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Title: Domestic Manners of the Americans
Author: Trollope, Fanny, 1779-1863
Language: English
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Domestic Manners of the Americans
by
Fanny Trollope


Frances Milton Trollope (known as Fanny Trollope)
1780--1863
(Mother of the author Anthony Trollope)


First published in 1832



CHAPTER 1

Entrance of the Mississippi--Balize



On the 4th of November, 1827, I sailed from London, accompanied
by my son and two daughters; and after a favourable, though
somewhat tedious voyage, arrived on Christmas-day at the mouth of
the Mississippi.

The first indication of our approach to land was the appearance
of this mighty river pouring forth its muddy mass of waters, and
mingling with the deep blue of the Mexican Gulf.  The shores of
this river are so utterly flat, that no object upon them is
perceptible at sea, and we gazed with pleasure on the muddy ocean
that met us, for it told us we were arrived, and seven weeks of
sailing had wearied us; yet it was not without a feeling like
regret that we passed from the bright blue waves, whose varying
aspect had so long furnished our chief amusement, into the murky
stream which now received us.

Large flights of pelicans were seen standing upon the long masses
of mud which rose above the surface of the waters, and a pilot
came to guide us over the bar, long before any other indication
of land was visible.

I never beheld a scene so utterly desolate as this entrance of
the Mississippi.  Had Dante seen it, he might have drawn images
of another Bolgia from its horrors.  One only object rears itself
above the eddying waters; this is the mast of a vessel long since
wrecked in attempting to cross the bar, and it still stands, a
dismal witness of the destruction that has been, and a boding
prophet of that which is to come.

By degrees bulrushes of enormous growth become visible, and a few
more miles of mud brought us within sight of a cluster of huts
called the Balize, by far the most miserable station that I ever
saw made the dwelling of man, but I was told that many families
of pilots and fishermen lived there.

For several miles above its mouth, the Mississippi presents no
objects more interesting than mud banks, monstrous bulrushes, and
now and then a huge crocodile luxuriating in the slime.  Another
circumstance that gives to this dreary scene an aspect of
desolation, is the incessant appearance of vast quantities of
drift wood, which is ever finding its way to the different mouths
of the Mississippi.  Trees of enormous length, sometimes still
bearing their branches, and still oftener their uptorn roots
entire, the victims of the frequent hurricane, come floating down
the stream.  Sometimes several of these, entangled together,
collect among their boughs a quantity of floating rubbish, that
gives the mass the appearance of a moving island, bearing a
forest, with its roots mocking the heavens; while the dishonoured
branches lash the tide in idle vengeance: this, as it approaches
the vessel, and glides swiftly past, looks like the fragment of a
world in ruins.

As we advanced, however, we were cheered, notwithstanding the
season, by the bright tints of southern vegetation.  The banks
continue invariably flat, but a succession of planless villas,
sometimes merely a residence, and sometimes surrounded by their
sugar grounds and negro huts, varied the scene.  At no one point
was there an inch of what painters call a second distance; and
for the length of one hundred and twenty miles, from the Balize
to New Orleans, and one hundred miles above the town, the land is
defended from the encroachments of the river by a high embankment
which is called the Levee; without which the dwellings would
speedily disappear, as the river is evidently higher than the
banks would be without it.  When we arrived, there had been
constant rains, and of long continuance, and this appearance was,
therefore, unusually striking, giving to "this great natural
feature" the most unnatural appearance imaginable; and making
evident, not only that man had been busy there, but that even the
mightiest works of nature might be made to bear his impress; it
recalled, literally, Swift's mock heroic,

"Nature must give way to art;"

yet, she was looking so mighty, and so unsubdued all the time,
that I could not help fancying she would some day take the matter
into her own hands again, and if so, farewell to New Orleans.

It is easy to imagine the total want of beauty in such a
landscape; but yet the form and hue of the trees and plants, so
new to us, added to the long privation we had endured of all
sights and sounds of land, made even these swampy shores seem
beautiful.  We were, however, impatient to touch as well as see
the land; but the navigation from the Balize to New Orleans is
difficult and tedious, and the two days that it occupied appeared
longer than any we had passed on board.

In truth, to those who have pleasure in contemplating the
phenomena of nature, a sea voyage may endure many weeks without
wearying.  Perhaps some may think that the first glance of ocean
and of sky shew all they have to offer; nay, even that that first
glance may suggest more of dreariness than sublimity; but to me,
their variety appeared endless, and their beauty unfailing.  The
attempt to describe scenery, even where the objects are prominent
and tangible, is very rarely successful; but where the effect is
so subtile and so varying, it must be vain.  The impression,
nevertheless, is perhaps deeper than any other; I think it
possible I may forget the sensations with which I watched the
long course of the gigantic Mississippi; the Ohio and the Potomac
may mingle and be confounded with other streams in my memory, I
may even recall with difficulty the blue outline of the Alleghany
mountains, but never, while I remember any thing, can I forget
the first and last hour of light on the Atlantic.

The ocean, however, and all its indescribable charm, no longer
surrounded us; we began to feel that our walk on the quarter-deck
was very like the exercise of an ass in a mill; that our books
had lost half their pages, and that the other half were known by
rote; that our beef was very salt, and our biscuits very hard; in
short, that having studied the good ship, Edward, from stem to
stern till we knew the name of every sail, and the use of every
pulley, we had had enough of her, and as we laid down, head to
head, in our tiny beds for the last time, I exclaimed with no
small pleasure,

"Tomorrow to fresh fields and pastures new."



CHAPTER 2

New Orleans--Society--
Creoles and Quadroons Voyage up the Mississippi



On first touching the soil of a new land, of a new continent, of
a new world, it is impossible not to feel considerable excitement
and deep interest in almost every object that meets us.  New
Orleans presents very little that can gratify the eye of taste,
but nevertheless there is much of novelty and interest for a
newly arrived European.  The large proportion of blacks seen in
the streets, all labour being performed by them; the grace and
beauty of the elegant Quadroons, the occasional groups of wild
and savage looking Indians, the unwonted aspect of the
vegetation, the huge and turbid river, with its low and slimy
shore, all help to afford that species of amusement which
proceeds from looking at what we never saw before.

The town has much the appearance of a French Ville de Province,
and is, in fact, an old French colony taken from Spain by France.
The names of the streets are French, and the language about
equally French and English.  The market is handsome and well
supplied, all produce being conveyed by the river.  We were much
pleased by the chant with which the Negro boatmen regulate and
beguile their labour on the river; it consists but of very few
notes, but they are sweetly harmonious, and the Negro voice is
almost always rich and powerful.

By far the most agreeable hours I passed at New Orleans were
those in which I explored with my children the forest near
the town.  It was our first walk in "the eternal forests of
the western world," and we felt rather sublime and poetical.
The trees, generally speaking, are much too close to be either
large or well grown; and, moreover, their growth is often
stunted by a parasitical plant, for which I could learn no
other name than "Spanish moss;" it hangs gracefully from the
boughs, converting the outline of all the trees it hangs upon
into that of weeping willows.  The chief beauty of the forest
in this region is from the luxuriant undergrowth of palmetos,
which is decidedly the loveliest coloured and most graceful
plant I know.  The pawpaw, too, is a splendid shrub, and in
great abundance.  We here, for the first time, saw the wild
vine, which we afterwards found growing so profusely in every
part of America, as naturally to suggest the idea that the
natives ought to add wine to the numerous production of their
plenty-teeming soil.  The strong pendant festoons made safe and
commodious swings, which some of our party enjoyed, despite the
sublime temperament above-mentioned.

Notwithstanding it was mid-winter when we were at New Orleans,
the heat was much more than agreeable, and the attacks of the
mosquitos incessant, and most tormenting; yet I suspect that, for
a short time, we would rather have endured it, than not have seen
oranges, green peas, and red pepper, growing in the open air at
Christmas.  In one of our rambles we ventured to enter a garden,
whose bright orange hedge attracted our attention; here we saw
green peas fit for the table, and a fine crop of red pepper
ripening in the sun.  A young Negress was employed on the steps
of the house; that she was a slave made her an object of interest
to us.  She was the first slave we had ever spoken to, and I
believe we all felt that we could hardly address her with
sufficient gentleness.  She little dreamed, poor girl, what deep
sympathy she excited; she answered us civilly and gaily, and
seemed amused at our fancying there was something unusual in red
pepper pods; she gave us several of them, and I felt fearful lest
a hard mistress might blame her for it.  How very childish does
ignorance make us! and how very ignorant we are upon almost every
subject, where hearsay evidence is all we can get!

I left England with feelings so strongly opposed to slavery, that
it was not without pain I witnessed its effects around me.  At
the sight of every Negro man, woman, and child that passed, my
fancy wove some little romance of misery, as belonging to each of
them; since I have known more on the subject, and become better
acquainted with their real situation in America, I have often
smiled at recalling what I then felt.

The first symptom of American equality that I perceived, was
my being introduced in form to a milliner; it was not at a
boarding-house, under the indistinct outline of "Miss C--," nor
in the street through the veil of a fashionable toilette, but in
the very penetralia of her temple, standing behind her counter,
giving laws to ribbon and to wire, and ushering caps and bonnets
into existence.  She was an English woman, and I was told that
she possessed great intellectual endowments, and much
information; I really believe this was true.  Her manner was easy
and graceful, with a good deal of French tournure; and the
gentleness with which her fine eyes and sweet voice directed the
movements of a young female slave, was really touching: the way,
too, in which she blended her French talk of modes with her
customers, and her English talk of metaphysics with her friends,
had a pretty air of indifference in it, that gave her a
superiority with both.

I found with her the daughter of a judge, eminent, it was said,
both for legal and literary ability, and I heard from many
quarters, after I had left New Orleans, that the society of this
lady was highly valued by all persons of talent.  Yet were I,
traveller-like, to stop here, and set it down as a national
peculiarity, or republican custom, that milliners took the lead
in the best society, I should greatly falsify facts.  I do not
remember the same thing happening to me again, and this is one
instance among a thousand, of the impression every circumstance
makes on entering a new country, and of the propensity, so
irresistible, to class all things, however accidental, as
national and peculiar.  On the other hand, however, it is certain
that if similar anomalies are unfrequent in America, they are
nearly impossible elsewhere.

In the shop of Miss C-- I was introduced to Mr. M'Clure, a
venerable personage, of gentlemanlike appearance, who in the
course of five minutes propounded as many axioms, as "Ignorance
is the only devil;" "Man makes his own existence;" and the like.
He was of the New Harmony school, or rather the New Harmony
school was of him.  He was a man of good fortune, (a Scotchman, I
believe), who after living a tolerably gay life, had "conceived
high thoughts, such as Lycurgus loved, who bade flog the little
Spartans," and determined to benefit the species, and immortalize
himself, by founding a philosophical school at New Harmony.
There was something in the hollow square legislations of Mr.
Owen, that struck him as admirable, and he seems, as far as I can
understand, to have intended aiding his views, by a sort of
incipient hollow square drilling; teaching the young ideas of all
he could catch, to shoot into parallelogramic form and order.
This venerable philosopher, like all of his school that I ever
heard of, loved better to originate lofty imaginings of faultless
systems, than to watch their application to practice.  With much
liberality he purchased and conveyed to the wilderness a very
noble collection of books and scientific instruments; but not
finding among men one whose views were liberal and enlarged as
his own, he selected a woman to put into action the machine he
had organized.  As his acquaintance with this lady had been of
long standing, and, as it was said, very intimate, he felt sure
that no violation of his rules would have place under her sway;
they would act together as one being: he was to perform the
functions of the soul, and will everything; she, those of the
body, and perform everything.

The principal feature of the scheme was, that (the first liberal
outfit of the institution having been furnished by Mr. M'Clure,)
the expense of keeping it up should be defrayed by the profits
arising from the labours of the pupils, male and female, which
was to be performed at stated intervals of each day, in regular
rotation with learned study and scientific research.  But
unfortunately the soul of the system found the climate of Indiana
uncongenial to its peculiar formation, and, therefore, took its
flight to Mexico, leaving the body to perform the operations of
both, in whatever manner it liked best; and the body, being a
French body, found no difficulty in setting actively to work
without troubling the soul about it; and soon becoming conscious
that the more simple was a machine, the more perfect were its
operations, she threw out all that related to the intellectual
part of the business, (which to do poor soul justice, it had laid
great stress upon), and stirred herself as effectually as ever
body did, to draw wealth from the thews and sinews of the youths
they had collected.  When last I heard of this philosophical
establishment, she, and a nephew-son were said to be reaping a
golden harvest, as many of the lads had been sent from a distance
by indigent parents, for gratuitous education, and possessed no
means of leaving it.

Our stay in New Orleans was not long enough to permit our
entering into society, but I was told that it contained two
distinct sets of people, both celebrated, in their way, for their
social meetings and elegant entertainments.  The first of these
is composed of Creole families, who are chiefly planters and
merchants, with their wives and daughters; these meet together,
eat together, and are very grand and aristocratic; each of their
balls is a little Almack's, and every portly dame of the set is
as exclusive in her principles as the excluded but amiable
Quandroons, and such of the gentlemen of the former class as can
by any means escape from the high places, where pure Creole blood
swells the veins at the bare mention of any being tainted in the
remotest degree with the Negro stain.

Of all the prejudices I have ever witnessed, this appears to me
the most violent, and the most inveterate.  Quadroon girls, the
acknowledged daughters of wealthy American or Creole fathers,
educated with all of style and accomplishments which money can
procure at New Orleans, and with all the decorum that care and
affection can give; exquisitely beautiful, graceful, gentle, and
amiable, these are not admitted, nay, are not on any terms
admissable, into the society of the Creole families of Louisiana.
They cannot marry; that is to say, no ceremony can render an
union with them legal or binding; yet such is the powerful effect
of their very peculiar grace, beauty, and sweetness of manner,
that unfortunately they perpetually become the objects of choice
and affection.  If the Creole ladies have privilege to exercise
the awful power of repulsion, the gentle Quadroon has the sweet
but dangerous vengeance of possessing that of attraction.  The
unions formed with this unfortunate race are said to be often
lasting and happy, as far as any unions can be so, to which a
certain degree of disgrace is attached.

There is a French and an English theatre in the town; but we were
too fresh from Europe to care much for either; or, indeed, for
any other of the town delights of this city, and we soon became
eager to commence our voyage up the Mississippi.

Miss Wright, then less known (though the author of more than one
clever volume) than she has since become, was the companion of
our voyage from Europe; and it was my purpose to have passed some
months with her and her sister at the estate she had purchased in
Tennessee.  This lady, since become so celebrated as the advocate
of opinions that make millions shudder, and some half-score
admire, was, at the time of my leaving England with her,
dedicated to a pursuit widely different from her subsequent
occupations.  Instead of becoming a public orator in every town
throughout America, she was about, as she said, to seclude
herself for life in the deepest forests of the western world,
that her fortune, her time, and her talents might be exclusively
devoted to aid the cause of the suffering Africans.  Her first
object was to shew that nature had made no difference between
blacks and whites, excepting in complexion; and this she expected
to prove by giving an education perfectly equal to a class of
black and white children.  Could this fact be once fully
established, she conceived that the Negro cause would stand on
firmer ground than it had yet done, and the degraded rank which
they have ever held amongst civilized nations would be proved to
be a gross injustice.

This question of the mental equality, or inequality between us,
and the Negro race, is one of great interest, and has certainly
never yet been fairly tried; and I expected for my children and
myself both pleasure and information from visiting her
establishment, and watching the success of her experiment.

The innumerable steam boats, which are the stage coaches and fly
waggons of this land of lakes and rivers, are totally unlike any
I had seen in Europe, and greatly superior to them.  The fabrics
which I think they most resemble in appearance, are the floating
baths (les bains Vigier) at Paris.  The annexed drawing will give
a correct idea of their form.  The room to which the double line
of windows belongs, is a very handsome apartment; before each
window a neat little cot is arranged in such a manner as to give
its drapery the air of a window curtain.  This room is called the
gentlemen's cabin, and their exclusive right to it is somewhat
uncourteously insisted upon.  The breakfast, dinner, and supper
are laid in this apartment, and the lady passengers are permitted
to take their meals there.

On the first of January, 1828, we embarked on board the
Belvidere, a large and handsome boat; though not the largest or
handsomest of the many which displayed themselves along the
wharfs; but she was going to stop at Memphis, the point of the
river nearest to Miss Wright's residence, and she was the first
that departed after we had got through the customhouse, and
finished our sight-seeing.  We found the room destined for the
use of the ladies dismal enough, as its only windows were below
the stem gallery; but both this and the gentlemen's cabin were
handsomely fitted up, and the former well carpeted; but oh! that
carpet! I will not, I may not describe its condition; indeed it
requires the pen of a Swift to do it justice.  Let no one who
wishes to receive agreeable impressions of American manners,
commence their travels in a Mississippi steam boat; for myself,
it is with all sincerity I declare, that I would infinitely
prefer sharing the apartment of a party of well conditioned pigs
to the being confined to its cabin.

I hardly know any annoyance so deeply repugnant to English
feelings, as the incessant, remorseless spitting of Americans.
I feel that I owe my readers an apology for the repeated use of
this, and several other odious words; but I cannot avoid them,
without suffering the fidelity of description to escape me.  It
is possible that in this phrase, "Americans," I may be too
general.  The United States form a continent of almost distinct
nations, and I must now, and always, be understood to speak only
of that portion of them which I have seen.  In conversing with
Americans I have constantly found that if I alluded to anything
which they thought I considered as uncouth, they would assure me
it was local, and not national; the accidental peculiarity of a
very small part, and by no means a specimen of the whole.  "That
is because you know so little of America," is a phrase I have
listened to a thousand times, and in nearly as many different
places.  _It may be so_--and having made this concession, I
protest against the charge of injustice in relating what I have
seen.



CHAPTER 3

Company on board the Steam Boat--Scenery of the Mississippi--
Crocodiles--Arrival at Memphis--Nashoba



The weather was warm and bright, and we found the guard of the
boat, as they call the gallery that runs round the cabins, a very
agreeable station; here we all sat as long as light lasted, and
sometimes wrapped in our shawls, we enjoyed the clear bright
beauty of American moonlight long after every passenger but
ourselves had retired.  We had a full complement of passengers on
board.  The deck, as is usual, was occupied by the Kentucky
flat-boat men, returning from New Orleans, after having disposed
of the boat and cargo which they had conveyed thither, with no
other labour than that of steering her, the current bringing her
down at the rate of four miles an hour.  We had about two hundred
of these men on board, but the part of the vessel occupied by
them is so distinct from the cabins, that we never saw them,
except when we stopped to take in wood; and then they ran, or
rather sprung and vaulted over each other's heads to the shore,
whence they all assisted in carrying wood to supply the steam
engine; the performance of this duty being a stipulated part of
the payment of their passage.

From the account given by a man servant we had on board, who
shared their quarters, they are a most disorderly set of persons,
constantly gambling and wrangling, very seldom sober, and never
suffering a night to pass without giving practical proof of the
respect in which they hold the doctrines of equality, and
community of property.  The clerk of the vessel was kind enough
to take our man under his protection, and assigned him a berth in
his own little nook; but as this was not inaccessible, he told
him by no means to detach his watch or money from his person
during the night.  Whatever their moral characteristics may be,
these Kentuckians are a very noble-looking race of men; their
average height considerably exceeds that of Europeans, and their
countenances, excepting when disfigured by red hair, which is not
unfrequent, extremely handsome.

The gentlemen in the cabin (we had no ladies) would certainly
neither, from their language, manners, nor appearance, have
received that designation in Europe; but we soon found their
claim to it rested on more substantial ground, for we heard them
nearly all addressed by the titles of general, colonel, and
major.  On mentioning these military dignities to an English
friend some time afterwards, he told me that he too had made the
voyage with the same description of company, but remarking that
there was not a single captain among them; he made the
observation to a fellow-passenger, and asked how he accounted for
it.  "Oh, sir, the captains are all on deck," was the reply.

Our honours, however, were not all military, for we had a
judge among us.  I know it is equally easy and invidious to
ridicule the peculiarities of appearance and manner in people of
a different nation from ourselves; we may, too, at the same
moment, be undergoing the same ordeal in their estimation; and,
moreover, I am by no means disposed to consider whatever is new
to me as therefore objectionable; but, nevertheless, it was
impossible not to feel repugnance to many of the novelties that
now surrounded me.

The total want of all the usual courtesies of the table, the
voracious rapidity with which the viands were seized and
devoured, the strange uncouth phrases and pronunciation; the
loathsome spitting, from the contamination of which it was
absolutely impossible to protect our dresses; the frightful
manner of feeding with their knives, till the whole blade seemed
to enter into the mouth; and the still more frightful manner of
cleaning the teeth afterwards with a pocket knife, soon forced us
to feel that we were not surrounded by the generals, colonels,
and majors of the old world; and that the dinner hour was to be
any thing rather than an hour of enjoyment.

The little conversation that went forward while we remained in
the room, was entirely political, and the respective claims of
Adams and Jackson to the presidency were argued with more oaths
and more vehemence than it had ever been my lot to hear.  Once a
colonel appeared on the verge of assaulting a major,  when a huge
seven-foot Kentuckian gentleman horse-dealer, asked of the
heavens to confound them both, and bade them sit still and be
d--d.  We too thought we should share this sentence; at least
sitting still in the cabin seemed very nearly to include the rest
of it, and we never tarried there a moment longer than was
absolutely necessary to eat.

The unbroken flatness of the banks of the Mississippi continued
unvaried for many miles above New Orleans; but the graceful and
luxuriant palmetto, the dark and noble ilex, and the bright
orange, were every where to be seen, and it was many days before
we were weary of looking at them.  We occasionally used the
opportunity of the boat's stopping to take in wood for a ten
minutes' visit to the shore; we in this manner explored a field
of sugar canes, and loaded ourselves with as much of the sweet
spoil as we could carry.  Many of the passengers seemed fond of
the luscious juice that is easily expressed from the canes, but
it was too sweet for my palate.  We also visited, in the same
rapid manner, a cotton plantation.  A handsome spacious building
was pointed out to us as a convent, where a considerable number
of young ladies were educated by the nuns.

At one or two points the wearisome level line of forest is
relieved by _bluffs_, as they call the short intervals of high
ground.  The town of Natches is beautifully situated on one of
these high spots; the climate here, in the warm season, is as
fatal as that of New Orleans; were it not for this, Natches would
have great attractions to new settlers.  The beautiful contrast
that its bright green hill forms with the dismal line of black
forest that stretches on every side, the abundant growth of
pawpaw, palmetto and orange, the copious variety of sweet-scented
flowers that flourish there, all make it appear like an oasis in
the desert.  Natches is the furthest point to the north at which
oranges ripen in the open air, or endure the winter without
shelter.  With the exception of this sweet spot, I thought all
the little towns and villages we passed, wretched looking, in the
extreme.  As the distance from New Orleans increased, the air of
wealth and comfort exhibited in its immediate neighbourhood
disappeared, and but for one or two clusters of wooden houses,
calling themselves towns, and borrowing some pompous name,
generally from Greece or Rome, we might have thought ourselves
the first of the human race who had ever penetrated into this
territory of bears and alligators.  But still from time to time
appeared the hut of the wood-cutter, who supplies the steam-boats
with fuel, at the risk, or rather with the assurance of early
death, in exchange for dollars and whiskey.  These sad dwellings
are nearly all of them inundated during the winter, and the best
of them are constructed on piles, which permit the water to reach
its highest level without drowning the wretched inhabitants.
These unhappy beings are invariably the victims of ague, which
they meet recklessly, sustained by the incessant use of ardent
spirits.  The squalid look of the miserable wives and children of
these men was dreadful, and often as the spectacle was renewed I
could never look at it with indifference.  Their complexion is of
a blueish white, that suggests the idea of dropsy; this is
invariable, and the poor little ones wear exactly the same
ghastly hue.  A miserable cow and a few pigs standing knee-deep
in water, distinguish the more prosperous of these dwellings, and
on the whole I should say that I never witnessed human nature
reduced so low, as it appeared in the wood-cutters' huts on the
unwholesome banks of the Mississippi.

It is said that at some points of this dismal river, crocodiles
are so abundant as to add the terror of their attacks to the
other sufferings of a dwelling there.  We were told a story of
a squatter, who having "located" himself close to the river's
edge, proceeded to build his cabin.  This operation is soon
performed, for social feeling and the love of whiskey bring all
the scanty neighbourhood round a new corner, to aid him in
cutting down trees, and in rolling up the logs, till the mansion
is complete.  This was done; the wife and five young children
were put in possession of their new home, and slept soundly after
a long march.  Towards daybreak the husband and father was
awakened by a faint cry, and looking up, beheld relics of three
of his children scattered over the floor, and an enormous
crocodile, with several young ones around her, occupied in
devouring the remnants of their horrid meal.  He looked round for
a weapon, but finding none, and aware that unarmed he could do
nothing, he raised himself gently on his bed, and contrived to
crawl from thence through a window, hoping that his wife, whom he
left sleeping, might with the remaining children rest
undiscovered till his return.  He flew to his nearest neighbour
and besought his aid; in less than half an hour two men returned
with him, all three well armed; but alas! they were too late! the
wife and her two babes lay mangled on their bloody bed.  The
gorged reptiles fell an easy prey to their assailants, who, upon
examining the place, found the hut had been constructed close to
the mouth of a large hole, almost a cavern, where the monster had
hatched her hateful brood.

Among other sights of desolation which mark this region,
condemned of nature, the lurid glare of a burning forest was
almost constantly visible after sunset, and when the wind so
willed, the smoke arising from it floated in heavy vapour over
our heads.  Not all the novelty of the scene, not all its
vastness, could prevent its heavy horror wearying the spirits.
Perhaps the dinners and suppers I have described may help to
account for this; but certain it is, that when we had wondered
for a week at the ceaseless continuity of forest; had first
admired, and then wearied of the festooned drapery of Spanish
moss; when we had learned to distinguish the different masses of
timber that passed us, or that we passed, as a "snag," a "log" or
a "sawyer;" when we had finally made up our minds that the
gentlemen of the Kentucky and Ohio military establishments, were
not of the same genus as those of the Tuilleries and St. James's,
we began to wish that we could sleep more hours away.  As we
advanced to the northward we were no longer cheered by the
beautiful border of palmettos; and even the amusement of
occasionally spying out a sleeping crocodile was over.

Just in this state, when we would have fain believed that every
mile we went, carried us two towards Memphis, a sudden and
violent shock startled us frightfully.

"It is a sawyer!" said one.

"It is a snag!" cried another.

"We are aground!" exclaimed the captain.

"Aground? Good heavens! and how long shall we stay here?"

"The Lord in his providence can only tell, but long enough to
tire my patience, I expect."

And the poor English ladies, how fared they the while?

Two breakfasts, two dinners, and a supper did they eat, with the
Ohio and Kentucky gentlemen, before they moved an inch.  Several
steam-boats passed while we were thus enthralled; but some were
not strong enough to attempt drawing us off, and some attempted
it, but were not strong enough to succeed; at length a vast and
mighty "thing of life" approached, threw out grappling irons; and
in three minutes the business was done; again we saw the trees
and mud slide swiftly past us; and a hearty shout from every
passenger on deck declared their joy.

At length we had the pleasure of being told that we had arrived
at Memphis; but this pleasure was considerably abated by the hour
of our arrival, which was midnight, and by the rain, which was
falling in torrents.

Memphis stands on a high bluff, and at the time of our arrival
was nearly inaccessible.  The heavy rain which had been falling
for many hours would have made any steep ascent difficult, but
unfortunately a new road had been recently marked out, which
beguiled us into its almost bottomless mud, from the firmer
footing of the unbroken cliff.  Shoes and gloves were lost in the
mire, for we were glad to avail ourselves of all our limbs, and
we reached the grand hotel in a most deplorable state.

Miss Wright was well known there, and as soon as her arrival was
announced, every one seemed on the alert to receive her, and we
soon found ourselves in possession of the best rooms in the
hotel.  The house was new, and in what appeared to me a very
comfortless condition, but I was then new to Western America, and
unaccustomed to their mode of "getting along," as they term it.
This phrase is eternally in use among them, and seems to mean
existing with as few of the comforts of life as possible.

We slept soundly however, and rose in the hope of soon changing
our mortar-smelling-quarters for Miss Wright's Nashoba.

But we presently found that the rain which had fallen during the
night would make it hazardous to venture through the forests of
Tennessee in any sort of carriage; we therefore had to pass the
day at our queer comfortless hotel.  The steam-boat had wearied
me of social meals, and I should have been thankful to have eaten
our dinner of hard venison and peach-sauce in a private room; but
this, Miss Wright said was impossible; the lady of the house
would consider the proposal as a personal affront, and, moreover,
it would be assuredly refused.  This latter argument carried
weight with it, and when the great bell was sounded from an upper
window of the house, we proceeded to the dining-room.  The table
was laid for fifty persons, and was already nearly full.  Our
party had the honour of sitting near "the lady," but to check the
proud feelings to which such distinction might give birth, my
servant, William, sat very nearly opposite to me.  The company
consisted of all the shop-keepers (store-keepers as they are
called throughout the United States) of the little town.  The
mayor also, who was a friend of Miss Wright's, was of the party;
he is a pleasing gentlemanlike man, and seems strangely misplaced
in a little town on the Mississippi.  We were told that since the
erection of this hotel, it has been the custom for all the male
inhabitants of the town to dine and breakfast there.  They ate in
perfect silence, and with such astonishing rapidity that their
dinner was over literally before our's was began; the instant
they ceased to eat, they darted from the table in the same moody
silence which they had preserved since they entered the room, and
a second set took their places, who performed their silent parts
in the same manner.  The only sounds heard were those produced by
the knives and forks, with the unceasing chorus of coughing, &c.
No women were present except ourselves and the hostess; the good
women of Memphis being well content to let their lords partake of
Mrs. Anderson's turkeys and venison, (without their having the
trouble of cooking for them), whilst they regale themselves on
mash and milk at home.

The remainder of the day passed pleasantly enough in rambling
round the little town, which is situated at the most beautiful
point of the Mississippi; the river is here so wide as to give it
the appearance of a noble lake; an island, covered with lofty
forest trees divides it, and relieves by its broad mass of shadow
the uniformity of its waters.  The town stretches in a rambling
irregular manner along the cliff, from the Wolf River, one of the
innumerable tributaries to the Mississippi, to about a mile below
it.  Half a mile more of the cliff beyond the town is cleared of
trees, and produces good pasture for horses, cows, and pigs;
sheep they had none.  At either end of this space the forest
again rears its dark wall, and seems to say to man, "so far shalt
thou come, and no farther!"  Courage and industry, however, have
braved the warning.  Behind this long street the town straggles
back into the forest, and the rude path that leads to the more
distant log dwellings becomes wilder at every step.  The ground
is broken by frequent water-courses, and the bridges that lead
across them are formed by trunks of trees thrown over the stream,
which support others of smaller growth, that are laid across
them.  These bridges are not very pleasant to pass, for they
totter under the tread of a man, and tremble most frightfully
beneath a horse or a waggon; they are, however, very picturesque.
The great height of the trees, the quantity of pendant vine
branches that hang amongst them; and the variety of gay plumaged
birds, particularly the small green parrot, made us feel we were
in a new world; and a repetition of our walk the next morning
would have pleased us well, but Miss Wright was anxious to get
home, and we were scarcely less so to see her Nashoba.  A clumsy
sort of caravan drawn by two horses was prepared for us; and we
set off in high spirits for an expedition of fifteen miles
through the forest.  To avoid passing one of the bridges above
described, which was thought insecure, our negro driver took us
through a piece of water, which he assured us was not deep "to
matter" however we soon lost sight of our pole, and as we were
evidently descending, we gently remonstrated with him on the
danger of proceeding, but he only grinned, and flogged in reply;
we soon saw the front wheels disappear, and horses began to
plunge and kick most alarmingly, but still without his looking at
all disturbed.  At length the splinter-bar gave way, upon which
the black philosopher said very composedly, "I expect you'll best
be riding out upon the horses, as we've got into an unhandsome
fix here."  Miss Wright, who sat composedly smiling at the scene,
said, "Yes, Jacob, that is what we must do;" and with some
difficulty we, in this manner, reached the shore, and soon found
ourselves again assembled round Mrs. Anderson's fire.

It was soon settled that we must delay our departure till the
waters had subsided, but Miss Wright was too anxious to reach
home to endure this delay and she set off again on horseback,
accompanied by our man servant, who told me afterwards that they
rode through places that might have daunted the boldest hunter,
but that "Miss Wright took it quite easy."

The next day we started again, and the clear air, the bright sun,
the novel wildness of the dark forest, and our keenly awakened
curiosity, made the excursion delightful, and enabled us to bear
without shrinking the bumps and bruises we encountered.  We soon
lost all trace of a road, at least so it appeared to us, for the
stumps of the trees, which had been cut away to open a passage,
were left standing three feet high.  Over these, the high-hung
Deerborn, as our carriage was called, passed safely; but it
required some miles of experience to convince us that every stump
would not be our last; it was amusing to watch the cool and easy
skill with which the driver wound his horses and wheels among
these stumps.  I thought he might have been imported to Bond
street with great advantage.  The forest became thicker and more
dreary-looking every mile we advanced, but our ever-grinning
negro declared it was a right good road, and that we should be
sure to get to Nashoba.

And so we did....and one glance sufficed to convince me that
every idea I had formed of the place was as far as possible from
the truth.  Desolation was the only feeling--the only word that
presented itself; but it was not spoken.  I think, however, that
Miss Wright was aware of the painful impression the sight of her
forest home produced on me, and I doubt not that the conviction
reached us both at the same moment, that we had erred in thinking
that a few months passed together at this spot could be
productive of pleasure to either.  But to do her justice, I
believe her mind was so exclusively occupied by the object she
had then in view, that all things else were worthless, or
indifferent to her.  I never heard or read of any enthusiasm
approaching her's, except in some few instances, in ages past, of
religious fanaticism.

It must have been some feeling equally powerful which enabled
Miss Wright, accustomed to all the comfort and refinement of
Europe, to imagine not only that she herself could exist in this
wilderness, but that her European friends could enter there, and
not feel dismayed at the savage aspect of the scene.  The annexed
plate gives a faithful view of the cleared space and buildings
which form the settlement.  Each building consisted of two large
rooms furnished in the most simple manner; nor had they as yet
collected round them any of those minor comforts which ordinary
minds class among the necessaries of life.  But in this our
philosophical friend seemed to see no evil; nor was there any
mixture of affectation in this indifference; it was a
circumstance really and truly beneath her notice.  Her whole
heart and soul were occupied by the hope of raising the African
to the level of European intellect; and even now, that I have
seen this favourite fabric of her imagination fall to pieces
beneath her feet, I cannot recall the self-devotion with which
she gave herself to it, without admiration.

The only white persons we found at Nashoba were my amiable
friend, Mrs. W--, the sister of Miss Wright, and her husband.
I think they had between thirty and forty slaves, including
children, but when I was there no school had been established.
Books and other materials for the great experiment had been
collected, and one or two professors engaged, but nothing was yet
organized.  I found my friend Mrs. W-- in very bad health, which
she confessed she attributed to the climate.  This naturally so
much alarmed me for my children, that I decided upon leaving the
place with as little delay as possible, and did so at the end of
ten days.

I do not exactly know what was the immediate cause which induced
Miss Wright to abandon a scheme which had taken such possession
of her imagination, and on which she had expended so much money;
but many months had not elapsed before I learnt, with much
pleasure, that she and her sister had also left it.  I think it
probable that she became aware upon returning to Nashoba, that
the climate was too hostile to their health.  All I know farther
of Nashoba is, that Miss Wright having found (from some cause or
other) that it was impossible to pursue her object, herself
accompanied her slaves to Hayti, and left them there, free, and
under the protection of the President.

I found no beauty in the scenery round Nashoba, nor can I
conceive that it would possess any even in summer.  The trees
were so close to each other as not to permit the growth of
underwood, the great ornament of the forest at New Orleans, and
still less of our seeing any openings, where the varying effects
of light and shade might atone for the absence of other objects.
The clearing round the settlement appeared to me inconsiderable
and imperfect; but I was told that they had grown good crops of
cotton and Indian corn.  The weather was dry and agreeable, and
the aspects of the heavens by night surprisingly beautiful.  I
never saw moonlight so clear, so pure, so powerful.

We returned to Memphis on the 26th January, 1828, and found
ourselves obliged to pass five days there, awaiting a steam-boat
for Cincinnati, to which metropolis of the west, I was now
determined to proceed with my family to await the arrival of
Mr. Trollope.  We were told by everyone we spoke to at Memphis,
that it was in all respects the finest situation west of the
Alleghanies.  We found many lovely walks among the broken
forest glades around Memphis, which, together with a morning
and evening enjoyment of the effects of a glowing horizon on
the river, enabled us to wait patiently for the boat that was
to bear us away.



CHAPTER 4

Departure from Memphis--Ohio River Louisville--Cincinnati



On the 1st of February, 1828, we embarked on board the Criterion,
and once more began to float on the "father of waters," as the
poor banished Indians were wont to call the Mississippi.  The
company on board was wonderfully like what we had met in coming
from New Orleans; I think they must have all been first cousins;
and what was singular, they too had all arrived at high rank in
the army.  For many a wearisome mile above the Wolf River the
only scenery was still forest--forest--forest; the only variety
was produced by the receding of the river at some points, and its
encroaching on the opposite shore.  These changes are continually
going on, but from what cause none could satisfactorily explain
to me.  Where the river is encroaching, the trees are seen
growing in the water many feet deep; after some time, the water
undermines their roots, and they become the easy victims of the
first hurricane that blows.  This is one source of the immense
quantities of drift wood that float into the gulf of Mexico.
Where the river has receded, a young growth of cane-brake is soon
seen starting up with the rapid vegetation of the climate; these
two circumstances in some degree relieve the sameness of the
thousand miles of vegetable wall.  But we were now approaching
the river which is emphatically called "the beautiful," La Belle
Riveriere of the New Orleans French; and a few days took us, I
trust for ever, out of that murky stream which is as emphatically
called "the deadly;" and well does it seem to merit the title;
the air of its shores is mephitic, and it is said that nothing
that ever sunk beneath its muddy surface was known to rise again.
As truly does "La Belle Riviere" deserve its name; the Ohio is
bright and clear; its banks are continually varied, as it flows
through what is called a rolling country, which seems to mean a
district that cannot .shew a dozen paces of level ground at a
time.  The primaeval forest still occupies a considerable portion
of the ground, and hangs in solemn grandeur from the cliffs; but
it is broken by frequent settlements, where we were cheered by
the sight of herds and flocks.  I imagine that this river
presents almost every variety of river scenery; sometimes its
clear wave waters a meadow of level turf; sometimes it is bounded
by perpendicular rocks; pretty dwellings, with their gay porticos
are seen, alternately with wild intervals of forest, where the
tangled bear-brake plainly enough indicates what inhabitants are
native there.  Often a mountain torrent comes pouring its silver
tribute to the stream, and were there occasionally a ruined
abbey, or feudal castle, to mix the romance of real life with
that of nature, the Ohio would be perfect.

So powerful was the effect of this sweet scenery, that we ceased
to grumble at our dinners and suppers; nay, we almost learnt to
rival our neighbours at table in their voracious rapidity of
swallowing, so eager were we to place ourselves again on the
guard, lest we might lose sight of the beauty that was passing
away from us.

Yet these fair shores are still unhealthy.  More than once we
landed, and conversed with the families of the wood-cutters, and
scarcely was there one in which we did not hear of some member
who had "lately died of the fever."--They are all subject to
ague, and though their dwellings are infinitely better than those
on the Mississippi, the inhabitants still look like a race that
are selling their lives for gold.

Louisville is a considerable town, prettily situated on the
Kentucky, or south side of the Ohio; we spent some hours in
seeing all it had to shew; and had I not been told that a bad
fever often rages there during the warm season, I should have
liked to pass some months there for the purpose of exploring
the beautiful country in its vicinity.  Frankfort and Lexington
are both towns worth visiting, though from their being out of
the way places, I never got to either.  The first is the seat of
the state government of Kentucky, and the last is, I was told,
the residence of several independent families, who, with more
leisure than is usually enjoyed in America, have its natural
accompaniment, more refinement.

The falls of the Ohio are about a mile below Louisville, and
produce a rapid, too sudden for the boats to pass, except in the
rainy season.  The passengers are obliged to get out below them,
and travel by land to Louisville, where they find other vessels
ready to receive them for the remainder of the voyage.  We were
spared this inconvenience by the water being too high for the
rapid to be much felt, and it will soon be altogether removed by
the Louisville canal coming into operation, which will permit the
steam-boats to continue their progress from below the falls to
the town.

The scenery on the Kentucky side is much finer than on that of
Indiana, or Ohio.  The State of Kentucky was the darling spot of
many tribes of Indians, and was reserved among them as a common
hunting ground; it is said that they cannot yet name it without
emotion, and that they have a sad and wild lament that they still
chaunt to its memory.  But their exclusion thence is of no recent
date; Kentucky has been longer settled than the Illinois,
Indiana, or Ohio, and it appears not only more highly cultivated,
but more fertile and more picturesque than either.  I have rarely
seen richer pastures than those of Kentucky.  The forest trees,
where not too crowded, are of magnificent growth, and the crops
are gloriously abundant where the thriftless husbandry has not
worn out the soil by an unvarying succession of exhausting crops.
We were shewn ground which had borne abundant crops of wheat for
twenty successive years; but a much shorter period suffices to
exhaust the ground, if it were made to produce tobacco without
the intermission of some other crop.

We reached Cincinnati on the 10th of February.  It is finely
situated on the south side of a hill that rises gently from
the water's edge; yet it is by no means a city of striking
appearance; it wants domes, towers, and steeples; but its
landing-place is noble, extending for more than a quarter of
a mile; it is well paved, and surrounded by neat, though not
handsome buildings.  I have seen fifteen steam-boats lying
there at once, and still half the wharf was unoccupied.

On arriving we repaired to the Washington Hotel, and thought
ourselves fortunate when we were told that we were just in time
for dinner at the table d'hote; but when the dining-room door was
opened, we retreated with a feeling of dismay at seeing between
sixty and seventy men already at table.  We took our dinner with
the females of the family, and then went forth to seek a house
for our permanent accommodation.

We went to the office of an advertising agent, who professed to
keep a register of all such information, and described the
dwelling we wanted.  He made no difficulty, but told us his boy
should be our guide through the city, and shew us what we sought;
we accordingly set out with him, and he led us up one street, and
down another, but evidently without any determinate object; I
therefore stopped, and asked him whereabout the houses were which
we were going to see.  "I am looking for bills," was his reply.

I thought we could have looked for bills as well without him, and
I told him so; upon which he assumed an air of great activity,
and began knocking regularly at every door we passed, enquiring
if the house was to be let.  It was impossible to endure this
long, and our guide was dismissed, though I was afterwards
obliged to pay him a dollar for his services.

We had the good fortune, however, to find a dwelling before
long, and we returned to our hotel, having determined upon
taking possession of it as soon at it could be got ready.
Not wishing to take our evening meal either with the three
score and ten gentlemen of the dining-room, nor yet with the
half dozen ladies of the bar-room, I ordered tea in my own
chamber.  A good-humoured Irish woman came forward with a sort
of patronising manner, took my hand, and said, "Och, my honey,
ye'll be from the old country.  I'll see you will have your tay
all to yourselves, honey."  With this assurance we retired to
my room, which was a handsome one as to its size and bed
furniture, but it had no carpet, and was darkened by blinds of
paper, such as rooms are hung with, which required to be rolled
up, and then fastened with strings very awkwardly attached to
the window-frames, whenever light or air were wished for.
I afterwards met with these same uncomfortable blinds in every
part of America.

Our Irish friend soon reappeared, and brought us tea, together
with the never failing accompaniments of American tea drinking,
hung beef, "chipped up" raw, and sundry sweetmeats of brown
sugar hue and flavour.  We took our tea, and were enjoying our
family talk, relative to our future arrangements, when a loud
sharp knocking was heard at our door.  My "come in," was answered
by the appearance of a portly personage, who proclaimed himself
our landlord.

"Are any of you ill?" he began.

"No thank you, sir; we are all quite well," was my reply.

"Then, madam, I must tell you, that I cannot accommodate you on
these terms; we have no family tea-drinkings here, and you must
live either with me or my wife, or not at all in my house."

This was said with an air of authority that almost precluded
reply, but I ventured a sort of apologistic hint, that we were
strangers and unaccustomed to the manners of the country.

"Our manners are very good manners, and we don't wish any changes
from England."

I thought of mine host of the Washington afterwards, when reading
Scott's "Anne of Geierstein;" he, in truth, strongly resembled
the inn keeper therein immortalized, who made his guests eat,
drink, and sleep, just where, when, and how he pleased.  I made
no farther remonstrance, but determined to hasten my removal.
This we achieved the next day to our great satisfaction.

We were soon settled in our new dwelling, which looked neat and
comfortable enough, but we speedily found that it was devoid of
nearly all the accommodation that Europeans conceive necessary to
decency and comfort.  No pump, no cistern, no drain of any kind,
no dustman's cart, or any other visible means of getting rid of
the rubbish, which vanishes with such celerity in London, that
one has no time to think of its existence; but which accumulated
so rapidly at Cincinnati, that I sent for my landlord to know in
what manner refuse of all kinds was to be disposed of.

"Your Help will just have to fix them all into the middle of
the street, but you must mind, old woman, that it is the middle.
I expect you don't know as we have got a law what forbids
throwing such things at the sides of the streets; they must
just all be cast right into the middle, and the pigs soon takes
them off."

In truth the pigs are constantly seen doing Herculean service in
this way through every quarter of the city; and though it is not
very agreeable to live surrounded by herds of these unsavoury
animals, it is well they are so numerous, and so active in
their capacity of scavengers, for without them the streets
would soon be choked up with all sorts of substances in every
stage of decomposition.

We had heard so much of Cincinnati, its beauty, wealth, and
unequalled prosperity, that when we left Memphis to go thither,
we almost felt the delight of Rousseau's novice, "un voyage à
faire, et Paris au bout!"  --As soon, therefore, as our little
domestic arrangements were completed, we set forth to view
this "wonder of the west" this "prophet's gourd of magic
growth,"--this "infant Hercules;" and surely no travellers
ever paraded a city under circumstances more favourable to
their finding it fair to the sight.  Three dreary months had
elapsed since we had left the glories of London behind us; for
nearly the whole of that time we beheld no other architecture
than what our ship and steam-boats had furnished, and excepting
at New Orleans, had seen hardly a trace of human habitations.
The sight of bricks and mortar was really refreshing, and a
house of three stories looked splendid.  Of this splendour we
saw repeated specimens, and moreover a brick church, which,
from its two little peaked spires, is called the two-horned
church.  But, alas! the flatness of reality after the imagination
has been busy!  I hardly know what I expected to find in this
city, fresh risen from the bosom of the wilderness, but certainly
it was not a little town, about the size of Salisbury, without
even an attempt at beauty in any of its edifices, and with only
just enough of the air of a city to make it noisy and bustling.
The population is greater than the appearance of the town would
lead one to expect.  This is partly owing to the number of free
Negroes who herd together in an obscure part of the city, called
little Africa; and partly to the density of the population round
the paper-mills and other manufactories.  I believe the number of
inhabitants exceeds twenty thousand.

We arrived in Cincinnati in February, 1828, and I speak of the
town as it was then; several small churches have been built
since, whose towers agreeably relieve its uninteresting mass of
buildings.  At that time I think Main street, which is the
principal avenue, (and runs through the whole town, answering to
the High street of our old cities), was the only one entirely
paved.  The _troittoir_ is of brick, tolerably well laid, but it
is inundated by every shower, as Cincinnati has no drains
whatever.  What makes this omission the more remarkable is, that
the situation of the place is calculated both to facilitate their
construction and render them necessary.  Cincinnati is built on
the side of a hill that begins to rise at the river's edge, and
were it furnished with drains of the simplest arrangement, the
heavy showers of the climate would keep them constantly clean; as
it is, these showers wash the higher streets, only to deposit
their filth in the first level spot; and this happens to be in
the street second in importance to Main street, running at right
angles to it, and containing most of the large warehouses of the
town.  This deposit is a dreadful nuisance, and must be
productive of miasma during the hot weather.

The town is built, as I believe most American towns are, in
squares, as they call them; but these squares are the reverse of
our's, being solid instead of hollow.  Each consists, or is
intended to consist, when the plan of the city is completed, of
a block of buildings fronting north, east, west, and south; each
house communicating with an alley, furnishing a back entrance.
This plan would not be a bad one were the town properly drained,
but as it is, these alleys are horrible abominations, and must, I
conceive, become worse with every passing year.

To the north, Cincinnati is bounded by a range of forest-covered
hills, sufficiently steep and rugged to prevent their being built
upon, or easily cultivated, but not sufficiently high to command
from their summits a view of any considerable extent.  Deep and
narrow water-courses, dry in summer, but bringing down heavy
streams in winter, divide these hills into many separate heights,
and this furnishes the only variety the landscape offers for many
miles round the town.  The lovely Ohio is a beautiful feature
wherever it is visible, but the only part of the city that has
the advantage of its beauty is the street nearest to its bank.
The hills of Kentucky, which rise at about the same distance from
the river, on the opposite side, form the southern boundary to
the basin in which Cincinnati is built.

On first arriving, I thought the many tree covered hills around,
very beautiful, but long before my departure, I felt so weary of
the confined view, that Salisbury Plain would have been an
agreeable variety.  I doubt if any inhabitant of Cincinnati ever
mounted these hills so often as myself and my children; but it
was rather for the enjoyment of a freer air than for any beauty
of prospect, that we took our daily climb.  These hills afford
neither shrubs nor flowers, but furnish the finest specimens of
millepore in the world; and the water courses are full of fossil
productions.

The forest trees are neither large nor well grown, and so close
as to be nearly knotted together at top; even the wild vine here
loses its beauty, for its graceful festoons bear leaves only when
they reach the higher branches of the tree that supports them,
both air and light being too scantily found below to admit of
their doing more than climbing with a bare stem till they reach a
better atmosphere.  The herb we call pennyroyal was the only one
I found in abundance, and that only on the brows, where the
ground had been partially cleared; vegetation is impossible
elsewhere, and it is this circumstance which makes the "eternal
forests" of America so detestable.  Near New Orleans the
undergrowth of Palmetto and pawpaw is highly beautiful, but in
Tennessee, Indiana, and Ohio, I never found the slightest beauty
in the forest scenery.  Fallen trees in every possible stage of
decay, and congeries of leaves that have been rotting since the
flood, cover the ground and infect the air.  The beautiful
variety of foliage afforded by evergreens never occurs, and in
Tennessee, and that part of Ohio that surrounds Cincinnati, even
the sterile beauty of rocks is wanting.  On crossing the water to
Kentucky the scene is greatly improved; beech and chestnut, of
magnificent growth, border the beautiful river; the ground has
been well cleared, and the herbage is excellent; the pawpaw grows
abundantly, and is a splendid shrub, though it bears neither
fruit nor flowers so far north.  The noble tulip tree flourishes
here, and blooms profusely.

The river Licking flows into the Ohio nearly opposite Cincinnati;
it is a pretty winding stream, and two or three miles from its
mouth has a brisk rapid, dancing among white stones, which, in
the absence of better rocks, we found very picturesque.



CHAPTER 5

Cincinnati--Forest Farm--Mr. Bullock



Though I do not quite sympathise with those who consider
Cincinnati as one of the wonders of the earth, I certainly think
it a city of extraordinary size and importance, when it is
remembered that thirty years ago the aboriginal forest occupied
the ground where it stands; and every month appears to extend its
limits and its wealth.

Some of the native political economists assert that this rapid
conversion of a bear-brake into a prosperous city, is the result
of free political institutions; not being very deep in such
matters, a more obvious cause suggested itself to me, in the
unceasing goad which necessity applies to industry in this
country, and in the absence of all resource for the idle.
During nearly two years that I resided in Cincinnati, or its
neighbourhood, I neither saw a beggar, nor a man of sufficient
fortune to permit his ceasing his efforts to increase it; thus
every bee in the hive is actively employed in search of that
honey of Hybla, vulgarly called money; neither art, science,
learning, nor pleasure can seduce them from its pursuit.  This
unity of purpose, backed by the spirit of enterprise, and joined
with an acuteness and total absence of probity, where interest is
concerned, which might set canny Yorkshire at defiance, may well
go far towards obtaining its purpose.

The low rate of taxation, too, unquestionably permits a more
rapid accumulation of individual wealth than with us; but till I
had travelled through America, I had no idea how much of the
money collected in taxes returns among the people, not only in
the purchase of what their industry furnishes, but in the actual
enjoyment of what is furnished.  Were I an English legislator,
instead of sending sedition to the Tower, I would send her to
make a tour of the United States.  I had a little leaning towards
sedition myself when I set out, but before I had half completed
my tour I was quite cured.

I have read much of the "few and simple wants of rational man,"
and I used to give a sort of dreamy acquiescence to the reasoning
that went to prove each added want an added woe.  Those who
reason in a comfortable London drawing-room know little about the
matter.  Were the aliments which sustain life all that we wanted,
the faculties of the hog might suffice us; but if we analyze an
hour of enjoyment, we shall find that it is made up of agreeable
sensations occasioned by a thousand delicate impressions on
almost as many nerves; where these nerves are sluggish from never
having been awakened, external objects are less important, for
they are less perceived; but where the whole machine of the human
frame is in full activity, where every sense brings home to
consciousness its touch of pleasure or of pain, then every object
that meets the senses is important as a vehicle of happiness or
misery.  But let no frames so tempered visit the United States,
or if they do, let it be with no longer pausing than will store
the memory with images, which, by the force of contrast, shall
sweeten the future.

"Guarda e passa (e poi) ragiam di lor."

The "simple" manner of living in Western America was more
distasteful to me from its levelling effects on the manners of
the people, than from the personal privations that it rendered
necessary; and yet, till I was without them, I was in no degree
aware of the many pleasurable sensations derived from the little
elegancies and refinements enjoyed by the middle classes in
Europe.  There were many circumstances, too trifling even for my
gossiping pages, which pressed themselves daily and hourly upon
us, and which forced us to remember painfully that we were not at
home.  It requires an abler pen than mine to trace the connection
which I am persuaded exists between these deficiencies and the
minds and manners of the people.  All animal wants are supplied
profusely at Cincinnati, and at a very easy rate; but, alas!
these go but a little way in the history of a day's enjoyment.
The total and universal want of manners, both in males and
females, is so remarkable, that I was constantly endeavouring to
account for it.  It certainly does not proceed from want of
intellect.  I have listened to much dull and heavy conversation
in America, but rarely to any that I could strictly call silly,
(if I except the every where privileged class of very young
ladies).  They appear to me to have clear heads and active
intellects; are more ignorant on subjects that are only of
conventional value, than on such as are of intrinsic importance;
but there is no charm, no grace in their conversation.  I very
seldom during my whole stay in the country heard a sentence
elegantly turned, and correctly pronounced from the lips of an
American.  There is always something either in the expression or
the accent that jars the feelings and shocks the taste.

I will not pretend to decide whether man is better or worse off
for requiring refinement in the manners and customs of the
society that surrounds him, and for being incapable of enjoyment
without them; but in America that polish which removes the
coarser and rougher parts of our nature is unknown and undreamed
of.  There is much substantial comfort, and some display in the
larger cities; in many of the more obvious features they are as
Paris or as London, being all large assemblies of active and
intelligent human beings--but yet they are wonderfully unlike in
nearly all their moral features.  Now God forbid that any
reasonable American, (of whom there are so many millions), should
ever come to ask me what I mean; I should find it very difficult,
nay, perhaps, utterly impossible, to explain myself; but, on the
other hand, no European who has visited the Union, will find the
least difficulty in understanding me.  I am in no way competent
to judge of the political institutions of America; and if I
should occasionally make an observation on their effects, as they
meet my superficial glance, they will be made in the spirit, and
with the feeling of a woman, who is apt to tell what her first
impressions may be, but unapt to reason back from effects to
their causes.  Such observations, if they be unworthy of much
attention, are also obnoxious to little reproof: but there are
points of national peculiarity of which women may judge as ably
as men,--all that constitutes the external of society may be
fairly trusted to us.

Captain Hall, when asked what appeared to him to constitute the
greatest difference between England and America, replied, like a
gallant sailor, "the want of loyalty." Were the same question put
to me, I should answer, "the want of refinement."

Were Americans, indeed, disposed to assume the plain unpretending
deportment of the Switzer in the days of his picturesque
simplicity, (when, however, he never chewed tobacco), it would
be in bad taste to censure him; but this is not the case.
Jonathan will be a fine gentleman, but it must be in his own way.
Is he not a free-born American?  Jonathan, however, must
remember, that if he will challenge competition with the old
world, the old world will now and then look out to see how he
supports his pretensions.

With their hours of business, whether judicial or mercantile,
civil or military, I have nothing to do; I doubt not they are all
spent wisely and profitably; but what are their hours of
recreation?  Those hours that with us are passed in the enjoyment
of all that art can win from nature; when, if the elaborate
repast be more deeply relished than sages might approve, it is
redeemed from sensuality by the presence of elegance and beauty.
What is the American pendant to this?  I will not draw any
comparisons between a good dinner party in the two countries; I
have heard American gentlemen say, that they could perceive no
difference between them; but in speaking of general manners, I
may observe, that it is rarely they dine in society, except in
taverns and boarding houses.  Then they eat with the greatest
possible rapidity, and in total silence; I have heard it said by
American ladies, that the hours of greatest enjoyment to the
gentlemen were those in which a glass of gin cocktail, or egging,
receives its highest relish from the absence of all restraint
whatever; and when there were no ladies to trouble them.

Notwithstanding all this, the country is a very fine country,
well worth visiting for a thousand reasons; nine hundred and
ninety-nine of these are reasons founded on admiration and
respect; the thousandth is, that we shall feel the more contented
with our own.  The more unlike a country through which we travel
is to all we have left, the more we are likely to be amused;
every thing in Cincinnati had this newness, and I should have
thought it a place delightful to visit, but to tarry there was
not to feel at home.

My home, however, for a time it was to be.  We heard on every
side, that of all the known places on "the globe called earth,"
Cincinnati was the most favourable for a young man to settle in;
and I only awaited the arrival of Mr. T. to fix our son there,
intending to continue with him till he should feel himself
sufficiently established.  We accordingly determined upon making
ourselves as comfortable as possible.  I took a larger house,
which, however, I did not obtain without considerable difficulty,
as, notwithstanding fourteen hundred new dwellings had been
erected the preceding year, the demand for houses greatly
exceeded the supply.  We became acquainted with several amiable
people, and we beguiled the anxious interval that preceded Mr.
T.'s joining us by frequent excursions in the neighbourhood,
which not only afforded us amusement, but gave us an opportunity
of observing the mode of life of the country people.

We visited one farm, which interested us particularly from its
wild and lonely situation, and from the entire dependence of the
inhabitants upon their own resources.  It was a partial clearing
in the very heart of the forest.  The house was built on the side
of a hill, so steep that a high ladder was necessary to enter the
front door, while the back one opened against the hill side; at
the foot of this sudden eminence ran a clear stream, whose bed
had been deepened into a little reservoir, just opposite the
house.  A noble field of Indian-corn stretched away into the
forest on one side, and a few half-cleared acres, with a shed or
two upon them, occupied the other, giving accommodation to cows,
horses, pigs, and chickens innumerable.  Immediately before the
house was a small potatoe garden, with a few peach and apple
trees.  The house was built of logs, and consisted of two rooms,
besides a little shanty or lean-to, that was used as a kitchen.
Both rooms were comfortably furnished with good beds, drawers,
&c.  The farmer's wife, and a young woman who looked like her
sister, were spinning, and three little children were playing
about.  The woman told me that they spun and wove all the cotton
and woolen garments of the family, and knit all the stockings;
her husband, though not a shoe-maker by trade, made all the
shoes.  She manufactured all the soap and candles they used, and
prepared her sugar from the sugar-trees on their farm.  All she
wanted with money, she said, was to buy coffee, tea, and whiskey,
and she could "get enough any day by sending a batch of butter
and chicken to market."  They used no wheat, nor sold any of
their corn, which, though it appeared a very large quantity, was
not more than they required to make their bread and cakes of
various kinds, and to feed all their live stock during the
winter.  She did not look in health, and said they had all had
ague in "the fall;" but she seemed contented, and proud of her
independence; though it was in somewhat a mournful accent that
she said, "Tis strange to us to see company: I expect the sun may
rise and set a hundred times before I shall see another _human_
that does not belong to the family."

I have been minute in the description of this forest farm, as
I think it the best specimen I saw of the back-wood's
independence, of which so much is said in America.
These people were indeed independent, Robinson Crusoe was
hardly more so, and they eat and drink abundantly; but yet
it seemed to me that there was something awful and almost
unnatural in their loneliness.  No village bell ever summoned
them to prayer, where they might meet the friendly greeting of
their fellow-men.  When they die, no spot sacred by ancient
reverence will receive their bones--Religion will not breathe
her sweet and solemn farewell upon their grave; the husband or
the father will dig the pit that is to hold them, beneath the
nearest tree; he will himself deposit them within it, and the
wind that whispers through the boughs will be their only requiem.
But then they pay neither taxes nor tythes, are never expected to
pull off a hat or to make a curtsy, and will live and die without
hearing or uttering the dreadful words, "God save the king."


About two miles below Cincinnati, on the Kentucky side of the
river, Mr. Bullock, the well known proprietor of the Egyptian
Hall, has bought a large estate, with a noble house upon it.
He and his amiable wife were devoting themselves to the
embellishment of the house and grounds; and certainly there is
more taste and art lavished on one of their beautiful saloons,
than all Western America can show elsewhere.  It is impossible to
help feeling that Mr. Bullock is rather out of his element in
this remote spot, and the gems of art he has brought with him,
shew as strangely there, as would a bower of roses in Siberia, or
a Cincinnati fashionable at Almack's.  The exquisite beauty of
the spot, commanding one of the finest reaches of the Ohio, the
extensive gardens, and the large and handsome mansion, have
tempted Mr. Bullock to spend a large sum in the purchase of this
place, and if any one who has passed his life in London could
endure such a change, the active mind and sanguine spirit of Mr.
Bullock might enable him to do it; but his frank, and truly
English hospitality, and his enlightened and enquiring mind,
seemed sadly wasted there.  I have since heard with pleasure that
Mr. Bullock has parted with this beautiful, but secluded mansion.



CHAPTER 6

Servants--Society--Evening Parties



The greatest difficulty in organising a family establishment in
Ohio, is getting servants, or, as it is there called, "getting
help," for it is more than petty treason to the Republic, to call
a free citizen a _servant_.  The whole class of young women,
whose bread depends upon their labour, are taught to believe that
the most abject poverty is preferable to domestic service.
Hundreds of half-naked girls work in the paper-mills, or in any
other manufactory, for less than half the wages they would
receive in service; but they think their equality is compromised
by the latter, and nothing but the wish to obtain some particular
article of finery will ever induce them to submit to it.  A kind
friend, however, exerted herself so effectually for me, that a
tall stately lass soon presented herself, saying, "I be come to
help you."  The intelligence was very agreeable, and I welcomed
her in the most gracious manner possible, and asked what I should
give her by the year.

"Oh Gimini!" exclaimed the damsel, with a loud laugh, "you be a
downright Englisher, sure enough.  I should like to see a young
lady engage by the year in America!  I hope I shall get a husband
before many months, or I expect I shall be an outright old maid,
for I be most seventeen already; besides, mayhap I may want to go
to school.  You must just give me a dollar and half a week, and
mother's slave, Phillis, must come over once a week, I expect,
from t'other side the water, to help me clean."  I agreed to the
bargain, of course, with all dutiful submission; and seeing she
was preparing to set to work in a yellow dress parseme with red
roses, I gently hinted, that I thought it was a pity to spoil so
fine a gown, and that she had better change it.

"'Tis just my best and my worst," she answered, "for I've got no
other."

And in truth I found that this young lady had left the paternal
mansion with no more clothes of any kind than what she had on.
I immediately gave her money to purchase what was necessary for
cleanliness and decency, and set to work with my daughters to
make her a gown.  She grinned applause when our labour was
completed, but never uttered the slightest expression of
gratitude for that, or for any thing else we could do for her.
She was constantly asking us to lend her different articles of
dress, and when we declined it, she said, "Well, I never seed
such grumpy folks as you be; there is several young ladies of my
acquaintance what goes to live out now and then with the old
women about the town, and they and their gurls always lends them
what they asks for; I guess you Inglish thinks we should poison
your things, just as bad as if we was Negurs."  And here I beg to
assure the reader, that whenever I give conversations they were
not made À LOISIR, but were written down immediately after they
occurred, with all the verbal fidelity my memory permitted.

This young lady left me at the end of two months, because I
refused to lend her money enough to buy a silk dress to go to a
ball, saying, "Then 'tis not worth my while to stay any longer."

