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study, and deeper thought, till he was able to master the Samaritan Pentateuch, and the Syriac Testament. At twenty-five years of age, he had mastered six languages without any assistance whatever but from books; and a few years after, he had, by the same persevering energy and economy of time and money, made himself conversant with twenty languages, and this vast fund of lingual lore has been applied in such a manner by the editors of various works of antiquity, as to stand before the world as embodying some of the most learned treatises in Europe.
But this is not all; much as it is, a still greater glory, exists in the life of this good man, he is humble-minded; he willingly gave up his
literary labours to the drudgery of teaching charity boys, and worked for some years with the greatest diligence in this way; and he worked hard at his trade when it scarcely afforded bread to him, and with a praiseworthy assiduity to relieve himself from severe studies, he taught himself to play upon the flute, and when the Shrewsbury Volunteers were raised, he qualified himself with equal readiness to become one of their band.
Is not this a glorious instance of human industry and perseverance ? How far superior is the character of Dr. Lee to that of the "admirable Crichton," who went about to the different states of Europe, challenging every one in all the learning and science of the time. Crichton acquired all he knew by means of good teachers, wealth, and gentlemanly leisure. Lee, all his, in spite of poverty, without teachers, without leisure, for he had to work hard from morning till night, and all the time for acquirement was snatched from
the hours that ought to have been devoted to relaxation or sleep. Oppressed with the cares and labours of life, with the sneers and contempt of his acquaintance, without any living assistant whatever, without the stimulus of either hope or fear, seeking concealment rather than publicity, and with a net-work of difficulties woven around him, he at
last bursts forth to fame, to honour, and to competency, as the beautifully painted fly rises from the brown caddis-worm under the brook, to wing its way in the element for which it was created, and to be useful.
LESSON 50.-GEYSERS, VOLCANOES,
Part 1. Quarry—the place whence stone, etc., Elementary-simple. is dug.
Ingredients-materials. Transparent–that can be seen through Wells up-springs up.
(Lat. trans, across, pares, I appear), Tranquilly-quietly (Lat. tranquillis, Throes—pangs.
quiet.) Eruption- a breaking forth (Lat. rumpo, Impede-hinder.
The hardest and firmest rocks of the earth's surface contain within themselves marks of having once been in a liquid state. They are all crystallized, like loaf sugar, and other bodies which are allowed to cool slowly, after having been molten by heat. The very ingredients of which they are themselves composed, have been mingled by the chemist, and exposed to a hot furnace until they melted, and have then been made to cool very slowly, and rocky substances, like the natural bodies which are dug up from the quarry, have presented themselves. There is reasonable ground for the belief that the great round world has once been entirely liquid, because it once was very
hot. But there is also ground for the supposition that even now, the great world
continues to be very hot deep below the surface. It seems that it is only the surface-shell which is cool enough to be pleasant to the feelings, and safe for the bodies of living creatures. When men dig deep mines, and go far down into the substance of the earth, they constantly come to spots which are warmer and warmer as they descend. Water which wells
from very great depths is always very hot. In the frost-bound island of Iceland, far up in the Northern Sea, there is one spot from which boiling-hot water bubbles and
streams all the year round. This spot is contained in a flat, grass-covered plain, which is near to the sea. In the midst of this plain, there is a broad, somewhat heaped-up platform of stone, which has two large funnellike basins hollowed out in its substance. These basins are generally filled with clear, sea-green, steaming-hot water, which overflows gently from their rims, and
leaves behind it, as it runs down, new contributions to the stony platform. At intervals of an hour or two, however, the transparent water begins to be troubled, and to tremble in the basins. A loud rumbling noise is heard to issue from the ground. Next, bubbles of steam rise and burst in the water, and cause the liquid to swell up in the middle. Then all at once, the boiling becomes excessively violent, and a column of scalding liquid is shot up 100 feet into the air, scattering itself at the top as a broad mass of white foam and steam.
This curious exhibition is repeated at intervals several times, and smaller spoutings are thrown in all directions around, sideways and upwards, and turning over in white arches; a hissing noise, like that which accompanies the flight of a rocket, being kept up all the while, and clouds of misty steam rising higher and higher above. Another loud report all of a sudden takes place, and another lofty pillar is shot up towards the sky, this time carrying with it a volley of large stones, which are scattered in all directions around. The outbreak of water then ceases for a short period, and the stone basins are seen to be empty and nearly dry. After a time, the clear, sea-green liquid rises gently into them again from a hole in the bottom, until it once more overflows at the rim, and the same series of spoutings then begins again. The foregoing figure presents the usual appearance of one of these outbursts of the boiling springs, or “ Geysers” of Iceland. This is, perhaps, the most striking and curious instance known, of the overflow of streams of very hot water from the interior depths of the earth, but springs of considerable degrees of heat are found welling up out of the earth in a very great number of places.
Still more decided proofs that there is very great heat in the interior recesses of the earth, are however, offered to the observation of man. Every now and then the outer hard surface of the earth quakes and cracks, and from the opening of the crack streams of molten red-hot rock pour forth in a deluge over the surrounding ground. This red-hot molten rock, or lava, as it is called, is found after it has cooled, to be really composed of the several elementary ingredients which have been named as making up the earth's substance ;—phosphorus and sulphur, metals and clay, flint, lime, and gases, all blended and mingled together. The outburst of red-hot, molten rock, from the interior of the earth, is often of terrific magnitude. An eruption of this kind occurred in the frost island of
Iceland, already named, in the month of June, 1783, which led to the destruction of 1300 human beings, 20,000 horses, 7,000 oxen, and 130,000 sheep. First, pillars of smoke were seen rising from the ground in the neighbourhood of a mountain, well-known under the name of the “Skaptaa Jokul,” obscuring the daylight, and showering down a considerable quantity of sand and ashes. On the 11th of the month all the water in the channel of a large river close by, disappeared in a moment. The following day a stream of red-hot, molten rock burst through the side of the mountain, and rushed down with a crashing sound into the channel of the deserted river, converting that which had been a water-course into a current of fire. This channel was, in places, 200 feet wide and 600 feet deep; yet it was entirely choked with the lava in a very short time. A large lake lying in the lower part of the stream was next filled, and the red-hot liquid then dashed over a ledge of rock, like a cataract of fire, and deluged a vast basin beneath, which had been hollowed out by the force of the water falling into it for ages. Two streams of molten lava were sent forth from the inner recesses of the earth upon this occasion, the one 50 miles long and 15 miles wide, and the other 40 miles long and 7 miles wide. During 10 weeks that the eruption lasted, as much as forty thousand millions of tons of melted rock were poured forth through the opening in the earth's shell.
Streams of lava are so intensely hot, when they overflow from the earth's interior in this way, that it takes a very long time indeed to cool them.
A piece of wood has been known to catch light when thrust down into lava, which had ceased to run nine months before. Smoke has been seen to rise from lava-beds
years after the period when they were spread upon the ground. Erupted streams of molten rock generally overflow from openings which are placed