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The Alhambra is an ancient fortress, or castellated palace of the Moorish kings of Granada, where they once held dominion in the romantic land of Spain, and made their last stand for empire in that part of the country. The palace occupies but a portion of the fortress, the walls of which, studded with towers, stretch irregularly round the whole crest of a lofty hill that overlooks the city, and forms a spur of the Sierra Nevada, or Snowy Mountain.
In the time of the Moors, the fortress was capable of containing an army of 40,000 men within its precincts, and served occasionally as a stronghold of the sovereigns against their rebellious subjects. The court by which you are first admitted into this splendid castle, called the Common Baths, is an oblong square, with a deep basin of clear water in the middle, into which is a descent by marble steps, and on each side a row of orange trees. A marble pavement runs down the court, and the arches surrounding the court are supported by pillars, in a style different from all the regular orders of architecture; and the ceiling and walls are incrusted with fret-work. In every division are written Arabic sentences, denoting "there is no conqueror but God;" and "obedience and honour to our sovereign." The ceilings are gilt or painted, and the colours still retain their freshness; the lower part Vol. I.
of the walls is mosaic, disposed in fantastic knots and festoons. The porches resemble grotto-work; and one of them forms a whispering gallery.
Opposite to the door by which you enter is another, leading into the Hall of the Lions; an oblong court, one hundred feet long, and fifty broad, encompassed by a colonnade, paved with white marble. The walls are covered, to the height of five feet/ with blue and yellow tiles, and above and below is a border of small escutcheons, enamelled blue and gold, with Arabic mottoes signifying, "No conqueror but God." The columns that support the roof and gallery, are of white marble, very slender, fantastically adorned, and irregularly disposed. The capitals, also, are of various designs. Amidst the varieties of foliage, grotesques, and strange ornaments, there does not occur the slightest representation of animal life. In Moorish times the buildings were covered with large painted and glazed tiles, some of which still remain.
In the centre of the court are twelve lions, bearing upon their backs an enormous basin, out of which rises another of smaller size. A volume of water is thrown up, falls into the basin, and, passing through these lions, is discharged out of their mouths into a reservoir, communicating by channels with the fountains in the apartments. This fountain is of white
marble, adorned with festoons, and Arabic sentences, signifying:—" Seest thou not the water flows copiously like the Nile?" "This resembles a sea washing over its shores, threatening shipwreck to the mariner." "This water runs abundantly to give drink to the lions." "Terrible as the lion is working in the day of battle." "The Nile gives glory to the king, and the lofty mountains proclaim it." "This garden is -fertile in delight; God takes care that no noxious animal shall approach it." "The fair princess that walks in this garden, covered with pearls, ornaments its beauty so much, that thou mayest doubt whether it be a fountain that flows, or the tears of her admirers!"
Beyond the colonnade is a circular rooiri, with a fountain, used by the men as a place for drinking coffee, &c. The form of this hall, the elegance of its cupola, the cheerful distribution of light from above, and the manner in which its beautiful ornaments are designed, painted, and finished, exceed all powers of description. In this delightful scene, it is said, Aboubdoulah assembled the Abencerages, and caused their heads to be struck off into the fountain.
Opposite to this hall, called the Hall of the Abencerages, is the Tower of the Two Sisters, so called from two very beautiful pieces of marble, laid as flags in the pavement; measuring fifteen feet by seven and a half, and without flaw or stain. The gate exceeds all the rest in profusion of ornaments, and in beauty of prospect, which it affords through a range of apartments, where a multitude of arches terminate in a large window, open into the country. In a gleam of sunshine, the variety of tints and lights thrown upon this range is uncommonly rich. The outward walls of the towers are raised above the dome, and support another roof, so that no injury can be occasioned by wet weather, or excessive heat and cold.
From this hall you pass round a little myrtle garden into an additional building, constructed by the Emperor Charles V, which leads to a small tower, called the Sultana's Dressing Room: in this is a large marble flag, penetrated with holes, through which the smoke of perfumes ascended from furnaces below. ♦There are many other magnificent apartments, as the Ambassador's Hall, the Hall of Council, the Hall of Audience, &c. the whole of which are most beautifully and elaborately decorated, and in various places are written Arabic sentences, from the Koran.
On the lower floor were the bed-chambers and summer rooms; fountains; the royal and other baths, with vaults for perfumes, and stoves and boilers for producing vapour; a whispering gallery; a labyrinth, the king's study, and the burial vaults of the royal family.
In the retrospective view of this sumptuous palace, we need not wonder that the Moors thought of Granada with regret; and that they should still offer up prayers for the recovery of it, which they regard as a terrestrial paradise.
