Samantha at the World's Fair eBook

Samantha at the World's Fair

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Page 1


(Marietta Holley)

ILLUSTRATED by Baron C. De Grimm


Funk & WAGNALLS company
London and Toronto

Copyright, 1893, by the
Funk & WAGNALLS company.

[Registered at Stationer’s Hall, London, England.]



Who has jest sailed out and discovered
womanAnd to the sect discovered—­



It wuz a beautiful evenin’ in Jonesville, and the World.  The Earth wuz a-settin’ peaceful and serene under the glowin’ light of a full moon and some stars, and I sot jest as peaceful and calm under the meller light of our hangin’ lamp and the blue radiance of my companion’s two orbs.

Two arm-chairs covered with handsome buff copper-plate wuz drawed up on each side of the round table, that had a cheerful spread on’t, and a basket of meller apples and pears.

Dick Swiveller, our big striped pussy-cat (Thomas J. named him), lay stretched out in luxurious ease on his cushion, a-watchin’ with dignified indulgence the gambollin’ of our little pup dog.  He is young yet, and Dick looked lenient on the innocent caperin’s of youth.

Dick is very wise.

The firelight sparkled on the clean hearth, the lamplight gleamed down onto my needles as I sot peaceful a-seamin’ two and two, and the same radiance rested lovin’ly on the shinin’ bald head of my pardner as he sot a-readin’ his favorite production, the World.

All wuz relapsted into silence, all wuz peace, till all to once my pardner dropped his paper, and sez he—­

“Samantha, why not write a book on’t?”

It started me, comin’ so onexpected onto me, and specially sence he wuz always so sot aginst my swingin’ out in Literatoor.

I dropped two or three stitches in my inward agitation, but instinctively I catched holt of my dignity, and kep calm on the outside.

And sez I, “Write a book on what, Josiah Allen?”

“Oh, about the World’s Fair!” sez he.

“Wall,” sez I, with a deep sithe, “I had thought on’t, but I’d kinder dreaded the job.”

And he went on:  “You know,” sez he, “that We wrote one about the other big Fair, and if We don’t do as well by this one it’ll make trouble,” sez he.

“We!” sez I in my own mind, and in witherin’ axents, but I kep calm on the outside, and he went on—­

“Our book,” sez he, “that We wrote on the other big Fair in Filadelfy, I spoze wuz thought as much on and wuz as popular for family readin’ as ever a President’s message wuz; and after payin’ attention to that as We did, We hadn’t ort to slight this one.  We can’t afford to,” sez he.

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“Can’t afford to?” sez I dreamily.

“No; We can’t afford to,” sez he, “and keep Our present popularity.  Now, there’s every chance, so fur as I can see, for me to be elected Path-Master, and the high position of Salesman of the Jonesville Cheese Factory has been as good as offered to me agin this year.  It is because We are popular,” sez he, “that I have these positions of trust and honor held out to me.  We have wrote books that have took, Samantha.  Now, what would be the result if We should slight Columbus and turn Our backs onto America in this crisis of her history?  It would be simply ruinous to Our reputation and my official aspirations.  Everybody would be mad, and kick, from the President down.  More’n as likely as not I should never hold another office in Jonesville.  Cheese would be sold right over my head by I know not who.  I should be ordered out to work on the road like a dog by Ury jest as like as not.  I’ve been a-settin’ here and turnin’ it over in my mind; and though, as you say, I hain’t always favored the idee of writin’, still at the present time I believe We’d better write the book.  There’s ink in the house, hain’t there?” sez he anxiously.

“Yes,” sez I.

“And paper?” sez he.

Agin I sez, “Yes.”

“Wall, then, when there’s ink and paper, what’s to hender Our writin’ it?”

“Our!” “We!” Agin them words entered my soul like lead arrows and gaulded me, but agin I looked up, and the clear light of affection that shone from my pardner’s eyes melted them arrows, and I suffered and wuz calm.  But anon I sez—­

“Don’t great emotions rise up in your soul, Josiah Allen, when you think of Columbus and the World’s work?  Don’t the mighty waves of the past and the future dash up aginst your heart when you think of Christopher, and what he found, and what is behind this nation, and what is in front of it, a-bagonin’ it onwards?”

“No,” sez he calmly; “I look at it with the eye of a business man, and with that eye,” sez he, “I say less write the book.”

He ceased his remarks, and agin silence rained in the room.

But to me the silence wuz filled with voices that he couldn’t hear—­deep, prophetic voices that shook my soul.  Eyes whose light the dust fell on four hundred years ago shone agin on me in that quiet room in Jonesville, and hanted me.  Heroic hands that wuz clay centuries ago bagoned to me to foller ’em where they led me.  And so on down through the centuries the viewless hosts passed before me and gin me the silent countersign to let me pass into their ranks and jine the army.  And then, away out into the future, the Shadow Host defiled—­fur off, fur off—­into the age of Freedom, and Justice, and Perfect rights for man and woman, Love, Joy, Peace.

Josiah didn’t see none of these performances.

No; two pardners may set side by side, and yet worlds lay between ’em. 
He wuz agin immersed in his ambitious reveries.

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I didn’t tell him the heft or the size of my emotions as I mentally tackled the job he proposed to me—­there wuzn’t no use on’t.  I only sez, as I looked up at him over my specs—­

“Josiah, We will write the book.”



[Illustration:  Drop Capital]

Christopher Columbus has always been a object of extreme interest and admiration to me ever sence I first read about him in my old Olney’s Gography, up to the time when I hearn he wuz a-goin’ to be celebrated in Chicago.

I always looked up to Christopher, I always admired him, and in a modest and meetin’-house sense, I will say boldly and with no fear of Josiah before my eyes that I loved him.

Havin’ such feelin’s for Christopher Columbus, as I had, and havin’ such feelin’s for New Discoverers, do you spoze I wuz a-goin’ to have a celebration gin for him, and also for us as bein’ discovered by him, without attendin’ to it?

No, indeed!  I made calculations ahead from the very first minute it wuz spoke on, to attend to it.

And feelin’ as I did—­all wrought up on the subject of Christopher Columbus—­it wuz a coincerdence singular enough to skair anybody almost to death—­to think that right on the very day Christopher discovered America, and us (only 400 years later), and on the very day that I commenced the fine shirt that Josiah wuz a-goin’ to wear to Chicago to celebrate him in—­

That very Friday, if you’ll believe me, Christopher Columbus walked right into our kitchen at Jonesville—­and discovered me.

[Illustration:  If you’ll believe me, Christopher Columbus Allen walked right into our kitchen—­and discovered me.]

Yes, Christopher Columbus Allen, a relative I never had seen, come to Jonesville and our house on his way to the World’s Fair.

Jest to think on’t—­Christopher Columbus Allen, who had passed his hull life up in Maine, and then descended down onto us at such a time as this, when all the relations in Jonesville wuz jest riz up about the doin’s of that great namesake of hisen—­And the gussets wuz even then a-bein’ cut out and sewed on to the shirt that wuz a-goin’ to encompass Josiah Allen about as he went to Chicago to celebrate him—­

That then, on that Friday, P.M., about the time of day that the Injuns wuz a-kneelin’ to the first Christopher, to think that Josiah Allen should walk in the new Columbus into our kitchen—­why, I don’t spoze a more singular and coincidin’ circumstance ever happened before durin’ the hull course of time.

The only incident that mellered it down any and made it a little less miracalous wuz the fact that he never had been called by his full name.

He always has been, is now, and I spoze always will be called Krit—­Krit Allen.

But still it wuz—­in spite of this mellerin’ and amelioratin’ circumstance—­strikin’ and skairful enough to fill me with or.

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He wuz a double and twisted relation, as you may say, bein’ related to us on both our own sides, Josiah’s and mine.

But I had never sot eyes on him till that day, though I well remember visitin’ his parents, who lived then in the outskirts of Loontown—­good respectable Methodist Epospical people—­and runners of a cheese factory at that time.

Tryphenia Smith, relation on my side, married to Ezra Allen, relation on Josiah’s side.

I remember that I went there on a visit with my mother at a very early period of my existence.  I hadn’t existed at that time more’n nine years, if I had that.  We staid there on a stiddy stretch for a week; that wuz jest before they moved up to Maine.

Uncle Ezra had a splendid chance offered him there, and he fell in with it.

She wuz a dretful good creeter, Aunt Tryphenia wuz, and greatly beloved by the relations on his side, as well as hern.

Though, as is nateral with relations, she had to be run by ’em more or less, and found fault with.  Some thought her nose wuz too long.  Some on ’em thought she wuz too religious, and some on ’em thought she wuzn’t religious enough.  Some on ’em thought she wuzn’t sot enough on the creeds, and some thought she wuz too rigid.

But, howsumever, pretty nigh all the Allens and Smiths jest doted on her.

There wuz one incident that jest impressed itself on my memory in connection with that visit, and I don’t spoze I shall ever forgit it; it stands to reason that I should before now, if I ever wuz a-goin’ to.

It took place at family prayers, which they held regular at Uncle Ezra’s.

It wuz right in the hite of sugarin’.  They had more’n two hundred maple trees, and they had tapped ’em all, and they had run free, and they had to sugar off every day, and sometimes twice a day.

That mornin’ they had a big kettle of maple syrup over the stove, and Uncle Ezra and Aunt Tryphenia and mother wuz all a-kneelin’ down pretty nigh to the stove.  It wuz a cold mornin’, and I wuz a-settin’ with my little legs a-hangin’ off the chair a-watchin’ things, not at that age bein’ particular interested in religion.

Uncle Ezra made a long prayer, a tegus one, it seemed to me; it wuz so long that the kettle of sugar had het up fearful, and I see with deep anxiety that it wuz a-mountin’ up most to the top of the kettle.

Of course I dassent move to open the stove door, or stir it down, or anything—­no, I dassent make a move of any kind or a mite of noise in prayer time.  So I sot demute, but in deep anxiety, a-watchin’ it sizzle up higher and higher and then down agin, as is the way of syrup, but each time a sizzlin’ up a little higher.

Wall, finally Uncle Ezra got through with his prayer, and dear good Aunt Tryphenia begun hern.  She spoke dretful kinder moderate, but religious and good as anything could be.

I well remember what it wuz she wuz sayin’—­

Page 5

“O Lord, let us be tried as by fire and not be moved”—­I remember she said moved instead of moved, which wuz impressive to me, never havin’ hearn it pronounced that way before.

And jest as she said this over went the sugar onto the stove, and Aunt Tryphenia and Uncle Ezra jest jumped right up and went and lifted the kettle offen the stove.

I remember well how kinder bewildered and curious mother looked when she opened her eyes and see that the prayer wuz broke right short off.  Aunt Tryphenia looked meachin’, and Uncle Ezra put his hat right on and went out to the barn.

It wuz dretful embarrissin’ to him and Aunt Tryphenia.  But then I don’t know as they could have helped it.

I remember hearin’ Father and Mother arguin’ about it.  Father thought she done right, but Mother wuz kinder of the opinion that she ort to have run the prayer right on and let the sugar spile if necessary.

But I remember Father’s arguin’ that he didn’t believe her prayer would have been very lucid or fervent, with all that batch of sugar a-sizzlin’ and a-burnin’ right by the side of her.

I remember that he said that a prayer wouldn’t be apt to ascend much higher than where one’s hopes and thoughts wuz, and he didn’t believe it would go up much higher than that kettle. (The stove wuz the common height, not over four feet.)

But Mother held to her own opinion, and so did a good many of the relations, mostly females.  It wuz talked over quite a good deal amongst the Smiths.  The wimmen all blamed Tryphenia more or less.  The men mostly approved of savin’ the sugar.

But good land! how I am eppisodin’, and to resoom and go on.

As I say, it wuz jest after this that Uncle Ezra’s folks moved up to Maine, Christopher Columbus bein’ still onborn for years and years.

But bein’ born in due time, or ruther as I may say out of due time, for Uncle Ezra and Aunt Tryphenia had been married over twenty years before they had a child, and then they branched out and had two, and then stopped—­

But bein’ born at last and growin’ up to be a good-lookin’ young man and well-to-do in the world, he come out to Jonesville on business and also to foller up the ties of relationship that wuz stretched out acrost hill and dale clear from Maine to Jonesville.

Strange ties, hain’t they? that are so little that they are invisible to the naked eye, or spectacles, or the keenest microscope, and yet are so strong and lastin’ that the strongest sledge-hammer can’t break ’em or even make a dent into ’em.

And old Time himself, that crumbles stun work and mountains, can’t seem to make any impression on ’em.  Curious, hain’t it?

But to leave moralizin’ and to resoom, it was on Friday, P.M., that he arrove at our home.

I see a good-lookin’ young chap a-comin’ up the path from the front gate with my Josiah, and I hastily but firmly turned my apron the other side out—­I had been windin’ some blue yarn that day for some socks for my Josiah, and had colored it a little—­it wuz a white apron—­and then I waited middlin’ serene till he come in with him.

Page 6

And lo! and behold!  Josiah introduced him as Christopher Columbus Allen, my own cousin on my own side, and also on hisen.

He wuz a very good-lookin’ chap, some older than Thomas Jefferson, and I do declare if he didn’t look some like him, which wouldn’t be nothin’ aginst the law, or aginst reason, bein’ that they wuz related to each other.

I wuz glad enough to see him, and I inquired after the relations with considerable interest, and some affection (not such an awful sight, never havin’ seen ’em much, but a little, jest about enough).

And then I learnt with some sadness that his father and mother had passed away not long before that, and that his sister Isabelle wuz not over well.

And there wuz another coincerdence that struck aginst me almost hard enough to knock me down.

Isabelle! jest think on’t, when my mind wuz on a perfect strain about Isabelle Casteel.

Columbus and Isabelle!—­the idee!

Why, my reason almost tottered on its throne under my recent best head-dress, when I hearn him speak the name.  Christopher Columbus a tellin’ me about Isabelle—­

I declare I wuz that wrought up that I expected every minute to hear him tell me somethin’ about Ferdinand; but I do believe that I should have broke down under that.

But it wuz all explained out to me afterwards by another relation that come onto us onexpected shortly afterwards.

It seemed that Uncle Ezra and Aunt Tryphenia, after they went to Maine, moved into a sort of a new place, where it wuz dretful lonesome.

They lost every book they had, owin’ to a axident on their journey, and the only book their nighest neighbor had wuz the life of Queen Isabelle.

[Illustration:  They lost every book they had, owin’ to a axident on their journey.]

And so Aunt Tryphenia for years wuz, as you may say, jest saturated with that book.  And she named her two children, born durin’ that time of saturation, Christopher Columbus and Isabelle.  And I presoom if she had had another, she would have named it King Ferdinand.  Though I hain’t sure of this—­you can’t be postive certain of any such thing as this.  Besides it might have been born a girl onbeknown to her.

But I know that she never washed them children with anything but Casteel soap, and she talked sights and sights about Spain and things.

So I hearn from Uncle Jered Smith, who visited them while he wuz up on a tower through Maine, a-sellin’ balsam of pine for the lungs.

Wall, Isabelle had a sort of a runnin’ down, so Krit said.  He begged us to call him that—­said that all his mates at school called him so.  He had been educated quite high.  Had been to deestrick school sights, and then to a ’Cademy and College.  He had kinder worked his way up, so I found out, and so had Isabelle.

She had graduated from a Young Woman’s College, taught school to earn her money, and then went to school as long as that would last, and then would set out and teach agin, and then go agin and then taught, and then went.

Page 7

She wuz younger than Christopher, but he owned up to me that it wuz her example that had rousted him up to exert himself.

She wuz awful ambitious, Isabelle wuz.  She wuz smart as she could be, and had a feelin’ that she wanted to be sunthin’ in the World.

But then the old folks wuz took down sick and helpless, and one of the children had to stay to home.  And Isabelle staid, and sent Krit out into the World.

She sold her jewels of Ambition and Happiness, and gin him the avails of them.

She staid to home with the old folks—­kinder peevish and fretful, Krit said they wuz, too—­and let him go a-sailin’ out on the broad ocean of life; she had trimmed her own sails in such hope, but had to curb ’em in now and lower the topmast.

You have to reef your sails considerable when you are a-sailin’ round in a small bedroom between two beds of sickness (asthma and inflammatory rheumatiz).  You have to haul ’em in, and take down the flyin’ pennen of Hope and Asperation, and mount up the lamp of Duty and Meekness for a figger-head, instead of the glowin’ face of Proud Endeavor.

[Illustration:  Isabelle staid, and sent Krit out into the World.]

But them lamps give a dretful meller, soft light, when they are well mounted up, and firm sot.

The light on ’em hain’t to be compared to any other light on sea or on shore.  It wrops ’em round so serene and glowin’ that walks in it.  It rests on their mild forwards in a sort of a halo that shines off on the hard things of this life and makes ’em endurable, takes the edge kinder off of the hardest, keenest sufferin’s, and goes before ’em throwin’ a light over the deep waters that must be passed, and sort o’ melts in and loses itself in the ineffible radiance that streams out from acrost the other side.

It is a curious light and a beautiful one.  Isabelle jest journeyed in its full radiance.

Wall, Isabelle would do what she sot out to do, you could see that by her face.  Krit had brought her photograph with him—­he thought his eyes of her—­and I liked her looks first rate.

It wuz a beautiful face, with more than beauty in it too.  It wuz inteligent and serene, with the serenity of the sweet soul within.  And it had a look deep down in the eyes, a sort of a shadow that is got by passin’ through the Valley of Sorrow.

I hearn afterwards what that look meant.

Isabelle had been engaged to a smart, well-meanin’ chap, Tom Freeman by name, not over and above rich, and one that had his own duties to attend to.  Two helpless aged ones, and two little nieces to took care on, and nobody but himself to earn the money to do it with.

The little nieces’ Pa had gone to California after his wife’s death—­and hadn’t been hearn from sence.  The little children had been left with their grandparents and Uncle Tom to stay till their Pa got back.  And as he didn’t git back, of course they kept on a-stayin’, and had to be took care on.  They wuz bright little creeters, and the very apples of their eyes.  But they cost money, and they cost love, and Tom had to give it, for they lost what little property they had about this time—­and the feeble Grandma couldn’t do much, and the Grandpa died not long after the eppisode I am about to relate.

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So it all devolved onto Tom.  And Tom riz up to his duties nobly, though it wuz with a sad heart, as wuz spozed, for Isabelle, when she see what had come onto him to do, wouldn’t hold him to his engagement—­she insisted on his bein’ free.

I spoze she thought she wouldn’t burden him with two more helpless ones, and then mebby she thought the two spans wouldn’t mate very well.  And most probable they would have been a pretty cross match. (I mean, that is, a sort of a melancholy, down-sperited yoke, and if anybody laughs at it, I would wish ’em to laugh in a sort of a mournful way.)

Wall, Tom Freeman, after Isabelle sot him free, bein’ partly mad and partly heart-broken, as is the way of men who are deep in love, and want their way, but anyway wantin’ to keep out of the sight of the one who, if he couldn’t have her for his own, he wanted to forgit—­he packed up bag and baggage and went West.

Isabelle wouldn’t correspond with him, so she told him in that last hour—­still and calm on the outside, and her heart a-bleedin’ on the inside, I dare presoom to say; no, she wanted him to feel free.

What creeters, what creeters wimmen be for makin’ martyrs of themselves, and burnt sacrifices—­sometimes I most think they enjoy it, and then agin I don’t know!

But Isabelle acted from a sense of duty, for she jest worshipped the ground Tom Freeman walked on, so everybody knew, and so she bid adieu to Tom and Happiness, and lived on.

Wall, one of ’em must stay at home with the old folks, either she or Christopher Columbus.  And when a man and a woman love each other as Isabelle and Krit did, when wuz it ever the case but what if there wuz any sacrificin’ to do the woman wuz the one to do it.

It is her nater, and I don’t know but a real true woman takes as much comfort in bein’ sort o’ onhappy for the sake of some one she loves, as she would in swingin’ right out and a-enjoyin’ herself first rate.

A woman who really loves anything has the makin’ of a first-class martyr in her.  And though she may not be ever tied to a stake, and gridirons be fur removed from her, still she has a sort of a silent hankerin’ or aptitude for martrydom.  That is, she would fur ruther be onhappy herself than to have the beloved object wretched.  And if either of ’em has got to face trouble and privation, why she is the one that stands ready to face ’em.

So Isabelle sent Krit off into the great world to conquer it if possible.

And Krit, as the nater of man is, felt that he would ruther branch and work his way along through the World, and work hard and venter and dare and try to conquer fortune, than to set round and endure and suffer and be calm.

Men are not, although they are likely creeters and I wish ’em well, yet truth compels me to say that they are not very much gin to follerin’ this text, “To suffer and be calm.”

No, they had ruther rampage round and kill the lions in the way than to camp down in front of ’em and try to subdue ’em with kindness and long sufferin’.

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Krit, as the nateral nater of man is, felt that he could and would earn a good place in the World, win it with hard work, and then lift Isabelle up onto the high platform by the side of him.

Though whether he had made any plans as how he wuz a-goin’ to hist up the two feeble old invalids, that I can’t state, not knowin’.

But Isabelle, he did lay out to do well by her, thinkin’ as he did such a amazin’ lot of her, and knowin’ how she gin up her own ambitious hopes for his sake, and knowin’ well, though he didn’t really feel free to interfere, how she had signed the death-warrant to her own happiness when she parted with Tom Freeman.  But so it wuz.

Wall, Krit wouldn’t have to lift up the old folks onto any worldly hite, for the Lord took ’em up into His own habitation, higher I spoze than any earthly mount.  About six months before Krit come to Jonesville, they both passed away most at the same time, and wuz buried in one grave.

