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Vol. I. No. 24.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 1870.
PUBLISHED BY THE
PUNCHINELLO PUBLISHING COMPANY,
83 NASSAU STREET, NEW YORK.
* * * * *
THE MYSTERY OF MR. E. DROOD,
By ORPHEUS C. KERR,
Continued in this Number.
See 15th Page for Extra Premiums.
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THE MYSTERY OF MR. E. DROOD.
BY ORPHEUS C. KERR.
INSURANCE AND ASSURANCE.
Six months had come and gone and done it; the weather was as inordinately hot as it had before been intolerably cold; and the Reverend OCTAVIUS SIMPSON stood waiting, in the gorgeous Office of the Boreal Life Insurance Company, New York, for the appearance of Mr. MELANCTHON SCHENCK.
Having been directed by a superb young clerk, who parted his hair in the middle, to "just stand out of the passage-way and amuse yourself with one of our Schedules for awhile," until the great life-Agent should come in, the Gospeler read a few schedulistic pages, proving, that if a person had his life Insured at the age of Thirty, and paid his premiums regularly until he was Eighty-five, the cost to him and profit to the Company would, probably, be much more than the amount he had insured for. It must, then, be evident to him, that, upon his death, at Ninety, the Company would have received, in all, sufficient funds from him to pay the full amount of his Policy to the lady whom he had always introduced as his wife, and still retain enough to declare a handsome Dividend for itself. Such was the sound business-principle upon which the Boreal was conducted; and the merest child must perceive, that only the extremely unlikely coincidence of at least four insurers all dying before Eighty-five could endanger the solvency of the beneficent institution.—Having mastered this convincing argument, and become greatly confused by its plausibility, Mr. SIMPSON next gave some attention to what was going on around him in the Office, and allowed his overwrought mind to relax cheerfully in contemplation thereof. One of human nature's peculiarities was quite amusingly exemplified in the different treatment accorded to callers who were "safe risks," and to those who were not. Thus, the whisper of "Here comes old Tubercles, again!" was prevalent amongst the clerks upon the entrance of a very thin, narrow-chested old gentleman, whom they informed, with considerable humor, that he was only wasting hours which should be spent with a spiritual adviser, in his useless attempts to take out a Policy in that office. The Boreal couldn't insure men who ought to be upon their dying beds instead of coughing around Insurance offices. Ha, ha, ha! Another gentleman, florid of countenance and absolutely without neck, was quickly checked in the act of giving his name at one of the desks; one clerk desiring another clerk to look, under the head of "A.," in his book, for "Apoplexy," and let this man see that we can't take such a risk as he is on any terms. A third caller, who really looked quite healthy except around the eyes, was also assured that he need not call again—"Because, you see," explained the clerkly wag, "it's no go for you to try to play your BRIGHT'S Disease on us!" When, however, the applicant was a robustious, long-necked, fresh individual, he was almost lifted from his feet in the rush of obliging young Boreals to show him into the room of the Medical Examiner; and when, now and then, an agent, or an insurance-broker, came dragging in, by the collar, some Safe Risk, just captured, there was an actual contest to see who should be most polite to the panting but healthy stranger, and obtain his private biography for the consideration of the Company.
The Reverend OCTAVIUS studied these sprightly little scenes with unspeakable interest until the arrival of Mr. SCHENCK, and then followed that popular benefactor into his private office with the air of a man who had gained a heightened admiration for his species.
"So you have come to your senses at last!" said Mr. SCHENCK, hastily drawing his visitor toward a window in the side-room to which they had retired. "Let me look at your tongue, sir."
"What do you mean?" asked the Gospeler, endeavoring to draw back.
"I mean what I say. Let—me—see—your—tongue.—Or, stop!" said Mr. SCHENCK, seized with a new thought, "I may as well examine your general organization first." And, flying at the astounded Ritualistic clergyman, he had sounded his lungs, caused a sharp pain in his liver, and felt his pulse, before the latter could phrase an intelligent protest.
"You may die at any moment, and probably will," concluded Mr. SCHENCK, thoughtfully; "but still, on the score of friendship, we'll give you a Policy for a reasonable amount, and take the chance of being able to compromise with your mother on a certain per centage after the funeral."
"I don't want any of your plagued policies!" exclaimed the irritated Gospeler, pushing away the hand striving to feel his pulse again.
"As you have expressed a desire to resign the guardianship of your wards, Mr. and Miss PENDRAGON, and I have agreed to accept it, my purpose in calling here is to obtain such statement of your account with those young people as you may be disposed to render."
"Ah!" returned the other, in sullen disappointment. "That is all, eh? Allow me to inform you, then, that I have cancelled the Boreal policies which have been granted to the Murderer and his sister; and allow me also to remark, that a dying clergyman like yourself might employ his last moments better than encouraging a Southern destroyer of human life."
"I do not, cannot believe that MONTGOMERY PENDRAGON is guilty," said Mr. SIMPSON, firmly. "Having his full confidence, and thoroughly knowing his nature, I am sure of his innocence, let appearances be what they may. Consequently, it is my determination to befriend him."
"And you will not have your life insured?"
"I will not, sir. Please stop bothering me."
"And you call yourself a clergyman!" cried Mr. SCHENCK, with intense scorn. "You pretend to be a Ritualistic spiritual guide; you champion people who slay the innocent and steal devout men's umbrellas; and yet you do not scruple to leave your own high-church Mother entirely without provision at your death.—In such a case," continued the speaker, rising, while his manner grew ferocious with determination—"in such a case, all other arguments having failed, my duty is plain. Yon shall not leave this room, sir, until you have promised to take out a Boreal Policy."
He started, as he spoke, for the door of the private-office, intending to lock it and remove the key; but the unhappy Ritualist, fathoming his design, was there before him, and tore open the door for his own speedy egress.
"Mr. SCHENCK," observed the Gospeler, turning and pausing in the doorway, "you allow your business-energy to violate all the most delicate amenities of private life, and will yet drive some maddened mortal to such resentful use of pistol, knife, or poker, as your mourning family shall sincerely deplore. The articles on Free Trade and Protection in the daily papers have hitherto been regarded as the climax of all that utterly wearies the long-suffering human soul; but I tell you, as a candid friend, that they are but little more depressing and jading to the vital powers than your unceasing mention of life-insurance."
"These are strong words, sir," answered Mr. SCHENCK, incredulously. "The editorial articles to which you refer are considered the very drought of journalism; those by Mr. GREELEY, especially, being so dry that they are positively dangerous reading without a tumbler of water."
"Yon brought the comparison upon yourself, Mr. SCHENCK. Good day."
Thus speaking, the Reverend OCTAVIUS SIMPSON hurried nervously from the Boreal temple; not fairly satisfied that he had escaped a Policy until he found himself safely emerged on Broadway and turning a corner toward Nassau Street. Beaching the latter bye-way, after a brief interval of sharp walking, he entered a building nearly opposite that in which was the office of Mr. DIBBLE; and, having ascended numerous flights of twilight stairs to the lofty floor immediately over the saddened rooms occupied by a great American Comic Paper, came into a spidery garret where lurked MONTGOMERY PENDRAGON,
"Hard at it?" he asked, approaching a ricketty table at which sat the persecuted Southerner, reading a volume of HOYLE'S Games.
