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wood. The description of the place, and the drive to it, is lively and poetical:
"Every State and almost every county of New England has its Roaring Brook-a mountain streamlet overhung by woods, impeded by a mill, encumbered by fallen trees, bnt ever racing, rushing, roaring down through gurgling gullies, and filling the forest with its delicious sound and freshness; the drinking-place of home-returning herds; the mysterious haunt of squirrels and blue-jays; the sylvan retreat of schoolgirls, who frequent it on summer holidays, and mingle their restless thoughts, their overflowing fancies, their fair imaginings, with its restless, exuberant and rejoicing stream.
"Fairmeadow had no Roaring Brook. As its name indicates, it was too level a land for that. But the neigboring town of Westwood, lying more inland, and among the hills, had one of the fairest and fullest of all the brooks that
"Over warm uplands, smelling of clover and mint; through cool glades, still wet with the rain of yesterday; along the river; across the rattling and tilting planks of wooden bridges; by orchards; by the gates of fields, with the tall mullen growing at the bars; by stone walls overrun with privet and barberries; in sun and heat, in shadow and coolness, forward drove the happy party on that pleasant summer morning.
"At length they reached the Roaring Brook. From a gorge in the mountains, through a long, winding gallery of birch, and beech, and pine, leaped the bright, brown waters of the jubilant streamlet; out of the woods, across the plain, under the rude bridge of logs, into the woods again--a day between two nights. With it went a song that made the heart sing likewise; a song of joy, and exultation, and freedom; a continuous and unbroken song of life, and pleasure, and perpetual youth.”
The pedantry of the two scholars breaks out immediately on their arrival:
"How indescribably beautiful this brown water is!" exclaimed Kavanagh. "It is like wine, or the nectar of the gods of Olympus; as if the falling Hebe had poured it from the goblet."
"More like the mead or metheglin of the northern gods," said Mr. Churchill," spilled from the drinking-horns of Valhalla."
"But all the ladies thought Kavanagh's comparison the better of the two, and in fact the best that could be made."
of Miss Sally Manchester, and the house in which, with Alice and her mother, she resided:
"The old house they lived in, with its four sickly Lombardy poplars in front, suggested gloomy and mournful thoughts. It was one of those houses that depress you as you enter, as if many persons had died in it-sombre, desolate, silent. The very clock in the hall had a dismal sound, gasping and catching its breath at times, and striking the hour with a violent, determined blow, reminding one of Jael driving the nail into the head of Sisera.
"One other inmate the house had, and only one. This was Sally Manchester, or Miss Sally Manchester, as she preferred to be called; an excellent chamber-maid and a very bad cook, for she served in both capacities. She was, indeed, an extraordinary woman, of large frame and masculine features; one of those who are born to work, and accept their inheritance of toil as if it were play, and who consequently, in the language of domestic recommendations, are usually styled 66 a treasure, if you can get her." A treasure she was to this family; for she did all the housework, and in addition took care of the cow and the poultry, occasionally venturing into the field of veterinary practice, and administering lampoil to the cock, when she thought he crowed hoarsely. She had on her forehead what is sometimes denominated a "widow's peak"that is to say, her hair grew down to a point in the middle; and on Sundays she appeared at church in a blue poplin gown, with a large pink bow on what she called "the congregation side of her bonnet." Her mind was strong, like her person; her disposition not sweet, but, as is sometimes said of apples by way of recommendation, a pleasant sour."
The family mansion of the Vaughans must be familiar to every one. We feel as if we had seen it and been in it a thousand times:
"The old family mansion of the Vaughans stood a little out of town, in the midst of a pleasant farm. The county road was not near enough to annoy ; and the rattling wheels and little clouds of dust seemed like friendly salutations from travellers as they passed. They spoke of safety and companionship, and took away all loneliness from the solitude.
"On three sides, the farm was inclosed by willow and alder hedges, and the flowing wall of a river; nearer the house were groves clear of all underwood, with rocky knolls, and breezy bowers of beech; and afar off the blue Most of the personal and local descrip- hills broke the horizon, creating secret longtions are felicitous. We quote the sketchings for what lay beyond them, and filling the
mind with pleasant thoughts of Prince Rasselas and the Happy Valley.