I cannot imagine it possible that such a state of things can be
desirable, or beneficial to any of the parties concerned.
I might occupy a hundred pages on the subject, and yet fail to
give an adequate idea of the sore, angry, ever wakeful pride that
seemed to torment these poor wretches.  In many of them it was so
excessive, that all feeling of displeasure, or even of ridicule,
was lost in pity.  One of these was a pretty girl, whose natural
disposition must have been gentle and kind; but her good feelings
were soured, and her gentleness turned to morbid sensitiveness,
by having heard a thousand and a thousand times that she was as
good as any other lady, that all men were equal, and women too,
and that it was a sin and a shame for a free-born American to be
treated like a servant.

When she found she was to dine in the kitchen, she turned up her
pretty lip, and said, "I guess that's 'cause you don't think I'm
good enough to eat with you.  You'll find that won't do here."
I found afterwards that she rarely ate any dinner at all, and
generally passed the time in tears.  I did every thing in my
power to conciliate and make her happy, but I am sure she hated
me.  I gave her very high wages, and she staid till she had
obtained several expensive articles of dress, and then, UN BEAU
MATIN, she came to me full dressed, and said, "I must go."  "When
shall you return, Charlotte?"  "I expect you'll see no more of
me."  And so we parted.  Her sister was also living with me, but
her wardrobe was not yet completed, and she remained some weeks
longer, till it was.

I fear it may be called bad taste to say so much concerning my
domestics, but, nevertheless, the circumstances are so
characteristic of America that I must recount another history
relating to them.  A few days after the departure of my ambitious
belle, my cries for "Help" had been so effectual that another
young lady presented herself, with the usual preface "I'm come to
help you."  I had been cautioned never to ask for a reference for
character, as it would not only rob me of that help, but entirely
prevent my ever getting another; so, five minutes after she
entered she was installed, bundle and all, as a member of the
family.  She was by no means handsome, but there was an air of
simple frankness in her manner that won us all.  For my own part,
I thought I had got a second Jeanie Deans; for she recounted to
me histories of her early youth, wherein her plain good sense and
strong mind had enabled her to win her way through a host of
cruel step-mothers, faithless lovers, and cheating brothers.
Among other things, she told me, with the appearance of much
emotion, that she had found, since she came to town, a cure for
all her sorrows, "Thanks and praise for it, I have got religion!"
and then she asked if I would spare her to go to Meeting every
Tuesday and Thursday evening; "You shall not have to want me,
Mrs. Trollope, for our minister knows that we have all our duties
to perform to man, as well as to God, and he makes the Meeting
late in the evening that they may not cross one another."  Who
could refuse?  Not I, and Nancy had leave to go to Meeting two
evenings in the week, besides Sundays.

One night, that the mosquitoes had found their way under my net,
and prevented my sleeping, I heard some one enter the house very
late; I got up, went to the top of the stairs, and, by the help
of a bright moon, recognised Nancy's best bonnet.  I called to
her: "You are very late." said I.  "what is the reason of it?"
"Oh, Mrs. Trollope," she replied, "I am late, indeed!  We have
this night had seventeen souls added to our flock.  May they live
to bless this night!  But it has been a long sitting, and very
warm; I'll just take a drink of water, and get to bed; you shan't
find me later in the morning for it."  Nor did I.  She was an
excellent servant, and performed more than was expected from her;
moreover, she always found time to read the Bible several times
in the day, and I seldom saw her occupied about any thing without
observing that she had placed it near her.

At last she fell sick with the cholera, and her life was
despaired of.  I nursed her with great care, and sat up the
greatest part of two nights with her.  She was often delirious,
and all her wandering thoughts seemed to ramble to heaven.
"I have been a sinner," she said, "but I am safe in the Lord
Jesus."  When she recovered, she asked me to let her go into the
country for a few days, to change the air, and begged me to lend
her three dollars.

While she was absent a lady called on me, and enquired, with some
agitation, if my servant, Nancy Fletcher, were at home.
I replied that she was gone into the country.  "Thank God," she
exclaimed, "never let her enter your doors again, she is the most
abandoned woman in the town: a gentleman who knows you, has been
told that she lives with you, and that she boasts of having the
power of entering your house at any hour of night."  She told me
many other circumstances, unnecessary to repeat, but all tending
to prove that she was a very dangerous inmate.

I expected her home the next evening, and I believe I passed the
interval in meditating how to get rid of her without an
_eclaircissement_.  At length she arrived, and all my study
having failed to supply me with any other reason than the real
one for dismissing her, I stated it at once.  Not the slightest
change passed over her countenance, but she looked steadily at
me, and said, in a very civil tone, "I should like to know who
told you."  I replied that it could be of no advantage to her to
know, and that I wished her to go immediately.  "I am ready to
go," she said, in the same quiet tone, "but what will you do for
your three dollars?"  "I must do without them, Nancy; good
morning to you."  "I must just put up my things," she said, and
left the room.  About half an hour afterwards, when we were all
assembled at dinner, she entered with her usual civil composed
air, "Well, I am come to wish you all goodbye," and with a
friendly good-humoured smile she left us.

This adventure frightened me so heartily, that, notwithstanding I
had the dread of cooking my own dinner before my eyes, I would
not take any more young ladies into my family without receiving
some slight sketch of their former history.  At length I met with
a very worthy French woman, and soon after with a tidy English
girl to assist her; and I had the good fortune to keep them till
a short time before my departure: so, happily, I have no more
misfortunes of this nature to relate.

Such being the difficulties respecting domestic arrangements, it
is obvious, that the ladies who are brought up amongst them
cannot have leisure for any great development of the mind: it
is, in fact, out of the question; and, remembering this, it is
more surprising that some among them should be very pleasing,
than that none should be highly instructed.

Had I passed as many evenings in company in any other town that I
ever visited as I did in Cincinnati, I should have been able to
give some little account of the conversations I had listened to;
but, upon reading over my notes, and then taxing my memory to the
utmost to supply the deficiency, I can scarcely find a trace of
any thing that deserves the name.  Such as I have, shall be given
in their place.  But, whatever may be the talents of the persons
who meet together in society, the very shape, form, and
arrangement of the meeting is sufficient to paralyze
conversation.  The women invariably herd together at one part of
the room, and the men at the other; but, in justice to
Cincinnati, I must acknowledge that this arrangement is by no
means peculiar to that city, or to the western side of the
Alleghanies.  Sometimes a small attempt at music produces a
partial reunion; a few of the most daring youths, animated by the
consciousness of curled hair and smart waistcoats, approach the
piano forte, and begin to mutter a little to the half-grown
pretty things, who are comparing with one another "how many
quarters' music they have had."  Where the mansion is of
sufficient dignity to have two drawing-rooms, the piano, the
little ladies, and the slender gentlemen are left to themselves,
and on such occasions the sound of laughter is often heard to
issue from among them.  But the fate of the more dignified
personages, who are left in the other room, is extremely dismal.
The gentlemen spit, talk of elections and the price of produce,
and spit again.  The ladies look at each other's dresses till
they know every pin by heart; talk of Parson Somebody's last
sermon on the day of judgment, on Dr. T'otherbody's new pills for
dyspepsia, till the "tea" is announced, when they all console
themselves together for whatever they may have suffered in
keeping awake, by taking more tea, coffee, hot cake and custard,
hoe cake, johny cake, waffle cake, and dodger cake, pickled
peaches, and preserved cucumbers, ham, turkey, hung beef, apple
sauce, and pickled oysters than ever were prepared in any other
country of the known world.  After this massive meal is over,
they return to the drawing-room, and it always appeared to me
that they remained together as long as they could bear it, and
then they rise EN MASSE, cloak, bonnet, shawl, and exit.



CHAPTER 7

Market--Museum--Picture Gallery--Academy of Fine Arts Drawing
School--Phrenological Society--Miss Wright's Lecture.



Perhaps the most advantageous feature in Cincinnati is its
market, which, for excellence, abundance, and cheapness, can
hardly, I should think, be surpassed in any part of the world, if
I except the luxury of fruits, which are very inferior to any I
have seen in Europe.  There are no butchers, fishmongers, or
indeed any shops for eatables, except bakeries, as they are
called, in the town; every thing must be purchased at market; and
to accomplish this, the busy housewife must be stirring betimes,
or, 'spite of the abundant supply, she will find her hopes of
breakfast, dinner, and supper for the day defeated, the market
being pretty well over by eight o'clock.

The beef is excellent, and the highest price when we were there,
four cents (about two-pence) the pound.  The mutton was inferior,
and so was veal to the eye, but it ate well, though not very fat;
the price was about the same.  The poultry was excellent; fowls
or full-sized chickens, ready for table, twelve cents, but much
less if bought alive, and not quite fat; turkeys about fifty
cents, and geese the same.  The Ohio furnishes several sorts of
fish, some of them very good, and always to be found cheap and
abundant in the market.  Eggs, butter, nearly all kinds of
vegetables, excellent, and at moderate prices.  From June till
December tomatoes (the great luxury of the American table in the
opinion of most Europeans) may be found in the highest perfection
in the market for about sixpence the peck.  They have a great
variety of beans unknown in England, particularly the lima-bean,
the seed of which is dressed like the French harico; it furnishes
a very abundant crop, and is a most delicious vegetable: could it
be naturalised with us it would be a valuable acquisition.  The
Windsor, or broad-bean, will not do well there; Mr. Bullock had
them in his garden, where they were cultivated with much care;
they grew about a foot high and blossomed, but the pod never
ripened.  All the fruit I saw exposed for sale in Cincinnati was
most miserable.  I passed two summers there, but never tasted a
peach worth eating.  Of apricots and nectarines I saw none;
strawberries very small, raspberries much worse; gooseberries
very few, and quite uneatable; currants about half the size of
ours, and about double the price; grapes too sour for tarts;
apples abundant, but very indifferent, none that would be thought
good enough for an English table; pears, cherries, and plums most
miserably bad.  The flowers of these regions were at least
equally inferior: whether this proceeds from want of cultivation
or from peculiarity of soil I know not, but after leaving
Cincinnati, I was told by a gentleman who appeared to understand
the subject, that the state of Ohio had no indigenous flowers or
fruits.  The water-melons, which in that warm climate furnish a
delightful refreshment, were abundant and cheap; but all other
melons very inferior to those of France, or even of England, when
ripened in a common hot-bed.

From the almost total want of pasturage near the city, it is
difficult for a stranger to divine how milk is furnished for its
supply, but we soon learnt that there are more ways than one of
keeping a cow.  A large proportion of the families in the town,
particularly of the poorer class, have one, though apparently
without any accommodation whatever for it.  These animals are
fed morning and evening at the door of the house, with a good
mess of Indian corn, boiled with water; while they eat, they are
milked, and when the operation is completed the milk-pail and the
meal-tub retreat into the dwelling, leaving the republican cow to
walk away, to take her pleasure on the hills, or in the gutters,
as may suit her fancy best.  They generally return very regularly
to give and take the morning and evening meal; though it more
than once happened to us, before we were supplied by a regular
milk cart, to have our jug sent home empty, with the sad news
that "the cow was not come home, and it was too late to look for
her to breakfast now."  Once, I remember, the good woman told us
that she had overslept herself, and that the cow had come and
gone again, "not liking, I expect, to hanker about by herself
for nothing, poor thing."

Cincinnati has not many lions to boast, but among them are
two museums of natural history; both of these contain many
respectable specimens, particularly that of Mr. Dorfeuille,
who has moreover, some highly interesting Indian antiquities.
He is a man of taste and science, but a collection formed
strictly according to their dictates, would by no means satisfy
the western metropolis.  The people have a most extravagant
passion for wax figures, and the two museums vie with each other
in displaying specimens of this barbarous branch of art.
As Mr. Dorfeuille cannot trust to his science for attracting the
citizens, he has put his ingenuity into requisition, and this has
proved to him the surer aid of the two.  He has constructed a
pandaemonium in an upper story of his museum, in which he has
congregated all the images of horror that his fertile fancy could
devise; dwarfs that by machinery grow into giants before the eyes
of the spectator; imps of ebony with eyes of flame; monstrous
reptiles devouring youth and beauty; lakes of fire, and mountains
of ice; in short, wax, paint and springs have done wonders.
"To give the scheme some more effect," he makes it visible only
through a grate of massive iron bars, among which are arranged
wires connected with an electrical machine in a neighbouring
chamber; should any daring hand or foot obtrude itself with the
bars, it receives a smart shock, that often passes through many
of the crowd, and the cause being unknown, the effect is
exceedingly comic; terror, astonishment, curiosity, are all set
in action, and all contribute to make "Dorfeuille's Hell" one of
the most amusing exhibitions imaginable.

There is also a picture gallery at Cincinnati, and this was a
circumstance of much interest to us, as our friend Mr. H., who
had accompanied Miss Wright to America, in the expectation of
finding a good opening in the line of historical painting,
intended commencing his experiment at Cincinnati.  It would be
invidious to describe the picture gallery; I have no doubt, that
some years hence it will present a very different appearance.
Mr. H. was very kindly received by many of the gentlemen of the
city, and though the state of the fine arts there gave him but
little hope that he should meet with much success, he immediately
occupied himself in painting a noble historical picture of the
landing of General Lafayette at Cincinnati.

Perhaps the clearest proof of the little feeling for art that
existed at that time in Cincinnati, may be drawn from the result
of an experiment originated by a German, who taught drawing
there.  He conceived the project of forming a chartered academy
of fine arts; and he succeeded in the beginning to his utmost
wish, or rather, "they fooled him to the top of his bent."  Three
thousand dollars were subscribed, that is to say, names were
written against different sums to that amount, a house was
chosen, and finally, application was made to the government, and
the charter obtained, rehearsing formally the names of the
subscribing members, the professors, and the officers.  So far
did the steam of their zeal impel them, but at this point it was
let off; the affair stood still, and I never heard the academy of
fine arts mentioned afterwards.

This same German gentleman, on seeing Mr. H.'s sketches, was so
well pleased with them, that he immediately proposed his joining
him in his drawing school, with an agreement, I believe that his
payment from it should be five hundred dollars a year.  Mr. H.
accepted the proposal, but the union did not last long, and the
cause of its dissolution was too American to be omitted.  Mr. H.
prepared his models, and attended the class, which was numerous,
consisting both of boys and girls.  He soon found that the "sage
called Decipline" was not one of the assistants, and he
remonstrated against the constant talking, and running from one
part of the room to another, but in vain; finding, however, that
he could do nothing till this was discontinued, he wrote some
rules, enforcing order, for the purpose of placing them at the
door of the academy.  When he shewed them to his colleague, he
shook his head, and said, "Very goot, very goot in Europe, but
America boys and gals vill not bear it, dey will do just vat dey
please; Suur, dey vould all go avay next day."  "And you will not
enforce these regulations _si necessaires_, Monsieur?"  "Olar!
not for de vorld."  "_Eh bien_, Monsieur, I must leave the young
republicans to your management."

I heard another anecdote that will help to show the state of art
at this time in the west.  Mr. Bullock was shewing to some
gentlemen of the first standing, the very _elite_ of Cincinnati,
his beautiful collection of engravings, when one among them
exclaimed, "Have you really done all these since you came here?
How hard you must have worked!"

I was also told of a gentleman of High Cincinnati, TON and
critical of his taste for the fine arts, who, having a drawing
put into his hands, representing Hebe and the bird, umquhile
sacred to Jupiter, demanded in a satirical tone, "What is this?"
"Hebe," replied the alarmed collector.  "Hebe," sneered the man
of taste, "What the devil has Hebe to do with the American
eagle?"

We had not been long at Cincinnati when Dr. Caldwell, the
Spurzheim of America, arrived there for the purpose of delivering
lectures on phrenology.  I attended his lectures, and was
introduced to him.  He has studied Spurzheim and Combe
diligently, and seems to understand the science to which he has
devoted himself; but neither his lectures nor his conversation
had that delightful truth of genuine enthusiasm, which makes
listening to Dr. Spurzheim so great a treat.  His lectures,
however, produced considerable effect.  Between twenty and thirty
of the most erudite citizens decided upon forming a phrenological
society.  A meeting was called, and fully attended; a respectable
number of subscribers' names was registered, the payment of
subscriptions being arranged for a future day.  President, vice-
president, treasurer, and secretary, were chosen; and the first
meeting dissolved with every appearance of energetic perseverance
in scientific research.

The second meeting brought together one-half of this learned
body, and they enacted rules and laws, and passed resolutions,
sufficient, it was said, to have filled three folios.

A third day of meeting arrived, which was an important one, as on
this occasion the subscriptions were to be paid.  The treasurer
came punctually, but found himself alone.  With patient hope, he
waited two hours for the wise men of the west, but he waited in
vain: and so expired the Phrenological Society of Cincinnati.

I had often occasion to remark that the spirit of enterprise or
improvement seldom glowed with sufficient ardour to resist the
smothering effect of a demand for dollars.  The Americans love
talking.  All great works, however, that promise a profitable
result, are sure to meet support from men who have enterprise and
capital sufficient to await the return; but where there is
nothing but glory, or the gratification of taste to be expected,
it is, I believe, very rarely that they give any thing beyond
"their most sweet voices."

Perhaps they are right.  In Europe we see fortunes crippled by a
passion for statues, or for pictures, or for books, or for gems;
for all and every of the artificial wants that give grace to
life, and tend to make man forget that he is a thing of clay.
They are wiser in their generation on the other side the
Atlantic; I rarely saw any thing that led to such oblivion there.

Soon after Dr. Caldwell's departure, another lecturer appeared
upon the scene, whose purpose of publicly addressing the people
was no sooner made known, than the most violent sensation was
excited.

That a lady of fortune, family, and education, whose youth had
been passed in the most refined circles of private life, should
present herself to the people as a public lecturer, would
naturally excite surprise any where, and the nil admirari of the
old world itself, would hardly be sustained before such a
spectacle; but in America, where women are guarded by a seven-
fold shield of habitual insignificance, it caused an effect that
can hardly be described.  "Miss Wright, of Nashoba, is going to
lecture at the court-house," sounded from street to street, and
from house to house.  I shared the surprise, but not the wonder;
I knew her extraordinary gift of eloquence, her almost unequalled
command of words, and the wonderful power of her rich and
thrilling voice; and I doubted not that if it was her will to
do it, she had the power of commanding the attention, and
enchanting the ear of any audience before whom it was her
pleasure to appear.  I was most anxious to hear her, but was
almost deterred from attempting it, by the reports that reached
me of the immense crowd that was expected.  After many
consultations, and hearing that many other ladies intended going,
my friend Mrs. P--, and myself, decided upon making the attempt,
accompanied by a party of gentlemen, and found the difficulty
less than we anticipated, though the building was crowded in
every part.  We congratulated ourselves that we had had the
courage to be among the number, for all my expectations fell far
short of the splendour, the brilliance, the overwhelming
eloquence of this extraordinary orator.

Her lecture was upon the nature of true knowledge, and it
contained little that could be objected to, by any sect or
party; it was intended as an introduction to the strange and
startling theories contained in her subsequent lectures, and
could alarm only by the hints it contained that the fabric of
human wisdom could rest securely on no other base than that of
human knowledge.

There was, however, one passage from which common-sense revolted;
it was one wherein she quoted that phrase of mischievous
sophistry, "all men are born free and equal."  This false and
futile axiom, which has done, is doing, and will do so much harm
to this fine country, came from Jefferson; and truly his life was
a glorious commentary upon it.  I pretend not to criticise his
written works, but commonsense enables me to pronounce this, his
favourite maxim, false.

Few names are held in higher estimation in America, than that of
Jefferson; it is the touchstone of the democratic party, and all
seem to agree that he was one of the greatest of men; yet I have
heard his name coupled with deeds which would make the sons of
Europe shudder.  The facts I allude to are spoken openly by all,
not whispered privately by a few; and in a country where religion
is the tea-table talk, and its strict observance a fashionable
distinction, these facts are recorded, and listened to, without
horror, nay, without emotion.

Mr. Jefferson is said to have been the father of children by
almost all his numerous gang of female slaves.  These wretched
offspring were also the lawful slaves of their father, and worked
in his house and plantations as such; in particular, it is
recorded that it was his especial pleasure to be waited upon by
them at table, and the hospitable orgies for which his Montecielo
was so celebrated, were incomplete, unless the goblet he quaffed
were tendered by the trembling hand of his own slavish offspring.

I once heard it stated by a democratical adorer of this great
man, that when, as it sometimes happened, his children by
Quadroon slaves were white enough to escape suspicion of their
origin, he did not pursue them if they attempted to escape,
saying laughingly, "Let the rogues get off, if they can; I will
not hinder them."  This was stated in a large party, as a proof
of his kind and noble nature, and was received by all with
approving smiles.

If I know anything of right or wrong, if virtue and vice be
indeed something more than words, then was this great American
an unprincipled tyrant, and most heartless libertine.

But to return to Miss Wright,--it is impossible to imaging any
thing more striking than her appearance.  Her tall and majestic
figure, the deep and almost solemn expression of her eyes, the
simple contour of her finely formed head, unadorned excepting by
its own natural ringlets; her garment of plain white muslin,
which hung around her in folds that recalled the drapery of a
Grecian statue, all contributed to produce an effect, unlike
anything I had ever seen before, or ever expect to see again.



CHAPTER 8

Absence of public and private Amusement--Churches and
Chapels--Influence of the Clergy--A Revival



I never saw any people who appeared to live so much without
amusement as the Cincinnatians.  Billiards are forbidden by law,
so are cards.  To sell a pack of cards in Ohio subjects the
seller to a penalty of fifty dollars.  They have no public balls,
excepting, I think, six, during the Christmas holidays.  They
have no concerts.  They have no dinner parties.

They have a theatre, which is, in fact, the only public amusement
of this triste little town; but they seem to care little about
it, and either from economy or distaste, it is very poorly
attended.  Ladies are rarely seen there, and by far the larger
proportion of females deem it an offence against religion to
witness the representation of a play.  It is in the churches and
chapels of the town that the ladies are to be seen in full
costume; and I am tempted to believe that a stranger from the
continent of Europe would be inclined, on first reconnoitering
the city, to suppose that the places of worship were the theatres
and cafes of the place.  No evening in the week but brings
throngs of the young and beautiful to the chapels and meeting-
houses, all dressed with care, and sometimes with great
pretension; it is there that all display is made, and all
fashionable distinction sought.  The proportion of gentlemen
attending these evening meetings is very small, but often, as
might be expected, a sprinkling of smart young clerks make this
sedulous display of ribbons and ringlets intelligible and
natural.  Were it not for the churches, indeed, I think there
might be a general bonfire of best bonnets, for I never could
discover any other use for them.

The ladies are too actively employed in the interior of their
houses to permit much parading in full dress for morning visits.
There are no  public gardens or lounging shops of fashionable
resort, and were it not for public worship, and private tea-
drinkings, all the ladies in Cincinnati would be in danger of
becoming perfect recluses.

The influence which the ministers of all the innumerable
religious sects throughout America, have on the females of their
respective congregations, approaches very nearly to what we read
of in Spain, or in other strictly Roman Catholic countries.
There are many causes for this peculiar influence.  Where
equality of rank is affectedly acknowledged by the rich, and
clamourously claimed by the poor, distinction and preeminence are
allowed to the clergy only.  This gives them high importance in
the eyes of the ladies.  I think, also, that it is from the
clergy only that the women of America receive that sort of
attention which is so dearly valued by every female heart
throughout the world.  With the priests of America, the women
hold that degree of influential importance which, in the
countries of Europe, is allowed them throughout all orders and
ranks of society, except, perhaps, the very lowest; and in return
for this they seem to give their hearts and souls into their
keeping.  I never saw, or read, of any country where religion had
so strong a hold upon the women, or a slighter hold upon the men.

I mean not to assert that I met with no men of sincerely
religious feelings, or with no women of no religious feeling at
all; but I feel perfectly secure of being correct as to the great
majority in the statement I have made.

We had not been many months in Cincinnati when our curiosity was
excited by hearing the "revival" talked of by every one we met
throughout the town.  "The revival will be very full"--"We shall
be constantly engaged during the revival"--were the phrases we
constantly heard repeated, and for a long time, without in the
least comprehending what was meant; but at length I learnt that
the un-national church of America required to be roused, at
regular intervals, to greater energy and exertion.  At these
seasons the most enthusiastic of the clergy travel the country,
and enter the cities and towns by scores, or by hundreds, as the
accommodation of the place may admit, and for a week or
fortnight, or, if the population be large, for a month; they
preach and pray all day, and often for a considerable portion of
the night, in the various churches and chapels of the place.
This is called a Revival.

I took considerable pains to obtain information on this subject;
but in detailing what I learnt I fear that it is probable I shall
be accused of exaggeration; all I can do is cautiously to avoid
deserving it.  The subject is highly interesting, and it would be
a fault of no trifling nature to treat it with levity.

These itinerant clergymen are of all persuasions, I believe,
except the Episcopalian, Catholic, Unitarian, and Quaker.  I
heard of Presbyterians of all varieties; of Baptists of I know
not how many divisions; and of Methodists of more denominations
than I can remember; whose innumerable shades of varying belief,
it would require much time to explain, and more to comprehend.
They enter all the cities, towns, and villages of the Union, in
succession; I could not learn with sufficient certainty to
repeat, what the interval generally is between their visits.
These itinerants are, for the most part, lodged in the houses of
their respective followers, and every evening that is not spent
in the churches and meeting-houses, is devoted to what would be
called parties by others, but which they designate as prayer
meetings.  Here they eat, drink, pray, sing, hear confessions,
and make converts.  To these meetings I never got invited, and
therefore I have nothing but hearsay evidence to offer, but my
information comes from an eye-witness, and one on whom I believe
I may depend.  If one half of what I heard may be believed, these
social prayer meetings are by no means the most curious, or the
least important part of the business.

It is impossible not to smile at the close resemblance to be
traced between the feelings of a first-rate Presbyterian or
Methodist lady, fortunate enough to have secured a favourite
Itinerant for her meeting, and those of a first-rate London Blue,
equally blest in the presence of a fashionable poet.  There is a
strong family likeness among us all the world over.

The best rooms, the best dresses, the choicest refreshments
solemnize the meeting.  While the party is assembling, the
load-star of the hour is occupied in whispering conversations
with the guests as they arrive.  They are called brothers and
sisters, and the greetings are very affectionate.  When the room
is full, the company, of whom a vast majority are always women,
are invited, intreated, and coaxed to confess before their
brothers and sisters, all their thoughts, faults, and follies.

These confessions are strange scenes; the more they confess, the
more invariably are they encouraged and caressed.  When this is
over, they all kneel, and the Itinerant prays extempore.  They
then eat and drink; and then they sing hymns, pray, exhort, sing,
and pray again, till the excitement reaches a very high pitch
indeed.  These scenes are going on at some house or other every
evening during the revival, nay, at many at the same time, for
the churches and meeting-houses cannot give occupation to half
the Itinerants, though they are all open throughout the day, and
till a late hour in the night, and the officiating ministers
succeed each other in the occupation of them.

It was at the principal of the Presbyterian churches that
I was twice witness to scenes that made me shudder; in
describing one, I describe both and every one; the same thing
is constantly repeated.

It was in the middle of summer, but the service we were
recommended to attend did not begin till it was dark.  The
church was well lighted, and crowded almost to suffocation.
On entering, we found three priests standing side by side,
in a sort of tribune, placed where the altar usually is,
handsomely fitted up with crimson curtains, and elevated
about as  high as our pulpits.  We took our places in a pew
close to the rail which surrounded it.

The priest who stood in the middle was praying; the prayer was
extravagantly vehement, and offensively familiar in expression;
when this ended, a hymn was sung, and then another priest took
the centre place, and preached.  The sermon had considerable
eloquence, but of a frightful kind.  The preacher described, with
ghastly minuteness, the last feeble fainting moments of human
life, and then the gradual progress of decay after death, which
he followed through every process up to the last loathsome stage
of decomposition.  Suddenly changing his tone, which had been
that of sober accurate description, into the shrill voice of
horror, he bent forward his head, as if to gaze on some object
beneath the pulpit.  And as Rebecca made known to Ivanhoe what
she saw through the window, so the preacher made known to us what
he saw in the pit that seemed to open before him.  The device was
certainly a happy one for giving effect to his description of
hell.  No image that fire, flame, brimestone, molten lead, or
red-hot pincers could supply; with flesh, nerves, and sinews
quivering under them, was omitted.  The perspiration ran in
streams from the face of the preacher; his eyes rolled, his lips
were covered with foam, and every feature had the deep expression
of horror it would have borne, had he, in truth, been gazing at
the scene he described.  The acting was excellent.  At length he
gave a languishing look to his supporters on each side, as if to
express his feeble state, and then sat down, and wiped the drops
of agony from his brow.

The other two priests arose, and began to sing a hymn.  It was
some seconds before the congregation could join as usual; every
upturned face looked pale and horror struck.  When the singing
ended, another took the centre place, and began in a sort of
coaxing affectionate tone, to ask the congregation if what their
dear brother had spoken had reached their hearts?  Whether they
would avoid the hell he had made them see?  "Come, then!" he
continued, stretching out his arms towards them, "come to us, and
tell us so, and we will make you see Jesus, the dear gentle
Jesus, who shall save you from it.  But you must come to him!
You must not be ashamed to come to him!  This night you shall
tell him that you are not ashamed of him; we will make way for
you; we will clear the bench for anxious sinners to sit upon.
Come, then! come to the anxious bench, and we will shew you
Jesus! Come! Come! Come!"  Again a hymn was sung, and while it
continued, one of the three was employed in clearing one or two
long benches that went across the rail, sending the people back
to the lower part of the church.  The singing ceased, and again
the people were invited, and exhorted not to be ashamed of Jesus,
but to put themselves upon "the anxious benches," and lay their
heads on his bosom.  "Once more we will sing," he concluded,
"that we may give you time."  And again they sung a hymn.

And now in every part of the church a movement was perceptible,
slight at first, but by degrees becoming more decided.  Young
girls arose, and sat down, and rose again; and then the pews
opened, and several came tottering out, their hands clasped,
their heads hanging on their bosoms, and every limb trembling,
and still the hymn went on; but as the poor creatures approached
the rail their sobs and groans became audible.  They seated
themselves on the "anxious benches;" the hymn ceased, and two of
the three priests walked down from the tribune, and going, one to
the right, and the other to the left, began whispering to the
poor tremblers seated there.  These whispers were inaudible to
us, but the sobs and groans increased to a frightful excess.
Young creatures, with features pale and distorted, fell on their
knees on the pavement, and soon sunk forward on their faces; the
most violent cries and shrieks followed, while from time to time
a voice was heard in convulsive accents, exclaiming, "Oh Lord!"
"Oh Lord Jesus!"  "Help me, Jesus!" and the like.

Meanwhile the two priests continued to walk among them; they
repeatedly mounted on the benches, and trumpet-mouthed proclaimed
to the whole congregation, "the tidings of salvation," and then
from every corner of the building arose in reply, short sharp
cries of "Amen!" "Glory!" "Amen!" while the prostrate penitents
continued to receive whispered comfortings, and from time to time
a mystic caress.  More than once I saw a young neck encircled by
a reverend arm.  Violent hysterics and convulsions seized many of
them, and when the tumult was at the highest, the priest who
remained above, again gave out a hymn as if to drown it.

It was a frightful sight to behold innocent young creatures, in
the gay morning of existence, thus seized upon, horror struck,
and rendered feeble and enervated for ever.  One young girl,
apparently not more than fourteen, was supported in the arms of
another, some years older; her face was pale as death; her eyes
wide open, and perfectly devoid of meaning; her chin and bosom
wet with slaver; she had every appearance of idiotism.  I saw a
priest approach her, he took her delicate hand, "Jesus is with
her! Bless the Lord!" he said, and passed on.

Did the men of America value their women as men ought to
value their wives and daughters, would such scenes be permitted
among them?

It is hardly necessary to say that all who obeyed the call to
place themselves on the "anxious benches" were women, and by far
the greater number very young women.  The congregation was, in
general, extremely well dressed, and the smartest and most
fashionable ladies of the town were there; during the whole
revival the churches and meeting-houses were every day crowded
with well dressed people.

It is thus the ladies of Cincinnati amuse themselves; to attend
the theatre is forbidden; to play cards is unlawful; but they
work hard in their families, and must have some relaxation.  For
myself, I confess that I think the coarsest comedy ever written
would be a less detestable exhibition for the eyes of youth and
innocence than such a scene.



CHAPTER 9

Schools--Climate--Water Melons--Fourth of July--Storms--Pigs--
Moving Houses--Mr. Flint--Literature



Cincinnati contains many schools, but of their rank or merit I
had very little opportunity of judging; the only one which I
visited was kept by Dr. Lock, a gentleman who appears to have
liberal and enlarged opinions on the subject of female education.
Should his system produce practical results proportionably
excellent, the ladies of Cincinnati will probably some years
hence be much improved in their powers of companionship.
I attended the annual public exhibition at this school, and
perceived, with some surprise, that the higher branches of
science were among the studies of the pretty creatures I saw
assembled there.  One lovely girl of sixteen took her degree
in mathematics, and another was examined in moral philosophy.
They blushed so sweetly, and looked so beautifully puzzled
and confounded, that it might have been difficult for an abler
judge than I was to decide how far they merited the diploma
they received.

This method of letting young ladies graduate, and granting them
diplomas on quitting the establishment, was quite new to me; at
least, I do not remember to have heard of any thing similar
elsewhere.  I should fear that the time allowed to the fair
graduates of Cincinnati for the acquirement of these various
branches of education would seldom be sufficient to permit their
reaching the eminence in each which their enlightened instructor
anticipates.  "A quarter's" mathematics, or "two quarters"
political economy, moral philosophy, algebra, and quadratic
equations, would seldom, I should think, enable the teacher and
the scholar, by their joint efforts, to lay in such a stock of
these sciences as would stand the wear and tear of half a score
of children, and one help.

Towards the end of May we began to feel that we were in a climate
warmer than any we had been accustomed to, and my son suffered
severely from the effects of it.  A bilious complaint, attended
by a frightful degree of fever, seized him, and for some days we
feared for his life.  The treatment he received was, I have no
doubt, judicious, but the quantity of calomel prescribed was
enormous.  I asked one day how many grains I should prepare, and
was told to give half a teaspoonful.  The difference of climate
must, I imagine, make a difference in the effect of this drug, or
the practice of the old and new world could hardly differ so
widely as it does in the use of it.  Anstey, speaking of the Bath
physicians, says,

    "No one e'er viewed
     Any one of the medical gentlemen stewed."

But I can vouch, upon my own experience, that no similar
imputation lies against the gentlemen who prescribe large
quantities of calomel in America.  To give one instance in proof
of this, when I was afterwards in Montgomery county, near
Washington, a physician attended one of our neighbours, and
complained that he was himself unwell.  "You must take care of
yourself, Doctor," said the patient; "I do so," he replied, "I
took forty grains of calomel yesterday, and I feel better than I
did."  Repeated and violent bleeding was also had recourse to in
the case of my son, and in a few days he was able to leave his
room, but he was dreadfully emaciated, and it was many weeks
before he recovered his strength.

As the heat of the weather increased we heard of much sickness
around us.  The city is full of physicians, and they were all to
be seen driving about in their cabs at a very alarming rate.  One
of these gentlemen told us, that when a medical man intended
settling in a new situation, he always, if he knew his business,
walked through the streets at nights, before he decided.  If he
saw the dismal twinkle of the watch-light from many windows he
might be sure that disease was busy, and the the "location" might
suit him well.  Judging, by this criterion, Cincinnati was far
from healthy, I began to fear for our health, and determined to
leave the city; but, for a considerable time I found it
impossible to procure a dwelling out of it.  There were many
boarding-houses in the vicinity, but they were all overflowing
with guests.  We were advised to avoid, as much as possible,
walking out in the heat of the day; but the mornings and evenings
were delightful, particularly the former, if taken sufficiently
early.  For several weeks I was never in bed after four o'clock,
and at this hour I almost daily accompanied my "help" to market,
where the busy novelty of the scene afforded me much amusement.

Many waggon-loads of enormous water-melons were brought to market
every day, and I was sure to see groups of men, women, and
children seated on the pavement round the spot where they were
sold, sucking in prodigious quantities of this water-fruit.
Their manner of devouring them is extremely unpleasant; the huge
fruit is cut into half a dozen sections, of about a foot long,
and then, dripping as it is with water, applied to the mouth,
from either side of which pour copious streams of the fluid,
while, ever and anon, a mouthful of the hard black seeds are shot
out in all directions, to the great annoyance of all within
reach.  When I first tasted this fruit I thought it very vile
stuff indeed, but before the end of the season we all learned to
like it.  When taken with claret and sugar it makes delicious
wine and water.

It is the custom for the gentlemen to go to market at Cincinnati;
the smartest men in the place, and those of the "highest
standing" do not scruple to leave their beds with the sun, six
days in the week, and, prepared with a mighty basket, to sally
forth in search of meat, butter, eggs and vegetables.  I have
continually seen them returning, with their weighty basket on one
arm and an enormous ham depending from the other.

And now arrived the 4th of July, that greatest of all American
festivals.  On the 4th of July, 1776, the declaration of their
independence was signed, at the State-house in Philadelphia.

To me, the dreary coldness and want of enthusiasm in American
manners is one of their greatest defects, and I therefore hailed
the demonstrations of general feeling which this day elicits with
real pleasure.  On the 4th of July the hearts of the people seem
to awaken from a three hundred and sixty-four days' sleep; they
appear high-spirited, gay, animated, social, generous, or at
least liberal in expense; and would they but refrain from
spitting on that hallowed day, I should say, that on the 4th of
July, at least, they appeared to be an amiable people.  It is
true that the women have but little to do with the pageantry, the
splendour, or the gaiety of the day; but, setting this defect
aside, it was indeed a glorious sight to behold a jubilee so
heartfelt as this; and had they not the bad taste and bad feeling
to utter an annual oration, with unvarying abuse of the mother
country, to say nothing of the warlike manifesto called
Declaration of Independence, our gracious king himself might look
upon the scene and say that it was good; nay, even rejoice, that
twelve millions of bustling bodies, at four thousand miles
distance from his throne and his altars, should make their own
laws, and drink their own tea, after the fashion that pleased
them best.


One source of deep interest to us, in this new clime, was the
frequent recurrence of thunderstorms.  Those who have only
listened to thunder in England have but a faint idea of the
language which the gods speak when they are angry.  Thomson's
description, however, will do: it is hardly possible that words
can better paint the spectacle, or more truly echo to the sound,
than his do.  The only point he does not reach is the vast blaze
of rose-coloured light that ever and anon sets the landscape on
fire.

In reading this celebrated description in America, and observing
how admirably true it was to nature there, I seemed to get a
glimpse at a poet's machinery, and to perceive, that in order to
produce effect he must give his images more vast than he finds
them in nature; but the proportions must be just, and the
colouring true.  Every thing seems colossal on this great
continent; if it rains, if it blows, if it thunders, it is all
done _fortissimo_; but I often felt terror yield to wonder and
delight, so grand, so glorious were the scenes a storm exhibited.
Accidents are certainly more frequent than with us, but not so
much so as reasonably to bring terror home to one's bosom every
time a mass of lurid clouds is seen rolling up against the wind.


It seems hardly fair to quarrel with a place because its staple
commodity is not pretty, but I am sure I should have liked
Cincinnati much better if the people had not dealt so very
largely in hogs.  The immense quantity of business done in this
line would hardly be believed by those who had not witnessed it.
I never saw a newspaper without remarking such advertisements as
the following:

    "Wanted, immediately, 4,000 fat hogs."
    "For sale, 2,000 barrels of prime pork."

But the annoyance came nearer than this; if I determined upon
a walk up Main-street, the chances were five hundred to one
against my reaching the shady side without brushing by a snout
fresh dripping from the kennel; when we had screwed our courage
to the enterprise of mounting a certain noble looking sugar-loaf
hill, that promised pure air and a fine view, we found the brook
we had to cross, at its foot, red with the stream from a pig
slaughter house; while our noses, instead of meeting "the thyme
that loves the green hill's breast," were greeted by odours
that I will not describe, and which I heartily hope my readers
cannot imagine; our feet, that on leaving the city had expected
to press the flowery sod, literally got entangled in pigs' tails
and jaw-bones: and thus the prettiest walk in the neighbourhood
was interdicted for ever.


One of the sights to stare at in America is that of houses
moving from place to place.  We were often amused by watching
this exhibition of mechanical skill in the streets.  They make
no difficulty of moving dwellings from one part of the town to
another.  Those I saw travelling were all of them frame-houses,
that is, built wholly of wood, except the chimneys; but it is
said that brick buildings are sometimes treated in the same
manner.  The largest dwelling that I saw in motion was one
containing two stories of four rooms each; forty oxen were yoked
to it.  The first few yards brought down the two stacks of
chimneys, but it afterwards went on well.  The great difficulties
were the first getting it in motion and the stopping exactly in
the right place.  This locomotive power was extremely convenient
at Cincinnati, as the constant improvements going on there made
it often desirable to change a wooden dwelling for one of brick;
and whenever this happened, we were sure to see the ex No.100 of
Main-street or the ex No.55 of Second street creeping quietly out
of town, to take possession of a humble suburban station on the
common above it.


The most agreeable acquaintance I made in Cincinnati, and indeed
one of the most talented men I ever met, was Mr. Flint, the
author of several extremely clever volumes, and the editor of the
Western Monthly Review.  His conversational powers are of the
highest order: he is the only person I remember to have known
with first rate powers of satire, and even of sarcasm, whose
kindness of nature and of manner remained perfectly uninjured.
In some of his critical notices there is a strength and keenness
second to nothing of the kind I have ever read.  He is a warm
patriot, and so true-hearted an American, that we could not
always be of the same opinion on all the subjects we discussed;
but whether it were the force and brilliancy of his language, his
genuine and manly sincerity of feeling, or his bland and
gentleman-like manner that beguiled me, I know not, but certainly
he is the only American I ever listened to whose unqualified
praise of his country did not appear to me somewhat overstrained
and ridiculous.

On one occasion, but not at the house of Mr. Flint, I passed an
evening in company with a gentleman said to be a scholar and a
man of reading; he was also what is called a _serious_ gentleman,
and he appeared to have pleasure in feeling that his claim to
distinction was acknowledged in both capacities.  There was a
very amiable _serious_ lady in the company, to whom he seemed to
trust for the development of his celestial pretensions, and to
me he did the honour of addressing most of his terrestrial
superiority.  The difference between us was, that when he spoke
to her, he spoke as to a being who, if not his equal, was at
least deserving high distinction; and he gave her smiles, such
as Michael might have vouchsafed to Eve.  To me he spoke as Paul
to the offending Jews; he did not, indeed, shake his raiment at
me, but he used his pocket-handkerchief so as to answer the
purpose; and if every sentence did not end with "I am clean,"
pronounced by his lips, his tone, his look, his action, fully
supplied the deficiency.

Our poor Lord Byron, as may be supposed, was the bull's-eye
against which every dart in his black little quiver was aimed.
I had never heard any serious gentleman talk of Lord Byron at
full length before, and I listened attentively.  It was evident
that the noble passages which are graven on the hearts of the
genuine lovers of poetry had altogether escaped the serious
gentleman's attention; and it was equally evident that he knew
by rote all those that they wish the mighty master had never
written.  I told him so, and I shall not soon forget the look
he gave me.

Of other authors his knowledge was very imperfect, but his
criticisms very amusing.  Of Pope, he said, "He is so entirely
gone by, that in _our_ country it is considered quite fustian to
speak of him"

But I persevered, and named "the Rape of the Lock" as evincing
some little talent, and being in a tone that might still hope for
admittance in the drawing-room; but, on the mention of this poem,
the serious gentleman became almost as strongly agitated as when
he talked of Don Juan; and I was unfeignedly at a loss to
comprehend the nature of his feelings, till he muttered, with an
indignant shake of the handkerchief, "The very title!"

At the name of Dryden he smiled, and the smile spoke as plainly
as a smile could speak, "How the old woman twaddles!"

"We only know Dryden by quotations.  Madam, and these, indeed,
are found only in books that have long since had their day."

"And Shakspeare, sir?"

"Shakspeare, Madam, is obscene, and, thank God, WE are
sufficiently advanced to have found it out!  If we must have the
abomination of stage plays, let them at least be marked by the
refinement of the age in which we live."

This was certainly being _au courant du jour_.

Of Massenger he knew nothing.  Of Ford he had never heard.  Gray
had had his day.  Prior he had never read, but understood he was
a very childish writer.  Chaucer and Spenser he tied in a couple,
and dismissed by saying, that he thought it was neither more nor
less than affectation to talk of authors who wrote in a tongue no
longer intelligible.

This was the most literary conversation I was ever present at in
Cincinnati.*

    *(The pleasant, easy, unpretending talk on all subjects,
     (which I enjoyed in Mr. Flint's family, was an exception
     (to every thing else I met at Cincinnati.

In truth, there are many reasons which render a very general
diffusion of literature impossible in America.  I can scarcely
class the universal reading of newspapers as an exception to this
remark; if I could, my statement would be exactly the reverse,
and I should say that America beat the world in letters.  The
fact is, that throughout all ranks of society, from the
successful merchant, which is the highest, to the domestic
serving man, which is the lowest, they are all too actively
employed to read, except at such broken moments as may suffice
for a peep at a newspaper.  It is for this reason, I presume,
that every _American newspaper_ is more or less a magazine,
wherein the merchant may scan while he holds out his hand for an
invoice, "Stanzas by Mrs. Hemans," or a garbled extract from
Moore's Life of Byron; the lawyer may study his brief faithfully,
and yet contrive to pick up the valuable dictum of some American
critic, that "Bulwer's novels are decidedly superior to Sir
Walter Scott's;" nay, even the auctioneer may find time, as he
bustles to his tub, or his tribune, to support his pretensions to
polite learning, by glancing his quick eye over the columns, and
reading that "Miss Mitford's descriptions are indescribable."  If
you buy a yard of ribbon, the shopkeeper lays down his newspaper,
perhaps two or three, to measure it.  I have seen a brewer's
drayman perched on the shaft of his dray and reading one
newspaper, while another was tucked under his arm; and I once
went into the cottage of a country shoemaker, of the name of
Harris, where I saw a newspaper half full of "original" poetry,
directed to Madison F. Harris.  To be sure of the fact, I asked
the man if his name were Madison.  "Yes, Madam, Madison Franklin
Harris is my name."  The last and the lyre divided his time, I
fear too equally, for he looked pale and poor.

This, I presume, is what is meant by the general diffusion of
knowledge, so boasted of in the United States; such as it is, the
diffusion of it is general enough, certainly; but I greatly doubt
its being advantageous to the population.

The only reading men I met with were those who made letters their
profession; and of these, there were some who would hold a higher
rank in the great Republic (not of America, but of letters), did
they write for persons less given to the study of magazines and
newspapers; and they might hold a higher rank still, did they
write for the few and not for the many.  I was always drawing a
parallel, perhaps a childish one, between the external and
internal deficiency of polish and of elegance in the native
volumes of the country.  Their compositions have not that
condensation of thought, or that elaborate finish, which the
consciousness of writing for the scholar and the man of taste is
calculated to give; nor have their dirty blue paper and slovenly
types* the polished elegance that fits a volume for the hand or
the eye of the fastidious epicure in literary enjoyment.  The
first book I bought in America was the "Chronicles of the
Cannongate."  In asking the price, I was agreeably surprised to
hear a dollar and a half named, being about one sixth of what I
used to pay for its fellows in England; but on opening the grim
pages, it was long before I could again call them cheap.  To be
sure the pleasure of a bright well-printed page ought to be quite
lost sight of in the glowing, galloping, bewitching course that
the imagination sets out upon with a new Waverley novel; and so
it was with me till I felt the want of it; and then I am almost
ashamed to confess how often, in turning the thin dusky pages,
my poor earth-born spirit paused in its pleasure, to sigh for
hot-pressed wire-wove.

    *(I must make an exception in favour of the American
     (Quarterly Review.  To the eye of the body it is in
     (all respects exactly the same thing as the English
     (Quarterly Review.



CHAPTER 10

Removal to the country--Walk in the forest--Equality



At length my wish of obtaining a house in the country was
gratified.  A very pretty cottage, the residence of a gentleman
who was removing into town, for the convenience of his business
as a lawyer, was to let, and I immediately secured it.  It was
situated in a little village about a mile and a half from the
town, close to the foot of the hills formerly mentioned as the
northern boundary of it.  We found ourselves much more
comfortable here than in the city.  The house was pretty and
commodious, our sitting-rooms were cool and airy; we had got rid
of the detestable mosquitoes, and we had an ice-house that never
failed.  Beside all this, we had the pleasure of gathering our
tomatoes from our own garden, and receiving our milk from our own
cow.  Our manner of life was infinitely more to my taste than
before; it gave us all the privileges of rusticity, which are
fully as incompatible with a residence in a little town of
Western America as with a residence in London.  We lived on terms
of primaeval intimacy with our cow, for if we lay down on our
lawn she did not scruple to take a sniff at the book we were
reading, but then she gave us her own sweet breath in return.
The verge of the cool-looking forest that rose opposite our
windows was so near, that we often used it as an extra drawing-
room, and there was no one to wonder if we went out with no other
preparation than our parasols, carrying books and work enough to
while away a long summer day in the shade; the meadow that
divided us from it was covered with a fine short grass, that
continued for a little way under the trees, making a beautiful
carpet, while sundry logs and stumps furnished our sofas and
tables.  But even this was not enough to satisfy us when we first
escaped from the city, and we determined upon having a day's
enjoyment of the wildest forest scenery we could find.  So we
packed up books, albums, pencils, and sandwiches, and, despite a
burning sun, dragged up a hill so steep that we sometimes fancied
we could rest ourselves against it by only leaning forward a
little.  In panting and in groaning we reached the top, hoping to
be refreshed by the purest breath of heaven; but to have tasted
the breath of heaven we must have climbed yet farther, even to
the tops of the trees themselves, for we soon found that the air
beneath them stirred not, nor ever had stirred, as it seemed to
us, since first it settled there, so heavily did it weigh upon
our lungs.

Still we were determined to enjoy ourselves, and forward we went,
crunching knee deep through aboriginal leaves, hoping to reach
some spot less perfectly airtight than our landing-place.
Wearied with the fruitless search, we decided on reposing awhile
on the trunk of a fallen tree; being all considerably exhausted,
the idea of sitting down on this tempting log was conceived and
executed simultaneously by the whole party, and the whole party
sunk together through its treacherous surface into a mass of
rotten rubbish that had formed part of the pith and marrow of the
eternal forest a hundred years before.

We were by no means the only sufferers by the accident; frogs,
lizards, locusts, katiedids, beetles, and hornets, had the whole
of their various tenements disturbed, and testified their
displeasure very naturally by annoying us as much as possible in
return; we were bit, we were stung, we were scratched; and when,
at last, we succeeded in raising ourselves from the venerable
ruin, we presented as woeful a spectacle as can well be imagined.
We shook our (not ambrosial) garments, and panting with heat,
stings, and vexation, moved a few paces from the scene of our
misfortune, and again sat down; but this time it was upon the
solid earth.

We had no sooner began to "chew the cud" of the bitter fancy that
had beguiled us to these mountain solitudes than a new annoyance
assailed us.  A cloud of mosquitoes gathered round, and while
each sharp proboscis sucked our blood, they teased us with their
humming chorus, till we lost all patience, and started again on
our feet, pretty firmly resolved never to try the _al fresco_
joys of an American forest again.  The sun was now in its
meridian splendour, but our homeward path was short and down
hill, so again packing up our preparations for felicity, we
started homeward, or, more properly speaking, we started, for in
looking for an agreeable spot in this dungeon forest we had
advanced so far from the verge of the hill that we had lost all
trace of the precise spot where we had entered it.  Nothing was
to be seen but multitudes of tall, slender, melancholy stems, as
like as peas, and standing within a foot of each other.  The
ground, as far as the eye could reach (which certainly was not
far), was covered with an unvaried bed of dried leaves; no trace,
no track, no trail, as Mr. Cooper would call it, gave us a hint
which way to turn; and having paused for a moment to meditate, we
remembered that chance must decide for us at last, so we set
forward, in no very good mood, to encounter new misfortunes.  We
walked about a quarter of a mile, and coming to a steep descent,
we thought ourselves extremely fortunate, and began to scramble
down, nothing doubting that it was the same we had scrambled up.
In truth, nothing could be more like, but, alas! things that are
like are not the same; when we had slipped and stumbled down to
the edge of the wood, and were able to look beyond it, we saw no
pretty cottage with the shadow of its beautiful acacias coming
forward to meet us: all was different; and, what was worse, all
was distant from the spot where we had hoped to be.  We had come
down the opposite side of the ridge, and had now to win our weary
way a distance of three miles round its base, I believe we shall
none of us ever forget that walk.  The bright, glowing, furnace-
like heat of the atmosphere seems to scorch as I recall it.  It
was painful to tread, it was painful to breathe, it was painful
to look round; every object glowed with the reflection of the
fierce tyrant that glared upon us from above.

We got home alive, which agreeably surprised us; and when our
parched tongues again found power of utterance, we promised each
other faithfully never to propose any more parties of pleasure in
the grim store-like forests of Ohio.

We were now in daily expectation of the arrival of Mr. T.; but
day after day, and week after week passed by till we began to
fear some untoward circumstance might delay his coming till the
Spring; at last, when we had almost ceased to look out for him.
on the road which led from the town, he arrived, late at night,
by that which leads across the country from Pitzburgh.  The
pleasure we felt at seeing him was greatly increased by his
bringing with him our eldest son, which was a happiness we had
not hoped for.  Our walks and our drives now became doubly
interesting.  The young men, fresh from a public school, found
America so totally unlike all the nations with which their
reading had made them acquainted, that it was indeed a new world
to them.  Had they visited Greece or Rome they would have
encountered objects with whose images their minds had been long
acquainted; or had they travelled to France or Italy they would
have seen only what daily conversation had already rendered
familiar; but at our public schools America (except perhaps as to
her geographical position) is hardly better known than Fairy
Land; and the American character has not been much more deeply
studied than that of the Anthropophagi: all, therefore, was new,
and every thing amusing.

The extraordinary familiarity of our poor neighbours startled us
at first, and we hardly knew how to receive their uncouth
advances, or what was expected of us in return; however, it
sometimes produced very laughable scenes.  Upon one occasion two
of my children set off upon an exploring walk up the hills; they
were absent rather longer than we expected, and the rest of our
party determined upon going out to meet them; we knew the
direction they had taken, but thought it would be as well to
enquire at a little public-house at the bottom of the hill, if
such a pair had been seen to pass.  A woman, whose appearance
more resembled a Covent Garden market-woman than any thing else I
can remember, came out and answered my question with the most
jovial good humour in the affirmative, and prepared to join us in
our search.  Her look, her voice, her manner, were so exceedingly
coarse and vehement, that she almost frightened me; she passed
her arm within mine, and to the inexpressible amusement of my
young people, she dragged me on, talking and questioning me
without ceasing.  She lived but a short distance from us, and I
am sure intended to be a very good neighbour; but her violent
intimacy made me dread to pass her door; my children, including
my sons, she always addressed by their Christian names, excepting
when she substituted the word "honey;" this familiarity of
address, however, I afterwards found was universal throughout all
ranks in the United States.

My general appellation amongst my neighbours was "the English old
woman," but in mentioning each other they constantly employed the
term "lady;" and they evidently had a pleasure in using it, for I
repeatedly observed, that in speaking of a neighbour, instead of
saying Mrs. Such-a-one, they described her as "the lady over the
way what takes in washing," or as "that there lady, out by the
Gulley, what is making dip-candles."  Mr. Trollope was as
constantly called "the old man," while draymen, butchers' boys,
and the labourers on the canal were invariably denominated "them
gentlemen;" nay, we once saw one of the most gentlemanlike men in
Cincinnati introduce a fellow in dirty shirt sleeves, and all
sorts of detestable et cetera, to one of his friends, with this
formula, "D-- let me introduce this gentleman to you." Our
respective titles certainly were not very important; but the
eternal shaking hands with these ladies and gentlemen was really
an annoyance, and the more so, as the near approach of the
gentlemen was always redolent of whiskey and tobacco.

But the point where this republican equality was the most
distressing was in the long and frequent visitations that it
produced.  No one dreams of fastening a door in Western America;
I was told that it would be considered as an affront by the whole
neighbourhood.  I was thus exposed to perpetual, and most
vexatious interruptions from people whom I had often never seen,
and whose names still oftener were unknown to me.

Those who are native there, and to the manner born, seem to pass
over these annoyances with more skill than I could ever acquire.
More than once I have seen some of my acquaintance beset in the
same way, without appearing at all distressed by it; they
continued their employment or conversation with me, much as if no
such interruption had taken place; when the visitor entered, they
would say, "How do you do?" and shake hands.

"Tolerable, I thank ye, how be you?" was the reply.

If it was a female, she took off her hat; if a male, he kept it
on, and then taking possession of the first chair in their way,
they would retain it for an hour together, without uttering
another word; at length, rising abruptly, they would again shake
hands, with, "Well, now I must be going, I guess," and so take
themselves off, apparently well contented with their reception.

I could never attain this philosophical composure; I could
neither write nor read, and I always fancied I must talk to them.
I will give the minutes of a conversation which I once set down
after one of their visits, as a specimen of their tone and manner
of speaking and thinking.  My visitor was a milkman.

"Well now, so you be from the old country? Ay--you'll see sights
here, I guess."

"I hope I shall see many."

"That's a fact.  I expect your little place of an island don't
grow such dreadful fine corn as you sees here?"  [Corn always
means Indian corn, or maize.]

"It grows no corn at all, sir.'"

"Possible! no wonder, then, that we reads such awful stories in
the papers of your poor people being starved to death."

"We have wheat, however."

"Ay, for your rich folks, but I calculate the poor seldom gets a
belly full."

"You have certainly much greater abundance here."

"I expect so.  Why they do say, that if a poor body contrives
to be smart enough to scrape together a few dollars, that your
King George always comes down upon 'em, and takes it all away.
Don't he?"

"I do not remember hearing of such a transaction."

"I guess they be pretty close about it.  Your papers ben't like
ourn, I reckon?  Now we says and prints just what we likes."

"You spend a good deal of time in reading the newspapers."

"And I'd like you to tell me how we can spend it better.  How
should freemen spend their time, but looking after their
government, and watching that them fellers as we gives offices
to, doos their duty, and gives themselves no airs?"

"But I sometimes think, sir, that your fences might be in more
thorough repair, and your roads in better order, if less time was
spent in politics."

"The Lord! to see how little you knows of a free country?  Why,
what's the smoothness of a road, put against the freedom of a
free-born American?  And what does a broken zig-zag signify,
comparable to knowing that the men what we have been pleased to
send up to Congress, speaks handsome and straight, as we chooses
they should?"

"It is from a sense of duty, then, that you all go to the liquor
store to read the papers?"

"To be sure it is, and he'd be no true born American as didn't.
I don't say that the father of a family should always be after
liquor, but I do say that I'd rather have my son drunk three
times in a week, than not look after the affairs of his country."


Our autumn walks were delightful; the sun ceased to scorch; the
want of flowers was no longer peculiar to Ohio; and the trees
took a colouring, which in richness, brilliance, and variety,
exceeded all description.  I think it is the maple, or sugar-
tree, that first sprinkles the forest with rich crimson; the
beech follows, with all its harmony of golden tints, from pale
yellow up to brightest orange.  The dog-wood gives almost the
purple colour of the mulberry; the chesnut softens all with its
frequent mass of delicate brown, and the sturdy oak carries its
deep green into the very lap of winter.  These tints are too
bright for the landscape painter; the attempt to follow nature in
an American autumn scene must be abortive.  The colours are in
reality extremely brilliant, but the medium through which they
are seen increases the effect surprisingly.  Of all the points in
which America has the advantage of England, the one I felt most
sensibly was the clearness and brightness of the atmosphere.  By
day and by night this exquisite purity of air gives tenfold
beauty to every object.  I could hardly believe the stars were
the same; the Great Bear looked like a constellation of suns; and
Jupiter justified all the fine things said of him in those
beautiful lines from I know not what spirited pen, beginning,

    "I looked on thee, Jove! till my gaze
     Shrunk, smote by the pow'r of thy blaze."

I always remarked that the first silver line of the moon's
crescent attracted the eye on the first day, in America, as
strongly as it does here on the third.  I observed another
phenomenon in the crescent moon of that region, the cause of
which I less understood.  That appearance which Shakespear
describes as "the new moon, with the old moon in her lap," and
which I have heard ingeniously explained as the effect of _earth
light_, was less visible there than here.

Cuyp's clearest landscapes have an atmosphere that approaches
nearer to that of America than any I remember on canvas; but even
Cuyp's _air_ cannot reach the lungs, and, therefore, can only
give an idea of half the enjoyment; for it makes itself felt as
well as seen, and is indeed a constant source of pleasure.

Our walks were, however, curtailed in several directions by my
old Cincinnati enemies, the pigs; immense droves of them were
continually arriving from the country by the road that led to
most of our favourite walks; they were often fed and lodged in
the prettiest valleys,and worse still, were slaughtered beside
the prettiest streams.  Another evil threatened us from the same
quarter, that was yet heavier.  Our cottage had an ample piazza,
(a luxury almost universal in the country houses of America),
which, shaded by a group of acacias, made a delightful sitting-
room; from this favourite spot we one day perceived symptoms of
building in a field close to it; with much anxiety we hastened to
the spot, and asked what building was to be erected there.

"'Tis to be a slaughter house for hogs," was the dreadful reply.
As there were several gentlemen's houses in the neighbourhood, I
asked if such an erection might not be indicted as a nuisance.

"A what?"

"A nuisance," I repeated, and explained what I meant.

"No, no," was the reply, "that may do very well for your
tyrannical country, where a rich man's nose is more thought
of than a poor man's mouth; but hogs be profitable produce here,
and we be too free for such a law as that, I guess."

During my residence in America, little circumstances like the
foregoing often recalled to my mind a conversation I once held in
France with an old gentleman on the subject of their active
police, and its omnipresent gens d'armerie; "Croyez moi, Madame,
il n'y a que ceux, à qui ils ont à faire, qui les trouvent de
trop."  And the old gentleman was right, not only in speaking of
France, but of the whole human family, as philosophers call us.
The well disposed, those whose own feeling of justice would
prevent their annoying others, will never complain of the
restraints of the law.  All the freedom enjoyed in America,
beyond what is enjoyed in England, is enjoyed solely by the
disorderly at the expense of the orderly; and were I a stout
knight, either of the sword or of the pen, I would fearlessly
throw down my gauntlet, and challenge the whole Republic to
prove the contrary; but being, as I am, a feeble looker on,
with a needle for my spear, and "I talk" for my device, I must
be contented with the power of stating the fact, perfectly
certain that I shall be contradicted by one loud shout from
Maine to Georgia.



CHAPTER 11

Religion



I had often heard it observed before I visited America, that one
of the great blessings of its constitution was the absence of a
national religion, the country being thus exonerated from all
obligation of supporting the clergy; those only contributing to
do so whose principles led them to it.  My residence in the
country has shewn me that a religious tyranny may be exerted very
effectually without the aid of the government, in a way much more
oppressive than the paying of tithe, and without obtaining any of
the salutary decorum, which I presume no one will deny is the
result of an established mode of worship.

As it was impossible to remain many weeks in the country without
being struck with the strange anomalies produced by its religious
system, my early notes contain many observations on the subject;
but as nearly the same scenes recurred in every part of the
country, I state them here, not as belonging to the west alone,
but to the whole Union, the same cause producing the same effect
every where.

The whole people appear to be divided into an almost endless
variety of religious factions, and I was told, that to be well
received in society, it was necessary to declare yourself as
belonging to some one of these.  Let your acknowledged belief
be what it may, you are said to be _not a Christian_, unless you
attach yourself to a particular congregation.  Besides the
broad and well-known distinctions of Episcopalian, Catholic,
Presbyterian, Calvinist, Baptist, Quaker, Sweden-borgian,
Universalist, Dunker, &c. &c. &c.; there are innumerable
others springing out of these, each of which assumes a church
government of its own; of this, the most intriguing and factious
individual is invariably the head; and in order, as it should
seem, to shew a reason for this separation, each congregation
invests itself with some queer variety of external observance
that has the melancholy effect of exposing _all_ religious
ceremonies to contempt.

It is impossible, in witnessing all these unseemly vagaries,
not to recognise the advantages of an established church as a
sort of headquarters for quiet unpresuming Christians, who are
contented to serve faithfully, without insisting upon having
each a little separate banner, embroidered with a device of
their own imagining.

The Catholics alone appear exempt from the fury of division
and sub-division that has seized every other persuasion.
Having the Pope for their common head, regulates, I presume,
their movements, and prevents the outrageous display of
individual whim which every other sect is permitted.

I had the pleasure of being introduced to the Catholic bishop of
Cincinnati, and have never known in any country a priest of a
character and bearing more truly apostolic.  He was an American,
but I should never have discovered it from his pronunciation or
manner.  He received his education partly in England, and partly
in France.  His manners were highly polished; his piety active
and sincere, and infinitely more mild and tolerant than that of
the factious Sectarians who form the great majority of the
American priesthood.

