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Wit and Humor of America, The Vol 04

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<SPAN name="Page_742" id="Page_742">[Pg 742]</SPAN></span></div></div> <hr style="width: 65%;" /> <h2><SPAN name="A_DESPERATE_RACE" id="A_DESPERATE_RACE"></SPAN>A DESPERATE RACE</h2> <h3>BY J.F. KELLEY</h3> <p>Some years ago, I was one of a convivial party that met in the principal hotel in the town of Columbus, Ohio, the seat of government of the Buckeye state.</p> <p>It was a winter's evening, when all without was bleak and stormy and all within were blithe and gay,&mdash;when song and story made the circuit of the festive board, filling up the chasms of life with mirth and laughter.</p> <p>We had met for the express purpose of making a night of it, and the pious intention was duly and most religiously carried out. The Legislature was in session in that town, and not a few of the worthy legislators were present upon this occasion.</p> <p>One of these worthies I will name, as he not only took a big swath in the evening's entertainment, but he was a man <i>more</i> generally known than our worthy President, James K. Polk. That man was the famous Captain Riley, whose "Narrative" of suffering and adventures is pretty generally known all over the civilized world. Captain Riley was a fine, fat, good-humored joker, who at the period of my story was the representative of the Dayton district, and lived near that little city when at home. Well, Captain Riley had amused the company with many of his far-famed and singular adventures, which, being mostly told before and read by millions of people that have seen his book, I will not attempt to repeat.</p> <p>Many were the stories and adventures told by the com<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_743" id="Page_743">[Pg 743]</SPAN></span>pany, when it came to the turn of a well-known gentleman who represented the Cincinnati district. As Mr. &mdash;&mdash; is yet among the living, and perhaps not disposed to be the subject of joke or story, I do not feel at liberty to give his name. Mr. &mdash;&mdash; was a slow believer of other men's adventures, and, at the same time, much disposed to magnify himself into a marvellous hero whenever the opportunity offered. As Captain Riley wound up one of his truthful though really marvellous adventures, Mr. &mdash;&mdash; coolly remarked that the captain's story was all very <i>well</i>, but it did not begin to compare with an adventure that he had, "once upon a time," on the Ohio, below the present city of Cincinnati.</p> <p>"Let's have it!"&mdash;"Let's have it!" resounded from all hands.</p> <p>"Well, gentlemen," said the Senator, clearing his voice for action and knocking the ashes from his cigar against the arm of his chair,&mdash;"gentlemen, I am not in the habit of spinning yarns of marvellous or fictitious matters; and therefore it is scarcely necessary to affirm upon the responsibility of my reputation, gentlemen, that what I am about to tell you I most solemnly proclaim to be truth, and&mdash;"</p> <p>"Oh, never mind that: go on, Mr. &mdash;&mdash;," chimed the party.</p> <p>"Well gentlemen, in 18&mdash; I came down the Ohio River, and settled at Losanti, now called Cincinnati. It was at that time but a little settlement of some twenty or thirty log and frame cabins, and where now stand the Broadway Hotel and blocks of stores and dwelling-houses, was the cottage and corn-patch of old Mr. &mdash;&mdash;, the tailor, who, by the bye, bought that land for the making of a coat for one of the settlers. Well, I put up my cabin, with the aid of my neighbors, and put in a patch of corn and potatoes,<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_744" id="Page_744">[Pg 744]</SPAN></span> about where the Fly Market now stands, and set about improving my lot, house, etc.</p> <p>"Occasionally I took up my rifle and started off with my dog down the river, to look up a little deer or bar meat, then very plenty along the river. The blasted red-skins were lurking about and hovering around the settlement, and every once in a while picked off some of our neighbors or stole our cattle or horses. I hated the red demons, and made no bones of peppering the blasted sarpents whenever I got a sight of them. In fact, the red rascals had a dread of me, and had laid a good many traps to get my scalp, but I wasn't to be catched napping. No, no, gentlemen, I was too well up to 'em for that.</p> <p>"Well, I started off one morning, pretty early, to take a hunt, and traveled a long way down the river, over the bottoms and hills, but couldn't find no <i>bar</i> nor deer. About four o'clock in the afternoon I made tracks for the settlement again. By and by I sees a buck just ahead of me, walking leisurely down the river. I slipped up, with my faithful old dog close in my rear, to within clever shooting-distance, and just as the buck stuck his nose in the drink I drew a bead upon his top-knot, and over he tumbled, and splurged and bounded a while, when I came up and relieved him by cutting his wizen&mdash;"</p> <p>"Well, but what has that to do with an <i>adventure</i>?" said Riley.</p> <p>"Hold on a bit, if you please, gentlemen; by Jove, it had a great deal to do with it. For, while I was busy skinning the hind-quarters of the buck, and stowing away the kidney-fat in my hunting-shirt, I heard a noise like the breaking of brush under a moccasin up 'the bottom.' My dog heard it, and started up to reconnoiter, and I lost no time in reloading my rifle. I had hardly got my priming out before my dog raised a howl and broke through<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_745" id="Page_745">[Pg 745]</SPAN></span> the brush toward me with his tail down, as he was not used to doing unless there were wolves, painters (panthers), or Injins about.</p> <p>"I picked up my knife, and took up my line of march in a skulking trot up the river. The frequent gullies on the lower bank made it tedious traveling there, so I scrabbled up to the upper bank, which was pretty well covered with buckeye and sycamore, and very little underbrush. One peep below discovered to me three as big and strapping red rascals, gentlemen, as you ever clapped your eyes on! Yes, there they came, not above six hundred yards in my rear, shouting and yelling like hounds, and coming after me like all possessed."</p> <p>"Well," said an old woodsman, sitting at the table, "you took a tree, of course."</p> <p>"Did I? No, gentlemen, I took no tree just then, but I took to my heels like sixty, and it was just as much as my old dog could do to keep up with me. I run until the whoops of my red-skins grew fainter and fainter behind me, and, clean out of wind, I ventured to look behind me, and there came one single red whelp, puffing and blowing, not three hundred yards in my rear. He had got on to a piece of bottom where the trees were small and scarce. 'Now,' thinks I, 'old fellow, I'll have you.' So I trotted off at a pace sufficient to let my follower gain on me, and when he had got just about near enough I wheeled and fired, and down I brought him, dead as a door-nail, at a hundred and twenty yards!"</p> <p>"Then you skelp'd (scalped) him immediately?" said the backwoodsman.