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Wit and Humor of America, The Vol 02

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<SPAN name="Page_362" id="Page_362">[Pg 362]</SPAN></span></p> <hr style="width: 65%;" /> <h2>A RIVAL ENTERTAINMENT</h2> <h3>BY KATE FIELD</h3> <p>I once heard a bright child declare that if circuses were prohibited in heaven, she did not wish to go there. She had been baptized, was under Christian influences, and, previous to this heterodoxy, had never given her good parents a moment's anxiety. Her na&iuml;ve utterance touched a responsive chord within my own breast, for well did I remember how gloriously the circus shone by the light of other days; how the ring-master, in a wrinkled dress-coat, seemed the most enviable of mortals, being on speaking terms with all the celestial creatures who jumped over flags and through balloons; how the clown was the dearest, funniest of men; how the young athletes in tights and spangles were my <i>beau-ideals</i> of masculinity; and how La Belle Rose, with one foot upon her native heath, otherwise a well-padded saddle, and the other pointed in the direction of the sweet little cherubs that sat up aloft, was the most fascinating of her sex. I am persuaded that circuses fill an aching void in the universe. What children did before their invention I shudder to think, for circuses are to childhood what butter is to bread; and what the world did before the birth of Barnum is an almost equally frightful problem. Some are born to shows, others attain shows, and yet again others have shows thrust upon them. Barnum is a born showman. If ever a man fulfills his destiny, it is the discoverer of Tom Thumb. With the majority of men and women life is a<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_363" id="Page_363">[Pg 363]</SPAN></span> failure. Not until one leg dangles in the grave is their <i>raison d'&ecirc;tre</i> disclosed. The round people always find themselves sticking in the square holes, and <i>vice versa</i>; but with Barnum we need not deplore a <i>vie manqu&eacute;e</i>. We can smile at his reverses, for even the ph&aelig;nix has cause to blush in his presence. Though pursued by tongues of fire, Barnum remains invincible when iron, stone, and mortar crumble around him; and while yet the smoke is telling volumes of destruction, the cheery voice of the showman exclaims, "Here you are, gentlemen; admission fifty cents, children half price."</p> <p>Apropos of Barnum, once in my life I gave myself up to unmitigated joy. Weary of lecturing, singing the song "I would I were a boy again," I went to see the elephant. To speak truly, I saw not one elephant, but half a dozen. I had a feast of roaring and a flow of circus. In fact I indulged in the wildest dissipation. I visited Barnum's circus and sucked peppermint candy in a way most childlike and bland. The reason seems obscure, but circuses and peppermint candy are as inseparable as peanuts and the Bowery. Appreciating this solemn fact, Barnum provides bigger sticks adorned with bigger red stripes than ever Romans sucked in the palmy days of the Coliseum. In the dim distance I mistook them for barbers' poles, but upon direct application I recognized them for my long lost own.</p> <p>However, let me, like the Germans, begin with the creation. "Here, ladies and gentlemen, is for sale Mr. Barnum's Autobiography, full of interest and anecdote, one of the most charming productions ever issued from the press, 900 pages, thirty-two full-page engravings, reduced from $3.50 to $1.50. Every purchaser enters free."</p> <p>How ordinary mortals can resist buying Barnum's Autobiography for one dollar&mdash;such a bargain as never<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_364" id="Page_364">[Pg 364]</SPAN></span> was&mdash;is incomprehensible. I believe they can not. I believe they do their duty like men. As one man I resisted, because I belong to the press, and therefore am not mortal. Who ever heard of a journalist getting a bargain? With Spartan firmness I turned a deaf ear to the persuasive music of the propagandist, and entered where hope is all before. I was not staggered by a welcome from all the Presidents of the United States, Fitz-Greene Halleck, General Hooker, and Gratz Brown. These personages are rather woodeny and red about the face, as though flushed with victories of the platform or the table, but I recognize their fitness in a menagerie. What athlete has turned more somersaults than some of these representative men? What lion has roared more gently than a few of these sucking doves? Barnum's tact in appropriately grouping curiosities, living and dead, is too well known to require comment. Passing what Sam Weller would call "a reg'lar knock-down of intellect," I took my seat high in the air amid a dense throng of my fellow-creatures, and realized how many people it takes to make up the world. What did I see? I saw double. I beheld not one ring but two, in each of which the uncommon variety of man was disporting in an entertaining manner. I felt for these uncommon men. Think what immortal hates must arise from these dual performances! We all like to receive the reward of merit, but when two performances are going on simultaneously, how are the artists to know for whom it is intended? Applause is the sweet compensation for which all strive privately or publicly, and to be cheated out of it, or left in doubt as to its destination, is a refined form of the Inquisition. Fancy the sensations of the man balancing plates on the little end of nothing,&mdash;a feat to which he has consecrated his life,&mdash;at thought of his neighbor's performance of impossible feats in the<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_365" id="Page_365">[Pg 365]</SPAN></span> air! It would be more than human in both not to wish the other in Jericho, or in some equally remote quarter of the globe. I sympathized with them. I became bewildered in my endeavors to keep one eye on each. If human beings were constructed on the same principles as Janus, and had two faces, a fore-and-aft circus would be convenient; but as nowadays double-faced people only wear two eyes in their heads, the Barnumian conception muddles the intellect. I pray you, great and glorious showman, take pity on your artists and your audiences. Don't drive the former mad and the latter distracted. Remember that insanity is on the increase, and that accommodations in asylums are limited. Take warning before you undermine the reason of an entire continent. Beware! Beware!</p> <p>I hear much and see more of the physical weakness of woman. Michelet tells the sentimental world that woman is an exquisite invalid, with a perennial headache and nerves perpetually on the rack. It is a mistake. When I gaze upon German and French peasant-women, I ask Michelet which is right, he or Nature? And since my introduction to Barnum's female gymnast,&mdash;a good-looking, well-formed mother of a family, who walks about unflinchingly with men and boys on her shoulders, and carries a 300-pound gun as easily as the ordinary woman carries a clothes-basket,&mdash;I have been persuaded that "the coming woman," like Brother Jonathan, will "lick all creation." In that good time, woman will have her rights because she will have her muscle. Then, if there are murders and playful beatings between husbands and wives, the wives will enjoy all the glory of crime. What an outlook! And what a sublime consolation to the present enfeebled race of wives that are having their throats cut and their eyes carved out merely because their biceps<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_366" id="Page_366">[Pg 366]</SPAN></span> have not gone into training! Barnum's female gymnast is an example to her sex. What woman has done woman may do again. Mothers, train up your daughters in the way they should fight, and when they are married they will not depart this life. God is on the side of the stoutest muscle as well as of the heaviest battalions. It is perfectly useless to talk about the equality of the sexes as long as a man can strangle his own mother-in-law.</p> <p>I was exceedingly thrilled by the appearance of the two young gentlemen from the Cannibal Islands, who are beautifully embossed in green and red, and compassionated them for the sacrifices they make in putting on blankets and civilization. Is it right to deprive them of their daily bread,&mdash;I mean their daily baby? Think what self-restraint they must exercise while gazing upon the toothsome infants that congregate at the circus! That they do gaze and smack their overhanging lips I know, because, after going through their cannibalistic dance, they sat behind me and howled in a subdued manner. The North American Indian who occupied an adjoining seat, favored me with a translation of their charming conversation, by which I learned many important facts concerning man as an article of diet. It appears that babies, after all, do not make the daintiest morsels. Tender they are, of course, but, being immature, they have not the rich flavor of a youthful adult. This seems reasonable. Veal is tender, but can it be favorably compared with beef? The cases are parallel. The embossed young men consider babies excellent for <i>entr&eacute;es</i>, but for roasts there is nothing like plump maidens in their teens. Men of twenty are not bad eating. When older, they are invariably boiled. Commenting upon the audience, the critics did not consider it appetizing; and, strange as it may appear, I felt somewhat hurt by the remark, for who is not vain<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_367" id="Page_367">[Pg 367]</SPAN></span> enough to wish to look good enough to eat? Fancy being shipwrecked off the Fiji Islands, and discarded by cannibals as a tough subject, while your companions are literally killed with attention! Can you not imagine, that, under such circumstances, a peculiar jealousy of the superior tenderness of your friends would be a thorn in the flesh, rendering existence a temporary burden? If we lived among people who adored squinting, should we not all take to it, and cherish it as the apple of our eye? And if we fell among anthropophagi, would not our love of approbation make us long to be as succulent as young pigs? What glory to escape from the jaws of death, if the jaws repudiate us? So long as memory holds a seat in this distracted brain, I shall entertain unpleasant feelings toward the embossed young gentlemen who did not sigh to fasten their affections&mdash;otherwise their teeth&mdash;on me. It was worse than a crime: it was bad taste.