(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "Pictorial guide to the Mammoth cave, Kentucky"

NYPL RESEARCH LIBRARIES 



3 3433 081819 



1 6 







HH|;. 
















.; . ^^:^A.^'' 











Lbpox Library 





Vvt»?nicif in \s 7 S. 










\A. 



\ 




■•^v 






Sfr... '*>.«..►■ -Hij^, 



'*l3i*,i 



■>*'.-tS!. 







o 



<' 



1 • //■ , .;' ■ ' • ' ' ~- 



r 




s ^ s i| # 1 1 i ^ f 



^ 



KENTUCKY 




lifSfif^ If 111 



Cii i,;iUhVni:l'':;i:„i, 



TO THE 




\3gI1 Y Juj 



IEIlSJ^W(SlE^u 




JiY i'HK REVEEEND HORACE MARTIN 



NEW YORK: 

^TlilNfiErv & TOWN.^END, No. 222 BROADWAY 



PE@T@t[i^L ^wm 



TO rnK 




^ 



llifH (SAl,., 



g 



KENTUCKY. 



BY THi: 



[^iWo [K]@[K^^©[i o^z^iE^iroo^. 



ILLUSTRATED IN THE FIHST STYLE OF ART, BY S. WALLEN, JNO. ANDREW) 

J. W. ORR, AND N. ORR. 



NEW YORK 



STRINGER & TOWNSEND, No. 222 BROADWAY. 



Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 185J, by 
F RANK LESLIE, 

In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States, in 
and for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. 






PHILADELPHIA: 
KING & BAIRD, PRINTERS, No. 9 SANSOM STREET. 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 

The Cave Hotel. 

Entrance to the Cave.^ 

View of Entrance to the Cave from the Inside. 

Entrance to the Gothic Galleries. 

Bottomless Pit. 

Gothic Chapel. 

River Styx. 

The Giant's Coffin. ' 

Hopper's and Water Pipes. 

The Lover's Leap. 



AUTHOR'S ADDRESS. 



In America, Nature seems to have purposely ope- 
rated on a gigantic scale. Her Lakes, her Rivers, 
and her Mountains, may be instanced as an attestation 
of what we say. Greatness and sublimity characterize 
them all. Poets have sung their praises, tourists have 
described them in all the eloquence of prose, and pain- 
ters have labored to illustrate them upon the canvas. 
They have been famed everywhere. But at the same 
time, an object of Nature, as sublime as beautiful, 
and as great as the Andes or the Mississippi, has been 
comparatively neglected, — we allude to the Mammoth 
Cave of Kentucky. Little has hitherto been said of 
it by authors, less done towards familiarizing it to the 
Million, by the painter. It is with the view of filling 
up this blank, though it may be imperfectly, that the 
present work has been undertaken. 

We are anxious that Americans, as well as foreigners 
visiting the Republic, should view the Mammoth Cave ; 
and we are aware of no better plan of insuring this, 



8 " ADDRESS. 

than by describing the several features of attraction, 
as well as incidental comforts^ which a trip there is 
sure to include. With the facilities in the way of 
travel, which exist in this country, no excuse of dis- 
tance can be offered. A thousand or more miles can 
be covered, with no more harass or fatigue than that 
consequent upon quitting one train for another, or the 
railroad car for the steamboat. And what scenery 
will the eye of the traveller command in his transit ? 
and what spectacles of splendor await him at his jour- 
ney's end, where the Mammoth Cave itself is situated ? 
There we will leave our friends ; but perhaps not 
entirely so, as we shall be with them in the represen- 
tative form of this, their Guide and Companion. That 
the association may not be deemed an unworthy one, 
we most sincerely hope ; while the faithfulness of our 
delineations, (so far as the Cave is concerned,) and ot 
our testimony to the elegant care and "home comfort" 
to be found at the neighboring hotel, cannot, we feel, 
be impugned by any one. 



MADE. JENNY LIND'S 
VISIT TO THE MAMMOTH CAVE. 

FAVORED EY JUUUS BENEDICT, ESQ. 

Early in the morning, after the close of our last concert 
in Nashville, we started, with a somewhat smaller party 
than had hitherto accompanied us, on a trip to the Mammoth 
Cave. It consisted of Mademoiselle Lind and Mademoiselle 
Ahmansen, Belletti, M. Hjortzberg, Mr. Burke, Mr. Seyton, 
and myself. Our road was rough, and in many instances 
almost impassable for a carriage. The rain had however, 
laid the dust, and although there was little of the picturesque 
to be met with in the country that was stretched on either 
side of us, the fresh brilliancy of the young year sheeted 
trees and meadows aUke in its budding green. After par- 
taking of luncheon at Teyress' Springs, and pausing to 
dine afterwards at the Bowling Green, we arrived in the 
course of the evening, and found ourselves in comfortable 
lodgings, at Bell's Hotel. On the following morning we 
quitted this tarrying- place at nine o'clock, and had the 
satisfaction of travelling over eight miles of the very worst 
road we had yet traversed in the United States — charmingly 
broken up with snatches of woodland and forest scenery — 

2 



\ 



10 JENNY LIND's visit 

here bending past the edge of a jagged and abrupt glen, 
and then breaking into a sweep of meadow or budding 
foliage. At length we arrived at the hotel, a dismal and 
queer-looking building, the roof of which was seamed with 
the chance sky-lights made by age and decay, and the 
service of which was performed by domestics, who were 
scrupulously bent on following their own fancies in the 
management of our table, for here it w^as that we breakfasted. 
In truth, the meal itself was excellent, and the room in which 
it ^vas held, considering the time of the year, was in good 
order — Jenny Lind's presence, we presume, having, as is 
usual in hotels, railways, and steamboats, made an extra 
season. Fortunately, we here met with Mr. Crcghan, the 
proprietor of the estate in which the Cave is situated, a most 
gentlemanly and delightful person, who did us the honors 
of his subterranean dominions in the most agreeable manner. 
It w^as about twelve o'clock that we started in his company 
for the Cave, and to avoid the pertinacious curiosity of the 
guests, who had been collected here by the report of Made- 
moiselle Lind's visit, he conducted us by a less frequented 
pathway than the one usually taken to its mouth. Lamps 
were now procured, and as it happened, we were fortunate 
enough to be placed in the hands of the very Prince of 
Guides. This was Stephen, who must be a well known 
character to those who visit this palace of the Gnomes. 
Half Indian and half negro, ("a singularly rare mixture of 
blood,) he has been living in or about this cavern for the last 
fifteen years, until he himself has begun to fancy it would 
be impossible to quit it. Although of course, uneducated, 
he is essentially a clever man, and has contrived to pick up 
a vast amount of information from associating with every 
description of persons. Now he sports a bit of science, 
derived from some of the more learned visitors he has con- 



TO THE MAMMOTH CAVE. 11 

ducted through the cavern, or a bit of artistic knowledofe 
which has been dropped behind him by some wandering 
painter, or haply a touch of the hfe of the world beyond, 
which has filtered through his mind from a thousand sources. 
In addition to this, when it is remembered that he is as much 
at home in the lengthy avenues, the gorgeous churches, and 
palatial halls, the domes and the pits of this weird region, 
as if he had been amon<yst them, it must be admitted that it 
would be somewhat difficult to find a guide better calculated 
to do its honors. To give anything approaching a thorough 
description of the cavern, is far from our purpose. Indeed, 
we shall be well satisfied if we can but impress the reader 
with the conception that masters our own sense, as we take 
the pen in our hand with the vain hope (for we cannot but 
feel that it is so,) of doing something like justice to the effect 
it produced upon our minds. In fact, it is and would be 
well nigh impossible to give with pen and ink any idea of 
the wondrous effect and extraordinary combinations of 
nature's architecture, with her wondrous and delicate tracery 
which strike the visitor at every step he takes in these in- 
tricate and winding labyrinths. Now you enter what 
would appear to be the sacred precincts of a Gothic Chapel. 
What is visible of the roof as the light of the flashing torches 
is caught upon it is seamed with arches. Elaborate pillars 
wreathed with tracery cluster along its sides. The very 
pulpit is chased with elaborate and tangled ornaments, and 
appears ready for the preacher. After this, you bend your 
way through a rough and tedious path, that winds through 
fragments of rock, and flillen masses of rough and jagged 
stone. This brinsfs vou to a wooden brido'e, over which 
you pass, and reaching apparently the side of the cave, gaze 
through a broken space into the thick and heavy darkness 
beyond it. Here the glaring lustre of a Bengal light, touched 



12 . JENNY LIND's visit 

by the torch of Stephen, falls into and for some moments 
partially illumines the profound depths of a place which is 
called the ' Bottomless Pit ;' and, indeed, nothing could well 
give a more vivid idea of the earthly entrance to a spiritual 
Hades than dees this place. The spot of intense and glowing 
light — the unfathomable space below — the unnatural features 
of the place, all brought out in strong relief by the unusual 
radiance ; and the awful silence that reigns around, unbroken, 
save by the whispers and muttered observations of the party 
which stands almost lost in the gloom of the silent cavern, 
give it a character of extreme and unutterable solemnity. 
What, however, must we say of the ' Star Chamber ?' After 
having wandered for a mile or more along what we presumed 
was the principal avenue, (the height of this varies, as we 
should suppose, from thirty to eighty feet,) we passed the 
^Giant's Coffin,' a mass of stone presupposed by the dealer 
in fabulous nomenclature to be the tomb of some antediluvian 
hero. Here the Cave widened, and we found ourselves 
standing as we seemed to emerge from it, under a broad and 
sable sky, spotted with unknown stars. Almost for the first 
moment you m.ight dream that you had entered upon another 
world. The illusion is complete. Above you lies the vault 
of the dark and novel heaven, seamed with apparently 
countless planets, and around you stretches the dark and 
weird-looking horizon, apparently dying away into the gloom 
of that strange firmament. Here also our guide shone in 
all his glory. First he would withdraw within the entrance, 
carrying the torches with him. Then the stars would dis- 
appear, one by one, until we were left in silence and dark- 
ness. Anon a crimson liQ:ht would break out amonof the 
rocks, whose intense brilliancy would give us some idea of 
the grandeur and splendid proportions of the ^ Star Chamber,' 
sparkling in its brilhant glory on the glistening spots of the 



TO THE MAMMOTH CAVE. 13 

sable coping. Then he would descend and move further 
off, to throw the h'ght of the torches on others of the incrus- 
tations and ghstening stalactites of the Hall. Suddenly 
the notes of a violin were heard breaking on the stillness, 
and the Prayer from the Der Freyshutz poured its melody 
on the Chamber. For a moment we were so struck by the 
unexpected sounds, that we barely looked at each other. 
Soon we, however, began to notice that Burke was absent, 
and remembered that he had brought his instrument with 
him on this trip. The mystery — a rare and delicate one, 
too, was unravelled. After leaving this spot, we passed 
through the 'Fat Man's Misery,' and the 'Happy Relief,' 
which last, we confess, we should have presupposed to have 
been achieved only by a course of sudorifics, and at last 
reached the borders of Lethe. Unluckily there was no 
Charon in waiting to bear us across the ominously named 
stream. This may possibly appear an anomaly, yet when 
it is known that the grandest part of the Cave lies beyond 
Lethe and Styx, our mortification at finding the first river 
impassable, and the Tartarus beyond it, out of our reach, 
may very readily be conceived. The waters had un- 
fortunately risen so high during the last few weeks, that the 
impossibility of passing the streams of this subterranean 
Tophet was self-evident. We were therefore compelled 
unwillingly to satisfy ourselves with the glowing reports of 
Stephen and Mr. Croghan, of the <^ Crystal Chambers,' the 
^ Echo Halls,' stalactitic Domes, fishes without eyes, and rats 
that were half rabbits, with sundry other breathing and visual 
oddities that were to be found in these infernal regions. We 
were, however, richly repaid for our visit by that which we 
had already seen, and the crowning point was our pause 
on our return beneath Goran Dome. Fancy an immense 
wall in the bowels of the earth, lit up as if by magic, (i. e. 

2* 



14 JENNY LIND's visit TO THE INIAMMOTH CAVE. 

Bengal lights,) with its carved cornices and sculptured or 
arabesqued architraves, coming crisply and exquisitely off 
in the momentary and brilliant lustre — the wall standing 
some 400 or 500 feet in height, and the silence of the scene 
being only broken by the slow dripping of the water w^hich 
trickles through the interstices of the rock. Possibly the 
only disappointment which was induced in my mind, arose 
from the width and breadth of the chamber not corresponding 
with the height, which had it done, the impression of 
grandeur" given by this singular scene would have been 
quadrupled. At length, after having roamed about without 
a moment's rest for more than four hours, in which time 
we had not explored the twentieth part that is already 
known of this splendid palace, reared, as it might almost 
seem, for another race of beings, Ave passed through the 
"'Bats' Chamber,' where thousands of these creatures remain, 
as though they were spell-bound, hanging to the walls in 
their winter sleep — and, emerged again into the world above 
us, which seemed to fasten upon our senses with an almost 
crushing weight, as we found its light dimming and blinding 
the e3''es which instinctively sought the radiance of the sunny 
heaven. We returned to the hotel — dined there, and bidding 
a kindly farewell to Mr. Croghan, were soon on our way to 
the place at which we were that night to sleep — carrying 
wdth us a recollection which will not readily be effaced 
either from the mind of Mademoiselle Lind or of myself. 



GUIDE 



TO THE 



MAMMOTH CAVE 



Among the many grand and beautiful objects of Nature 
which have been worthily described, either by the pen or 
the pencil, or by both, the Mammoth Cave in Kentucky 
cannot be numbered, the as yet published details or pictures 
of it failing in imparting anything like an accurate idea of 
its many wonders. Having recently visited the Cave, and 
having all our feehngs of admiration warm within us, it 
seems that the few tourists who have hitherto given to the 
world their ideas of this splendid natural object, have, by 
constitution, lacked that sense of the beautiful which is the 
readiest interpreter of scenes like those which it is our 
purpose to describe : hence, we have had nothing more than 
a few dry details, where the true magnificence of the theme 
is of a character to inspire the pen to something much 
higher than common-place. 

By many who, however, are gifted with the quality, the 
lack of which in others we have just noticed, the Mam- 



16 GUIDE TO THE 

moth Cave has been designated the ^"^ Eighth Wonder of the 
World/' Some, indeed, have gone so far as to claim for it 
precedence before the ^"^ seven :" and it would be difficult 
to decide whether it has not claims to such a proud pre- 
eminence. So wide-spread is its fame, principally from 
the verbal reports of those who have visited it, that thou- 
sands of American citizens, as well as strangers from every 
other part of the world, make a point of going to it. We 
have had opportunities of witnessing its effect upon persons 
of different temperaments. In the religious it has awakened 
devotional feelings amounting almost to delirium ; in the 
poetic or artistic impromptu bursts of eloquence and a 
sharpened sense of the grand ; the singer, too, has felt the 
exalting and purifying influences of the place, and has 
hymned his or her praises to the power there so obviously 
manifested. Few have shown insensibility ; and they, we 
hold, to be objects of pity. 