"My only friend!" ejaculated the lonely reader, hurriedly covering the book with an arm. "I am, as you see, studying law here, all alone with these silent friends."
He waved his thin hand toward a rude shelf on which were several well-worn City Directories of remote dates, volumes of Patent Office Reports for the years '57 and '59, a copy of Mr. GREELEY'S Essays on Political Economy, an edition of the Corporation Manual, the Coast Survey for 1850, and other inflaming statistical works, which had been sent to him in his exile by thoughtful friends who had no place to keep them.
"Cheer up, brother!" exhorted the good Gospeler, "I'll send you some nice theological volumes to add to your library, which will then be complete. Be not despondent. All will come right yet."
"I reckon it will, in time," returned the youth, moodily. "I suppose you know that my sister is determined to come here and stay with me?"
"Yes, MONTGOMERY, I have heard of her noble resolution. May her conversation prove sustaining to you."
"There will be enough of it, I reckon, to sustain half a dozen people," was the despondent answer. "This is a gloomy place for her, Mr. SIMPSON, situated, as it is, immediately over the offices of a Comic Paper."
"And do you think she would care for cheerful accessories while you are in sorrow?" asked the Gospeler, reproachfully.
"But it is so mournful—that floor below," persisted the brother, doubtfully. "If there were only something the least bit more lively down there—say an Undertaker's."
"A Sister's Love can lessen the most crushing gloom, MONTGOMERY."
A silent pressure of the hand rewarded this encouraging reminder of sanguine friendship; and, after the depressed law-student had promised the Reverend OCTAVIUS to walk with him as far as the ferry in a few moments, the said Reverend departed for a hasty call upon the old lawyer across the street.
Benignant Mr. DIBBLE sat near a front window of his office, and received the visitor with legal serenity.
"And how does our young friend enjoy himself, Mr. SIMPSON, in the retreat which I had the honor of commending to you for him?"
The visitor replied, that his young friend's retreat, by its very loftiness, was calculated to inspire any occupant with a room-attic affection.
"And how, and when, and where did you leave Mr. BUMSTEAD?" inquired Mr. DIBBLE.
"As well as could be expected; this morning, at Bumsteadville," said the Gospeler, with answer as terse and comprehensive as the question.
"—Because," added the lawyer, quickly, "there he is, now, coming out of a refreshment saloon immediately under the building in which our young friend takes refuge."
"So he is!" exclaimed the surprised Mr. SIMPSON, staring through the window.
There, indeed, as indicated, was the Ritualistic organist; apparently eating cloves from the palm of his right hand as he emerged from the place of refreshment, and wearing a linen coat so long and a straw hat of such vast brim that his sex was not obvious at first glance. While the two beholders gazed, in unspeakable fascination, Mr. BUMSTEAD suddenly made a wild dart at a passing elderly man with a dark sun-umbrella, ecstatically tore the latter from his grasp, and passionately tapped him on the head with it. Then, before the astounded elderly man could recover from his amazement, or regain the gold spectacles which had been knocked from his nose, the umbrella, after an instant of keen examination, was restored to him with a humble, almost abjectly apologetic, air, and Mr. BUMSTEAD hurried back, evidently crushed, into the refreshment saloon.
"His brain must be turned by the loss of his relative," murmured the Gospeler, pitifully.
"His umbrellative, you mean," said Mr. DIBBLE.
When these two gentlemen had parted, and the Reverend OCTAVIUS SIMPSON had been escorted to the ferry, as promised, by MONTGOMERY PENDRAGON, the latter, after a long, insane walk about the city, with the thermometer at 98 degrees, returned to his attic in time to surprise a stranger climbing in through one of the back windows.
"Who are you?" exclaimed the Southern youth, much struck by the funereal aspect, sexton-like dress, and inordinately long countenance of the pallid, light-haired intruder.
"Pardon! pardon!" answered he at the window, with much solemnity. "I am a proprietor of the Comic Paper down below, and am eluding the man who comes every day to tell me how such a paper should be conducted. He is now talking to the young man writing the mail-wrappers, who, being of iron constitution and unmarried, can bear more than I. There was just time for me to glide out of the window at sound of that fearful voice, and I climbed the iron shutter and found myself at your casement.—Hark! Do you hear the buzz down there? He's now telling the young man writing the mail-wrappers what kind of Cartoons should be got-up for this country.—Hark, again! and the young man writing the mail-wrappers have clinched and are rolling about the floor.—Hark, once more! The young man writing the mail-wrappers has put him out."
"Won't you come in?" asked MONTGOMERY, sincerely sorry for the agitated being.
"Alas, no!" responded the fugitive, in the tone of a cathedral bell.
"I must go back to my lower deep once more. My name is JEREMY BENTHAM; I am very unhappy in my mind; and, with your permission, will often escape this way from him who is the bane of my existence."
Being assured of welcome on all occasions, he of the long countenance went clanging down the iron shutter again; and the lonely law-student, burying his face in his hands, prayed Providence to forgive him for having esteemed his own lot so hopelessly gloomy when there were Comic Paper men on the very next floor.
That night, before going home to Gowanus, the old lawyer across the way glanced up toward MONTGOMERY'S retreat, and shook his head as though he couldn't make something out. Whether he had a difficult idea in his brain, or only a fly on his nose, was for the observer to discover for himself.
(To be Continued.)
* * * * *
Mr. PUNCHINELLO: It afflicts me, one of your most assiduous readers, to notice that you cast not even so much as a lack-lustre glance at the brilliant gems that STEPHEN PEARL ANDREWS scatters periodically through the columns of the Evening Mail and WOODHULL & CLAFLIN'S Weekly. Are the times out of joint; or is it your Italian nose? Do you fear to quote the sublimated utterances of the perspicacious, although pleonastic philosopher? Does he lead you in thought, or the expression thereof? Then, wherefore? And if not, wherever may the just reason be found for your indifference?
The science of Universology, as so delightfully unfolded by Mr. ANDREWS, is one that must ere long overtop and engulf all others, seeing that it is, of itself, the science which embodies and contains all. It teaches that the universe exists in time and space—a fact never discovered till now—or that, rather, it exists in space and time, as the two negative containers of its statism or existence, and of its motism or eventuation, (its chain of events.) It shows that statism, or world-existence-at-rest, in space, is analogous with the cardinal series of numeration; and motism or world-existence-in-motion, in time, analogous with the ordinal series of numbers; and that, finally, statism and cardinism, (as of the four cardinal points in the orientation of space,) are analogous with spiritualities and the spirit world; and that motism and ordinism (succession by steps) are analogous with temporalities, (transitory things) and so with the mundane or transitory sphere.
