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towards the great Blue Ridge of this country, tiful vale, sufficiently large for a moderately-sized whose magnificent summits cut their waving out- farm. Near the head of this lonely vale, I found line in the western sky. In Virginia this range a practicable way to the top of the mountain. of mountains is broken, to let the rivers pass The sides of this great eminence consisted in through from the Alleghany to the sea; here it part of almost perpendicular precipices, supportcasts off the rivers from both its sides, and coming broad terraces of ground, so gently sloping pels them to seek a passage from its impenetra- that arable fields might be formed upon them. ble flanks by winding and tearing through other The top was capped by a flat rock, elevated mountains of less stern and massive solidity. upon high natural walls, that gave it the appearance of a vast, half-ruined castle.
The view was immense. On the side of the
After I had looked awhile over the distant re
To this sublime wilderness I directed my course, with the intention of exploring its deepest recesses and its most eminent summits. My good Blue Ridge, nothing was visible but huge mounhorse soon carried me out of the realms of anx-tain masses, with deep rents between them: but ious gold-seekers to the forest wilds, where the on the east and south, I could overlook the cragherdsman and the hunter dwell in solitary huts, gy-sided mountains of the vicinity, and see the and breathe the free spirit of the mountains. pleasant hill country next beyond them; and About the sources of the Catawba, the Broad over the hills again, I could discern at a great and the Saluda rivers, I found the most gashed, distance the lower champaign, stealing out of craggy, and savage region that I had ever seen. sight under the blue veil of the atmosphere. It was the very sort of country that I would have chosen to visit; consisting of ancient, steep, forest-covered mountains, rent, rugged, and grim ions, I cast down my eyes, and was smitten with deep ravines, or dissevered by rich valleys with admiration at the romantic beauties of a of less horrid aspect-all watered with perennial valley, that lay under the southern side of the streams, clear as crystal-here hidden beneath mountain. It was enclosed on every side by impenetrable thickets of evergreens; there leap-mountains of great height and every diversity of ing over precipices in splashing cascades, or gurform and aspect. The sides of these mountains gling through loose rocks in damp, mossy rawere deeply cut with wild narrow glens, one of vines, or purling over gravelly beds in the rich which lay directly under my feet, beneath a perlow grounds of wider vales, and eddying here pendicular precipice a hundred fathoms deep. and there under crumbling banks and bare tree These glens all converged towards the centre of roots, in deep bluish trout-pools. the valley; from their dark, shady recesses, streamlets flowed out, and uniting their cool, pellucid waters, they formed a brook, which passed out of the valley by the deep contracted ravine
With delight I threaded the valleys, crossed the ridges and mounted the tall peaks, catching every hour some new aspect of Nature's wild magnificence. Sometimes I lodged in dwellings that I had avoided as impassable. of hewn logs in the wider valleys, where civili- The main valley was more than two miles zation had begun to make inroads upon the sav-long, and at the broadest part not less than a age wilderness. At other times I partook of the mile and a half in width: but the outline was so hunter's fare in his smoky hut of round logs, in irregular, that its shape is nameless and indescrithe deeper recesses of this rugged land. One bable. The surface was as irregular as the outwhile I wrought my solitary way along horse- line. Low-grounds nearly flat, dales of various paths in dusky glens, or up and down the moun- width and curvature, hills of every shape, roundtain sides; then again my journey was through topped, flat-topped and ridgy; smooth or rocky pathless wilds, and to desolate summits, where the deer ranges and the wolf makes his den.
all gave an infinite diversity to the surface. The valley looked like a terrestrial paradise. In the course of these laborious rambles, my Nature luxuriated in all possible wildness, richattention was attracted by a remarkably high ness and variety; requiring only the hand of mau summit, or knob, a few miles south of the main to prune and dress its profusion, to make it outBlue Ridge. The whole region about it was dis- vie all the pastoral beauties of Arcadia in the tinguished by the cragginess of its mountains, golden age. and the richness of its vales. I resolved to scale When I descended, I entered the valley by the this conspicuous observatory. A pleasant valley uppermost and longest glen, which led its murled up to its base, where the valley contracted muring streamlet from the main Blue Ridge. I itself, and was parted into two deep, narrow had no sooner plunged into its dusky solitude, ravines; the one on the left seemed to be im- than I lost sight of all the sunshiny world; the passable to my horse; so I took the one on the lofty tree tops formed so dense a screen, that the right, which led me up by the north-eastern side few straggling sunbeams which penetrated to the of the great knob, where it expanded into a beau-moist ground, were not recognised as daylight,
but looked like glow-worms or fallen stars amidst his grim majesty for giving me the first sight of the surrounding gloom.
