« PreviousContinue »
vation and poverty; but William was notas his story thus far has shown-gifted with any great store of worldly prudence. There were numerous bubbles afloat in that day, marvellous contrivances for making-or, more certainly, marring-fortunes in an incredibly short space of time; and he was seized with the prevailing mania, entered into a wild speculation, and lost nearly all the wealth that had been so opportunely sent. Once more the gaunt spectre, poverty, stood in the path of the sleeper, at a time, too, when the energy and spirit of youth had fled; and this time it forced the separation which nothing had been able to effect before. William P- resolved to return to Prussia, and reenter the service of Frederick; whilst his wife and their only daughter established a school for young ladies, with the money still remaining from their recent wealth. And thus years rolled by. The patient, industrious mother succeeded in retrieving some portion of their losses; the rash, eager, but generous husband, won laurels and wounds but it is certain that, soothed by the chimes, in still quicker succession. The daughter he yielded to a gentle and profound slumber, narried, and became ultimately the grand- in which his wife found him shortly aftermother of the narrator of the story; and, finally, General William P-returned, a few limbs minus, and very gray, but still fondly beloved, to his home, and died, full of years and honors, in the arms of his awakened sleeper.
would have cared little had his difficulties affected his own comfort only; but they fell likewise on those dearest to him, and anxiety for their sakes preying on his affectionate and rather timid spirit; the probable shame of an execution in his house, and the nervous horror he felt at the idea of being consigned to a prison, had brought on his present illness, and haunted his thoughts as he lay there in solitude after many restless nights of agonized and perplexed reflection, listening to the church-bells ringing for Sunday service, at which a stranger was to fill his place. From the days of Whittington to the present, the imagination has frequently given a language to those airy voices; and the poor pastor, as he lay overpowered and exhausted by long hours of painful and fruitless meditation, feli the nightmare, like a load of care which op pressed him, pass off as he listened, and a childlike faith in the goodness of Providence once more dawning on his mind. We do not pretend to interpret what they whispered,
Let us next introduce our reader to a small chamber in a country parsonage, a little later in the same century. The room presented a perfect picture of neatness, quiet, and repose. It was very plainly furnished, but manifested a certain elegance and refinement in the arrangement of the few simple ornaments on the chimney-piece, the flowers and books, and the old china cup of cooling drink that stood on a small round table by the open window, through which the warm air of summer stole softly, laden with perfume from the mignonette and stocks that flourished in the little garden beneath it. The sun's rays, broken by the fresh green leaves of a large walnuttree, cast a clear, pleasant light through the snowy dimity-curtains of the bed on the face of an invalid who lay there, gazing with the listlessness of weakness, on the glimpse of blue sky visible from the open cascinent. It was a countenance that sunlight might be imagined to love, so good and gentle was it. Nor did its expression belie the heart within. A holy, charitable, unselfish man was that village pastor but with the resemblance he bore and it was a strong one-to Goldsmith's portrait of his brother, there mingled much of the thoughtlessness and improvidence of the poet himself; and the consequence of his boundless charities, and of his ignorance of money-matters, had led him into embarrassments, from which he saw no escape. He
Care was at first taken not to break this desired repose; but as noon, evening, night, nay, a second day passed, and still it continued, his family became alarmed, and tried to rouse him. In vain! The awful slumber was as inexorable as that of death itself. It bound his senses in an iron forgetfulness. He could not be awakened by sound or touch. Sun after sun rose and set, and still the deep sleep continued. Meantime the evils he had dreaded gathered round his family. physical condition preserved his personal freedom; but an execution was put in his house, and his wife and daughters were exposed to the direst evils of poverty. The rumor, however, of his trance-like slumber was noised abroad, and reached the lordly dwelling of a nobleman who resided near the spot, though he was not one of the clergyman's parishioners. Being much given to the study of physical science, he visited the parsonage to request permission to see the sleeper, and thus learned the varied sorrow that had fallen on its gentle inmates. With equal delicacy and generosity he proffered as a loan the means of paying the harsh creditors, assuring the poor wife that if her husband should ever wake, he would give him the means of repaying the pecuniary obligation. The offer was thankfully accepted, and the debt discharged. For the following two days, Lord E- was a regular visitor at the parsonage.
