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The incidents of history and the objects of nature derive much of their impressiveness from the circumstances surrounding both. Contrast is essential to grand effects. The massacre at Bethlehem gathers blackness from the infant age of the victims; and the frantic leap of Niagara contrasts finely with the oily smoothness of the river above the Fall. The voyager near "earth's central line"-the region of perpetual sun and frequent calm, where the surface of the sea is unbroken with a billow, yet the bulk of the ocean moves together like some monster labouring under an oppressive load
"in torrid clime
Dark heaving, boundless, endless, and sublime;”
marks the huge sweltering gambols of the whale, and hears the loud hiss and rush of the jet he projects into the air best in the cool gray and death-like stillness of the early dawn. The level and the quiet of all around convey the most vivid and instantaneous impressions to the watcher's eye and ear; and "There is that leviathan!"