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Mrs. Hardcastle. I wish we were at home again. I never met so many accidents in so short a journey. Drenched in the mud, overturned in the ditch, jolted to a jelly, and at last to lose our way. GOLDSMITH.—She Stoops to Conquer.
At length came the joyful news that our moveables had arrived in port; and provision was at once made for their transportation to the banks of the Turnip. But many and dire were the vexatious delays, thrust by the cruel Fates between us and the accomplishment of our plan ; and it was not till after the lapse of several days that the most needful articles were selected and bestowed in a large waggon which was to pioneer the grand body. In this waggon had been reserved a seat for myself, since I had far too great an affection for my chairs and tables, to omit being present at their debarcation at Montacute, in order to ensure their undisturbed possession of the usual complement of legs. And there were the children to be packed this time,little roley-poley things, whom it would have been in vain to have marked—“this side up,” like the rest of the baggage.
A convenient space must be contrived for my plants among which were two or three tall geraniums and an enormous Calla Ethiopica. Then D'Orsay must be accommodated, of course ; and, to crown all, a large basket of live fowls ; for we had been told that there were none to be purchased in the vicinity of Montacute. Besides these, there were all our travelling trunks ; and an enormous square box crammed with articles which we then in our greenness considered indispensa. ble. We have since learned better.
After this enumeration, which yet is only partial, it will not seem strange that the guide and director of our omnibus was to ride
“ On horseback after we."
He acted as a sort of adjutant-galloping forward to spy out the way, or provide accommodations for the troop-pacing close to the wheels to modify our ar. rangements, to console one of the imps who had bumped its pate, or to give D'Orsay a gentle hint with the riding-whip when he made demonstrations of mutinyand occasionally falling behind to pick up a stray handkerchief or parasol.
The roads near Detroit were inexpressibly bad. Many were the chances against our toppling load's preserving its equilibrium. To our inexperience the risks seemed nothing less than tremendous—but the driver so often reiterated, “ that a'n't nothin',” in reply to our despairing exclamations, and, what was better, so constantly proved his words by passing the most frightful inequalities (Michiganicé “ sidlings”) in safety, that w
soon became more confident, and ventured to think of something else besides the ruts and mud-holes.
Our stopping-places after the first day were of the
ordinary new country class the very coarsest accom. modations by night and by day, and all at the dearest rate. When every body is buying land and scarce any body cultivating it, one must not expect to find living either good or cheap : but, I confess, I was surprised at the dearth of comforts which we observed every where. Neither milk, eggs, nor vegetables were to be had, and those who could not live on hard salt ham, stewed dried apples, and bread raised with " salt risin?,” would necessarily run some risk of starvation.
One word as to this and similar modes of making bread, so much practised throughout this country. It is my opinion that the sin of bewitching snow-white flour by means of either of those abominations, “ salt risin'," " milk emptin's," " bran 'east," or any of their odious compounds, ought to be classed with the turning of grain into whiskey, and both made indictable of. fences. To those who know of no other means of producing the requisite sponginess in bread than the wholesome hop-yeast of the brewer, I may be allowed to explain the mode to which I have alluded with such hearty reprobation. Here follows the recipe :
To make milk emptin's. Take quantum suf. of good sweet milk-add a teaspoon full of salt, and some water, and set the mixture in a warm place till it ferments, then mix your bread with it ; and if you are lucky enough to catch it just in the right moment before the fermentation reaches the putrescent stage, you may make tolerably good rolls, but if you are five minutes too late, you will have to open your doors and windows while your bread is baking.-Verbum sap.
"Salt risin'” is made with water slightly salted and
fermented like the other; and becomes putrid rather sooner ; and “bran 'east” is on the same plan. The consequences of letting these mixtures stand too long will become known to those whom it may concern, when they shall travel through the remoter parts of Michigan ; so I shall not dwell upon them here—but I offer my counsel to such of my friends as may be removing westward, to bring with them some form of portable yeast (the old-fashioned dried cakes which mothers and aunts can furnish, are as good as any) and also full instructions for perpetuating the same; and to plant hops as soon as they get a corner to plant them in.
“ And may they better reck the rede,
Than ever did th' adviser."
The last two days of our slow journey were agreeably diversified with sudden and heavy showers, and intervals of. overpowering sunshine. The weather had all the changefulness of April, with the torrid heat of July. Scarcely would we find shelter from the rain which had drenched us completely—when the sunshine would tempt us forth ; and by the time all the outward gear was dried, and matters in readiness for a continuation of our progress, another threatening cloud would drive us back, though it never really rained till we started.
We had taken a newly opened and somewhat lonely route this time, in deference to the opinion of those who ought to have known better, that this road from having been less travelled would not be quite so deep as the other. As we went farther into the wilderness the difficulties increased. The road had been but little “ worked," (the expression in such cases) and in some parts was almost in a state of nature. Where it wound round the edge of a marsh, where in future times there will be a bridge or drain, the wheels on one side would be on the dry ground while the others were sinking in the long wet grass of the marsh--and in such places it was impossible to discern inequalities which yet might overturn us in an instant. In one case of this sort we were obliged to dismount the live lumber”. as the man who helped us through phrased it, and let the loaded waggon pass on, while we followed in an empty one which was fortunately at hand-and it was, in my eyes, little short of a miracle that our skillful friend succeeded in piloting safely the top-heavy thing which seemed thrown completely off its centre half a dozen times.
At length we came to a dead stand. Our driver had received special cautions as to a certain mash that “ lay between us and our home”--to “ keep to the right”to “ follow the travel” to a particular point, and then “ turn up stream :" but whether the very minuteness and reiteration of the directions had puzzled him, as is often the case, or whether his good genius had for once forsaken him, I know not. We had passed the deep centre of the miry slough, when by some unlucky hair's. breadth swerving, in went our best horse—our sorrel — our « Prince,"—the “ off haus,” whose value had been speered three several times since we left Detroit, with magnificent offers of a “swop !" The noble fellow, unlike the tame beasties that are used to such occur. rences, shewed his good blood by kicking and plunging,