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that he was seldom in the right. When it rained, his coat was snugly tied to his saddle....he made haste to get it on his back, and lo! it ceased to rain while the heat of the sun soon obliged him to alight, and fix it on the saddle again. It served us for an occasional laugh, and if all our miscalculations and misfortunes could be passed off as merrily, we should fare much better than most of us do, in our journey through life.
The farm-houses within sight are generally built of stone, and form, in this respect, a striking contrast to the wooden houses of New-England. Dwellings of stone and of brick are universally condemned by our eastern brethren, as destructive of health; but if this prejudice were not otherwise contradicted, the hardy appearance of the people among whom we now are, is far from warranting the belief. No lack of taverns....there are cleven in a distance of as many miles, between the Bridge and Pottsgrove. So many are not necessary for the accommodation of travellers....they serve as places of drunkenness and debauchery to the idle and profligate in the neighbourhood, and are, in fact, public nuisances. The soil is not generally rich, consisting of a thin redish loam, hilly and gravelly..... Wepassed though a populous country, and arrived at the pretty little village of Pottsgrove before sun-set. At the entrance of the town, there is an unoccupied large stonehouse, which, as we were informed, was erected by one of the Pott's, on a high spot of ground, which never was completed, from water being nowhere to be found upon the hill. Though several hundred pounds were expended on this house, the builder was not more short-sighted than he who built a mill in Dauphin county, intending to make it pump up the water, by which it was to be supplied, and from which it was to derive all its force.
The land about this village is fertile, and well cultivated. The town is situated thirty-seven miles from Philadelphia, in a valley, near the Schuylkill, but not within sight of it; and contains one hundred and fifty houses, chiefly stone and brick. The most notable circumstance that occurred here, was the measuring of a radish in the landlord's garden, which proved to be twentytwo and an half inches in circumference.
21....Departed by times. Crossed the Mawnytawny, a small creek, and breakfasted at the White-horse, five miles on our way....fared well. Soon after crossed the Monockass, over a substantial stone-bridge of six arches. Tarried an hour at Reading, which is a considerable, but ill-looking town, sixteen and an half miles from Pottsgrove. One story log-houses, filled in with brick or stone, small, slovenly and inconvenient, with a few modern buildings, clumsily ornamented, is a full description of Reading. We met here a Philadelphian, who told us, he could not, after repeated trials, find a chaise, or any kind of carriage, for hire in the town. This place is noted for its hatters. A great many wool hats, of good fabric, are made here, sold to the Philadelphia hatters, and thence dispersed every where..... They manufacture them so cheap, and their work is in such credit, that no body in Philadelphia attempts the same business. They are much superior to the wool hats usu ally imported from England.
Schuylkill is on the west side of Reading, out of view. Hills obstruct the prospect on every other side. The town lies, comparatively, low, in a contracted, but fertile valley: the hills are generally cultivated on their sides, though some of them are bleak and barren. The contrast is not unpleasant. Near the town flows the Tulpehocken into the Schuylkill. By means of this stream, and the Quitipihiila, the sources of each approaching very near to each
other, one of the projected canals was intended to unite the Susquehannah and Schuylkill.
This canal has suffered the same fate as the other....the work has long since been suspended. To render the Delaware and Schuylkill canal extensively useful, it will be necessary to complete this....by means of which a water communication may be opened with an extensive country bordering on the wide spreading branches of the Susquehannah, and on the lakes north-west of the Pennsylvania line.
My countrymen project with more zeal than they execute, and are not backward to undertake more than they can perform. The failure of these canals may be attributed to a variety of causes. It was not to be expected, considering the number and magnitude of the public works commenced at the same period, that a sum, commensurate to their seasonable completion, could be suddenly diverted from the capital employed, by the citizens, in pursuits more pressing in their demands, more generally understood, and more certain in their issue. Many of the subscribers were mere speculators, and became stockholders with no view steadily to prosecute the work; but to embrace the first favourable moment to sell out to a profit. These nominal members were like dead weights on the exertions of the rest. Certain other individuals, whose extensive schemes of aggrandizement have no parallel in this, or perhaps any other country, having purchased largely of the stock, possessed themselves of a considerable portion of the funds of their associated brethren, and then becoming bankrupts, thus effectually paralized, if they have not given the death wound to these valuable works.
Still pursuing the course of the river on its eastern side, we halted ten miles from Reading, at Hamburgh, or Carter's-town....or, as the Germans in the neighbourhood pro
nounce it, Kaarker's sthettle..... a small place of forty houses, which seems to carry on a brisk trade in card-playing and horse-racing.
Before we reached Hamburgh, we crossed Maiden-creek, a considerable stream, over a wooden bridge, resting on stone piers..... About this creek there is good land, and the redish hue of the soil so conspicuous hitherto, begins to decline.
