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nation from what they meet with in trading towns, great part of wbose inhabitants are (like themselves) strangers, the portrait, however excellent in colour and expression, will hardly possess the merit of a good likeness. These painters should consider that a man who has a proper regard for his own character should be restrained 'from such incongruity, if not by candour, at least by common sense. They should consi. der too, that customs and manners must be taken together by him who would estimate them justly; because the best, when viewed in detail, may be made a subject of blame or ridicule. Finally, they should know, that long residence, and an intimate acquajot. ance with the best company, are pre-requisites to forming a just opinion and delineating a faithful resemblance. It is easy to conceive, that one bred in the polite circles of London might not be pleased with the manners of Amsterdam,
Hamburgh, or Philadelphia. The inhabitants of those towns have the humility to believe they want that bigh polish which courts alone can give. But what shall be said of the youngster just Aedged, and yet warm from the nest of Cambridge or Oxford, who discovers in the best company of Vienna a fund of contemptuous merriment? Who considers the gentlemen of Germany as bears, and those of France as monkies! When the count de Lauraguais was asked, on his return froin England, his opinion of its produce and inhabitants, he exclaimed. « Ah c'est le pais le plus drole qu' puisse imaginer. Ils ont vingt religions, mais ils n'ont qu'une sauce. Toutes les liqueurs sont aigres hormis le vinaigre. Ils n'ont de fruit mur que les pommes cuites, et de poli que l'acier.” 'Tis the strangest place you can conceive. They have twenty religions and but one sauce. All their liquors are sour except the vinegar. They have no ripe fruit but baked apples, and nothing polished but steel.
It would be well that this speech were printed on the title page of some books of travels in America, which Englishmen have published, and in which, (with no evil intention, perhaps, but merely to display their genius and national superiority,) they have degraded Åmericans below the most vile and vicious in Europe
That we, like others, have too good an opinion of ourselves, may be true; but foreigners, who on this ground, charge us with ridiculous vanity, should recollect the decision on a memorable occasion.-" Let him who is guiltless cast the first stone." It may also be true, that we have in the north the vices attached to commerce, and in the south those wbich result from domestic slavery; but we have the virtues which arise ont of those conditions. He who travels througb this extensive country, picking up rare incidents to portray manners, in which the meanness of a Dutch buckster shall be combined with the profligacy of a Polish lord, may gratulate himself on the collection of materials for a biting satire. But should he put them together, and publish the patchwork, it would perish before his eyes by the mortal disease of self-contradiction. The American who claims for his country a proud exemption from the ills attached to humanity is less to be applauded for his zeal than pitied for his folly. Truth, however, will warrant the assertion, that our vices are not so great as might be expected from our condition. The Virginian is not cruel : the Yankee is not dishonest: the spirit of commerce has pot destroyed the charities of life; and, taken in the aggregate, there is as fair a roportion of genius, virtue, and politeness in America as in Europe. Particular comparisons would be invidious. There is, however, one general trait which must strike the most cursory observer : the stranger of every country is re. ceived here with frankness and cordiality. He cannot, indeed, enjoy the venal respect of an inn, but may, on the contrary, be offended by a surly manner, amounting, sometimes, to downright rudeness; for American tavern-keepers too often take occasion to display their pride, (which they falsely consider as a mark of freedom,) to guests whom they are bound by duty, as well as interest, to serve and please. No man of sound mind will defend or attempt to excuse this conduct, which is equally ridiculous and brutal; but it may be accounted for hy a simple fact : in the early settlement of a country, few are wealthy enough to keep an ian. These few, being of what the French would call
selves. He will be estimated at what he is worth, and if be bas merit, the honours and offices of the country are open to him.
The extent of the United States renders it impossible to speak of the climate but in reference to particular parts. It is so various, that amateurs can please themselves. The province of Maine offers to them the fogs of Britain, and by visiting Georgia, they may bask in the heat of the torrid zone: but, cries an Englishmall, have you any where a temperate climate? By this, especially if he comes from Lancashire, is meant a climate in which it would be difficult, but for the relative length of days and nights, to distinguish winter from summer, and in which it rains four days out of five. Those who seek such climate in America must go to the neighbourhood of Nootka Sound. But, if hy'a temperate climate, he means an atmosphere warm enough in summer to ripen every fruit not peculiar to the tropics, without that intensity of heat unfavourable to health and industry, a climate not so cold in winter as to destroy the cherry, apricot, or peach tree, yet cold enough to give the earth repose from vegetation, and provide ice for the succeeding sunımer, that climate is found in the middle states of America. The winter, along the sea coast, commencing about the middle of December, and continuing to the middle of March, is variable. Sudden thaws are succeeded by sudden frosts. A south-east wind brings vernal air from the Gulf Stream, and a north-wester pours down frost from the mountains. Beyond these mountains, however, the cold is steady and not severe. From the middle of March to the middle or end of April, the weather, generally bad, is sometimes fine enough to deserve the name it bears of spring: May, though cloathed in blossoms, and sometimes in the beginning bound by frost, may generally be ranked among the summer months, and September has equal rights, although sometimes a slight frost supports the claim of autumn. Thus the summer is nearly five months long, and, in that period, five to fifteen days may be expected uncomfortably warm. The months of October, November, and great part of December, are fine. No man who has not enjoyed the autumn of North America, can form an idea of weather so constantly pleasant. But the climate is changeable, say Enropeans, and therefore unbealthy: to which it might be tritely replied, the climate is healthy, and therefore not changeable. All things figure by comparison : climate among the rest. An insular position, especially if the island be small, free from mountains, and far from any continent, secures an equable temperature of the air. But if there be no sudden changes of heat and cold, there are frequent variations of another sort. Almost every wind brings rain or damp, drizzling, disagreeable weather. Such weather is scarcely known in the middle states of America. It rains and shows in earnest, after which the atmosphere resuines its usual brilli ance. That the climate is favourable to human life, is proved by the rapidity of population; to whick emigrations from Europe do indeed contribute, but in such small proportion,* as to be scarcely worth notice. The instances of healthy old age are no where more numerous. They who contradict this fact, insist that the proportion of those in America who reach the age of eighty, is much smaller than in Europe. This remains to be proved. But if admitted, let it be considered, that the population of Europe has increased but little in eighty years, whereas that of America, doubling in twenty years, was not, eighty years ago, more than one sixteenth of the present number. Europe, therefore, ought to show sixteen times as many old nien as America. To say that a climate is variable, can form no objection, unless the supposed mutability be injurious to health or vegetation, But if we descend from animal to vegetable life, the advantage of America over Europe is unquestionable; for there it is common to lose the fruit by unseasonable weather, a thing which rarely happens here.