« AnteriorContinuar »
upon my asking the question, uniformly agreeed as to the fact.
Our curiosity at the Cape having been thoroughly satisfied, the state of our affairs imperiously urged us to depart; our provision being consumed, our firewood burnt, and our water exhausted. Accordingly there was no time to lose, and we prepared for our departure. Previous to this, having collected large fragments of rock, we piled them together, forming a kind of pedestal about ten feet in height, in order to point out more clearly the situation of the North Cape to other travellers, and being erected close to the cliff, it would also, at a short distance, be visible at sea. This we placed in a part where it would be discerned with the greater facility, by those who should arrive at the summit of the slope, which gently declines toward the cliff; and about a quarter of a mile to the westward of it we judged to be the most northern point.
Another traveller who visited the Cape from the sea, gives the following account of this extraordinary promontory.
In approaching the cape a little before midnight, the rocks at first appeared to be nearly of an equal height, until they terminated in a perpendicular peak; but on a nearer view, those within were found to be much higher than those of the extreme peak. Their general appearance was highly picturesque. The sea breaking against this immovable rampart, which had withstood its fury from the remotest ages, bellowed, and formed a thick border of white froth. This spectacle, equally beautiful and terrific, was illumined by the midnight sun, and the shade which covered the western side of the rocks, rendered their aspect still more tremendous. The height of these rocks could not be ascertained, but here every thing was on so grand a scale, that a point of comparison could not be afforded by any ordinary known objects. On landing, the party discovered a grotto, formed of rocks, the surface of which had been washed smooth by the waves, and having within it a spring of fresh water. The only accessible spot in the vicinity was a hill, some hundred paces in circumference, surrounded by enormous crags. From the summit of this hill, turning towards the sea, they perceived to the right, a prodigious mountain attached to the cape, and rearing its sterile mass to the skies. To the left, a neck of iand covered with less-elevated rocks, against which the surges dashed with violence, closed the bay, and admitted but a limited view of the ocean.
To see as far as possible into the interior, our navigators climbed almost to the summit of the mountain, where a most singular mountain presented itself to the view. A
lake in the foreground, had an elevation of at least ninetv feet above the level of the sea, and on the top of an adjacent, but less-lofty mountain, was another lake. The view was terminated by peaked rocks, chequered with patches of snow. At midnight, the sun still remained several degrees above the horizon, and continued to ascend higher and higher till noon, when having again descended, it passed the North without dipping. This phenomenon, su extraordinary to the inhabitants of the torrid and temperate zones, could not be viewed without great interest.
During the two months of daylight, when the sun is per petually above the horizon, the inhabitants rise at ten in the morning, dine at five or six in the evening, and go to bed at one. But during winter, when from the beginning of December to the end of January, the sun never rises, they sleep above half of the twenty-four hours, and employ the other half in sitting over the fire, all business being suspended during the darkness. The cause of this phenomenon is easily explained. The sun always illumines half the world at once, and shines on every side, 90 degrees from the place where he is vertical. When he is vertical over the equator, and equidistant from the poles, he shines as far as each pole: this happens in spring and autumn. But when declining to the North in summer, the sun shines beyond the North Pole, and all the countries near .that pole, turn round in constant sunshine: he at the same time leaves the South Pole an equal number of degrees, and those parts turn round in darkness. The effect is contrary at each pole in our winter, the sun then declining southward of the equator. About three miles from North Cape, lies Maso, the northernmost port of Norwegian Lapland. It is formed of a very fine bay, in which ships may winter with great security.
Methinks all virtues, and especially temperance, depend on the practice of them. For, as they who use no bodily exercises are awkward and unwicldly in the actions of the body, so they who exercise not their minds, are incapable of the noble actions of the mind, and have not sufficient courage to undertake any thing worthy of praise, nor sufficient command over themselves, to abstain from things forbidden. —Xenophon.
JOHN WILLIAM PARKER, WEST STRAND.
