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A SUMMER MONTH.
Introduction-New-York-Association of Companions--Passage up the river Hudson-Persons on board.
"CARPE DIEM," or, seize the present moment, is a very important maxim in life, and in no situation more so, than with regard to travelling; but to be able to do this, is the grand point. Often when we think we have caught the fugitive, we find we have grasped a shadow. This however should not divert us from the aim; but we ought, in our endeavours to profit by time, to exert our judgments, or we shall find ourselves wofully disappointed. Whereas by attending to this circumstance in the commencement of a tour, there will most likely be produced a happy issue, and the Retrospect such as would be desired. Half is already done, when well begun; and when the mind is fully bent upon an object, there will be
no comparative difficulty in bringing other matters rightly to bear.
In the account of the tour that I am about giving to my readers, I have tried the maxim; how far I have succeeded will be for them to determine. However, having a leisure month before me, and growing impatient of the confinement of a large and populous city, I thought I had a moment to seize; for the improvement of health the enjoyment of a survey of the beauties and sublimities of nature, and the diversities of character which present themselves to a traveller. I trust, therefore, that it will be unnecessary to make any other apology than that proposed in the outset. If a candid reading be allowed to the production, there will be a double pleasure added to this humble effort, and my utmost wish will be realized. In confining myself to so limited a term not much is assumed, while at the same time there exists a hope, that the less interest will not be excited from an adherence to fact. With these impressions I resolved to make the trip, of which the following is a relation, and set off from
in the stage, a mode of travelling which is very convenient and pleasant, and in a few hours arrived at that great and improving emporium of commerce, the city of New-York.
I repaired immediately to the City Hotel; and it being my intention to make all possible dispatch to the northward, I shall not be expected to dwell on. many particulars, respecting this place. In the interim my time was taken up in calling on some acquaintances, visiting the Tontine and wharves, and walking about.
My observations before made respecting NewYork were now confirmed and digested, viz. The City Hall, Churches generally, and some of the other public buildings are superior to those of Philadelphia, in beauty of structure; and there is considerable taste and elegance discoverable, throughout the whole city. A degree of novelty and grandeur is exhibited, very imposing to the eye of a stranger; and the bustling crowd constantly passing through Broadway and Wallstreet, indicates an unusual degree of commercial enterprise. The private dwellings are remarkable for gayety and colours, more than for their neatness of arrangement, workmanship, or materials. The plan of the streets is by no means regular, but diversified by an agreeable variety. This circumstance is very apt to confuse a stranger; but soon becoming familiar, it beautifies and comprises itself so completely into ⚫ne view, that there is no kind of difficulty in at
once knowing his situation, from the constant changes and distant marks presenting themselves. The city continues to increase rapidly, as also the value of property, especially in the newly laid out parts; where the avenues and streets are all contrived on a wide and extensive plan. These improvements tend much to compensate the total want of order in the original arrangement of the streets. ing an enlargement, is certainly an elegant ornament; its public walks, adorned with trees, afford a refreshing promenade to the citizens.
The Battery also, now undergo
For the purpose of prosecuting my intended journey to Niagara, I associated myself with my two friends, the reverend Mr. and Mr. We left New-York, on the 30th of July, 1822, at 4 P. M. in the steam-boat, for Albany.
It were needless to take up time, in describing the usual incidents of this route, up the North river; inasmuch as they have been made familiar, by the relations of former travellers. Suffice it to say, that we enjoyed the advantages of a delightful sail, by moon-light. The Highlands, when seen under favourable circumstances, cannot be too much celebrated, for the boldness and grandeur, with which they strike the spectator. The surrounding romantic scenery constantly varies,
by the movement of the boat. Each beauty attracts attention till a new one arises, and while the unwilling transfer takes place, an absorbing thought dwells on its memory, to lull the passing phantom. A calm stillness prevailed at the hour of midnight. The buzzing stir had ceased.No noise was heard on the unruffled surface of the river; when I sought for my birth, and sunk on my pillow to sleep.
July 31st. It is a common observation, that the pleasure of travelling consists principally, in the variety of scenery, and agreeableness of personages met with. To see these necessarily produces a new train of ideas, and devests us of partialities. The imagination in future will expatiate, and dwell with gratification on what has been seen. A passage in the steam-boat affords these advantages, in an eminent degree. It is there that the most lively and diversified variety of persons are often to be met with. A number of travellers coming together with different views, are constrained to be in the same company; some one of whom is not unfrequently employed in personating a ludicrous character, for the rest, gratis: "Il ne faut donner exclusion à aucune genre; et si l'on me demandoit, quel genre est le meilleur ? Je repondrois, celui qui est le mieux traitè."