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Men Living By Their Wits

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How nianv hear of, and yet how few secm to know, the number of peoplo n tliis eit y who live by thrir wits. Living by one's wits is a curióos expression, apparently paradoxical, but to the thoughtful and observant it offers the most oonvenient and trnthful portrait of an uncertain oareer. It is tho ruotto of tliat class of people who aro forever waiting for samething to uim up. In most cases something does not turn up, and consequontly these poor followers of delusive fortune are forced to the ends 1' their wils to lind a n easy method of supplyine their daily wants. A reporter of the Daily Telegraph frcquently drops into the hotels to find out who is there or what is happening, and his eyes always f all upon a certaíu class of lonngers who are thero at all hou i's of the dn. They sit on the fine chairs and sofas, ose the stationery, read the aewspapers, net like jicsts of many years' stonding, yei never spend one cent at the bar or iu the dinmg-room. They never work and seem (o have no . inoome. What they do for a living is a mystery. "What, said a reporter one day to a hotel clerk, "can lliat individual do to maintain oxistenceP" pointing at tho same timo to au ill-divssed young (ellow sitting in a coinfortable armchair who was engaged in tlio work of extracting ideas from vacancy. "Vell," said the good-natured clerk, "we keep here a curiosity shop, and tliis old follow is one of the raresl objects of interest. He luus a claim against the goTernnient tor somctlung lees than a million, growing out of somc ililiicultv in the lato war, and ho ha.s boon Uring off that ior vears. He üVes entirely by borrowing money. He will make friends with any one, and after ho luis obtained his conlidencc, through a long and briHiant account of bis claim, will ;eneral]y ask for a half-dollar. Qf courso he jcots it, becausc few liko to refuse the old clairaarit, and ehiefly because few have the deSÍK to inquirc info the correetness of his claim. It's spnrioos, undoubtedly, but it's a capital device to extract money froru the pockets of the liberal."' A BLIGHTED 8HAKSPEAKE. "What!"said the reporter, "can he possibly live on what he obtains in this oncei'tain wav?" "Why. oertainly," said the hotel olerk; "he makea :i good living and takes Iife as easily aaaswallow. Comcr vou don't seein to know one-half the bright charaeters lio 1ÍT6 WlCllPtrt nmj track other than that which thcy devote to the sharpening of theirwite. Ourcuriosity shop is inll. We have somc skeletons. èbut I won't troublc you with ihose now, bnt there are some fellows here whoso peculiaritics of livinff, Dentncities, and experience in the uncertain science of making monoy WitfaD 11 1 iii . :,.l-'liin if iiincli liiil najnU maEenew and ciïjovable figures in a svork under the hand of a master. Look Atthatfellow over tliere," poinüng at the same timo to a tniddle-aged person talking to tinco young men. He was dressed ordinarily and had a soft hat on his head, twistèd and shaped to suit ia idea of what was becoming. He twirled a smal] cano and occasionally snapped his fingcr in the face of his young auditora with the intenüon of oonveying the impression that he had a world of secret knowledge in his mimi whick no one could ever j)urchase of him, "Oh," said the reporter" s informant, "he is drawiug the outlincsof a vast sclieme. i Do yon seo how hc liolds tlie attention of his companions? He's a clever fellow, one of the rarest birds in our curiosity shop, and I rcally would fcel lonely if hc left us. He ís harp and cunaing, and is working his abilities for all that he can rot out of thom. Wel!, sir. he is what you cali a playwright, thst is he has been writing playa for the last ten years, but on e of them luis ever ap - 1 ■ .1. ....„., V i . .... saw the iight in an obscure villaje in Georgia. Ir was praised by the editor of somc newspaper, and he carrios his indorsement in his pocket, which ho tlirusts under your noso when you presume to question hia ability in thia regard. The play died the death of so manv likc it, "but the worda of that editor with him will bo immortal. Thia is not his sole occupation. Oh, no! He could not live by it, but he follows a more lucrativo callíng akin to his occupation as a playwright. He is engaged in preparing pnpils i'or the stage. "You smile and wonder where all the futuro Garrióles mus!, come from that tall under his benign nstruetion. There, ngain, he is clever. 1 lo does not look for his histrionio fiock 'va tlie city, because there are few here who are unable to detect his imposition. He advertises in tho rural papera that a gentleman of histrionic fame is ablo to aocommodate a few more young men who dcsirc to study for the stage. This meets the eyes of Bomc country conple wlio have been j tered into believing that their only son might rnaEè a great ;ictor it lic oniypossessctl :i little training. A corrcspondcnce is oponed, and the párente are informed that tor a few luindred dollars their son can bc made an actor. Part of the monev is paid, and the son comes to New York. Thé poor rustic is ' struck in the presence of the great instructor for the stage, and swears he must have been a wonderful actor, because he has the traditional air and habits of a tollower of the soek and buskin. nOW THE TRAINING PKOCEEDS. "The papil is Boon tortured by listening to the playwright reading pageafter page of his rejected plays. Being of a polite and inoffensivo nature, he immediately gains tlie respect and affection o{ his pupil. Visite are made to the theatres, wherc the rustió is introduced to the keeper of the box office, or the tickettakers at the door, but Hie expense of odmission is always paid by the pupil. The latlcr ia sliown around the stago at timos, and even gets a glance at the much-coveted green-room, which sets the poor fellovt in a lit of rapture. Ho writes to liis parents of the scènes he has visited. and Di&iires in fflQwinarlansraaite the glories of tnè stage. Tuoïe money is forthconiinir, wliicli falls into the playwright's exchequer, and then visits are made to all the uneertain reorts about town, Wlien $600 or $700 have been .spent on the poor rustie's educalion without developing the necossary Bpark oí genius ne returns to his oM home Avitli considerable experience and the firra conviction that nature never intended him for the stage. In this way the playwright rakea in a lot of money. "l've. known him to havo at a time seven pupils, from each of whom he obtained not le-a than $600. This makes a snng income and is rusily earned. Few of the pupila over ippoar on the stage. Xhéy gencrally sesure posirtons in the humbler walka of life, if they do not return to the paternal roof. Theyreceive litlle. training, except in vice and tlio Bhiftless tnetluxls of earning rnoney without any labor when the pocket is loworempty. What doyousay to that? Isn't he a eharaöter for the pen of a Dickens':'" "Well, ves," gaid the reporter. "Ho 3 many more liko these liave you?" "W'tll, our closet hokls some fifty, Come aronnd someothertime," he saicl, and I will show you some more amusing characters, narticularly that wcll-dressea fellow yonaer, wlio is occupied in cscortin wealthj old ladièa to the theater evcnings and ïvceïving money for his services, Oh, my doar fellow, no one Deed worry himself about money when there are 80 manj ways of making it. - New York Tclegraph. A. man in Orland, Cal., made a wager thtt hc could smokc nlnety flgwa in two hours. He failcd on the nioctletb. wbich made ïdm iick.


Old News
Ann Arbor Democrat