Persons in the eastern states, desirous of visiting the 
Mammoth Cave, had best take the steam-boat from Cincin 
nati to Louisville : the distance between the two places is 
133 miles, and the fare only §2 50. The boats of this line 
are first-class ones, and possess every recommendation ; 
their arrangements are so complete, that were it not for the 
noise of the engines, a person might fancy himself in a 
fashionable hotel. The distance is performed in a very 
short period of time. Arriving at Louisville, the tourist 
should take the stage, which will convey him ninety miles 
over a turnpike road, and stop at a truly comfortable inn, 
kept by Mr. Bell for the last twenty-five years. The stage 
is now left to pursue its way to Nashville. Parties coming 
west would take the stage froin Nashville, and stop at 
Bell's. There are, besides, steamers which ply between 
Louisville, up the Green River, to within one mile of the 



MAMMOTH CAVE. 17 

Cave. In lliese, our preliminarj'- details, it may be as well 
for us to state that a company is now forming, whose object 
is to make a railway from Nashville to Louisville, which, 
when completed, vv^ill pass within ten miles of the Cave. 
Proper conveyances will be in readiness at that distance, 
to take persons directly to the Cave itself. The stages now 
running on the road take the mails, and may be relied on 
for their punctuality, always arriving at Bell's about half-past 
9 o'clock at night. Every accommodation for the night will 
be afforded, and in the morning, when the visitors are 
quite ready, they are sent over to the Cave, in either a 
carriage or a coach, according to their numbers. The 
distance from Bell's to the Cave is nine miles, and the road 
runs through a very romantic country — now ascending lofty 
mountains, then traversing thick woods, which the city 
visitor will find strongly to contrast with the more familiar 
scenes of his life. It is supposed that the Cave runs under 
the ground traversed between its mouth and Bell's, as high, 
rocks are frequently met with. Descending from the last 
hill, we arrive at the entrance to the grounds, and in sight 
of the hotel. This property is of vast extent, containing 
more than 1700 acres of ground ; the proprietor has pur- 
chased all the land, under which it has been ascertained 
the Cave traversed its many winding ways. The grounds, 
which the visitor now enters, are laid out with consummate 
taste displaying ornamental trees and much shrubbery, 
with forest trees of great antiquity. Having traversed 
a winding avenue, the tourist at length arrives at the 
Cave Hotel, conducted by Mr. Miller, who is a very 
respectable, accommodating, and affable gentleman, and 
ever ready to please his company to the utmost extent. 
The hotel consists of a number of buildings of different 
dates, having been increased from time to time, to meet 



18 GUIDE TO THE 

the continually increasing number of visitors. The es- 
tablishment, in its present state, is capable of lodging 150 
visitors, and during the season always has that number. 
The terms are very moderate ; and with a travelling ex- 
perience which extends over the whole United States, we 
can safely say that we are acquainted with no place at 
which a person who wishes to v^^ithdraw himself from busy 
life, can find greater comfort, or can enjoy Nature in her 
unadorned loveliness, more than here. There is no town 
or village within twenty miles, and neither the one nor the 
other contains more than a comparatively thin population. 
Consequently, visitors are not annoyed by the influx of the 
rabble on certain days of the week. In this beautiful and 
retired spot, the stranger will meet with pohshed and re- 
fined society, persons from all parts of the world meeting 
there. At the hotel a register is kept. Some celebrated 
names are inscribed on its pages — among them, those of 
Jenny Lind, Jules Benedict, Belletti, etc. The former 
gentleman has favored us with a sketch of his and com- 
panion's visit to the Mammoth Cave, which we append to this 
work. The hotel is two stories high, and two hundred 
feet long, with brick buildings at each extremity, showing 
their gable ends in front. The space between is occupied 
by a long wooden building, with a piazza, and gallery over it. 
At the end of the hotel runs a long row of log houses, one 
story high, with colonades in front, the whole length, which 
must be near two hundred feet. These colonades and 
piazzas must be very convenient in wet weather, helping 
to form as they do, a beautiful promenade, protected from 
the rain or sun. The dining room of the hotel is a spacious 
apartment, while the fare displayed upon its table of the finest 
quality. Venison is always to be found here in abundance. 
A large kitchen garden is kept in a high state of cultivation, 







'"V' .' 



'' ':'''l'|p|lr^ 



ENTRAI^^CE TO THE CAVE. 

VIEW TAZSN Fl-tOM THE INSIDE 



MAMMOTH CAVE. 19 

to furnish vegetables and fruits for the table ; several 
crardeners are retained in the establishment. Over the 
dining room is an apartment of precisely the same dimen- 
sions, fitted up for a ball room ; and an excellent band is 
kept during the entire season, for the purpose of amusing 
the visitors. In another part of the premises a ten-pin 
alley is fitted up. Indeed, taking the whole arrangements 
of the hotel, we cannot speak too highly of them. The 
perfect comfort of the visitor is the proprietor's evident aim. 
There are single as well as double bedrooms in different 
parts of the building ; the log houses are intended for 
families, as each little house is fitted up for one, which can 
live as privately as possible, or mix with the general com- 
pany — whichever seems the most agreeable. Many of the 
parties lodged in the hotel are in the habit of exploring the 
Cave more than once — frequently perhaps, before they can 
acquire even a partial knowledge of it. In this case, the 
rule is, that they pay their entrance or cave-fee once, and 
so often as the guides go in with fresh visitors, the old 
visitors have the privilege of accompanying them, without 
being required to pay any second fee — so that a particular 
party may visit the Cave a hundred times, and yet only 
pay one fee. Persons form themselves into companies, each 
dav, to hunt, or fish, as well as to visit the Cave. 

And now for the Cave, w^U and aptly designated Mam- 
moth; and as a natural object, perhaps unequalled by any 
other in the world, certainly unsurpassed. 

In order to explore only one of its avenues, which is nine 
miles in extent, the visitor starts immediately after breakfast. 
The entrance to the Cave is about two hundred yards from 
the back of the hotel. Leaving it, the expectant tourists pass 
down a beautiful ravine, having on each of its sides towering 
trees, their foliage forming a beautiful arch overhead, so um- 



20 



GUIDE TO THE 



braii^eous as to shut out all vision of the blue sky. About the 
trees o-rape-vines are entwined, and flourish in luxuriance. 
For a painter, the scene now presented would make a 
splendid study. It is difficuh, in fact, to find words suffi- 
ciently expressive to describe the beauty of this spot. De- 
scending gradually to the bottom of the dell, and turning 
sharply round to the right hand, the visitor approaches the 
entrance of the Mammoth Cave. 

He is now under its arch, having made a descent of some 
thirty feet of rude stone steps. Before him is a small 
stream of water. It falls from the front of the crowning 
rock, its sound being wild and unequal. The ruins below 
receive it, and it ultimately disappears in a deep pit. Let 
the visitor now look backwards. How awful must be his 
sensations ! All is utter gloom ; and well may he exclaim 
ii This is chaos !" 

The visitors are invariably accompanied by a guide, who 
places in each of their hands a lamp, which he furnishes 
with oil from a canteen swung round his back. The journey 
under nround is then commenced. 




HOPPERS AND WATER PIPES. 



The first objects that now attract attention are the 
wooden pipes w^hich conducted the water, in its descent, to 
the hoppers, when the Cave was used for the manufacture 
of saltpetre. In speaking of this part of the Cave, we are 
reminded of an incident of which it was once the scene. — 



MAMMOTH CAVE. 21 

We refer to the discovery of a skeleton, so peculiar in its 
proportions as to suggest the existence, at some remote 
period, of that giant race of men, of whom there has been 
so much said in works generally believed fabulous. This 
skeleton was found some years since by the saltpetre 
workers, and was buried by their employer in the spot 
where it now lies. This was done to quiet the superstitious 
fears of the men. Some antiquary had, however, taken 
the precaution to possess himself of the head. Another 
relic of the olden time was found in the Cave. It was a 
bow, precisely similar to those worn by the Red Indians, 
and no doubt, had belonged to one of that race when they 
were the sole masters of the soil — many ages, indeed, 
before the white men had come among them, to drive the 
aborigines to the deep forests, and to alter the destiny of 
this mighty continent by the agencies of civih'zation. 

Let us return to the visitors. Having proceeded onward, 
a door-way is reached. It is set in a rough stone wall, 
stretched cross-ways, and so blocking up the entire cave. 
We proceed through this passage, which is called '' the 
Narrows" for a short distance, then making a gradual descent, 
our friends find themselves in the great vestibule or ante- 
chamber of the cave. How awful is now the surrounding 
darkness ! No where can there be discovered the least 
glimmering of light. The eye searches for it, but in vain. 
Blackness reigns. It is under, above, around you. There 
is one way, however, to dispel it. You are told the way, 
but for a few minutes you are credulous. Presently you 
make trial, and then how wonderful is the change ! More 
than a hundred feet above your head is a gray ceiling, 
moving away, so it seems, majestically and spectral. Then 
your sight is cognizant of buttresses. They seem tottering, 
and as though superinduced to the action by the immensity 

3 



22 GUIDE TO THE 

of their upward weight. All continues silent, and the 
sensation in the brain is that of a tingling agony. The 
guide, who knows the power of antithesis, and is an adept 
too, in dramatic effect, now hghts a few fires, by the aid of 
which you ascertain that you are in a basilica of an oval 
form, of some two hundred feet in length by one hundred 
and fifty in width, wdth a flat and level roof between sixty 
and seventy feet high. At right angles are two passages, 
opening into this huge chamber. They are at its opposite 
extremities, and in consequence of their preserving a 
straight course for five or six hundred feet, with the same 
flat roof just particularized, the impression is, that they are 
included in one magnificent hall. The passage on the right 
hand is designated the great Bat Room. That in the front, 
is the beginning of the Grand Gallery, or the Cave itself. 
The reader will be surprised when he is told that the entire 
space is covered by a single rock, in which it is impossible 
to discover a break or an interruption, if we except the 
borders, where is a broad sweeping cornice, traced in hori- 
zontal paved work. And what will also appear extraordi- 
nary — not a single pillar contributes to the support. 

Vast heaps of nitrous earth, and of the fragments of the 
hoppers, which latter are of heavy planking, encumber 
the floor. Before the Cave was appropriated to the manu- 
facture of saltpetre, it was used as a burying ground ; and 
it is said that the workman disinterred many a skeleton 
belonging, it is presumed, to that gigantic race of which 
the bones mentioned in a previous page were a specimen. 

Those visitors who enter the great Bat Room, \vill have 
some suspicion that they are passing into infinite space. 
This impression will continue some time. The w^alls of 
the cave are so dark as not to admit a sing-le reflection from 
the torches carried on ordinary occasions. It is possible 



MAMMOTH CAVE. 23 

that a greater number would have power to dispel the 
gloom, and to enable the explorers to form some idea of its 
grandeur. 

The Audubon Avenue [in which we must now fancy 
the visitor to be) is more than a mile long, fifty or sixty feet 
wide, and as many high. The appearance of the roof is 
mystical or grand, exhibiting, as many other parts of the 
Cave do, a kind of floating cloud. Of late j^^ears, a natural 
well, twenty-five feet deep, containing the purest water, 
has been discovered. Round it are innumerable stalagmite 
columns. Springing from the floor, they extend to the 
roof, and bear incrustations which, when lights are held or 
suspended near them, reflect a thousand rare and beautiful 
objects. 

The Little Bat Room Cave may be designated a branch of 
Audubon Avenue. It is on the left as the visitor advances, 
and in distance, is not more than three hundred yards from 
the Great Vestibule. In length it is little more than a 
quarter of a mile. It is remarkable for its pit, which is 
two hundred and eighty feet in depth ; and is also notice- 
able as being the hibernal resort of bats. Tens of thousands 
of those ominous looking birds are seen hanging from the 
walls, seemingly dead or torpid during the winter, but 
when spring comes, the place knows them no more. 

The visitor will now pass for a second time through the 
Vestibule, and enter the main Cave or Grand Gallery. 
This is a mighty tunnel, and extends for many miles. Its 
average dimensions throughout, are fifty feet in width by 
as many in height. It is a truly magnificent avenue, 
crowded with objects of interest, and the largest, we 
believe, in the world. 

About a quarter of a mile down the main Cave, the 
visitors arrive at what are called the Kentucky Cliffs. The 



24 GUIDE TO THE 

name, it is said, is derived from their imagined resemblance 
to the cliffs on the Kentucky River. Further on, at a 
descent of some twenty feet, is the Church. This part of 
the Cave is sometimes reached by a gallery from the cliffs. 
The way we have indicated is, however, the one generally 
adopted. The ceiling of the Church is sixty-three feet high, 
and the Church itself, taking in the recess, is not less than 
one hundred feet in diameter. It is furnished with a 
natural pulpit, and as though to perfect its resemblance to 
the place whose name it bears, there is a hollow behind the 
pulpit, in which an organ might be very well placed, not 
to say anything of a full choir. Thousands can be very 
well accommodated in this Church, and, indeed, sermons 
have been preached there, before very large congregations. 
In its capacity for sound, it is as well fitted for a place of 
public worship, as in its other characteristics. Even a 
very shght effort on the part of a speaker would render him 
thoroughly audible to those seated furthest from him. 
Standing in this natural temple of God, older by far than 
any cathedral the eye ever looked on, and as beautiful, the 
imagination conjures up the scene it would present were it 
again to be appropriated to service, and the proper ceremo- 
nial be observed. The surphced priests, the listening 
auditory, the organ's swell, the burst of voices, the form of 
the Church itself, and the "dim, rehgious light" — all 
that tends to the completion of an ideal, fascinating in the 
highest degree, and not easily dispelled in a place like that 
of which we speak. 

Concerts as well as religious services have been held 
here ; and we have no doubt but that the very inspiration 
of the place has awakened melody until then unknown 
and unappreciated. 

Gluitting the Church (which the visitors will not be very 



MAMMOTH CAVE. 25 

anxious to do) a large embankment of lixiviated earth will 
be seen. It was thrown out by the miners more than 
thirty years ago. The former uses of the place are further 
indicated by the print of wagon wheels and the tracks of 
oxen, both as sharply defined as though they had been 
made but a few weeks since. Proceeding a httle further, 
the visitor arrives at what is called the Second Hoppers. 
Here, too, are the signs and tokens of other days, and of 
uses different to those which are identified with the place 
at present. Here are the ruins of old nitre works, leaching 
vats, pump frames, and two hnes of wooden pipes ; one 
to lead fresh water from the dripping spring to the vats 
filled with the nitrous earth, and the other to convey the 
lye drawn from the large reservoir, back to the furnace at 
the mouth of the Cave. It has been stated, on authority, 
that the nitrous earth in the Mammoth Cave is, in itself, 
sufficient to supply the whole world with saltpetre. Pre- 
vious to rejoining our friends in their explorations, we may 
perhaps be pardoned for giving the following particulars, 
quoted from an official document : — 

<'The dirt in this Cave gives from three to five pounds of 
nitrate of lime to the bushle, requiring a large proportion of 
fixed alkaU to produce the proper crystalhzation, and when 
left in the Cave, becomes re-impregnated in three years. 
When saltpetre bore a high price, immense quantities 
were manufactured' at the Mammoth Cave ; but the return 
of peace brought the saUpetre from the East Indies in 
competition with that of America, and drove the latter 
entirely from the market. An idea may be formed of the 
extent of the manufacture of saltpetre at this Cave, from 
the fact that the contract for the supply of the fixed alkali 
alone for the Cave, for the year 1814, was twenty thousand 
dollars. 



c 



6 GUIDE TO THE 



" The price of the article was so high, and the profits of 
the manufacturer so great, as to set half the world gadding 
after nitre caves — the gold mines of the day. Cave 
hunting, in fact, became a kind of mania, beginning with 
speculators, and ending with hair-brained young men, who 
dared for the love of adventure the risk which others run 
for profit. < Every hole,' remarked an old miner, ' the size 
of a man's body, has been penetrated for miles round the 
Mammoth Cave, but although we found jietre earth, we 
never could find a cave worth having.' " 

The visitors are now looking from the nitre works 
towards the left, and perceive, thirty feet above, a large cave. 
In connexion with it is a narrow gallery sweeping across 
the main Cave, and losing itself in another cave, which is 
to the right ; the latter is called the Gothic Avenue. And 
there is every evidence to show that it was at one time 
connected with the cave opposite, and on the same level, 
forming, as it were, a bridge over the main Avenue, but 
subsequently broken down by some natural convulsion. 
The Gothic galleries are extremely beautiful. 

The Cave on the left is filled with sand, and has been 
penetrated a short distance only. Most likely, however, 
from its ample size at the entrance, it would, were all 
obstructions taken away, be found to have an extent of 
some miles. 

The visitor on leaving the main Cave, and ascending a 
flight of steps of about thirty feet, will find himself in the 
Gothic Avenue. This portion of the Cave is so named 
from its strong resemblance to a Gothic building. Its 
dimensions are, in width forty feet, height, fifteen feet, 
length two miles. Nothing can be more smooth than the 
appearance of the ceihng ; in fact, it seems as though the 
arlizan had given it the last touch, and it was only waiting 




J^: N T K A N C E TO 'IKE GOTHIC (3 A T E , 



MAMMOTH CAVE. 27 

the process of drying. An excellent road has been made 
in this Cave ; and the atmosphere is temperate. 

At an elevation of a few feet above the floor, and fifty- 
feet from the head of the stairs, leading up from the main 
avenue, a couple of mummies were to be seen in the early 
part of the present century. At the time we speak of they 
were in excellent preservation. One was of a female, and 
various articles of the wardrobe were by the side of it. Of 
the ultimate fate of these mummies nothing can be said with 
any approach towards certainty. One, we have been told, 
was destroyed in the burning of the Cincinnati Museum ; 
while the wardrobe of the female, we have also been given 
to understand, was given to a Mr. Ward, of Massachusetts, 
and afterwards presented by him to the British Museum. 

