“Walking-cane fathers” and “heavy mothers” are frequently advertised for by theatrical managers; but, according to some recent Albany legislation, they are more likely to be in demand than ever. We have often previously expressed our sentiments upon the absurd and tyrannical enactment requiring minors to be attended by a parent or guardian whenever visiting any place of amusement, but particularly at theatres. This is evidently a “dead shot” at our New York newsboys, and we shall soon learn how “Young America” will be likely to “grin and bear it.” The grinning part of the business we feel pretty certain of, because any newsboy we ever conversed with seemed possessed of too much sense to believe in the efficacy of such an absurd enactment. In fact, if any newsboy could be found in New York who has not a more comprehensive view of human nature than the stultified voters for such a bill, we really do not see how the poor little fellow would ever be able to secure his per diem of cakes and coffee. He might, perhaps get up a drum… with knife and fork. All class legislation is of doubtful propriety; and when tyrannically aimed at individuals supposed to be defenseless it is still more doubtful of execution in a free country. The law we are speaking of is evidently framed to deprive our newsboys of their principal amusement—an amusement that the hard-working little travelers have heretofore been allowed to share with the most refined circles—but will most certainly be thwarted, if not defied, in very possible way (if we know anything of the spirit of the American people,) and it needs no prophet or oracle to make this assertion in advance of the experiment.
New York Clipper 12 February 1859: 342. Print.