</p> <p>"Very clear of it, gentlemen; for by the time I got my rifle loaded, here came the other two red-skins, shouting and whooping close on me, and away I broke again like a quarter-horse. I was now about five miles from the<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_746" id="Page_746">[Pg 746]</SPAN></span> settlement, and it was getting toward sunset. I ran till my wind began to be pretty short, when I took a look back, and there they came, snorting like mad buffaloes, one about two or three hundred yards ahead of the other: so I acted possum again until the foremost Injin got pretty well up, and I wheeled and fired at the very moment he was 'drawing a bead' on me: he fell head over stomach into the dirt, and up came the last one!"</p> <p>"So you laid for him, and&mdash;" gasped several.</p> <p>"No," continued the "member," "I didn't lay for him, I hadn't time to load, so I laid my <i>legs</i> to ground and started again. I heard every bound he made after me. I ran and ran until the fire flew out of my eyes, and the old dog's tongue hung out of his mouth a quarter of a yard long!"</p> <p>"Phe-e-e-e-w!" whistled somebody.</p> <p>"Fact, gentlemen. Well, what I was to do I didn't know: rifle empty, no big trees about, and a murdering red Indian not three hundred yards in my rear; and what was worse, just then it occurred to me that I was not a great ways from a big creek (now called Mill Creek), and there I should be pinned at last.</p> <p>"Just at this juncture, I struck my toe against a root, and down I tumbled, and my old dog over me. Before I could scrabble up&mdash;"</p> <p>"The Indian fired!" gasped the old woodsman.</p> <p>"He did, gentlemen, and I felt the ball strike me under the shoulder; but that didn't seem to put any embargo upon my locomotion, for as soon as I got up I took off again, quite freshened by my fall! I heard the red-skin close behind me coming booming on, and every minute I expected to have his tomahawk dashed into my head or shoulders.</p> <p>"Something kind of cool began to trickle down my legs into my boots&mdash;"<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_747" id="Page_747">[Pg 747]</SPAN></span></p> <p>"Blood, eh? for the shot the varmint gin you," said the old woodsman, in a great state of excitement.</p> <p>"I thought so," said the Senator; "but what do you think it was?"</p> <p>Not being blood, we were all puzzled to know what the blazes it could be; when Riley observed,&mdash;</p> <p>"I suppose you had&mdash;"</p> <p>"Melted the deer-fat which I had stuck in the breast of my hunting-shirt, and the grease was running down my leg until my feet got so greasy that my heavy boots flew off, and one, hitting the dog, nearly knocked his brains out."</p> <p>We all grinned, which the "member" noticing, observed,&mdash;</p> <p>"I hope, gentlemen, no man here will presume to think I'm exaggerating?"</p> <p>"Oh, certainly not! Go on, Mr. &mdash;&mdash;," we all chimed in.</p> <p>"Well, the ground under my feet was soft, and, being relieved of my heavy boots, I put off with double-quick time, and, seeing the creek about half a mile off, I ventured to look over my shoulder to see what kind of chance there was to hold up and load. The red-skin was coming jogging along, pretty well blowed out, about five hundred yards in the rear. Thinks I, 'Here goes to load, anyhow.' So at it I went: in went the powder, and, putting on my patch, down went the ball about half-way, and off snapped my ramrod!"</p> <p>"Thunder and lightning!" shouted the old woodsman, who was worked up to the top-notch in the "member's" story.</p> <p>"Good gracious! wasn't I in a pickle! There was the red whelp within two hundred yards of me, pacing along and <i>loading up his rifle as he came</i>! I jerked out the broken ramrod, dashed it away, and started on, priming<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_748" id="Page_748">[Pg 748]</SPAN></span> up as I cantered off, determined to turn and give the red-skin a blast, anyhow, as soon as I reached the creek.</p> <p>"I was now within a hundred yards of the creek, could see the smoke from the settlement chimneys. A few more jumps, and I was by the creek. The Indian was close upon me: he gave a whoop, and I raised my rifle: on he came, knowing that I had broken my ramrod and my load not down: another whoop! whoop! and he was within fifty yards of me. I pulled trigger, and&mdash;"</p> <p>"And killed <i>him</i>?" chuckled Riley.</p> <p>"No, <i>sir</i>! I missed fire!"</p> <p>"And the red-skin&mdash;" shouted the old woodsman, in a frenzy of excitement.</p> <p>"<i>Fired and killed me!</i>"</p> <p>The screams and shouts that followed this finale brought landlord Noble, servants and hostlers running up stairs to see if the house was on fire!<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_749" id="Page_749">[Pg 749]</SPAN></span></p> <hr style="width: 65%;" /> <h2><SPAN name="AS_GOOD_AS_A_PLAY" id="AS_GOOD_AS_A_PLAY"></SPAN>"AS GOOD AS A PLAY"</h2> <h3>BY HORACE E. SCUDDER</h3> <p>There was quite a row of them on the mantel-piece. They were all facing front, and it looked as if they had come out of the wall behind, and were on their little stage facing the audience. There was the bronze monk reading a book by the light of a candle, who had a private opening under his girdle, so that sometimes his head was thrown violently back, and one looked down into him and found him full of brimstone matches. Then the little boy leaning against a greyhound; he was made of Parian, very fine Parian, too, so that one would expect to find a glass cover over him: but no, the glass cover stood over a cat and a cat made of worsted, too: still it was a very old cat, fifty years old in fact. There was another young person there, young like the boy leaning on a greyhound, and she, too, was of Parian: she was very fair in front, but behind&mdash;ah, that is a secret which is not quite time yet to tell. One other stood there, at least she seemed to stand, but nobody could see her feet, for her dress was so very wide and so finely flounced. She was the china girl that rose out of a pen-wiper.</p> <p>The fire in the grate below was of soft coal, and flashed up and down, throwing little jets of flame up that made very pretty foot-lights. So here was a stage, and here were the actors, but where was the audience? Oh, the Audience was in the arm-chair in front. He had a<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_750" id="Page_750">[Pg 750]</SPAN></span> special seat; he was a critic, and could get up when he wanted to, when the play became tiresome, and go out.</p> <p>"It is painful to say such things out loud," said the Boy-leaning-against-a-greyhound, with a trembling voice, "but we have been together so long, and these people round us never will go away. Dear girl, will you?&mdash;you know." It was the Parian girl that he spoke to, but he did not look at her; he could not, he was leaning against the greyhound; he only looked at the Audience.</p> <p>"I am not quite sure," she coughed. "If, now, you were under a glass case."</p> <p>"I am under a glass case," spoke up the Cat-made-of-worsted. "Marry me. I am fifty years old. Marry me, and live under a glass case."</p> <p>"Shocking!" said she. "How can you? Fifty years old, too! That would indeed be a match!"