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of solid matter; and in these deposits no evidence has yet been obtained of any created thing having existed, either animal or vegetable. We have traced the history from this time through the period when a few worms crawled on the mud and sand of the newly-made shores of the ocean, when to these were added other lower forms of animal existence, and when marine vegetables first contributed to the subsistence of its inhabitants. We have watched the appearance of its denizens, as they, one after another cr in groups present themselves, and have seen how different were these from the present tenants of the sea, and yet how like them, and how evidently and admirably adapted to perform the part assigned them; and we have thus gazed upon the first doubtful and misty appearance of light and life, as they have bee me visible in the morning of creation by slow degrees, and through a long twilight. Trilobites, brachiopods, shell fish of various kinds are seen to abound; and the cuttle fish or creatures nearly allied. and not so highly organized, reign for a time undisputed lords of the sea. At length their reign terminated; other animals, of higher and more complicated functions succeedel, and the waters, after long preparation, became fit for the presence of fishes. These at first of small size and comparatively powerless, soon increased rapidly, both in number and dimensions, and encased in impenetrable armour, seem to have delighted in the troubled ocean, where the coarse conglomerate of the old red sandstone was being accumulated; and for a long while these less perfect species of the class were predominant. In time, however, other fishes sprung up, the old ones were displaced, and a new, vigorous, and powerful group of animals came into the field, endowed with exuberant life, and darting with speed and almost irresistible force through the water. Land, also, richly clothed with vegetation, even to the water's edge, contributed to support this abundant flow of life; and some few land animals of high organization appear to have been associated with the insects and the fresh-water animals whose remains have been preserved. But few, indeed, were the tenants of the land, so far as we can judge, when compared with those of the ocean; and while we have in so many parts of the world a rich supply of the vegetable remains of that period, there are only to be quoted the fragments of a scorpion, one or two foot-marks, and such like indications that nature was not inactive, though the conditions for preserving any terrestrial animal remains were so eminently unfavourable, that there is only just
sufficient evidence to satisfy us of the fact."
In commencing his account of the second epoch of the world's earliest history, the author states that a complete change occurred in the nature and character of the animals by whom it was inhabited. Unlike Mr. Beswick, he does not attempt to calculate the lapse of time requisite for these changes, and the epochs, or periods, which he describes, are not measured by time, but by the remnants of organization yet to be found in the various
strata of the earth's surface. "The close of the first
epoch," he says, "was marked by great subsidencies of the land by the swallowing up of continents and islands into the sea, and by accompanying violent dislocations of these fractured materials of strata." Such is the common opinion of geologists. It is to be accepted simply as an opinion formed by those who have given the greatest thought and research to this subject. Still it is not a demonstration. The looseness of the proof may be
best observed from our next extract :
"We have seen that, even up to the very close of the earlier epoch, there is no distinct and unquestionable evidence of the nature and position of the land on which grew the vast forests from which coal was elaborated. Here and there it has seemed that the trees of which we
find fragments must have grown on the spot where broken trunks are now apparently attached to their roots, the roots and trunks being buried together in the very soil from which they obtained their nourishment. But these
instances are rare and exceptional; and although we may be certain that the land was not far off, yet its exact position, and whether it was a continent or an island, or a group of islands, whether it extended southwards or northwards, whether it occupied what is now the Atlantic Ocean, or was shaped like Europe, and represented the two north-eastern continents, we cannot satisfactorily determine. Perhaps the most probable opinion is, that an extensive archipelago, like that near the eastern shores of Asia, was the remnant of a sinking tract throughout a great part of the north temperate zone; that portions of that tract, now forming parts of England and Central Europe, remained thus for a long time in shallow water, the recipients of many deposits; but that during this time the other tracts were too deeply submerged, and too far from land, to receive such additions."
