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As it was long since he had spoken his own language, he was delighted to find any one that understood it. He walked with us in the island, and took us to his convent.
Half Gracioza appcåred to me, without much exag. geration, to be peopled with monks, and the following eircumstance may serve to convey an idea of the ignorance, in which these good father's remained at the close of the eighteenth century.
We had been mysteriously conducted to a small or gan in the parish church, under the idea that we had never seen so curious an instrument. The organist took his seat with a' triumphant air, and played a most miserable discordant sort of litany, trying all the time to discover our admiration in our looks. We appeared to be extremely surprised: T.... then modestly approached, and seems ed just to touch the keys with great respect. The organist made signs to him, as if saying: “Take care." All at once T.... displayed the harmony of a celebrated pas. sage in the compositions of Pleyel. It would be difficult to imagine a more amusing scene. The organist almost féll to the earth; the monks stood openmouthed with pale and lenthened visages, while the brothers in attendance made the most ridiculous gestures of astonishment around
Having embarked our provisions on the following day, we ourselves returned on board, accompanied by the good fathers, who took charge of our letters for Europe, and left us with great protestations of friendship. The vessel had been endangered, during the preceding night; by a btisk gale from the East. We wished to weigh anchor, bút; as we expected, lost it. Such was the end of our ex pedition.
A few words concerning the Cataract of Canada.
THIS famous cataract is the finest in the known world. It is formed by the river Niagara, which proceeds from Lake Erie, and throws itself into the Ontario. The fall is about nine miles from the latter lake. Its perpendicular height may be about two hundred feet; but the cause of its violence is that, from Lake Erie to the cataract, the river constantly flows with a rapid declination for almost six leagues: so that, at the place of fall, it is more like an impetuous sea than a river, and a hundred thousand torrents seem to be rushing towards the gaping gulph. The cataract is divided into two branches, and forms a curve, in the shape of a horse-shoe, the length of which is about half a mile. Between the two falls is an enormous rock hollowed out below, which hangs with all its firs, over the chaos of the waters. The mass of the ri. ver, which precipitates itself on the south side, is collected into the form of a large cylinder at the moment it quits the brink, then rolls out in snowy whiteness, and shines in the sun with every variety of prismatic colours. That, which falls on the northern side, descends in a terrific cloud like a column of water at the deluge. Innumerable bows are to be seen in the sky, curving and crossing over the abyss, and from it proceeds a horrid roar which is heard to the distance of sixty miles around. The water, thus furiously falling on the rock beneath, recoils in clouds of whirling spray, which mount above the summits of the forest, and resemble the thick smoke of a tremendous conflagration. Enormous rocks, towering upwards like gi. gantic phantoms, decorate the sublime scene. Wild wal. nut trees, of a reddish and scaly appearance, find the means of desolate existence upon these fossil skeletons. Scarcely a living animal is seen in the neighbourhood, except eagles, which, as they hover above the cataract in
search of prey, are overpowered by the current of air, and forced with giddy fall to the bottom of the abyss.
The spotted Carcajou, suspended by its long tail from the extremity of a lower branch, tries to catch the fragments of drowned carcases which are thrown ashore by the boiling surge, such as those of elks and bears; while rattlesnakes announce, by their baleful sound, that they are lurking on every side.
TO THE COUNTRY OP TIL SAVAGLS,
I TOOK my departure for the country of the Sava. ges in a packet boat, which was to convey me from New York to Albany by Hudson's river. The passengers were numerous and agreeable, consisting of several women and some American Officers. A fresh breeze conducted us gently towards our destination. , Towards the evening of the first day, we assembled upon deck, to partake of a collation of fruit and milk. The women seated themselves upon the benches, and the men were stationed at their feet. The conversation was not long kept up. I have always remarked that when nature exhibits a sublime or beautiful prospect, the spectators involuntarily become silent. Suddenly one of the company exclaimed : “ Near that place Major André was executed.” My ideas instantly took another turn. A very pretty American lady was intreated to sing the ballad, which describes the story of that unfortunate young
She yielded to our solicitation; her voice evidently betrayed her timidity, but it was exceedingly replete with sweet and tender sensibility.
The sun now set, and we were in the midst of lofty mountains. Here and there huts were seen, suspended
over the abysses, but they soon disappeared among the clouds of mingled white and rosy hue, which horizontally fitted past these dwellings. When the summits of the rocks and firs were discovered above these clouds, one might have fancied them to be islands floating in the air. The majestic river, the tides of which run North and South, lay oustretched before us, in a strait line, inclosed between
two exactly parallel banks. Suddenly it took a turn to the West, winding its golden waves around a mountain which overlooked the river with all its plants, and had the appearance of a large boquet, tied at its base with azure riband. We preserved a profound silence ; for my own part, I hardly ventured to breathe. Nothing interrupted the plaintive song of the fair passenger, except the sound (of which we were hardly sensible) made by the vessel, as it glided before a light breeze through the water. Sometimes the voice acquired an additional swell when we steered near the bank, and in two or three places it was repeated by a slight echo. The ancients would have imagined that the soul of André, attracted by this impressive melody, felt a pleasure in mur. muring its last notes among the mountains. The idea of this brave and unfortunate man, who was a lover and a poet, who died for his country in the flower of his age, regretted by his fellow citizens and honoured by the tears of Washington, spread over this romantic scene a süfter tint. The American officers and I had tears in our eyes
I from the effect of the delicious state of mind into which I was plunged—
They no doubt from the recollec. tion of their country's past troubles, which doubled the calmness of the present moment. They could not, without a sort of ecstacy, contemplate a district, lately covered with battalions in glittering arms, and resounding with the noise of war, now buried in profound tranquillity,