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Lands of the Slave and the Free by Henry A. Murray

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three feet four inches long, placed at right angles to the window, and
has a reversible back. There is a passage through the centre of the car,
between the rows of seats. In winter, a stove is always burning in each
carriage; and in one of them there is generally a small room
partitioned off, containing a water-closet, &c. A door is placed at
each extremity, outside which there is a platform whereon the break is
fixed. These carriages are supported at each end by four wheels, of
thirty-three inches diameter, fitted together in a frame-work, and
moving on a pivot, whereby to enable them to take more easily any sharp
bend in the road. Their weight is from ten to twelve tons, and their
cost from 400l. to 450l. sterling. The system of coupling adopted is
alike rude and uncomfortable; instead of screwing the carriages tightly
up against the buffers, as is the practice in England, they are simply
hooked together, thus subjecting the passengers to a succession of jerks
when starting, and consequently producing an equal number of concussions
when the train stops.

From the foregoing sketch, it will be seen that the narrowness of the
seats is such as to prevent its two occupants--if of ordinary
dimensions--from sitting together without rubbing shoulders. It will
also be observed, that the passage through the centre of the carriages
enables any one to pass with ease throughout the whole length of the
train. This is a privilege of which the mercurial blood and inquisitive
mind of the American take unlimited advantage, rendering the journey one
continued slamming of doors, which, if the homoeopathic principle be
correct, would prove an infallible cure for headache, could the sound
only be triturated, and passed through the finest sieve, so as to reach
the tympanum in infinitesimal doses. But, alas! it is administered
wholesale, and with such power, that almost before the ear catches the
sound, it is vibrating in the tendon Achilles. It is said by some, that
salmon get accustomed to crimping; and I suppose that, in like manner,
the American tympanum gets accustomed to this abominable clatter and

The luggage-van is generally placed between the carriages and the
engine. And here it is essential I should make some observations with
reference to the ticket system which is universally adopted in America.
Every passenger is furnished with brass tickets, numbered, and a
duplicate is attached to each article of luggage. No luggage is
delivered without the passenger producing the ticket corresponding to
that on the article claimed, the Company being responsible for any loss.
This system is peculiarly suited to the habits of the American
people, inasmuch as nine-tenths of them, if not more, upon arriving at
the end of their journey, invariably go to some hotel; and as each
establishment, besides providing an omnibus for the convenience of its
customers, has an agent ready to look after luggage, the traveller has
merely to give his ticket to that functionary, thus saving himself all
further trouble.

[Illustration: THE LOCOMOTIVE.]

The last, but not the least important, object connected with railways,
remains yet to be mentioned--viz., the locomotive. Its driving-wheels
are generally six feet and a half in diameter, the cylinder is sixteen
inches in diameter, and has a stroke of twenty-two inches. But the point
to which I wish to call especial attention, is the very sensible
provision made for the comfort of the engineer and stokers, who are
thoroughly protected by a weather-proof compartment, the sides whereof,
being made of glass, enable them to exercise more effective vigilance
than they possibly could do if they were exposed in the heartless manner
prevalent in this country.

From my subsequent experience in the railway travelling of the United
States, I am induced to offer the following suggestions for the
consideration of our legislature. First, for the protection of the old,
the helpless, or the desirous, an act should be passed, compelling every
railway company to supply tickets for luggage to each passenger applying
for them, provided that the said application be made within a given
period previous to the departure of the train; this ticket to insure the
delivery of the luggage at the proper station, and to the proper owner.

Secondly, an act compelling railway companies to afford efficient
protection from the weather to the engineer and stokers of every train,
holding the chairman and board of directors responsible in the heaviest
penalties for every accident that may occur where this simple and humane
provision is neglected.

Thirdly, an act requiring some system of communication between guard,
passengers, and engineer. The following rude method strikes me as so
obvious, that I wonder it has not been tried, until some better
substitute be found. Let the guard's seat project in all trains--as it
now does in some--beyond the carriages, thus enabling him to see the
whole length of one side of the train; carry the foot-board and the
hand-rail half way across the space between the carriages, by which
simple means the guard could walk outside from one end of the train to
the other, thus supervising everything, and gathering in the tickets _en
route_, instead of inconveniencing the public, as at present, by
detaining the train many minutes for that purpose.[D]

Next, fit every carriage with two strong metal pipes, running just over
the doors, and projecting a foot or so beyond the length of the
carriage, the end of the pipe to have a raised collar, by which means an
elastic gutta percha tube could connect the pipes while the carriages
were being attached; a branch tube of gutta percha should then be led
from the pipe on one side into each compartment, so that any passenger,
by blowing through it, would sound a whistle in the place appropriated
to the guard. On the opposite side, the pipes would be solely for
communication between the guard and engine-driver. Should the length of
any train be found too great for such communication, surely it were
better to sacrifice an extra guard's salary, than trifle with human life
in the way we have hitherto done. Each engine should have a second
whistle, with a trumpet tone, similar to that employed in America, to be
used in case of _danger_, the ordinary one being employed, as at
present, only to give warning of approach.

With these sagacious hints for the consideration of my countrymen, I
postpone for the present the subject of railways, and, in excuse for the
length of my remarks, have only to plead a desire to make railway
travelling in England more safe, and my future wanderings more
intelligible. I have much more to say with regard to New York and its
neighbourhood; but not wishing to overdose the reader at once, I shall
return to the subject in the pages, as I did to the place in my
subsequent travels.


[Footnote D: This power of supervision, on the part of the guard, might
also act as an effective check upon the operations of those swindling
gamblers who infest many of our railroads--especially the express trains
of the Edinburgh and Glasgow--in which, owing to no stoppage taking
place, they exercise their villanous calling with comparative impunity.]


_A Day on the North River_.

Early one fine morning in October, a four-seated fly might have been
seen at the door of Putnam's hotel, on the roof of which was being piled
a Babel of luggage, the inside being already full. Into another vehicle,
our party--i.e., three of us--entered, and ere long both the carriages
were on the banks of the river, where the steamer was puffing away,
impatient for a start. The hawsers were soon cast off, and we launched
forth on the bosom of the glorious Hudson, whose unruffled surface
blazed like liquid fire beneath the rays of the rising sun. I purposely
abstain from saying anything of the vessel, as she was an old one, and a
very bad specimen. The newer and better class of vessel, I shall have to
describe hereafter.

On leaving New York, the northern banks of the river are dotted in every
direction with neat little villas, the great want being turf, to which
the American climate is an inveterate foe. Abreast of one of these
villas, all around me is now smiling with peace and gladness; alas! how
different was the scene but a few months previous; then, struggling
bodies strewed the noble stream, and the hills and groves resounded with
the bitterest cries of human agony, as one of the leviathan steamers,
wrapped in a fierce and fiery mantle, hurried her living cargo to a
burning or a watery grave.

We had a motley collection of passengers, but were not overcrowded. Of
course, there was a Paddy on board. Where can one go without meeting one
of that migratory portion of our race! There he was, with his "shocking
bad hat," his freckled face, his bright eye, and his shrewd expression,
smoking his old "dudeen," and gazing at the new world around him. But
who shall say his thoughts were not in some wretched hovel in the land
of his birth, and his heart beating with the noble determination, that
when his industry met its reward, those who had shared his sorrows in
the crowded land of his fathers, should partake of his success in the
thinly-tenanted home of his adoption. Good luck to you, Paddy, with all
my heart!

I was rather amused by a story I heard, of a newly-arrived Paddy
emigrant, who, having got a little money, of course wanted a little
whisky. On going to the bar to ask the price, he was told
three-halfpence. "For how much?" quoth Paddy. The bottle was handed to
him, and he was told to take as much as he liked. Paddy's joy knew no
bounds at this liberality, and, unable to contain his ecstasy, he rushed
to the door to communicate the good news to his companions, which he did
in the following racy sentence: "Mike! Mike, my sowl! com' an' haf a
dhrink--only thruppence for both of us, an' the botthel in yer own

One unfortunate fellow on board had lost a letter of recommendation, and
was in great distress in consequence. I hope he succeeded in replacing
it better than a servant-girl is said to have done, under similar
circumstances, who--as the old story goes--having applied to the captain
of the vessel, received the following doubtful recommendation at the
hand of that functionary: "This is to certify that Kate Flannagan had a
good character when she embarked at New York, but she lost it on board
the steamer coming up. Jeremiah Peascod, Captain."

The scenery of the Hudson has been so well described, and so justly
eulogized, that I need say little on that score. In short, no words can
convey an adequate impression of the gorgeousness of the forest tints in
North America during the autumn. The foliage is inconceivably beautiful
and varied, from the broad and brightly dark purple leaf of the maple,
to the delicate and pale sere leaf of the poplar, all blending
harmoniously with the deep green of their brethren in whom the vital sap
still flows in full vigour. I have heard people compare the Hudson and
the Rhine. I cannot conceive two streams more totally dissimilar--the
distinctive features of one being wild forest scenery, glowing with
ever-changing hues, and suggestive of a new world; and those of the
other, the wild and craggy cliff capped with beetling fortresses, and
banks fringed with picturesque villages and towns, all telling of feudal
times and an old world. I should as soon think of comparing the castle
of Heidelberg, on its lofty hill with Buckingham Palace, in its
metropolitan hole.--But to return to the Hudson.

In various places you will see tramways from the top of the banks down
to the water; these are for the purpose of shooting down the ice, from
the lakes and ponds above, to supply the New York market. The ice-houses
are made on a slope, and fronting as much north as possible. They are
built of wood, and doubled, the space between which--about a foot and a
half--is filled with bark, tanned. In a bend of the river, I saw the
indications of something like the forming of a dock, or basin; and, on
inquiry, was told it was the work of a Company who imagined they had
discovered where the famous pirate Kidd had buried his treasure. The
Company found to their cost, that it was they who were burying their
treasure, instead of Captain Kidd who had buried his; so, having
realized their mare's-nest, they gave it up. One of the most beautiful
"bits" on the Hudson is West Point; but, as I purpose visiting it at my
leisure hereafter, I pass it by at present without further comment.

There are every now and then, especially on the southern bank, large
plots, which, at a distance, look exactly like Turkish cemeteries. On
nearing them, you find that the old destroyer, Time, has expended all
the soil sufficiently to allow the bare rock to peep through, and the
disconsolate forest has retired in consequence, leaving only the funeral
cypress to give silent expression to its affliction. Hark! what sound is
that? Dinner! A look at the company was not as _appetissant_ as a glass
of bitters, but a peep at the _tout-ensemble_ was fatal; so, patience to
the journey's end. Accordingly, I consoled myself with a cigar and the
surrounding scenery; no hard task either, with two good friends to help
you. On we went, passing little villages busy as bees, and some looking
as fresh as if they had been built over-night. At last, a little before
dusk, Albany hove in sight. As we neared the wharf, it became alive with
Paddy cabmen and porters of every age: the former, brandishing their
whips, made such a rush on board when we got within jumping distance,
that one would have thought they had come to storm the vessel. We took
it coolly, allowing the rush of passengers to land first; and then,
having engaged two "broths of boys" with hackney coaches, we drove up to
the Congress Hall Hotel, where, thanks to our young American cicerone,
we were very soon comfortably lodged, with a jolly good dinner before
us. I may as well explain why it was thanks to our friend that we were
comfortably lodged.

'Throughout the whole length and breadth of the Republic, the people are
gregarious, and go everywhere in flocks; consequently, on the arrival of
railway train or steamer, 'buses from the various hotels are always in
waiting, and speedily filled. No sooner does the 'bus pull up, than a
rush is made by each one to the book lying on the counter, that he may
inscribe his name as soon as possible, and secure a bedroom. The duty of
allotting the apartments generally devolves upon the head clerk, or
chief assistant; but as, from the locomotive propensities of the
population, he has a very extensive acquaintance, and knows not how soon
some of them may be arriving, he billets the unknown in the most
out-of-the-way rooms; for the run upon all the decent hotels is so
great, that courtesy is scarce needed to insure custom. Not that they
are uncivil; but the confusion caused by an arrival is so great, and the
mass of travellers are so indifferent to the comfort or the attention
which one meets with in a decent hotel in this country, that, acting
from habit, they begin by roosting their guests, like crows, at the top
of the tree.