It is difficult to form anything out of these guesses that merits even to be ranked as a respectable theory. We are told by geologists, at one time, that boulders, broken from granite cliffs, were conveyed by a flood of water from the north-eastern districts of Europe to the South American continent. We are told by other geologists that "the vegetation which formed the coal deposits, we may be certain, was produced from land not far off from its present position;" that, farther, "some tracts were too deeply submerged and too far from land to receive such additions." To us it would seem that depth of submersion might be a valid objection to the deposit of vegetable matter, but distance from the land where it was produced could not stand in the way since granite boulders are said to have been floated from the north-east of Europe to Southern America. This pre-supposes No. 1, the miracle of the creation of granite: No. 2, of a convulsion to chip it into boulders: No. 3, of a very terrible flood to float them away five or six thousand miles. The old-fashioned way of accounting for these things, namely, that they were created near the spot where they are found, if less satisfactory, is simpler than the scientific mode. We are inclined to guess that the vegetation of the coal deposits is to be explained on this principle. We do not think it is far travelled. We believe it grew near by the spots whence it is dug. There are closely analogical cases in the present state of the earth's surface. We find trees imbedded in moss where there are no living trees, and in districts of the country where no similar species is now found; and we know that the production of these trees is within the limits of written and accre
dited history. We see, also, that the common peat and turf, when sufficiently compressed under machines of considerable power, are resolved into a substance not differing greatly in its nature from coal, but of finer
quality. At the same time there is reason to believe that the vegetation of which they are composed grew on the site of the present nurses; but if it had been compressed by a very powerful flood of water, casting over it heavy strata, especially under atmospherical influences that we cannot realise-even if it had merely been compressed by a sufficiently powerful weight of matter-it would have been resolved into one species of coal.
Our space does not permit us to pursue this subject further; but we are anxious to copy a few additional extracts from Professor Ansted's delightful book. The second epoch of the earth's history he regards as the age of reptiles :
Of all the ancient lines of sea coast that have yet been
introduced to our notice, there is none more interesting than that of the new red sandstone sca, for we find there not only marks of worms and the ripple of the water, but almost every other marking that can be imagined likely to have been made under such circumstances; and among these are distinct traces of the passage of numerous four-footed animals of various different kinds. Every one will remember the astonishment which Robinson Crusoe is represented to have felt at the sight of a human foot-print on the island which he thought deserted; and scarcely less surprising or interesting was the first discovery of these indications of animal existence in a rock so barren of fossils as the new red sandstone, and in a formation in which, till then, there had been no suspicion of the existence of any animals more highly organized than fishes. Nothing, however, can be more certain than that such foot-prints do occur; and although very little is to be determined from the mere form of the extremity, still even that little is of the greatest possible interest, when, as in the case before us, it is nearly the whole extent of our information. It is especially interesting to find that the foot-marks exhibit indications of some animals entirely different from those whose actual remains occur in the bed, and of some which present only faint and distant analogies with modern species, but which are yet made out by studying the peculiarities indicated in the rarest and most interesting of the fossils.
"Of all the reptiles at present found on the earth, the frogs, both in their young state as tadpoles, and in many peculiarities of structure, seem to form the nearest connecting link with the fishes; and since there are few distinct analogies between recent species of reptiles and either birds or quadrupeds, the whole order REPTILIA now forms an imperfect and isolated group, better adapted, it has been suggested, for a planet in an earlier stage of its existence, than for one peopled as our earth is at present.
"The secondary, or middle period of the earth's history, however, as made known to us by the study of fossils, may be looked upon as the age during which reptiles preponderated, and we shall find amongst the organic remains of this period a great number of forms tending to give considerable insight into the plan of creation with reference to this important department of zoology."
The "horrors" of that period were happily over before man came upon the stage. The earth has been filled with deceit, and crime, and bloodshed, and oppression, since our race took possession. We are bad: the reptiles, our ancestors, according to the "Vestiges," were clearly
"There were then, perhaps, existing, on or near the land, some of those reptiles which I shall describe in the next chapter; and with them were associated some true crocodelians, not much unlike the fresh-water garial inhabiting the Ganges. These, perhaps, might occasionally swim out to sea, and be found in the neighbouring shoals.
