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Full text of "Health trip to the Tropics"

HEALTH TRIP 



TO 



THE TROPICS 



BY N. PARKER WILLIS. 



CHARLES SCRIBNER, 
1854. 






Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1853, by 
CHARLES SCRIBNER, 

in the Clerk s Office of the District Court of the United States for the 
Southern District of New York. 



TOBITT S COMBINATION- TYPE, 
181 William-st. 



PREFACE. 



THIS volume would hardly represent truly the 
health-trip of which it is the chronicle, unless 
fragmented, as it is, with the interruptions of ill 
ness. There were intervals when the depression 
of disease overpowered both the enjoyment of 
what was around and the faculty to describe it. 
But the intermediate scenes and sensations were 
of unexpected novelty and pleasureableness so 
much so, that, even without the stimulus of an 
habitual literary profession, I should feel called 
upon to record them for invalid cheering and 
guidance. The trip is, at least, a delightful 



iv. PREFACE. 

opiate and recreation within easy reach. By 
what I enjoyed and described, those interested 
may judge of what the other parts of this tropi 
cal pilgrimage might be, to themselves. I have 
other notes, made as brokenly, which I may yet 
write out and publish but, these being sufficient, 
thus far, to form a volume, I give them out in the 
hope that here and there a sufferer may benefit 
by them, at the same time claiming the kind in 
dulgence of the reading public for their frag 
mented character. N. P. WILLIS. 
IDLEWILD, on the Hudson, Sept,, 1853. 



CONTENTS. 



LETTEE No. I. 

FAGB. 

June and geraniums in March Intelligence for Invalids Gulf-stream 
atmosphere and its effect on a cough Bermuda an isle of conva 
lescence Town of St. George s, where Tom Moore was once cus 
tom-house officer Neuro pilot Red-coated sentinels keeping guard 
amid wild scenery Groups of officers under ennui John Bull s 
permanent qualities Two women to one man in Bermuda Curi 
ous streets Gardens Shops and stores without signs People idle 
and happy Tom Moore s opinion of Bermudian women Tradi 
tion as to the island s having been settled by Lovers of quiet Per 
manent type of English, etc., etc. . . 11 

LETTEE No. II. 

English landlady at Bermuda One public vehicle on the island Gov 
ernment road of forty miles Fashion of economizing here Ar 
row-root native to Bermuda No springs nor wells no wild ani 
mals, and few birds English and negro habits in contrast Com 
pliment to American liberality Re-erhbarcation for St. Thomas 
Getting into warm latitudes First effect on invalids Luxurious 
idling in sailing in these tropical seas Briefer twilights and brighter 
stars Running on a reef, etc., etc. . . . .18 

LETTEE No. III. 

Becalmed with a broken propeller Taken off by a Norwegian Captain 
in his sail-boat Kind treatment on board Ten-mile course to St. 
Thomas Norwegian bread and cheese French steamer towing up 
the Merlin Distant aspect of the Virgin Islands Transparency of 
atmosphere and curious effect on perspective Hills like a shelf of 
sugar-loaves Harbour like a mountain sea reached by balloon ships 
Danish guns, not cannibals, to receive us Cocoa-nut grove on the 
wharf Super-luxuriant tree Negro loafers like black Don-Ceasar- 
De-Bazans Physiognomies untouched by care Happiness as a 
growth of the Tropics, etc., etc. .... 26 



VI. CONTENTS. 

LETTEE No. IY. 

The proper name of "St. Thomas" Earthquake season just now 
Heavy portmanteau carried on the head- The hotel and its pecu 
liarities Windows without sashes or glass Mulatto child s bath 
Tropical indifference to observation Walk through the principal 
street during the town s siesta New wrinkle of enterprise in 
"drumming" Signs by which they know Americans Negro fu 
neralChairs in mourning Sorrow at intervals White gowns and 
black shoulders un-African cast of feature Reason for tendency 
towards the white man s look Curious tribute of admiration for 
virtue, paid by an African Prince to a good man Burials Effects 
of the climate on European health, etc., etc. 

LETTER No. V. 

Two mornings a day, and two dinners Description of West-Indian Ho 
tel No privacy in this latitude Negro familiarity Danish castle, 
and ruins of Bluebeard s tower View from Hotel verandah Dis 
tinct types of beauty at St. Thomas Six races of coloured people 
Blood of all nations concentrated at St. Thomas Grecian no 
ses and Spanish delicacy of feature grafted on negro stock Nature s 
exceptions Beauties ignorant of alphabet and stockings Curious 
ly caused pride and stateliness of demeanour Picturesque dress of 
women Lovely shoulders and horrible feet Suggestion to artists 
to come and arrest types of beauty that are passing, and may die 
out with higher civilization, etc., etc. 



LETTEE No. VI. 

Lobster cockroaches and gridiron spiders Good climate for insects, bad 
for man Sunrise excursion to mountain-top- Taking a walk, with 
a pony to do the walking Coffee to encourage early rising Beauty 
of light on mountain-tops only Louisen-hoi, a mountain-villa Soil 
incapable of quiet grass Trees of passionate and spasmodic growth 
Air-plant that gives the traveller a cup of water Effect of strange 
and new vegetation on the mind Enquiry into the perpetual youth of 
tropical plants Whether youth, middle-age and old age, all in one, 
is an enviable concentration of experience Women do all the hard 
work in the tropics Loads of stone carried on the head oy a pro 
cession of girls No laying down, out of doors Insects and vermin 
Vampire lizards Tropical sharks eat negroes, but do not eat pel 
icans Views from the two sides of the summit Hanging architec 
ture of St. Thomas, etc. ... 



LETTEE No. VII. 

Second earthquake since arrival Drive to see a sugar plantation 
Mammoth cotton-tree Magnificent white beard on an old black 
man Sucking sugar-stick Pay of black labourers Nakedness in 
tropical climates Ebony babies un-diapered Expensively diess- 
ed coloured belles with bare feet Emancipated shoulders Odd 
way of carrying a sheep Village of sugar-cane labourers Woman 
with spare toe Old man happy while being eaten by ants Black 
girl taking a siesta in the dirt Curious plum Natural sherbet, 
etc., etc. ... 



CONTENTS. Vll 

LETTER No. VIII. 

Predominating society at St. Thomas Invariable type of German me- 
diocrity in classes Style of dances Negro use of the voice- 
Drowned baby, and key for the tuning of coloured horror Sunday 
and church Whole congregation of Madras turbans Females do 
all the repenting Effect of such a gorgeously dressed multitude of 
black worshippers Works in marble and works in ebony as reli 
gious ornaments Reverie in Catholic church Indispensable arti 
cle of furniture which every negress carries with her- -Danish offi 
cer s politeness Hot uniforms of soldiers from a cold climate 
Otaheitan flowering tree Arrival of English steamer Rush of pas- 
sengerd to the Hotel for iced drinks News of the death of Tom 
Moore Poem as to the sins of genius Promise of smooth water 
ocean-sailing along the Antilles, etc. .... 

LETTER No. IX. 

Tide of English travel from Southampton, touching at St. Thomas John 
Bull out of place in the tropics Nature s two journeymen at moun 
tain-making, and their different style of work Two heavens neces 
sary for the Carib and the Englishman English colonial islands all 
alkke. as to houses and inhabitants Dame Nature atmospherically 
dressed or undressed Climate too dear for the distance that " lends 
enchantment to the view "Nights excepted and stars wondrously 
bright and beautiful The Southern Cross The French Islands 
have rivers, the English islands none Amazing prodigality of fo 
liage at Guadaloupe English ecstacies modified by fear of humbug 
Frenchmen coming on board at Guadaloupe Close contact, even 
in these climates, never assimilating the French and English, etc. . 

LETTER No. X. 

Alterations in punctuation by ants Probable etymology of " Antilles " 
Alteration in plans Preference of Martinique to Barbadoes 
Empress Josephine s birth-place Martinique the "Fifth Avenue" 
of the Antilles Going ashore with an unusual lap-full Jersey Fer 
ry outdone Note on Negro language Loss and re-capture of bag 
gageCustom-House Vexations Reception at Hotel Uses of per 
severance Apparition of Creole beauty The good star of woman s 
kindness Negro manners after four years of emancipation Inso 
lence after being overpaid Landlord pitching a negro Hercules 
down stairs, etc. . . . 

LETTER No. XL 

Tropical persuader for early rising The business-doing sex, and the 
prayer-doing sex going in opposite directions The Martinique Ri- 
alto Picturesquencss of no wharves Resemblance of St. Pierre to 
the structure of a theatre Air of careless elegance about the black 
and white merchants Tropical slovenliness of costume General air 
of the gentlemen Negroes dressed in two pocket-handkerchiefs 
Curious accompaniment to the surf-anthem Description of coasting 
boats and crews Streets of St. Pierre at seven in the morning- 
Venerable buildings Bright river in every street Return to break 
fast Installed in Madame Stephanie s boudoir and bed-room Res 
ignation to our calamities Tropical breakfast with Parisian cook 
eryStructure of hotel and position of eating-room Negro guests 
in the house, and their politeness Beauty of our Carib waiter 
Courses of dishes The unusual addition to our breakfast Descrip 
tion of Madame Stephanie Roque, our Creole landlady Her hus 
band, etc., etc. ...... 



Vlii. CONTENTS. 

LETTEE No. XII. 

Dull ink, insensible to climate-Poetry descriptive of tropical delicious- 
ne s S _Tom Moore a custom-house officer on the island which was 
the scene of il The Tempest "Difficulty of realizing Ariel and M 
randa, at li Mrs. Tucker s Tavern "- Horseback ride in the suburbs 
of St. Pierre, Martinique Garden of plants- Precipices with beards 
Air plants and their human counterpart Young ladies on horse 
back with a negro footman, on foot, carrying their parasols De 
scription of Martinique country-houses Trepical habits of ladies 
and gentlemen Climate rendering comfort unnecessaay Science 
of comfort a result of Northern lack of pleasure out of doors- 
Question as to comparative results of climate Charming incident 
of Creole hospitality Yankee lumber-yard Madame Stephanie s 
kind influence Chateau Perrinel Negro soldiers and their varia 
tions from white soldiers, before and behind Useful fact for Gen 
eral Morris, etc., etc. .... 



LETTEE No. XIII. 

Introduction to a black belle " who goes into society " in Martinique 
Reason why she has no surname Nearo passion for changing 
their names Mademoiselle Juliette the friend of our hostess De 
scription of her colored beauty The splendid gold ornaments 
peculiar to the Martinique negresses. cinq-clous-ear-rings etc. 
The dark belle s reception of us Her manners Her love of fun, 
and her amusement at the New- York distinctions of propriety 
Exchange of keepsakes with her, and adieu Comparative social 
position of blacks and whites on the island Distinctions of color 
giving way Both colors alike invited to the balls and festivities of 
Fort Royal, the scat of government More reluctant amalgamation 
at St. Pierre, the large capital Society checked by negro hostility 
at this Admission of black female pupils to the aristocratic school 
of the convent Curious scandal and its result Mons. Bissetti, the 
colored representative, and his history The negro love of change- 
Law to check his fickleness His passion for wives a\f ay from home 
Interesting extracts on negro character, etc., etc. 



LETTEE No. XIV. 

Good feature of the Catholic religion Hour of reverie in the Cathedral 
Girls crowding to the Confessional Swallows nestling behind the 
pictures of the Virgin A negro woman s prayer probably answer 
edSunday morning mass in Lent The fashionable Creoles in Pa 
risian toilettes The Negresses in full dress Affectionateness of 
French people toward matrons Negress s substitute for woolly 
head Madras kerchiefs painted every week Cascade of turbans 
pouring down the steps of the cathedral Description of Martinique 
female dress Bust left to itself Ungraceful manner of hitching up 
the petticoat No stockings on black feet, buc patent leather shoes 
thought elegant Fortune in gold ornaments Families and neigh 
bours seated in the streets No in-door life Negress and her 
orange The frangipane, a wonderfully beautiful flowering tree 
Politeness of French gentlemen met in a walk The difference of 
these suburbs from ours, and the various new sights seen in the 
first mile or two out of St. Pierre, etc., etc. 



CONTENTS. IX 

LETTER No. XV. 

Nuns nursing sick soldiers Description of military hospital Beauty of 
beards in bed Visit to Freemason s Lodge Curious rine Coffee- 
plant and Nature s law of fruit-bearing New way to carry a child 
Temporary marriages and the manner of breaking off Fashion 
for gentlemen s hair, in Martinique The shops with no display out 
of doors Market for brilliant handkerchiefs Female clerks Ne 
gro families in mourning and their singular costume Long skirts in 
the street Results of emancipation on the few and on the many 
Black man beating a woman Negro journalism Periods of waking 
and sleeping in warm climate Unhealthy just before dawn Inci 
dent of politeness Sugar, in the mud on one s boots, etc., etc. . 136 

LETTER No. XVI. 

Experiences in approaching Mammoth Cave The tavern at Bear-wal 
low, and its accommodations A carriage in reduced circumstances 
Splendours of a Kentucky wilderness Description of Mammoth 
Cave hotel Breakfast party and their underground experiences 
The lost bridegroom and his restoration Jenny Lind s Guide, Ste 
phenDescription of this picturesque Charon His intentions as a 
slave- The uniform provided for entering the cave Suggestion of 
something more pictorial History of the ownership of the cave 
Its extent and that, of the estate above ground Farms which it pro 
bably runs under Attempt to make it a pulmonary hospital The 
two wives who buried themselves in the cave with their consump 
tive husbands- Terror of a death in the cave The lost traveller 
County underground not represented Scenery for poems, etc., etc. 146 



LETTER No. XVII. 

Descent into Mammoth Cave Chance companions, and their correc 
tion of each other s impressions The guide s basket with its aids to 
enthusiasm Funny look of party in mustard-coloured costume 
Entrance to the rave Realized value of the day to be lost First 
half mile Strange atmosphere and dreary loss of smell of vegeta 
tion- First disappointment overcome Gorin s Dome Curious im 
mortalizing of a master by his slave Wonders of rock drapery 
Embarrassment, of multiplied objects of admiration Strange im 
pression made on the fancy by the Mammoth Cave Its architect 
ural character An antediluvian Herculaneum Difficulties of the 
way The Styx Lethe and its boat Place for adieu, etc., etc. . 158 

LETTER No. XVIII. 

Passage down the subterranean river of Oblivion A bride backing out, 
on the brink Niches for disappointed politicians Wonderful 
echoes and vicinity of Purgatory Firing a pistol near the Infernal 
Regions Landing on the other side of the r^tyx Ole Bull s per 
formance in the Cave The crowning of our companion, the Danish 
Professor Fatigues of the eighth mile Blessed stop to dine Rel 
ics of former visitors Modesty of Stephen the guide, and our re 
monstranceClaret and its taste under ground, etc., etc. . . 170 



X. CONTENTS. 

LETTEE No. XIX. 

Splendour of Kentucky s basement story What an earthquake might 
do for somebody Suggestion of a Mammoth Cave Ball Effect like 
getting a first view of a new planet Process of disfiguring the Cave 
by vulgar visitors "Rocky Mountains" and "Dismal Hollow," 
and the character of the latter place Sfephen s alleviatory mus 
tache Last hall of all at the extremity of the Cave Golden Fleece 
overhanging the altar Sketch of the party and reverie at the end 
Mother Eve, and our feeling alike as to the sun and moon Suggest 
ed inscription from Milton for the end of the cave Hesitation as to 
confessing to the romantic effect of the last mile Return, eyeless 
fish, etc., etc. ...... 



LETTER No. XX. 

Nine miles to daylight Fatigue of walking with horizontal spine Fish 
without eyes Organs dying with disuse Consumption cured with 
danger to nose Lesson in taking things easy Caution tn ladies fond 
of dark rooms Quoted descriptions of church and temple Oak 
pole for suspending corpses The mummy lady and her sarcopha 
gus Description of her dress, posture, ornaments, etc. The cus 
tom of stopping to muse at this mummy tomb Mammoth relics 
Return to daylight Delight of once more breathing air with the per 
fumes of vegetation Kentucky s advantage in an attraction for the 
intelligent of all nations, etc., etc. .... 



LETTER No. XXI. 

New article to pack in a trunk Killing the eyeless fish by putting him 
in spirits To Mumfordsville from Mammoth Cave, by private ve 
hicle, and adventures by the way Portrait of a backwoodsman 
Western Colloquial attitude Kentucky handiness at. expedient 
Mending a broken wheel with hickory withes Comment on hack- 
woods life Cheerful fire at the tavern in a June evening Habit of 
Western gentlemen to frequent the taverns Curiosity as to stran 
gers Attempt to dodge enquiries Landlord, and his manner of 
conversing and waiting on table Education in open air, and its re 
sultsWestern character, and its formation High station of land 
lords and stage-drivers at the West Diatinction between Western 
gentlemen and rowdies, etc., etc. .... 20(J 



LETTER No. XXII. 

Cities and places approaching us by railroads The over-trumpeting 
of some watering placesAgreeable disappointment on arriving at 
Harrodsburg Sprinss English park around the Hotel Notes de 
scriptive of the mineral waters Favourite haunt for wealthy West- 
ern families Dr. Graham and his character Deficiency in English 
language The Doctor s horse and his embarrassing habits The 
Doctor s many accomplishments Hydropathic addition to the Ho 
telDoctor Houghton and his excellent knowledge and care Town 
of Harrodsburg Salt River, etc., etc. . . . .217 



CONTENTS. XI. 

LETTER No. XXIII. 

An omnibus in the woods of Kentucky Its uses as a stage-coach- -Four 
men and a fighting-cock as travelling companions Ignominious 
treatment of the warrior His diet before fighting Gentleman lend 
ing his pocket-comb to the company Dislike of large land owners 
Indian Oreek. and a cliff s resemblance fto a lady s foot Naming it 
after the foot of a celebrated Kentucky belle of twenty years ago 
Wonderful scenery of Kentucky River comparatively unknown 
The ferryman at Brooklyn Shaker village and a sight of Elder 
Bryant Description of the features of their village and property 
Speculations as to community and celibacy, etc. . . 228 

LETTER No. XXIV. 

Remedy for one great nuisance in Slavery Northern cities disfigured 
by their suburbs Summer s evening "in Kentucky Lexington like 
old North-End in Boston Families passing the evening on the door 
stepsRegrets that had been unnecessary as to falling off in West 
ern beauty Aristocratic mould of republican belles Sudden ter 
mination of principal street in open country Look at a children s 
Earty over a fence A negro at my shoulder enjoying the same sto- 
;n pleasure First visit to Ashlnnd by moonlight Mr. Clay s Jove- 
ableness His residence classic ground, even before his death De 
scription of house and grounds- Crazy wanderer whom I met in 
the groveCurious monamania of autobiography, etc., etc. ^ 236 

LETTER No. XXV. 

Adventures on cross-road in Kentucky Account of the " Devil s Pul 
pit "Early start Philosophy of Driving Reasons why Kentuck- 
lans cannot yet drive, though grent horsemen Mode of female con 
veyance when going out, to tea Dr. Graham s accomplishments but 
his mode of using the reins Stumps anil earthquakes Singular 
locality of King s Mills The bridge over Dick s River and its indif 
ferent toll-keeper Attention to trout and to strainers The black 
smith Majesty of primitive woods and the lack of this charm on 
the Hudson Log school-house in the wilderness, etc., etc. . 245 

LETTER No. XXVI. 

Cross-road experiences in Kentucky The log school-house Apparent 
uselessness of world wisdom, so far away from the world Pic 
turesque interior Older and younzer girls and their looks and atti 
tudesPicture of a lovely child Kden still around us if we knew 
its time and places The" boys and their employments Structure 
of a school-house The Master and his dijrnity The biggest boy 
and his politeness and manly civilities Way to the Devil s Fulpit 
A backwoodsman and his farm Character of new clearings- 
American facilities for getting on, etc., etc. . . . 253 

LETTER No. XXVII. 

HAYTL&C. ... ... 260 

LETTER No. XXVIII. 

HAYTI. AND THE CORONATION OF ITS EMPEROR 2flT 



Xll. CONTENTS. 

LETTER No. XXIX. 

HAVANA, &c. . . . . . . . 278 

LETTER No. XXX. 

CONTINUATION OF DESCRIPTION OF MILITARY MASS, &o. . 286 

LETTER No. XXXI. 

DEPARTURE FROM HAVANA FLORIDA, &c. . 294 

LETTER No. XXXII. 

Tropical May Morning Florida s good fortune in names of places Re 
turn of invalid pilffrims with Spring, and the loveliest returning too 
soon- Savannah River and its rice-fields Pulaski House, onrt the 
Republican system as seen in our hotel system Tall stature of 
Southerners, etc., etc. . 804 

LETTER No. XXXIII. 

Caution to invalids Climate of Savannah First view of Savannah by 
moonlight Curious effect of city wholly buried in trees Remark- 
able stillness of Savannah Contrast between the city s habits and 
those of Havana No poor people s residences Effects of beau 
ties of nature on character, etc., etc. .... Sll 

LETTER No. XXXIV. 

Want of Broadway in Savannah Query as to shopping and its attend 
ant u-es The unfurnished apartments of this world Curious 
second-hand machinery on roof of public building Seeing twelve 
o clock struck Savannah cemetery strangely peculiar and beauti 
ful, etc., etc. ...... 317 

LETTER No. XXXV. 

SAVANNAH, &c. ...... 825 

LETTER No. XXXVI. 

Blood-horses in Charleston Respectful manners of negroes Slow pace 
of inhabitants Pine-plank drive Rail-road across pine-barrens 
Prairie of pond-lilies South Carolina marked character Savannah 
River and arrival in Georgia Augusta and its general physiognomy 
Northern air Curious specimen of master in shirt-sleeves and 
negro carrying his coat Unappropriated magnificence The Geor 
gia "cracker." . .... 388 

LETTER No. XXXVII. 

NEW ORLEANS, &c. - 339 

LETTER No. XXXVIII. 

DRINKING SALOONS AT NEW ORLEANS, &c. . .346 

LETTER No. XXXIX. 

NEW ORLEANS, Ac. . 354 



CONTENTS. xiii. 

LETTER No. XL. 

NEW ORLEANS, &c. . . 362 

LETTER No. XLI. 

CLASSES AT NEW ORLEANS, <fcc. . . . .370 

LETTER No. XLII. 

NEW ORLEANS, &c. . . . . . .380 

LETTER No. XLIII. 

NEW ORLEANS PIQUANCES . ... 388 

DESULTORY NOTES AND INFORMATION PICKED UP ON 

THE WAY. ...... 394 



LETTER No. i 



JUNE AND GERANIUMS IN MARCH INTELLIGENCE FOR IN 
VALIDS GULF-STREAM ATMOSPHERE AND ITS EFFECT ON 

A COUGH BERMUDA AN ISLE OF CONVALESCENCE TOWN 

OF ST. GEORGE S, WHERE TOM MOORE WAS ONCE CUSTOM 
HOUSE OFFICER NEGRO PILOT RED-COATED SENTINELS 

KEEPING GUARD AMID WILD SCENERY GROUPS OF OF 
FICERS UNDER ENNUI JOHN BULL S PERMANENT QUALI 
TIES TWO WOMEN TO ONE MAN IN BERMUDA CURIOUS 

STREETS GARDENS SHOPS AND STORES WITHOUT SIGNS 

PEOPLE IDLE AND HAPPY TOM MOORE S OPINION OF 

BERMUDIAN WOMEN TRADITION AS TO THE ISLAND S 

HAVING BEEN SETTLED BY LOVERS OF QUIET PERMAN 
ENT TYPE OF ENGLISH, ETC., ETC. 

Bermuda, March 12, 1852. 
DEAR MORRIS : 

I date, you see, from " the vexed Bermoothes," though 
I write in the same cabin in which you left me at the 
wharf of Jersey City a change of locality it would be 
as difficult for me to realise as for you, perhaps, had I 
not just now come off from shore, laden with the flow- 



L VM l T klP TO THE TROPICS. 

ers and foliage of this eternal summer, and were not 
the ship-chandlery-atmosphere of my state-room over 
powered, for the present, by the orange blossoms and 
geraniums which I plucked over the garden-walls in to 
day s rambles. I am enjoying June, though my date 
says " March." 

Of our voyage hither, there is little to chronicle, ex 
cept for the invalids whose thronged pilgrimage this 
route is likely to become. The long aisle of snow, 
through which the pilot led us to Sandy-Hook and the 
ocean, promised coldly ; but the air of the open sea was 
mild, and the quick arrival at the borders of the Gulf- 
Stream gave us a temperature to our mind. It is sur 
prising what a balm for lungs is in the air of this warm 
channel from the tropics. After having coughed for 
the greater part of every night for months, I slept the 
night through, in the Gulf Stream, as if stilled by an 
opiate. The sharper breath of the Atlantic, as we once 
more got out of the floating sea-weeds and warm wind, 
gave me back my cough, but it manifestly softens with 
the more genial atmosphere of Bermuda, and, for most 
pulmonary patients, I am told, this climate is a cure, 
without going to the more Southern Islands. 

The trip from New- York to Bermuda will be easily 
made within three clays by the new steamer which Cu- 
nard is building for the route ; but our little propeller, 
the Merlin, made four days of it. We left you on Mon- 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 13 

day, and on Friday forenoon we ran up the inlet which 
forms the access to the pretty town of St. George s. 
The pilot who had boarded us was a very handsome 
negro, and the air of natural authority with which he 
ordered the white sailors about, divided my attention 
with the winding shores through which he was our guide. 
A saucy looking fort gave us its tacit permission to 
pass, at the entrance of the inlet, and there was here and 
there a fortification on the way to our anchorage ; but, 
with the exception of these military sharp angles, and 
the red-coated sentinels, so needlessly keeping guard 
over these desolate hills with their shouldered muskets, 
the scenery was like the wilder parts of Eoxbury and 
Dorchester. Cedars and low bushes seemed the only 
vegetation, and the soil did not look very promising. 
Nearer the town, where it is more sheltered, the cactus 
made its gayer appearance. 

Arrived opposite the pier, we were a long time warp 
ing up to the landing, and, by the groups of officers who 
had lounged down to have a look at the strangers, it 
was evident that events are a scarce commodity on the 
island. John Bull does not Bermuda-fy. He looks 
just as he does at home. Tinder a delicate bright sky, 
and with dry walking, he wears his weather-proof shoot 
ing jacket and double-soled shoes the officers out of 
uniform looking (till you get a close look at their faces) 
like laborers waiting about the pier for a job. Setters 



14 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

and spaniels were in unusual plenty. Negro men, wo 
men and children idled about, as if work were a thing 
unheard of. 

I will anticipate a little by giving you a statistic or 
two, from a Bermuda almanac for 1852, which we 
bought at one of the shops in our ramble. It will tell 
you, better than I can otherwise do, what population 
we were about to see. Montgomery Martin states that 
" there are twice as many females as males in the Ber 
muda Islands," and yet matrimony seems unpopular. 
Of the colored males in the Paris!* of St. George, my 
almanac says, 90 are married, 326 unmarried of the 
females, 101 are married, 523 unmarried ; of the whites, 
117 men are married, 241 unmarried 114 married wo 
men, 265 unmarried ; 273 dwelling-houses accommodate 
all these. The entire population of the Bermuda group 
of islands is about 11,000. They are scattered in nine 
parishes, and the seat of Government is at Hamilton, a 
port on the west side of the main island, fifteen miles 
from where lay our steamer. A Vice- Admiral (Sir 
George Seymour, in command of Her Majesty s Fleet 
on this side the Atlantic) makes Bermuda his station, 
and Captain Charles Elliott, pleasantly known to Amer 
icans, is the Governor. 

We got ashore about eleven o clock, and immediately 
started for a ramble through the town. After a turn or 
two, it seemed to me as if we were walking through un- 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 15 

roofed catacombs, the stone walls were so close, on ei 
ther side, and the windows of the houses so small and 
dark. The stillness of the town added to the effect, as 
there are no wheels to be heard a vehicle being a rare 
exotic on the island. Garden-walls, and the walls of 
houses, were all built of the same stone, the testaceous 
base of the Bermudas, which is cut with a saw, like 
blocks of wood, and hardens with exposure to the air 
so that the whole town of St. George s looks as if it 
might easily be a labyrinth of excavated vaults and al 
leys. Occupying the hollow of a curve under a hill of 
soft stone, this is doubtless true of parts of it. 

Fresh from New- York, where every business street 
seems broken out in a raging scarlatina of signs, it was 
odd to walk through streets, and look in upon stores 
and shops, through unornarnented and plain doors and 
windows. The Bermudians seem to trust their goods 
to speak from the shelves only. Getting away from this 
part of the town, we wound away through long and crook 
ed alleys between walls which shut in gardens, and here 
the negro population abounded. They appeared to be 
not only perfectly idle but perfectly happy. Every man 
and woman saluted us with bow and smile, and every one 
whom we looked at a second time had something to say. 
They were all out of doors, sitting, lounging, gossipping 
across the enclosures, idly looking at the troops of chil 
dren playing in the dirt; and, of labor, there was little 



16 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

or no sign in the grounds and court-yards. The garden- 
walks were overgrown with grass, and the beds of 
vegetables with weeds. The lemon and orange groves 
were in fruit and flower, but they looked ragged and 
neglected, and the geraniums and roses, in full bloom on 
the walls, were overgrown and untrimmed. Life looked 
everywhere easy, superfluous and happy. It was the 
remark of my companion as well as myself, that a look 
of care and eagerness of pursuit was suddenly missing 
from the physiognomy around us seen last, that is to 
say, in New- York and Jersey. While I write, by the 
way, one of my fair fellow-passengers has called my at 
tention to a remark that Tom Moore (who, it will be 
remembered, was, for some time, in office here) makes, 
as to the physiognomy of the island. " The women of 
Bermuda," he says, " though not generally handsome, 
have an affectionate languor in their look and manner, 
which is always interesting. What the French imply by 
their epithet aimante, seems very much the character 
of the young Bermudian girls that pre- disposition to 
loving, which, without being awakened by any particu 
lar object, diffuses itself through the general manner in 
a tone of tenderness that never fails to fascinate. The 
men of the island are not very civilized," etc. It is a 
query whether Moore made any distinction of color in 
this remark, as all the white inhabitants are as English 
as the English are at home. 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 17 

On the upper streets of the town we found cottages 
built after the fashion of the suburbs of London, and 
met here and there a lady walking, with no mitigation 
of woolen shawl from the March wear in England 
June-like as were the sky and temperature. I was pre 
pared to see something that should look Bermudian, in 
the costume. Tradition says that the islands had no 
original population, but that Madoc, son of the Prince 
of Wales, " got with him such men and women as de 
sired to live in quietness," and made the first settlement 
here. The " desire " seems to have remained in tolera 
ble force, but of the Welsh cap or kirtle there is no 
sign. All is Woolwich-y and Portsmouth-y, even to 
the stick of crooked hawthorn in the hand of every 
walking gentleman. I write, not admiringly, however, 
of this permanency and definableness. English officers 
are, at least, all they look or assume to be, and they are 
to be prized, as the world goes, for adhering to their 
type, in all latitudes. 

I cannot get out of Bermuda in one letter, I believe, 
so adieu for the present. 



LETTER No, 2. 



ENGLISH LANDLADY AT BERMUDA ONE PUBLIC VEHICLE ON 

THE ISLAND GOVERNMENT ROAD OF FORTY MILES 

FASHION OF ECONOMIZING HERE ARROW-ROOT NATIVE TO 

BERMUDA NO SPRINGS NOR WELLS NO WILD ANIMALS, 

AND FEW BIRDS ENGLISH AND NEGRO HABITS IN CON 
TRAST COMPLIMENT TO AMERICAN LIBERALITY RE-EM- 

BARCATION FOR ST. THOMAS GETTING INTO WARM LATI 
TUDES FIRST EFFECT ON INVALIDS LUXURIOUS IDLING 

IN SAILING IN THESE TROPICAL SEAS BRIEFER. TWILIGHTS 

AND BRIGHTER STARS RUNNING ON A REEF, ETC., ETC. 

Bermuda, March 13, 1852. 
DEAR MORRIS : 

"Mrs. Tucker" hangs out no sign, though any one 
who should by chance see her standing at her own 
door, would know the house for an Inn. Her smile is 
habitual, her eyes sharp, her person amplitudinous, and 
her cap of the half-mourning respectability which land 
ladies wear. Her parlor received us with the usual 
welcome of furniture for an English public house 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 19 

conch-shells and glass cases of artificial flowers on the 
mantel-piece, Albums on the centre-table, and a chintz- 
covered sofa. She had offered us dinner at two, and 
we had promised ourselves some luxury that should toll 
of the Atalantides grapes or fruits that should ac 
knowledge the seven hundred miles we had left behind 
us but it was England s mutton and pudding, and nei 
ther orange nor fresh fig, neither pine-apple nor banana. 
The town having but one public vehicle, the ladies of 
our party had been accommodated first, and had taken 
their drive while we were taking our walk, before din- 
ner. The red-whiskered carrier of Her Majesty s mails 
between St. George and Hamilton, for whom such oc 
casional 15 very -jobs w r ere a perquisite of office, waited 
for us at the door, and we were soon out from the nar 
row streets, and winding among the green hills of Ber 
muda. The road, which looks as if a wheel did not 
pass over it once in three months, was as smooth as a 
floor, and, being a Government work, is laid out and 
constructed with the taste and completeness of a park. 
There are forty miles of it altogether, and it seems de 
signed only to develope and give access to the beauties 
of view and scenery. It coquets, in and out, among the 
hills which line the shore, and the glimpses of this won 
derfully brilliant blue sea, with the foreground of lavish 
vegetation, and the distant foam upon the coral reefa 
which encircled the island, are beautiful indeed. Sucb 



20 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

roads and scenery, with such perpetually fine weather 
for driving, are an unknown combination of luxuries to 
the English at home, and yet there is scarce such a 
thing as a private pleasure-vehicle on the island. Our 
driver explained it by saying that " nobody came to Ber 
muda for anything but to economize." 

Arrow-root is here at home. Seeing some negroes 
at work, digging in a field, we stopped to look at it 
owing the compliment of a call to the long-tried and nu 
tritious friend of our children and invalids. It is a long 
root, and grows wrong-end upwards, like a carrot, with 
ready prodigality. In this genial clime thrive also cof 
fee, indigo, tobacco, and every fruit and vegetable of 
the tropics, and we saw plants and foliage rare to us at 
every turn the walls edged with prickly pear, and, by 
the road-side, geraniums flowering wild, cactusses and 
palmettos, orange, lemon and fig-trees. The voyage 
seemed short which had brought us from bare trees, 
cold wind and snow, to such summer air and perennial 
vegetation. 

Bermuda has no fresh water, except what comes from 
the clouds; and quite a feature of the island is the 
whitewashed slope of the tank, which everywhere sap- 
plies the house. Perhaps it is owing to this want that 
there are no wild animals, and very few birds upon the 
island. 

On our return towards the town, at five or six o clock, 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 21 

we met the officers and ladies on their afternoon prome 
nade, a mile or two from home their bright, untropical 
complexions showing that they were well repaid for 
preserving their national habits of exercise. Their tea- 
tables probably assembled them afterwards, for there 
was no sign of an evening promenade, even to listen to 
the military band. The merry negroes alone seemed 
enough enamoured of the climate to stay out of doors 
without an errand. I understand, by the way, that this 
is a sort of black man s paradise the usages, indul 
gences, standards of conduct, habits and easy means of 
subsistence, combining, with the respect which John 
Bull pays to the dark skin, to make life in Bermuda 
very much to Cuffee s mind. Few who leave it stay 
long away. They are certainly, as seen in the streets 
of St. George s, the most happy, saucy, careless and 
good-for-nothing looking population I ever saw. 

We found, on getting on board, that the Admiral, 
Sir George Seymour, had paid his respects to the name 
that sent out the Arctic Expedition, by leaving his card 
for Mr. Grinnell. Eive of our passengers had left us, 
two English Army-Captains, a Bermuda lawyer and his 
wife, and one invalid ; and thirteen of us remained for 
the voyage Southward. We got under way the next 
morning at nine, and with our black pilot to see us safely 
through the reefs, put out from the green inlet into the 
Bmoothest of summer seas. Sea-sickness pretty well 



22 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

over, the wind fair, the air upon deck delicious, our pro- 
pellor ensuring us six miles in the hour, and the breeze 
three or four more, we are all content to see the Mer 
lin s beak pointed steadily for the Tropics, and care lit 
tle for the o-round-swell of the ocean. 

March 15. We cannot find clothes thin enough 
to-day. The thermometer by the open port-hole in my 
state-room, on the cool side of the ship, ranges from 
seventy-eight to eighty. The trade wind has brought 
us along very steadily, and we are now, in our third day 
from Bermuda, hoping to reach St. Thomas by mid 
night. The heat of these tropical seas is singularly de 
bilitating. A sense of unsuppliable gone-ness is com 
plained of by every one. For me, it has somewhat loos 
ened my cough, but brain and limb seem saturated with 
utter helplessness. Food gives no strength, and sleep 
only seems to exhaust and weaken. "What health is to 
be found in so prostrating a clime, I shall know, per 
haps, when it has wrought its changes upon me but 
for the present, I feel sailing towards an equator of in 
anity. 

Our company on board is as agreeable a variety of 
people as often chances together. We have two ladies 
who would be the charm of any society, bound on a 
voyage of health; a couple of courteous Virginians on 
the same errand ; a Barbadoes merchant and his Creole 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS 23 

lady ; two or three young gentlemen of the ornamental 
class, and one or two well-matured citizens of the world 
an every-day breakfast and dinner party, with which 
one would compromise to summer or winter. "We lounge 
all day on our cushions under the awning, wanting only 
a little steady grass under us, and a little more ener 
getic atmosphere above us, to make it pass for a three- 
day fete champetrp.) of the Boccacio quality. 



The sudden twilight, which drops over the day in this 
latitude like a stage curtain, interrupted my letter; 
and after an hour or two of gazing with new eyes upon 
the old constellations, which burn so much brighter for 
these seas than for ours, I went to bed. A heavy crash, 
and a continued bang of something against the bottom 
of the vessel awoke me, and my more watchful com 
panion came down below with the news that we had 
run upon a reef, in approaching St. Thomas, and our 
propeller was disabled. The passengers, who were 
mostly on deck, were somewhat alarmed, but the night 
was fortunately calm, and the sails sufficed to take us off 
from the shore we had shaved a little too closely. "We 
are at present becalmed some ten miles from St. Tho 
mas, and have breakfasted on board very much against 
our will. A row-boat has been sent up to the town 
with the mails, and W T C hope for a breeze to follow it- 



24 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

An old sea-captain happened to be among our passen 
gers, and two gentlemen who have made many voyages, 
and passed their lives in pursuits of commerce ; and they 
have volunteered a letter to Captain Cope exonerating 
him from blame in the matter, and attributing it partly 
to defective charts, and partly to the neglect of the man 
on the forward look-out. It is the agreeable news of every 
ten minutes, at present, that " she don t leak," though, 
with a higher sea and a different wind, she would have 
knocked a hole in her bottom with the descent upon the 
reef that broke only the propeller. This being the 
great sea for sharks, we should probably have been di 
gested, by this time. 

News of a sail-boat coming off. Adieu for the present. 



LETTER No. 8. 



BECALMED WITH A BROKEN PROPELLER TAKEN OFF BY A 

NORWEGIAN CAPTAIN IN HIS SAIL-BOAT KIND TREATMENT 

ON BOARD TEN-MILE COURSE TO ST. THOMAS NORWEGIAN 

BREAD AND CHEESE FRENCH STEAMER TOWING UP THE 

MERLIN DISTANT ASPECT OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS TRANS 
PARENCY OF ATMOSPHERE AND CURIOUS EFFECT ON PER 
SPECTIVE HILLS LIKE A SHELF OF SUGAR-LOAVES 

HARBOUR, LIKE A MOUNTAIN SEA REACHED BY BALLOON- 
SHIPS DANISH GUNS, NOT CANNIBALS, TO RECEIVE US 

COCOA-NUT GROVE ON THE WHARF SUPER-LUXURIANT 

TREE NEGRO LOAFERS LIKE BLACK DON-C^ESAR-DE-BAZANS 

PHYSIOGNOMIES UNTOUCHED BY CARE HAPPINESS AS A 

GROWTH OF THE TROPICS, ETC., ETC., ETC. 

St. Thomas, March 19, 1852. 
DEAR MORRIS : 

The sail that bore down upon us yesterday, as we lay 
becalmed with our broken propeller, had a cool-looking 
cockswain in the stern a gentleman in white grass 
jacket and trousers, and a straw hat, who was in odd 

contrast with you, the last man I had seen at the port 
2 



26 HEALTH TRIP TOTHK TROPICS. 

I had come from, buttoned up to the throat in your 
pilot-cloth overcoat. I mentally put you two, and the 
two climates together. He turned out not to be a 
" Virgin-Islander," however. It was Captain Peterson, 
of the ship Christian, of Copenhagen, who, hearing of 
our disaster by the boat we had sent on shore, had done 
as his countryman Ole Bull would have done manned 
his boat to come off and bring up the delayed passen 
gers to St. Thomas. He ran alongside, and his offer 
was gladly accepted. The baggage was passed down ; 
but as the ladies were preparing to embark a steamer 
was observed coming from the direction of the port, and, 
on the probability that it was one which had just ar 
rived and \vas coming to tow up the Merlin before let 
ting off her steam, they concluded to remain. 

Three of us took our seats with the manly-looking 
Norwegian, in the stern of his jolly-boat, and, putting 
up his helm he ran off upon a side-wind for St. Thomas. 
The light breeze took a small craft along very buoy 
antly, and we were soon smelling the shore, and begin 
ning to be found again by open-air appetites. An hour 
after leaving the ship s side, the captain ordered aft a 
capacious basket w r hich one of his men had under charge, 
and gave us a most acceptable specimen of hospitality 
under the Norwegian flag a bottle or two of Sauterne, 
with some jugs of Seltzer water; a loaf of sweet rye 
bread, baked on board his ship, with a delicious ol^cheese, 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 27 

and some excellent butter; and a glass of the purest of 
Cogniac, for a chasse-tout afterwards. Even Blue Beard, 
the pirate, (alongwhose caves upon this his island we were 
skimming so swiftly,) never relished lunch more. Our 
friend spoke English very well, and was the model of a 
frank, agreeable, open-hearted sailor ; and upon that 
three-hours sail my companions agreed with me that we 
should always look, as one of those chance pleasures 
that overbalance the misfortune they grow from. 

For the latter part of our course the wind was ahead ; 
and while we tacked in to the harbor, our steamer pass 
ed us, towed by a French steamer of war. We did not 
arrive quite as soon as \ve should have done by staying 
on board, though we had seen the coast of the island 
to much more advantage, and were otherwise well re 
conciled to our delay. I studied the look of the St. 
Thomas islands very constantly on our approach. Un 
clad in any visible atmosphere, their edges from a dis> 
tance, look as sharp as cut pasteboard ; and, as you 
near them, their bald round tops, without vegetation, 
remind you of the shaved heads of a group of patients 
in a lunatic asylum. It is strange to a northern eye, 
und like a new sight, to see so far and so clear. We 
could count the leaves of the cactuses on both sides of 
the harbor, as we ran in, and perspective seemed sud 
denly abolished, so equally near seemed every house 
along miles of receding shores. 



28 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

An ant, taking a walk on a shelf of sugar-loaves, and 
stopping in an open space where one had been taken out 
would have nearly the same relative geography around 
him, as a boat in the centre of the harbor of St. Thomas. 
It really looks as if you might stand on the summit of any 
one of the half dozen hills around, and toss a number 
of the Home Journal (sealed up for the mail) on board 
any ship in the harbor. The fifty or sixty sail at anchor 
lie very close, their many colored nags of all nations 
giving them a very gay appearance, and the numberless 
boats, plying constantly between them, enlivening the 
scene exceedingly. Coming from that most unshaded 
and unoccupied spot on earth, the open sea, we seemed 
suddenly to have slid into a mountain market-place, 
with a basin of water in its deep-down bottom, and 
vessels that must have come thither as balloons. It is a 
harbor with a strangely mountainous physiognomy. 

The guns of His Majesty of Denmark s Moorish- 
looking castle gave us a stare as we passed before them, 
and the sentries on the walls, pacing backward and for 
ward, in the hot cloth caps arid uniforms of a northern 
clime, gave us the comfortable assurance that the Caribs 
were driven out and no cannibal was expecting to sup 
upon us. A few rods from the shore, we found our 
selves in the range of an avenue of most wonderfully 
luxuriant foliage, new to rny eye, which our steersman 
informed us was a cocoa-nut grove ; and this shades 



HEALTH T 11 1 P T O THE TROPICS. 29 

the two sides of St. Thomas s principal wharf. Never 
eat cocoa-nut again without a sigh to the memory of its 
mother ! It is the most prodigally beautiful tree that 
gives its children milk under the sun. The fruit clings 
near the trunk in clusters, and over it bends, in an em 
erald so vivid and brilliant as to look newly created that 
hour, the broad and expanded plume-leaves as super 
fluous as a mother s heart in their overladen luxuriance. 
For a similitude of anything more beautiful than was 
strictly called for, speak of the leaf of the cocoa-nut. 
I give it to you for your next song, my dear Morris. 

A dozen boats met us, twenty yards from the pier, 
manned by clamorous negroes, eagerly begging to be 
engaged to carry baggage to the Hotel ; and the end 
of the wharf was packed with a close crowd of them, 
all competitors for the same job. Their efforts to es 
tablish something to be recognized by, were drolly in 
genious. Crooks of the finger over the nose, twists of 
the mouth, grimaces, appealing looks, and pantomimic 
gestures of every description, were offered to us as mne 
monics on which to hook a promise. I was agreeably 
disappointed in their physiognomies. They were most 
ly of the small and delicate Spanish features like well- 
descended Castilians with black skins and there was 
nothing African, or plebian in their aspect or demeanor. 
Hat, shirt and trousers were their only articles of 
dress ; and, with their slight forms and small waists, 



30 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPIC. 

their white rags, relieved by the black skins which 
they enveloped, were far from inelegant. By the ex 
pressions of their faces, their hearts, like their teeth, 
seemed exempt from the ordinary human liabilities; 
and they seemed, dirty and in tatters as they all 
were, to 

" come from a happy land 
Where care is unknown." 

I set foot on the shore with a feeling that the climate 
might give something of this, even to the stranger. In 
the two days I have now been here, it has grown upon 
me, and I fancy that to-be-happy-without-asking-ques- 
tions may be a plant indigenous to the island. I smell 
it in the perfume that comes out from these near hills 
at night-fall. You shall have a seed, if I can get it. 

The schooner Mary Emeline, a fast schooner, sails in 
twenty minutes for New York. Mr. Wetmore, her 
owner, has kindly permitted me to write, up to the last 
moment of her stay, with a promise to bag my letter 
without fail. The time is so nearly up that I must say 
adieu, adding only that we sail probably for Martinique, 
Guadaloupe and Barbadoes, to-morrow or day after. 
My friend, Mr. G., says my cough is backing out 
from this warm climate, and I quote him, for I have 
found other things more agreeable to keep the run of. 

Yours, thermometer at eighty. 



LETTER No, 4 



SON JUST NOW HEAVY PORTMANTEAU CARRIED ON THE 

HEAD THE HOTEL AND ITS PECULIARITIES WINDOWS 

WITHOUT SASHES OR GLASS MULATTO CHILD S BATH 

TROPICAL INDIFFERENCE TO OBSERVATION-WALK THROUGH 

THE PRINCIPAL STREET DURING THE TOWN S SIESTA 

NEW WRINKLE OF ENTERPRISE IN " DRUMMING " 

SIGNS BY WHICH THEY KNOW AMERICANS NEGRO FU 
NERAL CHAIRS IN MOURNING SORROW AT INTEVALS 

WHITE GOWNS AND BLACK SHOULDERS UN-AFRICAN CAST 

OF FEATURES-REASON FOR TENDENCY TOWARDS THE WHITE 
MAN S LOOK CURIOUS TRIBUTE OF ADMIRATION FOR VIR 
TUE, PAID BY AN AFRICAN PRINCE TO A GOOD MAN 

BURIALS EFFECTS OF THE CLIMATE ON EUROPEAN HEALTH, 

ETC., ETC. 

St. Thomas, West Indies, March 20, 1852. 
DEAR MORRIS : 

I should date my letter more properly " Charlotte 
Amalia " that being the Danish designation of the 
town in which I write or " Tappus," which, in old 



32 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

times, was its more vulgar designation St. Thomas be 
ing about as authentically the name of it, as " Manhat 
tan " is the name of New-York. There seems but one 
reason why St.-Thomas is the better name. No spot 
on earth has ever suffered so frequently from hurricanes 
and earthquakes, (cf the latter of which, this month, by 
the way, is the particular season.) To live here with 
any comfort, one must be incredulous that hurricane or 
earthquake will ever happen again and St. Thomas 
was the unbelieving Apostle. The news of this morn 
ing is, that there was an earthquake last night which 
asted 42 seconds. So, St. Thomas be it ! 

To begin where rny last letter left off with our land 
ing on the cocoa-tree pier. The negro who had suc 
ceeded in making me srnile, (and to whose rights, there 
upon, to my acquaintance and custom the rest of the 
sable crowd quietly yielded,) had my large portmanteau 
placed on the top of his head, took my carpet-bag in 
his hand, and started for the hotel. What with books 
and summer and winter clothing, the weight on the 
spine of that fellow was at least one hundred pounds ; 
yet he walked easily under it, while my chief affliction, 
at the moment, was the oppressiveness of my winter 
hat ! I should have been flattened, under what he car 
ried, like the ashes of a pastille. 

At the other end of the cocoa-grove stoo^l our Ho 
tel an irregular Moorish-looking structure, apparently 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 33 

all arches, corridors and verandas but kept by a 
Frenchman, and said to be the best public house in the 
West Indies. " No room to be had," was our first sal 
utation ; but they finally crammed Mr. G. and myself 
into a narrow cell on the ground floor, with a window 
upon a paved court the court being the lively home 
of all the spare black females of the establishment, their 
children, their parrots and their dogs. As I finished 
my last letter to you, a large negress brought out an 
earthen vessel of water, and proceeded to strip and 
wash her daughter, (a pretty mulatto child of ten years 
of age,) in the open court, within six feet of my ink 
stand the two scolding and complaining so vociferous 
ly, all the while, that you will easily understand any 
lack of harmony in my grammar or cadences. Glass 
windows seem to be considered a superfluity in this 
climate. We have only a green blind with immovable 
open slats, and no means of shutting out either the 
night air or the observation of the curious. Our fair 
fellow passengers, two ladies from Boston, whose win 
dows open upon the thronged veranda of the hotel, have 
pinned up shawls and dresses on the inside of their 
blinds, thus securing a little privacy at a serious expense 
of light and air. I notice, however, in the manners, 
habits and faces of all the inhabitants, an apparently en 
tire unconsciousness of being visible to the naked 
eye, which I suppose must be an opiate effect of the 



34 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

torrid zone on the sensibilities. I will inquire of the 
Consul how long it takes to become acclimated in this 
desirable respect. 

"We had arrived at three in the afternoon, and white 
skins were out of the sun, enjoying their siesta. There 
was a shady side to the principal streets, which stretch 
ed away from the door of our hotel ; and as the ne 
groes seemed to be abroad in multitudes, I was tempted 
to take a stroll in preference to a nap before dinner. 
The street was narrow, and it was evident that a wheel 
went over it very rarely. The shops were low, and 
looked like rough warehouses, plastered and white 
washed ; and, by the signs, I saw that most of the 
merchants were Germans. Their shelves of goods, in 
deed, reminded me of Leipsic Fair, for, nowhere else 
have I seen the same marvellous parade of cheap trifles 
and gaudy toys and eye-traps. Ready-made clothes 
and Panama hats seemed the next most abundant sup 
ply. There was but one apothecary, apparently, in all 
St. Thomas, and but one bookstore a small demand 
less wonderful as to the pills than the literature. A 
clerk beckoned me in to one of the variety stores as I 
went, and expressed his modest hope that he had some 
thing for my money ; and, on my sauntering return, I 
was spoken to by several of the shop-keepers, with ques 
tions about the news in America, followed by a recom 
mendation of their goods a * drumming at the door, 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 35 

which even the enterprise of Maiden Lane has not yet 
equalled. I found afterwards, that they know all strang 
ers, in lumps of separate arrivals by the steamers, and 
that they distinguish Americans from English by our 
sharper eyes and invariable newness of hat. 

A negro funeral was passing the door of the hotel as 
I re-entered. I could not understand, at first, why two 
chairs, with backs and legs draped in white crape, 
should be carried in advance by two women but they 
stopped presently, and set them down to receive the 
coffin and rest the bearers. This was also, apparently, 
a breathing time for the sorrow of the mourners. I no 
ticed that the staid gravity of sadness with which the 
twenty couples followed the body when in motion, was 
instantly laid aside when it stopped, and they fell to 
laughing and chatting like people at a pic-nic. The 
only men were the four bearers. The others were ne- 
gresses in Madras turbans and white gowns as pictur 
esque a troop, with their black shoulders and arms 
in such strong relief, as could well be imagined. I look 
ed in vain, in this procession as among the blacks on 
the pier, for the African features. There was no thick 
lips nor flat nose. A slight and elegant mould of fea 
tures seemed almost universal. It is true they were of 
the various shades of mixed color, and the African gives 
a good will as well as a ready consent to a white graft up 
on the blood. There is an amusing historical record of 



36 HEALTH T R I P T O THE TROPICS. 

this, by the way, in the " History of St. Thomas" just 
published by our friend Scribner. The writer speaks 
of the agents sent out to Guinea by Christian V. of 
Denmark, to purchase slaves for this island. These 
agents were described by Abbe Kaynal as men of atro 
cious cruelty. But, says the writer, " the good Abbe 
mentions one noble exception to these agents. Such 
was his character for probity and philanthropy, that he 
was almost an object of worship. People came three 
hundred miles to see him ; and an old prince, living at 
that distance, sent his favorite daughter, with abundance 
of gold and diamonds, that the thrice worthy Schilde- 
ross (or agent) might give him a grandson." 

The book from which I have quoted is an in 
valuable one to invalids who think of seeking this cli 
mate, and a most careful and well written work, ex 
tremely interesting to the general reader. It is written 
by a clergyman of the Dutch Reformed Church of this 
place. On the subject of Burials, and on the sanit 
ary advantages of the island, I find passages which 1 
will add in a postscript to my letter, and then bid you 
adieu for the present. 

" Burials generally take place within twelve hours after death, 
the funerals being ordered at 5 P- M Government derives a 
small revenue from all graves opened. The Jews and Moravians 
have graves of their own. The poor are buried at the expense of 
tho country treasury. Government has a burying-ground lying 
in the northeast of the town, in a romantic spot, for its officers 
and soldiers ; others than these are sometimes buried there by 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 37 

special favor. The keeping of hearses is a monopoly granted by 
Government to a single individual ; and only the rich, or those 
in good circumstances, can pay for their use. This monopoly en 
tails a severe burden on the poor. They are obliged to convey 
the dead by bearers, who are not even allowed a hand-bier ; which, 
owing to the distance of the grave-yards from the main body of 
the town, proves a serious inconvenience. In consequence it is 
difficult with the poor very often to procure a sufficient number 
of bearers." ****** 

" Whilst foreigners who have taken up their residence in St. 
Thomas enjoy a good degree of health, as a general thing, and 
some have remained perfectly well during a protracted abode, yet 
the great majority find an occasional change to more northern 
latitudes absolutely necessary to restore the tone and vigor of 
their constitutions. The continued heat of summer and winter, 
even with the most careful and temperate, ultimately debilitates 
the system, and induces disease either intermittent fever, or, 
more especially, bowel complaints. There are very few exceptions 
to this, and we believe the remarks apply to all the West India 
Islands. Hence European and American residents are continu 
ally leaving the island for a short sojourn of a few months, dur 
ing summer or winter, in their native countries. They almost 
invariably return with improved health to remain a few years, 
ar.d then repeat the change. If this change of climate can be en 
joyed every three or four years, we believe there is no place of re 
sidence in any country more delightful and healthy than St. Tho 
mas provided temperance be observed, and care taken to avoid 
unnecessary exposure." 



LETTER No, 8. 



TWO MORNINGS A DAY, AND TWO DINNERS DESCRIPTION 

OF WEST-INDIAN HOTEL NO PRIVACY IN THIS LATITUDE 

NEGRO FAMILIARITY DANISH CASTLE AND RUINS OF 

BLUEBEARD S TOWER VIEW FROM HOTEL VERANDAH 

DISTINCT TYPES OF BEAUTY AT ST. THOMAS SIX RACES 

OF COLORED PEOPLE BLOOD OF ALL NATIONS CONCEN 
TRATED AT ST. THOMAS GRECIAN NOSES AND SPANISH 

DELICACY OF FEATURE GRAFTED ON NEGRO STOCK NA- 

TURE S EXCEPTIONS BEAUTIES IGNORANT OF ALPHABET 

AND STOCKINGS CURIOUSLY CAUSED PRIDE AND STATELI- 

NESS OF DEMEANOR PICTURESQUE DRESS OF WOMEN 

LOVELY SHOULDERS AND HORRIBLE FEET SUGGESTION TO 
ARTISTS TO COME AND ARREST TYPES OF BEAUTY THAT ARE 
PASSING, AND MAY DIE OUT WITH HIGHER CIVILIZATION, 

ETC., ETC. 

St. Thomas, West Indies, March 22, 1852. 
DEAR MORRIS : 

We have two mornings a day, in this climate the 
second one, at 3 P. M. after the siesta, just now begin 
ning. I resisted these noon indolences, at first, but 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 39 

have given in. From 5 A. M. to 1 P. M. is as long a 
day as even a healthy man can do justice to, in an at 
mosphere so steeped in lassitude. The inhabitants 
eat two dinners in the twenty-four hours. Coffee and 
bread and butter are brought to one s bed a little be 
fore sunrise, and at 10 in the forenoon there is precisely 
such a dinner on the hotel table as is served at 6 in the 
evening a bottle of claret to every man s plate, and 
meats, fruits and coffee, in regular succession. All the 
boarders assemble at this meal most punctually, and it 
is quite as long, conversational and hearty as dinner 
No. 2. 

I wish I could give you an idea of the out-of doors-y 
and free and easy character of this " crack hotel " of 
the West Indies. It has but two public apartments, a 
vast billiard-room and a vast dining-room. These occu 
py about two-thirds of the second story ; but the other 
third is a marble-paved veranda, fronting on the bay, and 
this last serves the purposes of Ladies 1 Drawing-room, 
Gentleman s Parlor, Smoking-room and Bar. The la 
dies are receiving company in one group, while sherry 
cobblers are being drank in another ; ices served here, 
coffee there, and cigars in all directions. The choice is 
betwen this publicity and a very small bed-room ; and 
the preference for the former is unanimous. It seems 
to be an element of a tropical climate that nobody can 
intrude. Privacy seems as much forgotten and out of 



40 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

its latitude at St. Thomas as are muffs and tippets. 
"While our lady fellow-passengers were at breakfast this 
morning, two young gentlemen were promenading to and 
fro in the dining-room, with their hats on, smoking and 
looking at the strangers, as if wholly invisible themselves. 
It is impossible not to overhear the conversation of the 
different groups of young men on the veranda. "With no 
sashes nor glass to the windows, there is no shutting out 
sounds ; and the most delicate of invalids must lie on 
her pillow, listening to the rattle of billiard balls, the 
shaking of ice in glasses, the laughter and jokes of the 
drinkers, and, loudest of all, the eternal and vociferous 
chatter of the negroes merry, undeferential and omni 
present. The man who waits on me came in to my 
room last night, after I had been two or three hours 
abed, and woke me to say that a steamer had arrived. 
The black laundresses talk French to me, as I sit writing 
at my window, opening on their court yard. Every ne 
gro in the street will speak to you if you look at him. 
Your neighbors at table converse with you. Nobody 
is stranger to anybody. The equator seems to be not 
only an astronomical, but a moral and social, equalizer. 
Our hotel is next door to the Danish castle or fort, 
which commands the Bay or rather there is only the 
Governor s garden between us and the chivalric struc 
ture, with its bastions, battlements and barbican, flag 
flying, and sentries pacing between the towers, forms a 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 41 

corner to our view from the veranda, than which nothing 
could be more picturesque. High on a hill to the east 
of it, stand the ruins of a castle, called " Bluebeard s 
Tower," looking feudal enough ; and in front of us lies 
the bright bay, walled in with hills like a well, and with 
an opening like a broad gate to the sea. With all these 
romantic-looking surroundings, and with the lazy and 
loose climate and its habits, it is agreeable to find such 
a careful and modern exotic as a good French cook 
but such is our felicity. The Hotel de Commerce is 
kept by a very polite and gentlemanly Frenchman ; and 
his two dinners a day are cooked and spread with a sci 
ence and variety worthy of a table d hote of Marseilles 
or Havre. He seats about fifty persons at a meal no 
extra charge for claret, finger-glasses and coffee. 

Artists know very well that the original and distinct 
types of human beauty and expression are few and rare. 
In all the engravings of female heads, in France and 
England, there are not a dozen. The others are varia 
tions of these, more or less slight, but all traceable. In 
St. Thomas, during the four or five days that I have 
rambled through its streets and markets, I have sur 
prisingly enriched my knowledge of how Nature can 
vary these priceless gifts of individuality. Faces, cu 
riously different from any I had ever before seen, met 
me at every turn ; and it was not till I had reasoned a 
little upon the origin and habits of the people, and made 



42 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

some inquiries as to their races and combinations, that 
I could at all understand it. 

My surprises, I should tell you, were all among the 
colored population, though of the African physiognomy, 
(as we know it,) with flat nose and thick lips, you hard 
ly see a specimen at St. Thomas. They are mostly of 
crossed races, and the inhabitants have six general classi 
fications, defining more or less of white blood : the Ne 
gro, the Sambo, the Mulatto, the Mustis, the Castis, and 
the Pustis. The Spanish occupancy of these islands, 
and the neighborhood of Mexico, have largely distrib 
uted Spanish eyes and fine-cut regularity of feature, and 
it is in these two particulars that the dark Thomasians 
mainly vary from persons of color elsewhere. But, 
when you remember what a nucleous of voyages radi 
ating from all the nations of the world this port is 
what marked natural qualites the " bad boys " usually 
have who turn out sailors because too wild to live at 
home, the almost entire absence of virtue among this 
colored population, and their preference for the white 
man though entirely barred from marriage with him 
you will easily see how the world will scarce have a 
type of feature or character that is not likely to be im 
printed in vigorous relief on this sable ground. The 
variations are startling. A soft blue eye with long 
black lashes, such as I saw yesterday over a pair of 
tawny lips curved with the Alhambra s own model of 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 43 

Castilian scorn, looks strangely contradictory ; and the 
singular persistence of Nature in preserving faultless 
teeth and raven hair to the dark Hebe, whatever other 
variation of feature she may have, makes them all com 
paratively beautiful. We think we must go to Athens 
or Napoli to see the straight Grecian nose, with its thin 
nostril, in perfection ; but no sculptor could better 
mould one, than from the models of tan and orange 
which he could beckon to him from every corner of St. 
Thomas. The short upper lip of high descent, and the 
delicate small oval of the chin, are equally common. 
And these gifts, priceless to princesses, are here held in 
careless unconsciousness by fruit girls, subject to none 
but municipal laws the Mustis and Pustis, whose mer 
ry eyes never saw alphabet, and whose brown ankles 
never knew stocking. 

Before closing this chapter on colored beauty, by the 
way, I must mention one other peculiarity of these Vir 
gin-Islanders. Every female is trained, from childhood, 
to carry burthens upon the head. From a tea-cup to a 
water-pail, everything is placed on the small cushion at 
the top of the scull. The absolute erectness of figure 
necessary to keep the weight where it can best be sup 
ported by the spine, the nice balance of gait to poise it 
without being steadied by the hands, the throwing for 
ward of the chest with the posture and effort that are 
demanded, the measured action of the hips, and the de 



44 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

liberateness with which all turning round or looking 
aside must be done, combine to form an habitual de 
meanor and gait of peculiar loftiness and stateliness. 
A prouder-looking procession than the market-women, 
as they come and go with their baskets on their heads, 
across the square below our veranda, could not be found 
in the world. They look incapable of being surprised 
into a quick movement; and are, without exception, 
queenly of mien though it come, strangely enough, 
from carrying the burthens of the slave. 

In dress, these tropical Cleopatras have but one or 
two ideas, but those are in character, and effective. 
The* Mandras turban is universal. The gown is inva 
riably white of some degree of cleanliness and worn 
with no illusions, either before or behind. The neck is 
about as much decollete as a fashionable young lady s at 
a ball, and the liat back, and plump dark shoulders, 

certainly come out from the white drapery with consid- 


erable artistic effect. Although the gown is oftenest 

flounced with lace, the feet are usually bare; and I 
must record, here, the most detracting and almost inva 
riable exception to their beauty feet large, and unnat 
urally flattened with the unshod carrying of burthens. 
A sight of their projecting heels, corded insteps, and 
outspread toes, is a sad damper to the stranger s admi 
ration. 

I will close my letter with suggesting, to some artist 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS 45 

who is a philosopher of physiognomy, the value of a 
visit to these latitudes, and the collecting of such types 
of feature and beauty as will necessarily be transient 
with the advance of civilization and morality, but which 
now might be collected in a portfolio of unequalled 
novelty and interest. This is the woiid s laboratory for 
experiments in the chemistry of blood, and the results 
are worth recording. Name it to Daiiey and Eossitur. 
Yours, under a very hot sun. 



LETTER No. 6. 



LOBSTER COCKROACHES AND GRIDIRON SPIDERS GOOD CLI 
MATE FOR INSECTS, BAD FOR MAN SUNRISE EXCURSION TO 

MOUNTAIN-TOP TAKING A WALK, WITH A PONY TO DO THE 

WALKING COFFEE TO ENCOURAGE EARLY RISING BEAU 
TY OF LIGHT ON MOUNTAIN-TOPS ONLY LOUISEN-HOI, A 

MOUNTAIN-VILLA SOIL INCAPABLE OF QUIET GRASS 

TREES OF PASSIONATE AND SPASMODIC GROWTH AIR- 
PLANT THAT GIVES THE TRAVELLER A CUP OF WATER 

EFFECT OF STRANGE AND NEW VEGETATION, ON THE MIND 

ENQUIRY INTO PERPETUAL YOUTH OF TROPICAL PLANTS 

WHETHER YOUTH, MIDDLE- AGE AND OLD AGE, ALL IN ONE, 

IS AN ENVIABLE CONCENTRATION OF EXPERIENCE WOMEN 

DO ALL THE HARD WORK IN THE TROPICS LOADS OF STONE 

CARRIED ON THE HEAD, BY A PROCESSION OF GIRLS NO 

LYING DOWN, OUT OF DOORS INSECTS AND VERMIN 

VAMPIRE LIZARD TROPICAL SHARKS EAT NEGROES BUT DO 

NOT EAT PELICANS VIEWS FROM THE TWO SIDES OF THE 

8UMMIT HANGING ARCHITECTURE OF ST. THOMAS, ETC. 

St. Thomas, West Indies, March, 1852. 
DEAR MORRIS : 

The English steamer, from which our Barbadoes 
packet waits to take the mail, is now three days behind 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 47 

her time ; and till she arrive, we are making the most 
of latitude 17 30. Seeing the other tenants of our bed 
rooms cockroaches that have pretensions to be lob 
sters, and spiders on which you might lay a beefsteak, 
mistaking it for a gridiron you would perhaps fancy 
we might feel the effect of so thrifty a clime, and grow, 
as do the insects, with nothing better to do. But I 
think, on the contrary, that I grow perceptibly thin. 
These nights, like twelve-hour vapour-baths, and days 
when the putting of two thoughts together amounts to 
a perspirattve, are not stuff upon which I feel a tendency 
either to fatten or strengthen. They tell me it is so 
with all whites from the temperate latitudes. We wane, 
as the negroes wax under a tropical sun and, if one is 
better for coming here, it must be as he is better for a 
depletive, with little of it. And, perhaps, an ordinary 
prescription is aided by following also the poet s genial 
advice : 

In tropic climes, lire like the tropic bird ; 

And, if a spice-fraught grove invite thy stay, 
Be not by cares of colder climes deterred," etc. 

With our kind Consul for a guide, Mr. Gr. and I 
made a sunrise excursion, yesterday morning, to the 
summit mountain ridge which gives a view of both 
slopes of the island. My companions went on foot; but, 
with an invalid s privilege, I was allowed to take the 
walk with a horse under me, (promenade a cheval) a 



48 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

difference, which, I find, very much assists the admira 
tion of scenery. Coffee, brought to the bedside, to open 
our eyes with we contrived to be getting up hill a 
little earlier than the sun ; and nothing could well add 
more to the beauty of the landscape, than to see the 
hill-tops first touched with gold, and the harbor below 
Btill lying in expectant shadow. 

A romantic Dane built the charming villa of Louisen- 
hoi, on the summit of the ridge, and named it after his 
wife ; and the winding road which reaches it is mainly 
of his making a sort of staircase, up the side of the 
precipitous hill, which nothing but the pony of the coun 
try could safely travel with a rider. I was surprised, 
on the way, to see that this volcanic soil, though rich in 
coarse weeds and shrubs, produces no grass. The 
ground is bare around the stems of the wild oleanders 
and cactuses. The trees have the peculiarity of ap 
pearing to seek nourishment rather from the air than 
the earth, as their roots are generally quite out of the 
ground ; and, on most of them, there are parasite plants, 
which are fed by the atmosphere, and seem to require 
only a standing-place where they can inhale the breeze. 
Our friend showed us one of these, which is called the 
air-plant, and which catches and retains water in the 
cup of its flower, giving to thirsty man a drink, valua 
ble enough on an island where stream or spring is a 
rarity almost unknown. 