</p> <p>"Marry!" muttered the bronze Monk-reading-a-book. "A match! I am full of matches, but I don't marry. Folly!"</p> <p>"You stand up very straight, neighbor," said the Cat-made-of-worsted.</p> <p>"I never bend," said the bronze Monk-reading-a-book. "Life is earnest. I read a book by candle. I am never idle."</p> <p>The Cat-made-of-worsted grinned to himself.</p> <p>"You've got a hinge in your back," said he, "they open you in the middle; your head flies back. How the blood must run down. And then you're full of brimstone matches. He! he!" and the Cat-made-of-worsted grinned out loud. The Boy-leaning-against-a-greyhound spoke again, and sighed:</p> <p>"I am of Parian, you know, and there is no one else here of Parian except yourself."</p> <p>"And the greyhound," said the Parian girl.<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_751" id="Page_751">[Pg 751]</SPAN></span></p> <p>"Yes, and the greyhound," said he eagerly. "He belongs to me. Come, a glass case is nothing to it. We could roam; oh, we could roam!"</p> <p>"I don't like roaming."</p> <p>"Then we could stay at home, and lean against the greyhound."</p> <p>"No," said the Parian girl, "I don't like that."</p> <p>"Why?"</p> <p>"I have private reasons."</p> <p>"What?"</p> <p>"No matter."</p> <p>"I know," said the Cat-made-of-worsted. "I saw her behind. She's hollow. She's stuffed with lamp-lighters. He! he!" and the Cat-made-of-worsted grinned again.</p> <p>"I love you just as much," said the steadfast Boy-leaning-against-a-greyhound, "and I don't believe the Cat."</p> <p>"Go away," said the Parian girl, angrily. "You're all hateful. I won't have you."</p> <p>"Ah!" sighed the Boy-leaning-against-a-greyhound.</p> <p>"Ah!" came another sigh&mdash;it was from the China-girl-rising-out-of-a-pen-wiper&mdash;"how I pity you!"</p> <p>"Do you?" said he eagerly. "Do you? Then I love you. Will you marry me?"</p> <p>"Ah!" said she; "but&mdash;"</p> <p>"She can't!" said the Cat-made-of-worsted. "She can't come to you. She hasn't got any legs. I know it. I'm fifty years old. I never saw them."</p> <p>"Never mind the Cat," said the Boy-leaning-against-a-greyhound.</p> <p>"But I do mind the Cat," said she, weeping. "I haven't. It's all pen-wiper."</p> <p>"Do I care?" said he.</p> <p>"She has thoughts," said the bronze Monk-reading-a-book. "That lasts longer than beauty. And she is solid behind."<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_752" id="Page_752">[Pg 752]</SPAN></span></p> <p>"And she has no hinge in her back," grinned the Cat-made-of-worsted. "Come, neighbors, let us congratulate them. You begin."</p> <p>"Keep out of disagreeable company," said the bronze Monk-reading-a-book.</p> <p>"That is not congratulation; that is advice," said the Cat-made-of-worsted. "Never mind, go on, my dear,"&mdash;to the Parian girl. "What! nothing to say? Then I'll say it for you. 'Friends, may your love last as long as your courtship.' Now I'll congratulate you."</p> <p>But before he could speak, the Audience got up.</p> <p>"You shall not say a word. It must end happily."</p> <p>He went to the mantel-piece and took up the China-girl-rising-out-of-a-pen-wiper.</p> <p>"Why, she has legs after all," said he.</p> <p>"They're false," said the Cat-made-of-worsted. "They're false. I know it. I'm fifty years old. I never saw true ones on her."</p> <p>The Audience paid no attention, but took up the Boy-leaning-against-a-greyhound.</p> <p>"Ha!" said the Cat-made-of-worsted. "Come. I like this. He's hollow. They're all hollow. He! he! Neighbor Monk, you're hollow. He! he!" and the Cat-made-of-worsted never stopped grinning. The Audience lifted the glass case from him and set it over the Boy-leaning-against-a-greyhound and the China-girl-rising-out-of-a-pen-wiper.</p> <p>"Be happy!" said he.</p> <p>"Happy!" said the Cat-made-of-worsted. "Happy!"</p> <p>Still they were happy.<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_753" id="Page_753">[Pg 753]</SPAN></span></p> <hr style="width: 65%;" /> <h2><SPAN name="THE_AUTOCRAT_OF_THE_BREAKFAST_TABLE" id="THE_AUTOCRAT_OF_THE_BREAKFAST_TABLE"></SPAN>THE AUTOCRAT OF THE BREAKFAST TABLE</h2> <h3>BY OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES</h3> <p>It is not easy, at the best, for two persons talking together to make the most of each other's thoughts, there are so many of them.</p> <p>[The company looked as if they wanted an explanation.]</p> <p>When John and Thomas, for instance, are talking together, it is natural enough that among the six there should be more or less confusion and misapprehension.</p> <p>[Our landlady turned pale;&mdash;no doubt she thought there was a screw loose in my intellects,&mdash;and that involved the probable loss of a boarder. A severe-looking person, who wears a Spanish cloak and a sad cheek, fluted by the passions of the melodrama, whom I understand to be the professional ruffian of the neighboring theater, alluded, with a certain lifting of the brow, drawing down of the corners of the mouth and somewhat rasping <i>voce di petti</i>, to Falstaff's nine men in buckram. Everybody looked up. I believe the old gentleman opposite was afraid I should seize the carving-knife; at any rate, he slid it to one side, as it were carelessly.]</p> <p>I think, I said, I can make it plain to Benjamin Franklin here, that there are at least six personalities distinctly to be recognized as taking part in that dialogue between John and Thomas.</p> <div class='center'> <table border="0" cellpadding="4" cellspacing="0" summary="Johns and Thomases"> <tr><td align='left' rowspan='3'>Three Johns</td><td align='left'>{ 1. The real John; known only to his Maker.</td></tr> <tr><td align='left'>{ 2. John's ideal John; never the real one, and often very unlike him.</td></tr> <tr><td align='left'>{ 3. Thomas's ideal John; never the real John, nor John's John, but often very unlike either.</td></tr> <tr><td>&nbsp;</td></tr> <tr><td align='left' rowspan='3'>Three Thomases</td><td align='left'>{ 1. The real Thomas.</td></tr> <tr><td align='left'>{ 2. Thomas's ideal Thomas.</td></tr> <tr><td align='left'>{ 3. John's ideal Thomas.</td></tr> </table></div> <p><span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_754" id="Page_754">[Pg 754]</SPAN></span></p> <p>Only one of the three Johns is taxed; only one can be weighed on a platform-balance; but the other two are just as important in the conversation. Let us suppose the real John to be old, dull and ill-looking. But as the Higher Powers have not conferred on men the gift of seeing themselves in the true light, John very possibly conceives himself to be youthful, witty, and fascinating, and talks from the point of view of this ideal. Thomas, again believes him to be an artful rogue, we will say; therefore he <i>is</i> so far as Thomas's attitude in the conversation is concerned, an artful rogue, though really simple and stupid. The same conditions apply to the three Thomases. It follows, that, until a man can be found who knows himself as his Maker knows him, or who sees himself as others see him, there must be at least six persons engaged in every dialogue between two. Of these, the least important, philosophically speaking, is the one that we have called the real person. No wonder two disputants often get angry, when there are six of them talking and listening all at the same time.