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Some Great Days On The Avenue

( Originally Published 1918 )



Some Great Days on the Avenue—Pictures and Pageants—When a Prince Came Visiting—A Regiment Departs-Honour to the Captains—Funeral Processions—Receptions—Dinners—The Orient and the Avenue—When Admiral Dewey Came Home—Greeting a Marshal of France—The Roar of the City and the Guns of the Marne.

IN the stirring times in which we are living, it seems as if every day is a great day on the Avenue. Take a single example: The morning broke dark and threatening. Heavy clouds presaged showers. But after an hour or two they passed from the heavens, and warmth and golden sunshine came. In the course of various activities the writer made his way to points between the Battery and Fifty-ninth Street, and the means of travel employed included three journeys on top of Fifth Avenue buses. If one of the early settlers could only have seen the proud and amazing thoroughfare!

The air vibrant with excitement. Flags everywhere. Tens of thousands of the Stars and Stripes. Thousands of Union Jacks and Tricolours of France. Hundreds of pavilions of Italy and Belgium. Every few yards gaily decorated booths from which smiling women or lusty-lunged men harangued the passers-by to " come across or the Kaiser will."

On a platform erected on the steps in front of the Public Library a slight -figure in kilts addressing a swaying, surging crowd. As the bus, held up for a minute by the cross-town traffic, stopped, we could hear the pleasing burr of Harry Lauder. Two hours later; a mile and a half farther downtown. The sound of a band in the distance. The horses of the mounted policemen forcing back the curious thousands to the curb. A regiment of regulars, two regiments of militia, and then, swinging along lightly in loose step, a handful of men in soiled blue, Chasseurs a pied of France, who, at Verdun, in the Vosges Mountains, and on the Picardy front, had lived splendidly up to the traditions of the men with the hairy knapsacks and the hearts of steel whose tramp had shaken the continent of Europe one hundred years before.

It was just a day similar to other days that had gone before and to days that were to follow. To feel the thrill of what were held to have been the great days of the past we must put ourselves in the mood of old New York, or at the very least think of the world as it was wagging along a brief four years ago.

" The national banquet-hall where heroes and statesmen have been feted, or the parade-ground toward which a nation has turned to witness great demonstrations in celebration of national events of a civic or military or mournful nature. Along it have gone to the music of dirges and the sound of mournful drums the funeral corteges of many of the country's leading statesmen and greatest men, and here, too, have occurred riots and disastrous fires which have startled the city and shocked the nation." So runs the introduction to a little pamphlet issued some years ago by the Fifth Avenue Bank. One of the earliest and most notable visits, the brochure goes on to tell us, was that of the, then Prince of Wales, later Edward VII., in the autumn of 1860. He was then nineteen years old. The city turned out to greet him. On Thursday, October 11th, the revenue cutter, " Harriet Lane," brought the Prince to New York from South Amboy. Then, a day of blaring bands, of blended flags, of great transparencies, that eventually led to the Fifth Avenue Hotel. He was still very young, still very much of a boy, very much bored with all the tumult and ceremony. Once out of sight of the crowd he threw dignity to the winds and played leap-frog in the corridor with his retinue. But once again, from his bed, to which he had gone with a bad headache, he was called at midnight to acknowledge the salutes of the Caledonia Club. That organization, made up mostly of members of the Scotch Regiment commanded by Colonel McLeay, headed by Dodsworth's Band, marched up Broad-way to the hotel. In the Prince's honour a serenade was given, the band blared out with " God Save the Queen ! ", " Hail Columbia ! " and other national airs, and once more the sleepy and sorely tried royal visitor was obliged to appear to bow his thanks.

The next day, Friday, was given over to visiting such public buildings as the Astor Library, Cooper Union, the Free Academy, and in riding through Central Park.

A ball, famous in city annals, was given at the Academy of Music. Among those who attended that ball and left a record of it was the late Ward McAllister. " Our best people, the smart set, the slow set, all sets, took a hand in it, and the endeavor was to make it so brilliant and beautiful that it would always be remembered by those present as one of the events of their lives."

