Charging The Radicals With The Continued And Exasperating Wet Weather; Setting Forth The Great Wrong Done To The Conservative Kentucky Chap; Repeating A Conversation In The Boxes And Scene On The Stage Of The Theatre Of War; Remarking The First Of The Soliloquies For The Defence; And Announcing A Visit From The Direful " Ku-Klux-Klan."
Washington, D. C, April 16, 1868.
When matters have reached such a pass that an American citizen of Caucasian descent cannot even step out to get a glass of water and a clove for his cold, without carrying an umbrella along, it is time for every suffering member of our excellent national Democratic organization to ask himself, How long are we to endure this Radical rain of terror? Did we have as much rain as this in the days of Andrew Jackson, when the Constitution of our forefathers was respected, and an able Democratic organization drank so little water that storms were not needed to keep up the supply? Alas! my boy, the impeaching Jacobins now in power have plotted this wet season for the express purpose of making one Wade, and I firmly believe that the end will be dampnation!
'Twas on Tuesday morn that the Conservative Kentucky Chap undertook to preserve a slice of lemon from decomposition by wrapping it in four thingfuls of whiskey, one of sugar, and one of hot water; inclosing the whole in a fresh glass tumbler, and placing the preparation upon the window-ledge to cool until he should be able to add a spoon. Owing to the unseemly combination of the Radicals with the enemies of their country, a heavy shower at once came up, and so weakened the lemon that it became injurious to the constitution of Kentucky. Noticing the ghastly smile that overspread the Conservative countenance of the poor chap when he tasted the diluted fruit, and discovered how debilitated it had become, I touched his elbow, and says I, -
" Are the waters of disappointment bitter to the taste, my Knight of the Golden Circle ? or do your features writhe thus because the fluid of Kentucky fails in its duty?"
The Conservative Kentucky Chap feverishly caught at an ivory faro-check, which had accidentally fallen from its place as one of his sleeve-buttons, and says he, -
" The favorite fluid of Kentucky will frequently fail in its duty, when that duty is two dollars a gallon; but that is not the cause of my suffering. Here have I been trying to make some lemon-syrup for my cough," says he, bitterly, "and it has been rained into until all the Old Rye is washed out. Hem! " says the Conservative Kentucky Chap, fiercely, "if Kentucky has much more of her lemon-syrup spoiled by any more soaking rain whatsoever, she will believe that her Radical foes intend a second deluge, and demand an Ark".
"You think, then," says I, soothingly, "that this wet Radical weather tends to anarchy; and demand an Ark, in consequence, wherein to seek some safe place on a Con- servative Ararat".
"Hem!" says he, thoughtfully, "those who want a place on ary-rat can have it; but Kentucky would prefer a place in the Custom mouse".
Another shower happening to commence just then, he went away through it like a despondent Noah, leaving me to ponder his words, and pay my usual visit to the theatre of Impeachment.
In regard to this latter temple of the moral drama, I may here say to you, my boy, that the business is steadily declining; and there have been no really good houses this week. The stars engaged by the managers have, in some instances, been so careless about learning their parts; the corps de bully has executed its faux pas, at times, with so little grace; the merry-Andrew men have given their break-downs with so little spirit,-that the patrons of the histrionic art in this city begin to weary of the play. On the day of which I am now treating, however, the fact that Sergeant O'Pake, of the unconquerable Mackerel Brigade, was to make his first appearance, and that a great soliloquy was to be delivered, caused quite a fair audience to assemble.
Lovely woman was there, with just enough spring-bonnet on to constitute a private crosswalk on the elaborate Central Park of her head; and didn't rustle her dress much more than enough to drive seven middle-aged amateurs of Impeachment to distraction. But what shall I say concerning the conduct of those unmarried male beings, in yellow kids and disgracefully short skirts, who kept leaning over the seats, between the bonnets, like dislocated pairs of tongs between fancy feather-dusters, and audibly informing the latter just how the play was going to turn out ?
" But tell me, De Mortimer," whispered one fair girl, " does the hero of the piece prove himself innocent of all the High Crimes, and marry Miss Demeanor at last? "
"No, Miss Smytherly," returned De Mortimer; "Thaddeus Butler, you know, who represents the heirs to the Jonathan estate, insists upon it that Jonathan himself has become so weakened in his Constitution by internal rupture, that it is better to cut off his head at once and divide his property. The hero, you see, objects to this, and pretends that Jonathan's Constitution may be saved yet, and refuses to be himself cut off from attending the invalid until the latter tells him to go. Very well, then, say the heirs, if that is your plea, we'll meet it by assuming that J onathan is already dead. This court, say they, is actually sitting as a Coroner's Inquest, and must order Jonathan's head cut off in order to justify its own sitting, - else, why should it make Inquest ? So all the Coroner's Jurors have to decide that way, you know, and find the hero guilty of trying to prevent the Inquest; and Mr. Wade is appointed administrator".
" How perfectly ridiculous ! " says Miss Smytherly.
" Oh, yes," says De Mortimer; " but the piece is from the French, you know, and must be Frenchy. The corps de bully is the real attraction, you see, and the rest but a mere excuse for introducing it".