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“ holiness, or hypocritical groans of contrition
j " but in study and meditation that lift the soul " from its clay-confines, and transport it to the “world of spirits. Vale !"
I journeyed delightfully from New-York to Philadelphia. My finances were good, and I was going to a place where I had only to extend my arms and catch the golden shower. Let the gloomy moralist insist on the position, that life is rather to be endured than enjoyed ; but hope itself is happiness, and he who has the knack of practising it, cannot be long a victim to melancholy, though he find himself cheated daily by new disappointments.
At Philadelphia I found Mr. Brown, who felt no remission of his literary diligence,bya changeof abode. He was ingratiating himself into the favour of the ladies by writing a new novel, and rivalling Lopez de Vega by the multitude of his works. Mr. Brown introduced me to Mr. Dickins, and Mr. Dickins to Mr. Dennie ; Mr. Dennie presented me to Mr. Wilkins, and Mr. Wilkins to the Rev. Mr. Abercrombie ; a constellation of American genius, įn whose blaze I was almost consumed.
Mr: Dennie was remarkable for his facility of expression ; he could not only draw for thousands, but had always ready-money in his pocket; and few men excelled more in colloquial Auency than he. The Rev. Mr. Abercrombie was impa.
tient of every conversation that did not relate to Dr. Johnson, of whom he could detail every anecdote from the time he trod on a duck, till he purchased an oak stick to repulse Macpherson. He was a canister tied to the tail of a canister. Mr. Brown said little, but seemed lost in meditation ; his creative fancy was, perhaps, conjuring up scenes to spin out the thread of his new novel.
Mr. Dennie now conducts, at Philadelphia, a literary paper, called the Port Folio. He first distinguished himself by the essays he contributed to the “ Farmer's Museum,” under the title of the Lay-Preacher. He afterwards became editor of the paper, when its name was changed from the Farmer's Museun, to that of the Lay-Preacher's Gazette. The essays of the Lay-Preacher were afterwards collected in a volume, which is, I believe, the most popular work on the American continent. I am of opinion, that the sermons of the Lay-Preacher have rather injured than assisted the cause of religion ; to appropriate the remark .made by Gray on Yorick, the Lay-Preacher, after exhorting his congregation to righteousness, throws his perriwig at their heads.
The editor of the Aurora, calls the Port Folio, the Portable Foolery; and his facetiousness is applauded by one party, and scorned by the other. But a better quibble on the word would be, I think, to name it the Court Olio ; for it mingles the dresses at St. James, with speculations on literature.-It being rumoured that Mr. Dennie
had been denominated, by the British Reviewers, the American Addison, the following ludicrous paragraph appeared in the Aurora Gazette.
“ Exult ye white hills of New Hampshire, re“ doubtable Monadnock and Tuckaway! Laugh
ye waters of the Winiseopee and Umbagog Lakes! “ Flow smooth in heroic verse ye streams of “ Amorioosack and Androscoggin, Cockhokand “ Coritocook! And you Merry Merrimack be now more merry!"
Mr. Dennie passed his mornings in the shop of Mr. Dickins, which I found the rendezvous of the Philadelphia sons of literature. Blair, author of a poem called the Powers of Genius ; Ingersoll, known by a tragedy, of which I forget the title ; Stock, celebrated for his dramatic criticisms; together with several Reviewers, chartam consumere nati, assembled with punctuality in North Second Street, to the great annoyance of Mr. Dickins, who could scarcely find room to sell his wares. But I thought Mr. Dickins not inferior to any of the constellation; he was remarkable for the gentleness of his manners, and displayed not less his good sense by his discourse, than his moderation by his silence.
I have seldom been at any city in the United States, without forming an acquaintance that has ripened into the intimacy of friendship. My love of the gallic idiom having led me to the shop of Mr. Dufief, a French bookseller, in North Fourth
Street; I found his conversation and manners so perfectly agreeable, that I hesitated not to accept an invitation to dine with him at his lodgings.
Though Mr. Dufief had emigrated from France, he was not inferior to any of the Philadelpbia citizens in the pertinacity of his diligence. He had discovered that it was a position not only in Europe, but America, that the man who wanted money, was in want of every thing; and directing his course toward the same goal for which so many millions were panting, he practised every art by which he could honestly put money in his purse. He opened a bookseller's shop, and placed an unsaleable bust of Voltaire over his door ; he published a French grammar, on a plan entirely new; and taught French to those who would learn it. In a word, when I became acquainted with Mr. Dufief, he was about to open a loungingroom for the Muscadins of Philadelphia.
Mr. Dufief did me the honour to shew me every place in, or near, Philadelphia, that it was fashionable to visit. The Museum, Gray's Gardens, the Quakers' Meeting, and State-House-Yard; together with the Water-works at Schuylkill, and Wax-work in Shippen-street, were familiar to the boundless curiosity of my attentive companion. Nor did he forget the ox, whose bulk was so unusual to animals of the same species on the American continent. Indeed it ought not to escape notice, that when an ox in the United States attains the ordinary growth of one in England, it
becomes a source of riches to the proprietor, by a private exhibition.
The round of amusements at Philadelphia, did not make me neglect the Wanderings of William. But Mr. Dickins waved his claim to the copyright in favour of Mr. Thompson, who put it to the press before I left Philadelphia. Mr. Thompson had just printed a superb edition of the Notes on Virginia ; and was exceeded by no man in the typographical elegance of the works that issued froin his
press. But the honours that awaited me at Washington employed principally my thoughts ; I reproached myself in secret for not hastening my departure from Philadelphia ; and, resolved not to be dainty in taking leave of my new friends; I left them to bewail my absence, and envy my exaltation !
I travelled in the coach, and was put down, with another passenger, to stop the night, at a tavern, built on a bank of the river Susquehannah. It was delightfully situated, commanding the prospect of Chesapeak Bay, and the little town of Havre de Grace. The accommodations at the tavern were elegant, and a Mulatto girl waited at supper, whose beauty entitled her to a better office than that of brushing away flies from the guests with a peacock's feather.
1 repined at being waked before it was light by the horn of the driver ; but I was repaid for the