Now this is the whole subject in a nutshell—a subject it behooves you and all other deep thinkers to grapple withal. Through your efforts to spread the glorious truths thus ingeniously set forth, how much good might be done! Think of the unravelling of the complications surrounding the Germano-Gallic war; the light that might be thrown upon the sources of HORACE GREELEY'S agricultural information; the settlement of the Coolie question. Then, see what effect a clear and candid discussion of the topic would have on the public morality, security, and peace! How often it appears that, in spite of the normal equanimity observable in circumstantial evidence, hereditary disciplinarisms are totally devoid of potential abstemiousness. This may be owing to the fact that at ebb and neap tides the obliquity of vision (duism) remarked by most invalid veterans in their occasional adversaria, is unconscious of their parental dignity, and by no means to be confounded with the referees in astronomical or pharmaceutical cases, or with ordinary omphalopsychites. Whatever be or not be the result of these investigations and calculations, it is consolatory to the student of proportional hemispheres to remark that, whichever way the sophist may turn, he must invariably rely on the softer impeachments of a hireling crowd, with
"Water, water, everywhere, And not a drop to drink,"
and give up all personal interest in the homogeneous relations arising from too precipitate a ratiocination of events, urging, at the same time, the positive proportions exercised in the administration of a not over particular dormitory, and the replication of chameleonizing—constantly chameleonizing, odoriferosities.
* * * * *
Recent London advices briefly state that EDMUND ABOUT, the missing correspondent of the Soir, has turned up somewhere. Our Cockney informant imagines that M. ABOUT, like his distinguished ancestor, (ABOU, B.A.,) found his "sweet dream of peace" too rudely disturbed by the howlings of the Prussian dogs of war, and decided to 'ead About for Paris, simply in order to avoid being 'eaded off by the enemy.
* * * * *
* * * * *
SUMMER AT SANDY POINT.
Sandy Point, August 18, 1870.
DEAR PUNCHINELLO: Nature demands a change of air. Man needs rest. Invigoration is necessary to health. The throbbing brain must shut down on its throbbing.
Hence second-class hotels, with first-class prices; hence hard beds, no gas, and many flies. I say—"Hence—flies," but as a general thing I notice they will not hence.
WHERE TO GO.
Those who are fond of flees may flee to the mountains. I know when I've got enough, and I prefer to surf it on the sea shore. Take the 3-1/2 A.M. train, and come to
Everything here is sand as far as the eye can reach, or a horse and wagon, with a profane driver, can travel. The ocean laves the beach. The sea also is here. The tide comes in twice a day. This alone gives Sandy Point a great advantage over all other points on the coast.
I rode up in the regular conveyance, and soon after my arrival found myself standing on the spacious and elegant piazza of
THE CHARNEL HOUSE,
a palatial structure erected by the late Mr. CHARNEL, who is said to have lavished an immense fortune upon it. Strictly speaking, he didn't lavish quite so much paint on the front as an advanced civilization had a right to expect; but within, everything, (including the clerk,) appears to have been furnished with an eye to
Mr. SOAPINGTON, the genial landlord, Mr. RICHARD SOAPINGTON, Jr., the gentlemanly clerk, Mrs. SOAPINGTON, the accomplished hostess, and the lovely Miss CLARA SOAPINGTON, all greeted me with that hearty welcome, so dear to the traveller. SOAPINGTON said he was glad to see me, and, seeing that it was me, he would be willing to infringe on his inflexible rule, and would allow me to pay
CASH IN ADVANCE.
Madame S. was sorry she couldn't set me up a cot in the wash-room, but would be compelled to let me have a double front-room over the bar. I told her if the apartment had a practicable trap door I thought I could get along.
RICHARD S., Jr., was sure he had met me before; and, as a friend, he would say the establishment was not responsible for valuables unless deposited in the safe. He would take my watch and jewelry to wear while I was there, inasmuch as
HE WAS THE SAFE HIMSELF.
The charming Miss S. didn't say anything, but she smiled, and looked such unutterable things from behind the blinds, that I expect to find it all in the bill.
Everybody that can get a railroad pass should come to Sandy Point
WHAT TO DO.
Sit in the reading-room and look over the torn files of two daily papers a week and a half old; or study a hotel advertiser.
THE SURF BATHING
is magnificent. The prevalence of an unmitigated undertow renders it quite exhilarating for old ladies and invalids. Any one who is drowned will have every attention paid to his remains,—by the sharks.
Everybody boats. The ROWE Brothers are here, and sing on the water by moonlight. You can blister your bands at an oar, or bale out the boat, just as your taste inclines. As the life-preserver is a little out of repair, I stay on shore.
Everybody fishes. There are all varieties, from speckled trout and mackerel, up to conger eels, horse mackerel, and porpoises. Parties frequently come back with all the fishing they want. If absent a week on a trip, they can make arrangements to have their board run on just the same.
Everybody drives. The roads are of unsurpassing loveliness. They drive every day. If the waiters would drive a few flies out of the dining-room, we wouldn't sit down quite so many at table.
WHO ARE HERE.
Sandy Point, with all its native attractions, would be nothing were it not for the beauty and fashion that throng its halls. There are men here who can draw their note for any amount. Here is an ex-member of Congress; there a double X brewer, both immensely wealthy. Diamonds abound. There is a hop in the parlor every evening and preaching on Sundays.
I should not forget a paralytic washwoman in my section of the house, who has a prevailing idea, when she brings home my clothes, that eleven pieces make a dozen.
Reader, if you seek
THE FLUSH OF HEALTH,
come down here! I wasn't very flush when I got here, but I don't intend to go away till I've put myself into thorough repair.
Yours, SARSFIELD YOUNG.
[Footnote 1: SOAPINGTON, of the hotel here, and I, have been skirmishing over a board bill for a couple of weeks, and he has finally outflanked me to the amount of about $40. I think if you will insert this correspondence it will be all right. S. will succumb.]
* * * * *
A War Conundrum.
When are soldiers like writers for the press? When they charge by the column.
* * * * *
A well-tilled Soil.
The article on DICKENS, in the August number of the Atlantic Monthly, is certainly suggestive of fresh Fields, if not of pastures new.
* * * * *
THE WATERING PLACES.
Sometimes Mr. PUNCHINELLO is very busy. Not only has he upon his shoulders the ordinary labors of conductor of a great journal, but he has much to do for other people. His editors, his printers, his binders, his artists, his engravers, his corps of clerks, his office and errand boys, and all connected with his extensive establishment, come to him from time to time for advice in regard to the investment of their surplus earnings, and between assisting in the purchase of a farm for this one, a house for the other, and all sorts of stocks and bonds for the rest, he is often terribly pressed for time.
No one who is not looked up to by a crowd of grateful dependents, all fattening in the shadow of his prosperity, as it were, can understand Mr. P's. feelings of responsibility at such times.
Such an unusual demand upon his time occurred last week, and Mr. P. found that he would not be able to spend a few days as usual at some fashionable watering place. But be must have some recreation, so he determined to have a day's fishing among the celebrated Thousand Islands of the St. Lawrence. He put some luncheon in a basket, and set off quite early in the morning. Finding that some twenty hours were consumed in the transit, Mr. P. thought that, considering his hurry, he had better, perhaps, have gone to Newark for a day's fishing off the piers. But he was at the St. Lawrence now, and it would not do to complain. He hired a boat, lines, bait and two navigators, and set out bravely.
He sailed among a crowd of islands where either the bowsprit or the boom was continually getting caught in the shrubbery and rocks, until he came to island No. 18. Here was a picnic party.