Not a sound was heard for some time, but the soft purling of the brook among the mossy stones, or the occasional chirp of birds in the lofty boughs over head. After I had proceeded some distance pleased God that she, the lost one of my heart,
this lovely Seclusaval, which, if Divine Providence grant the wish of my heart, I will purchase and improve, and make the retirement and the resting place of my future days. Oh! had it
towards the main valley, I heard the splashing of a waterfall. The sound appeared to rise from a deep cavern. I soon discovered that the brook fell into a chasm, a hundred and fifty feet in depth, and then flowed out between precipices of limestone into the main valley. There was a romantic wildness about this cascade, in some respects exceeding any thing that I had ever seen. The water fell into a deep shady pool, where I could discern scores of trout enjoying themselves.
should enjoy with me the rural beauty and quietude of an abode so perfectly agreeable to her taste. The world might be searched in vain for a place where we could have spent our lives together so happily, as in this beautiful and romantic valley.".
These last reflections saddened me; and thus I experienced that delight may be the immediate cause of sadness by suggesting some painful reminiscence. I looked again silently over When I got into the main valley, I followed a the thousand beauties of Seclusaval; I drew from blind cow-path, which led me a winding way, by my bosom the portrait of my lost Judith; those hill and dale; one while in the dusky shades of eyes of love seemed again to beam into my soul; the forest, another while through native lawns and then I sat down to weep, under an overpowand shrubbery, until I found myself at the base ering sense of loneliness and desolation, amidst of a flat-topped bill that projected from the foot the thousand beauties of Seclusaval. At length of the great knob, on the upper side of the deep I closed the locket case and returned it into my bosom. The shadows of evening had covered the valley, and were following the sunlight up the pine-covered precipices of the mountain. I
glen, which I had seen under my feet from the mountain-top. This hill was about midway between the upper and lower extremities of the valley; and I knew from its position, that it would led my horse down the hill and directed my course afford me the best general view of the landscape, to a solitary hut near the lower end of the valthat could be had from any point within the valley. Here a hunter had pitched his habitation, ley itself. I ascended its gently sloping side, and and cleared a field in the rich low-grounds of from its brow, had a near and delightful view of the valley, and seemed practically at least to be the dales and hills and gleus and mountain sides."monarch of all he surveyed;" for it must have I gazed in a sort of ecstasy over the charming been a rare thing for any stranger to visit this landscape. Never had a place so captivated my secluded valley. I went nevertheless with confancy. The scenery was so various and so rich-fidence to seek a lodging in the "poor man's so wild, so sweet, so majestic; the place was so nest." On approaching I was met by three fierce shut up from the bustling and contentious world, mastiffs, that forbade my entrance without leave that it seemed to have been made for a hiding of the family "first had and obtained." The place from the storms of life; yet was it not so man came out, and, after calling off his dogs, incompletely cut off from the haunts of men, as to vited me to enter. I stepped in, saluted the wife, wear the aspect of a prison; for on looking through and took my seat on a three-legged stool. After the ravine that let out the waters, I caught a some introductory account of myself, I asked glimpse of the open country of hills and valleys the favor of a night's lodging. It was granted, at a distance. of course-but with more appearance of coldness and suspicion than is usual among mountaineers. It behooved me to make myself more decidedly welcome.