Washington Irving, who visited this romantic place a few years ago, says "there is no part of the edifice that gives us a more complete idea of its original beauty and magnificence, than the Hall of the Lions, for none has suffered so little from the ravages of time. In the centre stands the fountain famous in song and story. The alabaster basins still shed their diamond drops; and the twelve lions, which support them, cast forth their crystal streams as in the days of Boabdil. The court is laid out in flower-beds, and surrounded by light Arabian arcades of open fillagreework, supported by slender pillars of white marble. The architecture, like that of all the other parts of the palace, is characterised by elegance rather than grandeur; bespeaking a delicate and graceful
taste, and a disposition to indolent enjoyment. When one looks upon the fair tracery of the peristyles, and the apparently fragile fretwork of the walls, it is difficult to believe that so much has survived the wear and tear of centuries, the shocks of earthquakes, the violence of war, and the quiet, though not less baneful, pilferings of the tasteful traveller
"There is a Moorish tradition, that the king who built this mighty pile was skilled in the occult sciences, and furnished himself with gold and silver for the purpose by means of alchymy. Certainly never was there an edifice accomplished in a superior style of barbaric magnificence; and the stranger who, even at the present day, wanders among its silent and deserted courts and ruined halls, gazes with astonishment at its gilded and fretted domes and luxurious decorations, still retaining their brilliancy and beauty, in spite of the ravages of time."
When the SiJonians were once going to choose a king, they determined that their election should fall upon the man who should first see the sun on the following morning. All the candidates, towards the hour of sun-rise, eagerly looked towards the East, hut one, who, to the astonishment of his countrymen, fixed his eyes pertinaciously on the opposite side of the horizon, where he saw the reflection of the sun's rays before the orb itself was seen by those looking towards the east. The choice instantly fell upon him who had seen the reflection of the sun; and by the same reasoning, the influence of religion on the heart is frequently perceptible in the conduct, even before a person has made direct profession of the principle by which ne is actuated. "By their fruits ye shall know them."
The superiority of sex was never more rigidly enforced than among the barbarians of the Chain Islands; nor were the male part of the human species ever more despicable.— Beechey's Voyage. Reverence for woman is the test of civilization.
Respecting the Mind.—Let not corrupt thoughts arise. Be not over anxious and grieved. Envy not those who have, uor despise those who have not. Complain not of heaven, and blame not men. Thiuk not of old evils, speculate not on distant tilings.
The Body.—Love not beauty without bounds. Be not greatly intoxicated. Stand not in dangerous places. Do not give way to anger. Do not associate with worthless characters. Do not enrage men who love to strike.
Happiness. Do not abuse the good things of Providence. Do not love extravagance. Be not over-anxious about being completely provided for. Think not of things which are above your station. Do not deteriorate the grain. Do not destroy life.
Things in general.—Do not neglect the relations and duties of life. Do not practice corrupt things. Do not oppose the commands of your parents or teachers. Do not speak much. Provoke not a guest to anger. Between two parties do not speak swords here and flatteries there. Do not stir up troubles. »Do not cut and carve the poor. Do not deceive and oppress the orphan and widow. Do not wrongfulfy accuse any one. Do not learn unprofitable things.
Wealth.—Be not ashamed of bad food and coarse clothing. Do not buy useless things. Be not over fond of feasts. Do not learn to imitate the rich and great.
Words.—Do not talk of men's domestic affairs. Do not tell secrets. Do not conceal the errors of worthless men. Do not injure a person's parents. Do not put a stop to any good affair. Do not bring up other men's concerns, (in conversation). Do not laugh at men's appearance. Do not blame a man for the faults of his relatives. Be not fond of ridiculing' any one. Do not make up stories to injure men. Be not proud of your wealth. Do not complain of your poverty. Do not speak with a fierce aspect. Do not despise men's poverty. Do not interrupt men in conversation Do not lie. Do not help and abet others to do iniquity. Do not recite corrupt composition. Do not speak of gambling or licentiousness Do not say anything that has a beginning but no cud.
ELIJAH AT HOREB. In the very same mount in which Moses first saw God, shall Elijah see Him: one and the same cave (it is very probable) was the receptacle to both.
It could not but be a great confirmation to Elijah to renew the sight of those sensible monuments of God's favour and protection to his faithful predecessor.
