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The following sections, if they exist, are offprint from Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults: "About the Author", "Overview", "Setting", "Literary Qualities", "Social Sensitivity", "Topics for Discussion", "Ideas for Reports and Papers". (c)1994-2005, by Walton Beacham.
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Vol. II. No. 28.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 8, 1870.
Punchinello publishing company,
83 Nassau street, new York.
* * * * *
The mystery of Mr. E. DROOD,
By Orpheus C. Kerr,
Continued in this Number.
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* * * * *
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1870, by the punchinello publishing company, in the Office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington.
* * * * *
The mystery of Mr. E. DROOD.
By Orpheus C. Kerr.
Bentham to the Rescue.
European travellers in this country—especially if one economical condition of their coming hither has not been the composition of works of imagination on America, sufficiently contemptuous to pay all the expenses of the trip—have, occasionally—and particularly if they have been invited to write for New York magazines, take professorships in native colleges, or lecture on the encouraging Continental progress of scientific atheism before Boston audiences;—such travellers, we say, convinced that they shall lose no money by it, but, on the contrary, rather sanguine of making a little thereby in the long run, have occasionally remarked, that, in the United States, women journeying alone are treated with a chivalric courtesy and deference not so habitually practiced in any other second-class new nation on the face of the earth.
What, oh, what can be more true than this? A lady well stricken in years, and of adequate protraction of nose and rectilinear undeviation of figure, can travel alone from Maine to Florida with as perfect immunity from offensive masculine intrusion as though she were guarded by a regiment; while a somewhat younger girl, with curls and an innocent look, can not appear unaccompanied by an escort in an American omnibus, car, ferry-boat, or hotel, without appealing at once to the finest fatherly feelings of every manly middle-aged observer whose wife is not watching him, and exciting as general a desire to make her trip socially delightful as though each gentlemanly eye seeking hers were indeed that of a tender sire.
Thus, although Miss POTTS’S lonely stay in her hotel had been so brief, the mysterious American instinct of chivalry had discovered it very early on the first morning after her arrival, and she arose from her delicious sleep to find at least half a dozen written offers of hospitality from generous strangers, sticking under her door. Understanding that she was sojourning without natural protectors in a strange city, the thoughtful writers, who appeared to be chiefly Western men of implied immense fortunes, begged her (by the delicate name of “Fair Unknown”) to take comfort in the thought that they were stopping at the same hotel and would protect her from all harm with their lives. In proof of this unselfish disposition on their parts, several of them were respectively ready to take her to a circus-matinee, or to drive in Central Park, on that very day: and her prompt acceptance of these signal evidences of a disinterested friendship for womanhood without a natural protector could not be more simply indicated to those who now freely offered such friendship, than by her dropping her fork twice at the public breakfast table, or sending the waiter back three times with the boiled eggs to have them cooked rightly.
Flora had completed her chemical toilet, put all the bottles, jars, and small round boxes back into her satchel again, and sat down to a second reading of these gratifying intimations that a prepossessing female orphan is not necessarily without assiduous paternal guardianship at her command wherever there are Western fathers, when Mr. Dibble appeared, as he had promised, accompanied by Gospeler Simpson.
“Miss CAROWTHERS was so excited by your sudden flight, Miss Potts,” said the latter, “that she came at once to me and oldy with your farewell note, and would not stop saying ‘Did you ever!’ until, to restrain my aggravated mother from fits, I promised to follow you to your guardian’s and ascertain what your good-bye note would have meant if it had actually been punctuated.”
“Our reverend friend reached me about an hour ago,” added Mr. Dibble, “saying, that a farewell note without a comma, colon, semi-colon, or period in it, and with every other word beginning with a capital, and underscored, was calculated to drive friends to distraction. I took the liberty of reminding him, my dear, that young girls from boarding-school should hardly be expected to have advanced as far as English composition in their French and musical studies; and I also related to him what you had told me of Mr. Bumstead.”
“And I don’t know that, under the circumstances, you could do a better thing than you have done,” continued the Gospeler. “Mr. Bumstead, himself, explains your flight upon the supposition that you were possibly engaged with myself, my mother, Mr. Dibble, and the PENDRAGONS, in killing poor Mr. DROOD.”
“Oh, oughtn’t he to be ashamed of himself, when he knows that I never did kill any absurd creature!” cried the Flowerpot, in earnest deprecation. “And just think of darling Magnolia, too, with her poor, ridiculous brother! You’re a lawyer, Mr. Dibble and I should think you could get them a habeas corpus, or a divorce, or some other perfectly absurd thing about courts, that would make the judges tell the juries to bring them in Not Guilty.”
Fixing upon the lovely young reasoner a look expressive of his affectionate wonder at her inspired perception of legal possibilities, the old lawyer said, that the first thing in order was a meeting between herself and Miss pendragon; which, as it could scarcely take place (all things considered,) with propriety in the private room of that lady’s brother, nor without publicity in his own office, or in a hotel, he hardly knew how to bring about.
And here we have an example of that difference between novels and real life which has been illustrated more than once before in this conscientious American Adaptation of what all our profoundly critical native journals pronounce the “most elaborately artistic work” of the grandest of English novelists. In an equivalent situation of real life, Mr. DIBBLE’S quandary would not have been easily relieved; but, by the magic of artistic fiction, the particular kind of extemporized character absolutely necessary to help him and the novel continuously along was at that moment coming up the stairs of the hotel.
At the critical instant, a servant knocked, to say, that there was a gentleman below, “with a face as long me arrum, sir, who axed me was there a man here av the name av Simpson, Miss?”
“It is John—it is Mr. Bumstead!” shrieked Flora, hastening involuntarily towards a mirror,—“and just see how my dress is wrinkled!”
“My name is Bentham—Jeremy Bentham,” said a deep voice in the doorway; and there entered a gloomy figure, with smoky, light hair, a curiously long countenance, and black worsted gloves. “Simpson!—old OCTAVIUS!—did you never, never see me before?”
“If I am not greatly mistaken,” returned the Gospeler, sternly. “I saw you standing in the bar-room of the hotel, just now, as we came up.”
“Yes,” sighed the stranger, “I was there—waiting for a Western friend—when you passed in. And has sorrow, then, so changed me, that you do not know me? Alas! alack! woe’s me!”
“Bentham, you say?” cried the Ritualistic clergyman, with a start, and sudden change of countenance. “Surely you’re not the rollicking fellow-student who saved my life at Yale?”
“I am! I am!” sobbed the other, smiting his bosom. “While studying theology, you’d gone to sleep in bed reading the Decameron. I, in the next room, suddenly smelt a smell of wood burning. Breaking into your apartment, I saw your candle fallen upon your pillow and your head on fire. Believing that, if neglected, the flames would spread to some vital part, I seized a water-pitcher and dashed the contents upon you. Up you instantly sprang, with a theological expression on your lips, and engaged me in violent single combat. “Madman!” roared I, “is it thus you treat one who has saved your life?” Falling upon the floor, with a black eye, you at once consented to be reconciled; and, from that hour forth, we were both members of the same secret society.”
Leaping forward, the Reverend OCTAVIUS wrung both the black worsted gloves of Mr. Bentham, and introduced the latter to the old lawyer and his ward.
“He did indeed save all but my head from the conflagration, and extinguished that, even, before it was much charred,” cried the grateful Ritualist, with marked emotion.—“But, Jeremy, why this aspect of depression?”
“OCTAVIUS, old friend,” said Bentham, his hollow voice quivering, “let no man boast himself upon the gaiety of his youth, and fondly dream—poor self-deceiver!—that his maturity may be one of revelry. You know what I once was. Now I am conducting a first-class American Comic Paper.”
