Page images
PDF
EPUB

THE CATARACTS OF AMERICA.

St. ANTHONY S FALLS. AMONG the magnificent scenery which characterizes this division of the earth, waterfalls of every description are HERE the Mississippi is upwards of 1800 feet wide above met with ; many of which are truly stupendous, most are the fall, but not more than a third of that width below. grand, and all fascinating. Of twenty-three principal cata- The perpendicular height of the fall is 16 feet, besides racts, which have attracted the notice and drawn forth the fifty-eight feet more of a rapid below; so that when viewed admiration of travellers, twenty are in the northern con- from a distance in front, it appears much higher than it tinent, and three in the southern. Tracing these according really is. to their geographical position, from the north, our attention When the Mississippi is full, which happens twice in the is first arrested by

year, about January and June, the appearance of St. WILBERFORCE FALLS,

Anthony's Falls is very sublime, as the spray then thrown

up reflects the prismatic colours while the sun shines ; and On Hood's River, just within the arctic circle; of which a

when the sky is overcast, the whole is enveloped in a kind particular description has been given in a former Number*.

of majestic gloom. Travelling southward from these Falls, across a country intersected by mountains, lakes, and rivers, the last of receives the waters of St. Peter's river, which is about 300

About twelve miles below these falls, tne Mississippi which abound in the minor falls, called Rapids, we arrive, feet wide ; and has several rapids and falls in the upper after a journey of about 1100 miles, at the source of the

parts of its course. One, called ST. PETER's Fall, is about MISSOURI,

fifty miles from the junction of the two rivers, and very in A RIVER remarkable, in its upper part, for a succession of teresting in its characteristics. rapids, cascades, and cataracts, during a course of nearly

OH10-PYLE Falls. three miles, in which it has a descent of no less than 352 AMONG the waters of various tributary streams, the Missis feet. Its current, consequently, runs with great velocity sippi receives those of the Ohio and its auxiliaries. The Immediately above the falls, the river is 900 feet in breadth. Ohio itself has no considerable cataract; but at Louisville, The first fall of any interest has a pitch of five feet; and it has a rapid descent of 224 feet, in two miles. Its tribu immediately after it, occurs a beautiful cascade of 264 feet. tary, the Monogahela, receives the waters of the YoughioThe width of the river is here increased to 1800 feet; and geny, and about thirty miles above their union, the latter the water falls in smooth sheet to about one-third of the has a grand cataract of twenty feet perpendicular fall, descent. After passing over some falls of trifling height, called the Ohio-PYLE. the river is joined by the waters of a large fountain, which,

The course of the Mississippi, and its confluent streams, springing up from beneath the rocks on its margin, form a having taken us somewhat out of our way, we must return cascade of eight feet. Below this is a fall of 143 feet down towards the north, where, on the borders of Upper Canada, we an inclined plane, a quarter of a mile in length ; at the bottom of which, the river, about a quarter of a mile in in which is the cataract, called

meet with a strait, uniting the lakes Superior and Huron breadth, is precipitated down a precipice of fifty feet.

St. Mary's Fall. Captain Lewis describes this cataract as singularly beautiful, combining all the regular elegancies which the The river, or strait, St. Mary, which forms a boundary fancy of a painter would select to represent an elegant between Canada and the territories of the United States, waterfall. At the distance of a quarter of a mile, is another is about forty miles long, and the only outlet for the super cataract, nineteen feet in perpendicular height; to which fluous waters of Lake Superior, which it conveys into Captain Lewis gave the name of the Crooked Fall. Lake Huron. About midway between the lakes, the flood,

From this point, with one fall of five feet, and another of forcing its way through a confined channel, and breaking two, the river is a continued rapid, with a descent of nearly with violence among the natural impediments in its way, fifty feet, till it reaches the GRAND CATARACT. Here the produces a scene of tumultuous agitation, which, combined channel is restricted to a breadth of 840 feet, by cliffs, with the noise and dazzling whiteness of the surge, is not rising, on the left side, to the height of 100 feet, but of no deficient either in grandeur or romantic effect. The total great altitude on the right; and through an opening in descent of the fall is 224 feet, in about three quarters of a these rocks, the flood pours itself over a precipice of eighty- mile. From Lake Huron, into which these falls lead, seven feet in depth. For about 300 feet on the left side, the water is discharged into Lake Erie; and then again, the water rushes down in one smooth, even sheet; but the into Lake Ontario, over the celebrated remainder of the river, being carried forward with a more

