button to main menu  Observations on Picturesque Beauty, page 110

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vol.1 p.110
body of water; and the regular to a large one. The small body of water has nothing to recommend it, but it's variety and bustle: whereas the large body has a dignity of character to maintain. To fritter it in pieces would be to destroy in a degree the grandeur of it's effect. Were the Niagara thus broken, at least if some considerable parts of it were not left broad and sheety, it might be a grand scene of confusion; but it could be that vast, that uniform, and simple object, which is most capable of expressing the idea of greatness.
As there are few considerable rivers in the romantic country, we are now examining, the most beautiful cascades, (which are innumerable) are generally of the broken kind. The regular falls (of which also there are many) are objects of little value. Those they are sometimes four or five hundred feet in height; yet they appear only like threads of silver at a distance; and like mere spouts at hand; void both of grandeur, and variety.- And yet, in heavy rains, some of them must be very noble, if we may judge from their channels, which often shew great marks of violence.- But I was never fortunate enough to see any of them in these moments of wildness.
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