To obviate this inconvenience, I would suggest, for the benefit of
future travellers, the plan I found on many occasions so successful
myself, in my subsequent journeys; which is, whenever you are
comfortably lodged in any hotel, to take a letter from the proprietor to
the next you wish to stop at. They give it you most readily, and on many
occasions I found the advantage of it. They all know one another; and in
this way you might travel all through the Union.

Dinner is over--the events of the day have been discussed 'mid fragrant
clouds, and we are asleep in the capital of the State of New York.

We were obliged to be astir early in the morning, so as to be in time
for the railway; consequently, our lionizing of the city consisted
chiefly in smoking a cigar at the front-door. The town is prettily
situated on the banks of the Hudson, and at its confluence with the Erie
canal. It is one of the few towns in the Republic which enjoys a
Royalist name, having been called after the Duke of York and Albany,
and is a very thriving place, with a steadily increasing population,
already amounting to sixty thousand; and some idea of its prosperity may
be formed from the fact of its receiving, by the Erie canal, annually,
goods to the value of near six millions sterling. Some years ago it was
scourged by an awful fire; but it has risen, like a phoenix, from its
ashes, and profited materially by the chastisement. The chief objection
I had to the town was the paving of the streets, which was abominable,
and full of holes, any of them large enough to bury a hippopotamus, and
threatening dislocation of some joint at every step; thus clearly
proving that the contract for the paving was in the hands of the
surgeons. On similar grounds, it has often occurred to me that the
proprietors of the London cabs must be chiefly hatters.

Our descent from the hotel to the railway station was as lively as that
of a parched pea on a red-hot frying-pan, but it was effected without
any injury requiring the assistance of the paving-surgeons, and by the
time our luggage was ticketed the train had arrived: some tumbled out,
others tumbled in; the kettle hissed, and off we went, the first few
hundred yards of our journey being along the street. Not being
accustomed to see a train going in full cry through the streets, I
expected every minute to hear a dying squeak, as some of the little
urchins came out, jumping and playing close to the cars; but they seem
to be protected by a kind of instinct; and I believe it would be as easy
to drive a train over a cock-sparrow as over a Yankee boy. At last we
emerged from the town, and went steaming away merrily over the country.
Our companions inside were a motley group of all classes. By good
fortune, we found a spare seat on which to put our cloaks, &c., which
was a luxury rarely enjoyed in my future travels, being generally
obliged to carry them on my knee, as the American cars are usually so
full that there is seldom a vacant place on which to lay them.

Our route lay partly along the line of the Mohawk, on the banks of which
is situated the lovely village of Rockton, or Little Falls, where the
gushing stream is compressed between two beautifully wooded cliffs,
affording a water-power which has been turned to good account by the
establishment of mills. At this point the Erie canal is cut for two
miles through the solid rock, and its unruffled waters, contrasting
with the boiling river struggling through the narrow gorge, look like
streams of Peace and Passion flowing and struggling side by side. As the
"iron horse" hurries us onward, the ears are assailed, amid the wild
majesty of Nature, with the puny cockneyisms of "Rome," "Syracuse," &c.
Such absurdities are ridiculous enough in our suburban villas; but to
find them substituted for the glorious old Indian names, is positively

Among other passengers in the train, was a man conspicuous among his
fellows for clean hide and clean dimity; on inquiry, I was told he was a
Professor. He looked rather young for a professorial chair, and further
investigation confused me still more, for I found he was a _Professor of
Soap_. At last, I ascertained that he had earned his title by going
about the country lecturing upon, and exhibiting in his person, the
valuable qualities of his detergent treasures, through which peripatetic
advertisement he had succeeded in realizing dollars and honours. The
oratory of some of these Professors is, I am told, of an order before
which the eloquence of a Demosthenes would shrink abashed, if success is
admitted as the test; for, only put them at the corner of a street in
any town, and I have no fears of binding myself to eat every cake they
do not sell before they quit their oratorical platform. The soapy orator
quitted the train at Auburn, and soon after, the vandalism of "Rome" and
"Syracuse" was atoned for by the more appropriate and euphonical old
Indian names of "Cayuga" and "Canandaigua."

On reaching the station of the latter, an old and kind friend to my
brother, when he first visited America, was waiting to welcome us to his
house, which was about a quarter of a mile distant, and a most
comfortable establishment it proved, in every way. Our worthy host was a
Scotchman by birth, and though he had passed nearly half a century in
the United States, he was as thoroughly Scotch in all his ways as if he
had just arrived from his native land; and while enjoying his
hospitalities, you might have fancied yourself in a Highland laird's old
family mansion. In all his kind attentions, he was most ably assisted by
his amiable lady. Everything I had seen hitherto was invested with an
air of newness, looking as if of yesterday: here, the old furniture and
the fashion thereof, even its very arrangement, all told of days long
bygone, and seemed to say, "We are heir-looms." When you went upstairs,
the old Bible on your bedroom table, with its worn cover, well-thumbed
leaves, and its large paper-mark, browned by the hand of Time, again
proclaimed, "I am an heir-loom," and challenged your respect; and worthy
companions they all were to mine host and his lady, who, while they
warmed your heart with their cheerful and unostentatious hospitality,
also commanded your respect by the way they dispensed it.

The following day our route lay across country, out of the line of stage
or rail; so a vehicle had to be got, which my young American cicerone,
under the guidance of mine host, very soon arranged; and in due time, a
long, slight, open cart, with the seats slung to the sides, drove to the
door, with four neat greys, that might have made "Tommy Onslow's" mouth

While they are putting in the luggage, I may as well give you a sketch
of how the young idea is sometimes taught to shoot in this country.
Time--early morning. Paterfamilias at the door, smoking a cigar--a lad
of ten years of age appears.

"I say, father, can I have Two-forty?[E] I want to go down to the farm,
to see my cattle fed!"

Scarce had leave been obtained, before a cry was heard in another
quarter. "Hallo, Jemmy! what's the matter now? Wont Shelty go?"

The youth so addressed was about six, and sitting in a little low
four-wheeled carriage, whacking away at a Shetland-looking pony, with a
coat, every hair of which was long enough for a horse's tail. The
difficulty was soon discovered, for it was an old trick of Shelty to
lift one leg outside the shaft, and strike for wages, if he wasn't

"Get out, Jemmy, I'll set him right;" and accordingly, Shelty's leg
was lifted inside, and Paterfamilias commenced lunging him round and
round before the door. After a few circles he said, "Now then, Jemmy,
get in again; he's all right now."

The infant Jehu mounts, and of course commences pitching into Shelty,
alike vigorously and harmlessly; off they go at score."

"Where are you going, Jemmy?"

"What--say--father?" No words are lost.

"Where are you going, Jemmy?"

"Going to get some turnips for my pigs;" and Jemmy disappeared in a bend
of the road.

On inquiry, I found Jemmy used often to go miles from home in this way,
and was as well known in the neighbourhood as his father.

On another occasion, I remember seeing three lads, the oldest about
twelve, starting off in a four-wheeled cart, armed with an old gun.

"Where are you going, there?"

"To shoot pigeons."

"What's that sticking out of your pocket?"

"A loaded pistol;" and off they went at full swing.

Thinks I to myself, if those lads don't break their necks, or blow their
brains out, they will learn to take care of themselves; and I began to
reflect whether this was the way they were taught to love independence.

Now for a sketch of the other sex. Two horses come to the door
side-saddled. Out rush, and on jump, two girls under twelve. Young Ten,
upon his Two-forty, is the chaperon. "Take care!" says an anxious
parent. "Oh, I'm not afraid, mother;" and away they go, galloping about
the park as if they were Persians. My mind turned involuntarily
homewards, and I drew a picture from life. A faithful nurse stands at
the door; a young lady about twelve is mounting; a groom is on another
horse, with a leading-rein strong enough to hold a line-of-battle ship
in a gale of wind. The old nurse takes as long packing the young lady as
if she were about to make a tour of the globe; sundry whispers are going
on all the time, the purport of which is easily guessed. At last all
excuses are exhausted, and off they go. The lady's nag jog-trots a
little; the nurse's voice is heard--"Walk, walk, that's a dear! walk
till you're comfortable in the saddle. William, mind you don't let go
the rein; is it strong enough?" William smothers a laugh; the procession
moves funereally, the faithful nurse watching it with an expression
betokening intense anxiety. "Take care, that's a dear!" and then, as the
object of her solicitude disappears among the trees, she draws a long
sigh; a mutter is heard--"some accident" are the only words
distinguishable; a bang of the door follows, and the affectionate nurse
is--what?--probably wiping her eyes in the passage.

Here are two systems which may be said to vary a little, and might
require my consideration, were it not that I have no daughters, partly
owing, doubtless, to the primary deficiency of a wife. At all events, I
have at present no time for further reflections; for the waggon is
waiting at the door, the traps are all in, and there stand mine host and
his lady, as ready to speed the parting as they were to welcome the
coming guest. A hearty shake of the hand, and farewell to Hospitality
Hall. May no cloud ever shade the happiness of its worthy inmates!

As we drive on, I may as well tell you that Canandaigua is a beautiful
little village, situated on a slope descending towards a lake of the
same name, and therefore commanding a lovely view--for when is a sheet
of water not lovely? There are some very pretty little villas in the
upper part of the village, which is a long broad street, with trees on
either side, and is peopled by a cozy little community of about four
thousand. Here we are in the open country. What is the first novelty
that strikes the eye?--the snake fences; and a tickler they would prove
to any hot-headed Melton gentleman who might try to sky over them. They
are from six to seven feet high--sometimes higher--and are formed by
laying long split logs one over another diagonally, by which simple
process the necessity of nails or uprights is avoided; and as wood is
dirt-cheap, the additional length caused by their diagonal construction
is of no importance;--but, being all loose, they are as awkward to leap
as a swing-bar, which those who have once got a cropper at, are not
anxious to try again.

It is at all times a cheery thing to go bowling along behind a spicy
team, but especially so when traversing a wild and half-cultivated
country, where everything around you is strange to the eye, and where
the vastness of space conveys a feeling of grandeur; nor is it the less
enjoyable when the scenery is decked in the rich attire of autumn, and
seen through the medium of a clear and cloudless sky. Then, again, there
is something peculiarly pleasing while gazing at the great extent of
rich timbered land, in reflecting that it is crying aloud for the
stalwart arm of man, and pointing to the girdle of waving fields which
surround it, to assure that stalwart arm that industry will meet a sure
reward. Poverty may well hide her head in shame amid such scenes as
these, for it can only be the fruit of wilful indolence.

The farm cottages are all built of wood, painted white, and look as
clean and fresh as so many new-built model dairies. The neat little
churches, too, appeared as bright as though the painters had left them
the evening before. And here I must remark a convenience attached to
them, which it might be well to imitate in those of our own churches
which are situated in out-of-the-way districts, such as the Highlands of
Scotland, where many of the congregation have to come from a
considerable distance. The convenience I allude to is simply a long,
broad shed, open all one side of its length, and fitted with rings, &c.,
for tethering the horses of those who, from fancy, distance, age, or
sickness, are unwilling or unable to come on foot. The expense would be
but small, and the advantage great. Onward speed our dapper greys, fresh
as four-year-olds; and the further we go, the better they seem to like
it. The only bait they get is five minutes' breathing time, and a great
bucket of water, which they seem to relish as much as if it were a
magnum of iced champagne. The avenue before us leads into Geneseo, the
place of our destination, where my kind friend, Mr. Wadsworth, was
waiting to welcome us to his charming little country-place, situated
just outside the village. 'And what a beautiful place is this same
Geneseo! But, for the present, we must discharge our faithful greys--see
our new friends, old and young--enjoy a better bait than our nags did at
the half-way house, indulge in the fragrant Havana, and retire to roost.
To-morrow we will talk of the scenery.


[Footnote E: As a similar expression occurs frequently in this work, the
reader is requested to remember that it is a common custom in America to
name a horse according to the time in which he can trot a mile. The boy
evidently had a visionary idea in his mind that the little hack he was
asking permission to ride, had accomplished the feat of trotting a mile
in two minutes and forty seconds.]



It is a lovely bright autumn morning, with a pure blue sky, and a pearly
atmosphere through which scarce a zephyr is stealing; the boughs of the
trees hang motionless; my window is open; but, how strange the perfect
stillness! No warbling note comes from the feathered tribe to greet the
rising sun, and sing, with untaught voice, their Maker's praise; even
the ubiquitous house-sparrow is neither seen nor heard. How strange this
comparative absence of animal life in a country which, having been so
recently intruded upon by the destroyer--man--one would expect to find
superabundantly populated with those animals, against which he does not
make war either for his use or amusement. Nevertheless, so it is; and I
have often strolled about for hours in the woods, in perfect solitude,
with no sound to meet the ear--no life to catch the eye. But I am
wandering from the house too soon;--a jolly scream in the nursery
reminds me that, at all events, there is animal life within, and that
the possessor thereof has no disease of the lungs.

