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guardedly invite Brown, and your new friend Jones of course, to step over to Parry and Batten's, and imbibe. What is the consequence? The miscreant Jones introduces you to fifteen more equally desirable acquaintances, and in two minutes from the first introduction there you are, with seventeen newly formed friends, all of whom “take sugar in their'n" at your expense. This is invading a man's quarters with a venge
But this is not the worst of it. Each gentleman to whom you have been introduced, wherever you may meet thereafter, in the billiard-room, tenpin alley, hothouse, or church, introduces you to somebody else, and so the list increases in geometrical progression, like the sum of money which Colman in his arithmetic informs us the gentleman paid for the horse with such a number of nails in his shoes—a story which in early childhood I remember to have implicitly believed. In this manner you form a crowd of acquaintances, of the majority of whom you recollect neither names nor faces, but being continually assailed by bows and smiles on all sides, from unknown gentlemen, you are forced to avoid the appearance of rudeness, to go bowing and smirking down the street, like a distinguished character in a public procession, or one of those graven images at Tobin & Duncan's, which are eternally wagging their heads with no definite object in view. This custom is peculiarly embarrassing in other respects. If you are so unfortunate as to possess an indifferent memory for names, and a decided idiosyncrasy for forgetting faces, you are continually in trouble as to the amount of familiarity with which to receive the salutation of some unknown individual to whom you have been introduced, and who persists in remembering all about you, though you have utterly forgotten him.
Only the other day, at the Oriental Hotel, I met an elderly gentleman, who bowed to me in the most pleasant manner as I entered the barroom. I wasn't quite sure, but I thought I had been introduced to him at Pat Hunt's; so, walking up, I seized him familiarly by one hand, and slapping him on the shoulder with the other, exclaimed: "How are you, old cock ?” I shall not soon forget his suspicious glance, as muttering, “Old Cock, sir!” he turned indignantly away; nor my confusion at learning shortly after that I had thus irreverently addressed the Rev. Aminadab Sleek, Chairman of the “Society for Propagating the Heathen in California,” to whom I had brought a letter of introduction from Mrs. Harriet Bitcher Stowe. On the same day I met and addressed, with a degree of distant respect almost amounting to veneration, an individual whom I afterward ascertained to be the husband of my washerwoman-a discovery which I did not make until I had inquired most respectfully after his family, and promised to call at an early day to see them.
There are very few gentlemen in San Francisco to whom I should dislike to be introduced, but it is not to gentlemen alone, unhappily, to whom this introduction mania is confined. Everybody introduces everybody else; your tailor, your barber, and your shoemaker deem it their duty to introduce you to all their numerous and by no means select circle of acquaintance. An unfortunate friend of mine, T-hf–J
-s, tells me that, stopping near the Union Hotel the other day to have his boots blacked by a Frenchman, he was introduced by that exile, during the operation, to thirty-eight of his compatriots, owing to which piece of civility he is now suffering with a cutaneous disorder, and has been vi donc-ed, icid, and g--d ever since, to that degree that he hates the sight of a French roll, and damns the memory of the great Napoleon.
My own circle of acquaintance is not large; but if I had a dollar for every introduction I have received during the last six weeks I should be able to back up the Baron in one of his magnificent schemes, or purchase the entire establishment of the Herald office.
But I have said quite enough to prove the absurdity of indiscriminate introductions. Hoping, therefore, that you will excuse my introduction of the subject, and that Winn won't make an advertisement out of this article,
I remain, as ever, yours faithfully.
THE LITERARY CONTRIBUTION BOX
LINES TO LOLA MONTES
SAN FRANCISCO, June 13th, 1853. On assuming the responsible position of poetical critic for the Herald, I applied to my friend Mr. Parry for permission to place in one corner of his San Francisco renowned establishment a cigar-box, with a perforated sliding cover, for the reception of poetical contributions, a request which that gentleman most urbanely granted. Knowing that “ Parry's” was the favorite resort of the wits, literati, and savants of the city, I hoped and believed that this enterprise would be crowned with the success that it merited; but either our city poets are unable to find quarters in that establishment, or there is a dearth of that description of talent at present; for, with the exception of two or three contributions of “old soldiers ” and a half-dollar deposited by an inebriated member of the last Legislature, on the representation of his friends that the box was placed there for the relief of distressed Chinese women, nothing has come of it.