Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

called Lauto, which lies to the westward of this / No eels, however, nor any other fish, were seen pass, and in the centre of an extinct crater. The in the lake.” edge of the crater was found to be two thousand We have also an account of a new faith :five huudred and seventy feet above the sea, and “ In the different jaunts across the island, many the descent thence to the water of the lake is one of the Devil's,' or unconverted, towns were vishundred and twenty feet. These gentlemen suc-ited, where our parties were always treated with ceeded in obtaining a line of soundings across the great hospitality. At the town of Siusinga, the lake, by cutting down trees, and forming a rast of chief who entertained our party was a priest of the them. They found the depth, in the middle, nine Gimblet religion. This new faith has made some and a half fathoms, decreasing thence gradually in progress among these islands, and has the followall directions to the shore. The form of the lake ing singular origin : A native of Savaii, by name is nearly circular, and it has a subterranean outlet. Seeovedi, was taken from that island by a whaleThe hill in which this crater is situated is conical, ship, and did not return for several years. During and there is a low knoll at some distance to the his absence he visited several ports, where it would south of it, which is the only other elevation in seem he obtained some notions of the forms and the neighborhood, above the general height of the ceremonies of the Roman Catholic church. Posridge. The border of the crater is clothed with sessed of considerable natural shrewdness, he the usual forest foliage of these islands, which, founded on this knowledge a plan to save himself however, exhibits here more than usual beauty, from labor for the future, by collecting followers being decorated with the finely-worked fronds of at whose expense he might be maintained. During the arborescent ferns, in widely-spread stars, and his absence, and while on board the whale-ship, he the graceful plumes of a large mountain palm. had received, as is usual in such cases, instead of

The poets of the island have appreciated the his native name, that of Joe Gimblet ; and this beauty of the place, and allude to the perpetual cognomen is now firmly attached to the sect of verdure which adorns the banks of the lake, in the which he was the founder. Having formed the following line :

plan of founding a sect, he did not scruple as to

the means of carrying it into effect ; for he boldly Laguto'o e le toi a e lau mea.

claimed a heavenly mission, professing to hold Lauto, untouched by withered leaf. converse with God, and asserting that he possessed

