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the river descends about eighty feet: at Brunswick it goes down among saw mills and broken masses of stone fifty feet more.
At length it joios itself to the Kennebeck, a lazy and sluggish stream, in Merry-meeting Bay: a very appropriate name : for if the Androscoggin could be supposed to be an intelligent and animated being, it might well rejoice on coming within sight of the broad Atlantic. Indeed, it owes no gratitude to the earth for mingling its waters with its indolent partner, and afterwards with the broad ocean : for, from the moment of its rising among the Northern Hills, until its arrival at the place of destination, it receives no favors, but forces its way along by violence ; encountering and subduing all possible difficulties, and often scooping out for itself a channel through the solid rock.
This river bas scenery singularly wild and elegant. I have been floated over its current where it steals out from the Lakes, in those bright days which gladden the declining year, when departing summer lingers with its warmest smile upon the lap of autumn. The Fish Hawk screamed from the dry branches of some stately tree, and smoothed his feathers, or plunged in the water for his prey. The stream glided on calmly through green recesses, overshadowed by majestic pines, as if pausing to enjoy the cool shade. There was scarcely a sound, except the voluptuous humming of the bees, plundering from the flowers that bent over the clear expanse, their sweets. The Squirrel, that merry little Aristocrat, sat up and gnawed his nut shell with a most princely air, and looked down upon the small birds, fluttering and pecking beneath, with supreme contempt, till tired with his feast, he bounded away and frolicked among the branches with light hearted joy. The Bittern crept along the sands, and the Wild Ducks swam down in fleets, till, frightened by the dashing of our oars, they took flight with loud' but not unmusical cries. Sometimes the stream gushed through narrow passes where the eternal hills closed down on either hand upon its path, and then there were the broken murmurs of the rapids. The forests stained by the early frosts, had put on their robes of many colors. Rich dyes were on the leaves, crimson and yellow, purple and gold: The Maples dressed in deep red, Jooked like warriors sprinkled with blood; and as the drapery, so peculiar to our seasons and climate, spread along the bills, it appeared like a Persian carpet let down from the summits and Aoating along the sides.
Reserving a general description of the Mountains and a narra
tion of the interesting facts gathered from the observations of others or the results of personal experience, to be placed, as important matters commonly are, in a Postscript, we would now invite the reader to join our little party and clamber with us over the rocks.
Leaving, with regret, the smooth and level road along the intervale of the Androscoggin, we turned westward into the forest, and pursued our journey through highways hollowed out from the woods, and carried over the little streams and meadows on most uncomfortable structures, formed by placing the trunks of trees parallel with each other, and very happily named “gridiron bridges," from their close resemblance to the separated bars and rough surface of that instrument, till we arrived at a cottage built of squared and jointed logs. The interstices between the timbers were closely filled with moss, so as to shut out wind and rain, and the building, wainscotted on the interior with broad strips of Hemlock bark, bad an air of great neatness and substantial useful
lo the front, uprose the majestic height; the sides clothed with the deep green covering of Firs and Pines, except where dark furrows marked the path of the headlong torrents, fed from the snows above : and the bare summit, grey and bald with age.
Having procured an addition to our party, not in the capacity of a guide, but of a baggage waggon, to transport our moveables, we set forward. The inventory of our goods and chattels was not swelled with the list of philosophical instruments, the incumbrances of learned travellers. It was the noon of a sultry June day, and we succeeded in ascertaining, with tolerable accuracy, that it was hot, without the aid of a thermometer; we were equally fortunate, after a few hours toil, in the discovery that we were climbing up-hill, without the assistance of a barometer. Having no felonious design upon the stones, and little acquaintance with the profound science of minerals, so abounding with barbarous names, that the uninitiated are compelled to wonder, that words so stupendous should ever have been invented, and admire even more, , that they can be recollected, we were not even provided with a hammer. Not intending to enter into any speculations on heights or distances, we had not brought in memory, sines, or angles, or tangents, figures which it is a wo to see, and a misery to hear named.
An easy walk of about two miles through a field of stately Ma
ples, brought us to the foot of the mountain, on the northeast of the range, and we began to ascend along the banks of a stream which conveys its tribute to the Androscoggin. Beneath the Pines and Firs, the earth was covered with a thick and luxuriant growth of bushes, peculiar to the woods of Northern regions. As we advanced, the way, if so it may be said, where way there was none, became more difficult. Fallen and decaying trunks, prostrated by the storms, obstructed the passage. Sometimes rocks were piled upon rocks, presenting abrupt precipices along which we rose, resting on some feeble foothold, and leaping from one moss grown crag to another, with great labor and some little peril. Had a branch broken, a root drawn from its slender fastening, or a stone overturned, the reader might have been amused with the pleasant addition of a catalogue of broken bones. The hosts of vexatious insects who find shelter among the evergreens, swarmed round us in such multitudes that it seemed as if intelligence must have been communicated by telegraphic dispatches of our arrival, to collect such legions in so short a space. The Musquito sounded his shrill horn, the little Gnat answered the signal with 'his trumpet, and the Black Flies joining their forces, they all commenced a most active attack upon our veins, continuing operations without mercy. They fixed their stings in every point of surface exposed without covering; where the protecting dress was thin, they settled and drank with great satisfaction of the blood below; where it was loose, they used no ceremony in procuring their repast. If fatigue forced us to yawn, they very freely entered our mouths, and with great impertinence intruded themselves along with the prospects, into our eyes. The Crocodile, notorious all over the world for his hypocrisy, is said to feign sleep, and spread open his enormous jaws, to secure a repast upon the prey collected in this manner: if the feast were not more agreeable to him, than it proved to us, he would not easily be persuaded to try the same trick a second time. Not a breath of air stirred among the leaves. The dense foliage shut out the views above, below, and around.
