Introducing An Impecunious But Loyal Southern Cavalier ; Depicting A Gorgeous Stage-procession In The Mighty Spectacle Of Impeachment J Reporting The Unexampled And Convincing Inaugural Argument Of Manager Butler, And Tub Visible Consternation Of Nervous Auditors Thereat.
Washington, D. C, April 8, 1868.
Even as the blue-and-brassy bee, with one knowing eye fixed all the time upon some goodly cabbage-rose, dallies with meaner flowers by way of adding relish to the sweet delayed, so do I aggravate myself with baser themes only to make the grander, when it comes, the full majesty of Impeachment. Be it known to you at last, however, that on the occasion of my second visit, with the Mackerel Chaplain, to the theatre where this successful piece is now running, we found at the entrance thereof one of the most loyal Southerners that ever refrained from taking up arms against the Union on account of sickness. His name is Loyola Munchausen, brother of Captain Munchausen, late of the well-known Southern Confederacy; and as I gazed upon his spring-overcoat neatly manufactured from four Confederate buttons and a bed-tick, his dress-hat composed of half a boot-leg, mounted on one of those rims of tin through which stove-pipes enter chimneys; his Parisian stock representing a spare strap with buckle from an old trunk, and his April waistcoat worked up from a remnant of once valuable stair-carpet, - I could not help murmuring sadly to myself, " He does not look as wealthy as he did".
At the moment of our meeting, this reduced but imprest sive Southern being was fumbling in the eastern pocket of a pair of nether-garments, which seemed to have been hastily made from a quilted green merino petticoat, and drew forth from thence the clam-shell which served him as a pocket-book. To spare his feelings, I dropped my glance to his feet, which were plainly encased in a pair of stirrups; but was not quick enough to avoid discovering that the sole contents of his treasury were a shoe-string, a burnt match, and a cancelled postage-stamp. Noticing my look, he loftily donned a pair of white cotton socks, in place of gloves, and says he, -
" What would you, Vandal ? "
Grasping his left hand, and nearly wringing the sock off, I saluted him as the brother of the very mirror of chivalry, and reminded him that I had been a war-correspondent of an excellent Union journal while Captain Munchausen was a Confederacy.
" War-correspondent," says he, twirling the curtain-rod which he carried as a cane, "war-correspondent?" He smiled darkly; and says he, "In that case, the sunny South forgives you; for you must have been a real misfortune to her foes. I was about to purchase a ticket here, but find that I must have left that hundred-dollar bill in my other coat-pocket".
" Come in with us," said I, gravely, " for we have season-tickets for two; and, as the audience is almost wholly feminine, we should be at least three-strong to divide its staring and bad manners".
"The ladies, sir," observed Loyola Munchausen, kissing his right sock, " may stare at me in a manner which I would not tolerate in a man; for, as a true Southern gentleman, I adore the sex; but, sir, if one solitary Yankee Vandal presumes to fix upon me the gaze of a conqueror, there will be - ha! ha! - there will be another war".
After which he tucked the curtain-rod under one arm in a stylish and Malacca manner, settled the boot-leg and tin rim more firmly upon his brow, and accompanied us into the gallery, like one who had gone through a financial panic without detraction from his largest-sized demeanor.
Shall I confide unto you, my boy, how I lent the wealthy Southron my piece of Smoked Glass, through which to observe, without detriment to his sight, the most brilliant scene in our distracted national history; and pointed out to him all the great men I could think of, without troubling myself much as to whether they really were those great men or not ? Shall I confide to you that I gave all the principal female names in history to as many spring-bonnets as I could see ? Let me do nothing of the kind; for is not such conduct the exclusive privilege of the fashionable Washington correspondents of all our reliable morning journals ?
But what is this procession that mine eyes behold, entering upon the stage ?
The sergeant-at-arms, proclaiming that Impeachment is now about to begin. Followed by the chief justice, asking himself the great question, " Am I am I, or am I not am I?"
After whom came a blacksmith, to " rivet the attention of the audience; " a carpenter, to erect scaffolds for those disposed to "hang upon the speaker's words;" a gardener, to attend such as may be " withered by his invective;" man with hose, to extinguish parties " fired by his eloquence." Succeeded by the following.
Thaddeus Stevens, Thaddeus Butler,
Thaddeus Bingham, Thaddeus Logan,
Thaddeus Boutwell, Thaddeus Williams,
Andrew Stanbery, Andrew Curtis,
Andrew Evarts, Andrew Nelson,
Andrew Groesbeck, Senators, Witnesses, etc. This procession having come fully into view, Thaddeus Butler stepped forth to deliver the prologue of the piece, which he gave in the form of an argument.
"Mr. President and Gentlemen of the Senate:- The onerous duty has fallen to my fortune to present to you, imperfectly as I must, the several absences of fact and law by virtue of which the House of Representatives will endeavor to sustain the cause of the people against the President of the United States, now pending at your bar. The difficulty of defining said 'people,' the unprecedented novelty of said 'cause,' the perfect gravity with which we are trying to do it all, and the evident propriety of holding out some idea that the questions to be submitted to your adjudication have just occurred to us, - each and all must be my excuse for giving you as much speech as human patience can endure.