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Briggs, Charles F. (Charles Frederick), 1804-1877 [1839], The adventures of Harry Franco. Volume 1 (F. Saunders, New York) [word count] [eaf025v1].
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CHAPTER XIII. A new field, and another speculation.

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One of my room-mates was a tall slender youth,
with light blue eyes and whitish hair; he wore a
blue frock coat, with a stand-up collar; a black
stock, and a blue cloth cap very much pulled over
his eyes; he usually carried a little ebony stick
under one arm, and a half-bound book under the
other. Sometimes, when he did not forget to put
them on, he wore a pair of steel bowed spectacles,
the glasses of which were slightly tinged with
blue. He had once been a cadet at West Point, and
he still wore a certain military air, which, although
very easily recognised, would be very difficult to
describe. He was very grand in his conversation,
and made use of the choicest words in the dictionary.
His name was D. Wellington Worhoss.

I was sitting in my room after breakfast, with
my eyes resting on Miss De Lancey's handkerchief,
while the eyes of my mind were looking
into the dim future which the light of my imagination
was beginning to enliven, when Mr. Worhoss
came in, and having pulled off his cap and
gloves, he sat down, and resting his heels upon the

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mantel piece, he tipped himself back in his chair,
and without apparently observing that I was in
the room, began to read aloud.

I did not feel myself very highly complimented
by the little notice which Mr. Worhoss took of
me, and to show him that I held him as cheaply
as he seemed to hold me, I opened a book, and
began to read aloud myself. He looked at me
over his shoulder with as much sternness as a
young gentleman with blue eyes and whitish hair
could assume, but perceiving that I showed no
signs of immediate dissolution from the effects of
his glances, he threw down his book, and I did the

Mr. Worhoss and I were, a very few minutes
after, established friends. He swore he would
never desert me, and made me his confidant on
the spot.

I was sorry to learn from Mr. Worhoss that
times were hard. He informed me that the
“House” in which he had been employed as a
clerk, had “bursted up,” and that he was, in consequence,
a gentleman at large. “However,” he
said in a solemn manner, “I don't care a tenpence
about it; I never did like mercantile pursuits. It
indicates a want of soul to be devoted to them.
Business has a tendency to blunt the finer feelings

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of our nature, and I will acknowledge to you in
confidence, that I always found it an extremely
difficult operation to adjust my mind to the level
of a counting-room.”

“Ah,” I said, “I should be very glad of an
opportunity to adjust my mind to any occupation
which would yield me a small salary.”

“Be content,” said Mr. Worhoss, “to cultivate
your sensibilities in some gentlemanly manner,
and don't throw away your talents upon trade.
However,” he continued, “if gain is your object,
I can put you in a way of making a handsome
per centage on a small investment.”

I told Mr. Worhoss I should feel myself under
great obligations to him, if he would; that I had
got a little money left, and that I should have no
objection in the world to investing it to a good

“Then you are just the gentleman I wanted to
see,” he replied, taking my hand, and squeezing
it very warmly. “I have written a prize article
for the Mirror, for which I expect to obtain fifty
dollars, and if you will advance me five dollars, I
will return you ten, when I receive the prize.”

I thanked Mr. Worhoss for his liberal offer,
and ventured to ask, if there was not a possibility
of his not receiving the prize?

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“Not the slightest in the world,” he replied;
“it is to be awarded by a committee of literary
gentlemen, all men of taste, and they cannot do
otherwise than decide in favor of my article.
But you shall judge, yourself, of the probability
of their doing so. I will read the article to you.”

I told Mr. Worhoss he might spare himself the
trouble, as I had great confidence in his representations.
But, in spite of all I could say, he would
read it to me.

As mankind are prone to wreak their vengeance
on the innocent when they cannot on the offending,
I do not feel myself at liberty to break through
an established custom, as I might thereby subject
myself to be called a fanatic, or some other evil
name; I shall, therefore, revenge myself upon
you, most gentle reader, for the sin of Mr. Worhoss,
by repeating to you the prize article which
that gentleman wrote for the Mirror. Here it is:

Dedicated to the Thoughtful.

Augustus de Satinett was a jobber; a choicer
spirit the region of Hanover square boasted not.

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Pearl street and Maiden Lane may have known
his equal, his superior never. He had risen from
junior clerk to junior partner, in one of the oldest
firms. The best blood of the revolution flowed in
his veins; his mother was a Van Buster, his father
a de Satinett; a more remote ancestry, or a more
noble, it were vain to desire. Augustus had a noble
soul, it was a seven quarter full; his virtues
were all his own, and they were dyed in the wool;
his vices were those of his age—they were dyed
in the cloth.

