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dating tariff, which places within their reach the beautiful Canton crapes, and all the most elegant materials for dress which American enterprize can collect in the four quarters of the globe; and partly to the simplicity of the Quaker costume, which has had a happy and sensible influence on the taste and habits of the community at Jarge. Their tone of voice, which is generally a little shrill, and their mode of pronouncing a few particular words, are the peculi -arities of manner which I think would be most remarked upon in the best society in England. Generally speaking, also, the style of female education in America is less favourable to solid acquire ments than with us. The young Jadies here go earlier into society than in England, and enter sooner into married life: they have not, therefore, the same opportunities for maturing their taste, expanding their intellect, and acquiring a rich store of well-arranged and digested knowledge, as those have who devote to improvement the longer in terval which climate or custom has with us interposed between the nursery and the drawing-room. In the highest class, especially in Carolina, there are many exceptions to this general remark; and among the young ladies of Boston there appeared to me to be, if less refinement than in the Carolinians, yet a very agreeable union of domestic habits and literary taste, and great kindness and simplicity of manners.
The third class may comprehend all below the second; for, in a country where some would perhaps resent even the idea of a second class, this division is sufficiently minute. This class then will include the largest proportion of the American population; and it is distinguished from the corresponding classes of my countrymen (the little farmers, innkeepers, shopkeepers, clerks, mechanics, servants, and labourers) by greater acuteness and intelligence, more regular habits of read
CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 248.
ing, a wider range of ideas, and a greater freedom from prejudices, provincialism, and vulgarity. It is distinguished, also, by greater coldmess of manner ; and this is the first of the charges against the nation generally, on which I shall remark.
As respects the highest classes, I think this charge is in a great measure unfounded; their reception of a stranger, at least, appears ing to me as frank and as warm as in England. To that part of the population which I have included in the third class, the charge attaches with strict propriety, and in many cases their coldness amounts to the English "cut direct." At first it incommoded me excessively, especially in the women in the country, who shewed it the most; and I have sometimes been disposed to ride.on, not in the best temper, when, arriving at an inn, after a long stage before breakfast, and asking very civilly "Can we have breakfast here?" I have received a shritt "I reckon so," from a cold female figure, that went on with its employments, without deigning to look at us, or to put any thing in motion to verify its reckoning. In due time, however, the bread was baked, the chicken killed, and both made their appearance, with their constant companions, even in the wildest part of America, hàm, eggs, and coffee. The automaton then took its place; and if I had been an automaton also, the charm would have remained unbroken; but I do not remember an instance in which the figure did not converse with good humour before 1 rose. Very often, however, our reception was warm and friendly; and the wife or daughter who poured out my coffee was frank, well-bred, obliging, and conversible. The coldness of the men, also, I soon found to be confined principally to their manner, and to indicate no indisposition to be sociable and accommodating. On the contrary, in a route of more than 7000 miles, of which I travelled nearly 2000 on 3 R
horseback, and the rest in steamboats and stages, I have found the various classes as accommodating and obliging as in England; some times, I confess, I have thought more so. Some parts of Georgia and the Carolinas might suggest a slight qualification of this remark; while East Tennessee, and the valley of the Shenandoah, might almost claim a warmer eulogium. In the course of my route, I have met with only one instance of personal rudeness, and that too slight to be mentioned, except for the sake of literal accuracy. My servant's impressions correspond with mine. On ques tioning him, at the termination of our route, he said he thought "the Americans quite as ready to serve us and one another as the English;" and that they were continually expressing their surprise to find Englishmen so civil. Now our civility was nothing more than would naturally be suggested by a recollection of the institutions of the country through which we were travelling, and a general desire to be pleased with friendly intentions however manifested. The coldness of manner of the Americans, how ever, is a great defect, and must prejudice travellers till they understand it a little.
With regard to the vanity which is charged upon them: this foible is admitted by all their sensible men, who are disgusted with the extravagant pretensions maintained in inflated language in their public prints. I have heard some of them jocosely say, that they expect their countrymen will soon begin to as sert that they are not only the most powerful and the most learned, but the oldest nation in the world.
