[Footnote M: Messrs. Wallis and Whitworth, in their Report on the Industry of the United States, remark at Chapter V.—“In no branch of manufacture does the application of labour-saving machinery produce, by simple means, more important results than in the working of wood.”]
[Footnote N: Since my return to England, I have seen it asserted, by a correspondent in the Morning Chronicle, that Colonel Crogan, of Louisville, purchased this cave for 2000l., and that, shortly after, he was offered 20,000l. for his bargain. It is further stated that, in his will, he tied it up in his family for two generations. If this latter be true, it proves that entails are not quite unknown even in the Democratic Republic.]
[Footnote O: I have heard, since my return to England, that old Mr. Bell is dead.]
I felt very anxious to make an excursion from St. Louis, and get a little shooting, either to the north-west or down near Cairo, where there are deer; but my companion was dying to get to New Orleans, and strongly urged me not to delay, “fiddling after sport.” I always looked upon myself as a model of good-natured easiness, ever ready to sacrifice self for a friend; but I have been told by some intimates, that such is not my character, and some have even said, “You’re a obstinate follow.” If they were wrong, I suffered enough for my easiness; if they were right, I must have yielded the only time that I ought to have been firm; at all events, I gave up my shooting expedition, which I had intended to occupy the time with till a first-class boat started for New Orleans; and, in an evil hour, I allowed myself to be inveigled on board the “Western World.” The steam was up, and we were soon bowling down the leviathan artery of the North American continent. Why the said artery should keep the name of the Mississippi, I cannot explain; for, not only is the Missouri the larger river above the confluence, but the Mississippi is a clear stream, with solid, and, in some instances, granite-bound shores, and perfectly free from “snags;” whereas the Missouri has muddy banks, and revels in snags, which, as many have sadly experienced, is the case with the stream on which they are borne throughout its whole length, thereby fully evincing its true parentage, and painfully exhibiting its just right to be termed Missouri; but the rights of men and women are difficult enough to settle, without entering into the rights of rivers, although from them, as from men and women, flow both good and evil. A truce to rights, then, especially in this “Far West,” where every one is obliged to maintain his own for himself.
This river is one of the places assigned as the scene of the conversation between the philosopher and the boatman—a tale so old, that it had probably died out before some of my younger readers were born; I therefore insert it for their benefit exclusively.—A philosopher, having arrived at a ferry, entered a boat, rowed by one of those rare articles in this enlightened Republic—a man without any education.