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Vol. II. No. 33.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 1870.
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GREAT MEN OF AMERICA.
By MOSE SKINNER
Was the sort of a man you don't find laying round loose nowadays to any great extent. It's a pity his brains wasn't preserved in a glass case, where the imbecile lunatics at Washington could take a whiff occasionally. It would do 'em good.
We are told that as a boy DANIEL was stupid, but this has been said of so many great men that it's getting stale. Some talented men were undoubtedly stupid boys, but it doesn't follow that every idiotic youth will make an eminent statesman. But there are plenty of vacancies in the statesman business. A great many men go into it, but they fail for want of capital. If they would only stick to their legitimate business of clam-digging, or something of that sort, we should appreciate them, and their obituary notice would be a thing to love, because 'twould be short.
But D. WEBSTER wasn't one of this sort. He didn't force Nature. He forgot enough every day to set five modern politicians up for life. When he opened his mouth to speak, it didn't act upon the audience like chloroform, nor did the senate-chamber look five minutes after like a receiving tomb, with the bodies laying round promiscuously. I should say not. He could wade right into the middle of a dictionary and drag out some ideas that were wholesome. Yes, when DANIEL in that senatorial den did get his back up, the political lions just stood back and growled.
Take him altogether he was our biggest gun, and it's a pity he went off as he did, for he was the Great Expounder of the Constitution.
HON. JOHN MORRISSEY
Is also a Great Ex-pounder. Even greater than WEBSTER, for the constitution of the United States is a trifling affair, compared with the constitution of J.C. HEENAN.
Mr. MORRISSEY is a very able man and made his mark early in life. Before he could write his name, I'm told. No man has made more brilliant hits, and his speeches are concise and full of originality. "I'll take mine straight." "No sugar for me," &c., have become as household words.
A man like this, though he may be vilified and slandered for awhile, will eventually come in on the home stretch with a right bower to spare.
That's a nice place JOHN has got at Saratoga. Fitted up so elegantly, and with so much money in it, it looks like a Fairy bank with the fairies gambolling upon the green. It's all very pretty, no doubt, but excuse me if I pass.
GEORGE FRANCIS TRAIN.
This gentleman is yet destined to send a thrill of joy to our hearts, and flood our souls with a calm and tranquil joy. This will come off when his funeral takes place. He wasn't born like other people. He was made to order for the position of common scold in a country sewing-circle.
But he wasn't satisfied. He wanted to be an Eminent Lunatic and found private mad-houses. And so he began to lecture. He used to rehearse in a graveyard, and it was a common thing for a newly-buried corpse to organize a private resurrection and make for the woods, howling dismally.
A village out West was singularly unfortunate last summer. In the first place the cholera raged, then they had an earthquake, and then G.F. TRAIN lectured three nights. Owing to this accumulation of horrors the village is no longer to be found on the maps. TRAIN'S second night did the business for 'em. The once happy villagers are now aimless wanderers, and one poor old man was found in the churchyard, studying a war map of Paris and vicinity in a late New York paper.
It is said that TRAIN has his eye on the White House, and is indeed a shrewd, far-seeing man. When he visited Europe and kissed all the little Irish girls, could he have had in his mind the time when they, as naturalized American Female Suffragers, would cast their votes for G.F. TRAIN as President?
That the mind of the reader may not become hopelessly dazed by contemplating this last paragraph, I will stop.
I cannot close these memoirs without a simple tribute to this remarkable woman, who has probably done more to mould the destinies of this Republic than any other man put together. She was an eminently pious woman, devoted body and soul to Foreign Missions, and to the great work of sending the gospel to New Jersey.
But it was as a composer that her brilliant talents stand preeminent. MOZART, BEETHOVEN, and a host of others excelled in this respect, but they all lack that exquisite pathos and graceful rhetoric which so distinguished this queen of literature. The beautiful creations of that fruitful brain are as a passing panorama of constant delight. Her style is singularly free from affectation, and, while we are at one moment rapt in wonder at her chaste and vigorous description of the annoyances of a female in the autumn of life, training up a large family in the limited accommodations afforded by a common shoe, we cannot but feel a twinge of compassion for the singular Mrs. HUBBARD and her lovely dog, who "had none," only to have those tears chased away by the arch and guileless portrayal of the eccentric JOHN HORNER.
That we cannot to-day gaze upon the classic lineaments of her who welded such a facile pen, is a source of the most poignant regret. It is a crying shame, for I think I am correct when I say that there does not exist on the civilized globe a statue of this peerless woman, but she will always live as long as there are infant minds to form, or tender recollections of childhood to remember.
P.S.—I forgot to say that I hold a copyright of old GRANNY GOOSE'S works. I have just got it renewed, and it is as vigorous as a kicking-mule. Send in your orders. Contributions to the old gal's statue will be duly acknowledged, and deposited with my tailor.
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THE PLAYS AND SHOWS.
JANAUSCHEK is a Bohemian, and with the Bohemian propensity for picking up things, has picked up the English language. The public is somewhat divided in its estimate of her skill in speaking English. One-half of her average audience insists that she speaks better English than nine-tenths of our native actresses: the other half asserts that she is at times nearly unintelligible. Neither of these statements necessarily contradicting the other, they might both be easily true. The fact is, however, that she speaks English like a foreigner. Mud itself—or a Sun editorial—could not be plainer than this definition of her exact proficiency in our unmelodious tongue.
If we go to see her play "Lady Macbeth," we meet evidences at every step of her want of familiarity with English, or at all events with American customs. We find her playing at the ACADEMY, and we at once remark that no one but an unnecessarily foreign actress would dare to awaken the sepulchral echoes of that dismal tomb. We find, too, that at the very threshold of the house she defies the one of the most time-honored institutions of our stage, by employing a pleasant and courteous door-keeper—instead of the snarling Cerberus who lies in wait at the doors of other theatres. We find again that she outrages the public by the presence of decent and civil ushers, who neither insult the male spectators by their surly impudence, nor annoy the lady visitor by coloring her train with tobacco juice. So that before the curtain rises we are prepared to lament over her unfamiliarity with American customs, and to predict her ignorance of the American, as well as the English language.
Divers well-meaning persons repeat the dialogue of the earlier scenes of the play. There is a good deal of dramatic force in the legs of Mr. MONTGOMERY, who plays "Macbeth," much animation in the feathers which Mr. STUDLEY'S "Macduff" wears in his hat, and a foreshadowing of ghostly peculiarities in the solemn stride of Mr. DE VERE'S "Banquo." We listen to these gentlemen with polite patience, waiting for the appearance of "Lady Macbeth." When at length that strong-minded female strides across the stage, we hail her with rapturous applause, and listen for the strident voice with which the average "Lady Macbeth" reads her husband's letter.
