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our minds played the like. It resembled a fairy dream, in which each scene seemed "picked out as an example for the best."
But while lost in admiration, I have forgotten that the cars have been ruralizing toward the valley of the "royal toward Thames." Our outstretched necks have discerned its winding mist already. Already is the eye peopled dim, with figures of Westminster, the Tower, the Parliament Houses, and above all, the Palace of Crystal!
Sure enough here we are in the Depot; and not yet out of the country;-in London, but still it is rus in urbe. We are flanked by terraced gardens and foliage. Robins and thrushes make music, while we rumble to our stopping point. The charms of the day cling like good genii to the last as if determined to impress into our deepest hearts the adoration of England's Bard of Olney, who attuned, years ago, our own spirit as he sung of him, who looked abroad upon the varied fields, the mountains, the valleys, and the resplendent views of Nature. and by virtue of his filial confidence in the Creator of this delightful scenery, could call it all his own, with a propriety which none could feel, but he who could
"Lift to heaven an unpresumptuons eye, And smiling say, 'My Father made it all.'"
The Brittle Wonder, and a Royal Chase.
"A wilderness of building, sinking far
And self withdrawn, into a wondrous depth,
HE morning of the 21st of May found us in London, amid its coaches, drays, dog-carts, phaetons, choked roads, its whirl of wheels and its war of confused noises. Never was there such a horse and vehicle-loving people as the English; judging by the manifold and multiform vehicles which crowd and clog the thoroughfares. Not alone in Picadilly, the Fleet, Cheapside, and the neighborhood of St. Paul's, where streets have recently been cut through great blocks of houses to give passage to the throngs; but in the less compacted parts of the city, and just now in the neighborhood of Hyde Park, near the Crystal Palace, is there to be found involutions of wondrous perplexity, consisting of cab and carriage, horse and footman, go-cart and poney; but all moving and winding with the precision of machinery, under the unostentatious power of an efficient police.
Without that power, what a complexity would London be to a stranger? With it, access is made easy to every point worth seeing. Our first venture abroad was toward the Crystal Palace. Upon our way thither, we passed the famous Apsley House of Wellington, and the great equestrian statue of the Iron Duke.
But the one great ornament;-the desire to view which, prompted our journey hitherward, was the Crystal Palace. Well,-our eyes have seen it. But how shall we reproduce its
wonders for the eye of others? Never since" Dardanian hands," at the command of King Brutus, began this town of Londinum has there been such a rare and glorious spectacle as that which now glitters under the May sunshine in Hyde Park! This is a bold saying; but the documents, in the shape of royal catalogues and colored engravings, lie around my table, and they afford most practical proof. Our verdict, by actual inspection, has also been rendered, but not reduced to writing. This latter is most diffi cult. I have been afraid to undertake to tell how my senses have been raptured. After loitering amidst the manifold splendors and intricate complexities of this "industrious" world, the mind has become benumbed, and refuses to officiate but tardily. It seemeth as if a 66 star had burst within the brain," and that the rockets and pyrotechnic beauties were still going off in the chambers of imagery.
Nathless I essay. The reader who undertakes to form an idea of this crystal structure of wonders, from these feeble limnings, might as well judge of the palace visually by one pane of glass, or of its contents by the India-rubber trowsers in Uncle Sam's department.
When the palace burst upon our view, which it did as we approached the transept on the southern side, all was intense eagerness; every hand went up, but not a word was said!
There it stood the cynosure of industry! How fragile, yet how substantial; so gorgeous in its colorings; with the flags of all nations playing in the breeze; its guard of majestic trees about it; extending nearly nineteen hundred feet, and running back one-fourth of that distance; with its six thousand iron columns, painted blue, red and white, in grateful variety; covering nearly thirty acres in a magnificent park, and radiant and glowing, yet transparent under the mellow shine of this May morning! Where under heaven was ever raised such a struc ture of beauty and magnificence? We have read of glittering ice turrets among the Alps, with pillars pellucid, and "glorious as the gates of heaven beneath the keen full moon." Imagina
tion has penetrated the earth with her fires and illuminated grotto within grotto, embossed and fretted, and reflecting and refracting the light into manifold splendors. We remember the famous ice-palace of the Russian Queen-that Northern wonder which Cowper illumined with his fancy,-built without forest or quarry, whose marble was the glassy wave, whose cement was water, and which, when lighted within, gleamed a clear transpa Somewhat thus, though far otherwise, gleamed this structure of JOSEPH PAXTON-this palace of Industry.
So stood the brittle prodigy, though smooth,
--Mirrors needed none
Where all was vitreus.
In the evanescent glory of the ice-palace, the poet saw an undesigned severity in imagining the cold, yet glittering, the durable, yet transient fabric of human grandeur and courtly pride. How is it with this Crystal Palace, wherein is really seen, not fantastically imaged, the fruits of human progress, resulting from the common labor of all men, springing from the germs implanted within our common nature by our Creator, and by Him, in his own good pleasure developed into forms as exquisite as they are beautiful! Yonder, before our rapt vision, stands no ice-frolic of haughty power; but a glowing enshrinement for the objects of mingled beauty and utility, which Thought has produced in every clime. It is no pyramidal monument to Pride, no classic temple for Beauty to linger under; but a form in which is sanctified the loveliness of that religion which would cultivate the amenities of good will, peace and purity! I devoutly thank God, that He has permitted me to view this common shrine among the nations-this brittle, yet firm bond of brotherhood, this crystal medium through which a better day doth glimmer.
To have stood the half hour we were compelled to stand, before the arched centre, awaiting the hour of admission, and to have enjoyed the vision, were worth a pilgrimage around the world, including several sea-voyages.
We pay and enter severally. Only one can enter at a time. Our first step is marked down by a machine, which tells the number who visit here daily. These numbers average from thirty to fifty thousand.
It was no sinecure office to make an inventory of the immensity of the minutia here collected. But no description, however minute, can give the effect of the first view from the centre down the four aisles. But before you reach that centre, you pass the equestrian statue of Victoria, flanked by two pieces of statuary, -groups of Amazons, and Zephyr and Aurora. Then bursts upon your view the far-famed glass fountain, under the dome, flinging not only from its five tons of flint glass every hue of the prism in a flood of beauty, but a graceful jet of water which rivals the crystal in purity, as it curls in a smooth sheet and branches into a myriad of lesser prisms. As you gaze on it, surrounded by palm trees from Madagascar, and overshadowing foliage with flowers,
The growing wonder takes a thousand shapes
The likeness of some object seen before.
Thus has British Art worked as if to mock at Nature. my eye, each radiant point of this fountain gleamed more gorgeously than the great diamond "Koh-i-Noor," or Mountain of Light, which, as the Queen's contribution, and standing near the fountain on the right, deserves high honor in the catalogue.
We have you at the fountain. Before you, gush and bubble two other fountains, interspersed with tropical plants and every variety of flowers. Each one of these flower groups would reward an hour's view.