HEALTH T RIP TO THE TROPICS. 49 

It curiously enlarges one s world to be surrounded 
with an entirely new multitude of trees and flowers. 
We stopped at every turn of the road to pluck some 
new leaf, and admire some new beauty, or some new 
fragrance. Everything grows differently from the ve 
getation in our climate. The branches oftenest seem to 
have put forth with passionate irregularity, and are 
wholly without the orderly symmetry which Nature 
maintains at the North. 

I have taken some pains, by the way, to enquire 
into the perpetual youth of the foliage of the tropics. 
Coming from bare trees and frozen grounds so recently 
as we did, it hardly seemed natural to find everything 
as blooming and verdant as in spring or midsummer. 
I find it is not unusual. There are trees which seem to 
rest for a month dropping most of their leaves and 
putting forth no blossoms in that time. There are 
others which the hurricane season finds weak, and strips 
suddenly, by its first tornado, though they were appa 
rently as green as ever. There are several, however, 
whose youth, freshness and beauty know no repose and 
no winter the cocoa-tree, the citron, the orange, the 
banana beautiful creatures, every one, which bud, 
flower and bear fruit, all in one prodigal confusion of 
experience. Are they to be envied by us, with our de 
tailed progression of existence, or not ? 

The women do all the monotonous and hard labor in 



50 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS 

this climate. The negroes are even the chambermaids, 
as well as the boatmen, drivers and tide-waiters ; but 
the negresses bear the heavy burthens out of doors. 
They unlade coal- vessels by a troop of women, who 
carry baskets, of the incredible weight of two hundred 
pounds, upon their heads, the men only lifting their bas 
kets for them, and working the windlass which hoists 
the lading from the hold. As we approached Louisen- 
hoi, the road was undergoing some repairs, and the 
stone, which was taken loose from the soil, was to be 
used in a wall some fifty feet above. Two men were 
overseeing the job one, who seemed to be the path- 
master, and stood looking on ; and another, who direct 
ed the loading of the heads of seven negresses, with 
fragments of rock, and then walked before them in slow 
procession to the place of deposit. The poor barefooted 
girls, straight as arrows, and as deliberate as priestesses 
in their gait, were submissively patient and grave ; and 
I thought, as I looked at them from a little distance, 
that you would have to explain, to a new visitant to 
this planet, that they were not nobler, in their employ 
ment and demeanor, than the merchants walking hur 
riedly and ungracefully about the market-place below. 

No man lies down under a tree, in this climate. The 
ants, lizards, toads and snakes, are in previous posses 
sion. On almost every tree, one sees an ant house, as 
large as a half-bushel basket ; and the lizards, accus- 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 51 

tomed to be well-treated by man, coolly and deliberately 
walk off from any branch you may direct your band to, 
but show no haste or apprehension of violence. The 
Consul told us there was a kind of lizard, however, of 
which the natives are very much afraid. Its first im 
pulse, when surprised, is to spring to the human hand, 
and fasten its teeth and claws into the flesh ; and, in pro 
portion as this vampire is resisted or terrified, it deepens 
its hold, never loosing its clutch till it is cut in pieces. 
Of this awkward customer we fortunately saw no 
specimen. 

We found the lady of Louisen-hoi rumbling about 
the grounds with her children, and, when the Consul 
presented us, she led us to the verandahs of the villa, 
from which we could see the ocean on both sides of the 
island. A most lovely bay makes in under the height, 
and here swam troops of pelicans though, why the 
sharks, which deter the negroes from swimming in these 
waters, do not gobble up these nice looking birds, as well, 
I could not definitely ascertain. For me, the pelican 
would be the better eating of the two. 

I did not enjoy the two views of the ocean the less, 
because I cannot describe them to you. Life has plea 
sures, and the world has beauties, which cannot be put 
on paper. I may mention, however, that there was 
great contrast between the two views, from the differ 
ence in the foregrounds on one side, the wilderness of 



52 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

a volcanic island, and, on the other, a crowded town 
with its ruined castles, its sentinelled strong-hold, and 
busy harbor, thronged with row-boats and shipping. 
Most of the features of this latter picture were entirely 
new. The houses of the town hung against the pre 
cipices like bird-cages against a wall, and with their yel 
low walls and red roofs looked like the innovations of 
yesterday, in strange contrast with the crumbling forti 
fications of old time. There is a look of renaissance 
about St. Thomas the castles old enough for the time 
of Columbus, and the dwellings new enough for Staten 
Island or Newport. To give you an idea what singu 
larly hanging architecture is the fashion here, I may 
mention one new house we noticed, where the earthy 
bank of precipice toivered twenty feet above the chim 
neys, while a wall sustained the basement, twenty feet 
below the foundations. And to this a three-story 
house there is no access, except by climbing thither on 
foot, or, in case of illness, being borne up or down on a 
hand-barrow. With the exception of one street along 
the water, and one or two in the bottoms of the glens, 
all St. Thomas is thus hung on precipices. 

In riding down, my stirrups, of course, were clatter 
ing against the sides of my pony s bit, and 1 was a most 
lengthwise demonstration, as to his body, with the ef 
fort to sit upright; but, taking it for granted that ho 
knew the country and its accidents better than I, I threw 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 53 

away my whip of twisted cocoa-leaf and gave him the 
reins ; and he dropped himself safely at my hotel door, 
and restored me, undamaged, to level footing. People 
are usually very much tired with this walk ; and possi 
bly, my pony was tired with his but I was unfatigued, 
and I recommend, to all invalids ^ *east, no ascent of 
mountain, in this debilitating clime, without a quadru 
ped under the spine. 

My letter is getting long. Adieu. 



LETTER No. 7. 



SECOND EARTHQUAKE SINCE ARRIVAL DRIVE TO SEE A SU 
GAR PLANTATION MAMMOTH COTTON-TREE MAGNIFICENT 

WHITE BEARD ON AN OLD BLACK MAN SUCKING SUGAR- 
STICK PAY OF BLACK LABORERS NAKEDNESS IN TROPI 
CAL CLIMATES EBONY BABIES UN-DIAPERED EXPENSIVELY 

DRESSED COLORED BELLES WITH BARE FEET EMANCI 
PATED SHOULDERS ODD WAY OF CARRYING A SHEEP 

VILLAGE OF SUGAR-CANE LABORERS WOMAN WITH SPARE 

TOE OLD MAN HAPPY WHILE BEING EATEN BY ANTS 

BLACK GIRL TAKING A SIESTA IN THE DIRT CURIOUS PLUM 

NATURAL SHERBET, ETC., ETC. 



St. Thomas, West Indies, March, 1852. 
DEAR MORRIS : 

I write on " terra firma^ I believe, though we had 
an earthquake last night the second since our arrival 
on this volcanic island. "What little rocking the town 
gets, with these throes of nature, does not wake me, I 
find, though the inhabitants have a quick perception of 
one, and, with great precision, give you the exact num- 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 55 

ber of seconds that it lasted, as the news of the morning. 
Strangers have usually a dread of these phenomena ; 
but I have no presentiment of the earth s opening for 
me, except by spade and pickaxe. 

We drove out, a mile or two along the coast, to see a 
sugar plantation, this morning our vehicle an Ameri 
can carry-all, which is the wonder of this precipitous 
island, and our driver a talkative mulatto, who proudly 
mentions his indebtedness to one of the most distin 
guished lawyers of Philadelphia, for what white blood 
is in him. On our way, we stopped to see a cotton- 
tree, which is considered the largest subject of His Ma 
jesty of Denmark ; and which perhaps would shade 
comfortably a Jenny-Lind audience of Tripler Hall. 
My friend took its measure, and found the circumfer 
ence of the trunk, at ground level, forty feet. The cot 
ton pods, just open, seemed making a million offers, each 
one of just enough cotton for an ear-ache. It was, al 
together, a superfluous extravagant tree, with a great 
many unnecessary branches a vegetable spendthrift, 
in fact, upon which, with my experience, 1 could not 
look but with a feeling of compassion. I took a speci 
men of what he produces, however, and am only sorry 
it will not shape, like my superfluities, into an article for 
the Home Journal. 

Allow me to note one thing w T hich I saw on the road, 
and which will be appreciable, perhaps, only by artists 



56 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

-the blackest of negroes with the whitest of beards. 
This tableau-vivant was a pauper, of about ninety, ap 
parently, entirely black-bald, and with nothing on him 
except certain remainders of a pair of trousers, and a 
part of a shirt, his tawny chest entirely bare, and his 
snowy beard descending over it in waves the effect, 
snowy mustache and all, worthy of the highest high- 
priest of an Egyptian temple. He was one of a crowd, 
coming from the morning mass of a Catholic chapel, 
and everybody jostled and passed him disregard fully 
a popular unconsciousness of his extraordinary beauty, 
which really seemed brutal and unnatural. His face 
was that of a man who had dignified on animal experi 
ence only (no reason why not, perhaps !) and if he 
could have been framed, and hung up, in a drawing- 
room, I would have given $5000 for him, to re-sell to 
somebody who could afford to own him as a picture. 
Black old age is more picturesque than ours. 

We passed through fields of sugar-cane the plant 
resembling very much our Indian corn in full growth 
and. alighted at a mill, not just then in operation. Its 
principle is a general one not confined to St. Thomas, 
the sweetness got out by squeezing. Our semi-Phila- 
delphian driver cut a sugar-stick for us, and sharpened 
the end for us to suck. With nothing better, I could 
fancy it very palatable. There are no fences at the fields 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 57 

and anybody may cut stick and suck so that starva 
tion in this country is purely a matter of choice. 

While my friend was inquiring into the statistics of 
sugar, I took a ramble through the village of huts which 
the plantation sustains. The negroes seemed to have 
as few wants, and to be about as unconsciously com 
fortable, as snails and caterpillars. Each family had 
two huts, built of sticks and thatched with straw one 
for cooking and one for sleeping. I stopped at the door 
of one where the old woman looked communicative. 
She began by showing me, with some apparent pride, 
an extra toe which pointed like a raised finger from 
the centre of one of her feet, and ended by complaining 
that they had no bread. Her family, then present, con 
sisted of seven persons, who slept altogether in about 
the space of a hotel s double bed two grandfathers 
among them, and one very pretty girl of about seven 
teen. I have mentioned that there is no grass in this 
climate. The girl I speak of, lay flat on her back, on 
the earth at the side of the cottage, with her well-turned 
ebony arm over her head and only a ragged petticoat 
over her limbs, as entirely unmoved by a stranger s 
presence and observation as if she had been a statue 
of black marble. The immovableness of one of the 
Grandfathers was still more remarkable, however. He 

O 

sat on a rough wooden bench, with a pleasant and ha 
bitual smile on his face a decrepit old man and, of 



58 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

his two feet, which were half buried in the loose dirt, 
one was literally rotten. His toes were covered with 
sores, and the ants were upon them in hundreds yet 
he leaned with his elbows on his knees, giving me a 
slow and tranquil look as I stopped before him, and 
seemed no more unhappy than a cheese with its mag 
gots. Do we not give ourselves unnecessary trouble, 
with our diseases, after all ? 

I learned, afterwards, that these pauper laborers got 
half a dollar a week, for wages, and huts to live in ; 
and have two holidays in the week, Saturday and Sun 
day. The old and disabled are supported by the young 
and strong. 

Nakedness, I find, is, to a certain degree, a matter of 
climate. Modesty makes no note of anything under six 
years of age. Black babies go conveniently bare, to 
the end of life s first chapter. With the same fitness 
and adaptation to the latitude, shoes and stockings are 
dispensed with ; and the young black girls, with ear 
rings worth two or three hundred dollars, chemises 
edged with lace, and skirts of brilliant colors, parade in 
stately deliberateness, protruding, at each step, five 
shining toe-nails uncompressed by morocco. I must 
own that I think they walk more gracefully for this. 
White feet might not do so well, not being so independ 
ent of the dirt but feet that are neatly blacked by na 
ture are certainly as cleanly without " leather or pru- 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 69 

nella," and vastly more elastic and stately. Two ebony 
shoulders, un-liable to tan, enjoy the open air by the 
same philosophy ; and they shine along the street, as 
these black swans sail past, with a luxuriance of effect 
unknown on the sidewalks of temperate latitudes. 

We met a negro walking whistling along the road, 
with a sheep tied round his neck like a kicking cravat, 
the feet in a bow-knot in front the struggles of the ani 
mal not disturbing his tranquility at alk Half a dozen 
others we saw, with their long knives, on their way to 
cut the sugar-cane, and all looking considerably hap 
pier than any white people I ever saw on their way to 
a place of amusement. I am inclined to think, heathen 
as they are, that these black and happy ignoramuses 
would only be educated into a consciousness of things 
to be troubled about. 

I have spoken of the prodigality of this climate, in the 
fact that 

" Bud, flower and fruit together rise, 

And the whole year in gay confusion lies." 

but it is a climate capable of simplifying matters as 
well. There is a plum, native to this island, which dis 
penses with the school and college of leaf and flower, 
and ripens immediately from the bark of its tree ma. 
turity its first stage and its last. There is also a fruit 
that would be interesting to Thompson the anana, of 



60 HEALTH T R I T TO THE TROPICS. 

sour-sop, which has a deliciously flavored pulp, as pluck 
ed from the tree, arid requires only icing, to surpass the 
choicest of sherbets in flavor and richness. A slight 
squeeze, as you hold this fruit to your lips, gives you its 
sweetness with a delicacy beyond the spoon of the con 
fectioner. 

I fancy I have told you of new things enough for one 
letter, so 

Atiieu for the present. 



LETTER No, 8. 



PREDOMINATING SOCIETY AT ST. THOMAS INVARIABLE TYPE 

OF GERMAN MEDIOCRITY IN CLASSES STYLE OF DANES . 

NEGRO USE OF THE VOICE DROWNED BABY, AND KEY FOR 

THE TUNING OF COLORED HORROR SUNDAY AND CHURCH 

WHOLE CONGREGATION OF MADRAS TURBANS FEMALES 

DO ALL THE REPENTING EFFECT OF SUCH A GORGEOUSLY 

DRESSED MULTITUDE OF BLACK WORSHIPPERS WORKS IN 

MARBLE AND WORKS IN EBONY AS RELIGIOUS ORNAMENTS 

REVERIE IN CATHOLIC CHURCH INDISPENSABLE ARTICLE 

OF FURNITURE WHICH EVERY NEGRESS CARRIES WITH HER 
DANISH OFFICER S POLITENESS HOT UNIFORMS OF SOL 
DIERS FROM A COLD CLIMATE OTAHEITAN FLOWERING 

TREE ARRIVAL OF ENGLISH STEAMER RUSH OF PASSEN 
GERS TO THE HOTEL FOR ICED DRINKS NEWS OF THE 

DEATH OF MOORE POEM AS TO THE SINS OF GENIUS 

PROMISE OF SMOOTH WATER OCEAN-SAILING ALONG THE 
ANTILLES, ETC. 

* . St. Thomas, March, 1852. 

DEAR MORRIS : 

Your namesake, our consul here, (Wm. Morris, of 
Pennsylvania,) has kindly accompanied us in our excur- 



62 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

sions, and I could give you, from his lips, a very minute 
account of the trees, plants and insects of the Antilles. 
He is a close observer, and studies well what is around 
him. Though most interesting to see, however, such 
matters are not very interesting to read about, and so I 
spare you. But, with your earliest " pulmonary com 
plaint," come and see, smell, and examine them. 

The predominating society, at St. Thomas, is German. 
The wealthiest merchants are of that nation, and the 
largest shops are curiously faithful copies of the booths 
of Leipsic Fair. Nature having no caprices in central 
Europe, (German tradesmen never, by any accident, 
looking like anything but German tradesmen,) the male 
portion of the " best society " of St. Thomas is not ve 
ry ornamental. There seem to be no Danes, (Danish 
though be the Government,) except military men and 
public officials ; but these have been voted, by our fair 
travelling companions, a remarkably handsome and dis 
tinguished-looking set of men. There are but six 
American families, and as few English. 

The voice seems to be the great escape-valve for all 
manner of excitement, among the negroes. I rushed to 
the window, this morning, thinking from the sudden 
screaming of one or two hundred women, that the towji 
must have been cracked open by an earthquake. The 
street was full of people, and, for half an hour, I watch 
ed the negresses vociferating, like furies, at each other, 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 63 

and with looks that I should have interpreted to indi 
cate a quarrel between every two. One of the hotel 
waiters came up, after a while, and explained the cause 
of so much vehement talking. A new-born black baby 
had been found drowned in the harbor, and was laid 
out, for recognition, at the Police-office, a few doors 
above. In any other population, it seems to me, the 
horror inspired by such a sight would have been ex 
pressed by a hush, or an undervoiced interchange of 
feeling. Here it made a clamor, pitched at the highest 
possible key. Turn over the philosophy of the differ - 
ence, at your leisure. 

Sunday and I have been to church. Following the 
tide of the Madras turbans flowing past the door of 
the hotel, I found myself at matins in a crowded Catho 
lic chapel, the candles burning before the Virgin, and 
chant and prayer pouring zealously forth but myself, 
apparently, the only male or white worshipper in the 
congregation. The females of the colored race seem to 
do all the repenting, and to do it devoutly, whatever be 
their share of the sinning. You can scarcely conceive 
the magnificent effect of such a multitude of turbans, 
each one combining the most brilliant possible colors, 
assembled under one roof before an altar. When the 
chant recommenced, and all rose to their feet, it was 
like an acre of tulips rising up to pray. The whitest 
of chemises lay loose around every pair of black shoul- 



64 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

ders ; and, pendant on both sides of every draperied 
head, hung enormous ear-rings of gold, in strong relief 
upon the circles of black skin, and glittering in the im 
perfect light ; and, altogether, the spectacle was what 
shall I say ? more tropical than religious, perhaps, but 
artistically most impressive. Well ! We are called up 
on to find hallowed associations in the work of man s 
hand in marble, on the capital of the Corinthian col 
umn why not find a hallowed magnificence added to 
a church by the presence of a thousand works of God s 
hand in ebony, and these, too, all making responses to 
every appearance devout and reverential ? Hours of 
reverie in Catholic churches are remembered, by most 
travellers, among the luxuries of foreign lands. I have 
no reason to thank St. Thomas of the Antilles less than 
St. Peter of Rome, for the equality before God with 
which I went in, as one of a crowd of fellow-sinners, 
and delivered myself over to the influence of the place, 
I was tranquillized and liberalized, certainly edified, 
perhaps. 

I notice a little personal convenience, which the ne- 
gresses almost invariably carry with them a small 
wooden cricket. Whenever they meet an acquaintance, 
or wish to stop and rest, down goes the cricket in the 
street, and they are seated and comfortable, in a trice 
With their brilliantly gay dresses, it looks rather odd to 
see them sitting anywhere about, on the crowded 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 65 

squares or walks, but they have no idea of dirt on natu 
ral earth or on well-swept pavement. If they stop to 
rest, when alone, they oftenest throw themselves upon 
the ground, in a reclining position, and place the cricket 
under the elbow or in the hollow of the arm. Mr. G-. 
and 1 stopped to admire a spacious black Venus, yes 
terday, who was lying in this way on the loose sand of 
the pier, as elegant in her pose and drapery as if she 
had been modelled by a Grecian sculptor. 

We were strolling around the castle, last evening, 
when a very tall and fair-haired Danish officer, who 
chanced to be on duty, stepped out and invited us into 
his quarters. He had a large room overlooking the 
bay, and hung round with the engraved portraits of the 
distinguished men of his native land, and his centre- 
table was covered with books, reviews and newspapers, 
showing a taste for reading which a soldier sometimes 
contrives to do without. After a little conversation, he 
showed us the interior of the castle, the barracks, guard 
rooms, etc., and took us up to the parapets, which beau 
tifully command views of the town and harbor. The 
cleanliness and order of the Danish soldiers, and their 
quarters and equipments, were admirable, but they 
looked a little pale upon the climate. Their small cloth 
caps and tightly buttoned cloth uniforms looked like 
positive inflictions in this thin-jacket atmosphere. Scrib- 
ner s newly published book on St. Thomas mentions 



66 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

that the trenches of this castle were formerly defended 
only by the cactus, whose prickly thorns would keep out 
any intruder unless in a coat of mail : but, at present 
the fortifications are all of stone and mortar complete 
ness. In one of the cultivated corners of the grounds, 
by the way, I stopped to admire a fine tree, bearing a 
gorgeous crimson flower ; and this, our courteous 
friend informed us, was an Otaheitan product. There 
is taste as well as discipline among the Danish govern 
mental s. "We parted from our friend while the sentry 
presented arms, very much indebted for his spontaneous 
and polite kindness. 

%\th. The English steamer has arrived, at last five 
days behind her time, and twenty-two days from South 
ampton. Yet this boat, (the Thames) is considered one 
of the finest and fastest of the line. The passengers 
have just come ashore, and six or eight of them are 
seated on the verandah of our hotel, perfectly rabid 
over sherry cobblers the first Transatlantic product 
jointly and severally thought of and called for. They 
pronounce ice, as found in the Tropics, a luxury ce 
lestial. 

In a copy of the London Times, brought ashore by 
one of these gentlemen, I find the announcement of the 
death of MOORE. I little thought, in looking up his 
" calabash tree," at Bermuda, the other day, and writ 
ing gayly about him, that he was dead at the time. So 






HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 67 

passes a poet from this troubled planet ! Honor to his 
memory ! I saw, by the way, in the same paper, a po 
etical remonstrance against the fanatical prejudice that 
denied to Byron a corner in Westminster Abbey, and 
would now deny it to Moore for their sins. It was 
dated at the " Athenaeum Club," and, of course, was 
written by a man whose opinions would be respected. 
I copied one verse, the doctrine of which I thought 
might interest you : 

" In our holiest shrine there is but one corner, 

Fit shrine to deposit his honored remains, 
Not saved for the sinless, but due, tell the scorner, 
To genius whose brightness extinguished its s aina" 

There will be interesting biographies written of Moore. 
The society in which he moved is full of anecdotes of 
him. He was a man whose every action seemed like a 
trait of character. His pulse beat integers, not ciphers. 
But, I am forgetting that the subject is probably over 
written upon, by this time, in New-York. 

Our steamer, the Derwent, has waited only for the 
mails by the Thames, and we start, this afternoon, to 
pay our respects to islands nearer the equator. I un 
derstand that we run under the lee of islands nearly all 
the way, and that the sailing is as smooth as from Ho- 
boken to Undercliff so I may write you a description 
or two from under the awning of the deck, daguerreo- 
typically. 



LETTER No. 9, 



TIDE OF ENGLISH TRAVEL FROM SOUTHAMPTON, TOUCHING AT 

ST. THOMAS JOHN BULL OUT OF PLACE IN THE TROPICS 

NATURE S TWO JOURNEYMEN AT MOUNTAIN-MAKING, AND 

THEIR DIFFERENT STYLE OF WORK TWO HEAVENS 

NECESSARY FOR THE CARIB AND THE ENGLISHMAN ENG 
LISH COLONIAL ISLANDS ALL ALIKE, AS TO HOUSES AND IN 
HABITANTS DAME NATURE ATMOSPHERICALLY DRESSED OR 

UNDRESSED CLIMATE TOO CLEAR. FOR THE DISTANCE 

THAT " LENDS ENCHANTMENT TO THE VIEW " NIGHTS EX- 

CEPTED AND STARS WONDROUSLY BRIGHT AND BEAUTIFUL 

THE SOUTHERN CROSS THE FRENCH ISLANDS HAVE 

RIVERS, THE ENGLISH ISLANDS NONE AMAZING PRODI 
GALITY OF FOLIAGE AT GUADALOUPE ENGLISH ECSTACIES 

MODIFIED BY FEAR OF HUMBUG FRENCHMEN .COMING ON 

BOARD AT GUADALOUPE CLOSE CONTACT, EVEN IN THES^E 

CLIMATES, NEVER ASSIMILATING THE FRENCH AND ENG 
LISH, ETC. 

DEAR MORRIS : 

In taking the steamer for the Southern Antilles, at 
St. Thomas, we fell upon the tide of English Colonial 
travel officers on their way to join their regiments at 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 69 

Barbadoes and Demerara, chaplains and civil function 
aries, governesses, nurses, and mercantile agents, all 
talking unmitigated English and, with ears so full of 
London, I have really found it difficult, for the last day 
or two, to realize that my eyes were full of the tropics. 
John Bull does not seem to me to belong here. Refined 
and intelligent as the company on deck is, (and there 
are two or three remarkably beautiful women among 
them,) their accent, dress, character and deportment, all 
seem out of harmony with the climate and scenery. 
Try to make a vase for a bouquet of magnolias, by ty 
ing one of your own particularly stiff and white shirt- 
collars around them, my dear friend, and you will see a 
faint type of the contrast I refer to. 

We have been gliding along for a day or two, under 
the shores of these isles of eternal summer, the sea as 
smooth, (except here and there where the swell of the 
Atlantic has a chance between two of them,) as the 
Hudson among the Highlands. They are ranges of 
mountains in the sea. You have no idea of their out 
line, because you only know mountains as made by the 
Deluge. Nature has another journeyman, however 
the Volcano and he did the job for the Tropics; and 
very different are the mountains of his making. They 
look, indeed, like Apennines in stacks, waiting for an 
earthquake to distribute them. The Catskills and Alle- 
ghanics are arranged, and in their places. The waves 



70 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

and eddies of the Deluge shaped their summits grace 
fully, and proportioned them with proper bases and 
approaches, by slopes and plains. But here are moun 
tains piled up like clouds, at angles with which the law 
of gravitation seems to have had nothing to do some 
lying on their sides, and some bottom upwards, preci 
pices leaning the wrong way, and ravines of the most 
unaccountable abruptness, one Alp rolled down upon 
the beach, and half a dozen placed toppling on the edge 
of what would elsewhere have been a summit range by 
itself it really seems as if the rest of the world were 
made by some tamer standard, to accord with more re 
gular laws of beauty, gentler tastes and passions less 
tumultuous. The Carib and John Bull would never be 
comfortable together in the same heaven, I am quite 
sure, if this scenery and that of England are fair types 
of their respective natures. 

Of St. Eustatia, St. Kitts and Nevis we had only 
this ranging view, taken from the sea as we coasted 
along. The English towns, where we stopped to leave 
the mails, are all alike, angularly built, and looking very 
unpicturesque. They have no wharves, and, to land 
you must run your Voat upon the beach. AVith the 
wonderful rarity of the -atmosphere, you can read the 
signs almost as well from your anchorage in the Bay as 
from the sides of the streets, and the West Indians who 
were on board told us that nothing was gained bv L-O- 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 71 

ing on shore, excepting of such other Englishmen and 
negroes as were not standing on the quay. Having 
Been the Britisher in one colony you have seen him in 
all there being no beginning of a shading in to the 
negro type or habits, notwithstanding the strong eman 
cipation talk against distinctions of blood. 

At Guadaloupe, the French island, we found Daine 
Nature once more with a little drapery on mists on 
the mountain tops, and a visible atmosphere in the val 
leys and we suddenly realized how unbecoming had 
been her absolute nudity during the week gone 
by. For days and days we had seen no atmosphere 
no such thing as distance no such charm as per 
spective. Everything looked strangely bare and 
near, and over all the mountains there was a mono 
tone of tint which would have driven a painter 
to despair. As to the horizon, it seems so near, that, if 
you were washing your hands on deck, you might try 
to throw the slops over it, as you would over the ship s 
side. The sun goes down, as it were, next door. Fan 
cy comes back discouraged, from any attempt to leave 
the spot you stand upon. I should except only, that 
the night is made beautiful, by this wondrous clearness. 
The stars are intensely brilliant. Our fellow-passenger, 
the English clergyman, told me, that, when the moon 
was not up, (which it is now, and full,) they could al 
ways see their shadows on the ground, cast by the eve- 



72 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

ning star. What with this startling brilliancy, and the 
change in the places of the planets and constellations 
with our change of latitude it seems as one lies on his 
back on deck, like looking up to a strange sky, in some 
" brighter and better world." If I had time to get my 
muse into training, I should certainly write some poe 
try to this glorious Southern Cross, that gleams over 
the Equator like an illuminated crucifix. For rny self- 
denying prose, just now, heaven reward me ! 

Dress one mountain in leafy June, and let ail the 
mountains around be stripped for leafless November, 
and you have a fair similitude of Guadaloupe in con 
trast with the islands we had passed before coming to 
it. St. Thomas, St. Kitts, St. Eustatia, Nevis, and 
Montserrat, are comparatively bare. They are volcanic 
islands without rivers, their inhabitants depending on 
the rains for water. But Guadaloupe is plentifully 
coursed with rivers that start from its mountain-tops, 
and, as you approach it from the other islands, it is, to 
the eye, like a sudden plunge into mid-summer. Of the 
prodigality of leaf upon its tropical trees, no language 
can give you any idea. Like " velvet of three pile," it 
is a June thrice heaped a group of the loveliest- 
shaped mountains, burthened three Junes deep with 
foliage. From the time we began to distinguish this is 
land, somewhere about seven in the morning, until we 
had passed its southernmost point, a little after noon. 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS 73 

the passengers on board were as much absorbed with it 
as an audience with a play. It was like a panorama of 
Nature idealized. The families of the English officers, the 
chaplain and his wife, the merchants and others, all 
stood in wonder at the railings of the quarter-deck, ex 
pressing their surprise and delight with London s most 
emphatic though most unpoetical exclamations. Gua- 
daloupe s cheeks must have burned " that is, if an 
island can know when it is sitting for its picture. 

We rounded to, off Guadaloupe, as at the other is 
lands, to deliver mails and take and leave passengers, 
and received quite an accession to our company in a 
number of Frenchmen, bound to the other French is 
land of Martinique, which we were to reach, farther on. 
The white kid gloves of those polite gentlemen, their 
shirts with ruffled sleeves, and their very ornamental 
manners, made a strong contrast with the studiously in 
elegant travelling costumes, and laboriously un-hum- 
bugy-y manners of the English passengers. How 
these nations do stay dissimilar, to be sure ! Here is 
Guadaloupe, between two English Islands, Antigua a 
few hours North, and Dominica one hour South, and 
yet no symptoms of assimilation between its inhabitants 
and their neighbors. The distinctions of that Babel 
business have lasted a great while ! 

But I must to my berth. Good night. 



LETTER No. 10. 



ALTERATIONS IN PUNCTUATION BY ANTS PROBABLE ETYMOLO 
GY OF " ANTILLES" ALTERATIONS PLANS PREFERENCE 

OF MARTINIQUE TO BARBADOES EMPRESS JOSIPHENfi s 

BIRTH-PLACE MARTINIQUE THE " FIFTH AVENUE" OF THE 

ANTILLES GOING ASHORE WITH AN UNUSUAL LAP-FULL 

JERSEY FERRY OUTDONE NOTE ON NEGRO LANGUAGE 

LOSS AND RE-CAPTURE OF BAGGAGE CUSTOM-HOUSE VEXA 
TIONS RECEPTION AT HOTEL USES OF PERSEVERANCE 

APPARITION OF CREOLE BEAUTY THE GOOD STAR OF 

WOMAN S KINDNESS NEGRO MANNERS AFTER FOUR YEARS 

OF EMANCIPATION INSOLENCE AFTER BEING OVERPAID 

LANDLORD PITCHING A NEGRO HERCULES DOWN STAIRS, 

ETC. 

Martinque, April, 1852. 
DEAR MORRIS : 

My date, just written, is a little illegible, and I take 
the opportunity to beg you to guard the printer against 
the alterations made in my manuscript by the omnipre- 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 75 

Bent ants of this teeming climate.* I called my friend s 
attention, just now, while I counted to him thirteen, who 
were running up and down on the quill with which I 
was writing. They are all over my table and paper. 
The pitchers and washbowls are full of them. You 
clean your teeth with ants and water wash in ants and 
water sleep on ants and a mattrass all well enough, 
if they were not attracted by fresh ink as well as by 
other moisture. They do not sip, either. They first 
walk through the liquid of which they intend to taste, 
and hence you see my tribjulation. They turn my pe 
riods into commas, my semicolons into notes of admira 
tion, my quotation-marks into stars, etc., etc. Perhaps 
it never occurred to you before, why these Islands are 
called the " J^illes" a corruption of the plain English 
word ant-hills, if my experience goes for anything. 
Finding Guadaloupe so beautiful, and so much more 

* To show you that others have found tropical insect life as 
" teeming" as I have, read the following passage from, a work on 
these islands, written by Henry N. Breen, who was thirteen years 
a resident here : 

" The most remarkable insects are the scorpion, woodslave, an- 
nulated lizard, locust, tarantula, centipede, wasp, blacksmith, 
musquito, bat, cockroach, fly, chigre, beetle, fire-fly, spider, wood- 
ant, butterfly, bete-rouge, caterpillar, grasshopper, cricket and 
bee. Of these, the scorpion and centipede are the most danger 
ous, the ant and wood-ant the most destructive, the musquito the 
most troublesome, and the cockroach the most repulsive. The 
destruction caused by the ant is generally confined to plants and 
flowers ; but the depredations of the wood- ant extend to the 
houses, furniture, and even clothes of the inhabitants and the 



76 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

picturesque in its architecture and cultivation than the 
English Islands, and hearing that Martinique was still 
more beautiful and interesting, we were induced to make 
a little alteration in our plans. Barbadoes, where we 
had intended to make a short stay, was described to us, 
by the intelligent clergyman on board who resided there, 
and we gathered that it was merely a very large and 
prosperous colony, peculiarly English, and with nothing 
either of scenery or society that would be to us any 
thing of a novelty. Martinique, on the contrary, (which 
we were about to pass in the night time, unseen,) was 
described as a garden of romantic beauty, more con 
servatively French even than the old towns of France, 
peopled with a charmingly graceful and courteous 
Creole population, (of whom the Empress Josephine, 
as you will remember, was one,) antique in its 



mischief they occasion is no less incredible than the promptitude 
with which it is accomplished. The following humorous remarks 
appeared some years ago in the E<lin -urph Review : The bete- 
ronge lays the foundation of a tremendous ulcer. In a moment 
you are covered with ticks : flies get into your nose, you eat flies, 
drink flies, breathe flies. Lizards, cockroaches and snakes get 
into your bed ; ants eat up the books ; scorpions sting you on the 
foot. Everything bites, stings or bruises ; every second of your 
life you are wounded by some piece of animal life An insect 
with eleven legs is swimming in your tea-cup ; a nondescript 
with nine wings is struggling in the small-beer, or a caterpillar, 
with several dozen eyes in its belly, is hastening over the bread 
and butter. All nature is alive, and seems to be gathering her 
entomological hosts to eat you up, as you are standing, out of your 
coat, waistcoat and breeches." 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 77 

buildings and habits, and isolated from the poetry- 
killing mediocritizing of the times. The name by which 
the island goes, in France "The Faubourg St. Germain 
of the Tropics" was, in itself, a stimulus to our cu 
riosity. 

The steamer s jolly-boat had twenty-four passengers 
to take ashore at Martinique all French with the ex 
ception of ourselves. It was close stowing. I sat in 
the stern, next the " middy" at the rudder, and in my 
lap sat a broad-based pyramid of a negress, while, in 
her lap, was her baggage, viz : a well-packed basket. 
and the article of crockery without which a French wo 
man seldom commits herself to the chances of travel. 
The glorious moon in the heavens had seldom looked 
down upon so much flesh and blood, (and its baggage,) 
in so limited a compass. The bay was smooth, how 
ever. Half a mile or less was not far to carry even such 
a lap-ful of emancipation as mine. We were safely 
pulled ashore, and debarqued into a confusion and 
clamor of negroes which promised very little for the 
comfort of the place. Of this, our premier accueil, I 
must still further describe the annoyances ; because, 
though I have to commend Martinique as probably the 
most delightful of all the world s neglected spots, I 
should frankly prepare the traveller for a first arrival 
that is a little discouraging. 



78 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

Deposited with our trunks and carpet-bags upon a 
narrow frame-work, or bridge, without railing, that juts 
out from the beach as a landing for canoes and row- 
boats, we had half an hour s struggle with innumerable 
negroes, to keep our baggage together, and ourselves 
from being crowded and knocked overboard a strug 
gle which amounted, at a moderate estimate, I should 
say, to about seven Jersey-Ferry experiences condensed 
into one. The screaming jargon of the almost naked 
wretches was, to me, wholly unintelligible. I rescued 
my heavy portmanteau repeatedly from the tops of 
woolly heads upon which it had magically mounted, 
determined not to make a start without my friend, who 
had been missing from the first moment. I was seized 
hold of, by two furious baboons at a time, who had 
crowded me to the corner of the platform, and fought 
with fist and tongue for the possession of me. There 
was no light except the moon s, nobody to give the 
slightest intelligible hint of whom to trust or where to 
go. I should have liked to make some inquiry for my 
lost companion but, to keep my identity together, 
trunk, carpet-bag and owner, required my full presence ; 
and, in the deafening tumult of unintelligible language, I 
tried in vain to make myself understood. The name of 
the principal hotel w r hich 1 learned from the lady in 
my lap, while coming on shore was the only syllable 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 79 

they seemed to recognise : " Hotel des Bains !" " Oui, 
massa, oui !"* 

As the other passengers and their luggage thinned 
away, my friend became visible at the shore end of the 
bridge, and we succeeded in coming together, and getting 
our respective effects mounted upon the woolly summits 
of two emancipated spines it being the understanding 
among them, apparently, that on one negro head could 
be placed all that could possibly belong to any one 
traveller. We followed on as we supposed, to our 
hotel. They crossetl a broad avenue of trees, that look 
ed like a public promenade, turned off to a side alley, 
and suddenly entering a narrow vault, paved with round 
stones, and walled in like a dirty cellar, they made a de- 



* The writer from whose description of these islands I have al 
ready quoted, says of the dialect which I found so incomprehen 
sible : 

" The negro language is a jargon formed from the French, and 
composed of words, or rather sounds, adapted to the organs of 
speech in the black population. As a pntotx, it is even more un 
intelligible than that spoken by the negroes in the English col 
onies. Its distinguishing feature consists in the suppression of 
the letter r in every word in which it should be used, and the 
addition of ki s and ka s to assist in the formation of the tenses. 
It is, in short, the French language, stripped of its manly and dig 
nified ornaments, and travestied for the accommodation of chil 
dren and toothless old women The less you know of French, 
the greater aptitude you have for talking negro. I can say for 
myself, that although possessing an extensive knowledge of the 
French language, acquired during a sojourn of five years in 
France, I have failed in obtaining anything like an adequate no 
tion of this gibberish, during a residence of nearly fifteen years 
in St. Lucia and Martinique." 



80 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

posit of our baggage. We were made to understand 
directly that this was the custom-house. Our passports 
and keys were demanded by officers in a sort of uniform, 
and, while one of them examined nose, chin and eyes, 
to see if they answered the description which was sign 
ed by Daniel Webster, two others undertook the over 
haul of the portmanteau. 

In all the custom-houses of the world and I have 
been in most of them I never saw such needless and 
minute official impertinence. It was probably a merely 
wanton gratification of their own curiosity and that of 
the crowd of negroes who had followed us from the 
landing but not an article in my trunk escaped dis 
play and examination. With no ventilation in the nar 
row horse-stall of a place, a hundred odoriferous black? 
packed round us like cigars in a bundle, and the ther 
mometer at 82, it was a little trying. The cut of my 
shirts was looked into, and the patterns of my cravats. 
Boxes were opened, cough-medicines carefully smelt of, 
coats held up, boots stethoscoped, squeezable things 
squeezed and hollow things shaken. And, when every 
thing was flung back, pell-mell, into the portmanteau, 
how to get lid and bottom parallel again was a warm 
problem. My friend had his negro audience, as I had 
mine. We were both completely exhausted and used 
up with this rude and needless ordeal of official imper 
tinence. Yet he looked very little like a smuggler, and 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 81 

/, I should hope, not overmuch. How is it that travel 
lers, for pleasure or health, with only ordinary baggage, 
meet with this kind of reception, on landing at the po 
litest of the French islands ? I ask the question as I 
have written the description in the hope of bringing 
it to the eyes of the chief of the black and white Police 
of St. Pierre, and thus suggesting a remedy of the evil 
for which other travellers and invalids may be obliged 
to me. The custom-house of Martinique is, at present, 
a very dirty gate to a very bright little strangers para 
dise. 

At the risk of being tedious, perhaps, I must give 
you, in this letter, the remainder of that evening s expe 
riences the next morning s sun having risen on mat 
ters describable only in a less complaining key. 

From the custom-house to the hotel was a traverse 
through several dark and narrow streets half-past ten, 
not a soul abroad, nor a light in a window on the way. 
To rise at day-break, as they do in these climates, they 
must needs lengthen the night at the other end. The 
city seemed abed. Our barefooted conductors dodged 
at last, into the low door of a building without a sign, 
and we found ourselves in the presence of several mar 
ble tables and a comptoir the inseparable belongings 
of a French cafe. The landlord made his appearance 
with a candle, a handsome man whose fine condition 

spoke volumes for the cooking that could do it, and 
4* 



82 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

staggered us with the intelligence that he had not a 
bed to spare. He would go up stairs, however, 
and see if there was any possibility of accommodating 
us. As our baggage was still on the negroes heads, 
I motioned to them to follow, and, on the floor of 
a corridor in the second story, I ordered them to unload 
quite sure that this was the best hotel of the town, 
and bent on making a lodgment if perseverance could 
do it. 

Each of our herculean black porters had two or 
three followers ; and, while these were chattering like 
frantic monkeys night-caps visible through inquiring 
doors wo pleading and the landlord protesting 
a new and interesting feature was added to the scene. 
A plump and graceful female figure, rather above 
the middle height, glided indolently towards us from the 
end of the corridor, with candle in hand, and eyelids 
still heavy with sleep that had at least been thought of. 
A long, primrose-colored peignoir, without a girdle, 
seemed her only article of dress, except a gorgeous Ma 
dras turban half loosened from her head; but, withal, 
she was draped magnificently, and, to her Creole com 
plexion, dark eyes and snowy teeth, the faint yellow of 
the robe was in relievo most becoming. To my 
surprise (for, noisy negroes and all, we were not a 
very desirable-looking group for a lady to approach) 
she quietly seated herself on my portmanteau, and, 



I 
HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 83 

with the most unconscious expression of dreamy curi 
osity, listened in silence to the arguments and chatter. 
She was to be the arbi tress of our fate. Her quiet 
study of us and our troubles for five or ten minutes 
ended in our favor ; and, with a word or two to the 
landlord, she gave him an idea for an arragement. 
There was an unfurnished saloon in another part of the 
house. If we would accept of mattrasses, for the night, 
upon the floor of this saloon, she would give us her own 
room in the morning. Our good star for that island 
shone in the dark eyes of Madam Stephanie. 

We were not yet rid of our sable convoy, however. 
They were to be paid and they looked more like Ca- 
ribs waiting for a cutlet, than like porters waiting for 
their money. The leading man, particularly, was the 
ideal of a soulless herculean brute ; and, remembering 
that the neighboring island of Guadaloupe was, at that 
moment, under martial law from a suppressed insurrec 
tion, and that a massacre was still fresh in the history 
of Martinique, I looked at the manners of the two- 
legged savage and his followers with some curiosity. 
No one of them, I observed, showed the least deference 
to the presence of our host and hostess. There they 
lounged, in the saloon, with their hats on, strolling about 
the room and conversing with an air of confident inso 
lence together, and only changing their look, when they 
spoke to the white man, by putting on a scowl of dog- 



84 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 



ged dislike. Not understanding their language or pri 
ces for labor, I had given the landlord a gold piece, and 
requested him to pay them for us ; he did so, and giv 
ing them about twice as much as would have been 
asked by a New York carman for the same porterage. 
But, such a hurricane of vociferation and gesture as 
followed this, T had never before witnessed. The sput 
ter of gibberish, the hoppings about the floor, the vio 
lent gesticulations, were like the frenzy of a half dozen 
exasperated baboons. It was hard to realize that these 
animals were represented, color and opinions, in the 
National Assembly at Paris. Our handsome landlord 
was evidently used to this sort of thing, however. He 
stood the colored threats and eloquence for about five 
minutes very coolly, merely pointing the black leader 
to the door. This being repeated once or twice, and no 
attention paid to it, he advanced a step, and quietly 
asked the man whether he would go out of the door or 
out of the window. The next moment he had seized 
him by the shoulder, spun him round two or three times 
by a dexterous twirl, and when his face was rightly di 
rected, gave him an impetus which sent him headlong 
down the steps into the entry. My friend and I stood 
looking on with no little interest travellers seldom re 
ceiving such active service from their host but ex 
pecting somewhat that it would end in a general metee. 
The negro did not return, however. His brother ges- 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 85 

ticulators and vociferators were suddenly silenced, and 
followed him as if they preferred to help themselves to 
an exit, rather- than give the landlord the trouble ; and 
so ended our " arrival at Martinique." As it was quite 
a melodrama, taken all together, you will allow me to 
drop the curtain. 



LETTER No, 11. 



TROPICAL PERSUADER FOR EARLY RISING THE BUSINESS-DO 
ING SEX AND THE PRAYER-DOING SEX GOING IN OPPOSITE 

DIRECTIONS THE MARTINIQUE RIALTO PICTURESQUENESS 

OF NO WHARVES RESEMBLANCE OF ST. PIERRE TO THE 

STRUCTURE OF A THEATRE AIR OF CARELESS ELEGANCE 

ABOUT THE BLACK AND WHITE MERCHANTS TROPICAL 

SLOVENLINESS OF COSTUME GENERAL AIR OF THE GENTLE 
MEN NEGROES DRESSED IN TWO POCKET-HANDKERCHIEFS 

CURIOUS ACCOMPANIMENT TO THE SURF-ANTHEM DE 
SCRIPTION OF COASTING-BOATS AND CREWS STREETS OF 

ST. PIERRE AT SEVEN IN THE MORNING VENERABLE 

BUILDINGS BRIGHT RIVER IN EVERY SPREET RETURN TO 

BREAKFAST INSTALLED IN MADAME STEPHANIE S BOUDOIR 

AND BED-ROOM RESIGNATION TO OUR CALAMITIES TRO 
PICAL BREAKFAST WITH PARISIAN COOKERY STRUCTURE 

OF HOTEL AND POSITION OF EATING-ROOM NEGRO GUESTS 

IN THE HOUSE, AND THEIR POLITENESS BEAUTY OF OUR 

CARIB WAITER COURSES OF DISHES THE UNUSUAL AD 
DITION TO OUR BREAKFAST DESCRIPTION OF MADAMB 

STEPHANIE ROUGE, OUR CREOLE LANDLADY HER HUS 
BAND, ETC., ETC. 

St. Pierre, Capital of Martinique, April, 1852. 
DEAR MORRIS : 

I was up as early as your five o clock, this morning 
being about one hour on the other side of a New- York 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 87 

sunrise and, by the tall silver tiagon of chocolate and 
two cups of exquisite china, which were there to en 
courage us out of bed, I saw we had awaked to be 
well treated. We were to take the morning walk, (our 
first in Martinique,) and come back to find ourselves in 
stalled in the quarters kindly relinquished to us by our 
hostess. 

As sunrise is the hour to be " on Change," in the 
Tropics, we bent our steps first toward the Martinique 
Rialto, to see the business-doing sex of the place, 
though, as it was also the hour for matins, we encoun 
tered a current of the prayer-doing sex, going " the 
other way, the other way " a reproof for our earliest 
morning errand, which we should have heeded, proba 
bly, but that we could take the more pious walk in the 
evening. There are no " vespers " in business. 

The " Wall street " of St. Pierre is a beautiful ave 
nue of tamarind and mango trees, extending along the 
beach of the harbor, and edged on one side by a row 
of old and picturesque stone buildings, and on the other 
by the white surf of the sea. Some of the larger trees 
are protected from the chance roll of a sugar-hogshead 
by a triangular seat of solid masonry ; and, along un 
der the inner line of trees, facing the sea, are benches 
at short intervals, with sloping backs, mostly occupied, 
at the moment of our first seeing them, by lounging and 
half-naked negroes. There are no wharves, except a 



88 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

short projection at one end of the promenade, where 
heavy freight is rolled, by a railway of a few feet, into 
scows or lighters ; and the vessels lying in port are, of 
course, at anchor in the Bay leaving the clean beach 
of sand comparatively unobstructed, and adding as 
much to the picturesqueness as it subtracts from the 
convenience of the harbor. When I add that a hemi 
sphere of mountains closes around this spot, almost as 
erectly and abruptly as the galleries close in the pit of 
a theatre the Rialto promenade extending across it 
like the row of foot-lights, and the city located behind 
it like the seats of the parterre you will get a very 
correct similitude by which to judge of its shape and 
position. As these high and forever-green mountains 
are on the east side, of course the shops, the business- 
promenade, and the churches, enjoy an hour or two of 
the most refreshing and protecting shade in the morn 
ing, which makes the first dawn the most active and 
stirring hour of the day. 

The first general novelty which struck us, in the look 
of the crowd upon the promenade, was the universally 
elegant and insouciant indolence of gait, look and ges 
ture. Black and white gentlemen merchants strolled 
up and down, or stood in groups and couples under the 
trees, conversing, as the French do, with abundant ac 
tion, but with no approach to an angular movement, or 
any of that sharp and sudden impatience of glance, or 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 89 

change of posture, which would characterize a business 
dialogue in Wall street. Every man had a cigar in his 
mouth, and every man smoked indolently. There was 
a certain slovenliness in the costume of the climate the 
slouching straw hat, the loose coats and pantaloons, and 
the careless cravats but, withal, there was an air of 
Creole grace and hiisscr-aller in the ensemble, w r hich har 
monized well with the make and movement of the men ; 
and well with the climate, to which they looked native- 
born and related. They seemed to me considerably 
above the average height of the French race, generally 
very thin, and of sallow complexion. The air of grave 
courtesy in the countenance, and in the manner of ac 
costing and parting, w%s very different from that of bu 
siness crowds in most places, and very attractive to a 
stranger. 

The beach was a very busy scene. Numberless 
boats with their prows run high upon the sand, were 
lading and unlading the black crews half the time in 
the surf, and working with a headlong vehemence and 
want of mechanical contrivance that threw away a great 
deal of their strength. Their dress amounted, gener 
ally, to two pocket-handkerchiefs, one around the head 
and the sweat rolled down their broad black backs and 
ebony legs with the profuseness of a summer shower, 
To heat and the sun they seemed altogether insensible. 
Their merry joking, and most noisy and unceasing 



90 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

chatter, kept their white teeth in perpetual display, and 
gave their work the appearance of a game for fan. 
The deliberate and solemn thunder of the surf upon 
the beach, and the curiously superficial and un-impregna- 
ted cadences of the negro voice, were in singular con 
tradiction. To the eternal "Thus far shalt thou go 
and no farther," there seemed a reply of baboon 
laughter. 

The " coasting boats " that were coming to town 
from the villages on the Southern shore, (and which 
come up with oars against the trade-wind, and go back 
with sails,) were very picturesque. They are long 
crafts, with about six oarsmen on a side; and these 
dozen propellors lessen their lalJbr by the principle of 
gravitation rising to their full height with the dip of 
the oar, and falling flat on their backs to make the pull 
by their inclining weight. It was a curious sight to see 
a boat moving ahead by the action of a sort of sponta 
neous quarter of a wheel, whose paddles were six naked 
negroes on a side. 

From the thronged quay we passed into the streets, 
scarcely less thronged at seven in the morning, and fed 
our eyes upon forms, costumes and manners, of which I 
.will speak, by and by, with more study and better 
knowledge. The look of the town is romantic, in all its 
features ; and peculiarly unlike American cities, as w r ell 
as unlike the other island towns of this Tropical Archi 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 91 

pelago. The trashy temporariness of the architecture 
elsewhere is not found here. An English writer apolo 
getically says : "The French colonists, whether Creoles 
or French, consider the AVest Indies as their country; 
they cast no wistful looks towards France ; they mar 
ry, educate and build, in and for the West Indies, and 
for the West Indies alone. In English colonies it is 
different ; they are considered more as temporary lodg 
ing-places, to be deserted so soon as they have made 
money enough by molasses and sugar to return home. 
It was delightful to my eye to see no sign of fresh 
paint, white, red, or green. Every building is of vener 
able stone, antique in structure and windowed with 
deepest jalousies and massive outside shutters, the 
doors unprojecting beyond the smooth wall, and the 
overhanging roof frowning with moss covered tiles. 
The streets are narrow, as the climate requires ; but, as 
there are no carriages, and the pedestrian has only to 
make way for the occasional rider on horseback, they 
are broad enough for convenience ; while the closeness 
of the dark walls to each other makes a dim light along 
the pave, which is a timely relief from the glare of a 
tropical sun. 

But I have saved for a separate paragraph the men 
tion of the great charm and peculiarity of the capital 
of this lovely island* It is built on a declivity, at the 
foot of a range ot mountains, and a bright rivulet of 






f 

92 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

the most sparkling wafer courses rapidly down the centre 
of every street. The pavements being everywhere ad 
mirable, and sloping toward the centre, and the beds 
of these sparkling currents being well-laid flat stones, 
there is no dirt except what is thrown out from the 
houses on the way; and, with the perpetually swift 
flow and the large quantity of water, this carding off 
of the city s daily rubbish is quite imperceptible. It 
is a continually bright stream, running before every 
door and filling the town, night and day, with its plea 
sant music. The little naked black children sit in it, 
up to the waist, and play. The women come out and 
wash their dishes in it, or sit and sew by its side as by 
a brook in the country. The rider stops to let his horse 
drink at it. The loaded burthen-carrier, with the 
enormous weight upon her head, stands in it for a min 
ute or two, bathed up to the knees and refreshed and 
cooled, without stoo^ng. It is an inestimable bless 
ing to the inhabitants, and one originally provided at 
great enterprise and cost. The mountain rivers are 
brought down through aqueducts contrived with the 
finest of engineering science, crossing ravines and 
rounding precipices, and built with a solidity which will 
defy accident and decay. In the present state, Marti 
nique would be far from undertaking or accomplishing 
such a work but it was done in davs when the Bim- 



1 

HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 93 

plon was designed and achieved, and when the colonies 
were the California of France. 

AVo were to breakfast at eleven the hungry hour in 
these latitudes and we returned from our long ram 
ble to make a preparatory toilet in the new quarters 
provided for us. We found our baggage removed into 
the luxurious bed-room of Madame Stephanie; and, af 
ter the close and unsavory berths and cabins in which 
we had been, for some weeks, cribbed and confined, it 
was, indeed a contrast to enjoy. Like all French con 
jugal sleeping-rooms, this was furnished with two large 
beds, of richly-laced pillows and immaculate curtains 
and linen. There was a dressing-room at the side. The 
mirrors and furniture (for it served the fair Creole as 
both boudoir and bed-room) were of the most tasteful 
costliness and luxury. A library of French books oc 
cupied one corner, and, with wardrobes and easy- 
chairs, and the heavy bronze coffre-fort, which, like 
every French wife, she kept, in her character as family 
Treasurcss, the room was just sumptuously cro wded. 
My friend and I looked around us, and while we tied 
our cravats by the broad mirror, forgave, with all 
our hearts, the disasters which had enlisted the 
sympathies of the lovely occupant we had dislodged. 
It would not have been impossible, perhaps, to pray 
for more annoyances at tne same rate ot compen 
feation. 



f 
94 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

Of the breakfast which followed I must try to give 
you a picture not for its luxury merely. Cookery 
more exquisite was never tasted in Paris so exquisite, 
indeed, that, if I had not a companion innocent of poe 
try, to affidavy to the truth of my chronicle, I should 
scarce venture to locate such a breakfast in an isle of 
the Caribbean Sea. The surroundings and accompani 
ments, however, belonged to the climate and these, per 
haps in contrast with the Parisian delicacy of our dishes 
may make so sensuous a matter as a meal worthy of defi 
nite description. The invalid, at least, (who may make 
up his mind, at my recommendation, to try Marti 
nique,) will thank me for detailing, with some par 
ticularity, how his " daily bread " will be ministered 
to him. 

The hotel is built round an open court ; and our eat 
ing-room, on the second story, faces the kitchen to 
which messages are sent, not by bell or servant, but by 
a call more or less vociferous from the window. Of 
course, in this clime of perpetual summer, there are no 
sashes of glass, and this, like every apartment in the 
house, is open to all the sounds of savory directions, 
fault-findings, etc., and to the responses and conversa 
tion of the chef de cuisine and his chattering menials. 
The room itself is a large hall with bare floor, and 
without an article of furniture in it, except the chairs 
ana tables at which wo eat. It is also the passnge-way 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE-TROPICS. 95 

to the sleeping-chambers and this, by the way, secures 
to us a polite bow from every guest of the house as he 
passes to or from his room, and, among others, from 
two very well-bred and well-dressed black gentlemen, 
strangers in town like ourselves, who remove their hats 
and give us the " good morning " or " good evening " 
with the courtesy of la veille cour. The public cafe and 
the large and sumptuous billiard-room are on the floor 
below ; and, of the visitors to these resorts, we see no 
thing our more private salle a manger being for the 
guests of the house exclusively. 

The small round table set for Mr. G-. and myself, is 
attended by two ragged and bare-footed waiters, in only 
shirt and pantaloons one a negro, and the other a 
cross between the Carib and the Spaniard so hand 
some and so unconsciously picturesque a fellow, and, 
withal, so proudly and fiercely majestic in his attitudes 
and demeanor, that his likeness would be worth preser 
ving, if only as a type of the now nearly extinct race 
of his mother. He seems to have no beard except a 
long mustache of lustreless and ashy black, which draws 
lines of singular expressiveness across his oval and 
leaden-colored cheek. His features are of Spanish fine 
ness and regularity, his nostrils thin and open, and his 
chin as beautifully moulded as Apollo s while his lux 
uriant flakes of massive straight hair, and the attitude 
of ioided arms with which he stands, bending his large 



96 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

and never- winking eyes upon us while waiting for our 
orders, make me feel, now and then, as if the usurping 
race were his inferior, after all, and as if we should be 
waiting on him, not he on us. I have said almost as 
much to him, (since making the pencil memoranda of 
which my letter is the inking over,) and his only answer 
was a request to be taken as a servant to America a 
proposition to which his proud mien was even a greater 
objection than his speaking only the French language. 
House, horse and servant may easily look too splendid 
for their master. 

Our three or four dishes of meats cooked with Paris 
ian science, are flanked by the numberless vegetable 
novelties of the tropics, and followed, both at breakfast 
and dinner, by a course of game the wild birds of 
these islands which are truly of unsurpasable flavor. 
Then comes a course of fruits, of which this climate is 
an open-air-museum the five kinds of banana, the 
strange alligator-pear, pineapples of various kinds, and 
others of which the mere naming would only tantalize 
you and, with these, the delicate wines whose true 
gusto can only be tasted in the air of these latitudes ; 
and all followed by unsurpassable French coffee, and 
(for my friend) a cigar. You see, (dear invalid reader ! 
for I write this with you in my eye,) how your appe 
tite (and consumptive patients have proverbially good 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS 97 

appetites,) may be coquetted with, on the lip of the 
Equator. 

But there is still an unnamed luxury one 1 nave 
not found added to a breakfast in any other climate, 
and which I suppose, therefore, to be indigenous to lat 
itude 14.40 the society and kind attentions of a charm 
ing hostess, during the meal. With the removal of the 
covers by Fedzee the Carib, the indolently graceful 

figure of Madame Stephanie sails into the room, and 

i 
giving us the " bon jour" with a smile and a bouquet 

she has brought from the market, she lounges into the 
vacant chair at the side of the table, and gives us a 
carte (spoken instead of written) of the delicacies be 
fore us. She tells us what to eat first, and with what 
vegetables to accompany fish, flesh or game watches 
which we prefer, so as carefully to repeat our prefer- 
once at another meal comments on our taste with the 
naive simplicity of a child frankly questions us of our 
country s habits, our families, and our professions 
gives us the gossip of the island, tells us what shops to 
visit, describes the fashions, directs our walks and rides, 
inquires into our health, sleep, and comfort, as (it seems 
to me) only the French can and all this with a careless 
and queenly supremacy of unconsciousness, w T hich seems 
to me as tropical as a palm-tree, and quite as prodigally 
beautiful. Our breakfast and dinners, (for I write this 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

after nearly a week s enjoyment of them,) have invaria 
bly had this added luxury each meal occupying at 
least two hours, and the plump and fair Creole s vivaci 
ty never flagging during these long sessions, and charm 
ing them away like minutes. She rises courteously, 
now and then, to change a plate for us, or give us a 
glass for some choice wine sent up by her husband, or 
to sail over to the window and call out to the cook for 
some luxury new thought of; but, for, the most of the 
time, with her elbow upon the table, and her heavily 
turbaned head supported on her plump hand, she chats 
and lounges, laughs and exchanges compliments, as if 
there were no other world than that small table, and 
nothing to be thought of except that hour s happiness. 
Whether the other hotels of St. Pierre have the same 
dainty addition to their entertainment, or whether, as 
rare travellers from a country with which France has a 
sympathy, we were treated as privileged strangers, 1 
have no means of positively deciding but, if you go 
ever to Martinique, inquire for the " Hotel des Bains," 
and commit yourself to the petit soins, kind and be 
witching, of Madame Stephanie Eoque. Of Monsieur, 
her husband, you will see less but he is a high-bred 
gentleman, who has taken to hotel-keeping after losing 
a fortune, and he is quite as watchful and compliment 
ary in looking to your comfort, in his way. 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 99 

And so, having introduced you to our host and host 
ess, and shown you how we live, you will please re- 
member it as the accompaniment to what I have yet to 
record of our daily experiences. Yours, etc. 



LETTER No. 12. 



PULL INK, INSENSIBLE TO CLIMATE POETRY DESCRIPTIVE OF 

TROPICAL DELICIOUSNESS TOM MOORE A CUSTOM-HOUSE 

OFFICER ON THE ISLAND WHICH WAS THE SCENE OF " THE 

TEMPEST" DIFFICULTY OF REALIZING ARIEL AND MIRAN 
DA, AT " MRS. TUCKER S TAVERN" HORSEBACK RIDE IN 

THE SUBURBS OF ST. PIERRE, MARTINIQUE GARDEN OF 

PLANTS PRECIPICES WITH BEARDS AIR PLANTS AND 

THF.IR HUMAN COUNTERPART YOUNG LADIES ON HORSE 
BACK WITH A NEGRO FOOTMAN, ON FOOT, CARRYING THEIR 

PARASOLS DESCRIPTION OF MARTINIQUE COUNTRY-HOUSES 

TROPICAL HABITS OF LADIES AND GENTLEMEN CLIMATE 

RENDERING COMFORT UNNECESSARY SCIENCE OF COMFORT 

A RESULT OF NORTHERN LACK OF PLEASURE OUT OF DOORS 

QUESTION AS TO THE COMPARATIVE RESULTS OF CLIMATE 

CHARMING INCIDENT OF CREOLE HOSPITALITY YANKEE 

LUMBER-YARD MADAME STEPHANIE S KIND INFLUENCE 

CHATEAU PERRINEL NEGRO SOLDIERS AND THEIR VARIA 
TIONS FROM WHITE SOLDIERS, BEFORE AND BEHIND USE 
FUL FACT FOR GENERAL MORRIS, ETC., ETC. 

Martinique, April, 1852. 
DEAR MORRIS : 

I wish that the ink with which I write could make a 
distinction or two as to the atmosphere in which it ful 
fils its destiny for, surely, never was ink dried upon 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 101 

paper by summer air so delicious, and never did I so 
long for the ink to daguerreotype to you the balm in 
which the poor thoughts it brings were afloat when in 
veigled into it. Really you must come here to know 
how much happiness may be taken in at pores and nos 
trils. Bring but some life, done up in one-day parcels, 
or a little opiate in your pocket, that will enable you to 
forget the Past and the Future, and I will warrant you, 
at Martinique, the bliss of Paradise in breathing only. 
Before resuming my memoranda, let me refresh your 
memory with the way in which two poets have written 
about the kind of luxury I am enjoying : 



" The laggard Spring which but salutes us here, 
Inhabits there and courts them all the year ; 
Kipe fruits and blossoms on the same trees live, 
At once they promise what at once they give. 
So sweet the air so moderate the clime 
None sickly lives, or dies before his time. 
Heaven sure has kept this spot of earth uncursed, 
To show how all things were created first " 



So wrote Waller, in his " Battle of the Summer 
Islands;" and Tom Moore (who, you will remember, 
was English custom-house officer on the island where 
Caliban served Prospero, and who, thus strange con 
trast of use for the same scene by two poets went to 
the " vexed Bermoothes" to prevent smuggling, as 
Shakspeare s imagination went there to create Miranda 



102 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

and the " delicate Ariel") sings thus of what he found 
in the scene of " The Tempest : " 

" The morn was lovely, every wave was still, 
When the first perfume of a cedar-hill 
Sweetly awaked us, and, with smiling charms, 
The fairy harbor wooed us to its arms 
Gently we stole, before the languid wind, 
Through plantain-shades, that like an awning twined 
And kissed on either side the wanton sails, 
Breathing our welcome to these vernal vales ; 
While, far reflected o er the waves serene, 
Each wooded island shed so soft a green, 
That the enamored keel, with whispering play, 
Through liquid herbage seemed to steal its way " 

I may as well confess, however, that, when at Mrs. 
Tucker s tavern, on that same island of Bermuda, a 
week or two ago, I did riot very distinctly realize that 
it was the spot from which Ariel started to " put a 
girdle round the earth in forty minutes ;" nor did I re 
member that Moore had written so beautiful of the 
waters that wrecked the lover of Miranda. The imag 
ination must have its " distance," I find, to " lend en 
chantment to the view," even of a scene in Shakspeare. 

But to my diary : 

We started this morning, on horseback, to get a sun 
rise view of the four or five miles of country-seats on 
the north side of the city. From the streets, the road 
opens directly up a ravine of the most romantic beauty, 
tracking the course of a river which has the curious 
name of " Madame." The city being supplied with 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 103 

water by Madame and her sisters of the mountain, the 
massive architecture of the aqueducts and bridges, and 
of the roads which round the precipices upon the sides, 
are in strong contrast with the wildness of the scene ; 
and indeed, it is this which makes its most prominent 
impression. It is the prodigal and untrimmed luxuri 
ance of a new country with the solid and venerable con 
veniences of the old. One other feature I will add, in 
the way of general portraiture : the vegetation for 
which the air alone is sufficient, and which clothes the 
faces of precipices with vines, creepers, mosses and 
tendrils, in a way wholly unknown in other climates. 
The rocks have bare faces or chins. They are all beard 
ed with verdure. And so are the caves below. Nak 
edness there is none. I regret that I have no book of 
reference at hand, to inform myself better of this family 
of plants for which the rich atmosphere of the Tropics 
is soil enough but you will look them up, for yourself, 
in any dictionary of flowers. See, also, if you please, 
whether there is not a correspondent class in the human 
family. I have a vague instinct that living on air and 
being ornamental only, was the original destiny of some 
men, as of some plants. 

About a mile out of town, on this road, we stopped 
to visit a public Garden of Plants, laid out originally 
with royal magnificence among the terraces and preci 
pices on the banks of the river. The accumulation of 



104 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

wonderful trees, (for which no glass roofs were needed,) 
must have been made with large cost as well as direct 
ed by twste and science ; but it is now a somewhat neg 
lected garden everything luxuriantly overgrown, and 
the effect of the gorgeous flowers, on the untrirnmed 
limbs of huge trees, more hay stack-y than tasteful. The 
eye refuses to take in so much brilliant magnificence at 
one time. It is a wilderness of labyrinthine shades, 
where you are shaded more by trees of flowers than by 
trees of leaves Nature overdrest a surfeit of beauty. 
The country-houses, for the three or four mile that 
we followed the road, are as near together as spacious 
grounds will permit, and "they seem built for a world 
where there is no suspicion, nobody to shut out, no re 
serve, and little or no privacy. I presume we saw every 
member of every household we passed. The fences are 
very ornamental, but quite open, and there is no vine 
or shrubbery between house and road. The hio-h fo- 

tf O 

liage of tall trees is like a portico, under which we look 
ed, with no obstruction except their trunks, like pillars 
far apart. The houses themselves are mostly of one 
story, with high and spacious apartments, and the win 
dows are so large and partitions inside so few, that we 
could see through them as through bird cao-es. The 
ladies were walking about in loose neglige, some with 
cups of coffee in tlreir hands, some feeding the chickens 
and turkeys, (which, here, are admitted into good so- 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 105 

ciety, rank as pets, and walk in front of the house or 
where they please,) and some leaning indolently over 
balustrades, talking to the negroes or watching the 
pranks of naked black children but it so happened that 
we saw not one with a book in her hand. The gentle 
men of almost every house seemed to be lounging on 
easy chairs under the portico, reading the newspapers. 
From the difficulty of raising or preserving grass in 
these latitudes, the grounds about the houses are very 
bare, except where rich flowers are cultivated, and this 
is in unpleasant contrast with the sumptuousness of the 
wooden architecture, the fence-posts crowned with vases, 
the gaudy colors and general air of magnificence only. 
Of comfort there is no sign the climate doubtless render 
ing it unnecessary. How much the English, (by the 
way,) owe, of their perfection in comfort, to the com 
pulsion of climate and how much of the Northern taste 
for privacy, unpromisouousness and hedge-about-iness, is 
an unnatural and fastidious growth of excessive in door 
life, are questions that occur to one, in looking at these 
people. To feel nobody s eye, and be as unconscious 
of observation as a bird, seems to be a universal result 
of the Southern habits ; as, to be nervously exclusive 
and social only by effort, seems a result of the Northern. 
It is a very pretty dinner-table topic, as it stands and 
so I leave it. 