We don't hear it, however, for JANAUSCHEK reads in a tone as low as that which a sensible woman who was plotting treason and murder would be apt to use. Why "Lady Macbeth" should proclaim her deadly purpose at the top of her lungs is quite incomprehensible, except upon the theory that stage traditions have confounded the Scotch with the Irish, and that the "Macbeths" husband and wife—being the typical Fenians of the period, were accustomed to roar their secrets to the listening world.
Be that as it may, we are constrained to note the actress's unfamiliarity with the language, as evinced in the tone in which she reads the letter, and also in the way in which she urges her husband onward in the path of crime. The usual "Lady Macbeth" "goes for" her weakminded spouse, and drives him by threats and strong-language to consent to her little game. JANAUSCHEK, on the contrary, does not raise a broom-stick, or even her voice, at "Macbeth," but actually coaxes him to be so good as to kill the king, so that she can bring all her relations to court, and appoint them surveyors, and internal revenue collectors, and foreign ministers. This is not the tone of other actresses in the same part, and we therefore at once charge her departure from the common standard to her ignorance of English.
We listen with fortitude to the dismal singing of the witches and their friends in mask and domino. The music, we are told, is "LOCKE'S music." What is the proper key for LOCKE'S music, is a question which we have never attempted to solve, but we heartily wish that the key were lost forever, since by its aid the singers open vistas of musical dreariness which are disheartening to the last degree. But we sustain our spirits with the thought of the bloody murder that is coming. Talk as we ill, we all enjoy our murders, whether we read of them in the Sun and the Police Gazette, or witness them upon the stage.
When JANAUSCHEK comes upon "Macbeth" with his bloody hands, and explains to him that it is now too late to repent, either of murder or matrimony, she furnishes us with more instances of her unfamiliarity with the language. Her night-dress is not at all the sort of thing which an English-speaking woman would be willing to sleep in. We are confident upon this point, and we have on our side the testimony of a married man who has lived four years in Chicago, and has been annually married with great regularity. If he doesn't know what the average female regards as the proper thing in night-dresses, it would be difficult to find a man who does. Then, too, her gross ignorance of English is shown in her back hair, which is a foot longer than the average hair of previous "Lady Macbeths," and is as thick and massive as a lion's mane. Wicked and punnish persons go so far as to call it her mane attraction. They are wrong, however. JANAUSCHEK does not draw by the force of capillary attraction. By the bye, did any one ever notice the fact that while a painter cannot be considered an artist unless he draws well, an actress may be the greatest of artists and not be able to draw a hundred people? But this is wandering.
Owing to the imperfections of her English, JANAUSCHEK does not indulge in drinking from the gilded pasteboard goblets which grace the banquet scene. She also shows her lingual weakness in the sleep-walking scene. For instance, when, after having reigned queen of Scotland for several months, the happy thought of washing her hands strikes her, she commits the absurdity of scrubbing them with her hair. On the other hand, she pronounces the words "damned spot" with a, perfection of accent that constrains us to believe that she must have taken at least a few lessons in pronunciation from some of the leading members of WALLACK'S company. Still, her way of walking blindly into the table, and falling over casual chairs, ought to convince the most skeptical person that her English accent is not yet what it should be. And in general, her walk and conversation in this scene demonstrate that even the most carefully simulated somnambulism may not resemble in all respects the most approved Oxford pronunciation.
But when we are freed from the depressing influences of the Academical Crypt, we forget all but our admiration of JANAUSCHEK'S superb acting, and the exceptional command which she has gained over a language so vexatious in its villanous consonants as our own. And we express to every available listener the earnest hope that SKEBACH and FECHTER will profit by her success, and at once begin the study of English, with the view of devoting their efforts hereafter to the American stage.
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POISONING THE PLUGS.
A Rampant Virginia editor proposes to kill off the Yankees by putting poison in chewing-tobacco, so that we shall meet mortality in mastication, fate in fine-cut, and perdition in the soothing plug! In short, Virginia not having got the best of it in political quiddities, this pen-patriot is for trying the other kind. The short-sightedness of this policy will be evident, when we remember how many Republicans consider the weed to be the abomination of desolation. Virginia might poison chewing-tobacco till the crack of doom, but what effect would that have upon the eschewing (not chewing) GREELEY, who, even if he used it, has bitten T(he) WEED so many times that he can consider himself poison-proof. When, moreover, this LUCRETIA BORGIA in pantaloons remembers that his scheme might prove more fatal to his friends than his enemies, perhaps he will take rather a larger quid than usual, and grow benevolent under its bland influences.
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FIRM AS A ROCK.
All the newspapers are full of descriptions of the earthquake of the 20th of October, and of the panic thereby occasioned. We are proud to state, although massive buildings quivered and great cities were scared, that Mr. PUNCHINELLO was not in the least shaken. At the moment of the quake (11h. 26m. A.M.) he must have been seated upon his drum partaking of a lunch of sandwiches and small beer. He did not perceive the slightest reverberation, nor did the drum give the least vibratory sign. Mr. PUNCHINELLO has prepared a most elaborate and scientific paper, giving a full and elaborate and intensely scientific description of the various phenomena which he did not perceive, and which he proposes to read before any scientific associations which may invite him to do so. Terms, $50 and expenses.
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OH YES! PUNCHINELLO has an Editor's Drawer, and a very nice one, too. (As no allusion is here made to any of the artists of the paper, you needn't be getting ready to laugh.) This Drawer—and no periodical in the country possesses a better one—is chock full of the most splendid anecdotes, and as it is impossible to keep them shut up any longer (for some of them are getting very old and musty), a few of the bottom ones will now be given to the public.
A GENTLEMAN just returned from a tour in Western Asia sends to the Drawer the following account of a little bit of pleasantry which took place in the gala town of South Amboy:—
A young doctor, clever, rich, pure-minded, and just, but of somewhat ambigufied principles, was strenuously married to a sweet young creature, delicate as a daffodil, and altogether loveliacious. One night, having been entreated by a select party of his most aged patients to go with them on a horniferous bendation, he gradually dropped, by dramific degrees, in a state of absolute tipsidity, and four clergymen, who happened to be passing, carried him home on a shutter, and thus ushered him in all his drunkosity, into the presence of his little better-half, who was drawing in crayons in the back parlor. "My dear," said she, looking up with an angelic smile, "why did you come home in that odd manner, upon a shutter?" "Because, mon ange," said he, "you see that these worthy gentlemen, all good men and true, mon only ange, brought me home upon a shutter because they were not able to get any of the doors off of their hinges. (Hic.)"
This is almost too funny.
