I was fortunate in the city over which William Penn, in giant effigy, keeps watch and ward, in having as guide, philosopher and friend Mr. A. Edward Newton, the Johnsonian, and the author of one of the best examples of "amateur" literature that I know - "The Amenities of Book- Collecting." Mr. Newton took me everywhere, even to the little seventeenth-century Swedish church, which architecturally may be described as the antipodes of Philadelphia's newer glory, the Curtis Building, where editors are lodged like kings and can be attained to (if at all) only through marble halls. We went to St. Peter's, where, suddenly awaking during the sermon, one would think oneself to be in a London city church, and to the Historical Museum, where I found among the Quaker records many of my own ancestors and was bewildered amid such a profusion of relics of Penn, Washington and Franklin. In the old library were more traces of Franklin, including his famous electrical appliance, again testifying to the white flame with which American hero- worship can burn; and we found the sagacious Benjamin once more at the Franklin Inn Club, where the simplicity of the eighteenth century mingles with the humour and culture of the twentieth. We then drove through several miles of Fairmount Park, stopping for a few minutes in the hope of finding the late J. G. Johnson's Vermeer in the gallery there; but for the moment it was in hiding, the walls being devoted to his Italian pictures.

Finally we drew up at the gates of that strange and imposing Corinthian temple which might have been dislodged from its original site and hurled to Philadelphia by the first Quaker, Poseidon - the Girard College. This solemn fane we were permitted to enter only on convincing the porter that we were not ministers of religion - an easy enough task for Mr. Newton, who wears with grace the natural abandon of a Voltairean, but a difficult one for me. Why Stephen Girard, the worthy "merchant and mariner" who endowed this institution, was so suspicious of the cloth, no matter what its cut, I do not know; no doubt he had his reasons; but his prejudices are faithfully respected by his janitor, whose eye is a very gimlet of suspicion. However, we got in and saw the philanthropist's tomb and his household effects behind those massive columns.

That evening I spent in Mr. Newton's library among Blake and Lamb and Johnson autographs and MSS., breaking the Tenth Commandment with a recklessness that would have satisfied and delighted Stephen Girard's gatekeeper; and the next day we were off to Valley Forge to see with what imaginative thoughtfulness the Government has been transforming Washington's camp into a national park and restoring the old landmarks. It was a fine spring day and the woods were flecked with the white and pink blossoms of the dogwood - a tree which in England is only an inconspicuous hedgerow bush but here has both charm and importance and some of the unexpectedness of a tropical growth. I wish we could acclimatise it.

The memorial chapel now in course of completion on one of the Valley Forge eminences seemed to me a very admirable example not only of modern Gothic but of votive piety. And such a wealth of American symbolism cannot exist elsewhere. But in the severe little cottage where Washington made his headquarters, down by the stream, with all his frugal campaigning furniture and accessories in their old places, I felt more emotion than in the odour of sanctity. The simple reality of it conquered the stained glass.