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plexion fair, his features handsome, with a soft blue
Doctor Bancroft is celebrated as one of the first writers in our country. He is far advanced in life; I should think over sixty and though he has a slight paralytic, he walks about and converses with all the facility of youth. The Doctor lives in affluence, amidst an amia. ble family, like himself, possessed of all the affability and casc common to people of the best society.
The American Antiquary, I am told, is a rare collec tion of the various productions of nature and art, with a valuable library, consisting of 6,000 volumes. But from the absence of Mr. Thomas, the principal proprietor, I was unable to see it. Worcester is pronounced Wooster by the inhabitants; nor did I dream that Wooster mean! the Worcester in the Geography, until I saw it saw spell. ed on the signs.
Having little to detain me at Worcester, I pursued my journey to Boston, (in the stage,) which is only forty miles distant. The land from Worcester to Boston is diversified with rich and poor, stony, flat, mountainous, and marshes covered with winter birch, the first I ever saw. This birch is of small size, between a shrub and a tree, and perfectly white; it is always an evidence of poor soil. To this variety of soil we must add numerous ponds of crystal water, which look extremely beautiful. When we drew nearer Boston, the face of the country changed into slight mountains, consisting of pine ridges, resembling the spurs of the Alleghany, with here and there an impetuous stream rushing down the declivities. About eight miles this side of Boston, we passed the beau tiful country seat of General Hull, who commanded in
the last war. It was pointed out to me by my fellow passengers. It lies on the right hand side of the road, and for taste and beauty, may, with truth, be styled an earthly paradise. The house peeps above one of the richest shrubberies I have seen, in which art seems to have exhausted her skill. All the country seats, however, from this to Boston, generally, are truly magnificent; but they are completely eclipsed by the far-famed Cambridge, three miles on this side of Boston. Here I must stop! cities, towns, villages, rivers, shrubberies, groves, harbors, edifices, domes, steeples, bridges, and shipping, all bursting upon one at once, the ablest pen would shrink from the task. Cambridge itself unites every thing that can be called great and beautiful, a vast green of some miles in extent, as level as a calm sea, overspread with here and there a cluster of trees, streets and houses. The lofty halls of the University, a master piece of architecture, with the grand squares attached to them, the church, and professor's dwelling houses, may give some idea of Cambridge. But this is only a drop in the ocean; lift your eye from the smooth green lawns of Cambridge, and Boston stands before you, rising up as it were out of the water; a little to the left is Charlestown, on the right is Roxbury and Watertown. Charles' river is upwards of a mile wide, branching off into different channels; five vast bridges in ew; the United States' navy yard at Charlestown, with two stins of the line of an hundred and ten guns each; the shipping of Boston and Cambridge ports, all visible at one view, presents an assemblage of objects beyond the power of any one to describe.
Boston.-Boston rises up graduaily from the water's edge on all sides, and terminates upon a lofty eminence in the centre, or nearly so. This gives it a fine display from whatever point it is approached. The state-house, a grand edifice with a lofty dome, stands upon the highest ground in the city, nearly in the centre; this, and the cupolas of Fanueil Hall, the old state-house, and a dozen others, with about 70 white steeples which pierce the clouds in every part of the town, gives Boston a de
cided advantage over any city, in point of beauty, at this distance. The bridges mentioned, as my fellow travellers informed me, are called by different names; one leads from Cambridge to Charlestown, another from Boston to Charlestown, and three from Cambridge to Boston; one, however, is a causeway, or mill dam, which is crossed as a bridge; some of them are a mile in lengh. We took the middle bridge, which soon landed us in Boston, where beauty diminished as we drew near; and still more so when we found ourselves lost in narrow streets, with houses mountain high on each side of us. 1 was no little afraid of being dashed to pieces by the sta ges and carriages which come meeting us, for want of room to pass.