the power of working miracles, raising ihe dead, There is a legend connected with this lake, that &c.' He soon gained many proselytes, and had has more of poetic beauty and feeling than one attained great consideration and authority, when, would have supposed to exist among so rude a unfortunately for him, he was called upon to exert people. It is as follows. Many generations since, his pretended power of raising the dead, by restorduring a war between Upolu and Savaii, a number ing to life the favorite son of a powerful chief called of war-canoes, from the latter island, crossed over Lelomiava, who had been murdered. Joe did not to attack Ulatamoa, (or, as it is now called, Ulu- hesitate to undertake the accomplishment of this moenga,) the principal town in the district of Aana. miracle. He, in the first place, directed a house At the time of their approach, two brothers, To'o to be built for the reception of the body, and when and Ata, chanced to be paddling their canoes in it was finished, he required that it should be supthe channel between the reef and the shore, and plied with the best provisions. In conformity with before they could reach the land, were attacked by ihis requisition, the choicest articles of food that a party of Savaiians. After a valiant defence, Ata could be obtained were regularly handed to Joe was overpowered and slain, while To'o narrowly for the use of the defunct, upon whom he alone escaped the same fate. Overwhelmed with sorrow waited, while every other person, except the chief at the loss of a brother whom he tenderly loved, and himself, was excluded from the building. To'o retired to a neighboring mountain, and bury- The food thus regularly supplied, as regularly dising himself in the darkest recesses of its forests, appeared, and Joe assured the chief that his son made them resound with his bitter lamentations. had eaten it, and, under this bountiful allowance, At length, in his wanderings, he came to the would soon recover his strength, and walk forth. summit, where, stooping down, he scooped out in this way time wore on, until the patience of the with his hands a vasi hollow, and, leaning over its old chief began to show symptoms of being exbrink, suffered his tears to fall in until it was filled. hausted. This somewhat alarmed Joe ; but as he The lake thus formed, has ever since borne the was a fellow of infinite resources, he contrived to appellation of Lauu-to'o. The regard of To'o for evade inquiry and procrastinate, hoping, no doubt, his brother was further evinced by his adoption of that some lucky incident might turn up, by which Ata's name, conjoined to his own, as his family he should be enabled to extricate himself from the title, and the appellation of Teoomata, a con- dilemma. Unfortunately for him, however, after traction of To'o-ma-ata, is retained by his descend- another month of anxious suspense, the old man's ants, who are still chiefs of note in Upolu, and pigs and taro sell short, notwithstanding the chief's from whom the tradition was derived. The lake dependents had for a long time been restricted of Lauto is regarded with superstitious dread by from using them. All of them were in fact much the natives, who believe it to be the abode of the reduced by their compulsory fast, with the excepspirits, who, in former times, were regarded with tion of Joe, whose rotundity of form seemed to great veneration, and worshipped. These were indicate that he at least ran no risk of starvation. supposed to inhabit the waters of the lake, in the Whether it were owing to the suspicions which shape of eels, as thick as a cocoa-nut tree, and two his jolly appearance excited, or that he began to fathoms long. The attempt of our gentlemen to entertain doubts of Joe's supernatural powers, is explore it, was looked upon as such a profanation, not known ; but one day old Lelomiava determined that their native guides left them, and regarded to satisfy himself of the progress making in the them as persons doomed to accident, if not to de- restoration of his son. With this design he enterstruction. The eels were represented as so savage ed the house, and was shocked with the sight of and fierce, that they would bite a person's leg off. his son's body in a state of loathsome putridity. He immediately summoned Joe, and informed him | sacrificing any advantages whatever. They have that it was time that the promised miracle should an air of haughtiness and insolence arising from be accomplished adding, that it must be done by this independence, and nothing will induce them morrow's dawn. Joe immediately redoubled his to acknowledge any human being as their superior, exertions, and prayed hastily to all the saints of or to show any marks of respect. In illustration his calendar. He, however, knew full well what of this, Mr. Watson, the missionary, is the only would be his fate if he remained to encounter on white man to whose name they prefix · Mr.,' and the morrow the anger of the savage chief. He this he thinks is chiefly owing to the habit actherefore effected his escape during the night, and quired when children under his authority. All made his way to his native island. There he re- others, of whatever rank, they address by their mained, for some time, incog., but now ventures Christian or surname. This does not proceed to appear openly, practising his impositions boldly, from ignorance on their part, as they are known and is the worst antagonist the missionaries have to understand the distinctions of rank among the to deal with. This story was related by the old whites, and are continually witnessing the subchief himself, who, instead of finding his son re- servience and respect exacted among them. They stored to life, was compelled to bury his body, appear to have a consciousness of independence, which he did, with the exception of the head. which causes them, on all occasions, to treat even This he put in a box, and suspended beneath the the highest with equality. On being asked to peak of the roof of his house, where it remains, a work, they usually reply, "White fellow work, witness of his credulity, and of the gross imposition not black fellow;' and on entering a room, they that was practised upon him. While the party never remain standing, but immediately seat remained at Siusinga, a sick native was brought themselves. They are not great talkers, but are from the coast to a neighboring house, and their usually silent and reserved. They are generally host, the Gimblet priest, was called upon to pray well-disposed, but dislike to be much spoken to, for him. This afforded them an opportunity, that particularly in a tone of raillery. An anecdote might not otherwise have occurred, of learning was mentioned of a gentleman amusing himself some facts in relation to the ceremonies of this with a native, by teasing him, in perfect goodsect. On this occasion, the priest approached the humor, when the man suddenly seized a billet of house where the sick man lay, and when upon the wood, threw it at him, and then in a great rage stone platform, in front of it, he drew forth a book rushed for his spear. It was with great difficulty from the folds of tapa in which it had been carefully that he could be pacified, and made to know that enveloped. He then called upon Jehovah, re- no insult was intended; he then begged that they turning thanks for the many blessings which had would not talk to him in that manner, as he might been conferred on his people, and asked for a con- become wild and ungovernable. They look upon tinuance of the same, invoking the name of Jesus. the whites with a mixture of distrust and conHe ended by inquiring the divine pleasure con- tempt, and to govern them by threats and violence cerning the sick man, and begging mercy for him. is found impossible. They are susceptible of The nature of the book could not be distinctly being led by kind treatment, but on an injury or seen, as it was again carefully enclosed in the insult they immediately take to the bush, and tapa as soon as the ceremony was over ; but so resume their wandering habits. They do not far as it was visible, it bore an unquestionable carry on any systematic attacks, and their fears of resemblance to a blank note-book! The proselytes the whites are so great, that large companies of of this sect, in case of sickness, confess their sins them have been dispersed by small exploring parto one another, and have a number of fast-days, ties and a few resolute stockmen. Though they which are rigidly kept. Their Sabbath occurs are constantly wandering about, yet they usually only once a month, and is celebrated by the firing confine themselves to a radius of fifty or sixty of guns, and the puerile mummery in which their miles from the place they consider their residence. worship consists."

