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slender store. What will become of them all? Are any of them sick? Will they all find employment? Why, they will cumber the country. It will lose its American identity. How can that be preserved with such a mixed multitude flowing into it? Spare your solicitude, good stranger. Do you observe the thick, whitened waters of the Father of Rivers as they mingle with the sea ? They discolour it for a little space-presently it becomes but a slight tinge, and long before the waves that meet the Mississippi have flowed back to the Reefs of Florida, the mud is deposited in the bottom of the Gulf, and the waters of the river are amalgamated with the waters of the ocean.
Nothing convinces one more of the force and mass of the American character, than to see that the immense influx of foreigners has no power to modify it. The new-comers become modified speedily, chiefly through the political institutions. Many a mind, indolent before, perceives that it has something to do and something to obtain here, and so is roused to untried activity. Many, alas! have been roused to indignation by the treachery of selfish wretches who have boarded their vessel, promised all kinds of assistance, and sold to them so-called railway tickets to Buffalo; and when at Albany the poor ignorant strangers have presented them, they have found that they were tickets for canal-boats on which they must linger for very many days, providing food out of their slender funds! Such base dealings not only rouse indignation, but teach the half-passive that they must be active, or they cannot get along amidst a set of sharpers. I am happy to know that such baseness to the stranger and the poor is now put a stop to, and that the instructions obtained at the Emigrant Office I believe there are two—act both as guide and protector to these unfortunates. Hardship they must and do encounterthey are accustomed to that; but their hopes were high that freedom and justice were bound together on the shores of the new world. To be met on their very first business transaction by an act of roguery, is confounding and discouraging in a high degree the more so that, in general, it has been fellowcountrymen, feigning sympathy and acts of kindness, who have dealt the blow.
Of the multitude who come annually from Europe to try a new home, many bring education and property enough to have a plan and follow it in their future settlement. But many suffer from as great poverty of knowledge as of property, while some are also poor in health. The East River is beautifully speckled over with islands which the wisdom of the legislature has chosen as the receptacles of various sets of people requiring guardianship and superintendence; while its taste has caused buildings to be raised for all their purposes, which adorn the scene-already a very gem of beauties. · On WARD'ISLAND is the great depôt where healthy emigrants are sent to wait till they can be
disposed of at work in the interior of the country. Here they rest, with light employment and under good regulations, till they recover from the effects of voyages made in crowded ships.
The captain of the emigrant ship is bound to produce twelve shillings currency, that is, six shillings sterling, for each emigrant that he carries. This levy supports satisfactorily the immense establishment. There the German finds everything excellent, with the exception of the absence of his beer—and the astonished Irishman eats the first roast beef he ever tasted. They have a story of a Ward's man inquiring of an Irishman why, when he wrote to his brother pressing him to come out, he had told him that they had butcher meat twice a week, when he knew they had it every day in life. “Why," said Pat, “ I need not ha' been telling him that, for he would never ha' belaved it.” They do not generally require to stay long on the island.
On BLACKWELL'S ISLAND we find the prison of the city of New York. The people here seem not under such close discipline as in the State Prison. But we saw bands of men gardening, terrace-making, levelling, and forcing land on their naturally sandy soil. They have made a very handsome façade of terraces, which one admires in sailing up the river. But their island will presently be adorned to the last point, and their ingenuity will then be tasked to find other occupation..
The City Poorhouse is also there. We saw
and airy. Thvery place of thisery of babes, 80 well comiting, the windosence of coal s cription
about four hundred women, and a nursery of babes, on the female side. Every place of this description is clean and airy. The absence of coal smoke, the annual painting, the windows, doors, and piazzas all so well contrived for ventilation, give an air and a feeling of cheerfulness which I have not found in similar establishments in England. We found women reading, sewing, knitting, and tending the sick, besides the stout band employed as laundresses, cooks, &c.
The Insane Asylum is also placed on Blackwell's Island. It is a very fine building, with a remarkably beautiful iron staircase, which combines beauty and strength in a high degree. The handrail is of dark oak; the stair is spiral, shedding gracefully off into a gallery at each landing-place. There is a fine library, in which we found a solitary German, whose delight is to work daily amongst the books, and whose humour is, as we found, not to answer any questions. We visited several wards under the guidance of one of the medical attendants, and left the place with the usual feeling of depression which the sight of remediless misery is calculated to excite.
We were rowed ashore, as we had been to the island, by a set of stout oarsmen, whose skill, and knowledge of the strong current running up with the tide, were much needed to secure our safety. Yet not a cent was asked or expected by the men. We found this the case on visiting the other islands,
and indeed everywhere in the country. Yet the dollar is as mighty there as the sovereign is in England. I presume the explanation to be this: all government institutions belong to the community, they have a share and interest in them, and consequently means are taken to admit the people to examine them without charge.
At Washington we happened to be divided from our gentlemen escort. In the Capitol we asked a watchman to admit us to the dome. He guided us up the many flights of steps, and through many galleries, and on the roof pointed out the counties and states, the rivers and cities, and the nearer public buildings and statues, and took much pains lest we should find any difficulty in the descent. I had been cogitating, as we descended, whether half a dollar or a whole one were the right reward to present to so polite and painstaking a guide; when lo! on looking round at the bottom, he had glided away, and I saw him retreating across the rotunda. They have not here any fat and lazy hangers-on of government, who obtain, in lieu of a pension, the privilege of preying on chance visitors. No Beefeaters, as they now call the successors of the old attendants on the buffet, or sideboard, with their jolly faces, and black velvet hats, and Elizabethan ruffs, to hurry you through the place, while they hurry through their story, and care for nothing about you, except the coin they have earned by their services.