:: RETROSCOPE ::
Retroscope is a regular series that mines the past for literary travel writing gems.
Bright tints, bulrushes, two-horned churches, luxuriating crocodiles, mephitic air, vegetable walls, thriftless husbandry & the father of waters.
In 1827, Frances “Fanny” Trollope traveled from England to America with three of her children in the hope of reviving her family’s fortunes, leaving behind for a while her husband and other children, including their son Anthony. She planned to visit Nashoba, a utopian colony in present-day Tennessee founded by her friend, social reformer Fanny Wright, that was intended to educate and emancipate enslaved people. She intended also to visit friends in New York, and she carried letters of introduction from the Marquis de Lafayette, a revolutionary and national hero in France and America, whom she had met through Wright.
Trollope was forty-seven, a clergyman’s daughter who grew to be very well connected in British and French cultural and intellectual circles while bearing seven children. Her husband, however, was an increasingly unsuccessful barrister, and their eldest son, Henry, was faring poorly at school. His parents hoped he might find his way in the New World.
After a two-month voyage from London to New Orleans, the Trollope party arrived in a very adolescent United States. The War of 1812 was a fresh memory. The Louisiana Purchase, doubling the nation’s size, was barely two dozen years old. Thomas Jefferson had died only the previous year. Today’s Midwest was the American Frontier.
Things did not exactly go according to plan. Nashoba turned out to be a backwoods mess that would collapse the following year. The Trollopes pushed on north by Mississippi and Ohio River boats and came to roost in Cincinnati, a small city of 25,000 booming with steamboat traffic and a canal already begun that would connect with Lake Erie and points farther east.
Trollope found the boomers to be provincially small-minded and ill-mannered, the men preoccupied with business, whiskey drinking, tobacco chewing and spitting, the women “guarded by a seven-fold shield of habitual insignificance.… I never saw, or read, of any country where religion had so strong a hold upon the women, or a slighter hold upon the men.” The egalitarian spirit was so strong (among whites) that Trollope found it impossible to hire a maidservant, though a few young women consented to be “help” but did little work for their wages.
Her first impressions of working- and middle-class Americans did not improve on further acquaintance in Philadelphia or Washington, but Trollope did find civilized, sympathetic society in New York, “one of the finest cities I ever saw,” and among her friends’ friends, the “small patrician band.” She also took exception to the overall landscape, finding “the eternal forests…detestable.”
We know all this because, on her return to England, Trollope made her fortune on the American adventure after all, turning diaries and memories into her notorious first book, Domestic Manners of Americans (1832), a multi-edition best seller on both sides of the Atlantic, and launching an extremely successful writing career that numbered forty books, seven of travel and thirty-three of fiction, decades before her now better-known son Anthony, moonlighting from his work for the British Post Office, found his own success as a novelist. There is evidence that Mrs. Trollope had this backup plan in mind all along.
Domestic Manners is prescient in many ways, from spotlighting the precariousness of low-lying New Orleans behind its levees to deploring “the election fever which is constantly raging through the land” to noting “one of the most remarkable traits in the national character of the Americans; namely, their exquisite sensitiveness and soreness respecting everything said or written concerning them.” A fierce abolitionist, she was ahead of her time in indicting Jefferson as a breeder of enslaved human capital, including his own progeny.
But back to Cincinnati for one last look, where Trollope tried a variety of schemes for two years before going bust in an attempt to emulate her entrepreneurial neighbors. Aiming high, she built a three-story Bazaar with arabesque architectural motifs that was conceived as a combination arts center, performance venue, bar, upscale market, ballroom and coffeehouse—again ahead of her time. Of course, the money ran out for the business newbies and the creditors swarmed in. Dubbed “Trollope’s Folly,” the building would over fifty years house a “dancing school, medical school, female medical college, hydropathical establishment, convalescent home for federal soldiers, and even a house of prostitution.” The failure motivated the family to proceed east, taking in Washington, Philadelphia and New York as well as a memorable trip to Niagara Falls.
A trenchant social critic, Trollope undersells her descriptive powers as in vain when it comes to scenery, but in fact she is an acute and sensitive observer of detail and consequence and her prose is lucid and pleasurable, with well-modulated irony. These two excerpts from Domestic Manners describe her arrival at the mouth of the Mississippi and New Orleans and her riverboat trip to, and arrival in, Cincinnati from Memphis.
