Harper's Weekly 06/23/1883


PERSONAL.

An accomplished lady of this city, the daughter of an old mer-
chant, remembers hearing her father say that he was the first per-
son to lend the late A. T. Stewart one hundred dollars, and that
his confidence in Mr. Stewart's judgment in business matters was
perfect from the first. “Stewart used to come to my store,” he
would say, “pass along the rows of boxes full of dry-goods, and
predict at once which lots would sell and which would not. I
never knew him to make a mistake about it. He was then just
beginning his career, but if he said that a certain line of goods
would not sell they were sure to remain unsold. He was a born
buyer.”


—A surgeon in the United States army who prided himself on
his linguistic capacity learned some useful Chinese phrases one
day from a Celestial in San Francisco. The next morning, being
called to attend a Chinese patient, he determined to air his newly
acquired knowledge, and on approaching the bedside of the invalid,
addressed him with what he supposed to be the Chinese equivalent
of our Anglo-Saxon “Good-morning to you.” He was somewhat
surprised to find himself picked up by the male relatives of the
sick man and landed unceremoniously in the street. His crafty
instructor had taught him as a salutation one of the most insult-
ing string of epithets conceivable.


—The American wood-engraver having received much recogni-
tion in England, and been pronounced the best of his kind in ex-
istence, has at length made a sensation at the Paris Salon, where
this year there were more than four hundred wood-engravings of
various nationalities on exhibition. A private letter from that city
announces that Mr. Robert Hoskin, of New York, who sent to the
Salon a frame containing a dozen specimens of his excellent work,
chief among which were the “Sunday Morning in Surrey” and the
“Frozen Fountain,” well known to the readers of Harper's Maga-
zine
, has won a medal. We congratulate the artist on a personal
success which is an honor to the art of his country.


—Mr. Ruskin confesses that having himself been brought up
almost exclusively in fairy-land, he is almost tempted to say, [text is unclear]
“no story should be told to children which is not untrue At
any rate, he is sure that no child will ever take so [text is unclear] delight in
a real tale of history as in the story of the [text is unclear] of a walnut
shell in a gutter; nor has any child [text is unclear] of a me-
chanical mouse, or of a doll that walks [text is unclear] but “an
ever-memorable little cousin used to [text is unclear],
and even made a night-gown for it, finally asking her mother, in
timid and confidential whispers, whether she had better make any
sleeves, because as Bibsy has no arms, perhaps she wouldn't like
it.” The writer of this paragraph, however, knows several bright
boys who, after listening to a fairy story, immediately inquire if it
is true, and when told that it is not true, invariably ask for a story
that is true. Are the tastes of the present generation more real-
istic than those of the last, or is the instance just mentioned an
exceptional one?


Goethe's moral character having received a whitewashing
from Professor J. S. Blackie, the Pall Mall Gazette points out that
Goethe did not marry Christiane Vulpins till some twenty years
after her eldest child was born, and that his blackest fault was not
his ill-regulated passion, but his very well regulated heartlessness.
“He was one of the greatest of men of letters; he was also a very
wise man; but to make him out a `perfectly virtuous man,' to
sweep away the evidence which shows him to have been anything
but perfectly virtuous, is, we doubt, more than seven Scotch pro-
fessors, furnished with seven mops, each consisting of a brand-new
definition of virtue, can do in half a year or half a century.”


—The legatees of the late Amasa Stone, of Cleveland, Ohio,
have made themselves memorable. Having learned that one or
two of the millionaire's relatives, to whom he had been very
friendly, were overlooked in the will, they agreed to assess them-
selves generously to create a fund for them. This course does
seem better than to allow your father's name to be dragged through
the mire of a lawsuit in a surrogate's court.


Jeff Davis is described as speaking slowly, and “with great
deliberation and elegance of language.” He gives the s sound a
prolonged sibilant quality, which, however, is “soft and pleasant
to the ear.” His memory is excellent. “Soon after I had finished
conversing with him,” says the candid reporter, “he leaned his
head down and went to sleep.”


—The death of that honored New York merchant, Mr. Norman
White
, will be widely regretted. Like the late Mr. William E.
Dodge
, whose sister he married, Mr. White was a philanthropist
by nature, and a born manager of charitable enterprises. He had
been the president of the New York Bible Society, and the vice-
president of the American Bible Society and of the Union Theo-
logical Seminary, and he may be called the founder of the New
York Sabbath Society. For several years he was the president of
the Mercantile National Bank. His age was seventy-eight. Mr.
White represented a type of citizen that is fast disappearing.