"But these shoals were alive with myriads of invertebrated animals; and crowds of sharks hovered about. feeding upon the larger forms. There were also numerous other animals, belonging to those remarkable groups which I have attempted to describe in some detail. Imagine, then, one of these monstrous animals, a Plesiosaurus, some sixteen or twenty feet long, with a small wedge-shaped crocodelian head, a long arched serpent-like neck, a short compact body, provided with four large and powerful paddles, almost developed into hands; an animal not covered with brilliant scales, but with a black slimy skin. Imagine for a moment this creature slowly emerging from the muddy banks, and half walking, half creeping along, making its way towards the nearest water. Arrived at the water, we can understand from its structure that it was likely exhibit greater energy. Unlike the crocodile tribe, however, in all its proportions, it must have been equally dissimilar in habit. Perhaps, instead of concealing itself in mud or among rushes, it
would swim at once boldly and directly to the attack. Its
"But now let us see what goes on in the deeper abysses
Such scenes as these must have been every day enacted during the many ages when the waters of ocean were spread over what is now land in the castern hemisphere, and when the land then adjacent provided the calcareous mud now forming the lias.
But a description of such scenes of horror and carnage, enacted at former periods of the earth's history, may perhaps induce some of my readers to question the wisdom that permitted, nay, enacted them, and conclude rashly that they are opposed to the ideas we are encouraged to form of the goodness of that Being, the necessary action of whose laws, enforced on all living beings, gives rise to them. By no means, however, is
this the case.
These very results are perfectly compatible with the greatest wisdom and goodness, and, even according to our limited views of the course of nature, they may be shown not to involve any needless suffering to us men, constituted as we are, and looking upon death as a punishment which must be endured, premature and violent destruction seems to involve unnecessary pain. But such is not the law of nature as it relates to animal life in general. The very exuberance and abundance of life is at once obtained and kept within proper A lingerbounds by this rapacity of some great tribes. ing death-a natural decay of those powers which alone enable the animal to enjoy life, would, on the contrary, be a most miserable arrangement for beings not endowed It would be with reason, and not assisting one another. cruelty, because it would involve great and hopeless suffering. Death by violence is to all unreasoning creatures the easiest death, for it is the most instantaneous, and therefore, no doubt, it has been ordained that, throughout large classes, there should be an almost indefinite rate of increase, accompanied by destruction, rapid and complete, in a corresponding degree, since in this way only the greatest amount of happiness is ensured, and the pain and misery of slow decay of the vital powers prevented. All nature, both living and extinct, abounds with facts proving the truth of this view, and it would be as unre:sonable to doubt the wisdom and goodness of this arrange
ment, as it would be to call in question the mutual adap- | cinders, which, however, occupied a good deal of time; tation of each part in the great scheme of creation. No and, in my eagerness to penetrate into the strange scene one who examines nature for himself, however superfi- before me, I did not reflect that the day must be passing. cially, can doubt the latter; and no one, certainly, who At last, a lurid glare penetrating from amongst the duly considers the laws ordained for the general govern-smoke, and the increased proximity and brilliancy of the ment of the world, can believe it possible for these laws flashes of lightning, accompanied by a noise like that of to have acted without a system of compensation, accord- the burning of an immense furnace, showed my near aping to which the vital energies of one tribe serve to prepare proach to the grand centre of the volcano. I slowly food for the development of higher powers in another." proceeded towards it, but at last feeling exhausted by my We have never read a scientific work with greater inte- exertions, I sat down on a block of lava and began to eat a piece of bread I carried in my pocket; but I was The history may be true or false. The author roused by a tremendous explosion, louder than any thunrather offers it as his impressions, or deductions from his der I ever heard; an immense lurid flame rose from the observations; but that scarcely detracts from the interest crater, the intense light of which seemed to penetrate the of his speculations regarding the period when the earth ground felt as if sinking below me. smoke and illuminate all the neighbouring country. The I felt myself thrown was without form, and void; when neither reason nor re- with violence among the ashes, and lay for some time sponsibility was to be found amid its darkness. stunned with the noise, and blinded with the light. When, after a little, I recovered my observation. I heard the smothered roar of the volcano near, but faint, and saw the smoke slowly rising from the crater; the rocking of the ground had ceased, and the eruption seemed to have passed over; here and there a twinkling star appeared through the vapour, and the moon was for a moment lemnity of the scene might make an impression on the seen, now and then, through the smoke. The dread soleast sentimental. I sat still some time, as it were bewildered, looking at the red glare of the crater, which appeared like a huge furnace. I then attempted to approach its edge, but the heat and suffocating vapours prevented my reaching it within about twenty or thirty yards."