In good society, however, I have seldom witnessed this vanity in any remarkable degree, and I really think I have seen more of it in the Americans I have met with in England, than in the whole range of my observation since I landed in this country. When I have made the concessions to which I thought
the Americans fairly entitled, I have not often observed a disposition to push their claims too far, but, on the contrary, a readiness to sug gest some point of comparison in which Great Britain has obviously the advantage. And, without attempting to defend an acknowledged defect in their character, I must confess the Americans have some excuse for their vanity. Descended (which of us will dispute it?) from most illustrious ancestors, possessing a territory perhaps unequalled in extent and value, victorious in the infancy of their his tory in a struggle for their inde pendence, and rising with unprecedented rapidity in the scale of nations, they must be more than mortal if they were not elated with their condition; and if sometimes they may appear to draw too heavily on the future, and to regard America rather as what she is to be, than what she is, I must own that I never yet met with an American who carried his views of her future greatness so far as I should be disposed to do if she were my country, and if I could be satisfied of the predominating influence of religious principle in her publie councils.
As for the inquisitiveness of the Americans, I do not think it has been at all exaggerated. They certainly are, as they profess to be, a very inquiring people; and if we may sometimes be disposed to dispute the claims of their love of knowing to the character of a liberal curiosity, we must at least admit that they make a most liberal use of every means in their power to gratify it. I have seldom, however, had any difficulty in repressing their home questions, if I wished it, and without offending them; but L more frequently amused myself by putting them on the rack; civilly, and apparently unconsciously, eluding their inquiries for a time, and then awakening their gratitude by such a discovery of myself as I might choose to make. Sometimes a man
would place himself at my side in
Yankees lose nothing for want of asking. I guess, stranger, you are from the old country." Well, my friend, you have guessed right at last, and I am sure you deserve something for your perseverance; and, now, I suppose it will save us both trouble if I proceed to the second part of the story, and tell you where I am going. 1..am going to New Orleans."-This is really no exaggerated picture: dialogues, not indeed in these very words, but to this effect, occurred continually, and some of them more minute and extended than I can venture upon in a letter. I ought, "however, to say, that many questions lose much of their familiarity when travelling in the wilderness. "Where are you from ?" and "whither are you bound ?" do not appear impertinent interrogations at sea; and often in the western wilds..I found myself making inquiries which I should have thought very free and easy at home. And, indeed, why should that be deemed a breach of good manners in North America, which in South America is required by the rules of common politeness? "The Abipones of of Paraguay," says Dobrizhoffer, "would think it quite contrary to the laws of good breeding were they to meet any one and not to ask him where he was going; so that the word miekauè? or miekauchitè? where are you going?' resounds in the streets."
The courage of a thorough-bred Yankee* would rise with his difficulties; and, after a decent interval, he would resume: "I hope no offence, sir; but you know we
* In America, the term Yankee is applied to the natives of New England only, and is generally used with an air of pleasantry.
The next American habit on which I will remark, which always offended me extremely, is the almost universal one of spilling, without regard to time, place, or circumstances. You must excuse my alluding to such a topic; but I could not in candour omit it, since it is the most offensive peculiarity in American manners. Many, who are really gentlemen in other respects, offend in this; and I regretted to observe the practice even in the diplomatic parties at Washington. ludeed, in the Capitol itself, the dignity of the senate
is let down by this vile habit. I was there the first session after it was rebuilt; and as the magnificent and beautiful halls had been provided with splendid carpets, some of the senators appeared at first a little daunted; but, after looking about in distress, and disposing of their diluted tobacco at first with timidity and by stealth, they gathered by degrees the courage common to corporate bodies, and before I left Washington had relieved themselves pretty well from the dazzling brightness of the brilliant colours under their feet. It was mortifying to me to observe all this in an assembly whose proceedings are conducted with so much order and propriety, and in chambers so truly beautiful as the Senate and House of Representa tives--the latter the most beautiful hall I ever saw.
Another thing which has dis pleased me, is the profusion and waste usually exhibited at meals. Except in the very best society, the plate is often loaded with a variety of viands, which are dismissed half-eaten. An Englishman is shocked at the liberal portions allotted to the young ladies, till he finds they afford no measure of the appetites of those to whom they are sent, who appear to be as abstemious as his owu fair country women. Still this exhibition of waste is always displeasing; and when viewed in connexion with the sufferings of so many of the population of our country, is also distressing. But the necessaries of life are here produced in abundance, and, with very few exceptions, are within the reach of every one. I only recollect seeing three beggars since I landed.