For reasons which the accompanying view may render obvious, Mr. P. and his men declined the invitation of the picnickers to stop and join them. The boat continued on until it reached the channel between islands No. 87 and No. 88, and there Mr. P. got out his lines and commenced to fish, trolling his bait behind as the boat slowly sailed, under the hot sun, among those lovely isles, where, to be sure, burning's half o' the sport, but where "burning SAPPHO" would have lost herself utterly, and probably have tumbled into some of the watery intricacies and have put herself out.
Mr. P. did not have much luck at first. He caught one muskallonge, after a period of patient waiting which he feels he also must call long, and once, when he thought he was hauling in a fine bass, he turned very red when the boatmen laughed at seeing him "cotch an eel." But after a while he got a royal bite. He hauled in manfully, and although, owing to the intricacies of the channel, he could not see what he had caught, he knew it was a fine fellow from its weight. At last, after tremendous tugging, he got it in over the stem.
It was one of the thousand islands!
What could be done now?
The steersman, who had slipped under a seat when he saw the great mass above him, and the man who managed the sails, were both Canadians, and after a great deal of excited talk, they agreed if Mr. P. would make it worth their while, they would endeavor to put the island back in its place and make no remarks in public which would tend to produce a misunderstanding between the governments of Great Britain and the United States, on the ground of undue acquisition of territory. By the payment of a sum, which it will require a club of thirty subscribers to make good to him, Mr. P. concluded the arrangement, and they sailed back to replace the island. But what was the horror of the party, when they perceived on the unfortunate bit of British territory, a plate, which had stuck fast by reason of a covering of the juice of plum-pie, and a fork which was rammed firmly into the earth!
It needed but few collateral evidences to convince Mr. P. and his men that this was the island where they had seen the picnic.
And where were the picnickers?
If any of Mr. P's. subscribers in Prince EDWARD Island, Costa Rica, the Gallipagoes, or other outstanding places, receive their paper rather late this week, they are informed that, in consequence of his having spent three entire days exploring the labyrinth of these islands in order to find the bodies of the unfortunate party of pleasure, (which bodies he did not find,) Mr. P. was very much delayed in his office business. His near patrons received their papers in due time, but those at a distance will excuse him, he feels sure, when they consider what his feelings must have been, while grappling for an entire picnic.
The island was dumped down anywhere, without reference to its former place. When the Alabama claims are settled, Mr. P. will go back and adjust it properly.
Mr. P. gained nothing by this trip but the knowledge that there are but 980 of these islands, which an unscrupulous monarchy imposes upon a credulous people as a full thousand, and the gloom which would naturally pervade a man, after an occurrence of the kind just narrated.
On his way home, he stopped for supper at Albany, and there he met CYRUS W. FIELD and Commodore VANDERBILT. One of these gentlemen was looking very happy and the other very doleful.
(Illustration: The tall gentleman in the picture is Mr. FIELD—not that he is really so very tall—but he is elevated. The short one is the Commodore—so drawn, not because he is short, but because he is depressed.)
After the compliments of the season, (warm ones,) Mr. P. asked his friends how the war in Europe affected them.
"Gloriously!" cried Mr. FIELD. "Nothing could be better. The messages fly over our cables like—like—like lightning. Why, sir, I wish they would keep up the war for ten years."
"And you, sir?" said Mr. P. to the Commodore.
"Oh, I hate it!" said VANDERBILT. "They send neither men nor munitions by our road. It is an absolute dead loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars to me that my railroad is on this side of the ocean. I shall never cease to deplore it."
"But sir," said Mr. P. "the war may cause a great exportation of grain from the West, and then your road will profit."
"Don't believe it," said the Commodore. "The war will stop exportation."
"It goes against the grain with him, any way you fix it," said Mr. FIELD, with a festive air. "He can't carry any messages."
"On a cabalistic cable," remarked Mr. P.
"No, air," said the Commodore, reverting to his grievances. "Never has such a loss happened to me, since I went into New York Centrals."
"Well, I tell you, VANDY," said Mr. FIELD, "if you and other grasping creatures had kept away from New York's entrails it would have been much better for the body corporate of the State."
"Look here!" cried the Commodore, in a rage.
Mr. FIELD looked there, but Mr. P. didn't. He thought it was time to go for his train, and he went.
* * * * *
SEVERAL UNSAVORY RENDERINGS.
Why there should be such a thing as a New York Rendering Company is a puzzle to thoughtful minds. Persons resident in certain districts of the city, that border on the North River, though, are cognizant of that Company. The North River nose knows the Co., and would close itself to it, only that it is too close upon it to close effectually.
And what are the New York Rendering Company, and to whom do they render, and what? Lard bless you! sir, or madam, they comprise a thing that lives, if not by the sweat of its brow, at least by the suet of its boilers. The dead horses of the city car companies are the creature's normal food. Nor does it despise smaller venison, for it can batten upon dead kittens, too, and fatten upon asphyxiated pup. Carnivorous, decidedly, is the creature concreted by the New York Rendering Company, converting all that it touches into fat, and so, living literally upon the fat of the land. That the Company render other things besides fat, however, has been for some time past a subject of complaint against their management, and here are a few details of their renderings.
Once the atmosphere of the bays and rivers of New York was a source of health to the excursionists who, in summer time, seek relaxation by inexpensive voyages upon the waters adjacent to the city. By casting the refuse of their carrion into these waters, the New York Rendering Company have rendered foul and noxious the once healthful atmosphere of our aquarian outlets, rendering themselves a nuisance, at the same time.
Thus, anything like a "pleasure" excursion by water, in the neighborhood of New York, has been rendered impossible during the present season, by the New York Rendering Company.
Off all the shores of our bays Offal has accumulated, and that during the hottest summer on record for these latitudes. The waters have thus been rendered unfit for bathing in, as the air has been rendered pernicious to breathe—another rendering by the New York Rendering Company, whose manifest mission is to offalize the world.
It is pleasant to know, then, that the renderings of the New York Rendering Company are likely to be reactionary as well as suicidal, (perhaps suetcidal might be a better word here,) in their results. Their "offence is rank," and has reached the nose of authority, for we find it stated that "Mayor HALL has already made complaint against the New York Rendering Company, and that they will he indicted at the next sitting of the Grand Jury."
And when their boiling nuisances come to be seized, as we trust they will be, how jolly to see them "rendering to Seizer" all that has rendered them the nuisance they are! Then let them render up the ghost, and go out spluttering, like a dip candle from one of their own rancid renderings—and so an end of them.
* * * * *
A CARD OF THANKS.
PUNCHINELLO is extremely indebted to The Sun for the association of the names of several worthy gentlemen with the ownership of the only first-class Illustrated Humorous and Satirical paper published in America: (Subscription price, for one year, $4.00. Single copies 10 cents. Office, 83 Nassau St., New York.)
Well, it is something to be credited with having decent men about you; perhaps if The Sun would try the experiment it would be found more purifying than even the sermons of O. DYER.
* * * * *
WHY IT IS SO DRY.
