Moralizing Upon The Certain Result Of Vice-Presidency; Giving The Curious Epitaph Of A Victim Of Eloquence; Presenting The Principal Gems Of A Guano Matinee; And Recording The Enthusiasm Of The Populace Over The Last Of The Impeachment Speeches.
WASHINGTON, D. C, May 9, 1868.
After haying put on our spectacles, snuffed the candle, and perused the world's history, my hoy, we cannot hut perceive that vice, sooner or later, brings misery. It being a very late hour when we have finished the history, we debate within ourselves whether we had better go to bed and take a few years of sleep, or sit up for the brief remainder of the century and meditate upon that which our historical reading has taught us. Inasmuch as fully twenty-five pianos of cats have organized an angel-choir on the fences nearest our window, and a heavy shower of bootjacks has recently set in from the casements of seven unmarried gentlemen around the corner, we conclude to remain wakeful and ponder.
A baby smiling on a mother's knee, A faint ray breaking o'er an Eastern sea, A green leaf peeping from a root deep set, A candle waxen, and unlighted yet.
A school-boy mimicking a lark's clear cry, A red flush blazoning a morning sky, A frail twig bending to a zephyr's thought, A candle twinkling with a spark just caught.
A lover kneeling to a maiden fair, A sun all golden in a cloudless air, A bud slow swelling on a fragrant bough, A candle crested with a white flame now.
A soldier fighting for a prize ne'er gained, A spot of fever on a zenith stain'd, A branch low drooping with a fruit half sear, A candle gutt'ring with a jaundiced blear.
A miser gloating at a coffer's brim, A gray gleam ending in a twilight dim, A dry leaf crackling in a wintry fall, A candle smoking to a shadow'd wall.
A dotard gasping in a parson's ear, A pale star dying in a storm-cloud near, A tall tree loosening a clasp'd root-hand, A candle fliek'ring at a wick's last strand.
A shadow resting on a square of white, A sun's ghost walking in a noon of night, A prone trunk hollow to a worm's vile tread. A candle wasted and a mortal dead.
As for yourself, my boy, I judge, from your general conversation on politics, that there is far more gas than candle about you; and, consequently, your share of this history need not alarm you. But, as I was saying before, the man of striking originality of thought will derive therefrom the idea, that vice, sooner or later, brings misery ; and at once take measures to have it inserted in the "Lady's Book" as his own great American composition. When we consider the lilies of the valley, - that they toil not, neither do they spin; and yet, that Solomon, in all his glory, was not arrayed like one of these; we may possibly feel inclined to side with Solomon for refraining from such spring fashions as would have been likely to subject him to the care of the police. I know several wealthy Southerners, who, in consequence of innumerable mortgages and certain not remote exploits of our military vandals, are arrayed so much, like lilies of the valley that they feel obliged to lie in bed all day until bathing-time comes. But then, again, when we consider Andrew Johnson, and remember that vice sooner or later brings misery, we can scarcely refrain from reprobating such an extraordinary addiction to vice as finally tempted him to become a Vice-President. Save for such uncommon viciousness, he might now be a profane and respected member of Congress, calling all the other members by the most awful and amusing names, and assisting them to impeach somebody for having no friends. Instead of that, however, we find him the guilty cause of over one hundred hours of speeches; all of which have fallen upon our distracted country, while she is yet writhing under the recollection of Mr. Raymond's address at the Dickens' dinner. Thus it is that vice sooner or later brings misery, and occasions such death, even, as that of the Boston Marvel.
Early this morning I strolled out to the place where they have laid the poor Marvel, and was pleased to find erected over his resting-place a neat slab bearing the following inscription, -
Hic Jacet manton marvel of boston.
Impeachment Speeches wrought his hapless fate;
BuT-LE'Rning Curt-is to appease his shade: The Bout-well ended, 'Nel'-s'on rang for him-
Eye GROES-BECKlouded at the end he made. When Lo'- 'gan he, with Will-i- am-sure, to read,
He thought each speech to scan, what Evar'ts length; But quickly found (iS't even-so indeed ?)
That half of them would quite exhaust one's strength. For birth to " hub "-BiNg-HAMlet he was debtor;
And Here he's buried. Few Stan'-BERving better.*
These few simple tributary lines had been written evidently, by some humble friend, whose spelling was defective; bat they had a touching pathos for me, and made me whisper again to myself, Vice-President sooner or later brings misery.
*The speakers for the prosecution were Messrs. Butler, Boutwell, Logan, Williams, Stevens, and Bingham. For the defence, Messrs. Curtis, Groesbeck, Evarts, and Stanbery. It is scarcely necessary to say that the Epitaph should read:
Impeachment Speeches wrought his hapless fate;
But learning curt is to appease his shade; The bout well ended, knell soon rang for him-
Eye grows beclouded at the end he made. When low 'gan he, with will, I am sure, to read,
He thought each Speech to scan, what ever ts length; But quickly found (is't even so, indeed ?)
That half of them would quite exhaust one's strength. For birth to " hub "-bing hamlet he was debtor; And Here he's buried. Few stand burying better.
On another occasion, as I walked.thoughtfully along a retired byway near the Capitol, philosophically pondering the same sad conclusion, my attention was attracted to a figure sitting upon a wayside-stone, its back towards me. It was bending eagerly forward to a wooden hitching-post just before it. Its soft black hat rested upon the very back of its head after the manner of some sable Thomas-cat clinging to a bedpost; and its hands hastily shuffled and cut a pack of greasy cards for the apparent accommodation of an invisible partner. Stealing closer to this absorbed apparition, I quickly recognized the Conservative Kentucky Chap, and also noted that he was talking excitedly to the hitching-post.