The ball was opened by a quadrille d'honneur. Governor and Mrs. Morgan, the historian Ban-croft and Mrs. Bancroft, Colonel and Mrs. Abraham Van Buren, with others were to dance in it. The rush was so great that the floor gave way, and in tumbled the whole centre of the stage.

Carpenters set feverishly to work to floor over the chasm.

"I well remember," said McAllister, "the enormous form of old Isaac Brown, sexton of Grace Church, rushing around and encouraging the workmen."

In the course of the evening the Prince danced with Miss Fish, Miss Mason, Miss Fannie Butler, and others, and was conceded to have danced well. The supper was served at a horseshoe table. At one end of the room was a raised dais, where the royal party supped. At each stage door a prominent citizen stood guard; the moment the supper room was full, no one else was admitted. " I remember," confesses Mr. McAllister, " on my attempting to get in through one of these doors, stealthily, the vigilant eye of John Jacob Astor met mine. He bid me wait my turn."

Despite the assiduity with which McAllister danced after the figure of the Prince, he was not among those presented. That honour he sought the next day, on the trip to West Point:

" As General Scott was presenting Colonel Delafield's guests to the Prince I approached the General, asking him to present me to his Royal Highness. A giant, as he was in height, he bent down his head to me, and asked sharply, ` What name, sir?' I gave him my name, but at the sound of ` Mc,' not thinking it distinguished enough, he quietly said, ` Pass on, sir,' and I subsequently was presented by the Duke of Newcastle."

Forty-three years after that clamorous greeting of New York to the young Prince of Wales the present writer was to witness in Paris the visit of Edward VII. for the purpose of cementing the Entente Cordiale. The tired face told the story of the hardest-worked public servant in the world. In 1860, on Fifth Avenue, he had already begun to pay the price of the royal privilege of his exalted birth to bear the arduous burden of royal responsibility.

There are extant many old wood-cuts showing the Prince at the Academy of Music ball. But the following morning, that brought repose to so many, brought none to him. There were visits to be paid to Brady's photographic studios at the corner of Tenth Street and Broadway, to Barnum's Museum, to General Scott at his Twelfth Street residence, and the Broadway store of Ball, Black & Company.

That night a great torchlight parade in honour of the Prince was given by the New York fire-men. The Prince, with his suite and a number of city officials, stood on the hotel balcony, while five thousand men in uniform, with apparatus and many bands, marehed by. Fireworks were set off, the brilliant beams of the calcium light—then a novelty—were thrown upon the standing, boyish figure of the Prince, thousands of flaring torches danced and waved against the darkness of the opposite square.

The next day, Sunday, October 14th, brought some rest. In the morning there were services at Trinity, where Dr. Vinton preached; then a quiet afternoon at the hotel. With Monday came the Prince's departure. At half-past nine he left the Fifth Avenue Hotel, and in company with the Duke of Newcastle, the Earl of St. Albans, and Mayor Wood, was driven down to the harbour where the " Harriet Lane " was waiting to take him to West Point and Albany.

The next reception that the chronicler of Fifth Avenue events has seen fit to record was that given to General Grant after the close of the Civil War. At the Fifth Avenue Hotel a number of the city's leading business men met and planned the public greeting, and one hundred and fifty men subscribed one hundred dollars apiece. The reception to the returning soldier, which took place at the Fifth Avenue Hotel November 20, 1865, was hardly one of which the city or the street had reason to be proud.

Loose management led to disorder and dissatisfaction. Twenty-five hundred jostling, pushing persons crowded the halls, corridors, and reception rooms. The General stood in one of the hotel parlours surrounded by the committee, with Mrs. Grant and other ladies to his right, and on his left Generals Wool, Cook, and Hooker, John Van Buren, Ethan Allen, and others.

