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Vol. 1. No. 19.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 6, 1870.
PUBLISHED BY THE
PUNCHINELLO PUBLISHING COMPANY,
83 NASSAU STREET, NEW YORK.
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THE MYSTERY OF MR. E. DROOD, By ORPHEUS C. KERR, Continued in this Number.
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See 15th Page for Extra Premiums.
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MYSTERY OF MR. E. DROOD.
BY ORPHEUS C. KERR.
The pauper burial-ground toward which they now progress in a rather high-stepping manner, or—to vary the phrase—toward which their steps are now very much bent, is not a favorite resort of the more cheerful village people after nightfall. Ask any resident of Bumsteadville if he believed in ghosts, and, if the time were mid-day and the place a crowded grocery store, he would fearlessly answer in the negative; (just the same as a Positive philosopher in cast-iron health and with no thunder shower approaching would undauntedly deny a Deity!) but if any resident of Bumsteadville should happen to be caught near the country editor's last home after dark, he would get over that part of his road in a curiously agile and flighty manner;—(just the same as a Positive philosopher with a sore throat, or at an uncommonly showy bit of lightning, would repeat "Now I lay me down to sleep," with surprising devotion.) So, although no one in all Bumsteadville was in the least afraid of the pauper burial-ground at any hour, it was not invariably selected by the great mass of the populace as a peerless place to go home by at midnight; and the two intellectual explorers find no sentimental young couples rambling arm in arm among the ghastly head-boards, nor so much as one loiterer smoking his segar on a suicide's tomb.
"JOHN McLAUGHLIN, you're getting nervous again," says Mr. BUMSTEAD, catching him in the coat collar with the handle of his umbrella and drawing the other toward him hand-over-hand. "It's about time that you should revert again to the hoary JAMES AKER'S excellent preparation for the human family.—I'll try it first, myself, to see if it tastes at all of the cork.
"Ah-h," sighs OLD MORTARITY, after his turn has come and been enjoyed at last, "that's the kind of Spirits I don't mind being a wrapper to. I could wrap them up all right."
Reflectively chewing a clove, the Ritualistic organist reclines on the pauper grave of a former writer for the daily press, and cogitates upon his companion's leaning to Spiritualism; while the other produces matches and lights their lanterns.
"Mr. McLAUGHLIN," he solemnly remarks, waving his umbrella at the graves around, "in this scene you behold the very last of man's individual being. In this entombment he ends forever. Tremble, J. McLAUGHLIN! —forever. Soul and Spirit are but unmeaning words, according to the latest big things in science. The departed Dr. DAVIS SLAVONSKI, of St. Petersburg, before setting out for the Asylum, proved, by his Atomic Theory, that men are neatly manufactured of Atoms of matter, which are continually combining together until they form Man; and then going through the process of Life, which is but the mechanical effect of their combination; and then wearing apart again by attrition into the exhaustion of cohesion called Death; and then crumbling into separate Atoms of native matter, or dust, again; and then gradually combining again, as before, and evolving another Man; and Living, and Dying, again; and so on forever. Thus, and thus only, is Man immortal. You are made exclusively of Atoms of matter, yourself, JOHN McLAUGHLIN. So am I."
"I can understand a man's believing that he, himself, is all Atoms of matter, and nothing else," responds OLD MORTARITY, skeptically.
"As how, JOHN McLAUGHLIN,—as how?"
"When he knows that, at any rate, he hasn't got one atom of common sense," is the answer.
Suddenly Mr. BUMSTEAD arises from the grave and frantically shakes hands with him.
"You're right, sir!" he says, emotionally. "You're a gooroleman, sir. The Atom of common sense was one of the Atoms that SLAVONSKI forgot all about. Let's do some skeletons now."
At the further end of the pauper burial-ground, and in the rear of the former Alms-House, once stood a building used successively as a cider-mill, a barn, and a kind of chapel for paupers. Long ago, from neglect and bad weather, the frail wooden superstructure had fallen into pieces and been gradually carted off; but a sturdy stone foundation remained underground; and, although the flooring over it had for many years been covered with debris and rank growth, so as to be undistinguishable to common eyes from the general earth around it, the great cellar still extended beneath, and, according to weird rumor, had some secret access for OLD MORTARITY, who used it as a charnel store-house for such spoils of the grave as he found in his prowlings.
To the spot thus historied the two moralists of the moonlight come now, and, with many tumbles, Mr. McLAUGHLIN removes certain artfully placed stones and rubbish, and lifts a clumsy extemporized trap-door. Below appears a ricketty old step-ladder leading into darkness.
"I heard such cries and groans down there, last Christmas Eve, as sounded worse than the Latin singing in the Ritualistic church," observes McLAUGHLIN.
"Cries and groans!" echoes Mr. BUMSTEAD, turning quite pale, and momentarily forgetting the snakes which he is just beginning to discover among the stones. "You're getting nervous again, poor wreck, and need some more West Indian cough-mixture.—Wait until I see for myself whether it's got enough sugar in it."
In due time the great nervous antidote is passed and replaced, and then, with the lighted lanterns worked around under their arms, they go down the tottering ladder. Down they go into a great, damp, musty cavern, to which their lights give a pallid illumination.
"See here," says OLD MORTARITY, raising a long, curved bone from the floor. "Look at that: shoulder-blade of unmarried Episcopal lady, aged thirty-nine."
"How do you know she was so old, and unmarried?" asks the organist.
"Because the shoulder-blade's so sharp."
Mr. Bumstead is surprised at this specimen of the art of an AGASSIZ and WATERHOUSE HAWKINS in such a mortary old man, and his intellectual pride causes him to resolve at once upon a rival display.
"Look at this skull, JOHN McLAUGHLIN," he says, referring to an object that he has found behind the ladder. "See thish fine, retreating brow, bulging chin, projecting occipital bone, and these orifices of ears that musht've been stupen'sly long. It's the skull, JOHN McLAUGHLIN, of a twin-brother of the man who really wished—really wished, JOHN McLAUGHLIN—that he could be sat'shfied, sir, in his own mind, that CHARLES DICKENS was a Christian writer."
"Why, thash's skull of a hog," explains Mr. McLAUGHLIN, with some contempt.
"Twin-brother—all th'shame," says Mr. BUMSTEAD, as though that made no earthly difference.
Once more, what a strange expedition is this! How strangely the eyes of the two men look, after two or three more applications to the antique flask; and how curiously Mr. Bumstead walks on tip-toe at times and takes short leaps now and then.
"Lesh go now," says BUMSTEAD, after both have been asleep upon their feet several times; "I think th's snakes down here, JOHN McBUMSTEAD."
"Wh'st! monkies, you mean,—dozens of black monkies, Mr. BUMPLIN," whispers OLD MORTARITY, clutching his arm as he sinks against him.
"Noshir! Serp'nts!" insists Mr. BUMSTEAD, making futile attempts to open his umbrella with one hand. "Warzesmarrer with th' light?—ansh'r me t' once, Mac JOHNBUNKLIN!"
