She held a bugle in her hand, a-soundin’ out, I should judge from her looks—
“How goes the world? I am comin’ to help, but you needn’t wait for me—I will overtake you!”
She wuz bound to help the old world along, as you could see by her looks.
I thought when I first looked at it that the hull thing wuz to show forth the powers of electricity. I thought that that wuz Electricity on top of that throne, and the woman in front wuz a-gazin’ out fur ahead, a-tryin’ to catch sight of that most wondrous New World that that strange Magician is a-goin’ to sail us into. And I didn’t wonder that she wuz a-gazin’ so intent fur off ahead.
For we don’t know no more about that strange, onknown world than Columbus did when he sot sail from Genoa.
A few strange birds have flown from it and lighted on the heads of the Discoverers, a few spars of wisdom has been washed ashore, and some strange leaves and sea-weeds, all tellin’ us that they have come from a new world different from ours, and one more riz up like—more like the Immortal.
But of the hull world of wonder, it is yet to be discovered; and I thought, as I looked at it, I shouldn’t wonder if they will get there—the figger on the throne wuz so impressive, and the female in front so determined.
Wisdom, and courage, and joyful hope and ardor.
Helped by ’em, borne along by ’em in the face of envy, and detraction, and bigotry, and old custom, the boat sails grandly.
“Ho! up there on the high mast! What news?”
“Light! light ahead!”
But to resoom: a-standin’ up on each side of that impressive figger wuz another row of females—mebby they had oars in their hands, showin’ that they wuz calculatin’ to take hold and row the boat for a spell if it got stuck; and mebby they wuz poles, or sunthin’.
But I don’t believe they meant to use ’em on that solitary man that stood in back end of the boat, a-propellin’ it—it would have been a shame if they had.
No; I believe that they meant to help at sunthin’ or ruther with them long sticks.
They wuz all a-lookin’ some distance ahead, all a-seemin’ bound to get where they started for.
Besides bein’ gorgeous in the extreme, I took it as bein’ a compliment to my sect, the way that fountain wuz laid out—ten or a dozen wimmen, and only one or two men. But after I got it all fixed out in my mind what that lofty and impressive figger meant, a bystander a-standin’ by explained it all out to me.
[Illustration: I took it as bein’ a compliment to my sect the way that fountain wuz laid out—ten or a dozen wimmen and only one or two men.]
He said that the female figger way up above the rest wuz Columbia, beautiful, strong, fearless.
And that it wuz Fame that stood at the prow with the bugle, and that it wuz Father Time at the hellum, a-guidin’ it through the dangers of the centuries.