At length I arrived at the exchange coffee-house, (where all the great people put up,) was assisted out of the stuge by some of the clerks, and making a sudden stop at the foot of a tremendous staircase, desired the young man not to put me in one of his little back rooms, where I could see nothing." "O no," he repli ed," you shall have room enough," and leading the way up stairs, he left me in a parlour about forty feet square! laughing as he drew the door after him at the idca, no doubt, that he had given me room enough. It was some time in the afternoon of the following day, before red to walk over the city, which, indepen
nt of the scenery that surrounds it, is by no means handsome. The streets are very short, narrow, and crooked, and the houses are so high, (many of them five stories,) that one seems buried alive. The side-walks are narrow, and badly paved, and the town is badly lighted; in this respect, it is greatly behind New-York or Philadelphia. They have a custom amongst them as old as the city, singular enough; that is, shutting up their shops at dark, winter and summer, which gives the city a gloomy appearance, and must be doubly so during the long winter nights. I should be at a loss to conjecture how their clerks and young men dispose of themselves, during their long winters. New-York and Philadelphia do as much business after dark as they do in the day, and perhaps more; for the young people then take time
to amuse themselves, and the lights which illuminate the shops and stores, give life and activity to the whole city. Broadway, Pearl-street, Chatham, and in fact all that do business, forms one of the most cheering spectacles in the world at night. The site of the city is nearly circular, its greatest width being not more than a mile and a half, or perhaps three quarters; but the houses are closely built, and so high, that they contain a great num. ber of people. There are, however, some handsome streets, such as Washington-street, State-street, Green and Congress-streets: but the glory of streets is the colonnade on the side of the mall. Beacon-street is also, for its length, unrivalled, bordering on the mall likewise, and being on elevated ground, it commands one of the finest views in the city: it runs in front of the statehouse. But the scenery of the environs is what distinguishes Boston from any city, perhaps in the world! No one can conceive imagery more rich, or more replete in beauty. From the top of the state-house arises a dome, ornamented with a cupola some hundred feet in height, from which you have one of the finest prospects in the world. Every part of the city, the wide spreading bay, the ocean, Charles' river, the bridges, white sails, Charlestown, Cambridge, South Boston, Roxbury, Dorchester, Quincy, in short, twenty-eight towns and villages may be seen distinctly with the naked eye, with an extensive country, in the highest state of cultivation, splendid mansions, rich shrubberies and gardens, to the distance of twenty miles, with rounding hills of magic beauty, all mingled together; add to these the numerous islands in the bay, Fort Independence, and Fort Warren, the human mind is incapable of admitting more, the eye is literally surfeited with beauty!- the scenes are lost in rapture!! Much as I had travelled, and curious as I had been to regard the scenery of the states through which I passed, never had I seen any thing to compare to this, even my favorite scenery in Washington City, shrinks into nothing beside it. I could extend these remarks to an enormous volume, abounding as it does, with endless materials, but my engagements oblige me to be brief, and I haste to describe the city in a topographical view、
Boston is about four miles in circumference, in shape an oblong, or nearly circular. It is almost surrounded by water, being joined to the main land by a narrow neck, extending in the direction of Roxbury, to which the buildings join. It is only separated from Cambridge and Charlestown by Charles' river, and from Dorches ter and South-Boston by a part of the bay, over which there is likewise a bridge. These lie south, Cambridge lies west, and Charlestown lies north, or nearly so. Boston contains 1 new state-house, 1 old do. a court-house, a hall for police, Fanueil hall, a prison, an alms-house, a house of correction, a hospital, a dispensary, a theatre, a circus, a custom-house, a city library, a law libra ry, an athenæum, a museum, 2 market-houses, 6 bridges, 3 wharves and the mall, an observatory, and 7 banks. It has also 32 houses for public worship, viz. 12 Congregationalists and Unitarians, 4 Episcopalians, 4 Bap tists, 4 Universalists, 3 Methodists, 1 Roman Catholic, 1 Friends, 1 New-Jerusalem, 1 Seamen's chapel, and 1 African. The wharves of Boston are among the first public buildings in the city, and a subject of admiration to all who visit them: they extend to a great distance in the water, to wit, central and long wharf, 1,240 feet. The India wharf is also of considerable length. These wharves are lofty brick houses, with a street on each side, for the lading of vessels, the water being too shal low for vessels to come near the shore, as they do at New-York. The buildings on those wharves surpass any idea that can be formed of symmetry and proportion: so uniform in height, that no line can be drawn with more exactness; particularly central wharf, the whole of the buildings being four stories high, built of the best burnt brick, and occupied for stores. I mean the wharves are all four stories high, and of brick, but the central wharf being more recently built, is more showy. No thing can look more grand than these wharves stretching out into the bay to such an amazing length. The state-house requires little more to be said. It is called the new state-house, to distinguish it from the old one. It stands upon a lofty eminence, called Mount Vernon, at the head of the mall.* It is built of brick, and very * Pronounced Mal by the citizens.