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Graphic Picture Of Richmond Life

Graphic Picture Of Richmond Life image
Parent Issue
Day
23
Month
January
Year
1863
Copyright
Public Domain
OCR Text

In the habitable globe there is no place so delightful as the capital of the Southeru Confederacy. For a permanent residence, it will compare with the cities of Arabian romance. Haroun Alraschid would go mad with joy if he could become a citizen of Richmond. A six montliB1 residence in one of our hotels or boarding houses would afford Scheherazade material for a story that would keep the Sultan awake for the remainder of his natural life, even supposing that life to be prolonged beyond the brief days of Methusaleh, or more extended years of the gods of Hindostán. There are people of rude tastes who talk eloquently of the great capitals of Europe. There are men who love to live even in Paris Human nature is very strange. But persons of refinement and of culture, the world over, could they only bo apprised of its incomparable attraction, would fly with the spread of ravenous eagles to Eichmond, as the most desirable residence perhaps in the whole universe. We speak calmly, for we desire to excite no anticipation that cannot be superabundantly rualized. Consider the innumerable delectations of this metropolis. It is the seat of the Confedérate government. So careful has the Presilent been in the selcctiou of his associates bat there s not a member of his Oabinet who is not profoundly versed in the scinces and in ancient languages, while many of them speak Coptic familiarly - ?he lowest messenger in the most obscure epartment has history at his fingers' nds, and the philosophy of abstraction n the palm of his hand. A purity of life, a dignity of manner, n elcgance in conversation, a depth of' hought and urbanity of disposition mark ach and every member of the adminisration, and all of their subordinates, to degree which bas never been approach d in the annals of politica! society, and which renders an acquaintance with them happiness almost unspeakable. Free nd cordial association with natures so ofty and so endowed cannot fail to enoble all who come in contact with them. t is enough to move one to tears to bink of the unapproachable supremacy f the moráis and manners of Riehmond n the great future which awaits us. But it is not in high official circles nly that the delights of Kichmond lile nd society are to be found. The effete, apid and conceited race of F. F. 's Las ïeen subinerged under an inundation of 'resh adventurous spirits from all parts f the Confederacy and elsewhere. The 'anatical days of the Wickhams, Gam )les, Randolphs, Leighs, and Wirts, have iasscd away forever ; we rejoiee in a ew era and a miscellaneous population, roubled with none of the ridiculous airs f the so-called gentry. The olden times aro pussed away, AikI gluriou.s are the hüw. Here is the sweet Baltimore plug domina the corners of our principal loroughfares. Here are the useful and ndustrinus exuvits of the Departments t Washington. The new man, the garroter, is here; ïough we see him not, save in the prints f his fingers on the tbroats of unarmed itizeus. In the palatial stores on Main treet, once inhabited by Yankees devotd to the Union, we find brawny Italiana ending apples at half a dollar apiece, nd nondescript Southerners selling mi ute plugs of wretclied tobáceo at tweu1 five cents. Stout Marylauders occupy ooms on the cross streets, and there irow away blockado boots and shoes with reckless liberality. Able-bodied refugecs, from God knows where, swarm in our cellars and abandon themsclvcs with a noble self-abnegation to the traffic in putrid oysters mixed with mean whisky. Substitute agents follow their uuremunerative vocation in nameless places; extortioners roll in wealth accutiiulated from everything that the earth produces pr the hand of man can fashion ; bawds arrajed in the eilks of Tyre and Sidun and the jewels of Samarcand illumine and perfume our sidewalks; gauiblers erect their sumptuous towers on every hand ; whilst, as if to orown this splendii concentration of social ornamenta, the verminous desertor parades bis rags in ostentatious deflance alike of civil and o military authority. The variety of our pfiople is not their only eharm. We are told that the worn out race which onee inhabited this city were distinguished for their gentle man ners. No such effeminacy characterizes the lusty und enterprising population o: the r.evv era. The spirit of frcedoin is broadly manifest in theni. It is beautifully exemplifled in the Italian fruiterer who wilh diffioulty refrains from kicking you out of doors if you refuse to pay him a dullar an ounce for his pea nuts. The smull tailor, suddenly beeome rioh, is speechless with indignation if you darc ask him to unbend his dignity in the contemptible operatiou of meeding your clothes. The cobbler, once too liappy to halfsole your shoes, seowls at you furiousPy if you approaeh him on any such mission uow that lcather ís worth its weight ia gold. The saddler, the gas-fitter, the grocer, the tallow-chandler, the merchants in eoal and wood - in fact, all who have aught to sell, indulge the insolence of pecuuiary independence to a degree which makes intercourse with them infiuitely exhilarating. The entire absence of obsequiousuess on the part of our modern shopkeepers is one of the most encouragiug features of the new times in this Confederatiou. An exeeedingly low estimate of tlie fascinations of the life in Richmond would be formed if the account should not include the nominal price of pruvis ions, the astounding healtbfulness of the air, and the abundunee of the precious metáis, tSpaco does not permit us tu dvve'l at length upon these engaging features uf Richmoud's existence duritig the second war for independence. When a poor man is compelled to buy offal of opulent millers at a price which would stagger a millionaire, and when beef at 00 or 80 cents the pound removes every molar in the jaw of a man's head, and reduces his bicupids to the circumferenee of a cambrie needie (if he have the hardihood to attempt to chew it), every candid mind must confess that the journalist, who is gcfrerally presumed to be indigent, has little scope for the exercise of his powers beyond the raere recording of the markets and the latest sales at auction. The eloquence of bare quotations trans cends the abilities of any editor, however gifted, and throws him at onee into that vast herd whose empty stomachs are an ampie excuse for the corumonest necessities of life. And if it were possible for the half-nourisbed body to withstand the encroachments of disease, it would be a consolation to the citizen of Richmoud to know thnt he dwells in a perfect storehouse of maladies, and may take his piek at any hour of the day or uight of the deadliest calamities that afflict the human frame. To bo the prey of the most lingering and loathsome contagions is surely not altogether desirablo, but churlish indeed must be the sufferer, who, in the midst of his acutest agonies, cannot fiad abundant solace in the reflection that he can pay bis incompetent doctor in shinplastors, and that when he dies, as he ccrtainly will, he will be buried in the suburbs of Richmond among a countless throng of one legged soldiors, courtesans, garroters, and blacklegs.

Article

Subjects
Old News
Michigan Argus