In their swayings under the confusions and delusions of the vault, their lanterns have worked around to the neighborhoods of their spines, so that, whichever way they turn, the light is all behind them. Greatly agitated, as men are apt to be when surrounded by supernatural influences, they do not perceive the cause of this apparently unnatural illumination; and, upon turning round and round in irregular circles, and still finding the light in the wrong place, they exhibit signs of great trepidation.
"Warzemarrer wirra light?" repeats Mr. BUMSTEAD, spinning wildly until he brings up against the wall.
"Ishgotb'witched, I b'lieve," pants Mr. McLAUGHLIN, whirling as frenziedly with his own lantern dangling behind him, and coming to an abrupt pause against the opposite wall.
Thus, each supported against the stones by a shoulder, they breathe hard for a moment, and then sink into a slumber in which they both slide down to the ground. Aroused by the shock, they sit up quite dazed, brush away the swarming snakes and monkies, are freshly alarmed by discovering that they are now actually sitting upon that perverse light behind them, and, by a simultaneous impulse, begin crawling about in search of the ladder. Unable to see anything with all the light behind him, but fancying that he discerns a gleam beyond a dark object near at hand, Mr. BUMSTEAD rises to a standing attitude by a series of complex manoeuvres, and plants a foot on something.
"I'morth'larrer!" he cries, spiritedly.
"Th'larrer's on me!" answers Mr. MCLAUGHLIN, in evidently great bewilderment.
Then ensue a momentary wild struggle and muffled crash; for each gentleman, coming blindly upon the other, has taken the light glimmering at the other's back for the light at the top of the ladder, and, further mistaking the other in the dark for the ladder itself, has attempted to climb him. Mr. BUMSTEAD, however, has got the first step; whereupon, Mr. MCLAUGHLIN, in resenting what he takes for the ladder's inexcusable familiarity, has twisted both himself and his equally deluded companion into a pretty hard fall.
Another interval of hard breathing, and then the organist of Saint Cow's asks: "Di'you hear anything drop?"
"Yshir, th'larrer got throwed, f'rimpudence to a gen'l'm'n," is the peevish return of OLD MORTARITY, who immediately falls asleep as he lies, with his lantern under his spine.
In his sleep, he dreams that BUMSTEAD examines him closely, with a view to gaining some clue to the mystery of the light behind both their backs; and, on finding the lantern under him, and, studying it profoundly for some time, is suddenly moved to feel along his own back. He dreams that BUMSTEAD thereupon finds his own lantern, and exclaims, after half an hour's analytical reflection, "It musht'ave slid round while JOHN MCLAUGHLIN was intosh'cated." Then, or soon after, the dreamer awakes, and can discern two Mr. BUMSTEADS seated upon the step-ladders, with a lantern, baby-like, on each knee.
"You two men are awake at last, eh?" say the organists, with peculiar smiles.
"Yes, gentlemen," return the MCLAUGHLINS, with yawns.
They ascend silently from the cellar, each believing that he is accompanied by two companions, and rendered moodily distrustful thereby.
"Aina maina mona—Mike. Bassalone, bona—Strike!"
sings a small, familiar voice, when they stand again above ground, and a stone whizzes between their heads.
In another moment BUMSTEAD has the fell SMALLEY by the collar, and is shaking him like a yard of carpet.
"You wretched little tarrier!" he cries in a fury, "you've been spying around to-night, to find out something about my Spiritualism that may be distorted to injure my Ritualistic standing."
"I ain't done nothing; and you jest drop me, or I'll knock spots out of yer!" carols the stony young child. "I jest come to have my aim at that old Beat there."
"Attend to his case, then—his and his friend's, for he seems to have some one with him—and never let me see you two boys again."
Thus Mr. BUMSTEAD, as he releases the excited lad, and turns from the pauper burial-ground for a curious kind of pitching and running walk homeward. The strange expedition is at an end:-but which end he is unable just then to decide.
(To be Continued.)
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ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS.
Johnny.—Yes, you may offer your arm to your pretty cousin in the country whenever you think she would like it, except when Mr. PUNCHINELLO is present. If that gallant gentleman is at hand, escort duty may, with perfect propriety, be left to him.
Charles inquires whether his handwriting is good enough to qualify him for membership in a base ball club. We think he is all right on that score.
Glaucus.—We have never heard that Newport is a good place for gathering sea-shells, but we presume you can shell out there if you wish.
Chapeau.—Hats will be worn on the head this season. It is not considered stylish to hang them on the ear, eyebrow, or coat collar.
Cit.—The correct dimensions of a Saratoga pocket-book have not been definitely decided. As to sending it, it is doubtful whether the rail-road companies would receive it as baggage. Perhaps you could charter a canal boat.
Aspirant.—We cannot tell you the price of "bored" in Washington "for a few weeks." No doubt you could get liberally bored at a reasonable rate.
Sorosis—It was very wrong for your husband to mention the muddy coffee. However, we advise you to attempt a settlement of such troubles without creating a public scandal.
Butcher Boy.—You cannot succeed as a writer of "lite comidy" if you continue to weave such tragic spells. "The Lean Larder" would not be an attractive title for your play.
C. Drincarty submits the following problem: If one swallow don't make a summer, how many claret punches can a man take before fall? Will some of our ingenious readers offer a suitable solution?
Culturist.—The potato has been grafted with great success on the cucumber tree in some of the Western States. The stock should be heated by a slow fire until the sap starts. The grafts should be boiled in a preparation known to science as vanilla cream.
Truth.—Your information is not authentic. LOUIS NAPOLEON never played marbles in Central Park, nor took his little Nap in the vestibule of WOOD'S Museum.
Fanny inquires whether "ballot girls" are wanted in New York. Wyoming is a better field for them than this city.
Maine Chance has been paying his devoirs with great impartiality to two young ladies. One of them has red hair and a Roman nose, but the paternal income is very handsome. The other is witty and pretty, but can bring no rocks, except possibly "Rock the cradle." Recently he called on the golden girl, and a menial rudely repulsed him from the door. This hurt his feelings. He then went to the dwelling of the Fair, when a big dog attacked him "on purpose," and lacerated his trousers. He wants to know whether he has any remedy in the courts. His best way is the way home.
Rifleman.—You are right; the rival guns—the Dreyse and the Chassepot—are also rifle-guns. Both of them are provided with needles, as you suppose, but, so far as there is any chance of their being put to the test under present circumstances, in Europe, it rather appears that both of them will prove Needless.
Piscator.—No; the weak-fish is not so called on account of any supposed feebleness attributable to it. If you take a round of the markets one of these roaring hot days, your senses will tell you that the weakfish is sometimes very strong.
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THE PLAYS AND SHOWS.
As a good many persons know, LA GISELLE is a ballet whose hundred legs are nightly displayed on the stage of the GRAND OPERA HOUSE.
The Twelve Temptations have ceased to tempt, and the familiar legs of LUPE no longer allure. But in their place we have KATHI LANNER, and BERTHA LIND, and nearly a gross of assorted legs of the very best quality.
