"I am truly glad it's nothing worse. There has been so much scandal got up by vulgar people against our St. Cecilia."
"Worse, Madam?" interpolates our hero, ere she has time to conclude her sentence, "the worst is to come yet."
"And I'm a member of the society!" Mrs. Swiggs replies with a languishing sigh, mistaking the head of the cat for her Milton, and apologizing for her error as that venerable animal, having got well squeezed, sputters and springs from her grasp, shaking his head, "elected solely on the respectability of my family."
Rather a collapsed member, by the way, Mr. Soloman thinks, contemplating her facetiously.
"Kindly proceed-proceed," she says, twitching at her cap strings, as if impatient to get the sequel.
"Well, as to that, being a member of the St. Cecilia myself, you see, and always-(I go in for a man keeping up in the world)-maintaining a high position among its most distinguished members, who, I assure you, respect me far above my real merits, (Mrs. Swiggs says we won't say anything about that now!) and honor me with all its secrets, I may, even in your presence, be permitted to say, that I never heard a member who didn't speak in high praise of you and the family of which you are so excellent a representative."
"Thank you-thank you. O thank you, Mr. Soloman!" she rejoins.
"Why, Madam, I feel all my veneration getting into my head at once when I refer to the name of Sir Sunderland Swiggs."
"But pray what came of the young Baronet?"
"Oh!—as to him, why, you see, he was what we call-it isn't a polite word, I confess-a humbug."
"A Baronet a humbug!" she exclaims, fretting her hands and commencing to rock herself in the chair.
"Well, as to that, as I was going on to say, after he had beat the bush all around among the young birds, leaving several of them wounded on the ground-you understand this sort of thing-he took to the older ones, and set them polishing up their feathers. And having set several very respectable families by the ears, and created a terrible flutter among a number of married dames-he was an adept in this sort of diplomacy, you see-it was discovered that one very distinguished Mrs. Constance, leader of fashion to the St. Cecilia, (and on that account on no very good terms with the vulgar world, that was forever getting up scandal to hurl at the society that would not permit it to soil, with its common muslin, the fragrant atmosphere of its satin and tulle), had been carrying on a villanous intrigue-yes, Madam! villanous intrigue! I said discovered: the fact was, this gallant Baronet, with one servant and no establishment, was fted and fooled for a month, until he came to the very natural and sensible conclusion, that we were all snobbs-yes, snobbs of the very worst kind. But there was no one who fawned over and flattered the vanity of this vain man more than the husband of Mrs. Constance. This poor man idolized his wife, whom he regarded as the very diamond light of purity, nor ever mistrusted that the Baronet's attentions were bestowed with any other than the best of motives. Indeed, he held it extremely condescending on the part of the Baronet to thus honor the family with his presence.
"And the Baronet, you see, with that folly so characteristic of Baronets, was so flushed with his success in this little intrigue with Madame Constance-the affair was too good for him to keep!—that he went all over town showing her letters. Such nice letters as they were-brim full of repentance, love, and appointments. The Baronet read them to Mr. Barrows, laughing mischievously, and saying what a fool the woman must be. Mr. Barrows couldn't keep it from Mrs. Barrows, Mrs. Barrows let the cat out of the bag to Mrs. Simpson, and Mrs. Simpson would let Mr. Simpson have no peace till he got on the soft side of the Baronet, and, what was not a difficult matter, got two of the letters for her to have a peep into. Mrs. Simpson having feasted her eyes on the two Mr. Simpson got of the Baronet, and being exceedingly fond of such wares as they contained, must needs-albeit, in strict confidence-whisper it to Mrs. Fountain, who was a very fashionable lady, but unfortunately had a head very like a fountain, with the exception that it ejected out double the amount it took in. Mrs. Fountain-as anybody might have known-let it get all over town. And then the vulgar herd took it up, as if it were assafotida, only needing a little stirring up, and hurled it back at the St. Cecilia, the character of which it would damage without a pang of remorse.
"Then the thing got to Constance's ears; and getting into a terrible passion, poor Constance swore nothing would satisfy him but the Baronet's life. But the Baronet—"
"A sorry Baronet was he-not a bit like my dear ancestor, Sir Sunderland," Mrs. Swiggs interposes.
"Not a bit, Madam," bows our hero. "Like a sensible gentleman, as I was about to say, finding it getting too hot for him, packed up his alls, and in the company of his unpaid servant, left for parts westward of this. I had a suspicion the fellow was not what he should be; and I made it known to my select friends of the St. Cecilia, who generally pooh-poohed me. A nobleman, they said, should receive every attention. And to show that he wasn't what he should be, when he got to Augusta his servant sued him for his wages; and having nothing but his chivalry, which the servant very sensibly declined to accept for payment, he came out like a man, and declared himself nothing but a poor player.
"But this neither satisfied Constance nor stayed the drifting current of slander—"
"Oh! I am so glad it was no worse," Mrs. Swiggs interrupts again.
"True!" Mr. Soloman responds, laughing heartily, as he taps her on the arm. "It might have been worse, though. Well, I am, as you know, always ready to do a bit of a good turn for a friend in need, and pitying poor Constance as I did, I suggested a committee of four most respectable gentlemen, and myself, to investigate the matter. The thing struck Constance favorably, you see. So we got ourselves together, agreed to consider ourselves a Congress, talked over the affairs of the nation, carried a vote to dissolve the Union, drank sundry bottles of Champagne, (I longed for a taste of your old Madeira, Mrs. Swiggs,) and brought in a verdict that pleased Mrs. Constance wonderfully-and so it ought. We were, after the most careful examination, satisfied that the reports prejudicial to the character and standing of Mrs. Constance had no foundation in truth, being the base fabrications of evil-minded persons, who sought, while injuring an innocent lady, to damage the reputation of the St. Cecilia Society. Mr. Constance was highly pleased with the finding; and finally it proved the sovereign balm that healed all their wounds. Of course, the Knight, having departed, was spared his blood."
Here Mr. Soloman makes a pause. Mrs. Swiggs, with a sigh, says, "Is that all?"
"Quite enough for once, my good Madam," Mr. Soloman bows in return.
"Oh! I am so glad the St. Cecilia is yet spared to us. You said, you know, it was all up with it—"
"Up? up?-so it is! That is, it won't break it up, you know. Why-oh, I see where the mistake is-it isn't all over, you know, seeing how the society can live through a score of nine-months scandals. But the thing's in every vulgar fellow's lips-that is the worst of it."
Mrs. Swiggs relishes this bit of gossip as if it were a dainty morsel; and calling Rebecca, she commands her to forthwith proceed into the cellar and bring a bottle of the old Madeira-she has only five left-for Mr. Soloman. And to Mr. Soloman's great delight, the old negress hastily obeys the summons; brings forth a mass of cobweb and dust, from which a venerable black bottle is disinterred, uncorked, and presented to the guest, who drinks the health of Mrs. Swiggs in sundry well-filled glasses, which he declares choice, adding, that it always reminds him of the age and dignity of the family. Like the State, dignity is Mrs. Swiggs' weakness-her besetting sin. Mr. Soloman, having found the key to this vain woman's generosity, turns it when it suits his own convenience.
"By-the-bye," he suddenly exclaims, "you've got Tom locked up again."
"As safe as he ever was, I warrant ye!" Mrs. Swiggs replies, resuming her Milton and rocking-chair.
"Upon my faith I agree with you. Never let him get out, for he is sure to disgrace the family when he does—"
"I've said he shall rot there, and he shall rot! He never shall get out to disgrace the family—no, not if I live to be as gray as Methuselah, I warrant you!" And Mr. Soloman, having made his compliments to the sixth glass, draws from his breast pocket a legal-looking paper, which he passes to Mrs. Swiggs, as she ejaculates, "Oh! I am glad you thought of that."
Mr. Soloman, watching intently the changes of her face, says, "You will observe, Madam, I have mentioned the cripples. There are five of them. We are good friends, you see; and it is always better to be precise in those things. It preserves friendship. This is merely a bit of a good turn I do for you." Mr. Soloman bows, makes an approving motion with his hands, and lays at her disposal on the table, a small roll of bills. "You will find two hundred dollars there," he adds, modulating his voice. You will find it all right; I got it for you of Keepum. We do a little in that way; he is very exact, you see—"
"Honor is the best security between people of our standing," she rejoins, taking up a pen and signing the instrument, which her guest deposits snugly in his pocket, and takes his departure for the house of Madame Flamingo.
CONTAINING SUNDRY MATTERS APPERTAINING TO THIS HISTORY.
IF, generous reader, you had lived in Charleston, we would take it for granted that you need no further enlightening on any of our very select societies, especially the St. Cecilia; but you may not have enjoyed a residence so distinguished, rendering unnecessary a few explanatory remarks. You must know that we not only esteem ourselves the quintessence of refinement, as we have an undisputed right to do, but regard the world outside as exceedingly stupid in not knowing as much of us as we profess to know of ourselves. Abroad, we wonder we are not at once recognized as Carolinians; at home, we let the vulgar world know who we are. Indeed, we regard the outside world-of these States we mean-very much in that light which the Greeks of old were wont to view the Romans in. Did we but stop here, the weakness might be pardonable. But we lay claim to Grecian refinement of manners, while pluming all our mob-politicians Roman orators. There is a profanity about this we confess not to like; not that danger can befall it, but because it hath about it that which reminds us of the oyster found in the shell of gold. Condescending, then, to believe there exists outside of our State a few persons silly enough to read books, we will take it for granted, reader, that you are one of them, straightway proceeding with you to the St. Cecilia.
