would be called a palace; a news-room, lounge, divan, and stock exchange; a place where merchants buy and sell, where gamblers square accounts, where duellists look for seconds, and where everyone devours the news.
Here telegrams are received from every corner of the earth.
Here journals are hawked and politics discussed.
All strangers in the city lodge in the hotel, and citizens who want them have to seek them in this hall, the central point of New Orleans.
Here idlers smoke, and chat, and see the lions.
In the Rotunda you buy places for the carnival, numbers for the lottery, tickets for excursion trains.
In one recess you find drink, in a second tobacco, for sale.
Here you play billiards, there poker, everywhere the deuce.
From seven o'clock to ten the hall is thronged by men of pleasure, politics, and business, and the corridors boom with voices, like the uproar of a stormy sea.
To-night the scene in our Rotunda is a sight.
, dressed in plain clothes, is standing near a shaft, puffing his cigar, and chatting with his friends.
Is it design or accident, his standing with his back against that shaft, so that his person is covered from assault except in front?