go, set a watchman, let him declare what he seeth. And he saw a chariot with a couple of horsemen, a chariot of asses, and a chariot of camels; and he hearkened diligently with much heed: And he cried, A lion: My lord. I stand continually upon the watchtower in the daytime, and I am set in my ward whole nights: And, behold, here cometh a chariot of men, with a couple of horsemen. And he answered and said,
Babylon is fallen, is fallen; and all the graven images of her gods he hath broken unto the ground. (Isai. xxi. 6–9.)
This very simple explanation removes many of the difficulties which commentators have noticed in this remarkable prophecy; it has been asked, “how could it be known, from the appearance of a chario and a couple of horsemen, that Babylon had fallen?” The answer is, that the Assyrians and Babylonians never employed horsemen in conjunction with chariots, and hence this circumstance showed that the approaching chariot belonged to a different nation. And this is further confirmed by the prophet's direct description of the Persian army; “Elam (Persia,) bare the quiver with chariots of men and horsemen,” (Isaiah xx. 6); a description which is confirmed by Xenophon, who declares that the three great lessons taught to the Persian youth, were “to use the bow, to manage the horse, and to speak truth.”
The catastrophe of the Egyptian army is told in a few words by the sacred historian.
And the Lord said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand over the sea, that the waters may come again upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen. And Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to his strength when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled against it; and the Lord overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. And the waters returned, and covered the chariots, and the horsemen, and all the host of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them; there remained not so much as one of them. But the children of Israel walked upon dry land in the midst of the sea; and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left. Thus the Lord saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shore. (Exodus xiv. 26–30.)
It has been sneeringly asked by infidels, “how it happens that no direct evidence of this great event has been discovered on the monuments?” We have already anticipated a great part of a satisfactory reply. The Pharaoh by whom the Israelites were persecuted and pursued, was a foreign intruder and conqueror, with whose fate the native Egyptians had no sympathy; and it may be added, that the monuments of Lower Egypt, where the Israelites abode, have not yet been explored, all the antiquities yet developed by the researches of travellers having been found in Middle and Upper Egypt. But the monuments of Middle Egypt afford some indirect confirmation of the overthrow of the intrusive Pharaoh, for they show us that the Hyksos, who had long tyrannized over the land, were, by some sudden event, reduced to such a state of weakness, that they were expelled with very little difficulty. Now such an event was most probably the sudden destruction of their best warriors in the Red Sea, which rendered them unable any longer to maintain their supremacy over the native Egyptians. And this view of the subject is confirmed by a remarkable direction given by Moses, in his recapitulation of the law, a little before his death, which took place many years after the Hyksos had been expelled from Egypt. He said to the congregation, “Thou shalt not abhor an Egyptian, because thou wast a stranger in his land.” (Deut. xxiii. 7.) A very remarkable expression, which seems to draw a clear distinction between the native Egyptians and the intrusive conquerors by
whom the Israelites were oppressed. Indeed we shall
see in many subsequent examples, that so far from there being anything like an hereditary hatred between the Israelites and the Egyptians, the two nations evinced the most friendly dispositions towards each other, while an inveterate animosity existed between the Israelites and the Amalekites, who certainly belonged to the same race as the Hyksos.