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under the yoke of British dóminion, and where queens have been reduced to beggary by the Warren Hastingses who have lorded it over them since English cunning, villany, and cupidity dethroned the native princes, and established their own governors in their stead?

Personally we wish Mr. Buckingham all prosperity in life. This wish springs from a personal knowledge of his personal merits, which are very great: but he certainly cannot blame our rough manners in inviting him to cease from his process of lecturing upon temperance, dictating to the American people their course of action. There is nothing bad, but a great deal of good in temperance; but we do not like these precedents : we know that we utter the sentiments of native Americans when we solemnly declare that we do not need these foreign teachers, but that, ere long, we will not tolerate their audacious presence. We are a nation of men, and not of old women. We are sturdy inhabitants, born to the soil, and the soil to us; and there are enough moralists in our borders to tell us the word of heaven, and direct our wandering propensities towards the divine Master, who shapes our destinies with the same hand that binds the earth to its centre, controls the ebbings of the ocean, and permits the burning sun to stand a fixture and a blessing among his works. We are a temperate people, remarkably so. We do not take time to drink. We do not create roads in order to build taverns. We are all, more or less, water-drinkers; and yet Mr. Buckingham is hallooing in our ears his impudent insinuations. We loathe the abject spirit of our countrymen, that forces them to bow before his path as if he was some god fit for their worship.”

I must do the editor the justice to say, that I believe he only expresses publicly the sentiment of dislike to foreigners, and jealousy of their influence, which is privately entertained by large numbers, in the humbler classes of life especially. But justice to the other classes requires it to be stated, that this prejudice is strong in proportion to the contracted nature of the minds, and the limited sphere of intel. ligence in the parties entertaining it. The better educated, and, above all, the travelled American, despises this feeling as much as any well-informed European can do; and, therefore, in the more intellectual and influential circles of American society, the prejudice can hardly be said to exist, or, if existing at all, it does not develop itself in word or deed, or operate in the slightest degree against the exercise of the utmost courtesy and hospitality towards persons of merit, from whatever country they may come, or against the cordial reception of any proposition for the amelioration of mankind, in whatever quarter it may originate.

On Thursday, the 8th of March, we had an opportunity of attending the first drawing-room held by the president since his accession to office. I had been previously introduced to him by the Rev. Dr. Hawley, an Episcopalian clergyman, of whose congregation the president is a member; and I had also brought letters of introduction to him from NewYork, so that I had been favoured with a long private in

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terview, and a very cordial and friendly reception some days before; and Mrs. Buckingham and my son were invited, as well as myself, to the party of the evening.

We went about nine o'clock, with the family of Colonel Gardiner, who is attached to the public service here, and found the company already assembled in great numbers. The official residence of the president is a large and substantial mansion, on the scale of many of the country-seats of our English gentry, but greatly inferior in size and splendour to the country residences of most of our nobility; and the furniture, though sufficiently commodious and appropriate, is far from being elegant or costly. The whole air of the mansion and its accompaniments is that of unostentatious comfort, without parade or display, and therefore well adapted to the simplicity and economy which is character. istic of the republican institutions of the country.

The president received his visiters standing, in the centre of a small oval room, the entrance to which was directly from the hall on the ground floor. The introductions were made by the city marshal, who announced the names of the parties; and each, after shaking hands with the president, and exchanging a few words of courtesy, passed into the adjoining rooms to make way for others. The president, Mr. Van Buren, is about 60 years of age, is a little below the middle stature, and of very bland and courteous man. ners; he was dressed in a plain suit of black; the marshal was habited also in a plain suit; and there were neither guards without the gate or sentries within, nor a single servant or attendant in livery anywhere visible. Among the company we saw the English minister, Mr. Fox, a nephew of Lord Holland, and the French minister, Monsieur Pontoi, both of whom were also in plain clothes; and the only uniforms in the whole party were those of three or four officers of the American navy, officially attached to the navyyard at Washington, and half a dozen officers of the American army, on active service. The dresses of the ladies were some of them elegant, but generally characterized by simplicity, and jewels were scarcely at all worn. therefore, though consisting of not less than 2000 persons, was much less brilliant than a drawing-room in England, or than a fashionable soirée in Paris; but it was far more or. derly and agreeable than any party of an equal number that I ever remember to have attended in Europe.

There being no rank (for the president himself is but a simple citizen, filling a certain office for a certain term),

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there was no question of precedence, and no thought, as far as I could discover, of comparison as to superiority. Every one present acted as though he felt himself to be on a perfect footing of equality with every other person; and, if claims of preference were ever thought of at all, they were tested only by the standard of personal services or personal merits. Amid the whole party, therefore, whether in the small receiving-room and around the person of the president, or in the larger room of promenade, where 500 persons at least were walking in groups, or in the small adjoining rooms to which parties retired for seats and conversation, nothing approaching to superciliousness or rudeness was

The humbler classes for of these there were many, since the only qualification for admission to the morning levée or the evening drawing-room is that of being a citizen of the United States-behaved with the greatest propriety; and though the pressure was at one time excessive, when it was thought that there were nearly 3000 persons in the different apartments, yet we never heard a rude word or saw a rude look, but everything indicated respect, forbearance, and perfect contentment; and when the parties retired, which was between eleven and twelve o'clock, there was not half so much bustle in getting up the carriages, which were very numerous, as is exhibited at a comparatively small party in England; nor was any angry word, as far as we could discover, exchanged between the drivers and servants in attendance.

