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constituting a picture which could not fail to excite many agreeable sensations. The whitened bones of animals perishing from fatigue and thirst, while attempting to cross the arid expanse, associated in our minds with privation, toil, and danger, told too truly that these notions were not purely ideal. I had long desired to spend a night alone upon the desert; and without wandering to a dangerous distance, I placed a ridge of sand between my solitary station and the objects which brought the busy world in view, and indulged in thoughts of scenes and circumstances which happened in times long gone by. According to the best authorities, we were in the track of the Israelites; and in meditations suggested by this interesting portion of Bible history, the time passed so rapidly, that I was surprised when I found the people astir, and preparing for our departure. My garments were rather damp with the night-dews; I was not, therefore, sorry to find myself wrapped up in my chair, in which I should have slept very comfortably, had not the man who guided the donkeys taken it into his head to quarrel with one of his comrades, and to bawl out his grievances close to my ear. My wakefulness was, however, amply repaid by the most glorious sunrise I ever witnessed. The sky had been for some time obscured by clouds, which had gathered themselves in a bank upon the eastern horizon. The sun's rays started up at once, like an imperial crown, above this bank, and as they darted their glittering spears, for such they seemed, along the heavens, the clouds, dispersing, formed into a mighty arch, their edges becoming golden; while all below was one flush of crimson light.
We made no stay at the rest-house, which we reached about nine o'clock in the morning; and here we saw the Governor of Jiddah and his party winding along at some distance, giving life and character to the desert. The fantastic appearance of the hills increases as we advance; the slightest stretch of fancy was alone necessary to transform many into fortresses and towers; and at length a bright glitter at a distance revealed the Red Sea. The sun gleaming upon its waters showed them like a mirror, and soon afterwards the appearance of some low buildings indicated the town of Suez.
MOSCOW BEFORE THE CONFLAGRATION.
THERE is nothing more extraordinary in this country than the transition of the seasons. The people of Moscow have no springs. Winter vanishes and summer is! This is not the work of a week, or a day, but of one instant; and the manner of it exceeds belief. We came from Petersburg to Moscow in sledges. The next day snow was gone. On the 8th of April, at mid-day, snow beat in at our carriage windows. On the same day, at sunset, arriving in Moscow, we had difficulty in being dragged through the mud to the commandant's. The next morning the streets were dry, the double windows had been removed from the houses, the casements thrown open, all the carriages were upon wheels, and the balconies filled with spectators. Another day brought with it twenty-three degrees of heat of Celsius, when the thermometer was placed in the shade at noon.
We arrived at the season of the year when this city is most interesting to strangers. Moscow is in every thing extraordinary; as well in disappointing expectation, as in surpassing it; in causing wonder and derision, pleasure and regret. Let me conduct the reader back with me again to the gate by which we entered, and thence through the streets. Numerous spires, glittering with gold, amidst burnished domes and painted palaces, appear in the midst of an open plain, for several versts before you reach this gate. Having passed, you look about and wonder what is become of the city, or where you are; and are ready to ask, once more, how far is it to Moscow? They well tell you, "This is Moscow;" and you behold nothing but a wide and scattered suburb, huts, gardens, pig-sties, brickwalls, churches, dunghills, palaces, timber-yards, warehouses, and a refuse, as it were, of materials sufficient to stock an empire with miserable towns and miserable villages. One might imagine all the states of Europe and Asia had sent a building, by way of representative, to Moscow; and under this impression the eye is presented with deputies from all countries, holding congress: timber huts from_regions_beyond the Arctic; plastered palaces from Sweden and Denmark, not whitewashed since their arri
val; painted walls from the Tyrol; mosques from Constantinople; Tartar temples from Bucharia; pagodas, pavilions, and verandas from China; cabarets from Spain; dungeons, prisons, and public offices from France; architectural ruins from Rome; terraces and trellises from Naples; and warehouses from Wapping.
Having heard accounts of its immense population, you wander through deserted streets. Passing suddenly towards the quarter where the shops are situated, you might walk upon the heads of thousands. The daily throng is there so immense, that unable to force a passage through it, or assign any motive that might convene such a multitude, you ask the cause; and are told that it is always the same. Nor is the costume less various than the aspect of the buildings; Greeks, Turks, Tartars, Cossacks, Chinese, Muscovites, English, French, Italians, Poles, Germans, all parade in the habits of their respective countries.—Dr. Clarke.
EARTHQUAKE AT CALABRIA.
