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THE MYSTERY OF MR. E. DROOD,
By ORPHEUS C. KERR.,
Continued in this Number:
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THE MYSTERY OF MR. E. DROOD.
BY ORPHEUS C. KERR.
For the purpose of preventing an inconvenient rush of literary tuft-hunters and sight-seers thither next summer, a fictitious name must be bestowed upon the town of the Ritualistic church. Let it stand in these pages as Bumsteadville. Possibly it was not known to the Romans, the Saxons, nor the Normans by that name, if by any name at all; but a name more or less weird and full of damp syllables can be of little moment to a place not owned by any advertising Suburban-Residence benefactors.
A disagreeable and healthy suburb, Bumsteadville, with a strange odor of dried bones from its ancient pauper burial-ground, and many quaint old ruins in the shapes of elderly men engaged as contributors to the monthly magazines of the day. Antiquity pervades Bumsteadville; nothing is new; the very Rye is old; also the Jamaica, Santa Cruz, and a number of the native maids. A drowsy place, with all its changes lying far behind it; or, at least, the sun-browned mendicants passing through say they never saw a place offering so little present change.
In the midst of Bumsteadville stands the Alms-House; a building of an antic order of architecture; still known by its original title to the paynobility and indigentry of the surrounding country, several of whose ancestors abode there in the days before voting was a certain livelihood; although now bearing a door-plate inscribed, "Macassar Female College, Miss CAROWTHERS." Whether any of the country editors, projectors of American Comic papers, and other inmates of the edifice in times of yore, ever come back in spirit to be astonished by the manner in which modern serious and humorous print can be made productive of anything but penury by publishing True Stories of Lord BYRON and the autobiographies of detached wives, maybe of interest to philosophers, but is of no account to Miss CAROWTHERS. Every day, during school-hours, does Miss CAROWTHERS, in spectacles and high-necked alpaca, preside over her Young Ladies of Fashion, with an austerity and elderliness before which every mental image of Man, even as the most poetical of abstractions, withers and dies. Every night, after the young ladies have retired, does Miss CAROWTHERS put on a freshening aspect, don a more youthful low-necked dress—
As though a rose Should leave its clothes And be a bud again,—
and become a sprightlier Miss CAROWTHERS. Every night, at the same hour, does Miss CAROWTHERS discuss with her First Assistant, Mrs. PILLSBURY, the Inalienable Bights of Women; always making certain casual reference to a gentleman in the dim past, whom she was obliged to sue for breach of promise, and to whom, for that reason, Miss CAROWTHERS airily refers, with a toleration bred of the lapse of time, as "Breachy Mr. BLODGETT."
The pet pupil of the Alms-House is FLORA POTTS, of course called the Flowerpot; for whom a husband has been chosen by the will and bequest of her departed papa, and at whom none of the other Macassar young ladies can look without wondering how it must feel. On the afternoon after the day of the dinner at the boarding-house, the Macassar front-door bell rings, and Mr. EDWIN DROOD is announced as waiting to see Miss FLORA. Having first rubbed her lips and cheeks, alternately, with her fingers, to make them red; held her hands above her head to turn back the circulation and make them white; and added a little lead-penciling to her eyebrows to make them black; the Flowerpot trips innocently down to the parlor, and stops short at some distance from the visitor in a curious sort of angular deflection from the perpendicular.
"O, you absurd creature!" she says, placing a finger in her mouth and slightly wriggling at him. "To go and have to be married to me whether we want to or not! It's perfectly disgusting."
"Our parents did rather come a little load on us," says EDWIN DROOD, not rendered enthusiastic by his reception.
"Can't we get a habeas corpus, or some other ridiculous thing, and ask some perfectly absurd Judge to serve an injunction on somebody?" she asks, with pretty earnestness. "Don't, Eddy—do-o-n't." "Don't what, FLORA?" "Don't try to kiss me, please." "Why not, FLORA?" "Because I'm enameled." "Well, I do think," says EDWIN DROOD, "that you put on the Grecian Bend rather heavily with me. Perhaps I'd better go."
"I wouldn't be so exquisitely hateful, Eddy. I got the gum-drops last night, and they were perfectly splendid."
"Well, that's a comfort, at any rate," says her affianced, dimly conscious of a dawning civility in her last remark. "If it's really possible for you to walk on those high heels of yours, FLORA, let's try a promenade out-doors."
Here Miss CAROWTHERS glides into the room to look for her scissors, is reminded by the scene before her of Breachy Mr. BLODGETT; whispers, "Don't trifle with her young affections, Mr. DROOD, unless you want to be sued, besides being interviewed by all the papers;" and glides out again with a sigh.
FLORA then puts upon her head a fig-leaf trimmed with lace and ribbon, and gets her hoop and stick from behind the hall-door. EDWIN DROOD takes from one of his pockets an india-rubber ball, to practice fly-catches with as he walks; and driving the hoop and throwing and catching the ball, the two go down the ancient turnpike of Bumsteadville together.
"Oh, please, EDDY, scrape yourself close to the fences, so that the girls can't see you out of the windows," pleads FLORA. "It's so utterly absurd to be walking with one that one's got to marry whether one likes it or not; and you do look so perfectly ridiculous in that short coat, and all your other things so tight."
He gloomily scrapes against the fences, dropping his ball and catching it on the rebound at every step. "Which way shall we go?" "Up by the store, EDDY, dear."
They go to the all-sorts country store in question, where EDWIN DROOD buys her some sassafras bull's-eye candy, and then they turn toward home again.
"Now be a good-tempered EDDY," she says, trundling her hoop beside him, "and pretend that you aren't going to be my husband." "Not if I can help it," he says, catching the ball almost spitefully. "Then you're going to have somebody else?" "You make my head ache, so you do," whispers EDWIN DROOD. "I don't want to marry anybody at all!"
She tickles him under the arm with her hoop-stick, and turns eyes that are all serious upon his. "I wish, EDDY, that we could be perfectly absurd friends to each other, instead of utterly ridiculous engaged people. It's exquisitely awful, you know, to have a husband picked out for you by dead folks, and I'm so sick about it sometimes that I hardly have the heart to fix my back-hair. Let each of us forbear, and stop teasing the other."
Greatly pleased by this perfectly intelligent and forgiving arrangement, EDWIN DROOD says: "You're right, FLORA, Teasing is played out;" and drives his ball into a perfect frenzy of bounces.
They have arrived near the Ritualistic church, through the windows of which come the organ-notes of one practising within. Something familiar in the grand air rolling out to them causes EDWIN DROOD to repeat, abstractedly, "I feel—I feel—I feel—-"
FLORA, simultaneously affected in the same way, unconsciously murmurs,—-"I feel like a morning star."
They then join hands, under the same irresistible spell, and take dancing steps, humming, in unison, "Shoo, fly! don't bodder me."
"That's JACK BUMSTEAD'S playing," whispers EDWIN DROOD; "and he must be breathing this way, too, for I can smell the cloves."
"O, take me home," cries FLORA, suddenly throwing her hoop over the young man's neck, and dragging him violently after her. "I think cloves are perfectly disgusting."