This drawing-room, from which we retired about midnight, as we were among the last that remained, impressed us altogether with a very favourable opinion of the social character of the American people. Members of the opposition, most hostile to the president in his official capacity, were present, and interchanged their civilities with him in the most cordial manner, laying aside their characters as senators and representatives, and here meeting the chief magistrate of the republic as citizens only. The citizens themselves, of every other class, exhibited no symptom of any other feeling than that of respect and satisfaction; and as this could only be accounted for on the principle that the absence of all artificial distinctions in society-except those which personal merit may create, and which may be called natural and just-leads to the absence of all envy and discontent; and, therefore, a democratic crowd of 2000 persons were, from the operation of this principle, seen to conduct themselves in a more respectful, subdued, and orderly man

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ner than the same number of persons, especially if of very different conditions in life, would be likely to do in any of the older countries of Europe, where such distinctions of rank exist, and where the consequences are envy, feuds, and discontent.

We had subsequently another opportunity of witnessing the extreme simplicity of the president's manners, and the entire absence of all form and state in his movements. On Sunday, the 11th of March, we attended the Episcopalian Church of Dr. Hawley, where the service is performed as in the Established Church of England. It being near the president's house and most of the public offices, a large por. tion of the congregation is composed of the families of members of the cabinet and heads of departments. The president walked into the church, unattended by a single servant, took his place in a pew in which others were sitting besides himself, and retired in the same manner as he came, without being noticed in any greater degree than any other member of the congregation, and walking home alone, until joined by one or two personal friends, like any other private gentleman. In taking exercise, he usually rides out on horse. back, and is generally unattended, or, if accompanied by a servant, never by more than one. Everywhere that he passes he is treated with just the same notice as any other respectable inhabitant of the city would be, but no more. Yet this is so far from lessening, as might by some be supposed, the influence or authority of the president in his official capacity, that no one presumes to show less reverence for, or less obedience to, the laws on this account; and thus the compatibility of extreme simplicity in manners with perfect respect to authority is practically demonstrated.

CHAPTER XVI.

History of the City of Washington.-- Formation of the District of Columbia.-Seat of

Government established there by Law.-Choice of the Position for the new City.Plan and Design of General Washington.—Topography and Details of the Streets, &c.-Public Buildings. — The Capitol.-Scale of the Edifice.-Style of Architecture. - Sculptured Subjects in the Rotunda.- Description of the Senate Chamber.- Arrangement and Modes of doing Business.- Description of the Hall of Representatives.-Regulation of taking Seats by Members - General Order and Decorum of their Proceedings.-Great Advantage of Day-sittings over Night-meetings.—Hall of the Supreme Court of Justice. ---Library of the Capitol, History and Present Condition.-The President's House, Size, Style, and Character.--Public Offices of Gor. emment near the President's.--State Department.- Original Declaration of Independence.-War Department.-- Portraits of Indian Chiefs.-Treasury Department.

Standard Weights and Measures.--Arsenal. — Navy-yard, and General Postoffice. -Indian Department.-Land Department.- Patent Office.- Destruction of Models and Records.-Places of Public Worship in Washington.--Anecdote of the Congressional Chaplains.—Colleges, Banks, Hotels, and Boarding houses.-Theatres.-M. Forrest, the American Actor.–Anecdote of Southern Sensitiveness on Slavery.Play of Othello and of the Gladiator Proscribed.-Exclusion of Coloured Persons from the Representations.- Private Buildings of the City, Style and Character.Population of Washington.-City Government.-- Revenue, Taxes, Licenses, Debt, and Appropriation. -- Regulations respecting the Coloured Population.-Restrictions as to the Heights of Houses in Building.

The history of the City of Washington is so recent that it may be very briefly told. In the year 1790, when General Washington was president of the United States, he first conceived the idea of fixing the seat of government, which was then at Philadelphia, at some central position, so as to be equally accessible to the members of Congress coming from all parts of the Union. This design was imbodied in a bill, which originated in the Senate on the 1st of June, passed the House of Representatives on the 9th of the same month, and received the sanction of the president on the 16th of July following. The votes taken on this occasion, however, were not unanimous; the division in the Senate being fourteen to twelve, and in the House of Representatives thirty-two to twenty-nine. This bill authorized the setting apart of a territory, not exceeding ten miles square, on each side the River Potomac, to be taken with consent from the states of Maryland and Virginia, between which the Potomac was the then existing boundary-line, to be called "the District of Columbia," and to be made the permanent seat of government. Such a territory having been marked out by commissioners appointed for that purpose, and the arrangements with the two states from which it was taken being satisfactorily completed, the district was formally recognised by law, and made subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of Congress.

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