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store-houses, staring him in the face, intercepts the
view."

An intelligent traveller from the United
States, has recorded his impressions of this
marvellous spot, as he saw it in August,
1849:—

"The restless, feverish tide of life in that
little spot, and the thought that what I then
saw and was yet to see will hereafter fill one
of the most marvellous pages of all history,
rendered it singularly impressive. The feeling
was not decreased on talking that evening
with some of the old residents, (that is of six
months' standing,) and hearing their several
experiences. Every new-comer in San
Francisco is overtaken with a sense of
complete bewilderment. The mind, however it
may be prepared for an astonishing condition
of affairs, cannot immediately push aside its
old instincts of value and ideas of business,
letting all past experiences go for nought and
casting all its faculties for action, intercourse
with its fellows, or advancement in any path
of ambition, into shapes which it never before
imagined. As in the turn of the dissolving
views, there is a period when it wears neither
the old nor the new phase, but the vanishing
images of the one and the growing perceptions
of the other are blended in painful and misty
confusion. One knows not whether he is
awake or in some wonderful dream. Never
have I had so much difficulty in establishing,
satisfactorily to my own senses, the reality of
what I saw and heard." *

* " Eldorado," by Bayard Taylor, correspondent to the
"Tribune " newspaper.

The same gentleman, after an absence in
the interior of four months, gives a notion
of the rapidity with which the city grew, in
the following terms:—

"Of all the marvellous phases of the history
of the Present, the growth of San Francisco is
the one which will most tax the belief of the
Future. Its parallel was never known, and
shall never be beheld again. I speak only of
what I saw with my own eyes. When I
landed there, a little more than four months
before, I found a scattering town of tents and
canvas houses, with a show of frame buildings
on one or two streets, and a population of
about six thousand. Now, on my last visit, I
saw around me an actual metropolis, displaying
street after street of well-built edifices,
filled with an active and enterprising people
and exhibiting every mark of permanent
commercial prosperity. Then, the town was
limited to the curve of the Bay fronting the
anchorage and bottoms of the hills. Now, it
stretched to the topmost heights, followed
the shore around point after point, and sending
back a long arm through a gap in the
hills, took hold of the Golden Gate and was
building its warehouses on the open strait
and almost fronting the blue horizon of the
Pacific. Then the gold-seeking sojourner
lodged in muslin rooms and canvas garrets,
with a philosophic lack of furniture, and ate
his simple though substantial fare from pine
boards. Now, lofty hotels, gaudy with
verandas and balconies, were met with in
all quarters, furnished with home luxury,
and aristocratic restaurants presented daily
their long bills of fare, rich with the choicest
technicalities of the Parisian cuisine. Then,
vessels were coming in day after day, to lie
deserted and useless at their anchorage. Now
scarce a day passed, but some cluster of sails,
bound outward through the Golden Gate, took
their way to all the corners of the Pacific.
Like the magic seed of the Indian juggler,
which grew, blossomed, and bore fruit before
the eyes of his spectators, San Francisco
seemed to have accomplished in a day the
growth of half a century."

In San Francisco, everything is reversed.
The operations of trade are exactly opposite
to those of older communities. There the
rule is scarcity of money and abundance of
labour, produce, and manufactures; here
cash overflows out of every pocket, and the
necessaries of existence will not pour in fast
enough. Mr. Taylor tells us, that " a curious
result of the extraordinary abundance of
gold and the facility with which fortunes
were acquired, struck me at the first glance.
All business was transacted on so
extensive a scale that the ordinary habits of
solicitation and compliance on "the one hand,
and stubborn cheapening on the other, seemed
to be entirely forgotten. You enter a shop
to buy something; the owner eyes you with
perfect indifference, waiting for you to state
your want: if you object to the price, you are
at liberty to leave, for you need not expect to
get it cheaper; he evidently cares little
whether you buy it or not. One who has
been some time in the country will lay down
the money, without wasting words. The only
exception I found to this rule was that of a
sharp-faced Down-Easter just opening his
stock, who was much distressed when his
clerk charged me seventy-five cents for a coil
of rope, instead of one dollar. This disregard
for all the petty arts of money-making was
really a refreshing feature of society. Another
equally agreeable trait was the punctuality
with which debts were paid, and the general
confidence which men were obliged to place,
perforce, in each other's honesty. Perhaps
this latter fact was owing, in part, to the
impossibility of protecting wealth, and consequent
dependence on an honourable regard
for the rights of others."

While this gentleman was in San Francisco,
an instance of the fairy-like manner in which
fortunes are accumulated, came under his
observation. A citizen of San Francisco died
insolvent to the amount of forty-one thousand
dollars the previous autumn. His administrators
were delayed in settling his affairs, and
his real estate advanced so rapidly in value
meantime, that after his debts were paid, his
heirs derived a yearly income from it of forty
thousand dollars!

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