Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter II >> Page 15

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Page 15

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription BEAUTY OF THE HUDSON. 15
ite of the gods. She has already refused a dozen. Ten to one,
she is on her way to the very mountain regions to which we go."" Good ! �I shall be glad to know her. Not that I want a
wife�though, perhaps, I need one."
The group disappeared in the cabin. Our hour was ap-
proaching. The last bell would soon ring our fellow-passen-
gers�fortunately few in number�some forty only�were all
on board. Several of them were known to me, and I promised
myself and my companion good-fellowship. Meanwhile, we
were taking our last look at the neighborhood. The bay and
harbor of New York make a very grateful picture. The am-
phitheatre is a fine and noble one, but it is a mistake to insist
upon the grandeur of its scenery. Mr. Cooper, once, in a con-
versation with me, even denied that it could be called a beauti-
ful one. But he was clearly in error. He had measured its
claims by foreign standards, such as the bay of Naples, the ad-
juncts of which it lacked. But its beauties are nevertheless
undeniable. The error of its admirers is in talking vaguely of
its sublimity. Grandeur is not the word to apply to any por-
tion of the Hudson. It is a bold and stately stream, ample,
noble, rich, but with few of the ingredients of sublimity. It im-
presses you�is imposing ; --your mind is raised in its contem-
plation, your fancy enlivened with its picturesqueness�but it
possesses few or none of the qualities which awe or startle. It
has boldness rather than vastness, is commanding rather than
striking, and, if impressive, is quite as frequently cold and unat-
tractive. To a Southern eye, accustomed to the dense umbrage,
the close coppice, the gigantic forest, the interminable shade,
the wilderness of undergrowth, and the various tints and hues
of leaf and blossom, which crown our woods with variety and
sweetness, the sparseness of northern woods suggests a great
deficiency, which the absence of a lateral foliage, where the
trees do occur, only increases. Mountain scenery, unless wild
and greatly irregular, repels and chills as commonly as it invites
and beguiles. There must be a sufficient variety of forest tint
and shelter, under a clear blue sky, to satisfy the fancy and the
sympathies. That along the Hudson, after the first pleasant
transition from the sea, becomes somewhat monotonous as you
proceed. For the length of the river, the scenery is probably as