Sunday morning again dawnedthe sun-light fell on the sleeper's pillow, and the bells called men to pray. Beside the couch were seated the miserable wife and her noble friend. The faint, regular breathings
of the trance-chained man deepened, and to “She was perfectly conscious of all that her anxious ear the difference was perceptible, passed around her; she distinctly heard her though Lord E- shook his head, as she friends speaking and lamenting her death ; told him of it. She bent eagerly over the she felt them clothe her in the garments of pillow : there was a slight flutter of the eye- the grave, and place her in the coffin. This lids ; she held her breath, and clasped her knowledge produced a mental anxiety sbe hands in an agony of expectation and dawning could not describe. She tried to speak or hope. The band, so long inotionless, stirred ; cry, but vainly; she had no power of utterthe eyes opened : she could not speak for over- ance; it was equally impossible for her to powering joy. The sleeper raised his head, raise her hand or open her eyes, as she vainly slightly smiled on her, and observed; “I endeavored to do. She felt as if she were thought I had slept longer — the bell has not imprisoned in a dead body. But when she yet ceased ringing!
heard them talk of nailing the lid on her, and He was unconscious that a whole week had the mournful music of the funeral-hymns clapsed since its tones had soothed bim to rest. reached her ear, the anguish of her mind Tho wife fainted, and was conveyed from the attained its height, and agony mastering that chamber. The doctor was summoned; he awful spell of unnatural slumber, produced found his patient weak, but not otherwise ill. the moisture on her brow, which saved her A still
more extraordinary mental cure had from being entombed alive. been effected by the genius of Sleep: he had One more little anecdote of a somewhat totally forgotten his threatened difficulties, similar kind, which was related to us on the and from that hour recovered rapidly. Lord authority of a Hastings fisherman, and we E conferred a living of some value on will close our paper. It occurred during the
and when he was strong enough to bear cholera, The people of England have an the disclosure, his wife informed him of the especial horror of this terrible scourge, and loan so nobly bestowed on them, and the suf- nothing will induce them to believe that the foring from which he had been so marvellously infection is in the air, and not in the person preserved. The lesson was not lost. The affected by the complaint; consequently it now rector henceforward strore to unite pru- was difficult, in some places, to persuade dence and generosity; and a career of worldly them to perform the last offices for the dead, prosperity, as well as the far greater blessing and they hurried the interment of the victims of an implicit and cheerful faith in Providence, of the pestilence with unseemly precipitation. attended the renewed life of the sleeper A poor seafaring.man, who had been long awakened.
absent from his native land, returning home In both these instances, the sleep or trance at the time it was raging, found that his wife was dreamless and unconscious. But there is had been dead about three days, and that ber one remarkable case on record, * in which the coffin had been placed in a room with those body only of the sleeper was subject to this of others, who, lodging in the same dwelling, death-like thraldom of slumber, the mind had also perished of the disease. Greatly remaining awake; and the account given by alicted, the sailor insisted on sceing his dead the individual who endured this interval of wife. The neighbors would bare dissuaded life in death, is very singular and interesting. him, but bis affection and grief disdained all She was an attendant on a German princess ; fear, and he rushed into the chamber of death. and, after being confined to her bed for a great There, forcing open the lid of the coffin, and length of time, with a nervous disorder, to all bending over the beloved corpse, the rude appearance died. She was laid in a coffin, mariner shed tears, which fell fast upon the and the day fixed for her interment arrived. pallid face, when suddenly a sound, soinething In accordance with the custom of the place, like a sigh, was emitted from the white lips, funeral songs and hymns were sung outside and the next instant the exhausted and deaths the door of the chamber in which the fair like sleeper opened her eyes, and gazed up in corpse lay. Within they were preparing to his face! The joy of the poor fellow may be nail on the lid of the coffin, when a slight imagined. moisture was observed on the brow of the We might multiply instances of this phedead. The supposed corpse was of course nomenon, but as they would probably be immediately removed to a different couch, and familiar to the reader, or have at least been every means used to restore suspended vitality. told before, we shall but add a wish that She recovered, and gave the following singular old adage, « Too much of a good thing,'' may account of her sensations :
not be found a practical truth with regard to
his sleep; and wish • In an old magazine, dating 1798 ; and also in To all and each a fair good-night, Dr. Crichton's Essays.
