OCR Interpretation

New York dispatch. [volume] (New York [N.Y.]) 1863-1899, April 23, 1871, Image 7

Image and text provided by Library of Congress, Washington, DC

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85026214/1871-04-23/ed-1/seq-7/

What is OCR?

Thumbnail for 7

Sunday Edition. April 20.
Ihree bonny maidens went out on a day
While the summer sun was shining—
Janet and Annie and Margery Gray,
None were fairer, I ween, than they
As forth that morn they took their way,
r While the Summer sun was shining.
{Through the blooming gorse, by the dancing brook,
While the Summer sun was shining,
Laughing and sporting their way they took, ,
Now stooping for flowers, now loitering to look
for honey stored in the wild bees’ nook,
While the Summer sun was shining.
tip by the side of the hill they climb
While the Summer sun is shining,
Till thev hoar the bells of St. Agnes chime.
And they stop, for they know ’tis the holy lime
When the nuns are singing their hymns sublime, .
While the Summer sun is shining.
Annie grew weary and waited to rest
While the Summer sun was s) doing,
Whore the church-yard graves with flowers were
.1 dressed,
And she laid her down where the shadow blesi
-Of the chancel-cross fell over her breast,
While the Summer sun was shining.
Janet and Margery roved where they list
i While the Summer sun was shining;
The day wore on, and the way they miss’d,
They met the young lord with his falcon on fist,
He stooped from the saddle and Janet he kissed
While the Summer sun was shining.
Janet is gone with Lord Hugh to his tower
While the Summer sun is shining;
Margery hied back again to her bower
In the peaceful vale, ere the evening hour,
And there she lingered, a lonely flower
While the Summer sun was shining.
My Lady Janet rides gaily dressed
While the Summer sun is shining;
Annie sleeps sweet with the cross o’er her
Margery dwells in her bower at rest—
One rich, one patient, and one with the blest.
While the Summer sun is shining.
The heterogeneous society in a largo city af
fords abundant matter for the fanciful and ro
mantic. The daily papers teem with startlin'- I
and curious accounts of strange and fearful
deeds often more astonishing and incredible I
than the most marvelous tale of fiction. The
excitable public duly comment upon the vices
and crimes of the day, sigh, and wonder, and ;
80 move on.
But in the whirl and vortex of all this rush
ing and tumult so incidental to city life, many ;
dark deeds are done, and singular histories
spun and woven, that never reach the public I
ear. Plots and counter-plots aro formed and
perfected involving the old and young, the ■
rich and poor, the pure and vicious, in meshes
disastrous to all the peaceful hopes of life, |
eagerly seeking death as the only source of
freedom from heart-rending sorrows.
The reporter of criminal news has an excel
lent opportunity of becoming acquainted with
circumstances of a singular and novel nature,
which are kept out of the newspapers by many
surrounding circumstances.
In 1847, the coroner’s office was in the Tombs.
Here reporters congregated to pick up the
news of the day. Gotham then, as now*had
its gay Lotharios, bewitching Aspasias, free- !
thinkers, and evil-doers, and no person had a '
better opportunity of knowing the movements
Of the uuder-current of our metropolitan socio- I
ty, than a reporter of the criminal news. From
the note-book of one of these graphic sketch- ■
writers, we have taken many interesting events j
never before published.
November 10th, 1847. A bleakly dreary day; '
chilling winds came sweeping through the j
streets, raising clouds of dust to the discom
fort of all obliged to go out. I was seated at
my desk 'in the coroner’s office, alone, and
Waiting, Micawber-like, for “ something to
turn up. The frolicking antics of the wind
could scarcely be heard within the thick, som
bre walls of the Tombs. I sat enjoying a
dream-like meditation, painting scenes of
mirth, splendor, and their opposites—misery
end vice—when the door opened, and a girl
about five years old quickly entered the room ;
ter bare feet were blue with the cold ; a light
calico dress and a ragged shawl composed nor
toilet. In a timid, feeble voice, she said:
“Mr. Coroner, please come with me.”
’■ “ The coroner is out,” I answered.
The child looked confused. I noticed that
her large brown eyes stared wildly, and her
countenance wore the expression of deep sor
row. A fairy, thought I, clothed in tatters.
How weird she looks, and yet how beautiful 1
She trembled with the cold.
“Come to the fire,” said I, aloud, in as mild
a tone as possible, for the little forlorn inter
ested me.
My words appeared to reoaH the child to her
position. She ran up to me, and grasping my
hand, looked up into my face. Her beautiful
eyes were filled with tears, which she tried
hard to force back upon her soul; her lips
quivered with emotion, and in a tremulous
Voice she whispered:
“They say that she is dead. You come and
get the baby for me.”
“Who is' dead, and where is the baby?” I
asked, trying to warm the little cold hands in
my palms. Again the child softly whispered :
“Come with me, dear sir, I’ll show you
Where they are.”
“What is your name?” I asked, brushing
with my handkerchief the tears from her pale
“Just. Do please come with me.”
A rather singular name, I thought, gazing
into that sadly beautiful face, so infantile, so
pure and innocent. I almost felt that I know
the child’s history. My heart went out to her.
I told her to lead the way, that I would follow.
She pressed my hand to her lips, and a faint
emile for an instant swept over her face, and
lightly tripping down the steps, we were soon
at the entrance of the Old Brewery, the worst
looking building in the whole city. Here were
found a conglomeration of fellow-beings, white,
black and gray, the cutthroat, thief, vaga
bond, unfortunate women, innocent children,
all packed together under one roof. The tum
ble down look of the place but dimly portrayed
the squallid wretchedness within. The filth
bad actually accumulated on the stairs to the
depth of several inches, with a sort of foot
path, worn into the mire, in the middle of the
stairs. Up these almost flew Just.
When she reached the landing, she turned,
and held out her hand to me. The pas
sage was very dark, and as we groped our
way along to the far end of the hall, I could
scarcely see, and should have thought myself
in some subterranean passage, but for the
sickly ray of light peeping through the cracked
doors, where the sounds of drunken mirth, or
the moans of some poor sufferer, came stilled
upon the ear.
Presently, Just stopped, and opened a door
leading into a small room, lighted by a win
dow, about the size of two panes of glass. I
tried to descry objects in the room, and discov
ered that it was empty.
. “There they are,” said Just, in a cheated
“Where?” I asked, turning to the child.
“In there,” said Just, pointing to a sort of
COal-bin, built in one corner.
The rough boards reached nearly to the ceil
ing. I could find no entrance.
“ Where is the door ?” I asked.
“ They nailed it up,” said Just, trying to peep
through the cracks of this rude partition.
“ Who is in there, and who nailed up the
floor?” I asked.
i “I will tell you all about it,” said Just, whis
pering. “ You see, my ’ma and the baby are
in that place. ’Ma got sick, and cried ever so
loud, all the time; so the big woman, who
lives in tho next room, said that she was afraid
of 'ma, end she nailed her up in there, with
Ida, the baby. The woman came in here to
day, and said that she was dead, and I must
go for tho coroner.”
The poor orphan’s story was, alas 1 too true.
Sure enough, on a dirty pile of straw was the
corpse of a once beautiful woman, and the in
fant was actually nursing, trying to sustain
its feeble life from the breast of the dead mo
ther, who was starved to death. Her mental
and physical sufferings brought on brain fever,
and her ravings were called by her drunken
neighbors, delirium tremens, and they, in their
fear, nailed her up, to die alone, to starve to
The poor woman’s short career was replete
With sorrow. In the same city where she was
born and raised in luxury, she passed from life
in the midst of abject poverty, leaving her
children to the mercy of a cold-hearted and
eelfish world. I shall never forget that wretch
ed night—how the whole scene impressed me
With the utter absence of all civilization. The
dungeon-like room, the rude sepulchre, the
file of straw and broken chair comprising all
the furniture, the dingy window through which
Crept a shadowy light falling across the face of
the corpse, revealing a thin, white face, though
rigid in death, lingering traces of beauty were
still there. The large, almond-shaped eyes
were partially opened, the delicate lips firmly
{iressed together, the right arm encircled the
nfant —even in the fearful struggle with death
the mother’s heart was full of tender love for
ber sweet babe.
