The Curtain Lifted
The Power of Clothes
The Indiscriminate Dance
The Massacre by Needle and Sewing-Machine
Pictures in the Stock Gallery
The Fatal Ten-Strike
Some of the Club-Houses
Flask, Bottle, and Demijohn
House of Blackness of Darkness
The Gun that Kicks over the Man who Shoots it off
Lies: White and Black
The Good Time Coming
* * * * *
THE CURTAIN LIFTED.
Pride of city is natural to men, in all times, if they live or have lived in a metropolis noted for dignity or prowess. Caesar boasted of his native Rome; Lycurgus of Sparta; Virgil of Andes; Demosthenes of Athens; Archimedes of Syracuse; and Paul of Tarsus. I should suspect a man of base-heartedness who carried about with him no feeling of complacency in regard to the place of his residence; who gloried not in its arts, or arms, or behavior; who looked with no exultation upon its evidences of prosperity, its artistic embellishments, and its scientific attainments.
I have noticed that men never like a place where they have not behaved well. Swarthout did not like New York; nor Dr. Webster, Boston. Men who have free rides in prison-vans never like the city that furnishes the vehicle.
When I see in history Argos, Rhodes, Smyrna, Chios, Colophon, and several other cities claiming Homer, I conclude that Homer behaved well.
Let us not war against this pride of city, nor expect to build up ourselves by pulling others down. Let Boston have its Common, its Faneuil Hall, its Coliseum, and its Atlantic Monthly. Let Philadelphia talk about its Mint, and Independence Hall, and Girard College. When I find a man living in either of those places, who has nothing to say in favor of them, I feel like asking him, “What mean thing did you do, that you do not like your native city?”
New York is a goodly city. It is one city on both sides of the river. The East River is only the main artery of its great throbbing life. After a while four or five bridges will span the water, and we shall be still more emphatically one than now. When, therefore, I say “New York city,” I mean more than a million of people, including everything between Spuyten Duyvil Creek and Gowanus. That which tends to elevate a part, elevates all. That which blasts part, blasts all. Sin is a giant; and he comes to the Hudson or Connecticut River, and passes it, as easily as we step across a figure in the carpet. The blessing of God is an angel; and when it stretches out its two wings, one of them hovers over that, and the other over this.