Imatges de pÓgina

stripes is ticketed with the alluring word, very close, and dyed with something “Lovely.” Other garments are offered that gives them a foxy-black hue. to the public, with such guaranties as Women, many of them with children “ Original,” “Genteel,” “ Excelsior," in their arms, have come to look out and “ Our Own." There is not an ar- for bargains. Near the entrance, which ticle among them but has its ticket of is quite open to the street, there stands recommendation, and another card af- a man with a light cane in his hand, fixed to each sets forth the lowest price which he lays every now and then over for which it is to be had. The number the shoulders of some objectionable and variety of hats on show along this youth marked by him in the crowd. queer arcade are very characteristic of The objectionable youth is a pickpockthe people, with whom hats have long et, or a “sneak-thief,” or both, and the been a traditional article of commerce. man with the cane is the private detecDimly-lighted cellars, down precipitous tive attached to the place. He is well flights of narrow, dirty steps, up which acquainted with the regular thieves of come fumes of coffee and cooked vi- these localities, and his business is to ands, are to be seen at short intervals, “spot" them, and keep them from edgand these restaurants are supported ing in among the loose articles lying mainly by the denizens of the street. about the store. He says that there Shops in the windows of which blazes are a great many notorious pickpockets much cheap jewelry abound, and there in the crowd, and he looks like one who are also many tobacconists on a small knows. scale.

Here and there along the Bowery The lights of Chatham Square twin- small, shrivelled Chinamen stand by kle out now; and here I pause before rickety tables, on which a few boxes a feature very peculiar to the Bowery, of cheap cigars are exposed for sale.

one of those large, open shops in These foreigners look uneasy in their which vociferous salesmen address Bowery clothes,

which are

of the from galleries a motley crowd of men cheapest quality sold at the places and women. One fellow in dirty shirt- just mentioned. Some of them wear sleeves and a Turkish cap flourishes the traditional queue, but they wind it aloft something which looks like a fan, very closely round their heads, probabut proves, on closer inspection, to be bly to avoid the derision of the street a group composed of several pocket- boys, to whom a Chinaman's “tail” combs, a razor, and other small articles, offers a temptation not to be resisted. constituting in all a “lot.” This he Others have allowed their hair to grow offers, with stentorian utterances, for in the ordinary manner. They are not a price a hundred per cent less, you communicative when addressed, which bet, than you kin buy 'em for on Broad- may be due, perhaps, to the fact, that way.” Other salesmen lean furiously but few of them possess more of the over the gallery railing, flourishing English language than is necessary for shirts, stockings, and garments of the purposes of trade. Fireworks and every kind, mentionable and unmen- tobacco are the principal articles in tionable, in the faces of the gaping which these New York Chinamen deal. loafers below. Sometimes a particu- Everybody who passes through the lar “lot” will attract the attention Bowery, and more especially at night, of a spectator, and he will chaffer must have observed the remarkable about it for a while ; but the sales do prevalence of small children there. not often appear to be very brisk. The Swarms of well-clad little boys and people one sees in these places are girls, belonging to the shop-keepers, very characteristic of the Bowery. sport before the doors until a late Many of them are what the police call hour at night. Here is a group of “hard cases,” — men, with coarse, bull- extremely diminutive ones, dancing an dog features, their mustaches trimmed elf-like measure to the music of an itinerant organist. Darting about, here, by the show-windows of the milliners' there, and everywhere, are packs of shops ; and a marvellously long row ragged little urchins. They paddle of milliners it is, never ending until it along in the dirty gutter, the black runs against a druggist just where ooze from which they spatter over the Bayard Street makes an angle with passers on the sidewalk, and run with Division. Every window and every confiding recklessness against the legs show-case by the thresholds is filled of hurrying pedestrians. Ragged and with a curious variety of infinitesipoor as they certainly are, they do mally small bonnets and bats, some in not often ask for alms, but continually a skeleton state, others bedizened in give themselves up, with wild abandon, all the fancy modes of the season. to chasing each other in and out Division Street may be termed the between the obstacles on the side- milliners' quarter of New York City. walk. Boys of a better class carry Most of the goods displayed here are on business here.

