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but expressive phraseology of the true son of the west, than the
minated in a lofty and dry chamber, some fifteen feetin diameter,
where they prepared a fire. The floor of this chamber shelved upward, leading to a narrow hole, called The Blast, barely large enough for the admission of a man’s body, and through which the wind rushed with great force. This passage also ran upward, and introduced them, after crawling through it on their hands and knees, to a large apartment, with dome-like roof, and at least
forty-five feet in diameter. Kindling their torches from a brand of the fire, which was their only means of light through the Blast, they clambered to the top of a rocky ridge, seeming from the numerous rises and descents along their route, “to be traversing the broken summit of a mountain, with merely the roof of a cave, instead of the canopy of heaven,” above them. Passing through a long narrow apartment, called The Saloon, with a “high square ceiling and firm floor of clay,” they were ushered into another, which, with the rest of their exploration, is thus described.
“‘The Gallery of Pillars' realized all that I had ever read of those sparry halls, that lift their glistening columns and sport their fairy tracery within the bowels of the earth. The form of the grotto was so irregular that it was nearly impossible to make an estimate of its dimensions. The innumerable stalactites, sometimes pendent from the roof, and sometimes raising themselves in single columns from the floor, were so clustered together and intermingled, that the actual walls of the subterranean chamber were excluded from view; while the light of our torches, as we waved them aloft, would at one moment be reflected back from a thousand fretted points, and be lost the next in some upward crevice, that led away, the bats alone knew where. But the most striking object in this fairy cell is yet to be mentioned. It was a formation of spar resembling a frozen waterfall, that reared itself to the height of fifteen or twenty feet, and ran completely across one end of the chamber. The ceiling of the grotto was about ten feet higher, but the petrifying water, which was now dripping from the hanging stalactites above, had united them here and there with the top of this marble cascade, so as to form a Gothic screen of sparry points and pillars along its otherwise smooth round summit. One of the guides succeeded with the aid of his companions in scaling the slippery elevation, and drawing his body with difficulty between the dropping pillars that knit the top of the congealed cascade to the roof of the grotto, he disappeared in perfect darkness behind the screen. A moment after it seemed as if a hundred lamps were dancing in that part of the cavern. He had merely lighted a couple of candles with which he was supplied, and placed them so as to be reflected from the minute and interlacing fretwork above,
“There was yet another chamber to be explored; and being now about half a mile from the mouth of the cave, it behooved us, if we wished to derive any benefit from our lights in returning, to expedite our movements. Passing, then, from the grotto, the uneven floor of which was partly paved with truncated columns of spar, and partly strewn with broken pillars that some barbarous hands had wrenched from their places, we crawled over huge rocks, where the roof of the cavern descended to within three or four feet of the broken floor, and came to a rugged declivity, seamed by deep and dark chasms, which rendered the descent difficult and perilous. When we had gained the bottom of this precipice and looked up, the top of the cavern was scarcely discernible by the light of our torches. A limpid brook, about a foot in depth, had here channelled its way in the smooth limestone; following it up for a few yards, a sudden turn brought us to a long semicircular gallery, about five feet in height, and hardly more in breadth. This, from the singular echoes it produced, was called ‘The Music-room;’ and no whispering gallery could supply a more re. markable phenomenon of sound. The lowest tone of voice produced a murmur that trembled through the apartment, like the humming sound created by striking upon the wood-work of a guitar, or rather, I may assimilate the effect produced by some tones, the bass ones particularly, to the low notes which a harp will send forth when the keys of a piano are touched near it. I was very sorry that we had not a musical instrument of some kind with us, to experiment more particularly upon these delicate and not unmelodious echoes. This room was nearly in the form of a crescent, and its smooth ceiling sloped gradually at the farther end till it touched the surface of the winding rivulet. At that point the stream became both broader and deeper; and the cavern not having been yet explored beyond this chamber, I proposed divin into the brook where it disappeared beneath the descending roof, and ascertainin whether it were not possible to rise in an open space beyond. The principal guide,
however, declared that he had already tried the experiment, and had nearly beer: suffocated by getting his head above water in a crevice of the dropping vault, from which it was difficult to extricate himself. We prepared, therefore, to retrace our steps; and our lights being nearly exhausted, we reduced their number to two while winding again through the devious labyrinth. After once or twice slightly missing the way, I emerged at last from this mether world, highly gratified with my subterranean wanderings.”
Near Tazewell in Tennessee, he explored another of these caverns, which, from their number and seclusion, afford, it is said, work-shops for a gang of counterfeiters, who mix among the people and palm off their spurious money among the unsuspecting, and upon the unwary traveller. So impudently and cunningly do they pursue their avocation, that the very individual who communicated this information to our author, gave evidence of its correctness by subsequently passing off to him a copper dollar. By means of fleet horses, and the cavernous recesses, they manage effectually to elude apprehension.
