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while the horrid din made me think the precipices above were tumbling down in colossal fragments upon my head.
It is not easy to determine how far an individual might advance between the sheet of water and the rock; but were 5 it even possible to explore the recess to its utmost extremity, scarcely any one, I believe, would have courage to attempt an expedition of the kind.
A little way below the Great Fall the river is, comparatively speaking, tranquil, so that a ferry boat plies be10 tween the Canada and American shores for the convenience of travellers. When I first crossed, the heaving flood tossed about the skiff with a violence that seemed very alarming; but as soon as we gained the middle of the river, my attention was altogether engaged by the surpass15 ing grandeur of the scene before me. I was now within the area of a semicircle of cataracts, more than three thousand feet in extent, and floated on the surface of a gulf raging, fathomless, and interminable. Majestic cliffs, splendid rainbows, lofty trees, and columns of spray were the gorgeous decorations of this theatre of wonders, while a dazzling sun shed refulgent glories upon the scene.
Surrounded with clouds of vapor, and stunned into a state of confusion and terror by the hideous noise, I looked upwards to the height of one hundred and fifty feet, and 25 saw vast floods, dense, awful, and stupendous, vehemently bursting over the precipice, and rolling down, as if the windows of heaven were open to pour another deluge upon the earth. Loud sounds, resembling discharges of artillery or volcanic explosions, were now distinguishable 30 amidst the watery tumult, and added terrors to the abyss from which they issued. The sun, looking majestically through the ascending spray, was encircled by a radiant halo, whilst fragments of rainbows floated on every side, and momentarily vanished, only to give place to a succes35 sion of others more brilliant. Looking backwards I saw the Niagara River, again become calm and tranquil, rolling
magnificently between the towering cliffs that rose on either side, and receiving showers of orient dew-drops from the trees that gracefully overarched its transparent bosom.
There have been instances of people being carried over 5 the falls, but I believe none of the bodies ever were found. The rapidity of the river, before it tumbles down the precipice, is so great, that a human body would certainly be whirled along without sinking; therefore some of those individuals, to whom I allude, probably retained their senses 10 till they reached the edge of the cataract, and even looked down upon the gulf into which they were the next moment. precipitated.
Many years ago, an Indian, while attempting to cross the river above the falls in a canoe, had his paddle struck 15 from his hands by the rapidity of the currents. He was immediately hurried toward the cataract, and, seeing that death was inevitable, he covered his head with his cloak, and resigned himself to destruction. However, when he approached the edge of the cataract, shuddering nature re20 volted so strongly that he was seen to start up and stretch out his arms; but the canoe upset, and he was instantly ingulfed amidst the fury of the boiling surge.
XXXIV. - THE MISERIES OF WAR.
[ROBERT HALL was born in Arnsby, Leicestershire, England, May 2, 1764. and died in Bristol, February 21, 1831. He was educated at the University of Aberdeen, in Scotland, became a clergyman of the Baptist persuasion, and was settled first at Bristol, next at Cambridge, then at Leicester, and lastly at Bristol again. He was a very eloquent and popular preacher, and hardly less remarkable for conversational power. He was of robust figure, but of feeble health, with a countenance expressive of self-reliance and intellectual strength. His works, edited, with a memoir, by Olinthus Gregory, and with an estimate of his character as a preacher, by John Foster, have been published in England and America. They consist of sermons, occasional productions, and contributions to periodical literature. Their style is rich, animated, and pure.]
THOUGH the whole race of man is doomed to dissolution and we are all hastening to our long home; yet at each successive moment life and death seem to divide betweer them the dominion of mankind, and life to have the larger 5 share. It is otherwise in war; death reigns there without a rival, and without control. War is the work, the element, or rather the sport and triumph, of Death, who glories not only in the extent of his conquest, but in the richness of his spoil. In the other methods of attack, in the other 10 forms which death assumes, the feeble and the aged, who at the best can live but a short time, are usually the victims; here they are the vigorous and the strong.
