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sY T. ADDISON RICHARDS.
fflHE Catskills follow a grand course from north J- to south in the eastern part of the State of New York. Their position is at an aggregate remove of ten miles west of the Hudson. The interval of undulating and fertile country is thickly studded with cities and villages and highly cultivated farms. Geologically speaking, the Catskilla occupy the counties of Sullivan, Ulster, Greene, Schoharie, and Albany; but pictorially considered, they arc in the county of Greene alone; within whose limits are found all the loftiest peaks, and all the chief resorts of the tourist and the artist.
Vol. IX.—No. 60 — K
The village of Catskill, upon the Catskill Creek,, near its confluence with the Hudson, is one hundred and eleven miles above New York; and is accessible from that city almost hourly by steamboat or railway. Good coaches arc always waiting to convey travelers thence, over a glorious route of twelve miles of enchanting valley and hill country, to the regal halls of that famous cloud-capped palace— the Mountain House. This noble edifice, lifting its grand facade above a rocky cliff twenty-five hundred feet in air, forms a curious and beautiful feature of the mountain landscape, in the passage of the river, from all the distant towns and elevations to the eastward; and as it comes again and again into view in the gradual approach from THE MOV
Catskill; and finally, as it rises proudly above our heads, while slowly ascending the precipices which it so grandly caps.
The Mountain House is a spacious structure of wood, originally built by the people of Catskill at a cost of more than twenty thousand dollars. It has from time to time been since refitted and enlarged, until it now affords all the conveniences and elegances of our most recherche metropolitan hotels. "How the proprietor," says Mr. Willis, "can have dragged up, and keeps dragging up, so many superfluities from the river level to that eagle's nest, excites your wonder. It is the more strange, because in climbing a mountain, the feeling is natural that you leave such enervating luxuries below. The mountain-top is too near heaven. It should be a monastery to lodge in, so high—a St. Cothard or a Vallombrosa. But here you choose
between Hermitages, 'white' or 'red,' Burgundies, Madeiras, French dishes and French dances, as if you had descended upon Capua." The grand and precipitous height of the Mountain House, reveals a scene which in extent and beauty is scarcely rivaled by any " panoramic" view in the land. The eye glories in a boundless sweep of cultivated champaign, sparkling with busy towns and happy homes, bending rivers and mystic mountain chains, between the remote hills of Vermont on the one hand, and the dim waters of the Atlantic on the other. Miss Martineau, musing here on a sunny, quiet Sabbath mom, thus records her impressions of the morale of this suggestive picture:
"To the philosopher what is it not? The
fields and waters seem to him to-day no more truly property than the skies which shine down