As the sugar-cane fields began to appear, and the 



106 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

road grew mountainous, we turned our horses heads 
meeting, at the moment, two young ladies of very 
marked style, and faces very sweet though plain, riding 
on horseback without bonnets, but with a black ser 
vant, on foot, carrying their two parasols. Their po 
nies were on an easy pace, and the servant on a slow 
trot. This barefooted and literal /octfman, in unembar 
rassed shirt and trousers, was rather a variation from a 
London footman with gold lace and cocked hat but it 
was a fair exponent of the habitual laisser aller of the 
Creole. 

I must incorporate, into this mention of the suburbs 
of St. Pierre, an incident which occurred to us on the 
other side of the city, and which will illustrate the kind 
manners of these unceremonious dwellers in the coun 
try. Mr. G. and myself had mounted the high hill 
which overlooks the Bay, shutting in the town on the 
southern side, but found it difficult to get a view with 
out encroaching upon the private grounds of the beautiful 
villas which edge the declivity. Seeing a gate tempt 
ingly open, however, and which led to a terrace over 
hanging a bold precipice we had walked under, we ven 
tured in. The blinds of the house were closed, as it 
was still the lingering hour of the siesta ; but a seat 
stood invitingly before us, and upon this we made our 
selves comfortable, supposing we had done so unobserv. 
ed. The city lay at a biscuit-toss beneath us, the bar- 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 107 

bor spread away before, and the verdure-laden moun 
tains rose in grand magnificence beyond ; and we were 
giving our eyes their first cursory feast upon all this, 
when there was a rattle of opening shutters in the house 
behind. A barefooted negress was at our elbow the 
next moment, with the compliments of Madame and a 
request that we would walk in. Thinking that we 
might have been mistaken for authorized visiters, I ex 
plained that we were only intruders, desirous of getting 
a view from the terrace, and charged the servant with 
our apology and a hope that we should not give the 
lady of the house any trouble. We rose to go, with 
this, but, upon the portico before us, stood a tall and 
slight lady, of a manner of very high-bred repose and 
easy self-possession, who repeated the invitation with a 
graciousness it was impossible to decline. We followed 
her into a large drawing-room furnished with French 
elegance and luxuriousness, and after enlightening her 
as to our country and our purpose of travel, conversa 
tion turned upon general topics, and a half hour passed 
away very delightfully. Two lovely children bounded 
in, after a while, giving me an opportunity of describ 
ing those I had left at home, and. with these more per 
sonal topics, we were soon as well acquainted, at least, 
as a letter of introduction would have made us. The 
mingled ease and dignity of our fair entertainer impress 
ed rny friend as well as myself very strongly. It was 



108 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

the French courtliness with the Creole* abandonment to 
indolent grace. The setting- sun was throwing its yel 
low rays into the room when we rose to go, but it was 
with great difficulty we resisted a pressing invitation to 
remain to dinner, or to take wine or some refreshment 
before leaving. A request that we would repeat our 
visit, and a profusion of compliments in return for our 
expressions of grateful pleasure, sent us on our way with 
renewed wonder upon what planet of umvorldliness we 
had dropped a feeling which every new change of our 
Martinique experience seems but to confirm and bright 
en. Try and see the French under a tropical sun, be 
fore you die, my dear Morris ! 

By way of respect to our nativity, Mr. G. proposed 
a walk to the American wharf the lumberyard of St. 
Pierre, off which was lying a down-easter at anchor. 
As we had heard no English spoken since we landed, 
we had some hope of falling in with the skipper but in 



* Thiers (whose works I find in Madame Stephanie s library) 
describes the Creole, in his portraiture of the Empress Josephine : 
" Josephine etait Creole de naissance, et avait toutes les graces, 
tons les defaults ordinaires aux femmes de cette origine. Bonne, 
prodigue et frivole, point belie mais parfaitement elegante, douee 
d un charme infine, elle savait plaire beaucoup plus que des fem 
mes, qui lui etaient superieure en esprit et en beaute." 

Josephine s mother, I find, remained in Martinique, and still 
lived in St. Pierre when Napoleon was made Emperor. The Go 
vernor of the island gave a grand illumination and ball, on the 
occasion, at which the old lady was, of course, the lioness. There 
are still relatives ot the family here, and the present harbor-mas 
ter is oae. The family name was Tascher de la Pagerie. 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 109 

this we were disappointed. The planks and boards 
smelt saw-mill-y and looked like a Sunday walk oppo 
site Hoboken. So far was our patriotism refreshed 
and no farther. This had led us to a part of the town 
we had not before visited, however, and we kept on to 
see what a large building, in the distance, might be. It 
had a spacious court-yard, filled with officials, and, while 
we stood looking in waiting to ask a question of some 
communicative-looking man our good genius, Madame 
Stephanie, suddenly stood behind us. She was just 
from the market, near by, and her hands were full of 
flowers as her heart was full of kindness. In a moment 
she had called one of the custom-house officers to her, 
an acquaintance of her own, who seemed only too de 
lighted to do anything to serve her, and we were shown, 
with every honor and respect, over the public store 
house that it was but this was not what I set out to 
describe. 

In the course of the conversation a neighboring cha 
teau was mentioned, which was an object of interest to 
strangers, and which we had not yet visited, and Ma 
dame Stephanie s recommendation availed us to have 
one of the public offices locked up while the polite in 
cumbent went with us in quality of cicerone. Passing 
a very beautiful cemetery, (whose every grave was in 
the midst of its little flower garden watchfully tended,) 
we crossed one of the city fortifications, and arrived at 



110 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

a chateau built on the high bank of the river Madame, 
at the point of its junction with the sea. This was a 
costly site, with its great natural beauty and its close 
neighborhood to the city, but its structure and its 
grounds were originally of a grandeur and magnificence 
quite royal. The massive stone building with its stately 
wings, and the gardens with their statues and artificial 
lakes, summer-houses and innumerable walks, are still 
untouched save by time. It is still in the hands of 
the family who erected and kept it up that of the Mar 
quis de Perrinel. The present lord of it, however, is 
high in office in Paris, under Louis Napoleon, and the 
family estate, though still held, seems almost forgotten. 
M. Perrinel s eldest son had arrived, on a visit, a few 
days before, and the old gray-haired negro domestic who 
was showing us the portraits of the family and the re 
mains of their magnificence in furniture, etc., took us in 
to a large room where the table was laid for his break 
fast. He must look around with a melancholy feeling 
the roof of so much past grandeur over his head 
which he has no longer the fortune to sustain. We 
were told by our courteous conductor that the hospi 
tality of the chateau, and the beauty and accomplish 
ments of the family, were famous and proverbial for 
many generations. So burn out the bright lights of 
worldly splendor ! But I should like, for one, to refill, 
trim, and sustain some of them, still burning on, to be 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. Ill 

admired. We live in an age of making all lamps alike 
comfortably dull. 

On our return home, we passed a sergeant with a re 
lief guard, and two of his soldiers were black. They 
enlist here without reference to color but it rather 
spoils the unijorm-\iy of the uniform. I dare say they 
would fight as well, and have just as much right to en 
rollment among the " un-named demigods 1 as any whiter 
soldiers who die on the field of battle, for their country 
or a shilling a day. The large development, which is 
one of the differences of the negro form, made the car- 
touch-boxes rather stick out behind, but, in other re 
spects, they were better built and more military-looking 
than the other soldiers. 

And with this military item, which you may some 
day have occasion to use in the way of your command, 
my dear Ger.eral, I think I may gracefully close. So 
adieu. 



LETTER No, 18, 



INTRODUCTION TO A BLACK BELLE WHO " GOES INTO SOCIETY " 

IN MARTINIQUE REASON WHY SHE HAS NO SURNAME 

NEGRO PASSION FOR CHANGING THEIR NAMES MADE 
MOISELLE JULIETTE THE FRIEND OF OUR HOSTESS DE 
SCRIPTION OF HER COLORED BEAUTY THE SPLENDID GOLD 

ORNAMENTS PECULIAR TO THE MARTINIQUE NEGRESSES, 
CINQ-CLOUS EAR-RINGS, ETC. THE DARK BELLE 5 S RECEP 
TION OF US HER MANNERS HER LOVE OF FUN, AND HER 

AMUSEMENT AT THE NEW-YORK DISTINCTIONS OF PRO 
PRIETY EXCHANGE OP KEEPSAKES WITH HER, AND ADIEU 

COMPARATIVE SOCIAL POSITION OF BLACKS AND WHITES 

ON THE ISLAND DISTINCTIONS OF COLOR GIVING WAY 

BOTH COLORS ALIKE INVITED TO THE BALLS AND FESTIVITIES 
OF FORT ROYAL, THE SEAT OF GOVERNMENT MORE RE 
LUCTANT AMALGAMATION AT ST. PIERRE, THE LARGE CAPI 
TAL SOCIETY CHECKED BY NEGRO HOSTILITY AT THIS 

ADMISSION OF BLACK FEMALE PUPILS TO THE ARISTOCRATIC 
SCHOOL OF THE CONVENT CURIOUS SCANDAL AND ITS RE 
SULT MONS. BISSETTI, THE COLORED REPRESENTATIVE, 

AND HIS HISTORY THE NEGRO LOVE OF CHANGE LAW TO 

CHECK HIS FICKLENESS HIS PASSION FOR WIVES AWAY 

FROM HOME INTERESTING EXTRACTS ON NEGRO CHARAC 
TER, ETC., ETC. 

Martinique, April, 1852. 
DEAR MORRIS : 

I will commence my letter, I believe, with introdu 
cing you to a belle of a new color my Hon. friend and 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 113 

myself having just been presented to a jet-black young 
lady, who is " in the best of society " of Fort Royal, 
(the seat of Government, twenty miles from here) and 
who is said to be more admired, by the French officers 
tationed there, than any other lady on their visiting 
list. Of that city of ten thousand inhabitants, Made 
moiselle Juliette Celestine, we were assured, is quite the 
fashionable young lady most attended to. 

I do not give you, (you observe,) the patronymic or 
surname, of Mademoiselle Juliette. As far as I could 
make it out, she has none and upon this point I was a 
little troubled, till I recalled an explanation of it in 
Breen s work on these islands. He states it as a pecu 
liarity of the negro race, that they refuse to be enslaved 
to any particular name. Let me quote the conclusion 
of his remarks on the subject : 

" Nor is this corruption of the language (by the ne 
groes) confined to mere words : it extends also to pro 
per names; so much so, indeed, that there are few per 
sons on the island that are not designated by any name 
but their own. Some have the sobriquet of Moncoq, 
Montout, Fanfax, Laquerre. Others have their names 
mollified by means of certain dulcet, endearing termina 
tions : thus Anne becomes Anzie ; Catherine Caticke : 
Bessie Bessonnete ; whilst the greatest number, drop 
ping altogether the names given them at the baptismal 
font, have adopted others of more modern vogue. Jean 
Baptiste is supplanted by Nelson ; Francois, by Fran 
cis ; Cyprien, by Camille and, what is still more pre 
posterous, not only are the Christian names altered in 
this way, but the patronymics of many are entirely sup- 



114 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPIOS. 

pressed. Monsieur Jean Marie Beauregard considers 
Jean Marie too vulgar, and adopts the name of Alfred ; 
and his friends consider Beauregard too long, and omit 
it altogether in their dealings with him. By this pro 
cess, M. Jean Marie Beauregard is metamorphosed into 
plain M. Alfred : and his wife, if he have any, goes by 
the style and title of Madame Alfred. This confusion 
of names would be merely ludicrous, if it were not 
pregnant with mischief to the community. From be- 
ino; first sanctioned in the intercourse of every day life, 
and introduced into family circles, the alterations and 
substitutions had gradually crept into the more serious 
relations of trade and litigation ; so that, when the Com 
missioners of Compensation were about to adjudicate 
upon the claims and counter-claims from St. Lucia, (the 
neighboring island,) scarcely a single individual was 
found to have preserved his proper name in the different 
documents submitted on his behalf. Difficulty and de 
lay were the result; and many persons only succeeded 
in establishing their identity and securing their proper 
ty, by obtaining affidavits, certificates of baptism, and 
notarial attestations, at considerable expense." 

Mademoiselle Juliette Celestine, (whose name is enti 
tled to your respect, with this explanation,) is an inti 
mate friend of our fair hostess, and it was to this happy 
chance that we owed the privilege of a presentation to 
her. She was in town for a few days, and had called, 
yesterday; and, on Madame Stephanie s mentioning, 
this morning at breakfast, that she was to call again to 
day, we so expressed ourselves as to be sent for on her 
arrival. 

Mile. Juliette is of the blood that does not thin with 
the climate, as do the whites. She is about nineteen, 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 115 

and as plump as Hebe her original model from Nature 
apparently just perfected. Her skin, though as black a 
one as I ever saw, is fine-grained and lustrous, and her 
shoulders, (there was no denying,) quite beautiful. The 
gorgeous-colored Madras turban covered her forehead 
to the eyebrows, and, with a long sweep of twisted fold 
over the cheek, concealed the hair the lace hem of her 
snowy chemise being the next downward interruption 
to the lines of rounded ebony. Her features are strict 
ly African the lips full, and the nose of that degree 
of flatness which is only affectionate, and which I take 
to be the highest expression of this shape in contradis 
tinction to the more repelling aquiline. Her eyes 
would have been beautiful if there had been anything 
white in the neighborhood with which to contrast them 
but black eyes on so black a ground w r ere " coals to 
Newcastle." They had one fine quality, however; they 
had never been contracted with a suspicion, or a with 
drawal of confidence, or an attempt to understand any 
thing that did not speak for itself; and they \vere, con 
sequently, as tranquilly open as the cups of two water- 
lilies. Her smile was of the same never-startled confid- 
ingness coming and going with the ease of a shadow 
and her teeth were only too white and perfect for any 
piquancy of expression. No jeweller could have cut 
them more evenly out of pearl. Her little fat black 
hands were daintily tapered, and looked lady-like. She 



116 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

wore large rings, and these, with her heaps of gold 
chains and the enormous gold ear-rings, which they call 
cinq-clous, made a sort of barbaric glitter, with her live 
ly gestures and expressive motions of the head, which 
seemed to me very picturesque. I was pleased, by the 
way, with the consistency with which she adhered to 
the dress and ornaments exclusively worn by those of 
her own color. The cinq-clous ear-rings, particularly 
masses of solid gold, resembling five small kegs welded 
together by the sides are seen in every respectable 
black ear, never in a white one. It would have been 
natural and reasonable for her, considering her means 
and social position, to have graced her beauty with 
some of the French fashions, abundantly within reach 
and worn by the Creole ladies with whom she asso 
ciates. 

Mademoiselle Juliette s reception of us was politely 
cordial and entirely without embarrassment. It seemed 
odd to us, at first, to hear the French, which we con 
sider an accomplishment, come so fluently and elegantly 
from a mouth of that color, but it heightened the nov 
elty and charm of her impression. After a little talk 
upon climates, conversation turned upon the usages of 
our ladies, and the differences of etiquette in our differ 
ent countries, and she laughed immoderately at some 
of the American distinctions between propriety and im 
propriety in female manners. Love of fun seemed to 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 117 

be her uppermost quality, and her own views and no 
tions, though entirely modest and delicate, were a sin 
gular mixture of frankness and droll mockery. I could 
easily see how the French officers at Fort Royal might 
find a constant pleasure in her society. Our visit ended 
with an examination of her monstrous ear-rings, (for 
which she held her cheek towards us with the simplicity 
of a child,) and, with an exchange of souvenirs between 
her and myself I giving her my watch-guard, and she 
giving me two berries of the acajou tree, which she car 
ried as charms in her pocket. My friend and I agreed 
that we had made a charming call, and that Mademoi 
selle Juliette Celestine was a memorable addition (of a 
new color) to our acquaintance. 

I have made many inquiries as to the comparative so 
cial position of the blacks and whites on the island. 
The distinctions of color are fast giving way. The 
French, as we know by our Indian history, amalga 
mate more easily than any other nation, with whatever 
race they fall among, and there are families of blacks 
who have the entire freedom of all the best society of 
Martinique. There is a difference, however, in this re 
spect, between the large commercial and fashionable 
capital of St. Pierre, and the smaller town of Fort 
.Royal, which is the seat of Government. The official 
orders are, to -allow no distinctions to be made; and 
the Governor s balls and parties, and those of the offi 



118 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

cers and civil functionaries, are attended as numerously 
by blacks as by whites. In St. Pierre, there is still a 
reluctance to admit colored persons into society; and 
the discontent which this creates has almost put a stop 
to the gayeties of the town. If an exclusively white 
party is given, the blacks of the lower orders collect 
around the doors and make such disturbances as effectu 
ally to interrupt the pleasure of the evening. "With the 
constant dread of insurrections, and the memory of 
the massacre of the whites which occurred a few years 
since, the inhabitants do not feel safe in defying these 
interruptions of their comfort. It is a recent triumph 
of the blacks, that the famous and aristocratic convent 
of this place has been compelled to admit colored young 
ladies, if offered as pupils. Another triumph has been 
added to this, in the shape of a result of a matter of 
some scandal. A wealthy planter, when dying, a year 
or more since, recommended to the special care of his 
young wife, a negro youth, one of his manumitted 
slaves, who had been his favorite. The black boy, af 
ter a month or two, was found dining at his mistress s 
table, and it was at this point of intimacy that her 
aristocratic relatives interfered and made their greatest 
opposition and remonstrance. The course of time, 
however, brought about more serious proofs of intima 
cy, and then the relatives gave up opposition, the mat 
ter was compromised, and the planter s widow and her 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 119 

manumitted slave were very recently married, with all 
the usual forms and ceremonies. The whole affair is 
still a lively topic of Martinique gossip. 

An introduction, kindly offered us, to Monsieur Bis- 
eette, the negro representative from Martinique to the 
National Assembly at Paris, has been prevented by his 
recent illness. The history of this now celebrated man 
is dramatic enough to be remembered. A tract which 
he wrote upon the hardships of the negro slaves in the 
colonies, drew upon him the hostility of the local gov 
ernment, and he was arrested, tried, branded, and con 
demned to the galleys. On arriving in France, an able 
lawyer, feeling a sympathy in his case, undertook to 
procure him a new trial at Paris. He succeeded, 
pleaded his cause, and procured his acquittal. Bissette 
returned to Martinique in 1848, and his reception by 
the negroes was the most tumultuous scene ever wit 
nessed in the country. The planters and citizens ex 
pected, of "course, that in him, they had now, a danger 
ous and bitter enemy ; but, on the contrary, his whole 
course and policy have been to establish a kindly un 
derstanding between the whites and blacks of the is 
land. As Eepresentative and citizen, he has shown 
himself, every way, a man of enlarged and liberal phi 
lanthropy. A class of the blacks has fallen off from 
supporting him, naturally ; but, in the general esteem 



120 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

of the inhabitants, of both colors, he stands higher, 
perhaps, than any other man. 

The negro s inordinate and uncontrollable love of 
change is the greatest obstacle which philanthropists 
find in the way of bettering his condition. Physiolo 
gists say it is a quality in his blood. He is constant to 
nothing which he can set aside. The law has lately 
made an attempt to correct this fickleness, as far as it 
affects service in families and on plantations. Since 
emancipation, it has been found impossible to retain 
them, except for a little time in each new place ; and 
laborers often occasioned great loss to the planter by 
suddenly leaving him when his crop was ripe on the 
ground and needed immediate harvesting. The new 
law compels a written agreement for every term of ser 
vice, and binds both parties, by heavy penalties, to ad 
here to it. New servants and laborers are not to be 
employed without a certificate, from the last place, that 
these conditions have been fulfilled. All this excites 
great discontent, among them, however. 

A curious proof of the negro love of novelty was 
mentioned to us by a most intelligent gentleman who 
has resided twenty years on the island. They work on 
estates where there are usually as many females as 
males, but they never form intimacies on the estates 
where they live. They must have their temporary 
wives on plantations three or four miles off; and thither 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE T R O P I U b . 121 

they go nightly, at both great inconvenience and great 
danger the walk after dark, and the return before 
daylight, exposing them to the venomous snakes which 
sleep coiled upon the roads, and the fatigue being a 
heavy addition to their day s labor. This evil, however, 
will disappear gradually before the growing ambition 
to be " respectable " the first step of which, usually, is 
to marry legally and legitimatize children. They then 
become extremely punctilious and etiquettical, never ad 
dressing each other without "Monsieur" and "Ma 
dame," and going through all forms and ceremonies with 
ludicrous pertinacity and gravity. Breen makes some 
remarks on these points which are valuable, from his 
well weighed knowledge of the race : 

" Amongst the numerous peculiarities of the negro 
character, as it is moulded or modified by French so 
ciety is their constant aping of their superiors in rank. 
During slavery, the- most venial offence, the most inno 
cent familiarity, was regarded as an "insolence" and, 
all the year round, the din of "Je vous trouve bien inso 
lent" resounded in the negro s ear. From long habit 
this expression has now become a by-word with the 
lower orders : it is, in fact, the style of their abuse of 
each other, and the most opprobrious epithet in their 
Billingsgate vocabulary. Canaille is deemed too vul 
gar, and negraiUe too personal ; while " in-so-lent " car 
ries with it a pungency which receives added zest from 
the recollections of the past. 

" But if, to be deemed insolent is the lowest step of 

degradation, to be held respectable is the highest step in 

the ladder of social distinction. Nothing can be more 

amusing than to observe the talismanic effect of this 

6 



122 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

word upon the lower orders ; even the common street- 
criers take advantage of it in the disposal of their 
wares. Some time ago a female servant being commis 
sioned to sell a quantity of biscuits of inferior quality, 
hawked them about to the cry of " biscuits pour les 
dames respectables. 1 As she passed along the street, 
the conceited recommendation did not fail to attract the 
attention of those for whom it was thrown out. The 
hawker was stopped at every door, and so oreat was 
the anxiety of the negresses to test the quality of her 
biscuits as a patent of respectability, that, before she 
had reached the end of the street, she had disburdened 
herself of the contents of her tray. 

" The negro s pretensions to respectability are found 
ed more upon the contrast between himself and the Eu 
ropean laborer, than upon any positive good qualities 
that he can lay claim to. In some points there is a de 
cided superiority on his side. His person and his hut, 
apart from the influence of the climate, are cleaner than 
those of the white peasant ; his Ifoliday dress more sty 
lish, and his gait and attitudes less clumsy and clown 
ish : but he is surpassed by the white man in the more 
solid qualities of industry and perseverance. A negro 
espies his fellow at the end of the street, and, rather 
than join him in a tete-a-tete, he will carry on a conver 
sation with him for several hours at the top of his voice, 
to the unspeakable annoyance, perhaps the scandal, of 
those who may occupy the intermediate houses 
Should the wind blow off his hat, and warn him to de 
part, he will continue the conversation, and let some 
one else pick it up for him ; or, if he condescend to 
notice the occurrence, he turns round, with an air of 
offended dignity, puts his arms a-kimbo, takes a quiet 
look at the hat as it rolls along, shrugs up his left shoul 
der, and walks leisurely after it, until it meets with 
some natural obstruction. 

" The general character of the French negro, physi 
cal, moral and social, may be summed up in a few 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROT s A . 123 

words. His person is well-proportioned, his movements 
are brisk, his -carriage easy, without stiffness or swag 
ger. His disposition is uncommonly gsiy and trood -hu 
mored ; he is always singing or vVMstlitt* when com 
patible with his actual occupation. He is submissive, 
but never obsequious; and, though born and bred in 
slavery, there is not a trace of servility in trie outward 
man. Unlike the European peasant, who seldom pre 
sents himself before a clean coat without a feeling of 
crawling degradation, the French colonial negro is po 
lite to a point; he can touch his hat to any one, but he 
will not uncover himself in the open air, even for the 
Governor of the colony. He is docile, intelligent and 
sober; active, but not laborious; superstitious, but not 
religious; addicted to thieving without being a rogue; 
averse to matrimony, yet devoted to several wives; 
and, though faithful to neither, he can scarcely be 
deemed debauched. His friendship is sincere, his grat 
itude unbounded, and hjs generosity to all about him 
only surpassed by his affectionate attachment to his 
children. In him the undisciplined character of the Af 
rican is tempered by the accident of his birth. He is, 
in short, a compound of savageness and civilization 
the rude production of the desert, transplanted to a 
more congenial soil, and polished off, externally, by the 
decencies and humanizing contact of English and 
French society; but without that culture, in religion 
and education, which alone can impart either weight or 
moral dignity to the social man." 

This was written, you well remember, some years 
ago, and, with the progress since, it is to be read with 
some grains of difference. Of the present state of the 
advance class of the negro race in these islands, Made 
moiselle Juliette and Monsieur Bissette may be to you 
very fair points of estimate and comparison one social, 



124 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

the other political. In this respect, what I have put to 
gether may be of some value, and I believe I will con* 
fine this letter altogether to the coloured topic, and close 
where I am. 



LETTER No. 14 



GOOD FEATURE OF THE CATHOLIC RELIGION HOUR OF REVE 
RIE IN THE CATHEDRAL GIRLS CROWDING TO THE CONFES 
SIONAL SWALLOWS NESTLING BEHIND THE PICTURES OF 

THE VIRGIN A NEGRO WOMAN S PRAYER PROBABLY AN 
SWERED SUNDAY MORNING MASS IN LENT THE FASHIONA 
BLE CREOLES IN PARISIAN TOILETTES THE NEGRESS IN 

FULL DRESS AFFECTIONATENESS OF FRENCH PEOPLE TO 
WARD MATRONS NEGRESS SUBSTITUTE FOR WOOLLY 

HEAD MADRAS KERCHIEFS PAINTED EVERY WEEK CAS 
CADE OF TURBANS POURING DOWN THE STEPS OF THE CA 
THEDRAL DESCRIPTION OF MARTINIQUE FEMALE DRESS 

BUST LEFT TO ITSELF UNGRACEFUL MANNER OF HITCHING 

UP THE PETTICOAT NO STOCKINGS ON BLACK FEET, BUT 

PATENT-LEATHER SHOES THOUGHT ELEGANT FORTUNE IN 

GOLD ORNAMENTS FAMILIES AND NEIGHBORS SEATED IN 

THE STREETS NO IN-DOOR. LIFE NEGRESS AND HER 

ORANGE THE FRANGIPANE, A WONDERFULLY BEAUTIFUL 

FLOWERING TREE POLITENESS OF FRENCH GENTLEMEN 

MET IN A WALK THE DIFFERENCE OF THESE SUBURBS FROM 

OURS, AND THE VARIOUS NEW SIGHTS SEEN IN THE FIRST 
MILE OR TWO OUT OF ST. PIERf.E, ETC., ETC. 

Martinique, April, 1852. 

DEAR MORRIS : 

I cannot but think it a good feature of a religion, that 
the service attracts idlers to its church every day 



126 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

whatever be the immediate motive of their curiosity. 
Good thoughts are apt to drop upon a man, from sa 
cred roofs; and without being a Catholic, one may have 
so put his heart within reach of gentler and better in 
fluences, by daily reverie amid impressive architecture 
and ceremonials, as to owe a great deal to Catholic 
churches. The sight of people praying sincerely is very 
moving ; and the living picture seldom wanting in any 
dome or cathedral, is some poor wretch who has come 
in, from a world without pity, and in finding relief and 
consolation in kneeling where there is hope and mercy. 
The church, this morning, (into which I had strolled, 
with an hour to spare,) was a delightful shelter from 
the glare of the sun, our usual sight-seeing ramble hav 
ing extended far into a southern forenoon nine o clock. 
There was no service, except a priest in every confes 
sional box, and six or seven young girls, at each one, 
waiting with sins to disburthen. A young negro priest 
was busy about the altar, arranging its silver furniture 
and dropping to his knee whenever he passed before the 
image of the Virgin, and the only sound that interrupted 
the shuffle of his slippers was the whir of the wings of 
a flock of swallows, a dozen or more of them having 
built their nests between the holy pictures and the walls 
of the chancel. I found a seat for my tired limbs (the 
dim light and lofty roof an easy-chair for my tired mind) 
and, for an hour, enjoyed at least the luxury of the 

6DOt. 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 127 

Several had come in and told their beads while I sat 
there, and the turbaned heads had one after another, 
been laid against the brass plate, (the other side of 
whose secret-keeping holes were at the priest s ear in the 
confessional box,) and, when I rose to go, I was almost 
alone. One negro woman was the only worshipper I 
saw a hideous-looking object, she seemed at first who 
had apparently just ventured to creep within the threshold, 
and setting down the wooden tray with which, she had 
brought in a load for the market, had sunk into a heap 
of rags and misery upon her knees. I was passing her, 
when the expression of her face arrested my attention 
complete exhaustion and suffering, softened with an 
inexpressible sincerity of imploringness. She prayed as 
if she felt, that, if there were a God in heaven, she would 
then be heard that she had suffered enough, and was 
poor enough, and old and weary enough, to make it 
SU re and she was waiting to be answered. I stepped 
over the ashy white soles of her skinny and dusty black 
feet turned up on the edges of her rags, and as I rounded 
the post of the porch near which she knelt, dropped a 
piece of money into the dirty cloth she had laid aside 
upon the floor, the cushion which softened the weight 
of her tray upon her head. To her it was an answer to 
prayer, there is little doubt and, if the angel did not 
do it, (perhaps they did, by prompting me,) she pro 
bably believed they did ; and there are illusions, 



12S HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

if tins were one, which it is better should Tie be 
lieved in. 

We were at the Sunday morning m:iss, at this same 
church, and as it is the season of Lent, it \vas unusually 
thronged. We saw, we were assured, the choicest of 
the female society of the place and female, almost to a 
man, the congregation was. The Creole ladies were in 
unexceptionable French toilet charming bonnets of 
the newest Parisian fashion, beautifully worn as well as 
beautifully chosen and there was no look of the Tro 
pics about them except in their complexions. A sal- 
lowness, of the hue of bundled ivory, (which I am grow- 
inir to think rather elegant than otherwise,) is on the 
youngest and healthiest cheek, and of roses there are 
none. But we were charmed with one thing, which de 
lights the traveller wherever the French are found the 
affectionate and caressing respect with which the el 
derly ladies of the crowd were treated by their younger 
friends and acquaintances. As the dispersing congre 
gation poured out of church, the centres of the groups 
were the gray haired matrons (who, by the way, were 
dressed with a care and an elegant propriety that ex 
pressed their social value) and who were beset, and 
questioned, and kissed, as if to be loved and admired, 
it were only necessary to be old. The manners of the 
gray-haired favorites were most winning, I thought 
their dignity and ease being mingled with a kind of 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 129 

condescending playfulness and gayety that must make 
the young people at home in their company, and which 
showed, besides, how completely restraint was removed, 
and how sincere and natural were the exchanges of 
compliments and kind words. Life brightens to the 
end, in this way, as the sun sets. 

But the Sunday mass, we had been told, was the 
great opportunity to see the holiday costumes and de 
meanor of the middle and lower classes of the island 
and a show of no small magnificence it was. The 
French negress gives up her w r ool, as impracticable of 
coiffure; but she makes up for her disowned peculiarity 
as a thunder-cloud is replaced by a rainbow. Her Ma 
dras turban is not only of every color that can be 
woven, but the squares in it are painted with brighter 
colors, renewed after every washing. In any street of 
St. Pierre on a week day you may see the black beauty 
with pots and paint-brush, preparing her bright kerchief 
for Sunday wear. You can have no idea of the effect 
of a thousand of these gorgeous heads coming down the 
steps of a cathedral. It was like a Trenton Falls of 
tulips and boquets a slow cascade of negresses crown 
ed with rainbows the black faces giving the relief of 
velvet under flowers. A true copy of a cathedral with 
such a congregation issuing from it, would astonish even 
Williams and Stevens s show window. 

The remainder of the dress the fashion of which 



130 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

they adhere to, with singular universality is primitively 
simple. It is a chemise and a petticoat nothing else. 
The short sleeves of the white under-garment hang very 
loosely about the shoulders, and as it is not shaped at 
all to the form, there seems to be no particular design 
of concealing the bust either by young women or old. 
As to figure, indeed, they have evidently no idea of 
any differences of beauty in it, or display of it, except 
by the colours in which it is draped. The petticoat is 
a mere skirt of brilliant dyes, tied over the chemise at 
the waist, and they have a very unbecoming fashion of 
wearing it so long that it cannot be loosed upon the 
ground, but must be caught up and hitched at the side. 
It, consequently, clings ungracefully close behind, show 
ing, sometimes, to be sure, a well-turned and polished 
calf of a black leg, but otherwise quite spoiling the 
beauty of these stately Cleopatras. I have not seen a 
stocking on one of them, since I have been here, and 
they are usually barefooted but it seems to be the 
height of elegance, with here and there a dressy one, 
to wear gentlemen s walking-pumps of patent-leather, in 
which th skin sets like a neat black stocking. The 
gold ornaments are of such monstrous massiveness and 
quantity as to be the feature which catches the eye, 
however. I am told that a girl usually carries her 
whole fortune in them, and to her ebony complexion, 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 131 

the rich yellow of the gold is certainly very embel 
lishing. 

A walk through the streets of St. Pierre on Sunday 
afternoon, is not very much what a walk through the 
streets of New York would be, at the^same hour. The 
whole pppulation are seated outside the white people 
in chairs around the doors, the black people in the mid 
dle of the street, squat on the pavement and all in 
costumes of the gayest colors. The climate, which, at 
the North, is simply air to breathe, here furnishes sev 
eral things beside, viz. : a drawing-room with a blue 
roof, happiness when idle, and several articles of dress. 

A house, for the negro, is only a place to sleep and 
be sick in. He and his family reside in the open air 
and, on a holiday evening, every corner you turn seems 
to present you with an immense game of " hunt tho 
slipper," played by the opposite neighbors on the pave 
ment between their houses. I have described to you 
the bright rivulet in the middle of every street, and the 
cleanliness of every one of them, from there being no 
vehicles and seldom a horse passing and this makes 
the front of every dwelling like a court-yard and it is 
so used. The naked children sit in the water or run 
about like a litter of puppies ; the men and women 
lounge on the flat stones, and smoke, and look on ; the 
old folks lean against the wall, happy in their segars J 
young girls coquet with their finery, straightening up 



132 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

and taking an attitude as the stranger comes along ; 
nobody looks "bored," nobody particularly grave, every 
body content, and half the world, at least, very merry. 

Through till this, it is very amusing for a foreigner to 
stroll, and, to me, it is a succession of tableaux vivants 
of which I never tire. One picks his way* through 
seated neighborhoods of people, and around groups, 
making the circuit of a fat beauty and her dress, or 
stepping over a child or its grandmother, and, really, 
sees more of the physiognomy of the people and their 
h.-.bits, in half nn hour, than elsewhere in a mouth. " In 
terior life" of which the stranger may see nothing, in 
other cities is here all open to him. Le (liable boileux, 
\vhw looked down through the roofs, could scarce see 
more. 

An instance of negro politeness which we fell in with, 
the other evening, may amuse you My friend and I 
were sauntering slowly toward the lovely suburbs of the 
town, when I found myself compelled to go round a 
fat negress, very gaily dressed, who sat on the pavement 
in the street, and w?<s indolently dividing an orange. 
The segments of the fruit looked so ripe and tempting, 
that I ventured to put thumb and finger toward one of 
them, and ask for it with a s il vous plait. She nodded 
her chin quite down into her black bosom as she handed 
the orange up to me, but, seeing Mr. G. at the next mo 
ment, she insisted on my taking the rest of the fruit and 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 133 

sharing it with my friend. With a broad smile of good 
nature that had not a shadow of servility or obsequi 
ousness in it, she waved her fat hand with an adieu, 
and we went on our way, enriched with a new acquaint 
ance. I have met her once since, and taken off my hat, 
with quite as much pleasure as a bow usually gives 
and the world would be happier, I think, if this were a 
specimen of its every-day intercourse. 

A little farther on, in the same walk, we passed a 
garden in which there was a flowering tree, of a beauty 
quite new to us. Its green foliage was very full, and 
the tree was about as tall as the common tulip tree 
but it looked precisely as if a soft damp snow had fallen 
in the night and laden down its branches with as much 
as they-could bear. The rich white flowers lay cupped 
in the middle of each spreading branch a large lap-full 
in every clustre. We learned afterwards that this was 
the frangipane and it seemed an exotic, for we in vain 
enquired its name, of two very intelligent-looking gen 
tlemen who were passing at the moment, but of whoso 
politeness I wished to speak, by the way, as illustrating 
the manners of the better class of white inhabitants. 
They raised their hats very courteously at my abrupt 
question, stopped, and entered into conversation, and 
parted from us, after five minutes discourse upon the 
trees and plants of the island, with the civility of friends 
or acquaintances. As we were bound to a public prom 



134 HEALTH TRIP TO T H E * T.R O P I C S . 

enade, we passed these same gentlemen again, seated on 
one of the stone benches, and they took off their hats to 
us again with the same genial courtesy and a polite 
phrase of recognition. This is not much, perhaps, but 
as a feature of national manners, I think it very admir 
able. The stranger is made to feel at home by such 
kindness, and there is an out-door hospitality in it, whichi 
for the pleasure it gives, leaves " letters of introduction" 
far behind. 

Poor people, here, live in the city not in the suburbs; 
and a walk out of town is, consequently, a pleasanter 
thing than where the suburbs are shanties and pig-styes 
(a three mile gauntlet of vile smells, as it is at New 
York.) Gardens and villas commence immediately at 
the ends of the streets, and, to an American eye, at least, 
there are few objects, moving or stationary, even for the 
first mile out of St. Pierre on the north, that are not new 
and picturesque. So it seemed to us. A little altar, at 
the side of tfye road, had one poor candle burning before 
its rude image of the Virgin, and a negro knelt praying 
before it. The ladies sat smoking their segars under the 
porticoes. Yoked together by the horns, and with their 
noses crowded down to the dust, the poor oxen, that 
could not turn their heads, toiled past with their mon 
strous loads, and gave us a side glance out of their great 
mournful eyes. A new volcano, lately broken out in the 
side of the mountain beyond, (and in which the inhabit 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 135 

ants rejoice, as a vent for what might otherwise have 
been an earthquake,) sent up its black column of smoke 
to the sky. Charming waterfalls, sluices from the sides 
of the massive aqueducts,) poured over the precipices 
that were not born to the honor of so white a veil. Sol 
diers off duty were strolling over the hills in their bright 
uniforms. Naked black children were playing every 
where on the road, stamped with daguerreotypes of the 
white-dusted stones they had sat down upon. Flowers 
of the most brill ant dyes grew wild on all sides. The 
air was an un mingled deliciousness to breathe, and every 
body s countenance indolently and contentedly expressed 
it. Take me such a walk in your temperate zone, my 
dear Morris ! 

And with thus getting the better of you, I will close 
this letter. 



LETTER No. 15. 



NUNS NURSING SICK SOLDIERS DESCRIPTION OF MILITARY 

HOSPITAL BEAUTY OF BEARDS IN BED VISIT TO FREE- 

MASON S LODGE CURIOUS VINE COFFEE-PLANT AND NA- 

TURE S LAW OF FRUIT-BEARING NEW WAY TO CARRY A 

CHILD TEMPORARY MARRIAGES AND THE MANNER OF 

BREAKING OFF FASHION FOR GENTLEMEN S HAIR, IN MAR 
TINIQUE THE SHOPS WITH NO DISPLAY OUT OF DOORS 

MARKET FOR BRILLIANT HANDKERCHIEFS FEMALE CLERKS 

NEGRO FAMILIES IN MOURNING AND THEIR SINGULAR 

COSTUME LONG SKIRTS IN THE STREET RESULTS OF 

EMANCIPATION ON THE FEW AND ON THE MANY BLACK 

MAN BEATING A WOMAN NEGRO JOURNALISM PERIODS OF 

WAKING AND SLEEPING IN WARM CLIMATE UNHEALTHY 

JUST BEFORE DAWN INCIDENT OF POLITENESS SUGAR, 

IN THE MUD ON ONE 5 S BOOTS, ETC., ETC. 

St. Pierre, Martinique, April, 1852. 
DEAR MORRIS : 

My walk of this morning has been through the wards 
of a military hospital a kind of walk I used to be more 
fond of, in days when the picture of life more needed to 
borrow shading. This was different, in some respects, 
from the hospitals I have seen ; one might covet a fever 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 137 

to be so lodged and tended. The building was a mas 
sive and imposing one, shelved on a terrace close to the 
bright green hills which embosom the town, and with 
the courts and gardens of a palace around it. There 
were two picturesque peculiarities one of which had a 
touch of sentiment also : the attendants were Sisters 
of Charity, nuns nicely coiffed in white, and with their 
black crosses suspended over the whitest of aprons, 
whom it looked as if it might be a pleasure to be nursed 
by. Then the sixty or seventy sick soldiers were heavi 
ly bearded; and, as they lay reading, or sleeping, in 
their long rows of white beds, their heads upon the 
clean pillows mustaches, imperials and all were stu 
dies for an artist. Grow your beard, if you wish to 
look well in bed, my dear General ! 

Our charming hostess had put me under the charge 
of one of her friends, a polite French gentleman, who 
took me from the hospital to the courts of law, and 
thence to the Lodge of the Freemasons the latter a 
labyrinth of access, and full of the mystic symbols of 
the Order, but not very distinctly describable. What 
the eyes in the wall meant the columns with single 
letters on them, the daggers on the desks, and the blaz 
ing suns with mystic inscriptions I did not venture to 
inquire of the venerable negro who showed us the 
premises. He opened a concealed cupboard in one of 
the rooms, however, and offered me a glass of brandy 



138 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

and water, and it needed no mutual finger-twist to un 
derstand that. Over one of the arbors in the garden 
grew a vine which w r as new to me, and which looked 
like a " washing " of embroidered lace spread to dry in 
the sun. The leaf was as large as a sheet of note pa 
per, and snowy white, except that in the centre was its 
own picture in green a small green leaf, looking pre 
cisely as if painted upon the white one, with exquisite 
art. It seemed native to the soil, and grew most luxu 
riantly. 

I have inquired for the coffee-plant, here, but, though 
it is one of the products of the island, I cannot get 
sight of it. They say it is now nearly unproductive, 
from the ravages of a worm which destroys the leaf. 
The effort to reproduce the leaf so exhausts the plant 
that it bears no fruit a law of Nature, my dear poet, 
of which you will see many a pretty and similar opera 
tion in human character and vicissitude. What berries 
of delicious flavor some hearts and intellects might 
bear, but for the worm of care that uses them up with 
eternal re-producing of the mere foliage for common 
necessities. 

The women of St. Pierre carry their babies to good 
advantage, by putting them astride the hip. In this po 
sition, the child rides as comfortably as in a saddle, 
while the left arm of the parent, relieved entirely of the 
weight, has only to steady the little one in its place, 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 139 

leaving her right arm entirely at liberty. The young 
ster so spread, with one leg before its mother and the 
other behind her, has probably a better chance to 
grow, than one tightened into a heap by the squeeze of 
a tired arm. I saw a nurse, yesterday, by the way, 
leading a white child of perhaps four years of age, 
with a beautiful little French cap on its head, but other 
wise entirely naked. Children, here, are considered 
clothed by the climate. I am told, that, when the tem 
porary marriages of the negroes come to an end, they 
separate in the most friendly manner, the father taking 
the girls and the mother the boys, and that no family 
interest is felt afterwards between the children of the 
same parents. As they change their names whenever 
the caprice seizes them, brothers and sisters are very 
likely to meet without being aware of their relation 
ship, unless enlightened by instinct or resemblance. 

Hair is unfashionable on this island, as an article of 
gentleman s wear. They clip it as close as scissors will 
do it, letting the beared out, however, with proportiona 
ble luxuriance. Our handsome host pleads the heat of 
the climate as the reason for the fashion ; but, cushion 
ing the lips and lungs while the skull is shorn, seems to 
me a careful cooling of the brain, with a strange for 
getful ness of the more sensitive respiration and ex 
cessively unbecoming. The taking off the hat, here, 
looks like a polite uncovering of a cocoa-nut. The ne- 



140 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

gro probably likes the fashion, as it effaces one distinc 
tion between the white man and himself. 

I have said nothing of the main street of shops in St. 
Pierre, though it is part of our daily stroll but there 
is less to describe than in such localities usually. 
There is no outside show or so little, that, in standing 
at one end of the street and looking up or down, you 
would suppose it to be a thoroughfare of dark-fronted 
dwelling-houses. The display of goods is all inside, 
and the sign, if there be any, is about of the size and 
ostentatiousness of a New-York attorney s tin "shin 
gle." Still, the finery on sale for the negroes is exces 
sively gay, and kerchiefs- particularly are made for this 
market, which altogether out-glory Canal street and 
Maiden Lane. For a flashy morning cravat, to be 
worn with a dressing-gown, there is no place where an 
exquisite could make a pick so brilliant. And, for a 
foulard to twist into a turban, or put pockets to, for a 
lady s apron, even Paris could not show such wealth of 
variety. The shops are tended by women,, as in France, 
and most graciously and courteously it is done, as the 
money in your pocket feels and freely comes out to ac 
knowledge. 

Among the common sights of the streets of St. 
Pierre are the negro families in mourning, on their way 
to matins or vespers. The erect and graceful gait 
adds to the picturesqueness, perhaps, and their auto- 






HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 141 



credulity or complete belief in their own solemnity and 
propriety, probably adds to the effect ; but they cer 
tainly are groups to turn and look after. The dress is 
entirely of black, with the exception of a snow-white 
turban, even the huge gold ear rings being covered with 
crape. The skin of the neck and arms seems to be part of 
the "funeral sable " also, and the white head-dress is in 
most unbroken and striking contrast. The going bare 
footed, as is not inconsistent with a ceremonious toi 
lette in this island, of course makes no speck of white 
on the mo\^ng darkness of form and petticoat. 

There is a part of the more ordinary costume of the 
negress of Martinique which is less artistic, however. 
With no time or place for a trailing skirt, they still 
make their dresses as long as a court train, and, in the 
street, are obliged to bring them round and hitch them 
up at the side or front. The close cling of the drapery 
behind is not redeemed by the sight of the projecting 
heels and glimpses of black ankles as they walk and, 
indeed, to all display of the beauty of mere form, the 
negress seems quite insensible. Her chemise sits 
loosely about her chest, and her waist is only de 
fined by the string of the skirt carelessly tied. This 
is more unaccountable, for so ostentatious a tribe, con 
sidering that the best models of Parisian embellishment 
of form are continually before them. The Creole 



142 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

white lady of Martinique dresses with faultless French 
elegance. 

You will not understand me as portraying the whole, 
or even a large portion of the negro population in the 
specimens which I thus select for description. The 
great majority of the blacks seem to be content with the 
merest animal existence, idle, ragged, dirty and saucy. 
Emancipation seems to have degraded the many, while 
it has elevated the very few. With the French facility 
of amalgamation of color, the more intelligent negroes, 
when set free, found the way to respectability easy, and 
some of them have unquestionably taken advantage of 
it ; while, to most of them, freedom was but the license 
to be as brutal as their nature dictated, and viciously 
idle. In our evening walk, yesterday, we came upon a 
group who were quietly looking on, while a stout fellow 
was furiously beating a w r oman over her naked shoul 
ders with a heavy stick ; and a more rascally looking 
half dozen human beings I never saw. The men and 
w r omen, as little clad as is desirable, lie down any where 
in the dirt together, caring, apparently, for nothing on 
earth but the perpetual cigar an existence which no 
thing but the liveliness of bad passions prevents from 
being the most sluggish order of brainless vegetation. 
Of the negro intellect in activity and cultivation we 
have not yet, perhaps, full means of judging. I find 
very contradictory opinions among the residents here, 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 143 

as to their probable progress with time and freedom 
the majority declaring, however, that the negro relapse 
into barbarism is instinctive and inevitable, and that the 
presence of the white man, who will soon be outswarm- 
ed and driven from these latitudes, is all that hinders 
their sudden and complete abandonment of the re 
straints of civilization. Some negroes who returned 
educated from France, by the way, started a journal at 
St. Pierre. It lasted about two years, and was little 
except a tissue of personal scurrilities. It was finally 
quashed by suits for libel. 

The periods of the day, here, are a little difficult to 
adopt. The cocks crow, and the people rise, at least 
an hour before dawn, though whether the roosters take 
a compensatory siesta at noon, as well as the people, I 
have not yet inquired. All those who cough, know ve 
ry well that there is a change in the air, towards morn 
ing, which starts the throat s unwilling music; and my 
landlady informs me that it is a common opinion, (in 
this land where window-glass is unknown,) that it is un 
healthy to sleep for the two hours preceding day. So 
everybody sees the stars come and go. and half the bu 
siness of the day is over at our common hour of rising. 
The siesta seems to rne an unnatural sleep, which it 
takes time to learn the trick of, however, and waking 
being always a sort of disastrous sensation, it is a pity 
to make it come oftener. 



144 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

The tropical insensibility as to .being looked at, (of 
which I have before spoken,) adds very much to the 
pleasure of the stranger. One likes to scrutinize new 
faces in new places, and there is a certain agreeable 
freedom in finding that a full indulgence of this natural 
curiosity is not considered an impertinence. In one of 
my daily lounges along the busy water-side of the har 
bor, I was attracted by the unlading of one of the 
coast-boats, the freight of which appeared to be mostly 
baskets of fruit and vegetables, from the estates along 
the sea. The crew, eight or nine athletic negroes, 
dressed only in the two pocket-handkerchiefs which 
form the boatman s attire, were landing these on the 
beach, and a crowd of town servants apparently were 
waiting to receive them. One neat-looking mulatto 
girl, as tasteful and attractive in her costume as she 
could well be, seemed very much embarrassed among 
the thirty or forty packages, and finally, after question- 
mo- in vain several other servants in the group, she 
looked around, and came up to me, with a most easy 
and graceful curtesy. "If Monsieur can read writing," 
she said, in a most deferential and daintily pronounced 
Trench, " will he please come and tell me what is writ 
ten on a basket?" Her thanks, when I had picked out 
the one which was labelled for her mistress, were ex 
pressed in the same modest and graceful way, and I 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 145 

could not but make a white mark for a country where 
politeness sat so becomingly, even on servants. 

In a land where sugar grows there is no starvation. 
After a walk along the shore where the sugar-hogs 
heads are perpetually rolling, the sugar-mud sticking to 
one s boots \\oald {.robtiuly s\vt>oten the coffee for a 
family breakfast; and I observed, that, while the coop 
ers were heading the casks, any ragged beggar or ur 
chin was at liberty to help himself to a handfull. Phis 
being in a climate that requires no clothing, the two 
great evils of hunger and nakedness are thus tolerably 
lessened. Adieu once more. 



LETTER No. 16. 



EXPERIENCES IN APPROACHING MAMMOTH CAVE THE TAV 
ERN AT BEAR-WALLOW, AND ITS ACCOMMODATIONS A 

CARRIAGE IN REDUCED CIRCUMSTANCES SPLENDORS OF 

A KENTUCKY WILDERNESS DESCRIPTION OF MAMMOTH 

CAVE HOTEL BREAKFAST PARTY AND THEIR UNDER 
GROUND EXPERIENCES THE LOST BRIDEGROOM AND HIS 

RESTORATION JENNY LIND s GUIDE, STEPHEN DESCRIP 
TION OF THIS PICTURESQUE CHAR.ON HIS INTENTIONS AS A 

SLAVE THE UNIFORM PROVIDED FOR ENTERING THE CAVE 

SUGGESTION OF SOMETHING MORE PICTORIAL HISTORY 

OF THE OWNERSHIP OF THE CAVE ITS EXTENT, AND 

THAT OF THE ESTATE ABOVE GROUND FARMS WHICH 

IT PROBABLY E,UNS UNDER ATTEMPT TO MAKE IT A 

PULMONARY HOSPITAL THE TWO WIVES WHO BURIED 

THEMSELVES IN THE CAVE WITH THEIR CONSUMPTIVE 
HUSBANDS TERROR OF A DEATH IN THE CAVE THE LOST 

TRAVELLER COUNTY UNDERGROUND NOT REPRESENTED 

SCENERY FOR POEMS, ETC. ETC. 

DEAR MORRIS : 

Mammoth Cave, one may say, is in the depths of 
Kentucky, far away from thoroughfares and buried in 
the woods. The nearest public house is the celebrated 
" Bell s Tavern," six miles south ; and from hence 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 147 

there is a stage-coach to the cave ; but the approach 
from any other direction is by private vehicle, and 
fifteen or twenty miles through the wilderness. Coming 
across the country from the North-East, I was told that 
" Bear-wallow" was the nearest point upon the stage- 
route from whence a conveyance could be obtained, 
and at this place with the ominous name, I was dropped 
at midnight. Asleep when we arrived, the coach drove 
off before I was fairly awake, and I found myself, with 
my baggage and a full moon, in front of the only build 
ing anywhere visible a ten-foot shanty with a single 
room that served for Post Office and " Store." Upon 
inquiry of the Postmaster, (a barefooted young gentle 
man in shirt and trousers,) I learned that there was one 
other building in the village, Hare s Tavern ; but as 
this, the house of his only neighbour, was nowhere visi 
ble, I requested the Postmaster to show me the way to 
it. " No sir-ee !" said he, " that man and I don t 
speak ! I aint been tharr in twelve months !" upon 
which he prepared to close his door, leaving me and my 
baggage to the tender mercies of the moon. Persuad 
ing him, apparently against his will, to house my port 
manteau till morning, I shouldered my carpet bag, and 
trudged "just up the road," as directed, till I came to 
the tavern, where I was violently set upon by two dogs 
and, after a fight with sticks and stones for fifteen 
minutes, succeeded in rousing a black girl from her 



143 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

sleep, and gaining admittance and a bed. I am giving 
you a very literal description of all this, because great 
wonders throw a charm over their neighbourhoods, and 
one must tell how Mammoth Cave is approached, as 
Mr. James describes no castle, without first telling how 
" a horseman was seen winding up the avenue." 

Spite of the dog-welcome given to the traveller, Bear- 
wallow Tavern is liberally and kindly kept. A negro 
came into my room in the morning with a large tub of 
water, (a bathing luxury not common even in more fre 
quented places,) the breakfast set for me alone would 
have fed twenty persons, and the society of the landla 
dy and her head man was thrown in charge for lodg 
ing, bath, breakfast, and the conversation of two very 
agreeable persons, only fifty cents. The large, grassy 
front yard is nicely shaded, the bed-rooms spacious, the 
parlour well-furnished. As one of those solitary inns 
for which a man sometimes sighs, where he may go to 
" forget and be forgotten" (for a week,) this seemed to 
me worthy of a memorandum. Bear-wallow, I should 
add, w^as named by the hunters, and was formerly 
known as the greatest resort in Kentucky for bears. 
They came to wallow in the mud of the ponds in the 
neighbourhood. 

The sixteen miles through the woods, from Bear- 
wallow to the cave, would be the most beautiful of 
rides on horseback, but a rougher track for wheels 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 149 

could scarcely be imagined. My conveyance had seen 
better days. Its torn curtains and shabby panels told 
the story of " reduced circumstances," though to which 
of those numerous " first families of Kentucky " it had 
once been the pride and glory, my black driver w#s 
unable to tell. Under miles of beach trees, every third 
one an unsung monarch through orchestras of mock 
ing-birds and thrushes over rocks, stumps, and gullies, 
and through streams and quagmires we made our va 
ried way. it was an interesting ride for one never 
tires of the primitive wilderness with its fragmented 
sublimities and splendid accidents of beauty but the 
sight of the more civilized looking fence, which beto 
kened an approach to the place of our destination, was 
a considerable relief. Those who come to the Mam 
moth Cave must prepare for rough riding. 

"We emerged directly from the woods upon a great 
mass of irregular building like two streets of log 
houses shoved up close, and added on to a two-story 
tavern and this clapboarded and porticoed heap seem 
ed islanded in the forest. Its acre or two of courtyard 
was surrounded by an ocean of foliage, and the whole 
place looked like a village that had crowded together 
from a sense of loneliness. Not a soul visible. The 
visiters, if there were any, were probably underground. 
But my driving up to the door brought out the mam 
moth landlord a towering and broad-shouldered Ken- 



150 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

tuckian, with a very kind and hospitable face and I 
was soon installed in a clean room with broken windows 
and no handle to the door, and as comfortable as 
need be. 

9 At breakfast, the next morning, I met a party of 
five two ladies and three gentlemen for whose re 
appearance from the nether world we had " waited tea" 
the night before, but who had not returned till after 
bed-time, their under-ground pilgrimage having occu 
pied all day and part of the night. They had penetra 
ted nine miles under ground an eighteen-mile walk, in 
and out and their exchange of enthusiasms and felicit 
ations, recounting of adventures and recalling of splen 
dours and wonders, was all very exciting to the curios 
ity. One of the gentlemen, an elderly Boston mer 
chant, was something of an invalid, and he had achieved 
this wonderful walk very much to his own astonishment 
attributing his unforeseen energies partly to the exci 
ting interest of the scene, and partly to the cool and sus 
taining dryness of th* air. To my own damaged chest 
and weak limbs this was very encouraging though in 
stances were mentioned of travellers whose strength 
had failed them, and this when they were in so far that 
it was very difficult to get them out. A newly married 
man, among others, had left his bride above ground 
and, passing the Styx, (the cave s subterranean river,) 
had penetrated six miles when he fainted from exhaus- 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 151 

tion. The famous guide, Stephen, (of whom honoura 
ble mention is made in Benedict s account of Jenny 
Lind s visit, and every other description of the cave,) 
actually brought him back, six miles, in his arms ; 
though, considering the ladders to go up and down, the 
holes to creep through, the crags to climb, the rivers 
and lakes to navigate, the slippery abysses to edge 
around, and the long passages in which it is impossible 
to walk upright, it was considered almost a miracle. It 
seemed a pity that they did not give the bride an oppor 
tunity to make a new version of the story of Eurydice, 
by summoning her to cross the Styx and bring out her 
Orpheus. Things come so provokingly near being ro 
mantic, sometimes, in these common-place days ! 

The ladies of this party were talking with a very pic 
turesque-looking personage, after breakfast, and he was 
presently pointed out to me as the charon of the Ken 
tucky Styx the remarkable " Stephen." As this was 
the man who was to take me to " Lethe," (and bring 
me back again !) ferry me over the " Styx," and show 
rne, on the way, such wonders as " Purgatory," and 
the " Bottomless Pit," (names of different portions of 
the cave) I was interested to see him. I stepped up and 
joined the group, and the first glance told me that Ste 
phen was better worth looking at than most celebrities. 
He is a slave, part mulatto and part Indian, but with 
more of the physiognomy of a Spaniard his masses 



152 HEALTH TR.IP TO THE TROPICS. 

of black hair curling slightly and gracefully, and his 
long mustache giving quite a Castilian air to his dark 
skin. He is of middle size, but built for an athletic 
with broad chest and shoulders, narrow hips, and legs 
slightly bowed, and he is famous for the dexterity and 
bodily strength which are very necessary to his voca 
tion. The cave is a wonder which draws " good soci 
ety," and Stephen shows that he is used to it. His in 
telligent face is assured and tranquil, and his manners 
particularly quiet-Mind he talks to charming ladies with 
the air of a man who is accustomed to their good will, 
and attentive listening. The dress of the renowned 
guide is adapted to dark places and rough work. He 
wears a chocolate-coloured slouched hat, a green jacket 
and striped trousers, and evidently takes no thought 
of his appearance. He is married. His wife is the 
pretty mulatto chambermaid of the Hotel He has one 
boy, takes a newspaper, studies geology, and means to 
go to Liberia as soon as he can buy his wife, child and 
self from his present master. After sixteen years expe 
rience as guide to the cave, he is anxious to try his hand 
at some one of the above-ground ambitions. I would 
warrant him success wherever the specific gravity of 
merit has a fair chance. He has tact, talent, and good 
address. You see I am getting a little before my story 
and giving you some of my after knowledge of Stephen 
but I wish you to comprehend why he figures so 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 153 

prominently in my own and other descriptions of this 
subterranean Switzerland; and he is so likely to be 
heard of, some day, as President of Liberia or Ambas 
sador from St. Domingo, that his portraiture cannot be 
wisely slighted. 

There is an extraordinary uniform provided by the 
Hotel for visitors to the Cave. At one end of the long 
hall is a row of pegs, where.hang the articles for ladies, 
and at the other end are pegs for gentlemen. You are 
directed to go up stairs and equip yourself before start 
ing. I cannot say that the dress is becoming. A 
stuffed skull-cap of mustard-coloured flannel, is worn 
by ladies to guard them from knocks on the head where 
the cave is low. Then " Lethe" and " Purgatory" be 
ing muddy and slippery places, and the ladders to 
" Fat Man s Misery" and " Bottomless Pit" being wet 
and perpendicular, short-skirted petticoats of this same 
mustard-coloured flannel are provided, to be worn with 
trousers of the same, or Bloomers of the lady s own. 
Gentlemen wear the skull cap sometimes, and a short 
devil-may-care is very generally worn all of the same 
unpleasant yellow the crouchings in the wet boats, 
where the river roof is low, and the lying on the back 
to see the " Milky Way" to more advantage, being 
dirty work for coats In the two or three days that T 
remained at the Hotel, I saw several parties start for 
the cave in this singular costume, and the effect of their 



154 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

procession out of the grounds, I must say, was very 
funny, though it so happened that the ladies were too 
pretty to be made to look unsightly, even by ugly head 
gear and unaccustomed Bloomers. I should like to 
make a suggestion to visiters to the cave, however. In 
the dark pictures which impress them so powerfully, 
while under ground, their own party form the figures 
of the foreground. A dozen or more persons, each one 
with a lamp, passing in slow procession through those 
gloomy halls and corridors, add prodigiously to the 
effect of the perspective, and one need not be a painter 
to understand how much the picturesqueness might be 
aided by something pictorial in the costume. A slouched 
hat and plume instead of the skull cap, and short coats 
instead of those disfiguring frocks, would add essentially 
to the pleasure and beauty of the pilgrimage. 

This preparatory information has spun out till I see 
that I shall not have room for a description of the cave 
itself. I will save it for another letter, adding to this 
an item or two more of the lesser history of the great 
wonder such, at least, as I picked up in stage-coaches 
and table-talk on the way thither. 

Col. Croghan, to whose family it belongs, was a re 
sident of Louisville. He went to Europe some twenty 
years ago, and, as an American, found himself frequent 
ly questioned of the wonders of Mammoth Cave a 
place he had never visited, and of which, at home 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 155 

though living within ninety miles of it, he had heard 
very little. He went there immediately on his return 
and the idea struck him to purchase and make it a fam 
ily inheritance. In fifteen minutes bargaining, he 
bought it for $10,000 though, shortly after, he was 
offered $100,000 for his purchase. In his will, he tied 
it up in such a way, that it must remain in his family 
for two generations, thus appending its celebrity to his 
name. There are nineteen hundred acres in the estate 
three square miles above ground though the cave 
probably runs under the property of a great number of 
other land-owners. For fear of those who might dig 
down and* establish an entrance to the cave on their own 
property (a man s farm extending up to the zenith and 
down to the nadir) great vigilance is exercised to pre 
vent such subterranean surveys and measurements as 
would enable them to sink a shaft with any certainty. 
The cave extends ten or twelve miles in several direc 
tions, and there is probably many a backwoodsman sit 
ting in his log-hut within ten miles of the cave, quite 
unconscious that the most fashionable ladies and gen 
tlemen of Europe and America are walking, without 
leave, under his corn and potatoes ! 

The equable air, and the good health of the miners, 
who were at one time employed in digging saltpetre 
from near the entrance, started an idea, some time 
since, that a hospital for consumptive patients might be 



156 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

profitably established in the cave. Stone huts were 
accord ingly constructed, in the dark halls beyond the 
reach of external air, and, among those who tried the 
experiment, were two consumptive gentlemen, who 
with their two healthy wives, passed six weeks in hideous 
seclusion from daylight. One of the gentlemen died 
there, and the other received no benefit but the devo 
tion of those voluntarily buried wives should chronicle 
their names in the cave s history. Another patient, 
who went in and remained some weeks, was attended 
by friends and a servant but, his end approaching, the 
death-scene in that dark and silent abyss became so ap 
palling, that they fled in terror friends and servant 
and left the dying man alone. Nothing could induce 
them to return, and, when others went in, the poor man 
was found dead with an expression of indescribable hor 
ror upon his features. Those who have seen these 
dreary huts, miles away from the sunshine who have 
smelt the grave-like air, barren of the pervading vitality 
which vegetation gives the atmosphere above ground 
and who have realized the intense Silence and Darkness 
that reign there like monsters whose presence is felt 
can appreciate the horror of being left alone at the last 
hour in such a place. 

The side avenues of the cave, into which visiters are 
not usually taken, are said to be labyrinths of intermin 
able perplexity, and the guides are instructed to let 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 157 

none enter them alone. A gentleman \vho left his par 
ty a year or two ago, and ventured to explore for him 
self, lost his way, and was only found by Stephen, after 
many long and vain searches. He had stumbled and 
put out his lamp, and had been forty-three hours alone 
in the darkness. When discovered, he was lying on 
his face, benumbed and insensible. Stephen brought 
him out, several miles, upon his back, and he recovered 
but he had had the experience of a death in darkness 
and solitude. 

The Mammoth Cave is as large as a county, but hav 
ing another county on top of it, it is not represented 
I believe, in the Kentucky Legislature. In the coun 
try s literature it will be strongly represented, some 
day for there is scenery for a magnificent poem a 
new Dante s Inferno in its wondrous depths. It is a 
Western prairie of imagination still wild and unoccu 
pied. 



LETTER No, 17, 



DESCENT INTO MAMMOTH CAVE CHANCE COMPANIONS, AND 

THEIR CORRECTION OF EACH OTHER S IMPRESSIONS THE 

GUIDE S BASKET WITH ITS AIDS TO ENTHUSIASM FUNNY 

LOOK OF PARTY IN MUSTARD-COLOURED COSTUME EN 
TRANCE TO THE CAVE REALIZED VALUE OF THE DAY TO 

BE LOST FIRST HALF MILE STRANGE ATMOSPHERE, AND 

DREARY LOSS OF MELL OP VEGETATION FIRST DISAP 
POINTMENT OVERCOME GORIN S DOME CURIOUS IMMOR 
TALIZING OF A MASTER BY HIS SLAVE WONDERS OF E.OCK 

DRAPERY EMBARRASSMENT OF MULTIPLIED OBJECTS OF 

ADMIRATION STRANGE IMPRESSION MADE ON THE FANCY 

BY THE MAMMOTH CAVE ITS ARCHITECTURAL CHARACTER 

AN ANTEDILUVIAN HERCULANEUM DIFFICULTIES OF THE 

WAY THE STYX LETHE AND ITS BOAT PLACE FOR 

ADIEU, ETC. ETC. 

Mammoth Cave, June. 

DEAR MORRIS : 

After luxuriating a day or two in the blessedly un- 
catechised idleness of a tree in the woods, expecting a 
party of friends who were to accompany me under 
ground, I gave up the hope of their coming, and joined 
the Monday s chance gathering of travellers. They 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 159 

were five one lady and her husband from Nashville, 
one French gentleman from New Orleans, a Boston 
merchant, and the Danish Professor Koeppen, whose 
Lectures you may have seen reported in the Picayune 
We were quite a miscellany, as to local origin, habits, 
and experience ; yet, as my companions \vere all very 
cultivated people, I rejoiced in the correctives we were 
likely to be to each other s impressions, and was made 
more sure of not being misled by novelty and enthusi 
asm, and of discovering, by the variety of minds 
what was truly beautiful in what we were to see. 

I looked with some interest at Stephen s basket. To 
walk eighteen miles, on a common road, I should sim 
ply have thought impossible ; but here were eighteen 
miles of pathway over broken rocks to be traversed 
lamp in hand ladders to be ascended and descended, 
precipices to be climbed, half-mile holes to be crept 
through, tight places to be squeezed in and out of, crags 
to be scaled, hanging rocks to be crawled under, and 
chasms to be scrambled over all by the aid of excite 
ment from sublime objects. With every reasonable 
confidence in this stimulus, I ventured to hope that 
Stephen had provided ham and chickens also. The 
white towel in the basket, I found, upon inquiry, cov 
ered a generous supply of these less capricious sustain- 
ers of the system. There was also a bottle contents 
confidential. Stephen s history afforded a grain of 



160 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

comfort, besides. He had brought out, upon his back, 
two gentlemen from the innermost depths of the 
cave ; and into the weight of these I made a precau 
tionary inquiry. One weighed 180 pounds, the other 
165. My own avoirdupois being only 135 pounds, I 
could make sure of coming to light again, even should 
the sublimity and the cold chicken fail to sustain me. 

Time is less pressing when there is to be no sunset 
to tell how it passes, and our party for the dark re 
gions were a little slow in making their appearance. 
The reluctance to appear in the mustard-coloured 
costume added a little to the delay, perhaps. We 
were all mustered, at last, however, and I presume no 
one of us, as he fell into the procession behind Ste 
phen, would have liked to have been seen by the gen 
tleman destined to write his " obituary notice." Ir 
ving himself would be unidealized and ludicrous, de 
scribed in such a costume. Exception must be made 
in the lady s favour, only for the Bloomers and oth 
er changes gave a look of charming espieglerie to 
her appearance, and we felt our descent to the Styx 
very much graced by her company. 

After leaving the house, we turned down a pretty 
ravine, and, on the right of the descent, came present 
ly to a hole in the earth, which we might have passed 
without noticing, as it was somewhat hidden by over 
hanging trees and creepers, and the entrance was a 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 161 

short turn backwards, under the way we had come. 
The first subterranean hall, indeed, is said to be direct 
ly under the dining-room of the hotel. 

The lighting of our lamps occupied a few minutes 
and as the day was one we were to see no more of, I 
could not help taking particular notice of its beauty. It 
was the first warm and sunny morning, after rather a 
chilly week, and to let so sweet a day suddenly pass 
unenjoyed into a yesterday, gave one a feeling of regret 
which made its balm and beauty more delicious. From 
the air of the cave, meantime, we all turned back, as it 
came up in a strong current several degrees colder than 
the atmosphere around us. 

