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for about 3,000 feet about the stream, and where not perpendicular, rather overhang the water. Where the river is low, the sharp, craggy points of subaqueous rocks begin to show themselves above the stream, and between these the passage is most narrow, winding and shallow, and, in fact, can only be passed by steamers especially built for the purpose, of light draught of water, four paddle wheels, and immense power, and even these steamers make use of a channel cut through the ledge. At the breaking up of the ice in the spring of 1876, the floating ice became jammed among the crags in the Iron Gate, which caused the stream to back up until vast tracts of Hungary were under water. Such a deluge was unprecedented, and it suggested at the time the feasibility of producing a similar effect by artificial means as a measure of war. The blowing up of a precipice of Mount Schreber on the Austrian side of the pass would bring down many millions of tons of rock across the Iron Gate, and long before the obstructions could be removed, a vast part of Eastern Europe would be turned into an inland lake.
Having passed the Carpathians, the Danube takes a southerly course, forming the boundary between Roumania and Servia for a short distance, and then becoming throughout the rest of its course the boundary between Roumania and the Turkish province of Bulgaria. Below Widin it takes a turn to the east, which it pursues until it reaches a point only thirty-two miles from the Black Sea. Then it takes a sudden turn to the north, flowing in that direction for 100 miles, to the junction with the Sereth, near Galatz. Then it turns again to the east, receiving the waters of the Pruth, which mark a part of the Russian frontier. After flowing east about forty miles in the vicinity of Ismail and Tultcha, it is divided into several branches. These wind sluggishly through the low and dreary alluvial country known as the Delta of the Danube, and empty the waters of the great river into the Black Sea by three principal channels-the Kilia, Sulina, and St. George-and four lesser ones. The most northerly of these-the Kilia-is the boundary at this point between Bulgaria and Roumania, and is only about twenty-five miles distant from the Russian boundary line.
The rapidity of its current in its upper course, its tortuous windings, the shallowness of the water in the portion which flows through Hungary, and in the outlets into the Black Sea, and the reefs, rapids and whirlpools which mark its course at many points, have rendered the navigation of the Danube so difficult that its commercial use has not yet been fully developed. The introduction of steam in 1830 inaugurated a new era in its history. By the
convention of November 7, 1857, between the States through which the river flows, vessels of all nations were allowed to ascend the Danube from its mouth to any point above, but navigation between the different points was reserved to the different subjects of the countries along its banks. The treaty of March 13, 1871, authorized the levying of a provisional tax on all commercial vessels for paying for the removal of the remaining obstructions at the Iron Gate, in case the work should be undertaken. An Austrian company, which almost monopolizes the through traffic of the river, has a very large fleet of steamers and transports. Its vessels make the voyage from Vienna to Constantinople in seven days. This company employs 150 vessels on the Lower Danube, and these are now all laid up by the impending hostilities.
A LITTLE CHILD'S FANCIES.
I THINK that the world was finished at night,
For they wouldn't have thought of having the light
And then, again, I alter my mind,
And I think perhaps it was day,
And the starry night was only designed
For a little child tired of play.
And I think that an angel, when nobody knew,
Let some of the seeds of the flowers fall through
For they couldn't think here of lilies so white,
But I wonder when falling from such a height
And then, when the face of the angel was turned,
And are singing to us the songs they learned
A rainbow must be the shining below
Of a place in heaven's floor that is thin,
Right close to the door where the children go,
And I think that the clouds that float in the skies
ANECDOTES AND SELECTIONS.
For fear when we look we should dazzle our eyes
God wanted us all to know what it meant
Oh! the world where we live is a lovely place,
But it oftentimes makes me sigh,
For I'm always trying causes to trace,
And keep thinking "Wherefore ?" and "Why ?"
Is the stir of immortal wings,
But infinite love one day will reveal
The most hidden and puzzling things.
Anecdotes and Selections.
CHRIST AS A MAN.-It is Christ, rather than God, whom Christianity has held up to believers as the pattern of perfection for humanity. It is the God Incarnate rather than the God of the Jews or of nature, who, being idealized, has taken so great and salutary a hold on the modern mind. And whatever else may be taken away from us by rational criticism, Christ is still left; a unique figure, not more unlike all His precursors than all His followers, even those who had the direct benefit of His personal teaching. It is no use to say that Christ, as exhibited in the gospels, is not historical, and that we know not how much of what is admirable has been superadded by the traditions of His followers. Who, among His disciples or among their proselytes, was capable of inventing the sayings ascribed to Jesus, or of imagining the life and character revealed in the gospels? Certainly not the fishermen of Galilee; as certainly not St. Paul, whose character and idiosyncrasies were a totally different sort; still less the early Christian writers, in whom nothing is more evident than the good which was in them was all derived, as they always professed that it was derived, from the higher source. About the life and sayings of Jesus there is a stamp of personal originality, combined profundity of insight, which, if we abandon the idle speculation of finding scientific precision where something very different was aimed at, must place the Prophet of Nazareth, even in the estimation of those who have no belief in His inspiration, in the very first rank of the men of sublime genius of whom our species can boast. When this pre-eminent genius is combined with the qualities of probably the greatest moral reformer and martyr to that mission who ever existed upon earth, religion cannot be said to have made a bad choice in pitching on this man as the ideal representative and guide of humanity; nor even now would it be easy, even for an unbeliever, to find a better translation of the rule of virtue from the abstract into concrete, than to endeavour so to live that Christ would approve our life.-John Stuart Mill.