Here, (I exclaimed in a transport of admiration,) here is the place where in all the world a lover of nature, of retirement and of books, might find the most delightful retreat: and yon- I had no sooner been seated in the character der is the loop-hole through which he might still of a guest, than the dogs came in and smelt at me look forth upon the outer world of insatiate pas- as if to try my quality. Finding the scent of sions and self-tormenting hearts. So sweet a the woods upon me, they wagged their tails; and nook shall not be nameless: I call it The Vale when I patted their heads they gave me the of Seclusa, or in one word, Seclusaval. This friendly salutation of tongue and paw-licking flat-topped hill which opens at once all the beau- my hand and leaping upon my breast; all of ties of the landscape, but especially the romantic which I took very kindly, and thus secured the glens on every side, is the hill of Glenview; and good will of their master. When I first entered yon lofty mountain-head, which frowns so haugh- the house, I saw four or five children run and hide tily over this nearest glen, through which I look themselves under the bed, and then slily peep at up at his sublime crags, is Craggyhead. I thank me. When I had done with the dogs, I called a
barrassed to pay the expenses of their prodigality. The demands of their creditors, and of his own, were just now so pressing, that he offered at once to sell me his thirty thousand acres of mountain lands for the small sum of five thousand dollars. The price was very low; for notwithstanding the ruggedness of the country, the tract contained several thousand acres of rich valleys and arable mountain sides. Seclusaval alone was in my estimation worth the whole price. I therefore accepted his offer without hesitation, and proceeding home immediately, I raised a sufficient sum from the profits of my gold mine, to make
little fellow coaxingly, who had ventured to put his head out of the hiding place. But at first they all drew back, and seemed frightened at my invitation. Finally, however, I got the boldest one to venture near me. 1 patted his frizzly pate, and took the dirty urchin upon my knee: after which I soon had the whole swarm upon me. Thus I won the mother's heart. I assumed an easy familiar manner with the whole family, and took every thing as if I had been accustomed to such accommodations. Consequently I was soon treated, not as a guest merely, but as a friend. The good woman did her best to show me kindness. She prepared me an excellent the first payment, and to commence a system of treat of jonny-cake, venison, and onions. She improvements on my new acquisition. I was could have treated me also with new milk; but peculiarly fortunate in obtaining an agent to manshe was not disposed to put me off with such age my intended improvements. homely fare. She burnt some coffee berries to Seven years before, Major Mudge had brought cinder, tied them in a liuen rag, pounded them on from England an intelligent and judicious garthe hearth-stone with the axe, put the pulverized dener, whose name was Baylor. This man had charcoal into water, and boiled the mixture in a conducted the improvements on Mudge's estate, skillet. She then poured the black, bitter liquid with a union of taste and economy that pleased into her queensware bowl with blue flowers pic-me exceedingly. He operated on the plan of tured on it, and putting in a little milk and maple following and assisting Nature, instead of atsugar, handed me the finished product of her tempting, by dint of labor and expense, to force kindness. The water was irretrievably spoiled upon the place a set of features and embellishby the process but what of that? Should I not ments inconsistent with the design of Nature herdrink the well-meant gift? Certainly I should, self. Hence the garden, the park, and the other and did, with the firmness of resolution and fixed- grounds of Major Mudge's estate, were all beauness of muscle, which the occasion required. tiful, because every operation of art was conAnd let me say unto thee, gentle reader, that formable to the genius of the place. shouldst thou ever be placed in like circumstan- Major Mudge, for an obvious reason, was glad ces, then drink thou also,—yea drink heartily, for to transfer Baylor to my service; and Baylor, the giver's sake. Think not that thou canst ever knowing the old gentleman's pecuniary embarshow good breeding by turning up thy nose at rassments, readily accepted my offer of employthe poor woman's fare :-nay, on the contrary, ment. When he saw my valley, he was delightthou wouldst but show thyself impolite, ungene-ed with its appearance, and rejoiced in the task rous, and every way ill-bred, to scorn the kind of assisting its natural beauties with the touches hospitalities of the poor. Therefore should the of art. He not only understood at a glance my draught be never so bitter, drink it even to the theory of improvement, but suggested several dregs, rather than mortify thy kind entertainer. things that I had not thought of, but which, on Away with silly pride and contemptible affecta- hearing his observations, I heartily approved. tion. Remember, that in a few years thou wilt The primary operations were to be directed to be as poor as thy neighbors. Death will soon the following objects, namely: first to open a bring down thy pomp and thy circumstance, and farm and build mills in the valley three miles beput an end to thy affected airs of superiority. low Seclusaval; secondly, to convert the rich But I will not tire thee with my homily. low-grounds from the ravine of Seclusa up to Glenview into a meadow-retaining, however, many of the fine trees, either singly or in clumps: thirdly, to convert the beautifully sloping sides of Glenview into a garden, retaining here also a
From Larkin Stroue, the hunter, I learned that Seclusaval was in the midst of an extensive tract of mountain lands, owned by Major Mudge, an old gentleman who resided at the distance of thirty miles in the country below. The next number of the fine trees, shrubs and vines; and morning, after a farther exploration of the valley, lastly, to beautify the remaining hills and dales I made my way out with some difficulty by the of Seclusaval, by removing unsightly trees, and ravine, and went straightway to Major Mudge, cleaning the surface, so that grass could flourish confirmed in my resolution to attempt the pur- in these native parks. My faithful agent went chase. I found him eager to sell: for being an promptly to work, whilst I returned home and indulgent father, and having several sons brought resumed my professional avocations. up to no useful occupation, he was greatly em-1
