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imagine with what thunder it rolls onward through a channel beset with rocks innumerable. After running about seventy miles it reaches Coleraine, and is there calm and serene, as though penitent for its long course of discord and contention. From Coleraine to its junction with the North Sea, the distance is four miles. In the neighbourhood of Coleraine Bridge fish abound. The "salmon leaps" are two, and there is therefore little chance of freedom for the fish. It would be easy to describe the means provided against its escape; the weirs of solid stone; the gratings or "traps" which silently receive the victims and retain their coveted selves until the fatal change from water to crushed-ice occurs.

From Coleraine to Port Rush we pass through a novel country. The journey from Ballymena formerly opened out a world of bog, but now it is not so. Certainly the characteristic of Ireland is still somewhat apparent; yet, if you judged Ireland from what you now see, its main feature would by no means be bog.

Some hundreds of yards before you arrive at Port Rush, an unexpected and charming view presents itself. A break in the road reveals to you the rolling waters of the North Sea, with the little pier of the town, and the cliffs of Port Rush below you. Your prospect is extensive; by mounting the side road, you can see perhaps thirty miles Derry-way, and to your right, the coast to the extent of several leagues.

From Port Rush, the tourist takes a boat "to the Causeway." But, in truth, the Causeway Proper is not seen. Where it commences, there you get out, and, landing on the rocks, pursue a winding path to the excellent hotel on the cliffs.

But we have not yet arrived, and I have to jot down a note or two regarding the scenery. A trip of nine miles, by water and by such a coast, cannot fail to possess some attractions.

Fairly on your way, you lay back and think a little. "Home" and its associations press into memory; and the silence of the waters, so unbroken, save by the regular "dip, dip" of the oars, is an excellent assistant to reflection. Possibly you recall, too, a coast whose scenery was similar; and, looking over the stern, you imagine in the green sea some old and well-remembered face now dead to you—

"a thing

O'er which the raven flaps her funeral wings."

But the charm is broken. You hear an unexpected splash, and are made acquainted with a porpoise which rolls its burly form along in a manner strongly remindful of Sam Johnson, and then disappears "full fathom five." It is useless again to court quiet dreams; so, with an effort, like that of young Copperfield, when he strove to speak gruffly, you fall into chat with the boatmen. From them you derive certain bits of information; as that the sea-fishing here is farmed by a Mr. Black, who pays £400 per annum for the right. And in your subsequent rambles from the Causeway to Carrickfergus, you are forcibly struck with the notion that Mr. Black possibly makes a goodish thing of it; for in every town through which you pass, coast salmon await the carrier, nicely packed up in wicker baskets, strewn with ice and secured with straw.

Your boatmen point out in the distance a shapeless, indistinct mass; it is Rathlin Island. "A bad place," says one; sure there's two wracks lying on the beach at this moment." Still on, through the dancing water, its waves glittering in the sunlight and looking like blended amethysts and gold. Fine fishing here. "Wish we'd some hand-lines," says one rower, as he spits into his horny fist and grasps the oar anew.

We are breast to breast with the White Rocks. They stretch out some

distance, rising from the shore to a considerable height; bulwarks of limestone. White they are, and contrast remarkably with the black cliffs farther east, which join the pale ones with great abruptness. This phenomenon is not the result of waves or sea-breeze; if you dug twenty feet into the respective cliffs, you would find the respective tints of either rock still preserved.

But these White Rocks are truly curious. The shapes they assume often astonish and always delight.