Stephen took the basket of provisions on his arm, 
slung his canister of oil over his shoulder, and gave us 
our lamps the poor little flames that were to light our 
way through such labyrinths of darkness, shining very 
dimly in the brilliant sunshine. Down the steps into 
the darkness went the chocolate-coloured slouched hat 
we were to follow, down went the pretty feet in their 
Bloomers, down went the mustached Professor, the 
respectable merchant and the elegant Frenchman each 
with his lamp swinging in its wire socket, and growing 
brighter as the gloom thickened and I followed, with 
a cough which protested bitterly against the cold wind 
coming to meet us. 

At the foot of the rough stone staircase we entered 



162 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

upon a tolerably level road, marked with wheel tracks, 
and hemmed in with a wall of the loose stones removed 
to make it; and this, with other belongings of the salt 
petre works formerly carried on near the entrance of the 
cave, occupied the first half mile. The cavity which we 
were pursuing was from fifty to sixty feet high, enlarg 
ing once or twice into roomy openings, fancifully named 
such as The Rotunda, Kentucky Cliffs, Gothic Gal 
leries, etc. all very dingy and gloomy-looking places, 
to eyes fresh from the sunshine, though grand when one 
remembers where they are 3 and for what ages of gloom 
their vast solitudes have been unsunned and unvisited. 
This part of the cavern is less striking, to casual obser 
vation, from the smoke and dust which the pursuits of 
mining industry have left upon the walls. It looks 
more like a succession of vast old warehouses, abandon 
ed to dirt and cobwebs, than like the structures whose 
fine names have been given to it. 

The air had, after the first half mile from the en 
trance, become perfectly dry. So hushed with still 
ness, too, I could easily understand why its unvarying 
temperature and tranquility had been prescribed for 
the invalid. Yet its quality was disagreeable to me, 
from the strange absence of the smell of vegetation. I 
had never before realized how much the common air is 
impregnated with the scarce-recognised perfume of 
grass and leaves. The cave seemed to have the skele- 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 163 

ton of air without its flesh and blood an underground-y 
and sepulchral dryness, wholly destitute of the cheerful 
vitality of the common atmosphere. At the same time 
that my lungs made no complaint, and I had less dispo 
sition to cough than usual, my nose, (or the nose of my 
imagination,) longed for a sniff of common earth, with 
roots and weeds which the sun had shone upon. A 
mile or two farther in, we found a sprig or two of mint 
upon a rock the remainder of a julep, intended or per 
petrated, by a party who had preceded us and its 
homely and sunny-bank fragrance was indescribably 
welcome welcome as a spring in the desert. 

Whereabouts the feeling of disappointment ceased, 
and I began to feel the sublime presence of the Spirit 
of the Cave, I could not definitely say. But, after 
hearing Stephen discourse eloquently of a mile or more 
of successive wonders, and regretting that I felt some 
how less enthusiastic than he seemed to expect, I found 
myself stopping still with surprise at the wonderfully 
new kind of places that we came to. Life s new sensa 
tions are few and precious. Here was one a discov 
ery that there were places, of which I had never before 
conceived the character and existence utter novelties 
effects of form, structure, space and combination, 
which were strangely unexpected, at the same time that 
they flooded, satiated, staggered, the craving sense of 
the love of the wonderful. What they call " Gorm s 



164 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

Dome," was the first point where I openly acknowledg 
ed this victory of the Cave over my incredulity. The 
approach to it was by a long and narrow passage 
through the rock, Stephen telling me, on the way, that 
he had named the Dome for his former owner, Mr. Go- 
rin, and that Mr. Gorin had once taken him to Louisi 
ana to sell, but brought him back because nobody 
would give him eleven hundred dollars for him. I was 
stumbling along by the light of my flickering light, 
musing how oddly a man might chance to have a Dome 
named after him, and how a handsome and intelligent 
fellow might be too dear at $1,100, when we stopped 
before a hole in the wall. Here our guide left us, re. 
questing us to wait for a moment till he could light up 
the Dome. 

"We stood wondering how a " Dome" could be pro 
duced out of a corner in the cave where we could 
scarcely find room to stand, when a light began to shine 
in upon us through the hole in the wall, and Stephen 
called to us to look through, one by one. In my turn 
I put my head out of the rocky window. He was hold 
ing up, and throwing down, sheets of medicated paper, 
commonly known as " Bengal light," which produced 
a brilliant illumination above and below. I looked down 
first into a profound abyss, and then up to a height of 
which I could see no termination, and it was hard to 
realize that such vast depths and altitudes were all un- 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 165 

der ground graves dug and trees growing far over 
head but it was not the extent upward and down 
ward that formed its novelty and beauty. It was like 
a steeple built over a gulf, but both steeple and gulf 
seemed curtained with uncut velvet of creamy richness, 
fringed at all its folds and edges with elaborate embroi 
dery. The stalactical ooze which had been employed 
since the Deluge, or since creation, in draping and em 
bellishing this cavernous temple, had fallen in fluted 
folds, like the most massive yet artistic drapery, and 
with its superb doublings and overlayings, it was in 
deed the upholstery of giants. A tyrant would forbid 
his courtiers to see such a place, for the contrast would 
impoverish his grandeur. The damask and velvet of a 
throne would look scanty and poor after it. Height 
and depth together, this magnificent Dome measures 
three hundred feet, and the window through which we 
saw it is one hundred and sixty feet from the bottom. 
The path to it, from the entrance of the care, is about 
two miles. 

I have omitted a whole mile of the wonders of sub 
terranean architecture, and, indeed, I have no inten 
tion of giving you a detailed description of the cave. In 
the language of Appleton s Guide-Book, "it is said to 
contain 226 avenues, 47 domes, numerous rivers, 8 cata 
racts, and 23 pits;" and Stephen estimates the aggre 
gate length of the different corridors that branch off at 



1 GG HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

the sides, (most of which are not visited by travellers,) 
at several hundred miles. Every rood has something 
to wonder at. Every eighth-of-a-mile has some mira 
cle which it would take a newspaper column to de 
scribe. Adjectives would give out, if your patience 
did not. I think I shall try, mainly, to convey to 
you the impression which the visit to the cave made 
upon me using as much special description as is ne 
cessary for this ; but referring you to the Guide Books 
for a detailed account of its wonders. 

That the Mammoth Cave is an antiquity of the world 
before the Flood a city of giants which an earthquake 
swallowed, and which a chance roof of rocks has pro 
tected from being effaced by the Deluge and by the 
wear of the elements for subsequent ages is one of 
the fancies which its strange phenomena force upon 
the mind. All is so architectural. It is not a vast un 
derground cavity, raw and dirty, but a succession of 
halls, domes and corridors, streets, avenues and arches 
all under ground, but all telling of the design and pro 
portion of a majestic primeval metropolis. It is not a 
cave, but a city in ruins a city from which sun, 
moon and stars have been taken away whose day 
of judgment has come and passed, and over which a 
new world been created and grown old. By what 
admirable laws of unknown architecture those mam 
moth roofs and ceilings are upheld, is every travel- 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 167 

ler s wondering question. In some shape or other, I 
heard each of my companions express this. No mod 
ern builder could throw up such vast vaulted arches, 
and so unaccountably sustain them. And all else is 
in keeping. The cornices and columns, aisles and gal 
leries, are gigantically proportionate ; and as mysteri 
ously upheld. Streets after streets miles after miles 
seem to have been left only half in ruins and 
here and there is an effect as if the basements and 
lower stories were encumbered with fragments and 
rubbish, leaving you to walk on a level, with the 
capitals and floors once high above the pavement. 
It might be described as a mammoth Herculaneum, 
first sepulchred with over-toppling mountains, but 
swept and choked afterwards by the waters of the 
Deluge, that found their way to its dark streets in their 
subsiding. AVhat scenery and machinery all this will 
be for the poets of the West, by and by ! Their Par 
nassus is " a house ready furnished." 

We were walking, meantime, \v 7 ith feet constructed 
since Adam and Eve, and the roughness of the way 
was very modern and unendurable. Up hill and down 
dale, (and there was a great deal of ascending and de 
scending,) every step had to be picked over broken 
rocks, by the light of the lamp ; and, whe-re there was 
so much to be seen above and around us, the careless 
steps were many, and the twists and scratches abun- 



168 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

dant. Now and then we came to the foot of a ladder 
and a sort of ascent up a chimney was to be performed 
by the very ladies and gentlemen who had just been 
wondering at the sublimities of their route. Or, there 
was a ladder to lead us more pokerishly downward. 
One place, called " the Fat Man s Misery," was the 
mere zigzag through cracks in the rock. Another was 
a quarter of a mile called " the Valley of Humility," 
along which we almost crept upon hands and knees, the 
ceiling was so low. " Great Relief" is the name of 
the avenue which immediately succeeds this, and then 
comes the " Bottomless Pit," over which there is a 
comfortable new bridge, with cedar posts, as passable 
as the most sanguine sinner could desire. 

The impression that, by this time, you are as deep 
down into the bowels of the earth as you could well go, 
prepares you for a surprise when the path comes to the 
brink of " The Styx," and you look over into a profun 
dity of darkness and hear the stone which is thrown in, 
splash, far below, and echo up from a vsst cavern of 
stillness. This far-down subterranean river is disclosed 
as if through the merest chance, by a cleft in the rocky 
roof that shuts it in, and it seems an abyss unfathoma 
ble one that, with its very look, asks to be left 
alone with its secrets. None who have ever gazed 
into its black depths are likely to forget them. 
They have come back upon traveller s dreams, ] 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 169 

venture to say, with every lobster salad s beckoning 
finger. 

From " The Styx " to " Lethe " is a short walk. 
It is by a gradual and easy descent, and, as its un- 
rippling waters stop the way, it is here that a boat is 
taken to go farther on. My companions seemed glad 
to set down their lamps blest with the idea of, at 
least, some new mode of conveyance. The three miles 
of climbing, scrambling and wandering, had given me 
some premonitory symptoms of fatigue. I began to 
wonder how far on the other side of Lethe we 
should get something to refresh the mortal appetite 
that might remain to us. For six miles beyond that 
black stream, our journey was yet to continue, but, as 
the extremest mile was said to reveal the greatest 
wonders, I felt no disposition to turn back the din 
ner, which we were to eat at the far end, adding (I 
am free to confess) its modest encouragement to my 
enthusiasm. 

But my letter is getting long, and Lethe s brink 
is a good place for an adieu. While the guide is 
embarking his basket and his canister of oil, I will 
drop the curtain trusting that you will look for my ex 
periences beyond Lethe, spite of the forgetfulness w 7 ith 
which those commonly turn back who here take their 
leave of the voyager. 
8 



LETTER No, 18. 

PASSAGE DOWN THE SUBTERRANEAN RIVER OF OBLIVION A 

BRIDE BACKING OUT, ON THE BRINK NICHES FOR DISAP 
POINTED POLITICIANS WONDERFUL ECHOES AND VICINITY 

OF PURGATORY FIRING A PISTOL NEAR THE INFERNAL 

REGIONS LANDING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STYX 

OLE BULL S PERFORMANCE IN THE CAVE THE CROWN 
ING OF OUR COMPANION, THE DANISH PROFESSOR FA 
TIGUE OF THE EIGHTH MILE BLESSED STOP TO DINE 

RELICS OF FORMER VISITORS MODESTY OF STEPHEN THE 

GUIDE, AND OUR REMONSTRANCE CLARET AND ITS TASTE 

UNDER GROUND, ETC., ETC. 

Mammoth Cave. June. 
DEAR MORRIS : 

"We were three miles under ground at the close of 
my last letter, and the subterranean river called 
" Lethe " was before us. The voyage looked un-tempt- 
ing. A shallow skiff waited to receive us, and the 
stream, black as ink under the dim glare of our lamps, 
disappeared suddenly around a corner of rock, leaving 
all that was beyond entirely to the imagination. Dark 
and gloomy cliffs walled in and roofed over the en 
trance. Not a weed, nor a, ripple, nor a breath of air, 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 171 

gave token of life further on. It was to be a launch 
into blank darkness. 

And the worst of it was, that we were to leave be 
hind us all that was particularly young and lovely, in 
our party. The one lady who had accompanied us 
thus far, held a side conference with her husband while 
the lamps were being trimmed, (they were a newly mar 
ried couple, we understood,) and the result was a de 
cision to leave Oblivion for the present un-tempted. 
There w r as a spare guide, fortunately. He could return 
with them to daylight and the bridal moon. They 
waited kindly to see us off, however, and really, as 
they stood with their swinging lamps on the receding 
shore, the lovely bride smiling and joyous, and with 
one little foot already turned from under her short pet 
ticoats to retrace her steps, I thought, lights, groupings 
and all, I never had seen a more dramatic picture. 
We dropped silently down the stream, with our lamps 
hidden in the bottom of the skiff Steven s slouched 
beaver, raven mustache and large melancholy eyes 
looking even more poetical than old Charon, as he 
shoved from the shore and in the next minute we 
were hidden from view, afloat and alone on a breath 
less and rayless river. And thus romantic is the 
first launch upon Lethe ! Be comforted, oh many 
bards ! 

The passage of Lethe is like an aisle of a cathedral, 



172 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

a mile long, traversed with a lamp at midnight. The 
gliding between its gray walls in a boat, silently and 
without effort, adds a strange mysteriousness to its 
effect. The ceiling of arched rock, which roofs it in, 
varies from twenty to forty feet in height ; and, half 
way up, runs a shelving gallery, as designedly architec 
tural as a thing could well seem ; and, along under this 
gallery, is a succession of empty niches of the shape 
commonly constructed for busts a natural Westmin 
ster Abbey for the likenesses of disappointed politi 
cians, which makes its name, as the river of forgetful- 
ness, singularly felicitous. " Salt Eiver," you will re 
member, is but sixty miles from this. 

There is a short interruption of a sand-bank after 
the first quarter of a mile, and, crossing this, we took 
another boat and resumed our glide down the dark 
river. From the remarkable echoes along this last mile 
or three-quarters, Stephen gives it the separate name of 
Echo River but this seems a needless multiplying of 
names, for it is all one stream, and Lethe is (if any 
thing is) a name for continuance. AYe stopped oar and 
tried the echo. There seemed to be remote caves 
which only answered upon very long and deliberate re 
flection yet as sweetly as reluctantly. Stephen sang 
a negro song, and the echo of the first line came back 
about the time of the fourth. It struck me that it 
would be a pretty thing to imitate in a duett suspend- 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 173 

ing the last line while the leading sentiment, (say a 
struggle against the river s tide of forgetfulness,) re 
curs with a mournful echo My brother the composer 
w 7 ill build good music for such a song, and you can do 
the words, being as good at that. If a passenger down 
Lethe is wanted, I am good at most kinds of victim, 
and will do that part of it. So copyright your tears, 
my dear Morris, and begin. 

The dead silence with which we floated downwards 
most of the way Stephen having a fine idea of the 
dramatic, and suspending oar and voices for very effec 
tive intervals was far more affecting and impressive 
than I can w 7 ell give you an idea of. It was like the 
pathos in a play. I thought an interlude might be 
agreeable, and having seen the handle of a pistol in 
the pocket of our comme il faut companion from New 
Orleans, I asked leave to try the echo with a discharge. 
Chapultepec ! \vhat a roar ! The immediate thunder 
was like the coming down of the rocks about our ears, 
but the long-continued and far-off reverberations seemed 
to tell of caves that had never before been reached or 
found utterance. I have omitted to mention that there 
is an avenue called " Purgatory," which runs parallel 
with this river, and the loudest echoes were doubtless 
from that. Whether it was a disturbance, or an 
agreeable variety, to the spirits who thus groaned 
back their answers, we had no " medium " to tell us. 



174 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

It seemed as if the echoes would never be done. Si 
lence after a while, however and silence and silence. 
The grass must stop growing, and the stars hold their 
breath, to give you, above ground, any idea of that 
silence. 

My companions expressed great regret at disembark 
ing from the breathless river of Oblivion. Even the 
lively Professor, who was making a pedestrian tour on 
the other side of the Styx, (your side,) resumed his legs 
and his lamp very unwillingly for the dark explorings 
still beyond. I was the last to leave the boat, being 
probably the most tired of the party, but contriving to 
be the last, throughout the trip, for the sake of adding 
my friends and their procession of lamps to the beauty 
of the picture. However splendid the avenue or the 
dome, a foreground of half a dozen illuminated figures 
is a great embellishment I record it as a hint to any 
reader who may visit the cave after me. 

Picking a corner of a stone, for every step one takes, 
makes a mile very long, besides keeping one s eyes and 
enthusiasm more busy with one s toes than with 
the surrounding scenery. Stephen called my atten 
tion to the even loftiness of the roof of " Silliman s 
Avenue," (forty feet high,) but I only remember that it 
was as 

" Long as a pilgrimage on peas to Rome." 

And, of a tedious labyrinth cailed "The Infernal 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 175 

Regions," I remember nothing but Stephen s cautions 
against stumbling^ into pits. We stopped in one large 
opening called " Cascade Hall," where there is an 
anonymous waterfall, heard but never seen. We turn 
ed a spacious corner which singularly resembles the 
hull of a ship, and is called "The Great Western." 
" Ole Bull s Concert-Eoom is just beyond, and here we 
sat down and listened to Stephen s very graghic descrip 
tion, of the romantic Dane s under-ground performance. 
George D. Prentice, the poet-editor, was present, with 
his wife, and, except the " spirits whose walk is there," 
I understood Stephen to say there was no other au 
dience. Those applauded who had the wherewithal. 
The reverberations were fine. The hall is eighty 
feet wide and sixty feet high, and three unexplored 
passages open from it in different directions. Ole 
Bull seemed very much excited, and gave Stephen 
new ideas of the agility of music. As the Dane walk 
ed back seven miles through the woods, (after his de 
parture from the Cave Hotel,) to take one more pil 
grimage under ground, he doubtless found it a genial 
atmosphere for his wild nature. I forgot, when at 
Louisville, to ask Prentice about that trans-Lethean 
performance, but he ought to record his impression of 
it. Ole-Bulliana will be interesting, by the time the 
Cave find its poet and historian. 

Our Danish Professor, with his wit and eccentricity, 



176 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

had given us an occasional half-mile of uproarious 
laughter on the way, and when we came to a stalactite 
singularly like a suspended crown, we placed him un 
der it and unanimously elected him Emperor Koep- 
pen the First. To make a bad pun, his long blonde 
mustache looked sufficiently be- Czar for the occasion. 
This gentleman, by the way, has been for several years 
one of King Otho s Professors at Athens ; and, stored 
as his mind seems to be with information on every sci 
entific subject, and speaking half a dozen languages 
with perfect fluency, I should suppose him and his Lec 
tures valuable additions to our community. His knowl 
edge also of real life, (as different from the same thing 
in books as figs before packing,) would be a valuable 
ingredient in the compound of a College Faculty. He 
has been lecturing at Brown University, and more re 
cently at New-Orleans. 

Great \vonders, but weary miles. " The Pass of El 
Ghor " I mentally promised to remember and admire, 
with more strength and better leisure. . The " Hanging 
Eocks," "Martha s Vineyard," "Black Hole of Cal 
cutta," and " Elindo Avenue," I duly recognized, at 
Stephen s request, as remarkable things and places 
hoping, all the while, that the next announcement would 
be the kindly rock on which we were to dine. The 
eighth mile, I observed, \vas a procession performed in 
profound silence, lamps no longer lifted to admire, nor 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 177 

lingerings made to examine and philosophize. The 
Cave is too large and too long. Its nine miles, in one 
iteration of wonder, are like nine dinners in a day. 
Writing this as I do, in the hungry abstinence of dis 
tance from the spot, it seems to me as if any one of 
those numberless halls and sparry grottoes which we 
tracked so wearily with little notice, would be a feast 
to see. Yet, at the time, I would have exchanged 
twice the sublimity of any one of them for a look into 
Stephen s basket. 

But the chocolate slouched hat, everlastingly pre 
ceding in the distance, " rounded to " at last. Our long 
single file of stumblers stumbled into a group, and stood 
surveying, with expressions of strong interest, a tabu 
lar ridge of rock, situated (Stephen assured us) in 
"Washington Hall." For Washington and his Hall 
we should feel enthusiasm, perhaps, with something in 
our stomachs whereon to place it; but our gaze, for 
the moment, was on the basket being unstrapped from 
Stephen s shoulders, and on the wicker flask which 
looked defiance to the State of Maine, out of his trou 
sers pocket. The rock we stood around looked histo 
rical. Champagne and ale bottles were piled here and 
there in stacks, eloquent of destinies fulfilled beyond 
the Styx poets first uncorked when under ground. 
A small sprig of mint, of flavor truly delicious in that 
dry air, lay on a crag evidence of some julep, doubt- 



178 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

less provokingly reminiscent, which had been drank in 
presence of the spirits herabouts. There were crusts 
of bread and bits of chickens ; and of some of these 
last, stil sweet, Stephen told us the posthumous age, 
proving that meats do not become corrupt in an atmos 
phere of that degree of dryness. Some of the gentle 
men and ladies who had dined there, had left their cards 
sticking in cracks of the rock. I could have wished 
for a seat, and a soft one, near the table : but we were 
accommodated upon sharp corners of crags, at various 
distances, and, for every fresh bone to pick, we were 
obliged to walk up. It was an active performance, 
however. 

If one could most describe what he most enjoys in 
travel, (alas! no !) I should enlarge upon this dinner 
eaten at eight miles from daylight. Sun or moon would 
scarcely have improved it. Our guide modestly re 
membered that he was a slave, and, after spreading the 
repast under the weight of which he had toiled so far, 
he seated himself at a distance ; but, remembering his 
merits and all the geology and history he had given us 
on the way, we voted him to " the first table," by an 
immediate and general remonstrance. Our friend from 
New Orleans had provided claret which had an unex 
pected affinity with the climate under ground (worth 
making a note of.) And all was brightened by the Pro 
fessor s minded fun and wisdom. 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 179 

Having got you into the Cave, 1 must get you out 
of it, my dear Morris, but there are mummies and mam 
moths, and many a wonder yet to tell of, and this letter 
will scarcely give the room. You shall see daylight in 
my next. 



LETTER No. 19. 



SPLENDOR OF KENTUCKY S BASEMENT STORY WHAT AN 

EARTHQUAKE MIGHT DO FOR SOMEBODY SUGGESTION OF 

A MAMMOTH CAVE BALL EFFECT LIKE GETTING A FIRST 

VIEW OF A NEW PLANET PROCESS OF DISFIGURING THE 

CAVE BY VULGAR VISITORS "ROCKY MOUNTAINS" AND 

" DISMAL HOLLOW," AND THE CHARACTER OF THE LATTER 
PLACE STEPHEN S ALLEVIATORY MUSCLE LAST HALL OF 

ALL AT THE EXTREMITY OF THE CAVE GOLDEN FLEECE 

(OVERHANGING THE ALTAR SKETCH OF THE PARTY AND RE- 
VERIE AT THE END MOTHER EVE, AND OUR FEELING 

ALIKE AS TO THE SUN AND MOON SUGGESTED INSCRIPTION 

FROM MILTON FOR THE END OF THE CAVE HESITATION AS 

TO CONFESSING TO THE ROMANTIC EFFECT OF THE LAST 
MILE RETURN EYELESS FISH, ETC., ETC. 

Mammoth Cave, June. 

DEAR MORRIS : 

Under whose farm lies that ninth and inner mile of 
the Mammoth Cave, it would be interesting to know, 
for he grows his corn over a splendid possibility a 
suit of halls of unsurpassable magnifieece, requiring 
nothing but a moderate earthquake to open just before 
his door, Why, the state apartments of Versailles are 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 181 

not -half so sumptuously ornamented as this portion of 
the basement story of Kentucky. The proportions of 
the successive rooms are imposing enough, but the won 
der is in the walls and ceilings. They are studded with 
gems. Crystilization has lined and roofed those halls 
with every variety of brilliant spar, and the snow-white 
and calcareous glitter fairly dazzles the eye. Floor 
these mammoth grottoes illuminate them and give a 
ball there a ball a mile long and the world never will 
have seen a spectacle so splendid. Could it not be 
done, (tell us, Prentice !) to celebrate the completion of 
the railway from New- York to New Orleans ? Ken 
tucky has the broad-handed hospitality becoming to the 
central State of our confederacy, and would play the 
host and entertain the world with a grace chivalric and 
characteristic. She might well celebrate an event 
that w r ill open her lordly woodlands to the admiration 
of the vast tide of travel that now goes unapprecia- 
tingly past, on the Ohio. 

Dinner had doubtlesly something to do with our ap 
preciating the ninth mile better than the eighth and 
hungry one but, if I remember rightly, it is only at 
this far end of the Mammoth Cave, that the snowy white 
halls are found, built of stalactites, and every inch a 
study of brilliant crystallization. The prodigality of 
these delicate and dazzling wonders impresses the trav 
eller. In museums and mineralogical cabinets, you see 



182 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

geodes and specimens of crystals, the largest of wjiich 
can be taken into the hand. Here they form rotundas 
and palaces and miles of them ! There is something 
so new in finding oneself in such strangely magnificent 
apartments (and loooking at them with a lamp,) that it 
seems like a visit to a just created and more brilliant 
planet, where God has not yet said, " Let there be 
light," but where the Adam and Eve for whom a sun 
is to shine on this darkness, are to find themselves lodg 
ed in ready-built palaces, gem-studded and crystal 
roofed a dwelling house growing wild like an apple- 
tree. No offence to our friend Downing, that his beau 
tiful art would be a superfluity on such an improved 
planet. 

People like to leave word that they have been here. 
In one of. these calcareous halls there is a stack of 
crystals, of about the height and shape of a female ser 
vant, and, upon this, every visitor seems to have thrust 
a card. Others more barbarous, or thoughtless, have 
hoisted candles upon sticks and smoked their names on 
the otherwise unblemished ceilings and walls, a disfig 
uration by which, in a very few years, the Mammoth 
Cave will have lost all its beauty for those surfaces of 
delicate texture can never be cleansed. Stephen was 
eloquent upon this profanation, and doubtles puts in 
his protest, invariably; but a slave s remonstrance 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 183 

would not be much, with the kind of white man that 
would thus immortalize his own bad taste. 

Before reaching the last hall of all, there are " Rocky 
Mountains " to clirnb, and a " Dismal Hollow " to tra 
verse. The dreary immensity of this innermost cavern, 
save one, is thought worth the exhibiting, and it is part 
of Stephen s routine to bring Bengal lights and burn 
them here, to show the wilderness of darkness and de 
solation. We are not commonly aware how much a 
desert valley of broken rocks is relieved (above ground) 
by having a sky over it ; and the effect of " Dismal 
Hollow " is probably owing to the fact that there is no 
chance for the eye to get away just such another val 
ley of broken rocks being heaped in a concave of hor 
ror to overhang it. It has its moral influence ; for per 
haps the visiter has never before got so good an idea 
of a place where Heaven was out of the question a 
Hades roofed in with a Hades, and I must own that I 
was very glad to have Stephen to admire, as he knelt 
on one knee at the far side of the cavern, receiving on 
his romantic physiognomy the full glare of the tar and 
brimstone. His mustache had a pleasant look of a 
" continued state of probation." 

"We picked up our lamps and " got out of that " 
a few minutes of scrambling bringing us to the sort of 
small chapel which is the farthest penetrable point of 



184 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

this underground pilgrimage. It is not a place very 
brilliant or spacious but there are some stalactical 
formations on its walls which would be curious but for 
the greater wonders seen on the way, and at the far end 
there is something which might well be considered as 
dramatically in character with the spot. It is a kind of 
projection like an altar, over which the stalactical ooze 
has formed in a resemblance to a golden fleece, and 
thus seems to be hung as an irremovable veil over the 
entablature. In superstitious days some mystic word 
would have been believed to be written underneath this 
veiled extremity of the cave some secret to which the 
long subterranean pilgrimage, with its many wonders, 
was the fitting approach. Long-robed priests and the 
swinging of censers, might make it, even now, a spot 
of reverential awe and visitation. 

"We were at the end of our journey three P. M-, 
and nine miles from daylight. The facill descensus 
Averni had occupied six hours. Stephen had. concluded 
his nine-mile lecture on geology, and sat waiting our 
pleasure. The Professor was examining a stalagmite. 
Our French friend smoked his cigar in silent contempla 
tion ; and the Bostonian, having managed to get behind 
the Golden Fleece, was re-appearing at the other side 
of the altar with his enterprising lamp. I was almost 
too tired, myself, to realize where I was much too tired 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 185 

to be as industrious as you would probably expect of 
so interesting a locality. The Dane and I had been 
talking of emigrants from monarchial countries to our 
land of independence. It was the only furniture T could 
summon for a reverie. I sat upon as comfortable a 
rock as I could find, and endeavored to remember, em 
igrant from Above-ground that I was, what an ocean of 
darkness divided me from my native daylight how King 
Sun and Queen Moon, and the Princes of Little Stars, 
had become far-off nonentities how the laws that reg 
ulate Dawn, Noon and Twilight, were dead letters to 
me, then and there and, as to your tyrannical Time- 
day,, how safely I was beyond its clocks and jurisdic 
tion. The underground freedom of all this, while it oc 
curred to me, did not greatly enliven my fatigued re 
publicanism, however. I even felt neglected that the 
arbitrary Afternoon, that punctual officer of the Sun, 
was, at that moment assessing his lengthening-shadow- 
tax without thinking of mine. Was it possible that the 
sun could be going to set all the same as if we five 
gentlemen (including Stephen) were above ground as 
usual ? Mother Eve, if you recollect, expresses some 
what the same discontent a jealous unwillingness that 
the heavenly bodies shonld shine when she \vas not 
looking at them. This she does on her wedding night, 
and Adam gently snubs her for it our indefinitely -great- 
grandmother having thus received her first curtain 



186 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

lecture, for the same unnatural uneasy feeling with 
which I sat down at the end of Mammoth Cave ! 
Milton tells it in beautiful poetry. Let me quote it 
for you : 

* * " Sweet the coming on 
Of grateful evening mild : then silent night 
"With this her solemn bird, and this fair moon, 
And these the gems of heaven, her starry train : 
But wherefore all night, long shine these 1 For whom 
This glorious sight when sleep ha h shut our eyes ? 
To whom our general ancestor replied : 
Daughter of God and Man, accomplished Eve, 
These have their course to finish round the earth 
By morrow evening, and from land to land 
In order, though to nations yet unborn, 
Ministering light prepared, they set and rise, 
Lest total darkness should by night regain 
Her old possession, and extinguish life 
In nature, and all things. * * 
These, then, though upheld in deep of night, 
Shine not in vain ; NOR THINK, THOUGH MEN WERE NONE, 
THAT HEAVED WOULD WANT SPECTATORS, God want praise, 
Millions of spiritual creatures walk the earth 
Unseen, both when we wake and when we sleep : 
All these with ceaseless praise his works behold 
Both day and night." 

Sooner or later in the Mammoth Cave or some 
shallower underground sojourning we are all to be 
thus omitted and easily done without, by the sun and 
moon; and perhaps our "general ancestor s" sweet 
little sermon on the subject is not inaptly quoted, to 
meet the discontent felt by the traveller, at the day- 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 187 

light s doing without him even for his short interment 
in the mammoth Cave. To engrave its rebuke to self- 
consequence, on that stalactical veil where the murmurer 
sets down his lamp, and is farthest away from sun and 
moon, might point that nine-mile pilgrimage with a mo 
ral, that would give meaning and value to its fatigues 
and splendors. 

Up lamps, and start on our return but I have not writ 
ten what I at first intended, nor described what I most felt 
in traversing this last mile. You were less likely to laugh 
at what I least felt, and so I have given you that as 
a writer feels it wise to do, alas, how often ! The truth 
is that there is a dramatic progress, in the day s experi 
ences of the Mammoth Cave, which work up the ima 
gination to a height not wholly to be trusted. I pen 
cilled down, as usual, before going to bed that night, 
my notes of the day s events and feelings (the notes 
of which my letters are but the more wordy transcript) 
and I saw where the sympathy-car of the reading 
public would unhitch and let my too acceledated loco 
motive whiz off by itself. The circumstances and sur 
roundings are more progressively exciting than the vis- 
iter is, at the time aware of. The slow procession of 
indistinct figures, each with his flickering lamp; the 
sombre strangeness of the objects pointed out ; the 
half penetrated and mysterious darkness above and 
around : the intervals of profound silence when the 



188 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

stillness of the cave becomes oppressive; the sublime 
grandeur of the scenes themselves, and the wild indis 
tinctness of the legends peopling the air with spirits 
all this, easily resisted for an hour or so, becomes, with 
hunger and half a day, an atmosphere of reality : and 
the imagination gets the upper hand, by the last mile, 
as it does in the fifth act of a play. Describe this ex 
actly ? Oh no ! Few visiters to the Mammoth Cave 
would " own up." The fear of ridicule is kept too con 
stantly on the alert, in this age of sneering and unbe 
lieving. And it is as well, perhaps for there should 
be something to prevent something or other from being 
written about. Authors (I have long thought) make 
life a dreadfully second-hand business. Is it not possi 
ble that the world would be a happier place if there 
were more surprises in it if there were something for 
the traveller to see, or for the lover to feel, which had 
not been anticipated by "inspired pens?" A man, at 
least, should find something under ground, that is not 
" the old story " so I leave you, undescribed, that last 
mile and its emotions. 

My companions started off so trippingly that I 
called Stephen aside and made interest to be looked 
back for occasionally. To be left behind without that 
oil-canister on his left hip, was a calamity which my 
weary legs warned me to guard against. As to keep 
ing up with the pace at which they begun those nine 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 189 

retrogading miles, it was wholly improbable, and my 
lamp had not more than three miles oil in it, even if I 
knew the way. This provision made, however, I took 
it very leisurely, and was consequently left behind at 
every turn of the labyrinth, and, indeed, for three- 
fourths of the time, quite out of sight and hearing. 
There was a chance luxury in this, which I had not an 
ticipated. The wondrous rooms in which I found my 
self alone with my faint lamp, were more imposing and 
beautiful than when seen with more light, and with the 
company of friends ; and, if I dared write of the spir 
its of the cave, I could tell you how much more thick 
ly, than before, the sombre gloom seemed haunted. In 
darkness so many miles deep, one cannot but feel that 
he is over the border-land, and in regions where, if any 
where, ghosts inhabit. The noise one makes with his 
own step does not break silence, (if you ever noticed,) 
and to get rid of the feet and voices of your compan 
ions, in such a place, is to be left with the spell in full 
power. I found the " influence," though melancholy, 
sweet and gentle. They are friendly spirits that walk 
there. I shall remember my weary linger through 
those halls so hushed and haunted, as among the plea- 
santest passages of that knowledge unconfessed which 
we all cherish, more or less, in these days of " spiritual 
manifestations." 



190 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

Of the cave s eyeless fish, mummies, and other 
visible inhabitants, I have yet to tell you, and these 
muet be reserved, I believe, for still another letter. 



LETTER No. 20. 



NINE MILES TO DAYLIGHT FATIGUE OF WALKING WITH HORI 
ZONTAL SPINE FISH WITHOUT EYES ORGANS DYING 

WITH DISUSE CONSUMPTION CURED WITH DANGER TO 

NOSE LESSON IN TAKING THINGS EASY CAUTION TO LA 
DIES FOND OF DARK ROOMS QUOTED DESCRIPTIONS OF 

CHURCH AND TEMPLE OAK POLE FOR SUSPENDING CORPSES 

THE MUMMY LADY AND HER SARCOPHAGUS DESCRIP 
TION OF HER DRESS, POSTURE, ORNAMENTS, ETC. THE 

CUSTOM OF STOPPING TO MUSE AT THIS MUMMY TOMB 

MAMMOTH RELICS RETURN ,.TO DAYLIGHT DELIGHT OF 

ONCE MORE BREATHING AIR WITH THE PERFUMES OF VEGE 
TATION KENTUCKY S ADVANTAGE IN AN ATTRACTION FOR 

ETC. 

Mammoth Cave, June, 1852. 
DEAR MORRIS : 

This letter will not be sprightly, if it express the 
weariness of back and brain with which I walked over 
the ground it is to describe. I had scrambled nine 
miles into the earth, you will remember, stumbling, poet 
izing, theorizing, dining, nnd being very much astonish- 



192 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

ed, on the way. Astonishment is more fatiguing than 
pleasure, you know, as stumbling is more fatiguing than 
walking; and I should have been thoroughly exhausted 
if there had been any convenient opportunity. It was 
nine miles to the first daylight, however, and like the 
horse in the hack-cab, so tightly reifned up that he 
could never give out, the inducement to go on overcame 
the weakness. But that half mile under the rock, 
which the visiter traverses on the wheelbarrow princi 
ple the load at right angles to the legs really that 
was too much. Did you ever try to walk half a mile 
with your hips uppermost, my dear General ? 

We reached Lethe, witji many stops and occasional 
drops of encouragement and water from Stephen s 
flask, and here we halted to catch one of the eyeless fish, 
who swim in this river of forgetfulness. I held the 
lamp while the pole net was quietly slipped under the 
little victim of celebrity. He saw no danger, poor 
thing, and stirred never a fin to escape being taken out 
of his element and raised to a higher sphere. In size~ 
he was like the larger kind of what the boys call a 
" minim"-^-say an inch and a-half long but very differ 
ent in construction and color. His body was quite 
white, translucent, and wholly without an intestinal 
canal. The stomach, (what there was of it,) was di 
rectly behind the brain, (if brain there was.) and all the 
organs of the system were forward of the gilh the 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 193 

head alone having blood or other discoloration. Under 
the chin he disposed of what was surpurflous in his 
nourishment. He was curiously correspondent, indeed, 
to the poetized character of the place like a fish in 
progress of becoming a fish in spirit-land, his dis-animali- 
zation having commenced radically at the tail and 
working upward. Nothing could be more purely beau 
tiful and graceful than the pearly and spotless body 
which had heavenly -fied first, leaving the head to follow. 
I looked for some minutes at the others swimming in the 
stream. They idled about, w 7 ith a purposeless and lux 
urious tranquility, and I observed that they ran their 
noses against the rocky sides of the dark river with no 
manner of precaution. Unhurt and unannoyed, they 
simply turned back from the opposing obstacle, and 
swam slowly away. It would be well to learn the trick 
of this easy withdrawal from opposition, and I am glad 
to have one of the little philosophers to set on a shelf 
a bottled lesson from Lethe. 

The scientific people tell us that these blind fish once 
had eyes, and that the microscope still shows the col 
lapsed socket. The organ has died out in the darkness 
of the subterranean river dwindled into annihilation 
with lack of using. If this be a law of nature, and true 
in graduated degrees, as of course it is, it should be a 
warning to the ladies of our day. What more univer 
sal than the passion for perpetual twilight in drawing- 
9 



194 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

room and boudoir ? yet it appears that eyes dwindle 
and diminish in proportion to lack of light. Let the 
large eyed beauty take warning! 

I spoke figuratively of noses just now. But I 
presume that these fish have no " pituitary membrane. 1 
The same law of annihilation by disuse would exter 
minate noses in this Cave under ground for with 
absence of vegetation and complete dryness, the air ib 
utterly inodorent. It is a fact that should be remem 
bered in the proposed occupancy of the Cave as a hos 
pital for consumption. If organs lessen with disuse, 
the nose would dwindle into annihilation with nothing 
to smell, as the eye with nothing to see. The value 
which the pulmonary patient puts upon his nose should 
be conscientiously inquired into, (I venture to suggest,) 
before subjecting him to a cure which might endanger 
it. A case is highly possible, of a gentleman to whom 
convalescence without a nose would be no object. 

As we go up stream, my dear Morris, (on the return 
voyage of Lethe which I trust we may some day make 
together,) I remember that there is much in this won 
drous Cave which I may seem to have neglected, con 
fining my account mainly, as I do, to its impression on 
myself. If I have awakened an interest in the spot, and 
if the accounts of it are as little known and as unac- 
cessible to you as they chanced to have been to me, it 
may be worth, while to quote descrptions, by other 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 195 

pens, of one or two of the wonders of the Cave which I 
have omitted to mention. Here, for instance, is an ac 
count of " The Church," which I walked through with 
out saying a word about it : 

" The ceiling is sixty-three feet high, and the church 
itself, including the recess, is about one hundred feet 
in diameter. Eight or ten feet above the pulpit, and 
immediately behind it, is the organ-loft, which is suffi 
ciently capacious for an organ and choir of the largest 
size. This church is large enough to contain thousands." 
(another account says it will accommodate five thou 
sand) ; " a solid projection of the wall seems to have 
been designed as a pulpit, and a few feet back is a 
place well calculated for an organ and choir. In this 
great temple of nature, religious services has been fre 
quently performed, and it requires but a slight effort 
on the part of the speaker to make himself heard by the 
largest congregation." 

The same writer thus describes the Vestibule of the 
Cave : 

" This is a hall of an oval shape, two hundred feet in 
length by one hundred and fifty wide, with a roof as 
flat and level as if finished by the trowel, and from fifty 
to sixty feet high. Two passages, each a hundred feet 
in width, open into it at the opposite extremities, but 
at right angles to each other ; and as they run in a 
straight course for five or six hundred feet, with the 
same flat roof common to each, the appearance present 
ed to the eye is that of a vast hall in the shape of the 
letter L, expanded at the angle, both branches being 
five hundred feet long by one hundred wide. The entire 
extent of this prodigious space is covered by a single 
rock, in which the eye can detect no break or interruption, 
save at its borders, which are surrounded by a broad 



196 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TE.OPICS. 

sweeping cornice, traced in horizontal panel work, ex 
ceedingly noble and regular. Not a single pier or pil 
lar of any kind contributes to support it. It needs no 
support : but is 

By its own weight made steadfast and immoveable. 

At a very remote period this chamber seems to have 
been used as a cemetery ; and there have been disin 
terred many skeletons of gigantic dimensions, belonging 
to a race of people long since vanished from the earth. 
Such is the vestible of the Mammoth Cave. The walls 
of this chamber are so dark that they reflect not one 
single ray of light from the dim torches. Around you 
is an impenetrable wall of darkness, which the eye vainly 
seeks to pierce, and a canopy of darkness, black and 
rayless, spreads above } r ou. By the aid, however, of a 
fire or two which the guides kindle from the remains of 
some old wooden ruins, you begin to acquire a better 
conception of the scene around you. Par up, a hun 
dred feet above your head, you catch a fitful glirnps of 
a dark gray ceiling, rolling dimly away like a cloud, 
and heavy buttresses, apparently bending under the 
superincumbent weight, project their enormous masses 
from the shadowy wall. The scene is vast, and solemn 
and awful. A profound silence, gloomy, still and 
breathless, reigns unbroken by even a sigh of air, or the 
echo of a drop of water falling from the roof. You 
can hear the throbbings of your heart, and the mind is 
oppressed with a sense of vastness, and solitude, and 
grandeur indescribable." 

In Lee s account of his visit to the Cave there are 
two of its features well described : 

" The Temple is an immense vault, covering an area 
of two acres, and covered by a single dome of solid 
rock, one hundred and twenty feet high. It excels in 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 197 

size the cave of StafFa, and rivals the celebrated vault 
in the Grotto of Antiparos, which is said to be the 
largest in the world. In passing through from one end 
to the other, the dome appears to follow like the sky in 
passing from place to place on the earth. In the middle 
of the dome there is a large mound of rocks rising on 
one side nearly to the top, very steep, and forming what 
is called the mountain. When first I ascended this 
mound from the cave below, I was struck with a feel 
ing of awe, more deep and intense than anything I had 
ever before experienced. I could only observe the nar 
row circle which was illuminated immediately around 
me; above and beyond was apparently an unlimited 
space, in which the ear could not catch the slightest 
sound, nor the eye find an object to rest upon. It was 
filled with silence and darkness ; and yet I knew that I 
was beneath the earth, and that this space, however 
large it might be, was actually bounded by solid walls. 
My curiosity was rather excited than gratified. In or 
der that I might see the whole in one connected view, 
I built fires in many places with the pieces of cane which 
I found scattered among the rocks. Then taking my 
stand on the mountain, a scene was presented of surpris 
ing magnificence. On the opposite side, the strata of 
gray limestone breaking up by steps from the bottom, 
could scarcely be discerned in the distance by the glim 
mering. Above was the lofty dome, closed at the top 
by a smooth slab beautifully defined in the outline, from 
which the walls sloped away on the right and left, into 
thick darkness. Every one has heard of the dome of 
the mosque of St. Sophia, of St. Peter s and St Paul s ; 
they are never spoken of but in terms of admiration, as 
the chief works of architecture, and among the noblest 
and most stupendous examples of what man can do 
when aided by science ; and yet, when compared with 
the dome of this temple, they sink into comparative in 
significance. Such is the surpassing grandeur of na 
ture s works." 



198 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

" From the Bandit s Hall diverge two caves, one of 
which, the left, leads you to a multitude of domes ; and 
the right to one which, par excellence, is called the 
Mammoth Dome. This dome is near four hundred feet 
high, and is justly considered one of the most sublime 
and wonderful spectacles of this most wonderful of 
caverns. From the summit of this dome there is a wa 
terfall. Foreigners have been known to declare, on 
witnessing an illumination of the great dome and hall, 
that it alone would compensate for a voyage across the 
Atlantic." 

For the description of the " oak pole" which, with 
the dry air of the Cave, had stood in the subterranean 
cemetery imperishable for ages, and which was so plac 
ed as to warrant the belief that it was used to suspend 
a body in the air, to dry off into nothingness, on its own 
hook and for the mammoth-bones of animals, two of 
whose ribs would make an arch for a Gothic doorway 
for these and other antiquities of the place, I refer 
you to the books on the subject ; but there is no locality 
of the Cave which, with its tenant, has been described 
by a scientific visiter, and of this description, though 
long and elaborate, I must give you the whole. The 
gentleman who writes it visited the* Cave in 1813. He 
says : 

" In the digging of saltpetre earth in the short cave, a 
flat rock was met with by the workmen, a little below 
the surface of the earth, in the cave ; this stone was 
raised, and was about four feet wide and as many long ; 
beneath it was a square excavation about three feet 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 199 

deep, and as many in length and width. In this small 
nether subterranean chamber sat in solemn silence one of 
the human species, a female, with her wardrobe aud or 
naments placed at her side. The body was in a state of 
perfect preservation, and sitting erect. The arms were 
folded up, and the hands were laid across the bosom ; 
around the two wrists was wound a small cord, designed, 
probably, to keep them in the posture in which they 
were first placed ; around the body and next thereto 
were wrapped two deer skins. These skins appeared 
to have been dressed in some mode different from what 
is now practised by any people of whom I have any 
knowledge. The hair of the skins were cut off very 
near the surface. The skins were ornamented with the 
imprints of vines and leaves, which were sketched with 
a substance perfectly white. Outside of these two skins 
was a large square sheet, which was either wove or 
knit. The fabric was the inner bark of a tree, which I 
judge from appearance to be that of the linn tree. In 
its texture and appearance, it resembled the south sea 
island cloth or matting ; this sheet enveloped the whole 
body or head. The hair on the head was cut off with 
in an eighth of an inch of the skin, except near the 
neck, where it was- an inch long. The color of the 
hair was a dark red; the teeth were white and perfect. 
I discovered no blemish upon the body, except a wound 
between two ribs, near the back bone ; and one of the 
eyes had also been injured. The finger and toe nails 
were perfect and quite long. The features were regu 
lar. 1 measured the length of one of the bones of the 
arm with a string, from the elbow to the \vrist joint, 
and they equalled my own in length, viz. : ten and 
a-half inches. From the examination of the whole frame, 
I judged the figure to be that of a very tall female, say 
five feet ten inches in height. The body, at the time it 
was discoverd, weighed but fourteen pounds, and ivas per 
fectly dry ; on exposure to the atmosphere, it gained in 
weigtit, by absorbing dampness, four pounds. Many per- 



200 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

eons have expressed surprise that a human body of 
great size should weigh so little, as many human skele 
tons, of nothing but bone, exceed this weight. Recently 
some experiments have been made in Paris, which have 
demonstrated the fact of the human body being reduc 
ed to ten pounds, by being exposed to a heated atmos 
phere for a long period of time. The color of the skin 
was dark, not black ; the flesh was hard and dry upon 
the bones. At the side of the body lay a pair of rnoc- 
cassins, a knapsack, and an indispensible, or reticule. 
I will describe these in the order in which I have nam 
ed them. The moccasins were made of wove or knit 
bark, like the wrapper I have described. Around the 
top was a border to add strengh, and perhaps as an 
ornament. These were of middling size, denoting feet 
of a small size. The shape of the moccasins differs but 
little from the deer skin moccasins worn by the north 
ern Indians. The knapsack was of wove or knit bark, 
with a deep strong border around the top, and was 
about the size of the knapsack used by soldiers. The 
workmanship of it was neat, and such as would do 
credit, as a fabric, to a manufacturer of the present 
day. The reticule was also made of knit or wove bark. 
The shape was much like a horseman s valise, opening 
its whole length on the top. On the side of the open 
ing, and a few inches from it, were two rows of loops, one 
row on each side. Two cords were fastened to one end 
of the reticule at the top, which passed through the 
loop on one side, and then on the other, the whole length, 
by which it was laced up and secured. The edges of 
the top of the reticule were strengthened with deep 
fancy borders. The articles contained in the knapsack 
and reticule were quite numerous, and were as follows : 
one head-cap, made of wove or knit bark, without any 
border, and of the shape of the plainest night-cap ; seven 
head-dresses, made of the quills of large birds, and put 
together somewhat in the way that feather fans are 
made, except that the pipes of the quills are not drawn 
to a point, but are spread out in straight lines with the 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 201 

top. This was done by perforating the pipe of the 
quill in two places, and running two cords through the 
holes, and then winding round the quills and the cord 
fine thread, to fasten each quill in the place designed for 
it. These cords extended some length beyond the quills 
on each side, so that on placing the feathers erect, the 
feathers could be tied together at the back of the head. 
This would enable the wearer to present a beautiful dis 
play of feathers standing erect , and extending a distance 
above the head, and entirely surrounding it. Tfiesewere 
most splendid head-dresses, and would be a magnificent 
ornament to the head of a female at the present day. 
Several hundred strings of beads ; these consisted of 
very hard, brown seed, smaller than hemp seed, in each 
of which a small hole had been made, and through the 
whole a small three-corded thread, similar in appear 
ance and texture to seine twine ; these were tied up in 
bunches, as a merchant ties up coral beads when he 
exposes them for sale. The red hoofs of faivns, on a 
string supposed to be worn around the neck as a necklace. 
These hoofs were about twenty in number, and may have 
been emblematic of innocence. The claw of an eagle, 
.with a hole in it, through which a cord was passed, so 
that it could be worn pendant from the neck. The jaw 
of a bear, designed to be worn in the same manner as 
the eagle s claw, and supplied with a cord to suspend it 
around the neck. Two rattle-snake skins ; one of these 
had fourteen rattles ; these skins were neatly folded up. 
Some vegetable colors done up in leaves. A small 
bunch of deer sinews, resembling cat-gut in appearance. 
Several bunches of thread and twine, two and three 
threaded, some which were nearly white. Seven needles 
some of which were of horn and some of bone ; they 
were smooth, and appeared to have been much used. 
These needles had each a knob or whorl on the top, 
and at the other end were brought to a point like a 
large sail needle. They had no eyelets to receive a 
thread/ The top of one of these needles was handsomely 
scolloped. A hand-piece made of deer skin, with a hole 
9* 



202 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

through it for the thumb, and designed probably to pro 
tect the hand in the use of the needle, the same as thim 
bles are now used. Two whistles, about eight inches 
long, made of cane, with a joint about one-third the 
length ; over the joint is an opening, extending to each 
side of the tube of the whistle ; these openings were 
about three quarters of an inch long, and an inch wide, 
and had each a flat reed placed in the opening. These 
whistles were tied together with a cord wound around 
them. 

I have been thus minute in describing this mute wit 
ness from the days of other times, and the articles which 
were deposited within her earthen house. Of the race 
of people to whom she belonged when living, we know 
nothing ; and as to conjecture, the reader who gathers 
from these pages this account, can judge of the matter 
as well as those who saw the remnant of mortality in 
the subterranean chambers in which she was entombed. 
The cause of the preservation of her body, dress and 
ornaments, is no mystery. The dry atmosphere of the 
cave, with the nitrate of lime, with which the earth that 
covers the bottom of these nether palaces is so highly 
impregnated, preserves animal flesh, and it will neither 
putrify nor decompose when confined to its unchanging 
action. Heat and moisture are both absent from the 
cave, and it is these two agents acting together which 
produce both animal and vegetable decomposition and 
putrefaction. In the ornaments, etc. , of this mute wit 
ness of ages gone, we have record of olden time, from 
which, in the absence of a written record, we may draw 
some conclusions. In the various articles whicli con 
stituted her ornaments, there were no metallic substances. 
In the make of her dress, there is no evidence of the use 
of any other machinery than the bone and horn needles. 
The beads are of a substance, df the use of which for 
such purposes we have no account among people of whom 
we have any written record. She had no warlike arms. 
By what process the hair on her head was cut short, or 
ty what process the deer skins were shorn, we have nc 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 203 

means of conjecture These articles afford us the same 
means of judging of the nation to which she belonged, 
and of their advances in the arts, that future generations 
will have in the exhumation of a tenant of one of our 
modern tombs, with the funeral shroud, etc., in a state 
of like preservation ; with this difference, that with the 
present inhabitants of this section of the globe, but few 
articles of ornament are deposited with the body. The 
features of this ancient member of the human family 
much resembled those of a tall, handsome American 
woman. The forehead was high, and the head well 
formed." 

The boudoir of this lady of uncertain age, is in one 
of the side avenues of the Cave, usually the object of a 
separate day s visit. It is not a very attractive-looking 
place in itself, though the imagination lights fire immedi 
ately, like a tinker with a good job, and sets to work 
there, with great industry. Stephen set down his lamp, 
after showing us the hollow nich in the rock against 
which the fair one was found sitting, as if, with his six 
teen years experience as guide, he had found this to 
be a spot where the traveller usually takes time for re 
verie. It cost me no coaxing to have mine. With the 
silence of the spot, and all the world shut out, it is im 
possible that the imagination should not do pretty fair 
justice to the single idea presented. There has been 
many a charming fancy portrait thus drawn of the de 
parted Fawn-hoof, and of all the ladies of past ages, I 
doubt whether there is one who is the subject of a more 



204 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

perpetual series of unwritten poems. She is Kentucky s 
posthumus belle. 

We emerged from the Cave somewhere about nine in 
the evening, having been twelve hours in the hands of 
darkness and Stephen. The stars were pleasant to see 
the supper w r as pleasant to anticipate but, to me, 
the strongest sensation of " rising again" was the luxu 
ry of once more being in the world of things to smell. 
The unearthly dryness and deathliness of the dew-less 
air had been all day most oppressive to me. Confine 
ment there would be my worst kind of un-deiv-ing. As 
to fatigue, mine had become chronic ; and, though prob 
ably several times used up, I walked to the hotel with 
out thinking particularly of being tired, but enjoying 
the perfume of the pines, hemlocks and moist earth, 
with a zest worthy of the first breath at a thrown-up 
window in the morning. The olfactory sense has not 
been done justice to, in poetry. When Milton deplored 
his blindness as " wisdom at one entrance quite shut 
out," he should have mentioned the consolation he still 
possessed in the neighboring entrance of his nose. 
There could have been no sweet-briar in his garden- 
walk, nor daughter s hand to place bunches of flowers 
by his plate at breakfast. Give us a song to this neg 
lected sense, my dear Morris ! To honor what the 
world slights is the poet s mission. 

We supped and went to bed on our fill of that and 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 205 

the day s astonishment, and I felt that I had seldom or 
never seen more since a morning. The Mammoth Cave 
is certainly a wonder of indescribable variety and beauty. 
It will increase in attraction as the world knows more 
of it, and, Kentucky, rich in so many specialities, will 
be rich in a viaduct of cosmopolitism having that 
which the intelligent of all nations must needs come and 
see. 

Adieu once more above ground. 



LETTER No, 21, 



NEW ARTICLE TO PACK IN A TRUNK KILLING THE EYELESS 

FISH BY PUTTING HIM IN SPIRITS TO MUMFORDSVILLE 

FROM MAMMOTH CAVE, BY PRIVATE VEHICLE, AND ADVEN 
TURES BY THE WAY PORTRAIT OF A BACKWOODSMAN 

WESTERN COLLOQUIAL ATTITUDE KENTUCKY HANOI- 

NESS AT EXPEDIENT MENDING A BROKEN WHEEL WITH 

HICKORY WITHES COMMENT ON BACKWOODS LIFE CHEER 
FUL FIRE AT THE TAVERN IN A JUNE EVENING HABIT OF 

WESTERN GENTLEMEN TO FREQUENT THE TAVERNS CURI 
OSITY AS TO STRANGERS ATTEMPT TO DODGE ENQUIRIES 

LANDLORD, AND HIS MANNER OF CONVERSING AND WAIT 
ING ON TABLE EDUCATION IN OPEN AIR, AND ITS RESULTS 

WESTERN CHARACTER AND ITS FORMATION HIGH STA 
TION OF LANDLORDS AND STAGE-DRIVERS AT THE WEST 

DISTINCTION BETWEEN WESTERN GENTLEMEN AND ROW 
DIES, ETC., ETC. 

Harrodsburg Springs, June. 

DEAR MORRIS : 

You are enough of a traveller to know that the 
most dire inevitableness of human allotment, (after ori 
ginal sin,) is the perpetual packing of a trunk. To be 
one of that class of animals that requires baggage or, 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 207 

rather, not to be accommodated, like the elephant, with 
a trunk that is taken care of by the stomach and gene 
ral circulation is a calamity for which we are doubtless 
pitied by kind angels. I was realizing this feature of 
my humanity, as usual, in preparing to leave the Hotel 
at the Mammoth Cave groaning over the inexorable 
unwillingness of boots and shirts to go in where they 
had once come out w r hen I discovered a new embar 
rassment. Swimming vigorously around in my wash 
bowl was the eyeless fish I was to kill, bottle, and take 
away. You that have laid hands upon poetical 
thoughts, swimming in your brain, lovely and happy in 
a state of nature, and have paralyzed the poor things 
with rhymes and corked them up in stanzas for immor 
tality, can understand with what compassion I looked 
upon that involuntary victim of celebrity. I had 
brought him out of the cave in a pocket flask, and he 
seemed to have become rather lively than otherwise 
with the smack of artificial spirits which must have, 
tinctured the water. His coming to light did not seem 
to affect him. He bumped his nose against the white 
sides of the washbowl as blindly and unconcernedly as 
against the rocks in the darkness of Lethe. Happy he 
could scarcely have been in a strange place, and with 
nothing to eat but a more active little creature I had 
never seen. The phial of immortality (some people 
call it gin) into which he was presently to be dropped, 



208 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

looked cruel and pokerish. I made all manners of de 
lays to defer it. So beautiful a life to be brought sud 
denly to an end! If "Morris and Willis" had both 
been there, Morris should, as usual, have " done the bu 
siness." 

I have thought it might be interesting to record that 
this little blind creature lived ten minutes in alcohol. 
It was evidently a most painful death. I had supposed 
it would be immediate, but he evidently lived longer 
than he would have done on air. The jumps, convul 
sions, and gaspings of his tiny mouth for some more 
congenial element, were prolonged, it seemed to me, in 
terminably. Death came hard, though he was dying 
to be saved. Stiff grew his little translucent tail, at 
last, however, and he was wrapped in a winding sheet 
of the sighed over and packed and here he floats be 
fore me, motionless, on the mantel-piece, and seen and 
thought of, while his brethren in darkness are for 
gotten. 

In getting from the cave to a stage-route, I fell upon 
a bit of Kentucky experience which interested me. We 
had taken a return carriage three of our subterranean 
party to cross over, fifteen or twenty miles, to Mum- 
fordsville. After bumping and stumping through the 
woods for an hour or two, we came to a dead halt. 
The tire of the fore wheel had parted, and another rev 
olution would have dropped the wood-work in pieces. 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 209 

Five miles back to the Mammoth Cave, ten miles to a 
blacksmith, six o clock in the afternoon, and only a log- 
hut visible in the wilderness. Our negro driver was a 
smart lad, but he rubbed his wool in great perplexity. 
To borrow a wheel seemed to him the only chance of 
not passing the night in the woods, and so advanced a 
refinement as a wheel, anywhere in that neighborhood, 
was, at least, an improbability. The backwoodsman 
had come out to us, by this time a social, friendly, 
athletic, ample young adult, whose growth, mental and 
bodily, had been as natural and untramelled as that of 
the trees visible from his door. No yearling steer could 
have been more frankly unceremonious, and no courtier 
more unembarrassed and agreeable in his politeness. 
He was barefooted and dressed in homespun. After 
exchanging civilities with us, he took a colloquial atti 
tude very common in the West, but which I never had 
chanced to see east of the Alleghanies sitting down 
plump upon his own heels, with his elbows between his 
knees. Thus made into a comfortable heap, with only 
the soles of his feet coming to the damp ground, he 
picked up gravel-stones and contemplated the posture 
of our affairs. 

His father had a " four-wheel-fixin," and lived a mile 
off. The negro was despatched to see if one of 
these wheels could be borrowed ; and (by the way) his 
unhesitating and entire obedience to the white back- 



210 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

woodsman, combined with the most free and easy con 
versation between them, impressed me as a curious har 
mony of intercourse. The limbs and will were those 
of a slave, but the tongue was free. He was gone 
some three-quarters of an hour, and meantime, we lis 
tened to the most charmingly simple account of him 
self from our friend who sat looking up at us. "We 
learned, among other things, that a man required no 
property, beyond a shirt, to " make a gal have him," in 
that country ; that the neighbors would " make a bee " 
to build his house, and he could get trusted for tools 
so that it seems a happy climate where the native can 
begin life without capital. He himself has married at 
eighteen ; had nothing to begin with, but three chil 
dren now : lived off the land which he had paid for 
with half the crop, and was as "contented as he want 
ed to be." Looking at the magnanimous, un-care- 
worn, genial and unsuspicious countenance of the man 
as he talked, I let a small wonder creep through my 
mind, whether, after all, the mere enjoyment of life 
were not better attained in this way. Count D Orsay 
and this backwoodsman naturally men very much 
alike might weigh happiness at the close of life, with a 
strong probability that the latter of the two had found 
the more. 

The driver came, at last, sweating under the heavy 
fore-wheel of a lumber-waggon. It was no fit but its 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 211 

owner had followed it, and then came the Kentucky 
handincss at expedient. " The old man," a most merry 
counterpart of his. big son, set the slave to cutting 
hickory withes and his boy to twisting them into ropes, 
and in a few minutes he had the broken wheel bound 
together so tightly that it was even more road- worthy 
than the other three. The job was done with jokes and 
good-humored zeal. They had given us two hours of 
their time and labor, and the old man had the odd 
wheel to carry home a mile on his back but they 
would receive no compensation, and sent us off with 
the good wishes and cordial kindness of old friends. 
The well-mended did its work for the remaining fifteen 
miles, and we had a Kentucky experience, cordially and 
pleasantly to remember. 

It was as late in the summer as June the eighth, but 
we found a roaring hickory fire in the bar-room at 
Mumfordsville, and the neighbours around it talking 
politics, of course. The tavern, in Kentucky, is not 
only the resort, but the respectable resort, of the male 
inhabitants of the village, at all leisure hours. You 
seldom drive up to one without alighting amid a group 
oftener amid a crowd and the titles flying from 
mouth to mouth soon inform you that all the Judges, 
Generals, and Colonels, possible to the size of the popu 
lation, are among the company. The stranger is re 
ceived with some show of courteous acknowledgment, 



212 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

a chair given him or remarks addressed to him, and if 
he will take anything to drink, or requires any infor 
mation or other civility, it is abundantly ready for him. 
But they require something in return. Who and what 
he is, and where he is going and what for if it does not 
all ooze out in his conversation, is specifically asked about 
in the course of the evening. At Springfield,* a populous 
little town where I passed the night on my way to Mam 
moth Cave, I tried hard to dodge this paying of autobi 
ographic toll to curiosity. I had been asked whether I 
was " in the dry goods line," what I was " agent for," 
whether I carried my " business card about me," etc., 
to all of which I replied with a courteous monosyllable, 
changing the subject, by some immediate remark. But 
the landlord came up at last with a direct statement that 
" there were several gentlemen present who \vould be 

* It may interest you to read the printed card which. I found 
nailed to my bed-room door at this same tavern of Springfield. It 
ran thus : 

RULES OF THIS HOUSE. 

1. Regular boarders are expected to pay up weekly. 

2. Gentlemen without baggage are expected to pay in ad 
vance. 

3. Gaming of all kinds strictly prohibited. 

4. All lights to be put out at 10 o clock 

5. Strict attention paid to baggage, but no responsibility ex 
cept for such as is left in charge of the bar-keeper. 

6. Good order is expected to be kept by all persons when in 
this house. 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 213 

very happy to know my name. One side of every bar 
room, at the time, was covered with the enormous placard 
of a travelling menagerie, and the name of a Mr. Willis, 
as the distinguished leader of the band, was printed in 
enormous capitals. There was a risk of my being taken 
for more of a celebrity than might be comfortable. Step 
ping to the tavern register, therefore, in reply to the 
landlord s application, I wrote rny name in such a way 
as to slur the tops of the two i s very slightly by 
which management I passed the remainder of the even 
ing in comfortable unconspicuousness, as a Mr. "Welles, 
and was not admiringly mistaken for the distinguished 
clarionet, Mr. "Willis. 

Our landlord at Mumfordsville was quite a superior 
and intellectual-looking man, and when supper was ready 
he waited on table with his hat on, conversing with great 
ease as he handed round the hot cakes, and seating 
himself at the head of the table when all were helped, 
and (still with his hat on) discussing the religious topics 
which chanced to come up, very intelligently. I noticed, 
throughout the West, that, in all small villages, the 
landlord is a person who is considered to honour the 
guest by his company. There is nothing doubtful in his 
position. That and the profession of stage driving, are 
too rich in opportunity for influence give too much 
access to the minds and opinions of the community 
not to have been gradually promoted to the class of 



214 HE ALTH TRIP TO THE TR OPIC S. 

occupations for the " leading citizens." A Judge drove 
the stage in which I crossed the country from Harrods- 
burgh, and the women came out from the farm-houses 
and gave him sixpenny errands to do in the village, 
with unhesitating familiarity. The wealthy nabob of 
Elizabethtown was the " stage agent" who helped us in 
to the changed coach and arranged our baggage. Mr. 
Bell, you know, the father of Mrs. Senator Gwin, keeps 
the nearest tavern to Mammoth Cave, and he is one of 
the most influential and respected of Kentucky s " first 
men." The traveller is obliged to learn these distinc 
tions; and with any lack of deference or any de 
mand for more than the services ordinarily performed by 
these gentlemen, he gets a very peremptory reminder that 
he has all along been the obliged person of the two. 

The wives of the West may not like the habits I have 
alluded to husbands and brothers passing their leisure 
time at the taverns. But I am not sure that promptness 
and manliness are not thereby cultivated. The univer 
sal fluency of tongue and universal quickness and bold 
ness of face-to-face action, which are marked and allowed 
characteristics of these people, at least get their training 
in this daily school. At the North we teach youth what 
human nature is by books and books are but life at 
second hand. These frank Kentuckians learn it, by 
seeing and being perpetually familiar with just what 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 215 

they are afterwards to encounter. What they do on 
the Stump or in the Legislature, is what they have been 
doing every day in the bar-room, or practising while 
balanced on the two legs of a chair amid the crowd 
seated on the tavern sidewalk. They never insult with 
out knowing it and being ready to answer for it, being 
well-practised in what is due from one gentlemen to 
another. They are habitually courteous and deferen 
tial, from the laws and usages which are the standards 
in these familiar crowds. They argue adroitly from 
constant habit. They can control the expressions of their 
faces, their muscles and nerves from the same habit. 
It is the old Areopagus school for men, and the re 
sult seems to show, that, though the citizen of the 
North is wiser in books, at twenty, the citizen of the 
West is wiser in men at thirty. Do not understand 
me as speaking of the rowdies of the West, of whose 
bowie-knives and revolvers you read so much. These 
are a class who are not seen by the stranger unless ho 
seeks them in resorts for mere drinking and gambling. 
1 refer to a higher and very different class, who 
still, however, are found assembled in every town 
at the taverns. As it is interesting to see how 
our national character is forming, what I have 
here noted may be set down as ore of its influencing 
causes. 



216 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

I had thought to say something of Harrodsburg 
Springs in this letter, but I will defer it to* my next, 
I think. And, for the present adieu. 
Yours, etc. 



LETTER No. 28. 



CITIES AND PLACES APPROACHING US BY RAILROADS THE 

OVER-TRUMPETING OF SOME WATERING-PLACES AGREE 
ABLE DISAPPOINTMENT ON ARRIVING AT HARRODSBURG 

SPRINGS ENGLISH PARK AROUND THE HOTEL NOTES 

DESCRIPTIVE OF THE MINERAL WATERS FAVORITE HAUNT 

FOR WEALTHY WESTERN FAMILIES DR. GRAHAM AND HIS 

CHARACTER DEFICIENCY IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE THE 

DOCTOR S HORSE AND HIS EMBARRASSING HABITS THE 
DOCTOR S MANY ACCOMPLISHMENTS HYDROPATHIC AD 
DITION TO THE HOTEL DOCTOR HOUGHTON AND HIS EX 
CELLENT KNOWLEDGE AND CARE TOWN OF HARRODS 
BURG SALT RIVER, ETC., ETC. 