A third mummy was found by the miners, in Audubon ^ 
Avenue, in the year 1814. It was their wish to conceal it ; 
accordingly, they placed large stones over it, and fixed such 
marks about it as to direct them to it at some future day. 
But all the pains they took were in vain. In 1840 the 
present keeper of the hotel, Mr. Miller, having ascertained ' 
the facts as we have related them, set out in search of the 
place described to him as the grave of the mummy. He 
soon found it out by the aid of the lights he had brought 
with him ; the stones, however, which had been placed 
above it, had so injured it, as to leave it of little value to 
the antiquary or any other person. It is no improbable 
hypothesis, we think, that were judicious efforts made, 
several mummies would be yet found, and also other objects 
which would tend, in no slight degree, to throw light on the 
early history, not of the Cave alone, but of the great con- 
tinent itself, of which it forms so conspicuous an object of 
interest. 

The allusion to mummies very naturally reminds us of 



28 . GUIDE TO THE 

the discovery of one in this Cave, someyears since, and a 
few particulars of which may not be uninteresting to the 
reader. 

A scientific gentleman, one of the earhest visitors of the 
Cave, saw the above named rehc in the year 1813. While 
digging saltpetre earth in the short cave, a rock somewhat 
fiat was met with. It was a little below the surface of the 
earth. The stone, which was about four feet wide by as 
many long, was raised, and discovered a square excavation 
about three feet in width — the same in length and depth. 
On examination, it proved to be the sepulchre of a human 
being — a female, with her wardrobe and ornaments placed 
near her. The body, which was found in a sitting position, 
was in a perfect state of preservation. The arms were 
folded up, and the hands laid across the bosom ; while 
around the two wrists was wound a small cord, apparently 
for the purpose of keeping them in the position originally 
determined. Round and near to the body, were wrapped 
two deer-skins, which, on examination, seemed to have 
undergone a mode of dressing very different to any known 
at that day, and which would have been equally inexplicable 
now. The hair had been cut off very near the surface of 
the skins, which were ornamented with imprints of vases, 
leaves, etc., sketched with a substance quite white. On 
the outside of these skins was a large square sheet. It was 
neither wove nor knit, the fabric being of the inner bark of 
a tree, which, it was supposed, from certain appearances, 
was that of the linn tree, resembling as it did, in texture, 
the well known South-sea cloth, or matting. The head and 
body of the mummy were entirely enveloped in this sheet. 
The hair had been cut offver}'' short, being only the eighth 
of an inch from the scalp ; on the neck, however, it had been 
allowed to grow one inch. In color it was dark red. The 



MAMMOTH CAVE. 29 

teeth of this mummy were perfectly white and sound. No 
blemish whatever was discoverable upon the body, with the 
exception of a wound between two ribs near the back bone ; 
one of the eyes had also been injured. The nails on the 
toes and hands were long and quite perfect. The features 
of the face were remarkably regular ; and it appeared from 
measurement of the limbs, that the body, in life, must have 
been something over five feet ten inches in height. At the 
time of discovery, it weighed only fourteen pounds. It was 
perfectly dry, but on exposure to the atmosphere, it gained 
four pounds in weight, by the absorbing of the dampness. 

At the side of the body were found a pair of moccasins, 
a knapsack, and what in the absence of a more expressive 
term we must call a reticule. Wove or knit bark was the 
material of which the mocassins were made ; and round the 
top there was a border, to add strength, or, perhaps, to serve 
as an ornament. The size of the feet, as denoted by these, 
must have been very small. In form, the moccasins of this 
subterranean mummy were precisely the same as that of 
the articles at present worn by the northern Indians. The 
knapsack Avas also of wove or knit bark, having a deep and 
strong border around the top, and in size was the same as 
the knapsacks worn by soldiers. In workmanship it was 
exceedingly neat, and the circumstance of its being so, with 
the preparation of the fabric itself, were sufficiently indica- 
tive of a high degree of skill, as characteristic of a period 
and a race of which we, the modern generation, have gen- 
erally so derogatory an opinion. The reticule, as well as 
what has been already enumerated, was made of wove bark, 
and in shape, was like a horseman's valise, opening its 
entire length on the lop. It was furnished with two rows 
of hoops, each row on its respective side near the opening. 
Two cords were fastened to one end of the reticule at the 



30 - GUIDE TO THE 

top, which passed through the loop on one side and then on 
to the other, the whole length. B}'' these means it was 
laced up and secured. Deep borders, of a fanciful and pretty- 
pattern, run round and strengthened the top of the reticule. 
The articles proper to it and the knapsack were : — a head 
cap, made of wove or knit bark, borderless, and in shape, 
similar to a very plain night cap ; seven head dresses, made 
of the quills of very large birds, and united in the same 
manner as feather fans are made, with this exception, — that 
the pipes of the quills were not drawn to a point, but spread 
out in a straight line with the top. This was done by per- 
forating the pipe of the quill in two places, then running 
two cords through the holes, and finally, winding round 
both quills and cords, fine thread, so as to fasten each quill 
in the place designed for its reception. Extending some 
distance beyond the quills on each side, these cords could 
be tied on placing the feathers on the head. Among the 
other articles to be enumerated were some beads — several 
hundred strings. These consisted of a very hard brown 
seed, smaller than hemp seed. In each of them a small 
hole had been made, and through it a three-corded thread, 
somewhat like sieve twine, was drawn. Then there were 
red hoofs of fawns, on a string, by which they had the 
appearance of a necklace ; the claw of an eagle, having a 
hole through it, by which a cord could be attached, so as to 
enable a person to wear the claw ; the jaw of a bear, ap- 
parently intended to be worn, like the former ; two rattle- 
snake skins, one having fourteen rattles upon it ; some 
vegetable colors done up in leaves ; a small bunch of deer 
sinews ; several bunches of thread and twine ; seven needles, 
some of horn, some of bone, and remarkably smooth ; a hard 
piece made of deer skin ; two whistles made of cane, and 
each about eight inches in length. 



MAMMOTH CAVE. 31 

At the period of the mummy's discovery, various con- 
jectures were formed relative to it. Its preservation in the 
Cave was no theme for wonder, as the nature of its atmo- 
sphere is such as to preserve animal flesh for an indefinite 
period of time. That many centuries had rolled away since 
that discolored remnant of mortality moved about the earth, 
and had thought, feelings, and sensations Hke ourselves, 
there could not be a doubt, but the age, the condition, or 
the circumstances attendant upon death remained a mystery. 
There were no tokens, or, if there were, not sufficiently 
suggestive of explanations, to mark the precise date of the 
world's existence, to which that mummy, as a living thing, 
could be referred. All was vague and shadowy ; and those 
antiquarians who were interested in the discovery, and 
would have travelled a thousand miles, to come to any defi- 
nite conclusion, were obliged to content themselves with 
this : — that the body was that of a human being who might 
have existed but a few ages after the Flood or the birth of 
the Saviour — a wide interval indeed, but taken at the latest, 
amply sufficient to estabhsh the distinction of fmcze?2/ times. 

After this somewhat long, though necessary digression, 
let us return to our friends, the visitors. They are now in 
the Gothic Avenue, once called the Haunted Chamber, why 
they will be informed by the guide as they pass along. As 
the particulars share so equally the elements of the grave 
and the gay, we may be excused giving them in a hasty 
way : — A miner, new to the Cave, and therefore not very 
well versed in the methods of averting or escaping from 
danger, was sent one day, in company of an older workman, 
to the Salts Room, for the purpose of digging a few sacks 
of the required article. Seeingthatlhe path was unobstructed, 
and that the Haunted Chambers were in a continuous line, 
the young man, who, by the way, was a little vain, and 



32 GUIDE TO THE 

wished to show off his bravery, declined further direction, 
and went ofT quite alone. Several hours passed, and as he 
had not made his appearance since the morning, his fellow- 
workmen became somewhat alarmed. The circumstance 
was described, and the young man's vain glory remembered. 
Some of the miners concluded that the fellow, like many 
other gentlemen with an exaggerated opinion of their own 
powers, had his career suddenly stopped ; others, however, 
hoped that he had been spared, to repent of his follies, and 
to become a wiser man. A consultation was held, and it 
was, at length, determined to go in search of the missing 
man. Some six were formed into a company. They were 
negroes, and previous to starting on their errand of mercy 
were stripped half naked. It may, therefore, be imagined 
how extraordinary was their appearance. In the meantime, 
the young miner, after reaching the Salt Room, filling his 
sack, and succeeding in getting halfway back to the place 
whence he started, thought it possible he might be going 
wrono-. His valor vanished before the bare idea. It was 
no lonofer his courao^e and his clearness that he thought of, 
but his sins. They rose up before him, and, it may be, that 
the gloom of the place where he was, and his fear (which 
is always a marvelous magnifier), made the errors of his 
youth seem greater and graver than they really were. In 
his agitation he run here and there, prayed heartily, and 
cried lustily. Ultimately, he dropped his lamp, which 
was immediately extinguished, and fell over a rock. He 
prayed for help when, in his terror, he thought it could 
alone be rendered ; but hours passed away, and all help, 
even the sliirhtest, seemed as far from him as ever. Madness 
seized him. He thought that he had quitted earth — was dis- 
embodied — in fact, that he was in the place of torments said to 
be reserved for sinners. He gazed around him. Merciful 



MAMMOTH CAVE. 83 

powers ! what are those moving figures. He had never 
seen anything like them. They were spirits, sent to drag 
him to his punishment. He hears their yells. Were ever 
mortal voices like the wild outburst rincringf in his ears ? 
Never ! Nearer and nearer they come. He is conscious 
of their hot and hissing breath. Their arms are outstretched 
to clutch him. He will soon be in their embrace, fast locked. 
Horrible ! They have him — they, not devils, but miners 
like himself. He knows them, and that he is a saved man. 
"■ Hurra ! hurra ! hurra '/' Never did the Mammoth Cave, 
Old Kentucky, reveberate with such shouts as on the me- 
morable occasion of the miner's rescue. 

Exclamations of wonder and delight, too, are indulged 
in by the visitors to the Cave, when they view the stalag- 
mite columns, reachinof from the floor to the ceilinof of the 
avenue in which we left them. They are, however, soon 
startled by a hollow and ominous noise, the echo of their 
footsteps ; but the guide soon quiets their apprehensions, 
by the assurance that the noise is to be attributed to the 
proximity of another large avenue underneath, which, 
strange as the assertion may appear, has been frequently 
visited. Near this place are a number of stalactites. One 
bears the name of the ^< Bell," and on being struck, it 
formerly sounded like the deep bell of a cathedral. But of 
late years it has been quite mute, having been broken by a 
tourist from Pennsylvania, who, we presume, was partial 
to loud music. 

Louisa's Bower and Vulcan's Furnace are now passed. 
They are marked by a heap of something similar in ap- 
pearance to cinders, and some dark colored water. The 
New and Old Register Rooms are the next in succession. 
The ceiling of these rooms is perfectly smooth, and would 
be of an unsullied white, had not numerous persons, with a 

4 



34 . GUIDE TO THE 

disgusting egotism, traced their obscure names upon it with 
the smoke of a candle. 

After the visitor's departure from the Old Register Room, 
it is the usual practice of the guide to receive all the lamps, 
with the exception of one, which of course, is necessary for 
the purposes of exploration. A place of surpassing magni- 
ficence is then entered. Here, as in many other portions 
of the Cave, language w^ill be found inadequate to describe 
what is to be seen. The hall (if we may call it so") is ellip- 
tical in form, in dimensions, eighty feet long by fifty feet 
wide. The two ends are nearly blocked up by stalagmite 
columns of large size. Two rows of pillars, smaller than 
the others, reach from the floor to the ceiling. They are 
equidistant from the wall on either side, and extend the 
full length. Now the purpose of the guide in requesting 
the visitors to give up their lights is apparent. He has, in 
the interval of departure from the Old Register Hall to the 
arrival in the present portion of the Cave, so disposed the 
lamps as to cause their reflections to fall upon the pillars 
and ceiling, indeed, upon every detail of the Gothic Chapel. 
Bearing as it does, a striking resemblance to the old cathe- 
drals of Europe, the illumination under which it appears 
tends to the heightening of effect. Nature has shown her 
handiwork to advantage here. There is an apparent design 
in the tout ensemble of the Chapel — a nicety in the separate 
elaborations which seems the result of a long study of and 
an intimate acquaintance with the arts. The pillars are so 
massive and spring towards their proper arches so majesti- 
cally ; the tracery is so delicate ; and, altogether, there is 
so harmonious a subordination of one part to another, that 
we are perfectly confounded at the thought of no human 
hand having been employed there. Nature, whose common 
function is to supply the material for human skill to work 




THE GOTHIJ CHAPEL 



i 



MAMMOTH CAVE. 35 

upon, has acted a double part here, for she has not only- 
given the means, but has blended them into recognized form 
and proportion. The place is well named, truly. It is reli- 
gious in every aspect, and the light thrown on it seems 
heavenly — a beaming from above, to warrant acceptance of 
the services there performed. 

The next object of interest at which the visitor arrives, 
is called the Devil's Arm Chair. This consists of a large 
stalaofmite column, in the centre of which is formed a 
spacious seat, as though for the express purpose of afford- 
ing to his Satanic Majesty all due comfort when fatigued. 
When the tourists are shown this chair, it is obvious that 
the same feelings sway them which sway their fellows /'of 
whom we have had some experienced on the occasion of their 
bemg shown the Coronation Chair in Westminster Abbey. 
They are all desirous for the honor of a seat, even though 
but for a moment, and considerable is the anxiety manifested, 
lest a chance should be lost. 

More stalactites and stalagmites are passed on the visitor's 
departure from the Devil's Chair, and then they come, 
in succession, to Napoleon's Breast-work, the Elephant's 
Head, and the Lover's Leap. The last named is a large 
pointed rock, more than thirty feet above the floor, projecting 
into a large rotunda. It is really amusing to notice the excite- 
ment, especially among the ladies, which the mere mention 
of the name, is sure to upcall. Why the fairer portion 
of the creation should feel so interested on the subject, 
and so eager to have the reason of the name explained, 
can be easily accounted for. They imagine for the moment, 
that a lover has really sought the shades from that eminence, 
through either lost or slighted affection ; and perhaps more 
than one fair dauohter of Eve will ask whether her true 
knight would take such a leap for her sake. 



36 



GUIDE TO THE 




THE LOTER'S leap. 



Immediately below the Lover's Leap is a hollow ; turn- 
ing thence, to the left, and at a right angle to the previous 
course, will be found a passage or chasm in the rock, three 
feet wide, and fifty feet deep. This conducts the visitor to 
the lower branch of the Gothic Avenue, at the entrance to 
which is an immense flat rock called Gatewood's Dining 
Table. To the right of this is a cave which is frequently 
penetrated as far as the Coohng Tub. This is a beautiful 
basin of water, six feet wide, and three deep. Into this 
basin a small stream of the forest water pours itself from the 
ceiling, ultimately finding its way into the Flint Pit, which 
is at no great distance. Returning thence, the visitor will 
pass for a second time Gatewood's Dining Table. It will 
be found to nearly block up the entire way. 

Continuing their w^alk along the lower branch, more than 
half a mile, and passing, in succession, Napoleon's Dome, 
the Cinder Banks, the Crystal Pool, the Salts Cave, etc. ; 
and then descending a few feet, and leaving the cave which 
continues onwards, the visitor enters, on his right, a place 
of great seclusion, and remarkably grand. It is called 
Annetti's Dome. A waterfall will be seen through a crevice 



MAMMOTH CAVE. 37 

in the wall of the dome. The water is a foot in diameter, 
and issues from a high cave in the side of the dome, falling 
on the sohd bottom, and passing off by a small channel into 
the cistern, directly on the pathway of the cave. The 
cistern itself is a very large pit, and is usually kept almost 
full of water. 

A beautiful sound like that of distant music will be heard 
near the end of this branch (the lower). There is a crevice 
in the ceihng over the last spring ; and it is through this, 
that the ear is cognizant of the faUing of water in a cave 

over head. 

Re-entering the Main Cave or Grand Avenue, the tourist 
will discover fresh objects on which to lavish his feehngs 
as well as expressions of admiration, for the might and majesty 
of the Deity is manifested in many forms and ways. Not 
far from the stairs leading down from the Gothic Avenue 
into the Main Cave, will be seen the Ball Room. It has 
been so named from its manifest availabihty to the purposes 
of dancing. It contains a natural orchestra, between fifteen 
and eighteen feet high, and fully capable of accommodating 
upwards of a hundred musicians. It also contains a gallery, 
which extends back to the level of the high embankment 
near the Gothic Avenue. The avenue here is high, straight, 
Avide, and quite level for several hundred feet. The ex- 
penditure of a trifling sum of money would furnish the 
place with a floor, seats, and lamps necessary for a ball- 
room. Here, the effect of music would be similar to that 
produced by the same agency in the church ; while the 
scene realized by a ball would be as striking, though cer- 
tainly less solemn. It would be a truly interesting sight — 
that splendid avenue, filled by thousands in the various 
costumes of the world's inhabitants : some engaged in the 

4* 



38 ■ GUIDE TO THE 

graceful measure of the dance ; others in groups, either 
looking on, or awaiting their turn to join in the pastime. 

