Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

THE NORTH CAPE.

I tremity, where it becomes of a circular shape, and is

| indented by several chasms, that form small creeks. Its THIS cape forms the most northerly point of the surface is 'flat, being what sailors call table-land, rising continent of Europe, and may be regarded as one of gradually from the part adjoining the land till about a the most sublime wonders of nature. It is thus quarter of a mile from its other extremity, when it declines described by Sir Arthur DE CAPELL BROOKE*,

with a gentle slope toward the sea. In this part is its

greatest breadth; being, as I conjecture, nearly three who approached it from the land, and from whose

quarters of a mile across. The whole of it is almost des work the accompanying view is taken.

titute of any vegetation, and thickly strewed with small At six in the evening we reached the North Cape; and,

broken fragments of rocks. advancing to the edge of the precipice, contemplated the

On the approach of winter, the storms of snow are fearful steep between us and the ocean. Let the reader

often of very long duration, lasting for many days, and imagine a cliff exceeding in height that of Dover, and with

even weeks. They are preceded by heavy fogs, which Shakspeare's celebrated description of the latter, he may

drag in from the ocean in immense masses, like impe form a good idea of the North Cape, black from the polar

netrable walls, or moving bodies of water. This, however, storms, and proudly frowning upon the foaming element at

is the case only with westerly winds; the weather being its feet.

fine and clear when it blows from the eastward. The The eye vainly endeavoured to catch the fleeting sails

climate, with all its seeming disadvantages, is notwithof some vessel steering its way through these desert seas:

standing healthy; and dreary and dismal as it may appear all was one wide roaring waste of waters. On the verge

to the inhabitants of more temperate zones, it holls out of the horizon black mists hovered, driving on from the

even its pleasures and enjoyments to the few settlers that arctic regions of Spitzbergen. To the eastward, at the

reside there. It is fortunate that disease is so rare, as distance of thirteen leagues, the North Kyn protruded

there is no medical person within 150 miles: the scurvy is boldly into the waves, and seemed to vie with its gigantic

the only disorder known, and this not to any great degree. rival, being separated from it by the mouths of the great

The sun disappears to the inhabitants for more than two Porsanger and Laxe fiords. Looking to the west, the

months in the year; but, in return for this privation, it is lofty rocks of Stappen seemed still close to us; and beyond

for the same period above the horizon constantly day and them Maasöe and Jelmsöe presented their mountains, the

night, and for the space of about three months there is an

uninterrupted continuance of daylight. During the long rugged surfaces of which were softened by the distance. Evening was now fast approaching; and the wind, which

winter-night, the aurora borealis, which shines with uncomwas strong and chill, warned us to prepare our tent for the

mon brilliancy at the North Cape, compensates for the loss night. This was a task of no small difficulty, as the bleak

of the sun; and its light is so great, that the fishermen are exposed surface of the Cape, and the hardness of the rock,

enabled to carry on their ordinary occupations as well as by which prevented our driving in the pegs, gave us good

the usual daylight. reason to fear, that not our little tent only, but all it con

No part of the North certainly conveys to the traveller tained, might be swept away by the blast. Having at length

so perfect an idea of desolation as Mageröe, or Lean Island;

a name highly appropriate, destitute as it is of every thing found a projecting part of the cliff, which screened us in

but rocks, piled one upon the other in an extraordinary some measure, we pitched it within a few yards of this,

manner. The circumference of Mageröe, I was informed, securing it as well as we could by fragments of the rock, which we rolled on the edge of the canvass, to supply the

is about seventy miles. It is very narrow, being intersected place of pegs. As we had eaten nothing since an early

by long and extensive fiords, which run very deep into the hour in the morning, and had walked some miles across

land between the mountains, and nearly approach each the mountains against the keen air of Mageröe, we had

other from the opposite sides of the land. On the moun

tains there are about two hundred rein-deer, belonging to by this time a pretty good appetite. Our provision was accordingly produced: and, having lighted a blazing fire

