MR. FEATHERSTONHAUGH AT THE SPRINGS.

"Virginia Springs.--A Virginia mountain hotel, with fashionable hot-springs, kept by Colonel Fry, is wonderfully in the reverse of what it should be.

"The house is an awkward, ill finished, ill furnished building, with all the pretension of a well established hotel in an old settled country. The black domestics correspond with the furniture and every thing else. There is a long dining room with a low ceiling, a small public parlor, not capable of containing one-fourth of the company, and a few moderate-sized bed-rooms, in which families are accommodated indifferently enough. Wood cabins, out of the house, are provided for single people. The portico is the greatest comfort about the place, being long and roomy, and affording a comfortable walk for invalids and ladies in the evening. The number of servants is quite inadequate to the crowd of company that is sometimes assembled there, and there is an eternal bawling going on, both in the house and at the floors of the cabins before breakfast adn after dinner, from those who have no servant of their own.

'Waiter, there ain't not a drop of water in my pitcher.' 'Waiter, who under arth has taken the towel out of my chammber ?' 'Waiter, I swar you've brought me two odd boots ; one's considerable too little ; and t'other's the most almighty big thing what I ever seed.'

"One night there was quite a row out of doors as late as eleven ; somebody had abstracted all the pillows from a whole line of cabins, if such pincushions may be called by that name, when a Kentuckian won a bet that he would put nine of them in his coat-pocket. At length, however, they were found under the mattrass of some one who had probably fancied his bed was hard, and who had gone off in an early stagecoach."

At the celebrated White Sulphur Springs, matters are yet more unpleasant. The cabins for residents consisted of two rooms, in which all that passed in the one was audible in the other ; and the Featherstonhaugh party had for neighbors four natives, with two very small beds to sleep in, and continually "engaged in disputes about bacon--not Bacon, the great philosopher of England ; but salt bacon of Virginia. One of them maintained that in 'the hull woorld there was no such bacon as Virginia bacon.' Another, who was a Kentuckian, felt himself hurt by this observation, and put in an immediate rejoiner ; saying, 'I allow the Virginians to flog all mankind at praising themselves, and their bacon might be pretty good, but it warn't to be compared, no not for a beginning of a thing, to the bacon of the western country, where the land was an almighty sight finer, produced better corn, and of course made better hogs. The Virginian now became nettled, and swore they had 'more reel luxuries in old Virginia, than they had in the hull woorld,' and asked the Kentuckian if they had 'oysters in Kentucky, and clams, and sich-like ;' finishing with a declaration that the finest land in the 'hull woorld' was in Southampton county. These oysters silenced the Kentuckian, who, living far in the interior, had never seen any ; but a resident in the State of Massasippi, who could not stand the boast of fine land, put it to the Virginian whether they could grow sugar in Southampton county ; and added that he had 'always heer'n that the hawysters of New Orleans had such 'onaccountable fine flavor, that they would knock the hawysters of old Virginny into their ninety-ninth year any day.' 'I reckon that they get that from the yellow fever,' rejoined the Virginian. This is pretty much a specimen of those noisy fellows, who having come together in the stage-coach, Anderson, to our great discomfort, had crammed into this room. I had opportunities afterwards of seeing these persons in the portico, and their external appearance corresponded to their conversation ; they were ill dressed, vulgar-looking fellows, drawn from the class of slave-dealers and land speculators."


Notes: St. Louis Weekly Reveille 1.1 (15 July 1844): 7. (Interlibrary loan through Boatwright Library.)

Erin Bartels prepared this typescript.

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