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ing. Tied down by the absurd prejudices of society ; tram-
melled by the shackles of custom and unworthy superstition ;
we have found it necessary to form ourselves into a society,
whore, free from the intrusion of execrable man; aloof from
his jealous scrutiny, whether as father, brother, or that still
more objectionable character of husband, we may throw off
restraint, exert our natural liberty, and seek relief from the
tedious and odious routine of duty imposed upon us in our
daily walk of life. Any motion is in order."

At this instant, while my wondering gaze was attracted by
an elderly female in a Tuscan bonnet and green veil, who,
drawing a black pint bottle from the pocket of her dress,
proceeded to take a '' snifter " therefrom, with vast appa-
rent satisfaction, and then tendered it to the lady that sat next
(a sweet little thing in a Dunstable, with cherry-coiorcd rib-
bons), a lady rose and said — " Mrs. President : I move that
a committee of one be appointed to send a servant to Batty
and Parrens, for fifty- two brandy sma sliest A thrill of hor-
ror ran through my veins ; I rose mechanically to my feet ;
exclaimed " gracious goodness ! " and fell, in a fainting con-



149



dition, against the back of tlie pew. It was my Susan ! J
You remember the instant that intervenes between the flash
of the lightning and the ensuing thunder clap : — for an in-
stant there was silence, dead silence — ^you might have heard
a paper of pins fall — then " at once there rose so wild a yell,"
" a man ! a man ! " they cried, and a scene of hubbub and
confusion ensued that beggars description. The venerable
female in the Tuscan shyed the pint bottle at my head — the
little thing in the Dunstable gave me a back-handed wipe
with a parasol, and for an instant my life was in positive
danger from the shower of fans, hymn-books and other missiles
that fell around mo. " Put him out, Martha," said an old
lady to a lovely being in a blue dress in an adjacent pew —
" I shan't," was the reply, " I haven't been introduced to him."
" Wretched creature," said the President in an awful voice,
" who are you ? " " Reporter for the AUa " rose to my throat,
but my lips refused their utterance. " Y/hat do you want ? "
she continued, — '' I want to go home," I feebly articulated.
" Put him out ! " she rejoined ; and before I could think, much
less expostulate, I was pounced upon by two strong-minded
women, and found myself walking rapidly down Baptist street,
with the impression of a number three gaiter boot on my cloth-
ing about ten inches below the two ornamental buttons upon
the small of my back. From this latter circumstance, I have
formed the impression that the little thing with the Dunsta-
ble and cherry-colored ribbons assisted at my elimination.

j^.nd now, Mr. Editor, what are we to think of this?
Does it not give rise to very serious reflections, that a society



ir)0 TllK T.APIKS' KKT.IEF SOCIETY.

should oxist iu our vorv mulj^t of so nefarious but indig*

iialiou is \isoIoss, '* I cannot do justioo to the subject."
KuHlod in disposition, ^YOunded to the heart in tlio best aud
most saered feelings of my common nature, lean only subscribo
mvself. Your outraged Reporter,



INAUGURATION OF THE NEW COLLEC^
TOR !— TREMENDOUS EXCITEMENT. I I

OUIENTAL IfoiKL, HA7< Fj'.ANCISCO.

Pahhing up Montgomery street yesterday afternoon, between
3 and 4 o'clock, my attention was attracted by a little gentle-
man with a small moustache, who rushed hastily past me, and
turning down Commercial street sought to escape observation
by plunging among the crowd of drays that perpetually tan-
gle up Long Wharf. Though slightly lame, he had passed
mc with a speed that may have been equalled, but for a man
of his size could never have been excelled ; and his look of
frantic terror — his countenance, wild, pallid with apprehen-
sion, as I caught for an instant his horror-stricken gaze, I
shall never forget. I had turned partly around to watch his
flight, when with a sudden shock I was borne hurriedly
alon^.^, and in an instant found myself struggling and plung-
ing in the midst of a mighty crowd who were evidently in hot
pursuit. There were old men young men and maidens, — at



152 INAUGURATION OF THE NEW COLLECTOR.

least I presume tliey were maidens, but it was no time for
close scrutiny; — there were Frcnclimen, Englishmen, China-
men, and every other description of men ; gentlemen with
spectacles and gentlemen who were spectacles to behold ; men
with hats and men without hats ; an angry sea of moustaches,
coat-tails and hickory shirts, with here and there a dash of
foam in the way of a petticoat ; and all pouring and rushing
down Long Wharf with me in the midst, like a bewildered
gander in a mill race.

