1.43. MR. BLOWHARD.
The reader has probably met Mr. Blowhard. He is usually round. You find him in all public places. He is particularly "numerous" at shows. Knows all the actors intimately. Went to school with some of 'em. Knows how much they get a month to a cent, and how much liquor they can hold to a teaspoonful. He knows Ned Forrest like a book. Has taken sundry drinks with Ned. Ned likes him much. Is well acquainted with a certain actress. Could have married her just as easy as not if he had wanted to. Didn't like her "style," and so concluded not to marry her. Knows Dan Rice well. Knows all of his men and horses. Is on terms of affectionate intimacy with Dan's rhinoceros, and is tolerably well acquainted with the performing elephant. We encountered Mr. Blowhard at the circus yesterday. He was entertaining those near him with a full account of the whole institution, men, boys, horses, "muils" and all. He said the rhinoceros was perfectly harmless, as his teeth had all been taken out in infancy. Besides, the rhinoceros was under the influence of opium while he was in the ring, which entirely prevented his injuring anybody. No danger whatever. In due course of time the amiable beast was led into the ring. When the cord was taken from his nose, he turned suddenly and manifested a slight desire to run violently in among some boys who were seated near the musicians. The keeper, with the assistance of one of the Bedouin Arabs, soon induced him to change his mind, and got him in the middle of the ring. The pleasant quadruped had no sooner arrived here than he hastily started, with a melodious bellow, towards the seats on one of which sat Mr. Blowhard. Each particular hair on Mr. Blowhard's head stood up "like squills upon the speckled porkupine" (Shakspeare or Artemus Ward, we forget which), and he fell, with a small shriek, down through the seats to the ground. He remained there until the agitated rhinoceros became calm, when he crawled slowly back to his seat.
"Keep mum," he said, with a very wise shake of the head "I only wanted to have some fun with them folks above us. I swar, I'll bet the whisky they thought I was scared!" Great character that Blowhard.
1.44. MARKET MORNING.
"Hurrah! this is market day, Up, lads, and gaily away!"—Old Comedy.
On market mornings there is a roar and a crash all about the corner of Kinsman and Pittsburg Streets. The market building—so called, we presume, because it don't in the least resemble a market building—is crowded with beef and butchers, and almost countless meat and vegetable wagons, of all sorts, are confusedly huddled together all around outside. These wagons mostly come from a few miles out of town, and are always on the spot at daybreak. A little after sunrise the crash and jam commences, and continues with little cessation until ten o'clock in the forenoon. There is a babel of tongues, an excessively cosmopolitan gathering of people, a roar of wheels, and a lively smell of beef and vegetables. The soap man, the headache curative man, the razor man, and a variety of other tolerable humbugs, are in full blast. We meet married men with baskets in their hands. Those who have been fortunate in their selections look happy, while some who have been unlucky wear a dejected air, for they are probably destined to get pieces of their wives' minds on their arrival home. It is true, that all married men have their own way, but the trouble is they don't all have their own way of having it! We meet a newly-married man. He has recently set up housekeeping. He is out to buy steak for breakfast. There are only himself and wife and female domestic in the family. He shows us his basket, which contains steak enough for at least ten able-bodied men. We tell him so, but he says we don't know anything about war, and passes on. Here comes a lady of high degree, who has no end of servants to send to the market, but she likes to come herself, and it won't prevent her shining and sparkling in her elegant drawing-room this afternoon. And she is accumulating muscle and freshness of face by these walks to market.
And here IS a charming picture. Standing beside a vegetable cart is a maiden beautiful and sweeter far than any daisy in the fields. Eyes of purest blue, lips of cherry red, teeth like pearls, silken, golden hair, and form of exquisite mould. We wonder if she is a fairy, but instantly conclude that she is not, for in measuring out a peck of onions she spills some of them; a small boy laughs at the mishap, and she indignantly shies the measure at his head. Fairies, you know, don't throw peck measures at small boys' heads. The spell was broken. The golden chain which for a moment bound us fell to pieces. We meet an eccentric individual in corduroy pantaloons and pepper-and-salt coat, who wants to know if we didn't sail out of Nantucket in 1852 in the whaling brig "Jasper Green." We are compelled to confess that the only nautical experience we ever had was to once temporarily command a canal boat on the dark-rolling Wabash, while the captain went ashore to cave in the head of a miscreant who had winked lasciviously at the sylph who superintended the culinary department on board that gallant craft. The eccentric individual smiles in a ghastly manner, says perhaps we won't lend him a dollar till tomorrow; to which we courteously reply that we CERTAINLY won't, and he glides away.
We return to our hotel, reinvigorated with the early, healthful jaunt, and bestow an imaginary purse of gold upon our African Brother, who brings us a hot and excellent breakfast.
1.45. WE SEE TWO WITCHES.
Two female fortune-tellers recently came hither, and spread "small bills" throughout the city. Being slightly anxious, in common with a wide circle of relatives and friends, to know where we were going to, and what was to become of us, we visited both of these eminently respectable witches yesterday and had our fortune told "twict." Physicians sometimes disagree, lawyers invariably do, editors occasionally fall out, and we are pained to say that even witches unfold different tales to one individual. In describing our interviews with these singularly gifted female women, who are actually and positively here in this city, we must speak considerably of "we"—not because we flatter ourselves that we are more interesting than people in general, but because in the present case it is really necessary. In the language of Hamlet's Pa, "List, O list!"
We went to see "Madame B." first. She has rooms at the Burnett House. The following is a copy of her bill:—
THE CELEBRATED SPANISH ASTROLOGIST, CLAIRVOYANT AND FEMALE DOCTRESS,
Would respectfully announce to the citizens that she has just arrived in this city, and designs remaining for a few days only.
The Madame can be consulted on all matters pertaining to life— either past, present, or future—tracing the line of life from Infancy to Old Age, particularizing each event, in regard to
Business, Love, Marriage, Courtship, Losses, Law Matters, and Sickness of Relatives and Friends at a distance.
