There are fewer dandies in Boston than in most cities. Clothes, as a general thing, do not make fun of the people they sit on. The humps on the ladies’ backs are not within two feet of being as high as in some of the other cities, and a dromedary could look at them without thinking itself caricatured. You see more of the outlandishness of fashion in one day on Broadway than in a week on any one street of Boston. Doubtless, Boston is just as proud as New York, but her pride is that of brains, and those, from the necessities of the case, are hidden.
Go out on the fashionable drive of Boston, and you find that the horses are round limbed, and look as well satisfied as their owners. A restless man always has a thin horse. He does not give the creature time to eat, wears out on him so many whip lashes, and keeps jerking perpetually at the reins. Boston horses are, for the most part, fat, feel their oats, and know that the eyes of the world are upon them. You see, we think it no dishonor to a minister to admire good horses, provided he does not trade too often, and impose a case of glanders and bots on his unsophisticated neighbor. We think that, as a minister is set up for an example to his flock, he ought to have the best horse in the congregation. A minister is no more sacred when riding behind a spavined and ringboned nag than when whirling along after a horse that can swallow a mile in 2.30.
The anniversary week in Boston closed by a display of flowers and fruits in Horticultural Hall. It was appropriate that philanthropists and Christians, hot from discussions of moral and religious topics, should go in and take a bath of rose leaves and geraniums. Indeed, I think the sweetest anniversary of the week was that of these flowers. A large rhododendron presided. Azaleas and verbenas took part in the meeting. The Chinese honeysuckle and clematis joined in the doxology. A magnolia pronounced the benediction. And we went home praying for the time when the lily of the valley shall be planted in every heart, and the desert shall blossom as the rose.
Jonah versus the whale.
Unbelievers have often told us that the story of the prophet swallowed by a great fish was an absurdity. They say that, so long in the stomach of the monster, the minister would have been digested. We have no difficulty in this matter. Jonah, was a most unwilling guest of the whale. He wanted to get out. However much he may have liked fish, he did not want it three times a day and all the time. So he kept up a fidget, and a struggle, and a turning over, and he gave the whale no time to assimilate him. The man knew that if he was ever to get out he must be in perpetual motion. We know men that are so lethargic they would have given the matter up, and lain down so quietly that in a few hours they would have gone into flukes and fish bones, blow-holes and blubber.