</p> <p>Roaming among the wild animals, I made the acquaintance of the cassowary, in which I have been deeply interested since childhood's sunny hours, for then't was oft I sang a touching hymn running thus:</p> <div class="poem"><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">"If I were a cassowary<br /></span> <span class="i2">Far away in Timbuctoo,<br /></span> <span class="i0">I should eat a missionary,<br /></span> <span class="i2">Hat, and boots, and hymn-book too."<br /></span> </div></div> <p>From that hour the cassowary occupied a large niche in my heart. The desire to gaze upon a bird capable of digesting food to which even the ostrich never aspired, pursued me by day and tinctured my dreams by night. "What you seek for all your life you will come upon suddenly when the whole family is at dinner," says Thoreau. I met the cassowary at dinner. He was dining alone, having left his family in Africa, and I must say that I never met with a greater disappointment. Were it not for the<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_368" id="Page_368">[Pg 368]</SPAN></span> touching intimation of the hymn, I should believe it impossible for him to eat a missionary. A quieter, more amiable bird never stood on two legs. A polite attendant stirred him up for me, yet his temper and his feathers remained unruffled. Perhaps if our geographical position had changed to Timbuctoo, and I had been a missionary with hymn-book in hand, the cassowary might have realized my expectations. As it was, one more illusion vanished.</p> <p>In order to regain my spirits, I shook hands with the handsome giant in brass buttons; and speaking of giants leads me to the subject of all <i>lusus natur&aelig;</i>, particularly the Circassian young lady, the dwarf, the living skeleton, the Albinos, and What-is-it. I have dropped more than one tear at the fate of these unfortunate beings; for what is more horribly solitary than to live in a strange crowd, with</p> <div class="poem"><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">"No one to love,<br /></span> <span class="i0">None to caress?"<br /></span> </div></div> <p>Noah was human. When he retired to the ark, he selected two of a kind from all the animal kingdom for the sake of sociability as well as for more practical purposes. Showmen should be equally considerate. To think of those Albino sisters with never an Albino beau, of the Circassian beauty with never a Circassian sweetheart, of the living skeleton with never another skeleton in his closet (how he can look so good-natured would be most mysterious, were not his digestion pronounced perfect), to think of the wretched What-is-it with never a Mrs. What-is-it, produces unspeakable anguish. May they meet their affinities in another and a more sympathetic world, where monstrosities are impossible for the reason that we leave our bones on earth. Since gazing at the What-is-it, I have become a convert to Darwin. It is too<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_369" id="Page_369">[Pg 369]</SPAN></span> true. Our ancestors stood on their hind legs, and the less we talk about pedigree the better. The noble democrat in search of a coat-of-arms and a grandfather should visit a grand moral circus. Let us assume a virtue, though we have it not; let our pride <i>ape</i> humility.</p> <p>Were I asked which I thought the greater necessity of civilization, lectures or circuses, I should lay my right hand upon my left heart, and exclaim, "Circuses!"<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_370" id="Page_370">[Pg 370]</SPAN></span></p> <hr style="width: 65%;" /> <h2>YAWCOB STRAUSS</h2> <h3>BY CHARLES FOLLEN ADAMS</h3> <div class="poem"><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">I haf von funny leedle poy,<br /></span> <span class="i2">Vot gomes schust to mine knee;<br /></span> <span class="i0">Der queerest schap, der createst rogue,<br /></span> <span class="i2">As efer you dit see.<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">He runs, und schumps, und schmashes dings<br /></span> <span class="i2">In all barts off der house:<br /></span> <span class="i0">But vot off dot? he vas mine son,<br /></span> <span class="i2">Mine leedle Yawcob Strauss.<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">He gets der measles und der mumbs,<br /></span> <span class="i2">Und eferyding dot's oudt;<br /></span> <span class="i0">He sbills mine glass off lager bier,<br /></span> <span class="i2">Poots schnuff indo mine kraut.<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">He fills mine pipe mit Limburg cheese,&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i2">Dot vas der roughest chouse:<br /></span> <span class="i0">I'd dake dot vrom no oder poy<br /></span> <span class="i2">But leedle Yawcob Strauss.<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">He dakes der milk-ban for a dhrum,<br /></span> <span class="i2">Und cuts mine cane in dwo,<br /></span> <span class="i0">To make der schticks to beat it mit,&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i2">Mine cracious, dot vas drue!<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">I dinks mine hed vas schplit abart,<br /></span> <span class="i2">He kicks oup sooch a touse:<br /></span> <span class="i0">But nefer mind; der poys vas few<br /></span> <span class="i2">Like dot young Yawcob Strauss.</span><span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_371" id="Page_371">[Pg 371]</SPAN></span><br /> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">He asks me questions sooch as dese:<br /></span> <span class="i2">Who baints mine nose so red?<br /></span> <span class="i0">Who vas it cuts dot schmoodth blace oudt<br /></span> <span class="i2">Vrom der hair ubon mine hed?<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">Und vhere der plaze goes vrom der lamp<br /></span> <span class="i2">Vene'er der glim I douse.<br /></span> <span class="i0">How gan I all dose dings eggsblain<br /></span> <span class="i2">To dot schmall Yawcob Strauss?<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">I somedimes dink I schall go vild<br /></span> <span class="i2">Mit sooch a grazy poy,<br /></span> <span class="i0">Und vish vonce more I gould haf rest,<br /></span> <span class="i2">Und beaceful dimes enshoy;<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">But ven he vas ashleep in ped,<br /></span> <span class="i2">So guiet as a mouse,<br /></span> <span class="i0">I prays der Lord, "Dake anyding,<br /></span> <span class="i2">But leaf dot Yawcob Strauss."<br /></span> <span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_372" id="Page_372">[Pg 372]</SPAN></span></div></div> <hr style="width: 65%;" /> <h2>SEFFY AND SALLY</h2> <h3>BY JOHN LUTHER LONG</h3> <p>The place was the porch of the store, the time was about ten o'clock in the morning of a summer day, the people were the amiable loafers&mdash;and Old Baumgartner. The person he was discoursing about was his son Sephenijah. I am not sure that the name was not the ripe fruit of his father's fancy&mdash;with, perhaps, the Scriptural suggestion which is likely to be present in the affairs of a Pennsylvania-German&mdash;whether a communicant or not&mdash;even if he live in Maryland.</p> <p>"Yas&mdash;always last; expecial at funerals and weddings. Except his own&mdash;he's sure to be on time at his own funeral. Right out in front! Hah? But sometimes he misses his wedding. Why, I knowed a feller&mdash;yous all knowed him, begoshens!&mdash;that didn't git there tell another feller'd married her&mdash;'bout more'n a year afterward. Wasn't it more'n a year, boys? Yas&mdash;Bill Eisenkrout. Or, now, was it his brother&mdash;Baltzer Iron-Cabbage? Seems to me now like it was Baltz. Somesing wiss a B at the front end, anyhow."</p> <p>Henry Wasserman diffidently intimated that there was a curious but satisfactory element of safety in being last&mdash;a "fastnacht" in their language, in fact. Those in front were the ones usually hurt in railroad accidents, Alexander Althoff remembered.</p> <p>"Safe?" cried the speaker. "Of course! But for why&mdash;say, for why?" Old Baumgartner challenged defiantly.<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_373" id="Page_373">[Pg 373]</SPAN></span></p> <p>No one answered and he let several impressive minutes intervene.