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INAUGURATION OF THE NEW COLLEC
TOR! TREMENDOUS EXCITEMENT. !!
ORIENTAL HOTEL, SAN FRANCISCO.
PASSING up Montgomery street yesterday afternoon, between 3 and 4 o'clock, my attention was attracted by a little gentleman with a small moustache, who rushed hastily past me, and turning down Commercial street sought to escape observation by plunging among the crowd of drays that perpetually tangle up Long Wharf. Though slightly lame, he had passed me with a speed that may have been equalled, but for a man of his size could never have been excelled; and his look of frantic terror-his countenance, wild, pallid with apprehension, as I caught for an instant his horror-stricken gaze, I shall never forget. I had turned partly around to watch his flight, when with a sudden shock I was borne hurriedly along, and in an instant found myself struggling and plunging in the midst of a mighty crowd who were evidently in hot pursuit. There were old men young men and maidens;--at least I presume they were maidens, but it was no time for close scrutiny ;--there were Frenchmen, Englishmen, Chinamen, and every other description of men; gentlemen with spectacles and gentlemen who were spectacles to behold; men with hats and men without hats; an angry sea of moustaches, coat-tails and hickory shirts, with here and there a dash of foam in the way of a petticoat; and all pouring and rushing down Long Wharf with me in the midst, like a bewildered gander in a mill race.
There was no shouting-a look of stern and gloomy determination sat on the countenance of each individual; and save an occasional muttered ejaculation of “There he goes!” "I see him!” we rushed on in horrid silence.
A sickly feeling came over me as the conviction that I was in the midst of the far-famed and dreaded Vigilance Committee, settled on my mind; here was I, borne along with them, an involuntary and unwilling member-I, a life member of the Anti-Capital Punishment Scociety, and author of the little work called “Peace, or Directions for the use of the Sword as a Pruning Hook," who never killed a fly in my
life-here I was, probably about to countenance, by my presence, the summary execution of the unhappy little culprit with the small moustache, who, for aught I knew to the contrary, might be as immaculate as Brigham Young himself
What would Brother Greeley say to see me now? But it was no time for reflection. « Onward we drove in dreadful race, pursuers and pursued," over boxes, bales, drays and
horses; the Jews screamed and shut their doors as they saw us coming; there was a shower of many-bladed knives, German silver pencils, and impracticable pistols, as the showcases flew wildly in the air. It was a dreadful scene. not a fleshy man-that is, not particularly fleshy-but an old villain with a bald head and spectacles, punched me in the abdomen; I lost my breath, closed my eyes, and remember nothing further. On recovering my faculties, I found myself jammed up flat against a sugar box, like a hoe cake, with
my head protruding over the top in the most uncomfortable manner, and apparently the weight of the whole crowd (amounting by this time to some six thousand) pressed against me, keeping me inextricably in my position. Here for an instant I caught a glimpse of a Stockton boat just leaving the wharf ;-then every thing was obscured by a sudden shower of something white, and then burst from the mob a deep and melancholy howl, prolonged, terrific, hideous. I wrenched myself violently from the sugar box, and confronted a seedy. looking individual with a battered hat; in his hand he held a crumpled paper, and on his countenance sat the gloom of despair. “In the name of heaven,” I gasped, " what is this ? " “He has escaped,” he replied, with a deep groan.
" What has he done?” said I; “who is the criminal ? " Done," said he of the seedy garments, turning moodily away, “nothing—it is the new Collector!!! He's off to Stockton.” The crowd dispersed; slowly and sadly they all walked off. I looked over the side of the wharf. I am not given to exaggeration. You will believe me when I tell you that the sea was white with letters that had been thrown by that crowd; for miles it was white with them, and far out in the stream her wheels filled with letter paper, her shafts clogged with dissolv ing wafers, lay the Stockton boat. On her upper deck, in a frenzied agony, danced the Pilot, his hand grasping his shattered jaw. An office-seeker had thrown a letter attached to a stone, which had dislodged four of his front teeth! As I gazed, the steamer's wheels began to move. At her aftercabin window appeared a nose above a small moustache, a thumb and fingers twinkled for an instant in the sun-light, and she was gone. I walked up the wharf, and gazed ruefully on my torn clothing and shattered boots, which had suffered much in this struggle of democracy. “Thank God! Oh, Squibob,” said I, “that you are a fool, or what amounts to the same thing in these times a Whig—and have no offices to dispense, and none to seek for. Verily, the aphorism of Scripture is erroneous: It should read, It is equally cursed to give as to receive."
I repaired to my own room at the Oriental. Passing the chamber of the Collector, I espied within, the chambermaid, an interesting colored person named Nancy. Now I used to have an unworthy prejudice against the colored race; but since reading that delightful and truthful work, “Uncle Stowe's Log," my sympathies are with them, and I have rather encouraged a Platonic attachment for Nancy, which had been engendered between us by numerous acts of civility on my part and amiability on hers. So I naturally stopped to speak to her. She stood up to her middle in unopened letters. There must have been on the floor of that room
eighteen thousand unopened letters. The monthly mail from the East would be nothing to it. " Mr. Squibob,” said Nancy, with a sweet smile, “is you got airy shovel ? “ No, Nancy," said I;.“why do you want a shovel ?” “To clar out dese yere letters," said she; "de Collecker said I muss frow dem all away; he don't want no such trash about him." A thought struck me.
I hastened to my room, seized a slop-pail, returned and filled it with letters, opened them, read them, and selected a few, which strike me as pe
arly deserving. If the Collector reads the Herald-and I know he “ does nothing else "_these must attract his attention, and the object of the writers will be attained. Here they are. Of course, I suppress the dates and signatures ; the authors will doubtless be recognized by their peculiar styles; and the time and place at which they were written is quite immaterial.
MY DEAR FRIEND :-- I presume you will be perfectly surrounded this morning, as usual, by a crowd of heartless office-seekers; I therefore take this method of addressing you. I thank God, I want no office for myself or others. You have known me for years, and have never known me to do a mean or dishonorable action. I saw W-up at Stockton the other day, and he is very anxious that I should be appointed Inspector of Steamboats. He said that I needed it, and deserved it, and that he hoped you would give it to