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Sunday dispatch. [volume] (New York [N.Y.]) 1845-1854, February 22, 1846, Image 1

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VOL. I. NO. 12.
At 102 Nassau Street,
Or One Dollar a Year in Advance by Mail.
Will be inserted at the rate of One Dollar per Square
(of sixteen lines) the first insertion, and Fifty Cents for
every subsequent insertion. Advertisements for a lon
ger period at the same rate.
[Written for the Sunday Dispatch.]
Bantam Uecollcctiong
Chapter 11.
Executive Patronage, the boon of Party—Mr.
Tylers use of it—Custom House—Post Office—
sc.,s-c,s-c. M
New York, February 21, 1846,
To the Hon. Henry A. Wise,
Minister Extraordinary to the Court of Brazil.
My dear Sir :
It has been decided by custom, and that is as
good as the “ Common Law of England,” that
the Chief Executive of a nation may make use of
the patronage conferred on him, to promote his
own oqjects, if they be honorable, and those
of the party that rallies around him. No reason
able objection can be urged against any such rule
or practice ; and it is always supposed that the
President of the United States will, in the dis
pensation of his official patronage, bestow it on
his friends, and withdraw it from his enemies.—
As far as this goes, and as far as it is practiced, it
is not usually opposed ; and, when one class of
politicians succeeded or superceded another—in
other words, when the patriots of to-day succeed
ed in ejecting those who were the, Cato’s of office
yesterday, it is understood, and taken for grant
ed, that the ins will all go out, and the outs will
all come in. The issue of an election, in this
country, is nothing more or less than a civil re
volution ; and, when one of these events occur,
the People are very much disposed to abide quiet
ly by the result, and permit the’conquerors to di
vide among themselves the “ spoils of victory.”
These things, being well understood, the country
bows submissively to its fate; and the better part
of ft look on and amuse themselves with behold
ing the vampires and hyenas of the office-seeking
legion, “ pull and peck,” and quarrel and rave
about the disposition of the crumbs, and “ raw
bones” that fall from the Executive table. No
great harm is done ; the leavings of the Execu
tive platter must go into the wallet of some of the
beggars: the plates must be licked and the trench
ers must be swabbed; and, the world says, that
it is not of much consequence who of the success
full perform those necessary labors.
But when the Chief Magistrate of a nation at
tempts to bribe the people into his support, and
to secure an election, by seizing on the patronage
at his disposal and oflering it to any one, or to
any set of desperadoes, who will accept it, under
a pledge of giving him in return a stipulated num
ber of electorial votes, in the associate political
College of the Union, he commits an act of folly,
and perpetrates an outrage which will be very apt
to secure for him the abhorrence and the con
tumely of his countrymen.
Mr. Tyler, the moment he broke loose from the
Whigs who had elected him to the Vice Presi
dency, and thus, after the death of Gen. Harri
son, placed him in the chair of the Chief Magis
trate, looked around him to see how he could
secure himself, in the position he occupied, the
next four years ensuing. He did not look long.
It was no sooner known that he was meditating
a re-accession of power, befote he was surround
ed by a band of unprincipled harpies, who said
to hirn :
“ Give us the power of dispensing your patron
age in the States in which we reside, and we
will, without the least difficulty, secure to you a
re-election. AU that we need, to enable us to
accomplish our objects, is patronage; that once
in our hands, you are sure of success.”
Those, who thus addressed Mr. Tyler, were
men of small talents, of questionable characters, ‘
unprincipled and designing, who had never before
beheld in reality, or expectancy, a political, pirat
ical holicaust, or dreamed of possessing influence
because they were well aware that they weie nev
er entitled to it. They never before beheld, in
the distance, an opportunity to riot and revel on
ill-gotten gains ; and, they made the most of it.
Mr. Tyler was easily tempted, and yielded to the
soft persuasions of the unprincipled vagabonds.
Ere he committed this act of folly, however, he
was admonished of the rashness and madness of
the step he was about taking ; and the best and
only sincere friends he ever had,did all that could
be done, to dissuade him from its commission.
The New York Custom House and the New
York Post Office were the two prominent prizes,
to which the betrayers of Mr. Tyler directed
their eagle eyes ; and he was told by them that
if he would remove Mr. Curtis from the first, and
Mr. Coddington from the second, they would se
cure to him the electorial vote of the State of New
York ; and thus enable him to realize all the day
dreams of his aspiring ambition. The tale was
listened to most complacently ; every word of it
was swallowed ; and forthwith, Mr. Coddinglon
and Mr. Curtis were informed “ informally,”
that they must be ready to obey, whatever man
date might be issued from the clique, who had
engaged to give the electorial vote of New York
te Mr. Tyler. A list of individuals who must be
appointed to office was forthwith issued; and the
Postmaster and the Collector were made to under
stand that it must be “ attended to.”
Mr. Coddington was a man of character; had
long possessed the confidence of his fellow citi
zens ; he had a good name to protect; his subor
dinates were, with few exceptions, men of abil
ity, of fair standing in society ; had acquitted
themselves ably in the discharge of their duties ;
and he was slow to obey the infamous mandate.
He hesitated at the outset though he finally acted
to some small extent; but he was not rapid
enough, and his delinquency of action had, ere
he was aware of it, secured his proscription. Mr.
John Lorimer Graham was appointed his succes
sor ; and, he had no hesitation in employing the
axe of the headsman.
Mr. Edward Curtis, at the threshold, was con
tumacious, and refused to move, under the im
pression that inasmuch as Mr. Webster, his friend
and confidant, was in the Cabinet, he could resist
with impunity. Though indulging this belief, he
soon had reason to know that his safety was not
so very sure as he had fancied. He was required
to move; and he did move with considerable
celerity, till the public voice, resounding through
the columns of the Press, denounced the unne
cessary proscription he had commenced, and a
Buffering public service,had insisted on a suspen
sion of the work of iniquity. The instant he stay
ed the suspended axe, and refused to go farther,
his office was thrown into the market, to be
snatched up by any desperate blackleg politician
and varlet who would take possession of it, and
in requital of the boon, carry out the ignoble de
signs of Messrs. Robert Tyler, Joel B. Luther
wood, N. P. Tallmadge and Company ; a firm,
which, with the exception of “Bob,” had deter
mined to possess itself of all the patronage Mr.
Tyler had in his occupancy.
The Collectorship of New York, after it had
been resolved that Mr. Curtis should go out. ab
solutely went a begging. It was offered to Whig
and Democrat, on condition that they would
make use of it to promote the election of Mr. |
Tyler, and become the serfs of a party that had
only a nominal existence. By some it was re
fused, because they could not, by any possibility, ,
obtain the bopds required ; by others it was re
jected, for the reason that they could not consent .
to sacrifice themselves by holding any connexion
with Mr. Tyler.
One gentleman to whom it was offered—and 1
state the fact with pleasure, because it reflects on
his character the highest honor-refused with
many accompanying expressions of scorn and in
dignation ; and satisfied those who made the
proposition, that there was one human being left
who, like the aged Aristides of Bethnel Green,
was not to be insulted with impunity, by those
who are of opinion that every man has his price,
and that all mankind can be purchased and made
to pander to the licentiousness of ambition, by
he presentation of gold and office.
