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the neglect of which is ruin. This is particularly true on the field of battle. Nearly every battle turns on one or two rapid movements, executed amid the whirl of smoke and thunder of guns that jar the solid globe.
It was at such moments that the genius of Napoleon shone forth with the highest lustre. His mind acted like the lightning, and never with more promptness and precision than in moments of the greatest confusion and danger. What confounded others only stimulated him. He used to say that one of the principal requisites of a general is an accurate calculation of time; for, if your adversary can bring a powerful force to attack a certain post ten minutes sooner than you can bring up a sufficient supporting force, you are beaten, even though all the rest of your plans be the most perfect that can be devised. At Arcola he saw that the battle was going against him, and at once called up twenty-five horsemen,
It is our intention from time to time,to publish in this department of the CONTRIBUTOR, suggestive orders of exercises for the weekly and conjoint meetings of the Associations. We will be pleased if the officers of Associations will send us model programmes, such as they have found to be interesting and profitable in their experience, and that they can recommend other Associations to adopt. Something like the following programme has been found in many places to give great satisfaction, affording variety, while pursuing a systematic progressive course in the main features, viz. The Subjective Scriptural and Historical exercises:
gave them each a trumpet, and made a dashing charge that won the victory. So at Montebello, he computed the distance of the Austrian cavalry, saw that it would require a quarter of an hour for them to come up, and in those fifteen minutes executed a manœuvre that saved the day. The reason, he said, why he beat the Austrians, was that they did not know the value of five minutes. At the celebrated battle of Rivoli the day seemed on the point of being decided against him. He saw the critical state of affairs and instantly formed his resolution. He despatched a flag to the Austrian headquarters, with proposals for an armistice. Napoleon seized the precious moments, and, while amusing the enemy with mock negotiations, re-arranged his line of battle, changed his front, and in a few moments was ready to renounce the farce of discussion for the stern arbitrament of arms. The splendid victory of Rivoli was the result.
Answering written questions. Select Reading.-Poetry. Declamation.
Programme for next meeting.
Time occupied in rendering the above one hour and a half. We shall, in our next, refer to the Scriptural exercises and show how they can be conducted to be very entertaining as well as profitable.
Minutes of the Twelfth Quarterly Conference of the Y. M. and Y. L. M. I. Associations of Utah Stake, held in the B. Y. Academy, August 28, 1880. Superintendent M. H. Hardy presiding.
Minutes of previous Conference read and approved. Miss Teenie Smoot then read a tabulated report of the Y. L. M. I. A. for the quarter ending August 28, 1880.
Superintendent Hardy then spoke at some length upon the advisibility of continuing subjective exercises, for weekly
class work. Our exercises on these regular occasions should be instructive, and the instruction progressive in its character. Subjective work only can produce this. The reports which have been received show that a great amount of good has been done, and progress made by adhering strictly to subjective exercises. He recommended the young men to follow their regular work, and the young ladies theirs, and to hold monthly, joint sessions-combining the talent of the two Associations for a musical, litera v, historical, scientific or miscellaneou feast, as the case may be not omitting lectures by competent persons, previously waited upon for that purpose.
During the Conference, A. O. Smoot, Jr., and George M. Brown were sustained as Superintendent Hardy's assistants, and Zina Y. Williams and Emily Cluff were appointed nnd sustained as assistants to Miss Helen Alexander, the Stake Superintendent, Y. L. M. I. A.
Conferences will hereafter be held in the several districts, for the purpose of becoming more thoroughly acquainted with each other, and discussing points connected with the welfare and general good of the Associations. At the SemiAnnual Conferences at Provo, statistical reports will be received, showing the actual working during each six months, a copy of which will then be forwarded to Salt Lake, to appear at the General Conference of the Organization.
Elder J. B. Milner delivered a most interesting lecture on citizenship, under the government of the United States and the kingdom of God. Being a subject of importance, it was listened to with marked attention.
Conference adjourned for three months. Benediction by Prof. K. G. Maeser.
A Circuit Conference of the Y. M. M. I. A. of North Ogden, Plain City, Harrisville and Hot Springs was held in North Ogden, Sunday, Sept. 19, 1880. The Superintendency of the County and Elder M. F. Cowley, of Salt Lake, the Presidency of the Associations, the Bishop of North Ogden, and others were
present on the stand. The forenoon was occupied by the members, who presented an interesting programme, consisting of a Bible exercise, an essay, a recitation, a song, the reading of the "Review," a manuscript paper, and an historical address.
The house was crowded in the afternoon with an interesting audience, which was addressed by Elder Cowley, who gave an excellent discourse on the gathering of the Saints from distant lands. He was listened to with great attention; all expressing themselves well pleased with the ready manner in which the subject was treated.
Superintendent Jos. A. West presented the business of the meeting, giving some good instructions for the guidance of the young men. A call was made for the Associations to send tracts to the missionaries in the Southern States, which was heartily responded to.
After singing by the choir, and prayer by Brother Whitman, the Conference adjourned for three months, to meet in Plain City.