You have been a fashionable traveller in Europe? You say-yes! rummaged all the feudal castles of England, sought out the resting places of her kings, heard some one say "that is poet's corner," as we passed into Westminster Abbey, thought they couldn't be much to have such a corner,—"went to look" where Byron was buried, moistened the marble with a tear ere we were conscious of it, and saw open to us the gulf of death as we contemplated how greedy graveyard worms were banqueting on his greatness. A world of strange fancies came over us as we mused on England's poets. And we dined with several Dukes and a great many more Earls, declining no end of invitations of commoners. Very well! we reply, adding a sigh. And on your return to your home, that you may not be behind the fashion, you compare disparagingly everything that meets your eye. Nothing comes up to what you saw in Europe. A servant doesn't know how to be a servant here; and were we to see the opera at Covent Garden, we would be sure to stare our eyes out. It is become habitual to introduce your conversation with, "when I was in Europe." And you know you never write a letter that you don't in some way bring in the distinguished persons you met abroad. There is something (no matter what it is) that forcibly reminds you of what occurred at the table of my Lady Clarendon, with whom you twice had the pleasure and rare honor of dining. And by implication, you always give us a sort of lavender-water description of the very excellent persons you met there, and what they were kind enough to say of America, and how they complimented you, and made you the centre and all-absorbing object of attraction-in a word, a truly wonderful person. And you will not fail, now that it is become fashionable, to extol with fulsome breath the greatness of every European despot it hath been your good fortune to get a bow from. And you are just vain enough to forever keep this before your up-country cousins. You say, too, that you have looked in at Almacks. Almacks! alas! departed greatness. With the rise of the Casino hath it lain its aristocratic head in the dust.
Well!—the St. Cecilia you must know (its counterparts are to be found in all our great cities) is a miniature Almacks-a sort of leach-cloth, through which certain very respectable individuals must pass ere they can become the elite of our fashionable world. To become a member of the St. Cecilia-to enjoy its recherch assemblies-to luxuriate in the delicate perfumes of its votaries, is the besetting sin of a great many otherwise very sensible people. And to avenge their disappointment at not being admitted to its precious precincts, they are sure to be found in the front rank of scandal-mongers when anything in their line is up with a member. And it is seldom something is not up, for the society would seem to live and get lusty in an atmosphere of perpetual scandal. Any amount of duels have come of it; it hath made rich no end of milliners; it hath made bankrupt husbands by the dozen; it hath been the theatre of several distinguished romances; it hath witnessed the first throbbings of sundry hearts, since made happy in wedlock; it hath been the shibolath of sins that shall be nameless here. The reigning belles are all members (provided they belong to our first families) of the St. Cecilia, as is also the prettiest and most popular unmarried parson. And the parson being excellent material for scandal, Mother Rumor is sure to have a dash at him. Nor does this very busy old lady seem over-delicate about which of the belles she associates with the parson, so long as the scandal be fashionable enough to afford her a good traffic.
There is continually coming along some unknown but very distinguished foreigner, whom the society adopts as its own, flutters over, and smothers with attentions, and drops only when it is discovered he is an escaped convict. This, in deference to the reputation of the St. Cecilia, we acknowledge has only happened twice. It has been said with much truth that the St. Cecilia's worst sin, like the sins of its sister societies of New York, is a passion for smothering with the satin and Honiton of its assemblies a certain supercilious species of snobby Englishmen, who come over here, as they have it (gun and fishing-rod in hand), merely to get right into the woods where they can have plenty of bear-hunting, confidently believing New York a forest inhabited by such animals. As for our squaws, as Mr. Tom Toddleworth would say, (we shall speak more at length of Tom!) why! they have no very bad opinion of them, seeing that they belong to a race of semi-barbarians, whose sayings they delight to note down. Having no society at home, this species of gentry the more readily find themselves in high favor with ours. They are always Oxonians, as the sons of green grocers and fishmongers are sure to be when they come over here (so Mr. Toddleworth has it, and he is good authority), and we being an exceedingly impressible people, they kindly condescend to instruct us in all the high arts, now and then correcting our very bad English. They are clever fellows generally, being sure to get on the kind side of credulous mothers with very impressible-headed daughters.
There was, however, always a distinguished member of the St. Cecilia society who let out all that took place at its assemblies. The vulgar always knew what General danced with the lovely Miss A., and how they looked, and what they said to each other; how many jewels Miss A. wore, and the material her dress was made of; they knew who polked with the accomplished Miss B., and how like a duchess she bore herself; they had the exact name of the colonel who dashed along so like a knight with the graceful and much-admired Mrs. D., whose husband was abroad serving his country; what gallant captain of dragoons (captains of infantry were looked upon as not what they might be) promenaded so imperiously with the vivacious Miss E.; and what distinguished foreigner sat all night in the corner holding a suspicious and very improper conversation with Miss F., whose skirts never were free of scandal, and who had twice got the pretty parson into difficulty with his church. Hence there was a perpetual outgoing of scandal on the one side, and pelting of dirt on the other.
When Mr. Soloman sought the presence of Mrs. Swiggs and told her it was all up with the St. Cecilia, and when that august member of the society was so happily disappointed by his concluding with leaving it an undamaged reputation, the whole story was not let out. In truth the society was at that moment in a state of indignation, and its reputation as well-nigh the last stage of disgrace as it were possible to bring it without being entirely absorbed. The Baronet, who enjoyed a good joke, and was not over-scrupulous in measuring the latitude of our credulity, had, it seems, in addition to the little affair with Mrs. Constance, been imprudent enough to introduce at one of the assemblies of the St. Cecilia, a lady of exceedingly fair but frail import: this loveliest of creatures-this angel of fallen fame—this jewel, so much sought after in her own casket-this child of gentleness and beauty, before whom a dozen gallant knights were paying homage, and claiming her hand for the next waltz, turned out to be none other than the Anna Bonard we have described at the house of Madame Flamingo. The discovery sent the whole assembly into a fainting fit, and caused such a fluttering in the camp of fashion. Reader! you may rest assured back-doors and smelling-bottles were in great demand.
The Baronet had introduced her as his cousin; just arrived, he said, in the care of her father-the cousin whose beauty he had so often referred to. So complete was her toilet and disguise, that none but the most intimate associate could have detected the fraud. Do you ask us who was the betrayer, reader? We answer,—
One whose highest ambition did seem that of getting her from her paramour, George Mullholland. It was Judge Sleepyhorn. Reader! you will remember him-the venerable, snowy-haired man, sitting on the lounge at the house of Madame Flamingo, and on whom George Mullholland swore to have revenge. The judge of a criminal court, the admonisher of the erring, the sentencer of felons, the habitue of the house of Madame Flamingo-no libertine in disguise could be more scrupulous of his standing in society, or so sensitive of the opinion held of him by the virtuous fair, than was this daylight guardian of public morals.
The Baronet got himself nicely out of the affair, and Mr. Soloman Snivel, commonly called Mr. Soloman, the accommodation man, is at the house of Madame Flamingo, endeavoring to effect a reconciliation between the Judge and George Mullholland.
IN WHICH IS SEEN A COMMINGLING OF CITIZENS.
NIGHT has thrown her mantle over the city. There is a great gathering of denizens at the house of Madame Flamingo. She has a bal-masque to-night. Her door is beset with richly-caparisoned equipages. The town is on tip-toe to be there; we reluctantly follow it. An hundred gaudily-decorated drinking saloon are filled with gaudier-dressed men. In loudest accent rings the question—"Do you go to Madame Flamingo's to-night?" Gentlemen of the genteel world, in shining broadcloth, touch glasses and answer—"yes!" It is a wonderful city-this of ours. Vice knows no restraint, poverty hath no friends here. We bow before the shrine of midnight revelry; we bring licentiousness to our homes, but we turn a deaf ear to the cries of poverty, and we gloat over the sale of men.
The sickly gaslight throws a sicklier glare over the narrow, unpaved streets. The city is on a frolic, a thing not uncommon with it. Lithe and portly-figured men, bearing dominos in their hands, saunter along the sidewalk, now dangling ponderous watch-chains, then flaunting highly-perfumed cambrics—all puffing the fumes of choice cigars. If accosted by a grave wayfarer—they are going to the opera! They are dressed in the style of opera-goers. And the road to the opera seems the same as that leading to the house of the old hostess. A gaily-equipped carriage approaches. We hear the loud, coarse laughing of those it so buoyantly bears, then there comes full to view the glare of yellow silks and red satins, and doubtful jewels-worn by denizens from whose faded brows the laurel wreath hath fallen. How shrunken with the sorrow of their wretched lives, and yet how sportive they seem! The pale gaslight throws a spectre-like hue over their paler features; the artificial crimson with which they would adorn the withered cheek refuses to lend a charm to features wan and ghastly. The very air is sickly with the odor of their cosmetics. And with flaunting cambrics they bend over carriage sides, salute each and every pedestrian, and receive in return answers unsuited to refined ears. They pass into the dim vista, but we see with the aid of that flickering gas, the shadow of that polluting hand which hastens life into death.
Old Mr. McArthur, who sits smoking his long pipe in the door of his crazy-looking curiosity shop, (he has just parted company with the young theologian, having assured him he would find a place to stow Tom Swiggs in,) wonders where the fashionable world of Charleston can be going? It is going to the house of the Flamingo. The St. Cecilia were to have had a ball to-night; scandal and the greater attractions here have closed its doors.
