Imatges de pÓgina

them to go through the process of a Geoffry was seated at the window of the “thorough clean up," and the substitution of dining-room, looking out into the garden, winter for summer furniture, their lodgings and wondering what he should do if chance will be again filled, and this time by a class ever removed Mrs. Pickering from his serof tenant, rich, valetudinarian, and certain vice. The mere idea of such a contingency to remain for many weeks. This interval, made him hot with vexation; it was not like however, though made much of by those the same place without her, and nothing who take advantage of it for the perform seemed to go on rightly in her absence. ance of necessary labour, is generally voted “ And yet,” said the old general to himdesperately dull by the better class of in- self, “and yet I'm likely to lose her at any habitants, most of whom try to make their moment. She's a young woman still

, and escape to more congenial places. Sir a handsome woman, and attractive in every Geoffry, in particular, very much resented way, and is certain to be picked up sooner the state of affairs at this dull season of the or later. If I were a younger man myself year. Most of his club cronies were away; I should be too glad of such a wife; and it was next to impossible to get up a rubber; of course there are hundreds who have the and even the few friends admitted to the same idea. Perhaps at this very

moment intimacy of Wheatcroft, were among the there is some confounded fellow talking to defaulters. Cleethorpe was shooting in her, and making up his mind that he'll ask Scotland, and Mr. Drage had gone over to her to marry him." What's that?” attend a church congress, which was being He started, and, shading his eyes with held at Bircester. Sir Geoffry could have his hand, peered out into the gloaming: put up with all of this if Mrs. Pickering “I could have sworn I saw a figure,” he had been at home to talk with and read to said, turning back into the room, “bat him, but she had asked for a few days there is nothing there. I'm nervous toholiday, and of course he had not dreamed night, and shall set the doctor's warning at of refusing her.

defiance, and take a glass or two of port. The instant she was gone, the old gene- Absurd to think that a man of my figure, ral felt her loss. There was a letter from without any hereditary tendency to gout, Irving—a long letter-full of business, shouldwhich he would have liked to submit to He stopped, attracted by the noise her consideration, and in which he would made by the opening of_the door, and not stir without her advice. He had grown looked in that direction. He saw the door accustomed to consult his housekeeper in open, and a man's figure enter the room almost everything, and to place great re- and advance quickly towards him. For an liance on her judgment.

instant the old general thought he was “A wonderful woman, sir !" Sir Geoffry attacked, and his hand closed upon the said of Mrs. Pickering to his friend Clee- neck of the decanter he was lifting from thorpe, just before the gallant captain the sideboard, as his handiest weapon of started for his shooting-box in the High-defence. lands. “A wonderful woman! Most wo- The figure, however, stood upright and men have a knack of hitting the right nail motionless before him. As far as he could on the bead, but this they do by accident, make out in the dull uncertain light it was by intuition, as it is called, and can never that of a tall, well-knit young man, with a tell you why! Now, Mrs. Pickering is full and flowing beard. always right, and can always give you her Sir Geoffry eyed it for a moment in reason for being so. You did me an im- silence, then he said : Who

are you, and mense service, sir, when you persuaded what is your business here, sir ?”. that lady to undertake the management of “I want to see you, was the reply; my household.”

but no sooner did the old general hear But Mrs. Pickering was gone, and had the tones of the voice from which it was taken her judgment with her, and Sir attered, than he relaxed his hold of the Geoffry was left alone, to use strong lan- decanter, and stepping a pace forward, guage at his loneliness and the dreariness waved his hand toward the door. of his house, and to render the lives of his “I know you now!” he cried, in loud and servants almost insupportable, by the variety angry tones; “I cannot discern your feaof his orders and the caprices of his queru- tures, but I recognise your voice! How lous temper.

you insult me by your presence ? Leave On the second night after Madge's de- the house at once !" parture, just at the time that she was “ Father," said the young man, submisentering the grounds at Hollycombe, Sir sively.


