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able in the village that lies by the Falls! Coming in from the country with a friend in a buggy, we stopped to listen just behind the town, where we were not more than three-fourths of a mile from the Falls, and we could not hear the least hum of its waters. This is no doubt owing to the deep channel into which the water plunges, the high banks hindering the sound from spreading. But even when you stand near by the Falls there is not any thing like the noise which you would suppose. It keeps sounding only a pleasand kind of monotonous bass-note to the conversation of those who stand near the brink, and make their remarks concerning it. The sound of the water seems to be muffled by the mist which rises out of the gulf below. We cannot say that at any time or place did "the thunder of Niagara roll awfully on our ears."

2. There is nothing of that wild, craggy, rugged and rocky appearance about the Falls, and the shores of the river near it, which we had fancied. We expected to find Niagara embosomed in the midst of scenery fearfully wild and sublime. We found almost an entire absence of this feature. It is a sudden break in the river in the midst of a level country. The banks are level; and in most of places they might be cultivated out to the very edge. The river, below the Falls, looks like a deep channel cut through a level country, with banks almost perpendicular, but far from rough either along the sides or the top. From the top of the Falls the eye can survey the country at a considerable distance up and down on both sides, having a full view of the level banks, and parts of the country lying back from the shores of the river."

The mind would naturally associate wild banks with such a magnificent cataract as this "thunder of waters." The reason why the visitor misses these and sees only banks of tame scenery, is evident at once to one who takes a survey of the lay of the country between the two lakes. The Falls, at first, and ages ago, was evidently at least eight or nine miles farther down-there the wild scenery is. The Falls has worked and worn its way up through the level country, which lies on a plain with Lake Erie. About eight or nine miles below the Falls, near Lake Ontario, there is a ridge crossing Niagara river, and extending from Rochester, N. York, over some two hundred miles into Canada. The locks in the canal at Lockport, and Seneca Falls, are both in this ridge. This ridge is about the height of the Falls; and where it crosses the river the Falls originally was. We crossed this ridge at several different places in York State, and found it always about the same height, with a level plain from its base to Lake Ontario, and a like level country from its top towards Lake Erie. From this ridge, since the creation of the world, the Niagara river has worn its way up through this level plain towards Lake Erie. Hence the tame banks where the Falls now are. We came to this conclusion in our own mind, after having seen the Falls; and having bought a "Guide Book"

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at the Falls, we were glad to find that wiser men had come to the same conclusion before us. The following extract will make the whole matter plain to the reader:

"The Falls of Niagara are gradually moving up stream. The last of the Table Rock has tumbled in. It was inevitable. It had to go. Nothing can be more simple than the work of excavation which, from time immemorial, has been going forward at Niagara Falls. Almost every year, and frequently several times in a year, some portion of the shelf over which the river plunges tumbles into the chasm below, creating some visible change in the grand curve of the Horse Shoe, or in the irregular line of the American Falls.

"The process, as we have said, is exceedingly simple. The general level of the country of Lake Ontario is some three hundred feet lower than that of Lake Erie. The depression is abruptly marked by a terrace drawn across Niagara river, near Lake Ontario, from which lake said terrace appears like a mountain ridge stretching across the country, the summit of this ridge forming the level of the country of Lake Erie. In the original outflow from Erie to Ontario, then, the river was very naturally precipitated over this terrace, as down the side of a mountain. But soon the fall became perpendicular, as the geological structure of this upper country will show at a glance at the sides of the chasm below the present Falls.

"From Lake Erie to the descent near Ontario, the first formation under the arable soil is a mass of primitive limestone from eighty to one hundred feet thick. Underneath this a friable slate or shale succeeds, which is underlined by sand, &c. The river finds it a slow business to grind down this immense overlapping plate of solid limestone; but the work of excavation is easy by the simple process of undermining it. The stream at first, falling over the terrace, washed away the loose materials at the base, and from the tremendous volume of water pouring down, soon scooped out a deep basin at the foot of the Falls. Then the action of water and air combined rapidly disintegrated and moved away the friable materials forming the back of the Falls, until the overtopping layer of limestone was left projecting like a shelf across the stream, over which the mighty mass of waters was thrown into the chasm below. But as the work of disintegration went on underneath, and as the pulverized materials were washed away, this impending shelf of limestone, from its superincumbent weight, broke off and fell into the basin; and thus the Niagara Falls have undoubtedly been working their way up stream for several thousand years.

"In this way the deep and narrow gorge, of some nine or ten miles from the Falls to the lower country, has been cut out. The masses of rocks which form the fearful rapids down this awful passage, are but the fragments from the common level of the cliffs, which, on each side, indicate a solid body of limestone of from

eighty to one hundred feet in thickness. The same process accounts for the Table Rock and its fall. In the course of years another table rock will thus be formed, projecting over the water, and admitting of a safe passage under it between the falling river in front and the crumbling wall behind it; but this, too, as its basis is removed, will, from the elementary laws of gravitation, tumble into the gulf.

"The work of retrogradation at Niagara is slower, as we should judge, at this time than ever before. The intervention of an island. has divided the stream, and the great width of the Canadian branch alone has diminished the excavating force of the river to less than half its power when the Falls were a mile lower down, and the whole overplus of Lake Erie was concentrated into a channel of some eight hundred feet wide. From the American shore to the Canadian, including the island, the circuit of the Falls now is extended to nearly a mile. But they illustrate at a glance their future plan of operations. Comparatively a light body of water passes over the American channel, insufficient to scoop out a bed for the broken limestone as it tumbles in. It therefore lies piled up in rugged masses above the surface of the water where it has fallen. This branch of the river, too, has dropped a third of a mile or more behind the Canadian, from the same cause; the lack of the motive power to do the work. It will be observed, also, that the centre of the Horse Shoe is gaining rapidly upon the sides, the heaviest body of water being in the centre. The Horse Shoe will thus probably reach the head of Goat Island, and absorb the water of both channels, before the American Fall shall have made a hundred yards further up stream. In this event the village of Niagara Falls will be left high and dry, and Goat Island will become part of the main land."