Why do the women clamor for the ballot, when they have almost exclusive possession of the ballet? The latter is much nicer and more useful than the former. The average repeater can obtain only a dollar for his ballot, but the average ballet will find any quantity of enthusiastic admirers at one dollar and a half a head. Would any man pay KATHI LANNER a dollar for the privilege of seeing her with a ballot in her hand?
On the other hand, lives there a man with eyes so dead that he would not cheerfully pay twice that sum to see her in the mazes of the ballet?
But La Giselle? Certainly. I am coming to that in a moment. I have often thought that nature must have intended me for a writer of sermons. I have such a facility for beginning an article with a series of general remarks that have nothing whatever to do with the subject.
Though how can any one be rationally expected to stick to anything in this weather, except, perhaps, the newly varnished surface of his desk? And how can even the firmest of resolutions be prevented from melting and vanishing away, with the thermometer at more degrees than one likes to mention? You remember the old proverb: "Man proposes, but his mother-in-law finally disposes." The bearing of this observation lies in its application.
By the bye, I don't know a better application, in the present weather, than claret punch. Apply yourself continually to that cooling beverage, and apply it continually to your lips, and the result is a sort of reciprocity treat, whose results are much more certain than those of the reciprocity treaty, of which Congress has latterly had so much to say.
To contemplate La Giselle in all its bearings is a pleasure which is peculiarly appropriate to the season. KATHI LANNER and her companions may not be really cool, but they look as though they were. They remind one of the East Indian country houses that are built on posts, so as to allow a free circulation of air beneath the foundation. Anyhow, they look as if they took things coolly.
(A joke might be made on the words coolly and Coolie. The reader may mix to his own taste. It's too hot for any one to make jokes for other people.)
But La Giselle? Yes! yes! I am just ready to speak of it. La Giselle is a grand ballet in which an elaborate plot is developed by the toes of some fifty young ladies. There is a young woman in it who loves a man, and there is another woman who also loves him, and another man who loves the first woman, and meddles and mars as though he were a professional philanthropist.
The woman—the first woman, I mean—goes crazy down to the extremity of her feet, and dies, and then there are more women,—no; these last are disembodied spirits, with nothing but light skirts on,—who dance in graveyards, and make young men dance with them till they fall down exhausted, calling in vain for BROWN to take them home in carriages, and pay for their torn gloves. The first young woman, and a young man—not the other young man, you understand—does a good deal of—Well, in fact, things are rather mixed before the ballet comes to an end, but I know that it's a good thing, for FISK sits in his private box and applauds it, which he wouldn't do if he didn't.
And now, having placed La Giselle plainly before your mental vision, I desire to rise to a personal explanation. For the ensuing four weeks, the places, in PUNCHINELLO, which have heretofore known me, will know me no more. I am going to a quiet country place on Long Island to write war correspondence for the—well, I won't mention the name of the paper. You see the editor of the Na—— of the paper in question, I should say,—wants to have an independent and unprejudiced account of the great struggle on the Rhine—something that shall be different from any other account.—Down on Long Island, I shall be out of the reach of either French or Prussian influence, and will be able to describe events as they should be. I have made arrangements with the "Veteran Observer" of the Times to take charge of this column during my absence. If he can only curb his natural tendency toward frivolity and jocoseness, I am in hopes that he will be able to draw his salary as promptly and efficiently as though he were a younger man. Remarking, therefore, in the words of Kathleen Mavourneen, that my absence "may be four weeks, and it may be longer," I bid my readers a warm (thermometer one hundred and five degrees) farewell.
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Truly, PUNCHINELLO, this is an age of progress. Wars of succession are no more. Absolutism must forever hang its head. Fling a glance at France; peer into Prussia, Vox populi is the voice of the King, and the voice of the king is therefore vox Dei. When a king speaks for his people he must speak sooth; what he says of other peoples must be taken with a grain of salt. Bearing this in mind, the apparent inconsistency between the regal rigmarole and the Imperial improvisation (these epithets are a tribute to the Republic) which I have received by our special wire from Europe were addressed by the monarchs to their respective armies before the grand "wiring in" which is to follow.
WILHELM KOENIG VON PRUSSEN.
Soldaten: The Gaul is at our gates. Vaterland is in danger: my weiss is then for war. France, led by a despot, is about to desecrate the Rhine. His imperial bees are swarming, but we shall send him back with his bees in his bonnet, and a bee's mark (BISMARCK) on the end of his nasal organ. France wars for conquest; Prussia never. When FREDERICK the Great captured Silesia from a Roman without any apparent pretext, was he not an instrument of Providence? When, in company with Austria, we beat and bullied Denmark out of Schleswig-Holstein, were we not victorious, and is not that sufficient justification? When we afterwards beat this Austria, did it not serve her right? And when we absorbed Hanover, &c., was it not to protect them? Yes, our present object is the defence of our country and the capture of Alsace and Lorraine, which mere politeness prevented us from claiming hitherto. On, then, soldiers of Deutchland. Let our law reign in Lorraine, for what is sauce for the Prussian goose should be Alsace for the Gallic gander. The God of battles is on the side of our just cause; Leipsic is looking at us, Waterloo is watching us. GOTT und WILHELM, sauerkraut und schnapps. Vorwarts.
NAPOLEON, EMPEREUR DES FRANCAIS.
Soldats: True to your trust in me, I am about to lead you to slaughter. L'Empire c'est la paix. Prussia would place a poor and distant relative of mine on the throne of Spain, therefore must we recover the natural frontier of France, which lies upon the Rhine. The rhino is ready, and we are ready for the Rhine. Let my red republican subjects recall Valmy and Jemappes, and their generals KELLERMANN and DUMAURIOZ. Let every Frenchman kill a Prussian, every woman too kill her man. They did much for la patrie in those days, but do more ye to-day. France wars for ideas only; Prussia for rapine. We have heard this Rhine-whine long enough; it has got into our heads at last.
The spirit of my uncle has its eye upon you. Ambition was no part of his nature. His struggles were all for the good of France, "which he loved so much," as he himself said at his country-seat at St. Helena. Marshal, then, to the notes of the Marseillaise, which I now generously permit you to sing.
The Gallic rooster shall "cackle, cackle, clap his wings and crow," Unter der Linden. Jena judges us, Auerstedt is our status. The Man of Destiny and December calls you. The God of armies (who marches with the strongest battalions) is with us.
La gloire et des Grenouilles, France and fried potatoes. L'Empire et moi et le prince Imperial. En avant marche!
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A District that ought to be subject to Earthquakes.
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THE VULTURE'S CALL.
Come—sisters—come! The din of arms is rising from the vale, Bright arms are glittering in the morning sun And trumpet tones are ringing in the gale! Hurrah-hurrah! As fast and far We hurry to behold the blithesome game of War!
Haste—sisters—haste! The drums are booming, shrill fifes whistling clear, The scent of human blood is in the blast, And the load cannon stuns the startled ear. Away—away! To view the fray, For us a feast is spread when Man goes forth to slay.