“I have forbidden you ever to use that despotic as the Venetian oligarchy, mysteword to me,” cried Sir Geoffry. “ To rious as the Vehmgericht, corrupt as the what am I indebted, sir, for the honour of College of Cardinals in the worst days of this visit? The last time I saw you, you papal misrule. Deriving its power from the were full of your great career, and swag- immediate suffrages of the sovereign people, gered about not touching the money which submitting every automn at the elections was your due. I presume that delusion is either for the mayoralty, shrievalty, comat an end, and that you have come to claim missionerships, or judgeships, its party your rights ?”

ticket to the approval of the public, in“I have,” said Gerald, “but not in the variably victorious over all its enemies by way that you imagine.' I have come to such overwhelming majorities as to render claim my right to be regarded as your son; opposition almost ridiculous, the city gomy mother's right to atonement for the vernment apparently contained all the elegrievous wrong you did to her while living, ments of solidity and permanence. It is true and which you have continued to her that an intelligent minority existed, but the memory! Oh, sir, I told you I would intelligence, wealth, and respectability of make it the business of my life to discover the great city has ever shown itself lamentthe real story of Mr. Yeldham's acquaint- ably apathetic on municipal and, indeed, ance with my mother, and to prove to you on all political questions. During a long that your jealous fears of her were ground residence in New York, the writer was less. I can prove all this to you now; I often astonished at the constant and utter have come here to do so!"

indifference to every subject of local ad“It is a lie!" cried the old man, stretch- ministration displayed by the prominent ing out his hands, and trembling with pas- citizens and great merchants. The answer sion. “You have come here because your invariably vouchsafed to all his queries funds are exhausted, and your creditors was, “The whole thing was a dirty busirefuse to trust you further ! You can have ness—too filthy for a gentleman to touch; the money, sir; it is yours by right; there far better to let things alone, bad as they is no occasion for you to descend to such

were!” paltry subterfuge.

“You see," continued a thoroughly reFather, I implore

presentative New Yorker, “the rascals “I insist, sir, upon your discontinuing who are in power now are gorged with to address me in that manner,” said the plunder; they have the most palatial resiold man, ringing the bell. “Make your ap- dences, the most gorgeous furniture. They plication to me in a business way, through drive the fastest horses, smoke the largest a lawyer, and it shall be attended to. cigars, drink the dearest brands of wine, Riley !” he cried to the servant, who ap- wear the biggest diamonds on the dirtiest peared at the door, “what were you doing hands, and eat with their knives—the to permit this person to make his way into best dinners in the city. They have every my presence ? Show him out instantly, temptation (though I admit they very and never give him admittance here again.' seldom yield to it) to act decently, and rob

Gerald looked as if he would have spoken, moderately, and we must admit that what but the old servant touched him on the they steal with one hand they scatter freely shoulder, and sorrowfully preceded him out with the other. Now, suppose for one moof the room.

ment that we were rid of these, and a fresh lot came into power, the new men would

all be like greedy cormorants. They would TAMMANY CHIEFS.

have everything to get, do you see? whereas

our present scoundrels have got it all. I The city of New York at this moment is guess we should only change the whips of the scene of a remarkable struggle between Tammany for the scorpions of a new and the people and what was a few short months famished crowd.” ago the strongest and most absolutely irre- This gentleman by no means stood alone sponsible government in the world. The in his sentiments, and his remarks may be great and sumptuous city, spreading its taken as a very fair expression of the prewealth over the heights of Brooklyn and vailing opinion of what the Americans are the marshes of New Jersey, grasping in its pleased to call Uppertendom. The strong rich embrace the opposite shores of the interest in local politics which forms so rivers which enclose the famous island of large a portion of every day life in England, Manhattan, has been for years prostrate appeared to be utterly lost in a sensation at the feet of a municipal government, of total and complete helplessness.