If they venture beyond this, which they someThe work contains an elaborate chapter on the times do with a party of whites, they always Samoan group, which, though interesting, is too betray the greatest fear of falling in with some long for quotation and incapable of analysis. On Myall or stranger blacks, who they say would put arriving at Wallis Island, they landed there the them to death immediately. Their great timidity prisoner Tuvai, conceiving that their purpose has caused a false estimate to be put upon their would be thus sufficiently answered ; since the character, by ascribing to it great ferocity; and, course of the wind is such, for the greater part as an instance of it, it is mentioned, that if a of the year, as to prevent canoes proceeding from party of natives be suddenly approached in the Wallis Island to the Sainoan group, and on that interior, who are unacquainted with white men, account his fate would remain a mystery to his and taken by surprise, supposing that they are countrymen. New South Wales is now too fa- surrounded and doomed to death, they make the miliar to present much novelty; the following most furious onset, and sell their lives as dearly account, however, of the natives is marked with as possible : this arises from the panic with which some traits which distinguish it from others :- they are seized, depriving them temporarily of

“ The natives of New South Wales are a proud, reason. They have not, properly speaking, any high-tempered race : each man is independent of distribution into tribes. In their conflicts, those his neighbor, owning no superior, and exacting no speaking the same language, and who have fought deference; they have not in their language any side by side, are frequently drawn up in battleword signifying a chief or superior, nor to com- array against each other, and a short time after mand or serve.

Each individual is ihe source of may be again seen acting together." his own comforts, and the artificer of his own But though New South Wales presents little household implements and weapons; and but for novelly to us, it does to the American in the the love of companionship, he might live with his United States, and accordingly the commander family apart and isolated from the rest, without values highly the information which he has obtained. He enters into a full account of its his- | hands to possess themselves of a piece of the Antory and government, and testifies to its progress. tarctic Continent. These pieces were in great The district of Illawarra in particular he states to demand during the remainder of the cruise. In be very prosperous. A Mr. Plunket is said to the centre of this iceberg was found a pond of have sold his farm for £ 14,000, which but two most delicious water, over which was a scum of years before, he had bought for £700. We fear, ice about ten inches thick. We obtained from it from the last reports received from the colony, about five hundred gallons. We remained upon that Mr. Plunket might have his estate back again, this iceberg several hours, and the men amused or take his choice amongst his neighbors' without themselves to their hearts' content in sliding. expending one quarter the sum thus realized. The pond was three feet deep, extending over an

