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The Soldiers' journal. (Rendezvous of Distribution, Va.) 1864-1865, June 21, 1865, Image 9

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn89038091/1865-06-21/ed-1/seq-9/

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Which was Which.
I don't know what they call those men who
inspect the lunatic asylums—whether commis
sioners, inspectors, or lunatic officers, or what;
but I heard a good story about one the other
day. He, the Government inspector (let us say
Government inspector, or I shall not bo able to
get on,) went down to a lunatic asylum to in
spect, report, or whatever may be the term for it.
He was a very tall fellow, with sandy whiskers,
this official. He saw the medical superinten
dent, and said :—" I don't wish to go over the
asylum in the usual way, but to mingle with the
patients as if I were a—an officer, a surgeon, or
even one of themselves. By so doing I shall be
better enabled to judge of their intellectual state,
and of their progress in the direction of—sanity."
"With pleasure," said the doctor; "it is Satur
day, and we usually have a dance on Satu#&ay I
(tit. If you go into the ball room, as we call
ou will see them dancing and talking with- j
reserve." " Would it be objectionable if I—
lanced with them? asked theofficial," "Not
11," was the reply. The official walked into i
ball-room, and selecting the prettiest girl he i
saw for a partner, was soon keeping up a very
animated conversation with her. In the course
of the evening, he said to the doctor—" Do you
know that girl in the white dress, with blue
spots, is a very curious case? I've been talking
to her, and I cannot, for the life and soul of me,
discover in what direction her mental malady
lies. Of course, I saw at once she was mad—saw
it in the odd look of her eyes. She kept looking
at me so oddly. I asked her if she did not think
she was the Queen of England, or whether she
had not been robbed of a large fortune by the
Volunteer movement or jilted by the Prince of
Wales; and tried to find out the cause of her
lunacy; but I couldn't—she was too artful."—
" Very like," answered the doctor; " you see,
she is not a patient; she is one of the housemaids,
and as sano as you are !" Meantime, the pretty
house-maid went to all her fellow-servants and
said, "Have you seen the new-patient? He's
I dancing with me. A fine tall, man and
tiful whiskers ; but mad as a march hare. —
sked me if I wasn't the Queen of England;
Volunteer hadn't robbed me of a large for
; and whether the Prince of Wales did not
i to marry me. He is mad. Isn'nt it a pity
ih a fine young man?"— lllustrated Times.
Five years on Post,
ring one of Napoleon's remarkable cam
is, a detachment of a corps commanded by
iust occupied the Isle RUgen, which they j
were ordered to evacuate. They embarked with
3uch precipitation that they forgot one of their
sentinels posted in a retired spot, and who was
50 deeply absorbed in the perusal of a newspa
per containing an account of one of the emperor's
splendid victories, as to be totally unconscious
jf their departure. After pacing to and fro for
many hours upon his post, he lost patience, and
returned to the guard-room, which ho found
smpty. On inquiry, he learned with despair
,vhat had happened, and cried.
" Alas! alas ! I shall be looked upon as a de-
Ir— dishonored, lost, unhappy wretch that I
i lamentations excited the compassion of a
by tradesman, who took him to his house,
lid all in his power to console him, taught him
o make bread, for he was a baker, and, after
ome months, gave him his only daughter, Jus
ine, in marriage."
Five years afterward, a strange sail was seen
" I am done for now," cried tho dismayed
husband of Justine. "My bread is baked."
An idea, however, suddenly occurred to him,
and revived his courage. He ran to tho house,
slipped into his uniform, and, seizing his faith
ful firelock, returned to the beach, and posted
himself on sentry at the moment the French
were landing.
"Who goes there?" he shouted in a voice like
thundor * i
" Who»goes there, yourself?" replied one in a
boat "Who are you?"
"A sentinel."
" How long have you been on guard ?"
"Five years."
Davoust, for it was he, laughed at the quaint
reply, and gave a discharge in due form to his
involuntary deserter.
■ > m
A Brave Boy and a Narrow Escape.
One day while the writer was in a steam
boat crossing tho ferry from New York to Brook
lyn, the pilot rang the bell for the engine to stop.
On looking out to see the cause, there appeared
a small sailboat, just ahead, managed by a single
boy, apparently not more than fourteen or fif
teen years old, The tide was running strongly,
and the headway of tho boat could not be imme
diately stopped, nor could the little fellow quick
ly change his course, and it appeared almost im
possible to prevent a collision, and tho sinking
of the small boat. Did the boy lose his wits from J
fright, whimper and cry, and give up all for lost ?