Circuit meetings of the above description are being held throughout Weber Stake, and are attended with great interest by the members, who are much benefitted by the varied exercises and instructions thus presented. We had the pleasure of being present at two of these conferences-at Ogden, on Sept 5th, and at West Weber, on the 12th. They were both very pleasant and profitable occasions. In Utah County appointments have been made for district meetings of this kind, and in Cache County they met with success during last winter.
We believe that in all of the large counties it will be found highly advantageous to the Associations, if the Superintendents and their assistants would arrange such meetings. It will enable them to present to the officers and members of Associations the instructions necessary, and to become acquainted with them and their methods of conducting exercises, besides affording a fine opportunity for competitive exercises from the several Associations forming a district.
The Glory of God is Intelligence.
MEXICO AND THE MEXICANS.
THE train leaving Vera Cruz at 11:30 p.m., deprived us of any view of the surrounding country, as well as that over which we were passing to the City of Mexico. A subsequent trip, however, revealed to the writer that the first sixty or seventy miles, consists of a succession of low sand hills, alternating with occasional barren plains, relieved here and there by a few groves of a somewhat stunted growth.
By daylight on the morning of November 15th, our attention was drawn to the fact that we were gliding smoothly,but at the same time rapidly, through dense forests, the trees of which were strange and many hued. The feathery leaved banana, mingling with the gracefully waving ferns, over-topped by the broader foliage of the fig and other wide-leaved, fruit bearing trees, each nodded from the sloping banks and abrupt mountain sides, under whose dark shadows we were swiftly drawn by a powerful, double grand Farley engine, which, under heavy pressure, was constantly emitting bright sparks-lighting up the gloom of deep cuts and showering down the sides of huge hills.
Our route lay through the tierra caliente, the land of heat; the land of beauty; the land of cochineal, cocoa and vanilla; products of Mexico indigenous to the country, but long since classed among the luxuries of Europe. Here, it is said, fruits and flowers chase each other in unbroken circle from year to year. Here the perfume of flowers and the bloom of trees cause the senses
to ache with a load of sweetness, while the eye is dazed with the variable hue of the bird, leaf and insect. But alas! amidst all this lovliness lurks the pestilent malaria; for here thrives yellow fever and black vomito. The same glowing sun, which quickens into life the wonders of the vegetable kingdom and makes glorious animal life, also produces bilious disorders seldom known in the colder climate, prevailing on the high plateaus of Mexico. Thus, nature regulates her works on the plan of compensation.
As the eastern sky gradually became more perceptibly tinged with morning light, towering mountain peaks seemed to rise from the midst around us, like silent sentinels-the watchers of ages. Tightly buttoning our overcoats, and carefully wrapping our rugs about us, the chilling breezes admonish us that we are passing beyond the reach of malarial fevers and that scourge of the Europeans, vomito. We are above the hot fumes of the tierra caliente, and have reached a point where the vapors from the ocean strike, in their westward course, the mountains, and diffusing in gentle rains, maintain on the face of nature the richest verdure, throughout the year. Here, during the day, the air is always bland and salubrious, rendering it desirable as a place of safety for the residents of the Gulf Coast, during the heat of summer.
With an echoing snort, our admirable engine drew us up to an attractive little station, located in the midst of a plantain grove, upon whose drooping leaves
MEXICO AND THE MEXICANS.
hung, like tear-drops, the dews of early | skill it has, of the kind, few equals. In morning. To the right, with background ornamented by a similar grove, stood a quaint, thatched and gothic roofed Indian dwelling, the inmates of which, wrapped in peaceful slumber, were dreaming, perhaps, of the happy days of their forefathers, before the aggressive white man subjugated the dominion of the once proud, but in death long since silent, Aztec monarchs.
A moment's delay at this picturesque spot, and a sharp, double shriek, accompanied by the hiss of escaping steam, notified us that the train was moving forward to scenes of still more striking interest. Curving gradually southward,we pass over a smooth grassy tract of tableland, and enter a long open cut, leading to the magnificent strap-iron tresselated bridge, crossing Metlac Cañon. To our left, we peer down a thousand feet or more into this wonderfully grand gap; the rushing torrent of which, appears to us like broken threads of silver, set in banks of waving ferns; while the broad foliage of tropical tree and bush, overhang with dripping leaves, the enchanting scene of surpassing beauty. The train gliding smoothly over a građe, supported in many places by solid walls of masonry, seems suspended in midair, with yawning chasms far below, and frowning volcanic-rent mountains towering above.
our own country we hear much of, and glowing articles have been written about the great "Horseshoe Bend,” near Altoona, in the Alleghany Mountains, and on the line of the Pennsylvania Railroad. Artists have made that wonderful work known throughout the civilized world; and yet it shrinks into insignificance when compared with the immense sweep required in the crossing of Metlac Cañon, embracing, as it does, miles of cuttings with heavy grades, terminating on the center of the bridge, at a point hundreds of feet above the water, which rushes down the deep gorge in a mighty torrent. The bridge itself is, with its approaches, nearly in the form of a complete half-circle, and hundreds of feet in length. The division of its length marks the end of the descending and the beginning of the ascending grade,passing which we commence to rise sharply in a direction almost the reverse of that by which we descended the opposite mountain. A mile, perhaps, ahead, we glance through a tunnel, (there are sixteen on the line of this road,. within a distance of about sixty miles,) which appears like the rising moon, with the lower section of the circle, behind a distant mountain.