The volume concludes with observations made area of an acre, and contained sufficient water for during the Antarctic cruise of 1840 and an ac-half a dozen ships. The temperature of the count of New Zealand ; with the latter we are water was 31o. This island had been undoubtalready sufficiently familiar. But we cannot pass edly turned partly over, and had precisely the by the cruise, technical as the chapter is, without same appearance that the icy barrier would have observing that, although in a miligated form, the exhibited if it had been turned bottom up and subcommander still assumes the existence of an An- sequently much worn by storms. There was no tarctic Continent; nay, he gives an engraved doubt that it had been detached from the land, illustration of it as something actually visible. which was about eight miles distant. The view The account in the text follows:

of the land, ice, &c., taken from this ice-island, “Feb. 13. At 2 A. M. we made sail to the is exhibited in the plate, and gives a correct south west, in order to close with the barrier, representation of these desolate regions." which we found retreated in that direction, and Now, certainly we have the words “ Antarctic gave us every prospect of getting nearer to it. Continent" here used fuently enough—but the Our course, for the most part, was through ice- only things actually met with are icebergs and bergs of tabular form. In the afternoon we had ice-islands. The land, too, is said to have been the land ahead, and stood in for it, with a light very distinct ;" but we shall soon find that this breeze until 64 P. M., when I judged it to be ten“ very distinct land” is an object not of observaor twelve miles distant. It was very distinct, and tion but of mere reasoning. To be sure, the arextended from west-southwest to south-southeast. gument is somewhat modified by the question We were now in longitude 106° 40' E., and lati- thus tauntingly put by Lieut. Wilkes :tude 65° 57' S.; the variation was 54° 30' wester- “Who was there prior to 1840, either in this ly. The water was very green. We sounded in country or in Europe, that had the least idea that three hundred fathoms, and found no bottom. any large body of land existed to the south of New The weather having an unsettled appearance, we Holland ? and who is there that now doubts the stood off to seek a clearer space for the night. | fact, whether he admits it to be a vast continent or The land left was high, rounded, and covered with contends that it is only a collection of islands?”' snow, resembling that first discovered, and had According to this, if what is now termed the the appearance of being bound by perpendicular Antartic Continent should turn out to be only icy cliffs.

large body of land” or “a collection of islands," " 14. At daylight we again made sail for the we must be content, and accept the American case land, beating in for it until 11 A. M., when we as proved. So be it :-only let the precise statefound any further progress quite impossible. I ment be understood, and, we repeat, we are willthen judged that it was seven or eight miles dis- ing to give the commander the benefit of his own tant. The day was remarkably clear, and the position. We must of course pass over the inland very distinct. By measurement we made stances in which certain appearances were supthe extent of the coast of the Antarctic Continent, posed to be indications of land ; because these which was then in sight, seventy-five miles, and merely register individual opinions, requiring the by approximate measurement, three thousand feet after corroboration of actual discovery. It is our high. It was entirely covered with snow. Longi- duty, however, to give the commander the benetude at noon 106° 18' 42" E., latitude 65° 59' 40" fit of the statement that these appearances were S., variation 57° 05' westerly. On running in, confirmed by the crew on one occasion finding we had passed several icebergs greatly discolored soundings. Nevertheless, this can only form one with earth, and finding we could not approach the item in the argument favoring the assumption of shore any nearer, I determined to land on the land existing-10 say nothing of a continent. largest ice-island that seemed accessible, to make “ Ice,” Lieut. Wilkes asserts,

