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Several curiosities were dug out and sent to France, but the search was soon discontinued; and Herculaneum remained in obscurity till the year 1736, when the king of Naples employed men to dig perpendicularly eighty feet deep; whereupon not only the city made its appearance, but also the bed of the river which ran through it.
In the temple of Jupiter were found a statue of gold, and the inscription that decorated the great doors of the entrance. Many curious appendages of opulence and luxury have since been discovered in various parts of the city, and were arranged in a wing of the palace of Naples, among which are statues, busts, and altars; domestic, musical, and surgical instruments; tripods, mirrors of polished metal, silver kettles, and a lady's toilet furnished with combs, thimbles, rings, earrings, &c.
A large quantity of manuscripts was also found among the ruins; and very sanguine hopes were entertained by the learned, that many works of the ancients would be restored to light, and that a new mine of science was on the point of being opened; but the difficulty of unrolling the burnt parchments, and of deciphering the obscure letters, has proved such an obstacle, that very little progress has been made in the work.
The streets of Herculaneum scem to have been perfectly straight and regular; the houses well built, and generally uniform; and the rooms paved either with large Roman bricks, mosaic work, or fine marble. It appears that the town was not filled up so unexpectedly with the melted lava, as to prevent the greatest part of the inhabitants from escaping with their richest effects; for there were not more than a dozen skeletons found, and but little gold or precious
The town of Pompeii was involved in the same dreadful catastrophe; but was not discovered till near forty years after the discovery of Herculaneum. Few skeletons were found in the streets of Pompeii; but in the houses there were many, in situations which plainly proved, that they were endeavoring to escape, when the tremendous torrent of burning lava intercepted their retreat.
Works of the Coral Insect.—Universal Review
THOUGH Some species of corals are found in all climates, they abound chiefly in the tropical regions. In particular, the larger and more solid kinds seem to have chosen those climates for their habitation; while the more tender and minute, the Flustras for example, occur in the colder seas.
These animals vary from the size of a pin's head, or even less, to somewhat more than the bulk of a pea; and it is by the persevering efforts of creatures so insignificant, working in myriads, and working through ages, that the enormous structures in question are erected.
Enormous we may well call them, when the great Coral Reef of New Holland alone is a thousand miles in length, and when its altitude, though yet scarcely fathomed in twenty places, cannot range to less than between one and two thousand feet. It is a mountain ridge, that would reach al- ́ most three times from one extremity of England to the other, with the height of Ingleborough, or that of the ordinary and prevailing class of the Scottish mountains.And this is the work of insects, whose dimensions are less than those of a house fly. It is perfectly overwhelming.
But what is even this. The whole of the Pacific Ocean is crowded with islands of the same architecture, the produce of the same insignificant architects. An animal barely possessing life, scarcely appearing to possess volition, tied down to its narrow cell, ephemeral in existence, is daily, hourly, creating the habitations of men, of animals, of plants. It is founding a new continent; it is constructing a new world.
These are among the wonders of His mighty hand; such are among the means which He uses to forward His ends of benevolence. Yet man, vain man, pretends to look down on the myriads of beings equally insignificant in appearance, because he has not yet discovered the great offices which they hold, the duties which they fulfil, in the great order of
If we have said that the Coral insect is creating a new continent, we have not said more than the truth. Navigators now know that the Great Southern Ocean is not only
but a trifle, even if the walls of yonder Capitol were to crumble, if its lofty pillars should fall, and its gorgeous decorations be all covered by the dust of the valley.
All these might be rebuilt. But who shall reconstruct the fabric of demolished government? Who shall rear again the well proportioned columns of constitutional liberty? Who shall frame together the skilful architecture which unites national sovereignty with state rights, individal security, and public prosperity?
No, gentlemen, if these columns fall, they will be raised not again. Like the Coloseum and the Parthenon, they will be destined to a mournful, a melancholy immortality. Bitterer tears, however, will flow over them, than were ever shed over the monuments of Roman or Grecian art; for they will be the remnants of a more glorious edifice than Greece or Rome ever saw-the edifice of constitutional American liberty.