FALLS OF NIAGARA. rapid current; and interrupted in its fall by irregularly pro- This cataract has been represented by travellers, as one jeeting rocks below, forms a splendid display of perfectly of the most interesting phenomena of the western world; white foam, 600 feet in breadth, and rising to the height of not, indeed, on account of its height, for that is much 200 feet, in a thousand fanciful shapes, to which the solar exceeded by other falls: but for its extent, its tremendous rays impart the brightest tints of the rainbow.

When the river is high, as is the case after the melting of the snows on the adjacent mountains, and after heavy rains, the stream makes its way over the low rocks, and increases the cataract to a breadth of 120 feet.

FALLS ON THE MississIPPI. About fifteen degrees of longitude eastward of the source of the Missouri, the Mississippi has its rise. On this river are several sets of rapids; one, called LES RAPIDES DES Moines, is eleven miles long, and consists of successive ledges and shoals, extending from shore to shore, across the bed of the river. About 100 miles higher up is another, about eighteen miles in length, and consisting of a continued chain of rocks, over which the water tows with turbulent rapidity.

PACKAGAMA FALL. AbOur thirty miles from its source, the Mississippi, after winding through a dismal country, covered with high grass meadows, with pine swamps in the distance, which appear to cast a deeper gloom on its borders, is suddenly, pent up rapidity, and the inconceivable bulk of water, the overplus

Falls of Nagard. in a channel not more than sixty feet wide, and the water rushes down a flat rock, twenty feet in perpendicular its abysm. The river, which is about 33, miles in length,

of four immense inland seas, which is precipitated down height, and having an elevation of thirty degrees. Immediately below this fall, the river widens to 1300 feet, and

and of considerable depth, varying in breadth from half a dresents a continued series of rapids, falls, and shoals, for mile to a league, may be said to be a continued series of nearly 1000 miles, when it meets with

rapids, with a headstrong stream, frequently interrupted by break over the rocks with such terrific impetuosity, that About eighteen miles higher up the river are the Falls the mere sight of them from the banks, is sufficient to OF GRANDE MERE, where are three cataracts of thirty feet make the spectator shudder. Just at the falls, the river perpendicular height, amidst an assemblage of romantic makes an abrupt turn from west to north-east, and the scenery. line of the cataract winds obliquely across, instead of The Fall OF THE GROSSE Pilles, between seven and extending in the shortest direction, from one bank to the eight miles above the GRANDE MERE, has a cascade of other. Here also the stream is divided into two unequal fifteen or twenty feet, with rocks on its right bank, rising portions, by an island, called Goat Island, which, presenting in perpendicular height from 250 to 300 feet. a face towards the stream of about 990 feet, adds greatly to the romantic effect of the falls, and, with the ledges of the

rocky projections. About three miles above the falls, in See Saturday Magazine, for 18th August, 1832, p. 57, consequence of a rapid descent of fifty-one feet, the waves 32–2

[graphic]

FALLS OF THE MONTMORENCI. precipices, forms the chord of an irregular arc, about 3300 feet from shore to shore.

The Great Fall, called also, from its shape, the Horse Shoe Fall, is on the Canadian side. Its curvature is computed at 2100 feet, and its height at rather more than 149 feet. The Lener or Schlosher Fall, so denominated from Fort Schlosher, on its margin, is on the American side, and about 1125 feet in curvilinear length, with a perpendicular height of 162 feet: it experiences an inconsiderable subdivision from a small islet, called Montmorenci, and hence, Niagara is sometimes described as a threefold cataract.

As the waters approach the head of Goat Island, their previous convulsive agitation partially subsides, and they sweep forward, in a broad, ceaseless, and swift current, to the brink of the fall, down which they tumultuously roll, without interruption from rocks in their descent, with a deafening noise; and throwing up clouds of vapour, on which the solar rays are reflected in most beautiful rainbows. The noise is so great, that, in a clear day, and with a favourable wind, it is heard at the distance of forty miles; and the spray is thrown to such a height, that, at the distance of seventy miles, it is said, the cloudy vapour may be discerned. An elegant writer, who has given an elaborate description of this grand spectacle, compares “ the solemn and tremendous noise, with volumes of vapour darting upwards in the air," to " the simultaneous report and smoke of a thousand cannons." The quantity of water rolling over these falls, has been estimated at 670,250 tuns per minute !

