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was produced, similar to that occasioned by the violent gusts which sometimes sweep over the country. Turning instinctively toward the direction from which the wind blew, I saw, to my great astonishment, that the noblest trees of the forest bent their lofty heads for a while, and unable to stand against the blast, were falling into pieces. First, the branches were broken off with a crackling noise, then went the upper part of the massy trunks, and in many places whole trees of gigantic size were falling entire to the ground. So rapid was the progress of the storm, that before I could think of taking measures to insure my safety, the hurricane was passing opposite the place where I stood. Never can I forget the scene which at that moment presented itself. The tops of the trees were seen moving in the strangest manner, in the central current of the tempest, which carried along with it a mingled mass of twigs and foliage that completely obscured the view. Some of the largest trees were seen bending and writhing under the gale; others suddenly snapped across, and many, after a momentary resistance, fell uprooted to the earth. The mass of branches, twigs, foliage, and dust that moved through the air, was whirled onwards like a cloud of feathers, and, on passing, disclosed a wide space filled with fallen trees, naked stumps, and heaps of shapeless ruins, which marked the path of the tempest. This space was about a fourth of a mile in breadth, and to my imagination resembled the dried-up bed of the Mississippi, with its thousands of planters and sawyers strewed in the sand, and inclined in various degrees. The horrible noise resembled that of the great cataracts of Niagara, and as it bowled along in the track of the desolating tempest, produced a feeling in my mind which it is impossible to describe.
The principal force of the hurricane was now over, although millions of twigs and small branches, that had been brought from a great distance, were seen following the blast, as if drawn onwards by some mysterious power. They were floated in the air for some hours after, as if supported by the thick mass of dust that rose high above the ground. The sky had now a greenish lurid hue, and an extremely disagreeable sulphureous odour was diffused in the atmosphere. I waited in amazement, having sustained no material injury, until nature at length resumed her wonted aspect. For some moments I felt undetermined whether I should return to Morgantown, or attempt to force my way through the wrecks of the tempest. My business, how
ever, being of an urgent nature, I ventured into the path of the storm, and, after encountering innumerable difficulties, succeeded in crossing it. I was obliged to lead my horse by the bridle to enable him to leap over the fallen trees, whilst I scrambled over or under them in the best way I could, at times so hemmed in by the broken tops and tangled branches, as almost to become desperate. On arriving at my house, I gave an account of what I had seen, when, to my surprise, I was told that there had been very little wind in the neighbourhood, although in the streets and gardens many branches and twigs had fallen in a manner which excited great surprise.
Many wondrous accounts of the devastating effect of this hurricane were circulated in the country after its occurrence. Some log-houses, we were told, had been overturned, and their inmates destroyed. One person informed me that a wire sifter had been conveyed by the gust to a distance of many miles. Another had found a cow lodged in the fork of a large half-broken tree. But as I am disposed to relate only what I have myself seen, I will not lead you into the region of romance, but shall content myself by saying that much damage was done by this awful visitation. The valley is yet a desolate place, overgrown with briars and bushes, thickly entangled amidst the tops and trunks of the fallen trees, and is the resort of ravenous animals, to which they betake themselves when pursued by man, or after they have committed their depredations on the farms of the surrounding district. I have crossed the path of the storm, at a distance of a hundred miles from the spot where I witnessed its fury, and again, four hundred miles farther off, in the state of Ohio. Lastly, I observed traces of its ravages on the summits of the mountains connected with the Great Pine Forest of Pennsylvania, three hundred miles beyond the place last mentioned. In all those different parts, it appeared to me not to have exceeded a quarter of a mile in breadth.
262.- RINALDO AND ARMIDA.
Tasso. [The life of Torquato Tasso, one of the few great epic poets, is too full of romantic incident to be here touched upon. He was born in
1544; he died in 1595. His • Gerusalemme Liberata ' was published in 1575. The translation from which our extract is taken is by Edward Fairfax, and first appeared in 1600. It was republished by the Editor of Half-Hours ' in 1818;-and is printed in the Series known as · Knight's Weekly Volume.']
The palace great is builded rich and round,
And in the centre of the inmost hold
Fairer than that where grew the trees of gold.
With doors and entries false a thousand fold ;
(Though round about a hundred ports there shine,)
Upon their golden hinges turn and twine :
The workmanship excell’d the substance fine,
Among the feeble troops of damsels mild;
And heav'n upheld ;) false Love stood by and smiled :
His club with blood of monsters foul defiled;
The hoary froth crush'd from the surges blue,
Of warlike ships, fire from their arms out flew;
Such flames the gold therein enchased threw;