Page:Our Philadelphia (Pennell, 1914).djvu/44

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CHAPTER II: A CHILD IN PHILADELPHIA

I

IF I made my first friendships from my perambulator, or trundling my hoop and skipping my rope, in Rittenhouse Square, as every Philadelphian should, they were interrupted and broken so soon that I have no memory of them.

It was my fate to be sent to boarding-school before I had time to lay in a store of the associations that are the common property of happier Philadelphians of my generation. I do not know if I was ever taken, as J. and other privileged children were, to the Pennsylvania Hospital on summer evenings to see William Penn step down from his pedestal when he heard the clock strike six, or to the Philadelphia Library to wait until Benjamin Franklin, hearing the same summons, left his high niche for a neighbouring saloon. I cannot recall the firemen's fights and the cries of negroes selling pop-corn and ice-cream through the streets that fill some Philadelphia reminiscences I have read. I cannot say if I ever went anywhere by the omnibus sleigh in winter, or to West Philadelphia by the stage at any time of the year. I never coasted down the hills of Germantown, I never skated on the Schuylkill. When my contemporaries compare notes of these and many more delightful things in the amazing, romantic, 24