Which treats of how the major received the calls of distinguished persons, and how he discovered the object of his mission.
The landlord enjoined the major, when they returned to the hotel, not to think so much of his horse, for he could not render much service to a military man. As for the pig, he could be depended upon as a source of revenue in case of need, which quite satisfied him on the matter of his bill.
The major spent the rest of the morning in receiving calls, for divers distinguished persons had read his speech in the newspapers, and were eager to pay homage to one of such rare gifts. Among them were prominent members of the Chamber of Commerce, who intimated that he might condescend to make them a speech from the Exchange steps, on the affairs of the nation; members of the Board of Brokers; citizens distinguished for their bountiful charities; members of the Union Club, who suggested that they would propose him for a member; members of the New York Club, who knew he would like to become a member of their body, which consisted of distinguished persons only, and kept the best imported wines and cigars. A person of lean visage, who constituted himself a delegate from the Century Club, begged to inform the major that the club was composed of poor but very respectable literary persons, who eschewed liquors and cigars, and were about introducing a by-law for the admission of ladies, which it was hoped would prove a regulator to the good conduct of all aspiring youths. The club, he knew, would be most happy to make him a member. A delegation from the Knickerbocker represented their club as the most cosy place imaginable; as for the members, they had so strong a turn for literature, that they had elected a grocer for president, and an actor for secretary. A visit from him would indeed be held as a high honor; and as it was strictly forbidden that any member discover inebriation before ten o’clock, he could not fail of spending a cheerful hour with them.
Each brought some such powerful argument to sustain their comparative claims to his favorable consideration. He also received invitations to visit various factories, and become a member of certain charitable societies for the taking care of widows and orphans, and poor authors with large families. In truth, one might have thought they imagined him a man capable of conquering the world with thirty thousand troops, such was the plentiful pile of invitations spread over his table. Even Hall wrote to say faro was played on the square at his establishment, which was visited by none but gentlemen of fashion and circumstance. Mrs. Wise, too, intimated in one of the most delicately perfumed billets, that her soirees were the most select in the city, and if so distinguished a major would honor her with a call, she would guarantee the rest.