[SEPTEMBER 8, 18G0-
they belonged to that extraordinary phenomenon, a nick-naming
family. Did you never come across one ?]
It ^was glorious to have Countessina Catalpa insist on one's
making up a party with—say for example La Tourette, Widow,
and Raven. Dark complexioned, short black front curls, long
foreign black eyes, plumpy and jolly was this La Tourette ; very
majestically and eminently a sensible and tender-hearted girl, but
formed on a peculiar style of intelligent common sense, which was
a little foreign to the Anglo-Saxon American standard. Deep,
rich contralto voice—when excited, flowing out in melodious wild
cry—a merry hurrah ! which had in it the coo of pigeon, the purr
of a puss,the lower notes of the clarionet, sandal-wood perfume, and
dark violet shading—there was a whole life to love in that cry.
Raven was a young brown giant—a thorough-bred, of few outlines and shades, but all good—like one of Millais his wood-
drawings. Marvelous were the stories extant of Raven's strength.
How he could lift a ton. How he drew himself up by one little
finger. How he put up 150 from the shoulder. Bent pokers.
Snapped fence rails. Held Widow out on open hand, and " prevailed "
over the iron muscles and high game of Captain Dick. It was a
grand party to let out loose after Catalpa's superb grays, and we
preambled along seraphically.
1' There goes H. T. Tuckerman !'' quoth Widow. '' Fine-looking
man is'nt he? That one next to him is George Boker of Philadelphia. He always passes the summer out at Bateman's—fishing
for bass like an Apostle—oh, look! there goes Charlotte Cushman,
and Miss Stebbins—and Hattie Hosmer's in town, they say—that's
Hunt the arisfc,and I do believe I just saw Hiram Fuller. Is'nt that
Mr. Bryant—yes—Oh, is'nt he the very ideal of a fine old bard—
and how well he is represented as such in that picture at the
Century—don't you remember seeing it, dear, at the la t ball? why
La Tourette and Hercules.
I saw Mr. Leutze pointing it out to you, I'm sure! Bless my soul!
there's Douglas—did'nt you see him last night at the hop at the
Atlantic, given to his wife. Oh, look !—there's that sweet little
thing, Path—is'nt she a darling ? I wonder where little WiLHOltsT
is this summer—she had a wee little cottage here last year, and I
used to see her and the Bourcicaults every afternoon almost, down
at the Rocks. Is'nt that Colonel Colt—remember seeing him
shoot with you, once—no—'twas Randolph—here at Newport.
There's a lot of the Scrauton Fishing Club—jolly old bucks, ar'nt
they to be sure—six of 'em members of Congress—go sailing on an
annual lobster-salad bender. Do any of you know Madame Le
Vert—I declare Brignoli's looking very well—did you see the Marquis Chandois at West Point—I thought I just saw Anson Burling-
iiame—I declare, I never would marry a man named Foot, for fear
people would call us the Feet
Widow's supply of talk very much like Widow's oil—never runs
out. Crowd of vehicles began to thin—got out of multitude^ into
open country—got along in good time, and began to be jolly.
Suddenly became aware of nuisance—insolent looking young man,
got up in black whiskers and " genteel" blackguard elegance, was
dusting us rather too often for our own comfort, and devoting
such time as he could, to staring side-ways and backwards at La
There was no denying it—the Insolent had a fine animal or—net
to be be ambiguous—a remarkably fast mare, and he passed us ad
libitum. It became every minute plainer that he was something
worse than no gentleman, and that something must be done. Well-
bred toleration was wearing out, and Willy—the soul of all goodnature—inquired if I had a revolver. Again Indolent shot ahead
and again did he fall back—staring and glaring all the time with
that half-smiling, immovable brazenness which isbelieved by low
comedians to be immensely the thing, and which is always pro votive of homicide in all decent folks.
All the while Young Goliah sat perfectly still, noticing nothing,
apparently in no respect mussed, and as it were with unrumpled
boosum. I must say I felt a little ashamed of Big Thunder, to see
him wrap up in the blanket on such an occasion,and lie downon the
bear-skin. There are times when vitality is cheerful, and signs of
sass are reviving. How to Do It was the only question,and that isn' t
always apparent when 'tother party has a mare which travels like
lubricated fulminance. I was just reverting to the revolver theory,
suggested by Willy—was just calculating whether it would be
most inhuman to shoot the man or the mare—inclining of course
as a Christian to the former—preparatory squint at the youth's
arm, being determined to try for only slightually winging him—
was reviewing in advance Old Virginny's delight, with that of
Dambanger's and Blanche's
Just then Young Blackguard came rowling by again like a
tornado. As he toddled past, the Colossus awoke. Putting
forth his hand, he grasped Insolent by the collar, lifted him completely away out of his seat—the mare and sulkey shot ahead
driver-less—and as we rode along, held the captive out easily at
It was a fine sight to see, and we enjoyed it. The roars of
laughter from Willy and Tourette, the calm triumph of Raaen who
like all stout phlegmatickers when they have achieved a brilliant
feat are radiantly proud thereover—the rattling volley of cusses
and d ns from the kicking choking wictim were all immensely
fine. Suddenly I heard a shout behind—a wild merry cry—and
turning beheld Dick,Blanche and the rest of 'em in a light wagon,
working pretty well up to us.
" Lay on the leather Spuytentuyfel!" quoth Big Thunder. I
can hold him easy, as far as the next puddle. Kick away if you
want to—you sacre son of Satan!" he continued. " If you want
to break your legs on the wheels, J don't care."
We were going down a hill rather rapidly and acquiring a beautiful momentum. Just at its base lay a lovely dirty duck-puddle,
about neck-deep, a little out of the road,
"Keep her well up by the fence, Spuytentuyfel !" quoth Giant.
*' Are you ready !"
"There!" And with this Big Thunder, by a stupendous and
never sufficiently to be praised effort of muscular Christianity, shot
his captive, single handed, over the stone fence—(the heathen round
Newport, etc., call 'em walls)—into the liquid. A merry cheer
greeted his disappearance from sunlight.
We have always encouraged in Willy Boy, the belief that he
remained in that puddle. And as we didn't stop to see him come
out—who knows ? But to this day little Willy sometimes asks very
"Now do say—seriously—do you believe that man ever came
out of that mud-puddle ?'*
____ <► ,
Did you ever.
Speaking of some private theatricals that were indulged in at
Glen Cove, the other day, some one in the Times says :
" The stage management was entrusted to the able direction of Mr. Pierrepont
Edwards the brilliant author of " The Romance of a Poor Young Man."
Now this just shows how one may be mistaken! We of Vanity
Fair had always imagined, in the simplicity of our hearts, that a
certain French gentleman, M. Octave Feuillet by name, was the
"author" not only of the play but of the novel entitled " The
Romance of a Poor Young man." And now we learn from the
Times that the Gaul is nothing more than a plagiarist of Mr.
PierKepont Edwards, he having translated that gentleman's work
into French and taken the credit of its authorship to himself. The
impudence of these foreigners !
: :—aagftf ■ -■■—.—-.—_
The men Sambo thinks are rogues in 1tfeW*York.