North America - Volume 2 By Anthony Trollope 




















































































































































 -   This
cue would sometimes project out into the street.  The work inside
was done very slowly.  The clerk had no - Page 19
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This "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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