We thought it had something to do with a lack of moisture in the air; and now, along comes Monsieur PROU, another philosopher, and merely says what we had thought. He declares that there was so much ice last winter (come now, gentlemen of the Ice Companies, what have you to say to that?) it couldn't melt in time to evaporate in time to supply moisture in time for the necessary showers. (Somehow, there's an eternity of "time" in that sentence; but n'importe: allons!) We think PROU has proved his case. And, although we can't quite sympathise with his suggestion that detachments of sappers and miners be employed in the spring-time, in Arctic (and doubtless also Antarctic) regions, in blowing up icebergs and otherwise facilitating the operations of old Sol, we give the ingenious Frenchman credit for at least as much philosophic acumen as we ourselves possess: and Heaven only knows how superb a compliment we thus convey!
Couldn't our friend Capt. HALL be requested to watch the Pole a little next winter, and look into this idea of ours and PROU'S?
* * * * *
* * * * *
* * * * *
OUR POLICE REPORT.
On Tuesday last a suspicious looking man was arrested by the police, and taken to the One Hundred and Fourth Precinct Station House, on several charges of disorderly acts perpetrated by him in various parts of the city. He gave his name as CHARLES A. DANA, and was locked up for the night.
Yesterday morning, prisoner was brought before Justice DOWNY, at the Jephson Market Police Court.
Officer LOCUST, being called to testify, stated that his attention was directed to the prisoner, on Tuesday afternoon last, by some boys in Fourteenth Street. Prisoner was standing on the side-walk, on the side of the street opposite Tammany Hall. He was armed with a small pewter squirt, with which he was trying to smear the front of that building by drawing up dirty water from the gutter. The range of the squirt did not appear to reach more than half-way across the street. The water used was very foul, leaving stains upon a dirt-cart that was passing. While witness was watching the prisoner, the Hon. WM. M. TWEED came down the steps from Tammany Hall, and, upon seeing him, prisoner ran away, but was seized by witness, before he could make his escape.
On being interrogated by the magistrate, prisoner said that he hardly knew what he was doing when arrested. The Sun was in his eyes at the time. If it hadn't been so, he would not have missed his shot. He must do something for a living, and he thought that throwing dirty water was as good an occupation as any other. Had made money out of it by threatening respectable people with his pewter squirt, and they would give him money rather than have their clothes soiled. He would do anything to make money; and he didn't in the least mind dirtying his hands in the making of it.
To a question by the magistrate, as to whether he had had anything to do with casting offal into the bay, prisoner laughed in a wild manner, and said that he, for one, could never be accused of wasting good, honest dirt in that way. All the offal in the world, said prisoner, wasn't too much for him to use in bespattering the objects of his attention, friends as well as foes. He had heaved tons of offal, already, at Mr. A. OAKEY HALL, (whom he evidently imagined to be an Irishman, and called O'HALL,) He didn't care whom he hit, in fact, so long as he could make it pay.
A gentleman connected with the velocipede interest, whose name our reporter did not catch, here stated that he became acquainted with prisoner nearly two years ago, while the velocipede frenzy was at its height. He had constructed to order for the prisoner a peculiar velocipede called the "Sun Squirt." It had a Dyer's tub attached to it, which was filled with bilge-water. On this machine, the prisoner, armed with a pewter squirt, used to practise for several hours a day, careering rapidly around the rink, and taking flying shots, as he went, at large posters attached to the wall, having portraits on them of General GRANT, Hon. H. GREELEY, Hon. WM. M. TWEED, The Mayor, Governor HOFFMAN, and several other citizens of admitted position and respectability. The bilge-water usually came back upon him, however, and he was generally a humiliating object on leaving the rink.
Prisoner, on being asked by the magistrate whether he had any references respecting character to give, replied in the negative, whereupon orders were issued to lock him up, pending the appearance of Mr. PUNCHINELLO, who will have some statements to make about him at a future day.
A reward of $5,000 has been offered for any information about the pewter squirt, and particularly as to when, and by whom it was made; and, as detectives are now engaged in working up the case, there can be but little doubt that the vile instrument will ere long be identified.
* * * * *
Some awful smasher of cherished notions is trying to make out that ROUGET DE LISLE was not the real author of the famous Marseillaise, but that he stole it from the Germans. It pains us to contemplate the possibility of the charge being true, but, should it prove to be so, we suggest that the name of the accepted author be changed from ROUGET to ROGUEY DE LISLE.
* * * * *
* * * * *
HIRAM GREEN AMONG THE FAT MEN.
The "Last Gustive" attends the Annual Clam-Bake.
Empires may totter and Dienastys pass in their checks.
Politicians may steal the Goddess of Liberty poorer than JOB'S old Maskaline Gobbler.
J. FISK, Jr., may set the heel of his bute down onto the neck of Rail Rodes—Steambotes—ballet gals, and all that sort o' thing, and this mundane speer will jog along, as slick as a pin, and no questions asked.
But deprive a Fat man of his little clam-bake, and it would be full as pleasant as settin' down onto a Hornet's nest, when the Hornet family were all to home.
Another cargo of clams has gone to that born whence no clam returns, onless you ram your finger down your throte, or take an Emetick.
In the words of Commodore PERRY, who is, alas! no more.
"The misfortenit bivalves meet the Fat man, and they're his'n."
Altho' I'me not much on the fat order myself, I received an invitation to attend the grate Clam-bake. Mrs. GREEN put me up a lunch to eat on the cars, and robin' myself in a cleen biled shirt, I sholdered my umbreller and left Skeensboro.
The seen at Union Park was sublime with plenty of Ham fat. If all flesh is grass, thought I, when old tempus fugit comes along with his mowin' masheen to cut this crop of fat men, I reckon he will have to hire some of his nabor's barns, to help hold all of his hay.
Great mountins of hooman flesh were bobbin' about like kernals of corn on a red hot stove, remindin' me of a corn field full of punkins set up on clothes pins.
The little heads on top of the great sweating bodies, looked as if they were sleev buttons drove in the top of the Punkins.
When a fat man laffs, his little head sinks down into his shirt collar, and disappears in the fat, like a turtle's head when you tickle his nose with a sharp stick.
And then to see them eat clams. I've seen men punish clams by the bushel—by the barrel—but never did I see men shovel clams in by the cart load before.
"Gee-whitaker," said I, to a Reporter of a N.Y. Journal, "them critters must have a dredful elastic stomack."
"Yes," said he, "when Fat-men get clam hungry, the sea banks has to give up her clams, and the grocery keepers furnish the seasonin'."
"Wall," said I, "if the Sea has many such runs on her clam-banks as this, she will have to put on her shutters soon, and go into lickerdation."
"In which state," said he laffin', "it would be exceedin'ly clam-etous."
The members of the Fat Men's Club all went prepared for hot weather, dressed in a linnen soot and carryin' palm leaf fans.
I also notised large fassits onto the toes of their butes, so as to let out the grease occasionly, and keep there butes from sloppin' over.
President RANSOM told me, that a fat man's wife invented the fassets, so as to save sope grease.
"One fat man in hot weather," said Mister RANSOM, "will furnish grease enuff, in the summer time, to keep his family in soft sope the year around, besides supplyin' two or three daily papers with a lot."
Between you and me, Friend PUNCHINELLO, that greasy yarn seems rather too slipperry to swaller, but I guess it'll wash after all.
PETER REED, of New York, and Docter WHITBECK, of West Troy, danced the hiland fling for the championship and a barrel of clams.