Little judgment seems to have been used in issuing the invitations. The throng was indiscriminate. Farce comedy was in the air. Religious fanatics, passing before the hero, offered up prayers for the salvation of his soul. Precocious children were thrust forward to his attention. Preposterous questions were propounded by preposterous people. To add to the confusion the names of those persons who fought their way through the throng to be presented to the General were announced to him by a little man who got most of them wrong.

In a postscript to his " American Notes," written many years later, Charles Dickens told of the vast changes he found on the occasion of his second visit to the United States—" changes moral, changes physical, changes in the amount of land subdued and peopled, changes in the rise of vast new cities, changes in the growth of older cities almost out of recognition, changes in the graces and amenities of life." Making all allowances for that. greater charity, tolerance, and kindliness of judgment which comes with the riper years—nobody ever could have remained as Britishly bumptious, or as bumptiously British as Dickens was in his younger days when he first came to pay us a visit—taking also into consideration the fact that a certain explanatory softening of earlier criticisms was politic, that the novelist found a city far more to his taste in 1868 than he had found in 1842 is not for a moment to be questioned. Also, at the time he came to New York from Boston, he was naturally in a rather placid and contented mood. For in letters home, even while complaining of the trying changes of the wintry climate, he had told how he was making a clear profit of thirteen hundred English pounds a week, even allowing seven dollars to the pound. 'When he returned to New York in April, after an extended tour through-out the country, he had still better cause to be pleased with the young Republic. Says Forster in his " Life ":

" In New York, where there were five farewell nights, $3,298 were the receipts of the last, on the 20th. of April; those of the last at Boston, on the eighth, having been $3,456. But, on earlier nights in the same cities respectively, these sums also had been reached; and indeed, making allowance for an exceptional night here and there, the receipts varied so wonderfully little, that a mention of the highest average returns from other places will give no exaggerated impression of the ordinary receipts throughout. Excluding fractions of dollars, the lowest were New Bedford ($1,640), Rochester ($1,906), Springfield ($1,970), and Providence ($2,140) . Albany and Worcester averaged something less than $2,400; while Hart-ford, Buffalo, Baltimore, Syracuse, New Haven, and Portland rose to $2,600. Washington's last night was $2,610, no night there having less than $2,500. Philadelphia exceeded Washington by $300, and Brooklyn went ahead of Philadelphia by $200. The amount taken at the four Brooklyn readings was $11,128."

And only a few years ago there were Americans deploring loudly the shabby financial treatment we gave Dickens, and figuratively and literally passing round the hat!

Fifth Avenue's greeting to Charles Dickens, on the occasion of his second visit, was in the form of the dinner that was tendered to him at Delmonico's, on the evening of April 18, 1868. The hosts were two hundred men of the New York press. Covers were laid for a hundred and eighty-seven guests.

Five o'clock was the time appointed—we were a rugged, early-dining race in those days—but the guest had a slight stroke of illness and did not appear until after six. Then it was a limping old man, aged just sixty-six, who, by the aid of a cane, climbed laboriously up the great staircase. He was led to his seat at the table by Horace Greeley, and seated between Mr. Greeley and Henry J. Raymond. The editor of the "Tribune," acting as master of ceremonies, began the speech-making by referring to his first discovery, many years before, of a story by the then unknown " Boz."

In concluding his reply to the toast, Mr. Dick-ens promised : " manfully, promptly, and plainly in my own person, to bear for the behalf of my own countrymen such testimony of the gigantic changes in this country as I have hinted at here tonight. Also to record that wherever I have been, in the smallest place equally with the largest, I have been received with unsurpassed politeness, delicacy, sweet-temper, and consideration. . . . This testimony, so long as I live, and so long as my descendants have any legal right in my books, I shall cause to be republished, as an appendix to every copy of those two books of mine in which I have referred to America. And this I will do and cause to be done, not in mere love and thankfulness, but because I regard it as an act of plain justice and honour."

