« AnteriorContinuar »
high. The shaft and the upper member of the base are of one piece of 90 feet long, and nine in diameter. The base is a square of about 15 feet on each side. This block of marble, 60 feet in circumference, rests on two layers of stone bound together with lead; which, however, has not prevented the Arabs from forcing out several of them, to search for an imaginary treasure.
The whole column is 114 feet high. It is perfectly well polished, and only a little shivered on the eastern side. Nothing can equal the majesty of this monument: seen from a distance, it overtops the town, and serves as a signal for vessels. Approaching it nearer, it produces an astonishment mixed with awe. One can never be tired with admiring the beauty of the capital, the length of the shaft, or the extraordinary simplicity of the ped'estal. This last has been somewhat damaged by the instruments of travellers who are curious to possess a relic of this antiquity; and one of the volūtes' of the column was prematurely brought down about twelve years ago, by a prank of some English captains, which is thus related by Mr. Irwin.
These jolly sons of Neptune had been pushing about the can on board one of the ships in the harbor, until a strange freak entered the brain of one of them. The eccentricity of the thought occasioned it immediately to be adopted ; and its apparent impossibility was but a spur for putting it into execution. The boat was ordered, and with proper implements for the attempt, these enterprising heroes pushed ashore to drink a bowl of punch on the top of Pompey's Pillar! At the spot they arrived; and many contrivances were proposed to accomplish the desired point. But their labor was vain ; and they began to despair of success, when the genius who struck out the frolic happily suggested the means of performing it.
A man was despatched to the city for a paper kite. The inhabitants were by this time apprised of what was going forward, and flocked in crowds to be witnesses of the address and boldness of the English. The governor of Alexandria was told that those seamen were about to pull down Pompey's Pillar. But whether he gave them credit for their respect to the Roman warrior,* or to the Turkish government, he left them to themselves, and politely answered, that the English were too great pātriots to injure the remains of Pompey. He knew little, however, of the disposition of the people who were engaged in this under
* Pron. war-yúr.
taking. Had the Turkish empire risen in opposition, it would not at that moment have deterred them.
The kite was brought, and flown so directly over the pillar, that when it fell on the other side, the string lodged upon the capital. The chief obstacle was now overcome. A two-inch rope was tied to one end of the string, and drawn over the pillar by the end to which the kite was affixed. By this rope one of the seamen ascended to the top; and in less than an hour a kind of shroud was constructed, by which the whole company went up, and drank their punch amid the shouts of the astonished multitude. To the eye below, the capital of the pillar does not appear capable of holding more than one man upon it; but our seamen found it could contain no less than eight persons very conveniently.
It is astonishing that no accident befell these madcaps, in a situation so elevated, that it would have turned a landman giddy in his sober senses. The only detriment which the pillar received, was the loss of the volute before mentioned, which came down with a thundering sound, and was carried to England by one of the captains, as a present to a lady who had commissioned him for a piece of the pillar. The discovery which they made amply compensated for this mischief; as, without their evidence, the world would not have known at this hour that there was originally a statue on this pillar, one foot and ancle of which are still remaining. The statue must have been of a gigantic size, to have appeared of a man's proportion at so great a height.
There are circumstances in this story which might give it an air of fiction, were it not authenticated beyond all doubt. Besides the testimonies of many eye-witnesses, the adventurers themselves have left us a token of the fact, by the initials of their names, which are very legible in black paint just beneath the capital.
can Indians, previous to his settling in Pennsylvania.-
liam Penn did not allow him to look upon that gift as a warrant to dispossess the first proprietors of the land. He had accordingly appointed his commissioners, the preceding year, to treat with them for the fair purchase of a part of their lands, and for their joint possession of the remainder; and the terms of the settlement being now nearly agreed upon, he proceeded, very soon after his arrival, to conclude the settlement, and solemnly to pledge his faith, and to ratify and confirm the treaty in sight both of the Indians and planters.
For this purpose, a grand convocation of the tribes had been appointed near the spot where Philadelphia now stands; and it was agreed that he and the presiding Sachems should meet and exchange faith, under the spreading branches of a prodigious elm-tree, that grew on the bank of the river. On the day appointed, accordingly, an innumerable multitude of the Indians assembled in that neighborhood; and were seen, with their dark visages and brandished arms, moving, in vast swarms, in the depth of the woods which then overshaded the whole of that now cultivated region.
