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A Levee At The White House

A Levee At The White House image
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E-'IturW Lor. cl Cleveland Herald. Washington, March 11, 1SG1. Tho President gave his first levee last eveDÏnjr, bctween the hours of eight and ton. You are au are tliat on sucli occasions udmittanco to the White Ilouse is free, not even a card being necessavy. - The crusli was awful; carriages wero ! forced to deposit their fair frt;ight a i drod rods from the door, and tlic fi'es of : pedestrians, with loek stop, liko i tiary convicto, extorjded along the circular parement more than twenty rods from tho mansion. The great eft'ort was to get into tho house, and the moment that was accomplished, the wish was to get out again. Crinoline suffered, and from that "firm paced and slow procession, in whioh. by the watch, thirty minutes were conBumcd in making that twenty rods, we i noticcd many a break from the ranks, by ladies whose skirts were literally torn ■ from their waists, and the owners glad to beat a retroat out of the grounds by takiug tho back track iu the carriago way, dodgiog haeks, and scarehing in vain for the c.iniage froin whieh thoy had alighted. Ladies who came in carriages with cloaks and nubias, retired on foot - without even gott'mg to the steps of tho White House - with c'oak and nubia in one hand, and rainly siriving, with male attendants, to gatlier about theni skirts and drOMM fit ouly thorenlter for the rag bag. We are s'.iowmg tiio náktá truth in this picture. Thoso who roaehed the cloak and Lat room - that for the gentlemen being the spatious maiu entrauce huil - gave up outíiüe garuients to the teudcr mercies of tbc crowd. Sorao early thore reccived checks tot their coats and bats, but sooü the immense rack was CUtirolj i'iudequate for this demand, and tho combined depots of this railroad countrv could iot have ïurnished "cheeks" sufficient for the calis made. Coats, cloaks and bats were tlirowu into a promiscuous pile, and at least one hundred men who came into the door with twenty and fifty dollar outsido ganueuta retired to their lodgings without them, whüo tUe eaino uumber of tiiicrcs replenished tbeir so.inty wardrobo to the same extent. We supped, after tho levee, with a California gentleman, who lost his coat and hat, and iu the pocket of the former were the entire papers of an applieant for office, whose crodeutiala oannot be supplied bhort of the Pacific coast. Thcre were two persons in that crowd who understood the business in hand. - One, a frieud undcr whoso wing your correspondent took shelter, counselled the leaving at our lodgings of overcoats, and being willing, if necessary, to ';go a hat" on the oeoasion, we plungod into the crowd. Keacbing the cloak room, we fouud threo Cleveland gentlemen, Messrs. Tilden, Coon and Boud, hanging on bravely to their outer gannent, and tbrming an alliance of defense; one-half tho party held the hats and coats of the other half, which iu turn reciprocated, and thus all ere enabled to see the East llootn without loss or damage. Tüe other party, whose familiarity with Prosidential levees had tauglit wisdom, was a. lady. One beau led, another followed, and as soon as the current of the crowd was reached, she requested "Bob11 to tako up her skirts. Bob obeyed ; aiaking a second reef in the rigging, when she gavj the word, "higher still, Bob." - In the party went, and the lady was safely landed iuside tho door. with her skirts higher than her kaees. We mado no attempt to pass in review before the President, who, statioued near the deor leading from the main hall into the oval reception rooiu, greeted the compauy who then, passing through the blue room, reached the famous East Room. - We took the direct route through the main hall, opening directly into the East Room. Arouud this immense room stood gentlemen unaccompanied by ladies, at leait twenty deep, and au inner circle of ladies and gentlemen, making desperate attempts at promenade. The ladies' dressus had evidently been often stepped on, for there was a great breadth upon the floor and very scant patterns about the shouldcrs. We inferred, at least, that by beiog stepped on this result had been attained, although not certain such was the case, as none seemed to be in the least disturbed by the lack of neck-covering, and all appeared dclighted to act as carpet sweepers. although it involved the necessity of moppiug up tobáceo juice, for - we must speak the truth - the sovereigns did not even empty tlieir mouths before pacing the carpet, but actually threw their old quids upon the brussels and tapeijtry, and took fresh ones frnm tlieir bobacco boxes. After making a turn through the East Room, and doing duty thereafter as coat aud hat holder for our friends, we fought egress to opeu air, ai:d fouud it by the way üf a window, jumping froiu theco to tho pórtico. Such, in brief, was our firet experieuce at a Presidotit's levee.


Old News
Michigan Argus