</p> <p>[A very unphilosophical application of the above remarks was made by a young fellow, answering to the name of John, who sits near me at table. A certain basket of peaches, a rare vegetable, little known to boarding houses, was on its way to me <i>vi&acirc;</i> this unlettered Johannes. He appropriated the three that remained in the basket, remarking that there was just one apiece for him. I convinced him that his practical inference was hasty and illogical, but in the mean time he had eaten the peaches.]<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_755" id="Page_755">[Pg 755]</SPAN></span></p> <h3>"<span class="smcap">Our Sumatra Correspondence</span></h3> <p>"This island is now the property of the Stamford family,&mdash;having been won, it is said, in a raffle, by Sir &mdash;&mdash; Stamford, during the stock-gambling mania of the South-Sea Scheme. The history of this gentleman may be found in an interesting series of questions (unfortunately not yet answered) contained in the "Notes and Queries." This island is entirely surrounded by the ocean, which here contains a large amount of saline substance, crystallizing in cubes remarkable for their symmetry, and frequently displays on its surface, during calm weather, the rainbow tints of the celebrated South-Sea bubbles. The summers are oppressively hot, and the winters very probably cold; but this fact can not be ascertained precisely, as, for some peculiar reason, the mercury in these latitudes never shrinks, as in more northern regions, and thus the thermometer is rendered useless in winter.</p> <p>"The principal vegetable productions of the island are the pepper-tree and the bread-fruit tree. Pepper being very abundantly produced, a benevolent society was organized in London during the last century for supplying the natives with vinegar and oysters, as an addition to that delightful condiment. [Note received from Dr. D.P.] It is said, however, that, as the oysters were of the kind called <i>natives</i> in England, the natives of Sumatra, in obedience to a natural instinct, refused to touch them, and confined themselves entirely to the crew of the vessel in which they were brought over. This information was received from one of the oldest inhabitants, a native himself, and exceedingly fond of missionaries. He is said also to be very skilful in the <i>cuisine</i> peculiar to the island.</p> <p>"During the season of gathering the pepper, the per<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_756" id="Page_756">[Pg 756]</SPAN></span>sons employed are subject to various incommodities, the chief of which is violent and long-continued sternutation, or sneezing. Such is the vehemence of these attacks, that the unfortunate subjects of them are often driven backward for great distances at immense speed, on the well-known principle of the &aelig;olipile. Not being able to see where they are going, these poor creatures dash themselves to pieces against the rocks or are precipitated over the cliffs, and thus many valuable lives are lost annually. As, during the whole pepper-harvest, they feed exclusively on this stimulant, they become exceedingly irritable. The smallest injury is resented with ungovernable rage. A young man suffering from the <i>pepper-fever</i>, as it is called, cudgeled another most severely for appropriating a superannuated relative of trifling value, and was only pacified by having a present made him of a pig of that peculiar species of swine called the <i>Peccavi</i> by the Catholic Jews, who, it is well known, abstain from swine's flesh in imitation of the Mahometan Buddhists.</p> <p>"The bread-tree grows abundantly. Its branches are well known to Europe and America under the familiar name of <i>macaroni</i>. The smaller twigs are called <i>vermicelli</i>. They have a decided animal flavor, as may be observed in the soups containing them. Macaroni, being tubular, is the favorite habitat of a very dangerous insect, which is rendered peculiarly ferocious by being boiled. The government of the island, therefore, never allows a stick of it to be exported without being accompanied by a piston with which its cavity may at any time be thoroughly swept out. These are commonly lost or stolen before the macaroni arrives among us. It therefore always contains many of these insects, which, however, generally die of old age in the shops, so that accidents from this source are comparatively rare.<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_757" id="Page_757">[Pg 757]</SPAN></span></p> <p>"The fruit of the bread-tree consists principally of hot rolls. The buttered-muffin variety is supposed to be a hybrid with a cocoanut palm, the cream found on the milk of the cocoanut exuding from the hybrid in the shape of butter, just as the ripe fruit is splitting, so as to fit it for the tea-table, where it is commonly served up with cold&mdash;"</p> <p>&mdash;There,&mdash;I don't want to read any more of it. You see that many of these statements are highly improbable.&mdash;No, I shall not mention the paper.&mdash;No, neither of them wrote it, though it reminds me of the style of these popular writers. I think the fellow that wrote it must have been reading some of their stories, and got them mixed up with his history and geography. I don't suppose <i>he</i> lies; he sells it to the editor, who knows how many squares off "Sumatra" is. The editor, who sells it to the public&mdash;by the way, the papers have been very civil&mdash;haven't they?&mdash;to the&mdash;the&mdash;what d'ye call it?&mdash;"Northern Magazine,"&mdash;isn't it?&mdash;got up by some of these Come-outers, down East, as an organ for their local peculiarities.</p> <hr style='width: 45%;' /> <p>It is a very dangerous thing for a literary man to indulge his love for the ridiculous. People laugh <i>with</i> him just so long as he amuses them; but if he attempts to be serious, they must still have their laugh, and so they laugh <i>at</i> him. There is in addition, however, a deeper reason for this than would at first appear. Do you know that you feel a little superior to every man who makes you laugh, whether by making faces or verses? Are you aware that you have a pleasant sense of patronizing him, when you condescend so far as to let him turn somersets, literal or literary, for your royal delight? Now if a man can only be allowed to stand on a dais, or raised platform, and look down on his neighbor who is exerting his talent<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_758" id="Page_758">[Pg 758]</SPAN></span> for him, oh, it is all right!&mdash;first-rate performance!&mdash;and all the rest of the fine phrases. But if all at once the performer asks the gentleman to come upon the floor, and, stepping upon the platform, begins to talk down at him,&mdash;ah, that wasn't in the program!</p> <p>I have never forgotten what happened when Sydney Smith&mdash;who, as everybody knows, was an exceedingly sensible man, and a gentleman, every inch of him&mdash;ventured to preach a sermon on the Duties of Royalty. The "Quarterly," "so savage and tartly," came down upon him in the most contemptuous style, as "a joker of jokes," a "diner-out of the first water" in one of his own phrases; sneering at him, insulting him, as nothing but a toady of a court, sneaking behind the anonymous, would ever have been mean enough to do to a man of his position and genius, or to any decent person even.