At the time of which I write, Augustus was perfect
in manly beauty; his teeth were white and
even, his lips were finely chiselled, a profusion of
chestnut curls clustered upon his noble brow, and
genius flashed from his hazel eyes. He lifted his
hat to all his acquaintances with an air of easy
dignity, which spoke, as plainly as an air could
speak, that Augustus had travelled in foreign parts,
for he had drummed in Arkansas, and collected
in the lithograph cities of the west.

It required no stretch of classic fancy, in those
who saw de Satinett, to believe that some fond
Pygmalion of the sex, whose existence is a sentiment,
had loved into life a marble Antinous,
which, stepping from his eternal pedestal, had put

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on the habiliments with which fashion clothes her

Eugenia Bergenville was the only daughter of a
doting mother. She, Eugenia, and not her mother,
was all loveliness and all sentiment. In her were
all the elements of beauty combined, in parts harmonious.
She was like one of those glorious visions
of light and loveliness, which sometimes visit us
when the soul is warm and plastic, and which leave
upon the tablets of memory, an impression which
time cannot efface.

Her mother had seen much of the world, for she
had once dispensed the culinary offerings of Pomona,
in the temple which bears the honored name
of Fulton; to speak plain, she used to sell kitchen
vegetables in Fulton market. But she had become
rich by the purchase of a lucky ticket in a lottery,
and retired to private life; and all the energies of
her soul were devoted to the education of the young
Eugenia, whom she determined to bring up in the
genteelest manner; with her, to determine was to
do. Eugenia was genteely brought up.

She was an accomplished performer on the piano,
and sang in the Italian style; how could she be
otherwise than accomplished—had she not taken
forty lessons of Goward? Not having a decided
taste for reading and writing, those ordinary

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branches were dispensed with, they not being
deemed essentials in a genteel bringing up. But
she knew several French phrases by heart, and she
could sing an Italian song. What more could the
most fastidious desire? But, she could boast of
more. Her dresses were made by Madam Martineau,
who received the Petit Courier by the Havre
packets, direct from Paris, It was the boast of
Eugenia's mother, that her daughter dressed in the
very first style.

Augustus and Eugenia met: the Fates had designed
them for each other; there was, therefore,
no reason why they should be kept asunder. It
was at a benefit ball in St. Tammany that they first
saw each other.

It may be thought by some, that this was an
improper place for two such beings to visit. Perhaps
it was. Charruaud's might have been more
select, or Niblo's a thought genteeler. But perils
are to be encountered wherever youth and beauty
meet; and we have no desire to interfere with the
doings of those peremptory personages, the Fates;
it was by them ordained, that Augustus and Eugenia
should meet within the walls sacred to St.

Many and fair were the forms that graced that
benefit ball. Chatham street sent forth its

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beauties, and the Bowery held not back its gay creatures
from the festive scene. Long wreaths of
greens and paper roses, were suspended from the
pillars of the hall, and the gas lights burned with a
brilliancy which made every thing short of liquid
rouge look pale. Augustus danced a pas de trois
with the Misses P., and Eugenia danced a pas de
with Mr. P.

Augustus had no sooner seen Eugenia, than he
felt that his time was come, and he sought for the
master of ceremonies, who wore a white riband in
his button hole, and requested to be introduced.
Now, the master of ceremonies had never seen Augustus
before; but being a perfect stranger, is no
bar at a benefit ball, to an introduction; so the
master of ceremonies took Augustus under his
arm, and introduced him to Eugenia, as his particular
friend. Augustus bowed to Eugenia, and
requested the pleasure of dancing with her in the
next quadrille. Now, Eugenia had engaged herself
for every dance that might be danced, and for
the rustic reel at the close; but feeling that her
destiny was sealed, with an ingenuousness peculiar
to the place, she suddenly forgot all her promises,
and yielded at once to the solicitations of Augustus;
and he had the pleasure, not only of dancing

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the next quadrille with her, but of dancing all the
quadrilles that were danced on that eventful night.

Many months did not pass by before Augustus
spoke of marriage; but Eugenia was a child of nature,
and with an artless simplicity, peculiar only to
children of nature, and to the disciples of Madam
Darusmont, she exclaimed, “what is marriage?”

Augustus endeavored to explain to her how it
was necessary, before two souls could be made one,
that some form of ceremony should be submitted
to, although a very trifling one would satisfy the
law; very trifling indeed, compared with its enduring
effects. But Eugenia could not understand
why she could not love and be loved, as purely
and as ardently, without the aid of priests as with.
“What is marriage?” she exclaimed again, in simple
purity of soul; “if it is to love my dear Augustus
better than any other object on earth, better
even than my music master, or my mother, then
am I married already.”