And pleasing dreams and slumbers light
FROM A TRAVELLER'S NOTE BOOK.
cordial exchange of greetings, and thanks on our part, they galloped off to a ravine in search of Koords. The bridle-rein seemed quite as familiar to them as the crosier, the high-peaked saddle as the pulpit cushion; they seemed to enjoy the sport of Koord-hunting, and, like old accustomed sportsmen, could almost scent their tracks.
Of all my Asiatic travel, which has occupied me so many thousands of hours, I scarcely recollect any place so utterly desolate and wasted as I was now going over, though great interest was attached to it as being reputed Bible ground. Mount Ararat was visible in the distance, towering in the sky with majestic
I HAD been travelling all the weary night, aching on my saddle, and longing for repose. It was an October morning, crisped with frost, when I had to ford the Euphrates river, at that time about girth deep. I was strongly imbued with the impression that I was now entering upon the site of the reputed Garden of Eden; the traditionary lore of the Armenians now occupying the district was to this effect; they will have it that Adam was an Armenian, and that he was of their own grandeur, and a brilliant sun lit up the mass color, though from whence the black race of snow on its summit, the clouds rolling proceeded they never could make out. The visibly at the base. It was a glorious sight, stream was diverted into different channels, and Little Ararat at the side, in mimic pomp, from one of which I drank, and would served as a sort of foil to the huge dimensions imagine it to be the spot where Father Adam of one of nature's loftiest summits. An imhad similarly refreshed himself, nearly six mense plain intervened, on which Noah's thousand years ago, though he had not the descendants might have located, and I could advantage of my drinking-cup. imagine creation, preservation, and all those glorious events to which Scripture testifies to have taken place there. There is a holy awe inspired on going over the soil which we imagine God to have personally visited; to see the mountain where he had evidently sheltered his chosen Noah from the raging of the mighty floods, and to be on the spot where was first seen his promised token, that he would no more drown the earth in her own waters, and where he had provided a spacious plain for his people to multiply, and from thence accomplish his great purposes of creation.
What a wild and desolate aspect did this reputed Eden present to me! the low and swampy soil teeming with rushes. Desolation had swept it with her blasts; the cormorant and the bittern had here their hiding-place, but that sterner savage, man, was the most feared of any animal. Our little caravan was halted, the fire-arms were looked to, our chief, marshalling us in battle array, expecting every moment a surprise.
From Sharpe's Magazine.
THE GARDEN OF EDEN.
Some horsemen were seen in the distance. At rapid rate they came down upon us; but, instead of Koords, they were three Armenian bishops, with their attendants, from the little monastery of "Uch Kilesea," which was perched on a rock at the margin of the stream. The church is said to be the most ancient in Christendom, being built more than twelve hundred years ago. The whole is a remarkablelooking fabric, having the appearance of three churches, which its name implies. These worthies of the Armenian Church, instead of sporting cowl and cossack, sported sword and pistol. Seeing travellers in the distance, their hospitality led them to come out to escort us to the refectory, and to warn us of those hidden dangers with which the country teemed. The monastery itself had been formerly converted into a fortress to protect them against the Koords; such was the excess of brigandage even in Eden! The worthy fathers had been often bearded by these Koords in their own entrenchments, and had withstood many a siege of chapel and battery.
The grim outline of the country bespoke sterility and waste in its harshest features; the low boggy soil which we were traversing was sandy, sedgy, and well stocked with wild boar; it did not suit our day's travel to accept the worthy monks' hospitality, so, with much
We are obliged to draw largely upon the imagination to feather the wings of time" in Asiatic travel, and I was full of dreamy speculations respecting the earthly abode of our first parents until we arrived at the village of Diaden, which was occupied with Russian troops, the invasion of Turkey by the latter power being then in full force. I went to the citadel to pay my respects to the commandant (Prince Tehtchiwisouff), who was very gra cious to the weary traveller. He commented immediately on the interest of my morning's ride, by saying, "Vous avez passé par le véritable Paradis." I bowed my assent to his excellency, hoped it was so, felt rather incredulous, and having obtained permission to continue my journey (the country being then subject to Russian rule), I proceeded to a wretched mud-hovel, the best accommodation which we could procure, to cater amongst the villagers for food, as well as for Paradisiacal information. The Turkish villages are bur rowed under ground, and small hillocks appear here and there, with a central hole for the ingress of air and the issue of smoke. To my great consternation and surprise, I once rode over a dwelling in this way, without being
aware of it until my horse's feet became plunged amongst the rafters (see Three Years in Persia, vol. I.); and in this instance, we were sadly inconvenienced by the dust, since the roof of the house where we were accommodated was the principal thoroughfare of the village. The rude villagers, ignorant as they were, were yet agreed on the point as to the locality of Eden, that the ground which I had come over was the site of the garden of our first parents; it was beyond all controversy with them, and I query if they had ever heard | of any other. They are a remarkably ignorant race, having never learned letters; but few can read beyond the priests, for whom they have great veneration; their government is ecclesiastical, the chief patriarch residing at Etch Meizen on the other side the mountain. They spoke of the “Frat," or, as some call it, the "Hu Phrah," that ancient river Euphrates. This and Ararat are two undisputed points with all geographers, however much they may otherwise differ.
