Sunday, October 30, 2011

Early Tavern Experiences

 (From:  Travels Through the United States of North America, The Country of the Iroquois, and Upper Canada, in the Years 1795, 1796 and 1797 By the Duke De La Rochefoucault Liancourt, London, 1800. Vol. I. pp 270-171).

    At Canandaigua, June 14, 1795 - Our dissatisfaction was greatly increased, when we were shown into the corn-loft to sleep, being four of us, in company with ten or twelve other men! But sleep, the great balm of human uneasiness, soon calmed our mines.
  My rest, however, was ere long interrupted by a circumstance, which I shall mention, as it may serve to illustrate the habits of this country. This was the arrival of two guest, who soon entered our loft; an old man, and a handsome young woman, who, I believe, was his daughter.  Three rows of  beds were placed in this large apartment, which half filled it; and there were two empty beds in the same row with mine.
   In one of these the good old man lay down without undressing himself; and the young woman, thinking every one about her fast asleep, fell to stripping, which she did as completely as if she had been in a room by herself. No movement on my part interrupted the business of her toilette, although I could not fall asleep again until the candle was put out. This little anecdote, at which European coyness will no doubt scoff or laugh, shews (cq) in advantageous light, the laudable simplicity and innocence of American manners.

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