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glittered like all heroes, their hour in the sunbeam, laid aside their armor and died ?
Do they think that little card, that little parallelo gram of pearl, is the cemetery of thousands—that the beauty of that surface is the beauty of death?
And so with the roses that blush in our pathways, and cluster round the graves of our dead. Could we but know whence their elements were derived-did we but think that perhaps the tint that gives beauty to the leaf, once colored the cheek of the loved, how differently would we regard these children of a Persian sun!
It was one of the beautiful and truthful sayings of an eminent naturalist, that the everlasting hills and the firm rocks, are but the relics of former life. They are indeed the alto-relievo records of things that
The 'rotten stone,' composed of the crescent shields of little creatures that sported their day and died; the white chalk rocks, the catacombs of animalculæ with limbs, and pulse, and armor for defence-people, a million of which, are comfortably accommodated within a single cubic inch. En passant
do ladies ever study GEOLOGY ? There's a catalogue-let us see: "French, Philosophy; Paley,' Painting ; Worsted-work and Wor
cester ;' Day' and Dancing ; Geometry and”. -10 isn't there. And pray, why not? What is Geology, after all, but the History of the World, written by itself; Time's own biography, printed and paged, collated and bound by the fingers of Omnipotence? And here it is, written down to the last sunset; not a leaf lost, not an illustration dimmed, since the · first form,' creation's recorded smile, was flung off, damp with the night, and welcomed with a starry song. Go where you will; from Erie’s ‘record steep,' whose awful flood yet chimes a perished age; from the 'notched centuries ' in her living rock, to the wave-worn pebbles, those notes the brooks sing by, and what are they all, but chronometers to mark time's viewless flight; to tell the age of singing streams, and when those chimes began? Turn back the leaves of this ponderous volume, ere human footprints soiled them, and yet how legible the record ! The leaf faded by that first frost in Eden, that fluttered down to earth, lo! here each fibre of its frame in lithograph! An insect's wing is there; perhaps it trembled in the evening beam, ere tears or blood had stained the glorious page; perhaps its fellow wilted in the breath of that first sacrifice. Here are they all, without erratum, blank, or blot. And what is
Botany, but the beautiful binding, the ornate titlepage of this great volume, which few fair fingers have ever assayed to open ?
Voices of the Dead.
The world is full of voices. Early morn, the deepest noon, the stillest night, each has a tune of its
Here now, it is close upon midnight. The shouts of children and the clatter of wheels, and the clangor of bells, and the footfalls of the multitude have ceased. Men's hearts beat softer and steadier ; the engine fires have died out like fierce thoughts in iron breasts; the World is asleep, and yet, how voiceful is the Night!
What a time for the dead to talk-the mighty dead—they are talking. Oh! ye who think their utterances are confined to dim cathedrals, and charnels dark and old! It is not so: they are in the thronged city; in the stores, the offices, the shopsthe dead and their utterances are, if you only had time to listen, and the world were still enough to let them be heard.
The Dead! aye, look solemn, if so it seems to you, the Dead are in your apartment to-night, and would speak—they have been waiting to speak—if you would only heed them.
A few fragments of coal are glowing through the bars of the stove, and now for the first time, in twelve hours, they make themselves heard. And what a voice the coal has, to be sure. It is something like the murmur of a distant multitude--something like the pedal bass of an organ, a great way off—something like the jar of a railway train-something like a wind wandering through a wood.
And now I think of it, there is melody in the tone; soft, mournful; the plaint of the prisoned coal-its murmuring memories of better times--the voice of the Dead. And they were better. Better, when that poor fossil waved in a great glorious tree, all covered with Spring, all tremulous with Summer airs ; when music with wings, made nests in its branches; when its leaves sang a song of their own.
Ah! melody of another sort was that, from the low semi-sullen, semi-sad monotone it greets us with now, through the grate.
Fossil! I called it a fossil, and so it is : something dug out of the earth. We shall be fossils by and by; beauty, a fossil ; youth, a fossil, and if not fossils, then plain-spoken dust. And when we—that 'we' means you and me--when we get to that, shall we give light like the poor Anthracite, or Bituminous, or Lignite, or whatever it is ? Shall our thoughts, our deeds, our hopes, make a little summer and a little day in the midst of the winter and the night of the world, like this insignificant coal ?
Here's a piece of Anthracite--a stray piece by the by-lying on the hearth. We know it to be such, from its metallic colors, and its shell-shaped surfaces.
Ah! “it is stone-coal you speak of,” says the Englishman; “I ken it's blind coal,” puts in the son of old Scotia ; and “it's Kilkenny coal ye're afther spaking uv,"interposes an exile of Erin. Yes, for' it has as many titles as a prince, it is all these. This fragment came from toward the head waters of the Lehigh perhaps, but for that matter, it might have come from Calton Hill in the land of Lochs, from Walsal in white-cliffed Albion, from dusky Norland, from old Holland, from Andalusia, from the Alps, froin “ little Rhody,” for it is at home, nearly all over the world.
Some people are for ever talking of the wonders of the Imagination and the beauties of Poetry. Here