At the door of the Alms-House the pretty Flowerpot blows a kiss to EDWIN, and goes in. He makes one trial of his ball against the door, and goes off. She is an in-fant, he Js an off-'un.
Accepting the New American Cyclopdia as a fair standard of stupidity—although the prejudice, perhaps, may arise rather from the irascibility of the few using it as a reference, than from the calm judgment of the many employing it to fill-out a showy book-case—then the newest and most American Cyclopdist in Bumsteadville is Judge SWEENEY.
[Footnote: Mr. SAPBEA, the original of this character In Mr. DICKENS' romance, is an auctioneer. The present Adapter can think of no nearer American equivalent, in the way of a person at once resident in a suburb and who sells to the highest bidder, than a supposable member of the New York judiciary.]
It is Judge SWEENEY'S pleasure to found himself upon Father DEAN, whom he greatly resembles in the intellectual details of much forehead, stomach, and shirt-collar. When upon the bench in the city, even, granting an injunction in favor of some railroad company in which he owns a little stock, he frequently intones his accompanying remarks with an ecclesiastical solemnity eminently calculated to suppress every possible tendency to levity in the assembled lawyers; and his discharge from arrest of any foreign gentleman brought before him for illegal voting, has often been found strikingly similar in sound to a pastoral Benediction.
That Judge SWEENEY has many admirers, is proved by the immense local majority electing him to judicial eminence; and that the admiration is mutual is likewise proved by his subsequent appreciative dismissal of certain frivolous complaints against a majority of that majority for trifling misapprehensions of the Registry law. He is a portly, double-chinned man of about fifty, with a moral cough, eye-glasses making even his red nose seem ministerial, and little gold ballot-boxes, locomotives, and five-dollar pieces, hanging as "charms" from the chain of his Repeater.
Judge SWEENEY'S villa is on the turnpike, opposite the Alms-House, with doors and shutters giving in whichever direction they are opened; and he is sitting near a table, with a sheet of paper in his hand, and a bowl of warm lemon tea before him, when his servant-girl announces "Mr. BUMSTEAD."
"Happy to see you, sir, in my house, for the first time," is Judge SWEENEY'S hospitable greeting.
"You honor me, sir," says Mr. BUMSTEAD, whose eyes are set, as though he were in some kind of a fit, and who shakes hands excessively. "You are a good man, sir. How do you do, sir? Shake hands again, sir. I am very well, sir, I thank you. Your hand, sir. I'll stand by you, sir—though I never spoke t' you b'fore in my life. Let us shake hands, sir."
But instead of waiting for this last shake, Mr. BUMSTEAD abruptly turns away to the nearest chair, deposits his hat in the very middle of the seat with great care, and recklessly sits down upon it.
The lemon tea in the bowl upon the table is a fruity compound, consisting of two very thin slices of lemon, which are maintained in horizontal positions, for the free action of the air upon their upper surfaces, by a pint of whiskey procured for that purpose. About half a pint of hot water has been added to help soften the rind of the lemon, and a portion of sugar to correct its acidity.
With a wave of the hand toward this tropical preserve, Judge SWEENEY says: "You have a reputation, sir, as a man of taste. Try some lemon tea."
Energetically, if not frantically, his guest holds out a tumbler to be filled, immediately after which he insists upon shaking hands again. "You're a man of insight, sir," he says, working Judge SWEENEY back and forth in his chair. "I am a man of taste, sir, and you know the world, sir."
"The World?" says Judge SWEENEY, complacently. "If you mean the religious female daily paper of that name, I certainly do know it. I used to take it for my late wife when she was trying to learn Latin."
"I mean the terrestrial globe, sir," says Mr. BUMSTEAD, irritably. "The great spherical foundation, sir, upon which Boston has since been built."
"Ah, I see," says Judge SWEENEY, genially, "I believe, though, that I know that world, also, pretty well; for, if I have not exactly been to foreign countries, foreign countries have come to me. They have come to me on—hem!—business, and I have improved my opportunities. A man comes to me from a vessel, and I say 'Cork,' and give him Naturalization Certificates for himself and his friends. Another comes, and I say 'Dublin;' another, and I say 'Belfast.' If I want to travel still further, I take them all together and say 'the Polls.'"
"You'll do to travel, sir," responds Mr. BUMSTEAD, abstractedly helping himself to some more lemon tea; "but I thought we were to talk about the late Mrs. SWEENEY."
"We were, sir," says Judge SWEENEY, abstractedly removing the bowl to a sideboard on his farther side. "My late wife, young man, as you may be aware, was a Miss HAGGERTY, and was imbued with homage to Shape. It was rumored, sir, that she admired me for my Manly Shape. When I offered to make her my bride, the only words she could articulate were, "O, my! I?"—meaning that she could scarcely believe that I really meant her. After which she fell into strong hysterics. We were married, despite certain objections on the score of temperance by that corrupt Radical, her father. From looking up to me too much she contracted an affection of the spine, and died about nine months ago. Now, sir, be good enough to run your eye over this Epitaph, which I have composed for the monument now erecting to her memory."
Mr. BUMSTEAD, rousing from a doze for the purpose, fixes glassy eyes upon the slip of paper held out to him, and reads as follows:
Unlitigating and Unliterary Wife of
HIS HONOR, JUDGE SWEENEY.
In the darkest hours of
Her Husband's fortunes
She was never once tempted to Write for
THE TRIBUNE, THE INDEPENDENT, or THE RIVERSIDE MAGAZINE:
Nor did even a disappointment about a
new bonnet ever induce her to
threaten her husband with
AN INDIANA DIVORCE.
and consider if thou canst say
the same about
THINE OWN WIFE!
WITH A RUSH RETIRE.
Mr. BUMSTEAD, affected to tears, interspersed with nods, by his reading, has barely time to mutter that such a wife was too good to live long in these days, when the servant announces that "MCLAUGHLIN has come, sir."
JOHN MCLAUGHLIN, who now enters, is a stone-cutter and mason, much employed in patching dilapidated graves and cutting inscriptions, and popularly known in Bumsteadville, on account of the dried mortar perpetually hanging about him, as "Old Mortarity." He is a ricketty man, with a chronic disease called bar-roomatism, and so very grave-yardy in his very 'Hic' that one almost expects a jacet to follow it as a matter of course.
"JOHN MCLAUGHLIN," says Judge SWEENEY, handing him the paper with the Epitaph, "there is the inscription for the stone."
"I guess I can get it all on, sir," says MCLAUGHLIN. "Your servant, Mr. BUMSTEAD."
"Ah, JOHN MCLAUGHLIN, how are you?" says Mr. BUMSTEAD, his hand with the tumbler vaguely wandering toward where the bowl formerly stood. "By the way, JOHN MCLAUGHLIN, how came you to be called 'Old Mortarity'? It has a drunken sound, JOHN MCLAUGHLIN, like one of Sir WALTER SCOTT'S characters disguised in liquor."
"Never you mind about that," says MCLAUGHLIN. "I carry the keys of the Bumsteadville churchyard vaults, and can tell to an atom, by a tap of my trowel, how fast a skeleton is dropping to dust in the pauper burial-ground. That's more than they can do who call me names." With which ghastly speech JOHN MCLAUGHLIN retires unceremoniously from the room.