&mdash;If I were giving advice to a young fellow of talent, with two or three facets to his mind, I would tell him by all means to keep his wit in the background until after he had made a reputation by his more solid qualities. And so to an actor: <i>Hamlet</i> first and <i>Bob Logic</i> afterward, if you like; but don't think, as they say poor Liston used to, that people will be ready to allow that you can do anything great with <i>Macbeth's</i> dagger after flourishing about with <i>Paul Pry's</i> umbrella. Do you know, too, that the majority of men look upon all who challenge their attention,&mdash;for a while, at least,&mdash;as beggars, and nuisances? They always try to get off as cheaply as they can; and the cheapest of all things they can give a literary man&mdash;pardon the forlorn pleasantry!&mdash;is the <i>funny</i>-bone. That is all very well so far as it goes, but satisfies no man, and makes a good many angry, as I told you on a former occasion.</p> <p>Oh, indeed, no!&mdash;I am not ashamed to make you laugh, occasionally. I think I could read you something<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_759" id="Page_759">[Pg 759]</SPAN></span> I have in my desk that would probably make you smile. Perhaps I will read it one of these days, if you are patient with me when I am sentimental and reflective; not just now. The ludicrous has its place in the universe; it is not a human invention, but one of the Divine ideas, illustrated in the practical jokes as kittens and monkeys long before Aristophanes or Shakespeare. How curious it is that we always consider solemnity and the absence of all gay surprises and encounter of wits as essential to the idea of the future life of those whom we thus deprive of half their faculties and then called <i>blessed</i>! There are not a few who, even in this life, seem to be preparing themselves for that smileless eternity to which they look forward, by banishing all gaiety from their hearts and all joyousness from their countenances. I meet one such in the street not unfrequently, a person of intelligence and education, but who gives me (and all that he passes) such a rayless and chilling look of recognition,&mdash;something as if he were one of Heaven's assessors, come down to "doom" every acquaintance he met,&mdash;that I have sometimes begun to sneeze on the spot, and gone home with a violent cold, dating from that instant. I don't doubt he would cut his kitten's tail off, if he caught her playing with it. Please tell me, who taught her to play with it?<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_760" id="Page_760">[Pg 760]</SPAN></span></p> <hr style="width: 65%;" /> <h2><SPAN name="CAESARS_QUIET_LUNCH_WITH_CICERO" id="CAESARS_QUIET_LUNCH_WITH_CICERO"></SPAN>C&AElig;SAR'S QUIET LUNCH WITH CICERO</h2> <h3>BY JAMES T. FIELDS</h3> <div class="poem"><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">Have you read how Julius C&aelig;sar<br /></span> <span class="i2">Made a call on Cicero<br /></span> <span class="i0">In his modest Formian villa,<br /></span> <span class="i2">Many and many a year ago?<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">"I shall pass your way," wrote C&aelig;sar,<br /></span> <span class="i2">"On the Saturnalia, Third,<br /></span> <span class="i0">And I'll just drop in, my Tullius,<br /></span> <span class="i2">For a quiet friendly word:<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">"Don't make a stranger of me, Marc,<br /></span> <span class="i2">Nor be at all put out,<br /></span> <span class="i0">A snack of anything you have<br /></span> <span class="i2">Will serve my need, no doubt.<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">"I wish to show my confidence&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i2">The invitation's mine&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i0">I come to share your simple food,<br /></span> <span class="i2">And taste your honest wine."<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">Up rose M. Tullius Cicero,<br /></span> <span class="i2">And seized a Roman punch,&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i0">Then mused upon the god-like soul<br /></span> <span class="i2">Was coming round to lunch.<br /></span><span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_761" id="Page_761">[Pg 761]</SPAN></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">"By Hercules!" he murmured low<br /></span> <span class="i2">Unto his lordly self,<br /></span> <span class="i0">"There are not many dainties left<br /></span> <span class="i2">Upon my pantry shelf!<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">"But what I have shall Julius share.<br /></span> <span class="i2">What, ho!" he proudly cried,<br /></span> <span class="i0">"Great C&aelig;sar comes this way anon<br /></span> <span class="i2">To sit my chair beside.<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">"A dish of lampreys quickly stew,<br /></span> <span class="i2">And cook them with a turn,<br /></span> <span class="i0">For that's his favorite pabulum<br /></span> <span class="i2">From Mamurra I learn."<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;*&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;*&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;*&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;*&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;*&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;*&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;*&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;*&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;*&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;*<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">His slaves obey their lord's command;<br /></span> <span class="i2">The table soon is laid<br /></span> <span class="i0">For two distinguished gentlemen,&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i2">One rather bald, 'tis said.<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">When lo! a messenger appears<br /></span> <span class="i2">To sound approach&mdash;and then,<br /></span> <span class="i0">"Brave C&aelig;sar comes to greet his friend<br /></span> <span class="i2">With <i>twice a thousand men</i>!<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">"His cohorts rend the air with shouts;<br /></span> <span class="i2">That is their dust you see;<br /></span> <span class="i0">The trumpeters announce him near!"<br /></span> <span class="i2">Said Marcus, "Woe is me!<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">"Fly, Cassius, fly! assign a guard!<br /></span> <span class="i2">Borrow what tents you can!<br /></span> <span class="i0">Encamp his soldiers round the field,<br /></span> <span class="i2">Or I'm a ruined man!<br /></span><span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_762" id="Page_762">[Pg 762]</SPAN></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">"Get sheep and oxen by the score!<br /></span> <span class="i2">Buy corn at any price!<br /></span> <span class="i0">O Jupiter! befriend me now,<br /></span> <span class="i2">And give me your advice!"