Published Inweekly Ndmiiers, Price One Penny, And In Monthly Paste,
Price Sixpence, And
Sold by all Bookaellera ami Newavenden In the Kingdom.
UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE COMMITTEE OF GENERAL LITERATURE AND EDUCATION APPOINTED BY THE SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE.
THE CATHEDRAL OF AMIENS. Amiens is a populous town iu France, the capital of the ancient province of Picardy, and of the modern department of the Somme, on the river of which name it stands. It is a place of great antiquity; in the time of Caesar, it opposed a formidable resistance to the progress of the Roman arms, and is mentioned as one of the places in Gaul in which good weapons were made. It is now regarded as a strong town of the third class; and the inhabitants carry on a considerable trade in linens, cottons, and velvets, which are manufactured in the neighbourhood. It is tolerably well built, having several regular squares, and some public buildings of interest; but the chief attraction of which it boasts, is its celebrated Gothic Cathedral.
The first church which has any claims to the title of the Cathedral of Amiens, is one erected about the middle of the fourth century, in the reign of the Roman Emperor Gratian, by Saint Firmin, the third bishop of that see. The spot on which it stood was a space of ground, set apart by the piety of the family, as a burial-place for tfyose who had fallen victims to their profession of the Christian faith; and among others was the body of St. Firmin the martyr, first Bishop of Amiens, who was put to death in the year 303.
It appears that, in the process of time, all recollection became lost of the place where the bones of this venerable martyr were deposited; for early in the seventh century, a search was instituted for them by the then bishop of the see. The fact of their discovery is preserved in a legend, and according to the popish inventions of those days, the event was signalized by a rapid succession of astounding miracles. It was alleged, that a supernatural ray of light conducted the zealous inquirers to the spot which they so anxiously sought; a sweet odour spread itself gently through the air, the sick became healed, the snow which covered the ground was quickly dissolved, and its place supplied by the smiling verdure of summer!
The rumour of these prodigies soon reached the neighbouring people; and their influence was such as might naturally be expected in so superstitious an age. They flocked to the town to render homage to the saint, and testified their zeal, by the liberality of their offerings, which at length became so valuable, that it was determined to apply them to the erection of a new church, which should be dedicated to St. Firmin, and built over the spot where he had suffered death.
The second Cathedral, which was chiefly constructed of wood, was not of long duration; it was burnt by the Normans in 881, and subsequently rebuilt and repaired several times. At length, in 1218, it was •wholly destroyed by lightning, and with it perished the archives of the bishopric. Two years elapsed before any attempt was made to supply its place; and then the necessity of providing a suitable depository for the body of St. Firmin, and for a relic to which equal interest was attached, the supposed head of St. John the Baptist, which had been recently brought from Constantinople by a gentleman of Picardy, who had been engaged in the assault made by the Crusaders upon tnat city in 1204, induced the reigning bishop, Everard, to call upon his people for the means of accomplishing that object. The appeal was successful; contributions poured in quickly, and the architect, Robert de Lusarches, was enabled to lay the first stone in the same year. But neither he nor the bishop lived to see the completion of the work which they had begun; and sixty-eight years elapsed before the building was quite finished. With
a few alterations, it is the same which exists at the present day.
The external appearance of this Cathedral is not so striking as that of some others; its western or principal front, accurately represented in our engraving, is, however, very rich, and has a considerable resemblance to that of the Church of Ndtre Dame at Paris. The towers, which are of' unequal height, the northern being of greater elevation than the southern, are said to have been added about a century after the body of the edifice was built, and to have been made of different altitude, in conformity with a regulation which prescribed that Cathedrals attached to the seat of an archbishop, and those belonging to certain collegiate establishments, and to abbeys of royal foundation alone, should be allowed to have two equal towers. In Turkey, the privilege of more than one tower is still restricted to the royal mosques; but whether any similar regulation existed with respect to the forms of Christian churches, is much doubted by those best qualified to judge.
