The Wit and Humor of America, Volume I. (of X.)
Author: Various
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In his council he presided with great state and solemnity. He sat in a huge chair of solid oak, hewn in the celebrated forest of the Hague, fabricated by an experienced timmerman of Amsterdam, and curiously carved about the arms and feet into exact imitations of gigantic eagle's claws. Instead of a scepter, he swayed a long Turkish pipe, wrought with jasmin and amber, which had been presented to a stadtholder of Holland at the conclusion of a treaty with one of the petty Barbary powers. In this stately chair would he sit, and this magnificent pipe would he smoke, shaking his right knee with a constant motion, and fixing his eye for hours together upon a little print of Amsterdam, which hung in a black frame against the opposite wall of the council-chamber. Nay, it has even been said, that when any deliberation of extraordinary length and intricacy was on the carpet, the renowned Wouter would shut his eyes for full two hours at a time, that he might not be disturbed by external objects; and at such times the internal commotion of his mind was evinced by certain regular guttural sounds, which his admirers declared were merely the noise of conflict, made by his contending doubts and opinions.

It is with infinite difficulty I have been enabled to collect these biographical anecdotes of the great man under consideration. The facts respecting him were so scattered and vague, and divers of them so questionable in point of authenticity, that I have had to give up the search after many, and decline the admission of still more, which would have tended to heighten the coloring of his portrait.

I have been the more anxious to delineate fully the person and habits of Wouter Van Twiller, from the consideration that he was not only the first, but also the best governor that ever presided over this ancient and respectable province; and so tranquil and benevolent was his reign, that I do not find throughout the whole of it a single instance of any offender being brought to punishment,—a most indubitable sign of a merciful governor, and a case unparalleled, excepting in the reign of the illustrious King Log, from whom, it is hinted, the renowned Van Twiller was a lineal descendant.

The very outset of the career of this excellent magistrate was distinguished by an example of legal acumen, that gave flattering presage of a wise and equitable administration. The morning after he had been installed in office, and at the moment that he was making his breakfast from a prodigious earthen dish, filled with milk and Indian pudding, he was interrupted by the appearance of Wandle Schoonhoven, a very important old burgher of New Amsterdam, who complained bitterly of one Barent Bleecker, inasmuch as he refused to come to a settlement of accounts, seeing that there was a heavy balance in favor of the said Wandle. Governor Van Twiller, as I have already observed, was a man of few words; he was likewise a mortal enemy to multiplying writings—or being disturbed at his breakfast. Having listened attentively to the statement of Wandle Schoonhoven, giving an occasional grunt, as he shoveled a spoonful of Indian pudding into his mouth,—either as a sign that he relished the dish, or comprehended the story,—he called unto him his constable, and pulling out of his breeches-pocket a huge jack-knife, dispatched it after the defendant as a summons, accompanied by his tobacco-box as a warrant.

This summary process was as effectual in those simple days as was the seal-ring of the great Haroun Alraschid among the true believers. The two parties being confronted before him, each produced a book of accounts, written in a language and character that would have puzzled any but a High-Dutch commentator, or a learned decipherer of Egyptian obelisks. The sage Wouter took them one after the other, and having poised them in his hands, and attentively counted over the number of leaves, fell straightway into a very great doubt, and smoked for half an hour without saying a word; at length, laying his finger beside his nose, and shutting his eyes for a moment, with the air of a man who has just caught a subtle idea by the tail, he slowly took his pipe from his mouth, puffed forth a column of tobacco-smoke, and with marvelous gravity and solemnity pronounced, that, having carefully counted over the leaves and weighed the books, it was found, that one was just as thick and as heavy as the other: therefore, it was the final opinion of the court that the accounts were equally balanced: therefore, Wandle should give Barent a receipt, and Barent should give Wandle a receipt, and the constable should pay the costs.

This decision, being straightway made known, diffused general joy throughout New Amsterdam, for the people immediately perceived that they had a very wise and equitable magistrate to rule over them. But its happiest effect was, that not another lawsuit took place throughout the whole of his administration; and the office of constable fell into such decay, that there was not one of those losel scouts known in the province for many years. I am the more particular in dwelling on this transaction, not only because I deem it one of the most sage and righteous judgments on record, and well worthy the attention of modern magistrates, but because it was a miraculous event in the history of the renowned Wouter—being the only time he was ever known to come to a decision in the whole course of his life.



"Bridgeport! Change cars for the Naugatuck Railroad!" shouted the conductor of the New York and Boston Express Train, on the evening of May 27, 1858.... Mr. Johnson, carpet-bag in hand, jumped upon the platform, entered the office, purchased a ticket for Waterbury, and was soon whirling in the Naugatuck train towards his destination.

On reaching Waterbury, in the soft spring twilight, Mr. Johnson walked up and down in front of the station, curiously scanning the faces of the assembled crowd. Presently he noticed a gentleman who was performing the same operation upon the faces of the alighting passengers. Throwing himself directly in the way of the latter, the two exchanged a steady gaze.

"Is your name Billings?" "Is your name Johnson?" were simultaneous questions, followed by the simultaneous exclamations,—"Ned!" "Enos!"

Then there was a crushing grasp of hands, repeated after a pause, in testimony of ancient friendship, and Mr. Billings, returning to practical life, asked:

"Is that all your baggage? Come, I have a buggy here: Eunice has heard the whistle, and she'll be impatient to welcome you."

The impatience of Eunice (Mrs. Billings, of course) was not of long duration; for in five minutes thereafter she stood at the door of her husband's chocolate-colored villa, receiving his friend....

J. Edward Johnson was a tall, thin gentleman of forty-five.... A year before, some letters, signed "Foster, Kirkup & Co., per Enos Billings," had accidently revealed to him the whereabouts of the old friend of his youth, with whom we now find him domiciled....

"Enos," said he, as he stretched out his hand for the third cup of tea (which he had taken only for the purpose of prolonging the pleasant table-chat), "I wonder which of us is most changed."

"You, of course," said Mr. Billings, "with your brown face and big moustache. Your own brother wouldn't have known you, if he had seen you last, as I did, with smooth cheeks and hair of unmerciful length. Why, not even your voice is the same!"

"That is easily accounted for," replied Mr. Johnson. "But in your case, Enos, I am puzzled to find where the difference lies. Your features seem to be but little changed, now that I can examine them at leisure; yet it is not the same face. But really, I never looked at you for so long a time, in those days. I beg pardon; you used to be so—so remarkably shy."

Mr. Billings blushed slightly, and seemed at a loss what to answer. His wife, however, burst into a merry laugh, exclaiming:

"Oh, that was before the days of the A.C.!"

He, catching the infection, laughed also; in fact, Mr. Johnson laughed, but without knowing why.

"The 'A.C.'!" said Mr. Billings. "Bless me, Eunice! how long it is since we have talked of that summer! I had almost forgotten that there ever was an A.C.... Well, the A.C. culminated in '45. You remember something of the society of Norridgeport, the last winter you were there? Abel Mallory, for instance?"

"Let me think a moment," said Mr. Johnson, reflectively. "Really, it seems like looking back a hundred years. Mallory,—wasn't that the sentimental young man, with wispy hair, a tallowy skin, and big, sweaty hands, who used to be spouting Carlyle on the 'reading evenings' at Shelldrake's? Yes, to be sure; and there was Hollins, with his clerical face and infidel talk,—and Pauline Ringtop, who used to say, 'The Beautiful is the Good.' I can still hear her shrill voice singing, 'Would that I were beautiful, would that I were fair!'"

There was a hearty chorus of laughter at poor Miss Ringtop's expense. It harmed no one, however; for the tar-weed was already becoming thick over her Californian grave.

"Oh, I see," said Mr. Billings, "you still remember the absurdities of those days. In fact, I think you partially saw through them then. But I was younger, and far from being so clear-headed, and I looked upon those evenings at Shelldrake's as being equal, at least, to the symposia of Plato. Something in Mallory always repelled me. I detested the sight of his thick nose, with the flaring nostrils, and his coarse, half-formed lips, of the bluish color of raw corned-beef. But I looked upon these feelings as unreasonable prejudices, and strove to conquer them, seeing the admiration which he received from others. He was an oracle on the subject of 'Nature.' Having eaten nothing for two years, except Graham bread, vegetables without salt, and fruits, fresh or dried, he considered himself to have attained an antediluvian purity of health,—or that he would attain it, so soon as two pimples on his left temple should have healed. These pimples he looked upon as the last feeble stand made by the pernicious juices left from the meat he had formerly eaten and the coffee he had drunk. His theory was, that through a body so purged and purified none but true and natural impulses could find access to the soul. Such, indeed, was the theory we all held....

"Shelldrake was a man of more pretense than real cultivation, as I afterwards discovered. He was in good circumstances, and always glad to receive us at his house, as this made him virtually the chief of our tribe, and the outlay for refreshments involved only the apples from his own orchard, and water from his well....

"Well, 'twas in the early part of '45,—I think in April,—when we were all gathered together, discussing, as usual, the possibility of leading a life in accordance with Nature. Abel Mallory was there, and Hollins, and Miss Ringtop, and Faith Levis, with her knitting,—and also Eunice Hazleton, a lady whom you have never seen, but you may take my wife as her representative....

"I wish I could recollect some of the speeches made on that occasion. Abel had but one pimple on his temple (there was a purple spot where the other had been), and was estimating that in two or three months more he would be a true, unspoiled man. His complexion, nevertheless, was more clammy and whey-like than ever.

"'Yes,' said he, 'I also am an Arcadian! This false dual existence which I have been leading will soon be merged in the unity of Nature. Our lives must conform to her sacred law. Why can't we strip off these hollow Shams' (he made great use of that word), 'and be our true selves, pure, perfect, and divine?' ...

"Shelldrake, however, turning to his wife, said,—

"'Elviry, how many up-stairs rooms is there in that house down on the Sound?'

"'Four,—besides three small ones under the roof. Why, what made you think of that, Jesse?' said she.