"The house was one of the few old houses still standing in New England; a large, square building, with a portico in front, whose door in summer time stood open from morning until night. A pleasing stillness reigned about it; and soft gusts of pine-embalmed air and distant cawings from the crow-haunted mountains, filled its airy and ample halls."
The description of young Hawkins is capital:
"There was in the village a domestic and resident adorer, whose love for himself, for Miss Vaughan, and for the beautiful, had transformed his name from Hiram A. Hawkins to H. Adolphus Hawkins. He was a dealer in English linens and carpets; a profession which of itself fills the mind with ideas of domestic comfort. His waistcoats were made like Lord Melbourne's in the illustrated English papers, and his shiny hair went off to the left in a superb sweep, like the hand-rail of a bannister. He wore many rings on his fingers, and several breast-pins and gold chains disposed about his person. On all his bland physiognomy was stamped, as on some of his linens, "Soft finish for family use." Everything about him spoke the lady's man. He was, in fact, a perfect ring-dove; and, like the rest of his species, always walked up to the female, and, bowing his head, swelled out his white crop, and uttered a very plaintive murmur.
Moreover, Mr. Hiram Adolphus Hawkins was a poet; so much a poet, that, as his sister frequently remarked, he spoke blank verse in the bosom of his family." The general tone of his productions was sad, desponding, perhaps slightly morbid. How could it be otherwise with the writings of one who had never been the world's friend, nor the world his? who looked upon himself as "a pyramid of mind on the dark desert of despair?" and who, at the age of twenty-five, had drunk the bitter draught of life to the dregs, and dashed the goblet down? His productions were published in the Poet's Corner of the Fairmeadow Advertiser; and it was a relief to know, that, in private life, as his sister remarked, he was "by no means the censorious and moody person some of his writings might imply.”
The interview between Churchill and Mr. Hathaway tempts us, but it is long and would be injured by abbreviation; we must therefore refer our readers to the
his book with a moral : True to himself Mr. Longfellow ends
"Stay, stay the present instant!
Imprint the marks of wisdom on its wings!
THE GREAT PACIFIC RAILROAD.
In the spring of 1844 Mr. Asa Whitney, a merchant of New York, embarked for China in the prosecution of an enterprise whose successful termination, as it seemed to him, would be the commencement of a new period in the history of all the nations of the globe. This enterprise was no other than a design to turn the commerce of the world from its present course about the two capes, and to lead it, by the inducements of superior ease, rapidity and cheapness of transportation, across the northern portion of the North American continent. By an observation upon the figure of the earth-our adventurous projector conceived the idea that the great highway of all the nations should be carried as near to the northern circle as the increasing cold of high latitudes would permit; those circles of latitude which encompass the earth becoming rapidly smaller as we move northward upon its sphere. The voyage to China was undertaken by him, chiefly with a view to collect information upon the trade and resources of that vast empire, as well as of Japan, the South Sea İslands, and other Asiatic countries; in order to satisfy himself, and to persuade his countrymen, of the advantages of opening a free and frequent intercourse with eastern Asia.
After two years had been spent in these inquiries Mr. Whitney returned to America, and commenced a long and eager investigation of the merits and advantages of the various routes across the continent. After he had communicated personally with the most experienced travellers, and collected by travels in the wilderness, by study, and by intercourse with every source of information at home, all particulars of value, he began to lay his plans before the people and before Congress.
From a careful perusal of his own published account of the project, aided by the personal explanation of the author, we gather the following idea of it, which we commend to the strict attention of such of
VOL. IV. NO. I. NEW SERIES.
our political friends as are not already familiar with its details.
Conceiving that the general government cannot undertake to construct a road to connect the eastern with the western coast of the Atlantic, except at an expense too vast to be thought of with its present resources, Mr. Whitney proposes, with the aid of his own private fortune, to attempt the enterprise himself, but in such a manner, as to make the work pay for itself almost from the beginning.
