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error, they changed their course, and proceeded across the plain.
In this direction Captain Lewis had gone about two miles, when his ears were saluted with the agreeable sound of a fall of water; and as he advanced, a spray, which seemed driven by the high southwest wind, rose above the plain like a column of smoke, and vanished in an instant. Towards this point, he directed his steps; and the noise, increasing as he approached, soon became too tremendous to be mistaken for any thing but the great falls of the Missouri.
Having travelled seven miles after hearing the sound, he reached the falls about 12 o'clock. The hills, as he approached, were difficult of access', and about 200 feet high. Down these he hurried with impatience; and seating himself on some rocks under the centre of the falls, he enjoyed the sublime spectacle of this stupendous cataract, which, since the creation, had been lavishing its magnificence on the desert. These falls extend, in all
, over a distance of nearly twelve miles; and the medium breadth of the river varies from 300 to 600 yards. The principal fall is near the lower extremity, and is upwards of 80 feet perpendicular. The river is here nearly 300 yards wide, with perpendicular cliffs on each side, not less than 100 feet high. For 90 or 100 yards from the left cliff
, the water falls in one smooth, even sheet, over a precipice at least 80 feet high. The remaining part of the river precipitates itself also with great rapidity; but being received, as it falls, by irregular and projecting rocks, form a splendid prospect of white foam, 200 yards in length, and 80 in perpendicular elevation.
The spray is dissipated in a thousand shapes, flying up in high columns, and collecting into large masses, which the sun adorns with all the coloring of the rainbow. The fall, just described, must be one of the most magnificent and picturesque that is any where to be found. It has often been disputed, whether a cataract, in which the water falls in one sheet, or one where it is dashed irregularly among the rocks, is the finer object. It was reserved for the Missouri to resolve this doubt, by exhibiting both at once in the greatest magnificence.
There is another cascade, of about 47 feet, higher up the river, and the last of all is 26 feet; but the succession of inferior falls, and of rapids of very great declivity, is astonishingly great; so that, from the first to the last, the whole descent of the river is 384 feet.-"Just below the falls,” says Captain Lewis, “is a little island in the river, well covered with timber. Here, on a cotton-wood tree, an eagle had fixed his nest, and seemed the undisputed mistress of a spot, to invade which neither man nor beast could venture across the gulf that surrounds it; while it is farther secured by the mist that rises from the falls. This solitary bird has not escaped the observation of the Indians, who made the eagle's nest a part of their description of the falls which they gave us, and which proves now to be correct in almost every particular, except that they did not do justice to their height."
The river above the falls is quite unruffled and smooth, with numerous herds of buffaloes feeding on the plains around it. These plains open out on both sides, so that it is not improbable that they mark the bottom of an ancient lake, the outlet of which the river is still in the act of cutting down, and will require many ages to accomplish its work, or to reduce the whole to a moderate and uniform
eclivity. The eagle may then be dispossessed of her ancient and solitary domain.
On early rising.--HURDIS.
every flower that blows. Go to the field,
Breathe per'fumes exquisite. Expect it not,
A summer morning.-THOMSON. The meek-eyed morn appears, mother of dews, At first faint gleaming in the dappled east: Till far o'er éther spreads the widening glow; And, from before the lustre of her face, White break the clouds away. With quickened step, Brown Night retires : Young Day pours in apace, And opens all the lawny prospect wide. The dripping rock, the mountain's misty top, Swell on the sight, and brighten with the dawn. Blue, through the dusk, the smoking currents shine ; And from the bladed field the fearful hare Limps awkward: while along the forest glade The wild deer trip, and often, turning, gaze At early passenger. Music awakes The native voice of undissembled joy ; And thick around the woodland hymns arise. Rous'd by the cock, the soon-clad shepherd leaves His mossy cottage, where with Peace he dwells; And from the crowded fold, in order, drives His flock, to taste the verdure of the morn. Falsely luxurious, will not Man awake; And, springing from the bed of sloth, enjoy The cool, the fragrant, and the silent hour, To meditation due and sacred song? For is there aught in sleep can charm the wise ? To lie in dead oblivion, losing half
The fleeting moments of too short a life ;
But yonder comes the powerful King of Day,
'Tis by thy secret, strong, attractive force,
Informer of the planetary train !
The vegetable world is also thine,
Mean-time the expecting nations, circled gay
, kindling at thy touch,
Importance of Literature.-LORD LYTTLETON.
CADMUS AND HERCULES.
Hercules. Do you pretend to sit as high on Olympus as Hercules? Did you kill the Nemæ'an lion, the Erymanthian boar, the Lernean serpent, and Slymphalian birds ? Did you destroy tyrants and robbers? You value yourself greatly on subduing one serpent : I did as much as that while I lay in
Cadmus. It is not on account of the serpent, that I boast myself a greater benefactor to Greece than you. Actions should be valued by their utility, rather than their splendor. I taught Greece the art of writing, to which laws owe their precision and permanency. You subdued monsters; I civilized men. It is from untamed passions, not from wild beasts, that the greatest evils arise to human society. By wisdom, by art, by the united strength of a civil community, men have been enabled to subdue the whole race of lions, bears, and serpents; and, what is more, to bind by laws and wholesome regulations, the ferocious violence and dangerous treachery of the human disposition. Had lions been destroyed only in single combat,* men had had but a bad time of it; and what, but laws, could awe the men who killed the lions ? The genuine glory, the proper distinction of the rational species, arises from the perfection
* Pron, kům'-bat.