A long line of carriages files past the door of the old hostess. An incessant tripping of feet, delicately encased in bright-colored slippers; an ominous fluttering of gaudy silks and satins; an inciting glare of borrowed jewelry, mingling with second-hand lace; an heterogeneous gleaming of bare, brawny arms, and distended busts, all lend a sort of barbaric splendor to that mysterious group floating, as it were, into a hall in one blaze of light. A soft carpet, over-lain with brown linen, is spread from the curbstone into the hall. Two well-developed policemen guard the entrance, take tickets of those who pass in, and then exchange smiles of recognition with venerable looking gentlemen in masks. The hostess, a clever "business man" in her way, has made the admission fee one dollar. Having paid the authorities ten dollars, and honored every Alderman with a complimentary ticket, who has a better right? No one has a nicer regard for the Board of Aldermen than Madame Flamingo; no one can reciprocate this regard more condescendingly than the honorable Board of Aldermen do. Having got herself arrayed in a dress of sky-blue satin, that ever and anon streams, cloudlike, behind her, and a lace cap of approved fashion, with pink strings nicely bordered in gimp, and a rich Honiton cape, jauntily thrown over her shoulders, and secured under the chin with a great cluster of blazing diamonds, and rows of unpolished pearls at her wrists, which are immersed in crimped ruffles, she doddles up and down the hall in a state of general excitement. A corpulent colored man, dressed in the garb of a beadle,—a large staff in his right hand, a cocked hat on his head, and broad white stripes down his flowing coat, stands midway between the parlor doors. He is fussy enough, and stupid enough, for a Paddington beadle. Now Madame Flamingo looks scornfully at him, scolds him, pushes him aside; he is only a slave she purchased for the purpose; she commands that he gracefully touch his hat (she snatches it from his head, and having elevated it over her own, performs the delicate motion she would have him imitate) to every visitor. The least neglect of duty will incur (she tells him in language he cannot mistake) the penalty of thirty-nine well laid on in the morning. In another minute her fat, chubby face glows with smiles, her whole soul seems lighted up with childlike enthusiasm; she has a warm welcome for each new comer, retorts saliently upon her old friends, and says—"you know how welcome you all are!" Then she curtsies with such becoming grace. "The house, you know, gentlemen, is a commonwealth to-night." Ah! she recognizes the tall, comely figure of Mr. Soloman, the accommodation man. He did not spring from among the bevy of coat-takers, and hood-retainers, at the extreme end of the great hall, nor from among the heap of promiscuous garments piled in one corner; and yet he is here, looking as if some magic process had brought him from a mysterious labyrinth. "Couldn't get along without me, you see. It's an ambition with me to befriend everybody. If I can do a bit of a good turn for a friend, so much the better!" And he grasps the old hostess by the hand with a self-satisfaction he rather improves by tapping her encouragingly on the shoulder. "You'll make a right good thing of this!—a clear thousand, eh?"
"The fates have so ordained it," smiles naively the old woman.
"Of course the fates could not ordain otherwise—"
"As to that, Mr. Soloman, I sometimes think the gods are with me, and then again I think they are against me. The witches-they have done my fortune a dozen times or more-always predict evil (I consult them whenever a sad fit comes over me), but witches are not to be depended upon! I am sure I think what a fool I am for consulting them at all." She espies, for her trade of sin hath made keen her eye, the venerable figure of Judge Sleepyhorn advancing up the hall, masked. "Couldn't get along without you," she lisps, tripping towards him, and greeting him with the familiarity of an intimate friend. "I'm rather aristocratic, you'll say!—and I confess I am, though a democrat in principle!" And Madame Flamingo confirms what she says with two very dignified nods. As the Judge passes silently in she pats him encouragingly on the back, saying,—"There ain't no one in this house what'll hurt a hair on your head." The Judge heeds not what she says.
"My honor for it, Madame, but I think your guests highly favored, altogether! Fine weather, and the prospect of a bal-masque of Pompeian splendor. The old Judge, eh?"
"The gods smile-the gods smile, Mr. Soloman!" interrupts the hostess, bowing and swaying her head in rapid succession.
"The gods have their eye on him to-night-he's a marked man! A jolly old cove of a Judge, he is! Cares no more about rules and precedents, on the bench, than he does for the rights and precedents some persons profess to have in this house. A high old blade to administer justice, eh?"
"But, you see, Mr. Soloman," the hostess interrupts, a gracious bow keeping time with the motion of her hand, "he is such an aristocratic prop in the character of my house."
"I rather like that, I confess, Madame. You have grown rich off the aristocracy. Now, don't get into a state of excitement!" says Mr. Soloman, fingering his long Saxon beard, and eyeing her mischievously. She sees a bevy of richly-dressed persons advancing up the hall in high glee. Indeed her house is rapidly filling to the fourth story. And yet they come! she says. "The gods are in for a time. I love to make the gods happy."
Mr. Soloman has lain his hand upon her arm retentively.
"It is not that the aristocracy and such good persons as the Judge spend so much here. But they give eclat to the house, and eclat is money. That's it, sir! Gold is the deity of our pantheon! Bless you (the hostess evinces the enthusiasm of a politician), what better evidence of the reputation of my house than is before you, do you want? I've shut up the great Italian opera, with its three squalling prima donnas, which in turn has shut up the poor, silly Empresario, as they call him; and the St. Cecilia I have just used up. I'm a team in my way, you see;—run all these fashionable oppositions right into bankruptcy." Never were words spoken with more truth. Want of patronage found all places of rational amusement closed. Societies for intellectual improvement, one after another, died of poverty. Fashionable lectures had attendance only when fashionable lecturers came from the North; and the Northman was sure to regard our taste through the standard of what he saw before him.
The house of the hostess triumphs, and is corpulent of wealth and splendor. To-morrow she will feed with the rich crumbs that fall from her table the starving poor. And although she holds poor virtue in utter contempt, feeding the poor she regards a large score on the passport to a better world. A great marble stairway winds its way upward at the further end of the hall and near it are two small balconies, one on each side, presenting barricades of millinery surmounted with the picturesque faces of some two dozen denizens, who keep up an incessant gabbling, interspersed here and there with jeers directed at Mr. Soloman. "Who is he seeking to accommodate to-night?" they inquire, laughing merrily.
The house is full, the hostess has not space for one friend more; she commands the policemen to close doors. An Alderman is the only exception to her fiat. "You see," she says, addressing herself to a courtly individual who has just saluted her with urbane deportment, "I must preserve the otium cum dignitate of my (did I get it right?) standing in society. I don't always get these Latin sayings right. Our Congressmen don't. And, you see, like them, I ain't a Latin scholar, and may be excused for any little slips. Politics and larnin' don't get along well together. Speaking of politics, I confess I rather belong to the Commander and Quabblebum school-I do!"
At this moment (a tuning of instruments is heard in the dancing-hall) the tall figure of the accommodation man is seen, in company of the venerable Judge, passing hurriedly into a room on the right of the winding stairs before described. "Judge!" he exclaims, closing the door quickly after him, "you will be discovered and exposed. I am not surprised at your passion for her, nor the means by which you seek to destroy the relations existing between her and George Mullholland. It is an evidence of taste in you. But she is proud to a fault, and, this I say in friendship, you so wounded her feelings, when you betrayed her to the St. Cecilia, that she has sworn to have revenge on you. George Mullholland, too, has sworn to have your life.
"I tell you what it is, Judge, (the accommodation man assumes the air of a bank director,) I have just conceived-you will admit I have an inventive mind!—a plot that will carry you clean through the whole affair. Your ambition is divided between a passion for this charming creature and the good opinion of better society. The resolution to retain the good opinion of society is doing noble battle in your heart; but it is the weaker vessel, and it always will be so with a man of your mould, inasmuch as such resolutions are backed up by the less fierce elements of our nature. Put this down as an established principle. Well, then, I will take upon myself the betrayal. I will plead you ignorant of the charge, procure her forgiveness, and reconcile the matter with this Mullholland. It's worth an hundred or more, eh?"
The venerable man smiles, shakes his head as if heedless of the admonition, and again covers his face with his domino.
The accommodation man, calling him by his judicial title, says he will yet repent the refusal!
It is ten o'clock. The gentleman slightly colored, who represents a fussy beadle, makes a flourish with his great staff. The doors of the dancing hall are thrown open. Like the rushing of the gulf stream there floods in a motley procession of painted females and masked men-the former in dresses as varied in hue as the fires of remorse burning out their unuttered thoughts. Two and two they jeer and crowd their way along into the spacious hall, the walls of which are frescoed in extravagant mythological designs, the roof painted in fret work, and the cornices interspersed with seraphs in stucco and gilt. The lights of two massive chandeliers throw a bewitching refulgence over a scene at once picturesque and mysterious; and from four tall mirrors secured between the windows, is reflected the forms and movements of the masquers.
Reader! you have nothing in this democratic country with which to successfully compare it. And to seek a comparison in the old world, where vice, as in this city of chivalry, hath a license, serves not our office.
Madame Flamingo, flanked right and left by twelve colored gentlemen, who, their collars decorated with white and pink rosettes, officiate as masters of ceremony, and form a crescent in front of the thronging procession, steps gradually backward, curtsying and bowing, and spreading her hands to her guests, after the manner of my Lord Chamberlain.
Eight colored musicians, (everything is colored here,) perched on a raised platform covered with maroon-colored plush; at the signal of a lusty-tongued call-master, strike up a march, to which the motley throng attempt to keep time. It is martial enough, and discordant enough for anything but keeping time to.
The plush-covered benches filing along the sides and ends of the hall are eagerly sought after and occupied by a strange mixture of lookers on in Vienna. Here the hoary-headed father sits beside a newly-initiated youth, who is receiving his first lesson of dissipation. There the grave and chivalric planter sports with the nice young man, who is cultivating a beard and his way into the by-ways. A little further on the suspicious looking gambler sits freely conversing with the man whom a degrading public opinion has raised to the dignity of the judicial bench. Yonder is seen the man who has eaten his way into fashionable society, (and by fashionable society very much caressed in return,) the bosom companion of the man whose crimes have made him an outcast.