The interior of this Cathedral is extremely magnificent; there are few churches which exhibit an appearance at once of so much vastness and beauty. "It not only far surpassed my expectations," says a writer, whose opinion we have before had occasion to cite in our descriptions of the French Churches, the author of Letters of an Architect, " but possessed a character and expression quite new to me. In our English Cathedrals, the eye is confined to one avenue, and the sublime effect is nearly limited to the view along it. 11, re the sight seems to penetrate in all directions, and to obtain a number of views, all, indeed, subordinate to the principal one, but all beautiful, and offering, by the different position of the parts with regard to the spectator, the greatest variety. I sat down for some time to enjoy this sublime scene, and then paced slowly up the nave, as far as the intersection of the cross, where my attention was arrested by a beautiful rose window at each end of the transept. Without seeing them, one can form no idea of how much beauty a rose window is capable; the splendid colouring of the glass, glowing among the rich tracery, has a brilliancy and magnificence for which I can cite to you no parallel in England." The western rose here mentioned, has become internally the dial of the clock; the figures which denote the hours are more than seven feet apart, and the hour hand moves nearly an inch and a half in a minute.
The plan of the building is a Latin cross; the whole length being 442 feet, and the greatest breadth 104 feet. The transept is 194 feet long; and the height of the nave to the summit of the vaulting 140 feet. Qne of the most remarkable features of the nave is the beautiful range of side-chapels which run along its whole length, corresponding with the divisions of the side-aisles. Their date is subsequent to that of the building itself; and they are said to have originated in a singular manner.
In the year 1244, Geoffroi de Milly, great bailiff of Amiens, caused five clerks, or scholars, who were vaguely accused of some crime, in which that functionary felt a personal interest, to be hanged without any legal process. The bishop, indignant at so wanton an dbuse of power, subjected the bailiff to a sentence of severe penance, and issued a decree against the mayor and aldermen (as we must call them,) of Amiens, for having permitted the bailiff so to outstretch his authority, condemning them under the penalty of 1000 marks of silver, to found six chapels, and to devote to each a rent of 20 Parisian livres.
This Cathedral has been visited by many celebrated
personages, and has been the scene of some interesting events. Charles VII., Louis XL, Charles VIII., Louis XII., Francis I., Henry II., Charles IX., Henry IV., Louis XIII., Louis XIV. of France, our own kings, Henry V. and the unfortunate James II., and the Czar Paul I. of Russia, have all left at the Cathedral of Amiens, memorials of their liberality and their devotion.
It was within the walls of this church that the marriage of the renowned Philip Augustus, of France, with Ingelberga, who was crowned queen in the same year, was celebrated; and also that of Charles VI. with Isabel of Bavaria. Several treaties were here concluded between England and France at different periods; and it was in this Cathedral that our own king, Edward the First, did homage to Philip of Valois, as a feudatory of the French crown, in respect of the possessions which he held in the territory of France.
ANCIENT MODE OF WRITING. Style—Paper—Leaves—Volume—BookVellum—Parchment. The ancients used tables covered with a coat of wax, on which they wrote with a style, a piece of iron pointed at the end, with which they made the letters, and blunt or flat at the other end, which they used for rubbing out what they had written, either when they wished to make any alteration, or to use the table for other writings. By a good or bad style, therefore, they meant at first, simply to denote the quality of the instrument with which they wrote. The term was afterwards applied metaphorically to the language; in which sense it is now used.
