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The general cleanliness of the whole country is not departed from in the travelling conveyances. The comfortable appendage of the stove has not introduced any appearance of smoke, and the cushions, floors, and numerous windows are kept scrupulously neat. Every car has blinds for summer, and a stove in the centre for cold weather. Each velvetcushioned seat has a movable back, so that four can turn face to face, or you may, by turning the back, be alone with one companion. Many cars have a saloon at one end, where ladies retire to nurse their babes, and where you may take a nap on a long sofa.
In such a dressing-room I had been kindly packed by my friends, and had dropped asleep, when a change in the noise made by the carriages awaked me. It was a pale, misty moonlight, past two A.M. I roused myself to look out, and saw water expanded as far as my eye could penetrate. Were we on the shore of the sea! I went to the other side. It was water still—not shoreless ocean, indeed, but still we were in the midst of water. I had not studied the map—no one had told me that the rails had been laid across two inlets of the Chesapeake Bay, in preference to laying them round it. So there I stood in mute surprise. These people are like the “Ancient Mariner,” thought I–
“Tramp, tramp across the land we go,
Presently, however, we had passed the open piles, which sustain the rails, and leave the shallow tides to ebb and flow amongst them at will, and were again booming along on solid ground—and then I went to sleep again, till roused to enter a huge steamer which meets the rail at the mouth of the Susquehanna—and a busy crossing was made of it.there is long a difficulty in mastering the th, and t, which they pronounce as d-this may be observed even in their children. We passed some very pleasant days in a settlement among the mountains, where Dutch customs are still cherished by those whose hearts never knew home-sickness, and who foster no secret longings after the land of their forefathers. Amongst the sires of these thriving families, we found aged people, whose eyes glistened when a pastor of our company addressed them in Dutch. But they had left home in childhood, and time, in its ceaseless and busy flow, had swept away the memories and broken the ties which once were strong and deep; their hearts and homes are now here among the Mohawk mountains, and here they desire to rest their remains. They are a homely, honest people; industrious, but, I should say, not laborious. The people of our country, I conjecture, mingle more of the sweat of their brow with their bread than these do. We found them the same in manner in their own farm-houses that they were in the mansion, when business called them there. It was a new sight to us to observe the tenant stand covered in the saloon of the landlord, amid a circle of ladies and gentlemen, conversing with tranquil good sense and propriety, with no perceptible consciousness of any distinction of rank. Self-possessed, quiet independence of manner,
From the dimly-lighted carriage we found ourselves transported into a floating hotel, where cooks were frying bacon and eggs, and steaks broiling and sputtering, ladies pacifying sleepy children, and maids rumning with smoking tea and coffee. In a few minutes it was changed, as in a dissolving view. Cooking, eating, running about, had passed away, and we were sweeping along the rails in the dull moonlight as before, trying again to coax ourselves to sleep.
WE frequently hear of colonies of settlers from the same country who have congregated together, and are long of acquiring the language and habits of their new home. Welsh, German, Swedish, French, and Dutch, are to be found so united, and lately Portuguese also. The little band of Christians persecuted from Madeira by Popery, fled from dungeons and pelting with stones, first to the island of Trinidad, but not finding room there, they have finally settled in the State of Illinois. Their native tongue, in which they read the Bible and are addressed by their pastors, forms a strong bond of union, which, in the meantime, deprives them of the advantage to be derived from the rapid acquisition of the language which must ultimately become that of their children. Yet, difficult as the English language confessedly is, I have heard an unlettered German speak it so well, that, if he had not told me so, I should not have suspected he had only left his
seems compion to all ranks. No one looks bold or forward, for every one is doing what it becomes him in his position to do. One never sees the supercilious stare of inquiry which seems to ask — “ Who are you?” “Do you belong to our set ? ” “ Are you one of us?” American deportment, between persons of different ranks, derives, from its republican institutions, a healthy freedom, and, at the same time, a wholesome restraint. There is no order of things more calculated to give native character fair play, and native dignity its due weight.
I never saw this exemplified more to my taste than in the mistress of a large dairy in one of these mountain farms. She was tall, thin, and rather delicate in appearance, yet she managed all the skilful parts of her work with her own hands. We saw many cheeses as large as those which now come to England in wooden cases. On wonder being expressed how she could manage such huge and heavy cheeses, she put on her apron, and, with as much courtesy as a countess might employ in shewing her cabinet or her hothouse, she went round the great boiler and shewed the machine which poured in the milk to be heated. Then we saw that which drew it off into the tub when hot, and also how it was coagulated, and afterwards worked into curd and pressed. She explained the process with precision in very melodious and complaisant tones, closing her exhibition in the cheese-room with such grace and goodwill, that she would hardly accept our