The descendant of the Hamnisticorious sojourner in the ark knows what is good for him. For pungent proof, hear this: A young lady, a daughter of the venerable and hospitable General G——-, of Upper Guilford, Conn., was once catechizing a black camp-meeting, and when the exercises were over, a colored brother approached her and said:
"Look-a-yar now, 's MARY, jist gib dis nigger one obdem catekidgeble books."
"But what would you do with it, CUDJO, if I gave it to you?"
"Oh, dis chile 'ud take it!"
Ha! ha! ha! Our colored brother will have his wild hilarity.
Two septennialated youngsters of Boston. Mass, (so writes their gifted mother), thus recently dialogued:
"PERSEUS," said the younger, "why was the noble WASHINGTON buried at Mount Vernon?"
"Because he was dead," boldly answered his brother.
Oh! the tender-aged! How their sub-corrected longings curb our much maturer yearnings.
Here is an anecdote of a "four-year old," which we give in the exact words of our correspondent, an aged and respected resident of Oswego county, in this State:
"Well, now, ye see, I couldn't do nothing at all with this 'ere four-year old 'o mine, fur he was jist as wild an onruly as anything ye ever see; and so I jist knocked him in the head, and kep the hide and the taller, and got thirteen cents a pound for the beef, which wasn't so bad, ye see."
Strange, practical man! We could not do thus with all our little tid-toddlers of but four bright summers.
A correspondent in San Francisco sends the Drawer these epitaphs, which are entirely too good to be lost.
The first is from the grave of a farmer, much notorified for his "forehandidification," and who, it is needless to say, was buried on his own farm:—
"Here lies JOHN SIMMS, who always did Good farming understand; E'en now he's gratified to think He benefits his land."
Here is one upon a gambler, who died of some sort of sickness, superinduced by some description of disease:—
"His hand was so bad that he laid him down here; But up he will certainly jump, And quick follow suit for the rest of the game When Gabriel plays his last trump."
Here is one on a truly unfortunate member of the human race:—
"Here lies CORNELIUS COX, who, on account of a series of unhappy occurrences, the principal of which were a greatly increased rent and consumption of the lungs, Got himself into a tight box."
The ladies must not be neglected. Sweet creatures! even on tombstones we sing their praises. This is to the memory of a fashionable and lovely siren of society:—
"She always moved with distinguished grace, And never was known to make slips. At last she sank down into this grave With the neatest of Boston dips."
An old lady in Bangor, Maine, sends the following entertaining anecdote of one of our most distinguished fellow-citizens:—
The late Senator R——-, who, by the way, was a very portly man, was in the habit of riding over the fields to consult Judge B——-, his wife's cousin, on points of extra-judicial import. One morning, just as he was about to get down from his horse.—(NOTE BY ED.—The middle of this anecdote is so long, so dull, and has so little connection with either the head or the tail, that it is necessarily omitted.)
"Well," said the Judge, "what would you do then?"
"I don't know," said the Senator. "Do you?"
If our public men were, at all times, as thoughtful as these two, the country would be better for it.
NECESSARY NOTE.—Persons sending anecdotes to this Drawer (or those reading them), need not expect to make anything by the operation.
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PRUSSIAN PRACTICE AND PROFESSION.
KING WILLIAM of Prussia thinks he has a mission to perform, and goes on his present raid in France as a missionary. To an unprejudiced sceptic, however, needle-guns, rifle-cannons, requisitions on the country, devastations of crops, bombarding of cities, and the rest of the accompaniments of his progress are, if possible, even worse in their effects upon the unhappy people subjected to his missionary efforts than the New England rum which accompanied the real missionaries in their descent upon the now depopulated islands of the Pacific. Private people with missions are nuisances, but public people with such ideas are simply unbearable.
In the case of kings, if we may trust the democratic movement which this war in Europe is aiding so greatly, the only mission the people will soon allow to kings is dis-mission.
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"A PASS for THIERS," the telegrams state, has been promised by the King of Prussia. There is a sound of mockery in this. Prussia's obstinacy in pushing the war has made so many widows and orphans that all France is a PASS for TEARS.
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"Up in a balloon, boys!"—Macbeth.
TOURS, FIFTH WEEK Of THE REPUBLIC, 1870.
DEAR PUNCHINELLO: To all men of lofty ambition I would recommend a balloon excursion. The higher you get, the smaller and more insignificant do earthly things appear. A balloon is the best pulpit imaginable from which to preach a sermon upon the littleness of mundane realities, first—because no one can hear you, and your congregation cannot therefore be held responsible for indifference to your teaching; and second—because at that height you are fully impressed with the truth of what you say.
Aspirations of whatever kind, all longings and emotions of the "Excelsior" order, all appeals to "look aloft," come handier when you can "do" them in an aerial car.
You will pardon this philosophic digression in respect to the peculiar feelings of a man who has just been "up in a balloon." Our air-ship had been anchored in the Champ de Mars two days, waiting for a fair wind. An hour before we started, a Yorkshireman, who had evidently never seen such a creation before, annoyed me with incessant questions as to what it was. His large, wondering, stupid eyes never ceased gazing at the monster as it tugged heavily at the stake which held it. "Na' wha' maun that be?" he exclaimed, starting back as it gave a very violent jerk. I could stand it no longer, and thus broke forth:—
"See here, my good fellow, you've got plenty of cheek to be bothering me with your confounded ridiculous questions; and so I'll answer you once for all. What you see tied fast there is called a balloon, and it's only a French method of drawing Englishmen's teeth." He left me—I trust not in anger; but that was the last I saw of the Yorkshireman.
We got off, (M. GODARD and I) about four o'clock P.M., and ascended steadily till Paris, with its rim of fortifications, looked more like the crater of a volcano than anything else. I brought out my opera-glass as we moved in the direction of Versailles, and reconnoitred the situation. In a field adjoining the palace I saw an object that looked like a post driven into the ground, and capped with a large-sized clam-shell. GODARD levelled his glass and examined it. His lip curled proudly with scorn as he said:—
"That is the butcher himself, WILLIAM of Prussia. The clam-like appearance you notice is due to the baldness of his head."
I only said: "Can it be possible?" and we moved on. How my blood throbbed as we cavorted through the blue depths of heaven! I was far from feeling blue myself, and GODARD said that if anything I was green. The bearings of the remark did not strike me at the time, as a cannon-ball from the direction of Versailles whirled within twenty feet of the balloon and lifted the right flank (a military expression) of my moustache into your subscriber's eye, notwithstanding it was waxed with LOUVET'S best, warranted to keep each hair en regle, even in the worst gales. From that moment I renounced LOUVET. Following the cannon-shot came a miscellaneous assortment of small projectiles, which had the effect of creating some excitement among the atmospheric animalculae, but failed to disturb the serenity of M. GODARD or myself. When about ten miles from Blois I detected what I supposed was a large vein of chalk-pits. It was very white, and apparently motionless. My companion expressed his surprise at the difficulty I had in distinguishing objects correctly, and seemed to lose patience.
