Page images
PDF
EPUB

4. Have Love. Not love alone for one ;

But man, as man, thy brother call;
And scatter, like the circling sun,

Thy charities on all.

5. Thus grave these lessons on thy soul

Hope, Faith, and Love—and thou shalt find
Strength when life's surges rudest roll,

Light when thou else wert blind.

XLVII.--RAIN AND SUNSHINE.

springen we lets threatenenthroned f mounta

heavy clouds the village of Drass take its

C. C. FELTON. 1. Well, here we are on the ground sacred to Leonidas and the three hundred Spartans; within ten feet of the hot springs from which this famous pass take its name.

2. We left the village of Drachmans this morning, with heavy clouds threatening to accompany us on our way. Showery Jupiter sat enthroned on Parnassus, and, as we ascended the opposite range of mountains, he hit my nose with a single drop, perhaps expecting that, like the Greeks of old, we should postpone our journey to avert the omen. But we kept on and up in spite of all his warnings and threats.

3. We had a gloriously dark and frowning view of Parnassus, as we left it, and showery Jupiter was as good as his word ; for when we had got fairly entangled in the mazes of the Etian range, down came a shower, the like of which we seldom see in our unpoetical latitudes. But the scenery all around us—the bare and desolate peaks, the wild ravines, the foaming streams that started like racers on their course, the many-tinted oak and plane-tree, the evergreens on the mountain-side, and the fiercely careering clouds, so unlike our dreams of the classic beauty of Greece—was splendid.

4. On we went, regardless of the rain,-all except Walnut, the dog, who seemed greatly chagrined. Walnut is a dog of taste; has made the tour several times; takes a special pleasure in showing off his country to foreign travelers,

auty of ceering closteensonourse,

and, when he found we were going, insisted upon going with us. He is a very quiet dog, almost never barks, and has taken a special friendship for me.

5. He sleeps under my bed when I have one, and when I have not, sleeps as near me as he can get. He has kept by my side all day long, and, as we rode through the magnificent scenery under the heavy rain, hung his tail between his legs in the most desponding manner, evidently feeling a heavy responsibility for the present state of affairs, and concerned for the character of the Grecian climate.

6. Suddenly the rain ceased ; the sun, the Grecian sun, came out; the hill-tops, trees, and silver rain-drops were lighted in a moment; the region round about broke into a blaze, and thousands of birds added the full chorus of their song. Ah ! then you should have seen Walnut, the dog,– how he capered about ; how he ran up the hill and down the hill; how he jumped on me, and even barked, in the gladness of his heart ; how he snatched up a stick, and shook it till it broke in pieces.

7. The dog had never done any thing of the kind before ; he is a sober, affectionate dog, with a temperate enjoyment of the world, and a friendly eye for every wayfarer. I could not help sympathizing in his joy, and my own pleasure in the sudden outbreak of beauty was really heightened by the sight of Walnut's ecstacies.

8. It soon began to rain again, and so continued, until the sea broke upon us, between the mountains, with Eubea before us and Thermopylæ on our left.

9. We stopped to rest at Bodenitra, and ascended its Acropolis, which has the remains of an ancient structure, and a castle of the Middle Ages. Here is one of the most splendid prospects in the world. The weather again cleared off, and we began our descent from the last ranges of Eta to the sea-shore. It was steep and rugged, reminding me of the Alps. We reached the pass, galloped along the ground of the immortal battle, visited the mounds supposed to cover the bodies of the three hundred Spartans, and then reached the narrowest point, where the battle must have commenced.

10. What sound strikes my ear? What sight meets my · eye? The noise of a mill! The hot springs, celebrated in

all ages, are now made to do the work of ancient slaves, and grind. I was shocked; my newly acquired character of poet rose in arms at such a desecration. Bathed in Ismenus, rolled on Helicon, refreshed by draughts from Aganippe, my coat out at the elbows before the Parnassian heights, I could not now but feel every sentiment of my poetical nature outraged by the sight of a mill carried by the hot springs of Thermopyla !

11. But-but-we were to stop at the mill for the night, or travel an hour to a desolate khan,—and we stopped, mounting by a crazy staircase to the single room. There was a bright wood-fire on a raised circle. There was a colossal loaf of wheaten bread, just ready to be put under the embers. The miller, a stately-looking man in fustian, took down his single chair, and with a bow offered it to “ His Nobleness,”—meaning myself.

