Dutch Guiana

Cover of book Dutch Guiana
Categories: Nonfiction

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RIVER. The river nobly foams and flows, The charm of this enchanted ground ; And all its thousand turns disclose Some fresher beauty varying round. Bykon. With a subdued silvery gleam, the surest promise in these latitudes of a clear day to follow, the sun peeped through the network of the forest that here does duty for horizon on every side, when our party mustered under the neat wooden pavilion of the landing-place, between the parade- ground and the river,?I might have not less correctly said the highway. For the true highways of this land are its rivers, traced right and left with matchless profusion by Nature herself, and more commodious could scarcely be found anywhere. Broad and deep, tidal, too, for miles up their course, but with scarcely any variation in the fulness of their mighty flow, summer or winter, rainy season or dry, so constant is thewater-supply from its common origin, the equatorial mountain chain. They give easy access to the innermost recesses of the vast regions beyond? east, west, and south; and where their tortuous windings and multiplied side-canals fail to reach, Batavian industry and skill have made good the want by canals, straighter in course, and often hardly inferior in navigable capacity to the mother rivers themselves. On the skeleton plan, so to speak, of this mighty system of water communication the entire cultivation of the inland has been naturally adjusted; and the estates of Surinam are ranged one after another along the margins of rivers and canals, just as farms might be along highways and byways in Germany or Hungary. Subservient to the water-ways, narrow land-paths follow the river or trench, by which not every estate alone, but its every subdivision of an estate, every acre almost, is defined and bo...

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