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The Local news. (Alexandria, Va.) 1861-1862, October 26, 1861, Image 2

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Manasenpts of an Old Bachelor.—No 2.
Cereus in vitiuai flecti, monitoribus asper.
Yielding like wax, the impressive folly bears;
Rough to reproof, and slow to future cares.
Among all the changes that have taken
place in Alexandria since I left here thirty
years ago, none have struck me more forci
bly, during the few days of my present so
journ, than the altered conduct and deport
ment of the boys and lads of the town. I
speak now of the generality of those I see
about the streets, and, of course, do not in.
elude in these strictures the ingenuous and
well brought up boys, who are in constant
attendance upon their schools, or diligently
learning the trades or pursuing the avoca
tions which they are intended by their pa
rents to follow for their future livelihood. I
love a good boy. I think what a consolation
and what a pride he is to his father and
mother, no matter how humble in circum
stances they may be! But who is it that can
bear with patience the vulgar, insolent, up
start, impudent rudeness of an ignorant
whelp, who is as brutal in his behavior as he
is stupid in his intellect ?
I well remember, when I was a boy, that
to see a youth of my age with a segar in his
mouth, or a piece of tobacco in his jaws, was,
at once, to ostracise him from all decent so
ciety—and when a profane oath, or an ob
scene word would subject him guilty of the
offence, to a cuff which he would be apt to
recollect for many a day. The Mayor aad
Police were formerly accustomed to pay par
ticular attention, to the conduct of boys in
the streets, and to prevent any exhibition,
on their part, of rudeness, or cruelty. Af
ter working or school hours, the boys would
go to tbe nearest suburbs, and fly their kites*
play at bandy, or marbles, or indulge in any
other innocent, healthful exercise—interfer
ing with nobody, and nobody interfering
with them. To be seen with a pack of cards
was a signal for outlawry—and the rule
was inflexible. Judge my surprise, when I
say, that on a Sunday evening recently,
when there happened to be no churches
open, I strolled through the outskirts of the
town, and saw, in every direction, under the
shade ol trees and hedges, boys and young
men, in the open day, with brazen foreheads
and countenances already marked with the
lines of guilt, gambling, with heaps of
greasy cards before them 1
At every corner, and along every street,
now, you hear from tbe lips of youngsters
the most horrid profanity, uttered even in
the presence of ladies, without shame. The
air reeks with the fumes*of such tobacco as
would stifle a horse. No respect is paid by i
these walking nuisances to age or infirmity—
indeed, it is ten to one, but that grey hairs i
or debility of body meet with insult ori
abuse. Lost to all self respect themselves,
they do not know how to respect others. In I
my day, if a boy did not show proper beha
vior and politeness on the street, he was set
down as an incipient ruffian, and affectionate
advice immediately given to "take him in
hand/ for ho was in "a fair way to the
Another change I observe, is in the in
creased number of boys and lads, who are
lounging about, apparently having nothing
to do, especially having no trade to learn. I
remember that the old Orphans' Court, and
the other proper tribunals, always had occu
pation in binding apprentices to some honor-'
able and useful trade, properly to acquire
which some years were requisite, and to;'
work at which as journeymen, the full age
of twenty-one was required. And no man
suffered his son to grow up in idleness, or!
without a regular trade or occupation. The
richest men set the example of requiring |
their children, when they had left school, to
learn a trade, or go into a store or a shop, or
to go to sea. lam told that in new Alexan
dria, such a thing as "binding" a boy as an
apprentice is ignored:— ho is suffered to do i
is he likes—he is set at some trade, stays
long enough to cheat his employer out of a ;
suit of clothes—learns just eucugh to make
him a, botch and a sloven at his business—
and then, for some whim or caprice, walks
off—to saunter along the pavements, lean
against the lamp posts, and indulge in all
his vicious propensities. Oftentimes he
stands in sifein of those he has virtually rob
bed of the coat which he wears on his hack.