I have seen several curious natural rocks, yet none to supersede these, in variety at least. Walking from Carnarvon to Beddgelert, in North Wales, a rock lies by the highroad, which is called "William Pitt's Head." It presents, on a gigantic scale, an exact portrait, in bold relief, of that Chancellor of the Exchequer who raised and calmed the troubled spirit of the Mutiny at Spithead; eyes, nose, mouth, every feature is detectable, yet never a sculptor's chisel has had a hand in it. But these rocks on the PortRush coast have equal recommendations. In succession you row past the "Priest's Cave," a singularly formed cavern, with its legend not wanting, and possessing two entrances; then "Jackson's Cave," with its legend; and, by the way, it is from this spot that the finest and most delicate gravel is obtained; "The Parliament House," a square chamber dignified with its legend, too; and then you see "Lot's wife." Not that pillar which travellers tell you stood, to within a recent date, on the shore of Lake Asphaltes; not that remarkable ossification of feminine gender which, being measured, was pronounced thirty feet high; but a rock, standing detached from the cliff, and in general contour not unlike a female figure. Even while you gaze on her, two fisher lads approach the beach, and when you lazily ask the boatmen "what those fellows are after?" "A-going to see Lot's wife!" one answers, with a horse-laugh.

Still coasting the White Rocks, we arrive at "The Pulpit," a half-dome in the cliff, not unlike one of those ancient pulpits from which our sturdy reformers spake in words of thunder; but though concave, its figure has some resemblance to a Gothic window; and as you look, you think that the half of a pear would, if inverted, furnish the true form of this pulpit of Nature. What is this? Nobly situated on the high cliff, stands a time-worn castle-the ruin of Dunluce. A cave in the rocks seems to penetrate to its very vitals; indeed, between the castle interior and the castle cave a communication still exists. Black, frowning ruin! What tongue shall tell of the deeds that may have occurred in thy precincts?-what pen shall paint the midnight scenes when victims left thy dungeons, and, being conveyed through that subterraneous passage, gave their dying breaths to the bleak sea-breeze, and found rest at last in the ocean-bed?

I know not the age of Dunluce, but it is said to be very old. It is one of the finest of those ruined fortresses, of which Ireland contains so many. The keep, or tower, stands on a rocky cliff, separated from the mainland by a chasm several hundred feet deep, and all around, except on one side, are beetling crags, that might safely defy the quickest eye and surest foot, and against those black grim rocks, the sea, roiling in one unbroken swell from icy regions of the pole, beats with an everlasting roar; and in stormy winter weather, when roused by a north-west gale, it often flings its spray, as if in mockery of man and his works, upon the grass-grown floor of the ancient hall. The walls are still nearly all standing. Hall and kitchen, and courtyard, tower and battlement, are still distinctly marked; the stone stairs, in some of the towers, being still perfect. Like old Nuremberg, its walls are wreathed about with

"Memories of the Middle Ages."

VOL. II.

B

We row past Dunluce, and the Black Rocks begin. "Ah," says one man in the boat, in contradiction to the truth, "once these rocks were white. Everything was made clean at the Creation, but Time has cast his shadow on their surfaces." "A shabby trick, by Saint Patrick!" says the “bowoar."

Port Roon Cave; the sea high, and boatmen unwilling to enter. Our boat gets into broken water, and for the next ten minutes we are in danger, the sea splashes in, and our chaps at the oar are not at all sanguine; but at last we get out, and ride on the rolling waters, now poised on a giant wave, and now sweeping down into the valley, down, down; to be again mounted on the climbing billows.

The coast scenery continues to furnish delight, and the buildings in the neighbourhood of the cliffs are not unnoticed. Some of the gentlemen's seats are finely constructed, and their situation sets them off to the best advantage.

But let us suppose the boatmen to have fulfilled their charge.

We are at the Causeway Landing, and it is necessary to climb the cliffs before you can get a sight of the hotel to which, in the first instance, appetite prompts. On the beach stands that old guide M'Mullin, who proffers his hand to assist you in stepping ashore. He will be happy, as he says, "to show your gentleman's honour the 'otel, an' maybe in the mornin' your honour would be so obligingly kind as to employ him as guide."

