Imatges de pÓgina

it was built. After the seventy years of captivity, the Jews returned and built a second temple; but inferior to the first in magnificence. This was destroyed when the city was taken by Titus, and the Jews ceased to be a nation.


MOUNT SINAI. 1. At the extremity of the valley of Faran, in Arabia, is a range of mountains, called by the Arabians, Gibbel Mousa, the mountains of Moses. One eminence is called Tursina, and is supposed to be the Sinai of the scripture. About seven miles from the foot of this mountain, stands the convent of St. Catharine, an edifice of a hundred and twenty feet in length, and nearly square. The whole is of hewn'stone.

2. In front stands a small building, in which is the only gate of the convent, which is always shut, except when the bishop is present. At other times, whatever is introduced, whether persons or provisions, is raised to the roof in a basket, by a pulley. Yet the Arabs say the monks enter by a subterranean passage. Before the convent is a large garden.

3. No stranger is permitted to enter without permission of the bishop, who usually resides at Cairo. The monks are supported chiefly by alms, and their provisions, which are coilected in Cairo, are often stolen on the way, by the Arabs. The Arabs also fire upon the convent from the neighboring rocks, and often seize the monks when abroad, and make them pay

for their ransom.

4. On the side of this hill is a huge stone, which, the Arabs say, is that which Moses divided with his sword to procure water. In this vicinity there ar many springs of good water. Fifteen hundred paces above the convent, stands a chapel, dedicated to the Virgin Mary; and five hundred paces above this, two others situated on a plain. The whole mountain is ascended by fourteen hundred stone steps, and on the top is a christian church and a Turkish mosk. From this spot there is a noble view of the valley of Rephidim and the Red Sea.


RUINS OF PALMYRA. 1. In the barren plains of Syria, southeast of Aleppo, and pearly at an equal distance between the Mediterranean and the Euphrates, are to be seen the stupendous ruins of the magnifi. cent city of Palmyra. This city, it is conjectured, was the

Tadmor of the wilderness, built, or more probably enlarged and fortified, by Solomon. It stood at the point formed by the approach of two converging hills, which furnish two springs of water; without which, the place would not be habitable.

2. It is probable that this city was built and supported by the profits of a lucrative trade, carried on by caravans, between Syria and the Persian gulf. It rose to a state of unequaled splendor and wealth, as is evident from its ruins. It was reduced under the power of the Romans, by the Emperor Trajan, It revolted under its prince, Odenathus; but this prince being slain by his nephew, the sovereignty devolved on Zenobia, his wife, a woman of remarkable intrepidity, who withstood for a time the power of Rome. But Zenobia was at last conquered, and taken prisoner, and a Roman garrison left in Palmyra. A second revolt provoked Aurelian to destroy the city, and in this catastrophe perished the elegant critic, Longinus.

3. As the travelcr approaches these ruins, he is struck with astonishment at the number, size and beauty of the white marble columns, some of them standing, others fallen or defaced, which form a range of twenty-six hundred yards. In one place, he sees the walls of a ruined palace; in another, the peristyle of a temple, half-destroyed; on one side, a portico, a gallery or triumphal arch; on the other, a group of magnificent columos. On all sides, he is surrounded with subverted shafts, some entire, others broken ; the earth is strewed with vast stones, half-buried, with broken entablatures, damaged capitals, mutilated friezes, violated tombs, and altars-defiled with dust.

4. But the spectator's curiosity will be arrested by the majestic remains of the temple of the sun. This noble edifice covered a square of two hundred and twenty yards. It was encompassed with a stately wall, built with large square stones, and adorned with pilasters, within and without, to the number of sixty-two. Within the court are the remains of two rows of marble pillars, thirty-seven feet high, with capitals of exqui. site workmanship. Of these, fifty-eight remain entire. This edifice stands in the direction of the meridian, and on the west is a magnificent entrance, on the sides of which are vines and clusters of grapes, carved in the most masterly imitation of nature.

5. North of this place, is an obelisk, about fifty feet high, consisting of seven large stones, besides its capital. About a hundred pa ces from the obelisk, is a magnificent entry to a piazza, forty feet broad, and more than half a mile in length, inclosed with two rows of marble pillars, twenty-six feet high, and each nine feet in compass. Of these, one hundred and twenty-nine remain, and by computation, the whole number must have been five hundred and sixty. Such majestic ruins,

in the midst of a desert, and inhabited only by a few miserable Arabs, whose huts are scattered among vast and splendid columns of marble, awaken in the mind the most melancholy reflections upon the instability of all human greatness.


OF THE PYRAMIDS IN EGYPT. 1. About twelve miles from Cairo, the metropolis of Egypt, and on the opposite, or west side of the Nile, stand the pyra. mids, about ten miles from the site of ancient Memphis. The large ones are three in number, situated upon a ridge of rocky hills, on the border of the Lybian desert. This ridge rises from the plains of Egypt, about one hundred feet.

2. The largest of these stupendous works, is six hundred feet square at the base, and five hundred feet high, composed of soft, calcarious stone, which also forms the hill where it stands. The whole area covered with this mass of stone, is about eleven acres of ground. On the outside are steps, by which a person may ascend, but not without danger, as the steps are much decayed, except on the south side. On the top is a level platform, sixteen feet square, where a person may repose, and enjoy one of the most extensive prospects on earth.