Rest—sisters—rest! Here on these blasted pines; and mark beneath How war's red whirlwind shakes earth's crazy breast And cumbers it with agony and death. Toil, soldiers, toil, Through war's turmoil, We Vultures gain the prize—we Vultures share the spoil.
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Not Generally Known.
The new three cent stamp smacks of the Revolution; containing, as it does, the portraits of two military heroes of that period. General WASHINGTON will be recognized at once, while in the background can be discerned that brilliant officer—General GREEN.
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Our Future Millionaires.
Once let the Celestials get our American way of doing business, and there will be plenty of China ASTORS among us.
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THE POEMS OF THE CRADLE.
"Hey! Diddle diddle, the cat and the fiddle The cow jumped over the moon. The little dog laughed to see the sport, And the dish ran after the spoon."
These were the classic expressions of the hilarious poet of a period far back in the vista of ages. How vividly they portray the exalted state of his mind; and how impressed the public must have been at the time; for did not the words become popular immediately, and have they not so continued to the present day?
Every mother immediately seized upon the verse, and, setting it to music of her own, sang it as a cradle song to soothe the troubles of infanthood, and repeated it in great glee to the intelligent babe when in a crowing mood, as the poem most fitted for the infant's brain to comprehend.
Papa, anxious to watch the unfolding of the human mind, and its gradual development, would take the baby-prodigy in his arms, and with keen glance directed upon its face, repeat, in thrilling tones, the sublime words. With what joy would he remark and comment upon any gleam of intelligence, and again and again would he recite, in an impressive voice, those words so calculated to aid in bringing into blossom the bud of promise.
But who can meditate upon the memorable stanzas, and not see, in fancy, the enthusiastic youth—the lover of melody and of nature—as he enters his dingy room, the ordinary abiding place of poetical geniuses. He sees his beloved fiddle, and his no less beloved feline friend, in loving conjunction; he bursts out rapturously with impetuous joy:
"Hey! diddle diddle, the cat and the fiddle!"
He sees the two things dearest to his heart, and sees them both at one time! And he must be excused for his sudden night into the regions of classicism.
No wonder that he immediately imagines the world to be as full of joy as he himself, and that he thinks
"The cow jumped over the moon."
Perhaps the sight was a sufficient re-moon-eration to him for his past troubles; and the exhilaration of his spirits caused him to dance, to cut pigeon-wings, and otherwise gaily disport himself; consequently,
"The little dog laughed to see the sport,"
which every intelligent dog would have done, under the circumstances. Certainly, dear reader, you would have done so yourself.
The hilariousness of the poet increasing, and his joyfulness expanding, his manifestations did not confine themselves to simple dancing-steps and an occasional pigeon-wing, but, inadvertently perhaps, he introduced the "can-can," and that explains why
"The dish ran away with the spoon."
For the end of his excited toe came in contact with his only dish and spoon, and propelled them to the other side of the room. As he does not tell us whether the dish remained whole after its escapade, we must conclude that it was broken, and that the dreadful accident caused, immediately, a damp to descend upon his effervescent spirits.
In what better way could he give vent to his feelings than in descriptive verse? He could not shed his tears upon the paper and hand them around for inspection, or write a melancholy sonnet on the frailty of crockery, as a relief to his mind. No! he chose the course best fitted to command public attention, as the result proved. He told his tale—its cause and effect—in as few words as possible. Fortunate if other poets would only do the same!
* * * * *
An Ornithological Con.
What bird does General PRIM most resemble? A Kingfisher.
* * * * *
* * * * *
THE MISERIES OF A HANDSOME MAN.
Ever since my earliest recollections I have been a victim to circumstances.
Beauty, which others desire and try every means to obtain, to me has been a source of untold misery. From my infancy, when ugly women with horrid breaths would stop my nurse in the streets and insist upon kissing me—through my school-days, when the girls would pet me and offer me a share of their nuts and candies, and the boys laugh at me in consequence, and call me "gal-boy," squirt ink upon my face for beauty-spots, and present me with curl-papers and flowers for my hair—until the present, when I am denied introductions to young ladies and am put off on old women—I have suffered for my looks.
In my boarding-house I am shunned as if I had the plague. When I enter the parlor or dining-room, I see the ladies look at each other with a knowing air, as much as to say, "Look at him!" And the answer is telegraphed back, "Ain't he handsome? but he knows it," as if I could help knowing it with every one telling me so fifty times a day; and husbands pay unusual attention to their wives when I am around, as if I were an ogre.
I am naturally a modest man, made more so by my extreme sensitiveness to personal criticism; and to be obliged to stand apparently unconscious, when I know I am being looked at and commented upon, is harrowing to my feelings. I feel sometimes as if I should drop down on the floor, but then folks would never stop laughing if I did, at what they would be pleased to term my extreme ladylikeness! I have actually prayed that I might get the small-pox, and once walked through the small-pox hospital for that purpose, but escaped unharmed.
I suppose I must have been vaccinated. In fact, I know I have been, for how often have I looked at the scar on my arm, and wished it had been on my cheek, or at the end of my nose, or, in fact, on any place where it might be considered a blemish.
When I was a child I came near killing myself one night by going to bed with two large bottle-corks thrust into my nostrils, to make them large, like other boys'; and have made my mouth sore by stretching it with my fingers, or forcing melon-rinds into it, to enlarge it. But it was useless; perhaps the mouth might be sore for a couple of days, but its shape remained unaltered.
Now that I am a man, I am as unfortunate as ever. My hair will curl, even when shaved within half-an-inch of the scalp; my moustache will stay jet-black, although I sometimes wax the ends of it with soap, and walk on the sunny side of Broadway; my teeth are perfect, and I never need a dentist; and my hands are shameful for a man,—so all my old-maid-aunts and bachelor-uncles say.
My affections have been trifled with several times, "because," as they said, "when they had drawn me to the proposing point, I was too handsome to be good for anything as a husband—I did very well for a beau." Goodness! is it only ugly men that can marry? I want to marry and settle down; for I am so slighted in society that I look with envy upon homely or mis-shapen men.
But who will have me? I put it to you, my friend, if it isn't a hard case. I want an intelligent and agreeable wife, and one that comes of a respectable family. I don't think I am asking too much, but it seems fate has determined such a one I can never have! I have either to remain single, or take one that is "ignorant and vulgar." That, of course, would be as much remarked upon as my appearance, so it cannot be thought of.
I want to escape observation and criticism. I think strongly of emigrating to the Rocky Mountains, donning a rough garb, and digging for gold, in the hope of getting round-shouldered; or hiring myself out as a wood-chopper, in anticipation of a chip flying up and taking off part of my obnoxious nose.
If there were no women around, I might escape notice out there. But if one happened to come along, I should be obliged to leave, for her eyes would ferret out my unfortunate peculiarities, and all my wounds would be opened afresh. Sometimes I think there is no spot on the globe where I would be welcomed; and I feel inclined to commit some desperate deed, that I may be arrested and confined out of the sight of man and woman-kind, until I am aged and bent enough to be presentable.