Sunman Ob WoaiWx
If the office could have been attained without
giving a bond of hvo hundred thousand dollars, it
would not have remained long in the market, for
there were knaves and office-seekers enough on all
sides to snatch at it, and to hold it. It being thus
found difficult to obtain a successor for Mr. Cur
tis, he was necessarily suffered to remain.
Mr. Tyler, or rather “Bob,” was in a quandary.
‘fWhat is to be done 1 !” said he imploringly to a
citizen, who at that time was in his confidence,
and who, by the way, betrayed him, as soon as
he had a good opportunity to do so, “ Fathercan
not be elected unless we dispose of Curtis 1 Our
situation is very embarrassing ; it is vexatious,
and full of difficulty. Curtis must go out. Who
will consent to succeed him I”
“Be not dismayed,” responded the party ad
dressed ; “ there is some virtue, some patriotism
left; and a man can be found who will accept the
office. Depend upon that, sir, and do not give
yourself any uneasiness.” The man was right;
a patriot was found, and he w’as persuaded to at
tempt the discharge of the duties of the New York
This Roman Patriot was the Honorable C. P.
Van Ness, late Minister to Spain ; Ex Governor
of Vermont; Ex-Collector of the Port of Burling"
ton, a small port on Lake Champlain, to which a
Canadian canoe occassionally had entrance.
Mr. Van Ness was at that time residing in the
city of Washington, where he had been many
months, pushing some extra claims through the
departments—claims that had been proclaimed
unjust; and which, according to an eminent
Senator, amounted to nothing more or less than a
demand for the duplicate payment of those that
had already been liquidated
And beside this, he had been engaged with
Joel B. Sutherland, N. P. Tallmadge, William
C. Rives, John C. Clarke, and the rest of the
Conservative faction, in an attempt to defeat the
election of John W. Jones, of Virginia, then a
candidate for Speaker of the House of Represen
tatives, elect a Conservative in his place, and
break downthe Washington Globe. An objection
was raised against him, on the ground that he
was a stranger to the People of New York, and a
resident, when at home, of Vermont.
This objection was at once overruled ; and it
was asserted that Mr. Van Ness was a citizen of
New York; that he was born in this city; had
numerous and powerful friends here, wno could
and would work a world of wonders—revolution
ize the State of New York, and elect Mr. Tyler.
The office was finally given him, and that too,
without consulting any of the citizens of this me
About the Ist of June, 1844, it was reported
that Mr. Curtis would go out, on the Ist of July,
and his successor would go in. But, who the
man was no one could possibly guess or conjec
ture. At last a paragraph appeared in the New
York Herald, announcing that an eminent and
celebrated statesman was to be the favored man;
and the editor of that famous periodical, hinted
that he knew him, and would endorse him ; but,
for the moment, “he could not enter into fur
ther disclosures.”
In all good time, the “cat was let out of the
bag,” and the city was apprised, to its utter
amazement and bitter discontent that Mr. Corne
lius P. Van Ness, wasthe man. That a man who
was a stranger to us all, who had none of our
sympathies, and who was, of course, utterly ig
norant of the duties he would be called upon to
perform, should have been selected, was a fact
that seemed very much like a fable. A protest,
against the appointment was about being made,
when it was wisely concluded that, inasmuch as
the Tyler Dynasty, would speedily die of its own
limitation, it were better to submit in silence,
and let the evil of the times correct itself—work
out its own redemption.
Mr. Van Ness, I think, entered on the duties
of the Collectgrship, on the 15th of July. It was
said that he would pursue a “ wise and masterly
inactivity” in reference to the patronage that was
placed in his hands; and this was the more ve
hemently urged, because he was said to be a
professed follower of Mr. John C. Calhoun, of
South Carolina, and regarded that gentleman as
a pattern of morality and worldly wisdom. He
met the promises of those who professed to speak
•forhim, with a vengeance.
On the 15th of August, only one month after he
had taken his seat in the Collector’s chair, he re
moved at one fell swoop some sixty of his subor
dinates, and appointed persons to fill their places
who were, in many instances, utterly unfit for
duty, and without giving them the least previous
intimation that their labors were no longerwant
ed. Before they were notified of their removal,
a levy, in the shape of black-mail, was col
lected of them: and thus were the poor devils
not only deprived of their livings, but suffered a
series of pocket picking into the bargain.
With a remorselessness, which would have
disgraced a Kickapoo Indian, he threw on the
world several old men who had been retained in
the service, in requital of former years of toil,
—and who had, from the meridian of life, been
tried and known to be faithful and honest men,
were removed from office, and their places given
to men of stalwart frames and of hardy constitu
tions, who were fitted for the hardier aad more
useful pursuits of the handicraftsman and labor
er; and, whose only commendation, and claim,
to the patronage of the Government, consisted in
the fact, that they were noisy brawlers in the
pot houses and the stews, and professed, as all
such braggarts are in the habit of professing, to
possess the means of advancing the fortunes of
the Collector.
And here commenced a series of outrage on
the one hand, and of suffering on the other, from
the exposure and consideration of which, I ne
cessarily retire, for the want of time and space,
but which will occupy the pages of a subsequent
letter. In the meantime, it only remains for me
add, in concluding this note, that the present Ad
ministration, when it disposed of the late Collec
tor, Mr. Van Ness, performed an act due alike to
its own honor and credit, and dignity, and should
have received, as it did, the approbation of all,
who know aught of him as a public officer.
Faithfully, I remain your devoted friend,
and obedient servant.
Precedence.— A Kentuckian claiming prece
dence of a Count.— We were yesterday shown a
letter from a young gentleman—a native of Ken
tucky, who is now in Rome—the Eternal City—
to his friends in this State. He gives a graphic
description of his journey from Paris thither,
and recites one amusing incident of travel,which
is worth transcribing. He states that in the
boat in which he travellled on the Rhone, from
Lyons to Avignon, he was halt famished with
cold, and nearly whole starved with hunger. He
tried a bribe to the cook, and entreaty to the
captain—but neither availed him in obtaining a
dinner. After pacing the deck for some time,
mentally calling anathemas on the heads of all ’
Frenchmen in general, and the surly boat-cap
tain in particular, whose passenger he was, be ,
hurried down to the cabin, for the purpose of 1
getting a segar and puffing it instead of blowing J
up the captain. There, to his astonishment, and
not without exciting his envy, he found a tallow
faced Russian Count —Count Orloff—discussing 1
a very fine dinner, the obsequious captain stand
ing behind bis chair, apparently honored with be- '
ing permitted to act as his waiter.
“ I thought,” said the Kentuckian, casting a
scowl at the captain, who understood and could '
speak a little broken English—“l thought you 1
had told me that you did not furnish your pas- 1
sengers with dinners'!”
“ Pardonne, monsieur; dis be net one every
body passenger, mine friend; he be one gran’ 1
Russian Count.”
“ And what the h—ll if he be 1” said the Ken 1
tuckian, who was as ardent as a Western sun '
could make him. “Ifhe be a Count, I’m a Ken
tuckian : I’d like to know which should rank
higher 1” |
“ Pardonne, monsier,” said the captain—“ You I
be a Kent—what I—dat be title of one nobleman
Anglatse, eh 1”
“ No,” said the Kentuckian, bluntly—“ that is 1
the title of an American sovereign I”
“ Ah,” said the little French captain, shrug- ’
? ln ? 'I? “ 1B s h° u lders, and bowing down his head |
ah, excusez, monsieur—pardonne. I did no ,
know you be one gran’ noblemans ; but now I
get you dinner, toute suite .” and in due time the 1
dinner was brought— to which, with the addition 1
of a bottle of sparkling hoek, the young Kentuc- i
klan did ample justice. He says he has never
known so agreeable an instance of the respect
which the name inspires abraad, as that occa- 1
sion afforded him — Delta. <
J Cast flour? of a Bcign.