Wall, we all on us in Jonesville thought a sight of Krit before he had been with us a week.  He had come partly to see a man in Jonesville on particular business, and partly to see us.  He wuz a civil engineer, jest as civil and polite a one as I ever laid eyes on, and wuz a-doin’ well, but Thomas Jefferson thought he could help him to a still better place and position.

Thomas J. is very popular in Jonesville.  He is doin’ a big business all over the county, and is very influential.

Wall, Krit’s business bid fair to keep him for some time in Jonesville and the vicinity, and as he see that Josiah Allen and I wuz a-makin’ preperations to go to the World’s Fair—­and bein’ warmly pursuaded by us to that effect, he concluded to stay and accompany us thither.  The idee wuz very agreeable to us.

He said his sister Isabelle, after she wuz a little recooperated from her grief for the old folks, and recovered a little from the sickness that she had after they left her, she too laid out to come on to Chicago, and spend a few weeks.

He wuz a-layin’ out to reconoiter round and find a good place for her to board and take good care on her.  He thought enough on her—­yes, indeed.

But, as he said, she wuz jest struck right down seemin’ly with her grief at the loss of them two old folks.

You see, if your head has been a-restin’ for some time on a piller, even if it is a piller of stun, when it is drawed out sudden from under you, your head jars down on the ground dretful heavy and hard.

And when you’ve been carryin’ a burden for a long time, when it is took sudden from you you have a giddy feelin’, you feel light and faint and wobblin’.

And then she loved ’em—­she loved her poor old charges with a daughter’s love and with all the love a mother gives to a helpless baby, with the pity added that gray hairs and toothless gums must amount to added up over the sum of dimples and ivory and coral that makes up a baby’s beautiful helplessness.

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And they wuz took from her dretful sudden.  There wuz a sort of a influenza prevailin’ up round their way, and lots of strong healthy folks suckumbed to it, and it struck onto these poor old feeble ones some like simiters, and mowed ’em right down.

The old lady wuz took down first, and her great anxiety wuz—­“That Pa shouldn’t know that she wuz so sick.”

But before she died, “Pa” in another room wuz took with it, and passed away a day before she did.

She worried all that mornin’ about “Pa,” and—­“How bad he would feel if he knew she wuz so sick!” But along late in the afternoon, when the Winter sun wuz makin’ a pale reflection on the wall through the south winder, she looked up, and sez she—­

“Why, there stands Pa right by my bed, and he wants me to git up and go with him.  And, Isabelle, I must go.”

And she did.

[Illustration:  “Why, there stands Pa, and he wants me to git up and go with him.”]

And Isabelle wuz left alone.

They wuz buried in one grave.  And the funeral sermon, they say, wuz enough to melt a stun, if there had been any stuns round where they could hear it.

Isabelle didn’t hear it (don’t git the idee that I am a-wantin’ to compare her to a stun; no, fur from it).  She wuz a-layin’ to home on a bed, with her sad eyes bent on nothin’ess and emptiness and utter desolation, so it seemed to her.

But after a time she begun to pick up a little, judgin’ from her letters to her brother Krit.  He had to leave her jest after the funeral on account of his business; for, civil as it wuz, it had to be tended to.


Wall, we all enjoyed havin’ Christopher there the best that ever wuz.  For he wuz very agreeable, as well as oncommon smart, which two qualities don’t always go together, as has often been observed by others, and I have seen for myself.

Wall, it wuzn’t more than a week or so after Krit arrived and got there, that another relation made his appearance in Jonesville.

It wuz of ’em on his side this time—­not like Krit, half hisen and half mine, but clear hisen.  Clear Allen, with no Smith at all in the admixture.

Proud enough wuz my pardner of him, and of himself too for bein’ born his cousin. (Though that wuz onbeknown to him at the time, and he ort not to have gloried in it.)

But tickled wuz he when word come that Elnathan Allen, Esquire, of Menlo Park, California, wuz a-comin’ to Jonesville to visit his old friends.

[Illustration:  Tickled wuz he when word come.]

That man had begun life poor—­poor as a snipe; sometimes I used to handle that very word “Snipe” a-describin’ Elnathan Allen’s former circumstances to Josiah, when he got too overbearin’ about him.

For he had boasted to me about him for years, and years, and a woman can’t stand only jest about so much aggravatin’ and treadin’ on before she will turn like a worm.

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That is Bible about “The Worm,” and must be believed.

What used to mad me the worst wuz when he would git to comparin’ Elnathan with one of ’em on my side who wuz shiftless.  Good land!  ’Zekiel Smith hain’t the only man on earth who is ornary and no account.  Every pardner has ’em, more or less, on his side and on hern; let not one pardner boast themselves over the other one; both have their drawbacks.

But Elnathan had done well; I admitted it only when I wuz too much put upon.

He had gone fur West, got rich, invested his capital first rate, some on it in a big Eastern city, and had got to be a millionare.

He wuz a widower with one child, The Little Maid, as he called her; he jest idolized her, and thought she wuz perfect.

And I spoze she wuz oncommon, not from what her Pa said—­no, I didn’t take all his talk about her for Gospel; I know too much.

But Barzelia Ann Allen (a old maid up to date) had seen her, had been out to California on a excursion train, and had staid some time with ’em.

And she said that she wuz the smartest child this side of Heaven.  With eyes of violet blue, big luminous eyes, that draw the hearts and souls of folks right out of their bodies when they looked into ’em, so full of radiant joy and heavenly sweetness wuz they.

And hair of waving gold, and lips and cheeks as pink as the hearts of the roses that climbed all Winter round her winder—­and the sweetest, daintiest ways—­and so good to everybody, them that wuz poor and sufferin’ most of all.

Barzeel wuz always most too enthusiastick to suit me, but I got the idee from what she said that she wuz a oncommon lovely child.

Good land!  Elnathan couldn’t talk about anything else—­like little babblin’ brooks runnin’ towards the sea, all his talk, every anecdote he told, and every idee he sot forth, jest led up to and ended with that child.  Jest like creeks.

He worshipped her.

And he himself told me so many stories about her bein’ so good to the poor, and sacrificin’ her little comforts for ’em—­at her age, too—­that I thought to myself, I wonder why you don’t take some of them object lessons to heart—­why you don’t set down at her feet, and learn of her—­and I wonder too where she took her sweet charity from, but spoze it wuz from her mother.  Her mother had been a beautiful woman, so I had been told.  She wuz a Devereaux—­nobody that I ever knew, or Josiah.  Celeste Devereaux.

The little girl wuz named for her mother.  But they always called her The Little Maid.

Wall, to resoom, and to hitch my horse in front of the wagon agin.  (Allegory.)

Elnathan had left The Little Maid and her nurse in that Eastern city where he owned so much property, and had come on to pay a flyin’ visit to Jonesville, not forgittin’ Loontown, you may be sure, where a deceased Aunt had jest died and left her property to him.

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He wuz close.

He had left The Little Maid in the finest hotel in the city, so he said.  He had looked over more’n a dozen, so I hearn, before he could git one he thought wuz healthy enough and splendid enough for her.  At last he selected one, standin’ on a considerable rise of ground, with big, high, gorgeous rooms, and prices higher than the very topmost cupalo, and loftiest chimbly pot.

Here he got two big rooms for The Little Maid, and one for the nurse.  He got the two rooms for the child so’s the air could circulate through ’em.

[Illustration:  Here he got two big rooms.]

He wuz very particular about her havin’ air of the very purest and best kind there wuz made, and the same with vittles and clothes, etc., etc., etc.

Wall, while he wuz a-goin’ on so about pure air and the values and necessities of it, I couldn’t help thinkin’ of what Barzelia had told me about that big property of hisen in the Eastern city where he had left The Little Maid.

Here, in the very lowest part of the city, he owned hull streets of tenement housen, miserable old rotten affairs, down in stiflin’ alleys, and courts, breeders of disease, and crime, and death.

At first some on ’em fell into his hands by a exchange of property, and he found they paid so well, that he directed his agent to buy up a lot of ’em.

Barzelia had told me all about ’em, she was jest as enthusiastick about what she didn’t like as what she did; she said the money got in that way, by housin’ the poor in such horrible pestilental places, seemed jest like makin’ a bargain with Death.  Rentin’ housen to him to make carnival in.

And while he wuz talkin’ to such great length, and with such a satisfied and comfortable look onto his face, about the vital necessities of pure air and beautiful surroundin’s, in order to make children well and happy, my thoughts kept a-roamin’, and I couldn’t help it.  Down from the lovely spot where The Little Maid wuz, down, down, into the dretful places that Barzelia had told me about.  Where squalor, and crime, and disease, and death walked hand in hand, gatherin’ new victims at every step, and where the children wuz a-droppin’ down in the poisinous air like dead leaves in a swamp.

I kep a-thinkin’ of this, and finally I tackled Elnathan about it, and he laughed, Elnathan did, and begun to talk about the swarms and herds of useless and criminal humanity a-cumberin’ the ground, and he threw a lot of statisticks at me.  But they didn’t hit me.  Good land!  I wuzn’t afraid on ’em, nor I didn’t care anything about ’em, and I gin him to understand that I didn’t.

And in the cause of duty I kep on a-tacklin’ him about them housen of hisen, and advisin’ him to tear ’em down, and build wholesome ones, and in the place of the worst ones, to help make some little open breathin’ places for the poor creeters down there, with a green tree now and then.

Page 13

And then agin he brung up the utter worthlessness, and shiftlessness, and viciousness of the class I wuz a-talkin’ about.

And then I sez—­“How is anybody a-goin’ to live pattern lives, when they are a-starvin’ to death?  And how is anybody a-goin’ to enjoy religion when they are a-chokin’?”

And then he threw some more statisticks at me, dry and hard ones too; and agin he see they didn’t hit me, and then he kinder laughed agin, and assumed something of a jokelar air—­such as men will when they are a-talkin’ to wimmen—­dretful exasperatin’, too—­and sez he—­

“You are a Philosopher, Cousin Samantha, and you must know such housen as you are a-talkin’ about are advantageous in one way, if in no other—­they help to reduce the surplus population.  If it wuzn’t for such places, and for the electric wires, and bomb cranks, and accidents, etc., the world would git too full to stand up in.”

“Help to reduce the surplus population!” sez I, and my voice shook with indignation as I said it.  Sez I—­

“Elnathan Allen, you had better stop a-pilin’ up your statisticks, for a spell, and come down onto the level of humanity and human brotherhood.”

Sez I, “Spozen you should take it to yourself for a spell, imagine how it would be with you if you had been born there onbeknown to yourself.”  Sez I, “If you wuz a-livin’ down there in them horrible pits of disease and death—­if you wuz a-standin’ over the dyin’ bed of wife or mother, or other dear one, and felt that if you could bring one fresh, sweet breath of air to the dear one, dyin’ for the want of it, you would almost barter your hopes of eternity—­

“If you stood there in that black, chokin’ atmosphere, reekin’ with all pestilental and moral death, and see the one you loved best a-slippin’ away from you—­borne out of your sight, borne away into the onknown, on them dead waves of poisinous, deathly air—­I guess you wouldn’t talk about reducin’ the Surplus Population.”

I had been real eloquent, and I knew it, for I felt deeply what I said.

But Elnathan looked cheerful under all my talk.  It didn’t impress him a mite, I could see.

He felt safe.  He wuz sure the squalor and sufferin’ never would or could touch him.  He thought, in the words of the Him slightly changed, that:  “He could read his title clear to Mansions with all the modern improvements.”

He and The Little Maid wuz safe.  The world looked further off to him, the woes, and wants, and crimes of our poor humanity seemed quite a considerable distance away from him.

Onclouded prosperity had hardened Elnathan’s heart—­it will sometimes—­hard as Pharo’s.

But he wuz a visitor and one of the relations on his side, and I done well by him, killed a duck and made quite a fuss.

The business of settlin’ the estate took quite a spell, but he didn’t hurry any.

He said “the nurse wuz good as gold, she would take good care of The Little Maid.  She wrote to him every day;” and so she did, the hussy, all through that dretful time to come.

Page 14

Oh dear me! oh dear suz!

The nurse, Jean, had a sister who had come over from England with a cargo of trouble and children—­after Jean had come on to California.

And Elnathan, good-natured when he wuz a mind to be, had listened to Jean’s story of her sister’s woes, with poverty, hungery children, and a drunken husband, and had given this sister two small rooms in one of his tenement housen, and asked so little for them, that they wuz livin’ quite comfortable, if anybody could live comfortable, in such a stiflin’, nasty spot.

Their rooms wuz on top of the house, and wuz kept clean, and so high up that they could get a breath of air now and then.

But the way up to ’em led over a crazy pair of stairs, so broken and rotten that even the Agent wuz disgusted with ’em and had wrote a letter to Elnathan asking for new stairs, and new sanitary arrangements, as the deaths wuz so frequent in that particular tenement, that the Agent wuz frightened, for fear they would be complained of by the City Fathers—­though them old fathers can stand a good deal without complainin’.

Wall, the Agent wrote, but Elnathan wuz at that time buildin’ a new orchid house (he had more’n a dozen of ’em before) for The Little Maid; she loved these half-human blossoms.

And he wuz buildin’ a high palm house, and a new fountain, and a veranda covered with carved lattice-work around The Little Maid’s apartments.  And a stained-glass gallery, leading from the conservatory to the greenhouses, and these other houses I have mentioned, so that The Little Maid could walk out to ’em on too sunny days, or when it misted some.

And so he wrote back to his Agent, that “he couldn’t possibly spend any money on stairs or plumbin’ in a tenement house, for the repairs he wuz making on his own place at Menlo Park would cost more than a hundred thousand dollars—­and he felt that he couldn’t fix them stairs, and he thought anyway it wuzn’t best to listen to the complaints of complaining tenants.”  And he ended in that jokelar way of hisen—­

“That if you listened to ’em, and done one thing for ’em, the next thing they would want would be velvet-lined carriages to ride out in.”

And the Agent, havin’ jest seen the tenth funeral a-wendin’ out of that very house that week, and bein’ a man of some sense, though hampered, wrote back and said—­“Carriages wouldn’t be the next thing that they would all want, but coffins.”

He said sence he had wrote to Elnathan more than a dozen had been wanted there in that very house, and the tenants had been borne out in ’em.

(And laid in fur cleaner dirt than they wuz accustomed to there;) he didn’t write this last—­that is my own eppisodin’.

And agin the Agent mentioned the stairs, and agin he mentioned the plumbin’.

But Elnathan wuz so interested then and took up in tryin’ to decide whether he would have a stained-glass angel or some stained-glass cherubs a-hoverin’ over the gallery in front of The Little Maid’s room, that he hadn’t a mite of time to argue any further on the subject—­so he telegrafted—­

Page 15

“No repairs allowed.  Elnathan Allen.”

[Illustration:  “No repairs allowed.”]

Wall, Elnathan had got the repairs all made, and the place looked magnificent.

Good land! it ort to; the hull place cost more than a million dollars, so I have hearn; I don’t say that I am postive knowin’ to it.  But Barzelia gits things pretty straight; it come to me through her.

The Little Maid enjoyed it all, and Elnathan enjoyed it twice over, once and first in her, and then of course in his own self.

But The Little Maid looked sort o’ pimpin, and her little appetite didn’t seem to be very good, and the doctor said that a journey East would do her good.

And jest at this time the dowery in Loontown fell onto Elnathan, so that they all come East.

Elnathan had forgot all about Jean havin’ any relation in the big Eastern city where they stopped first—­good land! their little idees and images had got all overlaid and covered up with glass angels, orchids, bank stock, some mines, palm-houses, political yearnin’s, social distinction, carved lattice-work, some religious idees, and yots, and club-houses, etc., etc., etc.

But when he decided to leave The Little Maid in the city and not bring her to Jonesville—­(and I believe in my soul, and I always shall believe it, that he wuz in doubt whether we had things good enough for her.  The idee!  He said he thought it would be too much for her to go round to all the relatives—­wall, mebby it wuz that!  But I shall always have my thoughts.)

But anyway, when he made up his mind to leave her, he gin the nurse strict orders to not go down into the city below a certain street, which wuz a good high one, and not let The Little Maid out of her sight night or day.

[Illustration:  He gin the nurse strict orders.]

Wall, the nurse knew it wuz wrong—­she knew it, but she did it.  Jest as Cain did, and jest as David did, when he killed Ury, and Joseph’s brother and Pharo, and you and I, and the relations on his side and on yourn.

She knew she hadn’t ort to.  But bein’ out a-walkin’ with The Little Maid one day, a home-sick feelin’ come over her all of a sudden.  She wanted to see her sister—­wanted to, like a dog.

So, as the day wuz very fair, she thought mebby it wouldn’t do any hurt.

The sky was so blue between the green boughs of the Park!  There had been a rain, and the glistenin’ green made her think of the hedgerows of old England, where she and Katy used to find birds’ nests, and the blue wuz jest the shade of the sweet old English violets.  How she and Katy used to love them!  And the blue too wuz jest the color of Katy’s eyes when she last see them, full of tears at partin’ from her.

She thought of Elnathan’s sharp orders not to go down into the city, and not to let The Little Maid out of her sight.

Wall, she thought it over, and thought that mebby if she kep one of her promises good, she would be forgive the other.

Page 16

Jest as the Israelites did about the manny, and jest as You did when you told your wife you would bring her home a present, and come home early—­and you bore her home a bracelet, at four o’clock in the mornin’.

And jest as I did when I said, under the influence of a stirring sermon, that I wouldn’t forgit it, and I would live up to it—­wall, I hain’t forgot it.

But tenny rate, the upshot of the matter wuz that the nurse thought she would keep half of the Master’s orders—­she wouldn’t let The Little Maid out of her sight.

So she hired a cab—­she had plenty of money, Elnathan didn’t stent her on wages.  He had his good qualities, Elnathan did.

And she and The Little Maid rolled away, down through the broad, beautiful streets, lined with stately housen and filled with a throng of gay, handsome, elegantly clothed men, wimmen, and children.

Down into narrower business streets, with lofty warehouses on each side, and full of a well-dressed, hurrying crowd of business men—­down, down, down into the dretful street she had sot out to find.

With crazy, slantin’ old housen on either side—­forms of misery filling the narrow, filthy street, wearing the semblance of manhood and womanhood.  And worst of all, embruted, and haggard, and aged childhood.

Filth of all sorts cumbering the broken old walks, and hoverin’ over all a dretful sicknin’ odor, full of disease and death.

Wall, when they got there, The Little Maid (she had a tender heart), she wuz pale as death, and the big tears wuz a-rollin’ down her cheeks, at the horrible sights and sounds she see all about her.

Wall, Jean hurried her up the rickety old staircase into her sister’s room, where Jean and Kate fell into each other’s arms, and forgot the world while they mingled their tears and their laughter, and half crazy words of love and bewildered joy.

The Little Maid sot silently lookin’ out into the dirty, dretful court-yard, swarmin’ with ragged children in every form of dirt and discomfort, squalor and vice.

She had never seen anything of the kind before in her guarded, love-watched life.

She didn’t know that there wuz such things in the world.

Her lips wuz quiverin’—­her big, earnest eyes full of tears, as she started to go down the broken old stairs.

And her heart full of desires to help ’em, so we spoze.

But her tears blinded her.

Half way down she stumbled and fell.

The nurse jumped down to help her.  She wuz hefty—­two hundred wuz her weight; the stairs, jest hangin’ together by links of planked rotteness, fell under ’em—­down, down they went, down into the depths below.

The nurse was stunted—­not hurt, only stunted.

But The Little Maid, they thought she wuz dead, as they lifted her out.  Ivory white wuz the perfect little face, with the long golden hair hangin’ back from it, ivory white the little hand and arm hangin’ limp at her side.

Page 17

She wuz carried into Katy’s room, a doctor wuz soon called.  Her arm wuz broken, but he said, after she roused from her faintin’ fit, and her arm wuz set—­he said she would git well, but she mustn’t be moved for several days.

Jean, wild with fright and remorse, thought she would conceal her sin, and git her back to the hotel before she telegrafted to her father.

Jest as you thought when you eat cloves the other night, and jest as I thought when I laid the Bible over the hole in the table-cover, when I see the minister a-comin’.

Wall, the little arm got along all right, or would, if that had been all, but the poisonous air wuz what killed the little creeter.

For five days she lay, not sufferin’ so much in body, but stifled, choked with the putrid air, and each day the red in her cheeks deepened, and the little pulse beat faster and faster.

And on the fifth day she got delerious, and she talked wild.

She talked about cool, beautiful parks bein’ made down in the stiflin’, crowded, horrible courts and byways of the cities—­

With great trees under which the children could play, and look up into the blue sky, and breathe the sweet air—­she talked about fresh dewey grass on which they might lay their little hollow cheeks, and which would cool the fever in them.

She talked about a fountain of pure water down where now wuz filth too horrible to mention.

She talked very wild—­for she talked about them terrible slantin’ old housen bein’ torn down to make room for this Paradise of the future.

Had she been older, words might have fallen from her feverish lips of how the woes, and evils, and crimes of the lower classes always react upon the upper.

She might have pictured in her dreams the drama that is ever bein’ enacted on the pages of history—­of the sorely oppressed masses turnin’ on the oppressors, and drivin’ them, with themselves, out to ruin.

Pages smeared with blood might have passed before her, and she might have dreamed—­for she wuz very delerious—­she might have dreamed of the time when our statesmen and lawgivers would pause awhile from their hard task of punishin’ crime, and bend their energies upon avertin’ it—­

Helpin’ the poor to better lives, helpin’ them to justice.  Takin’ the small hands of the children, and leadin’ them away from the overcrowded prisons and penitentaries toward better lives—­

When Charity (a good creeter, too, Charity is) but when she would step aside and let Justice and True Wisdom go ahead for a spell—­

When co-operative business would equalize wealth to a greater degree—­when the government would control the great enterprises, needed by all, but addin’ riches to but few—­when comfort would nourish self-respect, and starved vice retreat before the dawnin’ light of happiness.

