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New Washington by Chauncey Hickox

 

A stranger visiting the national capital should begin by leaving it. He should cross the Anacostia River at the Navy-yard, climb the heights behind the village of Uniontown, be careful to find exactly the right path, and seat himself on the parapet of old Fort Stanton. His feeling of fatigue will be overcome by one of astonishment that the scene should contain so much that is beautiful in nature, so much that is exceedingly novel if not very good in art, and so much that has the deepest historical interest. From the blue hills of Prince George's county in Maryland winds the Anacostia, whose waters at his feet float all but the very largest vessels of our navy, while but six miles above they float nothing larger than a Bladensburg goose. To the left flows the Potomac, a mile wide. Between the rivers lies Washington. A vast amphitheatre, its green or gray walls cloven only by the two rivers, appears to surround the city. "Amphitheatre" is the word, for within the great circle, proportioned to it in size and magnificence, dwarfing all other objects, stands the veritable arena where our public gladiators and wild beasts hold their combats. This of course is the Capitol, whose white dome rises like a blossoming lily from the dark expanse below.

Along these summits are the remains of a chain of earthworks that completely enveloped the capital. They are all overgrown by verdure, and are fast disappearing; but whenever the site of one is relieved against the clear sky a grassy embrasure or a bit of rampart may yet be seen from a distance. Here stretched

The watchfires of a hundred circling camps,

whose light is in the "Battle-Hymn of the Republic," for it was a personal view of them, and of these altars built in the evening dews and damps, which gave form to the great lyric. Here in a few years, when more of the business-men of Washington shall have learned how to do business, or when her social development shall have detained the cultured and wealthy who now come and go, will be found a circle of beautiful villas and nearly all the luxuries of summer life.

Below the high bank opposite, where the Congressional Cemetery skirts the city, where some famous men are actually buried, and where Congress places cenotaphs that look like long rows of antiquated beehives for all who die while members of that body, a line of black dots crosses the Anacostia like the corks of a fisherman's seine. They are the piles that upheld a bridge in the summer of 1814. On the hills to the right the little army of five thousand redcoats made a feint toward this bridge, and caused the Americans to burn it. Away to the left, across the Potomac, stretches Long Bridge, which was also fired the next night by the British and by the fleeing inhabitants of the captured town.

The eight miles of Virginia shore visible from Washington contain really but three objects. Two or three dark chimneys and steeples and a few misty outlines are all one needs to see of Alexandria, which is six miles down the river, and appears about as ancient as its Egyptian namesake. Nearer, the monotony is broken by the tower of Fairfax Seminary; nearer still, among the oaks of Arlington, by the mansion of Custis-Lee, imposing, pillared and cream-colored; or it was the last in the days when cream had a color.

Descending from the old fort, the stranger should go at once to Georgetown and climb up into the little burying-ground of Holyrood. The view thence will give him all that was excluded from the other. He will now be prepared to examine Washington in detail, and as this is not a guide-book he shall go his way alone. But the "gentle reader" is requested to linger an hour longer upon the natural walls and look down with me on the dark city.

Below is such a growth of beautiful and strange that we can understand it only by remembering that we look down on all the United States. Into that problem of squares and circles and triangles wise men from the East plunge and see Beacon street; wise men from the West plunge and see Poker Flat; and from the highest ground we can find we will try to see the whole of Washington. We cannot distinguish a friend's house from an enemy's. The lines are mingled and the colors blended by our distance. Individuals are lost to sight entirely. What would be such a conflict of sounds down there that we should never be certain of what we heard, is now so faint a hum that it does not disturb us or affect our speech. We have risen into a better atmosphere, and find that some things which were ugly have grown good and graceful.

To allude to all the noted and novel things in this complicated scene would be to fill a book, and enough pre-Raphaelites are already browsing there. Giving due attention to particulars in their places, we must yet give effects in sweeping strokes, steering as best we can between the Scylla of didactic details and the Charybdis of glittering generalities.

The candid observer wonders not that Washington is so far below what it ought to be, but that it exists as a city at all. It has suffered calamities that would have extinguished any other place. The vitality that could survive them would seem capable of surviving anything. Other towns have had to contend against natural disadvantages, but they have had the aid of citizens who knew what they wanted, and who used the public money and energy and brains for the public good. But here has been the novel sight of a city having every natural advantage, yet compelled to fight its own citizens for life; to see the public money and energy and brains—what little there were—used to kill not only the town, but the people in it; to support men of weight in the community who really did not want it polluted by trade or manufactures or any such vulgar things.

