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THE CONSTELLATION OF THE CROSS.
EXTRACTED FROM UNPUBI ISHED "WANDERINGS ON THE SEAS AND SHORES OF AFRICA."
At last, the cold storms which view the long-desired lights of the pursued us from Cape Fear, during southern hemisphere. The cloud the opening of our voyage, includ- occupying about fifteen degrees in ing nearly the whole of the first fort. altitude from the borizon, was just night of the new year, had died sufficient to hide for some time the away; and the still more tedious magnificent Southern Cross, so calms which succeeded them in “ the richly described by Humboldt, and middle passage,”
,” had also been fol- by Tyerman and Bennet, whose vilowed by the trade winds, under vid impressions at the sight, so poet. whose welcome impulse we now ically expressed, had long ago
led moved rapidly southward, with a me to anticipate this, as one of the pure air, and a clear sky varied richest rewards of a tropical voyage. only by light flying clouds, and with And when, at length, my nights a temperature which, though not of vain watching and my years of uncomfortable during the day, was studious hope were requited by the particularly delightful in the bril sight of this most glorious object in liant nights of the tropic seas. With the created universe, all the circum. the setting of the sun, the bright stances and incidents seemed wonclouds, which gave so much splen- derfully arranged to impress me not dor to the closing day, vanished only with gratification at the happy from the scene, and left the sky all accomplishment of my wishes, and northward, eastward, and westward, with admiration of the beauty of the without a vapor to veil the stars, spectacle, but also with deeper and which here shone out with a luster farther-reaching feelings of the more and power far beyond all I had ever al power of the whole of the strange seen, inspiring an intense delight, as picture before me in heaven and I watched them through many un.
earth. It was on the evening of wearying hours from our narrow Monday, January 23, in about lat. deck. The polar star each night 23° N., and lon. 24° W., that I first sank lower and lower over the nor obtained a distinct view of the Souththern horizon; and the zodiac now ern Cross, the form of it being so passing through the zenith, brought perfect, that at the very first glance the larger planets, with the moon, no observer could be mistaken. I by turns directly over our heads, saw it standing erect and resplenan aspect, to me, novel and impo- dent over the dark cloud, in more sing ;-while in the south, now stars, than imagined beauty and glory, unknown to northern eyes, rose in its four large stars arranged in strikdazzling beauty to my inquiring ing order and symmetry, in the form view.
which all Christendom recognizes as Yet several nights passed while I the sign of God's infinite love and looked in vain for some of those man's eternal hope; and the rapture peculiarly interesting constellations I then felt was cheaply purchased near the south pole, which were by all the sufferings and perils of already above our horizon. For the voyage then past, or yet before though all the rest of the sky was Many hours I enjoyed the clear, along the southern quarter, a scene and the emotions rising with peculiar dark misty cloud descend. it; and go through months and years ed across our path, shrouding from of wanderings that followed, that glorious object attracted my eyes welcome thing, associated with the through watchful nights of exile, of idea of high consolation under trials suffering, of peril and of loneliness, and fears. As in the poetic“ dream" till it became to me a familiar and of the famed “ pilgrim” of our time:
“ The wanderer was alone as heretofore :
The beings that surrounded him were gone
To him the magic of their mystery,”
southern sky, which, as we advanced tomy seeking eyes” to catch a glimpse wards the south, opened new constellaof those same stars, to direct our tions to our view. "We feel an indescricourse due south, away from the bable sensation when on approaching the breakers of the rocks which threat equator, and particularly on passing from
one hemisphere to the other, we see ened to dash us in pieces with the those stars which we have contemplated relics of our lost ship. Never was from our infancy, progressively sink, and ray of light more welcome than the finally disappear. Nothing awakens in
the traveler a livelier remembrance of the momentary sight of one of those immense distance by which he is separastars through the driving clouds, as ted from his country, than the aspect of I wiped from my eyes
an unknown firmament. The grouping and pelting rain that half blinded of the stars of the first magnitude, some them. Even now, as that perilous the milky-way, and tracts of space re
scattered nebulæ, rivaling in splendor scene recurs, I renew the desperate markable for ibeir extreme blackness, excitement with which I strove to give a peculiar physiognomy to the southrouse and cheer our exhausted and
« The lower regions of the air were despairing boat's crew, and exclaim loaded with vapors for some days. We again, “ Pull away, good fellows! saw distinctly, for the first time, ihe cross I see the cross. We shall soon be
of the south only in the night of the 4th clear of all danger."