1 ** There is so hot a summer in my bosom,
That all tny bowels crumble up to dust;
I am a scribbled form, drawn with a pen
Upon a parchment; and against this lire
Do I shrink up.” Shakspere.
i “ Ambition is a great man's madness,
That is not kept In chains and close-pent rooms,
1 But in fair lightsome lodgings, and is girt
With the wild noise of prattling visitants,
Which makes it lunatic beyond all cure.”
In a room belonging to the lower apartments of
the old palace of the Louvre, reclined, in one of
the large but incommodious chairs of the time, a
young man,whose pale, haggard face, and prema
turely furrowed brow, betrayed deep suffering
both from moral and physical causes. The thick
lids of his heavy dark eyes closed over them with
langor, as if he no longer possessed the force to
open them; whilst his pale thin lips were distort
ed as if with pain. His whole air bore the stamp
of exhaustion of mind and body.
The dress of this personage was dark set and
of an extreme plainness and simplicity, in times
when the fashion of attire demanded so much
display—it bore somewhat the appearance of a
hunting costume. The room, on the contrary,
betrayed a strange mixture of great richness and
luxury, with much confusion and disorder. The
hangings of the doors were of the finest stuffs,
and embroidered with gold and jewellery; tapes
try of beauty covered the walls. A raised curtain
of heavy and costly tissue discovered a small
oratory, in which were visible a crucifix and
other religious ornaments of great value. But in
the midst of this display of wealth and greatness,
were to be seen the most incongruous objects.
Beneath a bench in a corner of the room was
littered straw, on which lay several young pup
pies ; in other choice nooks slept two or three
great hounds. Hunting horns were hung against
the tapestry, or lay scattered on the floor; an ar
quebuss rested against the oratory door-stall—the
instrument of death beside the retreat of religious
aspiration. Upon a standing desk, in the middle
of the room, lay a book, the colored designs of
which showed that it treated of the “ noble sci
ence of venerye,” whilst around its pages hung
the beads of a chaplet Against the wall of the
room opposite the reclining young man, stood
one of the heavy chests used at that period for
seats, as much as depositories of clothes and
other objects; but the occupant of this seat was
a strange one. It was a large ape, the light brown
color of whose hair bordered so much upon the
green as to give the animal, in certain lights, a
perfectly verdant aspect. It sat “ moping and
mowing” in sulky loneliness, as if its grimaces
were intended to caricature the expression of
pain which crossed the young man’s face—a
strange distorted mirror of that suffering form.
After a time the young man moved uneasily,
as if he had in vain sought in sleep some repose
from the torment of mind and body, and snapped
his fingers. His hounds came obedient to his
call; but, after patting them for a moment on the
head, he again drove them from him with all the
pettish ill-temper of ennui, and rose, feebly and
with difficulty, from his chair. He moved lan
guidly to the open book, looked at it for a mo
ment, then shook his head and turned away.
Again he took up one of the hunting horns and
applied it to his lips; but the breath which he
could fetch from his chest produced no sound but
a sort of low melancholy whine from the instru
ment ; and he flung it down. Then dealing a
blow at the head of the grinning ape, who first
dived to avoid it, and then snapped at its master’s
fingers, he returned wearily to his chair, and
sunk into it.with a deep groan, which told of
many things—regret—bitter ennui—physical pain
and mental anguish The tears rose for a mo
ment to his heavy languid eyes, but he checked
their influence with a sneer of his thin upper lip;
then calling “ Congo,” to his ape, he made the
animal approach, and took it on his knees; and
the two—the man and the beast—grinned at each
other in bitter mockery.
In this occupation of the most grotesque des
pair, the young man was disturbed by another
personage, who raising the tapestry over a con
cealed door, entered silently and unanounced.
“My mother l ” murmured the sufferer, in a
tone of impatience, as he became aware of the
presence of this person; and turning away his
head, he began to occupy himself in caressing
his ape.
- “How goes it with you, Charles'! Do you feel
stronger now'!” said the mother in a soft voice
of the fondest cajolery, as she advanced with
noiseless, gliding steps.
The son gave no reply, and continued to play
with the animal upon his knee, whilst a dark
frown knitted his brow.
“ What say the doctors to your state to-day, my
son 7” resumed the female soothingly. As she
approached still nearer, the ape, with that instinc
tive hate often observable in animals towards per
sons who do not like them, sprang at her with a
savage grin, that displayed its sharp teeth, and
would have bitten her hand had she not started
back in haste. Her cold physiognomy expressed,
however, neither anger nor alarm, as she quietly
remarked to her son—
“ Remove that horrid animal, Charles: see you
how savage he is 1”
“And why should I remove Congo, mother'!”
rejoined Charles, with a sneer upon his lip; “he
is the only friend you have left me.”
“ Sickness makes you forgetful and unjust, my
son,” replied the mother.
“ Yes, the only friend you have left me,” pur
sued the son bitterly, “except my poor dogs.
Have you not so acted in my name, that you have
left me not one kindred soul to love me ; that in
the whole wide kingdom of France, there re
mains not a voice, much less a heart, to oless its
miserable king 7”
“ If you say that you have no friends,” respond
ed the Queen-mother, “ you may speak more
truly than you would. For they are but false
friends; and real enemies, who have instilled
into your mind the evil thoughts of a mother,
who has worked only for your glory and your
“No,not one,” continued the young King,un
heeding her, but dismissing at the same time the
ape from his knee with a blow that sent him
screaming and mouthing to his accustomed seat
upon the chest. “ Not one ! Where is Perotte,
my poor old nurse 7 She loved me—she was a
real mother to me. She ! And where she is now I
Did not deed of horror, to which you counselled
me, to which you urged me almost by force—that j
order, which, on the fatal night of St. Bartholo
mew, gave signal for the massacre of all her co- ,
religionists, drive her from my side 1 Did she
not curse me—me, who at your instigation caus- ,
ed the blood of her friends and kindred to be shed -
—and leave me, her nursling, her boy, her Char- ,
lot, whom she loved till then,with that curse upon
her lips'! And do they not say that her horror of .
him who has sucked her milk, and lain upon her ;
bosom,and of his damning deed, has frienzed her -
brain, and rendered her witless I Poor woman!” (
And the miserable King buried his haggard face ,
between his hands. -
“ She was a wretched Huguenot, and no fitting |
companion and confidant for a Catholic and a |
king,” said the Queen, in a tone of mildness,
which contrasted strangely with the harshness |
of her words. “ You should return thanks to all i
the blessed Saints, that she willingly renounced ,
that influence about your person, which could
tend only to endanger the salvation of your soul.” ,
“My soul! Ay! Who has destroyed it I” |
muttered Charles in a hollow tone. ,
The Queen-mother remained silent, but an un- ,
usual fire, in which trouble was mixed with scorn ■
and anger, shot from her eyes. |
“And have you not contrived to keep Henry of i
Navarre, my honest Henry, from my presence 1”
pursued the young King, after a pause, lifting up
his heavy head from between his hands. “He i
was the only being you had left me still to love i
me; for my brothers hate me, both Anjou and I
Alengon—both wish me dead, and would wear t
my crown. And who was it, and for her own I
purposes, curdled until it rankled into a poison |
that might, have befitted the Atrides of the trage- i
dies of old I Henry of Navarre was the only I
creature that loved me still, and your policy and ;
intrigues, madam, keep him from me, and so t
watch and harass his very steps in my own palace
of the Louvre, where he is my guest, that never I
can 1 see him alone, or speak to him in confi- <
dence. He, too, deserts and neglects me now;
and I am alone—alone, madam, with courtiers
and creatures, who hate me too, it may be—
alone, as a wretched orphan beggar—by the way
“My policy, as well as what you choose to call
my intrigues, my son,” rejoined the Queen,
“have ever been directed to your interests and
welfare. You are aware that Henry of Navarre
has conspired against the peace of our realm,
against your crown, may-be against your life.