"'I've got an idea, while Abel's been talking,' he answered. 'We've taken a house for the summer, down the other side of Bridgeport, right on the water, where there's good fishing and a fine view of the Sound. Now there's room enough for all of us,—at least, all that can make it suit to go. Abel, you and Enos, and Pauline and Eunice might fix matters so that we could all take the place in partnership, and pass the summer together, living a true and beautiful life in the bosom of Nature. There we shall be perfectly free and untrammelled by the chains which still hang around us in Norridgeport. You know how often we have wanted to be set on some island in the Pacific Ocean, where we could build up a true society, right from the start. Now, here's a chance to try the experiment for a few months, anyhow.'

"Eunice clapped her hands (yes, you did!) and cried out,—

"'Splendid! Arcadian! I'll give up my school for the summer.' ...

"Abel Mallory, of course, did not need to have the proposal repeated. He was ready for anything which promised indolence and the indulgence of his sentimental tastes. I will do the fellow the justice to say that he was not a hypocrite. He firmly believed both in himself and his ideas,—especially the former. He pushed both hands through the long wisps of his drab-colored hair, and threw his head back until his wide nostrils resembled a double door to his brain.

"'O Nature!' he said, 'you have found your lost children! We shall obey your neglected laws! we shall hearken to your divine whispers! we shall bring you back from your ignominious exile, and place you on your ancestral throne!' ...

"The company was finally arranged to consist of the Shelldrakes, Hollins, Mallory, Eunice, Miss Ringtop, and myself. We did not give much thought, either to the preparations in advance, or to our mode of life when settled there. We were to live near to Nature: that was the main thing.

"'What shall we call the place?' asked Eunice.

"'Arcadia!' said Abel Mallory, rolling up his large green eyes.

"'Then,' said Hollins, 'let us constitute ourselves the Arcadian Club!'"

—"Aha!" interrupted Mr. Johnson, "I see! The A.C.!"

"Yes, you see the A.C. now, but to understand it fully you should have had a share in those Arcadian experiences.... It was a lovely afternoon in June when we first approached Arcadia.... Perkins Brown, Shelldrake's boy-of-all-work, awaited us at the door. He had been sent on two or three days in advance, to take charge of the house, and seemed to have had enough of hermit-life, for he hailed us with a wild whoop, throwing his straw hat half-way up one of the poplars. Perkins was a boy of fifteen, the child of poor parents, who were satisfied to get him off their hands, regardless as to what humanitarian theories might be tested upon him. As the Arcadian Club recognized no such thing as caste, he was always admitted to our meetings, and understood just enough of our conversation to excite a silly ambition in his slow mind....

"Our board, that evening, was really tempting. The absence of meat was compensated to us by the crisp and racy onions, and I craved only a little salt, which had been interdicted, as a most pernicious substance. I sat at one corner of the table, beside Perkins Brown, who took an opportunity, while the others were engaged in conversation, to jog my elbow gently. As I turned towards him, he said nothing, but dropped his eyes significantly. The little rascal had the lid of a blacking-box, filled with salt, upon his knee, and was privately seasoning his onions and radishes. I blushed at the thought of my hypocrisy, but the onions were so much better that I couldn't help dipping into the lid with him.

"'Oh,' said Eunice, 'we must send for some oil and vinegar! This lettuce is very nice.'

"'Oil and vinegar?' exclaimed Abel.

"'Why, yes,' said she, innocently: 'they are both vegetable substances.'

"Abel at first looked rather foolish, but quickly recovering himself, said,—

"'All vegetable substances are not proper for food: you would not taste the poison-oak, or sit under the upas-tree of Java.'

"'Well, Abel,' Eunice rejoined, 'how are we to distinguish what is best for us? How are we to know what vegetables to choose, or what animal and mineral substances to avoid?'

"I will tell you,' he answered, with a lofty air. 'See here!' pointing to his temple, where the second pimple—either from the change of air, or because, in the excitement of the last few days, he had forgotten it—was actually healed. 'My blood is at last pure. The struggle between the natural and the unnatural is over, and I am beyond the depraved influences of my former taste. My instincts are now, therefore, entirely pure also. What is good for man to eat, that I shall have a natural desire to eat: what is bad will be naturally repelled. How does the cow distinguish between the wholesome and the poisonous herbs of the meadow? And is man less than a cow, that he can not cultivate his instincts to an equal point? Let me walk through the woods and I can tell you every berry and root which God designed for food, though I know not its name, and have never seen it before. I shall make use of my time, during our sojourn here, to test, by my purified instinct, every substance, animal, mineral, and vegetable, upon which the human race subsists, and to create a catalogue of the True Food of Man!' ...

"Our lazy life during the hot weather had become a little monotonous. The Arcadian plan had worked tolerably well, on the whole, for there was very little for any one to do,—Mrs. Shelldrake and Perkins Brown excepted. Our conversation, however, lacked spirit and variety. We were, perhaps unconsciously, a little tired of hearing and assenting to the same sentiments. But, one evening, about this time, Hollins struck upon a variation, the consequences of which he little foresaw. We had been reading one of Bulwer's works (the weather was too hot for Psychology), and came upon this paragraph, or something like it:

"'Ah, Behind the Veil! We see the summer smile of the Earth,—enamelled meadow and limpid stream,—but what hides she in her sunless heart? Caverns of serpents, or grottoes of priceless gems? Youth, whose soul sits on thy countenance, thyself wearing no mask, strive not to lift the masks of others! Be content with what thou seest; and wait until Time and Experience shall teach thee to find jealousy behind the sweet smile, and hatred under the honeyed word!'

"This seemed to us a dark and bitter reflection; but one or another of us recalled some illustration of human hypocrisy, and the evidences, by the simple fact of repetition, gradually led to a division of opinion,—Hollins, Shelldrake, and Miss Ringtop on the dark side, and the rest of us on the bright. The last, however, contented herself with quoting from her favorite poet Gamaliel J. Gawthrop:

"'I look beyond thy brow's concealment! I see thy spirit's dark revealment! Thy inner self betrayed I see: Thy coward, craven, shivering ME'

"'We think we know one another,' exclaimed Hollins; 'but do we? We see the faults of others, their weaknesses, their disagreeable qualities, and we keep silent. How much we should gain, were candor as universal as concealment! Then each one, seeing himself as others see him, would truly know himself. How much misunderstanding might be avoided, how much hidden shame be removed, hopeless because unspoken love made glad, honest admiration cheer its object, uttered sympathy mitigate misfortune,—in short, how much brighter and happier the world would become, if each one expressed, everywhere and at all times, his true and entire feeling! Why, even Evil would lose half its power!'

"There seemed to be so much practical wisdom in these views that we were all dazzled and half-convinced at the start. So, when Hollins, turning towards me, as he continued, exclaimed,—'Come, why should not this candor be adopted in our Arcadia? Will any one—will you, Enos—commence at once by telling me now—to my face—my principal faults?' I answered, after a moment's reflection,—'You have a great deal of intellectual arrogance, and you are, physically, very indolent.'

"He did not flinch from the self-invited test, though he looked a little surprised.

"'Well put,' said he, 'though I do not say that you are entirely correct. Now, what are my merits?'

"'You are clear-sighted,' I answered, 'an earnest seeker after truth, and courageous in the avowal of your thoughts.'

"This restored the balance, and we soon began to confess our own private faults and weaknesses. Though the confessions did not go very deep,—no one betraying any thing we did not all know already,—yet they were sufficient to strengthen Hollins in his new idea, and it was unanimously resolved that Candor should thenceforth be the main charm of our Arcadian life....

"The next day, Abel, who had resumed his researches after the True Food, came home to supper with a healthier color than I had before seen on his face.

"'Do you know,' said he, looking shyly at Hollins, 'that I begin to think Beer must be a natural beverage? There was an auction in the village to-day, as I passed through, and I stopped at a cake-stand to get a glass of water, as it was very hot. There was no water,—only beer: so I thought I would try a glass, simply as an experiment. Really, the flavor was very agreeable. And it occurred to me, on the way home, that all the elements contained in beer are vegetable. Besides, fermentation is a natural process. I think the question has never been properly tested before.'

"'But the alcohol!' exclaimed Hollins.

"I could not distinguish any, either by taste or smell. I know that chemical analysis is said to show it; but may not the alcohol be created, somehow, during the analysis?'

"'Abel,' said Hollins, in a fresh burst of candor, 'you will never be a Reformer, until you possess some of the commonest elements of knowledge.'

"The rest of us were much diverted: it was a pleasant relief to our monotonous amiability.

"Abel, however, had a stubborn streak in his character. The next day he sent Perkins Brown to Bridgeport for a dozen bottles of 'Beer.' Perkins, either intentionally or by mistake, (I always suspected the former,) brought pint-bottles of Scotch ale, which he placed in the coolest part of the cellar. The evening happened to be exceedingly hot and sultry; and, as we were all fanning ourselves and talking languidly, Abel bethought him of his beer. In his thirst, he drank the contents of the first bottle, almost at a single draught.

"'The effect of beer,' said he, 'depends, I think, on the commixture of the nourishing principle of the grain with the cooling properties of the water. Perhaps, hereafter, a liquid food of the same character may be invented, which shall save us from mastication and all the diseases of the teeth.'

"Hollins and Shelldrake, at his invitation, divided a bottle between them, and he took a second. The potent beverage was not long in acting on a brain so unaccustomed to its influence. He grew unusually talkative and sentimental, in a few minutes.

"'Oh, sing, somebody!' he sighed in hoarse rapture: 'the night was made for Song.'

"Miss Ringtop, nothing loath, immediately commenced, 'When stars are in the quiet skies'; but scarcely had she finished the first verse before Abel interrupted her.

"'Candor's the order of the day, isn't it?' he asked.

"'Yes!' 'Yes!' two or three answered.

"'Well, then,' said he, 'candidly, Pauline, you've got the darn'dest squeaky voice'—

"Miss Ringtop gave a faint little scream of horror.

"'Oh, never mind!' he continued. 'We act according to impulse, don't we? And I've the impulse to swear; and it's right. Let Nature have her way. Listen! Damn, damn, damn, damn! I never knew it was so easy. Why, there's a pleasure in it! Try it, Pauline! try it on me!'