After touching on these points, I do not feel willing to conclude my letter without reminding you of the kindness and hospitality, the good sense and intelligence, which I have every where met with; and of that frequent exhibition of phi lanthropic and religious feeling
which has given a peculiar inte rest to many of the scenes through which I have passed. The American character, to be estimated correctly, must be regarded as a whole;: and as a whole it has been calumniated to a degree derogatory both to the intelligence and the genes rosity of my country. The Ame→ ricans have been exasperated into unfriendly feelings by: aur real: jealousy and apparent contempt;: and their very sensibility to our good opinion, which they cannot conceal, has rendered the mis representations of our travellers' and journalists the more irritating, Americans have often asked me if we do not in England consider them a horde of savages; and when the question has been proposed to me by a fair lady, in a handsome' drawing-room furnished with every article of luxury which money could procure in London or Paris, I found no difficulty in acquiescing in the conclusion which she seemed to draw from a hasty glance around her, that such an idea would not be› quite just. On such occasions I have often thought how many of my candid and liberal female friends would blush, if they could be introduced for the evening, to find: how erroneous were their previous ideas of trans-Atlantic society. But it is when joining in religious worship with exemplary and eminent Christians, or witnessing the extent and variety of their benevolent efforts, that I most keenly feel the apathy with which in England we are accustomed to regard our American brethren. I really am not without hopes, that it may yet become the fashion for ladies of the two countries to reciprocate visits across the Atlantic, Then, and perhaps not till then, will my countrywomen learn to do justice to their Western sisters; and leav→ ing it to us, their knights-errant, to maintain their own superiority, as in duty bound, will begin to think it possible at least that in telligence, refinement, and piety
may combine, even on this side of the Atlantic, to form characters justly entitled to esteem and affection. The supercilious disdain with which, in many circles, the very idea of polished society in America is rejected, would be suppressed by a more correct estimate of American manners; and prejudice would be succeeded by candour and liberality. Christian sympathy also would be awakened towards those unknown distant friends, who, sprung from the same stock, and speaking the same language, profess also the same religion; and who, strangers and pilgrims on the earth, like their European brethren and sisters, are travelling a thorny road to that better country where all true Christians will be for ever united in one common family.
My very sensibility to the unrivalled excellencies of my fair countrywomen makes me additionally solicitous that they, at least, should be exempt from those unchristian prejudices, which some of my countrymen appear to regard as proofs of patriotism. The pleasure and exultation with which I have just been listening, in a large party, to warm eulogiums on Mrs. Hannah More and Mrs. Fry, and some other of our illustrious females, have rendered me at this moment peculiarly susceptible on this point; and you must excuse me if I write with corresponding earnestness.-The conversation afterwards turned on the signs of the times in both countries; and on our rambles in Canada, where many of the party had spent the summer. It was very pleasant to compare our adventures and impressions. Montreal and Quebec are so much like old European towns, and differ so widely from the airy, expansive cities of the United States, that an American feels as far from home on his first arrival in a Canadian city, as I did in the forests on the Mississippi. As he looks round him, he feels more and more in a foreign land; and the foreign lan
guage and gentle manners of the native Canadians confirm the impression. The pomp of monarchy, even when dimly seen in the regalia of a viceroy; the aristocratical distinctions apparent even in a colony; the vestiges of the feudal system to be traced in the surrounding seignories; the nunneries, and the Catholic churches, with their vesper and matin bells; the Catholic clergy walking in the streets; and the, boards of plenary indulgence suspended from the walls, are all calculated to recal impressions con-nected rather with the old world than with the newly discovered continent, where man still shares: his divided empire with the beasts of the forest. Here no grey tower meets the eye, to call back the ima gination to scenes and incidents of elder times; no monastic edifices, to revive the memory of aucient superperstitions; no regalia, transmitted through a line of kings; no feudal magnificence; no baronial splendour; no sacred depositories of the ashes of generations who have slept with their fathers during a thousand years: all is new, fresh, and prospective; and if the mind will take a retrospective glance, it is but to expatiate in the regions: of fancy, or to lose itself in the clouds which rest on the early his tory of the aborigines. But I shall have tired you.
(To be continued.)
To the Editor of the Christian Observer. I FREQUENTLY hear both clergymen and students for holy orders mention that it is the intention of their parents or friends, instead of investing their property in the funds or elsewhere, to purchase for them an advowson, or presentation to a benefice. On expressing › my surprise, and stating the direct: illegality of being privy to such a proceeding, in the face too of a solemn oath, I am told in reply, that it is but the breach of a sta