3. Another particular in which the real Niagara seemed different from the one in our fancy was its apparent height. We say its apparent height, for we were satisfied that it is really and fully one hundred and seventy-five feet from the level surface of Goat Island to the surface of the water below-the falling sheet must be fully one hundred and sixty feet. Now, in no position we could take-and we viewed it from many points-could we feel or be persuaded, from bare sight, that it is more than seventy or eighty feet high. We are sure, reader, that if you look at your church steeple, which may be one hundred feet high, then add sixty more to the top of it by imagination, and then extend it three-fourths of a mile wide and fancy you see a mighty river pouring over it-and then form this into an idea of Niagara, you will be sorely disappointed when you first see the thunderer. Your fancy will come down as if its wings were clipped. You will look at the wide sheet, rolling as you think too tamely down, and with all your desire that the reputation of the great Falls may not suffer, you will continue

to be disappointed. We could not help thinking, when we had taken the first look, of the man who once went to meeting, and was asked when he returned how the people worshipped, he said, "Well they worship a good deal like the Methodists, only a little more 80!" We thought the Falls looked a good deal like a large mill dam, "only a little more so!"

Why this ocular deception? We explain it satisfactorily to ourselves from two causes. First, the great width of the river naturally deceives the eye as to its height. A narrow column always seems taller than a wide block built to the same height. Secondly, at least one-fourth of the sheet of falling water is covered below by the wonderful mist which is raised by the terrible plunge of the water, thus deceiving the eye. These two causes combined make the Falls appear less in height than they really are.

In these three particulars the Falls, in our fancy, differed from the Falls in fact; and we found the truth of the poet's saying, that

"Distance lends enchantment to the view."

Let not the reader conclude from what we have said of the abatement of our conceptions in these features, that we did not feel also the true grandeur of this amazing work of God. We mean a great deal when we say: "IT GROWS ON YOU AS YOU GAZE." Instead of feeling an abatement of your wonder it increases with familiarity. Having viewed it for half a day, and returning to it again it is greater, grander, more glorious. Like a truly great man, who at first bears his greatest virtues concealed, and only reveals them gradually on prolonged acquaintance; so this truly great wonderwork presents itself modestly and humbly to your first introduction, but it" bears acquaintance," and you find your reverence growing the more the longer you know it.

Yes, it is the great Thunderer! and he makes you feel it before you leave, if you remain long enough to take in the vast idea. Think of all the waters of all the lakes, Erie, Superior, Michigan, Huron, St. Clair, and numerous other smaller lakes, with all their greater and smaller tributaries from the far off Rocky Mountains, pouring their immense collected waters over this grand precipice age after age! We looked upon it as a magnificent Altar, built by Divine hands, upon which the waters pour a libation, and in the presence of which poor little man may throw up his hands in deepest reverence and the most humble devotion of soul. There is the mist which rises like perpetual incense towards heaven, to mingle with the clouds, as if in token of eternal propitiation and reconciliation between "the waters which are under the firmament, and the waters which are above the firmament," joining heaven and earth in peace and communion. There is the water beneath, as white as snow, as though it had become pure by the offering. Verily, there also is the rainbow of promise in the incense-cloud of rising mist, the

very emblem of that peace which heaven has graciously promised to earth. Then, too, the whole of this sublime service is accompanied by the deep music of many waters, sending up to heaven their unceasing anthem of praise to Him who bids them roll. It is truly a sublime sight. There are so many things to be taken in, to fill out the picture, that it is utterly in vain to attempt a description of the Falls.

The rapids above the fall-the hurrying waters, now rolling into broad waves, now bounding suddenly up into air and breaking into white caps, now pitching as in desperation forward, and now gliding through a long-drawn downward curve, smooth and swift-is a sight that holds the eye in amazement. So the stunned waters that boil and tumble in confusion below, like crazed clouds, white as wool, tossed and tossing, endeavoring as by desperate and lawless experiment to find the channel, then hurrying away, over rocking waves that reach from shore to shore-it must be seen to be known, and then only half its fearful sublimity can be taken up by the mind.

Such is Niagara; or at least such are some thoughts we had in regard to it. There are many interesting scenes, stories, and places about this natural wonder of which we cannot now speak. We are glad that we saw Niagara. We have a new picture in our mind of God's greatness as displayed in His works; and memory, at suitable moments, brings up this picture to our mind greatly to our pleasure.


SHE knelt alone, that little one,

An orphan child of three,

And whispered forth the prayer she learned

Beside her mother's knee.

No gentle hand upon her head

In soft caress was laid,

No sweet voice murmuring her name-
She knelt alone and prayed.

The tear-drops resting on her cheek
A tale of sorrow told,

For even she, that angel-child,

Had found the world was cold;
And murmured forth, with tiny hands
Up-pointing to the skies,

"God take me to my mamma,

Poor little Lilly dies."

The angels, pausing, heard the prayer,
And in the calm moonlight
Bent down and breathed upon the child,
And kissed her forehead white;
And bearing her with songs of love

Through the blue depths of even,
They laid her in her mother's arms-


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