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Guy Rivers: A Tale of Georgia   By: (1806-1870)

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[Illustration: Frontispiece.]

GUY RIVERS:

A TALE OF GEORGIA.

BY W. GILMORE SIMMS,

AUTHOR OF "THE YEMASSEE," "THE PARTISAN," "MELLICHAMPE," "KATHARINE WALTON," "THE SCOUT," "WOODCRAFT," ETC.

"Who wants A sequel may read on. Th' unvarnished tale That follows will supply the place of one."

ROGERS' Italy .

New and Revised Edition.

CHICAGO: DONOHUE, HENNEBERRY & CO. 407 425 DEARBORN STREET

1890

PRINTED AND BOUND BY DONOHUE & HENNEBERRY CHICAGO.

GUY RIVERS

CHAPTER I.

THE STERILE PROSPECT AND THE LONELY TRAVELLER.

Our scene lies in the upper part of the state of Georgia, a region at this time fruitful of dispute, as being within the Cherokee territories. The route to which we now address our attention, lies at nearly equal distances between the main trunk of the Chatahoochie and that branch of it which bears the name of the Chestatee, after a once formidable, but now almost forgotten tribe. Here, the wayfarer finds himself lost in a long reach of comparatively barren lands. The scene is kept from monotony, however, by the undulations of the earth, and by frequent hills which sometimes aspire to a more elevated title. The tract is garnished with a stunted growth, a dreary and seemingly half withered shrubbery, broken occasionally by clumps of slender pines that raise their green tops abruptly, and as if out of place, against the sky.

The entire aspect of the scene, if not absolutely blasted, wears at least a gloomy and discouraging expression, which saddens the soul of the most careless spectator. The ragged ranges of forest, almost untrodden by civilized man, the thin and feeble undergrowth, the unbroken silence, the birdless thickets, all seem to indicate a peculiarly sterile destiny. One thinks, as he presses forward, that some gloomy Fate finds harbor in the place. All around, far as the eye may see, it looks in vain for relief in variety. There still stretch the dreary wastes, the dull woods, the long sandy tracts, and the rude hills that send out no voices, and hang out no lights for the encouragement of the civilized man. Such is the prospect that meets the sad and searching eyes of the wayfarer, as they dart on every side seeking in vain for solace.

Yet, though thus barren upon the surface to the eye, the dreary region in which we now find ourselves, is very far from wanting in resources, such as not only woo the eyes, but win the very soul of civilization. We are upon the very threshold of the gold country, so famous for its prolific promise of the precious metal; far exceeding, in the contemplation of the knowing, the lavish abundance of Mexico and of Peru, in their palmiest and most prosperous condition. Nor, though only the frontier and threshold as it were to these swollen treasures, was the portion of country now under survey, though bleak, sterile, and uninviting, wanting in attractions of its own. It contained indications which denoted the fertile regions, nor wanted entirely in the precious mineral itself. Much gold had been already gathered, with little labor, and almost upon its surface; and it was perhaps only because of the limited knowledge then had of its real wealth, and of its close proximity to a more productive territory, that it had been suffered so long to remain unexamined.

Nature, thus, in a section of the world seemingly unblessed with her bounty, and all ungarnished with her fruits and flowers, seemed desirous of redeeming it from the curse of barrenness, by storing its bosom with a product, which, only of use to the world in its conventional necessities, has become, in accordance with the self creating wants of society, a necessity itself; and however the bloom and beauty of her summer decorations may refresh the eye of the enthusiast, it would here seem that, with an extended policy, she had planted treasures, for another and a greatly larger class, far more precious to the eyes of hope and admiration than all the glories and beauties in her sylvan and picturesque abodes... Continue reading book >>




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