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Hints To The Traveler
by [?]

“But don’t you think the people here are very cordial, dawling?”

“Yes, they’re too cordial for me altogether. Instead of talking about the wonderful hit I have made as a president and calling attention to my remarkable administration, they talk about the flour output and the electric plant and other crops here, and allude feelingly to ‘number one hard’ and chintz bugs and other flora and fauna of this country, which, to be honest with you, I do not and never did give a damn for.”


“Well, I beg your pardon, dear, and I oughtn’t to speak that way before you, but if you knew how much better I feel now you would not speak so harshly to me. It is indeed hard to be ever gay and joyous before the great masses who as a general thing, do not know enough to pound sand, but who are still vested with the divine right of suffrage, and so must be treated gently, and loved and smiled at till it makes me ache.”

Mr. Cleveland was greatly annoyed by the publication of this conversation, and could not understand it until this fall, when a Minneapolis man told him that the pale, haughty coachman who drove the presidential carriage was a reporter. He could handle a team with one hand and remember things with the other.

And so I say that as a president we can not be too careful what we say. I hope that the little boys and girls who read this, and who may hereafter become presidents or wives of presidents, will bear this in mind, and always have a kind word for one and all, whether they feel that way or not.

But I started out to speak of porters and not reporters. I carry with me, this year, a small, sorrel bag, weighing a little over twenty ounces. It contains a slight bottle of horse medicine and a powder rag. Sometimes it also contains a costly robe de nuit, when I do not forget and leave said robe in a sleeping car or hotel. I am not overdrawing this matter, however, when I say honestly that the shrill cry of fire at night in most any hotel in the United States would now bring to the fire-escape from one to six employes of said hotel wearing these costly vestments with my brief but imperishable name engraven on the bosom.

This little traveling bag, which is not larger than a man’s hand, is rudely pulled out of my grasp as I enter an inn, and it has cost me $29 to get it back again from the porter. Besides, I have paid $8.35 for new handles to replace those that have been torn off in frantic scuffles between the porter and myself to see which would get away with it.

Yesterday I was talking with a reformed lecturer about this peculiarity of the porters. He said he used to lecture a great deal at moderate prices throughout the country, and after ten years of earnest toil he was enabled to retire with a rich experience and $9 in money. He lectured on phrenology and took his meals with the chairman of the lecture committee. In Ouray, Colorado, the baggageman allowed his trunk to fall from a great height, and so the lid was knocked off and the bust which the professor used in his lecture was busted. He therefore had to borrow a bald-headed man to act as bust for him in the evening. After the close of the lecture the professor found that the bust had stolen the gross receipts from his coat tail pocket while he was lecturing. The only improbable feature about this story is the implication that a bald-headed man would commit a crime.

But still he did not become soured. He pressed on and lectured to the gentle janitors of the land in piercing tones. He was always kind to every one, even when people criticised his lecture and went away before he got through. He forgave them and paid his bills just the same as he did when people liked him.