Watch this one of a “sensation ” character, but that is selling fans : he is so well dressed, just what pays on the east side. Yet and so genteel in appearance, that it I would not be understood here as is easy to see his livelihood does not meaning to disparage the west side; altogether hang upon a commercial and indeed I have been told that ladies venture so small as the one in which from the most fashionable quarters of he is at present engaged. That boy the city are not above buying their has evidently a mercantile turn, and millinery in Division Street. Numbers may be a leading city man yet. Far- of young girls are passing to and fro ther on, four smart-looking youngsters here, pausing ever and anon to gaze in are indulging in some very frothy bev- at the windows with longing eyes. If erage at a street soda-water bar. High there be “sermons in stones,” so are words are bandied about concerning there also in show-cases, and many a the quality of the “stamps” offered by sad romance of won and lost grows them in change, the genuine character out of the latter too. The shop-girls of which has been challenged by a boy have nearly got through their work of their own size, who seems to be in now, and they lean against the doorcharge of the concern. Numbers of posts or stand out on the sidewalk, these cheap soda-water stalls are to be gossiping in groups of twos and threes. seen in the Bowery; and they appear You will observe that there is not a to drive a good business generally, single milliner's shop on the other notwithstanding the lager-beer saloons side of the street. The dealers there that so generally abound. Many lar- are mostly in the hardware and groger establishments for the sale of tem- cery lines, or they represent commerce perance drinks are open here during as tobacconists, confectioners, and the summer months. I notice a good such like ; but they have nearly all number of people going to and from shut up for the night, and the glory a large one, the entrance of which is of the gas is on the milliner side of so wide and high that it realizes the the way alone. All along the Bowery idea of “open house," and within the same order of things may be obwhich there are a great number of served to prevail, - the west side taps from which soda-water, ready being chiefly devoted to the dry-goods mingled with all the various kinds of trade, while the hardware dealers, syrups, is drawn.

grocers, restaurateurs, and numerous Let us cross over the Bowery, and other tradespeople occupy the east take a look at Division Street, which side. diverges from it at the neck of Chatham And now again up the Bowery, Square, and is one of the curiosities where the lights appear to stretch of the district. It is a narrow street, away into almost endless space. The very brilliantly lighted up on one side numerous lines of horse-cars pass and repass each other in long perspective, of this year, a gang of about a dozen their lights twinkling like constellations armed ruffians boarded a Third Avenue on the rampage, as they run to and horse-car somewhere in these latitudes, fro. The jingle of their harness-bells is knocked down the conductor with a pleasant of a sultry night, recalling the slung-shot, robbed and otherwise malsleigh-bells of bracing winter. And treated several of the passengers, and the bells have something suggestive in got clear away before the first policethem, too, of the old Bowery pastures, man had made his appearance. Such where the flocks and herds roamed at incidents are by no means uncommon large, and the cow-bells rang bass to in the Bowery and its purlieus at the shrill treble that came from the night. It is quite different now, rebell-wethers of the flock. But here member, from the Bowery it was when we have something that is hardly so old Peter Stuyvesant used to dot its pastoral in its associations. Out from cow-paths with the tip of his wooden the portals of a large theatre issues a leg. crowd of roughs, who elbow and jostle Everywhere within the limits of the each other in their anxiety to reach the sidewalk, and sometimes out upon the nearest place where bad liquor can be pavement beyond, stand fruit-stalls had. To-night the theatre has been loaded with oranges, apples, nuts, and given over to the gymnasts of the all such fruits as are seasonable and “prize-ring,” and they have had a spar- plenty. There are tables on which ring exhibition there. Three or four pink, pulpy melons, flecked with the interesting English pugilists, lately ar- jet-black seeds, are set forth in slices, rived in the city, have been showing to tempt thirsty passengers ; tables their mettle with the gloves on; and, upon which large rocks of candy are although a dollar a head is the usual broken up into nuggets to suit cusadmission fee on such occasions, the tomers; and tables upon which banaentertainment is always sure to bring nas alone are exposed for sale. The together an immense crowd of the lamps upon all these flame and smoke rough class.

