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Most people travel a leetle every Summer through these United States, in sundry portions and quarters thereof; and yet how very few of those who go down upon the sea in ships, or along the rail-road or the canal, seeing the sublimities and oddities of existence, make any record of them ? Therefore, gentle reader, do I propose to enlighten thee, not with sketches of travel, but with beneficial hints, whereby thy omnipresent whereabout, as thou journeyest, may be regaled.
We are passing up the Hudson. The low clouds from a hundred steam-boats are staining the sky in the direction of New-York, which has long since faded in the distance. The peripatetic colored man, who summonses oblivious passengers to the capting's orifice,' to disburse the swindle for their transit, has not yet gone his rounds: there is only the low gurgle of the waves ploughed aside by the bow of the steam-boat; the half-waked company are promenading the deck, and the poetically-disposed are looking at the palisades, whose dark shoulders rise on the west bank of the river, as if those barriers could never be removed, even by the voice of the archangel, and the final trump.
BY-THE-WAY, speaking of the last trumpet, makes me remember the reply of a veteran old charcoal man, of Philadelphia, well known to the citizens thereof for the sonorousness of his tin horn, and the excel. lence of his commodity. Honest JIMMY CHARCOAL! — be is removed from among the quick, and numbered with those who have jumped from the shoal of time into kingdom come. He was a cheerful, good-hearted citizen; and though he certainly did not move in the first circles, yet he spread light and heat wherever he went — not by his person, however; for if ever there was a man who looked like a plenipotentiary fresh from the court of Tophet, Jimmy was that individual. Well, as I have said, he had a most vociferous horn, and unremitting were the blasts which he protruded through the same upon the general ear. At last, some evil disposed citizens, having no taste for music, went to his honor the Mayor, and lodged grievous complaints againt the distinguished hornist, (I use a musical term,) setting forth that he disturbed the public bosom with his soul-stirring instrument. After such an accusation, he was brought before the great municipal functionary, and received a stern and awful reprimand. Jimmy stood the rebuke as if Satan had not only allowed him his own color, but also his courage. His reply was cogent and conclusive: • Look here, your honor,' said he “I ha'nt no disposition, by no means, to complain of them 'ere people as bas complained of me. Folks in my line can bear upwards of considerable in the way of epithets, without changing color, or gettin' mad. But I do say, that I axes them as charges me with making too much noise in the world,
why they have got up such an antipathy ag'in' my horn? And I should like to know, if my little tin affair troubles them so now, how they will feel when they come to hear the big trumpet, that is to be blew at the day of judgment — calling them, just as likely as not, to a coal-hole a mighty sight blacker than the one I come from?' The Mayor was non-plussed — and the coal man went twanging on
The officer could no more stand his logic than his opponent could his horn.
But I digress. Let us get back to the Hudson. Stop, ye who travel, one day at West Point. That Cozzens gives noble dinners; his wines are superb; and the man who likes not creature comforts, is a bad member of society. Go thou likewise to the Cattskill Mountain House whence you shall look down beneath the clouds on smiling counties, and towns, and cities, spread forth as on a map, at your feet. There,' said Natty Bumpo, 'you can see — creation ! The Hudson like a ribbon - the boats and sails on its blue and gleaming breast not much larger than buoys and handkerchiefs. Oh, 'tis a noble scene! and when the plains beneath are sweltering in the fervors of Summer — when the snake creeps forth on the rock in the sunshine, and the cattle in a thousand meadows consort together under the trees, to breathe the air that gathers from the sleepy landscape into their branches — then, at the Mountain House, 't is calm and cool. I say, reader, be sure to go there; and if it is somewhat too cold in June, it must be nice in July and August.
MAGNIFICENT are the Cattskills, as seen from the Hudson. How their broad highland regions' swell and roll in sublime and solemn undulations against the sky! How profuse the gushes of glorious sunlight that chase each other along those lordly ridges! As the boat glides along, these peaks are sometimes hid from view; but like great men amid the strifes of parties, or the changes of time, they must almost continually impress us with their presence, and stand like distant guardians of one of the finest rivers in the world, observable, for countless inland leagues, overlooking streams, villages, and the grander Hudson, for hundreds of miles.
Albany is a capital city. If you are a quiet person, enamoured of ease and comfort, go to Cruttenden's — mine host of the Eagle. Most delicious is his coffee neatest of the neat are his rooms his bread is like snow — his viands done to a T- and there is nothing equal to his own personal courtesies. Pleasant things drop continually from his lips, and your ear may drink wisdom and wit from them, 'as the honey bee drinks from the rose.' He is the best possible sign of the excellence of his own fare. His cheeks are full and healthy, and though his nose is not bedecked with those sumptuous red carbuncles which are usually supposed the insignia of a true Boniface, yet his figure is portly and commanding, and his belly is as a round goblet, which wanteth not liquor,' as the wise man observes in his Canticles.