I i How stubbornly unforgiving are some I The
proud father heard of his erring daughter’s
death, and was only anxious to have the affair
kept from the public. Ho sought means to
have the sad history hushed, and placing the
-Children in the orphan asylum, returned to his
palatial home. But the shadows around his
lonely house thickened and multiplied, do what
tie could to banish ugly thoughts. He could
pot forget that his only child died a wretched
outcast, and that his grandchildren were ob
jects of public charity.
Time wore on. The rich man lived With hie
(remorse in splendor, and little Just, the child
of sorrow, grow pensive and thoughtful; the
lustre of her brown eyes was brighter, her face
paler and more wan every day. Three years
Utter her mother’s death, Just slept in her
grave. Gazing on the little wanderer, so beau
tiful in death, the proud man’s heart was soft
ened, and Ida, who first drew breath in one of
the lowest dens in tho city, was reared in afflu
ence, and is now one of Gotham’s fashionable
belles, who will soon be led to the altar by a
" KeatleEuau ot much distinction.
Alas 1 ho*/much of the romantic daily oc
curs in great cities. Facts, indeed, are oftener
stranger than fiction,
It was tho eve of Commencement day in
W University, and the labors of the year
fairly over, tho studious as well as those to
whom books and study were synonymous of
boredom, joined together in all modes of re
joicing allowed by college discipline, and in
others, which if not exactly permitted, were at
least winked at on occasions like the present,
and many a Social glass clinked to the stereo
typed toasts considered necessary to such con
vivial gatherings.
The senior class of the year 186— was com
posed of eight young men, each of whom it
was predicted would one day make his mark in
the world. Similar predictions aro no uncom
mon things, and perhaps no class leaves tho
precincts of the university of whom the same
has not been said, but, for once, tho wiseacres
seemed to have some fair grounds for their
prognostications; for, though among them
towered no intellectual giants, yet there wore
no sluggards nor mental pigmies.
In one of tho rooms, around a table that held
glasses and tho paraphernalia requisite to the
compounding of that time-honored beverage
known as “punch,” believed by many antiqua
rians to be the veritable ambrosial nectar,
these eight luminaries of W University
were seated, each in the position that accorded
best with his Humor or his indolence, and al
most invisible from the thick clouds of smoke
issuing from choice Havana or much-loved and
much-abused meerschaum. Toasts had been
drank, hopes and good wishes exchanged, each
successive candidate being received with a vim
and enthusiasm, impossible to recall once our
footsteps have strayed beyond tho portals of
college life.
Suddenly Frank Lewis, a tall, fair-haired
young fellow, claiming a Northern home, roso,
and lifting high his glass, said;
“A brimming bumper to the toast of many
a former reunion, tho blue-eyed enchantress
who bolds us all in thrall. Need I name the
fair, mischief-loving Cherry Brompton ?"
A simultaneous shout of approval met this
speech, and every glass was returned to the
table, drained of its contents.
It may as well bo mentioned here that Miss
Cherry Brdmpton was the only daughter of the
president of the college, and shared tho fate
common to all young ladies occupying such a
I position, that of having at one time or another
I every youth, whether of suitable or unsuitable
age, within the university walls for her de
voted admirer. But Cherry certainly did not
owe all of her popularity to the fortuitous cir
cumstance of being her father’s daughter,
else there are no vudues in bright eyes, rosy
cheeks, and one of tho very best dispositions
in the world.
Tho same young lady was likewise possessed
of the very demon of mischief, and many a
mad prank could be traced to the cunning
brain and skillful execution of tho president’s
daughter. The most exasperating fact, how
ever, was that, though counting her victims
by the score, she eeemed to laugh with im
punity at the rosy little god ; and yet each new
victim felt sure that if opportunity only offered
—which, by the way, very unaccountably never
did offer—he should receive such assurance of
reciprocated attachment as would remove ail
smart from the rankling wound. However
powerful the remedy might prove, if once ap
plied, had until now remained a mystery; for,
with a tact truly Napoleonic, Miss Cherry bad
contrived to keep each and every devoted ad
mirer in a state of blissful ignorance, so that it
became her great boast, contrary to all precon
ceived ideas on that subject supposed to be in
dulged in by young ladies, that though having
many lovers, she had never had a proposal.
Such a boast was a siur on tho courage and
gallantry of the university, which many an un
happy youth sought to retrieve, but Cherry
Brompton knew too well how to fence and
parry, and she invariably had come off victo
rious. Ibis explanation is necessary to what
“Gentlemen,” and this time the speaker,
Will Harrington, was dark and swarthy, with
fierce black eyes that told of smoldering fires,
“I have a plan to propose. We have all been
generous rivals in literature, let us continue
such in the race for love. It were useless for
any one present to deny that Miss Brompton
has taught us all the lesson that, sooner or
later, must be conned by every man, and I
think I go not far astray when I add that we
each secretly cherish the belief that in teach
ing him she has learnt it likewise. Let us put
It to the test. Let each swear that ere this
time to-morrow Miss Cherry will be made to
listen to our feelings, and have made a choice.
She can be at no loss, for there aro among us
tall and stout, dark and fair, the lively and the
sedate—a goodly lot to chose from, and what
ever fate betides, let there be no malice or ill
will, the unlucky triumphing in the knowledge
that, at one fell swoop, we have outgeneraled
one of the best feminine tacticians, and nolens
nolens, compelled Miss Cherry Brompton to
terms of surrender.”
“Agreed! agreed 1” went from lip to lip, one
among tho number remaining silent.
“What say you, Bayard?” asked Frank
Lewis, turning to his right hand neighbor, a
tall, slightly built young follow.
A peculiar smile lit the face of the one ad
dressed, but ho shook his head decidedly.
“ Count me out of that frolic,” he said. “I
think seven proposals will bo as much as Miss
Cherry will be able to master, and beside,
really ”
“Not afraid of getting the mitton, Bayard?
Come, we know you are a modest man", and
are, perhaps, tho only one who, proving tho
happy man, would be prepared for the fetters
matrimonial 1”
“ Perhaps that may account for his unwil
lingness to join us 1” cried another, and so
the joke wont round; but Bayard Raynor, the
best-natured man in the world, his chums de
clared, took all the bantering, yet remained
“You will at least keep our secret, Bayard ?”
asked Will Harrington.
“On my honor, gentlemen,” Bayard replied,
solemnly, though a just perceptible smile
looked mischievously in the corners of the
handsome, expressive mouth.
“ Then, it is agreed. Each is to try his luck
and keep the result secret until one hour be
fore the ball to-morrow, when we are all to
meet here, and the result made knowu; and we
all swear that the unfortunates are to con
gratulate their successful rival without jeal
ousy or ill-will. There! the bell cries, ‘all
lights out I so here for the last time X obey its
summons! ’ and before the others could prevent
it, Frank Lewis blew out the lamp, leaving the
others to scramble out of the room in the best
manner they could.
Commencement day, technically speaking,
was at an end; that is, the orator had spoken,
the degrees had been conferred, and students
and guests had scattered, to assemble again
at the ball that was to close the day.
One by one, the seven conspirators reached
the place of rendezvous and sat down m si
lence, as if each feared to be the first to speak.
At last, Will Harrington, whom nothing could
long daunt, looked triumphantly around and
“ Well, gentlemen, it becomes a mere matter
of form to put the question as to which is the
happy man.”
“ Why ?” “ How can you know ?” “ Did she
toll you ?” escaped from the lipa of tho halt a
“ I shall bo glad to receive your congratula
tions, for Miss Cherry has smiled most be
nignly on my suit.”
An exclamation of surprise followed this an
“Come, Will, that won’t do,” said Frank
Lewis, “ as I happen to be Miss Brompton’s
“ And 11” “ And I!” exclaimed each of tho
others in their turn.
There was a moment’s blank astonishment
and silence, then a cry of “ Sold, by Jove 1”
broke simultaneously from the group.
“ Bayard Baynor has betrayed us f He shall
rue his share in this farce 1” and Will Harring
ton’s swarthy face became still darker with
rage, when further comments were stayed as a
gentle rap was heard, and Miss Cherry Bromp
ton thrust her pretty face through the half
open door.