Generous reader! contemplate this grotesque assembly; study the object Madame Flamingo has in gathering it to her fold. Does it not present the accessories to wrong doing? Does it not show that the wrong-doer and the criminally inclined, too often receive encouragement by the example of those whose duty it is to protect society? The spread of crime, alas! for the profession, is too often regarded by the lawyer as rather a desirable means of increasing his trade.
Quadrille follows quadrille, the waltz succeeds the schottish, the scene presents one bewildering maze of flaunting gossamers and girating bodies, now floating sylph-like into the foreground, then whirling seductively into the shadowy vista, where the joyous laugh dies out in the din of voices. The excitement has seized upon the head and heart of the young,—the child who stood trembling between the first and second downward step finds her reeling brain a captive in this snare set to seal her ruin.
Now the music ceases, the lusty-tongued call-master stands surveying what he is pleased to call the oriental splendor of this grotesque assembly. He doesn't know who wouldn't patronize such a house! It suddenly forms in platoon, and marshalled by slightly-colored masters of ceremony, promenades in an oblong figure.
Here, leaning modestly on the arm of a tall figure in military uniform, and advancing slowly up the hall, is a girl of some sixteen summers. Her finely-rounded form is in harmony with the ravishing vivacity of her face, which is beautifully oval. Seen by the glaring gaslight her complexion is singularly clear and pale. But that freshness which had gained her many an admirer, and which gave such a charm to the roundness of early youth, we look for in vain. And yet there is a softness and delicacy about her well-cut and womanly features-a child-like sweetness in her smile-a glow of thoughtfulness in those great, flashing black eyes-an expression of melancholy in which at short intervals we read her thoughts-an incessant playing of those long dark eyelashes, that clothes her charms with an irresistible, a soul-inspiring seductiveness. Her dress, of moire antique, is chasteness itself; her bust exquisite symmetry; it heaves as softly as if touched by some gentle zephyr. From an Haidean brow falls and floats undulating over her marble-like shoulders, the massive folds of her glossy black hair. Nature had indeed been lavish of her gifts on this fair creature, to whose charms no painter could give a touch more fascinating. This girl, whose elastic step and erect carriage contrasts strangely with the languid forms about her, is Anna Bonard, the neglected, the betrayed. There passes and repasses her, now contemplating her with a curious stare, then muttering inaudibly, a man of portly figure, in mask and cowl. He touches with a delicate hand his watch-guard, we see two sharp, lecherous eyes peering through the domino; he folds his arms and pauses a few seconds, as if to survey the metal of her companion, then crosses and recrosses her path. Presently his singular demeanor attracts her attention, a curl of sarcasm is seen on her lip, her brow darkens, her dark orbs flash as of fire,—all the heart-burnings of a soul stung with shame are seen to quicken and make ghastly those features that but a moment before shone lambent as summer lightning. He pauses as with a look of withering scorn she scans him from head to foot, raises covertly her left hand, tossing carelessly her glossy hair on her shoulder, and with lightning quickness snatches with her right the domino from his face. "Hypocrite!" she exclaims, dashing it to the ground, and with her foot placed defiantly upon the domino, assumes a tragic attitude, her right arm extended, and the forefinger of her hand pointing in his face. "Ah!" she continues, in biting accents, "it is against the perfidy of such as you I have struggled. Your false face, like your heart, needed a disguise. But I have dragged it away, that you may be judged as you are. This is my satisfaction for your betrayal. Oh that I could have deeper revenge!" She has unmasked Judge Sleepyhorn, who stands before the anxious gaze of an hundred night revellers, pressing eagerly to the scene of confusion. Madame Flamingo's house, as you may judge, is much out in its dignity, and in a general uproar. There was something touching-something that the graver head might ponder over, in the words of this unfortunate girl—"I have struggled!" A heedless and gold-getting world seldom enters upon the mystery of its meaning. But it hath a meaning deep and powerful in its appeal to society- one that might serve the good of a commonwealth did society stoop and take it by the hand.
So sudden was the motion with which this girl snatched the mask from the face of the Judge, (he stood as if appalled,) that, ere he had gained his self-possession, she drew from her girdle a pearl-hilted stiletto, and in attempting to ward off the dreadful lunge, he struck it from her hand, and into her own bosom. The weapon fell gory to the floor-the blood trickled down her bodice-a cry of "murder" resounded through the hall! The administrator of justice rushed out of the door as the unhappy girl swooned in the arms of her partner. A scene so confused and wild that it bewilders the brain, now ensued. Madame Flamingo calls loudly for Mr. Soloman; and as the reputation of her house is uppermost in her thoughts, she atones for its imperiled condition by fainting in the arms of a grave old gentleman, who was beating a hasty retreat, and whose respectability she may compromise through this uncalled-for act.
A young man of slender form, and pale, sandy features, makes his way through the crowd, clasps Anna affectionately in his arms, imprints a kiss on her pallid brow, and bears her out of the hall.
By the aid of hartshorn and a few dashes of cold water, the old hostess is pleased to come to, as we say, and set about putting her house in order. Mr. Soloman, to the great joy of those who did not deem it prudent to make their escape, steps in to negotiate for the peace of the house and the restoration of order. "It is all the result of a mistake," he says laughingly, and good-naturedly, patting every one he meets on the shoulder. "A little bit of jealousy on the part of the girl. It all had its origin in an error that can be easily rectified. In a word, there's much ado about nothing in the whole of it. Little affairs of this kind are incident to fashionable society all over the world! The lady being only scratched, is more frightened than hurt. Nobody is killed; and if there were, why killings are become so fashionable, that if the killed be not a gentleman, nobody thinks anything of it," he continues. And Mr. Soloman being an excellent diplomatist, does, with the aid of the hostess, her twelve masters of ceremony, her beadle, and two policemen, forthwith bring the house to a more orderly condition. But night has rolled into the page of the past, the gray dawn of morning is peeping in at the half-closed windows, the lights burning in the chandeliers shed a pale glow over the wearied features of those who drag, as it were, their languid bodies to the stifled music of unwilling slaves. And while daylight seems modestly contending with the vulgar glare within, there appears among the pale revellers a paler ghost, who, having stalked thrice up and down the hall, preserving the frigidity and ghostliness of the tomb, answering not the questions that are put to him, and otherwise deporting himself as becometh a ghost of good metal, is being taken for a demon of wicked import. Now he pauses at the end of the hall, faces with spectre-like stare the alarmed group at the opposite end, rests his left elbow on his scythe-staff, and having set his glass on the floor, points to its running sands warningly with his right forefinger. Not a muscle does he move. "Truly a ghost!" exclaims one. "A ghost would have vanished before this," whispers another. "Speak to him," a third responds, as the musicians are seen to pale and leave their benches. Madame Flamingo, pale and weary, is first to rush for the door, shrieking as his ghostship turns his grim face upon her. Shriek follows shriek, the lights are put out, the gray dawn plays upon and makes doubly frightful the spectre. A Pandemonium of shriekings and beseechings is succeeded by a stillness as of the tomb. Our ghost is victor.
WHAT TAKES PLACE BETWEEN GEORGE MULLHOLLAND AND MR. SNIVEL.
THE man who kissed and bore away the prostrate girl was George Mullholland.
"Oh! George-George!" she whispers imploringly, as her eyes meet his; and turning upon the couch of her chamber, where he hath lain her, awakes to consciousness, and finds him watching over her with a lover's solicitude. "I was not cold because I loved you less-oh no! It was to propitiate my ambition-to be free of the bondage of this house-to purge myself of the past-to better my future!" And she lays her pale, nervous hand gently on his arm-then grasps his hand and presses it fervently to her lips.
Though placed beyond the pale of society-though envied by one extreme and shunned by the other-she finds George her only true friend. He parts and smooths gently over her polished shoulders her dishevelled hair; he watches over her with the tenderness of a brother; he quenches and wipes away the blood oozing from her wounded breast; he kisses and kisses her flushed cheek, and bathes her Ion-like brow. He forgives all. His heart would speak if his tongue had words to represent it. He would the past were buried-the thought of having wronged him forgotten. She recognizes in his solicitude for her the sincerity of his heart. It touches like sweet music the tenderest chords of her own; and like gushing fountains her great black eyes fill with tears. She buries her face in her hands, crying, "Never, never, George, (I swear it before the God I have wronged, but whose forgiveness I still pray,) will I again forget my obligation to you! I care not how high in station he who seeks me may be. Ambitious!—I was misled. His money lured me away, but he betrayed me in the face of his promises. Henceforth I have nothing for this deceptive world; I receive of it nothing but betrayal—"
"The world wants nothing more of either of us," interrupts George.
More wounded in her feelings than in her flesh, she sobs and wrings her hands like one in despair.
"You have ambition. I am too poor to serve your ambition!"
That word, too "poor," is more than her already distracted brain can bear up under. It brings back the terrible picture of their past history; it goads and agonizes her very soul. She throws her arms frantically about his neck; presses him to her bosom; kisses him with the fervor of a child. Having pledged his forgiveness with a kiss, and sealed it by calling in a witness too often profaned on such occasions, George calms her feelings as best he can; then he smooths with a gentle hand the folds of her uplifted dress, and with them curtains the satin slippers that so delicately encase her small feet. This done, he spreads over her the richly-lined India morning- gown presented to her a few days ago by the Judge, who, as she says, so wantonly betrayed her, and on whom she sought revenge. Like a Delian maid, surrounded with Oriental luxury, and reclining on satin and velvet, she flings her flowing hair over her shoulders, nestles her weary head in the embroidered cushion, and with the hand of her only true friend firmly grasped in her own, soothes away into a calm sleep-that sovereign but too transient balm for sorrowing hearts.
