Oak Openings eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 515 pages of information about Oak Openings.

CHAPTER XXX.

      Come to the land of peace! 

Come where the tempest hath no longer sway,
The shadow passes from the soul away—­

              The sounds of weeping cease.

Fear hath no dwelling there! 
Come to the mingling—­of repose and love,
Breathed by the silent spirit of the dove,
Through the celestial air. 
—­Mrs. Hemans.

It is now more than thirty-three years since the last war with the English terminated, and about thirty-six to the summer in which the events recorded in this legend occurred.  This third of a century has been a period of mighty changes in America.  Ages have not often brought about as many in other portions of the earth, as this short period of time has given birth to among ourselves.  We had written, thus far, on the evidence of documents sent to us, when an occasion offered to verify the truth of some of our pictures, at least, by means of personal observation.

Quitting our own quiet and secluded abode in the mountains, in the pleasant month of June, and in this current year of 1848, we descended into the valley of the Mohawk, got into the cars, and went flying by rails toward the setting sun.  Well could we remember the time when an entire day was required to pass between that point on the Mohawk where we got on the rails, and the little village of Utica.  On the present occasion, we flew over the space in less than three hours, and dined in a town of some fifteen thousand souls.

We reached Buffalo, at the foot of Lake Erie, in about twenty hours after we had entered the cars.  This journey would have been the labor of more than a week, at the time in which the scene of this tale occurred.  Now, the whole of the beautiful region, teeming with its towns and villages, and rich with the fruits of a bountiful season, was almost brought into a single landscape by the rapidity of our passage.

At Buffalo, we turned aside to visit the cataract.  Thither, too, we went on rails.  Thirty-eight years had passed away since we had laid eyes on this wonderful fall of water.  In the intervening time we had travelled much, and had visited many of the renowned falls of the old world, to say nothing of the great number which are to be found in other parts of our own land.  Did this visit, then, produce disappointment?

Did time, and advancing years, and feelings that had become deadened by experience, contribute to render the view less striking, less grand, in any way less pleasing than we had hoped to find it?  So far from this, all our expectations were much more than realized.  In one particular, touching which we do not remember ever to have seen anything said, we were actually astonished at the surpassing glory of Niagara.  It was the character of sweetness, if we can so express it, that glowed over the entire aspect of the scene.  We were less struck with

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Oak Openings from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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