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DISTRICT OF CONNECTICUT, ss.

BE IT REMEMBERED, That on the 30th day of April, . S. in the forty-eighth year of the the independence of the United States of America, OLIVER D. COOKE & SONS, of the said district, have deposited in this office the title of a Book, the right whereof they claim as proprietors, in the words following, to wit:

"Sketch of Connecticut, Forty Years Since.

"Land of my Sires! What mortal hand
Can e'er untic the filial band

That knits me to thy rugged strand.”

Scott.

In conformity to the act of the Congress of the United States, entitled, "An act for the encouragement of learning, by secur "ing the copies of Maps, Charts and Books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies during the times therein mentioned." CHARLES A. INGERSOLL,

Clerk of the District of Connecticut.

A true copy of Record, examined and sealed by me,
CHARLES A. INGERSOLL,

Clerk of the District of Connecticut.

Roberts & Burr, Printers.

T:

NEW YORK

PUBLIC LIBRARY

4.5444
Astor, Lenox and Tilden

Foundations.

1896

SKETCH

OF

CONNECTICUT,

FORTY YEARS SINCE.

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CHAPTER I.

August she trod, yet gentle was her air,
Serene her eye, but darting heavenly fire,
Her brow encircled with its silver hair

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More mild appear'd; yet such as might inspire
Pleasure corrected with an awful fear,
Majestically sweet, and amiably severe."

Bishop Lowth.

Nor far from where the southern limits of Connecticut meet the waters of the sea, the town of N- is situated. As you approach from the west, it exhibits a rural aspect, of meadows intersected by streams, and houses overshadowed with trees. Viewed from the eastern acclivity, it seems like a citadel guarded by parapets of rock, and embosomed in an ampitheatre of hills, whose summits mark the horizon with a waving line of dark forest green. Entering at this avenue, you perceive that its habitations bear few marks of splendour, but many of them, retiring

behind the shelter of lofty elms, exhibit the appearance of comfort and respectability. Travelling southward about two miles, through the principal road, the rural features of the landscape are lost, in the throng of houses, and bustle of men. The junction of two considerable streams here forms a beautiful river, which, receiving the tides of the sea, rushes with a short course into its bosom.

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Masts peer over ware-houses, and streets rise above streets, with such irregularity that the base of one line of buildings sometimes overlooks the roofs of another. Here Man, incessantly combating the obstacles of Nature, is content to hang his dwelling upon her rocks, if he may but gather the treasures of her streams. Yet spots of brightness, and of beauty occur aniid these eagle-nests upon the cliff; gardens of flowers bold and romantic shores; pure, broad, sparkling waters; white sails dancing at the will of the breeze; beats gliding beneath bridges, or between islands of verdure, with sportive and graceful motion, like the slight gossamer in the sun-beam.

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Between these two sections of the town, which, though sisters, bear no family resemblance, is a landscape, which some writer of romance might be pleased to describe. It is about a mile from the mouth of the smallest of the two streams just mentioned, which, winding its way through green meadows with a mild course, is fringed with the willow, and many aquatic shrubs, bending their drooping branches to kiss its noiseless tide. Suddenly it assumes the form of a cataract. Dashing tumultuously from rock

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to rock, it sends forth from their excavations, deep, hollow sounds; as if thunders were born in those unvisited caverns. Tossing and foaming over the masses that obstruct its channel, it becomes compressed within narrow limits by two lofty precipices. One, rises frowning and perpendicular like the walls of a castle. A few hardy evergreens cling to its crown, and mark the spot whence the hunted Pequots were forced, by their conquerors the Mohegans, to their fatal plunge from time into eternity. Fancy, awakened by tradition, sometimes paints their forms mingling with the dark, slow waters that circle the base of that fearful cliff; or hears their spirits shrieking amid the clamour of the cataract. The opposite rampart presents a chain of rocks, of less towering height, interspersed with lofty trees, displaying the names of many who have visited and admired this wild and picturesque scenery. The enthusiast of Nature, who should conquer its precipitous descent, and stand upon the margin of the flood which creeps in death-like stillness through this guarded defile, might see on his right, the foam, the vapour, the tossing of a tempestuous conflict; on his left, a broad chrystal mirror, studded with emerald islets, and bounded by romantic shores, where peaceful mansions, embosomed in graceful shades, are seen through vistas of green. Beneath, the black and almost motionless waters seem, to him who gazes intensely, like the river of forgetfulness, annihilating the traces of a passing world. Above, the proud cliff rears its waving helmet,

as if in defiance of the bowing cloud. To hear the voice of Nature in passionate strife, and at the same moment to gaze upon her slumbering calmness; to be lost in contemplation upon the moral contrast, then startled into awe by her strong features of majesty; leave the mind uncertain whether, in this secluded temple, beauty ought most to charm, or awe to enchain it, or devotion to absorb all other sensations in reverence to the invisible God.

Retracing our steps to the northern division of Nwe find a society remarkable for the preservation of primitive habits. There, was exhibited the singular example of an aristocracy, less intent upon family aggrandizement, than upon becoming illustrious in virtue ; and of a community where industry and economy almost banished want. Do mestic subordination taught the young to honour the old, while the temperance and regularity which prevailed gave to age both contentment and health. The forty years, which have elapsed since the period of this sketch, have wrought many changes; but some features of similarity remain. That luxury which enervates character, and undermines the simple principles of justice, and charity, has found its ravages circumscribed by the example of those to whom wealth gave influence. An unusual number of individuals, whose first steps were in humble life, have risen to the possession of riches, not by fortunate accidents, or profuse gains, by lotteries or by war, but through an industry which impoverished none,

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