Commiseration, earnest and unaffected, appeared upon every countenance, and Mr. Dibble was the first to break the ensuing deep silence.
“If I am not mistaken, then,” observed the good lawyer, quietly, “the scene of your daily loss of spirits is in the same building with our young friend, Mr. Pendragon, whom you may know.”
“I do know him, sir; and that his sister has lately come unto him. His room, by means of outside shutters, was once a refuge to me from the Man”—Here Mr. BENTHAM’S face flamed with inconceivable hatred—“who came to tell me just how an American first-class Comic Paper should be conducted.”
“At what time does your rush of subscribers cease?”
“As soon as I begin to charge anything for my paper.”
“And the newsmen, who take it by the week,—what is their usual time for swarming in your office?”
“On the day appointed for the return of unsold copies.”
“Then I have an idea,” said Mr. Dibble. “It appears to me, Mr. Bentham, that your office, besides being so near Mr. PENDRAGON’S quarters, furnishes all the conditions for a perfectly private confidential interview between this young lady here, and her friend, Miss pendragon. Mr. Simpson, if you approve, be kind enough to acquaint Mr. Bentham with Miss POTTS’S history, without mentioning names; and explain to him, also, why the ladies’ interview should take place in a spot whither that singular young man, Mr. Bumstead, would not be likely to prowl, if in town, in his inspection of umbrellas.”
The Gospeler hurriedly related the material points of FLORA’S history to his recovered friend, who moaned with all the more cheerful parts, and seemed to think that the serious ones might be worked-up in comic miss-spelling for his paper.—“For there is nothing more humorous in human life,” said he, gloomily, “than the defective orthography of a fashionable young girl’s education for the solemnity of matrimony.”
Finally, they all set off for the appointed place of retirement, upon nearing which Mr. Dibble volunteered to remain outside as a guard against any possible interruption. The Gospeler led the way up the dark stairs of the building, when they had gained it; and the Flowerpot, following, on Jeremy BENTHAM’S arm, could not help glancing shyly up into the melancholy face of her escort, occasionally. “Do you never smile?” she could not help asking.
“Yes,” he said, mournfully, “sometimes: when I clean my teeth.”
No more was said; for they were entering the room of which the tone and atmosphere were those of a receiving-vault.
[Footnote 1: Shades of quintilian and Dr. Johnson, what a sentence!]
[Footnote 2: Quite independently of any specific design to that end by the Adapter, this Adaptation, carefully following the original English narrative as it does, can not avoid acting as a kind of practical—and, of course, somewhat exaggerative—commentary upon what is strained, forced, or out of the line of average probabilities, in the work Adapted.]
A confused state of things.
The principal office of the Comic Paper was one of those amazingly unsympathetic rooms in which the walls, windows and doors all have a stiff, unsalient aspect of the most hard-finished indifference to every emotion of humanity, and a perfectly rigid insensibility to the pleasures or pains of the tenants within their impassive shelter. In the whole configuration of the heartless, uncharacterized place there was not one gracious inequality to lean against; not a ledge to rest elbow upon; not a panel, not even a stove-pipe hole, to become dearly familiar to the wistful eye; not so much as a genial crack in the plastering, or a companionable rattle in a casement, or a little human obstinacy in a door to base some kind of an acquaintance upon and make one less lonely. Through the grim, untwinkling windows, gaping sullenly the wrong way with iron shutters, came a discouraged light, strained through the narrow intervals of the dusty roofs above, to discover a large coffin-colored desk surmounted by ghastly busts of Hervey, keble and Blair; a smaller desk, over which hung a picture of the Tomb of Washington, and at which sat a pallid assistant-editor in deep mourning, opening the comic contributions received by last mail; a still smaller desk, for the nominal writer of subscription-wrappers; files of the Evangelist, Observer and Christian Union hanging along the wall; a dead carpet of churchyard-green on the floor; and a print of Mr. PARKE GODWIN just above the mantel of momumental marble.
Upon finding themselves in this temple of Momus, and observing that its peculiar arrangement of sunshine made their complexions look as though they had been dead a few days, Gospeler SIMPSON and the Flowerpot involuntarily spoke in whispers behind their hands.
“Does that room belong to your establishment, also, BENTHAM?” whispered the Gospeler, pointing rather fearfully, as he spoke, towards a side-door leading apparently into an adjoining’ apartment.
“Yes,” was the low response.
“Is there—is there anybody dead in there?” whispered Mr. SIMPSON, tremulously.
“Then,” whispered the Ritualistic clergyman, “you might step in there, Miss POTTS, and have your interview with Miss PENDRAGON, whom Mr. BENTHAM will, I am sure, cause to be summoned from up-stairs.”
The assistant-editor of the Comic Paper stealing softly from the office to call the other young lady down, Mr. JEREMY BENTHAM made a sign that FLORA should follow him to the supplementary room indicated; his low-spirited manner being as though he had said: “If you wish to look at the body, miss, I will now show you the way.”
Leaving the Gospeler lost in dark abstraction near the black mantel, the Flowerpot allowed the sexton of the establishment to conduct her funereally into the place assigned for her interview, and stopped aghast before a huge black object standing therein.
“What’s this?” she gasped, almost hysterically.
“Only a safe,” said Mr. BENTHAM, with inexplicable bitterness of tone. “Merely our fire-and-burglar-proof receptacle for the money constantly pouring in from first-class American Comic journalism.”—Here Mr. BENTHAM slapped his forehead passionately, checked something like a sob in his throat, and abruptly returned to the main office.
Scarcely, however, had he closed the door of communication behind him, when another door, opening from the hall, was noiselessly unlatched, and MAGNOLIA PENDRAGON glided into the arms of her friend.
“FLORA!” murmured the Southern girl, “I can scarcely credit my eyes! It seems so long since we last met! You’ve been getting a new bonnet, I see.”
“It’s like an absurd dream!” responded the Flowerpot, wonderingly caressing her. “I’ve thought of you and your poor, ridiculous brother twenty times a day. How much you must have gone through here! Are they wearing skirts full, or scant, this season?”
“About medium, dear. But how do you happen to be here, in Mr. BENTHAM’S office?”
In answer to this question, FLORA related all that bad happened at Bumsteadville and since her flight from thence; concluding by warning MAGNOLIA, that her possession of a black alpaca waist, slightly worn, had subjected her to the ominous suspicion of the Ritualistic organist.
“I scorn and defy the suspicions of that enemy of the persecuted South, and high-handed wooer of exclusively Northern women!” exclaimed Miss PENDRAGON, vehemently. “Is this Mr. BENTHAM married?”
“I suppose not.”
“Is he visiting any one?”
“I shouldn’t think so, dear.”
“Then,” added MAGNOLIA, thoughtfully, “if dear Mr. DIBBLE approves, he might be a friend to MONTGOMERY and myself; and, by being so near us, protect us both from Mr. BUMSTEAD. Just think, dear FLORA, what heaps of sorrow I should endure, if that base man’s suspicion about my alpaca waist should be only a pretence, to frighten me into ultimately receiving his addresses.”
“I don’t think there’s any danger, love,” said Miss POTTS, rather sharply.
“Why, FLORA precious?”
“Oh, because he’s so absurdly fastidious, you know, about regularity of features in women.”
“More than he is about brains, I should think, dear, from what you tell me of his making love to you.”
