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Here is a free school of manners, equal rights, and common sense, where are taught the fair play of the Golden Rule, and the decorous deference of the Hindoo Vedas. Send hither your roughs, rustics, and boys, and we will teach them to keep their knives out of the mouths of their best behavior, and to stand on no toes but their own.
To the end of avoiding that dangerous ground of debate in which “unpleasantnesses” are apt to grow, politics and all forms of sectarianism are ignored with a unanimity which is always cheerful and sometimes comical. We had an amusing example of the practical effect of this thoughtful blending of prudence and delicacy on the day of the last Presidential election.
There were polls, with judges and clerks, who omitted no natural touch of brow-beating or corruption ; there was a ballot-box, indiscriminately stuffed by such a run-mad compost of parties as would have defied the nomenclature of the “Pewter Mug”; there was a station house, with a “patent police,” delightfully brutal and partial; there were free and independent voters, native or naturalized, in the familiar state of ignorance, beer, imbecility, and helplessness; there were rough sport, and shouts of laughter, and sharp sallies of wit, and boisterous burlesque; but not one coarse buffet, nor an unkind word, although there were Radicals here dear to the heart of Ben Butler, and Copperheads lovely in the sight of Brick Pomeroy, Rebels who had raided with Mosby, and good sense have been enacted anywhere and Federal scouts who had followed in the hoof-prints of Sheridan’s Ride. Could such a scene of generosity, on that day, but at an Inebriate Asylum?