—Referring to the recent efforts of some lawyers in this city to
secure the discharge from an insane asylum of a rich inmate
“whom a competent and impartial physician pronounced the most
decided lunatic he had ever met,” one of our esteemed contempo-
raries hopes that Judge Cullen will not dismiss the case without
finding out who employed the lawyers, and how much pay the lat-
ter are expecting to receive. “If it appears that they employed
themselves, a judicial decision on the question whether it is pro-
fessional for lawyers to beat up the dangerous wards of lunatic
asylums in search of rich clients would be of general interest.”


—The fame of Mr. Ignatius Donnelly'sAtlantis (Harper &
Brothers
, publishers) has extended to Spain, and one of the fore-
most of Spanish scholars is engaged in making a translation of
this fascinating work for publication in that country. The book
has passed through ten large editions in the United States, and
has also had an extensive sale in England.


—Sir Henry Thompson, the eminent physician, writes that the
greatest harm of cigarette-smoking arises from inhaling the
smoke directly into the lungs, where it comes into immediate con-
tact with the circulation, and produces an effect felt by a sensitive
person to the tips of the fingers. He recommends the use of a
cigarette-holder, or mouth-piece, which opens transversely in the
middle, disclosing a small cavity filled with cotton-wool. This
wool, after six cigarettes have been smoked, becomes “saturated
with a brown fluid like treacle, of powerfully offensive odor, and
disagreeable beyond belief. The wool then requires to be changed,
and in this manner the evil of smoking is very greatly diminished,”
becoming, indeed, less than in any other form of tobacco-smoking.


—Says the Lancet: “Dram-drinking is bad, and excessive tea-
drinking is bad, but we think that medical men may say a word
now and then against indiscriminate aperient-drinking. An
aperient is not, as many think, a cure for every little malady that
flesh is heir to, and to introduce an aperient as a feature of one's
daily diet is not a step that should be lightly undertaken.”


—Dr. George A. Scott, inventor of the electric brush, sailed re-
cently for Europe, accompanied by his father. It is his intention
to make an extensive tour.


John Brown, the late servant of Queen Victoria, will receive
from her Majesty the honor of at least four monuments, one of
them a tablet in St. George's Chapel, another a shaft of granite at
the head of his grave in Crathie, a third a brass plate in the mau-
soleum at Frogmore, where the Prince Consort lies buried, and a
fourth a cairn on a mountain near Balmoral. How many other
tributes of the Queen's affection will serve to keep the gillie's
name in public remembrance it is impossible to predict.


—The grounding of the steam-ship City of Rome in the channel
of New York Harbor has led to a fresh and more serious consider-
ation of a great peril to the commerce of this port, and Mr. Thomas
Henderson
, Jun., of the Anchor Line, tells a reporter that the cost
of putting the channel in a proper condition would be less than
the sum already expended in deepening the river Clyde.


—Mr. Henry Watterson is impressed by “the magnificent scale”
on which Governor Tilden is reconstructing his house in Gramer-
cy Park, a full description of which was given in a recent number
of this journal. That the old library is still the same, “being held
from the hand of despoiling splendor,” is a token of the Governor's
“affectionate remembrance of old times, old friends, and old books.”


Jules Breton's paternal heart must be greatly rejoiced over
the professional success of his only child, the charming Madame
Demont-Breton, whose contribution to the present Salon is de-
scribed in the Academy as “only a little less admirable than the
work of M. Jules Breton himself.” The picture “represents the
sandy and weed-strewn coast of some sunny and southern land,
where a dark young mother sits on a hillock and handles a baby,
while one or two other children, one of them with curious agility
of figure and vivacity of dark brown eyes, sport, lolling naked in
the breeze and the sunshine.”


—During the last twenty years about two hundred new operas
have been produced in Germany, only four or five of which, with
the exception of Wagner's, have survived. Italy borrows half of
her operas from Germany and France, and France, according to a
leading German critic, is producing nothing worthy of being sung
in Germany. But this is no reason why New-Yorkers should nev-
er hear anything new in the Academy of Music.


—Mlle. Julie, a French model, is described as possessing a
slight, slippy figure, a well-set little head on an unusually beauti-
ful neck, gray eyes, blonde hair rather ŕ la Greuze, and the little
feet and dumpy fingers with the pointed tips and the small, long
nails that are so common with the Parisian model. She has a
taste for dress, and knows it and shows it.


—There is an old custom in Bavaria that outside of the limits
of the city of Munich not more than four horses may draw a car-
riage; so when the Princess Isabella of Bavaria was married to
the Duke of Genoa she contented herself with a carriage and four
and two outriders. The bride wore a dress of white satin em-
broidered in silver, with a court mantle of the same material, and
a crown of myrtle, instead of orange flowers.



MR. JAY GOULD'S NEW YACHT, “THE ATALANTA.“—Drawn by Fred. B. Schell.—[See Page 394.]


“WITH ONE HAND HE WAS TIGHTLY GRASPING HIS FOREHEAD, WITH THE OTHER HIS KNEE.”




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