Harper's Weekly 02/07/1885
In one of the principal dry-goods establishments in this city a
bright cash boy says that he earns four dollars a week when busi-
ness is good. He works from eight o'clock in the morning until
six o'clock at night, with a short intermission for luncheon, when
he goes down into the basement and eats what he has brought
from home in a basket. His receipts depend upon the number of
times that he serves a clerk; the prompter he is in responding to
a summons, and the quicker he runs between the cashier's desk
and the counter, the more he makes. This plan acts also in the
interest of the customer, who seldom is obliged to wait half a
minute for his change. Every time the boy takes a bill to the
cashier and returns with the change he is paid half a cent. In
order, therefore, to earn four dollars a week he must take not less
than eight hundred trips, or about one hundred and thirty a day,
and thirteen every working hour. Such a life is very exhaustive
to cash girls, and even the boys might find a more luxurious lot.
But their ambition is constantly in a state of stimulation; the first
one to reach the counter after the clerk has rapped on it with his
pencil makes the half-cent.
—The lady to whom the late professor William Darling left
his entire estate of $100,000 was confronted the other day by a
Harlem milliner who claimed to be the Professor's daughter,
bringing with her a large Bible with a “family record” to substan-
tiate her claim.
—Mr. Edmund Gosse, while responding to a toast at a recent
breakfast in his honor, said: “Some of my friends are expressing
to me their sorrow that I have been unable to see the great West.
I have visited your five principal sea-board cities, and to-morrow I
must take my departure for home. I can not say, however, that I
feel greatly disappointed, not possessing that profound affection
for the cow-boy of the prairies which our English nobility so deep-
—A New York man of letters confesses to his friends that the
practice of smoking is the most demoralizing vice of which he is
guilty. “If I have been smoking all day,” he says, “I feel tired
when I leave my desk to start for home—sometimes very tired.
During the rare periods when I do not smoke I depart from my
office at the end of the day without the sensation of weariness,
and also without the headache that I so often have after burning
three or four cigars. With other sedentary men the conditions
may be different, but to myself no indulgence so unstrings me as
habitual smoking, except the indulgence of allowing myself much
less than eight hours for sleep. Yet I think it very likely that, as
a distinguished physician once told me, an occasional cigar does
lubricate the nerves.”
—A District Messenger boy came into a gentleman's office one
very cold day in answer to a summons. His nose, ears, and eyes
indicated very plainly the severity of the weather. “Where's your
overcoat, my lad?” asked his kind-hearted employer. “Haven't
got any, sir,” was his reply; “the company won't allow us to hide
our uniforms.” It might be suggested that there are such things
in the world as uniform overcoats.
—In raising the salary of Dr. Damrosch from $10,000 to $12,000
the directors of the Metropolitan Opera-house have signified their
approval of his very successful management. Had Mr. Henry E.
Abbey made similar terms last season, instead of assuming the
financial responsibility himself, he would have been several hun-
dred thousand dollars richer. So, at least, his friends say. The
most interesting, and, to many persons, unexpected feature of Dr.
Damrosch's season has been the large number of Germans who are
ready to pay first-class prices for opera night after night. Without
their support German opera in this city would have been a failure.
—Of the late Mr. Anthony Trollope this estimate has been
promulgated by a discriminating French writer, M. Daryll: “A
good father, a good husband, a good Post-office official, a great fox-
hunter, and, moreover, a man of letters, he does not leave behind
him the name of a great author, but that of a man who has suc-
ceeded in the business of writing as he would have succeeded in
that of a grocer; and if he has left no great work as a mark of his
fame, of how many men of letters can even as much as this be
—When the Tile Club recently visited Baltimore, Mr. Gill, of
that city, presented Mr. W. M. Chase, the well-known artist, with
an immense gray owl. It sits now in his West Tenth Street studio
in solemn and unblinking calm, and Mr. Chase says it is not every
artist who can have his own art critic upon tap.