<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;*&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;*&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;*&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;*&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;*&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;*&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;*&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;*&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;*&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;*<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">It turned out better than he feared,&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i2">Things proved enough and good,&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i0">And C&aelig;sar made himself at home,<br /></span> <span class="i2">And much enjoyed his food.<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">But Marcus had an awful fright,&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i2"><i>That</i> can not be denied;<br /></span> <span class="i0">"I'm glad 'tis over!"&mdash;when it was&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i2">The host sat down and sighed,<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">And when he wrote to Atticus,<br /></span> <span class="i2">And all the story told,<br /></span> <span class="i0">He ended his epistle thus:<br /></span> <span class="i2">"J.C.'s a warrior bold,<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">"A vastly entertaining man,<br /></span> <span class="i2">In Learning quite immense,<br /></span> <span class="i0">So full of literary skill,<br /></span> <span class="i2">And most uncommon sense,<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">"But, frankly, I should never say<br /></span> <span class="i2">'No trouble, sir, at all;<br /></span> <span class="i0">And when you pass this way again,<br /></span> <span class="i2"><i>Give us another call!</i>'"<br /></span> <span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_763" id="Page_763">[Pg 763]</SPAN></span></div></div> <hr style="width: 65%;" /> <h2><SPAN name="COMIN_HOME_THANKSGIVIN" id="COMIN_HOME_THANKSGIVIN"></SPAN>COMIN' HOME THANKSGIVIN'</h2> <h3>BY JAMES BALL NAYLOR</h3> <div class="poem"><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">I've clean fergot my rheumatiz&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i2">Hain't nary limp n'r hobble;<br /></span> <span class="i0">I'm feelin' like a turkey-cock&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i2">An' ready 'most to gobble;<br /></span> <span class="i0">I'm workin' spry, an' steppin' high&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i2">An' thinkin' life worth livin'.<br /></span> <span class="i0">Fer all the children's comin' home<br /></span> <span class="i2">All comin' home Thanksgivin'.<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">There's Mary up at Darby Town,<br /></span> <span class="i2">An' Sally down at Goshen,<br /></span> <span class="i0">An' Billy out at Kirkersville,<br /></span> <span class="i2">An' Jim&mdash;who has a notion<br /></span> <span class="i0">That Hackleyburg's the very place<br /></span> <span class="i2">Fer which his soul has striven;<br /></span> <span class="i0">They're all a-comin' home ag'in&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i2">All comin' home Thanksgivin'.<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">Yes&mdash;yes! They're all a-comin' back;<br /></span> <span class="i2">There ain't no ifs n'r maybes.<br /></span> <span class="i0">The boys'll fetch the'r wives an' kids;<br /></span> <span class="i2">The gals, th'r men an' babies.<br /></span> <span class="i0">The ol' place will be upside-down;<br /></span> <span class="i2">An' me an' Mammy driven<br /></span> <span class="i0">To roost out in the locus' trees&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i2">When they come home Thanksgivin'.<br /></span><span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_764" id="Page_764">[Pg 764]</SPAN></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">Fer Mary she has three 'r four<br /></span> <span class="i2">Mis<i>chee</i>vous little tykes, sir,<br /></span> <span class="i0">An' Sally has a houseful more&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i2">You never seen the like, sir;<br /></span> <span class="i0">While Jim has six, an' Billy eight&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i2">They'll tear the house to flinders,<br /></span> <span class="i0">An' dig the cellar out in chunks<br /></span> <span class="i2">An' pitch it through the winders.<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">The gals 'll tag me to the barn;<br /></span> <span class="i2">An' climb the mows, an' waller<br /></span> <span class="i0">All over ev'ry ton o' hay&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i2">An' laugh an' scream an' holler.<br /></span> <span class="i0">The boys 'll git in this an' that;<br /></span> <span class="i2">An' git a lickin'&mdash;p'r'aps, sir&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i0">Jest like the'r daddies used to git<br /></span> <span class="i2">When <i>they</i> was little chaps, sir.<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">But&mdash;lawzee-me!&mdash;w'y, I won't care.<br /></span> <span class="i2">I'm jest so glad they're comin',<br /></span> <span class="i0">I have to whistle to the tune<br /></span> <span class="i2">That my ol' heart's a-hummin'.<br /></span> <span class="i0">An' me an' Mammy&mdash;well, we think<br /></span> <span class="i2">It's good to be a-livin',<br /></span> <span class="i0">Sence all the children's comin' home<br /></span> <span class="i2">To spend the day Thanksgivin'.<br /></span> <span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_765" id="Page_765">[Pg 765]</SPAN></span></div></div> <hr style="width: 65%;" /> <h2><SPAN name="PRAISE-GOD_BAREBONES" id="PRAISE-GOD_BAREBONES"></SPAN>PRAISE-GOD BAREBONES</h2> <h3>BY ELLEN MACKAY HUTCHINSON CORTISSOZ</h3> <div class="poem"><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">I and my cousin Wildair met<br /></span> <span class="i2">And tossed a pot together&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i0">Burnt sack it was that Molly brewed,<br /></span> <span class="i2">For it was nipping weather.<br /></span> <span class="i0">'Fore George! To see Dick buss the wench<br /></span> <span class="i2">Set all the inn folk laughing!<br /></span> <span class="i0">They dubbed him pearl of cavaliers<br /></span> <span class="i2">At kissing and at quaffing.<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">"Oddsfish!" says Dick, "the sack is rare,<br /></span> <span class="i2">And rarely burnt, fair Molly;<br /></span> <span class="i0">'Twould cure the sourest Crop-ear yet<br /></span> <span class="i2">Of Pious Melancholy."<br /></span> <span class="i0">"Egad!" says I, "here cometh one<br /></span> <span class="i2">Hath been at 's prayers but lately."<br /></span> <span class="i0">&mdash;Sooth, Master Praise-God Barebones stepped<br /></span> <span class="i2">Along the street sedately.