requires a nudip, intensity, and variation observations. On cleus, whereon the fogs, snow and rain may concoming up with it, about one and a half mile from geal and accumulate ; this the land affords. As where the barrier had stopped us, I hove the ship an hypothesis this is reasonable enough—but is to, lowered the boats, and fortunately effected a not the discovery of an Antarctic Continent. The landing. We found embedded in it, in places, conclusions from this supposition are ingeniously boulders, stones, gravel, sand, and mud or clay. deduced, and agree with the relative phenomena The larger specimens were of red sandstone and to a considerable extent ; but the frequent and basalt. No signs of stratification were to be seen necessary use of the words “may be” shows that in it, but it was in places forried of icy conglo-Iihe whole matter was doubtful. Thus says Lieut. merate, (if I may use the expression,) composed Wilkes of large pieces of rocks, as it were frozen together, “ The icebergs found along the coast afloat and the ice was extremely hard and fint-like. were from a quarter of a mile to five miles in The largest boulder embedded in it was about five length; their separation from the land may be or six feet in diameter, but being situated under effected by severe frost rending them asunder, after the shelf of the iceberg, we were not able to get which the violent and frequent storms may be at it. Many specimens were obtained, and it was considered a sufficient cause to overcome the atamusing to see the eagerness and desire of all traction which holds them to the parent mass. In

a

ܪ

waves.

their next stage they exhibit the process of decay, dition should wish to make the most of it; but being found fifty or sixty miles from the land, and science is so august in her nature, and so severe for the most part with iheir surfaces inclined at a in her rules, that she declines recording in her considerable angle to the horizon. This is caused archives any sentence as Truth on which there by a change in the position of the centre of grav- rests the slightest liability of doubt;—in all such ity, arising from ihe abrading action of the cases she prefers the Scotch verdict, “Not

proven.” On the whole, however, the commander is in favor of a continent; for he tells us in a note, that

From Chambers' Journal. " the fact of there being no northerly current

LIFE IN THE SEWERS. along this extended line of coast, is a strong proof in his mind of its being a continent instead of a Few who walk along the streets of London, and range of islands." Here follow some other rea- see mile on mile of carriage-way and foot-pavesons for the same conclusion:

ment stretching out before them, and branching off “ The evidence that an extensive continent lies on every side, reflect upon the vast and wonderfu) within the icy barrier, must have appeared in the schemes of sewerage that extends underneath. account of my proceedings, but will be, I think, From the remotest district of London to the river, more forcibly exhibited by a comparison with the small sewers flow into larger ones; and these aspect of other lands in the same southern par- again, after a long course and many windings, allel. Palmer's Land, for instance, which is in into the Thames. Were a map executed of these like manner invested with ice, is so at certain sea- subterranean currents, so intricate, yet so regular, sons of the year only, while at others it is quite like the large veins and arteries of the body, it clear, because strong currents prevail there, which would convey a grander idea of the civilization of sweep the ice off to the northeast. Along the the capital than even the magnificent streets, Antarctic Continent for the whole distance ex- filled with the productions of the world, that plored, which is upwards of fifteen hundred miles, extend above ground. Formed of substantial no open strait is found. The coast, where the ice brick-work, well arched and secure, they reprepermitted approach, was found enveloped with a sent a sunken capital which has been variously perpendicular barrier, in some cases unbroken for estimated at the enormous sum of from one million fifty miles. If there was only a chain of islands, and a half to two millions sterling. It is an interthe outline of the ice would undoubtedly be of esting sight when any one of the main sewers is another form; and it is scarcely to be conceived under repair in a principal thoroughfare, to see that a long chain could extend so nearly in the how deep the excavation is, and how many lines same parallel of latitude. The land has none of of gas and fresh water pipes have to be traversed the abruptness of termination that the islands of before the strong current of foul water, running in high southern latitudes exhibit : and I am satis- its capacious brick channel, is reached by the workfied that it exists in one uninterrupted line of men. Several of these main sewers were open coast, from Ringgold's Knoll, in the east, to En- streams, meandering through the fields, before derby's Land, in the west ; that the coast (at London became so gigantic as it is now; and longitude 95° E.) trends to the north, and this will among the number may be cited the Fleet, runaccount for the icy barrier existing, with little al- ning from beyond Islington, through Bagnigge teration, where it was seen by Cook in 1773. Wells, Clerkenwell, Fieldham, Holborn, and FarThe vast number of ice-islands conclusively points rington street, into the Thames, once capable, it out that there is some extensive nucleus which re- appears, of bearing nierchant vessels as far as tains them in their position ; for I can see no rea- Holborn ; the Wallbrook running from Moorfields son why the ice should not be disengaged from past the Mansion-House, and by the church of St. islands, if they were such, as happens in all other Stephen, Walbrook, and by Dowgate, into the cases in like latitudes. The formation of the coast Thames; and the Lang or Long Bourne, which is different from what would probably be found still gives name to one of the wards of London. near islands, soundings being obtained in compara- Any one who has walked over Blackfriars or tively shoal water; and the color of the water Waterloo Bridge when the tide is down, may have also indicates that it is not like other southern observed men and boys, and occasionally women, lands, abrupt and precipitous. This cause is suf- walking upon the shores of the river, knee deep ficient to retain the huge masses of ice, by their in the slime, with baskets upon their backs, or being attached by their lower surfaces instead of slung over their arms, picking up pieces of wood their sides only.”