The amende honorable was not less welcome for being long due and the distinguished visitor sat down to loud applause and the strains of " God Save the Queen." Mr. Raymond responded to the toast " The New York Press," and was followed by George William Curtis, William Henry Hurlbert, Charles Eliot Norton, Joseph R. Hawley, Murat Halstead, Edwin de Leon, and E. L. Youmans.

Three and a half years after the dinner to Dickens Fifth Avenue greeted in a similar way a distinguished Russian guest. That was the Grand Duke Alexis Alexandrovitch, who was entertained by the New York Yacht Club at Delmonico's December 2, 1871. James Gordon Bennett, the younger, was then Commodore of the club, and received the Grand Duke in the restaurant's par-lours at seven o'clock. The guests included the Grand Duke and his suite, the Russian Minister, General Gorloff, Admiral Poisset, Admiral Rowan, members of the Russian legation, Russian officers, and members of the yacht club. Against the walls of the banquet hall the Stars and Stripes blended with the blue St. Andrew's Cross. The guests were in naval uniform. The " Queen's Cup," which had been won by the " America " in 1851, had the place of honour among the club trophies. To the toast to the Czar, General Gorloff responded. The club Commodore answered to that to President Grant. After the Grand Duke had been informed that he had been elected to honorary membership, he responded with a brief sailor-like speech.

On December 22, 1877, President Hayes was the guest of honour of the New England Society at Delmonico's. Among those there besides the President were Secretary of State 'William M. Evarts, Presidents Eliot of Harvard and Porter of Yale, General Horace Porter, ex-Governor Morgan, and Governor Horace Fairbanks of Vermont. Mr. Evarts answered the toast " The Day We Celebrate." The presidents of Yale and Harvard, speaking in behalf of their institutions, indulged in good-natured contrasts and comparisons. In the old days, according to President Porter, when they found a man in Boston a little too bad to live with, they sent him to Rhode Island, and when they found him a little too good to live with, they sent him to Connecticut, where, among other things, he founded Yale College; while people of average respectability and goodness were allowed to remain in Massachusetts Bay, where, looking into each others' faces constantly, they contracted a habit of always praising each other with special emphasis—a habit which they have not altogether outgrown.

The Union League gave a reception to General Grant on October 23, 1880, in the theatre of the club-house. Among those present were Joseph H. Choate, General Chester A. Arthur, Chauncey M. Depew, General Adam Badeau, Colonel Fred Grant, Peter Cooper, Henry Ward Beecher, General Horace Porter, and Rev. Dr. Newman. An-other reception to General Grant was given at the Hotel Brunswick May 5, 1883, by the Saturday Night Club. Certain remarks by the former President and by Roscoe Conkling on the subject of Mexico were considered of much significance at the time. Both spoke strongly in favour of the formation of a Mexican-American alliance. Mr. Conkling suggested General Grant as the logical leader of a great movement to aid the sister republic in developing its resources.

Nearly two thousand guests were present at the reception given by the Union League Club to President Arthur on January 23, 1884. With the Chief Executive, who arrived about nine o'clock, were Secretaries Teller and Folger, of his Cabinet. After shaking hands with the reception committee the President was escorted up-stairs by William M. Evarts. About the President were the Cabinet officers, Mr. and Mrs. Evarts, Jesse Seligman, and Salem H. Wales, and Attorney General and Mrs. Brewster. In the distinguished gathering were Mayor Edson, Dr. Lyman Abbott, General and Mrs. George B. McClellan, Whitelaw Reid, Henry Ward Beecher, Parke Godwin, Elihu Root, Cyrus W. Field, Mr. and Mrs. John Bigelow, and Lionel Sackville-West, the British Minister.

At the supper, which was served at midnight, one of the features was the striking pieces of confectionery. In gleaming white sugar was a model of the Capitol, and a tall monument sup-ported statuettes of the President and his Cabinet. Also there was a twenty-four-foot model of the Brooklyn Bridge with the President and troops crossing it.