"'Oh-ooh!' was all Miss Ringtop could utter.

"'Abel! Abel!' exclaimed Hollins, 'the beer has got into your head.'

"'No, it isn't Beer,—it's Candor!' said Abel. "It's your own proposal, Hollins. Suppose it's evil to swear: isn't it better I should express it, and be done with it, than keep it bottled up, to ferment in my mind? Oh, you're a precious, consistent old humbug, you are!'

"And therewith he jumped off the stoop, and went dancing awkwardly down toward the water, singing in a most unmelodious voice, ''Tis home where'er the heart is.' ...

"We had an unusually silent breakfast the next morning. Abel scarcely spoke, which the others attributed to a natural feeling of shame, after his display of the previous evening. Hollins and Shelldrake discussed Temperance, with a special view to his edification, and Miss Ringtop favored us with several quotations about 'the maddening bowl,'—but he paid no attention to them....

"The forenoon was overcast, with frequent showers. Each one occupied his or her room until dinner-time, when we met again with something of the old geniality. There was an evident effort to restore our former flow of good feeling. Abel's experience with the beer was freely discussed. He insisted strongly that he had not been laboring under its effects, and proposed a mutual test. He, Shelldrake, and Hollins were to drink it in equal measures, and compare observations as to their physical sensations. The others agreed,—quite willingly, I thought,—but I refused....

"There was a sound of loud voices, as we approached the stoop. Hollins, Shelldrake and his wife, and Abel Mallory were sitting together near the door. Perkins Brown, as usual, was crouched on the lowest step, with one leg over the other, and rubbing the top of his boot with a vigor which betrayed to me some secret mirth. He looked up at me from under his straw hat with the grin of a malicious Puck, glanced toward the group, and made a curious gesture with his thumb. There were several empty pint bottles on the stoop.

"'Now, are you sure you can bear the test?' we heard Hollins ask, as we approached.

"'Bear it? Why, to be sure!' replied Shelldrake; 'if I couldn't bear it, or if you couldn't, your theory's done for. Try! I can stand it as long as you can.'

"'Well, then,' said Hollins, 'I think you are a very ordinary man. I derive no intellectual benefit from my intercourse with you, but your house is convenient to me. I'm under no obligations for your hospitality, however, because my company is an advantage to you. Indeed, if I were treated according to my deserts, you couldn't do enough for me.'

"Mrs. Shelldrake was up in arms.

"'Indeed,' she exclaimed, I think you get as good as you deserve, and more, too.'

"'Elvira,' said he, with a benevolent condescension, I have no doubt you think so, for your mind belongs to the lowest and most material sphere. You have your place in Nature, and you fill it; but it is not for you to judge of intelligences which move only on the upper planes.'

"'Hollins,' said Shelldrake, 'Elviry's a good wife and a sensible woman, and I won't allow you to turn up your nose at her.'

"'I am not surprised,' he answered, 'that you should fail to stand the test. I didn't expect it.'

"'Let me try it on you!' cried Shelldrake. 'You, now, have some intellect,—I don't deny that,—but not so much, by a long shot, as you think you have. Besides that, you're awfully selfish in your opinions. You won't admit that anybody can be right who differs from you. You've sponged on me for a long time; but I suppose I've learned something from you, so we'll call it even. I think, however, that what you call acting according to impulse is simply an excuse to cover your own laziness.'

"'Gosh! that's it!' interrupted Perkins, jumping up; then, recollecting himself, he sank down on the steps again, and shook with a suppressed 'Ho! ho! ho!'

"Hollins, however, drew himself up with an exasperated air.

"'Shelldrake,' said he, 'I pity you. I always knew your ignorance, but I thought you honest in your human character. I never suspected you of envy and malice. However, the true Reformer must expect to be misunderstood and misrepresented by meaner minds. That love which I bear to all creatures teaches me to forgive you. Without such love, all plans of progress must fail. Is it not so, Abel?'"

"Shelldrake could only ejaculate the words, 'Pity!' 'Forgive!' in his most contemptuous tone; while Mrs. Shelldrake, rocking violently in her chair, gave utterance to the peculiar clucking 'ts, ts, ts, ts,' whereby certain women express emotions too deep for words.

"Abel, roused by Hollins' question, answered, with a sudden energy:

"'Love! there is no love in the world. Where will you find it? Tell me, and I'll go there. Love! I'd like to see it! If all human hearts were like mine, we might have an Arcadia: but most men have no hearts. The world is a miserable, hollow, deceitful shell of vanity and hypocrisy. No: let us give up. We were born before our time: this age is not worthy of us.'

"Hollins stared at the speaker in utter amazement. Shelldrake gave a long whistle, and finally gasped out:

"'Well, what next?'

"None of us were prepared for such a sudden and complete wreck of our Arcadian scheme. The foundations had been sapped before, it is true; but we had not perceived it; and now, in two short days, the whole edifice tumbled about our ears. Though it was inevitable, we felt a shock of sorrow, and a silence fell upon us. Only that scamp of a Perkins Brown, chuckling and rubbing his boot, really rejoiced. I could have kicked him.

"We all went to bed, feeling that the charm of our Arcadian life was over.... In the first revulsion of feeling, I was perhaps unjust to my associates. I see now, more clearly, the causes of those vagaries, which originated in a genuine aspiration, and failed from an ignorance of the true nature of Man, quite as much as from the egotism of the individuals. Other attempts at reorganizing Society were made about the same time by men of culture and experience, but in the A.C. we had neither. Our leaders had caught a few half-truths, which, in their minds, were speedily warped into errors." ...



Guvener B. is a sensible man; He stays to his home an' looks arter his folks; He draws his furrer ez straight ez he can, An' into nobody's tater-patch pokes; But John P. Robinson he Sez he wunt vote fer Guvener B.

My! ain't it terrible? Wut shall we du? We can't never choose him, o' course,—thet's flat; Guess we shall hev to come round (don't you?) An' go in fer thunder an' guns, an' all that; Fer John P. Robinson he Sez he wunt vote fer Guvener B.

Gineral C. is a dreffle smart man: He's ben on all sides thet give places or pelf; But consistency still was a part of his plan,— He's ben true to one party,—an' thet is himself;— So John P. Robinson he Sez he shall vote fer Gineral C.

Gineral C. he goes in fer the war; He don't vally principle more'n an old cud; Wut did God make us raytional creeturs fer, But glory an' gunpowder, plunder an' blood? So John P. Robinson he Sez he shall vote for Gineral C.

We were gettin' on nicely up here to our village, With good old idees o' wut's right an' wut ain't, We kind o' thought Christ went agin war an' pillage, An' thet eppyletts worn't the best mark of a saint; But John P. Robinson he Sez this kind o' thing's an exploded idee.

The side of our country must ollers be took, An' Presidunt Polk, you know, he is our country, An' the angel thet writes all our sins in a book Puts the debit to him, an' to us the per contry; An' John P. Robinson he Sez this is his view o' the thing to a T.

Parson Wilbur he calls all these argimunts lies; Sez they're nothin' on airth but jest fee, faw, fum; An' thet all this big talk of our destinies Is half on it ign'ance, an' t'other half rum; But John P. Robinson he Sez it ain't no sech thing; an', of course, so must we.

Parson Wilbur sez he never heerd in his life Thet th' Apostles rigged out in their swaller-tail coats, An' marched round in front of a drum an' a fife, To git some on 'em office, an' some on 'em votes; But John P. Robinson he Sez they didn't know everythin' down in Judee.

Wall, it's a marcy we've gut folks to tell us The rights an' the wrongs o' these matters, I vow,— God sends country lawyers, an' other wise fellers, To start the world's team wen it gits in a slough; Fer John P. Robinson he Sez the world'll go right, ef he hollers out Gee!



One famous day in great July John Adams said, long years gone by,

"This day that makes a people free Shall be the people's jubilee,

With games, guns, sports, and shows displayed, With bells, pomp, bonfires, and parade,

Throughout this land, from shore to shore, From this time forth, forevermore."

The years passed on, and by and by, Men's hearts grew cold in hot July.

And Mayor Hawarden Cholmondely said "Hof rockets Hi ham sore hafraid;

Hand hif you send one hup hablaze, Hi'll send you hup for sixty days."

Then said the Mayor O'Shay McQuade, "Thayre uz no nade fur no perade."

And Mayor Hans Von Schwartzenmeyer Proclaimed, "I'll haf me no bonfier!"

Said Mayor Baptiste Raphael "No make-a ring-a dat-a bell!"

"By gar!" cried Mayor Jean Crapaud, "Zis July games vill has to go!"

And Mayor Knud Christofferrssonn Said, "Djeath to hjjim who fjjres a gjjunn!"

At last, cried Mayor Wun Lung Lee— "Too muchee hoop-la boberee!"

And so the Yankee holiday, Of proclamations passed away.



When Cholly swung his golf-stick on the links, Or knocked the tennis-ball across the net, With his bangs done up in cunning little kinks— When he wore the tallest collar he could get, Oh, it was the fashion then To impale him on the pen— To regard him as a being made of putty through and through; But his racquet's laid away, He is roughing it to-day, And heroically proving that the Yankee dude'll do.

When Algy, as some knight of old arrayed, Was the leading figure at the "fawncy ball," We loathed him for the silly part he played, He was set down as a monkey—that was all! Oh, we looked upon him then As unfit to class with men, As one whose heart was putty, and whose brains were made of glue; But he's thrown his cane away, And he grasps a gun to-day, While the world beholds him, knowing that the Yankee dude'll do.

When Clarence cruised about upon his yacht, Or drove out with his footman through the park, His mamma, it was generally thought, Ought to have him in her keeping after dark! Oh, we ridiculed him then, We impaled him on the pen, We thought he was effeminate, we dubbed him "Sissy," too; But he nobly marched away, He is eating pork to-day, And heroically proving that the Yankee dude'll do.

