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to the bay. These specimens of art are sometimes heightened by piles of the wildest rocks in nature.
On the road to Quincy, near Boston, stands Dorchester Heights, from which Gen. Washington forced the British to evacuate that city. The old breast-work, or fort, is still to be seen from the road, though partly overgrown with grass. This was the piece of generalship that so much astonished the British-it was erected in one night. Here it was that several thousand barrels of sand were ready to overwhelm the enemy, had they attempted to climb the hill. This must have been, what we, in the southern states, call a yankee trick. British, however, disappointed their expectations, by evacuating the city, and General Washington, amidst the shouts of the men and the smiles of the ladies, entered Boston in triumph.
It appears that the ladies of these times were truer whigs than the men-they not only threw all the tea they had into the streets, but abjured the name of tea. Gen. Washington, or some of his officers, sending to one of them to borrow a tea-kettle, the lady replied, that "she had no tea-kettle, but she would lend him her coffee-kettle."
Returning from Quincy to Boston, I was agreeably surprised to find in the stage, the brother of Mr. Gales, of Washington city, whose resemblance to him led to the discovery. He was taking an excursion with his beau tiful wife, whom he had just married in Greenwich, Mass. and was soon going to North-Carolina, where he resides. See what the fame of our yankee girls effects.
Cambridge. The site of Cambridge has already been mentioned; it is a perfect level, something lower than the site of Boston, from which it is only divided by Charles river and part of the bay. It is connected with that city by two bridges, and the causeway over the mill-dam, which last is 50 feet wide; its length has been noticed. One bridge is called west Boston bridge, and the other Craney's bridge; the first is 3483 feet long, supported by 180 piers; the other is nearly the same. Cambridge, though very extensive, is very thinly settled; a few houses here
and there in clusters, with clumps of trees and shrubberies. It has a port and some stores, and several manufactories on that side next to Boston. The houses are beautifully shaded with the elm and horse-chesnut, the favorite trees of New-England,* which give it a pervading air of rural luxuriance; nor is it cut up into streets, but left to expand in all its native grace. Cambridge is pronounced Camebridge by every body in this country, particularly the learned. It is chiefly remarkable for being the seat of Harvard University, famed for being the first literary institution in the United States. This seminary was founded in 1638, the oldest in America, being not quite twenty years after the first settlement of New-England. It was called Harvard after a gentleman of that name, who was its first benefactor: he beqeathed it 7791. It was first called a school, but in 1650 it was incorporated by the name of Harvard college, and finally styled the University. It is the most richly endowed of any literary institution in the Union; and consists of six large edifices, besides buildings for the president, professors, and students. It has a president, twenty professors, six tutors, a proctor, and a regent. It has a library of 28,000 volumes, the largest in America! It has a philosophical and chemical apparatus also, the most complete one in our country; the philosophical apparatus alone cost nearly 1500l. It has besides an anatomical museum, an observatory, a cabinet of minerals, and a botanical garden of 8 acres, containing a rich collection of trees, shrubs, and plants, both foreign and domestic. It has usually between three and four hundred students. By a rule of the university, the president is not allowed to exercise clerical functions. The buildings stand three miles west from Boston, though they are very distinctly seen. An exhibition of students took place while I was in Boston, of which I availed myself with no small degree of pleasure. The hall was filled when I arrived, although it wanted several minutes of the time, and it was with difficulty I obtained a seat. But the crowd still continued to squeeze in, both in the galleries and below; the ladies below and the gentlemen
* I have not seen a lombardy poplar since I left Albany.