"While PETE was cuttin' a pigin wing, and the Dr. was rakin' down a dubble shuffle, they made things rattle, and naborin' towns thought it was an airthquake, and began movin' out their feather beds.
"Go it, my fat friends," said I, to encourage 'em, "blood will tell, and exercise help to digest your clams."
They shook their feet ontil exhausted natur, from necessity, ceased to be virtous, when suddenly they both tumbled over onto their backs, and blowed like porpoises.
The weather bein' hot, a shovel full of cloride of lime was sprinkled onter them, to keep them from gettin' fly blode.
I was introjuced to a North River steembote pilot, whose corporosity looked like the Commissary department of a Prushion Regiment.
"How are you, Paunchy Pilate," said I, gettin' off a joak at his expense. "How many clams have you crucifide to-day?"
"Bully for you, ole man. Haw! haw! he! he! ho! ho!" roared half a dozen fat men at my faceshusness, and they laffed and shook their sides, ontil I thought they'd colaps a floo and spatter me.
One of them fat men approched me, and invited me to have a game of leep frog.
"Excuse me, Captin," said I, "when I get so I can sholder an elefant, I'le come around and accomodate you."
Some was playin' tag. Some was playin' blindman's-buff, while all was amusin' themselves, at some innocent pastime or other.
The day's performance was closed by chasin' a greased pig.
The hog was well greased and let loose, and the whole lot of fat men started pell-mell.
It was "Root hog, or die" with the odds in favor of the Hog.
All of a sudden, the hog turned back, and the fat men coulden't stop, when down they all fell on top of poor piggy, smashin' him flatter'n a pancake.
The bystanders were startin' for derricks and jack-screws to raise the fat men off from each other.
"Hold on," says I, "I know a trick worth 2 of that."
I rusht into the house, and ceasin' the dinner-bell, rung it as hard as I could.
It delited me, in my old age, to see them chaps scrabble when they heard that bell.
In 10 seconds time, only one member of the pile diden't git up, and rise, and that was the hog.
It was a cruel deception—but I believe the mean trick justifide the end, and saved the Bord of Helth a big bill of expense. For sure's you're borned, it would have been a meesely old job, cartin' of that big pile of corrupshun.
I had seen enuff for one day.
My fisikle and intelectooal capacity was gorged.
Foldin' my Filacteries, and pickin' up my bloo cotton parashoot, I fled the seen, hily tickled to think I wasen't a fat man.
Virtously of thee,
HIRAM GREEN, Esq.,
Lait Gustise of the Peece.
* * * * *
* * * * *
OUR FINANCIAL ARTICLE.
WALL STREET, August 9th, 1870.
SIR:—It is with feelings of indignation and scorn that I proceed once more to pollute my pen with the chronicles of a mercenary rabble. It had been thought that the remonstrances of the pure and high-minded among your readers would have sufficed to overcome the resolution of an infatuated, but not Criminal Editor. There was a time when the claims of a Certain Contributor were wont to be considered. But the passion for worldly greed has, alas! perverted a too simple nature, and where the Muses once found a congenial resting place, the demon Mammon now sits in GHASTLY TRIUMPH.
I will not here refer to my threat of resignation, nor to the shouts of diabolical laughter with which it was received by the conductor of a Comic Journal, whose name it would not become me to mention. Suffice it to say that those sentiments of loyalty and affection which have ever been my glory, and a keen appreciation of the difficulty of obtaining employment on the Press, have kept me attached to the staff of PUNCHINELLO. The anguish which Finance has cost an artistic soul no one may ever know. The silent tear may fall, but it shall be buried in my bosom. The spectacle of my hidden suffering shall stand as a reproach to one whom I once HONORED and now PITY.
Divesting myself of that part of my nature which is comprised in the good, the beautiful and true, I betook myself yesterday to Wall Street and the Gold Room. At the portals of the Financial Menagerie, a gentleman placed his hand upon my shoulder.
Was I a subscriber?
No, but I was a comic writer.
He said I looked as though I had seen misfortune. If I was not a subscriber, perhaps I had been in the Penitentiary, served out a sentence at Sing Sing, or procured a divorce from my wife?
I had done none of these things.
I was not a member of the Legislature?
A brilliant idea struck him. Perhaps I had been an editor?
I pleaded guilty.
He thought that would do—I might go in.
I went in, and herewith submit to you the result of my investigations.
NINE O'CLOCK.—On opening this morning, a scarcity of money was perceptible in the market. It was especially perceptible in the case of your contributor. (This is not a hint that a week's salary in advance would be acceptable.) Peanuts are much sought after. (They are excellent things to pelt a fellow with.) Apples were inquired after, but upon a rumor that they were unripe, they declined several per cent.
HALF PAST NINE.—The following telegram has just been received here.
"METZ, August 11th.
"To His Serene Highness, the Prince of Erie, Duke of the Grand Opera House, Admiral of Narragansett, Commander of the Ninth, etc., etc., etc., Erie Palace, New York City.
"ROYAL BROTHER:—Louis has received his baptism of fire. McMAHON wept. He is training to dispute with Miss LOUISA MOORE, the proud title of the 'Champion Weepist.'
"Send me the Ninth, and the flower of Opera Bouffe—aye, even the great SCHNEIDER—shall be thine. 'Tis France that calls—be kind. Fraternally thine own,
It was at first thought that H.S.H. would accede to the Emperor's request, his recent treaty with the Court of the Grande Duchesse and his diplomatic relations with the Viennoise Ballet Troupe having rendered the event far from improbable. It was also considered that the hostility which he has openly displayed towards the British Erie Protection Committee would predispose him in favor of England's natural enemy. In view of the possible departure of the Ninth, and the consequent prolongation of the European war, gold rose several degrees above freezing point.
TEN O'CLOCK.—The Ninth, don't go to Europe after all. Several members of Company "K" were observed to shed tears of vexation—or joy! Here is Col. FISK'S reply.
"To NAPOLEON, (not in Berlin.)"
"EFFETE MONARCH:—Can't spare the b-hoys at any price. They're going into camp down at the 'Branch.' Besides, some of them haven't paid for their uniforms yet. With regards to Eugenie,"
"I am Right Royally Yours,"
JAS. FISK, JR.
"P.S.—If a large diamond, a team of six black and white horses, a Sound steamer, or a copy of the Tribune, would be of any use to you, command me. I might also spare you GOULD and some of my relations in case you were very short of men, and had some very perilous positions to fill up. JAMES."
HALF PAST TEN.—Speculators in New York Central and Hudson River securities are much excited over a report that Commodore VANDERBILT had been seen to purchase a watering hose in the store of a well known manufacturer of gardening implements, on Broadway. He wrapped it in brown paper, placed it in his $1000 buggy, and drove away behind Dexter at the rate of 0:01-1/4 per minute. I have it on good authority that there is no truth in the rumor, circulated a few days ago, that the Commodore was engaged in negotiation with the Paid Fire Department for the use of their engines, etc., on some occasion not far distant.
ELEVEN O'CLOCK.—It is now officially announced that the watering hose referred to in my last is intended for gardening purposes only.
HALF PAST ELEVEN.—Great war between Erie and the Tribune. Tribune interdicted on Erie Railway and Boston and Long Branch steamers. Desolation of the Hub in consequence. Panic amongst Tribune stockholders.
