Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter II >> Page 16

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 16 SOUTHWARD 110!
agreeable and attractive as any in the country, unless, perhaps,
the St. John's, which is quite a wonderful stream�imposing in
spite of the absence of all elevations and I may add, in certain
respects, the Tselica, or French-Broad, in North Carolina. The
first of these rivers is remarkable for its great openings into noble
lakes, and its noble colonnades of trees ; �the last for its furious
rapids, its precipitous and broken heights, that bear upon their
blasted fronts the proofs of the terrible convulsion of storm and
fire, that rent their walls apart and gave passage for the swollen
torrent. These you may study and pursue, mile after mile,
with constant increase of interest. But, along the Hudson, I do
not see that the spectator lingers over it with any profound ad-
miration, or expectation, the first hour or two of progress being
over. His curiosity seldom lasts beyond West Point. Observe
the crowds wayfaring daily in the steamboats, between New
York and Albany�as they glide below the Palisade, that ex-
cellent wall of trap, almost as regularly built, as if by the hand
of mortal artificer�as they penetrate the Highlands and dart
beneath the frowning masses of Crow Nest, and Anthony's
Nose ; �watch them as they approch all these points and places
�all of them distinguished in song and story, in chronicle and
guide-book�and you will perceive but little raised attention
little of that eager enthusiastic . forgetfulness of self, which
speaks the excited fancy, and the struggling imagination. They
will talk to you of beauties, but these do not inflame them ; of
sublimities, which never inspire awe ; and prospects, over which
they yawn rather than wonder.
In fact, the exaggerations in regard to this river have done
some wrong to its real claims to respect and admiration. The
traveller is taught to expect too much. The scenery does not
grow upon him. The objects change in their positions, from
this hand to that, in height and bulk, but seldom in form, and
as infrequently in relation to one another. The groups bear
still the same family likenesses. The narrow gorge through
which you are passing at one moment, presented you with its
twin likeness but a few minutes before ; and the great rock
which towers, sloping gradually up from the river in which it is
moored with steadfast anchorage, is only one of a hundred such,
which lack an individual character. The time has not yet ar-