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I did not look that way, and never saw her. I hope she may yet read her own poetry again with new eyes, and learn that the best " ambition" does not write about itself, and that the strongest "powers" are the least conscious of their own operation.
In two of the eastern cities I met with two ladies who had got a twist in opposite directions. It has been represented in England that a jealousy of English superiority, even in natural advantages, is very prevalent in the United States. I do not think so; and I am by no means sure that it is not nearly as rare as the opposite extreme. One in stance of each kind of prejudice came under my notice, and I am not aware of more. At a party at Philadelphia, a lady asked me if I had not crossed the Alleghanies, and whether I did not think them stupendous mountains. I admired the views they presented, and said all I could for the Alleghanies; but it was impossible to agree that they were stupendous mountains. The lady was so evidently mortified, that I began to call the rivers stupendous, which I could honestly do; but this was not the same thing. She said, in a complaining tone,
« Well, I cannot think how you can say there are no high mountains in the United States."
“ You mistake me," I said. “I have not seen the White Mountains yet; and I hear they are very grand.”
You English boast so of the things you have got at home!” said she. " Why, I have seen your river Avon, that you make so much of. I stood by the Avon, under Warwick Castle, and I said to my husband that it was a mighty small thing to be talked of at such a distance. Why, if I had been ten years younger, I could almost have jumped over it."
I told her that I believed the Avon was not so celebrated for the quantity of water in it as on some other accounts.
The lady who went on the opposite tack is not very old, and I suppose, therefore, that her loyalty to the crown of England is hereditary. She made great efforts to see me, that she might enjoy my British sympathies. With a grieved countenance she asked me whether the folly and conceit of her countrymen in separating themselves from the crown were not lamentable. She had hoped that, before this, they would have become convinced of the guilt and silliness of their rebellion, and have sought to be taken back; but she
hoped it was not yet too late. I fear she considered me a traitor to my country in not condemning hers. I was sorry to deprive her of her last hope of sympathy; but what could one do in such a case ?
There must be many local and professional oddities in a country like America, where individuals fill a larger space in society, and are less pressed upon by influences, other than local and professional, than in Old World communities. A judge in the West is often a remarkable personage to European eyes. I know one who unites all the odd character. istics of the order so as to be worth a close study. Before I left home, a friend desired me to bring her something, she did not care what, that should be exclusively American; something which could not be procurable anywhere else. When I saw this judge I longed to pack him up, and direct him, per next packet froin New-York, to my friend ; for he was the first article I met with that could not by possibility have been picked up anywhere out of the United States. He was about six feet high, lank as a flail, and seeming to be held together only by the long-tailed drab greatcoat into which he was put. He had a quid in his cheek whenever I saw him, and squirted tobacco-juice into the fireplace or elsewhere at intervals of about twenty seconds. His face was long and solemn, his voice monotonous, his manner dog. matical to a most amusing degree. He was a dogged republican, with an uncompromising hatred of the blacks, and with an indifferent sort of pity for all foreigners. This last feeling probably induced him to instruct me on various mat
He fixed his eyes on the fire, and talked on sor my edification, but without taking express notice of the presence of any one, so that his lecture had the droll appearance of being a formal soliloquy. In the same speech he declared that no man was made by God to run wild through a forest who was not able to comprehend Christianity at sight; missions to the heathen being therefore sanctioned from heaven itself; and that men with a dark skin canpot, in three
years, learn the name of a rope or a point of the compass, and that they are therefore meant io be slaves. It seemed to me that he was bound to suspend the operation of the law against all coloured persons on the ground of their incapacity, their lack of understanding of the common affairs of life. But the ground of their punishment in this life seemed to be that they might be as wise as they pleased
about the affairs of the next. He proceeded with his enunciations, however, without vouchsafing an explanation of these mysteries. It must be an awkward thing to be either a heathen or a negro under his jurisdiction, if he acts upon his own doctrines.