To rely upon individual enterprise for the accomplishment of works of internal improvements may be regarded as almost among the first principles of the creed of republicanism, nor will the spirit of our government permit it to engage in works which can as well or better be accomplished by individuals or by companies.
Having selected a certain route, of which we shall take occasion before concluding this article to show the advantages, Mr. Whitney offers the government his plan, or contract, to be passed by Congress, if it so please them, into a law.
By this proposed contract, the nation, through their government, are to sell to our contractor, under certain reservations and conditions, and at a price considerably above its total estimated value, a strip of land sixty miles in width, extending westward, from the foot of Lake Michigan to Puget Sound, near the Columbia River, carried, of course, through one of the northern passes of the Rocky Mountains. At ten cents the acre, a price beyond its value as estimated by committees in Congress, the land will bring by this sale, $7,795,200 into the public treasury. The greater part being wilderness, and totally unsalable until the road is made, a better bargain for the nation could not be made.. The payments will of course be made gradually, and as the road progresses; each provision of the contract to be enforced by the government.
The second feature of the plan is the laying of a grand railroad upon this
strip of land; beginning at the foot of Lake | costs of the first ten miles of road, estimaMichigan, and pushing the work gradu- ted at $200,000. ally forward until, in a computed period of twenty-five years, it reaches the Pacific.
The first eight hundred miles of the route consist of excellent cultivable lands; and of these the first seven hundred miles are finely timbered, and with such woods as are suitable for the foundation of a durable road. On this first three hundred miles of the route depends the entire hope of the enterprise.
The expense of transporting timber over great distances would forever prevent the accomplishment of the work. The existence of a great body of timber about the foot of Lake Michigan, and thence westward for three hundred miles, is an absolute guaranty of the success of the undertaking under the economical management of an individual proprietor; and the absence of a sufficiency of timber at all other points is an equal guaranty of the failure of the enterprise on all other routes than this, even under the wisest and most economical management. The entire revenue of the nation would have to be exhausted for several years, in the construction of a road at a public cost across the deserts and prairies between the lower Mississippi and California.
The next feature of the plan, to which we would call the attention of our readers, is the precaution, that our grand contractor shall not be at liberty to resell or appropriate a single acre of the land sold him by the government, until the first ten miles of the road are completed. The road moreover is to be built, by the terms of the contract, on a strip of land two hundred feet wide, appropriated forever to that purpose, with a heavy iron rail of a prescribed weight, on a gauge of not less than six feet between the rails. The failure of any material condition of the contract will of course work a forfeiture of the land. All the regulations of tolls, &c., are to be by legal enactment in Congress, and enforced by public authority. Having constructed the first ten miles, our grand contractor is to be at liberty to sell to emigrants and others, in portions five miles in length of the route granted him by Congress; and with the proceeds he is to pay government for the land, and to reimburse himself the
As soon as the contract shall become a law, our contractor will survey and locate the route for two or three hundred miles, and as soon as ten miles have been completed, he will be permitted to sell the first five miles by sixty, or one hundred and ninety-two thousand acres. And if this does not produce means enough to pay for road and land both, then the work will be discontinued, and our contractor will have gained nothing either in land or money. But if the sale of the lands produces a sufficiency for these purposes, then the next ten miles will be completed, and another portion of five miles by sixty given up to him for sale. The reserved lands, held by the government, will furnish means for the construction of the road over the wilderness after the forest and cultivable lands shall have been passed over. Meanwhile, and until the entire work is completed, the government will hold the road and reserved lands, if any remain, as security for the payments of the original ten cents per acre for the lands.
The title to the road will not actually vest in our contractor until the whole is finished and paid for. But it will continue always subject to the action and control of Congress, for the fixing of tolls and other regulations for the convenience and ease of travellers.