Not a bit of it. Standing erect at the helm and [
doing his best to guide his boat, he sung out to
the pilot of the steamboat, "Clear-JLbe track, or
I'll run you down.'" Such was the dauntless
spirit of the little fellow that the passengers
cheered him loudly, and more than a dozen stood
ready to plunge in to his aid, had his craft been
overset. Fortunately this did not happen though
he escaped by only a few feet, and passed safely
on, leaving all who had witnessed the occurrence
in enthusiastic admiration of his presence of
mind and intrepidity.
m I ■
Mrs. Lufkin's Spirit Experience.—As far
as their legs went I could see that they were
pretty fast, but their hands being tied behind
them out of sight, I had to take the word of tho
honorable high-shouldered gent, and t'other
gent, that all was as tight as tight could be.
The doors of the clothes-press were then shut,
one at a time, and secured with a bolt by tho
high-shouldered gent. It was a very peculiar
and hobstinate bolt, and took more than a min
ute to fasten. Me- and Mrs. Luf kin observed
afterward that every time the clothes-press had
to be shut this aggravating bolt took longer and
longer to fix, the Mrs. Davihpodge, no doubt,
sitting quiet inside all tho time. At last all the
doors were shut and fastened, and then came a
wonderful thing! At a little square window', in
the middle door, we saw a white hand flickering
and beckoning 1 Presently it came out, the
fingors, wrist, the whole arm bare to tho shoul
der. " The speerits," shrieked Mrs. L., clutch
ing me round the neck in her flurry. There was
a burst of applause, followed by a titter, owing J
to.Mrs.. L.'s being overheard remarking to me
that, to whatever spear of being the sperrets be
longed, she could see that vaccination was prac
ticed there.— Dickens' All the Year Round.
again bloom forth. Does not almost everybody
remember some kind-hearted man who showed
him a kindness in the dulcet days of his child
hood? The writer of this recollects himself, at
this moment, a barefooted lad, standing at the
wooden fence of a poor little garden in his native
village, while with longing eyes he gazed on the
flowers that were blooming there quietly in the
brightness of a Sabbath morning. The posses
sor came forth from liis littlo cottage; he was a
wood-cutter by trade, and spent the whole week
at work in the woods. He had come into the
garden to gather flowers to stick in his coat
when ho went to church. He saw tho boy, and,
breaking off one of the most beautiful carnations
—it was streaked with red and white—he gave it
to him. Neither the giver or the receiver spoke
a word, and with bounding steps the boy ran
homo. And now hero, at a vast distance ft om
that home, after so many events of so many
years, the feeling of gratitude which agitated
that boy expresses itself On paper. The carna
tion has long since faded, but it now blooms
afresh.— Douglas Jcrrold.
How to open Oysters.—"Talking of open
ing oysters," said old Hurricane, "why noth
ing's easier, if you only know how."
"And how's how?" inquired Straight,
" Scotch snuff," answered old Hurricane, very
sententiously. " Scotch snuff. Bring a little of
it ever so near their nose, and they'll sneeze
their lids off."
"I know a genius," observed Mr. Karl, who
has a better plan. He spreads tho bivalves in a
circle, seats himself in the centre, and begins
spinning a yarn. Sometimes, it's an adventure
in Mexico; sometimes it's alogend of his love;
sometimes a marvelous stock transaction. As
ho proceeds, the "natives" get interested; one
by one they gape, my friend whips 'em out, pep
pers'em, and swallows 'em."
" That'll, do," said Straight, with a deep sigh.
"I wish we had a dozen of the bivalves here—
they'd open easy."
Hissing to show disapprobation is of great
antiquity. Though Shakspeare makes very few
allusions to the practice, he speaks once \ery
plainly of it in the "Merry Wives of Windsor: "
"If I do not act it, hiss me." It was used to
public speakers some nineteen centuries ago, as
apears from the following passage in Cicero's
letters. Speaking of the orator Hortensius,
Caelius thus describes tho success of his elo
quence: "It is worthy of observation, that
Hortensius reached his old age without once
incurring the disgraco of being hissed. "
Had Him There.—A friend of ours, who is a
clerk hi a New York mercantile establishment,
relates a colloquy from which a sprightly youth
in the same store came out second best. A poor
boy came along with his machine, inquiring—
" Any knives or scissors to grind ?"
"Don't think we have," replied the young
gentleman facetiously, " but can't you sharpen
"Yes, if you've got any," was the prompt re
sponse, leaving the interrogator rather at a loss
to produce the article.
One of our Western villages passed an ordi
nance forbidding taverns to sell liquor on the
babbath to any persons except travellers. Tho
next Sunday every man in town who wanted a

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