* * * * *
Passing down Chatham street the other day, PUNCHINELLO stopped in front of a window where hung a highly-colored engraving of an Austrian sovereign engaged in the Easter ceremony of washing the feet of twelve old men and women.
An Irishman at our side, who had been puzzling some time to comprehend the problem thus submitted to him, finally broke out:
"An' may I ax ye, misther, to be koind enough to exshplain phat in the wurruld that owld roosther's doin'?" pointing to the figure of the kneeling monarch.
"He is washing the feet of the ladies and gentlemen," mildly put in PUNCHINELLO.
"Bedad," says PAT, "don't I see that for meself; but phatis he doin' it for?"
"It is a ceremony of the Catholic Church," PUNCHINELLO explained, "typical of the washing of the feet of the Twelve Apostles."
PAT eyed PUNCHINELLO askance with an expression which plainly enough said that he did not believe we had been reared to tell the truth strictly upon all occasions, and then added:
"Bad cess to your manners, then, don't I know betther nor that; for haven't I been in the church these forty years, and sorrow a sowl ever washed me feet!"
* * * * *
* * * * *
FROM AN ANXIOUS MOTHER TO HER DAUGHTER.
[Who is at a Watering Place.]
NEW YORK, July 12, 1870.
MY DEAR DAUGHTER: How are you getting on, dear? Well, I hope, for you know I do want to get you off, desperately. Thirty-seven, and still on my hands! Mr. GUSHER, of the Four-hundred-and-thirty-ninth Avenue, goes down next Saturday. He will hunt you up. Mr. GUSHER is a nice man—so sympathetic and kind; and has such a lovely moustache. Besides, my dear SOPHY, he has oceans of stamps. Quite true, my child, he hasn't much of anything else, but girls at thirty-seven must not have too sharp eyes, nor see too much. Do, dear, try and fix him if you can. Put all your little artifices into effect. Walk, if possible, by moonlight, and alone; that is, with him. Talk, as you know you can, of the sweets of love and the delights of home. Dwell on the felicities of love in a cottage, and if he doesn't see it, dilate on the article in a brown-stone front, with marble steps. Picture to him in the most glowing terms the joys of the fireside, with fond you by his side. If he hints that a fireside in July is slightly tepid, thoughtfully suggest that it is merely a figure of speech, and introduce an episode of cream to cool it. Quote vehemently from TENNYSON, and LONGFELLOW, and Mrs. BROWNING. Bring the artillery of your eyes to bear squarely on the mark. Remember that thirty-seven years and an anxious mother are steadily looking down upon you.
Cut SMIRCH. SMIRCH is a worthless fellow. Would you believe it? his father makes boot-pegs for a living. The house of WIGGINS cannot consort with the son of one who pegs along in life in this manner! Never. Banish SMIRCH. Don't let SMIRCH even look at your footprints on the beach.
Then there is Mr. BLUSTER. What is he? Who? Impertinent puppy! Pretended to own a corner-house on the Twenty-fifth Avenue, and wanted to know how I should like it? Like it? I should like to see him in Sing-Sing! He own a house?—a brass foundry more like, and that in his face! Keep a sharp eye on BLUSTER and his blarney. He's what our neighbor GINGER calls a "beat," whatever that is—a squash, no doubt.
Don't spare any pains, my dear, for a market. I was only twenty-six when I married the late lamented Mr. WIGGINS. And a dear good man he was—only I wish he had paid his bills at the corner groceries. How he did love, my dear—that favorite demijohn in the corner! And then when he came home at night with such a smile—he'd been taking them all day. Don't fail to catch somebody. GUSHER, depend, is the man. Money is everything. Never mind what he hasn't got just under the hat. It is the pocket you must aim at. What is life and society—what New York—without money? Say you love him to distraction. Declare your existence is bound up in his. (Greenback binding.) Throw yourself at his feet at the opportune moment, and victory must be yours. Impale him at all hazards. Remember you are thirty-seven and well on in life. Your own loving
MARIA ANASTASIA WIGGINS.
* * * * *
An Old Story with a Modern Application.
Like rifts of sunshine, her tresses Waved over her shoulders bare, And she flitted as light o'er the meadows, As an angel in the air.
"O maid of the country, rest thee This village pump beside, And here thou shalt fill thy pitcher, Like REBECCA, the well beside!"
But a voice from yonder window Through my shuddering senses ran, And these were its words: "MARIA-R! MA-RIA-R! don't-mind-that-man!"
* * * * *
* * * * *
HIRAM GREEN'S EXPERIENCE AS AN EDITOR.
Lively Times in the Editorial Sanctum.—The "Lait Gustise" handled Roughly.
"Whooray! Whooray!" I exclaimed, rushin' into the kitchen door, one mornin' last spring, and addressin' Mrs. GREEN. "I've been invited to edit the Skeensboro Fish Horn. Fame, madam, awaits your talented pardner."
"Talented Lunkhead, you mean," said this interestin' femail; "you'd look sweet editin' a noose paper. So would H. WARD BEECHER dancin' 'shoo-fly' along with DAN BRYANT. Don't make a fool of yourself if you know anything, HIRAM, and respect your family."
The above conversation was the prelude to my first and last experience in editin' a country paper.
The editor of the "Fish Horn" went on a pleasure trip, to plant a rich ant who had died and left him some cash.
Durin' his absence I run his paper for him. Seatin' my form on top of the nail keg, with shears and paste brush I prepared to show this ere community how to run a noosepaper.
I writ the follerin' little squibs and put 'em in my first issue.
"If a sertin lite complexion man wouldn't run his hands down into sugar barrels so often, when visitin' grosery stores, it would be money in the pocket of the Skeensboro merchants"—
"Query. Wonder how a farmer in this town, whose name we will not rite, likes burnin' wood from his nabor's wood-pile?"—
"We would advise a sertin toothles old made to leave off paintin' her cheeks, and stop slanderin' her nabors. If she does so, she will be a more interestin' femail to have around."—
"Stop Thief.—If that Deekin, who trades at one of our grocery stores, and helps himself to ten cents worth of tobacker while buyin' one cents worth of pipes, will devide up his custom, it would be doing the square thing by the man who has kept him in tobacker for several years."
These articles was like the bustin' of a lot of bombshells in this usually quiet boro.
The Deekins called a church meetin', and played a game of old sledge, to see who would call and demand satisfaction for the insult. As they all smoked, they couldn't tell who was hit, as their tobacker bill was small all around.
Deekin PERKINS got beat when they come to "saw off."
Said this pious man:
"If old GREEN don't chaw his words, I'll bust his gizzard."
The farmers met at SIMMINSES store. After tryin' on the garment about steelin' wood, it was hard to decide who the coat fit the best, but each one made up his mind to pay off an old grudge and "pitch into the Lait Gustise."
All the old mades met together in the village milliner shop, where the Sore-eye-siss society held meetin's once a week, and their false teeth trembled like a rattlesnake's tail, when they read my artickle about old mades.
It was finally resolved by this anshient lot of caliker to "stir up old GREEN."