“ Please, Mr. Harrington, don’t threaten so
loud, especially an innocent person 1 Can Mr.
Raynor and I come in?” and, waiting no reply,
she entered the room, followed by Bayard
“ Tno best laid plans come oft to grief," she
continued, “and yours, gentlemen, would have
been admirable, had you taken into considera
tion the thinness of partition walls."
“ You heard us, then ?”
“Not exactly. An humble admirer, though
loss presumptuous, perhaps more devoted, no
other than Irish Tommy, overheard your plot,
and only reported. Can you blame me if I
turned the tables on you ?”
“Then you mean to reconsider your an
swer ?” asked all together.
“Why, I can’t very well do otherwise, gen
tlemen, as I cannot .marry all of you,” she an
swered demurely.
“But, Miss Cherry,” persisted Will Har
rington, known far and near for his unyielding
temper, “ you will at least give us a token by
which one of us will understand that for him
your answer is still the same ?”
“ I don’t know how that might have been,
Mr. Harrington, if you had not been forestalled,
but you know first come, first served, and Mr.
Baynor proposed just twenty-four hours ahead
of you,” and unable longer to control her feel
ings the young lady left the room suddenly,
leaving her lover to explain matters us he best
“ Well, boys,” said Bayard as soon as Miss
Cherry, had disappeared, “ I hope you bear me
no malice, for all is fair in love "and war. You
see I could not promise to do what had already
been done, and but for your bantering, and
truth to tell, your boastful manner, I should
have confessed there and then, and I only
thought that it would teach you a lesson.
Honor bright, I knew nothing of the true state
of affairs until, coming here, I met Cherry,
who told me what she had done. As the next
best thing to being the bridegroom is to dance
at the wedding, I hope to see you all at mine,
three months hence, the shortest period under
which Miss Cherry Brompton will consent to
become Mrs. Baynor. Who will wish in God
A moment no one answered ; then Will Har
rington, as prone to generous impulses as he
was quick to anger, crossed over to the young
roan, whom they all loved, and grasping the
outstretched hand, shook it warmly. His ex
ample was gladly followed by the others, and
ere tho wedding day, they could all join the
laugh sure to follow any illusion to Cherry’s
A now Western town, but lately reclaimed
from the wilderness, where the houses are
few, mean, and ugly ; the streets mud or dust;
the trees destroyed, and the general appear
ance ono of poverty struggling with heavy ob
stacles; where the wolves run the mail in
ahead of time, and night is made hideous by a
tailor practising on a flute—this is a good place
io get away from.
If speculative humanity has seized on such
a spot for a country-seat, the general hideous
ness of tho place is aggravated by a court
house. The American mind, with a turn for
court-house architecture, is remarkable for its
informal sameness. A square brick edifice,
two stories m bight, is surmounted by a steeple
that resembles a vinegar cruet of gigantic pro
portions. It were a curious study to trace to
its source this singular court-house architec
tural insanity. I have a strange belief that it
originated in New Jersey. I don’t know where
this infatuation of mine came from, but it is
strong in my mind that tho county court
house was got up by Jersey people, and spread
like tho small-pox or other contagions dis
eases. After a time, some cultivated people,
driven to madness, surreptitiously burn the
court-house. All these anoieut monstrosities
are burned.
.Next to this legal structure in dismal un
sightliness is the “hotel.” This is a frame
building on a corner, with a sign and horse
trough in front. This sign resembles an old
fashioned gallows. Generally a huge painted
board swings croakingly to the cross-beam.
On windy nights, lodgers at these taverns
have been known to get drunk or commit sui
cide to escape tho creaking. Those signs
ought to be collected and placed in tho Bo
tunda at Washington, catalogued as Trum
bull, Powell, and other distinguished his
torical painters, who begin their career paint
ing signs, and leave in the public mind the
painful regret that they did not end with that
useful employment. A rude porch sometimes
faces these taverns, where tho hostler (who is
generally both landlord and “boots” gets
drunk with the postmaster, or argues politics
with the lawyer and doctor. Tho whole place
is suggestive of sour milk and vermin, with a
dead certainty of weak coffee, strong butter,
hot heavy bread, and tough steaks fried in lard
and flavored with old moccasin.
During much of the year tho town seems
deserted, and “the solitary horseman,”
spoken of by the late G. P. R. James, who
rides wearily into indigestion and a fearful
night, and hastens away in the morning, has
a fair inventory taken of all his personal
effects by every man woman and child of
the village. Ho is bantered to “ swap horses”
by two-tnirds of the population before he can
get away.
During court week, however, this is changed.
All the farmers in the vicinity come to town,
with their wives, daughters, and blooded
horses, to purchase, sell, cultivate lawsuits,
and settle old quarrels. Lawyers from the
adjoining county towns meet and prosecute
their mild pursuits, while suitors and jurors
swell the crowd. This is a lively time for the
retail dealers in “stores” whore hardware, dry
goods, books and stationery, with allspice,
pepper, salt, and soap, are dealt out by offi
cious clerks “in store clothes,” who chaff the
girls, patronize the mothers, measure off' cal
ico, or weigh out butter.
Into such a town as this, and during court
week, I once rode on horseback, at the end of
a weary day, passed in a continuous mud-hole,
studded with stumps and ornamented with
logs, that a benighted country called a road.
Night had already closed in, and I was guided
to the hotel by the thousand and one boys of
the place, and the noise issuing from tho bar
room, no less beastly and disagreeable. I
found tho landlord shut up in a corner pen,
dealing out liquid insanity to bis customers.
To my request for supper and a bod, he re
sponded that I could eat my fill, but there was
not a bed unengaged or not occupied in the
house. I persisted, until the wretch informed
me that there was “a feller” in No. 6 occupy
ing a double bed, and I could “roll in there,”
if so minded.
It was dismal, but my only hope ; so, after
tho evening indigestion, I climbed tho rough
stairs to No. 6. I was told by the landlord to
walk in without knocking, and did so.
It was a cheerless room, without carpet upon
tho floor, or curtains to shut aut the blank
night of the windows, that seemed to stare
blindly in on one, and wink as the candle flared
in the wind.
I found my companion measuring off his
dreams by snores, and undressing, “rolled
in,” as the landlord had suggested, My
stranger turned over with something between
a growl and a grunt, as I crept to his side.
Tirod as I was, I could not sleep. The bod
tick felt as if it were stuffed with grasshoppers,
and the pillows were of the sort to slip up one’s
nose in the night, and be sneezed out some
time during tho day. Beside this, my bedfel
low snored abominably. It sounded like a
giant trying to blow “ Old Hundred” through a
fin horn, without knowing exactly how. I bore
this infliction as long as I could, and at last
gave my friend a dig in tho ribs, exclaiming at
the same time:
“I say!”
“Hillo—sh —what is it?” he asked, in a con
fused way.
“lam sorry to disturb you, but I think it
my duty to inform yon that I walk m my
“ Well, walk.”
“ My Christian friend, I am well aware that
this is a free country, and if a man wishes to
walk in his sleep, there is no constitutional
provision to prevent him. But I wish to re
mark that if 1 do walk, you had better not in
terfere with me.”
“ Oh, walk; I won’t say a word about it.”
“Well, don’t. When addressed or interfered
with, I am apt to get furious. I nearly
brained a poor man with a dog-iron the other
“The devil you didl”
“Yes, I did.”
“ Well, I’ll bo blowed ! That’s rather disa
greeable. A fellow might, under an impulse,
blurt out something to you.”
“Better not.”
“ No, I should think not.”
A long pause followed this. At last the now
wide awake lodger asked abruptly;
“Did you notice my hat on the floor ?”
“ I believe I did.”
“It you walk, you know, I’d rather you
wouldn’t step m it.”
“ I’ll bear that in mind.”
After another pause he again asked :
“Did you notice that door on the loft?”
“I saw a door on my left.”
“Well, if you walk, I’d advise you not to go
out there. It opens on a porch, only the porch
hasn’t been built, and it’s twenty feet down in
to the stable-yard.”