The road now before the visitor is a broad and handsome 
one, although in some places rather dusty. Willie's Spring 
is soon reached. This locality of the Cave is a beautifully 
fluted niche in the left hand wall, made by the continued 
trickling of water into a basin below. The Spring itself 
has its name from a young clergyman in Cincinnati. This 
gentleman, having a somewhat romantic temperament, 
assumed the name of ^^ Wandering Willie." Taking with 
him his viohn, he marched on foot to the Cave. Arrived 
there, and being fatigued, he selected the spot since named 
after him, for his place of rest, asking the guide to call him 
in the morning. But a short distance beyond the Spring, 
and close to the left wall, is the place where the oxen were 
fed during the time of the miners ; and scattered around 
are a vast number of corn-cobs, all quite sound, although 
they must have remained where they are upwards of thirty 
years. Near at hand in the wall on the left, will be found 
a niche. It is of considerable size, reaching from the roof 
to the bottom of a pit more than thirty feet deep. Down its 
sides water of the purest kind is constantly dripping. 
Subsequently it is conducted to a large trough, from which 
the invalids obtain their required water while they remain 
inhabitants of the Cave. This well near the bottom expands 
into a large room, but there is no opening out of it. 

The visitor will now pass the Well Cave, Rocky Cave, 
etc., and arrive at the Giant's Coffin. This is a large rock 
on the right, and derives its singular name from its obvious 
resemblance in form to a coffin. It is an object of great 
interest, and cannot easily be passed by without commanding 
the notice of even the most careless of tourists. 






y 



A 4 0^4Mm^^<^ 




THE giant's coffin. 



MAMMOTH CAVE. 39 

In this portion of the Mammoth Cave begin those in- 
crustations which have struck so many thousands with 
wonder and admiration. How varied are they in form ; 
and, separately, how changeable ! Yonder you recognize 
what appears to be the frame of some huge animal. Look 
again, and you fancy a group of birds are before you ; 
viewed from another point, and some of the finny tribe may 
be suggested to you. All is wonderful, indeed. 

Proceeding about a hundred yards beyond the '' Coffin," 
the visitor will perceive that the Cave takes a curve, sweep- 
ing round the Great Bend or Acute Angle, and then 
continuing its proper course. On entering this vast and 
magnificent amphitheatre, the guide always ignites a 
Bengal light. The effect is brilliant — such, indeed, as a 
poet may readily imagine, but with difficulty describe, but 
of which mere ordinary mortals can have no conception. 
Enchantment is the only word we can apply to the scene 
thus presented. As in other portions of the Cave which, 
like the present, exhibit characteristics of the beautiful or 
the sublime, we have seen, in the place we mention, the 
various ways in which a single feeling or passion may 
be manifested. Delight has been in the ascendant with the 
visitors, when gazing on the brilliant scene before them : 
wefi have they proved its existence ! Some by loud expres- 
sions, others by silence ; some, too, have wept, and many 
have prayed. How subhme must be the scene to elicit all 
this ! 

The Sick Room Cave is opposite to the Great Bend. It 
bears the name from the sudden sickness of a visitor some 
years since, it is supposed, from his having smoked, with 
others, cigars in one of its most confined nooks. A row of 
cabins, built for consumptive patients, will be found imme- 
diately beyond the Great Bend. Two are of stone, the 



40 GUIDE TO THE 

the rest are frame buildings. Standing in a line from 
thirty to one hundred feet apart, their appearance is pic- 
turesque, although the visitor cannot divest his mind of 
melancholy impressions while contemplating them ; for the 
malady which brings so many persons to those habitations 
is one that attacks the young, that withers beauty and 
destroys life in its early phase. These houses for the 
ailing are well furnished ; and though we believe that there 
is no cure for confirmed decline, we are confident that it is 
to be eradicated in its young or mild stages. The air of the 
Cave is certainly favorable to such an issue. So convinced 
of this fact was a physician of high repute, formerly a 
member of Congress from the district adjoining the Cave, 
that he was induced to openly express his opinion, that the 
State of Kentucky ought to purchase it, that it might be 
enabled to establish a hospital in one of the avenues. 

The following remarks on the subject of the Cave's 
atmosphere, from the pen of a literary gentleman who 
visited the place in 1832, will not, we hope, be uninterest- 
ing to the reader. 

'' It (the atmosphere^ is always temperate. Its purity, 
judging from its effects upon the lungs, and from other 
circumstances, is remarkable, though in what its purity 
consists, I know not. But be its composition what it may, 
it is certain its effects upon the spirits and bodily powers of 
visitors, are extremely exhilarating, and that it is not less 
salubrious than enhveninof. The nitre di^aers were a 
famously healthy set of men. It was a common and hu- 
mane practice to employ laborers of enfeebled constitutions, 
who were soon restored to health and strength, though 
kept at constant labor ; and more joyous, merry fellows 
were never seen. The oxen, of which several were kept, 
day and night, in the Cave, hauling the nitrous earth, were 




THE S T A E CHAMBER 



MAMMOTH CAVE. 41 

after a month or two of toil, in as fine a condition for the 
shambles, as if fattened in the stall. The ordinary visitor, 
though rambling a dozen hours or more, over paths of the 
roughest and most difficult kind, is seldom conscious of 
fatigue, until he returns to the upper air ; and there it seems 
to him, at least in the summer season, that he has exchanged 
the atmosphere of Paradise for that of a charnel warmed 
by steam — all without is so heavy, so dark, so dead, so 
mephitic. Awe and apprehension, if they have been felt, 
soon yield to the delicious air of the Cave ; and after a time 
a certain jocund feeling is found mingled with the deepest 
impressions of sublimity, which there are so many objects 
to awaken. I recommend all broken-hearted lovers and 
dyspeptic dandies, to carry their complaints to the Mammoth 
Cave, where they will undoubtedly find themselves '^ trans- 
lated" into very happy and bhthesome persons "before 
they are aware of it." 

The Star Chamber is considered by all visitors to be one 
of the greatest objects of curiosity in the Cave. It is a mag- 
nificent long hall, with perpendicular arches on either side, 
and a flat ceiling ; the side rocks are of a light color, and 
stand out in relief against the dark ceiling, which is studded 
with innumerable sparkling substances, resembling stars. 
The guide on approaching the chamber, takes the lanterns 
from each visitor, and places them in a hole in the rock, 
to subdue the fight and make the illusion more perfect. 
Visitors are always lost in admiration, and quit this part of 
the Cave most unwilfingly. The side rocks do not reach 
within three feet of the ceiling, and no connexion can be 
seen between the ceifing and the sides — the contrast between 
the dark ceiling and the fight side rocks is so great, that 
the ceiling appears to be at an immense distance, and after 



42 GUIDE TO THE 

lookincT at it a few minutes, the visitor fancies he is stand- 
ing under the canopy of Heaven. 

Leaving the Star Chamber, the visitor will perceive, in a 
a kind of cavity in the wall on the right, an oak pole about 
ten feet long and six inches in diameter, with two round 
sticks, of half the thickness, and in length three feet, tied to 
it transversel}?-, at about four feet apart. An ascent to this 
cavity is made by means of a ladder ; the visitor then finds 
the pole to be firmly fixed, one of its ends resting on the 
bottom of the cavity, the other reaching across and forced 
into a crevice about three feet above. The general suppo- 
sition is, that this was a ladder used by the former denizens 
of the place, in their procurement of the salts which are 
incrusted on the walls in several parts. A different opinion, 
however, was entertained by an intelligent medical gentle- 
man, (Dr. Locke, of the Medical College of Ohio,^ that 
a dead body had once been placed upon it. The Dr.'s 
reason for this conclusion was based on the fact, that pre- 
cisely similar contrivances were resorted to by some tribes 
of Indians, in the disposal of their dead. Strange to say, 
that though many thousands of persons had explored the 
Mammoth Cave previous to 1841, it was not until that date 
that the pole was discovered. Probably, ages as many as 
we can count from the birth of Christ, have passed over the 
world since it was placed here ; yet it is perfectly fresh, 
decay has not even marked the bark which confines the 
transverse pieces. 

Some side cuts are next passed through. These, as their 
names will imply, are caves opening on the sides of the 
several avenues, and after continuing for some way, rejoin- 
ing them. Generally speaking, they are short, though 
some of them are more than half a mile in length. Quartz, 



MAMMOTH CAVE. 43 

chalcedony, red ochre, gypsum, and salts are found here. 
Slowly the visitor wends his or her way to the Salts Room, 
the ceiling and walls of which are covered with salts hang- 
ing in crystals. These frequently fall like flakes of snow, 
through the agitation of the air. In this Room will be seen 
the Indian Houses. They are under the rocks, and are 
small rooms entirely covered. Many of them contain cane 
partly burnt, and ashes. 

The next portion of the Cave visited is the Cross Room. 
It is a principal section of the avenue. The most extraordi- 
nary feature of the Cross Room is, that it has a ceiling of 
one hundred and seventy feet span, and yet not a single 
column to support it. 

The portion of the Cave immediately succeeding the 
place we have been describing, is known by the ominous 
title, Black Chambers. They contain several ruins, which 
consist of large blocks of different kinds of strata. They are 
cemented together, and bear a striking resemblance to the 
walls and pedestals of the old baronial castles of European 
countries. Here the avenue is very wide — sufficient to 
render it tedious to walk from one side to the other. A 
little way beyond the ruins, and on the right, the tourist 
will enter the right branch. It is on the same level, and 
the ceiling is regularly arched. An ascent is then made 
through the Big Chimneys, into an upper room. This is 
about the same size as the Main Cave, the bottom of which 
is somewhat higher than the ceiling of the one underneath. 
The low, plaintive murmurings of a distant waterfall are 
heard here as the visitor proceeds. They grow louder and 
louder, until we find ourselves close to the Cataract, when 
our ears are cognizant of a perfect roar. Very large per- 
forations are seen in the roof, on the right hand side, from 
which water is always falling — generally not in considerable 



44 GUIDE TO THE 

quantities, but after heavy rains, in complete torrents, and 
with a roar that resounds afar, and seems to be shaking- 
the Cave itself from its very foundations. The water falls 
into a funnel shaped pit, and is lost to the sight in less than 
a second. 

Parties occasionally select this portion of the Cave as 
their dining room. Their previous explorations have given 
them a keen appetite, which, from experience already 
gained, they know cannot be better satisfied than by the 
excellent fare of the Cave House ; they have been careful 
to furnish themselves from the abundant larder of that 
establishment, and after the arrangement of the plates, 
decanters, etc., prepare to do the " honors " with a gusto 
that none but hungry people can know or appreciate. The 
incidentals of a banquet like that we refer to, are necessarily 
very interesting. The time, the place, and the varied 
characteristics of the visitors all tend to the perfection of 
enjoyment. We have noticed how different dispositions 
have become harmonized — how, too, the good wish of Mac- 
beth towards his guests, has been fulfilled or reahzed in 
this Mammoth Cave ; certainly nothing could be more 
perfect than the << digestion that waited on appetite." 

From the particular point of the Cave to which we have 
brought the visitor, a view of the main avenue will be 
caught on the left. Continuing its general course, it exhibits 
the same features of grandeur and solemnity as were notice- 
able at the first. We have also pointed out to us the way 
to the Humble Chute and the Cataract. The Humble 
Chute is the entrance to the Solitary Chambers; but before 
entering it we find it necessary to crawl on our hands and 
knees, between fifteen and eighteen feet under a low arch. 
The term " solitary," as applied to these chambers, is 
exceedingly appropriate ; a person once in them, feels him- 



MAMMOTH CAVE. 45 

self entirely secluded from his fellow men. The profound 
sense of loveliness will grow upon him, until, indeed, it 
becomes almost too powerful for endurance. In this Cave 
is a Fairy Grotto — a place that is a perfect realization of its 
name — it is fanciful and pretty: just such a place as one 
of the " little people" would select as a habitation. Stalac- 
tites by the tens of thousands are seen, at various distances, 
extending from the roof to the floor. They are of various 
sizes, and of shapes that, in their variety at least, can only 
be equalled by the 'kaleidoscope. They form columns, 
irregularly fluted, and others quite solid. These are near 
the ceihng, and, divided lower down, into small branches 
similar to the roots of trees, exhibit the appearance of a 
coral grove. The lamps with which the visitors are fur- 
nished, being placed close to the incrustations on the 
columns, this forest of stalactites is thoroughly lighted up, 
and discloses a scene of the rarest and most astonishing 
beauty. But lovely as this portion of the Cave is, it was 
much more so a few years since — before numerous dis- 
gusting caricatures of civilized creatures broke away many 
of the stalactites ; and, as a memorial of their ignorance and 
brutality, left them strewn in wild confusion on the ground. 
Entering the main Cave at the Cataract, from the Fairy 
Grotto, the walk is continued to the Chief City or Temple. 
This is an immense vault. It extends over an area of two 
acres, and is crowned by a dome of solid rock, one hundred 
and twenty feet high. Perhaps equal in size to the 
Cave of Stafl^a, it may be considered as a rival to the far- 
famed vault in the Grotto of Antiparos, which has the 
repute of being one of the largest in the world. There is 
a remarkable circumstance connected with this portion of 
the Cave, which cannot fail to attract the notice of even the 
dullest tourist. It is the moving appearance of the dome, as 

6 



46 GUIDE TO THE 

the visitors pass along — suggestive of the same appearance 
in the sky, when the pedestrian is above the surface of the 
earth. A large mound of rock rises in the middle of the 
dome, nearly to the top. It is very steep, and forms what 
is called the Mountain, Many persons, when ascending 
this mound from the Cave, experience feelings of awe 
more intense than they ever knew before. We can well 
believe such to be the case. Immediately around the tourist 
is a narrow circle, illuminated ; without it, both above and 
beyond, there seems to be unlimited space. No object 
is there for the eye to fasten on, no sound, breaking the 
dull monotony, for the ear to catch. A vague fear 
creeps upon the visitor, although he knows he is bounded 
by stone walls, and actually safe. But it is necessary to 
penetrate that profound darkness, think the Cave's fre^ 
quenters, and accordingly, numerous fires are kindled. So 
gradually as they flicker upwards, so gradually is presented 
to the sight a spectacle of transcendent magnificence. Let 
the reader fancy a strata of gray limestone, opposite him, 
breaking into steps from the bottom to the top, scarcely 
discernible ; above, the lofty dome, having at the top, a 
smooth slate of oval form, in outline exquisitely defined ; 
and the walls sloping away from it till lost in the darkness 
of night. A well known writer on the Mammoth Cave, 
and its frequent visitor besides, (Lee) thus concludes some 
remarks he makes upon the temple : — 

"^ Every one has heard of the dome of the Mosque of St. 
Sophia, of St. Peter's, and of 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 insignificance. Such is the sur- 
passing grandeur of Nature's works." 






,,_.i!(;|^iti.,|,|.i,,;l;;j,|hi!|.):ff;,, 












:....^^^#^-. 






s 






'lit 'I,' 



4irigi,f^j|| 



;S,n, 






,.v„r..:.« 





















'^^•■^JSIi ^^--vifeii^^i^'^ Sift 




-.^^T^ 



TEE BOTTOMLESS PIT 



MAMMOTH CAVE. 47 

At the back of the Giant's Coffin is a narrow passage 
leading into a circular room, of about one hundred feet in 
diameter, with a low roof. It is designated the Wooden 
Bowl, some say from the resemblance it bears to one ; while 
according to the account of others, the name is derived from 
the circumstance of a bona fide wooden bowl having been 
found in this portion of the Cave, by a miner. On the 
right the visitor will perceive the Steeps of Time, descending 
which for about twenty feet, he enters the Deserted Cham- 
bers. Their characteristics are very wild and varied. 
Advancing two hundred yards, your notice will be attracted 
by the ceiling, which presents a rough and broken appear- 
ance for a little while, and then shows a surface waving, 
white, and smooth. At Richardson's Spring we distinguish, 
as we have already done in other portions of the Mammoch 
Cave, the tokens of a bygone age and people. They are 
the imprints of moccasins and of children's feet. The pits 
in the Deserted Chambers are numerous — more so than in 
any other portion of the Cave : the Covered Pit, the Side- 
Saddle Pit, and the Bottomless Pit are the most noted. 
The entire range of these Chambers is, in fact, so alternated 
with pits, and is so bewildering from the serpentine form 
and irregularity of its branches, that the visitor is not over 
anxious to roam far from his guide, who, of course, is 
intimately acquainted with every rood of ground to be 
covered. 