Judge SWEENEY now attempts a game of backgammon with the man of taste, but becomes discouraged after Mr. BUMSTEAD has landed the dice in his vest-opening three times running and fallen heavily asleep in the middle of a move. An ensuing potato salad is made equally discouraging by Mr. BUMSTEAD'S persistent attempts to cut up his handkerchief in it. Finally, Mr. BUMSTEAD wildly finds his way to his feet, is plunged into profound gloom at discovering the condition of his hat, attempts to leave the room by each of the windows and closets in succession, and at last goes tempestuously through the door by accident.
[To be Continued.]
Wanted for the Lecture-Room.
Beloit, in Wisconsin, boasts a wife who has not spoken to her husband for fifteen years. Fifteen long years! Happy man!—happy woman! No insanity, no divorce, no murder, but Silence. Why isn't this wondrous woman brought to the platform, Miss ANTHONY?
[Footnote 1: Certain fancied points of resemblance having led some persons to suppose that Bumsteadville means Rochester, the Adapter is impelled to declare that such is not the case.]
[Footnote 2: In compliance with the modern demand for fine realistic accuracy in art, the Adapter, previous to making his delineation of Mr. BUMSTEAD public, submitted it to the judgment of a physician having a large practice amongst younger journalists and Members of the Legislature. This authority, after due critical inspection, pronounced it psychologically correct as a study of monomania a potu.]
THE JOYS OF SUMMER.
I've Had my annual dream Of boats and fishing, Congress-water, cream, Strawberry-shortcake, lager-bier, iced punch, And lobster-salad lunch.
It came about midday, Toward the latter part of "flowering May"— When nothing's fit to eat, or drink, or wear, And nothing suits but air.
Let Summer come! said I; Let something happen quick, or I shall die! I want to change my diet, clothes,—my skin,— Myself, if not a sin!
(One thing, I would remark, I didn't dream of: that was Central Park.) All these (the Park included) I have had; Of course you think I'm glad.
No, I can't say I am. Your summer, I must tell you, is a sham! I might, perhaps, have some poetic flights, If I could sleep o' nights!
But who on earth can sleep When the thermometer's so awful steep? The night, if anything, (at least our way,) Is hotter than the day!
And then—my stars!—oh, then! When sleep would kindly visit weary men, The dread mosquito stings away his rest. Ah-h-h! curse that pest!
But breakfast comes,—so soon You almost wish they'd put it off till noon! Five minutes' sleep—no appetite—no force: You're jolly, now, of course!
You sip your breakfast tea— If with your qualmy stomach 'twill agree, Or your weak coffee,—weighing, with dismay, The prospects of the day.
Hot! you may well say Hot, When Blistering would hit it to a dot! The cheerful round is brilliantly begun— And everything "well done."
ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS.
Down East.—"The Earthly Paradise" is published in Boston. The scene of the poem is laid elsewhere.
Miner.—"Pan in Wall Street" was written by E.C. STEDMAN. The pan spoken of is not suitable for miners' use.
Autograph Collector says that he has seen in the papers such statements as the following: "LOWELL'S Under the Willows," "WHITTIER'S Among the Hills," "PUMPELLY'S Across America and Asia." A.C. wants the post-office address of either or all of tho gentlemen named. We are unable to give the information desired.
Constant Reader.—What is the meaning of the word "Herc"?
Answer.—It is the popular name of one of our Assurance Companies, only known to its intimate friends. The other name is the "Hercules."
Erie.—You have been misinformed. Mr. FISK neither appeared as an Admiral, nor as one of the "Twelve Temptations," at the Reception of the Ninth Regiment.
Inquirer.—The free translation of the legend, "Ratione aut vi," on the Ninth Regiment Badge, is "Strong in rations."
Wall Street asks, "Who are interested in PUNCHINELLO?" Though the question is not very business-like, we reply, "Every one;" and we are receiving fresh acquisitions daily.
Bergh.—Was the English nightingale ever introduced into this country?
Answer.—We cannot say. You had better go to FLORENCE for information on the subject.
R.G. White.—It was a happy thought of yours to apply to PUNCHINELLO for information regarding Shaksperean readings. To your first question, "Was SHAKSPEARE'S RICHARD III a gourmand?" we reply: undoubtedly he was. By adopting what is obviously the correct reading of the passage—"Shadows to-night," etc., it will be seen that "DICKON" was occasionally a sufferer from heavy suppers:
——"Shad-roes to-night Have struck more terror to the soul of RICHARD."
Then, to your second query, "Was SHAKSPEARE'S RICHARD III a cannibal?" our answer is: Certainly he was. Following the above quotation we have the line, "Than can the substance," etc. The proper reading is:
"Then Can the substance of ten thousand soldiers."
Famine was staring RICHARD'S army in the face, so that nothing could be more natural and proper than that he should have issued orders to butcher ten thousand of his lower soldiers, and have their meat canned for the subsistence of his "Upper Ten!"
Knife.—You have been misinformed. General BUTLER was not a participator in the Battle of Five Forks, though more than that number of Spoons has been laid to his charge.
Anxious Parent.—Probably the publication to which you refer is the one entitled "Freedom of the Mind in Willing," not "Freedom of the Will in Minding." It is not written for the encouragement of recalcitrant boys.
Confectioner, (San Francisco.)—Mr. BEECHER, who wrote the article on candy, in the Ledger, lives in Brooklyn, a town of some importance not far from this city.
The Nose and the Rose.
The pink-lined parasols now in fashion were devised by some thoughtful improver of woman, to enhance beauty by imparting a roseate hue to the complexion. Unfortunately, however, the reflection from the pink silk does not always reach the face at the right angle. Sometimes it concentrates altogether upon the most prominent feature of the face, and then "Red in the Nose is She" becomes applicable to the bearer of the parasol. Couleur de rose is an expression for all that is lovely and serene, but the rose must not be worn on the nose.
Going him one Better.
The only difference between the Colossus of Rhodes and King HENRY VIII was that while Colossus was only a wonder, King H. was a Tudor.
THE PLAYS AND SHOWS.
R. J. H. M'VICKER has for some years past conducted a Chicago theatre, of which he has been lessee, manager, and stock company. The Chicago people have liked M'VICKER'S Theatre, because it has occasionally treated them to the novel sensation of a comparatively moral performance. Occasional morality deftly inserted in the midst of a season of seductive legs, produces the same effect upon a Chicago audience that a naughty opera bouffe does upon the New York lovers of the legitimate drama. In either case there is the charm of foreign novelty; a charm, however, which soon loses its attraction. Opera bouffe in New York, and the moral drama in Chicago, can enjoy but a temporary success. The former city will always return to its love of standard comedies and SHAKSPEAREAN tragedies, and the latter will sooner or later clamor for its accustomed legs and its favorite dramas of bigamy and divorce.
