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The traveller marvels at the well-laid-out and nearly filled up streets of Buffalo, which a few years ago consisted of but a store and a hotel-and the gathering throng at Geneva, with the extensive saltworks of Salina, where lately there was only the haunt of the red hunter-and the orderly and thriving population of Rochester, loading canal-boats with pile on pile of sacks and casks, containing grain, flour, butter, cheese, and all the bountiful produce of a very rich country. He hears of Troy and Utica, and all manner of ancient names, till he is at a loss to remember in which era of time he lives, and on which quarter of the globe he stands. But he feels it is all new—the growth of yesterday. He need but go a few roods from most of these flourishing cities, to fall in with black stumps, obstinately holding their room in the fields of winter wheat ; or lopped and girdled trees like so many criminals awaiting their doom; or whole acres of fir wrenched up by a machine, their once sky-point
ing tops prone in the coarse and fenny grass, and their roots standing in the air, like the fangs of a strong tooth that has been drawn from its place by an engine not less stern and resolute. The forest seems ancient like mother earth, and like the deep blue sky—but the cities are like parvenus,
new, and smart, and bright; so that, when from the nor’-west you get down to Albany, you feel as if you had reached a very ancient place, parts of it reminding one of Holland with a sort of modern square cut about it.
Washington, were the spaces filled up between its very magnificent public edifices, would be
very grand. Baltimore, with its tasteful monuments and fine rivers, is filled up ; its regular orderly streets giving one a little breathing of up hill and down dale ; reminding Scotch folks of Jeanie Deans' delight at having her legs rested by climbing Gunnerbury hill, after two or three hundred miles of plain walking. Philadelphia is full of philanthropists and philanthropic institutions; is clean, handsome, and orderly as a young quaker's pasteboard bonnet. Hartford, with its fine streets, and fine trees, and all the histories attached to them-New Haven, with its avenue of elms, like the interlacing roofs of an ancient cathedral—Boston, majestic, graceful, with its beautifully laid out common and height crowned by its noble state house—these, and many more, one traverses with an ever-rising perception of the civilisation, wealth, taste, and beauty of the country.
But it is of New York—the “Empire City," where traffic hastens and where shipping throngs, where wealth enjoys and poverty labours, where want is pursued by benevolence, inebriety by temperance, and vice of all sorts by Christianity-it is of this, emporium of the country that we wish to speak.
It is common to say, “New York will be a handsome city when it is finished;" and so it will, if that day of repose ever reaches it. One sometimes lights on a street quiet and clean, where you can stand still and enjoy it. But, lo! a restless genius has bought a house. However comfortable it is, he will hardly believe it is his own: till he has altered it. So you will see it climbing a story nearer the clouds, a conservatory bulging out on the side, a portico on the front. If it be a store, a smarter window or a deeper cellar is wanted. In short, your orderly street is quickly cumbered with all the confusion of building; and timber, bricks, and lime are spread about with little ceremony, and much incumbrance to passengers.
There is wonderful forbearance on the part of the citizens with the encroachments made on the footpaths by boxes and casks of all kinds. You must glide through them very warily, lest your clothes be rent on a corner or your foot wounded by a nail ; not to mention tinctures of tar or sugary matter, which may be more easily contracted than shunned in the lower and more business parts of the city. It must be on the give-and-take principle that these incumbrances are suffered
"I won't complain of you to-day, for I expect my cargo in to-morrow; we must all get along”-and so they do, more at the occupiers' ease in some streets than that of the passengers. It reminded me of an indignant traveller whose horse had shied at the carcase of a dead brother at the end of a small town in Scotland—“Why is not this nuisance removed?” “Hout, our horses are used to it, they never scare.” “But mine does ; and if you
don't have it removed, I will represent it to the Bailie." “Hout awa', sir-I'm Bailie mysel'!” Probably these cumberers of the pavement are bailies too.
Another subject on which great forbearance is shewn, is the endurance of noise in many operations, where a little care would lessen or entirely remove it. The movable sides of their long carts rattle. The loads they carry rattle. By half-past four A.M., the milk-carts begin their clattering progress. Many of them carry six tin jars, which contain perhaps fifteen gallons apiece. These jars are slipt into six iron rings, which might be easily lined with leather, but they are not. At every motion of the cart all the six give forth their own portion of noise. Add to this the usual quantity of rattle of the wheels on the axle; the shout, or whistle, or frightful Australian "Coooa” with which the milkmen summon the drowsy damsels to come forth with their empty pitchers, and you have got up a nuisance which it would require a determined anti-clatter company to put down. Woe be to the sick and wakeful who have
just dropped into a slumber!—it is effectually over for this morning.
Next comes the ice cart, with less commotion; its driver rings, and in his huge forceps lifts a cube of transparent solid ice; not the “rotten ice," frozen and melted, and frozen again, that we call ice in England; but the pure block cut out of the Rockland Lake, which might have been several feet thick, and frozen a couple of months, before it was broken by the dealer in that frigid but important and wholesome luxury.
On the Sabbath mornings another noise is added, which inflicts, not headache alone, but heartache. By six o'clock the news-boys traverse the streets, shouting, “The Herald, the New Yorker," &c., furnishing half a day's secular reading for all who are so disposed. These boys! lately tattered, and wan, and timid Irish emigrants ; look at them fitted out in second-hand garments, the fitting of which is not so much to be considered, as how they, destitute, earned the cash to purchase them. See them wrestling, scrambling, teazing each other in their breathing intervals. Hear their slang wit, impudence, and profanity mingled. Observe their acute calculating skill. One wants to be off home, and will “sell out” to the next, giving him the advantage of a paper or two of his “stock in trade” into the bargain. Bright fellows! what ready mother wit! what sharp adoption of trading phrases! How capable of learning something better! Poor waifs,