ANECDOTES AND SELECTIONS.
THE TRAVELLER IN THE SNOW.-A traveller was crossing a mountain height alone over almost untrodden snows. Warning had been given him that if slumber pressed down upon his weary eyelids, they would inevitably be sealed in death. For a time he went bravely along his path. But with the deepening shade and freezing blast of night, there fell a weight upon his brain and eyes which seemed to be irresistible. In vain he tried to reason with himself; in vain he strained his utmost energies to shake off that fatal heaviness. At this crisis of his fate, his foot struck against a heap that lay across his path. No stone was that, although no stone could be colder or more lifeless. He stooped to touch it, and found a human body half buried beneath a fresh drift of snow. The next moment the traveller had taken a brother in his arms, and was chafing his hands and chest and brow, breathing upon the stiff, cold lips the warm breath of a living soul, pressing the silent heart to the beating pulses of his own generous bosom. The effort to save another had brought back to himself life and warmth and energy. He was a man again, instead of a weak creature succumbing to a despairing helplessness, dropping down in dreamless sleep to die. "He saved a brother and was saved himself." -English Hearths and English Homes.
WATCHING FOR RAVENS.-Mrs. Rogers was a poor widow woman who had four little children; the eldest was about eight years old. One evening in the midst of winter, her children were hungry, and she had no food to give them. But she loved and served God; and trusting in Him to provide for their daily bread, she kneeled down to tell Him of their wants and ask Him to supply them. At the close of the prayer, the eldest said to her, "Mother, doesn't the Bible say that God once sent some ravens with bread to a man who was hungry? Don't you think God can send us some ravens with bread now, just as well as He did then? I'm going to open the door, or they can't get in." A few minutes after, the village magistrate passed, and glancing through the open door, said to Mrs. Rogers, " My good friend, how does it happen that your door is standing open this cold winter's night?" "It was my little boy who opened the door a moment ago, in order, as he said, 'that the ravens might come in and bring us bread.' Now it so happened that this gentleman was dressed in black from head to foot. "Ah, indeed!" said he, laughing; "Richard is right. The raven has come, and he is a pretty big one, too. Come with me, my little man, and I will show you where the bread is."
I WILL TELL IT.—Many a physician has gained his practice by one patient telling others of his cure. Tell your neighbour that you have been to the hospital of Jesus, and been restored, though you hated all manner of meat, and drew near to the gates of death, and maybe a poor soul will say, "This is a message from God to me." Above all, publish abroad the Lord's goodness, for Jesus' sake. He deserves your honour. Will you receive His blessing, and then, like the nine lepers, give Him no praise? Will you be like the woman in the crowd who was healed by touching the hem of His garment, and then would have slipped away? If so, I pray that the Master may say, "Somebody
ANECDOTES AND SELECTIONS.
hath touched Me;" and may you be compelled to say, "I was sore sick in soul, but I touched Thee, O my blessed Lord, and I am saved, and to the praise of the glory of Thy grace I will tell it, though devils should hear it; I will tell it, and make the world ring with it, according to my ability, to the praise of Thy saving grace."-Spurgeon.
GOD'S ALARM CLOCK. - Now, conscience is God's alarm clock. God has wound it up so that it may warn us whenever we are tempted to do that which is wrong. It gives the alarm. It seems to say, "Take care. God sees you. Stop!" How important it is to have a conscience that will always warn us of the danger of sin! But if we desire such a conscience, we must be willing to listen to it. If we stop when it says "Stop," if we do what it tells us to do, then we shall always hear it. But if we get into the habit of not heeding its warning, and not doing what it tells us to do, then, by and by, we shall cease to hear it. Our conscience will sleep, its voice of warning will be hushed, and we shall then be like a vessel at sea that has no compass to point out the right way, and no rudder to keep it in that way.
DR. CHANNING.-Dr. Channing was walking on the beach at Newport with a lady. "When I look," said she, " at the sweep of the ocean and its power, and think of the infinite range beyond, I feel myself so small as to be all insignificant. Do not you?" 66 My dear friend," said
he, "when I look at the infinite ocean, I do not think of myself at all."
THE CHINAMAN.-A Chinaman in San Francisco was rudely pushed into the mud from a street-crossing by an American. He picked himself up very calmly, shook off some of the mud, bowed very politely, and said, with a mild, reproving tone, to the offender, "You Christian, me heathen; good-bye!"
IN one of Horace Walpole's letters occurs this paragraph; he is praising a certain childless couple, and the sweet life they were living away on the side of a small estate. He says:-"They may comfort themselves with having no children when they recollect that the earliest-born of men committed murder with the jaw-bone of an ass-a deadly weapon, I am sure.
William Hazlitt, in like carelessness, says it was "the Samaritan" who prayed, "Lord, be merciful to me, a sinner."
Leigh Hunt declares that the poet Shelley, of whom he was writing a defence, was a student of the book of Job, but for his Christianity he went to the Gospel of St. James."
Thackeray states that it was Eli for whom his mother made some "little shirts" every year, instead of Samuel, for whom Hannah made
And in the earlier editions of the story of Paul Dombey, Charles Dickens sets one of the stupid boys in that school where the little chap learned the rudiments, at repeating a chapter "from the first Epistle