How they hurled themselves against the angry foe, In the jungle and the trenches on the hill! When the word to charge was given, every dude was on the go— He was there to die, to capture, or to kill! Oh, he struck his level when Men were called upon again To preserve the ancient glory of the old red, white, and blue! He has thrown his spats away, He is wearing spurs to-day, And the world will please take notice that the Yankee dude'll do!



"I 'low," said Mrs. Means, as she stuffed the tobacco into her cob pipe after supper on that eventful Wednesday evening: "I 'low they'll app'int the Squire to gin out the words to-night. They mos' always do, you see, kase he's the peartest ole man in this deestrick; and I 'low some of the young fellers would have to git up and dust ef they would keep up to him. And he uses sech remarkable smart words. He speaks so polite, too. But laws! don't I remember when he was poarer nor Job's turkey? Twenty year ago, when he come to these 'ere diggin's, that air Squire Hawkins was a poar Yankee school-master, that said 'pail' instid of bucket, and that called a cow a 'caow,' and that couldn't tell to save his gizzard what we meant by 'low and by right smart. But he's larnt our ways now, an' he's jest as civilized as the rest of us. You would-n know he'd ever been a Yankee. He didn't stay poar long. Not he. He jest married a right rich girl! He! he!" And the old woman grinned at Ralph, and then at Mirandy, and then at the rest, until Ralph shuddered. Nothing was so frightful to him as to be fawned on by this grinning ogre, whose few lonesome, blackish teeth seemed ready to devour him. "He didn't stay poar, you bet a hoss!" and with this the coal was deposited on the pipe, and the lips began to crack like parchment as each puff of smoke escaped. "He married rich, you see," and here another significant look at the young master, and another fond look at Mirandy, as she puffed away reflectively. "His wife hadn't no book-larnin'. She'd been through the spellin'-book wunst, and had got as fur as 'asperity' on it a second time. But she couldn't read a word when she was married, and never could. She warn't overly smart. She hadn't hardly got the sense the law allows. But schools was skase in them air days, and, besides, book-larnin' don't do no good to a woman. Makes her stuck up. I never knowed but one gal in my life as had ciphered into fractions, and she was so dog-on stuck up that she turned up her nose one night at a apple-peelin' bekase I tuck a sheet off the bed to splice out the tablecloth, which was ruther short. And the sheet was mos' clean too. Had-n been slep on more'n wunst or twicet. But I was goin' fer to say that when Squire Hawkins married Virginny Gray he got a heap o' money, or, what's the same thing mostly, a heap o' good land. And that's better'n book-larnin', says I. Ef a gal had gone clean through all eddication, and got to the rule of three itself, that would-n buy a feather-bed. Squire Hawkins jest put eddication agin the gal's farm, and traded even, an' ef ary one of 'em got swindled, I never heerd no complaints."

And here she looked at Ralph in triumph, her hard face splintering into the hideous semblance of a smile. And Mirandy cast a blushing, gushing, all-imploring, and all-confiding look on the young master.

"I say, ole woman," broke in old Jack, "I say, wot is all this 'ere spoutin' about the Square fer?" and old Jack, having bit off an ounce of "pigtail," returned the plug to his pocket.

As for Ralph, he fell into a sort of terror. He had a guilty feeling that this speech of the old lady's had somehow committed him beyond recall to Mirandy. He did not see visions of breach-of-promise suits. But he trembled at the thought of an avenging big brother.

"Hanner, you kin come along, too, ef you're a mind, when you git the dishes washed," said Mrs. Means to the bound girl, as she shut and latched the back door. The Means family had built a new house in front of the old one, as a sort of advertisement of bettered circumstances, an eruption of shoddy feeling; but when the new building was completed, they found themselves unable to occupy it for anything else than a lumber room, and so, except a parlor which Mirandy had made an effort to furnish a little (in hope of the blissful time when somebody should "set up" with her of evenings), the new building was almost unoccupied, and the family went in and out through the back door, which, indeed, was the front door also, for, according to a curious custom, the "front" of the house was placed toward the south, though the "big road" (Hoosier for highway) ran along the northwest side, or, rather, past the northwest corner of it.

When the old woman had spoken thus to Hannah and had latched the door, she muttered, "That gal don't never show no gratitude fer favors;" to which Bud rejoined that he didn't think she had no great sight to be pertickler thankful fer. To which Mrs. Means made no reply, thinking it best, perhaps, not to wake up her dutiful son on so interesting a theme as her treatment of Hannah. Ralph felt glad that he was this evening to go to another boarding place. He should not hear the rest of the controversy.

Ralph walked to the school-house with Bill. They were friends again. For when Hank Banta's ducking and his dogged obstinacy in sitting in his wet clothes had brought on a serious fever, Ralph had called together the big boys, and had said: "We must take care of one another, boys. Who will volunteer to take turns sitting up with Henry?" He put his own name down, and all the rest followed.

"William Means and myself will sit up to-night," said Ralph. And poor Bill had been from that moment the teacher's friend. He was chosen to be Ralph's companion. He was Puppy Means no longer! Hank could not be conquered by kindness, and the teacher was made to feel the bitterness of his resentment long after. But Bill Means was for the time entirely placated, and he and Ralph went to spelling-school together.

Every family furnished a candle. There were yellow dips and white dips, burning, smoking, and flaring. There was laughing, and talking, and giggling, and simpering, and ogling, and flirting, and courting. What a full-dress party is to Fifth Avenue, a spelling-school is to Hoopole County. It is an occasion which is metaphorically inscribed with this legend: "Choose your partners." Spelling is only a blind in Hoopole County, as is dancing on Fifth Avenue. But as there are some in society who love dancing for its own sake, so in Flat Creek district there were those who loved spelling for its own sake, and who, smelling the battle from afar, had come to try their skill in this tournament, hoping to freshen the laurels they had won in their school days.

"I 'low," said Mr. Means, speaking as the principal school trustee, "I 'low our friend the Square is jest the man to boss this 'ere consarn to-night. Ef nobody objects, I'll app'int him. Come, Square, don't be bashful. Walk up to the trough, fodder or no fodder, as the man said to his donkey."

There was a general giggle at this, and many of the young swains took occasion to nudge the girls alongside them, ostensibly for the purpose of making them see the joke, but really for the pure pleasure of nudging. The Greeks figured Cupid as naked, probably because he wears so many disguises that they could not select a costume for him.

The Squire came to the front. Ralph made an inventory of the agglomeration which bore the name of Squire Hawkins, as follows:

1. A swallow-tail coat of indefinite age, worn only on state occasions, when its owner was called to figure in his public capacity. Either the Squire had grown too large or the coat too small.

2. A pair of black gloves, the most phenomenal, abnormal and unexpected apparition conceivable in Flat Creek district, where the preachers wore no coats in the summer, and where a black glove was never seen except on the hands of the Squire.

3. A wig of that dirty, waxen color so common to wigs. This one showed a continual inclination to slip off the owner's smooth, bald pate, and the Squire had frequently to adjust it. As his hair had been red, the wig did not accord with his face, and the hair ungrayed was doubly discordant with a countenance shriveled by age.

4. A semicircular row of whiskers hedging the edge of the jaw and chin. These were dyed a frightful dead-black, such a color as belonged to no natural hair or beard that ever existed. At the roots there was a quarter of an inch of white, giving the whiskers the appearance of having been stuck on.

5. A pair of spectacles "with tortoise-shell rim." Wont to slip off.

6. A glass eye, purchased of a peddler, and differing in color from its natural mate, perpetually getting out of focus by turning in or out.

7. A set of false teeth, badly fitted, and given to bobbing up and down.

8. The Squire proper, to whom these patches were loosely attached.

It is an old story that a boy wrote home to his father begging him to come West, because "mighty mean men get into office out here." But Ralph concluded that some Yankees had taught school in Hoopole County who would not have held a high place in the educational institutions of Massachusetts. Hawkins had some New England idioms, but they were well overlaid by a Western pronunciation.

"Ladies and gentlemen," he began, shoving up his spectacles, and sucking his lips over his white teeth to keep them in place, "ladies and gentlemen, young men and maidens, raley I'm obleeged to Mr. Means fer this honor," and the Squire took both hands and turned the top of his head round half an inch. Then he adjusted his spectacles. Whether he was obliged to Mr. Means for the honor of being compared to a donkey was not clear. "I feel in the inmost compartments of my animal spirits a most happifying sense of the success and futility of all my endeavors to sarve the people of Flat Creek deestrick, and the people of Tomkins township, in my weak way and manner." This burst of eloquence was delivered with a constrained air and an apparent sense of a danger that he, Squire Hawkins, might fall to pieces in his weak way and manner, and of the success and futility of all attempts at reconstruction. For by this time the ghastly pupil of the left eye, which was black, was looking away round to the left, while the little blue one on the right twinkled cheerfully toward the front. The front teeth would drop down so that the Squire's mouth was kept nearly closed, and his words whistled through.

"I feel as if I could be grandiloquent on this interesting occasion," twisting his scalp round, "but raley I must forego any such exertions. It is spelling you want. Spelling is the corner-stone, the grand, underlying subterfuge, of a good eddication. I put the spellin'-book prepared by the great Daniel Webster alongside the Bible. I do, raley. I think I may put it ahead of the Bible. Fer if it wurn't fer spellin'-books and sich occasions as these, where would the Bible be? I should like to know. The man who got up, who compounded this work of inextricable valoo was a benufactor to the whole human race or any other." Here the spectacles fell off. The Squire replaced them in some confusion, gave the top of his head another twist, and felt of his glass eye, while poor Shocky stared in wonder, and Betsey Short rolled from side to side in the effort to suppress her giggle. Mrs. Means and the other old ladies looked the applause they could not speak.

"I app'int Larkin Lanham and Jeems Buchanan fer captings," said the Squire. And the two young men thus named took a stick and tossed it from hand to hand to decide which should have the "first choice." One tossed the stick to the other, who held it fast just where he happened to catch it. Then the first placed his hand above the second, and so the hands were alternately changed to the top. The one who held the stick last without room for the other to take hold had gained the lot. This was tried three times. As Larkin held the stick twice out of three times, he had the choice. He hesitated a moment. Everybody looked toward tall Jim Phillips. But Larkin was fond of a venture on unknown seas, and so he said, "I take the master," while a buzz of surprise ran round the room, and the captain of the other side, as if afraid his opponent would withdraw the choice, retorted quickly, and with a little smack of exultation and defiance in his voice, "And I take Jeems Phillips."