At the banquet to Lieutenant Greely of Arctic fame, at the Lotos Club, on January 16, 1886, Vice-President General Horace Porter was in the chair, in the absence of President Whitelaw Reid. Besides Lieutenant Greely, Chief Engineer Melville, and Commander Schley, who headed the expedition to relieve Greely, were guests of the club, and among others at the table were Chief Justice Daly, Colonel C. McK. Leoser, Robert Kirby, Patrick Sarsfield Gilmore, Dr. Pardee, Frank Robinson, Herman Oelrichs, C. IL Webb, Colonel Thomas W. Knot, George Masset, J. O'Sullivan, Douglas Taylor, James Bates, and Chandos Fulton. In his speech the guest of the evening told the story of his expedition to the Far North and explained the reason for every action. Arctic exploration, he declared, could not be futile when eleven nations were offering the lives of their men in the cause of science. He told the story of the splendid spirit of his own men during the dreary months at Cape Sabine and lauded American courage and achievement in all the corners of the earth. There were speeches by Judge Daly and Commander Schley, and then two fun-makers were introduced in the persons of Thorne and Killington, Poo-bah and Ko-Ko, from the Gilbert and Sullivan opera, " The Mikado," that was then playing in New York.

Late in November of the same year the Lotos Club honoured another explorer, Henry M. Stan-ley, who had just returned to New York after many years' absence, completing Livingstone's work in Central Africa. Stanley sat between Mr. Reid, the Club's president, and Chauncey M. Depew. Others at the guest's table were Lieutenant Greely, General Porter, General Winslow, Colonel Knox, Major Pond, General Townsend, Lieutenant Hickey, Commissioner Andrews, G. F. Rowe, Bruce Crane, Henry Gillig, and Daniel E. Bandmann. The speakers, besides Mr. Stanley, were Lieutenant Greely, Mr. Depew, and Horace Porter.

At Delmonico's, December 20, 1889, a dinner was given by the Spanish-American Commercial Union to the visiting delegates to the Pan-American Congress. William M. Ivins, as the principal speaker, touched upon South American relations and international arbitration as a prevention of war. Among those present were Mayor Hugh J. Grant, Elihu Root, Andrew Carnegie, Chauncey M. Depew, and Horace White. On the walls were portraits of Washington and General Bolivar, and intertwined with the Stars and Stripes, the vividly coloured banners of the South American nations. At the right of the chairman, William H. T. Hughes, sat Senor F. C. C. Zegarra of Peru, and at the left Mayor Grant. The address of welcome was delivered first in English and then in Spanish by Mr. Hughes, who possessed a perfect command of both languages. Senor Zegarra responded. The toast " Our Next Neighbour " was answered by Senor Matias Romero of Mexico. Other toasts and speakers were: " International American Commerce," William M. Ivins ; " International Justice," Elihu Root; " Our Homes," Rev. Dr. John R. Paxton; " America—All Republican," John B. Henderson, and random addresses from the gallery by Mr. Depew and Judge Jose Alfonso of Chile.

The next Fifth Avenue reception of importance was that given by the Union League Club to General W. T. Sherman on April 17, 1890. It was a belated celebration of the old soldier's seventieth birthday which had taken place on February 8. In the centre of the decorations of the usual patriotic colours and design was the Daniel Huntington portrait of the General in uniform. Regulars of the 5th U. S. Artillery lined the stairway leading from the lobby to the reception hall. The General, reaching the club-house at eight-thirty, was met by James Otis, J. Seaver Page, and General S. Van Vliet, and, between the lines of soldiers at present arms, conducted to a place beneath his own portrait. There, surrounded by President Depew of the Club, Secretary of the Interior John W. Noble, and General Van Vliet, he greeted the six or seven hundred invited guests. The gathering included representatives of the army, the navy, the bench, the clergy, as well as business, professional, and political life. The Vice-President of the United States, Levi P. Morton, was there, and Secretary Noble, Senators W. M. Evarts and Nelson W. Aldrich, Generals Schofield, Howard, Porter, and Breckenridge, and foreign diplomats from Russia, Chile, Brazil, and Peru. Of the march to the sea Chauncey M. Depew said: " It was a feat which captured the imagination of the country and of the world, because it was both the poetry of war and the supreme fact of the triumph over the rebellion."