and 5th of July, in the sixteenth degree
of latitude. It was strongly inclined, With such remembrances and as
and appeared from time to time between sociations, the intensity of the feels the clouds, the center of which, furrowings I still express, in reviving myed by uncondensed lightnings, reflected first impressions of that remarkable mitted to speak of his personal emotions,
a silver light. If a traveler may be perobject, will not be thought extrava. I shall add that in this night I saw one of
But even at this my first view of tion given in the missionary voythe starry cross, unconscious as I age of Tyerman and Bennet, came was of subsequent associations with vividly to my mind, and led me to the sight, I seemed to have an al. attempt an expression of my feelmost foreboding interest in it. As ings in such verse as was within the our brigantine bounded swiftly over powers of one unused to this sort of the long swell of the Atlantic, the composition. Unmusical and laborbowsprit was bowing to the cloud ed as it is, it has to me some interand
cross, and the tall mast pointing est in having been conceived and to the starry crown, which hung composed under the excitement of above us-known to astronomers as the actual sight of these objects, the “Corona Australis”-a bright though never committed to writing constellation, but less conspicuous till my return to America, when it than that which is familiar to us in was somewhat enlarged and corour own skies, under the name of rected, yet remaining essentially the the “ Northern Crown." A poeti- same as I bore it three years in my cal idea, suggested by the descrip- memory.
the reveries of my earliest youth accom- the Cross begins to bend !' How often plished.”
those words reminded us of that affect• When I studied the heavens, to ac- ing scene, where Paul and Virginia, seatquire a knowledge of the stars, impatient ed near the source of the river of Lan. to rove in the equinoctial regions, I could taniers, conversed together for the last not raise my eyes toward the starry vault, time, and where the old man at the sight without recalling the sublime passage of of the southern cross, warns them that it Dante, which the most celebrated com- is time for them to separate."—Hummentators have applied to this constella- boldt's " Journey to the equinoctial regions tion :
of the New Continent,'' chap. 3. Io mi volsi a man destra e posi mente
“At night, (the sky being clear after All'altro polo e vidi quattro stelle
much cloudy weather,) for the first time Non viste mai suor ch' alla prima gente. we descried 'the constellation cruz or the Goder parca lo ciel di lor fian melle; O settentrional vedovo sito
cross. The four stars composing this gloPoi che privato se' di mirar quelle!
ry of the southern hemisphere, are of Jarge but varying magnitudes, and so
placed as readily to associate with the “ The two great stars which mark the
image of the true cross, the lowest being summit and foot of the cross, having the brightest. Another beautiful constel. nearly the same right ascension, it fol- lation attracted our notice, nearly in the lows hence that the constellation is als zenith. This was the northern crown, in most perpendicular at the moment when which seven stars brilliantly encircle two it passes the meridian.
This circum- thirds of an oval figure. We were stance is known to every nation that minded--and though the idea may seem lives within the tropics or in the south- faneiful, yet it was pleasing to ourselves ern hemisphere. li has been observed amidst the still night, and on the far seaat what hour of the night, in different that while we kept in constant view the seasons, the cross of the south is erect or
cross, that cross on which our Savior died inclined. It is a time-piece which ad- for our redemption, we might venture to vances very regularly four minutes a day; hope that the crown, the crown of life, and no other group of stars exhibits to which the Lord the righteous judge' the naked eye, an observation of time so
hath promised to 'give to all them that easily made. How often have we heard love his appearing, might be bestowed our guides exclaim in the savannas of upon us in that day.""— Tyerman and Venezuela, or in the desert extending Bennet ; “ Journal of Voyages and Tracfrom Truxillo to Lima,' Midnight is past; els, chap. 1.