Our scene changes. The ghost hath taken himself to the grave-yard; the morning dawns soft and sunny on what we harmlessly style the sunny city of the sunny South. Madame Flamingo hath resolved to nail another horse-shoe over her door. She will propitiate (so she hath it) the god of ghosts.
George Mullholland, having neither visible means of gaining a livelihood nor a settled home, may be seen in a solitary box at Baker's, (a coffee-house at the corner of Meeting and Market streets,) eating an humble breakfast. About him there is a forlornness that the quick eye never fails to discover in the manners of the homeless man. "Cleverly done," he says, laying down the Mercury newspaper, in which it is set forth that "the St. Cecilia, in consequence of an affliction in the family of one of its principal members, postponed its assembly last night. The theatre, in consequence of a misunderstanding between the manager and his people, was also closed. The lecture on comparative anatomy, by Professor Bones, which was to have been delivered at Hibernian Hall, is, in consequence of the indisposition of the learned Professor, put off to Tuesday evening next, when he will have, as he deserves, an overflowing house. Tickets, as before, may be had at all the music and bookstores." The said facetious journal was silent on the superior attractions at the house of the old hostess; nor did it deem it prudent to let drop a word on the misunderstanding between the patrons of the drama and the said theatrical manager, inasmuch as it was one of those that are sure to give rise to a very serious misunderstanding between that functionary and his poor people.
In another column the short but potent line met his eye: "An overflowing and exceedingly fashionable house greeted the Negro Minstrels last night. First-rate talent never goes begging in our city." George sips his coffee and smiles. Wonderfully clever these editors are, he thinks. They have nice apologies for public taste always on hand; set the country by the ears now and then; and amuse themselves with carrying on the most prudent description of wars.
His own isolated condition, however, is uppermost in his mind. Poverty and wretchedness stare him in the face on one side; chivalry, on the other, has no bows for him while daylight lasts. Instinct whispers in his ear-where one exists the other is sure to be.
To the end that this young man will perform a somewhat important part in the by-ways of this history, some further description of him may be necessary. George Mullholland stands some five feet nine, is wiry-limbed, and slender and erect of person. Of light complexion, his features are sharp and irregular, his face narrow and freckled, his forehead small and retreating, his hair sandy and short-cropped. Add to these two small, dull, gray eyes, and you have features not easily described. Nevertheless, there are moments when his countenance wears an expression of mildness-one in which the quick eye may read a character more inoffensive than intrusive. A swallow-tail blue coat, of ample skirts, and brass buttons; a bright-colored waistcoat, opening an avalanche of shirt-bosom, blossoming with cheap jewelry; a broad, rolling shirt-collar, tied carelessly with a blue ribbon; a steeple-crowned hat, set on the side of his head with a challenging air; and a pair of broadly-striped and puckered trowsers, reaching well over a small-toed and highly-glazed boot, constitutes his dress. For the exact set of those two last-named articles of his wardrobe he maintains a scrupulous regard. We are compelled to acknowledge George an importation from New York, where he would be the more readily recognized by that vulgar epithet, too frequently used by the self-styled refined—"a swell."
Life with George is a mere drift of uncertainty. As for aims and ends, why he sees the safer thing in having nothing to do with them. Mr. Tom Toddleworth once advised this course, and Tom was esteemed good authority in such matters. Like many others, his character is made up of those yielding qualities which the teachings of good men may elevate to usefulness, or bad men corrupt by their examples. There is a stage in the early youth of such persons when we find their minds singularly susceptible, and ready to give rapid growth to all the vices of depraved men; while they are equally apt in receiving good, if good men but take the trouble to care for them, and inculcate lessons of morality.
Not having a recognized home, we may add, in resuming our story, that George makes Baker's his accustomed haunt during the day, as do also numerous others of his class-a class recognized and made use of by men in the higher walks of life only at night.
"Ah! ha, ha! into a tight place this time, George," laughs out Mr. Soloman, the accommodation man, as he hastens into the room, seats himself in the box with George, and seizes his hand with the earnestness of a true friend. Mr. Soloman can deport himself on all occasions with becoming good nature. "It's got out, you see."
"What has got out?" interrupts George, maintaining a careless indifference.
"Come now! none of that, old fellow."
"If I understood you—"
"That affair last night," pursues Mr. Soloman, his delicate fingers wandering into his more delicately-combed beard. "It'll go hard with you. He's a stubborn old cove, that Sleepyhorn; administers the law as Csar was wont to. Yesterday he sent seven to the whipping-post; to-day he hangs two 'niggers' and a white man. There is a consolation in getting rid of the white. I say this because no one loses a dollar by it."
George, continuing to masticate his bread, says it has nothing to do with him. He may hang the town.
"If I can do you a bit of a good turn, why here's your man. But you must not talk that way—you must not, George, I assure you!" Mr. Soloman assumes great seriousness of countenance, and again, in a friendly way, takes George by the hand. "That poignard, George, was yours. It was picked up by myself when it fell from your hand—"
"My hand! my hand!" George quickly interposes, his countenance paling, and his eyes wandering in excitement.
"Now don't attempt to disguise the matter, you know! Come out on the square-own up! Jealousy plays the devil with one now and then. I know-I have had a touch of it; had many a little love affair in my time—"
George again interrupts by inquiring to what he is coming.
"To the attempt (the accommodation man assumes an air of sternness) you made last night on the life of that unhappy girl. It is needless," he adds, "to plead ignorance. The Judge has the poignard; and what's more, there are four witnesses ready to testify. It'll go hard with you, my boy." He shakes his head warningly.
"I swear before God and man I am as innocent as ignorant of the charge. The poignard I confess is mine; but I had no part in the act of last night, save to carry the prostrate girl-the girl I dearly love-away. This I can prove by her own lips."
Mr. Soloman, with an air of legal profundity, says: "This is all very well in its way, George, but it won't stand in law. The law is what you have got to get at. And when you have got at it, you must get round it; and then you must twist it and work it every which way-only be careful not to turn its points against yourself; that, you know, is the way we lawyers do the thing. You'll think we're a sharp lot; and we have to be sharp, as times are."
"It is not surprising," replies George, as if waking from a fit of abstraction, "that she should have sought revenge of one who so basely betrayed her at the St. Cecilia—"
"There, there!" Mr. Soloman interrupts, changing entirely the expression of his countenance, "the whole thing is out! I said there was an unexplained mystery somewhere. It was not the Judge, but me who betrayed her to the assembly. Bless you, (he smiles, and crooking his finger, beckons a servant, whom he orders to bring a julep,) I was bound to do it, being the guardian of the Society's dignity, which office I have held for years. But you don't mean to have it that the girl attempted—(he suddenly corrects himself)—Ah, that won't do, George. Present my compliments to Anna—I wouldn't for the world do aught to hurt her feelings, you know that—and say I am ready to get on my knees to her to confess myself a penitent for having injured her feelings. Yes, I am ready to do anything that will procure her forgiveness. I plead guilty. But she must in return forgive the Judge. He is hard in law matters—that is, we of the law consider him so—now and then; but laying that aside, he is one of the best old fellows in the world, loves Anna to distraction; nor has he the worst opinion in the world of you, George. Fact is, I have several times heard him refer to you in terms of praise. As I said before, being the man to do you a bit of a good turn, take my advice as a friend. The Judge has got you in his grasp, according to every established principle of law; and having four good and competent witnesses, (you have no voice in law, and Anna's won't stand before a jury,) will send you up for a twelve-months' residence in Mount Rascal."
It will be almost needless here to add, that Mr. Soloman had, in an interview with the Judge, arranged, in consideration of a goodly fee, to assume the responsibility of the betrayal at the St. Cecilia; and also to bring about a reconciliation between him and the girl he so passionately sought.
"Keep out of the way a few days, and everything will blow over and come right. I will procure you the Judge's friendship—yes, his money, if you want. More than that, I will acknowledge my guilt to Anna; and being as generous of heart as she is beautiful, she will, having discovered the mistake, forgive me and make amends to the Judge for her foolish act.
It is almost superfluous to add, that the apparent sincerity with which the accommodation man pleaded, had its effect on the weak-minded man. He loved dearly the girl, but poverty hung like a leaden cloud over him. Poverty stripped him of the means of gratifying her ambition; poverty held him fast locked in its blighting chains; poverty forbid his rescuing her from the condition necessity had imposed upon her; poverty was goading him into crime; and through crime only did he see the means of securing to himself the cherished object of his love.
"I am not dead to your friendship, but I am too sad at heart to make any pledge that involves Anna, at this moment. We met in wretchedness, came up in neglect and crime, sealed our love with the hard seal of suffering. Oh! what a history of misery my heart could unfold, if it had but a tongue!" George replies, in subdued accents, as a tear courses down his cheek.
Extending his hand, with an air of encouragement, Mr. Soloman says nothing in the world would so much interest him as a history of the relations existing between George and Anna. Their tastes, aims, and very natures, are different. To him their connection is clothed in mystery.
IN WHICH A GLEAM OF LIGHT IS SHED ON THE HISTORY OF ANNA BONARD.
A BOTTLE of wine, and the mild, persuasive manner of Mr. Snivel, so completely won over George's confidence, that, like one of that class always too ready to give out their heart-achings at the touch of sympathy, and too easily betrayed through misplaced confidence, he commences relating his history. That of Anna is identified with it. "We will together proceed to New York, for it is there, among haunts of vice and depravity—"
"In depth of degradation they have no counterpart on our globe," Mr. Soloman interrupts, filling his glass.
"We came up together-knew each other, but not ourselves. That was our dark age." George pauses for a moment.