FALLS ON THE OTTAWA. The river Ottawa, or Utawas, which forms a boundary between Upper and Lower Canada, and empties its waters into the St. Lawrence, at Montreal, is intersected with numerous falls, as, the GRAND CALUMET, with a succession of cascades, varying from six to ten feet in About nine miles below Quebec, the St. Lawrence is height; the RAPIDES DU Fort, eight feet in perpendicular joined by the Montmorenci, a river remarkable for the height; the RAPIDES DES Chats, three miles in length, with continued rapidity of its course, and for the falls at its several falls towards the end, from sixteen to twenty feet. mouth, The height, the magnificence, and surrounding All these present wild and romantic scenery, worthy the beauties of this cataract, cause it to be visited by all travelattention of those who seek the picturesque of nature: butlers who arrive at Quebec, with means and leisure for the most celebrated falls on this, river, are those of the gratifying a taste for the sublime. CHAUDIERES, or KETTLES. The Great Kettle, so called At a settlement, called La Motte, the waters are diffused from its shape, and the volume of water it involves, is into shallow currents, passing over an irregular rocky bed, about sixty feet in depth, and 212 feet across; and attracts, which breaks them into foam, accompanied by murmuring by its forcible indraught, a considerable portion of the sounds. Lower down, the channel becomes bounded by waters, which, strongly compressed by the circular shape precipitous rocks; its breadth becomes contracted, and the of the gulf, descend in heavy torrents, struggling vio- current proportionably quickened. At a place called the lently to escape, and throwing up dense clouds of spray. NATURAL STEPS are several beautiful cascades, of ten or The Little Kettle receives its waters into a broad, elongated, twelve feet each. These steps have been gradually formed strait fissure, by which a considerable portion escapes by the accession of water received by the river at the breaksubterraneously; a circumstance not peculiar to this spot : | ing up of winter; and from the middle of April to the for, in various places of the same river, the waters pass end of May, the volume of water rolls with increasing through deep but narrow rents and fissures, to dash through height and rapidity. some subterranean passage, that defies the scrutiny of the After exhibiting a beautiful variety in its course, and curious.

passing over two other magnificent cascades, the river FALLS ON THE ST. MAURICE.

arrives at the GREAT FALL OF MONTMORENCI, where the This river, which joins the St. Lawrence about ninety stream is from fifty to sixty feet wide. A slight slope miles above Quebee, is interesting to admirers of the

of the bed, before it reaches this point, gives additiona. beauties of nature, from its numerous cascades. Among relocity to the current, so that the water is violently prothese we shall notice, 1. The FALLS OF GABELLE, about jected over a perpendicular rock, nearly 250 feet high, in twenty-five feet in height, and descending through a par

an extended sheet, of a whiteness and fleecy appearance tial contraction of the river with great velocity: 2. The resembling snow. Wherever it touches the rock, it falls in Falls OF LE Grais, formed by some small islands, clothed white clouds of rolling foam; and beneath, where it is with rich foliage, which separate the waters into several propelled without interruption, it forms innumerable flakes, channels, each possessing a pleasing cascade.

like wool or cotton, which are gradually protracted in the Between five and six miles higher up the river are the descent, till received into the boiling profound beneath. An great Falls Of SHAWENEGAN, where the water, divided immense spray rises from the bottom in curling volumes by a rock into two channels, is precipitated over a ledge which, when the sun displays its bright prismatic colours nearly 150 feet in perpendicular height, and rushes with produce an effect inconceivably beautiful. terrific violence against the cliff below, where the two

Falls OF THE RIVER CHAUDIERE. streams are reunited, and an immense body of water is forced through a passage, comparatively narrow, though ninety About six miles above Quebec, but on the opposite bank, the feet wide. Few falls exhibit such evident marks as this of river Chaudière pours its tributary stream in to the St. Law some extraordinary convulsion of nature.