"Bigarre, you no know zat? It ees ze dirty Proosien linen vashed out, and hoong zere to dry!"
I told him in Arabic that he needn't get his back up; but he understood me not, and continued playing with the cats which we were transporting to Tours to protect the Commissary stores from the ravages of the rats that the Prussians had despatched to eat up the provisions of the garrison. Towards night I began to have a queer sensation in the stomach. It wasn't like sea-sickness, nor like the feeling produced by swinging. If a man just recovering from the effects of his first cigar were offered a bowl of hot goose-grease for supper, I suppose he would have felt as I felt. At the moment a queer twinge took me; I ejaculated: "Oh! Lord!"
"Vat ees de matter?" inquired GODARD. If the man had had any other nationality, I might have talked sense to him; but he was a Frenchman, so I said:—
"Do you love me?"
"Do I loves you?"
"Yes!" I roared frantically, "do you love me?"
"Begaire I dunno, but I zinks so."
"Then," said I, dimly discerning a chance of relief from my suffering, "throw me out as ballast."
"Oh, horrible! horrible! Mon Dieu! vat a man!"
I turned my sickly gaze upon him and saw that he was deadly pale, and that the perspiration stood out in great drops upon his forehead. The explanation was plain enough—he took me for a maniac. I would have protested and moved the previous question, but taking a small phial from his pocket he broke off the head and threw the contents in my face. Ten seconds later I was totally oblivious, and upon recovering found myself in this place, where such strange things are going on that my fingers prick to write them.
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It is a bad day for monarchs. Boston has, for several weeks, had upon Exhibition His Marine Majesty the Whale. The captive was shown for the ridiculously small sum of two shillings, and great was the gathering to gaze upon the spouter, who would have come just in time to attend the political caucuses, only he happens to be dead, and cannot spout any more, albeit his jaw is still tremendous. His defunct condition renders it unnecessary to feed him upon JONAHS, which is lucky for a good many superfluous voyagers upon the Ship of State. If the King of All the Fishes can draw such crowds at a quarter a head, what a chance is there for our friend LOUIS NAPOLEON! If he will but make an Exhibition of himself in this country, we promise him full houses, and a greater fortune than that which he has lost.
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THE MICROSCOPIC MAN.
Bumps have a great deal to answer for. Of course we refer to phrenological bumps, from which, possibly, the powerful adjective "bumptious" is derived, it being applicable to a person whose conflicting bumps keep him continually on the rampage.
Of all such persons, the one with microscopes in his bumps for eyes is the most bumptious. He is continually detecting pernicious particles in everything that he eats and drinks. One such will seize a pepper-castor, invert it over his mashed turnips, spank it as if it were a child, and then, peering at the dark particles with which the succulent heap of vegetable matter is dusted, proceed to deliver a lecture upon the poisons that we swallow with our daily food. He sees iron-filings in the pepper. Also particles of the tail-feathers of Spanish flies. He will tell you that if you continue to use pepper like that for a long duration—say seventy or eighty years—you will have iron enough in your stomach, from the filings, to make a ten-pound dumb-bell, and blistering stuff sufficient from the Spanish fly to draw all the interest of the National Debt. If the pepper happens to belong to the Cayenne persuasion, he magnifies it into a hod of bricks. It is his hod way of accounting for it. Keep using it daily for half-a-century, says he, and see if you don't wake up some fine morning and find yourself a brick chimney stuck up on the roof of a house for bats to live in. It will be a just judgment on you; and small will be to you the consolation should some poetical friend pen an epigrammatical threnody to your memory, telling in "In Memoriam" stanzas how you "went up like a thousand of bricks."
"Beef?" says the microscopic man, probing the meat with a pencil of light that beams from his right eye (the other being closed for concentration purposes), "Beef, sir?—not a bit of the bos taurus about it, sir. Horse, donkey, mule, zebra—what you will, but not a single fibre of ox. Did you ever see the fibres of beef run in a direction due north and south, like these? If you did I should like to know it, sir. I inspected this meat raw, sir, to-day, on the butcher's stall, and the minute ova perceptible in it were those of the horse gad-fly, not the ox gad-fly, sir. Yes, begad, sir, and I'm prepared to maintain the fact upon oath, sir."
Porter and other malt liquors are favorite subjects for the analysis of the microscopic man. As you are placidly enjoying your pint of GUINNESS'S brown stout, he will look at you for minutes with a compassionate smile. Then, suddenly plunging into his favorite horror knee-deep, he will ask you if you know what becomes of all the ends of smoked-out cigars. Of course you submit that little boys pick them up and smoke them to everlasting annihilation. "Pshaw! sir," exclaims the microscopic person; "there is a man in the City of Dublin, sir—I believe he is a baronet now, but will not force that as a fact—and he made an enormous fortune by going about the streets at early dawn and picking up all the cigar-stumps he could find, and they were not few, as you may suppose, in that smokingest of cities. He used to furnish these by the ton to old GUINNESS, who used them for giving color and body to his famous 'Stout.' Body?—I should think so rather!—but only think where the body came from! Just recall to mind the filthiest gutter that ever you saw in your life, with the numerous ends of cigars that you perfectly remember having observed sweltering in it, and then take another pull at your GUINNESS, sir, and I wish you joy of it, sir!"
Once we remember to have heard the subject of the possibility of lizards snakes, frogs, and other cheerful reptiles having resided for indefinite periods in the stomachs of human subjects, discussed in the presence of the microscopic man. A lady of the party was skeptical on the subject, dwelling especially upon the impossibility of any person swallowing a reptile unawares. "Observe those water-cresses of which you have been partaking so freely, madam," said the microscopic man. "Beneath each leaf I discern ova of things that it might horrify you to enumerate in full. Suffice it to say, then, for the present, that on the leaves of this small sprig culled by me at random from the cluster, are to be detected the germs of the trigonocephalus contortrix, than which, when fully developed, no more deadly reptile wriggles upon earth. See this minute agglomeration of yellowish specks on the stalk of the cress. These are the eggs of the lacerta horrida, a lizard that within the large warts with which its epidermis is studded secretes a poison of the most virulent character. Others, too, I discern, but they are too disagreeable to dwell upon—not to speak of one having them dwell inside one, instead—ha! ha! Now, remember that all these germs are hatched by gentle warmth. No degree of temperature that we know of is more gentle than that of the human stom—"
At this point the lady fainted, and the microscopic man was thrown promptly out of the window by her husband, who has since been presented by a committee of grateful citizens with a gold-mounted cane, as a mark of consideration for his services in ridding the world of a monster.