The Madame will also show her visitors a life-like representation of their Future Husbands and Wives.
LUCKY NUMBERS IN LOTTERIES
Can also be selected by her, and hundreds who have consulted her have drawn capital prizes. The Madame will furnish medicine for all diseases, for grown persons (male or female) and children.
Persons wishing to consult her concerning this mysterious art and human destiny, particularly with reference to their own individual bearing in relation to a supposed Providence, can be accommodated by
ROOM NO. 23, BURNETT HOUSE,
Corner of Prospect and Ontario streets, Cleveland.
The Madame has traveled extensively for the last few years, both in the United States and the West Indies, and the success which has attended her in all places has won for her the reputation of being the most wonderful Astrologist of the present age.
The Madame has a superior faculty for this business, having been born with a Caul on her Face, by virtue of which she can more accurately read the past, present, and future; also enabling her to cure many diseases without using drugs or medicines. The madame advertises nothing but what she can do. Call on her if you would consult the greatest Foreteller of events now living.
Hours of Consultation, from 8 A.M. to 9 o'clock P.M.
We urbanely informed the lady with the "Caul on her Face" that we had called to have our fortune told, and she said, "Hand out your money." This preliminary being settled, Madame B. (who is a tall, sharp-eyed, dark-featured and angular woman, dressed in painfully positive colors, and heavily loaded with gold chain and mammoth jewelry of various kinds) and Jupiter indicated powerful that we were a slim constitution, which came down on to us from our father's side. Wherein our constitution was not slim, so it came down on to us from our mother's side.
"Is this so?"
And we said it was.
"Yes," continued the witch, "I know'd 'twas. You can't deceive Jupiter, me, nor any other planick. You may swim same as Leander did, but you can't deceive the planicks. Give me your hand! Times ain't so easy as they has been. So—so—but 'tis temp'ry. 'Twon't last long. Times will be easy soon. You may be tramped on to onct or twict, but you'll rekiver. You have talenk, me child. You kin make a Congresser if sich you likes to be. [We said we would be excused, if it was all the same to her.] You kin be a lawyer. [We thanked her, but said we would rather retain our present good moral character.] You kin be a soldier. You have courage enough to go to the Hostrian wars and kill the French. [We informed her that we had already murdered some "English."] You won't have much money till you're thirty-three years of old. Then you will have large sums— forty thousand dollars, perhaps. Look out for it! [We promised we would.] You have traveled some, and you will travel more, which will make your travels more extensiver than they has been. You will go to Californy by way of Pike's Pick. [Same route taken by Horace Greeley.] If nothin happens onto you, you won't meet with no accidents and will get through pleasant, which you otherwise will not do under all circumstances however, which doth happen to all, both great and small, likewise to the rich as also the poor. Hearken to me! There has been deaths in your family, and there will be more! But Reserve your constitution and you will live to be seventy years of old. Me child, HER hair will be black—black as the Raving's wing. Likewise black will also be her eyes, and she'll be as different from which you air as night and day. Look out for the darkish man! He's yer rival! Beware of the darkish man! [We promised that we'd introduce a funeral into the "darkish man's" family the moment we encountered him.] Me child, there's more sunshine than clouds for ye, and send all your friends up here.
"A word before you goes. Expose not yourself. Your eyes is saller, which is on accounts of bile on your systim. Some don't have bile on to their systims which their eyes is not saller. This bile ascends down on to you from many generations which is in their graves, and peace to their ashes."
We then proceeded directly to Madame Crompton, the other fortune- teller.
Below is her bill:—
MADAME R. CROMPTON,
The World-Renowned Fortune-Teller and Astrologist.
Madame Crompton begs leave to inform the citizens of Cleveland and vicinity that she has taken rooms at the
FARMERS' ST CLAIR HOUSE,
Corner of St Clair and Water Streets,
Where she may be consulted on all matters pertaining to Past and Future Events.
Also giving Information of Absent friends, whether Living or Dead.
P.S.—Persons having lost or having property stolen of any kind, will do well to give her a call, as she will describe the person or persons with such accuracy as will astonish the most devout critic.
She has rooms at the Farmers' Hotel, as stated in the bill above. She was driving an extensive business, and we were forced to wait half an hour or so for a chance to see her. Madame Crompton is of the English persuasion, and has evidently searched many long years in vain for her H. She is small in stature, but considerably inclined to corpulency, and her red round face is continually wreathed in smiles, reminding one of a new tin pan basking in the noonday sun. She took a greasy pack of common playing cards, and requested us to "cut them in three," which we did. She spread them out before her on the table, and said:—
"Sir to you which I speaks. You 'av been terrible crossed in love, and your 'art 'as been much panged. But you'll get over it and marry a light complected gale with rayther reddish 'air. Before some time you'll have a legercy fall down on to you, mostly in solick Jold. There may be a lawsuit about it, and you may be sup-prisoned as a witnesses, but you'll git it—mostly in solick Jold, which you will keep in chists, and you must look out for them. [We said we would keep a skinned optic on "them chists."] You 'as a enemy, and he's a lightish man. He wants to defraud you out of your 'onesty. He is tellink lies about you now in the 'opes of crushin yourself. [A weak invention of "the opposition."] You never did nothin bad. Your 'art is right. You 'ave a great taste for hosses and like to stay with 'em. Mister to you I sez: Gard aginst the lightish man and all will be well."
The supernatural being then took an oval-shaped chunk of glass (which she called a stone) and requested us to "hang on to it." She looked into it and said:
"If you're not keerful when you git your money, you'll lose it, but which otherwise you will not, and fifty cents is as cheap as I kin afford to tell anybody's fortune, and no great shakes made then."