</p> <p>"You don't know! Hang you, none of yous knows! Well&mdash;because he ain't there when anysing occurs&mdash;always a little late!"</p> <p>They agreed with him by a series of sage nods.</p> <p>"But, fellers, the worst is about courting. It's no way to be always late. Everybody else gits there first, and it's nossing for the fastnacht but weeping and wailing and gnashing of the teeth. And mebby the other feller gits considerable happiness&mdash;and a good farm."</p> <p>There was complaint in the old man's voice, and they knew that he meant his own son Seffy. To add to their embarrassment, this same son was now appearing over the Lustich Hill&mdash;an opportune moment for a pleasing digression. For you must be told early concerning Old Baumgartner's longing for certain lands, tenements and hereditaments&mdash;using his own phrase&mdash;which were not his own, but which adjoined his. It had passed into a proverb of the vicinage; indeed, though the property in question belonged to one Sarah Pressel, it was known colloquially as "Baumgartner's Yearn."</p> <p>And the reason of it was this: Between his own farm and the public road (and the railroad station when it came) lay the fairest meadow-land farmer's eye had ever rested upon. (I am speaking again for the father of Seffy and with his hyperbole.) Save in one particular, it was like an enemy's beautiful territory lying between one's less beautiful own and the open sea&mdash;keeping one a poor inlander who is mad for the seas&mdash;whose crops must either pass across the land of his adversary and pay tithes to him, or go by long distances around him at the cost of greater tithes to the soulless owners of the turnpikes&mdash;who aggravatingly fix a gate each way<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_374" id="Page_374">[Pg 374]</SPAN></span> to make their tithes more sure. So, I say, it was like having the territory of his enemy lying between him and the deep water&mdash;save, as I have also said, in one particular, to wit: that the owner&mdash;the Sarah Pressel I have mentioned&mdash;was not Old Baumgartner's enemy.</p> <p>In fact, they were tremendous friends. And it was by this friendship&mdash;and one other thing which I mean to mention later&mdash;that Old Baumgartner hoped, before he died, to attain the wish of his life, and see, not only the Elysian pasture-field, but the whole of the adjoining farm, with the line fences down, a part of his. The other thing I promised to mention as an aid to this ambition&mdash;was Seffy. And, since the said Sarah was of nearly the same age as Seffy, perhaps I need not explain further, except to say that the only obstruction the old man could see now to acquiring the title by marriage was&mdash;Seffy himself. He was, and always had been, afraid of girls&mdash;especially such aggressive, flirtatious, pretty and tempestuous girls as this Sarah.</p> <p>These things, however, were hereditary with the girl. It was historical, in fact, that, during the life of Sarah's good-looking father, so importunate had been Old Baumgartner for the purchase of at least the meadow&mdash;he could not have ventured more at that time&mdash;and so obstinate had been the father of the present owner&mdash;(he had red hair precisely as his daughter had)&mdash;that they had come to blows about it, to the discomfiture of Old Baumgartner; and, afterward, they did not speak. Yet, when the loafers at the store laughed, Baumgartner swore that he would, nevertheless, have that pasture before he died.</p> <p>But then, as if fate, too, were against him, the railroad was built, and its station was placed so that the Pressel farm lay directly between it and him, and of<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_375" id="Page_375">[Pg 375]</SPAN></span> course the "life" went more and more in the direction of the station&mdash;left him more and more "out of it"&mdash;and made him poorer and poorer, and Pressel richer and richer. And, when the store laughed at <i>that</i>, Baumgartner swore that he would possess half of the farm before he died; and as Pressel and his wife died, and Seffy grew up, and as he noticed the fondness of the little red-headed girl for his little tow-headed boy, he added to his adjuration that he would be harrowing that whole farm before <i>he</i> died,&mdash;<i>without paying a cent for it</i>!</p> <p>But both Seffy and Sally had grown to a marriageable age without anything happening. Seffy had become inordinately shy, while the coquettish Sally had accepted the attentions of Sam Pritz, the clerk at the store, as an antagonist more worthy of her, and in a fashion which sometimes made the father of Seffy swear and lose his temper&mdash;with Seffy. Though, of course, in the final disposition of the matter, he was sure that no girl so nice as Sally would marry such a person as Sam Pritz, with no extremely visible means of support&mdash;a salary of four dollars a week, and an odious reputation for liquor. And it was for these things, all of which were known (for Baumgartner had not a single secret) that the company at the store detected the personal equation in Old Baumgartner's communications.</p> <p>Seffy had almost arrived by this time, and Sally was in the store! With Sam! The situation was highly dramatic. But the old man consummately ignored this complication and directed attention to his son. For him, the molasses-tapper did not exist. The fact is he was overjoyed. Seffy, for once in his life, would be on time! He would do the rest.</p> <p>"Now, boys, chust look at 'em! Dogged if they ain't bose like one another! How's the proferb? Birds of a<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_376" id="Page_376">[Pg 376]</SPAN></span> feather flock wiss one another? I dunno. Anyhow, Sef flocks wiss Betz constant. And they understand one another good. Trotting like a sidewise dog of a hot summer's day!" And he showed the company, up and down the store-porch, just how a sidewise dog would be likely to trot on a hot summer day&mdash;and then laughed joyously.</p> <p>If there had been an artist eye to see they would have been well worth its while&mdash;Seffy and the mare so affectionately disparaged. And, after all, I am not sure that the speaker himself had not an artist's eye. For a spring pasture, or a fallow upland, or a drove of goodly cows deep in his clover, I know he had. (Perhaps you, too, have?) And this was his best mare and his only son.</p> <p>The big bay, clad in broad-banded harness, soft with oil and glittering with brasses, was shambling indolently down the hill, resisting her own momentum by the diagonal motion the old man had likened to a dog's sidewise trot. The looped trace-chains were jingling a merry dithyramb, her head was nodding, her tail swaying, and Seffy, propped by his elbow on her broad back, one leg swung between the hames, the other keeping time on her ribs, was singing:</p> <div class="poem"><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">"'I want to be an angel<br /></span> <span class="i4">And with the angels stand,<br /></span> <span class="i0">A crown upon my forehead<br /></span> <span class="i4">A harp within my hand&mdash;'"<br /></span> </div></div> <p>His adoring father chuckled. "I wonder what for kind of anchel he'd make, anyhow? And Betz&mdash;they'll have to go together. Say, I wonder if it <i>is</i> horse-anchels?"</p> <p>No one knew; no one offered a suggestion.</p> <p>"Well, it ought to be. Say&mdash;he ken perform circus wiss ol' Betz!"<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_377" id="Page_377">[Pg 377]</SPAN></span></p> <p>They expressed their polite surprise at this for perhaps the hundredth time.</p> <p>"Yas&mdash;they have a kind of circus-ring in the barnyard. He stands on one foot, then on another, and on his hands wiss his feet kicking, and then he says words&mdash;like hokey-pokey&mdash;and Betz she kicks up behind and throws him off in the dung and we all laugh&mdash;happy efer after&mdash;Betz most of all!"</p> <p>After the applause he said:</p> <p>"I guess I'd better wake 'em up! What you sink?"</p> <p>They one and all thought he had. They knew he would do it, no matter what they thought. His method, as usual, was his own. He stepped to the adjoining field, and, selecting a clod with the steely polish of the plowshare upon it, threw it at the mare. It struck her on the flank. She gathered her feet under her in sudden alarm, then slowly relaxed, looked slyly for the old man, found him, and understanding, suddenly wheeled and ambled off home, leaving Seffy prone on the ground as her part of the joke.</p> <p>The old man brought Seffy in triumph to the store-porch.</p> <p>"Chust stopped you afore you got to be a anchel!" he was saying. "We couldn't bear to sink about you being a anchel&mdash;an' wiss the anchels stand&mdash;a harp upon your forehead, a crown within your hand, I expect&mdash;when it's corn-planting time."</p> <p>Seffy grinned cheerfully, brushed off the dust and contemplated his father's watch&mdash;held accusingly against him. Old Baumgartner went on gaily.</p> <p>"About an inch and a half apast ten! Seffy, I'm glad you ain't breaking your reputation for being fastnachtich. Chust about a quarter of an inch too late for the prize wiss flour on its hair and arms and its frock pinned up to show<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_378" id="Page_378">[Pg 378]</SPAN></span> its new petticoat! Uhu! If I had such a nice petticoat&mdash;" he imitated the lady in question, to the tremendous delight of the gentle loafers.