Chapter I: Entrance of the Mississippi—Balize
On the 4th of November, 1827, I sailed from London, accompanied by my son and two daughters; and after a favourable, though somewhat tedious voyage, arrived on Christmas-day at the mouth of the Mississippi.
The first indication of our approach to land was the appearance of this mighty river pouring forth its muddy mass of waters, and mingling with the deep blue of the Mexican Gulf. The shores of this river are so utterly flat, that no object upon them is perceptible at sea, and we gazed with pleasure on the muddy ocean that met us, for it told us we were arrived, and seven weeks of sailing had wearied us; yet it was not without a feeling like regret that we passed from the bright blue waves, whose varying aspect had so long furnished our chief amusement, into the murky stream which now received us.
Large flights of pelicans were seen standing upon the long masses of mud which rose above the surface of the waters, and a pilot came to guide us over the bar, long before any other indication of land was visible.
Sometimes several of these, entangled together, collect among their boughs a quantity of floating rubbish, that gives the mass the appearance of a moving island, bearing a forest, with its roots mocking the heavens; while the dishonoured branches lash the tide in idle vengeance: this, as it approaches the vessel, and glides swiftly past, looks like the fragment of a world in ruins.
I never beheld a scene so utterly desolate as this entrance of the Mississippi. Had Dante seen it, he might have drawn images of another Bolgia from its horrors. One only object rears itself above the eddying waters; this is the mast of a vessel long since wrecked in attempting to cross the bar, and it still stands, a dismal witness of the destruction that has been, and a boding prophet of that which is to come.
By degrees bulrushes of enormous growth become visible, and a few more miles of mud brought us within sight of a cluster of huts called the Balize, by far the most miserable station that I ever saw made the dwelling of man, but I was told that many families of pilots and fishermen lived there.
For several miles above its mouth, the Mississippi presents no objects more interesting than mud banks, monstrous bulrushes, and now and then a huge crocodile luxuriating in the slime. Another circumstance that gives to this dreary scene an aspect of desolation, is the incessant appearance of vast quantities of drift wood, which is ever finding its way to the different mouths of the Mississippi. Trees of enormous length, sometimes still bearing their branches, and still oftener their uptorn roots entire, the victims of the frequent hurricane, come floating down the stream. Sometimes several of these, entangled together, collect among their boughs a quantity of floating rubbish, that gives the mass the appearance of a moving island, bearing a forest, with its roots mocking the heavens; while the dishonoured branches lash the tide in idle vengeance: this, as it approaches the vessel, and glides swiftly past, looks like the fragment of a world in ruins.
Yet, she was looking so mighty, and so unsubdued all the time, that I could not help fancying she would some day take the matter into her own hands again, and if so, farewell to New Orleans.
As we advanced, however, we were cheered, notwithstanding the season, by the bright tints of southern vegetation. The banks continue invariably flat, but a succession of planless villas, sometimes merely a residence, and sometimes surrounded by their sugar grounds and negro huts, varied the scene. At no one point was there an inch of what painters call a second distance; and for the length of one hundred and twenty miles, from the Balize to New Orleans, and one hundred miles above the town, the land is defended from the encroachments of the river by a high embankment which is called the Levee; without which the dwellings would speedily disappear, as the river is evidently higher than the banks would be without it. When we arrived, there had been constant rains, and of long continuance, and this appearance was, therefore, unusually striking, giving to “this great natural feature” the most unnatural appearance imaginable; and making evident, not only that man had been busy there, but that even the mightiest works of nature might be made to bear his impress; it recalled, literally, Swift’s mock heroic, “Nature must give way to art.” Yet, she was looking so mighty, and so unsubdued all the time, that I could not help fancying she would some day take the matter into her own hands again, and if so, farewell to New Orleans.
It is easy to imagine the total want of beauty in such a landscape; but yet the form and hue of the trees and plants, so new to us, added to the long privation we had endured of all sights and sounds of land, made even these swampy shores seem beautiful. We were, however, impatient to touch as well as see the land; but the navigation from the Balize to New Orleans is difficult and tedious, and the two days that it occupied appeared longer than any we had passed on board.