Headed by SARY YOUMANS, the crossest old made in the U.S., and all armed with broom-sticks and darnin'-needles, the door of my editorial offis was busted open, and the whole caboodle of wimmen, famishin' for my top hair, entered.
They foamed at the mouth like a pack of dissappinted Orpheus—C—Kerrs, as they brandished their wepins over my bald head.
"Squire GREEN," sed a maskaline lookin' specimen of time worn caliker, holdin' a copy of the Fish Horn in her bony fingers, "did you rite that 'ere?"
"Wall," sed I, feelin' somewhat riled at the sassy crowd, "s'posen I did or didn't, what on it?"
"We are goin' to visit the wrath of a down-trodden rase upon your frontispiece, that's what we is, d'ye hear, old Pilgarlick?" said the exasperated 16th Amendmenter, as she brought down her gingham umbrella over my shoulders.
At this they all rushed for me. With paste-brush and shears I kept them off, until somebody pushed me over a woman who had got tripped up, when the army of infuriated Amazons piled onto my aged form.
This round dident last more'n two minutes, for as soon as they got me down, they all stuck their confounded needles into me, and then left me lookin' more like a porkupine than a human bein'.
I hadent more'n had time to pull out a few quarts of needles, before in walks 2 big strappin' farmers.
"Old man, we've come for you," said one of 'em. "We'll larn you to slander honest fokes."
At this he let fly his rite bute at my cote skirts.
I was home-sick, you can jest bet. Then t'other chap let me have it.
"Down stairs with him," sed they both, and down I went, pooty lively for an old man.
Just as I got to the bottom I lit on a man's head. It was Deekin PERKINS comein' to "bust my gizzard."
"Hevings and airth," sed the Deekin as he tumbled over in the entry way. I jumped behind a door, emejutly, and as the farmers proceeded to polish off the Deekin, I was willin' to forgive both of 'em, as the Deekin groaned and yelled.
Yes siree! it was soothin' fun for me, to see them farmers welt the Deekin.
Steelin' up stairs agin, I was brushin' off my clothes, when in walks EBENEZER.
"Sawtel," said he, ceasin' me by the cote coller and shakin' me, "Ile larn you to rite about steelin' sugar; take that—and that," at which he let fly his bute, and down stairs I went agin—Eben urgin' me on with his bute.—
Suffice to say, the whole village called on me that day, and I was kicked down stairs 32 times by the watch.—Hosswhipt by 17 wimmen—besides bein' stuck full of needles by a lot more.
I got so used to bein' kicked down stairs, that evry time a man come in the door, I would place my back towards him and sing out:
"Kick away, my friend, I'm in the Editorial biziness to-day—to-morrow I go hents—there's rather too much exsitement runnin' a noosepaper, and I shall resine this evenin."
When I got home that nite, I looked like an angel carryin' a palm-leaf fan in his hand, and clothed in purple and fine linen. My body was purpler than a huckleberry pie, and my linen was torn into pieces finer than a postage-stamp.
"Sarved you rite, you old fool," said Mrs. GREEN, as she stood rubbin' camfire onto me. "In ritin' noosepaper articles, editors orter name their man. A shoe which hain't bilt for anybody in particular, will get onto evrybody in general's foot. When it does, the bilder had better get ready for numerous bootin's, from that self-same shoe."
Between you and I, PUNCHINELLO, MARIAH is about 1/2 rite. Too-rally ewers.
HIRAM: GREEN, ESQ.,
Lait Gustise of the Peece.
* * * * *
Order, Cetacea.—The Right (and wrong) Whale.
The largest of the Cetacea is the Right whale, of which—so persistently is it hunted down—there will soon be but few Left. Some flippant jokist has remarked that there is no Wrong whale, but this is all Oily Gammon. There is a right and a wrong to everything—not excepting the leviathan of the deep.
By the courtesy of the Fisheries, the planting of a harpoon in the vitals of a Right whale gives the planter a pre-emption claim to it. If subsequently appropriated by another party it becomes, so far as that party is concerned, the Wrong whale, and on Trying the case its value may be recovered in a court of law,—with Whaling costs.
The sperm whale, or cachalot, (genus physeter) is a rare visitor in the higher latitudes. Now and then a solitary specimen is taken in the Northern Atlantic, but the best place to catch a lot is on the Pacific coast. It may be mentioned incidentally, as a curious meteorological coincidence, that Whales and Waterspouts are invariably seen together, and hence it was, (perhaps,) that the long-necked cloud pointed out by HAMLET to POLONIUS, reminded that old Grampus of a Whale.
The favorite food of the great marine mammal of the Pacific is the Squid, and as this little creature swarms in the vicinity of Hawaii, the cachalot instinctively goes there at certain seasons to chew its Squid by way of a Sandwich.
Although the capture of the whale involves an immense amount of Paying Out before anything can be realized, it has probably always been a lucrative pursuit. The great fish seems, however, to have yielded the greatest Prophet in the days of JONAH. No man since then has enjoyed the same facilities for forming a true estimate of the value of the monster, that were vouchsafed to that singular man. Perhaps during his visit to Nineveh he entertained the Ninnies with a learned lecture on the subject, but if so, it has not turned up to reward the research of modern Archaeologists. LAYARD found the word JONAH inscribed among the ruins of the old Assyrian city, but the name of the ancient mariner was unaccompanied by any mention of the whale.
All the whale family, though apparently phlegmatic, are somewhat given to Blowing up, and, when about to die, instead of taking the matter coolly and philosophically, they are always terribly Flurried. In fact, the whale, when in articulo mortis, makes a more tremendous rumpus about its latter end than any other animal either of the sea or land.
The Right whale, though many people make Light of it, is unquestionably the heaviest of living creatures. Scales never contained anything so ponderous. But while conceding to Leviathan the proud title of Monarch of the Deep, it should be remarked that it has a rival on the land, known as Old King Coal, that completely takes the Shine out of it.
* * * * *
THE WATERING PLACES.
At Newport, one cannot fail to perceive a certain atmosphere of blue blood—but it must not be understood, from this expression, that the air is filled with cerulean gore. Mr. P. merely wished to remark that the society at that watering place is very aristocratic. He felt the influence himself, although he staid there only a few days. His aristocratic impulses all came out. Whether they staid out or not remains to be seen.
But no matter. He found many of the best people in Newport, and he felt congenial. When a fellow sits at his wine with men like JOHN T. HOFFMAN, and AUGUST BELMONT, and PARAN STEVENS; and takes the air with Mrs. J.F., Jr., behind her delightful four-in-hand, he is apt to feel a little "uppish." If anyone doubts it let him try it. At the Atlantic Hotel they gave Mr. P. the room which had been recently vacated by Gov. PADELFORD. He was glad to hear this. He liked the room a great deal better when he heard that the Governor wasn't there any more.
