much of the primeval forest remains, and the gigantic trees that were saplings when Columbus
played in the streets of Genoa
, tower aloft, a hundred feet without a branch, with that exquisite daintiness of taper of which the eye never tires, which architecture has never equalled, which only Grecian architecture approached, and was beautiful because it approached it. The City of Erie
is merely a square mile of this level land, close to the edge of the bluff, with a thousand houses built upon it, which are arranged on the plan of a corn-field—only, not more than a third of the houses have “come up.”
The town, however, condenses to a focus around a piece of ground called “ The Park
,” four acres in extent, surrounded with a low, broken board fence, that was white-washed a long time ago, and therefore now looks very forlorn and pig-pen-ny.
The side-walks around “ The Park
” present an animated scene.
The huge hotel of the place is there—a cross between the Astor House
and a country tavern, having the magnitude of the former, the quality of the latter.
There, too, is the old Court-House,—its uneven brick floor covered with the chips of a mortising machine, —its galleries up near the high ceiling, kept there by slender poles,—its vast cracked, rusty stove, sprawling all askew, and putting forth a system of stovepipes that wander long through space before they find the chimney.
Justice is administered in that Court-house in a truly free and easy style; and to hear the drowsy clerk, with his heels in the air, administer, 'twixt sleep and awake, the tremendous oath of Pennsylvania
, to a brown, abashed farmer, with his right hand raised in a manner to set off his awkwardness to the best advantage, is worth a journey to Erie
Two sides of “The Park
” are occupied by the principal stores, before which the country wagons stand, presenting a continuous range of muddy wheels.
The marble structure around the corner is not a Greek temple, though built in the style of one, and quite deserted enough to be a ruin—it is the Erie Custom House
, a fine example of governmental management, as it is as much too large for the business done in it as the Custom House
of New York is too small.
of the present year is, of course, not the Erie
of 1831, when Horace Greeley
walked its streets, with his eyes on the pavemeant and a bundle of exchanges in his pocket, ruminating on the