« ZurückWeiter »
ST. MICHAEL'S MOUNT. CAMDEN, speaking of the south-western extremity of our island, says, “ the shore wheeling in, makes a bay in form of the new moon, called Mount's Bay, where they say the ocean, breaking violently in, drowned all that land. In the very .corner is St. Michaels Mount, which gives name to the whole bay, called, formerly, Dinsol ; by the inhabitants, Careg-cowse, or the Hoary Rock; and in Saxon, Mychel-stow, or Michael's Place. Here is a rock indifferently high and craggy, which, when the tide is in, is encompassed with water, but when out, joined to the main land. Upon the very top of this rock is a fort, with a chapel within it, dedicated to St. Michael the archangel. At the bottom of this mountain, spear-heads, axes, and swords, all wrapt up in linen, have been found.” The encroachments of the sea, above alluded to, if indeed they have ever taken place, must be of very remote date, as Diodorus, who wrote nearly two thousand years ago, describes the mount under the name of Ixtis, just as it appears at present, connected with Belerium, or the Land's End, at low water, but insulated when the tide is at its height.
VOL. IX. 3rd SERIES. G
BIRTHDAY THOUGHTS. In a beautiful and extensive territory, whose monarch holds an absolute sway over its inhabitants, a sway however which is softened by love, and regulated by wisdom; amid duties and engagements as varied as are the countenances of those by whom they are performed; there is yet one necessity incumbent upon all, one engagement from which none are exempt. Every dweller in this fair country has to go on pilgrimage, and so completely is this understood as unavoidably devolving upon all, that even from their earliest infancy the travellers commence their course, and pass along, almost unconscious of the progress they are making. A deep and quiet stream flows throughout the length and breadth of the land, and floating down its gentle tide, no wonder that sometimes they pass unheeding by the changing and varied shores which rapidly recede from the eye. Almost innumerable are the outlets by which this stream communicates with a deep, dark ocean; which, concealed from the anxious gaze, is yet ever rolling its unfathomed waves in one monotonous and unbroken succession. No voyager hath ever seen this ocean, save those who are destined to launch immediately on its wide waste of waters, and often they pass on seemingly forgetting its close vicinity; yet ever and anon as some light skiff, or some older or time-worn bark shoots down one of the outlets we have mentioned, the voyagers around turn and look fearfully after it, and then as it passes from their view, they seem for a moment to examine their own frail vessels, as if wondering how they shall brave the waters of that viewless ocean; but often their care is only temporary; some slight defence perhaps they apply where their bark seems most vulnerable, and deem that (O! how unwisely,) a sufficient precaution,
It is not of necessity that these voyagers are thus unprepared for the dangers they may meet. There is a royal storehouse established by the monarch himself, to which every subject has free admission if he apply through the right medium, and not with a doubtful and despairing countenance, but fearlessly yet humbly, and he may find there not only armour which shall enable him to " withstand in the evil day,” but he may also be supplied with a precious oil, which when poured on the ocean's wave shall still it into a sweet quiet and calm; nay more, there is one who is willing to accompany every vessel on its way, the magic of whose word
can quell the wildest tempest, and hush the voice of many waters. Nor are the mariners compelled to pass on without noting their progress. By the side of the stream innumerable signals are placed, all seemingly alike, yet so constituted that each can recognize the one specially appropriated to himself, and though in pas. sing by these the vessels still maintain the same calm and even course, yet most of the voyagers seem here, as if by common consent, to look backward to the scenes through which they have passed, which are all visible; some, it is true, only marked in the distance by their outline, yet all to be seen there; and on many a bright and green valley, and many a dark and rugged rock the eye may rest : and then there is the onward view, a dim haze seems to rest on it which the eye vainly strives to pierce, and often is the shadowy cloud taken for solid land, and the dangerous shoal for safe and firm anchorage.
But see, there is a vessel nearing one of the signals, and the voyager's look of recognition proves it to be his own. We will listen to the voice of his musing as she passes onward. “Well, this long, long year is gone at last, and now I suppose I am a child no longer ; my sisters 'came out' at my age, and I shall of course do the same, so farewell to books and lessons, and all the tiresome et ceteras of school; they say a birthday is a time for reflection, and perhaps twenty years hence I may find it so, but now the past is so tame, and the future seems so bright and beautiful, I must look onwards;" and onwards she is gone with all her fair hopes and gay imaginings; but perhaps we may meet her again, so let us turn and watch the progress of another vessel, and listen to the soliloquy of its gentle inmate. She cannot have numbered more years than the one to whom we have just said farewell, yet there is a far more thoughtful expression on her countenance; will she reveal its cause? Yes, her tale is of suffering and affliction, yet not exclusively of sorrow; and listen :- her words are those of thanksgiving, that while her path has lain through a land of trial, she has found an Elim in the desert; he who hath afflicted, hath sustained her too, and she passes on through the wilderness, faint and weary, it is true, yet still “ leaning on her Beloved.” Peace to thee, gentle voyager! He who hath darkened thy sky hath painted a rainbow on the cloud, and though deep waters be around thee, yet shalt thou not fear, even amid “the swellings of Jordan.”