The Covered Pit is in a little branch to the left. It is 
between twelve and fifteen feet in diameter. A thin rock 
covers it, having a narrow crevice, with only a trifling 
support on one of the sides. A large rock rests on the 
centre of the cover, and the sound of a waterfall may be 
heard, though the fall itself cannot be seen. 



. _ --Wit 

48 .' GUIDE TO THE 

The pit next in succession, the Side-Saddle Pit, is about 
twenty feet long and eight feet wide. It has a margin 
about three feet high, extending length-ways ten feet. 
Against this, the visitor may lean, and view the interior of 
both dome and pit. 

The place we now come to is the Labyrinth, entrance to 
which is gained, after a short walk from the Side-Saddle 
Pit, by means of a ladder. We make a descent. One end 
of the Labyrinth leads to the Bottomless Pit, which it 
enters about fifty feet down ; the other, after taking nu- 
merous and fantastic windings, conducts to Goran's Dome. 
This, though of recent discovery, is one of the most at- 
tractive features of the Cave. 

Louisa's Dome is in the neighborhood. It is an ex- 
ceedingly pretty little place, not more than twelve feet in 
diameter, but about twenty-four in height. Immediately 
under the centre of the cave just left, and lighted up as 
it frequently is, the visitors in it can be seen distinctly from 
above, through a slight crevice in the rock. 

In Goran's Dome it is impossible not to be struck with the 
apparent intention of producing certain effects, which is a 
characteristic of the place. We have noticed the same 
kind of thing as manifest in another portion of the Cave — 
the Gothic Chapel. Goran's Dome seems to have been 
specially made for a certain purpose ; in every way it is 
adapted to the convenience of numerous visitors. 

At the termination of the Labyrinth, we come to a kind 
of natural window, about four feet square, and three feet 
above, the floor. This window opens into the interior 
of the Dome, about equidistant from the top and bottom. 
The wall of rock here is of triflino" thickness — not more 
than eighteen inches ; it continues around on the outside 
of the Dome, and along a gallery of a few feet in width, 



MAMMOTH CAVE. 49 

for upwards of twenty paces. A good view of almost the 
entire space within is gained at another opening of much 
larger size. The Dome is of solid rock, and very lofty — 
perhaps two hundred feet ; its sides seem fluted and 
elaborately polished. One of the wonders contained in 
this portion of the Cave, is a huge rock, about thirty feet 
from the window, and directly fronting it. Its resemblance 
to a curtain is very striking ; we fancy we distinguish folds 
in it, and look upwards in the endeavor to ascertain to what 
it is suspended. 

It may be necessary here to state, in order to account 
more satisfactorily for what we shall have to say anon, that 
it is customary for the guides to leave those on whom they 
attend when the latter are expressing their admiration of 
this curtain and the details in its vicinity. With feelings 
wound up to a pitch of ecstacy by the things before them, 
they have no idea of the change which awaits them. 
Suddenly as thought, and as we may imagine light came 
at the behest of God, the whole place is illuminated. 
Every thing above, below, or around is shining in brilliant 
light. The sides of the fluted walls — the yawning gulf — 
the first towering to an indefinite height, the other de- 
scending to where it would seem no soundings could be 
gained. By what means the sudden illumination has been 
caused, we need not say, for we have already mentioned 
the sudden exit of the guides. 

In leaving Goran's Dome, an ascent is made by means of a 
ladder near Louisa's Dome ; and we continue on, having 
the Labyrinth on our right, until it is lost in the Bottomless 
Pit, which also terminates the range of the Deserted 
Chambers. These were once considered as the end of all 
exploration ; and perhaps this mistaken notion would have 
continued to this day, had not a Mr. Stephenson of George- 

5* 



50 . GUIDE TO THE 

town, Kentucky, and a well known and adventurous guide 
named Stephen, presumed that there were things to be 
seen on the opposite side in every way as attractive as the 
objects with which tourists were already familiar. The 
means hit upon were a ladder. This idea was soon acted 
on, and a stout ladder was eventually thrown over a chasm 
of twenty feet wide, and more than two hundred feet deep. 
The Bottomless Pit, similar to a horseshoe in form, has a 
tongue of land twenty-seven feet long, and runs out into 
the middle of it. From the extremity of this land, a bridge 
of substantial workmanship, has been thrown across to the 
cave on the opposite side. Some idea of the depth of the 
pit, and of the ideas of awe which a contemplation of it 
awakens, may be imagined, when we state that it is the 
practice of the guides to let down pieces of lighted paper 
into the abyss, which, descending lower and lower, ulti- 
mately vanish from the vision, though long before they are 
extinguished. 

Having crossed the bridge to the opposite Cave, the 
visitor finds himself in the midst of a rocky world. Over 
the pit a dome of magnificent dimensions expands itself. 
We then proceed along a narrow passage for a little dis- 
tance, and reach a point, whence diverge two routes — the 
Winding Way and Pensico Avenue. 

The former is about fifty feet in width, with a height of 
about thirty feet. Different estimates have been given of 
its length, but taking the mean, we should be inclined to 
say it was about two miles. The beautiful and the sublime 
are mingled here ; and dull, indeed, must he be who is not 
open to their influences. It is most interesting throughout. 
For upwards of a quarter of a mile from the entrance, the 
roof is exquisitely arched, about twelve feet high and sixty 
feet broad. Formerly, it was encrusted with rosettes and 



MAMMOTH CAVE. 51 

various other formations. TJiey have been either taken 
away or demolished ; and thus another instance is afforded 
of the wretched VandaHsm which people calling themselves 
civilized, sometimes indulge in. Here the walking is very 
good, and so wide, that a dozen persons could run or walk 
abreast for a quarter of a mile, to Bunyan's Way. This is 
a branch of the Avenue leading on to the river. 

The Avenue now changes its features. They have been 
those of beauty and regularity ; they are now of grandeur 
and sublimity, and are continued to the end. The way is 
no longer even and smooth ; on the contrary, huge rocks 
are scattered about in the wildest disorder. The roof, lofty 
and magnificent, presents its long, pointed, or lancet arches, 
suggesting a strong likeness to the elaborate ceilings of the 
ancient Gothic Cathedrals of Europe. Feelings of true 
religion must necessarily be upcalled here. The forms and 
ceremonials of faith respectively acknowledged by the visi- 
tors may be, and most likely are different, but that feehng 
of devotion and love, which are necessarily at the foundation 
of all religious opinions, are there ; it is the same God who 
is worshipped, — 

"Jehovah, Jove, or Lord !" 

Making a gradual descent of a few feet, we enter a tunnel 
of fifteen feet wide. It is on the left, and the ceiling, 
twelve or fourteen feet high, is perfectly arched and 
beautifully covered with white incrustations. Hence the 
Great Crossings are very soon gained. In this part of the 
Cave, it may be remarked, the guides usually jump down 
some six or eight feet, from the place previously examined. 
Where we now stand is a tunnel, and following our guide's 
example, we soon rejoin him. The name Great Crossings is 
by no means an unexpressive one ; though we must clear 



52 GUIDE TO THE 

the mind of an erroneous opinion held regarding it — 
namely, that it was given in honor of the Great Crossings, 
where resides the man who killed Tecumseh. The name 
was really adopted because two large caves cross here. 

No great distance from this point, an ascent is made up 
a hill on the left. Proceeding a little way, over the ancles 
in dry nitrous earth, somewhat at a right angle with the 
avenue below, the visitor arrives at the Pine-apple bush. 
Why this locality bears so euphonious a designation, it would 
be difficult to tell. It is secluded in a very pretty spot ; 
the air is fresh and reviving, and beneath its influence the 
blood dances merrily through the veins. Indeed, we would 
recommend the hypochondriac and love-sick, as well as the 
admirers of romantic scenery, to visit this place. 

Descending into the avenue already explored, a great 
number of stalactites and stalagmites are passed in succes- 
sion. These bear a strong resemblance to coral. In the 
vicinity are to be found a multitude of crystals of dog-tooth 
spa, shining most brilliantly. The place is called An- 
gelica's Grotto ; and so beautiful is it as to impress its own 
sanctity on every person with a mind susceptible of high 
influences ; yet did a Clergyman systematically destroy a 
number of crystals, that he might inscribe his name in the 
vacancy thus left ; and what gave a spirit of cowardice to 
the act, this reverend gentleman watched till the back of the 
guide was turned towards him, ere he attempted the act of 
barbarity. Had he done it boldly, there would have been 
some mitigation. 

The visitors will now return to the head of the Penisco 
Avenue, then turn to the right, and enter the narrow pass 
which leads to the river, following its course for some hun- 
dred yards ; descending all the while down a ladder, or 
stone steps. Finally, they come to a path, which is cut 



i 



MAMMOTH CAVE. 53 

through a high and broad embankment of sand. This con- 
ducts to the far-famed winding way. In the opinion of 
many persons, whose conclusions are entitled to deference, 
this way has been channeled in the rock by the gradual 
attrition of water. Should this be the case, and there is 
certainly nothing to controvert the hypothesis, the imagina- 
tion is lost in finding a date for the commencement of the 
work. Was it contemporaneous with the birth of Christ, 
or with the reign of Solomon, or, going to more remote times, 
the era of Moses ? Beyond, far beyond them all — to a day 
many more thousands of years before us than, according to 
written tradition, the world itself has seen. 

In length, the Winding Way is one hundred and five 
feet, in width eighteen inches, and in depth seven feet. It 
widens out above, sufficiently to permit the free use of a 
man's arms. Throughout, it is a zig-zag, and the reader 
may imagine that those persons who are of very corpulent 
proportions, do not like very much to pass through it. No 
companies of visitors can possibly enter this passage, except 
in single file, and it is quite amusing to see how ladies and 
gentlemen of the most delicate proportions eye the sides 
askance, to satisfy themselves that a squeeze is not in re- 
serve for them. 

Aptly enough, the place entered after quitting this Umbo 
is called Relief Hall. It is very wide and lofty, but not 
long. Taking the turn to the right, the termination at 
River Hall, distant about one hundred yards, is soon gained. 
Two routes will now be visible — that on the left, conduct- 
ing to the Dead Sea and the Rivers, that on the right, to 
the Bacon Chamber, the Bandit's Hall, the Mammoth 
Dome, besides a variety of other caves, domes, etc. 

The Bacon Chamber, like Relief Hall, is very aptly 
named. It has a low ceihng, clustered with canvassed 



64 GUIDE TO THE 

hams and shoulders. The visitor will next proceed to the 
Bandit's Chamber, where he will arrive after a steep ascent 
of twenty or thirty feet. Huge rocks obstruct the way ; 
the consequence is that the passage is extremely difficult, 
and that tourists are obliged to clamber on the best way 
they can. There is a striking similitude between the name 
and the aspect of the place It is a chamber vast and lofty. 
The floor is covered with a mountainous heap of rocks, 
which rise in an amphitheatrical form almost to the ceiling, 
and are so arranged as to furnish, at different degrees of 
elevation, galleries or platforms, reaching immediately 
round the chamber itself, or leading off into some of its 
hidden or secret recesses. 

Unexpectedly as before, and in another portion of the 
Mammoth Cave, this Hall is suddenly lighted up. The 
guide has just slipped away from the company, to ignite 
his torch, and now the awful looking roof, the towering 
cliffs, and the clustering rocks are bathed in a brilliant 
glare. It is almost out of the power of words or of the 
artist's pencil to portray the scene presented. Such a 
spectacle must be witnessed by the eye to be at all truly 
understood. 

Diverging from the Bandit's Hall are two caves ; that on 
the left, leads to a multitude of other domes ; the other, on 
the right, is called the Mammoth Dome. Directing his 
steps towards the latter, the visitor, after a rough walk of 
nearly a mile, comes to a platform commanding a somewhat 
indistinct view of this magnificent dome. It is of recent 
discovery, not more than two years having elapsed since it 
was first explored by a German gentleman and the guide 
Stephen. From the platform, persons are sometimes let 
down by ropes, a distance of twenty feet, and when on the 
ground, find themselves on the side of a hill, directly under 



MAMMOTH CAVE. 55 

the o-reat dome, from the summit of which there is a water- 
fall. This dome is of immense height — more than four 
hundred feet, and is considered, with perfect justice, one of 
the most magnificent objects in the world. The visitors 
who have been lowered, as we have described, ascend the 
hill to which they were previously let down from the plat- 
form ; continuing thence up a remarkably steep hill, for 
more than a hundred feet, they reach its summit. A scene 
of awful sublimity is commanded here. Looking down the 
declivity, the visitor will perceive, some distance to the 
left, those other visitors whom he has just quitted. The 
latter are standing on the platform or termination of the 
avenue along which they have come ; lower down yet, the 
bottom of the great dome itself presents itself. Overhead, 
at a distance of more than two hundred and eighty feet, 
the ceiling is lost in the deep obscurity. It may be neces- 
sary for us to state that the height of the ceiling was deter- 
mined by Mr. E. F. Lee, civil engineer, and subsequently 
confirmed by discovering on the summit of a hill, where 
man's foot had never trodden before, an iron lamp. The 
astonishment of the guides on the occasion may be better 
imagined than described. They, as well as the visitors 
with them, were fairly astounded ; and doubt respecting 
the cause would have continued down to the present date, 
had it not been for the following circumstance : — An old 
man was living at the Cave Hotel. He had been employed 
as a miner in the saltpetre establishment of the Messrs. 
Wilkins and Gratz, some thirty years previous ; and on 
being shown the lamp, he said without the least hesitation, 
that it had been found under the crevice pit. The name 
surprised all present ; but the old man continued to inform 
his questioners, that during the time his late employers 
were engaged in the saltpetre trade, a person of the name 



66 GUIDE TO THE 

of Gatewood stated to Wilkins, that the probabilities were, 
that the richest nitre earth was under the crevice pit. Its 
depth was, at that day, totally unknown, and Wilkins, to 
ascertain it, took a rope 45 feet long, and fastened this very 
lamp to it. He then caused it to be lowered into the pit, 
but while descending, the string accidentally caught on 
fire ; the result was the loss of the lamp. Wilkins, how- 
ever, made an offer of two dollars reward for its recovery. 
It was accepted by a miner, who, on account of his dimi- 
nutive stature, was nicknamed Little Dave. With a rope 
round his waist, and torch in hand, he was lowered to the 
depth of forty-five feet, and then drawn up. On regaining 
the spot from which he had descended, this miner was 
found to be dreadfully alarmed. He trembled in every 
limb, his eyes were fairly starting out of his head, and not 
a single word could we get from him for the first five 
minutes. Subsequently, however, he began to collect him- 
self, and said that no amount of money, not even the Na- 
tional Debt of England, would induce him to make the 
trial a second time. By way of excusing this resolve, ex- 
pressed so firmly, and to be kept so rehgiously, Little 
Dave entered into the most astounding relations. Baron 
Munchausen's fictions were probabilities compared to what 
our miner related ; but it is supposed that the height at 
which poor Dave was suspended, upwards of two hundred 
and forty feet, was the only course of his alarm. Like 
many other gentlemen, he was not constituted for an ea?- 
alted station, and the accident that placed him in it, though 
only for a short time, took away all the sense with which 
nature had gifted him. But the correctness of the old 
miner's estimate was established, guides being sent to the 
place where the lamp was found, other persons being sta- 
tioned at the same time at the mouth of the crevice pit. 



MAMMOTH CAVE. 67 

Words were exchanged by the parties, and sticks thrown ; 
and by these means the truth was made known. 

From the mouth of the cave to this pit the distance is 
not very long — less than half a mile ; notwithstanding, a 
circuit of more than three miles must be made, before the 
grand apartments immediately beneath, can be reached. 
The illumination cast upon that portion of the great dome 
on the left, and of the Hall on the top of the hill bearing to 
the right, as witnessed from the platform, is certainly one 
of the most subhme spectacles we can call to mind, although 
our experience in such matters is considerable. To be 
seen to the greatest advantage, however, a different position 
should be taken by the visitor. Then should the Bengal 
lights be ignited, and by their aid, the dome, apparently 
towering to a neighborhood with the heavens ; the hall on 
the summit of the hill, with its multitude of stalagmite 
columns, all so majestic ; and its other details, each beau- 
tiful in itself, and the whole harmonious in their arrange- 
ment — will be seen. 

That the exclamations of admiration elicited by a sight 
like this, are many and correct, who can doubt ! Euro- 
peans, who are good judges of what is beautiful or sublime 
in Nature, have been heard to declare, that to see such a 
sight as that presented by the dome under illumination, 
they would gladly travel ten thousand miles. Several 
liable to illness, and whose voyage across the Atlantic, 
speedily and comfortably as it is now performed, has en- 
tailed much sickness, have confessed that the spectacle is 
a perfect compensation. 

