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The Yale literary magazine (v. 15,no. 2)

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Pages: 52

Book format: An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.

Publisher: Date:8/5/2009 - General Books LLC

By: Yale University

Excerpt from book: fllonununt iUcumtain. It is a common remark that the beauties of natural scenery are rarely appreciated by those who have grown up among them. " Familiarity breeds contempt," saith an old proverb, and the Switzer herds his goats in the vale of Cbamouni—the Italian quarries marble almost within the smoke of Vesuvius, and the Yankee talks of erecting a gristmill over the falls of Niagara. The American, discerning no sublimity in our towering mountains, no beauty in our far-stretching prairies, no grandeur in our inland seas and mighty rivers, hastens away to Switzerland and the Scottish Highlands to enjoy the beauties of natural scenery. Now it is all well enough that one's love of Nature should be gratified so far as may be, but to see the mechanic perhaps, who has by honest, plodding industry, acquired a competence of this world's goods, set off on a trip to Europe, and to hear him on his return talk knowingly of the size of an avalanche or the breadth of an Alpine glacier, while he is unable to tell the difference between a prairie and a Carolina " pine-barren," makes us sick of democracy. The great number of such travelers who are met with at all the fashionable resorts on the continent, renders us the laughing-stock of all sensible foreigners. Now we dare maintain that the lover of Nature can find objects of worship here, no less deserving than those which are so eagerly sought after in the Old World. It is true they are not, as yet, hallowed by so many time-honored associations as are those whose paths have been trod by generation after generation—whose merits have been sung by the poet—whose colors have been imitated by the painter, and whose beauties have been often defaced by the tread of war's iron heel. But still they are around us and among us in all their grandeur...  

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