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LEGEND OF THE DEVIL'S PULPIT.
“ Hy moet wel loopen die door de Duivel gedreven word.”
THERE can be but few inhabitants of the city of New-York who are not acquainted with the striking features of the Jersey shore, and with the views that present themselves from the high grounds overlooking it; of the city and its islands to the south, and of the majestic Hudson pouring down from the north its “exulting and abounding” waters, covered with their seeming encampments of the white sails of river craft. I have, indeed, heard it asserted, that there are some respectable native citizens, who have never,
during a long, and, otherwise, well spent life, ventured their persons across the noble artery of the
State of New York, far better entitled to the epithet of King of Rivers, than many streams which song
has made immortal. I cannot believe it to be the fact. But for the benefit of those who have never sojourned in the London of America, it may be proper to mention, that the shores of the Hudson, opposite to the city, from the peninsula of Paulus Hook northward, present a singularly picturesque outline of indented coves and wood-fringed promontories, with a bold background of heights, rising almost perpendicularly behind a level of meadow lands, once useless, and good only for breeding moschitoes; but now made valuable by human toil.
These heights are, at all times, striking in their effect, as a part of the magnificent landscape which meets the eye in every direction, from the favourable points on the Jersey side of the river. They attract the traveller's notice, whether they are whitened with the dog-wood flowers of spring or the accumulated snows of winter; whether glowing beneath the golden light of summer's declining sun, or burnished with the gorgeous tints which clothe his pavilion when he sinks to rest with regal magnificence, in autumn. In autumn too, at the change of the leaf, before the more melancholy days of its fall are come, the woods, which adorn the sides of
these hills, assume a variety and brilliancy of colouring which I have never seen surpassed. As you stand on the summit of some moss-grown pile of rocks, where some veteran of the forest spreads his gnarled and projecting roots beside you, and extends his enormous and grotesque arms above your head, while monstrous grape vines are twisting and intertwining their serpent and never-ending coils, hanging in fantastic writhings and complications from one trunk or bough to another,—you look down on these woods as they descend to the meadow, and the beams of the sinking sun strike through their winding alleys or glorify their many-coloured masses; and you realize more than is dreamt of in the tales of oriental enchantment. The multitudinous leaves of every conceivable hue, seem transparent as they flutter in the softened light. Amidst a clump of rich evergreens stands a seeming tree of living gold; and far and wide an indescribable profusion of tints, from royal purple to sober russet, from deep crimson to the faintest tinge of red, from vivid orange to the very complexion of the sunbeams, are mingling amidst every shade of green. The graver hues have their proper distribution among the wealth and variety of colouring; for nature, unlike man, never makes her splendour become gaudy by accumu