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department; but he gets used to it, as one
does to all things, at last. He is prompt
each month at the desk of the cashier on
pay-day, and receives his little pile of
greenbacks, and signs the quarto volume of
receipts, with evident satisfaction. His good
wife makes heroic attempts to gain entrance
to the " best society," and spends not a
little of the above-mentioned pile in elaborate
visiting-cards, cab hire, and gloves.
In the winter season you may observe the
worthy couple struggling among the crowd
which wanders through the corridors and
the suffocating drawing-rooms of the secretary.
The secretary is on these occasions
delightfully condescending, and shakes
hands as if he were charmed to see his
subordinate; returning, however, to a
most heartless and discouraging frigidity
when they meet next morning on the
department steps. On New Year's Day the
clerk goes " the rounds;" willingly submits
to be crushed in the presidential
anterooms for the sake of a grasp from the
presidential hand, and a meaningless smile
from presidential lips; and holds high
carnival among the mayor's champagne in the
mayor's dining-room.

His pastimes are at first simple and
innocent. Work over, he spends his time in
the bosom of his family, or at the theatre,
or among the boarders in the parlour. By-
and-bye, however, he begins to think that
he must look after his interests, which
interests are, as he considers, either to save
his official head, or to obtain promotion in
the service. Then comes the bane which
must necessarily enter into the life of a
government clerk at Washington. It is a
necessity for a clerk there to be a toady.
Toadyism in Washington is reduced to a
system, and has attained the dignity of
a science. Brilliant men, in the shape
of clerks, often and often have to cultivate,
with meanness and fawning, stupid men
in the shape of congress-men. The most
accomplished toady is the man surest of his
place. To become the tool, the go-between,
and the butt of congress-men is the road to
a long life in clerkdom. Our once
independent-minded clerk is sure to have become a
weary waiter in lobbies and boarding-house
entries; you will find him inviting senators
and members to whist parties, smoking
cigars that make him ill, by way of being
social, and deftly making presents of gold-
headed canes and fancy inkstands. Yet,
often even these humiliations do not save
him. The ingratitude of republics smites
him, as it has smitten thousands and
thousands before him. One morning, as he
steps light-hearted into his office, his eyes
are greeted by a yellow-covered envelope
lying on his desk. He knows full well
what that means. In all the Washington
departments the secretary has white
envelopes for ordinary official communications,
and yellow envelopes for this one,
final and irrevocable communication of
dismissal from office. The breaking open,
thereof is merely mechanical, a moment's
occupation to fill the blank void in mind
and heart The epistle is curtly polite;
no reason is given for the dismissal other
than that most vague of all goods, the
good of the public service. A little painful
merriment over the trifling incident
with his fellow-clerks, and there is an end
to official life. Our clerk is relegated to
the misfortune of working for a living.
He has been dallying with documents for a
living long enough. If his toadyism would
but leave him with this office, he were wise,
and it were well with him, and he were,
mayhap, a man again. But in nine cases
out of ten it hangs to him, and he toadies,
miserably and desperately for reinstatement,
which he usually fails to get. If he
be well on in life, his prospects are dark,
and he is, perhaps, ruined, with no energy
and no skill for another occupation. The
secretary, being a man of politics, is quite
indifferent about it; clerks are, in his eyes,
machines, and he throws them off as he
would a worn-out knife-sharpener.

I have heard old office-holders say that
they would rather see their sons in their
coffins than in a department, at Washington;
for many a young man in office loses
his energy, becomes an indolent hanger
about bar-rooms and hotels, contracts the
vices of the loafer, and if the merciful
decree of the yellow envelope does not cut
short his official career, ends in miserable
dissipation and good-for-nothingness.
Sufficient has been said to show how needful
is a reform in the American civil service,,
and there are some good statesmen who hope
for its speedy coming.

                MR. DICKENS'S NEW WORK.

                           NOW READY.
In 1 vol. Demy 8vo., Price 7s. 6d., with ILLUSTRATIONS
          AND A PORTRAIT, the SIX PARTS of
    London: CHAPMAN AND HALL, 193, Piccadilly.