1.46. FROM A HOMELY MAN.
Dear Plain Dealer,—I am a plain man, and there is a melancholy fitness in my unbosoming my sufferings to the "Plain" Dealer. Plain as you may be in your dealings, however, I am convinced you never before had to DEAL with a correspondent so hopelessly plain as I. Yet plain don't half express my looks. Indeed I doubt very much whether any word in the English language could be found to convey an adequate idea on my absolute and utter homeliness. The dates in the old family Bible show that I am in the decline of life, but I cannot recall a period in my existence when I felt really young. My very infancy, those brief months when babes prattle joyously and know nothing of care, was darkened by a shadowy presentiment of what I was to endure through life, and my youth was rendered dismal by continued repetitions of a fact painfully evident "on the face of it," that the boy was growing homelier and homelier every day. Memory, that with other people recalls so much that is sweet and pleasant to think of in connection with their youth, with me brings up nothing but mortification, bitter tears, I had almost said curses, on my solitary and homely lot. I have wished—a thousand times wished—that Memory had never consented to take a seat "in this distracted globe."
You have heard of a man so homely that he couldn't sleep nights, his face ached so. Mr. Editor, I am that melancholy individual. Whoever perpetrated the joke—for joke it was no doubt intended to be—knew not how much truth he was uttering, or how bitterly the idle squib would rankle in the heart of one suffering man. Many and many a night have I in my childhood laid awake thinking of my homeliness, and as the moonlight has streamed in at the window and fell upon the handsome and placid features of my little brother slumbering at my side, Heaven forgive me for the wicked thought, but I have felt an almost unconquerable impulse to forever disfigure and mar that sweet upturned innocent face that smiled and looked so beautiful in sleep, for it was ever reminding me of the curse I was doomed to carry about me. Many and many a night have I got up in my nightdress, and lighting my little lamp, sat for hours gazing at my terrible ugliness of face reflected in the mirror, drawn to it by a cruel fascination which it was impossible for me to resist.
I need not tell you that I am a single man, and yet I have had what men call affairs of the heart. I have known what it is to worship the heart's embodiment of female loveliness, and purity, and truth, but it was generally at a distance entirely safe to the object of my adoration. Being of a susceptible nature, I was continually falling in love, but never, save with one single exception, did I venture to declare my flame. I saw my heart's palpitator walking in a grove. Moved by my consuming love, I rushed towards her, and throwing myself at her feet began to pour forth the long-pent-up emotions of my heart. She gave one look and then
"Shrieked till all the rocks replied;"
at least you'd thought they replied if you had seen me leave that grove with a speed greatly accelerated by a shower of rocks from the hands of an enraged brother, who was at hand. That prepossessing young lady is now slowly recovering her reason in an institution for the insane.
Of my further troubles I may perhaps inform you at some future time.
1.47. THE ELEPHANT.
Some two years since, on the strength of what we regarded as reliable information, we announced the death of the elephant Hannibal, at Canton, and accompanied the announcement with a short sketch of that remarkable animal. We happened to be familiar with several interesting incidents in the private life of Hannibal, and our sketch was copied by almost every paper in America and by several European journals. A few months ago a "traveled" friend showed us the sketch in a Parisian journal, and possibly it is "going the rounds" of the Chinese papers by this time. A few days after we had printed his obituary Hannibal came to town with Van Amburgh's Menagerie, and the same type which killed the monster restored him to life again.
About once a year Hannibal
"Gets on a spree, And goes bobbin around."
to make a short quotation from a once popular ballad. These sprees, in fact, "is what's the matter with him."
The other day, in Williamsburg, Long Island, he broke loose in the canvas, emptied most of the cages, and tore through the town like a mammoth pestilence. An extensive crowd of athletic men, by jabbing him with spears and pitchforks, and coiling big ropes around his legs, succeeded in capturing him. The animals he had set free were caught and restored to their cages without much difficulty.
We doubt if we shall ever forget our first view of Hannibal—which was also our first view of any elephant—of THE elephant, in short. It was at the close of a sultry day in June, 18—. The sun had spent its fury and was going to rest among the clouds of gold and crimson. A solitary horseman might have been seen slowly ascending a long hill in a New England town. That solitary horseman was us, and we were mounted on the old white mare. Two bags were strapped to the foaming steed. That was before we became wealthy, and of course we are not ashamed to say that we had been to mill, and consequently THEM bags contained flour and middlins. Presently a large object appeared at the top of the hill. We had heard of the devil, and had been pretty often told that he would have a clear deed and title to us before long, but had never heard him painted like the object which met our gaze at the top of that hill on the close of sultry day in June. Concluding (for we were a mere youth) that it was an eccentric whale, who had come ashore near North Yarmouth, and was making a tour through the interior on wheels, we hastily turned our steed and made for the mill at a rapid rate. Once we threw over ballast, after the manner of balloonists, and as the object gained on us we cried aloud for our parents. Fortunately we reached the mill in safety, and the object passed at a furious rate, with a portion of a woodshed on its back. It was Hannibal, who had run away from a neighboring town, taking a shed with him.
. . . . .
DRANK STANDIN.—Col. — is a big "railroad man." He attended a railroad supper once. Champagne flowed freely, and the Colonel got more than his share. Speeches were made after the removal of the cloth. Somebody arose and eulogized the Colonel in the steepest possible manner—called him great, good, patriotic, enterprising, &c., &c. The speaker was here interrupted by the illustrious Colonel himself, who arising with considerable difficulty, and beaming benevolently around the table, gravely said, "Let's (hic) drink that sedimunt standin!" It was done.
1.48. HOW THE NAPOLEON OF SELLERS WAS SOLD.
We have read a great many stories of which Winchell, the great wit and mimic, was the hero, showing always how neatly and entirely he sold somebody. Any one who is familiar with Winchell's wonderful powers of mimicry cannot doubt that these stories are all substantially true. But there is one instance which we will relate, or perish in the attempt, where the jolly Winchell was himself sold. The other evening, while he was conversing with several gentlemen at one of the hotels, a dilapidated individual reeled into the room and halted in front of the stove, where he made wild and unsuccessful efforts to maintain a firm position. He evidently had spent the evening in marching torchlight processions of forty-rod whisky down his throat, and at this particular time was decidedly and disreputably drunk. With a sly wink to the crowd, as much as to say, "We'll have some fun with this individual," Winchell assumed a solemn face, and in a ghostly voice said to one of the company:
"The poor fellow we were speaking of is dead!"
