From the first day on which its organization began to be whispered around the city, it has been something concerning which the liveliest anticipations have been indulged. Not only have the gorgeous and fantastic processions been the occasion of an out-door demonstration on the part of almost the entire population, but the tableaux and ball which terminate the evening's festivities have ever been a subject of the deepest anxiety in the circles of the best society of our city. The beautiful and costly cards of invitation, and the mysterious manner of their distribution, combine with the social position of those selected, to invest this part of the entertainment with a still deeper interest. It has grown to be a recognized evidence of cast to be the recipient of one of these mysterious biddings, and here is the sole clue we have to the character of the organization.
That the persons composing the "Krewe" have taste and money in abundance is apparent enough: that they belong to our very best society is shown by the position of those whom they choose each year to witness the closing oblations ot their festival. Here the knowledge seems destined to rest forever. When the new organization was first spoken of, it created great interest, and this was increased by the mystery surrounding the affair. The beautiful cards ot invitation issued to their entertainment at the Varieties (then Gaiety) Theatre, coming from - the recipients knew not where - were highly prized, and everybody was on tip-toe of anxiety to know what the new spectacle would be.
|Thirteenth Festival, 1873|
|Along the line of march the illumination was general, the principal features of which were those on CANAL STREET.|
|The Pickwick Club, corner of Exchange Alley, was brilliant among the brilliant. Beneath the flag-staff, from which floated the royal standard of his Majesty Rex, stood a figure of the immortal Pickwick in the act of addressing the club.|
|The rooms of the club were ablaze with light. Outside the columns supporting the verandah of the second story were gorgeously illuminated with variegated lights, whilst between each column, tastefully arranged, festoons of Chinese lamps were suspended in the form of arches, which thrilled the beholder with pleasure.|
|The establishments of Col. S. N. Moody, Messrs. A. B. Griswold & Co., Frederickson & Harte, Giieble & Nippert, Kain & Co., and several other stores were beautifully decorated with variegated lamps, while the Varieties Theatre appeared a perfect blaze of splendor.|
|THE CHALMETTE CLUB. At the corner of Carondelet a perfect flood of light was cast upon the street from a myriad of jets around the house of this club, which was also decorated with the mystic letters, M. K. C.|
|Nearly opposite the Chalmette, the dry goods store of D. H. HOLMES was adorned with an immense pelican in ever changing colors, beneath which were suspended the initials, D. H. H.|
|CARONDELET STREET. THE BOSTON CLUB also put on its Carnival suit in the form of numberless festal lamps, which amply made up for the lack of other illuminations on this street.|
|ROYAL STREET. THE SHAKESPEARE CLUB, corner of Royal and Customhouse streets, over the famed cigar store of Messrs. Fernandez & Villa, was also beautifully illuminated with the initials of the club and sundry lines of light.|
|That old ducal palace, THE ST. LOUIS HOTEL, also wore a holiday air, and, in addition to its usual globe lamps, was lighted above and below the verandahs with tastefully arranged jets.|
|ST, CHARLES STREET presented a scene of almost Oriental splendor, being a perfect blaze of light to the CITY HALL, which was more handsomely adorned than in any former year.|
|THE ST, CHARLES HOTEL. Along the entire front, at the base of the massive columns, was displayed a line of lights so brilliant as to dim the eye that dared to glance on them, while above, pendent between the columns, were festoons of globe lamps, which made the grand old place look like a palace in Fairy-land.|
|THE CRESCENT HALL, corner of Canal and St. Charles streets, where that genial and ever popular gentleman, Col. Walter Merriam presides, was brilliantly illuminated and its splendid front looked fresher than ever.|
|The St. Charles Theatre, the offices of the Times and Picayune, the establishments of Messrs. Heath & Lara, upholsterers, E. C. Palmer & Co., stationers. Rice Bros, & Co., stove and hardware dealers, R. M. & B. J. Montgomery, auctioneers and dealers in furniture, and T. E. Suter, painter, were tastefully illuminated, the front of their respective buildings being decorated with, appropriate designs.|
|As darkness came on THE THRONGS began to gather. Needless to repeat the serviceworn phrases descriptive of their coming. Let such stereotypes as "long before the appointed hour," "the beauty and elite of the Crescent City," "galleries overflowing and resplendent with the fluttering throng," "multitudes from all parts of the Union." "all along the line of march," etc., etc., be understood as somewhat more intensely and universally applicable than ever before, and we pass at once by all preliminaries.|
|And yet such a multitude is not to be so summarily elbowed through. The people did not merely gather, they thronged, they swarmed, they massed, in short, they simply came out in myriads.|
|For the present day, as a day of universal inquiry, as a day of rapid scientific progress, as a day when the people - the whole people are interested hearers at the councils of the sages, and that human nature, which once demanded the circus with its broad claps and laughs and huzzas over the theories and disputes of the doctors; for such a day as to-day, what choice, for the crowning jollity of the Carnival, could have been a more happy, nay, a more natural selection than that of the DARWINIAN THEORY.|
|After all the investigatioD, discussion, dissension, retraction and contradiction connected with the subject of Man's descent, there was something left unrevealed until this night. After all the savans - Cuvier, Lyell, Huxley, Spencer, Darwin had spoken - it was meet that Comus should have an audience.|
|The following poem, which has received the universal enconiums of press and people, was composed for the occasion, by one of the most popular writers connected with the New Orleans press, and will give to the reader a better idea of the pageant presented by the Krewe, than any other pen picture we could present.|
|The transparencies designating the difterent characters assumed by the members and borne before them were inscribed with its witty couplets, and copies of the poem were distributed in the theatre:|
The Missing Links to Darwin's Origin of Species.
Oh! mighty Darwin, Monarch of all Sages
Adorning this or long forgotton ages,
Whose magic touch ope's portals paleologic
And shatters seals of periods geologic -
Before whose search, the mysteries of creation
Dissolve like mists of morning exhalation -
Who thread'st the line of life to Nature's germs.
To find God's image in ancestral worms.
(Poem contains 18 very lenghty stanzas, consequently this webmaster has chosen to forgo entire insertion.)