</p> <p>Seffy stared a little and rubbed some dust out of his eyes. He was pleasant but dull.</p> <p>"Yassir, Sef, if you'd a-got yere at a inch and a quarter apast! Now Sam's got her. Down in the cellar a-licking molasses together! Doggone if Sam don't git eferysing&mdash;except his due bills. He don't want to be no anchel tell he dies. He's got fun enough yere&mdash;but Seffy&mdash;you're like the flow of molasses in January&mdash;at courting."</p> <p>This oblique suasion made no impression on Seffy. It is doubtful if he understood it at all. The loafers began to smile. One laughed. The old man checked him with a threat of personal harm.</p> <p>"Hold on there, Jefferson Dafis Busby," he chid. "I don't allow no one to laugh at my Seffy&mdash;except chust me&mdash;account I'm his daddy. It's a fight-word the next time you do it."</p> <p>Mr. Busby straightened his countenance.</p> <p>"He don't seem to notice&mdash;nor keer&mdash;'bout gals&mdash;do he?"</p> <p>No one spoke.</p> <p>"No, durn him, he ain't no good. Say&mdash;what'll you give for him, hah? Yere he goes to the highest bidder&mdash;for richer, for poorer, for better, for worser, up and down, in and out, swing your partners&mdash;what's bid? He ken plow as crooked as a mule's hind leg, sleep hard as a 'possum in wintertime, eat like a snake, git left efery time&mdash;but he ken ketch fish. They wait on him. What's bid?"</p> <p>No one would hazard a bid.</p> <p>"Yit a minute," shouted the old fellow, pulling out his<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_379" id="Page_379">[Pg 379]</SPAN></span> bull's-eye watch again, "what's bid? Going&mdash;going&mdash;all done&mdash;going&mdash;"</p> <p>"A dollar!"</p> <p>The bid came from behind him, and the voice was beautiful to hear. A gleam came into the old man's eyes as he heard it. He deliberately put the watch back in its pocket, put on his spectacles, and turned, as if she were a stranger.</p> <p>"Gone!" he announced then. "Who's the purchaser? Come forwards and take away you' property. What's the name, please?" Then he pretended to recognize her. "Oach! Sally! Well, that's lucky! He goes in good hands. He's sound and kind, but needs the whip." He held out his hand for the dollar.</p> <p>It was the girl of whom he had spoken accurately as a prize. Her sleeves were turned up as far as they would go, revealing some soft lace-trimmed whiteness, and there <i>was</i> flour on her arms. Some patches of it on her face gave a petal-like effect to her otherwise aggressive color. The pretty dress was pinned far enough back to reveal the prettier petticoat&mdash;plus a pair of trimly-clad ankles.</p> <p>Perhaps these were neither the garments nor the airs in which every farmer-maiden did her baking. But then, Sally was no ordinary farmer-maiden. She was all this, it is true, but she was, besides, grace and color and charm itself. And if she chose to bake in such attire&mdash;or, even, if she chose to pretend to do so, where was the churl to say her nay, even though the flour was part of a deliberate "make up"? Certainly he was not at the store that summer morning.</p> <p>And Seffy was there. Her hair escaped redness by only a little. But that little was just the difference between ugliness and beauty. For, whether Sally were beautiful or not&mdash;about which we might contend a bit&mdash;her hair<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_380" id="Page_380">[Pg 380]</SPAN></span> was, and perhaps that is the reason why it was nearly always uncovered&mdash;or, possibly, again, because it was so much uncovered was the reason it was beautiful. It seemed to catch some of the glory of the sun. Her face had a few freckles and her mouth was a trifle too large. But, in it were splendid teeth.</p> <p>In short, by the magic of brilliant color and natural grace she narrowly escaped being extremely handsome&mdash;in the way of a sunburned peach, or a maiden's-blush apple. And even if you should think she were not handsome, you would admit that there was an indescribable rustic charm about her. She was like the aroma of the hay-fields, or the woods, or a field of daisies, or dandelions.</p> <p>The girl, laughing, surrendered the money, and the old man, taking an arm of each, marched them peremptorily away.</p> <p>"Come to the house and git his clothes. Eferysing goes in&mdash;stofepipe hat, butterfly necktie, diamond pin, toothbrush, hair-oil, razor and soap."</p> <p>They had got far enough around the corner to be out of sight of the store, during this gaiety, and the old man now shoved Seffy and the girl out in front of him, linked their arms, and retreated to the rear.</p> <p>"What Sephenijah P. Baumgartner, Senior, hath j'ined together, let nobody put athunder, begoshens!" he announced.</p> <p>The proceeding appeared to be painful to Seffy, but not to Sally. She frankly accepted the situation and promptly put into action its opportunities for coquetry. She begged him, first, with consummate aplomb, to aid her in adjusting her parcels more securely, insisting upon carrying them herself, and it would be impossible to describe adequately her allures. The electrical touches, half-caress,<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_381" id="Page_381">[Pg 381]</SPAN></span> half-defiance; the confidential whisperings, so that the wily old man in the rear might not hear; the surges up against him; the recoveries&mdash;only to surge again&mdash;these would require a mechanical contrivance which reports not only speech but action&mdash;and even this might easily fail, so subtle was it all!</p> <p>"Sef&mdash;Seffy, I thought it was his old watch he was auctioning off. I wanted it for&mdash;for&mdash;a nest-egg! aha-ha-ha! You must excuse me."</p> <p>"You wouldn't 'a' bid at all if you'd knowed it was me, I reckon," said Seffy.</p> <p>"Yes, I would," declared the coquette. "I'd rather have you than any nest-egg in the whole world&mdash;any two of 'em!"&mdash;and when he did not take his chance&mdash;"if they were made of gold!"</p> <p>But then she spoiled it.</p> <p>"It's worse fellows than you, Seffy." The touch of coquetry was but too apparent.</p> <p>"And better," said Seffy, with a lump in his throat. "I know I ain't no good with girls&mdash;and I don't care!"</p> <p>"Yes!" she assented wickedly. "There <i>are</i> better ones."</p> <p>"Sam Pritz&mdash;"</p> <p>Sally looked away, smiled, and was silent.</p> <p>"Sulky Seffy!" she finally said.</p> <p>"If he does stink of salt mackerel, and 'most always drunk!" Seffy went on bitterly. "He's nothing but a molasses-tapper!"</p> <p>Sally began to drift farther away and to sing. Calling Pritz names was of no consequence&mdash;except that it kept Seffy from making love to her while he was doing it&mdash;which seemed foolish to Sally. The old man came up and brought them together again.</p> <p>"Oach! go 'long and make lofe some more. I like to<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_382" id="Page_382">[Pg 382]</SPAN></span> see it. I expect I am an old fool, but I like to see it&mdash;it's like ol' times&mdash;yas, and if you don't look out there, Seffy, I'll take a hand myself&mdash;yassir! go 'long!"</p> <p>He drew them very close together, each looking the other way. Indeed he held them there for a moment, roughly.</p> <p>Seffy stole a glance at Sally. He wanted to see how she was taking his father's odiously intimate suggestion. But it happened that Sally wanted to see how he was taking it. She laughed with the frankest of joy as their eyes met.</p> <p>"Seffy&mdash;I <i>do</i>&mdash;like you," said the coquette. "And you ought to know it. You imp!"</p> <p>Now this was immensely stimulating to the bashful Seffy.</p> <p>"I like <i>you</i>," he said&mdash;"ever since we was babies."</p> <p>"Sef&mdash;I don't believe you. Or you wouldn't waste your time so&mdash;about Sam Pritz!"</p> <p>"Er&mdash;Sally&mdash;where you going to to-night?" Seffy meant to prove himself.</p> <p>And Sally answered, with a little fright at the sudden aggressiveness she had procured.</p> <p>"Nowheres that <i>I</i> know of."</p> <p>"Well&mdash;may I set up with you?"</p> <p>The pea-green sunbonnet could not conceal the utter amazement and then the radiance which shot into Sally's face.</p> <p>"Set&mdash;up&mdash;with&mdash;me!"</p> <p>"Yes!" said Seffy, almost savagely. "That's what I said."</p> <p>"Oh, I&mdash;I guess so! Yes! of course!" she answered variously, and rushed off home.</p> <p>"You know I own you," she laughed back, as if she had not been sufficiently explicit. "I paid for you! Your<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_383" id="Page_383">[Pg 383]</SPAN></span> pappy's got the money! I'll expect my property to-night."</p> <p>"Yas!" shouted the happy old man, "and begoshens! it's a reg'lar bargain! Ain't it, Seffy? You her property&mdash;real estate, hereditaments and tenements." And even Seffy was drawn into the joyous laughing conceit of it! Had he not just done the bravest thing of his small life?</p> <p>"Yes!" he cried after the fascinating Sally. "For sure and certain, to-night!"</p> <p>"It's a bargain!" cried she.