and the shoes he has on his feet. It is:
promised that he shall stay with his employ
er so many years:—it is fortunate, or utifur
tunate as the case may be—if he stays six
months. '
What can parents, who encourage this, or
suffer it. or yield to it, or connive at it, or
order it, expect from their children ? Dv
they not see that they actually teach false
hood, treachery and deceit ? And if they
learn their sons to falsify their words, and k
deceive, and to rob others, can they calculate
upon any happiness or comfort themselves;
Are they so blind as not to foresee that, ir
gratifying the child, they are training hire
i up to be a useless member el society, anc
r when grown to be a man, one in whom nt
- one can place the slightest confidence. I had
- a long talk with an old friend on this subjeci
■ a few days ago. He, with me, bitterly deplorec
1 the change in Alexandria, of which I have
2 spoken. But he poured all his reproof and
. indignation upon the parents—and declarer
1 that they deserved the censure—as they gen
t erally, sooner or later, experienced the pun
f ishment. He asked me if I remembered old
•- Mr. , of our day—a man tolerably wel
■- to do—with four sons, each of whom, at the
I age of fifteen or sixteen, he bound to a trade
a Well, one of these boys was refractory—
* wanted to quit his master—didn't like th«
* trade, and all the usual excuses of a self
1 willed lad. The master was willing to give
' him up. Not said the old man. He agreed
fc to go to you—the trade is a respectable and
* a good one—my word as well as his is pledg
ed—He shall stay, and he shall do his duty,
fc He did stay—he did his duty—be served hit
I time out faithfully, and I have heard thai
* same boy, now a thriving man, honored bj
" all who know him, bless his father for hay
"! ing the kindness to force bim to do right.—
i Just as my old friend was about finishing hii
> , narrative—he stopped abruptly, and pointed
* j out to me, across the street, a slouchy, seedy,
* j rowdy looking young man, with his hands io
I I his breeches pockets. There, said he, is an
' | other case in point. There is the change. —
* | There goes a young man just coming of age.
' He was taken into the employment of an es
' j tablishment here a few years ago. He worked
' \ lazily and unthriftily for a year or so, he put
'j on high airs, wouldn't do this or that—left
' after he had secured a full dress suit—and
there he goes, very nearly, if not quite, a
vagabond 1 His parents mourn over his fate,
j and their own infatuation and folly!
There is now, on the sideboard of a gen
■ tleman in Alexandria, a modest silver cup,
which he prizes very highly. It was presen
ted to him forty years ago. It bears a sim
ple inscription—" To from and
-, a widowed mother and her son—in re
membrance,of the kindness which urged the
mother to give the son a trade —by which
; both have since lived and prospered." *The
gratitude which prompted the gift was not
more heartfelt than the sympathy and affec
tion which received it, and which will bind
jin the silken cords of friendship the desceu
, dants of both families, as long as Alexandria
* shall last, or its people respect the memory
of their fathers.
i The future historian, in preparing an ac
curate narrative of the present war in this
. country, cannot certainly resort to the jour-,
| nals of the day for authentic accounts of mil
itary operations, or true statements of the
results of battles; nor, judging fro " the
contradictory nature of some of the bulletins
and despatches published as coming from the
j commanders of the opposing forces, can he
place much reliance even upon them. We
read of a defeat in one quarter, which the
next day is proclaimed to be a victory, and
vice versa. In the great Napoleon's time,
" to lie like a bulletin " was a common ex
pression to signify the want of confidence in
his well written, but exaggerative descriptions
of his triumphs, or plausible concealments af
his reverses. But still there was always the
ground work of truth, and the public wese
not far misled as to actual results. In our
newspapers frequently there is nothing but
unmitigated falsehood and barefaced mis
statements. Street rumor, too, is continual
ly adding to the pile of lies under which the
public staggers. Tbe truth is wanted, and
the truth alone—and the truth is best for ev
American affairs continue to be the subject
of general discussion in the English newspa
pers, and their comments and opinions ape
various. The great war, on this side of the
Atlantic, attracts the attention of all Euro
peans, but especially is it of importance to
the British government and peoole. We ob
serve that the London Post severely criticises
the conduct of the Orleans princes, involun"
leering to join in the war here.
