[A11] "City Police," Spirit of the Times, March 10, 1842: "Boz" in Philadelphia

City Police.

"Boz" in Philadelphia.

            It pains us to say that this celebrated gentleman is gone, gone to Baltimore-notwithstanding some of the papers yesterday, in mercy to our feelings, promised that he should remain in our city a few days.

            He left yesterday morning, at half past six o'clock, in the steamboat, the weather being particularly wet at the time, and promising to get no better fast through the day.  The last person who shook hands with him on that occasion—for even in that last agonizing moment he was lionized by gentlemen with "hearts in their hands"—was Mr. Hague, the Astrologer.  We happened to be near, and in our usual quiet, unobtrusive manner, we took notes of all that occurred.

            "Good mornin' sir," said Hague, with that inimitable smile, which lights up so peculiarly his intelligent countenance.

            "Good morning," replied Boz, with a shiver, as much as to say "how infernally raw it is in this Democratic climate."

            "I have drawn your Horoscope," ejaculated Hague, and a square piece of paper covered with astronomic hieroglyphics, was projected from the extremity of two of his dexter digits.

            "Thank you—ah!—yes—I see"—reading it—"humph are you sure—ha! Ha! Ha!—what a singular coincidence!"

            "Ha! Ha! Ha!—bow-wow!" echoed eleven men, a little boy, and a bull-terrier, beside him.

            "Born with Venus rising, did you say?" said Boz.

            "A—yes—that is—you know—of course—I—"

            "Oh! certainly," said Boz.  "And therefore I am—ha! Ha!—how strange—well! What would this world be without ladies!"

            "Very true, Mr. Dickens."

            "Mr. Hague you're an extraordinary man, and I intend to make you an extraordinary present: one that will hand down your name to posterity, and make your future life a constant source of unalloyed enjoyment."

            "Thank you!"

            "Yes sir when I return I intend to present you with a copy of that immortal work, the 'Pickwick Papers,' which I am told is now being published in your city at the desecrating price of one shilling—that is—twenty-five cents, American currency."

            "Thank you!" said Hague.  "Will you liquor?"

            Here the steamboat rang for the last time, and we had to start, although we are quite sure we heard Boz say that he "would take sugar in his," as we turned the wharf post.

            In another moment the boat was gone; and all that was left of Boz, was an indistinct remembrance of a darling, shy, fun-loving, mischievous countenance, over a red vest, and an eye that told volumes in reply to the sycophancy of "a free and enlightened people."