A Tour from the City of New York, to Detroit, in the Michigan Territory, Made between the 2d of May and the 22d of September, 1818

A Tour from the City of New York, to Detroit, in the Michigan Territory, Made between the 2d of May and the 22d of September, 1818

A Tour from the City of New York, to Detroit, in the Michigan Territory, Made between the 2d of May and the 22d of September, 1818

A Tour from the City of New York, to Detroit, in the Michigan Territory, Made between the 2d of May and the 22d of September, 1818

Excerpt

"I wrapped myself in my cloak, and lay down under a laurel, on the bank of the Eurotas. The night was so pure and so serene, and the milky way shed such a light, reflected by the current of the river, that you might see to read by it. I fell asleep with my eyes fixed upon the heavens, having the beautiful constellation of Leda's swan exactly over my head. I still recollect the pleasure which I formerly received from thus reposing in the woods of America, and especially from awaking in the middle of the night. I listened to the whistling of the wind through the wilderness ; the braying of the does and stags; the roar of a distant cataract ; while the embers of my half extinguished fire, glowed between the foliage of the trees. I loved even to hear the voice of the Iroquois, when he shouted in the recesses of his forests, and when, in the brilliant star-light, amid the silence of nature, he seemed to be proclaiming has unbounded liberty. All this may afford delight at twenty; because, then life suffices, in a manner, for itself, and there, is in early youth, a certain restlessness and inquietude, which incessantly encourage the creation of chimeras, ipsi sibi somnia fingunt: but in maturer age, the mind contracts a relish for more solid pursuits, and loves, in particular, to dwell on the illustrious examples recorded in history. Gladly would I again make my couch on the banks of the Eurotas, or the Jordan, if the heroic shades of the three hundred Spartans, or the twelve sons of Jacob, were to visit my slumbers; but I would not go again to explore a virgin soil, which the ploughshare has never lacerated. Give me now ancient deserts, where I can conjure up at pleasure . . .

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