AN account of this dreadful earthquake is given by the celebrated father Kircher. It happened whilst he was on his journey to visit Mount Etna, and the rest of the wonders that lie towards the south of Italy. Kircher is considered, by scholars, as one of the greatest prodigies of learning. Having hired a boat, in company with four more, (two friars of the order of St. Francis, and two seculars,) we launched from the harbour of Messina in Sicily, and arrived, the same day, at the promontory of Pelorus. Our destination was for the city of Euphemia, in Calabria, where we had some business to transact, and where we designed to tarry for some time. However, Providence seemed willing to cross our design, for we were obliged to continue three days at Pelorus, on account of the weather; and though we often put out to sea, yet we were as often driven back. At length, wearied with the delay, we resolved to prosecute our voyage; and although the sea appeared to be uncommonly agitated, we ventured forward. The gulf of Charybdis, which we approached, seemed whirled round in such a manner, as to form a vast hollow, verging to a point in the centre. Proceeding on
ward, and turning my eyes to Etna, I saw it cast forth large volumes of smoke of mountainous sizes, which entirely covered the island, and blotted out the very shores from my view. This, together with the dreadful noise, and the sulphurous stench which was strongly perceived, filled me with apprehensions that some more dreadful calamity was impending. The sea itself seemed to wear a very unusual appearance: they who have seen a lake in a violent shower of rain, covered all over with bubbles, will conceive some idea of its agitations. My surprise was still increased by the calmness and serenity of the weather; not a breeze, not a cloud, which might be supposed to put all nature thus into motion. I therefore warned my companions that an earthquake was approaching; and after some time, making for the shore with all possible diligence, we landed at Tropæa, happy and thankful for having escaped the threatening dangers of the sea.
But our triumphs at land were of short duration; for we had scarcely arrived at the Jesuits' college in that city, when our ears were stunned with a horrid sound, resembling that of an infinite number of chariots, driven fiercely forward, the wheels rattling, and the thongs cracking. Soon after this a most dreadful earthquake ensued, so that the whole tract upon which we stood seemed to vibrate, as if we were in the scale of a balance that continued wavering. This motion, however, soon grew more violent; and being no longer able to keep my legs, I was thrown prostrate upon the ground. In the mean time the universal ruin round me redoubled my amazement. The crash of falling houses, the tottering of towers, and the groans of the dying, all contributed to increase my terror and despair. On every side of me I saw nothing but a scene of ruin, and danger threatening wherever I should fly. I recommended myself to God, as my last great refuge. At that hour, O how vain was every sublunary happiness! Wealth, honour, empire, wisdom, all mere useless sounds, and as empty as the bubbles of the deep! Just standing on the threshold of eternity, nothing but God was my pleasure; and the nearer I approached, I only loved him the more. After some time, however, finding that I remained unhurt, amid the general concussion, I resolved to venture for safety; and running as fast as I could, I reached the shore, but almost terrified out of
my reason. I did not search long here before I found the boat in which I had landed; and my companions also, whose terrors were even greater than mine. Our meeting was not of that kind, where every one is desirous of telling his own happy escape; it was all silence, and a gloomy dread of impending terrors.
Leaving this seat of desolation, we prosecuted our voyage along the coast; and the next day came to Rochetta, where we landed, although the earth still continued in violent agitations. But we had scarcely arrived at our inn, when we were once more obliged to return to the boat; and in about half an hour we saw the greater part of the town, and the inn at which we had set up, dashed to the ground, and burying the inhabitants beneath the ruins.
In this manner, proceeding onward in our little vessel, finding no safety at land, and yet, from the smallness of our boat, having but a very dangerous continuance at sea, we at length landed at Lopizium, a castle midway between Tropea and Euphemia, the city to which, as I said before, we were bound. Here, wherever I turned my eyes, nothing but scenes of ruin and horror appeared: towns and castles levelled to the ground; Stromboli, though at sixty miles distance, belching forth flames in an unusual manner, and with a noise which I could distinctly hear. But my attention was quickly turned from more remote to contiguous danger. The rumbling sound of an approaching earthquake, which we by this time were grown acquainted with, alarmed us for the consequences: it every moment seemed to grow louder, and to approach nearer. The place on which we stood now began to shake most dreadfully: so that being unable to stand, my companions and I caught hold of whatever shrub grew next to us, and supported ourselves in that manner.
After some time this violent paroxysm ceasing, we again stood up, in order to prosecute our voyage to Euphemia, which lay within sight. In the meantime, while we were preparing for this purpose, I turned my eyes towards the city, but could see only a frightful dark cloud, that seemed to rest upon the place. This the more surprised us, as the weather was so very serene. We waited, therefore, till the cloud had passed away; then turning to look for the city, it was totally sunk. Wonderful to tell! nothing but