that have been left behind by the tide, or bits of Thus, notwithstanding the testimony of other coal that have fallen from the numerous coal navigators, and particularly that of Captain Ross, barges that come up laden from the pool, where in relation to “great Southern Land” discovered the collier vessels are moored, to discharge their by him, and extending from the 70th to the 79th cargoes at the wharfs further to the west. These degree of latitude, and that of D'Urville, the cel-" mud-larks,' as they are sometimes called, bear ebrated French navigator, in reference to a sınall generally a bad character, being accused of not point of rocks, called by him Clarie Land, and contenting themselves with the prizes they find on which the commander of the American squadron the shore, but of robbing the coal barges or other claims to have passed three days prior to the vessels, on board of which they can creep at nightFranch landing-and, notwithstanding the appa- fall without detection. However this may be, rent reasonableness of the supposition-we are their functions do not end with the shore, but in compelled to report that so far as investigation has the sewer. With torch in hand, to preserve them proceeded present, the existence of the Antarc- from the attacks of numerous large and ferocious tic Continent is only an hypothetical assumption, rats, they wade, sometimes almost up to the midand that no claim to its discovery can be main-dle, through the stream of foul water, in search tained by any party. It is only natural that a lof stray articles that may have been thrown down commander of his country's First Scientific Expe- the sinks of houses, or dropped through the loop holes in the streets. They will at times travel | under a grating, by the side of which an old for two or three miles in ihis way—by the light woman sat at her apple-stall, and overheard her of their torches, aided occasionally by a gleam of discourse with her customers, and was tempted to sunshine froin the grating by the wayside-far give the alarm, that he might be drawn up. This, under the busy thoroughfares of Cornhill, Cheap- however, would have been a work of time, and he side, the Strand, and Holborn, very seldom able therefore decided to go on. He proceeded accordto walk upright in the confined and dangerous ingly, and arrived at the Thaines without aceident, vault, and often obliged to crawl on all fours like and immediately informed his companions of the the rats, which are their greatest enemies. The discovery he had made. It was surmised at once articles they mostly find are potatoes and turnips, that the skeleton was that of the man who had or bones, washed down the sinks by careless scul- been so long missing. Information was given to lery-maids; pence and half-pence, and silver the police, and a constable was despatched to see coins; occasionally a silver spoon or fork, the loss the issue. He would not, however, venture up of which may have caused considerable distress the sewer, but remained by the river side to await and ill-will in some house above; and not unfre- the return of the three "mud-larks" who went up quently more valuable articles, which thieves, for with torches and a basket to bring out the remains fear of detection, have thrown down when they of the dead man. They found, on reaching the have been hard pressed by the officers of justice. spot, that the discoverer, in his fright, by falling It might be thought that a life amid the vilest filth, against the skeleton, had overturned it from its and amid so much danger and unpleasantness of sitting position. A skull, a mass of bones, with a every kind, would allure but few; but the hope few buttons, and a portion of his shoes, alone reof the great prizes sometimes discovered in this mained-his flesh and his attire having been demiserable way deprives it of its terrors, and all the voured piecemeal by the rats. The remains were principal sewers that branch into the Thames have collected and brought out without accident. A their regular frequenters. Were it not that the coroner's inquest was held on the following day, tide gives them too little time for that purpose, and the identity was established by the buttons, they would extend their researches to the extremi- the only means by which it could be proved. Of ties of London ; but two or three miles inland is course it could never be known to a certainty how the utmost bound of their peregrinations. Those the life of this unfortunate being had been lost; who value their lives will not be tempted to extend but the general supposition was, either that he their researches further, lest they should be had been suffocated by foul air, or that he had drowned by the rising waters of the river. been seized with a fit of apoplexy in that darksome