some Field Laplanders, who remain with them the whole with the wood we had taken care to bring, snug within our

of the year, the Mageröe sound being too broad and tur

bulent, to allow of their crossing it to the continent. On tent, we enjoyed our repast with a greater relish than the most luxurious feast would have afforded in a palace at

some parts of Mageroe, where there is a little brushwood, home. When this was concluded, to drown fatigue, and

hares, we were told, are found in sufficient plenty. These celebrate our arrival at the Cape, a bowl of punch was

with the ermine and lemming, constitute the quadrupeds

of the island. quickly made; and, while the north wind, sweeping in

Dr. Henderson, in his work on Iceland, mentions a howling blasts over the icy seas, whistled loudly round us, with our faces turned to the south on account of the wind,

curious circumstance respecting the foxes at the North we drank “a health to those far away;" and the recollection

Cape. “In the vicinity of the North Cape," he says, “ where of many an absent friend in that quarter prolonged our

the precipices are almost entirely covered with various libations.

species of sea-fowl, the foxes proceed on their predatory The hour was late before we reclined ourselves to rest,

expeditions in company; and previous to the commencegrateful for the shelter afforded us. Sleep soon over

ment of their operations, they hold a kind of mock fight powered all but myself; and the deep snorings of the

| upon the rocks, in order to determine their relative Norwegian boatmen, and the Laplander, who was our

strength. When this has been fairly ascertained, they guide, proved that they had speedily lost all sense of the

advance to the brink of the precipice; and, taking each

other by the tail, the weakest descends first, while the fatigues of the day. Feeling no disposition to sleep, I arose softly, and, stealing out of the tent, strolled round

strongest, forming the last in the row, suspends the whole the Cape. It was already midnight. The sun had sunk

number, till the foremost has reached their prey. A signal. beneath the horizon about an hour, but a reddish, angry

is then given, on which the uppermost fox pulls with all

his might, and the rest assist him as well as they can with tint, still marked its progress below it. A feeble twilight | diffused itself around, just sufficient to mark the gigantic

their feet against the rocks; in this manner they proceed

from rock to rock, until they have provided themselves outlines of the cliffs. Toward the north black masses of clouds, with threatening looks, announced an approaching

with a sufficient supply." Nothing, I confess, would have storm; and the billowy ocean, that dashed against the

better repaid me for a long journey to the North Cape,

than to have witnessed these curious proceedings, and to rocks, loudly bellowed its fury. I now returned to my slumbering companions, crept into the tent, every object of |

have beheld this very extraordinary link of foxes, sus

pended from the tremendous cliffs, and dangling mid-way which was wrapped in gloom; and was soon lulled to sleep by the murmurings of the surge below.

between the ocean and their summits. There appeared a Our small tent stood well the rude attacks of the north

great scarcity of sea-fowl, and I observed very few even wind, which blew furiously in the night; and in the morn

of the gull-tribe, which abounded most at the low rocks of ing we commenced exploring the neighbourhood of the

Giesvær. Cape, anxious to lose no time, as our stay would necessarily

The sea has decreased considerably on the Mageröe depend upon the supply of wood and provisions that

coast within the last fifty years. This is also the case

with the other parts of Finmark; and it has been conremained. The NORTH CAPE, which is in latitude 71° 10' 15'',

tinuing so to do probably for some centuries. Even on the is a long extended headland, or tongue of rock, narrowest

top of the North Cape, the action of water can be traced, at

an elevation which is so considerably above the present near its root, and enlarging itself towards its other ex

level of the ocean. This decrease of it has not failed to * T'ravels to the North Cape.

have been observed by the inhabitants of these coasts, who

[graphic]

THE NORTH CAPE. THE MOST NORTHERN EXTREMITY OF EUROPE. upon my asking tho question, uniformly agreeed as to the lake in the foreground, had an elevation of at least ninety fact.