But, if Augustus was satisfied that Eugenia
needed not the ties of the matrimonial statutes to
ensure her felicity, he knew that they were necessary
to ensure his, so he insisted on being married
in the old fashioned manner. Eugenia at last consented,
and one bright and pleasant moonlight
night, they were made one by a Roman Catholic

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priest, in his back parlor, in Orange street. The
priest being an Irishman, his foreign accent imparted
a degree of romance to the ceremony;
which, in a measure, softened the feelings of Eugenia,
and made the requirements of the law less
odious to her susceptible soul.

The honey moon had fulled and waned, when I
received an invitation to spend a sociable evening
with Augustus. I found him seated with his wife.
He welcomed me with a cordial welcome, but she
neither looked at me nor welcomed me. An illnatured
observer might have said she was in the
sulks, but doubtless her heart was too full; she was
too happy to speak.

Augustus was a ripe scholar, and he loved to
talk of books. His library was choice and elegant;
it contained Bulwer and Scott complete, and
the “Encyclopedia Americana,” and books of a
graver cast were not wanting; the works of Hannah
Moore held a conspicuous place on his shelves,
and their contents were familiar to his mind: he
had read Coelebs when a boy, and he had the
highest regard for its author; and when speaking
of her, he called her “his Hannah,” and his “favorite
Miss Moore
.” In the course of the evening,
he frequently spoke of her by these familiar names,

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which showed the warmth of his affection for his
favorite authors.

Time will pass away even when familiar friends
are discussing their favorite authors. Mrs. de Satinett,
for so we must call Eugenia, began to give
hints, which could not be misunderstood, that it
was time to retire. The rain was pattering against
the windows, and the house was far up town. Augustus
pressed me to take a bed; I could not refuse.
As he showed me to my chamber, he took
my hand, “Belville,” he said, with a solemn earnestness,
“You are not married.”

“No,” I said, “but you are.”

“Yes,” he said, “I feel that I am.”

He could say no more, and I bid him good

My chamber adjoined that of Augustus and his
wife, and as it was a genteel house, the wall was
not so thick but that I could hear the conversation
that passed between them. I was unwilling to do
so, of course, but I could not avoid it.

“I wish I was dead and in my grave,” said

“How can you, my dear, distress me to death,”
said Augustus to this unnatural wish of his wife.

“No danger of your being distressed to death,”
said Eugenia, sobbing.

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“What on earth have I done, my dear, to deserve
this?” said Augustus.

“You have broken my poor heart,” said Eugenia.

“My dear, you will drive me mad,” said Augustus.

“No danger of your going mad,” sobbed Eugenia.

“Don't say so, dear, don't; there,” a kiss,
“there, then.”

“Let me alone,” exclaimed Eugenia.

“Oh! oh!” groaned Augustus, “what have I
done or said to offend you?”

I could hear him pacing the room with quick
and rapid strides, and I thought to myself, how
surprising it was, that he did not pursue the only
obviously proper course in such a case. I will not
name the course of action which appeared to me
proper on the occasion, for fear of giving offence;
for I am aware that there are differences of opinion
on this as well as on other subjects.

Eugenia, after sobbing hysterically a few minutes
longer, exclaimed again, “I wish I was dead
and buried.” “Don't, my dear,” said Augustus,
“tempt me to say I wish you were.” “You cruel
wretch,” exclaimed Eugenia, “you are trying to

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kill me. To sit there all the evening, before my
face, and talk about that nasty Hannah.”

“What Hannah?” exclaimed Augustus, in
great consternation.

“Your old flame, Miss More, your favorite, as
you call her; to my face too.”

Augustus laughed outright. He expostulated
with Eugenia; he explained to her that Hannah
More was only his favorite author; that he had
never seen her in his life; that she was an ugly old
maid, and above all, that she was in her grave.
But it was all to no purpose, he might have rebuked
the angry sea with as much effect. Eugenia
had no conception of such a thing as a favorite
author; all books were alike to her, from a penny
magazine to a polyglott bible; and as to a book having
been written by a woman, it was something entirely
beyond the circumference of her understanding;
she would not believe a word of it. She would
have it that Hannah More was nothing more nor
less than an old flame, or something worse, of her
lord's. She sobbed, and at last he swore.

How they settled the difficulty for the night I am
ignorant to this day, for I soon fell asleep, and
heard nothing farther of their conversation.

From that memorable night I saw a great
change in Augustus de Satinett; but, why

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prolong a painful tale, or dwell upon the events which
prostrated a noble nature. Thenceforth Augustus
knew no rest. Eugenia would sit for hours,
and the only words which would escape her lips,
were, “Miss More.” When he sought his home,
after a day of fatiguing toil, the first sound that
struck his ear, was, “Hannah;” and when he laid
his head upon his pillow, instead of the sweet
spirit of sleep which once closed his eye lids, the
sound of his no longer favorite “Hannah's” name
chased the kind sprite away, and he was doomed
to hear more of Miss More.

