Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB
[blocks in formation]

BLEAK, a., exposed to wind or cold. GRAN'ITE, N., a hard rock. TRAV'EL-ER or TRAV'EL-LER, n., one Pin'NA-CLE, n., a summit. who travels.

GE-OGʻRA-PHER, N., one skilled line PEAK, n., a sharply pointed hill. geography.

Avoid saying srub for shrub. Pronounce Sinai, Si'nā; Ararat, År'a-rat.

1. I STAND upon the very peak of Sinai, where Moses stood when he talked with the Almighty.. Can this be, or is it a mere dream? Can this naked rock have been the witness of that great interview between man and his Maker ? — where, amid thunder and lightning, and a fearful quaking of the mountain, the Almighty gave to his chosen people the precious tables of his law, those rules of infinite wisdom and goodness, which, to this day, best teach man his duty toward God, his neighbor and himself?

2. The scenes of many of the incidents recorded in the Bible are extremely uncertain. Historians and geographers place the garden of Eden, the paradise of our first parents, in different parts of Asia; and they do not agree upon the site of the tower of Babel, the mountain of Ararat, and many of the most interesting places in the Holy Land; but of Sinai there is no doubt. This is the holy mountain; and among all the stupendous works of nature not a place can be selected more fitted for the exhibition of Almighty power.

3. I have stood upon the summit of the giant Etna, and looked over the clouds floating beneath it, upon the bold scenery of Sicily, and the distant mountains of Calabria; upon the top of Vesuvius, and looked down upon the waves of lava, and the ruined and halfrecovered cities at its foot; but they are nothing compared with the terrific solitudes and bleak majesty of Sinai.

4. An observing traveler has well called it “a per fect sea of desolation.” Not a tree, a shrub, or blade of grass, is to be seen upon the bare and rugged sides of innumerable mountains, heaving their naked summits to the skies; while the crumbling masses of granite around, and the distant view of the Syrian desert, with its boundless waste of sands, form the wildest and most dreary, the most terrific and desolate picture, that imagination can conceive.

5. The level surface of the very top, or pinnacle, is about sixty feet square. There, on the same spot where they were given, I opened the sacred book in which those laws are recorded, and read them with a deeper feeling of devotion, as if I were standing nearer, and receiving them more directly from, the Deity himself.

J. L. STEPHENS.

CXXX. — ADDRESS TO AN EGYPTIAN MUMMY.

ELF, n., an imaginary spirit. TEG'U-MENT, n., a covering. PÕTH'ER (the th vocal, as in breathe), SE'CRE-CY, n., state of being hidden. n., a stir ; a bustle.

HOB'A-NOB or HoB'NOB, v., to touch Dum'my, n., one who is dumb.

glasses and drink healths. IN-COM-MU'NI-CA-TIVE, a., unsocial. GI-GAN'TIC (ji-gan-), a., mighty. Post’HU-MOUS, a., born or done after Ev-A-NES'CENCE, n., a vanishing. one's death.

ARCH'I-TECT (ark'e-), n., a builder. The Mem-no'ni-um was the palace of King Memnon, in Thebes. The pyramid of Cheops (pronounced Keops) still stands, its base covering about eleven acres. The pyramid of Ce-phrē'nės is somewhat smaller. In front of it is the great Sphinx (pronounced sfinx), a stupendous figure, having the body of a lion and a human head. There was a colossal statue of Memnon, from which music was said to proceed at sunrise. Te this the poet alludes in the tenth stanza.

And thou hast walked about how strange a storyl

In Thebes's streets, three thousand years ago ;
When the Memnoʻnium was in all its glory,

And Time had not begun to overthrow
Those temples, palaces, and piles stūpendous,
Of which the very ruins are tremendous.
Speak ! for thou long enough hast acted dummy;

Thou hast a tongue,-come, let us hear its tūne ;

Thou 'rt standing on thy legs, above ground, Mummy!

Revisiting the glimpses of the moon, Not like thin ghosts or disembodied creatures, But with thy bones, and flesh, and limbs, and features.

Tell us, for doubtless thou canst recollect,

To whom should we assign the Sphinx's fame ?
Was Cheops or Ce-phrē'nēs architect

Of either pyramid that bears his name?
Is Pompey's Pillar really a misnomer?
Had Thebes a hundred gates, as sung by Homer?