Had she been older she might have babbled of all this as she lay there, a victim of wrong inflicted on the low—­a martyr to the folly of the rich, and their injustice toward the poor.

Page 18

But as it wuz, she talked only with her little fever-parched lips of the lovely, cool garden.

Oh, they wuz wild dreams, flittin’, flittin’, in little vague, tangled idees through the childish brain!

But the talk wuz always about the green, beautiful garden, and the crowds of little children walkin’ there.

And on the seventh day (that wuz after Elnathan got there, and me and Josiah, bein’ telegrafted to)—­

On the seventh day she begun to talk about a Form she saw a-walkin’ in the garden—­a Presence beautiful and divine, we thought from her words.  He smiled as he saw the happiness of the children.  He smiled upon her, he wuz reachin’ out his arms to her.

And about evenin’ she looked up into her father’s face and knew him—­and she said somethin’ about lovin’ him so—­and somethin’ about the beautiful garden, and the happy children there, and then she looked away from us all with a smile, and I spozed, and I always shall spoze, that the Divine One a-walkin’ in the cool of the evenin’ in the garden, the benign Presence she saw there, happy in the children’s happiness, drew nearer to her, and took her in his arms—­for it says—­

“He shall carry the lambs in His bosom.”

That wuz two years ago.  Elnathan Allen is a changed man, a changed man.

I hain’t mentioned the word surplus population to him.  No, I hadn’t the heart to.

Poor creeter, I wuz good to him as I could be all through it, and so wuz

His hair got white as a old man’s in less than two months.

But with the same energy he brought to bear in makin’ money he brought to bear on makin’ The Little Maid’s dream come true.

He said it wuz a vision.

And, poor creeter, a-doin’ it all under a mournin’ weed; and if ever a weed wuz deep, and if ever a man mourned deep, it is that man.

Yes, Elnathan has done well; I have writ to him to that effect.

He tore down them crazy, slantin’, rotten old housen, and made a park of that filthy hole, a lovely little park, with fresh green grass, a fountain of pure water, where the birds come to slake their little thirsts.

He sot out big trees (money will move a four-foot ellum).  There is green, rustlin’ boughs for the birds to build their nests in.  Cool green leaves to wave over the heads of the children.

They lay their pale faces on the grass, they throw their happy little hearts onto the kind, patient heart of their first mother, Nature, and she soothes the fever in their little breasts, and gives ’em new and saner idees.

They hold their little hands under the crystal water droppin’ forever from the outspread wings of a dove.  They find insensibly the grime washed away by these pure drops, their hands are less inclined to clasp round murderous weepons and turn them towards the lofty abodes of the rich.

They do not hate the rich so badly, for it is a rich man who has done all this for them.

Page 19

The high walls of the prison that used to loom up so hugely and threatingly in front of the bare old tenement housen—­the harsh glare of them walls seem further away, hidden from them by the gracious green of the blossoming trees.

The sunshine lays between them and its rough walls—­they follow the glint of the sunbeams up into the Heavens.


My beloved pardner is very easy lifted up or cast down by his emotions, and his excitement wuz intense durin’ the hull of the long time that the warfare lasted as to where the World’s Fair wuz to be held, where Columbus wuz goin’ to be celebrated.

I thought at the time, Josiah wuz so fearful riz up in his mind, that it wuz doubtful if he ever would be settled down agin, and act in a way becomin’ to a grandfather and a Deacon in the M.E. meetin’-house.

And it wuz a excitin’ time, very, and the fightin’ and quarrelin’ between the rival cities wuz perilous in the extreme.

It would have skairt Christopher, I’ll bet, if he could have seen it, and he would have said that he would most ruther not be celebrated than to seen it go on.

Why, New York and Chicago most come to hands and blows about it, and St. Louis wuz jest a-follerin’ them other cities up tight, a-worryin’ ’em, and a-naggin’, and a sort o’ barkin’ at their heels, as it wuz, bound she would have it.

They couldn’t all on ’em have it.  Christopher couldn’t be in three places at one time and simultanous, no matter how much calculation he had about him.  No, that wuz impossible.  He had to be in one place.  And they fit, and they fit, and they fit, till I got tired of the very name of the World’s Fair, and Josiah got almost ravin’ destracted.

It seemed to me, and so I told Josiah, that New York wuz a more proper place for it, bein’ as it wuz clost to the ocean, so many foreigners would float over here, them and their things that they wanted to show to the Fair.

It would almost seem as if they would be tired enough when they got here, to not want to disemmark themselves and their truck, and then imegiatly embark agin on a periongor or wagon, or car, or sunthin, and go a-trailin’ off thousands of milds further.  And then go through it all agin disembarkin’ and unloadin’ their truck, and themselves.

Howsumever, I spozed if they sot out for the Fair from Africa, or Hindoostan, or Asia, I spozed they would keep on till they got there, if they had to go the hull length of the Misisippi River, and travelled in more’n forty different conveniences, etc., etc.  But it didn’t seem so handy nor nigh.

But Chicago is dretful worrysome and active, jest like all children who have growed fast, and kinder outgrowed their clothes and family goverment.

She is dretful forward for one of her years, and she knows it.  She knows she is smart, and she is bound to have her own way if there is any possible way of gittin’ it.

Page 20

And she had jest put her foot right down, that have that Fair she would.  And like as not if she hadn’t got it she would have throwed herself and kicked.  I shouldn’t wonder a mite if she had.

But she jest clawed right in, and tore round and acted, and jawed, and coaxed, and kinder cried, and carried the day, jest as spilte children will, more’n half the time.

Not but what New York wuz a-cuttin’ up and a-actin’ jest as bad, accordin’ to its age.

But Chicago wuz younger and spryer, and could kick stronger and cut up higher.

New York wuz older and lamer, as you may say, its jints wuz stiffer, and it had lost some of its faculties, which made it dretful bad for her.

It wuz forgetful; it had spells of kinder losin’ its memory, and had had for years.

Now, when the Great General died, why New York cut up fearful a-fightin’ for the honor of havin’ him laid to rest in its borders.

Why, New York fairly riz up and kicked higher than you could have spozed it wuz possible for her to kick at her age, and hollered louder than you could have spozed it wuz possible with her lungs.

When Washington, the Capital of this Great Republic, expressed a desire to have the Saviour of his Country sleep by the side of the Founder of it—­why, New York acted fairly crazy, and I believe she wuz for a spell.  Anyway, I believe she had a spazzum.

Her wild demeanor wuz such, her snorts, her oritorys, resounded on every side, and wuz heard all over the land.  She acted crazy as a loon till she got her way.

She promised if she could have the Hero sleep there, she would build a monument that would tower up to the skies.

[Illustration:  If she could have the Hero sleep there, she would build a monument that would tower up to the skies.]

The most stupendious, the most impressive work of art that wuz ever wrought by man.

Wall, she got her way.  Why, she cut up so, that she had to have it, seemin’ly.

Wall, did she do as she agreed?  No, indeed.

She had one of her forgetful spells come right on her, a sort of a stupor, I guess, a-follerin’ on after a bein’ too wild and crazy about gittin’ her way.

And anyway, year after year passed, and no monument wuz raised, not a sign of one.  She lied, and she didn’t seem to care if she had lied.

There the grave of the Great One wuz onmarked by even a decent memorial, let alone the great one they said they would raise.

And when the Great Ones of the Old World—­the renowned in Song and Story and History—­when they ariv in New York, most their first thoughts wuz to visit the Grand Tomb of our Hero—­

The one who their rulers had delighted to honor—­the one who had been welcomed in the dazzlin’ halls of their Kings.  And them halls had felt honored to have his shadow rest on ’em as he passed through ’em to audiences with royalty.

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They journeyed to that tomb.  Some on ’em had been used to stand by the tombs of their own great dead under the magestic aisles of Westminster Abbey, whose lofty glories dwarfs the human form almost to a pigmy.

Some had stood by the white marble poem of the Tag Megal in India, wherein a royal soul has carved his love for a woman.  If that race, to whom we send missionaries to civilize them, could raise such a tomb over its dead, and a woman too, who had done no great things, only loved the man who raised this incomparable monument over her—­what could they expect to find raised by this great and dominant race over the dead form of the man who had saved the hull country from ruin?

So with feelin’s of awe and wonder in their hearts, expectin’ to see they knew not what, the awestruck, admirin’ foreigner paused before the tomb of the Great Leader—­and he see nothin’.  Not even a respectable grave-stun, such as you see in any New England graveyard. (Or that has been the case till very lately.  But now things look a little brighter in the monument line.)

But it has been a shame, and a burnin’ one, so burnin’ that it has seemed to me that it would take all the cool blue waters that glide along below, a-complainin’ of the slight and insult to our Hero—­it would take more than all these waters to wash it out and make the country clean agin.

But she had one of her spells, and whether she wuz well or whether she wuz sick, New York lied jest like a dog about it.

Whether she wuz crazy or not, the fact remained that she had bragged, and then gin out; had promised, and not performed.

I believe she wuz out of her head.

Then there wuz the same kind of a performance she went through with the
Goddess of Liberty.

When France had gin that beautiful and most wondeful creeter to us as a present, it looked sort o’ shabby in New York to not provide a platform for that female to stand up on.

Now, didn’t it?  She a-offerin’ to light up the world if she only had a place to stand up on—­and the great continent of America not bein’ willin’ to gin it to her.

[Illustration:  She a-offerin’ to light up the world, if she only had a place to stand up on.]

New York talked—­oh, yes, it wuz a-goin’ to do great things!  Oh, what a big, noble door-step it wuz a-layin’ out to rize up for that goddess to stand on!

But there it wuz, New York had one of her spells agin, lost her faculties, forgot all about what she said she wuz a-goin’ to do—­and left that noble female, left that princely present to lay round in a heap, a perfect imposition to France and to human nater.

The idee of a goddess with no place to stand up on!  The Great Republic a-stretchin’ out on each side, and no place for her feet to rest on.

And no knowin’ but she would have been a-layin’ round to-day, all broke up and onjinted, if it hadn’t been for a public-sperited newspaper man, who took the matter up, and worked at it, and called public attention to it, till at last it got a place for the goddess to be histed up on her feet, and rest her legs a spell, all crumpled up under her.

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The idee of a goddess, and such a goddess, a layin’ round with her legs all doubled up under her, and all broke up—­the idee!

Then it got the Centenial Exhibition there.  And it wuzn’t no more than right, what it promised and bound itself to do, to make some triumphal arches for the processions to walk under, a-triumphin’.

Why, she vowed and declared solemn that she would make ’em if she could have it there.

They wuz goin’ to be, accordin’ to her tell, accordin’ to what New York said about it, about the most gorgus and impressive arches that ever wuz arched over anybody, fur or near, anywhere.

Now, after it got the exhibition there, did it make ’em?  No, indeed.

It had another spell come on, clean forgot all about it.  And there the Columbian Exposition come and no arch for it to walk under, not a arch, only some old boards nailed up, some like a barn door, only higher.

[Illustration :  Wooden arch]

Wall, you see these kind o’ crazy spells, losin’ its faculties every once in a while, made it dretful hard for New York.

I believe she would got the World’s Fair if it hadn’t been for that.  But the question would keep a-comin’ up, and the country had to pay attention to it—­what if she got the World’s Fair, and then had another fit!  What if she had another spell come on, and forgot all about it!

And lo! and behold! have the World’s Fair sail up and halt in front of her and she not have any place for it, and mebby be out of her head so she couldn’t remember nothin’, wouldn’t remember who Christopher wuz, or anythin’.

No; the hull country felt that it wuz resky, and that, I have always spozed, wuz one reason why New York lost it.

And then, as I have said heretofore, Chicago wuz jest bound to have it, and she did.

But then, if you’ll believe it, jest like any spilte young child that cries for another big apple when both its hands are full of ’em—­it hadn’t no place for it.

It had got the World’s Fair, but hadn’t got any place to put it.  The idee!

Jest crazy to have it, cried and yelled, and acted, (metafor) till it got it.  And then, lo! and behold! where wuz she goin’ to put it?  Hadn’t a place big enough, or ready for it.

Of course she had the lake.  But she didn’t want to drownd it, after makin’ such a fuss over it; it wouldn’t have seemed very horsepitable.  And she didn’t really want to put it out onto a prairie.  And she couldn’t put it right round under her feet, where it would git trampled on, and git bruised, and knocked round; that wouldn’t be a-usin’ Christopher Columbus as he ort to be used.

And, as I say, she wuz honorable enough to not want to put it in the lake.

And so, after worryin’ and takin’ on, and talkin’ month after month about it, she concluded to split the Christopher Columbus World’s Fair into some like this—­put the Christopher part on a stagin’ built out into the lake, and the Columbus part back a ways into the park.

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Wall, I didn’t make no objections to it; I thought I wouldn’t say a word or make a move to break it up, or make their burdens any heavier.  No; I jest stood still and see it go on.

Only I did talk some out to one side to my Josiah about it, about the curiosity of their behavior.

Sez I, “It seems as if, after what Columbus done for the country, he ort to be kep hull, and not be broke into, and split apart.  But howsumever,” sez I, “I sha’n’t make any move to stop it.”

And Josiah sez “he guessed it wouldn’t make much difference whether I made a move or not.  He guessed Chicago could take care of its own business, and would do it.”

I wuz a-pinnin’ the outside onto a comforter, and I had a lot of pins in my mouth, but before I put ’em in I sez—­

“Wall, it looks kind o’ shiftless to me, to think they hadn’t no place to put it, after all their actions.”

And as I resoomed my work, he went on: 

“Now, you imagine how you would feel, Samantha Allen, if you had bought a big elephant, bigger than Jumbo, and you knew it wuz on its way here, approachin’ nearer and nearer—­had got as fur as Old Bobbet’s, and we hadn’t a place to put it in that wuz suitable and strong enough—­we couldn’t git her head hardly in the stable, we couldn’t leave her out doors to rampage round and step over barns and knock down housen, and we couldn’t git it offen our hands any way, kill it, or give it away—­how would you feel?”

[Illustration:  We couldn’t git her head hardly in the stable.]

Then I took my pins out of my mouth, and sez—­

“I wouldn’t have bought the elephant till I had measured my barn.”

Then I put my pins in my mouth agin, for I thought like as not that I wouldn’t have to use my tongue agin.  I didn’t lay out to, for my mouth wuz full, and I wuz in a hurry for my comforter.

But Josiah sez, “O shaw! lots of folks buy things they hadn’t no idee of buyin’ till they see somebody else wants ’em bad.

“I remember that is the way I come to buy that two-year colt; I hadn’t a idee of wantin’ it till I see Old Bobbet and Deacon Sypher jest sot on havin’ it, and that whetted me right up, and I wuz jest bound to have that colt, and did.  I didn’t expect to find it profitable any of the time.  I knew it would kick like the old Harry and smash things, and it did.

“And that is jest the way with Chicago; she knew the World’s Fair wuzn’t over and above profitable to have round, besides bein’ dretful bothersome, but she see New York and St. Louis a-dickerin’ for it, and then she wanted it.”

“Wall,” sez I, considerable dry and sharp, for I had three pins in my mouth at the time—­

“She has got it!”

“Yes,” sez Josiah, “and you’ll see that she will put in and work lively, now she’s got it; she’ll show what she can do.”

“Yes,” sez I, dryer than ever, and more sharper; “before she got a stun laid for a foundation to rest the World’s Fair on, before she got a stick laid for Christopher to plant one of his feet on, she begun to buy up hull streets of housen to rig up for saloons, to make men drunk as fools, to make murderers and assassins of ’em.

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“I wonder what Columbus would say if he could stand there and see it go on.”

“He’d probable step in and take a drink,” sez Josiah.

“Never,” sez I.  “The eye that could discover without actual sight, the soul that could apprehend without comprehension—­that could look fur off into the mist of the onknown, and see a New World risin’ up before his rapt vision—­such a eye and such a soul didn’t depend on bad whiskey for its stimulent.  No, indeed!

“He didn’t lay round in bar-rooms with a red nose, and a stagger onto him.  He wuz up and about, with his senses all straight, and the star he follered wuzn’t the light of a corner saloon.

“No, indeed!  He see the invisible.  He wuz beloved of God, and hearn secrets that coarser minds round him never dremp of.  He didn’t try to cloy up them Heavenly senses with whiskey.  No, indeed!

“And Isabella now, if that likely creeter could be sot down in front of that long street of grog-shops, she would almost be sorry she ever sold her jewelry, she would be so sot back by seein’ that awful sight.”

“O shaw!” sez Josiah, “she didn’t sell her jewelry.”

“Wall, she wuz willin’ to,” sez I.

“Id’no as she wuz.  She jest talked about it; wimmen must talk or bust anyway, they are made so.”

“How are men made?” sez I dryly, as dry as ever a corncob wuz, after many years.

“Oh, men are made so’s they try to answer wimmen some—­they have to; they have to keep their hand in so’s to not lose their speech on that very account.  I presume Columbus knew all about such things.  He had two wives; he knew what trouble wuz.”

I see that man wuz a-tryin’ every way to draw my attention away offen them long streets of saloons built up in Chicago, and I wouldn’t suckumb to it.  So I branched right out, and back agin, and sez I—­

“The idee of a civilized city, after eighteen hundred years of Christianaty—­the idee of their doin’ sunthin’ that if savage Africans or Inguns wuz a-doin’ the World would ring with it, and missionaries would start for ’em on the run, or by the carload.

“There is a awful fuss made about a cannibal eatin’ a man now and then, makin’ a good plain stew of him, or a roast, and that is the end of it; they eat up his flesh, but they don’t make no pretensions to fry up his soul; they leave that free and pure, and it goes right up to Heaven.

“But here in our Christian land, in city and country, this great man-eatin’ trade costs the country over a billion dollars a year, and devours one hundred and twenty thousand men each year, and destroys the soul and mind first, before it tackles the body.

“They go as fur ahead of cannibals in this wickedness as eternity is longer than time.

“And the Goverment, this great beneficent Goverment, that looks down with pity on oncivilized races—­the Goverment of the United States sells and rents this man-eater and soul-destroyer at so much a year.

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“If I had my way,” sez I, a-gittin’ madder and madder the more I thought on’t—­

“If I had my way I’d bring over a hull drove of cannibals and Hottentots, etc., and let ’em camp round Uncle Sam a spell, and try to reform him.

“And the first thing I would have ’em make that old man do would be to empty out his pockets, turn ’em right inside out and empty out all the accursed gains he had got from this shameful traffic.  And then I’d have them cannibals jest trot that old man right round to every saloon and rum-hole he had rented and wuz a partner in the proceeds, and make him lay to and empty out every barrel and hogset of whiskey and beer and cider, and make him do the luggin’ and liftin’ his own self.

“And then I’d let them Hottentots drive him round a spell to all the houses of infamy in which he wuz in partnership, and I’d make him haul some matches out of his pockets and set fire to ’em, and burn ’em all down, every one of ’em.

“And then I’d let the old man set down and rest a spell, and let them heathens instruct him and teach him a spell their way of man-eatin’.  And I’ll bet after a while they could git the old man up to their level, so if he sot out to kill a man, he would jest kill him, and not destroy his soul first.  For he hain’t upon a level with ’em now,” sez I, a-lookin’ firm and decided at my pardner.

And he sez, “I shouldn’t think you would dast to talk so about Uncle Sam; you have always pretended to like him—­you would never bear to hear a word agin him.”

“Wall,” sez I, “it is because I like him that I want him to do right.  Do you spoze a mother don’t like a child when she spanks him for temper, or blisters him for croup, or gives him worm-wood for worms?

“I love that old man, and wish him awful well, and when I see him so noble and sot up in lots of things, it jest makes me mad as a hen to see him so awful mean and little in others.

[Illustration:  “I love that old man, and wish him awful well.”]

“I wouldn’t think I liked him half so well if I sot down and see him stalk right on to his own ruin, and not try to stop him.

“Do you spoze a ma would set and let the child she loved throw himself into the fire because he got mad?  No; she would haul him back, and the more he kicked and struggled the more she would hang on, and like as not spank him.

“I want this country to be the Light of the World, the favored of Heaven, and the admiration of all the different nations that will camp round it at the Christopher Columbus Exhibition.  But they can’t be expected to uphold no such doin’s as these, let alone admirin’ of ’em.”

Sez Josiah, “It beats all how wimmen will run on if a man gits drunk.  Why don’t you pitch into him, instead of blamin’ the Goverment?”

And I sez, “If you go to work to move a tree you don’t pull on the top branches.  Of course they are more showy and easy to git holt of.  But you have to dig the roots out if you want to move the tree.”

Page 26

Josiah looked real indifferent.  He hain’t like me in lots of things; he is more for dabblin’ on the surface than divin’ down under the water for first causes, and he spoke up the minute I had finished my last words, and sez he—­

“Krit and Thomas Jefferson are a-comin’ here to dinner; they are goin’ up to Zoar on business, and are a-goin’ to stop as they come back.  And I should think it wuz about time you got sunthin’ started.”

And I sez, “The boys a-comin’ here to dinner!  Why’e—­why didn’t you tell me so?”

And I got right up and went to makin’ a lemon puddin’.


I knew Thomas J. wuz a-layin’ out to go up to Zoar some day that week to see about a young chap to stay in his office while he wuz at the World’s Fair, and it seemed that Krit had gone along for company and for the ride.

Them two young fellers love to be together.  They are both as smart as whips—­the very keenest, snappiest kind of whips.