I believe I am sufficiently tolerant; but this does not prevent
my seeing that the object of all religious observances is better
obtained, when the government of the church is confided to the
wisdom and experience of the most venerated among the people,
than when it is placed in the hands of every tinker and tailor
who chooses to claim a share in it.  Nor is this the only evil
attending the want of a national religion, supported by the
State.  As there is no legal and fixed provision for the clergy,
it is hardly surprising that their services are confined to those
who can pay them.  The vehement expressions of insane or
hypocritical zeal, such as were exhibited during "the Revival,"
can but ill atone for the want of village worship, any more than
the eternal talk of the admirable and unequalled government, can
atone for the continual contempt of social order.  Church and
State hobble along, side by side, notwithstanding their boasted
independence.  Almost every man you meet will tell you, that he
is occupied in labours most abundant for the good of his country;
and almost every woman will tell you, that besides those things
that are within (her house) she has coming upon her daily the
care of all the churches.  Yet spite of this universal attention
to the government, its laws are half asleep; and spite of the old
women and their Dorcas societies, atheism is awake and thriving.

In the smaller cities and towns prayer-meetings take the place
of almost all other amusements; but as the thinly scattered
population of most villages can give no parties, and pay no
priests, they contrive to marry, christen, and bury without them.
A stranger taking up his residence in any city in America must
think the natives the most religious people upon earth; but if
chance lead him among her western villages, he will rarely find
either churches or chapels, prayer or preacher; except, indeed,
at that most terrific saturnalia, "a camp-meeting."  I was much
struck with the answer of a poor woman, whom I saw ironing on a
Sunday.  "Do you make no difference in your occupations on a
Sunday?" I said.  "I beant a Christian, Ma'am; we have got no
opportunity," was the reply.  It occurred to me, that in a
country where "all men are equal," the government would be guilty
of no great crime, did it so far interfere as to give them all
_an opportunity_ of becoming Christians if they wished it.  But
should the federal government dare to propose building a church,
and endowing it, in some village that has never heard "the
bringing home of bell and burial," it is perfectly certain that
not only the sovereign state where such an abomination was
proposed, would rush into the Congress to resent the odious
interference, but that all the other states would join the
clamour, and such an intermeddling administration would run
great risk of impeachment and degradation.

Where there is a church-government so constituted as to deserve
human respect, I believe it will always be found to receive it,
even from those who may not assent to the dogma of its creed; and
where such respect exists, it produces a decorum in manners and
language often found wanting where it does not.  Sectarians will
not venture to rhapsodise, nor infidels to scoff, in the common
intercourse of society.  Both are injurious to the cause of
rational religion, and to check both must be advantageous.

It is certainly possible that some of the fanciful variations
upon the ancient creeds of the Christian Church, with which
transatlantic religionists amuse themselves, might inspire morbid
imaginations in Europe as well as in America; but before they can
disturb the solemn harmony HERE they must prelude by a defiance,
not only to common sense, but what is infinitely more appalling,
to common usage.  They must at once rank themselves with the low
and the illiterate, for only such prefer the eloquence of the tub
to that of the pulpit.  The aristocracy must ever, as a body,
belong to the established Church, and it is but a small
proportion of the influential classes who would be willing to
allow that they do not belong to the aristocracy.  That such
feelings influence the professions of men it were ignorance or
hypocrisy to deny; and that nation is wise who knows how to turn
even such feelings into a wholesome stream of popular influence.

As a specimen of the tone in which religion is mixed in the
ordinary intercourse of society, I will transcribe the notes I
took of a conversation, at which I was present, at Cincinnati; I
wrote them immediately after the conversation took place.

     Dr. A.

"I wish, Mrs. M., that you would explain to me what a revival is.
I hear it talked of all over the city, and I know it means
something about Jesus Christ and religion; but that is all I
know, will you instruct me farther?"

     Mrs. M.

"I expect, Dr. A., that you want to laugh at me.  But that
makes no difference.  I am firm in my principles, and I fear
no one's laughter."

     Dr. A.

"Well, but what is a revival?"

     Mrs. M.

"It is difficult, very difficult, to make those see who have no
light; to make those understand whose souls are darkened.  A
revival means just an elegant kindling of the spirit; it is
brought about to the Lord's people by the hands of his saints,
and it means salvation in the highest."

     Dr. A.

"But what is it the people mean by talking of feeling the
revival? and waiting in spirit for the revival? and the extacy
of the revival?"

     Mrs. M.

"Oh Doctor! I am afraid that you are too far gone astray to
understand all that.  It is a glorious assurance, a whispering of
the everlasting covenant, it is the bleating of the lamb, it is
the welcome of the shepherd, it is the essence of love, it is the
fullness of glory, it is being in Jesus, it is Jesus being in us,
it is taking the Holy Ghost into our bosoms, it is sitting
ourselves down by God, it is being called to the high places, it
is eating, and drinking, and sleeping in the Lord, it is becoming
a lion in the faith, it is being lowly and meek, and kissing the
hand that smites, it is being mighty and powerful, and scorning
reproof, it is--"

     Dr. A.

"Thank you, Mrs. M., I feel quite satisfied; and I think I
understand a revival now almost as well as you do yourself."

     Mrs. A.

"My!  Where can you have learnt all that stuff, Mrs. M.?"

     Mrs. M.

"How benighted you are! From the holy book, from the Word of the
Lord, from the Holy Ghost, and Jesus Christ themselves."

     Mrs. A.

"It does seem so droll to me, to hear you talk of "the Word of
the Lord."  Why, I have been brought up to look upon the Bible as
nothing better than an old newspaper."

     Mrs. O.

"Surely you only say this for the sake of hearing what Mrs. M.
will say in return--you do not mean it?"

     Mrs. A.

"La, yes! to be sure I do."

     Dr. A.

"I profess that I by no means wish my wife to read all she might
find there.--What says the Colonel, Mrs. M.?"

     Mrs. M.

"As to that, I never stop to ask him.  I tell him every day that
I believe in Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and that it is his duty
to believe in them too, and then my conscience is clear, and I
don't care what he believes.  Really, I have no notion of one's
husband interfering in such matters."

     Dr. A.

"You are quite right.  I am sure I give my wife leave to believe
just what she likes; but she is a good woman, and does not abuse
the liberty; for she believes nothing."

It was not once, nor twice, nor thrice, but many many times,
during my residence in America, that I was present when subjects
which custom as well as principle had taught me to consider as
fitter for the closet than the tea-table, were thus lightly
discussed.  I hardly know whether I was more startled at first
hearing, in little dainty namby pamby tones, a profession of
Atheism over a teacup, or at having my attention called from a
Johnny cake, to a rhapsody on election and the second birth.

But, notwithstanding this revolting license, persecution exists
to a degree unknown, I believe, in our well-ordered land since
the days of Cromwell.  I had the following anecdote from a
gentleman perfectly well acquainted with the circumstances.  A
tailor sold a suit of clothes to a sailor a few moments before he
sailed, which was on a Sunday morning.  The corporation of New
York prosecuted the tailor, and he was convicted, and sentenced
to a fine greatly beyond his means to pay.  Mr. F., a lawyer of
New York, defended him with much eloquence, but in vain.  His
powerful speech, however, was not without effect, for it raised
him such a host of Presbyterian enemies as sufficed to destroy
his practice.  Nor was this all: his nephew was at the time
preparing for the bar, and soon after the above circumstance
occurred his certificates were presented, and refused, with this
declaration, "that no man of the name and family of F. should be
admitted."  I have met this young man in society; he is a person
of very considerable talent, and being thus cruelly robbed of his
profession, has become the editor of a newspaper.



CHAPTER 12

Peasantry, compared to that of England--Early marriages--
Charity--Independence and equality--Cottage prayer-meeting



Mohawk, as our little village was called, gave us an excellent
opportunity of comparing the peasants of the United States
with those of England, and of judging the average degree of
comfort enjoyed by each.  I believe Ohio gives as fair a
specimen as any part of the union; if they have the roughness
and inconveniences of a new state to contend with, they have
higher wages and cheaper provisions; if I err in supposing it
a mean state in point of comfort, it certainly is not in taking
too low a standard.

Mechanics, if good workmen, are certain of employment, and good
wages, rather higher than with us; the average wages of a
labourer throughout the Union is ten dollars a month, with
lodging, boarding, washing, and mending; if he lives at his own
expense he has a dollar a day.  It appears to me that the
necessaries of life, that is to say, meat, bread, butter, tea,
and coffee, (not to mention whiskey), are within the reach of
every sober, industrious, and healthy man who chooses to have
them; and yet I think that an English peasant, with the same
qualifications, would, in coming to the United States, change for
the worse.  He would find wages somewhat higher, and provisions
in Western America considerably lower: but this statement, true
as it is, can lead to nothing but delusion if taken apart from
other facts, fully as certain, and not less important, but which
require more detail in describing, and which perhaps cannot be
fully comprehended, except by an eye-witness.  The American poor
are accustomed to eat meat three times a day; I never enquired
into the habits of any cottagers in Western America, where this
was not the case.  I found afterwards in Maryland, Pennsylvania,
and other parts of the country, where the price of meat was
higher, that it was used with more economy; yet still a much
larger portion of the weekly income is thus expended than with
us.  Ardent spirits, though lamentably cheap,* still cost
something, and the use of them among the men, with more or less
of discretion, according to the character, is universal.  Tobacco
also grows at their doors, and is not taxed; yet this too costs
something, and the air of heaven is not in more general use among
the men of America, than chewing tobacco.  I am not now pointing
out the evils of dram-drinking, but it is evident, that where
this practice prevails universally, and often to the most
frightful excess, the consequence must be, that the money spent
to obtain the dram is less than the money lost by the time
consumed in drinking it.  Long, disabling, and expensive fits of
sickness are incontestably more frequent in every part of
America, than in England, and the sufferers have no aid to look
to, but what they have saved, or what they may be enabled to
sell.  I have never seen misery exceed what I have witnessed in
an American cottage where disease has entered.

    *(About a shilling a gallon is the retail price of good
     (whiskey.  If bought wholesale, or of inferior quality, it
     (is much cheaper.

But if the condition of the labourer be not superior to that
of the English peasant, that of his wife and daughters is
incomparably worse.  It is they who are indeed the slaves of the
soil.  One has but to look at the wife of an American cottager,
and ask her age, to be convinced that the life she leads is one
of hardship, privation, and labour.  It is rare to see a woman in
this station who has reached the age of thirty, without losing
every trace of youth and beauty.  You continually see women with
infants on their knee, that you feel sure are their grand-
children, till some convincing proof of the contrary is
displayed.  Even the young girls, though often with lovely
features, look pale, thin, and haggard.  I do not remember to
have seen in any single instance among the poor, a specimen of
the plump, rosy, laughing physiognomy so common among our cottage
girls.  The horror of domestic service, which the reality of
slavery, and the fable of equality, have generated, excludes the
young women from that sure and most comfortable resource of
decent English girls; and the consequence is, that with a most
irreverend freedom of manner to the parents, the daughters are,
to the full extent of the word, domestic slaves.  This condition,
which no periodical merry-making, no village FÊTE, ever occurs to
cheer, is only changed for the still sadder burdens of a teeming
wife.  They marry very young; in fact, in no rank of life do you
meet with young women in that delightful period of existence
between childhood and marriage, wherein, if only tolerably well
spent, so much useful information is gained, and the character
takes a sufficient degree of firmness to support with dignity the
more important parts of wife and mother.  The slender, childish
thing, without vigour of mind or body, is made to stem a sea of
troubles that dims her young eye and makes her cheek grow pale,
even before nature has given it the last beautiful finish of the
full-grown woman.

"We shall get along," is the answer in full, for all that can be
said in way of advice to a boy and girl who take it into their
heads to go before a magistrate and "get married."  And they do
get along, till sickness overtakes them, by means perhaps of
borrowing a kettle from one and a tea-pot from another; but
intemperance, idleness, or sickness will, in one week, plunge
those who are even getting along well, into utter destitution;
and where this happens, they are completely without resource.

The absence of poor-laws is, without doubt, a blessing to the
country, but they have not that natural and reasonable dependence
on the richer classes which, in countries differently
constituted, may so well supply their place.  I suppose there is
less alms-giving in America than in any other Christian country
on the face of the globe.  It is not in the temper of the people
either to give or to receive.

I extract the following pompous passage from a Washington paper
of Feb. 1829, (a season of uncommon severity and distress,)
which, I think, justifies my observation.

"Among the liberal evidences of sympathy for the suffering poor
of this city, two have come to our knowledge which deserve to be
especially noticed: the one a donation by the President of the
United States to the committee of the ward in which he resides of
fifty dollars; the other the donation by a few of the officers of
the war department to the Howard and Dorcas Societies, of
seventy-two dollars."  When such mention is made of a gift of
about nine pounds sterling from the sovereign magistrate of the
United States, and of thirteen pounds sterling as a contribution
from one of the state departments, the inference is pretty
obvious, that the sufferings of the destitute in America are not
liberally relieved by individual charity.

I had not been three days at Mohawk-cottage before a pair of
ragged children came to ask for medicine for a sick mother; and
when it was given to them, the eldest produced a handful of
cents, and desired to know what he was to pay.  The superfluous
milk of our cow was sought after eagerly, but every new comer
always proposed to pay for it.  When they found out that "the
English old woman" did not sell anything, I am persuaded they by
no means liked her the better for it; but they seemed to think,
that if she were a fool it was no reason they should be so too,
and accordingly the borrowing, as they called it, became very
constant, but always in a form that shewed their dignity and
freedom.  One woman sent to borrow a pound of cheese; another
half a pound of coffee; and more than once an intimation
accompanied the milk-jug, that the milk must be fresh, and
unskimmed: on one occasion the messenger refused milk, and said,
"Mother only wanted a little cream for her coffee."

I could never teach them to believe, during above a year that
I lived at this house, that I would not sell the old clothes
of the family; and so pertinacious were they in bargain-making,
that often, when I had given them the articles which they wanted
to purchase, they would say, "Well, I expect I shall have to do
a turn of work for this; you may send for me when you want me."
But as I never did ask for the turn of work, and as this
formula was constantly repeated, I began to suspect that it
was spoken solely to avoid uttering the most un-American phrase
"I thank you."

There was one man whose progress in wealth I watched with much
interest and pleasure.  When I first became his neighbour,
himself, his wife, and four children, were living in one room,
with plenty of beef-steaks and onions for breakfast, dinner and
supper, but with very few other comforts.  He was one of the
finest men I ever saw, full of natural intelligence and activity
of mind and body, but he could neither read nor write.  He drank
but little whiskey, and but rarely chewed tobacco, and was
therefore more free from that plague spot of spitting which
rendered male colloquy so difficult to endure.  He worked for us
frequently, and often used to walk into the drawing-room and seat
himself on the sofa, and tell me all his plans.  He made an
engagement with the proprietor of the wooded hill before
mentioned, by which half the wood he could fell was to be his
own.  His unwearied industry made this a profitable bargain, and
from the proceeds he purchased the materials for building a
comfortable frame (or wooden) house; he did the work almost
entirely himself.  He then got a job for cutting rails, and, as
he could cut twice as many in a day as any other man in the
neighbourhood, he made a good thing of it.  He then let half his
pretty house, which was admirably constructed, with an ample
portico, that kept it always cool.  His next step was contracting
for the building a wooden bridge, and when I left Mohawk he had
fitted up his half of the building as an hotel and grocery store;
and I have no doubt that every sun that sets sees him a richer
man than when it rose.  He hopes to make his son a lawyer, and I
have little doubt that he will live to see him sit in congress;
when this time arrives, the wood-cutter's son will rank with any
other member of congress, not of courtesy, but of right, and the
idea that his origin is a disadvantage, will never occur to the
imagination of the most exalted of his fellow-citizens.

This is the only feature in American society that I recognise as
indicative of the equality they profess.  Any man's son may
become the equal of any other man's son, and the consciousness of
this is certainly a spur to exertion; on the other hand, it is
also a spur to that coarse familiarity, untempered by any shadow
of respect, which is assumed by the grossest and the lowest in
their intercourse with the highest and most refined.  This is a
positive evil, and, I think, more than balances its advantages.

And here again it may be observed, that the theory of equality
may be very daintily discussed by English gentlemen in a London
dining-room, when the servant, having placed a fresh bottle of
cool wine on the table, respectfully shuts the door, and leaves
them to their walnuts and their wisdom; but it will be found
less palatable when it presents itself in the shape of a hard,
greasy paw, and is claimed in accents that breathe less of
freedom than of onions and whiskey.  Strong, indeed, must be
the love of equality in an English breast if it can survive a
tour through the Union.

There was one house in the village which was remarkable from its
wretchedness.  It had an air of indecent poverty about it, which
long prevented my attempting an entrance; but at length, upon
being told that I could get chicken and eggs there whenever I
wanted them, I determined upon venturing.  The door being opened
to my knock, I very nearly abandoned my almost blunted purpose; I
never beheld such a den of filth and misery: a woman, the very
image of dirt and disease, held a squalid imp of a baby on her
hip bone while she kneaded her dough with her right fist only
A great lanky girl, of twelve years old, was sitting on a barrel,
gnawing a corn cob; when I made known my business, the woman
answered, "No not I; I got no chickens to sell, nor eggs neither;
but my son will, plenty I expect.  Here Nick," (bawling at the
bottom of a ladder), "here's an old woman what wants chickens."
Half a moment brought Nick to the bottom of the ladder, and I
found my merchant was one of a ragged crew, whom I had been used
to observe in my daily walk, playing marbles in the dust, and
swearing lustily; he looked about ten years old.

"Have you chicken to sell, my boy?"

"Yes, and eggs too, more nor what you'll buy."

Having enquired price, condition, and so on, I recollected that I
had been used to give the same price at market, the feathers
plucked, and the chicken prepared for the table, and I told him
that he ought not to charge the same.

"Oh for that, I expect I can fix 'em as well as ever them was,
what you got in market."

"You fix them?"

"Yes to be sure, why not?"

"I thought you were too fond of marbles."

He gave me a keen glance, and said, "You don't know I.--When will
you be wanting the chickens?"

He brought them at the time directed, extremely well "fixed," and
I often dealt with him afterwards.  When I paid him, he always
thrust his hand into his breaches pocket, which I presume, as
being _the keep_, was fortified more strongly than the
dilapidated outworks, and drew from thence rather more dollars,
half-dollars, levies, and fips, than his dirty little hand could
well hold.  My curiosity was excited, and though I felt an
involuntary disgust towards the young Jew, I repeatedly conversed
with him.

"You are very rich, Nick," I said to him one day, on his making
an ostentatious display of change, as he called it; he sneered
with a most unchildish expression of countenance, and replied, "I
guess 'twould be a bad job for I, if that was all I'd got to
shew."

I asked him how he managed his business.  He told me that he
bought eggs by the hundred, and lean chicken by the score, from
the waggons that passed their door on the way to market; that he
fatted the latter in coops he had made himself, and could easily
double their price, and that his eggs answered well too, when he
sold them out by the dozen.

"And do you give the money to your mother?"

"I expect not," was the answer, with another sharp glance of his
ugly blue eyes.

"What do you do with it.  Nick?"

His look said plainly, what is that to you? but he only answered,
quaintly enough, "I takes care of it."

How Nick got his first dollar is very doubtful; I was told that
when he entered the village store, the person serving always
called in another pair of eyes; but having obtained it, the
spirit, activity, and industry, with which he caused it to
increase and multiply, would have been delightful in one of Miss
Edgeworth's dear little clean bright-looking boys, who would have
carried all he got to his mother; but in Nick it was detestable.
No human feeling seemed to warm his young heart, not even the
love of self-indulgence, for he was not only ragged and dirty,
but looked considerably more than half starved, and I doubt not
his dinners and suppers half fed his fat chickens.

I by no means give this history of Nick, the chicken merchant, as
an anecdote characteristic in all respects of America; the only
part of the story which is so, is the independence of the little
man, and is one instance out of a thousand, of the hard, dry,
calculating character that is the result of it.  Probably Nick
will be very rich; perhaps he will be President.  I once got so
heartily scolded for saying, that I did not think all American
citizens were equally eligible to that office, that I shall never
again venture to doubt it.

Another of our cottage acquaintance was a market-gardener, from
whom we frequently bought vegetables; from the wife of this man
we one day received a very civil invitation to "please to come
and pass the evening with them in prayer."  The novelty of the
circumstance, and its great dissimilarity to the ways and manners
of our own country, induced me to accept the invitation, and also
to record the visit here.

We were received with great attention, and a place was assigned
us on one of the benches that surrounded the little parlour.
Several persons, looking like mechanics and their wives, were
present; every one sat in profound silence, and with that quiet
subdued air, that serious people assume on entering a church.  At
length, a long, black, grim-looking man entered; his dress, the
cut of his hair, and his whole appearance, strongly recalled the
idea of one of Cromwell's fanatics.  He stepped solemnly into the
middle of the room, and took a chair that stood there, but not to
sit upon it; he turned the back towards him, on which he placed
his hands, and stoutly uttering a sound between a hem and a
cough, he deposited freely on either side of him a considerable
portion of masticated tobacco.  He then began to preach.  His
text was "Live in hope," and he continued to expound it for two
hours in a drawling, nasal tone, with no other respite than what
he allowed himself for expectoration.  If I say that he repeated
the words of this text a hundred times, I think I shall not
exceed the truth, for that allows more than a minute for each
repetition, and in fact the whole discourse was made up of it.
The various tones in which he uttered it might have served as a
lesson on emphasis; as a question--in accents of triumph--in
accents of despair--of pity--of threatening--of authority--of
doubt--of hope--of faith.  Having exhausted every imaginable
variety of tone, he abruptly said, "Let us pray," and twisting
his chair round, knelt before it.  Every one knelt before the
seat they had occupied, and listened for another half hour to a
rant of miserable, low, familiar jargon, that he presumed to
improvise to his Maker as a prayer.  In this, however, the
cottage apostle only followed the example set by every preacher
throughout the Union, excepting those of the Episcopalian and
Catholic congregations; THEY only do not deem themselves
privileged to address the Deity in strains of crude and unweighed
importunity.  These ranters may sometimes be very much in
earnest, but surely the least we can say of it is, that they

    "Praise their God amiss."

I enquired afterwards of a friend, well acquainted with such
matters, how the grim preacher of "Hope" got paid for his
labours, and he told me that the trade was an excellent one, for
that many a gude wife bestowed more than a tithe of what her gude
man trusted to her keeping, in rewarding the zeal of these self-
chosen apostles.  These sable ministers walk from house to house,
or if the distance be considerable, ride on a comfortable ambling
nag.  They are not only as empty as wind, but resemble it in
other particulars; for they blow where they list, and no man
knoweth whence they come, nor whither they go.  When they see a
house that promises comfortable lodging and entertainment, they
enter there, and say to the good woman of the house, "Sister,
shall I pray with you?"  If the answer be favourable, and it is
seldom otherwise, he instals himself and his horse till after
breakfast the next morning.  The best meat, drink, and lodging
are his, while he stays, and he seldom departs without some
little contribution in money for the support of the crucified and
suffering church.  Is it not strange that "the most intelligent
people in the world" should prefer such a religion as this, to a
form established by the wisdom and piety of the ablest and best
among the erring sons of men, solemnly sanctioned by the nation's
law, and rendered sacred by the use of their fathers?

It would be well for all reasoners on the social system to
observe steadily, and with an eye obscured by no beam of
prejudice, the result of the experiment that is making on the
other side of the Atlantic.  If I mistake not, they might learn
there, better than by any abstract speculation, what are the
points on which the magistrates of a great people should dictate
to them and on what points they should be left freely to their
own guidance, I sincerely believe, that if a fire-worshipper, or
an Indian Brahmin, were to come to the United States, prepared to
preach and pray in English, he would not be long without a "very
respectable congregation."

The influence of a religion, sanctioned by the government, could
in no country, in the nineteenth century, interfere with the
speculations of a philosopher in his closet, but it might, and
must, steady the weak and wavering opinions of the multitude.
There is something really pitiable in the effect produced by the
want of this rudder oar.  I knew a family where one was a
Methodist, one a Presbyterian, and a third a Baptist; and
another, where one was a Quaker, one a declared Atheist, and
another an Universalist.  These are all females, and all moving
in the best society that America affords; but one and all of them
as incapable of reasoning on things past, present, and to come,
as the infants they nourish, yet one and all of them perfectly
fit to move steadily and usefully in a path marked out for them.
But I shall be called an itinerant preacher myself if I pursue
this theme.

As I have not the magic power of my admirable friend, Miss
Mitford, to give grace and interest to the humblest rustic
details, I must not venture to linger among the cottages that
surrounded us; but before I quit them I must record the pleasing
recollection of one or two neighbours of more companionable rank,
from whom I received so much friendly attention, and such
unfailing kindness, in all my little domestic embarrassments,
that I shall never recall the memory of Mohawk, without paying an
affectionate tribute to these far distant friends.  I wish it
were within the range of hope, that I might see them again, in my
own country, and repay, in part, the obligations I owe them.



CHAPTER 13

Theatre--Fine Arts--Delicacy--Shaking Quakers--
Big-Bone Lick--Visit of the President



The theatre at Cincinnati is small, and not very brilliant in
decoration, but in the absence of every other amusement our young
men frequently attended it, and in the bright clear nights of
autumn and winter, the mile and a half of distance was not enough
to prevent the less enterprising members of the family from
sometimes accompanying them.  The great inducement to this was
the excellent acting of Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Drake, the
managers.  [Mr. Drake was an Englishman.]  Nothing could be more
distinct than their line of acting, but the great versatility of
their powers enabled them often to appear together.  Her cast was
the highest walk of tragedy, and his the broadest comedy; but
yet, as Goldsmith says of his sister heroines, I have known them
change characters for a whole evening together, and have wept
with him and laughed with her, as it was their will and pleasure
to ordain.  I think in his comedy he was superior to any actor I
ever saw in the same parts, except Emery.  Alexander Drake's
comedy was like that of the French, who never appear to be acting
at all; he was himself the comic being the author aimed at
depicting.  Let him speak whose words he would, from Shakspeare
to Colman, it was impossible not to feel that half the fun was
his own; he had, too, in a very high degree, the power that
Fawcett possessed, of drawing tears by a sudden touch of natural
feeling.  His comic songs might have set the gravity of the
judges and bishops together at defiance.  Liston is great, but
Alexander Drake was greater.

Mrs. Drake, formerly Miss Denny, greatly resembles Miss
O'Neil; a proof of this is, that Mr. Kean, who had heard of
the resemblance, arrived at New York late in the evening, and
having repaired to the theatre, saw her for the first time
across the stage, and immediately exclaimed, "that's Miss Denny."
Her voice, too, has the same rich and touching tones, and is
superior in power.  Her talent is decidedly first-rate.  Deep
and genuine feeling, correct judgment, and the most perfect good
taste, distinguish her play in every character.  Her last act
of Belvidera is superior in tragic effect to any thing I ever
saw on the stage, the one great exception to all comparison,
Mrs. Siddons, being set aside.

It was painful to see these excellent performers playing to a
miserable house, not a third full, and the audience probably
not including half a dozen persons who would prefer their playing
to that of the vilest strollers.  In proof of this, I saw them,
as managers, give place to paltry third-rate actors from London,
who would immediately draw crowded houses, and be overwhelmed
with applause.

Poor Drake died just before we left Ohio, and his wife, who,
besides her merit as an actress, is a most estimable and amiable
woman, is left with a large family.  I have little, or rather no
doubt, of her being able to obtain an excellent engagement in
London, but her having property in several of the Western
theatres will, I fear, detain her in a neighbourhood, where she
is neither understood nor appreciated.  She told me many very
excellent professional anecdotes collected during her residence
in the West; one of these particularly amused me as a specimen of
Western idiom.  A lady who professed a great admiration for Mrs.
Drake had obtained her permission to be present upon one occasion
at her theatrical toilet.  She was dressing for some character in
which she was to stab herself, and her dagger was lying on the
table.  The visitor took it up, and examining it with much
emotion, exclaimed, "what! do you really jab this into yourself
sevagarous?"

We also saw the great American star, Mr. Forrest.  What he may
become I will not pretend to prophesy; but when I saw him play
Hamlet at Cincinnati, not even Mrs. Drake's sweet Ophelia could
keep me beyond the third act.  It is true that I have seen
Kemble, Macready, Kean, Young, C. Kemble, Cook, and Talma play
Hamlet, and I might not, perhaps, be a very fair judge of this
young actor's merits; but I was greatly amused when a gentleman,
who asked my opinion of him, told me upon hearing it, that he
would not advise me to state it freely in America, "for they
would not bear it."  The theatre was really not a bad one, though
the very poor receipts rendered it impossible to keep it in high
order; but an annoyance infinitely greater than decorations
indifferently clean, was the style and manner of the audience.
Men came into the lower tier of boxes without their coats; and I
have seen shirt sleeves tucked up to the shoulder; the spitting
was incessant, and the mixed smell of onions and whiskey was
enough to make one feel even the Drakes' acting dearly bought
by the obligation of enduring its accompaniments.  The bearing
and attitudes of the men are perfectly indescribable; the heels
thrown higher than the head, the entire rear of the person
presented to the audience, the whole length supported on
the  benches, are among the varieties that these exquisite
posture-masters exhibit.  The noises, too, were perpetual, and
of the most unpleasant kind; the applause is expressed by cries
and thumping with the feet, instead of clapping; and when a
patriotic fit seized them, and "Yankee Doodle" was called for,
every man seemed to think his reputation as a citizen depended
on the noise he made.

Two very indifferent figurantes, probably from the Ambigu
Comique, or la Gaiete, made their appearance at Cincinnati while
we were there; and had Mercury stepped down, and danced a _pas
seul_ upon earth, his godship could not have produced a more
violent sensation.  But wonder and admiration were by no means
the only feelings excited; horror and dismay were produced in at
least an equal degree.  No one, I believe, doubted their being
admirable dancers, but every one agreed that the morals of the
Western world would never recover the shock.  When I was asked if
I had ever seen any thing so dreadful before, I was embarrassed
how to answer; for the young women had been exceedingly careful,
both in their dress and in their dancing, to meet the taste of
the people; but had it been Virginie in her most transparent
attire, or Taglioni in her most remarkable pirouette, they could
not have been more reprobated.  The ladies altogether forsook the
theatre; the gentlemen muttered under their breath, and turned
their heads aside when the subject was mentioned; the clergy
denounced them from the pulpit; and if they were named at the
meetings of the saints, it was to show how deep the horror such a
theme could produce.  I could not but ask myself if virtue were a
plant, thriving under one form in one country, and flourishing
under a different one in another?  If these Western Americans are
right, then how dreadfully wrong are we!  It is really a very
puzzling subject.

But this was not the only point on which I found my notions of
right and wrong utterly confounded; hardly a day passed in which
I did not discover that something or other that I had been taught
to consider lawful as eating, was held in abhorrence by those
around me; many words to which I had never heard an objectionable
meaning attached, were totally interdicted, and the strangest
paraphrastic sentences substituted.  I confess it struck me, that
notwithstanding a general stiffness of manner, which I think must
exceed that of the Scribes and Pharisees, the Americans have
imaginations that kindle with alarming facility.  I could give
many anecdotes to prove this, but will content myself with a few.

A young German gentleman of perfectly good manners, once came to
me greatly chagrined at having offended one of the principal
families in the neighbourhood, by having pronounced the word
_corset_ before the ladies of it.  An old female friend had
kindly overcome her own feelings so far as to mention to him the
cause of the coolness he had remarked, and strongly advised his
making an apology.  He told me that he was perfectly well
disposed to do so, but felt himself greatly at a loss how to
word it.

An English lady who had long kept a fashionable boarding-school
in one of the Atlantic cities, told me that one of her earliest
cares with every new comer, was the endeavour to substitute real
delicacy for this affected precision of manner; among many
anecdotes, she told me one of a young lady about fourteen, who on
entering the receiving room, where she only expected to see a
lady who had enquired for her, and finding a young man with her,
put her hands before her eyes, and ran out of the room again,
screaming "A man! a man! a man!"

On another occasion, one of the young ladies in going up stairs
to the drawing-room, unfortunately met a boy of fourteen coming
down, and her feelings were so violently agitated, that she
stopped panting and sobbing, nor would pass on till the boy had
swung himself up on the upper banisters, to leave the passage
free.

At Cincinnati there is a garden where the people go to eat ices,
and to look at roses.  For the preservation of the flowers, there
is placed at the end of one of the walks a sign-post sort of
daub, representing a Swiss peasant girl, holding in her hand a
scroll, requesting that the roses might not be gathered.
Unhappily for the artist, or for the proprietor, or for both,
the petticoat of this figure was so short as to shew her ancles.
The ladies saw, and shuddered; and it was formally intimated to
the proprietor, that if he wished for the patronage of the ladies
of Cincinnati, he must have the petticoat of this figure
lengthened.  The affrighted purveyor of ices sent off an express
for the artist and his paint pot.  He came, but unluckily not
provided with any colour that would match the petticoat; the
necessity, however, was too urgent for delay, and a flounce of
blue was added to the petticoat of red, giving bright and shining
evidence before all men of the immaculate delicacy of the
Cincinnati ladies.

I confess I was sometimes tempted to suspect that this ultra
refinement was not very deep seated.  It often appeared to me
like the consciousness of grossness, that wanted a veil; but the
veil was never gracefully adjusted.  Occasionally, indeed, the
very same persons who appeared ready to faint at the idea of a
statue, would utter some unaccountable sally that was quite
startling, and which made me feel that the indelicacy of which we
were accused had its limits.  The following anecdote is hardly
fit to tell, but it explains what I mean too well to be omitted.

A young married lady, of _high standing_ and most fastidious
delicacy, who had been brought up at one of the Atlantic
seminaries of highest reputation, told me that her house, at the
distance of half a mile from a populous city, was unfortunately
opposite a mansion of worse than doubtful reputation.  "It is
abominable," she said, "to see the people that go there; they
ought to be exposed.  I and another lady, an intimate friend of
mine, did make one of them look foolish enough last summer: she
was passing the day with me, and, while we were sitting at the
window, we saw a young man we both knew ride up there, we went
into the garden and watched at the gate for him to come back, and
when he did, we both stepped out, and I said to him, "are you not
ashamed, Mr. William D., to ride by my house and back again in
that manner?"  I never saw a man look so foolish!"

In conversing with ladies on the customs and manners of Europe, I
remarked a strong propensity to consider every thing as wrong to
which they were not accustomed.  I once mentioned to a young lady
that I thought a picnic party would be very agreeable, and that I
would propose it to some of our friends.  She agreed that it
would be delightful, but she added, "I fear you will not succeed;
we are not used to such sort of things here, and I know it is
considered very indelicate for ladies and gentlemen to sit down
together on the grass."

I could multiply anecdotes of this nature; but I think these
sufficient to give an accurate idea of the tone of manners in
this particular, and I trust to justify the observations I
have made.

One of the spectacles which produced the greatest astonishment
on us all was the Republican simplicity of the courts of justice.
We had heard that the judges indulged themselves on the bench
in those extraordinary attitudes which, doubtless, some
peculiarity of the American formation leads them to find the
most comfortable.  Of this we were determined to judge for
ourselves, and accordingly entered the court when it was in full
business, with three judges on the bench.  The annexed sketch
will better describe what we saw than any thing I can write.

Our winter passed rapidly away, and pleasantly enough, by the
help of frosty walks, a little skaiting, a visit to Big-Bone
Lick, and a visit to the shaking Quakers, a good deal of chess,
and a good deal of reading, notwithstanding we were almost in the
back woods of Western America.

The excursion to Big-Bone Lick, in Kentucky, and that to the
Quaker village, were too fatiguing for females at such a season,
but our gentlemen brought us home mammoth bones and shaking
Quaker stories in abundance.

These singular people, the shaking Quakers of America, give
undeniable proof that communities may exist and prosper, for they
have continued for many years to adhere strictly to this manner
of life, and have been constantly increasing in wealth.  They
have formed two or three different societies in distant parts of
the Union, all governed by the same general laws, and all
uniformly prosperous and flourishing.

There must be some sound and wholesome principle at work in these
establishments to cause their success in every undertaking, and
this principle must be a powerful one, for it has to combat much
that is absurd and much that is mischievous.

The societies are generally composed of about an equal proportion
of males and females, many of them being men and their wives; but
they are all bound by their laws not to cohabit together.  Their
religious observances are wholly confined to singing and dancing
of the most grotesque kind, and this repeated so constantly as to
occupy much time; yet these people become rich and powerful
wherever they settle themselves.  Whatever they manufacture,
whatever their farms produce, is always in the highest repute,
and brings the highest price in the market.  They receive all
strangers with great courtesy, and if they bring an introduction
they are lodged and fed for any length of time they choose to
stay; they are not asked to join in their labours, but are
permitted to do so if they wish it.

The Big-Bone Lick was not visited, and even partially examined,
without considerable fatigue.

It appeared from the account of our travellers, that the spot
which gives the region its elegant name is a deep bed of blue
clay, tenacious and unsound, so much so as to render it both
difficult and dangerous to traverse.  The digging it has been
found so laborious that no one has yet hazarded the expense of a
complete search into its depths for the gigantic relics so
certainly hidden there.  The clay has never been moved without
finding some of them; and I think it can hardly be doubted that
money and perseverance would procure a more perfect specimen of
an entire mammoth than we have yet seen.  [Since the above was
written an immense skeleton, nearly perfect, has been extracted.]

And now the time arrived that our domestic circle was again to be
broken up.  Our eldest son was to be entered at Oxford, and it
was necessary that his father should accompany him; and, after
considerable indecision, it was at length determined that I and
my daughters should remain another year, with our second son.  It
was early in February, and our travellers prepared themselves to
encounter some sharp gales upon the mountains, though the great
severity of the cold appeared to be past.  We got buffalo robes
and double shoes prepared for them, and they were on the eve of
departure when we heard that General Jackson, the newly-elected
President, was expected to arrive immediately at Cincinnati, from
his residence in the West, and to proceed by steamboat to
Pittsburgh, on his way to Washington.  This determined them not
to fix the day of their departure till they heard of his arrival,
and then, if possible, to start in the same boat with him; the
decent dignity of a private conveyance not being deemed necessary
for the President of the United States.

The day of his arrival was however quite uncertain, and we could
only determine to have every thing very perfectly in readiness,
let it come when it would.  This resolution was hardly acted upon
when the news reached us that the General had arrived at
Louisville, and was expected at Cincinnati in a few hours.  All
was bustle and hurry at Mohawk-cottage; we quickly dispatched our
packing business, and this being the first opportunity we had had
of witnessing such a demonstration of popular feeling, we all
determined to be present at the debarkation of the great man.
We accordingly walked to Cincinnati, and secured a favourable
station at the landing-place, both for the purpose of seeing the
first magistrate and of observing his reception by the people.
We had waited but a few moments when the heavy panting of the
steam engines and then a discharge of cannon told that we were
just in time; another moment brought his vessel in sight.

Nothing could be better of its kind than his approach to the
shore: the noble steam-boat which conveyed him was flanked on
each side by one of nearly equal size and splendour; the roofs of
all three were covered by a crowd of men; cannon saluted them
from the shore as they passed by, to the distance of a quarter of
a mile above the town; there they turned about, and came down the
river with a rapid but stately motion, the three vessels so close
together as to appear one mighty mass upon the water.

When they arrived opposite the principal landing they swept
gracefully round, and the side vessels, separating themselves
from the centre, fell a few feet back, permitting her to approach
before them with her honoured freight.  All this manoeuvring was
extremely well executed, and really beautiful.

The crowd on the shore awaited her arrival in perfect stillness.
When she touched the bank the people on board gave a faint huzza,
but it was answered by no note of welcome from the land: this
cold silence was certainly not produced by any want of friendly
feeling towards the new President; during the whole of the
canvassing he had been decidedly the popular candidate at
Cincinnati, and, for months past, we had been accustomed to the
cry of "Jackson for ever" from an overwhelming majority; but
enthusiasm is not either the virtue or the vice of America.

More than one private carriage was stationed at the water's edge
to await the General's orders, but they were dismissed with the
information that he would walk to the hotel.  Upon receiving this
intimation the silent crowd divided itself in a very orderly
manner, leaving a space for him to walk through them.  He did so,
uncovered, though the distance was considerable, and the weather
very cold; but he alone (with the exception of a few European
gentlemen who were present) was without a hat.  He wore his grey
hair, carelessly, but not ungracefully arranged, and, spite of
his harsh gaunt features, he looks like a gentleman and a
soldier.  He was in deep mourning, having very recently lost his
wife; they were said to have been very happy together, and I was
pained by hearing a voice near me exclaim, as he approached the
spot where I stood, "There goes Jackson, where is his wife?"
Another sharp voice, at a little distance, cried, "Adams for
ever!"  And these sounds were all I heard to break the silence.

"They manage these matters better" in the East, I have no doubt,
but as yet I was still in the West, and still inclined to think,
that however meritorious the American character may be, it is not
amiable.

Mr. T. and his sons joined the group of citizens who waited upon
him to the hotel, and were presented to the President in form;
that is, they shook hands with him.  Learning that he intended to
remain a few hours there, or more properly, that it would be a
few hours before the steam-boat would be ready to proceed, Mr. T.
secured berths on board, and returned, to take a hasty dinner
with us.  At the hour appointed by the captain, Mr. T. and his
son accompanied the General on board; and by subsequent letters I
learnt that they had conversed a good deal with him, and were
pleased by his conversation and manners, but deeply disgusted by
the brutal familiarity to which they saw him exposed at every
place on their progress at which they stopped; I am tempted to
quote one passage, as sufficiently descriptive of the manner,
which so painfully grated against their European feelings.

'There was not a hulking boy from a keel-boat who was not
introduced to the President, unless, indeed, as was the case
with some, they introduced themselves: for instance, I was at
his elbow when a greasy fellow accosted him thus:-

"General Jackson, I guess?"

'The General bowed assent.

"Why they told me you was dead."

"No!  Providence has hitherto preserved my life."

"And is your wife alive too?"

'The General, apparently much hurt, signified the contrary, upon
which the courtier concluded his harangue, by saying, "Aye, I
thought it was the one or the t'other of ye."'



CHAPTER 14

American Spring--Controversy between Messrs. Owen and Cambell--
Public ball--Separation of the sexes--American freedom--Execution



The American spring is by no means so agreeable as the American
autumn; both move with faultering step, and slow; but this
lingering pace, which is delicious in autumn, is most tormenting
in the spring.  In the one case you are about to part with a
friend, who is becoming more gentle and agreeable at every step,
and such steps can hardly be made too slowly; but in the other
you are making your escape from a dreary cavern, where you have
been shut up with black frost and biting blasts, and where your
best consolation was being smoke-dried.

But, upon second thoughts, I believe it would be more correct,
instead of complaining of the slow pace of the American spring,
to declare that they have no spring at all.  The beautiful autumn
often lingers on till Christmas, after which winter can be
trifled with no longer, and generally keeps a stubborn hold
through the months which we call spring, when he suddenly turns
his back, and summer takes his place.

The inconceivable uncertainty of the climate is, however, such,
that I will not venture to state about what time this change
takes place, for it is certain, that let me name what time I
would, it would be easy for any weather journaliser to prove me
wrong, by quoting that the thermometer was at 100 at a period
which my statement included in the winter; or 50 long after I
made the summer commence.

The climate of England is called uncertain, but it can never, I
think, be so described by any who have experienced that of the
United States.  A gentleman, on whose accuracy I could depend,
told me he had repeatedly known the thermometer vary above 40
degrees in the space of twelve hours.  This most unpleasant
caprice of the temperature is, I conceive, one cause of the
unhealthiness of the climate.

At length, however, after shivering and shaking till we were
tired of it, and having been half ruined in fire-wood (which,
by the way, is nearly as dear as at Paris, and dearer in many
parts of the Union), the summer burst upon us full blown,
and the ice-house, the piazza, and the jalousies were again
in full requisition.

It was in the early summer of this year (1829) that Cincinnati
offered a spectacle unprecedented, I believe, in any age or
country.  Mr. Owen, of Lanark, of New Harmony, of Texas, well
known to the world by all or either of these additions, had
challenged the whole religious public of the United States to
discuss with him publicly the truth or falsehood of all the
religions that had ever been propagated on the face of the earth;
stating, further, that he undertook to prove that they were all
equally false, and nearly equally mischievous.  This most
appalling challenge was conveyed to the world through the medium
of New Orleans newspapers, and for some time it remained
unanswered; at length the Reverend Alexander Campbell, from
Bethany, (not of Judaea, but of Kentucky,) proclaimed, through
the same medium, that he was ready to take up the gauntlet.  The
place fixed for this extraordinary discussion was Cincinnati; the
time, the second Monday in May, 1829, being about a year from the
time the challenge was accepted; thus giving the disputants time
to prepare themselves.

Mr. Owen's preparation, however, could only have been such as
those who run may read, for, during the interval, he traversed
great part of North America, crossed the Atlantic twice, visited
England, Scotland, Mexico, Texas, and I know not how many places
besides.

Mr. Campbell, I was told, passed this period very differently,
being engaged in reading with great research and perseverance all
the theological works within his reach.  But whatever confidence
the learning and piety of Mr. Campbell might have inspired in his
friends, or in the Cincinnati Christians in general, it was not,
as it appeared, sufficient to induce Mr. Wilson, the Presbyterian
minister of the largest church in the town, to permit the display
of them within its walls.  This refusal was greatly reprobated,
and much regretted, as the curiosity to hear the discussion was
very general, and no other edifice offered so much accommodation.

A Methodist meeting-house, large enough to contain a thousand
persons, was at last chosen; a small stage was arranged round the
pulpit, large enough to accommodate the disputants and their
stenographers; the pulpit itself was throughout the whole time
occupied by the aged father of Mr. Campbell, whose flowing white
hair, and venerable countenance, constantly expressive of the
deepest attention, and the most profound interest, made him a
very striking figure in the group.  Another platform was raised
in a conspicuous part of the building, on which were seated seven
gentlemen of the city, selected as moderators.

The chapel was equally divided, one half being appropriated to
ladies, the other to gentlemen; and the door of entrance reserved
for the ladies was carefully guarded by persons appointed to
prevent any crowding or difficulty from impeding their approach.
I suspect that the ladies were indebted to Mr. Owen for this
attention; the arrangements respecting them on this occasion were
by no means American.

When Mr. Owen rose, the building was thronged in every part; the
audience, or congregation, (I hardly know which to call them)
were of the highest rank of citizens, and as large a proportion
of best bonnets fluttered there, as the "two horned church"
itself could boast.

It was in the profoundest silence, and apparently with the
deepest attention, that Mr. Owen's opening address was received;
and surely it was the most singular one that ever Christian men
and women sat to listen to.

When I recollect its object, and the uncompromising manner in
which the orator stated his mature conviction that the whole
history of the Christian mission was a fraud, and its sacred
origin a fable, I cannot but wonder that it was so listened to;
yet at the time I felt no such wonder.  Never did any one
practise the _suaviter in modo_ with more powerful effect than
Mr. Owen.  The gentle tone of his voice; his mild, sometimes
playful, but never ironical manner; the absence of every
vehement or harsh expression; the affectionate interest
expressed for "the whole human family," the air of candour
with which he expressed his wish to be convinced he was wrong,
if he indeed were so--his kind smile--the mild expression of
his eyes--in short, his whole manner, disarmed zeal, and
produced a degree of tolerance that those who did not hear
him would hardly believe possible.

Half an hour was the time allotted for each haranguer; when this
was expired, the moderators were seen to look at their watches.
Mr. Owen, too, looked at his (without pausing) smiled, shook his
head, and said in a parenthesis "a moment's patience," and
continued for nearly another half hour.

Mr. Campbell then arose; his person, voice, and manner all
greatly in his favour.  In his first attack he used the arms,
which in general have been considered as belonging to the other
side of the question.  He quizzed Mr. Owen most unmercifully;
pinched him here for his parallelograms; hit him there for his
human perfectibility, and kept the whole audience in a roar of
laughter.  Mr. Owen joined in it most heartily himself, and
listened to him throughout with the air of a man who is delighted
at the good things he is hearing, and exactly in the cue to
enjoy all the other good things that he is sure will follow.
Mr. Campbell's watch was the only one which reminded us that we
had listened to him for half an hour; and having continued
speaking for a few minutes after he had looked at it, he sat down
with, I should think, the universal admiration of his auditory.

Mr. Owen again addressed us; and his first five minutes were
occupied in complimenting Mr. Campbell with all the strength
his exceeding hearty laughter had left him.  But then he changed
his tone, and said the business was too serious to permit the
next half hour to pass so lightly and so pleasantly as the last;
and then he read us what he called his twelve fundamental laws
of human nature.  These twelve laws he has taken so much trouble
to circulate to all the nations of the earth, that it must be
quite unnecessary to repeat them here.  To me they appear
twelve truisms, that no man in his senses would ever think of
contradicting; but how any one can have conceived that the
explanation and defence of these laws could furnish forth
occupation for his pen and his voice, through whole years of
unwearying declamation, or how he can have dreamed that they
could be twisted into a refutation of the Christian religion,
is a mystery which I never expect to understand.

From this time Mr. Owen entrenched himself behind his twelve
laws, and Mr. Campbell, with equal gravity, confined himself to
bringing forward the most elaborate theological authorities in
evidence of the truth of revealed religion.

Neither appeared to me to answer the other; but to confine
themselves to the utterance of what they had uppermost in their
own minds when the discussion began.  I lamented this on the side
of Mr. Campbell, as I am persuaded he would have been much more
powerful had he trusted more to himself and less to his books.
Mr. Owen is an extraordinary man, and certainly possessed of
talent, but he appears to me so utterly benighted in the mists
of his own theories, that he has quite lost the power of looking
through them, so as to get a peep at the world as it really
exists around him.

At the conclusion of the debate (which lasted for fifteen
sittings) Mr. Campbell desired the whole assembly to sit down.
They obeyed.  He then requested all who wished well to
Christianity to rise, and a very large majority were in an
instant on their legs.  He again requested them to be seated, and
then desired those who believed not in its doctrines to rise, and
a few gentlemen and one lady obeyed.  Mr. Owen protested against
this manoeuvre, as he called it, and refused to believe that it
afforded any proof of the state of men's minds, or of women's
either; declaring, that not only was such a result to be
expected, in the present state of things, but that it was the
duty of every man who had children to feed, not to hazard the
sale of his hogs, or his iron, by a declaration of opinions which
might offend the majority of his customers.  It was said, that at
the end of the fifteen meetings the numerical amount of the
Christians and the Infidels of Cincinnati remained exactly what
it was when they began.

This was a result that might have been perhaps anticipated; but
what was much less to have been expected, neither of the
disputants ever appeared to lose their temper.  I was told they
were much in each other's company, constantly dining together,
and on all occasions expressed most cordially their mutual
esteem.

All this I think could only have happened in America.  I am not
quite sure that it was very desirable it should have happened
any where.

In noting the various brilliant events which diversified our
residence in the western metropolis, I have omitted to mention
the Birthday Ball, as it is called, a festivity which, I believe,
has place on the 22nd of February, in every town and city
throughout the Union.  It is the anniversary of the birth of
General Washington, and well deserves to be marked by the
Americans as a day of jubilee.

I was really astonished at the _coup d'oeil_ on entering, for I
saw a large room filled with extremely well-dressed company,
among whom were many very beautiful girls.  The gentlemen also
were exceedingly smart, but I had not yet been long enough in
Western America not to feel startled at recognising in almost
every full-dressed _beau_ that passed me, the master or shopman
that I had been used to see behind the counter, or lolling at the
door of every shop in the city.  The fairest and finest belles
smiled and smirked on them with as much zeal and satisfaction as
I ever saw bestowed on an eldest son, and I therefore could feel
no doubt of their being considered as of the highest rank.  Yet
it must not be supposed that there is no distinction of classes:
at this same ball I was looking among the many very beautiful
girls I saw there for one more beautiful still, with whose lovely
face I had been particularly struck at the school examination I
have mentioned.  I could not find her, and asked a gentleman why
the beautiful Miss C. was not there.

"You do not yet understand our aristocracy," he replied, "the
family of Miss C. are mechanics."

"But the young lady has been educated at the same school as
these, whom I see here, and I know her brother has a shop in the
town, quite as large, and apparently as prosperous, as those
belonging to any of these young men.  What is the difference?"

"He is a mechanic; he assists in making the articles he sells;
the others call themselves merchants."

The dancing was not quite like, yet not very unlike, what we see
at an assize or race-ball in a country town.  They call their
dances cotillions instead of quadrilles, and the figures are
called from the orchestra in English, which has very ludicrous
effect on European ears.

The arrangements for the supper were very singular, but eminently
characteristic of the country.  The gentlemen had a splendid
entertainment spread for them in another large room of the hotel,
while the poor ladies had each a plate put into their hands, as
they pensively promenaded the ballroom during their absence; and
shortly afterwards servants appeared, bearing trays of
sweetmeats, cakes, and creams.  The fair creatures then sat down
on a row of chairs placed round the walls, and each making a
table of her knees, began eating her sweet, but sad and sulky
repast.  The effect was extremely comic; their gala dresses and
the decorated room forming a contrast the most unaccountable with
their uncomfortable and forlorn condition.

This arrangement was owing neither to economy nor want of a
room large enough to accommodate the whole party, but purely
because the gentlemen liked it better.  This was the answer
given me, when my curiosity tempted me to ask why the ladies
and gentlemen did not sup together; and this was the answer
repeated to me afterwards by a variety of people to whom I put
the same question.

I am led to mention this feature of American manners very
frequently, not only because it constantly recurs, but because
I consider it as being in a great degree the cause of that
universal deficiency in good manners and graceful demeanour,
both in men and women, which is so remarkable.

Where there is no court, which every where else is the glass
wherein the higher orders dress themselves, and which again
reflected from them to the classes below, goes far towards
polishing, in some degree, a great majority of the population,
it is not to be expected that manner should be made so much a
study, or should attain an equal degree of elegance; but the
deficiency, and the total difference, is greater than this
cause alone could account for.  The hours of enjoyment are
important to human beings every where, and we every where find
them preparing to make the most of them.  Those who enjoy
themselves only in society, whether intellectual or convivial,
prepare themselves for it, and such make but a poor figure when
forced to be content with the sweets of solitude: while, on
the other hand, those to whom retirement affords the greatest
pleasure, seldom give or receive much in society.  Wherever
the highest enjoyment is found by both sexes in scenes where
they meet each other, both will prepare themselves to appear
with advantage there.  The men will not indulge in the luxury
of chewing tobacco, or even of spitting, and the women will
contrive to be capable of holding a higher post than that of
unwearied tea-makers.

In America, with the exception of dancing, which is almost wholly
confined to the unmarried of both sexes, all the enjoyments of
the men are found in the absence of the women.  They dine, they
play cards, they have musical meetings, they have suppers, all in
large parties but all without women.  Were it not that such is
the custom, it is impossible but that they would have ingenuity
enough to find some expedient for sparing the wives and daughters
of the opulent the sordid offices of household drudgery which
they almost all perform in their families.  Even in the slave
states, though they may not clear-starch and iron, mix puddings
and cakes one half of the day, and watch them baking the other
half, still the very highest occupy themselves in their household
concerns, in a manner that precludes the possibility of their
becoming elegant and enlightened companions.  In Baltimore,
Philadelphia, and New York, I met with some exceptions to this;
but speaking of the country generally, it is unquestionably true.

Had I not become heartily tired of my prolonged residence in a
place I cordially disliked, and which moreover I began to fear
would not be attended with the favourable results we had
anticipated, I should have found an almost inexhaustible source
of amusement in the notions and opinions of the people I
conversed with; and as it was, I often did enjoy this in a
considerable degree.

We received, as I have mentioned, much personal kindness; but
this by no means interfered with the national feeling of, I
believe, unconquerable dislike, which evidently lives at the
bottom of every truly American heart against the English.  This
shows itself in a thousand little ways, even in the midst of the
most kind and friendly intercourse, but often in a manner more
comic than offensive.

Sometimes it was thus.--"Well, now, I think your government must
just be fit to hang themselves for that last war they cooked up;
it has been the ruin of you I expect, for it has just been the
making of us."

Then.--"Well, I do begin to understand your broken English better
than I did; but no wonder I could not make it out very well at
first, as you come from London; for every body knows that London
slang is the most dreadful in the world.  How queer it is now,
that all the people that live in London should put the _h_ where
it is not, and never will put it where it is."

I was egotistical enough to ask the lady who said this, if she
found that I did so.

"No; you do not," was the reply; but she added, with a complacent
smile, "it is easy enough to see the pains you take about it: I
expect you have heard how we Americans laugh at you all for it,
and so you are trying to learn our way of pronouncing."

One lady asked me very gravely, if we had left home in order to
get rid of the vermin with which the English of all ranks were
afflicted?  "I have heard from unquestionable authority," she
added, "that it is quite impossible to walk through the streets
of London without having the head filled."

I laughed a little, but spoke not a word.  She coloured highly,
and said, "There is nothing so easy as to laugh, but truth is
truth, laughed at or not."

I must preface the following anecdote by observing that in
America nearly the whole of the insect tribe are classed under
the general name of bug; the unfortunate cosmopolite known by
that name amongst us is almost the only one not included in this
term.  A lady abruptly addressed me with, "Don't you hate
chintzes, Mrs. Trollope?"

"No indeed," I replied, "I think them very pretty."

"There now! if that is not being English! I reckon you call that
loving your country; well, thank God! we Americans have something
better to love our country for than that comes to; we are not
obliged to say that we like nasty filthy chintzes to shew that we
are good patriots."

"Chintzes? what are chintzes?"

"Possible! do you pretend you don't know what chintzes are?  Why
the nasty little stinking blood-suckers that all the beds in
London are full of."

I have since been informed that _chinche_ is Spanish for bug; but
at the time the word suggested only the material of a curtain.

Among other instances of that species of modesty so often seen in
America, and so unknown to us, I frequently witnessed one, which,
while it evinced the delicacy of the ladies, gave opportunity for
many lively sallies from the gentlemen.  I saw the same sort of
thing repeated on different occasions at least a dozen times;
e.g. a young lady is employed in making a shirt, (which it would
be a symptom of absolute depravity to name), a gentleman enters,
and presently begins the sprightly dialogue with "What are you
making Miss Clarissa?"

"Only a frock for my sister's doll, sir."

"A frock? not possible.  Don't I see that it is not a frock?
Come, Miss Clarissa, what is it?"

"Tis just an apron for one of our Negroes, Mr. Smith."

"How can you.  Miss Clarissa! why is not the two side joined
together?  I expect you were better tell me what it is."

"My! why then Mr. Smith, it is just a pillow-case."

"Now that passes.  Miss Clarissa! 'Tis a pillow-case for a giant
then.  Shall I guess, Miss?"

"Quit, Mr. Smith; behave yourself, or I'll certainly be affronted."

Before the conversation arrives at this point, both gentleman
and lady are in convulsions of laughter.  I once saw a young
lady so hard driven by a wit, that to prove she was making a
bag, and nothing but a bag, she sewed up the ends before his
eyes, shewing it triumphantly, and exclaiming, "there now! what
can you say to that?"

One of my friends startled me one day by saying in an
affectionate, but rather compassionate tone, "How will you bear
to go back to England to live, and to bring up your children in
a country where you know you are considered as no better than
the dirt in the streets?"

I begged she would explain.

"Why, you know I would not affront you for any thing; but the
fact is, we Americans know rather more than you think for, and
certainly if I was in England I should not think of associating
with anything but lords.  I have always been among the first
here, and if I travelled I should like to do the same.  I don't
mean, I'm sure, that I would not come to see you, but you know
you are not lords, and therefore I know very well how you are
treated in your own country."

I very rarely contradicted statements of this kind, as I found
it less trouble, and infinitely more amusing, to let them pass;
indeed, had I done otherwise, it would have been of little avail,
as among the many conversations I held in America respecting my
own country, I do not recollect a single instance in which it
was not clear that I knew much less about it than those I
conversed with.

On the subject of national glory, I presume I got more than my
share of buffeting; for being a woman, there was no objection to
their speaking out.  One lady, indeed, who was a great patriot,
evinced much delicacy towards me, for upon some one speaking of
New Orleans, she interrupted them, saying, "I wish you would not
talk of New Orleans;" and, turning to me, added with great
gentleness, "It must be so painful to your feelings to hear that
place mentioned!"

The immense superiority of the American to the British navy was
a constant theme, and to this I always listened, as nearly as
possible, in silence.  I repeatedly heard it stated, (so often,
indeed, and from such various quarters, that I think there must
be some truth in it), that the American sailors fire with a
certainty of slaughter, whereas our shots are sent very nearly at
random.  "This, " said a naval officer of high reputation, "is
the blessed effect of your game laws; your sailors never fire at
a mark; whilst our free tars, from their practice in pursuit of
game, can any of them split a hair."  But the favourite, the
constant, the universal sneer that met me every where, was on our
old-fashioned attachments to things obsolete.  Had they a little
wit among them, I am certain they would have given us the
cognomen of "My Grandmother, the British," for that is the tone
they take, and it is thus they reconcile themselves to the crude
newness of every thing around them.

"I wonder you are not sick of kings, chancellors, and
archbishops, and all your fustian of wigs and gowns," said a
very clever gentleman to me once, with an affected yawn,
"I protest the very sound almost sets me to sleep."

It is amusing to observe how soothing the idea seems, that they
are more modern, more advanced than England.  Our classic
literature, our princely dignities, our noble institutions, are
all gone-by relics of the dark ages.

This, and the vastness of their naked territory, make up the
flattering unction which is laid upon the soul, as an antidote
to the little misgiving which from time to time arises, lest
their large country be not of quite so much importance among
the nations, as a certain paltry old-fashioned little place that
they wot of.

I was once sitting with a party of ladies, among whom were one
or two young girls, whose curiosity was greater than their
patriotism, and they asked me many questions respecting the
splendour and extent of London.  I was endeavouring to satisfy
them by the best description I could give, when we were
interrupted by another lady, who exclaimed, "Do hold your
tongues, girls, about London; if you want to know what a
beautiful city is, look at Philadelphia; when Mrs. Trollope has
been there, I think she will allow that it is better worth
talking about than that great overgrown collection of nasty,
filthy, dirty streets, that they call London."

Once in Ohio, and once in the district of Columbia, I had
an atlas displayed before me, that I might be convinced by
the evidence of my own eyes what a very contemptible little
country I came from.  I shall never forget the gravity with
which, on the latter occasion, a gentleman drew out his
graduated pencil-case, and shewed me past contradiction, that
the whole of the British dominions did not equal in size one of
their least important states; nor the air with which, after the
demonstration, he placed his feet upon the chimney-piece,
considerably higher than his head, and whistled Yankee Doodle.

Their glorious institutions, their unequalled freedom, were, of
course, not left unsung.

I took some pains to ascertain what they meant by their glorious
institutions, and it is with no affectation of ignorance that I
profess I never could comprehend the meaning of the phrase, which
is, however, on the lip of every American, when he talks of his
country.  I asked if by their institutions they meant their
hospitals and penitentiaries.  "Oh no! we mean the glorious
institutions which are coeval with the revolution."  "Is it," I
asked, "your institution of marriage, which you have made purely
a civil and not a religious rite, to be performed by a justice of
peace, instead of a clergyman?"

"Oh no! we speak of our divine political institutions."  Yet
still I was in the dark, nor can I guess what they mean, unless
they call incessant electioneering, without pause or interval for
a single day, for a single hour, of their whole existence, "a
glorious institution."

Their unequalled freedom, I think, I understand better.  Their
code of common law is built upon ours; and the difference between
us is this, in England the laws are acted upon, in America they
are not.

I do not speak of the police of the Atlantic cities; I
believe it is well arranged: in New York it is celebrated
for being so; but out of the range of their influence, the
contempt of law is greater than I can venture to state, with
any hope of being believed.  Trespass, assault, robbery, nay,
even murder, are often committed without the slightest attempt
at legal interference.

During the summer that we passed most delightfully in Maryland,
our rambles were often restrained in various directions by the
advice of our kind friends, who knew the manners and morals of
the country.  When we asked the cause, we were told, "There is a
public-house on that road, and it will not be safe to pass it,"

The line of the Chesapeak and Ohio canal passed within a few
miles of Mrs. S--'s residence.  It twice happened during our
stay with her, that dead bodies were found partially concealed
near it.  The circumstance was related as a sort of half hour's
wonder; and when I asked particulars of those who, on one
occasion, brought the tale, the reply was, "Oh, he was murdered
I expect; or maybe he died of the canal fever; but they say he
had marks of being throttled."  No inquest was summoned; and
certainly no more sensation was produced by the occurrence than
if a sheep had been found in the same predicament.

The abundance of food and the scarcity of hanging were also
favourite topics, as proving their superiority to England.  They
are both excellent things, but I do not admit the inference.
A wide and most fertile territory, as yet but thinly inhabited,
may easily be made to yield abundant food for its population: and
where a desperate villain knows, that when he has made his town
or his village "too hot to hold him," he has nothing to do but to
travel a few miles west, and be sure of finding plenty of beef
and whiskey, with no danger that the law shall follow him, it is
not extraordinary that executions should be rare.

Once during our residence at Cincinnati, a murderer of uncommon
atrocity was taken, tried, convicted, and condemned to death.
It had been shewn on his trial, that some years before he had
murdered a wife and child at New Orleans, but little notice had
been taken of it at the time.  The crime which had now thrown
him into the hands of justice was the recent murder of a second
wife, and the chief evidence against him was his own son.