Here both young ladies trembled very much, and said they never, never would have believed it of each other; and were only reconciled when FLORA sobbed that she was a poor unmarried orphan, and Miss PENDRAGON moaned piteously that an unwedded Southern girl without money had better go away somewhere in the desert, with her crushed brother, and die at once for their down-trodden section. Then, indeed, they embraced tearfully; and, in proof of the perfect restoration of their devoted friendship, agreed never to marry if they could avoid it, and told each other the prices of all their best clothes.
“You won’t tell your brother that I’ve been here?” said the Flowerpot. “I’m so absurdly afraid that he can’t help blaming me for causing some of his trouble.”
“Can’t I tell him, even if it would serve to amuse him in his desolation?” asked the sister, persuasively. “I want to see him smile again, just as he does some days when a hand-organ-man’s monkey climbs up to our windows from the street.”
“Well, you may tell him, then, you absurd thing!” returned FLORA, blushing; and, with another embrace, they parted, and the deeply momentous interview was over.
(To be Continued.)
[Footnote 3: Author of “The Grave.”]
* * * * *
[Illustration: ROMANCE AND REALITY.
IN THE LIBRARY.
Jones, (reading.) “THE GLASS OF FASHION AND THE MOULD OF FORM, THE OBSERVED OF ALL OBSERVERS.”
Jenkins, (with enthusiasm.) “PERFECT DESCRIPTION OF MY WIFE!”
THIS IS MRS. JENKINS, IN HER MORNING TOILETTE.]
* * * * *
BY ICHABOD BOGGS,
THE NEW AMERICAN POET.
PREFATORY NOTE.—The reader is requested to judge the following production mildly, as it is the first effort of a youthful genius (16 years old in looks and feeling, 42 by the family bible and census.) The author has felt that America should have a new kind of verse of its own, and he thinks he here offers one which has never been used by any other mortal poet. It is called the duodekameter. Perhaps it may be proper to add that the following is poetry.
You see everybody in our town was
running around, getting fat jobs
and positions, and picking up a million dollars or so,
So I felt it incumbent on me
To shake myself up, and see if there wasn’t a good butter firkin, well
filled, loafing around idle, in which could conveniently locate my
centre of gravity, and so I said to myself, I’ll go
To Washington and see,
Says ICHABOD BOGGS, says I.
Now, don’t you see, you might
just as well ask for a big position at
first, and then take what you can get,
At least that has been my rule so far,
For, as I says to myself, if you can only get a very high position, with
a sort of nabob’s salary, and lots of perquisites running in
annually, you needn’t do anything, you bet,
But puff at your cigar,
Says ICHABOD BOGGS, says I.
So I put on my best clothes, and
a sort of a big blue necktie,
and shortly thereafter showed myself to Mr. GRANT,
And said that there had been quite enough
Of this giving away big offices to people who hadn’t big reputations,
and that he had other fish to fry, and that, as he wouldn’t give the
Custom House to my son, I’d take it myself, and then I stopped,
and he looked, “I shan’t,”
But all he said was—puff,
Says General GRANT, says he.
Then all the smoke got in my nose,
and I sneezed and snorted a bit,
and then I just simply remarked and said
That he needn’t go and get into a huff,
And if he didn’t like to give me that office, couldn’t he make me
Minister to England, as I was a big feeder, or if that didn’t suit,
why, if he’d do it, I wouldn’t object to being Minister to Cuba,
when the Cubans had been all killed, and were thoroughly dead?
But all be said was—puff,
Says General GRANT, says he.
Well, then I got kind of discouraged,
but I thought that I’d better try
again, and not get up so far,
But ask for what he’d give beyond doubt,
So I asked for a position as night watchman at the Navy Yard, and
thought I’d get it, and he’d answer my request, for I’d noticed that
his Havana was gradually growing smaller, and he did answer me,
just as he’d thrown away the end of his cigar,
He simply said, “Get out!”
Says General GRANT, says he.
So I got out, as fast as a pair of
legs, with a number twelve boot
kicking at the place where they’re joined, would permit,
And wandered off, just about as far
As I conveniently could, and then I sat down on a milestone and raised
my voice to Heaven, and cried aloud, that, weather permitting,
General GRANT should never, never, NEVER, go back to the White
House, not if I could help it,
To puff on his cigar,
Said ICHABOD BOGGS, said I.
[Footnote 4: We hope none of our readers will labor under the impression that we look upon the above effusion as a poetical one, but, in this day of many isms, it may happen that the above style may become prevalent, and we think it our duty to present everything that is new. EDS.]
* * * * *
2.02 TO HARNESS.
Mr. Punchinello on the Turf.
History relates that the era of Horse-racing commenced about the year 680 B. C., but it was some time after that when Mr. PUNCHINELLO made his debut as a candidate for the honors of the turf. To put the matter more concisely, it is just six days since he drove his horse “Creeping Peter” on the track at Monmouth Park, Long Branch. The only object which Mr. P. had in view, when he purchased his celebrated trotter and put him into training, was the improvement of the breed of American horses. While our BONNERS, VANDERBILTS and GRANTS are devoting all their surplus time and means to this great end, Mr. P., in placing the name of his yellow horse in the hands of the poolseller, would scorn to have a less noble aim.
But this great object need not interfere with others of less importance, and therefore Mr. P. will not deny that, after having exhibited to his friends and the sporting fraternity in general, his little investment in fancy horseflesh, he made up a very satisfactory betting-book.
Now Mr. P. believed,—and events proved him to be correct,—that when his friends and the sporting fraternity saw his horse, they would bet heavily against him. Mr. P., however, in all the pride of amateur ownership, bet quite as heavily upon his noble steed. His friends and the above-mentioned fraternity chuckled and winked behind his back, but although Mr. P. heard them chuckle and knew that they were winking, his belief in his final success never wavered. Any ordinary observer might be expected to remark that Creeping Peter was not entirely without blemish. Besides being spavined and having three of his hoofs injured by sand-crack, he had poll-evil, fistulas, malanders, ring-bone, capped hock, curb, splint, and several other maladies which made him a very suitable horse for the general public to bet against.
But Mr. P.’s courage never quailed!
When he made his appearance on the track (for he drove his horse himself) he was the object of general attention. The following view (from a photograph by ROCKWOOD) gives an excellent idea of the horse and driver.
Nearly everybody on the ground advised Mr. P. to leave his cloth in the stable, for it would certainly interfere with the speed of his horse and probably get wrapped up in the wheels and cause an accident. But Mr. P. would listen to nothing of the sort. He told everybody that he wasn’t going to catch cold in his knees, even if he lost the race, and that he was perfectly willing to run the risk of accidents.
For the benefit of his readers, however, Mr. P. will lift up this heavily shotted lap-cloth and show what was under it.
Here is arranged a steam-engine, which drives the wheels of the vehicle, and which will of course propel the whole turnout, horse and all, at a great rate of speed.
It will now be easily perceived why Mr. P. persisted in keeping his lap-cloth over his knees.
The entries were as follows:
ROBERT BONNER’S b. h. Dexter. DEREN O. SUE’S b. m. Lady Thorn. PUNCHINELLO’S y. h. Creeping Peter.
When the word was given, the horses all got off well and Dexter immediately took the lead,—buzzing through the air like a humming-top,—followed closely by Lady Thorn, her nose just lapping his off jaw. For the first few seconds Mr. P. fell behind, owing to his fires not yet being properly under way, but the water soon bubbled merrily in his boiler, and his wheels began to revolve with great rapidity. And now he sped merrily. Never did the war trumpet inspire the fiery charger, or hounds and horn excite the mettled hunter, as the steam-engine in his rear woke all the energies of Creeping Peter.
