“He stopped a minute or two to fetch breath. Then he got mad. He runs his fingers through his hair, he shoved up his sleeve, he opened his coat-tails a leetle further, he drug up his stool, he leaned over, and, sir, he just went for that old pianner. He slapt her face, he boxed her jaws, he pulled her nose, he pinched her ears, and he scratched her cheeks till she fairly yelled. She bellowed like a bull, she bleated like a calf, she howled like a hound, she squealed like a pig, she shrieked like a rat, and then he wouldn’t let her go. He ran a quarter stretch down the low grounds of the bass, till he got clean into the bowels of the earth, and you heard thunder galloping after thunder, thro’ the hollows and caves of perdition; and then he fox-chased his right hand with his left till he got away out of the treble into the clouds, whar the notes was finer than the pints of cambric needles, and you couldn’t hear nothin’ but the shadders of ’em. And then he wouldn’t let the old pianner go. He for’ard two’d, he cross’t over first gentleman, he cross’t over first lady, he balanced two pards, he chassede right and left, back to your places, he all hands’d aroun’, ladies to the right, promenade all, in and out, here and there, back and forth, up and down, perpetual motion, doubled, twisted and turned and tacked and tangled into forty-’leven thousand double bow knots.
“By jinks! It was a mixtery.
And then he wouldn’t let the old pianner go.
He fecht up his right wing, he fecht up his left wing,
he fecht up his centre, he fecht up his reserves.
He fired by file, he fired by platoons, by company,
by regiments, by brigades. He opened his cannon,
siege guns down thar, Napoleons here, twelve-pounders
yonder, big guns, little guns, middle-size guns, round
shot, shells, shrapnels, grape, canister, mortars,
mines and magazines, every livin’ battery and
bomb a-goin’ at the same time. The house
trembled, the lights danced, the walls shuk, the floor
come up, the ceilin’ come down, the sky split,
the ground rock’t—heaven and earth,
creation, sweet potatoes, Moses, ninpences, glory,
tenpenny nails, my Mary Ann, Hallelujah, Sampson in
a sim-mon tree, Jerusalem, Tump Thompson in a tumbler
e-raddle-addle-addle-addle-riddle-iddle-iddle-iddle-reedle-eedle-eedle-eedle-p-r-r-r-r-lang! per lang! per lang! p-r-r-r-r-r lang! Bang!
“With that bang he lifted himself bodily into the air, and he come down with his knees, his ten fingers, his ten toes, his elbows, and his nose, striking every single solitary key on that pianner at the same time. The thing busted and went off into seventeen hundred and fifty-seven thousand five hundred and forty-two hemi-demi-semi-quavers, and I know’d no mo’.”
BY WILLIAM THOMSON.
“Down the line I’ll
go,” he said,
“To reach the railway station.”
Friends will please accept of this
The only intimation.