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pressions, are applied to this ancient city. Babylon was a square enclosed by walls, and each of its sides measured, according to some writers, fifteen miles; but it is not presumed that it was wholly inhabited, or that the houses were contiguous. It was embellished by gardens supported by arches, in terraces raised one above another, on which the soil was sufficiently deep to permit the growth of large trees; and the most luxuriant shrubs and splendid flowers were disposed to produce the most brilliant effect. These are usually called hanging gardens.
Cyrus, king of Persia conquered Babylon B. C. 533 ; and Xerxes, on his return from his Grecian expedition, laid it in ruins. Alexander of Macedon proposed to rebuild Babylon, but he did not live to effect that intention. Soon after the death of Alexander B. C.336, 500,000 of the inhabitants of Babylon were withdrawn to Seleucia, and after that time Babylon became that desolate place described by the prophet Isaiah.
Isaiah's prophecies are dated from 760, to 798, B. C. and though this was nearly two centuries before the captivity of his countrymen, and more than four previous to the ruin of Babylon, the prophet foretelsl the restoration of the Jews, and the desolation of their oppressors.
The 15th chapter of Isaiah contains a gracious promise of God's mercy to his people, and a sublime and highly poetical denunciation of divine vengeance against the proud power which enslaved them.
" For the Lord will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land : and the strangers shall be joined with them, and they shall cleave to the house of Jacob. And the people shall take them, and bring them to their place: and the house of Israel shall possess them in the land of the Lord for. servants and handmaids : and they shall take them captives, whose captives they were ; and they shall rule over their oppressors. “And it shall come to pass in the day that the Cord shall give thee rest from thy sorrow, and from thy fear, and from the hard bondage wherein thou wast made to serve.
26 That thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say, How hath the oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased! The Lord hath broken the staff of the wicked, and the sceptre of the rulers. He who smote the people in wrath, with a continual stroke, he that ruled the nations in anger, is persecuted, and none hindereth. The whole earth is at rest, and is quiet: they break forth into singing. Yea, the fir trees rejoice at thee, and the cedars of Lebanon, saying, Since thou art laid down, no feller is come up against us. Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming : it stirreth up the dead for thee, even all the chief ones of the earth; it raiseth up from their thrones all the kings of the nations. All they shall speak and say unto thee, Art thou also become weak as we ? art thou become like unto us? Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy viols : the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee.
How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning ! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds: I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake
kingdoms; that made the world as a wilderness, and ** destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of
his prisoners ? All the kings of the nations, even all of them, lie in glory, every one in his own house.
“ But thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch, and as the raiment of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; as a carcase trodden under feet. Thou shalt not be joined with them in burial, because thou hast de. stroyed thy land, and slain thy people : the seed of evildoers shall never be renowned. Prepare slaughter for his children for the iniquity of their fathers; that they do not rise, nor possess the land, nor fill the face of the world with cities. For I will rise up against them, saith the Lord of hosts, and cut off from Babylon the name, and remnant, and son, and nephew, saith the Lord. I will also make it a possession for the bittern, and pools of water : and I will sweep it with the besom of destruction, saith the Lord of hosts.
The Lord of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass ; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand: That I will break the Assyrian in my land, and upon my mountains tread him under foot : then shall his yoke depart from off them, and his burden depart from off their shoulders."
The consummateness of the destruction which was foreshown by Isaiah, is yet more impressively described in the Apocalypse of St. John.
“ That great city, Babylon, shall be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all. And the voices of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee : and no craftsmen, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee; and the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee.” Rev. c. 18, v. 21 -23.
It is proper to remark that St. John, who wrote this passage, lived long after the destruction of Babylon, and that it is supposed he did not intend to represent the ruin of Babylon herself, but of Rome. Rome, from her magnitude and splendour, was sometimes called a second Babylon : She was at the summit of her glory when the apostle wrote the prophetic book of the Revelations, and he foresaw that her fate nearly resembled that of the Chaldean Babylon.
TO A FRIEND ON NEW YEAR'S DAY. Sudden to cease, or gently to decline, Oh, power of Mercy! may the lot be mine : Let me not linger on the verge of fate, Nor weary duty to its utmost date ;. Losing, in pain's impatient gloom confin'd, Freedom of thought and dignity of mind; Till pity views, untouch'd, the parting breath, And cold indiff'rence adds a pang to death. Yet is to suffer long my doom is cast, Let me preserve this temper to the last. Oh let me still from self my feelings bear, To sympathize with sorrow's starting tear : Nor sadden at the smile which joy bestows, Though far from me her beam ethereal glows. Let me remember in the gloom of age, To smile at follies happier youth engage; See them fallacious, but indulgent spare The fairy dreams experience cannot share ; Nor view the rising morn with jaundic'd eye, Because for me, no more the sparkling moments fly.
The amiable and sensible writer of the preceding verses, was Mrs. John Hunter, the wife of the celebrated anatomist.
Ye wise! secure with gates of brass
No art of man can us compel. Barbauld. * Riddles are of high antiquity, and were the employment of grave men formerly. The first riddle that we have on record was proposed by Sampson at a wedding feast to the young men of the Philistines, who were invited upon the occasion. The feast lasted seven days; and if they found it out within the seven days, Sampson was to give them thirty suits of clothes and thirty sheets; and if they could not guess it, they were to forfeit the same to him. The riddle was: Out of the eater came forth meat, and out of the strong came forth sweetness. He had killed a lion, and left its carcase ; on returning soon after, he found a swarm of bees had made use of the skeleton as a hive, and it was full of honey-comb. Struck with the oddness of the circumstance, he made a riddle
LUCY AIKIN. Miss Ajkin is a niece of the late Mrs. Barbauld. She is known as the historian of the British Queen, Elizabeth, and her successor, James I; but she has not confined her attention to such high themes, she has composed books for the young, and her little work, Poetry for Children, is among the best initiatory collections. Many of the sub- . sequent pieces are extracted from it. .
THE BEGGAR MAN. ;