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of tons of these gems lie at your feet and are crushed as you pass, while the work of restoring the ornaments is proceeding around you. Here and there, through the whole extent, you will find openings in the sides, into which you may thrust the person, and often stand erect in little grottoes, perfectly encrusted with a delicate white substance, reflecting the light from a thousand glittering points. All the way, you might have heard us exclaiming, “Wonderful !” “Wonderful !" * Stalactite-A sub-variety of carbonate of lime. Selenite-Crystalized sulphate of lime.
MAMMOTH CAVE IN KENTUCKY.-[CONCLUDED.] With general unity of form and appearance, there is considerable variety in “ the Cabinet.” The “snowball rooin,” for example, is a section of the cave described above, some two hundred feet in length, entirely different from the adjacent parts; its appearance being aptly indicated by its name. If a hundred rude school-boys had but an hour before completed their day's sport by throwing a thousand snow-balls against the roof, while an equal number were scattered about the floor, and all petrified, it would have presented precisely such a scene as you witness in this room of nature's frolics. So far as I know, these “snow-balls”.
· are a perfect anomaly among all the strange forms of crystalization,
Leaving the quiet and beautiful “Cabinet,” you come suddenly upon the “ Rocky Mountains,” furnishing a contrast so bold and striking as almost to startle you. Clambering up the rough side, some thirty feet, you pass close under the roof of the cavern you have left, and find before you an immense transverse cave, one hundred feet or more from the ceiling to the floor, with a huge pile of rocks half filling the hither side.
Taking the left hand branch, you are soon brought to “Crogan's Hall,” which is nine miles from the mouth and is the farthest point explored in that direction. The “Hall” is fifty or sixty feet in diameter, and perhaps thirty-five feet high, of a semi-circular form. Fronting you, as you enter, are massive stalactites, ten or fifteen feet in length, attached to the rock, like sheets of ice, and of a brilliant color. The rock projects near the floor and then recedes, with a regular and graceful curve or swell, leaving a cavity of several feet in width, between it and the floor. At intervals around this swell, stalactites of various forms are suspended, and behind the sheet of stalactites first described are numerous stalagmites,* in fanciful forms.
In the centre of this hall, a very large stalactite hangs from the roof; and a corresponding stalagmite rises from the floor about three feet in height and a foot in diameter, of an amber color, perfectly, sinooth and translucent, like the other formations. On your right is a deep pit, down which the water dạshes from a cascade that pours from the roof.' Other avenues could most likely be found by descending the sides of the pit, if any one has the courage to attempt the descent. We hastened back to the “rocky mountains,"
and took the branch which we left at our right on emerging from the Cabinet.
Pursuing the uneven path for some distance, we reached “Sereno's Arbor." The descent to the “arbor" seemed so perilous, from the position of the loose rocks around, that several of the party would not venture.
Those of us who scrambled down regarded this as the crowning object of interest. The “ arbor” is not more than twelve feet in diameter, and of about the same height, of a circular form; but is of itself, floor, sides, roof and ornaments, one perfect, seamless stalactite, of a beautiful hue, and exquisite workmanship. Folds or blades of stalactical matter hang like drapery around the sides, reaching half way to the floor; and opposite the door a canopy of stone projects, elegantly ornamented, as if it were the resting place of a fairy bride.
Every thing seemed fresh and new: indeed, the invisible architect has not quite finished this master-piece; for you can see the pure water trickling down its tiny channels, and perfecting the delicate points of some of the stalactites. Victoria, with all her splendor, has not in Windsor Castle so beautiful an apartment as “Sereno's Arbor.” Reluctantly leaving the “arbor," we reascended the “rocky mountains, and passed leisurely through the “ Cabinet.”
We visited, on our return, an immense Dome, siewing it from a window broken into its side. Although illuminated with a Bengal light, neither the floor or ceiling were visible. It must be two hundred feet high, and one hundred and fifty feet in circumference. Directly over this dome is the “Bat room," which we were too weary to visit. We spent a moment in the “ Bacon room," answering well to its name. If two or three hundred hams were suspended from the ceiling of a low room, at perfectly regular intervals, each in a canvass sack, the appearance would be similar to that presented here.
At about six o'clock we made our way out of the cave, having been eleven hours in the bowels of the earth. And now I would say to the reader, do not omit any good opportunity of visiting the Mammoth Cave of Kentucky, for here you may see two hundred and twenty-six avenues, forty-seven domes, with a subterranean world of wonders.
Stalagmite-A deposit of calcareous matter.
THE LAST NIGHT OF THE VOYAGE.
THOSE who have deserved the most at the hands of this world, have fared the worst. Poverty and persecution have been the lot of genius; the stake and the cross, the reward of piety. We have a striking illustration of this, in the treatment which Christopher Columbus received from his fellow men. A nobler man never breathed this air; and yet, he was murdered with obloquy! He whose merit a crown could not have met, was glad of a refuge in the grave. Succeeding generations have made retribution to his memory; but justice is mockery to the dead. The
The repose of Colum
bus would have been as sweet, and his eternal glory as great, without our fruitless homage.
We have followed this wonderful man with growing interest, from the beginning to the end of his career. We have watched him from the first faint glimmer of his grand conception, until it shone upon him with the burning brightness of a sun, filling the whole heavens with its glory, and drowning every feebler luminary in its light. But if we were searching his life for a scene of surpassing sublimity, we would fix on the last night
of his voyage.
Man never started on an enterprise more grand or perilous than Columbus. He was about to search the wide wastes of an unexplored ocean, for a world which even the most sanguine only dared to hope had an existence. Columbus left Spain with three vessels, so small and poorly constructed that a madman at the present day would hardly venture in them a hundred miles from land. Two of them had no decks in the centre; and the other, which carried the High Admiral, was but little better fitted to meet the storm.
In such plight as this, on Friday, the third of August, 1492, after almost eighteen years of fruitless supplication, Columbus and his followers set sail from the port of Palos. Day after day they keep on their course to the West. They reach waters which no keel had ploughed, no line sounded; and still, no signs of land! Week follows week, until thousands of miles stretch between them and their native shores; and still, no signs of land! Their provisions are nearly gone - the sails hang in rags about the spars--the vessels groan as they mount each succeeding wave---and still, no signs of