feet above the level of the sea, and on the top of an adjaOur curiosity at the Cape having been thoroughly satis-cent, but less-lofty mountain, was another lake. The fied, the state of our affairs imperiously urged us to depart; view was terminated by peaked rocks, chequered with our provision being consumed, our firewood burnt, and our patches of snow. At midnight, the sun still remained water exhausted. Accordingly there was no time to several degrees above the horizon, and continued to ascend lose, and we prepared for our departure. Previous to higher and higher till noon, when having again descended, this, having collected large fragments of rock, we piled it passed the North without dipping. This phenomenon, so them together, forming a kind of pedestal about ten extraordinary to the inhabitants of the torrid and temperate feet in height,' in order to point out more clearly the zones, could not be viewed without great interest. situation of the North Cape to other travellers, and being During the two months of daylight, when the sun is pererected close to the cliff, it would also, at a short distance, petually above the horizon, the inhabitants rise at ten in the be visible at sea. This we placed in a part where it would morning, dine at five or six in the evening, and go to bed at be discerned with the greater facility, by those who should one. But during winter, when from the beginning of Dearrive at the summit of the slope, which gently declines cember to the end of January, the sun never rises, they sleep toward the cliff; and about a quarter of a mile to the west- above half of the twenty-four hours, and employ the other ward of it we judged to be the most northern point. half in sitting over the fire, all business being suspended Another traveller who visited the Cape from the

during the darkness. The cause of this phenomenon is sea, gives the following account of this extraordinary

easily explained. The sun always illumines half the

world at once, and shines on every side, 90 degrees from promontory.

the place where he is vertical. When he is vertical over In approaching the cape a little before midnight, the the equator, and equidistant from the poles, he shines as rocks at first appeared to be nearly of an equal height, until they terminated in a perpendicular peak; but on a when declining to the North in summer, the sun shines nearer view, those within were found to be much higher beyond the North Pole, and all the countries near that than those of the extreme peak. Their general appearance

pole, turn round in constant sunshine: he at the same time was highly picturesque. The sea breaking against this

leaves the South Pole an equal number of degrees, and immovable rampart, which had withstood its fury from the those parts turn round in darkness. The effect is contrary remotest ages, bellowed, and formed a thick border of

at each pole in our winter, the sun then declining south white froth. This spectacle, equally beautiful and terrific, ward of the equator. About three miles from North Cape, was illumined by the midnight sun, and the shade which i lies Maso, the northernmost port of Norwegian Lapland. covered the western side of the rocks, rendered their | It is formed of a very fine bay, in which ships may winter aspect still more tremendous. The height of these rocks with great security. 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 METHINKS all virtues, and especially temperance, depend which had been washed smooth by the waves, and having on the practice of them. For, as they who use no within it a spring of fresh water. The only accessible spot bodily exercises are awkward and unwieldly in the in the vicinity was a hill, some hundred paces in circum- actions of the body, so they who exercise not their minds, ference, surrounded by enormous crags. From the summit are incapable of the noble actions of the mind, and have of this hill, turning towards the sea, they perceived to the not sufficient courage to undertake any thing worthy of right, a prodigious mountain attached to the cape, and praise, nor sufficient command over themselves, to abstain rearing its sterile mass to the skies. To the left, a neck of from things forbidden. --XENOPHON. land covered with less-elevated rocks, against which the surges dashed with violence, closed the bay, and admitted

LONDON: but a limited view of the ocean.