Swift as revolving pin-wheels or rapid peg-top, those spavins, those ring-bones, those bulbous hocks, those sand-cracked hoofs and those rattling ribs went whistling o’er the track. Mid the shouts and yells of the excited multitude he passed Lady Thorn, overtook Dexter and shot ahead of him! But he cannot stand that tremendous pace, and down goes Creeping Peter on his knees. Every man who had bet against him set up a howl of rapture, but Mr. P. never relaxed a muscle, and on went Creeping Peter, just as fast as ever, his horny bones dashing away the sand and gravel like spray from the cut-water of a scudding yacht, and, amid the wildest clamor, he shot past the judges’ stand on his nose and one leg, making his mile in two minutes and two seconds!
It is needless to dwell upon the results of this race.
Mr. P. now owes no man anything, nor is he even indebted to his noble steed. Behold his testimony to the merits of that valuable animal!
* * * * *
Something Original In Suicide.
An item in an evening paper states that “a man near Syracuse recently cut his throat with a scythe.”
Well, certainly this was a new Mowed of doing the business, although, as it was the first instance of the kind on record, it cannot properly be said that the business was done a la mowed.
* * * * *
Jocular and Ocular.
Can the public be properly said to have looked forward to SEEBACH?
* * * * *
One bright October morning in the year 1828, a lone lorn woman by the name of GUMMIDGE might have been seen standing at the corner of a wheat-field where two cross-roads met and embraced. She was weeping violently. Ever and anon she would raise her head and gaze mysteriously in the direction of a cloud of dust which moved slowly over the hill toward the town. Her name was FATIMA. FATIMA GUMMIDGE. “Sister ANNIE,” she cried, “what do you see?” But sister ANNIE was far away. She was not there. She was attending an agricultural fair in the beautiful young state of Kansas.
Thus gracefully do we introduce our heroine upon the scene. The reader will be able to judge, from this, whether we are familiar with the literature of our day, or not. He will be able to form a complimentary opinion of our culture. He will perceive that we are acquainted with the writings of Messrs. JAMES, and DICKENS, and BLUEBEARD. There is nothing like impressing your reader with an adequate sense of your ability for laborious research, when you are doing biography for a high-toned journal.
At what period in her career our illustrious victim applied to the Legislature to change her name from GUMMIDGE to DICKINSON, we are unable to discover. There is no record of the event in the musty tomes we have waded through at the Astor Library in search of reliable data. One thing must be apparent, even to the most violently prejudiced and brutish bigot—namely, that Miss DICKINSON no longer confesses to the name of GUMMIDGE. However disrespectful this may be to the memory of Mrs. GUMMIDGE’S father—but on reflection is it not possible that Mrs. GUMMIDGE’S maiden name was DICKINSON? There may be something in this. Let us see. Mrs. GUMMIDGE was born of the brain of Mr. C. DICKENS. Mr. DICKENS may be said to be the father of the whole GUMMIDGE family. This, of course, includes GUMMIDGE pere. GUMMIDGE pere was therefore DICKENS’ son. Hence the name of DICKENSON. Very good, so far. Now—
But it is unnecessary to press the argument. If the prejudiced bigot is not yet convinced, nothing would convince him short of a horse-whipping.
The poet, when he wrote “Thou wilt come no more, gentle ANNIE,” was clearly laboring under a mistake. If he had written “Thou wilt be sure to come again next season, gentle ANNIE,” he would have hit it. Lecture committees know this. Miss DICKINSON earns her living by lecturing. Occasionally she takes a turn at scrubbing pavements, or going to hear WENDELL PHILLIPS on “The Lost Arts,” or other violent exertion, but her best hold is lecturing. She has followed the business ever since she was a girl, and twenty-four (24) years of steady application have made her no longer a Timid Young Thing. She is not afraid of audiences any more.
It is a favorite recreation of the moral boot-blacks and pious newsboys of New York to gather in the evening on the steps of Mr. FROTHINGHAM’S church, and scare each other with thrilling stories of the gentle ANNIE’S fierce exploits and deeds of daring. Among the best authenticated of these (stripped of the ornate figures of speech with which the pious newsboys are wont to embellish the simple facts) are the following:
1. In the memorable canvass of 1848, Miss DICKINSON stumped the mining districts of Pennsylvania for FRED DOUGLASS, and was shot at by the infuriated miners forty-two times, the bullets whistling through her back hair to that extent that her chignon looked like a section of suction-hose when the campaign was over.
2. Near the close of the rebellion, Miss DICKINSON wrote to JEFF DAVIS that she was going to raise a regiment and go for him. Peace followed promptly.
3. In the year 1867 she published a book.
4. In the year 1868 she went to California overland, by railroad, alone.
5. In the year 1869 she attended a lecture by OLIVE LOGAN, and further showed her fearless nature by embracing Miss LOGAN tempestuously, and offering to marry her.
6. At various times during her career she has received and successfully done battle with 14,624 proposals of marriage, 14,600 of which were made to her in the city of Chicago!!!
These evidences of her courage are sufficient to show what she is equal to, under any emergency. We are now waiting to hear of a seventh act of bravery on her part which will distance all the above; when she shall have announced that she is prepared to lecture on “CHARLES DICKENS” she will have given the last convincing proof that she is equal to anything terrible.
(Should Mr. PUNCHINELLO object that this biographical sketch is desultory and “wandering,” let him try, himself, to write the biography of a lady who is incessantly and frantically roaming from one end of the country to the other, and if he don’t wander it will be a wonder.)
* * * * *
IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT!—HEIRS WANTED!
NEW YORK, Oct. 1, 1870.
We, the undersigned, as representatives of the family of the decedent, hereby call upon all heirs of the late RICHARD COEUR DE LION, who may be residing in or near this locality, to meet at the Astor House, in New York, on the fifteenth of this present month of October, to take measures for the recovery of such portion of the estate of said LION as is known to have legally descended to his heirs in this country. This property, to which it will be easy to prove that we, the undersigned, together with the other members of our family, are the lineal heirs, is believed to consist mainly of the two hundred thousand byzants assured to the said LION by SALADIN after the capitulation of Acre. This sum, which we have reason to believe was duly paid by said SALADIN at the time appointed, when reduced from golden byzants into greenbacks, and compound-interest at seven per centum for the term of six hundred and seventy-nine years calculated thereupon, will be found to amount to upwards of one hundred and seventy thousand million dollars. When the ransom money of twenty-five hundred Saracens, slain by said LION to enforce the speedy payment of the principal of this sum by the said SALADIN, shall have been deducted and paid to such heirs and survivors of said Saracens as may immediately present their claims, the remainder will be divided, (as soon as the necessary legal measures shall be taken,) among the heirs and descendants of said LION in this country.
The immediate object of the meeting, which is now called by the undersigned, is the collection of sufficient funds from said heirs and descendants to defray the expenses of a committee (composed of the undersigned) who shall be charged with the duty of visiting England, Normandy and Palestine, and obtaining such evidence and such copies of record in relation to this portion of the estate of the said LION, as shall make necessary a speedy and equitable division of paid property among the members of the family in this country.
Lineal heirs who may not be able to attend this meeting in person will have their interests taken in charge by the undersigned, on the receipt of twenty-five dollars, which will be due from each heir as the primary instalment on account of necessary expenses.
Punctual attention to this notice is requested.
L. J. O’LYNN,
Rev. THOS. DICK,
DICK E. DICKQUE DOUT.
* * * * *
RECOGNITION OF NILSSON.
Not that we mean to “patronize,”
No, no, indeed!
’Tis homage, honest homage that we bring;
For you can sing!