Harrodsburg Springs, Kentucky, June. 
DEAR MORRIS : 

Cincinnati has " sidled-up," as you know, to within 
forty-eight hours of New York, and by this same 
scarcely noticed but perpetual " sidling-up" (on grease 
and smooth iron) the place I write from is likely 
to become the central Saratoga of America. With 
next year s completion of a railroad now in progress, 
10 



218 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

it will be a couple of hours south from Cincinnati ; and 
then, between New York and New Orleans, Washing 
ton and St. Louis, Harrodeburg Springs will be the 
hub of the wheel of fashion nearly equi-accessible from 
these four outside points, and a rallying spot for all the 
beauty and be-sociable-ness between. Its chief attrac 
tion, for Boston, will be, that the summer commences 
there a month earlier for New Orleans, that it com 
mences a month later and in that compromise month oj 
June, (shivering at Boston, sultry at New Orleans, but 
summery to Harrodsburg,) it is likely to attract, from 
North and South, all, at least, who are susceptible to 
climate. At present the crowded season is in July and 
August ; and, during those months, it is the grand field 
of tournament for Western flirtation, and the gathering 
point for politicians out of harness, and for such wealthy 
"Westerners and Southerners as like to spend their 
money on the side of the Alleghanies that slopes to 
wards home. 

People and places are so over-trumpeted, now a-days, 
that, when we meet with man, woman or watering- 
place to which common report has not done justice, we 
feel a kind of compensatory eagerness to make it up to 
them. I went to Harrodsburg Springs as the best 
place I could hear of, for a fortnight s loitering the 
Northern summer not being ready for my lungs, and 
Kentucky having some inviting features and qualities of 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 219 

which I wished to see more but, in the establishment 
of " The Springs" I expected to find little except clap 
boards and whitewash, solitude and sanguine expecta 
tions of company, a ball-room full of cobwebs, and a 
vehement negro to ring the bell for meals. I hoped it 
was such a place, for the loneliness I wanted, and the 
leisure it would give me to write up my notes of travel. 
There are hundreds of such places that are more puffed 
and talked of than is Harrodsburg, with all its real ad 
vantages. 

After a most lovely drive of thirty miles from Lex 
ington, I was landed at a massive gateway of granite, 
between a couple of bronze lions ; and, through the 
gentle ascending grounds of a court-yard, laid out and 
shaded with exquisite taste, I saw a structure of unusual 
magnificence, looking every way solid and well-finish 
ed. Two long wings of cottage buildings enclosed the 
front court, but the well-laid walks seemed to lead off 
to grounds beyond ; and, to enjoy the twilight, I gave 
my baggage to the servant and started for a stroll be 
fore going to my room. I found that the hotel was 
surrounded by what might well be a nobleman s park, 
the walks apparently endless and yet carefully and neatly 
kept, and the natural advantages of the undulating 
woodlands charmingly understood and improved. I 
rambled till the stars came out to light me back to sup- 



220 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

per, and returned, feeling that I had stumbled upon a 
most unexpected mixture of paradise and public house. 
My private letters have told you with what pleasure, 
and with what profit to health, I passed two or three 
weeks at this lovely and luxurious sojourn. Some facts 
which should be more generally known, with regard to 
it, I will copy (in a note,*) from printed documents, on 
the subject but, before turning to my more personal 
befallings, let me speak admiringly of the mere hotel. 
It is furnished and kept like the best establishments in 
cities. You could be no-where more luxuriously com 
fortable. The wealthy Western families whose equi 
pages daily throng and enliven the gateway, and who 



* " The Harrodsburg Springs, one of the most fashionable water 
ing places in the State, have become deservedly celebrated for the 
medicinal virtue of the water, and as a delightful summer resort, 
both to the votaries of health and pleasure. Dr. Christopher 
Graham, the amiable, enterprising and intelligent proprietor, has 
spared no pains or expense in the preparation of accommodation 
for visitors, the improvements having already cost three hundred 
thousand dollars. The main hotel is one of the finest and most 
commodious buildings in the West, and the surrounding cottages 
are admirably arranged, alike to promote the convenience and 
comfort of the occupants The grounds are elevated and exten 
sive ; adorned with every variety of shrubbery grown in America, 
interspersed with some of the most beautiful and rare exotics 
from Europe and Asia, and traversed by wide gravel walks, in 
tersecting and crossing each other in every direction. A small 
and beautiful lake, three hundred yards long, one hundred yards 
r n width, and fifteen feet deep, lately excavated, is well stored 
with fish of the finest flavor, and its glassy surface enlivened by 
the presence of many wild and tame water-fowls." Collins s // *- 

torn nf K i>n< ncl- >! 

" I cannot relinquish the subject of diseases of the liver with 
out mentioning in terms of almost unqualified approbation, my 
candid opinions of the waters of the Ilarrodsburg Springs, situ- 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 22 1 

take rooms and reside here for months together, with a 
reference to the fashionable season, are the best evidence 
of the quality of the accommodations. A good table, 
and a good society, are two luxuries which I believe 
you may always make sure of, at Harrodsburg. 

But I wish to introduce you to Dr. Graham, the pro 
prietor of this vast establishment The Doctor is not 
an individual. And, our language, by the way, is defi 
cient in the phrase which should express what he is, 
more than an individual. We want something which 
should correspond to the distinctions we make, for in 
stance, in speaking of land. We say " a lot," " a 



ated in the county of Mercer, and State of Kentucky. These wa 
ters are well-known to operate powerfully and beneficially on the 
aver ; nor do I believe there have been many instances, if an ab 
solute consumption, or an induration of the liver had taken place, 
in which those waters have not been efficient in removing dis 
eases of the liver. Their almost certain efficacy is so well known 
that they are frequented by thousands of invalids, during the 
summer months, from every part of the United States. And I 
would advise all persons laboring under complaints of the liver, 
or under dyspepsy or indigestion, and who have become hopeless 
of the influence of medical prescriptions, never to omit, if it be 
possible for them to travel to those springs, to give those Avaters 
a fair trial. They are situated in a beautiful and healthful coun 
try, and the accommodations are always such as to insure the 
comfort and convenience of all invalids who approach them." 
Gu in s Domestic Ahdicine. 

" The town of Harrodsburg, one of the oldest in Kentucky, is 
situated ten miles south of the river which bears that name, and 
near the geographical centre of the State. The site is elevated, 
rocky and rolling, but not hilly ; and the surface of the surround 
ing country has the same character. Neither the town, nor its 
immediate vicinity presents, in scenery, anything striking or pic 
turesque ; but within two or three hours ride, in different direc* 



222 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

farm," " a tract," " a township," " a county," but, 
though Dr. Graham is at least a township, if not a 
county, as to extent of influence and amount of value 
in the neighbourhood, there is no way of denominating 
him as more than " a lot." To say he is an enterpris 
ing and gentlemanly man, does not express a quarter 
of an acre of the whole county he is. With the ten 
thousand words said to be in common use, it seems a 
pity that we should have no means of expressing the 
graduated magnitude of so varying a thing as a citizen 
where a single individual amounts to an institution, as 
Dr. Graham does or is quite equal, as he is, to a quo- 



tions, the perambulating invalid may see several objects not un 
worthy o notice : 

1. Union Village, inhabited by Shakers, -who exhibit a character 
istic specimen of the social, economical and political relations of 
that singular people. 

2. The spot denominated Knob Lick, fifteen miles south-east 
of Harrodsburg ; five miles from the old and pleasant village of 
Danville, the site of Centre College ; and two miles of the farm 
of the late venerable Governor Shelby. The knobs or hillocks, 
are from one to two hundred feet high, more or less conical, some 
of them insulated, others connected by crumbling isthmuses the 
whole forming a group of barren, conoidal eminences, which are 
finally contrasted with the deep verdure of the surrounding plain. 
They consist of a marlaceous slate clay, strongly inclined to dis 
integration and reposing on shale. 

3. The gray, mural cliffs of the Kentucky River, which flows 
in a narrow and winding ravine, nearly four hundred feet in 
depth This great natural canal may be visited with facility by 
several roads ; and offers, in the grandeur of its high and precipit 
ous banks, embellished with evergreens, a great deal to interest 
all who have a taste for the sublime and beautiful. But we must 
return to that which is more important to the invalid. 

The Springs. These are six or eight in number. They burst 
out near the summit of the ridges on which the village of Har- 
rodsburgh is built. The mass of these ridges is composed of lime- 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 223 

ij or a committee, or a majority we should be able 
to express it by something shorter than writing his 
biography. I hereby put in my plea for this amend 
ment to our language. 

You would be likely to draw an erroneous conclusion 
as to the Doctor s character, from the habits of his horse. 
Of all the gentlemen in the county he is probably the 
most prompt, expeditious and energetic man of busi 
ness yet his horse (which he lent me for a ride every 
day) walked me straight up to every carriage and horse 
man on the road, and, spite of whip and other remon 
strance, came to a dead halt, and stayed there, till he 



stone, much of which is of a fine grain, and impregnated with 
magnesia. 

The water from one of them has been examined, with some care, 
by Doctor Best and myself. 

The water contains the following salts : 

1. Sulphate magnesia, in large quantities. This is the char 
acteristic ingredient. 

2. Carbonate magnesia, in a small quantity. 

3. Sulphate of soda, do. 

4. Sulphate of lime, do. 
5 Carbonate of lime, in minute, do 

6. Iron, (probably in the state of a sulphate,) a trace. 

7 A minute quantity of sulpherretted hydrogen, as I ascertain 
ed by experiments made at the spring itself. 

From this analysis, it appears that the waters of the Harrods- 
burg Springs are analagous, in the materials which they hold in 
solution, to the celebrated Seidlitz Fountain of Bohemia. Their 
predominant ingredient is sulphate of magnesia, or Epsom-salt : 
though the other matter which they contain, especially the sul 
phate of iron, small as is its quantity, may contribute to their be 
neficial effects. 

I am not in possession of the facts necessary to a full expose of 
their therapeutic powers, but that these are so great as justly to 
place them at the head of all the known mineral springs in the 
States bordering on the Ohio Kiver, I have no doubt." 



224 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

had heard some conversation. It was occasionally a 
little embarrassing to me, for, where there were ladies 
in the carriage, the possible habits of the horse were 
not likely to occur to them ; and, for a stranger to stop 
them in the middle of the road, and have nothing to say, 
looked like rather a thinly covered indulgence of curi 
osity. But the Doctor, though he has time and polite 
ness for everybody, (as this confirmed habit of his 
tall bay horse undeniably betrays,) is still of a most om 
nipresent where-he s-wanted-ness. No guest comes or 
departs without the courteous host s welcome or fare 
well. No beau s boots have had their chalked bottoms 
mis-read, and then left at the wrong door, without an in 
stant meeting between the protruded head of inquiry 
and the rectifying master of the house. No invalid 
longs to tell how he has passed the night, without find 
ing the kindest of listeners in the Doctor ; and no young 
lady walks alone on the portico without the Doctor s 
large. Spanish eyes ready at half a glance to come and 
unload her heart of its eloquent unexplainableness. The 
innumerable things attended to, for the guest s comfort, 
and the quantity of time, chat and personal presence to 
spare, on the part of the handsome man who does it all, 
was the miracle of my daily perplexity while at Har- 
rodsburg. But you see, from this, what sort of house 
and host you may find, should you go that far south, 
ward to anticipate a June. 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 225 

And the spirit of the age was not likely to be un- 
watched by the vigilant eye of Dr. Graham. With his 
experience as surgeon in the army and practising phy 
sician, he knows the value of health in a world of care 
and contention ; and the general pursuit of it, in con 
nection with pleasure, opened his eyes to the movements 
of the day the general Siamese between hydropathy and 
watering-place. Few belles have papas and mammas 
of undamaged constitutions. Few flaunt in lace in the 
evening, who would not be fairer as well as healthier 
for a " pack in a wet sheet" in the morning. Those 
who have made a fortune usually have sore need of re 
novating juices to enjoy it. The summer demand for 
health and pleasure will so combine the family inclina 
tions as to bring old and young to the same place, if 
that place furnish facilities for both. A ball-room, a 
water-cure establishment, and a good table, are the 
three supplies to combine, for a world that employs its 
summer solstice to flirt, freshen and fatten. 

The hydropathic establishment which has been add 
ed to the costly hotel at Harrodsburg, is probably as 
complete and well arranged as any one in the country. 
No pains and expense have been spared upon it. Dr. 
Graham came to New York, and after much inquiry, 
selected DR. HOUGHTON, (whose Lectures on Hydro 
pathy are so well known,) as the best medical man who 

could best found the system of Hydropathy in the West. 
10* 



226 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

This gentleman has the present charge of the estab 
lishment at Harrodsburg. I was a fortnight under the 
treatment, while there, and may perhaps write of it, 
when my experience shall give me more authority to 
pronounce upon my present impressions. In Hough- 
ton s skill and knowledge of the subject I have unlim 
ited confidence. To a thorough medical education he 
adds a characteristic carefulness and patience of analy 
sis, and these advantages, with the manners and habits 
of a most refined gentleman, form, desirable hands for 
an invalid to full into. I feel very grateful to him. All 
will, who come under his kind and intelligent care. 

Of the town of Harrodsburg itself I have said no 
thing. It has about two thousand inhabitants, a neigh 
bourhood of wealthy proprietors, lots of livery stables 
and " dry goods" stores, several Female Academies, 
and (a superfluity for you and me, my dear General, as 
we are not in politics) Salt River only one mile off! 
Yes, I rode " up Salt River" every day and a charming 
stream with a green bank through the woodlands, that 
celebrated refuge of disappointment turns out to be. 
It rises near here and empties into the Ohio just below 
Louisville. In the quantities of mint that crush under 
the horse s feet as he follows its windings, I could smell 
nothing prophetic of the party it is preparing to wel 
come from the coming campaign. 

Things dull in themselves are sometimes valuable for 



H E A LTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 227 

what they suggest. My letter has been written with a 
brain somewhat out of condition, but if you know more 
of Harrodsburg Springs by reading it, its dulness may 
well be pardoned. Yours, etc. 



LETTER No, 23, 



AN OMNIBUS IN THE WOODS OF KENTUCKY ITS USE Afi A 

STAGE-COACH FOUR MEN AND A FIGHTING COCK AS 

TRAVELLING COMPANIONS IGNOMINIOUS TREATMENT OF 

THE WARRIOR HIS DIET BEFORE FIGHTING GENTLE 
MAN LENDING HIS POCKET-COMB TO THE COMPANY DIS 
LIKE OF LARGE LAND OWNERS INDIAN CREEK, AND A 

CLIFF S RESEMBLANCE TO A LADY S FOOT NAMING IT 
AFTER THE FOOT OF A KENTUCKY BELLE OF TWENTY 

YEARS AGO WONDERFUL SCENERY OF KENTUCKY RIVER 

COMPARATIVELY UNKNOWN THE FERRYMAN AT BROOK 
LYN SHAKER VILLAGE AND A SIGHT OF ELDER BRYANT 

DESCRIPTION OF THE FEATURES OF THEIR VILLAGE 

AND PROPERTY SPECULATIONS AS TO COMMUNITY AND 

CELIBACY, ETC. 

Harrodsburg Springs, Kentucky. June. 
DEAR MORRIS : 

It reminded me of you for it was like falling in with 
one of the vertebrae of Broadway to find an omnibus 
at the door of my Kentucky hotel. I had been reading 
of the fossil remains of Mammoth Cave, and my first 
thought was that of stumbling unexpectedly on an 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 229 

organic specimen of New York or " the General" an 
tiquities both, to me, so long seemed the four months 
since I had seen them. The omnibus was doing duty 
as a stage-coach, and was to take me thirty miles to 
Harrodsburg. How so city-fled a thing had followed 
the setting sun so far over the horizon, I could not con 
jecture; but with four horses, and the baggage ou top 
it bowled merrily away, and worked as well, I thought, 
as if picking up ladies in Broadway. The sixpence- 
hole, by the way, was not in operation, and should 
have been stuffed with straw, for it let in the dust un 
comfortably. 

My traveling companions were five four men and a 
game-cock. The latter was sewed up in a pocket 
handkerchief, and with only his head out, was treated 
ignominiously as a bundle. I inquired into his history 
as he rolled about on the floor, and on hearing that he 
had been the victor at the Lexington races, the day 
before, killing three successive antagonists, and winning 
considerable money for his master, I could not but 
philosophize on what may follow glory, in the ex 
perience of heroes. Here was a warrior, with the bood 
of battle still unwashed from his crest, and who, as 
Hoffman says of the men of Churubusco, 

" Was equal in the deeds he wrought, 
To any common five," 



230 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

tied up in the base retirement of a pocket-handkerchief, 
and trying in vain to find a support and hold his head 
up. The ingratitude of this world s fought-for ! I 
made some inquiries as to the education and diet of the 
brave bird overcoming, meanwhile , considerable dis 
gust at his master s brutal way of kicking him about 
the floor of the omnibus ; and as it may be useful to 
know how to get ready for glory, I will record the pro 
cess. The Irishman who owned the game-cock, and 
made a business of it, gave me all the dietetics in a 
single sentence : " For three weeks afore the fight, feed 
the feller on egg, corn-meal, rock-candy and barly- 
water." In case of an invasion from the Lobos Islands, 
my dear General, you may be called on to fight for 
glory and guano, and the recipe may be worth sticking 
under your belt. 

My other omnibus companions were free and kindly. 
Conversation was unembarrassed. The best-dressed 
man of the three pulled a horn comb from his pocket, 
after a while, combed his own head and. then passed 
around the utensil. All accepted and made use of it, 
till it came in turn to me, and (not to give offence) I 
apologized for declining it, on the ground of having a 
curly head that took care of itself. The comb-lender 
was a hater of the men who " owned such a bloody 
quantity of land, a poor man couldn t get a place to call 
his own." He pointed to a porter s lodge on one of the 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 23 1 

beautiful woodland estates we were passing, (the road,, 
for thirty miles, by the way, seeming to pass through a 
lordly English park,) and said he liked to see a shanty 
with a pig-trough at the door, and fences around small 
lots not such a sign as that, of a man s gobbling up 
more than his share. As to the old Kentuck that God 
made, belonging to a few of these cussed aristocrats, he 
didn t believe it was good law. You might as well do 
without it. Why didn t Cassius Clay take up that idee, 
and not be trying to make gentlemen out of niggers? 
Thus discoursing and exchanging knowledge, we 
arrived at Kentucky River and with rny eyes wide 
open for the descent to its banks, through the valley 
of what is called Indian Creek, was a perfect gem for 
the artist. The bed of this tributary stream is deep, 
through precipitous rocks ; and the road follows one of 
the sides of the ravine, on a sort of corkscrew shelf, 
every inch revealing some new combination of cliff and 
foliage. There was one graceful point, more particular- 
y, held forward like a lady s foot to a shoe-maker s 
measure, of which I quite longed for a sketch to bring 
away. The prettiest known foot of the fashionable 
world having been born in the immediate neighbour 
hood, I ventured to name this projecting instep of the 
lovely mountain above ; and I beg some friendly artist 
to pencil and bring it along in his portfolio. Governor 
Adair s estate is within a mile or two, and " Florida s 



232 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

foot" should be the name of the loveliest reminder of 
his daughter s beauty. The shower of sonnets written 
to it at Saratoga, twenty years ago, might be still traced 
in the fertility of Parnassus. 

And now, my dear Morris, consider KENTUCKY RIVER 
presented formally to your acquaintance and particular 
attention a stranger you should see and know more of. 
Deepen Trenton Falls for one or two hundred feet, 
smooth its cascades into a river, and extend it for thirty 
miles thirty miles between perpendicular precipices from 
three to Jive hundred feet high, and only a biscuit-toss 
across at the top and you have a river of whose re 
markable beauty the world is strangely ignorant. At 
the point where it is crossed by the route to Harrods- 
burg, the banks though sublime even here, are less 
lofty than elsewhere. Of another visit to it, at a bolder 
point, I have some pleaeant memoranda, from which I 
may scribble, in this or another letter but meantime I 
must record the loveliness of the crossing at Brooklyn 
Ferry. This Kentucky Brooklyn consists of one house 
under the rock, one fine-looking and herculean ferry 
man, who is also postmaster and father of the family 
that constitutes the population of the place, and one 
broad-bottomed scow, into which the stage-coach is 
driven, and which is pulled across by one negro, on a 
rope pulley. In that ten minutes of gliding noiselessly 
from the base of one cliff to another, the traveller who 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 233 

loves scenery enjoys a feast. That postmaster ferry 
man looks like a capitally good fellow, (let me chronicle,) 
and to go and lodge a week with him, and pull up and 
down stream in a " dug-out," would be a delightful 
thing for an artist to do a thing I have put down 
among my own life s many little reluctant foregoneings. 
Some idler man will perhaps thank me for this turning 
down of a leaf of travel for his notice. 

A village of Shakers lies a few miles beyond Ken 
tucky Eiver, and it is curious to see the effect of celiba 
cy on barns and fences. Things look too virtuous for 
comfort. I never saw such excessive neatness. The 
stones of the walls looked as exemplary as if every one 
had been catechised and wiped clean with the corner 
of an apron. Nature had been permitted to retain no 
more beauty than the laws of fertility made inevitable. 
The rich apple-trees looked sorry they were such sin 
ners as to be beautiful. The green grass seemed rebuk 
ed and overawed. A dozen large stone houses were 
severely well built, and the eight or ten women, whom 
we saw going to and fro, turned in their toes and el 
bows as if carefully taught to be ungraceful. I walked 
to an enclosed well for a drink of water, while the 
broad-brimmed postmaster overhauled the mails ; and 
found I was within the fence of Elder Bryant, the 
head man of the community. It was Saturday evening, 
and he was at the open window, shaving himself for 



234 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

Sunday the morrow s law of rest to which the incor 
rigible beard pays no attention, being enforced upon the 
more manageable soap and razor. Though in his shirt 
sleeves, and with a face half covered with lather, the 
Elder had a noble and commanding presence. How 
so intellectual and dignified a man could ever dance with 
the women, to worship God and believe in it was 
hard to realize. But he looks sincere and good. 

One cannot but admire the operation of the tenets of 
this sect, as to business matters. Though, by their 
creed, babies are iniquitous and the world ought to 
come to an end, they raise better vegetables and breed 
better cattle for the support of the present offspring of 
sin than any other class of farmers. I am assured that 
every article of produce from the Shaker village brings 
a third more of price than any other in the markets of 
the surrounding towns. They prosper. They add 
yearly to their stock, and their land. What is the 
secret ? Is it in the community principle as to property, 
and the abstinent principle as to person ? Is it in em 
ploying the women in the raising of crops instead of 
the raising of children reducing them to the level of 
the men, as labourers in the field as \vell as sharers of the 
profits ? Is it that taste, grace and pleasure are im 
poverishing principles, and that thrift and beauty can 
not, in this fallen world, dwell together ? Or, has the 
awkward dancing or " trying celibacy" nothing to do 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 235 

witli it, and is it merely that the world is too largely 
constructed for any " one-horse concern," and it is 
against the natural order of things for an individual to 
be sole proprietor of anything ? "Who will tell us how 
\\Q can borrow Shaker prosperity and leave Shaker 
uglinesses behind ? The hominy of human happiness is 
so hard to separate from the corn s cob and kernel-skin ! 
After such a sermon, this seems a good place for an 
Amen so Yours, etc., 



LETTER No, M, 



REMEDY FOR ONE GREAT NUISANCE, IN SLAVERY NORTH 
ERN CITIES DISFIGURED BY THEIR SUBURBS SUMMER S 

EVENING IN KENTUCKY LEXINGTON LIKE OLD NORTH- 
END IN BOSTON FAMILIES PASSING THE EVENING ON THE 

DOOR-STEPS REGRETS THAT HAD BEEN UNNECESSARY 

AS TO FALLING OFF IN WESTERN BEAUTY ARISTOCRATIC 

MOULD OF REPUBLICAN BELLES SUDDEN TERMINATION 

OF PRINCIPAL STREET IN OPEN COUNTRY LOOK AT A 

CHILDREN S PARTY, OVER A FENCE A NEGRO AT MY 

SHOULDER ENJOYING THE SAME STOLEN PLEASURE FIRST 

VISIT TO ASHLAND BY MOONLIGHT MR. CLAY ! S LOVE- 

ABLENESS HIS RESIDENCE CLASSIC GROUND, EVEN BEFORE 

HIS DEATH DESCRIPTION OF HOUSE AND GROUNDS 

CRAZY WANDERER WHOM I MET IN THE GROVE CURI 
OUS MONAMANIA OF AUTOBIOGRAPHY, ETC., ETC. 

Lexington, Kentucky, June, 1852. 
DEAR MORRIS : 

Slavery has an advantage which I realized in a twi 
light stroll at Lexington. It ensures the absence of 
what is perhaps the greatest nuisance of the cities of 
Free states and particularly of New-York. With all 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 237 

the splendour and luxury of your great metropolis, it 
is, as you know, with its suburbs, a jewe) ^et in filth 
a two-mile purgatory of shanties and pig-styes, horrible 
to see and smell, lying between it and the country, on 
every road that leads out of it. The labouring classes 
live in the suburbs of towns at the North. At the 
South they live, each with his master, and either in com 
pulsory cleanliness or in dirt hidden from the public 
eye. 

I dare say there are several features of a summer s 
evening in Kentucky which are more artistically pic 
turesque than your Northern mind would be made up 
for, and I will try to give you a general idea of the scene 
in which I noticed more particularly what I speak of 
above. "With the rest of the two hundred hats my well 
worn " Beebe" had been snatched up for the sudden 
after-tea efflux to the front of the Hotel ; and, on chairs 
and in groups the promiscuous multitude (for court was 
in session) thronged the sidewalk on the street lawyers 
listening and clients discoursing, and witnesses, Judges 
and jurymen all smoking uncompromisingly under the 
trees myself the naturally inquisitive stranger for whom 
"Western politeness provides that the nearest citizen shall 
be the courteous entertainer. Henry Clay s " office" 
was "just around the corner," and this, and the names 
of the most distinguished-looking persons in the crowd 
on the side-walk, I had learned from a gentleman at my 



238 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

elbow, when the light began to be rosy. I was up to the 
eyes in men and losing a sunset. The street to the right 
looked as if that way led to gardens. I started for a 
stroll. 

Lexington has the air of being as a part of old 
North-End in Boston used to be aristocratically and 
conservatively primitive. The same sidewalk that once 
owed a man room for his front steps owes it still ; and 
the public is bound to walk round them, and round his 
family if they are seated on them, enjoying the evening 
air. The parlour windows, on the whole of this princi 
pal thoroughfare of Lexingto n, are plump on the street. 

The "first citizens " live here, as you may see by the 
style of the ladies on the door-steps. They sit out of doors 
after tea mothers, daughters and children and groups 
of more stylish mould, more native-ly thorough-bred, and 
more unconsciously and undeniably of the world s porce 
lain undashed with crockery," you would not find by 
unroofing Belgrave Square in London, than by walking 
along the door-steps of this capital of Kentucky on a sum 
mer s evening. It was a succession of lovely pictures 
the range and quality, of the beauty w T hich I saw, giving 
me double pleasure from correcting an error in regrets. 
Such were the Western and Southern belles, who used 
to come to Saratoga. I had vowed such came no more 
piously yielding to the inference, (when requested) 
that the "falling off" was in the scales of the eyes that 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 239 

looked for them. But here was Lexington as I should 
have thought to find it twenty years ago a garden of 
most distinguished-looking girls, the plant indigenous 
and the qualities not running out with repetition. The 
several visits that I have chanced to make to this same 
town, in going and coining to the different points of 
interest in the State, have abundantly confirmed this 
impresssion. I saw dozens in every walk, any one of 
whom would be, (like an American belle whom I re 
member in London,) the " season s wonder at Almack s." 
How we come by this " blood look," (which is so much 
more common in our Democratic republic than -in coun 
tries where it is more prized and guarded,) I could never 
satisfactorily explain but physiologists, disposed to 
study the problem, might well begin in Kentucky. 

Passing perhaps half a mile of family groups enjoy 
ing the sunset out of doors (with a delicious bit of 
contrast to each one in the group of happy-faced slaves., 
of all ages, gathered at the alley-gate opening from the 
side of the house) I came suddenly to the end of the 
sidewalk. The street stopped abruptly in a grassy 
meadow. I looked around with a vague feeling of in 
quiry for something missing, but it was a minute or 
two before I saw what it was. There was no suburb 
Where were the poor people ? AVhere was the usual 
entrenchment of a city the pigstyes and the poverty ? 
The air of the fragrant open fields came to me as I stood 



240 HEALTH TRIP TO THE .TROPICS. 

at the end of the street. A country fence commenced 
where the paving-stones ended ; and, at a short dis 
tance up the road stood a rural villa just visible through 
shubbery and flowers. The merry black faces, with 
the numberless ebony babies, which I had seen in the 
group at the side entrance of every house as I came 
along, were instead of this nuisance I missed negro 
comfort iveU distributed instead of white ivretchedness 
filthy in a heap. The contrast say between Lexing 
ton and New- York in this respect might as well be 
taken into the account by the precipitators of abo 
lition. 

I stepped off the sidewalk into the country, on the 
evening I refer to, and enjoyed a charming little bit of 
stolen pleasure stolen by looking over a fence. I 
shared it with a negro, who I suddenly dicovered, was 
looking over the fence at my shoulder, and who, with 
spade and basket, was returning from his work, not 
too tired to be made happy by a pretty sight. We stood 
ten minutes we two uninvited inquisitives watching 
a children s party in the grounds of a cottage ; and a 
lovelier scene could scarcely have been arranged by a 
painter. The lamps in the drawing-room were just 
beginning to brighten through the shrubbery with the 
thickening twilight, and a party of grown-up people 
thronged the porticoes ; but the extensive grounds out 
side were populous with the blue and pink sashes and 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 241 

the lively little jackets and trousers, and scores of eager 
voices went up in a general hum of happiness whose 
key-note was very contagious. I caught the happiness 
with hearing it. So did Cuffee at my elbow ; though 
his heart made itself audible in a chuckle, which (or some 
some other voicing) mine needed. In and out of the 
openings of the serpentine walks came and went the 
little couples some only merry, some confidentially en 
gaged in imparting a secret arms over necks, heads 
uncovered in the warm air, grace all unconscious a lit 
tle Eden peopled for a night, and briefly innocent and 
beautiful. How little they knew how much pleasure 
they were sending out between the pickets of the fence 
that enclosed them how far and how well, over moun 
tain and lake, the chance sight of them had brought the 
images of three others to be unseen figures in the pic 
ture ! My children were there ! So sometimes, by the 
wayside, falls what little happiness the traveller gets 
though I am not sure you will think such " airy no 
things 1 worth reading of. 

The moon was bright, and ASHLAND Clay s residence 
was but a mile farther on. I was in the humor for com 
muning with what was absent, and the home of the 
" gentleman statesman" was vacant of its owner. The 
promise of his recovery w r as brighter when he had last 
been heard from, but he was ill and in danger a pa 
tient whose sick bed a nation was watching. I waf 



242 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

among the many who could not help loving as well as 
honouring Mr. Clay and, indeed, that all who had ever 
seen him did not tenderly love him, must have been 
because, 

" He -who surpasses or subdues mankind, 
Must look down on, the hate of those below." 

He was wonderfully loveable, by that common yet mys 
terious law of magnetism which regulates that matter, 
and there are probably few on whom he had ever concen 
trated voice and eye, who would not have felt as I did 
under that Western moon tearfully persuaded to make 
its light of that night sacred, by going to see his groves 
lit up by it. Ashland already before the death of him 
who had planted its trees was classic ground. The love 
he had inspired had over-ruled the niggard with-hold- 
ing of the tribute to greatness denied commonly till 
the ear is deaf to it. There was his home honoured 
beyond all possible reversion, though its door might 
still open to him. Of whom was this ever more true 
than of Mr. Clay? 

The summer dew just made the dust heavy, and the 
path along the wayside was like a carpet. I followed 
the road (which was but a continuation of the principal 
street of Lexington,) and inquiring the localities, of the 
only foot passenger whom I met soon came to 
the tall locust-trees which overhang the gate. Two 
square posts hewn roughly from the log, marked 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 243 

the entrance ; the gate was ajar, and the fleckered moon 
light, along the avenue curving to the left seemed pav 
ing it with plates of silver. I followed the path, some 
what grass-grown and neglected, and stood presently 
before a manorial-looking mansion of octagonal 
shape, with wings projecting upon the lawn. To the 
left the grove closed in upon it, but to the right, a 
cluster of small buildings, and lights and voices, seemed 
to indicate the residence of the " people" of the estate. 
The rear of the large mansion opening upon the 
green-house and garden, was apparently the part oc 
cupied by Mrs. Clay. 

Not venturing to intrude farther I passed off by a 
path leading under the majestic trees to the left, and 
was musing on the Providence which leaves the per 
fected oak, such as I saw above me, to flourish through 
long and strong maturity, but removes, just when per 
fected to greatest usefulness, the man who planted it the 
tree having a continuity of ripeness which is denied to 
man when I was accosted by a gentlemen of a very 
large stature, who seemed to have been seeking soli- 
tued, and musing idly like myself. I rejoiced at first in 
the apparent opportunity to learn something of Mr. 
Clay, as seen at home but I soon found I was addres 
sing a mind gone astray. The only reply to rny ques 
tions was what professed to a history of the tall broad- 
shouldered gentleman himself. He said he was the 



244 " HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

celebrated Indian Doctor, James G-. Hardin, of whom 
I must have heard that he had cured one gentleman 
who had given him four thousand dollars that he 
could give his daughters four millions apiece that, in the 
course of his practice, he had made countless money, 
but that it was by " cutting deep info the rich, but let 
ting the poor slide." I thought this last a good 
phrase, and tolerably sane as a rule of medical practice. 
The Doctor did not seem to be accustomed to good lis 
teners. He broke on abruptly at a curve of the path, 
and, turning again toward the house round which he 
he appeared to be habitually and innocently a wan 
derer, left me without even a good night. But he had 
broken the thread of my musings. His fragmented 
autobiograpy would not again give place to the first-con 
jured spirit of the spot, I remembered that I was 
fatigued, and slowly paced my way back to the hotel 
visiting Ashland again, however, and by daylight ; and 
of the visit and some more tangible memorabilia of Mr. 
Clay, another letter may perhaps discourse to you, 
For the present, Adieu. 



LETTER No, 2, 



ADVENTURES IN A CROSS-ROAD IN KENTUCKY ACCOUNT 

OF THE "DEVIL S PULPIT" EARLY START PHILOSOPHY 

OF DRIVING REASONS WHY KENTUCKIANS CANNOT DRIVE, 

THOUGH GREAT HORSEMEN MODE OF FEMALE CONVEY 
ANCE WHEN GOING OUT TO TEA DR. GRAHAM S ACCOM 
PLISHMENTS BUT HIS MODE OF USING THE REINS STUMPS 

AND EARTHQUAKES SINGULAR LOCALITY OF KING S MILLS 

THE BRIDGE OVER DICK s RIVER AND ITS INDIFFERENT 

TOLL KEEPER ATTENTION TO TROUT AND TO STRANGERS 

THE BLACKSMITH MAJESTY OF PRIMITIVE WOODS AND 

THE LACK OF THIS CHARM ON THE HUDSON LOG SCHOOL- 
HOUSE IN THE WILDERNESS, ETC., ETC. 

Harrodsburg Springs, Kentucky, June, 1852. 
DEAR MORRIS : 

I have had a day s experience of cross-road know 
ledge in the heart of Kentucky, and perhaps, though 
less imposing than turnpike knowledge, it may interest 
you to read of its humbler and more homely befallings. 
As we may have, here and there, a subscriber to the 



246 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

Home Journal, who wants but little to wonder at, at 
a time, an uneventful letter may be excusable, even to 
publish. 

My hospitable host, Dr. Graham, had been the his 
torian* of a curiosity which is almost inaccessible, on 

* Collins, in his " History of Kentucky," thus gives it : 

"We are indebted for the following account of a visit to this 
remarkable curiosity, to the pen of a well-known citizen of Ken 
tucky, Dr. Graham, the enterprising and intelligent proprietor 
of the Harrodsburg Springs. He says : Alter much vexation 
and annoyance occasioned by the difficulties of the road, we ar 
rived near the object of our visit, and quitting our horses, pro 
ceeded on foot. Upon approaching the break of the precipice, 
under the direction of our guide, we suddenly found ourselves 
standing on the verge of a yawning chasm, and immediately be 
yond, bottomed in darkness, the Devil s Puipit was seen rearing 
its black, gigantic form, from amid the obscurity of the deep and 
silent valley. The background to this gloomy object presented a 
scene of unrelieved desolation. Cliff rose on cliff, and craig sur 
mounted craig, sweeping off on either hand in huge semicircles, 
until the wearied eye became unable to follow the countless and 
billowy-like mazes of that strange and awful scene. The prevail 
ing character of the whole was that of savage grandeur and 
gloom. A profound silence broods over the place, broken only 
by the muffled rushing of the stream far down in its narrow pas 
sage, cleaving its way to its home in the ocean Descending 
by a zigzag path to the shore of the river, while our companions 
were making preparations to cross, I strayed through the valley. 
The air was cool, refreshing and fragrant, and vocal with the 
voices of many birds. The bending trees, the winding stream 
with its clear and crystal waters, the flowering shrubs, and clus 
tering vines walled in by these adamantine ramparts which seem 
to tower to the skies make this a place of rare and picturesque 
beauty. The dew-drops still hung glittering on the leaves, the 
whispering winds played with soft music through the rustling 
foliage, and the sunbeams, struggling through the overhanging 
forest, kissed the opening flowers, and all combined made up a 
scene of rural loveliness and romance, which excited emotions of 
unmingled delight. The boat having arrived, the river was cross 
ed without difficulty, and we commenced the ascent, and after 
measuring up two hundred and seventy feet, arrived at the base 
of the Pulpit. Fifty paces from this point, and parallel with it, 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 247 

the Kentucky Kiver ; and a trip to this twenty miles 
across the country from Harrodsburg was the excur 
sion of the day. With an active little horse in a buggy- 



in the solid ledge of the cliff, is a cave of considerable extent. At 
its termination, there passes out, like the neck of a funnel, an. 
opening, not larger than a hogshead. Upon pitching rocks into 
this cave, a rumbling was heard at an immense distance below 
the earth. Some are of opinion that this cave contains a bottom 
less pit. We now ascended the cliffs some fifty feet further, 
clambering up through a fissure in the rocks, having the Pulpit 
on our right, and a range of cliffs on our left To look up here 
makes the head dizzy. Huge and dark masses roll up above you, 
upon whose giddy heights vast crags jut out and overhang the 
valley, threatening destruction to all below. The floating clouds 
give these crags the appearance of swimming in mid air. The as 
cent up these rocks, though somewhat laborious, is perfectly safe, 
being protected by natural walls on either side, and forming a per 
fect stairway with steps from eight to ten feet thick. At the head 
of this passage there is a hole through the river side of the wall, 
large enough to admit the body, and through which one may 
crawl, and look down on the rushing stream below At the foot 
of the stairway stands the Pulpit, rising from the very brink of 
the main ledge, at more than two hundred feet of an elevation 
above the river, but separated from the portion which towers up 
to the extreme heights. The space is twelve feet at bottom, and 
as the cliff retreats slightly at this point, the gap is perhaps thirty 
feet at the top. The best idea that can be formed of this rock is 
to suppose it to be a single column standing in front of the con 
tinuous wall of some vast building or ruin, the shaft standing, as 
colonnades, are frequently built, upon an elevated platform. From 
the platform to the capital of the shaft, is not less than one hun 
dred feet, making the whole elevation of the Devil s Pulpit 
three hundred feet. It is called, by some, the inverted candle 
stick, to which it has a striking resemblance. There are two 
swells, which form the base moulding, and occupy forty feet of 
the shaft. It then narrows to an oblong of about three feet by 
six, at which point there are fifteen distinct projections. This 
narrow neck continues with some irregularity for eight or ten feet, 
winding off at an angle of more than one degree from the line 
of gravity. Then commences the increased swell, and craggy off 
sets, first overhanging one side, and then the other, till they reach 
the top or cap rock, which is not so wide as the one below it, but 
is still fifteen feet across." 



248 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

waggon, we were on the road at the hour which the birds 
make so industrious and musical, our breakfast in its 
place, and our dinner waiting its turn in a basket. The 
Doctor was the driver. 

And let me record here, by the way, a simple bit of 
observation which had never occurred to me before 
that driving is an art not learned in one generation. 
If roads were introduced into the Deserts of the East, 
it would be the Arab s grand-child, not the Arab nor 
the Arab s son, who might learn to be " a whip." The 
sequence of wheels after hoofs, and the relative respon-. 
eibiiities of the ears that precede and the axle-tree that 
follows confidingly after are secrets no more learned in 
a day than the scent of game by a race of quadrupeds. 
The Kentuckian, therefore, who might compete with 
the Arab sheikh, as the world s best horseman, is no 
driver. Roads are entirely too new to him. Even at 
this day, the commonest sight on turnpikes where wheels 
might be used, is a woman on horse-back w r ith three chil 
dren the baby in her lap and two urchins a-straddle 
behind. To go five or six miles to take tea, most Ken 
tucky mothers, at the present moment, would prefer the 
saddle. By birth and education, it is consequently a 
horseback State the animal at the end of a long pair of 
reins much too far off for Kentucky instincts of control 
and comfort. 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 249 

Entering upon an Archipelago of stumps and rocks 
after the first mile, I very soon received the impression 
which I have just recorded. My friend the Doctor 
famous when surgeon in the army for whipping off a leg 
with dexterity, and famous since, as the best rifle-shot 
in his neighbourhood^ had no eye for the liabilities of 
wheels. He evidently thought a stump done with if the 
horse went clear of it. It was a wonder, to him, how 
the buggy came to a stand-still upoa an obstacle he had 
thought comfortably left behind. An eloquent man 
and warm on history and scenery as he rode along, his 
arms were busy with gestures, and the reins loose 
about the horse s heels, no matter what the apparent 
impassibilities or impending antagonisms of the road. 
The books speak of earthquakes as formerly so frequent 
in Kentucky that every family had a key suspended 
over the Bible on the mantel-piece, to know by its vibra 
tions when to fall on their knees and pray. The Doc 
tor s driving seemed historically accordant with this a 
series of earthquakes, every shock bringing us to our 
knees though, as there will be progress with even the 
worst of iteration, we arrived thus at the precipice over 
hanging " Dick s River." And here was scenery worth 
some rough using to get a sight of. 

Those who " go to mill" at " King s mills" must seem 
to have their grain ground on the earth s axle, for the 

bed of Dick s River, which turns the wheel, is three 
11* 



250 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

hundred feet down between almost perpendicular rocks 
no complete daylight known there I should suppose, ex 
cept at high noon. We should properly have been let 
down by a string, but the breeching proved faithful, and 
we reached the bank of the river, horse first, without 
being precipitated over the head of the animal most 
of the way on end. At the small bridge spanning the 
stream sat a man in a picturesque red waistcoat, fishing ; 
and I was struck with the fact, that, though strangers 
must be comparatively rare in so remote a spot, he never 
took his eyes from his line to look at us. We crossed 
the bridge, and, as we went crashing over the loose rocks 
on the other side, he called out, " They take toll here !" 
The Doctor pulled up. " Bill aint home," he continued, 
still keeping his eyes dreamily on the water, and speak 
ing in a tone as low and unexcited as the murmur of the 
stream, " but I ll take it for him." " How much ?" 
" Why, they ask a quarter, but I ll make twenty cents 
answer !" And with this kindly dialogue my friend 
walked to the contemplative angler and dropped the 
money into his hand without disturbing the possibility 
of a co incident nibble. To one surfeited with the 
" digito monstrari" this might be a pleasant variety of 
human notice, though the chances were that the travel 
ler, thus made second to a trout, might think himself 
mdifferently treated. 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 25 1 

The village, a few rods up the stream, consisted of 
the mill and a blacksmith s shop, and here we stopped 
to inquire our way to The Devil s Pulpit. " I ve beam 
a heap of talk about that place," said the brawny Vulcan, 

but I never was thar. Do you know, Jem ?" he asked 
turning to the man wielding the other hammer. But 
Jem had also lived close to the remarkable spot without 
going to it, and we took the road slanting up the oppo 
site precipice of the ravine, trusting to the Doctor s rem 
iniscences of a way he had once travelled before. 

The trees, in a country that has never been " cut over," 
are wonderfully majestic, and even the dislocating 
roughness of the road did not prevent my continual 
amazement at the beauty of single trees, standing on 
the green floor of the forest, each one a monarch in mere 
glory of presence. On the Hudson, so perpetually fell 
ed and burned over, you never realize the splendour of 
the primitive wilderness ; and, indeed, it takes all the 
majesty of the Highlands and Catskills, and all the arti 
ficial wonders of steamers and rail-trains, to compensate 
for this comparative nakedness of your beautiful 
river. 

It was in the midst of one of these lofty " mille col- 
onnes" of nature that we came to a log school-house 
built upon a knoll, and here the Doctor pulled up for 
another inquiry. The schoolmaster was likely to know 
where the Devil s Pulpit might stand, and I was inter 



252 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

ested to see the schoolmaster and his urchins. For my 
visit here, however, and the remainder of my excursion, 
I shall require the space of another letter I believe, and 
for the present, adieu. Yours, etc. 



LETTER No. 26. 



CROSS-ROAD EXPERIENCES" IN KENTUCKY THE LOG SCHOOL- 

HOUSE APPARENT USELESSNESS OF WORLD WISDOM, SO 

FAR AWAY FROM THE WORLD PICTURESQUE INTERIOR 

OLDER AND YOUNGER GIRLS AND THEIR LOOKS AND ATTI 
TUDES PICTURE OF A LOVELY CHILD EDEN STILL AROUND 

US IF WE KNEW ITS TIMES AND PLACES THE BOYS AND 

THEIR EMPLOYMENTS STRUCTURE OF A SCHOOL-HOUSE 

THE MASTER AND HIS DIGNITY THE BIGGEST BOY AND 

HIS POLITENESS AND MANLY CIVILITIES WAY TO THE 

DEVIL S PULPIT A BACKWOODSMAN AND HIS FARM 

CHARACTER OF NEW CLEARINGS AMERICAN FACILITIES 



Harrodsburg Springs, Kentucky, June. 
DEAR MORRIS : 

The log school-house (at the door of which I left you 
in my last letter) was so remote from the world, there 
in the heart of the wilderness, that the laborious acquir 
ing of skill in such encounters as ciphering and oratory 
seemed like the harnessing of knights for a crusade far 
away. Considering the road we had come over, tha 



254 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

arrival of any of these barefooted urchins at the world s 
battle-fields of humbug and cheating seemed too impro 
bable for this trouble of preparing the weapons. To 
recognize the beauty of a tree, and listen to the " still 
small voices" of conscience and indigestion, would have 
seemed to me (had T been consulted at the door and had 
schools been a new invention) the learning for which 
the necessity was more immediate though in thickly 
. settled neighbourhoods, of course soft sodder and cal 
culation obviously come first. 

I wanted Darley at my elbow to sketch the interior 
of this school. Unconsciousness makes beautiful pic 
tures the rudeness and grotesqueness of real-life group 
ings rather adding than otherwise to their effect. While 
three or four of the larger girls, just entering upon awk 
ward-hood, had their heads on the benches and sat with 
their chins on their kness, feeling of their toes, there 
were two or three of the younger ones with grace and 
beauty enough to equip angels the heaven they wero 
leaving behind them* still radiant in their delicious lit- 

* Almost as often as I see young children, I quote Woods- 
worth s beautiful imagining : 

" Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting ; 
The soul that rises with us, our life s star, 
Hath had elsewhere its setting, 

And cometh from afar. 
Not in entire forgetfulness, 
And not in utter nakedness, 
But trailing clouds of glory do we come 
Prom God who is our home." 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 255 

tie faces. One I could have taken to my bosom with a 
hug, and stolen (to adopt and add to the " Orion s 
belt of three" who form my constellation at home) a 
little fairy, laying flat on her stomach upon the top of a 
sloping desk, and with her heels in the air and her cheek 
on her hand, too busy with her spelling-book to notice 
our coming in. Her heaps of curls were masses of 
brown tanned lighter at the curves, and the russet red 
of her cheek was beaming with tranquil health eyes 
large and steady, hands plump and dirty, shoulders 
and back bare, and frock ragged. There she lay, learn 
ing to spell ; and meantime more beautiful than she 
will be when the lesson is learned ; and better worth 
admiring and loving than when her heels are 
kept down and her rags changed to the petticoats of 
womanhood. How out of time and place come the 
things we most want, in this world ! I am inclined to 
think Eden is still around us. Its loveliness and happi 
ness are only mislaid, mis-labelled and unrecognised. 

Of the troop on the board bench provided for tho 
jacket-and-trouser department of the school, one-half 
at least were picking the clay from between the logs, 
and so getting a look at the open air outside ; and they 
had so far succeeded that the four walls let in the light 
like a honey-comb. There was one window a hole 
sawed through one of the logs, that is to say but the 
main supply of daylight that had been calculated for, 



256 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

evidently came through the door. Near this stood the 
tall, erect, majestic form of the school-master certainly 
the largest supply of dignity for the money (twenty -five 
dollars a month) which I had yet seen in my travels. 
How so handsome a man eould see himself in the glass 
once a day, and keep that school for the pay, I presume 
Providence knew and provided but he seemed to me 
to have Nature s ticket on his brow for the government 
of older minds. 

To our inquiries for the way to the Devil s Pulpit, 
the schoolmaster shook his head but up spoke the 
biggest boy in the school. He knew where it was 
some people called it " Candlestick Eock" it was two 
miles off, and he would go and show us the way. And, 
of the prompt, manly, unservile and yet most genial 
kindness and cheerfulness, with which this young Ken- 
tuckian of sixteen gave us four hours of his time and 
attention, I should like to have a " seed for planting." 
Our way was through a wilderness partially cleared, 
and every quarter of a mile brought us to a gate, or to 
heaps of just-felled timber, to be navigated with great 
care by horse and waggon ; and with this bright lad 
for guide and gate-opener, we were " only passengers." 
He took us to the Devil s Pulpit, and brought us back, 
walking before or at the side of our waggon, and con 
versing as fearlessly and unsuspiciously as a nobleman 
taking his guests over his park. I liked the grace and 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 257 

self-confidence of the boy. The highest cultivation of 
courts and palaces would only take such manners round 
a circle, and bring them back to where they are. 

Near the point of our journey we came to a settler s 
farm-house, and here we unhitched our active little lo 
comotive, and left him to " wood up " for the passage 
back. Our own basket of provender was here remem 
bered also, though, as we had arrived just at the dinner 
hour, the hospitable backwoods-man pressed us hard to 
go in and dine. "We rather gave offence, I thought, by 
insisting on sitting down to our own sandwiches and 
liquids in the outer room the ladies, whom we should 
have seen at table, not making their appearance at all 
but our host was all kindness, and after looking to our 
horse, he offered to accompany us in our visit to the 
point of curiosity. 

This Kentucky farm looked like a scene of vigorous 
industry, though the first beginnings of civilization are 
very unsightly. Woods are very beautiful, but half a 
wood cut down is like a half a house torn away leav 
ing a front most ruinously unarchitectural. Then trees 
prostrate in all directions, fences of logs and branches, 
stumps just high enough to look ugliest, and nature s 
rude rocks exposed and dug around by the plough, are 
dismal features to a landscape. Our friend was very 
communicative on the way, and gave us, in his own his 
tory, a curious type of the American facility for " get- 



258 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

ting on." When he first came into that part of the 
country, he had nothing but the protested five hundred 
dollar note of a broken merchant. On the possibility 
of its being eventually paid, he managed to buy four 
hundred acres of land, of which he now had one hun 
dred and thirty under cultivation. It was a proviso in 
the purchase that he should give the land back after a 
certain number of years, if it was not paid for his la 
bour on the soil, of course, being rent as well as securi 
ty to the original owner. He had married, owned three 
negroes, and, by the cattle in all direction, his farm was 
numerously stocked. He was a broad backed, cheer 
ful, happy-looking man. Those who have seen the 
working population of Europe, know what there is to 
emigrate for, in such a contrast to their condition as is 
presented in this picture. 

By no paths, but over chasms and rocks so wild, and 
so seldom visited that the hawks and eagles flew 
around and over without fear of us, we arrived at the 
point, in the abysm called Kentucky River, where 
stands " Candlestick Rock." It is a column which the 
action of water has separated from the precipice, and 
left toppling and alone in shape and form like a pile 
of muffins, but two hundred feet high. Dr. Graham s 
description (which I sent you with my last letter) gives 
you the detailed dimensions of it. It is a wonder, yet 
it is but part of a wilderness of wonders. This 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 259 

strangely deep-down river is here at its finest point of 
precipitous walling-in. A projected railroad is to cross 
it, at this place, I understand, and when that is com 
pleted, they will need a station-house on the river bank, 
for the traveller will not go by, without stopping to 
climb about and admire. It is a most beautiful and 
picturesque State, Kentucky ! Give us but facilities for 
getting into it, and its scenery will be a constant at 
traction for visitors from the North. 

I must abruptly close my letter, my dear Morris 



LETTER No. 27. 



H A Y T I, &o. 

THE mountain tops of Hayti visible off the starboard 
bow their bases and the main stretch of the isle of 
Negro-cratic dominion hidden by the cloud-mist of 
morning. The air off the shore is wonderfully fragrant 
every white nose that comes up from the breakfast- 
table acknowledges it with a sniff of pleasure. Sweet, 
sweet weather ! Smooth and sunny sea ! But languor 
and loving good-for-nothingness taking the edge off from 
the sense of novelty, and making all seem like a 
dream. 

I find that the surgeons of these steamers, and two 
or three other medical men with whom I have con 
versed, think it a mistake for delicate pulmonary pa 
tients to come to the West Indies for health. The 
greater softness of the air is counterbalanced, they say, 
by the greater debilitation ; but, more than that, the 



HEALTH TRIP TO T H E TROPICS. 261 

sufferers from this complaint run great risk, from the 
inconveniences of tropical life, from exposure, and the 
complete lack of home comforts. Window-glass is un 
known south of Bermuda, and delicate lungs find the 
night s last hours, even in the torrid zone, chilly and 
irritating. It is not- the clime for prudence, either. In 
habitants and strangers alike indulge appetite and for 
get caution. In the teeming and prodigal life around 
the invalid, his individual poverty of health is forgotten. 
The air is an oblivious opiate, soothing, but full of 
danger. 

My own experience corroborates this. Enjoying the 
luxuriousness of the clime in every nerve and pore, I 
have still felt that there was in it neither strength nor 
medicine. The consciousness of revivification that one 
feels in a bright day at the North, or in a breath of 
mountain air nature s acknowledgment of aid is not 
a part of the enjoyment. It seems to me only a climate 
in which death would be easier. The nerves are quiet 
ed out of reach." Arid it is wonderful what a different 
event death seems, with that part of the system sleep 
ing or waking ! 

That many people go to the "West Indies for their 
health, and find it there, is very certain. But it is less 
to be attributed to softer air than to entire change of 
scene and associations. There are more cases than 
we imagine of persons supposed to be < : in a decline, 



262 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

where organic disease is but half the trouble. They 
require to be removed from what shall remind them 
that they are ill to be got away from sympathy, away 
from doctors, away from contrast of their invalid habits 
with habits when they were stronger. Their attention 
to the subject of their health has become morbid itself 
the disease which most requires medicine. To such, 
the entire novelty of climate and vegetation, and the 
close neighbourhood of so many varieties of govern 
ment and manners Danish, Spanish, French, English, 
and African islands, all within a summer day succes 
sion of visits amount to a delightful and salutary self- 
forgetfulness. They are amused out of themselves, and 
return to find that the body has taken advantage of the 
mind s absence to put the nerves to their proper work. 
Health has come, they scarce know how. Many a 
physician, probably, would recommend this " alterative 
course" of three months travel in the West Indies, if 
the ninety pills at five dollars a-piece (the average day s 
expense in these latitudes) were not too expensive. 

The sword of Her Majesty s veteran Lieutenant was 
laid on the cabin table, ready to be girded on, to carry 
the mail ashore at Jacmel (this officer doing it in uni 
form, and having his own boat, and being as separate 
from the ship s company as a diplomatic passenger) and 
great interest was being made to accompany him. 
Every body wanted to see the negroes at home. Ho\v 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 263 

their exodus had operated on their condition and man 
ners, and whether they looked different, in this their 
Canaan, from what they used to look in the Egypt of 
New York, was a matter of some curiosity to me. We 
might be the greater part of a forenoon, disembarking 
freight, etc. etc., and a ramble in the most important 
town of the isle under the " coloured" administration of 
the Emperor Faustin the First, was a novelty worth 
shouldering for at a gangway. I put on my go-ashore 
clothes, and, mingling with the cro\vd of passengers on 
the freight-deck, watched with great interest the grad 
ual nearing of the shore. 

This going steadily westward, by the way, and ar 
riving at island after island regularly at the hour ex 
pected, gives one a kind of almanac feeling a painful 
sense of matter of course ness at which the spirit rebels, 
under the wild and careless influence of the Tropics. 
As we approached Jacmel and saw its stately moun 
tains more and more distinctly, the scenery was so 
lovely smooth sea, delicious air, soft sunshine and all 
that I quite longed to be embarked upon some craft 
less prosaically " due 1 at the port we were nearing un 
der some unknown sail, with a capricious wind a pas 
senger with a Columbus, in short, rather than in a 
steamer from the docks of London. The approach to 
Hayti had been very beautiful from the distance. It 
was a soft April morning, and the clouds, which had 



264 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

lain low, and shown only the mountain-tops, gradually 
lifted as we neared the harbour of Jacmel, and disclosed 
the town as if by the lifting of a stage curtain. With 
Irving s honey-dropping description of Columbus s first 
approach to this island, nearly four centuries ago, 
clinging to one s memory, it was droll to see the freight 
that was going ashore (millinery from Paris taking up 
more room than anything else) and it was difficult to 
anticipate, with the romantic sweetness of the air, and the 
beauty of the lofty mountain-sides around us, anything 
but the scenes of the savage Paradise as first discov 
ered.* To facts, however : 

* It may serve as an effective relievo to my picture of Hayti, 
now passing from the white man to the black, to quote a passage 
or two descriptive of it when passing from the red man to the 
white Irving says : 

" In the transparent atmosphere of the Tropics objects are de 
scried at a great distance, and the purity of the air and serenity of 
the deep blue sky, give a magical charm to scenery. Under these 
advantages, the beautiful island of Hayti revealed itself to the eye 
as they approached. Its mountains were higher and more rocky 
than those of the other islands, but the rocks rose from among 
rich forests. The mountains swept down into luxuriant plains 
and green savannas, while the appearance of cultivated fields, with 
the numerous fires at night and the columns of smoke which rose 
in various parts by day, all showed it to be populous. It rose be 
fore them in all the splendour of tropical vegetation, one of the 
most beautiful islands in the world, and doomed to be one of the 
most unfortunate. 

" On the evening of the 6th of December (1492,) Columbus en 
tered a harbour at the Western end of the island * * After 
various ineffectual attempts to obtain a communication with the 
natives, three sailors succeeded in overtaking a young and hand 
some female, who was flying from them, and brought their wild 
beauty in triumph to the ships. She was treated with the great 
est kindness, and dismissed finely clothed, and loaded with pre 
sents of beads, hawk s bells and other baubles Confident of the 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 265 

I had not been sufficiently on the alert to secure a 
passage in the barge of the epauletted mail officer, and 

favourable impression her account of her treatment and the sight 
of her presents must produce, Columbus on tne following day, 
sent nine men, well armed, to seek her village, accompanied by a 
native of Cuba as an interpreter. The village was situated iu a 
fine vallev, on the banks of a beautiful river, and contained 
about a thousand houses. The natives fled at first, but being re 
assured by the interpreter, they came back, to the number of 
two thousand, and approached the Spaniards with awe and trem 
bling, often pausing and putting their hands upon their heads 
in token of reverence and submission. 

" The female, also, who had been entertained on board of 
the ships, came borne in triumph on the shoulders of some 
of her countrymen, followed by a multitude, and preceded by 
her husband, who was full of gratitude f*or the kindness with 
which she had been treated. Having recovered from their fears, 
the natives conducted the Spaniards to their houses, and set 
before them cassava bread, fish, roots, and fruits of various 
kinds ; offering them freely whatever they possessed -for a frank 
hospitality reigned throughout the island, where, as yet, the 
passion of avarice was unknown. * * 

"The natives believed that their island of Hayti was the 
earliest part of creation, and that the sun and moon issued out 
of one of its caverns to give light to the universe They as 
cribe to another cavern the origin of the human race, believing 
that the large men issued forth from a great aperture, but the 
little men from a little cranny. For a long time they dared 
venture from the cavern only in the night, for the sight of 
the sun was fatal to them, producing wonderful transformations. 
One of their number, having lingered on a river s bank, where 
he was fishing, until the sun had risen, was turned into a 
bird of melodious note, which, yearly, about the time of his 
transformation, is heard singing plaintively in the night, be 
wailing his misfortune 

"When the human race at length emerged from the cave, 
they, for some time, wandered about disconsolately without 
females, until, coming near a small lake, they beheld certain 
animals among the branches of the trees, which proved to be 
women. On attempting to catch them, however, they were 
found to be as slippery as eels ; so that it was impossible to 
hold them until they employed certain men. whose hands had 
been rendered rough by a kind of leprosy. These succeeded 
in securing four of them ; and from these slippery females the 
world was peopled." * * * 
12 



266 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

my only chance of getting ashore was to jump in among 
the bales of freight in the larger boat, and be delivered 
at the custom house after a slower pull. A fort of mud 
on the right, and a grove of cocoa-trees on the left, 
were the two embracing arms which received us as we 
approached, and a single wharf of rough planks support 
ed on posts which had rotted and let it partly drop into 
the water, seemed to constitute its only pretensions as 
a port for commerce. 

(The morning at Jacmel, next week.) 



LETTER No, 28, 

HAYTI AND THE CORONATION 
ITS EMPEROR. 



The foremost inhabitant of Hayti to welcome our 
boat s approach was a negro clad in a suit of black 
the suit he was born in standing erect, shiny and un 
conscious, on the end of the pier. He seemed quite in 
dependent of our observation, and was taking his morn 
ing swim. The water side of the harbour was a beach, 
with the exception of the tumbling-down wooden wharf 
towards which we were heading ; and a few stranded 
boats, some dead animals of various kinds, and prodi 
gious heaps of rubbish, formed the seaboard line of the 
city of Jacmel. All I could see in the way of buildings, 
looked to me like the weather-beaten booths of some 
long-deserted fair. There was nothing that could else 
where be called a house nothing that had ever been clap- 
boarded, painted or fenced in little to indicate that 



268 HEALTH TRIP^TO THE TROPICS. 

this was the principal port and town of the " Queen 
of the Antilles," an island as large as Ireland, and 
whose Emperor, Soulouque, was to be crowned on the 
following Sunday. Our anticipations had been a little 
over-coloured, perhaps, from the description which one 
of the passengers had given of the coronation boots of 
His future Majesty. He had seen them in New York 
where they were made. The cost was three hundred 
dollars, and described them as sumptuously embroider 
ed with gold and hung with jewels in the tassels. 

We climbed up the broken timbers of the half fallen 
wharf, with some difficulty, and were immediately sur 
rounded and addressed very volubly in French, by the 
most ragged rabble I had ever yet fallen among. I was 
inclined to think at first, that it was some pantomimic 
festival, and that the universal rags and strangely con 
fused costumes were but the fun of the day. Thero 
was a sentinel on duty at the end of the pier, and a 
shanty near by, which seemed to serve as a guard 
house, with a dozen soldiers around the door. These 
military negroes were even needlessly tattered and rag 
ged. * No two of them were armed or dressed alike. 
It looked as if it might be a frolic masquerade, got up 
with the discarded wardrobes of a company of itiner 
ant players an infantry cap, that might have been used 
for a fire-bucket, on one head ; a hussar cap that may 
have served for years as an ash-pan, on another ; one a 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 269 

full dress grenadier down to his chin, and the rest of 
him a complete ragamuffin ; fhe fourth in a general s 
epaulettes, but barefooted ; this one with only a bayonet 
stuck through his trousers pocket, that one with a shab 
by old court sword, the next with a rusty musket the 
whole apparelling and equipment a caricature of cast- 
on finery and uniform. I was prepared to laugh at them 
for civility s sake. It was scarcely possible that they 
did not expect it. But the savage fierceness with which 
they surveyed us from head to foot, fortunately kept me 
grave; and a mulatto, to whose politeness I was after 
wards indebted, informed me that it would have been 
a dangerous blunder. The whites are only tolerated 
there, he earnestly assured me, and as my skin was of 
the objectionable colour, I inferred from his friendly 
caution that I had best know my place and be civil. 

The access from the wharf to the main street of the 
town was between the rear corners of two buildings set 
askew all the houses of the place, indeed, conveying 
the impression that they had been lifted by a flood and 
dropped again, pell mell, with confused fronts and an 
gles and, passing through this opening, we entered 
upon an irregular avenue of shabby shops. These were 
structures of rough boards, one story high, the single 
window consisting of a wooden shutter hung on a hinge, 
and displaying the goods within by being raised and 
hooked to a sort of shed-roof in front. The shop-keep- 



270 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

ing seemed to be the employment of the women only, 
and a very full-dressed and self-possessed class they 
seemed to be. A pair of bare shoulders, a very gay- 
coloured turban, a necklace and ear-rings, and some 
thing like a full ball dress, waited for the customer at 
every door. She sat in a chair, with all her gay goods 
hanging around her, and two or more naked children 
played in the dirt at her feet but there was none of 
the surly gravity of the male inhabitants in this other 
gender of citizens. Desirous of purchasing some me 
mento of the place, in the way of an article manufac 
tured there, I went into shop after shop, ransacking 
their various assortments of things for sale, and endea 
voring in vain to find something Haytian. There were 
only the brighter coloured portions of London Oxford 
street, or of the New York Bowery. The showy 
dames were all smiles and accommodation, however, 
every one with manners which would be called frolic 
some elsewhere, and whether because their answers 
were in French, I cannot say, but it seemed to me that 
they were all unusually witty and ready. After taxing 
for some time the patience of one of them, a plump 
dame of twenty or twenty-five, in a green gauze dress 
and yellow turban, I asked, with some impatience, what 
on earth they did make in that island. Her reply was 
instant and expressed with a look of mischievous arch 
ness of which I should have well liked a daguerreotype, 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 271 

oy way of the memento I was seeking : ^-Rien queles 
cnfans, Monsieur ! En voulez vous ?" 

With my chance companion, (an English passenger 
\vlio had come ashore with me in the freight-boat,) I 
strolled through all that we could find in the way of 
streets, the other principal one leading up rather a pre 
cipitous hill. Both had the traces of being ravaged at 
times by powerful torrents. Large and loose stones lay 
in the centre, and the lower street, which was more 
closely populated, seemed built on the two banks of a 
common sewer, so filthy as well as rough was its whole- 
extent. We saw no marks of wheels. Probably there 
is no vehicle on the island. Ten or twelve black horse 
men passed us country gentlemen, we were told, who 
ha*d come in for their letters by the steamer. Their 
shabby rags were partly covered by leather leggins, 
and they had long spurs and pistols in their belts and 
holsters. No man rides safely in the island, they say, 
unless armed to the teeth. Broad-brimmed straw hats 
and all, however, these horsemen were not unpictur- 
esque objects. 

The inhabitant with whom we had the most conver 
sation, was a female hen merchant, whose importunity 
might have been partly curiosity, but it exceeded even 
that of a Yankee pedler. With her basket on her head, 
and her chickens trying apparently to talk her down, 
she followed us from shop to shop, giving us a torrent 



272 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

of French persuasion between every two doors, till she 
brought us to a regular parley. Why we wanted no 
chickens was to be distinctly stated. It was not rea 
sonable that sho should have nothing to sell us. " But 
what would you take for yourself?" asked my com 
panion, rather impertinently. " Pour combien de temps, 
Monsieur ?" was her ready and mischievous reply. 

Having come on shore without my breakfast, and 
feeling the want of " summat," I selected the most ami 
able-faced coloured gentleman I could see in the street, 
and enquired my way to an eating-house. He was a 
young man very well dressed, and seemed promenading 
at his leisure. .Taking his cigar from his mouth with 
very deliberate grace and self-possession, he said there 
was no hotel nor eating house in the place but if we 
would honor him so far, his breakfast should be nearly 
ready at his lodgings, at that hour, and we should be 
most welcome to share it. This prompt and frank in 
vitation was given with a grave and courtly politeness 
that I thought quite a model of good taste, and nothing 
but our limited time prevented my accepting it, with 
quite his own freedom from prejudice as to difference 
of colour. My two or three hours of conversance with 
the coloured-ocracy of the island had somehow insen 
sibly given a sort of level to my notions on the subject 
of complexion. That I should have any hesitation in 
returning the compliment of the polite Haytian, and in- 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 273 

viting him to breakfast in New York, were he to meet 
me there, seemed, at the time, a very improbable illi 
berality. 

Our friend had directed us to a shop where he 
thought we might get a banana and a bottle of claret, 
on our way to the water side. We climbed up three 
or four crazy steps, and made our entrance into the din 
gy front apartment of the one-story house he had indica 
ted a shop lighted by the small swung-up window- 
shutter, and something like a narrow wine-closet in its 
accommodations. On the floor, however, were two ve 
ry interesting objects a baby quite w ? hite, and a baby 
quite black. I mention them for the sake of recording 
a new experience. Taking up *the two children, I was 
immediately struck with the difference in the feel of 
their skins. It had never happened to me before to pass 
my hand over a live negro surface, and, to my surprise, 
the black child felt like quite a different fabric from the 
white one. It was like a warm bundle of uncut velvet, 
singularly rich and agreeable to the touch. Could it 
have been peculiar to that one tropical child, or is it the 
feel of the race, common to them in all climates ? I 
ask it as a question in natural history. 

