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Such a scene as this is dear to those who delight in the beauties of creation. Thoughts, reflections, and aspirations are called forth, which nature seldom fails to excite in hearts that blend their admiration of created things, with a reverential and grateful acknowledgment of their Creator's goodness. In the vast and the minute, nature is beautiful!
"To sit on rocks, to muse o'er flood and fell;
Where things that own not man's dominion dwell,
Converse with Nature's charms, and view her stores
I am now standing by the side of a high bank, on which the setting sun is shining. The receding earth has formed a hollow, a kind of cavern on a small scale, from the roof of which are hanging thousands of slender roots, with little dry clods of earth adhering to them. The breeze has put the slender roots in motion, and they and the suspended clods are fantastically moving in all directions, apparently mingling with the shadows they occasion against the farther side of the hollow. There
is something exquisite in the wild witchery of this scene. I have gazed delighted on many an excavation of nature and art,
Chambers fair, and glorious halls,
but this is entrancing.
Caverns of Derbyshire,
ye are outdone! Grotto of Antiparos, here is thine equal!
For some time I have been tracing the windings of this babbling brook. The ground is irregular and broken, so that the stream forms a continued series of cascades. There is nothing wilder, nothing more surpassingly beautiful, in the scenery of Devil's Bridge, than is here presented to the eye.
The fissure, the rift in the ground, through which the stream is forcing its way, begins to deepen and darken. I hear the waters, but I see them not. The sides of the rifts are clad with diversified brushwood, mosses, and straggling plants. A painter might here revel with his pencil; a poet might here lose himself in his sublimities. Were I about to purchase an estate, the valley and moat that I have described, and this tumbling miniature torrent, should be mine, if money could buy them: but I must hasten onwards.
A louder din of falling waters bursts upon Here is a sudden break in the ground; now then for the cataracts of the Nile! This is truly splendid! This six-feet fall is to me an infant Niagara !
The gulf! And how the giant element,
From rock to rock, leaps with delirious bound,
While I throw the reins on the neck of my imagination, the deafening torrent of the western world, the mighty fall that feeds the Lake Ontario, is before me.
Horribly beautiful! and on the verge,
From side to side, beneath the glittering morn,
An iris sits, amidst the infernal surge,
Like Hope upon a death bed; and, unworn
Its brilliant hues with all their beams unshorn :
Love watching Madness with unaltered mien."
Here are the smooth brow, the silvery brightness, the tortured waters, with the frothy surge and the lengthened river of Niagara, represented on a smaller scale, but equally rich in the garniture of its surrounding scenery, and the prodigality of its natural beauties. But enough-I
must hasten away, for the all-glorious sun is retiring from the skies. My ramble, though short, has been a pleasant one. I have given unbounded scope to my fancy, and found, in pond of two fathoms' length, a Lago Maggiore; in a trickling rivulet, a complete Devil's Bridge; and in a six-foot all, the awful sublimity of Niagara. And now I feel an emotion superior to aught that fancy can excite: these beauties are the handiwork of an almighty Father and Friend. "O Lord, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all the earth is full of thy riches," Psa. civ. 24.
AND has it gone forth to the world, that Windsor Castle, with its embattled towers, is the goodliest, the proudest, and the princeliest dwelling in Europe, and shall Old Humphrey find himself within a score miles of this regal residence, and pass it by! This were an omission hardly to be excused. I must visit this princely pile; gaze on its glories; climb its highest tower; pace along its unrivalled terrace, and pause in its far-famed chapel
Where beauty, youth, and power and fame
And royal heads, and royal hearts,
Are held in death's cold keeping.
I rose early; rumbled along the streets of London city, first in a cab, and afterwards in an omnibus, and then shot along the Great Western Railway at a rate that set my busy fancy at once to work. As the bickering engine hurried on, I