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We rounded the promontory on which the Terrapin Tower stands, and moved, amid the wildest commotion, along the arm of the Horseshoe, until the bowlders failed us, and the cataract fell into the profound gorge of the Niagara River.
Here the guide sheltered me again, and desired me to look up; I did so, and could see as before the green gleam of tho mighty curve sweeping over the upper ledge, and the fitful plunge of the water, as the spray between us and it alternately gathered and disappeared.
We returned, clambering at intervals up and down, so as to catch glimpses of the most impressive portions of the cataract. We passed under ledges formed by tabular masses of limestone, and through some curious openings formed by the falling together of the summits of the rocks. At length we found ourselves beside our enemy of the morning. The guide halted for a minute or two, scanning the torrent thoughtfully. I said that, as a guide, he ought to have a rope in such a place; but he retorted that, as no traveler had ever before thought of coming there, he did not see the necessity of keeping a rope.
He waded in. The struggle to keep himself was evident enough; he swayed, but recovered himself again and again. At length he slipped, gave way, did as I had done, threw himself toward the bank, and was swept into the shallow. Standing in the stream near its edge, he stretched his arm toward me. I retained the pitchfork handle, for it had been useful among the bowlders. By wading some way in the staff could be made to reach him, and I proposed his seizing it.
“If you are sure,” he replied, 'that in case of giving way you can maintain your grasp, then I will certainly hold you.”
Remarking that he might count on this, I waded in and stretched the staff to my companion. It was firmly grasped by both of us. This helped; though its onset was strong, I moved safely across the torrent. All danger ended here.
We afterward roamed sociably among the torrents and bowlders below the Cave of the Winds. The rocks were covered with organic slime, which could not have been walked over with bare feet, but the felt shoes effectually prevented slipping.
ipping. We reached the cave and entered it, first by a wooden way carried over the bowlders, and then along a narrow ledge, to the point eaten deepest into the shale. When the wind is from the south, the falling water, I am told, can be seen tranquilly from this spot; but when we were there, à blinding hurricane of spray was whirled against us.
Biography.-John Tyndall, the eminent physicist, was born in Ireland in 1820. He has devoted much attention to the solution of scientific problems, and his works on heat, light, and sound, rank among the best of the age.
Tyndall has also an enviablo reputation as a traveler and explorer.
Notes.- Alpen stock, meaning Alps' stick, is a long staff pointed with iron, used in traveling among the Alps and other mountains.
Terrapin Tower was a small tower built on a rock just above what is called the American Fall.
Organic slime is a soft, moist earth or sticky mud, containing the lowest forms of animal or plant life.
Composition. In this lesson the order of time is followed, and it is therefore a narrative; but the amount of descriptive matter introduced makes it a descriptive narrative.
84.-THE COLISEUM AT ROME.
a rē'nå, the open space of an
amphitheater. o bēj'sançe, a bow; expression
of respect. åd' ver sa ry, opponent. butch'ered, killed. dis'con çērt’ing, confusing.
ăm phi thẻ a ter, an oral
shaped building having rous of seats one above another around
an open space for combats. Ire, rage. re nowned', famous. pop'a laçe, the common people.
The grandest and most renowned of all the ancient amphitheaters is the Coliseum at Rome. It was built by Vespasian and his son Titus, the conquerors of Jerusalem,' in a valley in the midst of the seven hills of Rome. The captive Jews were forced to labor at it; and the materials-granite outside, and a softer stone within-are so solid, and so admirably built, that still, at the end of eighteen centuries, it has scarcely even become a ruin, but remains one of the greatest wonders of Rome.
Five acres of ground are inclosed within the oval of its outer wall, which, outside, rises perpendicularly in tiers of arches one above another. Within, the galleries of seats projected forward, each tier coming out far beyond the one above it; so that between the lowest and the outer wall there was room for a great variety of chambers, passages, and vaults around the central space, called the
Altogether, wlien full, this huge building held no fewer than eighty-seven thousand spectators. It had no roof; but when there was rain, or if the
was too hot, the sailors in the porticoes unfurled awnings that ran along upon ropes, and formed a covering of gold and silver tissue over
the whole. Purple was the favorite color for this veil; because, when the sun shone through it, it cast such beautiful rosy tints on the snowy arena and the white, purple-edged togas of the Roman citizens.
When the emperor had seated himself and given the signal, the sports began. Sometimes a ropedancing elephant would begin the entertainment, by mounting even to the summit of the building, and descending by a cord. Or a lion came forth with a jeweled crown upon his head, a diamond necklace round his neck, his mane plaited with gold, and his claws gilded, and played a hundred, pretty, gentle antics with a little hare that danced fearlessly within his grasp.
Sometimes water was let into the arena, a ship sailed in, and falling to pieces in the midst, sent a crowd of strange animals swimming in all directions. Sometimes the ground opened, and trees came growing up through it, bearing golden fruit. Or the beautiful old tale of Orpheus' was acted: these trees would follow the harp and song of the musician; but--to make the whole part completeit was in no mere play, but in real earnest, that the Orpheus of the piece fell a prey to live bears.
For the Coliseum had not been built for such harmless spectacles as those first described. The fierce Romans wanted to be excited and to feel themselves strongly stirred; and, presently, the doors of the pits and dens around the arena were thrown open, and absolutely savage beasts were let loose upon one another-rhinoceroses and tigers, bulls and lions, leopards and wild boars-while the people watched with ferocious curiosity to see the various kinds of attack and defense, their ears at the same time being delighted, instead of horrorstruck, by the roars and howls of the noble creatures whose courage was thus misused.
Wild beasts tearing one another to pieces might, one would think, satisfy any taste for horror; but the spectators needed even nobler game to be set before their favorite monsters;- men were brought forward to confront them. Some of these were, at first, in full armor, and fought hard, generally with success. Or hunters came, almost unarmed, and gained the victory by swiftness and dexterity, throwing a piece of cloth over a lion's head, or disconcerting him by putting their fist down his throat.
But it was not only skill, but death, that the Romans liked to see; and condemned criminals and deserters were reserved to feast the lions, and to entertain the populace with their various kinds of death. Among those condemned was many a Christian martyr, who witnessed a good confession before the savage-eyed multitude around the arena, and met the lion's gory mane with a calm resolution and a hopeful joy that tho lookers-on could not understand. To see a Christian die, with upward gaze, and hymns of joy on his tongue, was the most strange and unaccountable sight the Coliseum could offer; and it was therefore the choicest, and reserved for the last of the spectacles in which the brute creation had a part.
The carcasses were dragged off with hooks, the blood-stained sand was covered with a fresh, clean layer, perfume was wafted in stronger clouds, and a procession came forward-tall, well-made men, in