The first walk that he took on the beach proved to him that this was no place for illiterate snobs and shoddyites. Everybody talked of high moral aims, or questions of deep import, (especially the high tariff Congressmen,) and even the little girls who were sitting in the shade, (with big white umbrellas over them to keep the freckles off,) were puzzling their heads over charades and enigmas, instead of running around and making little Frou-Frous of themselves. Mr. P. composed an enigma for a group of these young students. Said he:
"My first is a useless expense. My second is a useless expense. My third is a useless expense. My fourth is a useless expense. My fifth is a useless expense. My sixth is a useless expense, and so is my eighth, ninth, tenth, and eleventh, and all the rest of my parts, of which there are three hundred and fifty.
My whole is a useless expense, and sits at Washington."
The dear little girls were not long in guessing this ingenious enigma and while they were rejoicing over their success, Mr. P. was suddenly addressed by a man who had been standing behind him. Starting little, he turned around and was thus addressed by his unknown listener.
"Sir," said that individual, "do I understand you to mean that the Congress of the United States is a useless expense?"
"Well, sir," said Mr. P., with a smile, "as it costs a great deal and does very little, I cannot but think it is both useless and expensive."
"Then sir," said the other, "you must think the whole institution is a nuisance generally."
"You put it very strongly," said Mr. P., "but I fear that you are about right."
"Sir!" cried the gentleman, his face beaming with an indescribable expression. "Give me your hand! I am glad to know you. I agree with you exactly. My name is WHITTEMORE."
But Mr. P. did not waste all his time in talking to strangers and concocting enigmas. He had come to Newport with a purpose. It was none of the ordinary purposes of watering place visitors. These he could carry out elsewhere.
His object in coming here was grand, unusual and romantic. He came to be rescued by IDA LEWIS!
It was not easy to devise a plan for this noble design, and it was not until the morning of the second day of his visit, that Mr. P. was ready for the adventure. Then he hired a boat, and set sail, alone, o'er the boundless bosom of the Atlantic.
He had not sailed more than a few hours on said boundless bosom, before he turned his prow back towards land,—towards the far-famed Lime Rocks, on which the intrepid heroine dwells. He had thought of being wrecked at night, but fearing that IDA might not be able to find him in the dark, he gave up this idea. His present intention was that Miss LEWIS should believe him to be a lonely mariner from a far distance, tossed by the angry waves upon her rock-bound coast But there was a certain difficulty in the way, which Mr. P. feared would prove fatal to his hopes.
The sea was just as smooth as glass!
And the wind all died away!
There was not enough left to ruffle a squirrel's tail. How absurd the situation! How could he ever be dashed helpless upon the rocks under such circumstances?
The tide was setting in, and as he gradually drifted towards the land, he saw the storied rocks, and even perceived Miss IDA, sitting upon a shady prominence, crocheting a tidy.
What should he do to attract her attention? How put himself in imminent peril? His anxiety for a time was dreadful, but he thought of a plan. He got out his knife and whittled the mast half through.
"Now," thought he, "if my mast and rigging go by the board, she will surely come and rescue me!"
But the mast and rigging were as obstinate as outside speculators in Wall street,—they would not go by the board,—and Mr. P. was obliged at last to break down the mast by main force. But the lady heard not the awful crash, and little weened that a fellow-being was out alone on the wild watery waste, in a shipwrecked bark! After waiting for some time, that she might ween this terrible truth, Mr. P, concluded that there was nothing to do but to spring a leak.
But he found this difficult. Kick as hard as he might, he could not loosen a bottom board. And he had no auger! The Lime Rocks were getting nearer and nearer. Would he drift safely ashore?
"Oh! how can I wreck myself, 'ere it be too late?" he cried, in the agony of his heart. Wild with apprehensions of reaching the land without danger, he sat down and madly whittled a hole in the bottom of the boat, making it, as nearly as possible, such a one as a sword fish would be likely to cut. When he got it done, the water bubbled through it like an oil-well. In fact, Mr. P. was afraid that his vessel would fill up before he was near enough for the maiden on the rocks to hear his heart-rending cries for succor. He could see her plainly now. 'Twas certainly she. He knew her by her photograph—("Twenty-five cents, sir. The American female GRACE DARLING, sir. Likeness warranted, sir.")
But she turned not towards him. Confound it! Would she finish that eternal tidy ere she glanced around?
The boat was almost full now. It would sink before she saw it! That hole must be stopped until he had drifted near enough to give vent to an agonizing cry for help.
Having nothing else convenient, Mr. P. clapped into the hole a lot of manuscripts which he had brought with him for consideration. (Correspondents who may experience apparent neglect will please take notice. It is presumed, of course, that every one who writes anything worth reading, will keep a copy of it.)
Now the rocks were comparatively near, and standing up to his knees in water, Mr. P. gave the appropriate heart-rending cry for succor. But in spite of the prevailing calm, he perceived that there was a surf upon the rocks, and a noise of many waters. At the top of his voice Mr. P. again shouted.
But he soon found that he would have to hello longer as well as hello IDA, and he did it.
At last she heard him.
Dropping her work-basket, she ran to the edge of the rock, and making a trumpet of her hands, called out:
"Ahoy there! What's up?"
"Me!" answered Mr. P., "but I won't be up very long. Haste to my assistance, oh maiden! ere I sink!"
Then she shouted again:
"I've got no boat! It's over to MCCURDY's, getting caulked!"
Then indeed did Mr. P. turn pale, and his knees did tremble.
But IDA was not to be daunted. Bounding like a chamois o'er the rocks, to her house, she quickly returned with a long coil of rope, and instantly hurled it over the curling breakers with such a strong arm and true aim, that one end of it struck Mr. P. in the face with a crack like that of a giant's whip.
He grasped the rope, and that instant his boat sank like a rock!
IDA hauled away like a steam-engine, and Mr. P.'s prow (his nose, you know,) cut through the water like a knife, in a straight line for the shore. In front of him he saw a great mass of sharp roots. He shuddered, but over them he went. On, on, he went, nor turned aside for jagged cleft or sharp-edged stone. A ship, loaded with queensware, had been wrecked near shore, and through a vast mass of broken plates, and cups, and saucers, Mr. P. went,—straight and swift as an arrow.
At last, wet, bleeding, ragged, scratched, and feint, he reached the shore. Said IDA, as she supported him towards her dwelling: "How did you ever come to be wrecked on such a day as this?"
Mr. P. hesitated. But with such a noble creature, the truth would surely be the best. He told her all.
"Oh!" said he. "Dear girl, 'twas I, myself, who hewed down my mast and scuttled my fair bark. And I did it, maiden fair! that thy brave arm might rescue me from the watery deep, (you know what a good thing it would be for both of us when it got in the papers,) and that on thy hardy bosom I might be borne—"
"Born jackass!" interrupted IDA. "I believe that everybody who comes to Newport make fools of themselves about me; but you are certainly the Champion Fool of the Lime Rocks."
Mr. P. couldn't deny it.
* * * * *
From the insult passed upon Count BENDETTI, at Ems, it appears that the Prussian government does not always mind its P's and Q's.
* * * * *
A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME.
A Love Tale.
"I won't do it—there!"
Miss ANGELINA VAVASOUR sat her little fat body down in a chair, slapped her little fat hands upon her little fat knees, swelled her little fat person until she looked like a big gooseberry just ready to burst, and then turned her little fat red face up to Mr. JOHN SMITH, who was standing before her.