“What is the use of my voting at all ?" gifted with a finer natural taste for drinking said a graduate of Harvard, “when the and fighting than for work, he, in course last wild Irishman--imported, perhaps, not of time, becomes drafted into the ranks of more than a month ago, and duly invested the “shoulder-hitters” and “repeaters,” or, with all the rights of citizenship by fraudu- in plain English, of those gentry who carry lent naturalisation papers-can walk down to a sublime point their obedience to the to the polls and neutralise my vote? It is precept, “Vote early, and vote often," and, of no use, sir. The educated classes in voting themselves in half a dozen different this city do not stand a chance against the wards during the day, by their ruffianly illiterate mass of adopted citizens; they just demeanour very effectually deter more hang together and carry everything before peaceful citizens from recording their them, so that a white man, unless he can votes at all. boast an 0 or a Mac in front of his name, To these may be added the army of has no more chance of oocupying the roughs, generally the keepers of low ginsmallest position than a nigger."

shops, gaming-houses, and the professional The wide prevalence of such doctrines as thieves, their friends, admirers, and acthese, and the complete lapse of Upperten- complices. The latter, during the leisure dom into pococurantism," bore the fruit hours they can spare from the exercise of that might have been expected, and the their regular profession, devote themselves whole patronage of the city, and the entire vigorously to the pursuit of politics and administration of the city revenues, fell whisky, and many a rascal owes his escape into the hands of the remarkable institu- from justice to the partial feeling of a tion holding its head-quarters at Tammany judge, in whose election the thief or some Hall. The hall, a huge building sur- of his friends had taken a prominent part. mounted by a stone effigy of a colossal Inquiring one day of a worthy merchant, Indian, is situate in Fourteenth-street, in a man of substance, if he knew anything the very centre of New York, and here the of a sprightly young fellow, who appeared chiefs of Tammany were wont to meet and to know everybody, this gentleman gave me decide on the campaign tactics of the the following astounding reply: democratic party.

“ Don't know exactly-guess he is a It may, perhaps, be well to remind the gambler or a politician!" English reader that the democratic is The order wherein the several profesthe conservative party in America, as sions were named, gives a correct idea of opposed to the republican, black republican, the public feeling towards the two classes or abolitionist party, now victorious so far of adventurers. as the central government of the United A certain amount of chivalry is very States is concerned. The democrats, how- absurdly supposed to attach to the "sport" ever, have in many cases retained great or gambler by profession ; his duties are local power, and are distinguished by their arduous, his expenses enormous, he is fresteady adherence to the old-fashioned doc- quently a large speculator in stocks and trine of federalism, and the steady main real estate, and from a hail-fellow-well-met tenance of the obsolete principle of states' point of view, is considered a better sort of rights, a theory propounding the absolute fellow than a "one-horse” politician. The independence and separate sovereignty of more fashionable dress and more polished each individual state. These doctrines manners of the “sport,” also help to mainwere pretty well knocked on the head tain his superiority; he often happens to during the “late misunderstanding," as the have been, at some remote period, a gengreat American war is sometimes desig- tleman, and, although often “ broke,” and nated, but they are still fondly cherished in very much “shattered” in health and rethe democratic bosom, and in few parts of putation, he still retains some slight traces America bave the democrats so long held of his old mode of life; while the rising the reins of power as in the city of New politician is often that most unhappy of York.

wretches, a "cad,” trying his best to appear This party is in no slight degree in- a gentleman, and finding the purple and fine debted for the continuance of its power to linen of newly acquired wealth and imthe ever-increasing element of Irish immi- portance sit as ill on him as did the mantle gration. Every Hibernian is almost, im- in the old ballad on the shoulders of those mediately on his arrival, pounced upon by dames whose reputation was not above " the boys," christened a good democrat, scandal. and made, by hook or by crook, a natural. The low estimate accorded to their craft ised citizen at once. Should the youth be by the public, is not unfrequently a matter


of jest among the politicians themselves. At the outset of life a chair-maker on A short time since two of these worthies no very ambitious scale, nursed in the old were dining together at the Hoffmann volunteer fire department, an intensely House, when, one wishing to “take a rise” political and slightly rowdy organisation, out of his friend, began :

step by step from foreman of his engine “Say, Tom, what have you been doing onward and ever onward, higher and still to the press ? These fellows are calling higher, by ways straight or crooked, unyou more names than would fill a diction- aided except by his own quiet determina

tion and iron will, has this man climbed "Oh!" replied the other, “I don't mind; to his present position. Ostensibly a mere in fact, rather like it! Why only the other commissioner of works, but really a civic day one of the papers compared me to Warwick - a municipal king - maker - he Judas Iscariot” (Eye-scariot he pronounced sets up and pulls down mayors, chamberit), “but I didn't mind !”