Mr. M'VICKER, having read of the MCFARLAND trial, immediately conceived the happy idea that the time had come when a Chicago actor would please a New York audience. Ha therefore flew to this city, by way of the Mississippi river and the New Orleans and Havana steamships, and last week made a debut at BOOTH'S Theatre. With an astuteness which reflects great credit upon his ability as a manager, he astonished the audience, which had assembled to be shocked by a genuine Chicago performance, by playing a part which fairly bristles with unnecessarily obtrusive morality. Thus did he present a double attraction. A Chicago actor would have been sure, in any case, of the support of the Free Love Press; but a moral Chicago actor is a surprise which appeals irresistibly to the love of novelty which exists in the theatre-going breast. The play in which he made his first appearance here, is entitled "Taking the Chances," and is from the pen of Mr. CHARLES GAYLER, to whom Dr. WATTS so beautifully referred in those touching verses:
"Gayler, the Troubadour, Touched his guitar,"
—and further language to a like effect. Mr. M'VICKER sustained the character of "PETER POMEROY," one of those oppressive rural Yankees whose mission seems to be to drive young men into the paths of vice, by representing virtue as inextricably associated with home-spun garments, and the manners of an uneducated bull in an unprotected china shop. The following version of the play will be recognized as literally exact, by all who have not seen the original.
Taking the Chances.
MR. POMEROY, a Preposterous Uncle, who regards his nephew, PETER, as a desirable person. "My dear PETER will he here in a few moments. His presence will be a real blessing."
MRS. POMEROY. "I am sorry to hear it. He breaks furniture and things, and I don't like him."
Enter IRRELEVANT PEOPLE, who make unnecessary remarks, and obviously exist only to meet PETER. Finally PETER enters, in butternut clothing and a condition of chronic moral perfection.
PETER. "Jewhillikins! Haow de du, Unkil? Haow are ye, Aunt DEB? Haow is everybody? Our pigs and chickens and garden-sass is all doin' well." —Falls on a chair.
PREPOSTEROUS UNCLE. "Dear, noble, manly fellow."
EVERYBODY ELSE. "Unbearable brute."
Enter BLANCHE POMEROY. "Do I see my dear cousin? I am glad to see you, but please don't tear all of my dress to pieces."
PETER. "Jewhillikins!" "You used to not to mind abaout havin' your frock torn when you was up at Graniteville. But I s'pose society has sp'iled you."
Enter PLAUSIBLE VILLAIN, and whispers to BLANCHE—"To-night you must fly with me. We have not a moment to lose."
PETER. "Jewhillikins! That is the chap that deserted his wife in Graniteville? I'll fix him."
PLAUSIBLE VILLAIN. "What do I see? A virtuous rustic? Confusion! Can he suspect me?"
PETER devotes himself to the virtuous task of insulting every person in the room, thereby proving how much superior a cow-boy from New Hampshire is to the wretched resident of the city, whom fate has made a base and villainous gentleman. The PLAUSIBLE VILLAIN goes through with a complicated fit of St. Vitus's Dance, by way of preserving a cool exterior, and thus allaying the suspicions of PETER. Various TEDIOUS PEOPLE enter and converse tediously with the IRRELEVANT PEOPLE. After a time the stage-carpenters suddenly decide to lower the curtain, and thus put an end to an act that might otherwise go on forever.
Enter PETER. "Jewhillikins! This is a nice garden. What pesky villains all these people must be, considerin' that they wear good clothes and don't break the furnitoor. There's that chap that deserted his wife. I'll fix him."—Hides himself in an arbor.
Enter PLAUSIBLE VILLAIN.—"Confusion! Can the bumpkin suspect me? In order to avert suspicion, I will confide everything to the friendly air."—Relates his past life and future plans, at the top of his lungs, and then returns to the house.
Enter PREPOSTEROUS UNCLE, and various TEDIOUS PEOPLE, who all want to marry BLANCHE. They converse tediously and go away again. Applause! Enter BLANCHE and PLAUSIBLE VILLAIN.
PLAUSIBLE VILLAIN.—"Confusion! Can the bumpkin suspect me? BLANCHE, we must fly to-night. Not a moment is to be lost."
Re-enter PETER. "Jewhillikins! BLANCHE, I want to talk a spell with yon."—To PLAUSTBLE VILLAIN "Go into the haouse, will you?"—He goes.
BLANCHE, "What do you want, PETER? Why do you tear my dress, and scratch your head so persistently?"
PETER. "Jewhillikins! That feller you love is a scoundrel. I'll prove it. Will you believe it after it's proved?"
BLANCHE, (With a fine sense of what is truly womanly.) "Of course I won't believe it. I despise proofs and arguments."
Enter TEDIOUS PEOPLE and IREELEVANT PEOPLE. They converse more tediously and irrelevantly than before. At last the carpenters, who have been out for beer, return and drop the curtain.
Enter PETER, in the clothes of an ordinary Christian. He practices a frightful dance, and remarks at intervals, "Jewhillikins."
Enter BLANCHE and PLAUSIBLE VILLAIN. The latter notices PETER, with convulsive alarm.
PLAUSIBLE VILLAIN. "Confusion! Can he suspect me? BLANCHE, we must fly at once. There is not a moment to lose."
Enter EVERYBODY. A quadrille is formed. PETER dances and falls over everybody else. The quadrille ends. PETER rises and remarks, "Jewhillikins." He goes out and returns, bringing the PLAUSIBLE VILLAIN'S wife with him. The PLAUSIBLE VILLAIN repents. BLANCHE consents to marry PETER. Various preposterous engagements are entered into by the TEDIOUS and the IRRELEVANT PEOPLE. And at last the play is over.
COMIC MAN among the audience. "Why should M'VICKER think a man a scoundrel, who deserts his wife and tries to marry another? Don't he come from Chicago?"
2D COMIC MAN.—"Don't SHERIDAN," (who plays the PLAUSIBLE VILLAIN,) "look as if he wished he were 'twenty miles away' when PETER denounces him?"
And the bystanders smile weakly, as though they had heard a good joke on SHERIDAN, and retire slowly toward their homes, evidently exhausted by the oppressive virtue of the intolerable Yankee boor, whom M'VICKER plays so well that the respectable portion of the audience is almost inclined to overlook the wretchedness of the part in admiration of the skill of the actor.
That the Sound steamers are to be furnished with billiard tables for the amusement of passengers between New York and Boston. This report, however, is flatly contradicted, and we have neither charity nor chalk for the man who would make a statement so groundless. GEORGE FRANCIS, THE UBIQUITOUS.
Amidst all the chances and changes of this chequered, and, in some respects, lugubrious life, Mr. PUNCHINELLO has the perennial consolation of one friendship, which promises to be immortal, and over which time and space hold no sway. Need we say that we are alluding to the tender emotions which crowd our bosom whenever we hear of Mr. GEORGE FRANCIS TRAIN! And lest our love for him should grow colder, this considerate gentleman allows us to hear from him almost daily. To be sure he is like some great antediluvian grasshopper, and seems capable of spanning this almost boundless continent at a leap. He is in Maine in the morning—he is making a speech in Minnesota when the evening shades prevail; but wherever he is, the roll of his eloquence reaches us, and however busy he may be, he is never too busy to write letters to tho newspapers. The great man comes very near to solving the problem heretofore considered insoluble, of being in two places at once. Two, did we say? Absurd! Three, four, five, half a dozen! What a man! Jumping here! Leaping there! Skipping North! Vaulting South! Skimming (like a CAMILLA in pantaloons) over the plains of the West! Then, as if by magic, whirling himself to the East! A man, did we say? Bah! GEORGE FRANCIS is clearly one of the immortals.