Let us now speed to breakfast; for folk are early in the New World, and
do not lie a-bed all the forenoon, thinking how to waste the afternoon,
and then, when the afternoon comes, try and relieve the tedium thereof
by cooking up some project to get over the _ennui_ of the evening.
Whatever else you may deny the American, this one virtue you must allow
him. He is, emphatically, an early riser; as much so as our own
most gracious Sovereign, whose example, if followed by her
subjects--especially some in the metropolis--would do more to destroy
London hells, and improve London health, than the Legislature, or Sir B.
Hall, and all the College of Surgeons, can ever hope to effect among the
post-meridian drones.

Breakfast was speedily despatched, and Senor Cabanos y Carvajal followed
as a matter of course. While reducing him to ashes, and luxuriating in
the clouds which proclaim his certain though lingering death, we went
out upon the terrace before the house to wish good speed to my two
companions who were just starting, and to enjoy a view of the far-famed
vale of Genesee. Far as the eye could see, with no bounds save the power
of its vision, was one wide expanse of varied beauty. The dark forest
hues were relieved by the rich tints of the waving corn; neat little
cottages peeped out in every direction. Here and there, a village, with
its taper steeples, recalled the bounteous Hand "that giveth us all
things richly to enjoy." Below my feet was beautifully undulating park
ground, magnificently timbered, through which peeped the river, bright
as silver beneath the rays of an unclouded sun, whose beams, streaming
at the same time on a field of the rich-coloured pumpkin, burnished each
like a ball of molten gold. All around was richness, beauty, and

The descendant of a Wellington or a Washington, while contemplating the
glorious deeds of an illustrious ancestor, and recalling the adoration
of a grateful country, may justly feel his breast swelling with pride
and emulation; but while I was enjoying this scene, there stood one at
my side within whom also such emotions might be as fully and justly
stirred--for there are great men to be found in less conspicuous, though
not less useful spheres of life. A son who knew its history enjoyed with
me this goodly scene. His father was the first bold pioneer. The rut
made by the wheel of his rude cart, drawn by two oxen, was the first
impress made by civilization in the whole of this rich and far-famed
valley. A brother shared with him his early toils and privations; their
own hands raised the log-hut--their new home in the wilderness. Ere they
broke ground, the boundless forest howled around a stray party of
Indians, come to hunt, or to pasture their flocks on the few open plots
skirting the river: all else was waste and solitude. One brother died
comparatively early; but the father of mine host lived long to enjoy the
fruit of his labours. He lived to see industry and self-denial
metamorphose that forest and its straggling Indian band into a land
bursting with the rich fruits of the soil, and buzzing with a busy hive
of human energy and intelligence. Yes; and he lived to see temple after
temple, raised for the pure worship of the True God, supplant the
ignorance and idolatry which reigned undisturbed at his first coming.
Say, then, reader, has not the son of such a father just cause for
pride--a solemn call to emulation? The patriarchal founder of his family
and their fortunes has left an imperishable monument of his greatness in
the prosperity of this rich vale; and Providence has blessed his
individual energies and forethought with an unusual amount of this
world's good things. "Honour and fame--industry and wealth," are
inscribed on the banner of his life, and the son is worthily fighting
under the paternal standard. The park grounds below the house bear
evidence of his appreciation of the beauties of scenery, in the taste
with which he has performed that difficult task of selecting the groups
of trees requisite for landscape, while cutting down a forest; and the
most cursory view of his library can leave no doubt that his was a
highly-cultivated mind. I will add no more, lest I be led insensibly to
trench upon the privacy of domestic life.

I now propose to give a slight sketch of his farm, so as to convey, to
those interested, an idea of the general system of agriculture adopted
in the Northern States; and if the reader think the subject dull, a turn
of the leaf will prove a simple remedy.

The extent farmed is 2000 acres, of which 400 are in wood, 400 in
meadow, 400 under plough, and 800 in pasture. On the wheat lands, summer
fallow, wheat, and clover pasture, form the three years' rotation. In
summer fallow, the clover is sometimes ploughed in, and sometimes fed
off, according to the wants of the soil and the farm. Alluvial lands are
cultivated in Indian corn from five to ten years successively, and then
laid down in grass indeterminately from three to forty years.
Wheat--sometimes broadcast, sometimes drilled--is put in as near as
possible the 1st of September, and cut from the 10th to the 20th of
July. Clover-seed is sown during March in wheat, and left till the
following year. Wheat stubble is pastured slightly; the clover, if
mowed, is cut in the middle of June; if pastured, the cattle are turned
in about the 1st of May.

Pumpkins are raised with the Indian corn, and hogs fattened on them;
during the summer they are turned into clover pasture. Indian corn and
pumpkins are planted in May, and harvested in October; the leaf and
stalk of the Indian corn are cut up for fodder, and very much liked.
Oats and barley are not extensively cultivated.

The average crop of Indian corn is from fifty to sixty bushels, and of
wheat, from twenty-five to thirty per acre. The pasture land supports
one head to one and one-third acre. Grass-fattened cattle go to market
from September to November, fetching 2-1/4d. per lb. live weight, or
4-1/2d. per lb. for beef alone. Cattle are kept upon hay and straw
from the middle of November to 1st of May, if intended for fattening
upon grass; but, if intended for spring market, they are fed on Indian
corn-meal in addition. Sheep are kept on hay exclusively, from the
middle of November to the 1st of April. A good specimen of Durham ox,
three and a half years old, weighs 1500 lbs. live weight. The farm is
provided with large scales for weighing hay, cattle, &c., and so
arranged, that one hundred head can easily be weighed in two hours.

No manure is used, except farm-pen and gypsum; the former is generally
applied to Indian corn and meadow land. The gypsum is thrown, a bushel
to the acre, on each crop of wheat and clover--cost of gypsum, ten
shillings for twenty bushels. A mowing machine, with two or three horses
and one man, can cut, in one day, twelve acres of heavy meadow land, if
it stand up; but if laid at all, from six to ten. The number of men
employed on the farm is, six for six months, twelve for three months,
and twenty-five for three months. Ten horses and five yoke of oxen are
kept for farm purposes. The common waggon used weighs eight
hundredweight, and holds fifty bushels. Sometimes they are ten
hundredweight, and hold one hundred and five bushels.

The wages of the farm servants are:--For those engaged by the year,
2l. 10s. a month; for six months, 2l. 18s. 6d. a month; for
three months, 3l. 11s. a month--besides board and lodging, on the
former of which they are not likely to find their bones peeping through
their skin. They have meat three times a day--pork five days, and mutton
two days in the week--a capital pie at dinner; tea and sugar twice a
day; milk _ad libitum_; vegetables twice a day; butter usually three
times a day; no spirits nor beer are allowed. The meals are all cooked
at the farm, and the overseer eats with the men, and receives from
75l. to 125l. a year, besides board and lodging for his family, who
keep the farm-house. When every expense is paid, mine host netts a
clear six per cent. on his farm, and I think you will allow that he may
go to bed at night with little fear of the nightmare of a starving
labourer disturbing his slumbers. Not that he troubles sleep much, for
he is the nearest thing to perpetual motion I ever saw, not excepting
even the armadillo at the Zoological Gardens, and he has more "irons in
the fire" than there were bayonet-points before Sevastopol.

The village contains a population of two thousand inhabitants, and
consists of a few streets, the principal of which runs along a terrace,
which, being a continuation of the one on which we were lately standing,
commands the same lovely view. But, small as is the village, it has four
churches, an academy, two banks, two newspaper offices, and a telegraph
office. What a slow coach you are, John Bull!

One day I was taking a drive with an amiable couple, who, having been
married sixteen or seventeen years, had got well over the mysterious
influences of honeymoonism. The husband was acting Jarvey, and I was
inside with madame. The roads being in some places very bad, and neither
the lady nor myself being feather-weight, the springs were frequently
brought down upon one another with a very disagreeable jerk. The lady

"John, I declare these springs are worn out, and the carriage itself is
little better."

"Now, Susan, what's the good of your talking that way; you know they are
perfectly good, my dear."

"Oh, John! you know what I say is true, and that the carriage has never
been touched since we married."

"My dear, if I prove to you one of your assertions is wrong, I suppose
you will be ready to grant the others may be equally incorrect."

"Well, what then?" said the unsuspecting wife.

"Why, my dear, I'll prove to you the springs are in perfectly good
order," said the malicious husband, who descried a most abominable bit
of road ready for his purpose; and, suiting the action to the word, he
put his spicy nags into a hand-canter. Bang went the springs together;
and, despite of all the laws of gravitation, madame and I kept bobbing
up and down, and into one another's laps.

"Oh, John, stop! stop!"

"No, no, my dear, I shall go on till you're perfectly satisfied with
the goodness of the springs and the soundness of the carriage."

Resistance was useless; John was determined, and the horses would not
have tired in a week; so the victim had nothing for it but to cry
_peccavi_, upon which John moderated his pace gradually, and our elastic
bounds ceased correspondingly, until we settled once more firmly on our
respective cushions; then John turned round, and, with a mixed
expression of malice and generosity, said, "Well, my dear, I do think
the carriage wants a new lining, but you must admit they are really good
springs." And the curtain fell on this little scene in the drama of
"Sixteen Years after Marriage." May the happy couple live to re-enact
the same sixty years after marriage!

Our drive brought us to the shore of Lake Canesus, and a lovely scene it
was; the banks were in many places timbered to the water's edge by the
virgin forest, now radiant with the rich autumnal tints; the afternoon
sun shone forth in all its glory from a cloudless sky, on a ripp'less
lake, which, like a burnished mirror, reflected with all the
truthfulness of nature the gorgeous scene above; and as you gazed on the
azure abyss below, it kept receding and receding till the wearied sight
of the creature was lost in the fathomless depths of the work of his
Almighty Creator. Who has not for the moment imagined that he could
realise the infinity of space, as, when gazing at some bright star, he
strives to measure the distance of the blue curtain spread behind,
which, ever receding, so mocks the efforts of the ambitious eye, that
its powers become bewildered in the unfathomable depths of immensity;
but I am not sure whether such feelings do not come home to one more
powerfully when the eye gazes on the same object through the medium of
reflection;--for, as with the bounties of the Creator, so with the
wonders of His creation--man is too prone to undervalue them in
proportion to the frequency with which they are spread before him; and
thus the deep azure vault, so often seen in the firmament above, is less
likely to attract his attention and engage his meditations, than when
the same glorious scene lies mirrored beneath his feet.

This charming lake has comparatively little cultivation on its borders;
two or three cottages, and a few cattle grazing, are the only signs that
man is asserting his dominion over the wilderness. One of these
cottages belongs to a member of the Wadsworth family, who owns some
extent of land in the neighbourhood, and who has built a nice little
boat for sailing about in the summer season. I may as well mention in
this place, that the roofing generally used for cottages is a wooden
tile called "shingle," which is very cheap--twelve-and-sixpence
purchasing enough to cover a thousand feet.

