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be convinced that there are a few people in the city between April and January. In midsummer none but the "Can't-Get-Away-Club" fail to take a few days' or a few weeks' rest at seaside or inland resorts, then the streets are (like those of any city) comparatively deserted. The cool October evenings tell a different story; the lovely early autumn days fill the streets once more, and very few houses are tenantless.
Even in midsummer, however, there is some social life. Though it is too warm to do anything but sit on the door-steps or porch and fan one's self, the girls are easily persuaded by members of the Analostan or Potomac boat-clubs that a row up the river, a supper on Table Rock, and a row home again before midnight will be "just too lovely for anything." And almost any still night from April to October the Potomac is alive with craft of all sorts; some of the boats contain the same girls, now clad in simple garments that will not be ruined by a little water, whom "our own correspondent" has so glowingly described, that you fancy she is never dressed in anything but tulle or satin; never exists but in a ball-room.
This same writer's letters are sometimes exceedingly funny to those who see both sides of the shield. Sometimes he tells only one-half of his story, goes into ecstasies over Mrs. A—'s tiny foot, her one-and-a-half shoe, but omits to say that the lady is only five feet high; or he describes the "ravissantc combination of pink silk and blonde lace" worn by Mrs. B— at Mrs. C—'s ball, when the truth is that Mrs. B— was very ill, almost at death's door, the night of that ball, and moreover never owned or wore pink silk in her life!
And to read what all the Jenkinses say about these "swell" entertainments you would naturally suppose that no lady ever went to a Senatorial ball or Cabinet minister's reception who was not dressed by Worth. They forget, or do not know, that some of the handsomest dresses worn on these occasions are made by colored dressmakers, and that many of the guests, having more friends, brains, or talent than money, appear in the plainest sort of evening dresses. For a department clerk is by no means shut out from the "gay whirl,"' a young man who dresses, dances, and appears well and who is once introduced into society can go almost anywhere at any time and be welcome; and a lady clerk who chooses to do
so can go out every evening of her life, the poverty which compels her to work does not drive htf into a corner in this city.
There can be few places where it is so easy for a perfect stranger to see something of gay life. Suppose a lady, probably accompanied by father, husband, son or brother who is immersed in business, finds herself alone and totally unknown at one of the hotels. She very naturally desires to see something of the city beside its public buiKiings, so (if she knows her privileges) she puts oc the best dress she has brought with her—maybe it is only a plain cashmere, no matter—and starts out about two o'clock on a round of calls.
"Alone?" you ask. "I thought she was i stranger 1"
Alone, yes; no matter. She can call upon any of the ladies connected with the Cabinet if it is Wednesday, and be as civilly received as if it w* her twentieth visit, or upon a Senator's wife, or member's wife, or Supreme Judge's wife upon other days. Each of these ladies, as a rule, holds an open reception from two until four or five in the afternoon, and any one who chooses to do so can pay his or her respects. A terrible bore to the hostess these receptions are; for each call has to be returned if possible, or at least a "card call" is incumbent. The President's wife is the only lady who is never expected to pay any calls of visits of ceremony; but she, poor soul 1 has to receive and shake hands with hundreds of people every Saturday afternoon.
Of course at these receptions the hostess can do little more than exchange civil commonplaces with each stranger who calls, and they are stiff, wearisome affairs (in spite of "our own correspondent") at best. The evening card reception* have more of the nature of a private party, and really deserve some of the glowing encomiums Jenkins gives them; but even they are necesarilj mixed when the host is a man of much politic* prominence, many of those invited are political acquaintances only, and occasionally some queer doings and queer people may be noted.
But who are these queer people? Who perpetrate these queer deeds, such as picking lace fund. kerchiefs from ladies' pockets, stealing spoons aid forks, or sitting by the hour at the superb sapps table? Are these a fair sample of Washing nians? By no means; not one of them enr spent twelve consecutive months here most libdjNo, good reader, they are (some of them) your own townsmen; this Monthly goes into many a far-off town, but not into one that hasn't some ne'er-do-wells in it, and it is these who are the lobbyists and queer people generally who cause nine-tenths of the political and social scandals. If you, friends east, west, north and south, would clap your "sharp" gentry into jail, and your genteel loafers into the work-house, this city would not be the "sink of corruption" that some of you suppose it to be.
It is not the people who live in Washington (and I include the members of Congress now and their immediate families) who are standing by the dozen outside the large hotels, but the lobbyists et al. Those who throng the gaming-houses, drinking saloons, and other more than questionable resorts, should not be taken as a sample of Washingtonians; as a rule government clerks can't afford to thus indulge, and very few of them have a desire to do so, and even members and Senators are in the minority in those crowds. "Jenkins" is doubtless there "by a large majority," hence his universal knowledge of the evils of the city; he, as a rule, describes the company he most affects.
