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1295 s4s4s4s4s4 a p p e n d i x 1 Journey to Lake Oneida a On July 8, 1831, at sunrise, we left the small village called Fort Brewerton, and we began to advance toward the northeast. About one mile from the house of our host, a path opens in the forest; we hastened to take it. The heat was beginning to become uncomfortable. After a windy night had followed a morning without any cool breeze. Soon we found ourselves sheltered from the rays of the sun and in the middle of one of these deep forests of the New World whosesomberandwildmajesty grips the imagination and fills the soul with a sort of religious terror. How to paint such a spectacle? On a marshy terrain where a thousand small streams, not yet imprisoned by the hand of man, run and are lost in liberty, nature has scattered pell-mell and with an incredible profusion the seeds of nearly all the plants that creep on the earth or rise above the soil. Over our heads was spread as it were a vast dome of greenery. Under this thick veil and amid the humid depths of the woods, the eye saw an immense confusion; a sort of chaos. Trees of all ages, foliage of all colors, herbs, fruits, flowers of a thousand species, intermingled, intertwined in the same places. Generations of trees have followed each other there witha . Journey to Lake Oneida and A Fortnight in the Wilderness were written by Tocqueville during his journey in America. If he had not wanted to publish them, it was because he was concerned about not entering into competition on this point with Beaumont. Journey to Lake Oneida was published for the first time by Beaumont in Œuvres et correspondance inédites d’Alexis de Tocqueville, OCB, V, pp. 161–71. It has recently been included in Voyages en Sicile et aux États-Unis, OC, V, 1, pp. 336–41. Tocqueville presented a first version in a letter of 25 July 1831 to his sister-in-law, Alexandrine (reproducedwith some modifications in OCB, VII, pp. 39–45). The family archives contain a copy of the text in the hand of Mary Mottley and corrected by Tocqueville. The episodealsoappears in Marie, II, pp. 45–46 and 329. 1296 journey to lake oneida out interruption for centuries, and the earth is covered with their remains. Some seem struck down yesterday; others, already half settled into the earth, present nothing more than a hollow and flat surface; others finally are reduced to dust and serve as fertilizer for their last shoots. In the midst of them a thousand diverse plants hasten to emerge in their turn. They slip between these immobile cadavers, creep along their surface, penetrate beneath their withered bark, lift up and scatter their powdery remains.b It is like a struggle between death and life. Sometimes, we happened to encounter an immense tree that the wind had uprooted, but the rows are so close together in the forest that, despite its weight, it was not able to make it to the ground. It still balanced its dry branches in the air. A solemn silence reigned amid this solitude; you saw only a few or no animated creatures, man was missing and yet it was not a desert. Everything , on the contrary, showed a productive force in nature unknown elsewhere ; everything was activity; the air seemed impregnated with an odor of vegetation. It seemed as if you heard an internal noise that revealed the work of creation and as if you saw sap and life circulating in always open channels. It was amid this imposing solitude and in the light of an uncertain day that we walked for several hours, without hearing any noise other than that made by our horses trampling underfoot the leaves piled up by several winters or pushing with difficulty through the dry branches that covered the path. We kept silent ourselves, our souls were filled with the grandeur and the novelty of the spectacle. Finally we heard the echo of the first blows of an ax which announced in the distance the presence of a European. Felled trees, burned and blackened trunks, some plants useful to the life of man sown amid a confused mixture of a hundred various remnants, led us to the habitation of the pioneer. At the center of a rather narrow circle drawn b. Several of these sentences are found word for word in the...


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