Travels in Central America. By Robert Glasgow
Dunlop, Esq. London: Longman & Co.
THE author of this work is now beyond the reach of criticism, having died, as we learn, when the last sheet of it had passed through the press. The work itself reflects very high credit on its departed author, and affords evidence of the loss that has been sustained by his early death.
At the close of his brief, but instructive sketch of the
"Little hope can be entertained of any permanent improvement in Central America, till some man of decided ability shall unite the States and form a central govern ment capable of making itself feared and respected by all parties, or till it shall fall under the dominion of some foreign power capable of forming a firm and powerful government of a nature suited to the country, overawing the factious, and affording ample protection to the industrious and well-disposed. It is to be hoped that one or other of these events may soon occur to rescue this deplace it in the elevated rank in which it would undoubtlightful country from its present anarchy, and gradually edly hold under an enlightened goverment."
The object aimed at in this volume, as stated in the preface, is to furnish the English reader with some correct and trustworthy information respecting a portion of history of the Republic of Central America, our author the world which is very little known in this country. Accordingly, we are furnished with a minute and interesting description of the principal cities and localities visited by the author. A brief history is also given of the republic of Central America, from its origin down to the present time. Notice is likewise taken of its climate, productions, commerce, customs, animals, geology, volcanoes, &c.; while its population, religion, and education receive a proper share of the author's attention. Altogether, the work will be found to contain a large amount of useful information, being the result of much minute inquiry and extensive observation; and it is likewise written in a very correct, vigorous, and pleasing style. If Central America has, hitherto, been little known, it needs not be so any longer, now that, in this interesting work, we have been furnished with so full and accurate a representation of it. We give a few extracts from the
The author resolved to ascend the volcano of Tormentos, and the following is his account of the scene :"We commenced the ascent amidst broken and charred rocks, intermixed with cinders and broken pieces of lava. After two hours of hard toil, we approached the part of the mountain which is covered with smoke, and the discordant noises we heard as we approached it became loud and terrific, while the ground shook, as with one continued earthquake. Of a sudden, we were enveloped amidst the smoke, and heard a loud explosion, which scattered ashes all around. My guide exclaimed, 0 santissima Maria, somus perdidos' (Oh! most holy Mary, we are lost), and called out to me, For God's sake, let us return, if it be possible;' but I felt so strong a curiosity to go on that I would not be deterred, so I answered, Go back if you like, nothing shall prevent my going forward.' Scrambling up like a cat among the cinders, which were in some places so hot as to burn my shoes, and guiding myself by the flashes of lightning which played about the volcano, and the direction from which the loudest noises proceeded, as the smoke entirely obscured the vision I slowly ascended among the lava and
From the following observations it would appear that ignorance and immorality are fearfully prevalent among the population of Central America.
"The ignorance, vice, and superstition prevailing in Central America are probably hardly to be equalled in any other part of the world, unless it may be in the interior of Africa or the East India islands. In the towns, not one in ten can read or write, and in many parts of the country, not one in a thousand. In many villages, containing some thousand inhabitants, no person is to be found who can read, and when a traveller is compelled to show his passport to the alcade, who is the first civil and criminal judge, he is generally requested to read it. Morality is at the lowest ebb among all classes, especially the whites and creoles; indeed, I could never find, that among them any disgrace was attached to any sort of crime except petty larceny. Murder, perjury, forgery, and swindling of all sorts are considered as quite venial. The priests (Roman Catholic) are, for the most part, blind leaders of the blind; and the better educated merely consider themselves as actors, whose business it is to e tort money by acting the part which will please the je ple. Forms and religious parade are carefully ker dal & up. but no one thinks of inculcating private morality decency. The marriage ceremony is, also, as expected, considered merely as a form to keephe decency, and both man and wife act in pri please.