An honest, decent, old fellow is M'Mullin. He has the Irish blarney on his tongue; but his actions are sincere, and he faithfully fulfils his trust. For about thirty years he has been the cicerone of tourists and visitors, and is a remarkable compound of truth and fiction. His legends, and the homely way in which he recites them, cannot fail to give pleasure; and it is a notable truth that in the old man's observations you will find great and keen good sense, and no contemptible amount of knowledge. He was the guide of Sir Humphrey Davy, who visited these parts, of Jones the geologist, and of many others.

Basalt exists in several quarters of the world. In America and Asia we find it, wholesale, and in Europe. Where the Missouri rolis, and in the Deccan, you discover it. Nealer home, in England, Scotland, and (peculiarly) in the sister Isle. You may trace a curious similarity between the basaltic columns of Mexico and those of the Giant's Stack, County Antrim. Basalt withstands many tests, but is fusible, and therefore of volcanic origin. That there was a period when some tremendous convulsion threw up this Giant's Causeway is considered certain by geologists. The principal or grand causeway (there being several considerable and scattered fragments of a similar nature), consists of an irregular arrangement of many hundred thousands of columns, formed of a black rock, nearly as hard as marble. The greater part of them are pentagonal, but so closely and compactly situated on their sides, though perfectly distinct from top to bottom, that scarcely anything can be introduced between them. These columns are of an unequal height and breadth; several of the most elevated, visible above the surface of the strand, and at the foot of the impending angular precipice, are of the height of about twenty feet, which they do not exceed, at least not any of the principal arrangement. How deeply they are fixed in the strand, has never yet been ascertained.

This grand arrangement extends nearly two hundred yards, as it is visible at low water; but how far beyond is uncertain; from its declining appearance, however, at low water, it is probable that it does not reach beneath the water to a distance equal to that which is seen above. breadth of the principal Causeway, which runs out in one continued range

The

of columns, is in general from twenty to thirty feet; in some parts it may, for a short distance, be nearly forty. From this account are excluded the broken and scattered pieces of the same kind of construction, which are detached from the sides of the grand Causeway, as they do not appear to have ever been contiguous to the principal arrangement, although they have been frequently comprehended in the width, which has led to some wild and dissimilar representations of this causeway, in the different accounts that have been given. Its highest part is the narrowest, at the very spot of the impending cliff, whence the whole projects; and there, for about the same space in length, its width is not more than from twelve to fifteen feet. The columns of this narrow part incline from a perpendicular a little to the westward, and form a slope on their tops, by the unequal height of their sides; and in this way a gradual ascent is made at the foot of the cliff, from the head of one column to the next above, to the top of the great Causeway, which, at the distance of about eighteen feet from the cliff, obtains a perpendicular position, and lowering from its general height, widens to between twenty and thirty feet, being for nearly three hundred feet always above the water. The tops of the columns being, throughout this length, nearly of an equal height, form a grand and singular parade, which may be walked on, somewhat inclining to the water's edge. But from the high-water mark, as it is perpetually washed by the beating surges, on every return of the tide, the platform lowers considerably, becoming more and more uneven, so as not to be walked on but with the greatest care. At the distance of a hundred and fifty yards from the cliffs, it turns a little to the east, for the space of twenty or thirty yards, and then sinks into the sea. The figure of these columns is, as we have already said, with few exceptions, pentagonal, or composed of five sides; and the spectator must look very narrowly indeed to find any of a different construction, having three, four, or six sides. What is very extraordinary, and particularly curious, is, that there are not two columns in ten thousand to be found which either have their sides equal among themselves, or display a like figure.

