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Wit and Humor of America, The Vol 02

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<SPAN name="Page_221" id="Page_221">[Pg 221]</SPAN></span></p> <hr style="width: 65%;" /> <h2>THE TWO NEW HOUSES</h2> <h3>BY CAROLYN WELLS</h3> <p>Once on a Time, there were Two Men, each of whom decided to build for himself a Fine, New House.</p> <p>One Man, being of an Arrogant and Conceited Nature, took counsel of Nobody, but declared that he would build his House to suit himself.</p> <p>"For," said he, "since it is My House and I am to Live in It, why should I ask the Advice of my Neighbors as to its Construction?"</p> <p>While the House was Building, the Neighbors came often and Looked at it, and went away, Whispering and Wagging their Heads in Derision.</p> <p>But the Man paid no Heed, and continued to build his House as he Would.</p> <p>The Result was that, when completed, his House was lacking in Symmetry and Utility, and in a Hundred ways it was Unsatisfactory, and for each Defect there was a Neighbor who said, "Had you asked Me, I would have Warned you against that Error."</p> <p>The Other Man, who was of a Humble and Docile Mind, went to Each of his Neighbors in Turn, and asked Advice about the Building of his House.</p> <p>His Friends willingly and at Great Length gave him the Benefit of their Experiences and Opinions, and the Grateful Man undertook to Follow Out all their Directions.</p> <p>The Result was that his House, when finished, was a<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_222" id="Page_222">[Pg 222]</SPAN></span> Hodge-Podge of Varying Styles and Contradictory Effects, and Exceedingly Uncomfortable and Inconvenient to Live In.</p> <h3>MORALS:</h3> <p>This Fable teaches that In a Multitude of Counselors there is Safety, and that Too Many Cooks Spoil the Broth.</p> <hr style="width: 65%;" /> <h2>YES?</h2> <h3>BY JOHN BOYLE O'REILLY</h3> <div class="poem"><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">The words of the lips are double or single,<br /></span> <span class="i2">True or false, as we say or sing:<br /></span> <span class="i0">But the words of the eyes that mix and mingle<br /></span> <span class="i2">Are always saying the same old thing.<br /></span> </div></div> <hr style="width: 65%;" /> <h2>FASCINATION</h2> <h3>BY JOHN B. TABB</h3> <div class="poem"><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">Among your many playmates here,<br /></span> <span class="i0">How is it that you all prefer<br /></span> <span class="i2">Your little friend, my dear?<br /></span> <span class="i0">"Because, mamma, tho' hard we try,<br /></span> <span class="i0">Not one of us can spit so high,<br /></span> <span class="i2">And catch it in his ear."<br /></span> <span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_223" id="Page_223">[Pg 223]</SPAN></span></div></div> <hr style="width: 65%;" /> <h2>BARNEY MCGEE</h2> <h3>BY RICHARD HOVEY</h3> <div class="poem"><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">Barney McGee, there's no end of good luck in you,<br /></span> <span class="i0">Will-o'-the-wisp, with a flicker of Puck in you,<br /></span> <span class="i0">Wild as a bull-pup, and all of his pluck in you&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i0">Let a man tread on your coat and he'll see!<br /></span> <span class="i0">Eyes like the lakes of Killarney for clarity,<br /></span> <span class="i0">Nose that turns up without any vulgarity,<br /></span> <span class="i0">Smile like a cherub, and hair that is carroty&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i0">Whoop, you're a rarity, Barney McGee!<br /></span> <span class="i0">Mellow as Tarragon,<br /></span> <span class="i0">Prouder than Aragon&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i0">Hardly a paragon,<br /></span> <span class="i0">You will agree&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i0">Here's all that's fine to you!<br /></span> <span class="i0">Books and old wine to you!<br /></span> <span class="i0">Girls be divine to you,<br /></span> <span class="i0">Barney McGee!<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">Lucky the day when I met you unwittingly,<br /></span> <span class="i0">Dining where vagabonds came and went flittingly.<br /></span> <span class="i0">Here's some <i>Barbera</i> to drink it befittingly,<br /></span> <span class="i0">That day at Silvio's, Barney McGee!<br /></span> <span class="i0">Many's the time we have quaffed our Chianti there,<br /></span> <span class="i0">Listened to Silvio quoting us Dante there&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i0">Once more to drink Nebiolo spumante there,<br /></span> <span class="i0">How we'd pitch Pommery into the sea!