There was no shouting — a look of stern and gloomy de-
termination sat on the countenance of each individual ; and
save an occasional muttered ejaculation of " There he goes ! "
" I see him ! " we rushed on in horrid silence.

A sickly feeling came over me as the conviction that I
was in the midst of the for-famed and dreaded Vigilance
Committee, settled on my mind ; here was I, borne along
with them, an involuntary and unwilling member — I, a life
member of the Anti-Capital Punishment Scociety, and author
of the little work called " Peace, or Directions for the use of
the Sword as a Pruning Hook," who never killed a fly in
my life — ^here I was, probably about to countenance, by my
presence, the summary execution of the unhappy little cul-
prit with the small moustache, who, for aught I knew to the
contrary, might be as immaculate as Brigham Young him-
self

What would Brother G reeley say to see me now ? But it
was no time for reflection. " Onward we drove in dreadful
race, pursuers and pursued," over boxes, bales, drays and



INAUGURATION OF THE NEW COLLECTOK. 153

horses ; the Jews screamed and shut their doors as they sa-W
us coming; there was a shower of many-bladed knives,
German silver pencils, and impracticable pistols, as the show-
cases flew wildly in the air. It was a dreadful scene. I am
not a fleshy man — that is, not particularly fleshy — but an
old villain with a bald head and spectacles, punched me in
the abdomen ; I lost my breath, closed my eyes, and remem-
ber nothing further. On recovering my faculties, I found
myself jammed up flat against a sugar box, like a hoe cake,
with my head protruding over the top in the most uncomfort-
able manner, and apparently the weight of the whole crowd
(amounting by this time to some six thousand) pressed against
me, keeping me inextricably in my position. Here for an
instant I caught a glimpse of a Stockton boat just leaving the
wharf ; — then every thing was obscured by a sudden shower
of something white, and then burst from the mob a deep and
melancholy howl, prolonged, terrific, hideous. I wrenched
myself violently from the sugar box,' and confronted a seedy-
looking individual with a battered hat ; in his hand he held a
crumpled paper, and on his countenance sat the gloom of des-
pair. " In the name of heaven," I gasped, " what is this ? "
" He has escaped," he replied, with a deep groan. " What
has he done ? " said I ; " who is the criminal ? " " Done,"
said he of the seedy garments, turning moodily away, " noth-
ing — it is the new Collector ! I ! He's off to Stockton." The
crowd dispersed ; slowly and sadly they all walked off. I
looked over the side of the wharf. I am not given to exag-
geration. You will believe me when I tell you that the sea



15 -i rXAUGURATION OF THE NEW COLLECTOR.

was wliite with letters that had been thrown by that crowd
for miles it was white with them, and fiir out in the stream hei
wheels tilled with letter paper, her shafts elogged with dissolv-
ing wafers, lay the Stockton boat. On her upper deck, in a
frenzied agony, danced the Pilot, his hand grasping his shat-
tered jaw. An office-seeker had thrown a letter attached to
a stone, which had dislodged four of his front teeth ! x\s I
gazed, the steamer's wheels began to move. At her after-
cabin window appeared a nose above a small moustache, a
thiuub and fingers twinkled for an instant in the sun-light,
and she was gone. I walked up the wharf, and gazed rue-
fully on my torn clothing and shattered boots, which had
sufiered much in this struggle of democracy. " Thank God I
Oh, Squibob," said I, " that you are a fool, or what amounts
to the same thing in these times — a Whig — and have no of-
fices to dispense, and none to seek for. Yerily, the aphorism
of Scripture is erroneous : It should read, It is equally
citJ'sed to give as to receive.^''

I repaired to my own room at the Oriental. Passing the
chamber of the Collector, I espied within, the chambermaid,
an interesting colored person named Nancy. Now I used to
have an unworthy prejudice against the colored race ; but
since reading that delightful and truthful work, "Uncle
Stowe's Log," my sympathies are with them, and I have
rather encouraged a Platonic attachment for Nancy, which
had been engendered between us by numerous acts of civility
on my part and amiability on hers. So I naturally stopped
to speak to her. She stood tip to her middle in unopened



INAUGURATION OF TIIE NEW COLLECTOR. 155

letters. There munt have been on tijo floor of that room
eightoon thouHand unopened letter;-]. The monthly mail
from tlie EaHt would be notliing to it. " Mr. Hquibo?),'*
fiald Naney, with a Hweet Kmile, "in you got airy nhovel ? "
" No, Nancy," Baid I ; " why do you want a hhovel ? " " To
clar out deHC yere letterH," Baid Bhe; "do Collccker Bald I
rriuHS frow dern all away; he don't want no Huch trash about
him." A thought Btruek mo. I hastened to my room,
seized a Blop-pail, returned and filled it with letters, opened
them, read them, and selected a few, which strike mo as pe-
culiarly deserving. If tltc Collector reads the Herald — and I
know he " does nothing else " — these must attract his atten-
tion, and the object of the writers will be attained. Here
they are. Of course, I suppress the dates and signatures ;
the authors will doubtless be recognized by their peculiar
styles; and the time and place at which they were v/rittcn ia
<[\i\Ui immaterial.

