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obtained, Arthur's joy was excessive; he could speak on no other topic but his journey : sleeping or waking his mind was full of the same images, and in his dreams he was continually accompanied by Indians, or people in grotesque habits, pursuing some wild animal through the pathless deserts.
Every preparation being adjusted, and the vessel in which they were to embark ready to sail, an affecting parting took place between Mrs. Middleton and her son, with many injunctions from her, and entreaties from his sisters and brother to write regularly an account of whatever occurred to him, whether he was situated where his letters could be conveyed by mails to England, or not; as an unbroken chain of events might thus be preserved, which might be sent to them in packets, as opportunity offered. Mr. Henry Franklin made a simi. lar promise to his brother, and the moment of se. paration being arrived, after affectionate embraces on all sides, Mr. Henry Franklin conducted his young charge on board the vessel, destined to con. vey them across the Atlantic to America.
The confinement of the ship, the want of varie. ty, each succeeding day being nearly like that which went before it, with the delay of expectation, rendered the voyage insufferably tedious to Arthur; and never were his ears inore agreeably struck, than with the sailor's cry, of "land, land,' as the shores of the Delaware were first perceived, like a small blue cloud, at the edge of the ho. rizon.
As they drew nearer, the tops of trees became visible, and resembled small islands; till, by degrees, the majestic forest was seen clothing the shores to the brink of the water.
Arthur would gladly have been put on shore, but the captain dared not infringe a law, (enácted on account of the dreadful pestilence, that raged in Philadelphia in 1793, and has so often desoJated it since,) that no person shall leave any ship till it has been examined by the officer of health,
Having surmounted all delays, they at length put their feet on that vast continent, which was not known in Europe, till 1497, when it was dis. covered by Americus Vesputius, and presently entered Philadelphia, the ancient capital of the United States, with emotions of curiosity and interest, scarcely to be described.
The captain conducted them to a tavern, as all inns are called in this country, where they refreshed themselves with repose, change of linen, &c. A day or two's experience convinced Mr. Frank. lin, that as he intended to pass some time in this city, a more comfortable and settled habitation was necessary. The master of the inn recommended him to a respectable widow, who kept a boardinghouse for strangers, where he was agreeably sup
plied with apartments, and every other conveni.
Before he extended his views to any other part of the country, his first care was to see every thing worth notice in Philadelphia, which he did with the best directed attention, as will appear by the letters transmitted to England.
Arthur Middleton to his Brother Edwin.
Philadelphia. DEAR BROTHER,
MY sisters must consider my letters as addressed to them as well as to you, for I cannot repeat the same things three times over; and I must make each of you participate with me in every ad. venture, whether prosperous or unfortunate.
Behold me at last arrived in this great city, hi. therto the capital of the United States, though the new city of Washington is to be the metropolis of the empire.
The capacious bay at the mouth of the river Delaware, on which Philadelphia stands, is bound. ed on the north-west by the province of New Jer, sey, and that of Delaware on the opposite side.
The shores, both of the bay and the river, are low, and covered with forests, except in a few places, where they are supplanted by extensive marshes. Nearer to Philadelphia the shores become more elevated, and, on the Delaware side especially, are enlivened with numberless neat farm houses, towns, and villages.
At a distance, the city makes a noble appearance, but the confused heap of wooden store. houses and wharfs, that jut out into the river, gave me a mean opinion of it, on our first ap. proach, which was not improved by the dirt and narrowness of Water-street, through which we passed to our inn. The mention of the inn brings to my recollection my, surprise, at being shown into a room already occupied by all the other guests in the house. Mr. Franklin ordered a private apartment, but none was to be had. At night it was far more disagreeable, for we were obliged to sleep in a chamber furnished with five or six beds, and filled with people whose faces we had never seen before. I was so fatigued that I forgot the whole matter in five minutes, but Mr. Franklin remonstrated with the master of the house, on the impropriety of huddling strangers together in that manner; but without any effect, for he had no idea of such refinement, and said, that it was the custom of the country, to which travellers must submit. The city is built according to a most beautiful
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and regular design, with the streets intersecting each other at right angles, as we are told many other American towns are. At the point where the two principal streets cross each other, is erected a marble rotunda, to receive and distribute the waters of the Schuylkill, which is raised by ma. chinery to a level of thirty or forty feet above the highest ground in the city, by pipes, as it is in London. The principal street is one hundred feet wide, the others vary from eighty tó fifty: they are all paved with pebbles, having path-ways of red brick, with pumps on each of them, at a little distance from each other, with lamps fixed on the top of them. Most of the houses are likewise built with brick, spme few of wood; and those most remarkable for their elegance are ornamented with a particular species of pale-blue marble, as are many of the public structures, which are also generally brick.
The State house is handsome, the legislative bo. dies hold their meetings in it; adjoining to it, are the congress and city halls. The first was used by the congress of the United States, before they held their assemblies at Washington: the senate chamber is handsomely fitted up, but the apartment designed for the representatives of the lower house is entirely plain, and easy of access to every one who chuses to enter it, as the gallery leading to it is open to the street. The president's house is construced in a whim.