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Washington Letter

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Washington, D. C, Marcü Í8, 1883. The bleak east wlnds that have prevailed for the past few days and are even now ushering in the Easter season have had no benumbing influence upon feuiinine interest in new bonneta. Tliese exquisite trifles must be dlsplaytd at church on Sunday even if snow-flakes do mingle with roses, daisies, and apple blossoms. Forty days of fasting, penance, and renunciation of the vanities of the world is a long time. So, to this end, the different millinery establishinents of the city have been thronged on their "opening days" this week with tliese eager purchasers, and all who understand these niatters know that height a woinan's enthusiasm can attain in purchasing a new bonnet. The shop windows display the most tem pting arrays of all marnier of beautiful spring novelties, and the ladies in tLeir never wearying examination of them are the busiest half of the pöpulation. The epidemie throurhout the Departments now is the civil service reform fever. It is the chicf topic of conversation, and many requests have been made since Congress adjourned for leaves of absence for six and eiglit months without pay, tlie object being to avoid civil service examinations should they desire to enter the public service again. There are still forty-six congressmen and ex-congressmen remainining in the city, whose chief occupation would seem to be seekine favors fiom the lieads of Departnients. Although a law has been enacted regulating civil service appoint, ments in the Goverinent Department?, and a Civil Service Commission has been designated by the President, the demand ' for Federal patronage according to politlcal influence is almost as great now as ' it ever was. Some Congressmen who denounced most strongly the system of appointing persons to office without regard ' to their qualiflcations cin be seen to-day in the Departments begging to have place made for their constituents. It is a noticeable fact ttiat those who have ' poor chance of having any attention given to their requests. The head 1 of the Department summons his appointment clerk and the two officials exchangc glances which each understand to mían that as the endorser has bnt little influence he is not to be favortd. He is told that no vacancy exists at the time, but is promised the very next appointment proviüed bis applicant can pass the required examination (for in such cases they adhere strictly to civil service principie. ) He Is directed to present his candidate at a certain time. The latter has an ordlnary education, and is capable of performing the work to which he woulcl be assigned, but he is subjected to an uuusually rigid examination, and as it was previously understood he should not pass, he s reported deficiënt and his congressmen so infornied. Those congressmen who have the influence are working very industriously at the present time, for they do not know what to expect when the Civil Service Commission is fully under way. The Post Office Department is to have a room set apart as a museum for the accumulated curiosities of the Dead Letter Office that have come from every clinie and country. The Dead Letter Office has a national reputation, and many persons visit it daily. The clerks have been compelled to waste so much time in showing the visitors through the office, and in explaining to them the objects of interest, that it bas bcon fmiml iuu'kl a struct a museum at the entrance of the office, where tliese curiosities will be exhibtted n glass cases. An elderly lady will be placed in charge of the room, and no admittance to the office will be allowed to visitors in the future. Among the collection of odd things to be seen here is a human ear, a wedding ring, and a snake which was alive when it arrived at the office, and upon the package being opened jumped out and frightened the clerks by running over the floor. One of the city papers with a predilection for searching and exposing corruption in high places, has declared its intention of publlshing a list of the nepotic office holders. No one will escape, and space for three generations in some families will have to be allowed. The list is to be completed some time in April, and since every one of them will get a hit promises to be very interesting reading. Ex-President Dlaz of Mexico and party (fourteen persons in all) are expected to arriye here next Monday. Rooms have been engaged for them at the Ailington Hotel.


Ann Arbor Courier
Old News