* * * * *
"GREEK MEETS GREEK."
Oh, lovers of your lager beer, Drinkers of wine and ale, Ye editors and ministers, Come listen to my tale, And learn the very slight basis Characters are built on, By reading of the fight between FULTON and friend TILTON.
In New York City, Broadway street, Friend FULTON took his way, Squinting in ev'ry restaurant, For it was then mid-day; He saw a bottle on a stand, With words all in gilt on, While right before that awful stand Guzzling wine sat TILTON.
On Sunday night, while walking down Bow'ry to the ferry, TILTON did spy a lager shop Where the folks were merry, And saw a sight that op'd his eyes, For, in that beery vat, Nine lagers foaming by his side, Reverend FULTON sat.
With spirit sword bound at his side, And his hand the hilt on, Brave FULTON smote at hip and thigh Of our little TILTON; Then TILTON took a mighty quill, Called FULTON a liar, FULTON took that to his church, Will he take it higher?
Now TILTON says that FULTON lies, FULTON says 'tis TILTON; I wish this epic was told by HOMER or by MILTON. I cannot tell which yarn is true, Nor what each is built on, But surely there's been lying by FULTON or else TILTON.
* * * * *
A FINE OLD LADY.
In this day of monetary papyrus, it is pleasing to read of an ancient matron in Lafayette, Ind., who, at the age of eighty-nine, has gone to her reward, leaving no property save a $20 gold piece. For several years, she has been reserving this honest coin to pay her funeral expenses; and one cannot help surmising that she must have been distantly related to the late Old Bullion BENTON. "No National Bank nonsense at my tomb!" said she; "no grimed and greasy currency for my undertaker! I will have a specie-paying funeral or none at all." As we have the precedent of a great many Old Ladies in the Cabinet, we are rather sorry that it is too late to invite this clear-headed dame to take a chair in Washington.
* * * * *
_: "AH! GENTLEMEN, YOU REPRESENT THE——"
Spokesman. "YES; WE WANT $200. I'M THE KNOCK-'EM-DOWN CLUB, AND HE'S THE TARGET COMPANY."]
* * * * *
THE WRONG "DUMMIE."
Gatling (our countryman, you know) has invented a Battery Gun. They have been trying this gun over at Shoeburyness (how is that, for a name?) in England, to see whether they had not better order a few, in time for the next war. It seems that they conducted their experiments by firing at "dummies, representing men." (Oh, if they had only had some of our American Dummies there, who Represent Men so inadequately.) There were 136 of these simulacra, "99 of whom," says the report "would have been killed." That is, if it had been possible to kill them. In fact, they would have been killed four or five times over. "Kilt intirely."
We shall always feel that a great opportunity was here lost of ridding the country of certain nuisances, who, if anything at all, are worse than dummies, and deserve not four only, but four hundred balls in them, "forty-two one-hundredths of an inch in diameter," or even larger. There are so many, it would be useless to attempt to specify them: and besides, everybody knows who they are. We would begin with the Politicians, and end with the Brokers. And then the Millennium would begin, "sure pop."
* * * * *
TROUBLE FOR THE RISING GENERATION.
Mr. PUNCHINELLO has often thought with what melancholy feelings the naughty boys must gaze upon a fine grove of growing birches; but what pangs would a knowing child experience upon finding himself in Randolph county, Illinois, where they raise twelve bushels of castor-oil beans to the acre! Of what depths of juvenile wretchedness and precocious misanthropy is that crop suggestive! We see it all—the anxious parent—the solemn doctor—the writhing patient—the glass—the spoon! Howls like those of a battle-field, only less so, fill the air. The wretched victim of pharmacy, conquered at last, gives one desperate gulp to save himself from strangulation, and all is over! Ye who remember your boyhood's home! tell us if there was any joke in all this!
* * * * *
THE GREAT MODERN O MISSION.—The English Mission.
* * * * *
With literary ventures stowed As full as ship can be, The good ship "Author" holds her way Over the fickle sea; Now sings the wind, and, all serene, The ripples forth and back Lap lightly round her gleaming sides And whiten on her track.
Far westward, on the line of blue That meets the pearly sky, There looms up large a stranger sail, A sail both broad and high; And as she near and nearer draws She hovers like a bird, And strains of music from her deck Upon the air are heard.
Now closer draws the stranger sail— Are sirens they who hang About the quivering cordage with— Hallo! what's that?—bang! bang! The trap is sprung, the siren ship Runs up the sable flag— It is the pirate "Harpy," and She takes the "Author's" swag!
[Footnote 1: A famous foreign writer offered us L500 to print this Pearl Street, but we wouldn't do it for double the money.—[ED.]]
* * * * *
WEAPONS THAT TAMMANY HALL CAN NEVER BE TAKEN BY.—SHARPE'S Rifles.
* * * * *
HIRAM GREEN AT THE BROOKLYN NAVY-YARD.
Bread and Butter vs. Old Cheese.
I hadent got but a little ways into the Navy-Yard, when a soljer steps up before me, and pintin his bagonet at my throack, said:
I stepped tother side of him to obey his orders, when he agin pinted his gun at me and said:
Thinkin I was on the rong side of him, I undertook to pass into the middle of the road, when he vociferated in louder tones:
"Well," says I, by this time considerably riled at sich skanderlous treatment at the hands of this goverment, "if you'l stop rammin your bagonet into my hash digester and let me pass, ile be hily tickled."
I was madder than if I had been a candidate for offis, and dident get elected.
"See here, Mister hard-tack Cowpenner," said I, addressin him, "how dare you stop me in this ere outragous manner? You say 'pass,' and when I try to pass, you jab at my innards with that mustick in a rather oncomfortable manner. What do you mean?"
"I mean, sir," said he, sholderin his shootin iron, "that if you want to go further, you must get a pass from the offis across the way."
"Oho! that's a gooseberry pie of a different flavor," said I, coolin off; "why dident you say so before?" and I pinted for the offis to get the pass.
After bein put through a course of red tape, such as feelin of my pultz, lookin down my throte, and soundin me on my Spread Eagleism, I got the pass.
While on my tower of observashuns, a mechanikle lookin individual approched me, and says:
"Good mornin, Congressman WEBSTER."
I turned in cirprise, as several other men dropped their tools and rushed out and surrounded me.
"God bless you, Mister WEBSTER!" said one.
"Make way for the noble and good WEBSTER," said another.
"Let me kiss the hand of the great statesman," says a third, fallin to and gettin my thumb in his mouth.
"Mister WEBSTER, take care of me, I am yours to command," says a 4th, who jumped wildly for an old tobacker cud I had just throde away.
