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these same lakes, and tiny feeders of Faint was the air with the odorous breath
of magnolia blossoms, this mighty river, it had been my lot
And with the heat of noon; and numberto explore two years previously in a
less sylvan islands, bark canoe, when following, not the Fragrant and thickly embowered with wanderings of Evangeline, but the blossoming hedges of roses, hunting-trips of Hiawatha, I travel- Near to whose shores they glided along, led
invited to slumber." « On the shores of Gitche Gumee, Westward by the big sea water,
These shores have doubtless lost Came unto the rocky headlands, much of their wild beauty, now that To the pictured rocks of sandstone, pleasant cottages and plantations Looking over lake and landscape.”
dot their margin, and here and there And then, in the track of his
a thriving village, of which one will
ere long be reached by a railway; "Magic mocassins of deerskin," and already between them, and up saw the head-waters of the Missis. many of the neighbouring bayous, sippi glancing between fringes of steamers ply, and form the great birch and alder, or shooting over
means of communication of the sugar rapids beneath dark pine-woods, un
planters. til at last I came
The branch of its waters noted as
the most beautiful is the Bayou “ To the land of the Dacotahs,
Têche : as it is thickly bordered Where the falls of Minnehaha
with plantations, numerous steamers Flash and gleam among the oak trees, Laugh and leap into the valley."
pass up and down its gentle stream.
We embark in one of them, and All these parent streams of the Mis- observe with astonishment a successissippi, for more than half a year, sion of handsome residences situated are bound in fetters of ice; now, after in the midst of tastefully laid-out uniting and bearing for upwards of grounds, where the extensive coltwo thousand miles the rich and lection of negro houses, and the thouvaried produce of the longest valley sands of well-cultivated acres extendin the world, they approach "the ing far and wide, betoken the opuregion where reigos perpetual sum- lence of the proprietors. For more mer," and, once more separating, each than twenty miles we follow the offshoot follows with sluggish cur- windings of the bayou, and upon rent its tortuous course to the sea, either bank, except in the far disas though loth to terminate an ex- tance where the forest skirts the istence which has been so beneficial horizon, we perceive not a rood of to humanity.
uncultivated ground. It is a scene Occasionally these lanes of water of comfort and advanced civilisation contract into very narrow limits, and so unexpected, that we can scarcely look black beneath the dense shade persuade ourselves of its reality. We of interweaving boughs, and we seem are almost on the borders of Texas, to be paddling into some region of in a region popularly believed to be mystery and perpetual night; but inhabited by Indians, who ride on really these gloomy avenues conduct mustangs, and are perpetually fightus to a bright land ; and the words ing with surrounding Chicktaws, of the poem might have been literally Chocktaws, Cherokees, or Creeks, applied to us, as the Atchafalaya, but, so far from that being the case, partaking more of the character of a not an Indian is visible; and we persake than a bayou, burst upon our ceive evidences of refinement, which, gaze.
with every revolution of the paddle
wheels, make us more ashamed of ** Thus ere another noon they emerged
our former ignorance, and increase from those shades; and before them Lay, in the golden sun; the Lake of the
our wonder. Nor is that diminished Atcbafalaya.
when, as daylight fades, we reach the Water-lilies in myriads rocked on the private wharf of an opulent planter, slight undulations
to whom we are introduced by our Made by the passing oars, and, resplend- friend, who informs him that he has
ent in beauty, the lotus Lifted her golden crown above the bends brought an Englishman to pay him of the boatmen.