Low hanging o'er my ocean-path,
To that dark land and martyrs' tomb,
In nightly-gathering, deepening gloom,
Heav'n's silvery light comes clearly down;
Above the cross, the starry CROWN.
Erst beamed in light far less divine
His triumph's pledge and conquest's sign:"-
To lend earth's empire-wreath renown;
Points ever to the HEAVENLY crown.
With cross on staff and sword and breast,
Of old, crusading pilgrim bands
The gorgeous crowns of Orient lands.*
Shroud their tombed thrones in ruin brown,
Christ's faith-armed warriors see their crown.
a graven image," stands,
From Peru to Jerusalem.
Worshiped alike by king and clown :-
Heav'n-shrined, star-gemmed, which God doth crown.
Unknown for ages, now it wins
The eyes of millions to adore :
To bend” o'er AFRICA's dark shore.
And groveling kraalt to spiry town:
Awakes to hail its king and crown.
Godfrey, Baldwin, Guy de Lusignan, and Conrade, kings of Jerusalem,-Guy, &c. kings of Cyprus,--Bohemond, prince of Antioch, William, prince-archbishop of Tyre,-Baldwin I and II, emperors of Constantinople, &c. &c.
| Kaross,-the name of the filthy scanty dress of the wild natives of South Africa. Kraal,--South African village, a circle of oven-like huts.
My way is dark : still—“ holy light !”—
Shine o'er the cloud to guide and cheer,-
Beam on my “wanderings” lone and drear.
Thy ray, which ocean cannot drown,
Of toils and tears, shall win “no crown.”
Sign of my faith! Seal of my hope !
Pledge of God's love to wand'ring man !
Dimly the way of truth to scan:
Though whirlwinds sweep and storm-clouds frown,
Hope o'er the cross shall hail the CROWN.
WHAT MUST BE DONE TO PROVIDE AN EDUCATED
That the Christian ministry, es- mand creates the supply. But what pecially in such a country and such sciolism is this ! What a blunderan age as ours, ought to be a body ing application of a simple princiof liberally educated men, is with ple ! What is demand, in the sense
We write not for of political economy? The mere that reader who needs an argument absence of a given article, does not to make him know that the minister constitute a demand for that article. of the Gospel of Christ, among a There are neither warming-pans nor free and a free-thinking people, snow.shoes, nor yet Olmsted stoves, ought to be an educated man-ed- in all the bazaars of Calcutta ; there ucated not only in those depart- are no Cashmire shawls in the wig. ments of knowledge which are im. wams of Labrador; there are no mediately and especially related to spelling-books in Jeddo, no biograhis employment as an expounder of phies of Henry Clay in Pekin, no the Scriptures, but also in all that schoolmasters in Patagonia ; yet various discipline which invigorates who, in such cases, mistakes desti. the mental powers, which enlarges tution for demand ? Nor does mere the scope of thought, and which want-though it be a want of somegives to him who has profited by it thing acknowledged and felt to be a rank and standing in society such essential to comfort or even to exas does not belong to the man of istence-constitute a demand, in the merely technical or professional sense in which demand tends to culture.
produce a supply. A people may How shall such a ministry be ob- be dying for want of bread, while tained, in sufficient numbers, to yet in all its ports there is no deovertake and supply the growing mand, in the commercial sense, for wants of our country? Some tell the staff of life. Demand, in the us to leave the whole question to only sense in which demand for take care of itself, under that law of any article can create a supply, is political economy, by which the de. the ability and willingness to pay,