"I regret," said Mr. J.S., "that you should refuse to be Mrs. JOHN SMITH." (ANGELINA shuddered.) "Might I ask you why?"
"No," said she. "Say, my age."
"But I don't object to that," said J.S.
"Well, I won't," said ANGELINA, "that's all!"
J.S. rubbed the fur on his hat the wrong way, pulled up his shirt collar, looked mournfully at the idol of his heart, and departed.
Why did she refuse him? Listen!
About a thousand or two years ago—well, perhaps we had better not go so far back—anyhow, Miss VAVASOUR had ancestors, and she was proud of them; she had a name, and she gloried in it; she had $100,000, and therefore insisted on keeping her aristocratic name; she had kept it for forty years, and was willing to take a contract for the rest of the job, though she did feel that she needed a man to slide down the hill of time with her, and she was rather fond of SMITH.
Mr. JOHN SMITH wanted to marry her for herself alone, though he had made inquiries and knew all about that $100,000.
Thus it was.
"That's all!" Miss VAVASOUR had said.
But was it all? She thought it was matrimony; J.S. thought it was matter o' money, and J.S. had a long head—an awfully long head.
Mr. JOHN SMITH sat before the grate. His auburn locks, his Roman nose, his little grey eyes, his thin lips, his big ears, and each particular hair of his red whiskers, expressed intense disgust.
He was day-dreaming, seeing visions in the fire. There he saw Miss ANGELINA VAVASOUR. Her eyes were ten dollar gold pieces, her nose a little pile of ducats, each cheek seemed swelled out by large quantities of dollars, every tooth in her head was a double-eagle, and her hair was a mass of ingots. He heaved a sigh and took a fresh chew.
The tobacco seemed to refresh him; he walked the floor for a while, and then sat in his chair. Suddenly his countenance was irradiated, like a ripening squash at early morn, and he sprang to his feet, crying out, "Eureka! I'll do it."
Eureka! How? What? Thus.
One month afterwards our hero presented himself at the house of Miss VAVASOUR, carrying under his arm a large volume, bound in calf.
"Miss VAVASOUR," said he, "I come to repeat my proposition to you. Will you reconsider?"
"Sir?" said she.
"Things have changed," said our hero.
"Changed!" echoed she. "What do you mean, Mr. JOHN SMITH?"
"Call me not by that vile cognomen," quoth he. "Look!" and he opened the Session Laws at page 1004.
"STATE OF NEW YORK, COUNTY OF BLANK.
I, JONATHAN JERUSALEM, Clerk of said County, do hereby certify that the following change of name has been made by the County Court of this County, viz.:
JOHN SMITH to AUGUSTUS VAVASOUR.
In testimony whereof, I have set my hand and the seal of the County, June 3d, 1870. JONATHAN JERUSALEM, Clerk." [L.S.]
She fell into his arms, and rested her palpitating head upon his palpitating bosom. He pulled up his shirt-collar, trod on the cat, and gently whispered, "$100,000."
A word to the wise. Go and do like-wise. LOT.
* * * * *
The following is from a Western paper:
"At Council Buffs, Iowa, a woman who don't chew gum is out of style, and gets the cold shoulder."
Our comment upon the above is that there must be very little gumshun among the women of Council Bluffs.
* * * * *
* * * * *
DOWN THE BAY.
Mr. Punchinello: It is just possible that you never went on a fine fishing excursion down the Bay with a party of nice young men. If you never did, don't. I confess it sounds well on paper. But it's a Deceit, a Snare, and a Hollow Mockery. I will narrate.
Some days ago I was induced (the Deuce is in it if I ever am again) to participate in a supposed festivity of this nature. In the first place, we (the excursionists,) chartered a yacht, two Hands that knew the Ropes—they looked as if they might have been acquainted with the Rope's End—and a small Octoroon of the male persuasion as waiter. As CHOWLES characteristically observed, (he is a Stock Broker, and was one of the party,) "there is nothing like a feeling of Security." So we engaged a Skipper who was perfectly familiar with the BARINGS of the Banks, and Thoroughly Posted on all Sea 'Changes, at least so CHOWLES expressed it, but then he is apt to be somewhat technical at times. This accomplished mariner was reputed to have been "Round the Horn" several times, which I am led to believe was perfectly true, as he smelt strongly of spirits when he came on board. I was much discouraged at the appearance of this Skipper, and had half a mind to give my friends the Slip when I saw him on the Wharf.
Having manned our craft, we purchased a colossal refrigerator in which to put our Bass and Weak Fish, laid in a stock of cold provisions—among other things a Cold Shoulder—plenty of exhilarating beverages, and, with Buoyant Spirits, (every Man of us,) and plenty of ice on board, started on the slack of the Morning Tide. I regret to state that by the time we were ready to start our Skipper was half way "Over the Bay," being provided with a pocket pistol charged to the muzzle. He and his two subordinates were pretty well "Shot in the neck" by the time we reached Fort Lafoyette. The consequence of this was that we no sooner came Abreast of the reef in that locality than we got Afoul of it. For getting Afoul of the Rocks we had to Fork over twenty dollars to the captain of a tug boat which came and Snaked us off with a Coil of Rope when the tide rose.
During the time we remained stationary, the Bottle, I am sorry to say, kept going Round. All the excursionists except myself got half seas over, and when we resumed our voyage the steersman had fallen asleep, so the vessel left a Wake behind her which was extremely crooked.
We anchored that night outside Sandy Hook, and next morning cast our lines overboard, and commenced fishing. Our success in that Line was astounding, not to say embarrassing. We commenced to take Fish on an unparalleled Scale. Dog Fish and Stingarees were hauled over the side without intermission. The former is a kind of small shark. As they will Swallow anything, we Took them In very fast Although extremely voracious, they are so simple that if it were not for their size they would fell an easy prey to the Sea Gull, which, in spite of its name, is a very Wide Awake bird. Stingarees are fish of much more Penetration—their sharp tails slashing everything that comes in their way. These natural weapons, which have been furnished them by Providence as a means of defence in their Extremity, cut through a fellow's trousers like paper. The interesting creatures cut up so that we kindly consigned them, together with the dog fish, to their native element, having first benevolently knocked them on the head. Changing our location for a change of luck, we captured a superb mess of sea robins and toad fish. This satisfied us. So we pulled up anchor, not Hankering for any more such sport, and left the Hook, very glad to Hook It. We didn't have any of our toadies or robbins cooked, as those "spoils of ocean," although interesting as marine curiosities, are not considered good to eat, but each man had a Broil, as the Sun was very hot, and as CHOWLES remarked, "brought out the Gravy." That night we turned in, having been turned inside out all day. Next morning we reached home. The skipper presented his Bill in the course of the day. Although extremely exorbitant, we paid it without a murmur, being too much exhausted from casting up accounts ourselves, to bring him to Book for his misconduct. Such is the sad experience of
* * * * *
The Pillar of Salt (Lake.)
Lot's (of) Wife.
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