Perhaps thou wert a mason, and forbidden

By oath to tell the mysteries of thy trade; Then say what secret melody was hidden

In Memnon's statue, which at sunrise played ? Perhaps thou wert a priest, and hast been dealing In human blood, and horrors past revealing.

Perchance that very hand, now pinioned flat,

Has hob-a-nobbed with Pharaoh, glass to glass;
Or dropped a halfpenny in Homer's hat;

Or doffed thine own to let Queen Di'do pass;
Or held, by Solomon's own invitation,
A torch, at the great temple's dedication.

I need not ask thee if that hand, when armed,

Has any Roman soldier mauled or knuckled;
For thou wert dead and buried, and embalmed,

Ere Rom’ulus and Re'mus had been suckled !
Antiquity appears to have begun
Long after thy pri-me'val race was run.

Thou couldst develop, if that withered tongue

Might tell us what those sightless orbs have seen, How the world looked when it was fresḥ and young,

And the great deluge still had left it green. Or was it then so old that history's pages Contained no record of its early ages?

Still silent, incommunicative elf?

Art sworn to secrecy ? — then keep thy vows; But prithee tell us something of thyself,—

Reveal the secrets of thy prison-house ! Since in the world of spirits thou hast slumbered, What hast thou seen, what strange adventures numbered ? Since first thy form was in this box extended,

We have, above ground, seen some strange mutations ; The Roman empire has begun and ended,

New worlds have risen,—we have lost old nations,
And countless kings have into dust been humbled;
While not a fragment of thy flesh has crumbled.
Didst thou not hear the pother o'er thy head,

When the great Persian conqueror, Camby'ses, Marched armies o’er thy tomb, with thundering tread,

O’erthrew 0-si’ris, O'rus, A'pis, I'sis,
And shook the pyramids with fear and wonder,
When the gigantic Memnon fell asunder?
If the tomb's secrets may not be confessed,

The nature of thy private life unfold :
A heart has throbbed beneath that leathern breast,

And tears adown thy dusty cheek have rolled.
Have children climbed those knees, and kissed that face ?
What was thy name and station, age and race ?
Statue of flesh !- immortal of the dead !

Imperishable type of evanescence ! Posthumous man, who quitt'st thy narrow bed,

And standest undecayed within our presence!
Thou wilt hear nothing till the judgment morning,
When the great trump shall thrill thee with its warning!
Why should this worthless tegument endure,

If its undying guest be lost forever?
O! let us keep the soul embalmed and pure

In living virtue ; that, when both must sever,
Although corruption may our frame consume,
The immortal spirit in the skies may bloom! Hor. SMITH,

CXXXI. - LIFE.

AR'ID (ăr'id), a., dry ; parched. CAT'A-LOGUE (-log), n., a list.
Gor'geous (gor'jus), a., splendid. MI-NUTE', a., very small.
TŪ'BER, n., a fleshy stem, formed un- VI-TAL'I-TY, n., the principle of life.

der ground and filled with starch. PAR-A-sit'ic, a., growing on another Mon'ad, n., an atom.

plant or animal. Per'RI-FIED, a., changed to stone. AN-I-MAL'CULE, n., a minute animal. CON-SUM-MA’TION, n., completion. AP-PRE’CIATE, v. t., to value duly.

Avaid saying exibit for ex-hib'it; insex for in'sects ; deps for depths. In tuber, durling, per-pet'u-al, dewed, &c., give long u or ew its y

sound.

1. Of all miracles the most wonderful is that of life — the common, daily life which we carry with us, and which every where surrounds us. The sun and stars, the blue firmament, day and night, the tides and seasons, are as nothing compared with it. Life-the soul of the world, but for which creation were not ! It is life which is the grand glory of the world. It was, indeed, the consummation of creative power, at which the morning stars sang together for joy. Is not the sun glorious, because there are living eyes to be gladdened by his beams? Is.not the fresh air delicious, because there are living creatures to inhale and enjoy it? Are not odors fragrant, and sounds sweet, and colors gorgeous, because there is the living sensation to appreciate them?

2. Without life, what were they all ? What were a Creator himself, without life — intelligence- understanding — to know and to adore Hiin, and to trace his finger in the works that he hath made? Boundless variety and perpetual change are exhibited in the living beings around us. Take the class of insects alone. Of these, not fewer than one hundred thousand distinct species are already known and described; and every day is adding to the catalogue. Wherever you penetrate, where life can be sustained, you find living beings to exist, - in the depths of ocean, in the arid desert,

« ZurückWeiter »