Would you condemn that care which would pre
- vent the renewal of such misdeeds, when your
j own sister—when his wife leagues herself in se
cret with your enemies!”
“Ay! Margaret too!” muttered Charles with
bitterness. “Was the list of the Atrides not yet
’ complete 7”
“ The dictates of my love and affection, of my
solicitude for my son, and for his weal—such
have been the main-springs of my intrigues,”
pursued the mother in a cajoling tone.
“ The intrigues of the house of Medicis!” mur
murmured the King, with a mocking laugh.
“What would you have me to do mote, my
son 7” continued the Queen-mother.
“Nothing,” replied Charles, “nothing but
leave me—leave me, as others have done, to die
“My son, I will leave you shortly, and if so
please our blessed Virgin, to a little repose, and
a better frame of mind,” said Catharine of Medi
cis. “ But I came to speak to you of matters of
weight, and of such deep importance that they
book no delay.”
“I am unfitted for all matters of state—my head
is weary, my limbs ache, my heart burns with a
torturing fire—l cannot listen to you now, ma
dam,” pursued the King languidly; and then,
seeing that his mother still stood motionless by
his side, he added with more energy—“Am I
then no more a king, madam, that at my own
command, I cannot even be left to die in peace'!”
“It is of your health, your safety, your life,
that I would speak,” continued Catharine of Me
dicis, unmoved. “The physicians have sought
. in vain to discover the real sources of the cruel
malady that devours you ; but there is no reason
to doubt of your recovery, when the cause shall
be known and removed.”
“And you, madam, should know, it would ap
pear, better than my physicians the hidden origin
of my sufferings !” said Charles, in a tone in
which might be remarked traces of the bitterest
irony. “Is it not so 7” and he looked upon his
mother with a deadly look of suspicion and mis
“ The Queen-mother started slightly at these
words; but, after a moment, she answered in
. her usual bland tone of voice—
“lt is my solicitude upon this subject that now
brings me hither.”
“ I thank you for your solicitude,” replied the
King, with the same marked manner; “ and so,
doubtless, does my brother Anjou : you love him
well, madam, and he is the successor of his
childish brother.”
In spite of the command over herself habitually
exercised by Catherine of Medicis, her pale brow
grew paler still, and she slightly compressed her
lips, to prevent their quivering, upon hearing the
horrible insinuation conveyed in these words
The suspicions prevalent at the time, that the
Queen-mother had employed the aid of a slow
poison of rid herself of a son who resisted her
authority, in order to make room upon the throne
for another whom she loved, had reached her
ears, and, guilty or guiltless, she could not but
perceive that herown son himself was not devoid
of these suspicions. After the struggle of a mo
ment with herself, however, during which the
drops of perspiration stood upon her pale temples,
she resumed—
“l love my children all; and I would save
your life, Charles. My ever-watchful affection
for you, my son, has discovered the existence of
a hellish plot against your life.”
“More plots, more blood!—what next, ma
dam'!” interrupted, with a groan, the unhappy
“ What the art of the physician could not dis
cover,” pursued his mother, “ I have discovered
The strange nature of this unknown malady—
these pains, this sleeplessness, this agony of mind
and body,without a cause, excited my suspicions;
and now I have the proofs in my own hands. My
son, my poor son ! you have been the victim of
the foulest witchcraft and sorcery of your ene
“Enemies, abroad ! enemies at home !” cried
Charles, turning himself uneasily in his chair.
“ Did I not say so, madam 7”
“But the vile sorcerer has been discovered by
the blessed intervention of the saints,” continued
Catherine; “and let him be once seized, tried,
and executed for his abominable crime, your tor
ments, my son, will cease forever. You will live
to be well, strong, happy.”
“ Happy !” echoed the young King with bitter
ness; “happy! no, there the sorcery has gone
too far for remedy.” He then added after a
pause, “And what is this plot 1 who is this sor
cerer of whom you speak 7”
“ Trouble not yourself with these details, my
son; they are but of minor import,” replied Cathe
rine. “You are weak and exhausted. The hor
rid tale would too much move your mind. Leave
everything in my hands, and I will rid you of your
“ No, no. There has been enough of ill,” re
sumed her son. “ That he should be left in peace
is all the miserable King now needs ”
“ But your life, my son. The safety of the realm
depends upon the extermination of the works of
the powers of darkness. Would you, a Catholic
Prince, allow the evil-doer of the works of Satan
to roam about at will, and- injure others as he
would have destroyed his king I” pursued the
“Well, we will speak more of this at another
opportunity. Leave me now, madam, for I am
very weak both in mind and body; and I thank
you for your zeal and care.”
“ My son, I cannot leave you,” persisted Cathe
rine, “until you shall have signed this paper.”
She produced from the species of reticule sus
pended at her side a parchment already covered
with writing. “It confers upon me full power to
treat in this affair, and bring the offender to con
dign punishment. You shall have no trouble in
this matter; and through your mother’s care,
your enemies shall be purged from the earth, and
you yourself once more free, and strong and able
shortly to resume the helm of state, to mount
your horse, to cheer on your hounds. Come, my
son, sign this paper.”
“Leave me—leave me in peace,” again an
swered Charles. “ I am sick at heart, and I
would do no ill even to my bitterest enemy, be he
only an obscure sorcerer,who has combined with
with the prince of darkness himself to work my
“My son—it cannot be,” said Catherine, per
severingly—for she was aware that by persisting
alone could she weary her son to do at last her
will. “Sign this order for prosecuting imme
diately the trial of the sorcerer. It is a duty you
owe to your country, for which you should live,
as much as to yourself. Come!” and, taking
him by the arm, she attempted to raise him from
his chair.
“Must I ever be thus tormented, even in my
hours of suffering7” said the King with impa
tience. “Well, be it so, madam. Work your
will, and leave me to my repose.”
He rose wearily from his chair, and going to a
table on which were placed materials for writing,
hastily signed the paper laid before him by his
mother; and then, fetching a deep respiration of
relief, like a school-boy after the performance of
some painful task, he flung himself on the chest
beside the ape, and, turning his back to his mo
ther, began to make his peace with the sulky
Catherine of Medicis permitted a cold smile of
satisfaction to wander over her face ; and after
greeting again her son, who paid her no more
heed than might be expressed by an impatient
shrug of the shoulders, indicative of his desire to
be left in peace, again lifted the hangings, and
passed through the concealed door. The suffer
ing King, whose days of life were already num- i
bered, and fast approaching their utmost 'span, i
although his years were still so few, remained i
again alone with his agony and his ennui.
