Walter Winchell ... The Bonapartes are phffft! His latest is Austrian looker Marie Louise, an Archducky (dot's nize) ... Lover-boy ivory-tickler Frank Liszt and the Comtesse d'Agoult, an eye-filling hunk of Swiss cheesecake, are closerthanthis ... Don't invite Aaron Burr and Al Hamilton to the same shindig ... White House insiders are tsk-tsking the carryings-on of Dollicious Madison, the Prez' frau.
Celebeauts Around the Globe: Freddie Chopin, the tuberculossal pianist, and George Sand (alias Mme. Dudevant) making sweet music at a Parisqué night spot ... Fyodor Dostoievsky, the Moscowling penman, applauding a passing funeral ... The veddy British sea skipper Willie Bligh whip-shopping at a posh London leathery ... Honoré de Balzac off to the debtor's pokey again (Honoroyvay!).
Sounds in the World: At the Lincoln cabin in Hardin County, Kentucky: "I'm tired of doing nothing but stare at these three walls all day" ... At the Bastille: "We found a sure cure for Louis' chronic headaches" ... At Balaklava, in the Crimea: "After that charge, let's call them the Even Lighter Brigade."
Orchids: Lou Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, a melodelight ... Chuck Darwin's peachy-species theory ... Bob Fulton's waterrific steamboat ... Tom Paine's pamphlet (Common Sensational!) ... Harmy Rembrandt's way with a canvas (easel on the eyes) ... Frank Scott Key's rousing new chune, The Star-Spangled Banner (O say-okay!) ... Joe Goethe's clappealing must-read, Faust (Mephistokay!) ... Bill Seward's Alaska purchase (Juneaukay!).
Leonard Lyons ... The King: Recently I attended a meeting at the Virginia House of Burgesses with my good friend Patrick Henry. We were discussing the Stamp Act imposed on the Colonies by my old friend King George III, and the subsequent Declaration of Rights by nine of the colonies. "If this be treason," I asked Henry, "what do you suggest we make of it?" "If this be treason," he said to me, "make the most of it."
The Congress: Last week I attended a session of the First Continental Congress, in Philadelphia, with my good friend Sam Adams. "I realize that you want liberty," I said to Adams. "But in the event that you can't have it, would you say that you have an alternate choice?" "Give me liberty or give me death!" Adams told me.
The Anecdote: The other day I dined with my good friend General Washington at the Blue Boar Inn. He told me that the "liberty or death" anecdote I credited to Sam Adams should have been credited to Patrick Henry. I told him that I had owed Sam Adams' press representative a favor, but I had promised Henry I'd make it up to him in another anecdote.
The Spy: Before being hanged as a spy by the British recently, my good friend Patrick Henry said to me, "I regret that I have but one life to lose for my country."
The Document: Last night Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, John Hancock, a few of my other very good friends, and I were discussing the Declaration of Independence. I said to Franklin, "Would you say that we should all hang together? And if we don't all indeed hang together, how would you say we shall assuredly all hang?" After he told me, we left for his home, where he entertained me, my wife, Sylvia, and my four sons by inventing the stove.
Dorothy Kilgallen ... Did you dig that Chintzy Dress that Marie Antoinette wore at her execution the other day? ... The Sebastopol smart set is yakking it up over the dowdy hair style of nurse Florence Nightingale ... What well-known U.S. political figure (not Tom Jefferson) has a mouthful of wooden choppers? ... Current big fads among the off-beatniks in New York's nothing-to-do set: purple wig powder and slave-running.
Memo to the World's Publicists: Stop inventing phony sickness and accident items to get your clients' names in print. I'm not falling for them anymore ... Leo Tolstoi almost missed the press party for his new tome, War and Peace. He's been bedded down with a severe case of poison oak ... Soprano Jenny Lind, who makes her U.S. concert debut at Castle Garden next week, narrowly escaped serious injury when an elephant ran loose in P. T. Barnum's apartment yesterday ... Painter James Whistler's latest canvas is being delayed because his mom is ailing. She overdid the horseback riding bit yesterday and is off her rocker.
Latest Fads among the Bored French Army set: monogrammed snuff boxes and sending innocent officers to Devil's Island ... What high-ranking Union officer (not Bill Sherman) has his friends worried over his tippling? ... My sources in France say that there is no truth to the rumors about the Paul Gauguins splitting (he's the well-known banker). They couldn't be happier, I'm told ... Have you seen (concluded on page 114) Bonapartes (continued from page 59) the horrid color combination on the new flag? (Oh, come on now, Betsy, for heaven's sake!) ... Texas fashion circles tittering over the unchic shoes worn by Capt. Dickinson's wife (she's yesterday's Alamo survivor).
