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[202] various offences. Yet his commentary upon this tedious material—shrewd and lucid, well-balanced both in judgment and in style, and above all practical—places it in a kind of Blackstonian tradition. For the rest, he mingles topographical accounts of the regions he passes through with sketches of the characters and lives of distinguished residents, descriptions of scenery, estimates of inns and innkeepers, bits of historical narrative, and statistics of industry, wealth, religion, and climate.

Dwight's descriptive powers are high but unsustained. At Canajoharie, he tells us, the Mohawk runs below, in a gorge, while above is a

long narrow stripe of azure seen overhead. On both sides rise stupendous walls of a deep black, awful with their hanging precipices, which are hollowed with a thousand fantastical forms. . . . As you advance up the stream . . . you suddenly arrive at a cascade sixty feet in height, where the water descends with a sufficient approximation to perpendicularity to convert the current from a sheet into a mass of foam perfectly white and elegant.

The passages that he does not thus spoil, as, for example, his description of the Notch of the White Mountains, of a view in the Catskills, or of the ‘oak openings’ of the Genesee River, are very few. His narratives, too, while interesting as raw material of literature, are seldom more. The woman one hundred and two years old who, when ‘the bell was heard to toll for a funeral, . . . burst into tears and said, “When will the bell toll for me? It seems that the bell will never toll for me,” ’ might have appealed poignantly to Hawthorne. Dwight's traveller, who rode across a bridge in the dark, and only in the morning discovered that the bridge had not a plank on it and that his horse had found his way across the naked frame, was in fact used by Henry Ward Beecher as an illustration rather less effective than the original. Dwight's tale of how the regicide Goff, then a venerable man in concealment in the house of the minister at Hadley, had suddenly appeared during an Indian raid upon the congregation, rallied them, and disappeared, may well have actually suggested Hawthorne's story of The Gray Champion. But Dwight has no flair for imaginative material; nor is he content to leave even his expository

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