Imágenes de páginas

frequent intervals of a fine, well-made road, which I was informed was the Baltimore turnpike, and was always found in splendid condition, summer and winter. A few moments more, and we had reached Fernwood. Now, one cannot fail to realize that he is in the country. The eye is gladdened with one universal green; the fragrant odors from fields and meadows, the deep colors of the luxuriant woodlands, steal upon us with exhilarating refreshment.

Toot! toot! toot! And we were off again, stopping at Lansdowne, and then on 'to Kellysville, where a charming valley of emerald green introduced a pleasing variety to the scene. Hitherto the country through which we passed had been comparatively level, but now a landscape opened up where

"Dear to fancy's eye the varied scene
Of wood, hill, dale and sparkling brook between."

In fact, I was so captivated with the natural beauty of the country about us that I could not but sympathize with my friend in the enthusiasm with which he described all that I saw.

"And do you know," said he, " that in point of time you can more conveniently live about here than in almost any part of the suburban quarters? There are no delays in travelling over the distance; the trains run remarkably on time, and then you have all the comforts of the steamcars as against the comfortless street cars pulled by overladen and jaded beasts."

"But what about the expense?" I asked.

The question afforded my friend rare amusement; and drawing himself up, with a glow of enthusiasm on his face, he commenced:

"Why, my dear fellow, you can ride from hereabouts in and out for less than a single round trip on the street cars. In such an undulating country as this, with fertile plains, smiling valleys, and sloping hills, you have every opportunity for choice of residence. If the rich landscape and the park-like beauty of these rural spots do not tempt you, there are, you will find, delightful villages of from six hundred to a thousand inhabitants, and possessing pretty little churches, schools, lyceums, libraries, gas, water—all, in fact, of the conveniences of modern life. The high table-lands of West Chester offer, too, a very decided attraction. I could hardly wish a more agreeable spot, if I were fond of country life, and was in a position to work a large farm. To be

sure, it places one in a very awkward predicament if illness at any time should require a doctor's services; yet there is so little sickness here, that really doctors and undertakers would find it quite impossible to thrive. Its where you have the sewers, the cesspools, the dirty alleys and streets, the dust, the smoke, the filthy gutters, the heartburning and heart-withering excitements of the city that doctors thrive; and undertakers always cluster around the followers of Escnlapius."

Now, my readers, you will no doubt say that I have transgressed my resolution, and given you rather more of Bob's eloquence than I set out tn do. His remarks were brought to a temporary dost by my offering him a cigar. We accordingly adjourned into a very comfortably-furnished smoking car, which I may say is deemed a neossan adjunct to every train running on the line.

There sat just in front of me an old gentleman, evidently a farmer to the homestead born, who* age, I should judge, was close upon seventy, had which seemed to sit as light upon him as theetatK joyousness of youth. This hale old fellow was a joying the felicity of chuckling to himself: a sound, hearty chuckle, too, which ended every now and then in a loud "guffaw." There is something so contagious about genuine, demonstrative delight that I found myself relaxing rather too far into the old fellow's good humor, though absolutely ignorant of and free from any participation in is cause.

However, my good friend Bob soon came to my relief. He knew the old gentleman, as he seemed to know everybody else in the smokies car.

"Why, Mr. Rustwick! What's the matter, old fellow? Its not often one sees a. man in such a hearty good humor. You've been fltriking' lucky bargain to-day, eh?"

"Why, butter's up! and eggs is up! and mill and cream is up! and the new men's up to laying a double track! and freight ain't up; and fire ain't up! and that's the upshot of it all!"

Upon such hastily-uttered expressions, D»dd\ William-- for by that lovable title he was kno»r to his old friends—began to rub his horny hand* together with such intense satisfaction that I thought a spark would fly off and light upon the rubicund tip of Bob's nose. So soon as the old gentleman's enthusiasm had somewhat abated, he was asked "whether lands had gone up."

"No, indeed; and more's the pity," he an- all of it is as rich as the cream it makes. Why.

<.wered; "though when them city folks sails down look about you, and don't you see the whole

upon us, like a swarm of seven-year locusts, how country is like a garden. But what now does a

.they'll jump! Why, now, gentlemen, you can city man who buys a two-acre lot care about sile?