<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">Dick Wildair, with a swashing bow,<br /></span> <span class="i2">And touch of his Toledo,<br /></span> <span class="i0">Gave Merry Xmas to the rogue<br /></span> <span class="i2">And bade him say his Credo;<br /></span> <span class="i0">Next crush a cup to the King's health,<br /></span> <span class="i2">And eke to pretty Molly;<br /></span> <span class="i0">"'T will cure your saintliness," says Dick,<br /></span> <span class="i2">"Of Pious Melancholy."<br /></span><span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_766" id="Page_766">[Pg 766]</SPAN></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">Then Master Barebones stopped and frowned;<br /></span> <span class="i2">My heart stood still a minute;<br /></span> <span class="i0">Thinks I, both Dick and I will hang,<br /></span> <span class="i2">Or else the devil's in it!<br /></span> <span class="i0">For me, I care not for old Noll,<br /></span> <span class="i2">Nor all the Rump together.<br /></span> <span class="i0">Yet, faith! 't is best to be alive<br /></span> <span class="i2">In pleasant Xmas weather.<br /></span> </div><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">His worship, Barebones, grimly smiled;<br /></span> <span class="i2">"I love not blows nor brawling;<br /></span> <span class="i0">Yet will I give thee, fool, a pledge!"<br /></span> <span class="i2">And, zooks! he sent Dick sprawling!<br /></span> <span class="i0">When Moll and I helped Wildair up,<br /></span> <span class="i2">No longer trim and jolly&mdash;<br /></span> <span class="i0">"Feelst not, Sir Dick," says saucy Moll,<br /></span> <span class="i2">"A Pious Melancholy?"<br /></span> <span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_767" id="Page_767">[Pg 767]</SPAN></span></div></div> <hr style="width: 65%;" /> <h2><SPAN name="THE_LOAFER_AND_THE_SQUIRE" id="THE_LOAFER_AND_THE_SQUIRE"></SPAN>THE LOAFER AND THE SQUIRE</h2> <h3>BY PORTE CRAYON</h3> <p>The squire himself was the type of a class found only among the rural population of our Southern States&mdash;a class, the individuals of which are connected by a general similarity of position and circumstance, but present a field to the student of man infinite in variety, rich in originality.</p> <p>As the isolated oak that spreads his umbrageous top in the meadow surpasses his spindling congener of the forest, so does the country gentleman, alone in the midst of his broad estate, outgrow the man of crowds and conventionalities in our cities. The oak may have the advantage in the comparison, as his locality and consequent superiority are permanent. The Squire, out of his own district, we ignore. Whether intrinsically, or simply in default of comparison, at home he is invariably a great man. Such, at least, was Squire Hardy. Sour and cynical in speech, yet overflowing with human kindness; contemning luxury and expense in dress and equipage, but princely in his hospitality; praising the olden time to the disparagement of the present; the mortal foe of progressionists and fast people in every department; above all, a philosopher of his own school, he judged by the law of Procrustes, and permitted no appeals; opinionated and arbitrary as the Czar, he was sauced by his negroes, respected and loved by his neighbors, led by the<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_768" id="Page_768">[Pg 768]</SPAN></span> nose by his wife and daughters, and the abject slave of his grandchildren.</p> <p>His house was as big as a barn, and, as his sons and daughters married, they brought their mates home to the old mansion. "It will be time enough for them to hive," quoth the Squire, "when the old box is full."</p> <p>Notwithstanding his contempt for fast men nowadays, he is rather pleased with any allusion to his own youthful reputation in that line, and not unfrequently tells a good story on himself. We can not omit one told by a neighbor, as being characteristic of the times and manners forty years ago:</p> <p>At Culpepper Court-house, or some court-house thereabout, Dick Hardy, then a good-humored, gay young bachelor, and the prime favorite of both sexes, was called upon to carve the pig at the court dinner. The district judge was at the table, the lawyers, justices, and everybody else that felt disposed to dine. At Dick's right elbow sat a militia colonel, who was tricked out in all the pomp and circumstance admitted by his rank. He had probably been engaged on some court-martial, imposing fifty-cent fines on absentees from the last general muster. Howbeit Dick, in thrusting his fork into the back of the pig, bespattered the officer's regimentals with some of the superfluous gravy. "Beg your pardon," said Dick, as he went on with his carving. Now these were times when the war spirit was high, and chivalry at a premium. "Beg your pardon" might serve as a napkin to wipe the stain from one's honor, but did not touch the question of the greased and spotted regimentals.</p> <p>The colonel, swelling with wrath, seized a spoon, and deliberately dipping it into the gravy, dashed it over Dick's prominent shirt-frill.</p> <p>All saw the act, and with open eyes and mouth sat in<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_769" id="Page_769">[Pg 769]</SPAN></span> astonished silence, waiting to see what would be done next. The outraged citizen calmly laid down his knife and fork, and looked at his frill, the officer, and the pig, one after another. The colonel, unmindful of the pallid countenance and significant glances of the burning eye, leaned back in his chair, with arms akimbo, regarding the young farmer with cool disdain. A murmur of surprise and indignation arose from the congregated guests. Dick's face turned red as a turkey-gobbler's. He deliberately took the pig by the hind legs, and with a sudden whirl brought it down upon the head of the unlucky officer. Stunned by the squashing blow, astounded and blinded with streams of gravy and wads of stuffing, he attempted to rise, but blow after blow from the fat pig fell upon his bewildered head. He seized a carving-knife and attempted to defend himself with blind but ineffectual fury, and at length, with a desperate effort, rose and took to his heels. Dick Hardy, whose wrath waxed hotter and hotter, followed, belaboring him unmercifully at every step, around the table, through the hall, and into the street, the crowd shouting and applauding.</p> <p>We are sorry to learn that among this crowd were lawyers, sheriffs, magistrates, and constables; and that even his honor the judge, forgetting his dignity and position, shouted in a loud voice, "Give it to him, Dick Hardy! There's no law in Christendom against basting a man with a roast pig!" Dick's weapon failed before his anger; and when at length the battered colonel escaped into the door of a friendly dwelling, the victor had nothing in his hands but the hind legs of the roaster. He re-entered the dining-room flourishing these over his head, and venting his still unappeased wrath in great oaths.</p> <p>The company reassembled, and finished their dinner as best they might. In reply to a toast, Hardy made a<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_770" id="Page_770">[Pg 770]</SPAN></span> speech, wherein he apologized for sacrificing the principal dinner-dish, and, as he expressed it, for putting public property to private uses. In reply to this speech a treat was ordered. In those good old days folks were not so virtuous but that a man might have cakes and ale without being damned for it, and it is presumable the day wound up with a spree.