- Project Runeberg -  America of the Fifties: Letters of Fredrika Bremer /
243

(1924) [MARC] Author: Fredrika Bremer
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company of more refined people; I say refined
intentionally, not better, because those phrases, better
and worse, are always indefinite, and less suitable
in this country than in any other; I mean well-bred
and well-dressed ladies and gentlemen, the aristocracy
of Keokuk. Not being myself of a reserved
disposition, I like the American open, frank, and
friendly manner. It is easy to become acquainted,
and it is very soon evident whether there is
reciprocity of feeling or not.

We went on board between ten and eleven at
night, and the next morning were in the waters of
the Missouri, which rush into those of the
Mississippi, about eighteen miles north of St. Louis,
with such vehemence, and with such a volume of
water, that it altogether changes the character of
the Mississippi. There is an end now to its
calmness and its bright tint. It now flows onward
restless and turbid; stocks and trees and every kind
of lumber which can float, are whirled along upon
its waves, all carried hither by the Missouri, which,
during its impetuous career of more than three
thousand miles through the wilderness of the
West, bears along with it everything that it finds
on its way. Missouri is a sort of Xantippe, but
Mississippi is no Socrates, because he evidently
allows himself to be disturbed by the influence of his
ill-tempered spouse.

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