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ously, and would not willingly have given them admittance, save that a low, stifled wail at length announced his intuitive knowledge of the master, whom the work of death had effectually disguised from the eyes of men.
They laid him on his bed, the thick, dripping masses of his beautiful hair clinging to, and veiling the features so late expressive and comely. On the pillow was his pet kitten: to her, also, the watch for the master had been long and weari
In his chair lay the guitar, whose melody was probably the last that his ear heard on earth. There were also his flute and violin, his portfolio and books, scattered and open, as if recently used. On the spread table was the untasted meal for noon, which he had prepared against his return from that bath which had proved so fatal. dead hermit mourned by his animals who loved him, and hands, in a foreign grave.
It was a touching sight; the humble retainers, the poor ready to be laid by stranger
So fell this singular and accomplished being, at the early age of twenty-eight. Learned in the languages, in the arts and sciences, improved by extensive travel, gifted with personal beauty and a feeling heart, the motives for this estrangement from his kind are still enveloped in mystery. It was, however, known that he was a native of England, where his father was a clergyman; that he received from thence ample remittances for his comfort; and that his name was Francis Abbot. These facts had been previously ascertained, but no written papers were found in his cell, to throw additional light upon the obscurity in which he had so effectually wrapped the history of his pilgrimage.
That he was neither an ascetic nor a misanthrope, has been sufficiently proved. Why he should choose to withdraw from society, which he was so well fitted to benefit and to adorn, must ever remain unexplained. That no crime had driven him thence, his blameless and pious life bare witness to all who knew him.
It might seem that no plan of seclusion had been deli
berately formed, until enthusiastic admiration of the unparalleled scenery among which he was cast, induced, and for two years had given it permanence. And if any one could. be justified for withdrawing from life's active duties, to dwell awhile with solitude and contemplation, would it not be in a spot like this, where nature ever speaks audibly of her majestic and glorious Author?
We visited, in the summer of 1844, the deserted abode of the hermit. It was partially ruinous, but we traced out its different compartments, and the hearthstone, where his winter evenings passed amid books and music, his faithful dog at his feet, and on his knee his playful, happy kitten.
At our entrance, a pair of nesting birds flew forth affrighted. Methought they were fitting representatives of that gentle spirit, which would not have disturbed their tenantry, or harmed the trusting sparrow. If that spirit had endured aught from man, which it might neither recover nor reveal; if the fine balance of the intellect had borne pressure until it was injured or destroyed; we would not stand upon the sufferer's grave to condemn, but to pity. We would think with tenderness of thee, erring and lonely brother. For at the last day, when the secrets of all are unveiled, it will be found that there are sadder mistakes to deplore than thine :-time wasted idly, but not innocently,and talents perverted, without the palliation of a virtuous life, the love of nature, or the fear of God.
EXTRACT FROM A LETTER ADDRESSED TO MISS CARPENTER, OF BRISTOL, ENGLAND.
(By the Rev. R. C. Waterston, of Boston, America.)
"IT was the first time I had visited the Falls. above these we could distinctly see the foaming breakers of the 'rapids,' dashing up twenty or thirty feet. We arrived at the Clifton Hotel about noon; and there before us
thundered Niagara. We went over to Table Rock. Who can describe that scene? One mass of water, 2000 feet in extent, rolling majestically over a perpendicular height of 160 feet; one dense, awful mass of unbroken water, like an ocean bursting from its confines; and the water of the most exquisite colour that can be conceived; a transparent green, more beautiful than anything I ever beheld, rolling, rushing down into the boiling abyss, from which rises up for ever the dense and sparkling foam and mist, crowned with resplendent rainbows. We went down to the foot of Table Rock. I never felt as at that spot; I do not think it possible to feel anywhere else as there. We remained at the Falls four days; two on the American, and two on the British side. To behold this cataract, three-fourths of a mile in extent, coming down as from the very heavens,—is an era in one's life; it is worth crossing the Atlantic to behold."
