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Scot, who had watched our motions, and thus saved his cur from being
peppered. He invited us to enter his dwelling, hard by, and a more miserable human abode I had never seen; it was little better
than a hole scooped in a blank under the root of an oak tree; here the squatter's wife offered us milk. I did not admire the
appearance of the man, though he talked very big about his farm, and said he came from the birth-place of William Wallace,
at hame,not being able to tell in what shire said birth-place, or his late home was to be found.
This night our caravan halted at a large farm-house near Rock river.
The farmers were flourishing like flaggers; they had fields of Indian corn and wheat, and oats, and pumpkins, and potatoes,
and vegetables; in short, the farmers get on famously here: they have no roots and stumps to contend with, and the soil seems
to be inexhaustible. We sleep up stairs--only seventeen in one chamber; beds on the floor; pillows, at least mine, was a goodly
cheese; ropes of onions, in festoons, my curtains.
Breakfast upon a savoury stew of the game we shot yesterday--snipes,
prairie hens, quails, pigeons and robins, all stewed up together, so that the particular flavour of each bird was lost in
this splendid soup a la Meg Merriles. Cross the Rock River in a ferry-boat, below the ancient city of Aztalan, as the village,
or half dozen huts and some green Indian mounds, are called. A farmer shewed me sundry bits of pottery and brick which he
said, with great reverence, had been lately dug up from the ruins of Aztalan city, but I assured him his antiquities were
the remnants of some Indian camp--the debris of a savage, instead of a civilized race, which he contended had established
the city of his pride.
Whitewater is decidedly the prettiest little village I have yet seen
in this wild country; the villas are built apart, as they ought to be, with great regularity, each having a goodly garden
of rich soil; so that, in the words of Goldsmith, "Every rood of ground (may have) maintained its man," even in a town, without
the aid of the noble army of capitalists and speculators and their martyrs. There are several Germans, and some very intelligent
New-English folks at Whitewater. They have a mill which does not require great water-power; and if the great manufacturer
can be kept at bay, they will grow up a happy community, in the midst of a fine agricultural and pastoral country.Between Whitewater and
Prairieville the country is thinly settled, most of the land being taken up by speculators. This is the ruin of the country,
but it is to be hoped the tax on wild land will soon make the speculators either reside on, or sell their prairies. The teamster
pointed out sundry thriving farms, which he termed Bachelor's Ruins; though, for