TWELVE.—FISK says that the Tribune is so heavy that it must far the future be paid for by weight, on his steamers. It is felt that this course, if adopted by Mr. GREELEY, would be financially ruinous to the interests of his paper.
HALF PAST TWELVE.—It is stated here that Mr. GREELEY, in the effectual disguise of a bran new hat and respectable boots, succeeded in smuggling a carpet bag filled with Tribunes on board the Plymouth Rock. Much anxiety is felt here concerning his fate, in case the Admiral should discover his presence on board.
ONE O'CLOCK.—In a letter just received, Mr. GREELEY designates the above report as "a lie—a lie—false and malicious, and uttered with intent to malign and defame." I publish Mr. G's correction with pleasure.
HALT PAST ONE.—For some days past a steady decline has been noticeable in Government securities; a want of confidence in the Executive is said to be the cause. It is reported that several of our leading financiers have openly indicated their dissatisfaction with the policy of those in power at Washington.
Two O'CLOCK.—The leading financier referred to in my last I find to be JAMES FISK, JR.
HALF PAST TWO.—He indicated his dissatisfaction with the policy of the Government, to the President at Long Branch, thus: Having transferred all the jewels from his left hand to the right, and carefully adjusted them there, he raised the hand in question to his finely cut Roman nose, then, extending his fingers, he twirled them for several minutes without exhibiting any symptoms of fatigue. GRANT is said to have allowed a prime Partaga to drop from between his lips in his surprise.
THREE O'CLOCK.—It is now rumored that Fisk did not apply his fingers in the manner stated.
HALF PAST FOUR.—Market (at Delmonico's) gone frantic over a consignment of Opera Bouffe sent by the Erie Protection Committee as a mark of confidence in the present Erie management. Eries said to be in good voice. Preferred stock will open in about a month with an extensive and carefully selected ballet. Premieres Danseuses (hic) strong, with extensive sales. Scenery (hic) quiet, (hic.) Appointments active (hic.)
* * * * *
Influence of Association.
Reading on one of the bulletin boards, the other day, the words "War to the Last!" we were irresistibly reminded of the difficulty that lately existed between the native and Chinese Crispins in Massachusetts.
* * * * *
THE WAY TO BECOME GREAT.
Half-witted people, only, will suppose I mean grate, for the most obtuse nincompoop must know that anybody can become a grate man by going into the stove business; but to develop yourself into a real bona-fide great man, like GEORGE FRANCIS TRAIN or DANIEL PRATT, requires much study and a persistent effort. I have carefully thought out this subject, and have reduced my reflections and observations to a series of rules, which, for the benefit of humanity, I propose to make public.
It must he premised that there are many varieties of great men. Daddy LAMBERT was a great man, so was the living skeleton, yet even a casual observer could perceive the difference in their greatness. The greatness of the fleshy world is one thing; the greatness of the no-fleshy world is another. Also, strange as it may seem, a man may be great and yet not be great. HOOD was a great General, so was NAP 3, but they tell me that Nashville and Saarbrucken are terrible commentaries on greatness. Also a man may be great and not know it. They say that, until he had made his grand success at Fort Fisher, you never could persuade BUTLER that he was a great General. TUPPER, I am informed, would never believe that he was the most remarkable poet ever produced by England. Also a man may be great and be perfectly aware of it. Acquaintances of GEORGE FRANCIS TRAIN, Gen. O'NEILL, and Count JOANNES, assert that no one knows, better than these gentlemen, that they are great men. Also a man may die calmly in the consciousness that he is a distinguished individual, and yet, years afterwards, some magazine writer may cast historic doubts upon his greatness.
Of course there are several classes of great people. There is the little great man, (for example, NAP. 3,) the big great man, (BISMARCK,) the great little man, (NAP. 1,) and the great big man, (the Onondaga giant.) But the patient observer must perceive that general rules will cover all these cases.
It is to be hoped that no one, who shall become great by means of my rules, will turn upon me and revile me, when he finds himself interviewed incessantly, persecuted by unearthings of his early sins, by persistent beggars, by slanders of the envious, by libels of the press, and by the other concomitants of greatness. You must take the sour with the sweet. Even the sweetest orange may have an unpleasant rind.
RULES BY WHICH EVERY MAN CAN BECOME GREAT.
1. Always be sure to get what belongs to you, and make most vigorous grabs for everything that belongs to everybody else.
2. Take everything which is offered to you, if it be on a par with what you deem the standard of your worth.
This rule requires the exercise of much wisdom in its application. If, for example, you look upon the Custom House as the office which is adapted to you, don't, under any circumstances, take the appraiser's position. But you must never let the rule work the other way.
3. Always have a policy. Talk about it much and often, and be sure to call it "my policy."
The best of rules being liable to misconstruction, some Congressmen have acted as if this rule read, "Always have a policy shop."
4. Always have a theory. If a murder has been committed, appear to know all about the "dog," and to be familiar with its history from the time when it was a pup. Be sure to fix suspicion upon some person, even if you are compelled to eat your own words on the following day.
5. Talk much and often about protection, and give advice to farmers, even if you don't know anything about agriculture.
6. Fill your head with classical quotations, and trot them out on all occasions, whether discussing a bill for the diffusion of beans among the Indians, or the Alabama claims.
7. Smoke many costly Havana cigars.
This rule has been lately discovered.
8. Get some one to write a history of CAESAR for you, or an account of a tour in the Highlands, and then claim the work as your own.
There are one or two observations I would here make, which may be useful. If you are ambitious, you had better commence at the lower rounds of the ladder, in order that your ascent may be safe and rapid. If you would be, for instance, a great statesman, be first an alderman; if a great warrior, be first—well, say a tanner. Also, you should pay particular attention to the clothes which you inhabit. An old white hat and a slouchy old overcoat will insure you a nomination for the office of Governor.
If, by following these rules and heeding these observations, you cannot become a great man, you may rest assured that the fault is not in the rules, but in you. What is already perfect cannot be made more perfect. If you fail, after conscientiously following the above advice, (though I'm not sure that the fact will not be the same, if you succeed,) it's because you are already great—a great fool.
* * * * *
"THE COLORED TROOPS FOUGHT NOBLY."
So far as the Franco-Prussian war has gone, the blackest page of its history appears to be the employment of the Turcos, who are nearly as black as average Nubian "niggers." The expedient of mixing black troops with white was not very successful during our own little war. Raids upon hen-roosts were about the most prominent results of the experiment, though said raids were magnified by the Rads into grand victories over Confeds. The Turcos have done better, so far as mere fighting is concerned; but their brutal outrages exceed so greatly the hen-roost exploits of WENDELL PHILLIPS'S devoted darkies, that they are certainly entitled to be organized into battalions bearing the title of the NAPOLEON Black Guards.
* * * * *
"THE VOICE OF THE TURTLE."
According to a newspaper paragraph, turtles are growing used to being canned alive, now, on the Pacific Coast. On hearing of this atrocity, the Nine Muses repaired at once to the office of PUNCHINELLO, and here is the result of their visit:
'Tis the voice of the Turtle That's heard in the land. Crying, "Bother your care! I don't want to be canned!