When a congressional election is at hand, the opposition, desirous of "rotation," paints the incumbent in the blackest colors, and tries to give the impression that he and all his colleagues are blacklegs, drunkards and rouis, using one or two known examples to point his moral and adorn his tale, but overlooking the scores and scores who work early and late for the benefit of their country and their constituents. The disorderly ways of the House are enlarged upon, but the quiet dignity of the Senate is forgotten. As for this former body, its warmest advocate must admit that it very often strongly resembles a badly-governed school, especially when Ben Butler and Sunset Cox (when they belonged to opposite parties) would have one of their amusing but undignified verbal tilts. But now that these two have coalesced, with whom will they spar? Will not Butler occasionally forget his principles when there comes a good chance to bandy words with Cox? Or will the latter be able to adapt his "shoo fly" and other slang to some other devoted head? I have seen the House in many a state of excitement, but there were always (up to a year or two ago) two members who never forgot the
dignity of their position, and who never even turned their backs to the Speaker in the noisest debates. John Morrissey and Fernando Wood were always "eyes right."
It is also passed into a proverb that the Treasury is full of "pretty blondes" who have nothing, in character or intellect, half so good as their pretty faces. Out of several hundred women, of all ages and from all parts of the country who are employed as clerks in the various departments, there must necessarily be a few who are out of their element; but the mass of these clerks are not young and not pretty. Many of them are working to support their growing children, some to maintain their grandchildren, or an invalid mother or sister, or a husband who lost his health while defending the Stars and Stripes. Numbers of them are widows of men who, in their lives, held positions of trust and dignity; widows and daughters of judges, congressmen, literary men, and scientists are plentiful, and almost as plentiful are those who leave their desks to marry such men.
I think I may safely assert that there is not an office in any department where at least half the ladies are not educated above the average standard, or where one-tenth fall below it; not one where there are not at least two out of ten conversant with one or more foreign tongues; not one where there may not be found a number of good musicians and artists. And but a small minority of government clerks of either sex stand alone in the world without the necessity of sharing their salaries with two or three relatives.
As a body, too, the much-abused clerks are travelled men and women, and have had their angles softened, and their unreasonable prejudices removed by contact with the world, and especially by association with people in other sections of our own land.
Among so many people, gathered from all parts of the civilized world, as there are employed in various branches of government service, there must necessarily be some oddities, some who have one idea so strongly developed that it almost amounts to a craze; indeed a harmless lunatic sometimes goes undetected. There was, for instance, an eccentric little lady in the Treasury a few years ago (she is dead, or I would not so freely speak of her), who was the widow of one of our consuls at a Spanish port. She had resided
By Alice C. Hall.
Madame Trollop's House.
Can anything new or desirable come out of the West is often doubtless the mental query, if not the outspoken sentiment of the average eastern mind, pluming itself on a due consciousness of its alliance with an older civilization? But sometimes these doubting ones are startled out of their selfcomplacency by the discovery that now and then the West takes a stride in some direction which places her in advance of the East. And when, Cinderella-like, this younger sister steps forward to claim the superior honors accredited to her, she no doubt takes a quiet satisfaction in her wellearned triumph over her elder sisters. It is in the West that there has lately been achieved a
triumph in ceramics that is quite unique in the history of that lately popularized art, at least in this country, notwithstanding the universal craze on the subject. We refer to what is known as the Cincinnati faience, or the underglaze decoration as distinguished from the overglaze, or ordinary china painting.
That anything in the direction of the fine arts should have originated in Cincinnati may seem surprising to those who persist in associating that smoke-begrimed city with whatever is antagonistic rather than favorable to the aesthetic. But above her smoke rise the hills crowned with a beauty not to be surpassed, and covered with homes that are almost idylic in their attractiveness. So also above her more sordid interests lies an atmosphere which in no small degree is conducive to the development of the arts. There is a paragraph clipped from a published interview between Eli Perkins and Mr. Bennett, soon after the arrival of the latter in this country, bringing with him the coveted secrets of
his latest and highest achievements, Set * ipt of pardonable pride in his success, which was amy equalled by a corresponding chagrin whea we saw him disappointed in his cherished pizss- Theodore Thomas, like many others who share set for themselves too high a standard, has leaned the sorry lesson that in competition with the commercial demands of a practical age, one's ideals must only too often be ruthlessly sacrificed.
But it is to Cincinnati as associated with an rather than music that attention is directed. Although, as individuals, many of her citizens were art cultured, and her artists of no inferior order, the general interest was at a low ebb when the McMicker School of Design was established some eleven years ago. Mr. Noble took charge of it, bringing to the undertaking an enthusiasm which could hardly fail of accomplishing good re suits. He found but crude material to work upon; Km aside from the previous introduction of drawisg is the public schools, but little attention in a practical war had been given to the subject By •unea!. persistent effort, however, and in the face jt aoav ocsc*. j«» he and his able assretantt sor..,,;,; ■- --;--: -'-: school intc .:=■ pnsea ■■■In ring over three haswhich st-ricf :'~.-x^i