"Bless you," again interrupts Mr. Soloman, tipping his glass very politely, "I never-that is, when I hear our people who get themselves laced into narrow-stringed Calvinism, and long-founded foreign missions, talk-think much could have come of the dark ages. I speak after the manner of an attorney, when I say this. We hear a deal of the dark ages, the crimes of the dark ages, the dark idolatry of darker Africa. My word for it, and it's something, if they had anything darker in Sodom; if they had in Babylon a state of degradation more hardened of crime; if in Egypt there existed a benightedness more stubbornly opposed to the laws of God-than is to be found in that New York; that city of merchant princes with princely palaces; that modern Pompeii into which a mighty commerce teems its mightier gold, where a coarse throng revel in coarser luxury, where a thousand gaudy churches rear heavenward their gaudier steeples, then I have no pity for Sodom, not a tear to shed over fallen Babylon, and very little love for Egypt." Mr. Snivel concludes, saying—"proceed, young man."
"Of my mother I know nothing. My father (I mean the man I called father, but who they said was not my father, though he was the only one that cared anything for me) was Tom English, who used to live here and there with me about the Points. He was always looking in at Paddy Pie's, in Orange street, and Paddy Pie got all his money, and then Paddy Pie and him quarrelled, and we were turned out of Paddy Pie's house. So we used to lodge here and there, in the cellars about the Points, in 'Cut Throat Alley,' or 'Cow Bay,' or 'Murderer's Alley,' or in 'The House of the Nine Nations,' or wherever we could get a sixpenny rag to lay down upon. Nobody but English seemed to care for me, and English cared for nobody but me. And English got thick with Mrs. McCarty and her three daughters—they kept the Rookery in 'Cow Bay,' which we used to get to up a long pair of stairs outside, and which God knows I never want to think of again,—where sometimes fourteen or fifteen of us, men and women, used to sleep in a little room Mrs. McCarty paid eight dollars a month for. And Mr. Crown, who always seemed a cross sort of man, and was agent for all the houses on the Points I thought, used to say she had it too cheap. And English got to thinking a good deal of Mrs. McCarty, and Mrs. McCarty's daughters got to thinking a good deal of him. And Boatswain Bill, who lived at the house of the 'Nine Nations'-the house they said had a bottomless pit-and English used to fight a deal about the Miss McCartys, and Bill one night threw English over the high stoop, down upon the pavement, and broke his arms. They said it was a wonder it hadn't a broken his neck. Fighting Mary (Mary didn't go by that name then) came up and took English's part, and whipped Boatswain Bill, and said she'd whip the whole house of the 'Nine Nations' if it had spunk enough in it to come on. But no one dare have a set-to with Mary. Mary used to drink a deal of gin, and say-'this gin and the devil 'll get us all one of these days. I wonder if Mr. Crown 'll sell bad gin to his highness when he gets him?" Well, Bill was sent up for six months, so the McCartys had peace in the house, and Mrs. McCarty got him little things, and did for English until his arms got well. Then he got a little money, (I don't know how he got it,) and Paddy Pie made good friends with him, and got him from the Rookery, and then all his money. I used to think all the money in the Points found its way either to the house of Paddy Pie, or the Bottomless Pit at the house of the 'Nine Nations,' and all the clothes to the sign of the 'Three Martyrs,' which the man with the eagle face kept round the corner.
"English used to say in one of his troubled fits, 'I'd like to be a respectable man, and get out of this, if there was a chance, and do something for you, George. There's no chance, you see.' And when we went into Broadway, which we did now and then, and saw what another world it was, and how rich everything looked, English used to shake his head and say, 'they don't know how we live, George.'
"Paddy Pie soon quarrelled with English, and being penniless again we had to shift for ourselves. English didn't like to go back to Mrs. McCarty, so we used to sleep at Mrs. Sullivan's cellar in 'Cut Throat Alley.' And Mrs. Sullivan's cellar was only about twelve feet by twenty, and high enough to stand up in, and wet enough for anything, and so overrun with rats and vermin that we couldn't sleep. There were nine rag-beds in the cellar, which as many as twenty-three would sometimes sleep on, or, if they were not too tipsy, try to sleep on. And folks used to come into the cellar at night, and be found dead in the morning. This made such a fuss in the neighborhood (there was always a fuss when Old Bones, the coroner, was about), and frightened so many, that Mrs. Sullivan couldn't get lodgers for weeks. She used to nail no end of horse-shoes over the door to keep out the ghosts of them that died last. But it was a long while before her lodgers got courage enough to come back. Then we went to the house of the Blazers, in 'Cow Bay,' and used to lodge there with Yellow Bill. They said Bill was a thief by profession; but I wasn't old enough to be a judge. Little Lizza Rock, the nondescript, as people called her, used to live at the Blazers. Poor Lizza had a hard time of it, and used to sigh and say she wished she was dead. Nobody thought of her, she said, and she was nothing because she was deformed, and a cripple. She was about four feet high, had a face like a bull-dog, and a swollen chest, and a hunchback, a deformed leg, and went with a crutch. She never combed her hair, and what few rags she had on her back hung in filth. What few shillings she got were sure to find their way either into Bill's pocket, or send her tipsy into the 'Bottomless Pit' of the house of the 'Nine Nations.' There was in the Bottomless Pit a never-ending stream of gin that sent everybody to the Tombs, and from the Tombs to the grave. But Lizza was good to me, and used to take care of me, and steal little things for me from old Dan Sullivan, who begged in Broadway, and let Yellow Bill get his money, by getting him tipsy. And I got to liking Lizza, for we both seemed to have no one in the world who cared for us but English. And there was always some trouble between the Blazers and the people at the house of the 'Nine Nations.'
"Well, English was hard to do for some time, and through necessity, which he said a deal about, we were driven out of every place we had sought shelter in. And English did something they sent him up for a twelve-month for, and I was left to get on as I could. I was took in by 'Hard-Fisted Sall,' who always wore a knuckle-duster, and used to knock everybody down she met, and threatened a dozen times to whip Mr. Fitzgerald, the detective, and used to rob every one she took in tow, and said if she could only knock down and rob the whole pumpkin-headed corporation she should die easy, for then she would know she had done a good thing for the public, whose money they were squandering without once thinking how the condition of such wretches as herself could be bettered.
"English died before he had been up two months. And death reconciled the little difficulty between him and the McCartys; and old Mrs. McCarty's liking for him came back, and she went crying to the Bellevue and begged them, saying she was his mother, to let her take his body away and bury it. They let her have it, and she brought it away to the rookery, in a red coffin, and got a clean sheet of the Blazers, and hung it up beside the coffin, and set four candles on a table, and a little cross between them, and then borrowed a Bible with a cross on it, and laid it upon the coffin. Then they sent for me. I cried and kissed poor English, for poor English was the only father I knew, and he was good to me. I never shall forget what I saw in that little room that night. I found a dozen friends and the McCartys there, forming a half-circle of curious and demoniacal faces, peering over the body of English, whose face, I thought, formed the only repose in the picture. There were two small pictures-one of the Saviour, and the other of Kossuth-hung at the head and feet of the corpse; and the light shed a lurid paleness over the living and the dead. And detective Fitzgerald and another gentleman looked in.
"'Who's here to-night?' says Fitzgerald, in a friendly sort of way.
"'God love ye, Mr. Fitzgerald, poor English is gone! Indeed, then, it was the will of the Lord, and He's taken him from us-poor English!' says Mrs. McCarty. And Fitzgerald, and the gentleman with him, entered the den, and they shuddered and sat down at the sight of the face in the coffin. 'Sit down, Mr. Fitzgerald, do!—and may the Lord love ye! There was a deal of good in poor English. He's gone-so he is!' said Mrs. McCarty, begging them to sit down, and excuse the disordered state of her few rags. She had a hard struggle to live, God knows. They took off their hats, and sat a few minutes in solemn silence. The rags moved at the gentleman's side, which made him move towards the door. 'What is there, my good woman?' he inquired. 'She's a blessed child, Mr. Fitzgerald knows that same:' says Mrs. McCarty, turning down the rags and revealing the wasted features of her youngest girl, a child eleven years old, sinking in death. 'God knows she'll be better in heaven, and herself won't be long out of it,' Mrs. McCarty twice repeated, maintaining a singular indifference to the hand of death, already upon the child. The gentleman left some money to buy candles for poor English, and with Mr. Fitzgerald took himself away.
"Near midnight, the tall black figure of solemn-faced Father Flaherty stalked in. He was not pleased with the McCartys, but went to the side of the dying child, fondled her little wasted hand in his own, and whispered a prayer for her soul. Never shall I forget how innocently she looked in his face while he parted the little ringlets that curled over her brow, and told her she would soon have a better home in a better world. Then he turned to poor English, and the cross, and the candles, and the pictures, and the living faces that gave such a ghastliness to the picture. Mrs. McCarty brought him a basin of water, over which he muttered, and made it holy. Then he again muttered some unintelligible sentences, and sprinkled the water over the dying child, over the body of poor English, and over the living-warning Mrs. McCarty and her daughters, as he pointed to the coffin. Then he knelt down, and they all knelt down, and he prayed for the soul of poor English, and left. What holy water then was left, Mrs. McCarty placed near the door, to keep the ghosts out.
"The neighbors at the Blazers took a look in, and a few friends at the house of the 'Nine Nations' took a look in, and 'Fighting Mary,' of Murderer's Alley, took a look in, and before Father Flaherty had got well out of 'Cow Bay,' it got to be thought a trifle of a wake would console Mrs. McCarty's distracted feelings. 'Hard-fisted Sall' came to take a last look at poor English; and she said she would spend her last shilling over poor English, and having one, it would get a drop, and a drop dropped into the right place would do Mrs. McCarty a deal of good.
