Abbildungen der Seite

the hurricane was passing opposite the place where I stood. Never can I forget the scene which at that moment presented itself. The tops of the trees were seen moving in the strangest manner, in the central current of the tempest, which carried along with it a mingled mass of twigs and foliage that completely obscured the view. Some of the largest trees were seen bending and writhing under the gale; others suddenly snapped across, and many, after a momentary resistance, fell uprooted to the earth. The mass of branches, twigs, foliage, and dust, that moved through the air, was whirled onwards like a cloud of feathers, and, on passing, disclosed a wide space filled with fallen trees, naked stumps, and heaps of shapeless ruins, which marked the path of the tempest. This space was about a fourth of a mile in breadth, and to my imagination resembled the dried-up bed of the Mississippi, with its thousands of planters and sawyers strewed in the sand, and inclined in various degrees. The horrible noise resembled that of the great cataracts of Niagara, and as it howled along in the tract of the desolating tempest, produced a feeling in my mind which it is impossible to describe.

The principal force of the hurricane was now over, although millions of twigs and small branches, that had been brought from a great distance, were seen following the blast, as if drawn onwards by some mysterious power. They were floated in the air for some hours after, as if supported by the thick mass of dust that rose high above the ground. The sky had now a greenish lurid hue, and an extremely disagreeable sulphureous odour was diffused in the atmosphere. I waited in amazement, having sustained no material injury, until nature at length resumed her wonted aspect. For some moments I felt undetermined whether I should return to Morgantown, or attempt to force my way through the wrecks of the tempest. My business, however, being of an urgent nature, I ventured into the path of the storm, and, after encountering innumerable difficulties, succeeded in crossing it. I was obliged to lead my horse by the bridle to enable him to leap over the fallen trees, whilst I scrambled over or under them in the best way I could, at times so hemmed in by broken tops and tangled branches, as almost to become desperate. On arriving at my house, I gave an account of what I had seen, when, to

my surprise, I was told that there had been very little wind in the neighbourhood, although in the streets and gardens many branches and twigs had fallen in a manner which excited great surprise.

Many wondrous accounts of the devastating effect of this hurricane were circulated in the country after its occurrence. Some log-houses, we were told, had been overturned, and their inmates destroyed. One person informed me that a wire sifter had been conveyed by a gust to the distance of many miles. Another had found a cow lodged in the fork of a large half-broken tree. But as I am disposed to relate only what I have myself seen, I will not lead you into the region of romance, but shall content myself by saying that much damage was done by this awful visitation. The valley is yet a desolate place, overgrown with briers and bushes, thickly entangled amidst the tops and trunks of the fallen trees, and is the resort of ravenous animals, to which they betake themselves when pursued by man, or after they have committed their depredations on the farms in the surrounding district. I have crossed the path of the storm, at a distance of a hundred miles from the spot where I witnessed its fury, and again, four hundred miles farther off, in the state of Ohio. Lastly, I observed traces of its ravages on the summits of the mountains connected with the Great Pine Forest of Pennsylvania, three hundred miles beyond the place last mentioned. In all those different parts, it appeared to me not to have exceeded a quarter of a mile in breadth.


MARIE ANTOINETTE, QUEEN OF FRANCE. [EDMUND BURKE, a celebrated statesman and orator, was born

1st January, 1730. He first came into notice by the publi.
cation, at the early age of 26, of his treatise on "The
Sublime and Beautiful.” Devoting himself to politics, he
became a Member of Parliament in 1766, and continued
so until 1794. Our extract is taken from his “ Reflections
on the Revolution in France," published in 1790. He
died 9th July, 1797. Goldsmith has thus described him :-
“Here lies our good Edmund, whose genius was such,
We scarcely can praise it, or blame it too much ;
Who, born for the universe, narrowed his mind,
And to party gave up what was meant for mankind,
Who, too deep for his hearers, still went on refining,
And thought of convincing, while they thought of dining;
Though equal to all things, for all things unfit;
Too nice for a statesman, too proud for a wit ;
For a patriot too cool ; for a drudge disobedient;

