nothing for this, so far as the turned-out are concerned—let them earn a living, like other folks—but the swarms of aspirants that invaded every avenue and hall of the Capitol, making doubly hideous the dissonance of its hundred echoes, were dreadful to contemplate.
Here were hundreds of young boys, from twenty down to twelve years of age, deep in the agonies of this debasing game, ear-wigging and button-holding, talking of the services of their fathers or brothers to “ the party,” and getting members to intercede for them with the appointing power.
The new door-keeper was in distraction, and had to hide behind the Speaker's chair, where he could not be hunted except by proxy.
The situation of the lowest post of clerks in the departments and other subordinate office-holders here is deplorable.
No matter what are their respective salaries, the great mass of them are always behind-hand and getting more so. When one is dismissed from office, he has no resource, and no ability to wait for any, and considers himself, not unnaturally, a ruined man. He usually begs to be reinstated, and his wife writes or goes to the President or Secretary to cry him back into place with an “ower-true tale” of a father without hope and children without bread; if repulsed, their prospect is dreary indeed.
Where office is the sole resource, and its retention dependent on another's interest or caprice, there is no slave so pitiable as the officer.
Of course, where every man's livelihood is dependent on a game of chance and intrigue, outright gambling is frightfully prevalent.
This city is full of it in every shape, from the flaunting lottery-office on every corner to the secret card-room in every dark recess.
Many who come here for office lose their last cent in these dens, and have to borrow the means of getting away.
Such is Washington.
One incident of travel, and we turn to the next volume.
It occurred on “a Sound steamboat” in the year of our Lord
Two cleanly, well-behaved black men, who had just finished a two years term of service to their country on a ship-of-war, were returning from Boston to their homes in this city.
They presented their tickets, showing that they had paid full passage through at Boston, and requested berths.
But there was no place provided for blacks on the boat; they could not be admitted to the common cabin, and the clerk informed them that they must walk the deck all night, returning them seventy-five cents of their passage-money.
We saw the captain, and remonstrated on their behalf, and were convinced that the fault was not his. There was no space on the boat for a room specially for blacks (which would probably cost $20 for every $1 it yielded, as it would rarely be required, and he could not put whites into it); he had tried to make such a room, but could find no place; and he but a few days before gave