Moses came to see God in the bush of Horeb: God came to find Elijah in the cave of Horeb: What doest thou here, Elijah? The place was directed by a providence, not by a command; he is hid sure enough from Jezebel, he cannot be hid from the allseeing eye of God. Twice hath God propounded the same question to Elijah, once in the heart, once in the mouth of the cave; twice doth the Prophet answer in the same words. Had the first answer satisfied, the question had not been re-demanded. Now, that sullen answer which Elijah gave in the darkness of the cave, is challenged into the light, not without an awful preface. The Lord first passeth by him with the terrible demonstrations of His power. A great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake the rocks m pieces. That tearing blast was from God; God was not in it. So was He in it as in his other extraordinary works; not so in it, as by it to impart himself to Elijah: it was the usher, not the carriage of God. After the wind came an earthquake, more fearful than it: that did but move the air, this the earth; that beat upon some prominences of earth, this shook it from the centre. After the earthquake came a fire more fearful than either: the other affected the ear, the feeling; but this lets in horror into the soul by the eye. Elijah shall see God's mighty power in the earth, air, fire, before he hear him in the soft voice: all these are but boisterous harbingers of a meek and still word. In that God was: behold in that gentle and mild breath, there was omnipotency. There is not always the greatest efficacy, where is the greatest noise.
God loves to make way for himself by terror; but He conveys himself to us in sweetness. It is happy for us, if after the gusts and flashes of the law, we have heard the soft voice of evangelical mercy.
THE HOUSE OF GOD.
EvJn to the House of God, the hallow'd dome,
Where He who claims it bids his people come To bow before His throne, and serve him there With pray'rs, and thanks, and praises. Some there are
Who hold it meet to linger now at borne,
And some o'er fields and the wide hills to roam,
Nor slack tn greet my Maker on the height,
Seek I his presence in each social rite Of his own temple: that he deigns to bless,
There still he dwells, and there is his delight. D. C.
The ear and the eye are the mind's receivers: but the tongue ii only busied in expending the treasure received. If therefore the revenues of the mind be uttered as fast or faster than they are received; it cannot be, but that the mind must needs be bare, and can never lay up for purchase. But, if the receivers take in still with no utterance, the mind may soon grow a burden to itself, and unprofitable to others. I will not lay up too much, and utter nothing, lest I be covetous: nnr spend much, and store-up little, lest I be prodigal and poor.—Bishop Hall.
Nothixo is more easy than to represent as impertinences any part of learning that has no immediate reference to the happiness or convenience of mankind.—Addison. 15—2
In Germany, during the war, a captain of cavalry was ordered out upon a foraging expedition. He put himself at the head of his troop, and marched to the quarter assigned him. It was a solitary valley, in which hardly anything but woods was to be perceived. Finding in the midst of it a small cottage, he approached, and knocked at the door, which was opened by an old and venerable man, with a beard silvered by age. "Father," said the officer, " show me a field where I may set my troop to foraging." The old man complied, and conducting them out of the valley, after a quarter of an hour's march, came to a fine field of barley. "Here is what we arc in search of:" exclaimed the captain, "Father, vou are a true and faithful guide."—" Wait yet a few minutes," replied the old man, "follow me patiently a little further." The inarch was accordingly resumed, and at the distance of a mile they arrived at another field of barley. The troop immediately alighted, cut down the grain, trussed it, and remounted. The officer thereupon said to his conductor, "Father, you have given yourself and us unnecessary trouble; the first field was far better than this."—"Very true, sir," replied the good old man, "but it was not mine."—St. Pierre.
PARADOXICAL ANIMALS. Two very curious animals exist, which though neither properly quadruped, bird, nor reptile, respectively combine, to a certain degree, some portion of the nature of all.
Dr. Shaw was the first naturalist who introduced these singular creatures to notice, and Sir Everard Home was the first comparative anatomist who described the internal structure. The zoologists were much puzzled in allotting them a place in their respective systems, and they have been variously classed and named by the English and French naturalists.
One of them, with reference to its combination of the porcupine and the bird, was named by Sir Everard Home the Porcupine Ornithorynchus, but the French naturalists did not agree on this point with Sir Everard, and the Baron Cuvier established a distinct genus, which he named Echidna, with reference to its spiny covering, and in which he placed it.
"This animal," says Dr. Shaw, " so far as may be judged from the specimens hitherto imported, is about a foot in length; the whole upper parts of the body and tail are thickly coated with strong and very sharp spines, of a considerable length, and perfectly resembling those of a Porcupine, except that they are thicker in proportion to their length; and that instead of being encircled with rings of black and white, they are mostly of a yellowish white, with black tips. The head, legs, and whole under part of the body, are of a deep brown or sable, and are thickly coated with strong close-set bristly hair. The tail is extremely short, slightly flattened at the tip, and coated at the upper part of the base with spines equal in length to those of the back, and pointing upwards. The snout is long, and perfectly resembling that of the Great Ant-eater, having only a very small opening at the tip, from whence is protruded a long tongue. The nostrils are small, and seated at the extremity of the snout. The eyes are very small and black, with a pale blue iris. The legs are short and thick, and are each furnished with five-rounded broad toes; on the fore-feet are five very long and blunt claws.
