« НазадПродовжити »
The falls are not the only entertainment this delightful spot af. fords. The abundant petrifactions scattered over the rocks constitute a subject of great interest and curiosity. A museum of organic remains collected in the vicinity is already extensive. Many of the articles have been found lying loose on the surface of the rock, while others have been procured by blasting. In some places the number is so great that the whole ledge seems composed almost entirely of once animated beings. They consist exclusively of marine animals of every kind and description, and from their astonishing abundance one would be led to conclude, that this part of the country, at some unknown period in the history of the globe, had been set apart as the grand cemetery for the tenants of the deep. As seen in the rock they occur in every possible shape and attitude ; sometimes the positions of the animals indicate, that at the moment of transformation from flesh to stone, they were moving ; sometimes they appear to have been in search of food; and sometimes in the very act of devouring each other! Several fish are exhibited resembling the eel, containing shell fish nearly as large as themselves. Sometimes a large collection of the same species or genus will be seen within a small circle ; at another time the same group will appear, with the exception of some intruder of a different family who has thrust himself into the company. There are specimens in the museum resembling the cat-fish, which are near three feet in length, and are in a wonderfully perfect state of preservation. The most delicate and tender parts, the fins, scales, eyes, &c. are as well defined as in the living animal. Shells of all sizes, from the pin's head to the oyster, appear in the rock. Worms resembling the common angle-worm are found in great abundance; some are stretched at full length as if crawling ; others are coiled up. In some instances a miscellaneous group will appear, consisting of snakes, fish, shells, worms, and all the monsters of the deep huddled together.
The reputation this place enjoys among the travelling public is rapidly increasing. It is but a few years since the axe was first laid to the forest, and the wild and uncultivated condition of the country in the vicinity rendered the place inaccessible except to the hunter and the savage. Until very lately there was no way to approach it but on foot, and the difficulty of descending the bold and precipitous banks compelled the disappointed traveller to view from projecting cliffs the beautiful and interesting scene beneath. The thickly branching firs hanging over the deep chasm, rendered
the objects indistinctly visible, and an imperfect view was afforded. These obstructions, however, are now removed and a convenient and safe staircase has been constructed, by which the descent to the river is easy and secure. The Falls at Trenton are daily increasing in celebrity, and the number of visiters resorting to them during the travelling season is already so great that they will soon command a crowd of admirers not less formidable than that which performs its annual pilgrimage to the Cataract of Niagara. Many who have visited both are divided in opinion which of the two most excites astonishment and gratifies curiosity. But they are improper objects to compare with each other. The impressions made on viewing the two scenes are totally unlike. Niagara from the immense volume of its water is inconceivably grand and sublime ; but the extremely romantic and picturesque appearance of the falls at Trenton are finely contrasted with the giant element of the lakes. At Niagara the most bold and terrific objects of the scene may be grouped together from one spot; but here every change of position sets the picture in a new and advantageous light.
A VISIT IN CANADA.
The present age has been distinguished above all its predecessors for the bold spirit of adventure and the eager zeal of discovery. Both have been fostered and encouraged by the political condition and the social relations of pations. The march of the vast armies of princes and the visits of the numerous ships of merchants, have equally contributed to furnish knowledge of the regions desolated by the scourge of warfare or enriched by the peaceful interchange of the productions of the earth. The advances of the sciences and the progress of the arts have removed the obstructions formerly operating to prevent or restrain the gratification of the desire to survey other climes and note the manners of their inhabitants. The extent of commercial intercourse and the improvements of modern invention have facilitated communication between the most distant regions. In former times, the voyage across the Atlantic was preceded by months of preparation, by the making, signing, and sealing of wills, the arrangement of all temporal concerns, and the tearsal farewells of friends, who parted as if never to meet again, or if the perils of the deep were fortunately passed, to re
join each other only after the weary lapse of years. Now, the voyager only informs his acquaintances he is going to Europe, embarks on board a vessel adorned like a floating palace, and in a few days is on a foreign shore. A little time, and he re-appears at his customed place of business, as if no remarkable event had occurred. The conveniences for traversing the solid portion of our globe are not less increased and multiplied, and many are those who improve them. The voice of the Traveller is heard in the tent of the Arab and the hut of the Esquimaux: the snowy wastes of the frozen north, and the desert fields of the sultry equator, are not barriers to his enterprising disposition. The Indian, even in the western wilderness, where he yet is free to chase the deer and bow to the Great Spirit in the manner of his fathers, is no longer safe from the incursions of the white man: the proverbial hospitality of the roring hordes of the East has been almost exhausted by the successive bands of guests who have come to devour their substance. The hosts of explorers have gone forth to every quarter of the globe where man has a home or the wild beast a den. It is not enough that earth is plundered, that mountains are climbed and caves explored, the elements have not escaped from the daring adventurers of this period. The silken ships of aerial navigation float on-high, and the clouds are subjected to examination. Diving bells sink beneath the waves to ransack the green recesses of the sea, and bring their secrets to light. Curiosity has almost exhausted the fields of its researches, and projectors, sighing like the conqueror of old for other worlds to subdue, propose to dig up new territories from the interior regions of our planet.