Pray, do not think we build
you any throne
On skill alone;
There’s nothing regal in a music box—
In simple vox!
But when an ardent spirit
warms the strain—
When it is plain
The artist feels the passion of the scene—
She’s then our Queen!
But, dear CHRISTINA! we should
The Fates unfair,
Unless she lived as chastely as the rose;
As NILSSON does!
Still, still we hesitate!—We
(For you’d not guess!)
We’d have her—that the likeness be complete—
Young, fair, and sweet!
In fine, (and now we’ll
tell you everything,)
If she can sing,
And act, and feel, and look, and be like you,
Why, that will do!
* * * * *
[Illustration: THE YOUNG DEMOC-RATS, ENCOURAGED BY THE OLD RAT DANA, COME TO GRIEF IN TRYING TO PUT OUT THE HOFFMAN LIGHT.]
* * * * *
A New Pierian Spring.
The Principal of the “Student’s Home,” at V------, N.Y., advertising the advantages of his school, makes the following telling appeal, which we should think would be hard to resist by such as find study interfere with digestion.
“COME TO V------. Its Mineral Water strengthens the body, and its Seminary the mind.”
The hope of eventually leaving those classic shades in such a state of two-fold invigoration, should prove inspiring to the dyspeptic and studious.
Whether this constant cramming of the mind and purging of the body be the true secret of longevity as well as of scholarship, we know not; we should judge, however, from the appearance and conversation of students in general, that a system directly the reverse of the above mentioned process would be more certain of turning out the real article.
* * * * *
Nor only is everybody’s attention directed towards Paris, but the English Sparrows appear to be gradually Worming themselves into public estimation. They have been picking away so vigorously, since they were brought over here, that some of them are now able to pick their way across Broadway, in the muddiest weather. In course of time, we suppose the worms will disappear, and then, when these poor birds have nothing else to pick, they will go out to pic-nics. Come, arouse then, friends of the sparrow! Fetch out your bread and your grain, and fear not that these little twitterers will ever over-burden the city.
* * * * *
A Gourd of Honor(!)
The latest, and most important news from Spain is that SICKLES has been furnished with a guard by the government.
Some things are managed better in Spain than in this country. SICKLES should have been placed under guard, here, many a year ago, to keep him out of mischief.
* * * * *
The following telegraphic item is a remarkable instance of the exactness with which news can be transmitted by the submarine cable:
“LONDON, September 16. Mr. CHARLES REED, member of Parliament for Hackney, to-day unveiled the monument to ALEXANDER DEFOE, at Bunhill Fields. The monument in practically one to ROBINSON CRUSOE.”
With the triffing exception of calling ROBINSON DEFOE ALEXANDER DEFOE, (and that is a pardonable error, considering that ALEXANDER SELKIRK was the prototype of DANIEL CRUSOE,) the above item is perfectly satisfactory. All the more so, if one pays attention to the date, and remembers that September 16 fell upon a FRIDAY.
* * * * *
BY TELEGRAPH FROM VARIOUS PARTS OF THE WORLD.
[Special Correspondence of Punchinello.]
BERLIN, October 15.—In a conversation with King WILLIAM, yesterday, he said that he relied upon the growing taste in Hoboken for Bavarian beer to destroy the sympathy of the United States with the French Republic.
METZ, October 12.—While examining the fortifications to-day with BISMARCK, I lent him my cigar-holder, and he told me that Prussia would refuse to entertain any propositions tending to peace until the Schleswig-Holstein question was definitely settled.
STRASBOURG, October 14—Among the priceless volumes destroyed in the library here, was a full set of ABBOTT’S NAPOLEON histories. They were all presentation copies from the author, with autograph inscriptions. The regret expressed at their destruction is deep-felt and universal.
WINDSOR, Oct. 16th.—I came up to-day with VICTORIA from Balmoral. She was engaged during most of the trip in reading HORACE GREELEY’S “What I Know About Farming,” with which she is much delighted. She said she thought the satire was finer than SWIFT’S, and wondered the people did not insist upon GREELEY’S being Governor.
ROME, Oct. 15.—Talking this morning with the Pope, who took breakfast with me, His Holiness said he had accepted JAMES GORDON BENNETT’S invitation to come to Washington Heights on a visit, and wanted to know whether I thought he would be expected to wear his tiara during meals. I told him that I thought it would not be obligatory.
DUBLIN, Oct. 16.—The Irish Republic was to-day proclaimed at Cork, with GEORGE FRANCIS TRAIN as Emperor. The Fenians say they would prefer a constitutional monarchy.
PARIS, Oct. 15.—General CLUSERET assured me to-day that though Minister WASHBURNE speaks French better than a native, yet he has not entirely forgotten what little English he used to know, and further, that he is confident it is not that gentleman’s intention to make himself Dictator of France by a coup d’ etat.
LONG BRANCH, Oct. 22—While smoking to-day with GRANT, I asked him what he thought of the European complication, and he answered with a most expressive silence.
* * * * *
[Illustration: STAYING THE MARCH.
Liberty. “HALT!” ]
* * * * *
HIRAM GREEN IN GOTHAM.
The venerable “Lait Gustise” sees the
Sights, under Perplexing
The native borned Gothamite mite have notissed, a short time since, a venerable lookin’ ex-Statesman, dressed in a becomin’ soot of clothes and a slick lookin’ white hat.
The a-four-said honest old man carried a bloo cotton umbreller in one hand, and an acksminister carpet bag in t’other. He had jest arroven to the meetropolis on a North River steambote. The reader has probly gessed by this time, that the man in question was the subscriber.
If he hasen’t so surmised, I would inform him that it was. Jess so. Arrivin’ at a well-known tavern, where hash is provided for man and beast, I handed my carpet bag over the counter.
The clerk at the offis put on rather more airs than a Revenoo offiser. In fact, he was so full of airs I got a vilent cold standin’ in his pressence.
“Shan’t I take that anshient circus tent?” said he, pintin’ to my umbreller, “and lock it up in the safe?”
I made no reply to this onmanerly interogetory, but strikin’ an attitude of pain, give him one of those gazes which BEN BUTLER allers makes tell, in tryin’ criminal cases.
I looked at that clerk cross-eyed, and it made him squirm.
I wasen’t blind—not much.
That clerk wanted to steel that umbreller, to send to HORRIS GREELEY, so the Filosifer could keep the reign storms of Tammany from spatterin’ his white cote.
I understood his little dodge and nipped it.
“Snowball,” said I, addressin’ a dark skinned individual with a white apern, while I was seated at the dinner table, “what in the deuce makes all your dishes so small?”
“Dem is for one pusson, sah,” said he. “Dat is an indiwidual butter dish, sah. Dem is indiwidual vegetable dishes—and dat’s an indiwidual salt-cellar, sah,” said he, pintin’ to each piece of crockery.
I was hungry, and the crockery was soon empty.
Seein’ a platter of ice cream down the table aways, I got up onto my feet, and havin’ a good long arm, reached for it.
It was awful cold, and sot my stumps to achin’.
I got one holler tooth full of the stuff.
“Snowball,” said I, “look here.”
“Well, sah?” he replied.
“I’ve got my tooth full of that cold puddin’,” said I, pintin’ to the dish; “please bring me an individual toothpick, so I can dig it out.” He vanished. I coulden’t wait, so I undertook to dig it out with my fork.
A man opposite me, who thot heed play smart, sent word to the tavern-keeper that I was swollerin’ his forks.
Up comes the tavern-keeper, and ketchin’ holt of my cote coller, shaked me out in the middle of the dinin’-room floor.
“What in thunder are you about?” says I.
