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the outer wall, which, turning by very slow degrees, in a spiral line, eight times round the tower, from the bottom to the top, had the same appearance as if there had been eight towers placed upon one another. In these different storeys were many large rooms, with arched roofs supported by pillars. Over the whole, on the top of the tower, was an observatory, by the benefit of which, the Babylonians became more expert in astronomy than all other nations.
But the chief use to which this tower was designed, was for the worship of the god Belus, or Baal, as also that of several other deities ; for which reason, there was a multitude of chapels in the different parts of the tower. The riches of this temple, in statues, tables, censers, cups, and other sacred vessels, all of massy gold, were immense. Among other images, there was one forty feet high, and weighed a thousand talents.
This amazing fabric stood till the time of Xerxes; but he, on his return from his Grecian expedition, entirely demolished it, after having first plundered it of all its riches. Alexander, on his return to Babylon from his Indian expedition, intended to have rebuilt it; and, with this view, employed ten thousand men, to clear the place of its rubbish; but the death of Alexander, about two months after, put an end to the undertaking.
THE RETROSPECT OF LIFE.
Riches, chance may take or give;
Beauty lives a day, and dies;
Mirth's a cheat, and pleasure flies.
Time, and chance, and death our foes ;
Are we only tied to woes?
Her eternal powers prevail,
And beauty, mirth, and pleasure fail.
ALEXANDER AND HIS HORSE.
From his earliest years, Alexander discovered an ardour of mind, an elevation of genius, and solidity of judgment, which few ever equalled. When he was yet very young, he used often to say, on hearing of his father's victories, that his father would win all the victories, and leave nothing for him to do, when he should become a man.
He seemed to be formed for equal vigour and activity, both of body and mind. Philonicus, a Thessalian, brought a horse, of remarkable strength and beauty, to Philip, which he offered for thirteen talents. When they took the horse into a field to try him, he was found so vicious and unmanageable, that Philip told his owner he would not purchase him, and Philonicus was leading him off, when Alexander, then quite a boy, who was present, was heard to say with great vexation and anger, “What a horse they are losing for the want of address and boldness to manage him!”
His father, hearing what he said, asked him if he intended to reproach those who were older than himself ? “ Yes,” said Alexander, “I can manage this horse better than any body else." His father ordered him to try the experiment; on which, Alexander, taking hold of the bridle, spake gently to the horse, and, as he was leading him along, laid his hand on the horse's mane, and dropping off his mantle, lightly bounded on his back, then gradually slackening the rein, he suffered the horse to accelerate his movement, and he was directly seen on full speed.
After a few moments, when the horse showed the disposition to abate his swiftness, Alexander applied the whip, and thus kept him on speed till his fury was thoroughly abated; then returned to the place where the company stood viewing with astonishment the intrepidity of the young prince. When he alighted, Philip exclaimed, with tears of joy, says Plutarch, “O my son, look thee out a kingdom equal to thy great soul ; Macedonia is too little for thee.” This was the famous horse Bucephalus, which Alexander rode in his conquest of Persia. He died in India, and the conqueror built a city on the spot where he died, called Bucephalia.
Fair pledges of a fruitful tree,
fall so fast? Your date is not so past, But
you may stay here yet awhile,
And go at last.
An hour or half's delight,
And so to bid good night?
And lose you quite.
May read how soon things have
Their end, though ne'er so brave-
Into the grave.
LESSON SIXTH. CODRUS, AND GRECIAN PATRIOTISM. With the Greeks, personal attachment had more influence, and private interest less, than with almost any other nation. Xerxes the Great was much surprised, when a Greek, who was admitted to his confidence, told him that the Greeks did not fight for money. “ And pray,” said he, “what then do they fight for ?” “They fight,” said the other," for glory." The brave men who fought and fell with Leonidas at the straits of Thermopylæ, were led by love to their country, to their leader, and to one another, and by the love of glory.
The Greeks gave an honourable evidence of love to their country, by resigning their lives for its welfare ; and, perhaps, they did this in a manner more unequivocal, and more frequently, than any other nation. Every reader has heard the story of Codrus, king of Athens. An oracle had foretold, that a nation whose king should fall in battle, should be victorious,
The Athenians were then engaged in a dangerous war with the Heraclidæ. But, as the Heraclidæ had heard the same oracle, they determined not to kill the king of Athens, and to use the greatest care to preserve his life. For this a special order was given. The patriot king, perceiving how difficult it would be for him to be slain in the common course of events, dressed himself in disguise, and going out to the enemy's army, he drew a dagger and wounded a soldier.
At this, they fell upon him and killed him, not knowing who he was. According to the oracle, the Athenians were victorious; and, as a testimony of their gratitude to Codrus, whom they honoured as the saviour of his country, they passed a law that no man should ever more reign in Athens, under the title of king. They gave the administration, therefore, to archons, or chief magistrates.
But this sentimental, magnanimous people had an ardour of character, a warmth of attachment to their friends, of which we seem able to form no conception; and, whenever we read to what sublimity of soul it often carried them, we are compelled to confess we are strangers to such feelings; and we cannot but think meanly of that cold mediocrity, or lukewarm indifference, which characterizes the society and the age in which we live.
When the scenes of real life have once dispelled the fleeting illusions of youth, where are a man's friends ? Some, perhaps, are dead; they were snatched away before the blossom of profession could ripen into fruit, or be blasted by interest ; others, launched into divergent pursuits, look back after him, at times, with vacant gaze, as we behold a distant sail at sea lying on a different course, and are ready to despise his failure, or envy his success.
If he is rich, he may thank wealth for presenting his society in a mask, behind which it is impossible for him, at once, to distinguish the basilisk from the dove.
" And what is friendship but a name,
A charm that lulls to sleep,
But leaves the wretch to weep." If a man is rich, a large class court his favour, in hopes of deriving benefit from his influence; another class come near him, in hopes of attracting a particle of gold from the contact; many sharp eyes and nimble fingers watch him,
for some advantage of his good nature, negligence, ignorance, or generosity, actuated by as noble a motive as the vulture which approaches a carcass. Alexander the Great, than whom few men possessed more penetration, said, very shrewdly, concerning two of his most intimate friends, “ Craterus loves the king, Hephæstion loves Alexander.”
And when Charles the Fifth had laid aside his crown and sceptre, and become a private man, his greatest grief and mortification was to perceive how suddenly an immense crowd of friends, admirers, and flatterers, vanished; that whilst as a monarch he had thousands to adore him, as a man he had not a friend to participate his pleasures, to soothe his sorrows, or to close his eyes.
THE HAPPIEST STATE.
That is designed us here;
No grief beget despair.
No honour tempt to pride;
Must in the soul abide
The constant, settled breast :
Shall let in all the rest.
Where none of these abound ;
Or can on earth be found
PORUS AND ALEXANDER.
Porus, after having performed all the duty both of a soldier and a general, and fought with incredible bravery, seeing all his horse defeated, and the greater part of his foot, did not bebave like the great Darius, who, in a like