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Harper's Weekly 01/16/1858


THE LOUNGER.

TO PARENTS AND GUARDIANS.

Perry Cranium,” writing from far away,
says, “You have amused us much; be in turn
amused,” and so sends the Lounger a very solemn
and very long prospectus of a school, somewhere
toward sunset. It contains a philosophy of educa-
tion, and points out the advantages of schools in
which young gentlemen and young ladies study
together. This latter point is developed with or-
nate and obscure eloquence. Thus:


“The plan of the Institution, as a society, rests back on
a primary law, that either sex alone is not society—mor-
al, domestic, or national—but both taken together consti-
tute the grand social unit. Hence, young ladies and
young gentlemen are required to study apart and recite
together; therefore, the good order of the school is nei-
ther a studied formality nor the result of discipline, but
a spontaneous etiquette. Mutual deficiencies are passed
by in refined silence; the young and ardent temperament
is checked in its conviviality by the ever-present con-
sciousness of the duty of politeness; the mind is roused
to emulation by this species of competition, and upon the
same principle that those whose productions are most se-
verely criticised become in time the most accurate, edu-
cation received upon the ordeal system, serves its recip-
ient in after life, when that received upon the hot-house
plan lives a short life in the unimpressive atmosphere of
yes and no, and breathes out its last when exposed to in-
telligent circles at a premature period of imbecility. The
restraint implied in the separation of young ladies and
young gentlemen in the educational economy of this age,
throws a great amount of labor on the imagination. Ei-
ther sex in the cloistered Halls of Modern Fashionable
Boarding Schools and Colleges is ever and anon clothing
the other in idolatrous drapery; real beings, and often il-
literate at that, are transformed into angels of light, and
the desire which the God of nature has wisely planted in
the race for society is prostituted and converted into sys-
tematic flattery; and as a natural consequence of this
anti-social and anti-philosophic infraction in the frame-
work of education, the opposite extreme of rashness and
imprudence is not unfrequently reached, and the gray
hairs of parents brought down with sorrow to the grave.”


As for Education in general, the worthy Princi-
pal has this to say:


“Education at last consists in three things:

First—Knowledge.

Second—Language to express it.

Third—A modest assurance of accuracy in acquiring
it, to banish fear of criticism in expression. To accom-
plish these items collectively, the arranged burlesque of
question and answer Text Books is avoided as much as
possible, and the student is required to give a digest of
the lesson in his or her own language, together with the
arguments by which the scope of the subject is brought
to view.”


Finally, that the world may know the local in-
fluences and the kind of assistance which may be
expected at this desirable Seminary, the world will
be glad to hear that


“The Institution is situated in a quiet village in—
County, long distinguished for morality and intelligence,
and alive to the responsibility that rests upon it to the
rising race, the nation, and humanity. Its only endow-
ment is the endowment of merit, and upon this let it rise
or fall.


“The Associate Principal, Miss——, was recom-
mended and received with special reference to the per-
manency of the Institution, as one weighed in the bal-
ance before and not found wanting. And also to afford
abundant opportunity, not only for a thoroughly English
Classical and Ornamental Education, but to afford facil-
ities for the elegant accomplishment of Vocal and Instru-
mental Music. How judiciously the trust has been re-
posed, is emphatically declared by her praise on every
lip, the interest taken in her welfare, and the unanimous
solicitude for her return by a patronage of over forty fam-
ilies. Her happy temperament, composure, dignity, pres-
ence of mind, patience, and lofty deportment, connected
with her varied attainments and refined conscientious-
ness, eminently qualify her for an instructress, and ren-
der her a valuable guide to young ladies.”


“H. M.”vice ROBBINS REMOVED.

John Bull long prided himself upon his auc-
tioneer Robbins, who gave to airy nothings such
a picturesque local habitation, and such a roman-
tic name, that to read his advertisements of country
seats to be sold was like reading a new chapter in
the Annals of Paradise. And following the current
into which the school prospectus has drifted the
Lounger and his readers, every man who has too
much money and a taste for country life, will be
delighted to hear of the advantages which await
the fortunate purchaser of a certain country seat
described by a certain “H. M.,” before whose gor-
geous style even that of the famous Robbins dwin-
dles and grows pale.


