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houses, and each street is simply a multiple of 100; for instance, 43rd street commences with house 4300. There is no city in the world about which a stranger can so easily find his way.
Leaving my hotel near Independence Hall, I went first into the suburbs to find out a friend whom I had met at Warwick Castle. Beyond 43rd street, the detached villas and mansions spring up in countless numbers, and on account of their gardens and sylvan surroundings the sight of them is perhaps more gratifying to an English eye, than their splendid rivals in Fifth-avenue at New York. I did not wonder now that my venerable clergyman friend should have acquired a love for nature, nor that he should quote Ruskin to me on Cæsar's Tower, by the water-lilied Avon.
On the voyage-out the occupant of the next seat to myself in the saloon, was a Philadelphia gentleman who kept the table alive with his jokes and funny stories. On our parting at New York, he said, “When you come to our city you must call and see me, and if I am away, my people will entertain you.” I found out his leviathan store of fire-arms, piled with Colts, Enfields, and Birmingham fowling-pieces. Hailing from the city of peace, of course I had set down this worthy shipmate as a man of peace; when behold his territories bristled with arms ! He was ready enough, however, to make good his invitation and render my stay in his city as pleasant as possible.
Foremost in interest to us is Independence Hall. The room in which the Declaration of Independence was signed, July 4th, 1776, is open to the public. The table and the President's chair are still there, and also the great Liberty-bеll which was first rung in honour of the
event. These relics are preserved in the original building; some years ago the internal wood-work was taken out and replaced with fittings in a modern style. This did not please the people who insisted on having the wood-work again torn out, and the hall restored with new material and made a fac-simile in all respects to the
The remarkable scene which took place in this chamber is commemorated in a painting at Washington. In the artist's conception, the sombre brown and mulberry-coloured garments of the Quakers are noticeable ; and one of the founders of the Republic, John Adams, might from his likeness have been related to our great commoner Friend. The charter of Independence is being deliberated and signed under the ægis of British flags, which appear on the wall, not having yet been dethroned by the Stars and Stripes.
Girard College comes next, with its foundation of 8,000,000 dollars, supplying the means for regularly educating nearly 500 poor boys. The building itself is a pile of white marble; the roof also being composed of huge flags of the same pure material. This immense weight is supported on brick arches. A glance through diningrooms, dormitories, lavatories, chapel, board-room and library, with a peep into the playground and gardens, show how well and sensibly the wants of the orphan boys are cared for. A statue of the founder is placed in the entrance-hall, and his remains lie beneath it. A very stringent clause in his will forbids all religious teaching of a sectarian character.
EXTRACT FROM THE WILL OF STEPHEN GIRARD. There are, however, some restrictions, which I consider it my duty to prescribe, and to be, amongst others, conditions on which my bequest for said College is made, and to be enjoyed, namely
Secondly, I enjoin and require that no
ecclesiastic, missionary, or minister of any sect whatsoever, shall cvor hold or exercise any station or duty whatever in the said College ; nor shall any such person ever be admitted for any purpose, or as a visitor, within the premises appropriated to the purposes of the said College :-In making this restriction, I do not mean to cast any reflection upon any sect or person whatsoever ; but as there is such a multitude of sects, and such a diversity of opinion amongst them, I desire to keep the tender minds of the orphans, who are to derive advantage from this bequest, free from the excitement which clashing doctrines and sectarian controversy are so apt to produce; my desire is, that all the instructors and teachers in the College, shall take pains to instil into the minds of the scholars, the purest principles of morality, so that, on their entrance into active life, they may, from inclination and habit, evince benevolence towards their fellow-creatures, and a love of truth, sobriety and industry, adopting at the same time, such religious tenets as their matured reason may enable them to prefer.
The tale of Stephen Girard's life is an oft told story. A native of Bordeaux, he came to America as a poor cabin-boy; step by step he rose from cabin-boy to owner, from owner to merchant; amassed wealth and became a banker. Naturally shrewd and longheaded, he sometimes adventured loans which others declined on account of the risk. All seemed to prosper in his hands, until people watched for him, and when his ships sailed out, others also put to sea, when he lent money, others lent too, till they came to trust in his inevitable good fortune. They became as earnest in their belief of fortune, as the ancient Greeks who believed in Castor and Pollux.
Safe comes the ship to haven,
It was a treat to go over the "Public Ledger" printing office. The good folks showed me round with great politeness, and gave me two or three trophies to bring away as mementoes of the visit. A sharp little boy took me up on to the roof-tower, from which there is an excellent view of the city. Curiously enough most of the roofs are of tin and flat; from this desert of stone walls and painted tin, the eye wanders with pleasure to the green squares of Independence, Washington and Franklin, which stand out as oases. I asked my little guide if he knew the great man whom Philadelphia had produced in his trade of printer ? He at once replied “Yes, -Sir,” with a peculiar emphasis on the “yes.” An English boy would not have been so ready with his answer I fancy. We, English, have to thank an American inventor for the printing machines now in general use.
The principal mint of the United States is at Philadelphia. You would scarcely think that the handsome building in Chestnut-street, with Grecian front and pillared portico, had behind it a enginery and furnaces. In good times of specie-currency, hither is brought the gold of California, the silver of Nevada and Colerado, the copper of Lake Superior, and a sprinkling of nickel from Transatlantic Sweden, to be stamped with a sign manual of authenticity by the Imperial government of the United States. Just now, a paper-mill is more to the purpose, than a metal-mill; an engraver on steel more called for than a die-sinker. At the mint, small coins, in value from 1 to 5 cents, and a pretty piece of money called half-a-dime, are being produced. The gold furnaces are at work, but the precious metal instead of coming out in the shape of eagles and dollars, is moulded into solid bars of great
'green room" of
value, for exportation. Upon the solid marble floor of the gold melting room is placed another of perforated iron. The sweepings wbich are annually taken up from the safe custody of the marble floor, are said to reach the value of 80,000 dollars. Many young females are employed in the lighter departments of work, the period of labour being 8 hours daily. The old gentleman who supplied me with sundry new coins to take home across the “fish pond,” was very kind and polite. One thinks that the absence of metal coinage in the United States cannot be long continued. With the strong-box of Californian gold, and the rich veins of silver in Nevada and Idaho open to all seekers, the mint must soon bave some of its legitimate work again.
Turning from a scene of comparative inactivity, I entered the museum. If you cannot see United States gold and silver coins in the process of manufacture, you can at least find samples of the real “ almighty dollar” in the
A party of ladies were saying that they never saw any gold in circulation now, upon which I showed them an English sovereign, the finished workmanship of which they admired. Among the curiosities is a Chinese bar of gold worth 10 taels or 235 dollars; also a thin plate of gold, a sample of Japanese money. The law as to its circulation is very strict, and denotes the way of an exclusive nation.
FOR KNOWINGLY TAKING THIS PIECE OF MONEY OUT OF JAPAN, THE PENALTY IS DEATH; FOR TAKING IT OUT OF JAPAN BY ACCIDENT, THE
PENALTY 18 TEN YEARS IMPRISONMENT. The Siamese coins are rather neat, and very curious in design.
Poor Maximilian and the Confederate States of America are now ranked together in museums, since they resigned the functions of active life. Of the former there are