A little later, and an- in the fitful whiffs of night air. The other dense throng will emerge from weighing-machine man is here, with a the Old Bowery Theatre, just over the blazing light suspended in front of his way. It will be a very mixed crowd of brazen disk; and, as I pass on, I notice men, women, and children, - the street- that the man who exhibits the moon boys, with their wondrous variety of is dismounting his big telescope, for sharp faces, owlish faces, wicked faces, the night is clouding fast, and his ocand ragged clothes, being constant cupation is gone. Two small girls patrons of this popular east-side the- are scraping doleful strains from the atre. Not far from this are the most sad catgut of violins nearly as big as dangerous corners and lurking-places themselves. They have long been freto be found anywhere in the Bow- quenters of the Bowery at night, and ery. Here thieves and rowdies of the were much smaller than their fiddles worst description hang about the doors when I first saw them here. Off the of the low bar-rooms in the neigh- sidewalk, upon the pavement of the borhood, in gangs of five or six, all street, there is a crowd of men and ready at a signal to concentrate their boys, closely grouped around someforces for a rescue, a robbery, or a thing in the way of a show. As I aprow of any sort in which plunder may proach, old voices of the once familbe secured. There are policemen in iar woodlands and farm-yards greet the Bowery, of course; but in many

I listen to them, for a brief cases the tactics of the thieves prove moment, rapt. Alas! they are spurito be too much for these guardians ous. They emanate from a dirty man, of the public peace. One night, for in- who stands in the centre of the group, stance, in the merry month of May with a small wooden box slung before him. By his side stands his torch- ments are rows of headless dummies, bearer, who illuminates him with a intended to represent the female form lamp suspended from a long pole. The divine, and to show off on their inaniperformer takes something from his mate busts and shoulders the sweetest mouth, and, having made a laudatory assortments ever seen of new things address regarding its merits, replaces in summer fashions. These headless it between his teeth, and resumes his dummies of the Bowery have a very imitations of many birds and quad- ghastly look at night. They suggest a rupeds. His mocking-bird is very fair; procession of the ghosts of Bluebeard's his thrush, passable ; but his canary wives, who, true to their instincts while less successful, being rather too reedy in life, nightly revisit the “ ladies' furand harsh. Farm-yard sounds are nishing establishments ” here, to rumthrown off with considerable imitative mage among scarfs and ribbons, and power. His pig is so good, indeed, don for the brief hour before cock-crow that it invites a purchaser, who puts the vable stuffs and stuffings that one of the calls into his mouth, and are yet so dear to them.

my ear.

his features in his Yonder is a group curious for color, wretched efforts to produce the de- and one well worth the consideration sired grunts and squeaks. The crow- of a painter who has a fancy for striking ing of cocks, the neighing of horses, effects. A negro girl with hot corn for the lowing of cows, and the bleating of sale stands just outside the reflection sheep follow in succession, — sounds from a druggist's window, the bars of so appropriate to the memories of the red and green light from the colored Bowery that was, that one is tempted jars in which fall weirdly on the faces to applaud the rascal in spite of the of two men who are bụying from her. swindle he is practising on the crowd. The trade in boots and shoes is briskly Of course, with the exception of the carried on, even at this late hour of the bird-songs, none of these sounds are night. In the Bowery this trade is very produced by the aid of the calls, but extensive. Long strings of boots and are simply the fruit of long and assidu- shoes hang from the door-posts. Trays ous practice on the part of the gifted of the same articles are displayed outperformer.