"No?" said the individual addressed.
"Yes," said Winchell; "you know both of his eyes were gouged out, his nose was chawed off, and both of his arms were torn out at the roots. Of course, he could'nt recover."
This was all said for the benefit of the drunken man, who was standing, or trying to stand, within a few feet of Winchell; but he took no sort of notice of it, and was apparently ignorant of the celebrated delineator's presence. Again Winchell endeavored to attract his attention, but utterly failed as before. In a few moments the drunken man staggered out of the room.
"I can generally have a little fun with a drunken man," said Winchell, "but it is no go in this case."
"I suppose you know what ails the man who just went out?" said the "gentlemanly host."
"I perceive he is alarmingly inebriated," said Winchell; "does anything else ail him?"
"Yes," said the host, "HE'S DEAF AND DUMB!"
This was true. There was a "larf," and Winchell, with the remark that he was sorry to see a disposition in that assemblage "to deceive an orphan," called for a light and went gravely to bed.
1.49. ON AUTUMN.
Poets are wont to apostrophize the leafy month of June, and there is no denying that if Spring is "some," June is Summer. But there is a gorgeous magnificence about the habiliments of Nature, and a teeming fruitfulness upon her lap during the autumnal months, and we must confess we have always felt genially inclined towards this season. It is true, when we concentrate our field of vision to the minute garniture of earth, we no longer observe the beautiful petals, nor inhale the fragrance of a gay parterre of the "floral epistles" and "angel-like collections" which Longfellow (we believe) so graphically describes, and which Shortfellows so fantastically carry about in their buttonholes; but we have all their tints reproduced upon a higher and broader canvas in the kaleidoscopic colors with which the sky and the forest daily enchant us, and the beautiful and luscious fruits which Autumn spreads out before us, and
"Crowns the rich promise of the opening Spring."
In another point of view Autumn is suggestive of pleasant reflections. The wearying, wasting heat of Summer, and the deadly blasts with which her breath has for some years been freighted, are past, and the bracing north winds begin to bring balm and healing on their wings. The hurly-burly of travel, and most sorts of publicity (except newspapers), are fast playing out, and we can once more hope to see our friends and relations in the happy sociality of home and fireside enjoyments. Yielding, as we do, the full force to which Autumn is seriously entitled, or rather to the serious reflections and admonitions which the decay of Nature and the dying year always inspire, and admitting the poet's decade—
"Leaves have their time to fall, And stars to set,—but all, Thou hast all seasons for thine own, O Death!"
There is a brighter Autumn beyond, and brighter opening years to those who choose them rather than dead leaves and bitter fruits. Thus we can conclude tranquilly with Bryant, as we began gaily with another—
"So live, that when thy summons comes to join The innumerable caravan, which moves To that mysterious realm, where each shall take His chamber in the silent halls of death, Thou go not, like the quarry-slave at night, Scourged to his dungeon; but, sustained and soothed By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams."
1.50. PAYING FOR HIS PROVENDER BY PRAYING.
We have no intention of making fun of serious matters in telling the following story; we merely relate a fact.
There is a rule at Oberlin College that no student shall board at any house where prayers are not regularly made each day. A certain man fitted up a boarding-house and filled it with boarders, but forgot, until the eleventh hour, the prayer proviso. Not being a praying man himself, he looked around for one who was. At length he found one—a meek young man from Trumbull County—who agreed to pay for his board in praying. For a while all went smoothly, but the boarding-master furnished his table so poorly that the boarders began to grumble and to leave, and the other morning the praying boarder actually "struck!" Something like the following dialogue occurred at the table:—
LANDLORD.—Will you pray, Mr. Mild?
MILD.—No, sir, I will not.
LANDLORD.—Why not, Mr. Mild?
MILD.—It don't pay, sir. I can't pray on such victuals as these. And unless you bind yourself in writing to set a better table than you have for the last three weeks, NARY ANOTHER PRAYER YOU GET OUT OF ME!
And that's the way the matter stood at latest advices.
1.51. HUNTING TROUBLE.
Hunting trouble is too fashionable in this world. Contentment and jollity are not cultivated as they should be. There are too many prematurely-wrinkled long and melancholy faces among us. There is too much swearing, sweating and slashing, fuming, foaming and fretting around and about us all.
"A mad world, my masters."
People rush outdoors bareheaded and barefooted, as it were, and dash blindly into all sorts of dark alleys in quest of all sorts of Trouble, when, "Goodness knows," if they will only sit calmly and pleasantly by their firesides, Trouble will knock soon enough at their doors.
Hunting Trouble is bad business. If we ever are induced to descend from our present proud position to become a member of the Legislature, or ever accumulate sufficient muscle, impudence, and taste for bad liquor to go to Congress, we shall introduce "a william" for the suppression of Trouble-hunting. We know Miss Slinkins, who incessantly frets because Miss Slurkins is better harnessed than she is, won't like it; and we presume the Simpkinses, who worry so much because the Perkinses live in a freestone-fronted house whilst theirs is only plain brick, won't like it also. It is doubtful, too, whether our long-haired friends the Reformers (who think the machinery of the world is all out of joint, while we think it only needs a little greasing to run in first-rate style), will approve the measure. It is probable, indeed, that very many societies, of a reformatory (and inflammatory) character, would frown upon the measure. But the measure would be a good one nevertheless.
Never hunt Trouble. However dead a shot one may be, the gun he carries on such expeditions is sure to kick or go off half-cocked. Trouble will come soon enough, and when he does come, receive him as pleasantly as possible. Like the tax-collector, he is a disagreeable chap to have in one's house, but the more amiably you greet him the sooner he will go away.