rence. This river, varying in breadth from 1200 to 1800 feet,

[graphic]

18 replete with rapids, and other impediments to navigation, a deep chasm, or cleft, which crosses the channel, and falls Among others, the cataract most celebrated for its beauty perpendicularly about seventy feet, in one entire sheet. and surrounding scenery, is situated about four miles from One end of the cleft is closed up, and the water rushes out the river's mouth, where, narrowed by jutting rocks, extending from each side, the precipice, over which the waters rush, is scarcely more than 390 feet in breadth; and the height from which they descend, is about 130 feet. Huge inasses of rock, which appear to have been rent from their primeval bed by some violent convulsion of nature, rise above the surface of the current, just at the break of the fall, and divide the strearn into three portions, forming secondary cascades, which re-unite their waters, before they reach the basin below. In some parts, large sheets of water roll unbroken to the bottom; in other places, the liquid element dashes from one fragment of rock to another with wild impetuosity, bellowing and foaming in every hollow cavity that obstructs its progress; thence it rushes down, with the rapidity of lightning, into the boiling surge beneath, where it rages with inconceivable fury, till it is hurried away by a fresh torrent, and loses itself in the channel of the St. Lawrence. GREAT FALL ON THE RIVER St. John.

Passaick Falls. At the distance of a few miles eastward of the Chaudière, rises the river St. John, which flows through New Bruns at the other with incredible rapidity, in an acute angle to wick, in its way to Fundy Bay, where its waters are dis- its former direction, and is received into a large basin. It charged. Just after leaving the Canadian border, the river thence takes a winding course through the rocks, and rushes with great fury over a rocky bed, till, being suddenly spreads again into a very considerable channel. The cleft narrowed by projections of the cliffs on either side, it rolls is from four to twelve feet in breadth, and is supposed to impetuously over their ledges, in a perpendicular line of have been produced by an earthquake. When this cataract forty-five feet, into a narrow basin of pointed rocks, amid was visited by a late British traveller, the spray refracted which it foams and rages till it escapes, through a narrow two beautiful rainbows, primary and secondary, which rocky channel, over a series of declivities, half a mile in greatly assisted in producing as fine a scene as imaginacontinuance, and each forming a distinct cascade.

tion can conceive. It was also heightened by the effect of The scenery about these falls is described as grand and

another fall, of less magnificence, about ninety feet abore. sublime; consisting of towering abrupt eminences, preci In the same state, are the Falls OF TRENTON, opposite pitous crags, and dark unpenetrated forests.

the town of that name, on the Delaware River. At the mouth of the river, about a mile above the town of St. John's, are alternate falls, inward and outward, every

FALLS OF TH) VOTOMACK. tide; occasioned by the narrowness of the channel, and a

The Potomack, which forms the boundary between the ridge of rocks across its bottom, which intercept the water in its passage to and from the sea. At the ebb, the waters states of Maryland and Virginia, is navigable to the city of those of the bay, and an outward fall occurs: but at high Falls, three miles above Washington, with a descent of of the river are penned up about twelve feet higher than Washington; above which it is obstructed by several falls,

of which the following are the most remarkable. 1. LITTLE water, the sea rises about five feet higher than the river, thirty-seven feet. 2. Great Falls, eight and a half miles and rushes through the strait, with an inward fall.

further up, with a descent of seventy-six feet; which have Bellows Falls, ON THE CONNECTICUT.

been made navigable by means of five locks. 3. SENECA Passing from the British territories into those of the

Falls, six miles above, descending ten feet. 4. SHENANUnited States, the first cataract of importance we meet

DOAH Falls, sixty miles higher up the river, where the with is denominated the Bellows Falls, at Walpole, on the

Potomack breaks through the blue ridge, at Harper's Connecticut river. The whole descent of the river, in the Ferry. 5. Houre's Falls, five miles above the Shenan. space of two furlongs and a half, is forty-four feet; and it

doah. They all possess interesting characteristics, pleas includes several pitches, one below another, at the highest ingly diversified ; particularly No.