The Capitol, which now, like the Irishman's shanty, has the front door on the back side, was made to face the east because in that direction lay as fine a site as ever a town possessed, and there the city was to be built. To the westward the ground was such that men are living who as boys waded for reed-birds and caught catfish where now is the centre of business. The necessity of transforming this tract in the very beginning of trade retarded the general growth incalculably. The owners of the good ground didn't want to do anything themselves, and were too greedy to let anybody else. The Executive Mansion, a mile to the westward, attracted other public buildings about it; the people who had to support themselves bought real estate in the swamps; those who lived without business of their own followed them of course; and the fine plateau prepared by Nature has been touched only so far as improvement has been compelled by forces radiating from the other side of the Capitol. The life and trade that tend to crystallize around one centre are still much dissipated by the policy that ruined Capitol Hill; but as this can no longer endanger the general prosperity, it is now more a blessing than a calamity. It makes sure and speedy the reclamation of the waste places, while the improvement of all the good ones must take place at last. The owners of the barren sites which yet break the continuity of blocks in good localities can sit still and "hold on" if they please, but they must expect to see the "worthless" tracts—Swampoodle, Murder Bay and Hell's Bottom—fill with life and rise in value faster than their own.

Another calamity, which has grown with the city instead of being outgrown, is the changes that have been permitted to take place in the Potomac. Long Bridge, instead of being built so as to permit an uninterrupted flow of the stream, was composed for a great distance of an earthen road—a dam—arresting half the water of the river. This temporarily benefited the Georgetown channel, no doubt, by forcing all the water into it. But a marsh is rising in the middle of the stream, creeping rapidly up to the Washington wharves, threatening the health of the city, and so crippling its commerce that an expensive remedy must be speedily applied. There is some difference of opinion as to the comparative injuries and benefits arising from the bridge, but the fact remains clear that this important river has suffered needless injury to a degree that is deplorable. In the past, however, the fault has been as much with the city as with Congress. That body cannot improve rivers where there is no commerce to be benefited, nor give new facilities to towns that do not make the most of what they have. But the gazer from Fort Stanton—glancing beyond the Navy-yard and the shot-battered monitors that lie there, across Greenleaf's Point and the Arsenal, made tragic by the death of many a British soldier and of the Lincoln-Seward assassins half a century later—overlooking the wharves of Washington and dimly descrying the masts at Georgetown, now sees a traffic that has earned a consideration it has not received. A few weeks ago we paused in an after-dinner walk, down there on the Arsenal boulevard, to watch the troubles of a crew and the labors of a tug which were altogether too suggestive. A senseless fellow of a captain came sailing up the river from a foreign port, his vessel laden with a valuable cargo, and attempted a landing at Washington. He knew no better than to suppose that the capital of this nation, on one of our finest rivers, possessing all its days a navy-yard, would permit itself to be approached by a merchantman. He stuck in the mud within a hundred yards of the wharf. There he spent three or four days in anxiety and chagrin, and finally got a tug to pull him back into navigable water. He swung about, made haste down the river and took his vessel to another port, uttering some natural oaths, no doubt, and wondering what kind of country he had got into. A small vessel going from Washington to Georgetown heads for Chesapeake Bay, passes up around the island of filth accumulated by the bridge, and sails four miles in ascending two.

Bordering the broad belt of grass and trees which we see sweeping gracefully through the heart of the city from the Capitol to the President's, where rise the towers of the Smithsonian, the roof of the Agricultural Bureau, and all that is built of the Washington Monument, there stretched another calamity, which existed some fifty years, which was at last extinguished during 1872 at an immense cost to the city, which was one of the "improvements" of the past, which once employed the public money and energy—we cannot repeat brains—to kill not only the town, but the people in it. This was the great pestiferous open sewer that stole into a filthy existence under the name of the Washington Canal.

But there was a greater misfortune than any of these. Slavery need only be mentioned. More of Washington's present defects are attributable to it in one way or another than to all else. Yet under this crowning calamity, added to the others, the undulating plain before us, which appears so sluggish from the height to which we have climbed, has within seventy-five years passed from a wilderness into a city of one hundred and eleven thousand inhabitants. Although the general government kept the breath of life in it during a period when perhaps nothing else could have done so, yet such a growth, under all the circumstances, cannot be accounted for without recognizing an inherent strength that has never been acknowledged by the multitudes who come to "see" Washington. It proves that she may have a significance of her own. The visitor should remember that New York and Boston are enjoying, and Philadelphia has nearly reached, the third century of their lives.