To show the wide latitude entertained by some writers, Josephus supposed that the Ganges and the Nile were two of the rivers mentioned by Moses. Other commentators have looked for it in Arabia, Syria, Chaldea, Palestine, and Armenia, near the cities of Damascus and Tripoli; and some have been so absurd as to suppose that it was on the spot now occupied by the Caspian Lake.
There are many places in the world which bear the name of Eden; there is one near Damascus, another near Thessaly in Chaldea, and again near Tripoli in Syria; and Aden, on the coast of Yemen, is construed into Eden; but this is straining a construction too far to meet any reasonable credence.
Opposed to all those chimerical absurdities, I will now state what appears to me the most reasonable conclusion as to the site of the Garden of Eden, and it agrees with the locality which I have traversed. A very eminent writer says: “Eden is as evidently a real country as Ararat, where the ark rested, and I had crossed it at different places; this Shinaar, where the sons of Noah removed river has its principal sources in the moun- after the flood. We find it mentioned in tains of Armenia, one of which is about Scripture as often as the other two, and there twelve miles from Erzroume, the other is near is the more reason to believe it, because the Byazid; these two streams, pursuing a west-scenes of these three remarkable events are erly direction, are near Mount Taurus turned laid in the neighborhood of one another in the into a south-east course by a range of moun- Mosaical history; but the Jews, from their tains in that neighborhood; it is then joined distractions, losing all remembrance of these by the Tigris, and these, when united, form localities, hence the Christian inquirers have one of the noblest rivers in the East, which lost their way for want of guides." Calmet, falls into the gulf of Persia, fifty miles south-and some other ingenious writers, were of the east of Bussorah, the whole course being same opinion, viz., that the terrestrial Paraabout 1,600 miles. The Araxes, said to be dise was in Armenia, near Mount Ararat, the Gihon of Moses, takes its rise in a moun- where Noah's ark was left. They imagined tain called Abbas; it runs south-east across that they there discovered the sources of the Armenia and a part of Persia, in a serpentine four rivers which watered the garden of Eden. course of upwards of 500 miles, ultimately I can only say, that, with the exception of the discharging itself into the Caspian Lake. Euphrates, they had dried up, or had disap This is a very rapid stream, and when swollen peared, when I went over the ground, since I with the winter snows, nothing can withstand was many days near and under Ararat; the its violence. The Tigris is said to be the mountain was so huge, that, after travelling a Hiddekel of Moses, and the other branch of whole day from it, it scarcely seemed to lose the Euphrates to be the Pison of Moses; the its dimensions. latter flows into the Persian Gulf.
Of this mountain, I learn from the same authority, "The situation of Ararat is very convenient for the journey of the sons of Noah from thence to Shinaar, the distance not being very great and the descent easy. We discover plainly, through the Mosaic history, a neighborhood between the land of Eden, where man was created; that of Ararat, where the remains of mankind were saved; and that of Shinaar where they fixed the centre of their habitation."
