You are here

قراءة كتاب Vistas of New York

تنويه: تعرض هنا نبذة من اول ١٠ صفحات فقط من الكتاب الالكتروني، لقراءة الكتاب كاملا اضغط على الزر “اشتر الآن"

‏اللغة: English
Vistas of New York

Vistas of New York

No votes yet
دار النشر: Project Gutenberg
الصفحة رقم: 2

class="pginternal" tag="{}a">104



IN one of those romances in which Hawthorne caught the color and interpreted the atmosphere of his native New England, he declared that “destiny, it may be, the most skillful of stage managers, seldom chooses to arrange its scenes and carry forward its drama without securing the presence of at least one calm observer.” It is the character of this calm observer that the writer has imagined himself to be assuming in the dozen little sketches and stories garnered here into a volume. They are snapshots or flashlights of one or another of the shifting aspects of this huge and sprawling metropolis of ours.

In purpose and in method these episodes and these incidents of the urban panorama are closely akin to the experiments in story-telling which were gathered a few years ago into the pair of volumes entitled Vignettes of Manhattan and Outlines in Local Color. The earliest of these stories in this third volume—replevined here from another collection long out of print—was written more than a quarter of a century ago; and the latest of them first saw the light only within the past few months. To each of the dozen sketches the date of composition has been appended as evidence that it was outlined in accord with the actual fact at the time it came into being, even if the metropolitan kaleidoscope has revolved so rapidly that more than one of these studies from life now records what is already ancient history. The bob-tailed car, for example, is already a thing of the past; the hansom is fast following it into desuetude; and no longer is it the fashion for family parties to bicycle through Central Park in the afternoon.

Slight as these fleeting impressions may seem, this much at least may be claimed for them—that they are the result of an honest effort to catch and to fix a vision of this mighty city in which the writer has dwelt now for more than half a century.

B. M.

February 21, 1912.

A Young Man from the Country


NEW YORK, Sept. 7, 1894.

MY Dear Miriam,—For you are mine now, all mine, and yet not so much as you will be some day—soon, I hope. You can’t guess how much bolder I feel now that you are waiting for me. And it won’t be so long that you will have to wait, either, for I am going to make my way here. There’s lots of young fellows come to New York from the country with no better start than I’ve got, and they’ve died millionaires. I’m in no hurry to die yet, not before I’ve got the million, anyway; and I’m going to get it if it can be got honestly and by hard work and by keeping my eyes open. And when I get it, I’ll have you to help me spend it.

I came here all right last night, and this morning I went down to the store with your father’s letter. It’s an immense big building Fassiter, Smith & Kiddle keep store in. Mr. Kiddle was busy when I asked for him, but he saw me at last and he said anybody recommended by your father was sure to be just the sort of clerk they wanted. So he turned me over to one of his assistants and he set me to work at once. As I’ve come from the country, he said, and know what country people want, he’s put me in the department where the storekeepers get their supplies. It isn’t easy to get the hang of the work, there’s so much noise and confusion; but when we quit at six o’clock he said he thought I’d do. When night came I was most beat out, I don’t mind telling you. It was the noise mostly, I think. I’ve never minded noise before, but here it is all around you all the time and you can’t get away from it. Nights it isn’t so bad, but it’s bad enough even then. And there isn’t a let-up all day. It seems as though it kept getting worse and worse; and at one time I thought there was a storm coming or something had happened. But it wasn’t anything but the regular roar they have here every day, and none of the New-Yorkers noticed it, so I suppose I shall get wonted to it sooner or later.

The crowd is 'most as bad as the noise. Of course, I wasn’t green enough to think that there must be a circus in town, but I came near it. Even on the side streets here there’s as many people all day long as there is in Auburnvale on Main Street when the parade starts—and more, too. And they say it is just the same every day—and even at night it don’t thin out much. At supper this evening I saw a piece in the paper saying that summer was nearly over and people would soon be coming back to town. I don’t know where the town is going to put them, if they do come, for it seems to me about as full now as it will hold. How they can spend so much time in the street, too, that puzzles me. My feet were tired out before I had been down-town an hour. Life is harder in the city than it is in the country, I see that already. I guess it uses up men pretty quick, and I’m glad I’m strong.

But then I’ve got something to keep me up to the mark; I’ve got a little girl up in Auburnvale who is waiting for me to make my way. If I needed to be hearted up, that would do it. I’ve only got to shut my eyes tight and I can see you as you stood by the door of the school-house yesterday as the cars went by. I can see you standing there, so graceful and delicate, waving your hand to me and making believe you weren’t crying. I know, you are ever so much too good for me; but I know, too, that if hard work will deserve you, I shall put in that, anyhow.

It is getting late now and I must go out and post this. I wish I could fold you in my arms again as I did night before last. But it won’t be long before I’ll come back to Auburnvale and carry you away with me.

Your own


NEW YORK, Sept. 16, 1894.

DEAREST MIRIAM,—I would have written two or three days ago, but when I’ve had supper I’m too tired to think even. It isn’t the work at the store, either. I’m