been a heavy one, for the distance was accomplished in a little more than two days. The sleighing, however, was good, and the Connecticut river
was crossed on the ice. The teamster remembers well the intelligent white-headed boy who was so pressing with his questions, as they rode along over the snow, and who soon exhausted the man's knowledge of the geography of the region in which he had lived all his days.
‘He asked me,’ says he, ‘a great dea. about Lake Champlain
, and how far it was from Plattsburgh
to this, that, and ta other place; but, Lord
he told me a d——d sight more than I could tell him
The passengers in the sleigh were Horace, his parents, his brother, and two sisters, and all arrived safely at the little house in Westhaven
,—safely, but very, very poor.
They possessed the clothes they wore on their journey, a bed or two, a few —very few—domestic utensils, an antique chest, and one or two other small relics of their former state; and they possessed nothing more.
A lady, who was then a little girl, and, as little girls in the country will, used to run in and out of the neighbors' houses at all hour; without ceremony, tells me that, many times, during that winter, she saw the newly-arrived family taking sustenance in the follow ing manner:—A five-quart milk-pan filled with bean porridge—an hereditary dish among the Scotch-Irish
—was placed upon the floor, the children clustering around it. Each child was provided with a spoon, and dipped into the porridge, the spoon going directly from the common dish to the particular mouth, without an intermediate landing upon a plate, the meal consisting of porridge, and porridge only.
The parents sat at a table, and enjoyed the dignity of a separate dish.
This was a homely way of dining; but, adds my kind informant, ‘they seemed so happy over their meal, that many a time, as I looked upon the group, I wished our mother would let us
eat in that way—it seemed so
much better than sitting at a table and using knives, and forks, and plates.’
There was no repining in the family over their altered circumstances, nor any attempt to conceal the scantiness of their furniture.
To what the world calls ‘appearances’ they seemed constitutionally