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living, and whether the smells on her staircase were very bad indeed. It was, therefore, at her tacit request that I repaired to the lodging of the young pair, in the neighborhood of the Piazza Barberini. quarters were modest, but they looked into the quaint old gardens of the Capuchin Friars; and in the way of smells, I observed nothing worse than the heavy breath of a great bunch of pinks in a green jug on the window sill. Angelo stood there, pulling one of the pinks to pieces, and looking quite the proper hero of his romance. eyed me shyly and a trifle coldly at first, as if he were prepared to stand firm against a possible blowing up; but when he saw that I chose to make no allusions whatever to the past, he suffered his dark brow to betray his serene contentment. I was no more disposed than I had been a week before, to call him a bad fellow; but he was a mystery, his character was as great an enigma as the method of his courtship. That he was in love I don't pretend to say; but I think he had already forgotten how his happiness had come to him, and that he was basking in a sort of primitive natural, sensuous delight in being adored. It was like the warm sunshine, or like plenty of good wine. I don't believe his fortune in the least surprised him; at the bottom of every genuine Roman heart, -even if it beats beneath a beggar's rags,— you'll find an ineradicable belief that we are all barbarians, and made to pay them tribute. He was welcome to all his grotesque superstitions, but what sort of a future did they promise for Adina? I asked leave to speak with her; he shrugged his shoulders, said she was free to choose, and went into an adjoining room with my proposal. Her choice apparently was difficult; I waited sometime, wondering how she would look on the other side of the ugly chasm she had so audaciously leaped. she came in at last, and I immediately saw that she was vexed by my visit. She wished to utterly forget her past. She was pale and very grave; she seemed to wear a frigid mask of reserve. If she had seemed to me a singular creature before, it didn't help me to understand her to see her there, beside her extraordinary husband. My eyes went from one to the other and, I suppose, betrayed my reflections; she suddenly begged me to inform her of my errand.
"I have been asked," I said, " to enquire whether you are contented. Mrs. Wad
dington is unwilling to leave Rome while there is a chance of your- -" I hesitated for a word, and she interrupted me.
Of my repentance, is what you mean to say?" She fixed her eyes on the ground for a moment, then suddenly raised them. "Mrs. Waddington may leave Rome," she said softly. I turned in silence, but waited a silence, but waited a moment for some slight message of farewell. "I only ask to be forgotten!" she added, seeing me stand.
Love is said to be par excellence the egotistical passion; if so Adina was far gone. "I can't promise to forget you," I said; "you and my friend here deserve to be remembered!"
She turned away; Angelo seemed relieved at the cessation of our English. He opened the door for me, and stood for a moment with a significant, conscious smile. She's happy, eh?" he asked.
So she says!"
He laid his hand on my arm, “So am I! -She's better than the topaz !"
"You're a queer fellow!" I cried; and, pushing past him, I hurried away.
Mrs. Waddington gave her step-daughter another chance to repent, for she lingered in Rome a fortnight more. She was disappointed at my being able to bring her no information as to how Adina had eluded observation-how she had played her game and kept her secret. My own belief was that there had been a very small amount of courtship, and that until she stole out of the house the morning before her flight, to meet the Padre Girolamo and his nephew at the church, she had barely heard the sound of her lover's voice. There had been signs, and glances, and other unspoken vows, two or three notes, perhaps. Exactly who Angelo was, and what had originally secured for us the honor of his attentions, Mrs. Waddington never learned; it was enough for her that he was a friendless, picturesque Italian. Where everything was a painful puzzle, a shade or two, more or less, of obscurity hardly mattered. Scrope, of course, never attempted to account for his own blindness, though to his silent thoughts it must have seemed bitterly strange. He spoke of Adina, as I said, but once.
He knew by instinct, by divination,-for I had not told him,-that I had been to see her, and late on the evening following my visit, he proposed to me to take a stroll through the streets. It was a soft, damp, night, with vague, scattered cloud masses,
let something shine in the moonlight. was the beautiful, the imperial, the baleful topaz. He looked at me and I knew what his look meant. It made my heart beat, but I did not say no! It had been a curse, the golden gem, with its cruel emblems; let it return to the moldering under-world of the Roman past! I shook his hand firmly, he stretched out the other and, with a great flourish, tossed the glittering jewel into the dusky river. There it lies! Some day, I suppose, they will dredge the Tiber for treasures, and, possibly, disinter our topaz, and recognize it. nize it. But who will guess at this passionate human interlude to its burial of centuries?
