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jects, and chained the attention at once by its singularity and its beauty. The atmosphere was so exquisitely clear, that, even at this distance, we could plainly discover the houses built upon its sides; and the spires of two churches of the town could be seen glittering and sparkling in the sun, like fairy palaces. Many of the houses also, like the churches, are covered on the roof with tin; so that when the sun shines upon the town it is surrounded by a bright glory, and seems to realize the won. drous stories of enchantment. On the top of the hill, and along the middle of the ascent, the long lines of defence, the various batteries, that English profusion has drawn around the place, were marked objects, and gave a peculiar character to the place; and, even the flag-staff and the telegraph were plainly visible, giving, indeed, a finish to the scene which an artist can only duly appreciate ; but which, nevertheless, disturb the reflections of the sentimental traveller, speaking as they do, of things and feelings which he, in his hallucinations, loves not to dwell on. Every mile that we travelled down the river changed this scene, but yet left it the same. The river, unlike your petty puddles, was a broad sheet of the brightest water I ever saw; from shore to shore was miles in breadth,-I am afraid to say how many. However, Montmorenci (the island) lay in the midst, and when the river becomes again one undi. vided stream, the measurement must be by leagues, not miles. The giant scale of the landscape is to me the new and startling feature of it. England with its little round green hills, its fields divided like a little map, its snug cottages, its pretty lawns, and miniature woods, seems poor and insignificant when compared with this vast and splendid scenery. Rivers that spread out like seas, woods that seem to know no boundary, mountain suceeeding to mountain, lessening and lessening, shade after shade, hue after hue, colours and forms all multitudinous, form a whole that chains and rivets the attention, and by its immensity seems to task the imagination and the memory. When gazing on it, the giant scene appears too vast for ordinary conception: when no longer before us, we find it difficult to call up ideas that equal the reality. We have a dim remembrance that there was a vast and wondrous scene, gorgeous in colour, beautiful, and infinitely various in form, and multitudinous in its objects. But so new and wonderful was the scene, that our emotions appear to have stifled our perceptions. To recall those emotions the scene itself seems requisite-so poor and faint is the memory when compared with the magnificent reality. There are few things that in life have made me feel this inadequacy. That the American Landscape should have made me feel it, I take not to be the least of its wonders. We must now, however, proceed on our journey.
It was requisite that we should go forward into the mountains, put up our horse, and obtain a guide. We should otherwise have had no shelter for the night, and should have toiled and fatigued ourselves uselessly, in endeavouring, with our unpractised eyes, to find our way through the woods. As we got higher on the mountains, the scene which I have already described became more distinct, and our view more extensive, till at length we saw a range of hills, that I was told were in the State of Vermont. Toiling up the steep road, we were suddenly startled by the deep sound of a gun; it was mid-day, and turning towards Quebec, we could see a white column of smoke rising from the citadel. The twelve o'clock gun, which had often been fired without my knowing it while in the town, I could plainly hear at the distance of between thirty and forty miles. The sound, moreover, was not a faint one, but rolled with a sharp bounding echo among the many hills around us. Having reached the house to which we had been directed, we unloaded our vehicle, fed our horse, which certainly had already done a good day's work, and proceeded ourselves to the great operation of satisfying our hunger. Our fare was not very good, the bread, as usual, being painfully sour; and the eternal fat pork of the country salt and disagreeable, as usual. We did not, however, come to eat savoury viands, but to see beautiful scenery. Mine host was therefore summoned, and with him came mine hostess, and half-a-dozen chil. dren, in fact the household ; whereupon a consultation was held in Canadian French on the one side, and English French on the other. They had it hollow against us. Half-a-dozen talked at a time, so that was three to one; while they also were fluent in their jargon, which was more than we were in ours. In process of time, nevertheless, in spite of this Babel of tongues, they were made to comprehend our object; and a young Jean Baptiste was engaged to guide us through the woods to the river, and the falls of St. Anne.
