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to lay up treasure in heaven, and prayer for grace to render all his trials subservient to his improvement in holiness, and his meetness for an inheritance that fadeth not away. When Adams lost £700 at once, his remark in his diary was simply this : “ To-day, lost £700 by Mr. S. If this loss does not make me a better man, the fault will be my own.”
THE FALLS OF NIAGARA. In various parts of the world there are great waterfalls or cataracts. Sometimes a great river comes to a point where the level of the land sinks down by a great precipice, and then the whole volume of the water takes a sudden leap down many a yard, thundering as it falls, and dashing up an amount of spray that sometimes forms a great cloud. We are going to tell you of one of these waterfalls.
About eighteen miles from the fort of Niagara, in Canada, is the greatest cataract in the world, known by the name of the Waterfall of Niagara. The river at this fall runs from S.S.E. to N.N.W.; and the rock at the fall forms a kind of figure like a hollow semicircle or horseshoe. Above the fall, in the middle of the river, is an island about 800 feet long; the lower end of which is just at the perpendicular edge of the fall. Before the water comes to this island, it runs but slowly compared with its motion afterwards, when it grows extremely rapid, running with a surprising swiftness before it comes to the fali. It is perfectly white, and in several places is thrown high up into the air. The water that runs down on the west side is in greater abundance and whiter than that on the opposite side, and seems almost to outfly an arrow in swiftness. When a person is at the fall and looks up the river, he may perceive that the water is everywhere exceedingly steep, almost like the side of a hill; but on looking at the fall itself, it is almost impossible to describe the astonishment it occasions.
The height of the cataract is found to be exactly 137 feet; and when the water has come to the bottom it flies back to a great height in the air. The noise may sometimes be heard at the distance of forty miles, but seldom farther. At some times the fall makes a much greater noise than at others, and this is regarded as an infallible prognostic of rain or of bad weather.
From the place where the water falls there arises a prodigious vapour, like a thick smoke, insomuch that, when viewed at a distance, a stranger might suppose that the Indians had set their forests on fire. These vapours rise very high in the air when it is calm, but are dispersed by the wind when it blows hard. If any person go into this vapour, or if the wind blow it on him, it is so penetrating, that in a few moments he will be as wet as if immersed in water.
Great numbers of birds are found dead below the fall, but there are
THE FALLS OF NIAGARA.
no other sorts than such as live and swim frequently in the water, as swans, geese, ducks, teal, &c. Great flocks of these animals are often seen going to destruction in the following manner: they swim in the river above the fall, and so are carried down lower and lower by the water; and as water-fowl are commonly pleased with being carried by the stream, they indulge themselves with this pleasure, till the rapidity of the water renders it impossible for them to rise, and they are con sequently hurried down the precipice.
In the months of September and October, such prodigious quantities of dead water-fowl are found every morning below the fall, that they afford ample subsistence for the garrison at the fort. There also are frequently found the bodies of deer, bears, and other animals, which have attempted to cross the water above the fall. There are some melancholy instances of human beings having lost their lives in a similar manner.
An unfortunate Indian was reposing, in a state of inebriety, in his canoe, which was properly secured, at the distance of some miles above the cataracts, while his wife sat on the shore to watch his slumbers. A sailor, from one of the vessels on the lake, happened to arrive at the spot, and began to insult the Indian female. The woman attempted to rouse her husband, but before she could effect her design, the brutal mariner cut the cord of the canoe and set it adrift. The little vessel glided swiftly down the stream, and in the space of a few minutes it was seen to enter the Rapids. The Indian, awakened by the violent motion of the waves, started up, and on perceiving his perilous situation, he grasped his paddle with a look of inexpressible horror; but finding it absolutely impossible to stem the force of the current, he calmly wrapped himself up in his blanket, and resumed his former position at the bottom of the canoe. In the space of a few moments he was hurried down the precipice, and was never discovered.
