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3 corrections, most recently by peter-macinnis - Show corrections



Snt, — It is very consoling for me to reflect that ' no man is wise at all times.' I have not been an exception to the .general rule, so far as I can recollect. For instance : when I dwelt at a celebrated hotel at Wash- ington — a palatial residence, with dinners fit for a prince, aud thought that I might survive there, and not pay fifty cents  

for a word with the laodlord ' ; half that for looking at him ; ten cents for a   word with a waiter'; ten cents to be shown to the dining-room, and eiaetly one dollar to get to my room in the tenth story — when, I say, I had foolishly imagined that I might breathe there and not be charged for it, it turned out that these things couldn't be done, except at the regulation price, and I had to leave Washington, or stay, and be ruined. Further, when, some months afterwards, in the gay French capital, I hoi»ed to ?' hang out ' at a fashionable II -tel, and be lit vsp of a a evening at s ttn^thing like an ' honest light,' I found that my landlord had a knack of putting down deux chanlelUs

iu his little bill, when I had only had one, and that one a villainous, sputtering ' piece of-inischief ;' and furthermore that the said candles had a knack of being spirited away ere they were used ; a_d that lastly the enterprising landlord hod another knack of charging a franc a piece foraU candles retailed to me during my stay — a proceeding which cost; me some moments of grumbling. Also, when 1 imagined that the Turkish bath was Dante's ninth heaven , when administered by real, original Tu-.-ks, I found it a meau, sneaking subterfuge for a middle-class Inferno, and nothing more. When nejple talk to me now about

Turkish coffee and Turkish baths, I go home, straight, and Lake a bath, of my own, to wash oil the sensation. As I go through life I find that I acquire wisdom. I have not met any one yet who was, really, born with it. But I have met with a good few who believed that they were, and who, at the same time, were ever anxious to administer this birth-right to others. When I wrote my chapter about the blacks I knew that the West Aus- tralian Aboriginal is a sand-groping vagabond; that he doesn't comb his hair, nor wash himself— the last he dosen't do because he is a foreigner ; he is as innocent of soap as a French hotel ; that he don't masticate snail-patties, like Parisians, saur- kraut like Germans, or tallow 'flare-ups '   like Muscovites; but that he does cook

meals that he couldn't always describe, except by making wry faces, to show their degree of excellent vileness; I knew also that he was great at painting his body, especially the face, the cheeks whereof are often-times ornamented by a blush; I knew that his 'belief in anything'     was perhaps as doubtful as that of many of his white compeers who believed in social common-wealths of the aboriginal cast. I knew all these trite things, and a whole lot m-re with which I might have lent my Iiaud to throw dirt at the blacks ; but it didn't cine in my line to perform that pleasant pastime. So I had to strike

an opposition chord and keep in witL mv rote of palmer. I might have to lie like the ' Old Travellers.' but I would be a Gulliver at it, and the blanks should be 'touched up' with transparent paint. f was a Pilgrim, and travailing under respectable credentials ; and besides, the clothes which I w^re were once nearly purchased by an eminent philanthropist — at least, so my shopkeeper told one. Wuat, then, couid I do, under s'ich circumstances, but hnut around for theories and ' dress up ' the blacks ? 1 found them a history ; I dwelt upon their manly 'buzzums' and highly intellectual traits ; and I undertook to suoop out new things in science to help them look ' resps'-tible,' and not 60 ' ily' and ' woodeu-headisd.' I succeeded. The I (lacks looked well in print, for once; the Pilgrim's utterance became public, and liis facts w-;re do'ul-ted. Wise men shook the'.r head? at his \ntp'., h«t miekered over his sentiment; and ujis waa jorst v- hat the Pilgrim had expected ; and he fell thorough ly gratified to know he had made his -ii irk. and that his 'big words'' had

'? knocked up again people,' and made people rei-kon him a Shaker. If ' Cosmop olite' had known about those clothes, to which I referred, aid if he had stopped to -;onsider that ' bathos,' or ' cant,' au-l a snuffle in the nose, are always on hand in Pilgrim journals of travels, I opine tliat he would have left nnwritten a g -od deal of tlie funny firitivit:ni — funny t-i me — with uliich ho a'..ta;liei my ' Don-QuLi' v of a chapter.' Surely, he is not afflicted with joke-blindness ; and though, seriously spoaking, there are parts of the i-hapttr on the blacks which arc cfiimn in-pl&co and sincere enough, still I should have thought tiie picture wn-? height--n-*l too tar to mislead so learned and s'- pli-as;int a writer as ' Co.smop- liu-,' and to caii«« him not to porceive a caricature, with real 6hadings. — Youis vfiry taiilr, MARCUS. A. BROWN.