I did not revisit my wild barony until December,
when I was on my way to Georgia. Seclu-justify incipient measures for the erection of a saval was already assuming the appearance of a permanent dwelling on Glenview. I resolved to park. Whatever was unpleasant to the eye, was build a stone cottage on the brow of the hill where disappearing from the noble woods; sweet lawns, some fine trees of majestic stature overtopped a winding and brauching in various ways, not only dense thicket of undergrowth, embowered and gave variety to the landscape, but opened to the festooned with a profusion of wild vines. Bayeye, as one passed through them, the most de- lor had already commenced pruning this tangled lightful views of trees, hills and mountains on wilderness, which needed only his skilful hand, to every side. The plough and the spade were couvert it into a labyrinth of umbrageous walks preparing the soil for the grass of the meadow and rustic arbors, romantically sweet, "for whisand the vines and shrubbery of the garden. pering lovers made." My fancy was pleased at Baylor now suggested a sort of improvement the thought; but a twinge of sadness came over that I had never thought of: this was to cover me, when I reflected, that all the charms of this the lowest grounds of Seclusaval with the waters lovely place would be in a great measure wasted of an artificial lake. I was pleased with the idea on the lone heart of a bachelor, who had lost his of a lake, but hesitated to incur the expense, bride, and could never love again. Nevertheless until he informed me that he had taken all the I ordered stone cutters to be employed, and malevels and measurements, and had carefully esti-terials of all sorts to be prepared for a neat rural mated the cost, which was surprisingly small. mansion. What better could I do? If I was He showed me first a narrow cleft in the ravine lonely, I needed the more to seek pleasure and where a dam could be easily built of the loose consolation, from all the sources yet open to my rocks near the spot. Supposing the dam to be desolate heart. twenty-eight feet high, the water would be thrown I did not again visit Seclusaval until the next back a mile and a half to the foot of Glenview. spring, when I was returning from Georgia, after He then traced for me the exact boundaries of the discovery of my second gold mine. I found the lake. On the meadow side, the outline the improvements going on to my heart's conwould wind beautifully with divers sinuosities. tent. Tenants had been settled in several rich On the opposite side, the water would lave the vales, besides Seclusa. The mills and the farm bases of the hills, some with sloping, some with near them, were in a state of great forwardness. precipitous sides. At one place, half a mile A passable carriage road was made from the below Glenview, a little bay would run a furlong older settlements below, to the mills, and thence up a dale between gently swelling hills; at anoth- through the ravine into Seclusaval. The dam er place, near the lower end of the lake, a nar- and area of the lake were prepared for the warow glen with steep rocky sides, would conduct ters, which began to fill their destined bed, as the lake water to a spring-head, deeply hidden soon as the massive wall of the dam was closed in the flank of the mountain, where the atmos- by casting earth upon its upper side to stop the phere was ever cool and dusky, between tall crevices. I marked with interest the hourly erags and densely interwoven tree tops. At the growth of the lake. In three days it was full, broadest part of the lake, the water would spread and began to shed its superabundant waters iu a out to the breadth of a hundred rods; but gen- pretty cascade over the dam while the glassy erally the shores would be from fifteen to thirty expanse above reflected the budding woods on rods asunder. The fountains that would supply the margin, and the hoary steeps of Craggyhead. the lake, being cool, clear and perennial, the lake I launched a rude boat on the calm waters, and would consequently never become stagnant; and circumnavigated the sweetly indented borders of would not only be at once beautiful and salubri- the lake. I was delighted with the scenery on ous, but would moreover yield both pleasure and every side, but most interested with the romantic profit as a fish pond: thousands of trout and wildness of the dusky glen, now filled with water other fish, could live and fatten in its pellucid between its craggy sides. When I entered its narrow channel, it looked like some infernal river,
By the time that Baylor had shown me all with its dark still waters pent up between frownthese things, I became enthusiastic : Mr. Bay-ing precipices and the sombre foliage of the pine lor, (said 1,) I thank you for this delightful scheme and the hemlock, that stretched their branches of improvement. Go to work, and by the next over the chasm. This stygian recess was the summer, let me see the lake of Seclusaval reflect more impressive to the imagination, from the cir. every object around it, from the green meadow cumstance, that while we let our boat lie still on banks up to the cliffs of old Craggyhead." "It the water, and held our peace, not a sound was shall be done, sir," was the prompt reply. heard; unless it were the low murmur of the foliage in the breeze, and the soft gurgling of the fountain, which at the head of the glen, poured
My income from my gold mine, and from my law practice, was sufficient now, I thought, to
its little contribution into the lake, through loose agreeable society. Several families from the low rocks coated with moss. But no sooner did we country, had left their estates and settled in the speak, or strike the oar upon the boat, than a neighborhood. The scenery was pleasant, and dozen echoes awoke and multiplied the sound, the climate salubrious: the nucleus of an intellias if we had roused a troop of angry spirits to gent and refined society was thus formed; and mock us from rock and tree. Hence I gave this around this attractive centre, new families from the name of the Echoing Glen. below were yearly gathering. Literary institutious would naturally arise among such a people.