"And Mrs. McCarty agreed that it wouldn't be amiss, and putting with Sall's shilling the money that was to get the candles, I was sent to the 'Bottomless Pit' at the house of the 'Nine Nations,' where Mr. Crown had a score with the old woman, and fetched away a quart of his gin, which they said was getting the whole of them. The McCartys took a drop, and the girls took a drop, and the neighbors took a drop, and they all kept taking drops, and the drops got the better of them all. One of the Miss McCartys got to having words with 'Fighting Mary,' about an old affair in which poor English was concerned, and the words got to blows, when Mr. Flanegan at the Blazers stepped in to make peace. But the whole house got into a fight, and the lights were put out, the corpse knocked over, and the child (it was found dead in the morning) suffocated with the weight of bodies felled in the melee. The noise and cries of murder brought the police rushing in, and most of them were dragged off to the Station; and the next day being Sunday, I wandered homeless and friendless into Sheriff street. Poor English was taken in charge by the officers. They kept him over Monday to see if any one would come up and claim him. No one came for him; no one knew more of him than that he went by the name of English; no one ever heard him say where he came from-he never said a word about my mother, or whether he had a relation in the world. He was carted off to Potter's Field and buried. That was the last of poor English.
"We seldom got much to eat in the Points, and I had not tasted food for twenty-four hours. I sat down on the steps of a German grocery, and was soon ordered away by the keeper. Then I wandered into a place they called Nightmare's Alley, where three old wooden buildings with broken-down verandas stood, and were inhabited principally by butchers. I sat down on the steps of one, and thought if I only had a mother, or some one to care for me, and give me something to eat, how happy I should be. And I cried. And a great red-faced man came out of the house, and took me in, and gave me something to eat. His name was Mike Mullholland, and he was good to me, and I liked him, and took his name. And he lived with a repulsive looking woman, in a little room he paid ten dollars a month for. He had two big dogs, and worked at day work, in a slaughter-house in Staunton street. The dogs were known in the neighborhood as Mullholland's dogs, and with them I used to sleep on the rags of carpet spread for us in the room with Mullholland and his wife, who I got to calling mother. This is how I took the name of Mullholland. I was glad to leave the Points, and felt as if I had a home. But there was a 'Bottomless Pit' in Sheriff street, and though not so bad as the one at the house of the "Nine Nations," it gave out a deal of gin that the Mullhollands had a liking for. I was continually going for it, and the Mullhollands were continually drinking it; and the whole neighborhood liked it, and in 'Nightmare's Alley' the undertaker found a profitable business.
"In the morning I went with the dogs to the slaughter-house, and there fed them, and took care of the fighting cocks, and brought gin for the men who worked there. In the afternoon I joined the newsboys, as ragged and neglected as myself, gambled for cents, and watched the policemen, whom we called the Charleys. I lived with Mullholland two years, and saw and felt enough to make hardened any one of my age. One morning there came a loud knocking at the door, which was followed by the entrance of two officers. The dogs had got out and bitten a child, and the officers, knowing who owned them, had come to arrest Mullholland. We were all surprised, for the officers recognized in Mullholland and the woman two old offenders. And while they were dragged off to the Tombs, I was left to prey upon the world as best I could. Again homeless, I wandered about with urchins as ragged and destitute as myself. It seemed to me that everybody viewed me as an object of suspicion, for I sought in vain for employment that would give me bread and clothing. I wanted to be honest, and would have lived honest; but I could not make people believe me honest. And when I told who I was, and where I sheltered myself, I was ordered away. Everybody judged me by the filthy shreds on my back; nobody had anything for me to do.
"I applied at a grocer's, to sweep his store and go errands. When I told him where I had lived, he shook his head and ordered me away. Knowing I could fill a place not unknown to me, I applied at a butcher's in Mott street; but he pointed his knife-which left a wound in my feelings-and ordered me away. And I was ordered away wherever I went. The doors of the Chatham theatre looked too fine for me. My ragged condition rebuked me wherever I went, and for more than a week I slept under a cart that stood in Mott street. Then Tom Farley found me, and took me with him to his cellar, in Elizabeth street, where we had what I thought a good bed of shavings. Tom sold Heralds, gambled for cents, and shared with me, and we got along. Then Tom stole a dog, and the dog got us into a deal of trouble, which ended with getting us both into the Tombs, where Tom was locked up. I was again adrift, as we used to call it, and thought of poor Tom a deal. Every one I met seemed higher up in the world than I was. But I got into Centre Market, carried baskets, and did what I could to earn a shilling, and slept in Tom's bed, where there was some nights fifteen and twenty like myself.
"One morning, while waiting a job, my feet and hands benumbed with the cold, a beautiful lady slipped a shilling into my hand and passed on. To one penniless and hungry, it seemed a deal of money. Necessity had almost driven me to the sign of the 'Three Martyrs,' to see what the man of the eagle face would give me on my cap, for they said the man at the 'Three Martyrs' lent money on rags such as I had. I followed the woman, for there was something so good in the act that I could not resist it. She entered a fine house in Leonard street.
"You must now go with me into the den of Hag Zogbaum, in 'Scorpion Cove;' and 'Scorpion Cove' is in Pell street. Necessity next drove me there. It is early spring, we will suppose; and being in the Bowery, we find the streets in its vicinity reeking with putrid matter, hurling pestilence into the dark dwellings of the unknown poor, and making thankful the coffin-maker, who in turn thanks a nonundertaking corporation for the rich harvest. The muck is everywhere deep enough for hogs and fat aldermen to wallow in, and would serve well the purposes of a supper-eating corporation, whose chief business it was to fatten turtles and make Presidents.
"We have got through the muck of the mucky Bowery. Let us turn to the left as we ascend the hill from Chatham street, and into a narrow, winding way, called Doyer's street. Dutch Sophy, then, as now, sits in all the good nature of her short, fat figure, serving her customers with ices, at three cents. Her cunning black eyes and cheerful, ruddy face, enhance the air of pertness that has made her a favorite with her customers. We will pass the little wooden shop, where Mr. Saunders makes boots of the latest style, and where old lapstone, with curious framed spectacles tied over his bleared eyes, has for the last forty years been seen at the window trimming welts, and mending every one's sole but his own; we will pass the four story wooden house that the landlord never paints-that has the little square windows, and the little square door, and the two little iron hand rails that curl so crabbedly at the ends, and guard four crabbeder steps that give ingress and egress to its swarm of poor but honest tenants; we will pass the shop where a short, stylish sign tells us Mr. Robertson makes bedsteads; and the little, slanting house a line of yellow letters on a square of black tin tells us is a select school for young ladies, and the bright, dainty looking house with the green shutters, where lives Mr. Vredenburg the carpenter, who, the neighbors say, has got up in the world, and paints his house to show that he feels above poor folks-and find we have reached the sooty and gin-reeking grocery of Mr. Korner, who sells the devil's elixir to the sootier devils that swarm the cellars of his neighbors. The faded blue letters, on a strip of wood nailed to the bricks over his door, tell us he is a dealer in "Imported and other liquors." Next door to Mr. Korner's tipsy looking grocery lives Mr. Muffin, the coffin-maker, who has a large business with the disciples who look in at Korner's. Mrs. Downey, a decent sort of body, who lives up the alley, and takes sixpenny lodgers by the dozen, may be seen in great tribulation with her pet pig, who, every day, much to the annoyance of Mr. Korner, manages to get out, and into the pool of decaying matter opposite his door, where he is sure to get stuck, and with his natural propensity, squeals lustily for assistance. Mrs. Downey, as is her habit, gets distracted; and having well abused Mr. Korner for his interference in a matter that can only concern herself and the animal, ventures to her knees in the mire, and having seized her darling pig by the two ears, does, with the assistance of a policeman, who kindly takes him by the tail, extricate his porkship, to the great joy of herself. The animal scampers, grunting, up the alley, as Mr. Korner, in his shirt sleeves, throws his broom after him, and the policeman surlily says he wishes it was the street commissioner.
"We have made the circle of Doyer's street, and find it fortified on Pell street, with two decrepit wooden buildings, that the demand for the 'devil's elixir,' has converted into Dutch groceries, their exteriors presenting the appearance of having withstood a storm of dilapidated clapboards, broken shutters, red herrings, and onions. Mr. Voss looks suspiciously through the broken shutters of his Gibraltar, at his neighbor of the opposite Gibraltar, and is heard to say of his wares that they are none of the best, and that while he sells sixpence a pint less, the article is a shilling a pint better. And there the two Gibraltars stand, apparently infirm, hurling their unerring missiles, and making wreck of everything in the neighborhood.
