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the Canada and American shores, for the convenience of travellers. When I first crossed, the heaving flood tossed about the skiff with a violence that seemed very alarming ; but, as soon as we gained the middle of the river, my attention was altogether engaged by the surpassing grandeur of the scene before me.
I was now within the area of a sěm'icircle of cataracts more than three thousand feet in extent, and floated on the surface of a gulf, raging, fathomless, and interminable. Majestic cliffs, splendid rainbows, lofty trees, and columns of spray, were the gorgeous decorations of this theatre of wonders; while a dazzling sun shed refulgent glories upon every part of the scene.-Surrounded with clouds of vapour, and stunned into a state of confusion and terror by the hideous noise, I looked upwards to the height of one hundred and fifty feet, and saw vast floods, dense, awful, and stupendous, vehemently bursting over the precipice, and rolling down, as if the windows of heaven were opened to pour another deluge upon the earth.
Loud sounds, resembling discharges of artillery or volcanic explosions, were now distinguishable amidst the watery tumult, and added terrors to the abyss from which they issued. The sun, looking majestically through the ascending spray, was encircled by a radiant hālo; while fragments of rainbows floated on every side, and momentarily vanished, only to give place to a succession of others more brilliant.
Looking backwards, I saw the Niagara River, again become calm and tranquil, rolling magnificently between the towering cliffs, that rose on either side. A gentle breeze ruffled the waters, and beautiful birds fluttered around, as if to welcome its égress from those clouds, and thunders, and rainbows, which were the heralds of its precipitation into the abyss of the cataract.
Niag'ără Falls. *
TREMENDOUS torrent! for an instant hush The terrors of thy voice, and cast aside * From the United States Review and Literary Gazette, translated from the Spanish of José MARIA HEREDIA.
Those wide-involving shadows, that my eyes
Thou flowest on in quiet, till thy waves
They reach-they leap the barrier : the abyss
God of all truth! in other lands I've seen
Their fellows deep into impiety;
I feel thy hand upon me. To my ear
Ďread torrent! that with wonder and with fear
The Lord hath opened his omnipotent hand,
Hear, dread Niagara ! my latest voice.
Cataract at Terni.*
THERE is a rare union of beauty and grandeur in the Falls of Terni. Though the quantity of water be much less than the Rhine discharges at Schaffhausen, yet the scene is much more imposing, from the greater height of the precipice. agara alone more completely absorbs the imagination. The American cataract has an overwhelming majesty that belongs to its flood of waters, and which, at first, stupifies the faculties of every observer; but Terni has an attractive grandeur, which induces you to advance deliberately to examine a wonder which nature and art have united to produce.
* This beautiful description is extracted from a very elegant volume published by Messrs. Constable and Co. in 1823, under the title of “ Essays, descriptive and moral; or, Scenes in Italy, Switzerland, Holland, and France,-by an American."
The rapids in the American river, before you reach the edge of the precipice, combined with the distant roar of the · falls, form a more sublime spectacle than the full view of Schaffhausen, while the prospect from the Table Rock is like a glance into eternity. We are obliged to call up
the force of our minds to keep us from recoiling with dread. But at the Cascata del Marmore, as this Italian waterfall is styled, the eye rests upon the scene with a pleasing astonishment, in which there is more of delight than terror.
It is situated at a few miles distance from Terni. The country is beautifully romantic. The road lies, for the most part, through fields of olive trees. At Papinia you are obliged to leave the carriage; and, after descending and crossing the Nera, and traversing a garden and beautiful line of orange trees, you approach the celebrated fall.
When I saw it, the melting of the snow, and the late rains, had swollen the river to nearly double its ordinary size. This outlet for the lake Velinus has been most happily chosen; for there are few situations where an artificial cataract could be more than beautiful; but this is exquisite. An ancient castle crowns the summit of the lofty mountain near you; and numberless rills run down near the main sheet of water.
But one of the most beautiful objects is occasioned by the quantity of foam produced by the fall, which ascends in clouds, and, being collected by a projecting ridge, runs down in innumerable little cascades; and, as you cannot, at first, divine the cause, the rock seems bursting with the waters it holds in its bosom. Besides its other attributes, this fall has the best of all charms,-association. It is in Italy! it is a work of the Romans ! these foaming waters wash the walls of the Eternal City!
When the admirer of nature's wonders visits Niagara, he travels through extensive forests, just beginning to be the residence of civilized men; and he reflects upon the
generations of aboriginal inhabitants that vanished from these woods during many centuries, as the foam of the cataract has risen daily, to fall again, and to be swept away. But
they have passed, and have left no memorial : the traveller is forced inward for topics of meditation : the scene wants drapery: it is too much like the summit of Chimborazo,-of unequalled loftiness, but freezing cold.
On the contrary, the Fall of Velino has been approached in a course from the vale of Clitumuus towards the banks of the Tiber; the ruin of Augustus' bridge, at Narni, is to be the picture of to-morrow; Agrippa's Pantheon is soon to be seen. We have not the feeling of sadness, that we are at the end of an enjoyment, when we have beheld this wonder,-a sentiment which forces itself upon the traveller who stands between Erie and Ontario. Such causes give a richness and mellowness to the scene, which cannot operate upon the American cataract.
Yet, with all this, if we could select but one of the two wonders to be seen, it would not be easy to decide between their respective claims. Men of the sterner mould would choose the object of unmingled sublimity, and those of milder sentiment, that which is the perfection of grandeur and beauty. It is not unlike a comparison between Homer and Virgil.
The impression which is produced by the sight of a great waterfall is unique. Unlike any of our other feelings, it makes the most giddy thoughtful, and offers many points of comparison with human life. The landmarks are permanent as the fields we live in; the waters fleeting as our breath; the plunge that they make into unknown depths, like our descent into the grave; the rainbow, that sits upon the abyss, like our hope of immortality.
There is the dread of danger, and the curiosity of hope, and the impression of the irresistible im'petus by which we are borite forward, to make us feel that we too are gliding onward,--though sometimes as unconscious as the bubble, to the gulf of eternity, into which the troubled waters of life discharge themselves. An immortal and immutable condition awaits us, though we sport with what seem to be the contingencies of existence.
How often are we reckless of the star that might guide, and the chart that should direct us in our voyage, while we are floating onward and onward, with accelerated velocity, to the last leap of life ! It is the highest crime a man can commit against reason and revelation, if he venture to make that leap in the dark.
* Pron, u-neek'.