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The first proposer of secession in the United States Congress was Josiah Quincy, of Massachusetts, in 1811, who said that, if Louisiana were admitted into the Union, “it will be the right of all and the duty of some [of the States] definitely to prepare for a separation-amicably if they can, violently if they must." Mr. Poindexter, of Mississippi, called him to order, as did the Speaker of the House; but on appeal the Speaker's decision was reversed and Mr. Quincy sustained by a vote of fifty-three ayes to fifty-six noes on the point of order.
St. James's Palace is a large, inelegant brick structure, fronting towards Pall Mall. Originally a hospital dedicated to St. James, it was reconstructed and made a manor by Henry VIII., who also annexed to it a park. Here Queen Mary died (1558); Charles I. slept here the night before his execution; and here Charles II., the Old Pretender, and George IV. were born. When Whitehall was burned in 1697, St. James became the regular London residence of the British sovereigns, and it continued to be so till Queen Victoria's time.—The Court of St. James is a frequent designation of the British Court.--St. James Park lies southward from the Palace, and extends over fifty-eight acres.
Amerigo Vespucci was a naval astronomer, from whom America accidentally received its name. He was born at Florence, March 9, 1451, and was at the head of a large Florentine firm in Seville in 1496. He fitted out Columbus' third fleet, and in 1499 himself sailed for the New World with Ojeda, and explored the coast of Venezuela. The accident which fastened his name on two continents may be traced to an inaccurate account of his travels published at St. Dié in Lorraine in 1507, in which he is represented to have reached the mainland in 1497—which would have been before either Cabot or Columbus-and in which the suggestion is made that he should give his name to the world he had discovered.
The first historical notices of Niagara Falls are given in Lescarbot's record of the second voyage of Jacques Cartier in the year 1535. On the maps published to illustrate Champlain's discoveries (date of maps either 1613 or 1614) the falls are indicated by a cross, but no description of the wonderful cataract is given, and the best geographical authorities living to-day doubt if the explorer mentioned ever saw the falls, Brinson's work to the contrary notwithstanding. Father Hennepin is believed to have written the first description of the falls that ever was penned by one who had personally visited the spot. The editor of "Notes for the Curious," owns a map, dated 1657, which does not figure either the great lakes or the falls.
A dungeon or dark cell in a prison is usually called the “black hole.” The name is associated with the cruel confinement of a party of English in the military prison of Fort William, since called the Black Hole of Calcutta,” on the night of the 19th June, 1756. The garrison of the fort connected with the English factory at Calcutta having been captured by Suraja Dowlah (Siráj-ud-Daula), the nawab of Bengal, he caused the whole of the prisoners taken, one hundred and forty-six in number, to be confined in an apartment eighteen feet square. This cell had only two small windows, and these were obstructed by a veranda. The crush of the unhappy sufferers was dreadful; and after a night of excruciating agony from pressure, heat, thirst and want of air, there were in the morning only twenty-three survivors, the ghastliest forms ever seen on earth.
Samuel William Henry Ireland was a literary impostor. He published in folio, 1795, “Miscellaneous Papers and Instruments under the hand and seal of William Shakspeare, including the tragedy of 'King Lear,' and a small fragment of ‘Hamlet,' from the original," price about $25. On April 2, 1796, he produced the play of “ Vortigern and Rowena” from the pen of Shakspeare. It was actually represented, and drew a most crowded house. Dr. Parr, Dr. Valpy, James Boswell, Herbert Croft, and Pye, the poet-laureate, signed a document certifying their conviction that Ireland's productions were genuine; but Malone exposed the imposition of the tragedy, and Ireland publicly confessed that all his publications, from beginning to end, were impositions.
One of the most picturesque and remarkable bodies of water in the world is Henry's Lake, in Idaho. It is situated on the dome of the continent in a depression in the Rocky Mountains called Targee's Pass. It has an area of forty square miles, and all around it rise snow-capped peaks, some of them being the highest of the continent's backbone. In the lake is a floating island about 300 feet in diameter. It has for its basis a mat of roots so dense that it supports large trees and a heavy growth of underbrush. These roots are covered with several feet of rich soil. The surface is solid enough to support the weight of a horse anywhere, and there are places where a house could be built. The wind blows the island about the lake, and it seldom remains twenty-four hours in the same place.
Amadis of Gaul was the love-child of King Perion and the Princess Elizena. He is the hero of a famous prose romance of chivalry, the first four books of which are attributed to Lobeira, of Portugal (died 1403). These books were translated into Spanish in 1460 by Montalvo, who added the fifth book. The five were rendered into French by Herberay, who increased the series to twenty-four books. Lastly, Gilbert Saunier added seven more volumes, and called the entire series Le Roman des Romans. Whether Amadis was French or British is disputed. Some maintain that “Gaul” means Wales, not France; that Elizena was Princess of Brittany (Bretagne), and that Perion was king of Gaul (Wales), not Gaul (France). Amadis de Gaul was a tall man, of a fair complexion, his aspect something between mild and austere, and had a handsome black beard. He was a person of very few words, was not easily provoked, and was soon appeased.