"How shall we reach the Adirondacks?" This was the topic of an open-air discussion by a sprightly circle of tourists upon the hurricane deck of a Champlain steamer. The mountains loomed up grandly overland in the distance, while the waters of the lake were tranquil. The air was ruffled only by human voices.
We were all at home in the Adirondacks, but had learned to find them by different routes. Quite naturally we each championed the line of travel of which we had experience. While discord reigned supreme, one of our ladies proposed a compromise, which, aided by its novelty, won instant approval. She eloquently advocated an avenue of approach hitherto untraveled by any of us. The bachelor of 'our Tourist Club, whose gift of speech was only equaled by his other supreme gift of good nature, suggested that imagination furnished our fair orator's facts, and tact her arguments; but she denied both impeachments, assuring us that the brief from which she argued was the experience of a friend, whose love for the picturesque was only equaled by his love for the truth. With female adroitness, however, pressing into service in a metaphorical way the popularly received aphorism that "figures never lie," she concluded her plea with a figure of speech, which won all hearts.
ted prospect enjoyed on top of the stage were all that could be desired; but the roadway was positively shocking. But plunging along as if upon a cantering steed, the driver of the coach continually cracking his whip, and we our jokes, in half an hour we reached Keeseville, crossed the Au Sable River (which hurries through the town) and rested at the Au Sable House.
Refreshed with supper, and gathered in the parlor of the inn, with one consent an attack was concerted upon Miranda.
The bachelor became our spokesman, and asked: "Is the road over which we have just passed 'Nature's magnificent highway,' concerning which you recently grew so eloquent? If so, we prefer one of purely artistic construction. Let us have fine art rather than effete nature."
Miranda seized advantage of the comparison so unskillfully presented, and reminding him that his language embodied a confusion of terms. With eyes sparkling with the glow of advocacy she said: "You have not yet been introduced to Nature, but are the victim of bad art. That rugged roadway was an insignificant preliminary to our tour, and no part of Nature's highway. You shall be introduced to it to-morrow. That road is simply worn out and is about to be re-laid. To-morrow will open all eyes and satisfy all desires. Let us retire from the realm of discussion to that of sleep, forget our ride, and dream only of the wonders to be revealed tomorrow."
The morrow came, we all saw, and Miranda conquered.
We were paired thus on leaving the hotel: bachelor and benedict, the artist and Miranda, our sage Nestor leading a school-girl in her teens, followed by the two married ladies of our Tourist Clubto whom, so far as traveling was concerned, husbands appeared to be a luxury rather than a necessity. But, then, bachelor and benedict were so completely at their service, when service was needed, that I fear their busy husbands at home were for the time forgotten.
"We have heretofore approached the Adirondacks clandestinely," urged our fair Miranda, "I now propose that we enter them by Nature's highway. In the past we have crept in by stealth, making detours to avoid passing through the audience chamber of the genius who presides in the fastnesses of the mountains; but now let us approach them through Au Sable Chasm, the gate of the Adirondacks.'"
Just then the steamer neared Port Kent, and it was but the labor of a minute to order our luggage ashore. So quickly was the determination reached, and the transfer made, that almost before we realized our situation we were all upon the wharf, and embarked upon a different craft. It was an elegant four-horse stage, in which we were booked for a four miles' ride at ten cents a passenger.
The fresh mountain air, the open, eleva- rustic lodge which guards its portal.
A ride of one mile brought us to the precincts of Au Sable Chasm, and the
Entering it, and arming ourselves with alpen-stocks, we were shown through to the opposite door, which opened upon a stairway leading down the cliff, and informed that the, freedom of the Chasm was ours. Miranda's eyes beamed with both faith and hope, while ours mirrored only skepticism; nevertheless, while descending and peering into that deep and shadowy gorge, we were unwittingly converted into impartial and even sympathetic observers. The moment we reached the bottom, Birmingham Falls, the Niagara of Au Sable Chasm, and a charming prelude to the grander panorama about to be unfolded, flashed upon our sight. The falls are twins, separated by a rocky tower, on either side of which the massive current pours down the abyss an amber sheet of water. Just as we neared the base of the cataract the sun painted a prismatic arc upon the up-leaping
From this point the tour began. We stood upon the level adamantine shore of the Au Sable River, near the center of an immense amphitheater, with lofty vertical walls of rock on either side, and a rocky pavement beneath our feet. We were in the bowels of the earth, in a natural canal, threaded in the middle only by a stream which careered through it from end to end, no particle of soil adhering to either the bottom or side of the gorge. Every spring and autumn the swollen torrent sweeps through it, often rising fifty feet above the usual level, carrying everything movable in its path, and polishing the floor and walls of the Chasm as thoroughly as an army of stone-masons could do it. Nature was the builder, and is still the janatrix of Au Sable Chasm. Its cyclopean walls bear the impress of her architectural skill; she laid the tessellated floor with variegated stone; she dusts it with the wind, waters it with the rain, and cleans house always twice a year in good orthodox style; and woe be to him who has the temerity to linger within doors on either of these grand occasions.