Behind the door by which the Queen-mother <
had left her son’s apartment was a narrow stone 1
corridor, communicating with a small winding <
; staircase, by which she mounted to her own
i suite of rooms upon the first floor; but when she
■ had gained the summit, avoiding the secret en
• trance opening into her own chamber, she pro
ceeded along one of the many hidden passages by
I which she was accustomed togain not only those
, wings of the palace inhabited by her different
I children, but almost every other part of the build
: ing, unseen and unannounced Stopping at last
before a narrow door, forming a part of the stone
work of the corridor, she pulled it towards her,
and again lifting up a tapestry hanging, entered,
silently and stealthily, a small room, which ap
peared a sort of inner cabinet to a larger apart
ment. She was about to pass through it, when
some papers scattered upon a table caught her
eye, and moving towards them with her usual
cat-like step, she began turning them over with
the noiseless adroitness of one accustomed to
such an employment. Presently, however, she
threw them down, as if she had net found in
them, at once, what she sought, or was fearful of
betraying her presence to the persons whose
voices might be heard murmuring in the adjoin
ing room; and, advancing with inaudible tread,
she to listen for a minute. The persons,
however, spoke low ; and finding that her espio
nage profited nothing to her, the royal spy passed
on and entered the apartment.
In a chair, turning his back to her, sat a young
man at a table, upon which papersand maps were
mixed with jewellery, articles of dress, feathers
and laces. A pair of newly-fashioned large gilt
spurs lay upon a manuscript which appeared to
contain a list of names; a naked rapier, the hilt
of which was of curious device and workman
ship, was carelessly thrust through a paper cover
ed with notes of music. The whole formed a
strange mixture, indicative at once of pre-occu
pation and listless insouciance, of grave employ
ment and utter frivolity. Before this seated per
sonage stood another, who appeared to be speak
ing to him earnestly and in low tones. At the
sight of Catherine, as she advanced, however,
the latter person exclaimed quickly,
“ My lord duke, her majesty the Queen-mo
ther !”
The other person rose hastily, and in some
alarm, from his chair; whilst his companion took
this opportunity to increase the confusion upon
the table, by pushing one or two other papers be
neath some of the articles of amusement or dress.
Without any appearance of remarking the em
barrassment that was pictured upon the young
man’s face, Catherine advanced to accept his
troubled greeting with a mild smile of tenderness,
and said—
“ Alengon, my son, I have a few matters of pri
vate business, upon which I would confer with
you—and alone.”
The increasing embarrassment upon the face
of the young Duke must have been visible to any
eye but thatwhich did not choose to see it. After
a moment’s hesitation, however, in which the
habit of implicitly obeying his mother’s authority
seemed to subdue his desire to avoid a conference
with her, he turned and said unwillingly to his
“ Leave us, La Mole.”
The Duke’s favorite cast a glance of encourage
ment and caution upon his master ; and bowing
to the Queen-mother, who returned his homage
with her kindest and most re-assuring smile of
courtesy and benevolence, and an affable wave
of the hand, he left the apartment.
Catherine took the seat from which her son had
risen ; and leaving him s anding before herin an
attitude which ill-repressed trouble combined
with natural awkwardness of manner to render
peculiarly ungainly, she seemed to study for a
time, and with satisfaction, his confusion and
constraint. But then, begging him to be seated
near her. she commenced speaking to him of
various matters, of his own pleasures and amuse
ments, of the newest dress, of the fetes inter
rupted by the King’s illness, and the supposed
danger of Charles, had produced upon the jarring
parties in the state; of the audacity of the Hu
guenots, who now first began, since the massacre
of St. Bartholomew’s day, again to raise their
heads, and cause fresh disquietude to the govern
ment. And thus proceeding step by step to the
point at which she desired to arrive, the wily
Queen-mother resembled the cat, which creeps
slowly onwards, until it springs at last with one
bound upon its victim.
“Alas !” she said, with an air of profound sor
row, “so quickly do treachery and ingratitude
grow up around us, that we no longer can discern
who are our friends and who are our enemies.
We bestow favors ; but it is as if we gave food
to the dog, who bites our fingers as he takes it.
We cherish a friend; and it is an adder we nurse
in our bosoms. That young man who left us but
just now, the Count La Mole—he cannot hear us
surely;”—the Duke of Alengon assured her,with
ill-concealed agitation, that his favorite was out
of ear-shot—“ that young man—La Mole !—you
love him well, I know, my son; and you know
not that it is a traitor you have taken to your
heart.” >
“La Mole—a traitor! howl impossible!” stam
mered the young Duke.
“ Your generous and candid heart comprehends
not treachery in those it loves,” pursued his mo
ther; “but I have, unhappily, the proofs in my
own power. Philip de la Mole conspires against
your brother’s crown.”
The Duke of Alengon grew deadly pale ; and
he seemed to support himself with difficulty: but
he stammered with faltering tongue,
“ Conspires 7 how 7 for whom 7 Surely, ma
dam, you are most grossly misinformed 1”
“Unhappily, my son,” pursued Catherine—
“ and my heart bleeds to say it—l have it no lon
ger iti my power to doubt.”
“ Madam, it is false,” stammered again the
young Duke, rising hastily from his chair, with
an air of assurance which he did not feel. “This
is some calumny.”
“Sit down, my son, and listen to me for a
while,” said the Queen-mother with a bland
quiet smile. “ I speak not unadvisedly. Be not
so moved.”
Alengon again sat down unwillingly, subdued
by the calm superiority of his mother’s manner.
“ You think this Philip de la Mole,” she con
tinued, “ attached solely to your interests, for
you have showered upon him many and great fa
vors; and your unsuspecting nature has been de
ceived. Listen to me, I pray you. Should our
poor Henry never return from Poland, it would
be yours to mount the throne of France upon the
death of Charles. Nay, look not so uneasy. Such
athought, if it had crossed you mind, is an honest
and a just one. How should I blame it 7 And
now, how acts this Philip de la Mole—this man
whom you have advanced, protected, loved al
most as a brother 7 Regardless of all truth or
honor, regardless of his master’s fortunes, he
conspires with friends and enemies, with Catho’
lie and Huguenot, to place Henry of Navarre
upon the throne!”
“La Mole conspires for Henry of Navarre!
Impossible !” cried the Duke.
“Alas! my son, it is too truly as I say,” pur
sued the Queen-mother; “the discoveries that
have been made reveal most clearly the whole
base scheme. Know you not that this upstart
courtier has dared to love your sister Margaret,
and that the foolish woman returns his presump
tuous passion 7 It is she who has connived with
her ambitious lover to see a real crown encircle
her own brow. She has encouraged Philip de la
Mole to conspire with her husband of Navarre,
to grasp the throne of France upon the death of
Charles. You are ignorant of this, my son;
your honorable mind can entertain no such base
ness. lam well aware that, had you been capa
ble of harboring a thought of treachery towards
your elder brother—and I well know that you are
not—believe me, the wily Philip de la Mole had
rendered you his dupe, and blinded you to the
true end of his artful and black designs.”