lains, comptrollers, collectors. Ever near “No,” rejoined his friend, kindly; "you the great sun of the Tammany system is the didn't mind, of course, but—but how about quiet and unobtrusive man who enjoys Judas ?”

the reputation of supplying intellect to the The fashionable season of New York ruling body. This new Carnot, rejoicing extends from November to Lent, and in the initials of Peter B., is dubbed by his during this period a vast number of public friends and foes—Peter Bismarck or Peter balls on a huge scale are organised on Brains Sweeny. He is the great initiator various pretences. The Charity Ball

, where of the policy of pseudo-purity, bogus libetwo years ago Prince Arthur was the centre rality, and judicious disinterestedness. He of attraction, is by far the most fashionable is ever preaching to his more voracious colpublic ball of the season, and the élite of leagues one invariable doctrine, “Gentlethe city fail not to muster in great force; man, we must disgorge.” Throwing a sop bright gems and brighter eyes may be to Cerberus has ever been his leading idea, counted, not in hundreds but in thousands. and when city chamberlain, he at once Next perhaps in importance is the ball of turned over to the city treasury a huge the Americus Club, an institution of the amount of interest invariably engulfed Tammany “stripe” of politics. At this by preceding chamberlains. monster gathering the display of diamonds was a sound one, and it redounds someis perfectly marvellous, the extravagant what to his credit, that, having "got” toilets provoke remark even in the city of enough, he was prepared to“ run straight” extravagant expenditure, and among the if the rest of the Ring would have allowed most prominent guests are, or were, the him to do so. chiefs of Tammany.

Chatting to a bevy of fashionablyConspicuous among these is a largely dressed ladies stands Slippery Dick, one framed man,“ with brawny shoulders of the most popular and best-abused men four foot square;" huge, heavy-looking, in Gotham. Slippery or not, Dick has but muscular withal; of ungainly aspect managed to accumulate a huge fortune, as to his limbs, labouring under an and knows right well how to enjoy it. fortunate incapability of finding gloves Very late in arrival, and very early in delarge enough, or boots creaseless enough, parture; last in the battle, and first in to encompass his vast extremities, but the retreat; is a slender, dapper-looking exulting in a deep chest heaving beneath a gentleman, happy in tlie possession of an snowy expanse of linen decorated with an elegantly trimmed beard, and taking pride immense diamond solitaire. Surmounting in the “nice conduct” of an eye-glass. His this ungainly body is a massive head step is light and springy, his hand ever crowned with grizzled locks. From be- ready to greet his innumerable friends; he neath a pair of bushy eyebrows gleam is admirably “fixed” in the bluest of blue bright but sunken eyes, while a heavy clawhammer" coats, the whitest of vests, beard, streaked with silver, conceals the and the brightest of all possible brass massive jaw and determined chin. This buttons. With jaunty self-possession, with man is indeed a man of mark, the object bright glance overflowing with genial good of many greetings and hand - shakings, humour, he moves briskly among the throng, friendly and servile, for he is a leader of feeling quite at home, and why not? for men; his word is law, his smile is wealth, he is, municipally speaking, the “biggest his frown ruin; he is the great chief, the man" there, and rules, or rather seems to Grand Sachem of Tammany, the Boss of rule, the city according to his own good

pleasure. Originally a smart lawyer, then

His policy


the Ring

combining that profession with the ardent Mushroom once kept a gambling-house in pursuit of politics and occasional excur- | 'Frisco, and has committed, I guess,

about sions into the realms of literature, pleading every crime that wasn't out of his reach." causes, addressing "fellow-citizens," and Such is the rage of the celestial soul of editing the New York Leader by turns, he woman at the sight of unattainable jewels. has made his

with very

tolerable There is only one slight drawback to these rapidity to the highest municipal position gigantic balls; it is clearly impossible to attainable. Like Warren Hastings and dance, unless a waltz on the area of an other great men, the mayor of New York ordinary chess-board can be denominated is addicted to the composition of feeble dancing. But many who come to dance verses; but what is this one small speck remain to drink, and at one of these balls upon the face of an “ancillary planet?” my evil star led me among a knot of well