Our Nestor, he over whose physical frame seventy-four winters had passed, but whose spirit seemed to have been basking VOL. VIII.-13
HORSE SHOE AND BIRMINGHAM FALLS.
only in the light and warmth of seventyfour summers, was quick to appreciate the smooth pavement over which we walked. It was faultless. Not a drop of water moistened it. Scarcely an inequality was apparent on its surface.
Miranda was an enthusiastic admirer of Watkin's Glen, and began to institute comparisons. But she compared herself with herself, rather than the Chasm with the Glen. She recalled how she had passed through the latter clad in rubbers and waterproof cloak, and under an umbrella, -all as a matter of necessity rather than of convenience,-while in Au Sable no protection was needed against ooze, drip or damp. Her delicate muslin dress swept the rocky pathway without gathering the least soil. We found this characteristic of the Chasm from end to end.
So far as a comparison of the scenery of these two wonders of nature was concerned, Miranda was the last to yield, as yet, any advantage to Au Sable. Watkin's was too old a favorite to be relegated from a first to a second place in her regard.
Our bachelor's enthusiasm, however,
had increased amazingly. He now surrendered at discretion; and in token of submission, as we came in view of Horse Shoe Falls and Leaning Tower, tendered his hand to Miranda, and hand in hand they stepped over a tiny rivulet which is an offshoot from the main stream, upon Rock Island, between which and the opposite shore are the falls. They are not lofty, but exceedingly beautiful. They pour a rapid torrent, which hurries over jagged rocks to form a series of foaming cascades. Pictorially this water-view is one of the gems of the Chasm. The Leaning Tower nearly opposite, a beetling cliff one hundred and fifty feet in height, overhangs the gorge, simultaneously threatening and protecting it, and adds materially to the grandeur of the scene.
Turning a sharp angle at this point we were face to face with a galaxy of wonders. Foremost was the battle of the waters, waged between the rival cascades, the devil presumably viewing it from his Oven, opposite, and Jacob from his Ladder, we together forming a mixed throng of beholders. The ceaseless conflict of those
watery foes, every wave-crest being a tongue and having a voice, I never can forget. One of our married ladies took a domestic view of it, and termed it a dancing caldron, while the other saw in the spray-sparkles a setting of diamonds. The scene, looking up the current from the foot of the Ladder, is inexpressibly lovely, while that below, where the gorge contracts and assumes the appearance of embattled ramparts, the one side almost touching the other, is akin to the sublime. Jacob's Ladder scales the heights on the middle line between the two, and is well named, since it can only be climbed in one's dreams; while the Devil's Oven is a deep, dark hole, just like many another named for him the world over. Why is it that those who father these chasms and glens cannot name their offspring with some regard to originality as well as propriety? Go where he will, the traveler is met by the same stale nomenclature.
One evening there was a spell upon the Chasm, from Birmingham Falls to the Devil's Oven. Miranda suggested that that potent fairy, Fata Morgana, might have been the creator of its meteoric phenomena. Palisade walls, raging rapids, resounding waterfalls, were all ablaze with light. The marvels of nature were heightened by art. Flambeaux and mimic conflagrations deep down in the gorge produced a unique exhibition in pyrotechny. In the weird light the cascades danced with ghostly splendor, and the walls of the Chasm were crimsoned as with blood. The grand central fire was in the Devil's Oven, whence myriad tongues of flame crackled and shot forth. Stationary and shifting torches flared as far as the eye could see, while between and among them all the tide of humanity ebbed and flowed, every face aglow with light and wonder. Neither verbal nor pictorial delineation can do more than faintly suggest the splendor of the pageant at the illumination of Au Sable Chasm.
A rustic bridge spans the river opposite the Devil's Oven; crossing by it, we scaled the heights beyond by an airy stairway. Proceeding along the cliff, we speedily came to a descending flight of steps, where we were all charmed into a silence which was only broken by exclamations of surprise and wonder. The reach of view is stupendous, both in length and depth. Through a gigantic buttressed aisle, for nearly one thousand feet the flow