“ Phillip a traitor !” exclaimed the young duke
“A traitor to his king, his country, and to you,
my son—to you, who have loved him but too
well,” repeated the Queen-mother.
“ And it was for this purpose that he ’’com-
menced the weak Duke of Alengon. But then,
checking the words he was about to utter, he add
ed, clenching his hands together—“ Oh ! double,
double traitor!
“ I knew that you would receive the revelation
of this truth with horror,” pursued Catherine.—
“ It is the attribute of your generous nature so to
do; and I would have spared you the bitter pang
of knowing that you have lavished so much affec
tion upon a villain. But as orders will be imme
diately given for his arrest, it was necessary you
should know his crime, and make no opposition
to the seizure of one dependent so closely upon
your person.”
More, much more, did the artful Queen mother
say to turn her weak and credulous son to her
will; and when she had convinced him of the
certain treachery of his favorite, she rose to leave
him, with the words—
“ The guards will be here anon. Avoid him
until then. Leave your apartment; speak to him
not; or, if he cross your path, smile on him kind
ly, thus—and let him never read upon your face
the thought that lurks within, ‘Thou art a
traitor.’ ”
Alengon promised obedience to his mother’s
“ 1 have cut off thy right hand, my foolish son,”
muttered Catherine to herself ss she departed by
the secret door. “ Thou art too powerless to act
alone, and I tear thee now no longer. Margaret
must still be dealt with; and thou, Henry of Na
varre, if thoa aspirest to the regency, the struggle
is between thee and Catherine. Then will be
seen whose star shines with the brightest lus
When Philip de la Mole returned to his mas
ter’s presence, he found the Duke pacing up and
dotvn the chamber in evident agitation; and the
only reply given to his words was a smile of so
false and constrained a nature, that it almost re
sembled a grin of mockery.
The Duke of Alengon was as incapable of con
tinued dissimulation, as he was incapable of firm
ness of purpose; and when La Mole again ap
proached him, he frowned sulkily, and, turning
his back upon his favorite, was about to quit the
“ Shall I accompany my lord duke ?” said La
Mole, with his usual careless demeanor, although
he saw the storm gathering, and guessed imme
diately from what quarter the wind had blown,
but not the awful violence of the hurricane.
“ No—l want no traitors to dog my footsteps,”
replied Alengon, unable any longer to testrain
himself, in spite of his mother’s instruction.
“ There are no traitors here,” replied his favo
rite proudly. “ I could have judged, my lord, that
the Queen-mother had been with you, had I not
seen her enter your apartment. Yes—there has
been treachery on foot, it seems, but not where
you would say. Speak boldly, my lord, and truly.
Of what does she accuse me 1”
“ Traitor! double traitor!” exclaimed the duke,
bursting into a fit of childish wrath, “ who hast
led me on wiih false pretences of a Crown—who
hast made me—thy master and thy prince—the
dupe of thy base stratagems; who hast blinded
me, and gulled me, whilst thy real design was to
interest of another.”
“ Proceed, my lord duke,” said La Mole calm
ly. “Of what other does my lord duke speak I”
“ Of Henry of Navarre, for whom you have
conspired at Margaret’s instigation,” said Alen
gon, walking uneasily up and down the room,and
not venturing to look upon his accused favorite,
as if he himself had been the criminal, and not
the accuser.
“Ah ! thither flies the bolt, does it 1” said La
Mole, with scorn. “But it strikes not, my lord.
If I may claim your lordship’s attention to these
papers for a short space of time, I should need no
other answer to thi s strange accu sation.so strange
ly thrown out against me.”
And he produced from his person several docu
ments concealed about it, and laid them before
the Duke, who had now thrown himself into his
“ This letter from the Conde—this from La
Breche—these from othersofthe Protestantparty.
Cast your eyes over them. Of whom do they
speak I Is it of Henry of Navarre I Or is it of
the Duke of Alengon I Whom do they look to as
their chief and future King I”
“ Phillip, forgive me—l have wronged you,”
said the vacillating Duke, as he turned over these
documents from members of the conspiracy that
had been formed in his own favor. “ But, gra
cious Virgin!—l now remember my mother knows
all—she is fearfully incensed against you. She
spoke of your arrest.”
“Already exclaimed La Mole. “ Then it is
time to act! I would not that it had been so soon
But Charles is suffering—he can no longer wiele
the sceptre. Call out the guard at once. Summon
your friends. Seize on the Louvre.”
“No—no—it is too late,” replied the Duke;—
“my mother knows all, I tell you. No matter
whether for me or for another, but you have dared
to attack the rights of my brother of Anjou—and
that is a crime she never will forgive.”
“ Then act at once,” continued his favorite,
with enetgy. “We have bold hearts and ready
arms. Before to-night the Regency shall be yours;
at Charles’s death the Crown.”
“ No, no—La Mole—impossible—l cannot—
will not,” said Alengon in despair.
“Monseigneur!” cried La Mole, with a scorn
he could not suppress.
“You must fly, Philip—you rnusr fly,” resumed
his master.
“ No—since you will not act, I will remain and
meet my fate!”
“Fly, fly, I tell you. You would compromise
me, were you to remain"’ repeated the Duke.—
“ Every moment eneangers our safety.”
“If such be your command,” replied La Mole
coldly, “ rather than sacrifice a tittle of your hon
or, I will fly.”
“ They will be here shortly,” continued Alen
gon hurriedly. “Here, take this cloak—this
jewelled hat. They are well known to be mine.
Wrap the cloak about you. Disguise your height
—your gait. They will take you for me. The
corridors are obscure—you may cross the outer
court undiscovered—and once in safety, you will
join our friends. Away—away.”
La Mole obeyed his master’s bidding, but with
out the slightest appearance of haste or fear.
“ And I would have made that man a king !”
he murmured to himself, as, dressed in the Duke’s
cloak and hat, he plunged into the tortuous and
gloomy corridors of the Louvre. “That man a
king ! Ambition made me mad. Ay ! worse thau
mad —a fool!”
The Duke of Alengon watched anxiously from
his window, which dominated the outer court of
the Louvre, for the appearance of that form, en
veloped in his cloak ; and tvhen he saw La Mole
pass unchallenged the gate leading without, he
turned away from the window with an exclama
tion of satisfaction.
A minute afterwards the agents-of the Queen
mother entered his apartment.
[To be continued ]
Gambling Scene.—“ See !” observed my chat
ty friend, “ there is one of the handsomest, noble
spirited young fellows now in Baden. He is
losing, and mark the power of the horrid vice is
deforming the finest features. Nay, I have seen
it, and it can make the most beautiful woman’s
face look absolutely ugly.”
This last observation seemed to attract the at
tention of the young party near us, for one of the
persons noticed it; and one of the young ladies
being again solicited to join a new set, exclaimed,
with peculiar energy, “ Not for the world ! I de
test cards, and 1 will detest them as long as
I live, though I had very nearly become fond of
them,” and, as she spoke, she bestowed a parti
cularly complaisant look upon my little neighbor.
The case of the young man alluded to was evi
dently becoming desperate. With trembling
hand, and looks of mingled rage and terror, he
was seeking for his last piece, if he had one.