NO. I.

Mv Dear Friend : — I presume you will be perfectly
siHroanded this morning, as usual, by a crowd of heartless
office-seekers ; I therefore take this method of addressing you.
I thank God, I want no office for myself or others. You
have known rac for years, and have never known me to do
a mean or dishonorable action. I saw W up at Stock-
ton the other day, and he is very anxious that I should bo
appouated Inspector of Steamboats. He said that I needed
It, and deserved it, and that he hoped you would give it to



156 INAUGURATION OF THE NEW COLLECTOR.

me; but I told him I was no office-seeker — I should nevei
ask you for any office. He said he would write to you about
it. Please write to me as soon as you receive this, care of
Parry & Batten.

Your affectionate friend



P. S. — My friend John Smith, who you know is a true
Pierce & King man, is anxious to get the appointment of
Weigher and Guager of Macaroni. He is an excellent fel-
low, and a true friend of yours. I hope, whether you can
spare an Inspectorship for me or not, you will give Smith a
chance.



iTO. n.

My Dear Sir : — Allow me to congratulate you on your
success in obtaining your wishes. I have called twice to see
you, but have not been able to find you in. You were kind
enough to assure me, before leaving for Washington, that. I
might depend upon your friendship. I think it very im-
probable that I shall be re-nominated. The water-front Ex-
tension project has not been received with that favor that I
expected, and what with Roman and the Whigs and that

d d Herald, I feel very doubtful. You will oblige me by

retaining in your possession, until after the Convention, the
office of to the Custom House. I must look about me to



INArGURATION OF THE NEW COLLECTOR. 157

command the means of subsistence. I will see you again on
this subject.

* Very truly yours,



P. S. — My young friend, Mr. John Brown, wishes to be
made Inspector of Vermicelli. He is a pure Democrat
dyed in the wool, and I trust in making your appointments
you will not overlook his claims. Brown tells me he con-
siders himself almost a relative of yours. His aunt used to
go to school with your father. She frequently writes to him,
and always speaks of you with great esteem.



ITO. III.

MoN Amie : — I ave been ver malade since that I hav ar-
rive, I ver muche thank you for you civilite on la vapor which
we come ici, juntos. The peoples here do say to me, you si
pued give to me the littel offices in you customs house. I
wish if si usted gustan you me shall make to be Inspectors
de cigarritos, Je Y entends muy bien. Come to me see.

Countess de

Mister Jos6 Jones he say wish to be entree clerky. You
mucho me oblige by make him do it.



158 INAtJGUIlATION OF THE NEW COLLECTOR.



NO. IV.

The following was evidently dictated by some belligerent
old Democrat to an amanuensis, who appears not to have got
precisely the ideas intended :

Sir : — I have been a dimocrat of the »Tackson School
thank God for twenty years. If you sir had been erected to
an orifice by the pusillanimous sufi'erings of the people as I
was onst I would have no clam but sir you are appointed by
Pierce for whom I voted and King who is dead as Julia's
sister and I expectorate the office for which my friends will
ask you sir I am a plane man and wont the orifice of Prover
and taster of Brandy and wish you write to me at the Nian-
tic where I sick three days and have to write by a young
gentleman or come to see me before eleven o'clock when I
generally get sick Yours

P. S. My young man mr. Peter Stokes I request may be
made inspector of pipes.



NO. V.

Mr. Colected H . Detor

Elizer Muggins

fore dosen peaces $12 . .

Receat pament.



INAUGURATION OP THE NEW COLLECTOR. 159

Mister Colected My husban Mikel Muggins will wish
me write you no matur for abuv if you make him inspector
in yore custom hous, he always vote for Jackson and Scott
and all the Dimocrats and he vote for Bugler and go for ex-
tension the waser works which I like very much. You will
much oblige by call and settel this one way or other.

ELIZIR MUGGINS.

Mike wants Mr. Timothy flaherty, who was sergent in
Pirces regiment and held Pirces hoss when he rared and
throwed him to be a inspector too hes verry good man.

E. M.



NO. YI.

