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of the excavated halls and chambers, as they appeared when fully explored. Let us imagine ourselves issuing from tent near the village in the plain. On approaching the mound, not a trace of building can be perceived, except a small mud hut covered with reeds, erected for the accommodation of my Chaldæan workmen. We ascend this artificial hill, but still see no ruins, not a stone protruding from the soil. There is only a broad, level platform before us, perhaps covered with a luxuriant crop of barley, or may be yellow and parched, without a blade of vegetation, except here and there a scanty tuft of camel-thorn. Low black heaps, surrounded by brushwood and dried grass, a thin column of smoke issuing from the midst of them, may be seen here and there. These are the tents of the Arabs; and a few miserable old women are groping about them, picking up camels’-dung or dry twigs. One or two girls, with firm step and erect carriage, are perceived just reaching the top of the mound, with the water-jar on their shoulders, or a bundle of brushwood on their heads. On all sides of us, apparently issuing from under ground, are long lines of wild-looking beings, with dishevelled hair, their limbs only half concealed by a short, loose shirt, some jumping and capering, and all hurrying to and fro, shouting like madmen. Each one carries a basket; and as he reaches the edge of the mound, or convenient spot near, empties its contents, raising at the same time a cloud of dust. He then returns at the top of his speed, dancing and yelling as before, and flourishing his basket over his head; again he suddenly disappears in the bowels of the earth, from whence he emerged. These are the workman employed in removing the rubbish from the ruins. We will descend into the principal trench, by a flight of steps rudely cut into the earth, near the western face of the mound. As we approach it, we find a party of Arabs bending on their knees, and intently gazing at something beneath them. Each holds his long spear, tufted with ostrich feathers, in one hand; and in the other the halter of his mare, which stands patiently behind him. The party consists of a Bedouin sheikh from the desert, and his followers, who, having heard strange reports of the wonders of Nimroud, have made several days' journey to remove their doubts, and satisfy their curiosity. The sheikh rises as he hears us approach, and if we wish to
escape the embrace of a very dirty stranger, we had better at once hurry into the trenches. We descend about twenty feet, and suddenly find ourselves between a pair of colossal lions, winged and human-headed, forming a portal.
In the subterraneous labyrinth which we have reached, all is bustle and confusion. Arabs are running about in different directions ; some bearing baskets filled with earth, other
carrying the water-jars to their companions. The Chaldæans or Tiyari, in their striped dresses and curious conical caps, are digging with picks into the tenacious earth, raising a dense cloud of fine dust at every stroke. The wild strains of Kurdish music may be heard occasionally issuing from some distant part of the ruins, and if they are caught by the parties at work, the Arabs join their voices in chorus, raise the war-cry, and labor with renewed energy. Leaving behind us a small chamber, in which the sculptures are distinguished by a want of finish in the execution, and considerable rudeness in the design of the ornaments, we issue from between the winged lions, and enter the remains of the principal hall. On both sides of us are sculptured gigantic winged figures; some with the heads of eagles, others entirely human, and carrying mysterious symbols in their hands. To the left is another portal, also formed by winged lions. One of them has, however, fallen across the entrance, and there is just room to creep beneath it. Beyond this portal is a winged figure, and slabs with bas-reliefs; but they have been so much injured that we can scarcely trace the subject upon
them. Further on there are no traces of wall, although a deep trench has been opened. The opposite side of the hall has also disåppeared, and we only see a high wall of earth. On examining it attentively, we can detect the marks of masonry; and we soon find that it is a solid structure built of bricks of unbaked clay; now of the same color as the surrounding soil, and scarcely to be distinguished from it. The slabs of alabaster, fallen from their original position, have, however, been raised; and we tread in the midst of a maze of small bas-reliefs, representing chariots, horsemen, battles, and sieges. Perhaps the workmen are about to raise a slab for the first time; and we watch, with eager curiosity, what new event of Assyrian history, or what unknown custom or religious ceremony, may be illus
trated by the sculpture beneath. Having walked about one hundred feet amongst these scattered monuments of ancient history and art, we reach another door-way, formed by gigantic winged bulls in yellow limestone. One is still entire ; but its companion has fallen, and is broken into several pieces—the great human head is at our feet. We pass on without turning into the part of the building to which this portal leads. Beyond it we see another winged figure, holding a graceful flower in its hand, and apparently presenting it as an offering to the winged bull. Adjoining this sculpture we find eight fine bas-reliefs. There is the king hunting and triumphing over the lion and wild bull; and the siege of the castle, with the battering-ram. We have now reached the end of the hall, and find before us an elaborate and beautiful sculpture, representing two kings, standing beneath the emblem of the supreme deity, and attended by winged figures. Between