« PreviousContinue »
opportunities of cultivating it, should be destitute of the means necessary for improving them to advantage.
Instead of the sagas, some of the more pious substitute the historical books of Scripture; and as they always give the preference to poetry, most of these books have been translated into metre, chiefly with a view to this exercise.
At the conclusion of the evening labors, which are frequently continued till near midnight, the family join in singing a psalm or two; after which, a chapter from some book of devotion is read, if the family be not in possession of a Bible, but where this sacred book exists, it is preferred to every other. A prayer is also read by the head of the family, and the exercise concludes with a psalm. Their morning devotions are conducted in a similar manner, at the lamp. When the Icelander awakes, he does not salute any person that may have slept in the room with him, but hastens to the door, and,
eyes towards heaven, adores Him who made the heavens and the earth, the Author and Preserver of his being, and the Source of every blessing. He then returns into the house, and salutes every one he meets with, “God grant you a good day!"
The Deaf Man.-WORDSWORTH.
ALMOST at the root
And this deep mountain valley was to him Soundless, with all its streams. The bird of dawn Did never rouse this cottager from sleep With startling summons; not for his delight The vernal cuckoo shouted ; not for him Murmured the laboring bee. When stormy winds Were working the broad bosom of the lake Into a thousand sparkling waves, Rocking the trees, or driving cloud on cloud Along the sharp edge of yon lofty crags, The agitated scene before his eye Was silent as a picture : evermore Were all things silent wheresoe'er he moved. Yet, by the solace of his own pure thoughts Upheld, he duteously pursued the round Of rural labors; the steep mountain side Ascended with his staff and faithful dog ; The plough he guided, and the scythe he swayed; And the ripe corn before his sickle fell Among the jocund reapers. For himself, All watchful and industrious as he was, He wrought not; neither field nor flock he owned : No wish for wealth had place within his mind; Nor husband's love, nor father's hope or care. Though born a younger brother, need was none That from the floor of his paternal home He should depart, to plant himself anew. And when, mature in manhood, he beheld His parents laid in earth, no loss ensued Of rights to him; but he remained, well pleased, By the pure bond of independent love, An inmate of a second family, The fellow-laborer and friend of him To whom the small inheritance had fallen.
Nor deem that his mild presence was a weight That pressed upon his brother's house, for books Were ready comrades, whom he could not tire,
Of whose society the blameless man
At length, when sixty years and five were told,
Forest Trees preparing for Winter.-N. A. Review.
It is interesting to observe the manner in which trees, as the year declines, prepare themselves to resist the cold, and to battle with the winter storms. They seem like vessels closing their ports, tightening their cordage, and taking in their sails, when only the veteran seaman would know that a tempest is on the way. They drop their leaves,
а. bind close their trunks, and suspend their vital movements, as soon as they hear the first whispers of the gale. The substance of the tree retains an even temperature throughout the year : it draws the sap from a depth where it is colder in summer and warmer in winter than the external soil. The bark, too, a slow conductor of heat, serves to retain its warmth; and the tree seems to make this preparation, as if it knew that, should the cold penetrate and burst its vessels, it will surely die. It gets rid of its superfluous moisture as soon as possible, the danger of frost being increased in proportion to the water which it contains ; for, as our cultivators know from the sad experience of the winter of 1831–2, a sudden cold after a wet season is very apt to be fatal ; but, except in extraordinary times, they contrive to secure themselves so effectually, that the severest winter cannot destroy them. Meantime the fallen leaves, unlike all other vegetable decay, seem to aid in purifying the air.' Any one, who has walked through a forest after the fall of the leaf, must have observed the sharp, peculiar smell of its decay. In short, every thing about these lords of the wood is striking to a thoughtful mind. Their graceful and majestic forms are pleasing to the eye; their construction and internal action excite the curiosity, and worthily employ the mind; they breathe health and fragrance upon the air, and in many, probably many yet undiscovered ways, declare themselves the friends of man..
Falls of Niagara.-U. S. L. GAZETTE,
We passed about fifty rods under the Table rock, beneath whose brow and crumbling sides we could not stop to shudder, our minds were at once so excited and oppressed, as we approached that eternal gateway, which Nature has built of the motionless rocks and the rushing
torrent, as a fitting entrance to her most awful magnifi
We turned a jutting corner of the rock, and the chasm yawned upon us.
The noise of the cataract was most deafening ; its headlong grandeur rolled - from the very
skies ;. we were drenched by the overflowings of the stream; our breath was checked by the violence of the wind, which, for a moment, scattered away the clouds of mist, when a full view of the torrent, raining down its diamonds in infinite profusion, opened upon us. Nothing could equal the flashing brilliancy of the spectacle ; the weight of the falling waters made the very rock beneath us tremble, and from the cavern that received them issued a roar, as if the confined spirits of all who had ever been drowned, joined in a united scream for help! Here we stood, --in the very jaws of Niagara,-deafened by an uproar, whose tremendous din seemed to fall
upon in tangible and ceaseless strokes, and surrounded by an unimaginable and oppressive grandeur. My mind recoiled from the immensity of the tumbling tide, and thought of time and eternity, and felt that nothing but its immortality could rise against the force of such an element.
Lines written in a blank Leaf of La Perouse's Voyages.
Loven voyager ! whose pages had a zest
* Flower of the lily.