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THE SILENCE OF AN ARCTIC NIGHT.
[DEC. 1858. Having become satisfied of his sincerity, we immediately took steps to send him to Beyrout, as there was some ground for apprehension that the Jesuits might stir up the Moslem populace li of the baser sort" against him, and endanger his life. There would be no fear here from official interference, but from private malice and fanatical violence. Accordingly, we sent him away by land, at three o'clock P. v., May 19, commending him to the Lord, and giving him letters to the brethren in Beyrout. He was not overburdened with baggage, as the Jesuits had refused to give up his saddle-bags and clothing. When he left us, he had not decided between two prominent plans--one of which was to enter the seminary at Abeih, and the other to go to the Protestant College in Malta. When he reached Beyrout, the brethren consulted together, and it was finally decided to yield to his expressed preference to go to Malta, for which port he sailed last week from Beyrout, in an English steamer.
THE SILENCE OF AN ARTIC NIGHT.
The following eloquent description of the silence of an Arctic night occurs in Dr. Hay's lecture on the Arctic regions
The moonlights of this period (winter) are the most grand and impressive of any thing I have ever witnessed. The clearness of the air, the white surface of the snow and ice, give an effect monotonous and cheerless, but truly grand. But there is a new element which makes this mid-winter moonlight seem almost terrible in its impressiveness – it is, silence.
I have often, to escape from the trying monotony of ship-board life, gone off six or eight miles into the interior, in search of novelty, and in order that I might be alone. There, seated upon a rock or snow-bank, I look around me, and see a great, uneven country; rocky hills and glaciers covered with snow; myriads of crystal gems sparkling in the light of the pale moon, which shoots its rays down through the crisp air, making it almost as light as day. I look seaward, and see a long plain of ice, melting into the horizon, dotted all over with huge towering bergsnothing more. All nature is in the repose of death. I am too far from the shore to hear the crunching of the tables as they rise and fall lazily with the tide, or the roar like distant thunder, as some huge crack opens through the heavy fioes. There is no animal to cross my path, among whose stiff branches the wind can sigh and moan. There is no
of bird to enliven the scene-no wild beast to howl. I stand there song alone, the only representative of God's living world—the only being that has life or can move. Every sound that I hear, every motion that I see, is made by myself: I hear nothing but the pulsations of my own heart, my own footsteps, or now and then, possibly, in the distance, deep rumbling of a falling snow-bank.
The sensation of utter loneliness and isolation creeps over me. My heart beats as it rushes the blood through the sensitive organization of the ear: I am oppressed as with discordant sounds. Silence has ceased to be negative—it has become sternly positive. I hear, see, and feel it. Its presence is unendurable. I spring to my feet-I plant them heavily in the snow, to drown its presence, and I rush back to the vessel, glad even to find refuge in its dull, dull life of horrid inactivity.