Wall, I laid out to git a good dinner, that wuz my calm intention; and I sent out Josiah Allen to ketch two plump pullets, I a-layin’ out to stuff ’em with the particular kind of dressin’ that Thomas J. is partial to.  It is a good dressin’.

And then I wuz a-layin’ out to have some nice mashed-up potatoes, some early sweet peas, some lemon puddin’, besides some coffee, jest as Thomas J. likes it—­rich, golden coffee, with plenty of cream in it; and then besides I wuz goin’ to have one or two vegetables that Josiah liked, and some jellys, etc., that Krit wuz particular fond of.  Oh, I wuz goin’ to have a good dinner, there hain’t a doubt of that!  Oh, and I wuz goin’ to have some delicious soup too, to start off the dinner with!  I got the receipt of Job Pressley’s wife and improved on it, (though I wouldn’t want her to know I said it, she is jealous dispositioned.) But I did.

Wall, if you’ll believe it, jest as I wuz a-finishin’ my dressin’, addin’ the last ingregient to it, and my mind wuz all on a strain to have it jest right—­

All of a sudden Josiah Allen rushed in all out of breath, and hollered to me for a rope.

“A rope?” sez I, bein’ took aback.

“Yes, a long, stout rope,” sez he, a-standin’ still and a-breathin’ hard.  Why, he looked that wild and agitated and wrought up, that the idee passed through my mind: 

Is that man a-contemplatin’ suicide?  Does he want to hang himself?

But, as I sez, the idee only jest passed through my fore-top; it didn’t find any encouragement to stay—­it went through on the trot, as you may say.

No, my noble-minded pardner never would commit suicide, I knew.  But his looks wuz fearful, and I sez, almost tremblin’—­

“What do you want the rope for?  I don’t know of any rope, only the bed-cord up in the old chamber.”

At these words, that agitated, skairt man rushed right upstairs, I a-follerin’ him, summer-savory still in my hands, and fear and tremblin’ in my mean.

Page 27

And I see him dash up to the old bedstead in the attick, dash off the bedclothes and the feather-bed, and beginnin’ oncordin’ of it.

I then laid hands on him, and commanded him to desist.

“I won’t desist,” sez he, “I won’t desist.”

There wuz I, still a-holdin’ him by the back of his frock—­he had on his barn clothes.

“Then do you tell your pardner the meanin’ of your actions imegetly and to once.”

“I hain’t got time,” sez he, and oh! how he wuz onriddlin’ that old bedstead of the rope; the fuzz fairly flew offen the rope as he yanked it through them holes, and twice I wuz hit by it voyalently in my face, as I strove to hold him, and elicit some information out of him.

But I could git nothin’ but hard breathin’ and muttered oathes till the bed-cord wuz all onloosened, and then he gathered it over his arm and started on the run for the door, I a-follerin’.

And then I see that there stood Old Bobbet, Sime Yerden, Deacon Sypher, and, in fact, most all the men in the neighborhood and some beyend it, some from the Loontown road, and some from over towards Shackville.  There wuz more’n twenty of ’em.

And I sez, and I almost fainted as I sez it—­

“Has another war broke loose, or is it a wild animal from a circus?  Tell me, oh, tell me what it is!”

And one on ’em hollered, “It is a wild beast in human shape, but he won’t be a wild beast much longer!”

And he pinted to the rope he had on his arm.

And I see then the fearful meanin’ hangin’ round that bed-cord.  I see that others had ’em, and I see that hangin’ wuz about to take place and ensue.  And I besought Josiah Allen “to pause, to stay a little, to tell me what it all meant, to not take the law into his own hands.”

I poured out words like a flood, I wuz inkoherent in the extreme, and my words wuz vain.

But Josiah Allen—­oh, how that man loves me!  He darted back, throwed a paper at my feet, and hollered—­

“That will explain, Samantha!” And then he wuz gone; I see ’em divide into four parties, and go towards the woods, and towards the hills, and towards the creek, and towards the beaver medder, each party havin’ a rope, and I sez solemn like, before I thought—­

“May God have mercy on your poor soul!”

I spoze I meant the one they wuz after, and mebby I meant them that wuz after him, I don’t know; I wuz too inkoherent and wrought up to know what I did mean.

But I know I sot down and read that paper as quick as I could find my specks.  And I well remember that after huntin’ high and low for ’em and all over the house with tremblin’ knees and shaky hands cold as a frog’s, I found ’em on my own fore-top, and I sot right down in my tracts and read.

Well, it wuz enough to melt the heart of a stun, a granit stun, and as I sot there and read, the tears jest run down my face in a stream; why, they fell so that they wet the front of my gingham dress wet as sop, and ontirely onbeknown to me.

Page 28

But I kep a-thinkin’ to myself, “Oh, that poor little creeter!  Oh, them poor, poor creeters that loved her!  Oh, that poor mother!” And then anon I would say to myself, “Oh, what if it wuz my Tirzah Ann!  What if it wuz the Babe!  Oh, that villian; may the Lord punish him!”

And that is jest the way I sot, and wept, and cried, and cried and wept.

You see, the way it wuz, there wuz a sweet little girl, only ten years old, decoyed by a lyin’ excuse from her warm, cosey home at midnight by a villian, and took through the snowy, icy streets to her doom.

Her little cold body wuz found in an empty old barn, and her destroyer, her murderer, had fled.  But men wuz on his tracts, the hull country wuz roused, and they wuz huntin’ him down, as if he wuz a wild animal, as indeed he wuz.

But anon, as I read the paper over again, I see these words—­“The man was intoxicated.”

And then I begun to weep on the other end of my handkerchief (metafor).

And then, when other accounts come out, and the man wuz ketched, he swore, and swore solemn, too, that he did not remember one single solitary thing after he left that saloon where he got his drink till he sobered up and found himself by the side of that little dead body.

And other witnesses swore that they see him drunk as a fool before he sot out on his murderous and worse than murderous assault.

But from the time of the first tidings that come of the deed that had been done—­though the excitement wuz more rampant that I ever knew it to be, and every single man in the community wuz out bloodthirsty for his death, and every party a-carry-in’ a rope to hang him, and every woman a-lookin’ out eager to see him hung, and all on ’em a-cursin’ him, and a-weepin’ over what he had done—­

Durin’ all this time, not one word did I hear uttered agin the cause of his crime, agin the man who sold him what made him a murderer, and worse, or the man that supplied the saloon with this damnable liquid.

No, not a single word did I hear from a Jonesvillian, male or female.  And not one word from my pardner, though his excitement wuz so extreme that that night, jest about dusk, he rushed out thinkin’ that he had got the murderer, and throwed the rope round Deacon Sypher, who had come over to borrow an auger.  And once in a similer way he ketched Old Bobbet, his excitement and zeal wuz so rampant and intense.

[Illustration:  He rushed out and throwed the rope around Deacon Sypher.]

Them old men wuz mad as hens, and cause enough they had, though they forgive him when they see what a state he wuz in, and they jest about as bad themselves.

But not a word from them, nor from any one did I hear durin’ the hull time the excitement rained—­and oh! how it did rain—­about the cause of the crime.

Not one man waded in and dived down into the deep undercurrent of causes, that strange deep that underlays all human actions.

Page 29

And once durin’ the last day’s hunt for the murderer, who wuz hidin’ round somewhere—­it wuz spozed in the woods—­I see as I looked out of my kitchen winder, at a party headed for our swamp, one man fur more ferocious actin’ than any I had seen; he wuz a-hollerin’ wilder, and he carried a fur longer rope.

And I asked my companion who that man wuz that acted madder and fur more fiercer than any of the rest and more anxious to git holt of the escapin’ man, so he could be hung up to once to the highest tree that could be found.

I hearn him say that right out of my own kitchen winder—­I hearn him say—­

“We won’t wait for no law; if we only ketch him we will hang him up so high that the buzzards can’t git him.”

And then he yelled out savage and fierce and started off on a run for the swamp, the rest of the men applaudin’ him up high, and follerin’ on after him.

And Josiah told me that wuz the saloon-keeper up to Zoar.

Sez I, “The very man that sold that poor sinner the licker on that night?”

“Yes,” sez Josiah.

“Wall,” sez I, “the rope ort to be used on his own neck.”

And Josiah Allen acted awfully horrified at my idee, and asked me “if I wuz as crazy as a loon?”

And sez he, “He has been one of the fiercest ones to head him off that has been out.”

And I sez dryly—­dry as a chip, “He wuzn’t so fierce to head him off the night he sold him the whiskey and hard cider.”  Sez I, “That headin’ off would have amounted to sunthin’.”

And agin I sez, “The rope ort to be used on his own neck, if it is on anybody’s, his and Uncle Sam’s.”

And agin Josiah Allen asked me, “If I wuz as crazy as a dumb loon and a losin’ my faculties—­what few of ’em you ever had,” sez he.

And I sez, “The two wuz in partnership together, and they got the man to do the murder.”  Sez I, “Most all the murders that are done in this country are done by that firm—­the Goverment and the Saloon-keeper.  And when their poor tools, that they have whetted up for bloodshed, swing out through their open doors and cut and slash and mow down their ghastly furrows of crime and horrer, who is to blame?”

And Josiah turned over the almanac to the yeller cover and perused it, so’s to show his perfect and utter indifference and contempt for my words.

Wall, they ketched the man a day or two after, about sundown.  He had been a little ahead of his pursuers, a-dodgin’ ’em this way and that way, jest like a fox a-dodgin’ a pack of hounds.

His old rubber boots wuz all wore offen him, his clothes hangin’ in rags and tatters where he had rushed through the woods and swamps, his feet and hands all froze.  Half starved, and almost idiotic with fear and remorse and the effects of the poisoned licker and doctored cider he had drinked, he wuz the most pitiful and wretched-lookin’ object I ever see in my hull life.

Page 30

And it happened he wux took a little over a mile from us, and he wuz brung right by our door.

There wuz some officers in the party, so they interfered and kep the mob from hangin’ him right up by the neck.

They said they had to hold that saloon-keeper to keep his hands offen him, and they said that in spite of all he did git the rope round him.

But the officers interfered, and after that they had to hold the saloon-keeper to keep him from the prisoner.

And I sez, when Josiah was a-praisin’ up the saloon-keeper’s zeal, and how the officers had to hold him—­

I sez, “It is a pity the officers didn’t hold him in the first place, and then all the horrer and tragedy might have been saved.”

But my pardner wouldn’t even notice a thing I said.  He felt, I could see, that my remarks wuz indeed beneath his notice.

Wall, I stood and see this poor, weak, despairin’ victim of rum dragged off to a felon’s doom, dragged off to the scaffold, and one of his chief draggers wuz the one that caused his crime—­caused it accordin’ to law.  And the rest of his draggers wuz the ones who had voted to have the trade of murderer makin’ and child killin’ and villian breedin’ perpetuated and kep up.

And the Goverment of the United States hung him, the same Goverment that wuz in partnership with that saloon up in Zoar, and took part of the pay for makin’ this man murder that innocent little girl.

Wall, Josiah and me, we went to that funeral.  I felt that I must go, and so did he; it wuz only about five milds from here, in the Methodist Episcopal Meetin’-House up to Zoar.

Her father and mother wuz members in good standin’.  Lots of Jonesvillians went to the funeral; there hadn’t been such a excitement in Zoar and Jonesville sence Seth Widrik murdered his wife’s mother with a broad axe (and that wuz done through whiskey, so they say; it wuz done before my time).

The Meetin’-House in Zoar wuz crowded to its utmost capacity and the ceilin’.  And seats wuz sot in all the aisles, and the pulpit stairs wuz full of folks, and the door-steps, and the front yard wuz packed full.  We went early, and got a seat.

[Illustration:  Wall, Josiah and me, we went to that funeral.]

All the ministers of Zoar, and Jonesville, and Loontown, and Shackville wuz there, and of all the sermons that wuz preached—­wall, it wuz a sight.  The tears jest run down most everybody’s face, and when the mourners wuz addressed, why, big, hefty men all round me jest boohooed right out.  Why, it wuz enough to melt a stun.

Then the preacher depictered that little golden head that had made sunshine in her home through the darkest days, as bein’ brung low by an asassin.  Then he spoke of that sweet little silvery voice a-ringin’ through the home and the hearts of her father and mother, of how it wuz lifted up in vain appeal to her slayer that dretful night.

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Then he spoke of the tender white arms that clung so lovingly round her parent’s neck, how they wuz lifted up in frantic appeal and vain to her destroyer that bleak night, and wuz now folded up to be lifted no more till she met that man at the bar of God.  And then the little arm would be raised and point him out “murderer.”  The sweet eyes, full of God’s avenging wrath, would smite him as accursed from God’s presence forever.

And then he depictered it all how she would be taken to His own heart by Him “who said that He would carry the lambs in His bosom.”  And this poor wounded lamb, He would hold more tenderly than any other, while the murderer! the villian! the asassin! would be hurled downward into everlasting burning, where he would dwell forever and forever in the midst of unquenchable flames, in partial payment of that deed of hisen.

Why, when he said them last words about the prisoner, folks looked so relieved and pleased that their tears almost dried.

And the saloon-keeper, who sot right in front of me, hollered out—­“Amen, amen, so mote it be!”

He wuz a Methodist, he had a right to holler.  And folks looked approvin’ at him for it.

But I didn’t—­no, fur from it.  I kep up a-thinkin’ what I read—­

“That the prisoner wuz a good-hearted man, only drink made a fiend and a fool of him.”  And that he said solemn “that he did not remember one thing that had taken place after he had taken his three first drinks up in that saloon, till he sobered up and found himself in that deserted old barn, with the little dead body by his side, little delicate creeter, dead and frozen, with all of the black future of desperate remorse and agony for him a-lookin’ at him in the stare of her open blue eyes.”

Sweet little forget-me-not eyes, like two spring violets frozen in a drift of snow.  What strange things I read in ’em, with my tears a-fallin’ fast onto ’em!

They seemed full of mute questionin’.  They seemed to be lookin’ up through the blue sky clear up to God’s throne.  They seemed to almost compel a answer from divine justice as to what wuz the cause of her murder.  To appeal dumbly to the God of Justice and Mercy to wipe out this curse from our land—­the curse that wuz causin’ jest such murders, and jest such agonies, all over our land—­sendin’ out to the gallows and down to perdition jest such criminals.

The little coffin had to be put out in the yard, as I say, so the crowd could walk past it.

And there the little golden head and white face lay for ’em all to see.  But nobody seemed to see in ’em what I see.  For amongst the many curses of the murderer that I heard, not one word did I hear about the man that caused the murder, about the voters and upholders of that man, about the Goverment that wuz in partnership with that man and went shares with him, and for the sake of a few cents had dealt out that agony, that shame, and that criminality.

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[Illustration:  Not one word did I hear about the Goverment that wuz in partnership with that man.]

Wall, the little coffin wuz closed at last, the mother wuz carried faintin’, and lookin’ like a dead woman, back to her empty, darkened home.  The father, with a face like white marble, curbin’ down his own agonized grief so’s to take care of her, and try to bring her back to the world agin, so they could together face its blackness and emptiness.

And the crowd dispersed, lookin’ forward to the excitement of the hangin’.

And the saloon-keeper went home and mebby counted over the few cents that accrued to him out of the hull enterprise.

And the wise male voters returned, a-calculatin’ (mebby) on votin’ for license so’s to improve the condition of their towns.

And Uncle Sam, poor, childish old creeter, mebby wrote down aginst this hull job—­“three cents revenue.”  And mebby he rattled them cents round in his old pockets.  I don’t know what he did; I hain’t no idee what he won’t take it into his old head to do.

And the prisoner sot in his dark, cold cell, and didn’t appreciate, mebby, the wisdom of the wise law-makers increasin’ our revenues by such means.

No; he had all he could do to set and look at the bare stun walls, and figger out this sum—­on one side the three cents profit; and substract from it—­a bright young life ended, lifelong agony to the hearts that loved her.

His own old mother’s and sister’s heads and hearts bowed down in shame and sorrow.

His own hopeful life cut short at the edge of the scaffold, and for the future—­what?

He couldn’t quite work that out, for this text kep comin’ into his sum—­“No drunkard shall inherit eternal life.”

And then another text kep a-comin’ up—­

“Cursed is he that putteth the cup to his neighbor’s lips.”

No, he didn’t feel the triumphant wisdom of the licker traffic.  He wouldn’t feel like rattlin’ the three cents round in his pockets if he had ’em, but he didn’t have ’em.  His sum, no matter how many times he figgered it out, stood nothin’ but orts, nothin’ but clear loss to him, here and hereafter.

Wall, I have rode off considerable of a ways with my wagon hitched on in front of my horse, and to go back to the horse’s head agin.

I had a good dinner by the time the boys got back from Zoar—­a excellent one.

And in order to go on with my story, and keep right by that horse’s head I spoke of, I will pass over Josiah’s excitement when he come in jest before dinner, and throwed his rope down in the corner of the kitchen; but suffice it to say, his excitement wuz nearly rampant.

I will pass over the two boys’ indignant anger, which wuz jest the same as mine, only stronger, as much stronger as man’s strength is stronger than a woman’s.

Thomas J. had been successful in gittin’ the young chap; he wuz a-comin’ when he wuz wanted.  Thomas J. wuzn’t goin’ to wait till the last minute before he engaged him; our son is a wonderful good business man—­wonderful.

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And everything seemed to bid fair that we should git off with no hendrances to the World’s Fair, to pay our honor and our respects to Christopher Columbus.

And oh, how I did honor that man!  I sot there in my peaceful kitchen that afternoon, after the boys had gone away, perfectly satisfied with the dinner I had gin ’em.

And when I had got my mind a little offen that poor little girl and her poor drunken destroyer, I begun to think agin of Christopher Columbus, and what he had done, and what he hadn’t done, till I declare for’t I got fairly lost in thoughts.

I thought of how he had been scorfed at and jerred at for not thinkin’ as other folks did.  And how he kep workin’, and hopin’, and believin’, and persistin’ in thinkin’ that he wuz in the right on’t, and kep on a lookin’ over the wide waste of waters for the New Land.

And I thought to myself how I would enjoy a good visit with Christopher, and how he would sympathize with us, who, though we may be scorfed at by our pardners, and the world.

Yet can’t help a-lookin’ off over the troubled waves of unjust laws, and cruel old customs, a-tryin’ to catch a glimpse of the New and Freer Land, that our hopes and our divine intuitions tell us is there beyend the shadows, a-waitin’ for free men and free wimmen.

Yes, I did feel at that time how conjenial Christopher Columbus would have been to me.

As I have said more formally, Christopher wuz sot up in my mind to a almost tottlin’ hite, on account of several things he did, and several things he didn’t do.

Yes; Christopher wuz sot up in my mind to a almost tottlin’ hite, on account of several things he did, and several things he didn’t do.

Now, if anybody to-day branches out into any new and beautiful belief and practice—­anything that is beyend the vision of more carnal-minded people—­

Why they raise the cry to once, “Let us cling to common sense.  Let us be guided by what we see and know.  Don’t let us float out on any new theory.  Don’t less go out of sight of the Shore of old Practice, and Custom.”

And lots of times them rare souls to whom the secrets of God are revealed—­them who see the High White Ideal lightnin’ the Darkness—­the glowin’ form of a New Truth shinin’ out amidst the thick clouds overhead—­lots of times they git bewildered and skairt by the mockin’ voices about them.  They drop their eyes before the insultin’, oncomprehendin’ sneers of the multitude, and fall into commonplace ways, and walks, to please the commonplace people about them.  Jest dragged down by them Mockers and Scoffers.

Some of ’em mebby united to ’em by links of earth-made metal, Sons of God married to the Daughters of men, mebby, and castin’ their kingly crowns at the feet of a Human Love.

Did Columbus do so?  No, indeed.  I dare presume to say that the more Miss Columbus nagged at him the more sotter he grew in his own views.

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(I have used this simely on this occasion on the side of males, but it is jest as true on the side of females.  For Inspiration and Genius when it falls from Heaven is jest as apt to descend and settle down onto a female’s fore-top as a male’s, and the blind and naggin’ pardner is jest as apt to be a male—­jest exactly.)

But as I wuz a-sayin’, the more Columbus wuz mocked at—­the more they jeered and sneered at him, the more stiddy and constant he pursued after the Land that appeared only to his prophetic eyes.

Day after day, when he wuz tired out, beat completely out by the incomprehension, and weary doubts, and empty denials of the multitude—­then, like a breath of balm, came to his weary forward the soft gale from the land he sought; he saw in his own mind the tall pines reach up into the blue skies, the rich bloom and greenness of its Savannas; he inhaled the odor of rare blossoms that the Old World never saw, and then he riz up agin, refreshed, as it were, and ready to press forwards.

[Illustration:  He saw in his own mind the tall pines reach up into the blue skies.]

Yes, in every country, through all time, there has always been some Columbus, walkin’ with his feet on the ground amongst mortals, and his head in the Heavens amongst Gods.

He has oftenest been poor, and always misunderstood, and undervalued, by the grosser souls about him.

The discoverers, the inventors, whom God loves best, it must be, sence He confides in ’em, and tells ’em things He keeps hid from the World.  Them who apprehend while yet they cannot comprehend.

And that is what we have got to do lots of times if we git along any in this World, if we calculate to git out of its Swamps and Morasses onto any considerable rise of ground.

You can’t foller a ground-mice or a snail, if you lay out to elevate yourself; no, you must foller a Star.

You have got to keep your eyes up above the ground, or your feet will never take you up any mountain side.

And how them mariners tried to make Columbus turn back after he had at last, through all his tribulations, sot sail on the broad, treacherous Ocean—­jest think of his tribulations before he started!

Troubles with poverty, and ignorance, and unbelief, and perils by foes, and perils by false friends, and perils by long delay.