The day of his execution was fixed, and the sensation produced
was so great from the strangeness of the occurrence, (no white
man having ever been executed at Cincinnati,) that persons from
sixty miles' distance came to be present at it.

Meanwhile some unco' good people began to start doubts as to
the righteousness of hanging a man, and made application to the
Governor of the State* of Ohio, to commute the sentence into
imprisonment.  The Governor for some time refused to interfere
with the sentence of the tribunal before which he had been tried;
but at length, frightened at the unusual situation in which he
found himself, he yielded to the importunity of the Presbyterian
party who had assailed him, and sent off an order to the sheriff
accordingly.  But this order was not to reprieve him, but to ask
him if he pleased to be reprieved, and sent to the penitentiary
instead of being hanged.

    *(The Governors of states have the same power over life and
     (death as is vested, with us, in the crown.

The sheriff waited upon the criminal, and made his proposal, and
was answered.  "If any thing could make me agree to it, it would
be the hope of living long enough to kill you and my dog of a
son: however, I won't agree; you shall have the hanging of me."

The worthy sheriff, to whom the ghastly office of executioner is
assigned, said all in his power to persuade him to sign the
offered document, but in vain; he obtained nothing but abuse for
his efforts.

The day of execution arrived; the place appointed was the side
of a hill, the only one cleared of trees near the town; and many
hours before the time fixed, we saw it entirely covered by an
immense multitude of men, women, and children.  At length the
hour arrived, the dismal cart was seen slowly mounting the hill,
the noisy throng was hushed into solemn silence; the wretched
criminal mounted the scaffold, when again the sheriff asked him
to sign his acceptance of the commutation proposed; but he
spurned the paper from him, and cried aloud, "Hang me!"

Midday was the moment appointed for cutting the rope; the sheriff
stood, his watch in one hand, and a knife in the other; the hand
was lifted to strike, when the criminal stoutly exclaimed, "I
sign;" and he was conveyed back to prison, amidst the shouts,
laughter, and ribaldry of the mob.

I am not fond of hanging, but there was something in all this
that did not look like the decent dignity of wholesome justice.



CHAPTER 15

Camp-Meeting



It was in the course of this summer that I found the opportunity
I had long wished for, of attending a camp-meeting, and I gladly
accepted the invitation of an English lady and gentleman to
accompany them in their carriage to the spot where it is held;
this was in a wild district on the confines of Indiana.

The prospect of passing a night in the back woods of Indiana was
by no means agreeable, but I screwed my courage to the proper
pitch, and set forth determined to see with my own eyes, and hear
with my own ears, what a camp-meeting really was.  I had heard it
said that being at a camp-meeting was like standing at the gate
of heaven, and seeing it opening before you; I had heard it said,
that being at a camp-meeting was like finding yourself within the
gates of hell; in either case there must be something to gratify
curiosity, and compensate one for the fatigue of a long rumbling
ride and a sleepless night.

We reached the ground about an hour before midnight, and the
approach to it was highly picturesque.  The spot chosen was the
verge of an unbroken forest, where a space of about twenty acres
appeared to have been partially cleared for the purpose.  Tents
of different sizes were pitched very near together in a circle
round the cleared space; behind them were ranged an exterior
circle of carriages of every description, and at the back of each
were fastened the horses which had drawn them thither.  Through
this triple circle of defence we distinguished numerous fires
burning brightly within it; and still more numerous lights
flickering from the trees that were left in the enclosure.  The
moon was in meridian splendour above our heads.

We left the carriage to the care of a servant, who was to prepare
a bed in it for Mrs. B. and me, and entered the inner circle.
The first glance reminded me of Vauxhall, from the effect of the
lights among the trees, and the moving crowd below them; but the
second shewed a scene totally unlike any thing I had ever
witnessed.  Four high frames, constructed in the form of altars,
were placed at the four corners of the enclosure; on these were
supported layers of earth and sod, on which burned immense fires
of blazing pinewood.  On one side a rude platform was erected to
accommodate the preachers, fifteen of whom attended this meeting,
and with very short intervals for necessary refreshment and
private devotion, preached in rotation, day and night, from
Tuesday to Saturday.

When we arrived, the preachers were silent; but we heard issuing
from nearly every tent mingled sounds of praying, preaching,
singing, and lamentation.  The curtains in front of each tent
were dropped, and the faint light that gleamed through the white
drapery, backed as it was by the dark forest, had a beautiful and
mysterious effect, that set the imagination at work; and had the
sounds which vibrated around us been less discordant, harsh, and
unnatural, I should have enjoyed it; but listening at the corner
of a tent, which poured forth more than its proportion of
clamour, in a few moments chased every feeling derived from
imagination, and furnished realities that could neither be
mistaken or forgotten.

Great numbers of persons were walking about the ground, who
appeared like ourselves to be present only as spectators; some
of these very unceremoniously contrived to raise the drapery of
this tent, at one comer, so as to afford us a perfect view of
the interior.

The floor was covered with straw, which round the sides was
heaped in masses, that might serve as seats, but which at
that moment were used to support the heads and the arms of the
close-packed circle of men and women who kneeled on the floor.

Out of about thirty persons thus placed, perhaps half a dozen
were men.  One of these, a handsome looking youth of eighteen
or twenty, kneeled just below the opening through which I looked.
His arm was encircling the neck of a young girl who knelt beside
him, with her hair hanging dishevelled upon her shoulders, and
her features working with the most violent agitation; soon after
they both fell forward on the straw, as if unable to endure in
any other attitude the burning eloquence of a tall grim figure
in black, who, standing erect in the centre, was uttering with
incredible vehemence an oration that seemed to hover between
praying and preaching; his arms hung stiff and immoveable by
his side, and he looked like an ill-constructed machine, set
in action by a movement so violent, as to threaten its own
destruction, so jerkingly, painfully, yet rapidly, did his
words tumble out; the kneeling circle ceasing not to call in
every variety of tone on the name of Jesus; accompanied with
sobs, groans, and a sort of low howling inexpressibly painful
to listen to.  But my attention was speedily withdrawn from the
preacher, and the circle round him, by a figure which knelt
alone at some distance; it was a living image of Scott's
Macbriar, as young, as wild, and as terrible.  His thin arms
tossed above his head, had forced themselves so far out of the
sleeves, that they were bare to the elbow; his large eyes glared
frightfully, and he continued to scream without an instant's
intermission the word "Glory!" with a violence that seemed to
swell every vein to bursting.  It was too dreadful to look upon
long, and we turned away shuddering.

We made the circuit of the tents, pausing where attention was
particularly excited by sounds more vehement than ordinary.
We contrived to look into many; all were strewed with straw, and
the distorted figures that we saw kneeling, sitting, and lying
amongst it, joined to the woeful and convulsive cries, gave to
each, the air of a cell in Bedlam.

One tent was occupied exclusively by Negroes.  They were all
full-dressed, and looked exactly as if they were performing
a scene on the stage.  One woman wore a dress of pink gauze
trimmed with silver lace; another was dressed in pale yellow
silk; one or two had splendid turbans; and all wore a profusion
of ornaments.  The men were in snow white pantaloons, with gay
coloured linen jackets.  One of these, a youth of coal-black
comeliness, was preaching with the most violent gesticulations,
frequently springing high from the ground, and clapping his
hands over his head.  Could our missionary societies have heard
the trash he uttered, by way of an address to the Deity, they
might perhaps have doubted whether his conversion had much
enlightened his mind.

At midnight a horn sounded through the camp, which, we were told,
was to call the people from private to public worship; and we
presently saw them flocking from all sides to the front of the
preachers' stand.  Mrs. B. and I contrived to place ourselves
with our backs supported against the lower part of this
structure, and we were thus enabled to witness the scene which
followed without personal danger.  There were about two thousand
persons assembled.

One of the preachers began in a low nasal tone, and, like all
other Methodist preachers, assured us of the enormous depravity
of man as he comes from the hands of his Maker, and of his
perfect sanctification after he had wrestled sufficiently with
the Lord to get hold of him, _et cetera_.  The admiration of the
crowd was evinced by almost constant cries of "Amen! Amen!"
"Jesus! Jesus!" "Glory! Glory!" and the like.  But this
comparative tranquility did not last long: the preacher told
them that "this night was the time fixed upon for anxious
sinners to wrestle with the Lord;" that he and his brethren
"were at hand to help them," and that such as needed their
help were to come forward into "the pen." The phrase forcibly
recalled Milton's lines--

    "Blind mouths! that scarce themselves know how to hold
     A sheep-hook, or have learned aught else, the least
     That to the faithful herdsman's art belongs!
     --But when they list their lean and flashy songs,
     Grate on their scrannel pipes of wretched straw;--
     The hungry sheep look up, and are not fed!
     But swoln with wind, and the rank mist they draw,
     Rot inwardly--and foul contagion spread."

"The pen" was the space immediately below the preachers' stand;
we were therefore placed on the edge of it, and were enabled to
see and hear all that took place in the very centre of this
extraordinary exhibition.

The crowd fell back at the mention of the _pen_, and for some
minutes there was a vacant space before us.  The preachers came
down from their stand and placed themselves in the midst of it,
beginning to sing a hymn, calling upon the penitents to come
forth.  As they sung they kept turning themselves round to every
part of the crowd and, by degrees, the voices of the whole
multitude joined in chorus.  This was the only moment at which
I perceived any thing like the solemn and beautiful effect,
which I had heard ascribed to this woodland worship.  It is
certain that the combined voices of such a multitude, heard at
dead of night, from the depths of their eternal forests, the
many fair young faces turned upward, and looking paler and
lovelier as they met the moon-beams, the dark figures of the
officials in the middle of the circle, the lurid glare thrown by
the altar-fires on the woods beyond, did altogether produce a
fine and solemn effect, that I shall not easily forget; but ere
I had well enjoyed it, the scene changed, and sublimity gave
place to horror and disgust.

The exhortation nearly resembled that which I had heard at
"the Revival," but the result was very different; for, instead
of the few hysterical women who had distinguished themselves
on that occasion, above a hundred persons,, nearly all females,
came forward, uttering howlings and groans, so terrible that I
shall never cease to shudder when I recall them.  They appeared
to drag each other forward, and on the word being given, "let us
pray," they all fell on their knees; but this posture was soon
changed for others that permitted greater scope for the
convulsive movements of their limbs; and they were soon all
lying on the ground in an indescribable confusion of heads and
legs.  They threw about their limbs with such incessant and
violent motions, that I was every instant expecting some serious
accident to occur.

But how am I to describe the sounds that proceeded from this
strange mass of human beings?  I know no words which can convey
an idea of it.  Hysterical sobbings, convulsive groans, shrieks
and screams the most appalling, burst forth on all sides.  I felt
sick with horror.  As if their hoarse and over strained voices
failed to make noise enough, they soon began to clap their hands
violently.  The scene described by Dante was before me:-

    "Quivi sospiri, pianti, ed alti guai
     Risonavon per l'aere--
     --Orribili favelle
     Parole di dolore, accenti d'ira
     Voci alti e floche, e suon di man con elle."

Many of these wretched creatures were beautiful young females.
The preachers moved about among them, at once exciting and
soothing their agonies.  I heard the muttered "Sister! dear
sister!"  I saw the insidious lips approach the cheeks of the
unhappy girls; I heard the murmured confessions of the poor
victims, and I watched their tormentors, breathing into their
ears consolations that tinged the pale cheek with red.  Had I
been a man, I am sure I should have been guilty of some rash
act of interference; nor do I believe that such a scene could
have been acted in the presence of Englishmen without instant
punishment being inflicted; not to mention the salutary
discipline of the treadmill, which, beyond all question, would,
in England, have been applied to check so turbulent and so
vicious a scene.

After the first wild burst that followed their prostration, the
meanings, in many instances, became loudly articulate; and I then
experienced a strange vibration between tragic and comic feeling.

A very pretty girl, who was kneeling in the attitude of Canova's
Magdalene immediately before us, amongst an immense quantity of
jargon, broke out thus: "Woe! woe to the backsliders! hear it,
hear it Jesus! when I was fifteen my mother died, and I
backslided, oh Jesus, I backslided! take me home to my mother,
Jesus! take me home to her, for I am weary!  Oh John Mitchel!
John Mitchel!" and after sobbing piteously behind her raised
hands, she lifted her sweet face again, which was as pale as
death, and said, "Shall I sit on the sunny bank of salvation with
my mother? my own dear mother? oh Jesus, take me home, take me
home!"  Who could refuse a tear to this earnest wish for death in
one so young and so lovely?  But I saw her, ere I left the
ground, with her hand fast locked, and her head supported by a
man who looked very much as Don Juan might, when sent back to
earth as too bad for the regions below.

One woman near us continued to "call on the Lord," as it is
termed, in the loudest possible tone, and without a moment's
interval, for the two hours that we kept our dreadful station.
She became frightfully hoarse, and her face so red as to make
me expect she would burst a blood-vessel.  Among the rest of
her rant, she said, "I will hold fast to Jesus, I never will
let him go; if they take me to hell, I will still hold him fast,
fast, fast!"

The stunning noise was sometimes varied by the preachers
beginning to sing; but the convulsive movements of the poor
maniacs only became more violent.  At length the atrocious
wickedness of this horrible scene increased to a degree of
grossness, that drove us from our station; we returned to the
carriage at about three o'clock in the morning, and passed
the remainder of the night in listening to the ever increasing
tumult at the pen.  To sleep was impossible.  At daybreak the
horn again sounded, to send them to private devotion; and in
about an hour afterwards I saw the whole camp as joyously
and eagerly employed in preparing and devouring their most
substantial breakfasts as if the night had been passed in
dancing; and I marked many a fair but pale face, that I
recognised as a demoniac of the night, simpering beside a
swain, to whom she carefully administered hot coffee and
eggs.  The preaching saint and the howling sinner seemed alike
to relish this mode of recruiting their strength.

After enjoying abundance of strong tea, which proved a
delightful restorative after a night so strangely spent, I
wandered alone into the forest, and I never remember to have
found perfect quiet more delightful.

We soon after left the ground; but before our departure we
learnt that a very _satisfactory_ collection had been made by
the preachers, for Bibles, Tracts, and _all other religious
purposes_.



CHAPTER 16

Danger of rural excursions--Sickness



It is by no means easy to enjoy the beauties of American scenery
in the west, even when you are in a neighbourhood that affords
much to admire; at least, in doing so, you run considerable risk
of injuring your health.  Nothing is considered more dangerous
than exposure to midday heat, except exposure to evening damp;
and the twilight is so short, that if you set out on an
expedition when the fervid heat subsides, you can hardly get half
a mile before "sun down," as they call it, warns you that you
must run or drive home again, as fast as possible, for fear you
should get "a chill."

I believe we braved all this more than any one else in the whole
country, and if we had not, we should have left Cincinnati
without seeing any thing of the country around it.

Though we kept steadily to our resolution of passing no more
sylvan hours in the forests of Ohio, we often spent entire days
in Kentucky, tracing the course of a "creek," or climbing the
highest points within our reach, in the hope of catching a
glimpse of some distant object.  A beautiful reach of the Ohio,
or the dark windings of the pretty Licking, were indeed always
the most remarkable features in the landscape.

There was one spot, however, so beautiful that we visited it
again and again; it was by no means free from mosquitoes; and
being on the bank of a stream, with many enormous trees lying on
the half-cleared ground around, it was just such a place as we
had been told a hundred times was particularly "dangerous;"
nevertheless, we dared every thing for the sake of dining beside
our beautiful rippling stream, and watching the bright sunbeams
dancing on the grassy bank, at such a distance from our retreat
that they could not heat us.  A little below the basin that
cooled our wine was a cascade of sufficient dimensions to give us
all the music of a waterfall, and all the sparkling brightness of
clear water when it is broken again and again by jutting crags.

To sit beside this miniature cascade, and read, or dream away a
day, was one of our greatest pleasures.

It was indeed a mortifying fact, that whenever we found out a
picturesque nook, where turf, and moss, and deep shade, and a
crystal stream, and fallen trees, majestic in their ruin, tempted
us to sit down, and be very cool and very happy, we invariably
found that that spot lay under the imputation of malaria.

A row upon the Ohio was another of our favourite amusements; but
in this, I believe, we were also very singular, for often, when
enjoying it, we were shouted at, by the young free-borns on the
banks, as if we had been so many monsters.

The only rural amusement in which we ever saw any of the natives
engaged was eating strawberries and cream in a pretty garden
about three miles from the town; here we actually met three or
four carriages; a degree of dissipation that I never witnessed
on any other occasion.  The strawberries were tolerable
strawberries, but the cream was the vilest sky-blue, and the
charge half a dollar to each person; which being about the price
of half a fat sheep, I thought "pretty considerable much," if I
may be permitted to use an expressive phrase of the country.

We had repeatedly been told, by those who knew the land, that
the _second summer_ was the great trial to the health of
Europeans settled in America; but we had now reached the middle
of our second August, and with the exception of the fever one of
my sons had suffered from, the summer after our arrival, we had
all enjoyed perfect health; but I was now doomed to feel the
truth of the above prediction, for before the end of August I
fell low before the monster that is for ever stalking through
that land of lakes and rivers, breathing fever and death around.
It was nine weeks before I left my room, and when I did, I
looked more fit to walk into the Potter's Field, (as they call
the English burying ground) than any where else.

Long after my general health was pretty well restored, I suffered
from the effect of the fever in my limbs, and lay in bed reading
several weeks after I had been pronounced convalescent.  Several
American novels were brought me.  Mr. Flint's Francis Berrian is
excellent; a little wild and romantic, but containing scenes of
first-rate interest and pathos.  Hope Leslie, and Redwood, by
Miss Sedgewick, an American lady, have both great merit; and I
now first read the whole of Mr. Cooper's novels.  By the time
these American studies were completed, I never closed my eyes
without seeing myriads of bloody scalps floating round me; long
slender figures of Red Indians crept through my dreams with
noiseless tread; panthers flared; forests blazed; and which
ever way I fled, a light foot, a keen eye, and a long rifle
were sure to be on my trail.  An additional ounce of calomel
hardly sufficed to neutralize the effect of these raw-head
and bloody-bones adventures.  I was advised to plunge
immediately into a course of fashionable novels.  It was a
great relief to me; but as my head was by no means very clear,
I sometimes jumbled strangely together the civilized rogues
and assassins of Mr. Bulwer, and the wild men, women, and
children slayers of Mr. Cooper; and, truly, between them, I
passed my dreams in very bad company.

Still I could not stand, nor even sit upright.  What was I to
read next?  A happy thought struck me.  I determined upon
beginning with Waverley, and reading through (not for the first
time certainly) the whole series.  And what a world did I enter
upon!  The wholesome vigour of every page seemed to communicate
itself to my nerves; I ceased to be languid and fretful, and
though still a cripple, I certainly enjoyed myself most
completely, as long as my treat lasted; but this was a shorter
time than any one would believe, who has not found how such
volumes melt, before the constant reading of a long idle day.
When it was over, however, I had the pleasure of finding that I
could walk half a dozen yards at a time, and take short airings
in an open carriage; and better still, could sleep quietly.

It was no very agreeable conviction which greeted my recovery,
that our Cincinnati speculation for my son would in no way answer
our expectation; and very soon after, he was again seized with
the bilious fever of the country, which terminated in that most
distressing of all maladies, an ague.  I never witnessed is
effects before, and therefore made my self extremely miserable at
what those around me considered of no consequence.

I believe this frightful complaint is not immediately dangerous;
but I never can believe that the violent and sudden prostration
of strength, the dreadfully convulsive movements which distort
the limbs, the livid hue that spreads itself over the complexion,
can take place without shaking the seat of health and life.
Repeatedly we thought the malady cured, and for a few days the
poor sufferer believed himself restored to health and strength;
but again and again it returned upon him, and he began to give
himself up as the victim of ill health.  My own health was still
very infirm, and it took but little time to decide that we must
leave Cincinnati.  The only impediment to this was, the fear that
Mr. Trollope, who was to join us in the Spring, might have set
out, and thus arrive at Cincinnati after we had left it.
However, as the time he had talked of leaving England was later
in the season, I decided upon running the risk; but the winter
had set in with great severity, and the river being frozen, the
steam-boats could not run; the frost continued unbroken through
the whole of February, and we were almost weary of waiting for
its departure, which was to be the signal of ours.

The breaking up of the ice, on the Licking and Ohio, formed a
most striking spectacle.  At night the river presented a solid
surface of ice, but in the morning it shewed a collection of
floating icebergs, of every imaginable size and form, whirling
against each other with frightful violence, and with a noise
unlike any sound I remember.

This sight was a very welcome one, as it gave us hopes of
immediate departure, but my courage failed, when I heard that
one or two steam-boats, weary of waiting, meant to start on
the morrow.  The idea of running against these floating islands
was really alarming, and I was told by many, that my fears were
not without foundation, for that repeated accidents had happened
from this cause; and then they talked of the little Miami river,
whose mouth we were to pass, sending down masses of ice that
might stop our progress; in short, we waited patiently and
prudently, till the learned in such matters told us that we might
start with safety.



CHAPTER 17

Departure from Cincinnati--Society on board the Steam-boat--
Arrival at Wheeling--Bel Esprit



We quitted Cincinnati the beginning of March, 1830, and I believe
there was not one of our party who did not experience a sensation
of pleasure in leaving it.  We had seen again and again all the
queer varieties of it's little world; had amused ourselves with
it's consequence, it's taste, and it's ton, till they had ceased
to be amusing.  Not a hill was left unclimbed, nor a forest path
unexplored; and, with the exception of two or three individuals,
who bore heads and hearts peculiar to no clime, but which are
found scattered through the world, as if to keep us every where
in good humour with it, we left nought to regret at Cincinnati.
The only regret was, that we had ever entered it; for we had
wasted health, time, and money there.

We got on board the steam-boat which was to convey us to Wheeling
at three o'clock.  She was a noble boat, by far the finest we had
seen.  The cabins were above, and the deck passengers, as they
are called, were accommodated below.  In front of the ladies'
cabin was an ample balcony, sheltered by an awning; chairs and
sofas were placed there, and even at that early season, nearly
all the female passengers passed the whole day there.  The name
of this splendid vessel was the Lady Franklin.  By the way, I was
often amused by the evident fondness which the Americans shew for
titles.  The wives of their eminent men constantly receive that
of "Lady."  We heard of Lady Washington, Lady Jackson, and many
other "ladies."  The eternal recurrence of their militia titles
is particularly ludicrous, met with, as they are, among the
tavern-keepers, market-gardeners, &c.  But I think the most
remarkable instance which we noticed of this sort of
aristocratical longing occurred at Cincinnati.  Mr. T-- in
speaking of a gentleman of the neighbourhood, called him Mr. M--.
"General M--, sir," observed his companion.  "I beg his pardon,"
rejoined Mr. T--, "but I was not aware of his being in the army."
"No, sir, not in the army," was the reply, "but he was surveyor-
general of the district."

The weather was delightful; all trace of winter had disappeared,
and we again found ourselves moving rapidly up the stream, and
enjoying all the beauty of the Ohio.

Of the male part of the passengers we saw nothing, excepting at
the short silent periods allotted for breakfast, dinner, and
supper, at which we were permitted to enter their cabin, and
place ourselves at their table.

In the Lady Franklin we had decidedly the best of it, for we had
our beautiful balcony to sit in.  In all respects, indeed, our
accommodations were very superior to what we had found in the
boat which brought us from New Orleans to Memphis, where we were
stowed away in a miserable little chamber close aft, under the
cabin, and given to understand by the steward, that it was our
duty there to remain "till such time as the bell should ring for
meals."

The separation of the sexes, so often mentioned, is no where more
remarkable than on board the steam-boats.  Among the passengers
on this occasion we had a gentleman and his wife, who really
appeared to suffer from the arrangement.  She was an invalid, and
he was extremely attentive to her, as far, at least, as the
regulations permitted.  When the steward opened the door of
communication between the cabins, to permit our approaching the
table, her husband was always stationed close to it to hand her
to her place; and when he accompanied her again to the door, he
always lingered for a moment or two on the forbidden threshold,
nor left his station, till the last female had passed through.
Once or twice he ventured, when all but his wife were on the
balcony, to sit down beside her for a moment in our cabin, but
the instant either of us entered, he started like a guilty thing
and vanished.

While mentioning the peculiar arrangements which are thought
necessary to the delicacy of the American ladies, or the comfort
of the American gentlemen, I am tempted to allude to a story
which I saw in the papers respecting the visits which it was
stated Captain Basil Hall persisted in making to his wife and
child on board a Mississippi steam-boat, after bring informed
that doing so was contrary to law.  Now I happen to know that
neither himself or Mrs. Hall ever entered the ladies' cabin
during the whole voyage, as they occupied a state-room which
Captain Hall had secured for his party.  The veracity of
newspaper statements is, perhaps, nowhere quite unimpeachable,
but if I am not greatly mistaken, there are more direct
falsehoods circulated by the American newspapers than by all the
others in the world, and the one great and never-failing source
of these voluminous works of imagination is England and the
English.  How differently would such a voyage be managed on the
other side of the Atlantic, were such a mode of travelling
possible there.  Such long calm river excursions would be
perfectly delightful, and parties would be perpetually formed to
enjoy them.  Even were all the parties strangers to each other,
the knowledge that they were to eat, drink, and steam away
together for a week or fortnight, would induce something like a
social feeling in any other country.

It is true that the men became sufficiently acquainted to game
together, and we were told that the opportunity was considered as
so favourable, that no boat left New Orleans without having as
cabin passengers one or two gentlemen from that city whose
profession it was to drill the fifty-two elements of a pack of
cards to profitable duty.  This doubtless is an additional reason
for the strict exclusion of the ladies from their society.  The
constant drinking of spirits is another, for though they do not
scruple to chew tobacco and to spit incessantly in the presence
of women, they generally prefer drinking and gaming in their
absence.

I often used to amuse myself with fancying the different scene
which such a vessel would display in Europe.  The noble length of
the gentlemen's cabin would be put into requisition for a dance,
while that of the ladies, with their delicious balcony, would be
employed for refreshments, instead of sitting down in two long
silent melancholy rows, to swallow as much coffee and beef-steak
as could be achieved in ten minutes.  Then song and music would
be heard borne along by the midnight breeze; but on the Ohio,
when light failed to shew us the bluffs, and the trees, with
their images inverted in the stream, we crept into our little
cots, listening to the ceaseless churning of the engine, in hope
it would prove a lullaby till morning.

We were three days in reaching Wheeling, where we arrived at
last, at two o'clock in the morning, an uncomfortable hour to
disembark with a good deal of luggage, as the steam-boat was
obliged to go on immediately; but we were instantly supplied with
a dray, and in a few moments found ourselves comfortably seated
before a good fire, at an hotel near the landing-place; our
rooms, with fires in them, were immediately ready for us, and
refreshments brought, with all that sedulous attention which in
this country distinguishes a slave state.  In making this
observation I am very far from intending to advocate the system
of slavery; I conceive it to be essentially wrong; but so far as
my observation has extended, I think its influence is far less
injurious to the manners and morals of the people than the
fallacious ideas of equality, which are so fondly cherished by
the working classes of the white population in America.  That
these ideas are fallacious, is obvious, for in point of fact the
man possessed of dollars does command the services of the man
possessed of no dollars; but these services are given grudgingly,
and of necessity, with no appearance of cheerful goodwill on the
one side, or of kindly interest on the other.  I never failed to
mark the difference on entering a slave state.  I was immediately
comfortable, and at my ease, and felt that the intercourse
between me and those who served me, was profitable to both
parties and painful to neither.

It was not till I had leisure for more minute observation that I
felt aware of the influence of slavery upon the owners of slaves;
when I did, I confess I could not but think that the citizens of
the United States had contrived, by their political alchymy, to
extract all that was most noxious both in democracy and in
slavery, and had poured the strange mixture through every vein of
the moral organization of their country.

Wheeling is the state of Virginia, and appears to be a
flourishing town.  It is the point at which most travellers from
the West leave the Ohio, to take the stages which travel the
mountain road to the Atlantic cities.

It has many manufactories, among others, one for blowing and
cutting glass, which we visited.  We were told by the workmen
that the articles finished there were equal to any in the world;
but my eyes refused their assent.  The cutting was very good,
though by no means equal to what we see in daily use in London;
but the chief inferiority is in the material, which is never
altogether free from colour.  I had observed this also in the
glass of the Pittsburgh manufactory, the labour bestowed on it
always appearing greater than the glass deserved.  They told us
also, that they were rapidly improving in the art, and I have no
doubt that this was true.

Wheeling has little of beauty to distinguish it, except the ever
lovely Ohio, to which we here bid adieu, and a fine bold hill,
which rises immediately behind the town.  This hill, as well as
every other in the neighbourhood, is bored for coal.  Their mines
are all horizontal.  The coal burns well, but with a very black
and dirty cinder.

We found the coach, by which we meant to proceed to Little
Washington, full, and learnt that we must wait two days before it
would again leave the town.  Posting was never heard of in the
country, and the mail travelled all night, which I did not
approve of; we therefore found ourselves compelled to pass two
days at the Wheeling hotel.

I know not how this weary interval would have worn away, had it
not been for the fortunate circumstance of our meeting with a
_bel esprit_ among the boarders there.  We descended to the
common sitting room (for private parlours there are none) before
breakfast the morning after our arrival; several ordinary
individuals entered, till the party amounted to eight or nine.
Again the door opened, and in swam a female, who had once
certainly been handsome, and who, it was equally evident, still
thought herself so.  She was tall, and well formed, dressed in
black, with many gaudy trinkets about her: a scarlet _fichu_
relieved the sombre colour of her dress, and a very smart little
cap at the back of her head set off an immense quantity of sable
hair, which naturally, or artificially, adorned her forehead.
A becoming quantity of rouge gave the finishing touch to her
figure, which had a degree of pretension about it that
immediately attracted our notice.  She talked fluently, and
without any American restraint, and I began to be greatly puzzled
as to who or what she could be; a lady, in the English sense of
the word, I was sure she was not, and she was a little like an
American female of what they call good standing.  A beautiful
girl of seventeen entered soon after, and called her "Ma," and
both mother and daughter chattered away, about themselves and
their concerns, in a manner that greatly increased my puzzle.

After breakfast, being much in want of amusement, I seated myself
by her, and entered into conversation.  I found her nothing loth,
and in about a minute and a half she put a card into my hand,
setting forth, that she taught the art of painting upon velvet in
all its branches.

She stated to me, with great volubility, that no one but herself
and her daughter knew any thing of this invaluable branch of art;
but that for twenty-five dollars they were willing to communicate
all they knew.

In five minutes more she informed me that she was the author of
some of the most cutting satires in the language; and then she
presented me a paper, containing a prospectus, as she called it,
of a novel, upon an entirely new construction.  I was strangely
tempted to ask her if it went by steam, but she left me no time
to ask any thing, for, continuing the autobiography she had so
obligingly begun, she said, "I used to write against all the
Adams faction.  I will go up stairs in a moment and fetch you
down my sat-heres against that side.  But oh! my dear madam! it
is really frightful to think how talent is neglected in this
country.  Ah! I know what you are going to say, my dear madam,
you will tell me that it is not so in yours.  I know it! but
alas! the Atlantic!  However, I really must tell you how I have
been treated: not only did I publish the most biting sat-heres
against the Adams faction, but I wrote songs and odes in honour
of Jackson; and my daughter, Cordelia, sang a splendid song of
my writing, before eight hundred people, entirely and altogether
written in his praise; and would you believe it, my dear madam,
he has never taken the slightest notice of me, or made me the
least remuneration.  But you can't suppose I mean to bear it
quietly?  No!  I promise him that is not my way.  The novel
I have just mentioned to you was began as a sentimental
romance (that, perhaps, after all, is my real forte), but
after the provocation I received at Washington, I turned it
into a sat-herical novel, and I now call it _Yankee Doodle
Court_.  By the way my dear madam, I think if I could make up
my mind to cross that terrible Atlantic, I should be pretty
well received, after writing Yankee Doodle Court!"

I took the opportunity of a slight pause to ask her to what party
she now belonged, since she had forsworn both Adams and Jackson.

"Oh Clay! Clay for ever! he is a real true-hearted republican;
the others are neither more nor less than tyrants."

When next I entered the sitting-room she again addressed me, to
deplore the degenerate taste of the age.

"Would you believe it? I have at this moment a comedy ready for
representation; I call it 'The Mad Philosopher.'  It is really
admirable, and its success certain, if I could get it played.
I assure you the neglect I meet with amounts perfectly to
persecution.  But I have found out how to pay them, and to make
my own fortune.  Sat-here, (as she constantly pronounced satire)
sat-here is the only weapon that can revenge neglect, and I
flatter myself I know how to use it.  Do me the favour to look
at this,"

She then presented me with a tiny pamphlet, whose price, she
informed me, was twenty-five cents, which I readily paid to
become the possessor of this _chef d'oeuvre_.  The composition
was pretty nearly such as I anticipated, excepting that the
English language was done to death by her pen still more than by
her tongue.  The epigraph, which was subscribed "original," was
as follows:

  "Your popularity's on the decline:
   You had your triumph! now I'll have mine."

These are rather a favourable specimen of the verses that follow.

In a subsequent conversation she made me acquainted with another
talent, informing me that she had played the part of Charlotte,
in _Love a la mode_, when General Lafayette honoured the theatre
at Cincinnati with his presence.

She now appeared to have run out the catalogue of her
accomplishments; and I came to the conclusion that my new
acquaintance was a strolling player: but she seemed to guess my
thoughts, for she presently added.  "It was a Thespian corps that
played before the General."



CHAPTER 18

Departure for the mountains in the Stage--Scenery of the
Alleghany--Haggerstown



The weather was bleak and disagreeable during the two days we
were obliged to remain at Wheeling.  I had got heartily tired of
my gifted friend; we had walked up every side of the rugged hill,
and I set off on my journey towards the mountains with more
pleasure than is generally felt in quitting a pillow before
daylight, for a cold corner in a rumbling stage-coach.

This was the first time we had got into an American stage, though
we had traversed above two thousand miles of the country, and we
had all the satisfaction in it, which could be derived from the
conviction that we were travelling in a foreign land.  This
vehicle had no step, and we climbed into it by a ladder; when
that was removed I remembered, with some dismay, that the females
at least were much in the predicament of sailors, who, "in danger
have no door to creep out," but when a misfortune is absolutely
inevitable, we are apt to bear it remarkably well; who would
utter that constant petition of ladies on rough roads, "let me get
out," when compliance would oblige the pleader to make a step of
five feet before she could touch the ground?

The coach had three rows of seats, each calculated to hold three
persons, and as we were only six, we had, in the phrase of
Milton, to "inhabit lax" this exalted abode, and, accordingly, we
were for some miles tossed about like a few potatoes in a
wheelbarrow.  Our knees, elbows, and heads required too much care
for their protection to allow us leisure to look out of the
windows; but at length the road became smoother, and we became
more skilful in the art of balancing ourselves, so as to meet the
concussion with less danger of dislocation.

We then found that we were travelling through a very beautiful
country, essentially different in its features from what we had
been accustomed to round Cincinnati: it is true we had left "_la
belle riviere_" behind us, but the many limpid and rapid little
streams that danced through the landscape to join it, more than
atoned for its loss.

The country already wore an air of more careful husbandry, and
the very circumstance of a wide and costly road (though not a
very smooth one), which in theory might be supposed to injure
picturesque effect, was beautiful to us, who, since we had
entered the muddy mouth of the Mississippi, had never seen any
thing except a steam-boat and the _levee_ professing to have so
noble an object as public accommodation.  Through the whole of
the vast region we had passed, excepting at New Orleans itself,
every trace of the art of man appeared to be confined to the
individual effort of "getting along," which, in western phrase,
means contriving to live with as small a portion of the
incumbrances of civilized society as possible.

This road was made at the expense of the government as far as
Cumberland, a town situated among the Alleghany mountains, and,
from the nature of the ground, must have been a work of great
cost.  I regretted not having counted the number of bridges
between Wheeling and Little Washington, a distance of thirty-four
miles; over one stream only there are twenty-five, all passed by
the road.  They frequently occurred within a hundred yards of
each other, so serpentine is its course; they are built of stone,
and sometimes very neatly finished.

Little Washington is in Pennsylvania, across a corner of which
the road runs.  This is a free state, but we were still waited
upon by Negroes, hired from the neighbouring state of Virginia.
We arrived at night, and set off again at four in the morning;
all, therefore, that we saw of Little Washington was its hotel,
which was clean and comfortable.  The first part of the next
day's journey was through a country much less interesting: its
character was unvaried for nearly thirty miles, consisting of an
uninterrupted succession of forest-covered hills.  As soon as we
had wearily dragged to the top of one of these, we began to
rumble down the other side as rapidly as our four horses could
trot; and no sooner arrived at the bottom than we began to crawl
up again; the trees constantly so thick and so high as to
preclude the possibility of seeing fifty yards in any direction.

The latter part of the day, however, amply repaid us.  At four
o'clock we began to ascend the Alleghany mountains: the first
ridge on the western side is called Laurel Hill, and takes its
name from the profuse quantity of evergreens with which it is
covered; not any among them, however, being the shrub to which we
give the name of laurel.

The whole of this mountain region, through ninety miles of which
the road passes, is a garden.  The almost incredible variety of
plants, and the lavish profusion of their growth, produce an
effect perfectly enchanting.  I really can hardly conceive a
higher enjoyment than a botanical tour among the Alleghany
mountains, to any one who had science enough to profit by it.

The magnificent rhododendron first caught our eyes; it fringes
every cliff, nestles beneath every rock, and blooms around every
tree.  The azalia, the shumac, and every variety of that
beautiful mischief, the kalmia, are in equal profusion.  Cedars
of every size and form were above, around, and underneath us;
firs more beautiful and more various than I had ever seen, were
in equal abundance, but I know not whether they were really such
as I had never seen in Europe, or only in infinitely greater
splendour and perfection of growth; the species called the
hemlock is, I think, second to the cedar only, in magnificence.
Oak and beech, with innumerable roses and wild vines, hanging in
beautiful confusion among their branches, were in many places
scattered among the evergreens.  The earth was carpeted with
various mosses and creeping plants, and though still in the month
of March, not a trace of the nakedness of winter could be seen.
Such was the scenery that shewed us we were indeed among the
far-famed Alleghany mountains.

As our noble terrace-road, the Semplon of America, rose higher
and higher, all that is noblest in nature was joined to all that
is sweetest.  The blue tops of the higher ridges formed the
outline; huge masses of rock rose above us on the left, half hid
at intervals by the bright green shrubs, while to the right we
looked down upon the tops of the pines and cedars which clothed
the bottom.

I had no idea of the endless variety of mountain scenery.  My
notions had been of rocks and precipices, of torrents and of
forest trees, but I little expected that the first spot which
should recall the garden scenery of our beautiful England would
be found among the moutains: yet so it was.  From the time I
entered America I had never seen the slightest approach to what
we call pleasure-grounds; a few very worthless and scentless
flowers were all the specimens of gardening I had seen in Ohio;
no attempt at garden scenery was ever dreamed of, and it was with
the sort of delight with which one meets an old friend, that we
looked on the lovely mixture of trees, shrubs, and flowers, that
now continually met our eyes.  Often, on descending into the
narrow vallies, we found a little spot of cultivation, a garden
or a field, hedged round with shumacs, rhododendrons, and
azalias, and a cottage covered with roses.  These vallies are
spots of great beauty; a clear stream is always found running
through them, which is generally converted to the use of the
miller, at some point not far from the road; and here, as on the
heights, great beauty of colouring is given to the landscape, by
the bright hue of the vegetation, and the sober grey of the
rocks.

The first night we passed among the mountains recalled us
painfully from the enjoyment of nature to all the petty miseries
of personal discomfort.  Arrived at our inn, a forlorn parlour,
filled with the blended fumes of tobacco and whiskey, received
us; and chilled, as we began to feel ourselves with the mountain
air, we preferred going to our cold bedrooms rather than sup in
such an atmosphere.  We found linen on the beds which they
assured us had only been used _a few nights_; every kind of
refreshment we asked for we were answered, "We do not happen to
have that article."  We were still in Pennsylvania, and no longer
waited upon by slaves; it was, therefore, with great difficulty
that we procured a fire in our bedrooms from the surly-looking
_young lady_ who condescended to officiate as chambermaid, and
with much more, that we extorted clean linen for our beds; that
done, we patiently crept into them supperless, while she made her
exit muttering about the difficulty of "fixing English folks."

The next morning cheered our spirits again; we now enjoyed a new
kind of alpine witchery; the clouds were floating around, and
below us, and the distant peaks were indistinctly visible as
through a white gauze veil, which was gradually lifted up, till
the sun arose, and again let in upon us the full glory of these
interminable heights.

We were told before we began the ascent, that we should find snow
four inches deep on the road; but as yet we had seen none, and
indeed it was with difficulty we persuaded ourselves that we were
not travelling in the midst of summer.  As we proceeded, however,
we found the northern declivities still covered with it, and at
length, towards the summit, the road itself had the promised four
inches.  The extreme mildness of the air, and the brilliant hue
of the evergreens, contrasted strangely with this appearance of
winter; it was difficult to understand how the snow could help
melting in such an atmosphere.

Again and again we enjoyed all the exhilarating sensations that
such scenes must necessarily inspire, but in attempting a
continued description of our progress over these beautiful
mountains, I could only tell again of rocks, cedars, laurels, and
running streams, of blue heights, and green vallies, yet the
continually varying combinations of these objects afforded us
unceasing pleasure.  From one point, pre-eminently above any
neighbouring ridge, we looked back upon the enormous valley of
the West.  It is a stupendous view; but having gazed upon it for
some moments, we turned to pursue our course, and the certainty
that we should see it no more, raised no sigh of regret.

We dined, on the second day, at a beautiful spot, which we were
told was the highest point on the road, being 2,846 feet above
the level of the sea.  We were regaled luxuriously on wild turkey
and mountain venison; which latter is infinitely superior to any
furnished by the forests of the Mississippi, or the Ohio.  The
vegetables also were extremely fine, and we were told by a pretty
girl, who superintended the slaves that waited on us, (for we
were again in Virginia), that the vegetables of the Alleghany
were reckoned the finest in America.  She told us also, that wild
strawberries were profusely abundant, and very fine; that their
cows found for themselves, during the summer, plenty of flowery
food, which produced a copious supply of milk; that their spring
gave them the purest water, of icy coldness in the warmest
seasons; and that the climate was the most delicious in the
world, for though the thermometer sometimes stood at ninety,
their cool breeze never failed them.  What a spot to turn hermit
in for a summer!  My eloquent mountaineer gave me some specimens
of ground plants, far unlike any thing I had ever seen.  One
particularly, which she called the ground pine, is peculiar as
she told me, to the Alleghany, and in some places runs over whole
acres of ground; it is extremely beautiful.  The rooms were very
prettily decorated with this elegant plant, hung round it in
festoons.

In many places the clearing has been considerable; the road
passes through several fine farms, situated in the sheltered
hollows; we were told that the wolves continue to annoy them
severely, but that panthers, the terror of the West, are never
seen, and bears very rarely.  Of snakes, they confessed they had
abundance, but very few that were considered dangerous.

In the afternoon we came in sight of the Monongehala river; and
its banks gave us for several miles a beautiful succession of
wild and domestic scenery.  In some points, the black rock rises
perpendicularly from its margin, like those at Chepstow; at
others, a mill, with its owner's cottage, its corn-plat, and its
poultry, present a delightful image of industry and comfort.

Brownsville is a busy looking little town built upon the banks of
this river; it would be pretty, were it not stained by the hue of
coal.  I do not remember in England to have seen any spot,
however near a coal mine, so dyed in black as Wheeling and
Brownsville.  At this place we crossed the Monongehala, in a flat
ferry-boat, which very commodiously received our huge coach and
four horses.

On leaving the black little town, we were again cheered by
abundance of evergreens, reflected in the stream, with fantastic
piles of rock, half visible through the pines and cedars above,
giving often the idea of a vast gothic castle.  It was a folly, I
confess, but I often lamented they were not such; the travelling
for thousands of miles, without meeting any nobler trace of the
ages that are passed, than a mass of rotten leaves, or a fragment
of fallen rock, produces a heavy, earthly matter-of-fact effect
upon the imagination, which can hardly be described, and for
which the greatest beauty of scenery can furnish only an
occasional and transitory remedy.

Our second night in the mountains was past at a solitary house of
rather forlorn appearance; but we fared much better than the
night before, for they gave us clean sheets, a good fire, and no
scolding.  We again started at four o'clock in the morning, and
eagerly watched for the first gleam of light that should show the
same lovely spectacle we had seen the day before; nor were we
disappointed, though the show was somewhat different.  The
vapours caught the morning ray, as it first darted over the
mountain top, and passing it to the scene below, we seemed
enveloped in a rainbow.

We had now but one ridge left to pass over, and as we reached the
top, and looked down on the new world before us, I hardly knew
whether most to rejoice that

      "All the toil of the long-pass'd way"

was over, or to regret that our mountain journey was drawing to
a close.

The novelty of my enjoyment had doubtless added much to its
keenness.  I have never been familiar with mountain scenery.
Wales has shewn me all I ever saw, and the region of the
Alleghany Alps in no way resembles it.  It is a world of
mountains rising around you in every direction, and in every
form; savage, vast, and wild; yet almost at every step, some
lovely spot meets your eye, green, bright and blooming, as the
most cherished nook belonging to some noble Flora in our own
beautiful land.  It is a ride of ninety miles through kalmies,
rhododendrons, azalias, vines and roses; sheltered from every
blast that blows by vast masses of various coloured rocks, on
which

    "Tall pines and cedars wave their dark green crests."

While in every direction you have a background of blue mountain
tops, that play at bo-peep with you in the clouds.

After descending the last ridge we reached Haggerstown, a small
neat place, between a town and a village; and here by the piety
of the Presbyterian coach-masters, we were doomed to pass an
entire day, and two nights, "as the accommodation line must not
run on the sabbath."

I must, however, mention, that this day of enforced rest was
_not_ Sunday.  Saturday evening we had taken in at Cumberland a
portly passenger, whom we soon discovered to be one of the
proprietors of the coach.  He asked us, with great politeness, if
we should wish to travel on the sabbath, or to delay our journey.
We answered that we would rather proceed; "The coach, then, shall
go on tomorrow," replied the liberal coach-master, with the
greatest courtesy; and accordingly we travelled all Sunday, and
arrived at Haggerstown on Sunday night.  At the door of the inn
our civil proprietor left us; but when we enquired of the waiter
at what hour we were to start on the morrow, he told us that we
should be obliged to pass the whole of Monday there, as the coach
which was to convey us forward would not arrive from the east,
till Tuesday morning.

Thus we discovered that the waiving the sabbath-keeping by the
proprietor, was for his own convenience, and not for ours, and
that we were to be tied by the leg for four-and-twenty hours
notwithstanding.  This was quite a Yankee trick.

Luckily for us, the inn at Haggerstown was one of the most
comfortable I ever entered.  It was there that we became fully
aware that we had left Western America behind us.  Instead of
being scolded, as we literally were at Cincinnati, for asking for
a private sitting-room, we here had two, without asking at all.
A waiter, quite _comme il faut_, summoned us to breakfast,
dinner, and tea, which we found prepared with abundance, and even
elegance.  The master of the house met us at the door of the
eating-room, and, after asking if we wished for any thing not on
the table, retired.  The charges were in no respect higher than
at Cincinnati.

A considerable creek, called Conococheque Creek, runs near the
town, and the valley through which it passes is said to be the
most fertile in America.

On leaving Haggerstown we found, to our mortification, that we
were not to be the sole occupants of the bulky accommodation, two
ladies and two gentlemen appearing at the door ready to share it
with us.  We again started, at four o'clock, by the light of a
bright moon, and rumbled and nodded through the roads
considerably worse than those over the mountains.

As the light began to dawn we discovered our ladies to be an old
woman and her pretty daughter.

Soon after daylight we found that our pace became much slower
than usual, and that from time to time our driver addressed to
his companion on the box many and vehement exclamations.  The
gentlemen put their heads out, to ask what was the matter, but
could get no intelligence, till the mail overtook us, when both
vehicles stopped, and an animated colloquy of imprecations took
place between the coachmen.  At length we learnt that one of our
wheels was broken in such a manner as to render it impossible for
us to proceed.  Upon this the old lady immediately became a
principal actor in the scene.  She sprung to the window, and
addressing the set of gentlemen who completely filled the mail,
exclaimed "Gentlemen! can't you make room for two? only me and my
daughter?"  The naive simplicity of this request set both the
coaches into an uproar of laughter.  It was impossible to doubt
that she acted upon the same principle as the pious Catholic, who
addressing heaven with a prayer for himself alone, added "_pour
ne pas fatiguer ta misericorde._"  Our laugh, however, never
daunted the old woman, or caused her for a moment to cease the
reiteration of her request, "only for two of us, gentlemen! can't
you find room for two?"

Our situation was really very embarrassing, but not to laugh was
impossible.  After it was ascertained that our own vehicle could
not convey us, and that the mail had not even room for two, we
decided upon walking to the next village, a distance,
fortunately, of only two miles, and awaiting there the repair of
the wheel.  We immediately set off, at the brisk pace that six
o'clock and a frosty morning in March were likely to inspire,
leaving our old lady and her pretty daughter considerably in the
rear; our hearts having been rather hardened by the exclusive
nature of her prayer for aid.

When we had again started upon our new wheel, the driver, to
recover the time he had lost, drove rapidly over a very rough
road, in consequence of which, our self-seeking old lady fell
into a perfect agony of terror, and her cries of "we shall be
over! oh, Lord! we shall be over! we must over! we shall be
over!" lasted to the end of the stage which with laughing,
walking, and shaking, was a most fatiguing one.



CHAPTER 19

Baltimore--Catholic Cathedral--St.  Mary's--College Sermons--
Infant School



As we advanced towards Baltimore the look of cultivation
increased, the fences wore an air of greater neatness, the houses
began to look like the abodes of competence and comfort, and we
were consoled for the loss of the beautiful mountains by knowing
that we were approaching the Atlantic.

From the time of quitting the Ohio river, though, unquestionably,
it merits its title of "the beautiful," especially when compared
with the dreary Mississippi, I strongly felt the truth of an
observation I remembered to have heard in England, that little
rivers were more beautiful than great ones.  As features in a
landscape, this is assuredly the case.  Where the stream is so
wide that the objects on the opposite shore are indistinct, all
the beauty must be derived from the water itself; whereas, when
the stream is narrow, it becomes only a part of the composition.
The Monongahela, which is in size between the Wye and the Thames,
is infinitely more picturesque than the Ohio.

To enjoy the beauty of the vast rivers of this vast country you
must be upon the water; and then the power of changing the
scenery by now approaching one shore, and now the other, is very
pleasing; but travelling as we now did, by land, the wild, rocky,
narrow, rapid little rivers we encountered, were a thousand times
more beautiful.  The Potapsco, near which the road runs, as you
approach Baltimore, is at many points very picturesque.  The
large blocks of grey rock, now close upon its edge, and now
retiring to give room for a few acres of bright green herbage,
give great interest and variety to its course.

Baltimore is, I think, one of the handsomest cities to approach
in the Union.  The noble column erected to the memory of
Washington, and the Catholic Cathedral, with its beautiful dome,
being built on a commanding eminence, are seen at a great
distance.  As you draw nearer, many other domes and towers become
visible, and as you enter Baltimore-street, you feel that you are
arrived in a handsome and populous city.

We took up our quarters at an excellent hotel, where the coach
stopped, and the next day were fortunate enough to find
accommodation in the house of a lady, well known to many of my
European friends.  With her and her amiable daughter, we spent a
fortnight very agreeably, and felt quite aware that if we had not
arrived in London or Paris, we had, at least, left far behind the
"half-horse, half-alligator" tribes of the West, as the
Kentuckians call themselves.

Baltimore is in many respects a beautiful city; it has several
handsome buildings, and even the private dwelling-houses have a
look of magnificence, from the abundance of white marble with
which many of them are adorned.  The ample flights of steps, and
the lofty door frames, are in most of the best houses formed of
this beautiful material.

This has been called the city of monuments, from its having the
stately column erected to the memory of General Washington, and
which bears a colossal statue of him at the top; and another
pillar of less dimensions, recording some victory; I forget
which.  Both these are of brilliant white marble.  There are also
several pretty marble fountains in different parts of the city,
which greatly add to its beauty.  These are not, it is true,
quite so splendid as that of the Innocents, or many others at
Paris, but they are fountains of clear water, and they are built
of white marble.  There is one which is sheltered from the sun by
a roof supported by light columns; it looks like a temple
dedicated to the genius of the spring.  The water flows into a
marble cistern, to which you descend by a flight of steps of
delicate whiteness, and return by another.  These steps are never
without groups of negro girls, some carrying the water on their
heads, with that graceful steadiness of step, which requires no
aid from the hand; some tripping gaily with their yet unfilled
pitchers; many of them singing in the soft rich voice, peculiar
to their race; and all dressed with that strict attention to
taste and smartness, which seems the distinguishing
characteristic of the Baltimore females of all ranks.

The Catholic Cathedral is considered by all Americans as a
magnificent church, but it can hardly be so classed by any one
who has seen the churches of Europe; its interior, however, has
an air of neatness that amounts to elegance.  The form is a Greek
cross, having a dome in the centre; but the proportions are ill-
preserved; the dome is too low, and the arches which support it
are flattened, and too wide for their height.  On each side of
the high altar are chapels to the Saviour and the Virgin.  The
altars in these, as well as the high altar, are of native marble
of different colours, and some of the specimens are very
beautiful.  The decorations of the altar are elegant and costly.
The prelate is a cardinal, and bears, moreover, the title of
"Archbishop of Baltimore."

There are several paintings in different parts of the church,
which we heard were considered as very fine.  There are two
presented by Louis XVIII; one of these is the Descent from the
Cross, by Paulin Guirin; the other a copy from Rubens, (as they
told us) of a legend of St. Louis in the Holy Land; but the
composition of the picture is so abominably bad, that I conceive
the legend of its being after Rubens, must be as fabulous as its
subject.  The admiration in which these pictures are held, is an
incontestable indication of the state of art in the country.

We attended mass in this church the Sunday after our arrival, and
I was perfectly astonished at the beauty and splendid appearance
of the ladies who filled it.  Excepting on a very brilliant
Sunday at the Tuilleries, I never saw so shewy a display of
morning costume, and I think I never saw any where so many
beautiful women at one glance.  They all appeared to be in full
dress, and were really all beautiful.

The sermon (I am very attentive to sermons) was a most
extraordinary one.  The priest began by telling us, that he was
about to preach upon a vice that he would not "mention or name"
from the beginning of his sermon to the end.

Having thus excited the curiosity of his hearers, by proposing a
riddle to them, he began.

Adam, he said, was most assuredly the first who had committed
this sin, and Cain the next; then, following the advice given by
the listener, in the Plaideurs, "Passons au deluge, je vous
prie;" he went on to mention the particular propriety of Noah's
family on this point; and then continued, "Now observe, what did
God shew the greatest dislike to?  What was it that Jesus was
never even accused of?  What was it Joseph hated the most?  Who
was the disciple that Jesus chose for his friend?" and thus he
went on for nearly an hour, in a strain that was often perfectly
unintelligible to me, but which, as far as I could comprehend
it, appeared to be a sort of expose and commentary upon private
anecdotes which he had found, or fancied he had found in the
Bible.  I never saw the attention of a congregation more strongly
excited, and I really wished, in Christian charity, that
something better had rewarded it.

There are a vast number of churches and chapels in the city, in
proportion to its extent, and several that are large and well-
built; the Unitarian church is the handsomest I have ever seen
dedicated to that mode of worship.  But the prettiest among them
is a little _bijou_ of a thing belonging to the Catholic college.
The institution is dedicated to St. Mary, but this little chapel
looks, though in the midst of a city, as if it should have been
sacred to St. John of the wilderness.  There is a sequestered
little garden behind it, hardly large enough to plant cabbages
in, which yet contains a Mount Calvary, bearing a lofty cross.
The tiny path which leads up to this sacred spot, is not much
wider than a sheep-track, and its cedars are but shrubs, but all
is in proportion; and notwithstanding its fairy dimensions, there
is something of holiness, and quiet beauty about it, that excites
the imagination strangely.  The little chapel itself has the same
touching and impressive character.  A solitary lamp, whose glare
is tempered by delicately painted glass, hangs before the altar.
The light of day enters dimly, yet richly, through crimson
curtains, and the silence with which the well-lined doors opened
from time to time, admitting a youth of the establishment, who,
with noiseless tread, approached the altar, and kneeling, offered
a whispered prayer, and retired, had something in it more
calculated, perhaps, to generate holy thoughts, than even the
swelling anthem heard beneath the resounding dome of St. Peter's.

Baltimore has a handsome museum, superintended by one of the
Peale family, well known for their devotion to natural science,
and to works of art.  It is not their fault if the specimens
which they are enabled to display in the latter department are
very inferior to their splendid exhibitions in the former.

The theatre was closed when we were in Baltimore, but we were
told that it was very far from being a popular or fashionable
amusement.  We were, indeed, told this every where throughout the
country, and the information was generally accompanied by the
observation, that the opposition of the clergy was the cause of
it.  But I suspect that this is not the principal cause,
especially among the men, who, if they were so implicit in their
obedience to the clergy, would certainly be more constant in
their attendance at the churches; nor would they, moreover, deem
the theatre more righteous because an English actor, or a French
dancer, performed there; yet on such occasions the theatres
overflow.  The cause, I think, is in the character of the people.
I never saw a population so totally divested of gaiety; there is
no trace of this feeling from one end of the Union to the other.
They have no fetes, no fairs, no merry makings, no music in the
streets, no Punch, no puppet-shows.  If they see a comedy or a
farce, they may laugh at it; but they can do very well without
it; and the consciousness of the number of cents that must be
paid to enter a theatre, I am very sure turns more steps from its
door than any religious feeling.  A distinguished publisher of
Philadelphia told me that no comic publication had ever yet been
found to answer in America.

We arrived at Baltimore at the season of the "Conference."  I
must be excused from giving any very distinct explanation of
this term, as I did not receive any.  From what I could learn,
it much resembles a Revival.  We entered many churches, and
heard much preaching, and not one of the reverend orators could
utter the reproach,

"Peut-on si bien precher qu'elle ne dorme au sermon?"

for I never even dosed at any.  There was one preacher whose
manner and matter were so peculiar, that I took the liberty of
immediately writing down a part of his discourse as a specimen.
I confess I began writing in the middle of a sentence, for I
waited in vain for a beginning.  It was as follows:-

"Nevertheless, we must not lose sight of the one important,
great, and only object; for the Lord is mighty, his works are
great, likewise wonderful, likewise wise, likewise merciful; and,
moreover, we must ever keep in mind, and close to our hearts, all
his precious blessings, and unspeakable mercies, and
overflowings; and moreover we must never lose sight of, no, never
lose sight of, nor ever cease to remember, nor ever let our souls
forget, nor ever cease to dwell upon, and to reverence, and to
welcome, and to bless, and to give thanks, and to sing hosanna,
and give praise,"--and here my fragment of paper failed, but
this strain continued, without a shadow of meaning that I could
trace, and in a voice inconceivably loud, for more than an hour.
After he had finished his sermon, a scene exactly resembling that
at the Cincinnati Revival, took place.  Two other priests
assisted in calling forward the people, and in whispering comfort
to them.  One of these men roared out in the coarsest accents,
"Do you want to go to hell tonight?"  The church was almost
entirely filled with women, who vied with each other in howlings
and contortions of the body; many of them tore their clothes
nearly off.  I was much amused, spite of the indignation and
disgust the scene inspired, by the vehemence of the negro part of
the congregation; they seemed determined to bellow louder than
all the rest, to shew at once their piety and their equality.

At this same chapel, a few nights before, a woman had fallen in
a fit of ecstasy from the gallery, into the arms of the people
below, a height of twelve feet.  A young slave who waited upon
us at table, when this was mentioned, said, that similar
accidents had frequently happened, and that once she had seen
it herself.  Another slave in the house told us, that she "liked
religion right well, but that she never took fits in it, 'cause
she was always fixed in her best, when she went to chapel, and
she did not like to have all her best clothes broke up."

We visited the infant school, instituted in this city by Mr.
Ibbertson, an amiable and intelligent Englishman.  It was the
first infant school, properly so called, which I had ever seen,
and I was greatly pleased with all the arrangements, and the
apparent success of them.  The children, of whom we saw about a
hundred, boys and girls, were between eighteen months and six
years.  The apartment was filled with all sorts of instructive
and amusing objects; a set of Dutch toys, arranged as a cabinet
of natural history, was excellent; a numerous collection of large
wooden bricks filled one corner of the room; the walls were hung
with gay papers of different patterns, each representing some
pretty group of figures; large and excellent coloured engravings
of birds and beasts were exhibited in succession as the theme of
a little lesson; and the sweet flute of Mr. Ibbertson gave tune
and time to the prettiest little concert of chirping birds that I
ever listened to.

A geographical model, large enough to give clear ideas of
continent, island, cape, isthmus, et cetera, all set in water, is
placed before the children, and the pretty creatures point their
little rosy fingers with a look of intense interest, as they are
called upon to shew where each of them is to be found.  The
dress, both of boys and girls, was elegantly neat, and their
manner, when called upon to speak individually, was well-bred,
intelligent, and totally free from the rude indifference, which
is so remarkably prevalent in the manners of American children.
Mr. Ibbertson will be benefactor to the Union, if he become the
means of spreading the admirable method by which he had polished
the manner, and awakened the intellect of these beautiful little
Republicans.  I have conversed with many American ladies on the
total want of discipline and subjection which I observed
universally among children of all ages, and I never found any who
did not both acknowledge and deplore the truth of the remark.  In
the state of Ohio they have a law (I know not if it exist
elsewhere), that if a father strike his son, he shall pay a fine
of ten dollars for every such offence.  I was told by a gentleman
of Cincinnati, that he had seen this fine inflicted there, at the
requisition of a boy of twelve years of age, whose father, he
proved, had struck him for lying.  Such a law, they say,
generates a spirit of freedom.  What else may it generate?

Mr. Ibbertson, who seems perfectly devoted, heart and head to
the subject, told me that he was employed in organizing
successive schools that should receive the pupils as they
advanced in age.  If he prove himself as capable of completing
education, as he appears to be of beginning it, his institution
will be a very valuable one.  It would, indeed, be valuable any
where; but in America, where discipline is not, where, from the
shell, they are beings "that cannot rule, nor ever will be
ruled," it is invaluable.

About two miles from Baltimore is a fort, nobly situated on the
Patapsco, and commanding the approach from the Chesapeak bay.  As
our visit was on a Sunday we were not permitted to enter it.  The
walk to this fort is along a fine terrace of beautiful verdure,
which commands a magnificent view of the city, with its columns,
towers, domes, and shipping; and also of the Patapsco river,
which is here so wide as to present almost a sea view.  This
terrace is ornamented with abundance of evergreens, and wild
roses innumerable, but, the whole region has the reputation of
being unhealthy, and the fort itself most lamentably so.  Before
leaving the city of monuments, I must not omit naming one reared
to the growing wealth of the country; Mr. Barham's hotel is said
to be the most splendid in the Union, and it is certainly
splendid enough for a people more luxurious than the citizens of
the republic appear yet to be.  I heard different, and, indeed,
perfectly contradictory accounts of the success of the
experiment; but at least every one seemed to agree that the
liberal projector was fully entitled to exclaim,

     "'Tis not in mortals to command success;
      I have done more, Jonathan, I've deserved it."

After enjoying a very pleasant fortnight, the greater part of
which was passed in rambling about this pretty city and its
environs, we left it, not without regret, and all indulging the
hope that we should be able to pay it another visit.



CHAPTER 20

Voyage to Washington--Capitol--City of Washington--Congress--
Indians--Funeral of a Member of Congress



By far the shortest route to Washington, both as to distance and
time, is by land; but I much wished to see the celebrated
Chesapeak bay, and it was therefore decided that we should take
our passage in the steam-boat.  It is indeed a beautiful little
voyage, and well worth the time it costs; but as to the beauty of
the bay, it must, I think, be felt only by sailors.  It is, I
doubt not, a fine shelter for ships, from the storms of the
Atlantic, but its very vastness prevents its striking the eye as
beautiful: it is, in fact, only a fine sea view.  But the
entrance from it into the Potomac river is very noble, and is one
of the points at which one feels conscious of the gigantic
proportions of the country, without having recourse to a
graduated pencil-case.

The passage up this river to Washington is interesting, from many
objects that it passes, but beyond all else, by the view it
affords of Mount Vernon, the seat of General Washington.  It is
there that this truly great man passed the last years of his
virtuous life, and it is there that he lies buried: it was easy
to distinguish, as we passed, the cypress that waves over his
grave.

The latter part of the voyage shews some fine river scenery; but
I did not discover this till some months afterwards, for we now
arrived late at night.

