Imágenes de páginas

harmonious tones, which I had never been able to discover in the common conversation of the modern Greeks; the ore rotundo loqui was the only circumstance which served to remind me of the ancient Hellas.

With respect to diversity of languages, nothing can be more interesting than the conversation-rooms of the Quarantine Establishment at Odessa. They consist of long galleries, five or six feet in breadth, with a partition on either side. Behind one of these barriers, are the foreigners of the Quarantine house, and behind the other the merchants of the town. In general, foreigners are not detained here until it be ascertained that they are free from all plague 'infection. As soon as their ships are laden with grain, they are permitted to depart, and from behind the partitions above mentioned, they transact business with the inhabitants of the town. I happened to be at Odessa in the year 1816, a period when many countries were visited by scarcity, and Russia, through her superabundance, was destined to supply the greater part of Europe. Upwards of 300 vessels of all countries were constantly lying in the harbour waiting to take in their cargoes. In the Quarantine Establishment, almost all the languages of Europe and of the East resounded at the same moment, whilst every one endeavoured to drown the voice of his neighbour, and the inhabitant of the South accompanied every word with an expressive gesture. The whole scene forcibly reminded me of the lines of Dante:

Diverse lingue, orribili favelle,
Parole di dolore, accenti d'ira
Facevan un tumulto, il qual s'aggira
Sempre in quel aria.

In the years 1812 and 1813, 3000 of the inhabitants of Odessa were carried off by the plague. It is said, that a Turk, who escaped quarantine, spread the infection among the dancers of the Opera. Another more poetic story, is that a swallow lighted on a ship that had the plague on board, and carried off some feathers for her nest. Some time after, a child picked up a young swallow which had fallen from this very nest, and his whole family were immediately infected. The nature of the disease was not immediately known; but the plague soon spread over a great part of the surrounding country.

Art. III.-Remarks made on a short Tour between Hartford and Quebec, in the Autumn of 1819. By the Author of a Journal of Travels in England, &c. New Haven, 1820.

Ar a period when the American press is so remarkably barren, it is gratifying to hail the appearance of a volume so attractive. Very neat printing, fine paper, and pretty engravings, claim at first sight a favourable attention; and the name of the author, Professor Silliman, of Yale College, is a warrant for perfect veracity, at least, if not for tasteful description.

It is said to be the cardinal error in the scheme of instruction pursued at the very valuable seminary, that has the benefit of Mr. Silliman's talents, to contemn unduly and immoderately the lighter studies of the belles lettres, while the physical sciences are alone respected as worthy of earnest attention. For the fact we do not vouch, but this volume is in some degree calculated to strengthen such opinions, by the manifest and lamentable disregard evinced by its learned author, for all elegance, grace, or even purity of diction. Yet as the real observations of a sensible and accomplished traveller, the true relation of occurrences, and the unvarnished description of interesting objects, the · Remarks' deserve and will repay an attentive perusal. We subjoin some of the most interesting portions of the work; confining our extracts however to what may be amusing to general readers, and omitting the geological information which though valuable in it

self, will find a more appropriate place in the journals devoted to the Musas severiores.'

1. Monte Video, the seat of Mr.Wadsworth, in Connecticut. ' After constantly ascending, for nearly three miles, we reached the highest ridge of the mountain, from which a steep declivity of a few rods, brought us to a small rude plain, terminated at a short distance, by the western brow, down which the same fine turnpike road is continued. From this plain, the traveller who wishes to visit a spot called Monte Video, remarkable for the extraordinary beauty of its natural scenery, will turn directly to the north, into an obscure road, cut through the woods, by the proprietor of the place to which it conducts. The road is rough, and the view bounded on the east, by the ridge, which, in many places, rises in perpendicular cliffs, to more than one hundred feet above the general surface of the summit of the inountain, On the west, you are so shut in by trees, that it is only occasionally, and for a moment, that you perceive there is a valley immediately below you.

• At the end of a mile and an half, the road terminates at a tenant's house, built in the Gothic style, and through a gate of the same description, you enter the cultivated part of this very singular country residence.

Here the scene is immediately changed. The trees no longer intercept your view upon the left, and you look almost perpendicularly, into a valley of extreme beauty, and great extent, in the highest state of cultivation, and which although apparently within reach, is six hundred and forty feet below you. At the right, the ridge, which has, until now, been your boundary, and seemed an impassible barrier, suddenly breaks off, and disappears, but rises again at the distance of half a mile, in bold gray masses, to the height of one hundred and twenty feet, crowned by forest trees, above which appears a tower, of the same colour as the rocks.

* The space or hollow, caused by the absence of the ridge, or what may very properly be called the back bone of the mountain, is occupied by a deep lake, of the purest water, nearly half a mile in length, and somewhat less than half that width, Directly before you, to the north, from the cottage or tenant's house and extending half a mile, is a scene of cultivation, uninclosed, and interspersed with trees, in the centre of which stands the house. The ground is gently undulating, bounded on the west by the precipice wnich overlooks the Farmington valley, and inclining gently to the east, where it is terminated by the fine margin of trees, that skirt the lake. After entering the gate, a broad foot-path, leaving the carriage road, passes off to the left, and is carried along the western brow of the mountain, until passing the house, and reaching the northern extremity of this little domain, it conducts you, almost imperceptibly, round to the fout of the cliffs, on which the tower stands. It then gradually passes down to the north extremity of the lake, where it unites with other paths, at a white picturesque building, overshadowed with trees, standing on the edge of the water, commanding a view of the whole of it, and open on every side, during the warm weather, forming at that season, a delightful summer house, and in the winter, being closed, it serves as a shelter for the boat. There is also another path which beginning at the gate, but leading in a contrary direction, and passing to the right, conducts you up the ridge, to what is now the summit of the south rock, whose top having fallen off, lies scattered in huge fragments, and massy ruins, around and below you.

• From this place you have a view of the lake, of the boat at anchor on its surface, gay with its streamers, and snowy awning: of the white building at the north extremity of the water, and, (rising immediately above it,) of forest trees, and bold rocks, intermingled with each other, and surmounted by the tower.

* To the west, the lawn rises gradually from the water, until it reaches the portico of the house, near the brow of the mountain, beyond which, the western valley is again


"To the east and north, the eye wanders over the great valley of Connecticut river, to an almost boundless distance, until the scene fades away, among the blue and indistinct mountains of Massachusetts.

• The carriage road, leaving the two foot-paths, (just described,) at the gate, passes the cottage and its appendages, inclining at first down towards the water, and then following the undulations of the ground, where the ascent is the easiest, winds gently up to the flat on which the house stands. Along this road the house, the tower, the lake, &c. occasionally appear and disappear, through the openings in the trees; in some parts of it, all these objects are shut from your view, and in no part is the distant view seen, until passing through the last group of shrubbery near the house, you suddenly find yourself within a few yards of the brow of the mountain, and the valley with all its distinct minuteness, immediately below, where every object is as perfectly visible, as if placed upon a map. Through the whole of this lovely scene, which appears a perfect garden, the Farmington river pursues its course, sometimes sparkling through imbowering trees, then stretching in a direct line, bordered with shrubbery, blue, and still, like a clear canal, or bending in graceful sweeps, round white farm houses, or through meadows of the deepest green.

• The view from the house towards the east, presents nothing but the lake at the foot of the lawn, bounded on the north and south by lofty cliffs, and on the opposite shore, by a lower barrier of rocks, intermixed with forest trees, from amongst which, a road is seen to issue, passing to the south along the brink of the water, and although perfectly safe, ap

3 A


« AnteriorContinuar »