Swiftly moving on a sharp,descending grade, though traveling in an opposite direction from the flow of the water, a glance forward, as we extend our head beyond the outer wall of the car, and our vision beyond the locomotive, presents to view the permanent road bed, seemingly bound together by two extended iron bars, which, however, we well know must be firmly spiked to hidden sleepers, imbedded securely in the rocky cut; the whole marking the face of rugged nature and indicating the enterprise of capital and the achievement of labor, when directed by the engineering skill of man.
The crossing of the Metlac Cañon by the Mexico and Vera Cruz Railway is one of the wonderful achievements of the age. As an exhibition of scientific
Our powerful engine now labors hard while safety valves tremble under the pressure of steam. We are pleased with the slow motion of the train, for our eyes are bewildered, and our whole being is awed by the magnificent scenery all around. Our thoughts no longer linger in wonder and admiration over the works of man. Metlac Cañon is a masterpiece of the Great Designer. Enraptured we gaze down, as into a fathomless ocean beneath, over which hangs fleecy, flitting clouds, while above all floats a golden purple haze, veiling nature in her slumbering beauty. Beyond and to our right rise massive mountains, the base of which is met by sloping hills, covered with a tropical growth, whose richness surpasses anything which the writer had ever seen before. As the sun rises, the shadows on the western slopes deepen, while those on the eastern are changing
MEXICO AND THE MEXICANS.
and blending like the variable hues of the rainbow.
With a sudden increase of speed, and a sharp curve to the right, we enter the lovely little mountain girt valley of Orizaba. The green turf, the cane and tobacco fields, as we flitted by old cathedrals and occasional ruins, presented a most pleasing contrast with the rocky, barren road which rises sharply behind the pretty little town. To the south, and distant perhaps fifteen miles, appears grand old Mount Orizaba-the lone star mountain-whose summit, always covered with snow and ice, reaches an altitude of nearly sixteen thousand feet. For ages untold and since the heat of the active volcano subsided, has this majestic mountain peak stood, alike unmindful of the rays of morning light, causing its ice-bound summit to sparkle like jewels in a diadem, and of the beatings of the rude blasts of the ocean-bred tempest. Silent and alone, amid God's noble works, it stood when the shadowy Tolecas gazed in admiration upon its wondrous grandeur, while building his pyramids and temple. It stood the silent watcher while Popocatepetl, with fiery upheavals, lit up the valley of Mexico and marked the rise and fall of the Aztec empire. When the smouldering embers of the great volcano foreshadowed, perhaps, the waning power of Montezuma, the Lone Star Mountain was the beacon that led to the landing of Cortez. A silent witness it has been to the greatness and the decay of the Spanish sway. It has witnessed the growth of the Catholic power, under whose yoke thirty millions of people faded away, like the dews of heaven before the rising sun. A silent witness of its rise, it stands there and will witness the fall. In all ages the proud creation of God, Mount Orizaba, beautiful and grand, will stand until Him whose right it is to rule shall rule.
Remaining at the town long enongh to get a lunch and change engines, we once more moved forward; passing up a narrow valley, less productive than others left behind. We see no more coffee plantations; the beautiful trees, new and strange to us, no longer gladden our eyes
or excite our admiration. High up the mountains are straggling groves and belts of pines, while down the steep winding paths we see pack trains of donkeys. Patient, much abused little creatures, carrying wood to be consumed by the locomotives of the railway. Their masters are strangers to Credit Mobilier stocks, or DeGolyer contracts. But, it is said, there exists a community of interest between them and the firemen of the railroad company, who take their wood on at the stations, where weary donkeys have delivered it, and also throw it off the engine at suitable points, so that it can be picked up again and re-sold.
The ascent being gradual to Maltrata, the train makes good time, and we note objects with but a glance. To the right we observe two pyramids, with forms perfectly defined. Neither would exceed thirty feet in height, and sixty or seventy at the base. They appear to be formed of earth, and are in an excellent state of preservation.
At Maltrata, many Indian men, women and children met us with fruits of various kinds, numerous varieties new entirely to us. Here we were urged to buy Pulque, the Mexican drink, about which I will say more hereafter. The Mexicans use it as the English and Germans do beer, as the French and Italians do wine, and as the Americans whiskey. It is an intoxicant, but not of the turbulent, fighting or profane kind. An Indian under the influence of Pulque, unlike the average American under the influence of whiskey, laughs and sings. At this place peaches bloom in January. Ahead we see deep cuts, heavy fills, and bridges spanning deep gorges. The grade appears so heavy that we can hardly believe it to be more than a wagon road. But on inquiry we learn that it is the famous Cumbres de Aculzingo, beyond which we reach the cold zone, or tierra frio. From there to Boca del Monte, (mouth of the mountain,) we rise in less than two hours, about four thousand five hundred feet. And this amid the grandest scenery. Moses Thatcher. The world is theirs who take it.