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][graphic][graphic][merged small][merged small]
[merged small][ocr errors]

does, he gets an architect to come out and remodel the old house; fact is, they pulled the old house all to pieces, and then put her up in fancy style, and now Eliza calls it 'a villa.1 An' he's gone to work and got a thing he calls a 'sturgeon,' or something of that sort, that churns the butter, and pumps the water, and does the work of two horses; but what I can't forgive him for, he yokes his cows to plow the garden."

"Ha! ha! daddy," laughed Bob, slapping his old friend on the shoulder, "a sturgeon! You mean a turbine. But how about the water that he pumps up; is it good !''

"Why, I should think so! If it wasn't rather inconvenient, I'd carry a jug along every time I went to town."

Here, the old gentleman again overcome by his high animal spirits, stretched himself out broad, and laughed a low gratulatory laugh, as much as to say, "Look at my brown hands; look at the healthy color of my complexion, the clear brightness of my eyes! See what the water, and the air and the sile of this country has done for me!"

"But there's another great advantage," he continued, "which the fine streams of this neighborhood lend us, and that is, their power. Now, those factories we just passed are run by waterpower from Darby Creek. There's plenty of 'em along here. You can yet travel almost three miles before you get out o' sight of mills.

We had now been travelling through a continuous prospect of rich, green meadows, spotted with cattle luxuriating on its succulent growth and splendid wood, where the chestnut, the hickory, the birch, in majesty of beauty lend a welcome shade, and give pleasing variety to the country around.

As we near the station of Oak Lane, I must here stop to give some account of Burn-Brae, where, through the courtesy of Dr. Given, I paid so interesting a visit on my return. It is a charming spot of some sixty acres, and as one stands or walks about the grounds, he cannot help being convinced that so far as variety of landscape and recreation is concerned, no more desirable place could have been selected for those unfortunate beings whose minds are morbid and unsound, or who labor under nervous diseases of any kind. One almost envied some of the inmates in the enthusiasm with which they entered into all sorts of in-door and out-door games. We were shown a

magnificent room about sixty feet long, and onethird as wide, wainscoted with strips of ash and walnut, and commanding from the windows a glorious view of the surrounding country. This, Dr.. Given informed us, was used as an amusement hall, and was provided with games and every variety of in-door pastime that could pleasantly occupy the patient's mind. There was, in fact, every possible means of banishing the thought of "self" from the minds of the patients and this seemed to me the most successful feature of the institution.

It is in this neighborhood that Colonel Scott, formerly President of the Pennsylvania Railroad has built a charming country-seat. We had beer, noticing along the whole line the neat, and Sobktimes elegant little station-houses with which tbt West Chester Railroad has adorned its line; and we had occasion before our return to find the picturesque but substantial lodges were as comfortable and well-appointed within as their inviiing outsides promised.

Our next station was Spring Hill, when • * great display of cans, and certain other indx* tions of dairy life, told us that we were rnt«4«| the rich cream-producing country that furaisi* such stores of excellent butter.

After passing Morton, and continuing on wff way a few miles further, our attention was si4denly drawn to a splendid stone edifice, c a frontage of about three hundred and fifty on our right. From its appearance I might h*w inferred the nature of this handsome structure. *> thoroughly did it seem to conform to all the conditions of an educational institution, I T«s immediately informed that this building, which interested me so highly, was Swarthmore College, and had been quite recently erected by the Hicksite branch of the Society of Friends. It is approached by a gently rising lawn, and from it site a magnificent view is obtained even as far as the hills of New Jersey. The authorities had evidently spared no pains to promote the physical and intellectual welfare "of the students; and when we have finished examining the college, with is extensive accommodations, its splendid arrangements, and its unusual facilities for in-door ai"' out-door life, we almost begin to lament that *t could not claim fellowship with the followers f'1 George Fox. The spirit of progress, the inspiring genius, as it were, that is working

[merged small][merged small][graphic][merged small]

established, leading to the degree of Bachelor of Literature. This seems to have met a real want in the case of students who have not found what they wished in the purely classical or the scientific course. In it the modern languages, English, French, and German are substituted for the ani ient languages, and especial attention is paid to the study of English. It may not be generally known what opportunities are offered in this department. Here a more general knowledge of our literature, with names and dates, is not considered sufficient, but during a four years' course such representative authors as Chaucer, Spenser, Milton, Cowper and Wordsworth, are read with the same careful attention required in the study of the Greek and Latin classics. The history and growth of the language itself are considered, and

only a small amount of mental exertion, have now risen to the importance of professions, based upon some branch of science, the knowledge of which is necessary to their highest and most successful pursuit. To furnish the preparation required for the successful practice of these new professions, special schools and scientific courses of study have been established."