“Old man,” says he, “them forks cost $9.00 a dozen. How many have you swallered?”
“Not a gol darned fork,” hollered I as loud as I could screem. Gittin’ onto my feet, I pulled off my cote and vest, and if I didn’t make the fur fly, and give that ‘ere tavern-keeper the nisest little polishin’ off mortal man ever become acquainted with, then I don’t understand the roodiments of the English prize ring.
At Central Park, that hily cultivated forrest, the sharpers tried to chissel me.
Just as I approched the gate which leads into the Park, a fansy lookin’ feller with short hair and plad briches stopt me and says: “Unkle, you’r fair.”
“You’re a man of excellent judgment,” I replide; “I think I am pooty good lookin’ for a man of my years.”
“You don’t undertand me, sir,” he agin said. “Come down with your stamps.”
“My which?” said I, turnin’ a little red in the face.
“Your gate money,” he replied, tryin’ to shove me back. “We charge $1.00 for goin’ in here.”
“You do, do you?” said I, wavin’ my umbreller over his head threatenin’ manner. “When our goverment resooms speshie payment agin maybe I’le send you a silver dollar with a hole into it, and maybe I won’t; it will depend a good deal on the pertater crop.”
I was very much agitated. Pullin’ out my silver watch I says: “My sweet sented Plumbob, if you don’t histe your butes away from that gate in 2 seconds I’le bust your biler with this ’ere bunch of bones,” and I tickled the end of his probocis with my fist, as I gently rubbed it under his smeller.
He saw heed caught a Tarter, in fact, a regular Tarter emetic, and he slunk away rather sudden.
I had sent too many of such skinamelinks to the clay banks when I was Gustice of the Peece to allow ’em to fool me much.
I visited WOOD’S Museum to see the wacks figgers and things.
The statutes of the 12 Apostles attracted my attention.
“And this,” said a ministerial long-faced lookin’ man, with a white choker, “is the last supper.—What a sagacious eye has PETER got—How doubtful THOMAS looks—MATTHEW is in deep thought, probly thinkin’ of the times he was a fisherman. What a longin’ look in that astoot eye,” said he, nudgin’ me with his gold-headed cane.
“Yes,” said I, “he is probly longin’ for that ’ere dish of ham and eggs, in the middle of the table.”
“Look at SIMON,” he continered. “See! his eye rests upon his rite hand, which is closed beside him on the table. His lips are parted as if he was going to say—
“SIMON says thumbs up,” I quickly replide, interruptin’ him. I diden’t mean anything disrespectful to nobody, but that ’ere man flew into a vilent rage.
“Can it be, that a soul so devoid of poetry lives in this age?” said he. “My venerable friend, I blush for you—yes, I blush for you, you are devoid of sentiment.”
“Look here, Captin,” said I, “you may be a good preacher and all that sort of thing. Excuse me for sayin’ it, you hain’t a BEECHER—Skarcely. H. WARD soots me—He is chock full of sentiment—at the same time he can relish a joak ekal to the best of us. Mix a little sunshine with that gloomy lookin’ countenance of yours. Don’t let people of the world think they must draw down their faces and colaps, because a man joaks about a lot of wacks figgers dressed up in 6 penny caliker. Them’s the kind of sentiment which ales me every time.” Sayin’ which I storked contemptously out of the wacks figger department.
I shall remain a few days in the big city, friend PUNCHINELLO, and if the citizens of New York insist on givin’ me a reception at the City Hall, I will submit to the sacrifice, especially if the vitels are well cookt. Ewers on a scare up,
HIRAM GREEN, Esq.,
Lait Gustice of the Peece.
* * * * *
THE CENSUS ENUMERATOR’S PLAINT.
The names that these newspapers
Are hardest of all to surmount,
They say Mayor HALL may o’erhaul us;
He claims that our count is no ’count.
I never had any such trouble
In registering voters down South,
I set every nigger down double
And put the whites down in the mouth.
But here they’re so
They kick up a row, don’t you know?
Though under instructions we’re acting
In playing our figures “for low.”
I try to play Sharpe in these
I dodge all the bricks and spittoons—
(Curse that bull-dog! he’s torn to tatters
The seat of my best pantaloons!)
A tailor refused me admission,
And said he “vould shoot mit his gun,”
So I, out of Shear opposition,
Counted him and eight others for one.
While not in the habit of
I can’t but be slightly profane
To hear these New Yorkers declaring
Their names have been taken in vain.
* * * * *
The most appropriate kind of dish on which to serve up Horseflesh
* * * * *
[Illustration: SEVERE ON BYRON BUBBS.
Bubbs. “DOES YOUR SISTER NETTIE EVER TALK ABOUT ME?”
Little Rose. “OH, YES! I HEARD HER TELL MA, YESTERDAY, YOU HAD SUCH A BEAUTIFUL NECK, SO LONG THAT IT WOULD DO TO TIE IN A DOUBLE BOW-KNOT!”]
* * * * *
LAKE GEORGE, N. Y., Sept. 12.
DEAR PUNCHINELLO: “SLUKER,” continued the long-haired man in an absent-minded manner, “was a corker! there is no mistake about that.
Like the Ghost at BOOTH’S, he was a terror to the peaceful Hamlet. He was always getting up shindys without the slightest provocation, and was evidently possessed of the unpleasant ambition, as well as ability, to whale the entire township in detachments of one.
Things got to be so bad after a while that the bark was rubbed off every tree in town on account of the people incontinently shinning up them whenever SLUKER came in sight.
It was no unusual thing to see business entirely suspended for hours, while SLUKER marched up and down the main street, whistling, with his hands in his pockets, and every soul in the place, from the minister down, roosting as high as they could get, six on a branch, sometimes.
Matters went on in this way until one day a little incident occurred that somewhat discouraged this gentle youth. He had just returned from a discussion with a butcher, (from the effects of which the latter now sleeps in the valley,) when a party of his fellow-townsmen entered the store in which he was loafing, and ordered a coil of half-inch rope from New York by the morning’s train.
It was the Overland route that SLUKER took for California, and when his aged mother heard that three eyes had been gouged out in one day in the Golden City, she wept tears of joy. Her fond heart told her that the perilous journey was over, and her darling boy was safe.
After ten years of a brilliant career he bethought him again of the place of his birth. His heart yearned for the gentle delights,—the heavy laden trees—of his boyhood’s home. He said he must go.
His friends said he must go, too. In fact they had already appointed a select and vigilant Committee to see him safely on his way.
In some respects SLUKER came back an altered man. The stamp of change was on his noble face, indeed it had been stamped on itself, until it looked like a wax doll under a hot stove. But he still retained his warlike spirit.
There was not so much chance of indulging it now, however. The Fire Company had disbanded, and nearly every one had grown rich enough to own a shot-gun. There was only one chance left.
He joined the Presbyterian Choir.
Not that he had much of a voice, though he used to play ‘Comin’ thro’ the Rye’ oh the fiddle sometimes, until he got it going through him so much he couldn’t draw a note.
Nobody would have taken them if he had.
Well, SLUKER had a pretty warm time of it in the Choir, and enjoyed himself very much, until they got a new Organist who pitched every thing in ‘high C,’ which was this young man’s strong lead.
As the Choir always sang in G, of coarse, there was a row the first Sunday, and it was generally understood that SLUKER was going to fix MIDDLERIB that night.
When the evening service commenced, and the Choir was about to begin, the congregation were startled by an ominous click in the gallery, and looking up, they beheld SLUKER covering the Organist’s second shirt-stud with his revolver.
“Give us G, Mr. MIDDLERIB, if you please!” he said blandly.