But, gentlemen, let us hope for better things. Let us trust in that Gracious Being, who has hitherto held our country as in the hollow of his hand. Let us trust to the virtue and the intelligence of the people, and to the efficacy of religious obligation. Let us trust to the influence of Washington's example. Let us hope that that fear of Heaven, which expels all other fear, and that regard to duty, which transcends all other regard, may influence public men and private citizens and lead our country still onward in her happy career.
Full of these gratifying anticipations and hopes, let us look forward to the end of that century which is now commenced. A hundred years hence, other disciples of Washington will celebrate his birth, with no less of sincere admiration than we now commemorate it. When they shall meet, as we now meet, to do themselves and him that honor, so surely as they shall see the blue summits of his native mountains rise in the horizon; so surely as they shall behold the river on whose banks he lived, and on whose banks he rests, still flowing to the sea; so surely may they see, as we now see, the flag of the union floating on the top of the Capitol; and then, as now, may the sun in his course visit no land more free, more happy, more lovely, than this our own country.
Wild Horses. - FLINT.
THE day before we came in view of the Rocky mountains, I saw in the greatest perfection that impressive, and, to me, almost sublime spectacle, an immense drove of wild horses, for a long time hovering around our path across the prairie. I had often seen great numbers of them before, mixed with other animals, apparently quiet, and grazing like the rest. Here there were thousands unmixed, unemployed; their motions, if such a comparison might be allowed, as darting, and as wild as those of humming birds on the flowers.
The tremendous snorts, with which the front columns of the phalanx made known their approach to us, seemed to be their wild and energetic way of expressing their pity and disdain, for the servile lot of our horses, of which they appeared to be taking a survey. They were of all colors, mixed, spotted, and diversified with every hue, from the brightest white to clear and shining black; and of every form and structure, from the long and slender racer, to those of firmer limbs and heavier mould; and of all ages, from the curvetting colt, to the range of patriarchal steeds, drawn up in a line, and holding their high heads for a survey of us, in the rear.
Sometimes they curved their necks, and made no more progress than just enough to keep pace with our advance. Then there was a kind of slow and walking minuet, in which they performed various evolutions, with the precision of the figures of a country dance. Then a rapid movement shifted the front to the rear. But still, in all their evolutions and movements, like the flight of sea-fowl, their lines were regular, and free from all indications of confusion.
At times a spontaneous and sudden movement towards us, almost inspired the apprehension of an united attack upon us.. After a moment's advance, a snort and a rapid retrograde movement seemed to testify their proud estimate of their wild independence. The infinite variety of their rapid movements, their tamperings and manoeuvres, were of such a wild and almost terrific character, that it required but a moderate stretch of fancy, to suppose them the genii of these grassy plains.
At one period they were formed, for an immense depth in
front of us. A wheel, executed almost with the rapidity of thought, presented them hovering on our flanks. Then, again, the cloud of dust, that enveloped their movements, cleared away, and presented them in our rear. They evidently operated as a great annoyance to the horses and mules of our cavalcade. The frighted movements, the increased indications of fatigue, sufficiently evidenced, with their frequent neighings, what unpleasant neighbors they considered their wild compatriots to be.
So much did our horses appear to suffer from fatigue and terror, in consequence of their vicinity, that we were thinking of some way in which to drive them off; when on a sudden, a patient and laborious donkey of the establishment, who appeared to have regarded all their movements with philosophic indifference, pricked up his long ears, and gave a loud and most sonorous bray from his vocal shells. Instantly this prodigious multitude, and there were thousands of them, took what the Spanish call the stompado.' With a trampling like the noise of thunder, or still more like that of an earthquake, a noise that was absolutely appalling, they took to their heels, and were all in a few moments invisible in the pths of the plains, and we saw them no more.
National Recollections the foundation of National Character. E. EVERETT.
AND how is the spirit of a free people to be formed, and animated, and cheered, but out of the store-house of its historic recollections? Are we to be eternally ringing the changes upon Marathon and Thermopyla; and going back to read in obscure texts of Greek and Latin of the exemplars of patriotic virtue?
I thank God that we can find them nearer home, in our own country, on our own soil;-that strains of the noblest sentiment that ever swelled in the breast of man, are breathing to us out of every page of our country's history, in the native eloquence of our mother tongue;-that the colonial and provincial councils of America exhibit to us models of the spirit and character, which gave Greece and Rome their name