Clearly! JUPITER used to be rather lavish of electricity, but he did but a small retail business in it, compared with our dear GEORGE FRANCIS, the demi-god, who, when he is not talking with sublime garrulity, is telegraphing without regard to expense. Evidently it has dawned upon the mind (if he has any,) of this extraordinary being, that the world, in none of its quarters, can get along without him, and that the newspaper which does not mention his name must be stale, flat, and unprofitable. Wherefore he takes order that every newspaper shall print the wonderful name as often as possible. Whether he be laughed at, sneered at, sworn at, the virtue of the mere mention remains the same.
The last we heard from GEORGE FRANCIS, he was, (to use his own choice language,) "away up here on the Chippewa," beseeching the lumber men, with all the charm of his inimitable eloquence, to vote him into the Presidential chair. "I am waking up these boys for 1872," writes the valuable phenomenon. Unto "millers, rafters, choppers, and jammers," this Fountain of Oratory has gushed forth his "four hundred and twenty-first consecutive Presidential lecture." Imagine a possible scene upon a raft! GEORGE FRANCIS, mounted upon a whiskey-barrel, is making all the air resonant with rhetoric. The "rafters" are swearing! The "choppers" are cursing! The "jammers" are most reprehensibly blaspheming! The enormous mass floats onward, and "TRAIN!" the floods, "TRAIN!" the forests, "TRAIN!" the overarching skies resound! No miserable hall, no narrow street, no "pent-up Utica" contracts the power of this miraculous elocutionist—his auditorium seems to be a hemisphere—his audience all mankind! ORPHEUS singing moved rocks and trees. Great GEORGE spouting subdues all the inhabitants of the wilderness. Timid deer trip to the shore to listen; ferocious bears, catching the echo, shed tears of penitence; all creatures of the roaring kind acknowledge themselves surpassed and silenced; the whispering pines whisper all the more softly, as if ashamed of their own verbal weakness. All speeches, even the speeches of a TRAIN, must come to an end; and having ended, the floating DEMOSTHENES sits down to write to the newspapers, that he has just been delivered of his four-hundred-and- twenty-second, and is as well as could be expected.
Mr. PUNCHINELLO has, in his day, been considered talkative; but he feels, as he listens to GEORGE FRANCIS, that he is himself a marvel of taciturnity—that in the noble art of sounding his own trumpet he is a mere child—that as a contributor to the public amusement he is in danger of falling into paltry insignificance. Alas! he is not the marvellous mountebank which he has heretofore considered himself to be; and the nonsense upon which he so prided himself, in comparison with the nonsense of GEORGE FRANCIS, sinks into the most melancholy and insufferable wisdom. He looks forward to the future with a fear lest he may descend to the depths of serious and slow solemnity. When he has arrived at that deplorable stage of decay, he wishes it to be understood that his drum and trumpet are at the service of Mr. GEORGE FRANCIS TRAIN.
ASSOCIATED PRESS TELEGRAMS.
It is well known that there is a leak in the Associated Press Office. In point of fact there always is a leak. Why any one should think it worth while to steal the Associated Press cable dispatches is a mystery, when they could be manufactured in any newspaper office with much less trouble. The following dispatches are a fair sample of the ordinary cable news which is sent to the Association. "We need hardly say that they were not stolen from Mr. SIMONTON, but we will say, as we have already said, that there is a leak. A word to the wise is sufficient—though, of course, by the expression, 'the wise,' we do not mean any reference to the London agent of the Associated Press."
LONDON, June 6. The Times of to-day has a paragraph on the big trees of California.
MR. SMALLEY denies that he ever wore a hat resembling that of GUSTAVE FLOURENS.
A boy has been arrested for picking pockets in Oxford Street.
JOHN SMITH, proprietor of a coffee and cake saloon in Ratcliffe Highway, has gone into bankruptcy.
It is believed that if the Tories should oust the present cabinet, they would come into power.
PARIS, June 7. There are rumors as to the health of the Emperor NAPOLEON.
Yesterday a man is said to have cried, "Vive la Republique!" in his back-yard.
ROME, June, 8. The Ecumenical Council is still in session.
There are more strangers in Rome than there have been at times when the number was less.
ALEXANDRIA, June 8. Several vessels have passed through the Suez Canal since its completion.
The Suez Canal is by some regarded as a success. Others think it a failure.
CALCUTTA, June 6. A native was killed by a tiger near Bundelcund eighteen months ago.
YOKOHAMA, June 6. The P. & O. Steamer Bombay has run down and sunk the U.S. Sloop Oneida.
ST. PETERSBURGH, June 7. Some discontent was caused by the emancipation of the serfs.
BERLIN, June 8. BISMARCK has notified the Upper House that no exemplification of the categorical plebiscitum will be favorably entertained or rejected.
In view of these important dispatches, PUNCHINELLO respectfully suggests to Mr. SIMONTON, that instead of trying to put an end to the stealing of his news, he put a peremptory end to the London agent of the Associated Press. Otherwise the agent will soon put an end to the Association. One or the other event must take place, and it is only a question of time which shall occur first.
The Boa Constrictor.
Oriental tourists claim to have met with specimens of this reptile one hundred feet in length, but as travellers are proverbially prone to stretch their tales, narrative of this character must not be too readily swallowed. He is found in India, all along the course of the Hooghly, and is hugely superior in strength and size to all the other reptiles of Asia. His habitat is usually up a tree, where he lies in ambush, and he forages, and has for ages, on the nobler quadrupeds; seldom letting himself down to make a "picked-up dinner" on the lower animals. Sometimes, however, when tormented with an "all-gone sensation" in the pit of his stomach, he descends to dine on a high-caste Brahmin and to sup on a Gentoo.
The skin of the Boa has a silky sheen, like that of the finest Rep, and, when taking a nap in the sun, his Damascened appearance may remind the pious spectator of a scene damned by the intrusion of a similar reptile several thousand years ago.
The Boa Constrictor is not a fascinating snake—far from it. He relies on his muscles and not on his charms, for support. His appetite is vigorous, and the manner in which he disposes of his tid-bits, such as the larger carnivora, may be described as glutenous. Much has been written of the creature, but a glance at his enormous volume will give a truer idea of him than anything that has ever issued from the press. He serves the body of an animal, before devouring it, as mercenary politicians serve the body politic—crushing it with many Rings. By the keepers of menageries he is often called the Boa Constructor, but the name more aptly applies to the Furrier who simulates his shape on a small scale; the creature having no mechanical skill whatever.
Occasionally, from some branch that overhangs a Nullah, he will drop down on the thirsty eland or hartbeest, rendering resistance a Nullity; but his favorite game is fighting the tiger, at which, unlike the human species, he always wins when in the vein for that kind of sport. All the beasts of the jungle fear him—the wolf feeling no disposition to seek his folds, and the leopard frequently changing his spots to avoid him. Whatever his quarry may be, its sands are soon run out.