It is remarked by the most ancient of poets, that in peace, children bury their parents; in war, parents bury 15 their children: nor is the difference small. Children la
ment their parents, sincerely, indeed, but with that moderate and tranquil sorrow which it is natural for those to feel who are conscious of retaining many tender ties, many animating prospects. Parents mourn for their children 20 with the bitterness of despair; the aged parent, the widowed mother, loses, when she is deprived of her children, everything but the capacity of suffering: her heart, withered and desolate, admits no other object, cherishes no other hope. It is Rachel, weeping for her children, and 25 refusing to be comforted, because they are not.
But to confine our attention to the number of the slain, would give us a very inadequate idea of the ravages of the sword. The lot of those who perish instantaneously may be considered, apart from religious prospects, as compara 30 tively happy, since they are exempt from those lingering diseases and slow torments to which others are liable. We cannot see an individual expire, though a stranger, or an enemy, without being sensibly moved, and prompted by compassion to lend him every assistance in our power. 35 Every trace of resentment vanishes in a moment; every
other emotion gives way to pity and terror.
In these last extremities we remember nothing but the respect and tenderness due to our common nature. What a scene, then, must a field of battle present, where thousands are left without assistance, and without pity, with their 5 wounds exposed to the piercing air, while the blood, freezing as it flows, binds them to the earth, amidst the trampling of horses, and the insults of an enraged foe!
If they are spared by the humanity of the enemy, and carried from the field, it is but a prolongation of torment. 10 Conveyed in uneasy vehicles, often to a remote distance, through roads almost impassable, they are lodged in illprepared receptacles for the wounded and the sick, where the variety of distress baffles all the efforts of humanity and skill, and renders it impossible to give to each the 15 attention he demands. Far from their native home, no tender assiduities of friendship, no well-known voice, no wife, or mother, or sister, is near to soothe their sorrows, relieve their thirst, or close their eyes in death! Unhappy man! and must you be swept into the grave unnoticed and 20 unnumbered, and no friendly tear be shed for your sufferings, or mingled with your dust?
We must remember, however, that as a very small proportion of a military life is spent in actual combat, so it is very small part of its miseries which must be ascribed 25 to this source. More are consumed by the rust of inactivity than by the edge of the sword; confined to a scanty or unwholesome diet, exposed in sickly climates, harassed with tiresome marches and perpetual alarms; their life is a continual scene of hardships and dangers. They grow 30 familiar with hunger, cold, and watchfulness. Crowded into hospitals and prisons, contagion spreads amongst their ranks till the ravages of disease exceed those of the enemy.
We have hitherto only adverted to the sufferings of those who are engaged in the profession of arms, without 35 taking into our account the situation of the countries which are the scenes of hostilities. How dreadful to hold every
thing at the mercy of an enemy, and to receive life itself as a boon dependent on the sword! How boundless the fears which such a situation must inspire, where the issues of life and death are determined by no known laws, prin5 ciples, or customs, and no conjecture can be formed of our destiny, except as far as it is dimly deciphered in characters of blood, in the dictates of revenge, and the caprices of power!
Conceive but for a moment the consternation which the 10 approach of an invading army would impress on the peaceful villages in our own neighborhood. When you have placed yourselves for an instant in that situation, you will learn to sympathize with those unhappy countries which have sustained the ravages of arms. But how is it possi15 ble to give you an idea of these horrors? Here you behold rich harvests, the bounty of Heaven, and the reward of industry, consumed in a moment, or trampled under foot, while famine and pestilence follow the steps of desolation. There the cottages of peasants given up to the flames, mothers expiring through fear, not for themselves but their infants; the inhabitants flying with their helpless babes, in all directions, miserable fugitives on their native soil! In another part you witness opulent cities taken by storm; the streets, where no sounds were heard but those of peace25 ful industry, filled on a sudden with slaughter and blood,
resounding with the cries of the pursuing and the pursued ; the palaces of nobles demolished, the houses of the rich pillaged, and every age, sex, and rank, mingled in promis cuous massacre and ruin!
XXXV. THE VOYAGE.
To an American visiting Europe, the long voyage he has to make is an excellent preparative. From the mo