How for years and years he carried round them strong beliefs of hisen, ofttimes in a hungry and faint body, and couldn’t git nobody to believe in ’em—­couldn’t git nobody to even hear about ’em.

Year after year did he toil and endeavor to git somebody to listen to his plans, and glowin’ hopes.

Year after year, while the lines deepened on his patient face, and the hopes that wuz glowin’ and eager became deep and fervent, and a part of him.

How strange, how strange and sort o’ pitiful, this one man out of a world full of men and wimmen, this one man with his tired feet on the dust and worn sand of the Old World, and his head and heart in the New World.

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No one else of the world full of men and wimmen to believe as he did—­no one else to be even willin’ to hear him talk about his dreams, his hopes, and impassioned beliefs.

No; and I don’t know but Columbus would have dropped right down in his tracts, and we wouldn’t have been discovered to this day, if a woman hadn’t stepped in, and gin the seal of her earnest trust to the ideal of the ambitious man.

He a-willin’ to plough the new path into the ontried fields, she a-bein’ willin’ to hold the plough, as you may say, or, at all events, to help him in every way in her power—­with all her womanly faith, and all her ear-rings, and breast-pins, etc., etc.

[Illustration:  With all her womanly faith, and all her ear-rings and breast-pins, etc., etc.]

She, a female woman, out of all that world full of folks, she it wuz alone that stood out boldly the friend of Columbus and Discovery.

“Male and female created He them.”  Another deep instance of that great truth in life and in nature, and in all matters relatin’ to the good of the world.  “Male and female created He them.”

The world will find it out after awhile, and so will Dr. Buckley.

Ferdinand wuz a good creeter—­or that is, middlin’ good; but his eye-sight wuzn’t such as would see down clear through the truth of Columbuses theory.

And if folks set out to blame Ferdinand too much, let ’em pause and think what the World would say and do if a man should appear in our streets to-day, and say that he believed that he had proof that there wuz a vast, beautiful country a-layin’ in the skies to the west of us beyend the clouds of the sunset, and he wanted to git money to build a air-ship to sail out to it.

How much money would he git?  How much stock would he sell in that enterprise?  How many men would he git to sail out with him on that voyage of Discovery?  What would Vanderbilt and Russell Sage say to it?

[Illustration:  What would Russell Sage say?]

Why, they would say that the man wuz a fool, and that the only way to travel wuz on iron rails or steamships.  They would say that there wuzn’t any such land as he depictered.  That it existed only in his crazy brain.

Wall, it wuz jest about as wild a idee that Ferdinand had to listen to; I d’no that he wuz any more to blame than they would be for not hearin’ to it.

But Isabelle, she wuz built different.  There wuz some divine atmosphere of Truth and Reality about this idee that reached her heart and mind.  Her soul and mind bein’ made in jest the right way to be touched by it.

She, too, wuz built on jest the right plan so she could apprehend what she could not yet comprehend.  So she gin him her cordial sympathy, and also, as I said, her ear-rings, etc.

But after the years and years that he toiled and labored for the means to carry out his idees—­after these long years of effort and hardship, and disappointments and delays—­after his first vain efforts—­after he did at last git launched out on the Ocean a-sailin’ out on the broad, empty waste in search of sunthin’ that he see only in his mind’s eye—­

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How the storms beat on him—­how the winds and waves buffeted him, and tried to drive him back—­but—­“No, no, he wuz bound for the New Land! he wuz bound for the West!”

How the sailors riz up and plead with him and begged him to turn back—­but “No,” sez he, “I go to the New Land!”

Then they would tell him that there wuzn’t any such Land, and stick to it right up and down, and jeer at him.

Did it turn him round—­“No!  I sail onward,” sez he, “I go to the West!”

Then the principalities and powers of the onseen World seemed to take it in hand and tried to drive him back.  There wuz signs and omens seen that wuz reckoned disastrous, and threatened destruction.

Mebby the souls of them who had passed over from the New Land, mebby them disembodied faithful shades wuz a-tryin’ to save their free sunny huntin’ grounds from the hands of the invader, and their race from the fate that threatened ’em—­mebby they hurled onseen tommyhawks, and shrieked down at ’em, tryin’ to turn ’em back—­

Mebby they did, and then agin mebby they didn’t.

But anyway, there wuz lurid lightin’ flashes that looked like flights of fiery arrows aimed at the heads of the Spanish seamen, and shriekin’s of the tempest amidst the sails overhead that sounded like cries of anger, and distress, and warnin’.

Did Columbus heed them fearful warnin’s and turn back?  No; dauntless and brave, a-facin’ dangers onseen, as well as seen, he sez—­

“I sail onward!”

And so he did, and he sailed, and he sailed—­and mebby his own brave heart grew sick and faint with lookin’ on the trackless waste of waters round him, and no shore in sight for days, and for days, and for days.

But if it did, he give no signs of it—­“I sail onward!” he sez.

And finally the lookout way up on the dizzy mast see a light way off on the horizon, and then the night came down dark, and when the sun wuz riz up—­lo! right before ’em lay the shores of the New World.  And the Man’s and the Woman’s belief wuz proved true—­and the gainsayin’ World wuz proved wrong.  Success had come to ’em.

And after the doubt, and the danger, and the despair, and the discouragement had all been endured—­after the ideal had been made real, why then it wuz considered quite easy to discover a New World.

It wuzn’t considered very hard.  Why, all you had to do wuz to sail on till you come to it.

After a thing is done it is easy enough.

Nowadays we are sot down before as great conundrums as Columbus wuz.  The Old World groans under old abuses, and wrongs, and injustices.  The old paths are dusty and worn with the feet of them who have marked its rocks and chokin’ sands with their bleedin’ feet, as they toiled on over ’em bearin’ their crosses.

Dark clouds hang heavy over their paths—­the atmosphere is chokin’ and stiflin’.

Fur off, fresh and fair, lays the New Land of our ideal.  The realm of peace, and justice to all, of temperance, and sanity, and love and joy.

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Fur off, fur off, we hear the melodious swash of its waves on its green banks—­we see fur off the gleam of its white, glory-lit mountain-tops.

Men have gin their strength and their lives for this ideal, this vision of glory and freedom.

Wimmen have took their jewels from their bosom, and gin ’em to this cause of Human Right.  Gin ’em with breakin’ hearts, and white lips that tried to smile, as the last kiss of lover and son, husband and brother, rested on ’em.

Yes, men and wimmen both have seen that Ideal Land, that New Land of Liberty and Love.  They have apprehended it with finer senses than comprehension—­have seen it with the clearer light of the soul’s eyes.

Some green boughs from its high palms have been washed out on the swellin’ waves that lay between us and that Land, and floated to our feet.  Sometimes, when the air wuz very still and hushed, and a Presence seemed broodin’ on the rapt listnin’ earth, we have looked fur, fur up into the clear depths of blue above us, and we have ketched the distant glimpse of birds of strange plumage onknown to this Old World.  Fur off, fur off their silvery wings have floated, a-comin’ from the West, from the land that lays beyend the sunset’s golden glory.

Some of the light of that New Country has shone on us in inspired eyes, some of its strange language has been hearn by us from inspired lips.

But oh! the wide, pathless sea that lays between us and that land of full Fruition and Glory and Freedom.

Shall we set down on the shores of our Old World, and give up the hope and glory of the New?  Shall we listen to the jeers and sneers of them that tell us that there hain’t any such country as that we look for—­that it is impossible, that it is aginst all the laws of Nater—­that it don’t exist, and never can, only in our crazed brains?

No, we will man the boat, though the waves dash high, and the skies are dark—­we will man and woman the life-boat—­side by side will the two great forces stand, the Motherhood and the Fatherhood, Love and Justice, the hope and strength of Humanity shall stand at the hellum.  The wind is a-comin’ up; it is only a light breeze now, but it shall rise to a strong power that shall waft us on to the New Land of Justice and Purity and Liberty—­for all that our souls long for.

But we have got to shet our eyes to the outward world that presses round us closter than the streets of Genoa did round Columbus.  We have got to see things invisible, trust in things to come—­sail onwards through the doubts, and the darkness, and the dangers round us, not heeding the jeers and sneers of a gainsayin’ world.

Will we be discouraged and drove back by the powers of darkness? by the things seen and the things onseen?

No, the man and the woman side by side will sail on through them rough waves.  The wind is a-comin’ up fresh and free that shall spread the sails and waft the life-boat into the Land of Promise.

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For the word is sure, and He says—­

“I will bring you out into a great place.”

But I am a-eppisodin’, and a-eppisodin’ to a length and depth almost onpresidented and onheard on—­and to resoom, and go on.


Hain’t it curious how tellin’ over a thing will bring back all of the circumstances a-surroundin’ of it round—­bring ’em all up fresh to you.

I wuz a-tellin’ Krit about that Equinomical Counsel that wuz held to Washington, D.C.  And though I hain’t no hand and never wuz to find one word of fault with my dear companion to outsiders, still, as he wuz all in the family, I did say that his Uncle wuz at one time very anxious to go to it.

And after Krit went away—­he had come over from Tirzah Ann’s that day, and staid to supper with us—­I sot there alone, for Josiah had took him back in the democrat, and all the circumstances of that time come back onto me agin.

It wuz on a Monday that I had my worst trial with him about that Equinomical Counsel, as I remember well.  And though I didn’t tell Krit any of my worst tribulations with him, still, oh, how vivid they did come back to me, as I sot there alone, and a-seamin’ two and two!

As I say, it wuz on a Monday morning.  The two children had invited their Pa and me to visit a good deal durin’ the week before, and I had got kind a behindhand with my work.

And then I had felt so kinder mauger for a few days, that Josiah insisted that I should git a young girl in the neighborhood to help me for a few days, Philury and Ury bein’ away on a visit to some relations.

Wall, that day I had washin’, bakin’, churnin’, and some fruit cake to make.

It fairly made me ache to think on’t, the numbers and amounts of the work that pressed onto me, and nobody but that young girl to help me.  And she that took up with her bo, Almanzo Hagidone, that she wuz in a forgitful state more’n half the time, and liable to carry a armful of wood meant for the kitchen stove into the parlor, and put it end first onto the what-not, or pump water into Josiah’s hat instead of the water-pail.

I tried to instil some common sense into her head, but her hair wuz bound up that tight with curl papers that nothin’ could git past that ambuscade, so it would seem, but jest the image and the idee of Almanzo Hagidone.

Wall, I kep her pretty much in the wood-shed, when she wuz in her worst stages, where there wuzn’t much besides the old cook-stove and wash-tubs that she could graze aginst and fall over.

I dast as well die as to trust her with vittles, for I felt that them wuz vital pints, and must not be meddled with by loonaticks or idiots, and with them two ranks I had to stand Mary Ann Spink in her most love-sick spazzums.

So I sot her to rubbin’ onto Josiah’s shirts, and I took my bowl of raisins and English currants and things into the kitchen and sot down calmly to pickin’ ’em over and choppin’ ’em.

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My fruit cake is good, though I say it that ort not to; it is widely known and admired.

Wall, I sot there middlin’ calm, and a-hummin’ over a sam tune loud enough so’s Mary Ann could hear it; and I hummed it, too, in a strictly moral way, and for a pattern; it was this: 

“Put not your trust in mortal man,
Set not your hopes on him,” etc., etc., etc.


And I see I wuz impressin’ of her, for I could hear after a while from the wood-shed that she too had broke forth in song, and she was a-jinin’ in, low and dretful impressive, with—­

“Hark from the tombs a mournful sound.”

I don’t think she meant my singin’—­Josiah did when we talked it over afterwards.

He believed it firm.

I believe I wuz a-moralizin’ of her, and should have done good if I hadn’t been broke in on.

But all of a sudden Josiah Allen fairly bust into the house, all wrought up, and fearful excited.

He had been a-talkin’ with Deacon Henzy out by the gate, and I spoze Deacon Henzy had disseminated some new news to him.  But anyway he wuz crazy with a wild and startlin’ idee.

[Illustration:  A-talkin’ with Deacon Henzy.]

He wanted to set off to once to the Equinomical Counsel, which he said wuz a-goin’ to be held by the male Methodists in Washington, D.C.  And, sez he—­

“Samantha, git my fine shirt and my best necktie to once, for I want to start on the noon train.”

“What for?” sez I coldly; for I discourage his wild projects all I can.

I have to act like a heavy weight in a clock movin’ half the time, or he would be jest swept to and frow like a pendulum.  It makes me feel queer.

Sez I, “What are you a-layin’ out to set off for Washington, D.C., for?”

My tone kinder hung on to him, and stiddied him down some.  And he lost some of his wild and excited mean.  And he stopped onbuttonin’ his vest—­he had onbuttoned his shirt-collar and took his old necktie off on his way from the gate—­so ardent and impulsive is my dear pardner, and so anxious to start.

“Why,” sez he, “I told you, didn’t I?  I am goin’ to Washington to tend to that Equinomical Counsel.  Five hundred male men are a-goin’ to git together to counsel together on the best ways of bein’ equinomical.  And here at last”—­sez he proudly—­“here at last is the chance I have always been a-lookin’ out for.  Here is the opportunity for me to show off, and be somebody.”

And here he begun agin to onbutton his shirt-sleeves and loosen his collar.

But I sez slowly and firmly, and as much like a heavy weight as I could—­

“It is three hours to train time.  Set down and act like a human bein’ and a Methodist, and tell me what it is you want to do.”

He glanced up at the clock onto the mantelry-piece, and he see I wuz right about the time.  And he sot down, and sez he—­

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“That is jest how I want to act, like a Methodist, and a equinomical counsellor.”

“What for?” sez I.  “What do you want to do?”

“Why, to teach ’em,” sez he.  “To show myself off.  To counsel ’em.”

“To counsel ’em about what?” sez I heavily, bein’ bound to come to the bottom of the matter, and the sense on’t, if sense there wuz in it.

“Why,” sez he, “they are havin’ a counsel there to see if there are any new ways for men and Methodists to be equinomical.  And I’ll be dumned if there is a man or a Methodist from Maine to Florida that can counsel ’em better about bein’ equinomical than I can.

“Why, you have always said so,” sez he.  “You have called it tightness, but I have always known that it wuz pure economy; and now,” sez he, “has come the chance of a lifetime, for me to rise up and show myself off before the nation.  To git the high, lofty name that I ort to have, and do good.”

I dropped my choppin’ knife out of my hand, and rested my elbow on the table, and leaned my head on my hand in deep thought.

I see he had more sense on his side than I thought he had.  I recollected the different and various ways in which he had showed his equinomical tightness sence our married life begun, and I trembled for the result.

I ruminated over our early married life, and how, in spite of his words of almost impassioned tenderness and onwillingness for me to harm and strain myself by approachin’ the political pole—­still how he had let me wrestle with weighty hop-poles and draw water out of a deep well with a cistern pole for more’n fourteen years.

I remembered how he had nearly flooded out his own precious and valuable insides at Saratoga by his wild efforts to git the full worth of the five cents he had advanced to the Spring-tender.

I remembered the widder’s mite, how he had interpreted that scriptural incident about that noble female—­as interpreters will, to suit their own idees as males—­and how I had argued with him in vain on the mite, and his onscriptural and equinomical views.

I felt that he had a strong and powerful case; and though I could not brook the idee of his goin’, still I thought that I must be as wise as a serpent and as harmless as a turkle-dove, to git the victory over him.

He see by the fluckuations of color on my usially calm cheek, and by the pensive and thoughtful look in my two gray orbs, that I felt the strength and powerfulness of his cause.

And as he mused, he begun in joyous and triumphant axents to bring up before me some of his latest and most striking instances of equinomical tightness.

Sez he, “Do you remember the case of Sy Biddlecomb, and them green pumpkins of mine, how I—­” But I interrupted his almost fervid eloquence, and sez I, with my right hand extended in a real eloquent wave,

“Pause, Josiah Allen, and less consider and weigh things in the balances.  Go not too fast, less disapintment attend your efforts, and mortification wrops you in its mantilly.

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“Your equinomical ways, Josiah Allen,” sez I, “it seems to me ort to rize you up above every other man on the face of the globe, and make a lion of you of the first magnitude, even a roarin’ African lion, as it were.”

He looked proud and happy, and I proceeded.

“But pause for one moment,” sez I, in tender, cautious axents, “and think of the power, the tremendious econimy of the males you are a-tryin’ to emulate and outdo.  Think of how they have dealt with the cause of wimmen’s liberty for the past few years, and tremble.  How dast you, one weak man, though highly versed in the ways of equinomical tightness—­how dast you to try and set up and be anybody amid that host?”

He looked skairt.  He see what he wuz a-doin’ plainer than he had seen it, and I went on: 

“Think of that big Methodist Conference in New York a few years ago that Casper Keeler told us about—­think how equinomical they wuz with their dealin’s with wimmen on that occasion, and ever sence.

“The wimmen full of good doin’s and alms deeds, who make up two thirds of the church, who raise the minister’s salary, run the missionary and temperance societies, teach the Sabbath schools, etc., etc., etc.—­

“Who give the best of their lives and thoughts to the meetin’-house from the time they sell button-hole bokays at church fairs in pantalettes, till they hand in their widder’s mite with tremblin’ fingers wrinkled with age—­think of this econimy in not givin’ in, not givin’ a mite of justice and right to the hull caboodle of such wimmen throughout the length and breadth of the country, and then think where would your very closest and tightest counsel of econimy stand by the side of this econimy of right, and manliness, and honor, and common sense.”

He quailed.  His head sunk on his breast.  He knew, tight as he had always been, there wuz a height of tightness he had never scaled.  He knew he couldn’t show off at that Equinomical Counsel by the side of them instances I had brung up, and to deepen the impression I had made, which is always the effort of the great oriter, I resoomed: 

“Think of how they keep up their econimy of justice, and right, and common sense, so afraid to use a speck of ’em, especially the common sense.  Think of how they refused to let wimmen set down meekly in a humble pew, and say ‘Yea’ in a still small voice as a delegate, so ‘fraid that it wuz outstrippin’ wimmen’s proper spear—­when these very ministers have been proud to open their very biggest meetin’-housen to wimmen, and let ’em teach ’em to be eloquent—­let wimmen speak words of help and wisdom from their highest pulpits.

“Think of this instance of their equinomical doin’s,” sez I, “and tremble.  And,” sez I, still more impressively and eloquently, “what is pumpkins by the side of that?”

His head sunk down lower, and lower.  He wuz dumbfoundered to think he had been outdone in his most vital parts, his most tightest ways.  He felt truly that even if they would listen to his equinomical counsels, they didn’t need ’em.

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He looked pitiful and meek, and sot demute for a couple of minutes.  I see that I had convinced him about the Equinomical Counsel; he see that it wouldn’t do, and he wouldn’t make no more show than a underlin’.

But anon, or about that time, he spoke out in pitiful axents—­

“Samantha, if I can’t show off any at the Equinomical Counsel, I’d love to see them male law-makers a-settin’ in the Capitol at Washington, D.C.  I’d love to mingle with ’em, Samantha.  You know, and I know, too, that I am one of ’em.  Wuzn’t I chose arbitrator in Seth Meezik’s quarrel with his father-in-law?  Hain’t I sot on juries in the past, and hain’t I liable to set?

“I want to see them male law-makers, Samantha.  I want to be intimate with ’em.”

I almost trembled.  I can withstand my pardner’s angry or excited moods, but here I see pleadin’ and longin’; I see I had a hard job in front of me.  I hate to dissapint him.  I hate to, like a dog.  But duty nerved me, and I sez—­

“Josiah, less talk it over before you decide to go.  Less bring up some of the laws them males have made, or allow to go on.

“I want to talk to you about ’em, Josiah,” sez I, “before I let you depart to be intimate with ’em.”  Sez I, “Do you remember the old adage, a dog is known by the company he keeps?  Before you go to be one of them dogs, Josiah Allen, and be known as one of ’em, less recall some of the lawful incidents of a few months back.”  Sez I, “We won’t raise our skirts and wade back into history to any great depth, and hove out a large quantity of ’em, but will keep in the shaller water of a few short fleetin’ months, and pick up one or two of the innumerable number of ‘em; and then, if you want to go, why—­” sez I, in the tremblin’ axents of fond affection—­“why, I will pack your saddle-bags.”

Then I went on calmly and brung up a few laws and laid ’em down before him.

I brung up the Indians doin’s, the Mormons, the Chinese, all on ’em flagrant.

But still he had that longin’ look on his face.

Then I brung up the rotten political doin’s, the unjust laws prevailin’ in regard to female wimmen, and also the onrighteousness of the liquor laws and the abomination of the license question; I talked powerful and eloquent on them awful themes, but as I paused a minute for needed breath, he murmured—­

“I want to be intimate with ’em, Samantha.”

And then, bein’ almost at my wits’ end, I dropped the general miscellaneous way I had used, and begun to bring up little separate instances of the injustices of the Law.  And I see he begun to be impressed.

How true it is that, from the Bible down to Josiah Allen’s Wife, you have to talk in stories in order to impress the masses!  You have to hold up the hammer of a personal incident to drive home the nail of Truth and have it clench and hold fast.

But mine wuz some different—­mine wuz facts, every one of ’em.

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I could have brung them to that man and laid ’em down in front of him from that time, almost half past ten a.m., and kep stiddy at it till ten p.m., and then not know that I had took any from the heap, so high and lofty is the stack of injustices and wrongs committed in the name of the Law and shielded by its mantilly.

But I had only brung up two, jest two of ’em; not the most flagrant ones either, but the first ones that come into my mind, jest as it is when you go to a pile of potatoes to git some for dinner, you take the first ones you come to, knowin’ there is fur bigger ones in the pile.

But them potatoes smashed up with cream and butter are jest as satisfyin’ as if they wuz bigger.