With this portion of the Mammoth Cave concludes, in 
most cases, the day's explorations. True, that the sun has 
not set, and that there is plenty of time left ; but, no ! the 
visitors feel anxious to return. How is this ? Can we ac- 

6 



68 ■ GUIDE TO THE 

count for it ? Yes ; the tourist's feelings are a realization of 
what Byron has recorded on his immortal page. With 
perfect propriety can it be said of the admiring company, 
that 

" Dazzl'd and drunk with beauty," 

they are in no fit mood to seek for other objects of interest. 
They have seen enough, and they now come from the 
great, the sublime, the crowning one, deeply penetrated by 
its effulgence. 

Another scene of wondrous sublimity awaits the visitor 
in the morning. He has heard from others of it, and 
begins to wonder whether their accounts have not been over 
colored ; whether, in fact, what he is about to see will come 
up to, or can surpass, what he has already seen. He thinks 
not, and prepares to ascertain. New from the slumbers of 
the night, and refreshed by both the pure air and the whole- 
some viands of the Cave House, he starts again with more 
like himself and the faithful guide. 

With a pace accelerated by expectation, the party pro- 
ceed onwards, and arriving at the Cave, seek the River 
Hall. It is there before them — sublime in its every feature. 
The river has been recently overflown. That is manifest, 
for how flush, how heaving it is. 

The River Hall descends similar to the slope of a moun- 
tain ; and like the firmament at midnight, when the stars 
come forth in their glory, the ceihng stretches away — away, 
it seems to infinity. You proceed onwards, making a gradual 
ascent, and keeping pretty close to the right hand wall. 
You will then observe on the left, a steep precipice. Over 
this you will look down, being able to do so by numerous 
blazing missiles, upon a broad black sheet of water, eighty 
feet below. It is called the Dead Sea ; and the name, so 



MAMMOTH CAVE. 59 

awful and so referriable to awful events, cannot be better 
verified than here. There is a terrible grandeur in the 
place. Long after you have left it, the eye continues cog- 
nizant of its many sights, the ear of its many sounds. The 
memory holds them, and they even haunt the dreams of 
night. 

The descent is made by means of a ladder. It is of 
about twenty feet ; the visitors then find themselves in 
the midst of gigantic rocks, heaped pile upon pile. In the 
mingling of lights and shadows, the persons who have come 
to see the River, although dressed in modern fashionable 
style, will seem of the locality a fitting race. Slowly they 
move in files — men, women, and children being together — 
with lamps in their hands. These lamps are guarded with 
extreme care, as they are liable to go out through any in- 
advertence. Gradually their illumination falls upon the 
different details ; the ceiJing,the walls, the cliffs, the ravines. 
Now the fight, thrown upwards, is reflected through the 
fissures in the rocks ; presently it is reflected from towering 
cliffs, every outline of which it defines, thus refieving the 
most intense darkness beyond. In some parts the water is 
not seen, although it is heard ; but its murmur sounds- 
awfully. In others, its appearance is brilliant through the 
light of the lamps. 

At the foot of the slope the River Styx winds its way. / 
It is aptly named : people might well imagine it to be the 
fabled stream whose name it bears. Four passengers only 
can be conveyed over this river at the same time. The 
guide fastens lamps at the prow of the boat, and the various 
images are reflected in the murky pool. 

There is another mode of crossing the Styx. It is by 
means of a bridge overhead, composed of abrupt precipices. 
To avail himself of this bridge, the tourist must ascend 



60 GUIDE TO THE 

a very steep cliff, then enter a cave above, three hundred 
yards long. Leaving this, he will find himself on the 
bank of the River, more than eighty feet above its sur- 
face. He will then command a view of the persons who 
are in the boat, and also of those upon the shore. The 
lamps in the canoe, when viewed from this distance, have 
a singular and striking appearance. Their glare is that of 
gigantic eye balls. Sitting somewhat in the shade, the mere 
outline of the visitors' figures can be seen, and they look 
like so many shadows — the spirits of the departed, being 
rowed over that profound flood to a place where final doom 
is to be awaited. 

Turning their eyes from the boat and its contents, the 
persons on the shore will see those of their companions who, 
like themselves, have come over the bridge, grouped very 
fancifully. Their appearance is much less spectral than 
that of the people on the water. They seem human still, 
and give a warranty that a return to the upper world is 
possible. 

The Styx is the smallest river in the Mammoth Cave. 
Having passed it, the visitor walks over a pile of large rocks, 
and finds himself on the banks of the Lethe. Here, again, 
will be found a striking resemblance between natural ob- 
jects and the names given them. How striking is forget- 
fulness typified in that river ! We remember seeing many 
years ago a picture of the Waters of Oblivion, painted by 
John Martin, which, in its general details, in the tout 
ensemble, might have been taken as a representation of this 
cave-stream and the objects which surround it. 

Looking back, the tourist will perceive a line of men and 
women descending' the high hill from the cave, which runs 
over the river Styx. Two boats are kept, and the parties 
who have come by the two routes — that is, either down or 










THE RIVER STYX 



MAMMOTH CAVE. 61 

over the Styx, may unite and descend the Lethe about a ^ 
quarter of a mile. Throughout the whole distance the 
ceiling is very high — upwards of fifty feet we should say. 
On landing, a lofty and level hall is entered. It is called 
the Great Walk, and extends to the banks of the Echo, a 
distance of three or four hundred yards. The Echo is a 
honajide river — wide and deep enough, we believe, to float 
a steamship as large as the '^ Atlantic" or " Pacific." On 
the occasion of embarking, persons will readily notice the 
lowness of the arch : three feet constitute the entire passage 
left for the boats. The consequence of this is, of course, a 
complete doubling up on the part of the passengers. In- 
deed, their position is anything but comfortable while they 
are being rowed over, but their sufferings, if we may so 
designate their sensations, are not of much duration, a couple 
of boats' lengths being quite sufficient to put them where no 
complaint can be made of the Cave, so far as the advantages 
of height and width are regarded. The boats used here 
are capable of carrying twelve persons each. The passage 
down the river is replete with pleasure and interest. The 
extraordinary character of the scene — its magnificence, 
must necessarily awaken the highest feehngs of admiration. 
A sudden ecstasy is up-called, which, after holding posses- 
sion of the soul for a time, subsides, and is succeeded by 
sensations of quiet felicity. Few persons who ever wit- 
nessed the scene, we think, could have allowed an angry 
feeling to find a dwelling in their bosoms, while under its 
influences. Powerfully, most powerfully is the benign 
mandate of Christ, for those whom he redeemed to hve in 
love and peace with one another, impressed here. Nature, 
in her aspects of beauty, magnificence, and solemnity, is a 
mighty illustrator of Him whose work she is ; and there 
are thousands of instances of her power to improve or purify 

6* 



62 GUIDE TO THE 

those on whom both oral and written precepts have had no 
power. May we not believe that the stream of Lethe in 
this Mammoth Cave of Kentucky, had it a voice, could tell 
us of such changes, wrought on its bosom or its banks, in 
the souls of many a visitor ? 

Low and musical is the rippling of the water, as heard by 
those in the boat as well as on the shore. Beating under 
low arches and into the cavities of rocks, it may be called 
the very pulse of the place. So strongly does sound magnify 
itself in this portion of the cave, that the report of an ordi- 
nary pistol is like that of the heaviest artillery. It is pro- 
longed for minutes, and ultimately dies away in low thunder- 
like mutterings. 

We remember well on the occasion of a late visit to the 
Cave, that the whole boat's company joined simultaneously 
in song while gliding down this river Lethe. How sublime, 
how truly religious was the effect! Many are the cathedral 
choirs we have listened to, and deep have been our impres- 
sions of their excellence, but they did not amount to those 
we experienced here. That such was the fact cannot cause 
surprise. The cathedral, elaborate as it may be in its 
carving and emblazonry, the beauty of its stained windows, 
and the skill of the painter, is, after all, no more than a 
human temple — a pile erected by hands ; and its choir, but 
a band of trained singers. But here, in this Mammoth Cave, 
we gaze upon the temple of God himself, while the hymn- 
ings we listen to are those of spontaneous worship, bursting 
from the rapt soul, and ascending to the Sanctuary of heaven. 
Sometimes a full band of music has been tried on the 
Echo. What the effect has been can be imagined. Truly 
may it be said that such things cannot be obliterated from 
the memory. Let us add, that they ought not to be, for 
they assuredly make better creatures of us all. 



MAMMOTH CAVE. 63 

The river Echo is about three miles in length. There is a 
rise in the water, of only a few feet, through which the 
three rivers are united. When there has been a long suc- 
cession of heavy rains, these rivers sometimes rise to a per- 
pendicular height of more than fifty feet, and, with the 
cataracts, exhibit an aspect of awful grandeur. When the 
rise of the water does not extend even beyond two feet, the 
, low arch at the entrance of the Echo cannot be reached by 
the visitor. Occasionally, great apprehensions have been 
felt by the tourists, in consequence of their being caught on 
the opposite side, by a sudden rise ; but the guide has con- 
siderately informed them of an upper cave, admitting of a 
passage, leading round the arch to the Great Walk. 

Purgatory is the name applied to this cave or passage. 
Once, for a distance of more than forty feet, the visitors 
were obliged to crawl their way through it, in consequence 
of its lowness ; lately, however, it has been enlarged, and 
now persons can walk erect, to their entire satisfaction. 

Through this improvement, an excursion can be made to 

Cleveland's Avenue, almost entirely by land, and the 

tourist will rest satisfied of his not being caught beyond the 

Echo. In that river and the others which are found in the 

Mammoth Cave, that very extraordinary fish, the White 

Eyeless, are to be seen. On the occasion of our last visit 

to the Cave, we were shown two of them. We, as w^ell as 

the persons with us, examined the fish attentively, but not 

one of us was able to distinguish any thing hke an eye ; 

nor have the skilful anatomists who have experimented 

upon them, been at all more successful. Indeed, it has 

been asserted by men most celebrated in their profession, 

that these fish are not only without eyes, but also exhibit 

other anomahes in their organization, highly interesting to 

Naturalists. At the time the rivers of the Mammoth Cave 



64 GUIDE TO THE 

were first crossed (1840), and since, several endeavors were 
and have been made to discover whence the White Eyeless 
fish come, and, also, whither they go; but though various 
conjectures have been formed, nothing that can be looked 
upon as satisfactory has been arrived at. All is still mys- 
tery, and we suppose will continue so until the end of time. 

The barometrical measurement of the rivers in the Mam- 
moth Cave has been frequently taken. According to Pro-^ 
fessor Locke, they are on a level with the Green River. 
But Mr. Lee, civil engineer, is of a widely different 
opinion. He says : " The bottom of the Little Bat Room 
is one hundred and twenty feet below the bed of Green 
River. The Bottomless Pit is also deeper than the bed of 
Green River ; and so far as a surveyor's level can be relied 
on, the same may be said of the Cavern Pit and others." 

We may remark here, that at the time of Mr. Lee's 
visit in 1835, the rivers of the Cave were unknown, and 
that there is no doubt as to their being lower than the bot- 
tom of the pits, or of their receiving the water flowing from 
the latter. If we take the statement of Lee as correct, the 
bed of these rivers is lower than the bed of Green River at 
its junction with the Ohio, taking as conclusive the report 
of the State Engineers, relative to the extent of fall between 
a point above the Cave and the Ohio, and of the entire cor- 
rectness of this report we cannot entertain a doubt. Mr. 
Lee thus continues his remarks on the subject : '' It becomes 
then an object of interesting inquiry to determine in what 
way the waters are disposed of. If they are emptied into 
Green River, the Ohio, or the ocean, they must run a great 
distance under ground, and have a very trifling descent." 

We must again join the visitor in his explorations. 
Leaving the Echo, a walk of four miles brings us to Cleve- 
land's Avenue. Between the river and this point, several 



MAMMOTH CAVE. 65 

objects of interest are met with. Their enumeration would 
be confusing ; therefore, in the trust that all who read these 
pages will visit the Cave itself, if they have not done so 
already, we will proceed with our more immediate details. 

We pass in succession El Ghor, Silliman's Avenue, and / 
Wellington's Gallery, to the foot of a ladder. This leads 
up to the Elysium of Mammoth Cave. Those among our 
friends who are subject to weariness or thirst when walking, 
will be glad to hear that CarneaPs Spring is in the portion of 
the Cave we are describing ; many thousands slake their 
thirst here. A sulphur spring is also close at hand. Its 
water equals, both in point of quantity and quality, that of 
the celebrated White Sulphur Spring of Virginia. Standing 
at the head of the ladder we have named, the visitor finds 
himself surrounded by stalactites ; they are above as well 
as about him. With little or no aid of the imagination, 
these stalactites may be taken for magnificent clusters of 
grapes. Plump, round, and polished, they would, even on 
a nearer inspection, do credit to the sculptor's art. The 
place where they are found is called Mary's Vineyard, and w 
is the commencement of Cleveland's Avenue, one of the 
chief glories and wonders of this underground world. 

About one hundred feet from this spot, taking the right, 
over a rough and rather difficult way, the tourist at last 
reaches what is called the height or hill. On this stands 
the Holy Sepulchre. This natural chapel is about twelve 
feet square ; it has a low ceiling, and is decorated in the 
most magnificent style imaginable, having well arranged 
draperies of stalactite of every possible shape. You go on 
to the room of the Holy Sepulchre adjoining. Unlike the 
place you have left, it is without ornament or decoration of 
any kind whatever ; it presents nothing but dark and bare 
walls, and has been likened by many who have been there, 



66 GUIDE TO THE 

to a charnel house. In the centre of this room, which stands 
but a few feet below the Chapel, the visitor will be shown 
what seems to be a grave hewn out of the solid rock. So 
great is the resemblance as to have suggested to a Roman 
Catholic f risst the exclamation which has since passed as 
its name. The reverend gentleman referred to, no sooner 
cast his eyes upon this opening in the rock, than he cried 
out, on bended knees, and with uplifted hands, "The Holy 
Sepulchre ! The Holy Sepulchre !" 

This reminds us very forcibly of an occurrence we wit- 
nessed some years since, at the annual exhibition in London 
of the late Haydon's pictures. Among them was a repre- 
sentation of the Crucifixion — so life-like in all its details, 
and so melancholy true in its chief figure — that of the dead 
Messiah, that an eminent foreigner, a Catholic, on seeing it, 
threw himself, it seemed instinctively, on his knees, and 
kissed the canvas. 

Returning from the Holy Sepulchre, the tourist com- 
mences his wanderings throug-h Cleveland's Avenue. It is 
of considerable length, extending from one end to the other, 
three miles ; while its height and width are respectively 
fifteen and seventy feet. This Avenue is truly magnificent ; 
it may be designated one of the most magnificent objects in 
the world. It is replete with formations that are to be seen 
in no other places ; which even the dullest cannot behold 
without experiencing sensations quite new to them, but 
which, in the cultivated and intellectual, awaken feelings of 
rapture. 

Professor Locke has designated some of these formations 
as onlophilites, or curled leaf stones ; in lecturing on them, 
hesa5'^s, — '^^'They are unlike anything yet discovered, equally 
beautiful for the cabinet of the amateur, and interesting to 
the geological philosopher." 



MAMMOTH CAVE. ' 67 

Another gentleman, (a clergyman,) also speaks of these 
formations. His remarks are to the following effect. 