A look into the back room of our wine-dealer s 
premises showed that there was French taste prevalent 
in the island as well as the French language. It was a 

large, roughly-boarded apartment, with rude rafters 
12* 



274 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

overhead, and no sign of any attempt beyond mere 
shelter from the weather; yet the three beds in three 
of the corners would have looked tempting even in a 
Parisian hotel the sheets snowy white, the ample pil 
lows edged with lace, and the coverlids of the best 
quality. The woman who officiated as vender of li 
quors was polite, but not talkative. She uncorked our 
bottle of claret, and pointed out a heap of pine-apples 
in a dark corner ; but it was evidently against the cus 
tom of the house to have wine drank on the premises, 
and she obliged us reluctantly with tumblers and room 
to stand. While we were enjoying the delicious fruit, 
and the wine, (which seemed to me the best claret I 
had ever tasted) a mulatto came in who had been a 
a slave and was brought up in Charleston, South Caro 
lina. He spoke the first English we had heard on the 
island. By his account, the coronation of Soulouque, 
which was to have taken place on the following Sun 
day, was deferred by the disaffection of some of the 
more important personages of the capital, and the Gov 
ernor of Jacmel particularly was opposed to the would- 
be Emperor, and had gone to Port au Prince to pre 
vent the ceremony. The mulattoes were the opposing 
party, and they were strongest hereabouts. In the 
other cities of the island, the undiluted black-blood was 
in the majority, and Soulouque had sworn the ex- 
Unction or ultimate expulsion of every shade of 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 275 

white. To be the ebon Emperor of a realm all negro, 
is his ambition and resolve. With a circumference of 
a thousand miles, 850,000 inhabitants, scenery, soil and 
productions unsurpassed, an Eden of a climate, and 
ports that are on the world s most frequented highway, 
this coming Cuffeedom may yet be an important power. 

While loitering, as we thought rather venturesomely 
over our fruit and wine, we hailed the cockswain of our 
boat, passing the door, and found we had still an hour 
of waiting for the mail. They take it leisurely, in these 
seas I was everywhere happy to discover Her Ma 
jesty s steamers seldom making more than five miles in 
the hour, and the stoppages at ports being more ruled 
by Southern luxuriousness than Northern expeditious- 
ness. I did not complain, even of the five days, beyond 
her time, which this steamer had kept us waiting for her 
at St. Thomas. Hurry seems no more natural to that 
latitude than ice. 

The one wharf was now crowded with the gentlemen 
of Jacmel, assembled to see the departure of the packet. 
Two very elegant young mulattoes were the only ex 
ceptions to the universal raggedness and shabbiness, 
and these two youths, I was told, were the sons of the 
wealthiest merchant in the place, and had been educated 
in Paris just returned. They looked anything but 
amused or at home. I endeavored to stroll about, on 
the wharf, and look on, unobserved ; but I found that 



276 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

every man whom I looked at without addressing, seemed 
to resent it as an impertinence, and my friend, the 
Carolina mulatto, came up and cautioned me against 
being too obviously observant. He said that there was 
an impatience of the eye of the white man, as it was 
generally supposed to be seeking something to ridicule 
or disparage. I spoke to several, however, and invaria 
bly received most kind and courteous answers. 

As we were about climbing down the broken rafters 
into the boat, a jet-black, half naked Hercules seized me 
by the arm, and pointed to a sack of pine-apples 
which I had stopped to look at on first landing. Glad 
to secure the delicious fruit, I offered him the money 
he had first asked, but he now wanted twice as much, for 
the time which he said I had kept him waiting. His 
affected fury and violent gestures at my turning quietly 
away, drew a crowd immediately around us, and, as 
there was some delay in bringing round the boat, he 
had me quite at his mercy. I really expected, part of 
the time, to be knocked head foremost into the water. 
In broken English he swore he was " proud man, too," 
and " big man," and " wasn t going to be kept waiting, * 
and " white rascal damn mean," etc., etc. But persist, 
ing in laughing at his claim as a joke, I finally took the 
first step to embark, and then turned and offered him 
once more the original silver. The black faces of our 
audience expressed clearly a preference for my side in 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 277 

the dispute, and the naked-legged giant gave in. The 
tow-cloth bag, with its twenty pines, was tossed into 
the boat with a sulky look of defiance, his dirty fist took 
the money instead of fulfilling his threats of knocking 
me overboard, and so ended my intercourse with the in 
habitants of the " Queen of the Antilles." 

We were soon under way, gliding smoothly over the 
loveliest of seas, with leaf-burthened mountains looking 
down temptingly upon us, and I stayed on deck till we 
lost the delicious fragrance from the shore, and could 
no longer distinguish the graceful curvings of bay and 
promontory. It is an Eden to see and inhale the breath 
of this fair isle though the new Adam and Eve be of 
colour least prayed for in our " Paradise Regained." 
I shall look to its coming history with no little interest. 



LETTER No. 29. 



HAVANA, &o. 

The MILITARY MASS calls people very early out of their 
beds, on Sunday mornings at Havana early, that is to 
say, considering breakfast and the holiday toilette to be 
achieved before starting. So magnificently elaborate, 
indeed, are the full ball dresses which alight at the church 
door, and so ready for conquest look those unbonneted 
and bare-shouldered worshippers, that the service seems 
less the beginning of a day than a sort of doxology after 
a ball. There are no pews on the church floor ; the 
ladies heads are dressed with flowers and jewels, and 
the gentlemen are in white cravats and body coats ; and 
the assembling of the audience with these rather festal 
costumes and surroundings, has no very devout aspect 
for a stranger. 

I was abroad a little before the hour, on the first 
Sunday that I was in Havana, and, not knowing Spanish 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 279 

enough to inquire my way, I picked out a gentleman who 
had a segar stuck behind his ear like a clerk s pen, and 
who was quite *too newly equipped in other respects 
not to be going from home and to the fashionable resort, 
and followed him as my best probable guide. The con 
jecture proved a true one. His pace, tropical and leis 
urely, brought us duly to the church door giving 
me time, on the way, to look at him and his acquain 
tances, and to make an observation as to the build 
and style of Cuban gentlemen. 

Owing, it is said, to early initiation, as children, into 
the unbridled license of plantation life, to excessive 
smoking and to intermarriage of the same race through 
many generations to these causes more than to climate 
the Cuban gentlemen are the most miniature aristocracy 
in the world. There seems hardly an exception. They 
are so universally small that a promenade in Havana is 
like taking a walk in Liliput or so it strikes you if you 
come suddenly upon an Englishman or an American 
of the ordinary size, and are thus reminded of the con 
trast. At the same time there is a curious freedom 
from pettiese in the movements and manners of these 
little gentlemen an apparently entire absence of any 
consciousness of being smaller than other people. They 
feel large; and they walk, sit, bow and gesticulate, like 
large men seen through an inverted opera-glass. It 
would appear as if Bpani^h dignity and courtliness of 



280 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

mien could net die out, nor lessen with the other dim 
inutions of the blood. I recollect being struck with it 
in Gal way, on the west coast of Ireland* peopled cen 
turies ago by a colony from Spain where not only the 
arhitecture is still Spanish and very unlike the rest of 
Ireland, but where the dark eyes and hair, crossed 
with the red cheeks and large stature of another race, 
are even less expressive of their origin than this same 
deliberateness of movement and general dignity of style 
and demeanour. We are to see, probably, whether it 
will stand the infusion of the blood which, of all on 
earth is most unlike it the restless, hurried, scrambling, 
undignified-ly successful Yankee, and I hope Cuba will 
not be over-fillibustered, but will remain so far Spanish, 
for the next fifty years, as to give a fair chance to the 
experiment. 

As to the apparent character in the physiognomy 
of these pocket edition copies of the old quarto chivalry, 
there seems to be little or no variety. They all look 
torpidly indolent, passion-seated and cold, at the same 
time that their features are very finely cut, and the ex 
pression is that of mingled pride, courtesy and refine 
ment. Superciliousness comes very easy to them, and 
I have noticed some marked instances of it whenever 
the turned-down shirt collar (considered to be the in 
variable indication of a Yankee) appeared on a public 
promenade. Whatever republican love there may be 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 281 

for us among the Creoles in other parts of the island, 
there is no trace of it to be found in the scornful sal 
low lip of the Havanese gentleman recognising an 
American. A coffee-house in the suburb, the walls of 
which are painted with fresco caricatures of us, gives a 
key to the feeling most prevalent in the metropolis. 

But to the military mass : 

I had followed my unconscious guide to an excellent 
standing place near the altar, and we observed, to great 
advantage, the coming-in of the gay dames who formed 
the centre of the audience. Each one was preceded by 
the postillion of her volante, who laid down her kneeling- 
carpet on the marble floor, and a black servant-maid 
followed with a low chair and a missal. Never were 
ladies more becomingly placed. Everything around 
contributed to the effect of those tranquil dark eyes and 
un-lustrous ivory of those plump shoulders for plump 
is every woman in Cuba, I believe, as certainly as every 
gentleman is thin. The central floor of the church, 
thus occupied, formed altogether a beautiful picture. 
It was like a gorgeous design, by Turner s delicious 
pencil. It was an artistic addition to the effect, by the way, 
though probably not to the pleasure of the dames of qual 
ity, that beggar women came in and knelt upon the bits 
of bare floor between the corners of the rich carpets 
a promiscuousness such as we are promised in Heaven, 
of course, but bringing praying rags and praying jewels 



282 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

into closer contact than I had ever before seen in this 
world of sinful assortment. I declare that a lump quite 
rose in my throat at the poetry there was in it. I gave 
the Catholic religion a white mark for worship in which 
it might occur. Beggars are spoken equalizing to, by 
other sects ; but, as to their approaching where they 
touch elbows with richer sinners while they pray, there 
would probably be many a Protestant objection pew- 
door vetat, to begin with, at least. 

There was an introduction to the after music, by the 
way, which sounded curiously to my ear the trailing 
over the marble floor of the enormous spurs of the 
negro postillions. Bringing in and unrolling their mis 
tresses carpets, they next made for the font of holy 
water on the other side of the church, dipped their 
fingers and re-crossed to the street door a double 
traverse to which their shovel-and-tongs-sized persuaders 
marie a most clamorous accompaniment. So, perhaps, 
sounded the spurs of knights on the floors of castles of 
old though I doubt if ever knight wore so much 
metal in sword, buckler and dagger, all complete, as 
forms the spur of one of these Jehus. The jack-boot to 
which it is affixed is proportionately monstrous, reaching 
to the hips, and serving a secondary purpose in this 
drowsy climate the negro, as he sits on the doorstep 
waiting for his master, resting his head on the stiff boot- 
fronts high before him, and sleeping as comfortably as 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 283 

on the front of a pew. The dress throughout is equally 
clumsy and ostentatious. The jacket is one mass of 
silver lace, the waistcoat elaborately embroidered, and the 
hat bound with silver. And I was told, that, to have a 
volante, with a postillion thus equipped, was considered 
in Havana, indispensable to any respectable condition 
of life, the barber s wife and the shoemaker s as certain 
to have one as the millionaire. A city so full of dash 
ing equipages, I am quite sure, is not to be found in the 
world. It gives a wonderful gayety to Havana. At the 
promenade hour, every common day, in that compara 
tively small capital, seems like a festa in some grand 
metropolis. 

I will extend this digression to explain that a "volante 
is a far more ostentatious vehicle than the private carriage 
of any other country. The lady riding in it is as much 
seen as in her easy-chair at home always bare-headed, 
usually bare-shouldered, and with her jewels upon her 
neck and wrists, her fan spread, and her face undisguised- 
ly made up to be admired. The body of the volante is 
that of the old-fashioned chaise, with one seat, carrying 
properly but two persons. The shafts are so long, and 
the horse with the postillion astride of him is so far 
ahead, that it is commonly explained as a precaution 
against a man s losing both horse and carriage by the 
same earthquake. It is made to look less graceful, as to 
outline, by a law of Havana, which forbids any horse to be 



284 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

abroad without his tail tied to the saddle ; the most showy 
animal, therefore, having this flowing appendage braid 
ed and tightly drawn around and fastened to his side. 
(The object of the law, I believe, is to secure the pas 
senger, in those narrow streets, from being spattered by 
the whisking of the numerous tails in muddy weather ; 
but it is cruel in fly-time, besides giving the spirited 
creature a most amputated and inelegant appearance.) 
Ill-contrived as this enormously long vehicle would seem, 
however, for mechanical economy of draught, it is the 
easiest and most luxurious conveyance in the world, as 
well as the best fitted for display in a public prome 
nade. The Cuban ladies will be slow to give up the 
volante for any carriage that may be introduced by the 
invading Yankee. 

I should add a curious fact to this mention of the 
volante. It and its horse do not keep the same society. 
At the end of the drive, the horse goes to the stable 
but the vehicle to the front parlour ! It is literally an 
article of drawing room furniture. "With a neat stand 
to hold up the shafts, it occupies one side of the recep 
tion-room in which sits the lady of the house, and its* 
presence there is evidently thought creditable to the 
pride and style of the family. It is partly owing, per 
haps, to the fact that the houses in this climate are 
built with a large court, the centre of which is open to 
the sky ; but the family portraits hang on the walls 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 285 

around this half-roofed apartment, and it is the inhabit 
ed portion of the house the place where company is 
received, and where stands the work-table and piano, 
cradle and flower-stand. And this blending of parlour 
and carriage-house seems the more surprising to the 
stranger, when he looks in from the street, (every house 
being open to the observation of the passer-by,) and 
sees the pompous ceremony with which the white-gloved 
and body-coat-ed visitor is received by the lady sitting 
alongside of her vehicle. In point of fact it is a sort 
of coat-of-arms upon wheels an escutcheon to which a 
horse may be harnessed for the owner to take a drive ! 
Yours, &c. 



LETTER No, 80, 



CONTINUATION OF DESCRIPTION 
OF MILITAEY MASS, &c. 

THE close crowded congregation of beauties and fe 
male "beggars, in the centre of the church, were on 
their knees with their prayer-books, (the men lounging 
about the side aisles as if their sins were included in 
those of the women, and one sex did the praying for 
both,) when the military band was heard approaching, 
and, with a lively quick-step, they presently made their 
entrance over the threshold. The sound of the time 
keeping feet, and the sonorous reverberation of the 
drums from the lofty roof, were startling interruptions 
to the silent service that had been for some time going 
on, and it was more like an invasion than an act of rev 
erence to see six tall poineers draw their axe-falchions, 
surround a priest in a long white robe, and march him 



HEALTH T R I F TO THE TROPICS. 287 

to the front of the altar. They were to officiate as his 
body-guard apparently. The pioneer cap is a particu 
larly irreverent looking one, however ; and, as they 
wore it cocked jauntily on one side, while the shaven 
skull of the priest was bare in their midst, the " god of 
war" seemed to have rather the upper hand. 

The troops were arranged along the sides of the 
church, with the officers standing behind the kneeling 
congregation of dames in the centre, when at a sudden 
tap of the drum, the soldiers dropped on one knee, and 
the band commenced playing an air from the fashion 
able Opera of " La Favor ita." Between the bars of 
the profane but sweet music, the voice of the priest, 
reciting the mass at the altar, could be heard ; and with 
his open book before him he alternately read and knelt, 
and the little boys in white robes swung the smoking 
censers, and the tall candles burned, and the worship 
went visibly on. But the music of the band seemed 
an entirely separate affair. It was theatre and church 
contesting the occupancy of the place. Airs from dif 
ferent Operas followed each other, the drum alone re 
cognising the religious service by a loud tap from the 
kneeling drummer whenever the priest knelt or rose. 
The soldiers in the ranks accompanied him in his drop- , 
pings and risings, and I noticed that their lips moved 
in apparently devout prayer when prostrate ; but the 
officers preserved the erect position, and their handsome 



288 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROTICS. 

moustaches made no stir for or emus or paternoster. 
These officers were small but very distinguished looking 
men, by the way. The orders upon the breasts of 
their uniforms showed them to be noblemen ; and this 
corps, the Artillery, is the most distinguished one in 
the Cuban army. In their regular and decided features, 
and graceful military postures, there was a completeness 
of the soldierlike air, and something unequivocally chiv- 
alric over all. Of the resolute peppering from the can 
non of these caballeros, the Filibusters may make 
sure. 

In the wickedest of Operas, " Lucrezia Borgia," oc 
curs the most delicious passage (I have sometimes 
thought) in all music, Orsini s story told to his unknown 
mother; and I could wish this transferred to sacred words 
and use, with a law against its ever serving in profane 
amusement again. Its pathos and appealing tenderness 
are, it seems to me, the articulate embodiment of a con 
fession and a prayer. Heard in that dim church, with 
lights upon the altar and a congregation kneeling 
around, it stirred one s tears spite of the surroundings 
otherwise undevout. Benedetto, \vhose moving and re 
fined voice used to breathe it so touchingly at our opera, 
was educated, they say, for a monk, and I \vould go 
far to hear him sing it, apparelled in cord and sacred 
stole. 

Uut never in theatre or ball-room was heard livelier 



HEALTH T 11 I P TO THE T E O F I C 8 . 289 

music than followed close upon this the " divine 
service of the morning proceeding with a rapid suc 
cession of redowas and polkas, waltzes and mazurkas, 
while the audience still knelt and the priest still prayed! 
The vaulted dome and dim old arches answered back 
to these dancing jigs with all the alacrity of upper tiers 
and ball room ceilings, however, though I must confess 
to an instinctive impulse to escape before the roof 
should fall in sinners that we were even to listen to 
such music in such a place ! It was really too pro 
fane, too contrary to the proper spirit of the spot if it 
weiv tor artistic effect and propriety alone, leaving higher 
standards out of the question, and its formal repetition 
every Sunday, and the fashionable attendance, show the 
established religion of the island to be reduced to a 
level with its gayeties. And this I have since heard 
more than accounted for. in the characters given to tho 
Cuban priesthood by intelligent residents. They de 
scribe them as most licentiously and openly corrupt, 
and entirely without respect or consideration as a class 
in the community. 

To " see the people come out of church," is, any 
where, something of a show, but the pouring out and 
dispersion of the audience at the close of the ki Military 
M.-r-s" at Havana is a lively spectacle indeed. Just 
before the drum struck up the quick step for the exit 

of the troops, (by the way.) I had been startled by a 
13 



290 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

novelty of sound, in the deliberate striking of the church 
clock in-doors the rafted roof being open up to the 
belfry, and the nine thundering strokes pealing down 
upon the aisles and area below with plunges of rever 
berating echoes that were like a cataract of time de 
parting. There is a waltz, by Wallace, which stops 
suddenly for the clock to strike twelve ; but I think a 
vesper voluntary might be composed, to be played in 
this dim old Spanish church, in the departing twilight, 
where the interruption of the belfry clock s ponderous 
and solemn iteration might come in very effectively. 

American ladies have a new experience in Havana, 
an instance of which I saw giving some annoyance as 
the gay congregation were preparing to disperse. A 
very lovely group of the invalid pilgrims who come 
with every winter to this latitude, stood in the front 
line of the side aisle, waiting for the crowd to pass, 
when two or three of the little elegantly-dressed duode 
cimo Spaniards walked around, and, planting them 
selves in front, looked deliberately into their bonnets, 
as you would look into the open pane of a post office 
window. The ladies at first raised their hands to their 
faces, or turned an inquiring look to their companions, 
evidently thinking the gentleman may have seen a wasp 
or tarantula lip or cheek in danger, to call for such 
close investigation but, as the stare continued, they 
turned their backs with evident surprise and displeas- 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 29 1 

ure. They were not aware, that, by the custom of tho 
country, they were receiving a polite tribute of admira 
tion. The Spanish lady goes home very discontented, 
from promenade or public resort, if she was not ivalked 
up to and looked at. The windows of their houses are 
like halves of bird-cages thrust out from the wall, and, 
as they sit out in the street, with only an iron grating 
between them and the passer-by, they feel slighted if he 
does not slacken his pace and gaze deliberately into the 
dark eyes open to him. It is an innocent admission of 
what beauty is supposed to be made for, and why 
jewels are worn and hair braided to be seen. And 
this custom, I think, partly gives the key to what strikes 
the stranger as a peculiarity in the physiognomy of this 
people. There is no dodge in the Spanish eye. In man 
or woman, it comes round to you as fair and square as 
the side of a decanter fearless and unwinking as an 
open inkstand. It has nothing to conceal or avoid. It 
can receive no offence from another s look it can give 
none by its own. This seems to me a very great 
beauty. I am sorry for the twenty reasons why it can 
not be a peculiarity of a " fast " country like ours, with 
its exciting rivalries, and highly civilized improvements 
upon Nature. The rarest thing in New York is a 
calm, trusting, open and unsuspicious eye. 

But the after-church scene ! A dashing regiment, 
with bright feathers and glittering arms marching with 



292 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

lively military music out of one sacred door and 
scores of brilliant equipages, with prancing horses 
half-buried in gold and silver, and footmen and jockeys 
bedizened all over with gaudy colours, glittering lace 
and bright metal, drawn up at the threshold of another 
the ladies, as they emerged from the dim light of the 
interior, coming bare-shouldered, bare-headed, and full- 
dressed into the sunshine like the guests from a ball 
that had been danced into the morning the costly fans 
spreading their pearls and diamonds between the bright 
light and the multitudes of large dark trusting eyes, 
loving and lambent beggars looking happy in their 
warm dirt and tatters, and romantic-mannered Span 
iards stepping so indolently and gesturing so carelessly 
and gracefully, that the scene seemed all natural and 
of course, and nothing forced or unnecessarily extra 
vagant this scene, I say, in the atmosphere of calm 
and conscious intoxication which belongs to the climate, 
seemed, somehow, strangely preferable (for once in a 
way) to a New England April morning of the same 
date, with its East wind and more exemplary observ 
ances. The whole ceremony was an abominable pro 
fanation of the Sabbath it were impossible not to own 
but I record it and my enjoyment of it, as one of 
those incidents and influences which, in these latitudes, 
6e-chloroform the soul of the traveller. 

One should ask pardon, perhaps, for so lengthy a 



HEALTH T R I T TO THE T JR. O P I. C S . 293 

description of a single before-breakfast experience but 
the prodigal vegetation of the clime works upon one s 
pronouns and adjectives as it does upon pine-apples 
and pomegranates. I will be briefer as I get North. 



LETTER No, 31, 

DEPARTURE FEOM HAVANA 
FLORIDA, &c. 

[The re-publication here of the following explanation, 
from the Home Journal, may, perhaps, be explanatory 
of my invalid interruptions, for the reader of this book 
also.] 

Hudson Highlands, February, 1853. 
DEAR FRIEND: 

The bird ivith whose feather 1 write, (a goose, 
but with an opinion of his own,) seems to object to 
coming North while the weather is so cold. In a 
sketch half written, of my starting homeivard on 
the Mississippi in the latter part of May, I am 
stopped by a memorandum of a fire in the cabin- 
stove, the first I had seen for months a sign oj 
latitudes less genial, at which my quill grows 
manifestly reluctant. Shall we humour the bird and 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 295 

turn South again, dear reader leaving Kentucky 
and Ohio till the reading about them will be more 
seasonable ? I have a wilderness of more sunny 
memories, in pencil waiting for ink Martinique, 
to which the unwilling farewell is unrecorded ; 
the return voyage to St. Thomas by Guadaloupe 
and St. Vincent ; the lake-like glide Westward 
along the Antilles ; Porto Rico and Jamaica ; 
and Havana, a bouquet of delicious seeings and en- 
ioyings, from which, as yet, I have plucked but one 
pencilled leaf to ink over. Shall ID e forget the snow 
and the cold winds around us, and go back to these 
ivarm memories of THE TROPICS ? Or I have 
pencilling s of scenes nearer home, the return by 
Florida and Savannah to Charleston, and the tra 
verse across to Mobile and New Orleans, through 
Georgia and Alabama. What say 1 Shall this 
last track of my memoranda be first re-written 1 
It may breathe less fragrantly of the voluptuous air 
of the Tropics, but it will describe a healing clime 
more within reach, and some invalid may sooner 
profit by my experience. You agree 1 A nib to 
this summer-loving quill, then, and with an Adieu- 
sniff of the sultry April of Havana, let us turn 
prow across the Gulf towards the Everglades of 
Florida. 

Delighted, if I can show you anything to give 
you pleasure, through this words-glass of mine, 
dear reader, Yours, N. P. w. 



12* 



EXCEPT for some special and over-ruling reason, pro 
bably no traveller comes away willingly from Havana. 
I wondered why, (as I leaned over the side of the 
" Isabel," while she was weighing her anchor) and I 
came to the conclusion, that half the charm, at least, of 
this fascinating place, lies in the fact that, gay as it is, 
life here is not too fast. They not only have just 
luxuries enough, but they take just time enough to 
enjoy them. In the other gay metropolises of the world 
life, (in this our day,) is so exhaustingly intellectualized, 
so painfully intensified, so unnaturally accumulated and 
accelerated, that the " another and better world" one 
sometimes longs for, would be instinctively defined as 
one ofbZessed and merciful just-enough-ness. It amounts 
to a wretchedness in London that you can only be in 
one place at a time. The bewildered youth comes from 
Paris with a census of the women he might have loved, 
without having stopped to love one. In the morning 
paper which a man devours over his breakfast in 
New- York, there are three or four Lectures reported 
new stuff enough for a month s thinking, besides news 
in avalanches. And what w T ith primas donnas to hear, 
lions to see, artists to appreciate, public dinners to eat, 
parties to go to, fortunes to make, new books to read, 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 297 

politics to watch, "progress" to keep the run of, society 
to be " in," and total insignificance to desperately con 
tend with the powers of attention of a common individ 
ual, are blunted to the stump antennae, feelers and 
fingers, stunned and paralyzed. Materialists tell us 
that human faculties have sprung into existence, one 
after another, as there was a necessity for them. Is it 
not time to look out for a fresh phenomenon in 
New-York a man with two brains to do one soul s 
headwork two hearts to do his loving two stomachs 
to do his digesting two galls to do his envying and 
hating, and two pair of hands to do his spending and 
money-making ? From exhaustion by inward over 
tasking, which has really become the most common dis 
ease of our time, Havana is a hospital of recuperation 
having (as I said before) that heavenly just enough 
of life and excitement, which the soul yearns for while 
it rejects the solitude and inanition of places more quiet 
and secluded. Most travellers have a touch of this 
complaint. And it is with a delicious memory of the 
restored tone given to the system in this way, that the 
last regretful look is usually taken of the blue and red 
houses of Havana. 

We glided out from under the guns of Castle Moro 
at seven o clock of a June-like morning of April, and, 
at three o clock of that same clay, were off the coast of 
13* 



298 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

Florida, making for our first landing at Key "West. It 
was a smooth run across the Gulf no one sea-sick, ap 
parently, and the deck, with its crowd of lady passen 
gers, having very much the air of a day -boat to Albany. 
A Spanish family, (of some distinction, by the mous 
taches that came to see them off, and handkerchiefs 
waved after them at parting) had taken a private cabin, 
probably in expectation of the usual tribute to Neptune ; 
but the plump Senora, who had eaten her breakfast 
under Queen Isabella, carried it safely into tranquil di 
gestion under our filibustering republic, remaining 
bravely on deck while the boat passed (with no per 
ceptible jar) over the Tropic of Cancer. 

The first view of" our free country," on approaching 
it from the South, is certainly unfavourable. The 
islands off the point of Florida are sand banks only. 
KEY WEST looks like a place where nature " has been 
and gone" a few utterly blasted trees, (killed and strip 
ped almost of bark by a hurricane four years ago,) be 
ing the only sign I saw of indigenous vegetation an 
appearance that is made more strange by the delicious 
air which one breaths while observing it. We are so 
accustomed to associate bleakness with cold, that, in the 
soft warmth of tropical air, it seems unnatural. Re 
membering how even bare rocks will find room and 
nourishment for some growing thing in the ungenial at- 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 299 

mosphere of the North, it feels (in the lungs) as if roses 
and lilies would grow in the air only. 

"We were soon moored to a frame-work of very long- 
legged timbers looking like a wharf with its trousers 
rolled up. wading out to sea and part of the structure 
being a " look-out," (an arrangement something like a 
scaffolding built round a steeple,) I mounted to take a 
general view of this capital of wrecker-dom. It seemed 
to consist pretty much of one long street of wooden and 
unpainted houses stretching across an island of intensely 
white sand, everything in the way of a building looking 
cheap and temporary. The sea all around was made 
dismal by being part of such a landscape; and, to look 
down upon such a town, as a vis-a-vis to the flowery 
and luxurious one we had just left on the other side ot 
that Southern horizon, was indeed a contrast. A stroll 
up to what was apparently the centre of resort a gro 
cery and boarding house with a bar-room did not 
much mend my impressions of things. Half a dozen 
particularly ill-favoured looking chaps sat smoking upon 
a shanty portico, with their feet up in chairs, half occu 
pied with the steamboat passengers and half with the 
lashing of a stout fellow to a cart. He w as a 
" wrecker" who had just had a stroke of the sun, and 
for the tremendous strength with which he dashed hiin- 
self about in his frantic fury, the four men who were 
trying to confine him. seemed, altogether, hardly a 



300 " HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

match. The scene was watched by the spectators with 
evidently much more amusement than sympathy. 

The population hereabouts, who are supported en 
tirely by wrecks, number seventeen thousand. They 
are complaining just now of " a very dull season" but 
few disasters having happened lately along the coast. 
Business is brightened up a little, in such cases, by the 
art of persuasion, the wreckers boarding vessels that 
are in safe water, and convincing the captain that he is 
within reefs, and lost unless he avails himself of their 
better knowledge at a very high price. It is an open 
trade of villainy as wicked a beginning for a new com 
munity as was ever made, probably, by seventeen thou 
sand people in the previous history of the world. Apro 
pos to my need of statistics on the subject, yesterday s 
Tribune (Jan. 29,) contained a letter from " Key West," 
an extract from which will perhaps refresh the reader s 
knowledge of this badly -booted leg of our country : 

" Since the date of my last letter, there have been 
three additional wrecks upon the Florida Reefs, making 
the whole number of wrecks, since the advent of the 
present year, eight the number, size of the vessels, and 
value of the cargoes, being unprecedented upon this 
coast, within any previous period of twenty days. 

The salvage upon these eight vessels will exceed 
$50,000, and the expenses a still larger sum, giving an 
unprecedented impetus to the business of this Island 
City, and impressing upon the faces of its mixed popu 
lation, expressions of joy and gladness. 

We naturally associate with wrecks, high winds, pro- 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 301 

tracted storms and terrific thunder gusts, and one would 
naturally infer that these wreckers could say, with pecu 
liar significancy, It s an ill wind that blows no one any 
good ; but the wrecks upon this coast more frequently 
occur in fair weather, the oceanic current and eddies 
imperceptibly drifting the vessels off their course, and 
upon the shoals and reefs, which extend from Cape 
Florida to the Tortugas Ke} 7 s, a distance of one hun 
dred and sixty miles. And another reason why these 
wrecks happen more freqently in fair weather is, that 
many of them are premeditated and intentional, and 
there is little danger to life and property in drifting 
upon shoals or reefs in fair weather ; of course a dis 
honest captain would designedly wreck his vessel only 
when the cargo could be saved, and he could obtain his 
share of the spoils by arrangements with the wreckers 
and commission merchants for a division of the salvage 
and commissions. 

Last year there were but twenty-two wrecks upon 
this coast, and the-total amount of salvage and expenses, 
$162,700. In 1849, they were $219,160 ; and during 
the eight years previous to the present, the aggregate 
amount was $1,434,584. You will thus see that the 
prospects of the present year, to the wreckers, are un 
usually flattering eight wrecks in twenty days, and the 
salvages and expenses at least $100,000. 

This is known to be a dangerous coast, not especially 
on account of its sh oals and reefs, but particularly on 
account of the oceanic currents the Gulf-stream. The 
immensely valuable exports from, and imports to, the 
States of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, 
Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Missouri, Texas 
and others, pass within a few miles of these shoals and 
reefs, and the Government has built light-houses, and 
erected a series of signals upon the most dangerous 
reefs, for the protection of this commerce. Additional 
light-houses are building, and the signals and beacons 
increasing, although Captain Rollins, of the steamer 



302 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

Isabel, has passed along these reefs four times monthly 
during the last four years, without accident. 

I stated in my last letter that a large portion, of the 
wrecks upon this coast was premeditated and intentional; 
that, although the wrecking business was popularly re 
garded as quasi piracy, yet, that a fractional portion, 
only, of the odium was justly chargeable to the ivreck- 
ers / that the captains of the wrecked vessels, and the 
wrecking merchants or consignees, individually and col 
lectively, were generally the guilty parties. Every cap 
tain has the selection of the consignee of the wrecked 
cargo ; and every captain, who frequents this coast 
knows that he can sell the consignment for from $500 
to $5,000, according to its value. The consignee makes 
from $5000 to $10,000 upon a cargo worth $100,000, 
giving him a large margin for negotiating with the cap 
tain for the consignment. 

A wrecking merchant is one who has a dock ware 
house, and often a large and general assortment of ma 
rine goods, for repairing, furnishing and supplying ves 
sels and their crews ; and some of these merchants are 
owners, in whole or in part, of nearly all the wrecking- 
vessels of the port. They select the captains, and sup 
ply the vessels with provisions, etc., and the captains 
are generally furnished with ample means and full power 
to negotiate with, and buy from, the captain of every 
wrecked vessel he boards, the consignment of the car 
go, so that the merchant is, generally, the largest inter 
ested in the salvage, as owner of the wrecking-vessels, 
interested in obtaining the largest award of salvage 
possible and is, at the same time, the consignee of the 
owners of the cargo, receiving large commissions, upon 
the supposition that he labours for their benefit, and 
protects their interest from unjust arid exorbitant salvage 
and expenses. Thus you perceive how multiplied are 
the ramifications connected with this wrecking business 
all tending, more or less, to cause fraudulent, collu 
sive and intentional wrecks to seduce men from the 



HEALTH TfclP TO THE TROPICS. 308 

strict observance of honesty and fair dealing in their 
business relations, and resulting in making this wrecking 
business quasi piracy, and its collateral branches dis 
honest and fradulent. 

For several days past the auctioneer s bell has called 
the people together to attend the sales of the damaged 
goods of the wrecked cargoes dry goods and groceries, 
drugs and medicines, boots and shoes, hardware, cotton- 
gins, turning-lathes, planing-machines, books, furniture, 
piano-fortes, etc. The sales were well-attended, and 
very many articles sold for more than the original cost, 
while others at great bargains six. cofton-gins sold for 
$80 each, worth about $2^50, 1 suppose ; and two piano- 
forts sold for $117 and $201, worth from $200 to $250, 
originally they were but slightly damaged. In a few 
days we shall have a large sale of damaged cotton." 



LETTER No. 82. 



TROPICAL MAY MORNING FLORIDA S GOOD FORTUNE IN 

NAMES OF PLACES RETURN OF INVALID PILGRIMS WITH 

SPRING, AND THE LOVELIEST RETURNING TOO SOON 

SAVANNAH RIVER AND ITS RICE-FIELDS PULASKI HOUSE, 

AND THE REPUBLICAN SYSTEM AS SEEN IN OUR HOTEL 
SYSTEM TALL STATURE OF SOUTHERNERS, ETC. ETC. 

The first of May, and a morning air by which a new 
born child would be sufficiently clad ! What a con 
trast to New-England s May morning ! As I sat on 
the deck, fanned to luxury by the speed of our swift 
steamer the sea breathless and the fragrance from the 
Florida shore full of the undefinable sweetness of the 
plants of the tropical wilderness I recalled vividly, by 
contrast, those "Firsts of-May" which I was called upon 
to believe in, in my boyhood the rousings before day 
light to go to Dorchester Heights, and the shivering 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 305 

search after never-found green leaves and flowers. Tho 
buttoning up of boy-jacket to keep out the cold wind, 
and pulling out of penknife to cut open the bare stem 
of the sweet-brier in search of the hidden odour of the 
belated bud, formed my youthful experience of that 
much sung festival contrasted now with the same- 
named anniversary in a more Southern clime. Oh, this 
almanac-ing for all latitudes alike ! 

It is common enough to say "What s in a name," 
but, as we sped along in sight of the shore of Florida, I 
could not but wonder whether it might not be reasona 
bly more stimulative to the imagination likelier to in 
spire patriotic poetry, for instance that the names of 
towns, lakes and rivers, along that vague horizon were 
so musically beautiful. The Spanish and Indian taste 
are alike charming in nomenclature, and Florida has a 
poetical inheritance from both. Tallahassee and With- 
lacoochee, Alachua and Suwanee Florida and Fernan- 
dina, Santa-Eosa, and Santa-Fe were names as easily 
given as Smith-ville and Jones- ville, Cape Cod and New 
York ; and, at least, euphoniously and poetically prefer 
able. It has probably occurred to most persons of taste 
that the giving of names for the use of the public ha8 
been done much too carelessly and irresponsibly in our 
country an irremediable evil that may as well be spoken 
of while there are towns still unborn to be baptized. 

With the absolutely delicious air and lakelike smooth- 



306 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

ness of the sea, the deck of the Isabel looked more like a 
drawing-room reception than a voyage, that first day ol 
May. Yet it was mostly a troop of returning invalids 
some better, some worse for the wintering in the Tro 
pics, but all happy in the atmosphere of Eden which en 
veloped us, and hope, probably, sleeping in every bosom 
unal armed. The centre of attraction and interest, and 
certainly the most brilliantly gay and cheerful in the 
conversation of the day as lovely a woman, I think, 
as it has ever been my lot to see died at Charleston a 
few days after, struck down by the first breath from the 
Northern clime to which she was prematurely hasten 
ing. She had been with us throughout our voyage 
among the islands, manifestly gaining, and, at Havana, 
had made purchases and preparations for the summer 
with confident expectation of recovery. Her fate is 
probably that of many who are beguiled into starting 
homeward too early from the West Indies with the 
Tropical Spring. It is so hard to remember, under 
such soft and unchanging skies, how tardily and reluc 
tantly comes the summer of the north. 

We arrived off the mouth of Savannah River at noon 
of the second day of May. My companion and I were 
bound to the city of Shade and Silence. The steamer, 
with its delightful load of our tropical fellow-travellers, 
was bound to Charleston. A small tow-boat was in 
waiting for the Savannah passengers, and we were 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 30T 

soon speeding up the broad entrance of the river, look 
ing with strangers curiosity, of course, upon the 
islands and new shores around us, but watching alter 
nately, and with far more interest, the lessening track 
of the recedin^ vessel we had left. Few fellow travel- 

O 

lers are endeared to each other like the invalids who 
have been idlers together, waiting for health in the sense- 
entrancing climate of the tropics. If a heart were never 
genial before it would be genial there. All around 
people as well as trees and flowers seem bound up 
in the same spell of enchantment, common as air, and 
which it has taken no trouble to conjure or compel, 
but they are also made near and dear to each other, (the 
pilgrims for health at least,) by the suffering they have 
together forgotten, and the golden leaf added, unex 
pectedly, to life s varied book by a season looked for 
ward to with pain. 

Savannah Eiver is a stream of some dignity, from the 
office it holds as a line between the two States of 
Georgia and South Carolina; but, with its marshy 
banks and coffee-coloured complexion, it was rather an 
unattractive new acquaintance. Our impressions were, 
perhaps, less agreeable from the sudden change of the 
temperature with the land breeze that met us a drop 
of some eight degrees of the thermometer in the course 
of an hour and I really shivered over my first view of 
rice fields, though, with their green surfaces, embanked 



308 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS 

round for irrigation, they were remarkable likenesses ol 
the gooseberry pies, which formed part of my early ed 
ucation, at Andover, and which are among the warm 
est of my recollections, of that classic academy. The 
price of land on which this best quality of rice is culti 
vated, was mentioned to us so high as to be scarcely 
credible. Of the Zodiac of remarkable Hotels strung 
along the ecliptic of our country s travel, the " Pulaski 
House " at Savannah is the Aries, or first " sign" after 
passing the equator. The traveller, on arriving here 
from the West Indies, (as we did on the evening of the 
second of May,) immediately discovers that he is no 
longer to be indebted for accommodation to the indefi 
nite "milky way" of ordinary public houses. "Mine 
host" and his establishment amount to a constellation. 

And, really, nothing is more new and noteworthy, 
among the stranger s first experiences of sojourn upon 
American ground, than the beginning of this Astral belt, 
of which the Aslor-\\ouse of New- York was, perhaps 
the (properly named) first recognised beginning. Seri 
ously, however, the great gregarious principle of the re 
public is more exemplified, and more successfully car 
ried out, in this, than in any other of our institutions. 
The individual is .made comfortable in other lands but 
to accommodate the supreme Many more luxuriously 
than the isolated and subordinate Individual, was a 
truly American sign of progress. Its operation extends 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 309 

to that moveable Hotel a steamboat. The " captains 
of steamboats" and the "keepers of crack Hotels" are 
representatives of the popular will in this country, to 
whose influence and position there is no counterpart 
abroad. It is in fact, an industrial oligarchy. For 
real power and influence, who would compare a 
Member of Congress with one of them ? They must 
be superior men to retain the " custom" and (so called) 
" patronage" which is in their constituency. They are 
so." For tact, manliness, force of purpose, good judge 
ment, and regulating influence upon each day s turn 
ings up, they have not their betters, as a class. 

Beginning with mine host of the Pulaski, who would 
cut up into quite a committee of the largest men in Cuba, 
I was immediately struck with the contrast between 
Havana and Savannah in the stature of the men. A few 
minutes after our arrival the gong sounded and the crowd 
poured from all quarters of the house to the Sunday even 
ing " tea," and the sudden change in the average level 
of hands around me, affected my comparative conscious 
ness, in a way which, for a moment, I was at a loss to 
understand. I felt suddenly pulled under like a cork 
with " a bite." It is curious how soon the general angle 
with which one looks at people becomes a habit. Most 
of the faces I had met for a couple of months had been 
seen down a declivity of forty-five degrees. I now 
felt strange at being obliged to look off at my own hor- 



310 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

izontal and above it almost every man in the house 
standing six feet and over, in his stockings. The 
Georgians are doubtless a tall race walking rifles to 
the little pistols of Cuba and, with so slignt a differ 
ence of latitude and longitude in the respective soils 
that produce them, it would, by the way, be a pretty 
study of physiology to inquire into the reasons of the 
contrast. 



LETTER No. 33. 



CAUTION TO INVALIDS CLIMATE OF SAVANNAH FIRST 

VIEW OF SAVANNAH BY MOONLIGHT CURIOUS EFFECT 

OF CITY WHOLLY BURIED IN TREES REMARKABLE 

STILLNESS OF SAVANNAH CONTRAST BETWEEN THIS 

CITY S HABITS AND THOSE OF HAVANA NO POOR PEO 
PLE S RESIDENCES EFFECTS OF BEAUTIES OF NATURE 

ON CHARACTER, ETC. ETC. 

I must record, for invalids, that it was cool at Sa 
vannah cool enough for an invalid s great coat on 
the evening of May the second. I had hoped better 
things of it. An old gentleman, to whom I sat next at 
the tea-table, said it was too cool for his daughter to 
leave her room. He was on his way with her to some 
more thermal resort in Florida, of wilich I have forgot 
ten the name. A pale lady in blanket shawl sat oppo 
site me. A summery and healing association comes up 
usually with the mention of Savannah, the name being 



312 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

descriptive of a perennial feature of Southern scenery j 
and doubtless the general average of its temperature 
deserves it. Its caprices should be guarded against } 
however. It has long been the first refuge of the 
alarmed consumptive, and its histoiy, truly written, 
would probably be that of a " Bridge of Sighs," by 
which many had returned to health, and as many had 
passed on to remediless confirmation of disease. 

The bed-room candle, offered me by Prudence after 
tea, was outvoted by a brilliant moon out of doors (a 
" tie-vote," of course, on the republican principle, but 
the individual moon, to my thinking, being a majority 
over the individual candle) and I started to get a 
first view of Savannah while she was probably looking 
her best. It was indeed a glorious night. And a more 
singular scene, than that city first seen by moonlight, is 
not likely to fall often in the traveller s way. It is laid 
out curiously, as the Guide-book tells its plan a che 
quer-board, and every other square a park but the 
streets, besides, being lined with trees, and avenues be 
ing planted through the centre of the principal ones, 
the leaves form a complete ceiling overhead, and no 
two stars are visible at a time, I should say, from any 
side-walk or thoroughfare in the entire municipality. I 
have sometimes felt, in the woods, a desire to climb up 
some tall tree and see out and the same feeling comes 
over one, after a while, in walking along miles of a 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 313 

closely-chequered carpet of light and shade, with a roof 
as closely-chequered and interminable above. It oc 
curred to me whether we might not leave out the sky 
a little too much, occasionally, in our improvements 
and beautifyings. 

Whether these overshadowing trees act on the city 
like the outspread hand with which a mother says 
"hush" to her children, is open to supposition; but, 
that some peculiarly quietizing influence is exercised on 
the habits and character of the inhabitants, must be the 
stranger s invariable impression, though he might 
balance between this explanation of it, and the town s 
growing considerate, even in the shutting of doors, 
from its long use as a Mecca of invalids. So still a 
place, it seemed to me, I had never been in before. 
Constantinople, with no wheels in its streets, and Ve 
nice, with its silent-gliding gondolas, are noisy to Sa 
vannah. It is true that the deep sand of every tho 
roughfare makes carts and carriages unheard, and the 
profusion of leaves may so tnicken the air as to deaden 
the common reverberations but there is a stillness 
more deep and universal than can thus obviously be 
accounted for. I was there three Sundays (week 
days behaving themselves like Sundays, that is to say) 
and the hush of this first evening, which I was in 
clined to attribute partly to strict observance of the 

Sabbath, was, I afterwards found, the perpetual habit 
14* 



314 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

of the people. In my two hours ramble, I passed 
through whole streets without meeting a soul. I scarce 
saw ten persons altogether, in the two hours. Thinking 
the homes should be livelier, for the life not stirring 
abroad, I looked for open windows and lighted rooms 
but a sign, even of a single lamp "in the front apartments 
of houses, was strangely rare. There was everywhere 
the shut-up look of families absent. For long distances 
I saw nothing to disturb the idea forcibly suggested 
by the excessive foliage and the loneliness and stillness 
that it was a silent city, deserted but undecayed, 
which the growth of a luxuriant wilderness had over 
taken and buried. 

It is curious that it should be but " across a ferry," 
as it were, from Havana, the most out-doors-y city in 
the w r orld, to Savannah, the most m-doors-y. It cannot 
be altogether a matter of principle, though Savannah is 
said to be the most religious of towns, and Havana 
(where I heard the military band play polkas as part of 
the Sabbath service) is perhaps as peculiarly irreli 
gious. Nor can it be altogether a peculiarity of race 
though the Havanese would seem to play the sun-fish 
as naturally as the Savannese play the oyster. There 
is a, fashion which is a part of the character of a town 
differing in different places to a degree which is not 
easily explainable in the amount of appearing abroad, 
(" gadding " as the strait-laced call it,) which is respect- 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 315 

able and proper. The subject might profitably be lec 
tured upon. Inestimable as the fireside virtues are, do 
mestic bliss requires a certain amount of airing, " in the 
best regulated families," and the natural desire u to see 
and be seen, 1 has its use in the composition of human 
society. 

With twenty thousand inhabitants, Savannah appears 
to have no poor people. In various rambles, during 
the few days of my stay there, I could find no quarter 
of the city where there were any but comfortable dwel 
lings more than comfortable, indeed, for the poorest 
inhabitant has an avenue of shade-trees before his door, 
and must see an open square from his window. The 
luxuries of park culture, which the noblemen of Eng 
land spend fortunes in maintaining around their dwel- 
ings, are here at the humblest man s threshold, free of 
cost. No child can grow up in Savannah without Na 
ture for a nurse beautiful trees for the infant waking- 
dream to build its nest in velvet grass, clover and but 
tercups, to make the world seem like a playground, and 
the commonest highway a path of flowers. Does any 
one think that character is not affected by such influ 
ence that hope and imagination, confidence and cheer 
ful habit of temper, (to say nothing of health,) are not 
nurtured by such surroundings in childhood ? They 
make impressions too vivid, and too universal not to 
have been intended by an all-wise Providence as a 



816 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

blessing to improve. Schools should be where there 
are trees, streams, mountains teachers for the play 
hours as well. If I may strengthen my remark by re 
calling what made an impression on myself, I have for 
gotten every circumstance of a year or two that I was 
at school at Concord, New Hampshire, when a boy, 
except the natural scener}?- of the place. The faces of 
my teacher and my playmates have long ago faded 
from my memory, while I remember the rocks and ed 
dies of the Merrimac, the forms of the trees on the mea 
dow opposite the town, and every bend of the river s 
current. "Whether Governor Oglethorpe, in laying out 
the city of Savannah, thought of more than the health 
and luxury in parks and shade-trees, it is too late, per 
haps, to inquire but, to his beautifully rural plan, 
and energy of forecast in the completion of it, the inha 
bitants are indebted, I believe, for a perpetual teaching 
of moral beauty, no less than for a sanitary luxury. 



LETTER NQ.84. 



WANT OF BROADWAY IN SAVANNAH QUERY AS TO SHOP 
PING AND ITS ATTENDANT USES THE UNFURNISHED APART 
MENTS OF THIS WORLD CURIOUS SECOND-HAND MACHINERY 

ON ROOF OF PUBLIC BUILDING SEEING TWELVE O CLOCK 

STRUCK SAVANNAH CEMETRY STRANGELY PECULIAR 

AND BEAUTIFUL, ETC., ETC. 

SAVANNAH has the peculiarity of being remarkably 
" retired" all over. It has no one thoroughfare that is 
particularly frequented no " dress" street, so to speak, 
devoted to shopping, driving and lounging no avenue 
which should perform for it the vertebral function of a 
Broadway. At every second corner walk which way 
you will you come to an open square ; and it was pro 
bably from this peculiarity of the city plan that no 
one length of street was, at first, devoted to shops a 
peculiarity that would have been corrected in the sub- 



318 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

sequent growth of the city, perhaps, but for the tortoise- 
like repugnance to putting the head out of doors which 
seems to be universal to its inhabitants. There are 
very handsome shops scattered here and there, but, for 
the three or four days that I was rambling about, at 
all hours, I saw no one " shopping," no sign of anybody 
lounging or walking for pleasure, no preference shown 
by any two people for the same promenade. This seemed 
to me singular. In every other large city that I have 
seen, there is a popular shopping-street, which is not 
altogether a matter of " dry goods." It appears to be 
a common want to common minds at least all over 
the world except at Savannah to go out and be pro 
miscuous once a day ; and indeed, so often do superior 
minds find it relaxing to take the air where" they can 
unobservedly dilute the individual, that a fashionable 
promenade may be set down as one of the general 
human necessities. How the commercial capital of 
genial warm-hearted Georgia comes to be an exception 
by what local influence the great principle of love 
for shopping and its accompaniments has been over 
ruled and subdued in almost the same climate which 
makes it rampant at Havana it would be interesting 
to know. 

"With a friend who was showing us. the wharf portion 
of the city, stores, warehouses, etc., my companion and 
I mounted to the top of the Exchange, to get a look 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 319 

over the river into South Carolina. It was too cold 
(May 4) to stand out upon the roof long at a time ; but ; 
from the broken-windowed cupola, we got a far glimpse 
of fields under flood for irrigation, and a flat country dili 
gently cultivated. The horizon looked dispiritingly low. 
It must be one of the advantages of the town s roof of 
leaves, that it prevents the inhabitant from being re- 
minded that there are no mountains visible a lack of 
an apparent ladder to the sky which the fancy feels, 
even if the faith of the believer works just as well 
without it. Moutains are privileges, refuges, blessings, 
Ararats whereon the dove of thought may alight when 
weary of the deluge around. An horizon without one 
is an unfurnished apartment of the planet we live in. 

"While my companions were studying the commercial 
physiognomy of Savannah, from the more exposed out 
side of the roof, I had taken refuge among the whittled 
autobiographies on the inside of the wooden cupola a, 
well jack-knifed list of fellow citizens impatient to be 
read of and by such reading and admiring as lay in 
my power, was duly paying my share for republican 
equality of reputation, thus laid before the public, when 
my eye fell upon an apparatus curiously composed. 
Pointing towards the city bell which hung outside, was 
what seemed to be the battered half of an old scythe, 
punctured at one end to receive a wire which descended 



320 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

and passed through the roof, and, at the other end, sus 
taining a rough lump of lead. Half wondering how 
the owner of that building (our Glorious Country) 
could come by a second-hand tool, and at the economy 
of the arrangement, altogether, for furniture ordered by 
the metropolis; and half musing whether (poetry at its 
present discount) it were not, on the whole, a truthful 
representation of the decline of respect for any such 
flummery as " the scythe of Father Time," I was 
startled by a slight rattle at one end of the rusty object 
of my contemplation. The wire quivered, and the 
scythe- blade began slowly to arise. Up it went, grad 
ually and silently, to the height of a schoolmaster s 
forefinger my slow wits not anticipating what was to 
come of its admonitory attitude when, suddenly, 
crushingly, astoundingly, down went the uplifted lead- 
weight upon the bell ! I stayed in my boots neither 
pumped out nor left in a precipitate at the bottom but 
the air which started at that sound to carry " the time 
of day" to twenty thousand people s ears in a second, 
seemed unwilling to first stop and be breathed. I fairly 
gasped but the old scythe was, by this time, on its 
way up again; another thunderbolt ! and another 
and another twelve merciless iterations ! And this 
only a common-place noon ! What a difference propin 
quity makes, in the appreciation of things ! To listen 
while the clock strikes twelve scarce quickens a pulse. 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 321 

ordinarily but to be close by twelve when the clock 
strikes it, is quite another experience. I felt as if I 
had taken a common instant, and gone where the arti 
cle was manufactured. The strokes of a. clock seem to 
follow rapidly, as we hear them while reading a book- 
yet, to watch the hammer as it rises and descends, and 
be yourself a quivering part of the first and nearest 
vibration, is to feel that there may be eternities in se 
conds. We measure rays of light across the thread, 
when we measure life by minutes or years. 

The strange cemetery at Savannah, with the trees 
hung in mourning, is described in every traveller s 
journal. My companion and I drove to it, (four or 
five miles out of the city,) with the feeling of familiarity 
with which one makes a first visit to Pere-la-chaise. 
But, often as I had read descriptions of this remarkable 
spot, its peculiar character took me entirely by surprise. 
It is the perfection of that to which England and our 
country have, of late, become fully awakened, as a fea 
ture of national taste places of repose for the dead. Yet 
it owes little to Art. Nature has outdone even the 
builders of the famous cemetery at Pisa, with their 
costly enclosure of cloisters for reverie, and their fifty 
ship-loads of earth brought from Jerusalem. The Sa 
vannah cemetery, as the reader knows, is a wood of 
majestic trees clad with a plant peculiar to the moist 
and warm savannas of this latitude a pendant moss, or 



322 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

tree-fern, dropping from every branch in long and 
graceful folds, and of a sad-colored grey. The silk, in 
common use for half-mourning, is about of the same 
tint. "With the luxuriant green of the foliage on every 
tree tenderly subdued by the profuse folds of this som 
bre drapery, and even the ordinarily softened light of a 
thick wood darkened to perpetual twilight by the same 
curtaining, there is an atmosphere of irresistible pen- 
siveness and melancholy throughout its wilderness of 
majestic columns, which no architecture could imitate 
or contrive. 

A day in such a place is one of those poems for one s 
own heart only, with which the world is not willing to 
be troubled but, of one leading impression, made on 
my own mind while there, I will venture to make a 
record. 

The graves, (which seemed few, perhaps, from their 
being no apparent limit to the long aisles of tree-trunks 
which retreated away in shadowy vistas on every side) 
were so secondary to the overpowering spirit of the spot, 
that I scarce looked at a name or read an epitaph. I 
remember but one that of a father and his daughter 
and my attention was drawn to this, probably, by the 
chain which fenced in the tomb, and which was over 
grown by the same mourning drapery of moss which 
enveloped the trees. I had no friend buried there or, 
of course, affection would have led m to look for the 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 323 

sod that covered him. But there was no object con 
spicuous enough to arrest the curiosity of the stranger 
nothing to call aside the footstep, or call off the mind 
of the visitor from the influence of gentle sadness press 
ed upon his own memories of the dead. The spell of 
the place less powerful only than the grief which 
should come there to find what itself had lost was of 
hallowed power and predominance. Are there not 
those who, with me, will see a beauty in this ? 

Of any privacy in the memory of the dead, our fash 
ionable cemeteries seem to give no sign. The beloved 
one, who was, in life, so guarded about with delicacy 
and protection her home shut in from the footfall of 
^common approach, and the door of her chamber of 
nightly rest kept high and far out of profaning sight, by 
triple locks and life-blood ready to come between it and 
intrusion this beloved one is laid and left in a thronged 
avenue of resort, her last home marked by a fancy mo 
nument which asks the vulgar to stand over her and 
admire it, and her sweet maiden name written in glaring 
letters on the door, for every ruffian s lips to spell out 
with his coarse utterance, and desecrate with his scrawl 
or comment. For a world where Hell and Heaven 
walk at large together, and where the instincts of com 
mon safety have combined in usages to guard some 
what the paths of the angels among us while they live, 



324 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

it seems as if there should be some privacy, as well, for 
the ashes and memory of the departed. 

Monuments to great men may reasonably be con 
spicuous to every eye. They are needed for example, 
and public gratitude raises them. But privacy is more 
blest, even in life ; and the luxury of the grave (and the 
spirit of this might well be remembered in private monu 
ments) is to be forgotten but by those who loved ^^s. This 
home of the dead at Savannah, so more sublime and 
sadly beautiful in itself, seems to offer the repose thus 
wanted. Hate and Indifference would here walk by, 
unreminded of even the name. Malice and Coarseness 
would see no call for idle criticism, and, in the spirit 
of the spot, would feel a restraint, unaware. Affection 
would find the corner where oneV ashes slumber in 
peace, and to the tears or sweet memories which alone 
should visit them, the very air would seem to give a 
sigh of welcome. So fitting and sweet a place to be 
buried in, it seems to me I never elsewhere saw. 



LETTER No, B. 



SAVANNAH, &c. 

THE sensation of driving, through the streets of 
Savannah, ordinarily, is not very pleasant. One hates 
to throw away so much ploughing. The action of a 
beautiful horse is quite destroyed by the dead pull of 
the sinking wheels and the effort of wading fetlock-deep 
through the sand. But it is wonderful what a difference 
in the get-about-ableness is made by a heavy shower. 
The city seems suddenly paved with marble. Packed 
with the rain, the sand is so hard as scarce to take an 
impression of a wheel, and, for half-a-day at a time, a 
carriage at Savannah may thus become a luxury dried 
into a mere necessity, again, of course, by the second 
day of fair weather. Nature has supplied a con- 



326 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

venience for travelling over sand the camel s foot, 
elastic and flattening out with pressure. If I were a 
resident of Savannah, I think I should either import a 
small dromedary, " to drive in a buggy," or offer a 
premium for the invention of an India-rubber horse-shoe, 
on the camel s foot principle. The article would be 
saleable in New Jersey and other sandy neighbour 
hoods as well. 

Savannah is a place to go to and be good in. I saw 
but one sinful circumstance while there a small shop 
open on Sunday evening, for the sale of segars and um 
brellas everything else looking unexceptionably exem 
plary. The world has not been sufficiently praised for 
the variety in the character of its cities. It will be ap 
preciated when railroads have dissolved the charm by 
abolishing the distance that secured to each its separate 
atmosphere. There are states of mind very varied 
which require changes of scene quite as varied. Of 
the winter pilgrims to the South, it is happier that there 
is a Savannah for some and a New Orleans for others. 
As a Vallombrosa of retreat for the intermittent student 
for one who would like to stop living and being heard 
of, long enough to write a book or perfect a theory 
Savannah is the one best place, ready-cloistered and 
hushed. 

With a presentiment (afterwards confirmed,) that, by 
going too early north, I was leaving what little conva- 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 327 

lescence I had picked up in a warmer clime, I em- 
harked for Charleston on the evening of the 5th of May 
arriving the next morning, after a rough, cold and 
thoroughly uncomfortable passage. Quite prostrated 
by sea-sickness and influenza, and having more desired 
to see Charleston than any other one point of my win 
ter s travel, I had never found illness more untimely. 
We rejoined, here, some of our fellow-voyagers in the 
Tropics, but the most admired and beloved of that hap 
py company lay dying under the same roof with us, and 
a melancholy sadness weighed upon all who had 
known her. Altogether, I obtained but an imperfect 
and clouded view of the great metropolis of the South. 
My best remembrances of it were such as do not come 
within a traveller s chronicle the meeting with valued 
friends and acquaintances. It must pass for the broken 
page of my journal to be re-written, if possible, with 
better knowledge hereafter. 

In what little I saw of Charleston, in my mopings 
about, I was impressed with the air it wears of a town 
built for gentlemen. It is a little behind-hand with 
paint and repairs, but, in the contrivance and character 
of its private residences, there is the original imprint, 
still legible, of first owners who built exclusively, each 
one, for taste and comfort of his own. There is none 
of the amputated look given to city buildings by the 



328 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

more utilitarian taste of the North. Even in houses of 
very moderate pretensions, it was quite evident that 
the plan had not been sent back to the architect, shaved 
of all its superfluities of elegance merely. In the bay 
windows, verandahs, odd angles, porticoes and gardens, 
and in the unstereotyped variety with which the ca 
prices of ornament had been combined, the look of re 
finement quite at its ease, and apprehensive of neither 
eclipse nor criticism, is very manifest. Every house 
looks as if the same family had always lived in it. 
"Without strict architectural taste, this atmosphere of 
household gods may be made to envelope a home with 
an individuality more attaching to children, and more 
inspiring of respect ; and I must own that, to my eye, 
it is an innovation upon art worth studying. 

In the days when North and South were more inti 
mate the gay society of the two latitudes holding an 
equally divided empire over Ballston and Saratoga 
Charleston was the unquestionable Corinth, from which 
came the best models of gentlemen and ladies. With 
the plantation conservatism of family custom of send 
ing sons to Europe for education general habit of 
yearly travel, and prevailing tone of courtesy and chi 
valry handed down from a superior class of first inhab 
itants this may easily be accounted for. The mark 
of it would still impress a stranger in walking the 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 329 

streets of Charleston, or lookiog in upon its society. 
Shouldered aside as the city is, somewhat, perhaps, by 
the current of " Progress," and becalmed in the still 
water of such respectability and dignity as this " fast" 
age will leave behind, its gayeties probably assemble, 
at the present time, a higher-bred class of men and wo 
men than any other capital of our country. The epi 
demic rage, for action and contact with the world, 
which is setting the noblemen of England to lecturing, 
will soon reach here, doubtless, and lively-fy Charles 
ton up to the dreg-stirring activity of New York ; but, 
meantime, its streets are walked by gentlemen who 
look tranquilly noble, and its drives are graced by la 
dies who sit in their carriages with the air of prin 
cesses at leisure. 

There is a childish disappointment, (which I do not 
find that I outgrow,) in the first visit to most large cap 
itals. Until one sees a famous place, its great men 
form a conspicuous part of the ideal picture of it. A 
boy, in going for the first time to Boston, for instance, 
would feel an unexplainable disappointment not to see 
Webster with at least a dome and cupola ; Prescott 
with a Gothic arch to him ; Emerson with a steeple, 
and Everett with a colonnade all round or some 
equally tangible, visible and imposingly architectural 
proof that this is the Boston of which, as seen from 



330 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

a distance, those men compose so large a part. 1 
had always thought of Charleston, South Carolina, 
as a city built not so much of brick as of Calhoun 
not so beautiful for its public walks as for its 
Washington Allston. To arrive there, and walk 
through it, and drive round it, without seeing any 
thing of them no sign of the statesman and painter 
who would still show for Charleston, though the city 
were sunk by an earthquake was to find it "less of 
a place" than I had expected to take out the glory 
and put in brick. It is to this feeling (among others,) 
that cities owe monuments for its great men. Willing 
to pay for gas, they should be willing to pay also 
for the " nebulous aurora " of genius which, shining 
from there, lights them up so that they are seen the 
world over. 

The Dutch have an invention for helping a vessel 
when she is aground placing buoyant floats on each 
side of her, sinking them till they can run a timber 
through, and then removing the weight so that all 
rises together. Corroborative quotation is sometimes 
necessary to do a similar service, and bring a wri 
ter safely into port. In the present state of low water 
in the river of poetry, I have probably run aground in 
the passage just written and will, therefore, make 
euro of a buoyant conclusion, by applying a float or 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 331 

two in the way of confirmatory remarks by greater 
authors, on the same subject : 

" FONTENELLE was never more gratified than when 
a Swede, arriving at the gates of Paris, inquired of the 
custom-house officer where Fontenelle resided, and ex 
pressed his indignation that not one of them had ever 
heard of his name." 

" A distinguished man, in a eulogy on Liebnitz, said, 
" The Elector of Hanover milted under his dominion an 
Electorate, the three kingdoms of Great Britain, and 
LIEBNITZ and NEWTON." 

" SPINOSA, when he gained a humble livelihood by 
grinding optical glasses, was visited by the first General 
in Europe, who, for the sake of this philosophical con 
ference, suspended the march of the army." 

" A solemn funeral honoured the remains of the poet 
KLOPSTOCK, led by the Senate of Hamburg, with fifty 
thousand votaries, so penetrated by one universal senti 
ment, that this multitude preserved a mournful silence, 
and the interference of the police ceased to be necessa 
ry through the city, at the solemn burial of the man of 
genius." 

" In Ferrara, the small house which ARIOSTO built 
was purchased, to be preserved, by the municipality, 
and there they still show the poet s study ; and, under 
his bust, a simple but affecting tribute to genius records 
that Ludivoco Ariostoin this apartment wrote. 1 



332 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS, 

" Travellers never fail to mention ERASMUS when the 
city of Basle occupies their recollection so that, as 
Bayle remarks, l he rendered the place of his death as 
celebrated as that of his birth. " 

" The Grand Duke of Tuscany became jealous of the 
attention paid to MAGLIABECCHI, as strangers usually 
went to visit Magliabecchi before the Grand Duke." 

" We cannot bury the fame of our English worthies 
that exists before us, independent of ourselves ; but 
we bury the influence of their inspiring presence in those 
immortal memorials of genius easy to be read by all 
men their statues and their busts, consigning them to 
spots seldom visited, and often too obscure to be viewed" 



LETTER No, 36, 



BLOOD-HORSES . IN CHARLESTON RESPECTFUL MANNERS OP 

NEGROES SLOW PACE OF INHABITANTS PINE-PLANK 

DRIVE RAIL-ROAD ACROSS PINE-BARRENS PRAIRIE OF 

POND-LILIES SOUTH CAROLINA MARKED CHARACTER 

SAVANNAH RIVER AND ARRIVAL IN GEORGIA AUGUSTA 

AND ITS GENERAL PHYSIOGNOMY NORTHERN AIR 

CURIOUS SPECIMEN OF MASTER IN SHIRT-SLEEVES AND 
NEGRO CARRYING HIS COAT UNAPPROPRIATED MAG 
NIFICENCE THE GEORGIA " CRACKER." 

There is an air of style given to Charleston by the 
prevalence of blood horses almost every vehicle I saw, 
public and private, telling thus of the universality to 
which had prevailed the sporting tastes of the gentlemen 
of Carolina. The particularly respectful and at the 
same time half-affectionate manners of all the blacks who 
came in my way, told also a story of the past character 
of the city, confirming the impression of old family 



334 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

conservatism for which it is famous. I am inclined to 
read a third historic chronicle in the average speed of 
promenade on the sidewalk here, which is considerably 
slower than on the pave of any other American city. 
I was quite impressed with this last phenomenon. A 
passage to Charleston from New York to see the 
let-alone magnolias, the looks of leisure, and a few 
things taking their time as if eternity were really still on 
hand, might be rationally established, I think, among 
the pilgrimages of refined curiosity, on our very fast side 
of the water. 

The inhabitants have a luxury here, cheap in a pine- 
timber country, but the enjoyment of which is very far 
beyond any cost, with so sandy a soil and so warm a 
climate a plank road, forming a drive of some miles 
out of the city. An excursion upon it, under very lovely 
guidance, was one of the bright lines in my companion s 
and my own chronicle of Southern travel. We saw, 
here and there, upon the road side, one of those moss- 
draped trees which form so beautiful a feature of the 
cemetry at Savannah though, without the associations 
which there give a melancholy character to this pendant 
drapery, it has a perversely different expression. So 
raggedly apparelled and standing in the dust by the 
side of a common road, the " monarch of the woods 
looks ludicrously Don-Cesar-de-Bazan-ish. 

"We left Charleston on the morning of May 8th, and 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 335 

travelled across a couple of States, with fewer " expe 
riences," it seemed to me, than I ever before found in 
the same amount of longitude. It was partly the mode 
of travel, no doubt. Railroads seem only to erase dis 
tance stage-coaches used to punctuate, emphasize and 
make it intelligible. But some part of the monotony of 
our traverse of South Carolina was due to its pine-bar 
rens, no doubt a class of landscape where Nature 
does not seem to be turning the elements to ordinary 
account. One sees neither vegetation nor inhabitants. 
At a cross-road, I remember, we saw a quadruple wag 
gon-team almost becalmed amid the sand, with a sleepy 
looking negro on the nigh wheel horse ; and at a desert 
station, from which several sand-tracks branched away, 
there was a private carriage waiting for one of our fel 
low passengers; but, of the remainder of the great 
State that has such a will of its own, I remember no 
thing but one prairie of pond lilies and meals with wil 
dernesses between. Perhaps the influence this kind 
of native soil might have on a mind that would thrive 
by being turned in upon itself, may account for the 
marked character of which this State seems to be a 
natural cradle. There are those who require to " see 
life," and there are those who can stay at home and live 
it the domestic manufacture making the latter class 
better acquainted with the warp and woof of the ar 
ticle. 