The Boa, like other gourmands, is fond of gourmand-ease. After having put a victim through the mill and bolted him for a meal, the monster may be discovered (or he may not) on some knoll in the forest, indulging in somnolency. He can then be assailed with safety, but as his breath is a horrible fetor, a spice (of caution) should be used in approaching him. The windward side is best. As he lies limber, smelling like Limburger, a hatchet will be found a first-chop weapon of assault. The Hindoos, however, generally double him up with Creeses. Cutting off the creature's tail, just behind the jaws, is a pretty sure way to ex-terminate him. There are on record several instances of Boas having been despatched in this way by Ruthless adventurers.
The reptile abounds in Ceylon, and is considered a delicacy by the Cingalese, but the civilized stomach would probably find Double Ease in letting it alone. Cotelette de Constrictor, however pleasant to the Pagan palate, would scarcely go down with a Christian.
High old stories of the Boa have been obtained by travellers, from the Asiatics. They resemble those of the fabled dragon and hippogriff, and as they generally relate to the ravaging of whole districts by the voracious monster, a heap o' grief is connected with some of them. The gum-game, however, is much in vogue in India, and most of these snake stories may be characterized as India Rubbish.
The great Boa is a native of Southern Africa as well as of Asia, and is much dreaded by all the Dutch Boers. The creature is reported to have been seen in crossing the interior deserts, but this is believed to be a fiction invented in the Caravans. In Congo there is a small species a few sizes larger than the Conger eel, while in the section of country visited by CUMMING the Boa is the biggest serpent Going.
There are stupendous snakes in the islands of the Indian Archipelago, and a Yankee skipper who lived a year among the natives informs us that he "once saw some arter a boa in Sumatra." The skipper, however, is a small joker, and always ready to Sacrifice Truth on the Alter Ego of a miserable pun. A vile habit this, but one that it is to be feared will never be abandoned.
The skin of the Boa is rarely embroidered with purple and gold, but, like many a priestly hypocrite, he hides under the livery of heaven the instincts of the Devil. And so we dismiss him.
Canadians pronounce the sacred word "Sunburst" "Shunburst."
Ind-Hearted Mr. CHANDLER had a proposition "which would restore American commerce to its former footing." It was simply to annex San Domingo, Cuba, and Canada. He repudiated with scorn and disgust the insinuation that he proposed to pay anything for them. That was foreign to his nature. He meant merely to take them. By this means they would not only restore American commerce—he din't profess to know exactly how—but they would inflict a deadly blow upon haughty England. At this point Mr. CHANDLER became incoherent, the only intelligible remark which reached the reporters, being that he could "lick" Queen VICTORIA single-handed.
Mr. SUMNER remarked that a war with England would be costly.
Mr. CHANDLER declined to accept any suggestion from a man who went to diplomatic dinners, and consorted with Englishmen. He had been told that at these dinners, to which he was proud to say he had never gone, and to which, while the custom of issuing invitations prevailed, he never would go, Mr. SUMNER ate with his fork. Such a man could not be a true American.
Mr. MORRILL introduced a bill to increase the mileage of members. Notoriously, he observed, the mileage of members was scandalously small. He knew that the self-sacrificing nature of the senators would delight to pay this tribute to the fidelity of themselves, and the equally deserving public servants of the other house. Passed with acclamations.
A resolution was introduced to appropriate a few millions towards the discovery of the North Pole.
Mr. SAULSBURY said—Whazyoose?
Mr. SUMNER explained that it would be a good thing for science.
Mr. COLE explained that it would be an enormous thing for fishermen.
Mr. YATES explained that it would be a vast thing for "cobblers."
Mr. SAULSBURY said—Ah, B'gthing on Ice.
Mr. MORRILL moved to extend the Capitol grounds to the next lot.
Mr. YATES moved to extend them to Chicago.
Mr. MORTON moved to extend them to Indianapolis.
Mr. CHANDLER wildly shrieked Detroit.
Mr. SUMNER faintly murmured Boston.
Somebody introduced a bill to pension the soldiers of 1812. Somebody else wanted to amend it by providing that no soldier of 1812 who aided and comforted the recent rebellion should get any pension.
Even Mr. BUTLER showed gleams of good feeling. He said that the lot of these men was hard. They were liable to be brought out upon platforms every Fourth of July, and obliged to sit and blink under patriotic eloquence for hours. It was their dreadful lot subsequently to eat public dinners in country taverns, which brought their gray hairs down in sorrow and indigestion to the grave. The notion of these senile and patriotic duffers aiding and comforting the rebellion was preposterous. Their eyes purged thick amber and plum-tree gum, and they had no notion of doing anything but drawing their pensions, and getting three meals a day, with a horrible fourth on the glorious Fourth.
Mr. LOGAN said this position was outrageous. He knew that some of these hoary wretches in his own district were so fully in sympathy with the rebellion as actually to refuse to vote for him, when carriages were sent to convey them to the polls. Such men ought not to receive a dollar.
Mr. BUTLER not only reaffirmed his previous statements, but reintroduced his resolution to annex Dominica.
Mr. KELLEY desired to abolish the income tax. He said that some of his most influential constituents disliked it. They would not pay. To lie they were ashamed. If a sufficient tariff were put upon pig-iron there would be no need of providing for this petty Tacks.
Mr. BUTLER was in favor of the abolition of the tax. It had never seen anything but a tax on paper, and it was not worth a paper of tacks. But he considered the most feasible method of reducing it was to annex Dominica, and he introduced a resolution to that effect. As his friend KELLEY had suggested, if they did not remove the tax, their constituents would remove them. He did not consider it practicable, however, to bring a movement to abolish the tacks on the carpet until Dominica should be ours.
FURTHER OF MYTHOLOGY.
DIANA. This goddess was generally admitted to be the most intellectual and disagreeable of the whole divine Sisterhood. Among the Greeks the popular estimate of her character was shown by the name of "Artful Miss"—afterwards corrupted to ARTEMIS—which they gave to her. She was an eminently strong-minded goddess, and insisted upon her right to adopt the habits of the other sex. Among them was the practice of hunting, of which she was passionately fond. Indeed, it was from her devotion to the pleasures of the chase that she obtained the epithet of the "Chased" DIANA—wild boars, and such like ungallant brutes, sometimes annoying her by refusing to be chased themselves, and by chasing her instead. There are those who pretend to think that "chaste," instead of "chased," was really the original epithet, and that it was given to her as a recognition of the aggressive and malignant virtue which distinguishes most strong-minded women who are old and yet unmarried. The obvious absurdity of this theory will, however, be evident to any one who remembers her little flirtation with ENDYMION, whom she cruelly led from the paths of innocence, only to abandon him on the hills of Latmos, where he contracted the chills and fever by fruitlessly watching for her at night in the open field. A characteristic piece of ill-temper was her treatment of young ACTON. The latter, who was a respectable, though rather reckless young man, was once walking along the beach, when he suddenly came upon DIANA and several female friends in the act of taking the surf. Envious to behold the extremes of boniness, which then, as now, doubtless characterized the strong-minded females, he concealed himself in a neighboring bathing-house, and brought his opera-glass to bear on the group. He was, however, discovered, and DIANA and her friends were so indignant at being seen without their false teeth and false "fronts," that the former deliberately set her dogs on him, who tore him into imperceptible fragments so small that no coroner could possibly find enough of him in order to hold an inquest. Of course ACTON'S conduct cannot be defended, but then his punishment was altogether too severe. There is every reason to suppose that DIANA wanted some one to accidentally notice her proficiency in swimming, else why should she have chosen a place of popular resort for her bath? And then the simple nudity in which she was surprised was not nearly as suggestive as the peculiar costumes in which our fashionable ladies now-a-days enter the surf in the presence of admiring crowds. However, ideas change with successive ages, and what we now consider perfectly proper would probably have brought any quantity of blushes to the cheek of the young person of Athens or Rome. Among the Olympians DIANA was a common scold, and made herself as disagreeable to the goddesses as to the gods. Since she ceased to be openly worshipped she has been in a measure forgotten among men, but the strong-minded women still regard her with love and reverence, and it is understood that her statue, together with a painting representing her in the act of setting the dogs on ACTON, are among the most prominent decorations of the Sorosis Club-room and the Revolution office.