On all sides, men was fallin down to worship me, just as if I was the Golden Calf, spoken of in scripters, or else some great poletikle Mogul, with a pocket full of blank commissions, ready to be filled out for good fat offises.
All of a sudden, it popped into my mind that these 8 hour sons of toil hadent heard that DANIEL WEBSTER was dead, or else dident see the joak, when DAN said: "I aint dead," and supposed from my likeness to him that I was D. WEBSTER.
I couldent blame 'em for makin such a mistake, when I reccolected the time I was introjuced to the great man. It was when I was Gustise of the Peace.
As our hands clasped each other, we was both revitted to the spot, and the rivets was clinched tite.
"What! it can't be possible!" said Mr. WEBSTER, the first to break the silence. "Well if you haint another WEBSTER, you'l pass for D. WEBSTER'S bust, any day."
"And," said I, wishin to return the compliment, "if you haint Green, you can pass any time for GREEN on a bust."
This was one of my witcisms, and it made DANIEL blurt with lafter.
But, Mister PUNCHINELLO, me and WEBSTER looked so much alike, that if his tailor had sent him a soot of clothes at that time, I believe, in the confusion, that just as like as not, I should have thought I was WEBSTER, and wore off the clothes.
But, to "retrace my tale," as the canine said, when a flee was suckin the heart's blood from his cordil appendige—
"Well, my friends," said I, humerin these men in their mistake, "what can I do for you down to Washington?"
"Do for us? thou great and mitey!" said they all to once, "keep us into offis—we 'go' you, Nov. 8th."
"Well," said I, "my good men, my word is law down to Washington. Everybody respects the great DANIL WEBSTER."
"Eh!—who—what," exclaimed several.
"I say that I, DANIL WEBSTER, is great guns with the goverment," was my reply.
"DANIEL WEBSTER be d—d," said the ring-leader. "No, Sir! ED WEBSTER, the nominee for Congress, and Wet Nurse pro tem. over Unkle Sam's family in this 'ere nursery, is the man we're after. Haint you that man?"
"You don't mean the chap who was U.S. Assessor, agin whom I heard them Wall street brokers and scalpers cussin and swearin like a lot of Rocky Mountin savages chock full of fluid pirotecknicks, because he made them pay a goverment tax?"
"The same! the same!" they all hollered.
"Well! sweet wooers of the bread and butter brigade," said I, "speakin after the manner of men, you've got ontop the rong hencoop this time. As Shakspeer, who is now dead and gone, says:—
'A rose by any other name Is sweeter-er than I, I've diskivered I haint the game You want to see roost high.'"
They left me, yes, they left me. I wasent the man, but some awdacious retch had sot 'em on tellin 'em I was the man.
Surgeon GOODBLOOD, of the man o' war Vermont, then took me under his charge. I found him one of them noble docters, under whose perscriptions a man could enjoy 'kickin the bucket.'
He took me to see the soljers drill.
"Thems the Marines," said he, pintin to the bloo cotes.
"Sho! you don't say?" says I. "Are them those obligin gentlemen who are allways ready to listen to what is told 'em?"
"Yes," says the Dr.; "anything nobody else believes, we tell to the Marines."
I mite okepy your hul paper tellin all about the war vessels, pattent torpedoes, monitors, and sich, which I saw, but will close with the remark:
That old rats never pile livlier onto roasted cheese, than a bread and butter patriot does onto candidates who has the cuttin of a good fat loaf. That's wisdom which will wash.
HIRAM GREEN, Esq.,
Lait Gustise of the Peece.
* * * * *
SIMILE USED UP.
We regret to state, that in consequence of a late discovery by one BECHAMP, of living things in chalk (he has actually seen 'em wriggle!) we are no longer at liberty to say, "As different as Chalk and Cheese." The difference is gone! If it is not, we would ask, where is it?
It is true, chalk is not in so general use, as an article of diet, as cheese, except in boarding-schools; but the difference is plainly one of degree rather than of kind. We have heard of "prepared chalk." It has been whispered that gentle spinsters use it for a beautifyer. We rather incline to the belief that it is prepared for the inside rather than the outside of humanity.
At any rate, the two articles now agree in their most prominent characteristics—which they did not, till M. BECHAMP looked into the matter with his microscope.
'Tis thus, alas! our cherished similes are going. One by one are they Be-champ-ed (or chawed up) by the voracious creatures who hunger and thirst after novelty. Why, we expect to be told, ere long,—and have it proved to us,—that the Moon after all is actually and truly made of Green Cheese. And there will go another fond comparison! Nay, more;—perhaps Cheese itself is but Chalk, in its incipient stages of development,—with the tenantry already secured, however, that make it so lively inside.—Si sic Omnes.
* * * * *
To Our Youthful Friends.
We wish to do all in our power to keep the world cheerful. If there is a youth of our acquaintance who despairs of ever raising a fine moustache, we would remind him of that comforting apothegm of the Spanish: "Un cabello haze sombra"—"The least hair makes a shadow." Courage, lad! and do not cast that shadow from thy lip. If there is a single hair already there, it is a manly and noble thing!
* * * * *
"TOM BROWN" is not looked upon as a sheepish person, and yet, the English of his name is ewes ('ughes).
* * * * *
* * * * *
POEMS OF THE CRADLE.
There was a man in our town, and he was wondrous wise, He jumped into a bramble bush and scratched out both his eyes; And when he saw what he had done, with all his might and main, He jumped into another bush, and scratched them in again.
Some people have a very curious way of doing things. Nowadays when the world has advanced by prodigious strides almost to the limit of civilization, and having no further to go, is debating within itself whether it shall lie down and take a rest, a man don't go to so much trouble to have his eyes out. The age is a fast one, you know; so, when the man feels like having his glims doused, he just jumps into the midst of a crowd of real b'hoys, runs his head, good-naturedly, you know, against a pair of knuckles, and the business is settled with "neatness and despatch," as the job-printers say.
How different our poet's description. He must have been a man of wonderful experience; and foresight, let us add, since from his simple yet wonderfully powerful sketches there is gained an insight into all the mysterious workings of humanity, from the lulling of the babe in the cradle, the ruthless disruption of the apron-string that he is led with, because some naughty little boys laughed at him, to the tolling of the bell by the old sexton over another dead.