After describing the houses and barns in careful
detail, “H. M.” immediately spreads his wings
and soars into the empyrean, concluding as follows
—and it is clear whoever means to send his chil-
dren to the school to which the Lounger has intro-
duced his friends, should be very sure to secure
this residence as his home:


“The country around this place presents a perfect
panorama; in front of the house the turnpike, the rail-
road, the river, and the canal of the Navigation Company
enliven the scene. The rides around the neighborhood
are beautiful, the roads good, and the country beyond
description; some of the scenery even surpassing, in
beauty and grandeur, the romantic drive along the
—. Here, a contemplative mind can find cause to
acknowledge and worship the Deity; seeing, as all must,
from the mountain tops, and by the rivulets' side, the
glory, the greatness and goodness of an all-wise and
beneficent Creator. If, however, it is required and
thought necessary to worship the Almighty through the
forms created by weak and conceited man, churches of
all denominations can be found within a very short dis-
tance; every denomination can be found within three or
four miles. In regard to education, the public schools
are close at hand; in addition to which, the unsurpassed
Seminary of the Rev. Mr.—, for young ladies, and
the Academy of the Rev. Mr.—, for young gentlemen,
at—, are but four miles from the place, and can be
reached by railroad in ten minutes. At either of these
institutions a polished and accomplished education can
be received. To fully appreciate this place it must be
seen, as no one can properly describe it.”


TO THE FRIENDS OF PICKLED OYSTERS.

Although New-Year's Day has just passed,
there will be other years, and other days of festal
visiting. And while man remains the same there
will be other and a still increasing number of
friends of pickled oysters. They will thank the
Lounger for a word in season, and for bringing un-
der their eyes the following lickersome circular in
relation to the esteemed bivalves. It will be as
good for the next year as for the recent occasion,
for which it was especially designed; and it prop-
erly continues the charming vein of advertisements
upon which the Lounger has this week fortunately
fallen:


Mr. and Mrs….
“The approaching Holidays may bring to your
mind, with other things connected therewith

Pickled Oysters & Boned Turkeys,


it having become a pretty general thing to have these
two dishes for New-Year's day guests.


“I wish to say that I have with greatest pains, selected
a very choice lot of Oysters for pickling; a very large,
an entire Cargo.
It may not occur to your mind that
there are two points in producing superior pickled Oys-
ters: first, the Oyster must possess certain qualities, not
known by everybody, though many say they know, the
other essential point is the preperation.


“Your oft repeated orders, together with testimonials
in the form of Diplomas awarded, and now in my posses-
sion, are the evidences I present as to the quality of my
pickled Oysters.


“Your order is respectfully solicited early, that you
may be better served.


“Evening, Wedding and other Parties supplied with
Loan, Confectionery, Attendents and every requisite.”


ENTERTAINMENT FOR MAN AND BEAST.

The preceding advertisements of every kind of
luxury for the human race remind the Lounger of
the famous Pompeii circular, which is the most per-
fect of all offered to the eager traveler in Europe.


When it was thrust into the hands of a merry
party who had gone out from Naples on a bright
May morning, ten years ago, they laughed so long
and loud that they can well believe Vesuvius still
recalls the echo of their shouts; and they equally
well remember how the “Fine-Hok” had the laugh
upon its side, when they came to settle for their lit-
tle dinner at the “Restorative Hotel.”


It was printed side by side with a French copy,
of which it is a literal translation.


“RESTORATIVE HOTEL FINE-HOK,
Kept by Frank Prosperi,
Facing the Military Quarter


“That hotel open since a very few days, is renowned
for the cleanness of the apartments and linen; for the
exactness of the service, and for the eccellence of the
true french-cookery: Being situated at proximity of
that regeneration, it will be propitius to receive families,
whatever, which will desire to reside alternatively into
that town, to visit the monuments new found, and to
breathe thither the salubrity of the air.