So these little truthful incidents laid down in front of my pardner convinced him; so they wuz jest as good for me to use as if I had picked out bigger and more flagranter ones.

I first brung up before him the case of the good little Christian school-teacher who had toiled for years at her hard work and laid up a little money, and finally married a sick young feller more’n half out of pity, for he hadn’t a cent of money, and had the consumption, and took good care of him till he died.

And wantin’ to humor him, she let him make his will, though he didn’t so much as own the sheet of paper he wrote on, or the ink or the pen.

And after his death she found he had willed away their onborn child, and when it wuz a few months old, and her love had sent out its strong shoots, and wropped the little life completely round, his brother she had never seen come on from his distant home and took that baby right out of its mother’s arms, and bore it off, accordin’ to law.

I looked curiously at him as I concluded this true tale, but he murmured almost mechanically—­

“I want to mingle with ’em, Samantha; I feel that I want to be intimate with ’em.”

But his axent wuz weak, weak as a cat, and I felt that my efforts wuz not bein’ throwed away.  So I hurriedly laid holt of another true incident that I thought on, and hauled it up in front of him.

“Think of the case of the pretty Chinese girl of twelve years—­jest the age of our Tirzah Ann, when you used to be a-holdin’ her on your knee, and learnin’ her the Sunday-school lesson, and both on us a-kissin’ her, and a-brushin’ back her hair from her sweet May-day face, and a-pettin’ her, and a-holdin’ her safe in our heart of hearts.

“Jest think of that little girl bein’ sold for a slave by her rich male father, and brought to San Francisco, the home of the brave and the free, and there put into a place which she thought wuz fur worse than the bottomless pit—­for that she considered wuz jest clean brimstone, and despair, and vapory demons.

“But this child, with five or six other wimmen, wuz put into a sickenin’ den polluted with every crime, and subject to the brutal passions of a crowd of live, dirty human devils.

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“And when, half dead from her dreadful life, she ran away at the peril of her life, and wuz taken in by a charitable woman, and nursed back to life and sanity agin.

“The law took that baby out of that safe refuge, and give her back into the hands of her brutal master—­took her back, knowin’ the life she would be compelled to lead.

“Think if it wuz our Tirzah Ann, Josiah Allen!”

“Dum the dum fools!” sez he, a chokin’ some, and then he pulled out his bandanna handkerchief and busted right out a-cryin’ onto it.

[Illustration:  “Dum ’em, I say!”]

“Dum ’em, I say!” sez he, out of its red and yeller depths.  “I’d love to skin the hull on ’em, Judge and Jury.”

And I sez meanin’ly, “Now, do you want to go and be intimate with them law-makers, Josiah Allen?”

“No,” sez he, a-wipin’ his eyes and a-lookin’ mad, “no, I don’t!  I want sunthin’ to eat!”

And I riz up imegatly, and got a good dinner—­a extra good one.  And he never said another word about goin’ to Washington, D.C.


There wuz sights and sights of talk in Jonesville and the adjacent and surroundin’ world about the World’s Fair bein’ open on Sundays.

There wuz sights and sights of fightin’ back and forth about the rights and the wrongs of it.

And there wuz some talk about the saloons bein’ open too, bein’ open week days and Sundays.

But, of course, there wuzn’t so much talk about that; it seemed to be all settled from the very first on’t that the saloons wuz a-goin’ to be open the hull of the time—­that they must be.

Why, it seemed to be understood that drunkards had to be made and kep up; murderers, and asassins, and thieves, and robbers, and law-breakers of every kind, and fighters, and wife-beaters, and arsons, and rapiners, and child-killers had to be made.  That wuz neccessary, and considered so from the first.  For if this trade wuz to stop for even one day out of the seven, why, where would be the crimes and casualities, the cuttin’s up and actin’s, the murders and the suicides, to fill up the Sunday papers with?

And to keep the police courts full and a-runnin’ over with business, and the prisons, and jails, and reformatorys full of victims, and the morgues full of dead bodies.

No; the saloons had to be open Sundays; that wuz considered as almost a settled thing from the very first on’t.

Why, the nation must have considered it one of the neccessarys, or it wouldn’t have gone into partnership with ’em, and took part of the pay.

But there wuz a great and almost impassioned fight a-goin’ on about havin’ the World’s Fair, the broad gallerys of art and beauty, bein’ open to the public Sunday.

Lots of Christian men and wimmen come right out and said, swore right up and down that if Christopher Columbus let folks come to his doin’s on Sunday they wouldn’t go to it at all.

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I spoze mebby they thought that this would skare Christopher and make him gin up his doin’s, or ruther the ones that wuz a-representin’ him to Chicago.

They did talk fearfully skareful, and calculated to skare any man that hadn’t went through with what Christopher had.  They said that ruther than have the young people who would be gathered there from the four ends of the earth—­ruther than have these innocent young creeters contaminated by walkin’ through them rooms and lookin’ at them wonders of nature and art, why, they had ruther not have any Fair at all.

Why, I read sights and sights about it, and hearn powerful talk, and immense quantities of it.

And one night I hearn the most masterly and convincin’ arguments brung up on both sides—­arguments calculated to make a bystander wobble first one way and then the other, with the strength and power of ’em.

It wuz at a church social held to Miss Lums, and a number of us had got there early, and this subject wuz debated on before the minister got there.

Deacon Henzy wuz the one who give utterance to the views I have promulgated.

He said right out plain, “That no matter how keen the slight would be felt, he shouldn’t attend to it if it wuz open Sunday.”  He said “that the country would be ruined if it took place.”

“Yes,” sez Miss Cornelius Cork, “you are right, Deacon Henzy.  I wouldn’t have Cornelius Jr. go to Chicago if the Fair is open Sundays, not for a world full of gold.  For,” sez she, “I feel as if it would be the ruin of him.”

And then sister Arvilly Lanfear (she is always on the contrary side), sez she—­“Why?”

“Why?” sez Miss Cork.  “You ask why?  You a woman and a perfessor?”

“Yes,” sez Arvilly—­“why?”

Sez Miss Cork, “It would take away all his reverence for the Sabbath, and the God who appointed that holy day of rest.  His morals would be all broke up, and he would be a ruined boy.  I expect that he will be there two months—­that would make eight days of worldliness and wickedness; and I feel that long enough before the eighth day had come his principles would be underminded, and his morals all tottered and broke down.”

“Why?” sez Arvilly.  “There hain’t any wickedness a-goin’ on to the Fair as I know of; it is a goin’ to be full and overflowin’ of object lessons a teachin’ of the greatness and the glory of the Lord of Heaven, and the might and power of the human intellect.  Wonders of Heaven, and wonders of earth, and I don’t see how they would be apt to ruin and break down anybody’s morals a-contemplatin’ ’em—­not if they wuz sound when they begun.

“It seems to me it would make ’em have ten times the reverence they had before—­reverence and awe and worshipful love for the One, the great and loving mind that had thought out all these marvels of beauty and grandeur and spread ’em out for His children’s happiness and instruction.”

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“Oh, yes,” sez Miss Cork.  “On week days it is a exaltin’ and upliftin’ and dreadful religious sight; but on Sundays it is a crime to even think on it.  Sundays should be kep pure and holy and riz up, and I wouldn’t have Cornelius desecrate himself and the Sabbath by goin’ to the Fair not for a world full of gold.”

“Where would he go Sundays while he wuz in Chicago if he didn’t go there?” sez Arville.

She is real cuttin’ sometimes, Arville is, but then Miss Cork loves to put on Arville, and twit her of her single state, and kinder act high-headed and throw Cornelius in her face, and act.

Sez Arville—­“Where would Cornelius Jr. go if he didn’t go to the Fair?”

Cornelius Jr. drinks awful and is onstiddy, and Miss Cork hemmed and hawed, and finally said, in kind of a meachin’ way—­

“Why, to meetin’, of course.”

He hadn’t been in a meetin’-house for two years, and we all knew it, and Miss Cork knew that we knew it—­hence the meach.

“He don’t go to meetin’ here to Jonesville,” sez Arville.

[Illustration:  “He don’t go to meetin’ here.”]

It wuz real mean in her, but I spoze it wuz to pay Miss Cork off for her aggravatin’.

And she went on, “I live right acrost the road from Fasset’s saloon, and I see him and more’n a dozen other Jonesvillians there most every Sunday.

“Goin’ to Chicago hain’t a-goin’ to born a man agin, and change all their habits and ways to once, and I believe if Cornelius Jr. didn’t go to the Fair he would go to worse places.”

“Well,” sez Miss Cornelius Cork, “if he did, I wouldn’t have to bear the sin.  I feel that it is my duty to lift my voice and my strength aginst the Sunday openin’ of the Fair, and even if the boys did go to worse places, my conscience would be clear; the sin wouldn’t rest on my head.”

Sez Arville, “That is the very way I have heard wimmen talk who burned up their boys’ cards, and checker-boards, and story-books, and drove their children away from home to find amusement.

“They wanted the boys to set down and read the Bible and sam books year in and year out, but they wouldn’t do it, for there wuz times when the young blood in ’em riz up and clamered for recreation and amusement, and seein’ that they couldn’t git it at home, under the fosterin’ care of their father and mother, why, they looked for it elsewhere, and found it in low saloons and bar-rooms, amongst wicked and depraved companions.  And then, when their boys turned out gamblers and drunkards, they would say that their consciences wuz clear.

“But,” says Arville, “that hain’t the way the Lord done.  He used Sundays and week days to tell stories to the multitude, to amuse ’em, draw ’em by the silken cord of fancy towards the true and the right, draw ’em away from the bad towards the good.  And if I had ten boys—­”

“Which you hain’t no ways likely to have,” says Miss Cork; “no, indeed, you hain’t.”

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“No, thank Heaven! there hain’t no chance on’t.  But if I had ten boys I would ruther have ’em wanderin’ through them beautiful halls, full of the wonders of the world which the Lord made and give to His children for their amusement and comfort—­I would ruther have ’em there than to have ’em help swell a congregation of country loafers in a city saloon—­learnin’ in one day more lessons in the height and depth of depravity than years of country livin’ would teach ’em.

“These places, and worse ones, legalized places of devils’ pastime, will lure and beckon the raw youth of the country.  They will flaunt their gaudy attractions on every side, and appeal to every sense but the sense of decency.

“And I would feel fur safer about the hull ten of ’em, if I knew they wuz safe in the art galleries, full of beauty and sublimity, drawin’ their minds and hearts insensibly and in spite of themselves upward and onward, or lookin’ at the glory and wonders of practical and mechanical beauty—­the beauty of use and invention.

“After walkin’ through a buildin’ forty-five acres big, and some more of ’em about as roomy, I should be pretty sure that they wouldn’t git out of it in time to go any great lengths in sin that day; and they would be apt to be too fagged out and dead tired to foller on after Satan any great distance.”

“Well,” says Miss Snyder, “I d’no but I should feel safer about my Jim and John to have ’em there in the Fair buildin’s than runnin’ loose in the streets of Chicago.  They won’t go to meetin’ every Sunday, and I can’t make ’em; and if they do go, they will go in the mornin’ late, and git out as soon as the Amen is said.

“My boys are as good as the average—­full as good; but I know when they hain’t got anything to do, and git with other boys, they will cut up and act.”

“Well,” says Miss Cornelius Cork, “I know that my Cornelius will never disgrace himself or me by any low acts.”

She wuz tellin’ a big story, for Cornelius Jr. had been carried home more’n once too drunk to walk, besides other mean acts that wuz worse; so we didn’t say anything, but we all looked queer; and Arville kinder sniffed, and turned up her nose, and nudged Miss Snyder.  But Miss Cork kep right on—­she is real high-headed and conceited, Miss Cork is.

And, sez she, “Much as I want to see the Fair, and much as I want Cornelius and Cornelius Jr. to go to it, and the rest of the country, I would ruther not have it take place at all than to have it open Sundays.”

“And I feel jest so,” sez Miss Henzy.

Then young Lihu Widrig spoke up.  He is old Elihu Widrig’s only son, and he has been off to college, and is home on a vacation.

He is dretful deep learnt, has studied Greek and lots of other languages that are dead, and some that are most dead.

He spoke up, and sez he: 

“What is this Sabbath, anyway?”

We didn’t any of us like that, and we showed we didn’t by our means.  We didn’t want any of his new-fangled idees, and we looked high-headed at him and riz up.

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But he kep right on, bein’ determined to have his say.

“You can foller the Sabbath we keep right back, straight as a string, to planet worship.  Before old Babylon ever riz up at all, to say nothin’ of fallin’, the dwellers in the Euphrates Valley kep a Sabbath.  They spozed there wuz seven planets, and one day wuz give to each of them.  And Saturday, the old Jewish Sabbath, wuz given to Saturn, cruel as ever he could be if the ur in his name wuz changed to e.  In those days it wuz not forbidden to work in that day, but supposed to be unlucky.

“Some as Ma regards Friday.”

It wuz known that Miss Widrig wouldn’t begin a mite of work Fridays, not even hemin’ a towel or settin’ up a sock or mitten.

And, sez he, “When we come down through history to the Hebrews, we find it a part of the Mosaic law, the Ten Commandments.

“In the second book of the Bible we find the reason given for keeping the Sabbath is, the Lord rested on that day.  In the fifth book we find the reason given is the keeping of a memorial for the deliverance out of Egypt.

“Now this commandment only forbids working on that day; no matter what else you do, you are obeying the fourth commandment.  According to that command, you could go to the World’s Fair, or wherever you had a mind to, if you did not work.

“The Puritan Sabbath wuz a very different one from that observed by Moses and the Prophets, which wuz mainly a day of rest.”

“Wall, I know,” sez Miss Yerden, “that the only right way to keep the Sabbath is jest as we do, go to meetin’ and Sunday-school, and do jest as we do.”

Sez Lihu, “Maybe the people to whom the law wuz delivered didn’t understand its meaning so well as we do to-day, after the lapse of so many centuries, so well as you do, Miss Yerden.”

We all looked coldly at Lihu; we didn’t approve of his talk.  But Miss Yerden looked tickled, she is so blind in her own conceit, and Lihu spoke so polite to her, she thought he considered her word as goin’ beyend the Bible.

Then Lophemia Pegrum spoke up, and sez she—­

“Don’t you believe in keeping the Sabbath, Lihu?”

“Yes, indeed, I do,” sez he, firm and decided.  “I do believe in it with all my heart.  It is a blessed break in the hard creakin’ roll of the wheel of Labor, a needed rest—­needed in every way for tired and worn-out brain and muscle, soul and body; but I believe in telling the truth,” sez he.

He always wuz a very truthful boy—­born so, we spoze.  Almost too truthful at times, his ma used to think.  She used to have to whip him time and agin for bringin’ out secret things before company, such as borrowed dishes, and runnin’s of other females, and such.

So we wuz obliged to listen to his remarks with a certain amount of respect, for we knew that he meant every word that he said, and we knew that he had studied deep into ancient history, no matter how much mistook we felt that he wuz.

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But Miss Yerden spoke up, and sez she—­

“I don’t care whether it is true or not.  I have always said, and always will say, that if any belief goes aginst the Bible, I had ruther believe in the Bible than in the truth any time.”

And more than half of us wimmen agreed with her.

You see, so many reverent, and holy, and divine thoughts and memories clustered round that book, that we didn’t love to have ’em disturbed.  It wuz like havin’ somebody take a spade and dig up the voyalets and lilies on the grave of the nearest and dearest, to try to prove sunthin’ or ruther.

We feel in such circumstances that we had ruther be mistook than to have them sweet posies disturbed and desecrated.

Holy words of counsel, and reproof, and consolation delivered from the Most High to His saints and prophets—­words that are whispered over our cradles, and whose truth enters our lives with our mother’s milk; that sustains us and helps us to bear the hard toils and burdens of the day of life, and that go with us through the Valley and the Shadow—­the only revelation we have of God’s will to man, the written testimony of His love and compassion, and the only map in which we trace our titles clear to a heavenly inheritance.

If errors and mistakes have crept in through the weaknesses of men, or if the pages have become blotted by the dust of time, we hated to have ’em brung out and looked too clost into—­we hated to, like a dog.

So we, most all of us, had a fellow feelin’ for Miss Yerden, and looked approvin’ at her.

And Lihu, seein’ we looked cold at him, and bein’ sensitive, and havin’ a hard cold, he said “he guessed he would go over to the drug-store and git some hoarhoun candy for his cough.”

So he went out.  And then Miss Cork spoke up, and sez she—­

“How it would look in the eyes of the other nations to have us a breakin’ Sundays after keepin’ ’em pure and holy for all these years.”

“Pure and holy!” sez Arvilly.  “Why, jest look right here in the country, and see the way the Sabbath is desecrated.  Saturday nights and Sundays is the very time for the devil’s high jinks.  More whiskey and beer and hard cider is consumed Saturday nights and Sundays than durin’ all the rest of the week.

“Why, right in my neighborhood a man who makes cider brandy carrys off hull barrels of it most every Saturday, so’s to have it ready for Sunday consumption.

“The saloons are crowded that day, and black eyes, and bruised bodies, and sodden intellects, and achin’ hearts are more frequent Sundays than any other day of the week, and you know it.

“And after standin’ all this desecration calmly for year after year, and votin’ to uphold it, it don’t look consistent to flare up and be so dretful afraid of desecratin’ the Sabbath by havin’ a place of education, greater than the world has ever seen or ever will see agin, open on the Sabbath for the youth of the land.”

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“But the nation,” sez Miss Henzy, in a skareful voice.  “This nation must keep up its glorious reputation before the other countries of the world.  How will it look to ’em to have our Goverment permit such Sunday desecration?  This is a national affair, and we should not be willin’ to have our glorious nation do anything to lower itself in the eyes of the assembled and envious world.”

Sez Arville, “If our nation can countenance such doin’s as I have spoke of, the man-killin’ and brute-makin’, all day Sundays, and not only permit it, but go into pardnership with it, and take part of the pay—­if it can do this Sundays, year after year, without bein’ ashamed before the other nations, I guess it will stand it to have the Fair open.”

“But,” says Miss Bobbet, “even if it is better for the youth of the country, and I d’no but it will be, it will have a bad look to the other nations, as Sister Henzy sez—­it will look bad.”

Says Arville, “That is what Miss Balcomb said about her Ned when she wouldn’t let him play games to home; she said she didn’t care so much about it herself, but thought the neighbors would blame her; and Ned got to goin’ away from home for amusement, and is now a low gambler and loafer.  I wonder whether she would ruther have kep her boy safe, or made the neighbors easy in their minds.

[Illustration:  “She wouldn’t let her Ned play games at home.”]

“And now the neighbors talk as bad agin when they see him a-reelin’ by.  She might have known folks would talk anyway—­if they can’t run folks for doin’ things they will run ’em for not doin’ ’em—­they’ll talk every time.”

“Yes, and don’t you forgit it,” sez Bub Lum.

But nobody minded Bub, and Miss Cork begun agin on another tact.

“See the Sabbath labor it will cause, the great expenditure of strength and labor, to have all them stupendious buildin’s open on the Sabbath.  The onseemly and deafnin’ noise and clatter of the machinery, and the toil of the men that it will take to run and take care of all the departments, and the labor of the poor men who will have to carry guests back and forth all day.”

“I d’no,” sez Arville, “whether it will take so much more work or not; it is most of it run by water-power and electricity, and water keeps on a-runnin’ all day Sunday as well as week days.

“Your mill-dam don’t stop, Miss Cork, because it is Sunday.”

Miss Cork’s house stands right by the dam, and you can’t hear yourself speak there hardly, so it wuz what you might expect, to have her object specially to noise.

Miss Cork kinder tosted her head and drawed down her upper lip in a real contemptious way, and Arvilly went on and resoomed: 

“And electricity keeps on somewhere a-actin’ and behavin’; it don’t stop Sundays.  I have seen worse thunder-storms Sundays, it does seem to me, than I ever see week days.  And when old Mom Nater sets such a show a-goin’ Sundays, you have got to tend it, whether you think it is wicked or not.

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“And as for the work of carryin’ folks back and forth to it, meetin’-housen have to run by work—­hard work, too.  Preachin’, and singin’, and ringin’ bells, and openin’ doors, and lightin’ gas, and usherin’ folks in, and etc., etc., etc.

“And horse-cars and steam-cars have to run to and frow; conductors, and brakemen, and firemen, and engineers, and etc., etc.

“And horses have to be harnessed and worked hard, and coachmen, and drivers, and men and wimmen have to work hard Sundays.  Yes, indeed.

“Now, my sister-in-law, Jane Lanfear, works harder Sundays than any day out of the seven.  They take a place with thirty cows on it, and she and Jim, bein’ ambitious, do almost all the work themselves.

“Every Sunday mornin’ Jane gets up, and she and Jim goes out and milks fifteen cows apiece, and then Jim drives them off to pasture and comes back and harnesses up and carries the milk three miles to a cheese factory, and comes back and does the other out-door chores.

“And Jane gets breakfast, and gets up the three little children, and washes ’em and dresses ’em, and feeds the little ones to the table.  And after breakfast she does up all her work, washes her dishes and the immense milk-cans, sweeps, cleans lamps and stoves, makes beds, etcetry, and feeds the chickens, and ducks, and turkeys.  And by that time it is nine o’clock.  Then she hurries round and washes and combs the three children, curls the hair of the twin girls, and then gets herself into her best clothes, and by that time she is so beat out that she is ready to drop down.

“But she don’t; she lifts the children into the democrat, climbs her own weary form in after ’em, and takes the youngest one in her lap.  And Jim, havin’ by this time got through with his work and toiled into his best suit, they drive off, a colt follerin’ ’em, and Jim havin’ to get out more’n a dozen times to head it right, and makin’ Jane wild with anxiety, for it is a likely colt.