This scene from the heights is a fascinating one for the day-dreamer. Everything is in harmony with the past character of the capital. Everything is misty, vast, uncertain, grand and ill-defined. One does not see clearly the boundaries—the city and country are one. Every street we trace in the distance, almost every building, almost every foot of ground, has gathered something of tradition from the lives of the statesmen, generals, jurists, diplomates who have lived and wrought here for three-quarters of a century. The visions that passed before the eyes of Washington as he stood on the Observatory Hill there, a subaltern under Braddock, contemplating the wilderness about him and imagining the future; the pictures that filled the fancy of the intractable L'Enfant as he defined the great mall and thought of the gardens between the Tuileries and the Chamber of Deputies; Andrew J. Downing giving his last days to such an arrangement of the trees and grass as would be worthy of the design; President Madison and his cabinet, with a useless little army at their heels, flying in despair from yonder bloody hillside; Admiral Cockburn derisively riding an old mare up Pennsylvania Avenue; the burning Capitol and White House lighting up the gloom of that hideous night; Stephen Decatur shot to death just round the bend of the Anacostia there; the conflicts by tongue and pen that have again and again gone on here till the whole country swayed; Gamaliel Bailey silencing a mob at his door; the histories that lie buried under the thirty thousand headboards that gleam like an army of ghosts among the trees of Arlington; Abraham Lincoln gasping his life away in that little Tenth street house; his assassin dashing in darkness across the bridge at our feet, over which we have just passed, and spurring almost into the shadow of the parapet where we stand;—all these things, and a hundred more as tempting to the dreamer, come crowding on the mind at every glance. Yet who stops to call Washington a romantic city? When the White House, just visible from those tree-tops, shall have ceased, as it soon must do, to be the home of the chief magistrate, what future magician shall summon down those cheerless stairways the ghostly procession of dead Presidents, as our first literary necromancer marshaled the shades of royal governors across the threshold of the Province House? We turn from all this to speak of the practical affairs of to-day which await us in the city, with a reluctance that delays our feet as we descend.

A phrase applied, we believe, by Dickens, when writing of the avenues here many years ago, and illustrating his remarkable faculty of telling the most truth when he exaggerated most, rises so constantly to mind when one considers what Washington has been, that we are tempted to make it a kind of text. He described the great houseless thoroughfares as "beginning nowhere and ending in nothing." That phrase sets old Washington before the reader as the literal truth could never do.

But the reader must now remember that old Washington is going—that a new Washington has come. The city is no longer disposed to make apologies, wait for generosity or beg for patronage. It is disposed—and has proved its disposition—to take off its seedy coat and go to work in its own way. Its waiting is now only for enlightened judgment from others, and its begging is only for justice.

The change of local government in 1871, when Congress gave the District of Columbia a legislature and a representative, was the particular event from which may be dated such innovations as make necessary a revision of the popular opinion. The visitors who come this month, and who have not been here since the last inauguration, will have to learn the capital anew. While the establishment of the territorial government and the organization of its outgrowths—particularly the Board of Public Works—mark the new departure by physical changes, all will understand that it was the first gun at Charleston, startling the stagnant pool here, which set in motion the successive waves that carried the city up to this departure. The public affairs of the city became practically unmanageable. A joint-stock company could not organize for the most trifling business without depending on the slow and uncertain action of Congress for a charter. A few active men, who saw that the old order of things could be endured no longer, met quietly in 1870 at the house of an honored citizen on K street to see what further they could see. They continued to meet at each other's homes, lightening their interchange of thought for the public by such an extension of hospitality as drew into their circle many influential Congressmen, and converted them to the new idea that there was something in Washington besides the national service. The result was, that the city government was abolished; a legislative assembly was created; a governor was appointed by the President of the United States; and a delegate was sent to Congress, instead of a crowd of lobbyists, to represent the District of Columbia. This delegate is always to be a member of the committee on the District, Congress has the constitutional right of exclusive legislation, and the Assembly cannot impose taxes of any consequence without especial authority from the people.

