The bereaved husband, a-blamin’ Providence, but takin’ some comfort in the thought that “the Lord loveth whom He chasteneth,” walks out under his mournin’ weed, and pats the sleek sides of his Alderney cow, and its fat, healthy young one, and ponders on how he could improve their condition, and better the stock, and mebby has passin’ thoughts on some bloomin’ young girl, who he could persuade to try the fate of the first.
And he’ll have no trouble in doin’ so—not at all; putty is hard in comparison to wimmin’s heads and hearts, sometimes.
But I am, indeed, eppisodin’, and to resoom, and proceed.
In this world, where the material, the practical, so oft overshadows the spiritual, it didn’t surprise me a mite to have this noble—noble liberal art display crowded back by less riz up and exalted ones.
And oh, what curious things we did see in this Hall of Wonders—curious as a dog, and curiouser.
The New South Wales exhibit in the west gallery is awful big, and divided into five courts, and all full of Beauty and Use.
These Australians are pert and kinder sassy; they look on our country as old, and wore out—some as we look at our Ma Country.
But their exhibit is a wonderful one—exhibit of their mines, that they say are a-goin’ to be the richest in the World.
And lots of pictures showin’ their strange, melancholy Australian scenery.
And their big trees. Why, one of these trees, they say, is the biggest yet discovered in the World; it is 400 and 80 feet high.
And it wuz here that I see the very queerest thing that I ever did see in my life; it wuz in their collection of strange stuffed birds, and animals which wuz large, and complete, and rangin’ from the Emu down to a pure white hummin’-bird.
It wuz here that I see this Thing that Scientists hain’t never classified; it is about the size of a beaver—has fur like a seal, eyes like a fish, is web-footed, lays eggs, and hatches its young and lives in the water.
It is called a Platypus—there wuz four on ’em.
Queer creeter as I ever see. No wonder that Scientists furled their spectacles in front of it, and sot down discouraged.
Wall, we hung round there till most night, and Josiah and I went home as tired as two dogs, and tireder. And we both gin in that we hadn’t seen nothin’ to what we might have seen there; as you may say, we hadn’t done any more justice to the contents of that buildin’ than we would if we had undertook to count the slate-stuns in our old creek back of our house clear from Jonesville to Zoar—– more’n five miles of clear slate-stun. What could we do to it in one day?
But fatigue and hunger—on Josiah’s part, a prancin’ team—bore us away, and we went home in pretty good sperits after all, though some late.
Miss Plank had a good supper. We wuz late, but she had kept it warm for us—some briled chicken, and some green peas, and a light nice puddin’, and other things accordin’; and Josiah did indeed do justice to it.