So exquisite and beautiful is Cleveland's Avenue, (the 
place where they are found) that it is out of the power of 
painter or poet to conceive anything like it. Such loveli- 
ness cannot, indeed, be described. Were the sovereigns of 
wealthy states to spend their all on the most skillful lapi- 
daries they could find, with the view of rivaling the splen- 
dor of this truly regal abode, the attempt would be entirely 
vain. What then, is left for the narrator ? People must 
see it ; and then they will be convinced that all attempts at 
adequate description are useless. The Cabinet was disco- 
vered by Mr. Patten of Louisville, and Mr. Craig of Phila- 
delphia, accompanied by the guide Stephen. It extends 
in nearly a direct line, about one mile and a half, ^some 
persons say two miles). It is a perfect arch of fifty feet 
span, and of an average height of ten feet in the centre, — 
just high enough to be viewed at ease in all its parts. It 
is encrusted from end to end with the most beautiful forma- 
tions, in every variety of form. The base of the whole is 
carbonate (sulphate) of lime, in one part of dazzhng white- 
ness, and perfectly smooth ; and in other places, crystallized 
so as to glitter like diamonds in the light. Growing from 
this, in endless diversified forms, is a substance resembling 
solenite, translucent and imperfectly laminated. It is most 
probably sulphate of lime (a gypsum) combined with sul- 
phate of magnesia. Some of the crystals bear a striking 
resemblance to branches of celery, and all are about the 
same lenrrth, while others, a foot or more in lencrth, have 
the color and appearance of vanilla cream candy. Others 
are set in sulphate of lime, in the form of a rose ; and 
others still roll out from the base in forms resembling the 
ornaments on the capital of a Corinthian column. Some of 



68 GUIDE TO THE 

the incrustations are massive and splendid, others are as 
delicate as the lily, or as fancy Avork of shell or wood. Let 
any person think of traversing an arched way like this for 
a mile and a half, and all the wonders of the tales of youth 
— not forgetting those gorgeous fictions, <^"' The Arabian 
Nights," seem tame and vminteresting, when brought into 
comparison Avith the living, growing reality. The term 
^"'growing" is not a misnomer; the process is going on 
before your eyes. Successive coats of these incrustations 
have been perfected, and then crowded off by others ; so 
that hundreds of tons of these gems lie at your feet, and are 
crushed as you pass, while the work of restoring the orna- 
ments for Nature's boudoir is proceeding around you. 
Here and there through the whole extent, you will find 
openings in the side, into which you may thrust the person, 
and often stand erect in little grottos, perfectly incrusted 
with a delicate white substance, reflecting the light from a 
thousand glittering points. Many visitors are so enraptured 
with the place, that they cannot repress exclamations of 
surpise or worship. With general unity of form and ap- 
pearance, there is considerable variety in the Cabinet. 
The Snow Ball Room for example, is a secretion of the cave 
described above, some two hundred feet in length, entirely 
different from the adjacent parts ; its appearance being aptly 
indicated by its name. If a hundred rude school boys had 
but an hour before completed their day's sport, by throwing 
a thousand snow balls against the roof, while an equal 
number were scattered about the floor, and all petrified, it 
would have presented precisely such a scene as you witness 
in this room of Nature's frolic. These " snow balls" are a 
perfect anomaly among all the extraordinary forms of crys- 
tallization. They result, it is supposed, from an unusual 
combination of the sulphates of lime and magnesia, with a 



MAMMOTH CAVE. 69 

carbonate of the former. We found here and elsewhere in 
the cabinet, fine specimens of the sulphate of magnesia, 
(Epsom salts) a foot or two long, and three inches in thick- 
ness. 

Leaving the quiet and beautiful cabinet, you come sud- ^ 
denly on the Rocky Mountains. Compared to the previous 
scenes, they furnish a contrast so bold and striking as almost 
to startle the visitor. Clambering up the rough sides some 
thirty feet, he passes close under the roof of the cavern he 
has just left, and finds before him an immense transverse 
cave, one hundred feet or more from the ceiling to the floor, 
with a huge pile of rocks half fiUing the hither side ; they 
were probably dashed from the roof in the great earth- 
quake of 1811. Taking the left hand branch, the tourist is 
soon brought to "Croghan's Hall," which is nine miles from 
the mouth, and is the farthest point explored in that direc- 
tion. The ^"^Hall is fifty or sixty feet in diameter, and 
perhaps thirty-five feet high, of a semi-circular form. 
Fronting the visitor, as he enters, are massive stalactites, 
ten or fifteen feet in length, attached to the rocks like sheets 
of ice, and of a brilliant color. The rock projects near the 
floor, and then recedes with a regular and graceful curve 
or swell, leaving a cavity of several feet in width, between 
it and the floor. At intervals, around this swell, stalactites 
of various forms are suspended, and behind the sheet of 
stalactites first described, are numerous stalagmites, in 
fanciful forms. The curious often bring some of them 
away. On the last occasion of our visit to the Mammoth 
Cave, we saw one which bore a strong resemblance to the 
horns of a deer, being nearly translucent. In the centre of 
this hall a very large stalactite hangs from the roof, and a 
corresponding stalagmite rises from the floor, about three 
feet in height and a foot in diameter, of an amber color, 

7 _ 



70 GUIDE TO THE 

perfectly smooth and translucent like the other formations. 
On the right is a deep pit, down which the water dashes 
from a cascade that pours from the roof. Other avenues 
could be most likely found, by sounding the sides of the 
pit, if any one had the courage to attempt the descent. 
While in the part of the cave we have been describing, 
the visitor is far enough away from terra supra; and his 
1| dinner, which he has left at the Vineyard, claims his atten- 
tion. He hastens back to the Rocky Mountains, and takes 
the branch which he has left on his right hand, when 
emerging from the Cabinet Pursuing the uneven path for 
some distance, he reaches Serena's Arbor, which w^as 
lately discovered by one of the guides, named Mat. The 
descent to the Arbor seems so full of peril, from the position 
of the loose rocks around it, that many tourists will not 
venture it. Those, however, who have scrambled down, 
regard this as the very crowning object of interest — the ne 
plus ultra of their explorations. The Arbor is not more 
than twelve feet in diameter, and about the same in height, 
of a circular form ; but is, of itself, floor, sides, roof, and 
ornaments, one perfect, seamless stalactite of a beautiful 
hue, and exquisite workmanship. Stalactitic matter, in 
the shape of blades or folds, hangs like a drapery around 
the sides, and reaches half way to the floor; while opposite 
the door, a canopy of stone projects. It is most chastely 
and elegantly ornamented, and has been truly designated a 
" fit resting place for a fairy bride." Everything about it 
seems fresh and new. But the invisible and unknown 
arranger has not quite completed this, — his master piece ; 
for the visitor can see the pure water trickling down its 
tiny channels, and perfecting the delicate points of some of 
the stalactites. Truly may the man exploring this portion 



MAMMOTH CAVE. 71 

of the Mammoth Cave, quote Holy Writ, and say, referring 
to the ghttering things about him, — 

"That Solomon, in all his glory, was not like one of these." 

But beautiful and extraordinary as are the formations in 
this avenue, it has been shorn of its lustre to some extent. 
Young ladies, whose elders and parents should have taught 
them better, have, acting on a criminal, though pretty gene- 
ral impulse, broken from the walls, and that too, in violation 
of the published rules, those exquisite productions of the 
Almighty Power, which required perhaps a hundred ages 
to perfect ; and these have been destroyed in a minute. 

This want of veneration and care for the beautiful in 
either Nature or Art, finds its agreeable antithesis in many 
European countries. We will mention the small cave of 
Adelburg, belonging to the Emperor of Austria, in substan- 
tiation of what we have said. The cave in question has 
been placed under the protecting care of Government. 
Ouofht not the same thinsf be done with the Mammoth Cave ? 
Consider its mineralogical treasures alone, and the answer 
must be in the affirmative. 

On his return from Serena's Bower, the visitor will pass, 
on his left, the mouth of an avenue, upwards of two miles 
in length, and of great height and width. A hall will be 
found at the termination. This avenue is generally sup- 
posed to be longer than any other in the Cave. Midway 
between the commencement and termination of Cleveland's 
Avenue is a huge rock. It is nearly circular, quite flat at 
the top, and three feet in height. This is appropriately 
called the "Dining Table." It is of great capacity, more 
than one hundred persons occasionally seating themselves 
around it. Here, by the aid of the guides (who are picked 
men, so far as general knowledge and obhging manners are 



72 • GUIDE TO THE 

regarded"), the banquet is often spread, and the operation is 
no sooner concluded, than the guests fall to with a gusto 
the reader will be able to imagine. 

The air of the Cave, with the circumstances attendant 
on its exploration, seem to inspire the visitors, and accord- 
ingly, many brilliant repartees and sayings are exchanged. 
The banquet is, indeed, two-fold. ; for while it can be called, 
in one respect, the " feast of reason and the flow of soul," 
with equal justice it can be designated, in a physical sense, 
as worthy of Ude himself. 

In the midst of laughter and enjoyment, our friends, the 
visitors of this magnificent Mammoth Cave, have forgotten 
all past cause for grief, anticipate no evil for the future. 
Like the hero and heroine of Byron's latest poem, it may 
be said of them, — ■ 

" The present, like a tyrant, holds them fast." 

But, presently, the speech is broken. By what? Is there 
anything sufficiently potent to dispel so extatic a state of 
existence ? Yes, and what is more, the agency is remark- 
ably simple, being no more than a hint from the guide, that 
the river may possibly rise, and shut him and his compa- 
nions up there. Then how sudden is the move ! how 
quickly does the uplifted morsel drop from the mouth ! and 
what a rattle there is of plates and dishes ! Nevertheless, 
the hint of the guide is only an innocent ruse. Experience 
is the parent of judgment, and the quality in him is con- 
summate. He sees the strong admiration of those near 
him — an admiration that promises to keep them where they 
are till long past midnight; and he knows the only mode 
whereby he can work out his intent, is an appeal to what 
is perhaps the strongest passion of the soul — fear. The 
deception is soon dispelled ; not so, however, until various 



MAMMOTH CAVE. 73 

Stumbles have been made by the visitors in their hurry to 
reach the Echo. And when they do reach it, great is their 
joy at finding that it has not risen. 

It must not be concluded that all objects^f interest have 
been left behind. Far from it: the visitors, on their way 
to the hotel, have much to awaken profound sensations in 
their bosoms. The stillness — how deep is that ! and how 
solemnly magnificent is the scene in all its details ! What 
is that which bursts upon the silence ? Are the rocks tum- 
bling to pieces ? or is the solid earth itself bursting into 
millions of fragments? These are the questions that are 
mentally put. But the continued echoes in the Gave explain 
the cause. A pistol has been fired, and like thunder among 
the hills, it reverberates through the thousand sinuosities 
of this caverned earth. 

Presently, our friends begin to have a thought or two 
concerning the time. They have seen so much since they 
entered the Cave, and so varied and powerful have been the 
sensations upcalled, that they cannot be expected to have 
any very strict idea of the hour. Of one thing, however, 
they are certain — it is, that one night at least has passed 
over their heads. Approaching the entrance, their " assur- 
ance is doubly assured ; " for lo ! there, afar, are the first 
gloamings of the new day. Fallible human nature! you 
have committed another mistake : that is not the rising sun ; 
it is that mighty luminary upon his western throne. So- 
lemnly, and, oh, how beautifully, does he sink away from 
vision ; and with what thoughts, kindred of the scene around 
them, do the tourists seek the pleasant abode they quitted 
some twelve hours since ! 

In the course of our descriptive matter, we have not, we 
beheve, said anything relative to the proprietorship of the 
Mammoth Cave. It is now, and has been for some time 



74 GUIDE TO THE 

past, in the possession of St. George Croghan, Esq., son of 
the late Dr. Croghan. He is a resident of Louisville, and 
a gentleman of great enterprise. He has made many dis- 
coveries in the Cave. Some time since Mr. Croghan, while 
exploring an avenue of recent discovery, found a young 
child lying on the ground. From the bloom upon its cheek, 
and other indications of vitality, the worthy gentleman very 
naturally concluded that it had strayed into the Cave, and 
belonged to one of the farmers in the neighborhood. He 
felt the little stranger's cheek, and was perfectly astounded 
to find it cold. The child was dead. Mr. Croghan, as 
soon as he had come to this melancholy conviction, ordered 
the body to be carried to the hotel, that it might be claimed 
by the parents ; but neither father nor mother came ; and 
to add to the worthy gentleman's surprise, after the lapse 
of twenty-four houi's, there was nothing left but ashes. 
This circumstance must be taken as a striking proof rela- 
tive to the purity of the air in the Cave. Anything placed 
there — even the body of a deceased man, woman or child, 
on which decay, under ordinary circumstances, is always 
the speediest to lay its "effacing fingers" — preserves the 
freshness of life ; but submit it to the atmosphere without, 
and then how swiftly is the great fiat of the Almighty 
fulfilled ! 

"Ashes to ashes — dust to dust." 

We feel that we should be neglecting one part of our 
duties, were we to omit the enumeration of the advantages 
that are connected with a visit to the Mammoth Cave, Ken- 
tucky. Here we append them. 

No accident more serious than an occasional stumble, 
causing little pain, but not so much as a discoloration, 
has ever been known to occur here. 



MAMMOTH CAVE. 75 

Visitors, both on entering and departing from the Cave, 
are not Ukely to contract colds. They are, on the contrary, 
usually dispelled by a visit to this mighty and beautiful 
natural object. 

In no part of the Cave is there to be found air of the 
shghtest impurity. 

In the Cave, a boast made erroneously by the Irish nation 
has been fully realized, for there no reptile has ever been 
found. It seems as though a charm prevailed there, to bid 
them away. Neither do quadrupeds trouble the Cave with 
their presence. 

In every part of the Mammoth Cave, combustion is 
perfect. 

Decomposition, and its loathsome adjunct, putrefaction, 
have never been found here. 

The water of the Cave, exquisitely pure, is generally 
fresh ; and there are, besides, one or two sulphur springs. 

There are two hundred £ind twenty-six avenues in this 
magnificent Cave ; forty-seven domes ; eight cataracts ; and 
twenty-three pits. 

The temperature of the place is 59° Fahrenheit, and 
remains precisely the same, winter and summer. 

No sound, not even the loudest peal of thunder, can be 
heard beyond the distance of one quarter of a mile in the 
Cave. 

We have mentioned in a former part of our details, the 

many testimonies that have been borne by different persons 

to the surpassing beauty and grandeur of the Mammoth 

Cave. The following are to be found in the book kept at 

/the neighboring hotel: — 

'' I have stood near the summit of Etna, watched the 
working waters of the Mselstroom, seen the glaciers of Ice- 
land, visited the Giant's Causeway, stood on Termination 



76 GUIDE TO THE 

Rocks, at the Niagara Falls ; but never saw any thing 
that could come up to the Mammoth Cave, in extent, beauty, 
grandeur, and variety. 

J. A. G." 

Query, — Where are your eyes ? Why, hundreds come 
up to it every year. 

Among the prose testimonies (we shall insert some poeti- 
cal ones] of which the Mammoth Cave has been the subject, 
we shall be pardoned the insertion of the following. The 
first letter, now in the hands of the publishers, is, it will 
be perceived, from that liberal and accomplished woman, 
^ Lady Emmeline Stuart Wortley, who was recently a visitor 
here, and whose impressions of the United States have just 
been issued from the press. 

"New Yobk, Nov. 20th, 1850. 
"My Dear Sir: 

" The hurry of my arrangements previous to my departure 
for England, will not permit me to say ' good-by ' to 
your family and yourself a second time. I, however, trust 
that the day is not far distant when we shall meet again. I 
have already conversed with you relative to my opinions of 
the United States, so far as its government and social life 
are concerned ; I have also, I believe, expressed (i fear un- 
\ worthily) the admiration which its natural beauties have 
upcalled within my very ' heart of hearts.' Among these 
let me instance the Mammoth Cave in Kentucky. This is 
a place which all tourists should visit — so magnificent, ex- 
traordinary, and gigantic in its several details, as, in itself 
alone, to well repay a voyage across the broad Atlantic. 
During my short but pleasant stay in America, I was a 
frequent visitor at the Cave ; and in every succeeding 
occasion I found fresh cause for admiration. Though a 



MAMMOTH CAVE. 7^ 

humble and trusting believer in the truths of Christianity, I 
am, nevertheless, persuaded that the Almighty has im- 
f pressed certain characteristics on some of His works, to 
prove His existence and to vindicate His power, to the 
children of men ; and never, I can safely say, were those 
evidences more strikingly displayed than in the Mammoth 
Cave. 

" Let every person visit it who can ; and at the same time, 
not forget the home attractions of the neighboring hotel. I, 
with many others, have tested them : no report, written or 
oral, can do them justice. 

* » * • * 

I am, 

My dear sir, 
Yours very faithfully, 
Emmeline Stuart Wortley." 

Some circumstances of considerable interest were con- 
nected with this amiable lady's visit to the United States. 
She is the daughter of the venerable Duke of Rutland, 
between whom and the Hon. Daniel Webster, a warm 
friendship has long existed. Both at the time the ^ Glorious 
Daniel ' was in Great Britain and since, the Duke of Rut- 
land has been warmly pressed by him to pay a visit to 
America ; but though the promise to do so has been given, 
it has not been realized — solely because official duties on 
one side and the encroachments of age on the other have 
stood in the way. The daughter, knowing this to be the 
case, felt that she could be the proxy of her parent, and 
gratify a wish she had long entertained, at the same time. 
She came to the United States, was a sharer of Mr. Web- 
ster's hospitalities, and has since returned to England to do 



78 GUIDE TO THE 

what few British tourists of rank have hitherto done — 
namely, to speak favorably of the Western Republic. 

The annexed letter is from another English personage of 
high rank and talents. 