<br /></span> <span class="i0">There where the gang of us<br /></span> <span class="i0">Met ere Rome rang of us,</span><span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_224" id="Page_224">[Pg 224]</SPAN></span><br /> <span class="i0">They had the hang of us<br /></span> <span class="i0">To a degree.<br /></span> <span class="i0">How they would trust to you!<br /></span> <span class="i0">That was but just to you.<br /></span> <span class="i0">Here's o'er their dust to you,<br /></span> <span class="i0">Barney McGee!<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">Barney McGee, when you're sober you scintillate,<br /></span> <span class="i0">But when you're in drink you're the pride of the intellect;<br /></span> <span class="i0">Divil a one of us ever came in till late,<br /></span> <span class="i0">Once at the bar where you happened to be&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i0">Every eye there like a spoke in you centering,<br /></span> <span class="i0">You with your eloquence, blarney, and bantering&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i0">All Vagabondia shouts at your entering,<br /></span> <span class="i0">King of the Tenderloin, Barney McGee!<br /></span> <span class="i0">There's no satiety<br /></span> <span class="i0">In your society<br /></span> <span class="i0">With the variety<br /></span> <span class="i0">Of your esprit.<br /></span> <span class="i0">Here's a long purse to you,<br /></span> <span class="i0">And a great thirst to you!<br /></span> <span class="i0">Fate be no worse to you,<br /></span> <span class="i0">Barney McGee!<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">Och, and the girls whose poor hearts you deracinate,<br /></span> <span class="i0">Whirl and bewilder and flutter and fascinate!<br /></span> <span class="i0">Faith, it's so killing you are, you assassinate&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i0">Murder's the word for you, Barney McGee!<br /></span> <span class="i0">Bold when they're sunny, and smooth when they're showery&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i0">Oh, but the style of you, fluent and flowery!<br /></span> <span class="i0">Chesterfield's way, with a touch of the Bowery!<br /></span> <span class="i0">How would they silence you, Barney machree?<br /></span> <span class="i0">Naught can your gab allay,</span><span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_225" id="Page_225">[Pg 225]</SPAN></span><br /> <span class="i0">Learned as Rabelais<br /></span> <span class="i0">(You in his abbey lay<br /></span> <span class="i0">Once on the spree).<br /></span> <span class="i0">Here's to the smile of you,<br /></span> <span class="i0">(Oh, but the guile of you!)<br /></span> <span class="i0">And a long while of you,<br /></span> <span class="i0">Barney McGee!<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">Facile with phrases of length and Latinity,<br /></span> <span class="i0">Like honorificabilitudinity,<br /></span> <span class="i0">Where is the maid could resist your vicinity,<br /></span> <span class="i0">Wiled by the impudent grace of your plea?<br /></span> <span class="i0">Then your vivacity and pertinacity<br /></span> <span class="i0">Carry the day with the divil's audacity;<br /></span> <span class="i0">No mere veracity robs your sagacity<br /></span> <span class="i0">Of perspicacity, Barney McGee.<br /></span> <span class="i0">When all is new to them,<br /></span> <span class="i0">What will you do to them?<br /></span> <span class="i0">Will you be true to them?<br /></span> <span class="i0">Who shall decree?<br /></span> <span class="i0">Here's a fair strife to you!<br /></span> <span class="i0">Health and long life to you!<br /></span> <span class="i0">And a great wife to you, Barney McGee!<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">Barney McGee, you're the pick of gentility;<br /></span> <span class="i0">Nothing can phase you, you've such a facility;<br /></span> <span class="i0">Nobody ever yet found your utility&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i0">There is the charm of you, Barney McGee;<br /></span> <span class="i0">Under conditions that others would stammer in,<br /></span> <span class="i0">Still unperturbed as a cat or a Cameron,<br /></span> <span class="i0">Polished as somebody in the Decameron,<br /></span> <span class="i0">Putting the glamour on price or Pawnee.<br /></span> <span class="i0">In your meanderin',<br /></span> <span class="i0">Love and philanderin',</span><span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_226" id="Page_226">[Pg 226]</SPAN></span><br /> <span class="i0">Calm as a mandarin<br /></span> <span class="i0">Sipping his tea!<br /></span> <span class="i0">Under the art of you,<br /></span> <span class="i0">Parcel and part of you,<br /></span> <span class="i0">Here's to the heart of you,<br /></span> <span class="i0">Barney McGee!