But the pirate on the high C’s refused to Gee, and Whoa was the natural result.
The confusion that followed was terrible: SLUKER fired at everybody. MIDDLERIB hit him with the music stool. The soprano was thrown over the railing, and somebody turned off the gas.
In the ensuing darkness every one skirmished for themselves. SLUKER took off his boots and hunted for MIDDLERIB in his stocking feet.
Suddenly he heard a single note on the ‘high C.’ He groped his way to the keyboard, but there was no one there.
The solution rushed upon him,—MIDDLERIB must be in the organ.
He crept round to the handle and bore his weight on it.
It was too true; the unhappy wretch had cut a hole in the bellows and crawled in. But for his ruling passion he would have escaped.
There were a few muffled groans as the handle slowly descended upon the doomed man, and as the breath rushed out of his body into his favorite pipe, the wild ’high C of agony that ran through the sacred edifice told them that all was over.
Let us draw a vail over the horrid picture.”
* * *
I was very much interested in this story, very much indeed, and so I jostled the long-haired man—who was about falling asleep—and asked him if anything was done to this wicked SLUKER.
He looked at me reproachfully. “What’s the matter with you, my friend?” he said, in the same melancholy voice. “Don’t you know who I am? I write for the Ledger, and whenever ‘I draw a vail, etc.,’ that ends it, that does!”
As we stepped from the steamer to the landing, I observed a youth of about six summers dressed in the most elaborately agonizing manner. He had two Schutzenfest targets in his cuffs; in one hand he held an enormous cane, in the other a cigar, and through an eyeglass he gazed at the ankles on the gang-plank with an air of patient weariness with this slow old world that was very touching.
“Where,” I exclaimed as I surveyed this show-card of a fast generation, “O! where have our children vanished? Take from childhood the sparkling water of its purity—the sugar of its innocent affections—its ardent but refreshing spirits—and what, ah! what have we left?”
“Nothing,” said the melancholy voice at my elbow. “Absolutely nothing save the mint and the straw!”
And he was right, my dear PUNCHINELLO, he was right.
* * * * *
Perhaps very few persons—and especially very few members of the Republican party—are aware that a monument to ABRAHAM LINCOLN has at last been completed, and that it has been placed on the site allotted for it in Union Square. It is very creditable to the Republican Party that they exercised such control over their feelings when the day for unveiling the LINCOLN Monument arrived. Some parties might have made a demonstration on the occasion of post-mortuary honors being accorded to a leader whom they professed to worship while he lived, and whom they demi-deified after his death. No such extravagant folly can be laid at the door of the Republican Party. “Let bygones be bygones” is their motto. They allowed their “sham ABRAHAM,” in heroic bronze, to be hoisted on to his pedestal in Union Square in solitude and silence. That was commendable. A live ass is better than a dead lion; and so the Republican Party, who consider themselves very much alive, went to look after their daily thistles and left their dead lion in charge of a policeman.
* * * * *
THE PLAYS AND SHOWS.
LOTTA is lithe; (which is alliterative,) pretty, piquant, and addicted to the banjo. The latter characteristic is inseparable from her. In whatever situation the dramatist may place her, whether in a London drawing-room or a Cockney kitchen, whether on an Algerian battle-field or in a California mining-camp, she is certain to produce the inevitable banjo, and to sing the irrepressible comic song. In fact, her plays are written not for LOTTA, but for LOTTA’S banjo. The dramatist takes the presence of the banjo as the central fact of his drama, and weaves his plot around it. His play is made on the model of that celebrated drama written to introduce Mr. CRUMMLES’S pump and tubs. Thus does he preserve the sacred unity of LOTTA and the banjo.
Heart’s Ease—in which she is now playing at NIBLO’S Garden, is plainly born of the banjo, and lives for that melodious instrument alone. The author said to himself, “A California mining-camp would be a nice place for a banjo solo.” Wherefore he conceived the camp, with a chorus of red-shirted miners. Wherefore too, he created a comic Yankee who should be eccentric enough to bring a banjo to the camp, and a lover who should be charmed by its touching strains. It required a prologue and three acts to enable him to successfully introduce the banjo. In a somewhat condensed form, these acts and this prologue are here set forth.
PROLOGUE. A seedy husband who is audaciously palmed upon the public as a Reasoning Animal is discovered in a London garret, with a healthy-looking wife, in a rapid consumption.
REASONING ANIMAL. “I loved you, my dear, and therefore brought you from a comfortable home to this dreary garret. I cannot bear to leave you, so I will go out for a walk.” (The bell rings, and the wife’s mother, brother and family physician enter.)
MOTHER. “You must leave your husband and come home and live with us.”
BROTHER. “Of course you must. You need not hesitate about a little thing like that. Go into the other room and consult the Doctor. Here comes your husband.” (Re-enter REASONING ANIMAL.)
REASONING ANIMAL. “Her berrotherr! Herre!”
BROTHER, “Yes. You can’t support your wife. The Doctor says she needs nice parties and other necessaries of life. Give her to us, and go to California.”
REASONING ANIMAL. “I will. Bring her here till I embrace her. (She is brought.) Farewell, my dear. I will go and make my fortune.”
WIFE. “Take our little girl with you.”
REASONING ANIMAL. “I will, for she needs
a mother’s care. Good-bye!
Leave me to weep and wash the baby’s face and hands alone.”
ACT I.—Scene, a California mining-camp. Various miners of assorted nationalities—one of each—hard at work lying on the ground.
1ST MINER. “I want more whiskey.”
CHORUS. “So do we.”
2ND MINER. “MAY WILDROSE won’t sell any more.”
CHORUS. “But she gives it to her lover.”
3RD MINER. “He looks clean; he must have found a nugget. Let’s kill him.”
4TH MINER. “Sh—we will.” (Enter MAY WILDROSE—which her name it is MISS LOTTA.)
MAY. “Here comes my darling LIONEL. Let me get you some brandy, love.”
LIONEL. “Certainly, my dear. How full of forethought is a true woman’s love!”
CHORUS of MINERS. “She gives it to him, but not to us. Beware, young woman, or we will go back on you.”
MAY. “No you won’t. My father earns a laborious living by making me keep a whiskey shop. We have a monopoly of the business, and you will have to buy of us, whether you like it or not. Get out of my sight, or I’ll lick the whole boiling of you.” (They fly, and she returns to the parental whiskey shop.)
LIONEL. “Night is coming on. I will go among the rocks; why, I don’t know, but still I will go.” (Goes. Three miners follow and attack him.)
LIONEL. “Save me, somebody.”
MAY. Appearing suddenly with a revolver—“You bet.” (She shoots the miners and brings down the curtain triumphantly.)
ACT II.—Scene—the whiskey shop of the REASONING ANIMAL.—LIONEL asleep on a bed evidently borrowed from some boarding-house—since it is several feet too short for him.—MAY engaged in peeling potatoes.—Enter REASONING ANIMAL.
REASONING ANIMAL. “My daughter! I see you are passionately in love with LIONEL. Therefore, as I know him to be a fine young fellow, you must never see him more.” (Enter COMIC YANKEE.)
COMIC YANKEE. “Here’s your new banjo, Miss MAY. Play us something comic and depressing.”
MAY. “Thank Heaven, I can get at the banjo at last” (Plays and is encored a dozen times.)
COMIC YANKEE. “Miss MAY, you must go and take a walk.” (She goes.) “LIONEL, you are well enough to leave this ranche. Get up and get.”
LIONEL. “Farewell, beloved whiskey shop. Tell MAY I am going to leave her, and give her my sketches. If she once looks at them, she can love me no longer.” (Goes out to slow music. Re-enter MAY.)
