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ALEXANDER THE GREAT.
As if impelled only by the instinct of destruction, he marched towards the East, carrying devastation and death among nations who had never before heard of him.' In this dreadful excursion, which is called the Conquest of the Indies, having negotiated a treaty with the chiefs of a besieged fortress, he put them and their soldiers all to the sword, as they were retiring upon the faith of oaths.
When arrived upon the banks of the Ganges, his soldiers refusing to pass the river, he lay down upon the earth, and remained eight days without speaking. He then went back, having ruined a hundred and fifty nations, and destroyed five thousand towns.
While passing through the country of the Orites, three-fourths of his army (which originally consisted of not less than 120,000 foot and 15,000 horse) perished with hunger and for want of every kind. When arrived in a more fertile country, he set an example to his troops of every species of excess; travelling in an immense chariot, upon which was an ostentatious table continually covered with rich viands and intoxi. cating liquors : his court followed in carriages, under moving arbours; and his soldiers, crowned with vineleaves, closed the procession in frantic revelling.
He built a town upon the banks of the Hydaspes, in honour of his horse Bucephalus, and another in memory of his dog Peritas. "HEPHÆSTION, his favourite, dying in consequence of having eaten, though ill, a capon, and drunk a bottle of wine, while his physician, GLAUCUS, was at the theatre, ALEXANDER ordered the physician to be crucified, had all the horses and mules shorn, knocked down the battlements of the neighbouring cities, and in an excess of rage, caused by the loss of his friend, he marched with a body of his army, into the country of the CusSÆANS, where he exterminated the people, children and all.
He killed OxyARTES, one of his lieutenants, with a thrust of his pike, and caused ABULITES, the father of OXYARTES, to be poisoned. He put POLYMACHUS to death for having searched for the tomb of Cyrus. CASSANDER, the son of ANTIPATER, having laughed at seeing some barbarians prostrate themselves before the throne, ALEXANDER seized him by the hair, and with both hands dashed his head against the wall.
At a feast given to his friends and officers, he promised that the man who drank most should be crowned for his victory. PROMACHUS, who gained the prize, draulk about fourteen quarts, and survived only three days; but forty-one of the guests died at the conclusion of the feast.
At length ALEXANDER died himself, at the age of thirty-three ; whether by excess of drink or by poison is uncertain : and, for so many glorious actions, Greece decreed him the title of Great. In later times, he has been called, not improperly, Macedonia's Madwan. It was part of the heathen idolatry to venerate such characters as ALEXANDER ; bu
we, who live under the light and influence of the Gospel, can consider them only as scourges of mankind and pests of the world.
HISTORY OF THE NEW RIVER, LONDON.
(From the Percy Anecdotes : No. 5.) During the reigns of QUEEN ELIZABETH and JAMES I., Acts of Parliament were obtained for the better supplying of the Metropolis with water : but the enterprise seemed too great for any individual, or even for the city collectively, to venture upon, until MR. Hugu MIDDLETON, a native of Denbigh, and Goldsmith of London, offered to begin the work. The Court of Common Council having accepted his offer, and vested him with ample powers, this gentleman, with a spirit equal to the importance of the undertaking, at his own risk and charge began the work. He had not proceeded far, when innumerable and unforeseen difficulties presented themselves. The art of civil engineering was then little understood in this country, and he received many obstructions fidn the occupiers and proprietors of lands through
HISTORY OF THE NEW RIVER.
which he was under the necessity of conducting this stream,
The distance of the springs of Amwell and Chad. well, whence the water was to be brought, is twenty niles from London; but it was found necessary, in order to avoid the eminences and valleys in the way, to make it run a course of more than thirty-eight miles. The depth of the trench," says Srowe, “in some places descended full thirty feet, if not more ; whereas in other places it required as sprightful arte againe to mount it over a valley in a trough between a couple of hills, and the trough all the while borne up by wooden arches, some of them fixed in the ground very deepe, and rising in height above twenty-three foot."