<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">You who were ever alert to befriend a man,<br /></span> <span class="i0">You who were ever the first to defend a man,<br /></span> <span class="i0">You who had always the money to lend a man,<br /></span> <span class="i0">Down on his luck and hard up for a V!<br /></span> <span class="i0">Sure, you'll be playing a harp in beatitude<br /></span> <span class="i0">(And a quare sight you will be in that attitude)&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i0">Some day, where gratitude seems but a platitude,<br /></span> <span class="i0">You'll find your latitude, Barney McGee.<br /></span> <span class="i0">That's no flim-flam at all,<br /></span> <span class="i0">Frivol or sham at all,<br /></span> <span class="i0">Just the plain&mdash;Damn it all,<br /></span> <span class="i0">Have one with me!<br /></span> <span class="i0">Here's one and more to you!<br /></span> <span class="i0">Friends by the score to you,<br /></span> <span class="i0">True to the core to you,<br /></span> <span class="i0">Barney McGee!<br /></span> <span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_227" id="Page_227">[Pg 227]</SPAN></span></div></div> <hr style="width: 65%;" /> <h2>THE OLD DEACON'S VERSION OF THE STORY OF THE RICH MAN AND LAZARUS</h2> <h3>BY FRANK L. STANTON</h3> <div class="poem"><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">I s'pose yo' know de story, O my brotherin', er de man<br /></span> <span class="i0">Dat wuz rich ez cream, en livin' on de fatness er de lan'?<br /></span> <span class="i0">How he sot dar eatin' 'possum, en when Laz'rus ax fer some,<br /></span> <span class="i0">He tell 'im: "Git erway, dar! fer you'll never git a crumb!"<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">De rich man wuz a feastin' f'um his chiny plate en cup,<br /></span> <span class="i0">Kaze he 'fraid his po' relations come en eat his wittles up;<br /></span> <span class="i0">I spec' he had <i>two</i> 'possums on de table long en wide,<br /></span> <span class="i0">En a jimmyjohn er cane juice wuz a-settin' by his side.<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">En he say: "Dis heah des suits me, en I gwine ter eat my fill;<br /></span> <span class="i0">But I'll sic de dogs on Laz'rus, ef he waitin' roun' heah still."<br /></span> <span class="i0">En de dogs commence dey barkin', raise a racket high en low,<br /></span> <span class="i0">En when Laz'rus see 'em comin' he decide 'twuz time ter go.<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">So, he limp off on his crutches, en de rich man think it's fun,<br /></span> <span class="i0">But I reckon Laz'rus answer: "I'll git even wid you, son!"<br /></span> <span class="i0">De rich man so enjoy hisse'f he laugh hisse'f ter bed,<br /></span> <span class="i0">En, brotherin', when he wake up he wuz stiff, stone dead!</span><span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_228" id="Page_228">[Pg 228]</SPAN></span><br /> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">En den he raise a racket, en he holler out: "What dis?<br /></span> <span class="i0">De place is onfamiliar, en I wonder whar' I is?"<br /></span> <span class="i0">Den Satan, he mek answer: "I'm de man ter tell you dat:<br /></span> <span class="i0">You's in de fire department er de place I livin' at!"<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">Den de rich man say: "Whar' Laz'rus dat wuz beggin' at my gate?"<br /></span> <span class="i0">En Satan tell him: "Yander, wid a silver spoon en plate;<br /></span> <span class="i0">En he eatin' fit ter kill hisse'f! He spendin' er de day<br /></span> <span class="i0">Wid good ol' Mister Abra'm, but he mighty fur away!"<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">"Will you please, suh," say de rich man, "ax him bring a drink ter me,<br /></span> <span class="i0">Wid a li'l' ice ter cool it? Kaze I hot ez hot kin be!"<br /></span> <span class="i0">But Satan fall ter laughin', whilst he stir de fire roun':&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i0">"De ice would melt, my brother, 'fo' it ever hit de groun'!"<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">Den he fill a cup wid brimstone&mdash;fill it steamin' ter de top;<br /></span> <span class="i0">But de rich man say he swear off, dat he never tech a drop!<br /></span> <span class="i0">But Satan grab his pitchfork whilst de rich man give a squall,<br /></span> <span class="i0">En in 'bout a half a second he had swallered cup en all!<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">Now, dat's erbout de story er de rich man at de feas',<br /></span> <span class="i0">What wouldn't pass de 'possum roun' when Laz'rus want a piece.<br /></span> <span class="i0">De 'possum means yo' pocketbook, de moral's plain ez day:<br /></span> <span class="i0">Shake de dollars in de basket 'fo' you go de rich man's way!<br /></span> <span class='pagenum'>
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