And soon all present, except a few of the old folks, found themselves ranged in opposing hosts, the poor spellers lagging in, with what grace they could, at the foot of the two divisions. The Squire opened his spelling-book and began to give out the words to the two captains, who stood up and spelled against each other. It was not long until Larkin spelled "really" with one l, and had to sit down in confusion, while a murmur of satisfaction ran through the ranks of the opposing forces. His own side bit their lips. The slender figure of the young teacher took the place of the fallen leader, and the excitement made the house very quiet. Ralph dreaded the loss of prestige he would suffer if he should be easily spelled down. And at the moment of rising he saw in the darkest corner the figure of a well-dressed young man sitting in the shadow. Why should his evil genius haunt him? But by a strong effort he turned his attention away from Dr. Small, and listened carefully to the words which the Squire did not pronounce very distinctly, spelling them with extreme deliberation. This gave him an air of hesitation which disappointed those on his own side. They wanted him to spell with a dashing assurance. But he did not begin a word until he had mentally felt his way through it. After ten minutes of spelling hard words Jeems Buchanan, the captain on the other side, spelled "atrocious" with an s instead of a c, and subsided, his first choice, Jeems Phillips, coming up against the teacher. This brought the excitement to fever-heat. For though Ralph was chosen first, it was entirely on trust, and most of the company were disappointed. The champion who now stood up against the school-master was a famous speller.

Jim Phillips was a tall, lank, stoop-shouldered fellow who had never distinguished himself in any other pursuit than spelling. Except in this one art of spelling he was of no account. He could not catch well or bat well in ball. He could not throw well enough to make his mark in that famous Western game of bull-pen. He did not succeed well in any study but that of Webster's Elementary. But in that he was—to use the usual Flat Creek locution—in that he was "a hoss." This genius for spelling is in some people a sixth sense, a matter of intuition. Some spellers are born, and not made, and their facility reminds one of the mathematical prodigies that crop out every now and then to bewilder the world. Bud Means, foreseeing that Ralph would be pitted against Jim Phillips, had warned his friend that Jim could "spell like thunder and lightning," and that it "took a powerful smart speller" to beat him, for he knew "a heap of spelling-book." To have "spelled down the master" is next thing to having whipped the biggest bully in Hoopole County, and Jim had "spelled down" the last three masters. He divided the hero-worship of the district with Bud Means.

For half an hour the Squire gave out hard words. What a blessed thing our crooked orthography is! Without it there could be no spelling-schools. As Ralph discovered his opponent's metal he became more and more cautious. He was now satisfied that Jim would eventually beat him. The fellow evidently knew more about the spelling-book than old Noah Webster himself. As he stood there, with his dull face and long, sharp nose, his hands behind his back, and his voice spelling infallibly, it seemed to Hartsook that his superiority must lie in his nose. Ralph's cautiousness answered a double purpose; it enabled him to tread surely, and it was mistaken by Jim for weakness. Phillips was now confident that he should carry off the scalp of the fourth school-master before the evening was over. He spelled eagerly, confidently, brilliantly. Stoop-shouldered as he was, he began to straighten up. In the minds of all the company the odds were in his favor. He saw this, and became ambitious to distinguish himself by spelling without giving the matter any thought.

Ralph always believed that he would have been speedily defeated by Phillips had it not been for two thoughts which braced him. The sinister shadow of young Dr. Small sitting in the dark corner by the water-bucket nerved him. A victory over Phillips was a defeat to one who wished only ill to the young school-master. The other thought that kept his pluck alive was the recollection of Bull. He approached a word as Bull approached the raccoon. He did not take hold until he was sure of his game. When he took hold, it was with a quiet assurance of success. As Ralph spelled in this dogged way for half an hour the hardest words the Squire could find, the excitement steadily rose in all parts of the house, and Ralph's friends even ventured to whisper that "maybe Jim had cotched his match, after all!"

But Phillips never doubted of his success.

"Theodolite," said the Squire.

"T-h-e, the, o-d, od, theod, o, theodo, l-y-t-e, theodolite," spelled the champion.

"Next," said the Squire, nearly losing his teeth in his excitement. Ralph spelled the word slowly and correctly, and the conquered champion sat down in confusion. The excitement was so great for some minutes that the spelling was suspended. Everybody in the house had shown sympathy with one or the other of the combatants, except the silent shadow in the corner. It had not moved during the contest, and did not show any interest now in the result.

"Gewhilliky crickets! Thunder and lightning! Licked him all to smash!" said Bud, rubbing his hands on his knees. "That beats my time all holler!"

And Betsey Short giggled until her tuck-comb fell out, though she was not on the defeated side.

Shocky got up and danced with pleasure.

But one suffocating look from the aqueous eyes of Mirandy destroyed the last spark of Ralph's pleasure in his triumph, and sent that awful below-zero feeling all through him.

"He's powerful smart, is the master," said old Jack to Mr. Pete Jones. "He'll beat the whole kit and tuck of 'em afore he's through. I know'd he was smart. That's the reason I tuck him," proceeded Mr. Means.

"Yaas, but he don't lick enough. Not nigh," answered Pete Jones. "No lickin', no larnin'," says I.

It was now not so hard. The other spellers on the opposite side went down quickly under the hard words which the Squire gave out. The master had mowed down all but a few, his opponents had given up the battle, and all had lost their keen interest in a contest to which there could be but one conclusion, for there were only the poor spellers left. But Ralph Hartsook ran against a stump where he was least expecting it. It was the Squire's custom, when one of the smaller scholars or poorer spellers rose to spell against the master, to give out eight or ten easy words, that they might have some breathing-spell before being slaughtered, and then to give a poser or two which soon settled them. He let them run a little, as a cat does a doomed mouse. There was now but one person left on the opposite side, and, as she rose in her blue calico dress, Ralph recognized Hannah, the bound girl at old Jack Means's. She had not attended school in the district, and had never spelled in spelling-school before, and was chosen last as an uncertain quantity. The Squire began with easy words of two syllables, from that page of Webster, so well known to all who ever thumbed it, as "baker," from the word that stands at the top of the page. She spelled these words in an absent and uninterested manner. As everybody knew that she would have to go down as soon as this preliminary skirmishing was over, everybody began to get ready to go home, and already there was the buzz of preparation. Young men were timidly asking girls if "they could see them safe home," which was the approved formula, and were trembling in mortal fear of "the mitten." Presently the Squire, thinking it time to close the contest, pulled his scalp forward, adjusted his glass eye, which had been examining his nose long enough, and turned over the leaves of the book to the great words at the place known to spellers as "incomprehensibility," and began to give out those "words of eight syllables with the accent on the sixth." Listless scholars now turned round, and ceased to whisper, in order to be in at the master's final triumph. But to their surprise "ole Miss Meanses' white nigger," as some of them called her in allusion to her slavish life, spelled these great words with as perfect ease as the master. Still not doubting the result, the Squire turned from place to place and selected all the hard words he could find. The school became utterly quiet, the excitement was too great for the ordinary buzz. Would "Meanses' Hanner" beat the master? beat the master that had laid out Jim Phillips? Everybody's sympathy was now turned to Hannah. Ralph noticed that even Shocky had deserted him, and that his face grew brilliant every time Hannah spelled a word. In fact, Ralph deserted himself. As he saw the fine, timid face of the girl so long oppressed flush and shine with interest; as he looked at the rather low but broad and intelligent brow and the fresh, white complexion and saw the rich, womanly nature coming to the surface under the influence of applause and sympathy—he did not want to beat. If he had not felt that a victory given would insult her, he would have missed intentionally. The bulldog, the stern, relentless setting of the will, had gone, he knew not whither. And there had come in its place, as he looked in that face, a something which he did not understand. You did not, gentle reader, the first time it came to you.

The Squire was puzzled. He had given out all the hard words in the book. He again pulled the top of his head forward. Then he wiped his spectacles and put them on. Then out of the depths of his pocket he fished up a list of words just coming into use in those days—words not in the spelling-book. He regarded the paper attentively with his blue right eye. His black left eye meanwhile fixed itself in such a stare on Mirandy Means that she shuddered and hid her eyes in her red silk handkerchief.

"Daguerreotype," sniffed the Squire. It was Ralph's turn.

"D-a-u, dau—"


And Hannah spelled it right.

Such a buzz followed that Betsey Short's giggle could not be heard, but Shocky shouted: "Hanner beat! my Hanner spelled down the master!" And Ralph went over and congratulated her.

And Dr. Small sat perfectly still in the corner.

And then the Squire called them to order, and said: "As our friend Hanner Thomson is the only one left on her side, she will have to spell against nearly all on t'other side. I shall therefore take the liberty of procrastinating the completion of this interesting and exacting contest until to-morrow evening. I hope our friend Hanner may again carry off the cypress crown of glory. There is nothing better for us than healthful and kindly simulation."

Dr. Small, who knew the road to practice, escorted Mirandy, and Bud went home with somebody else. The others of the Means family hurried on, while Hannah, the champion, stayed behind a minute to speak to Shocky. Perhaps it was because Ralph saw that Hannah must go alone that he suddenly remembered having left something which was of no consequence, and resolved to go round by Mr. Means's and get it.



As down the street he took his stroll, He cursed, for all he is a saint. He saw a sign atop a pole, As down the street he took a stroll, And climbed it up (near-sighted soul), So he could read—and read "FRESH PAINT," ... As down the street he took a stroll, He cursed, for all he is a saint.



My vife an' me ve read so moch In papier here of late, About Chicago Horse Show, ve Remember day an' date. Ve mak' it op togedder dat Ve go an' see dat show, Dere's som't'ing dere ve fin' it out Maybe ve vant to know.