"We have turned down Pell street toward Mott, and on the north side a light-colored sign, representing a smith in the act of shoeing a horse, attracts the eye, and tells us the old cavern-like building over which it swings, is where Mr. Mooney does smithwork and shoeing. And a little further on, a dash of yellow and white paint on a little sign-board at the entrance of an alley, guarded on one side by a broken-down shed, and on the other, by a three-story, narrow, brick building (from the windows of which trail long water-stains, and from the broken panes a dozen curious black heads, of as many curious eyed negroes protrude), tells us somewhat indefinitely, that Mister Mills, white-washer and wall-colorer, may be found in the neighborhood, which, judging from outward appearances, stands much in need of this good man's services. Just keep your eye on the sign of the white-washer and wall-colorer, and passing up the sickly alley it tells you Mister Mills may be found in, you will find yourself (having picked your way over putrid matter, and placed your perfumed cambric where it will protect your lungs from the inhalation of pestilential air,) in the cozy area of 'Scorpion Cove.' Scorpion Cove is bounded at one end by a two-story wooden house, with two decayed and broken verandas in front, and rickety steps leading here and there to suspicious looking passages, into which, and out of which a never-ending platoon of the rising generation crawl and toddle, keep up a cheap serenade, and like rats, scamper away at the sight of a stranger; and on the other, by the back of the brick house with the negro-headed front. At the sides are two broken-down board fences, and forming a sort of net-work across the cove, are an innumerable quantity of unoccupied clothes-lines, which would seem only to serve the mischievous propensities of young negroes and the rats. There is any quantity of rubbish in 'Scorpion Cove,' and any amount of disease-breeding cesspools; but the corporation never heard of 'Scorpion Cove,' and wouldn't look into it if it had. If you ask me how it came to be called 'Scorpion Cove,' I will tell you. The brick house at one end was occupied by negroes; and the progeny of these negroes swarmed over the cove, and were called scorpions. The old house of the verandas at the other end, and which had an air of being propped up after a shock of paralysis, was inhabited by twenty or more families, of the Teutonic race, whose numerous progeny, called the hedge-hogs, were more than a match for the scorpions, and with that jealousy of each other which animates these races did the scorpions and hedge-hogs get at war. In the morning the scorpions would crawl up through holes in the cellar, through broken windows, through the trap-doors, down the long stairway that wound from the second and third stories over the broken pavilion, and from nobody could tell where-for they came, it seems, from every rat-hole, and with rolling white eyes, marshalled themselves for battle. The hedgehogs mustering in similar strength, and springing up from no one could tell where, would set upon the scorpions, and after a goodly amount of wallowing in the mire, pulling hair and wool, scratching faces and pommeling noses, the scorpions being alternately the victors and vanquished, the war would end at the appearance of Hag Zogbaum, who, with her broom, would cause the scorpions to beat a hasty retreat. The hedge-hogs generally came off victorious, for they were the stronger race. But the old hedge-hogs got much shattered in time by the broadsides of the two Gibraltars, which sent them broadside on into the Tombs. And this passion of the elder hedge-hogs for getting into the Tombs, caused by degrees a curtailing of the younger hedge-hogs. And this falling off in the forces of the foe, singularly inspirited the scorpions, who mustered courage, and after a series of savage battles, in which there was a notorious amount of wool-pulling gained the day. And this is how 'Scorpion Cove' got its name.
"Hag Zogbaum lived in the cellar of the house with the verandas; and old Dan Sullivan and the rats had possession of the garret. In the cellar of this woman, whose trade was the fostering of crime in children as destitute as myself, there was a bar and a back cellar, where as many as twenty boys and girls slept on straw and were educated in vice. She took me into her nursery, and I was glad to get there, for I had no other place to go.
"In the morning we were sent out to pilfer, to deceive the credulous, and to decoy others to the den. Some were instructed by Hag Zogbaum to affect deaf and dumb, to plead the starving condition of our parents, to, in a word, enlist the sympathies of the credulous with an hundred different stories. We were all stimulated by a premium being held out to the most successful. Some were sent out to steal pieces of iron, brass, copper, and old junk; and these Hag Zogbaum would sell or give to the man who kept the junk-shop in Stanton street, known as the rookery at the corner. (This man lived with Hag Zogbaum.) We returned at night with our booty, and re- ceived our wages in gin or beer. The unsuccessful were set down as victims of bad luck. Now and then the old woman would call us a miserable lot of wretches she was pestered to take care of. At one time there were in this den of wretchedness fifteen girls from seven to eleven years old, and seven boys under eleven-all being initiated into the by-ways of vice and crime. Among the girls were Italians, Germans, Irish, and-shall I say it?-Americans! It was curious to see what means the old hag would resort to for the purpose of improving their features after they had arrived at a certain age. She had a purpose in this; and that purpose sprang from that traffic in depravity caused by the demands of a depraved society, a theme on her lips continually."
A CONTINUATION OF GEORGE MULLHOLLAND'S HISTORY.
"HAVING served well the offices of felons and impostors, Hag Zogbaum would instruct her girls in the mysteries of licentiousness. When they reached a certain age, their personal appearance was improved, and one by one they were passed into the hands of splendidly- dressed ladies, as we then took them to be, who paid a sum for them to Hag Zogbaum, and took them away; and that was the last we saw of them. They had no desire to remain in their miserable abode, and were only too glad to get away from it. In most cases they were homeless and neglected orphans; and knowing no better condition, fell easy victims to the snares set for them.
"It was in this dark, cavern-like den—in this mysterious caldron of precocious depravity, rioting unheeded in the very centre of a great city, whose boasted wealth and civilization it might put to shame, if indeed it were capable of shame, I first met the child of beauty, Anna Bonard. Yes!—the Anna Bonard you now see at the house of Madame Flamingo. At that time she was but seven years old—a child of uncommon beauty and aptness, of delicate but well-proportioned features, of middle stature, and a face that care might have made charming beyond comparison. But vice hardens, corrodes, and gives a false hue to the features. Anna said she was an orphan. How far this was true I know not. A mystery shrouded the way in which she fell into the hands of Hag Zogbaum. Hag Zogbaum said she got her of an apple-woman; and the apple-woman kept a stand in West street, but never would disclose how she came by Anna. And Mr. Tom Toddleworth, who was the chronicle of the Points, and used to look into 'Scorpion Cove' now and then, and inquire about Anna, as if he had a sort of interest in her, they said knew all about her. But if he did, he always kept it a secret between himself and Hag Zogbaum.
"She was always of a melancholy turn, used to say life was but a burden to her-that she could see nothing in the future that did not seem dark and tortuous. The lot into which she was cast of necessity others might have mistaken for that which she had chosen. It was not. The hard hand of necessity had forced her into this quicksand of death; the indifference of a naturally generous community, robbed her of the light of intelligence, and left her a helpless victim in the hands of this cultivator of vice. How could she, orphan as she was called, and unencouraged, come to be a noble and generous-hearted woman? No one offered her the means to come up and ornament her sex; but tyrannical society neither forgets her misfortunes nor forgives her errors. Once seal the death-warrant of a woman's errors, and you have none to come forward and cancel it; the tomb only removes the seal. Anna took a liking to me, and was kind to me, and looked to me to protect her. And I loved her, and our love grew up, and strengthened; and being alike neglected in the world, our condition served as the strongest means of cementing our attachment.
"Hag Zogbaum then sent Anna away to the house up the alley, in Elizabeth street, where she sent most of her girls when they had reached the age of eleven and twelve. Hag Zogbaum had many places for her female pupils. The very best looking always went a while to the house in the alley; the next best looking were sure to find their way into the hands of Miss Brown, in Little Water street, and Miss Brown, they said, sold them to the fairies of the South, who dressed them in velvet and gold; and the 'scrubs,' as the old woman used to call the rest, got, by some mysterious process, into the hands of Paddy Pie and Tim Branahan, who kept shantees in Orange street.
"Anna had been away some time, and Mr. Tom Toddleworth had several times been seen to look in and inquire for her. Mr. Toddleworth said he had a ripping bid for her. At that time I was ignorant of its meaning. Harry Rooney and me were sent to the house in Elizabeth street, one morning, to bring Anna and another girl home. The house was large, and had an air of neatness about it that contrasted strangely with the den in 'Scorpion Cove.' We rang the bell and inquired for the girls, who, after waiting nearly an hour, were sent down to us, clean and neatly dressed. In Anna the change was so great, that though I had loved her, and thought of her day and night during her absence, I scarce recognized her. So glad did she seem to see me that she burst into tears, flung her arms about my neck, and kissed me with the fondness of a sister. Then she recounted with childlike enthusiasm the kind treatment she had received at the house of Madame Harding (for such it was called), between whom and Hag Zogbaum there was carried on a species of business I am not inclined to designate here. Two kind and splendidly-dressed ladies, Anna said, called to see them nearly every day, and were going to take them away, that they might live like fairies all the rest of their lives.
"When we got home, two ladies were waiting at the den. It was not the first time we had seen them at the den. Anna recognized them as the ladies she had seen at Madame Harding's. One was the woman who so kindly gave me the shilling in the market, when I was cold and hungry. A lengthy whispering took place between Hag Zogbaum and the ladies, and we were ordered into the back cellar. I knew the whispering was about Anna; and watching through the boards I heard the Hag say Anna was fourteen and nothing less, and saw one of the ladies draw from her purse numerous pieces of gold, which were slipped into her hand. In a few minutes more I saw poor little Anna follow her up the steps that led into 'Scorpion Cove.' When we were released Hag was serving ragged and dejected-looking men with gin and beer. Anna, she said when I inquired, had gone to a good home in the country. I loved her ardently, and being lonesome was not content with the statement of the old woman. I could not read, but had begun to think for myself, and something told me all was not right. For weeks and months I watched at the house in Leonard street, into which I had followed the woman who gave me the shilling. But I neither saw her nor the woman. Elegant carriages, and elegantly-dressed men drove to and from the door, and passed in and out of the house, and the house seemed to have a deal of fashionable customers, and that was all I knew of it then.
"As I watched one night, a gentleman came out of the house, took me by the arm and shook me, said I was a loitering vagrant, that he had seen me before, and having a suspicious look he would order the watch to lock me up. He inquired where my home was; and when I told him it was in 'Scorpion Cove,' he replied he didn't know where that was. I told him it wasn't much of a home, and he said I ought to have a better one. It was all very well to say so; but with me the case was different. That night I met Tom Farley, who was glad to see me, and told how he got out of the lock-up, and what he thought of the lock-up, and the jolly old Judge who sent him to the lock-up, and who he saw in the lock-up, and what mischief was concocted in the lock-up, and what he got to eat in the lock-up, and how the lock-up wasn't so bad a place after all.