</p> <p>"For better or worser, richer or poorer, up an' down, in an' out, chassez right and left! Aha-ha-ha! Aha-ha-ha! But, Seffy,"&mdash;and the happy father turned to the happy son and hugged him, "don't you efer forgit that she's a feather-head and got a bright red temper like her daddy! And they both work mighty bad together sometimes. When you get her at the right place onct&mdash;well, nail her down&mdash;hand and feet&mdash;so's she can't git away. When she gits mad her little brain evaporates, and if she had a knife she'd go round stabbing her best friends&mdash;that's the only sing that safes her&mdash;yas, and us!&mdash;no knife. If she had a knife it would be funerals following her all the time."</p> <h3>II</h3> <p>They advanced together now, Seffy's father whistling some tune that was never heard before on earth, and, with his arm in that of his son, they watched Sally bounding away. Once more, as she leaped a fence, she looked laughingly back. The old man whistled wildly out of tune. Seffy waved a hand!</p> <p>"Now you shouting, Seffy! Shout ag'in!"</p> <p>"I didn't say a word!"</p> <p>"Well&mdash;it ain't too late! Go on!"<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_384" id="Page_384">[Pg 384]</SPAN></span></p> <p>Now Seffy understood and laughed with his father.</p> <p>"Nice gal, Sef&mdash;Seffy!"</p> <p>"Yes!" admitted Seffy with reserve.</p> <p>"Healthy."</p> <p>Seffy agreed to this, also.</p> <p>"No doctor-bills!" his father amplified.</p> <p>Seffy said nothing.</p> <p>"Entire orphen."</p> <p>"She's got a granny!"</p> <p>"Yas," chuckled the old man at the way his son was drifting into the situation&mdash;thinking about granny!&mdash;"but Sally owns <i>the farm</i>!"</p> <p>"Uhu!" said Seffy, whatever that might mean.</p> <p>"And Sally's the boss!"</p> <p>Silence.</p> <p>"And granny won't object to any one Sally marries, anyhow&mdash;she dassent! She'd git licked!"</p> <p>"Who said anything about marrying?"</p> <p>Seffy was speciously savage now&mdash;as any successful wooer might be.</p> <p>"Nobody but me, sank you!" said the old man with equally specious meekness. "Look how she ken jump a six-rail fence. Like a three-year filly! She's a nice gal, Seffy&mdash;and the farms j'ine together&mdash;her pasture-field and our corn-field. And she's kissing her hand backwards! At me or you, Seffy?"</p> <p>Seffy said he didn't know. And he did not return the kiss&mdash;though he yearned to.</p> <p>"Well, I bet a dollar that the first initial of his last name is Sephenijah P. Baumgartner, <i>Junior</i>."</p> <p>"Well!" said Seffy with a great flourish, "I'm going to set up with her to-night."</p> <p>"Oach&mdash;git out, Sef!"&mdash;though he knew it.</p> <p>"You'll see."<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_385" id="Page_385">[Pg 385]</SPAN></span></p> <p>"No, I won't," said his father. "I wouldn't be so durn mean. Nossir!"</p> <p>Seffy grinned at this subtle foolery, and his courage continued to grow.</p> <p>"I'm going to wear my high hat!" he announced, with his nose quite in the air.</p> <p>"No, Sef!" said the old man with a wonderful inflection, facing him about that he might look into his determined face. For it must be explained that the stovepipe hat, in that day and that country, was dedicated only to the most momentous social occasions and that, consequently, gentlemen wore it to go courting.</p> <p>"Yes!" declared Seffy again.</p> <div class="poem"><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">"Bring forth the stovepipe,<br /></span> <span class="i0">The stovepipe, the stovepipe&mdash;"<br /></span> </div></div> <p>chanted Seffy's frivolous father in the way of the Anvil Chorus.</p> <p>"And my butterfly necktie with&mdash;"</p> <p>"Wiss the di'mond on?" whispered his father.</p> <p>They laughed in confidence of their secret. Seffy, the successful wooer, was thawing out again. The diamond was not a diamond at all&mdash;the Hebrew who sold it to Seffy had confessed as much. But he also swore that if it were kept in perfect polish no one but a diamond merchant could tell the difference. Therefore, there being no diamond merchant anywhere near, and the jewel being always immaculate, Seffy presented it as a diamond and had risen perceptibly in the opinion of the vicinage.</p> <p>"And&mdash;and&mdash;and&mdash;Sef&mdash;Seffy, what you goin' to <i>do</i>?"</p> <p>"Do?"</p> <p>Seffy had been absorbed in what he was going to wear. "Yas&mdash;yas&mdash;that's the most important." He encircled<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_386" id="Page_386">[Pg 386]</SPAN></span> Seffy's waist and gently squeezed it. "Oh, of <i>course</i>! Hah? But what <i>yit</i>?"</p> <p>I regret to say that Seffy did not understand.</p> <p>"Seffy," he said impressively, "you haf' tol' me what you goin' to wear. It ain't much. The weather's yit pooty col' nights. But I ken stand it if you ken&mdash;God knows about Sally! Now, what you goin' to <i>do</i>&mdash;that's the conuntrum I ast you!"</p> <p>Still it was not clear to Seffy.</p> <p>"Why&mdash;what I'm a-going to do, hah? Why&mdash;whatever occurs."</p> <p>"Gosh-a'mighty! And nefer say a word or do a sing to help the occurrences along? Goshens! What a setting-up! Why&mdash;say&mdash;Seffy, what you set up <i>for</i>?"</p> <p>Seffy did not exactly know. He had never hoped to practise the thing&mdash;in that sublimely militant phase.</p> <p>"What do <i>you</i> think?"</p> <p>"Well, Sef&mdash;plow straight to her heart. I wisht I had your chance. I'd show you a other-guess kind a setting-up&mdash;yassir! Make your mouth warter and your head swim, begoshens! Why, that Sally's just like a young stubble-field; got to be worked constant, and plowed deep, and manured heafy, and mebby drained wiss blind ditches, and crops changed constant, and kep' a-going thataway&mdash;constant&mdash;constant&mdash;so's the weeds can't git in her. Then you ken put her in wheat after a while and git your money back."</p> <p>This drastic metaphor had its effect. Seffy began to understand. He said so.</p> <p>"Now, look here, Seffy," his father went on more softly, "when you git to this&mdash;and this&mdash;and this,"&mdash;he went through his pantomime again, and it included a progressive caressing to the kissing point&mdash;"well, chust when you bose comfortable&mdash;hah?&mdash;mebby on one cheer,<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_387" id="Page_387">[Pg 387]</SPAN></span> what I know&mdash;it's so long sence I done it myself&mdash;when you bose comfortable, ast her&mdash;chust ast her&mdash;aham!&mdash;what she'll take for the pasture-field! She owns you bose and she can't use bose you and the pasture. A bird in the hand is worth seferal in another feller's&mdash;not so?"</p> <p>But Seffy only stopped and stared at his father. This, again, he did <i>not</i> understand.</p> <p>"You know well enough I got no money to buy no pasture-field," said he.</p> <p>"Gosh-a'mighty!" said the old man joyfully, making as if he would strike Seffy with his huge fist&mdash;a thing he often did. "And ain't got nossing to trade?"</p> <p>"Nothing except the mare!" said the boy.</p> <p>"Say&mdash;ain't you got no feelings, you idjiot?"</p> <p>"Oh&mdash;" said Seffy. And then: "But what's feelings got to do with cow-pasture?"</p> <p>"Oach! No wonder he wants to be an anchel, and wiss the anchels stand&mdash;holding sings in his hands and on his head! He's too good for this wile world. He'd linger shifering on the brink and fear to launch away all his durn life&mdash;if some one didn't push him in. So here goes!"</p> <p>This was spoken to the skies, apparently, but now he turned to his son again.</p> <p>"Look a-yere, you young dummer-ux,<SPAN name="FNanchor_2_2" id="FNanchor_2_2"></SPAN><SPAN href="#Footnote_2_2" class="fnanchor">[2]</SPAN> feelings is the same to gals like Sally, as money is to you and me. You ken buy potatoes wiss 'em! Do you understand?"</p> <p>Seffy said that he did, now.</p> <p>"Well, then, I'fe tried to <i>buy</i> that pasture-field a sousand times&mdash;"</p> <p>Seffy started.</p> <p>"Yas, that's a little bit a lie&mdash;mebby a dozen times. And at last Sally's daddy said he'd lick me if I efer said<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_388" id="Page_388">[Pg 388]</SPAN></span> pasture-field ag'in, and I said it ag'in and he licked me! He was a big man&mdash;and red-headed yit, like Sally. Now, look a-yere&mdash;<i>you</i> ken git that pasture-field wissout money and wissout price&mdash;except you' dam' feelings which ain't no other use. Sally won't lick <i>you</i>&mdash;if she is bigger&mdash;don't be a-skeered. You got tons of feelin's you ain't got no other use for&mdash;don't waste 'em&mdash;they're good green money, and we'll git efen wiss Sally's daddy for licking me yit&mdash;and somesing on the side! Huh?"</p> <p>At last it was evident that Seffy fully understood, and his father broke into that discordant whistle once more.</p> <p>"A gal that ken jump a six-rail fence&mdash;and wissout no running start&mdash;don't let her git apast you!"</p> <p>"Well, I'm going to set up with her to-night," said Seffy again, with a huge ahem. And the tune his father whistled as he opened the door for him sounded something like "I want to be an angel."</p> <p>"But not to buy no pasture-land!" warned Seffy.</p> <p>"Oach, no, of course not!" agreed his wily old father. "That's just one of my durn jokes. But I expect I'll take the fence down to-morrow! Say, Sef, you chust marry the gal. I'll take keer the fence!"