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himself, how jovially, how easily, none but those who saw him can conceive. Hate and distrust around him the hate of the Democrats and the distrust of the Republicans ; but through all he bore himself like the truly great man he was. In six months he was in his grave.
[October 14, 1872.]
DURING the exciting contest led by the Philadelphia Press against James Buchanan's Administration, I was invited on the evening of October 28, 1858, to speak in the beautiful city of Camden, New Jersey. My audience was large, and my reception cordial. The Press had attained a considerable circulation in Camden, and a great majority of all parties sympathized with me in my somewhat hazardous and independent stand.
The following passage from my speech I take from The Press the next day, October 29, 1858:
“Now, gentlemen, I have a most melancholy announcement to make. It is that the newspaper The Press is stopped-my Press is stopped. [Sensation.] I did not expect, in coming here, to be compelled to make this sorrowful announcement, but it is nevertheless the fact. The Press is stopped, not the establishment, but the single copy which the President of the United States takes--it is stopped. [Long-continued shouts of laughter.] I suppose I shall survive it. [Renewed laughter.] I have no doubt I shall survive it. But it was a terrible blow. I do not think ever two cents created so much havoc before. But we shall recover; we shall get over it. And now for the bright part of the story: I shall receive in a few days almost the only dollar that I have ever received from the Federal Administration--which will be about $7 50 in payment of The Press. [Laughter.] We see that this proscription runs from great to small. It attacks a popular tribune, and it strikes down a newspaper. It turns out a postmaster, and it refuses to pay two cents to an independent journal.
“To such base uses must we come at last.' “Thus we see the Administration of the Federal Government, presiding over thirty millions of people, with all its vast patronage, with all its great power, forgetting all its duties and all its pledges, and becoming a party to the petty proscriptions which village politicians would despise, and which honorable men would laugh at. [Applause.]
“When this Administration policy was first announced, I said, in The Press, that the effect would be to disgrace the party, unless the party should repudiate it; and, in the next place, to defeat hundreds of men who would be put upon Democratic tickets, not having had any thing to do with the betrayal. Such has been the result. Many and many a glorious Democrat, placed upon the Democratic ticket, has been sent to obscurity because the opposition party has risen against the mistakes of the Federal Administration, and because the Democratic party, through the conventions of its office-holders, has been committed to these mistakes and pledged to support them as a portion of the party duty.
“You have seen how this petty proscription has extended itself to citizens of your own vicinity. I need not mention names; they are all familiar to you. But it is well that it is so; it is better that it is so—it is a great deal better. We have had a trial that has done us all good. It has taught all parties that the day for betraying public opinion and for violating solemn pledges has gone. You will have no more traitors. The men who go to Congress now, if they desire to live and to die respected, will stand by the pledges which they make."
This transaction proved not so much the prejudice of my old friend, Buchanan, as it did his littleness; and now, in the new
and difficult path I am treading, I quote the example of 1858 to show how history repeats itself in 1872. That remarkable man, remarkable in almost every sense, the lamented William M. Swain, one of the proprietors and founders of the Public Ledger, always liked to relate the incident from which I took the idea that excited the risibilities of my Camden audience. The story is so much better told by my friend J. D. Stockton, of the Philadelphia Morning Post, that I use his words:
“By his course in regard to some public matter he had offended a number of his readers, one of whom met him on Chestnut Street, and thus accosted him:
“Mr. Swain, I've stopped The Ledger.'
“Great heavens!' said Mr. Swain ; 'my dear sir, that won't do. Come with me to the office. This must be looked into.' And taking the man with him, he entered the office at Third and Chestnut Streets. There they found the clerks busy at their desks; then they ascended to the editorial-rooms and the composing-rooms, where all was as usual; finally, they descended to the press-rooms, where the engineers were at work.
“I thought you told me you had stopped The Ledger,' said Mr. Swain.
"So I have,' said the offended subscriber.
“! I don't see the stoppage. The Ledger seems to be going on."
“Oh! I mean to say—that is, that I-ah-had stopped tak
“Is that all!' exclaimed Mr. Swain. "Why, my dear sir, you don't know how you alarmed me. As for your individual subscription, I care very little. Good-day, sir, and never make such rash assertions again.””
HENRY WIKOFF, better known as “the Chevalier," was born in Philadelphia, where he studied law and was admitted to the bar. He must now be over sixty, though his adventures would indicate him to be a much older man. He is living in London at present, and is still a devoted adherent of Louis Napoleon, who has retired with Eugene and the Prince Imperial to Chiselhurst, some twelve miles from that great metropolis. Chevalier Wikoff is one of his constant attendants and friends. His devotion to Louis Napoleon began more than a quarter of a century ago. He visited him when he was a prisoner at the Castle of Ham, in 1845, three years before he was made President of France, and wrote a "biography and personal recollections” of him in 1849. Very near him when he became Emperor, he enjoyed large advantages during the brilliant era between the coup d'état of 1851 and the flight after the fall of Sedan, in 1870. Once more an exile, Louis Napoleon has no more devoted supporter than Wikoff. A characteristic of this citizen of the world is his attachment to celebrated people. His early relations with Fanny Elssler, marked by a bitter quarrel with James Gordon Bennett, of the New York Herald, closed in the warmest friendship with the veteran journalist, which remained unbroken down to his death.
You might travel a long way before meeting a more pleasant companion than the cosmopolite Wikoff. He has seen more of the world than most men, has mingled with society of every shade and grade, has tasted of poverty and affluence, talks several languages fluently, is skilled in etiquette, art, and literature, and, without proclaimed convictions, is a shrewd politician, who understands the motives and opinions of others. He has written several books in addition to the biography of his idol, Louis Napoleon, including his strange experience with Miss Gamble,
entitled “My Courtship and its Consequences," "The Adventures of a Roving Diplomatist,” “A New-Yorker in the Foreign Office, and his Adventures in Paris.” Here we have the photographs of his life. From these we realize how such a character would entertain an editor like Bennett, a statesman like Buchanan, a monarch like Louis Napoleon. Ranging through all society, he can talk of love, law, literature, and war; can describe the rulers and thinkers of his time, can gossip of courts and cabinets, of the boudoir and the salon, of commerce and the Church, of the peer and the pauper, of Dickens and Thackeray, of Victor Hugo and Louis Blanc, of Lamartine and Laboulaye, of Garibaldi and the Pope, of Lincoln and Stanton, of Buchanan and Pierce, of the North and the South, of the opera and the theatre, of General Sickles and Tammany Hall, and of the inner life of almost any capital in the world. With such gifts, aided by an air distingué, a fine address and a manner after the English model, Wikoff has the entrée in many circles which higher intellect and deservings can never penetrate.
Wikoff's diplomacy was never better illustrated than in making James Gordon Bennett and James Buchanan friends. Bennett had taken great dislike to Buchanan, and opposed his election in 1856 with unsparing severity. Never was The Herald more sarcastic. Every paragraph told; every sentence touched the sensitive nerve; and when the fight was over, and Mr. Buchanan was successful, the rejoicing was not less general because it was supposed that Bennett had been annihilated. But now Wikoff began to operate. He knew how much Buchanan feared a great newspaper, especially an independent one like The Herald, and he soon convinced Buchanan that it would be fortunate if he could secure The Herald as a supporter of his Administration. I do not think any consideration was named, for, whatever may be said of Mr. Bennett, he accepted no office while he was a journalist, though it is known that more than once high position was tendered to him. At all events,