In truth, to those who have pleasure in contemplating the phenomena of nature, a sea voyage may endure many weeks without wearying. Perhaps some may think that the first glance of ocean and of sky shew all they have to offer; nay, even that that first glance may suggest more of dreariness than sublimity; but to me, their variety appeared endless, and their beauty unfailing. The attempt to describe scenery, even where the objects are prominent and tangible, is very rarely successful; but where the effect is so subtile and so varying, it must be vain. The impression, nevertheless, is perhaps deeper than any other; I think it possible I may forget the sensations with which I watched the long course of the gigantic Mississippi; the Ohio and the Potomac may mingle and be confounded with other streams in my memory, I may even recall with difficulty the blue outline of the Alleghany mountains, but never, while I remember any thing, can I forget the first and last hour of light on the Atlantic.
The ocean, however, and all its indescribable charm, no longer surrounded us; we began to feel that our walk on the quarter-deck was very like the exercise of an ass in a mill; that our books had lost half their pages, and that the other half were known by rote; that our beef was very salt, and our biscuits very hard; in short, that having studied the good ship, Edward, from stem to stern till we knew the name of every sail, and the use of every pulley, we had had enough of her, and as we laid down, head to head, in our tiny beds for the last time, I exclaimed with no small pleasure, “Tomorrow to fresh fields and pastures new.”
Chapter IV: Departure from Memphis—Ohio River Louisville—Cincinnati
On the 1st of February, 1828, we embarked on board the Criterion, and once more began to float on the “father of waters,” as the poor banished Indians were wont to call the Mississippi. The company on board was wonderfully like what we had met in coming from New Orleans; I think they must have all been first cousins; and what was singular, they too had all arrived at high rank in the army. For many a wearisome mile above the Wolf River the only scenery was still forest—forest—forest; the only variety was produced by the receding of the river at some points, and its encroaching on the opposite shore. These changes are continually going on, but from what cause none could satisfactorily explain to me. Where the river is encroaching, the trees are seen growing in the water many feet deep; after some time, the water undermines their roots, and they become the easy victims of the first hurricane that blows. This is one source of the immense quantities of drift wood that float into the gulf of Mexico. Where the river has receded, a young growth of cane-brake is soon seen starting up with the rapid vegetation of the climate; these two circumstances in some degree relieve the sameness of the thousand miles of vegetable wall. But we were now approaching the river which is emphatically called “the beautiful,” La Belle Rivière of the New Orleans French; and a few days took us, I trust for ever, out of that murky stream which is as emphatically called “the deadly;” and well does it seem to merit the title; the air of its shores is mephitic, and it is said that nothing that ever sunk beneath its muddy surface was known to rise again. As truly does “La Belle Rivière” deserve its name; the Ohio is bright and clear; its banks are continually varied, as it flows through what is called a rolling country, which seems to mean a district that cannot shew a dozen paces of level ground at a time. The primaeval forest still occupies a considerable portion of the ground, and hangs in solemn grandeur from the cliffs; but it is broken by frequent settlements, where we were cheered by the sight of herds and flocks. I imagine that this river presents almost every variety of river scenery; sometimes its clear wave waters a meadow of level turf; sometimes it is bounded by perpendicular rocks; pretty dwellings, with their gay porticos are seen, alternately with wild intervals of forest, where the tangled bear-brake plainly enough indicates what inhabitants are native there. Often a mountain torrent comes pouring its silver tribute to the stream, and were there occasionally a ruined abbey, or feudal castle, to mix the romance of real life with that of nature, the Ohio would be perfect.
So powerful was the effect of this sweet scenery, that we ceased to grumble at our dinners and suppers; nay, we almost learnt to rival our neighbours at table in their voracious rapidity of swallowing, so eager were we to place ourselves again on the guard, lest we might lose sight of the beauty that was passing away from us.
Often a mountain torrent comes pouring its silver tribute to the stream, and were there occasionally a ruined abbey, or feudal castle, to mix the romance of real life with that of nature, the Ohio would be perfect.
Yet these fair shores are still unhealthy. More than once we landed, and conversed with the families of the wood-cutters, and scarcely was there one in which we did not hear of some member who had “lately died of the fever.” They are all subject to ague, and though their dwellings are infinitely better than those on the Mississippi, the inhabitants still look like a race that are selling their lives for gold.