“I don’t believe I shall walk out of that
“Don’t think I would if I walked much.”
I supposed my inquisitive friend was drop
ping into a sleep, when he again broke out:
“I say, you did really brain a man with a
“ I tried pretty hard.”
Then came in a silence that was not broken,
After a lime while I heard my bedfellow creep
ing softly from the other side of the bed. I
could hear him feeling about for his hat and
his clothes. Thon I had the satisfaction that
the door had closed softly on my retreating
tormentor. I roiled over aud slept the sleep of
The next morning, on descending to break
fast, I found an old friend seated at the table.
We had not met for years. Alter a cordial
greeting, I said:
“ Are you stopping here ?”
“I have been trying. But lam nearly dead.
I slept on a bench in the bar-room, amid a lot
of drunken brutes, who sang Bingo for wagers
of drink all night.”
“Could you get no bed?”
“ Yes, I had a double bed to myself, when
that stupid ass of a landlord sent up a crazy
fellow, who walked and struck out with dog
“Good Heavens, Gillespy, was that you?”
“And D , you don’t mean to say that you
served me that infernal trick ?”
It was a case that called for diplomatic ex
planation.— Galaxy for May.
(From Ike Camden (N. J.) Democrat, Apr ill?,.']
On Wednesday, near dusk, our quiet com
munity experienced a sensation of no ordinary
character. It appears that Mr. Chas. McCoy
and Miss Margaret Elizabeth Dye, bailing
from Cream Bidge, not far from Horuorstown,
arrived in tho train, on a matrimonial excur
sion. If they came down as two, they resolved
logo home as one. They had been “ spark
ing Sunday night,” and “ sot up together” for
some time ; but a cruel panent was flinty
hearted. Charles grow desperate—Maggy was
“Let’s bust on tho old folks,” exclaimed
“I’m your persimmon,” replied Maggy.
“Let ’em pucker—they’ll come to.”
Maggy had moped, and put on the melan
choly, with tho hope of subduing the parients ;
but they noticed that their pining daughter
hid the usual quantity of pork and cabbage,
and there Was no relenting. In vain she acted
the heroine of a first-class dime novel. It
wouldn’t take—the parents still said “ no 1”
Now it was, that Charles and Maggy met
“ under yon juniper tree,” and arranged a plan
of elopement. They raked their respective
piles, and it was found that after the tickets
wore paid for, Maggy had ten cents and Charles
fourteen cents. But the pile was nothing—
pluck was everything. Love defied empty
stomachs. Maggy casting a last look on the
cottage home, exclaimed “Charles. I’m yours,
, jrou bet i”
“Nestle in this buzzum, dove,” replied
Charles, and they took the train.
Too soon the plot was discovered—the near
est telegraph station was reached—Camden
officers were instructed to “hold’em.” Sure
enough they were grabbed and taken before
Mayor Gaul, who detained them until Thurs
day morning, when Maggy’s mother arrived.
Charles looked grave, the cruel parient
frowned, Maggy was “ grit to the core.”
Charles whispered—“ Maggy, keep heart—
don’t care—we’ll trip ’em yit.”
“Bet yer life agin three cents, and you’ll win
your money,” said Maggy. The mother looked
as if she could “rip things,” but still she “ cut
it mild.” It was ascertained that Charles had
never asked the old folks. “If ho had, it mout
be that they needn’t sneak off in that air way.”
Things were evidently simmering down, and
all three wbnded their way to the ferry to
gether. Miss Pye is not yet sixteen, and
Charles is about twenty-one.
Soma ono, signing himself “A. M.” has add
ed to the already overflowing ocean of Spir
itualistic platitudes with which the press has
groaned for tho past twenty years, a not very
Badly written pamphlet, which ho entitles :
“ What’s O’Clock?” The pamphlet itself, al
though containing nothing either very novel
or very logical, died from neglect some time
ago, until those curious fossil-hunters, the
Spiritualists, being graveled probably for lack
of something new, resurrected “ What’s
O’Clock?” and gave it now vitality, by pushing
it forward as a sort of startling revelation of
facts, an illustration of the claims of what they
interest themselves, and amuse the public by
calling the “ New Spiritual Philosophy.” Wo
might take Mr. “A. M.” at his own valuation
of himself, and believe, as he states, that “it
evinces neither novelty nor literary ability;”
but we won’t, for the pamphlet, like many
others of its class, has collated Biblical scraps
with much shrewdness, and woven his argu
ment with ability.
The weakness of it consists in the fact that
if wo admit all that be claims for tho Bible, it
proves nothing for him or his philosophy. The
opponents of Spiritualism do not dispute the
Biblical records concerning the spiritual seer
ship of the prophets and inspired men of old,
nor do they doubt tho miracles of Christ, nor
does their belief or uuboliel militate for or
against Spiritualism; but, without offering
any argument or proof whatever in favor of
modern seership, Mr. “What's O’Clock” as
sumes that because these things were done by
tho seers of old, therefore it is absurd to doubt
that Davis, Harris, Edmonds, and the like, are
similarly inspired. The author evidently don’t
know “ the time of day” himself, or he would
not forget to remember that this is an age—in
fact, the age of intellect and science, and
the world requires more evidence than
it did once of the truth of any new
system of philosophy or religion. Tho pam
phlet really proves nothing, points out no new
idea, no now system of philosophy, no new
doctrine of religion; and while it fully admits
the truth of the Bible record—which the ma
jority of spiritualists do not—fails to prove by
means of the concessions any claim for spirit
ualism which he sets up. The argument, if
there is any, simply resolves itself into the
simple proposition, if those things were true,
these are also, when the fact may be other
wise. We do not say they are, and are rather
inclined to concede the largest amount of re
spect to some twenty millions of people in
Christendom who have woven the lew facts
concerning the immortality of the soul, which
they have been able to glean from spirit rap
pings, table tippings, clairvoyants, inspira
tional writing, speaking, and other mediums,
into a religion which, whether right or wrong,
they have made it a rule of life guidance.
But when gentlemen rush into print, and as
sume that certain facts, which their opponents
do not dispute, prove their own doctrine, we
want the positive evidence of the truth of spir
itual teachings more clearly than “What’s
O’clock” has given it. Suppose the “ raps,”
and all tho evidences of spirit communication
to occur just as claimed—wbat of it? Are
there not all sorts of vagabonds and liars in
thospirit world?—and do wo believe spirits, in
the body, without knowing something about
them ? Wo don’t think any moro of a ghost’s
revelation because he is a ghost; we test his
communications by the light of analysis, com
parison, and reason, precisely as wo do mat
ters in this mundane sphere. If we try the
spiritual literature and oratory by this test, we
are unable to find any clearly defined plan
of religion or system of philosophy in
any or all of it. Lot one attempt to in
vestigate tho so-called “ spiritual phil
osophy,” and he will be surprised and de
lighted at tho first results, and inspired with
a lively hope of tho brilliant revelations prom
ised in the future. He will, perhaps, be con
vinced of the immortality of the soul if he
didn’t believe it before ; but let him sit in a
thousand circles, aud listen to as many medi
ums, and he will never get any further. If he
is wise enough to stop on the threshold, he
may be quite a rational spiritualist; but if ho
proceeds, be will either become a fanatic or
disgusted with the flimsy, oft-repeated, never
changing jargon and cant of mediums, and will
doubt tho whole of it. Mr. What O’Clock may
be an excellent biblical scholar and an honest
spiritualist, but his argument proves nothing,
and might be called as weak as his philosophy.
A Highly Affecting Petition tor Dam
ages -The Dangers ot a Poetical ami
Ardent Hover—Wk Said, and
What He Did, as Alleged by the Eady
—The European War Changes the
Current of Affection, etc.
(From the St. Louis Republican.)
Elizabeth Schumaker commenced a suit in
the Circuit Court, against Mark Langley, to
recover $15,01)0 damages, for breach of promise
of marriage. She states in her petition that
she is » single and unmarried person, and that
on the 25th of August, 1869, she became ac
quainted with tho defendant, at her place of
residence in this city; that he was introduced
to her by his cousin ; that he professed much
admiration for her ; expressed himself as de
lighted with having made her acquaintance,
and as being anxious to cultivate her society;
also, that he requested tho privilege and pleas
ure of calling upon her, which he did frequent
ly and repeatedly, up to a few days before the
filing of this petition.