4, which is much cele

brated for its grandeur and magnificence. of which a large rock divides the stream into two channels, each about ninety feet wide. When the water is low, the

VIRGINIA AND GEORGIA. eastern channel is dry, being crossed by a solid rock, and the wholo stream falls into the western channel, where, In addition to the cataracts in the United States, above being contracted to the breadth of sixteen feet, it flows enumerated, we may notice with astonishing force and rapidity. A bridge has been 1. The Falling Spring, in Bath county, Virginia, built over these falls, from which an advantageous view is which forms a beautiful cascade, streaming from a perpenhad of their interesting and romantic scenery.

dicular precipice, 200 feet high. Caroos Falls, ON THE MOHAWK RIVER.

2. The Tuccoa Fall, in Franklin county, Georgia,

which, though one of the most beautiful that can be conIn the state of New York, about two miles from the mouth ceived, is scarcely yet known to our geographers. It is of the Mohawk river, are the falls called Cahoos, or Cahoes, much higher than the great fall of Niagara, and the water where the river, about a thousand feet broad, descends, at is propelled over a perpendicular rock. When the stream high water, in one sheet, to the depth of seventy feet, afford- is full, it pours over the steep in one expansive magnificent ing a grand spectacle from the bridge, which has been sheet, amid clouds of spray, on which the prismatic colours built across the Mohawk, about three quarters of a mile are reflected with a most enchanting effect. below the cataract. FALL ON THE HOUSATONICK River.

SOUTH AMERICA. This river rises in the western part of Massacnusetts, and

CATARACTS OF THE PUSAMBIO. enters Connecticut near its north-west corner. About The little village of Purace, in the province of Popayan, seven miles from the boundary of the two states, the water Columbia, is situated on a great plain among the Andes, of the whole river, which is 450 feet across, is precipitated at an elevation of 10,000 feet above the level of the sea. over a perpendicular fall of sixty feet.

This plain is bounded by two extremely deep ravines, prePASSAICK FALLS.

senting, frightful precipices, the effect of earthquakes and

convulsions of the neighbouring volcano. On the plain, The river Passaick rises in the northern part of New rises the small river Pusambio, which is warm towards the Jersey, and, after a circuitous course, falls into Newark source, and so impregnated with oxide of iron, and sulBay. At the town of Patterson, about twenty miles from phuric and muriatic acids, that the Spaniards have denoits mouth, is the Great Fall, where the river, about 120 minated it Rio Vinagre. feel wide, and running with a very swift current, reaches This river, which, probably, owes its origin to the daily

[graphic]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

melting of the snows, and the sulphur that burns in the surrounding vegetation, render this one of the wildest and interior of the volcano, forms, near the plain of Corazan, most picturesque scenes of the Andes. three cataracts, the two uppermost of which are very considerable. The water, after making its way through a cavern, precipitates itself down nearly 400 feet. The fall is extremely picturesque, and attracts the attention of travellers; but the waters are so pernicious, that the Rio Cauca, into which it flows, is destitute of fish for four leagues afterwards.

FALLS ON THE ORONOCO. The cataracts on the Oronoco occur 740 mrles from its mouth, and 760 from its source, at the villages Maypura and Atures, near the great bend of the river. They are three in number, and are represented as the most tremendous falls that have ever been observed ; but no good description has been given of them, though they constitute the only outlets from the country east of the Andes, to the vast plains of the Amazons.

THE TEQUENDAMA CATARACT. This celebrated fall is upon the River Bogota, near the town of Santa Fé, in the Columbian Republic. At a little distance above the fall, the river is about 140 feet wide; but as it approaches the chasm through which it dashes, its breadth is suddenly diminished to thirty-five feet. Thus contracted, the current gains accumulated force, and rushes down a perpendicular rock, at two bounds, to the depth of 600 feet, into a dark unfathomable abyss, out of which the river again issues, under the name of Rió Meta. The face of the rock, which finishes and borders the vast plain of Bogota, near the cataract, is so steep that it occupies three hours in the descent: and the basin, or gulf, into which the water is precipitated, cannot be approached very closely, as the rapidity of the stream, the deafening noise of the cataract, and the dense mass of spray, render it impossible to get nearer the edges of the abyss than 400 or 500 feet. The loneliness of the spot, the tumultuous roar of the waters, and the beauties of the

The Tequendama Cutaract.