There is an island in the middle of the fall, which was formerly supposed inaccessible; but an accident that happened about ninety years ago made it appear otherwise. Two Indians went out from Fort Niagara to hunt upon an island that is situated in the middle of the river, above the great fall, which was then stocked with abundance of deer; but having indulged too freely in the use of some French brandy, they fell asleep, and their canoe drove back with the stream till it approached that island which is in the middle of the fall. They were awakened by the noise of the cataract, and began to give themselves over as lost; but after some vigorous exertions, they effected a landing upon the island. At first they exulted in the idea of their escape; but upon cool reflection they found themselves hardly in a better state than if they had gone down the fall, since they had no alternative but either to throw themselves down the same or perish with hunger. After some time, however, they discovered Indians on the shore, who appeared to pity their misfortune, but gave them little hope of assistance. These, however, ran to the fort to inform the commandant of the situation of their friends, and he soon projected the means of their deliverance, in the following manner :
The water that runs on the west side of this island is shallow,
especially towards the eastern shore. The commandant, therefore, caused some poles to be made and pointed with iron, and by the help of these, two Indians offered to walk to the island to save their un. fortunate brethren, or to perish in the attempt. Each had two such poles in his hands to set to the bottom of the stream, in order to keep him steady, and in this manner they safely reached the island, and brought away the poor creatures, who were almost perishing for want of food.
The breadth of the fall, as it runs in a semicircle, is reckoned to be about 300 feet.
Every day when the sun shines, from ten o'clock in the morning till two in the afternoon, may be seen, below the fall, the similitude of a beautiful rainbow, and sometimes two, one within the other. The brightness and clearness of this phenomenon depend on the quantity of vapour that results from the spray of the cataract: for when the wind drives the vapours away the rainbow disappears ; but as soon as new vapours come, it resumes its former appearance.Smith's “ Wonders."
WONDERFUL SPRINGS AND LAKES. NEAR Bourbon-Lanci, in Burgundy, there is a mineral spring, which is said to be so hot that a man cannot keep his hand in it two minutes, and yet an egg left in it a whole hour will not grow hard. It has neither smell nor taste; nor does it scald the lips when drunk, or add any particular warmth to the stomach.
THE BURNING SPRING, which is reckoned one of the wonders of Dauphiné, is a spot of ground about two yards in length, and one in breadth, on which there appears a small wandering flame, like that of burning brandy. This spot lies on a steep rock of rotten slate ; but the flame does not seem to proceed from any fissure in the rock, nor can one perceive any matter proper to feed it, or any ashes produced. There is, indeed, a kind of white and very sharp saltpetre to be found at some distance from the flame, which probably is fed by something of that nature; but it is remarkable that this flame burns much brisker in winter than in summer, decreasing gradually as the heat increases, till it sometimes goes quite ont, and afterwards kindles again of itself. It may easily be lighted by any other fire, and when this is done it is attended with some noise. This is probably of the same nature with the everlasting fire of Persia, of which we shall perhaps give a particular account in its proper place.
A SUBTERRANEOUS LAKE.—In the road from Grenoble to Lyons, there is a large cavern or grotto, very wide at the entrance, but grow. ing narrower by degrees, till we come to a lake, which is reckoned another of the wonders of Dauphiné. The French historian Mezray tells us that Francis I., who loved to inquire into curious and extraordinary phenomena, had a mind to be acquainted with the particulars of this subterraneous lake, and for that purpose ordered a flat-bottomed vessel to be built in the cave that leads to it, which was done accordingly. On each side of this vessel they fastened several boards, on which they placed a great many lighted torches; and having provided
matches, steel, flints, and other necessaries, with very able watermen, they put off from the shore with the king. After they had rowed some time, they perceived the breadth of the lake was about half a league; but going nearly two leagues further, they heard a great noise, which became more frightful as they advanced; and they found the water ran with prodigious swiftness. Imagining from hence that there might be some abyss not far off, they loosened one of the boards with the torches upon it, and set it adrift, which, being carried away with vast rapidity, was soon overset or swallowed. Terrified with this, they would venture no further, but returned to the entrance of the grotto.—Smith's “ Wonders.”
