PHILADELPHIA,Aug. 26.LAST night and to-night of unsurpassd clearness, after two days rain; moon splendor and star splendor. Being out toward the great Exposition building, West Philadelphia, I saw it lit up, and thought I would go in. There was a ball, democratic but nice; plenty of young couples waltzing and quadrillingmusic by a good string-band. To the sight and hearing of theseto moderate strolls up and down the roomy spacesto getting off aside, resting in an arm-chair and looking up a long while at the grand high roof with its graceful and multitudinous work of iron rods, angles, gray colors, plays of light and shade, receding into dim outlinesto absorbing (in the intervals of the string band,) some capital voluntaries and rolling caprices from the big organ at the other end of the buildingto sighting a shadowd figure or group or couple of lovers every now and then passing some near or farther aisleI abandond myself for over an hour.
Returning home, riding down Market street in an open summer car, something detaind us between Fifteenth and Broad, and I got out to view better the new, three-fifths-built marble edifice, the City Hall, of magnificent proportionsa majestic and lovely show there in the moonlightflooded all over, façades, myriad silver-white lines and carvd heads and mouldings, with the soft dazzlesilent, weird, beautifulwell, I know that never when finishd will that magnificent pile impress one as it impressd me those fifteen minutes.
To-night, since, I have been long on the river. I watch the C-shaped Northern Crown, (with the star Alshacca that blazed out so suddenly, alarmingly, one night a few years ago.) The moon in her third quarter, and up nearly all night. And there, as I look eastward, my long-absent Pleiades, welcome again to sight. For an hour I enjoy the soothing and vital scene to the low splash of wavesnew stars steadily, noiselessly rising in the east.
As I cross the Delaware, one of the deck-hands, F. R., tells me how a woman jumpd overboard and was drownd a couple of hours since. It happend in mid-channelshe leapd from the forward part of the boat, which went over her. He saw her rise on the other side in the swift running water, throw her arms and closed hands high up, (white hands and bare forearms in the moonlight like a flash,) and then she sank. (I found out afterwards that this young fellow had promptly jumpd in, swam after the poor creature, and made, though unsuccessfully, the bravest efforts to rescue her; but he didnt mention that part at all in telling me the story.)