them is the sacred tree. In front of this bas-relief is the great stone platform, upon which, in days of old, may have been placed the throne of the Assyrian monarch, when he received his captive enemies, or his courtiers. To the left of us is a fourth outlet from the hall, formed by another pair of lions. We issue from between them, and find ourselves on the edge of a deep ravine, to the north of which rises, high above us, the lofty pyramid. Figures of captives bearing objects of tribute-ear-rings, bracelets, and monkeysmay be seen on walls near this ravine; and two enormous bulls, and two winged figures above fourteen feet high, are lying on its very edge. As the ravine bounds the ruins on this side, we must return to the yellow bulls. Passing through the entrance formed by them, we enter a large chamber surrounded by eagle-headed figures : at one end of it is a doorway guarded by two priests or divinities, and in the centre another portal with winged bulls. Whichever way we turn, we find ourselves in the midst of a nest of rooms; and without an acquaintance with the intricacies of the place, we should soon lose ourselves in this labyrinth. The accumulated rubbish being generally left in the centre of the chambers, the whole excavation consists of a number of narrow passages, panelled on one side with slabs of alabaster, and shut in on the other by a high wall of earth, half buried; in which may here and there be seen a broken vase,
or a brick painted with brilliant colors. We may wander through these galleries for an hour or two, examining the marvellous sculptures, or the numerous inscriptions that surround us. Here we meet long rows of kings, attended by their eunuchs and priests—their lines of winged figures, carrying fircones and religious emblems, and seemingly in adoration before the mystic tree. Other entrances, formed by winged lions and bulls, lead us into new chambers. In every one of them are fresh objects of curiosity and surprise. At length, wearied, we issue from the buried edifice by a trench on the opposite side to that by which we entered, and find ourselves again on the naked platform. We look around in vain for any traces of the wonderful remains we have just seen, and are half inclined to believe that we have dreamed a dream, or have been listening to some tale of eastern romance. Some, who may hereafter tread on the spot when the grass again grows over the ruins of the Assyrian palaces, may indeed suspect that I have been relating a vision.”—Layard's Nineveh.
THE FALL OF WOLSEY. “ The folly and the danger of unlawful ambition is the great lesson to be learned from Wolsey's life. Ambition is not in itself evil. It is a constitutional thirst of our nature, and is lawful when it does not seek gratification at the sacrifice of our neighbour's welfare, or at the cost of virtue and religion in the individual concerned.
“ Wolsey followed after supremacy in the council of his sovereign, and supremacy in the church. Say—that the election of the first of these objects was not in itself wrong. But herein Wolsey erred. He did not
-Hasten to the goal of fame
Between the posts of dutyWolsey crossed the course when he ought to have compassed it. The following facts prove this. When Wolsey was made cardinal, his hat was sent by a common messenger in a common bag. Wolsey hearing of this, stopped the messenger in his road, covered him with costly apparel, and conveyed the hat with as much pomp to the high altar of Westminster Abbey, as though it were the living pope himself. Then, when Campeggio
arrived, Wolsey hearing that his retinue was mean, sent forward to the cardinal, mules and gorgeous trappings to increase his procession, and to swell his pomp. To use Leigh Hunt's words, Wolsey knew well, “ how to cook up a raw material of dignity for the public relish.” In this latter case, Wolsey's cookery was spoiled. Among other things, Wolsey sent forward a quantity of scarlet cloth with which to cover the cardinal's baggage. The people were deluded into the idea that these covered trunks contained presents to the king. In solemn pomp, the procession moves through Cheapside. The people gape with wonder at these scarlet-clad coffers. But the mules become restive, the trunks are thrown to the ground, the scarlet cloth is unfastened, and the beggary of the cardinal's baggage is the derision of all. Wolsey's ambition was unlawful in the use of ostentatious artifice and lying show.
“In intrigue Wolsey's ambition was exercised. Without appearing to do it, he certainly undermined Chancellor Warham that he might himself carry the seal. He promised the French king his support when he was conspiring against him by similar overtures to the emperor. He endeavored by bribes to corrupt the Scottish nobles and to withdraw their allegiance from their king. He attempted to purchase the votes of the cardinals for his own election to the popedom. He promised friendship to France when he intended war, and he formed leagues with Germany which he never meant to keep. In all this great skill is shown, but the immorality is detestable. Like the chess-bishop, Wolsey in his foreign policy always moves obliquely. Hereby he sought satisfaction for his ambition.
“And Wolsey, to those whose favor seemed important to his welfare, was a low and sordid man-pleaser. In this respect Ignatius Loyola was in contrast with Wolsey as an angel to a man, and Hildebrand and St. Bernard were above him as gods. In pleasing the great, Wolsey put forth his ambition. The vice that shines in this is as dark as the talent is bright. And Wolsey had no regard to the rights of others in his attainment of wealth. But we must not linger.
“ In one word—Wolsey's self, by Wolsey's ambition, was increased beyond all proportion and elevated above its sphere. If