While driving about in this neighbourhood, I saw, for the first time,
what is termed a "plank-road,"--a system which has been introduced into
the United States from Canada. The method of construction is very
simple, consisting of two stringers of oak two inches square, across
which are laid three-inch planks eight feet long, and generally of
hemlock or pine. No spiking of the planks into the stringers is
required, and a thin layer of sand or soil being placed over all, the
road is made; and, as the material for construction is carried along as
the work progresses, the rapidity of execution is astonishing. When
completed, it is as smooth as a bowling-green. The only objection I ever
heard to these roads is, that the jarring sensation produced by them is
very injurious to the horses' legs; but it can hardly be thought that,
if the cart were up to the axle and the horse up to the belly-band in a
good clay soil, any advantage would be derived from such a primitive
state of things. Taking an average, the roads may be said to last from
eight to ten years, and cost about L330 a mile. Those in Canada are
often made much broader, so as to enable two vehicles to pass abreast,
and their cost is a little above L400 a mile. The toll here is about
three-farthings a mile per horse. They have had the good sense to avoid
the ridiculous wheel-tollage to which we adhere at home with a tenacity
only equalled by its folly, as if a two-wheeled cart, with a ton weight
of cargo, drawn by a Barclay and Perkinser, did not cut up a road much
more than the little four-wheel carriage of the clergyman's wife, drawn
by a cob pony, and laden with a tin of soup or a piece of flannel for
some suffering parishioner. But as our ancestors adopted this system "in
the year dot, before one was invented," I suppose we shall bequeath the
precious legacy to our latest posterity, unless some "Rebecca League,"
similar to Taffy's a few years since, be got up on a grand national
scale, in which case tolls may, perhaps, be included in the tariff of
free-trade. Until that auspicious event take place,--for I confess to an
ever-increasing antipathy to paying any gate,--we might profit in some
of our bleak and dreary districts by copying the simple arrangement
adopted at many American tolls, which consists of throwing a covered
archway over the road; so that if you have to unbutton half-a-dozen
coats in a snow-storm to find a sixpence, you are not necessitated to
button-in a bucketful of snow, which, though it may cool the body, has a
very opposite effect on the temper.

It is bad enough in England; but any one who wishes to enjoy it to
perfection had better take a drive from Stirling, crossing the Forth,
when, if he select his road happily, he may have the satisfaction of
paying half-a-dozen tolls in nearly as many minutes, on the plea that
this piece of ground, the size of a cocked-hat-box,--and that piece, the
size of a cabbage-garden,--and so on, belong to different counties; and
his amusement may derive additional zest if he be fortunate enough to
find the same tollman there whom I met some years ago. When passing his
toll in a driving snow-storm that penetrated even to the very marrow, I
pulled up a few yards beyond the gate, upon which he came out very
sulkily, took the half-crown I tendered him, and, walking deliberately
back, placed the change on the post of the gate, and said,--"If ye want
'ut, ye may take 'ut; it's no my place to walk half a mile o' the road
to gie folk their change;" after which courteous address he disappeared,
banging his door to with a sound that fell on the ear very like "Put
that in your pipe and smoke it." Precious work I had, with a heavy
dog-cart, no servant, and a hack whose mouth was case-hardened. I would
willingly have given it up; but I knew the brute (the man, not the
horse) would very soon have got drunk upon it; so I persevered until I
succeeded, and then went on my road full of thoughts which are, I fear,
totally unfit to be committed to paper.

Reader, I must ask you to forgive my wanderings on the banks of the
Forth. I hasten back to Geneseo, and pack up ready for to-morrow's
start, for the days I had spent with my kind host and his merry family
had slipped by so pleasantly I had quite lost count of them. There was
but one cloud to our enjoyment--one sad blank in the family group: my
sister-in-law, in whose charming society I had fondly hoped to make my
first visit to the scenes of her early youth, had been recently summoned
to a better world; and the void her absence made in that family circle,
of which she was both the radiating and the centring point of affection,
was too deeply felt for aught but time ever to eradicate.


_Stirring Scenes and Strange Sights_.

My host having kindly lent me his carriage and a pair of wiry nags, I
started for Batavia to meet the railway. The distance was about thirty
miles, and the road in many places execrable--in one part so bad that we
had to go through a quarter of a mile of wood, as it was absolutely
impassable;--yet, despite all these hindrances, and without pressing the
horses in the least, we completed the distance in the three hours,
including from five to ten minutes at a half-way house, where we gave
them the usual American bait of a bucket of cold water; and when we
arrived they were as fresh as four-year-olds, and quite ready to return
if need had been. I saw nothing worth remarking during the drive. There
was plenty of cultivated land; and plenty of waste, waiting to reward
the labourer. All the little villages had their daguerreotype shops
except one, and there the deficiency was supplied by a perambulating
artist in a tented cart.

When a railway crosses the road, you are expected to see it,--the only
warning being a large painted board, inscribed "Look out for the Train."
If it be dark, I suppose you are expected to guess it; but it must be
remembered that this is the country of all countries where every person
is required to look after himself. The train coming up soon after my
arrival, I went on to Buffalo, amid a railway mixture of
tag-rag-and-bobtail, squalling infancy and expectorating manhood. On
arriving at the terminus, I engaged a cab, and, after waiting half an
hour, I found that Jarvey was trying to pick up some other "fare," not
thinking myself and my servant a sufficient cargo to pay well. I tried
to find a railway official; but I might almost as well have looked for a
flea in a flower-garden--no badges, no distinctive marks, the station
full of all the riff-raff of the town;--it was hopeless. At last, by a
lucky accident, I saw a man step into a small office, so I bolted after
him, like a terrier after a badger, but I could not draw him; he knew
nothing about the cabs--he was busy--nay, in short, he would not be
bothered. Having experienced this beautiful specimen of Buffalo railway
management, I returned to the open air and lit my cigar. After some
time, Cabby, having found that no other "fare" was to be had,
condescended to tell me he was ready; so in I got, and drove to the
hotel, on entering which I nearly broke my neck over a pyramid of boxes,
all looking of one family. They turned out to be the property of Mr.
G.V. Brooke, the actor, who had just arrived "to star it" at Buffalo.
Supper being ready, as it always is on the arrival of the evening train,
I repaired thither, and found the usual wondrous medley which the
American tables d'hote exhibit, the usual deafening clatter, the usual
profusion of eatables, the usual rapidity of action, and the usual
disagreeable odour which is consequent upon such a mass of humanity and
food combined. Being tolerably tired, I very soon retired to roost.

What a wondrous place is this Buffalo!--what a type of American activity
and enterprise! I had visited it in the year 1826, and then it had only
three thousand inhabitants. The theatre, I remember, amused me
immensely, the stage and accommodation for spectators barely occupying
an area of twenty-five feet square. Mr. G.V. Brooke's boxes, at that
time, would have filled the whole house; and here they are in 1852,
drawing our metropolitan stars to their boards. Their population has
increased twenty-fold, and now exceeds sixty thousand; a splendid
harbour, a lighthouse, piers, breakwater, &c., have been constructed,
and the place is daily increasing. Churches rear their spiry steeples in
every direction. Banks and insurance offices are scattered broadcast.
Educational, literary, and benevolent establishments abound, and upwards
of a dozen newspapers are published. Land which, during my visit in
1826, you might almost have had for the asking, is now selling at two
hundred guineas the foot of frontage for building. Even during the last
ten years, the duties collected at the port have increased from L1000 to
nearly L14,000. In the year 1852 upwards of four thousand vessels,
representing a million and a half of tonnage, cleared at the harbour,
and goods to the value of nearly seven millions sterling arrived from
the lakes, the greater portion of the cargoes being grain. The value of
goods annually delivered by Erie Canal is eight millions. Never was a
more energetic hive of humanity than these "Buffalo lads;" and they are
going ahead every day, racing pace.

Now, John Bull, come with me to the cliff outside the town, and
overhanging the Niagara river. Look across the stream, to the Canada
shore, and you will see a few houses and a few people. There they have
been, for aught I know, since the creation. The town(!) is called
Waterloo, and the couple of dozen inhabitants, despite the rich fruits
of industry on which they may gaze daily, seem to regard industry as a
frightful scourge to be studiously avoided. Their soil is as rich as, if
not richer than, that on the opposite shore: the same lake is spread
before them, and the same river runs by their doors. It does, indeed,
look hopeless, where such an example, constantly under their eyes, fails
to stir them up to action. But, perhaps, you will say, you think you see
a movement among the "dry bones." True, my dear Bull, there is now a
movement; but, if you inquire, you will find it is a Buffalo movement.
It is their energy, activity, and enterprise which, is making a railway
to run across Canada to Goderich, by which means they will save, for
traffic, the whole length of Lake Erie, and half that of Lake Huron, for
all produce coming from the North of Michigan, Wisconsin, &c. So
thoroughly is it American enterprise, that, although the terminus of the
railway is at Waterloo, the name is ignored; and Buffalo enterprise
having carried forward the work, it is styled the "Buffalo, Brentford,
and Goderich Line." Truly, John Bull, your colony shows very badly by
the side of this same Buffalo. Let us hope increasing intercourse may
infuse a little vitality into them.

The train is starting for Niagara, and I am in it, endeavouring to recal
the impressions of 1826, which, being but very dim, my anticipations
partake of the charm of novelty. While in the middle of a seventh heaven
of picturative fancy, the screeching of the break announces the
journey's end. As I emerge from the motley group of fellow-passengers, a
sound, as of very distant thunder heard through ears stuffed with
cotton, is all that announces the neighbourhood of the giant cataract. A
fly is speedily obtained, and off I start for the hotel on the Canadian
side. Our drive took us along the eastern bank till we reached the
suspension-bridge which spans the cliffs of the river. Across this
gossamer causeway, vehicles are required to walk, under a heavy penalty
for any breach of this rule. The vibration when walking is not very
great; but, going at a quick pace, it would undoubtedly be considerable,
and might eventually loosen those fastenings on which the aerial pathway
depends. Arrived at the other side, I was quite taken aback on being
stopped by an official. I found he was merely a _pro forma_ custom-house
officer. Not having been schooled in the Old World, he showed none of
the ferret, and in a few seconds I was again trotting southwards along
the western bank to the Clifton House Hotel. The dull work of life is
done, the cab is paid, my room is engaged, and there I am, on the
balcony, alone, with the roaring of the cataract in my ears and the
mighty cataract itself before my eyes.

What were my first impressions?--That is a difficult question.
Certainly, I did not share that feeling of disappointment which some
people take pains to express. Such people, if they had dreamt that an
unknown friend had left them 100,000l., would feel disappointed if he
awoke and found a legacy of 90,000l. lying on their table; or,
perhaps, they give expression to their feelings, by way of inducing the
public to suppose that their fertile imaginations conceived something
far grander than this most glorious work of Nature. If a man propose to
go to Niagara for mere beauty, he had better stay at home and look at a
lily through a microscope; if to hear a mighty noise, he had better go
where the anchors are forged in Portsmouth dockyard; if to see a mighty
struggle of waters, he had better take a cruise, on board a pilot-boat,
in the Bay of Biscay, during an equinoctial gale; but, if he be content
to see the most glorious cataract his Maker has placed upon our globe;
if, in a stupendous work of Nature, he have a soul to recognise the
Almighty Workman; and if, while gazing thereon, he can travel from
Nature up to Nature's God; then, let him go to Niagara, in full
assurance of enjoying one of the grandest and most solemnizing scenes
that this earth affords. It wants but one qualification to be perfect
and complete; that, it had originally when fresh from the hands of its
Divine Maker; and of that man has rifled it--I mean solitude.--Palace
hotels are very convenient things; energy and enterprise are very
valuable qualities, and natural features of American character which I
admire; but, seeing how universally everything is sacrificed to the
useful and dollar-making, I dread to contemplate the future: for visions
rise before me of the woodman's axe levelling the forest timber on Goat
Island, which at present shrouds the town; and fancy pictures a line of
villas, shops, and mills, ending in a huge hotel, at the edge of the
cataract. I trust my vision may never be realized. But my hopes are
small; for I invariably observed that, in clearing ground, scarce any
attention had been paid to aught else but the best method of getting the
best return for the labour bestowed.

Now, reader, I have not told you as yet what my impressions were, as I
stood on the balcony gazing at Niagara; and, I pray you take not
offence, when I add that I have not the slightest intention of trying to
record them. Writing frankly, as I feel, I have said enough for you to
glean something of the turn they took, and to see that they were
impressions which a pen is too feeble an agent adequately to express. I
shall not tax your patience with Table Rock and Goat Island points of
view, American and Canadian falls, the respective beauties of the
Straight Line and the Horse-shoe; I do not purpose clothing you in
Mackintosh, and dragging you with trembling steps along the slimy
pathway between the Falls and the rock, to gaze on the sun through the
roaring and rolling flood; nor will I draw upon your nerves by a detail
of the hair-breadth escapes of Mr. Bumptious and Mrs. Positive, who,
when they got half-way along the said path, were seized with panic, and
only escaped a header into the boiling caldron by lying flat on their
stomachs until the rest of the party had lionized the whole distance,
when the guide returned and hauled them out by the heels, like drowned
rats out of a sink-hole; nor will I ask you to walk five miles with me,
to see the wooden hut, built over a sulphur spring within ten feet of
the river, and which is lit by the sulphuretted hydrogen gas thereof,
led through a simple tube.