Defendant became so ardent and faithful in
his attentions and admiration for plaintiff, that
he so far succeeded in ingratiating himself
into the good-will and esteem of plaintiff as to
write and send her the most touching and
glowing epistles ; that on one occasion, as if
under the inspiration and infatuation of a wild
and impetuous lover, he wrote and sent these
words to plaintiff:
“Daisy of the daisies; sweet color of the
violet blue, something I’ve got to tell you ; all
I ask is but a small mite, for to go dancing
next Sunday night,” which words and expres
sions, the petition states, coming from the de
fendant, wore calculated to elate and affect the
mind of plaintiff.
Plaintiff further states that on another oc
casion, the defendant, while in apparent medi
tation of his future reality as a married man,
did write and indite, as a prescription unto
himself the following, which he sent to plain
Take a little wife.
The prettier, the bettor;
Pat her cheek, aud when
She wan ta to kiss you, lot her.
Keep her in the house.
Then she’ll cook your mutton,
Darn your pocket, too.
It she’s worth a button.
Never mind the sots
Of her aunts and cousins,
Ask them to drop in,
Dine them by the dozens.
Ono of those odd days
You’ll feel one inch taller,
When you see her bring
A chopping little equaller.
Which charming words and sentiments,
coming from the defendant, had a tendency to
inspire tho plaintiff with feelings peculiar only
to her sex.
Plaintiff further states that on or about the
10th of December, 1870, the defendant, in con
sideration of the love, affection, and respect
which had been engendered and enkindled by
the mutual admiration of each other, and tho
further consideration that the plaintiff was
sole, single, and unmarried, did then and there
faithfully promise to marry plaintiff. Plain
tiff, fully confiding and believing in the prom
ise and possession of defendant, and in consid
eration of the fact that he was a single and
unmarried man, did then and there promise to
marry him.
Plaintiff further states that since the date
of the said promise of the defendant, he has
enjoyed the exclusive society of plaintiff; that
under the belief that the defendant was sin
cere in all his promises and professions, she
allowed the defendant many privileges and
favors which she would not have granted un
der any other circumstances ; that by the art
ful and seductive powers of his nature, he was
enabled to obtain entire control over the will
and person of plaintiff.
Plaintiff further says that a few weeks after
the said promise, as aforesaid, she, to her
great surprise and mortification, discovered
* * * * *; that upon communicating
the information of the said fact to tho defend
ant, he expressed himself as delighted, and
then and there renewed his previous promise
of marriage.
Plaintiff further states that the defendant
is of French descent, and that because the
plaintiff is of French and German descent, and
because of the late disastrous war on the part
of France, the defendant has become cold and
distant in his feelings and affections for plain
tiff ; that because of these facts * * a * *
* *, the defendant now refuses to marry
Plaintiff, in conclusion, represents that she
has been, and is still, ready aud wiUiug to
comply with the promise on her part; that by
reason of this promise, and the conduct of the
defendant, she has suffered great loss of valua
ble time and opportunities ; that she has in
curred great expense in the necessary attend
ance of a physician, and the purchase of medi
cines; and she has suffered great pain and
mental anguish and sore disappointment;
wherefore she prays judgment in the sum of
$15,000 and costs.
a. Description of it-to be SET
If there is one spot on earth in which all who
speak ths English tongno may be said to take
a common interest, it is the island of Juan
Fernandez. The favorite tale of nearly every
childhood is by most of us remembered through
life with grateful affection, and the scene of its
marvelous incidents shares in our regard. It
may be true that the proper Robinson Crusoe’s
Island was not off the coast of Chili at all, but
in the mouth of the Oronoco; and it may be
also true that tha continent should be called
Columbia, and not America; but habit has en
deared in both cases the existing usage, so
that imagination takes precedence of what is
or ought to be fact, and the continent will be
Aimerica, and Juan Fernandez Bobinson Cru
soe’s Island, until the end of the chapter.
As most readers are aware, this classic cor
ner of the earth is in latitude 32 deg. 40 8.,
about four hundred miles off the coast of Chili,
and is about the size of Staten Island. It is,
however, far more ruggedly picturesque than
that beautiful suburb, and boasts one moun
tain, Yungue, that towers four thousand feet
above the sea. Around it grow in luxuriant
abundance various grains, peaches, .figs, and
other fruits, together with the sandal-wood
tree and the cork; and among these disport
themselves—or did a few years ago—many
wild goats and not a few wild horses. Excel
lent fish are abundant there, and with the
sweetest of water and a delicious climate, a
more inviting spot could hardly be imagined.
So thought the early buccaneer, who made it a
resort of many a day; and so thought, after
ward, American and English whalers, who
touched there for supplies. For some years
the Chilian government disturbed the solitude
of the place by making it a penal colony ; but
the convicts rose in revolt, there was some
bloodshed, a village that had been built at
Port Cumberland, the harbor, was burned,
and the authorities, after ferreting out and
putting to death the wretches, who, on com
pleting their work of destruction, had fled to
the woods, abandoned the island to the goats
and horses. Subsequently, two or throe wan
dering Chilians found shelter there, and eked
out a livelihood, that the generous soil for the
most part supplied, by selling to passing ships
vegetable and water.
In 1849, when the memorable rush was made
for the gold fields of California, some of the
ships bound thither, round Cape Horn, touch
ed at Juan Fernandez. They found there,
beside some half a score of Chilians, including
women and children, the mate of an American
whaler, who, like Selkirk, bad left his vessel
from choice to dwell upon the island, and who
had a family by one of the Chilian women.
This man looked not unlike the pictures of
“Robinson Crusoe,” having garments of goat
skin, a long bear.d, and that expression of pro
found yet melancholy calm which people who
live in solitude are prone to have. He seemed,
notwithstanding, to be contented, and spoke
not of leaving the place, or of any wisn to
change his condition. A grotto near the shore
ho pointed out as Robinson Crusoe’s cave, and
showed other spots identifying them with lo
calities spoken ol in Defoe’s story. He ap
peared to regard himself as Selkirk’s repre
sentative, and to take pride in being so ac
cepted. Twenty years seems to have passed af
ter this without any other or more definite use
being made of Juan Fernandez ; but last Win
ter it was ceded by the Chilian government to
a company of Germans, who are led by one
Robert Wehrhan, a Saxon engineer. He and
his society have now taken possession of the
island, and purpose to make it their home.
They number some sixty to seventy individ
uals, and have taken with them cows and
other cattle, swine, fowls, all kinds of agricul
tural implements, with boats and fishing ap
paratus, and tools for the various mechanical
trades. It is said that Wohrhan left Germany
eleven years ago, and, after passing some time
in England, was engaged on railways in South
America. While there he conceived the idea
that he has now carried into effect.
This is a repetition, on a larger scale, of the
experiment on Pitcairn’s Island, without, of
course the criminal that stained the
history of the crew of the Bounty. The world
will watch the career of this little colony with
deeply interested eyes; for, apart from the
curiosity and sympathy naturally attracted by
the experiment itself, no more engaging spot
could have been chosen in which to make it
than that which is cherished in so many hearts
as Robinson Crusoe’s Island.
(From the Memphis Sun’s account of the sen
tencing of the Cuba murderers.)
Judge Flippin then spoke as follows : “Sam
uel H. Poston, this is one of the saddest eras
in my life. Our parents and their children
knew each other. We grew up together, went
to the same school, the same church, and
played on hill and in valley the same innocent
flames in boyhood. Years have passed since
then. Our roads in life have diverged. You
now stand convicted of a great, a capital crime,
and I, as the minister of the law, have imposed
upon me the painful duty of passing upon you
the sentence of death. Were it*consistent with
my official duties, 1 ‘ would that this cup could
pass from me.’ But I cannot now shrink from
the performance of this sad official require
ment ; and must not, and will not, in the fu
ture, though other victims may fall, to avenge
a violated law. It is, therefore, the sentence
of the court that you be remanded to the
county jail of Shelby county, the place from
whence you came, to be there securely kept
until Friday, the 26th day of May next, when
you will be taken by the sheriff of Shelby
county, between the hours ol 10 A. M. and 3
P. M., within one mile and a half of the court
house of said county, and then to be banged
by the neek till you are dead, and may God
have mercy on your soul.”