“That establishment will avoid to all the travellers,
visitors, of that sepult-city, and to the artists, (willing
draw the antiquities) a great disordor, occasioned by the
tardy, and expensive contour of the iron-whay. People
will find equally thither, a complete sortment of stranger
wines, and of the kingdom, hot, and cold baths, stables,
and coach-houses, the whole with very moderated prices.


“Now, all the applications, and endeavours of the
hoste, will tend always, to correspond to the tastes and
desires, of their customers, which will acquire without
doubt, to him, into that town, the reputation whome, he
is ambitious.”


DR. LIVINGSTONE'S BOOK.

In his preface Dr. Livingstone says that he is
not a literary man, and does not know how to write
a book, and forthwith proceeds to write one of the
most valuable and interesting books of modern
travel. His work has this unique excellence—that
it is a positive addition to human knowledge. It
deals with new facts, and consequently it has a
direct influence upon all our theories of races and
destinies.


It is full of adventure in a country which is al-
ways interesting; and the simple style of the nar-
rative is as good a setting for the unconscious he-
roism of the author as that of Homer for his heroes.
There is no lion so savage that his roar or shake
can frighten Doctor Livingstone out of his presence
of mind. He calmly speculates while he is in the
grasp of the king of beasts; and when he is out of
it he corrects the popular superstition of “majesty”
as a characteristic of the roar of that animal.


Indeed the Doctor finds so much of absolute in-
terest in all he meets, and his mind is so candid
and calm, that he has no occasion for episodes of
romance. The novel scenery, the new tribes, the
methods of life, are so dissimilar to all our own
that the description is romance enough. Living-
stone confirms the probability of the stories of Gor-
don Cumming, whom he knew in Africa, and to
whom he furnished guides and knowledge.


Besides the constant necessary adventure of such
a life in an utterly wild land, the great interest of
the book consists in the views it suggests of new
chances for the civilization of the future.


Dr. Livingstone pierced the African continent
and crossed it; and his observations upon the Afri-
can races, their capacity and possible development,
are of the profoundest interest. There is nothing
dry or dull in his work. He was so heartily in
earnest in his travels that the account of them must
be any thing but commonplace. You perceive, and
honor the man throughout; and you secretly say
to yourself, “Lo! a missionary who is a mission-
ary.” If there were more such, Heathendom would
hardly be so impregnable.


It seems that the English Government under-
stand the value of such a subject as Dr. Living-
stone, and will pay £5000 toward the expenses of
his contemplated journey up the Zambesi.


Perhaps at last the Doctor will push through all
the African mysteries, including the equator, and
pass from the Cape of Good Hope to the Nile.


OUR LETTER-BOX.

If all who have charge of letter-boxes are as
much pleased with the business as the Lounger, he
does not wonder at the anxiety displayed by mul-
titudes of his fellow-citizens, upon the accession of
each new Administration, to be appointed to the
delightful post, nor at the singular tenacity with
which they hold on to it when they are once in
possession.


They have not, indeed, like the more fortunate
Lounger, the opportunity of looking into all the
letters which are dropped into the box; but the
very consciousness of handling the silent missives
which convey such pleasure to their fellow-creat-
ures, is satisfaction enough for the candid and af-
fectionate natures of the official Loungers of the
government—that class of amiable philanthropists
in whom our happy country is so abundantly bless-
ed—simple, disinterested citizens! They have no
other aim than to confer happiness upon their fel-
low-beings!


Brooklyn, January, 1858.

“Mr. Lounger,—From some little indication that I
have occasionally seen exhibited in your valuable journal
to reform the abuses of this progressive age, may I not hope
that you will take up the cudgel and endeavor to reform
one of the most detestable nuisances that mankind ever
inflicted upon all that class of unfortunate females who
are compelled by force or convenience to cross the river
that divides this city and New York in the boats of the
Fulton Ferry Company? No female, no matter how or-
dinarily dressed she may be, but what must suffer from
being compelled to wade through the streams of tobacco
juice that are constantly ejected from the moss-covered
lips of a very large majority of the `Lords of Creation'
that throng this great thoroughfare.


