[A12] "City Police," Spirit of the Times, March 14, 1842: The Reporter's Grand Ball

City Police.

SUNDAY, March 13, 1842

.           THE REPORTER'S GRAND BALL —"I'm afraid the watchmen and the reporters will have to go out of business.  I'll sell out to the highest bidder."  "Why, Billy?"  "O, L—d, there's nothing stirring—nothing doing, nobody getting corned-nor nothing else-only two cases—George Howell and Dennis Hagerty, both drunk—business dull!"  This was the conversation that took place between me and Captain Bennet, this morning, and I was just proceeding to observe that the fact of my friend David of Harrisburg having put his mark on the Resumption Bill, might possibly facilitate business in the way of small change, when a very neat billy dux, some 6 inches by 10 in dimensions, was thrust into my hands, and I read "these words:"

Saturday night.

Gulielmus Brierius,—

            We respectfully invite your attention to the following programme of a ball to be given by the Reporters of our city, and it is with the greatest consideration for your well known worth and genius, that we invite you—cordially as we might say—to participate in the festivals of the occasion.

[Some dozen names.]

Programme of a Grand Reportorial Ball, to be given by the Reporters of Philadelphia on the first clear day.

            The ball will come off in the old shanty, near the corner of Ninth and Green streets.  The shanty will be floored over on the occasion.  The South end of the Eagle of Columbia, kissing the cold nose of the lion of Britain, with the motto—Omnibus—signifying that the Reportorial profession is open to men of all nations, especially the "country born" of the Victoria side of the water.  The sides of the shanty will be decorated with drawings in charcoal of the following subjects:  On the east side, a picture representing a Reporter coming home from a ball, about five in the morning, with a load of corn on his back, and a brick in his hat.  He is pictured in the act of making some improvements in architecture, in the way of serpentine fence.  On the west side, will be painted a likeness of Jacob of old, in a drab coat and broad brimmed hat.  (The idea intended to be conveyed is, that Jacob was the first reporter.  The "cattle" business shows that if he wasn't a reporter, he at least had sufficient cuteness for the profession.)  The eastern side will be ornamented with red chalk drawings  of the principal reporters in the city.  Peter J. Smith's Culathumpion band is engaged for the evening, which, with the aid of a new brass kettle and a freshly scoured tin kitchen, and a few lately brightened pans, it is supposed that the musical department will be well filled.  A new instrument of music will be introduced.  It is called the Category—an improvement on the piano forte—consisting of a number of well grown pusses placed inside of a chest, with their tails projected outwardly, answering the purpose of keys.

            The following are some of the principle new dances, composed by Mr. P. Smith, especially for the occasion.  The brandy bottle waltz, (by the principal reporters in the character of brandy bottles,) the new whisky cask cotillion, and the worm-fence promenade.

            The great attraction of the evening will be a grand Tableau Vivant, entitled the "young men with hearts in their hands," representing Charles Dickens in a room at the United States Hotel, surrounded by a deputation of juvenile reporters, with a fresh calve's pluck in each hand.

            P.S. Don't know whether I'll go just yet.

Billy Brier.