“Wall, they go four milds and a half to the meetin’-house—­there hain’t no Free-well Baptist nearer to ’em, and they are strong in the belief, and awful sot on that’s bein’ the only right way.  So they go to class-meetin’ first, and both talk for quite a length of time; they are quite gifted, and are called so.  And then they set up straight through the sermon, and that Free-well Baptist preaches more’n a hour, hot or cold weather, and then they both teach a large class of children, and what with takin’ care of the three restless children, and their own weariness on the start, they are both beat out before they start for home.  And Jane has a blindin’ headache.

“But she must keep up, for she has got to git the three babies home safe, and then there is dinner to get, and the dishes to wash, and the housework, and the out-door work to tend to, and what with her headache, and her tired-out nerves and body, and the work and care of the babies, Jane is cross as a bear—­snaps everybody up, sets a bad pattern before her children and Jim—­and, in fact, don’t get over it and hain’t good for anything before the middle of the week.

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“The day of rest is the hardest day of the week for her.

“But she told me last night—­she come in to get my bask pattern, she is anxious to get her parmetty dress done for the World’s Fair—­but she said that she shouldn’t go if it wuz open Sunday, for her mind wuz so sot on havin’ the Sabbath kep strict as a day of rest.

“Now I believe in goin’ to meetin’ as much as anybody, and always have been regular.  But I say Jane hain’t consistent.” (They don’t agree.)

Arvilly stopped here a minute for needed breath.  Good land!  I should have thought she would; and Lophemia Pegrum spoke up—­she is a dretful pretty girl, but very sentimental and romantic, and talks out of poetry books.  Sez she: 

“Another thought:  Nature works all the Sabbath day.  Flowers bloom, their sweet perfume wafts abroad, bees gather the honey from their fragrant blossoms, the dews fall, the clouds sail on, the sun lights and warms the World, the grass grows, the grain ripens, the fruit gathers the sunshine in its golden and rosy globes, the birds sing, the trees rustle, the wind blows, the stars rise and set, the tide comes in and goes out, the waves wash the beach, and carries the great ships to their havens—­in fact, Nature keeps her World’s Fair open every day of the week just alike.”

“Yes,” sez Miss Eben Sanders—­she is always on the side of the last speaker—­she hain’t to be depended on, in argument.  But she speaks quite well, and is a middlin’ good woman, and kind-hearted.  Sez she—­

“Look at the poor people who work hard all the week and who can’t spend the time week days to go to this immense educational school.

“Them who have to work hard and steady every working day to keep bread in the hands of their families, to keep starvation away from themselves and children—­clerks, seamstresses, mechanics, milliners, typewriters, workers in factories, and shops, etc., etc., etc., etc., etc.

“Children of toil, who bend their weary frames over their toilsome, oncongenial labor all the week, with the wolves of Cold and Hunger a-prowlin’ round ’em, ready to devour them and their children if they stop their labor for one day out of the six—­

“Think what it would be for these tired-out, beauty-starved white slaves to have one day out of the seven to feast their eyes and their hungry souls on the best of the World.

“What an outlook it would give their work-blinded eyes!  What a blessed change it would make in all their dull, narrow, cramped lives!  While their hands wuz full of work, their quickened fancy would live over again the too brief hours they spent in communion with the World’s best—­the gathered beauty and greatness and glory of the earth.  Whatever their toil and weariness, they had lived for a few hours, their eyes had beheld the glory of God in His works.”

Miss Cork yawned very deep here, and Miss Sanders blushed and stopped.  They hain’t on speakin’ terms.  Caused by hens.

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And then Miss Cork sez severely—­a not noticin’ Miss Sanders speech at all, but a-goin’ back to Arvilly’s—­she loves to dispute with her, she loves to dearly—­

“You forgot to mention when you wuz talkin’ about Sabbath work connected with church-goin’ that it wuz to worship God, and it wuz therefore right—­no matter how wearisome it wuz, it wuz perfectly right.”

“Wall, I d’no,” sez Arvilly—­“I d’no but what some of the beautiful pictures and wonderful works of Art and Nature that will be exhibited at the World’s Fair would be as upliftin’ and inspirin’ to me as some of the sermons I hear Sundays.  Specially when Brother Ridley gits to talkin’ on the Jews, and the old Egyptians.

“It stands to reason that if I could see Pharo’s mummy it would bring me nearer to him, and them plagues and that wickedness of hisen, than Brother Ridley’s sermon could.

“And when I looked at a piece of the olive tree under which our Saviour sot while He wuz a-weepin’ over Jeruesalem or see a wonderful picture of the crucifixion or the ascension, wrought by hands that the Lord Himself held while they wuz painted—­I believe it would bring Him plainer before me than Brother Ridley could, specially when he is tizickey, and can’t speak loud.

“Why, our Lord Himself wuz took to do more than once by the Pharisees, and told He wuz breakin’ the Sabbath.  And He said that the Sabbath wuz made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.

“And He said, ’Consider the Lilies’—­that is, consider the Lord, and behold Him in the works of His hands.

“Brother Ridley is good, no doubt, and it is right to go and hear him—­I hain’t disputed that—­but when he tries to bring our thoughts to the Lord, he has to do it through his own work, his writin’, which he did himself with a steel pen.  And I d’no as it is takin’ the idees of the Lord so much at first hand as it is to study the lesson of the Lilies He made, and which He loved and admired and told us to consider.

“The World’s Fair is full of all the beauty He made, more wonderful and more beautiful than the lilies, and I d’no as it is wrong to consider ’em Sundays or week days.”

“But,” sez Miss Yerden, “don’t you know what the Bible sez—­’Forget not the assemblin’ of yourselves together’?”

[Illustration:  Bub Lum.]

“Well,” piped up Bub Lum, aged fourteen, and a perfect imp—­

“I guess that if the Fair is open Sundays, folks that are there won’t complain about there not bein’ folks enough assembled together.  I guess they won’t complain on’t—­no, indeed!”

But nobody paid any attention to Bub, and Arvilly continued—­

“I believe in usin’ some common sense right along, week days and Sundays too.  It stands to reason that the Lord wouldn’t gin us common sense if He didn’t want us to use it.

“We don’t need dyin’ grace while we are a livin’, and so with other things.  There will be meetin’-housen left and ministers in 1894, most likely, and we can attend to ’em right along as long as we live.

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“But this great new open Book of Revelations, full of God’s power and grace, and the wonderful story of what He has done for us sence He wakened the soul of His servant, Columbus, and sent him over the troubled ocean to carry His name into the wilderness, and the strength and the might He has given to us sence as a nation—­

“This great object lesson, full of the sperit of prophecy and accomplishment, won’t be here but a few short months.

“And I believe if there could be another chapter added to the Bible this week, and we could have the Lord’s will writ out concernin’ it, I believe it would read—­

“’Go to that Fair.  Study its wonderful lessons with awe and reverence.  Go week days if you can, and if you can’t, go Sundays.  And you rich people, who have art galleries of your own to wander through Sundays, and gardens and greenhouses full of beauty and sweetness, and the means to seek out loveliness through the world, and who don’t need the soul refreshment these things give—­don’t you by any Pharisaical law deprive my poor of their part in the feast I have spread for both rich and poor.’”

Sez Miss Cork, “I wouldn’t dast to talk in that way, Arville.  To add or diminish one word of skripter is to bring an awful penalty.”

“I hain’t a-goin’ to add or diminish,” says Arville.  “I hain’t thought on’t.  I am merely statin’ what, in my opinion, would be the Lord’s will on the subject.”

But right here the schoolmaster struck in.  He is a very likely young man—­smart as a whip, and does well by the school, and makes a stiddy practice of mindin’ his own business and behavin’.

He is a great favorite and quite good-lookin’, and some say that he and Lophemia Pegrum are engaged; but it hain’t known for certain.

He spoke up, and sez he, “There is one great thing to think of when we talk on this matter.  There is so much to be said on both sides of this subject that it is almost impossible to shut your eyes to the advantages and the disadvantages on both sides.

“But,” sez he, “if this nation closes the Fair Sundays, it will be a great object lesson to the youth of this nation and the world at large of the sanctity and regard we have for our Puritan Sabbath—­

“Of our determination to not have it turned into a day of amusement, as it is in some European countries.

“It would be something like painting up the Ten Commandments and the Lord’s Prayer in gold letters on the blue sky above, so that all who run may read, of the regard we have for the day of rest that God appointed.  The regard we have for things spiritual, onseen—­our conflicts and victories for conscience’ sake—­the priceless heritage for which our Pilgrim Fathers braved the onknown sea and wilderness, and our forefathers fought and bled for.”

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“They fit for Liberty!” sez Arville.  She would have the last word.  “And this country, in the name of Religion, has whipped Quakers, and Baptists, and hung witches—­and no knowin’ what it will do agin.  And I think,” sez she, “that it would look better now both from the under and upper side—­both on earth and in Heaven—­to close them murderous and damnable saloons, that are drawin’ men to visible and open ruin all round us on every side, than to take such great pains to impress onseen things onto strangers.”

She would have the last word—­she wuz bound to.

And the schoolmaster, bein’ real polite, though he had a look as if he wuzn’t convinced, yet he bowed kinder genteel to Arvilly, as much as to say, “I will not dispute any further with you.”  And then he got up and went over and sot down by Lophemia Pegrum.

And I see there wuz no prospect of their different minds a-comin’ any nearer together.

And I’ll be hanged if I could wonder at it.  Why, I myself see things so plain on both sides that I would convince myself time and agin both ways.

I would be jest as firm as a rock for hours at a time that it would be the only right thing to do, to shet up the Fair Sundays—­shet it up jest as tight as it could be shet.

And then agin, I would argue in my own mind, back and forth, and convince myself (ontirely onbeknown to me) that it would be the means of doin’ more good to the young folks and the poor to have it open.

Why, I had a fearful time, time and agin, a-arguin’ and a-disputin’ with myself, and a-carryin’ metafors back and forth, and a-eppisodin’, when nobody wuz round.

And as I couldn’t seem to come to any clear decision myself, a-disputin’ with jest my own self, I didn’t spoze so many different minds would become simultanous and agreed.

So I jest branched right off and asked Miss Cork “If she had heard that the minister’s wife had got the neuralligy.”

I felt that neuralligy wuz a safe subject, and one that could be agreed on—­everybody despised it.

[Illustration:  Neuralligy wuz a safe subject.]

And gradual the talk sort o’ quieted down, and I led it gradual into ways of pleasantness and paths of peace.


Christopher Columbus Allen got along splendid with his railroad business, and by the time the rest of us wuz ready for the World’s Fair, he wuz.

We didn’t have so many preparations to make as we would in other circumstances, for Ury and Philury wuz goin’ to move right into our house, and do for it jest as well as we would do for ourselves.

They had done this durin’ other towers that we had gone off on, and never had we found our confidence misplaced, or so much as a towel or a dish-cloth missin’.

We have always done well by them while they wuz workin’ for us by the week or on shares, and they have always jest turned right round and done well by us.

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Thomas Jefferson and Maggie went with us.  Tirzah Ann and Whitfield wuzn’t quite ready to go when we did, but they wuz a-comin’ later, when Tirzah Ann had got all her preperations made—­her own dresses done, and Whitfield’s night-shirts embroidered, and her stockin’s knit.

I love Tirzah Ann.  But I can’t help seein’ that she duz lots of things that hain’t neccessary.

Now it wuzn’t neccessary for her to have eleven new dresses made a purpose to go to the World’s Fair, and three white aprons all worked off round the bibs and pockets.

Good land! what would she want of aprons there in that crowd?  And she no need to had six new complete suits of under-clothes made, all trimmed off elaborate with tattin’ and home-made edgin’ before she went.  And it wuzn’t neccessary for her to knit two pairs of open-work stockin’s with fine spool thread.

I sez to her, “Tirzah Ann, why don’t you buy your stockin’s?  You can git good ones for twenty cents.  And,” sez I, “these will take you weeks and weeks to knit, besides bein’ expensive in thread.”

But she said “she couldn’t find such nice ones to the store—­she couldn’t find shell-work.”

“Then,” sez I, “I shall go without shell-work.”

But she said, “They wuz dretful ornamental to the foot, specially to the instep, and she shouldn’t want to go without ’em.”

“But,” sez I, “who is a-goin’ to see your instep?  You hain’t a-goin’ round in that crowd with slips on, be you?”

“No,” she said, “she didn’t spoze she should, but she should feel better to know that she had on nice stockin’s, if there didn’t anybody see ’em.”

And I thought to myself that I should ruther be upheld by my principles than the consciousness of shell-work stockin’s.  But I didn’t say so right out.  I see that she wouldn’t give up the idee.

And besides the stockin’s, which wuz goin’ to devour a fearful amount of time, she had got to embroider three night-shirts for Whitfield with fine linen floss.

Then I argued with her agin.  Sez I, “Good land!  I don’t believe that Christopher Columbus ever had any embroidered night-shirts.”  Sez I, “If he had waited to have them embroidered, and shell-work stockin’s knit, we might have not been discovered to this day.  But,” sez I, “good, sensible creeter, he knew better than to do it when he had everything else on his hands.  And,” sez I, “with all your housework to do—­and hot weather a-comin’ on—­I don’t see how you are a-goin’ to git ’em all done and git to the Fair.”

And she said, “She had ruther come late, prepared, than to go early with everything at loose ends.”

“But,” sez I, “good plain sensible night-shirts and Lyle-thread stockin’s hain’t loose—­they hain’t so loose as them you are knittin’.”

But I see that I couldn’t break it up, so I desisted in my efforts.

Maggie, though she is only my daughter-in-law, takes after me more in a good many things than Tirzah Ann duz, who is my own step-daughter.  Curious, but so it is.

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Now, she and I felt jest alike in this.

Who—­who wuz a-goin’ to notice what you had on to the World’s Fair; and providin’ we wuz clean and hull, and respectable-lookin’, who wuz a-goin’ to know or care whether our stockin’s wuz open work or plain knittin’?

There, with all the wonder and glory of the hull world spread out before our eyes, and the hull world there a-lookin’ at it, a-gazin’ at strange people, strange customs, strange treasures and curiosities from every land under the sun—­wonders of the earth and wonders of the sea, marvels of genius and invention, and marvels of grandeur and glory, of Art and Nature, and the hull world a-lookin’ on, and a-marvellin’ at ’em.  And then to suppose that anybody would be a-lookin’ out for shell-work stockin’s, a-carin’ whether they wuz clam-shell pattern, or oyster shell.

The idee!

That is the way Maggie and I felt; why, if you’ll believe it, that sweet little creeter never took but one dress with her, besides a old wrapper to put on mornin’s.  She took a good plain black silk dress, with two waists to it—­a thick one for cool days and a thin one for hot days—­and some under-clothes, and some old shoes that didn’t hurt her feet, and looked decent.  And there she wuz all ready.

She never bought a thing, I don’t believe, not one.  You wouldn’t ketch her waitin’ to embroider night-shirts for Thomas Jefferson—­no, indeed!  She felt jest as I did.  What would the Christopher Columbus World’s Fair care for the particular make of Thomas J’s night-shirts?  That had bigger things on its old mind than to stop and admire a particular posey or runnin’ vine worked on a man’s nightly bosom.  Yes, indeed!

But Tirzah Ann felt jest that way, and I couldn’t make her over at that late day, even if I had time to tackle the job.  She took it honest—­it come onto her from her Pa.

The preperations that man would have made if he had had his head would have outdone Tirzah Ann’s, and that is sayin’ enough, and more’n enough.

And the size of the shoes that man would have sot out with if he had been left alone would have been a shame and a disgrace to the name of decency as long as the world stands.

Why, his feet would have been two smokin’ sacrifices laid on the altar of corns and bunions.  Yes, indeed!  But I broke it up.

I sez, “Do you lay out and calculate to hobble round in that pair of leather vises and toe-screws,” sez I, “when you have got to be on foot from mornin’ till night, day after day?  Why under the sun don’t you wear your good old leather shoes, and feel comfortable?”

And he said (true father of Tirzah Ann), “He wuz afraid it would make talk.”

[Illustration:  “Leather vises and toe-screws.”]

Sez I, “The idee of the World’s Fair, with all it has got on its mind, a noticin’ or carin’ whether you had on shoes or went barefoot!  But if you are afraid of talk,” sez I, “I guess that it would make full as much talk to see you a-goin’ round a-groanin’ and a-cryin’ out loud.  And that is what them shoes would bring you to,” sez I.

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“Now,” sez I, “you jest do them shoes right up and carry ’em back to the store, and if you have got to have a new pair, git some that will be more becomin’ to a human creeter, let alone a class-leader, and a perfessor, and a grandfather.”

So at last I prevailed—­he a-forebodin’ to the very last that it would make talk to see him in such shoes.  But he got a pair that wuzn’t more’n one size too small for him, and I presumed to think they would stretch some.  And, anyway, I laid out to put his good, roomy old gaiters in my own trunk, so he could have a paneky to fall back on, and to soothe.

As for myself, I took my old slips, that had been my faithful companions for over two years, and a pair of good big roomy bootees.

I never bought nothin’ new for any of my feet, not even a shoe-string.  And the only new thing that I bought, anyway, wuz a new muslin night-cap with a lace ruffle.

I bought that, and I spoze vanity and pride wuz to the bottom of it.  I feel my own shortcomin’s, I feel ’em deep, and try to repent, every now and then, I do.

But I did think in my own mind that in case of fire, and I knew that Chicago wuz a great case for burnin’ itself up—­I thought in case of fire in the night I wouldn’t want to be ketched with a plain sheep’s-head night-cap on, which, though comfortable, and my choice for stiddy wear, hain’t beautiful.

And I thought if there wuz a fire, and I wuz to be depictered in the newspapers as a-bein’ rescued, I did feel a little pride in havin’ a becomin’ night-cap on, and not bein’ engraved with a sheep’s head on.

Thinks’es I, the pictures in the newspapers are enough to bring on the cold chills onto anybody, even if took bareheaded, and what—­what would be the horror of ’em took in a sheep’s head!

There it wuz, there is my own weakness sot right down in black and white.  But, anyway, it only cost thirty-five cents, and there wuzn’t nothin’ painful about it, like Josiah’s shoes, nor protracted, like Tirzah Ann’s stockin’s.

Wall, Ury and Philury moved in the day before, and Josiah and I left in the very best of sperits and on the ten o’clock train, Maggie and Thomas Jefferson and Krit a-meetin’ us to the depot.

Maggie looked as pretty as a pink, if she didn’t make no preperations.  She had on her plain waist, black silk, and a little black velvet turban, and she had pinned a bunch of fresh rosies to her waist, and the rosies wuzn’t any pinker than her pretty cheeks and lips, and the dew that had fell into them roses’ hearts that night wuzn’t any brighter than her sweet gray eyes.

She makes a beautiful woman, Maggie Allen duz; and she ort to, to correspond with her husband, for my boy, Thomas Jefferson, is a young man of a thousand, and it is admitted that he is by all the Jonesvillians—­nearly every villian of ’em admits it.

Tirzah Ann and the babe wuz to the depot to see us off, and she said that she should come on jest as soon as she got through with her preperations.

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But I felt dubersome about her comin’ very soon, for she took out her knittin’ work (we had to wait quite a good while for the cars), and I see that she hadn’t got the first one only to the instep.

It is slow knittin’—­shells are dretful slow anyway—­and she wuz too proud sperited to have ’em plain clam-shell pattern, which are bigger and coarser; she had to have ’em oyster-shell pattern, in ridges.

Wall, as I say, I felt dubersome, but I spoke up cheerful on the outside—­

“If you git your stockin’s done, Tirzah Ann, you must be sure and come.”

And she said she would.

The way she said it wuz:  “One, two, three, four, yes, mother; five, six, seven, I will.”

She had to count every shell from top to toe of ’em, which made it hard and wearin’ both for her and them she wuz conversin’ with.

Why, they do say—­it come to me straight, too—­that Whitfield got that wore out with them oyster-shell stockin’s that he won’t look at a oyster sence—­he used to be devoted to ’em, raw or cooked; but they say that you can’t git him to look at one sence the stockin’ episode, specially scolloped ones.

No, he sez “that he has had enough oysters for a lifetime.”

Poor fellow!  I pity him.  I know what them actions of hern is; hain’t I suffered from the one she took ’em from?

But to resoom, and continue on.

Miss Gowdey come to the depot to see me off, and so did Miss Bobbet and the Widder Pooler.

Miss Gowdey wuz a-comin’ to the World’s Fair as soon as she made her rag-carpet for her summer kitchen; she said “she wouldn’t go off and leave her work ondone, and she hadn’t got more’n half of the rags cut, and she hadn’t colored butnut yet, nor copperas; she would not leave her house a-sufferin’ and her rags oncut.”

I thought she looked sort o’ reprovin’ at me, for she knew that I had a carpet begun.

But I spoke up, and sez, “Truly rags will be always here with us, and most likely butnut and copperas; but the World’s Fair comes but once in a lifetime, and I believe in embracin’ it now, and makin’ the most of it.”  Sez I, “We can embrace rags at any time.”

“Wall,” she said, “she couldn’t take no comfort with the memory of things ondone a-weighin’ down on her.”  She said “some folks wuz different,” and she looked clost at me as she said it.  “Some folks could go off on towers and be happy with the thought of rags oncut and warp oncolored, or spooled, or anything.  But she wuzn’t one of ’em; she could not, and would not, take comfort with things ondone on her mind.”

And I sez, “If folks don’t take any comfort with the memories of things ondone on ’em, I guess that there wouldn’t be much comfort took, for, do the best we can in this world, we have to leave some things ondone.  We can’t do everything.”