JOHN WILLIAM PARKER, WEST STRAND. To see as far as possible into the interior, our navigators! climbed almost to the summit of the mountain, where a

hora | PUBLISHED IN WEEKLY NUMBERS, PRICE ONE PzwxY, AND IN MONTALY PARTH PUBLISE

PRICE SIXPEXCE, AND most singular mountain presented itself to the view. A

Sold by all Booksellers and Nowsvendors in the Kingdom,

ITERATURE& EDUCA

[blocks in formation]
[graphic]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

In our

THE CATHEDRAL OF AMIENS.

a few alterations, it is the same which exists at the Amiens is a populous town in France, the capital of present day. the ancient province of Picardy, and of the modern The external appearance of this Cathedral is not department of the Somme, on the river of which so striking as that of some others; its western or name it stands. It is a place of great antiquity; in principal front, accurately represented in our enthe time of Cæsar, it opposed a formidable resistance graving, is, however, very rich, and has a considerable to the progress of the Roman arms, and is mentioned resemblance to that of the Church of Notre Dame as one of the places in Gaul in which good weapons at Paris. The towers, which are of unequal height, were made. It is now regarded as a strong town the northern being of greater elevation than the of the third class; and the inhabitants carry on a southern, are said to have been added about a considerable trade in linens, cottons, and velvets, century after the body of the edifice was built, and which are manufactured in the neighbourhood. It to have been made of different altitude, in conformity is tolerably well built, having several regular squares, with a regulation which prescribed that Cathedrals and some public buildings of interest; but the chief attached to the seat of an archbishop, and those attraction of which it boasts, is its celebrated Gothic belonging to certain collegiate establishments, and to Cathedral.

abbeys of royal foundation alone, should be allowed The first church which has any claims to the title to have two equal towers.

to have two equal towers. In Turkey, the privilege of the Cathedral of Amiens, is one erected about the of more than one tower is still restricted to the royal middle of the fourth century, in the reign of the mosques; but whether any similar regulation existed Roman Emperor Gratian, by Saint Firmin, the third with respect to the forms of Christian churches, is bishop of that see. The spot on which it stood was much doubted by those best qualified to judge. a space of ground, set apart by the piety of the The interior of this Cathedral is extremely magnifamily, as a burial-place for those who had fallen ficent; there are few churches which exhibit an victims to their profession of the Christian faith; appearance at once of so much vastness and beauty. and among others was the body of St. Firmin the “ It not only far surpassed my expectations,” says a martyr, first Bishop of Amiens, who was put to death writer, whose opinion we have before had occasion in the year 303.

to cite in our descriptions of the French Churches, It appears that, in the process of time, all recollec- the author of Letters of an Architect, " but possessed tion became lost of the place where the bones of this a character and expression quite new to me. venerable martyr were deposited; for early in the English Cathedrals, the eye is confined to one avenue, seventh century, a search was instituted for them by and the sublime effect is nearly limited to the view the then bishop of the see. The fact of their along it. Here the sight seems to penetrate in all discovery is preserved in a legend, and according to directions, and to obtain a number of views, all, the popish inventions of those days, the event was indeed, subordinate to the principal one, but all signalized by a rapid succession of astounding beautiful, and offering, by the different position of miracles. It was alleged, that a supernatural ray of the parts with regard to the spectator, the greatest light conducted the zealous inquirers to the spot which variety. I sat down for some time to enjoy this they so anxiously sought; a sweet odour spread itself sublime scene, and then paced slowly up the nave, gently through the air, the sick became healed, the snow as far as the intersection of the cross, where my which covered the ground was quickly dissolved, and attention was arrested by a beautiful rose window its place supplied by the smiling verdure of summer! at each end of the transept. Without seeing them,

The rumour of these prodigies soon reached the one can form no idea of how much beauty a rose neighbouring people; and their influence was such window is capable; the splendid colouring of the as might naturally be expected in so superstitious an glass, glowing among the rich tracery, has a brilliancy age. They flocked to the town to render homage to and magnificence for which. I can cite to you no the saint, and testified their zeal, by the liberality of parallel in England.” The western rose here mentheir offerings, which at length became so valuable, tioned, has become internally the dial of the clock; that it was determined to apply them to the erection the figures which denote the hours are more than of a new church, which should be dedicated to St. seven feet apart, and the hour hand moves nearly an Firmin, and built over the spot where he had suffered inch and a half in a minute. death.

