Rambles in the Mammoth Cave, during the Year 1844 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 66 pages of information about Rambles in the Mammoth Cave, during the Year 1844.
the spring and near the left wall, is the place where the oxen were fed during the time of the miners; and strewn around are a great many corn-cobs, to all appearance, and in fact, perfectly sound, although they have lain there for more than thirty years.  In this neighborhood is a niche of great size in the wall on the left, and reaching from the roof to the bottom of a pit more than thirty feet deep, down the sides of which, water of the purest kind is continually dripping, and is afterwards conducted to a large trough, from which the invalids obtain their supply of water, during their sojourn in the Cave.  Near the bottom, this pit or well expands into a large room, out of which, there is no opening.  It is probable that Richardson’s Spring in the Deserted Chambers is supplied from this well.  Passing the Well Cave, Rocky Cave, etc., etc., we arrived at the Giant’s Coffin, a huge rock on the right, thus named from its singular resemblance in shape to a coffin; its locality, apart from its great size, renders it particularly conspicuous, as all must pass around it, in leaving the Main Cave, to visit the rivers and the thousand wonders beyond.  At this point commence those incrustations, which, portraying every imaginable figure on the ceiling, afford full scope to the fanciful to picture what they will, whether of “birds, or beasts, or creeping things.”  About a hundred yards beyond the Coffin, the Cave makes a majestic curve, and sweeping round the Great Bend or Acute-Angle, resumes its general course.  Here the guide ignited a Bengal light.  This vast amphitheatre became illuminated, and a scene of enchantment was exposed to our view.  Poets may conceive, but no language can describe, the splendor and sublimity of the scene.  The rapturous exclamations of our party might have been heard from afar, both up and down this place of wonders.  Opposite to the Great Bend, is the entrance of the Sick Room Cave, so called from the fact of the sudden sickness of a visiter a few years ago, supposed to have been caused by his smoking, with others, cigars in one of its most remote and confined nooks.  Immediately beyond the Great Bend, a row of cabins, built for consumptive patients, commences.  All of these are framed buildings, with the exception of two, which are of stone.  They stand in line, from thirty to one hundred feet apart, exhibiting a picturesque, yet at the same time, a gloomy and mournful appearance.  They are well furnished, and without question, would with good and comfortable accommodations, pure air and uniform temperature, cure the pulmonary consumption.  The invalids in the Cave ought to be cured; but I doubt whether the Cave air or any thing else can cure confirmed Phthisis.  A knowledge of the curative properties of the Cave air, is not, as is generally supposed, of recent date.  It has been long known.  A physician of great respectability, formerly a member of Congress from the district adjoining the Cave, was so firmly convinced of the medical properties of its air, as to express more than twenty years ago, as his opinion, that the State of Kentucky ought to purchase it, with a view to establish a hospital in one of its avenues.  Again the author of “Calavar,” himself a distinguished professor of medicine, makes the following remarks in relation to the Cave air, as far back as 1832, the date of his visit: 

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Rambles in the Mammoth Cave, during the Year 1844 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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