"Pack me whole in a tub, Nor be stingy of ice, What I want is a BERGH, Nothing less will suffice."
* * * * *
ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS.
Black-eyed Susan asks us whether a Pitched battle can take place on land. Answer.—Certainly not. When we speak of a battle being Pitched we mean that it has been fought by Tars.
Fogbank.—"Is DANA, of The Sun, any relation to "Truthful JAMES," of whom the Overland Monthy has written?" Answer.—Distantly related, through intermarriage with the LONGBOWS.
Moses.—We do not suppose that the person referred to by you as a Dyer and Scourer is in any way related to OLIVER DYER, although the latter person scoured Water Street some time since, and very effectually, in pursuit of a "sensation." The word "Scourer," nevertheless, might be an allowable corruption of "Esquire," when applied to any of the proprietors of that mephitic daily, The Sun.
Pickerel.—Will Mr. GREELEY be obliged to dress in court costume if he accepts the mission to the Court of St. JAMES? Answer.—No. It would be contrary to Mr. GREELEY'S well-known principles to get on "tights."
Flagroot.—Is it correct to say the "balance" of an army, meaning the rest of it? Answer.—Not always. When an army has turned the Scale of battle, however, the word Balance may be used.
Mary Jane.—I have embroidered a flag for the Prussian army, and am at a loss for a motto. How would "Bear and Forbear" do? Answer.—"Beer and for Beer" would be better.
* * * * *
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A ROAR FROM NIAGARA.
DEAR PUNCHINELLO:—Having been reminded, by your recent notes on Niagara, that there is a cataract of that name, possessed of height and depth and breadth and volume and other well-known characteristics of a genuine Waterfall, I thought I would go and see it for myself. Not that I doubted your statements—which, indeed, are handsomely supported by familiar statistics,—but certainly there is a charm in treading the ground once trod by Greatness, breathing—well not the same air, I hope, but some of the same kind,—viewing the identical scenes, and being swindled by the self-same parties, that had just occasioned your animated comments.
I don't know a charm at all comparable with that of being swindled in the midst of fine scenery, when the funds and enthusiasm still hold out, and the sense of actually getting the worth of one's money is not yet so blunted by transactions calculated to awaken Thought, as to have lost the power of increasing one's felicity. That the intelligent lad who drove me was in league with every one of the parties who were stationed here and there with the sole apparent purpose of receiving fifty cents from visitors, I was loth to believe, though nothing could have been plainer, if one had happened to think of it from the start.
Is it not funny, the way they serve their Congress Water at the Cataract House? They put a big lump of ice in a tumbler, take a bottle from a shelf, pour the warm, stale fluid, (tasting like perspiration, as one might fancy,) into this glass, and expect you to wait till it has grown cool enough to be palatable. Well, if you wait, you lose what little life there is left in the stuff; and if you don't, you'll be sorry you hadn't done so.
One may say, "You needn't have ordered any Congress Water." Very well, but why not, provided I liked it? The clerk said they kept Vichy, also, but I learned they were "out." I wish they had been out of Congress too. "All right!" said I, "I shall enjoy my breakfast all the more, for I know that will make amends!" And it did. The "salmon trout" was dry, as usual, but that breakfast was a good thing. I enjoyed it, and my two niggers and my New York paper of day before, (for which I paid a cute looking boy in the hall ten cents, on my way to breakfast,) and was happy.
Not, my dear P., till I reached the "other side," and had been inveigled into the Museum Hotel, and persuaded into those vile wrappings of oil-cloth, with the ponderous rubbers over my thick boots, and had stood around for some time, awaiting the pleasure of the very leisurely guide, sweating at every pore, (or nearly every one, for there are several millions, I believe, and I so hate exaggeration,) and trying to evade the glances of the amused bystanders, did I begin to realize the enormity of the imposition that had been practised on me. Just fancy yourself, Mr PUNCHINELLO, in such a costume, taking a seemingly interminable walk in a hot sun, down ever so many steps, encased in those nasty articles of gear, in the company of several other helpless unfortunates, wishing with all your might yon were already there!"
"But the grandeur and glory of the adventure will console me!" I murmured. Grandeur be hanged! A fig for the "glory!" What! do you call this "going under the Falls,"—that renowned journey, so full of peril? Pooh! merely standing in a bath-tub and letting somebody pull the string! You don't get quite so wet; that's all. Where's the "danger," where's the "glory," of merely stepping under a little spirt from one end of the Falls, with plenty of room to stand, and no darkness, no mystery, no nothing. Nothing but an overwhelming sense of being a cussed fool, and a simpleton, and a stupid, and a dunce!
Oh, the going back, after that! in the same loathed costume, inwardly justifying the laughter of the knowing loungers as you ascend among them, and cursing yourself as the chief among ten thousand (ninnies,)—the one altogether idiotic.
Except for this enormous swindle, dear P., I should have enjoyed Niagara, and Niagara would doubtless have enjoyed me. But this preposterous, disgusting, outrageous, ridiculous, contemptible, disgraceful, unsurpassable swindle prevented anything like a mutual understanding. I saw green in the Falls, the Falls saw green in me. The Falls kept coming down; I had already come down, (with my dollars,) and, in fact, was perpetually descending, with sums varying from twenty-five cents to four dollars and a half.
My sole object, friend PUNCHINELLO, in addressing you on this subject, is to beg and beseech that you will warn the too-credulous and too-generous public against this unmatchably atrocious swindle of Going Under the Falls. It is too much for proud Humanity, Mr. P.! It is crushing! It is withering! It is annihilating! What! "Annex" this fraud? Never!—NEVER!
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THE POSSIBLE "WHY?" OF IT.
The personal feeling against the French Emperor, so often displayed in the columns of the Tribune, has frequently been a subject of comment. Nevertheless it is easily accounted for. As Louis NAPOLEON is said to detest ham, ever since he was incarcerated in the fortress of that name, so does the Hon. HORACE GREELEY detest him, ever since he (H. G.) was arrested in France for some offence, real or imaginary, which we cannot now recall to mind, and thrown into prison at Clichy. And to this, also, may be traced the celebrated bon mot of Mr. GREELEY, who once remarked, on a festive occasion, that "Ham was afflicted with trichinosis when it had Louis NAPOLEON in it."
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A HINT FOR EXCURSIONISTS.
On account of the present nauseating condition of New York Bay, owing to the offal nuisance, no prudent voyager should seek to stem its feculent tide unless provided with "something to take." An intelligent correspondent suggests that brandy would be about the thing, but that it should be labelled "Bay Bum."
* * * * *
A Military Opinion.
The "Prussian centre," of which we hear so much just now, ought to be permanently established at Cologne, which place has been, in feet, the Scenter of the world for generations past.
* * * * *
LIFE OF CHARLES DICKENS. By E. SHELTON MACKENZIE, LL.D,, Philadelphia: T. B. PETERSON AND BROTHERS.
In this volume of 484 pages, Dr. MACKENZIE brings before his readers a very full and interesting compilation of facts relating to the career of the great novelist. Besides these, the volume contains a number of characteristic articles from the pen of DICKENS, published, originally, in All the Year Round, some of which are of recent date. The book is embellished with a portrait and autograph of DICKENS.
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