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The county of Antrim is not only one of the most picturesque, but most prosperous in all Ireland. It is also remarkable for being entirely surrounded by water by the ocean, Lough Neagh, and the rivers Bann and Lagan. In this county, vast quantities of flax are raised and manufactured into linen — chiefly at Belfast, the most important commercial town in the north of Ireland.
Belfast is particularly dear to me as a place where I spent many pleasant days with some warm-hearted Irish friends. In sight of this town there is a large hill, which is remarkable for presenting, at a particular point of view, a most gigantic likeness to the first Napoleon. Certain swells and ledges of the summit form the great profile very distinctly. He seems to be lying on his back, asleep, or in a meditative mood, and the face has such a dejected, melancholy look that one might suppose the likeness had been taken when the Emperor was a prisoner at St. Helena. There was one of the Bonapartes at Belfast, at the time I was there attending the meeting of the British Association, a celebrated scientific society. This was Lucien, a grand-nephew of the Emperor. He recognized the likeness in the great rocky profile, when it was pointed out to him, and professed to be a good deal affected by it.
Near Belfast there is also a famous ‘Druidical circle’, or a large amphitheatre, enclosed by high mounds of earth, where the ancient Druids used to meet for their heathen worship. As we stood in that great circle, beside a rude altar of stones, it made us shudder to think that hundreds of human beings had probably been cruelly sacrificed there as offerings to the gods of the Druids. What a happy, blessed thing it is to know that such dreadful crimes can never again be committed here, under the name of religion.
While at Belfast, we made a delightful excursion to Shane’s Castle, the seat of Lord O’Neil. Shane’s Castle and the O’Neil estate are situated upon Lough Neagh, the largest lake in Great Britain. There is a legend that this sheet of water covers land that was once cultivated, cottages, castles, and even villages. The peasants say that there was once an enchanted well, which was always kept covered with a heavy stone, lest its waters should rise and overwhelm the land. One day, a careless woman went to this well to get water to boil her potatoes in, and hearing her baby cry, ran home without waiting to cover the well, which began to leap up in a great column, like a water-spout of an underground sea, and poured out so fast and furious that before many hours the whole valley was overflowed, and that night, the moon smiled to see herself reflected in a new lake.
On our route from Belfast to the Giant’s Causeway, we passed through several towns, of little importance now, though of some historical note such as Carrickfergus, Larne, and Glenarm. This last is a beautifully situated town, with a pleasant little bay, which usually affords a safe shelter for shipping on a coast somewhat renowned for wrecks and disasters. Here is a fine castle, which is the seat of the ancient family of the MacDonnels, Earls of Antrim. Scarcely any thing in the world can be grander or more beautiful than the coast road all the way from Glenarm to the Giant’s Causeway. It is too fine to be described; it should be painted, not written about.
We reached the Causeway late in the evening so hungry and tired that we were very glad to get our supper and went to bed without putting our heads out of doors. In the morning we engaged a guide and set out on our sightseeing tour.
The Causeway is formed by a vast collection of rocky columns mostly as regular in shape as though cut by masonry five-sided, six-sided, seven or eight-sided, piled and packed together, varying much in height, but little in size. Some form a floor almost as even as a city pavement some form gradual steps leading down to the sea and some tower upward, like spires and turrets.
There is a very singular collection of these columns on the side of the highest cliff, a hundred and twenty feet in height, called ‘the Giant’s Organ,’ from their resemblance to the pipes of that instrument.
According to legend, the mighty Giant, Finn McCool, was musical in his taste, and used to give himself ‘a little innocent diversion’ here, after his hard labours in building the Causeway. Even now, when the sea roars, and the deep thunder rolls along the rocky coast, they say ‘the giant is playing on his big stone organ under the cliff’.
ВОПРОС 1: The county of Antrim is described as
1) picturesque but poor.
2) rich and successful.
3) the land of vast plains.
4) the land of long rivers.
ВОПРОС 2: The large hill near Belfast is remarkable for
1) a striking resemblance to the first Emperor of the French.
2) its likeness to a grand-nephew of the Emperor.
3) the visit of one of the Bonapartes.
4) the profile of the first Napoleon carved into it.
ВОПРОС 3: ‘Druidical circle’ is
1) a large amphitheatre for theatrical performances.
2) a church with a rude altar of stones.
3) a place of current sacrificial offerings to the gods.
4) a place of ancient religious ceremonies.
ВОПРОС 4: How was Lough Neagh formed?
1) It was artificially created by the peasants.
2) It appeared because of a careless woman.
3) It was formed by the water rising from an underground sea.
4) Nobody knows for sure.
ВОПРОС 5: On his way from Belfast to the Giant’s Causeway, the narrator was particularly impressed by
1) the historical town of Glenarm.
2) a pleasant little bay offering a safe shelter for shipping.
3) the coast road from Glenarm to the Giant’s Causeway.
4) the castle of the ancient family of the MacDonnels.
ВОПРОС 6: The Giant’s Causeway is a collection of rocky columns
1) of similar size.
2) of similar height.
3) irregular in shape.
4) cut by masons.
ВОПРОС 7: According to legend, the giant Finn McCool
1) was a talented musician.
2) worked hard to build the Causeway.
3) used to play the organ only when the sea roared.
4) never played his organ.
ВОПРОС 1: – 2
ВОПРОС 2: – 1
ВОПРОС 3: – 4
ВОПРОС 4: – 4
ВОПРОС 5: – 3
ВОПРОС 6: – 1
ВОПРОС 7: – 2