All these, and the rapids above, and the whirlpool below, and the
four-and-a-half million horse-power of the Falls, have been so often
described by abler pens and more fertile imaginations, that the effort
would be a failure and the result a bore.

I have in my possession a collection from the various albums at
Niagara; it opens with the following lines by Lord Morpeth, now Earl of

"There's nothing great or bright, thou glorious Fall!
Thou may'st not to the fancy's sense recal;
The thunder-riven cloud, the lightning's leap,
The stirring of the chambers of the deep,
Earth's emerald green, and many-tinted dyes,
The fleecy whiteness of the upper skies,
The tread of armies thickening as they come,
The boom of cannon and the beat of drum,
The brow of beauty and the form of grace,
The passion and the prowess of our race,
The song of Homer in its loftiest hour,
The unresisted sweep of human power,
Britannia's trident on the azure sea,
America's young shout of liberty!
Oh! may the waves that madden in thy deep,
There spend their rage, nor climb the encircling steep,--
And till the conflict of thy surges cease,
The nations on thy banks repose in peace!"

There are other effusions equally creditable to their authors; but there
is also a mass of rubbish, from which I will only inflict two specimens.
One, evidently from the pen of a Cockney; and the other, the poetical
inspiration of a free and enlightened.

Cockney poet--

"Next to the bliss of seeing Sarah,
Is that of seeing Niagara."

Free and enlightened--

"Of all the roaring, pouring,
Spraying streams that dash,
Niagara is Number One,
All to immortal smash!"

Not desiring to appear to as great disadvantage as either of the two
last-quoted writers, I decline the attempt; and, while saving myself,
spare the public.

I think, reader, that I have a claim upon your gratitude for not
expatiating at greater length upon a theme from which it were easy to
fill chapter upon chapter; for, if you are generous, you will throw a
veil over the selfish reasons that have produced so happy a result. I
will only add one piece of advice, which is, if the pleasure of
visiting Niagara would be enhanced by a full larder and a ruck of
people, go there "during the season;" but if your pleasure would be
greater in visiting it when the hotel is empty, even though the larder
be nearly in the same state, follow my example, and go later in the
year, by which means you will partially obtain that quiet, without
which, I freely confess, I never care to look upon "The Falls" again.

A formidable rival to this magnificent fall of water has-been discovered
by that indefatigable traveller, Dr. Livingston. It is called the
Mosiotunya Falls, which are thus described:--"They occur," we read
("Outlines of Dr. Livingston's Missionary Journeys," p. 19), "in the
most southerly part of the Zambese. Although previously unvisited by any
European, Dr. Livingston had often heard of these smoke-resounding
falls, which, with points of striking difference from Niagara, are, if
possible, more remarkable and not less sublime than that noble cataract.
He was therefore anxious to inspect them, and on the 20th of November,
1855, he reached Kalai, a place eight miles west of the Falls. On
arriving at the latter, he found that this natural phenomenon was caused
by the sudden contraction, or rather compression, of the river, here
about 1000 yards broad, which urges its ponderous mass through a narrow
rent in the basaltic rock of not more than twenty-five yards, and down a
deep cleft, but a little wider, into a basin or trough about thirty
yards in diameter, lying at a depth of thirty-five yards. Into this
narrow receptacle the vast river precipitated itself. When Dr.
Livingston visited the spot, the Zambese flowed through its narrowest
channel, and its waters were at their lowest. The effect, however, of
its sudden contraction and fall was in the highest degree sublime, and,
from the point at which he surveyed it, appalling. For, not satisfied
with a distant view of the opening through its rocky barrier, and of the
columns of vapour rushing up for 300 to 400 feet, forming a spreading
cloud, and then falling in perpetual rain, he engaged a native, with
nerves as strong as his own and expert in the management of the canoe,
to paddle him down the river, here heaving, eddying, and fretting, as if
reluctant to approach the gorge and hurl itself down the precipice to an
islet immediately above the fall, and from one point of which he could
look over its edge into the foaming caldron below, mark the mad whirl
of its waters, and stand in the very focus of its vapoury columns and
its deafening roar. But unique and magnificent as was the cataract when
Dr. Livingston beheld it, the reports of others, and the inference drawn
by himself, satisfied him that the spectacle was tame compared with what
occurs during the rainy season, when the river flows between banks many
miles apart, and still forces its augmented waters through the same
fissure into the same trough. At these times the columns of spray may be
seen, and the sound heard ten or twelve miles distant."

My traps are all in the ferry-boat: I have crossed the river, been wound
up the opposite bank, paid my fare, and am hissing away for Rochester.
What thoughts does Rochester give rise to? If you are a commercial man,
you will conjure up visions of activity and enterprise; if you are an
inquirer into mysteries and manners, your dreams will be of
"spirit-rapping and Bloomers." Coming fresh from Buffalo, I confess I
was rather interested in the latter. But here I am at the place itself,
and lodged in an hotel wonderfully handy to the station; and before the
front door thereof railways are interlaced like the meshes of a
fisherman's net. Having no conversable companion, I take to my ever
faithful and silent friend, the fragrant cigar, and start for a stroll.
There is a bookseller's shop at the corner; I almost invariably feel
tempted to stop when passing a depot for literature, especially in a
strange place; but on the present occasion a Brobdignagian notice caught
my eye, and gave me a queer sensation inside my waistcoat--"Awful smash
among the Banks!" Below, in more Lilliputian characters, followed a list
of names. I had just obtained notes of different banks for my travelling
expenses, and I knew not how many thereof might belong to the bankrupt
list before me; a short examination sufficed, and with a quieted mind, I
continued my stroll and my cigar.

The progress of Rochester has not been so rapid as that of Buffalo; in
1826 they made a pretty fair start, and at present Rochester has only a
little above forty thousand, while, as we said a few pages back, Buffalo
has sixty thousand. Rochester has the disadvantage of not being built
quite on the lake, as Buffalo may be said to be; moreover, the carrying
on Lake Ontario is not so great as on Lake Erie. Both towns enjoy the
rich advantages of the Erie canal, and Rochester is benefited by
water-power in a way Buffalo is not. Genesee river, in a distance of
three miles, falls nearly two hundred and thirty feet, and has three
cascades, the greatest of which is upwards of one hundred feet; this
power has not been overlooked by the Rochesterians, who have established
enormous flour-mills in consequence, using up annually three million
bushels of wheat. As one of the Genesee falls was close to the town, I
bent my steps thither; the roads were more than ankle deep in mud, and I
had some difficulty in getting to the spot; when there, the dreary
nakedness of the banks and the matter-of-factism of a huge mill, chased
even the very thought of beauty from my mind: whether man stripped the
banks, or Nature, I cannot say, but I should rather "guess" it was man.

I was puddling back full of disappointment, and had just got upon the
wooden pavement, which is a trottoir upon the plank-road system, when I
saw a strange sail ahead, with rather a novel rig; could it be?--no!
yes!--no! yes!--yes, by George! a real, living Rochester Bloomer was
steering straight for me. She was walking arm-in-arm with a man who
looked at a distance awfully dirty; upon closer examination, I found the
effect was produced by his wearing all his face-hair close clipped, like
a hunter's coat in the season: but I had but little time to spare upon
_him_--the Bloomer was the star of attraction: on she came with a pretty
face, dark hair, eyes to match, and a good figure; she wore a black
beaver hat, low crown, and broad brim; round the hat was tied, in a
large bow, a bright red ribbon: under a black silk polka, which fitted
to perfection, she had a pair of chocolate-coloured pantaloons, hanging
loosely and gathered in above the ankles, and a neat pair of little feet
were cased in a sensible pair of boots, light, but at the same time
substantial. A gap occurring in the trottoir, and the roads being
shockingly muddy, I was curious to see how Bloomer faced the difficulty;
it never seemed to give her a moment's thought: she went straight at it,
and reached the opposite side with just as much ease as her companion.

Now, reader, let us change the scene and bring before you one with which
you are probably not unfamiliar. Place--A muddy crossing near a parish
school. Time--Play hours. _Dramatis personae_--An old lady and twenty
school-boys. Scene--The old lady comes sailing along the footways,
doing for nothing that for which sweepers are paid; arrived at the
crossing, a cold shudder comes over her as she gazes in despair at the
sea of mud she must traverse; behold now the frantic efforts she is
making to gather up the endless mass of gown, petticoats, and
auxiliaries with which custom and fashion have smothered her; her hands
can scarcely grasp the puckers and the folds; at last she makes a start,
exhibiting a beautifully filled pair of snow-white stockings; on she
goes, the journey is half over; suddenly a score of urchin voices are
heard in chorus, "Twig her legs, twig her legs." The irate dame turns
round to reprove them by words, or wither them with a glance; but alas!
in her indignation she raises a threatening hand, forgetful of the
important duties it was fulfilling, and down go gown, petticoats, and
auxiliaries in the filthy mire; the boys of course roar with
delight--it's the jolliest fun they have had for many a day; the old
lady gathers up her bundle in haste, and reaches the opposite side with
a filthy dress and a furious temper. Let any mind, unwarped by prejudice
and untrammelled by custom, decide whether the costume of the Rochester
Bloomer or of the old lady be the more sensible.

I grant that I have placed before you the two extremes, and I should be
as sorry to see my fair friends in "cut o' knee" kilts, as I now am to
see them in "sweep-the-ground gowns," &c. "But," cries one, "you will
aim a blow at female delicacy!" A blow, indeed! when all that female
delicacy has to depend upon is the issue of a struggle between pants and
petticoats, it will need no further blow: it is pure matter of fashion
and custom. Do not girls wear a Bloomer constantly till they are
fourteen or fifteen, then generally commence the longer dress? And what
reason can be given but custom, which, in so many articles of dress, is
ever changing? How long is it since the dressing of ladies' hair for
Court was a work of such absurd labour and nicety, that but few artists
were equal to the task, and, consequently, having to attend so many
customers, ladies were often obliged to have their hair dressed the day
before, and sit up all night that the coiffure might remain perfect? Or
how long is it since ladies at Court used to move about like human
balloons, with gowns hooped out to such an extent that it was a work of
labour and dexterity to get in and out of a carriage; trains, &c., to
match? Hundreds of people, now living, can not only remember these
things, but can remember also the outcry with which the proposal of
change was received. Delicacy, indeed! I should be glad to know what our
worthy grandmammas would think of the delicacy of the present generation
of ladies, could they but see them going about with nothing but an
oyster-shell bonnet stuck at the back of their heads! Take another
remnant of barbarism, handed down to us in the shape of powder. Masters
have taken care of themselves, and got rid of the abomination; so have
upper servants; but so wedded are some people to the habit, that they
still continue to pay a poll-tax of 1l. 3s. 6d. for the pleasure
of powdering and plastering their footmen's heads, as if they had just
escaped from a flour-mill and passed a greasy hand over their hair: will
any one deny, that the money spent in the tax would promote "John's"
comfort and cleanliness much more, if expended in good baths, brown
Windsor, and small-tooth combs.

Pardon me, reader, I feel that there is no analogy between a Bloomer and
a small-tooth comb; it is from following out the principle of recording
the reflections which what I saw gave rise to, that I have thus wandered
back to the old country; with your permission, we are again at
Rochester, and the Bloomer has gone out of sight round the corner.

The shades of evening having closed in upon me, I retired to roost. My
head was snugly bedded in my pillow; I was in that charmingly doubtful
state in which thoughts and dreams have become imperceptibly blended.
Suddenly there was a trumpet-blast, loud as a thunder-clap, followed by
bells ringing as rapidly as those of the churches in Malta; as these
died away, the hum of human voices and the tread of human feet along the
passages followed, and then all was once more hushed in silence. I
turned over, gave the clothes an extra jerk, and again sought the land
of dreams. Vain and delusive hope!--trains seemed starting or arriving
every half-hour, and the whole night was spent 'mid the soothing
varieties of mineral trumpets and bells, and animal hoofs and tongues,
till from sheer exhaustion, about five A.M., I dropped off into a
snooze, which an early start rendered it necessary to cut short soon
after seven.

Mem.--What a nice thing it is to put up at an hotel quite handy to a
railway station.

Reader, you are doubtless aware that Rochester is on Lake Ontario, and a
considerable distance from New York; but I must nevertheless beg you to
transport yourself to the latter place, without going through the
humdrum travelling routine of--stopped here, stopped there, ate here,
ate there, which constituted the main features of my hasty journey
thither, undertaken for the purpose of seeing my brother off, on his
return to Europe, which duty bringing me within the yachting waters of
New York, I think this a legitimate place for a chapter on the "Black


_Construction and Destruction_.

The "Black Maria" is a vessel so unique in every respect, that the most
detailed description of her cannot but be most interesting to all
yachting men; and, so far from apologizing for the length of my
observations, I would rather crave indulgence for the scanty information
which this chapter will afford; but as it must prove pre-eminently dull
to those who are ignorant of such matters, I would entreat them to pass
it over, lest, getting through the first page, their ideas become
bewildered, and, voting me a bore, they throw down the book, subjoining
a malediction upon my poor innocent head.

The following notes were furnished me by Commodore Stevens and his
brother, who were the designers and builders of this extraordinary
yacht, and I therefore can vouch for their accuracy.

In case the term "centre-board" should be unknown to my reader, it may
be as well to explain that it means a board passing longitudinally
through the keel, above which a strong water-tight case is fixed for its
reception; it is raised and lowered by hand or by machinery, according
to its weight. The advantages proposed by the centre-board are--the
stability it gives to the vessel on a wind when let down; the resistance
it removes if, when running before the wind, it be raised; the small
draught of water which the vessel requires, thereby enabling her to keep
close in-shore out of the influence of strong tides, &c.; and, lastly,
the facility for getting afloat again, by merely raising the
centre-board, should she take the ground. To proceed with the notes:--


Displacement, 145 tons.

Draught of water on straight keel, 5 feet 2 inches.

Length of straight keel, 60 feet, then running away in a curving line
upwards, till at the bow it draws 10 inches.

Length of centre-board, 24 feet.

Total depth of ditto, 15 feet; weight, 7 tons.

Foremost end of ditto, about 8 feet abaft the foremost end of straight

When let down, it descends 10 feet at the further end, and 8 feet at the
foremost. It is made of oak, with sufficient lead let in to make it
sink. By an ingenious mechanical contrivance one man is enabled to raise
and lower it with perfect facility.

There is another centre-board abaft, about 10 feet from the stern, which
is 8 feet long, with a total depth of 9 feet, and, when down, extending
5 feet below the keel.

Length over all, 113 feet.

The extreme beam is 26-1/2 feet at 40 feet from the rudder-post running
aft to about 19 feet at taffrail; forward, it decreases about 20 inches
when abreast of mast, thence runs away sharp to about four feet at the

The mainmast is placed about 5 feet abaft the end of straight keel; it
is 92 feet long, housing 8 feet: the diameter in the partners is 32
inches, tapering off to 23 inches at the hounds. The mast is made of
white pine, the centre of it is bored out, for the lowest twenty feet
about 12 inches diameter--the next 20 feet, 10 inches diameter--the next
20 feet, 8 inches, and the remainder 7 inches. This was done to make the
mast lighter, and, by the circulation of air, enable it to season

The main boom is 95 feet long[F] and made like a cask. The staves are 31
in number, of white pine, 2-1/4 inches thick; the staves are of
different lengths, so as to vary the points at which they respectively
abut. The extreme length of boom is obtained by two lengths of the
staves; small cogs of wood are let in at intervals, half in one stave
and half in its neighbour, so as to keep them from drawing, the whole
bound together with strong hoops fitted with screws. The extreme
diameter of the boom is 26 inches where the sheets are fixed, tapering
off at the jaws, and 13 inches at the boom end. To give additional
support to the boom, an iron outrigger, extending about 3 feet on each
side thereof, is fixed where the boom-sheets are placed, and a strong
iron brace extends from the jaws through the outrigger to the boom
end. The gaff is of spruce, 61 feet long and 9 inches diameter.

The bowsprit is of white pine, 38 feet long, 18 of which is outboard;
the remainder comes under the deck, is let in to each beam, and abuts
against the bitts: it is 24 inches diameter, and bored out like the
mast, from 10 inches diameter at the heel to 7 at the end. The jibboom
is made of two pieces of yellow pine, grooved out and hooped together;
it is about 70 feet long and about 8 inches in diameter; the foot of the
jib is laced to this spar on hooks (when required).

The mainsail is made with the seams horizontal, to avoid the resistance
perpendicular seams in so large a sail would offer to the wind. It has
been calculated that the resistance of perpendicular seams, in a sail of
this size, is equal to that of a plank 10 inches broad and 60 feet long,
placed on end broadside to the wind; the luff of the sail is 66 feet;
the foot, 93; the head, 50; the head and foot of the sail are laced to
battens under gaff and on boom; the luff is brought to the mast by a
contrivance as original as it is perfect; two battens are fixed on
afterpart of the mast, about an inch and a half apart, the inner parts
shod with iron, and rather broader than the exterior opening. To each
eyelet-hole of the sail a strong brass-plate is fixed, having 4 rollers
traversing fore and aft, and 2 transversely; these plates, as the sail
goes up, are slipped into the grooves of the battens, the rollers
preventing friction, and the battens keeping the luff fixed to the after
centre line of the mast--without this ingenious arrangement the huge
mast would, if on a wind, becalm at least three feet of the sail--three
lazy-jacks are fitted to support the huge mass of canvas when lowering
the sail.

The jib is 69 feet in the hoist, and 70 in the foot.

The bobstays are of solid iron, running 8 feet on each side of the keel,
and going through a strong iron cap over the bowsprit end, where, a
strong iron washer being put on, they are securely fixed with a nut.

It will be seen that there is a slight discrepancy between some of the
measurements which I have given, and those which are marked on the
print; I place confidence in those I have received direct from the
fountain-head; the difference is, however, so trifling, as scarce to
need any notice. I regret omitting to obtain the length of the
after-leech of the mainsail, and of the head of the jib; but I think the
print, which I believe to be very accurate, would justify me in
concluding that the former is about 110 feet and the latter about 120

[Illustration: THE BLACK MARIA.]

Assuming those calculations to be correct--and they cannot be very far
wrong--the mainsail would contain about 5790 square feet, and the jib
about 2100 square feet. When it is remembered that the largest sail in
the British Navy only contains 5480 square feet, some conception may be
formed of their gigantic proportions.

The gallant commodore was kind enough to trip his anchor and give me a
short cruise. Unfortunately, there was scarcely a breath of wind; but
even under the influence of such scanty propelling power, the way she
shot through the water, like a dolphin in full cry, was perfectly
marvellous; and the ease with which she came round, and the incredible
distance she shot ahead in stays, was, if possible, more astonishing
still; she steered as easy as a jolly-boat; or if, when running, a puff
made her refractory, by dropping the after centre-board she became as
docile as a lamb. My only regret was that I could not see her under the
high pressure of a good snorter. Of course, any salt-water fish will
have long since discovered that this wonderful yacht is a leviathan
plaything, and totally unfit to withstand the most moderate gale,
especially if any sea were running. What she might do if she were
sparred, as other vessels of her tonnage usually are, I cannot pretend
to say; but my yachting friends need never expect to see her, with her
present rig, re-enacting the "America," hurling friendly defiance at the
R.Y.C., and carrying off the crown of victory in their own waters.

But if any of my Cowes friends are anxious to test the powers of the
"Maria," the gallant commodore will be happy to accommodate them,
and--as he expressed it to me--will further rejoice at having an
opportunity of returning some of the many hospitalities which made his
short stay in England so agreeable to him. The only complaint I heard
him make of the rules of the yachting at Cowes, was the want of some
restriction as to vessels entering shallow water, by which omission a
yacht with a light draught of water is enabled sometimes to draw ahead
of her competitors by simply hugging the land out of the full swing of
the tide, while others are forced, from their deeper draught of water,
to struggle against its full force. As, in my humble opinion, the
observation is a perfectly just one, I insert it here for the
consideration of those whom it may concern.

The accommodation on board is not nearly so good as in an English yacht,
partly owing to the little height between decks, consequent upon her
very small draught of water, and partly owing to the great space taken
up by the case for the centre-board; besides which, it should be
remembered that a yacht is not used as a home in America in the same way
as in England. The great, and, I might almost say, the only quality,
transatlantic yachtsmen care about is speed; and I think my yachting
friends at Cowes must admit that they have proved that they know how to
attain their end, and that Mr. Steers, the builder of the "America," is
second to none in his craft; unless the "Black Maria" some future day
assume a practicable rig, and, crossing the Atlantic, earn the victor's
laurels, in which case Steers will have to yield the palm to the worthy
fraternity, who are at one and the same time the owners, builders, and
sailers of the subject of this chapter.

I believe it is very generally considered that the wind-up of a day's
sport is by no means the least enjoyable portion of the twenty-four
hours, when it comes in the shape of good fellowship and good cheer; and
upon the present occasion we had both alike undeniable of their kind.
The commodore's cellar is as rich a rarity in its way as the Bernal
collection, and, from the movement of the corks, I should imagine it was
upon an equally large scale. I do not purpose inflicting a bill of fare
upon you; but, having, in the foregoing pages, made a promise to furnish
the proper recipe for Toddy and Chowder, I consider this the proper
place to redeem that promise, under the guidance of my hospitable host,
who initiated me fully into the mysteries of mixture, proportion, &c.,
by making both before me.

Whether it is of great importance to adhere exactly to the recipes, I
cannot pretend to say; the soup was pronounced on all hands to be most
excellent, and some of the knowing ones declared it was unusually good.
We afterwards found out a good reason for its superior excellence. It
appears that the commodore had given some instructions to the steward,
which he evidently had not understood, for, upon asking that functionary
towards the end of dinner for a bottle of fine old Madeira which had
been kept back as a bonnebouche, he gave a wild stare-of astonishment,
and said he had put it all into the chowder. This little addition, I can
testify, most certainly did not spoil it. The toddy was not subject to
any such unwarrantable addition; and, if I may judge from the quantity
taken by my neighbours, they all found it as delicious a drink as I did


TODDY.--4 tumblers of water: 1 ditto, sugar: peel of 5 lemons, and
dessert spoon of the juice: add a few pieces of peach and pine-apple,
and some strawberries. Quarter of an hour before use, throw in 2
tumblers of old rum and a lump or two of block ice.

CHOWDER.--Saucepan ready, frizzle pork and onions till quite brown; put
a layer at bottom of the saucepan--saucerful;--on that, a layer of
mashed potatoes--soup-plateful;--on that, raw sea-bass,[G] cut in lumps
4 lbs.;--on that, pork and onions as before;--add half a nutmeg,
spoonful of mace, spoonful of cloves, and double that quantity of thyme
and summer savory; another layer of mashed potatoes, 3 or 4 Crackers,[H]
half a bottle of ketchup, half a bottle of claret, a liberal pinch of
black, and a small pinch of red pepper. Just cover this with boiling
water, and put it on the fire till the fish is cooked.

The gallant commodore and his brother are now employed in building an
iron bomb-proof floating battery, four hundred feet long, intended as a
harbour defence. What guns she is destined to mount is a question which
has not been definitively settled.

In so large a community as that of New York, the supply of water forms a
subject of the highest importance, especially when the rapid increase of
the population is taken into account. Some conception of this
extraordinary increase may be formed from the statistical fact that the
city, which in the year of Independence contained only 35,000
inhabitants, has now 850,000, if the suburbs are included; nearly
4000 vessels enter the port annually, bearing merchandise valued at
25,500,000l., and bringing 300,000 emigrants, of whom one-third are
Irish and one-third German. The tonnage of New York is upwards of a
million, or equal to one-fourth of that of the whole Union: the business
of the city gives employment to upwards of fifty banks. Religion is
represented by 250 churches, of which 46 are Presbyterian, and 45 are
Episcopalian. The Press sends forth 155 papers, of which 14 are
published daily and 58 weekly.

This short sketch will suffice to show that the city required a supply
of water upon a gigantic scale. The difficulties were increased by the
situation of the town, which is built upon the eastern extremity of an
island--Manhattan--fourteen miles long and two broad, the highest point
of which is but two hundred and thirty-eight feet above the level of the
sea. Various plans for supplying water had been attempted without
success, and the health of the population was suffering so much in
consequence, that at last American energy, which here had been long
dormant, rose like a giant refreshed and commenced that imperishable
monument, the Croton aqueduct.[I]

It is impossible to convey any idea of this stupendous work without
figures; but I will endeavour to draw upon your patience as little as
possible. My authority is a work published by Mr. Schramke in English,
French, and German, and full of explanatory details and plans, &c. Mr.
Schramke being one of the corps of engineers employed upon the work, I
conclude his statements are peculiarly accurate. Long discussions,
patient investigations, and careful surveys, combined to fix the
position for commencing operations upon the Croton river, forty and a
half miles from New York, and five miles below a small lake of the same
name. All the preliminaries had been hitherto carried on under the
superintendence of Major Douglas, professor of engineering at the
Military Academy at West Point; but, owing to some disagreements, Mr.
J.B. Jervis was the engineer eventually selected to carry out the
undertaking. It is but just to mention his name, as the skill exhibited
entitles him to lasting fame. By the construction of a substantial
dam, the water was raised 40 feet, and a collecting reservoir formed, of
500,000,000 gallons, above the level that would allow the aqueduct to
discharge 35,000,000 gallons a day. This stupendous work consists of a
covered way seven feet broad and eight feet and a half high; in its
course it has to pass through sixteen tunnellings, forming an aggregate
of nearly 7000 feet; to cross the river Harlem by a bridge 1450 feet
long and 114 feet above tide water, and to span various valleys. The
receiving reservoir outside the town gives a water surface of 31 acres,
and contains 150,000,000 gallons; it is divided into two separate
compartments, so that either may be emptied for cleansing or repair.
From this point the water is carried on, by three 36-inch pipes, to the
distributing reservoir, which is 386 feet square and 42 feet deep, but
filled generally to the depth of 38 feet, and then holding 21,000,000
gallons. From this point it radiates throughout the city by means of 134
miles of pipes, varying in size from 4 to 36 inches. There is an average
fall of 14 inches in the mile; and the supply, if required, can be
increased to 60,000,000 gallons daily. The total cost was 2,500,000l.;
the revenue derived from it is 100,000l. a year, moderate-sized houses
paying 2l., and others in proportion.


(_From Schramke's Description of the New York Croton Aqueduct_.)]

In conclusion, I would observe that this grand work is entitled to
notice from the skill displayed by the engineers, the quantity of the
supply, and the quality of the article, which latter is nearly as good
as sherry cobbler--not quite. If my reader has been inveigled into
reading the foregoing details, and has got bored thereby, a gallon of
Croton water is an admirable antidote; but, as that may not be
available, I would suggest a cobbler, and another page or two; the
latter upon the principle adopted by indiscreet drinkers, of "taking a
hair of the dog that bit them."

The concluding passage of the last paragraph reminds me of a practice
which, I have no doubt, the intense heat of a New York summer renders
very advisable, if not absolutely necessary--viz., the canine
_auto-da-fe_, which takes place in July. The heart sickens at the
thought of the wholesale murder of "man's most faithful companion," and
the feeling increases when you read that sometimes more than a thousand
dogs fall victims to the law in one season; but that very fact is the
strongest point which can be urged in its justifications for the dry hot
atmosphere of the summer affords a ready stepping-stone to hydrophobia,
and the larger the canine family, the greater the danger of that fearful
and incurable disease.

Upon a certain day, the mayor of New York offers the usual reward of
2s. for every dog, which, having been found unmuzzled in the streets,
is brought to the canine pound. However judicious this municipal
regulation may be, it cannot fail to strike the reader as offering one
most objectionable feature, in the golden harvest which it enables those
astute rogues, the dog-stealers, to reap. Any one conversant with the
irresistible nostrums possessed by those rascals, can readily understand
what an extensive field is hereby opened up to them; and, if one can
form a just opinion by comparing the number of dogs one habitually meets
in the streets with the multitude that are reputed to fall victims under
the official mandate, they certainly make the most of their opportunity.

To any admirer of the race, the inside of the pound must be a most
painful and revolting spectacle: there may be seen, lying side by side,
"dignity and impudence," the fearless bull and the timid spaniel, the
bloated pug and the friendly Newfoundland, the woolly lap-dog and the
whining cur; some growling in defiance, some whimpering in misery, some
looking imploringly--their intelligent eyes challenging present sympathy
on the ground of past fidelity--all, all in vain: the hour that summons
the Mussulman to prayer, equally silently tolls their death-knell; yon
glorious sun, setting in a flood of fire, lights them to their untimely
grave; one ruthless hand holds the unconscious head, another with deadly
aim smashes the skull and scatters the brain--man's faithful friend is a

Owners are allowed to reclaim their property before sunset, on payment
of the 2s. reward; the best-looking dogs are sometimes kept for two or
three days, as purchasers are frequently found. The price, after the
first day, is, the killer's fee and the food given, in addition to the
original reward; altogether, it rarely exceeds 8s. The owner has to
purchase like any other person. The bodies are all taken away to be
boiled down for their fat, and the skins go to the tanners. Let us now
turn from this disgusting subject to something more agreeable.

I have already alluded to the great fancy Americans have for trotters.
The best place to see "turns out" is the Bloomingdale road, which runs
out of New York, nearly parallel with the Hudson, and separated from it
only by the country villas, &c., built on the banks of that noble
stream. This drive may be called a purely democratic "Rotten-row," as
regards its being the favourite resort; but there the similarity ceases.
To the one, people go to lounge, meet friends, and breathe fresh air on
horseback; to the other, people go with a fixed determination to pass
everybody, and on wheels. To the one, people go before dinner; to the
other, after.

A friend of mine having offered me a feed, and a seat behind a pair of
three-minuters, the offer was too good to be refused. The operation of
getting into one of these four-wheel waggons, looks perplexing enough,
as the only rest for the feet, which appears, is the cap of the axle;
but, upon pulling the horses' heads into the middle of the street, and
thus locking the fore-wheels, a stop is discovered, which renders the
process easy. It is difficult to say which is the more remarkable, the
lightness of the waggon, or the lightness of the harness; either is
sufficient to give a nervous feeling of insufficiency to a stranger who
trusts himself to them for the first time; but experience proves both
their sufficiency and their advantage. In due time, we reached the outer
limits of the town; struggling competitors soon appeared, and, in spite
of dust as plentiful as a plague of locusts, every challenge was
accepted; a fair pass once made, the victor was satisfied, and resumed a
more moderate pace. We had already given one or two the go-by, when we
heard a clattering of hoofs close behind us, and the well-known cry,
"G'lang." My friend let out his three-minuters, but ere they reached
their speed, the foe was well on our bow, and there he kept, bidding us
defiance. It is, doubtless, very exciting to drive at the rate of twenty
miles an hour, and though the horses' hoofs throw more gravel down your
throat in five minutes than would suffice a poultry-yard for a week, one
does not think of it at the time.

On we flew; our foe on two wheels and single harness every now and then
letting us get abreast of him, and then shooting ahead like an arrow
from a bow. A few trials showed us the struggle was useless: we had to
deal with a regular "pacer," and--as I have elsewhere remarked--their
speed is greater than that of any fair trotter, although so fatiguing
that they are unable to keep it up for any great distance; but as we had
already turned the bottom of the car into a gravel-pit, we did not think
it worth while to continue the amusement. The reason may be asked why
these waggons have such low splashboards as to admit all the gravel? The
reason is simple. Go-ahead is the great desideratum, and they are kept
low to enable you to watch the horses' hind legs; by doing which, a
knowing Jehu can discover when they are about to break into a gallop,
and can handle "the ribands" accordingly.

A tremendous storm brewing to windward, cut short our intended drive;
and, putting the nags to their best pace, we barely succeeded in
obtaining shelter ere it burst upon us; and such a pelter as it came
down, who ever saw? It seemed as though the countless hosts of heaven
had been mustered with barrels, not buckets, of water, and as they upset
them on the poor devoted earth, a regular hurricane came to the rescue,
and swept them eastward to the ocean. The sky, from time to time, was
one blaze of sheet lightning, and during the intervals, forked flashes
shot through the darkness like fiery serpents striking their prey. This
storm, if short, was at all events magnificently grand, and we
subsequently found it had been terribly destructive also; boats on the
Hudson had been capsized and driven ashore, houses had been unroofed,
and forest trees split like penny canes.

The inn where we had taken shelter was fortunately not touched, nor were
any of the trees which surrounded it. Beautifully situated on a high
bank, sloping down to the Hudson, full of fine old timber; it had
belonged to some English noble--I forget his name--in the old colonial
times; now, it was a favourite baiting-place for the frequenters of the
Bloomingdale road, and dispensed the most undeniably good republican
drinks, cobblers, cock-tails, slings, and hail-storms, with other more
substantial and excellent things to match. The storm being over, we
unhitched the horses, and returned to town at a more sober pace; nor
were we much troubled with dust during the drive home.

Lest the reader should get wearied with so long a stay at New York, I
now propose to shift the scene for his amusement, and hope he will
accompany me in my wanderings. If, during the operation, he occasionally
finds me tedious in any details uninteresting to him, I trust that a
judicious skipping of a few leaves will bring us again into agreeable


[Footnote F: The largest boom in the Navy is 72 feet long, and 16-1/2
inches in diameter; the largest mast is 127 feet 3 inches long, and 42
inches diameter; the largest yard is 111 feet long, and 26-1/2 inches

[Footnote G: Turbot is a good substitute for sea-bass.]

[Footnote H: A small American biscuit made of best flour.]

[Footnote I: _Vide_ sketch of Aqueduct.]


_South and West_.

Being anxious to visit the southern parts of this Empire State, and
having found an agreeable companion, we fixed upon an early day in
November for our start; and although I anticipated much pleasure from
the scenery and places of interest which my proposed trip would carry me
through, I could not blind myself to the sad fact, that the gorgeous
mantle of autumn had fallen from the forest, and left in its stead the
dreary nakedness of winter. The time I could allot to the journey was
unfortunately so short, that, except of one or two of the leading
places, I could not hope to have more than literally a flying sight, and
should therefore be insensibly compelled to receive many impressions
from the travelling society among which the Fates threw me.

Eight o'clock in the morning found us both at the Jersey ferry, where
our tickets for Baltimore--both for man and luggage--were to be
obtained. It was a pelting snow-storm, and the luggage-ticketing had to
be performed _al fresco_, which, combined with the total want of order
so prevalent in the railway establishments in this country, made it
anything but an agreeable operation. Our individual tickets were
obtained under shelter, but in an office of such Lilliputian dimensions,
that the ordinary press of passengers made it like a theatrical squeeze
on a Jenny Lind night; only with this lamentable difference--that the
theatrical squeeze was a prelude to all that could charm the senses,
whereas the ticket squeeze was, I knew but too well, the precursor of a
day of most uncomfortable travelling.

Having our tickets, we crossed the ever-glorious Hudson, and, landing at
Jersey City, had the pleasure of "puddling it up" through the snow to
the railway carriages. There they were, with the red-hot stove and
poisonous atmosphere, as usual; so my friend and I, selecting a
cushionless "smoking-car," where the windows would at all events be
open, seated ourselves on the hard boards of resignation, lit the tapery
weed of consolation, and shrouded ourselves in its fragrant clouds. On
we went, hissing through the snow-storm, till the waters of the Delaware
brought us to a stand-still; then, changing to a steamer, we crossed the
broad stream, on which to save time, they served dinner, and almost
before it was ended we had reached Philadelphia, where 'busses were in
waiting to take us to the railway. I may as well mention here, that one
of the various ways in which the glorious liberty of the country shows
itself, is the deliberate manner in which 'busses and stages stop in the
middle of the muddiest roads, in the worst weather, so that you may get
thoroughly well muddied and soaked in effecting your entry. Equality, I
suppose, requires that if the coachman is to be wet and uncomfortable,
the passengers should be brought as near as possible to the same state.