This industrious projector soon found himself so harassed and impeded by interested persons in Middlesex and Hertfordshire, that he was obliged to solicit a prolongation of the time to accomplish his undertaking. This the city granted ; but they refused to interest themselves in this great and useful work, although Mr. MIDDLETON was quite impoverished by it. He then applied with more success to the King himself; who, upon a moiety of the concern being made over to him, agreed to pay half the expense of the work already incurred, as well as of the future. It now went on without interruption, and was finished according to Mr. MIDDLETON's original agreement with the city, when, on the 29th Sept. 1613, the water was let into the basin now called the New River Ilead, which was prepared for its reception.
By an exact admeasurement of the course of the New River taken in 1723, it appeared to be nearly thirty-one miles in length; it has between two and three hundred bridges over it, and upwards of forty sluices in its course ; and in divers parts both over and under the same, considerable currents of land. waters, as well as a great number of brooks and rivu. lets, have their passage.
This great undertaking cost half a million of money, and was the ruia of its first projector, some of whose VOL. VI.
descendants have received a paltry annuity of L20 from the city, that was so much benefited by the work by which they were rendered destitute.
The property of the New River is divided into seventy-two shares. For the first nineteen years after the finishing of the work, the annual profit of each share scarcely amounted to twelve shillings. A share is now considered to be worth £11,500, and they have been sold as high as £14,000.
PROGRESS OF A POUND OF COTPON. The following history of a pound weight of manufactured cotton will show the importance of the trade to the country in a very conspicuous manner. The wool came from the East Indies to London; from London it went to. Lancashire, where it was manufactured into yarn; from Manchester it was sent to Paisley, where it was woven; it was next sent to Ayrshire, where it was tamboured ; afterwards it was conveyed to Dunbarton, where it was hand-sewed, and again returned to Paisley, when it was sent to a distant part of the county of Renfrew to be bleached, and was returned to Paisley, whence it was sent to Glasgow and was finished; and from Glasgow was sent by coach to London. It is difficult to ascertain precisely the time taken to bring this article to market; but it may be pretty near the truth to reckon it three years from the time it was packed in India till in cloth it arrived at the merchant's warehouse in London, whither it must have been conveyed 5,000 miles by sea, and 920 by land, and contributed to reward no less than 150 people, whose services were necessary in the carriage and manufacture of this small quantity of cotton, and by which the value has been advanced 2,000 per cent. (“ Curiosities for the Ingenious," p. 25.).
WONDERFUL LAKE, In Carniola, there is a very extraordinary lake called the Zirchnitzer Sea. It is dried up during summer,
ACCOUNT OF A PIOUS CHILD.
and, after affording a vast quantity of fish that are caught in the holes through which the waters disappear, produces a fine crop of grass or hay, and is sometimes sown with millet; thus continuing of advantage to the inhabitants as arable or pasture land, till, in September, the waters rush back again through the holes with great impetuosity, and the lake is restored to its original size. This curious phenomenon is explained in the following manner. The country is hilly, and the lake is surrounded with rising grounds. It has no visible exit, yet seven rivulets empty themselves into it. By subterraneous channels it communicates with two lakes concealed under ground, the one situated below, the other above, its own level. Into the first it empties itself by means of holes in its bottom; from the second it receives a supply equal to its waste, which prevents it from sioking under ground during the winter. From the lowest lake a considerable river runs. In the summer, the uppermost lake, not being fed as usual by rain, becomes smaller, and ceases to supply the Zirchnitzer Sea with water. The waste of this take, therefore, being greater than the supply, it is drained in consequence, and disappears. When the uppermost lake is restored to its usual size, it affords the proper quantity of water; hence the lowest lake swells, and at last forces part of its contents through the holes into the open air, and thus restores the Zirchnitzer Sea to its original size.
(“Curiosities for the Ingenious," p. 150.)
ACCOUNT OF A PIOUS CHILD:
BY HIS FATHER, My dear boy was the subject of divine impressions at a very early period. When not above five years old, he was in the habit of frequently asking important questions about divine things; and manifested a seriousness above his years. When about eight years of age, he appeared to be truly convinced of sin, and not only feared correction, but really grieved on account of any thing which he had done amiss. At