Louisville is a considerable town, prettily situated on the Kentucky, or south side of the Ohio; we spent some hours in seeing all it had to shew; and had I not been told that a bad fever often rages there during the warm season, I should have liked to pass some months there for the purpose of exploring the beautiful country in its vicinity. Frankfort and Lexington are both towns worth visiting, though from their being out of the way places, I never got to either. The first is the seat of the state government of Kentucky, and the last is, I was told, the residence of several independent families, who, with more leisure than is usually enjoyed in America, have its natural accompaniment, more refinement.
The falls of the Ohio are about a mile below Louisville, and produce a rapid, too sudden for the boats to pass, except in the rainy season. The passengers are obliged to get out below them, and travel by land to Louisville, where they find other vessels ready to receive them for the remainder of the voyage. We were spared this inconvenience by the water being too high for the rapid to be much felt, and it will soon be altogether removed by the Louisville canal coming into operation, which will permit the steam-boats to continue their progress from below the falls to the town.
The impression, nevertheless, is perhaps deeper than any other; I think it possible I may forget the sensations with which I watched the long course of the gigantic Mississippi; the Ohio and the Potomac may mingle and be confounded with other streams in my memory, I may even recall with difficulty the blue outline of the Alleghany mountains, but never, while I remember any thing, can I forget the first and last hour of light on the Atlantic.
The scenery on the Kentucky side is much finer than on that of Indiana, or Ohio. The State of Kentucky was the darling spot of many tribes of Indians, and was reserved among them as a common hunting ground; it is said that they cannot yet name it without emotion, and that they have a sad and wild lament that they still chaunt to its memory. But their exclusion thence is of no recent date; Kentucky has been longer settled than the Illinois, Indiana, or Ohio, and it appears not only more highly cultivated, but more fertile and more picturesque than either. I have rarely seen richer pastures than those of Kentucky. The forest trees, where not too crowded, are of magnificent growth, and the crops are gloriously abundant where the thriftless husbandry has not worn out the soil by an unvarying succession of exhausting crops. We were shewn ground which had borne abundant crops of wheat for twenty successive years; but a much shorter period suffices to exhaust the ground, if it were made to produce tobacco without the intermission of some other crop.
We reached Cincinnati on the 10th of February. It is finely situated on the south side of a hill that rises gently from the water’s edge; yet it is by no means a city of striking appearance; it wants domes, towers, and steeples; but its landing-place is noble, extending for more than a quarter of a mile; it is well paved, and surrounded by neat, though not handsome buildings. I have seen fifteen steam-boats lying there at once, and still half the wharf was unoccupied.
On arriving we repaired to the Washington Hotel, and thought ourselves fortunate when we were told that we were just in time for dinner at the table d’hôte; but when the dining-room door was opened, we retreated with a feeling of dismay at seeing between sixty and seventy men already at table. We took our dinner with the females of the family, and then went forth to seek a house for our permanent accommodation.
We went to the office of an advertising agent, who professed to keep a register of all such information, and described the dwelling we wanted. He made no difficulty, but told us his boy should be our guide through the city, and shew us what we sought; we accordingly set out with him, and he led us up one street, and down another, but evidently without any determinate object; I therefore stopped, and asked him whereabout the houses were which we were going to see. “I am looking for bills,” was his reply.
I thought we could have looked for bills as well without him, and I told him so; upon which he assumed an air of great activity, and began knocking regularly at every door we passed, enquiring if the house was to be let. It was impossible to endure this long, and our guide was dismissed, though I was afterwards obliged to pay him a dollar for his services.
We had the good fortune, however, to find a dwelling before long, and we returned to our hotel, having determined upon taking possession of it as soon at it could be got ready. Not wishing to take our evening meal either with the three score and ten gentlemen of the dining-room, nor yet with the half dozen ladies of the bar-room, I ordered tea in my own chamber. A good-humoured Irish woman came forward with a sort of patronising manner, took my hand, and said, “Och, my honey, ye’ll be from the old country. I’ll see you will have your tay all to yourselves, honey.” With this assurance we retired to my room, which was a handsome one as to its size and bed furniture, but it had no carpet, and was darkened by blinds of paper, such as rooms are hung with, which required to be rolled up, and then fastened with strings very awkwardly attached to the window-frames, whenever light or air were wished for. I afterwards met with these same uncomfortable blinds in every part of America.
