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Salmagundi [Mrs. Cleveland]
by [?]

The daily press announces that there is to be another Cleveland baby. It is to make its debut some time this month. “Mrs. Cleveland has been sewing dainty garments all summer.” “Presents of beautiful baby clothes are arriving from friends and relatives.” Same old gush, gush, gush! slop, slop, slop! that has set the nation retching three times already. Good Lord! will it never end? The fecundity of that family is becoming an American nightmare. Will the time ever come when a married woman of social prominence can get into “a delicate condition” without having the fact heralded over the country as brazenly as though she had committed a crime? There being little hope that the daily press–“public educator,” “guardian of morality,” etc.–will suffer a renascence of decency, we can only appeal to Grover not to let it happen again. He certainly owes it to the nation to apply the soft pedal to himself. In no other way can he protect a long-suffering nation from seasickness, or his estimable wife from the unclean harpies of the press. I do not believe that Mrs. Cleveland is particeps criminis in these pre-natal proclamations to which the h’upper suckkles of New York are so shockingly addicted. I do not believe that she cares to have the public contemplating her profile portrait just previous to a confinement. Of course it will be urged that a woman of much native delicacy could never have married so crass an animal as Grover Cleveland, have taken him fresh from the embraces of an old harlot like Widow Halpin; but these forget that he held the most exalted position of any man on earth, and his $50,000 per annum had been touched by the genie-wand jobbery–forget that

“–pomp and power alone are woman’s care And where these are light Eros finds a feere; Maidens like moths, are eer caught by glare, And Mammon wins his way where Seraphs might despair.”

Probably she has regretted a thousand times that she bartered her youth and beauty for life companionship with a tub of tallow, mistaken at the time for a god by a purblind public, but even though it be true, as often asserted, that the old boor gets drunk and beats her, a woman could scarce apply for divorce from a man who has twice been president. Furthermore, association with such a man will lower the noblest woman to his level. Every physiognomist who saw Frances Folsom’s bright face, its spirituelle beauty, and who looks upon it now and notes it stolid, almost sodden expression, must recall those lines of Tennyson’s:

“As the husband is the wife is; thou art mated with a clown, And the grossness of his nature will have weight to drag thee down. Cursed be the sickly forms that err from honest Nature’s rule, Cursed be the gold that gilds the straiten’d forehead of the fool.”

Last month it was announced with typographical and pictorial trumpet blasts that Mrs. Harry Payne Whitney was about to present her gilded dudelet with a family edition de luxe, and the Duchess of Marlborough to find an heir to that proud title whose foundation was laid with a sister’s shame, the capstone placed by the pander’s betrayal of his rightful prince; and now before the world can recover from its nausea, flaming headlines announce that the Clevelands are about to refill the family cradle. Hold our head, please, until we puke! Lord, Lord, is there nothing sacred about motherhood any more? Is a married woman no better than a brood-mare, her condition fair subject for comment by vulgar stable-boys? We thank thee, O God, that the South has not kept pace with New York’s super-estheticism–that when our women find themselves in an “interesting condition” they seek the seclusion of the home instead of telephoning for a reporter and a chalk artist and exploiting their intumescence in the public prints.