Coney Island is celebrated for the saltness of its waters and the leathery qualities of its clams. This island is said to have been so named on account of its resemblance in shape to an inverted cone, but the attrition of the ocean has materially changed the conic base. Researches in the direction of the apex have not been made recently.
The heavy hebdomadals complain that the style of the communications sent them is too diffuse. The "talented" contributor is adjured to condense. There is an apparatus, we believe, for condensing the article called milk, but who will devise a machine for condensing the milk-and-water article? A fortune awaits the genius of the inventor.
THE HOLY GRAIL AND OTHER POEMS.
(This Is one of the other Poems.)
BY A HALF-RED DENIZEN OF THE WEST.
PELLEAS then, when all the flies were gone, Sat faithful on his horse, upon the lawn That skirts the castle moat; and thought the dame, For want of pluck, could never give him blame. He sat a week. She grew so blazing mad, She raved, and called three other knights she had; And cried, "That fool will drive me wild, I fear! Go bind his hands, and walk him Spanish here." And when the idiot heard her, he did grin And smirk, and let them walk him Spanish in. Then, railing vile, that he might take offence, She, sneering, asked him would he ne'er go hence;
And cursed him till her face grew crimson red. Like cats of Cheshire then he grinned, and said:
"Sent by thy train and thee to Coventry, I hung with grooms and porters on the bridge; Watched by thy three tall squires. And there I shaped An ancient willow's sapling into this."
And handed her a whistle. "Kick him out!" She yelled; and the knights, laughing, took the lout, And thrust him from the gate. A week from this, Looking without, she saw his simple phiz; And cried "Go kill him! Stick him like a pig! You three can do it, if he is so big!" Unwilling, yet the knights went out to try, And light-of-love GAWAIN came riding by. "What ho!" he cried, "I'm in, if that fight's free; So here I come-ye knavish cowards three!" "For me," PELLEAS cried, "the fight she means," And charging, knocked them into smithereens. Now called she other knights, and cried out, "Once Again go bind and bring me here that dunce!" And when he heard, he let himself be bound,
And o'er the bridge they kicked him like a hound. When she had sneered her sneeriest, then she said, "Turn him out bound!" He lifted up his head,
"You ask me why, tho' ill at ease Within this region I subsist?"
"I did," she said, "but pray desist From further quoting, if you please."
When forth PELLEAS came, his hands all tied, The brave GAWAIN, he bounded to his side, And loosed his bonds and said, "Look here, good friend, This sort of thing had better have an end. Just you go home, and take a Turkish bath, And I will cure this lady of her wrath. Give me your horse and shield. Take mine, I'll say I've killed you, stiffly dead, in mortal fray. Then she will straight repent; your death will rue, And while her heart is soft, I'll send for you."
This nincum-fubby-diddle-boodle, he Went home, and did not GAWATN'S laughter see! He waited till the moon, after three days, Gave promise of large lights on woods and ways, And then he hastened to ETTABBE'S gate. He found it open, and he did not wait to be announced, but hastened, full of hope, To where her tent stood on the garden slope. He knew she slept the roses all among, And as he softly stepped, he softly sung:
"I am coming, my own, my sweet! Were it ever so airy a tread, Thy heart would hear me and beat, Were it earth in an earthly bed. Thy dust would hear me and beat, Hads't thou lain for a century dead, Would start and tremble under my feet—
And just then he saw GAWAIN'S head! With one wild bound toward the dark'ning skies, From out the garden gates he madly flies. But soon his mind it alters. Slipping back, His tune he changes—trying this new tack:"Howe'er it be, it seems to me 'Tis only noble to be good; Kind hearts are more than coronets, And simple faith, than Norman blood.
O lady! You may veer and veer, A great enchantress you may be, But there'll be that across your throat, Which you would scarcely care to see."
Then he, while sleep of senses them bereft, Soft thrust his lance through both their necks—and left. The cold touch in her throat she felt, and woke. She knew the lance, and to GAWAIN she spoke. "Liar!" she said. "That man you have not slain. Let's both clear out! He may come back again!"
(To be Continued.)
That most gay, gallant and airy body of horsemen known as the "Brooklyn Dutch Light Cavalry," are much indebted to the projectors of the Knightly meeting which took place recently at Prospect Park, for an opportunity to display those equestrian graces which a few cross-grained critics have been disposed to deny them. The general public never had any doubts upon the subject, but it is well enough to silence those who took much credit to themselves in detecting faults where others could not discover them. The result shows how completely such mendacity can be exposed. Of the numerous prizes awarded, two-thirds fell to the members of Brooklyn's Teutonic Cavalry. They were especially admired for the firmness with which they kept their saddles, under circumstances enough to unhorse a Centaur. We noted, particularly, one cavalier, known in the lists as the Knight of RUDESHEIMER. He keeps a pork store in Fulton Avenue, and turned a Fairbanks Scale, but two days before the tourney, at 275 lbs. This gallant rode a very sprightly steed, which struggled under the double calamity of being slightly spavined and quite blind in the left eye. One of the effects of the latter misfortune was to keep the animal constantly in the belief that somebody meditated foul play upon its unguarded flank, and at the slightest stir in the crowd it would wheel violently around, to the great consternation its rider, and the evident alarm of contiguous Knights. PUNCHINELLO, who was very conspicuous in the throng, and was mounted upon a highly mettled Ukraine steed, observed the cavorting of the Knight of RUDESHEIMER, and cantered gaily towards him. In attempting to pass, his spur touched the side of the blind steed,—which kicked at PUNCHINELLO'S fiery Ukraine in a very ungracious manner. Our animal would take a kick from no other animal calmly, and so, without waiting to weigh consequences, it gave RUDESHEIMER'S Rosinante a severe "chuck" in the ribs with its hind feet. In an instant horse and rider were spinning around like a top. A space was immediately cleared, and the crowd awaited in breathless silence the fate of the Knight. His swayings were fearful, until PUNCHINELLO, anticipating an apoplectic fit from such a terrific revolution, dashed in, and seizing the frightened steed by the bridle, brought him to bay. The Knight's face was livid with rage and, instead of thanking PUNCHINELLO, he roared at the pitch of his voice.