"The Echidna has been found principally in Van Dieman's Land, and some of the neighbouring islands; it lives on insects, which, like the Ant-eater, it secures by means of its long and sticky tongue. It burrows in the earth, and appears, like the Hedgehog, to have the faculty of assuming a spherical shape, and thus opposing its spines to any hostile attack. We are, however, as yet, but little informed on the subject of its habits, number of young, &c."
The name of the second, of which we give an engraving, has also been matter of difference.
"Dr. Shaw was also the first describer of this animal; he named it the Duck-billed Platypus; but Sir Joseph Banks having shortly after sent a specimen to Blumenbach, that eminent physiologist preferred the name Ornithoryncus for the newly-discovered creature; the merited celebrity of the German writer prevailed, and the genus has retained the name of his choosing almost universally.
: "Of all the mammalia yet known," says Dr. Shaw "this seems the most extraordinary in its conformation, exhibiting the perfect resemblance of the beak of a duck engrafted on the head of a quadruped. So accurate is the similitude, that, at first view, it naturally excites the idea of some deceptive preparation by artificial means, the very manner of opening, and other particulars of the beak of a duck, presenting themselves to the view; nor is it without the most minute and rigid examination that we can persuade ourselves of its being the real beak or snout of a quadruped.
■ " The body is depressed, and has some resemblance to that of an Otter in miniature. It is covered with a very thick, soft, and beaver-like fur, and is of a dark brown above, and of a white beneath; the head is fiattish, and rather small than large-; the mouth, or snout, as before observed, so exactly resembles that of some broad-billed species of duck, that it might he mistaken for such; round the base is a fiat, circular membrane, somewhat deeper or wider below than above. The tail is flat, furry like the body, gradually lessens to the tip, and is about three inches in length.
"The length of the animal, from the tip of the beak to that of the tail, is thirteen inches; of the beak, an inch and an half. The legs are very short, terminating in a broad web, which on the fore feet extends to a considerable distance beyond the claws. On the fore feet are five claws, straight, strong, and sharp-pointed. On the hind-feet are six claws, longer and more inclining to a curve than those on the fore feet. The nostrils are small and round, and situated about a quarter of an inch from the tip of the bill. The ears are placed about an inch beyond the eyes, they appear like a pair of oval holes of the eighth of an inch in diameter. On the upper part of the head, on each side, a little beyond the beak, are situated two smallish oval white spots; in the lower part of each are imbedded the eyes, or at least the parts allotted to the animal for some kind of vision; for from the thickness of the fur, and the smallness of the organs, they seem to have been but obscurely calculated for distinct vision, and are probahly like those of moles, and some other animals of that tribe.
"In the place of teeth, the edges of the beak are furnished with fibres, simply attached to the gum; the tongue is short, and furnished with two horny points.
"The Ornithorynci have hitherto been found only in the rivers in the vicinity of Port Jackson, especially the river Nepean, on the eastern coast of New Holland. Those found in 1815, in Campbell River, and the river Macquarie, beyond the Blue Mountains, are larger than those before known, though they do not appear to differ specifically.
"These animals are expert swimmers, and seldom quit the water; on shore they crawl rather than walk, occasioned by the shortness of the limbs and comparative length of the body. Nothing certain is known as to their food; but the singular resemblance of their beak to that of ducks, induces a strong probability that, like these birds, they live on worms and aquatic insects."
It is not sufficiently observed by all the admirers of flowers, that the agreeable perfume of plants, in full bloom, when diffused through close apartments, becomes decidedly deleterious, by producing headache, giddiness, and other affections of the brain. But it is in confinement alone that such effects become evident. In the garden, when mingled with a wholesome and exhilarating atmosphere, amidst objects that awaken the most delightful sensations of our nature, these sweets are a part of our gratifications, and health is promoted as a consequence of enjoyment so pure.
Who has not felt the excitement of spring? of nature, in that delightful season, rising from lethargy into beauty and vivacity; and spreading the sweets of the thorn and the violet, aux iliarly to our gratifications » Amidst the beauties of the flower garden, these pleasures are condensed and refine'd; and the fragrance there, hovering on the wings of the breeze, cannot be imagined less wholesome than pleasant.
Whatever increases our gratifications, so peculiarly unmixed with the bad passions of human nature., must surely tend to the improvement of mankind; and to the excitement of grateful feelings towards that Beneficent Creator, who has so bountifully supplied these luxuries, which none arc denied.