Our interest was such as would have kept us even longer at Swarthmore; but time was precious, and we had to be moving on. We soon were hurried across Crum Creek, and by the adjoining station, which marks the middle of a long line of manufacturing establishments, and now in a few moments we were slackening speed to stop at Media. Here Bob, beginning to feel some premonitory symptoms of a weakening of the "inner man," suggested that we should stop a little longer than the train, and replenish our craving appetite, with the additional pleasure of seeing something of one of the loveliest towns in the State. Media has not only natural attractions to make it a favorite summer resort for Philadelphians, but its streets, houses, schools, institutions, and social features, are an evidence of a cleanly, thrifty, educated, and genial people. The town is just one of those places thoroughly adapted for an institution for young ladies such as that known as Brooke Hall, now under the sole control of Miss Eastman. There are delightful walks, with all the charm of rural scenery, shady nooks by mineral springs, pure, bracing air, and all the advantages of suburban life, without being shut out from the conveniences of easy communication with the city. The lively appreciation of all that concerns intellectual advancement and social reform is well displayed in the work done by the Institute of Science, and in those noble institutions for the intemperate and weak-minded, viz., the Sanitarium and the Training School. One can hardly estimate the vast amount of good done by either one of these charitable institutions. The handsome buildings that adorn their sites, the enchanting natural and artificial surroundings, are a faithful reminder of the noble work that man, in sympathy with Nature, can accomplish. If the little capital of Delaware County could boast of nothing else, the inestimable good it is doing for the drunkard and the idiot ought to place it foremost among the towns of America in charitableness and usefulness. The population of Media has been all along increasing, until now it has nearly doubled itself, and is close upon two thousand. Nor has it yet stopped in its advance, for you can notice from the busy hum around the station, on the streets, and in the stores, the industrial principle which will eventually develop into an unlimited growth.

[graphic][merged small]

With certain feelings of reluctance we leave Media, and speed rapidly over the "iron highway," past Greenwood and through Glen Riddle, where our attention was drawn to a large number of cotton- and woolen-mills. Nor was the eye relieved of such even when we had arrived at the next station, Lenni, where we were shown some factories of that gallant old gentleman and general, Patterson, who sends large quantities of cotton and woolen cloths from his mills.

At the Baltimore junction, where the Baltimore Central Road connects, and thence runs through a reach of fertile farms to the banks of the Suiquehanna until it meets the main line, we wtr reminded of the fact that now all the lines of oak that are developing this section of the country— between the Delaware and a long radius north or the Chesapeake—are under one management, which, during a long career of successful and able administration has made the very initials of P. W. and B. a synonym of stability united with steady, enterprising advancement.

The country in the neighborhood of Glen Milw is delightfully charming. Sparkling streams Ik winding their way through the narrow glens I down the sunny slopes. Here and there the 0.0 gray rocks look out through the dense foliage, pleasant farms smile upon us from valley and lull slope; we long to climb an adjacent height and view the beautiful panorama of Nature's rkhne* that shines beamingly upon meadows of grass iu) fields of ripening grain. We need not be toM that we are in the midst of an important producing country, for the eye catches glances of luxuriant pasture-land and hundreds"1 grazing kine.

We have gradually been working our w»y sf' gentle incline, and by the time we have reatW Street-road station we find ourselves in an & vated, open country, amid charming country- and farms with their outstretching acres of pastt* and tillage-land and orchards. Agriculture isbo« scientifically pursued by several gentlemen ol means, education, and experience. Both in the cultivation of the soil and in stock-breeding, $ the tried results of modern farming are brung-: into play, and one may see on the estates of his Sharpless or on that of Mr. Hick man as fi« specimens of husbandry as are to be met with it any State.

On our visit along the road to the eelebut*) farm and fine cattle-grazing grounds of Mr Samuel J. Sharpless, we were able to inspect— what we had heard so much about—his supcnfl' breed of pure Jersey cattle. This farm compw"t some two hundred acres, in a rolling cowtn. abounding in rich pastures, with an abundant* (' good water, is especially adapted to the brteiir< of fine stock. The complete and well-o«l«*« arrangement of the farm buildings cannot &3 * claim particular attention. Here we saw the eft*

« AnteriorContinuar »