The composition of these columns, or pillars, is not less deserving the attention of the curious observer. They are not of one solid stone in an upright position, but composed of several short lengths, nicely joined, not with flat surfaces, but articulated into each other like a ball and socket, or like the joints in the vertebræ of some of the larger kind of fish, the one end at the joint having a cavity, into which the convex end of the opposite is exactly fitted. This is not visible unless on disjoining the two stones. The depth of the concavity or convexity is generally about three or four inches. It is still farther remarkable, that the convexity and correspondent concavity of the joint are not conformable to the external angular figure of the column, but exactly round, and as large as the size or diameter of the column will admit; consequently, as the angles of these columus are in general very unequal, the circular edges of the joints are seldom coincident with more than two or three sides of the pentagonal, and are, from the edge of the circular part of the joint to the exterior sides and angles, quite plain. It ought likewise to be noticed as a singular curiosity, that the articulations of these joints are frequently inverted, in some of them the concavity being upwards, in others the reverse. This occasions the variety and mixture of concavities and convexities on the tops of the columns, which is observable throughout the platform of this causeway, without any discoverable design or regularity with respect to the number of either.

The length of these particular stones, from joint to joint, is various; they are in general from eighteen inches to two feet long; and, for the greater part, longer towards the bottom of the columns than nearer the top, the

articulation of the joints being there somewhat deeper. The size, or diameter, likewise of the columns is as different as their length and figure; in general they are from fifteen to twenty inches in diameter. Throughout the whole of this combination there are not many traces of uniformity or design, except in the form of the joint, which is invariably by an articulation of the convex into the concave of the piece next above or below it ; nor are there traces of a finishing in any part, whether in the height, length, or breadth. If there be particular instances in which the columns above water have a smooth top, others near them, of an equal height, are more or less convex or concave, which shows them to have been joined to pieces that have been washed away, or by other means taken off. It cannot be doubted but that those parts which are constantly above water have gradually become more and more even, at the same time that the remaining surfaces of the joints must necessarily have been worn smoother by the constant action of the air, and by the friction in walking over them, than where the sea, at every tide, beats on the causeway, continually removing some of the upper stones, and exposing fresh joints. As all the exterior columns, which have two or three sides exposed to view, preserve their diameters from top to bottom, it may be inferred that such is also the case with the interior columns, the tops of which alone are visible.

I would not willingly essay a full description of the Causeway. Many a writer has relinquished his attempt; and many another has stayed his ardent goosequill in despair. If ever the works of Almighty God were particularly manifested in oppressive grandeur-if ever an atheist feels his atheism quail within him-it is at the Giant's Causeway. To see such cliffs -five hundred feet high-beautiful in their component parts, and in their columnous construction even and regular, as though a mason and rule had been at work. O, it is marvellous! No pompous unit, with a bit of humanity clinging to his heart, can go there and retain his pomposity. He visits the Pleaskin, the Giant's Stack, the Cliffs at Fairhead, and his vain folly trembles on its pedestal and falls to rise no more.

Cliffs five hundred feet in height; columns and separate, yet aggregate, and standing in layers not unfrequently thirty feet; these meet his wondering gaze; and if he were able to uncover the area above, he would probably find the interior columns still regular and compact; three-sided, seven-sided, eight-sided! And their hues! Hire a boat; go out to sea,still how distinguishable and how delicate. Now, row in, and lay on your oars, they spread from east to west, above, below, in colours shading from a white to a crimson. Dig beneath where they join the coast; they are

still there!

No marvel that, on a tempestuous night, when the moon was veiled and the seas rough, the ireful Spaniards of King Philip's Armada, beating off the coast, thought those three basaltic columns were Irish peasants' chimney-pots; and, in very malice of the worst sort, because useless and unprovoked, fired their cannon thitherward. To this day the marks of Spanish shot are shown on the face of those imperishable columns; and, only the other month, a relic of that unfortunate Armada, came up on the ironbound coast, a rusty anchor, which the smith forged hoping and believing it would find an anchoring ground, not in the Irish Scas, but in the English Channel.

I might tell you of my lonely walk on the headland; I might discourse of the setting sun, as seen from Hamilton's Cave at the famous Pleaskin; I might fill page after page with a fruitless, because imperfect, ac count of the Causeway; but the night has come, the daylight departed, and I lay down my pen to revive again, in thought, the mingled feelings which arose in my astonished mind, when surveying that most

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