Every where we find the descendants of Germans. They are the principal settlers of the country, and are a rude uncultivated people, not noted for civility, nor apt to render disinterested services to strangers or each other.
A mile from Hamburgh we began to skirt the first ridge of mountains, on a wild, rugged road, cut along its sides, at the foot of which flows the river, sometimes placidly and slowly, and sometimes rapidly and turbulently over rocks and shoals. The road is frequently sixty, and an hundred feet almost vertically above the river, and is too narrow to allow carriages to pass each other. Three miles further we crossed at Ege's Forge the eastern branch called Little Schuylkill, having passed in view of the junction a little below.. Both branches head in this immense chain of mountains. The roughness of the road made travelling very tiresome,and occasionedus to be benighted, a circumstance however, which we had little reason to regret. The air of the mountains after a hot day, was very refreshing, and the full moon, rising majestically over the hill-tops, contributed not a little to the grandeur of the scenery. The dark sides of the mountains formed a picteresque contrast to the silvery illumination which invested the rest of the landscape. reached our intended resting place, At length we and were received with significant bows and looks, by a boorish looking German, whom we soon found to be our landlord. Judging from appearances we prepared ourselves for rough fair in this barren region. We enquired what we could have
to eat, and were answered, any thing you please. J..... was for coffee, but I dissuaded him, expecting he would not relish it if made; we called for milk, which was furnished of the best quality and in nice order, with abundance of good butter and cheese. J..... proposed the addition of pye, "well," said our host, "you can have it," and forthwith produced pyes of two kinds, both excellent. Such fare in a wilder ness was unexpected, and we did it justice by finishing near a quart of milk each.
Our landlord's name is David Pensinger. His house is nine miles from Hamburgh. He seems desirous of pleasing, and amused us much by his aukward nods and singular remarks. As an instance, when we ordered oats for our horses, he -stopped to point out to us the remarkable resemblance between the English and German pronunciation of the word, one being "oats," and the other "haaver."
22.....Several of us, having been crowded together in a small, close room, and the weather being exceedingly warm, I slept little on my musty dusty bed of chaff with one scanty sheet: heard the clock strike every hour of the night, and rose between three and four in the morning.
J......'s horse is lame, and mine much galled, and this is the more unpleasant as we have a rough tiresome day's ride before us. We are now among the mountains, and expect to travel slowly. Pensinger, after examining J......'s horse, gravely informed him of a cure which he said could not fail of success...." At the next house you stop at, look for a bag, and steal the string. This, tie round your horses lame leg, but be sure you do it without being seen by any body." We have been diligently employed three hours in going to Reever's, a distance of eight or ten miles. J..... will scarcely find it necessary to purloin a string, as his horse moves as usual. No improvements visible except a few low huts, with
small patches of cleared ground about them, mostly planted with buck-wheat. Buck-wheat is the grain chiefly grown in this part of the country, and is employed to feed their poultry, their hogs and themselves. Good rye is likewise cultivated to profit, but the soil is too light for wheat, and we saw none of it.
Every where the women are busy in the fields with the men, and both sexes are principally occupied in destroying the trees. A shirt of coarse linen, wide trowsers of tow cloth, a broad rimmed black wool hat, and leather shoes, composed the dress of the men; niost of them had pipes in their mouths. The dress of the women consisted of three articles; a hat similar to that worn by the men, the usual garment of coarse linen, and a linsey petticoat, to which some of them added a neck handkerchief and shoes. The air we breathe is impregnated with the odour of wild flowers, with which the woods abound, and of which we observed a great variety. Reever's wife appeared to exert herself to entertain us,and among other dainties placed before us a large dish of fried onions swimming in fat. Here we were overtaken by three young men on foot from Philadelphia, bound to Catawessey, who left Reading when we did. An active man on foot, will, on a journey of considerable extent, keep pace with a horseman, so much time is consumed in the care necessarily bestowed on that animal, and who requires longer and more frequent intervals of rest, inasmuch as he carries not only himself, but his rider.
It is amusing to observe the effect of political zeal in this impoverished tract. Every few miles present us with a liberty pole towering near some dismal hovel, and decorated with party coloured flags and liberty caps.
We perceived no pines, nor evergreens of any kind till we entered the mountains, and now few other
trees of any importance present themselves. It is reasonable to believe that these trees prevailed originally and generally throughout a considerable portion of the United States. Where settlements are newly made, and the pine and hemlock are cut down, they are invariably succeeded by the oak and hickory. It is probable that the dwarf bush or scrub oak differs not in species from those of larger size, for it is always sure to expand to the customary magnitude, when the lofty trees which overshadow,and impede its growth are removed. This is the case in every part of the continent that I have visited.