Our Irish friend soon reappeared, and brought us tea, together with the never failing accompaniments of American tea drinking, hung beef, “chipped up” raw, and sundry sweetmeats of brown sugar hue and flavour. We took our tea, and were enjoying our family talk, relative to our future arrangements, when a loud sharp knocking was heard at our door. My “come in,” was answered by the appearance of a portly personage, who proclaimed himself our landlord.
“Are any of you ill?” he began.
“No thank you, sir; we are all quite well,” was my reply.
“Then, madam, I must tell you, that I cannot accommodate you on these terms; we have no family tea-drinkings here, and you must live either with me or my wife, or not at all in my house.”
This was said with an air of authority that almost precluded reply, but I ventured a sort of apologistic hint, that we were strangers and unaccustomed to the manners of the country.
“Our manners are very good manners, and we don’t wish any changes from England.”
With this assurance we retired to my room, which was a handsome one as to its size and bed furniture, but it had no carpet, and was darkened by blinds of paper, such as rooms are hung with, which required to be rolled up, and then fastened with strings very awkwardly attached to the window-frames, whenever light or air were wished for. I afterwards met with these same uncomfortable blinds in every part of America.
I thought of mine host of the Washington afterwards, when reading Scott’s “Anne of Geierstein;” he, in truth, strongly resembled the inn keeper therein immortalized, who made his guests eat, drink, and sleep, just where, when, and how he pleased. I made no farther remonstrance, but determined to hasten my removal. This we achieved the next day to our great satisfaction.
We were soon settled in our new dwelling, which looked neat and comfortable enough, but we speedily found that it was devoid of nearly all the accommodation that Europeans conceive necessary to decency and comfort. No pump, no cistern, no drain of any kind, no dustman’s cart, or any other visible means of getting rid of the rubbish, which vanishes with such celerity in London, that one has no time to think of its existence; but which accumulated so rapidly at Cincinnati, that I sent for my landlord to know in what manner refuse of all kinds was to be disposed of.
“Your Help will just have to fix them all into the middle of the street, but you must mind, old woman, that it is the middle. I expect you don’t know as we have got a law what forbids throwing such things at the sides of the streets; they must just all be cast right into the middle, and the pigs soon takes them off.”
In truth the pigs are constantly seen doing Herculean service in this way through every quarter of the city; and though it is not very agreeable to live surrounded by herds of these unsavoury animals, it is well they are so numerous, and so active in their capacity of scavengers, for without them the streets would soon be choked up with all sorts of substances in every stage of decomposition.
We had heard so much of Cincinnati, its beauty, wealth, and unequalled prosperity, that when we left Memphis to go thither, we almost felt the delight of Rousseau’s novice, “un voyage à faire, et Paris au bout!” —As soon, therefore, as our little domestic arrangements were completed, we set forth to view this “wonder of the west” this “prophet’s gourd of magic growth,”—this “infant Hercules;” and surely no travellers ever paraded a city under circumstances more favourable to their finding it fair to the sight. Three dreary months had elapsed since we had left the glories of London behind us; for nearly the whole of that time we beheld no other architecture than what our ship and steam-boats had furnished, and excepting at New Orleans, had seen hardly a trace of human habitations. The sight of bricks and mortar was really refreshing, and a house of three stories looked splendid. Of this splendour we saw repeated specimens, and moreover a brick church, which, from its two little peaked spires, is called the two-horned church. But, alas! the flatness of reality after the imagination has been busy! I hardly know what I expected to find in this city, fresh risen from the bosom of the wilderness, but certainly it was not a little town, about the size of Salisbury, without even an attempt at beauty in any of its edifices, and with only just enough of the air of a city to make it noisy and bustling. The population is greater than the appearance of the town would lead one to expect. This is partly owing to the number of free Negroes who herd together in an obscure part of the city, called little Africa; and partly to the density of the population round the paper-mills and other manufactories. I believe the number of inhabitants exceeds twenty thousand.
We arrived in Cincinnati in February, 1828, and I speak of the town as it was then; several small churches have been built since, whose towers agreeably relieve its uninteresting mass of buildings. At that time I think Main street, which is the principal avenue, (and runs through the whole town, answering to the High street of our old cities), was the only one entirely paved. The trottoir is of brick, tolerably well laid, but it is inundated by every shower, as Cincinnati has no drains whatever. What makes this omission the more remarkable is, that the situation of the place is calculated both to facilitate their construction and render them necessary. Cincinnati is built on the side of a hill that begins to rise at the river’s edge, and were it furnished with drains of the simplest arrangement, the heavy showers of the climate would keep them constantly clean; as it is, these showers wash the higher streets, only to deposit their filth in the first level spot; and this happens to be in the street second in importance to Main street, running at right angles to it, and containing most of the large warehouses of the town. This deposit is a dreadful nuisance, and must be productive of miasma during the hot weather.