At last, Augustus took to gin; but, that old
fashioned alleviator failing to bring relief, he
sought for peace amid the din of battle, and on
the plains of Texas joined the brave spirits who
poured out their blood in the cause of liberty and
land speculations.

When Mr. Worhoss concluded his article, he
exclaimed triumphantly, “what do you think

The truth is, thought I, that fifty dollars would
be an extravagant price to pay for the history of
Mr. de Satinett, but I was afraid to say so, for
fear of offending Mr. Worhoss, so I took out my
pocket book and lent him five dollars, and he gave

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me a promise in writing, to return ten dollars in
case he should receive the prize of fifty.

As Mr. Worhoss had been so free in his remarks
to me, I frankly told him what my own condition
was, and asked him to recommended me to some
employment. He advised me to take an office
in Wall street, and commence the brokerage business,
or to open an eating house, or to study for
the ministry. But, as neither of these employments
exactly suited my expectations, he promised
to take me under his protection, and procure a
situation for me immediately, with some respectable

I felt myself fortunate in securing, at so cheap
a rate, the friendship of so accomplished a gentleman
as Mr. Worhoss, and I listened to his
conversation for two or three hours with great satisfaction.

“For my own part,” said Mr. Worhoss, as he
threw his heels over the back of a chair and lighted
a cigar, “I am determined to live easy, to live
well and genteely; and work, I wont.”

“Then you have got a rich father to lean upon?”
I said.

“No, I haven't,” said Mr. Worhoss; “I am
sorry to say it, but, my father is very poor. He
was a member of Congress a good many years,

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and as he spent all his time in attending to the
affairs of the nation, of course his own affairs all
went to sixes and sevens; and all he ever got for
his patriotism, was an appointment at West Point
for myself, and a midshipman's warrant for my
brother, who was dismissed the service for sleeping
in his watch; and I left the Point, because I
couldn't brook the restraints that were put upon
my actions. The fact is, I had a penchant for a
remarkably fine turkey cock of the Colonel's,
which I endeavored one Christmas eve to introduce
into my room; and this trifling circumstance,
some how or other, caused me to leave the Point.
But, it is not absolutely necessary to have a rich
father, in order to live without work. Society,
you must know, that is, the civilized world, have
agreed that a few of their number shall live in
ease and elegance, while the many shall work and
sweat like slaves.”

“I knew that such was the case,” I remarked,
“but I never knew before that there was any
agreement about the matter. Pray how long is
it since the arrangement was made?”

“Ever since the flood,” replied Mr. Warhoss,
“and probably long before. I do not positively assert
that there have been any writings drawn up and
signed by the parties, but still the agreement

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exists, and it has been strictly adhered to in all ages,
and will be in all time to come, at least in my
time; so I have resolved to make the most of it,
without stopping to inquire into the justice of the

“Ah,” I said, “it is the tyranny of custom, and
not an agreement between the parties that causes
such an unnatural state of things to exist.”

“All stuff,” replied Mr. Warhoss; “how can
you call it tyranny, when the strongest party volunteers
to serve the weakest. Tyranny is an unrighteous
exercise of power over those who are
incapable of resistance. If seven eighths of mankind
choose to endure all manner of privations,
that the remaining eighth may enjoy all manner
of comforts, you may call it infatuation, but call
it not tyranny. However, if you are fond of argument,
I will argue with you about the moon
being made of green cheese, because that is a
subject on which there may be doubts; but to argue
about an established fact is an absurdity.
The truth is as I have stated it to you, and I will
tell you in confidence that I have enrolled myself
in the ranks of the minority who receive tribute
from the majority, but in what manner I shall receive
my portion I have not determined. You, I
perceive, are anxious to join the many, and labor

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for us; well, every man to his liking; I shall not
dispute with you in a matter of personal tastes,
but, one thing I will advise you to do before you
proceed any farther; and that is, to have your
head examined.”

“My head,” I exclaimed in astonishment,
“there is nothing the matter with my head.”

“Perhaps not,” replied Mr. Worhoss; “I
mean the developments of your skull, that you
may know what pursuit is best adapted to your
powers of mind, and in which you would of course
be most likely to succeed.”

As this was a point on which I was most anxious
to receive information, I thanked Mr. Worhoss
for his suggestion; and he proposed that I
should go with him to the phrenological rooms of
his friend, Mr. Fingrum; whither I accompanied
him, to submit my head, with all its imperfections,
to the examination of that celebrated philosopher.

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Briggs, Charles F. (Charles Frederick), 1804-1877 [1839], The adventures of Harry Franco. Volume 1 (F. Saunders, New York) [word count] [eaf025v1].
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