In spite of the heat, we com enced our march ; and having arrived at the woods, were at least sheltered from the burning rays of the sun; the air was nevertheless oppressive, and almost stilling—not a breath of wind was stirring—the mosquitoes even were still—a dead silence reigned throughout the primeval forest—and such a forest! The land in this part of the country is not fertile, consequently the woods are of less gigantic growth than many I have seen on finer soils. To my European eye, nevertheless, not yet habituated to the mighty woods of the more western territories, these appeared magnificent. Nothing can well be conceived less like any woods you have in England ; and taking spot for spot, say an acre for an acre of forest in England, the comparison for effect would be against America generally. I have seen territories, nevertheless, which, from the extreme richness of the land, would surpass all English forests even by this mode of piecemeal comparison. The pine forests would always do so. The peculiarity of the American woods does not consist in this magnificence of the single trees. Take one tree with another, and they are long, branchless, clear, mast-like poles ; and looking merely at one divested of its associates, nothing can be more paltry and insignificant. But dash into the woods, and your feelings will be of a different nature. You are at once impressed with the idea, that you are in an interminable forest. No light glimmering to the right hand or the left, before or behind you, tells of fields and lands uncovered with wood. Go to the depths of the New Forest in Hampshire ; seek out its bosky dells, its deepest shades, and you will vainly hope for such a feeling. The giant trees, (and it has never been my wish to see mere magnificent beeches than wave in the forests of Hampshire) though they spread out, and almost make " a noon-day night,” cannot impress you with the belief that you are in a deep and never ending forest. Some stream of light may be seen, falling through the thin and faulty skreen of trees : a glimpse is every moment caught of some distant hill: some winding road—a housema church spire-a fence, tells us of the proximity of man. But here nature seems to reign alone, free, uncontrolled ; playing her wildest fancies, until dominion over her appears impossible. You tread upon ground on which the sun never shone : the leaves under your feet have carpeted that earth for centuries : generation of the fallen has succeeded to generation. The forest has renewed itself frem age to age ; but the same thick ca
nopy has overshadowed the land, the same deep bed of leaves has been its covering. The clear, round, straight stems shoot up high into the sky vast, and multitudinous pillars, supporting the wide and arching roof of close knit branches over us. In the depths of the dark pine forests, the effect is yet more striking : the scene is on a scale yet more vast—the shade they cast is of a “yet browner hue;" and as the winds pass over their lofty heads, breaking with a heavy and deep murmur the almost oppressive stillness of the forest with a sound yet more solemn and oppressive, we could understand, and almost feel the superstition of our old progenitors, whose fears gave to these dark abodes a character of holiness. Such were fit places for incantations,—and for the juggling arts of a wily priesthood. To the trembling savage a god might well be present in such a scene. The fitful murmur above might easily be in. terpreted to be his voice ; and its tones might be of anger or love, as the will of the priest determined.
For “ these thick coming fancies” we had little leisure, as our stout guide forced his way through the impervious-looking forest with a rapidi. ty that tasked our speed and our wind to keep him in sight. He soon brought us to a shelving bank, to the bottom of which we vainly endea. voured to look. The descent seemed to be to the shades below; and as we began to hear a certain indescribable dull rumbling sound, we checked our headlong guide, and began to question him as to where he was bent upon taking us. We were not much afraid of reaching Old Pluto's abodes by this route ; but, nevertheless, felt anxious to know whither an unlucky stumble might suddenly hurry us. By the noise, it was evident that the river could not be far off; and we felt by no means certain, that a trip might not plunge us headlong into the boiling floods below. Our guide, however, made exceedingly light of these fears; and it was evident that he knew well “ each bosky dell of this wild wood," having acquired such accurate knowledge, not in consequence of any predilection for sentimental musings, any love of the poetical or sublime, but from the necessity of finding and bringing home certain vagrant cows; and also, as it appeared, from having during the whole of his boyhood fished up and down the river, with most unseemly and unscientific tackle, but with very great success. It appeared that we were descending to the bottom of the falls; that, according to the taste of our guide, being the most eligible spot for seeing them. The river here was in a deep valley, the precipitous sides of which are completely covered with wood; we consequently could see nothing, excepting that we were going down a very rapid descent. We proceeded thus many hundred feet before we reached the level of the river above the falls; and when arrived at that point, our route became not only difficult but dangerous. The road was no longer over a sloping bank, but down a very rugged precipice, upon the face of which we had to scramble down by the aid of projecting stones, twigs, roots, and branches. A rule religiously adhered to, in travelling through an ordinary wood, when in company, is never to take hold of a branch or brushwood in your path; as by so doing you are almost certain of severely striking the person following you, the branch or twig springing back to the point from which you had bent it. Adhering to this rule, you may keep close together, and walk in sight of each other. In our present descent, however, as on such holding was our chief support, we were obliged to let our guide go somewhat farther a-head; and as we often lost sight of him, he and ourselves kept up a constant shouting. Our voices rang around, with a pleasant, cheering echo, till they were gra.
