Marco Paul's Voyages and Travels :Vermont by Jacob Abbott
Marco Paul's Voyages and Travels : Vermont by Jacob Abbott 1803-1879
The design of the series of volumes, entitled MARCO PAUL'S ADVENTURES
IN THE PURSUIT OF KNOWLEDGE, is not merely to entertain the reader
with a narrative of juvenile adventures, but also to communicate, in
connection with them, as extensive and varied information as possible,
in respect to the geography, the scenery, the customs and the
institutions of this country, as they present themselves to the
observation of the little traveler, who makes his excursions under the
guidance of an intelligent and well-informed companion, qualified to
assist him in the acquisition of knowledge and in the formation of
character. The author has endeavored to enliven his narrative, and to
infuse into it elements of a salutary moral influence, by means of
personal incidents befalling the actors in the story. These incidents
are, of course, imaginary- -but the reader may rely upon the strict
and exact truth and fidelity of all the descriptions of places,
institutions and scenes, which are brought before his mind in the
progress of the narrative. Thus, though the author hopes that the
readers who may honor these volumes with their perusal, will be amused
and interested by them, his design throughout will be to instruct
rather than to entertain.
III. The Grass Country
IV. The Village
VI. The Log Canoe
VII. A Dilemma
VIII. A Confession
X. An Expedition
XI. Lost In The Woods
When Mr. Baron, Marco's father, put Marco under his cousin Forester's
care, it was his intention that he should spend a considerable part
of his time in traveling, and in out-of-door exercises, such as might
tend to re-establish his health and strengthen his constitution.
He did not, however, intend to have him give up the study of books
altogether. Accordingly, at one time, for nearly three months, Marco
remained at Forester's home, among the Green Mountains of Vermont,
where he studied several hours every day.
It was in the early part of the autumn, that he and Forester went to
Vermont. They traveled in the stage-coach. Vermont lies upon one side
of the Connecticut river, and New Hampshire upon the other side. The
Green Mountains extend up and down, through the middle of Vermont,
from north to south, and beyond these mountains, on the western side
of the state, is lake Champlain, which extends from north to south
also, and forms the western boundary. Thus, the Green Mountains divide
the state into two great portions, one descending to the eastward,
toward Connecticut river, and the other to the westward, toward lake
Champlain. There are, therefore, two great ways of access to Vermont
from the states south of it; one up the Connecticut river on the
eastern side, and the other along the shores of lake George and lake
Champlain on the western side. There are roads across the Green
Mountains also, leading from the eastern portion of the state to the
western. All this can be seen by looking upon any map of Vermont.
Marco and Forester went up by the Connecticut river. The road lay
along upon the bank of the river, and the scenery was very pleasant.
They traveled in the stage-coach; for there were very few railroads in
The country was cultivated and fertile, and the prospect from the
windows of the coach was very fine. Sometimes wide meadows and
intervales extended along the river,- -and at other places, high hills,
covered with trees, advanced close to the stream. They could see, too,
the farms, and villages, and green hills, across the river, on the New
On the second day of their journey, they turned off from the river by
a road which led into the interior of the country; for the village
where Forester's father resided was back among the mountains. They had
new companions in the coach too, on this second day, as well as a new
route; for the company which had been in the coach the day before were
to separate in the morning, to go off in different directions. Several
stage-coaches drove up to the door of the tavern in the morning, just
after breakfast, with the names of the places where they were going
to, upon their sides. One was marked, "Haverhill and Lancaster;"
another, "Middlebury;" and a third, "Concord and Boston;" and there
was one odd-looking vehicle, a sort of carryall, open in front, and
drawn by two horses, which had no name upon it, and so Marco could not
tell where it was going. As these several coaches and carriages drove
up to the door, the hostlers and drivers put on the baggage and bound
it down with great straps, and then handed in the passengers;- -and
thus the coaches, one after another, drove away. The whole movement
formed a very busy scene, and Marco, standing upon the piazza in front
of the tavern, enjoyed it very much.
There was a very large elm-tree before the door, with steps to climb
up, and seats among the branches. Marco went up there and sat some
time, looking down upon the coaches as they wheeled round the tree, in
coming up to the door. Then he went down to the piazza again.
There was a neatly-dressed young woman, with a little flower-pot in
her hand, standing near him, waiting for her turn. There was a small
orange-tree in her flower-pot. It was about six inches high. The sight
of this orange-tree interested Marco very much, for it reminded him
of home. He had often seen orange-trees growing in the parlors and
green-houses in New York.
"What a pretty little orange-tree!" said Marco. "Where did you get
"How did you know it was an orange-tree?" said the girl.
"O, I know an orange-tree well enough," replied Marco. "I have seen
them many a time."
"Where?" asked, the girl.
"In New York," said Marco. "Did your orange-tree come from New York?"
"No," said the girl. "I planted an orange-seed, and it grew from
that. I've got a lemon-tree, too," she added, "but it is a great deal
larger. The lemon-tree grows faster than the orange. My lemon-tree is
so large that I couldn't bring it home very well, so I left it in the
"In the mill?" said Marco. "Are you a miller?"
The girl laughed. She was a very good-humored girl, and did not appear
to be displeased, though it certainly was not quite proper for Marco
to speak in that manner to a stranger. She did not, however, reply to
his question, but said, after a pause,
"Do you know where the Montpelier stage is?"
The proper English meaning of the word _stage_ is a _portion of
the road_, traveled between one resting-place and another. But in
the United States it is used to mean the carriage,- -being a sort of
contraction for _stage-coach_.
"No," said Marco, "_we_ are going in that stage."
"I wish it would come along," said the girl, "for I'm tired of
watching my trunk."
"Where is your trunk?" said Marco.
So the girl pointed out her trunk. It was upon the platform of the
piazza, near those belonging to Forester and Marco. The girl showed
Marco her name, which was Mary Williams, written on a card upon the
end of it.
"I'll watch your trunk," said Marco, "and you can go in and sit down
until the stage comes."
Mary thanked him and went in. She was not, however, quite sure that
her baggage was safe, intrusted thus to the charge of a strange boy,
and so she took a seat near the window, where she could keep an eye
upon it. There was a blue chest near these trunks, which looked like a
sailor's chest, and Marco, being tired of standing, sat down upon this
chest. He had, however, scarcely taken his seat, when he saw a coach
with four horses, coming round a corner. It was driven by a small boy
not larger than Marco. It wheeled up toward the door, and came to a
stand. Some men then put on the sailor's chest and the trunks. Mary
Williams came out and got into the coach. She sa