or even ne se night be up public ate as they "I have never found any native of Caat have y atral Ameria
who would admit that there could be any vice in lying; | Eton College, justly celebrated on account of the many and when one has succeeded in cheating another, however illustrious men it has trained up and sent forth to fill gross and infamous the fraud may be, the natives will only stations of eminence and usefulness. Windermere, with remark, Que hombre vivo! (What a clever fellow!) All its lake of varied beauties and enchanting scenery, classes are addicted to gambling, and far more money changes hands in this manner than in commerce, or any is also made to pass in review before us; and the legitimate business. Nearly all the Guatimala merchants, Burnham Beeches, which our author declares surpass who are the only ones possessed of any capital, have commenced their career with some rascality. Concubinage any sylvan locality he has yet visited. And the reader is common among all possessed of any wealth; nor is this, will find lively and minute descriptions of Bramshill; and Hall Barns, the residence of the poet Haller; as in other countries, done secretly, if at all, but even wives will publicly speak of their husbands' mistresses, Gregorics, the seat of the celebrated Edmund Burke, and express their approbation or disapprobation of their and many other interesting localities. taste. executed illustrations accompany the notices, which add considerably to their interest; and to render the volume as agreeable as possible, and to prevent anything like monotony being felt, the reader is treated every now and then to a chapter in Mr. Jesse's particular walk, a tale of deep interest, connected with the locality visited, or an essay on some general subject.
It will be seen that the priests are greatly to blame for this deplorable state of things; and that in this quarter their system is decidedly opposed to the spread of knowledge, and to the enjoyment of religious toleration.
We quote Mr. Jesse's description of Stoke Church and churchyard :
"Though, according to law, education is entirely free, no person except a Roman Catholic could venture to set up a school, as he would be certain to be forced to abandon it by the priests, as was exemplified in the case of Mr. Crow. The consequence is, that all the exer"It is impossible to approach it (Gray's churchyard) tions of the priests have only served to limit general knowledge; while all the young people above the labour-without feeling that it is a spot calculated to have inspired ing classes have, in spite of them, imbibed infidel opinions, the poet with those feelings which drew from him his beauand make no hesitation in calling the Christian revelation tiful and well-known Elegy in a Country Churchyard.' Here he wrote-here he wandered-and here he was buried. a ridiculous fable, and the priests, comedians and cheats. But where is his monument? We may look for it in vain, They speak of them in a much more disrespectful manner than any Protestant would think of doing, while, at the either in the church or churchyard. There is, indeed, the tomb of the careful, tender mother of many children, same time, they comply with the unmeaning Romish ceremonies, and kneel and cross themselves before the figures one of whom had the misfortune to survive her.' That child was Thomas Gray, the poet. In that simple tomb his of their saints. ashes repose with those of the mother he so affectionately loved. Strangers from all parts of Great Britain, and many from different quarters of the world, who so constantly visit Stoke Poges, led there by their admiration of the poet, return disappointed at not finding a record The parish register has to his memory in the church. indeed the following entry :-Thomas Gray, Esq., was A stone, on the wall of the buried August 5th, 1771.' church, tells us that we are standing near the tomb of the poet.
"Though the entire liberty of religious worship, both private and public, was guaranteed by the federal constitution of Central America, acts have been since passed by the states of Guatimala, Honduras, and Costa Rico, in reference to this and some other of the federal laws, declaring that parties differing from the Church of Rome are only at liberty to exercise their religion in private. Indeed, such religious liberty could never in reality exist, whatever the laws might be on the subject, as the priests, who have the entire control over the greater part of the lower orders, would be certain to excite them to assassinate any person who should attempt to expose their idolatry, and introduce a purer system of religion. The character of the priests in Spanish America, with very few exceptions, is grossly immoral and corrupt-nearly all publicly live in concubinage, and a great number drink and gamble. Such being their own character, they can hardly be expected to inculcate morality on others; yet their supposed sacred character makes them worshipped by the lower orders, though they are ridiculed and despised by the more educated."
Favourite Haunts and Rural Studies; including Visits to Spots of Interest in the Vicinity of Windsor and By Edward Jesse, Esq. 1 vol.