Custer and 7th Cav Lay an egg at little Big horn sesh
Variety ... Lt. Col. George A. Custer and his 7th Cavalry closed a limp one-day stand this week (24) at Little Big Horn, Mont. The colonel, a long-time fave of Civil War days, headlined a sluggish stanza and bombed badly before an unreceptive aud made up of Crazy Horse, his Sioux org, and a group of indie Indians.
Custer, with a long list of smash hits to his credit -- he was hotsy at the Chick-ahominy River; boffo when teamed with the Michigan Cavalry at Gettysburg; a wow during his Wilderness and Shenandoah stints; socko at Cedar Creek; hep at Waynesboro: and wham when he met the Cheyenne Indians at Washita River -- gave a shoddy performance. His format needed tightening and his timing was poor.
Good-looking and personable (called "Yellow-Hair" by redskin juves), the 37-year-old vet's intro was fine and he kept the gig lively for a while, but the competish was a bit too strong. He worked in some of his w.k. routines, e.g., fancy riding, classy charging and hip shooting, but in spite of it all, he and his 226-man act died.
Performance was a comeback of sorts for Custer, who had been in retirement for five years, during which he penned his autobiog, My Life on the Plains. Book was nixed by big-city crix but hit hix in stix like a ton of brix.
At the conclusion of the colonel's disastrous Little Big Horn preem, U.S. prexy Grant, who handled the booking, commented, "No more stand-up routines for him." Pap.
Nick Kenny ... Little Siggy Freud will be Bar-Mitzvahed next Saturday at the Vienna Jewish Center. This Old Sailor will be on hand to recite 136 of my best confirmation poems ... Flash from aboard the Bonhomme Richard: During a break in the fighting with the Serapis, the ship's cook was heard singing this Old Sailor's inspirational sea chanty, I Found God's Clothes in Davy Jones' Locker. If any of my readers would like copies, I still have 25,478 left. They're going fast.
Dip your pen in sunshine and write to these shut-ins: Vincent Van Gogh, Eye and Ear Hospital, Aries, France ... Friedrich Nietzsche, State Mental Hospital, Weimar, Germany ... Edgar A. Poe, Alcoholics Ward, Bronx Hospital, Bronx, N.Y. ... William "Boss" Tweed, Ludlow St. Jail, New York City ... Dr. David Livingstone, c/o General Delivery, Africa ...
Today is the birthday of the Duke of Wellington, Charles Baudelaire, Alexander Graham Bell, Hector Belioz, Otto Bismarck, Seymour Feigen, Emily Brontë, Jefferson Davis, Sun Yat-sen, Geronimo, Myron Rosenzweig. Franz Haydn, Elias Howe, Benito Juárez, Marquis de Lafayette, Saul Greenberg, and the wedding anniversary of George and Martha Washington, Napoleon & Josephine Bonaparte, Abraham and Mary Lincoln and Morris and Zipporah Gold-farb.
Mrs. O'Leary's Cow
By Nick Kenny
Bless you, bless you, gentle cow,
Though people curse your name.
Your animal heart is good although
You set a city aflame.
You're just a kind and friendly cow,
You didn't mean folks harm.
How could you know that what you'd do
Would make Chicago warm?
When the Master Bovine calls you
To Pastures in the blue,
Noble beasts up in Cow Heaven
Will welcome your cheery "Moo."
But should the Master Bovine
Send you "down" and not Above,
Kick over the lantern of hate
And set Cow Hell aflame with love!
Hy Gardner ...The Tip-off: Diminutive French painter Toulouse-Lautrec is really the precocious five-year-old son of a Bordeaux wine merchant. They say that he'll be barred from Le Moulin Rouge for at least 13 years now.
The Check-up: I immediately wrote the painter in Paris to confirm the rumor and received this reply: "Dear Hy: It is marvelous hearing from you again. I trust all is well with you and your family. I am indeed-sorry to inform you that you have come up with another rock. I am truly 35 years of age and, if anything, am shorter than you would imagine. Vanity has been compelling me to stand on my toes of late. Since you are so close to show business, my friend, perhaps you can tell me where I can purchase a pair of stilts. My astrologer tells me that I will live a very long life, become a motion picture actor, and some day I will star in a film called The José Ferrer Story. My best, Touly."
The Tip-off: American abolitionist John Brown is really German composer Johannes Brahms. Brahms has anglicized his name and is in this country in disguise as part of a P.R. stunt in conjunction with his Concerto in D minor.
The Check-up: A letter to Herr Brahms in Germany brought this response: "Dear Hy: I cannot tell you how wonderful it is hearing from you once more. As one of my dearest friends, you are on my mind constantly. Tell me, how are Sylvia and your four fine boys? Regarding your latest rumor, wowie! Latrinesville! But in view of the similarity between the names Johannes Brahms and John Brown, it was wise of you to check it out. Do not feel too badly about it, since even at this late date I still confuse myself with you-know-who. Affectionately, Johann Bach."