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theless, since his return, he had apply'd himself to rectify his Steward's Mistakes, and bring his Business again into Order. That now he contriv'd to do every thing with his own People, except raising the Mine and running the Iron, by which he had contracted his Expence very much. Nay, he believ'd that by his directions he cou'd bring sensible Negroes to perform those parts of the work tolerably well. Our Conversation on this Subject continued till Dinner, which was both elegant and plentifull.

The afternoon was devoted to the ladys, who shew'd me one of their most beautiful Walks. They conducted me thro' a Shady Lane to the Landing, and by the way made me drink some very fine Water that issued from a Marble Fountain, and ran incessantly. Just behind it was a cover'd Bench, where Miss Theky often sat and bewail'd her Virginity. Then we proceeded to the River, which is the South Branch of Rappahannock, about 50 Yards wide, and so rapid that the Ferry Boat is drawn over by a Chain, and therefore called the Rapidan. At night we drank prosperity to all the Colonel's Projects in a Bowl of Rack Punch, and then retired to our Devotions.

DISMAL SWAMP.

(From The Dividing Line.)

1728, March.—Tis hardly credible how little the Bordering inhabitants were acquainted with this mighty Swamp notwithstanding they had liv'd their whole lives within Smell of it. Yet, as great Strangers as they were to it, they pretended to be very exact in their Account of its Demensions, and were positive it could not be above 7 or 8 Miles wide, but knew no more of the Matter than Star-gazers know of the Distance of the Fixt Stars. At the Same time, they were Simple enough to amuse our Men with Idle Stories of

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Hunting in the Dismal Swamp. A Scene in the Early History of the Country.

the Lyons, Panthers, and Alligators, they were like to encounter in that dreadful Place.

In short, we saw plainly there was no Intelligence of this Terra Incognita to be got, but from our own Experience. For that Reason it was resolv'd to make the requisite Disposition to enter it next Morning. We alloted every one of the Surveyors for this painful Enterprise, with 12 Men to attend them.

Besides this Luggage at their Backs, they were oblig❜d to measure the distance, mark the Trees, and clear the way for the Surveyors every step they went. It was really a Pleasure to see with how much Cheerfulness they undertook, and with how much Spirit they went thro' all this Drudgery

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Altho' there was no need of Example to inflame Persons already so cheerful, yet to enter the People with the better grace, the Author and two more of the Commissioners accompanied them half a Mile into the Dismal. The Skirts of it were thinly Planted with Dwarf Reeds and GallBushes, but when we got into the Dismal itself, we found the Reeds grew there much taller and closer, and, to mend the matter, was so interlac'd with bamboe-briars, that there was no scuffling thro' them without the help of Pioneers. At the same time, we found the Ground moist and trembling under our feet like a Quagmire, insomuch that it was an easy Matter to run a Ten-Foot-Pole up to the Head in it, without exerting any uncommon Strength to do it.

Two of the Men, whose Burthens were the least cumbersome, had orders to march before, with their Tomahawks, and clear the way, in order to make an Opening for the Surveyors. By their Assistance we made a Shift to push the Line half a Mile in 3 Hours, and then reacht a small piece of firm Land, about 100 Yards wide, Standing up above the

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the Lyons, Panthers, and Alligators, they were like to encounter in that dreadful Place.

In short, we saw plainly there was no Intelligence of this Terra Incognita to be got, but from our own Experience. For that Reason it was resolv'd to make the requisite Disposition to enter it next Morning. We alloted every one of the Surveyors for this painful Enterprise, with 12 Men to attend them.

Besides this Luggage at their Backs, they were oblig'd to measure the distance, mark the Trees, and clear the way for the Surveyors every step they went. It was really a Pleasure to see with how much Cheerfulness they undertook, and with how much Spirit they went thro' all this Drudgery

Altho' there was no need of Example to inflame Persons already so cheerful, yet to enter the People with the better grace, the Author and two more of the Commissioners accompanied them half a Mile into the Dismal. The Skirts of it were thinly Planted with Dwarf Reeds and GallBushes, but when we got into the Dismal itself, we found the Reeds grew there much taller and closer, and, to mend the matter, was so interlac'd with bamboe-briars, that there was no scuffling thro' them without the help of Pioneers. At the same time, we found the Ground moist and trembling under our feet like a Quagmire, insomuch that it was an easy Matter to run a Ten-Foot-Pole up to the Head in it, without exerting any uncommon Strength to do it.

Two of the Men, whose Burthens were the least cumbersome, had orders to march before, with their Tomahawks,

clear the way, in order to make an Opening for the rveyors. By their Assistance we made a Shift to push the ne half a Mile in 3 Hours, and then reacht a small piece of m Land, about 100 Yards wide, Standing up above the

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