above. The musicians also sat in the gallery, music being a part of the exhibition. The president had not made his appearance, and I indulged the interval in viewing the audience, which could not have been short of a thousand; beside a vast number who were unable to get in for want of room. The students, dressed in the richest black silk gowns, sat by themselves under the gallery, except the pierian sodality that were to perform on instruments, who sat above. These were easily distinguished by the uniformity of their dress, and their modest deportment. I never saw such an assembly of fine looking people, not only as respects size and figure, but in mien and countenance: genius and intelligence shone in every face. Meantime my ear was saluted with the most ravishing sounds; the music in the gallery be gan to play, and continued till the president of the university entered the hall, and took his seat in the desk. He entered the hall in a flowing robe of shining black silk, like those worn by the students. President Kirtland is of middling age and stature, portly figure, and fair complexion, his face round and comely, with a blue eye, his mouth small, his teeth regular and beautiful, his countenance noble, frank, and intelligent. On his head he wore something which I shall never be able to describe it was a cap (or something like one) made of black silk or velvet. Supposing this cap to fit the head precisely, upon the top of this, that is, upon the crown of his head, sat something quadrangular in shape, thin as pasteboard, and black as the other. This part of the head dress was about ten inches each way, and adhered horizontally to the sound part. He wore it one corner foremost, from whence dropped one of the richest tas sels, which I thought interrupted his Rev. LLDship very much, by getting into his eyes. The whole, however, was very becoming, and gave him quite a dignified ap pearance. When he had advanced about half way up the hall, he took off the thing, whatever it be, and saJuted the audience by a gentle inclination of his head, with great dignity and grace; he then proceeded up the hall with a slow, majectic step, mounted the rostrum, and stepped from thence into his desk, with the utmost com
posure and self-possession, while a pleasant smile sat upon his countenance, and every eye seemed to hail his arrival. After being seated, he put on his head-piece, the music stopped, and the students began the exhibition, the president calling them separately by name in Latin. The instant they were called, they arose and moved toward the rostrum, with inimitable grace and modesty of gesture. As they mounted the rostrum, they bowed first to the president, and then turning round, with a cheerful countenance, bowed respectfully to the audience, and immediately commenced speaking, perfectly unembarrassed, whilst a thousand eyes were upon them. Sometimes one, but often two, three, or four, would mount the rostrum together, though but one at a time exhibited. Some spoke in Greek, some in Latin, and others in English. The subjects were orations upon history, philosophy, and the fine arts; also dissertations, disquisitions, and conferences were likewise held by three or four in debate. Essays, dialogues, astronomical, and mathematical exercises; among others, a dialogue in Greek, translated from Maliere's Marriage Force, and spoken by three young gentlemen, one of whom (Mr. Hamilton) was the son of mine host, "Exchange Coffee-House;" and though all Greek to me, it gave universal satisfaction, particularly to the president, who could not forbear laughing as they seemed to quarrel, and were sometimes upon the point of fighting. There was no material difference in the performance of the speakers; the whole was deeply interesting; the easy grace, sometimes the arm uplifted with the flowing sleeve, sometimes incumbent on the breast, whilst the symmetry of their persons was often visible, under the gently waving robe. An interval in the exhibition of the speakers, gave place for the music, performed by the sodality.
I should be at a loss to say which I admired most, the beauty and modesty of the youths, the richness of their dress, the display of eloquence, or the sweet rolling music from never having witnessed a display of this nature, I was doubtless more affected with the exhibition than any one present. Amongst the students, I was particularly struck with Charles F. Adams, son of the
president, George Sheafe, of New-Hampshire, his thir Cassius face, and eagle eye, betoken something more than common; John S. Silbey of Maine, Allen Putnam of Danvers, Omen S. Keith of Franklin, Jonathan Chapman of Boston, William Morgan of New-Orleans, and Wm. Dwight of Springfield. But above all, I was captivated with Benjamin Brigham of Boston; it I am not mistaken in him, he is some day to add to the list of native orators. He seemed to have arrived to the age of manhood; tall, and finely made, his countenance luminous, his voice melodious, his delivery fluent and suasive, his action natural and easy. He delivered a dissertation upon the moral effect of the stage, as highly tending to improve taste, and refine the manners. During the oration, an irresistible smile played upon his lip; in short, his genius, his gestures, and his silver tongue must. succeed!
Before the exhibition commenced, I had an interview with professor Everett, a well known literary gentleman, who resides at Cambridge. Mr. E. is quite a young looking man for his celebrity; his complexion is fair, his figure light, and of common stature. His attic countenance abundantly confirms report, indeed his fame is the only instance that ever reached my knowledge in the rude west. But I have dealt so much in prodigies of late, that I confess my very poor stock of language is exhausted. All I dare venture to say of professor E. is that he has a more classical look than P. K. and is one of the most finished gentlemen I have met with.
Journey to Salem.-Having amused myself with every thing worth seeing in and about Boston, I once more take the stage for Salem.
Salem is distant from Boston sixteen miles, which we travel in about three hours, taking a northerly course ever Charlestown bridge. Here we have much the same scenery, only a little more of the sublime. For the first time, I saw what could probably be called the Atlantic.*
* I had a view of the main ocean at Boston, from the observatory, through a telescope. It happened to be a boisterous day, and the waves were running high, the water dashed up to a great height, rerembling smoke issuing from a chimney.