The famous leaning tower of Pisa is a campanile, or bell tower. It was begun in 1174 by the two famous architects-Bonano of Pisa and William Innspruck. The tower, which is cylindrical in form, is 179 feet high and fifty feet in diameter, made entirely of white marble. It has eight stories, each with an outside gallery projecting several feet from the building, and each decorated with columns and arcades. In the center of the tower flight of 320 steps passes up to the summit. It is called the leaning tower from the fact that it inclines some thirty feet from the perpendicular, and it is not generally known that this inclination, which gives the tower such a remarkable appearance, was not intentional. At the time it was about half done the error in measurement was perceived, and it was guarded against by the use of extra braces in the further construction of the building and an adaption of the stone in the highest portion. There are seven bells on the top of the tower, the largest of which weighs twelve thousand pounds, and these are so placed as to counteract, as far as possible, the leaning of the tower itself.
Timbuctoo (native Tumbutu, Arab. Tinbukhtu), is a famous city of the Soudan, on the southern edge of the Sahara. It lies about eight miles north of the main stream of the Joliba or Upper Niger. It stands only a few feet above the level of the river, is about three miles in circumference, and at present without walls, though in former times it covered a much greater area, and was defended by walls. The houses are mainly one-story mud-hovels, but one of the three chief mosques is a large and imposing building, dating from 1325. The place stands on an important trade route between the interior and the west and south; and its importance has increased through the gradual extension of French influence hither. It was the theme of one of Tennyson's early poems.
The “Man in the Iron Mask” is the title given to a state prisoner who went by the name of L'Estang. In 1662 he was confined in the Château Pignerol. In 1686 he was removed to the Ile Saint Marguerite, and in 1698 to the Bastille, where he died in 1703. He was a state prisoner above 40 years. He was buried under the name of Marchiali. Voltaire says he was a twin brother of Louis XIV.; some think he was the Comte de Vermandois, a natural son of Louis XIV. and Mdlle. de la Vallière, who was thus punished for boxing the ears of the dauphin; others think he was the Duke of Beaufort, who disappeared in 1669 at the siege of Candia; or the Duke of Monmouth, nephew of James II.; or the Count Girolamo Matthioli, minister of the Duke of Mantua, who overreached Louis in a treaty for the purchase of Casal; or John of Gonzaque, Matthioli's secretary; or an adulterous son of Anne of Austria (the king's mother) either by the Duke of Buckingham or the Cardinal Mazarin.
THE TRUTH ABOUT ASPASIA. One of the most remarkable women of antiquity, Aspasia, was born at Miletus. The circumstance that in Athens marriage with foreign women was illegal, has originated the erroneous notion that Aspasia was a courtesan. She certainly broke the restraint which confined Athenian matrons to the seclusion of their own homes, for after her union with Pericles, who had parted from his first wife by mutual consent, her house became the rendezvous of all the learned and distinguished people in Athens. Socrates often visited her. Her beauty, varied accomplishments, and political insight were extraordinarily great. From the comic writers and others she received much injustice. Hermippus, the comic poet, took advantage of the temporary irritation of the Athenians against Pericles, to accuse Aspasia of impiety; but the eloquence of the great statesman procured her acquittal. Her influence over Pericles must have been singularly great, and was often caricatured-Aristophanes ascribing to her both the Samian and the Peloponnesian wars, the latter on account of the robbery of a favorite maid of hers. Plutarch vindicates her against such accusations. Her son by Pericles was allowed to assume his father's name. After the death of Pericles (429 B.C.) Aspasia formed a union with Lysicles, a wealthy cattle-dealer, who, through her influence, became an eminent man in Athens.
THE STORY OF ACADIE. Longfellow in his "Evangeline" has immortalized the sufferings of the French peasantry of Acadie or Acadia. This was the name given by the French settlers to Nova Scotia on its first settlement in 1604. The English claimed the colony by right of discovery-as having been discovered by the Cabots; the exclusive possession of the fisheries proved a further bone of contention. In 1667 it was ceded to France, but the English colonists never recognized the cession, and harassed the French settlers. In 1713 France gave up all claiin to the colony: the Acadians mostly remained though they had liberty to leave within two years, and were exempted from bearing arins against their brethren. A French settlement was formed on Cape Breton, and received the name of Louisbourg, whilst as a result of French intrigues with the Indians, the latter harassed the English. The majority of the Acadians would not take the oath of allegiance nor would they refrain from abetting underhand hostilities against the English. “The French government” says Parkman, "began by making the Acadians its tools, and ended by making them its victims.” Accordingly, in 1755 it was determined at a consultation of the governor and his council to remove them; and to the number of about 18,000, they were dispossessed of their property and dispersed among the other British provinces. This wholesale expatriation, often severely condemned, was not resorted to until every milder resource had been tried. A simple, yet very ignorant peasantry. living apart from the rest of the world, they were ruled by the priest, who taught them to stand fast for the church and King Louis, and to resist heresy and King George.
