There was standing on the wharf a somewhat dilapidated carriage, to which four lean gray horses, such as are used for drawing all great heroes through the city, were harnessed, and presented so forlorn a figure that one might easily have imagined them employed by the devil to convey to his dominions that shabby class of sinners consigned to him on Sunday evenings by the Rev. Henry Ward Beecher. Into this the distinguished representatives of the great metropolis insisted upon getting the major, that he might be conveyed to the apartments secured for him at the great St. Nicholas Hotel, in a manner becoming so great a politician. But as the major was not quite sure whether his reputation would be best preserved by sticking to the politician, or by dropping the politician, and sticking to his laurels as a military man, he shook his head and hesitated for some time. He was half inclined to dub himself the warrior; and as warriors always appeared best on horseback, he was, to the great delight of the throng, about to mount his faithful animal, assign me his seat in the hero-trap, and follow at a respectful distance. But he bethought himself that both were noble professions; and, surely, to emulate in both must be a prominent desire with all great men. After holding a consultation with me, he said he always remembered the motto: “Great is the man who humbles himself.” Being satisfied then that it would not lessen his dignity, nor, indeed, in any way detract from the character of a military politician, who had need enough to look to his laurels, he agreed that Alderman Dan Dooley should ride old Battle. And with this resolve he at once repaired to the carriage, in which he took a seat with the three gentlemen of the committee, leaving me to pick my way as best I could, and drove away for the hotel, (followed at a respectful distance by the loquacious alderman, thus comically mounted,) with this strange string of cattle. And this wonderful cortge was followed by scores of hooting and ragged urchins, who switched old Battle’s gambrels, and annoyed him in so many ways, that the alderman at length lost his temper, and was several times forced to dismount and beat back the harassing enemy with stones and such other weapons as he could lay his hands on.
And now, gentle reader, fearing I may weary you with this long train of nonsense, which, however, I have endeavored to make conform to the follies of the day, I will close this chapter, and for what took place at the great St. Nicholas Hotel, refer you to the next.
Which treats of many things Unique and wonderful, all of which took place when the major arrived at the great st. Nicholas hotel.