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the Southern party, and the nullification storm passed away. But opposing commercial interests still remain to separate North from South; and the fierce and bitter feud as to slavery is superadded.
'Tis Education forms the common mind;
The cities and the schools are the glory of the United States. Perhaps the people themselves, if asked, might give " the Constitution” as the greatest thing they have done. They boast of it a good deal, have a sovereign contempt for all other constitutions, and every American-man, woman, boy, and girl-seems able, and very willing, to give a long lecture on its manifold perfections. However, as we find that, notwithstanding many admirable provisions, evincing the care and judgment of its founders, it can hardly maintain law and order, and does not prevent the grossest political corruption, we must look elsewhere for something of which the people of the United States have a right to boast.
I think they may be proud of their cities.
Nowhere have I seen anything to equal them in neatness, cheerful aspect and general elegance. Compared with them, a city in the Old World is dull and dingy looking. No doubt, in the generality of the large towns in Europe, there are numerous fine old buildings which excite our admiration and interest; we cannot reasonably expect anything like them in the comparatively, new cities of America. But it is not a fine building here and there which determines the appearance of a city: it is the character of the ordinary buildings—the houses and storeswhich are everywhere. In the United States, these are so tasteful and elegant, and of such superior material, that it is quite a treat to walk along the streets, which have a highly rich, lively, and variegated appearance, from the variety of stone of which the houses are built, and the variety of beautiful architectural designs which they exhibit. Chestnut and Walnut streets, in Philadelphia; in New York, Broadway, and the streets which run from the lower part of it to the water-Fifth Avenue, and the streets in the vicinity ; in Boston, Washington, Hanover, Franklin, and State streets, are perfectly magnificent. I have seen nothing worthy of being compared with them on this side of the Atlantic. The houses or stores are lofty,
built of a rich red or fawn-coloured freestone, granite, marble, iron, or brick,--and always with some architectural decoration that pleases the eye, and interests and excites the taste of the observer. In no buildings erected in the leading streets within the last ten or twenty years do we find that hideous-looking structure so common in England—the dull, dead surface, with regular monotonous rows of windows, without any projection, curve, or decoration to break the stiff, flat, rectilinear uniformity; bare, miserable, and utilitarian in its aspect.
Chestnut Street in Philadelphia is certainly one of the prettiest streets I have ever seen. There is scarcely a plain, common-looking building in its whole length. Many of the banks and stores are of granite or marble; a new tasteful design meets the eye at every step; trees on both sides grace and enliven the view, and at one part, where the street widens, and the fine building, Independence Hall, rears its quaint old front, in strange contrast with the surrounding modern structures, the effect is remarkably pleasing. Independence Hall is the old State House; it is built of brick, apparently of the period of Queen Anne, or the early Georges, and has somewhat of the look of Chelsea Hospital. The room in which the famous Decla
ration of Independence was signed on the 4th of July, 1776, is shown ; it contains a number of portraits of the signers, and a variety of interesting memorials of the event; and the polite and agreeable attendant in charge of it takes particular pleasure in pointing out all the curiosities to a Britisher. It is not only in the leading streets, public buildings, and large stores, that this taste for neatness and elegance is manifested in the architecture of Philadelphia; it is seen in the smaller streets and humbler houses in the suburbs; they are of brick, but with marble steps at the door, and a marble basement, which relieve the monotony of the flat surface, and give a lively, tasteful aspect to the street. The Quaker city is truly very unquaker-like, but looks, more almost than any city I have seen, bright, cheerful, and elegant. But let the visitor avoid the suburbs on a Saturday morning; then Philadelphia is cleaning itself. This it does with characteristic American energy, and there is such scrubbing, washing, and splashing at the door of every house, that it is best to be out of the way.
Certainly, architectural taste has made great progress amongst the Americans; and that taste does not develop itself in merely planting fine public buildings here and there-necessarily