336 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

"We were eight hours crossing South Carolina a 
disrespectfully brief traverse of which I felt quite 
ashamed, on a first visit and, crossing the Savannah 
River, we ascended a bank into the State of Georgia. 
This seemed the beginning of a higher platform of land, 
a different soil, and surface more uneven and pictu 
resque. Augusta, the town we landed at, looked very 
New-England-ish, to my eye. There was a lively air 
about the people in the streets, plenty of fresh paint on 
the houses, new signs, bright-coloured bricks, broad 
streets with no grass in them, and an unequivocal accus 
tomed-ness to " enterprise " in the paces of the cart 
horses. The ladies whom we saw shopping, looked 
very fashionably dressed, and metropolitan. I saw but 
one novelty which told of climate and usages different 
from the North a very common looking man strolling 
along leisurely in his shirt-sleeves and gazing into the 
shop-windows, but with a negro behind, carrying his 
coat ! This was the nearest approach I had seen, out 
of London, to the mounted "tiger " riding behind the 
dandy " swell," with the waterproof overall fastened to 
his crupper. The darkey footman was dressed in tow 
cloth jacket and trousers, and wore a white felt hat 
with ragged rim his black skin underneath looking fat, 
shiny and comfortable. The curious part of it was to 
Bee the quality of man that could afford to be his mas 
ter. He was, himself, hardly as clean and tidy as 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 337 

would be necessary to pass for " respectable " in a 
working-man at the North. Most likely, he was an 
eccentric specimen, but there was no misgiving of his 
authority in the air of his faithful Juba. 

There must either be a generally diffused taste for 
park-scenery, in Georgia, or there is some local advan 
tage in thinning out woods and clearing them of under 
brush, which appeals to the common policy of every 
inhabitant Woodlands of majestic trees, with open 
pasture-range beneath, were never out of sight, from 
one side of the State to the other. It was only odd 
after seeing these in England as appurtenances of an 
cient family estates, every aisle of tree-trunks serving 
mainly as a note of admiration to some famous name 
to see them here doing honour to nobody in particular. 
Passing through what might be manorial estates of 
great magnificence, I inquired in vain for the name of a 
proprietor. Nobody knew wltose grandeur and dignity 
was there waving in the wind and making the hill-sides 
imposing. It was like glorification going to waste. 
. I was disappointed, (travelling as one does, in a rail- 
car, like a mailed letter in an envelope) not to have had 
the opportunity to see a specific and undoubted speci 
men of the Georgia " cracker." This is said to be the 
only customer with whom the Yankee has no chance 
a sharper of the South that can out-wooden-nutmeg 

even a Connecticut pedler. They inhabit the sand 
15 



338 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

tracts, waste lands, and border settlements, and are 
usually described as white-headed, yellow-skinned, lean 
and depraved out of missionary reach. How they come 
by the sagacity with which they " squat," swindle, 
evade the law, and enjoy an Arab freedom of range, 
and what is their constituent genealogy, I wish sorno 
Audubon would ormthologize. 



LETTER No. 37. 



NEW OELEANS,&c. 

New Orleans, Middle of May, 1852. 

CITIES are apt to have some lesser peculiarities by 
which they are as much remembered as by that of 
which they are prouder. Venice is famous for her 
gondolas, Constantinople for her ways of bathing and 
smoking. The traveller thinks once of the picture-gal 
leries of Dresden, where he thinks twice of their women 
harnessed into market-carts once of St. Peter s at 
Home, and twice of what is there recognized, as good 
morals. The Louvre that one sees at Paris is little to 
the dinner that one eats there. New York looms up, 
to the common eye, as a vision of Broadway and 
broiled oysters. Boston s granite respectability is a 



340 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

less ready thought than its east wind and codfish. 
"Washington is less remembered for its Capitol and 
Congress than for the easy, every-body-dom of its so 
ciety. And so New Orleans has its lesser and yet 
more prominent peculiarity. I should like to describe 
it before naming it for the same thing, or what goes 
elsewhere by the same name, is nowhere else so respect 
able. A description of New Orleans would be little 
without it, and, indeed, the traveller would not be just 
to this gay Venice of the West, without showing what 
is included in its little custom of doubtful repute. 
Perhaps I should better prepare the reader for what I 
have to say of it, by giving a recipe, for compounding 
the same mixture out of ingredients existing in New 
York : 

Take three-fourths of the purposes and pleasures of 
fashionable society ; one-third of the side-walk uses of 
Broadway ; several first class oyster-cellars with the 
rowdies carefully extracted ; a moderate portion of Wall 
street, stirred till it effervesces ; a pinch of gossip and 
Fine Arts, hilarity at discretion, and a sprig or two of 
such " going-it-strong" as gives no annoyance to others. 
Shake these ingredients w 7 ell together, label the whole 
" highly respectable, 7 serve it to the public in splendid 
saloons opening from the level of the most frequented 
promenades and you have very nearly what is pro- 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE T-R O T I C S . 34 1 

posed to you at New Orleans in the phrase " come-take- 
a-drink." The ingredients which New York could not 
furnish are, of course, understood difference of cli 
mate, a dash of the manners which mark the French 
origin of the city, and the good behaviour fully insured 
by the Western promptness in dealing with bullies and 
blackguards. 

Thus prefacing, I may perhaps venture, without of 
fence to the temperance of the day, to record a stranger s 
observations of this lesser peculiarity of our South- 
Western Metropolis. 

The Hotel St. Louis, (the principal one after the 
burning down of the St. Charles,) is an immense struc 
ture on the scale of the Astor House of New York, but 
built around a lofty rotunda, that was once, I believe, 
the City Exchange. The towering dome of this im 
posing architectural centre reaches to the roof, and is 
surrounded with corridors and a gallery ; and the hotel 
(an excellently kept and highly luxurious one,) seems 
quite secondary to it, in its magnificent use as a " bar 
room." It is paved with marble, a marble counter 
extends around one-half of its circular area, and so vast 
is the interior, that the half-moon of busy bar-keepers, 
seen from the opposite gallery, as they stand and ma 
nipulate behind their twinkling wilderness of decanters, 
looks like a julep-orama, performed by dwarfs the 



342 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

murmur of the gliding ice arid the aroma of fragrant 
mint betraying their occupation, but their features 
quite undistinguishable in the distance. 

New Orleans is studded all over with these temples 
of drink none quite as architecturally imposing as the 
St. Louis dome, but all sumptuously splendid and cost 
ly. The walls are hung with costly paintings, and all 
that damask and velvet can do for comfort, and gilding 
and mahogany for splendour, is lavishly done. Of the 
amount of frequentation of these resorts, some idea 
may be formed by what a friend mentioned to me as 
the history of one of them, which he had chanced to 
learn in the way of his profession. This one (" The 
Gem,") cleared its rent of $3,000, paid for its decora 
tions and furniture, and made a nett profit besides, of 
$20,000, in the first year of its operation. The average 
receipts of any one of the fashionable drinking saloons 
may be set down at two hundred dollars a day. A 
gentleman s expenses, for the inevitable drinks with 
friends and acquaintances, average from two to three 
dollars per diem. A sumptuous lunch of turtle-soup, 
&c., is furnished, gratis, at noon, to attract customers 
a man getting more than the worth of his money, of 
course, who lunches and drinks for sixpence ; but, the 
proprietor, finding his profit in the few, who eat, in 
comparison with the many who drink, at that hour, and 
in the policy of any thing which will add to the repute 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 343 

of the place, and draw a crowd. The rivalry of these 
drinking palaces makes a yearly increase of magnifi 
cence in their luxuries and appointments, which seems 
to promise that the Arts shall be tributary, and the 
city be largely indebted to them for its splendour. 

Too much of an invalid, while at New Orleans, for 
any except very leisurely sight-seeing, and the easy- 
chairs of these gorgeous saloons looking very tempting 
from the street, I made a daily halt at some one or 
other of them, in my strolls to and fro calling for 
something cooler than the weather, and enjoying most 
luxuriantly, as a solitary and unknown idler, my tum 
bler of privilege to look on. I do not know that I can 
persuade into a description what it was that interested 
me. I had seen drinking of most kinds before, but 
there was, somehow, a daily novelty in the scene. 
With the little I have to tell, it will be set down, per 
haps, to the debilitated state of my curiosity. 

In the first place, I had seen no such bar-keeping 
elsewhere. It amounts to a profession, I observe for 
the principal bar-isters are gentlemen of leisure, a.t all 
except the crowded periods of the day, the decanter- 
ng, at the less frequented hours, being done less ex 
pertly and less formally, and by another class of appa 
rent students in the art. But, the giving a gentleman 
a julep, from twelve to two, P. M. ! It is not so much 
the skill at mixing, though that is a considerable 



344 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

science, and the principal decanter receives a sort of 
flourish in the air which must require some practice to 
do safely and gracefully, and which probably originated 
in an affected carelessness as to the quantity. The 
manner of waiting on the customer at that hour, is the 
thing. Its philosophy lies deep. It is based on the 
probability that every man has a second thirst in his 
bosom which may as well be ministered to at the same 
time his vanity. Never were deference and eagerness 
to serve, more promptly and blandly thrown into man 
ner, than by the New Orleans bar-keeper on giving his 
ever-sudden attention to each fresh customer. What 
ever the thirsty man thought of himself as he came up, 
he drinks as a superior man unexpectedly recognised. 
It is a court trick harnessed into business, and working 
to a charm. The lump of sugar in the tumbler is of no 
sweetness compared to the one dropped into the self- 
esteem. It is an electrified sixpence that is paid for it 
so small a coin quite ashamed to be called upon to 
express so great an obligation. The slight leaning 
over of the well-dressed dispenser of liquors the admi 
ring lift of his eyes- the respectfully timid half-smile of 
pleasure at the opportunity to wait on the gentleman 
the uplifted hand with its undecided fingers eager to 
select the privileged decanter the swift and dexterous 
obedience to the command and the overflowing and 
freshet-like Mississippi-politeness with which it is hand- 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 345 

ed across the counter all for sixpence ! It is a study 
of human nature, to sit in one of those saloons for an 
hour, and see not only how the most cherished Art of 
high life can be learned and used in the way of busi 
ness, but how flattery operates, on those unused to 
take it in their brandy and water. 



LETTER No, 88 

DKINKING SALOONS AT NEW 
OELEANS, &c. 

New Orleans, Middle of May, 1852. 

IN the five hundred or more whom you may see 
walking up to " take a drink" at any one of the fash 
ionable " bars" of New Orleans, on a warm morning 
towards noon, there is, of course, a difference of class 
and great variety of character. Of the large proportion 
of French inhabitants of the city, you scarce see one, 
however. They stick to their claret and coffee 
drinking no water, it is said, and being, with habits 
of generous diet in other respects, the most healthy 
portion of the inhabitants of New Orleans. Difference 
of language may be part of what renders the bar room 
disstasteful to the Louisiana Frenchman ; but it is in 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 347 

other respects also, an " institution" not suited to French 
nature. The julep and sherry-cobbler are fairly 
naturalized in London, but we see no sign in Paris, of 
ttiese bubbles on the counter-current from the New 
World. Monsieur makes his drink secondary to his 
eating. Then he is not so prodigal of pocket, nor of 
stomach, nor of intimacy and the bar-room frequenter 
is a spendthrift of all three. Last, (perhaps not least,) 
the Frenchman would never devote so large an appara 
tus of happiness time, feeling, and furniture to one 
sex alone. 

New Orleans is thickly sprinkled with transient 
visiters from the North junior partners, business 
agents, travellers for pleasure, actors, artists, and ad 
venturers this being the E-ialto of the great valley, 
the turning-round place of tourists, the Paris of West 
ern gayeties, the golden apple held between the 
thumb of the Gulf of Mexico and the finger of the 
Mississippi. As it is understood to be a " gay 
place," where a man is less watched and more excused 
than any where else, the restraints of previous good 
habits are here somewhat let up ; and sober men, who 
have not had the opportunity of going abroad, take 
the opportunity of a business visit to New Orleans, to 
vaccinate their ignorance with a little precautionary 
"knowledge of the world." It is thus to its popula- 



348 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

tion in transit that the city mostly owes its some 
what light reputation. A London Times, which I 
have taken up while writing, speaks of it as " the 
profligate city of New Orleans." But, that the resi 
dents are not the chief incurrers of this odium, any 
one can see who will observe these public resorts for a 
day or two, x with the aid of a friendly cicerone. 

The planter " takes a drink" a dozen times in the 
forenoon but he does not drink it. He seldom calls 
for it when alone. It is with him a matter of etiquette. 
Wherever he meets friend or acquaintance, there is a 
drinking saloon near by and he would feel as much 
at a loss to exchange the compliments of the day with 
out stepping in to do it over a glass, as to bow to a 
lady without his hat, or manage an interview without 
mention of health or weather. In the way he walks up, 
signifies his wish to the bar-keeper, sees that his 
friend is properly attended to, and disposes of his 
own glass in the manner of all this there is a certain 
absolute ease, and a sort of cotton-bale solidity of 
suavity, that form a type of politeness which bor 
rows nothing from intoxication. It is the Westerner 
at home perfectly self- trustful, and ever ready for 
emergency, but boundlessly hospitable and courteous, 
and, withal, careful in his drink. The arrangements 
for the convenience of tobacco chewers receive the 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 349 

greater part of what he takes into his mouth for 
courtesy, and he modifies the mixture of his own 
glass with such adroitness as not to make it a comment 
on the stronger drink of his companions. I was 
amused at the clever manner in which this was done, 
and the many instances of it that came under my ob 
servation. So many are the strangers, that they arc 
part of almost every coterie in a bar-room ; but, what 
ever or w ? hoever they were, the planter was the man of 
mark among them. He is a gentleman by every influ 
ence of education and climate. AVith a slight touch of 
the tetrarch in his manner, perhaps, the constant habit 
of authority has made it sit gracefully upon him, and it 
impregnates his whole bearing with that indescribable 
air of conscious superiority which never can be as 
sumed, but which is prized above all other traits by the 
high-born in Europe. "We shall be proud yet of our 
planter school of gentlemen. The early-learnt self-pos 
session as master, the climate s lavishness of gener 
osity, the habituation to personal risk and chivalric 
promptness, and the large amounts and elegant inter 
mediary leisure with which plantation business is trans 
acted, are the training for a peculiar as well as a very 
high-spirited class of men. By the members of the 
professions, and by those who have long resided at the 
West, the manners of this class are very much adopted, 



350 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

It is the secret of that gracefully cavalier tone pervad 
ing the upper classes of the Valley and the Southern 
Tier the more valuable because the same thing is fast 
dying out in the lands where it has been historical. 

The other drinking, at the bar of one of these fash 
ionable saloons, is miscellaneous without being riotous 
or rude. The newly arrived Northern man is the most 
conspicuous from being quite the earliest in the day to 
get "happy." He is used to having the worth of his 
money, and drinks all his liquor. The bar-keeper s 
flattering manner has made him feel appreciated for 
the first time in his life and, with his hat on the back 
of his head, he shakes hands right and left with great 
vehemence, and is otherwise inconvenient with his cor 
dialities. The next most eager customer is the ex 
hausted business man, who is new to the climate, and 
who rushes in from the hot streets for an iced drink, as 
if cholera and yellow fever were behind him. Then 
there are brokers negociating gravely over a julep, and 
groups around the popular actors chancing to be in 
town, and half a dozen of those blandly-resolute and 
keen-eyed looking men, whom you know at once to be 
steamboat captains, and a traveller or two exceedingly 
entertained with the novelty of the scene. And, what 
with the costliness of the pictures and drapery, the 
splendour of the appointments, the prevailing courtesy 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 351 

and certainty of good manners and behaviour, it is un 
questionably a more orderly and higher-toned resort 
than one of the drinking saloons of other cities, and 
\vould deserve to be named, perhaps, in the same breath 
with some of the clubs, or other permitted shapes of 
gentlemen s convivialities. 

Directly opposite to the St. Louis Hotel, and within 
scent, of course, of the fragrant atmosphere of the 
largest " bar-room " in America, stands a French cafe, 
Parisian in all its appointments, and forming the corner 
of a long alley of French shops for wine-drinking, bil 
liards, &c. I went over, at the after-dinner hour, and 
found it thronged with the French mechanics most of 
them in their shirt-sleeves, but with wonderfully smooth 
hats and boots brilliantly lustrous. It was a singularly 
fat and happy assemblage. The higher class, I believe, 
do not frequent the cafes, here, as in France. The 
quality of the coffee might tempt them. It was truly 
delicious. "Whether there was any thing unmetropolitan 
in the accent of the merry chatter around, my ear was 
not sufficiently practised to decide but it sounded to 
me, as the coffee tasted and the surroundings looked 
French-y enough to have- been in France. To have 
such marked exponents of the two countries as a bar 
room and a cafe, on opposite sides of a street, each the 
best of its kind and each in full national operation, and 



352 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

noisy exclusively with its own language, seemed to me 
a racy and novel contiguity. So strong and close a 
contrast of nationalities could be found nowhere else, I 
fancy. You set down your Yankee julep on the coun 
ter, and cross the street into France. 

Of the shops in the French quarter, the glovers, ho 
siers and apothecaries, as in Paris, array their windows 
very invitingly quite outdoing New York in the dis 
play of these particular merchandises. The apotheca 
ries, as elsewhere, deal also in perfumeries ; but they 
add still another outrider to their drugs and medicines 
a most brilliant assortment of daggers and revolvers. 
Their show-cases present a curious juxta-position of 
means for keeping life in a man, and for letting it out 
of him salves and dirks, pills and pistols possibly a 
prudent hedging against the inroads of homcepathy ; 
for, however the trade in drugs and medicines may 
languish before the progress of new lights, the demand 
for deadly weapons is likely to be lively in the "West 
for some time to come. It is generally supposed that 
every man has his " persuader," of some sort, in his 
pocket. The ten thousand river-boys and other law 
less frequenters of New Orleans are reminded of it by 
the numerous shop windows which advertise the sup 
ply of the demand. And it is doubtless owing to the 
knowledge of this universal equipment and readiness, 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 353 

that insolences and acts of violence are so comparative 
ly rare in this community. In New York, where the 
peaceable man is very sure to be unarmed, rowdyism 
is ten times as rampant. 



LETTER No. 39. 



NEW ORLEANS, &c. 

NEW ORLEANS has three classes peculiar to itself 
migratory males, Creoles and Quadroons and while, to 
the respective habits of each is attributed the peculiar 
character of the other two, the three together form the 
piquant physiognomy of the city, and the difference 01 
its manners and morals from those of all the other 
capitals of the Union. The Creoles being mostly of 
Spanish and French descent, and the Quadroons being 
the various feminine dilutions of the negro the cotton 
and sugar atmosphere of the climate, apparently, giving 
n voluptuous elegance to both classes which is not 
produced by the same crosses of blood in other places 
it is to New Orleans that the traveller must come to 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE T R O I> I C S . 355 

see these varieties of the human family. They are indeed, 
among the city s prominent objects of interest, and the 
stranger \vould probably be an exception, who should 
not inquire the whereabouts of these wonders of the 
adorable gender before visiting the churches and court 
houses. 

To begin with the least interesting class. The " mi 
gratory males," (or the portion of the population known 
by this phrase, and so designated by Norman, in his 
Historical and Geographical Guide-Book,) number 
about twenty thousand. These constitute one-half or 
more of the business men of the place. The commerce 
of the city being a matter of " season," or occupying 
but the cooler months, the merchant is not necessarily 
a resident citizen. With this excuse, indeed, (and 
carefully renewed traditions of the yellow fever, cholera 
and alligators,) the Northern man who is " so unfortunate 
as to have business at New Orleans," is justified by 
public opinion in encountering its perils singly. He 
leaves wife and family at home. Married man or 
bachelor, therefore, he is one of that class who live at 
hotels and boarding-houses, and whose large number 
furnishes the patronage that has made these establish 
ments the most luxurious in the world. Nowhere is the 
single man better fed and lodged than at New Orleans. 
Nowhere is the problem of nourishment, or the effect of 
generous diet on the spirits, and general juvenescence 



356 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

more satisfactorily carried out. Judging by the differ 
ent manners and looks of the same men domesticated 
elsewhere, the fount for the renewal of youth, in search 
of which Ponce de Leon voyaged to the mouth of the 
Mississippi, is here sucked through a straw. 

The migratory male, though usually a man of means 
is so seldom a candidate for matrimony as never to be 
valued for that probability. If summer and a wife do 
not come round to him together, the mere fact that he 
is a bachelor at New Orleans pronounces him unlikely 
to wed. This, and the rareness of any comfortable 
proficiency in the French language, combine to isolate 
the aristocratic Creole society from the approach of 
these men about town. Polite hospitality is a dull lot 
tery without prizes ; and love made in broken French, 
or vicariously through the mamma, as French usage 
requires, is not very tempting bait to hearts that can 
otherwise spice their leisure. By this exclusion, ho\v- 
ever, the gentleman with money and domestic capabili 
ties to spare is deprived of the restraint which society 
imposes. It is only those who belong to society who 
feel the eye of its good opinion on their morals. And 
the consciousness of this Saturnalian freedom exercised 
by twenty thousand of the more youthful male inhabit 
ants, is perhaps part of the secret of the singularly gay 
and irresponsible demeanour for which New Orleans is 
proverbial. It is confessedly the secret also, (and the 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 357 

Creole exclusiveness is openly pleaded as the excuse,) 
of the* intermittent matrimony of the Quadroons, valid 
only during the business season, and conducted with 
much of the decency and (it is said) more than the good 
faith of ordinary society. In confirmation of these 
views, I will quote a passage from the admirable Guide 
Book to which I have been indebted for the statistics I 
have given. The author, B. M. Norman, Esq. remarks: 

" Of the one hundred and thirty thousand souls who 
now occupy this capital, (in 1845,) about twenty thou 
sand may be estimated as migratory. These are prin 
cipally males, engaged in the various departments of 
business. Some of them have families at the North, 
where they pass the summer. Many are bachelors, 
who have no home for one-half the year, and, if the 
poets are to be believed, less than half a home for the 
remainder. As these two classes of migratory citizens, 
who live at the hotels and boarding-houses, embrace 
nearly, if not quite, one-half the business men of the city, 
it may serve to some extent to account for the seeming 
ly severe restrictions by which the avenues to good na 
tive society are protected. Unquestionable character, 
certified beyond mistake, is the only passport to the 
domestic circle of the Creole. * * The restrictions 
thus thrown around society, and the great difficulty 
which the new coiner experiences in securing a share 
in those social enjoyments to which he has been accus 
tomed in other places, have had an unfavourable effect 
upon the morals of the place. Having no other re 
source for pastime, when the hours of business are 
over, he flies ," etc. etc. 

"Of the lovely clisdainers of these birds of passage 
the exclusive and thorough-bred CREOLES the stranger 



358 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

who is in New Orleans but for a few days, gets, of 
course, a very casual and unreliable impassion.* His 
curiosity, if he be an American, is scarce more stimula 
ted than his ideas of precedence are embarrassed, by 
that which is an excessive novelty in his own country, 
though common enough on the Continent of Europe 
the foreigners are the upper class. Here are two halves 
of a city, as distinct, up to the very dividing edge, as 
the half of a pine-apple fitted to the half of a pine-apple 
cheese one as thoroughly Yankee as granite-fronted 
and big- windowed new book-stores, and slender-necked, 
sharp-eyed-looking shopkeepers can make it, while the 
other is as old-fashioned and conservatively French 
but, while the enterprise and business prosperity seems 
all on the side where his own language is exclusively 
spoken, the patrician society wherein move the dames 
he is most curious to see, is on the side where he hears 
nothing but French ! Willing enough to recognise the 
precedence, if he had time (an Atlantic between, to 
make up his mind to it) the suddenness with which 
he is called upon to reverse his habit of uppermostage, 
and place the speakers of a foreign language above his 
Yankee-speaking countrymen, here, on their own soil, 
confuses and perplexes him. He lacks the accommo 
dating facility with which the municipality have arran 
ged the street signs " EUE DES GRANDS HOMMES " on 
one corner, and " GREAT MEN STREET " on the corner 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 359 

opposite; or the still more pat and plump putting of the 
French uppermost, in the conspicuous sign of one of 
their respectable vermin-killers " MORT AUX EATS " 
above, and " DEATH ON EATS " immediately below. 

My own most satisfactory glimpse at the Creole la 
dies was an accidental one caught from a friend s car 
riage as he stopped under balconied windows, and called 
out the inmates for a moment s gossip in passing but 
it does not take long to see (what is the very bean ideal 
of fashionable culture, and what one thinks perfectly 
adorable wherever one sees it) the loveliness of a French 
lady in demi-toilette. It was a summer s afternoon, 
and we were driving around among the avenues of 
charming suburban residences my friend kindly play 
ing the cicerone, but, himself a Creole, and taking ad 
vantage of passing the residences of intimates, by ex 
changing here and there a greeting where a window 
showed sign of fair inhabitant and, with those pictu 
resque balconies suddenly enlivened by a fair form, ex 
quisitely dressed, though in neglige, and with the lively 
familiarity of gossip in the only language that can ex 
press gossip in perfection, and, withal, with the com 
plete simplicity which only seemed to be there because 
Art had found and left it there I thought I had never 
seen glimpses 01 life more delightful. The Creole man 
ners are those of French life (I am led .to believe) be 
fore Napoleon sold Louisiana to us, when, for an age, 



360 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

it had been the world s model of polite culture. Both 
here and at Martinique, I fancy, the Frenchman might 
find, shelved and nourishing, at high-water mark, that 
old-time courtliness which has found a drift-wood desti 
ny on the ebbing tide of aristocracy at home. 

I had a fuller view of the Creole fashion at the opera 
a crowded house, and apparently none but the ladies 
of this particular class present. Sir William Don was 
playing at one of the other theatres, and the city w r as 
most showily placarded on every corner with the bills 
of " A Bloomer Ball" this last being the evening s 
most likely attraction for the " migratory males." The 
opera drew its audience, apparently, by mere force of 
fashion. Madam Wiedemann was the prima donna, 
and her intellectual ugliness, unredeemed by her voice, 
left us plenty of spare attention for other things. It 
would have been like a dress opera at Paris or Dresden 
but for the singular delicacy of the female physiogno 
mies, and (I could not help thinking) a far greater 
amount of beauty than ever is seen assembled in those 
capitals. The house was not very large, but it was 
crammed to every corner with absolute good taste in 
toilettes. I had a favourable seat in the box of a 
French acquaintance, and, with a complete view of the 
assemblage, I tried in vain to find an un stylish dame or 
demoiselle. There was a languidly self-possessed air 
curiously universal; and not practised upon one atti- 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 361 

tilde, either, for, so sociable an audience, with so lively 
a circulation of beaux, I had seldom seen. It was evi 
dently used as much for a conversazione as for an opera. 
Of the Creole beauty, as there seen, the stranger 
would bring away a charmed remembrance, I am very 
sure. The magnolia-like indolence of their pale but 
still passionate-looking sweetness, shows a perfecting 
touch, (for love, at ^oast,) given to tue blood of a race, 
by the climate. 



LETTER No. 40, 



NEW OKLEANS,&c. 

THE QUADROON S humble table, on Sunday, is graced 
by the presence of her lord and master or, in this 
way, at least, we may plausibly account for the fact, 
that, only on this morning of the week, the bandanna 
beauty is sure to be seen at the market with her bas 
ket. The stranger who expresses a curiosity with re 
gard to the class, is reminded by any citizen not to lose 
this opportunity, as the Quadroon is seen regularly 
abroad at no other place and time. She is a wife that 
day, table and all and must herself pick the delica 
cies that are to assist her tenderness in making a 
domestic meal more agreeable than the luxurious din 
ner at a hotel. 

It was a brilliant and balmy sunrise that called mo 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPIiCS. 363 

out of bed for this market-scene, and, ("two birds with 
one stone,") for the matims in the cathedral near by. 
May is a sort of Quadroon month, famous for making 
a day of uncertain weather begin as if it were summer 
sure to last May mornings having thus passed into a 
phrase ; and being proverbially and sweetly bright, 
however cold the noons or cloudy the evenings. The 
climate of New Orleans, (let me here record my pul 
monary warnings to invalids,) is not to be tropically be 
lieved in ; but the air in the streets, on the Sabbath 
morning I speak of, was of a quality for which it was 
worth while to have had lungs made delicate, even by 
illness. There was a caress in it, to which a well man, 
(with his finer nature out of reach under his animal 
health,) might have been almost culpably indifferent. 

My way lay through the French quarter of the town, 
where the shops were all being opened as on a week 
day the shop-shutting Sunday, as in Paris, not com 
mencing till noon. As the traveller knows, it is part 
of the French distribution of employments to the sexes, 
that the persuading across the counter shall be done by 
attractive women ; and as these fair clerks, though 
they take down the window-shutters, and sweep, and 
sprinkle, are never ungracefully dressed, the busy side 
walk of shop-openers is not an unattractive promenade 
for early risers. If one wants a contrast, however, it 
is near by. Missing my way, I passed through a street 



364 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

entirely inhabited by German emigrants homely clo 
thing needlessly ungraceful, and filth needlessly aggra 
vated and lived-in like a natural element, from one end 
to the other. The Germans seem to me to have been 
unmistakeably assorted before birth. If " low-born," it 
is not, as in other countries, an accident that may be 
remedied by removal to the atmosphere of the " free 
and equal." They are natural plebeians if plebeians 
at all their inferiority of blood affidavited by every 
look and movement, and perpetuated by instincts hope 
lessly quadruped-esque. And while they thus "live 
like pigs," in New Orleans, there are streets of French 
people just as poor, all around them, and from every 
window juts out a box of flower-pots, with roses in 
bloom, and no woman, child, door-step or poodle-dog, 
looks otherwise than picturesque and cleanly. The 
" Microscopic World, not long since, gave us an ac 
count of insects whose eggs are eaten and digested by 
two different birds before being first found winged and 
lively in guano; and, that German emigrants may thus 
be the guano-cracy of our country, ready to brighten 
into American citizens after an age or two of filth and 
omitted intellect, may be an analogous fact in natural 
history. 

The market was audible before it was visible, and the 
turning of the corner which brought it into view was 
quite like the lifted curtain of a play. The building was 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 365 

but a light roof supported upon columns, and being 
thus open on all sides to the surrounding streets, its 
whole busy scene was embraced in a dramatic coup 
d^ceil. But the action and vociferation with which eve 
ry huckster drew attention to his stall, were still more 
dramatic. A practised player would hardly have out 
done any one of them. Over one shelf rather meagrely 
furnished with vegetables, the salesman was indus 
triously blowing a trumpet perhaps by way of balan 
cing the attraction, as most of the venders were women. 
Flowers in sumptuous bouquets seemed an article in 
great demand. The potatoes and turnips were sold by 
small earthen-pots -full the pots of a shape somewhat 
promoted by their present occupation. Hot coffee was 
smilingly pressed upon the passer-by, from almost eve 
ry corner, and, indeed, it seemed the custom to take a 
cup in the course of the morning s marketing. Flowers, 
coffee ajid all, it was a gay matinee. 

I made the round of the alleys, jostled here and there 
a fair and unscrupulous elbow, and shoved right and 
left by the neat French baskets carried on vigorous 
petticoated hips ; but I needed a cicerone. The class 
I had particularly come to see were doubtless around 
me, in any number ; but there seemed various shades 
of complexion, and I looked in vain for those differen 
ces of demeanour which might indicate the nearer or 
remoter approaches to the matrimony forbidden in its 



366 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

full extent to persons of their colour.* Frailty by the 
day is usually recognisable in a crowd, all over the 
world ; but the fidelity by the quarter, or by the season, 
for which the " Quadroon " is remarkable, seems to 
allow her to walk, dress, and buy vegetables, so much 
like a wife, as not to be distinguished by a stranger. 
Some of the basketed marketers were so white, that, but 
for the bandanna on the head and the barbaresque gold 
ear-ring, I should not have supposed them " persons of 
colour." The tan-stripe down the vertebrae of the back 
which is said to betray any shade of negro taint in 
the blood, was, of course, beyond my promenading 
observation. 

I must confess to have had my sympathies somewhat 
excited for this class, by conversation with Southern 
gentlemen, who spoke of their condition, of course, with 
no Northern prejudice. One or two Quadroon families 
were mentioned, who, with freedom, had acquired means 
to give their children education, and who had sent them 

* It may explain my embarrassment in this particular, to quote 
the account of the varieties of mixed complexion given in the 
Encyclopedia : 

" The offspring of a white and a mulatto is called a quadroon, 
or one-quarter black ; of a white and quadroon, a muster, or 
one-eighth black ; of a white and muster, a mustafina, or one- 
sixteenth black after which they are said to be whitewashed, 
and are considered as Europeans." 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 367 

to France, that they might marry, and enter into busi 
ness where there was no reproach upon their blood. 
But it is a curious peculiarity of the race, that home 
sickness seems to be the weakness of their nature. 
These who were incidentally mentioned in the conver 
sations I speak of had returned, leaving what might be 
thought excellent opportunities in a land where they 
were not stigmatized, and were now living in New Or 
leans in complete seclusion, their inevitable melancholy 
deepened and embittered by education. One family 
was instanced, more particularly, who possessed beauty 
and talents to a very unusual degree. 

My anticipations were not exactly realized by the 
female Quadroons whom I saw in the market. Those 
whose white parent had been of light complexion a 
sort of freckled mulatto, with reddish hair, were fright 
fully ugly. The brunette complexion of the French 
man or Spaniard mixes best with the negro blood. 
Some who had a slight down of dark silk on the lip, 
and the sort of hushed-eye of day-slumbering night- 
awaking passion the clear brown iris large, liquid and 
indolent looked capable of being thought beautiful, at 
least by one person at a time. A beauty which they 
al. had, however, was the perfectly flat and straight 
back, with the head and neck springing from it with 
admirable pose and proportion. Between ankles and 
chin, they are said to be the best-formed race of women 



368 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

in the world the foot inheriting with fatal certainty 
the trace of toil, and the face the far-descending im 
print of conscious servitude. This last is slight, though 
I think universal. I could make no other generalizing 
remark upon the character of the faces I saw, except 
that there was a kind of deferential modesty in them all, 
and (what I very much admire, for it is elsewhere found 
only at the other extreme, of high breeding,) complete 
unconsciousness of observation. Every Quadroon I 
saw walked through the crowd as if she felt herself to 
be invisible. 

From the market I made my way to the Cathedral 
matins over, apparently, but doors open, and dimness 
and stillness within for all who needed them. The Ca 
tholic worship is the religious luxury of the traveller. 
Away from home and its set times and places, the heart 
needs to know that it may enter a house of God when 
ever world-weary or willing to be alone with better 
thoughts. We may not always pray there. To go in 
may be rather a luxury than a duty performed. But 
the accustomed influences are soothing ; and, if one has 
a home and has been long away, it is the place to go 
and be alone with tender memories of it. I sat down 
in the dim light, and an old gray-headed negro said his 
prayers near by we two, as far as I could see, the only 
profilers by the open door, for that hour and I felt 
myself somehow, magnetised by his neighbourhood and 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 369 

his apparent devotion. Perhaps his praying, also, for 
the sick-looking stranger, may be part of the history of 
the morning whose mingled experience I have thus en 
deavored to chronicle. 



LETTER No, 41 

CLASSES AT NEW OELEANS, &c. 

THE " ALLIGATORS " the boatmen of the Mississippi 
were a part of the transient population of New Or 
leans, about whom I had long felt a curiosity. In story 
and in common parlance, they occupy somewhat the 
position as to the "West, that the Bedouin Arabs do to 
the East though, with a home three thousand miles 
long, and with a life which compels them to " combine 
the accomplishments of the sailor, the whaleman, the 
backwoodsman and the Yankee," they are vastly supe 
rior to those mere mounted loafers of the desert. 
Probably no vocation in the world so taxes every kind 
of bodily dexterity, so disciplines the courage, so calls 
upon the sharpness of the wits. Their constitutions 
are not only subjected to the changes of all climates, 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 371 

but their intercourse is with the inhabitants of all lati 
tudes. They vibrate between the icicle and the sugar 
cane, familiarized on the way with every variety of pro 
duce, of soil, of merchandise and of character. They 
eat anything, toil anyhow, sleep anywhere. The partic 
ular neighbourhood to which any one of them is re 
sponsible for character the spot in the wilderness 
where bis chimney smokes and his wife waits for him 
are trifles lost in the vastness of his range. His credit 
is the length of his visible purse, his reputation the 
length of his visible shadow. From the overlapping 
reciprocities and influences that sustain other men he is 
completely isolated. His strength is in what he can 
show, what he can do, what he has got, and what he is 
for the moment. He depends wholly and habitually 
on himself. 

"With the level of the human family to which this 
class belongs, as with the opposite extreme of the most 
refined and cultivated, I must confess to be more inter 
ested than with the classes intermediate as one admires 
the tree in the untrimmed wilderness of the woods, or 
when made into something useful or ornamental, with 
out wishing to give much time to it, as lumber. The 
school of character in which these amphibious "Wes 
terners are educated, for example, is more interesting 
than much that is called " society." It is a school 
without books taught by nature and contact only 



372 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

and must be full of curious phenomena of development, 
mental and moral. I regretted exceedingly that I had 
not the health and leisure to make a careful study of 
the five-mile extent of " alligators " along the Levee of 
New Orleans. Among the occupants of the two thou 
sand flat-boats, (estimated to be moored along the shore 
at one time,) there must be many a monotype of a man 
who would never have been so genuinely himself, 
though he might have more largely developed with edu 
cation and opportunity many a poet whose soul is all 
there, though not bound also in morocco; many a hero 
whose heart swells without straining gilt buttons; many 
a statesman whose power sleeps, like the statue in the 
block of marble, waiting for the chisel of his country s 
need. Judging by the graphic and pungent phrases 
which we are continually adopting from the vocabulary 
of the " alligator," he is, at least, a talker of most enter 
taining originality ; and, as one of the most important 
features of our national character is forming in his west 
ern growth and progress, he might be an instructive 
Btudy as well as an interesting and amusing one. 

My walks to the river, at New Orleans, were not ta 
ken, of course, without remembering to what that span 
of muddy water is the wondrous gate. Including the 
tributaries of the Mississippi, it is the outlet of seventeen 
thousand miles of internal navigation. The Valley of 
the great river alone, (says Norman,) contains nearly as 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 373 

many square miles and more tillable ground than all 
continental Europe; and, if peopled as densely as 
England, would sustain a population of five hundred 
millions more than half of the present inhabitants of 
the earth. It is almost impossible to anticipate the fu 
ture magnitude of New Orleans as the commercial em 
porium of this vast tract. The productions of many 
climates are tributary to its progress. The Mississippi 
abounds in coal, lead, iron and copper ore, all found in 
veins of wonderful richness. The Missouri stretches 
thirty-nine hundred miles to the Great Falls, among the 
Fiat Foot Indians, and five thousand from New Or 
leans. The Yellow Stone Eiver, navigable for eleven 
hundred miles, the Platte for sixteen hundred, and the 
Kauzas for twelve hundred, are only tributaries to the 
latter river. The Ohio is two thousand miles to Pitts- 
burg, receiving into her bosom from numerous streams, 
the products of New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Ken 
tucky, Western Virginia, Tennessee, Indiana and Illi 
nois. The Arkansas, Big Black, Yazoo, Red River and 
many others, all pouring their wealth into the main ar 
tery, the Mississippi, upon whose mighty current it 
floats down to the grand reservoir, New Orleans. The 
population of the Mississippi valley was ten millions in 
1845, and in that same year there were five hundred 
steamboats most of them of monstrous size and capa 
city plying upon its waters. Let me simply quote 



374 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

Mr. Norman s concluding remarks after giving these 
statistics : 

" Such statements as these, large as they seem, con 
vey to the reader but a partial idea of the great Valley, 
and of the wide extent of country to which New Or 
leans is the key, and which guaranties her present and 
future prosperity. To form a full estimate, he must, 
beside all this, see her mountains of iron, and her inex 
haustible veins of lead and copper ore, and almost 
boundless regions of coal. The first article mentioned 
(and the phrase in which it is expressed is no figure of 
speech) has been pronounced by the most scientific as- 
sayer of France, to be superior to the best Swedish 
iron. These, and a thousand unenumerated products, 
beside the well-known staples, constitute its wealth ; all 
of which, by a necessity of nature, must flow through 
our Crescent City, to find an outlet into the greater 
world of commerce. With such resources, nothing 
short of some dreadful convulsion of nature, or the 
more dreadful calamity of war, can prevent New Or 
leans from becoming, if not the first, next in commercial 
importance to the first city in the IJnited States per 
haps, in the world. The nourishing towns upon the 
Mississippi and her tributaries, are merely the deposito 
ries for this great mart. In twenty years she must, 
according to her present increase, contain a population 
of three hundred thousand, with a trade proportionably 
extended. 

" With such views, it may be deemed folly to at 
tempt to look forward to the end of the nineteenth cen 
tury, when this metropolis will, in all probability, ex 
tend back to Lake Pontchar train, and to Carrolton on 
the course of the river. The swamps, that now only 
echo to the hoarse bellowing of the alligator, will then 
be densely built upon, and rendered cheerful by the gay 
voices of its inhabitants, numberinc- at least a million 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 375 

of human leings. If, like Rip Van Winkle, we may be 
permitted to come back, after the lapse of half a cen 
tury, with what surprise and astonishment shall we 
witness the change which the enterprise of man will 
have wrought. But let us not waste a moment in 
dreaming about it. Let us be up and doing, to fulfil 
our part of the mighty achievement. It would not be 
strange, however, if the present map, which is given to 
show the rapid growth of the city, by comparison with 
one drawn in 1728, should then be republished, with a 
similar design, to exhibit the insignificance of New Or 
leans in 1845 ! We ask the kindness of the critics of 
that period, should they deign to turn over these pages, 
begging them to consider that our humble work was 
produced as far back as the benighted age of steam !" 

The stranger starts from his hotel, at New Orleans, 
with the idea that he will go down to the river, and see 
the " alligators." He follows the sidewalk, as directed, 
but, to the confusion of his habitual notion of where 
tide- water should be, he finds presently that it is up hill 
to the river ! As he sees the shipping from a distance, 
the harbour seems to be on the second story the city 
in the basement and the Mississippi on the parlour- 
floor ! He approaches the Levee, a pier of almost 
prairie extent, and it is a vast slope ascending gradually 
to the water s edge. The drays are tugging up hill to 
the vessel-sides. The wildernesses of cotton-bales and 
sugar-hogsheads look as if, with a slight push, they 
would all roll back into the stores to be sold, of their 
own accord. The gutter s vocation seems reversed to 
bring clean water in to the town, not to take dirty wa- 



376 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

ter out of it. And as one looks up from a street 
where children are playing and thousands of men and 
women thronging hither and thither in unsuspicious se 
curity, and sees the slight embankment that keeps the 
most powerful of rivers from rushing down upon the 
scene with terrific destruction a mud wall holding a 
deluge up above a crowded metropolis, and the floods 
and freshets of seventeen thousand miles of mountain 
and valley thus precariously guarded against and held 
in check one cannot but have a very mingled feeling, 
scarce definable, half glad to belong to a more reliable 
high-and-dry-dom oneself, but half sad for the horrible 
calamity that may gather any hour in the clouds, for 
those to whom this is a home. The " Guide-Book " 
gives us what little can be hopefully said upon the 
matter : 

" The fear is often entertained that the levees of the 
Mississippi are not sufficient to resist the great body of 
water that is continually bearing and wearing upon 
them ; and these fears have, in several cases, been real 
ized,- though never to any very great extent. In May, 
1816, the river broke through, about nine miles above 
New Orleans, destroyed several plantations, and inun 
dated the back part of the city to the depth of three or 
four feet. The crevasse was finally closed by sinking 
a vessel in the breach, for the suggestion and accom 
plishment of which the public was chiefly indebted to 
Governor Claiborne. 

" In June, 1844, the river rose higher than it had 
done for many years, marking its whole course, for more 
than two thousand miles, with wide-spread destruction 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 377 

to property and life. It crept over the levee in some 
places near New Orleans, but caused no actual breach 
in that vicinity. At Bonnet Carre it forced a crevasse, 
doing considerable damage, and causing great alarm in 
the neighbourhood ; but the mischief was not so serious 
as might have been anticipated, and the embankment 
has been so increased and strengthened, as to leave but 
little apprehension for the future." 

It is a curious fact that the Mississippi is at work 
like ten thousand wheelbarrows, dumping dirt upon a 
ridge its own bottom Which may be a terraced site 
for the city hereafter. Most rivers will dig and carry 
away dirt from their own channels few will bring and 
dump it there. Instead of deepening every year, the 
channel is constantly rising with the deposit of mud, 
and the embankments of the Levee are correspondingly 
raised. In the progress of time, of course, it will be 
so much above the city that it may be necessary to 
turn off the stream upon the lowlands on the opposite 
side, and then the present gradually elevating bottom 
of the " Father of "Waters " will become the Broad 
way of New-Orleans, its highest ridged thoroughfare 
and gayest promenade. This naturally slow accretion 
is increased by the embankments which are more and 
more confining the river throughout its lower length, 
and the changes that it may bring about, in the path of 
its navigable waters at the Mouth, seems to be already 
occasioning serious apprehension. The New Orleans 



378 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

Bulletin, in a recent article, thus speaks of the assist 
ance necessary to be given by steamers, to vessels en 
tering the Mouth of the Mississippi : 

" But towing large and heavy draughts up and down 
stream is only a comparatively small part of the busi 
ness of towboats, as we have before observed. After 
their work proper is done, there is another extra labour 
to be performed, in the execution of which the strength 
and power of steam, iron, wood, hawsers, springs and 
cordage of every kind, are tested to their utmost ca 
pacity of endurance. At the mouths of the river there 
are barriers to the ingress and egress of vessels pro 
pelled by wind and sails alone, as impassible as if 
constructed of solid rock, instead of plastic mud. 
Through, not over, these mud flats, in water twelve and 
fourteen feet deep, ships from eighteen to twenty feet 
draught, are dragged by these boats. Sometimes they 
stick and hold fast, with an adhesiveness which it seems 
no power can overcome, requiring the work of hours, 
often clays, and even weeks, to remove them from their 
tenacious moorings. 

" The mouths of the Mississippi (and there are now 
only two that are used at all for the passage of vessels 
of even tolerable size) are so choked up with the allu 
vion that is brought down by the current, and deposited 
a.t the debouche of the river, that they are impassable, 
without the application of steam power, and no vessel 
of any size worth speaking of, ever attempts to cross 
the bar, inward or outward bound, without the aid of a 
towboat, oftener two, and frequently four, pulling and 
dragging her through the mud with all their concentra 
ted power, at a snail s pace. This, as it may well be 
supposed, is hard and tedious work, involving often 
great risk of property, sometimes jeoparding life, re 
quiring consummate skill and prudence, and always at 
tended with serious responsibility. The boarding of 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 379 

a large ship at sea, with a fresh breeze and a heavy 
swell, (and these boats sometimes go out fifty and sixty 
miles,) and arranging all the necessary preliminaries for 
towing her into a harbour, is a nice and hazardous un 
dertaking." 



LETTER No, 42. 



THE LEVEE, (or grand single quay of New Orleans,) 
is made to look somewhat Oriental by the numerous 
tableaux vivants presented by the overseers and their 
negro labourers. Under a moveable awning, stretched 
upon four poles, and stuck any where among bales of 
merchandise, reclines a gentleman in broad-brimmed 
straw hat, loose cravat, and white jacket, never with 
out a cigar and a newspaper, and forming a centre to 
the Ethiop group around him, which an artist would 
very much admire. The shining negroes, with quite 
as little clothing as a sculptor would accord to his mo 
del, are almost never out of attitude favourable for 
sketch or daguerreotype and, indeed, it seemed to me, 
that the Levee, from one end to the other, was but a 
series of capital subjects for the "Pictorials." They 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 381 

would only not do as illustrations to " Uncle Tom," for 
you would scarce find in the world a class of labourers 
who are as habitually cheerful as these blacks ; and no 
white working men, I am very sure, anywhere in Eu 
rope, who take their daily task half as easy. For a 
lean or discontented one, I looked in vain. And this, 
I confess, somewhat surprised me for, in New Orleans, 
if anywhere, with the rush of business in the mercantile 
season, and the city s renown for recklessness, I had 
expected to see the slave hard driven. The opportunity 
to observe them here is large. You may form some 
idea of the number employed on this one pier, from an 
other statistic given by Norman. In 1845 there were 
three thousand drays in constant employ upon the Le 
vee and there are probably three negroes to one dray, 
lading, unlading, and driving. 

The Alligator crafts, as well as the other shipping, 
have a curiously inquisitive and mere morning-call look, 
from having only nose-room at the water s edge, and 
from the slope of the Levee outward, like a natural 
beach. There are no projecting wharves, and no per 
pendicular abutment against which a vessel could be 
moored. If she draw too much water to come close, 
a long plank runs off from the sloping descent of the 
shore to the prow or stern ; and this gives, as I said 
before, a most momentary and accidental look to the 
whole vast multitude of boats and shipping. The flat- 



382 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

boats are unsightly structures enough. They are built 
only to come down stream and are, of course, of the 
cheapest construction that will hold together. The 
cabins are made to serve as groceries, bar-rooms, dry- 
goods stores, music saloons, etc. etc., on the voyage 
and, though of rough boards innocent of paint, have 
such splendid names as " The Alhambra," " Great 
Men s Ketreat," " Planters Exchange," " Eotunda," 
etc. the walls, meantime, drying into higher-priced 
lumber, while fulfilling this intermediate destiny. 

The " Alligators " are themselves too sharp-eyed 
to be easy under observation. It is hard to find one 
of them indifferent to your eye, or so carelessly off his 
guard as not to know when he is looked at. The only 
kind of man they seem not to notice at all is a loud 
talker; and so common and vulgarized a gift does 
oratory seem to be, and so readily does drink run into 
it in the West, that I fancy the surest way to observe, 
and be yourself unobserved, (at least in the most 
crowded part of the Levee,) would be to mount upon a 
hogshead, and appear anxious for an audience. I saw 
many scenes, or parts of scenes, scarcely describable, 
where there was a most curious indifference to that 
which excites attention or moves a crowd elsewhere 
giving one the impression that it was a class of people 
so familiarized to threat and violence, that nothing in 
that line, short of a bowie knife or a revolver, would 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 383 

make one of them lift an eyelid. Yet, to the movements 
of a quiet and silent stranger one who would wholly 
escape notice ordinarily they seemed, on the contrary, 
unaccountably attentive. They think it no offence, or, 
at least, one for the consequences of which they are 
quite ready, to sidle up and listen when two persons are 
talking quietly, or walk round a man and survey him 
like a wax figure in the museum. Three times out of 
four, when I stopped to take a more leisurely gaze at 
something, I found myself thus walked round and scan 
ned partly because I proved myself a stranger by my 
curiosity, probably but evidently from a habit of neg 
lecting no indication of what was going on. And this 
manifestation of mingled cuteness and simplicity is made 
more characteristic by a peculiar look never seen in a 
lower class in Europe, a savage unconsciousness of owing 
you any respect whatever. Personal presence, as felt 
in a man more than in a tree, is utterly unacknowledg 
ed by the alligator. He shows you this in his face 
in a sort of negative insolence of expression, quite at 
your service, if you like to take offence at it, and best 
explainable, perhaps, as Yankee independence in the 
fungus state, run rank with over-luxuriance. 

I fancy that it is from there being no interchange of 
respect between him and any other man, that the alli 
gator is so reckless of his personal appearance. He 
evidently never gives it a thought. The contrast is 



384 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

curious, in this respect, between him and the French 
labouring man or mechanic who stands shirt-sleeved be 
side him on the Levee the latter being invariably in 
high physical condition, with beard all grown, form 
erect, and enough care in his dress to show his pro 
portions to the best advantage. As to w r orldly con 
dition they are about equals yet the alligator, with 
twice the energy, twice the enterprise, twice the pride 
of the other man, and ten times his capability under 
emergencies, looks a beggar in comparison. He buys 
articles of dress at hap-hazard, lets the law of gravita 
tion fit and arrange them, and is slovenly, unwashed, 
and half buttoned but it is more particularly in his 
way of moving and bearing himself that he shows the 
absence of the common human starch of remembered 
visibility. He sits down like a wet rag, simply collaps 
ing into a heap. He walks with a stoop, his knees bent 
forward and his hat carelessly on the back of his head, 
but still with the lithe ease with which a cat draws one 
leg after the other. Though probably the most deadly 
and formidable combatant.that could possibly be enlist 
ed, particularly to fight " on his own hook," he is the 
most unsoldierlike looking man in the world. I noticed 
that they \vere generally oval-faced, with a slighter jaw 
bone and a less animal construction than any other labor 
ing class I had ever seen, and remarkably slight-limbed 
hollow-chested and sallow all of which could be easily 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 385 

accounted for by the malaria to which they are exposed 
and their peculiar occupations; though how the mind 
has quickened and the character formed into new and 
strong features under this physical deterioration, is 
more of a mystery. 



LETTER No. 43 



NEW ORLEANS P1QUANCES. 

THERE is a common nuisance in New Orleans, the 
mention of which to a London beggar would make his 
mouth water, viz : that a gentleman brings home upon 
his boots, after a walk on the Levee, a sugar mud, the 
scrapings of which would about keep a small family in 
molasses. The, spillings, from the innumerable boxes 
and hogsheads of this, their great staple of merchan 
dise, are prodigally careless and perpetual; and the 
sprinkle of the water-carts converts it into a saccharine 
cement, which is most inconveniently adhesive. From 
the difficulty I found in removing my own sweetness of 
sole, with a common scraper, after every walk by the 
river side, I should suppose, (and the Messrs. Berrian 
are welcome to patent the idea at their Museum of 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 337 

wonderful usefulness,) that a door-mat, with something 
like an inverted carpenter s plane imbedded in the cen 
tre, would be a saleable article in New Orleans. Clean 
floors are desirable even in haunts of business; and la 
dies, (those, at least, who find time to think of their car 
pets during a gentleman s morning call,) have occasion 
sometimes, of course, to wish that the remembrance of 
the pleasure could be a little less sweet and sticky. 



But, as if New Orleans were the most piquant city 
in the world, there is another peculiar liability attached 
to the simple matter of taking a walk in its streets. 
With the elevation of the bed of the river above the 
level of the town, the gutters, of course, must either 
flow up hill to find an outlet, or evaporate at their 
sulky leisure. The latter is their choice, as far as my 
observation extended. Hackney-vehicles being in great 
demand, at the same time, in so warm a climate, and 
the stands for these conveniences being along the side 
walks of the principal streets and flies (thirdly) being 
active and numerous amid such fecund stagnation the 
dashing of the hoofs of kicking horses, into the pools 
along which you walk, and in which they stand waiting 
for your custom, is as perpetual as fly-biting can make 
it. With at least fifty thousand pair of white panta 
loons daily exposed to the broadsides of this unsavoury 



388 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

artillery, gentlemen spotless in the afternoon are of 
course the conspicuous exceptions a clean outside to a 
man s leg being tolerable evidence that he has not. that 
day, been out of doors. Like the yellow fever, for 
which the city is so formidable, at a distance, however, 
this trouser varioloid is an epidemic to which the inhab 
itants themselves are curiously indifferent. The stran 
ger is naturally disturbed by it .but you may know a 
resident by the easy nonchalance with which he makes 
his bespattered entrance into bar-room or hotel. 



Sitting at breakfast, one morning, at the St. Louis 
Hotel, I found my attention interested in a face at the 
upper end of the table, and, without more than the ca 
price which one s fancy thus takes, over a silver fork, I 
insensibly made quite a study of the physiognomy and 
manners of that one out of the thirty or forty persons 
breakfasting around me. I should be taking a liberty 
not having made the acquaintance of the gentleman, 
and he being a private citizen on whom the digito 
monstrari has no claim to do more than allude to the 
genial countenance and general air of superiority which 
thus drew my attention ; but, a friend coming in, after 
a while, who pointed him out to me as the purchaser of 
Powers 1 statue of the Greek SJave, the feeling which it 
stirred made an event of rny seeing him, for which I 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 389 

am inclined to give New Orleans, whose citizen he is, 
the tribute of such mention of the matter as I find 
coming to the tip of my quill. 

That beautiful statue, I believe, is allowed to be the 
triumph of modern Art, and the price paid for it was a 
small fortune. I cannot very well explain the glow 
which ran through my blood at thus unexpectedly see 
ing the purchaser, without reminding the reader how 
unequal are the uses of money how the same dollar, 
for instance, spent for a supper with an indigestion, 
might have bought the needlework of a sleepless mo 
ther, whose toil for her babes, that weary night, drew 
angels to look down upon her from heaven. 

To buy a creation of genius, like that statue, was not 
the mere giving of ten thousand dollars for an equiva 
lent. The price was noble offered with a noble ap 
preciation of what it bought but there was so much 
more than the marble, which had been obedient to the 
money. The skill, the industry and the perfected ob 
ject of beauty were little to the inner life which had 
been lived for it the glow of inspired first conception, 
the streno-thening of self-confidence, the disciplining ago 
nies of doubt and obscured vision, the raptures of pro 
gressively developed ideal, the alternations between hope 
and dread, between tears and triumphs the superhu 
man portion, we may almost say, of the history of ge 
nius. And there sat a man who had made himself the 



390 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

master of so much more than it would seem possible to 
bargain for a Prospero whose wealth 

"Correspondent, to command, 
Doing his spiriting gently," 

had indeed done him the service of an Ariel. Why, it 
seemed to me like seeing a potentate who had exercised 
a rare kind of power. It was better than seeing a 
king. And I trust that a breakfast, in which such an 
event could occur, will be thought legitimately within 
reach of the traveller s chronicle of adventure. 



I find it takes new eyes to be surprised at very 
thought-stirring scenes, sometimes ; but, to give a 
strong instance of what people may get so used-to as 
to give over looking at it with any particular curiosity, 
I will describe what was set out upon tico tables on the 
opposite sides of the bar-room of my hotel. The 
reader will perhaps remember the description already 
given of this drinking saloon a vast dome, like the bo 
dy of a cathedral, around which the hotel is built, and 
to which it seems a secondary appurtenance. It is 
thronged at the drinking hour, and, on the morning I 
speak of, I had gone down to take a lounge through the 
crowd, interested as always in* the faces and manners 
of a strange city, but looking for no special novelty be 
yond. The day was warm and the drinkers many. I 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 39 1 

was amused with the usual contrast, as I went in, the 
architectural sublimities commonly reserved for places 
of sacred resort, (a dome sustained by lofty columns, 
and admitting light only from the meridian sky,) enclos 
ing a throng so careless and lively. I strolled along 
one side, and saw the lunch-table spread out with ter 
rapin soup, olives, sandiviches, etc.. and then, with a 
chance turn, I crossed the crowded floor and came up 
on another table on the opposite side, set out with 
what does the reader suppose ? half a dozen pretty 
and nicely dressed negr esses, from eighteen to twenty- 
five years of age, seated in chairs upon the top of the 
table, and waiting to be sold presently at auction ! 

And, to this, nobody was giving a second look. 
Groups of men stood about, on the marble floor of 
the vast area, with hats on and glasses in their hands, 
conversing gayly. The white-aproned waiters ladled 
out the soup. The gracious and gentlemanly master- 
bar-keepers stood braiding rainbows across their firma 
ment of decanters as they flung the ice and the rosy li 
quor back and forwards into fragrant contact with the 
mint. Politics were talked loud, and business was 
talked low. But it was not quite the hour lacking a, 
few minutes when the destiny of these other warm 
dishes was to be decided. 

Feeling themselves to be wholly unnoticed, probably, 
the negresses were perfectly natural, and their amused 



392 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

interest in the scene around, was sufficient to make 
them as gay as children at a show. The front of the 
table was on a line with the circle of columns, and it 
extended back across the corridor in the rear one of 
the women, who had two children at her knee, sitting 
back against the wall of the dome. This last was the 
only one whose face expressed any seriousness or 
anxiety, though all were modest in their cheerfulness, 
and they were evidently girls of good conduct, as well 
as in admirable bodily condition. Two of them were 
really handsome, I thought, and, by the taste with 
which their bandannas were coifted, they had inhaled a 
little of the French atmosphere of the city. 

The auctioneer mounted a chair, presently, and the 
sale proceeded too rapidly, however, for any very crit 
ical observation. With what I could see of it, I was 
exceedingly interested, though, of the crowd around, 
no one else except the bidders seemed to have the curi 
osity to look on. The girls seemed bashful more than 
anything else, dropping their eyes as the auctioneer told 
their ages and qualities, or stealing furtive glances at 
the low-voiced namers of the dollars they might be 
worth their vanity, doubtless, somewhat excited in 
watching the ladder up which their value was so reluc 
tantly ascending. Imagination might paint very touch 
ing pictures from this scene. It was over before I had 
got out rny "brushes and colours." I just remember 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 393 

that the mother looked pleased with the destiny of her 
self and her children. The others were gone without 
my having been able to designate even their prices 
deficient as of course I was in the practised alacrity of 
the market. But I looked down, from the gallery 
above, upon the two bare tables, later in the day, and 
indulged reverie over the contrasted disposal of the re 
spected viands the stomach s digestion of what had 
been spread upon one, and Fate s digestion of what had 
been spread upon the other. 



DESULTORY NOTES 

AND 

INFORMATION PICKED UP ON THE WAY. 

BREATHING, which is among the negative sensations in 
other climates, seemed to me a positive pleasure as 
positive as delicious feeding when hungry in the balmy 
sea of the Lesser Antilles. I could have heartily " said 
grace" after every breath. Perhaps my nicer and 
quicker sensibility, as an invalid recently from a harsh 
winter at the North, may have made my experience a 
relief as much as an enjoyment ; but it was a bliss of 
living, which kept me perpetually conscious of the en 
joyment of it. Yet it was probable that I was in this 
latitude at its most favorable season, and one, too, that 
is a brief exception to the rest of the year. Dr. Evans 
(an English Physician) thus describes the usual effect 
of the climate upon the newly arrived French officer 



396 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

and soldier sent to his post in the Islands of St. Lucia 
or Martinique : 

" The arterial system is excited ; the blood is deter 
mined to the surface of the body ; the skin is either 
preternaturally warm and dry, or covered with profuse 
perspiration. There is a desire for cool drink, which, 
when taken into the stomach, increases the perspira 
tion, until the clothes become saturated with moisture. 
The skin then becomes irritable, and covered with a 
lichenous eruption, known by the name of " prickly 
heat." The body seems to have acquired an inflamma 
tory diathesis; and, if blood be taken from a person 
under these circumstances, it will be found to be of a 
brighter color than in Enrope." 

Speaking of the effects of the marshes in the neigh 
borhood of "some of the French stations, the same wri 
ter says : " A European, or a native after a long resi 
dence in a temperate and healthy climate, arriving in 
these places, complains of a feeling of weight in the at 
mosphere, a something which resists the wish for exer 
tion or exercise. Both his mind and body are op 
pressed : his intellect is clouded ; his spirits are low and 
desponding, and all pre-existing love of enterprise van 
ishes. If his residence be protracted, he has slight 
febrile movements, which come on regularly or irregu 
larly, not sufficiently severe to prevent his usual avoca 
tions, but which, nevertheless, are sufficient to induce 
him to throw himself on a sofa, and require a ppwerful 
resolution to combat. In this manner his body may 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 397 

gradually accommodate itself to the climate, but he may 
consider himself fortunate if he escape so easily. In 
general, if he be guilty of any imprudences, he feels 
restless at night, and can only sleep during the cool of 
the morning. He feels out of sorts ; has pains in the 
back and extremities, as if from fatigue ; he complains 
of head-ache, sickness, and nausea; and, if these 
symptoms are not attended to immediately, suffers what 
is culled an attack of seasoning fever" 

It would seern that the long-sustained opinion of the 
salubrity of change to warmer climates for consumptive 
patients, is losing ground, even with the medical autho 
rities. The following is from the " New 7 York Times " 
of a recent date : 

CLIMATE ON CONSUMPTION. It appears that the medi 
cal faculty are beginning to question the opinion which 
has so long prevailed among medical men, that a change 
of climate is beneficial to persons suffering with the 
consumption. Sir James Clark, of England, has as 
sailed the doctrine with considerable force, and a 
French physician named Carriere, has written against 
it; but the most vigorous opponent of it is Dr. Bur 
gess, of whom a recent article in Chambers* Edinburgh 
Journal, which we find condensed in a Philadelphia pa 
per, gives an account. 

Dr. Burgess contends that climate has little or nothing 
to do with the cure of consumption, and that if it had, 
the curative effects would be produced through the 
skin, and not the lungs. That a warm climate is not in 
itself beneficial, he shows from the fact that the disease 
exists in all latitudes. In India and Africa, tropical 



398 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

climates, it is as frequent as in Europe or North Amer 
ica. At Malta, right in the heart of the genial Medi 
terranean, the army reports of England show that one- 
third of the deaths among the soldiers are by consump 
tion. At Nice, a favorite resort of English invalids, es 
pecially those afflicted with lung complaints, there are 
more native-born persons die of consumption, than in 
any English town of equal population, 

In Geneva, this disease is almost equally prevalent. 
In Florence, pneumonia, in the Doctor s words, "is 
marked by a suffocating character, and by a rapid pro 
gress towards its last stage." Naples, whose climate is 
the theme of so much praise by travellers, shows, in her 
hospitals, a mortality by consumption equal to one in 
two and one-third, whereas Paris, whose climate is so 
often pronounced villanous, the proportion is only one 
in three and one-quarter. In Madeira no local disease 
is more common than consumption. The Journal, 
adds : 

" The next position of Dr. Burgess is, that as the 
beasts, birds and fishes of one region die in another, a 
change of climate cannot, unless exceptionably, be ben 
eficial to an invalid. Notwithstanding the greater 
adaptability to climate which man preserves, the hu 
man constitution, it is plain, cannot endure changes of 
temperature without being more or less affected" by it. 
The frosts and thaws of England have corroded, dur 
ing the lapse of ages, the solid stone on it of which 
their cathedrals were built. In like manner a foreign 
climate gradually undermines the health. Dr. Burgess 
refers to the shattered constitutions of every officer 
who has served for any length of time in India; and to 
the well-known fact that children born of white parents 
in India are delicate as a class. The African, as we 
know, by the experience of its country, cannot endure 
severe and protracted cold. Canada is the common 
grave, as well as refuge of fugitive slaves. If such is 
the effect of changes of climate on persons in health, 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 399 

what must it be, argues Dr. Burgess, on invalids? 
And he fortifies this theoretical conclusion, by remind 
ing the reader that it is not only the natives who die of 
consumption in Maderia, but that the grave-yards of 
that island are whitened by the head-stones of thou 
sands who have gone there for health, and remained to 
die. 

Persons, not professional, imagine that the consump 
tive patient, by breathing a mild atmosphere, withdraws 
irritation, and leaves nature free to work a cure. But 
this notion Dr. Burgess characterizes as entirely erro 
neous. It is through the skin, not through the lungs, 
he contends, that a warm climate acts beneficially. 
When a sudden change in the temperature produces a 
chill, cutaneous perspiration is checked, the skin be 
comes dry and hard, and the lungs suffer from exces 
sive action, for they are compelled now to eliminate 
what should have passed off through the skin. The 
doctor illustrates this by referring to the instantaneous 
relief, which is generally obtained through free perspir 
ation, where difficult breathing, or oppression of the 
chest, have been occasioned by artificial heat. What 
is best for consumptive patients, therefore, is an equa 
ble climate. It is the fluctations, not the high temper 
ature of a climate, that is injurious." 



The statistics of the Isles of the Caribbean Sea, 
along which our steamer glided like a cruiser among 
the islands of Paradise so enjoyable was every min 
ute, with scenery and intoxicating balm of atmosphere 
show bountiful provision by Nature, with bountiful 
drawbacks as well. The soil of St. Lucia and Martin 
ique is stated to be "twelve times more productive than 



400 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

that of Europe, half an acre being sufficient to supply 
the wants of a man!" In the valleys and alluvial 
plains it consists of a deep vegetable mould, mixed with 
clay, and, in the more elevated positions, of red earth. 
The substratum is a mixture of sand and ground. The 
mere enumeration of the productions of St. Lucia, 
(which I find in an English report on the subject) makes 
one s mouth water: 

" The staple productions are sugar, coffee and cocoa. 
Maize is the only corn grown ; it is principally used for 
poultry. The principal spices, dyeing-stuffs and med 
icinal plants, are cinnamon, ginger, vanilla, cloves, 
pimento, nutmeg, indigo, Iogwood 3 cassia, aloes, castor- 
oil, quinquina, cactus, ipecacuanha, jalap, simaruba, sar- 
saparilla, and lignum vitae. Yams, edoes, sweet pota 
toes, and cassada are produced in great abundance. 
The other leguminous plants and esculents are cab 
bages, cucumbers, peas, parsnips, beans, carrots, salads, 
radishes, egg-fruit, beet-root, celery, mountain-cabbage, 
sorrel, spinage, pumpkin, tomatoes, succory, ocros, and 
calalou. 

" All the delicious fruits of the West Indies and ma 
ny valuable exotics grow to perfection in St. Lucia. 
The most attractive are the pine-apple, cocoa-nut, 
grape, melon, date, fig, sappodillo, orange, shaddock, 
lemon, lime, citron, guava, plantain, fig-bananna, man 
go, star- apple, pomegranate, plum, cherry, mamee, 
grenadilla, water-lemon, avocado-pear, chestnut, tama 
rind, bread-fruit, cashew, papaw, bread-nut, custard-ap 
ple, golden apple, sugar-apple, and soursop. The quar 
ter of Soufriere in particular is justly famed for the 
great variety and exquisite savour of its fruits and 
vegetables. Its pine-apple, muscadine grape, melon, 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TRbPICS. 401 

and fig are considered of a superior quality to those 
produced in any part of the West Indies. 