12. Poetry began to ooze out of the hole at the elbow, and a mill at Thermopylæ was not so bad a thing after all ; and when he told me that thirty villages depended on his mill for grinding their corn and wheat, I came to the conclusion that Thermopylæ was never put to half so good a use before.

13. Just as I write these words, he gives us an invitation to pass to-morrow with him, and join in a Klephtic festival, which he will celebrate in our honor. We consent, and he sends at once to order a kid, and to arrange the Klephtic songs for so grand an occasion. I could not help quoting the words of an ancient fragment:

“ Grind, miller, grind;

For e'en Pittacus grinds,
Of great Mytilene the king.”

14. Clatter, clatter goes the mill below; but it does not disturb the sleep of Leonidas and his Three Hundred, who lie beneath yonder tumulus. We have reached the northern limit of our journey, and our next move will be southward.

XLVIII.-ABRAHAM AND THE FIRE-WOR

SHIPER.

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN. 1. And it came to pass after these things, that Abraham sat in the door of his tent about the going down of the sun.

2. And behold, a man, bowed with age, came from the way of the wilderness, leaning on a staff.

3. And Abraham arose and met him, and said unto him, “ Turn in, I pray thee, and wash thy feet, and tarry all night, and thou shalt arise early on the morrow, and go on thy way.

4. But the man said, “Nay, for I will abide under this

[ocr errors]

5. And Abraham pressed him greatly; so he turned, and they went into the tent, and Abraham baked unleavened bread, and they did eat.

6. And when Abraham saw that the man blessed not God, he said unto him, “Wherefore dost thou not worship the most high God, Creator of heaven and earth?”

7. And the man answered and said, “I do not worship the God thou speakest of, neither do I call upon his name; for I have made to myself a god, which abideth alway in mine house, and provideth me with all things."

8. And Abraham's zeal was kindled against the man, and he arose and fell upon him, and drove him forth with blows into the wilderness.

9. And at midnight God called unto Abraham, saying, “ Abraham, where is the stranger ? "

10. And Abraham answered and said, “Lord, he would not worship thee, neither would he call upon thy name; therefore have I driven him out from before my face into the wilderness.”

11. And God said, “ Have I borne with him these hundred ninety and eight years, and nourished him, and clothed him, notwithstanding his rebellion against me ; and couldst not thou, that art thyself a sinner, bear with him one night?”

12. And Abraham said, “Let not the anger of the Lord

wax hot against his servant; lo, I have sinned ; lo, I have sinned ; forgive me, I pray thee.”

13. And Abraham arose, and went forth into the wilderness, and sought diligently for the man, and found him, and returned with him to the tent; and when he had entreated him kindly, he sent him away on the morrow with gifts.

14. And God spake again unto Abraham, saying, “ For this thy sin shall thy seed be afflicted four hundred years in a strange land;

15. “But for thy repentance will I deliver them; and they shall come forth with power, and with gladness of heart, and with much substance."

XLIX.-ABRAHAM AND THE FIRE-WOR

SHIPER.

LEIGH HUNT. SCENE.—The inside of a tent, in which the patriarch Abraham, and a Persian traveler, a Fire-worshiper, are sitting awhile after supper. Fire-worshiper. [Aside.] What have I said or done, that

by degrees
Mine host hath changed his gracious countenance,
Until he stareth on me, as in wrath !
Have I twixt wake and sleep, lost his wise love?
Or sit I thus too long, and he himself

Would fain be sleeping? I will speak to that. (Aloud.) Impute it, O my great and gracious lord,

Unto my feeble flesh, and not my folly,
If mine old eyelids droop against their will,
And I become as one that hath no sense
Ev'n to the milk and honey of thy words.-
With my lord's leave, and his good servant's help,

My limbs would creep to bed.
Abraham. [Angrily quitting his seat.] In this tent, never.

Thou art à thankless and an impious man.
Fire-worshiper. [Rising in astonishment.] A thankless and

an impious man! Oh, sir,
My thanks have all but worshiped thee.

« PreviousContinue »