The wisdom of the change was doubted at first by many real friends of progress, who thought they saw grave legal complications arising; who knew what popular government in a large city, with no restriction of the election franchise, might mean; who at times thought of New York with a shudder; who knew that as Washington was the centre of everything political, it was necessarily the centre of political corruption; that her alleys were crowded with ignorant freedmen; that her ward politicians were as unscrupulous and skillful as the same class in other cities; and who thought it safer to trust the average Congressman than the small political trader and his chattels. But Congress sits as a perpetual court of appeal on the spot where its members can judge from personal knowledge, ready to overrule any act of the Assembly that can be shown to be a bad one; and one house of the Assembly, with the governor and executive boards, is appointed by the President. The election of the larger house and of the delegate to Congress is sufficient security to the people, and Washington is to-day in most respects the best-governed city of its size in the United States. The powers of the little Assembly are very limited: the governor can veto its measures; Congress can override them both; the President can veto the acts of Congress; two-thirds of Congress can still surmount this veto. This complicated system may retard good measures, but it is not probable that any very bad one can long survive under it.

The Baron Haussmann here is the Board of Public Works. It is grading, filling, paving, planting, fencing, parking, and making the thoroughfares what they would never have become by ordinary means. At last we see what Washingtonians never saw before—vast public operations having a consistent and tangible shape; obeying a purpose that can be understood, defined and executed; beginning somewhere and ending in something. Within its sphere this Board has despotic power: it would be worthless with any less. It dares to strike without fear or favor, and hit whoever stands in the way: the way would never be cleared if it did not. It makes bitter enemies by its inexorable exactions: the public cannot be served except at the expense of the individual. A strong party has fought it by injunctions and failed: the same persons will no doubt continue to fight, while the Board will no doubt continue to vindicate itself and go on with its work. It made some mistakes which wrought hardships to individuals who wished it well, but such were the difficulties before it at the outset that it might have made greater mistakes and still been forgiven. It is to be hoped that it will have enemies enough to watch it closely, criticise it sharply and hold it to a strict accountability; but should it have enough to really interfere with its present course, then we shall have to add one more, and a great one, to the list of Washington's calamities. The new blood that created it is able to sustain it, while the air it has done so much to purify is already laden with blessings from the lips of strangers.

In the matter of public improvements an equitable adjustment of relations—always heretofore uncertain and unsatisfactory—between the District and the general government still remains to be accomplished, and at this writing is impatiently awaited by the city. Congress should explicitly define for itself a course that can be depended upon, so that the city can go ahead and know what it ought to do. The general government, promising great things which began nowhere and ended in nothing, laid out the city for its own use, and gave more space to streets and ornamental grounds than to buildings. The plan was wise and good, but did not appear so until the liberal citizens, unable to endure the disgrace of such a city as the nation thrust upon them, taxing themselves six millions of dollars for street purposes, went generously to work, with their own money improved the immense fronts of the government property, which pays no taxes, evolved something tangible out of the old cloudy-magnificent plan, and gave the country, so far as they could, a decent capital.

There is another important matter for adjustment. The city has left nothing undone that money and labor could do to make the public schools the best in the United States. It is doubtful whether there has ever before been seen in any city or State an expenditure for public schools so generous, under all the circumstances, as that of Washington within the past few years. The best school-houses here are the best the Prussian commissioners, who lately came to inspect them, had ever seen. A very great number of the pupils educated by the city are the children of government servants whose homes are in the States, and who pay no considerable taxes here. Every State and Territory has received a liberal allotment of public land for school-purposes except the District of Columbia, which has probably done more for schools without the endowment, considering the time and taxable property at command, than any State has ever done with it.

Of course the city has received many benefits from the general government, but the considerable ones have been indirect. The excellent water-works, for instance, costing about three millions of dollars, were built with the nation's money and by army engineers, because the nation needed them, and show how entirely identical are the interests of both parties. Their respective duties, while they need defining anew, are so wedded that there is no room for serious difference. It is really a matter for congratulation that the general government held back and did not take more of the improvements into its own hands. The city's present claims are by so much stronger: the two governments can work in harmony, and any efforts that are now made will not be thrown away. Had Congress acted sooner we might have had more Washington canals, and Washington and Georgetown street-cars, and similar Congressional "improvements," beginning nowhere but in ignorance or selfishness, and ending in nothing but nuisances. The improvement of the interiors of the national grounds, however, by the general government, is now keeping pace with that of the exteriors by the city as nearly as is possible under present legislation, and their superintendence has become at last an office of some practical consequence to Washington. The general government owns about one-half of the property in the District, and during seventy years has expended for the improvement of the thoroughfares a little over one million of dollars. The city during the same time has expended for the same purpose nearly fourteen millions of dollars.

