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Leaving to the investigation of an enlightened people and their representatives the present organization of the bank of the United States, with a view to its improvement, the President's message concluded in these words: "Permit me to invoke that Power which superintends all governments, to infuse into your deliberations at this important crisis of our history a spirit of mutual forbearance and conciliation; in that spirit was our Union formed, and in that spirit must it be preserved."
Among other distinguished persons to whom I had letters from Mr. Washington Irving, was General Jackson's political opponent, Henry Clay, Esq. a Senator of the United States. I waited on him at his hotel, and found him to be a tall and spare-made man, about fifty-five years of age, dressed in black, with a high forehead, thin brown hair, fresh complexion, straight nose, and front teeth rather prominent. His demeanour was quiet, though he is a Kentuckian; he wore a smile on his countenance in speaking, and was slow and distinct in his articulation; yet his appearance and manner evidently implied that
"He plunges into the sea who seeks for pearls,
And he who seeks greatness has watchful nights."
With him sat a nephew of the great Washington, a tall and robust man, with a florid complexion, and the sedate manner of his celebrated relative.
I inspected the arsenal, across the Tiber and at some distance from the city, by invitation from Lieutenant Lymington, and found it, though small, in the most perfect order. I visited the (indifferent) Washington Theatre, and had my money returned; for the gas would not burn, and there was no performance. I attended a Presbyterian church on Sunday, where I heard an admirable discourse from a Mr. Post on the " signs of the times," on which we should not shut our eyes and ears, but be up and doing. Education was the distinctive mark of the present age, in which peace prevailed, and in which the comforts of the poor were attended to, and the security of the rich.
At the table of our excellent Chargé d'Affaires, Mr. Bankhead, I met the Members of the Corps Diplomatique, two English travellers of fortune, Messrs. Davidson and Gibb, and a daughter of the Emperor Iturbide, a charming young lady, rather petite, with black sparkling eyes and raven tresses. She had been educated at the convent near Washington, a very interesting establishment of sixty nuns, descendants from rich Catholic families; they instruct one hundred boarders, and their day charity-school consists of two hundred pupils, for which they deserve great praise.
The day before I left Washington, I dined en famille with the President, and considered my being asked in this kind and friendly manner as
PARTY AT THE PRESIDENT'S.
a compliment to the service to which I belonged. The General had not begun to give dinners that season, and my stay being short, owing to my anxiety to return to England, from the stirring times that were anticipated, if I had not been invited to a family-dinner, I could not have partaken of the hospitality of the chief magistrate at all.
To a small and comfortable drawing-room, with mirrors and a chandelier, and in which there was a full-length portrait of Washington, I was introduced by Mr. Baird (the butler) to General Jackson, who was seated in a high-backed arm-chair, round which were the members of the family, the ladies composing one quarter of the semicircle, and the gentlemen the other. My excellent friend General Wool, and his lady, were the only strangers besides myself.
After another discourse on English Reform, we handed the ladies into the blue dining-room, where a well-cooked dinner and choice wines refreshed the senses. The services of plate and crystal were in excellent taste. Two brown domestics assisted Mr. Baird, who gave his opinion on the dishes and liquors as he helped them, and seemed to be the factotum of the establishment. After some lively conversation regarding ages of wine and ages of individuals, remarks on the changes in the face of the country, the increase of fields and the decrease of the forest,
PARTY AT THE PRESIDENT's.
the General drank "Our absent Friends," and we all rose, and handed the ladies back to the drawing-room, where they were arranged as before, till coffee was served, when two of the young demoiselles went to the piano, sang and played Scotch airs; the General regaled himself with a long pipe in his easy chair, à la Parr, and retired to bed at nine. Thus ended the party at the President's.
Leave Washington. - My Fellow Travellers.
The Author of
“Pelham.”—Slang.—Enter Baltimore by a Railway.—Spirit of the Inhabitants.-View from an Observatory.-The Battle Monument. The Washington Pillar. Charles Carroll of Carrolton.-Journey to the Susquehannah.An English Radical.-Philadelphia.-The Slate-house. The Banks and Churches.-Peale's Museum.-The 160-gun Ship Pennsylvania.-The Theatre.-The Fair Mount Waterworks. -Anecdote.-Mechanical Genius of the New Englanders.— The Penitentiary.-Its Arrangement.-Sketch of the Life of a Convict. How to prevent Prison-breaking. Facetious Thieves.-Robbery of a Mail Coach.-A Robber's Advice to Travellers. The Philadelphia Prison.-Why liberated Prisoners do not reform.—Dr. Rush.—Luxury of the Philadelphians. A grumbling Traveller.-A Wistar Party. A grievous Disappointment.-Return to New York.
NEXT morning I was on my way to Baltimore in company with Mr. Burrows, well known in New York, and Major Wingfield. In the coach (a sort of windmill, freely admitting the cold air through the leathern sides) there were, besides the above, six editors and reporters of newspapers. These gentlemen were very conversable and facetious, mixing up in their discourse expressions peculiar to the Americans, some of which would