The plan of the building is a Latin cross; the The second Cathedral, which was chiefly constructed | whole length being 442 feet, and the greatest breadth of wood, was not of long duration; it was burnt by 104 feet. The transept is 194 feet long; and the the Normans in 881, and subsequently rebuilt and height of the nave to the summit of the vaulting repaired several times. At length, in 1218, it was 140 feet. One of the most remarkable features wholly destroyed by lightning, and with it perished of the nave is the beautiful range of side-chapels the archives of the bishopric. Two years elapsed which run along its whole length, corresponding with before any attempt was made to supply its place; the divisions of the side aisles. Their date is subseand then the necessity of providing a suitable deposi- quent to that of the building itself; and they are tory for the body of St. Firmin, and for a relic to which said to have originated in a singular manner. equal interest was attached, the supposed head of St. In the year 1244, Geoffroi de Milly, great bailiff John the Baptist, which had been recently brought of Amiens, caused five clerks, or scholars, who were from Constantinople by a gentleman of Picardy, who vaguely accused of some crime, in which that funchad been engaged in the assault made by the Cru- tionary felt a personal interest, to be hanged without saders upon that city in 1204, induced the reigning any legal process. The bishop, indignant at so wanton bishop, Everard, to call upon his people for the an abuse of power, subjected the bailiff to a sentence means of accomplishing that object. The appeal of severe penance, and issued a decree against the was successful; contributions poured in quickly, mayor and aldermen (as we must call them,) of and the architect, Robert de Lusarches, was enabled Amiens, for having permitted the bailiff so to outto lay the first stone in the same year. But neither stretch his authority, condemning them under the he nor the bishop lived to see the completion of the penalty of 1000 marks of silver, to found six chapels, work which they had begun; and sixty-eight years and to devote to each a rent of 20 Parisian livres. elapsed before the building was quite finished. With This Cathedral has been visited by many celebrated

use.

personages, and has been the scene of some inter- exceed in number the far-famed library of Alex esting events. Charles VII., Louis XI., Charles andria, Ptolemy, King of Egypt, with a view of VIII., Louis XII., Francis I., Henry II., Charles IX., frustrating his design, prohibited the exportation of Henry IV., Louis XIII., Louis XIV. of France, our

the papyrus.

This excited the industry of some own kings, Henry V. and the unfortunate James II., artists in the court of Eumenes: they contrived a and the Czar Paul I. of Russia, have all left at the method of preparing the skins of sheep, and it was Cathedral of Amiens, memorials of their liberality called vellum from vellus, a fleece or skin; and and their devotion.

parchment from Pergamus, the place where the art of It was within the walls of this church that the preparing it was discovered: or if not discovered, it marriage of the renowned Philip Augustus, of France, was there improved, and first brought into general 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

MEXICAN BEES. concluded between England and France at different periods; and it was in this Cathedral that our own

FROM the Plaza we went to a house where a bee-hive of king, Edward the First, did homage to Philip of the country was opened in our presence. The bees, the Valois, as a feudatory of the French crown, in respect Europe. The hive is generally made out of a log of wood,

honeycomb, and the hive, differ essentially from those of of the possessions which he held in the territory of from two to three feet long, and eight or ten inches in France.

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 ANCIENT MODE OF WRITING.

hives, made of earthenware, instead of the clumsy appaSTYLE-PAPER-LEAVES_VOLUME-Book

ratus of wood; these are relieved by raised figures and VELLUM-PARCHMENT.