About iwo years ago, these and some other sewer. The simple verdict, “ found dead,” was particulars of their mode of life were first elicited returned by the jury. in consequence of the following circumstance ; Such is the romance of common things; and An old man who had long pursued this calling such is one of the many marvels that lie around was suddenly missed. Every search was made us and beneath us, observable only by those who for him by the few to whom he was known; and are disposed to study the manners, the habits, and his wife and family, not without many fears that the struggles of the poor. he had lost his way in the sewers, or had been surprised by the tide, and drowned in his efforts to escape, made anxious inquiries at every police

From Chambers' Journal. office in London ; but without receiving any THE ROYAL OBSERVATORY AT GREENWICH. tidings of his fate. Months elapsed, and his name was passing from the remembrance of all but It is fair to suppose that but few persons in this those who had lost their husband and father by country are ignorant of the existence of the instihis disappearance, when a young man, passing tution whose name stands at the head of these with his torch up the Fleet, at nearly a mile dis- columns. Some, during a visit to London, and tant from the place where it discharges itself into while sauntering in Greenwich Park, may have the Thames, was startled at seeing the figure of a seen its exterior. Others, again, have read of it man amid the darkness sitting at the junction of a in books of voyages, or seen the words printed in smaller sewer with the main current of the Fleet. the margin of maps, as the point from which lonHe shouted, but received no answer, and heard gitude is reckoned. But very few possess any nothing but the rolling of the black and ferid definite idea as to the nature of the operations carwater, and the splash or squeak of the numerous ried on within it; of the patient watching, amountrats which he had alarmed. Advancing nearer, he ing to severe labor, in conducting the extensive, held the light to the face of the silent figure, and various, and delicate observations for which it has beheld the ghasily countenance of a skeleton. He long been celebrated ; or of their high importance was not a man of strong mind, and losing his self- in a scientific and commercial point of view. possession in his horror, he stumbled against it These points are, however, ably elucidated in and fell. His light was extinguished. His situa- the annual report for the present year of G. B. tion was now sufficiently awful; but the added Airy, Esq., the astronomer royal, which, while it horror of the total darkness recalled his startled explains the satisfactory state of the scientific profaculties instead of scattering them entirely. He ceedings, contains also some general notices ihat knew his way by the number of iron gratings at may enable the great body of readers to compreintervals above, and groped along cautiously, hend the more than national value of such an esshouting as loudly as he could, to keep up his own tablishment. courage, and to starile the rats from his path, lest It would not be out of place to give, before prohe should tread upon one which would turn upon ceeding farther, a brief history of the building, him and fasten on his flesh. Grating after grating which is erected on the top of a gravelly hill in was thus passed, and he heard the carriages rat- Greenwich Park, on the site of the ancient tower tling above whenever he came near, and at times built by Duke Humphrey in the reign of Henry the conversation of people. Once he stopped | VI., commanding a fine and impressive view over

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »