« PreviousContinue »
THE day came at last on which Emily was to depart from Ebury. Had she followed her own inclinations, she would have left when she first heard of James Ailsa's engagement; but Miss Winninton would not permit this. It was somewhat singular, though quite the result of accident, that her departure was fixed for the same day as the marriage.
"Farewell, farewell, dear Miss Winninton," she said, the tears running down her cheeks, "and thank for all you kindness."
"Take care how you get in, Emily," exclaimed the surgeon, as they reached the coach; "another step. Oh, you need not laugh, Mr. Edward: young legs make light of such matters, but old ones like mine know that a bruise on the shin-bone is easier got than cured. You are sure you have everything, my dear? Don't forget that you have promised us another visit next summer: we shall not fail to claim it."
She shook hands with Mr. Winninton, and bent down to kiss her brother.
"Be a good boy, Edward," she whispered, "and do all you can to serve Mr. and Miss Winninton, in return for their great kindness to you." "I will, Emily, I will indeed," answered the boy: "you may tell
"All right," cried Mr. Winninton, as he closed the door with a bang. And the coach rolled onwards.
Emily remained lost in thought till they came near to the Hall, when, aware of the festivities which had that morning taken place, she leaned forward and looked from the window.
They were close upon the lodge gates, when the coach took a sudden swerve, to give place to a chariot-and-four which was bowling through them, on its way from the Hall. It contained James Ailsa and his bride.
Before Emily was prepared for this, or could bring back her advanced head, her glance had encountered theirs. She bowed to them, quite unconscious at the moment what she did, and they both returned it. A crimson blush overspread Mary's face, but his remained perfectly calm. It needed not this to convince Emily how completely he had forgotten
It was but a momentary meeting. Almost as Emily looked, the carriage had passed, leaving but its cloud of dust behind. The stage coachman, after an admiring eye given to the lost equipage, whipped up his horses to gain the station in time for the half-past two o'clock train, and Emily Bell, sinking into the darkest corner of the empty coach, sobbed bitterly.
DOWN THE OHIO.
HIGH PRESSURE STEAM-BOATS-CINCINNATI.
BY J. W. HENGISTON, ESQ.
THE weather has suddenly become so cold, though the sun shines brightly, that the snow drifted in the furrows of the fields sets it at defiance. I have as abruptly skipped from within thirty miles of Boston to the station of the Great Western Railway in Philadelphia; and while the mules are putting to the cars to run them out High-street westward over the Schuylkill (where the engines are waiting on the opposite bank), take my seat, after trying in vain to soften the rigidity of the baggage man, who had seized on my small carpet-bag, and insisted on its keeping my trunk company. This dodge I might have dodged by not letting it out of my hand at all while paying my fare (eleven dollars to Pittsburg), but I am for ever (all through a long life!) making mistakes, which I find out when it is too late.
Many younger citizens were up to this, and took their bags slily inside, in spite of there being no room contemplated anywhere, above or below, for anything larger than a monstrous reticule, or lady's carpetbag, which are, in the States, made very pretty-of velvet, silk, embossed leather, &c., and in very gay, bright patterns. The engines put to, away we go to the west-our track at starting, along the right bank of the Schuylkill, striking off at the upper ferry-opposite Pratt's and the waterworks. A little above, I got a glimpse of Solitude, the seat of General Cadwallador, where once, far back, "in life's young dream," I passed many a day of pure delight with a revered friend, who then owned and gave its appropriate name to this sweet spot. Gone is that friend, and my beloved "Solitude" has grown a large house-the scene below on the river quite changed-no harm in the useful world-but-one grows more and more solitary in the busy hum of men-new faces, new generations! The old covered wonderful wooden bridge, of from three to four hundred feet span from shore to shore, is gone too-replaced by the present iron suspension one; the former only recollected, it may be, by the old, and never heard of by the young!
And how do one's remaining years fly by at railroad pace! To put on the break a little I am now in these very cars-to throw a few novel incidents into the passing year's monotony!-not to stagnate near Hyde Park-no, not willingly in a Belgravia; not in a Pimlico Palace. Enough-I have got for my sins into the too close vicinity of a bunch of fast gents, who are chewing the weed, "et cætera," as Lady E. S. Wortley says, with a vigour which makes one shudder.
Twenty miles through a tolerably well-cultivated country, the woods and clearings more or less frequent, brings us to the "Great Valley," across which, at Downing's Town, runs the Brandywine Creek, famous in the old war for a fierce battle-at present, for turning the water-wheels of innumerable grist mills along its course and at Wilmington; where it joins the Delaware (passing Westchester on its way), running through beautiful woods and glens-often as a boy, barefooted, with my trousers tucked up, have I passed the day bobbing for eels, in spots where it
rushes over its rocky bed in the freshets. These torrents of rain, the brief accompaniment of the awful thunder-gusts of American summers, making its clear stream muddy, and sweeping the eels down from the more level banks in body of water it equals the Isis at Oxford.
This finely-cultivated valley was settled by the Germans they are the chief people to this day, and their farms the pattern farms to the whole state. The economy of these farms, in a double sense, would be well to follow in some things even in England-particularly in their ample barns, large enough to contain their whole crops under one roof, avoiding our more clumsy, inefficient stacks. Under all this vast mass of wheat, oats, barley, rye, on one side of the barn floor, and hay and straw on the other, all their numerous cattle are warmly housed in winter, and coolly in the hot summers, when wanted. Indian corn cribs run along and overhang the south side of every barn, bursting with its golden plenty, and loved of all four-legged and two-legged animals-including man. Oh, sweet, beneficent, pure, wholesome grain! how does one bless God for sending it on earth-a standing miracle of thy care and goodness! with the cocoa-nut palm for the hotter climes, conspicuous.
I wish we would take to it more in England; it is so very good, so very plentiful and cheap, so very sweet and nutritious; of this was the unleavened bread! it is made in a minute. As mush (the polenta of Italy), it is eaten all over America; and how superior to oaten porridge. It is made, too, into cakes, bread, pies, in infinite variety. Horses and cattle like nothing so well; ground rough and mixed with cut straw, or thrown in their cribs in the cob. The grain is the favourite food of the feathered creation; ground and mixed in cold water it fattens poultry, pigs, &c., quicker than any other grain.
The meal, if kiln dried, keeps very well, and we might have it in any quantity; but, with ourselves, the difficulty is to create a taste for it! I brought some home with me, and I insist on having a little mush now and then (cut in slices, when cold, and fried) for breakfast; but alas! one or two men I have tried it on, have but d-d it with faint praise! Need one wonder at the Swiss or Prussians preferring their own coarse black bread. But I shall never get out of the "Great Valley."
We skirted its southern hilly borders of woods. I looked for Fanstock's Tavern (the General Paoli), a serious, steady, thrifty man, grown rich more by his fine farm than his brandy, wine, or cyder. I saw himhis thin placid face and kind greeting-in my mind's eye, for he, nay, his very children (daughters) are gone, and the funny old ostler, who used to give my pony jin a bite of hay, gone. I was rather glad that we flew by, and cut short reminiscent dreamy repinings. All this country is either High or Low Dutch-at least their descendants-and Dutch or German is their domestic vernacular. They used to speak English unwillingly and badly.
On a railway one can see very little of a country, but it struck me there was less neatness in the farms and farming than formerly, and certainly, in the whole length and breadth of this valley (ten or twelve miles by five or six), the homesteads are not more numerous, nor any of the surrounding woods more cleared: but these very woods have become more valuable. The surrounding hills, too, being of limestone, is one source of wealth, to build and to burn for lime, used everywhere as a
I find a great difference in the comfort of the cars; this set is very shabby and bad. The stove in the middle only heats the few passengers in its vicinity, while all the rest may freeze, as the doors and windows are constantly thrown open by the conductors or passengers, who amuse themselves travelling backwards and forwards through all the string of cars, gossiping.
Lancaster, sixty miles from Philadelphia, is a fine large thriving town-slow and sure, quite German, with a good many Quakers. The country round it pleasingly undulated, and very highly cultivated; if anything, rather too much cleared of wood, though coal begins to be used as a cheaper fuel in all American towns already.
Hereabouts, and elsewhere, I have observed attempts at cotton factories, encouraged by the high tariffs, to shut England out, but they rarely succeed; many are shut up. Even at Lowell it languishes. The reason is obvious enough-hands are not to be had except at great wages, and even then it is very difficult to keep up an essential subordination. Still on the whole they do increase, particularly their ironworks and foundries for stoves and steam-engines, for which there is a constant great demand.
An apology for a turnpike-road runs from Philadelphia to Lancaster, on which forty years ago were seen the Conostoga waggons, of eight horses each, two abreast, famous for their size and the careful economy of the teams and their appointments. These waggons supplied the interior of the state as far as Harrisburg, the capital, on the Susquehanna; but, like ourselves, the railways have upset all the old slow conveyances. I looked in vain for a Conostoga waggon, though I dare say they still exist on those tracks of this vast state, remote from the railway stations, on their rough primitive roads, and through hundreds of miles of still virgin forests.
Some distance beyond Lancaster, the railway skirting or running through a wild woody country, we suddenly came upon the steep banks of a considerable river, and crossed a very bold and feeble wooden bridge, evidently not a bit stronger than could be helped, with no sort of rail or parapet-all nothing, when one gets used to it. We passed many such beyond the capital, approaching the spurs of the mountains.
The view across the river to the westward, coming in on the Susquehanna, is beautiful-a grand smiling valley, in which Harrisburg rejoices. One cannot imagine a finer site; but even here I overheard conversations about unhealthiness! One is puzzled to account for this mysterious miasma, which seems to take possession of all the finest, most habitable spots; and yet here is a bold, rocky, very open country: hills and dales in profusion on every side-rocks of limestone and slate breaking out on the banks, the woods, and in the very meadows.
We remained but a few minutes in the suburbs of the town at the station to change carriages (for a better set), so that I saw little of it. It is a large place, but not increasing rapidly. The governor and as
sembly of any one state seem to have very little influence in any of the small quiet United States seats of government. Since this railway, however, they are going ahead; and paper, iron, and tin factories increase-if I can at all judge by the various tall chimneys I saw smoking.
May-VOL. XCVIII. NO. CCCLXXXIX.
Northward, among these romantic hills, on the upper branches of this noble stream, lies Campbell's "Wyoming." One might look in vain for such a spot as he has drawn it; indeed, for the essential truth and vigour of such tales, the poet should himself have walked these woods and have witnessed the lives of the Indians and the primitive settlers.
Before I quit this part of the state, a word à propos of the excellent economy of their barns, their farm-yards, where their cattle luxuriate in the severe winters in the sun up to their knees in straw, with fodder scattered about for their mid-day's amusement—that is, the toppings and strippings of the corn-stalks, which growing from eight to twelve feet high, sends out its beautiful and vigorous leaves by the yard; these and the stalk, when dried, form excellent food-indeed, the stalk when in its full sap and vigour is as juicy and as sweet as the which it a good deal resembles, and not a doubt would make sugar profitably, if the corn itself were not still better and more solidly profitable. This is called fodder when dried, and in the south is more relied on to feed their cattle, where grass and hay is more scarce.
Thus on the sunny side of these immense stone barns is the warm parlour, in common for the whole farm stock: cattle, horses, sheep, pigs, and poultry, all in a state of delightful familiarity; the cocks and hens perched on the cows' backs occasionally, or feeding under their feet, all enjoying themselves. One might indeed call it a really "happy family," had not that pleasant designation become so odious from the specimens in a wire cage which still takes up its stand at our National Gallery!
But there is a broadcast plenty, a freeness from want or hunger both for man and beast, which makes up the chief charm of this country life, which joined to a wise prudence, albeit quite animal, and excessively dull, in-doors and out, makes great part of Pennsylvania a good compound Dutch and Quaker Arcadia. Not but that they have their gay "frolics" occasionally: their "quiltings," their "apple-butter stirrings," and "corn-husking" frolics, in autumn and winter, when all the valley or neighbourhoods meet for five miles round, and feast and laugh, and "bestow their tediousnesses," and "don't go home till morning." On these occasions occur those "bundlings" we have heard of.
But what is most to be admired in the true American farming, is the perfect knowledge of grandfather, father, and sons (for hired servants are very rare) of what they have to do; and it is done in the very best way, whether with the axe, the plough, the hoe, or the scythe. They have, too, a spice of the Swiss in their sharp thrift, and as good shots with the rifle; and go beyond them in riches of every kind, and a consequent bluntness of manner not particularly engaging to us strangers.
In the country parts of America churches are rare; all the world are Dissenters of some shade or other; they ride miles of a Sunday to their meeting-houses, where may be seen, perhaps, fifty horses, hitched to the trees or fences; and a dozen or two of their light carts or waggons, all taking care of themselves outside, while the congregation, if Quaker, are silently waiting (covered) for the spirit to move some one; if German or mixed, a Lutheran or Calvinist extempore service; but there is no sort of acrimony of sect; out of the four walls nobody talks of beliefs, no matter what it is. Often there is a great mixture of creeds under one roof, as a matter of convenience. Even the Quakers have grown less