SOME of the grandest scenery on the American continent is to be found on the Pacific coast. The most celebrated is the famous Yosemite Valley, visited by thousands of tourists, as a source of constant wonder to the lovers of the grand in nature, and a fruitful field for the pencil of the artist. Its numerous water-falls, its lofty peaks and precipitous cliffs, afford abundant material for charming pictures, whether painted by the brush of the artist, or the vivid pen descriptions of the ready writer.

The scene given in our illustration is one of the many which the hand of the artist has reproduced, and represents the Vernal Falls, on the middle or main fork of the Merced River. It is somewhat difficult of access, as one would readily infer from a glance at the picture; but when once reached, the view amply repays all the effort. 

The full volume of Merced River leaps in an unbroken stream, and falls 350 feet. When it is remembered that the great fall of Niagara is but 163 feet high, it will be seen that the Vernal is in point of height the successful rival of the celebrated cataract, although much inferior in breadth and volume. 

In the sunshine, its misty vapors reflect the dazzling colors of the rainbow, and here, as at Niagara, by braving the drenching spray, the sightseer may behold the complete or circular rainbow, which is thus described by a tourist: 

"There were two brilliant rainbows of usual form of the crescent, the bow proper.

But while I looked, the two horns of the inner or lower crescent suddenly lengthened, extending on each side to my feet an entire circle, perfect as a ring. In two or three seconds it passed away, shrinking to the first dimensions. Ten minutes later it formed again; and again as suddenly disappeared. Every sharp gust of wind showering the spray over me revealed for the moment the round rainbow. Completely drenched, I stood for an hour and a half, and saw fully twenty times, that dazzling circle of violet and gold, on a groundwork of wet dark rock, gay dripping flowers, and vivid grass. I never looked upon any other scene in Nature so beautiful and impressive."

Probably the devout observer would recall the "bow of promise" which gladdened the eyes and hearts of the family of Noah, as they emerged from their tempest-tossed voyage in the shelter which the mercy of the Lord had provided for them, in the days when the "long-suffering of God waited," as it now waits in mercy to the world as yet not fully warned. May all our readers be sheltered from the storm, which no "rainbow of promise" will avert when the warning message has done its work.

W. C. G.