His number is about twelve hundred.
Let us suppose it half-past 7, and the twelve hundred arrived.
The audience, we observe, has decidedly the air of a country audience.
Fine ladies and fine gentlemen there are none.
Of farmers who look as if they took the Weekly Tribune
and are in town tonight by accident, there are hundreds.
City mechanics are present in considerable numbers.
An ardent-looking young man, with a spacious forehead and a turn-over shirt-collar
, may be seen here and there.
A few ladies in Bloomer
costume of surpassing ugliness— the costume, not the ladies—come down the steep aisles now and then, with a well-preserved air of unconsciousness.
assembly no one laughs at them.
The audience is sturdy, solid-looking, appreciative and opinionative, ready for broad views and broad humor, and hard hits.
Every third man is reading a newspaper, for they are men of progress, and must make haste to keep up with the times, and the times are fast.
Men are going about offering books for sale—perhaps Uncle Tom, perhaps a treatise on Water Cure, and perhaps Horace Greeley
's Hints toward Reforms; but certainly something which belongs to the Nineteenth Century.
A good many free and independent citizens keep their hats on, and some “speak right out in meeting,” as they converse with their neighbors.
But the lecturer enters at the little door under the gallery on the right, and when the applause apprizes us of the fact, we catch a glimpse of his bald head and sweet face as he wags his hasty way to tile platform, escorted by a few special adherents of the ‘Cause’ he is about to advocate.
The newspapers, the hats, the conversation, the book-selling are discontinued, and silent attention is the order of the night.
People with ‘causes’ at their hearts are full of business, and on such occasions there are always some preliminary announcements to be made—of lectures to come, of meetings to be held, of articles to appear, of days to celebrate, of subscriptions to be undertaken.
These over, the lecturer rises, takes his place at the desk, and, while the applause, which never fails on any public occasion to greet this man, continues, he opens his lecture, puts on his spectacles, and then, looking up at the audience with an expression of inquiring benignity, waits to begin.
Generally, Mr. Greeley
's attire is in a condition of the most hopeless,