"Cue" Would Sometimes Project Out Into The Street.
The work inside
was done very slowly.
The clerk had no facility, by use of a desk
or otherwise, for running through the letters under the initials
denominated, but turned letter by letter through his hand. To one
questioner out of ten would a letter be given. It no doubt may be
said in excuse for this that the presence of the army round
Washington caused, at that period, special inconvenience; and that
plea should of course be taken, were it not that a very trifling
alteration in the management within would have remedied all the
inconvenience. As a building, the Washington Post-office is very
good; as the center of a most complicated and difficult department,
I believe it to be well managed; but as regards the special
accommodation given by it to the city in which it stands, much
cannot, I think, be said in its favor.
Opposite to that which is, I presume, the back of the Post-office,
stands the Patent-office. This also is a grand building, with a
fine portico of Doric pillars at each of its three fronts. These
are approached by flights of steps, more gratifying to the eye than
to the legs. The whole structure is massive and grand, and, if the
streets round it were finished, would be imposing. The utilitarian
spirit of the nation has, however, done much toward marring the
appearance of the building, by piercing it with windows altogether
unsuited to it, both in number and size.
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