“ There is more than shame and semorse in that
look, his honor is lost too; he is paying his last
in part what he owes. Were I that winning
neighbor of his I should not like him to see me
home to-night. I saw an expression that I know
from long observation here. It is even worse
than despair, for it augurs danger to others: he
will not die without a struggle; perhaps a fear
ful crime.” That unhappy man had married a
rich and fashionable woman, already initiated in
the fatal vice. She had married for what is
called love, but it had not banished the stronger
passion. To the woman who then loved him he
owed his present ruin, and she, too, was there to
witness it. A splendid beauty and reigning toast
not long ago, she was still an object of pursuit to
the most seductive and abandoned of his class;
a gay Lothario of sixty, who, long scorned, and
now thinking his conquest sure, was insidiously
inviting the ruined man’s wife to play. She has
nothing. See, he offers her gold. Her eye is
directed towards him she has ruined ; shall she
nave him at any price; him whom she loves;
then, perhaps, more fondly, distractedly than
ever I What a moment! and a decision on which
hung impending ruin and death, or dishonor.
Could she have seen that the card table would
have brought her to such a moment, how' would
her soul have abhorred the thought of play: that
mere speck which had slowly and gradually as
sumed the dimensions of a giant. Ah ! she re
jects the golden bribe ; but she puts down a crown
piece. Is it her last I and, she wins. With a
foreed laugh, not the happy, ringing laugh we
have just heard, she handed to her husband what
she had just won. He arose, approached, and
having placed it in her reticule, hurried from the
spot. Her eye followed his receding form, and I
was so near her that 1 could hear a deep drawn
but suppressed sigh that shook her whole frame,
as if it came from the inmost recesses of her
soul. A small heap of shining gold lay where
she stood : her eye rested on it, there was a large
prize to be thrown for in a lottery. With her last
gains she bought a ticket- It was soon over.
The croupier announced the happy number; it
was that she held in her hands. One uplifted,
one gentle folding of the hands toward heaven,
and, with a look of ectasy. I can never forget,
she stretched them forth to receive the prize, and
she was gone. A laugh of scorn followed her re
treating steps, while a gleam of disappointed rage
and malice shot across the features of the wily
seducer, whose long pursued prey was thus
snatched out of his grasp.— Ainsworth.
Next Woor Neighbours.
We are very fond of speculating as we walk
through a street on the character and pursuits of
the people who inhabit it; and nothing so mate
rially assists us in these speculations as the ap
pearance of the house-doors. The various ex
pressions of the human countenance afford a
beautiful and interesting study; but there is
something in the physiognomy of street-door
knockers, almost as characteristic, and nearly as
infallible. Whenever we visit a man for the first
time, we contemplate the features of his knocker
with the greatest curiosity, for we well know,
that between the man and his knocker, there will
inevitably be a greater or less degree of resem
blance and sympathy.
For instance, there is one description of kn ock
er that used to be common enough, but which is
fast passing away—a large round one, with the
jolly face of a convivial lion smiling blandly at
you, as you twist the sides of your hair into a
curl, or pull up your shirt collar while you are
waiting for the door to be opened; we never saw
that knocker on the door of a churlish man—so
far as our experience is concealed, it invariably
bespoke hospitality and another bottle.
No man ever saw this knocker on the door of
a small attorney or bill-broker ; [hey always pa
tronise the other lion—a heavy ferocious-looking
fellow, with a countenance expressive of savage
stupidity —a sort of grand-master among the
knockers, and a great favorite with the selfish
and brutal.
Then there is a little pert Egyptian knocker,
with a long thin face, a pinched up nose, and a
very sharp chin ; he is most in vogue with your
government office people; in light drabs and
starched cravats; little spare, priggish men, who
are perfectly satisfied with their own opinions,
and consider themselves of paramount impor
We were greatly troubled a few years ago by
the innovation of a new kind of knocker, with
out any face at all, composed of a wreath, depend
ing from a hand or small truncheon. A little
trouble and attention, however, enabled us to
overcome this difficulty, and to reconcile the new
system to our favorite theory. You will invaria
bly find this knocker on the doors of cold and
formal people, who always ask why you don't
come, and never say do.
Every body knows the brass knocker is com
mon to suburban villas and extensive boarding
schools; and having noticed this genus we have
recapitulated all the most prominent and strongly
defined species.
Some phrenologists affirm, that the agitation
of a man’s brain by different passions, produces
corresdonding developments in the form of his
skull. Do not let us be understood as pushing
our theory to the length of asserting that any al
teration in a man’s disposition would produce a
visible effect on the feature of his knocker. Our
position merely is, that in such a case the mag
netism which must exist between a man and his
knocker, would induce the man to remove and
seek some knocker more congenial to his altered
feelings. If you ever find a man changing his
habitation w ithout any reasonable pretext,depend
upon it, that, although he may not be aware of
the fact himself, it is because he and his knocker
are at variance.
Entertaining these feelings on the subject of
knockers, it will be readily imagined with what
consternation we viewed the entire removal of
the knocker from the door of the next house to
the one we lived in some time ago, and the sub
stitution of a bell. This was a calamity we had
never anticipated. The bare idea of any body
being able to exist without a knocker, appeared
so wild and visionary, that it had never for one
Instance entered our imagination.
We sauntered moodily from the spot, and bent
our steps towards Union Square, then just build
ing. What was our astonishment and indigna
tion to find that bells were fast becoming the rule,
and knockers the exception ! Our theory trem
bled beneath the shock. We hastened home ;
and fancying we foresaw in the swift progress of
events, its entire abolition, resolved from that
day forward to vent our speculations on our next
door neighbours in person. The house adjoining
ours on the left hand was uninhabited, and we
had, therefore, plenty of leisure to observe our
next door neighbors on the other side.
The house without the knocker was in the oc
cupation of a city clerk ; and there was a neatly
written bill in the parlor window, intimating that
lodgings for a single gentleman were to be let
It was a neat, dull little house, on the shady
side of the way, with new narrow floor-cloth in
the passage, and new narrow stair-carpets up to
the first floor. The paper was new, and the paint
was new, and the furniture was new, and all
three, paper, paint and furniture, bespoke the
limited means of the tenant. There was a little
red and black carpet in the drawing-room, with
a border of flooring all the way round; a few
stained chairs, and a Pembroke table A pink
shell was displayed on each of the little side
boards, which, with the addition of a tea-tray
and caddy, a few more shells on the mantel-piece,
and three peacocks’ feathers, tastefully arranged
above them, completed the decorative furniture
of the apartment.
This was the room destined for the reception
of the single gentleman during the day, and a
little back room on the same floor was assigned
as his sleeping apartment by night.
