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ladelphia owe their present graceful mien. The revolution in France produced a revolution in the walk of the Philadelphia damsels. Formerly the American ladies did not sacrifice to elegance in their walk; or, more properly speaking, they were without a model to form themselves upon. But when the revolution drove so many of the Gallic damsels to the banks of the Delaware, the American girls blushed at their own awkwardness and each strove to copy that swimming air, that noncbalance, that ease and apparent unconsciousness of being observed, which characterized the French young ladies as they passed through the streets. Men and women ran to their windows, and involuntarily exclaimed, Oh! heaven! look at that girl ! how beautifully she walks !
A spirit of imitation was now kindled, and as both men and women never appear more ridiculoạs than when they affect qualities to which they have no pretensions, many a Philadelphia Jady provoked the malice of laughter, when she strained every nerve to command the homage of admiration. Some sprawled, some kicked, some frisked, and it is recorded that one girl in despair threw herself into the Schuylkill. But, then, on the other hand, many polished their natural ease into elegance.
An American girl commonly throws me into a fit of profound thought, and to think in the presence of a woman is an insult to her sex. The vision of a French girl on the contrary, banishes
for a young
ail abstraction from my thoughts; and the natural tendency of my English mind to dulness is improved into vivacity.
Iaccompanied Madame de Florian and her family home ; nor did I discover without secret rapture that this lady took boarders. She confined her number to two; there was nobody now in the house but one old gentleman, for a officer who had lately occupied une chambre garnie, was gone to Saint Domingo. There was consequently space left for another, but how to get possession of this enviable spot without an introduction was the rub. At length, the present lodger made his appearance in the shape of Monsieur Lartigue, -whom I had accompanied once from Philadelphia to Charleston in the packet. Not more astonished stood Hamlet, at seeing his royal father, than I on beholding Monsieur Lartigue ; but our mutual astonishment was soon converted into joy, and the old man fell on my neck weeping like a school-boy. What coxcomb was it observed the Frencb had no feeling? The scene was affecting; and I could perceive
Houri brimful of tears. I desired Mr. Lartigue to introduce me to Madame de Florian and her daughters; their countenances brightened ; my proposal of becoming a lodger was accepted with, You do us bonour! and when the porter brought my trunks, I heard Adelaide direct him what room to carry them into, with a kind of Saint-Preuxisb emotion.
Month of happiness that I passed under the same roof with Adelaide de Florian! Happiness never to return beneath the cloudy sky that now frowns on me as I look towards it.
At the Indian Queen, in fifth-street, (every sign in the United States, is either an Indian Queen, or a Spread Eagle) I sometimes lounged away an hour with some young men from Charleston, “Where do you board,” they all asked me,“ With a French lady.”—“ Some Creole, I sup“pose.—Why not take your quarters up here? “ I hate French customs. They never drink tea “ unless they are sick."
And what were the customs of these young gentlemen who plumed themselves on their knowledge of mankind, and their travelled air ? When not engaged with eating, they were sitting in the street before the door of the Indian Queen, drinking punch cooled with ice, and obscured in volumes of tobacco smoke. It is true, their discourse did not turn on bullocks. But they were either laughing over their nocturnal adventures in Mulatto Alley, at Charleston ; or recommending to each other the different brothels at Philadelphia. Nor was the stream of their conversation ever diverted, unless some young lady (who, finding the pavement blockaded by their chairs, was compelled to walk in the carriageroad,) called forth the exclamation of “ 'That's a “ fine girl! So is that coming up the street now. “ There are no snakes if Philadelphia does not
“ beat Charleston hollow ! See there again, at “ the tailor's window. Harry! I'll go over and get measured for a coat to-morrow."
At this juncture (it was a beautiful moon-light night) an American girl, from an opposite window, sung, with uplifted sashes, a song to a circle of ladies and gentlenien in the room. This custom is very prevalent at Philadelphia and New York ; and it evinces there is still left in those towns some simplicity of manners.
The voice was melodious: the shake excellent. And when the song was concluded, the lads from Charleston
gave it their applause. Some were in high raptures. Encore ! Encora ! Bravo! Bravissimo! followed close upon the warbling.
In some countries this insolence would have been resented. The gentlemen would have rushed down stairs, and exchanged a pass or two with the street critics. Here it was widely different. The ladies continued to warble in succession ; the Caroliniuns grew tired of applauding; and at length, each crossed his arms and contented him. self with puffing smoke from his segar.
Not being able to obtain any employment at Philadelphia, I thought it best to embark for Bal.. timore, and I took my passage in the Newcastle Packet. The wind was fair, the sky serene, the water smooth, and we passed Chester and Wilmington with great rapidity.
A good dinner on board the Packet, and the conversation of a motley groupe, enlivened my
spirits; and I provoked the laughter of the master of a ship lying at Newcastle, whose foretop-sail was loose, and whose destination was London. How my heart danced at the sound of that name! How my fancy conjured up the Thames, and the spires of the city to my view ! How delectably did I behold myself seated in the bosom of my friends, and how appalled was I when these illusions vanished, and I perceived before me the shores of Pennsylvania and NewJersey! Oh! if these are prejudices, let me hug them to my breast, and far away be the philosophy that would deprive me of my feelings.
We landed at Newcastle, and were bounded in two coaches to French-town, which is a journey of sixteen miles. We stopped to bait our cattle at Glasgow, and at French-town found a surly landlord, and sorry accommodations. Our number was sixteen; and for sixteen passengers there were only six beds; hence the large beds lodged three, and the small beds two passengers. For my part, there being a good fire, I proposed to sit up all night and make an Indian file with our feet to the fender; but sleep overcame me, and I retired to bed, undisturbed by the nasal trump of my bed-fellow who sported like a horse. It is not unworthy of remark, that the landlord would not suffer cards to be played in his house ; and that the negro-girl, who waited at supper, wearing a man's hat; a Quaker in company aspired to be witty by calling her Cæsar.