commissioners, who I knew were men too noble and high-minded to be justly subject to such charges as were brought against them. But there is no resisting successfully public clamour, or what is called public opinion; law, equity, innocence, all are insufficient for this, when the multitude cry, " Crucify him! crucify him!" So it happened with Clinton and his friends: he was obliged to give way, as before stated, to this small tyrant, chosen by the commissioners as a cat's paw in their hands, to punish the friends of Mr. Clinton with.

During the period of this warfare, I had finished the lock in question from bottom to top, both neat and strong, and was then entitled to receive therefor $2,700. But instead of my receiving that, as was my due, there was pronounced an edict by this petty tyrant, like that pronounced against the temple and walls of Jerusalem, that not one stone should be left upon another. He must see the bottom course of it, giving as a reason that he was determined to see all the important work on the line reared up under his immediate eye. This inflicted a wound upon my prosperity, which was never fully healed. A contract with the Commonwealth had been drawn up in the most aristocratic form, binding the contractor to strict obedience to the will of the engineer having charge of the work; so that any omission or neglect on the part of the contractor, whether real or imaginary, subjected his contract to forfeiture, according to the caprice of this lordling

chief, whose word was the end of the law, though not in righteousness; and one-fifth of all the money estimated on the job was forfeited besides, which was denominated a retain percentage. This is retained by the State as a guaranty for the performance of the undertaking. For instance, should a contractor do a thousand dollars' worth of work every month, he is paid but eight hundred dollars for it; so if a man had a contract of fifty thousand dollars, when the job is completed, the State retains in its hands ten thousand of it, which is used as a rod to hold over him until the final completion of his engagement, to compel him to yield to the requirements of the State, for this is always subject to forfeiture.

I am more particular on this subject than I would otherwise be, for the reason that so many wonders are made that contractors do not become wealthy in doing so much business, and handling so much money; and, if possible, to relieve myself from the odium I have been subjected to by a great many of my friends and acquaintances, who are so apt to judge and condemn without knowing anything of the merits of the case. So you see I was reduced to this dilemma-either to pull down my lock and build it over; or to walk off and leave my job, and my workmen and creditors unpaid. But you know it is said, "What can't be cured must be endured," so I pulled down the lock; but before it was rebuilt, a reaction took place in consequence of this and

many like flagrant assumptions of power, and the pigmy tyrant and his sycophantic assistant were fairly scouted from the country by the same public, and an honourable man took his place by the name of James Ferguson, under whom I finished my work; and with much difficulty I made out to pay my debts, and I found myself in a safe position at the bottom of the hill. In this contract I realized how true is the proverb of the wise man: "He that meddleth with strife belonging not to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears."

Here I might tell the reader of an adventure I had at a place called Tuckahoe, at the headwaters of the Juniata, among the Alleghany mountains, where I had gathered up about eighty rafts of timber preparatory to launching, after the river should have cleared of ice in the spring; and how there came an unusual deluge and swept my lumber down the stream and lodged it together, mixed up with other rubbish; and what difficulty I had in getting it down to the place of destination. But let us pass on to something of greater moment, and more interesting. And I would have my kind reader mark as we pass, the sore disappointments that are concealed in almost every glittering prize of which ambition is in pursuit. He shall see that it is almost true that

"Each pleasure has its poison too,

And every sweet its snare.'

Augh I now found myself, as I had often before


been, at the foot of the hill, out of money, and out of the good graces of the canal commissioners, in consequence of my zeal in the cause of my friend Clinton, yet they were forced to acknowledge me to be a good contractor, and that not one man in twenty would have borne up under my embarrassments without fainting, or would have attempted to finish the work as I had done. But I drew up a petition to the Legislature of Pennsylvania, asking remuneration for the wrongs and loss I had sustained from the flagitious act of Alexander Twining, the chief engineer. I rigged up in a first-rate suit of clothes, went to Harrisburgh, took lodgings at the first hotel in town, and, as it happened, one of the Canal Commissioners was my chum, and, by-theway, a very clever, social man. It was not long before I was reinstated in the good graces of the whole Board; and when our hearts became well mellowed by the softening influence of champagne, all were brought on a level together, when all dignities and titles were laid under the table: not that the dignitaries themselves were laid under the table, but their dignities only! In this state of the case I chose, rather as an accident, to introduce my claim, and in such an unguarded moment you know almost any man may be brought to terms. It was when Artaxerxes was well filled with wine that Nehemiah pressed his claim, and received a grant, not only of permission, but money also, to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. I got my first bill through both branches

of the Legislature. But it was reduced nearly onehalf the amount I was entitled to by a portion of the members who were inaccessible, and whose governing principle of action was, "Keep what you get, and get what you can." But still it was a profitable winter to me, in many respects; I not only listened to the debates of both houses, but made the acquaintance of the governor and many of the principal men of the State and nation, to whom I should not otherwise have had access. Here I learned much of human nature; and from what I saw here, and from my general acquaintance with all grades of mankind, from a penny whistle up to a German flute, I am constrained to conclude that Sam Slick's opinion of society may generally be relied on as correct. Sam says he found society very much like pickled pork—the bottom pieces a little rusty, the tip-top pieces somewhat tainted; but the best and sweetest of the pork is generally found in the middle layers of the barrel. This is, of course, but a general rule, both as to the pork and as to society, and is subject to exceptions.

In the winter of 1831 the Legislature of Pennsylvania granted a loan of upwards of two millions of dollars for the extension of rail-roads and canals in the State, and there was soon thrown into the market a large quantity of work. The first was a rail-road to cross the Alleghany Mountains-the most gigantic work of the kind in the United States -a distance of thirty-six miles, commencing at

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