The 'busses being all ready, off we started, and just reached the train
in time; for, being a mail-train, it could not wait, though we had paid
our fares all through to Baltimore. Soon after our departure, I heard
two neighbours conversing between the intervals of the clouds of
Virginia which they puffed assiduously. Says one, "I guess all the
baggage is left behind." The friend, after a long draw at his weed,
threw out a cloud sufficient to cover the rock of Gibraltar, and
replied, with the most philosophical composure, "I guess it aint
nurthin' else." My friend and I puffed vigorously, and looked
inquiringly at each other, as much as to say, "Can our luggage be left
behind?" Soon the conductor appeared to _viser_ the tickets: he would
solve our doubts.--"I say, conductor, is our luggage which came from New
York, left behind?" "Ay, I guess it is, every stick of it; and if you
had been ten minutes later, I guess you might have stayed with it; it'll
come on to-night, and be at Baltimore to-morrow morning about half-past
four; if you'll give me your tickets, and tell me what hotel you are
going to, I'll have it sent up." Upon inquiry, we found this was a very
common event, nor did anybody seem to think it a subject worth taking
pains to have rectified, though the smallest amount of common sense and
common arrangement might easily obviate it. And why this indifference?
Because, first it would cost a few cents; secondly, it doesn't affect
the majority, who travel with a small hand-bag only; thirdly, the
railway across New Jersey is a monopoly, and therefore people must take
that road or none; and lastly, from the observations I elicited in the
course of examining my witnesses, it appeared to me that the jealousy
and rivalry existing between New Jersey, New York, and Philadelphia,
have some little effect; at all events, it is an ignoble affair that it
is suffered to remain. I have, however, no doubt that time will remedy
this, as I trust it will many of the other inconveniences and wants of
arrangement which the whole railway system in this country is at present
subject to.--To return from my digression.

On we went, and soon crossed the Campbell-immortalized Susquehana.
Whatever beauties there were, the elements effectually concealed; and
after a day's journey, which, for aught we saw, might as well have been
over the Shrap Falls, half-past six P.M. landed us in Baltimore, where
we safely received our luggage the following morning.

A letter of introduction to a friend soon surrounded us with kindness in
this hospitable city. My object in stopping here was merely to enjoy a
little of the far-famed canvas-back duck shooting and eating, as I
purposed revisiting these parts early in spring, when I should have more
leisure. No sooner were our wishes known than one of our kind friends
immediately offered to drive us down to Maxwell Point, which is part of
a large property belonging to General Cadwallader, and is situated in
one of the endless inlets with which Chesapeake Bay abounds. All being
arranged, our friend appeared in a light waggon, with a pair of spicy
trotters before it. The road out was dreary and uninteresting enough;
but when we left it, and turned into a waggon way through an extensive
forest, I could not but feel what a lovely ride or drive it must be in
the more genial seasons of the year, when the freshness of spring and
summer, or the richness of autumn, clothes the dense wood with its
beauties. A short and pleasant drive brought us to a ferry, by which we
crossed over to the famous Point, thereby avoiding the long round which
we otherwise must have made. The waters were alive with duck in every
direction; it reminded me forcibly of the Lake Menzaleh, near Damietta,
the only place where I had ever before seen such a duckery.

The sporting ground is part of a property belonging to General
Cadwallader, and is leased to a club of gentlemen; they have built a
very snug little shooting-box, where they leave their guns and
_materiel_ for sport, running down occasionally from Baltimore for a day
or two, when opportunity offers, and enjoying themselves in true pic-nic
style.[J] The real time for good sport is from the middle of October to
the middle of November, and what produces the sport is, the ducks
shifting their feeding-ground, in performing which operation they cross
over this long point. As the season gets later, the birds do not shift
their ground so frequently; and, moreover, getting scared by the eternal
cannonade which is kept up, they fly very high when they do cross. The
best times are daybreak and just before dark; but even then, if the
weather is not favourable, they pass but scantily. My friend warned me
of this, as the season for good sport was already passed, though only
the nineteenth of November, and he did not wish me to be disappointed.
We landed on the Point about half-past four P.M., and immediately
prepared for mischief, though those who had been there during the day
gave us little encouragement.

The _modus operandi_ is very simply told. You dress yourself in the most
invisible colours, and, armed with a huge duck-gun--double or single, as
you like--you proceed to your post, which is termed here a "blind." It
is a kind of box, about four feet high, with three sides and no top; a
bench is fixed inside, on which to sit and place your loading gear.
These blinds are fixed in the centre line of the long point, and about
fifty yards apart. One side of the point they call "Bay," and the other
"River." The sportsmen look out carefully from side to side, and the
moment any ducks are seen in motion, the cry is given "bay" or "river,"
according to the side from which they are approaching. Each sportsman,
the moment he "views the ducks," crouches down in his blind as much out
of sight as possible, waiting till they are nearly overhead, then,
rising with his murderous weapon, lets drive at them the moment they
have passed. As they usually fly very high, their thick downy coating
would turn any shots directed against them, on their approach. In this
way, during a favourable day in the early part of the season, a mixed
"file and platoon" firing of glorious _coups de roi_ is kept up
incessantly. We were very unfortunate that evening, as but few ducks
were in motion, and those few passed at so great a height, that,
although the large A.A. rattled against them from a ponderous Purdey
which a friend had lent me, they declined coming down. I had only
succeeded in getting one during my two hours' watching, when darkness
forced me to beat a retreat.

But who shall presume to attempt a description of the luscious birds as
they come in by pairs, "hot and hot?" A dozen of the members of the club
are assembled; a hearty and hospitable welcome greets the stranger--a
welcome so warm that he cannot feel he is a stranger; every face is
radiant with health, every lip moist with appetite; an unmistakeable
fragrance reaches the nostrils--no further summons to the festive scene
is needed. The first and minor act of soup being over, the "smoking
pair" come in, and are placed before the president. In goes the
fork;--gracious! how the juice spouts out. The dry dish swims; one
skilful dash with the knife on each side, the victim is severed in three
parts, streaming with richness, and whetting the appetite to absolute
greediness. But there is an old adage which says, "All is not gold that
glitters." Can this be a deception? The first piece you put in your
mouth, as it melts away on the palate, dissipates the thought, and you
unhesitatingly pronounce it the most delicious morsel you ever tasted.
In they come, hot and hot; and, like Oliver, you ask for more, but with
better success. Your host, when he sees you flagging, urges, "one" more
cut. You hesitate, thinking a couple of ducks a very fair allowance. He
replies,--"'Pon my word, it's such light food; you can eat a dozen!" A
jovial son of Aesculapius, on whom Father Time had set his mark, though
he has left his conviviality in all the freshness of youth, is appealed
to. He declares, positively, that he knows nothing so easy of digestion
as a canvas-back duck; and he eats away jollily up to his assertion. How
very catching it is!--each fresh arrival from the kitchen brings a fresh
appetite to the party. "One down, t'other come on," is the order of the
day. Those who read, may say "Gormandizer!" But many such, believe me,
if placed behind three, or even four, of these luscious birds, cooked
with the artistic accuracy of the Maxwell Point _cuisine_, would leave
a cat but sorry pickings, especially when the bottle passes freely, and
jovial friends cheer you on. Of course, I do not allude to such people
as enjoy that "soaked oakum," called "bouilli." To offer a well-cooked
canvas-back duck to them, would, indeed, be casting pearls
before--something. Neither would it suit the fastidious taste of those
who, not being able to discern the difference between juice and blood,
cook all flavour and nourishment out of their meats, and luxuriate on
the chippy substance which is left.--But time rolls on; cigars and toddy
have followed; and, as we must be at our posts ere dawn, to Bedfordshire
we go.

Ere the day had dawned, a hasty cup of coffee prepared us for the
morning's sport; and, lighting the friendly weed, we groped our way to
our respective blinds, full of hope and thirsting for blood. Alas! the
Fates were not propitious; but few birds crossed, and those mostly out
of range. However, I managed to bag half a dozen before I was summoned
to nine o'clock breakfast, a meal at which, it is needless to say, the
"glorious bird" was plentifully distributed. After breakfast, I amused
myself with a telescope, watching the ducks diving and fighting for the
wild celery which covers the bottom of these creeks and bays, and which
is generally supposed to give the birds their rich and peculiar flavour.
They know the powers of a duck-gun to a T; and, keeping beyond its
range, they come as close as possible to feed, the water being, of
course, shallower, and the celery more easily obtained. Our time being
limited, we were reluctantly constrained to bid adieu to our kind and
hospitable entertainers, of whose friendly welcome and good cheer I
retain the most lively recollections.

Crossing the bay in a small boat, we re-entered the light carriage, and
were soon "tooling away" merrily to Baltimore. On the road, our friend
amused us with accounts of two different methods adopted in these waters
for getting ducks for the pot. One method is, to find a bay where the
ducks are plentiful, and tolerably near the shore; and then, concealing
yourself as near the water's edge as possible, you take a stick, on the
end of which you tie a handkerchief, and keep waving it steadily
backwards and forwards. The other method is to employ a dog in lieu of
the stick and handkerchief. They have a regular breed for the purpose,
about the size of a large Skye terrier, and of a sandy colour. You keep
throwing pebbles to the water's edge, which the dog follows; and thus he
is ever running to and fro. In either case, the ducks, having something
of the woman in their composition, gradually swim in, to ascertain the
meaning or cause of these mysterious movements; and, once arrived within
range, the sportsman rises suddenly, and, as the scared birds get on the
wing, they receive the penalty of their curiosity in a murderous
discharge. These two methods they call "tolling;" and most effectual
they prove for supplying the market.

Different nations exhibit different methods of ingenuity for the capture
of game, &c. I remember being struck, when in Egypt, with the artful
plan employed for catching ducks and flamingos, on Lake Menzaleh; which
is, for the huntsman to put a gourd on his head, pierced sufficiently to
see through, and by means of which,--the rest of his body being
thoroughly immersed in water,--he approaches his game so easily, that
the first notice they have thereof is the unpleasant sensation they
experience as his hand closes upon their legs in the depths of the

Of the town, &c., of Baltimore, I hope to tell you something more on my
return. We will therefore proceed at once to the railway station, and
take our places for Pittsburg. It is a drizzly, snowy morning, a kind of
moisture that laughs at so-called waterproofs, and would penetrate an
air-pump. As there was no smoking-car, we were constrained to enter
another; and off we started. At first, the atmosphere was bearable; but
soon, alas! too soon, every window was closed; the stove glowed red-hot;
the tough-hided natives gathered round it, and, deluging it with
expectorated showers of real Virginian juice, the hissing and stench
became insufferable. I had no resource but to open my window, and let
the driving sleet drench one side of me, while the other was baking;
thus, one cheek was in an ice-house, and the other in an oven. At noon
we came to "a fix;" the railway bridge across to Harrisburg had broken
down. There was nothing for it but patience; and, in due time, it was
rewarded by the arrival of three omnibuses and a luggage-van. As there
were about eighty people in the train, it became a difficult task to
know how to pack, for the same wretched weather continued, and nobody
courted an outside place, with drenched clothes wherein to continue the
journey. At last, however, it was managed, something on the
herrings-in-a-barrel principle. I had one lady in my lap, and a darling
unwashed pledge of her affection on each foot. We counted twenty-six
heads, in all; and we jolted away, as fast as the snow would let us, to
catch the Philadelphia train, which was to pick us up here.

We managed to arrive about an hour and a half after it had passed; and,
therefore, no alternative remained but to adjourn to the little inn, and
fortify ourselves for the trial with such good things as mine host of
the "Culverley" could produce. It had now settled down to a regular fall
of snow, and we began to feel anxious about the chances of proceeding.

Harrisburg may be very pretty and interesting in fine weather, but it
was a desolately dreary place to anticipate being snowed-up at in
winter, although situated on the banks of the lovely Susquehana:
accordingly, I asked mine host when the next train would pass. He
replied, with grammatical accuracy, "It should pass about four to-morrow
morning; but when it will I am puzzled to say.--What's your opinion,
Colonel?" he added; and, turning round, I observed the distinguished
military authority seated on one chair, and his legs gracefully pendent
over the back of another. In his sword-hand, he wielded a small
clasp-knife, which did the alternate duty of a toothpick and a
whittler,[K] for which latter amusement he kept a small stick in his
left hand to operate upon; and the floor bore testimony to his untiring
zeal. When the important question was propounded to him, he ceased from
his whittling labours, and, burying the blade deep between his ivories,
looked out of the window with an authoritative air, apparently
endeavouring, first, to ascertain what depth of snow was on the ground,
and then, by an upward glance, to calculate how much more was likely to
follow. Having duly weighed these points, and having perfected the
channel between his ivories, he sucked the friendly blade, and replied,
with a stoical indifference--which, considering my anxiety, might almost
be styled heartless--"I guess, if it goes on snowing like this, you'll
have no cars here to-morrow at all." Then, craning up to the heavens, as
if seeking for the confirmation of a more terrible prophecy, he added,
"By the looks of it, I think the gem'men may be fixed here for a week."
Having delivered himself of the foregoing consolatory observation, and
duly discharged a shower of Virginia juice on the floor, the military
authority resumed his whittling labours with increased vigour. His

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