<* Boston, June Zd, 1851. 
<« My Dear Sir: 

<' Last week I had the pleasure of exploring, with several 
other persons, the Mammoth Cave in Kentucky. I make 
use of the term ' pleasure ' in no conventional sense, but 
in its true and honest one, as significant of a happy feehng. 

<< I have described many things in my life, with, I believe, 
some force and capacity, but were you to offer me the world, 
I could not, either to my own or your satisfaction, describe 
what I have seen in the monarch of caves from which I 
have just come. 

'^I can but speak in the way of likeness or analogy. 
Well, then, I must say that in the Mammoth Cave is a 
cathedral in which any Lord Primate might be proud to 
preach, did not the solemnity of the place admonish all hu- 
manity to humbleness — a cathedral whose gigantic buttresses 
and delicately wrought friezes, quatre foils, &c., are res- 
pectively as bold and minute as any ever found in the great 
Christian Temples of the upper world. 

<^ There are portions of the Cave called ^Arbors,' a fit 
title ; fanciful in their arrangement, and beautiful in their 
colors, they are fit for the reposing places of the prettiest 
fairies that ever danced in a ring beneath the moonlight. 
Then there are chambers of Cimmerian gloom — quite cha- 
otic ; but which, when they catch the reflectionof light, display 
stalactites of brilliant hues, hanging as it were in mid air: 
and afar overhead, a second firmament studded with stars. 

"• We are taken along a river named after, and like what 



MAMMOTH CAVE. 79 

the imagination may conceive of the fabled Styx. How- 
silent is all upon the shores of this river. How appropriate 
it seems, as a flood running between two worlds ! Then there 
are Domes — large and beautiful ; avenues of miles' length ; 
chambers, water-falls, and recesses. Verily they must all 
be seen to be understood. 

<^' The neig-hborhood itself is a delightful one. Among its 
chief recommendations are the comfort and courtesies tourists 
from all nations can find at the Cave Hotel. He, indeed, 
must be a grumbler, and out of sorts with the world, who 

cannot make himself at home there. 

****** 

^' Yours ever, very truly, 

" G. P. James." 

We conclude our letters with the following. It is from 
an Italian painter of high repute ; who, after giving to the 
world, by the aid of his pencil, many of the exquisite scenes 
of his own land, has come to America, for the express pur- 
pose of studying its features of pictorial sublimity. 

"Louisville, May 14:th, 1851. 
"^ Dear Friend : 

'^'^ The Mammoth Cave in Kentucky is, indeed, a wonder. 
I have visited it day after day, and can safely assert that I 
never saw anything in Nature to surpass it, in features of 
true grandeur and sublimity. 

^< I repeat, that my imperfect knowledge of the language 
spoken in this country, will not permit me to discuss more 
clearly than I do, the scenes which this extraordinary Cave 
presents ; but now I think again, I do not regret my imper- 
fection on that point, for I feel, that were la native, I could 
not speak as the reality demands I should. 

^^ There is mutuahty between all things great and beau- 
tiful : thus, a picture is often painted to the imagination by 



80 GUIDE TO THE 

tones of music, — and we hear rare melody by means of a 

picture. These analogies are perfect in the Mammoth Cave ; 

and besides, great judgment seems to have been exercised 

in naming the different divisions. '^ The Bottomless Pit" 

and ''■ Serena's Arbor" were, tome at least, strikingexampJes 

of this. The first, indeed, seems to be deep beyond the 

plummet's reach ; the other is fanciful and beautiful to an 

extreme. The Domes, too — what shall I say of them t they 

are full of grandeur. 

^' Before I close my letter, I will relate an anecdote to you, 

in connection with this Mammoth Cave. I had returned 

from my tenth visit, and was quietly seated at my supper 

beneath the hospitable roof of the Cave Hotel, when who 

should come suddenly upon me but my old friend . He 

questioned me about what I had seen, told me he should 

commence his own visits to the Cave next morninrr. So an 

hour passed, when starting up, exclaimed, ''> But I don't 

know wether this Cave can be worth exploring or not, since 

you have so little to say about it. The truth is that I felt, 

as I have stated myself here to be, incapable of giving any 

thing like a proper description of the wonders the intelligent 

guides had pointed out to me. I said, in reply to my friend, 

'^ Wait till to-morrow morning, when you will be able to 

judge for yourself." He did so, and when he came back 

in the evening, and also on several evenings subsequently, 

he was less profuse of words then I had been, though his 

admiration, I am convinced, was equal to my own. 
* * H« * * * 

<^ I need not speak to you of the ready attention and 

urbanity of the gentleman who holds sway at the Cave 

Hotel. You have experienced them, and I hope you will 

inform other persons of them. 

^' Yours, very truthfully, 

<' Marco Pogliani." 



MAMMOTH CAVE. 81 

The following poetical attestations of the Cave's wonders 
and beauties, are perhaps not the worst specimens that 
have been published. They are from the pens of different 
tourists, who, it will he perceived, have chosen their own 
particular subjects : — 



ON THE ENTRANCE TO THE MAMMOTH CAVE. 

To wliat new world are we now tending ? 

Is it one of pain and sin ? 
"Whither are our footsteps wending ? 

How darkness hems us in ! 
That stream of water falling quick — 

How ominous its tone : 
We pause — we tremble — we are sick, 

And feel deserted — lone. 
The water falleth in a pit, 

Like tears of those who weep; 
Far over head deep gloom doth sit, 

And Nature is asleep. 

On, on we go — soon cheer'd in soul, 

For we are told that light, 
Bursting from stern night's control, 

Is near to trance our sight. 
8 



MAMMOTH CAVE. 83 



^ ON THE GRAND GALLERY. 



With roof magnificent, like mighty minds, 

(So manifest in their commandings) 
Tliou standest, naught of aid from things 

Lesser than thyself, demanding. 
No hand of mortal man hath trac'd upon 

Thy borders, forms of such rare beauty, 
As to our raptured sense there now pi'esents, 

And unto which we bow in duty : 
Aye, bow, and lowly, too, for God hath grav'd 

On thee, much that of Himself doth tell ; 
And storm-defying, they remain for e'er, 

Proof even against Time's potent spell 



MAMMOTH CAVE. 85 



ON AUDUBON AVENUE. 

Silent and cloud-like, yonder roof seems moving, 

Gray in its hue, and awful in its form : 
What can it be ? a sign of Heaven's reproving ? 

Or herald of the approaching storm ? 
Neither ; and soon we know, for high aloft, 

Quick catching light, that burns nor scorches, 
A multitude of gems, of colors soft, 

Meet the full flame of lighted torches. 
How beautiful the scene ! it is as tho' 

The Voice omnipotent which made us all, 
Had spoken once again, and bade light flow. 

To banish hence for e'er, night's ebon pall. 



MA3IM0T1I CAVE. 87 



ON THE LITTLE BAT ROOM. 

Where is the man can count them — 

Those gloomy looking things, 
Lying in torpidity, 

Till Spring expands their wings ? 
Can they e'er awake to life, 

They seem so very dead ? 
Can they cleave a way thro' air, 

Where flow'rs and winds are wed ? 
Yes : of death and after-life, 

Significant are they — 
We lie torpid in the earth, 

Till the Eternal Day. 
Oh, 'tis well to ponder o'er 

Things like those now near us — 
Tho' they speak of life and death. 

Still their end 's to cheer us. 



MAMMOTH CAVE. 89 



ON THE CHUliCH. 



The luiiid-directed liuud of nuiu 

Rare wonders oft hath wrought ; 
To piles of beauty and of power 

High treasure he hath brought. 
In the Old World there now are seen 

Great monuments of Art, — 
Gazing on which the soul expands, 

And purer grows the heart. 
Ancient Churches of renown, 

Where the grand organ's swell, 
And partner'd voices make us think 

We 'mong the angels dwell ; 
When the stain'd glass of ages past, 

Presenteth to the sight, 
The Life and Death of Him we love, 

In hues of Heav'n's own light. 
When tombs of those who, in their day. 

Walked lordly on the earth, 
Are close beside the humble beds 

Of lowly peasant worth. 



90 GUIDE TO THE 

How beiiutiful must service be 

Performed in such a fane ! 
How all unlikely men should feel, 

Beneath its shadows vain I 
But look around, and say if aught 

Of man's work hath appeared, 
So truly great, and so sublime. 

As (his which God hath rear'd. 
Hence we require no organ tone, 

With other sounds, to give 
Due sanctity to scenes around — 

Faith's self doth with us live. 
No blazon'd scutch'on here's requir'd — 

No banner old and torn : — 
The thoughts that elevate us here^ 

Are not by service worn ; 
The song that's sung, the prayer that's breath'd, 

Inspired by love's own flow, 
In accents of unstudied force, 

To God, up gushing go. 



MAMMOTH CAVE. 91 



ON THE MUMiVIY FOUND IN THE CAVE. 

The tenure of our stay on earth is fleeting, 

Tho' in extravagance of our conception, 
We take for stable what is but a reed, 

And often find, too late, that all's deception. 
How petty are our aims of life ! how fickle 

The friends we put our trust in, and most estimate ! 
How glowing are the hues we paint our hopes in ! 

How more than earth can yield of happiness our fate ! 
Oh, we need monitors to tell us truly, 

The one great secret of our world-creation, — 
That knowing all there is to know, our spirits 

May not succumb to gloom or consternation. 
Ponder well over that mummy form, so stark, 

And it will tell thee that 'tis best, alone to fix 
The inmost soul where, thron'd above the Heavens, 

Sits One in whom eternity and love do mix. 
Oh, who, beholding thee, to earth returning. 

Will prate of older lineage with a brow elate : 
Let thy remembrance keep him dumb, thou Mummy, — 

How many hundreds of his series dost thou out-date. 



MAMMOTH CAVE. 93 



ON THE LOVER'S LEAP. 

Beautiful women, beware 

Where your glances fall, 
Else they may from manly hearts 

Tender feelings call ; 
And if it should happen so, 

Love met no return — 
That frost and snow alone were where 

Summer's sun should burn ; — 
Then how terrible might be 

The mishaps of those — 
The disappointed Nightingales 

Of a froward rose. 
Let not such discarded wights 

Come to Mammoth Cave, 
If they have a wish to live, 

Or their limbs to save. 

Like the knell of Banquo brave, 

Manifest to sight, 
The " Lover's Leap'' — alas ! 

Will Macbeth "invite." 

9 



MAMMOTH CAVE. 95 



ON THE GREAT BALL ROOM. 

Shame on thy elaborations, 

Artificial man; 
What is all thy genius ? 

'Tis circled by a span. 
Often, often do we hear 

Of thy splendid meetings 
Where exchang'd are lovely smiles, 

And affection's greetings. 
Satins, silks and gems are there — 

Music, too, doth breathe ; 
While the richest llow'rs of earth, 

Cunningly ye wreathe. 
But, tho' all is splendid there — 

Luring to the eye. 
And the air comes fitfully, 

Like a perfumed sigh ; 
Here we do behold a scene 

Ye never could achieve, 
And in which the fancy ne'er, 

Save seeing, could believe. 



96 GUIDE TO THE 

Fairy footsteps well might lull 

On this sounding floor, 
Tender vows of constancy. 

Fairies here might pour. 
Oh, how well can we imagine 

A scene so gorgeous heie I 
Shunning views of lordly life, 

^Yhich the s}»irits sear. 



MAMMOTH CAVE. 97 



ON THE GIANT'S COFFIN. 

"Let there be light !" such were the words 

God utter'd long ago ; 
Wheu darkness like a murky cloud, 

Descended quick and low. 
And now it seems His voice again, 

The mandate high had given, — 
For see ! how beautiful the scene. 

As fair as yonder Heaven ; 
Where'er we gaze around, we see 

Gems multiplied, and beaming 
Thro' what was naught but darkness late- 
Like hope 'mid anguish gleaming ; 
Let us but trust, that when oppress' d 

By pain, by care or sorrow, 
We may have made manifest, 

Such a glorious morrow — 
The likeness of the change that now 

Charmeth the soul and eyesight ; 
Let us believe it will be so, 

As sunrise followeth night ! 
9* 



MAxMMOTH CAVE. 99 



ON THE STAR CHAM13EK. 

How beautiful yon sky appears, 

How bright each twinkling star ; 
And look, a comet we now see, 

With awful form, afar. 
'Tis now in Heaven ; we see it not 

Where we so late did look. 
What does it mean ? 'tis harbinger 

Of deeds that once earth shook ! 
Of that dark time when hands were dy'd 

In blood, and carnage sway'd ; 
When millions rush'd into the fight — 

To win or die — as bade ! 
Is it a star like that of him, 

Who, in his mad career, 
AVas looked on by his fellow-men 

With wonder or with fear ? 
Is it like that (ascendant now, 

Large, and outshining all), 
Destin'd to a dark reverse, 

Doom'd to a sudden fall ? 



100 ■ GUIDE TO THE 

Aye, no ; no firmament is that 

Ye gaze on, high, above, — 
No stars are they now twinkling, 

Like eyes that watch for love. 
'Tis the great Cave's firm roof itself, 

That doth attract the gaze, — 
Those are its variegated gems 

Of never-fadina: blaze. 



MAMMOTH CAVE. 101 



ON THE FAlllY GROTTO. 

Some Fairy of the olden time 

Her dwelling sure had here, 
And here she rested, with no grief 

To shade her spirits clear. 
How fit the place for one like her — 

So fanciful and light — 
A creature jocund as the dawn. 

And as the morning bright. 
A spot like this did he, the Bard 

Of Avon's flowery stream, 
Imagine, where, in "phrenzy fine," 

He had his wanton " Dream." 
Titania here might move along. 

And Puck his frolics play, 
And Hermia in her race of love. 

Out-pace the hours of day. 
The fancy sees them passing now. 

How beautiful they seem ! 
And now they're gone — we have them not, 

They've vanish'd in the gloom. 



MAMMOTH CAVE. IC' 



o 



ON THE MOUNTAIN. 

As we go onward, the o'er-arching dome 

Seems to move with us every step we take, 
Like to the sky, when on the earth we roam, 

And find few things about, the view to break : 
Or like accusing Conscience, hunting one / 

Who, after he has done some deed of ill, 
Fearing a capture, public ways doth shun. 

Fancying the Avenger near him still. 
Then in the profound of gloom we mingle, 

And feel not of the living earth, nor near 
Our fellows' habitations — single 

In sense, we stand : all, all around how drear ! 
But light, the talisman of life and man, 

Bursts cheerfully, oh, cheerfully to view : 
Glorj' sits thron'd within the caverned span. 

And all seems beautiful, and proud, and new. 
Domes of the far renowned Romish pile. 

And ye, Sophia — and ye, too, preacher Paul, 
What are your glories unto those that smile. 

On this huge " Mountain," and about us fall ! 



MAMMOTH CAVE. 105 



ON THE RIVER SCENE. 

Sure we are tending to some world of doom, 

And from our own have gone forever ; 
How very awful is this circling gloom ! 

How loudly sounds tliat one word, never I 
Never! we hear it still. Alas ! we know 

All of our pleasant ways are ended ; 
No more shall music o'er our senses flow — 

Darkness and horror here are blended. 
Or, when light glimmers o'er the wide expanse, 

(Its stream, and arched rocks revealing), 
Or concentrating in a point the glance, 

We see red eyes upon us gleaming. 
What are they — those red eyes of fearful glare, 

Now shining o'er the dim, dark wave ? 
Do they belong to fiends, who, dwellers there. 

Are foes to Him who every blessing gave ? 
And does the neighboring stream, to which we come 

Anon, Oblivion's waters bring ? 

Drinking from it, shall all of memory's sun 

Be banish'd hence, like bird upon the wing ? 

10 



MAMMOTH CAVE. 107 



ON SERENA'S ARBOR. 



Well did the monarch wise of old, 

Declare if e'er himself euthron'd, 
That, spite his ermine and his gold 

There sprung no flow'r that would have own'd, 
With aught of pride, affinity 
With such a painted thing as he. 



He said the daisy labored not, 

Nor did the lily spin, 
But that he knew no king who'd got 

Gems of those flow'rs the twin. 
No earthly diadem could be 
Rarer than they in royalty. 



108 CIUIDE TO THE 

Then, liuniau grandeur, clieck thy pride, 

Man lowly bow thyself. 
Since simplest Nature can deride 

Thy words of time and pelf. 
On scenes like this, thou need'st but gaze 
To purify thy heart and ways. 



THE END, 



NOTES. 109 



10* 



^ NOTES. 



NOTES. 



Ill 



H^ NOTES 



NOTKS. 



113 



114 NOTES. 



NOTES. 115 



110 



NOTKS. 



f.l^ 



OCT 2 i i9ai"