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New-York tribune. (New York [N.Y.]) 1866-1924, January 05, 1902, Image 26

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Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83030214/1902-01-05/ed-1/seq-26/

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A recent attempt to mutilate it was Interrupted.
Washington, Jan. 4. It has been said of
those who reared the public edifices of this
sne.-it capital that they builded Uke giants and
carved like Jewellers. It is to be regretted,
Vpwever, that tluir carving was left within easy
/•each. Souvenir stores are aa plentj as saloons
In Washington, but the visiting relic hunter
»ems to prefer a small part of the original to
It picture or a miniature of the whole, and a-s a
result it Is only the closest watching <>n the
part of the guards at the several buildings that
prevents the committing of many uu>i>- dia
bolical deeds of vandalism.
There hr.s not been much of this work 'if late
jcenxs, but. last week a sword in the hand "f a
figure on the famous bronze door that leada into
the rotunda <>f the Capitol was discovered bent
and twis:-d almost off. Probably the ap
proach of a Capitol policeman or guide pre
>tmted its disappearance. The door was de
signed in Etome in LBSB by Randolph Rogers,
Who received $8,000 for the plaster model. It
Iras cast in Munich in ls»'.l by Yon Mull, r for
the sum of $17,m>»i in gold. It la nineteen feet
High and weighs ten tons. The d"or is divided,
including tho transom, into seventeen panels,
earn containing a scene in alto-relievo of an
event In the life of Columbus and the discovery
of America. The bent sword 's the Hist mutila
tion of thi.s door that has taken place, because,
probably, of the conspicuous place it occupies
at the ent.ra.nrp from tin- central portico.
liy no means so well, however, ha_s the d.>or to
the Senate win^ fared. The portrayals thereon
are still recognizable, but In one panel Wash
ington's soldiers have not a bayonet left on tti» ir
Kuns. In another a pioneer, defending his
crouching wife and babe, has lost his hand and
pistol, and the woman has lost the muzzle off
the gun she was loading for the man. Thi.s
door, designed by Thomas Crawford and cast
by J. T. Ames, of Chlcopee, Mass. cost for their
work $15,000, and fur the fourteen tons of
bronze used in it nearly $51,000. It represents
Hi one side war and the other peace. Btrange
to say, there are no delicate instruments on the
peace side to fall into the hands of vandals.
It was in the Interior of the Washington
Monument that vaiKlall.Mii flourished In its day.
Jfhe monument's long staircase is lighted only
by weak Incandescent lamps here und there,
J*heri Is an elevator In the place, but many
prefer to climb the steps, and while on their
|ourneys mutilate the beautifully sculptured
Blabs that adorn the walls. These slabs are set
In diagonal rows between the plain stones and
form a veritable checker board. Then- are more
than one hundred and fifty of them, presented
\t the time of the monument's erection by the
States of the Union and various institutions
and org; nizations throughout the country.
Many are in a disgraceful condition of mutila
tion. Th" absence of heads, arms, leK* and
drapery from the figures on the slabs bears con
spicuous testimony to the appreciation of visit
ors. Mo.st of the slabs presented by the States
bear simply names and dates in boll letters
th.-.t defy umbrellas and the like, ;ir..l these re
main untouchi <i, except by pencils that mark
U:< ir owners' initials, which only remain until
the next cleaning day. But of the delicate
carving there is little left. The handsomest
Slab, though one of tho smallest, measuring
8x"» feet, is that which was presented by the
American Medical Association, representing a
group of the fathers <>f medicine, it is about
midway up the monument, übout where climb
ers rest, and . bout four feet from th»- Boor a
convenient rent b. Hence the condition of the
figure?- two headless an.) three armies*. Two
landings üb< ye is ;i slab n iga locomo
ii\e Th< locomotive looks as if it had been in
:i collision. Nol lir away la a large slab occu
pying the : ti. . r the wall f r about six feet.
In it- pre . -,t cor lit! n it w ouM do ror :i puzzle
picture. Before ih- enthusiastic tourists
at it, it ;• i:• ■ '• ! .i 111 ■en :.■■■ of the old type.
A volunteer fii" riopartment of some city pre
sented it. Probal ly the name of the city is in
some ■ 'l reci r«l It is no longer on the slab
( >n one slab th< re Is t fine c ;l r\i:.u- of a pelican,
the emblem of Loui lana It Is perfect. The
n Is that Ins) ■! of bass relief it is In in
taglio, and no predo or) umbrella can <Hk it out.
When most of the vandalism took place no
one knows, but thai -it ihe monument occurred
before the checking system was Instituted, com
pelling visitors '■' leave all umbrellas, canes and
like potential Instruments of destruction below,
Gnat j rot. st is made against this order by the
camera Bend, who generally wants to take a
"bird's eye view of th.- city from the top of the
monument " But he has to do his best without
his tripod, for that instrument iM also pro
At Mount Vernon there is the largest army
of "spotters" on the lookout for vandals; and it
Is more necessary there than anywhere else, for
Washington's home would be easily despoiled.
Th* visitor pays a quarter admission, and the
money goes to pay his watchers. There la one
