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To George Ticknor Curtis, Boston.

Duncan's Island, confluence of the Susquehanna and Juniata, June 23, 1844.
my dear George,—I suppose by this time you may be glad to hear something of our whereabouts; or if you are not, we should like to hear something of you, which amounts to the same thing, in Irish. On both accounts, therefore, I write. And, first, we are all well, and have thus far made a good expedition of it. . . .

One day we passed in New York, and two nights, all given to noise, except a few hours that we were at the opera, which was pretty good, and a great relief. One week we passed in Philadelphia, almost as noisy, and quite hot and dull. Then, a fortnight ago yesterday, we plunged into the interior of Pennsylvania, by the Reading Railroad, making our first stop at Pottsville, ninety-seven miles. . . . Here your aunt first began to feel all the beneficial effects of change of air, and exercise, and from this time she has been constantly gaining strength. . . . . From this time we have been in a beautiful country. About Pottsville it was wild, and broken, and picturesque; crossing over through Lebanon to Harrisburg, it was the richest and finest rural scenery, German wealth, cultivation, and manners; and from Harrisburg here, only sixteen miles, we had the beautiful banks of the Susquehanna. We stopped five days in Pottsville; and here we have been eight days, in a quiet old mansion-house, where the decayed Duncan family, with a spirited old lady at the head of it, takes boarders, and accommodates them most comfortably. Tomorrow we go up the Juniata; sorry to leave such a beautiful spot as this is, even for the more various beauties we are promised in travelling farther.

The population of the interior of Pennsylvania I find more different from ours than I expected, and more marked with the German character. But the German language—everywhere that I have been, badly spoken, but still always so as to be intelligible—is evidently dying out, and the German character will follow it . . . . . Meantime, the population is a pretty rude, opaque mass . . . .

When we shall be at home is entirely uncertain. I have taken a plenty of work to do, and your aunt thrives so well, and we all have so good a time, and the country is so beautiful, and the travelling so easy, etc., etc., that there is no telling what will be the end of the matter, or when we shall get to Niagara.

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