Bodies of troops, both horse and foot, and long trains of wagons with men, women, and children, were moving over the opposite ridge and descending the broad declivity in front.
Blodget passed the hole, by himself, unarmed, rolling down the declivity until he reached the stream.
These remarkable features forming the declivities of the sandstone tableland through which Cooper's Creek forces its way, and by confining the waters to a narrower space during floods, causes the fine deep reaches of water which characterize it.
Thus we passed hill after hill and hollow after hollow, a country arid, broken and so parched by the sun that none of the plants familiar to our more favored soil would flourish upon it, though there were multitudes of strange medicinal herbs, more especially the absanth, which covered every declivity, and cacti were hanging like reptiles at the edges of every ravine.
Thence they went by a secret path, known only to a very few, that led down a steep declivity of rocks, with walls of rock upon either side that were very high indeed, and so they came out in safety beyond the army of King Claudas and into the forest of the valley below.
Winding down the almost perpendicular declivity, sometimes sliding down on our snow-shoes, with the tobaugan running before us, "on its own hook," at a fearful pace, and sometimes obliged to descend, hand under hand, by the tangled roots and shrubs, we soon found ourselves on the great white winter-prairie of the grand St. Lawrence, upon which I strode forward with renewed energy, steering my course, like the primitive steeple-chasers of my boyhood's home, upon the highest church-tower looming up from the heterogeneous huddle of motley houses that just showed their gable-tops over the low ring of mist which mingled with the smoke of the Lower Town.
You wander through a boundless maze of rising vineries curling their budding tendrils around the trellis-work, and terrace above terrace up the declivities of the mountains.
At length we began to ascend, by a winding road, the steep sides of the Alps--the prospect enlarging as we went, the mountain summits rising to sight around us, one behind another, some of them white with snow, over which the wind blew with a wintery keenness--deep valleys opening below us, and gulfs yawning between rocks over which old bridges were thrown--and solemn fir forests clothing the broad declivities.
They then open a way with iron instruments through the rock thus heated by the fire, and soften its declivities by gentle windings, so that not only the beasts of burden, but also the elephants could be led down it.
Then came the crack of a rifle, the bullet whistling harmlessly over his head, as he scrambled up the steep declivity, rattling down stones and earth into the water below.
About a dozen bulls were before us, scouring over the hills, rushing down the declivities with tremendous weight and impetuosity, and then laboring with a weary gallop upward.
It is allowed, that water will run down a declivity, though sometimes a strong wind may force it upwards.
Fields, yellow with flowers, among which stood here and there a cottage, sloped softly down to the water, and beyond them rose the bare declivities and summits of the hills, dark with heath, with here and there still darker spots, of an almost inky hue, where peat had been cut for fuel.
As he was considering deeply of these things and riding slowly down the declivity, neither dancing his cane nor singing the Laird of Windy-wa's, he lifted up his eyes, and there was the girl on the same spot where he saw her first, walking deliberately up the Birky Brow.
Before sunset, we reached the last declivity of the mountains, and saw far in the dusky plain, the long green belt of the gardens of Damascus, and here and there the indistinct glimmer of a minaret.
About half a mile from the head, there is an ice-cascade, where the glacier pours over a sharp declivity and is shattered into massive blocks separated by deep, blue fissures.
Every one has observed those sloping declivities, composed of the washings of torrents, the debris of precipices, and what may be termed the constant drippings of perpendicular eminencies and which lie like broad buttresses at their feet, forming a sort of foundation or basement for the superincumbent mass.
Beneath it lay the undulating and teeming declivity, rich in vines, and carpeted with sward, here dotted by hamlets, there park-like and rural with forest trees, while there was no quarter that did not show the roof of a chateau or the tower of some rural church.
We raised, in the upper part of the river, a sort of dam, made with stakes and stones, from whence the water flowed into our channels of the sago-palm, laid down a gentle declivity nearly to our tent, and there it was received into the shell of the turtle, which we had raised on some stones of a convenient height, the hole which the harpoon had made serving to carry off the waste water through a cane that was fitted to it.
And it needs not the gift of prophecy to foresee, nor the spirit of personal flattery to declare, that the names of Franklin and Morse are destined to glide down the declivity of time together, the equals in the renown of inventive achievements, until the hand of History shall become palsied, and whatever pertains to humanity shall be lost in the general dissolution of matter.
Gaining the top of the hill, we found a very steep declivity before us.
The new road from Posilipo, the work of Murat, skirted the gulf, rising along the mountain edge and constantly emphasizing the declivity between the covering of its feet and the border of the sea.
A large door opened, in the rear of the house, and discovered the declivity of the mountain on which it stood, skirted also with listening auditors.
Exposed to the full force of the winds, which are drawn through this river-valley as through a funnel, and with a foothold so narrow, it was easy to believe that neither man nor beast could pass here during the season of the northers, except at great risk of being dashed down the declivity.
Still, as the water rushed into the vortex, every thing within its influence yielded to the suction; and, at the next instant, the launch was seen darting down the declivity, as if eager to follow the vast machine, of which it had so long formed a dependant, through the same gaping whirlpool, to the bottom.
These are either natural prairies, or Indian clearings, (of which, however, the present Indians have no tradition,) and lying, to an extent of many thousand acres, between the villages of Genesee, Moscow, and Mount Morris, which now crown the declivities of their surrounding uplands; and, contrasting their smooth verdure with the shaggy hills that bound the horizon, and their occasional clumps of spreading trees, with the tall and naked relics of the forest, nothing can be more agreeable to the eye, long accustomed to the uninterrupted prospect of a level and wooded country.
The villages so frequently mentioned, and which have become celebrated in these later times by the touch of genius, clung to the uneven declivities, their lower dwellings laved by the lake, and their upper confounded with the rugged faces of the mountains.
At length we began to ascend, by a winding road, the steep sides of the Alps--the prospect enlarging as we went, the mountain summits rising to sight around us, one behind another, some of them white with snow, over which the wind blew with a wintry keenness--deep valleys opening below us, and gulfs yawning between rocks over which old bridges were thrown--and solemn fir forests clothing the broad declivities.
It was just sunset as I left Pittsfield, and I decided to risk the mountain, and, following a wood road, I climbed the steep declivity, and, going in what seemed to me a nearly direct course, after an hour's walk I recognized a gap in the hill-crest and a distant view with two little lakes reflecting the sky which I had seen the hour before.
When the boat stopped, the little stream came brawling down a ragged declivity, and a mill, one so arranged as to grind and saw, both in a very small way, however, gave the first signs of civilization she had beheld since quitting the last hut near the Mohawk.
Turning out of the main road, we began to ascend a steep green declivity.