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even Louth must have confessed, that Mahomet had exceeded the sublimity of Job; and been touched with holier fire, than even Isaiah himself. To us, whose hopes of immortality rest upon a firmer basis, AUTUMN, presenting nothing from analogy, that ought to excite our fears, or to weaken our attachments, affords additional argument for our hopes, by animating our prospects with the promise of eternal spring.
V. Awed by the progress of time, WINTER, ushered into existence by the howling of storms, and the rushing of impetuous torrents, and contemplating, with the satisfaction of a giant, the ruins of the year, still affords ample food for enjoyments, which the vulgar never dream of, if sympathy and association diffuse their attractive spells around us! In the bosom of retirement, how delightful is it to feel exempt from the mean intrigues, the endless difficulties and tumults, which active life ensures; and which retirement enables us so well to contemplate through the telescope of recollection. When seated by the chearful fire among friends, loving and beloved, our hopes, our wishes, and our pleasures are concentrated; the soul seems imparadised in an enchanted circle; and the world, -vain, idle, and offensive as it is,-presents nothing to the judgment, and little to the imagination, that can induce the enlightened or the good to regret, that the knowledge, they possess of it, is chiefly from the report of others; or from the tumultuous murmur, which, from a distance, invades the tranquillity of their retreat, and operates as a discord in a
soft sonata. These are the moments, which affect us more than all the harmony of Italy, or all the melody of Scotland ;-moments, in which we appear almost to emulate the gods in happiness.
CHAPTER IV. - Perpetual changes glide on in eternal continuity. Plants spring up spontaneously among the ruins of conflagrated cities;-vallies rise to mountains ;mountains sink to vallies ;-the ending of Summer is the beginning of Autumn; and in the womb of Winter are secreted the embryos of Spring Flowers acquire new colours, as they expand; red changes to blue; blue to yellow; yellow to white'; and white to purple. The ocean leaves a sandy shore and gains upon a rocky one': where once it rolled with violence now bloom innumerable flowers : and fields, formerly waving with harvests, now vegetate with marine plants and fossils. · Shells from a slimy liquid harden into pearls ; from pearls they crumble into dust. The chrysalis, as some one has elegantly observed, is the cradle of the butterfly, at the very moment, that it becomes the tomb of the caterpillar. “ Change is the great Lord of the universe," says Feltham”; “and time is the agent, which brings all things under his dominion.” Em
1 A great portion of the Coromandel coast was gradually formed by the retirement of the sea; and the lower districts of Bengal have also the sámé origio.
.? In his Resolves ;--a neglected book, which, with all its quaintness, is : worth a thousand ingots of gold. Vide also Spenser : Faerie Queene. b. vii.
Change, one of the great Laws of the Universe. 207 pires, like men, move also in funeral procession ; and systems of philosophy, with the exception of those relating to morals and geometry, have experienced a similar fate; from Zoroaster to Aristotle; from Pythagoras to Bacon; from Des Cartes to Newton.
Islands have immerged out of the bosom of the sea'; whole continents have, on the contrary, been torn asunder ; rocks have been shattered into precipices; and cities melted into lakes : while the largest monument of human industry and pride constitutes a tomb!
There have not been wanting some even to suppose, that mountains may lose at one time, and recover what they lost at another”; either after the manner of vegetables, or by the operation of internal volcanoes.Ælian says, that it was the general opinion, in his time, that Mounts Parnassus, Olympus, and Etna, had much diminished in size; and it is an undoubted fact, that one of the Downs, in the Isle of Wight, has decreased in heigḥt within the knowledge of many persons in that island. On the other hand, Euripides calls Etna “ the mother of mountains”;" and the epithet is applied with singular felicity, if we may credit the assertion of Kircher, that the quantity of matter, expectorated by that mountain, exceeds
1 In 1707 a new island rose out of the sea near Santorine, with several volcanic explosions of great violence. Payne's Geographical Extracts, p. 252:-and what is still more curious, an island, which was thrown up in 1783 at a little distance from Iceland, ju 1785 totally disappeared.
Theophrastus-in Philo.p. 513. 3 Monte Victoria “ the most beautiful of her children.”
twenty times the original size of its own bulk'! The birch tree, in a similar manner, bleeds, when deeply wounded, so copiously, that the matter is said to equal the weight of the whole tree and root.
II. The shepherds of Abruzzo drive their flocks to the plains of Apulia in winter, as they did in the days of Horace and Varro; but what a mighty change has time effected in the general aspect of the country! “Change is indeed the Lord of the universe.” Such is the fate of the earth; such the fate of vegetables ; such the fate of animals; and such the fortune of towns, cities, countries, and empires ! - In many parts of Egypt, Syria, and the East, little is there to relieve the eye, but ruined towns and villages, lying likeskeletons of large animals. Where is GAZNA? - once the capital of a mighty empire? In vain do we
· Kircher :-Mund : v. i. 202. Borellus of Pisa having visited Mount Eina in 1669, in order to analize the matter expectorated, calculated that if it had been extended in length and breadth upon the surface of the terraqueous part of the Globe, it would, taking 1000 paces to a mile, have more than four times covered the earth. Burnett, ii. 82. Dion Cassius says, that the aslies from Vesuvius, during the eruption in the reign of Titus Vespasian, were carried over the Mediterranean not only jnto Egypt, but into Syria-Lib. Ixvi. Signor Reeupero calculated, that the lowest lavå of Mount Etna must have issued from that mountain upwards of 14,000 years ago. Brydone relates, that a Sicilian writer of credit, Sigror Massa, had visited a bed of lava at Catania eight years after the eruption of 1669, and that in many places i was still warm.
* Travels, Sicily and Malta, p. 81.
search for it in the map of Asia. NAZARETA is dwindled to a village.' CAPERNUUM, in former times the metropólis of Galilee, has fulfilled the prophecy, and now consists of only six fishermen's huts ;~and where flows the waters of the lake Asphaltites, once flourished more than thirteen cities.? Tridat, formerly the most delightful spot in Cyprus, and breathing every charm of pastoral comfort, is now a dreary, cheerless, and infectious marsh. The territory of CAMPANIA, producing a double spring of flowers, and once so fruitful, that Pliny called it, “ the work of Nature in the height of her felicity,” is now desolate: and ENNA, once so fruitful, that Diana and Minerva were fabled to inhabit it six months every year, is now a marsh, full of toads and water-reeds. The LEONTINE fields, so
** This village will be long remembered for a conversation between Dr. Clarke and an Arab, whom the Franciscan Friars had taught Italian. “ Beggars in England are happier, far better, than we poor Arabs.”_"Why better?"-" Happier,” returned the Arab, « because they live under a good government; better, because they will not endure a bad one.”
'3 Strabo, lib. lxvi. In the reign of Tiberius, says Suetonius, twelve cities of Asia were destroyed by an earthquake. Suet. in Vit. Tib. vi.This was the great convulsion of nature, which is recorded in the Gospel of St. Matthew, as occurring at the time of the Crucifixion. $t. Mat. ch. 27. v. 51. The fact is confirmed by Tacitus : Ann. lib. 10. c. 47. and by Pliny: lib. 11. cap. 86.
3 Thus Lucius Florus .-Omnium, non modo Italid, sed toto orbe terrarum pulcherrima Campanie plaga est: nihil mollius cælo : denique bis floribus vernat ; nihil uberiús solo: ideo Liberi Cererisque certamen dicitur. L. Flor. lib. i. c. 16.