Let me not be an out-and-outer, as touching Albany. I would that my praise should be properly modified. The lower, or business parts of the city, except in the region round about the Eagle, are not particularly attractive; but in the upper quarters, near the Capitol Square, and along State-street, few towns in our country 'can with it compare. I know of no place to which, in some respects, could be better applied the lines of Byron:
For whoso entereth within this town,
Mid many things unsightly to strange ee.' But ascend you to the dome of the City Hall, in Capitol Square, and look forth upon the scene! It is beautiful - that's the word. Look at the landscape to the North, heaved up in the glory and grandeur of Summer against the sapphire walls of Heaven — varied with meadows and harvest fields, and rural mansions ; observe Troy, with its Mount Ida, and the affluent valley of the Hudson — likewise the distant Cattskills —also the city beneath, with those numerous 'white swellings,' or domes, of the steeple genus, which have broken out ambitiously all over the town; look at these — and at the whole sweep of Capitol Square - and you shall meet with great rejoicing of eye. But beware of a person whom you may observe in the streets, perambulating about with a basket on his arm, vending the sweet-flag root, and barks of prickly ash and slippery-elm. The latter, especially, should you partake of it, will cause you to remain a day beyond your time. Wonderfully slippery is that article, indeed - and you would think, to hear its owner talk, 'in the way of trade,' that his tongue was made of the same material.
The route to Schenectady is dullish -- but I advise the reader, if that personage be a male, to take the outside of the car, (by courtesy from the
powers that be,) and survey the country round. He will see the eternal Cattskills bounding the horizon for near two-thirds of the way — rising like pyramids, blue and lofty into Heaven,
· Where clouds like earthly barriers stand,
I am discoursing now to the traveler on the Niagara route, and therefore I would fling in a word or two of advice to him. When thou comest to Schenectady, thou wilt be grievously athirst, if the weather be warm but I beseech thee, buy no soda water in Old Esopus. One Truax has an apology for the article — but drink it not! It is indescribable tastes like bad champagne, vinegar, and brimstone. A tumbler full of the Dead Sea would taste sweeter. Neither be thou tempto?
by the boys who vend nuts and apples by the packet-boat landing. Dishonest, and peddling urchins! — their commodities are awful!
The contrast between the spacious cabins of the Hudson steamers, and the low, narrow boats on the canal - even those of the better sort – is un happily too striking. When you enter the latter, resign yourself to fate. You will find captains or superintendents, who verily believe that there are no other places on earth but Schenectady and Utica, and that the rest of creation is of small account. They are stupendous persons, on a small scale. The idea of having some fisty or sixty individuais, by compulsion, in their power every day, gives them a sense of their own importance, which nothing can annul; and the air of grandeur with which they help you to a half-boiled potato, or a stinted radish, would be fit princes. But do not offend them. On the contrary, cause them to believe that you suppose them incomparable — their fare rich beyond description — their charges no swindle — and that you have no exalted opinion of the new rail-road to be open in August, and destined to carry passengers three times quicker - and you will get the best they have — they receiving, at the same time, a drast on your eternal gratitude. I do not wish to flatter these varlets — but I do
that their bills ought to be made payable in slow notes — namely paper, payable, the first instalment when the debtor dies, and the last half when he rises.
It is rumored that important improvements are in contemplation by these great men among others, a novel mode of making the public mouth salutary, from North to South.' This was suggested by the following circumstance. A captain was helping himself to the toothbrush of a respectable passenger, who said to him: What the devil are you doing with my brush and powder ? Why,' said the captain, • I am using it because I thought it belonged to the boat, and had been furnished by the company, for the use of the passengers !!
When you come to Utica, do not be in haste to depart. You may kill twenty-four divisions of the common enemy nay, forty-eight, very agreeably there. Trenton Falls are not far off; though it matters little whether you see them before you go to Niagara, or on your return.
But soft - ' a word or two before you go. There is a drug-shop, kept by an Italian, near the canal, on the right of Genesee-street, as you proceed to the West, where you can obtain soda powders, and eke Seidlitz, of unimpeachable excellence. Buy several boxes. They will serve you well on the road to the Great Falls — where, dear reader, you shall meet me anon.
They are not there! where once their feet
They are not there ! by the dear hearth,
MARY ANNE BROWNE.
LUCIUS M. PIBO, FROM PALMYRA, TO HIS FRIEND MARCUS CURTIUS, AT
TRANSLATED AND PUBLISHED.
You could not but suppose, my Curtius, when you came to the end of my last letter, that I should soon write again, and not leave you ignorant of the manner in which I passed the evening at the palace of Zenobia. Accordingly, knowing that you would desire this, I had no sooner tied and sealed my epistle, than I sat down to give you those minute recollections of incident and of conversation in which
and Lucilia both so much delight, and which indeed, in the present instance, are not unimportant in their bearing upon my future lot
. But this I shall leave to your own conjectures. A tempest of rain makes me a necessary prisoner to the house, but the pleasant duty of writing to you spreads sunshine on all within my room. I trust in the gods that you are all well.
Of the banquet in that Egyptian hall, and its immediately attendant circumstances, I need not tell you. It was like other feasts of ceremony, where the niceties of form constantly obtrude themselves, and check too much the flow of conversation. Then, too, one's mind is necessarily distracted, where the feast is sumptuous, by the rarity of the dishes, the richness of the service, and the pomp and stir of the attendance. Never was it my fortune in Rome to recline at a table of more imperial splendor. For Lucilia's sake I will just say, that the service