</p> <h3>III</h3> <p>It took Seffy a long time to array himself as he had threatened. And when it was all done you wouldn't have known him&mdash;you wouldn't have cared to know him. For his fine yellow hair was changed to an ugly brown by the patent hair-oil with which he had dressed it&mdash;and you would not have liked its fragrance, I trust. Bergamot, I think it was. His fine young throat was garroted within a starched standing collar, his feet were pinched in creak<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_389" id="Page_389">[Pg 389]</SPAN></span>ing boots, his hands close-gauntleted in buckskin gloves, and he altogether incomparable, uncomfortable, and triumphant.</p> <p>Down stairs his father paced the floor, watch in hand. From time to time he would call out the hour, like a watchman on a minaret. At last:</p> <p>"Look a-yere, Seffy, it's about two inches apast seven&mdash;and by the time you git there&mdash;say, <i>nefer</i> gif another feller a chance to git there afore you or to leave after you!"</p> <p>Seffy descended at that moment with his hat poised in his left hand.</p> <p>His father dropped his watch and picked it up.</p> <p>Both stood at gaze for a moment.</p> <p>"Sunder, Sef! You as beautiful as the sun, moon and stars&mdash;and as stinky as seferal apothecary shops. Yere, take the watch and git along&mdash;so's you haf some time wiss you&mdash;now git along! You late a'ready. Goshens! You wass behind time when you wass born! Yas, your mammy wass disapp'inted in you right at first. You wass seventy-six hours late! But now you reformed&mdash;sank God! I always knowed it wass a cure for it, but I didn't know it wass anysing as nice as Sally."</p> <p>Seffy issued forth to his first conquest&mdash;lighted as far as the front gate by the fat lamp held in his father's hand.</p> <p>"A&mdash;Sef&mdash;Seffy, shall I set up for you tell you git home?" he called into the dark.</p> <p>"No!" shouted Seffy.</p> <p>"Aha&mdash;aha&mdash;aha! That sounds <i>right</i>! Don't you forgit when you bose&mdash;well&mdash;comfortable&mdash;aha&mdash;aha! Mebby on one cheer aha&mdash;ha-ha. And we'll bose take the fence down to-morrow. Mebby all three!"<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_390" id="Page_390">[Pg 390]</SPAN></span></p> <hr style="width: 65%;" /> <h2>AN ARCH&AElig;OLOGICAL CONGRESS</h2> <h3>BY ROBERT J. BURDETTE</h3> <div class="poem"><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">"'There's none can tell about my birth<br /></span> <span class="i0">For I'm as old as the big round earth;<br /></span> <span class="i0">Ye young Immortals clear the track,<br /></span> <span class="i0">I'm the bearded Joke on the Carpet tack."<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">Thus spoke<br /></span> <span class="i0">A Joke<br /></span> <span class="i0">With boastful croak;<br /></span> <span class="i0">And as he said,<br /></span> <span class="i0">Upon his head<br /></span> <span class="i0">He stood, and waited for the tread<br /></span> <span class="i0">Of thoughtless wight,<br /></span> <span class="i0">Who, in the night,<br /></span> <span class="i0">Gets up, arrayed in garments white,<br /></span> <span class="i0">And indiscreet,<br /></span> <span class="i0">With unshod feet,<br /></span> <span class="i0">Prowls round for something good to eat.<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">But other Jokes<br /></span> <span class="i0">His speech provokes;<br /></span> <span class="i0">And old, and bald, and lame, and gray,<br /></span> <span class="i0">With loftiest scorn they say him Nay;<br /></span> <span class="i0">And bid him hold his unweaned tongue,<br /></span> <span class="i0">For they were blind ere he was young.<br /></span> <span class="i0">So hot<br /></span> <span class="i0">They grew,<br /></span> <span class="i0">This complot<br /></span> <span class="i0">Crew,</span><span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_391" id="Page_391">[Pg 391]</SPAN></span><br /> <span class="i0">They laid a plan<br /></span> <span class="i0">To catch a Man;<br /></span> <span class="i0">That all the clan<br /></span> <span class="i0">Might then trepan<br /></span> <span class="i0">His skull with Jokes; they thus began:<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">First Mule, his heel its skill to try,<br /></span> <span class="i2">Amid his ribs like lightning laid&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i0">And back recoiled&mdash;he well knew why;<br /></span> <span class="i2">"Insurance Man," he faintly sayed.<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">Next Stove Pipe rushed, as hot as fire,<br /></span> <span class="i2">"Put up!" he cried, in accents bold;<br /></span> <span class="i0">With Elbow joint he struck the lyre,<br /></span> <span class="i2">And knocked the Weather Prophet cold.<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">But thou, Ice Cream, with hair so gray,<br /></span> <span class="i2">Three thousand years before the Flood,<br /></span> <span class="i0">Cold, bitter cold, will be the day<br /></span> <span class="i2">Thou dost not warm the Jester's blood.<br /></span> <span class="i0">"Spoons for the spooney," was her ancient song,<br /></span> <span class="i0">That with slow measure dragged its deathless length along.<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">And longer had she sung, but with a frown,<br /></span> <span class="i2">Old Pie, impatient, rose<br /></span> <span class="i0">And roared, "Behold, I am the Funny Clown!<br /></span> <span class="i2">And without me there is no Joke that goes.<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">"To every Jester in the land,<br /></span> <span class="i0">I lend my omnipresent hand;<br /></span> <span class="i0">I've filled in Jokes of every grade<br /></span> <span class="i0">Since ever Jokes and Pies were made;<br /></span> <span class="i0">Sewed, pegged and pasted, glued or cast,<br /></span> <span class="i0">If not the first of Jokes, I'll be the last."</span><span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_392" id="Page_392">[Pg 392]</SPAN></span><br /> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">With heart unripe and mottled hide,<br /></span> <span class="i0">Pale summer watermeloncholly sighed,<br /></span> <span class="i0">And&mdash;but the Muse would find it vain<br /></span> <span class="i0">To give a list of all the train;<br /></span> <span class="i0">The hairless, purblind, toothless crew,<br /></span> <span class="i0">That burst on Man's astonished view&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i0">The Bull dog and the Garden gate;<br /></span> <span class="i0">The Girl's Papa in wrathful state;<br /></span> <span class="i0">Ma'ma in law; the Leathern Clam;<br /></span> <span class="i0">The Woodshed Cat; the Rampant Ram;<br /></span> <span class="i0">The Fly, the Goat, the Skating Rink,<br /></span> <span class="i0">The Paste-brush plunging in the Ink;<br /></span> <span class="i0">The Baby wailing in the Dark;<br /></span> <span class="i0">The Songs they sang upon the Ark;<br /></span> <span class="i0">Things that were old when Earth was new,<br /></span> <span class="i0">And as they lived still old and older grew,<br /></span> <span class="i0">And as these Jokes about him cried,<br /></span> <span class="i0">And all their Ancient Arts upon him tried,<br /></span> <span class="i0">Their hapless victim, Man, lay down and died.<br /></span> <span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_393" id="Page_393">[Pg 393]</SPAN></span></div></div> <hr style="width: 65%;" /> <h2>A BOY'S VIEW OF IT</h2> <h3>BY FRANK L. STANTON</h3> <div class="poem"><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">Mother&mdash;she's always a-sayin', she is,<br /></span> <span class="i2">Boys must be looked after&mdash;got to be strict;<br /></span> <span class="i0">When I tear my breeches like Billy tears his,<br /></span> <span class="i2">It helps 'em considerable when I am licked!<br /></span> <span class="i0">But it ain't leapin' over the fence or the post&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i0">It's jest that same lickin' 'at tears 'em the most!<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">Mother&mdash;she's always a-sayin' to me,<br /></span> <span class="i2">Boys must have people to foller 'em roun';<br /></span> <span class="i0">Never kin tell where they're goin' to be;<br /></span> <span class="i2">Sure to git lost, an' then have to be foun'.<br /></span> <span class="i0">An' then&mdash;when they find 'em, they're so full of joy<br /></span> <span class="i0">They can't keep from lovin' an' lickin' the boy!<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">There's Jimmy Johnson&mdash;got lost on the road;<br /></span> <span class="i2">Daddy wuz drivin' to market one day,<br /></span> <span class="i0">Fell out the wagon, an' nobody knowed<br /></span> <span class="i2">Till they come to a halt, an' his daddy said: "Hey!<br /></span> <span class="i0">Wonder where Jimmy is gone to?" But Jim&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i0">Warn't no two hosses could keep up with him!<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">Jest kept a-goin', an' got to a place<br /></span> <span class="i2">Where wuz a circus; took up with the clown,<br /></span> <span class="i0">Cut off his ringlets and painted his face,<br /></span> <span class="i2">An' then come right back to his daddy's own town!<br /></span> <span class="i0">An' what do you reckon? His folks didn't know,<br /></span> <span class="i0">An' paid to see Jimmy that night in the show!