Ve leave de leddle farm avile, Dat's near to Bourbonnais; Ve're soon op to Chicago town For spen' de night an' day; I nevere lak' dat busy place, It's mos' too swif for me,— Ve vaste no tam', but gat to place Dat ve is com' for see.

Ve pay de price for tak' us in, Dey geeve me deux ticquette; Charlotte an' me ve com' for see De Horse Show now, you bet. Ve soon gat in it veree moch, "De push," I t'ink you call, To inside on de beeg building, Ve're going to see it all.

De Coliseum is de place, Dey mak' de Horse Show dere, Five tam's so beeg dan any barn At Bourbonnais, by gar! I'm look aroun' for place dey haf' For dem to pitch de hay. "I guess it's 'out of sight,' I t'ink," Dey's von man to me say.

An' den ve valk aroun' an' 'roun' Som' horses for to see; Dere's pretty vomans, lots of dem, But, for de life of me, I can not see de trotter nag, Or vat's called t'oroughbred, I vonder if ve mak' mistake, Gat in wrong place instead.

But Charlotte is not disappoint', Her eyes dey shine so bright, It's ven she sees dem vimmens folks, Dey dance vit moch delight; I den vos tak' a look myself On ladies vit fin' drass, Dere's nodding else in dat whol' place Dat is so interes'.

I say, "Charlotte," say I to her, "Dat ladee in box seat— Across de vay vos von beeg swell, Her beauty's hard to beat; De von dat's gat fonee eyeglass Opon a leddle stek, I'm t'ink she is most' fin' lookin' Wen she bow an' spe'k.

"It's pretty drass dat she's got on, I lak' de polonaise, Vere bodice it is all meex op Vit jabot all de vays. Dat's hang in front vit pleats all roun'— It is von fin' tableau." An' den Charlotte she turn to me An' ask me how I know

So moch about de Beeg Horse Show, W'ich we are com' for see; An' den I op an' tol' her dere Dat I had com' to be Expert on informatione, Read papier, I fin' out Vat all is in de Horse's Show, An' vat's it all about.

I point to ladee in nex' box, She's feex op mighty vell, I vish I could haf' vords enough Vat she had on to tell; De firs' part it vas nodding moch, From cloth it vas quite free, Lak' fleur-de-lis at Easter tam', Mos' beautiful to see.

An' den dere is commence a line Of fluffy cream souffle, My vife it mak' her very diz', She's not a vord to say. An' den com' yard of crepe de chine, Vit omelette stripe beneadt', All fill it op vit fine guimpe jew'ls An' concertina pleat.

Mon Dieu! an' who vould evere t'ink Dat Horse Show vas lak' dese! A Horse Show dere vidout no horse, I t'ink dat's strange beeznesse. But I suppose affer de man De dry-goods bill dey pay, Dere's nodding lef' to spen' on horse Ontil som' odder day.

I tell you every hour you leeve, You fin' out som't'ing new; An' now I haf' som' vords to tell, Som' good it might do you; It's mighty fonny, de advise I'm geeve to you, of course, But never go to Horses Show Expecting to see horse.



Of course as fur as Checker-playin's concerned, you can't jest adzackly claim 'at lots makes fortunes and lots gits bu'sted at it—but still, it's on'y simple jestice to acknowledge 'at there're absolute p'ints in the game 'at takes scientific principles to figger out, and a mighty level-headed feller to dimonstrate, don't you understand!

Checkers is a' old enough game, ef age is any rickommendation; and it's a' evident fact, too, 'at "the tooth of time," as the feller says, which fer the last six thousand years has gained some reputation fer a-eatin' up things in giner'l, don't 'pear to 'a' gnawed much of a hole in Checkers—jedgin' from the checker-board of to-day and the ones 'at they're uccasionally shovellin' out at Pomp'y-i, er whatever its name is. Turned up a checker-board there not long ago, I wuz readin' 'bout, 'at still had the spots on—as plain and fresh as the modern white-pine board o' our'n, squared off with pencil-marks and pokeberry-juice. These is facts 'at history herself has dug out, and of course it ain't fer me ner you to turn our nose up at Checkers, whuther we ever tamper with the fool-game er not. Fur's that's concerned, I don't p'tend to be no checker-player myse'f,—but I know'd a feller onc't 'at could play, and sorto' made a business of it; and that man, in my opinion, was a geenyus! Name wuz Wesley Cotterl—John Wesley Cotterl—jest plain Wes, as us fellers round the Shoe-Shop ust to call him; ust to allus make the Shoe-Shop his headquarters-like; and, rain er shine, wet er dry, you'd allus find Wes on hands, ready to banter some feller fer a game, er jest a-settin' humped up there over the checker-board all alone, a-cipher'n' out some new move er 'nuther, and whistlin' low and solem' to hisse'f-like and a-payin' no attention to nobody.

And I'll tell you, Wes Cotterl wuz no man's fool, as sly as you keep it! He wuz a deep thinker, Wes wuz; and ef he'd 'a' jest turned that mind o' his loose on preachin', fer instunce, and the 'terpertation o' the Bible, don't you know, Wes 'ud 'a' worked p'ints out o' there 'at no livin' expounderers ever got in gunshot of!

But Wes he didn't 'pear to be cut out fer nothin' much but jest Checker-playin'. Oh, of course, he could knock round his own woodpile some, and garden a little, more er less; and the neighbers ust to find Wes purty handy 'bout trimmin' fruit-trees, you understand, and workin' in among the worms and cattapillers in the vines and shrubbery, and the like. And handlin' bees!—They wuzn't no man under the heavens 'at knowed more 'bout handlin' bees'n Wes Cotterl!—"Settlin'" the blame' things when they wuz a-swarmin'; and a-robbin' hives, and all sich fool-resks. W'y, I've saw Wes Cotterl, 'fore now, when a swarm of bees 'ud settle in a' orchard,—like they will sometimes, you know,—I've saw Wes Cotterl jest roll up his shirt-sleeves and bend down a' apple tree limb 'at wuz jest kivvered with the pesky things, and scrape 'em back into the hive with his naked hands, by the quart and gallon, and never git a scratch! You couldn't hire a bee to sting Wes Cotterl! But lazy?—I think that man had railly ort to 'a' been a' Injun! He wuz the fust and on'y man 'at ever I laid eyes on 'at wuz too lazy to drap a checker-man to p'int out the right road fer a feller 'at ast him onc't the way to Burke's Mill; and Wes, 'ithout ever a-liftin' eye er finger, jest sorto' crooked out that mouth o' his'n in the direction the feller wanted, and says: "H-yonder!" and went on with his whistlin'. But all this hain't Checkers, and that's what I started out to tell ye.

Wes had a way o' jest natchurly a-cleanin' out anybody and ever'body 'at 'ud he'p hold up a checker-board! Wes wuzn't what you'd call a lively player at all, ner a competiter 'at talked much 'crost the board er made much furse over a game whilse he wuz a-playin'. He had his faults, o' course, and would take back moves 'casion'ly, er inch up on you ef you didn't watch him, mebby. But, as a rule, Wes had the insight to grasp the idy of whoever wuz a-playin' ag'in' him, and his style o' game, you understand, and wuz on the lookout continual'; and under sich circumstances could play as honest a game o' Checkers as the babe unborn.

One thing in Wes's favor allus wuz the feller's temper.—Nothin' 'peared to aggervate Wes, and nothin' on earth could break his slow and lazy way o' takin' his own time fer ever'thing. You jest couldn't crowd Wes er git him rattled anyway.—Jest 'peared to have one fixed principle, and that wuz to take plenty o' time, and never make no move 'ithout a-ciphern'n' ahead on the prob'ble consequences, don't you understand! "Be shore you're right," Wes 'ud say, a-lettin' up fer a second on that low and sorry-like little wind-through-the-keyhole whistle o' his, and a-nosin' out a place whur he could swap one man fer two.—"Be shore you're right"—and somep'n' after this style wuz Wes's way: "Be shore you're right"—(whistling a long, lonesome bar of "Barbara Allen")—"and then"—(another long, retarded bar)—"go ahead!"—and by the time the feller 'ud git through with his whistlin', and a-stoppin' and a-startin' in ag'in, he'd be about three men ahead to your one. And then he'd jest go on with his whistlin' 'sef nothin' had happened, and mebby you a-jest a-rearin' and a-callin' him all the mean, outlandish, ornry names 'at you could lay tongue to.

But Wes's good nature, I reckon, was the thing 'at he'ped him out as much as any other p'ints the feller had. And Wes 'ud allus win, in the long run!—I don't keer who played ag'inst him! It was on'y a question o' time with Wes o' waxin' it to the best of 'em. Lots o' players has tackled Wes, and right at the start 'ud mebby give him trouble,—but in the long run, now mind ye—in the long run, no mortal man, I reckon, had any business o' rubbin' knees with Wes Cotterl under no airthly checker-board in all this vale o' tears!

I mind onc't th' come along a high-toned feller from in around In'i'nop'lus somers.—Wuz a lawyer, er some p'fessional kind o' man. Had a big yaller, luther-kivvered book under his arm, and a bunch o' these-'ere big envelop's and a lot o' suppeenies stickin' out o' his breastpocket. Mighty slick-lookin' feller he wuz; wore a stovepipe hat, sorto' set 'way back on his head—so's to show off his Giner'l Jackson forr'ed, don't you know! Well-sir, this feller struck the place, on some business er other, and then missed the hack 'at ort to 'a' tuk him out o' here sooner'n it did take him out!—And whilse he wuz a-loafin' round, sorto' lonesome—like a feller allus is in a strange place, you know—he kindo' drapped in on our crowd at the Shoe-Shop, ostenchably to git a boot-strop stitched on, but I knowed, the minute he set foot in the door, 'at that feller wanted comp'ny wuss'n cobblin'.

Well, as good luck would have it, there set Wes, as usual, with the checker-board in his lap, a-playin' all by hisse'f, and a-whistlin' so low and solem'-like and sad it railly made the crowd seem like a religious getherun' o' some kind er other, we wuz all so quiet and still-like, as the man come in.