1.52. DARK DOINGS.
Four promising young men of this city attended a ball in the rural districts not long since. At a late hour they retired, leaving word with the clerk of the hotel to call them early in the morning, as they wanted to take the first train home. The clerk was an old friend of the "fellers," and he thought he would have a slight joke at their expense. So he burnt some cork, and, with a sponge, blacked the faces of his city friends after they had got soundly asleep. In the morning he called them about ten minutes before the train came along. Feller No. 1 awoke and laughed boisterously at the sight which met his gaze. But he saw through it—the clerk had played his good joke on his three comrades, and of course he would keep mum. But it was a devilish good joke. Feller No. 2 awoke, saw the three black men in the room, comprehended the joke, and laughed vociferously. But he would keep mum. Fellers No. 3 and 4 awoke, and experienced the same pleasant feeling; and there was the beautiful spectacle of four nice young men laughing heartily one at another, each one supposing the "urban clerk" had spared him in his cork-daubing operations. They had only time to dress before the train arrived. They all got aboard, each thinking what a glorious joke it was to have his three companions go back to town with black faces. The idea was so rich that they all commenced laughing violently as soon as they got aboard the cars. The other passengers took to laughing also, and fun raged fast and furious, until the benevolent baggage-man, seeing how matters stood, brought a small pocket-glass and handed it around to the young men. They suddenly stopped laughing, rushed wildly for the baggage-car, washed their faces, and amused and instructed each other during the remainder of the trip with some eloquent flashes of silence.
The following paragraph is going the rounds:—"How many a great man is now basking in the sunshine of fame generously bestowed upon him by the prolific genius of some reporter! How many stupid orations have been made brilliant, how many wandering, pointless, objectless, speeches put in form and rendered at least readable, by the unknown reporter! How many a disheartened speaker, who was conscious the night before of a failure, before a thin, cold, spiritless audience, awakes delighted to learn that he has addressed an overwhelming assemblage of his enthusiastic, appreciating fellow-citizens, to find his speech sparkling with 'cheers,' breaking out into 'immense applause,' and concluding amidst 'the wildest excitement!'"
There is considerable truth in the above, we are sorry to state. Reporters are too apt to smooth over and give a fair face to the stupidity and bombast of political and other public humbugs. For this they are not only seldom thanked, but frequently are kicked. Of course this sort of thing is wrong. A Reporter should be independent enough to meet the approaches of gentlemen of the Nincompoop persuasion with a flat rebuff. He should never gloss over a political humbug, whether he belongs to "our side" or not. He is not thanked for doing it, and, furthermore, he loses the respect and confidence of his readers. There are many amiable gentlemen ornamenting the various walks of life, who are under the impression that for a dozen bad cigars or a few drinks of worse whisky they can purchase the "opinion" of almost any Reporter. It has been our pleasure on several occasions to disabuse those gentlemen of this impression.
Should another occasion of this kind ever offer, we feel that we should be "adequate" to treat it in a similar manner. A Reporter, we modestly submit, is as good as anybody, and ought to feel that he is, everywhere and at all times. For one, let us quietly and without any show of vanity remark, that we are not only just as good as anybody else, but a great deal better than many we know of. We love God and hate Indians: pay our debts; support the Constitution of the United States; go in for Progress, Sunshine, Calico, and other luxuries; are perfectly satisfied and happy, and wouldn't swop "sits" with the President, Louis Napoleon, the Emperor of China, Sultan of Turkey, Brigham Young, or Nicholas Longworth. Success to us!
1.54. HE HAD THE LITTLE VOUCHER IN HIS POCKET.
L— lived in this city several years ago. He dealt in horses, carriages, &c. Hearing of a good chance to sell buggies up West, he embarked with a lot for that "great" country. At Toledo he took a Michigan Southern train. Somebody had by way of a joke, warned him against the conductor of that particular train, telling him that said conductor had an eccentric way of taking up tickets at the beginning of the journey, and of denying that he had done so and demanding fare at the end thereof. This the confiding L— swallowed. He determined not to be swindled in this way, and so when the conductor came around and asked him for his ticket he declined giving up. The conductor insisted. L— still refused.
"I've got the little voucher in my pocket," he said, with a knowing look, slily slapping the pocket which contained the ticket.
The conductor glanced at L—'s stalwart frame. He had heard L— spoken of as a fighting man. He preferred not to grapple with him. The train was a light one, and it so happened that L— was the only man in this, the hind car. So the conductor had the train stopped, and quietly unhitched this car.
"Good day, Mr. L," he yelled; "just keep that little voucher in your pocket, and be d—d to you!"
L— jumped up and saw the other cars moving rapidly away. He was left solitary and alone, in a dismal piece of woods known as the Black Swamp. He remained there in the car until night, when the down-train came along and took him to Toledo. He had to pay fare, his up through-ticket not being good on that train. His buggies had gone unattended to Chicago. He was very angry. He finally got through, but he will never hear the last of that "little voucher."
1.55. THE GENTLEMANLY CONDUCTOR.
Few have any idea of the trials and tribulations of the railway conductor—"the gentlemanly conductor," as one-horse newspapers delight in styling him. Unless you are gifted with the patience of the lamented Job, who, tradition informs us, had "biles" all over his body, and didn't swear once, never go for a Conductor, me boy!
