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Such, indeed, was the spirit in which the negotiation was entered into, and the corresponding settlement conducted, that, for the space of more than seventy years, and so long indeed as the Quakers retained the chief power in the government, the peace and amity which had been thus solemnly promised and concluded, never was violated; and a large and most striking, though solitary example afforded, of the facility with which they who are really sincere and friendly in their own views, may live in harmony even with those who are supposed to be peculiarly fierce and faithless.
We cannot bring ourselves to wish that there were nothing but Quakers in the world, because we fear it would be insupportably dull; but when we consider what tremendous evils daily arise from the petulance and profligacy, the ambition and irritability, of sovereigns and ministers, we cannot help thinking, it would be the most efficacious of all reforms, to choose all those ruling personages out of that plain, pacific, and sober-minded sect.
Visit to the falls of Missouri.-EDINBURGH REVIEW.
As Captains Lewis and Clarke approached the mountains, and had got considerably beyond the walls already described, at the meridian nearly of 110°, and the parallel of about 47° 20′, the same almost as that of the station of the Mandans, there was a bifurcation of the river, which threw them into considerable doubt as to which was the true Missouri, and the course which it behooved them to pursue. The northernmost possessed most strongly the characters of that river, and the men seemed all to entertain no doubt that it was the stream which they ought to follow.
The commanders of the expedition, however, did not decide, till after they had reconnoitred the country from the higher grounds, and then determined to follow the southern branch. On the eleventh of June, 1806, Capt. Lewis set out on foot with four men, in order to explore this river. They proceeded till the 13th, when, finding that the river bore considerably to the south, fearing that they were in an
error, they changed their course, and proceeded across the plain.
In this direction Captain Lewis had gone about two miles, when his ears were saluted with the agreeable sound of a fall of water; and as he advanced, a spray, which seemed driven by the high southwest wind, rose above the plain like a column of smoke, and vanished in an instant. Towards this point, he directed his steps; and the noise, increasing as he approached, soon became too tremendous to be mistaken for any thing but the great falls of the Missouri.
Having travelled seven miles after hearing the sound, he reached the falls about 12 o'clock. The hills, as he approached, were difficult of access', and about 200 feet high. Down these he hurried with impatience; and seating himself on some rocks under the centre of the falls, he enjoyed the sublime spectacle of this stupendous cataract, which, since the creation, had been lavishing its magnificence on the desert.
These falls extend, in all, over a distance of nearly twelve miles; and the medium breadth of the river varies from 300 to 600 yards. The principal fall is near the lower extremity, and is upwards of 80 feet perpendicular. river is here nearly 300 yards wide, with perpendicular cliffs on each side, not less than 100 feet high. For 90 or 100 yards from the left cliff, the water falls in one smooth, even sheet, over a precipice at least 80 feet high. The remaining part of the river precipitates itself also with great rapidity; but being received, as it falls, by irregular and projecting rocks, form a splendid prospect of white foam, 200 yards in length, and 80 in perpendicular elevation.
The spray is dissipated in a thousand shapes, flying up in high columns, and collecting into large masses, which the sun adorns with all the coloring of the rainbow. The fall, just described, must be one of the most magnificent and picturesque that is any where to be found. It has often been disputed, whether a cataract, in which the water falls in one sheet, or one where it is dashed irregularly among the rocks, is the finer object. It was reserved for the Missouri to resolve this doubt, by exhibiting both at once in the greatest magnificence.
There is another cascade, of about 47- feet, higher up the river, and the last of all is 26 feet; but the succession of inferior falls, and of rapids of very great declivity, is astonishingly great; so that, from the first to the last, the
whole descent of the river is 384 feet.-"Just below the falls," says Captain Lewis, "is a little island in the river, well covered with timber. Here, on a cotton-wood tree, an eagle had fixed its nest, and seemed the undisputed mistress of a spot, to invade which neither man nor beast could venture across the gulf that surrounds it; while it is farther secured by the mist that rises from the falls. This sol tary bird has not escaped the observation of the Indians, who made the eagle's nest a part of their description of the falls which they gave us, and which proves now to be correct in almost every particular, except that they did not do justice to their height."
The river above the falls is quite unruffled and smooth, with numerous herds of buffaloes feeding on the plains around it. These plains open out on both sides, so that it is not improbable that they mark the bottom of an ancient lake, the outlet of which the river is still in the act of cutting down, and will require many ages to accomplish its work, or to reduce the whole to a moderate and uniform declivity. The eagle may then be dispossessed of his ancient and solitary domain.
On early rising.-HURDIS.
RISE with the lark, and with the lark to bed.
Breathe perfumes exquisite. Expect it not,
A summer morning.-THOMSON.
THE meek-eyed morn appears, mother of dews,
The native voice of undissembled joy;
The fleeting moments of too short a life;
But yonder comes the powerful King of Day,
'Tis by thy secret, strong, attractive force,
Without whose quickening glance their cumbrous orbs
The vegetable world is also thine,
In world-rejoicing state, it moves sublime.