3. Sixteen steps above the base, there is an entrance into this pyramid, about three feet square; from which is a steep descent of ninety-two feet. Within, are spacious galleries, halls and chambers, lined with Thebaic marble, or porphyry, in stones of a vast size. Within one of these apartments is a tomb, of one entire piece of marble, hollowed and uncovered at the top, conjectured to have been the sepulcher of the founder. This tomb, like the pyramid, stands exactly north and south. At what time, by what prince, and for what purpose, this and the other pyramids were erected, are questions that are left to conjecture. The common idea is, that they were intended for the tombs of kings. At any rate, mankind agree that they are durable monuments of the extreme folly, as well as despotism of their founders, and of the miserable slavery of their subjects.

OF JOSEPH'S WELL IN CAIRO. 4. On the south side of Cairo is a rocky hill, on which stands a castle, within which is an extraordinary well, which supplies the castle with water. This well is dug into a soft rock, to the depth of two hundred and seventy feet. A winding stair-case is cut out of the same rock, about six feet wide, but separated from the well by a thickness of half a yard of the rock, to pre

vent persons from falling into the well, or even looking in, ex. cept by small holes made to let in light.

5. The steps are broad, and the descent easy; but persons descending are incommoded by dirt. At the depth of one hundred and fifty feet, is a large chamber or apartment, where oxen are employed to raise the water, by means of wheels and machinery. The water being raised to this place, is carried to the top by other wheels, worked also by oxen. From this place, the descent is more difficult, the stairs being narrow, and not separated from the shaft of the well by a partition. The water raised from this well is distributed in pipes to different parts of the castle.

CHAPTER LV. LYDIA HARPER, THE LOST CHILD. 1. In August, 1834, a man left New Brunswick, intending to travel on foot to the United States. Furnished with provi. sions, a blanket, an ax and a gun, he trudged along, till he came to a stream, over which there was no bridge. To supply this want, he felled a tree, which he hoped would fall and lie across the stream; but his design was frustrated, for the stream car. ried away the tree. Proceeding along the bank, he at length came to more still water, where he made a sinall raft for his clothes and gun, and drawing this along, he swam the river ja safety.

2. As he passed onward, he was startled by a whining noise ; he instantly loaded his gun, thinking he might meet a bear. Moving towards the spot, he heard a rustling among the bushes; and at first thought, he prepared to fire among the shrubs. But recollecting himself, he laid aside that purpose, and standing erect, he discovered the arm of a little girl, reaching to pick berries from the shrubs. He advanced, and found the child decently clad, but her clothes much torn, her hair played in disordered ringlets over her pale cheeks, and her eyes were inflamed with weeping.

3. No sooner did she behold the stranger, than she screamed, fled a few paces, then fell, and covered her face with her hands. He used the kinest expressions, to soothe and calm her fears. In a short time, she recovered so far as to look up, and with a smile, she spoke to the stranger. “O, now I am sure you will not kill me; I am sure you will not hurt me." “Kill you,” replied the stranger, “by no means; no, I will help you.' “0, I am tired," said the little girl, “ I have been very hungry; but I have got plenty of raspberries here. I eat only the good ones, not them that have spiders on them; mother told me so."

4. “Where is your mother, my dear child?" said the stranger. * She is at home,” replied the little girl, with simplicity; “but mamma does not know where I am; and I can't find the way home, ever so long.” “What, my dear girl," said the man, “have you strayed away and been lost ? Come, God has sent me to preserve your life." He then gave her a biscuit and a bit of meat, and the poor girl burst into tears of gratitude.

5. After she was refreshed, she told the stranger her name was Lydia Harper; that she had been sent from home to carry dinner to her father, who was getting shingles in the woods, but she lost her way, and was bewildered. Said she, “ when I knew I was lost, 0, I was frightened, I screamed, and ran about, and threw away father's dinner.”

6. It seems that she walked till she was so fatigued as to sink down and repose. The stranger asked her if she was not afraid, when it grew dark, to be thus alone in the woods.“ · Yes, .I was frightened,” said she, “ but when I lay down, I said my prayers, which I learned from my mother; and then I was not afraid."

7. The man now began to think how he could conduct the child to her father's house, which was sixteen miles distant.

The child was too weak to walk; and at length he placed her in his blanket, and carried her on his back. On his way, he asked her if she had seen any wild beasts, in the woods. “ No," said she,“ only once, two black dogs were coming to me, they stopped, and one stood up on his hind feet; they did not bark, but turned and went away."

8. The stranger smiled at her simplicity, in mistaking bears for dogs. The little girl continued, “0, last night I waked in the middle of the night, and thought I was near home, for I heard cattle trampling about ; I could see nothing; they had no bells, and when I called star and bright, they were all still. I was glad; my heart was beating; I lay still to listen, and. then I dropped asleep again. What a pity! in the morning they were all gone."

9. The stranger bore his load, till he was fatigued, and finding an empty log hut, he stopped to rest. Here he thought to iet the child fall asleep, and then leave her, and go forward to a house, about two miles distant, to obtain assistance. Waiting till he supposed her asleep, he went to her, to make himself sure; but she opened her blue eyes upon bim, then turned her head and sobbed. He now determined he would not leave the helpless girl; he slung his ax and gun, lifted the child and carried her forward to a dwelling-house, where he found a hearty welcome. While they were exulting with joy, the father of the little girl entered the door, rushed forward and clasped his dear child in his arms.

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