The other evening we enlivened a railroad car with our brilliant presence. Starting time was not quite up, and the passengers were amusing themselves by laughing, swearing, singing, and talking, according to their particular fancy. The Conductor came in, and the following were a few of the questions put to him:—One old fellow, who was wrapped up in a horse-blanket, and who apparently had about two pounds of pigtail in his mouth, wanted to know, "What pint of compass the keers was travelin in?" An old lady, surrounded by band-boxes and enveloped in flannels, wanted to know what time the eight o'clock train left Rock Island for "Dubu-kue?" A carroty-haired young man wanted to know if "free omyibuses" ran from the cars to the taverns in Toledo? A tall, razor-faced individual, evidently from the interior of Connecticut, desired to know if "conductin" paid as well eout West as it did deoun in his country; and a portly, close-shaven man with round keen eyes, and in whose face you could read the interest-table, asked the price of corner lots in Omaha. These and many other equally absurd questions the conductor answered calmly and in a resigned manner. And we shuddered as we thought how he would have to answer a similar string of questions in each of the three cars ahead.
1.56. MORALITY AND GENIUS.
We see it gravely stated in a popular Metropolitan journal that "true genius goes hand in hand, necessarily, with morality." The statement is not a startlingly novel one. It has been made, probably, about sixty thousand times before. But it is untrue and foolish. We wish genius and morality were affectionate companions, but it is a fact that they are often bitter enemies. They don't necessarily coalesce any more than oil and water do! Innumerable instances may be readily produced in support of this proposition. Nobody doubts that Sheridan had genius, yet he was a sad dog. Mr. Byron, the author of Childe Harold "and other poems," was a man of genius, we think, yet Mr. Byron was a fearfully fast man. Edgar A. Poe wrote magnificent poetry and majestic prose, but he was, in private life, hardly the man for small and select tea parties. We fancy Sir Richard Steele was a man of genius, but he got disreputably drunk, and didn't pay his debts. Swift had genius—an immense lot of it—yet Swift was a cold-blooded, pitiless, bad man. The catalogue might be spun out to any length, but it were useless to do it. We don't mean to intimate that men of genius must necessarily be sots and spendthrifts—we merely speak of the fact that very many of them have been both, and in some instances much worse than both. Still we can't well see (though some think they can) how the pleasure and instruction people derive from reading the productions of these great lights is diminished because their morals were "lavishly loose." They might have written better had their private lives been purer, but of this nobody can determine for the pretty good reason that nobody knows.
So with actors. We have seen people stay away from the theater because Mrs. Grundy said the star of the evening invariably retired to his couch in a state of extreme inebriety. If the star is afflicted with a weakness of this kind, we may regret it. We may pity or censure the star. But we must still acknowledge the star's genius, and applaud it. Hence we conclude that the chronic weakness of actors no more affects the question of the propriety of patronizing theatrical representations, than the profligacy of journeymen shoemakers affects the question of the propriety of wearing boots. All of which is respectfully submitted.
1.57. ROUGH BEGINNING OF THE HONEYMOON.
On last Friday morning an athletic young farmer in the town of Waynesburg took a fair girl, "all bathed in blushes," from her parents, and started for the first town across the Pennsylvania line to be married, where the ceremony could be performed without a license. The happy pair were accompanied by a sister of the girl, a tall, gaunt, and sharp-featured female of some thirty-seven summers. The pair crossed the line, were married, and returned to Wellsville to pass the night. People at the hotel where the wedding party stopped observed that they conducted themselves in a rather singular manner. The husband would take his sister-in-law, the tall female aforesaid, into one corner of the parlor and talk earnestly to her gesticulating wildly the while. Then the tall female would "put her foot down" and talk to him in an angry and excited manner. Then the husband would take his fair young bride into a corner, but he could no sooner commence talking to her than the gaunt sister would rush in between them and angrily join in the conversation. The people at the hotel ascertained what all this meant about 9 o'clock that evening. There was an uproar in the room which had been assigned to the newly married couple. Female shrieks and masculine "swears" startled the people at the hotel, and they rushed to the spot. The gaunt female was pressing and kicking against the door of the room, and the newly-married man, mostly undressed, was barring her out with all his might. Occasionally she would kick the door far enough open to disclose the stalwart husband, in his Gentleman Greek Slave apparel. It appeared that the tall female insisted upon occupying the same room with the newly-wedded pair; that her sister was favorably disposed to the arrangement, and that the husband had agreed to it before the wedding took place, and was now indignantly repudiating the contract. "Won't you go away now, Susan, peaceful?" said the newly-married man, softening his voice.
"No," said she, "I won't—so there!"
"Don't you budge an inch!" cried the married sister within the room.
"Now—now, Maria," said the young man to his wife, in a piteous tone, "don't go for to cuttin' up in this way; now don't!"
"I'll cut up's much I wanter!" she sharply replied.
"Well," roared the desperate man, throwing the door wide open and stalking out among the crowd, "well, jest you two wimin put on your duds and go right straight home and bring back the old man and woman, and your grandfather, who is nigh on to a hundred; bring 'em all here, AND I'LL MARRY THE WHOLE D—D CABOODLE OF 'EM AND WE'LL ALL SLEEP TOGETHER!"
The difficulty was finally adjusted by the tall female taking a room alone. Wellsville is enjoying itself over the "sensation."
1.58. A COLORED MAN OF THE NAME OF JEFFRIES.
One beautiful day last August, Mr. Elmer of East Cleveland, sent his hired colored man, of the name of Jeffries, to town with a two-horse wagon to get a load of lime. Mr. Elmer gave Jeffries 5 dollars with which to pay for the lime. The horses were excellent ones, by the way, nicely matched, and more than commonly fast. The colored man of the name of Jeffries came to town and drove to the Johnson Street Station where he encountered a frail young woman of the name of Jenkins, who had just been released from jail, where she had been confined for naughtical conduct (drugging and robbing a sailor). "Will you fly with me, adorable Jenkins?" he unto her did say, "or words to that effect," and unto him in reply she did up and say: "My African brother, I will. Spirit," she continued, alluding to a stone jug under the seat in the wagon, "I follow!" Then into the two-horse wagon this fair maiden got and knavely telling the "perlice," to embark by the first packet for an unromantic land where the climate is intensely tropical, and where even Laplanders, who like fire, get more of a good thing than they want—doing and saying thus the woman of the name of Jenkins mounted the seat with the colored man of the sweet name of Jeffries; and so these two sweet, gushing children of nature rode gaily away. Away towards the setting sun. Away towards Indiana—bright land of cheap whisky and corn doin's!
