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among the children of adversity that we must look for resignation under misfortune; it is from the indigent only we can be instructed to bear calamities without repining.
Impressed with this conviction, I entered into discourse with the cripple, whom I found to be a man not without reflection. He had seen better days, and hoped for their return. Though my present appearance, said he, shews I am in the most wretched state of poverty, there was a time when I knew the comforts of a home and fireside. These are past, but there is a pleasure in the recollection of them; for no man who has enjoyed the comforts of life is ever without the hope that he shall enjoy them again.
I had walked about a mile along the bank of the Delaware when the coach to Philadelphia overtook me, and finding the road dusty I complied with the invitation of the driver to get into the vehicle. At Bristol we took up two young women, clad in the habit of the Quakers, whom I soon, however, discovered to be girls of the town; and who, under pretence of shewing me a letter, discovered their address.
A spacious road conducted us to Philadelphia, which we entered at Front-street. I had expected to be charmed with the animation of the American metropolis; * but a melan* Philadelphia in 1798 was the Capital of the United States. choly silence prevailed in the streets, the principal houses were abandoned, and none but French people were to be found seeking pleasure in society.
The coach stopped at the sign of the SorrelHorse, in Second-street, where I heard only lamentations over the Yellow Fever, which had displayed itself in Water-street, and was spreading its contagion.
It costs no more to go to a good tavern than a bad one; and I removed my trunks, which I found at the Stage-office, to the French Hotel in the same street. Mr. Pecquet received me with a bowing mien, and called Jeannette for the passepartout to shew me his apartments. He exercised all his eloquence to make me lodge in his hotel. He observed that his house was not like an American house; that he did not in summer put twelve beds in one room; but that every lodger had a room to himself, and Monsieur, added he very solemnly, “Ici il ne sera pas necessaire de sortir de votre lit, comme chez les Americains, pour aller a la fenetre, car Jeannette n'oublie jamais de mettre un pot de chambre sous le lit.”
Monsieur Pecquet assured me his dinners were of a superior kind, and finding I was an Englishman, observed with a bow, that he could furnish me with the best porter brewed in the city of Philadelphia.
Such professions as these, what unhoused traveller could resist? I commended Monsieur Pecquet on his mode of living, reciprocated compliments with him, chose the chamber I thought the coolest, and the same night found myself at supper with a dozen French ladies and gentlemen, who could not utter a word of English,* and with whom I drank copious libations of that porter which my host had enlarged upon with such elegance of declamation.
My first visit was to the library. A bust of Doctor Franklin stands over the door, whose head it is to be lamented the librarian cannot place on his own shoulders. Of the two rooms the Franklinian Library is confined to books in the English language, but the Loganian Library comprehends every classical work in the ancient and modern languages. I contemplated with reverence the portrait of James Logan, which graces the room.
-magnum et venerabile nomen.
I could not repress my exclamations. As I am only a stranger, said I, in this country, I
(* Cf. La Rochefoucauld, Travels in North America &c. London. 1799. Vol. II, pp. 17-18. “To the port of Norfolk, above any other in the United States, came the greatest number of colonists escaped from Saint-Domingo at the commencement of their troubles. They have dispersed through the other parts of America, where there is hardly a town that does not reckon some of their number among its inhabitants."]
affect no enthusiasm on beholding the statues of her Generals and Statesmen. I have left a church filled with them on the shore of Albion that have a prior claim to such feeling. But I here behold the portrait of a man whom I consider so great a benefactor to Literature, that he is scarcely less illustrious than its munificent patrons of Italy; his soul has certainly been admitted to the company of the congenial spirits of a Cosmo and Lorenzo of Medicis. The Greek and Roman authors forgotten on their native banks of the Ilyssus and Tiber, delight by the kindness of Logan the votaries to learning on those of the Delaware.
It has been observed, I believe, by Horace, that there have lived many heroes not inferior in prowess to those of the Iliad, but that for want of a bard to sing their feats, they might as well have not achieved them. But how many characters are now unknown, tible only of the social energies, deserve to be remembered more than an Agamemnon, or an Achilles. What man ever rose from the Iliad with an accession of benevolence? but who would not be better for reading the life of a Kyrle,* of whom nothing can be now known but what is furnished by an episode in a poem. Of the readers of this volume there are few who have ever heard mention made of James Logan of Philadelphia; a man whose benevolent actions aspire far higher than any Greek or Roman fame.
* The Man of Ross. (Philanthropist, “Owes his fame largely to the eulogy of him which Pope introduced into his third Moral Epistle (1732) on information supplied by Jacob Tonson.”]
James Logan was born in Scotland, about the year 1674. He was one of the people called Quakers, and accompanied William Penn in his last voyage to Pennsylvania. For many years of his life he was employed in public business, and rose to the offices of Chief Justice and Governor of the Province; but he felt always an ardour of study, and by husbanding his leisure, found time to write several treatises in Latin, of which one on the Generation of Plants, was translated into English by Dr. Fothergill.*
Being declined in the vale of years, Mr. Logan withdrew from the tumult of public business to the solitude of his country-seat, near Germantown, where he found tranquillity among his books, and corresponded with the most distinguished literary characters of Europe. He also made a version of Cicero de Senectute, which was published with notes by the late Dr. Franklin. Whether Franklin was qualified to write annotations on Tully's
[* Experimenta et Meletemata, etc. Leyden 1739; London 1747.)
[t De Senectute. Philadelphia 1744, 1758, 1812, (the two last in Dr. Franklin's name); London 1750, 1778; Glasgow 1751, 1758.]