and circular rings, so as to form rather handsome orna

ments in the verandah of a house, where they are susThe ancients used tables covered with a coat of wax, pended by cords from the roof, in the same manner that on which they wrote with a style, a piece of iron the wooden ones in the villages are hung to the caves of pointed at the end, with which they made the letters, the cottages. On one side of the hive, half-way between and blunt or flat at the other end, which they used the ends, there is a small hole made, just large enough for rubbing out what they had written, either when for a loaded bee to enter, and shaded by a projection, to they wished to make any alteration, or to use the prevent the rain from trickling in. In this hole, generally

representing the mouth of a man, or some monster, the table for other writings. By a good or bad style, head of which is moulded in the clay of the hive, a bee is therefore, they meant at first, simply to denote the constantly stationed, whose office is no sinecure; for the quality of the instrument with which they wrote. hole is so small, he has to draw back every time a bee The term was afterwards applied metaphorically to wishes to enter or leave the hive. A gentleman told me, the language ; in which sense it is now used.

that the experiment was made by marking the centinel, Among the different substances that were employed post a whole day.

when it was observed, that the same bee continued at his for writing upon, before the art of making paper When it is ascertained by the weight that the hive is from linen-rags was discovered, we find the earliest full, the end-pieces are removed, and the honey withto have been these tables of wood, made smooth, and drawn. The hive we saw opened was only partly filled, covered with wax. But as what was written on wax which enabled us to see the economy of the interior to might easily be defaced, leaves of the papyrus*, a

more advantage. The honey is not contained in the kind of fag, which grew in great abundance in the elegant hexagonal cells of our hives, but in wax bags,

not quite so large as an egg; these bags, or bladders, are marshes of Egypt, were dried, and by a particular hung round the sides of the hives, and appear about halfprocess prepared for writing. Sheets were also full, the quantity being, probably, just as great as the separated for the same purpose from the stem of the strength of the wax will bear without tearing. Those plant. On these, the letters were engraved with an nearest the bottom, being better supported, are more filled instrument similar to that used for writing on wax.

than the upper ones. In the centre, or the lower part of the The substance so prepared, was called charta, from a

hive, we observed an irregular-shaped mass of comb fur

nished with cells, like those of our bees, all containing city of Tyre of that name, near which the plant was

young ones, in such an advanced state, that when we also found. The words folia, leaves, and charta, broke the comb and let them out, they flew merrily away. paper, thus derived, are well known among ourselves. During this examination of the hive, the comb and the

As in writing a treatise, a great number of these honey were taken out, and the bees disturbed in every leaves or sheets was required, they were joined way, but they never stung us, though our faces and hands together by making a hole and passing a string is a bee in the country which does not sting; but the kind

were covered with them. It is said, however, that there through each of them. With the same string, passed we saw seem to have neither the power nor the inclination, several times round them, they were confined, to for they certainly did not hurt us, and our friends said prevent their separating, and being injured or lost they were always muy manso, (very tame,) and never when no one was reading them ; whence it is sup-stung any one. The honey gave out a rich aromatic perposed, that a roll or bundle of them, obtained the fume, and tasted differently from ours, but possessed an name of a volumen, or volume. Those who have agreeable flavour.

[Basil Hall's Travels in South America.] seen specimens of the Burmese writing on leaves thus collected, may form an accurate notion of an ancient papyrus volume.

WHETHER I am praised or blamed, says a Chinese sage, I Another article used for writing, was the inner make it of use to my advancement in virtue. Those who bark of certain trees. This was prepared by beating those who blame me, as telling me the dangers I have run.

commend me, I conceive to point out the way I ought to go; it, and then cementing it together by a solution of gum. As the inner bark of trees is called liber, the I Am beholden to calumny that she hath so endeavoured volumes of books were thence called libri, a name and taken pains to belie me; it shall make me set a surer they still retain. Vellum, the last substance to be guard upon myself, and keep a better watch upon my mentioned, is said to owe its origin to the following actions.—Ben Jonson. circumstance. Eumenes, King of Pergamus, being Nove are so fond of secrets as those who do not mean to desirous of forming a library that should equal, or

keep them; such persons covet secrets, as a spendthrift * See the Saturday Magazine, Vol. IV., p. 208.

covets money, for the purpose of circulation.-C.

135---2

« AnteriorContinuar »