Our first object the next morning was to get a sight of the
capitol, and our impatience sent us forth before breakfast.  The
mists of morning still hung around this magnificent building when
first it broke upon our view, and I am not sure that the effect
produced was not the greater for this circumstance.  At all
events, we were struck with admiration and surprise.  None of us,
I believe, expected to see so imposing a structure on that side
of the Atlantic.  I am ill at describing buildings, but the
beauty and majesty of the American capitol might defy an abler
pen than mine to do it justice.  It stands so finely too, high,
and alone.

The magnificent western facade is approached from the city by
terraces and steps of bolder proportions than I ever before saw.
The elegant eastern front, to which many persons give the
preference, is on a level with a newly-planted but exceedingly
handsome inclosure, which, in a few years, will offer the shade
of all the most splendid trees which flourish in the Union, to
cool the brows and refresh the spirits of the members.  The view
from the capitol commands the city and many miles around, and it
is itself an object of imposing beauty to the whole country
adjoining.

We were again fortunate enough to find a very agreeable family to
board with; and soon after breakfast left our comfortless hotel
near the water, for very pleasant apartments in F. street.  [The
streets that intersect the great avenues in Washington are
distinguished by the letters of the alphabet.]

I was delighted with the whole aspect of Washington; light,
cheerful, and airy, it reminded me of our fashionable watering
places.  It has been laughed at by foreigners, and even by
natives, because the original plan of the city was upon an
enormous scale, and but a very small part of it has been as yet
executed.  But I confess I see nothing in the least degree
ridiculous about it; the original design, which was as beautiful
as it was extensive, has been in no way departed from, and all
that has been done has been done well.  From the base of the hill
on which the capitol stands extends a street of most magnificent
width, planted on each side with trees, and ornamented by many
splendid shops.  This street, which is called Pennsylvania
Avenue, is above a mile in length, and at the end of it is the
handsome mansion of the President; conveniently near to his
residence are the various public offices, all handsome, simple,
and commodious; ample areas are left round each, where grass and
shrubs refresh the eye.  In another of the principal streets is
the general post-office, and not far from it a very noble town-
hall.  Towards the quarter of the President's house are several
handsome dwellings, which are chiefly occupied by the foreign
ministers.  The houses in the other parts of the city are
scattered, but without ever losing sight of the regularity of the
original plan; and to a person who has been travelling much
through the country, and marked the immense quantity of new
manufactories, new canals, new railroads, new towns, and new
cities, which are springing, as it were, from the earth in every
part of it, the appearance of the metropolis rising gradually
into life and splendour, is a spectacle of high historic
interest.

Commerce had already produced large and handsome cities in
America before she had attained to an individual political
existence, and Washington may be scorned as a metropolis, where
such cities as Philadelphia and New York exist; but I considered
it as the growing metropolis of the growing population of the
Union, and it already possesses features noble enough to sustain
its dignity as such.

The residence of the foreign legations and their families gives a
tone to the society of this city which distinguishes it greatly
from all others.  It is also, for a great part of the year, the
residence of the senators and representatives, who must be
presumed to be the _elite_ of the entire body of citizens, both
in respect to talent and education.  This cannot fail to make
Washington a more agreeable abode than any other city in the
Union.

The total absence of all sights, sounds, or smells of commerce,
adds greatly to the charm.  Instead of drays you see handsome
carriages; and instead of the busy bustling hustle of men,
shuffling on to a sale of "dry goods" or "prime broad stuffs,"
you see very well-dressed personages lounging leisurely up and
down Pennsylvania Avenue.

Mr. Pishey Thompson, the English bookseller, with his pretty
collection of all sorts of pretty literature, fresh from London,
and Mr. Somebody, the jeweller, with his brilliant shop full of
trinkets, are the principal points of attraction and business.
What a contrast to all other American cities!  The members, who
pass several months every year in this lounging easy way, with no
labour but a little talking, and with the _douceur_ of eight
dollars a day to pay them for it, must feel the change sadly when
their term of public service is over.

There is another circumstance which renders the evening parties
at Washington extremely unlike those of other places in the
Union; this is the great majority of gentlemen.  The expense, the
trouble, or the necessity of a ruling eye at home, one or all of
these reasons, prevents the members' ladies from accompanying
them to Washington; at least, I heard of very few who had their
wives with them.  The female society is chiefly to be found among
the families of the foreign ministers, those of the officers of
state, and of the few members, the wealthiest and most
aristocratic of the land, who bring their families with them.
Some few independent persons reside in or near the city, but this
is a class so thinly scattered that they can hardly be accounted
a part of the population.

But, strange to say, even here a theatre cannot be supported for
more than a few weeks at a time.  I was told that gambling is the
favourite recreation of the gentlemen, and that it is carried to
a very considerable extent; but here, as elsewhere within the
country, it is kept extremely well out of sight.  I do not think
I was present with a pack of cards a dozen times during more than
three years that I remained in the country.  Billiards are much
played, though in most places the amusement is illegal.  It often
appeared to me that the old women of a state made the laws, and
the young men broke them.

Notwithstanding the diminutive size of the city, we found much to
see, and to amuse us.

The patent office is a curious record of the fertility of the
mind of man when left to its own resources; but it gives ample
proof also that it is not under such circumstances it is most
usefully employed.  This patent office contains models of all the
mechanical inventions that have been produced in the Union, and
the number is enormous.  I asked the man who shewed these, what
proportion of them had been brought into use, he said about one
in a thousand; he told me also, that they chiefly proceeded from
mechanics and agriculturists settled in remote parts of the
country, who had began by endeavouring to hit upon some
contrivance to enable them to _get along_ without sending some
thousand and odd miles for the thing they wanted.  If the
contrivance succeeded, they generally became so fond of this
offspring of their ingenuity, that they brought it to Washington
for a patent.

At the secretary of state's office we were shewn autographs of
all the potentates with whom the Union were in alliance; which, I
believe, pretty well includes all.  To the parchments bearing
these royal signs manual were appended, of course, the official
seals of each, enclosed in gold or silver boxes of handsome
workmanship: I was amused by the manner in which one of their
own, just prepared for the court of Russia, was displayed to us,
and the superiority of their decorations pointed out.  They were
superior, and in much better taste than the rest; and I only wish
that the feeling that induced this display would spread to every
corner of the Union, and mix itself with every act and with every
sentiment.  Let America give a fair portion other attention to
the arts and the graces that embellish life, and I will make her
another visit, and write another book as unlike this as possible.

Among the royal signatures, the only ones which much interested
me were two from the hand of Napoleon.  The earliest of these,
when he was first consul, was a most illegible scrawl, and, as
the tradition went, was written on horseback; but his writing
improved greatly after he became an emperor, the subsequent
signature being firmly and clearly written.--I longed to steal
both.

The purity of the American character, formed and founded on the
purity of the American government, was made evident to our senses
by the display of all the offerings of esteem and regard which
had been presented by various sovereigns to the different
American ministers who had been sent to their courts.  The object
of the law which exacted this deposit from every individual so
honoured, was, they told us, to prevent the possibility of
bribery being used to corrupt any envoy of the Republic.  I
should think it would be a better way to select for the office
such men as they felt could not be seduced by a sword or a
snuff-box.  But they, doubtless, know their own business best.

The bureau for Indian affairs contains a room of great interest:
the walls are entirely covered with original portraits of all the
chiefs who, from time to time, have come to negotiate with their
great father, as they call the President.

These portraits are by Mr. King, and, it cannot be doubted, are
excellent likenesses, as are all the portraits I have ever seen
from the hands of that gentleman.  The countenances are full of
expression, but the expression in most of them is extremely
similar; or rather, I should say that they have but two sorts of
expression; the one is that of very noble and warlike daring, the
other of a gentle and naive simplicity, that has no mixture of
folly in it, but which is inexpressibly engaging, and the more
touching, perhaps, because at the moment we were looking at them,
those very hearts which lent the eyes such meek and friendly
softness, were wrung by a base, cruel, and most oppressive act of
their _great father_.

We were at Washington at the time that the measure for chasing
the last of several tribes of Indians from their forest homes,
was canvassed in congress, and finally decided upon by the FIAT
of the President.  If the American character may be judged by
their conduct in this matter, they are most lamentably deficient
in every feeling of honour and integrity.  It is among
themselves, and from themselves, that I have heard the statements
which represent them as treacherous and false almost beyond
belief in their intercourse with the unhappy Indians.  Had I,
during my residence in the United States, observed any single
feature in their national character that could justify their
eternal boast of liberality and the love of freedom, I might have
respected them, however much my taste might have been offended by
what was peculiar in their manners and customs.  But it is
impossible for any mind of common honesty not to be revolted by
the contradictions in their principles and practice.  They
inveigh against the governments of Europe, because, as they say,
they favour the powerful and oppress the weak.  You may hear this
declaimed upon in Congress, roared out in taverns, discussed in
every drawing-room, satirized upon the stage, nay, even
anathematized from the pulpit: listen to it, and then look at
them at home; you will see them with one hand hoisting the cap of
liberty, and with the other flogging their slaves.  You will see
them one hour lecturing their mob on the indefeasible rights of
man, and the next driving from their homes the children of the
soil, whom they have bound themselves to protect by the most
solemn treaties.

In justice to those who approve not this treacherous policy, I
will quote a paragraph from a New York paper, which shews that
there are some among them who look with detestation on the bold
bad measure decided upon at Washington in the year 1830.

"We know of no subject, at the present moment, of more importance
to the character of our country for justice and integrity than
that which relates to the Indian tribes in Georgia and Alabama,
and particularly the Cherokees in the former state.  The Act
passed by Congress, just at the end of the session, co-operating
with the tyrannical and iniquitous statute of Georgia, strikes a
formidable blow at the reputation of the United States, in
respect to their faith, pledged in almost innumerable instances,
in the most solemn treaties and compacts."

There were many objects of much interest shewn us at this Indian
bureau; but, from the peculiar circumstances of this most unhappy
and ill-used people, it was a very painful interest.

The dresses worn by the chiefs when their portraits were taken,
are many of them splendid, from the embroidery of beads and other
ornaments: and the room contains many specimens of their
ingenuity, and even of their taste.  There is a glass case in the
room, wherein are arranged specimens of worked muslin, and other
needlework, some very excellent handwriting, and many other
little productions of male and female Indians, all proving
clearly that they are perfectly capable of civilization.  Indeed,
the circumstance which renders their expulsion from their own,
their native lands, so peculiarly lamentable, is, that they were
yielding rapidly to the force of example; their lives were no
longer those of wandering hunters, but they were becoming
agriculturists, and the tyrannical arm of brutal power has not
now driven them, as formerly, only from their hunting grounds,
their favourite springs, and the sacred bones of their fathers,
but it has chased them from the dwellings their advancing
knowledge had taught them to make comfortable; from the
newly-ploughed fields of their pride; and from the crops their
sweat had watered.  And for what? to add some thousand acres of
territory to the half-peopled wilderness which borders them.

The Potomac, on arriving at Washington, makes a beautiful sweep,
which forms a sort of bay, round which the city is built.  Just
where it makes the turn, a wooden bridge is thrown across,
connecting the shores of Maryland and Virginia.  This bridge is
a mile and a quarter in length, and is ugly enough.  [It has
since been washed away by the breaking up of the  frost of
February, 1831.]  The navy-yard, and arsenal, are just above it,
on the Maryland side, and make a handsome appearance on the edge
of the river, following the sweep above mentioned.  Near the
arsenal (much too near) is the penitentiary, which, as it was
just finished, and not inhabited, we examined in every part.  It
is built for the purpose of solitary confinement for life.  A
gallows is a much less nerve-shaking spectacle than one of these
awful cells, and assuredly, when imprisonment therein for life
is substituted for death, it is no mercy to the criminal; but if
it be a greater terror to the citizen, it may answer the purpose
better.  I do not conceive, that out of a hundred human beings
who had been thus confined for a year, one would be found at the
end of it who would continue to linger on there, _certain it was
for ever_, if the alternative of being hanged were offered to
them.  I had written a description of these horrible cells, but
Captain Hall's picture of a similar building is so accurate, and
so clear, that it is needless to insert it.

Still following the sweep of the river, at the distance of two
miles from Washington, is George Town, formerly a place of
considerable commercial importance, and likely, I think, to
become so again, when the Ohio and Chesapeake canals, which there
mouths into the Potomac, shall be in full action.  It is a very
pretty town, commanding a lovely view, of which the noble Potomac
and the almost nobler capitol, are the great features.  The
country rises into a beautiful line of hills behind Washington,
which form a sort of undulating terrace on to George Town; this
terrace is almost entirely occupied by a succession of
gentlemen's seats.  At George Town the Potomac suddenly contracts
itself, and begins to assume that rapid, rocky and irregular
character which marks it afterwards, and renders its course, till
it meets the Shenandoah at Harper's Ferry, a series of the most
wild and romantic views that are to be found in America.

Attending the debates in Congress was, of course, one of our
great objects; and, as an English woman, I was perhaps the more
eager to avail myself of the privilege allowed.  It was
repeatedly observed to me that, at least in this instance, I must
acknowledge the superior gallantry of the Americans, and that
they herein give a decided proof of surpassing the English in a
wish to honour the ladies, as they have a gallery in the House of
Representatives erected expressly for them, while in England they
are rigorously excluded from every part of the House of Commons.

But the inference I draw from this is precisely the reverse of
the suggested.  It is well known that the reason why the House of
Commons was closed against ladies was, that their presence was
found too attractive, and that so many members were tempted to
neglect the business before the House, that they might enjoy the
pleasure of conversing with the fair critics in the galleries,
that it became a matter of national importance to banish
them--and they were banished.  It will be long ere the American
legislature will find it necessary to pass the same law for the
same reason.  A lady of Washington, however, told me an anecdote
which went far to shew that a more intellectual turn in the
women, would produce a change in the manners of the men.  She
told me, that when the Miss Wrights were in Washington, with
General Lafayette, they very frequently attended the debates, and
that the most distinguished members were always crowding round
them.  For this unwonted gallantry they apologized to their
beautiful countrywomen by saying, that if they took equal
interest in the debates, the galleries would be always thronged
by the members.

The privilege of attending these debates would be more valuable
could the speakers be better heard from the gallery; but, with
the most earnest attention, I could only follow one or two of the
orators, whose voices were peculiarly loud and clear.  This made
it really a labour to listen; but the extreme beauty of the
chamber was of itself a reason for going again and again.  It
was, however, really mortifying to see this splendid hall, fitted
up in so stately and sumptuous a manner, filled with men, sitting
in the most unseemly attitudes, a large majority with their hats
on, and nearly all, spitting to an excess that decency forbids me
to describe.

Among the crowd, who must be included in this description, a
few were distinguished by not wearing their hats, and by sitting
on their chairs like other human beings, without throwing their
legs above their heads.  Whenever I enquired the name of one of
these exceptions, I was told that it was Mr. This, or Mr. That,
_of Virginia_.

One day we were fortunate enough to get placed on the sofas
between the pillars, on the floor of the House; the galleries
being shut up, for the purpose of making some alterations, which
it was hoped might improve the hearing in that part of the House
occupied by the members, and which is universally complained of,
as being very defective.*  But in our places on the sofas we
found we heard very much better than up stairs, and well enough
to be extremely amused by the rude eloquence of a thorough horse
and alligator orator from Kentucky, who entreated the house
repeatedly to "go the whole hog."

     *(As a proof of this defective hearing in the Hall of
      (Congress, I may quote a passage from a newspaper report of
      (a debate on improvements.  It was proposed to suspend a
      (ceiling of glass fifteen feet above the heads of the
      (members.  A member, speaking in favour of this proposal,
      (said, "Members would then, at least, be able to understand
      (what was the question before the House, an advantage which
      (most of them did not now possess, respecting more than
      (half the propositions upon which they voted."

If I mistake not, every debate I listened to in the American
Congress was upon one and the same subject, namely, the entire
independence of each individual state, with regard to the federal
government.  The jealousy on this point appeared to me to be the
very strangest political feeling that ever got possession of the
mind of man.  I do not pretend to judge the merits of this
question.  I speak solely of the very singular effect of seeing
man after man start eagerly to his feet, to declare that the
greatest injury, the basest injustice, the most obnoxious tyranny
that could be practised against the state of which he was a
member, would be a vote of a few million dollars for the purpose
of making their roads or canals; or for drainage; or, in short,
for any purpose of improvement whatsoever.

During the month we were at Washington, I heard a great deal of
conversation respecting a recent exclusion from Congress of a
gentleman, who, by every account, was one of the most esteemed
men in the house, and, I think, the father of it.  The crime for
which this gentleman was out-voted by his own particular friends
and admirers was, that he had given his vote for a grant of
public money for the purpose of draining a most lamentable and
unhealthy district, called "_the dismal swamp!_"

One great boast of the country is, that they have no national
debt, or that they shall have none in two years.  This seems not
very wonderful, considering their productive tariff, and that the
income paid to their president is 6,000_L. per annum_; other
government salaries being in proportion, and all internal
improvements, at the expense of the government treasury, being
voted unconstitutional.

The Senate-chamber is, like the Hall of Congress, a semicircle,
but of very much smaller dimensions.  It is most elegantly fitted
up, and what is better still, the senators, generally speaking,
look like gentlemen.  They do not wear their hats, and the
activity of youth being happily past, they do not toss their
heels above their heads.  I would I could add they do not spit;
but, alas! "I have an oath in heaven," and may not write an
untruth.

A very handsome room, opening on a noble stone balcony is fitted
up as a library for the members.  The collection, as far as a
very cursory view could enable me to judge, was very like that of
a private English gentleman, but with less Latin, Greek, and
Italian.  This room also is elegantly furnished; rich Brussels
carpet; library tables, with portfolios of engravings; abundance
of sofas, and so on.  The view from it is glorious, and it looks
like the abode of luxury and taste.

I can by no means attempt to describe all the apartments of this
immense building, but the magnificent rotunda in the centre must
not be left unnoticed.  It is, indeed, a noble hall, a hundred
feet in diameter, and of an imposing loftiness, lighted by an
ample dome.

Almost any pictures (excepting the cartoons) would look paltry in
this room, from the immense height of the walls; but the subjects
of the four pictures which are placed there, are of such high
historic interest that they should certainly have a place
somewhere, as national records.  One represents the signing of
the declaration of independence; another the resignation of the
presidency by the great Washington; another the celebrated
victory of General Gates at Saratoga; and the fourth....I do not
well remember, but I think it is some other martial scene,
commemorating a victory; I rather think that of York Town.

One other object in the capitol must be mentioned, though it
occurs in so obscure a part of the building, that one or two
members to whom I mentioned it, were not aware of its existence.
The lower part of the edifice, a story below the rotunda, &c.,
has a variety of committee rooms, courts, and other places of
business.  In a hall leading to some of these rooms, the ceiling
is supported by pillars, the capitals of which struck me as
peculiarly beautiful.  They are composed of the ears and leaves
of the Indian corn, beautifully arranged, and forming as graceful
an outline as the acanthus itself.  This was the only instance I
saw, in which America has ventured to attempt national
originality; the success is perfect.  A sense of fitness always
enhances the effect of beauty.  I will not attempt a long essay
on the subject, but if America, in her vastness, her immense
natural resources, and her remote grandeur, would be less
imitative, she would be infinitely more picturesque and
interesting.

The President has regular evening parties, every other Wednesday,
which are called his _levees_; the last syllable is pronounced by
every one as long as possible, being exactly the reverse of the
French and English manner of pronouncing the same word.  The
effect of this, from the very frequent repetition of the word in
all companies is very droll, and for a long time I thought people
were quizzing these public days.  The reception rooms are
handsome, particularly the grand saloon, which is elegantly, nay,
splendidly furnished; this has been done since the visit of
Captain Hall, whose remarks upon the former state of this room
may have hastened its decoration; but there are a few anomalies
in some parts of the entertainment, which are not very courtly.
The company are about as select as that of an Easter-day ball at
the Mansion-house.

The churches at Washington are not superb; but the Episcopalian
and Catholic were filled with elegantly dressed women.  I
observed a greater proportion of gentlemen at church at
Washington than any where else.

The Presbyterian ladies go to church three times in the day,
but the general appearance of Washington on a Sunday is much
less puritanical than that of most other American towns; the
people walk about, and there are no chains in the streets, as
at Philadelphia, to prevent their riding or driving, if they
like it.

The ladies dress well, but not so splendidly as at Baltimore.  I
remarked that it was not very unusual at Washington for a lady to
take the arm of a gentleman, who was neither her husband, her
father, nor her brother.  This remarkable relaxation of American
decorum has been probably introduced by the foreign legations.

At about a mile from the town, on the high terrace ground above
described, is a very pretty place, to which the proprietor has
given the name Kaleirama.  It is not large, or in any way
magnificent, but the view from it is charming; and it has a
little wood behind, covering about two hundred acres of broken
ground, that slopes down to a dark cold little river, so closely
shut in by rocks and evergreens, that it might serve as a
noon-day bath for Diana and her nymphs.  The whole of this wood
is filled with wild flowers, but such as we cherish fondly in
our gardens.

A ferry at George Town crosses the Potomac, and about two miles
from it, on the Virginian side, is Arlington, the seat of Mr.
Custis, who is the grandson of General Washington's wife.  It is
a noble looking place, having a portico of stately white columns,
which, as the mansion stands high, with a background of dark
woods, forms a beautiful object in the landscape.  At George Town
is a nunnery, where many young ladies are educated, and at a
little distance from it, a college of Jesuits for the education
of young men, where, as their advertisements state, "the
humanities are taught."  We attended mass at the chapel of the
nunnery, where the female voices that performed the chant were
very pleasing.  The shadowy form of the veiled abbess in her
little sacred parlour, seen through a grating and a black
curtain, but rendered clearly visible by the light of a Gothic
window behind her, drew a good deal of our attention; every act
of genuflection, even the telling her beads, was discernible, but
so mistily that it gave her, indeed, the appearance of a being
who had already quitted this life, and was hovering on the
confines of the world of shadows.

The convent has a considerable inclosure attached to it, where I
frequently saw from the heights above it, dark figures in awfully
thick black veils, walking solemnly up and down.

The American lady, who was the subject of one of Prince
Hohenlohe's celebrated miracles, was pointed out to us at
Washington.  All the world declare that her recovery was
marvellous.



There appeared to be a great many foreigners at Washington,
particularly French.  In Paris I have often observed that it was
a sort of fashion to speak of America as a new Utopia, especially
among the young liberals, who, before the happy accession of
Philip, fancied that a country without a king, was the land of
promise; but I sometimes thought that, like many other fine
things, it lost part of its brilliance when examined too nearly;
I overheard the following question and answer pass between two
young Frenchmen, who appeared to have met for the first time.

"Eh bien.  Monsieur, comment trouvez-vous la liberte et l'egalite
mises en action?"

"Mais, Monsieur, je vous avoue que ie beau ideal que nous autres,
nous avons concu de tout cela a Paris, avait quelque chose de
plus poetique que ce que nous trouvons ici!"

On another occasion I was excessively amused by the tone in
which one of these young men replied to a question put to him
by another Frenchman.  A pretty looking woman, but exceedingly
deficient in _tournure_, was standing alone at a little distance
from them and close at their elbows stood a very awkward
looking gentleman.  "Qui est cette dame?" said the enquirer.
"Monsieur," said my young _fat_, with an indescribable grimace,
"c'est la femelle de ce male, " indicating his neighbour by
an expressive curl of his upper lip.

The theatre was not open while we were in Washington, but we
afterwards took advantage of our vicinity to the city, to visit
it.  The house is very small, and most astonishingly dirty and
void of decoration, considering that it is the only place of
public amusement that the city affords.  I have before mentioned
the want of decorum at the Cincinnati theatre, but certainly that
of the capital at least rivalled it in the freedom of action and
attitude; a freedom which seems to disdain the restraints of
civilized manners.  One man in the pit was seized with a violent
fit of vomiting, which appeared not in the least to annoy or
surprise his neighbours; and the happy coincidence of a physician
being at that moment personated on the stage, was hailed by many
of the audience as an excellent joke, of which the actor took
advantage, and elicited shouts of applause by saying, "I expect
my services are wanted elsewhere."

The spitting was incessant; and not one in ten of the male part
of the illustrious legislative audiences sat according to the
usual custom of human beings; the legs were thrown sometimes over
the front of the box, sometimes over the side of it; here and
there a senator stretched his entire length along a bench, and in
many instances the front rail was preferred as a seat.

I remarked one young man, whose handsome person, and most
elaborate toilet, led me to conclude he was a first-rate
personage, and so I doubt not he was; nevertheless, I saw him
take from the pocket of his silk waistcoat a lump of tobacco,
and daintily deposit it within his cheek.

I am inclined to think this most vile and universal habit of
chewing tobacco is the cause of a remarkable peculiarity in the
male physiognomy of Americans; their lips are almost uniformly
thin and compressed.  At first I accounted for this upon
Lavater's theory, and attributed it to the arid temperament of
the people; but it is too universal to be explained; whereas the
habit above mentioned, which pervades all classes (excepting the
literary) well accounts for it, as the act of expressing the
juices of this loathsome herb, enforces exactly that position
of the lips, which gives this remarkable peculiarity to the
American countenance.

A member of Congress died while we were at Washington, and I was
surprised by the ceremony and dignity of his funeral.  It seems
that whenever a senator or member of Congress dies during the
session, he is buried at the expense of the government, (the
ceremony not coming under the head of internal improvement), and
the arrangements for the funeral are not interfered with by his
friends, but become matters of State.  I transcribed the order of
the procession as being rather grand and stately.

     Chaplains of both Houses.
     Physicians who attend the deceased.
     Committee of arrangement.
     THE BODY,
     (Pall borne by six members.)
     The Relations of the deceased, with the
     Senators and Representatives of the State
     to which he belonged, as Mourners.
     Sergeant at arms of the House of Representatives.
     The House of Representatives,
     Their Speaker and Clerk preceding.
     The Senate of the United States.
     The Vice-president and Secretary preceding,
     THE PRESIDENT

The procession was of considerable extent, but not on foot, and
the majority of the carriages were hired for the occasion.  The
body was interred in an open "grave yard" near the city.  I did
not see the monument erected on this occasion, but I presume it
was in the same style as several others I had remarked in the
same burying-ground, inscribed to the memory of members who had
died at Washington.  These were square blocks of masonry without
any pretension to splendour.



CHAPTER 21

Stonington--Great Falls of the Potomac



The greatest pleasure I had promised myself in visiting
Washington was the seeing a very old friend, who had left
England many years ago, and married in America; she was now a
widow, and, as I believed, settled in Washington.  I soon had
the mortification of finding that she was not in the city; but
ere long I learnt that her residence was not more than ten miles
from it.  We speedily met, and it was settled that we should
pass the summer with her in Maryland, and after a month devoted
to Washington, we left it for Stonington.

We arrived there the beginning of May, and the kindness of our
reception, the interest we felt in becoming acquainted with the
family of my friend, the extreme beauty of the surrounding
country, and the lovely season, altogether, made our stay there
a period of great enjoyment.

I wonder not that the first settlers in Virginia, with the bold
Captain Smith of chivalrous memory at their head, should have
fought so stoutly to dispossess the valiant father of Pocohantas
of his fair domain, for I certainly never saw a more tempting
territory.  Stonington is about two miles from the most romantic
point of the Potomac River, and Virginia spreads her wild, but
beautiful, and most fertile Paradise, on the opposite shore.  The
Maryland side partakes of the same character, and perfectly
astonished us by the profusion of her wild fruits and flowers.

We had not been long within reach of the great falls of the
Potomac before a party was made for us to visit them; the walk
from Stonington to these falls is through scenery that can hardly
be called forest, park, or garden; but which partakes of all
three.  A little English girl accompanied us, who had but lately
left her home; she exclaimed, "Oh! how many English ladies would
glory in such a garden as this!" and in truth they might; cedars,
tulip-trees, planes, shumacs, junipers, and oaks of various
kinds, most of them new to us, shaded our path.  Wild vines, with
their rich expansive leaves, and their sweet blossom, rivalling
the mignionette in fragrance, clustered round their branches.
Strawberries in full bloom, violets, anemonies, heart's-ease, and
wild pinks, with many other, and still lovelier flowers, which my
ignorance forbids me to name, literally covered the ground.  The
arbor judae, the dog-wood, in its fullest glory of star-like
flowers, azalias, and wild roses, dazzled our eyes whichever way
we turned them.  It was the most flowery two miles I ever walked.

The sound of the falls is heard at Stonington, and the gradual
increase of this sound is one of the agreeable features of this
delicious walk.  I know not why the rush of waters is so
delightful to the ear; all other monotonous sounds are wearying,
and harass the spirits, but I never met any one who did not love
to listen to a waterfall.  A rapid stream, called the "Branch
Creek," was to be crossed ere we reached the spot where the falls
are first visible.  This rumbling, turbid, angry little rivulet,
flows through evergreens and flowering underwood, and is crossed
_a plusieures reprises_, by logs thrown from rock to rock.  The
thundering noise of the still unseen falls suggests an idea of
danger while crossing these rude bridges, which hardly belongs to
them; having reached the other side of the creek, we continued
under the shelter of the evergreens for another quarter of a
mile, and then emerged upon a sight that drew a shout of wonder
and delight from us all.  The rocky depths of an enormous river
were opened before our eyes and so huge are the black crags that
inclose it, that the thundering torrents of water rushing
through, over, and among the rocks of this awful chasm, appear
lost and swallowed up in it.

The river, or rather the bed of it, is here of great width, and
most frightful depth, lined on all sides with huge masses of
black rock of every imaginable form.  The flood that roars
through them is seen only at intervals; here in a full heavy
sheet of green transparent water, falling straight and unbroken;
there dashing along a narrow channel, with a violence that makes
one dizzy to see and hear.  In one place an unfathomed pool shows
a mirror of inky blackness, and as still as night; in another the
tortured twisted cataract tumbles headlong in a dozen different
torrents, half hid by the cloud of spray they send high into the
air.  Despite this uproar, the slenderest, loveliest shrubs, peep
forth from among these hideous rocks, like children smiling in
the midst of danger.  As we stood looking at this tremendous
scene, one of our friends made us remark, that the poison alder,
and the poison vine, threw their graceful, but perfidious
branches, over every rock, and assured us also that innumerable
tribes of snakes found their dark dwellings among them.

To call this scene beautiful would be a strange abuse of terms,
for it is altogether composed of sights and sounds of terror.
The falls of the Potomac are awfully sublime: the dark deep gulf
which yawns before you, the foaming, roaring cataract, the
eddying whirlpool, and the giddy precipice, all seem to threaten
life, and to appal the senses.  Yet it was a great delight to sit
upon a high and jutting crag, and look and listen.

I heard with pleasure that it was to the Virginian side of the
Potomac that the "felicity hunters" of Washington resorted to see
this fearful wonder, for I never saw a spot where I should less
have liked the annoying "how d'ye," of a casual rencontre.  One
could not even give or receive the exciting "is it not charming,"
which Rousseau talks of, for if it were uttered, it could not be
heard, or, if heard, would fall most earthly dull on the spirit,
when rapt by the magic of such a scene.  A look, or the silent
pressure of the arm, is all the interchange of feeling that such
a scene allows, and in the midst of my terror and my pleasure, I
wished for the arm and the eye of some few from the other side of
the Atlantic.

The return from such a scene is more soberly silent than the
approach to it; but the cool and quiet hour, the mellowed tints
of some gay blossoms, and the closed bells of others, the drowsy
hum of the insects that survive the day, and the moist freshness
that forbids the foot to weary in its homeward path, have all
enjoyment in them, and seem to harmonize with the half wearied,
half excited state of spirits, that such an excursion is sure to
produce: and then the entering the cool and moonlit portico, the
well-iced sangaree, or still more refreshing coffee, that waits
you, is all delightful; and if to this be added the happiness of
an easy sofa, and a friend like my charming Mrs. S--, to soothe
you with an hour of Mozart the most fastidious European might
allow that such a day was worth waking for.



CHAPTER 22

Small Landed Proprietors--Slavery



I now, for the first time since I crossed the mountains, found
myself sufficiently at leisure to look deliberately round, and
mark the different aspects of men and things in a region which,
though bearing the same name, and calling itself the same land,
was, in many respects, as different from the one I had left, as
Amsterdam from St. Petersburg.  There every man was straining,
and struggling, and striving for himself (heaven knows!)  Here
every white man was waited upon, more or less, by a slave.
There, the newly-cleared lands, rich with the vegetable manure
accumulated for ages, demanded the slightest labour to return the
richest produce; where the plough entered, crops the most
abundant followed; but where it came not, no spot of native
verdure, no native fruits, no native flowers cheered the eye;
all was close, dark, stifling forest.  Here the soil had long
ago yielded its first fruits; much that had been cleared and
cultivated for tobacco (the most exhausting of crops) by the
English, required careful and laborious husbandry to produce any
return; and much was left as sheep-walks.  It was in these spots
that the natural bounty of the soil and climate was displayed by
the innumerable wild fruits and flowers which made every dingle
and bushy dell seem a garden.

On entering the cottages I found also a great difference in the
manner of living.  Here, indeed, there were few cottages without
a slave, but there were fewer still that had their beefsteak and
onions for breakfast, dinner, and supper.  The herrings of the
bountiful Potomac supply their place.  These are excellent
"relish," as they call it, when salted, and, if I mistake not,
are sold at a dollar and a half per thousand.  Whiskey, however,
flows every where at the same fatally cheap rate of twenty cents
(about one shilling) the gallon, and its hideous effects are
visible on the countenance of every man you meet.

The class of people the most completely unlike any existing in
England, are those who, farming their own freehold estates, and
often possessing several slaves, yet live with as few of the
refinements, and I think I may say, with as few of the comforts
of life, as the very poorest English peasant.  When in Maryland,
I went into the houses of several of these small proprietors,
and remained long enough, and looked and listened sufficiently,
to obtain a tolerably correct idea of their manner of living.

One of these families consisted of a young man, his wife, two
children, a female slave, and two young lads, slaves also.  The
farm belonged to the wife, and, I was told, consisted of about
three hundred acres of indifferent land, but all cleared.  The
house was built of wood, and looked as if the three slaves might
have overturned it, had they pushed hard against the gable end.
It contained one room, of about twelve feet square, and another
adjoining it, hardly larger than a closet; this second chamber
was the lodging-room of the white part of the family.  Above
these rooms was a loft, without windows, where I was told the
"staying company" who visited them, were lodged.  Near this
mansion was a "shanty," a black hole, without any window, which
served as kitchen and all other offices, and also as the lodging
of the blacks.

We were invited to take tea with this family, and readily
consented to do so.  The furniture of the room was one heavy huge
table, and about six wooden chairs.  When we arrived the lady was
in rather a dusky dishabille, but she vehemently urged us to be
seated, and then retired into the closet-chamber above mentioned,
whence she continued to address to us from behind the door, all
kinds of "genteel country visiting talk," and at length emerged
upon us in a smart new dress.

Her female slave set out the great table, and placed upon it cups
of the very coarsest blue ware, a little brown sugar in one, and
a tiny drop of milk in another, no butter, though the lady
assured us she had a "_deary_" and two cows.  Instead of butter,
she "hoped we would fix a little relish with our crackers," in
ancient English, eat salt meat and dry biscuits.  Such was the
fare, and for guests that certainly were intended to be honoured.
I could not help recalling the delicious repasts which I
remembered to have enjoyed at little dairy farms in England, not
_possessed_, but rented, and at high rents too; where the clean,
fresh-coloured, bustling mistress herself skimmed the delicious
cream, herself spread the yellow butter on the delightful brown
loaf, and placed her curds, and her junket, and all the delicate
treasures other dairy before us, and then, with hospitable pride,
placed herself at her board, and added the more delicate "relish"
of good tea and good cream.  I remembered all this, and did not
think the difference atoned for, by the dignity of having my cup
handed to me by a slave.  The lady I now visited, however,
greatly surpassed my quondam friends in the refinement of her
conversation.  She ambled through the whole time the visit
lasted, in a sort of elegantly mincing familiar style of gossip,
which, I think, she was imitating from some novel, for I was told
she was a great novel reader, and left all household occupations
to be performed by her slaves.  To say she addressed us in a tone
of equality, will give no adequate idea of her manner; I am
persuaded that no misgiving on the subject ever entered her head.
She told us that their estate was her divi-_dend_ of her father's
property.  She had married a first cousin, who was as fine a
gentleman as she was a lady, and as idle, preferring hunting (as
they called shooting) to any other occupation.  The consequence
was, that but a very small portion of the dividend was
cultivated, and their poverty was extreme.  The slaves,
particularly the lads, were considerably more than half naked,
but the air of dignity with which, in the midst of all this
misery, the lanky lady said to one of the young negroes, "Attend
to your young master, Lycurgus," must have been heard to be
conceived in the full extent of its mock heroic.

Another dwelling of one of these landed proprietors was a hovel
as wretched as the one above described, but there was more
industry within it.  The gentleman, indeed, was himself one of
the numerous tribe of regular whiskey drinkers, and was rarely
capable of any work; but he had a family of twelve children, who,
with their skeleton mother, worked much harder than I ever saw
negroes do.  They were, accordingly, much less elegant and much
less poor than the heiress; yet they lived with no appearance of
comfort, and with, I believe, nothing beyond the necessaries of
life.  One proof of this was, that the worthless father would not
suffer them to raise, even by their own labour, any garden
vegetables, and they lived upon their fat pork, salt fish, and
corn bread, summer and winter, without variation.  This, I found,
was frequently the case among the farmers.  The luxury of whiskey
is more appreciated by the men than all the green delicacies from
the garden, and if all the ready money goes for that and their
darling chewing tobacco, none can be spent by the wife for garden
seeds; and as far as my observation extended, I never saw any
American _menage_ where the toast and no toast question, would
have been decided in favour of the lady.

There are some small farmers who hold their lands as tenants, but
these are by no means numerous: they do not pay their rent in
money, but by making over a third of the produce to the owner; a
mode of paying rent, considerably more advantageous to the tenant
than the landlord; but the difficulty of obtaining _money_ in
payment, excepting for mere retail articles, is very great in all
American transactions.  "I can pay in pro-_duce_," is the offer
which I was assured is constantly made on all occasions, and if
rejected, "Then I guess we can't deal," is the usual rejoinder.
This statement does not, of course, include the great merchants
of great cities, but refers to the mass of the people scattered
over the country; it has, indeed, been my object, in speaking of
the customs of the people, to give an idea of what they are
_generally_.

The effect produced upon English people by the sight of slavery
in every direction is very new, and not very agreeable, and it is
not the less painfully felt from hearing upon every breeze the
mocking words, "All men are born free and equal."  One must be in
the heart of American slavery, fully to appreciate that
wonderfully fine passage in Moore's Epistle to Lord Viscount
Forbes, which describes perhaps more faithfully, as well as more
powerfully, the political state of America, than any thing that
has ever been written upon it.

     Oh! Freedom, Freedom, how I hate thy cant!
     Not eastern bombast, nor the savage rant
     Of purpled madmen, were they numbered all
     From Roman Nero, down to Russian Paul,
     Could grate upon my ear so mean, so base,
     As the rank jargon of that factious race,
     Who, poor of heart, and prodigal of words,
     Born to be slaves, and struggling to be lords,
     But pant for licence, while they spurn controul,
     And shout for rights, with rapine in their soul!
     Who can, with patience, for a moment see
     The medley mass of pride and misery,
     Of whips and charters, manacles and rights,
     Of slaving blacks, and democratic whites,
     Of all the pyebald polity that reigns
     In free confusion o'er Columbia's plains?
     To think that man, thou just and gentle God!
     Should stand before thee with a tyrant's rod,
     O'er creatures like himself, with soul from thee,
     Yet dare to boast of perfect liberty:
     Away, away, I'd rather hold my neck
     By doubtful tenure from a Sultan's beck,
     In climes where liberty has scarce been named,
     Nor any right, but that of ruling, claimed,
     Than thus to live, where bastard freedom waves
     Her fustian flag in mockery o'er slaves;
     Where (motley laws admitting no degree
     Betwixt the vilely slaved, and madly free)
     Alike the bondage and the licence suit,
     The brute made ruler, and the man made brute!

The condition of domestic slaves, however, does not generally
appear to be bad; but the ugly feature is, that should it be so,
they have no power to change it.  I have seen much kind attention
bestowed upon the health of slaves; but it is on these occasions
impossible to forget, that did this attention fail, a valuable
piece of property would be endangered.  Unhappily the slaves,
too, know this, and the consequence is, that real kindly feeling
very rarely can exist between the parties.  It is said that
slaves born in a family are attached to the children of it, who
have grown up with them.  This may be the case where the petty
acts of infant tyranny have not been sufficient to conquer the
kindly feeling naturally produced by long and early association;
and this sort of attachment may last as long as the slave can be
kept in that state of profound ignorance which precludes
reflection.  The law of Virginia has taken care of this.  The
State legislators may truly be said to be "wiser in their
generation than the children of light," and they ensure their
safety by forbidding light to enter among them.  By the law of
Virginia it is penal to teach any slave to read, and it is penal
to be aiding and abetting in the act of instructing them.  This
law speaks volumes.  Domestic slaves are, generally speaking,
tolerably well fed, and decently clothed; and the mode in which
they are lodged seems a matter of great indifference to them.
They are rarely exposed to the lash, and they are carefully
nursed in sickness.  These are the favourable features of their
situation.  The sad one is, that they may be sent to the south
and sold.  This is the dread of all the slaves north of
Louisiana.  The sugar plantations, and more than all, the rice
grounds of Georgia and the Carolinas, are the terror of American
negroes; and well they may be, for they open an early grave to
thousands; and to _avoid loss_ it is needful to make their
previous labour pay their value.

There is something in the system of breeding and rearing negroes
in the Northern States, for the express purpose of sending them
to be sold in the South, that strikes painfully against every
feeling of justice, mercy, or common humanity.  During my
residence in America I became perfectly persuaded that the state
of a domestic slave in a gentleman's family was preferable to
that of a hired American "help," both because they are more cared
for and valued, and because their condition being born with them,
their spirits do not struggle against it with that pining
discontent which seems the lot of all free servants in America.
But the case is widely different with such as, in their own
persons, or those of their children, "loved in vain," are exposed
to the dreadful traffic above mentioned.  In what is their
condition better than that of the kidnapped negroes on the coast
of Africa?  Of the horror in which this enforced migration is
held I had a strong proof during our stay in Virginia.  The
father of a young slave, who belonged to the lady with whom we
boarded, was destined to this fate, and within an hour after it
was made known to him, he sharpened the hatchet with which he had
been felling timber, and with his right hand severed his left
from the wrist.

But this is a subject on which I do not mean to dilate; it has
been lately treated most judiciously by a far abler hand.  [See
Captain Hall's Travels in America.]  Its effects on the moral
feelings and external manners of the people are all I wish to
observe upon, and these are unquestionably most injurious.  The
same man who beards his wealthier and more educated neighbour
with the bullying boast, "I'm as good as you," turns to his
slave, and knocks him down, if the furrow he has ploughed, or the
log he has felled, please not this stickler for equality.  There
is a glaring falsehood on the very surface of such a man's
principles that is revolting.  It is not among the higher classes
that the possession of slaves produces the worst effects.  Among
the poorer class of landholders, who are often as profoundly
ignorant as the negroes they own, the effect of this plenary
power over males and females is most demoralising; and the kind
of coarse, not to say brutal, authority which is exercised,
furnishes the most disgusting moral spectacle I ever witnessed.
In all ranks, however, it appeared to me that the greatest and
best feelings of the human heart were paralyzed by the relative
positions of slave and owner.  The characters, the hearts of
children, are irretrievably injured by it.  In Virginia we
boarded for some time in a family consisting of a widow and her
four daughters, and I there witnessed a scene strongly indicative
of the effect I have mentioned.  A young female slave, about
eight years of age, had found on the shelf of a cupboard a
biscuit, temptingly buttered, of which she had eaten a
considerable portion before she was observed.  The butter had
been copiously sprinkled with arsenic for the destruction of
rats, and had been thus most incautiously placed by one of the
young ladies of the family.  As soon as the circumstance was
known, the lady of the house came to consult me as to what had
best be done for the poor child; I immediately mixed a large cup
of mustard and water (the most rapid of all emetics) and got the
little girl to swallow it.  The desired effect was instantly
produced, but the poor child, partly from nausea, and partly from
the terror of hearing her death proclaimed by half a dozen voices
round her, trembled so violently that I thought she would fall.
I sat down in the court where we were standing, and, as a matter
of course, took the little sufferer in my lap.  I observed a
general titter among the white members of the family, while the
black stood aloof, and looked stupified.  The youngest of the
family, a little girl about the age of the young slave, after
gazing at me for a few moments in utter astonishment, exclaimed
"My! If Mrs. Trollope has not taken her in her lap, and wiped her
nasty mouth! Why I would not have touched her mouth for two
hundred dollars!"

The little slave was laid on a bed, and I returned to my own
apartments; some time afterwards I sent to enquire for her, and
learnt that she was in great pain.  I immediately went myself to
enquire farther, when another young lady of the family, the one
by whose imprudence the accident had occurred, met my anxious
enquiries with ill-suppressed mirth--told me they had sent for
the doctor--and then burst into uncontrollable laughter.  The
idea of really sympathising in the sufferings of a slave appeared
to them as absurd as weeping over a calf that had been
slaughtered by the butcher.  The daughters of my hostess were as
lovely as features and complexion could make them; but the
neutralizing effect of this total want of feeling upon youth and
beauty, must be witnessed, to be conceived.

There seems in general a strong feeling throughout America, that
none of the negro race can be trusted, and as fear, according to
their notions, is the only principle by which a slave can be
actuated, it is not wonderful if the imputation be just.  But I
am persuaded that were a different mode of moral treatment
pursued, most important and beneficial consequences would result
from it.  Negroes are very sensible to kindness, and might, I
think, be rendered more profitably obedient by the practice of it
towards them, than by any other mode of discipline whatever.  To
emancipate them entirely throughout the Union cannot, I conceive,
be thought of, consistently with the safety of the country; but
were the possibility of amelioration taken into the consideration
of the legislature, with all the wisdom, justice, and mercy, that
could be brought to bear upon it, the negro population of the
Union might cease to be a terror, and their situation no longer
be a subject either of indignation or of pity.

I observed every where throughout the slave States that all
articles which can be taken and consumed are constantly locked
up, and in large families, where the extent of the establishment
multiplies the number of keys, these are deposited in a basket,
and consigned to the care of a little negress, who is constantly
seen following her mistress's steps with this basket on her arm,
and this, not only that the keys may be always at hand, but
because, should they be out of sight one moment, that moment
would infallibly be employed for purposes of plunder.  It seemed
to me in this instance, as in many others, that the close
personal attendance of these sable shadows, must be very
annoying; but whenever I mentioned it, I was assured that no
such feeling existed, and that use rendered them almost
unconscious of their presence.

I had, indeed, frequent opportunities of observing this habitual
indifference to the presence of their slaves.  They talk of them,
of their condition, of their faculties, of their conduct, exactly
as if they were incapable of hearing.  I once saw a young lady,
who, when seated at table between a male and a female, was
induced by her modesty to intrude on the chair of her female
neighbour to avoid the indelicacy of touching the elbow of a man.
I once saw this very young lady lacing her stays with the most
perfect composure before a negro footman.  A Virginian gentleman
told me that ever since he had married, he had been accustomed to
have a negro girl sleep in the same chamber with himself and his
wife.  I asked for what purpose this nocturnal attendance was
necessary? "Good heaven!" was the reply, "if I wanted a glass of
water during the night, what would become of me?"



CHAPTER 23

Fruits and Flowers of Maryland and Virginia--Copper-head
Snake--Insects--Elections



Our summer in Maryland, (1830), was delightful.  The thermometer
stood at 94, but the heat was by no means so oppressive as what
we had felt in the West.  In no part of North America are the
natural productions of the soil more various, or more beautiful.
Strawberries of the richest flavour sprung beneath our feet; and
when these past away, every grove, every lane, every field looked
like a cherry orchard, offering an inexhaustible profusion of
fruit to all who would take the trouble to gather it.  Then
followed the peaches; every hedgerow was planted with them, and
though the fruit did not equal in size or flavour those ripened
on our garden walls, we often found them good enough to afford a
delicious refreshment on our long rambles.  But it was the
flowers, and the flowering shrubs that, beyond all else, rendered
this region the most beautiful I had ever seen, (the Alleghany
always excepted.)  No description can give an idea of the
variety, the profusion, the luxuriance of them.  If I talk of
wild roses, the English reader will fancy I mean the pale
ephemeral blossoms of our bramble hedges; but the wild roses of
Maryland and Virginia might be the choicest favourites of the
flower garden.  They are rarely very double, but the brilliant
eye atones for this.  They are of all shades, from the deepest
crimson to the tenderest pink.  The scent is rich and delicate;
in size they exceed any single roses I ever saw, often measuring
above four inches in diameter.  The leaf greatly resembles that
of the china rose; it is large, dark, firm, and brilliant.  The
sweetbrier grows wild, and blossoms abundantly; both leaves and
flowers are considerably larger than with us.  The acacia, or as
it is there called, the locust, blooms with great richness and
profusion; I have gathered a branch less than a foot long, and
counted twelve full bunches of flowers on it.  The scent is equal
to the orange flower.  The dogwood is another of the splendid
white blossoms that adorn the woods.  Its lateral branches are
flat, like a fan, and dotted all over, with star-like blossoms,
as large as those of the gum-cistus.  Another pretty shrub, of
smaller size, is the poison alder.  It is well that its noxious
qualities are very generally known, for it is most tempting to
the eye by its delicate fringe-like bunches of white flowers.
Even the touch of this shrub is poisonous, and produces violent
swelling.  The arbor judae is abundant in every wood, and its
bright and delicate pink is the earliest harbinger of the
American spring.  Azalias, white, yellow, and pink; kalmias of
every variety, the too sweet magnolia, and the stately
rhododendron, all grow in wild abundance there.  The plant known
in England as the Virginian creeper, is often seen climbing to
the top of the highest forest trees, and bearing a large trumpet-
shaped blossom of a rich scarlet.  The sassafras is a beautiful
shrub, and I cannot imagine why it has not been naturalized in
England, for it has every appearance of being extremely hardy.
The leaves grow in tufts, and every tuft contains leaves of five
or six different forms.  The fruit is singularly beautiful; it
resembles in form a small acorn, and is jet black; the cup and
stem looking as if they were made of red coral.  The graceful and
fantastic grapevine is a feature of great beauty, and its
wandering festoons bear no more resemblance to our well-trained
vines, than our stunted azalias, and tiny magnolias, to their
thriving American kindred.

There is another charm that haunts the summer wanderer in
America, and it is perhaps the only one found in greatest
perfection in the West: but it is beautiful every where.  In a
bright day, during any of the summer months, your walk is through
an atmosphere of butterflies, so gaudy in hue, and so varied in
form, that I often thought they looked like flowers on the wing.
Some of them are very large, measuring three or four inches
across the wings; but many, and I think the most beautiful, are
smaller than ours.  Some have wings of the most dainty lavender
colour; and bodies of black; others are fawn and rose colour; and
others again are orange and bright blue.  But pretty as they are,
it is their number, even more than their beauty, that delights
the eye.  Their gay and noiseless movement as they glance through
the air, crossing each other in chequered maze, is very
beautiful.  The humming-bird is another pretty summer toy; but
they are not sufficiently numerous, nor do they live enough on
the wing to render them so important a feature in the
transatlantic show, as the rainbow-tinted butterflies.  The
fire-fly was a far more brilliant novelty.  In moist situations,
or before a storm, they are very numerous, and in the dark sultry
evening of a burning day, when all employment was impossible, I
have often found it a pastime to watch their glancing light, now
here, now there; now seen, now gone; shooting past with the
rapidity of lightning, and looking like a shower of falling
stars, blown about in the breeze of evening.



In one of our excursions we encountered and slew a copperhead
snake.  I escaped treading on it by about three inches.  While we
were contemplating our conquered foe, and doubting in our
ignorance if he were indeed the deadly copper-head we had so
often heard described, a farmer joined us, who, as soon as he
cast his eyes on our victim, exclaimed, "My! if you have not got
a copper.  That's right down well done, they be darnation
beasts."  He told us that he had once seen a copper-head bite
himself to death, from being teazed by a stick, while confined in
a cage where he could find no other victim.  We often heard
terrible accounts of the number of these desperate reptiles to be
found on the rocks near the great falls of the Potomac; but not
even the terror these stories inspired could prevent our repeated
visits to that sublime scene; Luckily our temerity was never
punished by seeing any there.  Lizards, long, large, and most
hideously like a miniature crocodile, I frequently saw, gliding
from the fissures of the rocks, and darting again under shelter,
perhaps beneath the very stone I was seated upon; but every one
assured us they were harmless.  Animal life is so infinitely
abundant, and in forms so various, and so novel to European eyes,
that it is absolutely necessary to divest oneself of all the
petty terrors which the crawling, creeping, hopping, and buzzing
tribes can inspire, before taking an American summer ramble.  It
is, I conceive, quite impossible for any description to convey an
idea of the sounds which assail the ears from the time the short
twilight begins, until the rising sun scatters the rear of
darkness, and sends the winking choristers to rest.

Be where you will (excepting in the large cities) the appalling
note of the bull-frog will reach you, loud, deep, and hoarse,
issuing from a thousand throats in ceaseless continuity of croak.
The tree-frog adds her chirping and almost human voice; the
kattiedid repeats her own name through the livelong night; the
whole tribe of locusts chirp, chirrup, squeak, whiz, and whistle,
without allowing one instant of interval to the weary ear; and
when to this the mosquito adds her threatening hum, it is
wonderful that any degree of fatigue can obtain for the listener
the relief of sleep.  In fact, it is only in ceasing to listen
that this blessing can be found.  I passed many feverish nights
during my first summer, literally in listening to this most
astounding mixture of noises, and it was only when they became
too familiar to excite attention, that I recovered my rest.

I know not by what whimsical link of association the
recapitulation of this insect din suggests the recollection of
other discords, at least as harsh and much more troublesome.

Even in the retirement in which we passed this summer, we were
not beyond reach of the election fever which is constantly raging
through the land.  Had America every attraction under heaven that
nature and social enjoyment can offer, this electioneering
madness would make me fly it in disgust.  It engrosses every
conversation, it irritates every temper, it substitutes party
spirit for personal esteem; and, in fact, vitiates the whole
system of society.

When a candidate for any office starts, his party endow him with
every virtue, and with all the talents.  They are all ready to
peck out the eyes of those who oppose him, and in the warm and
mettlesome south-western states, do literally often perform this
operation: but as soon as he succeeds, his virtues and his
talents vanish, and, excepting those holding office under his
appointment, every man Jonathan of them set off again full gallop
to elect his successor.  When I first arrived in America Mr. John
Quincy Adams was President, and it was impossible to doubt, even
from the statement of his enemies, that he was every way
calculated to do honour to the office.  All I ever heard against
him was, that "he was too much of a gentleman;" but a new
candidate must be set up, and Mr. Adams was out-voted for no
other reason, that I could learn, but because it was "best to
change." "Jackson for ever!" was, therefore, screamed from the
majority of mouths, both drunk and sober, till he was elected;
but no sooner in his place, than the same ceaseless operation
went on again, with "Clay for ever" for its war-whoop.

I was one morning paying a visit, when a party of gentlemen
arrived at the same house on horseback.  The one whose air
proclaimed him the chief of his party, left us not long in doubt
as to his business, for he said, almost in entering,

"Mr. P--, I come to ask for your vote."

"Who are you for, sir?" was the reply.

"Clay for ever!" the rejoinder; and the vote was promised.

This gentleman was candidate for a place in the state
representation, whose members have a vote in the presidential
election.

I was introduced to him as an English woman: he addressed me
with, "Well madam, you see we do these things openly and
above-board here; you mince such matters more, I expect."

After his departure, his history and standing were discussed.
"Mr. M. is highly respectable, and of very good standing; there
can be no doubt of his election if he is a thorough-going
Clay-man," said my host.

I asked what his station was.

The lady of the house told me that his father had been a
merchant, and when this future legislator was a young man, he had
been sent by him to some port in the Mediterranean as his
super-cargo.  The youth, being a free-born high-spirited youth,
appropriated the proceeds to his own uses, traded with great
success upon the fund thus obtained, and returned, after an
absence of twelve years, a gentleman of fortune and excellent
standing.  I expressed some little disapprobation of this
proceeding, but was assured that Mr. M. was considered by every
one as a very "honourable man."

Were I to relate one-tenth part of the dishonest transactions
recounted to me by Americans, of their fellow-citizens and
friends, I am confident that no English reader would give me
credit for veracity it would, therefore, be very unwise to repeat
them, but I cannot refrain from expressing the opinion that
nearly four years of attentive observation impressed on me,
namely, that the moral sense is on every point blunter than with
us.  Make an American believe that his next-door neighbour is a
very worthless fellow, and I dare say (if he were quite sure he
could make nothing by him) he would drop the acquaintance; but as
to what constitutes a worthless fellow, people differ on the
opposite sides of the Atlantic, almost by the whole decalogue.
There is, as it appeared to me, an obtusity on all points of
honourable feeling.

"Cervantes laughed Spain's chivalry away," but he did not laugh
away that better part of chivalry, so beautifully described by
Burke as "the unbought grace of life, the cheap defence of
nations, that chastity of honour, which feels a stain as a wound,
which ennobles whatever it touches, and by which vice itself
loses half its evil, by losing all its grossness."  The better
part of chivalry still mixes with gentle blood in every part of
Europe, nor is it less fondly guarded than when sword and buckler
aided its defence.  Perhaps this unbought grace of life is not to
be looked for where chivalry has never been.  I certainly do not
lament the decadence of knight errantry, nor wish to exchange the
protection of the laws for that of the doughtiest champion who
ever set lance in rest; but I do, in truth, believe that this
knightly sensitiveness of honourable feeling is the best antidote
to the petty soul-degrading transactions of every day life, and
that the total want of it, is one reason why this free-born race
care so very little for the vulgar virtue called probity.



CHAPTER 24

Journey to Philadelphia--Chesapeak and Delaware Canal--City of
Philadelphia--Miss Wright's Lecture



In the latter part of August, 1830, we paid a visit to
Philadelphia, and, notwithstanding the season, we were so
fortunate as to have both bright and temperate weather for the
expedition.  The road from Washington to Baltimore, which was our
first day's journey, is interesting in summer from the variety of
luxuriance of the foliage which borders great parts of it.

We passed the night at Baltimore, and embarked next morning on
board a steam-boat for Philadelphia.  The scenery of the Elk
river, upon which you enter soon after leaving the port of
Baltimore, is not beautiful.  We embarked at six in the morning,
and at twelve reached the Chesapeak and Delaware canal; we then
quitted the steam-boat, and walked two or three hundred yards to
the canal, where we got on board a pretty little decked boat,
sheltered by a neat awning, and drawn by four horses.  This canal
cuts across the state of Delaware, and connects the Chesapeak and
Delaware rivers: it has been a work of great expense, though the
distance is not more than thirteen miles; for a considerable part
of this distance the cutting has been very deep, and the banks
are in many parts thatched, to prevent their crumbling.  At the
point where the cutting is deepest, a light bridge is thrown
across, which, from its great height, forms a striking object to
the travellers passing below it.  Every boat that passes this
canal pays a toll of twenty dollars.

Nothing can be less interesting than that part of the state of
Delaware through which this cut passes, the Mississippi hardly
excepted.  At one, we reached the Delaware river, at a point
nearly opposite Delaware Fort, which looks recently built, and
is very handsome.  [This fort was destroyed by fire a few months
afterwards.]  Here we again changed our vessel, and got on
board another of their noble steam-boats; both these changes
were made with the greatest regularity and dispatch.

There is nothing remarkable in the scenery of the Delaware.  The
stream is wide and the banks are flat; a short distance before
you reach Philadelphia two large buildings of singular appearance
strike the eye.  On enquiry I learnt that they were erected for
the purpose of sheltering two ships of war.  They are handsomely
finished, with very neat roofs, and are ventilated by many
windows.  The expense of these buildings must have been
considerable, but, as the construction of the vast machines they
shelter was more so, it may be good economy.

We reached Philadelphia at four o'clock in the afternoon.  The
approach to this city is not so striking as that to Baltimore;
though much larger, it does not now show itself so well; it wants
domes and columns: it is, nevertheless, a beautiful city.
Nothing can exceed its neatness; the streets are well paved, the
foot-way, as in all the old American cities, is of brick, like
the old pantile walk at Tunbridge Wells.  This is almost entirely
sheltered from the sun by the awnings, which, in all the
principal streets, are spread from the shop windows to the edge
of the pavement.

The city is built with extreme and almost wearisome regularity;
the streets, which run north and south, are distinguished by
numbers, from one to--I know not how many, but I paid a visit in
Twelth Street; these are intersected at right angles by others,
which are known by the names of various trees; Mulberry (more
commonly called Arch-street), Chesnut, and Walnut, appear the
most fashionable: in each of these there is a theatre.  This mode
of distinguishing the streets is commodious to strangers, from
the facility it gives of finding out whereabouts you are; if you
ask for the United States Bank, you are told it is in Chesnut,
between Third and Fourth, and as the streets are all divided from
each other by equal distances, of about three hundred feet, you
are sure of not missing your mark.  There are many handsome
houses, but none that are very splendid; they are generally of
brick, and those of the better order have white marble steps, and
some few, door frames of the same beautiful material; but, on the
whole, there is less display of it in the private dwellings than
at Baltimore.

The Americans all seem greatly to admire this city, and to give
it the preference in point of beauty to all others in the Union,
but I do not agree with them.  There are some very handsome
buildings, but none of them so placed as to produce a striking
effect, as is the case both with the Capitol and the President's
house, at Washington.  Notwithstanding these fine buildings, one
or more of which are to be found in all the principal streets,
the _coup d'oeil_ is every where the same.  There is no Place de
Louis Quinze or Carrousel, no Regent Street, or Green Park, to
make one exclaim "how beautiful!" all is even, straight, uniform,
and uninteresting.

There is one spot, however, about a mile from the town, which
presents a lovely scene.  The water-works of Philadelphia have
not yet perhaps as wide extended fame as those of Marley, but
they are not less deserving it.  At a most beautiful point of the
Schuylkill River the water has been forced up into a magnificent
reservoir, ample and elevated enough to send it through the whole
city.  The vast yet simple machinery by which this is achieved is
open to the public, who resort in such numbers to see it, that
several evening stages run from Philadelphia to Fair Mount for
their accommodation.  But interesting and curious as this
machinery is, Fair Mount would not be so attractive had it not
something else to offer.  It is, in truth, one of the very
prettiest spots the eye can look upon.  A broad weir is thrown
across the Schuylkill, which produces the sound and look of a
cascade.  On the farther side of the river is a gentleman's seat,
the beautiful lawns of which slope to the water's edge, and
groups of weeping-willows and other trees throw their shadows on
the stream.  The works themselves are enclosed in a simple but
very handsome building of freestone, which has an extended front
opening upon a terrace, which overhangs the river: behind the
building, and divided from it only by a lawn, rises a lofty wall
of solid limestone rock, which has, at one or two points, been
cut into, for the passage of the water into the noble reservoir
above.  From the crevices of this rock the catalpa was every
where pushing forth, covered with its beautiful blossom.  Beneath
one of these trees an artificial opening in the rock gives
passage to a stream of water, clear and bright as crystal, which
is received in a stone basin of simple workmanship, having a cup
for the service of the thirsty traveller.  At another point, a
portion of the water in its upward way to the reservoir, is
permitted to spring forth in a perpetual _jet d'eau_, that
returns in a silver shower upon the head of a marble _naiad_ of
snowy whiteness.  The statue is not the work of Phidias, but its
dark, rocky background, the flowery catalpas which shadow it, and
the bright shower through which it shows itself, altogether make
the scene one of singular beauty; add to which, the evening on
which I saw it was very sultry, and the contrast of this cool
spot to all besides certainly enhanced its attraction; it was
impossible not to envy the nymph her eternal shower-bath.

On returning from this excursion we saw handbills in all parts of
the city announcing that Miss Wright was on that evening to
deliver her parting address to the citizens of Philadelphia, at
the Arch Street theatre, previous to her departure for Europe.
I immediately determined to hear her, and did so, though not
without some difficulty, from the crowds who went thither with
the same intention.  The house, which is a very pretty one, was
filled in every part, including the stage, with a well dressed
and most attentive audience.  There was a larger proportion of
ladies present than I ever saw on any other occasion in an
American theatre.  One reason for this might be, perhaps, that
they were admitted gratis.

Miss Wright came on the stage surrounded by a body guard of
Quaker ladies, in the full costume of their sect.  She was, as
she always is, startling in her theories, but powerfully
eloquent, and, on the whole, was much applauded, though one
passage produced great emotion, and some hissing.  She stated
broadly, on the authority of Jefferson, furnished by his
posthumous works, that "Washington was not a Christian."  One
voice from the crowded pit exclaimed, in an accent of
indignation, "Washington was a Christian." but it was evident
that the majority of the audience considered Mr. Jefferson's
assertion as a compliment to the country's idol, for the hissing
was soon triumphantly clapped down.  General Washington himself,
however, gives a somewhat different account of his own
principles, for in his admirable farewell address on declining a
re-election to the Presidency, I find the following passage.

"Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political
prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.
In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who would
labour to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these
firmest props of the destinies of men and citizens.  A volume
could not trace all their connections with private and public
felicity.  And let us with caution indulge the supposition that
morality can be maintained without religion, reason and
experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can
prevail in exclusion of religious principle."

Whether Mr. Jefferson or himself knew best what his principles
were, I will not decide, but, at least, it appears fair, when
repeating one statement, to add the other also.



CHAPTER 25

Washington Square--American Beauty--Gallery of Fine Arts--
Antiques--Theatres--Museum



Our mornings were spent, as all travellers' mornings must be, in
asking questions, and in seeing all that the answers told us it
was necessary to see.  Perhaps this can be done in no city with
more facility than in Philadelphia; you have nothing to do but to
walk up one straight street, and down another, till all the
parallelograms have been threaded.  In doing this you will see
many things worth looking at.  The United States, and
Pennsylvania banks, are the most striking buildings, and are both
extremely handsome, being of white marble, and built after
Grecian models.  The State House has nothing externally to
recommend it, but the room shown as that in which the declaration
of independence was signed, and in which the estimable Lafayette
was received half a century after he had shed his noble blood in
aiding to obtain it, is an interesting spot.  At one end of this
room is a statue in wood of General Washington; on its base is
the following inscription:-

     First in Peace,
     First in War,
     and
     First in the hearts of his Countrymen.

There is a very pretty enclosure before the Walnut Street
entrance to the State House, with good well-kept gravel walks,
and many of their beautiful flowering trees.  It is laid down in
grass, not in turf; that, indeed, is a luxury I never saw in
America.  Near this enclosure is another of much the same
description, called Washington Square.  Here there was an
excellent crop of clover; but as the trees are numerous, and
highly beautiful, and several commodious seats are placed beneath
their shade, it is, in spite of the long grass, a very agreeable
retreat from heat and dust.  It was rarely, however, that I saw
any of these seats occupied; the Americans have either no
leisure, or no inclination for those moments of _delassement_
that all other people, I believe, indulge in.  Even their drams,
so universally taken by rich and poor, are swallowed standing,
and, excepting at church, they never have the air of leisure or
repose.  This pretty Washington Square is surrounded by houses on
three sides, but (lasso!) has a prison on the fourth; it is
nevertheless the nearest approach to a London square that is to
be found in Philadelphia.

One evening, while the rest of my party went to visit some
objects which I had before seen, I agreed to await their return
in this square, and sat down under a magnificent catalpa, which
threw its fragrant blossoms in all directions; the other end of
the bench was occupied by a young lady, who was employed in
watching the gambols of a little boy.  There was something in her
manner of looking at me, and exchanging a smile when her young
charge performed some extraordinary feat of activity on the
grass, that persuaded me she was not an American.  I do not
remember who spoke first, but we were presently in a full flow of
conversation.  She spoke English with elegant correctness, but
she was a German, and with an ardour of feeling which gave her a
decidedly foreign air in Philadelphia, she talked to me of her
country, of all she had left, and of all she had found, or rather
of all she had not found, for thus ran her lament:-

"They do not love music.  Oh no! and they never amuse
themselves--no; and their hearts are not warm, at least they
seem not so to strangers; and they have no ease, no forgetfulness
of business and of care--no, not for a moment.  But I will not
stay long, I think, for I should not live."  She told me that
she had a brother settled there as a merchant, and that she had
passed a year with him; but she was hoping soon to return to her
father land.

I never so strongly felt the truth of the remark, that expression
is the soul of beauty, as in looking at, and listening to this
young German.  She was any thing but handsome; it is true she had
large eyes, full of gentle expression, but every feature was
irregular; but, oh! the charm of that smile, of that look of deep
feeling which animated every feature when she spoke of her own
Germany!  The tone of her voice, the slight and graceful action
which accompanied her words, all struck me as so attractive, that
the half hour I passed with her was continually recurring to my
memory.  I had often taxed myself with feeling something like
prejudice against the beautiful American women; but this half
hour set my conscience at rest; it is not prejudice which causes
one to feel that regularity of features is insufficient to
interest, or even to please, beyond the first glance.  I
certainly believe the women of America to be the handsomest in
the world, but as surely do I believe that they are the least
attractive.



We visited the nineteenth annual exhibition of the Pennsylvanian
academy of the fine arts; 431 was the number of objects
exhibited, which were so arranged as to fill three tolerably
large rooms, and one smaller called the director's room.  There
were among the number about thirty engravings, and a much larger
proportion of water-colour drawings; about seventy had the P.A.
(Pensylvanian Academician) annexed to the name of the artist.

The principal historical composition was a large scripture piece
by Mr. Washington Alston.  This gentleman is spoken of as an
artist of great merit, and I was told that his manner was much
improved since this picture was painted, (it bears date, 1813).
I believe it was for this picture Mr. Alston received a prize at
the British Gallery.

There was a portrait of a lady, which, in the catalogue, is
designated as "the White Plume," which had the reputation of
being the most admired in the collection, and the artist, Mr.
Ingham, is said to rank highest among the portrait-painters of
America.  This picture is of very high finish, particularly the
drapery, which is most elaborately worked, even to the pile of
the velvet; the management of the light is much in the manner of
Good; but the drawing is very defective, and the contour, though
the face is a lovely one, hard and unfleshy.  From all the
conversations on painting, which I listened to in America, I
found that the finish of drapery was considered as the highest
excellence, and next to this, the resemblance in a portrait; I
do not remember ever to have heard the words _drawing_ or
_composition_ used in any conversation on the subject.

One of the rooms of this academy has inscribed over its door,

                   ANTIQUE STATUE GALLERY

The door was open, but just within it was a screen, which
prevented any objects in the room being seen from without.  Upon
my pausing to read this inscription, an old woman who appeared to
officiate as guardian of the gallery, hustled up, and addressing
me with an air of much mystery, said, "Now, ma'am, now; this is
just the time for you--nobody can see you--make haste."

I stared at her with unfeigned surprise, and disengaging my arm,
which she had taken apparently to hasten my movements, I very
gravely asked her meaning.

"Only, ma'am, that ladies like to go into that room by
themselves, when there be no gentlemen watching them."

On entering this mysterious apartment, the first thing I
remarked, was written paper, deprecating the disgusting depravity
which had led some of the visitors to mark and deface the casts
in a most indecent and shameless manner.  This abomination has
unquestionably been occasioned by the coarse-minded custom which
sends alternate groups of males and females into the room.  Were
the antique gallery thrown open to mixed parties of ladies and
gentlemen, it would soon cease.  Till America has reached the
degree of refinement which permits of this, the antique casts
should not be exhibited to ladies at all.  I never felt my
delicacy shocked at the Louvre, but I was strangely tempted to
resent as an affront the hint I received, that I might steal a
glance at what was deemed indecent.  Perhaps the arrangements for
the exhibition of this room, the feelings which have led to them,
and the result they have produced, furnish as good a specimen of
the kind of delicacy on which the Americans pride themselves, and
of the peculiarities arising from it, as can be found.  The room
contains about fifty casts, chiefly from the antique.

In the director's room I was amused at the means which a poet had
hit upon for advertising his works, or rather HIS WORK, and not
less at the elaborate notice of it.  His portrait was suspended
there, and attached to the frame was a paper inscribed thus:-

    'PORTRAIT OF THE AUTHOR
     of
     The Fredoniad, or Independence Preserved,
     a political, naval, and military poem,
     on the late war of 1812, in forty cantos;
     the whole compressed in four volumes;
     each volume averaging more than 305 pages,
     By RICHARD EMMONS, M.D."

I went to the Chesnut Street Theatre to see Mr. Booth, formerly
of Drury Lane, in the character of Lear, and a Mrs. Duff in
Cordelia; but I have seen too many Lears and Cordelias to be
easily pleased; I thought the whole performance very bad.  The
theatre is of excellently moderate dimensions, and prettily
decorated.  It was not the fashionable season for the theatres,
which I presume must account for the appearance of the company in
the boxes, which was any thing but elegant; nor was there more
decorum of demeanour than I had observed elsewhere; I saw one man
in the lower tier of boxes deliberately take off his coat that he
might enjoy the refreshing coolness of shirt sleeves; all the
gentlemen wore their hats, and the spitting was unceasing.

On another evening we went to the Walnut Street Theatre; the
chief attraction of the night was furnished by the performance of
a young man who had been previously exhibited as "a living
skeleton."  He played the part of Jeremiah Thin, and certainly
looked the part well; and here I think must end my praise of the
evening's performances.

The great and most striking contrast between this city and those
of Europe, is perceived after sunset; scarcely a sound is heard;
hardly a voice or a wheel breaks the stillness.  The Streets are
entirely dark, except where a stray lamp marks an hotel or the
like; no shops are open, but those of the apothecary, and here
and there a cook's shop; scarcely a step is heard, and for a note
of music, or the sound of mirth, I listened in vain.  In leaving
the theatre, which I always did before the afterpiece, I saw not
a single carriage; the night of Miss Wright's lecture, when I
stayed to the end, I saw one.  This darkness, this stillness, is
so great, that I almost felt it awful.  As we walked home one
fine moonlight evening from the Chestnut Street house, we stopped
a moment before the United States Bank, to look at its white
marble columns by the subdued lights said to be so advantageous
to them; the building did, indeed, look beautiful; the
incongruous objects around were hardly visible, while the
brilliant white of the building, which by daylight is dazzling,
was mellowed into fainter light and softer shadow.

While pausing before this modern temple of Theseus, we remarked
that we alone seemed alive in this great city; it was ten
o'clock, and a most lovely cool evening, after a burning day, yet
all was silence.  Regent Street, Bond Street, with their blaze of
gas-light _bijouterie_, and still more the Italian Boulevard of
Paris, rose in strong contrast on the memory; the light, which
outshines that of day--the gay, graceful, laughing throng--the
elegant saloons of Tortoni, with all their varieties of cooling
nectar--were all remembered.  Is it an European prejudice to deem
that the solitary dram swallowed by the gentlemen on quitting an
American theatre indicates a lower and more vicious state of
manners, than do the ices so sedulously offered to the ladies on
leaving a French one?



The museum contains a good collection of objects illustrative of
natural history, and some very interesting specimens of Indian
antiquities; both here and at Cincinnati I saw so many things
resembling Egyptian relics, that I should like to see the origin
of the Indian nations enquired into, more accurately than has yet
been done.

The shops, of which there appeared to me to be an unusually large
proportion, are very handsome; many of them in a style of
European elegance.  Lottery offices abound, and that species of
gambling is carried to a great extent.  I saw fewer carriages in
Philadelphia than either at Baltimore or Washington, but in the
winter I was told they were more numerous.

Many of the best families had left the city for different
watering-places, and others were daily following.  Long Branch is
a fashionable bathing place on the Jersey shore, to which many
resort, both from this place and from New York; the description
given of the manner of bathing appeared to me rather
extraordinary, but the account was confirmed by so many different
people, that I could not doubt its correctness.  The shore, it
seems, is too bold to admit of bathing machines, and the ladies
have, therefore, recourse to another mode of ensuring the
enjoyment of a sea-bath with safety.  The accommodation at Long
Branch is almost entirely at large boarding-houses, where all the
company live at a _table d'hote_.  It is customary for ladies on
arriving to look round among the married gentlemen, the first
time they meet at table, and to select the one her fancy leads
her to prefer as a protector in her purposed visits to the realms
of Neptune; she makes her request, which is always graciously
received, that he would lead her to taste the briny wave; but
another fair one must select the same protector, else the
arrangement cannot be complete, as custom does not authorise
_tete a tete_ immersion.



CHAPTER 26

Quakers--Presbyterians--Itinerant Methodist
Preacher--Market--Influence of females in society



I had never chanced, among all my wanderings, to enter a Quaker
Meeting-house; and as I thought I could no where make my first
visit better than at Philadelphia, I went under the protection of
a Quaker lady to the principal _orthodox_ meeting of the city.
The building is large, but perfectly without ornament; the men
and women are separated by a rail which divides it into two
equal parts; the meeting was very full on both sides, and the
atmosphere almost intolerably hot.  As they glided in at their
different doors, I spied many pretty faces peeping from the prim
head gear of the females, and as the broad-brimmed males sat
down, the welcome Parney supposes prepared for them in heaven,
recurred to me,

           "Entre done, et garde ton chapeau."

The little bonnets and the large hats were ranged in long rows,
and their stillness was for a long time so unbroken, that I could
hardly persuade myself the figures they surmounted were alive.
At length a grave square man arose, laid aside his ample beaver,
and after another solemn interval of silence, he gave a deep
groan, and as it were by the same effort uttered, "Keep thy
foot."  Again he was silent for many minutes, and then he
continued for more that an hour to put forth one word at a time,
but at such an interval from each other that I found it quite
impossible to follow his meaning, if, indeed, he had any.  My
Quaker friend told me she knew not who he was, and that she much
regretted I had heard so poor a preacher.  After he had
concluded, a gentleman-like old man (a physician by profession)
arose, and delivered a few moral sentences in an agreeable
manner; soon after he had sat down, the whole congregation rose,
I know not at what signal, and made their exit.  It is a singular
kind of worship, if worship it may be called, where all prayer is
forbidden; yet it appeared to me, in its decent quietness,
infinitely preferable to what I had witnessed at the Presbyterian
and Methodist Meeting-houses.  A great schism had lately taken
place among the Quakers of Philadelphia; many objecting to the
over-strict discipline of the orthodox.  Among the seceders there
are again various shades of difference; I met many who called
themselves Unitarian Quakers, others were Hicksites, and others
again, though still wearing the Quaker habit, were said to be
Deists.

We visited many churches and chapels in the city, but none that
would elsewhere be called handsome, either internally or
externally.

I went one evening, not a Sunday, with a party of ladies to see a
Presbyterian minister inducted.  The ceremony was woefully long,
and the charge to the young man awfully impossible to obey, at
least if he were a man, like unto other men.  It was matter of
astonishment to me to observe the deep attention, and the
unwearied patience with which some hundreds of beautiful young
girls who were assembled there, (not to mention the old ladies,)
listened to the whole of this tedious ceremony; surely there is
no country in the world where religion makes so large a part of
the amusement and occupation of the ladies.  Spain, in its most
catholic days, could not exceed it: besides, in spite of the
gloomy horrors of the Inquisition, gaiety and amusement were not
there offered as a sacrifice by the young and lovely.

The religious severity of Philadelphian manners is in nothing
more conspicuous than in the number of chains thrown across the
streets on a Sunday to prevent horses and carriages from passing.
Surely the Jews could not exceed this country in their external
observances.  What the gentlemen of Philadelphia do with
themselves on a Sunday, I will not pretend to guess, but the
prodigious majority of females in the churches is very
remarkable.  Although a large proportion of the population of
this city are Quakers, the same extraordinary variety of faith
exists here, as every where else in the Union, and the priests
have, in some circles, the same unbounded influence which has
been mentioned elsewhere.

One history reached me, which gave a terrible picture of the
effect this power may produce; it was related to me by my
mantua-maker; a young woman highly estimable as a wife and
mother, and on whose veracity I perfectly rely.  She told me that
her father was a widower, and lived with his family of three
daughters, at Philadelphia.  A short time before she married, an
itinerant preacher came to the city, who contrived to obtain an
intimate footing in many respectable families.  Her father's was
one of these, and his influence and authority were great with all
the sisters, but particularly with the youngest.  The young
girl's feelings for him seem to have been a curious mixture of
spiritual awe and earthly affection.  When she received a hint
from her sisters that she ought not to give him too much
encouragement till he spoke out, she showed as much holy
resentment as if they had told her not to say her prayers too
devoutly.  At length the father remarked the sort of covert
passion that gleamed through the eyes of his godly visitor, and
he saw too, the pallid anxious look which had settled on the
young brow of his daughter; either this, or some rumours he had
heard abroad, or both together, led him to forbid this man his
house.  The three girls were present when he did so, and all
uttered a deprecating "Oh father!" but the old man added stoutly.
If you show yourself here again, reverend sir, I will not only
teach you the way out of my house, but out of the city also.  The
preacher withdrew, and was never heard of in Philadelphia
afterwards; but when a few months had passed, strange whispers
began to creep through the circle which had received and honoured
him, and, in due course of time, no less than seven unfortunate
girls produced living proofs of the wisdom of my informant's
worthy father.  In defence of this dreadful story I can only make
the often repeated quotation, "I tell the tale as 'twas told to
me;" but, in all sincerity I must add, that I have no doubt of
its truth.



I was particularly requested to visit the market of Philadelphia,
at the hour when it presented the busiest scene; I did so, and
thought few cities had any thing to show better worth looking at;
it is, indeed, the very perfection of a market, the _beau ideal_
of a notable housewife, who would confide to no deputy the
important office of caterer.  The neatness, freshness, and entire
absence of every thing disagreeable to sight or smell, must be
witnessed to be believed.  The stalls were spread with snow-white
napkins; flowers and fruit, if not quite of Paris or London
perfection, yet bright, fresh, and fragrant; with excellent
vegetables in the greatest variety and abundance, were all so
delightfully exhibited, that objects less pleasing were
overlooked and forgotten.  The dairy, the poultry-yard, the
forest, the river, and the ocean, all contributed their spoil;
in short, for the first time in my life, I thought a market a
beautiful object.  The prices of most articles were, as nearly
as I could calculate between dollars and francs, about the same
 as at Paris; certainly much cheaper than in London, but much
dearer than at Exeter.

My letters of introduction brought me acquainted with several
amiable and interesting people.  There is something in the tone
of manners at Philadelphia that I liked; it appeared to me that
there was less affectation of ton there than elsewhere.  There is
a quietness, a composure in a Philadelphia drawing-room, that is
quite characteristic of a city founded by William Penn.  The
dress of the ladies, even those who are not Quakers, partakes of
this; they are most elegantly neat, and there was a delicacy and
good taste in the dress of the young ladies that might serve as a
model to the whole Union.  There can hardly be a stronger
contrast in the style of dress between any two cities than may be
remarked between Baltimore and Philadelphia; both are costly, but
the former is distinguished by gaudy splendour, the latter by
elegant simplicity.

It is said that this city has many gentlemen distinguished by
their scientific pursuits; I conversed with several well informed
and intelligent men, but there is a cold dryness of manner and an
apparent want of interest in the subjects they discuss, that, to
my mind, robs conversation of all its charm.  On one occasion I
heard the character and situation of an illustrious officer
discussed, who had served with renown under Napoleon, and whose
high character might have obtained him favour under the
Bourbons, could he have abandoned the principles which led him to
dislike their government.  This distinguished man had retreated
to America after the death of his master, and was endeavouring to
establish a sort of Polytechnic academy at New York: in speaking
of him, I observed, that his devotion to the cause of freedom
must prove a strong recommendation in the United States.  "Not
the least in the world, madam," answered a gentleman who ranked
deservedly high among the _literati_ of the city, "it might
avail him much in England, perhaps, but here we are perfectly
indifferent as to what people's principles may be."

This I believe to be exactly true, though I never before heard it
avowed as a national feature.

The want of warmth, of interest, of feeling, upon all subjects
which do not immediately touch their own concerns, is universal,
and has a most paralysing effect upon conversation.  All the
enthusiasm of America is concentrated to the one point of her own
emancipation and independence; on this point nothing can exceed
the warmth of her feelings.  She may, I think, be compared to a
young bride, a sort of Mrs. Major Waddle; her independence is to
her as a newly-won bridegroom; for him alone she has eyes, ears,
or heart;--the honeymoon is not over yet;--when it is, America
will, perhaps, learn more coquetry, and know better how to _faire
l'aimable_ to other nations.

I conceive that no place in the known world can furnish so
striking a proof of the immense value of literary habits as the
United States, not only in enlarging the mind, but what is of
infinitely more importance, in purifying the manners.  During my
abode in the country I not only never met a literary man who was
a tobacco chewer or a whiskey drinker, but I never met any who
were not, that had escaped these degrading habits.  On the women,
the influence is, if possible, still more important;
unfortunately, the instances are rare, but they are to be found.
One admirable example occurs in the person of a young lady of
Cincinnati: surrounded by a society totally incapable of
appreciating, or even of comprehending her, she holds a place
among it, as simply and unaffectedly as if of the same species;
young, beautiful, and gifted by nature with a mind singularly
acute and discriminating, she has happily found such
opportunities of cultivation as might distinguish her in any
country; it is, indeed, that best of all cultivation which is
only to be found in domestic habits of literature, and in that
hourly education which the daughter of a man of letters receives
when she is made the companion and friend of her father.  This
young lady is the more admirable as she contrives to unite all
the multifarious duties which usually devolve upon American
ladies, with her intellectual pursuits.  The companion and
efficient assistant of her father's literary labours, the active
aid in all the household cares of her mother, the tender nurse of
a delicate infant sister, the skilful artificer of her own always
elegant wardrobe, ever at leisure, and ever prepared to receive
with the sweetest cheerfulness her numerous acquaintance, the
most animated in conversation, the most indefatigable in
occupation, it was impossible to know her, and study her
character without feeling that such women were "the glory of all
lands," and, could the race be multiplied, would speedily become
the reformers of all the grossness and ignorance that now degrade
her own.  Is it to be imagined, that if fifty modifications of
this charming young woman were to be met at a party, the men
would dare to enter it reeking with whiskey, their lips blackened
with tobacco, and convinced, to the very centre of their hearts
and souls, that women were made for no other purpose than to
fabricate sweetmeats and gingerbread, construct shirts, darn
stockings, and become mothers of possible presidents?  Assuredly
not.  Should the women of America ever discover what their power
might be, and compare it with what it is, much improvement might
be hoped for.  While, at Philadelphia, among the handsomest, the
wealthiest, and the most distinguished of the land, their
comparative influence in society, with that possessed in Europe
by females holding the same station, occurred forcibly to my
mind.

Let me be permitted to describe the day of a Philadelphian lady
of the first class, and the inference I would draw from it will
be better understood.

It may be said that the most important feature in a woman's
history is her maternity.  It is so; but the object of the
present observation is the social, and not the domestic influence
of woman.

This lady shall be the wife of a senator and a lawyer in the
highest repute and practice.  She has a very handsome house, with
white marble steps and door-posts, and a delicate silver knocker
and door-handle; she has very handsome drawing-rooms, very
handsomely furnished, (there is a sideboard in one of them, but
it is very handsome, and has very handsome decanters and cut
glass water-jugs upon it); she has a very handsome carriage, and
a very handsome free black coachman; she is always very
handsomely dressed; and, moreover, she is very handsome herself.

She rises, and her first hour is spent in the scrupulously nice
arrangement of her dress; she descends to her parlour neat,
stiff, and silent; her breakfast is brought in by her free black
footman; she eats her fried ham and her salt fish, and drinks her
coffee in silence, while her husband reads one newspaper, and
puts another under his elbow; and then, perhaps, she washes the
cups and saucers.  Her carriage is ordered at eleven; till that
hour she is employed in the pastry-room, her snow-white apron
protecting her mouse-coloured silk.  Twenty minutes before her
carriage should appear, she retires to her chamber, as she calls
it, shakes, and folds up her still snow-white apron, smooths her
rich dress, and with nice care, sets on her elegant bonnet, and
all the handsome _et cetera_; then walks down stairs, just at
the moment that her free black coachman announces to her free
black footman that the carriage waits.  She steps into it, and
gives the word, "Drive to the Dorcas society." her footman stays
at home to clean the knives, but her coachman can trust his
horses while he opens the carriage door, and his lady not being
accustomed to a hand or an arm, gets out very safely without,
though one of her own is occupied by a work-basket, and the other
by a large roll of all those indescribable matters which ladies
take as offerings to Dorcas societies.  She enters the parlour
appropriated for the meeting, and finds seven other ladies, very
like herself, and takes her place among them; she presents her
contribution, which is accepted with a gentle circular smile, and
her parings of broad cloth, her ends of ribbon, her gilt paper,
and her minikin pins, are added to the parings of broad cloth,
the ends of ribbon, the gilt papers, and the minikin pins with
which the table is already covered; she also produces from her
basket three ready-made pincushions, four ink-wipers, seven paper
matches, and a paste-board watch-case; these are welcomed with
acclamations, and the youngest lady present deposits them
carefully on shelves, amid a prodigious quantity of similar
articles.  She then produces her thimble, and asks for work; it
is presented to her, and the eight ladies all stitch together for
some hours.  Their talk is of priests and of missions; of the
profits of their last sale, of their hopes from the next; of the
doubt whether your Mr. This, or young Mr. That should receive the
fruits of it to fit him out for Liberia; of the very ugly bonnet
seen at church on Sabbath morning, of the very handsome preacher
who performed on Sabbath afternoon, and of the very large
collection made on Sabbath evening.  This lasts till three, when
the carriage again appears, and the lady and her basket return
home; she mounts to her chamber, carefully sets aside her bonnet
and its appurtenances, puts on her scolloped black silk apron,
walks into the kitchen to see that all is right, then into the
parlour, where, having cast a careful glance over the table
prepared for dinner, she sits down, work in hand, to await her
spouse.  He comes, shakes hands with her, spits, and dines.  The
conversation is not much, and ten minutes suffices for the
dinner; fruit and toddy, the newspaper and the work-bag succeed.
In the evening the gentleman, being a savant, goes to the Wister
society, and afterwards plays a snug rubber at a neighbour's.
The lady receives at tea a young missionary and three members of
the Dorcas society.--And so ends her day.

For some reason or other, which English people are not very
likely to understand, a great number of young married persons
board by the year, instead of "going to housekeeping," as they
call having an establishment of their own.  Of course this
statement does not include persons of large fortune, but it does
include very many whose rank in society would make such a mode of
life quite impossible with us.  I can hardly imagine a
contrivance more effectual for ensuring the insignificance of a
woman, than marrying her at seventeen, and placing her in a
boarding-house.  Nor can I easily imagine a life of more uniform
dulness for the lady herself; but this certainly is a matter of
taste.  I have heard many ladies declare that it is "just quite
the perfection of comfort to have nothing to fix for oneself."
Yet despite these assurances I always experienced a feeling
which hovered between pity and contempt, when I contemplated
their mode of existence.

How would a newly-married Englishwoman endure it, her head and
her heart full of the one dear scheme--

    "Well ordered home, _his_ dear delight to make?"

She must rise exactly in time to reach the boarding table at the
hour appointed for breakfast, or she will get a stiff bow from
the lady president, cold coffee, and no egg.  I have been
sometimes greatly amused upon these occasions by watching a
little scene in which the bye-play had much more meaning than the
words uttered.  The fasting, but tardy lady, looks round the
table, and having ascertained that there was no egg left, says
distinctly, "I will take an egg if you please."  But as this is
addressed to no one in particular, no one in particular answers
it, unless it happen that her husband is at table before her, and
then he says, "There are no eggs, my dear."  Whereupon the lady
president evidently cannot hear, and the greedy culprit who has
swallowed two eggs (for there are always as many eggs as noses)
looks pretty considerably afraid of being found out.  The
breakfast proceeds in sombre silence, save that sometimes a
parrot, and sometimes a canary bird, ventures to utter a timid
note.  When it is finished, the gentlemen hurry to their
occupation, and the quiet ladies mount the stairs, some to the
first, some to the second, and some to the third stories, in an
inverse proportion to the number of dollars paid, and ensconce
themselves in their respective chambers.  As to what they do
there it is not very easy to say, but I believe they clear-starch
a little, and iron a little, and sit in a rocking-chair, and sew
a great deal.  I always observed that the ladies who boarded,
wore more elaborately worked collars and petticoats than any one
else.  The plough is hardly a more blessed instrument in America
than the needle.  How could they live without it?  But time and
the needle wear through the longest morning, and happily the
American morning is not very long, even though they breakfast at
eight.

It is generally about two o'clock that the boarding gentlemen
meet the boarding ladies at dinner.  Little is spoken, except a
whisper between the married pairs.  Sometimes a sulky bottle of
wine flanks the plate of one or two individuals, but it adds
nothing to the mirth of the meeting, and seldom more than one
glass to the good cheer of the owners, it is not then, and it is
not there, that the gentlemen of the Union drink.  Soon, very
soon, the silent meal is done, and then, if you mount the stairs
after them, you will find from the doors of the more affectionate
and indulgent wives, a smell of cigars steam forth, which plainly
indicates the felicity of the couple within.  If the gentleman be
a very polite husband, he will, as soon as he has done smoking
and drinking his toddy, offer his arm to his wife, as far as the
corner of the street, where his store, or his office is situated,
and there he will leave her to turn which way she likes.  As this
is the hour for being full dressed, of course she turns the way
she can be most seen.  Perhaps she pays a few visits; perhaps she
goes to chapel; or, perhaps, she enters some store where her
husband deals, and ventures to order a few notions; and then she
goes home again--no, not home--I will not give that name to a
boarding-house--but she re-enters the cold heartless atmosphere
in which she dwells, where hospitality can never enter, and where
interest takes the management instead of affection.  At tea they
all meet again, and a little trickery is perceptible to a nice
observer in the manner of partaking the pound-cake, &c.  After
this, those who are happy enough to have engagements hasten to
keep them; those who have not, either mount again to the solitude
of their chamber, or, what appeared to me much worse, remain in
the common sitting-room, in a society cemented by no tie,
endeared by no connexion, which choice did not bring together,
and which the slightest motive would break asunder.  I remarked
that the gentlemen were generally obliged to go out every
evening on business, and, I confess, the arrangement did not
surprise me.

It is not thus that the women can obtain that influence in
society which is allowed to them in Europe, and to which, both
sages and men of the world have agreed in ascribing such salutary
effects.  It is in vain that "collegiate institutes" are formed
for young ladies, or that "academic degrees" are conferred upon
them.  It is after marriage, and when these young attempts upon
all the sciences are forgotten, that the lamentable
insignificance of the American woman appears, and till this be
remedied, I venture to prophesy that the tone of their
drawing-rooms will not improve.

Whilst I was at Philadelphia a great deal of attention was
excited by the situation of two criminals, who had been convicted
of robbing the Baltimore mail, and were lying under sentence of
death.  The rare occurrence of capital punishment in America
makes it always an event of great interest; and the approaching
execution was repeatedly the subject of conversation at the
boarding table.  One day a gentleman told us he had that morning
been assured that one of the criminals had declared to the
visiting clergyman that he was certain of being reprieved, and
that nothing the clergyman could say to the contrary made any
impression upon him.  Day after day this same story was repeated,
and commented upon at table, and it appeared that the report had
been heard in so many quarters, that not only was the statement
received as true, but it began to be conjectured that the criminal
had some ground for his hope.  I learnt from these daily
conversations that one of the prisoners was an American, and the
other an Irishman, and it was the former who was so strongly
persuaded he should not be hanged.  Several of the gentlemen at
table, in canvassing the subject, declared, that if the one were
hanged and the other spared, this hanging would be a murder, and
not a legal execution.  In discussing this point, it was stated
that very nearly all the white men who had suffered death since
the declaration of Independence had been Irishmen.  What truth
there may be in this general statement, I have no means of
ascertaining; all I know is, that I heard it made.  On this
occasion, however, the Irishman was hanged, and the American
was not.



CHAPTER 27

Return to Stonington--Thunderstorm--Emigrants--Illness--Alexandria



A fortnight passed rapidly away in this great city, and,
doubtless, there was still much left unseen when we quitted it,
according to previous arrangement, to return to our friends in
Maryland.  We came back by a different route, going by land from
Newcastle to French Town, instead of passing by the canal.  We
reached Baltimore in the middle of the night, but finished our
repose on board the steam-boat, and started for Washington at
five o'clock the next morning.

Our short abode amid the heat and closeness of a city made us
enjoy more than ever the beautiful scenery around Stonington.
The autumn, which soon advanced upon us, again clothed the woods
in colours too varied and gaudy to be conceived by those who have
never quitted Europe; and the stately maize, waving its flowing
tassels, as the long drooping blossoms are called, made every
field look like a little forest.  A rainy spring had been
followed by a summer of unusual heat; and towards the autumn
frequent thunderstorms of terrific violence cleared the air, but
at the same time frightened us almost out of our wits.  On one
occasion I was exposed, with my children, to the full fury of
one of these awful visitations.  We suffered considerable
terror during this storm, but when we were all again safe, and
comfortably sheltered, we rejoiced that the accident had
occurred, as it gave us the best possible opportunity of
witnessing, in all its glory, a transatlantic thunderstorm.  It
was, however, great imprudence that exposed us to it, for we
quitted the house, and mounted a hill at a considerable distance
from it, for the express purpose of watching to advantage the
extraordinary aspect of the clouds.  When we reached the top of
the hill half the heavens appeared hung with a heavy curtain; a
sort of deep blue black seemed to colour the very air; the
blizzards screamed, as with heavy wing they sought the earth.  We
ought, in common prudence, to have immediately retreated to the
house, but the scene was too beautiful to be left.  For several
minutes after we reached our station, the air appeared perfectly
without movement, no flash broke through the seven-fold cloud,
but a flickering light was visible, darting to and fro behind it.
By degrees the thunder rolled onward, nearer and nearer, till
the inky cloud burst asunder, and cataracts of light came pouring
from behind it.  From that moment there was no interval, no
pause, the lightning did not flash, there were no claps of
thunder, but the heavens blazed and bellowed above and around us,
till stupor took the place of terror, and we stood utterly
confounded.  But we were speedily aroused, for suddenly, as if
from beneath our feet, a gust arose which threatened to mix all
the elements in one.  Torrents of water seemed to bruise the
earth by their violence; eddies of thick dust rose up to meet
them; the fierce fires of heaven only blazed the brighter for the
falling flood; while the blast almost out-roared the thunder.
But the wind was left at last the lord of all, for after striking
with wild force, now here, now there, and bringing worlds of
clouds together in most hostile contact, it finished by clearing
the wide heavens of all but a few soft straggling masses, whence
sprung a glorious rainbow, and then retired, leaving the earth to
raise her half crushed forests; and we, poor pigmies, to call
back our frighted senses, and recover breath as we might.

During this gust, it would have been impossible for us to have
kept our feet; we crouched down under the shelter of a heap of
stones, and, as we informed each other, looked most dismally
pale.

Many trees were brought to the earth before our eyes; some torn
up by the roots, and some mighty stems snapt off several feet
from the ground.  If the West Indian hurricanes exceed this, they
must be terrible indeed.

The situation of Mrs. S--'s house was considered as remarkably
healthy, and I believe justly so, for on more than one occasion,
persons who were suffering from fever and ague at the distance of
a mile or two, were perfectly restored by passing a week or
fortnight at Stonington; but the neighbourhood of it,
particularly on the side bordering the Potomac, was much
otherwise, and the mortality among the labourers on the canal
was frightful.

I have elsewhere stated my doubts if the labouring poor of our
country mend their condition by emigrating to the United States,
but it was not till the opportunity which a vicinity to the
Chesapeake and Ohio canal gave me, of knowing what their
situation was after making the change, that I became fully aware
how little it was to be desired for them.

Of the white labourers on this canal, the great majority are
Irishmen; their wages are from ten to fifteen dollars a month,
with a miserable lodging, and a large allowance of whiskey.  It
is by means of this hateful poison that they are tempted, and
indeed enabled for a time, to stand the broiling heat of the sun
in a most noxious climate: for through such, close to the
romantic but unwholesome Potomac, the line of the canal has
hitherto run.  The situation of these poor strangers, when they
sink at last in "_the fever,_" which sooner or later is sure to
overtake them, is dreadful.  There is a strong feeling against
the Irish in every part of the Union, but they will do twice as
much work as a negro, and therefore they are employed.  When
they fall sick, they may, and must, look with envy on the slaves
around them; for they are cared for; they are watched and
physicked, as a valuable horse is watched and physicked: not so
the Irishman, he is literally thrown on one side, and a new
comer takes his place. Details of their sufferings, and unheeded
death, too painful to dwell upon, often reached us; on one
occasion a farmer calling at the house, told the family that a
poor man, apparently in a dying condition, was lying beside a
little brook at the distance of a quarter of a mile.  The spot
was immediately visited by some of the family, and there in
truth lay a poor creature, who was already past the power of
speaking; he was conveyed to the house and expired during the
night.  By enquiring at the canal, it was found that he was an
Irish labourer, who having fallen sick, and spent his last cent,
had left the stifling shanty where he lay, in the desperate
attempt of finding his way to Washington, with what hope I know
not.  He did not appear above twenty, and as I looked on his
pale young face, which even in death expressed suffering, I
thought that perhaps he had left a mother and a home to seek
wealth in America.  I saw him buried under a group of locust
trees, his very name unknown to those who laid him there, but
the attendance of the whole family at the grave, gave a sort of
decency to his funeral which rarely, in that country, honors the
poor relics of British dust: but no clergyman attended, no
prayer was said, no bell was tolled; these, indeed, are
ceremonies unthought of, and in fact unattainable without much
expense, at such a distance from a town; had the poor youth been
an American, he would have been laid in the earth in the same
unceremonious manner.  But had this poor Irish lad fallen sick
in equal poverty and destitution among his own people, he would
have found a blanket to wrap his shivering limbs, and a kindred
hand to close his eyes.

The poor of great Britain, whom distress, or a spirit of
enterprise tempt to try another land, ought, for many reasons,
to repair to Canada; there they would meet co-operation and
sympathy, instead of malice, hatred, and all uncharitableness.

I frequently heard vehement complaints, and constantly met the
same in the newspapers, of a practice stated to be very generally
adopted in Britain of sending out cargoes of parish paupers to
the United States.  A Baltimore paper heads some such remarks
with the words

                    "INFAMOUS CONDUCT!"

and then tells us of a cargo of aged paupers just arrived from
England, adding, "John Bull has squeezed the orange, and now
insolently casts the skin in our faces."  Such being the feeling,
it will be readily believed that these unfortunates are not
likely to meet much kindness or sympathy in sickness, or in
suffering of any kind.  If these American statements be correct,
and that different parishes are induced, from an excessive
population, to pay the voyage and outfit of some of their paupers
across the Atlantic, why not send them to Canada?

It is certain, however, that all the enquiries I could make
failed to substantiate these American statements.  All I could
ascertain was, that many English and Irish poor arrived yearly in
the United States, with no other resources than what their labour
furnished.  This, though very different from the newspaper
stories, is quite enough to direct attention to the subject.  It
is generally acknowledged that the suffering among our labouring
classes arises from the excess of our population; and it is
impossible to see such a country as Canada, its extent, its
fertility, its fine climate, and know that it is British ground,
without feeling equal sorrow and astonishment that it is not made
the means of relief.  How earnestly it is to be wished that some
part of that excellent feeling which is for ever at work in
England to help the distressed, could be directed systematically
to the object of emigration to the Canadas.  Large sums are
annually raised for charitable purposes, by weekly subscriptions
of one penny; were only a part of the money so obtained to be
devoted to this object, hundreds of families might yearly be sent
to people our own land.  The religious feeling, which so
naturally mixes with every charitable purpose, would there find
the best field for its exertions.  Where could a missionary,
whether Protestant or Catholic, find a holier mission than that
which sent him to comfort and instruct his countrymen in the
wilderness? or where could he reap a higher reward in this world,
than seeing that wilderness growing into fertile fields under the
hands of his flock?



I never saw so many autumn flowers as grow in the woods and
sheep-walks of Maryland; a second spring seemed to clothe the
fields, but with grief and shame I confess, that of these
precious blossoms I scarcely knew a single name.  I think the
Michaelmas daisy, in wonderful variety of form and colour, and
the prickly pear, were almost my only acquaintance: let no one
visit America without having first studied botany; it is an
amusement, as a clever friend of mine once told me, that helps
one wonderfully up and down hill, and must be superlatively
valuable in America, both from the plentiful lack of other
amusements, and the plentiful material for enjoyment in this;
besides, if one is dying to know the name of any of these lovely
strangers, it is a thousand to one against his finding any one
who can tell it.

The prettiest eclipse of the moon I ever saw was that of
September, of this year, (1830).  We had been passing some hours
amid the solemn scenery of the Potomac falls, and just as we were
preparing to quit it, the full moon arose above the black pines,
with half our shadow thrown across her.  The effect of her rising
thus eclipsed was more strange, more striking by far, than
watching the gradual obscuration; and as I turned to look at the
black chasm behind me, and saw the deadly alder, and the
poison-vine waving darkly on the rocks around, I thought the
scene wanted nothing but the figure of a palsied crone, plucking
the fatal branches to concoct some charm of mischief.

Whether some such maga dogged my steps, I know not, but many
hours had not elapsed ere I again felt the noxious influence of
an American autumn.  This fever, "built in th' eclipse," speedily
brought me very low, and though it lasted not so long as that of
the preceding year, I felt persuaded I should never recover from
it.  Though my forebodings were not verified by the event, it was
declared that change of air was necessary, and it was arranged
for me, (for I was perfectly incapable of settling any thing for
myself,) that I should go to Alexandria, a pretty town at the
distance of about fifteen miles, which had the reputation of
possessing a skilful physician.

It was not without regret that we quitted our friends at
Stonington; but the prescription proved in a great degree
efficacious; a few weeks' residence in Alexandria restored my
strength sufficiently to enable me to walk to a beautiful little
grassy terrace, perfectly out of the town, but very near it, from
whence we could watch the various craft that peopled the Potomac
between Alexandria and Washington.  But though gradually
regaining strength, I was still far from well; all plans for
winter gaiety were abandoned, and finding ourselves very well
accommodated, we decided upon passing the winter where we were.
It proved unusually severe; the Potomac was so completely frozen
as to permit considerable traffic to be carried on by carts,
crossing on the ice, from Maryland.  This had not occurred before
for thirty years.  The distance was a mile and a quarter, and we
ventured to brave the cold, and walk across this bright and
slippery mirror, to make a visit on the opposite shore; the
fatigue of keeping our feet was by no means inconsiderable, but
we were rewarded by seeing as noble a winter landscape around us
as the eye could look upon.

When at length the frost gave way, the melting snow produced
freshes so violent as to carry away the long bridge at
Washington; large fragments of it, with the railing still erect,
came floating down amidst vast blocks of ice, during many
successive days, and it was curious to see the intrepidity with
which the young sailors of Alexandria periled their lives to
make spoil of the timber.

The solar eclipse of the 12th of February, 1831, was nearer total
than any I ever saw, or ever shall see.  It was completely
annular at Alexandria, and the bright ring which surrounded the
moon's shadow, though only 81° in breadth, gave light sufficient
to read the smallest print; the darkness was considerably
lessened by the snow, which, as the day was perfectly unclouded,
reflected brightly all the light that was left us.

Notwithstanding the extreme cold, we passed the whole time in the
open air, on a rising ground near the river; in this position
many beautiful effects were perceptible; the rapid approach and
change of shadows, the dusky hue of the broad Potomac, that
seemed to drink in the feeble light, which its snow-covered banks
gave back to the air, the gradual change of every object from the
colouring of bright sunshine to one sad universal tint of dingy
purple, the melancholy lowing of the cattle, and the short, but
remarkable suspension of all labour, gave something of mystery
and awe to the scene that we shall long remember.

During the following months I occupied myself partly in revising
my notes, and arranging these pages; and partly in making myself
acquainted, as much as possible, with the literature of the
country.

While reading and transcribing my notes, I underwent a strict
self-examination.  I passed in review all I had seen, all I had
felt, and scrupulously challenged every expression of
disapprobation; the result was, that I omitted in transcription
much that I had written, as containing unnecessary details of
things which had displeased me; yet, as I did so, I felt strongly
that there was no exaggeration in them; but such details, though
true, might be ill-natured, and I retained no more than were
necessary to convey the general impressions received.  While thus
reviewing my notes, I discovered that many points, which all
scribbling travellers are expected to notice, had been omitted;
but a few pages of miscellaneous observations will, I think,
supply all that can be expected from so idle a pen.



CHAPTER 28

American Cooking--Evening Parties--Dress--Sleighing--
Money-getting Habits--Tax-Gatherer's Notice--Indian
Summer--Anecdote of the Duke of Saxe-Weimar



In relating all I know of America, I surely must not omit so
important a feature as the cooking.  There are sundry anomalies
in the mode of serving even a first-rate table; but as these are
altogether matters of custom, they by no means indicate either
indifference or neglect in this important business; and whether
castors are placed on the table or on the sideboard; whether
soup, fish, patties, and salad be eaten in orthodox order or not,
signifies but little.  I am hardly capable, I fear, of giving a
very erudite critique on the subject; general observations
therefore must suffice.  The ordinary mode of living is abundant,
but not delicate.  They consume an extraordinary quantity of
bacon.  Ham and beaf-steaks appear morning, noon, and night.  In
eating, they mix things together with the strangest incongruity
imaginable.  I have seen eggs and oysters eaten together: the
sempiternal ham with apple-sauce; beefsteak with stewed peaches;
and salt fish with onions.  The bread is everywhere excellent,
but they rarely enjoy it themselves, as they insist upon eating
horrible half-baked hot rolls both morning and evening.  The
butter is tolerable; but they have seldom such cream as every
little dairy produces in England; in fact, the cows are very
roughly kept, compared with our's.  Common vegetables are
abundant and very fine.  I never saw sea-cale or cauliflowers,
and either from the want of summer rain, or the want of care, the
harvest of green vegetables is much sooner over than with us.
They eat the Indian corn in a great variety of forms; sometimes
it is dressed green, and eaten like peas; sometimes it is broken
to pieces when dry, boiled plain, and brought to table like rice;
this dish is called hominy.  The flour of it is made into at
least a dozen different sorts of cakes; but in my opinion all
bad.  This flour, mixed in the proportion of one-third with fine
wheat, makes by far the best bread I ever tasted.

I never saw turbot, salmon, or fresh cod; but the rock and shad
are excellent.  There is a great want of skill in the composition
of sauces; not only with fish, but with every thing.  They use
very few made dishes, and I never saw any that would be approved
by our savants.  They have an excellent wild duck, called the
Canvass Back, which, if delicately served, would surpass the
black cock; but the game is very inferior to our's; they have no
hares, and I never saw a pheasant.  They seldom indulge in second
courses, with all their ingenious temptations to the eating a
second dinner; but almost every table has its dessert,
(invariably pronounced desart) which is placed on the table
before the cloth is removed, and consists of pastry, preserved
fruits, and creams.  They are "extravagantly fond," to use their
own phrase, of puddings, pies, and all kinds of "sweets,"
particularly the ladies; but are by no means such connoisseurs in
soups and ragouts as the gastronomes of Europe.  Almost every one
drinks water at table, and by a strange contradiction, in the
country where hard drinking is more prevalent than in any other,
there is less wine taken at dinner; ladies rarely exceed one
glass, and the great majority of females never take any.  In
fact, the hard drinking, so universally acknowledged, does not
take place at jovial dinners, but, to speak plain English, in
solitary dram-drinking.  Coffee is not served immediately after
dinner, but makes part of the serious matter of tea-drinking,
which comes some hours later.  Mixed dinner parties of ladies and
gentlemen are very rare, and unless several foreigners are
present, but little conversation passes at table.  It certainly
does not, in my opinion, add to the well ordering a dinner table,
to set the gentlemen at one end of it, and the ladies at the
other; but it is very rarely that you find it otherwise.

Their large evening parties are supremely dull; the men sometimes
play cards by themselves, but if a lady plays, it must not be for
money; no ecarte, no chess; very little music, and that little
lamentably bad.  Among the blacks, I heard some good voices,
singing in tune; but I scarcely ever heard a white American, male
or female, go through an air without being out of tune before the
end of it; nor did I ever meet any trace of science in the
singing I heard in society.  To eat inconceivable quantities of
cake, ice, and pickled oysters--and to show half their revenue in
silks and satins, seem to be the chief object they have in these
parties.

The most agreeable meetings, I was assured by all the young
people, were those to which no married women are admitted; of the
truth of this statement I have not the least doubt.  These
exclusive meetings occur frequently, and often last to a late
hour; on these occasions, I believe, they generally dance.  At
regular balls, married ladies are admitted, but seldom take much
part in the amusement.  The refreshments are always profuse and
costly, but taken in a most uncomfortable manner.  I have known
many private balls, where every thing was on the most liberal
scale of expense, where the gentlemen sat down to supper in one
room, while the ladies took theirs, standing, in another.

What we call picnics are very rare, and when attempted, do not
often succeed well.  The two sexes can hardly mix for the greater
part of a day without great restraint and ennui; it is quite
contrary to their general habits; the favourite indulgences of
the gentlemen (smoking cigars and drinking spirits), can neither
be indulged in with decency, nor resigned with complacency.

The ladies have strange ways of adding to their charms.  They
powder themselves immoderately, face, neck, and arms, with
pulverised starch; the effect is indescribably disagreeable by
daylight, and not very favourable at any time.  They are also
most unhappily partial to false hair, which they wear in
surprising quantities; this is the more to be lamented, as they
generally have very fine hair of their own.  I suspect this
fashion to arise from an indolent mode of making their toilet,
and from accomplished ladies' maids not being very abundant; it
is less trouble to append a bunch of waving curls here, there,
and every where, than to keep their native tresses in perfect
order.

Though the expense of the ladies' dress greatly exceeds, in
proportion to their general style of living, that of the ladies
of Europe, it is very far (excepting in Philadelphia) from being
in good taste.  They do not consult the seasons in the colours or
in the style of their costume; I have often shivered at seeing a
young beauty picking her way through the snow with a pale
rose-coloured bonnet, set on the very top of her head: I knew one
young lady whose pretty little ear was actually frostbitten from
being thus exposed.  They never wear muffs or boots, and appear
extremely shocked at the sight of comfortable walking shoes and
cotton stockings, even when they have to step to their sleighs
over ice and snow.  They walk in the middle of winter with their
poor little toes pinched into a miniature slipper, incapable of
excluding as much moisture as might bedew a primrose.  I must say
in their excuse, however, that they have, almost universally,
extremely pretty feet.  They do not walk well, nor, in fact, do
they ever appear to advantage when in movement.  I know not why
this should be, for they have abundance of French dancing-masters
among them, but somehow or other it is the fact.  I fancied I
could often trace a mixture of affectation and of shyness in
their little mincing unsteady step, and the ever changing
position of the hands.  They do not dance well; perhaps I should
rather say they do not look well when dancing; lovely as their
faces are, they cannot, in a position that exhibits the whole
person, atone for the want of _tournure_, and for the universal
defect in the formation of the bust, which is rarely full, or
gracefully formed.

I never saw an American man walk or stand well; notwithstanding
their frequent militia drillings, they are nearly all hollow
chested and round shouldered: perhaps this is occasioned by no
officer daring to say to a brother free-born "hold up your head;"
whatever the cause, the effect is very remarkable to a stranger.
In stature, and in physiognomy, a great majority of the
population, both male and female, are strikingly handsome, but
they know not how to do their own honours; half as much
comeliness elsewhere would produce ten times as much effect.

Nothing can exceed their activity and perseverance in all kinds
of speculation, handicraft, and enterprise, which promises a
profitable pecuniary result.  I heard an Englishman, who had been
long resident in America, declare that in following, in meeting,
or in overtaking, in the street, on the road, or in the field, at
the theatre, the coffee-house, or at home, he had never overheard
Americans conversing without the word DOLLAR being pronounced
between them.  Such unity of purpose, such sympathy of feeling,
can, I believe, be found nowhere else, except, perhaps, in an
ants' nest.  The result is exactly what might be anticipated.
This sordid object, for ever before their eyes, must inevitably
produce a sordid tone of mind, and, worse still, it produces a
seared and blunted conscience on all questions of probity.  I
know not a more striking evidence of the low tone of morality
which is generated by this universal pursuit of money, than the
manner in which the New England States are described by
Americans.  All agree in saying that they present a spectacle of
industry and prosperity delightful to behold, and this is the
district and the population most constantly quoted as the finest
specimen of their admirable country; yet I never met a single
individual in any part of the Union who did not paint these New
Englanders as sly, grinding, selfish, and tricking.  The yankees
(as the New Englanders are called) will avow these qualities
themselves with a complacent smile, and boast that no people on
the earth can match them at over reaching in a bargain.  I have
heard them unblushingly relate stories of their cronies and
friends, which, if believed among us, would banish the heroes
from the fellowship of honest men for ever; and all this is
uttered with a simplicity which sometimes led me to doubt if the
speakers knew what honour and honesty meant.  Yet the Americans
declare that "they are the most moral people upon earth."  Again
and again I have heard this asserted, not only in conversation,
and by their writings, but even from the pulpit.  Such broad
assumption of superior virtue demands examination, and after four
years of attentive and earnest observation and enquiry, my honest
conviction is, that the standard of moral character in the United
States is very greatly lower than in Europe.  Of their religion,
as it appears outwardly, I have had occasion to speak frequently;
I pretend not to judge the heart, but, without any uncharitable
presumption, I must take permission to say, that both Protestant
England and Catholic France show an infinitely superior religious
and moral aspect to mortal observation, both as to reverend
decency of external observance, and as to the inward fruit of
honest dealing between man and man.

In other respects I think no one will be disappointed who visits
the country, expecting to find no more than common sense might
teach him to look for, namely, a vast continent, by far the
greater part of which is still in the state in which nature left
it, and a busy, bustling, industrious population, hacking and
hewing their way through it.  What greatly increases the interest
of this spectacle, is the wonderful facility for internal
commerce, furnished by the rivers, lakes, and canals, which
thread the country in every direction, producing a rapidity of
progress in all commercial and agricultural speculation
altogether unequalled.  This remarkable feature is perceptible in
every part of the union into which the fast spreading population
has hitherto found its way, and forms, I think, the most
remarkable and interesting peculiarity of the country.  I hardly
remember a single town where vessels of some description or other
may not constantly be seen in full activity.

Their carriages of every kind are very unlike ours; those
belonging to private individuals seem all constructed with a view
to summer use, for which they are extremely well calculated, but
they are by no means comfortable in winter.  The waggons and cars
are built with great strength, which is indeed necessary, from
the roads they often have to encounter.  The stagecoaches are
heavier and much less comfortable than those of France; to those
of England they can bear no comparison.  I never saw any harness
that I could call handsome, nor any equipage which, as to horses,
carriage, harness, and servants, could be considered as complete.
The sleighs are delightful, and constructed at so little expense
that I wonder we have not all got them in England, lying by, in
waiting for the snow, which often remains with us long enough to
permit their use.  Sleighing is much more generally enjoyed by
night than by day, for what reason I could never discover, unless
it be, that no gentlemen are to be found disengaged from business
in the mornings.  Nothing, certainly, can be more agreeable than
the gliding smoothly and rapidly along, deep sunk in soft furs,
the moon shining with almost midday splendour, the air of crystal
brightness, and the snow sparkling on every side, as if it were
sprinkled with diamonds.  And then the noiseless movement of the
horses, so mysterious and unwonted, and the gentle tinkling of
the bells you meet and carry, all help at once to soothe and
excite the spirits: in short, I had not the least objection to
sleighing by night, I only wished to sleigh by day also.

Almost every resident in the country has a carriage they call a
carryall, which name I suspect to be a corruption of the cariole
so often mentioned in the pretty Canadian story of Emily Montagu.
It is clumsy enough, certainly, but extremely convenient, and
admirably calculated, with its thick roof and moveable draperies,
for every kind of summer excursion.

Their steam-boats, were the social arrangements somewhat
improved, would be delightful, as a mode of travelling; but they
are very seldom employed for excursions of mere amusement: nor do
I remember seeing pleasure-boats, properly so called, at any of
the numerous places where they might be used with so much safety
and enjoyment.

How often did our homely adage recur to me, "All work and no play
would make Jack a dull boy;" Jonathan is a very dull boy.  We are
by no means so gay as our lively neighbours on the other side the
Channel, but, compared with Americans, we are whirligigs and
tetotums; every day is a holyday, and every night a festival.

Perhaps if the ladies had quite their own way, a little more
relaxation would be permitted; but there is one remarkable
peculiarity in their manners which precludes the possibility of
any dangerous outbreaking of the kind: few ladies have any
command of ready money entrusted to them.  I have been a hundred
times present when bills for a few dollars, perhaps for one, have
been brought for payment to ladies living in perfectly easy
circumstances, who have declared themselves without money, and
referred the claimant to their husbands for payment.  On every
occasion where immediate disbursement is required it is the same;
even in shopping for ready cash they say, "send a bill home with
the things, and my husband will give you a draft."

I think that it was during my stay at Washington, that I was
informed of a government regulation, which appeared to me
curious; I therefore record it here.

Every Deputy Post-Master is required to insert in his return the
title of every newspaper received at his office for distribution.
This return is laid before the Secretary of State, who,
perfectly knowing the political character of each newspaper, is
thus enabled to feel the pulse of every limb of the monster mob.
This is a well imagined device for getting a peep at the politics
of a country where newspapers make part of the daily food, but is
it quite consistent with their entire freedom?  I do not believe
we have any such tricks to regulate the disposal of offices and
appointments.

I believe it was in Indiana that Mr. T. met with a printed
notice relative to the payment of taxes, which I preserved as a
curious sample of the manner in which the free citizens are
coaxed and reasoned into obeying the laws.

                    "LOOK OUT DELINQUENTS"

"Those indebted to me for taxes, fees, notes, and accounts, are
specially requested to call and pay the same on or before the 1st
day of December, 1828, as no longer indulgence will be given.  I
have called time and again, by advertisement and otherwise, to
little effect; but now the time has come when my situation
requires immediate payment from all indebted to me.  It is
impossible for me to pay off the amount of the duplicates of
taxes and my other debts without recovering the same of those
from whom it is due.  I am at a loss to know the reason why those
charged with taxes neglect to pay; from the negligence of many it
would seem that they think the money is mine, or I have funds to
discharge the taxes due to the State, and that I can wait with
them until it suits their convenience to pay.  The money is not
mine; neither have I the funds to settle amount of the duplicate.
My only resort is to collect; in doing so I should be sorry to
have to resort to the authority given me by law for the recovery
of the same.  It should be the first object of every good citizen
to pay his taxes, for it is in that way government is supported.
Why are taxes assessed unless they are collected?  Depend upon
it, I shall proceed to collect agreeably to law, so govern
yourselves accordingly.

     JOHN SPENCER,
     Sh'ff and Collector, D.C.
     Nov 20, 1828."

"N.B.  On Thursday, the 27th inst.  A. St. Clair and Geo. H.
Dunn, Esqrs. depart for Indianopolis; I wish as many as can pay
to do so, to enable me to forward as much as possible, to save
the twenty-one per cent, that will be charged against me after
the 8th of December next.

     JS."

The first autumn I passed in America, I was surprised to find a
great and very oppressive return of heat, accompanied with a
heavy mistiness in the air, long after the summer heats were
over; when this state of the atmosphere comes on, they say, "we
have got to the Indian summer."  On desiring to have this phrase
explained, I was told that the phenomenon described as the
_Indian Summer_ was occasioned by the Indians setting fire to the
woods, which spread heat and smoke to a great distance; but I
afterwards met with the following explanation, which appears to
me much more reasonable.  "The Indian summer is so called
because, at the particular period of the year in which it
obtains, the Indians break up their village communities, and go
to the interior to prepare for their winter hunting.  This
season seems to mark a dividing line, between the heat of summer,
and the cold of winter, and is, from its mildness, suited to
these migrations.  The cause of this heat is the slow combustion
of the leaves and other vegetable matter of the boundless and
interminable forests.  Those who at this season of the year have
penetrated these forests, know all about it.  To the feet the
heat is quite sensible, whilst the ascending vapour warms every
thing it embraces, and spreading out into the wide atmosphere,
fills the circuit of the heavens with its peculiar heat and
smokiness."

This unnatural heat sufficiently accounts for the sickliness of
the American autumn.  The effect of it is extremely distressing
to the nerves, even when the general health continues good; to
me, it was infinitely more disagreeable than the glowing heat of
the dog-days.

A short time before we arrived in America, the Duke of
Saxe-Weimar made a tour of the United States.  I heard many
persons speak of his unaffected and amiable manners, yet he could
not escape the dislike which every trace of gentlemanly feeling
is sure to create among the ordinary class of Americans.  As an
amusing instance of this, I made the following extract from a
newspaper.

"A correspondent of the Charlestown Gazette tells an anecdote
connected with the Duke of Saxe-Weimar's recent journey through
our country, which we do not recollect to have heard before,
although some such story is told of the veritable Capt. Basil
Hall.  The scene occurred on the route between Augusta and
Milledgeville; it seems that the sagacious Duke engaged three or
four, or more seats, in the regular stage, for the accommodation
of himself and suite, and thought by this that he had secured the
monopoly of the vehicle.  Not so, however; a traveller came
along, and entered his name upon the book, and secured his seat
by payment of the customary charges.  To the Duke's great
surprise on entering the stage, he found our traveller
comfortably housed in one of the most eligible seats, wrapt up in
his fear-nought, and snoring like a buffalo.  The Duke, greatly
irritated, called for the question of consideration.  He
demanded, in broken English, the cause of the gross intrusion,
and insisted in a very princely manner, though not, it seems in
very princely language, upon the incumbent vacating the seat in
which he had made himself so impudently at home.  But the Duke
had yet to learn his first lesson of republicanism.  The driver
was one of those sturdy southrons, who can always, and at a
moment's warning, whip his weight in wild cats: and he as
resolutely told the Duke, that the traveller was as good, if not
a better man, than himself; and that no alteration of the
existing arrangement could be permitted.  Saxe-Weimar became
violent at this opposition, so unlike any to which his education
hitherto had ever subjected him, and threatened John with the
application of the bamboo.  This was one of those threats which
in Georgia dialect would subject a man to "a rowing up salt
river;" and, accordingly, down leaped our driver from his box,
and peeling himself for the combat, he leaped about the vehicle
in the most wild-boar style, calling upon the prince of a five
acre patch to put his threat in execution.  But he of the star
refused to make up issue in the way suggested, contenting himself
with assuring the enraged southron of a complaint to his
excellency the Governor, on arriving at the seat of government.
This threat was almost as unlucky as the former, for it wrought
the individual for whom it was intended into that species of
fury, which, through discriminating in its madness, is
nevertheless without much limit in its violence, and he swore
that the Governor might go to --, and for his part he would just
as leave lick the Governor as the Duke; he'd like no better fun
than to give both Duke and Governor a dressing in the same
breath; could do it, he had little doubt, &c. &c.; and
instigating one fist to diverge into the face of the marvelling
and panic-stricken nobleman, with the other he thrust him down
into a seat alongside the traveller, whose presence had been
originally of such sore discomfort to his excellency, and bidding
the attendants jump in with their discomfited master, he mounted
his box in triumph, and went on his journey."  I fully believe
that this brutal history would be as distasteful to the travelled
and polished few who are to be found scattered through the Union,
as it is to me: but if they do not deem the _possibility_ of such
a scene to be a national degradation, I differ from them.  The
American people (speaking of the great mass) have no more idea of
what constitutes the difference between this "Prince of a five
acre patch," and themselves, than a dray-horse has of estimating
the points of the elegant victor of the race-course.  Could the
dray-horse speak, when expected to yield the daintiest stall to
his graceful rival, he would say, "a horse is a horse;" and is it
not with the same logic that the transatlantic Houynnhnm puts
down all superiority with "a man is a man?"

This story justifies the reply of Talleyrand, when asked by
Napoleon what he thought of the Americans, "Sire, ce sont des
fiers cochons, et des cochons fiers."



CHAPTER 29

Literature--Extracts--Fine Arts--Education



The character of the American literature is, generally speaking,
pretty justly appreciated in Europe.  The immense exhalation of
periodical trash, which penetrates into every cot and corner of
the country, and which is greedily sucked in by all ranks, is
unquestionably one great cause of its inferiority.  Where
newspapers are the principal vehicles of the wit and wisdom of a
people, the higher graces of composition can hardly be looked
for.

That there are many among them who can write well, is most
certain; but it is at least equally so, that they have little
encouragement to exercise the power in any manner more dignified
than becoming the editor of a newspaper or a magazine.  As far as
I could judge, their best writers are far from being the most
popular.  The general taste is decidedly bad; this is obvious,
not only from the mass of slip-slop poured forth by the daily and
weekly press, but from the inflated tone of eulogy in which their
insect authors are lauded.

To an American writer, I should think it must be a flattering
distinction to escape the admiration of the newspapers.  Few
persons of taste, I imagine, would like such notice as the
following, which I copied from a New York paper, where it
followed the advertisement of a partnership volume of poems by a
Mr, and Mrs. Brooks; but of such, are their literary notices
chiefly composed.

"The lovers of impassioned and classical numbers may promise
themselves much gratification from the muse of Brooks, while the
many-stringed harp of his lady, the Norna of the Courier Harp,
which none but she can touch, has a chord for every heart."

Another obvious cause of inferiority in the national literature,
is the very slight acquaintance with the best models of
composition, which is thought necessary for persons called well
educated.  There may be reason for deprecating the lavish expense
of time bestowed in England on the acquirement of Latin and
Greek, and it may be doubtful whether the power of composing in
these languages with correctness and facility, be worth all the
labour it costs; but as long as letters shall be left on the
earth, the utility of a perfect familiarity with the exquisite
models of antiquity, cannot be doubted.  I think I run no risk of
contradiction, when I say that an extremely small proportion of
the higher classes in America possess this familiar acquaintance
with the classics.  It is vain to suppose that translations may
suffice.  Noble as are the thoughts the ancients have left us,
their power of expression is infinitely more important as a study
to modern writers; and this no translation can furnish.  Nor did
it appear to me that their intimacy with modern literature was
such as to assist them much in the formation of style.  What they
class as modern literature seems to include little beyond the
English publications of the day.

