« PředchozíPokračovat »
ed, though somewhat corpulent. He walks erect, and with haughty air, in short, he has the remains of much personal beauty, for he is far advanced in years. His complexion is fair, his face wan, though round and full, with a vacant blue eye. In his countenance there is no thing striking, no dignity, no in dependence, or expression; it is neither grave nor austere, but marked with an unmeaning smile. I mentioned my disappointment to a gentlemen of this city; his reply was, that had Mr. W. died when he wrote the Spy, he would have rendered his name immortal.". Taking leave of Mr. W. I called upon Mr. Adams, Secretary of State. It being his hour of business, found him in the State depart ment. Mr. A. received me with that case of manner, which bespeaks him what he really is, the profound scholar, and the consummate gentleman: he saluted me in softest accents, and bid me be seated. I had heard much of Mr. Adams. I had admired him as a writer, and applauded him as a statesman. I was now in his presence. While beholding this truly great man, I was at a loss how to reconcile such rare endowments with the meek condescension of the being before me. He neither smiled nor frowned, but regarding me with a calmness peculiar to him, awaited my business. Mr. A. appears to be about fifty years of age, middling stature, robust make, and every indication of a vigorous constitution. His complexion is fair, his face round and full, but what most distinguishes his features, is his eye, which is black; it is not a sparkling eye, nor yet dull, but one of such keenness that it pierces the beholder. Every feature in his face shows genius, every gesture is that of a great man, his countenance is serene and dig. nified, he has the steadiest look I ever witnessed, he nev er smiled whilst I was in his company, it is a question with me whether he ever laughed in his life, and of all men I ever saw, he has the least of what is called pride, both in his manners and dress.
Mr. Calhoun is quite a young man compared to Mr. A. and possessed of much personal beauty: he is tall and finely made, neither spare nor robust : his movements are light and graceful, his complexion (if I do not mis
Mr. A stature,
his eye, yet dull, beholder.
gesture is e and dig
ed, he nev
a question and of all
alled pride ared to M he is tall and 6 movements
I do not mis
take) is dark, his features handsome and animated, with a brilliant black eye; in his countenance all the manly virtues are displayed, overcast with shining bene volence. In his manners he is frank and courteous. In Washington, as well as elsewhere, Mr. Calhoun is held as a model of perfection. He is secretary of War. The secretary of the navy, Mr. Southard, I never had the pleasure to see; he unfortunately was absent. Fame speaks of him in the highest terms. I was told that I missed a great treat in not seeing him. Mr. Crawford, secretary of the treasury department, was confined by indisposition during the whole of my stay in Washington, of course I did not see him. Mr. M Lean, the post master general, is apparently older than Mr. Calhoun; in his person he is tall and spare, his complexion fair, his countenance mild and pleasing, his fine blue eye beaming with good nature, reveals the benevolence of his heart. His manners are those of an accomplished gentleman. The chief clerks, auditors, and comptrollers, are said to be men of standing integrity and talents, whose worth are equally entitled to notice, but their number is too great for the limits of this work. Gen. Brown, General in chief of the U. S. army, Judge Thurs. ton, Gen. Van Ness, the Messrs. Brents and Carrols, (all of whom are gentlemen of wealth and distinction) have their residence in Washington.
with a Mr. A.
holder. sture is and dig. bhe nev question
Corporation.-Too much praise cannot be bestowed upon the corporation of the city. To its zeal and indeet dull, fatigable industry may be ascribed the rapid improvement of Washington. Perhaps there never was an instance of so much being done in so short a time, and by such limited means. The vast number of houses, the beauty and size of the buildings, streets and avenues, is highly honourable to that body.
Yesterday the fourth of July was celebrated in a style of magnificence never before witnessed in this city; it was ushered in by a round of twenty-four cannon. Much pains was previously taken to render the day splendid and interesting. It certainly was the grandest spectacle I ever beheld. The design, which was the first attempt, had a very imposing effect; this was the
appearance of the different mechanics in the procession,
negr happ leave
er se retur in th
ted t tance a in, o were is.
zens are a
them the ticul Dic
in this friend years
she is Seen:
Peculiar Traits.-Every house of any distinction in the city, has a bell, distinguished by a brass, knob on the side of the front door,* and whoever may be so unfortunate as to have business with the proprietor or any boarder, pulls the brass horizontally, this rings the bell, which brings an insolent free negro to the door. This negro opens the door with great caution, something as we used to do in the Indian wars, and if he finds you are not a member of congress, head of department, or foreign minister, he thrusts his body directly in the entrance, taking all possible precaution to keep you out, by holding fast the door, and thus to the general question, is the master or mistress at home? you receive the same answer ninety-nine times out of an hundred, which is that "he is not," although he is then listening to the negro, who slams the door in your face. It sometimes happens that they are at home; in that case the negro leaves you standing on the steps of the door, like another servant, while he walks up stairs at his leisure, and returns at the same gait; and after some negociation in this manner, the master or mistress walks down stairs, or from whence they are, with a countenance something like a byena; and lest they might be contaminated by your breath, they stop at a disrespectful distance to hear your business, without inviting you to walk in, or showing you the least politeness, though you were dropping with fatigue, or drenched with rain. It is, however, due to the respectable portion of the citizens to say, that they form a decided exception; they are at all times easy of access. Generally you find them on the lower floor, and a ready admittance, particularly at Secretary Adams'; no respect of persons is shown there; the rich and the poor meet with a cordial welcome; and more,t you do not have to stand and wait,
*This is the case in all the Atlantic towns.
† Mrs. Adams is represented to be one of the most charitable females in this or any other country; the distressed are ever sure to meet a friend in her. She is not so old as Mr. Adams; perhaps about forty years of age : in her person she is tall, slender, and elegantly formed; her features are regular and handsome for her years: in ber manners she is affable, and by far the most accomplished American lady I have seen; her countenance is suffused with ineffable sweetness; in short,
and knock till you are weary; you are ushered in at once. But those who keep the Congress boarders, even the females, are a savage, fierce looking people, and the most detestable in their manners of any to be found, either black, white, or red; the Cherokees and Choctaws are a polished people compared with them. To account for this peculiar trait, it must be explained, that the most of the houses in the city belong to the banks; in consequence of their having advanced the money to erect them, the builders being unable to refund the money, the houses became the property of the banks. These houses they rent out to needy adventurers, who purchase a carpet, two or three dozen tables and chairs, hire a score of free negroes, and take in members of Congress as boarders. This enables them to pay for their furniture and servants, and go to market. Thus they are no more than a chief cook and butler, whose insolence to strangers is only equalled by their servility to their boarders. They live like princes during the winter, but have pinching times all summer.
The first house erected on the land where Washington is built, is still standing; it is the property of a Mrs. Prout, by whose father it was erected. I called on the old lady to see this sacred relic of antiquity, which has stood an hundred years! Mrs. Prout waited on me to the house with no little enthusiasm. The frame, (which is rudely formed by the axe,) the joints and rafters, are still sound and entire; also a great part of the weather boarding this last has a very primitive appearance, and recalled to my mind the structures built by the first settlers of the western country, consisting of what we call clap-boards. Without molesting a particle of the original, the old lady has had it recently enclosed with new plank, to shield it from the weather, which she informed me was the second time; the interior is tinged black with smoke. Mrs. P. has turned it into a stable for her favorite horse, who was then standing in it, and
the virtues and the graces seem to have taken up their abode in her fair form. Perhaps the best eulogium that could be bestowed upon this example of worth and excellence would be to say, that she is worthy
of such a husband.
lows: mo the mece place ach proac Wind
hangi he and thakk backreci directl gallop
was ke an