Well, the stranger stated his business, set down, tuk off his boot, and set there nussin' his foot and talkin' weather fer ten minutes, I reckon, 'fore he ever 'peared to notice Wes at all. We wuz all back'ard, anyhow, 'bout talkin' much; besides, we knowed, long afore he come in, all about how hot the weather wuz, and the pore chance there wuz o' rain, and all that; and so the subject had purty well died out, when jest then the feller's eyes struck Wes and the checker-board,—and I'll never fergit the warm, salvation smile 'at flashed over him at the promisin' discovery. "What!" says he, a-grinnin' like a' angel and a-edgin' his cheer to'rds Wes, "have we a checker-board and checkers here?"

"We hev," says I, knowin' 'at Wes wouldn't let go o' that whistle long enough to answer—more'n to mebby nod his head.

"And who is your best player?" says the feller, kindo' pitiful-like, with another inquirin' look at Wes.

"Him," says I, a-pokin' Wes with a peg-float. But Wes on'y spit kindo' absent-like, and went on with his whistlin'.

"Much of a player, is he?" says the feller, with a sorto' doubtful smile at Wes ag'in.

"Plays a purty good hick'ry," says I, a-pokin' Wes ag'in. "Wes," says I, "here's a gentleman 'at 'ud mebby like to take a hand with you there, and give you a few idys," says I.

"Yes," says the stranger, eager-like, a-settin' his plug-hat keerful' up in the empty shelvin', and a-rubbin' his hands and smilin' as confident-like as old Hoyle hisse'f,—"Yes, indeed, I'd be glad to give the gentleman" (meanin' Wes) "a' idy er two about Checkers—ef he'd jest as lief,—'cause I reckon ef there're any one thing 'at I do know more about 'an another, it's Checkers," says he; "and there're no game 'at delights me more—pervidin', o' course, I find a competiter 'at kin make it anyways interestin'."

"Got much of a rickord on Checkers?" says I.

"Well," says the feller, "I don't like to brag, but I've never ben beat—in any legitimut contest," says he, "and I've played more'n one o' them," he says, "here and there round the country. Of course, your friend here," he went on, smilin' sociable at Wes, "he'll take it all in good part ef I should happen to lead him a little—jest as I'd do," he says, "ef it wuz possible fer him to lead me."

"Wes," says I, "has warmed the wax in the yeers of some mighty good checker-players," says I, as he squared the board around, still a-whistlin' to hisse'f-like, as the stranger tuk his place, a-smilin'-like and roachin' back his hair.

"Move," says Wes.

"No," says the feller, with a polite flourish of his hand; "the first move shall be your'n." And, by jucks! fer all he wouldn't take even the advantage of a starter, he flaxed it to Wes the fust game in less'n fifteen minutes.

"Right shore you've give' me your best player?" he says, smilin' round at the crowd, as Wes set squarin' the board fer another game and whistlin' as onconcerned-like as ef nothin' had happened more'n ordinary.

"'S your move," says Wes, a-squintin' out into the game 'bout forty foot from shore, and a-whistlin' purt' nigh in a whisper.

Well-sir, it 'peared-like the feller railly didn't try to play; and you could see, too, 'at Wes knowed he'd about met his match, and played accordin'. He didn't make no move at all 'at he didn't give keerful thought to; whilse the feller—! well, as I wuz sayin', it jest 'peared-like Checkers wuz child's-play fer him! Putt in most o' the time 'long through the game a-sayin' things calkilated to kindo' bore a' ordinary man. But Wes helt hisse'f purty level, and didn't show no signs, and kep' up his whistlin', mighty well—considerin'.

"Reckon you play the fiddle, too, as well as Checkers?" says the feller, laughin', as Wes come a-whistlin' out of the little end of the second game and went on a-fixin' fer the next round.

"'S my move!" says Wes, 'thout seemin' to notice the feller's tantalizin' words whatsomever.

"'L! this time," thinks I, "Mr. Smarty from the metrolopin deestricts, you're liable to git waxedshore!" But the feller didn't 'pear to think so at all, and played right ahead as glib-like and keerless as ever—'casion'ly a-throwin' in them sircastic remarks o' his'n,—'bout bein' "slow and shore" 'bout things in gineral—"Liked to see that," he said:—"Liked to see fellers do things with plenty o' deliberation, and even ef a feller wuzn't much of a checker-player, liked to see him die slow anyhow!—and then 'tend his own funeral," he says,—"and march in the p'session—to his own music," says he.—And jest then his remarks wuz brung to a close by Wes a-jumpin' two men, and a-lightin' square in the king-row.... "Crown that," says Wes, a-droppin' back into his old tune. And fer the rest o' that game Wes helt the feller purty level, but had to finally knock under—but by jest the clos'test kind o' shave o' winnin'.

"They ain't much use," says the feller, "o' keepin' this thing up—'less I could manage, some way er other, to git beat onc't 'n a while!"

"Move," says Wes, a-drappin' back into the same old whistle and a-settlin' there.

"'Music has charms,' as the Good Book tells us," says the feller, kindo' nervous-like, and a-roachin' his hair back as ef some sort o' p'tracted headache wuz a-settin' in.

"Never wuz 'skunked,' wuz ye?" says Wes, kindo' suddent-like, with a fur-off look in them big white eyes o' his—and then a-whistlin' right on 'sef he hadn't said nothin'.

"Not much!" says the feller, sorto' s'prised-like, as ef such a' idy as that had never struck him afore.—"Never was 'skunked' myse'f: but I've saw fellers in my time 'at wuz!" says he.

But from that time on I noticed the feller 'peared to play more keerful, and railly la'nched into the game with somepin' like inter'st. Wes he seemed to be jest a-limber-in'-up-like; and-sir, blame me! ef he didn't walk the feller's log fer him that time, 'thout no 'pearent trouble at all!

"And, now," says Wes, all quiet-like, a-squarin' the board fer another'n,—"we're kindo' gittin' at things right. Move." And away went that little unconcerned whistle o' his ag'in, and Mr. Cityman jest gittin' white and sweaty too—he wuz so nervous. Ner he didn't 'pear to find much to laugh at in the next game—ner the next two games nuther! Things wuz a-gettin' mighty interestin' 'bout them times, and I guess the feller wuz ser'ous-like a-wakin' up to the solem' fact 'at it tuk 'bout all his spare time to keep up his end o' the row, and even that state o' pore satisfaction wuz a-creepin' furder and furder away from him ever' new turn he undertook. Whilse Wes jest peared to git more deliber't' and certain ever' game; and that unendin' se'f-satisfied and comfortin' little whistle o' his never drapped a stitch, but toed out ever' game alike,—to'rds the last, and, fer the most part, disasterss to the feller 'at had started in with sich confidence and actchul promise, don't you know.

Well-sir, the feller stuck the whole forenoon out, and then the afternoon; and then knuckled down to it 'way into the night—yes, and plum midnight!—And he buckled into the thing bright and airly next morning! And-sir, fer two long days and nights, a-hardly a-stoppin' long enough to eat, the feller stuck it out,—and Wes a-jest a-warpin' it to him hand-over-fist, and leavin' him furder behind, ever' game!—till finally, to'rds the last, the feller got so blamedon worked up and excited-like, he jes' 'peared actchully purt' nigh plum crazy and histurical as a woman!

It was a-gittin' late into the shank of the second day, and the boys hed jest lit a candle fer 'em to finish out one of the clost'est games the feller'd played Wes fer some time. But Wes wuz jest as cool and ca'm as ever, and still a-whistlin' consolin' to hisse'f-like, whilse the feller jest 'peared wore out and ready to drap right in his tracks any minute.

"Durn you!" he snarled out at Wes, "hain't you never goern to move?" And there set Wes, a-balancin' a checker-man above the board, a-studyin' whur to set it, and a-fillin' in the time with that-air whistle.

"Flames and flashes!" says the feller ag'in, "will you ever stop that death-seducin' tune o' your'n long enough to move?"—And as Wes deliber't'ly set his man down whur the feller see he'd haf to jump it and lose two men and a king, Wes wuz a-singin', low and sad-like, as ef all to hisse'f:

"O we'll move that man, and leave him there.— Fer the love of B-a-r-b—bry Al-len!"

Well-sir! the feller jest jumped to his feet, upset the board, and tore out o' the shop stark-starin' crazy—blame ef he wuzn't!—'cause some of us putt out after him and overtook him 'way beyent the 'pike-bridge, and hollered to him;—and he shuk his fist at us and hollered back and says, says he: "Ef you fellers over here," says he, "'ll agree to muzzle that durn checker-player o' your'n, I'll bet fifteen hunderd dollars to fifteen cents 'at I kin beat him 'leven games out of ever' dozent!—But there're no money," he says, "'at kin hire me to play him ag'in, on this aboundin' airth, on'y on them conditions—'cause that durn, eternal, infernal, dad-blasted whistle o' his 'ud beat the oldest man in Ameriky!"




When Darby saw the setting sun, He swung his scythe, and home he run, Sat down, drank off his quart, and said, "My work is done, I'll go to bed." "My work is done!" retorted Joan, "My work is done! your constant tone; But hapless woman ne'er can say, 'My work is done,' till judgment day. You men can sleep all night, but we Must toil."—"Whose fault is that?" quoth he. "I know your meaning," Joan replied, "But, Sir, my tongue shall not be tied; I will go on, and let you know What work poor women have to do: First, in the morning, though we feel As sick as drunkards when they reel; Yes, feel such pains in back and head As would confine you men to bed, We ply the brush, we wield the broom, We air the beds, and right the room; The cows must next be milked—and then We get the breakfast for the men. Ere this is done, with whimpering cries, And bristly hair, the children rise; These must be dressed, and dosed with rue, And fed—and all because of you: We next"—Here Darby scratched his head, And stole off grumbling to his bed; And only said, as on she run, "Zounds! woman's clack is never done."