Sir : — I have held for the last four years the appointment
of Surveyor of Shellfish in the Custom House, and have done
my duty and understand it. I have been a Whig, but never
interfered in politics, and should have voted for Pierce — it
was my intention — but a friend by mistake gave me a wrong
ballot, and I accidentally put it in, having been drinking a
little. Dear sir, I hope you will not dismiss me ; no man in
this city understands a clam as I do, and I shall be very
much indebted to you to keep my office for the present
though have much finer off'ers but don't wish at present to
accept.

Very respectfully,



160 INAUGURATION OP THE NEW COLLECTOR.

P. S. — Mj friend Mr. Thomas Styles wishes to keep his
office. Dear sir, he is Inspector of Eaccoon Oysters ; he 13
an excellent gentleman, and though they call him a Whig I
think dear sir, there is great doubt. I hope you'll keep U3
"both ; it's very hard to get good Inspectors who understand
shell-fish.



So much for to-day. If any gentleman incited by a laud-
able curiosity wishes to peruse more of these productions, let
him proceed to Telegraph Hill, and on the summit of th«
tower at the extremity of the starboard yard-arm, in the dis-
charge of his duty will be found, always ready, attentive,
courteous and obliging,

SQUIBOB.



SQUIBOB ABHOKS STREET I]^TRODUC-
TIONS.

No matter of local interest having occurred, worthy the
pen of history, since the return of the " Congressional
Rifles " from their target excursion at San Mateo, I propose
to devote a few moments to the reprobation of an uncom-
fortable custom prevalent in this city, to an alarming extent,
and which if persisted in, strikes me as calculated to destroy
public confidence, and, to use an architectural metaphor, shake
the framework of society to its very piles. I allude to the
pernicious habit which every body seems to have adopted, of
making general, indiscriminate and public introductions.
You meet Brown on Montgomery street : " Good morning,
Brown ; " " How are you. Smith ? " " Let me introduce ;, ou
to Mr. Jones " — and you forthwith shake hands with a seedy
individual, who has been boring Brown for the previous hour,
for a small loan probably — an individual you never saw be-



162 SQUmOB ABHORS STREET INTRODUCTIONS.

fore, never had tlie sliglitest desire to see, and never wish to
see again. Being naturally of an arid disposition, and per-
haps requiring irrigation at that particular moment, you
unguardedly invite Brown, and your new friend Jones of
course, to step over to Parry and Batten's, and imbibe.
What is the consequence ? The miscreant Jones introduces
you to fifteen more equally desirable acquaintances, and in
two minutes from the first introduction there you are, with
seventeen newly formed friends, all of whom " take sugar in
their'n," at your expense.

This is invading a man's quarters with a vengeance. But
this is not the worst of it. Each gentleman to whom you
have been introduced, wherever you may meet thereafter, in
billiard room, tenpin alley, hot house or church, introduces
you to somebody else, and so the list increases in geometrical
progression, like the sum of money, which Colman in his
arithmetic informs us the gentleman paid for the horse, with
such a number of nails in his shoes — a story which in early
childhood I remember to have implicitly believed. In this
manner you form a crowd of acquaintances, of the majority
of whom you recollect neither names nor faces, but being con-
tinually assailed by bows and smiles on all sides, from un-
known gentlemen, you are forced, to avoid the appearance of
rudeness, to go bowing and smirking down the street, like a
distinguished character in a public procession, or one of those
graven images at Tobin & Duncan's, which are eternally
wagging their heads with no definite object in view. This
custom is peculiarly embarrassing in other respects. If you



SQUIBOB ABHORS STREET INTRODUCTIONS. 163

are so unfortnnate as to possess an indifferent memory for
names, and a decided idiosyncrasy for forgetting faces, you
are continually in trouble as to the amount of familiarity
with which to receive the salutation of some unknown indi-
vidual to whom you have been introduced, and who persists
in remembering all about you, though you have utterly for-
gotten him.

Only the other day, at the Oriental Hotel, I met an
elderly gentleman, who bowed to me in the most pleasant
manner as I entered the bar-room. I wasn't quite sure, but
I thought I had been introduced to him at Pat Hunt's ; so,
walking up, I seized him familiarly by one hand, and slapping
him on the shoulder with the other, exclaimed, " How are
you old cock ? " I shall not soon forget his suspicious glance,
as muttering, " Old Cock, sir! " he turned indignantly away;
nor my confusion at learning shortly after, that I had thus
irreverently addressed the Rev. Aminadab Sleek, Chairman
of the " Society for Propagating the Heathen in California,"
to whom I had brought a letter of introduction from Mrs.
Harriet Bitcher Stowe. On the same day I met and ad-
dressed, with a degree of distant respect almost amounting to
veneration, an individual whom I afterwards ascertained to
be the husband of my washerwoman — a discovery which I
did not make until I had inquired most respectfully after his
family, and promised to call at an early day to see them.