The following lines were written in June 1844, at Niagara, by the writer of the preceding letter:
"Thou look'st eternal! But the time shall be,
Chaos may rend thine adamantine floor;
The heavens and earth be shrivell'd as a scroll:
Then what art thou to MAN, whose mind shall soar
Above the wreck of worlds, A LIVING SOUL,
To press for ever on while endless
MEN have occasionally been drawn into the rapids with their boats, and carried over the Falls; but not a vestige of them or their boats has scarcely ever been found. The great depth of the water below, and the tumultuous agitation occasioned by the eddies, whirlpools, and counter-currents, make it next
to impossible for anything once sunk to rise again, until carried so far down the stream as to make fruitless any research.
In the year 1820, two men, in a state of intoxication, fell asleep in their scow which was fastened at the mouth of Chippewa Creek; while there, it broke away, and they awoke finding themselves beyond the reach of hope, dashing over the rapids.
In the year 1822, two others, engaged in removing some furniture from Grand Island, were by some carelessness drawn into the rapids, and hurried over the cataract.
In 1825, two more, in attempting to smuggle some whiskey across to Chippewa, were hurried into the rapids and shared a similar fate. A story has frequently been told of an Indian, who fell asleep in his canoe some miles above, and awoke in the midst of the rapids; perceiving that all efforts to escape would be vain, he turned his bottle of whiskey down his throat, and composedly awaited the awful plunge. This story the writer believes to be fabulous, as he has never been able to find any foundation for it, except that it is a stereotype Indian story, told as having happened at all the different Falls in the country.
In September 1827, notice having been given in the newspapers that the Michigan, a large vessel that had run on Lake Erie, would be sent over the Falls, thirty thousand people, it was supposed, assembled to witness the novel spectacle. On board of this vessel were put two bears, a buffalo, two raccoons, a dog, and a goose; the bears leaped off in the midst of the rapids, and, miraculously almost, finally reached the shore in safety. The others went over and perished. The Michigan, before she reached the Falls, having been considerably broken in the rapids, sunk to a level with the surface, and went over near the centre of the Horse-Shoe Fall. The distance from deck to keel was sixteen feet; and as she did not appear to touch the bottom for eighty rods before she went over, the conclusion is, that the water as it passes over the precipice there must be at least twenty feet deep.
In October 1829, another vessel, the Superior, was advertised to be sent over, which drew together about fifteen thousand people. This vessel lodged in the rapids and remained a number of weeks, and finally passed over the Falls in the night.
In August 1828, a small sloop, abandoned by the men through fright, near the mouth of Chippewa Creek, was blown with all her sails up, so far across the river as to come down on the American side of Goat Island; but was broken to a perfect wreck in the rapids, so as to pass under the bridge and over the Falls.
In July 1832, a canal boat was blown over from Chippewa, and lodged in the rapids a short distance above the bridge. Some men and one woman were on board, and were saved at most imminent peril, and the boat was finally secured and drawn ashore.
The rock at the Falls is hard limestone to the depth of about seventy feet, below which it is loose, crumbling shale, which is constantly wearing away and leaving a projection of the limestone.
A mass of Table Rock, 160 feet in length and from thirty to forty feet in width, fell off in July 1818, with a tremendous crash. On the 9th of December 1828, three immense portions broke from the Horse-Shoe Fall, causing a shock like an earthquake. Another large portion fell in the summer of 1829, and the noise it occasioned was heard several miles. And yet, judging from the published accounts of the Falls, which reach back nearly two hundred years, there has been but very little recession of the Falls within that period,
In October 1829, Sam Patch jumped twice, in the presence of thousands of spectators, from the top of a ladder ninetyseven feet high, into the eddy below the Falls. This ladder was erected directly below the Biddle-Staircase. Poor Sam afterwards lost his life by jumping from the Falls of Genesee River, at Rochester.
May 19, 1835, two men in attempting to pass down the river from Tonawanda to Chippewa in a scow, were driven by