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VALLEY OF THE MISSISSIPPI.

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Beneath these sandstone cliffs, and through the wide expanse of the vast prairies, flows that stupendous river, which has been already mentioned, and which collects in its progress of more than 3000 miles the waters of a hundred rivers:

To whose dread expanse,
Continuous depth, and wondrous length of course,
Our floods are rills. With unabated force,
In silent dignity they sweep along,
And traverse realms unknown, and blooming wilds
And fruitful deserts, worlds of solitude,
Where the sun smiles and seasons teem in vain,
Unseen and unenjoy’d. Forsaking these
O'er peopled plains they fair diffusive flow
And many a nation feed, and circle safe

In their soft bosoms many a happy isle.—Thomson. The Mississippi is the onegreat river into which the others

pour their tributary waters, and so vast is its extent that he who commences his voyage up the river at New Orleans in the spring, will leave behind him blossoming shrubs and flowers; and outtravelling the

progress of the season, he will find the forest-trees that shadow the Ohio just beginning to expand. In returning, too, at Autumn, a beautifully graduated and inverted scale is equally apparent. When the trees at Pittsburgh are bared by the frost, those of Cincinnati will be in the yellow leaf, while at Natchez the orchards appear in their summer livery. The mighty valley through which the Mississippi flows, and to which it lends a name, is equally productive and extensive. The Creator has not poured such a noble river through a barren land. The soil is deep, and capable of the richest culture, and here and there round and rough too, of

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VALLEY OF THE MISSISSIPPI. masses of granite are conspicuous. The remains,

ancient forests are still visible on the upper grounds; but on the lower cities have arisen, and orchards and gardens cover the sites of thicklymatted woods; the axe and spade have also extended to the distant mountains, and log-huts, and cultivated fields are seen beside the sources of those rivers, which swell the torrent of the Mississippi. W

Sixty nations once inhabited this splendid valley, but war and intoxication have thinned them. What their ancestors were we know not, yet traces are still found which indicate a superior degree of civilization, and convey the impression that a different race once inhabited the banks of the Mississippi. But those who have been driven from their favourite resorts, into the still unsettled parts, are apparently a melancholy and sullen race. They do not readily sympathize with external nature, and nothing but an overwhelming excitement can arouse them, Their converse with woods and deserts, with the roar of winds and storms, and the gloom and desolation of the wilderness; their seeming banishment from social nature, and the sight of continual encroachments made upon their hunting grounds by men whom they consider as belonging to an inferior race; the dangers, too, by which they are surrounded, and their constant struggles to maintain a precarious existence, all conduce to blunt the finer feelings of their nature and to impress upon their countenances a steady and unalterable gloom. Hence arise the horrors of their dreadful warfare, and the cruelties practised on their captives; the alternations of hope and despair, and

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the fury of gratified revenge. Such are the descendants of those vast tribes, to whom once belonged the valley of the Mississippi; but such they were not always, for William Penn thus writes concerning those of the same country:"In liberality they excel; nothing is too good for a friend, give them a fine gun or coat, it may pass twenty hands before it stick. Light of heart, strong affections, but soon spent.

The most merry creatures that live; feast and dance perpetually, they never have much, nor do they want much; wealth circulates with them like the blood; yet still they possess great national sagacity, and speak on great occasions with much elegance." Such was the Indian of the Mississippi, before oppression and strong liquor changed his character.

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There is, perhaps, no class of animals, with which so many pleasing associations are connected as the Squirrel, that glad-hearted and rejoicing creature, which lives on trees, and seems an emblem of sprightliness and innocence. The sight of him recalls to mind the beauty and repose of woodland scenery, the rivulet that leaps sparkling from some broken

crag, the trees that droop and bend across the stream, and that wild voice which comes mel. lowed, as it breaks upon the traveller's ear, from amid innumerable leaves and branches. Such is the Squirrel's favourite haunt, in our own green woods; and such, also, in every part of the known world. Wherever the forest boughs are thick, and the waters flash and sparkle, there is he seen to roam free and unrestrained with his kindred. We have spoken elsewhere of the European species, and now those of the Transatlantic States ust detain us a few moments. But who that has not watched and waited, in their own beautiful retreats, may reckon the vast numbers that extend from the remotest boundaries of South America, to the furthest north, or tell them in order by their names? There is the Masked Squirrel and the Black, the Red-bellied, Side-marked, and River, Large-tailed, Flying, Mexican, and Georgian, the Petaurus, and Guerlinquet, with innumerable others, concerning which no particulars have reached us.

The Gray, or Carolina (Sciurus cinereus), differs little, if at all, in his specific character, from his playful relatives of the ancient world. Gay and vivacious, he has all the customs of the common European Squirrel. While running at the utmost

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speed, this graceful forester will stop in an instant, and turn and return by the same path, without any apparent cause. When captured, he suffers himself to be handled, without the least resistance, yet he seems to have little individual attachment, and rarely answers to his name, however familiar with the voice that calls him, and, however much of kindness may be associated with that voice. But he well knows the cracking of a nut, and comes readily at the sight of food. He is fond of warmth, and seems to enjoy basking in the sun-beams, as his greatest luxury. When evening draws in, he collects together a bundle of hay or straw, or withered leaves, and then rolling the mass around him, he retires to rest.

We may also briefly notice the Flying Squirrel of America, the Sciurus volucella of Linnæus, as affording a striking instance, that instinct, and the small degree of reason which is given to the lower orders of creation, beautifully harmonize with the sphere of action to which they are assigned. In proportion as the young are helpless and susceptible of cold, so the affection and tender care of the parent is increased. Thus we find that in the Carolina Squirrel, the careful mother warms and cherishes her offspring, in the ample folds of the lateral wing, or membrane, with which she is invested. When she leaves her nest, in order to find food for herself and them, she fondly covers her little family with the moss which she has collected. Yet though the Squirrel is generally found in woods, some of this extensive tribe seem placed by their Creator amid sterile and inhospitable scenes, as if mementos

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