There are very few gentlemen in San Francisco, to whom
I should dislike to be introduced, but it is not to gentlemen
alone, unhappily, to whom this introduction mania is confined.



iCi SQVIBOB ABIIOKS STREET INTRODUCTIONS.

Evorvbody introduces ovorvbody else ; your tailor, your
barlior, and your !*hocmakor, doom it their duty to introduce
von to all their numerous and by no means select circle of
aci;iuaiutauce. An unfortunate friend of mine, T — hf — 1

J s, tells mo that, stopping near the Union Hotel the

other day to have his boots blacked by a Frenchman, ho -svas
introduced by that exile, during the operation, to thirty-eight
of his compatriots, owing to which piece of civility he is now
sutl'ering with a cutaneous disorder, and has been ri ihvic-cd,

icid, and g d erer since, to that degree that he hates the

sight of a French roll, and daums the memory of the great
Napoleon.

My own circle of acquaintance is not hu'gc; but if I had
a dollar for every introduction I have received during the
last six weeks I should be able to back up the Baron in one
of his magniticent schemes, or purchase the entire establish-
ment of the Herald office.

But I have said quite enough to prove the absurdity of
indiscriminate introductions. Hoping, therefore, that you
will excuse my introduction of the subject, and that "Winn
won't make an advertisement out of this article,

I remain, as ever, yours f:iithfully.



SQUIBOB AT THE PLAY.

ANOTllEli SQUIBOB IN THE FIELD.

Sax Feanckco, June 10, 1853.

The sympathies of the community have been strongly ex-
cited within the last few days in favor of an unfortunate
gentleman of the Hebrew persuasion, on whom the officers
of the Golden Gate perpetrated a most inhuman atrocity,
during her late trip from Panama. I gather from informa*
tion of indignant passengers, and by contemplation of an
affecting appeal to the public, posted in the form of a hand-
bill at the corners of the streets, that this gentleman was
forced, by threats and entreaties, to do violence to his feel-
ings and constitution, by eating his way through a barrel {not
a half barrel, as has been stated by interested individuals^
anxious to palliate the atrocious deed) of clear pork ! The
hand-bill alluded to is headed by a graphic and well-exe-
cuted sketch by Solomon Ben David, a distinguished artist
of this city, and represents the unhappy sufferer as ho



166 SQTJIBOB AT TIIE PLAY.

emerged from tlie barrel after liis oleaginous repast, in the
act of asking, very naturally, for a drink of water. The
offence alleged, I, find from a hasty perusal of the resolu-
tions contained in the hand-bill, was simply that this gen-
tleman, whose name appears to have been Oliver, was heard
inspiring for Colonel Moore, our well known and respected
Ex-Postmaster. My friend Saul Isaacs, who keeps the " any-
thing on this table for a quarter " stand, tells me that on
* doffing his cask," the miserable Oliver was found com-
pletely bunged up, and that he is now engaged in compos-
ing a pathetic ode, describing his sufferings, to be called
" The Barrel," with a few staves of which he ftivored me on
the spot. It was truly touching. But it is needless to ring the
chimes farther on this subject. But one side of the story has
yet been heard, and as the officers promise a full and com-
plete explanation, it is to be hoped that public opinion may
be suspended for a few months, till they can be heard from.

I attended the American Theatre last evening, and had
the pleasure of seeing several admirable pieces capitally per-
formed, by the largest and finest assemblage of dramatic
talent ever collected on one stage in San Francisco. The
occasion was the benefit of the Hebrew Benevolent Society,
a very worthy and respectable charity, and the house was
absolutely crammed from pit to dome. The aisles and lob-
bies were thronged with gentlemen who were unable to obtain
scats, and who could obtain but hasty and imperfect glimpses
of the stage from their uncomfortable positions. Through
the kindness of the box-keeper I was furnished with a chair,



SQUmOB AT THE PLAY. 167

from which, planted in the middle aisle of the parquette, I
had an admirable view of the audience and the drop-curtain.
The dress circle was crowded with the fair daughters of Zion
and other localities, with silken hair darker than the driven
charcoal, " and bright eyes that flashed on eyes that shone
again." Above the second circle appeared a dense forest of
black whiskers, and curvilinear proboscis; while from the
gallery, that paradise of miners and minors, rang as from a


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Online LibraryGeorge Horatio] [DerbyPhnixiana; → online text (page 9 of 16)