MAY. “The wretch has left me without a word. I will bury his infamous sketches under the floor. They may frighten away the rats.” (Pulls up the floor and finds an immense nugget. Her father rushes in to see it. Two miners also see it and try to raise it. They are promptly seen and called by MAY, who shoots one and holds the pistol pointed at the other, while the curtain slowly falls.)
ACT III.—Scene, a London drawing-room. Enter MAY, gorgeously dressed. Also her father, who has forgotten all about his wife, and also LIONEL and the COMIC YANKEE.
COMIC YANKEE. “Let us sing.”
MAY. “Come on, old hoss.” (They sing and dance for an hour, such being the pleasant custom of fashionable London society.)
MAY. “Miss CLARA! I understand you are engaged to marry LIONEL, and that if you marry anybody else you lose your dower of twenty thousand pounds. Sell LIONEL to me, and I will give you a check for the amount.”
CLARA. “Thanks, noble stranger, there is the receipt. Hand over the money.”
LIONEL. “Dearest MAY, as you must have a pretty large bank account, to be able to draw checks for twenty thousand pounds, I am quite sure I love you.”
MAY. “Come to my arms. Now then, everybody, how is that for high!” (Slow curtain, relieved by eccentric gymnastics by the COMIC YANKEE.)
BOY IN THE AUDIENCE. “Pa! isn’t that splendid?”
DISCRIMINATING PARENT. “What! How! Who! Where am I? O, to be sure, I came to see Heart’s Ease, and to take my evening nap. Did LOTTA play the banjo?”
BOY. “O didn’t she just. She played and sung dead loads of times.”
DISCRIMINATING PARENT. “I have had a sweet nap. My son, I think I can now risk taking you to the minstrels. If I slept through this, I could feel reasonably sure of sleeping through even the dark conundrums and sentimental colored ballads. There is only a shade of difference between the two styles of performance, and that slight shade is only burnt cork.”
* * * * *
Mural Decorations in Rome.
The “dead walls” of Rome, as we learn from the telegrams, were lately placarded with immense posters proclaiming the Italian Republic.
Rome being an “Eternal City,” we were not previously aware that any of her walls were dead. If they are, however, it may be that the posters of the posters referred to took that method of bringing them to life again, which may be looked on as a post mortem proceeding.
* * * * *
[Illustration: THE RETORT COURTEOUS.
Newly-arrived Briton. “ENGLISH SPARROWS?—IMPOSSIBLE. WHY, THEY CHIRP THROUGH THEIR LITTLE NOSES LIKE WEGULAR YANKEES.”
Park-Keeper. “WELL, I DON’T KNOW, BUT IT TAKES TWO MEN AND A CART, EVERY DAY TO REMOVE THE ‘Hs’ DROPPED BY THEM ABOUT THE PARK.”]
* * * * *
PARIS, FIRST WEEK OF THE REPUBLIC, 1870.
DEAR PUNCHINELLO: Things are becoming so mixed here that I am thinking of retiring to Tours with the other tourists. The city is all on the go—that is to say, the non-combatants are all going out of it as fast as possible.
GAMBETTA left here the early part of the week, and it was better for him that he should. I wouldn’t give a sou for any of these republicans if they chance to fall into the clutches of King WILLIAM. It is reported that he has issued an order for the strangulation of all French children between the ages of three and five, in reprisal for the treacherous blowing up of Germans at Laon.
BISMARCK has requested the privilege of cooking ROCHEFORT’S mutton for him, should he be taken alive when Paris falls. What he means by “cooking his mutton” has not yet transpired, but it is gloomily vaticinated that he intends to boil him down. ROCHEFORT mutton with caper sauce ought to satisfy the epicurean taste of BISMARCK, especially as ROCHEFORT would cease his caperings from that hour. Late last night there was an alarm in the city that the whole Prussian army was at Noisy-le-Sec. As you may have suspected, a noisy demonstration followed this announcement.
I got out of bed, rang the bell, and requested the concierge to bring me an auger. The man looked a little astonished at what he undoubtedly considered a strange request.
For a man to get out of bed in the middle of the night and call for an auger, was indeed a trifle peculiar. When he brought it, I increased his astonishment by proceeding to bore a hole through the top of my trunk.
“C’est un imbecile,” said the concierge, retreating a step or two.
“Not much,” I retorted, boring away with renewed vigor. Presently the orifice was made. Into it I thrust an Alpen stock which had accompanied me in many a toilsome march through Switzerland, and lifting the lid, took from the cradle of the trunk a star-spangled banner made of silk, which had been presented to me by the Young Men’s Christian Association of New York, prior to my departure for Europe, as a token of their esteem for my services in the capacity of a “reformed drunkard.” I fastened the flag to the stock, put my boots, clothes and other valuables on top of the trunk, and in a voice intended to express my defiance of King WILLIAM and his German Lagerheads, spoke these words:
Wave fearless, there,
thou standard sheet!
That Yankee trunk and all it holds
(Though Prussian hirelings throng each street)
Is safe beneath thy starry folds!
Saying which I dismissed the humiliated concierge, took a drink, blew out the bougie, and sank into the arms of “Tired nature’s sweet restorer.”
Instances like the above are quite common among Americans in Paris. It was only the other day at the depot of the Chemin de fer du Nord that I saw a sick Bostonian sitting on his trunk outside the gates, waiting for a chance to get into the train, with a Skye-terrier between his legs wrapped in the American flag. You easily get accustomed to such sights, and don’t think anything about them.
Yesterday I called at the office of the American Minister. I gave the porter my card, and asked if “WASH.” was in. He eyed me strangely. (Most people when they first see me generally do. I have thought sometimes that a certificate of good character posted conspicuously about my person would obviate this—but as they say here, “n’ importe.”)
“I’ll see,” said the porter, in reply to my question. He walked off, taking with him the door mat, an umbrella that stood in the hall, four coats and three hats that hung on the rack, besides numerous other small portable articles of vertu that would have come handy for a professional “lifter.”
I did not consider this movement a reflection upon my character, for it seemed but appropriate that he should do it. “What,” said I to myself, “are porters for, but to remove portable articles?”
“WASH” was in, and fortunately for me, too, as I obtained a bit of news that has not yet been printed in the cable dispatches from “Private Sources.”
It came by letter from General FORSYTH, SHERIDAN’S aide-de-camp and Lord High Chamberlain, and was to the effect that SHERIDAN had not tasted a drop of whiskey or uttered an oath since landing in Germany. WASH, asked me to communicate the fact to you with the request that you would forward it to the “Society for the Encouragement of Practical Piety” at Boston. He also told me that, between looking after German interests in Paris and receiving ovations from enthusiastic mobs, he didn’t think he could do justice to his salary.
“WASH,” says I, “it isn’t so much that, as it is that the salary doesn’t do justice to you. If that’s the case speak right out; PUNCHINELLO can fix it for you.” This took WASH. so suddenly that he couldn’t speak, but his eyes were running over with language. Don’t move in the matter, however, till you hear from me again, when I shall have something more to tell you about the march of the Prussians to this capital, and the capital march I propose to make out of it.
Yours, in a revolutionary state, DICK TINTO.
* * * * *
MONSIEUR SYLVESTRE. By GEORGE SAND. Boston: ROBERTS BROTHERS.
A welcome version of one of Madame DUDEVANT’S novels, well rendered into English by Mr. F.G. SHAW. It is issued in very neat and attractive form, and is one of a series of the SAND novels, publishing by Messrs. ROBERTS.
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