THE ENGLISH CLAIMANT. In 1867 an Englishman in London declared he was Sir Roger Charles Tichborne, and claimed the estates and income of $120,000 a year. The Dowager accepted him, but his claim was resisted on behalf of Sir Henry Tichborne, then a minor, and the trial of the claim began May 11, 1871, and on the 6th March, 1872, the “claimant" was declared non-suited. The Attorney-General, Sir J. D. Coleridge, who spoke twenty-six days, appeared for the defence, and Dr. Kenealy for the claimant. The claimant was prosecuted as Thomas Castro alias Arthur Orton, for perjury, and found guilty February 28, 1874, and sentenced to fourteen years' penal servitude. The judges refused a new trial, and the House of Lords confirmed the sentence on appeal, March 11, 1881. This was the longest trial on record in England.
NOTES ON MAMMOTH CAVE. The Mammoth Cave is in Edmonson County, near Green River, about seventy-five miles from Louisville. It was discovered in 1809 by a hunter named Hutchins, while in pursuit of a wounded bear. Its entrance is reached by passing down a wild, rocky ravine through a dense forest. The cave extends some nine miles. To visit the portions already traversed, it is said, requires 150 to 200 miles of travel. The cave contains a succession of wonderful avenues, chambers, domes, abysses, grottoes, lakes, rivers, cataracts, and other marvels, which are too well known to need more than a reference. One chamber-the Star-is about 500 feet long, 70 feet wide, 70 feet high, the ceiling of which is composed of black gypsum, and is studded with innumerable white points, that by a dim light resemble stars, hence the name of the chamber. There are avenues one and a half, and even two miles in length, some of which are incrusted with beautiful formations, and present the appearance of enchanted palace halls. There is a natural tunnel about three quarters of a mile long, 100 feet wide, covered with a ceiling of smooth rock 45 feet high. There is a chamber having an area of from four to five acres, and there are domes 200 and 300 feet high. Echo River is some three-fourths of a mile in length, 200 feet in width at some points, and from 10 to 30 in depth, and runs beneath an arched ceiling of smooth rock about 15 feet high; while the Styx, another river, is 450 feet long, from 15 to 40 feet wide, and from 30 to 40 feet deep, and is spanned by a natural bridge. Lake Lethe has about the same length and width as the river Styx, varies in depth from 3 to 40 feet, lies beneath a ceiling some 90 feet above its surface, and sometimes rises to a height of 60 feet. There is also a Dead Sea, quite a somber body of water. There are several interesting caves in the neighborhood, one three miles long, and three each about a mile in length.
CRADLES AND GRAVES. 1.-Where our Presidents were born: Virginia, 5 Washington, Jefferson, Madi- | New York, 4-Van Buren, Fillmore, Ar son, Monroe, Tyler.
thur, Cleveland. Massachusetts, 2 – John Adams, John Illinois, 2-Lincoln, Grant. Quincy Adams.
| Taylor, at Louisville, Ky. John Adams, at Quincy, Mass.
Fillmore, at Buffalo, N. Y. Jefferson, at Monticello, Va.
Pierce, at Concord, N. H. Madison, at Montpelier, Va.
Buchanan, at Lancaster, Pa. Monroe, at Richmond, Va.
Lincoln, at Springfield, Ill. John Quincy Adams. at Quincy, Mass. Johnson, at Greenville, Tenn. Jackson, at " The Hermitage." Ky.
Grant, at Riverside, N. Y. Van Buren, at Kinder hook, N. Y.
Hayes, at Fremont, O. Harrison, at North Bend, O.
Garfield, at Cleveland, O. Polk, at Nashville, Tenn.
Arthur, at Albany, N. Y.
FAMOUS ANCIENT CITIES. Nineveh was 15 miles long, 8 wide and 40 miles round, with a wall 100 feet high, and thick enough for 3 chariots abreast. Babylon was 50 miles within the walls, which were 87 feet thick and 350 high, with 100 brazen gates.
The Temple of Diana, at Ephesus, was 420 feet to the support of the roof.
It was 100 years in building; The largest of the pyramids is 461 feet high, and 653 feet on the sides; its base covers 11
The stones are about thirty feet in length, and the layers are 380. It employed 330,000 men in building. The labyrinth, in Egypt, contains 300 chambers and 250 halls. Thebes, in Egypt, presents ruins 27 miles found. Athens was 25 miles round, and coprained 350,000 citizens and 400,000 slaves. The Temple of Delphos was so rich in donations that it was plundered of $500,000, and Nero carried away 200 statues. The walls of Rome were 13 miles round.
THE FATHER OF THE CENOBITES. St. Antony, surnamed the Great, or Anthony of Thebes, the father of monachism, was born about the year 251 A.D., at Koma, near Heraklea, in Upper Egypt. His parents were both wealthy and pious, and bestowed upon him a religious education. Having sold his possessions, and distributed the proceeds among the poor, he withdrew into the wilder