The travelling mania has not been confined to the book makers by profession, or to the natives of foreign lands. In our own country the epidemic has prevailed to an alarming extent. The whole race of Editors have been itinerants. When the summer sun brings forth the butterflies of fashion from their winter retreats, when the crowds of the gay, and the idle pour out from the cities, to drain health from the fountains of bitter waters, to revel in the halls around their sources, or to chase pleasure over the mountain heights, down the mighty rivers, and through all the vicissitudes of a tedious pilgrimage, then these ingenious gentlemen bave mingled with the busy and the indolent, the wise and the merry. They have been seen noting the changing tints painted by the sun beam on the spray of the cataract, gathering up the mouldering bones from the battle fields of other days, scrutinizing the lovely features
of nature, and entering inventories of her chartas in their port-folios. The elegant and accurate descriptions, the minute and faithful delineations of the stupendous features of scenery, associated with the brightest remembrances of our History,'which have enriched the columns of our periodical folios of four pages, are so many cotemporary witnesses attesting to the industrious research and accurate observation of the legion of pilgrims.
For those who follow in the paths they have trodden little remains. The rich harvests have been gathered, and the scattered straws of information remaining on the fields of their labors are few and far between. The freshness of novelty has departed from our borders, and he who could now successfully catch the fleeting beauties of the landscape, or bring out from the stores of history the records of other times, would not present unknown portraits or unheard tales to his readers. Yet it is not unprofitable to brighten the memory of the incidents of former days, nor useless to repeat the facts once, perhaps, familiar as the faces of our kindred.Therefore we have proposed to set in order a few of the recollections of a brief sojourn in the Canadian Provinces of his Britannic Majesty, believing they may afford gratification to some whose eyes will rest upon the pages they occupy.
The engagements of business and the hope of amusement rendered it convenient to the writer, during the sultry period of the summer now passed, to pursue the road leading to Quebec along the banks of the beautiful Kennebec. This route, wild and rude as it is, borrows no little interest from association with Arnold, the bravest and basest of his time, the man for whom our language has no name sufficiently expressive of contempt, who united the bold and fearless bearing of the soldier with the dissimulation and perfidy of the traitor, who regarded dangers as playthings, and the most solemn obligations imposed by the laws of human society and sanctioned by the commands of God, as cobwebs. At the very commencement of the struggle between the then colonies and the mother country, he led that ill-fated and romantic expedition through the wilderness which terminated beneath the walls of Quebec in defeat and irretrierable loss. Proposing hereafter to trace his march, and review the sufferings of the gallant and patriotic band, who encountered all the difficulties of a journey through the tangled forest in the most inclement season of the year, we shall not now pause to estimate their cxertions or appreciate their merits.
The principal source of the Kennebec River, which we must introduce to our readers as their guide in the weary passage we are commencing, is the Moose Head Lake, à noble sħeet of water, thirty miles in length and about fifteen of average breadth, embosomed in the forest region of Maine. The stream issuing from this inland sea receives the appellation of Moose River; at the distance of about thirty miles from its fountain it is joined by the Dead River, collecting its supplies among the distant western hills, and flowing with an indolent and sluggish motion. After the junction of these two great streams, their separate names and individual character are equally lost, and their united waters go down together to the sea, under the title of Kennebec, borrowed from the Sachem Kannabis, the Indian King whose dominions once extended along its tranquil and placid stream. Traversing a region unbroken by craggy precipices or lofty elevations, it is not interrupted by many cataracts or rapids, or forced to burst its way through obstructing rocks. Sinking below the surface, the steep banks on either side restrain its floods within narrow limits, and prevent them from contributing by their annual deposits to the fertility of the soil over a wide tract of country. It is a singular fact that there is a greater extent of alluvion on those rivers of New England rising among the mountain heights, than on those fed from the fountains of comparatively level places. The waters collected on the lofty peaks from the dissolving snows and from the clouds and vapors of higher regions, are poured down suddenly into the vallies at their feet; then sweeping along the rapid descents, they tear away the opposing masses, and year after year enlarge their channels into wide plains fertilized by their inundations. The Rivers passing over scenes less marked by bold and prominent features, hollow out for themselves deep channels in the sand, and unvexed by impediments, go on with a silent and lazy motion.
The beautiful little village of Norridgewock is the remotest settlement on the American side of the line, which can justly claim the dignified appellation of a town, and is the point where the expedition commences. Seated on the very margin of the clear river, and overshadowed with noble trees, the traveller reluctantly deserts its quiet retreat, to encounter the privations and hardships of the hunter's life. It is not however from its neat edifices or its cool and shaded walks that it derives its strongest claim on bis affectionate recollection. Not far distant, where the Sandy River joins its tributary waters to the great stream, was the ancient seat of the