thing In the house that strikes the notice by its
contrast to the prevailing simplicity. It is the
It wum held at thy Royal Aquarium In December. Korty.it;! t women of fashion ■ >mpetesl
carved mantelpiece of Carrara marble in the
dining room. One who Is not ■ vandal cannot
£aze upon It without anathematizing the whole
of relic seekers Even with watchers in
every room some individual managed to "gel in
his w-rk" and gel off the bead of ;i galloping
deer in the centre Ol the group. The animal re
main., 1 headless for months. Then one day the
head came back in a httie box. It was post
marked Paris. An a< mpanying i
"It did nol occur to me, la ssy own country,
where everything ;s s.- well cared fo? and pre
s. rved. tlie outrage that it is to mutilate hi.-t.-ric
plai es for relics Here In Kur< pc nothing is
preserved; everything is marr- 1 aad hipped
and broken ly travellers like myself. 1 return
herewith." etc. The letter was anonym us.
When the bead was pot ha.<-k the glue st
the marble, and the milkwbite deer has a :
streak around his neck.
Prom The Electrical World and Engineer
The Eastern Extension Telegraph Company
has brought to not an interesting fact la con
nection with the Interruptions occurring in sob
marine telegraph cables. a fault removed a
few months ago from the company's Sydney-
Nelson section at as great a depth as iwl- fath
oms was found to contain a tooth firmly fixed
In the core of the cable, although the .ore was
protected by the usual sheathing of thick iron
Wires and outer coverings. An expert examina
tion of the tooth proved it to belong to a spe
cies of shark, th.- exact variety of which could
not be Identified; but It appears that rive known
varieties of sharks are found to exist at a depth
of 300 fathoms, and one at a depth of even COO
The three men who occupied the studio flat
were having their quiet end-afternoon srnoks
together. There was the artist, w hose hair haj
turned gray after long years of painting an*
black and white doings; the youth who, fcesi
from art school, was just making a start, and
the man of business, who was the saving clause
of the combination. He put up the money wh»3
black and whites would not sell and the youths
checks from home were delayed In the mails.
"I wish people would find something new wia
which to entertain us, ' said the man of buij.
ness, in a bored tone.
"New Year is coming," chirped the youth, aa
obvious statement, setir.g that Christmas «xj
just one day past. "Perhaps Santa Claus tLpgti
off' the dear girls to a new game."
There*! nothing new under the sun. Billy*
said the •Id artist. "If taert was I'd draw it jj
■ hurry."
Then there came a knock on the door, and a
messenger appeared with a dainty note. Billy
grasped it hastily. Billy was in love.
"It's addressed to all of us," he said, with di*.
"All the more reason you should hurry up aaj
lead it,"' commanded the man of business.
"It's from Harriet," he murmured, as he read
it to himself.
"Head out loud, uli>.t"" commanded one of the
older men.
" "Won't you ccme up to-morrow night and
play ping-pong." " read Billy. "Now, what is
"Search me?" remarked the one who was nut
artistic, except when it came to making money.
"Sounds Chinese," said the artist.
"I've heard of 'pom-pom,' " remarked BiUy.
"That's a sort of big gun which makes a funny
noise." Billy had ence had the idea of beeoininj
a military man. "But ping-pon^r— that's a new
one on me."
"Some new style of bridge. I suppose." mut
tered the artist. "It's not for me. I've sacri
ficed enough on that altar."
"Well. I'm going up to play ping-pong," an
nounced the youth. "I don't care what it is, tit
name's new. Better come along. Jack. You
were growling a minute ago about there being
nothing new, and here you are."
Dilly went to Harriet's and played ping-pong,
and when he had not retumeO by midnight th«
other fellows knew that he was enjoying it. H«
would not tell them what the new game was
when he finally put in an appearance, but ad
vised them to find out for themselves.
An indoor edition of tennis is ping-pong, til*
name coming from the curious sound which tie
parchment rackets give forth when they striis
the little balls. It is played on the dining room
taMe, across the centre of which a low net is
stretched. Th> rules are almost the same as
in tennis, and the points are counted tennis
fashion. There is even mure chance for skilful
handling of the ball than In outduor game*
and there are tricks innumerable which add
interest and variety. Skilful players can ii??
up the volleying process until interest reaches
fever pitch. It is almost as exciting for tie
spectators as for the players, which U core
than can be said of tennis.
It is an absorbing game, as the EngHsh S«l
tell you. It his been played i:i London ilisisj
romis for the last two or three years; but ha
never been strictly in vogue until this winter
The ollieers of the British army carried pir.g
peng sets to South Africa with t'.u-m. and have .
set up their tab) on tho wldt when the Ecea
let them remain Ln camp long enough.
Why the game has not taken hold in tiia '•
country is something which Americans who live
In London cannot understand. They have writ
ten home about the beauties and delisht3 o! v
ping-pong. They laud it to the skies for tie
exercise it affords to busy c.tn who have o
work in offices all day. and to women who **
occupied with a round of teas a^d recepucsi
Continued on Seventh I'agc*

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