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the sunbeams still glitter on the hills and tree-tops, or sleep upon the wave. The Niagara was rippling along its rocky channel, murmuring and fretting as it rushed towards the precipice, over which its descent causes one of the sublimest objects in nature. These circumstances all combined to wrap the heart of the traveller in sweet and pleasing meditation; and he rode on, enjoying those dreams, which, creeping imperceptibly into young hearts, hold the imagination entranced in delight; in irresistible delusions, full of rapture, variety, and beauty. The hour was witching, the scene picturesque, the very air melodious, and the realities around him became mellowed, and softened, and spiritualized into airy creations of the fancy. The mind, warmed into romantic feeling, gave its own hue to the surrounding objects; rude and familiar things took to themselves wings and flew away; vulgar associations were banished; the scenery disposed itself into shapes and shades of beauty; bright and varied colours fell upon the landscape; creatures of fancy peopled the shade, and the breeze murmured in numbers.

Our officer halted a moment at Schlosser to make some inquiries relative to his route, and learning that a countryman had just passed along, whose homeward path led in the very direction desired, he determined to profit by his company and guidance. Spurring his steed, therefore, he rode rapidly on. Near the Falls he overlook the boor, plodding heavily along. He was a man whose general outline announced him to be of the middle age; but his visage placed him in the decline of life. Dissipation had probably anticipated the palsying touch of time, had wrinkled his face, and slightly tinged his hair with the frosty hue of winter. His bloodshot eyes gave proof of habitual intemperance, but there was speculation in them, and a vile speculation it was: it was the keen, cun

ning, steady glance of one who in his time had cut, shuffled, and dealt, who could slip a card, and knew where the trumps lay. With this was mingled the dulness of an illiterate man, and the good humour of one who was willing to be amused, and meant no harm to others. Saving the besetting sin above alluded to, and perhaps the occasional passing of a counterfeit bill upon strong temptation, a small matter for a frontier man, he might have been a right honest fellow; one who knew the courtesies and good feelings of life, passed the cup merrily, would do a neighbourly act when it came in his way, never beat his wife when he was sober, nor troubled his children when they kept out of his way. Such at least was the estimate which our young soldier formed of his companion, during their subsequent ride together, to which it is only necessary to add, that he seemed to have recently parted from good liquor, and to have attained that precise point of elation, which is well understood in every polite circle by the phrase, a little high.

When the two riders encountered, they scrutinized each other with that jealous caution which commonly passed between strangers who met, in those dangerous times, in the vicinity of the hostile armies. The cautious question, and the guarded answer passed mutually, until each had learned as much as he could, and disclosed as much as he pleased. Our officer announced himself as a storekeeper, who had been to the army to make a traffic with the suttlers, having failed in which, he was now returning home in haste, by a route which he was told was nearer than the main road, and wished to get that night to a place called The countryman lived at that very place, was now going home, although it was still upwards of sixteen miles distant, and he said he would be glad of our traveller's company.

They reached the Falls while daylight yet lingered over the awful abyss, and the officer, who had beheld this wonderful sight from the opposite shore, proposed to his companion to halt, that he might survey it under a new aspect. The latter, who seemed in no haste, cheerfully complied, and even seemed pleased with the opportunity of acting the Cicerone, and detailing all the wonderful tales extant, in relation to the great cataract. He did not, it is true, relate that surprising fact which Goldsmith has recorded, and Morse has copied from him, i. e. that the Indians descend these rapids in their canoes, in safety; because, notwithstanding this circumstance is vouched for by two celebrated doctors, great amateurs in rivers, winds, and mountains, the vulgar give it no credit, and the natives deny it. Strange infatuation, that the assertions of philosophers should not be believed, in preference to our own erring senses and crude notions of probability! When our officer mentioned this story to his guide, he exclamed, “Impossible! the man's sartainly cracked!" And had he told the same individual that Dr. Mitchell had said that a whale was not a fish, he would have expressed a similar astonishment; so incredulous is ignorance, so unwillingly does it bow to science and research. For my part, I make it a rule never to quarrel with a philosopher, and am therefore willing to admit that it is not only a safe but a remarkably salubrious and amusing recreation to paddle a canoe down the Falls and back again.

Leaving this spot, the officer was conducted by his guide to another object of admiration. A short distance below the cataract, the river, rushing along with the immense velocity acquired by being precipitated from so great a height, suddenly strikes a perpendicular precipice, which juts boldly into the stream from the American

side, and the current thus thrown abruptly to the left, creates a whirlpool, which is not the least among the curiosities of this region. The officer advanced to the edge of the cliff, and gazed in silence on the foaming current, and its overhanging banks, now dimly discovered through the gray twilight. His reveries were broken by his companion, who narrated a melancholy tale connected with the scene of their contemplation. Many years ago, when all of this country was in the possession of the British, a detachment of troops, having under their convoy a number of families with their furniture and baggage, were overtaken by night in this vicinity. They still proceeded, however, in hopes of reaching the forts below. But the French and Indians had formed an ambuscade at this very spot, and just as the devoted party were passing along the brink of the precipice, the savage foe rushed on them with hideous yells. Those alone who have heard the soulthrilling cry of the Indian warrior, who have heard it breaking through the gloom of the night, with all its horrible accompaniments, with the wail of infants, and the shrieks of women with the groans of the dying, the prayers and curses of the living, those only can conceive the horror of such a moment. In vain the troops endeavoured to resist—the tomahawk was drenched in blood—the European heard the dreadful war-cry, and felt that it was his knell; he received the fatal blow from an unseen hand, and had not the stern pleasure of beholding his antagonist, but fell without the gratification of avenging his death, or the honour of defending his life. Still the foe pressed on; with the war-whoop was mingled loud shouts of triumph and the laugh of demoniac exultation; the soldiers gave back, the horses, panic struck, fled from the din of battle, and in a moment were precipitated into the yawning gulf; men, women, and

children followed, and the whole of this unhappy party slept that night under the wave. “ It is said," continued the informer, “ that their spirits may still be seen of a moonlight night, dancing in circles in yonder whirling place, where the water goes round so rapidly—and now, see there! what is that?" The officer looked in the direction designated by the finger of his companion, and beheld a black object in the whirlpool, rising a foot or two above the surface of the water, circulating rapidly with it, and gradually approaching the centre, until it was swallowed in the vortex. He could easily imagine that the trunks and boughs of trees, floating down the current might be drawn into the pool, and whirling around with the velocity of the water, might assume an upright position, and present the appearance which alarmed the inhabitants, and gave probability to their conjectures. I have never been altogether satisfied with this sophism of my friend. It is not possible at this time to ascertain the true character of the apparition which he beheld, nor is it my business, as a faithful historian, to risk my reputation by giving a positive opinion upon the subject: yet I must remark, that I have no reason, nor had my military friend any, to induce a belief that this was not as genuine and as honest a ghost as ever was beheld by mortal eyes. The fact is, that this young gentleman had lately seen so many of his fellow mortals despatched prematurely to their graves, that his mind had become familiarized with death, and in his dealings with substantial dangers he had acquired a contempt for unreal shadows. I am glad, however, to be able to add that he had the discretion to conceal his scepticism from his fellow traveller, to whose remark he gravely replied, “ that human bodies when not decently buried seldom rested in peace,

but that he had never heard of their doing any

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