To speak of Chaucer, or even Spenser, as a modern, appears to
them inexpressibly ridiculous; and all the rich and varied
eloquence of Italy, from Dante to Monti, is about as much known
to them, as the Welsh effusions of Urien and Modred, to us.

Rousseau, Voltaire, Diderot, &c., were read by the old
federalists, but now they seem known more as naughty words, than
as great names.  I am much mistaken if a hundred untravelled
Americans could be found, who have read Boileau or Le Fontaine.
Still fewer are acquainted with that delightful host of French
female writers, whose memoirs and letters sparkle in every page
with unequalled felicity of style.  The literature of Spain and
Portugal is no better known, and as for "the wits of Queen Anne's
day," they are laid _en masse_ upon a shelf, in some score of
very old-fashioned houses, together with Sherlock and Taylor, as
much too antiquated to suit the immensely rapid progress of mind
which distinguishes America.

The most perfect examples of English writing, either of our own,
or of any former day, have assuredly not been produced by the
imitation of any particular style; but the Fairy Queen would
hardly have been written, if the Orlando had not; nor would
Milton have been the perfect poet he was, had Virgil and Tasso
been unknown to him.  It is not that the scholar mimics in
writing the phrases he has read, but that he can neither think,
feel, nor express himself as he might have done, had his mental
companionship been of a lower order.

They are great novel readers, but the market is chiefly furnished
by England.  They have, however, a few very good native novels.
Mr. Flint's Francis Berrian is delightful.  There is a vigor and
freshness in his writing that is exactly in accordance with what
one looks for, in the literature of a new country; and yet,
strange to say, it is exactly what is most wanting in that of
America.  It appeared to me that the style of their imaginative
compositions was almost always affected, and inflated.  Even in
treating their great national subject of romance, the Indians,
they are seldom either powerful or original.  A few well known
general features, moral and physical, are presented over and over
again in all their Indian stories, till in reading them you lose
all sense of individual character.  Mr. Flint's History of the
Mississippi Valley is a work of great interest, and information,
and will, I hope, in time find its way to England, where I think
it is much more likely to be appreciated than in America.

Dr. Channing is a writer too well known in England to require my
testimony to his great ability.  As a preacher he has, perhaps,
hardly a rival any where.  This gentleman is an Unitarian, and I
was informed by several persons well acquainted with the literary
character of the country, that nearly all their distinguished men
were of this persuasion.

Mr. Pierpoint is a very eloquent preacher, and a sweet poet.  His
works are not so well known among us as .they ought to be.  Mr.
Everett has written some beautiful lines, and if I may judge from
the specimens of his speeches, as preserved in the volumes
intitled "Eloquence of the United States," I should say that he
shone more as a poet than an orator.  But American fame has
decided otherwise.

Mr. M. Flint, of Louisiana, has published a volume of poems which
ought to be naturalised here.  Mr. Hallock, of New York, has much
facility of versification, and is greatly in fashion as a
drawing-room poet, but I think he has somewhat too much respect
for himself, and too little for his readers.

It is, I think, Mr. Bryant who ranks highest as the poet of the
Union.  This is too lofty an eminence for me to attack; besides,
"I am of another parish," and therefore, perhaps, no very fair
judge.

From miscellaneous poetry I made a great many extracts, but upon
returning to them for transcription I thought that ill-nature and
dulness, ('oh ill-matched pair!') would be more served by their
insertion, than wholesome criticism.

The massive Fredoniad of Dr. Emmons, in forty cantos, I never
read; but as I did not meet a single native who had, I hope this
want of poetical enterprise will be excused.

They have very few native tragedies; not more than half a dozen I
believe, and those of very recent date.  It would be ungenerous
to fall heavily upon these; the attempt alone, nearly the most
arduous a poet can make, is of itself honourable: and the success
at least equal to that in any other department of literature.

Mr. Paulding is a popular writer of novels; some of his
productions have been recently republished in England.  Miss
Sedgwick is also well known among us; her "Hope Leslie" is a
beautiful story.  Mr. Washington Irving and Mr. Cooper have so
decidedly chosen another field, whereon to reap their laurels,
that it is hardly necessary to name them here.

I am not, of course, competent to form any opinion of their
scientific works; but some papers which I read almost
accidentally, appeared to me to be written with great clearness,
and neatness of definition.

It appears extraordinary that a people who loudly declare their
respect for science, should be entirely without observatories.
Neither at their seats of learning, nor in their cities, does any
thing of the kind exist; nor did I in any direction hear of
individuals, given to the study of astronomy.

I had not the pleasure of making any acquaintance with Mr.
Bowditch, of Boston, but I know that this gentleman ranks very
high as a mathematician in the estimation of the scientific world
of Europe.

Jefferson's posthumous works were very generally circulated
whilst I was in America.  They are a mighty mass of mischief.  He
wrote with more perspicuity than he thought, and his hot-headed
democracy has done a fearful injury to his country.  Hollow and
unsound as his doctrines are, they are but too palatable to a
people, each individual of whom would rather derive his
importance from believing that none are above him, than from the
consciousness that in his station he makes part of a noble whole.
The social system of Mr. Jefferson, if carried into effect,
would make of mankind an unamalgamated mass of grating atoms,
where the darling "I'm as good as you," would soon take place of
the law and the Gospel.  As it is, his principles, though happily
not fully put in action, have yet produced most lamentable
results.  The assumption of equality, however empty, is
sufficient to tincture the manners of the poor with brutal
insolence, and subjects the rich to the paltry expediency of
sanctioning the falsehood, however deep their conviction that it
is such.  It cannot, I think, be denied that the great men of
America attain to power and to fame, by eternally uttering what
they know to be untrue.  American citizens are not equal.  Did
Washington feel them to be so, when his word outweighed (so
happily for them) the votes of thousands?  Did Franklin think
that all were equal when he shouldered his way from the printing
press to the cabinet?  True, he looked back in high good humour,
and with his kindest smile told the poor devils whom he left
behind, that they were all his equals; but Franklin did not speak
the truth, and he knew it.  The great, the immortal Jefferson
himself, he who when past the three score years and ten, still
taught young females to obey his nod, and so became the father of
unnumbered generations of groaning slaves, what was his matin and
his vesper hymn?  "All men are born free and equal."  Did the
venerable father of the gang believe it?  Or did he too purchase
his immortality by a lie?

From the five heavy volumes of the "Eloquence of the United
States," I made a few extracts, which I give more for the sake of
their political interest, than for any purpose of literary
criticism.

Mr. Hancock (one of those venerated men who signed the act of
independence), in speaking of England, thus expresses himself:
"But if I was possessed of the gift of prophecy, I dare not
(except by Divine command) unfold the leaves on which the destiny
of that once powerful kingdom is inscribed."  It is impossible
not to regret that Mr. Hancock should thus have let "I dare not,
wait upon I would."  It would have been exceedingly edifying to
have known beforehand all the terrible things the republic was
about to do for us.

This prophetic orator spoke the modest, yet awful words, above
quoted, nearly sixty years ago; in these latter days men are
become bolder, for in a modern 4th of July oration, Mr. Rush,
without waiting, I think, for Divine command, gives the following
amiable portrait of the British character.

"In looking at Britain, we see a harshness of individual character
in the general view of it, which is perceived and acknowledged by
all Europe; a spirit of unbecoming censure as regards all customs
and institutions not their own; a ferocity in some of their
characteristics of national manners, pervading their very
pastimes, which no other modern people are endued with the
blunted sensibility to bear; an universal self-assumed
superiority, not innocently manifesting itself in speculative
sentiments among themselves, but unamiably indulged when with
foreigners, of whatever description, in their own country, or
when they themselves are the temporary sojourners in a foreign
country; a code of criminal law that forgets to feel for human
frailty, that sports with human misfortune, that has shed more
blood in deliberate judicial severity for two centuries past,
constantly increasing, too, in its sanguinary hue, than has ever
been sanctioned by the jurisprudence of any ancient or modern
nation, civilized and refined like herself; the merciless
whippings in her army, peculiar to herself alone, the conspicuous
commission and freest acknowledgment of vice in the upper
classes; the overweening distinctions shown to opulence and
birth, so destructive of a sound moral sentiment in the nation,
so baffling to virtue.  These are some of the traits that rise up
to a contemplation of the inhabitants of this isle."

Where is the alchymy that can extract from Captain Hall's work
one thousandth part of the ill-will contained in this one
passage? Yet America has resounded from shore to shore with
execrations against his barbarous calumnies.

But now we will listen to another tone.  Let us see how Americans
can praise.  Mr. Everett, in a recent 4th of July oration, speaks
thus:--

"We are authorised to assert, that the era of our independence
dates the establishment of the only perfect organization of
government."  Again, "Our government is in its theory perfect,
and in its operation it is perfect also.  Thus we have solved
the great problem in human affairs."  And again, "A frame of
government perfect in its principles has been brought down from
the airy regions of Utopia, and has found a local habitation and
a name in our country."

Among my miscellaneous reading, I got hold of an American
publication giving a detailed, and, indeed, an official account
of the capture of Washington by the British, in 1814.  An event
so long past, and of so little ultimate importance, is, perhaps,
hardly worth alluding to; but there are some passages in the
official documents which I thought very amusing.

At the very moment of receiving the attack of the British on the
heights of Bladensburgh, there seems to have been a most curious
puzzle among the American generals, as to where they were to be
stationed, and what they were to do.  It is stated that the
British threw themselves forward in open order, advancing singly.
The American general (Winden) goes on in his narrative to
describe what followed, thus:

"Our advanced riflemen now began to fire, and continued it for
half a dozen rounds, when I observed them to run back to an
orchard.  They halted there, and seemed for a moment about
returning to their original position, but in a few moments
entirely broke and retired to the left of Stansburg's line.  The
advanced artillery immediately followed the riflemen.

"The first three or four rockets fired by the enemy were much
above the heads of Stansburg's line; but the rockets having taken
a more horizontal direction, an universal flight of the centre
and left of this brigade was the consequence.  The 5th regiment
and the artillery still remained, and I hoped would prevent the
enemy's approach, but they advancing singly, their fire annoyed
the 5th considerably, when I ordered it to retire, to put it out
of the reach of the enemy.  This order was, however, immediately
countermanded, from an aversion to retire before the necessity
became stronger, and from a hope that the enemy would issue in a
body, and enable us to act upon him on terms of equality.  But
the enemy's fire beginning to annoy the 5th still more, by
wounding several of them, and a strong column passing up the
road, and deploying on its left, I ordered them to retire; their
retreat became a flight of absolute and total disorder."

Of Beall's regiment, the general gives the following succinct
account--"It gave one or two ineffectual fires and fled."

In another place he says, piteously,--"The cavalry would do any
thing but charge."

General Armstrong's gentle and metaphysical account of the
business was, that--"Without all doubt the determining cause of
our disasters is to be found in the love of life."

This affair at Washington, which in its result was certainly
advantageous to America, inasmuch as it caused the present
beautiful capitol to be built in the place of the one we burnt,
was, nevertheless, considered as a national calamity at the time.
In a volume of miscellaneous poems I met with one, written with
the patriotic purpose of cheering the country under it; one
triplet struck me as rather alarming for us, however soothing to
America.

          "Supposing George's house at Kew
           Were burnt, as we intend to do,
           Would that be burning England too?"

I think I have before mentioned that no work of mere pleasantry
has hitherto been found to answer; but a recent attempt of the
kind as been made, with what success cannot as yet be decided.
The editors are comedians belonging to the Boston company, and it
is entitled "The American Comic Annual."  It is accompanied by
etchings, somewhat in the manner, but by no means with the spirit
of Cruikshank's.  Among the pleasantries of this lively volume
are some biting attacks upon us, particularly upon our utter
incapacity of speaking English.  We really must engage a few
American professors, or we shall lose all trace of classic purity
in our language.  As a specimen, and rather a favourable one, of
the work, I transcribed an extract from a little piece, entitled,
"Sayings and Doings, a Fragment of a Farce."  One of the
personages of this farce is an English gentleman, a Captain
Mandaville, and among many speeches of the same kind, I selected
the following.  Collins's Ode is the subject of conversation.

"A--r, A--a--a it stroiks me that that you manetion his the hode
about hangger and ope and orror and revenge you know.  I've eard
Mrs. Sitdowns hencored in it at Common Garden and Doory Lane in
the ight of her poplarity you know.  By the boye, hall the hactin
in Amareka is werry orrid.  You're honely in the hinfancy of the
istoryonic hart you know; your performers never haspirate the
haitch in sich vords for instance as hink and hoats, and leave
out the _w_ in wice wanity you know; and make nothink of homittin
the _k_ in somethink."

There is much more in the same style, but, perhaps, this may
suffice.  I have given this passage chiefly because it affords an
example of the manner in which the generality of Americans are
accustomed to speak of English pronunciation and phraseology.

It must be remembered, however, here and every where, that this
phrase, "the Americans," does not include the instructed and
travelled portion of the community.

It would be absurd to swell my little volumes with extracts in
proof of the veracity of their contents, but having spoken of the
taste of their lighter works, and also of the general tone of
manners, I cannot forbear inserting a page from an American
annual (The Token), which purports to give a scene from
fashionable life.  It is part of a dialogue between a young lady
of the "highest standing" and her "tutor," who is moreover her
lover, though not yet acknowledged.

"And so you wo'nt tell me," said she, "what has come over you,
and why you look as grave and sensible as a Dictionary, when, by
general consent, even mine, 'motley's the only wear?'"

'"Am I so grave, Miss Blair?"

'"Are you so grave, Miss Blair?  One would think I had not got
my lesson today.  Pray, sir, has the black ox trod upon your toe
since we parted?"

'Philip tried to laugh, but he did not succeed; he bit his lip
and was silent.

'"I am under orders to entertain you, Mr. Blondel, and if my poor
brain can be made to gird this fairy isle, I shall certainly be
obedient.  So I begin with playing the leech.  What ails you,
sir?"

'"Miss Blair!" he was going to remonstrate.

'"Miss Blair!  Now, pity.  I'm a quack! for whip me, if I know
whether Miss Blair is a fever or an ague.  How did you catch it,
sir?"

'"Really, Miss Blair--"

'"Nay, I see you don't like doctoring; I give over, and now I'll
be sensible.  It's a fine day, Mr. Blondel."

'"Very."

'"A pleasant lane, this, to walk in, if one's company were
agreeable."

'"Does Mr. Skefton stay long?" asked Philip, abruptly.

'"No one knows,"

'"Indeed! are you so ignorant?"

'"And why does your wisdom ask that question?"'

In no society in the world can the advantage of travel be so
conspicuous as in America, in other countries a tone of
unpretending simplicity can more than compensate for the absence
of enlarged views or accurate observation; but this tone is not
to be found in America, or if it be, it is only among those who,
having looked at that insignificant portion of the world not
included in the Union, have learnt to know how much is still
unknown within the mighty part which is.  For the rest, they all
declare, and do in truth believe, that they only, among the sons
of men, have wit and wisdom, and that one of their exclusive
privileges is that of speaking English _elegantly_.  There are
two reasons for this latter persuasion; the one is, that the
great majority have never heard any English but their own, except
from the very lowest of the Irish; and the other, that those who
have chanced to find themselves in the society of the few
educated English who have visited America, have discovered that
there is a marked difference between their phrases and accents
and those to which they have been accustomed, whereupon they
have, of course, decided that no Englishman can speak English.

The reviews of America contain some good clear-headed articles;
but I sought in vain for the playful vivacity and the
keenly-cutting satire, whose sharp edge, however painful to the
patient, is of such high utility in lopping off the excrescences
of bad taste, and levelling to its native clay the heavy growth
of dulness.  Still less could I find any trace of that graceful
familiarity of learned allusion and general knowledge which mark
the best European reviews, and which make one feel in such
perfectly good company while perusing them.  But this is a tone
not to be found either in the writings or conversation of
Americans; as distant from pedantry as from ignorance, it is not
learning itself, but the effect of it; and so pervading and
subtle is its influence that it may be traced in the festive
halls and gay drawing-rooms of Europe as certainly as in the
cloistered library or student's closet; it is, perhaps, the last
finish of highly-finished society.

A late American Quarterly has an article on a work of Dr. Von
Schmidt Phiseldek, from which I made an extract, as a curious
sample of the dreams they love to batten on.

Dr. Von Phiseldek (not Fiddlestick), who is not only a doctor of
philosophy, but a knight of Dannebrog to boot, has never been in
America, but he has written a prophecy, showing that the United
States must and will govern the whole world, because they are so
very big, and have so much uncultivated territory; he prophesies
that an union will take place between North and South America,
which will give a death-blow to Europe, at no distant period;
though he modestly adds that he does not pretend to designate the
precise period at which this will take place.  This Danish
prophecy, as may be imagined, enchants the reviewer.  He exhorts
all people to read Dr. Phiseldek's book, because "nothing but
good can come of such contemplations of the future, and because
it is eminently calculated to awaken the most lofty anticipations
of the destiny which awaits them, and will serve to impress upon
the nation the necessity of being prepared for such high
destiny."  In another place the reviewer bursts out, "America,
young as she is, has become already the beacon, the patriarch of
the struggling nations of the world;" and afterwards adds, It
would be departing from the natural order of things, and the
ordinary operations of the great scheme of Providence, it would
be shutting our ears to the voice of experience, and our eyes to
the inevitable connexion of causes and their effects, were we to
reject the extreme probability, not to say _moral certainty_,
that the old world is destined to receive its influences in
future from the new."  There are twenty pages of this article,
but I will only give one passage more; it is an instance of the
sort of reasoning by which American citizens persuade themselves
that the glory of Europe is, in reality, her reproach.  "Wrapped
up in a sense of his superiority, the European reclines at home,
shining in his borrowed plumes, derived from the product of every
corner of the earth, and the industry of every portion of its
inhabitants, with which his own natural resources would never
have invested him, he continues revelling in enjoyments which
nature has denied him."

The American Quarterly deservedly holds the highest place in
their periodical literature, and, therefore, may be fairly quoted
as striking the keynote for the chorus of public opinion.  Surely
it is nationality rather than patriotism which leads it thus to
speak in scorn of the successful efforts of enlightened nations
to win from every corner of the earth the riches which nature has
scattered over it.



The incorrectness of the press is very great; they make strange
work in the reprints of French and Italian; and the Latin, I
suspect, does not fare much better: I believe they do not often
meddle with Greek.

With regard to the fine arts, their paintings, I think, are quite
as good, or rather better, than might be expected from the
patronage they receive; the wonder is that any man can be found
with courage enough to devote himself to a profession in which he
has so little chance of finding a maintenance.  The trade of a
carpenter opens an infinitely better prospect; and this is so
well known, that nothing but a genuine passion for the art could
beguile any one to pursue it.  The entire absence of every means
of improvement, and effectual study, is unquestionably the cause
why those who manifest this devotion cannot advance farther.  I
heard of one young artist, whose circumstances did not permit his
going to Europe, but who being nevertheless determined that his
studies should, as nearly as possible, resemble those of the
European academies, was about to commence drawing the human
figure, for which purpose he had provided himself with a thin
silk dress, in which to clothe his models, as no one of any
station, he said, could be found who would submit to sit as a
model without clothing.

It was at Alexandria that I saw what I consider as the best
picture by an American artist that I met with.  The subject was
Hagar and Ishmael.  It had recently arrived from Rome, where the
painter, a young man of the name of Chapman, had been studying
for three years.  His mother told me that he was twenty-two years
of age, and passionately devoted to the art; should he, on
returning to his country, receive sufficient encouragement to
keep his ardour and his industry alive, I think I shall hear of
him again.

Much is said about the universal diffusion of education in
America, and a vast deal of genuine admiration is felt and
expressed at the progress of mind throughout the Union.  They
believe themselves in all sincerity to have surpassed, to be
surpassing, and to be about to surpass, the whole earth in the
intellectual race.  I am aware that not a single word can be
said, hinting a different opinion, which will not bring down a
transatlantic anathema on my head; yet the subject is too
interesting to be omitted.  Before I left England I remember
listening, with much admiration, to an eloquent friend, who
deprecated our system of public education, as confining the
various and excursive faculties of our children to one beaten
path, paying little or no attention to the peculiar powers of
the individual.

This objection is extremely plausible, but doubts of its
intrinsic value must, I think, occur to every one who has marked
the result of a different system throughout the United States.

From every enquiry I could make, and I took much pains to obtain
accurate information, it appeared that much is attempted, but
very little beyond reading, writing, and bookkeeping, is
thoroughly acquired.  Were we to read a prospectus of the system
pursued in any of our public schools and that of a first-rate
seminary in America, we should be struck by the confined
scholastic routine of the former, when compared to the varied and
expansive scope of the latter; but let the examination go a
little farther, and I believe it will be found that the old
fashioned school discipline of England has produced something
higher, and deeper too, than that which roars so loud, and
thunders in the index.

They will not afford to let their young men study till two or
three and twenty, and it is therefore declared, _ex cathedra
Americana_, to be unnecessary.  At sixteen, often much earlier,
education ends, and money-making begins; the idea that more
learning is necessary than can be acquired by that time, is
generally ridiculed as obsolete monkish bigotry; added to which,
if the seniors willed a more prolonged discipline, the juniors
would refuse submission.  When the money-getting begins, leisure
ceases, and all of lore which can be acquired afterwards, is
picked up from novels, magazines, and newspapers.

At what time can the taste be formed?  How can a correct and
polished style, even of speaking, be acquired? or when can the
fruit of the two thousand years of past thinking be added to the
native growth of American intellect?  These are the tools, if I
may so express myself, which our elaborate system of school
discipline puts into the hands of our scholars; possessed of
these, they may use them in whatever direction they please
afterwards, they can never be an incumbrance.

No people appear more anxious to excite admiration and receive
applause than the Americans, yet none take so little trouble,
or make so few sacrifices to obtain it.  This may answer among
themselves, but it will not with the rest of the world;
individual sacrifices must be made, and national economy
enlarged, before America can compete with the old world in
taste, learning, and liberality.

The reception of General Lafayette is the one single instance
in which the national pride has overcome the national thrift;
and this was clearly referrible to the one single feeling of
enthusiasm of which they appear capable, namely, the triumph
of their successful struggle for national independence.  But
though this feeling will be universally acknowledged as a worthy
and lawful source of triumph and of pride, it will not serve to
trade upon for ever, as a fund of glory and high station among
the nations.  Their fathers were colonists; they fought stoutly,
and became an independent people.  Success and admiration, even
the admiration of those whose yoke they had broken, cheered
them while living, still sheds a glory round their remote and
untitled sepulchres, and will illumine the page of their history
for ever.

Their children inherit the independence; they inherit too the
honour of being the sons of brave fathers; but this will not give
them the reputation at which they aim, of being scholars and
gentlemen, nor will it enable them to sit down for evermore to
talk of their glory, while they drink mint julap and chew
tobacco, swearing by the beard of Jupiter (or some other oath)
that they are very graceful, and agreeable, and, moreover abusing
every body who does not cry out Amen!

To doubt that talent and mental power of every kind exist in
America would be absurd; why should it not?  But in taste and
learning they are woefully deficient; and it is this which
renders them incapable of graduating a scale by which to measure
themselves.  Hence arises that over weening complacency and
self-esteem, both national and individual, which at once renders
them so extremely obnoxious to ridicule, and so peculiarly
restive under it.

If they will scorn the process by which other nations have become
what they avowedly intend to be, they must rest satisfied with
the praise and admiration they receive from each other; and
turning a deaf ear to the criticism of the old world, consent to
be their own prodigious great reward."



Alexandria has its churches, chapels, and conventicles as
abundantly, in proportion to its size, as any city in the Union.
I visited most of them, and in the Episcopal and Catholic heard
the services performed quietly and reverently.

The best sermon, however, that I listened to, was in a Methodist
church, from the mouth of a Piquot Indian.  It was impossible not
be touched by the simple sincerity of this poor man.  He gave a
picture frightfully eloquent of the decay of his people under the
united influence of the avarice and intemperance of the white
men.  He described the effect of the religious feeling which had
recently found its way among them as most salutary.  The purity
of his moral feeling, and the sincerity of his sympathy with his
forest brethren, made it unquestionable that he must be the most
valuable priest who could officiate for them.  His English was
very correct, and his pronunciation but slightly tinctured by
native accent.

While we were still in the neighbourhood of Washington, a most
violent and unprecedented schism occurred in the cabinet.  The
four secretaries of State all resigned, leaving General Jackson
to manage the queer little state barge alone.

Innumerable contradictory statements appeared upon this occasion
in the papers, and many a cigar was thrown aside, ere half
consumed, that the disinterested politician might give breath to
his cogitations on this extraordinary event; but not all the
eloquence of all the smokers, nor even the ultradiplomatic
expositions which appeared from the seceding secretaries
themselves, could throw any light on the mysterious business.
It produced, however, the only tolerable caricature I ever saw
in the country.  It represents the President seated alone in his
cabinet, wearing a look of much discomfiture, and making great
exertions to detain one of four rats, who are running off, by
placing his foot on the tail.  The rats' heads bear a very
sufficient resemblance to the four ex-ministers.  General
Jackson, it seems, had requested Mr. Van Buren, the Secretary of
State, to remain in office till his place was supplied; this gave
occasion to a _bon mot_ from his son, who, being asked when his
father would be in New York, replied, "When the President takes
off his foot."



CHAPTER 30

Journey to New York--Delaware River--Stagecoach--
City of New York--Collegiate Institute for Young Ladies--
Theatres--Public Garden--Churches--Morris Canal--
Fashions--Carriages



At length, in spite of the lingering pace necessarily attending
consultations, and arrangements across the Atlantic, our plans
were finally settled; the coming spring was to show us New York,
and Niagara, and the early summer was to convey us home.

No sooner did the letter arrive which decided this, than we began
our preparations for departure.  We took our last voyage on the
Potomac, we bade a last farewell to Virginia, and gave a last day
to some of our kind friends near Washington.

The spring, though slow and backward, was sufficiently advanced
to render the journey pleasant; and though the road from
Washington to Baltimore was less brilliant in foliage than when
I had seen it before, it still had much of beauty.  The azalias
were in full bloom, and the delicate yellow blossom of the
sassafras almost rivalled its fruit in beauty.

At Baltimore we again embarked on a gigantic steam-boat, and
reached Philadelphia in the middle of the night.  Here we changed
our boat and found time, before starting in the morning, to take
a last look at the Doric and Corinthian porticos of the two
celebrated temples dedicated to Mammon.

The Delaware river, above Philadelphia, still flows through a
landscape too level for beauty, but it is rendered interesting by
a succession of gentlemen's seats, which, if less elaborately
finished in architecture, and garden grounds, than the lovely
villas on the Thames, are still beautiful objects to gaze upon as
you float rapidly past on the broad silvery stream that washes
their lawns They present a picture of wealth and enjoyment that
accords well with the noble city to which they are an appendage.
One mansion arrested our attention, not only from its being more
than usually large and splendid, but from its having the monument
which marked the family resting-place, rearing itself in all the
gloomy grandeur of black and white marble, exactly opposite the
door of entrance.

In Virginia and Maryland we had remarked that almost every family
mansion had its little grave yard, sheltered by locust and
cypress trees; but this decorated dwelling of the dead seemed
rather a melancholy ornament in the grounds.

We had, for a considerable distance, a view of the dwelling of
Joseph Bonaparte, which is situated on the New Jersey shore, in
the midst of an extensive tract of land, of which he is the
proprietor.

Here the ex-monarch has built several houses, which are occupied
by French tenants.  The country is very flat, but a terrace of
two sides has been raised, commanding a fine reach of the
Delaware River; at the point where this terrace forms a right
angle, a lofty chapel has been erected, which looks very much
like an observatory; I admired the ingenuity with which the
Catholic prince has united his religion and his love of a fine
terrestrial prospect.  The highest part of the building presents,
in every direction, the appearance of an immense cross; the
transept, if I may so express it, being formed by the projection
of an ample balcony, which surrounds a tower.  A Quaker
gentleman, from Philadelphia, exclaimed, as he gazed on the
mansion, "There we see a monument of fallen royalty!  Strange!
that dethroned kings should seek and find their best strong-hold
in a Republic."

There was more of philosophy than of scorn in his accent, and his
countenance was the symbol of gentleness and benevolence; but I
overheard many unquakerlike jokes from others, as to the
comfortable assurance a would-be king must feel of a faithful
alliance between his head and shoulders.

At Trenton, the capital of New Jersey, we left our
smoothly-gliding comfortable boat for the most detestable
stage-coach that ever Christian built to dislocate the joints of
his fellow men.  Ten of these torturing machines were crammed
full of the passengers who left the boat with us.  The change in
our movement was not more remarkable than that which took place
in the tempers and countenances of our fellow-travellers.
Gentlemen who had lounged on sofas, and balanced themselves in
chairs, all the way from Philadelphia, with all the conscious
fascinations of stiff stays and neck-cloths, which, while doing
to death the rash beauties who ventured to gaze, seemed but a
whalebone panoply to guard the wearer, these pretty youths so
guarded from without, so sweetly at peace within, now crushed
beneath their armour, looked more like victims on the wheel, than
dandies armed for conquest; their whalebones seemed to enter into
their souls, and every face grew grim and scowling.  The pretty
ladies too, with their expansive bonnets, any one of which might
handsomely have filled the space allotted to three,--how sad the
change!  I almost fancied they must have been of the race of
Undine, and that it was only when they heard the splashing of
water that they could smile.  As I looked into the altered eyes
of my companions, I was tempted to ask, "Look I as cross as you?"
Indeed, I believe that, if possible, I looked crosser still, for
the roads and the vehicle together were quite too much for my
philosophy.

At length, however, we found ourselves alive on board the boat
which was to convey us down the Raraton River to New York.

We fully intended to have gone to bed, to heal our bones, on
entering the steam-boat, but the sight of a table neatly spread
determined us to go to dinner instead.  Sin and shame would it
have been, indeed, to have closed our eyes upon the scene which
soon opened before us.  I have never seen the bay of Naples, I
can therefore make no comparison, but my imagination is incapable
of conceiving any thing of the kind more beautiful than the
harbour of New York.  Various and lovely are the objects which
meet the eye on every side, but the naming them would only be to
give a list of words, without conveying the faintest idea of the
scene.  I doubt if ever the pencil of Turner could do it justice,
bright and glorious as it rose upon us.  We seemed to enter the
harbour of New York upon waves of liquid gold, and as we darted
past the green isles which rise from its bosom, like guardian
centinels of the fair city, the setting sun stretched his
horizontal beams farther and farther at each moment, as if to
point out to us some new glory in the landscape.

New York, indeed, appeared to us, even when we saw it by a
soberer light, a lovely and a noble city.  To us who had been so
long travelling through half-cleared forests, and sojourning
among an "I'm-as-good-as-you" population, it seemed, perhaps,
more beautiful, more splendid, and more refined than it might
have done, had we arrived there directly from London; but making
every allowance for this, I must still declare that I think New
York one of the finest cities I ever saw, and as much superior to
every other in the Union (Philadelphia not excepted), as London
to Liverpool, or Paris to Rouen.  Its advantages of position are,
perhaps, unequalled any where.  Situated on an island, which I
think it will one day cover, it rises, like Venice, from the sea,
and like that fairest of cities in the days of her glory,
receives into its lap tribute of all the riches of the earth.

The southern point of Manhatten Island divides the waters of the
harbour into the north and east rivers; on this point stands the
city of New York, extending from river to river, and running
northward to the extent of three or four miles.  I think it
covers nearly as much ground as Paris, but is much less thickly
peopled.  The extreme point is fortified towards the sea by a
battery, and forms an admirable point of defence; I should
suppose, no city could boast.  From hence commences the splendid
Broadway, as the fine avenue is called, which runs through the
whole city.  This noble street may vie with any I ever saw, for
its length and breadth, its handsome shops, neat awnings,
excellent _trottoir_, and well-dressed pedestrians.  It has not
the crowded glitter of Bond Street equipages, nor the gorgeous
fronted palaces of Regent Street; but it is magnificent in its
extent, and ornamented by several handsome buildings, some of
them surrounded by grass and trees.  The Park, in which stands
the noble city-hall, is a very fine area, I never found that the
most graphic description of a city could give me any feeling of
being there; and even if others have the power, I am very sure I
have not, of setting churches and squares, and long drawn
streets, before the mind's eye.  I will not, therefore, attempt a
detailed description of this great metropolis of the new world,
but will only say that during the seven weeks we stayed there, we
always found something new to see and to admire; and were it not
so very far from all the old-world things which cling about the
heart of an European, I should say that I never saw a city more
desirable as a residence.

The dwelling houses of the higher classes are extremely handsome,
and very richly furnished.  Silk or satin furniture is as often,
or oftener, seen than chintz; the mirrors are as handsome as in
London; the cheffoniers, slabs, and marble tables as elegant; and
in addition, they have all the pretty tasteful decoration of
French porcelaine, and or-molu in much greater abundance, because
at a much cheaper rate.  Every part of their houses is well
carpeted, and the exterior finishing, such as steps, railings,
and door-frames, are very superior.  Almost every house has
handsome green blinds on the outside; balconies are not very
general, nor do the houses display, externally, so many flowers
as those of Paris and London; but I saw many rooms decorated
within, exactly like those of an European _petite maitresse_.
Little tables, looking and smelling like flower beds, portfolios,
nick-nacks, bronzes, busts, cameos, and alabaster vases,
illustrated copies of ladylike rhymes bound in silk, and, in
short, all the pretty coxcomalities of the drawing-room scattered
about with the same profuse and studied negligence as with us.

Hudson Square and its neighbourhood is, I believe, the most
fashionable part of the town; the square is beautiful,
excellently well planted with a great variety of trees, and only
wanting our frequent and careful mowing to make it equal to any
square in London.  The iron railing which surrounds this
enclosure is as high and as handsome as that of the Tuilleries,
and it will give some idea of the care bestowed on its
decoration, to know that the gravel for the walks was conveyed
by barges from Boston, not as ballast, but as freight.

The great defect in the houses is their extreme uniformity when
you have seen one, you have seen all.  Neither do I quite like
the arrangement of the rooms.  In nearly all the houses the
dining and drawing rooms are on the same floor, with ample
folding doors between them; when thrown together they certainly
make a very noble apartment; but no doors can be barrier
sufficient between dining and drawing-rooms.  Mixed dinner
parties of ladies and gentlemen, however, are very rare, which is
a great defect in the society; not only as depriving them of the
most social and hospitable manner of meeting, but as leading to
frequent dinner parties of gentlemen without ladies, which
certainly does not conduce to refinement.

The evening parties, excepting such as are expressly for young
people, are chiefly conversational; we were too late in the
season for large parties, but we saw enough to convince us that
there is society to be met with in New York, which would be
deemed delightful any where.  Cards are very seldom used; and
music, from their having very little professional aid at their
parties is seldom, I believe, as good as what is heard at private
concerts in London.

The Americans have certainly not the same _besoin_ of being
amused, as other people; they may be the wiser for this, perhaps,
but it makes them less agreeable to a looker-on.

There are three theatres at New York, all of which we visited.
The Park Theatre is the only one licensed by fashion, but the
Bowery is infinitely superior in beauty; it is indeed as pretty a
theatre as I ever entered, perfect as to size and proportion,
elegantly decorated, and the scenery and machinery equal to any
in London, but it is not the fashion.  The Chatham is so utterly
condemned by _bon ton_, that it requires some courage to decide
upon going there; nor do I think my curiosity would have
penetrated so far, had I not seen Miss Mitford's Rienzi
advertised there.  It was the first opportunity I had had of
seeing it played, and spite of very indifferent acting, I was
delighted.  The interest must have been great, for till the
curtain fell, I saw not one quarter of the queer things around
me: then I observed in the front row of a dress-box a lady
performing the most maternal office possible; several gentlemen
without their coats, and a general air of contempt for the
decencies of life, certainly more than usually revolting.

At the Park Theatre I again saw the American Roscius, Mr.
Forrest.  He played the part of Damon, and roared, I thought,
very unlike a nightingale.  I cannot admire this celebrated
performer.

Another night we saw Cinderella there; Mrs. Austin was the prima
donna, and much admired.  The piece was extremely well got up,
and on this occasion we saw the Park Theatre to advantage, for it
was filled with well-dressed company; but still we saw many "yet
unrazored lips" polluted with the grim tinge of the hateful
tobacco, and heard, without ceasing, the spitting, which of
course is its consequence.  If their theatres had the orchestra
of the Feydeau, and a choir of angels to boot, I could find but
little pleasure, so long as they were followed by this running
accompaniment of _thorough base_.

Whilst at New York, the prospectus of a fashionable
boarding-school was presented to me.  I made some extracts from
it, as a specimen of the enlarged scale of instruction proposed
for young females.

     Brooklyn Collegiate Institute
     for Young Ladies,
     Brooklyn Heights, opposite the City of
     New York.

          JUNIOR DEPARTMENT

          Sixth Class

Latin Grammar, Liber Primus; Jacob's Latin Reader, (first part);
Modern Geography; Intellectual and Practical Arithmetic finished;
Dr. Barber's Grammar of Elocution; Writing, Spelling,
Composition, and Vocal Music.

          Fifth Class

Jacob's Latin Reader, (second part); Roman Antiquities, Sallust;
Clark's Introduction to the Making of Latin; Ancient and Sacred
Geography; Studies of Poetry; Short Treatise on Rhetoric; Map
Drawing, Composition, Spelling, and Vocal Music.

          Fourth Class

Caesar's Commentaries; first five books of Virgil's Aeneid;
Mythology; Watts on the Mind; Political Geography, (Woodbridge's
large work); Natural History; Treatise on the Globes; Ancient
History; Studies of Poetry concluded; English Grammar,
Composition, Spelling, and Vocal Music.

          SENIOR DEPARTMENT

          Third Class

Virgil, (finished); Cicero's Select Orations; Modern History;
Plane Geometry; Moral Philosophy; Critical Reading of Young's
Poems; Perspective Drawing; Rhetoric; Logic, Composition, and
Vocal Music.

          Second Class

Livy; Horace, (Odes); Natural Theology; small Compend of
Ecclesiastical History; Female Biography; Algebra; Natural
Philosophy, (Mechanics, Hydrostatics, Pneumatics, and Acoustics);
Intellectual Philosophy; Evidences of Christianity; Composition,
and Vocal Music.

          First Class

Horace, (finished); Tacitus; Natural Philosophy, (Electricity,
Optics, Magnetism, Galvanism); Astronomy, Chemistry, Mineralogy,
and Geology; Compend of Political Economy; Composition, and Vocal
Music.

The French, Spanish, Italian, or Greek languages may be attended
to, if required, at any time.



The Exchange is very handsome, and ranks about midway between the
heavy gloom that hangs over our London merchants, and the light
and lofty elegance which decorates the Bourse at Paris.  The
churches are plain, but very neat, and kept in perfect repair
within and without; but I saw none which had the least pretension
to splendour; the Catholic Cathedral at Baltimore is the only
church in America which has.

At New York, as every where else, they show within, during the
time of service, like beds of tulips, so gay, so bright, so
beautiful, are the long rows of French bonnets and pretty faces;
rows but rarely broken by the unribboned heads of the male
population; the proportion is about the same as I have remarked
elsewhere.  Excepting at New York, I never saw the other side of
the picture, but there I did.  On the opposite side of the North
River, about three miles higher up, is a place called Hoboken.
A gentleman who possessed a handsome mansion and grounds there,
also possessed the right of ferry, and to render this productive,
he has restricted his pleasure grounds to a few beautiful acres,
laying out the remainder simply and tastefully as a public walk.
It is hardly possible to imagine one of greater attraction; a
broad belt of light underwood and flowering shrubs, studded at
intervals with lofty forest trees, runs for two miles along a
cliff which overhangs the matchless Hudson; sometimes it feathers
the rocks down to its very margin, and at others leaves a pebbly
shore, just rude enough to break the gentle waves, and make a
music which mimics softly the loud chorus of the ocean.  Through
this beautiful little wood, a broad well gravelled terrace is led
by every point which can exhibit the scenery to advantage;
narrower and wilder paths diverge at intervals, some into the
deeper shadow of the wood, and some shelving gradually to the
pretty coves below.

The price of entrance to this little Eden, is the six cents you
pay at the ferry.  We went there on a bright Sunday afternoon,
expressly to see the humours of the place.  Many thousand persons
were scattered through the grounds; of these we ascertained, by
repeatedly counting, that nineteen-twentieths were men.  The
ladies were at church.  Often as the subject has pressed upon my
mind, I think I never so strongly felt the conviction that the
Sabbath-day, the holy day, the day on which alone the great
majority of the Christian world can spend their hours as they
please, is ill passed (if passed entirely) within brick walls,
listening to an earth-born preacher, charm he never so wisely.

  "Oh! how can they renounce the boundless store
   Of charms, which Nature to her vot'ries yields!
   The warbling woodland, the resounding shore,
   The pomp of groves, and garniture of fields,
   All that the genial ray of morning gilds,
   And all that echoes to the song of even,
   All that the mountain's sheltering bosom yields,
   And all the dread magnificence of heaven;
   Oh! how can they renounce, and hope to be forgiven!"

How is it that the men of America, who are reckoned good husbands
and good fathers, while they themselves enjoy sufficient freedom
of spirit to permit their walking forth into the temple of the
living God, can leave those they love best on earth, bound in the
iron chains of a most tyrannical fanaticism?  How can they
breathe the balmy air, and not think of the tainted atmosphere so
heavily weighing upon breasts still dearer than their own?  How
can they gaze upon the blossoms of the spring, and not remember
the fairer cheeks of their young daughters, waxing pale, as they
sit for long sultry hours, immured with hundreds of fellow
victims, listening to the roaring vanities of a preacher
canonized by a college of old women?  They cannot think it
needful to salvation,or they would not withdraw themselves.
Wherefore is it?  Do they fear these self-elected, self-ordained
priests, and offer up their wives and daughters to propitiate
them?  Or do they deem their hebdomadal freedom more complete,
because their wives and daughters are shut up four or five times
in the day at church or chapel?  It is true, that at Hoboken, as
every where else, there are _reposoires_, which, as you pass
them, blast the sense for a moment, by reeking forth the fumes of
whiskey and tobacco, and it may be that these cannot be entered
with a wife or daughter.  The proprietor of the grounds, however,
has contrived with great taste to render these abominations not
unpleasing to the eye; there is one in particular, which has
quite the air of a Grecian temple, and did they drink wine
instead of whiskey, it might be inscribed to Bacchus; but in this
particular, as in many others, the ancient and modern Republics differ.

It is impossible not to feel, after passing one Sunday in the
churches and chapels of New York, and the next in the gardens of
Hoboken, that the thousands of well-dressed men you see enjoying
themselves at the latter, have made over the thousands of
well-dressed women you saw exhibited at the former, into the
hands of the priests, at least, for the day.  The American people
arrogate to themselves a character of superior morality and
religion, but this division of their hours of leisure does not
give me a favourable idea of either.

I visited all the exhibitions in New York.  The Medici of the
Republic must exert themselves a little more before these can
become even respectable.  The worst of the business is, that with
the exception of about half a dozen individuals, the good
citizens are more than contented, they are delighted.

The newspaper lungs of the Republic breathe forth praise and
triumph, may, almost pant with extacy in speaking of their native
_chef d'oeuvres_.  I should be hardly believed were I to relate
the instances which fell in my way, of the utter ignorance
respecting pictures to be found among persons of the _first
standing_ in society.  Often where a liberal spirit exists, and a
wish to patronise the fine arts is expressed, it is joined to a
profundity of ignorance on the subject almost inconceivable.  A
doubt as to the excellence of their artists is very nervously
received, and one gentleman, with much civility, told me, that at
the present era, all the world were aware that competition was
pretty well at an end between our two nations, and that a little
envy might naturally be expected to mix with the surprise with
which the mother country beheld the distance at which her
colonies were leaving her behind them.

I must, however, do the few artists with whom I became
acquainted, the justice to say, that their own pretensions are
much more modest than those of their patrons for them.  I have
heard several confess and deplore their ignorance of drawing, and
have repeatedly remarked a sensibility to the merit of European
artists, though perhaps only known by engravings, and a deference
to their authority, which showed a genuine feeling for the art.
In fact, I think that there is a very considerable degree of
natural talent for painting in America, but it has to make its
way through darkness and thick night.  When an academy is
founded, their first care is to hang the walls of its exhibition
room with all the unutterable trash that is offered to them.  No
living models are sought for; no discipline as to the manner of
study is enforced.  Boys who know no more of human form, than
they do of the eyes, nose, and mouth in the moon, begin painting
portraits.  If some of them would only throw away their palettes
for a year, and learn to draw; if they would attend anatomical
lectures, and take notes, not in words, but in forms, of joints
and muscles, their exhibitions would soon cease to be so utterly
below criticism.

The most interesting exhibition open when I was there was,
decidedly, Colonel Trumbold's; and how the patriots of America
can permit this truly national collection to remain a profitless
burden on the hands of the artist, it is difficult to understand.
Many of the sketches are masterly; but like his illustrious
countryman, West, his sketches are his _chef d'oeuvres_.

I can imagine nothing more perfect than the interior of the
public institutions of New York.  There is a practical good sense
in all their arrangements that must strike foreigners very
forcibly.  The Asylum for the Destitute offers a hint worth
taking.  It is dedicated to the reformation of youthful offenders
of both sexes, and it is as admirable in the details of its
management, as in its object.  Every part of the institution is
deeply interesting; but there is a difference very remarkable
between the boys and the girls.  The boys are, I think, the
finest set of lads I ever saw brought together; bright looking,
gay, active, and full of intelligence.  The girls are exactly in
reverse; heavy, listless, indifferent, and melancholy.  In
conversing with the gentleman who is the general superintendant
of the establishment, I made the remark to him, and he told me,
that the reality corresponded with the appearance.  All of them
had been detected in some act of dishonesty; but the boys, when
removed from the evil influence which had led them so to use
their ingenuity, rose like a spring when a pressure is withdrawn;
and feeling themselves once more safe from danger and from shame,
hope and cheerfulness animated every countenance.  But the pour
girls, on the contrary, can hardly look up again.  They are as
different as an oak and a lily after a storm.  The one, when the
fresh breeze blows over it, shakes the raindrops from its crest,
and only looks the brighter; the other, its silken leaves once
soiled, shrinks from the eye, and is levelled to the earth for
ever.



We spent a delightful day in New Jersey, in visiting, with a most
agreeable party, the inclined planes, which are used instead of
locks on the Morris canal.

This is a very interesting work; it is one among a thousand which
prove the people of America to be the most enterprising in the
world.  I was informed that this important canal, which connects
the waters of the Hudson and the Delaware, is a hundred miles
long, and in this distance overcomes a variation of level
amounting to sixteen hundred feet.  Of this, fourteen hundred are
achieved by inclined planes.  The planes average about sixty feet
of perpendicular lift each, and are to support about forty tons.
The time consumed in passing them is twelve minutes for one
hundred feet of perpendicular rise.  The expense is less than a
third of what locks would be for surmounting the same rise.  If
we set about any more canals, this may be worth attending to.

This Morris canal is certainly an extraordinary work; it not only
varies its level sixteen hundred feet, but at one point runs
along the side of a mountain at thirty feet above the tops of the
highest buildings in the town of Paterson, below; at another it
crosses the falls of the Passaic in a stone aqueduct sixty feet
above the water in the river.  This noble work, in a great
degree, owes its existence to the patriotic and scientific energy
of Mr. Cadwallader Colden.

There is no point in the national character of the Americans
which commands so much respect as the boldness and energy with
which public works are undertaken and carried through.  Nothing
stops them if a profitable result can be fairly hoped for.  It is
this which has made cities spring up amidst the forests with such
inconceivable rapidity; and could they once be thoroughly
persuaded that any point of the ocean had a hoard of dollars
beneath it, I have not the slightest doubt that in about eighteen
months we should see a snug covered rail-road leading direct to
the spot.



I was told at New York, that in many parts of the state it was
usual to pay the service of the Presbyterian ministers in the
following manner.  Once a year a day is fixed, on which some
member of every family in a congregation meet at their minister's
house in the afternoon.  They each bring an offering (according
to their means) of articles necessary for housekeeping.  The
poorer members leave their contributions in a large basket,
placed for the purpose, close to the door of entrance.  Those of
more importance, and more calculated to do honour to the piety of
the donors, are carried into the room where the company is
assembled.  Sugar, coffee, tea, cheese, barrels of flour, pieces
of Irish linen, sets of china and of glass, were among the
articles mentioned to me as usually making parts of these
offerings.  After the party is assembled, and the business of
giving and receiving is dispatched, tea, coffee, and cakes are
handed round; but these are not furnished at any expense either
of trouble or money to the minster, for selected ladies of the
congregation take the whole arrangement upon themselves.  These
meetings are called spinning visits.

Another New York custom, which does not seem to have so
reasonable a cause, is the changing house once a year.  On the
1st of May the city of New York has the appearance of sending off
a population flying from the plague, or of a town which had
surrendered on condition of carrying away all their goods and
chattels.  Rich furniture and ragged furniture, carts, waggons,
and drays, ropes, canvas, and straw, packers, porters, and
draymen, white, yellow, and black, occupy the streets from east
to west, from north to south, on this day.  Every one I spoke to
on the subject complained of this custom as most annoying, but
all assured me it was unavoidable, if you inhabit a rented house.
More than one of my New York friends have built or bought houses
solely to avoid this annual inconvenience.

There are a great number of negroes in New York, all free; their
emancipation having been completed in 1827.  Not even in
Philadelphia, where the anti-slavery opinions have been the most
active and violent, do the blacks appear to wear an air of so
much consequence as they do at New York.  They have several
chapels, in which negro ministers officiate; and a theatre in
which none but negroes perform.  At this theatre a gallery is
appropriated to such whites as choose to visit it; and here only
are they permitted to sit; following in this, with nice
etiquette, and equal justice, the arrangement of the white
theatres, in all of which is a gallery appropriated solely to the
use of the blacks.  I have often, particularly on a Sunday, met
groups of negroes, elegantly dressed; and have been sometimes
amused by observing the very superior air of gallantry assumed by
the men, when in attendance on their _belles_, to that of the
whites in similar circumstances.  On one occasion we met in
Broadway a young negress in the extreme of the fashion, and
accompanied by a black beau, whose toilet was equally studied;
eye-glass, guard-chain, nothing was omitted; he walked beside his
sable goddess uncovered, and with an air of the most tender
devotion.  At the window of a handsome house which they were
passing, stood a very pretty white girl, with two gentlemen
beside her; but alas! both of them had their hats on, and one
was smoking!

If it were not for the peculiar manner of walking, which
distinguishes all American women, Broadway might be taken for a
French street, where it was the fashion for very smart ladies to
promenade.  The dress is entirely French; not an article (except
perhaps the cotton stockings) must be English, on pain of being
stigmatized as out of the fashion.  Every thing English is
decidedly _mauvais ton_; English materials, English fashions,
English accent, English manner, are all terms of reproach; and to
say that an unfortunate looks like an English woman, is the
cruellest satire which can be uttered.

I remember visiting France almost immediately after we had made
the most offensive invasion of her territory that can well be
imagined, yet, despite the feelings which lengthened years of war
must have engendered, it was the fashion to admire every thing
English.  I suppose family quarrels are most difficult to adjust;
for fifteen years of peace have not been enough to calm the angry
feelings of brother Jonathan towards the land of his fathers,

     "The which he hateth passing well."

It is hardly needful to say the most courteous amenity of manner
distinguishes the reception given to foreigners by the patrician
class of Americans.

_Gentlemen_, in the old world sense of the term, are the same
every where; and an American gentleman and his family know how to
do the honours of their country to strangers of every nation, as
well as any people on earth.  But this class, though it decidedly
exists, is a very small one, and cannot, in justice, be
represented as affording a specimen of the whole.



Most of the houses in New York are painted on the outside, but in
a manner carefully to avoid disfiguring the material which it
preserves: on the contrary, nothing can be neater.  They are now
using a great deal of a beautiful stone called Jersey freestone;
it is of a warm rich brown, and extremely ornamental to the city
wherever it has been employed.  They have also a grey granite of
great beauty.  The trottoir paving, in most of the streets, is
extremely good, being of large flag stones, very superior to the
bricks of Philadelphia.

At night the shops, which are open till very late, are
brilliantly illuminated with gas, and all the population seem as
much alive as in London or Paris.  This makes the solemn
stillness of the evening hours in Philadelphia still more
remarkable.

There are a few trees in different parts of the city, and I
observed young ones planted, and guarded with much care; were
they more abundant it would be extremely agreeable, for the
reflected light of their fierce summer sheds intolerable day.

Ice is in profuse abundance; I do not imagine that there is a
house in the city without the luxury of a piece of ice to cool
the water, and harden the butter.

The hackney coaches are the best in the world, but abominably
dear, and it is necessary to be on the _qui vive_ in making your
bargain with the driver; if you do not, he has the power of
charging immoderately.  On my first experiment I neglected this,
and was asked two dollars and a half for an excursion of twenty
minutes.  When I referred to the waiter of the hotel, he asked if
I had made a bargain.  "No." "Then I expect" (with the usual look
of triumph) "that the Yankee has been too smart for you."

The private carriages of New York are infinitely handsomer and
better appointed than any I saw elsewhere; the want of smart
liveries destroys much of the gay effect, but, on the whole, a
New York summer equipage, with the pretty women and beautiful
children it contains, look extremely well in Broadway, and would
not be much amiss anywhere.

The luxury of the New York aristocracy is not confined to the
city; hardly an acre of Manhatten Island but shows some pretty
villa or stately mansion.  The most chosen of these are on the
north and east rivers, to whose margins their lawns descend.
Among these, perhaps, the loveliest is one situated in the
beautiful village of Bloomingdale; here, within the space of
sixteen acres, almost every variety of garden scenery may be
found.  To describe all its diversity of hill and dale, of wood
and lawn, of rock and river, would be in vain; nor can I convey
an idea of it by comparison, for I never saw anything like it.
How far the elegant hospitality which reigns there may influence
my impression, I know not; but, assuredly, no spot I have ever
seen dwells more freshly on my memory, nor did I ever find myself
in a circle more calculated to give delight in meeting, and
regret at parting, than that of Woodlawn.



CHAPTER 31

Reception of Captain Basil Hall's Book in the United States



Having now arrived nearly at the end of our travels, I am
induced, ere I conclude, again to mention what I consider as one
of the most remarkable traits in the national character of the
Americans; namely, their exquisite sensitiveness and soreness
respecting everything said or written concerning them.  Of this,
perhaps, the most remarkable example I can give, is the effect
produced on nearly every class of readers by the appearance of
Captain Basil Hall's "Travels in North America."  In fact, it was
a sort of moral earthquake, and the vibration it occasioned
through the nerves of the Republic, from one corner of the Union
to the other, was by no means over when I left the country in
July, 1831, a couple of years after the shock.

I was in Cincinnati when these volumes came out, but it was not
till July, 1830, that I procured a copy of them.  One bookseller
to whom I applied, told me that he had had a few copies before he
understood the nature of the work, but that after becoming
acquainted with it, nothing should induce him to sell another.
Other persons of his profession must, however, have been less
scrupulous, for the book was read in city, town, village, and
hamlet, steam-boat, and stage-coach, and a sort of war-whoop was
sent forth perfectly unprecedented in my recollection upon any
occasion whatever.

It was fortunate for me that I did not procure these volumes till
I had heard them very generally spoken of, for the curiosity I
felt to know the contents of a work so violently anathematised,
led me to make enquiries which elicited a great deal of curious
feeling.

An ardent desire for approbation, and delicate sensitiveness
under censure, have always, I believe, been considered as amiable
traits of character; but the condition into which the appearance
of Capt. Hall's work threw the Republic, shows plainly that
these feelings, if carried to excess, produce a weakness which
amounts to imbecility.

It was perfectly astonishing to hear men, who, on other subjects,
were sane of judgment, utter their opinions upon this.  I never
heard of any instance in which the common sense generally found
in national criticism was so overthrown by passion.  I do not
speak of the want of justice, and of fair and liberal
interpretation: these, perhaps, were hardly to be expected.
Other nations have been called thin-skinned, but the citizens of
the Union have, apparently, no skins at all; they wince if a
breeze blows over them, unless it be tempered with adulation.  It
was not, therefore, very surprising that the acute and forcible
observations of a traveller they knew would be listened to,
should be received testily.  The extraordinary features of the
business were, first, the excess of the rage into which they
lashed themselves; and secondly, the puerility of the inventions
by which they attempted to account for the severity with which
they fancied they had been treated.

Not content with declaring that the volumes contained no word of
truth from beginning to end (which is an assertion I heard made
very nearly as often as they were mentioned), the whole country
set to work to discover the causes why Capt. Hall had visited
the United States, and why he had published his book.

I have heard it said with as much precision and gravity as if the
statement had been conveyed by an official report, that Capt.
Hall had been sent out by the British government expressly for
the purpose of checking the growing admiration of England for the
government of the United States, that it was by a commission from
the Treasury he had come, and that it was only in obedience to
orders that he had found anything to object to.

I do not give this as the gossip of a coterie; I am persuaded
that it is the belief of a very considerable portion of the
country.  So deep is the conviction of this singular people that
they cannot be seen without being admired, that they will not
admit the possibility that anyone should honestly and sincerely
find aught to disapprove in them, or their country.

At Philadelphia I met with a little anonymous book, written to
show that Capt. Basil Hall was in no way to be depended on, for
that he not only slandered the Americans, but was himself, in
other respects, a person of very equivocal morals.  One proof of
this is given by a quotation of the following playful account of
the distress occasioned by the want of a bell.  The commentator
calls it an instance of "shocking coarseness."

"One day I was rather late for breakfast, and as there was no
water in my jug, I set off, post haste, half shaved, half
dressed, and more than half vexed, in quest of water, like a
seaman on short allowance, hunting for rivulets on some unknown
coast.  I went up stairs, and down stairs, and in the course of
my researches into half a dozen different apartments, might have
stumbled on some lady's chamber, as the song says, which
considering the plight I was in, would have been awkward enough."

Another indication of this moral coarseness is pointed out in the
passage where Capt. Hall says, he never saw a flirtation all the
time he was in the Union.

The charge of ingratitude also was echoed from mouth to mouth.
That he should himself bear testimony to the unvarying kindness
of the reception he met with, and yet find fault with the
country, was declared on all hands to be a proof of the most
abominable ingratitude that it ever entered into the heart of man
to conceive.  I once ventured before about a dozen people to ask
whether more blame would not attach to an author, if he suffered
himself to be bribed by individual kindness to falsify facts,
than if, despite all personal considerations, he stated them
truly?

"Facts!" cried the whole circle at once, "facts! I tell you there
is not a word of fact in it from beginning to end."

The American Reviews are, many of them, I believe, well known in
England; I need not, therefore, quote them here, but I sometimes
wondered that they, none of them, ever thought of translating
Obadiah's curse into classic American; if they had done so, only
placing (he, Basil Hall,) between brackets instead of (he,
Obadiah,) it would have saved them a world of trouble.

I can hardly describe the curiosity with which I sat down at
length to pursue these tremendous volumes; still less can I do
justice to my surprise at their contents.  To say that I found
not one exaggerated statement throughout the work, is by no means
saying enough.  It is impossible for any one who knows the
country not to see that Captain Hall earnestly sought out things
to admire and commend.  When he praises, it is with evident
pleasure, and when he finds fault, it is with evident reluctance
and restraint, excepting where motives purely patriotic urge him
to state roundly what it is for the benefit of his country should
be known.

In fact, Captain Hall saw the country to the greatest possible
advantage.  Furnished, of course, with letters of introduction to
the most distinguished individuals, and with the still more
influential recommendation of his own reputation, he was received
in full drawing-room style and state from one end of the Union to
the other.  He saw the country in full dress, and had little or
no opportunity of judging of it unhouselled, disappointed,
unannealed, with all its imperfections on its head, as I and my
family too often had.

Captain Hall had certainly excellent opportunities of making
himself acquainted with the form of the government and the laws;
and of receiving, moreover, the best oral commentary upon them,
in conversation with the most distinguished citizens.  Of these
opportunities he made excellent use; nothing important met his
eye which did not receive that sort of analytical attention which
an experienced and philosophical traveller alone can give.  This
has made his volumes highly interesting and valuable; but I am
deeply persuaded, that were a man of equal penetration to visit
the United States with no other means of becoming acquainted with
the national character than the ordinary working-day intercourse
of life, he would conceive an infinitely lower idea of the moral
atmosphere of the country than Captain Hall appears to have done;
and the internal conviction on my mind is strong, that if Captain
Hall had not placed a firm restraint on himself, he must have
given expression to far deeper indignation than any he has
uttered against many points in the American character, with which
he shows, from other circumstances, that he was well acquainted.
His rule appears to have been to state just so much of the truth
as would leave on the minds of his readers a correct impression,
at the least cost of pain to the sensitive folks he was writing
about.  He states his own opinions and feelings, and leaves it to
be inferred that he has good grounds for adopting them; but he
spares the Americans the bitterness which a detail of the
circumstances would have produced.

If any one chooses to say that some wicked antipathy to twelve
millions of strangers is the origin of my opinion, I must bear
it; and were the question one of mere idle speculation, I
certainly would not court the abuse I must meet for stating it.
But it is not so.  I know that among the best, the most pious,
the most benevolent of my countrymen, there are hundreds, nay, I
fear thousands, who conscientiously believe that a greater degree
of political and religious liberty (such as is possessed in
America) would be beneficial for us.  How often have I wished,
during my abode in the United States, that one of these
conscientious, but mistaken reasoners, fully possessed of his
country's confidence, could pass a few years in the United
States, sufficiently among the mass of the citizens to know them,
and sufficiently at leisure to trace effects to their causes.
Then might we look for a statement which would teach these
mistaken philanthropists to tremble at every symptom of
democratic power among us; a statement which would make even our
sectarians shudder at the thought of hewing down the Established
Church, for they would be taught, by fearful example, to know
that it was the bulwark which protects us from the gloomy horrors
of fanatic superstition on one side, and the still more dreadful
inroads of infidelity on the other.  And more than all, such a
man would see as clear as light, that where every class is
occupied in getting money, and no class in spending it, there
will neither be leisure for worshipping the theory of honesty,
nor motive strong enough to put its restrictive doctrine in
practice.  Where every man is engaged in driving hard bargains
with his fellows, where is the honoured class to be found into
which gentleman-like feelings, principles, and practice, are
necessary as an introduction?

That there are men of powerful intellect, benevolent hearts, and
high moral feeling in America, I know: and I could, if challenged
to do so, name individuals surpassed by none of any country in
these qualities; but they are excellent, despite their
institutions, not in consequence of them.  It is not by such that
Captain Hall's statements are called slanders, nor is it from
such that I shall meet the abuse which I well know these pages
will inevitably draw upon me; and I only trust I may be
able to muster as much self-denial as my predecessor, who asserts
in his recently published "Fragments," that he has read none of
the American criticisms on his book.  He did wisely, if he wished
to retain an atom of his kindly feeling toward America, and he
has, assuredly, lost but little on the score of information, for
these criticisms, generally speaking, consist of mere downright
personal abuse, or querulous complaints of his ingratitude and
ill usage of them; complaints which it is quite astonishing that
any persons of spirit could indulge in.

The following good-humoured paragraphs from the Fragments, must,
I think, rather puzzle the Americans.  Possibly they may think
that Captain Hall is quizzing them, when he says he has read none
of their criticisms; but I think there is in these passages
internal evidence that he has not seen them.  For if he had read
one-fiftieth part of the vituperation of his Travels, which it
has been my misfortune to peruse, he could hardly have brought
himself to write what follows.

If the Americans still refuse to shake the hand proffered to them
in the true old John Bull spirit, they are worse folks than even
I take them for.

Captain Hall, after describing the hospitable reception he
formerly met with, at a boarding-house in New York, goes on
thus:--"If our hostess be still alive, I hope she will not repent
of having bestowed her obliging attentions on one, who so many
years afterwards made himself, he fears, less popular in her
land, than he could wish to be amongst a people to whom he owes
so much, and for whom he really feels so much kindness.  He still
anxiously hopes, however, they will believe him, when he
declares, that, having said in his recent publication no more
than what he conceived was due to strict truth, and to the
integrity of history, as far as his observations and opinions
went, he still feels, as he always has, and ever must continue to
feel towards America, the heartiest good-will.

"The Americans are perpetually repeating that the
foundation-stone of their liberty is fixed on the doctrine, that
every man is free to form his own opinions, and to promulgate
them in candour and in moderation.  Is it meant that a foreigner
is excluded from these privileges?  If not, may I ask, in what
respect have I passed these limitations?  The Americans have
surely no fair right to be offended because my views differ from
their's; and yet I am told I have been rudely handled by the
press of that country.  If my motives are distrusted, I can only
say, I am sorely belied.  If I am mistaken, regret at my
political blindness were surely more dignified than anger on the
part of those with whom I differ; and if it shall chance that I
am in the right, the best confirmation of the correctness of my
views, in the opinion of indifferent persons, will perhaps be
found in the soreness of those, who wince when the truth is
spoken.