The old Washington idea seems to have consisted in finishing a city before it was begun. To use an architectural figure, the capital of the column has been well designed and partly carved, but the base is not yet laid. Those characteristics which the builders thought would be a sure foundation of greatness have proved insufficient in the past and will prove so in the future. The infusion of new blood has done wonders within ten years, but there is still needed the admixture of another current. Wealth and ideality—supposed to be possessed by all who are attracted hither—do not raise a man above material wants or fail to multiply them. When Washington shall give her utmost attention to satisfying the vulgarest common wants of common people, she will have taken her first real step toward—anything. She has had enough of fog and moonshine. She wants for a proper period the most unmitigated materiality—not as an end, of course, but as the first means of making something else possible. She will be made our republican Paris, if made so at all, by the aid of the shops, the wonderful skilled labor, the economical living of poor people, on which rested, as well as on higher things, the splendors of the imperial Paris. The average American lady goes to that city to buy "things," as well as to visit the Louvre, and while the late emperor endeavored to make his capital the social centre of the world, he did not scorn to make it a fashionable market and foster a Palace of Industry.

That Washington is an admirable place for manufactures is clear to all who have sought the facts. Whether she will ever become a manufacturing city is a question that must be settled by the citizens themselves. Whoever doubts that the growth of skilled labor here will be an indispensable condition of the higher growth that is sought fails to understand modern civilization, and should not have survived the days when things began nowhere and ended in nothing. The old thoroughbred Washingtonian will never invest a dollar to build a railroad or a modern workshop, of course. He does not know anything about them, and does not want to. His idea of business is to get real estate, and "hold on" till somebody else makes it valuable. Gentlemen of new Washington, Hercules will stand idle till he sees your own shoulders at the wheel. When you shall have the faithful, enlightened manual labor of New England, you may expect such flowers as Yale and Harvard and the æsthetic fruits they enfold. You may be unable to see any intimate connection between such labor and such culture, but nevertheless it exists. Old Washington could not see it, and now you are compelled to bury old Washington out of sight. It is time for Mohammed to start if he wants his mountain.

There are a few business-men in Washington who are as enlightened, as liberal, as trustworthy as any in the country; and abundant is their reward. There are a few who deal only in good wares, who always sell them at a reasonable profit, who believe that any kind of deception is a blunder, who manage their establishments with economy, who are aware that the more money they permit their customers to make the more they will ultimately make themselves,—who, in short, have learned the principles of business and have the character to stand by them. But so many fall short—often through ignorance—in one or more of these respects that the average business character is low. If a lady wishes to spend twenty-five dollars in shopping, she can generally travel eighty miles—to Baltimore and back—and save enough of that small sum to pay her for going, besides being sure of finding what she wants. The Washington shopkeepers may really think that they cannot help this. They must help it, or consent to be soon shoved aside by those who can. Instead of being troubled by the sight of his best customers going as far as New York whenever they have anything of consequence to buy, the genuine old Washington retailer seems to take a calm satisfaction in putting such fastidious buyers to so much inconvenience. Here it is rather the exception than the rule for the man of small business to do just what he promises to do. He don't know the value of another's time, is used to disappointments himself, and somehow or other will manage to disarrange your most careful calculations. Unable himself to meet an engagement thoroughly and exactly, he seems determined that nobody else shall.

But you cease censuring the average business-man when you begin to deal with the average Washington mechanic. There are some good ones, but they are absorbed by the large and experienced dealers in labor, and are beyond the knowledge or reach of ordinary mortals. You want a little job done at your house; you call on a "boss;" certainly—it shall be done instantly; a workman will be sent in a few minutes; two days afterward he comes and "looks at it;" the next day he returns with another man and they both look at it; another day passes, and an apprentice-boy, with a lame negro to wait on him, comes and makes your home hideous by pretending to begin; when they have given your family a proper amount of information, and torn things to pieces sufficiently, they go away. Two more days elapse, and you go again to the boss; he is surprised—he supposed the work had been done, for he had given "orders;" at the end of a week perhaps the job that should have consumed two hours of honest work is done; then, if you pay the boss no more than the work actually cost him, you know that the sum is twice as much as it should have cost him. As a generalization this is a true picture of Washington labor.