“They do not seem satisfied in subjecting us to the
trouble of clearing our skirts from the huge balls of moist
tobacco that are scattered in profusion from one end of
the boat to the other, but oftentimes compel us to wade
ankle-deep through streams of filth that would disgust a
Hottentot. I would suggest to the managers of the Ferry
Company the propriety of employing the same diligence
in excluding from the ladies' cabin habitual chewers that
they use in keeping the habitual smokers among the four-
footed tribe where they belong. If men are determined
to use tobacco, let them occupy that portion of the boat
where they can puff its fragrance and extract its essence
without subjecting a cargo of ladies to its baneful effects.
It is a nuisance that can not be longer tolerated; and un-
less it is soon abated, I propose to call a meeting of the
ladies of New York and Brooklyn to take into considera-
tion the propriety of applying to the Ferry Company to
appropriate a boat for the exclusive use of their lady pas-
sengers, and, if necessary, to build one of sufficient ca-
pacity to accommodate even those who are now compelled
by the magnitude of their hoops, and a desire to appear
fashionable, to forego a trip to New York, in consequence
of the manifest incompetency of the accommodations af-
forded them.


“Your efforts in a cause of this kind will give your lady
readers renewed encouragement to hope that in you they
have found a champion ever ready to protect them in
their rights, and fully prepared to battle manfully in
their behalf in redressing a grievous wrong.

“Truly yours,Melinda Broadskirt.”


—Mrs. Broadskirt may be very sure of the
Lounger's sympathy and assistance in this good
work. He will most cordially advocate the calling
of such a meeting, and he hereby invites Mayor
Tiemann, if he intends to fulfill the hopes that his
election has excited, to bring the matter before the
Common Council, and summon the meeting.


And when the Ferry Company, with their noto-
rious readiness of compliance with the public will,
shall have established the boat for ladies only, the
Lounger submits to Mrs. Melinda, whether he will
not have earned the privilege of making his voy-
ages to Brooklyn in that particular boat.


Meanwhile, in anticipation of that bright result,
he will bend his energies to beating the sinners
with their own weapons, by helping smoke them
out of the places they now infest.

“Christmas Day 1857.


“I inclose in this may subscription. My wife delares that
she wood sooner give up new bonnets and hoopes than
go without it, Saying the Loungers department is worth
doubel the subscription heres to his good health and bet-
ter acquaintance in my best bumper of egg-nogg. More
power to his elbow and magick pen.


“May he live to improve the present age by his Wisdom
wit sincerity and truth and see his grate grate grand-
children proffit by his virtuous exampel.


“Send it around to your seventy five thousand Sub-
scribers may they increase and multiply as the stares and
be as gratefully contented admirers as your
“——.”


—The Lounger will not mention his friend's
name; but he thanks him with the same sincerity
with which the letter is written, and will ask him
one question.


Dr. Kane once said in the hearing of the Lounger,
that one bitter day when his little vessel was fast
in the shadow of the great Greenland glacier, he
saw one of the men sitting absorbed in a book he
was reading. His interest was so profound that
the Doctor was curious to know what book it could
be, and upon going up to him and asking him, the
sailor answered “Pendennis.”


Now, does the Lounger's friend,——,
suppose Thackeray was more pleased to hear of
that little incident, or to know that Prince Albert
had been reading the same story in Buckingham
Palace?


Sing Sing, Jan. 3, 1853.

Mr. Lounger,—Your “Old Bachelor Contrib-
utor,” while on the subject of Kisses, ought to have
enumerated the different kinds mentioned in the
Bible. I subjoin them, to add a quota toward com-
pleting the list.

Yours truly,A Benedict.

The Kiss of Salutation
The Kiss of Reconciliation
The Kiss of Approbation
The Kiss of Valediction
The Kiss of Subjection
The Kiss of Adoration
The Kiss of Affection
The Kiss of Treachery


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