Any name which is suggestive of a joke, however poor the joke may be, is often a nuisance. We were once "confined" in a printing- office with a man named Snow. Everybody who came in was bound to have a joke about Snow. If it was Summer the mad wags would say we ought to be cold, for we had Snow there all the time—which was a fact, though we sometimes wished Snow was where he would speedily melt. Not that we didn't like Snow. Far from it. His name was what disgusted us. It was also once our misfortune to daily mingle with a man named Berry, we can't tell how many million times we heard him called Elderberry, Raspberry, Blueberry, Huckleberry, Gooseberry, &c. The thing nearly made him deranged. He joined the filibusters and has made energetic efforts to get shot but had not succeeded at last accounts, although we hear he has been "slewd" numerously. There is a good deal in a name, our usually correct friend W. Shakespeare to the contrary notwithstanding.
Our own name is, unfortunately, one on which jokes, such as they are, can be made, we cannot present a tabular statement of the times we have done things brown (in the opinion of partial friends) or have been asked if we were related to the eccentric old slave and horse "liberator," whose recent Virginia Reel has attracted so much of the public attention. Could we do so the array of figures would be appalling. And sometimes we think we will accept the first good offer of marriage that is made to us, for the purpose of changing our unhappy name, setting other interesting considerations entirely aside.
1.60. HE FOUND HE WOULD.
Several years ago Bill McCracken lived in Peru, Indiana. (We were in Peru several years ago, and it was a nice place we DON'T think.) Mr. McCracken was a screamer, and had whipped all the recognized fighting men on the Wabash. One day somebody told him that Jack Long, blacksmith of Logansport, said he would give him (McCracken) a protracted fit of sickness if he would just come down there and smell of his bones. The McCracken at once laid in a stock of provisions, consisting of whisky in glass and chickens in the shell, and started for Logansport. In a few days, he was brought home in a bunged-up condition, on a cot-bed. One eye was gouged out, a portion of his nose was chawed off, his left arm was in a sling, his head was done up in an old rag, and he was pretty badly off himself. He was set down in the village bar-room, and turning to the crowd he, in a feeble voice, said, hot tears bedewing his face the while, "Boys, you know Jack Long said if I'd come down to Loginsput he'd whale h—ll out of me; and boys, you know I didn't believe it, but I've been down thar and I FOUND HE WOULD."
He recovered after a lapse of years and led a better life. As he said himself, he returned from Logansport a changed man.
1.61. "BURIAL IN RICHMOND AND RESURRECTION IN BOSTON."
A drama with this title, written by a colored citizen (an artist by profession), the characters being performed by colored citizens, was played at the Melodeon last evening. There were several white persons present, though most of the audience were colored. The great variety of colors made a gay, and indeed we may say gorgeous spectacle.
A hasty sketch of this great moral production may not be uninteresting. Act 1st, scene 1st, discloses a log-cabin, with fifteen minutes' intermission between each log. "William, a spirited slave," and "John, the obedient slave," are in the cabin. William, the spirited slave, says he will be free, "Why," says William, "am I here thus? Was this frame made to be in bondage? Shall THESE voices be hushed? Never, never, never!" "Oh, don't say it thus," says John, the obedient slave, "for thus it should not be. An' I tole ye what it was, now, jes take keer of them pistiles or they'll work yer ruins. Mind what I say, Wilyim. As for me I shall stay here with my dear Julia!" (Immense applause). "And so it has come to this, ha?" said William, the spirited slave, standing himself up and brandishing his arms in a terrific manner. "And so it has come to this, ha? And this is a free land, so it has come to this—to this—TO THIS." William appeared to be somewhat confused at this point, but a wealthy newsboy in the audience helped him out by crying, "or any other man." John and William then embraced, bitter tears moistening their manly breasts. "Farwel, Wilyim," said John, the obedient slave, "and bless you, bless you, me child." The spirited slave walks off and the obedient slave falls into a swoon. Tableau: The Goddess of Liberty appears in a mackinaw blanket and pours incense on the obedient slave. A member of the orchestra gets up and softly warbles on a bass drum. Angels are heard singing in the distance. Curtain falls, the audience being soaking wet with tears.
Act 2, scene first, discloses the house of Mr. Lyons, a slaveholder in Virginia. Mr. Lyons, as we learn by the play, is "a member of the Whig Congress." He learns that William, his spirited slave, has escaped. This makes him very angry, and he says he will break every bone in William's body. He goes out and searches for William, but cannot find him, and comes back. He takes a heavy drink, is stricken with remorse, and declares his intention to become a nun. John, the obedient slave, comes in and asks permission to marry Julia. Mr. Lyons says, certainly, by all means, and preparations are made for the wedding.
The wedding takes place. The scene that follows is rather incomprehensible. A young mariner has a clandestine interview with the obedient slave, and receives 10 dollars to make a large box. An elderly mariner, not that mariner, but another mariner—rushes madly in and fires a horse-pistol into the air. He wheels and is about going off, when a black Octoroon rushes madly in and fires another horse-pistol at the retreating mariner, who falls. He says he is going to make a die of it. Says he should have acted differently if he had only done otherwise, which was right, or else it wouldn't be so. He forgets his part and don't say anything more, but he wraps himself up in the American flag and expires like a son of a gentleman. More warblings on the bass drum. The rest of the orchestra endeavor to accompany the drum, but are so deeply affected that they can't. There is a death-like stillness in the house. All was so still that had a cannon been fired off it could have been distinctly seen.