AFRICA.
THE NIE.

the line of its course, raising waves, or solent ebullitions,

which chafed against each other. This celebrated river, through its long and fertilizing Notwithstanding this animated description of Mr. Bruce, range of about 2000 British miles, in winding through other travellers, either from possessing less vivacity of feelabrupt and precipitous countries, exhibits very considerable ing, or from visiting the spot under less favourable circumcataracts; ten or twelve of which, having a descent of more stances, speak of the cataracts of the Nile, as mere rapids, than twenty feet, occur before it reaches the plains of scarcely deserving the title of cascades. Mr. Legh speaks Egypt. One, styled by way of eminence, the CATARACT of the fall at Syene, as formed merely by the river forcing OF THE Nile, was visited by Mr. Bruce, from whose its way, in a contracted channel, through rocks, which form account the following particulars are extracted.

several ledges across it. He admits, however, that conAt the distance of half a mile below the cataract, the siderable grandeur of effect is produced by this wild disorder river is confined between two rocks, over which a strong of the rocks, the absence of all cultivation, the murmur of bridge, of a single arch, has been thrown ; and here the the water, and the desolate character of the whole scene. current runs into a deep trough, with great roaring and an Mr. Burckhardt describes the cataract a little higher up the impetuous velocity. Higher up, the cataract presents river, as formed by only a part of the stream, about sixty itself, amid groves of beautiful trees, and exhibits a most feet in breadth. magnificent and stupendous sight. At the time of Mr.

WATERFALL MOUNTAIN. Bruce's visit, the river had been swollen by rains, and fell The great chain of mountains, which runs from north to in a single sheet of water, about half a mile in breadth, to south, through the colony of Good Hope, divides into the depth of at least fifty feet, with a force and noise that two branches, one stretching south-east, the other due were truly terrific. A thick fume or haze covered the fall south. At the extremity of the latter branch is the in every part, and hung over the course of the stream, both WATERFALL MOUNTAIN; in one of the clefts of which, above and below, marking its track, though the waters a large stream of water, between thirty and forty feet broad, were not seen. The river preserved its natural clearness, falls from the high rock above, to a depth of from eighty and fell, partly into a deep pool, or basin, in the solid rock, to ninety feet, where it is received in a vast and deep partly, in twenty different eddies, to the very foot of the basin, excavated in the stone by the perpetual weight and precipice. In falling, a portion of the stream appeared to action of the descending flood. After abundant rains, this run back with great fury on the rock, as well as forward in | cataract is in its full beauty.

[graphic]

ASIA.
SOURCES OF THE MENDER.

the sight of several foaming cascades, pouring impetuously The river Mender, the Scamander of Homer, has its from chasms in the face of a perpendicular rock. Prior to source in some beautiful cascades, surrounded with romanticits descent, the water is received into a beautiful natural alpine scenery, in the ancient Troas. The ascent to these basin, six or eight feet in depth, which serves as a reserfalls is, for a time, steep and rocky; lofty summits lower- voir during the first moments of its emission. This basin ing above, while the torrent, in its rugged bed, foams is only to be attained by hazardous clambering up the cliff, below.. At length, the traveller reaches a kind of natural to a height of about forty feet; and then it is seen, that amphitheatre, surrounded with huge craggy rocks, rising the chasms are natural caverns, through which the water perpendicularly to an immense height, and covered with rushes with great force from beneath the rock, towards the pines, enormous palm-trees, and a variety of evergreen basin on the outside ; and the copious overflowings of this shrubs, growing in fantastic shapes, in every possible reservoir form the cascades. The scene is truly magnificent; direction. The noise of the torrent drowns all other sounds; and the flow of water is said to continue the same ali the year and, as the spectator advances, his eye is charmed with round, unaffected by casualties from rain or melting snow.

CATARACTS OF EUROPE.
NORWAY AND SWEDEN.

to the Mediterranean, which it joins after a course of nearly In Norway, the multitude of springs that issue from the 500 miles. Between Geneva and Lyons, the channel of lofty mountains, and the vast masses of snow which accu- this river is frequently narrowed by rocks; and at one mulate on their summits, and gently dissolve during summer, give rise to numerous lakes, and a considerable number of rivers ; the largest of which is the GLOMMEN; but none of them are navigable far up the country, the passage being continually interrupted by rocks, and, in some places, by fearful cataracts, where the stream precipitates itself from heights of from 250 to 500 feet.