I am the more confirmed in my opinion as to this locality of the Garden of Eden the farther I extend my researches, and, when I beheld this towering pillar, Ararat, standing on the frontiers of three mighty empires, Russia, Turkey, and Persia-this mountain of the deluge," 16,000 feet high—it was a
most imposing monument of nature. Tradition sublimes it, and Bible associations give it a grandeur scarcely to be exceeded by any in the world; at the north, south, and east, it stands completely alone; in the west it is connected with the Adraigag chain, which stretches down to the Araxes. The village of Argicire, which once stood in a ravine of Ararat, 2,500 feet high, was according to tradition the oldest village in the world; here the vine was first planted by Noah, but it no longer exists. On the 20th June, 1840, after a hot and sultry day, at about dusk, the ground clave asunder, yielding up smoke and steam, the earth heaved, the mountains were rent, and hurling down immense masses of rock upon the village, the whole was buried! and, of nearly a thousand inhabitants, mostly Armenians, only about a hundred and forty escaped, in consequence of their absence. The next day Noah's mountain was as silent as the morning after the deluge; it may be truly said that Ararat is not dead, but sleepeth." Mr. Mylne says, that in all ages learned men have labored to find out the situation of Paradise, which seems to be but a vague and uncertain inquiry; for the Mosaic description of it will not suit any place on the present globe. He mentions two rivers in its vicinity Pison and Gihon, of which no present traces can be found; the other two still remain, Hiddekel, supposed to be the Tigris, and the Euphrates, whose streams unite together at a considerable distance above the Persian Gulf, in some part of which it is probable the happy garden lay; but since the formation of the earth it has undergone great changes from earthquakes, inundations, and many other
Eden," that it was designed to mark the particular spot where it was situated, which must have been at one of the turnings of the river, which goes from east to west, and which here branches into two streams, the Pison and the Euphrates; and, subsequently passing out of Eden, are divided into four heads. This hypothesis, which was first started by Calvin, is followed by many other writers. After all these speculations on the subject, the Mosaio description does not agree with the present state of things, for there is no common stream of which the four rivers are properly branches. Some say that Moses had a very imperfect knowledge of the world of which he wrote. How can this apply to the inspired Word! Others speculate on the changes which the flood had produced. Scarcely any two authorities do I find to agree, and the more I grope my way to the real Eden, the more difficult and intricate does it seem to be.
I will now trace a little further how these. intricacies arise. Pastellus will have it that Paradise was under the North Pole; others contend that it was not limited to any particular place, but that it included the face of the whole earth, which was then one continued scene of pleasure until altered by Adam's transgression. Both Origen and Philo treat the Scripture account of Paradiso as an allegory. Huet, Bochart, and others, place it beyond the confluence of the Tigris and the Euphrates, with both of which the Garden of Eden was watered. Pison was a branch arising out of one of them, and Gihon was another branch flowing from it on the side of Armenia. Huet thinks that it was situated in a valley between the mountains of Libanus and Anti-libanus, in that part of Syria of which Damascus was the capital. A town called Paradise was in this vicinity, which is mentioned by both Pliny and Ptolemy. There is a village called Eden in Tripoli, situated on Mount Libanus, near to the river Adonia and to the cedars of Libanus. Maundrell mentions this village as being in the vicinity of the terrestrial Paradise; but this seems to bear no analogy whatever to the description given by Moses. The term Eden is often used in Scripture (see Amos i. and v., and other Prophets).
Having wandered about in the mazes of speculation to find the terrestrial Paradise, I will now cursorily dwell on the etymology of the word "Paradise," which was primarily used to indicate the place in which Adam was seated during his innocence. The Greek word implies "orchard," or a place stored with apples and all sorts of fruits. It may be also called the "garden of delight," from the same language," voluptus," or pleasure. It is likewise used in the New Testament for the final habitation of the blessed, or Heaven." The word " Eden," according to its primary mean
Where did Moses write his history, becomes a question. Some say that it was at Nineveh; others in the wilderness of Sinai; and, again, that it was written in Arabia Petrea, in some place nearly adjoining the river Pison, which bounds Havilah, and discharges itself in the Persian Gulf, this river being the nearest to him of the four which he nained in the book of Genesis. The etymology of the word from Poscha," to spread itself, corresponds to its situation, the waters of which are sometimes So high and violent that no sufficient defence can be formed against their irruption.
Havilah was at the eastern extremity of this part of Arabia; the land abounded with gold, bdellium, the onyx, &c. Writers have differed respecting the meaning of the term bdellum or bedolach, some supposing it to have been pearls, and others that it was gum. Moses takes his wife, Zipporah, from this eountry, and here his first son was born, Gerthom, and here he takes leave of Jethro, his father-in-law, to visit his brethren in Egypt. It has been argued that Moses, by saying that the garden was planted "eastward in