原圣爱Accuracy and ThoroughnessMy soul in holy reverence bends to thee.As this ship-canal across the isthmus of Athos has been treated often as a fable both by ancients (Juvenal, Sat. x) and by moderns (Cousinéry, Voyage en Macédoine), I transcribe the observations of Colonel Leake. That excellent observer points out evident traces of its past existence: but in my judgment, even if no such traces now remained, the testimony of Herodotus and Thucydides (iv, 109) would alone be sufficient to prove that it had existed really. The observations of Colonel Leake illustrate at the same time the motives in which the canal originated: “The canal (he says) seems to have been not more than sixty feet wide. As history does not mention that it was ever kept in repair after the time of Xerxes, the waters from the heights around have naturally filled it in part with soil, in the course of ages. It might, however, without much labor, be renewed: and there can be no doubt that it would be useful to the navigation of the ?gean: for such is the fear entertained by the Greek boatmen, of the strength and uncertain direction of the currents around Mount Athos, and of the gales and high seas to which the vicinity of the mountain is subject during half the year, and which are rendered more formidable by the deficiency of harbors in the gulf of Orfaná, that I could not, as long as I was on the peninsula, and though offering a high price, prevail upon any boat to carry me from the eastern side of the peninsula to the western. Xerxes, therefore, was perfectly justified in cutting this canal, as well from the security which it afforded to his fleet, as from the facility of the work and the advantages of the ground, which seems made expressly to tempt such an undertaking. The experience of the losses which the former expedition under Mardonius had suffered suggested the idea. The circumnavigation of the capes Ampelus and Canastr?um was much less dangerous, as the gulfs afford some good harbors, and it was the object of Xerxes to collect forces from the Greek cities in those gulfs as he passed. If there be any difficulty arising from the narrative of Herodotus, it is in comprehending how the operation should have required so long a time as three years, when the king of Persia had such multitudes at his disposal, and among them Egyptians and Babylonians, accustomed to the making of canals.” (Leake, Travels in Northern Greece, vol. iii, ch. 24, p. 145.)Hazelhurst was a small establishment of thirty-six boys of ages from nine to thirteen, run by the headmaster Mr Darlington, a Mr Blenkins who taught mathematics, Miss Gillett who taught drawing and music of a Moodey and Sankey variety, and the Matron. John had loved his time there, and now in his last term was head boy. His younger brother proved to be a thorn in the flesh, for Alan found the Hazelhurst regime a distraction. It 'deprived him of his usual occupations, ' as his mother saw it. Now that the whole day was organised into classes, games and meal-times, he had but odd minutes in which to indulge his interests. He arrived with a craze for paper-folding, and when he had shown the other boys what to do, John found himself confronted everywhere with paper frogs and paper boats. Another humiliation followed when Alan's passion for maps was discovered by Mr Darlington. This inspired him to set a geography test to the whole school, in which Alan came sixth, beating his brother, who found geography very borin g. On another occasion Alan sat in the back row at a school concert, choking himself with laughter while John sang Land of Hope and Glory as a solo.原圣爱
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