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bouring villages-particularly of Germantown. Springs, creeks, groves and copses, which once broke and diversified the ground, now levelled and drawn out into streets, are located and recorded. They are all gone, long since, and forgotten; but this indefatigable inquirer has performed a grateful service to society by rescuing them from oblivion.
The rapid increase of our city being frequently the subject of conversation, gentlemen, not much beyond the middle age are heard to say, that they have skated on ponds as far east as Seventh, and even Fifth, streets; and many remember lots, inclosed by post and rail fences, in the now most populous and busy streets. But we had not heard of a duck and geese pond near to Christ church, until we found it mentioned in the manuscript just alluded to. The writer of this interesting collection has discovered also the location of a mineral spring, spoken of in Penn's letters; and at least of six others within the city; and particularly a remarkable basin surrounded by shrubs, called “Bathsheba's spring and bower.” Many circumstances respecting Philadelphia, not of sufficient importance to be admitted into a regular history, will be found in this book. They will be amusing to our children; and indeed there is much, of which the younger part of the present generation are entirely ignorant. These things, trifling as they may appear, at first view, are worth preserving; and all who remember the olden time will do well to contribute their mite.
ADDRESSED TO THE EDITOR OF THE PORT FOLIO.
Most of you writers have leaped into the censor's throne without leave or license; where you were no sooner seated than, with the impudence one might expect from such conduct, you have railed, with all the severity of satire and indecency of invective, against our folly, frivolity, forwardness, fondness of dress, and so forth. You can't conceive what a latitude is assumed by the witlings of the day, from the encouragement of such pens as your's. Those well dressed young gentlemen who will lay awake whole nights in carving the fashions of a new doublet, and who will criticise Cooper without knowing whether Shakespeare wrote dramas or epic poems, these wiseacres, I say, saunter along chesnut-street, when the sun shines, and amuse themselves with sneers against our sex: and in nothing are we so much the object of their ridicule as in our devotion to fashion, on whose shrine, according to these modern peripatetics, we sacrifice our time, our understanding, and our health. We have freedom of the press, and freedom of religion, and why should we not enjoy a freedom of fashions?
What do these sapient gentlemen wish? Would they have a dress for females established by an act of the assembly, as doctors of medicine have been created in Maryland?
“ Which dress aforesaid of the aforegoing figure, colour, materials, fashion, cut, make, &c. &c. all the good spinsters of Pennsylvania shall wear on all highdays and holydays, under pain, &c. &c." Horrible idea!—What! tie us down to the dull routine of the same looks, the same bonnets, the same cloaks? take from us that charming diver. sity, that delightful variety, which blooms in endless succession from week to week, with the changes of the season-make us tedious to ourselves, and as unalterable and unattractable as an old family picture-or, what is equally out of the way and insipid, an old Bachelor? Rob us of half our charms and deprive us of all the subjects of thought and conversation! You men may talk of your dogs, your horses, and your wine; but alas! if you take fashion from us, pray Mr. Saunter, inform me upon what topic shall we converse with our beaux? Can you furnish any substitute for the delightful themes of ribands, laces, bonnets, shawls, new dresses—with all the various and interesting inquiries about the forms and fashions intended to be at Mrs. O.'s party to-morrow night, or which agitated the bosoms of so many belles on the preceding eve. ning, at Mrs. T's? We should really mope ourselves into the melancholy of a young lawyer, who looks and sighs in vain for a mistress or a client, or a gay girl, who is shut up in the country, enjoying the poetical charms of tirbid ponds, bellowing cattle, and neighbourly visitations; and the poor, dear little Dandies, for lack of new bonnets and gay ribands to talk about, would relapse into downright torpitude.
But some of you talk of simplicity of nature; of the
gewgaw display of artificial charms; of deforming nature's works by the cumbrous and fantastical embellishments of art, and so forth. Now, sir, if you will pin the argument to this point, I shall have you in my power. Pray is nature simple, barren, tedious, dull, uniform, and unadorned, as you old bachelors would have us to be, so that we might resemble your comfortless selves? Look at the trees : are they all of the same colour? Are they not so infinitely diversified in their shades and figures, that, to an observing eye, no two are alike? Observe the flowers of the garden: do they exhibit the same sombre or pale hue? Do they present that dull simplicity which you recommend to us, whom your gravest philosophers allow to be the handsomest beings in creation? Do you prefer the dull uniformity of a trench of upright celery to the variegated bed of tulips? What would you say of a project to reform nature by robbing the rose of its blush. ing red, the lily of its silver lustre, the tulip of its gorgeous streaks, the violet of its regal purple, and allowing the vale to be no longer embroidered with their various beauties? or, of blotting from the clouds their golden streaks and dazzling silver, and banishing the gay rainbow from the heavens, because they are not of a uniform colour, but for ever present more varieties and combinations of beauties than our imagination can paint? And shall not we, who, at least, pretended to have the use of reason, imitate nature? Nature has given for our use the varied dyes of the mineral and vegetable world, which enables us almost to vie with her own splendid gilding. Nature made us to be various, changeable, inconstant, many coloured, whim
sical, fickle and fond of show if you please, and we follow nature with the greatest fidelity, when, like her, we use her beauties to delight the eye, gratify the taste, and employ the mind in the harmonious varieties of colour and figure to which fashion resorts, and to which we devote so much time and thought.
Attend to these hints, and if you properly digest them, I have no doubt so sensible a head as you possess must nod assent to my doctrine, that to study fashion and be in the fashion is the most delightful and harmless employment upon earth, and the most conformable to our nature. But if you should be so perverse as to think erroneously on this subject, I advise you to keep your observations to yourself, or to have your head well wigged the next time you come amongst us.