—If Tom Thumb's widow marries again she will become the
Countess Rosebud, and will make an extended bridal tour in Eu-
rope. Her first marriage, it will be remembered, took place in
Grace Church in this city, under the happy auspices of Mr. Bar-
num and the late Sexton Brown. Count Rosebud is a midget, of
more or less dwarfish proportions, who has been electrifying the
audiences of a twenty-five-cent museum.
—Mr. Richardson, of Boston, impressed Mr. Gosse as the most
national artist this country has produced: “I was very much in-
terested in the new species of architecture which he has started.
He stands revealed in Trinity Church; but all his peculiar Roman-
esque-Byzantine style of work already gives a character to Boston.
There is a genuine antiquity about Boston. It looks serene and
solid. Gazing out on the Charles River reminds one of pictures
—John G. Whittier on Robert Burns: “There is not a logger's
camp in the Maine woods nor a miner's hut in the Sierras that
will forget Burns's birthday. The great poet has made all the
world his debtor; but what has he not done for Scotland? Through
him her dialect has become a universal language, her heather
blooms on all hills, and her thistle-down floats on all winds.”
—Another lady has left a legacy to Mr. Bergh's Society for the
Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The sum is about $18,000, but
Mr. Frederick Douglass will enjoy the interest on it until his
death. The testator was once a teacher in Hoboken. She com-
mitted suicide in Paris last summer while suffering from a cancer.
—Mr. Carl Schurz was honored with a complimentary dinner
by some citizens of Augusta, Georgia, on the 23d of January. He
reminded his entertainers that a political independent always finds
his most ardent admirers in the opposite party. He emphatically
denied that there existed in the North a latent dislike for the South.
—General Grant does his literary work without stenographer
or amanuensis, but colonel Frederick D. Grant, his son, helps him
by copying his MS. and by looking out references.
—The recent opening of the Grosvenor Gallery in London brought
together a distinguished company, some of whom, according to
Miss Olive Logan, had Dante Rossettian hair, strange head-gear,
clinging skirts, bejewelled girdles, and twisted neckerchiefs of
strange cross-breed hues.
—Mr. Jefferson Davis has written a letter denying emphatically
the charge that during the war he ever “weakened” on the subject
of State rights.
—The death of Mr. Augustus L. Brown, chairman of the Board
of Directors of the Metropolitan Opera-house, and a retired lawyer,
is a great loss to New York society. Few connoisseurs in the
country had a more intelligent appreciation of music or a gentler
and more winning manner of expressing it. His wife and grand-
daughter, to whom he was devoted, survive him.
—The American School of Classical Studies at Athens, Greece,
is this year in charge of Professor J. C. Benschoten, of Wesleyan
University. The purpose of the institution is to help Americans
in the study of modern Greek as a means to a deeper insight into
ancient Greek, also to further the cause of ancient history. A
committee of Dartmouth alumni, consisting of Messrs. Charles R.
Miller, Francis Brown, and Edwin W. Sanborn, is calling for
subscriptions to the fund for maintaining the school.
—Mr. William T. Walters has now for two years extended a
special invitation to the pupils of the Art Students' League to visit
his art collections at Baltimore upon the occasion of his annual
reception. Mr. E. L. Major, one of the pupils who went to Balti-
more last year, recently carried off the prize in the Harper-Hall-
garten scholarship competition, and has gone to Munich to study
for three years with the aid of the fund in question. Mr. Wal-
ters handed one of the trustees of the fund, who was present at
his reception last week, a letter to Mr. Major complimenting him
upon his success, and asking him to make a draft upon him at
sight for $500, which sum he desired to be considered as his con-
tribution to the revenue of the Harper-Hallgarten trust. Art
students here and abroad, particularly in these exiguous times, will
know how to appreciate this timely and liberal gift.
UNVEILING AT BALTIMORE OF THE BARYE GROUP.—Drawn by W. P. Snyder.—[See Page 91.]
BRUTAL OUTRAGES WILL NOT FREE IRELAND.
“So far as Americans are concerned, this Dynamite Business shall be brought to a speedy end.”—New York Herald.
SECTION OF A CALIFORNIA BIG TREE AT THE NEW ORLEANS EXPOSITION.—From sketches by John Durkin.—[See Page 87.]