Well, there is no use in moralizing. The tale is before us, graphically drawn; and to the reader is left naught but the pleasure of contemplating its beauties. In his pithy way the poet describes a man who, though possessed of some good qualities, evidently did not know how to use them. Though the poet has never yet touched upon politics, yet the careful reader will find that the hero of the sketch must have been a young Democrat, since he is made to appear very nimble, and has a fondness, partial to himself, of getting into rather thorny places. What led him into those dangerous places we have very little chance of knowing. "He was wondrous wise," saith the poet, and forsooth he jumps into a bramble-bush, the last place in the world where a wise man is to be found. But then, perhaps, a tincture of irony flew from our poet's pen; the hero was wise in his own esteem, perhaps; or was wise in the opinion of his friends, whose wisdom seemed to be consummated in doing something ridiculous.
It is very fortunate for the social welfare of community that all its actions should not be sublime. Mankind would become too serious and morose and cynical, and life would be a burden. The ridiculous makes it enjoyable, but at the expense of those who cause the ridicule. Man must laugh, no matter what the cost to the object laughed at.
Ordinary intelligence would have decided the fate of the wise individual who found no other use for his eyes but to scratch them out in a bramble-bush. But our poet dealeth otherwise with his portraits. He shows us the fate of an overwrought, badly instilled wisdom; yet when that wisdom has been deserted by its cause, the promptings of a heart, pure at the core, hold up to contempt the mad teachings of the sophist.
"When he saw what he had done,"
continues the poet, in a sense not entirely literal, for reasons which are not necessary to be explained, this man of wondrous wisdom saw that he had been made a dupe. Cunning as a fox were his would-be friends; but having got him to the bush, there they let him gambol as he would, ensnaring him to his own almost utter ruin.
A new light flashes upon his brain; his folly appears plainly to his mind; he had ruthlessly deserted his fond parents; sought evil counsel; was deserted by his false friends; and was now in a deplorable condition indeed. Remorse sometimes brings repentance; at least it did in this case. Our hero remembered the good teachings of his early youth; and, like the prodigal son, was willing to return to the home of his fathers. True, he was in a bramble-bush; but, similia similibus curantur (which, interpreted, signifies, "You tickle me and I'll tickle you").
"He jumped into another bush,"
found his eyes as they were before his sad catastrophe, and without ceremony returned them to their places, by another operation of scratching.
What more need be said! No circumlocution of words will add to the ending of a tale, but perhaps serve only to conceal the point. The author is careful of his reputation. He restores the hero to his original position, in full possession of his senses.
There let him be; But O Be good, say we.
* * * * *
AGOSTINO THE GUNSMITH.
Of gun-tricks, old or new, the best that we know Was that performed by JOSEPH AGOSTINO, The gunsmith who, by burglars often vext, A week or two since plotted for the next By planting cunningly a wide-bored fusil, With buck-shot loaded half-way to the muzzle, Right opposite the window to which came The nightly thief, to ply his little game; And to the trigger hitching so a string, That when the burglar bold was entering The charge went off, and, crashing through the shutter, Relieved the rascal of his bread and butter By blowing off his head.
O! AGOSTINO, Far better than the helmet of MAMBRINO, Or steel-wrought hauberk, fashioned for defence, Was this thy dodge; 'twas dexterous, immense! Your health, GIUSEPPE; and for PUNCHINELLO Construct to order—there's a jolly fellow— A mitrailleuse, both long enough and large To kill the burglars, all, at one discharge.
* * * * *
A Picture of the John Real Democracy:—
"What are these, So withered and so wild in their attire; That look not like the inhabitants o' the earth, And yet are on't?"
Macbeth, Act 1, Sc. 3.
A Portrait of Woodford as a General:—
"That never set a squadron in the field, Nor the division of a battle knows."
Othello, Act 1, Sc. 1.
Punchinello to Gov. Seymour:—
"HORATIO, thou art e'en as just a man As e'er my conversation coped withal."
Hamlet, Act 3, Sc. 2.
* * * * *
ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS.
Nux Vomica. Can you give me a description of the sellebrated needall gun?
Answer. Your spelling is so eccentric that we guess you to be connected with the Tribune. As for the "needall" gun, we should define it as a gun without lock, stock, barrel, flint, percussion-cap, powder, ball, or anything else.
O.D.V. Yes: a man may die of delirium tremens produced by drinking too much French wine. If the wine should happen to be Chateau Margot, the verdict of a Coroner's Jury would probably be—"died of a margot on the brain."
Fumigator. What is the proper spelling of the smoking mixture known as "Killikinnick"?
Answer. Some authorities derive it from a story about an old Canadian having smoked himself to death with it, and spell it "Kill a Kannuck." Others spell it "Kill a Cynic," and believe that DIOGENES, the founder of the Cynical School of philosophy, died of a surfeit of the article.
Otis Bunker. Was there not, in old times, a tax on fires in England, and did it not lead to an insurrection?
Answer. No tax on fires that we ever heard of. You are thinking, probably, of the Curfew Tolls mentioned by GRAY.
Simon Succotash. The expression to "wind a horn" is frequently used. Do people wind one as they would a watch; and, if so, what sort of key do they use?
Answer. Try the key of A Flat: you are sure to have it.
Pump-Handle. Is it possible for a person to sleep during an earthquake?
Answer. Yes: we are acquainted with persons who can sleep soundly upon any kind of shake-down.
Philander. What is the best way of testing a horse's temper?
Answer. If you have a suspicion that the horse is quick to take a fence, just dash him at one and try.
Gorman Dyzer. We think it quite proper, as you suppose, to eat sausages with turkey on Thanksgiving Day. We decline to answer your other question, as to whether it is right to eat turkey with sausages on Thanksgiving Day. It is irrelevant.
Caspar Van Keek. Why is the height of a horse given in hands instead of feet?
Answer. Because it is considered handier, of course.
John of Boston. I have been blackballed at a club. What am I to do?
Answer. Let things alone. Clubs are not always Trumps.
Margaret Shortcake.—I have a great dread of being buried alive. Will holding a looking-glass to the face of a person supposed to be dead determine whether breathing has ceased or not?
Answer. The test is used by physicians. There is an instance on record of a looking-glass being thus applied to a young girl who had been unconscious for hours. She opened her eyes to look at herself in it, which proved that she was wide awake.
Widow McRue.—How soon after my husband's death would it be proper for me to give up my weeds?
Answer. If your husband allowed you to smoke during his life-time, we do not see why you should give up the practice after his death. Although we do not approve of women smoking, yet a fragrant weed between pearly teeth, with an azure cloud curling heavenward from it, has a certain fascination, and so our advice is, "Dry up (your tears), and light a fresh Havana."
Speculator.—What is the best way to double a $20 bill?
Answer. With a paper-folder.
Frost-on-the-Pane.—From languid circulation, or some other cause, I frequently go to bed with cold feet. How can I remedy this?
Answer. Don't go to bed. Sleep in a chair.
* * * * *
POLITICS AS A FINE ART.
First Class in Politics, stand up.
First boy—Define politics as an art.