Between Reever's and Kepner's (about eight miles) there is but one house, or rather hovel. Kepner is a lively talkative old fellow, and his house is one of the best in its materials and construction in the woods. It is of hewn logs one story high, and twenty feet square, composing a single room in which the landlord tells us he has lodged forty persons at once.
This man left a good plantation in a populous neighbourhood to reside in this lonely and sterile spot. This he does not regret, but laments very much his having abandoned another mode of life, which was that of driving a waggon and team of horses, which he says, he followed for forty-five years, without interruption. We had a repast of same venison, rye bread and butter, radishes and cheese, all very excellent, and whisky, being the only liquor his house afforded. Our horses had a plentiful mess of cut rye and straw for all which he charged us twenty-five cents. Twenty-five cents," exclaimed J.....r with uplifted hands and eyes, affecting to be amazed at the extravagance of the demand. "Why tus you dink es is du much?" Was the query of our good natured host, withdrawing his hand as the money was presented to him. He would willingly have reduced the price. In any of the southern states a less comfortable and plentiful supply
VOL. I....NO. III.
would have cost us two dollars. The old man was well pleased with our liberality in paying the full quarter of a dollar, and on parting wished us a pleasant ride.
For the Literary Magazine. CRITICAL NOTICES.
ANALYSIS OF MILTON'S "Il Penseroso."
Why the objects either of nature or poetry produce different effects on different minds, is easily explained. Ideas and images are differently linked and associated; and as all are tinctured with pain or with pleasure, it is impossible that any two readers should read the same performance with exactly the same emotions; or even that the same person should derive the same impressions from the perusal at different times. Thought is volatile and flexible beyond any other essence: yet, like every other, is bound by certain laws, and particularly influenced and swayed by habit..... Hence it is, that those who begin, in early youth, to read a poem, continue, generally, for the rest of their lives, to read with much the same impression, rude, vague, and superficial as they are. Often as I have recited the following lines, containing the pedigree of the goddess to whom this poem is dedicated....
Thee bright-hair'd Vesta, long of yore,
Often as this passage has been recited by me, it never occurred to me, till very lately, to discuss the meaning or weigh the propriety of this genealogical tree. What train of reflections it was....what course of education induced the poet to give such a father and mother to his dart
ing melancholy....Why these creatures of ancient fancy, and a certain mountain in a certain isle of the Mediterranean, should be fixed upon as the parents and birth place of this personification; or what legitimate gratification a modern reader can or ought to derive from the tale of such a meeting between father and daughter, in the forests of Crete, "while yet there was no fear of Jove," are questions that never before occurred to me; and now that they do occur, I must own myself unable, at this moment, to give a satisfactory answer to them.
That habit of reflection called melancholy, may, like other intellectual existences, be endowed with body, name, vesture and symbols, and may even have a parentage and birth-place assigned to it; but why she should be made to spring from those mythological chimeras, Saturn, and his daughter Vesta, in a Cretan cave, some of your readers, more learned than I, may, perhaps, be able to tell me.
Black has always been symbolical of death, grief, mourning, and of the evil passions, but is utterly incongruous with those which are merely serious and solemn. Melancholy, it must be owned, is com
Oe'r laid with black; staid wisdom's monly called black; but then the hue.... melancholy thus described, is the popular and common acceptation of the term, in which it has a near alliance with grief and madness; and is a very different thing from the poet's melancholy, the lonely, museful, studious disposition: a peculiar susceptibility of solemn and rapturous emotions.
The habiliments and gesture of this being are thus described:
In the description given of "devinest melancholy," we are told, that to adapt her visage to our weaker view, is
Black, but such as, in esteem,
To set her beauty's praise above
pect most readers are, in this respect, as ignorant as I am.
The phrase "o'erlaid," or coated "with black," evidently means a face of the African hue. That this is the true construction is plain, from the additional assertion....it is, indeed black, but then it was such a blackness as belonged to the Ethiopean queen, &c. Memnon, if I mistake not, is a soldier in the Iliad, a Moorish or Egyptian auxiliary of king Priam. Now, I really think, this conception of the poet is liable to some censure. I cannot imagine. why black should be termed the hue of wisdom. The owl, the bird of Minerva, is, indeed, generally black; and this, though by a very remote and fantastic association, perhaps suggested this idea to the poet. Milton, as all his poetry shews, wa was totally and thoroughly imbued with the ancient mythology. Hence it is, that many passages in his works are, to readers less learned than himself, unintelligible.
The poet could not but be aware, that to give his goddess the complexion of an African, was somewhat hazardous: he therefore endeavours to disarm us of our prejudice, by calling it the hue of wisdom, and by reminding us of personages who, though black, have laid some claim to reverence. Perhaps my ignorance may be my disgrace, when I confess, that this sister of prince Memnon, and this Ethiopean queen, with the story of her competition with the Naiads, are wholly strange to me; but I sus