"The Meuse" [essay]
The Meuse
How be lightly the waves of the broad Meuse, crisped
with the first breath of the morning, as we swept over
the long bridge that crosses the river from Namur,
and looked back on the rich dome of its small, but
beautiful cathedral, 1 as it began to smile to the
first glance th of the joyous sun, that was drink‐
ing up the delicate mists, which clung to the hills and
n the valley in which the fair city reposed
so peacefully, and then plunged dashed along the
valley of the Meuse. I know not, if it was because
this was our first initiation into the scenery of
continental rivers, but this part of the Meuse
appeared to me infinitely preferable, (not in point
of sublimity, or immensity but in that romantic
and picturesque fairy beauty, which is, in many
cases preferable to either) to any thing which I ever
afterwards saw on the shores of the farfamed Rhine.
There was, to me, a great sameness throughout the whole
of the ‸
course of the
latter river, and ‸
to its fortresses, it is positively too
much of a good thing, a tiresome repitition of ruins,
and ruins too, which do not altogether come up to my
idea of what ruins ought to be, a But for the Meuse,
the infinite variety of scenery, the almost confusing
succession of delightful changes, the impossibility of examining


every successive change as you feel that it ought to be seen, and
finally, the tantalizing rate at which you dash away (capital
road) from that which you could feast upon, and look upon
and dwell upon, for—ages I was going to say, months, I
will say, are enough to enchant you with anything. If you
wish to see rock scenery in perfection, go to the Meuse, 2 for
never were rocks more beautifully disposed, more richly and
delicately wooded or more finely contrasted with the amaz‐
ing luxuriance of‸
surrounding scenery. But alas. it was
but a forenoon ride, and the eve saw us quit the magnificent
Meuse with sorrow for the smoky streets and coal wharfs
of Liege, and the round, dumpy, shapeless hills of Spa. 3