</span><span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_394" id="Page_394">[Pg 394]</SPAN></span><br /> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">An' there's Billy Jenkins&mdash;he jest run away<br /></span> <span class="i2">(Folks at his house wuzn't treatin' him right);<br /></span> <span class="i0">Went to the place where the red Injuns stay;<br /></span> <span class="i2">An' once, when his daddy wuz travelin' at night<br /></span> <span class="i0">An' the Injuns took after him, hollerin' loud,<br /></span> <span class="i0">Bill run to his rescue, an' scalped the whole crowd!<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">No use in talkin'&mdash;boys don't have no show!<br /></span> <span class="i2">Wuzn't fer people a-follerin' 'em roun',<br /></span> <span class="i0">Jest ain't no tellin' how fast they would grow;<br /></span> <span class="i2">Bet you they'd fool everybody in town!<br /></span> <span class="i0">But mother&mdash;she says they need lickin', an' so<br /></span> <span class="i0">They're too busy hollerin' to git up an' grow!<br /></span> <span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_395" id="Page_395">[Pg 395]</SPAN></span></div></div> <hr style="width: 65%;" /> <h2>"RINGWORM FRANK"</h2> <h3>BY JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY</h3> <div class="poem"><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">Jest Frank Reed's his <i>real</i> name&mdash;though<br /></span> <span class="i2">Boys all calls him "Ringworm Frank,"<br /></span> <span class="i0">'Cause he allus <i>runs round</i> so.&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i2">No man can't tell where to bank<br /></span> <span class="i8"><i>Frank</i>'ll be,<br /></span> <span class="i8">Next you see<br /></span> <span class="i2">Er <i>hear</i> of him!&mdash;Drat his melts!&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i2">That man's allus <i>somers else</i>!<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">We're old pards.&mdash;But Frank he jest<br /></span> <span class="i4"><i>Can't</i> stay still!&mdash;Wuz <i>prosper'n here</i>,<br /></span> <span class="i2">But lit out on furder West<br /></span> <span class="i2">Somers on a ranch, last year:<br /></span> <span class="i8">Never heard<br /></span> <span class="i8">Nary a word<br /></span> <span class="i2"><i>How</i> he liked it, tel to-day,<br /></span> <span class="i2">Got this card, reads thisaway:&mdash;<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">"Dad-burn climate out here makes<br /></span> <span class="i2">Me homesick all Winter long,<br /></span> <span class="i0">And when Springtime <i>comes</i>, it takes<br /></span> <span class="i2">Two pee-wees to sing one song,&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i8">One sings '<i>pee</i>'<br /></span> <span class="i8">And the other one '<i>wee</i>!'<br /></span> <span class="i2">Stay right where you air, old pard.&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i2">Wisht <i>I</i> wuz this postal-card!"<br /></span> <span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_396" id="Page_396">[Pg 396]</SPAN></span></div></div> <hr style="width: 65%;" /> <h2>THE COLONEL'S CLOTHES</h2> <h3>BY CAROLINE HOWARD GILMAN</h3> <p>Every man has some peculiar taste or preference, and, I think, though papa dressed with great elegance, his was a decided love of his old clothes; his garments, like his friends, became dearer to him from their wear and tear in his service, and they were deposited successively in his dressing-room, though mamma thought them quite unfit for him. He averred that he required his old hunting-suits for accidents; his summer jackets and vests, though faded, were the coolest in the world; his worm-eaten but warm <i>roquelaure</i> was admirable for riding about the fields, etc. In vain mamma represented the economy of cutting up some for the boys, and giving others to the servants; he would not consent, nor part with articles in which he said he felt at home. Often did mamma remonstrate against the dressing-room's looking like a haberdasher's shop; often did she take down a coat, hold it up to the light, and show him perforations that would have honored New Orleans or Waterloo; often, while Chloe was flogging the pantaloons, which ungallantly kicked in return, did she declare that it was a sin and a shame for her master to have such things in the house; still the anti-cherubic shapes accumulated on the nails and hooks, and were even considered as of sufficient importance to be preserved from the fire at the burning of Roseland.</p> <p>Our little circle about this time was animated by a visit<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_397" id="Page_397">[Pg 397]</SPAN></span> from a peddler. As soon as he was perceived crossing the lawn with a large basket on his arm, and a bundle slung across a stick on his shoulder, a stir commenced in the house. Mamma assumed an air of importance and responsibility; I felt a pleasurable excitement; Chloe's and Flora's eyes twinkled with expectation; while, from different quarters, the house servants entered, standing with eyes and mouth silently open, as the peddler, after depositing his basket and deliberately untying his bundle, offered his goods to our inspection. He was a stout man, with a dark complexion, pitted with the small-pox, and spoke in a foreign accent. I confess that I yielded myself to the pleasure of purchasing some gewgaws, which I afterward gave to Flora, while mamma looked at the glass and plated ware.</p> <p>"Ver sheap," said the peddler, following her eye, and taking up a pair of glass pitchers; "only two dollar&mdash;sheap as dirt. If te lady hash any old closhes, it is petter as money."</p> <p>Mamma took the pitchers in her hand with an inquisitorial air, balanced them, knocked them with her small knuckles&mdash;they rang as clear as a bell&mdash;examined the glass&mdash;there was not a flaw in it. Chloe went through the same process; they looked significantly at each other, nodded, set the pitchers on the slab, and gave a little approbatory cough.</p> <p>"They are certainly very cheap," said mamma, tentatively.</p> <p>"They is, for true, my mistress," said Chloe, with solemnity, "and more handsomer than Mrs. Whitney's that she gin six dollars for at Charleston."</p> <p>"Chloe," said mamma, "were not those pantaloons you were shaking to-day quite shrunk and worn out?"</p> <p>"Yes, ma'am," said she; "and they don't fit nohow.<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_398" id="Page_398">[Pg 398]</SPAN></span> The last time the colonel wore them he seemed quite <i>on-restless</i>."</p> <p>"Just step up," said her mistress, "and bring them down; but stay&mdash;what did you say was the price of these candlesticks, sir?"</p> <p>"Tish only von dollars; but tish more cheaper for te old closhes. If te lady will get te old closhes, I will put in te pellows and te prush, and it ish more sheaper, too."</p> <p>Chloe and mamma looked at each other, and raised their eyebrows.</p> <p>"I will just step up and see those pantaloons," said mamma, in a consulting tone. "It will be a mercy to the colonel to clear out some of that rubbish. I am confident he can never wear the pantaloons again; they are rubbed in the knees, and require seating, and he never <i>will</i> wear seated pantaloons. These things are unusually cheap, and the colonel told me lately we were in want of a few little matters of this sort." Thus saying, with a significant whisper to me to watch the peddler, she disappeared with Chloe.</p> <p>They soon returned, Chloe bearing a variety of garments, for mamma had taken the important <i>premier pas</i>. The pantaloons were first produced. The peddler took them in his hand, which flew up like an empty scale, to show how light they were; he held them up to the sun, and a half contemptuous smile crossed his lips; then shaking his head, he threw them down beside his basket. A drab overcoat was next inspected, and was also thrown aside with a doubtful expression.</p> <p>"Mr. Peddler," said mamma, in a very soft tone, "you must allow me a fair price; these are very excellent articles."</p> <p>"Oh, ver fair," said he, "but te closhes ish not ver<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_399" id="Page_399">[Pg 399]</SPAN></span> goot; te closhesman is not going to give me noting for dish," and he laid a waistcoat on the other two articles.</p> <p>Mamma and Chloe had by this time reached the depths of the basket, and, with sympathetic exclamations, arranged several articles on the slab.</p> <p>"You will let me have these pitchers," said mamma, with a look of concentrated resolution, "for that very nice pair of pantaloons."</p> <p>The peddler gave a short whistle expressive of contempt, shook his head, and said, "Tish not possibles. I will give two pishers and von prush for te pantaloon and waistcoat."</p> <p>Mamma and Chloe glanced at each other and at me; I was absorbed in my own bargains, and said, carelessly, that the pitchers were perfect beauties. Chloe pushed one pitcher a little forward, mamma pushed the other on a parallel line, then poised a decanter, and again applied her delicate knuckles for the test. That, too, rang out the musical, unbroken sound, so dear to the housewife's ear, and, with a pair of plated candlesticks, was deposited on the table. The peddler took up the drab overcoat.</p> <p>"Te closhesman's give noting for dish."