Imatges de pÓgina
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medium of light which the moon in an advanced quarter oftimes gleams from her starry eminence, robbing night of all her ancient terrors.

This ill-fated youth was never more seen, after; he quitted the hut on that melancholy evening. His hat alone being found on the fol. lowing day, hanging from a bush which grew about midway down the tremendous precipice, that guards one side of the great fall, was a sufficient indication of the horrible, yet sublime mode of death he had suffered, as it was a situation that could not be approached except by those means it was

too evident the unfortunate youth had been compelled to undergo. It was supposed that in his endeavours to descend the rugged steep, in order to come mand a view of the cataract, his feet had slipped, and that he was in consequence precipitated down the horrid gulph, and dashed into countless atoms. His hat having fallen off, lodged by the way, on the bush where it was found.

No other remains of him were ever afterwards found. But to return froin this digression.

My guide informed me that notwithstanding should have a much higher idea of its gran. deur and sublimity provided I could submit to be let down by ropes from the projection upon which we then siood, and lower than which I could not go unless I condescended to be suspended by an hempen cord.

Not wishing to deprive myself of any gratification that might accrue from a small risk of my own most worshipful person, I eagerly einbraced so novel an idea, (at least to me) and forthwith dispatched mine attendant for the necessary apparatus. During the absence of this man I endeavoured to make a sketch of the grand scene before me, but after several ineffectual attempts, I was obliged to relinquish my design, as the spray fell in a continual shower all around, and made myself and paper so wet, that I found my exertions to pourtray the magnificent prospect entirely vain.

My impatience, at the long absence of my guide, had arisen to no small height, when he arrived with a parcel of ropes and a large stake. He drove the latter into the earth, very near to the brink of the awful crater, whose profundity, I was about to explore, and

ny faculties

I confess the sight of the preparations which were making, did not contribute to inciease the small stock of resolution I had formed, and the impertinence of my inward sensations soon convinced me that my repentance was at hand. The little dependance I could place upon my head was the principal cause of my timidity, as upon many more trifling occasions I had ex. perienced such an excess of giddiness, that

were completely bewildered. However the reward that was held out upon the present occasion, being unusually great and enticing, I endeavoured to put aside my personal uneasiness, and at length submitted to have the ropes fixed round my body.

As I prepared for my terrible descent, I desired the man, into whose hands I was thus committing my life, to suffer me to remain · down for a considerable time, that I might make every observation I thought proper. I was under the necessity of being en irely at his mercy, in this respect, because I had it not in my power to afford him any inti. mation of my desire to be drawn up, or let down, on account of the tumultuous boiling which would effectually annihilate all inferior sounds.

and his ropes.

Having given my directions, I sat down upon the edge of the precipice, and gradually pushed myself off, at the mercy of the man

In a moment every object swam from my dazzled sight, which suddenly became veiled as in a shroud of chaotic night; my bewildered faculties, no longer capable of their ordinary functions, flew in wild uproar to the confines of that wilderness where distraction holds her infuriate course, and where all is darkness, horror, and death. I suppose myself to have undergone the first and most painful approaches to insanity; my tongue cleaved to the roof of my mouth, and animation no longer invigorated my frame. Suspended in the horrible vortex, and dangling amidst angry foam, I became as a lifeless log. I can recollect the sensations which I experienced when I no longer felt the firmness of earth under my feet, and when nought but the enipliness of air surrounded me, to be the most horrible I had ever sustained. I felt as if hurled into a botromless abyss, through whose dark and interminable extent, I was doomed to fall, time without end. Had not an happy state of insensibility forbade me from a further knowledge of my situation, I should, doubtless, have experienced all the horrors of an incurable insanity.

How long I was kept in that situation I was then totally ignorant of, but I remember awaking as from a dream of terrors, and finding myself placed upon my back, by the side of the road which leads over the Fall, and the poor man hanging over me with clasped hands, cardavarous phiz, fixed eyes, and many other little inuendos that betokened his dire dismay. He had imagined my spirit was no longer of this world, and consequently was not without reflections of his own, touching the mode of my death, that did not sit very easy with him ; however, I had no sooner perceived my situation, than I jumped up, much to our mutual satisfaction, and enquired how long I had been retained in my last perilous durance? He answered that under the supposition that I was enjoying the scene, he had suffered me to remain about a quarter of an hour; but when he drew me up, and found

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