« AnteriorContinuar »
much accustomed to gymnastic exercises, may climb at the peril of their lives two or three miles farther than the usual walk extends. Up to Boonbridge they will find the character of the rocks equally grand and varied, and many beautiful falls which deserve as greatly the attention of the visitor as most of those which are now generally accessible; but to the female world all these scenes are of course hidden treasures. We might add, that such an improvement of the means of access would probably induce many to continue at the Falls for a longer period than is now generally done, and the question whether they are not principally attracted by the excellent table at the Rural Resort could be more satisfactorily answered, than it is at present possible, when most of the visitors arrive shortly before and leave immediately after dinner. If we see at Saratoga Springs, or some other fashionable watering place, the beau monde assembled for many weeks from almost all the different parts of the Union, and then approach a beautiful retired spot like Trenton Falls, and are told by the public album, that they have been there like passenger birds hastening home, we feel inclined to embrace the opinion that a true love of natural scenery can hardly be a prominent feature in the national character of the Americans.
But it is, perhaps, their fondness of rapid and uninterrupted motion, which prevents them from
indulging their taste for the beautiful in nature. Unequalled quickness, and a developement that is unceasing in its progress, belong certainly to the most striking elements of American life. Quick, indeed, has been their growth from a few weak colonies into a powerful body politic, and quick is the motion of every limb of that body. Quick is their rotation both in office and in wealth, and with greater quickness still are they hastening into matrimony. Early marriages are here as frequent as German courtships of five or six years' standing
Their very amusements are characterized by quickness. Whilst Rome had its gladiators, and Spain its auto-da-fes, America is satisfied with a self-moving locomotive. The beauty of the American fair, and that of field, forest and meadow, unfold themselves with the same rapidity. Now if quickness is thus manifested everywhere, should travelling alone be excepted from it? And after they have seen in less than three weeks the Falls of Niagara and Trenton, the White and the Blue hills, the natural bridge in Virginia and the artificial one at Washington,-is it astonishing, that they should find it necessary to rest for some time at Saratoga Springs?
But no !—This topic is too important and serious to indulge any longer in pleasantry or satire. It is only the patient study of nature, which can lead you to a right understanding of it and fill
you with true love for it. And without it, you can but little know with how exquisite a feeling of delight the Stranger has experienced what Shakspeare perhaps has only thought, when he says
How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank.
Without it-with all your astonishing and almost miraculous progress in every branch of the useful arts, and every kind of mechanism, how much of elevating enjoyment, of quickening and refreshing feeling, do you lose on your restless course through life!
In speaking of the very desirable extension and improvement of the walk on the margin of the Trenton falls, we ought to mention him who under God has been most conducive in presenting these falls to the public eye. It was John Sherman, the grandson of Roger Sherman, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence and a member of the first Congress, who first discovered and made known the beauties of Trenton falls. As I have seen the falls only at a season of great drought, I am induced to present to my readers the following extract from Sherman's description, which, as a true disciple of Yale, he closes with a short exegetical treatise on the creation of the world.
"The view of these falls,” says Sherman,"varies exceedingly according to the plenitude or paucity of the waters. In the autumnal floods, and particularly the spring freshets, arising from the sudden liquefaction of snow in the northern country, the river is swelled a hundred fold, and comes rushing in a vast body of tumultuous foam from the summit rock into the broad bason at the bottom. It is at this time tremendous indeed, and overpowers man's feeble frame with the paralyzing impression of omnipotence.”
Though you may justly complain, that his words, full of meaning and power, are sometimes breaking upon you like the cascades of Trenton, without your being prepared for it by the gradually increasing current of particles and adjectives,-he obviously possessed deep poetical feeling and a strong love for natural scenery, which sometimes breaks through all his far-fetched images. We cannot but love him, when after one of his powerful attempts at poetical description, he exclaims
“Forgive me, Nature !—I have merely attempted to illustrate my own conceptions. Others, I know, are far more competent to minister in the gorgeous temple of thy praise !”
No, honest Sherman; it is the devotion of the heart, and not that of the head, which is to minister there, and in that respect few are better qualified than thy own humble self.
But answer undissembling; tell me true ;
I do beseech you,
Welch Gewerb treibt dich
In a country like ours, of which the Italian “lasciar far" seems to be the most appropriate motto, and free and voluntary action one of the most striking features, the peculiar and very different characters of the first settlers has naturally produced so powerful an influence on their descendants that even at the present day, it is everywhere visible, and will remain so for many ages yet to
He who has visited in rapid succession the descendants of the Germans in Pennsylvania and Ohio, of the Dutch in New York and New Jersey, of the Scotch in North Carolina, of the French in Louisiana, and of the English in the New England