When Poston was called, both the judge and
Poston were very much moved. Poston shook
like an aspen leaf, and had to grasp a chair for
support. At the conclusion ot the sentence,
Judge Flippin was in tears, as was also nearly
all the large crowd gathered there. It was a
most affecting scene, and will ever be remem
bered by those who witnessed it. It was a
surprise to all to know the relation that had
existed in early childhood between Judge
Flippan and Poston, and it must have indeed
been a sad thing' for Judge Flippan to consign
to death the playmate of his early boyhood
days. . ... .
(From Good Health).
More than one hundred tons of hair are an
nually taken at Paris. A great deal of this
comes from Brittany, where the girls cover the
head with a white cap, and the absence of their
beautiful black ringlets is not noticed. Mr.
Francis Trollope, in his “ Summer in Brittany,”
tells us what ho saw at a fair in Collenee:
“What surprised me more than all were the
operations of the dealers in hair. There
seemed to be no difficulty in finding possessors
of beautiful heads of hair perfectly willing to
sell. We saw several girls sheared, one after
the other, like sheep, and as many more stand
ing ready for the shears, with their caps in
their hands, and their long hair combed out,
and hanging to their waists. By the side of
the dealer was placed a large basket, into which
every successive crop of hair, tied up into a
wisp by itself, was thrown. No doubt the rea
son of the indifference to their tresses, on the
part of the fair Bretonnes, is to be found in the
invariable ‘mode’ which covers every head,
from childhood upward, with close caps, which
entirely prevent any part of the hair from be
ing seen, and, of course, as totally conceal the
want of it. The money given for the hair is
about twenty sous, or else a gaudy cotton
“They net immense profits by their trip
through the country.”
In the London Exhibition of 1862, Messrs.
Hovenden exhibited a head of hair six feet
long, from the head of an English lady.
Another source of false hair is the combings
of the ladies of Paris. The chiffonier picks
out the hair from the heaps in the gutters as
he goes his rounds, and this is sold to the hair
We were nearly convulsed with
laughter, upon hearing a “supernumerary” giving
an account of his debut, The piece chosen for the
occasion was the “ Cataract of the Ganges,” and the
scene of the battle-lieid therein, where the wounded
and dead are- promiscuously seen by the spectator.
It fell to our supe’s lot to enact the part of a dead
hero, which would have been admirably sustained
(so he said) if it had not been for a fellow who was
“ doing the agony” of a dying soldier, and being en
vious of the supe’s posthumous reputation, ejected
the contents of a mouth well filled with tobacco
juice into his eyes, the pain of which immediately
restored him, Richard-like, to “ himself again;” but
this not being relished by “the gallery-gods and
groundlings,” some of them commenced vociferat
ing: “ Send for a doctor —he is coming to life again,”
while others, more uncharitable, exclaimed: “ Hand
that dog a bone—give that bird a worm,” with va
rious vulgar expressions, which so incensed him
that he started to his feet, and, with an adroit blow,
prostrated his foe in the twinkling of an eye! This
scene delighted “the gods and groundlings,” inas
much as he was applauded (to use his own favorite
expression) “tothe very echo;” but, smarting with
the pain of his “ blinkers,” and the previous “taunts
of the vulgar throng,” he walked off the stage indig
nantly. From that hour, the manager lost an excel
lent “supe,” who swore he would not be a spittoon
i or any company in the world.
A drawing-master, worrying his
pupil with contemptuous remarks upon his lack of
ability, ended by asking, “Now, sir, if you were go
ing to draw me, what part of me would you com
mence with first?” The boy, with a meaning look
into the master's face answered, very auxetly. “Your
nock, sir.”
'W » —i W » ■W ."W *
Our dear friend the Widow Hookem, baa
once more advanced to the front, and this week
favors us with an account of her visit to Beech
er’s church, in Brooklyn, during which, she,
with her usual bad luck, met with very shock
ing treatment. We will allow her, however, to
speak for herself.
Dead Boss: I've been to church. Of course you've
ail been there yourselves; but perhaps you were not
all so much surprised as I was. You are used to the
ways of the city, but you must remember that I was
born and bred in the country. The way it happened
was very simple. A friend said to ma:
“ Have you ever heard Beecher ?”
“Goodness me 1” says I, “no.”
“Then allow me to escort you there,” says ho, as
politely as a dancing boar in a menagerie.
I made my best bow, and responded in a graceful
Sunday evening we started. We got to a plain
looking building where a crowd of people was jost
ling against one another in their eagerness to ge« in.
After we waited outside for an hour, a man beckoned
to us to enter, and he led us up the aisle, and put us
into a seat. Then I looked around me. I was hor
ror-struck I This was no church—this was a thea
tre ! I had been imposed upon again.
“ Mr. Jones,” says I, looking severely at him, “ let
me out of this. You have imposed upon me. lam
a religious woman, as you ought to know, and do not
believe in plays on Sunday evening.”
He looked bewildered.
“This is a church,” he said; “Mrs. Hookem this
Is a church.”
“It’s no church,” says I, a little louder, for I was
getting desperately mad. “I wiU go home, Mr.
“Ibeg of you to be still, Mrs. Hookem. You are
attracting attention,” he said. “The aisles are so
full it would be impossible for you to pass out.”
“Impossible,” says I, giving him a poke. “I’m a
docent woman, Mr. Jones; I will not stand to witness
a play on Sunday night.”
I noticed that some impertinent people next to us
were commencing to giggle, and so I pointed to thorn,
and said:
“ You wanted me to make myself equal to the likes
of them, do you ?”
“Oh, do be quiet,” he pleaded. “You are labor
ing under a mistake. Mr. Beecher will commence
his sermon in a moment or two.”
Just then the awfulest strain of music burst forth,
and, in a moment, one woman got up, and com
menced to make a hideous noise alone.
“Let me out,” says I, arising. “Thia is an opery,
and that’s Pepp’er Rosa, and I won't stand it.”
“ There’s Mr. Beecher,” said he, pointing to a
man, who took up a vase of flowers, and smelt them. <
“No,” I said, loud enough for people to hear;
“you cannot humbug me. JW man is a circus
actor, and I'm going home.”
With that, I just pushed by that Jones, and stopt
into the aisle.
“Let me through.” says I, and the people wedged
up close together to give me room to pass out. “ Let
me get out, you heathens. I can’t breathe in this
place of wickedness.”
“Crazy,” said one, us I passed; “drunk,” said
another, and I just gave them a look which would
have melted ordinary people. The ushers looked
askance at some one who was trying to fly from pol
At last I got out to the door. Says Ito a policeman
that I saw standing there.
“ What kind of a place is this ?”
“Mr. Beecher’s church,” says he, eyeing mo sus
At that moment, a gentleman stepped into the
“She’s been disturbing the meeting,” said he.
“ She’s evidently crazy, or drunk, and I wish you to
arrest her.”
“I thought it was a theatre,” said I; “but he did
not mind me. He 'just took a hold of my shoulder,
and said:
“Come along.”
“I will not," says I, “I am an American citizen
and a church member, and I’ll have you sued for—
for—defamation of character,” says I, “if you just
take me off to a lock-up.”
“Look here,” says ho, slipping a pair of handcuffs
on my wrists, and hustling me off, “ you shall make
no ruction in a place like this.”
A erowd of boys followed us, and though I kept ex
plaining the case all the way along, he took no notice
of what I was saying.
I was just poked into a room where there was a
dozen drunken women, and they all laughed at me,
saying it was no good for toe to put on airs, I was no
better than them.
I got through that night, though I expected to die,
and all, as I said to myself, because 1 was persecuted
for righteousness sake.
Late the next morning I was taken before tho
judge, and he was just sentencing me to “ ten days,”
when that hateful Jones appeared, and explained the
whole affair. The judge snickered, and the court
snickered, and the judge said:
“You’d better go home, and don’t go to church
again until you know how to conduct yourself."