Another great day on the Avenue was August 28, 1896, which witnessed the arrival of the famous Chinese statesman, Li Hung Chang. He came as a special envoy of the Chinese Emperor and stayed at the Waldorf, then a comparatively new hotel. President Cleveland sent General Thomas H. Ruger to welcome the visitor. In his cabin on the " St. Louis " in the Bay Li Hung Chang received the welcoming delegation. The author of " Fifth Avenue Events " thus describes the great Chinaman on that occasion: " His appearance was most striking. Over six feet tall, with a slight stoop, he wore the bright yellow jacket denoting his high rank, a viceroy's cap with a four-eyed peacock feather attached to it by amber fastenings, and a beautifully coloured skirt of rich material. His finger-nails were polished till they shone, a huge diamond flashed on his right hand, and he peered out benignantly over the tops of a pair of gold-bowed spectacles. Dignified in bearing, he looked every inch the statesman and scholar. His gracious manner won him friends during his stay in New York, and his indefatigable propensity for asking questions—some of them rather embarrassing to those questioned, as when he politely inquired the ages of the ladies whom he met and the salaries of the officials who entertained him—aroused much merriment."

In the way of a distinguished visitor Li Hung Chang was a novelty. New York gave him a rousing reception. The Avenue was lined by cheering throngs as the Ambassador and his suite were driven to the hotel. The carriages were flanked by U. S. Cavalry. Over the gaily deco-rated Waldorf the golden imperial banner of the Celestial Kingdom with the great blue Dragon snapping at a crimson ball fluttered in the breeze. But Li Hung Chang did not pay the hostelry the compliment of relying on its cuisine, preferring the services of his own Chinese cooks. The day after his arrival the Ambassador was received by President Cleveland at the home of ex-Secretary of the Navy William C. Whitney, Fifth Avenue and Fifty-seventh Street. Surrounding the President were the Secretaries of State, War, the Treasury, the Attorney-General, and other officials. The visiting statesman was presented to Mr. Cleveland by Richard Olney, Secretary of State, and to the Chief Executive turned over his credentials from the Chinese Emperor.

The banquet that evening, given by former American diplomats to the Celestial Empire, began at six o'clock, as Li wished to set for the Western world the example of early retiring. In his attentions to the splendid repast before him he was most abstemious, but he finished by smoking a cigar. John E. Ward, a former Minister to China, began the speech-making by a toast to the Emperor, the President of the United States, and Li Hung Chang. George F. Seward, an-other former Minister to China, lauded the Ambassador's long and distinguished services to his country and to the world at large. After a brief response through his interpreter, Li left the banquet hall at eight-thirty, and went to his night's rest. His hosts, however, were not to be balked of their evening's entertainment, and the oratorical feast was continued till midnight.

About General Grant's tomb, when Li visited it, a crowd of more than twenty thousand persons was gathered. From his carriage Li stepped into his chair of state, and was borne to the tomb by four policemen. At the stairway he left the chair and made his way slowly and laboriously on foot into the vault. To those about him Li said that this visit to the hero's tomb was one of the chief things he had in mind in planning his journey to America, and that he had thought of it continually during the trip. General Horace Porter recalled that Li's contribution of five hundred dollars, one of the first received, was something that had never been forgotten by the American people. Other events of the Prime Minister's stay in New York were his reception of a delegation of American missionary societies, his visits to Chinatown, and to Brooklyn, and the dinner given to him at Delmonico's the evening of September 2nd.

Earlier events of the Avenue fade into comparative unimportance when we come to September 30, 1899. For Admiral George Dewey had come home, and Fifth Avenue had the chance to acclaim the victor of Manila Bay. Down the broad street, from Fifty-ninth Street, under the Arch at Madison Square, and on to Washington Square, the procession in the hero's honour passed. This was the order of march :

Major-General Roe and Staff.
Sousa's Band.
Sailors of the Admiral's Flagship, the " Olympia."