a visit; and without further notice, and in the most natural way in the fences, on which huge Turkey buzworld, we at once become partakers zards perch themselves; now and of his hospitality, and capital quar- then passing through belts of wood ters they prove to be. The family is and pleasantly shaded, but generally large, but there is plenty of room for between hedges of Cherokee rose in strangers besides. We have a luxu- full bloom, beyond which the extenrious bedroom, with a pier-glass, an sive plains of turned - up soil are elaborately arranged toilet-table, and dotted with negroes planting cane. a soft bed, with warm curtains and Every mile or so we pass, embowered carpets, and a jovial fire crackling, in orange groves, the house of a with bubbling kettle near it; for this planter, whose character I get the is the middle of winter, and though negro coachman, a garrulous and willthe days are warm and genial, fires ing informer, to furnish, and who is are pleasant at night: and when we generally favourable, but who now find ourselves shown into this apart- and then inveighs with vehemence ment of luxury, a sort of Belgravian against some notorious oppressor, negro, well got up in a neat livery, who, he informs you, allows his pasinforms us when dinner will be ready, sion to triumph to such a degree over and leaves us to dress for it, we are his pocket that he will give a thoufilled with dismay when we remember sand dollars for you one day and kill that our small black bag contains all you “jes like snake de nex.” Afthat we could havesupposed necessary ter we have passed through the for the wilds of Western Louisiana, neat and pretty little town of Frankand that in the category we never lyn, the character of the country bedreamt of including a black coat. gins to change : hitherto all the culHowever, we have travelled too much tivated plains we have crossed were to be easily daunted; so we boldly originally forest ; now, however, we descend, and make our appearance drive over soft turf, where the flowin a handsomely furnished drawing, ers form a brightly variegated carroom, where ten or twelve ladies and pet, or else mingle with the long gentlemen are assembled, and where waving grass. we enjoy for the rest of the evening all the amenities of society. It is Everywhere about us are thoy glowing, indeed late before we retire, for we Others, their blue eyes with tears o'er
Some like stars, to tell us Spring is born ; have plunged deep into the Kansas
flowing, question, and I have enough to do Stand like Ruth amid the golden corn," to hold my own, for my opponents are temperate, sensible, and liberal for now we have entered the “fair men, and southerners of that kidney Opelousas;" these are its “prairies are formidable in argument. It is to and forests of fruit-trees, and under be regretted, for their own sakes, the feet a garden of flowers." Far that the violent language of so many into Texas, even to the country of the of their number is such as to justify wild Comanches, these prairies extend in a great degree the popular opinion without a check. But we are near entertained of their rabid intolerance, the towns of St Maur and St Martin ; which is not, indeed, greater than we have speedily accomplished thirtythat of the North, but which, in the five miles, and man and beast stand eyes of Englishmen, does not find in need of refreshment. In a country that excuse which is accorded to the of such abundance there is no diffiopposite party, from a natural sym- culty in finding it, and we drive up pathy with the cause which they es- to the door of a house, the construcpouse.
tion of which evidences comparative Our kind host, determined to antiquity : it belongs to a fine old lose no time in doing the honours Frenchman—a noble specimen of the of the neighbourhood, has already old school of French noblesse-totterplanned an expedition for the mor- ing and feeble in years, but every row, and immediately after breakfast inch a gentleman. He does the we start in a carriage, with a good honours of his house with a quiet pair of horses, to visit some planta- dignity; his bustling wife, many tions further up the bayou. The years his junior, bestirs herself to set road is excellent, enclosed by neat before us a sumptuous repast, and
negroes and negresses crowd round a shot, and my experience was just in anxious attendance. Meantime sufficient to cause me to regret not the old man, with great gusto, hav- being able to remain longer. Returning a stranger for a listener, fights ing then down the waters of the the battle of New Orleans over Têche and Atchafalaya, I crossed from again, in which he bore a distin- the Bayou Bouf to the old French guished part against the British. town of Thibodaux, on the Bayou Declining his hospitable invitation Fourche, where, disappointed of any to prolong our stay, we
immediate means of conveyance, I more en route, and, as the sun sets, was compelled to pass a night in a are ferried across the Têche. The niserable public-house, where I was scene was one of inexpressible beauty. "roomed,” or, in other words, put “ The sun from the western horizon, into the same room with, a rising melike a magician, extended his golden dical practitioner, who, as his business wand o’er the landscape ; twinkling was limited, was allowed to reside vapours arose, and sky and water in the (so-called) hotel at a moderate and forest seemed all on fire at the rate, on condition of his receiving touch, and mingled and melted to- into it any stray traveller who might gether.”
