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CATO'SI SOLILOQUY ON THE IMMORTALITY
OF THE SOUL. It must be so-Plato, 3 thou reason'st wellElse whence this pleasing hope, this fond desire, This longing after immortality ? Or whence this secret dread and inward horror Of falling into nought? Why shrinks the soul Back on herself, and startles at destruction ? 'Tis the Divinity that stirs within us ; 'Tis Heaven itself that points out an hereafter, And intimates eternity to man. Eternity! thou pleasing, dreadful thought ! Through what variety of untried being, Through what new scenes and changes must we pass ! The wide, th' unbounded prospect lies before me; But sbadows, clouds, and darkness rest upon it. Here will I hold. If there's a Power above us, (And that there is all nature cries aloud, Through all her works,) He must delight in virtue ; And that which He delights in must be happy. But when, or where :—this world was made for Cæsar; I'm weary of conjectures—this sword must end them. Thus am I doubly arm'd; my death and life, My bane and antidote, 4 are both before me. This in a moment brings me to an end ; But this informs me I shall never die. The soul, secur'd in her existence, smiles At the drawn dagger, and defies its point. The stars shall fade away, the sun himself Grow dim with age, and nature sink in years, But thou shalt flourish in immortal youth, Unhurt amidst the war of elements, The wreck of matter, and the crush of worlds.
From “ The Tragedy of Cato," by Joseph Addison.
LESSON XXXVII. ON THE PLEASURES TO BE DERIVED FROM
THE STUDY OF GEOLOGY. 1. Geology is the science that teaches us all that can be known of the materials of which our earth is composed. Everyone has noticed that the surface of the earth is not in every place exactly alike, either in colour, or material; indeed, if
people will only use their eyes, they will soon be led to observe what a very great difference there is in the soils, or rocks, as geologists term them, that compose the “crust of the earth,” and if they use their understanding, they will naturally wish to know the causes of the various differences they see around them.
2. Geology is the science that explains, in its widest sense, the past and present history of our globe. It is a science that affords to those who study it, the greatest delight. It adds enjoyment and interest to the country walk, to the railway journey, and to the sea-side visit.
3. If we examine a sandpit, a quarry, or a sea cliff, we often find the rocks arranged in beds, or strata, as they are termed, of various thicknesses and shades of colour. In some places the beds are perfectly level, in others inclined, and in some nearly upright. In some parts of the country we find “rock” is chalk, in others sand, in others clay, and in others gravel.
4. The geologist is able to explain the causes of the changes which have taken place in the earth's history, by considering certain operations which are silently and regularly going on at the present day. For instance, we find that the flooded river is wearing away the banks, and carrying the mud and sand down to the mouth, where it is deposited in the mud banks at the estuary. We also find the waves of the sea wearing away the hardest sea cliffs, and depositing the sand and other worn matter at the sea bottom. Many of the
districts around our coasts, and large deltas, like Holland, were once sea bottoms, and the hardened strata now composing the soil was once mud, sand, and other matters deposited in strata, by the agency
of water. 5. When the geologist visits a hilly limestone district, he often remarks on the weathered and whitened appearance of the rocks. But if he examines them minutely, he will soon find that their apparently hard and impervious2 surface is being slowly worn away by the agencies of rain and the carbonic acid gas in the air.
6. There is another great force at work (happily, at the present time, not active in our own country) altering the elevation of the earth's surface. It is known as the volcanic3 agency. This force, in some countries, especially in South America, is heaving up plains into hills, raising up the sea beaches for hundreds of miles along the coast, and depressing them in others. It is also throwing up immense masses of molten rock from the numerous volcanoes, and this matter, when cooled, assumes the fantastic and contorted shapes we find in the volcanic rocks of this country.
7. The most wonderful agency, however, in altering the surface of the earth is the coral insect. This minute animal abstracts lime from the sea water, and with it builds up immense reefs of coral, thousands of miles in length, and these become the foundations of the numerous coral islands which stud, like stars, the oceans of warmer latitudes.
8. We gather, from considering the above agencies, that the operations of nature are one continual change—a wasting away in one place, and a reconstruction, or building up, in another. We also learn that these forces are just as active in the present time of the earth’s history as in past ages.
9. Every foot of land, even the tops of some of the highest mountains, has, at one time, been under the sea. What is now sand was once hard rock, and what is now rock will, perhaps, in future ages become sand. Most of our beautiful valleys were once river beds, and the smiling plains, with their populous cities, were at one period sea bottoms, inhabited by great sea monsters of a totally. different kind to any that are found on the earth's surface at the present day.
A. C. 1. Geology, from two Greek words, not; per, through; and via, a wayge, the earth, and logos, science, that no way through it. is, the science of the earth.
3. Volcanic, from Vulcan, the 2. Impervious.
Not to be pene- Roman god of fire. Volcanoes are trated, from three Latin words, im, burning mountains.
THE DIGNITY OF WORK. 1. There is a nobleness, and even sacredness in work. Were he never so benighted, forgetful of his high calling, there is always hope in a man who actually and earnestly works. In idleness alone is there perpetual despair. Work, never so mean, is in communication with nature; the real desire to get work done will itself lead one more and more to truth, to nature's appointments and regulations, which are truth.
2. The latest message of good tidings in this world is, Know thy work and do it. Know thyself ,