These things are trifles? They are just what determine the permanent residence of multitudes of valuable citizens. They are the trifles that in the aggregate make the difference between civilization and barbarism. For every broken promise or slighted piece of work the city suffers. Civilized people like to live smoothly and comfortably. Washington, thinking of something besides hotels and boarding-houses, and the people of leisure who come once a year to fill them for a few weeks, must provide for a permanent population of moderately poor people. The word of a merchant or banker is supposed to be as good as his bond; his occupation is gone when this ceases to be the case; his standing is reported in a business guide-book, and dealers with him act accordingly. Cannot some of the methods that enforce integrity in higher branches of business be more systematically applied by dealers in manual labor? The men who are reforming the city's outward appearance have an opportunity of doing something in this direction. A Northern mechanic who reverences his conscience, and makes the most of his opportunities to gain knowledge and character, cannot emigrate to a better place than Washington.

Yet when one looks into the past he thinks that perhaps labor is improving as fast as other things here. He is inclined to admire it when he remembers how much worse it used to be. John Adams was the first occupant of the White House, and this is what his wife said in a private letter just after moving into it: "To assist us in this great castle, and render less attendance necessary, bells are wholly wanting, not one single one being hung through the whole house, and promises are all you can obtain. If they put me up bells, and let me have wood enough to keep fires, I design to be pleased. But, surrounded with forests, can you believe that wood is not to be had, because people cannot be found to cut and cart it?" Seventy-two years ago the President's wife could get nothing but promises toward hanging a servant's bell! Washington was in a forest and couldn't furnish wood enough to warm the presidential hearthstone! The forests and people of that day are gone, but those eternal "promises" remain.

The recent building in Washington has been mostly that of dwellings, which the ordinary visitor, following the old routes between the Capitol and West End, will hardly notice, although they have covered many acres within the past four years. Since the Board of Public Works has settled—some would say unsettled—the foundations of things, we may expect to see the heavy building for business purposes, which must soon take place even if there be no change in the character of business, conducted with a little system and uniformity. The streets themselves have been made so fine that it will require some moral courage—a thing for which Washington is not noted—to disfigure them by the hideous jumbles that accorded so well with the old ways. Such splendid monstrosities as the Treasury—as a whole, the worst public building in the city, although good in parts, so situated that one must go down stairs from Pennsylvania Avenue to get into the grand north entrance, without proportion, completeness or consistency—it will be impossible even for Congress to build.

Both the physical and moral appearance of Washington truly represent the civilization of the nation as a whole. Such is, after all, the only description that can be given; and so vast and heterogeneous is the nation that to many readers this will be no description at all. A farmer measures out a half bushel of wheat, "levels" it, and tells you truly that the only difference is in quantity between that in the measure and that which it came from in the bin: take the architecture, the people, the ideas of all these States, shake them together in a half bushel, "level" them, and you can truly say you have Washington. Any noteworthy character of its own is still lacking. So long as it is nothing more than a representative of the whole country, it will in many desirable things fall far below a dozen other cities, whose independence has enabled them to reach excellences toward which Washington vaguely aspires. As the capital it will not be the best and most enlightened, but will be the "average" city. As an independent one its destiny is now in its own hands, and facilities are thrown at its feet such as no other can hope to have. There have been good excuses for its shortcomings in the past. There are none now. Two years ago, Washington was a great boy who had grown up under the repressive guardianship of his Uncle Samuel; he had not been permitted to do anything for himself; he had no money except the few pennies which the old gentleman had grudgingly given him for menial services. He needed higher culture and better business habits than his uncle exhibited: the leading-strings were at last sufficiently cut. His guardian, still exercising a good deal of authority, has permitted him to go into business for himself; given him the use of the greatest library in the United States; surrounded him with specimens of architecture invaluable as models or as warnings; opened to him the treasures of the Smithsonian, the Coast Survey and a unique medical museum; given him the benefit of a fine observatory; placed at his disposal magnificent pleasure-grounds; set before him a botanical garden; put up for him some good statues and pictures; shown him models of all the mechanical inventions of the age; sent to him as associates the first statesmen, jurists and captains of the land; and brought to his door as guests the polished representatives of all civilized countries. What more does the boy want that he may make a man of himself? Nothing but a will of his own so to develop his natural resources that he can use these things. Will he now refuse to earn the necessary money to enjoy them, and insist on living, in shabby-genteel ignorance and idleness, exclusively on the pocket-money of the visitors to whom his uncle introduces him? If he does, shall we call him a gentleman?

Chauncey Hickox.