want half his bed when all the others We found good quarters that night were full. It seemed a hard thing at the house of a prosperous young in this free country not to be able to planter, and went over his sugar- call one's bed one's own, but so it houses. His good fortune had been was; and in America it is evidently somewhat greater than that of others not the traveller only who becomes acin his neighbourhood, and the pro- quainted with strange bedfellows. The cess of boiling was going on briskly: permanent occupant was out when I Generally the season of '56 had was shown into his room, and took posbeen deplorably bad, and some of the session of his arm-chair, lit his pipe, plantations, usually largely produc- and proceeded to read one of his books tive, did not yield a single hogshead before his fire, preparatory to turning of sugar; so that numbers of plant- into his bed, for much roughing has ers, with hundreds of acres in bear- a good deal blunted the sensibility ing, which usually yielded a net profit of my early days of travel on these of from 50 to 75 dollars an acre, found points, when I used to prefer sleepthemselves not only without an in- ing on the floor. Still, before putting come, but seriously out of pocket. out the light, I was anxious to see As we passed through sundry plant- my companion for the night, for it ations on the following day, we stop- must be admitted that being in bed, ped to inspect the process of grinding, in the dark, with a man whom you as well as planting cane; in fact, have never beheld, is not an agreeable the mysteries of sugar-manufacturing sensation. At all events, I was dewere fully explained; but I will give termined not to experience it, and my readers credit for a fuller know- so read steadily away at his wellledge of the subject than I had at thumbed Byron, where so many pasthat time, and spare them a repeti- sages had been marked as to prove tion of it. Should any one be tempted the volume a favourite with the to investigate for themselves the de- owner, with whose name I became tails of Louisiana sugar-planting, and acquainted by a reference to the flypropose to explore its bayous, by all leaf. I also amused myself by specumeans let him have time enough at lating upon the probable appearance his disposal to be able to accept all of my unknown friend, by the help the invitations he receives to stay on of sundry indications which his apartplantations, as, if he be a sportsman, ment contained : his clothes, which he will find plenty of amusement. depended negligently from pegs, were The waters teem with wild-duck, and decidedly of the shabby-genteel dethe marshes with snipe. I only went scription ; remnants of chewing-toout once into the woods, for about an bacco and broken pipes showed that hour, and got a shot at a deer, which he was a consumer of the fragrant it was my own fault I did not kill. weed in more ways than one. A Unfortunately, my time did not allow couple of badly-executed daguerreoof my vindicating my character as types of rather pretty faces proved
him to be an admirer of the fair sex enjoy, in anticipation, the sensation --a certain lightness in the character of being talked to sleep, when he of his books did not belie this started up, brandished his bludgeon, suspicion; and the absence of any which turned out to be a policework on his own profession ac- man's baton, and informed me that counted to some extent for the I should have the bed to myself, as smallness of his practice. The want it was his night out to patrol the of water in the jug and basin, streets. The next morning, a little and the battered stump of a tooth- after daylight, as I walked down to brush lying in affectionate proximity the bayou to embark in a steamer, to a piece of cracked yellow soap, I met my friend returning to his that seemed to have split from ex- room, very much as Box meets Cox treme dryness, did not tempt me to under somewhat similar circumdepart from my usual rule in such stances. cases, of retaining on my person,
Thibodaux contains about two when I go to bed, some important thousand inhabitants, and is interestarticles of dress. At last the door ing as a specimen of one of the early opened, and in bounced my gentle- French towns that has scarcely man with a bludgeon in his hand : changed for the last century. Along instead of using it, however, he its whole extent the shores of the made me a polite bow, hoped I had bayou bear all the evidences of a made myself at home, of which he long-settled, thickly-populated counhad evidently no real doubt, took a try. There was not the same appearchew, sat himself down on the corner ance of wealth as on the Bayou Têche, of the table—for I occupied his own but a look of great ease and comfort. comfortable arm-chair, which was Creole maidens, with twined arms the only one in the room-and began strolled beneath the orange-trees on to expectorate with an abstracted the banks ; patriarchs in summerspeculative air into the fire. I en- houses, in neat gardens, smoked their veloped myself in clouds of tobacco pipes and gazed on us as we puffed past. smoke, and left the silence undis- Vehicles of divers sorts passed along turbed. Not that either of us was the well-kept roads between tidy in the least degree shy : he was fences, while, behind all, stretched preoccupied, and I was enjoying the acres of cane-fields. Every few situation too much to wish to disturb hundred yards we stopped to take a quiet appreciation of it for a few in cargo, principally consisting of moments. My companion was a short, molasses, sugar, or Spanish moss, dapper young man, more respectable which, packed in bales, is sent to be looking than I expected, and evi- manufactured into stuffing for matdently, like Tittlebat Titmouse, ac- tresses, chairs, &c. It has been customed to get himself up on very
found to answer all the purposes of small means.
At last he thought it horse-hair, and is becoming quite an worth while to as how long I important article of commerce. intended sharing his apartment, and We proceeded so slowly that the then followed a host of very home sun was setting over the pretty questions indeed, to which I replied French town of Napoleon when we bygaining from him a short experience reached it, and it was midnight ere of a number of the former fellow-oc- we found ourselves hurried along cupants of his room, and he gave me by the broad current of the Missisquite an interesting account of their sippivarious habits and characteristics.
“ Where through the golden coast, and They were statistics of a most novel
groves of orange and citron, description, and I envied bim the Sweeps with majestic curve the river away opportunities of making observations to the eastward : of human nature which his peculiar Shaded by China trees in the midst of mode of life afforded him. He be
Stand houses of planters, with negro cabins came gradually so loquacious and
and dovecots.” agreeable that I was getting quite reconciled to the idea of having him Now, however, we find ourselves for a bedfellow, and beginning to back once more on beaten ground,
VOL. LXXXVII.--NO. DXXXI.
or rather water, and probably among dollars a-month clar, one way and