Among the different substances that were employed for writing upon, before the art of making paper from linen-rags was discovered, we find the earliest to have been these tables of wood, made smooth, and covered with wax. • But as what was written on wax might easily be defaced, leaves of the papyrus*, a kind of flag, which grew in great abundance in the marshes of Egypt, were dried, and by a particular process prepared for writing. Sheets were also separated for the same purpose from the stem of the plant. On these, the letters were engraved with an instrument similar to that used for writing on wax. The substance so prepared, was called charta, from a city of Tyre of that name, near which the plant was also found. The words folia, leaves, and charta, paper, thus derived, are well known among ourselves. As in writing a treatise, a great number of these leaves or sheets was required, they were joined together by making a hole and passing a string through each of them. With the same string, passed several times round them, they were confined, to prevent their separating, and being injured or lost when no one was reading them j whence it is supposed, that. a roll or bundle of them, obtained the name of a volumen, or volume. Those who have seen specimens of the Burmese writing on leaves thus collected, may form an accurate notion of an ancient papyrus volume.
Another article used for writing, was the inner bark of certain trees. This was prepared by beating it, and then cementing it together, by a solution of gum. As the inner bark of trees is called liber, the volumes of books were thence called libri, a name they still retain. Vellum, the last substance to be mentioned, is said to owe its origin to the following circumstance. Eumenes, King of Pergamus, being desirous of forming a library that should equal, or
• See the Saturday Magaiint, Vol, IV., p. 208.
exceed in number the far-famed library of Alex andria, Ptolemy, King of Egypt, with a view of frustrating his design, prohibited the exportation of the papyrus. This excited the industry of some artists in the court of Eumenes: they contrived a method of preparing the skins of sheep, and it was called vellum from vellus, a fleece or skin; and parchment from Pergamus, the place where the art of preparing it was discovered: or if not discovered, it was there improved, and first brought into general use.
From the Plaza we went to a house where a bee-hive of the country was opened in our presence. The bees, the honeycomb, and the hive, differ essentially from those of Europe. The hive is generally made out of a log of wood, from two to three feet long, and eight or ten inches in diameter, hollowed out, and closed at the ends with circular doors, cemented closely to the wood, but capable of being removed at pleasure. Some persons use cylindrical hives, made of earthenware, instead of the clumsy apparatus of wood; these are relieved by raised figures and and -circular rings, so as to form rather handsome ornaments in the verandah of a house, where they are suspended by cords from the roof, in the same manner that the wooden ones in the villages are hung to the eaves of the cottages. On one side of the hive, half-way between the ends, there is a small hole made, just large enough for a loaded bee to enter, and shaded by a projection, to prevent the rain from trickling in. In this hole, generally representing the mouth of a man, or some monster, the head of which is moulded in the clay of the hive, a bee is constantly stationed, whose office is no sinecure; for the hole is so small, he has to draw back every time a bee wishes to enter or leave the hive. A gentleman told me, that the experiment was made by marking the centinel, when it was observed, that the same bee continued at his post a whole day.
When it is ascertained by the weight that the hive is full, the end-pieces are removed, and the honey withdrawn. The hive we saw opened was only partly filled, which enabled us to see the economy of the interior to more advantage. The honey is not contained in the elegant hexagonal cells of our hives, but in wax bags, not quite so large as an egg; these bags, or bladders, are hung round the sides of the hives, and appear about halffull, the quantity being, probably, just as great as the strength of the wax will bear without tearing. Those nearest the bottom, being better supported, are more filled than the upper ones. In the centre, or the lower part of the hive, we observed an irregular-shaped mass of comb furnished with cells, like those of our bees, all containing young ones, in such an advanced state, that when we broke the comb and let them out, they flew merrily away. During this examination of the hive, the comb and the honey were taken out, and the bees disturbed in every way, but they never stung us, though our faces and hands were covered with them. It is said, however, that there is a bee in the country which does not sting; but the kind we saw seem to have neither the power nor the inclination, for they certainly did not hurt us, and our friends said they were always muij manso, (very tame,) and never stung any one. The honey gave out a rich aromatic perfume, and tasted differently from ours, but possessed an agreeable flavour.
[basil Hall's Traveli in South America.]
Whether I am praised or blamed, says a Chinese sage, I make it of use to my advancement" in virtue. Those who commend me, I conceive to point out the way I ought to go; those who blame me, as telling me the dangers I have run.
