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Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1863, by
in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts.
RIVERSIDE, CAMBRIDGE: STEREOTYPED BY H. O. HOUGHTON.
"Do we not learn from runes and rhymes
Smiling at this, the King replied,
Dead rides Sir Morten of Fogelsang.
The Bishop said, "Late hours we keep! Night wanes, O King! 't is time for sleep!" Then slept the King, and when he woke, The guest was gone, the morning broke. Dead rides Sir Morten of Fogelsang.
They found the doors securely barred,
King Olaf crossed himself and said,
The white-haired stranger was his wraith."
THE descent from Patmore and poetry to New York is somewhat abrupt, not to say precipitous, but we made it in safety; and so shall you, if you will be agile.
New York is a pleasant little Dutch city, on a dot of island a few miles southwest of Massachusetts. For a city entirely unobtrusive and unpretending, it has really great attractions and solid merit; but the superior importance of other places will not permit me to tarry long within its hospitable walls. In fact, we only arrived late at night, and departed early
the next morning; but even a six-hours' sojourn gave me a solemn and “realizing sense" of its marked worth, — for, when, tired and listless, I asked for a servant to assist me, the waiter said he would send the housekeeper. Accordingly, when, a few moments after, it knocked at the door with light, light finger, (See De la Motte Fouquè,) I drawled, "Come in," and the Queen of Sheba stood before me, clad in purple and fine linen, with rings on her fingers and bells on her toes. I stared in dismay, and
perceived myself rapidly transmigrating into a ridiculus mus. My gray and dingy travelling - dress grew abject, and burned into my soul like the tunic of Nessus. I should as soon have thought of asking Queen Victoria to brush out my hair as that fine lady in brocade silk and Mechlin lace. But she was good and gracious, and did not annihilate me on the spot, as she might easily have done, for which I shall thank her as long as I live.
"You sent for me?" she inquired, with the blandest accents imaginable. I can't tell a lie, pa, — you know I can't tell a lie; besides, I had not time to make up one, and I said, "Yes," and then, of all stupid devices that could filter into my soggy brain, I must needs stammer out that I should like a few matches! A pretty thing to bring a dowager duchess up nine pairs of stairs for!
"I will ring the bell," she said, with a tender, reproachful sweetness and dignity, which conveyed without unkindness the severest rebuke tempered by womanly pity, and proceeded to instruct me in the nature and uses of the bell-rope, as she would any little dairy-maid who had heard only the chime of cow-bells all the days of her life. Then she sailed out of the room, serene and majestic, like a seventy-four man-of-war, while I, a squalid, salt-hay gundalow, (Venetian blind-ed into gondola,) first sank down in confusion, and then rose up in fury and brushed all the hair out of my head.
"I declare," I said to Halicarnassus, when we were fairly beyond ear-shot of the city next morning, "I don't approve of sumptuary laws, and I like America to be the El Dorado of the poor man, and I go for the largest liberty of the individual; but I do think there ought to be a clause in the Constitution providing that servants shall not be dressed and educated and accomplished up to the point of making people uncomfortable."
"No," said Halicarnassus, sleepily; "perhaps it was n't a servant."
แ Well," I said, having looked at it in that light silently for half an hour, and
coming to the surface in another place, "if I could dress and carry myself like that, I would not keep tavern."
"Oh! eh?" yawning; "who does?" "Mrs. Astor. Of course nobody less rich than Mrs. Astor could go up-stairs and down-stairs and in my lady's chamber in Shiraz silk and gold of Ophir. Why, Cleopatra was nothing to her. I make no doubt she uses gold-dust for sugar in her coffee every morning; and as for the three miserable little wherries that Isabella furnished Columbus, and historians have towed through their tomes ever since, why, bless your soul, if you know of anybody that has a continent he wants to discover, send him to this housekeeper, and she can fit out a fleet of transports and Monitors for convoy with one of her bracelets."
"I don't," said Halicarnassus, rubbing his eyes.
"I only wish," I added, "that she would turn Rebel, so that Government might confiscate her. Paper currency would go up at once from the sudden influx of gold, and the credit of the country receive a new lease of life. She must be a lineal descendant of Sir Roger de Coverley, for I am sure her finger sparkles with a hundred of his richest acres."
Before bidding a final farewell to New York, I shall venture to make a single remark. I regret to be forced to confess that I greatly fear even this virtuous little city has not escaped quite free, in the general deterioration of morals and manners. The New York hackmen, for instance, are very obliging and attentive; but if it would not seem ungrateful, I would hazard the statement that their attentions are unremitting to the degree of being almost embarrassing, and proffered to the verge of obtrusiveness. 1 think, in short, that they are hardly quite delicate in their politeness. They press their hospitality on you till you sigh for a little marked neglect. They are not content with simple statement. They offer you their hack, for instance. You decline, with thanks. They say that they will carry you to any part of the
city. Where is the pertinence of that, if you do not wish to go? But they not only say it, they repeat it, they dwell upon it as if it were a cardinal virtue. Now you have never expressed or entertained the remotest suspicion that they would not carry you to any part of the city. You have not the slightest intention or desire to discredit their assertion. The only trouble is, as I said before, you do not wish to go to any part of the city. Very few people have the time to drive about in that general way; and I think, that, when you have once distinctly informed them that you do not design to inspect New York, they ought to see plainly that you cannot change your whole plan of operations out of gratitude to them, and that the part of true politeness is to withdraw. But they even go beyond a censurable urgency; for an old gentleman and lady, evidently unaccustomed to travelling, had given themselves in charge of a driver, who placed them in his coach, leaving the door open while he went back seeking whom he might devour. Presently a rival coachman came up and said to the aged and respectable couple,
"Here's a carriage all ready to start." "But," replied the lady, "we have already told the gentleman who drives this coach that we would go with him." "Catch me to go in that coach, if I was you!" responded the wicked coachman. "Why, that coach has had the small-pox in it."
The lady started up in horror. At that moment the first driver appeared again, and Satan entered into me, and I felt in my heart that I should like to see a fight; and then conscience stepped up and drove him away, but consoled me by the assurance that I should see the fight all the same, for such duplicity deserved the severest punishment, and it was my duty to make an exposé and vindicate helpless innocence imposed upon in the persons of that worthy pair. Accordingly I said to the driver, as he passed me,
"Driver, that man in the gray coat is
trying to frighten the old lady and gen-
Oh! but did not the fire flash into
And so we are at Saratoga. Now, of