The "Barney" case is still going on in
Washington before the Orphans' Court. The
police in that city are still making raids upon
the faro banks and gambling houses.
I Miscellaneous News.
Among the late items front Japan, it is
entioned that a servant of the embassy has
opened a shop down in the "Swamp," in the
i vicinity of the "Grand Kankaro," where he
sells roasted peas, beans, &c, and where he
exhibits the daguerreotype likenesses of
young ladies whom he saw in America, their
cards, signatures, <fee. These likenesses, it
is said, he obtained from Tommy.who brought
home great numbersof them. It would cause
certain young ladies of Washington, Balti
more, Philadelphia and New Yoik to blush
to see their cards and likenesses on exhibi
tion at such a place.
The beauties of spiritualism are shown in
the case of two young married men of the
town of Seatsburg, Vt., who left for Cali
fornia some years since and returned home
recently to find their wives re-married, who
having heard nothing from them since their
departure, applied to a young lady spiritual
ist, who was very exact in describing to
them the death and burial of their husbands,
the date of the funeral and the disease of
which they died. Their wives supposing this
to be reliable, remarried, and there was a
funny time when the long absent husbands
The Prince of Scbwarzburg Rudolstadt
will, in November next, abdicate his sover
•>g7. nt wr th « purpose of marrying a young
lady from the ranks of the bourgeoisie, a
Mademoiselle Schulz of Konigsberg, who,
with her mother, has resided for several
years at Rudolstadt and other places of sum
mer resort in Thuriogia. His Royal High
ness is sixty-eight years of age; the lady
M. Reuter, the telegraphic monopolist of
\ Europe, has come under the severe censure
:of a leading review, for supposed political
i prejudices which are permitted to issue from
j his office. "Telegrams from America al
ways appear to have been drawn up by some
one with Southern sympathies." "The tel
egraph is undoubtedly a friend of the Se
English admirers of Nathaniel Hawthorne
are about to present him with a beautiful
marble medallion of himself.
The Secretary of the Millers' and Manu
facturers' Insurance Company of St. Louis,
is a defaulter to the amount of $22,000.
The new Exhibition building in England
is described by a reviewer as a "blank, vast. I
soild, endless, featureless block of piled up
The National Horse Show at Springfield, '
Massachusetts, opens on Tuesday next.
The Kentucky tobacco crop this year, now
nearly all housed, is small, but the product I
is better than usual.
The Pensacola Times in noticing the re- [
cent engagement at Santa Rosa .Island, I
says:—"We must notice the aid of the Sis
ters of Charity at the Navy Yard. Their
labors have been incessant since the wound
ed arrived. Neither sleep nor rest has caused
them to forsake the bedside of the sick sol-1
dier. Such examples are worthy of emula-1
tion, and show the deep interest which the I
ladies %f the South feci, for the sufferers'
'. —■ ■(■__
The New York Herald, comments on the
arrival in this country, and their stay in the
South, of two members of the British Par-!
liament, and expresses the opiui<, n that "they \
came to America solely for political purpose s, '
and to make themselves as well acquainted I
as possible with the position of the confede- j
racy under Jeff. Davis, with a view to its re
cognition by Great Britain."
The last accounts by telegraph from the
neighborhood of Edward's Ferry, state that
the Federal pickets have crossed the river,
and report that the Confederates were appa'
rently mounting guns upon a fort beyond
the Ferry, and from the camp fires visible
are supposed to have a considerable force in !
the vicinity.
The Democratic "candidates on the Newf
York State ticket have issued a proclamation
setting forth that they are " in favor of vig
orously sustaining the government in its pre
sent struggle to maintain the constitution, !
I the laws and the Union, at all hazards, and I
J any cost of blood aud treasure."
According to the Northern papers, Mr.
Sumner, the Massachusetts Senator, in get
ting more and more furious on the subject of
abolition, and is now coming oat against
President Lincoln, and condemning bin in
quite a virulent style.
The N. Y. Herald states that the. United
States land forces now amount to five bun
dred and twelve thousand men!