St. Lucia is covered with forest trees of every form 
and of endless variety. They are, with few exceptions, 
indigenous to the soil. Many of them furnish valuable 
materials for buildinir, nnd some, excellent specimens 
of fancy wood. The locust, or native mahogany, 
grows in great profusion. The other principal trees are 
the palm tree, trumpet tree, oak, white cedar, black ce 
dar, bully tree, poplar, orange tree, cotton tree, sand 
box, cinnamon tree, Indian fig tree, bamboo, sandal 
wood, cocoa-nut tree, satinwoocl, mango tree, tamarind 
tree, cashew tree, bread-fruit tree, calabash tree, citron 
tree, date tree, mamee tree, manchineel, soap tree, rose 
wood, avocudo-pear tree, ironwood, guava tree, laurel, 
bois immortal, bois drable, sour-orange tree, willow, sea 
side grape, simaruba, lignum vitse, acacia, logwood, 
bois riviere, boistan, acoma, grigris, angelin, gommier 
chatanier-grand feuille, pois doux, bois violon, bois 
sept ans, bois pian, barabara, boit d inde, bois flam 
beau, galba, mangrove, macata, rose mohaut, bois 
fourmi, fromager, balisier, latanier, paletuvier, and 
fougere. 

The domesticated animals are the same as those of 
Europe, whence they were originally imported. Of the 
horse, ass, ox, mule, cow, hog, sheep, goat, duck, cock, 
hen, turkey, cat, dog, rabbit, goose, pigeon, and guinea 
bird, there are various species, and they all thrive ad 
mirably. The woods are inhabited by the wild ox, 
musk rat, wild hog, iguana, and agouti, which afford 
excellent sport to the native chasseurs. 

" The game is plentiful, and from August to Novem 
ber, the shooting season, the island is visited by a great 
variety as well as quantity of birds. Among them are 
the partridge, the plover, dove, wild pigeon, parrot, 
snipe, banana-bird, egret, thrush, humming-bird, water- 
hen, crabier, hawk, galding, ground-dove, goat-sucker, 
swallow, cuckoo, wild duck, booby, frigate, trembler, 



402 HEALT-H TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

white-throat, nightingale, woodcock, curlew and yellow- 
legs. The.crabier is a native of the mountains, and 
measures generally jive to six feet in height, and six feet 
from iving to iving. 

" The fish are abundant in variety : the sprat, cut 
lass, eel, dolphin, anchovy, herring, sole, flounder, mul 
let, ray, mackerel, doctor, flying-fish, baraconta, cap 
tain, king-fish, parrot-fish and snapper. Crabs, cram- 
fish, and lobsters, are in great abundance, and an ama 
zing quantity of sea turtles, and delicious small 
oysters." 

In contrast with these prodigalities, which make hun 
ger or pauperism wholly unknown in these islands, it 
may be instructive to name the reptiles and insects : 

" The yellow serpent is only found on the two islands 
of St. Lucia and Martinique. It measures between six 
and eight feet in length, and its bite is generally fatal. 
There are numerous other serpents, and they multiply 
amazingly the female bringing forth from thirty to 
forty young ones at a birth. In most cases, the bite, if 
immediately attended to, may be effectually cured, and 
the negroes are very skilful in the application of the 
various specifics. The yellow serpent subsists on birds, 
insects, and poultry. He has an enemy, and a formi 
dable match, in the cribo, or black snake, an animal 
having the appearance and shape of the serpent, with 
out his noxious power. A careless observer would be 
liable to mistake one for the other. In every encounter 
the cribo is the aggressor, and generally comes off vic 
torious. It counteracts the mischievous bite of the ser 
pent by rolling itself on the plant called Pied-poule, 
and returns to the attack with renovated strength. 
When (as is frequently the case) the body of the ser 
pent is larger and longer than that of the snake, the 
latter, retaining possession of its prey, feeds upon it for 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 403 

several days, gradually sucking in such portions of the 
carcase as may be sufficient for the wants of the mo 
ment. The cribo is sometimes found with the lower 
parts of the serpent protruding between his jaws. 

" The insects are the scorpion, wood-slave, annulated 
lizard, locust, tarantula, centipede, blacksmith, wasp, 
mosquito, bat, cockroach, fly, chigre, beetle, fire-fly, 
spider, wood-ant, butterfly, bete-rouge, caterpillar, 
cricket and bee. Of these the scorpion and centipede 
are the most dangerous, the ant and wood-ant the most 
destructive, the mosquito the most troublesome, and 
the cockroach the most repulsive. The destruction 
caused by the ant is generally confined to plants and 
flowers ; but the depredations of the wood-ant extend 
to the houses, furniture, and clothes of the inhabitants; 
and the mischief they occasion is no less incredible than 
the promptitude with which it is accomplished." (The 
^sarne nuisances were described, not long since, by a 
"writer in the Edinburgh Review, and rather humorous 
ly : ) " The bete-rouge lays the foundation of a tre 
mendous ulcer. In a moment you are covered with 
ticks. Flies get entry into your rnouth, into your eyes, 
into your nose you eat flies, drink flies, and breathe 
flies. Lizards, cockroaches, and snakes get into your 
bed ; ants eat up the hooks ; scorpions sting you on the 
foot. Every thing bites, stings, or bruises ; every se 
cond of your life you are wounded by some piece of 
animal life. An insect with eleven legs is swimming in 
your tea-cup a nondescript with nine wings is strug 
gling in the small beer, or a caterpillar with a dozen 
eyes in its belly is hastening over the bread and butter. 
All Nature is alive, and seems to be gathering her en 
tomological hosts to eat you up, as you stand, out of 
your coat, waistcoat and breeches. 



404 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

The alarming increase in the frequency of earth 
quakes and hurricanes in the Antilles, threatens, omin 
ously, the depopulation of their white inhabitants ; and 
the ever-increasing power of the negroes, by their more 
rapid re-production and constitutional adaptation to the 
climate, will, in all probability, soon give over these 
beautiful islands to an exclusive black population. The 
negro is the better soldier in these latitudes. " Stout, 
agile, expert in the use of arms, he can also endure pa 
tiently the scorching sun and the torrents of rain of the 
tropical climate. He can live on the roots, or on what 
grows spontaneously or with little culture in the fields ; 
and being bold and cunning, he is ready to oppose his 
enemies by force, or deceive them by stratagem." Pro 
perty, in that island of gardens, Santa Cruz, (I was 
authentically informed,) is, at present, almost valueless 
from these causes, and considered as quite unsaleable. 

But, of the earthquakes which are now becoming the 
perpetual terror of the Caribbean Archipelago, the one 
in the Island of Gaudaloupe in 1843, was the most 
frightful on record. It took place in the forenoon ; and, 
on the night preceding, there had been a grand ball, 
which, with the sitting of the Court of Assize, had 
drawn in the population from the country around, in 
great numbers. The town of Pointe-a-Petre, which 
was the scene of it, though not the seat of government, 
was, in fact, the capital of the Island, and for the ele- 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 405 

ganceof its buildings, both public and private, and the 
extent of its mercantile relations, it was considered one 
of the most flourishing cities in the West Indies. A 
\\riter of great graphic power thus describes this aw 
ful calamity : 

<( The Court of Assize had just assembled for the 
administration of human justice ; the principal hotel was 
thronged with strangers and planters from the interior, 
discussing matters of business, or seated together at the 
table-d hote ; and on the quays and along the streets, 
trade and traffic were proceeding with their wonted 
bustle and activity. At the fatal hour of twenty-five 
minutes to eleven, there was heard a noise, a hollow, 
rolling, rumbling noise, as of distant unbroken thunder; 
the sea dashed tumultuously on the beach; the earth 
heaved convulsively and opened up in several places, 
emitting dense columns of water. In an instant all the 
stone buildings had tumbled to the ground a wide 
spread heap of rubbish and ruins : and in that one in 
stant a dreadful and destructive instant -five thousand 
human beings, torn from their families and friends, were 
ushered into the abyss of eternity. But the work of 
desolation did not stop here ; hardly had the earth 
quake ceased its ravages, when a fire broke out in seve 
ral places at once and such were the terror and confu 
sion of the surviving inhabitants, that not a single house 
was rescued from the flames. In another instant the 
pile was lit up the devouring element was sweeping 
over the immense holocaust ; and a loud shriek from 
the living, and a long and lingering groan from the dy- 
ino-, had told the tale and sealed the doom of Pointe-a- 
Petre. 

" The scenes of horror that followed, it would be 
difficult to describe. Fathers ran about in search of 
their children children screamed aloud for their mo 
thers mothers for their husbands husbands for their 



406 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

wives; and the wild and wailing multitude that wan 
dered over the ruins, in search of a mother, a father, a 
husband, a child, a brother, a sister, or a friend, found 
nothing but headless trunks and severed limbs. Rich 
and poor, black arid white, planter and peasant, mas 
ter and slave all lay confounded in one vast sepulchre 
all were crushed, calcined or consumed all hushed 
in the shadow of death or the silence of despair. 

" The night that succeeded was a night of wretched 
ness and want of sorrow and suffering twelve thou 
sand inhabitants, without food, without raiment, with 
out money, without means, without house, or home, or 
hope, had sought refuge under a temporary tent, erect 
ed in the open air. Who can depict, who imagine, the 
visions of darkness and danger that haunted these 
widowed thousands, weeping over the burning remains 
of the departed city ? Three days did the devouring 
element, fed in its progress by a forest of projecting 
timbers, continue with unabated fury ; three nights did 
the funeral pile send forth its lurid glare a beacon to 
mariners, pointing to where Point-a-Petre stood no 
more. 

" On the morning of the 9th, the task of exploration 
began ; but, to enable the workmen to proceed without 
danger, it became necessary to batter down several 
walls and portions of houses, whose shattered impend 
ing fragments threatened destruction on all sides. In 
the space of one week, six thousand bodies were dug 
out of the ruins, fifteen hundred of which were still liv 
ing, but mostly in a horrible state of mutilation. These 
were immediately removed to the town of Basse-terre, 
and placed under medical care; yet, sad to say, not 
more than one-third of them recovered. With regard 
to the dead bodies, an attempt was made, at first, to 
have them buried in the public cemetery ; but, as the 
exploration proceeded, so many were found that it was 
resolved to have them sunk in the sea. At this melan 
choly task hundreds of boats were employed for several 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 407 

days. At length the inconvenience of the floating 
corpses, many of which were washed ashore, compelled 
the authorities to resort to the expedient of burning 
them in Leaps and this proceeding continued till the 
whole were dug out and consumed. Some of the sol 
diers employed in the task had gone mad, doubtless 
from the harrowing impression produced by the 
sight" 



I must confess to have been considerably interested in 
the colored population of the Antilles. As they will, 
unquestionably, soon become the masters of these 
islands, curiosity as to their capabilities of progress 
was natural enough ; but, besides this, there is some 
thing in the look, mien, countenance and manners of 
the negroes there, which was the " shadow cast before 
the coming event." I took many notes of peculiarities 
that struck me, from time to time, but it would require 
much discriminating labor to make their contradictory 
chronicles read plausibly or intelligibly. In a volume 
kindly given me by the English Consul at Martinique, 
(a gentleman whose courteous dignity and intelligence 
eminently adorn his office) I found some most valuable 
and curious information on this subject. The book, 
though printed in London, is one not likely to have 
been met with, by the American reader. Its author, 
Henry Breen, was thirteen years a resident in the 
island a few miles from Martinique, (St. Lucia,) and 



408 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

he writes most graphically and under standingly of the 
people of these latitudes. I do not think I can, in any 
way, throw more light on the character and grade of 
negro habits and manners here, than by quoting a por 
tion of his account of them. : 

" The Negro language is a jargon formed from the 
French, and composed of words, or rather sounds, 
adapted to the organs of speech in the black popula 
tion. As a patois it is even more unintelligible than 
that spoken by the Negroes in the English Colonies. 
Its distinguishing feature consists in the suppression of 
the letter " r " in almost every word in which it should 
be used, and the addition of " Jctis " and " ka s " to as 
sist in the formation of the tenses. It is, in short, the 
French language, stripped of its manly and dignified 
ornaments, and travestied for the accommodation of 
children and toothless old women. I regret to add 
that it has now almost entirely superseded the use of 
the beautiful French language, even in some of the 
highest circles of colonial society. The prevalence of 
this jargon is one of the many disadvantages resulting 
from a want of educational institutions. It is the refuge 
of ignorance, and the less you know of French, the 
greater aptitude you have for talking Negro ; a child 
three years old will speak it more fluently than a man 
of thirty. I can say for myself that, although possess 
ing an extensive knowledge of the French language, 
acquired during a sojourn of five years in France, I 
have failed in obtaining any thing like an adequate no 
tion of this gibberish, during a residence of nearly fif 
teen years in St. Lucia and Martinique. Having re 
marked that I was laughed at by the Negroes w-henever 
I attempted to use it in conversation, I have adopted 
the plan of addressing them in my best French and 
now the laugh is all on my side. Nothing can be more 



HEALTH T 11 I P TO THE TROPICS. 409 

amusing than the faces they put on to convince you 
that they are unable to understand French. " Pas 
tan 1 1 (Je rfcntends pas) is the repl^ to every observa 
tion ; but the truth is, they often pretend ignorance in 
order to allure you into their own soft, silly dialect, 
whose accents are always nattering to their ears, how 
ever imperfectly it may be spoken. 

Nor is this corruption of the language confined to mere 
words : it also extends to proper names ; so much so, 
indeed, that there are few persons in the island that are 
not designated by any name but their own. Some have 
the sobriquets of Moncoq, Montout, Fan/an, Laguerre. 
Others have their names mollified by means of certain 
dulcet, endearing terminations : thus, Anne becomes 
Annzie, Catherine Caliche, Besson Bessonnette : whilst 
the greater number, dropping altogether the names given 
them at the baptismal font, have adopted others of 
more modern vogue. Jean Baptiste is supplanted by 
Nelson ; Francois by Francis ; Cyprien by Cammille ; 
and what is still more preposterous, not only are the 
Christian names altered in this way, but the patronymics 
of many are entirely suppressed. M. Jean Marie Beau- 
regard considers Jean Marie too vulgar, and adopts the 
name of Alfred, and his friends consider Beauregard 
too long, and omit it altogether in their dealings with 
him. By this process M. Jean Marie Beauregard is 
metamorphosed into plain M. Alfred and his wife, if 
any he have, goes by the name of Madame Alfred. 
This confusion of names would be merely ludicrous, if 
it were not pregnant with, mischief to the community. 
From being first sanctioned by intercourse of every-day 
life and introduced into family circles, the alterations 
and substitutions had gradually crept into the more 
serious relations of trade and litigation ; so that, when 
the Commissioners of Compensation were about to ad 
judicate upon the claims and counter claims from St. 
Lucia, scarcely* a single individual was found to have 
invariably preserved his proper name in the different doc- 
18 



410 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

uments submitted on his behalf. Difficulty and delay 
were the result; and many persons only succeeded in es 
tablishing their iotentitty and securing their fortunes, by 
obtaining affidavits, certicates of baptism, and notarial 
attestations, at considerable expense, from various parts 
of the world. 

The higher class of Creoles are distinguished for their 
courteous manner and cordial hospitality. Although 
few amongst them ever attain any eminence in literary 
or scientific pursuits, they are nevertheless generally in 
telligent and well-informed. The practice of duelling, 
so common in their " days of chivalry," has now almost 
totally disappeared. Impelled by a mistaken or exag 
gerated principle of honor, they were wont to seek rep 
aration in single combat for the most trivial injuries 
nor were they deterred from such exhibitions by the 
stringent laws of Louis XIV., them, as now, in force in 
St. Lucia. In those days no scion of colonial aristoc 
racy was deemed qualified to enter on the business of 
life, until, in the phraseology of their code of honor, he 
had given proof in a duel of his daring and dexterity. 
To have shot his man and debauched his friend s wife, 
were the surest recommendations to honor and dis 
tinction without these he was held incompetent to as 
sume the solemn duties of a husband and a father ; 
without these he was exposed to the taunts and trials, 
the sneers and slander of the self-styled brave. Now-a- 
days, however, this disgraceful practice is only resorted 
to in extreme cases. The example of our neighbours 
of Martinique, by whom the fashion of duelling was 
once regarded as the pink of gallantry, and the "ne 
plus ultra" of social refinement, contributed in no small 
degree to promote a bellicose disposition amongst our 
friends in St. Lucia ; and the abatement of the evil in 
the " Faubourg St. Germain du Golf du Mexique," has 
produced a kindred feeling and corresponding results 
in the once sister Colony of St. Lucia. - 

The creole women are a race apart ; and, as far as I 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 411 


am able to judge, are not inferior to those of any coun 
try for elegance of form, gracefulness of carriage, sua 
vity of temper, and buoyancy of disposition. To them 
may be truly applied Lord Byron s description of the 
Italian woman : 

" Heart on her lips, and soul within her eyes, 
Soft as her clime, and sunny as her skies." 

Dancing, with its train of airy and gaysome evolu 
tions, is the idol passion of the fair creole ; and in no 
place or position do her delicate beauty and exquisite 
loveliness appear to greater advantage than amidst the 
attractions and superficial excitement of the ball room. 
Even the dance itself is not with her what it is in 
the more extended circles of European society a thing 
of attitudes and gestures a round of skimming and 
shuffling. Here it is all gravity and decorum there 
nothing but nutter and frivolity. In France it is the 
wild creation of fashionable extravagance; between the 
tropics a chastened and rational exercise, which is often 
carried to the utmost extent, without infringing any of 
the decencies of life. 

Amongst the lower orders the dance exercises a still 
greater influence. Not satisfied with aping those above 
them in finery and dress, the Negroes carry their love 
of dancing to the most extravagant pitch much too 
extravagant perhaps for their means. True, the evil 
has its bright side in the encouragement of trade and 
the promotion of a spirit of emulation and industry 
amongst the labouring classes ; but it must greatly im 
pair their physical energies, if it does not ultimately 
mar their independence. The best that can be said of 
it is, that it is inherent in, and common to, all colonial 
populations of French origin and that it is not to be 
put down either by preaching or persecution. The 
spoiled children of artificial enjoyment, French Negroes, 
like their betters, will have their feasts and festivals, 
their dressing and dancing. Let us hope that these re- 



412 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 



creations may long continue to preserve their primaeval 
character of innocence and simplicity nor, by contact 
with fashion and false refinement, become the vehicles 
of corruption and crime. 

In order to gratify their propensity for dancing, the 
Negroes have formed themselves into two divisions, or 
" societies," under the somewhat fantastic style of 
"Hoses" and "Marguerites."* These "societies" exist 
by immemorial usage in the French colonies, and are 
still to be found in more or less activity in St. Lucia, 
Dominica, and Trinidad. The history of the Antilles 
is involved in such total obscurity in all that concerns 
the black population, that it would be impossible at the 
present time to trace the origin of the Roses and Mar 
guerites. It appears that at one period they w r ere in 
vested with a political character ; and their occasional 
allusions to English and French, Republicans and 
Bonapartists would seem to confirm this impression. 
Their connection with politics must have ceased at the 
termination of the struggle between England and 
France, from which period their rivalry has been con 
fined to dancing and other diversions. 

These societies, which had remained almost in abey 
ance during the latter days of slavery, have been re 
vived within the last five years with unusual eclat and 
solemnity. Although few persons, besides the labour 
ing classes and domestic servants, take any active part 
in their proceedings, there is scarcely an individual in 
the island, from the Governor downwards, who is not 
enrolled amongst the partisans of one coterie or the 
other. The Roses are patronized by Saint Rose, and 
the flower of that name is their cherished emblem. 
The Marguerites are in the holy keeping of Saint Mar 
guerite, and the Marguerite, or bachelor s button, is the 
flower they delight to honour. Each society has three 
kings and three queens, who are chosen by the suffra- 

* The Marguerites are also sometimes called " Wadeloes." 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TJIOPICS. 413 

ges of the members. The first, or senior, king and 
queen only make their appearance on solemn occasions, 
such as the anniversary of their coronation or the fete 
of the patron saint of the society : on all other emer 
gencies they are represented by the kings and queens 
elect, who exercise a sort of vice-regal authority. The 
most important personage next to the sovereign is the 
chanterelle, or female singer, upon whom devolves the 
task of composing their Belairs* and of reciting them 
at their public dances. Each society has a house hired 
in Castries, in which it holds its periodical meetings. 
Here the w r oman, whose attendance is much more regu 
lar, than that of the men, assemble in the evening to re 
hearse some favourite " belair " for their next dance, or 
to receive a lecture from the king, who may be seen at 
one end of the room, pacing up and down with an air 
of dignity and importance suited to his station. If any 
member has been guilty of improper conduct since 
their last meeting, the king takes occasion to advert to 
it in terms of censure, dwelling with peculiar emphasis 
upon the superior decorum observed by the rival so 
ciety. Gross misconduct is punished by expulsion from 
their ranks. 

The "belairs" turn generally on the praises of the 
respective societies ; the comparative value of the Rose 
and the Marguerite ; the good qualities, both physical 
and mental, of individual members ; the follies and foi 
bles of the opposite party, and of persons supposed to 
be connected with or favourable to them. Nothing can 
surpass the poetical fecundity of the chanterelles : al 
most every week produces a fresh effusion and a new 
belair. Some, indeed, are of a higher order than one 
would be entitled to look for from untutored Negroes: 
and it is but natural to suppose that they are assisted 

*The Beia r is a sort of pastoral in blank verse, adapted to a 
peculiar tune or air. Many of these airs are of a plaintive and 
melancholy character, and some are exquisitely melodious. 



414 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

in these by their friends among the educated classes. 
Of this description are the following stanzas in 
of the Roses, which appeared in print in 1840 : 



LES ROSES. 



Venez, amis ; venez, dansons ; 
De Sainte Rcse c est la fete : 
Disons pbur elle nos chansons, 
Et que chacun de nous repete : 
Chantons, amis ; rions, dansons. 

C est aujourd hui jour d allegresse ; 
Nargue des soucis, des chagrins ; 
A nous le plaisir et 1 irresse, 
A nous les vifs et gais refrains. 

Venez, &c. 

Des fleurs la Rose esfc la plus belle : 
" Par mon parfum, par mes couleurs, 
"Par mon eclat, je suis, dit-elle, 
" Oui, je suis la reine des fleurs !" 

Venez, &c. 

Sur sa tige trist et fletrie 
La Marguerite nait, perit; 
Mais la Rose, toujours fleurie, 
Renait toujouirs et reverdit 

Venez, &c. 

La Rose est la reine du monde, 
Elle est aussi celle des amours ! 
Qu a nos-chansons chacun reponde 
Vive la Rose pour toujours ! 

Venez, &c. 



The occasions of festivity and dancing are ushered in 
with universal demonstrations of gaiety and joyous- 
ness. After assisting at a solemn service commemora 
tive of the day, the Messieurs and Dames, decked out 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 415 

in their most costly dresses, proceed in groups to visit 
their friends amongst the higher classes, distributing 
cakes and flowers in honour of the fete. The costume 
of the men diners little from that commonly worn by 
gentlemen in England or France. The silk or beaver 
hat, the cloth coat, the swelled cravat, the sleek trow- 
sers, the tassel ed cane in short, the whole tournure 
and turn-out of the male exquisites, would do honour 
to Bond-street or the Palais Koyal. But the dress of 
the women is quite another affair: although in many in 
stances the Jupe* has given way to the regular English 
gown ; yet, on fete days, the former re-asserts its pre 
ponderance, as being more in harmony with the general 
costume. First you have the head-dress set off by the 
varied and brilliant colours of the Madras handker 
chief, erected into a pyramid, a cone, or a castle, ac 
cording to the fancy of the wearer, and spangled over 
with costly jewels; next a huge pair of ear-rings of 
massive gold; then several gold and coral necklaces, 
tastefully thrown over the dark shoulders ; then the em 
broidered bodice trimmed with gold and silver tinsel ; 
and lastly, the striped jupe of silk or satin, unfolding 
its bright tints and broad train to the breeze. Add to 
these a profusion of bracelets and bouquets, of foulards 
and favours, and you will have a faint impression of 
this bizarre yet brilliant, grotesque but gorgeous cos 
tume. Thus travestied the dancers proceed at sunset 
to the place appointed for the bamboula.\ A circle is 
formed in the centre of some square or grass-plot. On 



* The Jape is a species of gown worn by the Negresses and 
some of the coloured women in the French Antilles Having 
neither sleeves nor bodice, it presents the exact dimensions of a 
petticoat hence the name. 

f The Negro dances are of two kinds the ball and the bam- 
boula. When conducted within doors it is always called a ball 
when "sub dio " a bamboula. The use of them varies according 
to the state of the weather ; but there is a marked prediction for 
the out-door recreation. 



416 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

one side appear four or rive Negroes, quite naked clown 
to the waist, and seated on thjeir tamtams* These, to 
gether with two or three timbrels, compose the orches 
tra. Flags and banners, richly emblazoned upon a red 
or blue ground, and bearing characteristic legends in 
gilt letters, are seen fluttering in the air : and, as the 
groups of dancers advance in all directions, the dark 
ness of the night disappears before the blaze of a thou 
sand flambeaux. Now the chanterelle, placing herself 
in front of the orchestra, gives the signal with a flour 
ish of her castanet : she then repeats a verse of the be- 
lair ; the dancers take up the refrain; the tamtams 
and timbrels strike in unison ; and the scene is enliven 
ed by a succession of. songs and dances, to the delight 
and amusement of the assembled multitude. 

To a superficial observer these exhibitions present 
somewhat of a profane and even heathenish appearance. 
In this light they were doubtless regarded by a rever 
end gentleman, who visited St. Lucia in October 1842, 
and on witnessing the dance exclaimed with a sapient 
shake of the head : " Juggernath ! Juggernath !" But 
the truth is, there is no Juggernath at all in the matter; 
and the Christian moralist, who takes the trouble to ex 
amine and inquire, will find less to censure in these pri 
meval though fantastic diversions, than in the more civ 
ilised seductions of the quadrille, the galopade, and the 
waltz. 

The whole labouring population being divided into 
Roses and Marguerites, it follows that, upon the good 
understanding which subsists between them, must 
mainly depend the peace and prosperity of the Colony. 
This good understanding, however, is liable to be dis 
turbed by the intrigues of interested partisans, on the 
one hand, and officious, would-be patrons on the other : 

* The tamt, >m is a small barrel, covered at one end with a 
strong skin. To this, placed berween his legs, the Negro applies 
the open hand and fingers, beating time to the belair with the 
most astonishing precision. 



HEALTH T II I P TO THE TROPICS. 417 

and then their rivahy, habitually characterised by the 
most friendly relations, will assume all the acerbity of a 
political feud. Thus, in 1840, an attempt was made by 
an unscrupulous planter to set one society in opposition 
to the other, by pandering- to the worst passions of un 
disciplined humanity, and exciting their emulation be 
yond its legitimate sphere. The object w r as to allure 
the labourers to his estates and get them to work on 
his own terms : for this purpose he took one of the so 
cieties under his special protection ; had himself elect 
ed their king ; purchased superb dresses for the queens ; 
and got up splendid fetes for their entertainment. At 
tracted by these dazzling frivolities hundreds of the la 
bourers hastened to range themselves under the banner 
of the " white king." For some time all went on well, 
and the planter had eyery cause to rejoice in the suc 
cess of his scheme; but when the "day of reckoning 
came, and the labourers discovered that all their wages 
had been frittered away in gilded extravagance, the 
prestige of the white king s popularity speedily van 
ished, and his estates were deserted. 

Another interruption of the general harmony occurred 
in September 1841. At the instigation of two or three 
individuals, in the assummed character of Patrons of 
the Roses, these foolish people procured a blue flag (the 
colour peculiar to the Marguerites) and paraded it in 
derision through the streets. In the evening they gave 
a damboula, and the flag having been again exhibited, a 
party of the Marguerites rushed into the ring, seized 
the flag, and were carrying it off in triumph, when the 
Attorney-General, who happened to be present, ran 
forward, and by threats of vengeance succeeded in 
wresting it from the discomfited Marguerites, amidst 
the vivats and vociferations of the Roses. The pretext 
for this proceeding was the prevention of a breach of 
the peace ; but if such had really been the object, a 
more obvious and efficacious means would have been, 
to have interdicted in the first instance, the insulting 
18* 



418 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

display of the rival flag. In fact, the course pursued, 
instead of allaying the popular excitement, only fanned 
it into a flame ; for when the dance was concluded, and 
the Roses were returning to their houses, they were as 
saulted by a numerous body of the Marguerites. A 
general melee ensued, in which the chief combatants were 
the women, and their chief weapons the flambeaux 
which they had brought away from the dance ; and these 
they used with such indiscriminate fury against their 
opponents, that the respectable inhabitants were com 
pelled to interfere to prevent the town from becoming 
a prey to the flames. 

Amongst the numerous peculiarities of the Negro 
character, as it is moulded or modified by French society, 
is their constant aping of their superiors in rank. During 
slavery the most venial offence, the most innocent fami 
liarity was regarded as an insolence;" and all the 
year round the din of " Je vons trouve bien insolent" 
resounded in the Negro s ear. From long habit this ex 
pression has now become a bye-word with the lower 
orders : it is, in fact, the staple of their abuse of each 
other, and most opprobrious epithet in their Billings 
gate vocabulary. Canaille is deemed too vulgar, and 
negraillie too personal ; while " in-so-hnt" carries with 
it a pungency and privilege, which receive added zest 
from the recollections of the past. 

But if to be deemed insolent is the lowest depth of 
degradation, to be held respectable is the highest step in 
the ladder of social distinctions. From Marigot to 
Mabouya, from Cape Maynard to the Mole-a-chiques, 
respectability is the aim and end of every pursuit. With 
the baker in his shop, as with the butcher in his stali, it 
is the one thing needful the corner-stone of social ex 
istence; and though it may not, like charity, cover a 
multitude of sins, it will screen a vast amount of mean 
ness and misery. Nothing can be more amusing than 
to observe the talismanic effect of this word upon the 
lower orders : even the common street- criers take ad- 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 419 

vantage of it in the disposal of their wares. Sometime 
ago, a female servant, being commissioned to sell a 
quantity of biscuits of an inferior quality, hawked them 
about to the cry of " Mi biscuits pour les dames respec 
tables." As she passed along the street the conceited 
recommendation did not fail to attract the attention of 
those for whom it was thrown out. The hawker was 
stopped at every door, and so great was the anxiety ot 
the Negresses to test the quality of her biscuits as a 
patent of respectability, that before she reached the. end 
of the street, she had disburdened herself of the con 
tents of her tray. 

A still more striking illustration of the charm of re 
spectability is presented in the following circumstances, 
which occurred in August 1842. A dispute had arisen 
between the queen of the Roses and a colored woman 
a warm advocate for the Marguerites. During the 
altercation the parties came to blows, and the queen 
being a strong, lusty woman, inflicted a pair of black 
eyes upon her antagonist. The matter soon reached 
the ears of the Attorney-General, and both combatants 
were brought up before Chief Justice Reddie in the 
Court of Police. As the quarrel had grown out of the 
previous dispute about the blue flag, the Court House 
was crowded to suffocation by the friends and sup 
porters of the accused each party anxiously expecting 
a verdict against its antagonist. This feature of the 
case did not escape the penetration of the Judge, who, 
resolving not to give either any cause of triumph, dismis 
sed them both with a severe admonition, expressing his 
surprise that two such " respectable demoiselles" should 
have so far forgotten what was due to themselves, as to 
have assaulted each other in the public streets. The 
word " respectable " shot like electricity through the 
audience. A thrill of exultation seized every breast; 
the Marguerite looked at the Rose ; the Rose smiled at 
the Marguerite ; and as they retired from the Court, 
pleased with themselves and proud at the Judge, a 



420 HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 

murmur of applause ran from mouth to mouth. Since 
that period nothing but harmony has prevailed between 
the rival societies ; and it would now require no small 
amount of provocation to draw them down from the 
niche of respectability in which they are enshrined. 

The Negro s pretensions to respectability are founded 
more upon the contrast between himself and the Euro 
pean laborer, than upon any positive good qualities he 
can lay claim to. In some points there is a decided 
superiority on his side. His person and his hut, apart 
from the influence of climate, are cleaner than those of 
the white peasant ; his holiday dress more stylish, and 
his gait and attitudes less clumsy and clownish : but he 
is surpassed by the white man in the more solid advan 
tages of industry and perseverance. A Negro espies 
his fellow at the end of the street, and rather than join 
him in a tete-a-tete, he will carry on a conversation with 
him for several hours at the top of his voice, to the un 
speakable annoyance, perhaps the scandal, of all those 
who may occupy the intermediate houses. Should the 
wind blow off his hat and warn him to depart, he will 
continue the conversation and let some one else pick it 
up for him or if he condescend to notice the occur 
rence, he turns round with an air of offended dignity, 
put his arms a-kimbo, takes a quiet look at the hat as it 
rolls along, shrugs up his left shoulder, and walks leis 
urely after it until it meets with some natural obstruc 
tion. 

The general character of the St. Lucia Negro, physi 
cal, moral, and social, may be summed up in a few 
words. His person is well proportioned, his movements 
are brisk, his carriage easy, without stiffness or swag- 
.ger. His disposition is uncommonly gay and good- 
humored he is always singing or whistling when com 
patible with his actual occupation. He is submissive, 
but never obsequious ; and though born and bred in 
slavery, there is not a trace of servility in the outward 



HEALTH TRIP TO THE TROPICS. 421 

man. Unlike the European peasant, who seldom pre 
sents himself before a clean coat without a feeling of 
crawling obsequiousness and degradation, the St. Lucia 
Negro is polite to a point; he can touch his hat to any 
one^ but he will not uncover himself in the open air, 
even for the Governor of the Colony. He is docile, in 
telligent and sober active but not laborious supersti 
tious but not religious addicted to thieving without 
being a rogue averse to matrimony, yet devoted to 
several wives ; and though faithful to neither, he can 
scarcely be deemed debauched. His friendship is sin 
cere, his gratitude unbounded, and his generosity to all 
about him only surpassed by his affectionate attachment 
to his children. In him the undisciplined character of 
the African is tempered by the accident of his birth. 
He is, in short, a compound of savageness and civiliza 
tion the rude production of the desert, transplanted to 
a more genial soil, and polished off externally by the 
decencies and humanizing contact of English and 
French society ; but without that culture in religion 
and education, which alone can impart either weight or 
moral dignity to the social man." 
19 



APPENDIX. 

THE coronation of the negro Soulouque, alluded to 
in Letter 28, took place a few days after, but I have 
looked in vain at the English and American journals for 
any definite description of the ceremony. I have a docu 
ment which this chance omission of news may render 
interesting a printed Programme of the Ceremonial, 
which was furnished only to official persons on the 
island. It is in French, and rather tediously minute 
but the following translation I think will interest the 
public, as giving a key to the character of this negro 
Court and its Emperor. The high sounding titles of 
the royal black family, and the distinguished darkies of 
the nobility will be amusing especially if the corona 
tion be looked at as an almost simultaneous caricature 
of the impending coronation and revival of titles in 



11. APPENDIX. 

France. To any one who has seen the rags and rub 
bishy arms and uniformity of the troops whose doings 
are thus pompously set forth, this programme will be 
indeed most ludicrous. Thus it runs: 

LIBERTY. INDEPENDENCE. 

EMPIEE OF HAYTI. 

(PROGRAMME.) 

The ceremonies for the coronation of their Majesties 
are to take place the evening of the 1 Ith of next 
April. At sunset, a salute of a hundred cannon shall 
be discharged from the forts, and the entire city shall 
be illuminated. 

The next day, at three o clock in the morning, the mi 
litary Deputations, from different ports of the Empire, 
summoned to the ceremony, shall assemble at the garri 
son upon the Champ-de Mars. 

The Emperor himself will assign to the Imperial 
Guard the position which it shall occupy at the Champ- 
de Mars. 

At four o clock, the Members of the Legislative 
Council shall repair to their accustomed place of meet 
ing, the Members of the Judicial and Municipal De 
partments shall assemble at the Palace of Justice, from 
whence, at half-past four o clock, they shall proceed to 
the Champ-de-Mars, where they shall be received, toge 
ther with the Consuls from Foreign Powers, by the 
Grand Master and the Master of Ceremonies, and con 
ducted to the places assigned to them. 

These Departments shall be escorted by a piquet of 
sixteen Cavalry and a piquet of forty-eight Infantry. 

At five o clock, the Vicar- General and Grand Al 
moner shall leave his Palace and proceed to the Charnp- 
de-Mare. The .march of his cortege shall be accempa- 



APPENDIX. Hi. 

nied by a rear and vanguard of a piquet of Cavalry, 
and by twelve Grenadiers commanded by an officer. 

The Clergy shall assemble at the church previous to 
the Vicar- General. 

The Almoner of her Majesty, the Empress shall pre 
sent the * aspersior to the Vicar, with which he shall 
sprinkle with holy water the Clergy, the Magistracy and 
the people. From there he shall penetrate into tho 
sanctuary conducted under a canopy. 

At six o clock, their Imperial Majesties shall leave tho 
Palace to proceed to the Oh amp- de Mara, arnid the ring 
ing of bells, martial music and a military salute. The 
march of the Imperial cortege shall be led by the King 
at arms. In advance shall proceed on foot the Heralds 
at Arms, six abreast ; the Hussars the same. 

The Chevaliers on foot, six abreast; the Barons the 
same; Counts the same; all the Dukes abreast, and on 
foot. 

The three Ministers and the Chancellor abreast and 
on foot. 

The Ministers of the Interior and of Agriculture to 
the right ; next, the Ministers of War and of the Na 
vy, the Ministers of Finance and of Commerce, and the 
Chancellor. 

The Princes of the Imperial family abreast and on 
foot. 

Next, the Prince Jean- Joseph alone and on foot. 

Two platoons of Light Horse, six abreast, each pla 
toon commanded by an officer. 

A detachment of two platoons of six officers of the 
Light Guards abreast, on horseback, each platoon com 
manded by a superior officer. 

A detachment of two platoons of Grenadiers, 
mounted, six abreast, each platoon commanded by an 
officer. 

A detachment of two platoons of six officers of 
Infantry abreast, mounted, each platoon commanded by 
a superior officer. 



IV. APPENDIX. 

A detachment of six Aides-de-Camp to the Emperor. 
on horseback, commanded by an officer, shall go before 
the carriage of his Majesty. 

The carriage of the Emperor, drawn by eight horses, 
in which will be the Emperor, the Empress and the 
Princess Olive. The pages shall ride before and behind 
the carriage of their Majesties; beside the front wheels, 
on the right, a Colonel on horseback ; on the left, a Co 
lonel of the Light Guards ; beside the hind wheels, on 
the right, the Master of the Horse to his Majesty ; on 
the left, the Grand Equery to the Empress. 

The carriage of the Imperial Princesses Celia and 
Olivette, shall be drawn by six horses ; a Lieutenant- 
Colonel shall ride beside each wheel. 

A piquet of six Aides to the Emperor, all six riding 
abreast, commanded by a superior officer. 

Two platoons of Light Horse mounted, six abreast, 
each platoon commanded by an officer. 

Next shall come the carriages of metnbers of the Im 
perial family : those of the Ladies of Honour ; of the 
Tire- Women to the Empress ; those of Princesses, 
Duchesses, Countesses, Baronesses and Gentry, each ac 
cording to his rank. 

The cortege shall be closed by a piquet of eight pla 
toons of Cavalry, commanded by a Colonel of the corps 
at the head, and an officer of Cavalry in the centre of 
each platoon. 

Upon the arrival of the cortege at the Champe-de- 
Mars, the Heralds at arms and the Hussars shall divide 
to the right and to the left, and shall remain at the en 
trance of the church to await the cortege from the Im 
perial tent. 

The Chevaliers, Barons, Counts and Dukes, who shall 
not carry any of the insignia of the Emperor, shall re 
pair immediately to the places assigned to them behind 
the Grand Throne ; in the same manner the Baronesses, 
Ladies, etc., etc. ; they shall remain standing, .until per 
mission to sit shall be given. Near the Imperial tent 



A r r E N D I X . V 

shall remain only the Grand Dignitaries who carry tho 
insignia of their Majesties, the Ladies of Honour and 
the Ladies of the Robes, etc. 

The first platoon of Light Horse shall wheel about to 
the right, place themselves in battle array beside the 
wings .of the church, and shall remain there facing the 
Imperial tent. 

The second platoon of Light Horse shall wheel to 
the left, placing themselves in battle array, beside the 
\vino- of the church, and shall remain there also, front 
ing- the Imperial tent. 

The first platoon of officers of the Light Horse shall 
pass to the right, form a line before the grand door of 
the church, and shall leave place for the platoon of 
Aides de Camp to stand in front of it. 

The second platoon of officers of the Light Horse 
si i all pass to the left, form a line before the great door 
of the church, leaving place, also, for a platoon of Aides- 
de-Camp. 

The first platoon of Mounted Grenadiers shall wheel 
about to the right, place themselves in battle array be 
side the wing of the church, behind the Light Horse, 
remaining there, also fronting the Imperial tent. 

The second platoon shall wneel to the left, place 
themselves in battle array beside the wing of the 
church, behind the Light Horse, also fronting the tent. 

The first platoon of officers of the grenadiers shall 
pass to the right, form a line before the great door of 
the church, behind the platoon of officers of the Light 
Horse, leaving place for the platoon of Aides-de-Camp. 

The second platoon shall pass to the left, in the same 
manner. 

The first platoon of Light Infantry shall wheel about 
to the right, shall draw up in battle array after tho 
Grenadiers, fronting the tent. 

The second shall wheel to the left, and draw up in 
the same manner. 

The first platoon of officers of the Light Infantry 



Vi. APPENDIX. 

shall pass to the right, form a line after the platoon of 
officers of the Grenadiers. 

The second platoon shall pass to the left, and draw 
up in the same manner. 

The first platoon of Aides-de-Camp shall pass rapidly 
to the right, in front of the Light Horse. 

The carriages of their Majesties arriving in front of 
the imperial tent shall stop. 

The pages shall dismount and form a line to the right 
and to the left of the tent. 

The officers beside each wheel shall dismount. The 
Grand Equery shall open the door, and give his hand 
to the Emperor, shall aid him to descend from his car 
riage, and shall conduct him to the door of the tent. 

The Colonel of the Light Horse shall give his hand 
to her Imperial Highness, Madame Olive, and conduct 
her in the sarno manner. 

The carriage of the Emperor shall turn quickly to 
the left, and give place to the carriage of the Princesses 
Celia and Olivette. The four Lieutenant-Colonels who 
are at the wheels shall dismount, open the door, assist 
the Princesses to alight, and lead them to the door of 
the tent ; then the carriage of the Princesses shall fol 
low that of the Emperor. 

The platoon of six Aides-de-Camp, who have followed 
the carriage of the Princesses shall divide the half 
turning to the right, the other half to the left, and draw 
up after the Aides-de-Camp already placed. 

The second platoon of Light Infantry shall wheel to 
the right and to the left, as did the Light Horse, and 
draw up to front of the Imperial tent. 

Next shall come the carriages of the Ladies of the 
Imperial family, as well as those of the Ladies of Hon 
our, the Ladies of the Robes, etc. 

The eight platoons of Cavalry, on arriving at Champ- 
de Mars, shall divide to the right and to the left, and 
close the circle of Champ-de-Mars, at the rear of the 
tent. 



APPENDIX. Vil 

Their Majesties, after being robed in the Imperial 
mantle, shall depart with their cortege, to go on foot to 
the nave of the church. In the march from the tent to 
the nave, the Imperial cortege shall observe the follow- 
ing order, with four paces between each group. 

The Hussars, four abreast. 

The Heralds-at-Arms, four abreast, the King-at-Arms 
at the head. 

The Pages, six abreast. 

The Aides and Masters of Ceremonies. 

The Grand Master of Ceremonies. 

Monsieur le Baron de Duval shall bear the cushion 
intended to receive the ring of the Empress, which he 
shall present to her Majesty before the ceremony ; on 
his left, Mon. le Baron de Labonte, on his right, Mon. 
le Baron de Pernier. 

Mon. le Baron Hilaire cle Jean Pierre, carrrying the 
basket to receive the mantle of the Empress, shall have 
on his left, Mon. le Baron de Leveille, on his right, 
Mon. le Chevalier de Capoix. 

Mon. le Due de Cayes, bearing upon a cushion the 
Crown of the Empress, shall have upon his left, Mons. 
le Compte de Cap Rouge, upon his right, Mons. le 
Cornpte de Porte Margot. The Empress with the Im 
perial mantle, but without the ring and without the 
crown. 

Their Imperial Highnesses Mesdames the Princesses 
Olive, Olivette, and Celia, shall hold up the mantle of 
her Majesty. Mons. le Baron d Alerte, gentleman of 
honour, Mons. le Baron de Lassere, first Equery, and 
Mons. le Comtede Carrefour, first Chamberlain of the 
Empress, shall march ; the two first at her right, the 
latter at her left, a little behind Mesdame the Princess 
Olive; the mantle of each Princess shall be held up by 
an officer of her household, the Chevalier de Sampeur, 
Leander de Denis, and Myrtel de Latortue. The La 
dies of Honour at the right, abreast, the Ladies in 
Waiting at the left, abreast. 



V1I1 APPENDIX. 

Messieurs les Dues de Grande-Bois and de Leo- 
gane shall carry the Imperial flag; at their right the 
Count de Camp-Coq, at their left, Mons. Count Pal- 
miste-Tempe. 

Mons. le Duke de Mirebalais shall bear the collar of 
the Emperor ; on his right, the Duke de Gonaives, on 
his left, the Duke de Plaisance. 

Mons. the Duko de St. Marc, bearing the ring of 
his Majesty, shall have upon his right, Mons. the Duke 
de la Grand- Anse, upon his left, Mons. the Duke de 
l Anse-a-Veau. 

Mons. the Duke de la Table, bearing the Imperial 
globe, shall have upon his right, Mons. the Duke de 
Caracol, upon his left, Mons. the Duke de la Petite-Ri 
viere. 

Mons. the Duke du Trou, bearing the basket intended 
to receive the mantle of the Emperor, shall have upon 
his right, Mons. the Duke de la Vega, upon his left, 
Mons. the Duke de Bellevue. 

The Emperor, bearing in his hands the sceptre and 
the main de justice, the crown upon his head. 

Their Imperial highnesses, the Princes Jean Joseph 
and Alexander de Jean- Joseph, holding up the mantle of 
the Emperor. 

The Grand Equery, the Duke de Limonade, the 
Chief of the Aides-de-Camp, the Grand Marechal of 
the Palace, the Ambassadors, the Chancellor, all four 
abreast. 

The Ministers of the interior and Agriculture. 

The Ministers of War and of the Navy. 

The Ministers of Finance and of Commerce. 

The Chancellor. 

At the entrance of their Majesties into the nave 
of the Church, another salute of Artillery shall be 
fired. 

Holy water shall be presented to the Empress by her 
Almoner, and to the Emperor by Mons. the Vicar Gen 
eral ; they shall compliment their Majesties, and con 



APPENDIX. IX. 



duct them under a canopy, supported by the Clergy, to 
the place they are to occupy in the chancel, where they 
shall be perfumed. 

Each of the Clergy who accompanied their Majesties 
to the door, shall proceed, in inverse order, and turn 
into the chancel, where he shall take his place. 

Prom the entrance of their Majesties into the church 
"until they arrive at the little throne, the choir of their 
Majesties chapel and of the band of the Imperial Guard 
shall perform a grand triumphal march. 

The order of procession from the door of the church 
to the chancel shall be the same ; but the Ministers and 
grand Military Officers, who follow the Emperor, shall 
turn to the left of the throne, near which they shall ar 
range themselves upon the steps beyond the Senators, 
the first to the right, the second to the left. 

Arriving at the entrance to the chancel, the Hussars, 
the Heralds at-Arms and the Pages shall stop and form 
a line to the right and to the left in the nave. 

When the Imperial cortege shall be in the chancel, 
the part which is in the nave shall arrange themselves 
in the inverse order of their former march, that they 
may find themselves placed in the proper order to ac 
company their Majesties, when they go to the grand 
throne. 

The remainder of the cortege shall continue its march 
from the door of the chancel to the steps of the sanc 
tuary, except the Aides-de-Camp, who shall form a 
line on entering the chancel to the right and to the 
left. 

Before reaching these steps, the Grand Officers who 
precede the Empress shall range themselves on the left; 
those who precede the Emperor, on the right, that their 
Majesties may pass into the sanctuary. 

The Emperor and Empress shall seat themselves upon 
the ohairs which shall be prepared in the sanctuary un 
der the canopy. 



APPENDIX. 



The places around the throne of their Majesties shal 
be occupied as follows : 

Behind the Emperor, the Princes de Jean-Joseph and 
Alexander de Jean-Joseph. 

Behind the Princes, the Duke de Limonade, the grand 
Marechal of the Palace ; the two Grand Officers bear 
ing the ring and the collar of the Emperor, and he who 
bears the globe. 

To the right of the Princes, before them, and oblique 
ly from them, shall stand the Grand Chamberlain and 
the Grand Equery. 

Behind them, two Chamberlains. 

Behind the Empress, the Princesses Imperial ; behind 
the Princesses, the Ladies of the Court. 

To the left of the Princesses, before and obliquely 
from them, the Ladies of Honour and the Ladies in 
Waiting; behind them, the First Equery, the First 
Chamberlain, and the Gentlemen of Honor to the Em 
press. 

The Grand-Master and Master of Ceremonies to the 
right, near the altar. 

The Assistants of the Ceremony upon the right and 
left, at the entrance to the sanctuary. 

Their Majesties being thus placed, at the moment 
when they enter the chancel, the Vicar-General shall 
go to the altar, and shall commence the Veni Creator. 

The Clergy shall remain kneeling during the first stanza 
of this hymn, which shall be concluded by the follow 
ing stanza and prayer : 

Emitte spiritus, etc. 

Et renovabis, etc 

OREMUS, 

Deus qui corda Jidelium, etc. 

During this hymn, the Emperor and Empress shall 
play for a moment upon their prie-dieu, and rise. 

The Chancellor, passing to the right of the Emperor, 
shall salute successively the altar and His Majesty, and 
shall approach so near that the Emperor may hand to 



APPENDIX. XT. 

him the main de justice, and without turning his back 
upon the altar or His Majesty, shall fall back to the 
right, and in front of the Grand Chamberlain. 

The Grand Marechal of the Palace shall follow in 
the same manner ; shall receive the sceptre, and shall 
take his place to the left, and below the Grand Chan 
cellor, between him and the Grand Chamberlain. 

Next, the Grand Chamberlain shall take the crown, 
hand it to the Duke de Los Puertos, who shall place 
himself at the right of the Chancellor. 

The Grand Officer who is to bear the grand collar, 
shall approach the Grand Chamberlain, who shall take 
the collar and hand it to him. 

The Grand Chamberlain and the Grand E query shall 
next approach and detach the mantle, place it upon their 
baskets, and shall resume their places. 

The Duke de Bany shall approach in the same man 
ner, the Emperor shall draw his sword and hand it to 
him he shall place himself on the left of the Grand 
Marechal of the palace, between him and the Chancel 
lor. 

The Grand Officer who is to carry the ring, shall 
receive it from the Grand Chamberlain, and shall 
place himself upon his right, and at that of the Grand- 
E query. 

The Grand Officer who is to carry the globe, shall 
place himself at the left of him, who is to bear the 
ring. 

Meanwhile, the Ladies of Honour, and the Ladies in 
Waiting, shall approach and detach the mantle of the 
Empress, fold it upon their baskets, and return to their 
places. 

Lastly, the Grand Officer who is to bear the ring, 
shall approach to receive it from the hands of the first 
Lady of Honour, and shall place himself on her left, and 
on that of the Ladies in Waiting. 

The Grand Dignitaries and the Grand Officers desig- 



Xll. APPENDIX. 

nated above, shall successively place upon the altar the 
Imperial insigna, in the following order. 

The Crown of the Emperor. 

The Sword. 

The Main de Justice. 

The Sceptre. 

The Mantle. 

The Eing. 

The Collar 

The Imperial Globe. 

The Crown of the Empress. 

The Mantle. 

The Eing. 

These Grand Officers shall return successively in or 
der to their places. 

The Vicar General, after having chaunted, standing, 
the " Veni Creator," and the prayer above mentioned, 
shall put the following question to the Emperor. 

" Profiteris-ne, charissime, im Christo filio," etc., etc. 

The Emperor, clasping the Book of the Holy Evan 
gelists, which shall be handed to him by the Deacon, 
shall answer " Profiteer." 

The Vicar General shall next repeat the folio wing 
prayer. 

OREMUS. 

" Omnipotens sempiterne Deus," etc. 

This prayer finished, he shall repeat, kneeling, the 
Litany, during which, their Majesties shall remain seat 
ed upon the little throne. 

After the verse, " Ut omnibus fidelibus defunctis," he 
shall rise, shall turn to their Majesties, shall repeat 
the three verses, " Ut hunc famulum tuum," etc., dur 
ing which their Majesties shall kneel and bow their 
heads. 

The Clergy shall make the sign of the cross in the 
form of a benediction, following the example of the 
Vicar, and at the same time with him ; they shall con 
tinue to repeat the Litany as far as the Pater, 



APPENDIX. Xiil 

The Litany being repeated, the Vicar shall rise ; the 
Clergy, still kneeling, shall repeat with him, the follow 
ing chaunts and prayers. 

"Et ne nos," etc. 

" Sed libera," etc. 

OREMUS. 

" Pretende, quoesimus," etc. 
OREMUS. 

" Actiones nostras," etc. 

These prayers being finished, the persons officiating 
shall approach their Majesties, bow reverently to them, 
and lead them to the foot of the altar in order to receive 
Holy Unction. No one shall follow their Majesties in 
this march. 

Their Majesties shall kneel at the foot of the altar on 
cushions. 

The Vicar shall make a triple unction, upon the 
head and in the two hands, representing the following 
prayers : 

OREMUS. 

" Deus dei filius," etc. 

OREMUS. 

" Omnipotens sempiterne," etc. 

The Vicar shall administer the same Unctions to the 
Empress, repeating the following prayer : 
OREMUS. 

Deus Pater oaternae sit tibi adjutor," etc. 

During the consecration, the choir of tho Imperial 
chapel shall execute the following motette : 

" Unxerunt Salornonem, sadoch sacerdos, et Nathan 
propheta regem in Sion, et accedentes loeti dixerunt; 
vivat in cetera um." 

After this ceremony, their Majesties shall be re-con 
ducted to the little throne by the officiating persons. 

The unction shall be wiped off by the Grand Almo 
ner of the Emperor, and by the Almoner of the Em 
press. 

Meanwhile the Vicar shall commence Grand Mass, 



riV. APPENDIX. 

and shall continue it exclusively to the Alleluia du 
graduel; the Clergy shall repeat with him the psalm 
* Judica, as well as the other prayers, until the opening 
of Mass. 

Immediately after the chaunt of the graduel, the 
Vicar shall bless the Imperial insignia in the order, and 
with the prayers, which follow : 

Adjutorium nostrum, etc. 

* Qui fecit, etc., etc. 
To be followed by the 

Benediction of the Imperial Sword. 
OREMUS. 

* Exaudi qusesumus, etc. 

Benediction of the Imperial Mantles. 

OREMUS. 
Omnipotens Deus, etc. 

Benediction of the Imperial Rings. 

OREMUS. 

Deus totius creaturse principium et finis, etc. 
Benediction of the Crowns of the Emperor and the 
Empress. 
OREMUS. 
Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, etc. 

Benediction of the Globe. 
Omnipotens et misericors Deus, etc., etc. 
During this ceremony their Majesties shall remain 
seated upon the little throne. 

The benedictions being given, their Majesties shall 
again go to the foot of the altar accompanied by the 
same officials who led them to the consecration ; the 
Chancellor, the Grand Marechal of the Palace, the 
Grand Chamberlain shall follow the Emperor to the 
altar, and stand behind him: the Ladies of Honour and 
the Ladies in "Waiting, the First Equery, the First 
Chamberlain, and the Gentlemen of Honour, shall fol 
low the Empress to the altar, and stand behind her : 
all the other persons of the cortege shall remain in their 
places. 



APPENDIX. XV 

The presentation of the insignia of the Emperor shall 
be made by the Vicar General to his Majesty, in the 
following order : 

The Ring. 

The Sword, which his Majesty shall put in his scab 
bard. 

The Mantle, which shall be attached by the Grand 
Chamberlain and the Grand E query. 

The Globe, which the Emperor shall give to the offi 
cer charged to receive it. 

The Main de Justice. 

The Sceptre. 

The Ernperor, holding in his hands the two last orna 
ments, shall pray. 

During the time of this prayer, the presentation of 
the ornaments of the Empress shall be made by the Vi 
car General to her Majesty, in the following order : 

The King. 

The Mantle, which shall be attached by the Ladies 
of Honour and the v Ladies in Waiting. 

During the presentation of the ornaments of the Em- 
perer and Empress, the choir shall execute the follow 
ing motette : 

Accingere gladio tuo super femur tuum potentissime 
specie tua et pulchritudine tua intende, prospere pro- 
cede, et regna. 

The Vicar General shall repeat the appropriate prayer 
for each of these ornaments as follows : 
Delivery of the Ring. 

* Accipite hos annulos, etc. 

Delivery of the Sword. 
Accipite gladiurn de altari super tuurn, e ^ c - 

Delivery of the Mantles. 
Induat vos, Dominus, etc. 

Delivery of the Globe. 

* Accipe globum hunc, etc. 

Delivery of the Main de Justice. 
Accipe virgam virtutis, tic veritatis, etc. 



XVI. APPENDIX. 

Delivery of the Sceptre. 

* Accipe sceptrum potestatis imperialis insigne, etc. 

After the Emperor shall have handed the main de 
justice to the Chancellor, and the sceptre to the Grand 
Marechal of the Palace, he shall ascend the altar, take 
the crown and place it upon his head ; he shall take 
that of the Empress, shall approach her and crown her. 

The Empress shall receive the crown kneeling. 

The Vicar shall repeat the following prayer during 
the ceremony of crowning. 

1 Coronet vos Deus corana glorise, etc. 

Their Majesties shall return to the little throne. 

Then the Grand Officers, and the Officers who are to 
precede the Empress, the Princesses, Ladies and those 
who have followed them, shall resume the same order 
of march in which they came to the entrance to the 
chancel; the Empress shall move towards the Grand 
Throne, the Princesses holding her mantle. 

At the entrance to the chancel, the Officers, the 
Pages, the Heralds-at-arms, the Hussars, shall resume 
their order, and shall march to the throne, gradually 
forming a line as they approach it. 

The Grand Officers who bear the insignia of the Em 
press, and the Officers who accompany them, shall as 
cend the steps of the throne, pass by the couloir to the 
right, and arrange themselves behind the throne. 

The cortege which precedes the Emperor, shall resume 
its order in turn. 

The Emperor, surrounded by the Princes and Dig 
nitaries, preceded by the Officers who bear the insignia, 
followed by the Gra nd Equery, by the Grand Cham 
berlain and by the Grand Marechal of the Palace, hav 
ing taken from the Grand Dignitaries the sceptre and 
the main du justice, shall march to the throne, the 
Princes holding his mantle. The Grand Officers bear 
ing his insignia, shall place themselves behind the 
throne, also the Officers who accompany them ; the 
Aides-de-Camp shall form a line to the right and to the 



APPENDIX. XV11. 

left, upon the steps of the throne ; the Grand Cham 
berlain, the Grand Equery, and the Grand Master of 
Ceremonies, shall sit upon cushions, upon the first step 
below the estrade of the throne; the Princes and Dig 
nitaries shall pass to the left of the throne to take tho 
places assigned to them ; the Grand Marechal of the 
Palace shall pass to the left of the couloir, and place 
himself behind the Emperor. 

Lastly, the Vicar and the Clergy shall march also to 
wards the Grand Trone. 

The Vicar, after having ascended to it, and their 
Majesties being seated, shall address them in the follow 
ing words : 

In hon Imperil solio confirmet vos Deus, etc. 

After having repeated these words, the Vicar shall 
kiss the Emperor upon the cheek, and shall turn to the 
assistants, and shall say, in a loud voice : * Vivat Impe- 
rator in seternum ! 

The assistants shall cry, Long live the Emperor, long 
live tlie Empress ! 

The * Vivat shall be executed by the Imperial choir. 

During these acclamations, the Vicar, with his cortege, 
shall be reconducted to his seat by the Grand Master 
of Ceremonies, preceded by the Masters and Aides of 
the Ceremonies, by the Heralds-at-arms, and by the 
Hussars. 

The Pages shall place themselves upon the steps of 
the throne. 

The places around the throne of the Emperor shall 
be disposed of in the following order: 

The Emperor on the throne. 

A step lower, on his right : 

The Empress upon a fauteuil. 

A step lower to the right of the Empress, between 
the two columns : 

The Princesses, upon chairs. 

Behind them, the Ladies of Honour and the Ladies 
in Waiting, and the Ladies of the Palace appointed to 
carry the offerings. 



XV111. APPENDIX. 

On the left of the Emperor, and two steps below him, 
between the two columns : 

The Princess the two Grand Dignitaries at their 
left, upon chairs. 

Behind the Emperor, the Grand Marechal of the 
Palace, the four Grand Officers bearing the insignia of 
his Majesty, upon the right of the Grand Marechal 
and the three Grand Officers bearing the insignia of the 
Empress, behind his Majesty: the Civil Officers of the 
Emperor and the Princesses, behind the Grand Officers, 
all standing ; upon the first step below the estrade of 
the throne, the Grand Chamberlain, the Grand Equery 
and the Grand Master of Ceremonies, seated upon 
cushions. At the foot of the throne, on the right, shall 
be a tabouret, upon which the Grand Master of Cere 
monies shall place himself often, in order to overlook 
the details of the ceremony ; behind this tabouret, two 
Assistants of the Ceremonies ; behind these Assistants, 
the King at- Arms and the two Heralds ; opposite the 
tabouret of the Gand Master, the Masters of the Cere 
monies ; behind them, two Heralds. 

The Vicar having reached the sanctuary, the imperial 
choir shall sing the Te-Deum, and afterwards the hymns 
and prayers, as follows : 
Firmetur manus tua, etc. 
Justitia et judicium, etc. 

REMUS. 
* Deus, qui victrices Moysis, etc. 

OR EM us. 

{ Deus inerrabilis auctor mundi, etc. 
The Vicar shall continue the mass. 
At the end of the reading from the Gospel, the 
Grand Master shall invite the Grand Almoner to the 
altar by a bow : the Grand Almoner shall receive the 
Gospel from the Sub-Deacon : afterwards, accompanied 
by the Clergy, preceded by the Grand Master, the 
Masters and Assistants of the Ceremony, he shall carry 
the Holy Book to be kissed by their Majesties ; return 
to the altar and give it back to the Sub-Deacon. 



APPENDIX. XIX. 

At the Offertory, the Grand Master of Ceremonies 
shall bow reverently to their Majesties to summon them 
to the oblation. 

Madame the Princess de Jacmpl bearing a wax can 
dle to which shall be attached thirteen pieces of gold, 
shall have at her side Mons. the Count de Campan. 

Madame the Duchess de Tib urn bearing another 
candle with the same number of pieces of gold, shall 
have at her side Mons. the Count de Petit-G-oave. 

Madame the Duchess de St. Louis du Sud, bearing 
the silver bread, shall have at her side Mons. the Count 
de la Tannerie. 

Madame the Duchess du Mirebalias, bearing the gol 
den bread, shall have at her side Mons. the Count 
d Umaui. 

Madame the Duchess de St. Louis du Nord, bearing 
the vase, shall have at her side Mons. the Count de la 
Briquerie. 

Quitting their places successively, by the right of the 
4 couloir, to receive, below the steps of the throne, these 
different offerings, which shall be presented to them : 

The Emperor and Empress shall descend from the 
throne ; meanwhile the Imperial Band shall execute a 
triumphant march. 

The Empress surrounded by the Princesses who hold 
up her mantle, followed by the Ladies of Honour, by 
the Ladies in Waiting, and by the Grand Civil Officers 
of her Majesty, shall quicken their march in order to 
precede the Emperor below the steps : the Emperor 
shall march more slowly, accompanied by the Princes 
who hold up his mantle, followed by the Grand Mare- 
chal of the palace, and preceded by his grand Cham 
berlain, and by his Grand E query, in such a manner 
that, dividing at the steps of the throne, the march to 
the chancel shall be in the following order : 

The Hussars. 

The Her alds-at- Arms. 
The Pages. 



XX. APPENDIX. 

-x 

The Assistants of the Ceremony. 

The Masters of the Ceremony. 

The Grand Master of the Ceremony. 

The offerings in the order above mentioned. 

The Empresses followed as above described. 

The Grand Chamberlain, the Grand Equery, and 
the Gentlemen of Honour. 

The Emperor and his suite. 

On arriving at the door of the chancel, the same per 
sons who, in the first march, formed a line, shall do so 
again ; the Emperor and the Empress, with the rest of 
the l cortege, shall continue their march to the foot of 
the altar. 

The Emperor, the Empress on his left, shall kneel 
upon the cushions; the person bearing the offerings 
shall arrange themselves on their right a little behind, 
forming a line ; the Grand Master, a Master, and an 
Assistant of the Ceremonies on the right, also on the 
left. The Princes and Princesses, on entering the sanc 
tuary, shall no longer hold up the mantle of their Ma- 
; esties, and shall occupy the same place in the sanctu 
ary, which they did during the consecration and 
crowning. 

On reaching the altar, the Emperor shall hand the 
sceptre and the Main de Justice to the Chancellor and 
to the Chamberlain, who shall remain at the right, near 
the altar. 

Their Majesties being crowned, shall take the offer 
ings from the Ladies who bear them, in the order of 
the march, and present them to the Vicar. 

They shall then seat themselves upon the little 
throne; depart from it again in the order ^above men 
tioned, to proceed to the Grand Throne. 

The Vicar shall continue the Mass. 

At the elevation of the Host their Majesties being on 
the Grand Throne, the Grand Chamberlain shall take 
off the Crown of the Emperor, and the Lady of Honour, 



APPENDIX. XXI. 

and Mons. the Gentleman of Honour, that of the Em 
press. 

Their Majesties shall kneel. After the elevation of 
the Host, their Majesties shall rise, and the Grand 
Chaplain shall replace the Crown of the Emperor, and 
the Lady of Honour and the Gentleman of Honour, 
that of the Empress. 

At the Agnes Dei, the Deacon shall receive the 
kiss of peace from the Vicar, cum instrumento pacis, 
and shall carry it to their Majesties. 

The Mass shall continue. 

The Mass being finished, the Grand Almoner shall 
again carry the Gospel to the Emperor, and shall re 
main standing upon the left of his Majesty. 

His Great Highness the Duke de la Bande-du-Nord, 
Minister of the Interior, etc., shall call Messieurs the 
President of the Senate, and of the Chamber of Deputies, 
and Mons. the Baron d Acloque, President of the Court 
of Appeals, and present them to his Majesty. They 
shall lay before the Emperor the constitutional oath, 
and range themselves on the left of the throne, upon 
the first steps ; the Grand Master of Ceremonies shall 
remain on the other side of the steps, opposite the Pre 
sident, of the Senate. 

The Emperor, seated and crowned, his hand upon 
the Holy Gospel, shall repeat the oath in these words : 

/ sice.ar to support, the integrity and the independence 
of tlt,e Enrpire, etc. 

This oath being pronounced, the King-at-anns shall 
proclaim in a loud voice : 

THE MOST GLORIOUS, MOST AUGUST EM 
PEROR F AUSTIN THE EIRST, EMPEROR OF 
HAYTI, is crowned and enthroned. 

LONG LIVE THE EMPEROR !! 
The prolonged cries of " Long live the Emperor !" 

Long live the Empress !" shall be heard in all parts of 
the church. 

A discharge of a hundred cannon shall proclaim 



XX11. APPENDIX. 

the coronation and the enthronement of their Ma 
jesties. 

The clergy shall return to the foot of the throne with 
the canopy to re-conduct their Majesties. 

At the same moment the Hussars, the Heralds-at- 
Arms, the Pages, the Assistants of the Ceremony, the 
Masters and the Grand Master of Ceremonies, shall ad 
vance from the right to the throne, to rejoin the pro 
cession. The Grand Officers, bearing the insignia of the 
Emperor shall successively pass by the couloir to the 
right, shall descend the steps, and take their place before 
the canopy of the Empress. 

The Empress shall descend from the throne accom 
panied by the Princesses, followed by the Ladies of 
Honour, by the Ladies in Waiting, and by the Ladies 
and Officers of the Palace. 

Next, his Majesty shall come under the canopy, and 
continue the march towards the Imperial tent. 

The seven Grand Officers who bear the insignia of the 
Emperor shall successively pass by the couloir to the 
left, and shall march before the canopy in the order with 
which they came from the tent to the church. 

The Emperor shall take from the Chancellor and 
from the Grand Marechal of the Palace, the sceptre, 
and the Main de Justice, and shall descend from the 
throne, followed by the Princes holding up his mantle, 
and by the Grand Officers who followed him coming to 
the church. 

When the Emperor shall leave the nave, the Ministers 
and the other Grand Military Officers shall take their 
same rank in the cortege to return to the Imperial 
tent. 

The formalities finished, their Majesties shall return to 
the Imperial Palace in the same order of march as above 
designated. 

The public rejoicings shall continue until six o clock, 
and at sunset of that day, a salute of a hundred cannon 
shall announce the conclusion of the festivities 



APPENDIX. XX111 

Port au Prince, March 9th, 1852, the 49th year of 
Independence, and the 3d of the reign of his Imperial 
Majesty. 

The Duke-du-Nord, Minister of the Interior and of 
Agriculture. D. HYPPOLITE. 



14 DAY USE 

RETURN TO DESK FROM WHICH BORROWED 

LOAN DEPT. 

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