"But how full of interest is the spot we stand on! Here the turf heaves in many a mouldering heap;' here are the rugged elms;' and here is the yew-tree's in his narrow cell.' shade,' and there Gray reposes Who can be here without feeling his mind softened, and his enthusiasm awakened! He sees in the distance those spires and towers which crown the watery glade' of Eton, and those fields where once the poet says his It is indeed almost impos'careless childhood strayed.' sible to doubt that this is the spot where the Ode and the We see the picturesque features of Elegy were written. the landscape most accurately placed before us, and almost tifully and so pleasingly described in these poems. hear the sounds of rural nature which have been so beauwho can see the neighbouring beech trees, especially those of Burnham, without recollecting the nodding beech' that 'wreathes its old fantastic roots'? What lover of nature can see them without admiring their various contortions, as they sometimes grasp the ground, and then throw up those Not only do bold and curious excrescences, which, when mossed over, as they generally are, form a rural seat. swallows,' the 'lowing herd wind slowly o'er the lea," they remind us of the poet, but we see the 'twittering and hear the drowsy tinklings' of the folded sheep at short intervals, so different from the sounds which aro made while they are feeding. Gray must have been, not only a lover of nature, but an accurate observer of little facts and circumstances which would have been unnoticed
John Murray. This is another entertaining volume, from the pen of an author who has, more than once, already appeared favourably before the public. As its title imports, it consists chiefly of notices of several localities in England, rendered interesting, either by their natural beauty or their historical associations. Our author, accordingly, conducts us to Ritchings Park, where Prior and Pope, and Gay and Thomson once sung, and where the accomplished Addison once wrote; and to Stoke Church and by those who are unaccustomed to rural scenery and Thus he notices the droning flight' of churchyard, where we are so much reminded of the poet rural sounds. the beetle-the wood lark (my favourite songster) 'pipGray; and to Hampden-memorable for its being the residence of the patriot of the same name-a name stilling her farewell song'-the wistful eyes pursuing the setvenerated and fondly cherished by every lover of liberty. A visit is paid to the early residence of Pope, and to
ting sun-the ploughman plodding his weary way homewards,' as 'the glimmering landscape fades on the sight,' and the light seen in his cottage from the blazing
hearth,' prepared for his comfort by his careful wife. And then how clear are those lines, and what a delight ful picture do they present of the labourer's happy home! "The children run to lisp their sire's return,
Or climb his knees the envied kiss to share."" Towards the close of an interesting notice of Eton College and its playing-fields, our author remarks that—
It is impossible not to be struck, on going into the great or upper school of the boys, with the fine vista of busts of Eton worthies, which now line the walls of that It is a singular proof of the rapid facility with which a fortunate idea, when once hit upon, may be carried out, that, although this noble room seems likely, within a short time, to be thronged with the images of Eton's chosen sons, yet the collection has been made by gratuitous and spontaneous bounty within a year or two. It seems an obvious and efficacious system to influence the minds of the young, by keeping before their eyes the images of the great men whose successors and representatives they are. An Eton boy cannot help feeling exultation and dignity as he walks down the upper school, and surveys the busts of the celebrated men who formerly trod the same ground with himself, and now look upon the school of their boyhood like tutelary genii of the place.
"I cannot help remarking that our schools, generally, appeal very little to the imagination and feelings of boys. They make little or no use of association, which is, nevertheless, one of the most powerfal instruments in the government and discipline of the human understanding. In general, the school room is the dirtiest place in the establishment; whereas I cannot help thinking that any association with learning should be made agreeable, and, as far as possible, delightful. Indeed, the disinclination to learning felt by many men in after life may perhaps be attributed, not unreasonably, to the unpleasant associations with which instruction in boyhood was conveyed to them. The busts placed in the upper school of Eton, regarded in this point of view, seem most worthy of remark
beautiful seat of Sir John Cope, the following just remarks are made regarding the pernicious system of absenteeism, still so common among our landed proprietors :
Standing on an open and commanding eminence, Bramshill reminds us of those times when the houses of and guests, when the owners of them resided on their English country gentleman overflowed with hospitality estates, and were looked up to as the friends and benealt red in this respect; and much responsibility attaches factors of their poorer neighbours. Times are sadly to those who, forsaking the abodes of their forefathers, watering-places, or to spend their money and change are content to seek their happiness, either in crowded their habits in foreign lands. This stigma, for stigma it is, cannot be attached to the present owner of Bramshill. tality is exercised, and the worthy old baronet resides There the good home-brewed ale is still to be found, hospion his estate, surrounded by his tenants and dependants. in, nearly past all work, in their faced scarlet coats, It was pleasing to see some ancient huntsmen or whipperssunning themselves on a bench, with every appearance of comfort and enjoyment in their old age. Nothing could speak more plainly the kind-heartedness of their master,
his. In a green old age, and in his splendid mansion, nor can I well conceive a more enviable situation than he can look around his well-cultivated grounds, and feel of that of others. that his own happiness consists chiefly in the promotion Like a second Sir Roger de Coverley, the worthy Knight of Bramshill appears to be the father of his neighbourhood, and, like him, to be respected and loved."