THE ESQUIMAUX DOG. From the earliest ages the dog has been the friend and companion of man.
He is, above all other animals, endowed with that peculiar instinct which renders him fitted for such an honourable position, and indeed he seems to find his highest pleasure in the smiles and caresses of his master. At the present moment, the dog performs a variety of important services in various parts of the world. Even those dogs which swarm in the streets of the towns of Eastern countries, and which, owing to their savage manners, are a perfect nuisance to the European travellers who may happen to be exposed to their attacks, are most useful scavengers in cleansing the streets from the filth and refuse which would otherwise be left rotting in the sun, thereby tainting the atmosphere and causing disease. The magnificent mastiff of Thibet, in the absence of his master, most effectually guards the women, children, and flocks from the attacks of all ordinary foes. The St. Bernard dogs, under the direction of the monks, have saved many a traveller from death, who otherwise must have perished amid the snows of the Alpine passes. The Newfoundland dog, around our own coasts, has rescued not a few from a watery grave; and in his own country, he performs the useful service of a beast of burden; three or four of them being yoked to a sledge, will draw almost as many hundredweight of wood for several miles, and when relieved of their load, will return for another burden, all without the superintendence of a driver. Wherever there are large flocks of sheep, there the shepherd's dog occupies an important position, rendering services to the flock more than equal to the united efforts of several men. Those fond of field sports seem never weary in telling of the swiftness and endurance of their dogs. But, perhaps, it is away in the distant regions of the north, amid the snow huts of the Esquimaux, that the dog is found most useful to man.
Here he proves to his master a valuable assistant in hunting the reindeer, the bear, and the seal. Besides these services, the dogs are the only beasts of burden known in those parts, spending the summer principally in carrying heavy loads from place to place, and the winter in dragging the sledges of their masters over the ice and snow. Some, however, are let loose during the summer, to get their living as they best can, and when winter comes round again, by a strange instinct, they come back to their owners, to be subjected to the greatest toil and severest hardships; for although they are so useful, they are often treated in the most cruel manner. Their food consists of the merest offal, and of this they get but a scanty supply, and when from sheer weakness they break down in their work, their inhuman masters subject them to the severest torture their ingenuity can devise. Of course, the poor dogs cannot be expected to entertain any affection for their cruel tormentors, and yet when treated kindly they become very affectionate. It is only from the women that the dogs receive any tokens of kindness, and therefore will often tug at the heaviest load in response to the coaxing voice of their mistress, though they had obstinately refused to yield to the cruel blows of their master. The number yoked to the sledge varies from three to nine dogs, according to the kind of work to be done. When they have to draw a heavy load, a woman goes before, holding out her hand as if offering them food, and the dogs willingly follow her. For ordinary purposes of travelling, five dogs are generally used, being yoked two and two; the one going before, being old and experienced, is looked upon as the leader of the team; the others are taught to yield implicit obedience to his leadership. It is wonderful with what accuracy they can pass across the country, from place to place, even when the ordinary paths are obliterated by the snow, and the storm is so fierce that their master in the sledge cannot see where he is going. It is equally marvellous the extent of ground they can pass over ; in three days and a half they have been known to make a journey of 270 miles. When it is necessary to break the journey for rest, the dogs lie round their master and defend him from danger, and keep him warm while he sleeps. The Esquimaux dog is rather wolfish in appearance, the snout is elongated, the ears short and erect, the tail bushy and curved elegantly over the back; the colour is a deep dun, marked with dark bars and patches. The fur is well adapted to the cold climate in which he lives. Those that have been brought over to this country have manifested considerable intelligence and affection, thus rewarding the care and kindness of those who owned them.