I Am beholden to calumny that she hath so endeavoured and taken pains to belie me; it shall make me set a surer guard upon myself, and keep a better watch upon my actions.—Ben Jonson.
No>te are so fond of secrets as those who do not mean to keep them; such persons covet secrets, as a spendthrift
covets money, for the purpose of circulation. C.
Mountain-, the curious Muse might love to gaie,
On the dim record of thy early days;
Oft fancying that she heard, like the low blast,
The sound of mighty generations past.
Here the Phoenician, as remote he sailed
Along the unknown coast, exulting hailed;
And when he saw thy rocky point aspire,
Thought on his native shores, of Aradus or Tyre.
Thou only, aged mountain, dost remain!
Stern monument, amidst the deluged plain,
And fruitless the big waves thy bulwarks beat,
The big waves slow retire, and murmur at thy feet.—Bowles.
Tins beautiful and romantic spot is situated on the southern coast of Cornwall, immediately opposite the little market town of Marazion, and about three miles and a half from Penzance. The mount itself is about 231 feet above the level of the sea, exclusive of the buildings with which it is crowned. Its singular situation and picturesque effect render it a most interesting object of curiosity; and it is calculated equally to attract the attention of the historian, awaken the researches of the naturalist, or employ the pencil of the painter. Its magnitude is seen in the most impressive point of view from its base, for when observed from a distance, its form appears trifling, amidst the vast expanse of waters with which it is surrounded.
A narrow neck of land, little more than a quarter of a mile in length, connects it with the main land: this natural causeway is passable at low water to foot-passengers and carriages, but at high tide is completely covered by the sea. The Mount is supposed by some writers to have_ been originally surrounded by a dense forest, and this idea is strengthened by the remains of trees having been discovered in its neighbourhood, at the time of an extraordinary high 'tide, as Borlase, the historian of Cornwall, relates in the fiftieth volume of the Transactions of the Royal Society, and also from its Cornish name Carakh-ludgh en luz, (The Grey Rock in the wood.)
It is supposed to be the island called Ietis by Diodorus Sicuhis, and other ancient authors, from which the Gauls and other nations of the continent fetched the tin, which Cornwall was known to produce,
even in those early ages. As far back as 1070 wc find it the site of a priory of Benedictine monks; after the Norman Conquest, it was bestowed upon Robert Earl of Mortaigne, who made it a cell (chapel) to the Abbey of St. Michael in Normandy.
At the beginning of the fourteenth century, when the alien priories were suppressed, an exception was made in favour of St. Michael, on condition of the same tribute being paid to the English crown, as was formerly remitted to its parent abbey. In later times, when the monasteries were dissolved in the reign of Henry the Eighth, it was bestowed on Humphrey Arundel Esq. It afterwards came into the possession, by purchase, of the St. Aubyn family, to whom the buildings on the Mount at present belong. The pier, which affords protection to at least fifty sail of small vessels, being in a dilapidated state, was rebuilt in 1/26 by Sir John St. Aubyn, and the small village which is built at its base was much enlarged.
It was occasionally occupied, at early periods of otir history, as a military station. During the captivity of Richard Coeur de Lion in Austria, it was seized by Hugh dc la Pomeroy, who expelled the monks, and fortified the place, for the purpose of favouring the meditated usurpation of the throne by Prince John. On the return of the king, Pomeroy, dreading his vengeance, fled hither from the Castle of Berry Pomeroy, and, after bequeathing a large portion of his lands to the monks, caused himself to be bled to death, after which the Priory was surrendered to the Archbishop of Canterbury.
During the wars of the Roses, a short time after the discomfiture of Edward the Fourth at Barnct, John, Earl of Oxford, arrived here by sea, and having disguised himself and some of his adherents in pilgrims' habits, obtained entrance, overpowered the garrison, and held the place against the forces of King Henry, until he obtained honourable terms of capitulation.
At the present time it is occupied as a country