The Riverside or Alexandria.—Silence
reigns undisturbed at the wharves of the
city south of King street—a few coasting
vessels, arm a number of pungies, arelayiug
up "in ordinary" until the Potomac is open
ed. An occasional a vessel drops alongside
a wharf—having been permitted to pass the
works of the Confederates on the river—but
this occurs seldom, and generally the only
signs of life in the vicinity is a passing strol
ler—a few "sedentary fishermen," and the
U. S. Brig Perry lying quietly in the dis
At King street, the hourly arrival of
steamers from Washington—makes that
point a busy scene compared with tbe
wharves on either side.
North of King street, the U. S. storehouses
and the soldiers and employees about them,
prevent the sombre appearance of desolation
which reigns on the other tide from having
sway, but even here within the past few days
business has been much less aotive.
At the Coal Wharves, there is a small
show of briskness—but that too has almost
died out since the closing of tbe Potomac.
The U. S. steamer Peneacola is anchored
of the foot of Princess street
The Markets.—There is, of coarse, noth
ing at all doing in a wholesale way in the
regular city trade—tbe entire business of the
town, except occasionally army and sutler's
supplies being confined to tbe limited retail
business necessary to supply the inhabitants
of this city, and its immediate suburbs—a
little trade, too, had been, until the closing
:of the river, maintained with lower Mary
land, by means of wood vessels and oyster
I boats, but that has now ceased. We • quote
the leading articles of retail trade as follows:
Flour, per barrel, [email protected] for Super and
Family. Corn Meal per bushel 80 cts.; Ba
con, shoulders, [email protected]; middling [email protected];
hams [email protected]
■ The Citt Market.—As usual upon Sa"
turday, the City Market this morning was
quite brisk, supplies being larger than on
any other day during the week. Buyers
were quite numerous, and supplies very good
considering the times. Prices ranged as
follows: Beef [email protected]; Mutton 12c. 1 lb.;
Pork 10c; Irish Potatoes [email protected] V peck;
Tomatoes 37c. $ peck; Sweet Potatoes 37®
40c. f| peck, and other articles in proportion.
i The Fuel Market.—The Fuel Market is
brisk for retail business, with a limited sup
, ply; coal coming down the Canal slowly, and
1 but little Wood passing the Confederate bat
teries on the lower Potomac. We quote re
tail prices as follows:—
Wood.— Pine $5 $ oord; Oak $6 f cord.
j Coal.— Anthracite White Ash $6.25 $
ton; Red Ash $6.50; Cumberland, fine, $4;
! run of mine $5; lump $6.
I The New York Herald has received Rich
mond papers to the 17th inst. Active prep
arations for coast defence appear to be going
on throughout the South,- and collections of
troops at different points are noticed. North
Carolina has ordered tbe issue of one million
of State Treasury notes. About $5,000,000
of the $15,000,000 of the Confederate loan
is yet to be taken.
— 00 I .
The Washington Star now estimates that
at the battle of Edward's Ferry, there were
47 of tbe killed Federal troops buried .by
their own men, 50 drowned in the river in
attempting to swim the river, 175 wounded,
and 400 or 500 prisoners sr missing.
- '
In oonsequence of the condition of affairs
on the lower Potomac, the Federal force oa
the Maryland side, below Washington, has
been largely increased.
aa> — •
At midnight on the 24tb, there was a con
tinued firing at the mouth of the Monocaoy.
It was caused by a division of the Federal
troops firing shells at a Confederate camp.
The prices of wood and coal are increas.
Mng. We hope that wood from the adjacent
country will be allowed to be brought to
It is reported that Governor Berry, of
New Hampshire, has received notice from
the Secretary of War that tbe government
has an abundant aupply of horses and wa
gons, and that uo more are ret]uired.
The Confederates are bupy at Norfolk con
structing a swordfish vessel, after the stylo
of the Manassas, of New Orleans, intendea
re run down and sink the federal vessels at
Fortress Monroe and Newport News.
Correspondence from New Granada con
firms the statements relative to the expulsion
Of the monks and nuns from Bogota and tt
confiscation of the ; r nmni t

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