When new States come to be created on the territories traversed by the roadand the probability is that the movement of population westward with such a means of emigration would be rapid beyond all precedent--if any jealousy arose, their inhabitants would be at full liberty to construct rival roads parallel with the old
By regulations of Congress making the tolls barely sufficient to pay the costs of repairs, and an exceedingly small percentage to the proprietor, the road would be made almost a free road. A bushel of wheat could then be carried across the continent for twenty cents, a barrel of flour for one dollar, a ton of merchandise ten dollars, and a half ton of teas (by measurement one ton) five dollars. Corn grown in Michigan, could be landed at Chinese ports for forty cents the bushel
transit, giving thirty-five cents profit to the producer. Manufactures from the South and East, and the various products of all parts of the Union would thus be easily and cheaply conveyed to Asia, and the balance of trade turned wholly in favor of America. The cod and whale fisheries of the North Pacific would send a constant stream of their indispensable products, in exchange for American manufactures, across the continent. The Atlantic sea-ports would, of course, become the ports of deposit and exchange for the trade of all the world. The prairies of the West, and the mills of the East and South, would begin to furnish food and clothing to the famished millions of China, who would now in their turn, having a market opened for their peculiar products, have a means of procuring in abundance the necessaries of life. The islands of the South Seas would be more rapidly colonized than they are at present, by the Chinese, those Yankees of Asia, and a free and constant intercourse would inevitably be established between the nations of both the continents.
Should this road, on the other hand, be undertaken by a stock company, under the necessity of declaring dividends, the tolls would have to be so much raised, to exclude the transport of heavy articles, and thus none of the contemplated results would follow. Indeed, for such a road no one would subscribe with any expectation of profit; it would probably cost $200,000, 000, not to yield any return in twenty-five years, and be then obliged to realize annually the sum of $6,000,000, to give three per cent. on the investment!
The danger of land monopoly is avoided, by providing that the reserved lands shall be sold at public auction, like other government lands; and that no lands shall be kept for sale longer than ten years after the completion of the road through them.
The bill will provide that on the failure of any important condition, Congress shall have power to resume the whole and give it to another. Power also will lie in Congress, to alter and amend the bill as the interests of the public may require.
"Now, to accomplish this great work, I propose to take the entire responsibility upon
myself. If I fail, the government can lose nothing, because the lands still remain, and I shall have added to their value even by my failure. But if I succeed, I must, by my ener
gies and labor, make this 77,952,000 acres of waste land produce the $68,395,200; and, unless I can make it produce an excess over that sum, I gain nothing for all my toil.
"If the plan succeeds, it would make the The sum which whole world tributary to us. I should pay into the treasury for the lands, would exceed that which might be expended for them from any other source. The nation would have this great highway without an outlay of one dollar, with almost its free use forever after, and so much added to the actual cash capital of the nation as the road may cost, because it would be the fruits of labor upon the
bill so framed, as would enable me to carry out My desire and object has been to have a and accomplish this great work for the motives as here and everywhere else by me declared, to give to my country this great thoroughfare for the nations of all the earth without the cost of one dollar; to give employment to, and to make comfortable and happy, millions who are now starving and destitute, and to bring all the world together in free intercourse as one nation. If the bill is deficient in any point, it certainly can be made to meet the views I express, which I feel that all who examine must be satisfied with.
"It is proposed to establish an entirely new system of settlement, on which the hopes for The settler on the line of the road would, as success are based, and on which all depend. soon as his house or cabin were up, and a crop in, find employment to grade the road; the next season, when his crop would have ripened, there would be a market for it at his door, by those in the same situation as himself the season before; if any surplus, he would have the road at low tolls to take it to market; and if he had in the first instance paid for his land, the money would go back, either directly or indirectly, for labor and materials for the work. So that in one year the settler would have his home with settlement and civilization surrounding, a demand for his labor, a market at his door for his produce, a railroad to communicate with civilization and markets, without having cost one dollar. And the settler who might not have means in money to purchase land, his labor on the road and a first crop would give him that means, and he too would in one year have his home with the same advantages, and as equally independent. The settler who now pays for his land to the government, gets no benefit from the sum paid, beyond his title to and possession of the land. When his cabin is prepared, and crop in, he finds no demand for his labor, because all around are in the same condition as himself; when his crop is grown,