Our sketch, commences at the opening of the year 1784. Winter had subtracted from the charms of the landscape, by substituting for its variegated garniture a robe of uniform hue. It had, like the envious brethren of Joseph, "rent the coat of many colours." Still, the brightness of the pure white surface, the conical mounds which attested the play of the elements, the incrustations clinging in every fanciful form to boughs sparkling with the beams of morning, gave brilliancy to scenery, which more favouring seasons had forsaken.
The war of revolution, which for a long period had drained the resources of the country, had been terminated for a space of somewhat more than two years. The British Colonies of America were numbered among the nations. The first tumults of joy subsiding, discovered a government not organized, and resting upon insecure foundations. Gold might be discerned among the materials of the future temple, but the hand of a refiner was needed, "to purge the dross, and to take away all the