</p> <p>After the squire got older, and a family grew up around him, he was not always victorious in his contests. For example, a question lately arose about the refurnishing of the house. On their return from a visit to Richmond the ladies took it into their heads that the parlors looked bare and old-fashioned, and it was decided by them in secret conclave that a change was necessary.</p> <p>"What!" said he, in a towering passion, "isn't it enough that you spend your time and money in vinegar to sour sweet peaches, and your sugar to sweeten crab-apples, that you must turn the house you were born in topsy-turvy? God help us! we've a house with windows to let the light in, and you want curtains to keep it out; we've plastered the walls to make them white, and now you want to paste blue paper over them; we've waxed floors to walk on, and we must pay two dollars a yard for a carpet to save the oak plank! Begone with your nonsense, ye demented jades!"</p> <p>The squire smote the oak floor with his heavy cane, and the rosy petitioners fled from his presence laughing. In due time, however, the parlors were furnished with carpets, curtains, paper, and all the fixtures of modern luxury. The ladies were, of course, greatly delighted; and while professing great aversion and contempt for the "tawdry lumber," it was plain to see that the worthy man enjoyed their pleasure as much as they did the new furniture.<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_771" id="Page_771">[Pg 771]</SPAN></span></p> <p>On another occasion, too, did the doughty squire suffer defeat under circumstances far more humiliating, and from an adversary far less worthy.</p> <p>The western horizon was blushing rosy red at the coming of the sun, whose descending chariot was hidden by the thick Indian-summer haze that covered lowland and mountain as it were with a violet-tinted veil. This was the condition of things (we were going to say) when Squire Hardy sallied forth, charged with a small bag of salt, for the purpose of looking after his farm generally, and particularly of salting his sheep. It was an interesting sight to see the old gentleman, with his dignified, portly figure, marching at the head of a long procession of improved breeds&mdash;the universally-received emblems of innocence and patience. Barring his modern costume, he might have suggested to the artist's mind a picture of one of the Patriarchs.</p> <p>Having come to a convenient place, or having tired himself crying <i>co-nan</i>, <i>co-nan</i>, at the top of his voice, the squire halted. The black ram halted, and the long procession of ewes and well-grown lambs moved up in a dense semicircle, and also halted, expressing their pleasure at the expected treat by gentle bleatings. The squire stooped to spread the salt. The black ram, either from most uncivil impatience, or mistaking the movement of the proprietor's coat-tail for a challenge, pitched into him incontinently. "<i>Plenum sed</i>," as the Oxonions say. An attack from behind, so sudden and unexpected, threw the squire sprawling on his face into a stone pile.</p> <div class="poem"><div class="stanza"> <span class="i0">Oh, never was the thunder's jar,<br /></span> <span class="i2">The red tornado's wasting wing,<br /></span> <span class="i0">Or all the elemental war,<br /></span> </div></div> <p>like the fury of Squire Hardy on that occasion.<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_772" id="Page_772">[Pg 772]</SPAN></span></p> <p>He recovered his feet with the agility of a boy, his nose bleeding and a stone in each hand. The timid flock looked all aghast, while the audacious offender, so far from having shown any disposition to skulk, stood shaking his head and threatening, as if he had a mind to follow up the dastardly attack. The squire let fly one stone, which grazed the villain's head and killed a lamb. With the other he crippled a favorite ewe. The ram still showed fight, and the vengeful proprietor would probably have soon decimated his flock had not Porte Crayon (who had been squirrel-shooting) made his appearance in time to save them.</p> <p>"Quick, quick! young man&mdash;your gun; let me shoot the cursed brute on the spot."</p> <p>The squire was frantic with rage, the cause of which our hero, having seen something of the affray, easily divined. He was unwilling, however, to trust his hair-triggered piece in the hands of his excited host.</p> <p>"By your leave, Squire, and by your orders, I'll do the shooting myself. Which of them was it?"</p> <p>"The ram&mdash;the d&mdash;&mdash;d black ram&mdash;kill him&mdash;shoot&mdash;don't let him live a minute!"</p> <p>Crayon leveled his piece and fired. The offender made a bound and fell dead, the black blood spouting from his forehead in a stream as thick as your thumb.</p> <p>"There, now," exclaimed the squire, with infinite satisfaction, "you've got it, you ungrateful brute! You've found something harder than your own head at last, you cursed reptile! Friend Crayon, that's a capital gun of yours, and you shot well."</p> <p>The squire dropped the stones which he had in his hands, and looking back at the dead body of the belligerent sheep, observed, with a thoughtful air, "He was a fine<span class='pagenum'><SPAN name="Page_773" id="Page_773">[Pg 773]</SPAN></span> animal, Mr. Crayon&mdash;a fine animal, and this will teach him a good lesson."</p> <p>"In all likelihood," replied Crayon, dryly, "it will break him of this trick of butting."</p> <p>Not long after this occurrence, Squire Hardy went to hear an itinerant phrenologist who lectured in the village. In the progress of his discourse, the lecturer, for purposes of illustration, introduced the skulls of several animals, mapped off in the most correct and scientific manner.</p> <p>"Observe, ladies and gentlemen, the head of the wolf: combativeness enormously developed, alimentiveness large, while conscientiousness is entirely wanting. On the other hand, look at this cranium. Here combativeness is a nullity&mdash;absolutely wanting&mdash;while the fullness of the sentimental organs indicate at once the mild and peaceful disposition of the sheep."</p> <p>The squire, who had listened with great attention up to this point, hastily rose to his feet.</p> <p>"A sheep!" he exclaimed; "did you call a sheep a peaceful animal? I tell you, sir, it is the most ferocious and unruly beast in existence. Sir, I had a ram once&mdash;"</p> <p>"My dear sir," cried the astonished lecturer, "on the authority of our most distinguished writers, the sheep is an emblem of peace and innocence."</p> <p>"An emblem of the devil," interrupted the squire, boiling over. "You are an ignorant impostor, and your science a humbug. I had a ram once that would have taught you more in five seconds than you've learned from books in all your lifetime."</p> <p>And so Squire Hardy put on his hat and walked out, leaving the lecturer to rectify his blunder as best he might.<span class='pagenum'>
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