And too fond of the right, to pursue the convenient.”] It is now sixteen or seventeen years since I saw the Queen of France, then the Dauphiness, at Versailles ; and surely never lighted on this orb, which she hardly seemed to touch, a more delightful vision. I saw her just above the horizon, decorating and cheering the elevated sphere she just began to move in-glittering like the morning star, full of life, and splendour, and joy. Oh! what a revolution! and what a heart must I have to contemplate without emotion that elevation and that fall! Little did I dream, when she added titles of veneration to that enthusiastic, distant, respectful love, that she should ever be obliged to carry the sharp antidote against disgrace concealed in that bosom; little did I dream that I should have lived to see such disasters fallen upon her in a nation of gallant men, in a nation of men of honour and of cavaliers. I thought ten thousand swords must have leaped from their scabbards to avenge even a look that threatened her with insult. But the age of chivalry is gone. That of sophisters, economists, and calculators has succeeded; and the glory of Europe is extinguished for ever, Never, never more shall we behold that generous loyalty to rank and sex, that proud submission, that dignified obedience, that subordination of the heart, which kept alive, even in servitude itself, the spirit of an exalted freedom. The unbought grace of life, the chief defence of nations, the nurse of manly sentiment and heroic enterprise, is gone! It is gone, that sensibility of principle, that chastity of honour, which felt a stain like a wound, which inspired courage whilst it mitigated ferocity, which ennobled whatever it touched, and under which vice itself lost half its evil by losing all its grossness.

BURKE. Marie Antoinette.- The Archduchess Marie Antoinette,

daughter of Maria Theresa of Austria, became in 1770 the wife of the Dauphin of France, who succeeded to the throne as Louis XVI. in 1774. In his reign occurred the French Revolution, in the course of which the King was executed on the 21st of January, 1793, and the Queen underwent the same fate on the 14th of October of the same year.

THE ORIGIN OF ROAST PIG. [CHARLES LAMB, one of the most delightful of English essayists,

was born 18th February, 1775. He was a native of London, and remained in heart a Londoner to the last. Becoming, at seventeen, a clerk in the India House, this gentle, stuttering recluse devoted his life to the care of his sister Mary, who, at dinner one day, in a fit of hereditary madness, stabbed her mother to death with a knife. He was a schoolfellow and an attached friend of Coleridge, whose poetry prompted his own attempts in verse. His literary fame rests chiefly upon “ Essays by Elia,” which appeared originally in the London Magazine. He died 27th December,

1834.] MANKIND, says a Chinese manuscript, which my friend M. was obliging enough to read and explain to me, for the first seventy thousand ages ate their meat raw, clawing or biting it from the living animal, just as they do in Abyssinia to this day. The manuscript

goes on to say, that the art of roasting, or rather broiling (which I take to be the elder brother), was accidentally discovered in the manner following:

The swineherd Ho-ti, having gone out into the woods one morning, as his manner was, to collect mast for his hogs, left his cottage in the care of his eldest son Bo-bo, a great lubberly boy, who being fond of playing with fire, as younkers of his age commonly are, let some sparks escape into a bundle of straw, which kindling quickly, spread the conflagration over every part of tủeir poor mansion, till it was reduced to ashes. Together with the cottage (a sorry antediluvian make-shift of a building, you may think it), what was of much more importance, a fine litter of new-farrowed pigs, no less than nine in number, perished. China pigs have been esteemed a luxury all over the East, from the remotest periods that we read of. Bo-bo was in the utmost consternation, as you may think, not so much for the sake of the tenement, which his father and he could easily build up again with a few dry branches, and the labour of an hour or two, at any time, as for the loss of the pigs. While he was thinking what he should say to his father, and wringing his hands over the smoking remnants of one of those untimely sufferers, an odour assailed his nostrils, unlike any scent which he had before experienced. What could it proceed from ?not from the burnt cottage—he had smelt that smell before; indeed this was by no means the first accident of the kind which had occurred through the negligence of this unlucky young fire-brand. Much less did it resemble that of any known herb, weed, or flower. nitory moistening at the same time overflowed his nether lip. He knew not what to think.

He next stooped down to feel the pig, if there were any signs of life in it.

He burnt his fingers, and to cool them he applied them, in his booby fashion, to his mouth. Some of the crumbs of the scorched skin

A premo

« ZurückWeiter »