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Diplomatic Auctions

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There is a graceful custom among foreign diplcmats at the capital tiat we niay as well treneh upon. I refer to the auction sale which frequently l;elaüs on the occasion of the recali of ene of our alien erubassadors or ministers. For two weeks before their excellenoies decamp the local papers revel in a long and lurid "ad. " raiounting the recall of the embassador or minister and declaring how on a certain day all people so minded are invited to appear and contest at public vendue for a dazzling list of plunder in said "ad. " set forth. Prime among the properties for sale youwill noticewines and many a thiug besides that are as articles of cominerce highly tariffed. But in these cases courtesy has held the tariff at bay. All of a legation's ■wines and cigars and furniture- in fact, everythiiig of a personal sort that a legation causes to be brought to America - is passed scot free at our customs. One will readily discern that a ripe profij might be made to roll pleasantly up at one of these untariffed legation sales, üur own tradespeople must, however, pay the fiddltr in each notable instance. At these sales suobdom turns stoutly out The biddicg is hot and fast and high. There is nothiug so Insted for by a certain sort of American, cringingly nuxnerous hereabout, as a wine which has been justified by an embassador's taste, or a piece of furnitnre or bric-abrac which bas been soiled by noble and titled contact. And, therefore, these legation auctions furnish the most hpntprt bid combats. And many a fooi is fleeced. It is also to be rexnarked that these Bales string out in endless fashion, day following day, as fcols flock to be bunkoed. The stock, whether of wine or furnitnre or cast off noble garrnents, never runs low. The widow's store of oil showed uo better staying powers. As long as custom hangs about the chanters shout, the red flag floats and the stock of goodH to be disposed of flows by -with current unabated. For, mark you, rather than disappoint or send any full hearted alien chaser away from this sale with aching heart and empty hands the auctioneer each night moves in a new stock to replace the disappearances of the day before. Each morning the legation rooms are as unstripped, the cabinets as full of bric-a-brac, the bins as replete with rare old wines as at the beginning. Thus it runs forward until no more sheep appear to be shorn and even the toádies have enough. Then the flag comes down and the leoation sale is at an end.-


Ann Arbor Argus
Old News