We Learned On Inquiry That They Were Emigrants From The
Neighborhood, Proceeding To The Western Canal, To Take Passage For
Michigan, Where The Residence Of A Year Or Two Will Probably Take Somewhat
From The Florid Ruddiness Of Their Complexions.
I looked down into the basin which contains the waters of the Champlain,
lying considerably below the level on which Whitehall is built, and could
not help thinking that it was scooped to contain a wider and deeper
collection of waters.
Craggy mountains, standing one behind the other,
surround it on all sides, from whose feet it seems as if the water had
retired; and here and there, are marshy recesses between the hills, which
might once have been the bays of the lake. The Burlington, one of the
model steamboats for the whole world, which navigates the Champlain, was
lying moored below. My journey, however, was to be by land.
At seven o'clock in the morning we set out from Whitehall, in a strong
wagon, to cross the mountainous country lying east of the lake. "Git ap,"
said our good-natured driver to his cattle, and we climbed and descended
one rugged hill after another, passing by cottages which we were told were
inhabited by Canadian French. We had a passenger from Essex county, on the
west side of the lake, a lady who, in her enthusiastic love of a
mountainous country, seemed to wish that the hills were higher; and
another from the prairies of the western states, who, accustomed for many
years to the easy and noiseless gliding of carriages over the smooth
summer roads of that region, could hardly restrain herself from exclaiming
at every step against the ruggedness of the country, and the roughness of
the ways. A third passenger was an emigrant from Vermont to Chatauque
county, in the state of New York, who was now returning on a visit to his
native county, the hills of Vermont, and who entertained us by singing
some stanzas of what he called the Michigan song, much in vogue, as he
said, in these parts before he emigrated, eight years ago. Here is a
"They talk about Vermont,
They say no state's like that:
'Tis true the girls are handsome,
The cattle too are fat.
But who amongst its mountains
Of cold and ice would stay,
When he can buy paraira
By "paraira" you must understand prairie. "It is a most splendid song,"
continued the singer. "It touches off one state after another.
Connecticut, for example:"
"Connecticut has blue laws,
And when the beer, on Sunday,
Gets working in the barrel,
They flog it well on Monday."
At Benson, in Vermont, we emerged upon a smoother country, a country of
rich pastures, fields heavy with grass almost ready for the scythe, and
thick-leaved groves of the sugar-maple and the birch. Benson is a small,
but rather neat little village, with three white churches, all of which
appear to be newly built.
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