The Polyanthus Narcissus may be planted in trie open borders, at any time from September to Febrraary, in a light soil, either separately or in groups; where they will flower in great beauty. When the leaves are decayed, the bulbs should be taken up, and replanted in September, in preference to letting them remain to flower again in the same situation.
In water glasses, made for the purpose, the Polyanthus Narcissus will flower in equal perfection with the hyacinth. The principal points requiring attention in this mode of cultivation, are these. Prefer soft water. Let it touch the bottom only of the bulb; and by daily additions, keep it to this height. Change it entirely once a fortnight, or oftener. At each change add nitre, about the size of a small pea. * When the flowers fade, the bulbs will be strengthened by being planted in the borders, carefully extending the roots in the soil. Obtain fresh bulbs for glasses in the next season.—Maund's Botanic Garden.
LINES BY BISHOP HORNE.
Sweet day, so cool, so calm, so bright,
Bridal of earth and sky,
For thou, alas! must die!
And colour charms the eye,
And thou, alas! must die! Sweet spring, of days and roses made,
Whose charms for beauty vie, Thy days depart, thy roses fade—
Thou, too, alas! must die! Be wise, then, Christian, while you may
For swiftly time is flying; The thoughtless man may laugh to-day,
To-morrow may be dying!
The Daisy, By Dr. Good.
Not worlds on worlds, in phalanx deep,
Need we to prove a God is here; The daisy, fresh from Nature's sleep,
Tells of his hand in lines as clear. For who but He who arch'd the skies,
And pours the day-spring's living flood. Wondrous alike in all he tries,
Could raise the daisy's purple bud Mould its green cup, its wiry stem,
Its fringed border nicely spin, And cut the gold-embossed gem
That, set in silver, gleams within! And fling it, unrestrained and free,
O'er hill and dale, and desert sod, That man, where'er he walks, may sec
In every step the stamp of God.
A MOUNTAIN SHOWER.
How looks it over head? Pitchy dark, and there are no eagles now; and see how the cloud "bellies" down to that peak opposite, and the peak not half the distance that we first thought. The clear air must have deceived us. But surely there can be no danger, there is no "sound" of it at any rate. Was not that a wing? Yes, there is a raven out from the opposite ledge. Whatever else, there will be drowning on the hill, if that cloud shall fall; and the raven is leaving his fetid nest betimes, to gather in the spoil for his voracious young. He is a night prowler, and the gloom brings him out; he finds the creatures asleep, and treacherously punches out their eyes, and then leaves them till he can find the carcases by the scent. But the raven has his use: he is the scavenger of the wild, and does duty for which no other creature that goes there is adapted.
At present he seems in doubt; but still he adds his own blackness to the gloom, and mutters his
croak, as he flies between us and the crags, sole tenant of the murky air. He seems doubtful of getting above, yet unwilling to keep his nest.
How the cloud labours, rising and falling like the lungs of one panting for breath; and dusky as is the whole, the under part, which maintains its course, emulates the wing of the raven. One descent more— another.—Gleam! crash! The peak rattles in fragments into the ravine; the raven drops dead on our platform; "the windows of heaven are opened," their tattered curtains are on fire, and nature is in confusion and chaos! Who that were here could question the terrible majesty of Him, "who rideth in the whirlwind and direct the storm?" Who could doubt for a moment that there are in His quiver bolts which, ere the keenest eye had measured one hair'sbreadth, could rend the globe which we inhabit—all the globes in the universe—quench all their suns, and sow them invisible throughout space; or that He could call them as quickly back, in all their beauty and their grandeur?
THE PESTILENCE OF ATHENS.
The account of the pestilence, which raged at Athens 430 years before Christ, though most essentially different from the disease which has lately prevailed in many parts of Europe, and has recently appeared in this country, cannot but be interesting to us in the present day. The generality of the symptoms are quite unlike those of the modern pestilence; but there are a few which appear to agree with them.
The account is given by Thucydides, an Athenian historian, who was born about the year 470, B.C. He himself was attacked with the disease, and had witnessed several others labouring under it. He traces its progress from Ethiopia to Egypt,—thence to Africa, and to a great part of the Persian king's dominions. It then suddenly came to Athens; and attacked first those that dwelt near the sea; which gave occasion to an idle supposition, that the people with whom the Athenians were at war, had poisoned the wells there. But it afterwards came to the high city, where it raged with dreadful violence, owing to the great numbers that were crowded together within the walls. No art availed; and the physicians, instead of being able to cure others, were themselves taken off in the greatest numbers, as they had more frequent intercourse with the sick. All supplication to the