In a chapter describing a country churchyard, the author makes the following touching remarks:
"There is a certain degree of melancholy pleasure in sauntering in a village churchyard, in reading the 'uncouth rhymes,' in viewing the various methods which have been taken to attest the sorrow of surviving relations. Here the young and old, the infant and suckling child,' are al
The Burnham Beeches, which were so much admired mingled together. The grave of a child has, indeed, some. by the author, are thus described :
"It is difficult to give the reader such a description of these trees as will enable him to form a just idea of them. Some of them are of gigantic growth, and of most picturesque character. From their huge trunks, boughs of a size little inferior to the parent stem throw far and wide their horizontal shade, while their no less massive roots, rising above the soil in solid blocks, or twisting their gnarled talons deep into the ground, show at once the firmness with which these vegetable monsters are fixed, the power with which they can resist the fury of the storm, and the distance from which they derive that vital nourishment, which is seen alike in their strength and their beauty, in the tenacity of their fibrous growth, and the splendour of their luxuriant foliage. impossible to visit them without feeling that here Nature has done everything, and that in the most pleasing manner. Nothing is formal, and forest scenery may be viewed in all its beauty and variety, without any embellishment from art. llere no distant spires are to be seen, or cottages, bridges, or even fences of enclosures; but, as we enter the forest glades, and view the knotted and gnarled trees, and saunter under their shade, the mind is insensibly carried back to the times of the bowmen of Harold and the days of Robin Hood."
Another pleasing feature about this volume is the moral and religious tone with which it is pervaded. Though a work, strictly speaking, devoted to the description of remarkable localities, and to antiquarian research, yet it is not destitute of useful reflections and virtuous sentiments, as the author avails himself of the opportunities presented for suggesting lessons of a moral nature, thereby rendering his work both profitable and entertaining, and fitted to improve, not only the head, but also the heart of the reader. For example, when describing Bramshill, the
thing peculiarly affecting in it. So young-so promisingso pretty-(for what is so pretty as a child?)—the delight of a fond mother-perhaps her only one-whom she had fostered in her bosom, and yearned over with affection which only a mother experiences-to know that its innocent prattle has ceased, and to feel that for some good, and wise, and benevolent purpose it has been stripped in its early bloom, here fades away—all these reflections intrude themselves on the mind in a country churchyard. The graves of the old, indeedthe threescore years and ten'-are viewed with far different sensations. Their race is over-their hour-glass has run itself out-and happy are they if they have made up their account in time.
And then how varied are the scenes to be witnessed in a churchyard. The church door is open, and there issues forth a bridal party, the bride holding down her head; the mother, perchance, weeping at the loss of her daughter, and the rest merry, and offering their congratu lations to the bridegroom. Sometimes a christening is to be seen the fat and cautious nurse holding an infant in its long white robes, followed by its parents, with the godfathers and god-mothers, and some intimate friends, who are about to partake of an entertainment to celebrate the ceremony. But the solemn toll of the bell is next heard. The coffin is slowly borne to the churchyard gate. The clergyman meets it, and walks before it into the church, pronouncing those noble sentences, beginning, I am the resurrection and the life, saith the Lord-I know that my Redeemer liveth-we brought nothing into this The coffin is again seen in the church-yard, the grave opers world, and it is certain that we can carry nothing out." its mouth to receive it-the weeping mourners stand around. Again the voice of the clergyman is heard, Man that is born of a woman hath but a short time to live— headed sexton, with his ready handful of earth, throws earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust.' The hoaryit on the coffin, and the sound vibrates in every heart