The natural tunnel in Scott county, Virginia, a curiosity hardly less interesting than the celebrated natural bridge in Rockbridge county, and which is probably new to many of our readers, affords us the last extract which we have room to make from these volumes.
“It is a vaulted passage of two hundred yards, through a mountainous ridge, some five or six hundred feet high. The ridge lies like a connecting mound between two parallel hills, of about the same elevation as itself; and a brook, that winds through the wooded gorge between these hills, appears to have worn its way through the limestone rib that binds the two together. The cavernous passage is nearly in the form of an S. The entrance, at the upper side, is through a tangled swamp; where, in following down the stream, you come in front of a rude arch, whose great height, from the irregular face of the cliff being covered with vines and bushes, it is difficult to estimate, until you attempt to throw a stone to the top of the vault. The ceiling drops a few yards from the entrance, till, at the point where, from the peculiar shape of the cavern, the shadows from either end meet in the midst, it is not more than twenty feet high. The vault then suddenly rises, and becomes loftier and more perfect in form as you emerge from the lower end. Finally, it flares upward, so that the edges of the arch lose themselves in the projecting face of the cliff, which here rises from a gravelly soil to the height of four hundred feet; smooth as if chiselled by an artist, and naked as death. At this point, the sides of the gorge are of perpendicular rock, and for sixty or eighty yards, from the outlet of the tunnel, they slope away so gradually from its mouth as to describe a perfect semicircular wall, having the cavernous opening at the extreme end of the arc. On the left this mural precipice curves off to your rear, and sloping inwardly, impends at last immediately above your head. On the right the wall becomes suddenly broken, while a beetling crag shoots abruptly from the ruin to the height of three hundred feet above the stream that washes its base. The embouchure of the tunnel is immediately in front. Behind, the narrow dell is bounded by broken steeps hung with birch and cedar, and shaded with every tint of green, from the deep verdure of the hemlock to the paler foliage of the paw-paw and fringe-tree. A more lovely and impressive spot the light of day never shone into. The sun was in the centre of the heavens as I stood beneath that stupendous arch, watching the swallows wheeling around the airy vault above me, and yet more than half the glen was in deep shadow. I had been told, whether jestingly or not, that the place was a favourite retreat for bears and panthers; and while following down the brook a few yards, I was somewhat startled, upon casting a glance into a recess in the rocky bank above me, to meet a pair of bright eyes glaring from the bushes which sheltered the nook. But the sudden movement of drawing a pistol frightened the wild animal from its covert, and it
proved to be only an opossum, that glided along the trunk of a fallen trec and disap-
ART. VIII.-The United States and Canada, in 1832, 1833, and 1834. By C. D. ARFw Edson, Esq. Two vols. London: 1834.
THE author of this new book on America is a Swede, who it seems travelled two years in the United States, and who has written and published his travels in our own language. An edition of the work has also been published in Swedish at Stockholm, where the political institutions of this country are daily a subject of discussion. The circumstances which caused the rise of Marshal Bernadotte are now almost forgotten. Four years after he was elected Crown Prince of Sweden, the peace concluded with Denmark at Kiel was established by the cession of Norway; and upon the death of Charles XIII, February 5, 1818, Bernadotte became the sovereign of two proud and free-spirited nations. In Sweden, the aristocracy has always been predominant; but in Norway there is no hereditary nobility, and the democracy has its full share of influence. In both kingdoms the peasantry and citizens form distinct estates. The different constitutions of these two countries, with their different manner of representation and government, presented many serious difficulties to the new king. But Bernadotte overcame them all, and he is now the only sovereign in Europe who has kept possession of a throne, acquired during the wars of Napoleon. He has assumed for his motto, “the people’s love is my reward.” And upon the discovery of a conspiracy against him a few years ago, he is said to have addressed the following language to a deputation of his subjects: “I came among you with no other credentials than my sword and my actions. These claims have been augmented by the adoption of the King, and the unanimous choice of a free people. On this I found my rights, and as long as honour and justice are not banished from the earth, these rights will be more legitimate and sacred than if I were descended from Odin. I have not opened a way by arms to the throne of Sweden; I have been called by the free choice of the nation, and on this right I rely.” The frequent expression of such popular sentiments, without any flagrant violation of the constitutional rights of either kingdom, and his great ability and deep policy, have fixed this soldier of fortune firmly upon the throne, to which he thus boasts that he has been called by the free choice of the nation. The policy of Charles XIV is well known. Although separated in a great measure by natural situation, and commercial interests from the rest of Europe, Sweden, in a time of profound peace, is burdened with a standing army of 50,000 men, a per