Politics are the art of eating, drinking, sleeping, and wearing good clothes at the public expense.
Next—Is taking presents of houses, horses, &c., included in this art?
No sir, that's a natural gift.
Who invented politics?
It has been stated by Mr. SUMNER that politics were well known to the early Greeks and Romans; but they were first reduced to an art by T. WEED.
What are the elements of success in politics?
Cheek and stamps.
At what place is this art most cultivated?
How many classes of politicians are there?
Three: big strikes, little strikes, and repeaters.
Big strikes are those who, when they make a haul, mean business. Little strikes are those who look after the pence, while the big strikes are looking after the pounds. Both these classes have steady occupation. Repeaters are little strikes who are employed only at election time.
Where are they found?
In both the Republican and Democratic schools.
JOHN SMITH, go to the board and do this example: If the House of Representatives has a Republican majority of thirty, and it remains in session until 8 P.M. on the 4th of July, at what time will a Democrat, whose seat is contested by a Republican, obtain that seat?
THOMAS BROWN, you can try the same example with the Assembly at Albany, only taking the majority as Democratic, and the man whose seat is contested as Republican.
Next boy—Who are the most successful artists among politicians?
What is the art now called in the South?
Because the leading artists there are of an off color.
JOHN SMITH, have you finished your example?
When will that Democrat be admitted, if the session ends at 8 P.M. on the 4th of July?
At 5 minutes after 8 on that day.
THOMAS BROWN, what is your answer? When will that Republican be admitted?
At 5 minutes after 8 P.M. on the 4th of July.
Both correct. That proves that politics have been reduced to a fine art. The class is dismissed.
* * * * *
Even in the matter of earthquakes the proverbial superiority of Boston to all other places, as a centre, has just been proved. A writer in the Evening Post, discussing the comparative phenomena of the late earthquake at various points, says:—
"Allowing seven and a half minutes for difference of local time, the shock was two minutes earlier at Boston than at New Haven. This implies that Boston was nearer to the centre of disturbance than New Haven."
Further developments will doubtless show that Boston was ahead not of New Haven only, in the enjoyment of the refreshing young cataclasm referred to, but was the absolute "Hub" from which it radiated, and therefore ahead of all the rest of creation in regard of earthquakes as everything else. Property has already gone up to a tremendous figure at Boston, owing to the multifarious fascinations of the place; but the greatest chance folks there ever had to "pile it on" is the admission of the earthquake as a "Boston notion."
* * * * *
From the Seat of War.
What were the Francs-Tireurs before they were organized?
They wear leather gaiters.
* * * * *
It would be dangerous to elect the two leading Republican candidates. They must have monarchical ideas, inasmuch as they both come from Kings.
* * * * *
* * * * *
An Advertising Parson.
There is nothing like judicious advertising—at least, we have been told this often enough to believe it. So thinks a Pennsylvania parson, who advertises himself in a newspaper as follows:—
"Cupid and Hymen. The little brown cottage at Cambridge, Pa., is the place to call to have the marriage-knot promptly and strongly tied. Inquire for Rev. S. J. Whitcomb."
—While he was about it, why didn't the Rev. WHITCOMB advertise the other jobs for which orders might be left at the same shop? Why didn't he say: "Funerals attended with neatness and despatch?" or, "Gentlemen about to leave the world, will be waited upon at their own bed-sides without additional charge?" or, "Cases of conscience adjudicated upon the most reasonable terms?" or, "A fine assortment of moral advice just received, and for sale in lots to suit purchasers?" Let the Rev. WHITCOMB take our hint, enlarge the field of his advertising, and make lots of the Mammon of Unrighteousness.
* * * * *
Fulton versus Tilton.
FULTON taps TILTON for wine, TILTON taps FULTON for beer; FULTON gets a tilt, because TILTON finds him full. In case of a trial, the verdict would probably be, that a full FULTON ran full tilt against a full TILTON.
* * * * *
"AURI SACRA FAMES."
I saw a parson at his desk, Silk-gowned and linen-ruffled; The organ ceased—he rose to preach, And smirked, and mouthed, and snuffled;
He talked of gold, and called it dross, And prophesied confusion To all who loved it—told them that Their trust was all delusion.
'Twas filthy lucre, dust and dirt, The root of every evil; And its pursuit,—too strongly urged,— Would lead straight to the Devil.
Midst other wicked (Scripture) rogues, He talked of ANANIAS,— He and his wife SAPPHIRA were The wickedest of liars.
He showed us clearly, from their fate, The sin of overreaching, And making small the salaries Of those who do the preaching.
And when his half-hour's work was done, The miserable sinners Rolled home in easy carriages To Aldermanic dinners;
And as I plodded home on foot, I thought it was all gammon, To build a temple to the LORD Of curses against Mammon.
The sin of gold is its abuse, And not its mere possession,— Wine may turn vinegar, and gold May turn men to transgression.
Then tell the truth, O men of GOD! Nor scorn the loaves and fishes, Lest we should take you at your word, And leave you empty dishes!
* * * * *
We remember a writer who merited more notice than he actually received, for his well-considered thoughts on the behavior of Mourners,—whose conduct, as a general thing, is certainly open to criticism.
It is all well enough—"due to decency," in fact—to wear "mourning," and now and then look grave; but "this idea of closing your house," observed our philosopher, "and silencing your piano, and abstaining from your customary amusements and habits for months [only think of it!], because some one has departed from misery to happiness, is not alone supremely ridiculous [though that is bad enough], but it is sublimely preposterous and [what is yet more] disgraceful to the last degree of shame."
Precisely; just what we have always said, whether we believed it or not. It is what any feeling man would say.
The fact is, people sacrifice too much to their friends. Especially after the friends are dead. "The cream of the joke is," as our lively essayist remarks, "that the dead do not dream of your sufferings on their account."
And suppose they did: what is a friend, any way? Why, something you would do well to rid yourself of as soon as possible. There is scarcely anything mean, sordid, contemptible, and disgusting, that an average friend won't do without winking.
It would certainly contribute greatly to the cheerfulness of one about to leave this "mortial wale," to feel morally certain that nobody cared a rap about him, or was going to make any fuss just for a trifle like that.
We must say, however, we would prefer to see our mourning friends go the whole figure, and not visit the opera in weeds. Be jolly, but also look jolly.
The trouble seems to be, that people will be sentimental; they must do a certain amount of tribulation, "whether or no." We would not even counsel the wearing of black diamonds. We would refrain from jet, bog, and ebony. We would not try to grin through a disguise of skull and bones. Be gay (and by all means look gay) in spite of your departed grandmother.
* * * * *
No Great Shakes.
It's a pity that the earthquake came too late for the census, as it cannot now be included among our native productions.
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