At early dawn, ere Phoebus rose, Old Joan resumed her tale of woes; When Darby thus—"I'll end the strife, Be you the man and I the wife: Take you the scythe and mow, while I Will all your boasted cares supply." "Content," quoth Joan, "give me my stint." This Darby did, and out she went. Old Darby rose and seized the broom, And whirled the dirt about the room: Which having done, he scarce knew how, He hied to milk the brindled cow. The brindled cow whisked round her tail In Darby's eyes, and kicked the pail. The clown, perplexed with grief and pain, Swore he'd ne'er try to milk again: When turning round, in sad amaze, He saw his cottage in a blaze: For as he chanced to brush the room, In careless haste, he fired the broom. The fire at last subdued, he swore The broom and he would meet no more. Pressed by misfortune, and perplexed, Darby prepared for breakfast next; But what to get he scarcely knew— The bread was spent, the butter too. His hands bedaubed with paste and flour, Old Darby labored full an hour: But, luckless wight! thou couldst not make The bread take form of loaf or cake. As every door wide open stood, In pushed the sow in quest of food; And, stumbling onward, with her snout O'erset the churn—the cream ran out. As Darby turned, the sow to beat, The slippery cream betrayed his feet; He caught the bread trough in his fall, And down came Darby, trough, and all. The children, wakened by the clatter, Start up, and cry, "Oh! what's the matter?" Old Jowler barked, and Tabby mewed, And hapless Darby bawled aloud, "Return, my Joan, as heretofore, I'll play the housewife's part no more: Since now, by sad experience taught, Compared to thine my work is naught; Henceforth, as business calls, I'll take, Content, the plough, the scythe, the rake, And never more transgress the line Our fates have marked, while thou art mine. Then, Joan, return, as heretofore, I'll vex thy honest soul no more; Let's each our proper task attend— Forgive the past, and strive to mend."



When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock, And you hear the kyouck and gobble of the struttin' turkey-cock, And the clackin' of the guineys, and the cluckin' of the hens, And the rooster's hallelooyer as he tiptoes on the fence, Oh, it's then's the time a feller is a feelin' at his best, With the risin' sun to greet him from a night of gracious rest, As he leaves the house bareheaded and goes out to feed the stock, When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.

There's sompin kind o' hearty-like about the atmosphere When the heat of summer's over and the coolin' fall is here. Of course we miss the flowers, and the blossoms on the trees, And the mumble of the hummin'-birds and the buzzin' of the bees; But the air's so appetizin', and the landscape through the haze Of a crisp and sunny morning of the early autumn days Is a picture that no painter has the colorin' to mock, When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.

The husky, rusty rustle of the tassels of the corn, And the raspin' of the tangled leaves as golden as the morn; The stubble in the furries—kind o' lonesome like, but still A preachin' sermons to us of the barns they growed to fill; The straw-stack in the medder, and the reaper in the shed, The hosses in their stalls below, the clover overhead,— Oh, it sets my heart a clickin' like the tickin' of a clock, When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.



Anatomikally konsidered, laffing iz the sensation ov pheeling good all over, and showing it principally in one spot.

Morally konsidered, it iz the next best thing tew the 10 commandments....

Theoretikally konsidered, it kan out-argy all the logik in existence....

Pyroteknikally konsidered, it is the fire-works of the soul....

But i don't intend this essa for laffing in the lump, but for laffing on the half-shell.

Laffing iz just az natral tew cum tew the surface az a rat iz tew cum out ov hiz hole when he wants tew.

Yu kant keep it back by swallowing enny more than yu kan the heekups.

If a man kan't laff there iz sum mistake made in putting him together, and if he won't laff he wants az mutch keeping away from az a bear-trap when it iz sot.

I have seen people who laffed altogether too mutch for their own good or for ennyboddy else's; they laft like a barrell ov nu sider with the tap pulled out, a perfekt stream.

This is a grate waste ov natral juice.

I have seen other people who didn't laff enuff tew giv themselfs vent; they waz like a barrell ov nu sider too, that waz bunged up tite, apt tew start a hoop and leak all away on the sly.

Thare ain't neither ov theze 2 ways right, and they never ought tew be pattented....

Genuine laffing iz the vent ov the soul, the nostrils of the heart, and iz just az necessary for health and happiness az spring water iz for a trout.

Thare iz one kind ov a laff that i always did rekommend; it looks out ov the eye fust with a merry twinkle, then it kreeps down on its hands and kneze and plays around the mouth like a pretty moth around the blaze ov a kandle, then it steals over into the dimples ov the cheeks and rides around into thoze little whirlpools for a while, then it lites up the whole face like the mello bloom on a damask roze, then it swims oph on the air with a peal az klear and az happy az a dinner-bell, then it goes bak agin on golden tiptoze like an angel out for an airing, and laze down on its little bed ov violets in the heart where it cum from.

Thare iz another laff that nobody kan withstand; it iz just az honest and noisy az a distrikt skool let out tew play, it shakes a man up from hiz toze tew hiz temples, it dubbles and twists him like a whiskee phit, it lifts him oph from his cheer, like feathers, and lets him bak agin like melted led, it goes all thru him like a pikpocket, and finally leaves him az weak and az krazy az tho he had bin soaking all day in a Rushing bath and forgot to be took out.

This kind ov a laff belongs tew jolly good phellows who are az healthy az quakers, and who are az eazy tew pleaze az a gall who iz going tew be married to-morrow.

In konclushion i say laff every good chance yu kan git, but don't laff unless yu feal like it, for there ain't nothing in this world more harty than a good honest laff, nor nothing more hollow than a hartless one.

When yu do laff open yure mouth wide enuff for the noize tew git out without squealing, thro yure hed bak az tho yu waz going tew be shaved, hold on tew yure false hair with both hands and then laff till yure soul gets thoroly rested.

But i shall tell yu more about theze things at sum fewter time.



O Thoughts of the past and present, O whither, and whence, and where, Demanded my soul, as I scaled the height Of the pine-clad peak in the somber night, In the terebinthine air.

While pondering on the frailty Of happiness, hope, and mirth, The ascending sun with derisive scoff Hurled its golden lances and smote me off From the bulge of the restless earth.

Through the yellowish dawn of velvet Where stars were so thickly strewn. That quietly chuckled as I passed through, I fell in the gardens of Grizzly-Gru, On the mad, mysterious moon.

I fell on the turquoise ether, Low down in the wondrous west, And thence to the moon in whose yielding blue Were hidden the gardens of Grizzly-Gru, In the Monarchy of Unrest.

And there were the fairy gardens, Where beautiful cherubs grew In daintiest way and on separate stalks, In the listed rows by the jasper walks, Near the palace of Grizzly-Gru.

While strolling around the garden I noticed the rows were full Of every conceivable size and type— Some that were buds, and some nearly ripe, And some that were ready to pull.

In gauzy and white corolla, Was one who had eyes of blue, A little excuse of a baby nose, Little pink ears, and ten little toes, And a mouth that kept saying ah-goo.

Ah-gooing as I came near her, She raised up her arms in glee— Her little fat arms—and she seemed to say, "I'm ready to go with you right away; Don't hunt any more—take me."

I picked her off quick and kissed her, And, hugging her to my breast, I heard a loud yelling that pierced me through, 'Twas His Terrible Eminence, Grizzly-Gru, Of the Monarchy of Unrest.

He had on a blood-red turban, A picturesque lot of clothes, With big moustaches both fierce and black, And a ghastly saber to cut and hack, And shoes that turned up at the toes.

Out of the gate of the garden The cherub and I took flight, And closely behind us the saber flew, And back of the saber came Grizzly-Gru, And he chased us all day till night.

I ran down the lunar crescent, 'And out on the silver horn; I kissed the baby and held her tight, And jumped down into the starry night, And—I lit on the earth at morn.

He fitfully threw his saber, It missed and went round the sun; He followed no further, he was not rash, But the baby held on to my coarse moustache, And seemed to enjoy the fun.

In saving that blue-eyed baby From the gardens of Grizzly-Gru, I suffered a terrible shock and fright; But the doctor believes it will be all right, And he thinks he can pull me through.



Throw me in the cellar and batten down the hatches.

I'm a wreck in the key of G flat.

I side-stepped in among a bunch of language-heavers yesterday and ever since I've been sitting on the ragged edge with my feet hanging over.

I was on my way down to Wall Street to help J. Pierpont Morgan buy a couple of railroads and all the world seemed as blithe and gay as a love clinch from Laura Jean Libbey's latest.

When I climbed into the cable-car I felt like a man who had mailed money to himself the night before.

I was aces.

And then somebody blew out my gas.

At the next corner two society flash-lights flopped in and sat next to me.

They had a lot of words they wanted to use and they started in.

The car stopped and two more of the 400's leading ladies jumped the hurdles and came down the aisle.

They sat on the other side of me.

In a minute they began to bite the dictionary.

Their efforts aroused the energies of three women who sat opposite me, and they proceeded to beat the English language black and blue.

In a minute the air was so full of talk that the grip germs had to pull out on the platform and chew the conductor.

The next one to me on my left started in:

"Oh, yes; we discharged our cook day before yesterday, but there's another coming this evening, and so—"

Her friend broke away and was up and back to the center with this:

"I was coming down Broadway this morning and I saw Julia Marlowe's leading man. I'm sure it was him, because I saw the show once in Chicago and he has the loveliest eyes I ever looked at!"

I knew that that was my cue to walk out, kick the motorman in the knuckles, upset the car and send in a fire call, but I passed it up.

I just sat there and bit my nails like the heavy villain in one of Corse Payton's ten, twen, thir dramas.

That "loveliest eyes" speech had me groggy.

Whenever I hear a woman turn on that "loveliest eyes" gag about an actor I always feel that a swift slap from a wet dish-rag would look well on her back hair.

Then the bunch across the aisle got the flag.

"Well, you know," says the broad lady who paid for one seat and was compelled by Nature to use three, "you know there's only five in our family, and so I take just five slices of stale bread and have a bowl of water ready in which I've dropped a pinch of salt. Then I take a piece of butter about the size of a walnut, and thoroughly grease the bottom of a frying-pan; then beat five eggs to a froth, and—"

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