Six hours of severe labor had brought us about five miles upon our way, when the shades of evening carne silently and calmly upon the forest. Upon the margin of a rivulet we found a suitable place for repose and there we kindled our fire to prepare our simple meal, to fright away the wild beasts, and to stifle with its smoke the legions of tormentors. Our tent was of easy construc
tion. Clearing a little spot before the blaze, two forked sticks were erected, supporting a pole laid across horizontally; rafters rested on this beam, sloping towards the ground after the most approved architectural rules for the inclination of roofs. A thatch of Hemlock branches covered these timbers, and the same material inclosed the sides. Small twigs of the Fir tree, spread under this shelter, made a fragrant and pleasant bed. The preparations for supper were of no trifling importance to those who had gained a keen appetite from severe exercise. Hunger wonderfully quickens invention, and we were soon supplied with a culinary apparatus, which Count Rumford might have envied for its simplicity and perfection. With a split stick for spit, strips of Birch bark for plates, fingers and teeth for knives and forks, and a mountain relish for food, we contrived to make a sumptuous repast of our roasted pork, and sweetened the princely feast with pure water from the spring, by way of desert. These preliminaries being satisfactorily adjusted, we stretched ourselves on the perfumed couches so easily prepared, and diligently invited sleep. Our winged enemies had no intention of concluding an armistice, or of ceasing hostilities, to permit the enjoyment of such refreshment; the only intervals of slumber were, when the thick smoke of the huge fire, blazing in front, fell upon the house and obliged these busy antagonists to decamp. Once, the impatience under their incessant provocation, had nearly produced serious inconvenience. In a moment of great indignation, I seized on one of the main pillars of the building, with a degree of strength, compared with the frail structure, even as that of him of old, who moved the columns of the temple to and fro till they fell and crushed the flower of the Philistines, their best and noblest, on the day of their solemn festival: the results were almost similar: we were half buried beneath the ruins drawn down on the buzzing disturbers of the peace.
With the first light of returning day we struck our tent, and took up the line of march, to finish the remaining four miles.The trees became more dwarfish and diminutive in stature, and the carpet of moss thicker and deeper. At length we emerged from among the taller plants and entered a zone of different character where the stunted Pines, short Spruces, and low Firs, were matted and twisted together. These natives of the highlands, perhaps planted in the solitude in the days of Adam, have scarcely reached a height equal to that of the degenerate descendants from
The Father of the Human Race. The trunks are stout and firmly tooted, shooting out strong horizontal branches, closely interwoven, and forming an almost impenetrable barrier. At about the distance of a mile from the summit, the thicket terminated, and a barren region commenced, covered with moss to the depth of a foot, and without trees. Rocks were piled together, in separate fragments of all varieties of shape and size, yet so firmly wedged and fixed as to afford a firm and solid foot-hold for the tread of the passer.The ascent was made toilsome by the steep declivity, and vexatious from the structure of the sterile waste. One peak, standing directly before other and higher elevations, intercepted the view from below, and seemed the termination of what had become a very weary journey for pleasure; but after clambering up the rocky side, another steep presented itself rising beyond, raising the same hope that it was the last, to end in the same disappointment. At length we did reach the last, and stood op one of the highest summits of the most elevated land in North America.
An account of the sublime scenery, as well as of the descent from the mountain height, may perhaps occupy a small space in some future number.
SELECTED FROM THE ESCULAPIAN REGISTER.
TORTURE OF DAMIENS.
ROBERT FRANCIS DAMIENs, we are informed from history, in the year 1757, made an attempt to assassinate the King of France. Without entering into details of what led him to the commission of this crime, we shall merely state the sufferings he was made to undergo. Whoever wishes a detail of the affair, will find it in a work of 4 vols. printed in Paris in the same year. An Epitome of which may be found in the Monthly Review, vol. 17th, p. 57, from which our extracts are taken.
The prisoner was accordingly, January 17, 1757, removed, under a strong guard, from Versailles to the Conciergerie, where he arrived at two o'clock in the morning of the 17th.
The interesting charge of keeping this prisoner safe for judgment, made every possible human precaution to be taken against his escape, by strengthening the prison, by posting sentinels, guards, &c. who patrolled constantly the night round. On the inside of the Conciergerie, there were sentinels placed from the entry to the court in which stands the tower of Montgomery. At