« AnteriorContinuar »
that nothing did her good but prayer ; she tried once or twice to have said something to the king, but was not able to go through with it. She ordered the archbishop to be reading to her such passages of Scripture as might fix her attention and raise her devotion. Several cordials were given ; but all was ineffectual; she lay silent for some hours; and some words that came from her, showed her thoughts began to break : in conclusion, she died on the 28th of December, about one o'clock in the morning, in the thirty-third year of her age, and the sixth of her reign. She was the most universally lamented princess, and deserved the best to be so, of any in our age or in our history. The king's affliction for her death was as great as it was just; it was greater than those who knew him best thought his temper capable of: he went beyond all bounds in it. During her sickness, he was in agony that amazed us all, fainting often, and breaking out into most violent lamentations : when she died, his spirits sunk so low, that there was great reason to apprehend he was following her; for some weeks after, he was so little master of himself, that he was not capable of minding business or seeing company. He turned himself much to the meditation of religion and to secret prayer: the archbishop was often and long with him; he entered upon solemn and serious resolutions of becoming, in all things, an exact and exemplary Christian. And now I am come to the period of this book with a very melancholy prospect; but God has ordered matters beyond all our expectations."
We have nothing more to add to this account of Mary's character; because, while we have extracted every thing that wears the character and authenticity of historical record, we do not wish to make use of all the fulsome panegyric written in the way of eulogium after her death. It is true we have no letters or memoranda of her own, that can disclose to us the feelings of her heart, or the secret principles by which she was actuated. It is an instance in which we can only judge of the tree by its fruits, as they were visible to mortal eye; but being such as all historians admit they were, and as re have described them, and considering her education in a corrupt oourt, and her situation as a queen, every thing in her is so unlike what is usually to be observed, that we can scarcely believe it ascribable to any thing but a living principle of Christianity, the genuine influence of religion upon the heart.
CONVERSATIONS ON GEOLOGY.
Surface of the earth--Nucleus—Minerals-Crystalization-Fossils. ,
MATILDA.—Mama, may we stop your progress to ask a few questions ?
MRS. L. Whenever you please you are at liberty to do so, even though it should turn us out of our course. I have told you I wish rather to be clear than systematic --my object is to prepare you for understanding any treatise on Geology that may come into your hands, rather than to compose a treatise for you. Probably what you wish to have explained would occur in its proper place; but it is better you should not wait for it, if ignorance in the mean time prevents your fully understanding what I am endeavouring to explain. What is it you desire to ask?
MATILDA.You spoke of the surface of the globe but it appears to me that the subject of our study forms the whole body of the globe, and not its surface. only.
- Mrs. L.–That is more than we know. The depth of the deepest mine that has been explored is very inconsiderable in comparison with the earth's diameter. This you know, is about 7930 miles, consequently from the external surface of the globe to its centre must be about 3965 miles. I am not informed what is the greatest depth to which the researches of the miner or the Geologist have penetrated--a few hundred yards, how ever, below the level parts, must be the utmost-and with respect to the mountains that rise above them, even to the extent of miles the very highest of these are no more in comparison with the mass from which they protrude, than the dust that lies upon your artificial globe is to that globe itself. We may well say therefore that the object of our present study is the surface of the globe, though extending as far beneath it as man can penetrate.
ANNB.- What then is supposed to be below this surface?
Mrs. L.None can make report of a region none has traversed. All that can be told you on this subject must be received as conjecture merely. No man was present when the Creator laid the foundation of his world. In that beautiful chapter of Job, in which the Eternal so finely challenges the ignorance and impotence of man to enter into judgment with him, these üpsearchable mysteries of creation are very finely alluded to. They have ever since remained as an exercise of our powers, and an object of allowed pursuit: by hard study and diligent research much has been discovered ; but the greater part is mystery still, and perhaps will remain so, till in eternity the extension of knowledge, and the discovery of all that is now.concealed, may make a part of our celestial happiness.
ANNE.-Still, Mama, we are not forbidden to enquire and to conjecture.
Mrs. L.-Far from it--and many conjectures have been formed respecting the Nucleus, as it is called, of the earth. The solid Granite Rock is the lowest substance that has been reached by man--and it seems, as far as we can trace, to be the substance of the earth, that which gives to it its form and shape; but as it is to so