I tell you I just flounced out of that court-room in
a hurry, and started homeward. When I reached my
boarding-house, the landlady met me, looking as
black as midnight Says she:
“ Your disgraceful conduct is in all the papers, and
Mr. iJones went up to release you from imprison
ment,-and I want you to understand that I cannot
have my house ruined by keeping person in
it You will find another place.”
I found another place. I met Jones on the street
after, but he tried to pretend that he did not see me,
and all just because I made a slight mistake which
any person might do, for I'm sure anyone will tell
you the church looks like a theatre, and the music is
like an opera, and the singers open their mouths and
make faces like professionals, and Mr. Beecher looks
like an actor, and—and—l wasn’t to blame at all.
Yours in disgust, Widow Hookem.
“ Oh, that estates, degrees and offices
Were not derived corruptly, and that dear honor
Were purchas’d by the merit of the wearer I”
(This has no reference to Judas Winans, as
we do not go in for politics in this department.)
How well off our dear little “ Hookem” would
be if she only was rewarded as she deservedl
But there appears to be a class of people born
under an unlucky planet, who, no matter how
praiseworthy their plans and conduct may be,
invariably suffer from misconstruction, and
our charming widow appears to belong to that
unfortunate class. The fair widow may have
made a very natural mistake in supposing she
had been introduced into a theatre, instead of
a church, when she visited the Bev. Mr. Beech
er's temple of worship. But even supposing it
had been a theatre, we should not have con
sidered she was a “ heathen,” but have regard
ed her as a s7ie-then, as now, and a delightful
one at that. Her only fault was that she was
a shade too demonstrative, and who, with the
exception of some unfeeling, gouty old curmud
geon, would not have excused that in such a
“gushing” young creature as “Hookem?”
The widow has certainly obtained some little
notoriety by this incident, and “Spivens”
would do well to read, learn, mark and inward
ly digest her narrative, as it might assist him
in his
There was a time, my dear Boss, when the under
signed indulged in visions of fame and fortune. I
had no decided “proclivity,” it is time, if by “pro
clivity” I am to understand a bias in favor of any
particular pursuit. I am afraid I was somewhat
given to building “ castles in the air,” so that when
an uncle, who was solicitous for my welfare, in the
kindness (of his heart, offered me a sinecure in his
button factory, with a prospective partnership, I
turned up my nose with disdain, and walked off
with my shirt sleeves fighting their way through the
sleeves of a seedy coat, to dream in Central Park of
a world prostrating itself before me, and overwhelm
ing me with laurel wreaths and showers of gold.
it was tho easiest thing in the world to determine
to be famous, but how ? I had worn out the seats of
several of the iron benches in the park, and the seats
of several pairs of trowsers, before I hit upon any
plan. Should Idoit as a soldier ?
That involved too much peril. As a clergyman,
too much self-sacrifice. As a lawyer, too much study.
As an actor, too much application. As an author,
the very thing. Nothing more easy. No capital re
quired, no study, no danger, tip-top position in so
ciety, all profit, no responsibility. Fancy your Spiv
ins rushing home to his sky parlor, four pair back,
with a quire of paper, a gross of steel pens, a bottle
of ink, a bottle of something else for inspiration,
and a blotter. I bolted myself in my room, sat down
at the table with the looking-glass before me, dipped
my pen in the Scheidam schanpps, and commenced.
“It was a favorite remark of the famous Roman
orator, Cicero De Oralionibus, that ”
But, no, that might be considered too stilted for a
popular periodical, and anyhow I had totally forgot
ten what he did say, and wasn't even certain of his
name. I must try another tack.
Lucky suggestion. Byron drank gin when ho
wanted to get off anything good. I took a swig.
“ * In hoc medo sui generis alma mater collapsus est,*
wrote the great Aristides, when Plato asked toilsome
information respecting the mysteries of the Rosicru
cians, of which he was the putative father. This
discouraging reply, which Plato afterward incorpo
rated in his Mnemonica "
Won’t do at all, I thought. These paragraphs are
too solid to suit the taste of American readers. They
are too much like Blackwood. Beside there is no
“ fat take ” in them, and the printers migt make mis
takes. I will—a drink here for inspiration—l will go
at them in some other style.
Poetry—suppose I try poetry. Prose Is so con
founded heavy, and beside, it’s so troublesome. I
had read a good deal of Tennyson, and his style
soemed as easy as rolling off a log, with his “ aye,
aye, aye, aye.” I drank to the lucky thought, and
started in again:
“ Maiden with the locks so golden,
And the eyes of piercing jet,
Will you, will you, will you, will you
Take me for a swain ”
I twisted in the throes ot despair for a proper
rhyme, but couldn’t think of anything better than
“you bet,”/>r “you get.” And, beside, black eyes
and yellow hair don’t tally. So I tried again (with
another drink for a strengthener).
“Maid with eyes so soft and tender.
And the wavy golden tress,
Will you, will you, will you have me?
Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.”
Phew! Writing poetry was harder work than I
thought it. That verse reminds me of a dog going
down the street with a tih kettle tied to his tail.
I think I drifted through the entire range of style
of all the loading authors, and finally finished up
several which were only found fault with because
they were too refined, or too classical, or too prolix,
or too something else, to suit the taste of the day. I
had meanwhile elaborated, in the seclusion of my
domitory, a thrilling tale, exaggerated to what I con
ceived to be tho verge of absurdity, in which safes
are robbed, and banks are smashed, and forgeries
committed, and murders perpetrated, and characters
blasted—a nice mess, certainly, to serve up to a se
lect circle of readers I This, I felt sure, would prove
the turning point of my fortunes; and it did, with a
A terrible concatenation of crimes had been com
mitted about this time, and posters offering heavy
rewards wore flying about—the papers were full of it.
This circumstance may have served as the ground
work of my composition.
When it was nearly finished, I invited several lit
erary friends to my attic to hear it read, over a glass
of something hot.
My friends came. They were men of the most in
souciant disposition imaginable, so tender hearted
tiiat they couldn’t meet a beggar in the streets with
-1 out wishing they had something to give him; ha 1 often
given away the.r last d-ime and gone hungry them-
I selves; had the loftiest notions of honor and chivalry
Yet, I must confess it, they had the look of a choral
of brigands.
Aly iauuiady glared around suspiciously as she ad*
mitted them, and I heard her asking the maid, in
the passage, if she had looked to the spoons.
We sat, lighted pipes, and I commenced:
“ It was on a dark and stormy night in the inclem*
out month of December”—the old thing, you know,
like James’ “ solitary horseman.” I began in gloom
and mystery, introducing a conference m a burglar’s
crib, with the full details of an intended burglary:
“ It is, then, understood,” I proceeded, in the per
son of my hero; “when the clock has struck threa
you will steal from your lairs;” (here something stir
red in the entry); “if the woman should interfere,
stab her to the heart with your pogniarcls.” (Hera
a hard breathing came through the key-hole.) “For,
as you may have heard before, dead mon tell no
tales. Some of you will then proceed with the cart
to the rear of the bank, while the rest, having enter
ed with the false key, will throw the safe from tha
window, and make off with the ‘swag,’ while I, for
whom so large a reward is offered, will—ha! ha 1 ha I
ha I —will laugh in the very face of the sleepy pa«
“ Oho! will you, though ?” shouted a hoarse voice,
as the door was burst open, and several officers,
headed by my landlady, rushed into the room.
“That’s him—that’s the precious villain I” sal<l
Mrs. Mao Snorter, shaking her fist in my face. “Ain’t
he a ’orrid-lookin’ wretch ? You’ll take my life with
a poker, would you ? I’ve been overhearin* of ’em
from the first,” she added; and in spite of our pro*
testations, we wero seized and hurried off to tha
It cost us ton dollars apiece to get clear, after be
ing paraded in the papers as the “original murder
ers ” in the case which was just then attracting the
attention of the town, and held up to the execration
of a crowded court. But I had my revenge, for on tha
subsequent day a publisher waited upon me, pur
chased at a steep price the MS. which had created
such a sensation, and I became an author at last.