On my settlement at the village, I found several persous regretting the failure of so useful an undertaking. Now the question occurred to me,
When we returned to the open lake, a light breeze came up through the ravine. Hoisting An academy for boys had been founded and put sail, we were soon wafted to the foot of Glenview, into successful operation. But an attempt to where the garden had already begun to look beau- raise funds for a female seminary had failed. tiful, and gave promise of becoming in another The subscriptions were insufficient to erect the year a paradise of delights. necessary buildings. The cause of the failure The recent discovery of my Georgia mine, de- was an obstinate dispute about the location of termined me to enlarge my plan of improvements. the seminary; some desiring to place it in the I ordered the foundation of my cottage to be laid village beside the academy, while others insisted immediately, on a larger scale than I had intend- that it should be located near a country church ed, and pretty cottages to be erected for my stew- lately erected at the distance of four miles from ard and other tenants. Among the rest a shep- the village. The contest became so warm, that herd's cot was to be set in a romantic place at the whole scheme was abandoned. Thus it often the foot of a precipice, on the opposite side of happens, that a dispute about some incidental and the valley, for I designed to give little of my subordinate matter, defeats the most important beautiful grounds to the plough; but to make enterprises. Seclusaval a pastoral scene, where flocks and herds might graze the lawns and mountain sides, and the sound of the shepherd's pipe mingle with the song of birds and the chime of waterfalls, to whether I was not morally bound to contribute, animate the beauties of the landscape. The nat-out of my abundance, to an object of such great ural loveliness of my valley, inspired me with and manifest utility. I was a bachelor indeed, ambition to make Seclusa the most charming of and never expected to have a daughter to be edall the ten thousand vales embosomed in the ucated: but that circumstance seemed to increase Apalachian mountain. my obligation to aid literary institutions; inasmuch as my exemption from the burden of a family afforded me the more abundaut means to become a public benefactor. I was a member of the society of mankind, and no less than others dependant, for my welfare, upon the intelligence and the good morals of the people. The purchase of my lands, and the improve- Divine Providence had given me extraordinary ment of Seclusaval, involved me in so much ex- success. For what end? Not surely that I pense, that I was under the necessity of selling might consume this affluent store on personal one of my gold mines. For reasons formerly gratifications. And then I considered, what an explained, I resolved to sell them both, and to amount of blessings would flow from a well-enrenounce all future connection with mining spec- dowed seminary for females; what expansion of ulations. Immediately on my return from Geor-intellect, what refinement of sentiment, what elegia, after my fortunate discovery there, I sold my vation of character, what new sources of happiCarolina mine for thirty thousand dollars. I could uess, to the individuals educated, and through have obtained a higher price, if it had been set them to society and to posterity. The more I to sale a few months sooner; for it was becom contemplated the object, the more did the feeling ing less productive than it had been, although it of obligation grow upon me. Finally I thought still yielded a large profit. of Judith Bensaddi; how much more charming, how much more useful, she was, by reason of her
My supply of cash was now sufficient to complete my scheme of improvements, and to leave excellent education. I drew forth her miniature me still a considerable surplus. I had before by the golden chain to which I had attached it, made arrangements to transfer my residence to and caught fresh inspiration from the sweet pica village about twenty-five miles from Seclusa- ture of my beloved. "I have lost her, (said I,) val. Here I took up my abode now, that I might but she shall be my good genius on this occasion. be near my beautiful valley. I preferred this I had thought of subscribing a moderate sum for new place of residence also on account of its the seminary; now for her sake, I will make
THE VOYAGE TO LONDON.