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“ The steam-engine,” resumed the Nymph, forgetting the dispute which had given rise to the reading of the foregoing passage, “ is the greatest invention, next to that of letters, which the powers of the human mind have yet achieved, -- were one to designate remarkable cycles, by emblematic, or hieroglyphical figures, the steam-engine should be the type of the eighteenth century. It has in effect created, as it were by something like a fiat, a prodigious increase, not only to the adult population of this world, but of mechanics in the full maturity of skill. I have heard, that some time ago the productive powers of the steam-engine in this country were considered as equivalent to those of sixty millions of artizans. If, therefore, we consider the invention in a political point of view, it is hardly possible to estimate the accession of strength which it has given to the kingdom."
“ TAE only remnant left among us of that romantic spirit which, in former times, sent so many of the bold peers of Christendom in quest of adventures,” said Egeria one morning as she was turning over the leaves of Legh's Journey in Egypt, “is, unquestionably, the curiosity of those indefatigable travellers, who go abroad to gather fame by collecting materials for publication. The labours they un , dergo,--the antres vast which they visit, and the “hair-breadth 'scapes, and moving accidents by flood and field,” which they voluntarily encounter, afford matter for much musing. The very least of the hardships which this gentleman has suffered would have furnished a long chapter to the lengthiest romance-writer of the brightest days of chivalry. I question, indeed, if ever Orlando himself met with an adventure more appalling than Mr Legh's descent into the caverns of the crocodiles near Manfalout. It is not easy to imagine what could induce any Christian gentleman to engage in such an enterprise. To say nothing of the danger, whether from reptiles or azote, the very idea of mingling, like a grub of the grave, among the dried entrails and rattling carcasses of such monsters, is equal in horror to any image that can be formed of the wildest spells and darkest enchantments of the most potent sorcerer that either pagan or knight in Palestine ever dreaded.”
" Read it,” said Benedict.
“We had been wandering for more than an hour in low subterranean passages, and felt considerably fatigued by the irksomeness of the posture in which we had been obliged to move, and the heat of our torches in those narrow and low galleries. But the Arabs spoke so confidently of succeeding in this second trial, that we were induced once more to attend them. We found the opening of the chamber which we now approached guarded by a trench of unknown depth, and wide enough to require a good leap. The first Arab jumped the ditch, and we all followed him. The passage we entered was extremely small, and so low in some places as to oblige us to crawl flat on the ground, and almost always on our hands and knees. The intricacies of its windings resembled a labyrinth; and it terminated at length in a chamber much smaller than that we had left; but, like it, containing nothing to satisfy our curiosity. Our search hitherto had been fruitless; but the mummies might not be far distant,—another effort, and we might still be successful.
“ The Arab whom I followed, and who led the way, now entered another gallery, and we all continued to move in the same manner as before, each preceded by a guide. We had not gone far before the heat became excessive; for my own part, I found my breathing extremely difficult,-my head began to ache most violently, and I had a most distressing sensation of fulness about the breast. We felt we had gone too far, and yet were almost deprived of the power of returning. At this moment the torch of the first Arab went out. I was close to him, and saw him fall on his side; he uttered a groan-his legs were strongly convulsed, and I heard a rattling noise in his throat-he was dead. The Arab behind me seeing the torch of his companion extinguished, and conceiving he had stumbled, passed me, advanced to his assistance, and stooped. I observed him appear faint, totter, and fall in a moment,--he also was dead. The third Arab came forward, and made an effort to approach the bodies, but stopped short. We looked at each other in silent horror. The danger increased every instant; our torches burnt faintly-our breathing became more difficult-our knees tottered under us, and we felt our strength nearly gone.
“ There was no time to be lost. The American, Bar. thow, cried to us to take courage, and we began to move back as fast as we could. We heard the remaining Arab. shouting after us, calling us Caffres, imploring our assist ance, and upbraiding us with deserting him. But we were obliged to leave him to his fate, expecting every moment
to share it with him. The windings of the passages through which we had come increased the difficulty of our escape; we might take a wrong turn, and never reach the great chamber we had first entered. Even supposing we took the shortest road, it was but too probable our strength would fail us before we arrived. We had each of us, separately and unknown to one another, observed attentively the dif. ferent shapes of the stones which projected into the galleries we had passed, so that each had an imperfect clue to the labyrinth we had now to retrace. We compared notes, and only on one occasion had a dispute, the American differing from my friend and myself; in this dilemma we were determined by the majority, and fortunately were right. Exhausted with fatigue and terror, we reached the edge of the deep trench, which remained to be crossed before we got into the great chamber.Mustering all my strength, I leaped, and was followed by the American. Smelt stood on the brink ready to drop with fatigue. He called to us,-“For God's sake to help him over the fosse, or at least to stop, if only for five minutes, to allow him to recover his strength.” It was impossible-to stay was death, and we could not resist the desire to push on and reach the open air. We encouraged him to summon all his force, and he cleared the trench. When we reached the open air, it was one o'clock, and the heat in the sun about 160°. Our sailors, who were waiting for us, had luckily a bardak full of water, which they sprinkled upon us ; but though a little refreshed, it was not possible to climb the sides of the pit; they unfolded their turbans, and slinging them round our bodies, drew us to the top.
“Our appearance alone, without our guides, naturally astonished the Arab, who had remained at the entrance of the cavern, and he anxiously inquired for his friends. To have confessed they were dead would have excited suspicion; he would have supposed we had murdered
them, and have alarmed the inhabitants of Amabdi to pursue us, and revenge the death of their friends. We replied, therefore, they were coming, and were employed in bringing out the mummies we had found, which was the cause of their delay. We lost no time in mounting our asses, re-crossed the Desert, and passed hastily by the village, to regain the ferry at Manfalout."
“ It is a very hideous story,” said the Bachelor ; “ but these sorts of horror are not quite so much to my taste as adventures of more varied address,-such, for example, as those of the two Sherleys, in Orme's Historical Fragments.
“ The means by which the two extraordinary adventurers of that name obtained such important employa ment from the ablest and fiercest sovereign of the East, would not have borne much respect in our times, which permit no enthusiasms to cover or consecrate the latent views of luxurious ambition. Anthony Shirley, the elder brother of Robert, was a dependant on the Ear) of Essex, who sent him, in 1598, with some soldiers to fight for the Duke of Ferrara against the Pope; but, by the time they arrived in Italy, the quarrel was reconciled. Essex, nevertheless, unwilling that his knight should return to England with the derision of having done nothing, not only consented to his proposal of proceeding to Persia with offer of service to Shah Abbas, whose fame had spread with much renown throughout Europe, but also furnished him with money and bills for the journey. Shirley embarked from Venice in May 1599, with twenty-five followers, some of education, all of resolution, and amongst them his brother Robert, at that time a youth. After various escapes by sea and land, they arrived at Aleppo, where, getting money for their bills, they proceeded in the company of a large