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the house, and the whole scene became one continual buz, in which not one word could be distinguished. It must be observed, as a clue to the conversation taken down, that the speakers are noticed in regular rotation as they are announced at the beginning. First, the two were spelling--second, the shoemakers --third, the man who accused the other of stealing bis neighbor's daughter, in the absence of her father fourth and last, the man of fine music, and his friend; the word "truth,” however, is an exception, it belongs to the man who accused his neighbor, &c.
Writing being out of the question, I consoled myself by taking a seat at the window and viewing the scenery of the surrounding country, which is highly picturesque. Farms, or gentlemen's seats, perhaps,
. (I know not which,) appear at intervals on the side of the mountains, which are not so steep as to preclude cultivation; neither does their proximity offend the eye. While I was musing on the scene before me, my attention was attracted by a party in the street. A poor invalid of the springs, who appeared to be in the last stages of a consumption, was riding up street, directly under my window. Some distance behind, rode four ladies abreast, the self same way; they were none of your finical, fine spun, scrupulous ladies ; this was evident at first sight; they were fine lusty looking females, that might average a hundred and sixty weight. They all rode on trotting horses ; they whipped on pretty brisk, and soon gained upon the young man ; as they drew near, his horse being a little fiery, began to display his mettle, by attempting to escape from his imaginary danger. His rider, however, had strength enough to check him by reining him up; the horse finding himself over-ruled in his first design, resolved, at least, to examine the nature of the case, and wheeling now to the right, and now to the left, I expected te see the young man thrown from his back; and in the eagerness of my alarm for him, I was actually putting my head out of the window to call to the ladies have mercy and not ride over the good man," when
Mr. D---(who had likewise been looking on,) withheld me, saying I might as well attempt to control the wind. The young man finding himself in danger, (though afraid to look behind him,) screwed himself up in a heap, and holding fast to the pummel of the saddle, resigned himself to his fate ; meanwhile his fair foes advanced in unbroken rank, with resolution and firmness, apparently without pity or remorse for his situation, when fortune relieved him by an unexpected movement of his horse to one side. I asked Mr. D—" where that female troop intended to go that night,” as I perceived they were bound for the country somewhere. He replied, "home, to be sure.' " “ They cannot live far then," said I, “ as they have
, delayed their departure so late, the sun must be down." What was my astonishment when he informed me that two of them lived nineteen miles at least, and the others nine or ten. 66 These are ladies for you," no attendance of any sort. “But,” said I, “I should be afraid of the wild beasts ; I should be afraid that a wolf, a bear, a raccoon, or some such terrible animal would light on my head, out of a tree, as I rode under it : I should think they ought to be armed, at least, in a country infested as this is with wild beasts. ** And if mothers ride at this rate," said I," at what rate must the daughters ride ? they do not thus bráve danger, unattended by the other sex." He surprised me still more when he replied “ that it was quite common to see young women of that country, jump on a horse hardly broke to the bridle, and gallop ten or fifteen miles by themselves, and sometimes it attended only by another of their own age and sex! So much for the ladies of Monroe.
