[E4] "The Great Boz Ball in New York," Spirit of the Times, Feb. 16, 1842

The Great Boz Ball in New York.

            This most extraordinary, fashionable, brilliant, unique, grotesque, enchanting, bewitching, confounding, eye-dazzling, heart-delighting, superb, foolish and ridiculous fete came off, (in sporting parlance,) at the Park Theatre, New York, on Monday evening last.

            The New York papers are filled with accounts of the imposing scene.  It is supposed at least 2,800 persons were present—composed of every grade in society that could raise the price of a ticket, and had a spice of the curious and devilish in their composition.

            The dresses of the ladies were of the most costly and elegant order.  The blaze of jewellery exceeded all former occasions, and the array of near two thousand lovely women, conjured up pictures of the glory of a Mahomedan Paradise.  A million of dollars would scarcely pay for the silks, satins, laces, and ornaments alone, of the ladies.

            At an early hour in the evening, a tremendous crowd of people gathered in front of the Theatre to witness as far as possible all that was going forward.  A score of police officers were kept busy keeping back the miscellaneous multitude from the doors of the Theatre.

            The carriages began to arrive at half past seven o'clock, and in one hour afterwards, probably two thousand persons were in the theatre.

            The splendor of the interior of the Theatre, cannot be adequately described.  Flags, statues, festoons, wreaths of flowers, portrait of Boz, medallions of the President, fancy scenes, mirrors, chandeliers, tableau from Boz's works, &c., all combined to render the scene one of oriental enchantment.

            The supper was equal to that given by Cleopatra to Anthony, and the quantity of delicious viands which were furnished by the sublunary angels and terrestrial bipeds, was a circumstance not to be sneezed at.  There were used at this fete 800 cups and saucers, 5000 plates, and 4000 glasses.  Sixty-six men were employed in serving out the refreshments.  The supper was provided at a cost of about $3000.

            The tableaux were twenty-two in number, and taken from scenes in the works of the illustrious author.  All the principal characters in the works were represented by members of the corps dramatique.  The tableaux were all exceedingly beautiful, and were received with much applause.

            After a cotillion and waltz were danced, the first tableau was presented, and soon after, Boz was announced.  The excitement to see the "lion" of the occasion, was painfully intense.  The orchestra struck up "God Save the Queen," and led by a dozen of the committee, Mr. Dickens and his wife, crossed the centre of the stage, to the Elizabethan Hall, where they were received by the Mayor.  N. P. Willis and his lady, were in Boz's suite.  Mr. Dickens looked pale and thunderstruck, and his charming lady was completely overpowered, and with a graceful timidity, shrank back from the gaze of the gay and staring multitude.  The party were welcomed with cheers and waving of handkerchiefs.

            Mr. Dickens was dressed in a suit of black, with a gay red vest.  Mrs. Dickens appeared in a white figured Irish tabinet, trimmed with mazarine blue flowers, a wreath of the same color around her head and with a pearl necklace and earrings.  Her hair was curled in long ringlets.  She is a very fine looking English woman.  She seemed to enjoy the honors paid to her husband.  Mr. and Mrs. Dickens, soon after their entrance, participated in the dance, having first passed through the room, Mrs. Dickens hanging on the arm of Mayor Morris and Mrs. Morris on the arm of Mr. Dickens.

            The grand pageant was brought to a close a little before day light yesterday morning.

            Such was the tom-foolery of silly-minded Americans, and such the ridiculous homage paid to a foreigner, who will in all probability return home and write a book abusing the whole nation for the excesses of a few consummate blockheads.