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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.

LESSON XLVIII.

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
May see the fearful beauty of thy face!
I am not all unworthy of thy sight;
For, from my very boyhood, have I loved,
Shunning the meaner track of common minds,
To look on nature in her loftier moods.
At the fierce rushing of the hurricane,
At the near bursting of the thunderbolt,
I have been touched with joy; and, when the sea,
Lashed by the wind, hath rocked my bark, and showed
Its yawning caves beneath me, I have loved
Its dangers and the wrath of elements.
But never yet the madness of the sea
Hath moved me as thy grandeur moves me now.

Thou flowest on in quiet, till thy waves
Grow broken 'midst the rocks; thy current then
Shoots onward, like the irresistible course
Of destiny. Ah! terribly they rage-
The hoarse and rapid whirlpools there! My brain
Grows wild, my senses wander, as I gaze
Upon the hurrying waters, and my sight
Vainly would follow, as toward the verge
Sweeps the wide torrent-waves innumerable
Meet there and madden-waves innumerable
Urge on and overtake the waves before,
And disappear in thunder and in foam.

They reach-they leap the barrier : the abyss
Swallows, insatiable, the sinking waves.
A thousand rainbows arch them, and the woods
Are deafened with the roar. The violent shock
Shatters to vapour the descending sheets :
A cloudy whirlwind fills the gulf, and heaves
The mighty pyramid of circling mist
To heaven. The solitary hunter, near,
Pauses with terror in the forest shades.

*

God of all truth! in other lands I've seen
Lying philosophers, blaspheming men,
Questioners of thy mysteries, that draw

Their fellows deep into impiety;
And therefore doth my spirit seek thy face
In earth's majestic solitudes. Even here
My heart doth open all itself to thee.
In this immensity of loneliness

I feel thy hand upon me. To my ear
The eternal thunder of the cataract brings
Thy voice, and I am humbled as I hear.

Ďread torrent! that with wonder and with fear
Dost overwhelm the soul of him that looks
Upon thee, and dost bear it from itself,
Whence hast thou thy beginning? Who supplies,
Age after age, thy unexhausted springs ?
What power hath ordered, that, when all thy weight
Descends into the deep, the swollen waves
Rise not, and roll to overwhelm the earth ?

The Lord hath opened his omnipotent hand,
Covered thy face with clouds, and given his voice
To thy down-rushing waters; he hath girt
Thy terrible forehead with his radiant bow.
I see thy never-resting waters run,
And I bethink me how the tide of time
Sweeps to eternity. So pass of man,
Pass, like a noon-day dream,--the blossoming days,
And he awakes to sorrow.

Hear, dread Niagara ! my latest voice.
Yet a few years, and the cold earth shall close
Over the bones of him who sings thee now
Thus feelingly. Would that this, my

humble verse,
Might be, like thee, immortal. I, meanwhile,
Cheerfully passing to the appointed rest,
Might raise my radiant forehead in the clouds
To listen to the echoes of my fame.

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LESSON XLIX.

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

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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'.

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