This is a poor little village, remarkable for nothing but a very elegant brick court-house, and the residence of the renowned A. B., and his famous rival C-T, Esq. both of whom have amassed, great wealth in the line of their business, which is that of merchants and speculators. The former, however, it appears, as longer engaged, is by far the wealthi
est. He was carrying every thing before him with a high hand, when he met with a formidable rival in the person of Mr. C. who commences the business in the same town: B. flies to the country, and plants other stores ; C. does the same ; all advantages are sought on both sides, and every measure is resorted to, to 'fleece the people and increase their own coffers. The latter, however, yields greatly to the former in point of wealth and mercantile talents, while he has the advantage of B. in speculative arts. Both set out poor, and from small beginnings have succeeded without a'parallel, taking into view the nature of the country in which they have so eminently distinguished their talents. B. is an emigrant from Ireland, from whence he arrived twenty-four or twenty-five years since. They used to call him the greasy pedlar, it is said ; they may now call him the greasy merchant.-He commenced his career in these back countries when ginseng was in great demand, and these mountains abound in it. He took it from the people's doors, whereas they, before that, had to take it to Staunton. He did the business of several counties, bringing in goods from Philadelphia in waggons, and taking every thing in exchange from the people. The whole of this country teeming with cattle, ginseng, and peltry, this enterprising man wrested these articles of commerce from the lower country merchants. He possessed every qualification of a great merchant; he was well educated, of pleasing manners, possessed all the warm hearted generosity of his country, and was long distinguished as an open and fair dealer. With no competitor to oppose him, no wonder then, such as I have described him, that he outstripped the wind; nor is it known at this time how much he is worth ;--it is supposed to amount to millions. He has, however, lost the confidence of the people, who begin to awake from that state of vassalage in which they have been held by bim and his rival. Report says that he has lost, too, the charater of an upright and fair dealer. I have more than once observed this of the Irish, that when they have remained long in America. particularly if they become rich, they lose those charaeteristics for which alone they are estimable ; I mean that frankness and generosity which so eminently distinguish their nation; perhaps those are plants that will not thrive in our climate. Ce is an American, a Kentuckian (I think.) He is descended from a respectable family; and having lost his father, was reared, educated, and protected by an uncle ; but his talents, at an early age, soon rendered
; him independent of friends; and shocking, (if it be true) the first object of his speculation was the destruction of this uncle ; I mean as respects his fortune. I have just seen him ; he is a great contrast to his rival, in appearance ;
he is one of your finest looking men, of elegant address, and very handsome. Whereas B-goes with his head down, more like a criminal going to execution than any thing else. But, however they may differ in other respects, it seems they agree in one, which is to grind the poor. Those who are so unfortunate as to fall in their debt, receive no mercy at their hands, while they have insensibly beguiled the people of almost every thing they possessed—the natural result of competition. This perhaps is right-agreeably to Pope it is so. The taste those people have for foreign finery, and foreign luxuries, roused them to industry ; their labor, it is true, has gone into other hands, but it is losing nothing, it is in safe keeping. Meantime their children are springing up, already practising the arts of cunning and speculation, inured to shift for themselves, while those of the sovereigns of the soil are reared in indolence, ease and luxury ; it is quite probable that in time these will fall an easy prey to those whose fathers were fleeced by theirs. This has already been the case in all countries, but more particularly in the United States; this refluent quality is co-existent with wealth, and right it should be so. By this means every one has his share in time. Not a doubt in my mind but that this young fry here, (I can see it in them, actuated by a spirit of revenge, ambition, and that insuperable envy, resulting from disparity of wealth, will in time possess themselves of the hard earnings of their fathers, and
I have picked up several anecdotes and historical sketches of this part of Virginia, and shall throw them together in order at my leisure hours. As this is to become the channel of communication between the eastern and western states, it on that account deserves some notice; but as I am going to take a trip to the Ohio river perhaps, at least to the Kenhawa, I shall begin with that country.
Accordingly, after spending a few days at the springs, which did not answer my expectation, I set out with with my friend D. to the west. I shall pass over Greenbriar, and the celebrated Grayson county, through which we passed, until I return, if ever. Our course lies a little north of west ; the ground rises gradually higher, and the waters, instead of running westerly, come meeting us, repelled by the mountains, to seek a more favourable
to Greenbriar river, which lies behind us. As we advance, the land is more sterile, and the climate much colder. Much of the country consists of savannahs, covered with luxurious grass, which feeds large numbers of cattle. On these savannabs no trees grow; they are, however, covered with a small shrub, which shelters the grass, no doubt, both from the drying heat of the sun in summer, and the freezing cold in winter. Farms appear in many places, which produce wheat, rye, oats, flax, and the best Irish potatoes.
At length this savannah land totally disappears and you are on a mountain named Suel. This mountain takes its name from a man by the name of Suel, who first discovered Greenbriar river, and was killed by the Indians on this mountain. It is much like Cumberland mountain, in Tennessee, and is in fact the same, being a continuation of it, but not so high. Like Cumberland, it is settled, and produces fine wheat, oats, rye,
and potatoes. The people who have settled here for the purpose of living by travellers, afford good accommodation, are well informed, and keep very neat beds and chambers, at which I was much astonished. This mountain is covered principally with chestnut timber of prodigious size. Where you find chestnut you find inhabi- .