« AnteriorContinuar »
in consequence of high-wrought expectation, must ever remain the unsurpassed wonder of the world. The beach is continually changing. One day you will see it a smooth and gentle slope to the water's edge; the next thrown up into a perpendicular bank several feet in height. Within a century one half a mile of the shore has been carried away. The noise of the surf is heard for miles, and in Edgartown it so fills, literally fills the air at times that you may easily imagine the waters of the great deep hare burst their barriers, and are approaching the town to overwhelm it in their terrible wrath. Along the shore is a great variety of sea-fowl. The inhabitants of the town not infrequently resort thither to kill a mess for their families. One afternoon I ventured to the the beach with my travelling companion to whom I became quite attached, when the wind blew enough to take one's whiskers off and the ocean was lashed into more than ordinary rage. I perceived at a distance a somewhat tall personage, equipped with arms. Not doubting his vocation I advanced toward him. He stood upon the margin of an elevated bank, against which every wave beat with fearful violence. Suddenly he disappeared. Whether the earthi or sea had swallowed him was to me a matter of uncertainty. As I drew near he rose. I found him standing in a circular hole he had dug in the sand, bis implement of death deposited by his side, and encircled with sea-birds, the trophies of his skill. Though it was piercing cold, his shoes were off his
A SIGHT WORTH SEEING. feet, and carefully placed aside. When not intruded upon, as at present, he crouched in his hole watching his prey, (very much as the ant-lion is said to do,) which he brought down as they passed him on the wing. I exchanged a few words with him as well as I could amid the blinding spray and the noise of the elements. Not wishing to interrupi bin longer, and learing a gust of rain which was likely to overtake me from the West, I turned my horse and rode hastily home.- In the neighborhood of E.there is an elevation of land of no more than 50 feet, from which is a fine view of the town ; the harbor with its shipping; the sweeping course of Chappequiddick island ; the plain spotted with sheep ; sereral cottage-houses in the distance ; the oak-forests in the interior ; the blue waters stretching along the horizon till lost from the eye by the high land on the North and West,
The harbor of E. is almost entirely protected from winds and is one of the best in the world. A Nothwester drove in something like an hundred sail a few weeks since. Though the wind blew a hurricane, and every thing on land shook as with the palsy, the surface of the bay was but little agitated and the vessels lay as tranquil as sea-birds in a calm. Next day the weather changed, and the scene I can never forget. The wind coming from the opposite quarter, the clouds passed off and the sun came down upon the waters bright and beautiful. The craft, small and great, uplifted their silver sails, and
CLIFFS AT GAYHEAD.
The harbor is so much superior to that of Nan-
MRS. REMEMBER SKIFFE. said to be indescribably beautiful. Whatever they are on the water — they are so on the land. Hence the name Gayhead. Petrisactions of different sorts, such as wood,quolaugs, and the vertebræ of fish, are taken from these cliffs 130 feet from the shore. The vertebra of a Lizard was shown me as large in circumference as the ordinary plate, or the inner edge of my hat brin. This lizard, so thought Professor Silliman, must have been 100 feet long and belonged to a species now extinct. The gentleman, who was kind enough to accompany me to the cliffs, duig from them the petrified claw of a turtle, quite perfect and of course very valuable. There is much food here for the Geological student.
At Gayhead light was the home of Mrs. Remember Skiffe, ever memorable, who lived a century, and when 93 years old kvit 50 pairs of stockings in twelve months, and upon whom the angel of disease never put his finger until he summoned her from the world. Although G. is twenty miles from E. and it is necessary in going thither to take down and put up, some thirty pairs of bars, it will well repay the perseverance of the visitor. Here he will see the Devil's Den; which resembles the crater of an extinct volcano; where, tradition informs us, the Giant Maushop took up his abode and boiled whales for breakfast upon the forest trees he tore up by the roots. He decamped very suddenly and left his Satanic majesty heir to his possessions. The Panorama from the light, or from the head is very
ATTACHED TO MASSACHUSETTS. extensive and fine. The eye takes in the broad expause of the ocean ; the Sound with its many sail ; Falmouth; N. Bedford, and the blue outline of Noman's Land and the Elizabeth Islands, But enough for the present. Yours, &c.
Martha's Vineyard, 19—. It is surprizing how ignorant many of us are of many portions of our own Slate—even of places but a day's ride from our homes. Of many a man in the State, even in the metropolis thereof, you might ask the question, whether Duke's County is a part of Massachusetts or Virginia, who would be at a loss for an answer. The most that is generally known of Martha's Vineyard, the larger part of the County, is, that it is an island. But exactly where it is ; how far from the main, and whether represented in the General Court, many, I think, would be puzzled to say.
The County was under the jurisdiction of the Duke of York for some thirty years, until 1692 when it became actually a part of Massachusetts: 1 say actually, as it was nominally attached to Massachusetts as early as 1644, and afterwards in like manner to New York, for the only testimony of allegiance paid to the latter state was the primitive tax