"Yet, after all, few things would give me more real pleasure,
than to know that my friends across the water would consent to
take me at my word; and, considering what I have said about them
as so much public matter, which it truly is, agree to reckon me,
in my absence, and they always did, when I was amongst them, and,
I am sure, they would count me, if I went back again, as a
private friend.  I differed with them in politics, and I differ
with them now as much as ever; but I sincerely wish them
happiness individually; and, as a nation, I shall rejoice if they
prosper.  As the Persians write, "What can I say more?"  And I
only hope these few words may help to make my peace with people
who justly pride themselves on bearing no malice.  As for myself,
I have no peace to make; for I have studiously avoided reading
any of the American criticisms on my book, in order that the
kindly feelings I have ever entertained towards that country
should not be ruffled.  By this abstinence I may have lost some
information, and perhaps missed many opportunities of correcting
erroneous impressions.  But I set so much store by the pleasing
recollection of the journey itself, and of the hospitality with
which my family were every where received, that whether it be
right, or whether it be wrong, I cannot bring myself to read
anything which might disturb these agreeable associations.
So let us part in peace; or, rather, let us meet again in
cordial communication; and if this little work shall find its
way across the Atlantic, I hope it will be read there without
reference to anything that has passed between us; or, at all
events, with reference only to those parts of our former
intercourse, which are satisfactory to all parties."--_Hall's
Fragments_, Vol.1.p.200.

I really think it is impossible to read, not only this passage,
but many others in these delightful little volumes, without
feeling that their author is as little likely to deserve the
imputation of harshness and ill-will, as any man that ever lived.

In reading Capt. Hall's volumes on America, the observation
which, I think, struck me the most forcibly, and which certainly
came the most completely home to my own feelings, was the
following.

"In all my travels both amongst Heathens, and amongst Christians,
I have never encountered any people by whom I found it nearly so
difficult to make myself understood as by the Americans."

I have conversed in London and in Paris with foreigners of many
nations, and often through the misty medium of an idiom
imperfectly understood, but I remember no instance in which I
found the same difficulty in conveying my sentiments, my
impressions, and my opinions to those around me, as I did in
America.  Whatever faith may be given to my assertion, no one who
has not visited the country can possibly conceive to what extent
it is true.  It is less necessary, I imagine, for the mutual
understanding of persons conversing together, that the language
should be the same, than that their ordinary mode of thinking,
and habits of life should, in some degree, assimilate; whereas,
in point of fact, there is hardly a single point of sympathy
between the Americans and us; but whatever the cause, the fact is
certainly as I have stated it, and herein, I think, rests the
only apology for the preposterous and undignified anger felt and
expressed against Capt. Hall's work.  They really cannot, even
if they wished it, enter into any of his views, or comprehend his
most ordinary feelings; and, therefore, they cannot believe in
the sincerity of the impressions he describes.  The candour which
he expresses, and evidently feels, they mistake for irony, or
totally distrust; his unwillingness to give pain to persons from
whom he has received kindness, they scornfully reject as
affectation; and, although they must know right well, in their
own secret hearts, how infinitely more they lay at his mercy than
he has chosen to betray, they pretend, even to themselves, that
he has exaggerated the bad points of their character and
institutions; whereas, the truth is, that he has let them off
with a degree of tenderness which may be quite suitable for him
to exercise, however little merited; while, at the same time, he
has most industriously magnified their merits, whenever he could
possibly find anything favourable.  One can perfectly well
understand why Capt. Hall's avowed Tory principles should be
disapproved of in the United States, especially as (with a
questionable policy in a bookselling point of view, in these
reforming times,) he volunteers a profession of political faith,
in which, to use the Kentucky phrase, "he goes the whole hog,"
and bluntly avows, in his concluding chapter, that he not only
holds stoutly to Church and State, but that he conceives the
English House of Commons to be, if not quite perfect, at least as
much so for all the required purposes of representation as it can
by possibility be made in practice.  Such a downright
thorough-going Tory and Anti-reformer, pretending to judge of the
workings of the American democratical system, was naturally held
to be a monstrous abomination, and it has been visited
accordingly, both in America, and as I understand, with us also.
The experience which Capt. Hall has acquired in visits to every
part of the world, during twenty or thirty years, goes for
nothing with the Radicals on either side the Atlantic: on the
contrary, precisely in proportion to the value of that authority
which is the result of actual observation, are they irritated to
find its weight cast into the opposite scale.  Had not Capt.
Hall been converted by what he saw in North America, from the
Whig faith he exhibited in his description of South America, his
book would have been far more popular in England during the last
two years of public excitement; it may, perhaps, be long before
any justice is done to Capt. Hall's book in the United States,
but a less time will probably suffice to establish its claim to
attention at home.



CHAPTER 32

Journey to Niagara--Hudson--West Point--Hyde Park--
Albany--Yankees--Trenton Falls--Rochester--
Genesee Falls--Lockport



How quickly weeks glide away in such a city as New York,
especially when you reckon among your friends some of the most
agreeable people in either hemisphere.  But we had still a long
journey before us, and one of the wonders of the world was to be
seen.

On the 30th of May we set off for Niagara.  I had heard so much
of the surpassing beauty of the North River, that I expected to
be disappointed, and to find reality flat after description.  But
it is not in the power of man to paint with a strength exceeding
that of nature, in such scenes as the Hudson presents.  Every
mile shows some new and startling effect of the combination of
rocks, trees, and water; there is no interval of flat or insipid
scenery, from the moment you enter upon the river at New York, to
that of quitting it at Albany, a distance of 180 miles.

For the first twenty miles the shore of New Jersey, on the left,
offers almost a continued wall of trap rock, which from its
perpendicular form, and lineal fissures, is called the Palisados.
This wall sometimes rises to the height of a hundred and fifty
feet, and sometimes sinks down to twenty.  Here and there, a
watercourse breaks its uniformity; and every where the brightest
foliage, in all the splendour of the climate and the season,
fringed and chequered the dark barrier.  On the opposite shore,
Manhatten Island, with its leafy coronet gemmed with villas,
forms a lovely contrast to these rocky heights.

After passing Manhatten Island, the eastern shore gradually
assumes a wild and rocky character, but ever varying; woods,
lawns, pastures, and towering cliffs all meet the eye in quick
succession, as the giant steam-boat cleaves its swift passage up
the stream.

For several miles the voyage is one of great interest independent
of its beauty, for it passes many points where important events
of the revolutionary war took place.

It was not without a pang that I looked on the spot where poor
Andre was taken, and another where he was executed.

Several forts, generally placed in most commanding situations,
still show by their battered ruins, where the struggle was
strongest, and I felt no lack of that moral interest so entirely
wanting in the new States, and without which no journey can, I
think, continue long without wearying the spirits.

About forty miles from New York you enter upon the Highlands, as
a series of mountains which then flank the river on both sides,
are called.  The beauty of this scenery can only be conceived
when it is seen.  One might fancy that these capricious masses,
with all their countless varieties of light and shade, were
thrown together to show how passing lovely rocks and woods, and
water could be.  Sometimes a lofty peak shoots suddenly up into
the heavens, showing in bold relief against the sky; and then a
deep ravine sinks in solemn shadow, and draws the imagination
into its leafy recesses.  For several miles the river appears to
form a succession of lakes; you are often enclosed on all sides
by rocks rising directly from the very edge of the stream, and
then you turn a point, the river widens, and again woods, lawns,
and villages are reflected on its bosom.

The state prison of Sing Sing is upon the edge of the water, and
has no picturesque effect to atone for the painful images it
suggests; the "Sleepy Hollow" of Washington Irving, just above
it, restores the imagination to a better tone.

West Point, the military academy of the United States, is fifty
miles from New York.  The scenery around it is magnificent, and
though the buildings of the establishment are constructed with
the handsome and unpicturesque regularity which marks the work of
governments, they are so nobly placed, and so embosomed in woods,
that they look beautiful.  The lengthened notes of a French horn,
which I presume was attending some of their military manoeuvres,
sounded with deep and solemn sweetness as we passed.

About thirty miles further is Hyde Park, the magnificent seat of
Dr. Hosack; here the misty summit of the distant Kaatskill begins
to form the outline of the landscape; it is hardly possible to
imagine anything more beautiful than this place.  We passed a day
there with great enjoyment; and the following morning set forward
again in one of those grand floating hotels called steamboats.
Either on this day, or the one before, we had two hundred cabin
passengers on board, and they all sat down together to a table
spread abundantly, and with considerable elegance.  A continual
succession of gentlemen's seats, many of them extremely handsome,
borders the river to Albany.  We arrived there late in the
evening, but had no difficulty in finding excellent
accommodation.

Albany is the state capital of New York, and has some very
handsome public buildings; there are also some curious relics of
the old Dutch inhabitants.

The first sixteen miles from Albany we travelled in a stage, to
avoid a multitude of locks at the entrance of the Erie canal; but
at Scenectedy we got on board one of the canal packet-boats for
Utica.

With a very delightful party, of one's own choosing, fine
temperate weather, and a strong breeze to chase the mosquitos,
this mode of travelling might be very agreeable, but I can hardly
imagine any motive of convenience powerful enough to induce me
again to imprison myself in a canal boat under ordinary
circumstances.  The accommodations being greatly restricted,
every body, from the moment of entering the boat, acts upon a
system of unshrinking egotism.  The library of a dozen books, the
backgammon board, the tiny berths, the shady side of the cabin,
are all jostled for in a manner to make one greatly envy the
power of the snail; at the moment I would willingly have given up
some of my human dignity for the privilege of creeping into a
shell of my own.  To any one who has been accustomed in
travelling, to be addressed with, "Do sit here, you will find it
more comfortable," the "You must go there, I made for this place
first," sounds very unmusical.

There is a great quietness about the women of America (I speak of
the exterior manner of persons casually met), but somehow or
other, I should never call it gentleness.  In such trying moments
as that of _fixing_ themselves on board a packet-boat, the men
are prompt, determined, and will compromise any body's
convenience, except their own.  The women are doggedly stedfast
in their will, and till matters are settled, look like hedgehogs,
with every quill raised, and firmly set, as if to forbid the
approach of any one who might wish to rub them down.  In
circumstances where an English woman would look proud, and a
French woman _nonchalante_, an American lady looks grim; even the
youngest and the prettiest can set their lips, and knit their
brows, and look as hard and unsocial as their grandmothers.

Though not in the Yankee or New England country, we were
bordering upon it sufficiently to meet in the stages and boats
many delightful specimens of this most peculiar race.  I like
them extremely well, but I would not wish to have any business
transactions with them, if I could avoid it, lest, to use their
own phrase, "they should be too smart for me."

It is by no means rare to meet elsewhere, in this working-day
world of our's, people who push acuteness to the verge of
honesty, and sometimes, perhaps, a little bit beyond; but, I
believe, the Yankee is the only one who will be found to boast
of doing so.  It is by no means easy to give a clear and just
idea of a Yankee; if you hear his character from a Virginian,
you will believe him a devil: if you listen to it from himself,
you might fancy him a god--though a tricky one; Mercury turned
righteous and notable.  Matthews did very well, as far as "I
expect," "I calculate," and "I guess;" but this is only the
shell; there is an immense deal within, both of sweet and bitter.
In acuteness, cautiousness, industry, and perseverance, he
resembles the Scotch; in habits of frugal neatness, he resembles
the Dutch; in love of lucre he doth greatly resemble the sons of
Abraham; but in frank admission, and superlative admiration of
all his own peculiarities, he is like nothing on earth but
himself.

The Quakers have been celebrated for the pertinacity with which
they avoid giving a direct answer, but what Quaker could ever vie
with a Yankee in this sort of fencing?  Nothing, in fact, can
equal their skill in evading a question, excepting that with
which they set about asking one.  I am afraid that in repeating a
conversation which I overheard on board the Erie canal boat, I
shall spoil it, by forgetting some of the little delicate
doublings which delighted me--yet I wrote it down immediately.
Both parties were Yankees, but strangers to each other; one of
them having, by gentle degrees, made himself pretty well
acquaninted with the point from which every one on board had
started, and that for which he was bound, at last attacked his
brother Reynard thus:-

"Well, now, which way may you be travelling?"

"I expect this canal runs pretty nearly west."

"Are you going far with it?"

"Well, now, I don't rightly know how many miles it may be."

"I expect you'll be from New York?"

"Sure enough I have been at New York, often and often."

"I calculate, then, 'tis not there as you stop?"

"Business must be minded, in stopping and in stirring."

"You may say that.  Well, I look then you'll be making for the
Springs?"

"Folks say as all the world is making for the Springs, and I
except a good sight of them is."

"Do you calculate upon stopping long when you get to your
journey's end?"

"'Tis my business must settle that, I expect?"

"I guess that's true, too; but you'll be for making pleasure a
business for once, I calculate?"

"My business don't often lie in that line."

"Then, may be, it is not the Springs as takes you this line?"

"The Springs is a right elegant place, I reckon."

"It is your health, I calculate, as makes you break your good
rules?"

"My health don't trouble me much, I guess."

"No?  Why that's well.  How is the markets, sir?  Are bread
stuffs up?"

"I a'nt just capable to say."

"A deal of money's made by just looking after the article at the
fountain's head."

"You may say that."

"Do you look to be making great dealings in produce up the
country?"

"Why that, I expect, is difficult to know."

"I calculate you'll find the markets changeable these times?"

"No markets ben't very often without changing."

"Why, that's right down true.  What may be your biggest article
of produce?"

"I calculate, generally, that's the biggest, as I makes most by."

"You may say that.  But what do you chiefly call your most
particular branch?"

"Why, that's what I can't justly say."

And so they went on, without advancing or giving an inch, 'till I
was weary of listening; but I left them still at it, when I
stepped out to resume my station on a trunk at the bow of the
boat, where I scribbled in my note-book this specimen of Yankee
conversation.



The Erie canal has cut through much solid rock, and we often
passed between magnificent cliffs.  The little falls of the
Mohawk form a lovely scene; the rocks over which the river runs
are most fantastic in form.  The fall continues nearly a mile,
and a beautiful village, called the Little Falls, overhangs it.
As many locks occur at this point, we quitted the boat, that we
might the better enjoy the scenery, which is of the widest
description.  Several other passengers did so likewise, and I was
much amused by one of our Yankees, who very civilly accompanied
our party, pointing out to me the wild state of the country, and
apologizing for it, by saying, that the property all round
thereabouts had been owned by an Englishman; "and you'll excuse
me, ma'am, but when the English gets a spot of wild ground like
this here, they have no notions about it like us; but the
Englishman have sold it, and if you was to see it five years
hence, you would not know it again; I'll engage there will be by
that, half a score elegant factories--'tis a true shame to let
such a privilege of water lie idle."

We reached Utica at twelve o'clock the following day, pretty
well fagged by the sun by day, and a crowded cabin by night;
lemon-juice and iced-water (without sugar) kept us alive.  But
for this delightful recipe, feather fans, and eau de Cologne, I
think we should have failed altogether; the thermometer stood at
90 degrees.

At two, we set off in a very pleasant airy carriage for Trenton
Falls, a delightful drive of fourteen miles.  These falls have
become within the last few years only second in fame to Niagara.
The West Canada Creek, which in the map shows but as a paltry
stream, has found its way through three miles of rock, which, at
many points, is 150 feet high.  A forest of enormous cedars is on
their summit; and many of that beautiful species of white cedar
which droops its branches like the weeping-willow grow in the
clefts of the rock, and in some places almost dip their dark
foliage in the torrent.  The rock is of a dark grey limestone,
and often presents a wall of unbroken surface.  Near the hotel a
flight of very alarming steps leads down to the bed of the
stream, and on reaching it you find yourself enclosed in a deep
abyss of solid rock, with no visible opening but that above your
head.  The torrent dashes by with inconceivable rapidity; its
colour is black as night, and the dark ledge of rock on which you
stand, is so treacherously level with it, that nothing warns you
of danger.  Within the last three years two young people, though
surrounded by their friends, have stepped an inch too far, and
disappeared from among them, as if by magic, never to revisit
earth again.  This broad flat ledge reached but a short distance,
and then the perpendicular wall appears to stop your farther
progress; but there is a spirit of defiance in the mind of man;
he will not be stayed either by rocks or waves.  By the aid of
gunpowder a sufficient quantity of the rock has been removed to
afford a fearful footing round a point, which, when doubled,
discloses a world of cataracts, all leaping forward together in
most magnificent confusion.  I suffered considerably before I
reached the spot where this grand scene is visible; a chain
firmly fastened to the rock serves to hang by, as you creep along
the giddy verge, and this enabled me to proceed so far; but here
the chain failed, and my courage with it, though the rest of the
party continued for some way farther, and reported largely of
still increasing sublimity.  But my knees tottered, and my head
swam, so while the rest crept onward, I sat down to wait their
return on the floor of rock which had received us on quitting
the steps.

A hundred and fifty feet of bare black rock on one side, an equal
height covered with solemn cedars on the other, an unfathomed
torrent roaring between them, the fresh remembrance of the
ghastly legend belonging to the spot, and the idea of my children
clinging to the dizzy path I had left, was altogether sombre
enough; but I had not sat long before a tremendous burst of
thunder shook the air; the deep chasm answered from either side,
again, again, and again; I thought the rock I sat upon trembled:
but the whole effect was so exceedingly grand, that I had no
longer leisure to think of fear; my children immediately
returned, and we enjoyed together the darkening shadows cast over
the abyss, the rival clamour of the torrent and the storm, and
that delightful exaltation of the spirits which sets danger at
defiance.  A few heavy rain drops alarmed us more than all the
terrors of the spot, or rather, they recalled our senses, and we
retreated by the fearful steps, reaching our hotel unwetted and
unharmed.  The next morning we were again early a foot; the last
night's storm had refreshed the air, and renewed our strength.
We now took a different route, and instead of descending, as
before, walked through the dark forest along the cliff,
sufficiently near its edge to catch fearful glimpses of the scene
below.  After some time the patch began to descend, and at length
brought us to the Shantee, commemorated in Miss Sedgwick's
Clarence.  This is by far the finest point of the falls.  There
is a little balcony in front of the Shantee, literally hanging
over the tremendous whirlpool; though frail, it makes one fancy
oneself in safety, and reminded me of the feeling with which I
have stood on one side a high gate, watching a roaring bull on
the other.  The walls of this Shantee are literally covered with
autographs, and I was inclined to join the laugh against the
egotistical trifling, when one of the party discovered "Trollope,
England," amidst the innumerable scrawls.  The well known
characters were hailed with such delight, that I think I shall
never again laugh at any one for leaving their name where it is
possible a friend may find it.

We returned to Utica to dinner, and found that we must either
wait till the next day for the Rochester coach, or again submit
to the packet-boat.  Our impatience induced us to prefer the
latter, not very wisely, I think, for every annoyance seemed to
increase upon us.  The Oneida and the Genesee country are both
extremely beautiful, but had we not returned by another route we
should have known little about it.  From the canal nothing is
seen to advantage, and very little is seen at all.  My chief
amusement, I think, was derived from names.  One town, consisting
of a whiskey store and a warehouse, is called Port Byron.  At
Rome, the first name I saw over a store was Remus, doing infinite
honour, I thought, to the classic lore of his godfathers and
godmothers; but it would be endless to record all the drolleries
of this kind which we met with.  We arrived at Rochester, a
distance of a hundred and forty miles, on the second morning
after leaving Utica, fully determined never to enter a canal boat
again, at least, not in America.

Rochester is one of the most famous of the cities built on the
Jack and Bean-stalk principle.  There are many splendid edifices
in wood; and certainly more houses, warehouses, factories, and
steam-engines than ever were collected together in the same space
of time; but I was told by a fellow-traveller that the stumps of
the forest are still to be found firmly rooted in the cellars.

The fall of the Genesee is close to the town, and in the course
of a few months will, perhaps, be in the middle of it.  It is a
noble sheet of water, of a hundred and sixty feet perpendicular
fall; but I looked at it through the window of a factory, and as
I did not like that, I was obligingly handed to the door-way of a
sawing-mill; in short, "the great water privilege" has been so
ingeniously taken advantage of, that no point can be found where
its voice and its movement are not mixed and confounded with
those of the "admirable machinery of this flourishing city."

The Genesee fall is renowned as being the last and fatal leap of
the adventurous madman, Sam Patch; he had leaped it once before,
and rose to the surface of the river in perfect safety, but the
last time he was seen to falter as he took the leap, and was
never heard of more.  It seems that he had some misgivings of his
fate, for a pet bear, which he had always taken with him on his
former break-neck adventures, and which had constantly leaped
after him without injury, he on this occasion left behind, in the
care of a friend, to whom he bequeathed him "in case of his not
returning." We saw the bear, which is kept at the principal
hotel; he is a noble creature, and more completely tame than I
ever saw any animal of the species.

Our journey now became wilder every step, the unbroken forest
often skirted the road for miles, and the sight of a log-hut was
an event.  Yet the road was, for the greater part of the day,
good, running along a natural ridge, just wide enough for it.
This ridge is a very singular elevation, and, by all the enquiry
I could make, the favourite theory concerning it is, that it was
formerly the boundary of Lake Ontario, near which it passes.
When this ridge ceased, the road ceased too, and for the rest of
the way to Lockport, we were most painfully jumbled and jolted
over logs and through bogs, till every joint was nearly
dislocated.

Lockport is beyond all comparison, the strangest looking place I
ever beheld.  As fast as half a dozen trees were cut down, a
_factory_ was raised up; stumps still contest the ground with
pillars, and porticos are seen to struggle with rocks.  It looks
as if the demon of machinery, having invaded the peaceful realms
of nature, had fixed on Lockport as the battle-ground on which
they should strive for mastery.  The fiend insists that the
streams should go one way, though the gentle mother had ever led
their dancing steps another; nay, the very rocks must fall before
him, and take what form he wills.  The battle is lost and won.
Nature is fairly routed and driven from the field, and the
rattling, crackling, hissing, spitting demon has taken possession
of Lockport for ever.

We slept there, dismally enough.  I never felt more out of humour
at what the Americans call improvement; it is, in truth, as it
now stands, a most hideous place, and gladly did I leave it
behind me.

Our next stage was to Lewiston; for some miles before we reached
it we were within sight of the British frontier; and we made our
salaams.

The monument of the brave General Brock stands on an elevated
point near Queenstown, and is visible at a great distance.

We breakfasted at Lewiston, but felt every cup of coffee as a
sin, so impatient were we, as we approached the end of our long
pilgrimage, to reach the shrine, which nature seems to have
placed at such a distance from her worshippers on purpose to try
the strength of their devotion.

A few miles more would bring us to the high altar, but first we
had to cross the ferry, for we were determined upon taking our
first view from British ground.  The Niagara river is very lovely
here; the banks are bold, rugged, and richly coloured, both by
rocks and woods; and the stream itself is bright, clear, and
unspeakably green.

In crossing the ferry a fellow-passenger made many enquiries of
the young boatman respecting the battle of Queenstown; he was but
a lad, and could remember little about it, but he was a British
lad, and his answers smacked strongly of his loyal British
feeling.  Among other things, the questioner asked if many
American citizens had not been thrown from the heights into the
river.

"Why, yes, there was a good many of them; but it was right to
show them there was water between us, and you know it might help
to keep the rest of them from coming to trouble us on our own
ground."

This phrase, "our own ground," gave interest to every mile, or I
believe I should have shut my eyes, and tried to sleep, that I
might annihilate what remained of time and space between me and
Niagara.

But I was delighted to see British oaks, and British roofs, and
British boys and girls.  These latter, as if to impress upon us
that they were not citizens, made bows and courtseys as we
passed, and this little touch of long unknown civility produced
great effect.  "See these dear children, mamma! do they not look
English? how I love them!" was the exclamation it produced.



CHAPTER 33

Niagara--Arrival at Forsythes--First sight of the Falls--
Goat Island--The Rapids--Buffalo--Lake Erie--Canandaigna--
Stage-coach adventures



At length we reached Niagara.  It was the brightest day that June
could give; and almost any day would have seemed bright that
brought me to the object, which for years, I had languished to
look upon.

We did not hear the sound of the Falls till very near the hotel,
which overhangs them; as you enter the door you see behind the
hall an open space surrounded by galleries, one above another,
and in an instant you feel that from thence the wonder is
visible.

I trembled like a fool, and my girls clung to me, trembling too,
I believe, but with faces beaming with delight.  We encountered a
waiter who had a sympathy of some sort with us, for he would not
let us run through the hall to the first gallery, but ushered us
up stairs, and another instant placed us where, at one glance, I
saw all I had wished for, hoped for, dreamed of.

It is not for me to attempt a description of Niagara; I feel I
have no powers for it.

After one long, stedfast gaze, we quitted the gallery that we
might approach still nearer, and in leaving the house had the
good fortune to meet an English gentleman, (The accomplished
author of "Cyril Thornton.") who had been introduced to us at New
York; he had preceded us by a few days, and knew exactly how and
where to lead us.  If any man living can describe the scene we
looked upon it is himself, and I trust he will do it.  As for
myself, I can only say, that wonder, terror, and delight
completely overwhelmed me.  I wept with a strange mixture of
pleasure and of pain, and certainly was, for some time, too
violently affected in the _physique_ to be capable of much
pleasure; but when this emotion of the senses subsided, and I had
recovered some degree of composure, my enjoyment was very great
indeed.

To say that I was not disappointed is but a weak expression to
convey the surprise and astonishment which this long dreamed of
scene produced.  It has to me something beyond its vastness;
there is a shadowy mystery hangs about it which neither the eye
nor even the imagination can penetrate; but I dare not dwell on
this, it is a dangerous subject, and any attempt to describe the
sensations produced must lead direct to nonsense.

Exactly at the Fall, it is the Fall and nothing else you have to
look upon; there are not, as at Trenton, mighty rocks and
towering forests, there is only the waterfall; but it is the fall
of an ocean, and were Pelion piled on Ossa on either side of it,
we could not look at them.

The noise is greatly less than I expected; one can hear with
perfect distinctness everything said in an ordinary tone, when
quite close to the cataract.  The cause of this, I imagine to be,
that it does not fall immediately among rocks, like the far
noisier Potomac, but direct and unbroken, save by its own
rebound.  The colour of the water, before this rebound hides it
in foam and mist, is of the brightest and most delicate green;
the violence of the impulse sends it far over the precipice
before it falls, and the effect of the ever varying light through
its transparency is, I think, the loveliest thing I ever looked
upon.

We descended to the edge of the gulf which received the torrent,
and thence looked at the horse-shoe fall in profile; it seems
like awful daring to stand close beside it, and raise one's eyes
to its immensity.  I think the point the most utterly
inconceivable to those who have not seen it, is the centre of the
horse-shoe.  The force of the torrent converges there, and as the
heavy mass pours in, twisted, wreathed, and curled together, it
gives an idea of irresistible power, such as no other object ever
conveyed to me.

The following anecdote, which I had from good authority, may give
some notion of this mighty power.

After the last American war, three of our ships stationed on Lake
Erie were declared unfit for service, and condemned.  Some of
their officers obtained permission to send them over Niagara
Falls.  The first was torn to shivers by the rapids, and went
over in fragments; the second filled with water before she
reached the fall; but the third, which was in better condition,
took the leap gallantly, and retained her form till it was hid in
the cloud of mist below.  A reward of ten dollars was offered for
the largest fragment of wood that should be found from either
wreck, five for the second, and so on.  One morsel only was ever
seen, and that about a foot in length, was mashed as by a vice,
and its edges notched like the teeth of a saw.  What had become
of the immense quantity of wood which had been precipitated? What
unknown whirlpool had engulphed it, so that, contrary to the very
laws of nature, no vestige of the floating material could find
its way to the surface?

Beyond the horse-shoe is Goat Island, and beyond Goat Island the
American fall, bold, straight, and chafed to snowy whiteness by
the rocks which meet it; but it does not approach, in sublimity
or awful beauty, to the wondrous crescent on the other shore.
There, the form of the mighty cauldron, into which the deluge
poors, the hundred silvery torrents congregating round its verge,
the smooth and solemn movement with which it rolls its massive
volume over the rock, the liquid emerald of its long unbroken
waters, the fantastic wreaths which spring to meet it, and then,
the shadowy mist that veils the horrors of its crash below,
constitute a scene almost too enormous in its features for man to
look upon.  "Angels might tremble as they gazed;" and I should
deem the nerves obtuse, rather than strong, which did not quail
at the first sight of this stupendous cataract.

Minute local particulars can be of no interest to those who have
not felt their influence for pleasure or for pain.  I will not
tell of giddy stairs which scale the very edge of the torrent,
nor of beetling slabs of table rock, broken and breaking, on
which, shudder as you may, you must take your stand or lose your
reputation as a tourist.  All these feats were performed again
and again even on the first day of our arrival, and most earthly
weary was I when the day was done, though I would not lose the
remembrance of it to purchase the addition of many soft and
silken ones to my existence.

By four o'clock the next morning I was again at the little
shantee, close to the horse-shoe fall, which seems reared in
water rather than in air, and took an early shower-bath of spray.
Much is concealed at this early hour by the heavy vapour, but
there was a charm in the very obscurity; and every moment, as the
light increased, cloud after cloud rolled off, till the vast
wonder was again before me.

It is in the afternoon that the rainbow is visible from the
British side; and it is a lovely feature in the mighty landscape.
The gay arch springs from fall to fall, a fairy bridge.

After breakfast we crossed to the American side, and explored
Goat Island.  The passage across the Niagara, directly in face of
the falls, is one of the most delightful little voyages
imaginable; the boat crosses marvellously near them, and within
reach of a light shower of spray.  Real safety and apparent
danger have each their share in the pleasure felt.  The river is
here two hundred feet deep.  The passage up the rock brings you
close upon the American cataract; it is a vast sheet, and has all
the sublimity that height and width, and uproar can give; but it
has none of the magic of its rival about it.  Goat Island has, at
all points, a fine view of the rapids; the furious velocity with
which they rush onward to the abyss is terrific; and the throwing
a bridge across them was a work of noble daring.

Below the falls, the river runs between lofty rocks, crowned with
unbroken forests; this scene forms a striking contrast to the
level shores above the cataract.  It appears as if the level of
the river had been broken up by some volcanic force.  The Niagara
flows out of Lake Erie, a broad, deep river; but for several
miles its course is tranquil, and its shores perfectly level.  By
degrees its bed begins to sink, and the glassy smoothness is
disturbed by a slight ripple.  The inverted trees, that before
lay so softly still upon its bosom, become twisted and tortured
till they lose their form, and seem madly to mix in the tumult
that destroys them.  The current becomes more rapid at every
step, till rock after rock has chafed the stream to fury, making
the green one white.  This lasts for a mile, and then down sink
the rocks at once, one hundred and fifty feet, and the enormous
flood falls after them.  God said, let there be a cataract, and
it was so.  When the river has reached its new level, the
precipice on either side shows a terrific chasm of solid rock;
some beautiful plants are clinging to its sides, and oak, ash,
and cedar, in many places, clothe their terrors with rich
foliage.

This violent transition from level shores to a deep ravine, seems
to indicate some great convulsion as its cause, and when I heard
of a burning spring close by, I fancied the volcanic power still
at work, and that the wonders of the region might yet increase.

We passed four delightful days of excitement and fatigue; we
drenched ourselves in spray; we cut our feet on the rocks; we
blistered our faces in the sun; we looked up the cataract, and
down the cataract; we perched ourselves on every pinnacle we
could find; we dipped our fingers in the flood at a few yards'
distance from its thundering fall; in short, we strove to fill as
many niches of memory with Niagara as possible; and I think the
images will be within the power of recall for ever.

We met many groups of tourists in our walks, chiefly American,
but they were, or we fancied they were, but little observant of
the wonders around them.

One day we were seated on a point of the cliff, near the ferry,
which commands a view of both the Falls.  This, by the way, is
considered as the finest general view of the scene.  One of our
party was employed in attempting to sketch, what, however, I
believe it is impossible for any pencil to convey an idea of to
those who have not seen it.  We had borrowed two or three chairs
from a neighbouring cottage, and amongst us had gathered a
quantity of boughs which, with the aid of shawls and parasols, we
had contrived to weave into a shelter from the midday sun, so
that altogether I have no doubt we looked very cool and
comfortable.

A large party who had crossed from the American side, wound up
the steep ascent from the place where the boat had left them; in
doing so their backs were turned to the cataracts, and as they
approached the summit, our party was the principal object before
them.  They all stood perfectly still to look at us.  This first
examination was performed at the distance of about a dozen yard
from the spot we occupied, and lasted about five minutes, by
which time they had recovered breath, and acquired courage.  They
then advanced in a body, and one or two of them began to examine
(wrong side upwards) the work of the sketcher, in doing which
they stood precisely between him and his object; but of this I
think it is very probable they were not aware.  Some among them
next began to question us as to how long we had been at the
Falls; whether there were much company; if we were not from the
old country, and the like.  In return we learnt that they were
just arrived; yet not one of them (there were eight) ever turned
the head, even for a moment, to look at the most stupendous
spectacle that nature has to show.

The company at the hotel changed almost every day.  Many parties
arrived in the morning, walked to the falls; returned to the
hotel to dinner, and departed by the coach immediately after it.
Many groups were indescribably whimsical, both in appearance and
manner.  Now and then a first-rate dandy shot in among us, like a
falling star.

On one occasion, when we were in the beautiful gallery, at the
back of the hotel, which overlooks the horse-shoe fall, we saw
the booted leg of one of this graceful race protruded from the
window which commands the view, while his person was thrown back
in his chair, and his head enveloped in a cloud of tobacco smoke.

I have repeatedly remarked, when it has happened to me to meet
any ultra fine men among the wilder and more imposing scenes of
our own land, that they throw off, in a great degree, their
airs, and their "townliness," as some one cleverly calls these
_simagrees_, as if ashamed to "play their fantastic tricks"
before the god of nature, when so forcibly reminded of his
presence; and more than once on these occasions I have been
surprised to find how much intellect lurked behind the inane
mask of fashion.  But in America the effect of fine scenery
upon this class of persons is different, for it is exactly
when amongst it, that the most strenuous efforts at elegant
_nonchalance_ are perceptible among the young exquisites of the
western world.  It is true that they have little leisure for the
display of grace in the daily routine of commercial activity in
which their lives are passed, and this certainly offers a
satisfactory explanation of the fact above stated.

Fortunately for our enjoyment, the solemn character of the scene
was but little broken in upon by these gentry.  Every one who
comes to Forsythe's Hotel (except Mrs. Bogle Corbet), walks to
the shantee, writes their name in a book which is kept there,
and, for the most part, descends by the spiral staircase which
leads from the little platform before it, to the rocks below.
Here they find another shantee, but a few yards from the entrance
of that wondrous cavern which is formed by the falling flood on
one side, and by the mighty rock over which it pours, on the
other.  To this frail shelter from the wild uproar, and the
blinding spray, nearly all the touring gentlemen, and even many
of the pretty ladies, find their way.  But here I often saw their
noble daring fail, and have watched them dripping and draggled
turn again to the sheltering stairs, leaving us in full
possession of the awful scene we so dearly loved to gaze upon.
How utterly futile must every attempt be to describe the spot!
How vain every effort to convey an idea of the sensations it
produces!  Why is it so exquisite a pleasure to stand for hours
drenched in spray, stunned by the ceaseless roar, trembling from
the concussion that shakes the very rock you cling to, and
breathing painfully in the moist atmosphere that seems to have
less of air than water in it?  Yet pleasure it is, and I almost
think the greatest I ever enjoyed.  We more than once approached
the entrance to this appalling cavern, but I never fairly entered
it, though two or three of my party did.  I lost my breath
entirely; and the pain at my chest was so severe, that not all my
curiosity could enable me to endure it.

What was that cavern of the winds, of which we heard of old,
compared to this?  A mightier spirit than Aeolus reigns here.

Nor was this spot of dread and danger the only one in which we
found ourselves alone.  The path taken by "the company" to the
shantee, which contained the "book of names" was always the same;
this wound down the steep bank from the gate of the hotel garden,
and was rendered tolerably easy by its repeated doublings; but it
was by no means the best calculated to manage to advantage the
pleasure of the stranger in his approach to the spot.  All
others, however, seemed left for us alone.

During our stay we saw the commencement of another staircase,
intended to rival in attraction that at present in use; it is but
a few yards from it, and can in no way, I think, contribute to
the convenience of the descent.  The erection of the central
shaft of this spiral stair was a most tremendous operation, and
made me sick and giddy as I watched it.  After it had been made
fast at the bottom, the carpenters swung themselves off the
rocks, by the means of ropes, to the beams which traversed it;
and as they sat across them, in the midst of the spray and the
uproar, I thought I had never seen life periled so wantonly.  But
the work proceeded without accident, and was nearly finished
before we left the hotel.

It was a sort of pang to take what we knew must be our last look
at Niagara; but "we had to do it," as the Americans say, and left
it on the 10th June, for Buffalo.

The drive along the river, above the Falls, is as beautiful as a
clear stream of a mile in width can make it; and the road
continues close to it till you reach the ferry at Black Rock.

We welcomed, almost with a shout, the British colours which we
saw, for the first time, on Commodore Barrie's pretty sloop, the
_Bull Dog_, which we passed as it was towing up the river to Lake
Erie, the commodore being about to make a tour of the lakes.

At Black Rock we crossed again into the United States, and a few
miles of horrible jolting brought us to Buffalo.

Of all the thousand and one towns I saw in America, I think
Buffalo is the queerest looking; it is not quite so wild as
Lockport, but all the buildings have the appearance of having
been run up in a hurry, though every thing has an air of great
pretension; there are porticos, columns, domes, and colonnades,
but all in wood.  Every body tells you there, as in all their
other new-born towns, and every body believes, that their
improvement, and their progression, are more rapid, more
wonderful, than the earth ever before witnessed; while to me,
the only wonder is, how so many thousands, nay millions of
persons, can be found, in the nineteenth century, who can be
content so to live.  Surely this country may be said to spread
rather than to rise.

The Eagle Hotel, an immense wooden fabric, has all the
pretension of a splendid establishment, but its monstrous
corridors, low ceilings, and intricate chambers, gave me the
feeling of a catacomb rather than a house.  We arrived after
the _table d'hote_ tea-drinking was over, and supped comfortably
enough with a gentleman, who accompanied us from the Falls: but
the next morning we breakfasted in a long, low, narrow room,
with a hundred persons, and any thing less like comfort can
hardly be imagined.

What can induce so many intellectual citizens to prefer these
long, silent tables, scantily covered with morsels of fried ham,
salt fish and liver, to a comfortable loaf of bread with their
wives and children at home?  How greatly should I prefer eating
my daily meals with my family, in an Indian wig-wam, to boarding
at a _table d'hote_ in these capacious hotels; the custom,
however, seems universal through the country, at least we have
met it, without a shadow of variation as to its general features,
from New Orleans to Buffalo.

Lake Erie has no beauty to my eyes; it is not the sea, and it is
not the river, nor has it the beautiful scenery generally found
round smaller lakes.  The only interest its unmeaning expanse
gave me, arose from remembering that its waters, there so tame
and tranquil, were destined to leap the gulf of Niagara.  A
dreadful road, through forests only beginning to be felled,
brought us to Avon; it is a straggling, ugly little place, and
not any of their "Romes, Carthages, Ithacas, or Athens," ever
provoked me by their name so much.  This Avon flows sweetly with
nothing but whiskey and tobacco juice.

The next day's journey was much more interesting, for it showed
us the lake of Canandaigua.  It is about eighteen miles long, but
narrow enough to bring the opposite shore, clothed with rich
foliage, near to the eye; the back-ground is a ridge of
mountains.  Perhaps the state of the atmosphere lent an unusual
charm to the scene; one of those sudden thunderstorms, so rapid
in approach, and so sombre in colouring, that they change the
whole aspect of things in a moment, rose over the mountains and
passed across the lake while we looked upon it.  Another feature
in the scene gave a living, but most sad interest to it.  A
glaring wooden hotel, as fine as paint and porticos can make it,
overhangs the lake; beside it stands a shed for cattle.  To this
shed, and close by the white man's mushroom palace, two Indians
had crept to seek a shelter from the storm.  The one was an aged
man, whose venerable head in attitude and expression indicated
the profoundest melancholy: the other was a youth, and in his
deep-set eye there was a quiet sadness more touching still.
There they stood, the native rightful lords of the fair land,
looking out upon the lovely lake which yet bore the name their
fathers had given it, watching the threatening storm that brooded
there; a more fearful one had already burst over them.

Though I have mentioned the lake first, the little town of
Canandaigua precedes it, in returning from the West.  It is as
pretty a village as ever man contrived to build.  Every house is
surrounded by an ample garden, and at that flowery season they
were half buried in roses.

It is true these houses are of wood, but they are so neatly
painted, in such perfect repair, and show so well within their
leafy setting, that it is impossible not to admire them.

Forty-six miles farther is Geneva, beautifully situated on Seneca
Lake.  This, too, is a lovely sheet of water, and I think the
town may rival its European namesake in beauty.

We slept at Auburn, celebrated for its prison, where the
highly-approved system of American discipline originated.  In
this part of the country there is no want of churches; every
little village has its wooden temple, and many of them too; that
the Methodists and Presbyterians may not clash.

We passed through an Indian reserve, and the untouched forests
again hung close upon the road.  Repeated groups of Indians
passed us, and we remarked that they were much cleaner and better
dressed than those we had met wandering far from their homes.
The blankets which they use so gracefully as mantles were as
white as snow.

We took advantage of the loss of a horse's shoe, to leave the
coach, and approach a large party of them, consisting of men,
women, and children, who were regaling themselves with I know not
what, but milk made a part of the repast.  They could not talk to
us, but they received us with smiles, and seemed to understand
when we asked if they had mocassins to sell, for they shook their
sable locks, and answered "no."  A beautiful grove of butternut
trees was pointed out to us, as the spot where the chiefs of the
six nations used to hold their senate; our informer told me that
he had been present at several of their meetings, and though he
knew but little of their language, the power of their eloquence
was evident from the great effect it produced among themselves.

Towards the end of this day, we encountered an adventure which
revived our doubts whether the invading white men, in chasing
the poor Indians from their forests, have done much towards
civilizing the land.  For myself, I almost prefer the indigenous
manner to the exotic.

The coach stopped to take in "a lady" at Vernon; she entered, and
completely filled the last vacant inch of our vehicle; for "we
were eight" before.

But no sooner was she seated, than her _beau_ came forward with a
most enormous wooden best-bonnet box.  He paused for a while to
meditate the possibilities--raised it, as if to place it on our
laps--sunk it, as if to put it beneath our feet.  Both alike
appeared impossible; when, in true Yankee style he addressed one
of our party with.  If you'll just step out a minute, I guess
I'll find room for it."

"Perhaps so.  But how shall I find room for myself afterwards?"

This was uttered in European accents, and in an instant half a
dozen whiskey drinkers stepped from before the whiskey store, and
took the part of the _beau_.

"That's because you'll be English travellers I expect, but we
have travelled in better countries than Europe--we have travelled
in America--and the box will go, I calculate."

We remonstrated on the evident injustice of the proceeding, and I
ventured to say, that as we had none of us any luggage in the
carriage, because the space was so very small, I thought a chance
passenger could have no right so greatly to incommode us.

"Right!--there they go--that's just their way--that will do in
Europe, may be; it sounds just like English tyranny, now don't
it? but it won't do here."  And thereupon he began thrusting in
the wooden box against our legs, with all his strength.

"No law, sir, can permit such conduct as this."

"Law!" exclaimed a gentleman very particularly drunk, "we makes
our own laws, and governs our own selves."

"Law!" echoed another gentleman of Vernon, "this is a free
country, _we have no laws here_, and we don't want no foreign
power to tyrannize over us."

295

I give the words exactly.  It is, however, but fair to state,
that the party had evidently been drinking more than an usual
portion of whiskey, but, perhaps, in whiskey, as in wine, truth
may come to light.  At any rate the people of the Western
Paradise follow the Gentiles in this, that they are a law unto
themselves.

During the contest, the coachman sat upon the box without saying
a word, but seemed greatly to enjoy the joke; the question of the
box, however, was finally decided in our favour by the nature of
the human material, which cannot be compressed beyond a certain
degree.

For the great part of this day we had the good fortune to have a
gentleman and his daughter for our fellow-travellers, who were
extremely intelligent and agreeable; but I nearly got myself into
a scrape by venturing to remark upon a phrase used by the
gentleman, and which had met me at every corner from the time I
first entered the country.  We had been talking of pictures, and
I had endeavoured to adhere to the rule I had laid down for
myself, of saying very little, where I could say nothing
agreeable.  At length he named an American artist, with whose
works I was very familiar, and after having declared him equal to
Lawrence (judging by his portrait of West, now at New York), he
added, "and what is more, madam, he is perfectly _self-taught_."

I prudently took a few moments before I answered; for the
equalling our immortal Lawrence to a most vile dauber stuck in my
throat; I could not say Amen; so for some time I said nothing;
but, at last, I remarked on the frequency with which I had heard
this phrase of _self-taught_ used, not as an apology, but as
positive praise.

"Well, madam, can there be a higher praise?"

"Certainly not, if spoken of the individual merits of a person,
without the means of instruction, but I do not understand it when
applied as praise to his works."

"Not understand it, madam?  Is it not attributing genius to the
author, and what is teaching compared to that?"

296

I do not wish to repeat all my own _bons mots_ in praise of
study, and on the disadvantages of profound ignorance, but I
would, willingly, if I could, give an idea of the mixed
indignation and contempt expressed by our companion at the idea
that study was necessary to the formation of taste, and to the
development of genius.  At last, however, he closed the
discussion thus,--"There is no use in disputing a point that is
already settled, madam; the best judges declare that Mr. H--g's
portraits are equal to that of Lawrence."

"Who is it who has passed this judgement, sir?"

"The men of taste of America, madam."

I then asked him, if he thought it was going to rain?



The stages do not appear to have any regular stations at which
to stop for breakfast, dinner, and supper.  These necessary
interludes, therefore, being generally _impromptu_, were
abominably bad.  We were amused by the patient manner in which
our American fellow-travellers ate whatever was set before them,
without uttering a word of complaint, or making any effort to
improve it, but no sooner reseated in the stage, than they began
their complaints--"twas a shame"--"twas a robbery"--"twas
poisoning folks"--and the like.  I, at last, asked the reason of
this, and why they did not remonstrate?  "Because, madam, no
American gentleman or lady that keeps an inn won't bear to be
found fault with."

We reached Utica very late and very weary; but the delights of a
good hotel and perfect civility sent us in good humour to bed,
and we arose sufficiently refreshed to enjoy a day's journey
through some of the loveliest scenery in the world.

Who is it that says America is not picturesque?  I forget; but
surely he never travelled from Utica to Albany.  I really cannot
conceive that any country can furnish a drive of ninety-six miles
more beautiful, or more varied in its beauty.  The road follows
the Mohawk River, which flows through scenes changing from
fields, waving with plenty, to rocks and woods; gentle slopes,
covered with cattle, are divided from each other by precipices
500 feet high.  Around the little falls there is a character of
beauty as singular as it is striking.  Here, as I observed of
many other American rivers, the stream appears to run in a much
narrower channel than it once occupied, and the space which it
seems formerly to have filled, is now covered with bright green
herbage, save that, at intervals, large masses of rock rise
abruptly from the level turf; these are crowned with all such
trees as love the scanty diet which a rock affords.  Dwarf oak,
cedars, and the mountain ash, are grouped in a hundred different
ways among them; each clump you look upon is lovelier than its
neighbour; I never saw so sweetly wild a spot.

I was surprised to hear a fellow-traveller say, as we passed a
point of peculiar beauty, "all this neighbourhood belongs, or did
belong, to Mr. Edward Ellice, an English Member of Parliament,
but he has sold a deal of it, and now, madam, you may see as it
begins to improve;" and he pointed to a great wooden edifice,
where, on the white paint, "Cash for Rags," in letters three feet
high, might be seen.

I then remembered that it was near this spot that my Yankee
friend had made his complaint against English indifference to
"water privilege."  He did not name Mr. Edward Ellice, but
doubtless he was the "English, as never thought of improvement."

I have often confessed my conscious incapacity for description,
but I must repeat it here to apologize for my passing so dully
through this matchless valley of the Mohawk.  I would that some
British artist, strong in youthful daring, would take my word for
it, and pass over, for a summer pilgrimage through the State of
New York.  In very earnest, he would wisely, for I question if
the world could furnish within the same space, and with equal
facility of access, so many subjects for his pencil.  Mountains,
forests, rocks, lakes, rivers, cataracts, all in perfection.  But
he must be bold as a lion in colouring, or he will make nothing
of it.  There is a clearness of atmosphere, a strength of _chiaro
oscuro_, a massiveness in the foliage, and a brilliance of
contrast, that must make a colourist of any one who has an eye.
He must have courage to dip his pencil in shadows black as night,
and light that might blind an eagle.  As I presume my young
artist to be an enthusiast, he must first go direct to Niagara,
or even in the Mohawk valley his pinioned wing may droop.  If his
fever run very high, he may slake his thirst at Trenton, and
while there, he will not dream of any thing beyond it.  Should my
advice be taken, I will ask the young adventurer on his return
(when he shall have made a prodigious quantity of money by my
hint), to reward me by two sketches.  One shall be the lake of
Canandaigua; the other the Indians' Senate Grove of Butternuts.

During our journey, I forget on which day of it, a particular
spot in the forest, at some distance from the road, was pointed
out to us as the scene of a true, but very romantic story.
During the great and the terrible French revolution (1792), a
young nobleman escaped from the scene of horror, having with
difficulty saved his head, and without the possibility of saving
any thing else.  He arrived at New York nearly destitute; and
after passing his life, not only in splendour, but in the
splendour of the court of France, he found himself jostled by the
busy population of the New World, without a dollar between him
and starvation.  In such a situation one might almost sigh for
the guillotine.  The young noble strove to labour; but who would
purchase the trembling efforts of his white hands, while the
sturdy strength of many a black Hercules was in the market?  He
abandoned the vain attempt to sustain himself by the aid of his
fellow-men, and determined to seek a refuge in the forest.  A few
shillings only remained to him; he purchased an axe, and reached
the Oneida territory.  He felled a few of the slenderest trees,
and made himself a shelter that Robinson Crusoe would have
laughed at, for it did not keep out the rain.  Want of food,
exposure to the weather, and unwonted toil, produced the natural
result; the unfortunate young man fell sick, and stretched upon
the reeking earth, stifled, rather than sheltered, by the
withering boughs which hung over him; he lay parched with thirst,
and shivering in ague, with the one last earthly hope, that each
heavy moment would prove the last.

Near to the spot which he had chosen for his miserable rest, but
totally concealed from it by the thick forest, was the last
straggling wigwam of an Indian village.  It is not known how many
days the unhappy man had lain without food, but he was quite
insensible when a young squaw, whom chance had brought from this
wigwam to his hut, entered, and found him alive, but totally
insensible.  The heart of woman is, I believe, pretty much the
same every where; the young girl paused not to think whether he
were white or red, but her fleet feet rested not till she had
brought milk, rum, and blankets, and when the sufferer recovered
his senses, his head was supported on her lap, while, with the
gentle tenderness of a mother, she found means to make him
swallow the restoratives she had brought.

No black eyes in the world, be they of France, Italy, or even
of Spain, can speak more plainly of kindness, than the large
deep-set orbs of a squaw; this is a language that all nations
can understand, and the poor Frenchman read most clearly, in
the anxious glance of his gentle nurse, that he should not die
forsaken.

So far the story is romantic enough, and what follows is hardly
less so.  The squaw found means to introduce her white friend to
her tribe; he was adopted as their brother, speedily acquired
their language, and assumed their dress and manner of life.  His
gratitude to his preserver soon ripened into love, and if the
chronicle spoke true, the French noble and the American savage
were more than passing happy as man and wife, and it was not till
he saw himself the father of many thriving children that the
exile began to feel a wish of rising again from savage to
civilized existence.

My historian did not explain what his project was in visiting
New York, but he did so in the habit of an Indian, and learnt
enough of the restored tranquillity of his country to give him
hope that some of the broad lands he had left there might be
restored to him.

I have made my story already too long, and must not linger upon
it farther than to say that his hopes were fulfilled, and that,
of a large and flourishing family, some are settled in France,
and some remain in America, (one of these, I understood, was a
lawyer at New York), while the hero and the heroine of the tale
continue to inhabit the Oneida country, not in a wigwam, however,
but in a good house, in a beautiful situation, with all the
comforts of civilized life around them.

Such was the narrative we listened to, from a stage coach
companion; and it appears to me sufficiently interesting to
repeat, though I have no better authority to quote for its
truth, than the assertion of this unknown traveller.



CHAPTER 34

Return to New York--Conclusion



The comfortable Adelphi Hotel again received us at Albany, on the
14th of June, and we decided upon passing the following day
there, both to see the place, and to recruit our strength, which
we began to feel we had taxed severely by a very fatiguing
journey, in most oppressively hot weather.  It would have been
difficult to find a better station for repose; the rooms were
large and airy, and ice was furnished in most profuse abundance.

But notwithstanding the manifold advantages of this excellent
hotel, I was surprised at the un-English arrangement communicated
to me by two ladies with whom we made a speaking acquaintance,
by which it appeared that they made it their permanent home.
These ladies were a mother and daughter; the daughter was an
extremely pretty young married woman, with two little children.
Where the husbands were, or whether they were dead or alive, I
know not; but they told me they had been _boarding_ there above
a year. They breakfasted, dined, and supped at the _table
d'hote_, with from twenty to a hundred people, as accident might
decide; dressed very smart, played on the piano, in the public
sitting-room, and assured me they were particularly comfortable
and well accommodated.  What a life!

Some parts of the town are very handsome; the Town Hall, the
Chamber of Representatives, and some other public buildings,
stand well on a hill that overlooks the Hudson, with ample
enclosures of grass and trees around them.

Many of the shops are large, and showily set out.  I was amused
by a national trait which met me at one of them.  I entered it to
purchase some _eau de Cologne_, but finding what was offered to
me extremely bad, and very cheap, I asked if they had none at a
higher price, and better.

"You are a stranger, I guess," was the answer.  "The Yankees want
low price, that's all; they don't stand so much for goodness as
the English."

Nothing could be more beautiful than our passage down the Hudson
on the following day, as I thought of some of my friends in
England, dear lovers of the picturesque, I could not but exclaim,

      "Que je vous plains! que je vous plains!
       Vous ne la verrez pas."

Not even a moving panoramic view, gliding before their eyes for
an hour together, in all the scenic splendour of Drury Lane, or
Covent Garden, could give them an idea of it.  They could only
see one side at a time.  The change, the contrast, the ceaseless
variety of beauty, as you skim from side to side, the liquid
smoothness of the broad mirror that reflects the scene, and most
of all, the clear bright air through which you look at it; all
this can only be seen and believed by crossing the Atlantic.

As we approached New York the burning heat of the day relaxed,
and the long shadows of evening fell coolly on the beautiful
villas we passed.  I really can conceive nothing more exquisitely
lovely than this approach to the city.  The magnificent boldness
of the Jersey shore on the one side, and the luxurious softness
of the shady lawns on the other, with the vast silvery stream
that flows between them, altogether form a picture which may well
excuse a traveller for saying, once and again, that the Hudson
river can be surpassed in beauty by none on the outside of
Paradise.

It was nearly dark when we reached the city, and it was with
great satisfaction that we found our comfortable apartments in
Hudson Street unoccupied; and our pretty, kind (Irish) hostess
willing to receive us again.  We passed another fortnight there;
and again we enjoyed the elegant hospitality of New York, though
now it was offered from beneath the shade of their beautiful
villas.  In truth, were all America like this fair city, and all,
no, only a small proportion of its population like the friends we
left there, I should say, that the land was the fairest in the
world.

But the time was come to bid it adieu!  The important business of
securing our homeward passage was to be performed.  One must know
what it is to cross the ocean before the immense importance of
all the little details of accommodation can be understood.  The
anxious first look: into the face of the captain, to ascertain if
he be gentle or rough; another, scarcely less important, in that
of the steward, generally a sable one, but not the less
expressive; the accurate, but rapid glance of measurement thrown
round the little state-rooms; another at the good or bad
arrangement of the stair-case, by which you are to stumble up and
stumble down, from cabin to deck, and from deck to cabin; all
this, they only can understand who have felt it.  At length,
however, this interesting affair was settled, and most happily.
The appearance promised well, and the performance bettered it.
We hastened to pack up our "trumpery," as Captain Mirven
unkindly calls the paraphernalia of the ladies, and among the
rest, my six hundred pages of griffonage.  There is enough of it,
yet I must add a few more lines.

I suspect that what I have written will make it evident that I do
not like America.  Now, as it happens that I met with individuals
there whom I love and admire, far beyond the love and admiration
of ordinary acquaintance, and as I declare the country to be fair
to the eye, and most richly teeming with the gifts of plenty, I
am led to ask myself why it is that I do not like it.  I would
willingly know myself, and confess to others, why it is that
neither its beauty nor its abundance can suffice to neutralize,
or greatly soften, the distaste which the aggregate of my
recollections has left upon my mind.

I remember hearing it said, many years ago, when the advantages
and disadvantages of a particular residence were being discussed,
that it was the "who?" and not the "where?" that made the
difference between the pleasant or unpleasant residence.  The
truth of the observation struck me forcibly when I heard it; and
it has been recalled to my mind since, by the constantly
recurring evidence of its justness.  In applying this to America,
I speak not of my friends, nor of my friends' friends.  The small
patrician band is a race apart; they live with each other, and
for each other; mix wondrously little with the high matters of
state, which they seem to leave rather supinely to their tailors
and tinkers, and are no more to be taken as a sample of the
American people, than the head of Lord Byron as a sample of the
heads of the British peerage.  I speak not of these, but of the
population generally, as seen in town and country, among the rich
and the poor, in the slave states, and the free states.  I do not
like them.  I do not like their principles, I do not like their
manners, I do not like their opinions.

Both as a woman, and as a stranger, it might be unseemly for me
to say that I do not like their government, and therefore I will
not say so.  That it is one which pleases themselves is most
certain, and this is considerably more important than pleasing
all the travelling old ladies in the world.  I entered the
country at New Orleans, remained for more than two years west of
the Alleghanies, and passed another year among the Atlantic
cities, and the country around them.  I conversed during this
time with citizens of all orders and degrees, and I never heard
from any one a single disparaging word against their government.
It is not, therefore, surprising, that when the people of that
country hear strangers questioning the wisdom of their
institutions, and expressing disapprobation at some of their
effects, they should set it down either to an incapacity
of judging, or a malicious feeling of envy and ill-will.

"How can any one in their senses doubt the excellence of a a
government which we have tried for half a century, and loved the
better the longer we have known it."  Such is the natural enquiry
of every American when the excellence of their government is
doubted; and I am inclined to answer, that no one in their
senses, who has visited the country, and known the people, can
doubt its fitness for them, such as they now are, or its utter
unfitness for any other people..

Whether the government has made the people what they are, or
whether the people have made the government what it is, to suit
themselves, I know not; but if the latter, they have shown a
consummation of wisdom which the assembled world may look upon
and admire.

It is a matter of historical notoriety that the original stock of
the white population now inhabiting the United States, were
persons who had banished themselves, or were banished from the
mother country.  The land they found was favourable to their
increase and prosperity; the colony grew and flourished.  Years
rolled on, and the children, the grand-children, and the great
grand-children of the first settlers, replenished the land, and
found it flowing with milk and honey.  That they should wish to
keep this milk and honey to themselves, is not very surprising.
What did the mother country do for them?  She sent them out gay
and gallant officers to guard their frontier; the which they
thought they could guard as well themselves; and then she taxed
their tea.  Now, this was disagreeable; and to atone for it, the
distant colony had no great share in her mother's grace and
glory.  It was not from among them that her high and mighty were
chosen; the rays which emanated from that bright sun of honour,
the British throne, reached them but feebly.  They knew not, they
cared not, for her kings nor her heroes; their thriftiest trader
was their noblest man; the holy seats of learning were but the
cradles of superstition; the splendour of the aristocracy, but a
leech that drew their "golden blood."  The wealth, the learning,
the glory of Britain, was to them nothing; the having their own
way every thing.

Can any blame their wish to obtain it?  Can any lament that they
succeeded?

And now the day was their own, what should they do next?  Their
elders drew together, and said, "Let us make a government that
shall suit us all; let it be rude, and rough, and noisy; let it
not affect either dignity, glory, or splendour; let it interfere
with no man's will, nor meddle with any man's business; let us
have neither tithes nor taxes, game laws, nor poor laws; let
every man have a hand in making the laws, and no man be troubled
about keeping them; let not our magistrates wear purple, nor our
judges ermine; if a man grow rich, let us take care that his
grandson be poor, and then we shall all keep equal; let every man
take care of himself, and if England should come to bother us
again, why then we will fight altogether."

Could any thing be better imagined than such a government for a
people so circumstanced?  Or is it strange that they are
contented with it?  Still less is it strange that those who have
lived in the repose of order, and felt secure that their country
could go on very well, and its business proceed without their
bawling and squalling, scratching and scrambling to help it,
should bless the gods that they are not republicans.

So far all is well.  That they should prefer a constitution which
suits them so admirably, to one which would not suit them at all,
is surely no cause of quarrel on our part; nor should it be such
on theirs, if we feel no inclination to exchange the institutions
which have made us what we are, for any other on the face of the
earth.

But when a native of Europe visits America, a most extraordinary
species of tyranny is set in action against him; and as far as my
reading and experience have enabled me to judge, it is such as no
other country has ever exercised against strangers.

The Frenchman visits England; he is _abime d'ennui_ at our
stately dinners; shrugs his shoulders at our _corps de ballet_,
and laughs _a gorge deployee_ at our passion for driving, and
our partial affection for roast beef and plum pudding.  The
Englishman returns the visit, and the first thing he does on
arriving at Paris, is to hasten to _le Theatre des Varietes_,
that he may see "_Les Anglaises pour rire_," and if among the
crowd of laughters, you hear a note of more cordial mirth than
the rest, seek out the person from whom it proceeds, and you
will find the Englishman.

The Italian comes to our green island, and groans at our climate;
he vows that the air which destroys a statue cannot be wholesome
for man; he sighs for orange trees, and maccaroni, and smiles at
the pretensions of a nation to poetry, while no epics are
chaunted through her streets.  Yet we welcome the sensitive
southern with all kindness, listen to his complaints with
interest, cultivate our little orange trees, and teach our
children to lisp Tasso, in the hope of becoming more agreeable.

Yet we are not at all superior to the rest of Europe in our
endurance of censure, nor is this wish to profit by it all
peculiar to the English; we laugh at, and find fault with, our
neighbours quite as freely as they do with us, and they join the
laugh, and adopt our fashions and our customs.  These mutual
pleasantries produce no shadow of unkindly feeling; and as long
as the governments are at peace with each other, the individuals
of every nation in Europe make it a matter of pride, as well as
of pleasure, to meet each other frequently, to discuss, compare,
and reason upon their national varieties, and to vote it a mark
of fashion and good taste to imitate each other in all the
external embellishments of life.

The consequence of this is most pleasantly perceptible at the
present time, in every capital of Europe.  The long peace has
given time for each to catch from each what was best in customs
and manners, and the rapid advance of refinement and general
information has been the result.

To those who have been accustomed to this state of things, the
contrast upon crossing to the new world is inconceivably
annoying; and it cannot be doubted that this is one great cause
of the general feeling of irksomeness, and fatigue of spirits,
which hangs upon the memory while recalling the hours passed in
American society.

A single word indicative of doubt, that any thing, or every
thing, in that country is not the very best in the world,
produces an effect which must be seen and felt to be understood.
If the citizens of the United States were indeed the devoted
patriots they call themselves, they would surely not thus encrust
themselves in the hard, dry, stubborn persuasion, that they are
the first and best of the human race, that nothing is to be
learnt, but what they are able to teach, and that nothing is
worth having, which they do not possess.

The art of man could hardly discover a more effectual antidote to
improvement, than this persuasion; and yet I never listened to
any public oration, or read any work, professedly addressed to
the country, in which they did not labour to impress it on the
minds of the people.

To hint to the generality of Americans that the silent current of
events may change their beloved government, is not the way to
please them; but in truth they need be tormented with no such
fear.  As long as by common consent they can keep down the
pre-eminence which nature has assigned to great powers, as long
as they can prevent human respect and human honour from resting
upon high talent, gracious manners, and exalted station, so long
may they be sure of going on as they are.

I have been told, however, that there are some among them who
would gladly see a change; some, who with the wisdom of
philosophers, and the fair candour of gentlemen, shrink from a
profession of equality which they feel to be untrue, and believe
to be impossible.

I can well believe that such there are, though to me no such
opinions were communicated, and most truly should I rejoice to
see power pass into such hands.

If this ever happens, if refinement once creeps in among them, if
they once learn to cling to the graces, the honours, the chivalry
of life, then we shall say farewell to American equality, and
welcome to European fellowship one of the finest countries on the
earth.



THE END





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