Country doctors are not unlike wild country judges. Being obliged to call in the aid of a village doctor to a companion, I found we had fallen in with a fine specimen of the class. I was glad of this afterward, but much annoyed at the time by the impossibility of extracting from him the slightest information as to my friend's state and prospects in regard to her health. I detained him in conversation day after day to no purpose, and varied my questions with as much American ingenuity as I could command; but all in vain. He would neither tell me what was the matter with her, nor whether her illness was serious or trifling, or whether it was likely to be long or short. He would give me no hint which could enable me to form my plans, or to give my distant friends an idea whether or when they might expect to see us. All that he would say was, “ Hope your friend will be better;" "hope she will enjoy better health ; " " will make her better if we can;" “must try to improve her health ;” and so on. I was informed that this was all that I should extract if the illness were to last a twelvemonth. He took a blue paper with some white powder in it out of one pocket, and a white paper with some other powder out of another pocket; spilled some at random into smaller papers, and gave directions when they should be taken, and my friend speedily and entirely recovered. I never was so completely in the dark about the nature of illness I saw, and I am completely in the dark still. I fancy I hear now the short, sharp, conceited tones of the doctor, doggedly using his power of exasperating my anxiety. Such was not his purpose, however. The country doctors themselves and their patients believe that they cure with far more certainty than any other doctors; the profession are probably convinced that they owe much to the implicit faith of their charge, and are resolved to keep up this faith by being impenetrable, allowing no part of their practice to be made a subject of discussion which can possibly be rendered mysterious. The chief reason of the success of country doctors is, doubtless, that they have to treat chiefly diseases of local prevalence, about which they employ long experi
ence and practised sagacity, without having mach account to give of their method of proceeding.
A country physician of higher pretensions than the one who tormented me while curing my friend, told me that Yankee inquisitiveness is the plague of the life of a country doctor. The querists seem to forget that families may ob. ject to have domestic sickness made the talk of the village or hamlet, and that the doctor must dislike to be the originalor of news of this kind. They stop him on his rounds to ask whom he is visiting in this direction, and whom in that, and who could be sick on the road in which he was seen going yesterday morning; and what such a one's complaint is called, and how it is going to be cured, &c. The physician told me that he was driven to invent modes of escape. If he was riding, he appeared to see some acquaintance at a distance, clapped spurs to his horse, and was off; if he was walking, he gave a name of six syllables to the disease talked about, and one of seven syllables to the remedy, thus defying repetition. If our doctor took me to be one of this class of querists, I could easily forgive his re
I was told a story of an American physician which is characteristic (if it be true), showing how patriotic regards may enter into the practice of medicine. But I give it only as an on dit. It is well known that Adams and Jefferson died on the 4th of July of one year, and Monroe of another. Mr. Madison died on the 28th of June last year. It is said that the physician who attended Mr. Monroe expressed regret that he had not the charge of Mr. Madison, suspecting that he might have found means to keep him alive (as he died of old age) till the 4th of July. The practice in Mr. Monroe's case is said to have been this: When he was sinking, some one observed what a remarkable thing it would be if he should die on the anniversary, like Adams and Jefferson. The physician determined he would give his patient the chance of its ending so. He poured down brandy and other stimulants, and omitted no means to keep life in the failing body. On the 3d of July, the patient was sinking so rapidly that there seemed little chance of his surviving the day. The physician's exertions were redoubled ; and the consequence was, that, on the morning of the 4th, there seemed every probability of the patient's living to the 5th, which was not exactly desired. He died (just as if he
wished to oblige his friends to the last) late in the afternoon of the 4th. So the story runs.
It is astonishing what may be done by original genius, in availing itself of republican sentiment for professional purposes. The drollery infused into the puffing system in America would command the admiration of Puff himself. It may be doubted whether he would have been up to the invention of a recommendation of a certain oil for the hair which I saw at Washington, and which threw us into such a convulsion of laughter that the druggist behind the counter had to stand waiting some time before we could explain our business to him. A regiment of persons were represented walking up to a perfumer's counter with bald sculls of all degrees of ugliness, and walking away from it graced with flowing tresses of every hue, which they were showing off with gestures of delight. This was an ingenious device, but not perfectly wise, as it contained no appeal to patriotic feelings. I saw one at an optician's at Baltimore of a decidedly more elevated character. There were miniature busts in the window of Franklin, Washington, and Lafayette, each adorned with a tiny pair of spectacles, which made the busts appear as sage as life. Washington's spectacles were white, Franklin's green, and Lafayette's neutral tint.
I acknowledge myself indebted for a new professional idea to an original in the bookselling line in a large American city. I am not sure that his originality extended beyond the frankness of his professional discourse ; but that was infinitely striking. He told me that he wanted to publish for me, and would offer as good terms as anybody. I thanked him, but objected that I had nothing to publish. He was sure I must have a book written about America.
I had not, and did not know that I ever should have. His answer, given with a patronising air of suggestion, was,
Why, surely, madam, you need not be at a loss about that. You must have got incident plenty by this time; and then you can Trollopize a bit, and so make a readable book.”
In the West we were thrown into the society of a girl about whom we were completely puzzled. Our New-England friends could only conclude, with us, that she had been trained amid the usages of some retired district to a freedom which is certainly very unusual in the country. In a stage which took up our party at a country hotel, near the Mammoth Cave, in Kentucky, was a girl of about two-and