the gentlemen who do the didactic and the reflective for the picture-newspapers, have enlarged in sentences, more or less leaden, upon the moral grandeur of the inauguration spectacle; and have with patriotic pride speculated upon the wonder, not to say envy, with which the bedizened Embassadors must have gazed upon the fire-companies and the Pennsylvania
Admitting that we had a fine melodrama on the fourth instant, we have now come naturally to the farce.
We certainly do not think that the Diplomatic Corps
ever witnessed at home anything like this scramble for place, this contest for collectorships and clerkships, this pother about post-offices: in short, if we may use a coarse word, this grand grab for provender.
was not more closely invested than the White House
is now; and we verily believe that no Russian
soldier in that stronghold was ever in half so much danger of his life as Mr. Buchanan
is at the present time.
We can easily imagine, without personal observation, (for we have only asked for the appointment of our friend Cass
,) how the poor President
is baited and bullied and beset; how the hungry beggars do invade the privacy of bed-chamber, of library and of parlor; how the perpetual knocking at the portals sounds in his ears like the unmentionable gentleman's tattoo — a reveille
of continually-recurring wretchedness.
We all know what a chronic bother are the little boys and girls who come into our areas for broken victuals; but what
are they to swarms of adult mendicants, swarming from all quarters and bawling for more cold pieces of patronage than any President
ever had or ever will have to bestow?
We never before fully appreciated the nursery line which bade our childhood “Pity the sorrows of a poor old man.”
We do not know that the quadrennial mania is any higher now than upon previous outbursts; but as the republic expands, there are more offices to bestow, and, of course, a great many more people to fill them.
We only refer to the matter now, to ask these tormenters of the President
if it be really their desire to kill him?--if they are bent upon moral murder?--upon an assassination by worrying?
Is Mr. Buchanan
to be drawn like a badger?--to be hunted like a fox?
to be pestered, perplexed, harassed into his sepulchre?
Are they in league with Mr. Breckinridge
to take off the President
If not, let them raise the siege and withdraw their eager forces?
is an old man. He may bear his years bravely, but we should remember the proverbial ounce which breaks the camel's spine at lest.
We hear from Washington
that the President
is showing marks of senility, and that the friends are really uneasy about his health.
If this be so, it should require no Hippocrates
to inform them that the best treatment of the illustrious patient will be found in their immediate departure for the rural districts.
They can leave behind them their petitions — the certificates of their virtues, the affidavits of their capacities, the evidence of the gross incompetency of their rivals; and Mr. Buchanan
such aid can make up his mind without a personal inspection of their lean and hungry faces.
The double distilled extract of rats which they gave to the President
at the National Hotel
, was sanative in comparison with this procession of spectres around his official chair!
The nation has twice felt the death of a president to be an extraordinary misfortune.
In both instances it lost a good executive officer, and in both found the Constitutional compensation for the loss to be but a dubious solace.
The two Vices have turned out badly, and we do not want a Third Accidency.
March 17, 1857.