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on which discerned
what a gay landscape of green waving woods, and cultured fields, and farm houses surrounded with orchards, and pasture grounds, and clumps of trees:-we could see the smoky wreaths above the shining roofs, and hear some rural soundsthe crowing cock, or barking dog; but neither man nor animal could be discerned without a glass. Adjoining the table land on which the house is erected, is a peak a few hundred feet higher, and a path winds around it to the top, from which you look directly down upon the house, and are very near it. About four miles from this lofty seat, there is a small cascade which all go to see; not on account of the water, which in mid-summer is merely a rill, but the uncommon height of the leap or pitch, and the picturesque scenery of the rocks. How shall I describe it? The water first falls 175 feet into a broad rocky basin, over the brim of which it then streams perpendicularly 80 feet, and then flowing through another basin, rushes down a ravine filled almost with rocks, until it reaches the valley. But the most curious part is a vast dome, or more properly semi-dome, formed in the rock, directly behind, and under the cascade. It is like a huge roof, perfectly semi-circular, under the eaves of which, inside, you walk along a narrow stony ledge or shelf for about 300 feet, as if on the seat or bench of an amphitheatre, while this enormous and lofty ceiling projects like a canopy 75 feet, sloping upwards, and forming in front a vast arch nearly a hundred feet high, and directly behind the falling water. In order to enter this ponderous dome, you descend from the top of the rock, where the stream commences its career, along the steep side of the ravine 170 feet to the first basin, and arrive at one side or wing of the front arch. The first impression is overwhelmingyou hesitate for a moment, and are awe-struck: such a wide and towering vault of solid rock, as if built by art !-what supports it? may it not possibly fall, and crush and bury you forever under its massy ceiling, nearly one hundred feet thick? But your feelings become too sublime to be restrained by your timidity, and you rush forward with a dauntless and ambitious step, as if bent on an achievement that is to immortalize your name, especially if you should have the good luck to be crushed, and buried like king Cheops, under a pyramid of rocks. · From the mountain I returned to the Hudson, and proceeded on to Albany, where I had not been since the commencement of the Grand Canal. Never having witnessed the mode of ascending through the locks, and navigating a canal, and being informed that I should see a most curious and interesting section of it between Albany and Schenectady, I took passage
in a commodious and very nice packet-boat, about 70 feet in length, equipped in steam-boat style, and drawn by three horses. Gliding from the surface of the Hudson, and passing through a long succession of locks, each of which gave us a lift of about eight feet, we soon found ourselves approaching the high craggy banks of the Mohawk. I had been some years ago at the Cohoes Falls, but our approach to them now was delightfully novel. Since leaving the Hudson, we had gained an elevation of 150 feet, and now found ourselves close aside the cataract, and within a few yards of the shore. I had formerly rode along this high and rocky bank in a stage coach, and was now sailing, or rather floating, over the very same surface in a large and lofty barge, through fields, and directly in front of houses, and where trees and shrubbery had, till lately, been growing. This was indeed a curious spectacle, and seemed to me sometimes like fairy-work. Onward we went--sometimes through fertile meadows, and sometimes over rough and hilly grounds. Here, the canal being cut directly through, our lateral prospects were obstructed by the high banks on each side. On the south side of the Mohawk, the shore became so mountainous and craggy, that the canal makers found it expedient to shoot the canal directly across the surface of the river, and 25 feet above its bed. This was indeed a bold undertaking; but it was accomplished, and you are now surprised and astonished at finding your watery path take a sudden turn, and stretch itself to the length of eleven hundred feet directly across the stream, supported by 26 stone pillars rising from the rocky floor of the Mohawk. The path for the horses is formed inside of the parapet, and they trot the full freighted bark across in a minute, while the staring and amazed passenger, standing on the upper deck, imagines that the boat may roll over the side of the aqueduct, and precipitate all hands into the stream below. After coursing for two miles along the northern shore, where the flank of a high rocky precipice has been hewn down for about a mile, to give width to the canal, it again strikes across the river on another aqueduct bridge, 740 feet in length, and then pursues its course to Schenectady, after having passed through 27 locks of granite and marble, which have now lifted your boat two hundred and twenty-six feet above the level of the Hudson. Owing to the great number of boats on the canal, you are frequently delayed at the locks, and by this means we were ten hours in going 29 miles. They are beginning, however, to construct another range of locks near the junction of the northern canal, which will, in a great measure, obviate these delays.