The city judges, some of whom correspond known politicians. These were men known in position with our stipendiary magistrates, to everybody in New York, men whom are in great force. One genial gentleman every one called by their Christian names. is accused on all hands of being kept by Of course the champagne flowed freely: it the managers or mismanagers of the Erie always is flowing freely on some pretence or Railway; near him, gossiping with the other in Gotham. Equally as a matter of gayest group in the house, is the plucky course, every man was formally introduced little judge, “Gunny," who has earned to all the rest, hands were very profusely immense renown by actually daring to in- shaken, and names went very much in at flict severe sentences on several prominent one ear and out at the other. It was a jolly, malefactors. The mere fact of a judge an excessively jolly party. Among the being praised to the skies for doing his lively crowd was one gentleman conspicuous simple duty, affords a singular comment by the bravery of his apparel. Faultlessly, on the general administration of justice. too faultlessly dressed, booted and gloved Imagine Sir Thomas Henry being compli- to perfection, oiled, curled, waxed, and mented in the Times, and compared to gummed within an inch of his life, he was Chief Justice Gascoigne, for daring to the very beau ideal of a New York dandy. commit Mr. William Sikes for trial ! The diamonds of this Adonis were enormous

Talking in a low tone, and earnestly, to and his thirst prodigious. Suddenly this the “ Thunderbolt” of the Sixth Ward, a thing of beauty asserted his intention of mountain of a man, resplendent in new depriving the assembly of the light of his broadcloth, broad smiles, and the inevitable presence. Addressing the little knot of diamonds, is a tall handsome man, not only revellers, and noticing some rather noisy better-looking, but more gentleman-like proceedings in another corner of the room, than most of the greater chiefs. He was for- Adonis opened his month and said with merly—but a few years ago-a clerk in the fine aristocratic disdain: house of A. T. Stewart, but plunging into “I guess this thing is getting rayther the sea of politics his talents have brought mixed—I shall go." And with many

affechim to the top of the wave. Enthusiastic tionate farewells the elegant hero was admirers predict his certain election at the suffered to depart. An inquiry touching next contest for the mayoralty.

the identity of the exclusive gentleman But there is a buzz of excitement. Mrs. elicited the following reply: “ You don't Mushroom's diamonds have just arrived. know him? I guess you don't know Every one is excited to a violent pitch ; all enough to go in-doors when it rains. That's crowd to obtain a glimpse of the diamonds. the eminent forger, S., just out on bail !" Mrs. Mushroom arrives leaning on her hus- It may easily be imagined that a society band's arm. She is a showy-looking lady, striking its roots so deeply into the slough with a great deal of fair hair more or less of the city, and not disdaining even the authentic. Her toilet is a marvel; heavy state prison as a nursery of voters, must be satins and priceless laces struggle for pre- powerful indeed. Marshalled by old tactieminence; her panier is the biggest, her cians, veterans of many a meeting, men train the longest in the room. But the deeply learned in all the mysteries of axediamonds-oh, the diamonds! they blaze grinding, log - rolling, and wire - pulling, and glitter, twinkle and dazzle, raising, electing the very judges themselves, it is not meanwhile, storms of envy, hatred, malice, to be wondered at that the forces of Tamand uncharitableness in the bosoms of fair many have so long proved irresistible. As spectators. One of these last whispers Napoleon held his artillery in his hand, confidentially :

comme un coup de pistolet,” as Mr. Se“She is heavy on diamonds now, but ward during the civil war boasted that the

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