The bill had not been long in the window when
a stout, good-humored looking gentleman, of
about five-and-thirty, appeared as a candidate for
the tenancy. Terms were soon arranged, for the
bill was taken down immediately after his first
visit; in a day or two the single gentleman came
in, and shortly afterwards his real character came
First oi all, he displayed a most extraordinary
partiality for sitting up till three or four o’clock
m the morning, drinking whisky and water, and
smoking segars ; then he invited friends home,
who used to come at ten o’clock, and begin to
get happy about the small hours,when they evinc
ed their perfect contentment my singing songs
with half a dozen verses of two lines each, and a
chorus of ten, which chorus used to be shouted
forth by the whole strength of the company, in
the most enthusiastic and vociferous manner, to
the great annoyance of the neighbours, and the
special discomfort of another single gentleman
Now this was bad enough, occurring as it did
three times a week on the average, but this was
not all; for when the company did go away, in
stead of walking quietly down the street, as any
body else’s company would have done, they
amused themselves by making alarming and
frightful noises, and counterfeiting the shrieks of
females in distress; and one night, a red-faced
gentleman, in a white hat, knocked in a mos
urgent manner at the d«or of the powdered head,
ed old gentleman, at No. 3, and when the powder
ed headed old gentleman, who thought one of his
married daughters must have been taken ill pre
maturely, had groped down stairs, and after a
great deal of unbolting and key turning, opened
the street door, the red-faced man, in the white
hat, said, he hoped he’d excuse his giving him so
much trouble, but he’d feel obliged if he’d favor
him with a glass of cold Croton water, and the
loan of a “quarter” for a cab to take him home,
on which the old gentleman slammed the door,
and went up stairs, and threw the contents of his
water jug out of the window—very straight, only
it went over the wrong man; and the whole street
was involved in confusion.
A joke’s a joke; and even practical jest are
very capital in their way, if you can only get the
other party to see the fun of them, but the popu
lation of our street were so dull of apprehension
as to be quite lost to a sense of the drollery of
this proceeding: and the consequence was, that
our next door neighbour was obliged to tell the
single gentleman, that, unless he gave up enter
taining his friends at home, he really must be
compelled to part with him. The single gentle
man received the remonstrance with great good
humor, and promised from that time forward, to
spend his evenings at a coffee house—a determi
nation which afforded general and unmixed satis
The next night passed off very well—every body
was delighted with the change, but on the next,
the noises were renewed with greater spirit than
ever. The single gentleman’s friends being un
able to see him in his own house every alternate
night, had come to the determination of seeing
him home every night; and what with the dis
cordant greeting of the friends at parting, and the
noise created by the single gentleman in his pas
sage up stairs, and his subsequent struggles to get
his boots off, the evil was not to be borne. So
our next door neighbour gave the single gentle
man, who was a very good lodger in other re
spects, notice to quit; and the single gentleman
went away, and entertained his friends in other
The next applicant for the vacant first floor,
was of a very different character from the trouble
some single gentleman who had just quitted it.
He was a tall, thin, young gentleman, with a pro
fusion of brown hair, redish whiskers, and very
slightly developed mastachios. He wore a braid
ed surtout, with frogs behind, light grey trowsers,
and wash leather gloves, and had altogether ra
ther a military appearance. So unlike the royster
ing single gentlemen! Such insinuating manners,
and such a delightful address ! So seriously dis
posed, too!
When he first came to look at the lodging, he
inquired most particularly whether he was sure
to be able to get a seat in church, and when he
had agreed to take them, he requested to have a
list of the different local charities, as he intend
ed to subscribe his mite to the most deserving
among them.
Our next door neighbour was perfectly happy.
He had got a lodger at last, of just his own way
of thinking— a serious, well-disposed man, who
abhorred gaiety, and loved retirement. He took
down the bill with a light heart, and pictured in
imagination a long series of quiet Sundays, oh
which he and his lodger would exchange mutual
civilities and Sunday papers.
The serious man arrived, and his luggage was
to arrive from the country next morning. He
borrowed a clean shirt, and a prayer-book, from
our next door neighbour, and retired to rest at an
early hour, requesting that he might be called
punctually at ten o’clock next morning— not be
fore, as he was much fatigued.
He was called, and did not answer; he was
called again, but there was no reply. Our next
door neighbour became alarmed and burst the
door open. The serious man had left the house
mysteriously ; carrying with him the shirt, the
prayer-book, a tea-spoon, and the bed-clothes.
Whether this occurrence, coupled with the ir
regularities of his former lodger, gave our next
door neighbour an aversion to single gentlemen,
we know not ; we only know that the next bill
which made its appearance in the parlor window
intimated, generally, that there were furnished
apartments to let on the first floor. The bill was
soon removed. The new lodgers at first attract
ed our curiosity, and afterwards excited our in
They were a young lad of eighteen or nineteen,
and his mother, a lady of about fifty, or it might
be less. The mother wore a widow’s weeds, and
the boy was also clothed in deepmourning. They
were poor, very poor; for their only means of
support arose from the pittance the boy earned,
by copying writings, and translating for the book
They had removed from some country place
and settled in this city: partly because it afford
ed better chances of employment for the boy, and
partly, perhaps, with the natural desire to leave
a place where they had been in better circum
stances, and where their poverty was known.
They were proud under their reverses, and above
revealing their wants and privations to strangers.
How bitter those privations were, and how hard
the boy worked to remove them, no one ever
knew but themselves. Night after night, two,
three, four hours after midnight could we hear
the occasional raking up the scanty fire, or the
hollow and half-stifled cough, which indicated
his being still at work; and day after day, could
we see more plainly, that nature had set that un
earthly light in his plaintive face, which is the
beacon of her worst disease.
Actuated, we hope, by a higher feeling than
mere curiosity, we contrived to establish first an
acquaintance, and then a close intimacy,with the
poor strangers. Our worse fears were realized
—the boy was sinking fast. Through a part of
the winter, and the whole of the following spring
and summer, his labors were unceasingly pro
longed; and the mother attempted to procure
needle-work, embroidery—anything for bread.
A few shillings now and then were all she
could earn. The boy worked steadily on; dying
by minutes, but never once giving utterance to
Complaint or murmur.
It was a beautiful autumn evening when we
went to pay our customary visit to the invalid.
His little remaining strength had been decreas
ing rapidly for two or three days preceding, and
he was lying on the sofa, at the open window’,
gazing at the setting sun. His mother had been
reading the Bible to him, for she closed the book
as we entered, and advanced to meet us.
“I was telling William,” she said, “that we
must manage to take him into the country some
where, so that he may get quite well. He is not
ill, you know ; but he is not very strong, and has
exerted himself too much lately.”
Poor thing! The tears that streamed through
her fingers, as she turned aside, as if to adjust
her close widow’s cap, too plainly showed how
fruitless was the attempt to deceive herself.
The boy placed one hand in ours, grasped his
mother’s arm with the other, drew her hastily
towards him, and fervently kissed her cheek.
There was a short pause. He sunk back upon
his pillow, and looked with appalling earnestness
in his mother’s face.
“William! William!” said the terrified pa
rent, “ don’t look at me so—speak to me, dear!”
The boy smiled languidly, but an instant after
wards his features resolved into the same cold,
solemn gaze.
“ William, dear William !” said the distracted
mother, “ rouse yourself, dear; dont look at me
so, love—pray don’t! Oh, my God ! what shall
Ido !—my dear, dear boy !—he is dying!”
The boy raised himself by a violent effort, and
folded his hands together.
“ Mother' dear, dear' mother, bury me in the
open fields,anywhere but in these dreadful streets.
I should like to be where you can see my grave,
mother, but not in these close crowded streets:
they have killed me: kiss me again, mother; put
your arm round my neck ”
He fell back—a strange expression stole upon
his features ; not of pain or suffering, but an in
discribable fixing of every line and muscle—the
boy was dead.
Frienbs Those persons who creep into the
hearts of most people,—who are chosen as the
companions of their softer hours, and their reliefs
from care and anxiety,—are never persons of
shining qualities nor strong virtues. It is the soft
green of the soul on which we rest our eyes, that
are tired with beholding more glaring objects.

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