Page:Our Philadelphia (Pennell, 1914).djvu/182

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162
OUR PHILADELPHIA

that next to everybody you met was not making it a practice to keep to the straight and narrow path, to be as innocent as everybody looked. Logan Square could have told tales, if the Divorce Court could not.

But now Philadelphia has strayed from its characteristic exclusiveness; gone far to get rid of even the air of tranquillity. With the modern "Peggy Shippen" and "Sally Wister" alert to give away its affairs in the columns of the daily paper, it could not keep its secrets to itself if it wanted to. And it does not seem to want to—that is the saddest part of the whole sad transformation. It rather likes the world outside to know what it is doing and, worse, it takes that world as its model. Its aim apparently is to show that it can be as like every other town as two peas, so that, drinking tea to music at the Bellevue, dancing at the Ritz, lunching and dining and playing golf and polo at the Country Clubs, the visitor can comfortably forget he is not at home but in Philadelphia. The youth of Philadelphia have become eager to desert the Episcopal Academy and the University for Groton or St. Paul's, Harvard or Yale, in order that they may be trained to be not Philadelphians but, as they imagine, men of the world, forgetting the distinction there has hitherto been in being plain Philadelphians. At the moment when in far older towns of Europe people are striving to recover their character by reviving local costumes, language, and customs, Philadelphians are deliberately throwing theirs away with their old traditions. The Assembly is one of their