dually drowned in the roaring din of the waters to which we were ad. vancing. Now, what with catching only stray glimpses of our guide, (who by the by seemed mightily to enjoy our difficulties,) what with the steep and difficult nature of the descent, the rvaring of the falls, which served to distract and confuse us, the toiling down this pathless precipice was no pleasant achievement. With no farther disaster than sundry bruises on our shins, and an occasional rent of our habiliments, we reached level ground ; and after a step or two, were on the banks of the river, immedi. ately under the falls. The scene that burst upon us repaid us for our journey. We were at the bottom of a vast amphitheatre ; the sides of which were up to the very top covered with splendid foliage. Exactly facing us, the river came at two distinct leaps from about the middle to the bottom. Jutting dark crags, clothed with graceful, feathery, fan. tastic trees, appeared along the whole line of the fall, relieved by their deep colours against the white foam of the falling waters. A deeply in. dented basin received the headlong river, where for a while it raged and foamed, and danced in a thousand whirling eddies. Soon becoming quiet, it glided in a swift and glassy course down a smooth bed, sweeping in graceful curves round the various points of land that shot out into its waters, till at length we lost sight of it winding round the base of the hill we had just descended. I can thus in general terms give you a vague description of this exquisite scene. But no words, however definite, can bring before your mind the thousand beauties which we then beheld. Long rays of sunlight crossed the white flood in its descent, and streaming over the opposite hills brought out one-half the amphitheatre in a bright relief. The deep cool shades of the overhanging banks, the swift glancing of the glassy, dark-brown waters, the blazing contrast of light, and of bright foam, the shifting forms of the fall itself, the continuous din, in which a thousand gibbering voices seemed to join, made altogether a scene of wonders, and almost supernatural beauty. I could, in spite of myself, feel my cheek fush, my breath become short and thick, as in my imagination I peopled this dazzling valley, and gave to the voices which seemed to be about and around me forms which floated before my wrapt vision in airy beauty, voluptuous and alluring. In the midst of this wild and sentimental hallucination, the young Canadian coming close to my side, roared out at the top of his voice, in order that I might hear, “ that the spot where we were standing was a capital place for troutfishing.” Away went all my vision. The dull realities of life usurped its place. Trouts and artificial flies blotted out my glowing fancies of voluptuous beauty; and I could have almost thrown the urchin into the river for recalling me to a sober consideration of the good things of this world. I know not what others experience, but I have ever found this curious tendency to people the air around me with actual beings, when near a waterfall. The sound made by the falling waters seems curiously full of voices, “ of airy tongues that syllable men's names ;” it shifts and floats about, as if governed by some fitful mind : and it is difficult, when perfectly undisturbed, to separate the idea of sentient and thinking being from sounds which bear so close a resemblance to the human voice. Our guide evidently had no contemplations of this sort. He meditated an attack on the trout; and having learned that I had various tackle in my pocket, he quickly provided himself with a rod out of a small tapering spruce, and was soon, to himself, pleasantly employed in dragging the fish out of the water; throwing them, after the approved Canadian fashion, over his head. My companion and myself took out our pencils and sketch-books, and were soon busily employed in endea. vouring to trace some of the more marked and prominent beauties of the scene before us. We wandered, each according to his fancy, along the banks, and through the many coves of this sweet river, vainly endeavouring to imitate its magic beauties, and muttering broken curses at the vanity of our attempts.
The sun was now palpably sinking, and M. Jean Baptiste suggested the propriety of our returning. As we exhibited little alacrity in obey. ing his call, and lingered still to admire, still to find new beauties, and watch the effect of the shadows as they fell over mountain and over ri. ver, he gave us to understand that a thunder storm was coming on, and that we might get a thorough soaking before we reached shelter ; not to speak of the evils of ascending the mountain in the dark, and during a storm. Thus admonished, we quitted this scene of fairy land, and began to toil up the hill down which we had scrambled a few hours before. The sun was down before we were well out of the woods, and the deep purple evening had settled over the valleys, and on the swelling hills, long before we had reached our place of rest for the night. Along the north-west portion of the sky, deep black clouds were to be seen rising, one after another, in massy, lurid-looking columns; while ever and anon a long loud growl would burst out, and roll along the hills, telling, in very definite language, the nature of the hosts we saw advancing. Shortly after our arrival, the sky became absolutely black, and the heat pain. fully oppressive. The cattle looked up wistfully to the sky, evidently in a state of alarm. The storm came upon us at once in all its fury, and carried off, without delay or warning, the top of an old barn or outhouse belonging to our host. Away went the shingles and clouds of straw ; crash came the thunder, making the windows rattle, and the very house shake. Long jagged streams of lightning, breaking out into myriads of flaming stars, as if the heavens were filled with rockets, actually blinded us. This appeared to the good people a serious affair ; so, with much reverence, a girl brought out a quart bottle, containing a quantity of real holy water, fresh made by the priest a few days before. She began, after sundry crossings, &c. to sprinkle the house and its inmates. When she reached us, she doubted, as if not exactly knowing whether we should approve of the aspersion. Her mother settled the matter by saying, the “ Messieurs did not need it, as they were not Catholics.” How different would have been the expression, had theirs been the dominant religion! It woul then have been, “ They do not deserve it, being heretics." There is nothing that so promotes toleration as being undermost, and fearing persecution. The storm rolled over us without doing farther injury; and as the fears of our hosts disappeared, they bethought them of providing refreshment for us, their weary guests. After a plentiful supper, eaten with no ordinary appetite, we betook our. selves to rest ; and, in spite of all the opposing incidents of taste, and the disagreeable odour always to be found in a Canadian house, arising from cedar brooms, and a vast list of et ceteras, we quickly went to sleep, to dream of the exquisite beauties which the day had shewn us. Adieu !