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bian Nights," and all, seem tame, compared with the living, growing reality. Yes, growing reality; for the process is going on before your eyes. Successive coats of these incrustations have been perfected and crowded off by others; so that hundreds 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.

15. 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 grottos, 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!"

LESSON LXXVIII.

THE SAME SUBJECT, CONCLUDED.

1. WITH general unity of form and appearance, there is considerable variety in "the Cabinet." The "Snow-ball Room," 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.

2. 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 anomalyt among the strange forms of crystalization.

3. Leaving the quiet and beautiful "Cabinet," you suddenly upon the "Rocky Mountains," furnishing a contrast

■ Arabian Nights; a celebrated collection of Eastern tales. b Anomaly; that which dovietes from rule.

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.

4. 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. 5. 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.

6. In the center 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 smooth and translucent, like the other formations. On your right is a deep pit, down which the water dashes from a cascade that pours from the roof.

7. 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.

8. 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

a Sta-lac'tites; see note, page 160. b Sta-lag/mite; a deposite of carbonate of lime on the floors of caverns.

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.

9. 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 reäscended the "Rocky Mountains," and passed leisurely through the "Cabinet."

10. We visited, on our return, an immense dome, viewing 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.

11. 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.

12. 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.

a Vic-to'ri-a; queen of the kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. b Windsor Castle (Wind'zor Cas'sl;) a favorite country residence of the English kings and queens. c Ben-gal'.

LESSON LXXIX.

ST. PETER'S CHURCH AT ROME.

DEWEY.

1. ST. PETER'S is the largest, and far the most expensive structure in the world. The area of its noble piazza is eleven thousand and fifty-five feet long; its front is one hundred and sixty feet high, and three hundred and ninety-six feet wide; it is six hundred and seventy-three feet long, and four hundred and forty-four feet at the transept, or widest part; that is to say, it covers about seven acres. With these general ideas of the building, let us enter it.

2. We immediately observe, on the right and left of the door, statues, apparently of children, cherubs, that sustain marble vases of holy water. We approach them, and find that they are giants more than six feet high. We see at a little distance, on the pilasters and just above the pedestal, sculptured doves; and they appear to the eye of no very extraordinary size, and we think that we can easily lay our hand on them.

3. We approach, and find that we can scarcely reach to touch them, and they are eighteen inches or two feet long. We advance along the mighty central nave, and we see, nearly at the termination of it and beneath the dome, the high altar, surmounted by a canopy, raised on four twisted pillars of bronze. The pillars and canopy seem to be of very suitable elevation for the place, and yet we soon learn that they are ninety feet high.

4. I have before spoken of the size of the dome, with its walls twenty-three feet thick, its own height one hundred and seventy-nine feet, and itself raised two hundred and seventyseven feet above the floor of the church. The dome is sustained by four square pillars, two hundred and twenty-three

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a Called St. Peter's, in honor of the apostle Peter, of whom the Romish popes consider themselves successors. b Holly water; the consecrated water of the Romish church. c Angelo, the painter, was the architect who designed this wonderful structure.

feet in circumference. That is to say, each one of these pillars, or masses of masonry, is nearly sixty feet on each side and therefore as large as one of our common-sized churches. if it were raised up and set on the end.

5. There is a small church and an adjoining house on the Strada Felice in Rome, designedly built so as to be together equal to the size of one of these columns. And yet these columns do not seem to be in the way at all; they do not seem to occupy any disproportionate space; they do not encumber the mighty pavement!

6. With regard to the objects within St. Peter's, I can notice only two or three that struck me most. One of them is the monument to the last of the Stuarts," Charles Edward, and his brother Henry, the cardinal. There are two angels of death before which I have spent hours.

7. So exquisitely molded are their forms, so delicate, thoughtful, beautiful are their faces; so sad, too, as they are about to extinguish the torch of life, as they stand leaning their cheeks upon the reverse end of the long, slender stem, so sad indeed; but then that sadness so relieved by beauty, intellectual, contemplative, winning beauty, it seems to my fancy, at times, as if they would certainly appear to me at my own death; as if they would flit before the imagination, and reconcile the soul to a departure effected by a ministry so beautiful.

8. Ah! blessed angels! I may one day stretch out my hands to you and ask your aid, but not yet, not yet. But sickness, sorrow, deprivation, calamity in some shape, may make you welcome, before one thinks to be ready.

9. Among the Mosaic copies of paintings in which St. Peter's is so rich, there is one of the Incredulity of Thomas, which has always made one of my stopping-places, in taking the customary circuit. The eagerness of Thomas, the

a Strada Felice (Stra-dä Fel-e'sha;) one of the principal streets in Rome. b The name of a family of European sovereigns, commencing with Robert II., (Robert Stuart,) king of Scotland, and ending with Henry, (Stuart,) cardinal of York, in England. • Charles Edward, (Stuart,) called the Pretender; the grandson of James II., king of England. d Henry (Stuart;) the cardinal of York, and last of the royal line of the Stuart Thomas; one of the twelve apostles.

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