We stopped for a moment at Schenectady, and taking passage in another boat crowded with passengers, glided off for Utica. Night soon shut the scene, but the next morning we had some beautiful and romantic views. Surpassing all, however, was our route along the wild and fantastic shore of the Little Falls. The Mohawk is divided here by several rocky islands, between one of which, and the high cliff or promontory on the south side, a branch of it rushes along at a most impetuous rate. The front of this towering cliff has been wrenched off piecemeal, by the force of gunpowder, from top to bottom, to form a passage for the canal ; and a huge winding wall, resting on these ruins, rises from the margin of the torrent about 25 or 30 feet high, and the space between it and the cliff being filled up with stones and earth to the requisite level, the canal flows along its channelled surface. The side is guarded by a railing, on the inner side of which is the narrow towing path for the horses ; and so you skim along for about a quarter of a mile so near the rapids, that a spry man, I should imagine, might leap from the deck, over the railing, directly into the rushing water, 60 or 70 feet below. An aqueduct bridge, all of white marble, 170 feet in length, is built on three beautiful arches across the river just at the falls, and joins the canal, being a feeder to it, and serving at the same time as a canal for boats to pass along its watery floor to the village opposite, where there is a capacious reservoir made by means of a dam on the northern shore; one side of the bed of the river being higher than the other. A gap or opening through a hill more than 500 feet high, near the falls, and along which the canal passes, presents a scenery of rocks, not to be described. They resemble in some of their features the walls and broken masses of rock at the Passaic, and are sublimely topsyturvical. One might imagine that the gods had here had a skirmish with the Titans.
We continued our course through a great deal of rich and finely cultivated country, though evidently suffering by the drought of this unusually hot summer, and arrived at Utica, a new and beautiful town, and one of the most flourishing in the state. It is 96 miles from Albany, and seems to be the stepping-stone between it and lake Erie.
About 15 miles to the west of it, are the Trenton Falls, exceeding in beauty, we were told, those at the Catskill mountain. We went next day to view them, and never was I more enchanted. They consist of a succession of cascades, one enthroned as it were above another. The rocks are indescribably picturesque. Towering walls of lime stone on each side for more than a mile up a vast ravine; the torrent one while diffused over a broad level floor of solid rock; then gushing through deep and narrow channels, and then pitching over precipes extending from one steep side of the valley to the other. These steep banks are about 150 feet high, and in some places overhang their bases. Along these cliffs, in some spots, there are ledges or shelves, along which one may walk and overlook the torrent 50 or 60 feet below. These ledges have recently been widened by the chisel, and chains being boited in the rocks and hanging along their sides, you occasionally take hold of them, and skip securely along. The scenery of the rocks alone is worth travelling 200 miles to see. The cascades are wonderfully beautiful, though not very high ; the greatest one being, I should guess, about 50 feet. The drought having long prevailed, the stream is shallow, and its bed is uncovered and dry for three fourths of the way across. As the day was fast declining, we were obliged to leave this most romantic spot without having seen the upper part of this immense ravine, where the river begins its wild career. On our way back to Utica, we fell in with another torrent; but as it had its source in the clouds, and was locomotive, we were too much alarmed to view it with much complacency, and fled from it with all our horses might. We returned to Albany the next day by the stage, on the following morning took passage in the steam-boat, and next morning were in New York.
I conclude my long letter, my dear friend, with a few stanzas addressed to
THE TRENTON FALLS.
List’ning to the wild waters roar;
Dashing their foam from shore to shore!
And savage men, have hover'd round;
Affrighted fled the enchanted ground.
How chang'd the scene! your lofty trees
Have sunk beneath the woodman's blade;
And footsteps all your haunts invade.
Where your proud rocks exposed stand ;
From babblers on your stony strand.
Vile blurs on nature's heraldry;
Shall all its wasted strength restore ;
Nor dare to touch the trembling shore.
'Tis her's—the fairest of the fair;
His humble name who wrote it there.
OBJECTIONS TO A REMARK IN MR. CAMPBELL'S LECTURES
ON POETRY. Messrs. Editors,
In perusing Mr. Campbell's Lectures on Greek Poetry, published in the New Monthly Magazine, I have been surprised to find that he has evidently fallen into the error of confounding the age in which Homer lived with that of which he wrote; and has thus been led to countenance the extravagant