Gateway to the Classics: Stephen of Philadelphia by James Otis
Stephen of Philadelphia by  James Otis

The Shops of Maryland

This we did, as a matter of course, for if she had bidden me to stand on one leg I believe of a verity I would have done so to the best of my ability, and once we were on the street there was no other opportunity to urge that she tell me why she was known as Amy of Maryland.

That which struck me most oddly in his lordship's town, was the number of black slaves to be seen. It appeared as if there were at least two to every white man, and while our Indians of Philadelphia were in my eyes more manly, I was forced to confess that these black fellows behaved in a most seemly manner.

Another matter which attracted my attention, was the number of shops wherein were goods equal to any that could be seen in London, whereas we of Philadelphia could boast of but two, and in both of those only ordinary merchandise was on sale.

I had brought with me a goodly part of all my money, counting to buy for my mother some token to remind her that I had been during a certain time of Governor Penn's following, and when I said as much to Amy of Maryland, she seemed as eager as I, pointing out this thing or that, which I knew full well would cost more of money than I had ever earned by the labor of my hands. It was when I was beginning to despair of finding what would come within the limits of my purse, that my eyes lighted upon two flasks of glass.


I had heard of such things, but never had the pleasure of seeing them before, and, luckily, the price for two was but eight shillings. I paid the money at once, and the shopman stowed both most carefully in a box of wood, so that I might not break them on the journey home, for, as he explained, this ware is so delicate that a slight blow will send it into an hundred pieces.

 Table of Contents  |  Index  |  Home  | Previous: Amy of Maryland  |  Next: The Result of the Visit
Copyright (c) 2005 - 2023   Yesterday's Classics, LLC. All Rights Reserved.