The next scene discloses a large square box. Several colored persons are seen standing round the square box. The mariner who was killed in the last scene commences knocking off the cover of the box. He pulls the cover off, and up jumps the obedient slave and his wife! The obedient slave and his dear Julia fall out of the box. Great applause. They rush to the footlights and kneel. Quick music by the orchestra, in which the bass drum don't warble so much as she did. "I'm free! I'M FREE! I'M FREE!!" shrieks the obedient slave, "O I'm free!" The stage is suddenly lighted up in a gorgeous manner. The obedient slave and his dear Julia continue kneeling. The dead mariner blesses them. The Goddess of Liberty appears again—this time in a beaver overcoat—and pours some more incense on the obedient slave. An allegorical picture of Virtue appears in a red vest and military boots, on the left proscenium, John Brown the barber appears as Lady Macbeth, and says there is a blue tinge into his nails, and consequently he is an Octoroon. Another actor wants to define his position on the Euclid Street improvement, but is hissed down. Curtain descends amidst the admiring shouts of the audience, red fire, music, and the violent assertion of the obedient slave that he is free.
The play will not be repeated this evening, as was announced. The notice will be given of its next performance. It is the greatest effort of the kind that we ever witnessed.
1.62. A MAYORALTY ELECTION.
Messrs. Senter and Coffinberry, two esteemed citizens, are the candidates. Here's a faint attempt at a specimen scene. An innocent German is discovered about half a mile from the polls of this or that ward. A dozen ticket-peddlers scent him ("even as the war-horse snuffs the battle," etc.), see him, and make a grand rush for him. They surround him, each shoves a bunch of tickets under his nose, and all commence bellowing in his ears. Here's the ticket yer want—Coffinberry. Here's Senterberry and Coffinter. What the h—l yer tryin' to fool the man for? Don't yer spose he knows who he wants ter vote for, say! 'Ere's the ticket—Sen—Coff—don't crowd—get off my toes, you d—d fool! Workin' men's tickets is the ticket you want! To h—l wid yez workin' men's ticket, 'ere's the ticket yez want! No, by Cot, vote for Shorge B. Senter—he says he'll py all the peer for dems as votes for him as much more dan dey can trinks, by tam! Senter be d—d! Go for Coffinberry! Coffinberry was killed eight times in the Mexican war, and is in favor of justice and Pop'lar Sovrinty! Oh gos! Senter was at the battle of Tippe-ca-noo, scalped twelve Injuns and wrote a treatise in Horse-shoeing! Don't go for Coffinberry. He's down on all the Dutch, and swears he'll have all their heads chopped off and run into sausages if he's lected. Do you know what George B. Senter says about the Germans? He says by — they're in the habit of stealing LIVE American infants and hashing 'em up into head cheese. By —! That's a lie! T'aint—I heard that say so with my own mouth. Let the man alone—stop yer pullin—I'll bust yer ear for yer yet. My Cot, my Cot, what tam dimes dese 'lections is. Well yez crowd a poor Jarman till death, yer d—d spalpanes, yez? Sen— Coff—Senterberry and Coffinter—Working Men's—Repub—Dem-whoop-h- l-whooray-bully-y-e-o-u-c-h!!
The strongest side got the unfortunate German's vote and he went sore and bleeding home and satisfied, no doubt, that this is a great country, and that the American Eagle will continue to be a deeply interesting bird while his wings are in the hands of patriots like the above. Scenes like the above (only our description is very imperfect) were played over and over again, at every ward in the city, yesterday. Let us be thankful that the country is safe—but we should like to see some of the ward politicians gauged to-day, for we are confident the operation would exhibit an astonishing depth of whiskey.
Hurrah for the Bar—Stangled Spanner!
1.63. FISHING EXCURSION.
The Leviathan, Capt. Wm. Sholl, left the foot of Superior Street at 6 o'clock yesterday morning for a fishing excursion down the lake. There were about twenty persons in the party, and we think we never saw a more lovely lot of men. The noble craft swept majestically out of the Cuyahoga into the lake, and as she sped past a retired coal-dealer's office the Usher borrowed our pocket-handkerchief (which in the excess of his emotion he forgot to return to us) to wipe away four large tears which trickled from his light bay eyes. On dashed the Leviathan at the rate of about forty-five knots an hour. The fishing-ground reached, the clarion voice of Sholl was heard to ejaculate, "Reef home the jib-boom, shorten the main-brace, splice the forecastle, and throw the hurricane-deck overboard! Lively, my lads!" "Aye, aye, Sir!" said Marsh the chaplain of the expedition, in tones of thunder, and the gallant party sprang to execute the Captain's orders, the agile form of first-officer Hilliard being especially conspicuous in reefing the jib-boom. Lines were cast and the sport commenced. It seemed as if all the fish in the lake knew of our coming, and had collected in that particular spot for the express purpose of being caught! What teeth they had—sufficiently good, certainly, to bite a cartridge or anything else. The Usher caught the first fish—a small but beautiful bass, whose weight was about three inches and a half. The Usher was elated at this streak of luck, but his hand did not tremble and he continued to hand in fish until at noon he had caught thirteen firkins full and he announced that he should fish no more. Cruelty was no part of his nature and he did not think it right to slaughter fish in this way. Cross, Barney, and the rest, were immensely successful, and hauled in tremendous quantities of bass, perch, Mackinaw trout, and Connecticut shad. Bone didn't catch a fish, and we shall never forget the sorrowful manner in which the poor fellow gazed upon our huge pile of beautiful bass which occupied all of the quarter deck and a large portion of the forcastle. Having fished enough the party went ashore, where they found Ab. McIlrath (who was fanning himself with a barn door), the grand Commandant (who in a sonorous voice requested the parties, as they alighted from the small boats, to "Keep their heads out of water"), the General (who was discussing with the Doctor the propriety of annexing East Cleveland to the United States), and several distinguished gentlemen from town, who had come down with life-preservers and ginger pop. After disposing of a sumptuous lunch, the party amused and instructed each other by conversation, and about 3 o'clock the shrill whistle of the Leviathan was sounded by Mike the urbane and accomplished engineer, and the party were soon homeward bound. It was a good time.