"Dunder und blitzen! Du bist ein tam phool. Vat for you not sees I ish tied to mein saddle?"
The pride of horsemanship could go no further, and so PUNCHINELLO left.
SONG OF THE RED CLOUD.
[Supposed to have been uttered on the occasion of a conference of Savages at Washington with a view to the settlement of our Indian difficulties.]
How! Call all my chiefs together— Makpialutah, Red Cloud wants 'em: Shunkalutah, him the Red Dog; Brave Bear, Montaohetekah; Setting Bear, Maktohutakah; Rock Bear, Live Bear, Long Bear, Short Bear, Little Bear, Yellow Bear, and Bear Skin, Keyalutah, Red Fly—Shoo Fly! Dahsanowee, White Cow Rattler, Pahgee, Shunkmonetoohakah, Shatonsapah, Maktohashena, Kokepah, Ocklehelutah, Newakohnkechaksaheuntah, Whoop! haloo! Yahoo! Halooooooooo!
(Sudden rush of warriors on all sides with war-whoop, flourish of tomahawks, and inexplicable dumb show.]
Ugh! What now would have the White Man? Sell he swindle, rum, fire-water, We will sell him Fear in plenty. What would have Great Cloud, our father, He the Smoke-nose, he the Big Fish? They not cheat us, we not murder. Pale-faces like the leaves of forests: Many squaws with paint and feathers— None like Makochawyuntaker, The World-looker, wife of Black Hawk. Much skull, but few scalp in Congress. Talk much—very great tongue-warriors. Tomahawk could end the tongue-fight. Hrumph! I like not these pale-faces, Makpialutah mourns for battle, Red Cloud thirsts for blood of Pawnees, Red Cloud cries for scalp of white men, Red Cloud angers the Great Spirit, Red Cloud trembles for the War Dance! Ugh! Hrumph! How! Whoop, whoop, haloooooo!
[The Conference of Chiefs, after an uproar of shrill and guttural sounds, break: up with the favorite can-can of the Sioux.]
A Pleasant Prospect.
The Massachusetts editors, who are shortly to meet in convention at Boston, are threatened with three distressing courtesies, viz: a concert on the Big Organ, a visit to the School Ship, and a banquet in Fanuil Hall. They have our sincerest condolences.
MY COUP D'ETAT.
Mr. PUNCHINELLO: For sometime—I would not like to say how long—the undersigned has been a candidate for the office of Whiskey Inspector for the Judasville district of his State. I have had powerful backing from the scrap-iron members of Congress from my section, but their efforts and my own have long seemed of little avail. The other day, however, I saw in the papers the account of the coup d'etat of the DUKE OF SALDANHA, in Portugal. An idea immediately entered my brain. These effte monarchies, these governments of the past, on which "the rust of ages," as VICTOR HUGO remarks, "lies like a bloody snow of bygone vassalage," have yet sufficient vitality to teach a lesson to the young and vigorous governments of the West. At any rate this old duke taught me a lesson, and I did my best to hurry off and say it. It was evident that if I wanted to be Whiskey Inspector of Judasville, (and I am justified in saying that no man in the district possesses more peculiar qualifications for the post,) that something in the SALDANHA style must be done. The time had passed for petitions and lobbying. I went immediately to the commander of the Judasville Rifles, and enlisted his sympathies in my cause. He willingly placed his company at my service, but whether this was due to my offer to pay the board-bills and car-fare of the organization while it was under my orders, or to my eloquent statement of my case, I have not yet had an opportunity to discover. The men who, from the very commencement of the undertaking, had constituted themselves the inspectors of my whiskey, were in high good spirits, and, in a body, numbering some forty-six, we arrived in Washington, on a bright morning, about a week ago. It would not do, on an occasion like this, to delay matters. Accordingly I marched my troops directly to the White House. The man in charge of the door took my men for a visiting target company, and told me, whom he supposed was the member from their district, that I must marshal my friends out on the green, and he would notify the Private Secretary. I made no answer to this, but ordered the troops to charge bayonets, and we entered the White House at a double-quick. I led the way directly to GRANT'S study, and stationing my men in the doorway, I entered. He was within, cutting up an "old soger" to smoke in his pipe. After shaking bands with him, I sat down and inquired if that was a regalia he was cutting up.
"No," said he. "This is the HANCOCK brand."
"Oh!" said I.
"Well?" said he, looking somewhat inquisitively at the soldiers, who crowded into the doorway, and almost filled the entry beyond.
"Mr. President," said I, rising and clearing my throat, "I do not wish to occupy much time in the present business—especially as I have to pay the hotel bills of these brave veterans until it is finished. Therefore I will come directly to the point. I desire, immediately, the appointment of Whiskey Inspector for the Judasville district. I have been an applicant for said position quite long enough, and I demand that you make out my commission this morning."
"And suppose I don't?" says GRANT.
"In that case," said I,—"in that case—well, in that case, there are my companions in arms, the brave supporters of my cause!" and I pointed proudly to the Judasville Rifles.
"Well," said GRANT, puffing away at the HANCOCK remnants, "what do you propose to do with them—besides paying their hotel bills, I mean?"
"To do?" said I, "to do?"—and now, to tell the truth, I experienced an immediate disadvantage of not having formed a plan of my campaign. But it would not do to hesitate.
"To do?" I repeated, speaking louder this time. "I shall march upon—well, upon each of the public buildings in turn, and I shall take them and hold them."
"And then?" said GRANT.
"Well," said I, "then, of course, you will see the impossibility of carrying my strongholds without a fearful slaughter, and to prevent the consequent effusion of blood, you will despatch a courier to me, requesting my presence in your council-room."
"And then?" said GRANT.
"I will come," I answered.
"And then?" said GRANT.
"You will give me the Whiskey Inspectorship," I answered.
GRANT glanced at me, and then at the body of troops by which I was supported. Indomitable resolution sat upon every lineament of my countenance, and resolute determination showed itself in the faces of my brave men. Already, from afar, they sniffed the delicious perfumes of the rewards of victory. (It is needless to particularize the alcoholic promises I had made them in case of success.)
GRANT rang a little bell—I think he bought it second-hand, when SEWARD sold out to go travelling—and an obstrusive attendant entered by a back door.
Then, to this obtrusive attendant said the President; "James, step over to the War Department and tell SHERMAN to send me the Eighth and Eleventh Brigades of Cavalry; the Seventy-first and Fortieth Regiments of Artillery; the Twenty-second, Forty-fourth, and Eighty-eighth regiments of infantry, and two companies of sappers and miners."
I stepped forward.
"Mr. PRESIDENT," said I, "in order to prevent the effusion of blood, might it not be as well to settle our little business at once?"
HODGINS, the captain of the Judasville Rifles, now came up to me and touched me on the arm.
"To prevent the effusion of blood," said he, "we are going home."
And they went!
My subsequent adventures, Mr. PUNCHINELLO, I cannot relate, for my paper is full, and the fellow who has charge of this cell has refused to get me any more, unless I give him more money, which I haven't got.
But of one thing my mind is certain, and that is that this country has not yet arrived at that high grade of official refinement and tenderness which Portugal has reached.
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