Out of evil sometimes springs good, and ag
an illustration of it, “Spivens” made a gigan
tic stride toward the goal of his ambition by
the fact of his arrest. No doubt the parting
with the ten dollars was a very painful one,
but look to what a glorious result it led. How
calmly can “Spiv” recline now, and contem
plate that what he then considered was an
unmerited misfortune, and, accordingly, very
difficult to bear with equanimity, was actually
the stepping-stone to fame and fortune.
Our friend “Joe Ransome” sends us, this
We checked our mule. He was tired of pounding.
And would no further go;
You could have heard the pile of oaths resounding
A thousand feet betow !
Above tho smoko of the old camp fire lifted
A great black crow we saw;
And on the hills a spectre shadow drifted
As he gave many a caw.
About half-way the mountain side was furrowed.
And many a hole was sunk;
It might have been where a woodchuck burrowed.
Or might have been a skunk !
We looked in silence way into the distant
Stony and timber reach—
A silence broken by tho driver's consistent
And gum-elastic speech.
Blatherskite of Wildcat blew a hole through Peter*
Because he wouldn’t treat;
Then off he scooted with a jug of red-eye,
JVhich showed he was a boat.
We ran him from one grocery to another,
We drinking every time;
Sam Martin, Tom, and Andrew Johnson’s brother.
Though neither had a dime.
Ho fought us game. Somehow I disremember
Jest ho<v the thing came round;
He laid out Sam as cold as is December—
And I got up from the ground 1
And in a minute all the hills below him
Was just one sheet of flame;
Yet, with the nozzle of the jug uplifted,
He kept drinking all tho sumo !
And then—you see the rock that’s grown so dingy,
With vines, and roots, and stuff ?
Suthin rolled off—it might have been ’cause he wo(
Or didn't know when he had enough.
Suthin—it howled, and danced, and tore things,
Binging anything but psalms 1
It might have been the crow with speeding wings.
Or Blatherskite with the jim-jams.
That’s all. Enough ? Well, I don’t wonder
You think the story’s queer;
It makes me dry to tell It—dry as thunder.
Yes—anything but beer 1
Joe RansomEu
Our friend “Spot” has boon idle lately, bul
he has at length been aroused to a state of ac
tivity by what he considers a slanderous re
port. As ho is desirous that his conferes in
our Gossip Club should not regard him as
belonging to that class of tradesmen who
“ hang out their banners on the outward walls/’
bearing such signs as “families supplied,” wo
make room for his indignant comments op
“ Born— On the 21th ult., to Mrs. Phillis Spot, a
quartette of girls. Mother and daughters doing
bully. The monished father was still sane at lasS
accounts.— Jaybird Tooslick.
The above is a deliberate falsehood, coined for tha
express purpose of ruining my spoJ-less character.
Right here I’ll express a small portion of my feel
ings toward the pusillanimous puppy of the Jaybird
Tooslick, in the appropriate language of the Oven
bard, and sich:
“You told a lie; an odious, damned lie:
Upon my soul, a lie—a wicked lie!”
“ Oh, that I could but mate ye in your might I
Oh, that we were on tho dark wave together,
With but one plank between us and destruction.
That I might grasp ye in these desperate arms.
And plunge with you amid the weltering billows,
And view you gasp for life.”
Yes, and then, blast you, I’d swim ashore and suo
your little sheet for slander. If I could obtain se
curity for the costs I might incur, I’d do it anyhow.
Not a cent under ten dollars will satisfy my repu
tation. But —
“ Be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow, thou
Bhalt not escape calumny.”
Other good and blameless men have been slan
dered; why not I?
Such virtuous gentlemen as O. S. Winans, J. Is
cariot, and Benedict Arnold have been bitten by
calumny’s “envenomed tooth,” and now I am added
to the list.
Have I no redress?
Would the law exonerate me were I to slay my
slanderer, then decapitate, draw and quarter him,
and ship his mangled “ corpses,” per express, to his
wife’s brother-in-law ?
To nail the above lie, I would say that I am not
married, that my wife is a widow with ten grown up
orphan children, nine of whom are generously fed
and clothed at the State’s expense. The other one is
very dead.
The week after the aforesaid slanderous notice ap
peared in print, sixty old maids called to see tha
“interesting quartette.” I met them at the door*
and told the unvarnished truth.
They refused to believe me, and would not be con
vinced of my truthfulness until I permitted them to
search the premises.
Already women’s rights advocates call me a phi
lanthropist, and thank fortune for Mrs. Spot. S’posa
them imaginables had been boys 1 Stars and Jo
sephus, what additional abuse would have been
showered upon my defenseless head by those lectur
ing females I I would be a “brute” instead of tha
“happy philanthropist,” etc.
Yesterday I received a box of children’s clothes
from some “ Unknown Friend.” And “ A Friend to
Female Progress” sent me “Suicide Anthony’s
Views on Female Suffrage,” marked, “for tha
babes.” And still another, in a letter, after saying,
“ kiss the darlings for me,” says, “ Call ’em respect
fully, Susan Anthony Revolution, Woman’s Progress
Dickinson, Woodhull Clafflm & Co. Greeley, and
Stanton Logan Mary Magdalene.” What beautiful
So pithy and easily spoken! I almost rtish tha
Tooslick hadn’t lied. I fancy myself saying:
“ Woodhull Clafflln & Co. Greeley, tell Woman’s
Progress Dickinson to come home at recess; but ba
sure to tell Susafi Anthony Revolution and Stanton
Logan Mary Magdalene, your other sisters to remain|
till close of school.
But I banish such thoughts for. others less con<
I want redress for the wrongs I have endured.
True, I disposed of the infant garments for four dol
lars, but that does not appease me.
How can I get even ? Will not some gentle readei
inform me? If so—
“ Haste me to know it, that I with wings as swift
As meditation, or the thoughts of love,
May sweep to my revenge.”
“lam disgraced, impeached;
Pierced to the soul with slander’s venom’d spear,
The which no balm can cure, but his heart’s blood
Which breathed the poison.”
Blast that fellow 1
Yours slandered, Spot.
Wo cannot make out exactly from “Spot's **
communication whether he is indignant at the
Jaybird Tooslick for publishing a report which
would lead its readers to suppose his bump of
philoprogenitiveness unusually developed, off
whether he is annoyed because it published a
statement which he would wish to have beea
true, but which he, in honor, feels bound to
contradict. In either case, “ Spot ” may feel
assured he possesses the entire sympathy of
the olub.
The following is a gentleman’s di
ary of his wife’s temper for the past week: Monday
—Thick fog, no seeing through it. Tuesday—Gloomy
and very chilly; unreasonable weather. Wednesday
—Frosty, at times sharp. Thursday—Bitter cold in
the morning; red sunset with flying clouds portend
ing hard weather. Friday—Storm in the morning
with peals o f thunder; air clear afterward. Satur«
day—Gleam of sunshine, with partial thaw; frost
again nt night. Sunday—Light southwester in the
morning, calm and pleasant dinner-time, earthquake
at night.
A man in Cairo, 111., after witness*
ing the performance of a tight-rope artist, said it was
easy enough to walk a rope if a man had tho nerve.
He said ho had nervo, so ho fastened a clothes-line
from the top of the barn to the chimney of the house,
took a hoe handle to balance himself, and started.
If wasn’t forty-eight hours after that before the fam
ily were out riding in carriages, dressed in mourn
ing. Being interviewed, his last words wore, “I
could have done it if I had only had something tQ
rest the hoe handle on.”
A young lady, recently married to
a farmer, one day visited the cow-houses, when eh.
thus interrogated her milkmaid—" By-lhe-by, Mary,
which of these cows is it that gives the buttermilk
“Father, do ships make nails?”
'• No, my son; why do yon ask ?" •• Because I heard
our captain say that the ship had made two tackz
within the last half-hour."
Among his other high-sounding
titles, the King of Aya has that of "Lord of Twenty,
four Umbrelas." Tuis looks as though he had pro,
pared tor a long reign.
It is not every animal paintei: whfl
knows how to draw a badger,

xml | txt