Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

there is much good sense in old distinctions. When the law lays down its full-bottomed periwig, you will find less wisdom in bald pates than you are aware of.” The Curé of Cham prond says that the French priests, who yearly spent their thirty of forty pistoles in wigs, were so irreligious that they kept their best wigs for the world, and their oldest for God ! wearing the first in drawingrooms, and the latter in church. This was certainly less ingenious than in the case of the man who, having but one peruke, made it pass for two. It was naturally a kind of flowing bob; but by the occasional addition of two tails it sometimes passed as a major.

In France, wigs ended by assuming the appearance of nature. In the Reign of Terror, the modish blonde perukes worn by females were made of hair purchased from the executioner, of whom old ladies bought the curls which had clustered about the young necks that had been severed by the knife of Sanson. But after this the fashion ceased among women, as it had already done among men, beginning to do so with the latter when our countryman Franklin appeared in his own hair, unpowdered, at the Court of Louis XVI.; and from that period wigs, as the universal fashion of the time, ceased to be worn, and now belong only to history.

WILLIAM DE BEAUVOIR FRYER.

[blocks in formation]

Have I then lost thee, friend to me so dear?
Hast thou, my fair one, from me flown?
Yet, well remembered, sounds upon my ear
Thy every word, thy every tone.

When bright upon his path the day springs,
The trav'ler vainly looks upon the sky
To see where in the vaulted blue the lark sings
Hidden above the ken of mortal eye.

So, sadly turning me in each direction,
Through field and woodland seek I only thee;
And all my songs crave only thy affection :-
Oh, come, my darling, back to me.

GLUECK AND TRAUM.

Often in your happy dreaming
By the altar we were seeming,-
You my wife, your husband I.
From your lips, when we were waking,
Kisses oft have I been taking,
Kisses ravished on the sly.

The fairest pleasure Fate could shower,
The joy of many a blissful hour,
Pass'd by, like Time, with using.
Like dreams the warmest kisses hasting,
What good to me was in the tasting,
All joys like kisses losing ?

JOHN ANDREWS HARRIS.

THE DUTY OF EACH CITIZEN TO TAKE PART IN

POLITICAL WORK. CACH American citizen is enabled by our free institutions to

be the architect of his own fortunes, the only limit to the accomplishment of his aspirations being the extent of his capacity. It is a small return to the State, for the enjoyment of this inestimable privilege, that each citizen should consider it his duty to carefully guard the institutions from which it is derived ; that he should study the political questions of the day ; that he should investigate the merits of candidates for office and the methods made use of by political parties for placing them in nomination ; that he should vote at each and every election, primary and general; and that he should so inform himself that the casting of his ballot is the expression of a conscientious conviction, and not a blind and prejudiced act. A government of the people, by the people, is dependent on the patriotism of individuals for its existence; it must be supplied with aspirants for public office of integrity and ability, and a sufficient number of informed and disinterested voters to elect honest rulers. If, through the apathy of the public and the domination of political bosses, who manage elections through subordinates whose living depends on the success of their exertion at the polls, or through fear of the contempt of an unfortunately large and influential class who affect disdain for those who expose their fair reputation to the polluting atmosphere of political life, honest people are discouraged from seeking public office, the very existence of our free institutions will be endangered.

In fact, the events of the last year or two appear to have brought matters to a crisis, and it is to be proven whether there is sufficient virtue in the American people to free themselves from the political bondage they have been subjected to, and resent the insults that have been heaped upon them. The action of the political leaders in enforcing the “unit rule" in the last Presidential convention is still fresh in our memory. "The contempt with which the Legislature treated the demand of the people for the abolition of the office of Collector of Delinquent Taxes, is before us; wealthy and influential citizens, convicted on their own confession --of bribing the Legislature to pass a bill drawn up for the purpose of extorting money from the taxpayers and putting it into the pockets of political wire-pullers, were pardoned before even a portion of their sentence had been undergone. In the city of Philadelphia, a noted political “ boss,” who has been distinctly proved to have acquired an immense fortune and enriched his friends and relations out of money filched from the public through the Gas Trust, has “bobbed up serenely,” after a very brief “disappearance," and engaged in his old occupation of setting up nominations and playing the rôle of Warwick in the determination of candidates for office.

Why are these men exempt from the restraints which control the actions of the ordinary citizen ? Why can they steal with immunity, while poor men go to prison ? Simply because they belong to the “ring ;" that is, to a league of men who hold the reins of government, who are undermining our free institutions, and who, by the assistance of a comparatively small force of trained political workers, entirely control the suffrage of a large majority. The public to these men has been simply a fat goose which, well cooked by their retainers, has furnished a banquet for the “ bosses,” and the poor retainers have fed from the crumbs that fell from their masters' table.

How long this will continue, depends on the patriotism and independence of the people. If the voters will allow themselves by party cries to be driven into voting for party candidates without investigating their character or the methods by which they are placed in nomination, it will not be very many years before we will suffer the consequences of blind adherence to party so well depicted by Washington in his farewell address. “Under such circumstances,” he says, “ parties are likely, in the course of time and things, to become potent agencies by which cunning, ambitious and unprincipled men will be able to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engine which had lifted them to unjust dominion.”

If this is the unfortunate situation into which public affairs have fallen,—from which we can only be released by the united exertions of the people,-how are those who are disposed to aid the present reform movement, to render the most efficient help to those who are working in this good cause? I answer, by each man devoting a portion of his time to the public service in the way in which he

« VorigeDoorgaan »