On the other hand, William Penn, with a moderate attendance of friends, advanced to meet them. He came of course unarmed-in his usual plain dress—without banners, or mace, or guard, or carriages; and only distinguished from his companions by wearing a blue sash of silk network (which it seems is still preserved by Mr. Kett of Seething-hall
, near Norwich,) and by having in his hand a roll of parchment, on which was engrossed the confirmation of the treaty of purchase and amity. As soon as he drew near the spot where the Sachems were assembled, the whole multitude of Indians threw down their weapons,
and seated themselves on the ground in groups, each under his own chieftain ; and the presiding chief intimated to William Penn, that the nations were ready to hear him.
Having been thus called upon, he began : "The Great Spirit,” he said, “ who made him and them, who ruleth the heaven and the earth, and who knew the innermost thoughts of man, knew that he and his friends had a hearty desire to live in peace and friendship with them, and to serve them to the utmost of their power, It was not their custom to use hostile weapons against their fellow-creatures, for which reason they had come unarmed. Their object was not to do injury, and thus provoke the Great Spirit, but to do good.
They were then met on the broad pathway of good faith and good will, so that no advantage was to be taken on either side, but all was to be openness, brotherhood, and love."
After these and other words, he unrolled the parchment, and, by means of the same interpreter, conveyed to them, article by article, the conditions of the purchase, and the words of the compact then made for their eternal union. Among other things, they were not to be molested in their lawful pursuits even in the territory they had alienated, for it was to be common to them and the English. They were to have the same liberty to do all things therein relating to the improvement of their grounds, and the providing of sustenance for their families, which the English had. disputes should arise between the two, they should be settled by twelve persons, half of whom should be English, and half Indians.
He then paid them for the land, and made them many presents besides from the merchandise which had been spread before them. Having done this, he laid the roll of parchment on the ground, observing again, that the ground should be common to both people. He then added, that he would not do as the Marylanders did, that is, call them Children or Brothers only; for often pārents were apt to whip their children too severely, and brothers sometimes would differ; neither would he compare the friendship between him and them to a chain, for the rain. might sometimes rust it, or a tree might fall and break it; but he should consider them as the same flesh and blood with the Christians, and the same as if one man's body were to be divided into two parts. He then took up the parchment, and presented it to the Sachem who wore the horn in the chaplet, and desired him and the other Sachems to preserve it carefully for three generations, that their children might know what had passed between them, just as if he himself had remained with them to repeat it.
The Indians, in return, made long and stately harangues of which, however, no more seems to have been remembered, but that "they pledged themselves to live in love with William Penn and his children, as long as the sun and moon should endure." And thus ended this famous treaty; -of which Voltaire has remarked, with so much truth and severity, " that it was the only one ever concluded between savages and Christians that was not ratified by an oathand the only one that never was broken!"
Such, indeed, was the spirit in which the negotiation was entered into, and the corresponding settlement conducted, that, for the space of more than seventy years, and so long indeed as the Quakers retained the chief power in the government, the peace and amity which had been thus solemnly promised and concluded, never was violated; and a large and most striking, though solitary example afforded, of the facility with which they who are really sincere and friendly in their own views, may live in harmony even with those who are supposed to be peculiarly fierce and faithless.
We cannot bring ourselves to wish that there were nothing but Quakers in the world, because we fear it would be insupportably dull; but when we consider what tremendous evils daily arise from the petulance and profligacy, the ambition and irritability, of sovereigns and ministers, we cannot help thinking, it would be the most efficacious of all reforms, to choose all those ruling personages out of that plain, pacific, and sober-minded sect.
Visit to the falls of Missouri.-EDINBURGH REVIEW.
As Captains Lewis and Clarke approached the mountains, and had got considerably beyond the walls already described, at the meridian nearly of 110', and the parallel of about 47° 20', the same almost as that of the station of the Mandans, there was a bifurcation of the river, which threw them into considerable doubt as to which was the true Missouri, and the course which it behooved them to pursue.
The northernmost possessed most strongly the characters of that river, and the men seemed all to entertain no doubt that it was the stream which they ought to follow.
The commanders of the expedition, however, did not decide, till after they had reconnoitred the country from the higher grounds, and then determined to follow the southern branch. On the eleventh of June, 1806, Capt. Lewis set out on foot with four men, in order to explore this river. They proceeded till the 13th, when, finding that the river bore considerably to the south, fearing that they were in an