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was to scour along the road, while the tempest howled wildly from the woods on both sides.
At length, I descried a light, which, I flattered myself blazed from the window of Mr. Violet's house; but instead of dismounting at the portico of a mansion that vied in magnificence with Gadesby's hotel, I found myself before the door of a miserable log-house.
A mulatto-woman, with a child at her breast, put her head out of the door as I alighted from
We don't keep tavern, here, said this olive beauty, in an accent not the most conciliating.
No! but you have a roof to your house, said I, dismounting, and that in a storm is a sufficient invitation.
The log-house was not empty. A mulattogirl, of seventeen, was sitting in one corner in dalliance with a white youth of about thirty-five, who discovered no confusion at my unexpected entrance. But the olive Dulcinea was less confident in her aspect, and played the woman to perfection. One while she endeavoured to conceal her face from view, another she repulsed the caresses of her lover, and anon she clung to him as if seeking his protection.
Do you go to Powheek church, Sylvia, to-morrow? said the enamoured swain.
Who preaches there? If Parson Wems preaches, I won't
He always preaches up matrimony. You don't like matrimony, then, Sylvia?
Not I. There's time enough to be in trouble. I am however, a friend to the Gospel. But, Jemmy, why don't you go to church ? Ah! you need not smile! I know you are a Deister! People in your spear of life be all Deisters.
Here the girl looked round at me; but not being disposed for a thcological controversy, I again mounted my horse, and no longer interrupted their innocent amour. The tempest was over; a beautiful night succeeded; and the moon with unusual lustre lighted me on my way. As I looked towards the silver orb, I exclaimed in the words of the most pathetic of writers,
For me! pale eye of evening ! thy soft light
But I was waked from my musing by the barking of the dogs at Colchester, and having crossed the bridge, which is built over the Occoquan, I alighted at the door of Mr. Gordon's tavern.
Having ordered supper, I gazed with rapture on the Occoquan river, which ran close to the house, and, gradually enlarging, emptied itself into the capacious bosom of the Potomac. The fishermen on the shore were hawling their seine, and the sails of a little bark, stemming the waves, were distended by the breeze of night. The sea-boy was lolling over the bow, and the helmsman was warbling a song to his absent fair.
The next day I proceeded to Occoquan; but so steep and craggy was the road, that I found it almost inaccessible. On descending the last hill, I was nearly stunned by the noise of two huge mills, whose roar, without any hyperbolical aggravation, is scarcely inferior to that of the great falls of the Potomac, or the cataract of Niagaro. My horse would not advance; and I was myself lost in astonishment.
On crossing a little bridge, I came within view of the Settlement, which is romantic beyond conception. A beautiful river rolls its stream along mountains that rise abruptly from its bank, while on the opposite rocky shore, which appears to have been formed by a volcano, are seen two mills enveloped in foam, and here and there a dwelling which has vast masses of stone for its foundation. The eye for some time is arrested by the uncommon scene ; but it is soon relieved by a beautiful landscape that bounds the horizon. In a word, all the riches of nature are brought together in this spot, but without confusion.
Friend Ellicott and his wife received me with an unaffected simplicity of manners, whom I was happy to catch just as they were going to dinner. An exquisite Virginia ham smoked on the board, and two damsels supplied the guests with boiled Indian corn, which they had gathered with their own hands.-Friend Ellicott, uncorrupted by the refinement of modern manners, had put his hat to its right use, for it covered his head. It was
to no purpose that I bent my body, and made a hundred grimaces. Mordecai would not bow to Haman, nor would Friend Ellicott uncover his head to the Cham of Tartary. Our agreement was soon made.
Quakers are men of few words. Friend Ellicott engaged me to educate his children for a quarter of a year. He wanted them taught reading, writing, and arithmetic. Delightful task !
Delightful task! As to Latin, or French, he considered the study of either language an abuse of time; and very calmly desired me not to say another word about it.
MEMOIR OF MY LIFE
ON THE BANKS OF THE OCCOQUAN.
Description of Occoquan Settlement-Evening at
Occoquan, an Ode~Morning at Occoquan, an Ode--- A Party of Indians visit Occoquan—Speech of a Warrior-A War-Dance, and Scene of riotous Intoxication--A Disquisition of the moral Character of the Indians-Story of Captain Smith and Pocahontas–The Dispute between Buffon and Jefferson on the Subject of Beards satisfactorily decided—The Midnight Orgies of the WhiteMan of America dramatized, &c.
Lo! the Moon its lustre lends,
In the Bull-Run Mountains rises a river, which retains the Indian name of Occoquan, and after a course of sixty miles falls into the Potomac, near the little town of Colcbester. In America there are few or no rivers without falls ; and at those of Occoquan, are erected a couple of mills, which by the easy and safe navigation of the Potomac,