side, and it seems an easy matter for On, on, still up the Bowery, of which any nocturnal prowler to help himself, the end is not yet. Great numbers of en passant, from the boxes full of cordpeople are passing to and fro, an excess wainers' work that stand on the edge of of the feminine element being generally the footway next the street. On the observable. The sidewalks are cum- eastern side of the way, there are fewer bered with rough wooden cases. As in lights to be seen now than there were Chatham Street, the shop-keepers - or an hour ago. The tradespeople over “ merchants,” if they insist on being there, generally, have put up their shutso designated -- are sitting, mostly, out- ters, and the time for closing the drinkside their doors. Garlands of hosiery ing-saloons is at hand; but lights are and forests of hoop-skirts wave beneath yet lingering in the pawnbroker's estabthe awnings, — for most of the Bowery lishments, for the Mont de Piété is an shops have awnings -- making the side- institution of an extremely wakeful, not walk in front of them a sort of arcade to say wide-awake, kind. for the display of their goods. But the Now the Bowery widens gradually to time has come now for taking in all the northward, and may be likened to a these waving things for the night, and river that turns to an estuary ere it the young men and girls of the shops joins the waters of the main. The are unhooking them with long poles, or vast and hideous brown-stone delta of handing them down from step-ladders the Cooper Institute divides it into two planted in the middle of the sidewalk channels, – Third Avenue to the right, Ranged outside the larger establish- Fourth Avenue to the left. Properly the Bowery may be said to end here; brought from Holland, and planted by but only a few blocks farther on, at the the hands of the old Dutch Governor corner of Third Avenue and Thirteenth himself. Spring-time after spring-time, Street, is marked the spot where stood until within a year or two past, the the gateway leading to the original Stuyvesant pear-tree used to blossom, Bouwery, the old mansion in which and its blossoms run to fruit. It lived, Peter Stuyvesant dwelt when New in a very gnarled and rheumatic conAmsterdam was, but as yet no New dition, until the 26th of February last, York. And here, till within a few when it sank quietly down to rest, and months, stood the traditional Stuyve- nothing but the rusty old iron railing is sant pear - tree, said to have been left to show where it stood.

R.P. Nevin.


HIRTY-SIX years ago a young things, and his dealings were marked

man, about twenty-five years of by tact and shrewdness. In his sphere age, of a commanding height, - six he was proficient, and he kept his feet full, the heels of his boots not in- wits upon the alert for everything that cluded in the reckoning, — and dressed might be turned to professional and in scrupulous keeping with the fash- profitable use. Thus it was that, as he ion of the time, might have been seen sauntered along one of the main thorsauntering idly along one of the prin- oughfares of Cincinnati, as has been cipal streets of Cincinnati. To the few written, his attention was suddenly arwho could claim acquaintance with him rested by a voice ringing clear and he was known as an actor, playing at full above the noises of the street, and the time referred to a short engagement giving utterance, in an unmistakable as light comedian in a theatre of that dialect, to the refrain of a song to this city. He does not seem to have at effect : tained to any noticeable degree of emi- “Turn about an' wheel about an' do jis so, nence in his profession, but he had

An' ebery time I turn about I jump Jim Crow." established for himself a reputation Struck by the peculiarities of the among jolly fellows in a social way. performance, so unique in style, matHe could tell a story, sing a song, and ter, and “character” of delivery, the dance a hornpipe, after a style which player listened on. Were not these however unequal to complete success elements - was the suggestion of the on the stage, proved, in private per- instant, which might admit of highformance to select circles rendered ap- er than mere street or stable-yard depreciative by accessory refreshments, velopment? As a national or “race famously triumphant always. If it must illustration, behind the footlights, might be confessed that he was deficient in not " Jim Crow" and a black face tickle the more profound qualities, it is not the fancy of pit and circle, as well as the to be inferred that he was destitute of “Sprig of Shillalah” and a red nose ? all the distinguishing, though shallow- Out of the suggestion leaped the deer, virtues of character. He had the termination ; and so it chanced that merit, too, of a proper appreciation of the casual hearing of a song trolled his own capacity; and his aims never by a negro stage-driver, lolling lazily rose above that capacity. As a su- on the box of his vehicle, gave origin to perficial man he dealt with superficial a school of music destined to excel in

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