In Sweden, about fifty miles above the city of Göttenburgh, the river Götha rushes down the fall of TROLLHETTA, into a deep pit, with a terrific noise, and with such force, that trees floated down the river are frequently shattered to pieces, or dive so far beneath the water, as to disappear for a quarter of an hour, half an hour, and sometimes not less than three-quarters of an hour. The river, which is very wide before it reaches the falls, is confined by the rocks within a narrow channel ; and its course is still more restricted by several rocky islands in the middle of the stream. The whole descent is estimated at 100 feet; but, as the falls are four in number, each is only about twenty-five feet, and the bottom slopes, so that the water runs as in a spout. Its rapidity is very great ; the noise is heard at the distance of a league, and the falls are constantly covered with foam. The pit into which the tor

Source of the Rhône. rent is precipitated, has been sounded with a line of several part, about sixteen miles below Geneva, it loses itself in hundred fathoms, without reaching the bottom.

The river Dal, the third in Sweden for size, rises underground caverns, for the extent of sixty paces. in the mountains on the Norwegian borders, and, passing

The Devil's BRIDGE through Dalecarlia, forms a grand cataract, not far from its confluence with the gulf of Bothnia.

The Reuss, one of the largest rivers of Switzerland,

issues from the small lake Luzendro, in mount St Gothard, SWITZERLAND.

and, flowing through a very mountainous country, has a Or all parts of Europe, Switzerland is the country in number of waterfalls

, among which is the one represented which the greatest number of rivers take their rise, in a in our cut, where the river, precipitating itself down a deep bold and precipitous alpine district, which offers a variety

narrow valley, in the canton of Uri, has a fall of more than of waterfalls and torrents, well worthy of notice.

100 feet. Over a part of this cataract, at about three

fourths of its height, a wooden bridge, called, from its The Staub Bach.

romantic situation, the Devil's BRIDGE, has been thrown Near the village of Lauterbrunn, in the canton of Bern, from rock to rock. It consists of a single arch, eighty feet this celebrated cataract rushes tempestuously down a in span; and appears so wonderful to the country people, rocky declivity, variously estimated at 900 and 1400 feet' that they imagine nothing short of supernatural agency in height. As it falls, the pillar of water disperses a could have placed it there; and they have many legendary fine shower, which does not descend perpendicularly, but tales respecting it. yields a little to the wind. It then meets with a projecting ledge of rock, down the side of which a portion of the water runs in single streams, while the remainder dashes below in clouds.

FALL OF THE RHINE. During the course of this river in Switzerland, its scenery is often bold and romantic; and at the village of Lauffen, about a league from Schaffhausen, is a tremendous cataract, where the river, not less than 450 feet in breadth, is precipitated from a rock seventy feet in height; being, for mass of waters, the largest, though not the highest cataract, in civilized Europe. Nearly midway of the stream, is a rock, which divides it into two falls at the top, but they are quickly re-united, and descend to the bottom in one broad sheet, The fall is so rapid, that the water is thrown up to a great height in a white dense cloud, which conceals all beyond it; every bush on the rocky shores is conitinaally dripping wet; and when the sun shines, the colours of the rainbow play fancifully in the froth and rising vapour. The tumult of the water is so great, that its noise is heard, in calm weather, at the distance of two or three leagues.

SOURCE OF THE RHÔNE. This fine river rises in the highest part of Switzerland, at the foot of Mount Furca, only five miles from the source of the Rhine. Gushing from a stupendous glacier, ten thousand feet above the level of the sea, this river precipi tates itself, with great noise, into the vale beneath, bearing the appearance of a single cataract, with several cascades. Its general rapidity is strongly marked by a fall of 3000 feet before it reaches the lake of Geneva. Its waters are augmented by an almost infinite number of tributary torrents and streams, that descend from the sides of the adjacent mountains, till it rolls a large collected volume of turbid water into the transparent lake ; from the opposite extremity of which, it issues in a purer stream, to proceed

[graphic]
« PreviousContinue »