The town is built, as I believe most American towns are, in squares, as they call them; but these squares are the reverse of ours, being solid instead of hollow. Each consists, or is intended to consist, when the plan of the city is completed, of a block of buildings fronting north, east, west, and south; each house communicating with an alley, furnishing a back entrance. This plan would not be a bad one were the town properly drained, but as it is, these alleys are horrible abominations, and must, I conceive, become worse with every passing year.
But, alas! the flatness of reality after the imagination has been busy!
To the north, Cincinnati is bounded by a range of forest-covered hills, sufficiently steep and rugged to prevent their being built upon, or easily cultivated, but not sufficiently high to command from their summits a view of any considerable extent. Deep and narrow water-courses, dry in summer, but bringing down heavy streams in winter, divide these hills into many separate heights, and this furnishes the only variety the landscape offers for many miles round the town. The lovely Ohio is a beautiful feature wherever it is visible, but the only part of the city that has the advantage of its beauty is the street nearest to its bank. The hills of Kentucky, which rise at about the same distance from the river, on the opposite side, form the southern boundary to the basin in which Cincinnati is built.
On first arriving, I thought the many tree covered hills around, very beautiful, but long before my departure, I felt so weary of the confined view, that Salisbury Plain would have been an agreeable variety. I doubt if any inhabitant of Cincinnati ever mounted these hills so often as myself and my children; but it was rather for the enjoyment of a freer air than for any beauty of prospect, that we took our daily climb. These hills afford neither shrubs nor flowers, but furnish the finest specimens of millepore in the world; and the water courses are full of fossil productions.
The forest trees are neither large nor well grown, and so close as to be nearly knotted together at top; even the wild vine here loses its beauty, for its graceful festoons bear leaves only when they reach the higher branches of the tree that supports them, both air and light being too scantily found below to admit of their doing more than climbing with a bare stem till they reach a better atmosphere. The herb we call pennyroyal was the only one I found in abundance, and that only on the brows, where the ground had been partially cleared; vegetation is impossible elsewhere, and it is this circumstance which makes the “eternal forests” of America so detestable. Near New Orleans the undergrowth of Palmetto and pawpaw is highly beautiful, but in Tennessee, Indiana, and Ohio, I never found the slightest beauty in the forest scenery. Fallen trees in every possible stage of decay, and congeries of leaves that have been rotting since the flood, cover the ground and infect the air. The beautiful variety of foliage afforded by evergreens never occurs, and in Tennessee, and that part of Ohio that surrounds Cincinnati, even the sterile beauty of rocks is wanting. On crossing the water to Kentucky the scene is greatly improved; beech and chestnut, of magnificent growth, border the beautiful river; the ground has been well cleared, and the herbage is excellent; the pawpaw grows abundantly, and is a splendid shrub, though it bears neither fruit nor flowers so far north. The noble tulip tree flourishes here, and blooms profusely.
The river Licking flows into the Ohio nearly opposite Cincinnati; it is a pretty winding stream, and two or three miles from its mouth has a brisk rapid, dancing among white stones, which, in the absence of better rocks, we found very picturesque.
Alan Bernheimer’s latest collection of poetry is From Nature. Born and raised in Manhattan, he has lived in the Bay Area since the 1970s. He produces a portrait gallery of poets reading on flickr. His translation of Philippe Soupault’s memoir, Lost Profiles: Memoirs of Cubism, Dada, and Surrealism, was published by City Lights in 2016.
Lead image: Avi Richards
Excerpt, riverboat image and Nashoba image from Domestic Manners of the Americans, fifth edition, 1839, internet archive
“View of Cincinnati, 1830” from Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library
Literary Cincinnati: The Missing Chapter, Dale Patrick Brown, 2011, Ohio University Press ↑
Name for each of the ten divisions of the eighth circle of Dante’s Inferno. ↑
Men commonly assumed the title of general, colonel and major. ↑
A type of normally marine coral, related to hydra that are found in freshwater. ↑