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course of people are collected;. yet there is no riot, no disorder ; even drunkenness is rarely seen, and the streets are as quiet on the evening of such a day, as on any other. A very great improvement has taken place in these respects, within the period of the present generation.
There is a great deal of wealth in this community; most of it is employed in commerce, but much of it is in the hands of people who do not engage very actively in trade; though as bankers, insurers, or adventurers in distant voyages, they take some share in business, merely as an occupation, and to have an excuse for going to the Exchange, that they may talk over the various news of the day. There are some individuals who have colossal fortunes ; there are many who have liberal ones; and a still greater number, who obtain, from different pursuits, an easy, moderate competence. There is very
little ostentation, and no extravagant display of luxury. The richest men are not those who spend the most ; their scale of expense does not exceed what men of moderate fortune may reach, by whom indeed they are often surpassed. It often happens, in every part of the world, that the owngreat
wealth seem to have undergone some mental process, by which they become as secure keepers of it, as the guards of the Seraglio of what is intrusted to them. Here, however these moderate habits may have a fortunate tendency; they keep down luxury, and a spirit of rivalry in expense,
that would be followed with the most deleterious consequences, both to individuals and to society.
There is a large number of persons who have had a liberal education; and who, amidst all the occupation of professional or commercial business, still retain some tincture of it. Every man enrolls himself with some particular class, because there are none who are willing to be put down with the hog, described by Dr. Franklin's negro,-he no work-he eat—he drink-he sleep-he walk about
- he lib like a gentleman. There are many young men possessed of competence, who go into a counting-house, or to some professional study, even without engaging actively in the profession they have acquired. The greatest number of these study the law, and are admitted to the bar, but never practise to any extent. They correspond in some respects to the class of men which existed in France, before the Revolution, called Abbés; and bear the same proportion to an active lawyer, that an abbé did to a priest. It is, however, in the one case as the other, a condition: they are in the way of preferment, amusing their minds, in the mean time, with literature or other pursuits.
The people of this town are great travellers; it would be difficult to find a society of half a dozen, of the class who change their linen every day, in which some, if not most of the party, have not visited Europe. Commercial pursuits have led a great many; almost every body has been to England. The natural desire, in liberal and intelli
gent minds, of seeing Europe, of which, from their infancy, they have heard so much, inspires a restless, enlightened curiosity, to visit regions so fa
Nor is this confined to men alone, but both sexes have enjoyed the advantage of travelling in an unusual degree. You might find a large circle of both sexes, who have not only seen London and Paris, but Rome and Naples. Of late years, some of our young men have travelled with the most liberal views, and under the greatest advantages, and we have a small number of these who have not stopped with Italy, but have been on a classic pilgrimage to Greece. If no other good is produced, the subjects of conversation in society, are thus rendered more amusing and instructive.
One result of so much travelling, has been to diffuse a taste for the arts. The encouragement they receive is not indeed splendid, but it is progressive. We have produced some artists of eminence, and for several years have had one or two residing here constantly. There are some small collections of pictures belonging to individuals, which are at least equal to the average of collections. There is too, a right feeling on this score; we rather seek to reward a living artist, than to give an extravagant price for old pictures. Most of our gentlemen feel a pride in having some works of our own artists hanging in their parlours ; every new performance aids in the diffusion of refinement. In the other arts, we have hardly any thing to show. In sculpture, we have nothing but here
and there a bust. This art will be awakened among us, when we think we are rich enough to erect monuments or cenotaphs, to departed great
For music, we have more fondness than skill; our musicians and actors are all foreigners; our young men seldom play on any instrument, and though no one would wish to see them a race of fiddlers, yet the practice of music would fill up many hours innocently, that are now spent in vicious or stupifying indolence. Sacred music, from the universal habit of attending public worship, is a good deal cultivated, but too generally in a bad taste; there are two or three musical societies, who have regular meetings for vocal and instrumental music. As every man now-a-days wears a watch, whatever may be the value of his time, and every lady a parasol, whatever may be the shade of her complexion ; so every house has a piano, whether the owner is, or is not, one of those, “who can tell the tuning from the overture." There is generally musical talent enough in every circle, to promote conversation at a tea-party; and there is seldom a summer's night, that is without a serenade.
Perhaps I have said enough to show you that there is much activity, enterprise and intelligence in this community; that it exhibits what is the best result, and surest support of liberty, self-respect ; that keeps them equally from offering or suffering violence, and induces a deference to public opinion, and a disposition to maintain law and order. A more
peculiar and unmixed character, arising from its homogeneous population, will be found here than in
any other city in the United States. There is none of the show and attractions of ostentatious and expensive luxury; but a great deal of cheerful, frank hospitality, and easy, social intercourse. In short, if a man can limit his wishes to living in a beautiful country, among a hospitable people, where he will find only simple, unobtrusive pleasures, with a high degree of moral and intellectual refinement, he may here be gratified.
GENIUS, CHARACTER, AND MANNERS OF THE IN
HABITANTS OF NEW-ENGLAND.
MY DEAR FRIEND,
THE features of national character seem almost as marked as those of particular species of the human race; and the long period through which they may be discovered, under various accidents and changes of fortune, as well as government, is, on first observation at least, a subject of surprise. We may remark, in some families, a predominance of good or bad qualities, a series of virtuous or vicious