Admiral Dewey, seated beside Mayor Van Wyck of New York in a carriage, at the head of a line of carriages containing Governor Roosevelt, Rear Admirals Schley and Sampson, General Miles, and others.

West Point Cadets.
United States Regulars.
New York National Guard and Naval Militia.
National Guard of other States.
Union and Confederate Veterans.
Veterans of the Spanish War.

When the head of the procession reached Thirty-fourth Street, the sailors from the Admiral's flagship halted and drew up along the side of the Avenue. The Admiral left his carriage and entered the reviewing stand at Madison Square. Admiral Sampson was on his right. Admiral Schley on his left. Surrounding them were officers of both branches of the service. For four hours Admiral Dewey stood there, acknowledging the salutes and saluting the flag. The following day, October 1st, saw the great naval parade through the waters of the Hudson River.

A decade passed, and then came the Hudson-Fulton celebration of September 25–October 9, 1909. Of chief importance to the Avenue was the civic procession of September 28th, when the floats, depicting a great number of historical events, moved down the Avenue to Washington Square. On the east side of the thoroughfare, from Fortieth to Forty-second Street, opposite the Public Library, there had been erected a Court of Honour. Against the stately pillars of the Court, the procession moved swiftly by. Every nation that went into the " melting pot " was represented, with the harped green flag of Ireland at the head of the long column. Following the Ancient Order of Hibernians and other Irish societies came the Italian organizations, then Poles, English, Dutch, French, Scotch, Bohemian, Hungarian, and Syrian.

It was the nation's history of four hundred years that passed in effigy on the floats. Pocahontas again interceded with her father Powhatan for the life of Captain John Smith. Balboa caught sight of the waters of the Pacific. The tea was dumped into Boston Harbour. The Minute Men stood fast on the Common. Mad Anthony Wayne stormed Stony Point. Molly Stark's husband said, " There are the red-coats. We must beat them today, or Molly Stark's a widow! " Cornwallis surrendered his sword at Yorktown. Somebody in the Mexican War said, " Give them a little more grape, General Bragg! " and Dewey said: " You may fire when you're ready, Gridley!"

In some of these events of the later years the writer had a personal share. From a seventh-story window at Twenty-first Street he looked down on the procession in honour of Admiral Dewey. From a vantage point at Thirty-fifth Street he witnessed the passing of floats in the Hudson-Fulton celebration. But there was one day on the Avenue, perhaps the greatest and most inspiring of them all, in which he did not share. That was the day that saw the visit of the Allied Commissions, the day of the coming of a Marshal of France. About the time that the guns on the warships and land batteries at Hampton Roads were thundering out their message of welcome to the distinguished guests, the writer in company with six other Americans who had been with the Commission for Relief in Belgium was entering French territory, after a neverto-be-forgotten journey through Germany. How such of us who claimed New York as our own thrilled as we pictured three thousand miles away the city's greeting to the grave, silent man whose cool genius had hurled back the Teuton hordes at the very gates of Paris ! How we built up on the limited descriptions that had been cabled across the Atlantic ! We saw the sweep of the procession up the Avenue, the thousands upon thou-sands of flags, the densely packed throngs lining the sidewalks, the eager faces in the windows of the tall buildings, and in the motor-car, for which all eyes were searching, the smiling, saluting Marshal.

"'About now," said one of us, "he should be passing Madison Square."

"I can see the people on the sidewalks and crowding the windows and the housetops," said another.

"And I," said a third, " can hear the roar that goes up from the Avenue when the people catch sight of him."

"When he hears that roar," said a fourth, "he will recall the guns of the Marne as gentle zephyrs."

To that last statement and sentiment we all proudly agreed. For despite the three thousand miles of intervening ocean it was our New York and our Fifth Avenue.



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