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Yorker, and a Philadelphian, setting forth the several excellencies of their several cities. The Bostonian was the most learned and pedantic, the NewYork man the most loquacious and grandiloquent, and the Philadelphian the most sensitive and uncompromising. The first discoursed in a lofty strain of the classic charms of antiquity, and the advanced state of literature and the fine arts in the regions round about Cape Cod. “ The unequalled state of our literary and scientific institutions," said he, “and the extreme beauty of many of our public buildings must be admitted”

“Public buildings," interrupted the Philadelphian, cutting short the thread of the man of Boston's discourse, " if you want to see a public building, look at our market, look at our bank, look at our”

“ And if you talk of architectural beauty,” said the New Yorker, "look at our City-hall and St. Paul's church, and the Park theatre; and as for the fine arts," continued he with solemnity, “I regard them as introducing luxury and corruptionas fitted only for the tainted atmosphere of Europe -as inconsistent with the genius of our political institutions, and, I thank heaven, the charge of encouraging them cannot be laid to New-York. No !! quoth he, gathering strength as he went along, like a stone rolling down a hill, "give me the useful

arts. When I contemplate the immense sums our custom-house yearly pays into the national treasury —when I behold our docks crowded with shipping -when I survey our spacious bay, studded with islands, and our waters covered with".

“ Your waters !" interrupted the Philadelphian, unable any longer to withstand this torrent of eulogium, “ your waters! why there isn't a drop of water fit to drink in your whole town. If you want water, go to Philadelphia; or if you want milk, or peaches, or shad, or straight streets, or fresh butter, or fresh air, or”.

“ Fresh air !" interrupted York, in a supercilious tone, and with an ironical though somewhat agitated expression of countenance, “ why, you have no air worth speaking of in Philadelphia; look at our fresh air-our fresh sea breezes daily wafted from the vast Atlantic through our streets.”

Through your streets !" reiterated the descendant of William Penn in a fury; " through your streets! Let me tell you, sir, your sea-breezes may be good enough, but your streets are so cursedly crooked that the breezes cannot find their way through them-let me tell you that, sir.”

The blood of the man of York was up; but he endeavored to keep down his rising wrath, and then in a voice of affected calmness, though trembling with rage, began to undervalue and speer at straight streets, and boldly affirmed that crooked ones were infinitely better for a variety of reasons that he did not think proper to mention, and that any man of taste would decide that Pearl-street was a finer street than any in Philadelphia.

This was perfectly unbearable, and the Philadelphian, after swearing in a very wicked manner, went on to more than insinuate that his opponent was a fool, an ass, an idiot, and no gentleman; and they might have proceeded to settle whether straight or crooked streets were best by knocking each other's brains out, if the company had not interfered. Happily at this crisis the dinner-bell rang, and to those who have traveled much in steam-boats, I need say no more to account for the instant cessation of all symptoms of hostility. Never did the clock striking twelve in a romantic melo-drama produce so dramatic an effect, as the ringing of the dinner-bell on board of a steam-boat. All previous topics of conversation, argumentation, or disputation, are instantly swept away, and a universal rush is made towards the savory cabin. You may know an old traveler by observing him take his station near the hatchway as the time approaches. As soon as the welcome sound strikes his ear, he gives a look of triumph round the deck for a single instant at the

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inconsiderate persons who, in remote parts of it, have been gratifying their passion for the picturesque, and immediately dives below. Then may be seen the hurry and trepidation of the novice, the struggle on the part of the gentlemen between the attention and politeness due to the ladies, and their own love of victuals--the painful efforts of the ladies to preserve an air of unconcern and composure, and their anxiety touching the delicate first-cuts from the bosoms of capons and turkeys—then may be seen the utter looks of consternation of those unfortunate people who happen to be at the bows of the boat, and the glare of horrid malignity with which all the company above regard any corpulent old gentleman who takes his time in descending the ladder. The most impudent thing I ever witnessed in the whole course of my existence, was during a scene of this kind, on board a steam-boat last summer. An astonishingly fat old man was, by reason of his previous advantageous locality, almost the first who reached the entrance to the cabin when the dinner-bell rang. He swung his unwieldly mass of brawn slowly and heavily into the doorway, completely obstructing the passage, and proceeded to descend at a snail's pace, amid the smothered execrations of the company. After a considerable interval of time, he succeeded in reaching

the middle of the ladder, when, what will it be supposed the fat old man did ? He actually came to a full stop, took his hat from his head, drew from thence a pocket-handkerchief, proceeded deliberately to wipe his forehead, then one cheek, then the other, and concluded by drawing it leisurely across his chin, after which he deposited it in his hat again, placed his hat on his head, and continued on his way as if he had done nothing amiss. It speaks volumes for the morals of the people and the state of society, when I affirm, though it may seem incredible, that he escaped without the slightest violence! As the lady says in the tragedy, “ curses kill not;" and it was lucky for the fat old gentleman that this was the case, otherwise he would have been a lifeless corpse before dinner that day.

I have rather wandered from the subject of localities, and it is now too late to recur to it again. 'I may, however, state, that the Bostonian, Philadelphian, and New-Yorker spoke no more during the passage, and doubtless parted with a hearty contempt for each other; thus adding one more to the many instances of the utility of warm disputes about nothing at all.

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