</p> <p>Mamma looked disconcerted. The expression of her face implied the fear that the peddler would not even accept it as a gift. Chloe and she held a whispering consultation. At this moment Binah came in with little Patsey, who, seeing the articles on the slab, pointed with her dimpled fingers, and said her only words,</p> <p>"Pretty! pretty!"</p> <p>At the same moment, Lafayette and Venus, the two little novices in furniture-rubbing, exclaimed,</p> <p>"Ki! if dem ting an't shine too much!"</p> <p>These opinions made the turning-point in mamma's mind, though coming from such insignificant sources.<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_400" id="Page_400">[Pg 400]</SPAN></span></p> <p>"So they are pretty, my darling," said mamma to Patsey; and then, turning to the peddler, she asked him what he would give in exchange for the pantaloons, the waistcoat and the coat.</p> <p>The peddler set aside two decanters, one pitcher, the plated candlesticks, and a hearth-brush.</p> <p>"Tish ver goot pargains for te lady," said he.</p> <p>Mamma gained courage.</p> <p>"I can not think of letting you have all these things without something more. You must at least throw in that little tray," and she looked at a small scarlet one, worth perhaps a quarter of a dollar.</p> <p>The peddler hesitated, and held it up so that the morning sun shone on its bright hues.</p> <p>"I shall not make a bargain without <i>that</i>," said mamma, resolutely. The peddler sighed, and laying it with the selected articles said:</p> <p>"Tish ver great pargains for te lady."</p> <p>Mamma smiled triumphantly, and the peddler, tying up his bundle and slinging his stick, departed with an air of humility.</p> <p>Papa's voice was soon heard, as usual, before he was seen.</p> <p>"Rub down Beauty, Mark, and tell Diggory to call out the hounds."</p> <p>There was a slight embarrassment in mamma's manner when he entered, mingled with the same quantity of bravado. He nodded to her, tapped me on the head with his riding-whip, gave Patsey a kiss as she stretched out her arms to him, tossed her in the air, and, returning her to her nurse, was passing on.</p> <p>"Do stop, Colonel," said mamma, "and admire my bargains. See this cut glass and plate that we have been wishing for, to save our best set."<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_401" id="Page_401">[Pg 401]</SPAN></span></p> <p>"What, this trash?" said he, pausing a moment at the table&mdash;"blown glass and washed brass! Who has been fooling you?"</p> <p>"Colonel," said mamma, coloring highly, "how can you&mdash;"</p> <p>"I can not stop a minute, now, wife," said he, "Jones and Ferguson are for a hunt to-day! They are waiting at Drake's corner. It looks like falling weather and my old drab will come in well to-day."</p> <p>Mamma looked frightened, and he passed on up-stairs. He was one of those gentlemen who keep a house alive, as the phrase is, whether in merriment or the contrary, and we were always prepared to search for his hat, or whip, or slippers, which he was confident he put in their places, but which, by some miracle, were often in opposite directions. Our greatest trial, however, was with mamma's and his spectacles, for they had four pairs between them&mdash;far-sighted and near-sighted. There were, indeed, <i>optical</i> delusions practiced with them; for when papa wanted his, they were hidden behind some pickle-jar; and when mamma had carefully placed hers in her key-basket, they were generally found in one of papa's various pockets; when a distant object was to be seen, he was sure to mount the near-sighted, and cry "Pshaw!" and if a splinter was to be taken out, nothing could be found but the far-sighted ones, and he said something worse: sometimes all four pairs were missing, and such a scampering ensued!</p> <p>We now heard a great outcry up-stairs. "Wife! Chloe! Cornelia! come and find my drab coat!" We looked at each other in dismay, but papa was not a man for delay, and we obeyed his summons.</p> <p>"Wife," said he, beating aside the externals of man that hung about his dressing-room, "where is my old drab coat?"<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_402" id="Page_402">[Pg 402]</SPAN></span></p> <p>Mamma swallowed as if a dry artichoke was in her throat, as she said, slowly, "Why, colonel, you know you had not worn that coat for months, and as you have another one, and a <i>roquelaure</i>, and the coat was full of moth-holes, I exchanged it with the peddler for cut glass and plate."</p> <p>"Cut devils!" said papa, who liked to soften an oath by combinations; "it was worth twenty dollars&mdash;yes, more, because I felt at home in it. I hate new coats as I do&mdash;"</p> <p>"But, colonel," interrupted mamma, "you did not see the scarlet tray, and the&mdash;"</p> <p>"Scarlet nonsense," shouted papa; "I believe, if they could, women would sell their husbands to those rascally peddlers!"</p> <p>Beauty and the hounds were now pronounced ready. I followed papa to the piazza, and heard his wrath rolling off as he cantered away.</p> <hr style="width: 65%;" /> <h2>FOOTNOTES:</h2> <div class="footnote"><p><SPAN name="Footnote_1_1" id="Footnote_1_1"></SPAN><SPAN href="#FNanchor_1_1"><span class="label">[1]</span></SPAN> By permission of Fox, Duffield and Company. From <i>The Golfer's Rubaiyat</i>. Copyright, 1901, by Herbert S. Stone and Company.</p></div> <div class="footnote"><p><SPAN name="Footnote_2_2" id="Footnote_2_2"></SPAN><SPAN href="#FNanchor_2_2"><span class="label">[2]</span></SPAN> Dumb ox&mdash;a term of reproach.</p></div> <hr style="width: 65%;" /><p><span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_403" id="Page_403">[Pg 403]</SPAN></span></p> <div class="bbox"> <div class="boxtext"> <h4><i>HERE'S A MERRY BOOK BY A MERRY MAN</i></h4> <hr style="width: 95%;" /> <h2>THE SUNNY SIDE OF THE STREET</h2> <p style="text-align: center;">By MARSHALL P. WILDER</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><i>Author of "Smiling 'Round the World".</i></p> <p>"His book&mdash;like American conversation&mdash;is made up of anecdotes. He talks intimately of Richard Croker, President McKinley, President Harrison, Joseph Jefferson, Senator Depew, Henry Watterson, Gen. Horace Porter, Augustin Daly, Henry Irving, Buffalo Bill, King Edward VII., Mrs. Langtry, and a host of other personages, large and small, and medium-sized. He tells many good stories. We can recommend his book as cheerful reading."&mdash;<i>New York Times.</i></p> <div class="blockquot"><p>"It is replete with anecdotes and observations relating to the humorous side of life, intimate bits of interesting personalia, and bright and witty chat concerning things in general."&mdash;<i>Pittsburg Leader.</i></p> <p>"Reading the book is like listening to a humorous lecture by Marshall P. Wilder, full of wit and brightness, and it will cheer and comfort the most morose man or woman just to read it."&mdash;<i>Baltimore American.</i></p> <p><i>12mo, Cloth. Humorous Pen-and-Ink Sketches by Bart Haley. Frontispiece Portrait of Mr. Wilder. Price, $1.20.</i></p></div> <p style="text-align: center;">FUNK &amp; WAGNALLS COMPANY, Publishers</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span class="smcap">NEW YORK and LONDON</span></p> </div></div> <hr style="width: 65%;" /><p><span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_404" id="Page_404">[Pg 404]</SPAN></span></p> <div class="bbox"> <div class="boxtext"> <h4><i>ANOTHER ROARING FUN BOOK!</i></h4> <h2>SMILING 'ROUND THE WORLD</h2> <p style="text-align: center;">By MARSHALL P. WILDER</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><i>Author of "The Sunny Side of the Street"</i></p> <p>"<i>Laugh and the world laughs with you</i>" can be truly said of Marshall P. Wilder, the captivating entertainer of Presidents, Kings, Princes, and the great public. As the Hon. Chauncey M. Depew says, "His mirth is contagious," and as the Right Hon. Henry Labouchere remarked, "He makes melancholy fly apace." You'll find laughs bubbling all through this new book.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><i>SOME OPINIONS FROM THE NEWSPAPERS</i></p> <div class="blockquot"><p>"There are many cheerful, amusing incidents of travel. It is a very readable and entertaining book."&mdash;<i>Democrat and Chronicle</i>, Rochester, N.Y.</p> <p>"A marvelous lot of 'sunny stuff' is to be found in Mr. Wilder's latest book. He merrily prattles of a thousand different things and of as many different people."&mdash;<i>Record</i>, Philadelphia, Pa.</p> <p>"In addition to the keen enjoyment which the reader will elicit from the undercurrent of humor running through the volume, the book gives a vivid picture of life as it is lived in distant lands."&mdash;<i>Journal</i>, Boston, Mass.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><i>Decorated Cloth Cover. 12mo. Profusely Illustrated.</i></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><i>Price, $1.50</i></p></div> <p style="text-align: center;">FUNK &amp; WAGNALLS COMPANY, Publishers</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span class="smcap">NEW YORK and LONDON</span></p> </div></div> <hr style="width: 65%;" /> <div class="bbox"> <div class="boxtext"> <p><b>Transcriber's Note:</b> The Table of Contents in the print edition lists John Boyle O'Reilly's work entitled "A Disappointment" as being on page 191. It is indeed on this page, but in Volume I, so has been removed Volume II's Table of Contents here.</p> </div> </div>
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