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The great may not be good-
Pent in his solitude,
He was the chosen friend
A new world to defend--
Sarmatia, where's thy power?
Thy champion, in the hour
Pulaski fell in fight-
Sublime, yet fearful sight,
Sleep on, and take your rest-Oblivion cannot wrap your deeds in night,
Upon our hearts imprest ! Time's rolling years shall hallow them in light. Farewell! for ever-Kosciusko sleeps: The last is fallen now, for whom an empire weeps !
BY W. H. DAVIDSON.
As a true Philadelphian, strongly attached to my native city, and jealous of her reputation, I have often felt mortified on hearing remarks made in disparagement of her hospitality and friendliness towards strangers. If it be so, that the inhabitants of this metropolis are really wanting in attention to a virtue so amiable as hospitality, it is time that a reformation should take place; and every one who has the spirit of brotherly love in his breast, or who desires to promote improvement in all that is lovely and of good report," should make it his endeavour to contribute to the attainment of a better character in this respect.
It does not become us, when we are censured for coldness towards strangers, to be affronted, and hasty in denying the charge; but rather to enquire how far we are justly liable to blame, and by what means our manners may be amended. That the inhabitants of Philadelphia possess the qualities essential to friendship and genuine civility, has not been questioned by any who have frequented our city ; on the contrary, the substantial virtues of our citizens have been much eulogised. Strangers, however, have complained of a certain reserve of manner and formality in our conduct to them, at least upon first acquaintance; and it has been frequently said that our sister cities are not liable to this imputation. At
the same time, it is well known that such as have brought respectable letters of introduction, have met with a reception highly gratifying to them, and I heard an observation made which deserves to be considered ; that the civilities of Philadelphians, are not diminished in proportion to the length of a stranger's visit, as has sometimes been the case in places where there is greater promptitude in offering a welcome. It is true, that we are not in the habit of making extraordinary professions of delight on a first interview, and that the people of this city are cautious in their intercourse with
whom they do not know to be worthy of regard; we can easily imagine what effect upon the mind of a stranger must be produced by any excessive reserve resulting from this prudence of disposition. Frank and easy manners are very prepossessing, and leave a pleasing impression on one who comes to day and departs to-morrow; a better acquaintance might, in some instances, dispel the illusion produced by mere outward politeness, but there are comparatively few who remain long enough to gain such experience.
While it is admitted then, that Philadelphians are somewhat too deliberate in their manner of showing civilities to newly arrived guests, it is not intended to plead guilty to any charge of unsociableness of temper. In order to form a just estimate of the social qualities of any people, it is necessary to consider other traits in their character, and the circumstances of their situation. The inhabitants of this city are a considerate and prudent race, generally and comparatively speaking. They are not easily agitated or thrown into a bustle, but pursue the even tenor of their way in quietness and sobriety. They are diligent in the transaction of their private or public business, and generally every one has some regu
lar occupation; steady in their attachments; and the intercourse of relatives, friends and acquaintances, gives scope to the exercise of their social feelings. Punctuality in fulfilling their engagements, and integrity in their dealings are their recommendations to those whom commercial pursuits bring hither ; and it is not their practice to entertain with feasts which the guest may afterwards find to have been at his expense. When hospitable attentions are offered they are the manifestation of a sincere spirit of good will, or of a sense of obligation to practise kindness and urbanity.
Residents in the country, and particularly those who live on plantations in southern states, are apt to think citizens inhospitable, because of the difference in their manners. Let them consider for a moment, that people living in secluded situations, are glad on their own account, to receive the traveller and entertain him in their mansions, but the same motive cannot have influence in a populous city, where society of any description is always to be found with little seeking. Besides this, our country friends have so much more leisure, that they are not under any necessity of making a sacrifice of time, and they are not compelled by style of living to take any unusual pains in the entertainment of guests.
It is probable, that the principal cause of the apparent reserve of our townsfolk, is an over nicety about the manner of entertaining strangers. Many seem to think they must do things in a certain style, and that a formal visit, followed by an invitation to an elaborate dinner, is the only admissible mode of commencing their intercourse with a person whom they have never before seen. Were such people to spend a few months in a foreign land, they would learn how much more grateful to the feelings of a stranger, are little kindnesses that flow from
an open heart, than all the ceremonious politeness that can be exhibited. When there is a genuine disposition to be friendly, to do as we would be done by in similar circumstances, it would be best evidenced by endeavours to make visiters feel at home among us.
It is a great mistake to suppose, that hospitality consists in giving sumptuous feasts and making formal calls.
Philadelphians have been spoken of sometimes, as being too cautious and particular, in requiring letters of introduction or some other evidence of a stranger's respectability, before they will admit him to their circle of acquaintance. I do not know that there is any ground for imputing to us an excess in this prudence. It has been of service in preventing pseudo-barons and knavish adventurers from imposing upon us, to the extent they have done in some other quarters ; and as long as impostors exist, it will be proper and right to inquire, who a man is, before we give him admission into our families. Is it reasonable for any body to expect, that in a large city, resorted to by individuals of all characters, hospitality will be spontaneously tendered to one whose personal appearance is the only credential of respectability which he presents !
If those who visit us have sometimes just cause of complaint, have not we also, often reason to complain of the conduct of strangers to us? How often has it happened that a letter of introduction has been presented some weeks after the bearer's arrival; and perhaps the very persons who behave thus, cast reflections upon our city. How often have visits to take leave, been the the first intimation received of a stranger's presence. I have known several instances of such unsociableness that were sufficiently provoking. This too is a subject for reformation,