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and do it with the speed of Ariel. Here we
are already in the heats of the equator. We
can do no more than remark, that if air and
water are heated at the equator, and frozen
at the poles, there will be equilibrium
destroyed, and constant currents caused.
And so it happens, so we get the prevailing
winds, and all the currents of the ocean. Of
these, some of the uses, but by no means all,
are obvious. We urge our "Phantom" fleetly
to the southern pole. Here, over the other
hemisphere of the earth, there shines another
hemisphere of heaven. The stars are changed;
the southern cross, the Magellanic clouds, the
"coal-sack " in the milky way, attract our
notice. Now we are in the southern latitude
that corresponds to England in the north;
nay, at a greater distance from the pole, we
find Kerguelen's Land, emphatically called
"The Isle of Desolation." Icebergs float
much further into the warm sea on this side
of the equator, before they dissolve. The
South Pole is evidently a more thorough
refrigerator than the North. Why is this?
We shall soon see. We push through pack-ice,
and through floes and fields, by lofty
bergs, by an island or two covered with
penguins, until there lies before us a long
range of mountains, nine or ten thousand feet
in height, and all clad in eternal snow. That
is a portion of the Southern Continent.
Lieutenant Wilkes, in the American exploring
expedition, first discovered this, and
mapped out some part of the coast, putting a
few clouds in likewise,—a mistake easily
made by those who omit to verify every foot
of land . Sir James Ross, in his most successful
South Pole Expedition, during the years
1839-43, sailed over some of this land, and
confirmed the rest. The Antarctic, as well as
the Arctic honours he secured for England, by
turning a corner of the land, and sailing far
southward, along an impenetrable icy barrier,
to the latitude of seventy-eight degrees, nine
minutes. It is an elevated continent, with
many lofty ranges. In the extreme southern
point reached by the ships, a magnificent
volcano was seen spouting fire and smoke out
of the everlasting snow. This volcano, twelve
thousand four hundred feet high, was named
Mount Erebus; for the " Erebus " and
"Terror " now sought anxiously among the
bays, and sounds, and creeks of the North
Pole, then coasted by the solid ice walls of
the south. Only as " Phantoms " can we
cross this land and live. These lofty mountain
ranges, cold to the marrow, these vast
glaciers and elevated plains of ice, no wonder
that they cast a chill about their neighbourhood.
Our very ghosts are cold, and the
volcanoes only make the frost colder by
contrast. We descend upon the other side,
take ship again, and float up the
Atlantic, through the tropics. We have been
round the world now, and among the ice,
and have not grown much older since we
started.

THE TWO ROADS.

IT was New Year's night. An aged man
was standing at a window. He raised his
mournful eyes towards the deep blue sky,
where the stars were floating like white lilies
on the surface of a clear calm lake. Then
he cast them on the earth, where few more
hopeless beings than himself now moved
towards their certain goalthe tomb. Already
he had passed sixty of the stages which lead
to it, and he had brought from his journey
nothing but errors and remorse. His health
was destroyed, his mind vacant, his heart
sorrowful, and his old age devoid of comfort.
The days of his youth rose up in a vision
before him, and he recalled the solemn moment,
when his father had placed him at the
entrance of two roads, one leading into a peaceful
sunny land, covered with a fertile harvest,
and resounding with soft sweet songs; while
the other conducted the wanderer into a deep
dark cave, whence there was no issue, where
poison flowed instead of water, and where
serpents hissed and crawled.

He looked towards the sky, and cried out in
his agony:—" O youth return! O my father,
place me once more at the entrance to life,
that I may choose the better way!"

But the days of his youth, and his father had
both passed away. He saw wandering lights
floating far away over dark marshes, and
then disappearthese were the days of his
wasted life. He saw a star fall from heaven
and vanish in darkness. This was an emblem
of himself; and the sharp arrows of unavailing
remorse struck home to his heart. Then
he remembered his early companions, who
entered on life with him, but who, having
trod the paths of virtue and of labour, were
now happy and honoured on this New Year's
night. The clock in the high church tower
struck, and the sound, falling on his ear,
recalled his parents' early love for him, their
erring son; the lessons they had taught him;
the prayers they had offered up on his behalf.
Overwhelmed with shame and grief, he dared
no longer look towards that heaven where
his father dwelt; his darkened eyes dropped
tears, and with one despairing effort he
cried aloud, " Come back, my early days!
come back!"

And his youth did return; for all this was
but a dream which visited his slumbers on
New Year's night. He was still young; his
faults alone were real. He thanked God
fervently that time was still his own, that he
had not yet entered the deep, dark cavern, but
that he was free to tread the road leading to
the peaceful land, where sunny harvests
wave.

Ye who still linger on the threshold of life,
doubting which path to choose, remember
that when years are passed, and your feet
stumble on the dark mountain, you will cry
bitterly, but cry in vain—" O youth, return!
O give me back my early days!"

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