“Wall,” she said, “she should, never should, go off on towers till everything wuz done.”

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And agin I sez, “It is hard to git everything done, and if folks waited for them circumstances, I guess there wouldn’t be many towers gone off on.”

But she didn’t give in, nor I nuther.  But jest then Miss Bobbet spoke up, and said, “She laid out to go to the World’s Fair—­she wouldn’t miss it for anything; it wuz the oppurtunity of a lifetime for education and pleasure; but she wuz a-goin’ to finish that borrow-and-lend bedquilt of hern before she started a step.  And then the woodwork had got to be painted all over the house, and he was so busy with his spring’s work that she had got to do it herself.”

And I sez, “Couldn’t you let those things be till you come back?”

And she said, “She couldn’t, for she mistrusted she would be all beat out, and wouldn’t feel like it when she got back; paintin’ wuz hard work, and so wuz piecin’ up.”

And I sez, “Then you had ruther go there all tired out, had you?” sez I.  “Seems to me I had ruther go to the World’s Fair fresh and strong, and ready to learn and enjoy, even if I let my borrow-and-lend bedquilt go till another year.  For,” sez I, “bedquilts will be protracted fur beyend the time of seein’ the World’s Fair—­and I believe in livin’ up to my priveleges.”

And she said, “That she wouldn’t want to put it off, for it had been a-layin’ round for several years, and she felt that she wouldn’t go away so fur from home, and leave it onfinished.”

And I see that it wouldn’t do any good to argy with her.  Her mind wuz made up.

Miss Pooler said, “That she wuz a-goin’ to the Fair, and a-goin’ in good season, too.  She wouldn’t miss it for anything in the livin’ world.  But she had got to make a visit all round to his relations and hern before she went.  And,” sez she, a-lookin’ sort o’ reproachful at me,

“I should have thought you would have felt like goin’ round and payin’ ’em all a visit, on both of your sides, before you went,” sez she.  “They would have felt better; and I feel like doin’ everything I can to please the relations.”

And I told Miss Pooler—­“That I never expected to see the day that I hadn’t plenty of relations on my side and on hisen, but I never expected to see another Christopher Columbus World’s Fair, and I had ruther spend my time now with Christopher than with them on either side, spozin’ they would keep.”

But Miss Pooler said, “She had always felt like doin’ all in her power to show respect to the relations on both sides, and make ’em happy.  And she felt that, in case of anything happenin’, she would feel better to know she had made ’em all a last visit before it happened.”

“What I am afraid will happen, Miss Pooler,” sez I, “is that you won’t git to the World’s Fair at all, for they are numerous on both sides, and widespread,” sez I.  “It will take sights and sights of time for you to go clear round.”

But I see that she wuz determined to have her way, and I didn’t labor no more with her.

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And I might as well tell it right here, as any time—­she never got to the World’s Fair at all.  For while she wuz a-payin’ a last visit previous to her departure, she wuz took down bed-sick for three weeks.  And the Fair bein’ at that time on its last leglets, as you may say, it had took her so long to go the rounds—­the Fair broke up before she got up agin.

Miss Pooler felt awful about it, so they say; it wuz such a dretful disapintment to her that they had to watch her for some time, she wuz that melancholy about it, and depressted, that they didn’t know what she would be led to do to herself.

And besides her own affliction about the Fair, and the trouble she gin her own folks a-watchin’ her for months afterwards, she got ’em mad at her on both sides.  Seven different wimmen she kep to home, jest as they wuz a-startin’ for the Fair, and belated ’em.

Eleven of the relations on her side and on hisen hain’t spoke to her sence.  And the family where she wuz took sick on their hands talked hard of suin’ her for damage.  For they wuz real smart folks, and had been makin’ their calculations for over three years to go to the Fair, and had lotted on it day and night, and through her sickness they wuz kep to home, and didn’t go to it at all.

But to resoom.

Jest as I turned round from Miss Pooler, I see Miss Solomon Stebbins and
Arvilly Lanfear come in the depot.

Arvilly come to bid me good-bye, and Miss Stebbins wuz with her, and so she come in too.

Arvilly said, “That she should be in Chicago to that World’s Fair, if her life wuz spared.”  She said, “That she wouldn’t miss bein’ in the place where wimmen wuz made sunthin’ of, and had sunthin’ to say for themselves, not for ontold wealth.”

She said, “That she jest hankered after seein’ one woman made out of pure silver—­and then that other woman sixty-five feet tall; she said it would do her soul good to see men look up to her, and they have got to look up to her if they see her at all, for she said that it stood to reason that there wuzn’t goin’ to be men there sixty-five feet high.

“And then that temple there in Chicago, dreamed out and built by a woman—­the nicest office buildin’ in the world! jest think of that—­in the World.  And a woman to the bottom of it, and to the top too.  Why,” sez Arville, “I wouldn’t miss the chance of seein’ wimmen swing right out, and act as if their souls wuz their own, not for the mines of Golconda.”  Sez she, “More than a dozen wimmen have told me this week they wanted to go; but they wuzn’t able.  But I sez to ’em, I’m able to go, and I’m a-goin’—­I am goin’ afoot.”

“Why, Arvilly,” sez I, “you hain’t a-goin’ to Chicago a-walkin’ afoot!”

[Illustration:  “Why, Arvilly!”]

“Yes, I be a-goin’ to Chicago a-walkin’ afoot, and I am goin’ to start next Monday mornin’.”

“Why’ee!” sez I, “you mustn’t do it; you must let me lend you some money.”

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“No, mom; much obliged jest the same, but I am a-goin’ to canvass my way there.  I am goin’ to sell the ‘Wild, Wicked, and Warlike Deeds of Man.’  I calculate to make money enough to get me there and ride some of the way, and take care of me while I am there; I may tackle some other book or article to sell.  But I am goin’ to branch out on that, and I am goin’ to have a good time, too.”

[Illustration:  “No, mom; much obliged jest the same.”]

Miss Stebbins said, “She wanted to go, and calculated to, but she wanted to finish that croshay lap-robe before snow fell.”

“Wall,” sez I, “snow hain’t a-goin’ to fall very soon now, early in the Spring so.”

“Wall,” she said, “that it wuz such tryin’ work for the eyes, she wouldn’t leave it for nothin’ till she got back, for she mistrusted that she should feel kind o’ mauger and wore out.  And then,” she said, “she had got to make a dozen fine shirts for Solomon, so’s to leave him comfortable while she wuz gone, and the children three suits apiece all round.”

Sez I, “How long do you lay out to be gone?”

“About two weeks,” she said.

And I told her, “That it didn’t seem as if he would need so many shirts for so short a time.”

But she said, “She should feel more relieved to have ’em done.”

So I wouldn’t say no more to break it up.  For it is fur from me to want to diminish any female’s relief.

And the cars tooted jest then, so I didn’t have no more time to multiply words with her anyway.


We were travellin’ in a car they call a parlor, though it didn’t look no more like our parlor than ours does like a steeple on a wind-mill.  But it wuz dretful nice and comogeous.

We five occupied seats all together, and right next to us, acrost the aisle, wuz two men a-arguin’ on the Injun question.  I didn’t know ’em, but I see that Thomas J. and Krit wuz some acquainted with ’em; they wuz business men.

When I first begun to hear ’em talk (they talked loud—­we couldn’t help hearin’ ’em), they seemed to be kinder laughin’, and one of ’em said: 

“Yes, they denied the right of suffrage to wimmen and give it to the Injuns, and the next week the Injuns started off on the war-path.  Whether they did it through independence or through triumph nobody knows, but it is known that they went.”

And I thought to myself, “Mebby they wuz mad to think that the Goverment denied to intelligent Christian wimmen the rights gin to savages.”  Thinks’es I, “It is enough to make a Injun mad, or anything else.”

[Illustration:  “They denied the right of suffrage to wimmen and give it to the Injuns.”]

But I didn’t speak my mind out loud, and they begun to talk earnest and excited about ’em, and I could see as they went on that they felt jest alike towards the Injuns, and wanted ’em wiped off’en the face of the earth; but they disagreed some as to the ways they wanted ’em wiped.  One of ’em wanted ’em shot right down to once, and exterminated jest as you kill potato-bugs.

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The other wanted ’em drove further off and shet up tighter till they died out of themselves; but they wuz both agreed in bein’ horrified and disgusted at the Injuns darin’ to fight the whites.

And first I knew Krit jest waded right into the talk.  He waded polite, but he waded deep right off the first thing.

And, sez he, “Before they all die I hope they will sharpen up their tommyhawks and march on to Washington, and have a war-dance before the Capitol, and take a few scalps there amongst the law-makers and the Injun bureau.”

He got kinder lost and excited by his feelin’s, Krit did, or he wouldn’t have said anything about scalpin’ a bureau.  Good land! he might talk about smashin’ its draws up, but nobody ever hearn of scalpin’ a bureau or a table.

But he went on dretful smart, and, sez he, “Gentlemen, I have lived right out there amongst the Injuns and the rascally agents, and I know what I am talkin’ about when I say that, instead of wonderin’ about the Injuns risin’ up aginst the whites, as they do sometimes, the wonder is that they don’t try to kill every white man they see.

“When I think of the brutality, the cheatin’, the cruelty, the devilishness of the agents, it is a wonder to me that they let one stick remain on another at the agencies—­that they don’t burn ’em up, root and branch, and destroy all the lazy, cheatin’, lyin’ white scamps they can get sight of.”

The two men acted fairly browbeat and smut to hear Krit go on, and they sez—­

“You must be mistaken in your views; the Goverment, I am sure, tries to protect the Injuns and take care of ’em.”

“What is the Goverment doin’,” sez Krit, “but goin’ into partnership with lyin’ and stealin,’ when it knows just what their agents are doin’, and still protects them in their shameful acts, and sends out troops to build up their strength?  Maybe you have a home you love?” sez Krit, turnin’ to the best lookin’ of the men.

“Yes, indeed,” sez he; “my country home down on the Hudson is the same one we have had in the family for over two hundred years.  My babies are to-day runnin’ over the same turf that I rolled on in my boyhood, and their great-great-grandmothers played on in their childhood.

“My babies’ voices raise the same echoes from the high rock back of the orchard, the same blue river runs along at their feet, the sun sets right over the same high palisade.  Why, that very golden light acrost the water between the two high rocks—­that golden line of light seems to me now, almost as it did then in my childhood, the only path to Heaven.

“Heaven and Earth would be all changed to me if I had to give up my old home.  Why, every tree, and shrub, and rock seems like a part of my own beloved family, such sacred associations cluster around them of my childhood and manhood.  And the memories of the dear ones gone seem to be woven into the very warp and woof of the stately old elm-trees that shade its velvet lawns, and the voice of the river seems full of old words and music, vanished tones and laughter.

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“No one can know, or dream, how inexpressibly dear the old home is to my heart.  If I had to give it up,” sez he, “it would be like tearin’ out my very heart-strings, and partin’ with what seems like a part of my own life.”

The man looked very earnest and sincere when he said this, and even agitated.  He meant what he said, no doubt on’t.

And then Krit sez, “How would you like it if you were ordered to leave it at a day’s notice—­leave it forever—­leave it so some one else, some one you hated, some one who had always injured you, could enjoy it—­

“Leave it so that you knew you could never live there again, never see a sun rise or a sun set over the dear old fields, and mountains, and river, you loved so well—­

“Never have the chance to stand by the graves of your fathers, and your children, that were a-sleepin’ under the beautiful old trees that your grandfathers had set out—­

“Never see the dear old grounds they walked through, the old rooms full of the memories of their love, their joys, and their sorrows, and your loves, and hopes, and joys, and sadness?

“What should you do if some one strong enough, but without a shadow of justice or reason, should order you out of it at once—­force you to go?”

“I should try to kill him,” sez the man promptly, before he had time to think what to say.

“Well,” sez Krit, “that is what the Injuns try to do, and the world is horrified at it.  Their homes are jest as dear to them as ours are to us; their love for their own living and dead is jest as strong.  Their grief and sense of wrong and outrage is even stronger than the white man’s would be, for they don’t have the distractions of civilized life to take up their attention.  They brood over their wrongs through long days and nights, unsolaced by daily papers and latest telegraphic news, and their famished, freezin’ bodies addin’ their terrible pangs to their soul’s distress.

“Is it any wonder that after broodin’ over their wrongs through long days and nights, half starved, half naked, their dear old homes gone—­shut up here in the rocky, hateful waste, that they must call home, and probably their wives and daughters stolen from them by these agents that are fat and warm, and gettin’ rich on the food and clothing that should be theirs, and receivin’ nothing but insults and threats if they ask for justice, and finally a bullet, if their demands for justice are too loud—­

“What wonder is it that they lift their empty hands for vengeance—­that they leave their bare, icy huts, and warm their frozen veins with ghost-dances, haply practisin’ them before they go to be ghosts in reality?  What wonder that they sharpen up their ancestral tomahawk, and lift it against their oppressors?  What wonder that the smothered fires do break out into sudden fiery tempests of destruction that appall the world?

“You say you would do the same, after your generations of culture and Christian teaching, and so would I, and every other man.  We would if we could destroy the destroyers who ravage and plunder our homes, deprive us of the earnings of a lifetime, turn us out of our inheritance, and make of our wives and daughters worse than slaves.

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“We meet every year to honor the memory of the old heroes who rebelled and fought for liberty—­shed rivers of blood to escape from far less intolerable oppression and wrongs than the Injuns have endured for years.

“And then we expect them, with no culture and no Christianity, to practise Christian virtues, and endure buffetings that no Christian would endure.

“The whole Injun question is a satire on true Goverment, a lie in the name of liberty and equality, a shame on our civilization.”

“What would you do about it?” said the kinder good-lookin’ man.

Sez Krit, “If I called the Injuns wards, adopted children of the Goverment, I would try not to use them in a way that would disgrace any drunken old stepmother.

“I would have dignity enough, if I did not stand for decency, to not half starve and freeze them, and lie to them, and cheat them till the very word ‘Goverment’ means to them all they can picture of meanness and brutality.  I would either grant them independence, or a few of the comforts I had stolen from them.

“If I drove them out of their rich lands and well-stocked hunting-grounds they had so long considered their own—­if I drove them out in my cupidity and love of conquest, I would in return grant them enough of the fruits of their old homes to keep up life in their unhappy bodies.

“If I made them suffer the pains of exile, I would not let them endure also the gnawings of starvation.

“And I would not send out to ’em the Bible and whiskey packed in one wagon, appeals to Christian living and the sure means to overthrow it.

[Illustration:  “I would not send ’em Bibles and whiskey packed in one wagon.”]

“I would not send ’em religious tracts, implorin’ ’em to come to Christ’s kingdom, packed in the same hamper with kegs of brandy, which the Bible and the tracts teach that those that use it are cursed, and that no drunkard can inherit the kingdom.”

But, sez Krit, “The Bible they should have.  And after they had mastered its simplest teachings, they should don their war-paint and feathers, and go out with it in their hands as missionaries to the white race, to try to teach them its plainest and simplest doctrines, of justice, and mercy, and love.”

But at this very minute the cars tooted, and the two men seized their satchels, and after a sort of a short bow to Krit and the rest of us, they rushed offen the train.

I believe they wuz conscience-smut, but I don’t know.

[Illustration:  I believe they wuz conscience-smut, but I don’t know.]

When we arrove at the big depot at Chicago, the sun wuz jest a-drawin’ up his curtains of gorgeous red, and yeller, and crimson, and wuz a-retirin’ behind ’em to git a little needed rest.

The glorious counterpane wuz kinder heaped up in billowy richness on his western couch, but what I took to be the undersheet—­a clear long fold of shinin’ gold color—­lay straight and smooth on the bottom of the gorgeous bed.

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And the sun’s face wuz just a-lookin’ out above it, as if to say good-bye to Chicago, and trouble, and the World’s Fair, and Josiah and me, as we sot our feet on terry firmy. (That is Latin that I have hearn Thomas J. use.  Nobody need to be afraid of it; it is harmless.  My boy wouldn’t use a dangerous word.)

But to resoom and go on.  As I ketched the last glimpse of the old familier face of the sun, that I had seen so many times a-lookin’ friendly at me through the maple trees at Jonesville, and that truly had seemed to be a neighbor, a-neighborin’ with me, time and agin—­when I see him so peaceful and good-natured a-goin’ to his nightly rest, I thought to myself—­

Oh! how I wish I could foller his example, for it duz seem to me that nowhere else, unless it wuz at the tower of Babel, wuz there ever so much noise, and of such various and conflictin’ kinds.

Instinctively I ketched holt of my pardner’s arm, and sez I, “Stay by me, Josiah Allen; if madness and ruin result from this Pandemonium, be with me to the last.”

He couldn’t hear a word I said, the noise wuz that deafnin’ and tremendious.  But he read the silent, tender language of the brown cotton glove on his arm, and he cast a look of deep affection on me, and sez he in soulfull axents—­

“Hurry up, can’t you?  Wimmen are always so slow!”

I responded in the same earnest, heartfelt way.  And anon, or perhaps a little before, Thomas J. and Krit hurried us and our satchel bags into a big roomy carriage, and we soon found ourselves a-wendin’ our way through the streets of the great Western city, the metropolis of the Settin’ Sun.

Street after street, mild after mild of high, towerin’ buildin’s did we pass.  Some on ’em I know wuz high enough for the tower of Babel—­and old Babel himself would have admitted it, I bet, if he had been there.

And as the immense size and magnitude of the city come over me like a wave, I thought to myself some in Skripter and some in common readin’.

When I thought that fifty years ago the grassy prairie lay stretched out in green repose where now wuz the hard pavements worn with the world’s commerce; when I thought that little prairie-dogs, and mush-rats, and squirells wuz a-runnin’ along ondisturbed where now stood high blocks full of a busy city’s enterprise; when I thought that little pretty, timid birds wuz a-flyin’ about where now wuz steeples and high chimblys—­why, when I thought of all this in common readin’, then the Skripter come in, and I sez to myself in deep, solemn axents—­

“Who hath brought this thing to pass?”

And then anon I went to thinkin’ in common readin’ agin, and thinks’es I—­

A little feeble woman died a few days ago—­not so very old either—­who wuz the first child born in Chicago—­and I thought—­

What a big, big day’s work wuz done under her eye-sight!  What a immense house-warmin’ she would had to had in order to warm up all the housen built under her eye!

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Millions of folks did she see move into her neighborhood.

And what a party would she had to gin to have took all her neighbors in!  What a immense amount of nut-cakes would she have had to fry, and cookies!

Why, countin’ two nut-cakes to a person—­and that is a small estimate for a healthy man to eat, judgin’ by my own pardner—­she would have had to fry millions of nut-cakes.  And millions of cookies, if they wuz made after Mother’s receipt handed down to me; that wouldn’t have been one too many.

And where could she spread out her dough for her cookies—­why, a prairie wouldn’t have been too big for her mouldin’ board.  And the biggest Geyser in the West, old Faithful himself, wouldn’t have been too big to fry the cakes in, if you could fry ’em in water, which you can’t.

But mebby if she had gin the party, she could have used that old spoutin’ Geyser for a teapot or a soda fountain—­if she laid out to treat ’em to anything to drink.

But good land! there is no use in talkin’, if she had used a volcano to steep her tea over, she couldn’t made enough to go round.


Wall, after a numerous number of emotions we at last reached our destination and stoppin’-place.  And I gin a deep sithe of relief as the wheel of the carriage grated on the curb-stun, in front of the boardin’ house where my Josiah and me laid out to git our two boards.

Thomas J. and Krit wanted to go to one of the big hotels.  I spozed, from their talk, it wuz reasonable, and wuz better for their business, that they should be out amongst business men.

But Josiah and I didn’t want to go to any such place.  We had our place all picked out, and had had for some time, ever sence we had commenced to git ready for the World’s Fair.

We had laid out to git our two boards at a good quiet place recommended by our own Methodist Episcopal Pasture, and a distant relation of his own.

It wuz to Miss Ebenezer Plank’ses, who took in a few boarders, bein’ middlin’ well off, and havin’ a very nice house to start with, but wanted to add a little to her income, so she took in a few and done well by ’em, so our pasture said, and so we found out.  It wuz a splendid-lookin’ house a-standin’ a-frontin’ a park, where anybody could git a glimpse of green trees and a breath of fresh air, and as much quiet and rest as could be found in Chicago durin’ the summer of 1893, so I believed.

Thomas J. and Maggie wuz perfectly suited with the place for us—­and Thomas J. parleyed with Miss Plank about our room, etc.—­and we wuz all satisfied with the result.

And after Josiah and me got settled down in our room, a good-lookin’ one, though small, the children sot off for their hotel, which wuzn’t so very fur from ourn, nigh enough so that they could be sent for easy, if we wuz took down sudden, and visey versey.

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I found Miss Plank wuz a good-appearin’ woman, and a Christian, I believe, with good principles, and a hair mole on her face, though she kep ’em curbed down, and cut off (the hairs).

[Illustration:  A good-appearin’ woman.]

Her husband had been a man of wealth, as you could see plain by the house that he left her a-livin’ in.  But some of her property she had lost through poor investments—­and don’t it beat all how wimmen do git cheated, and every single man she deals with a-tellin’ her to confide in him freely, for he hain’t but one idee, and that is to look out for her interests, to the utter neglect of his own, and a-warnin’ her aginst every other man on earth but himself.

But, to resoom.  She had lost some of her property, and bein’ without children, and kind o’ lonesome, and a born housekeeper and cook, her idee of takin’ in a few respectable and agreeable boarders wuz a good one.

She wuz a good calculator, and the best maker of pancakes I ever see, fur or near.  She oversees her own kitchen, and puts on her own hand and cooks, jest when she is a mind too.  She hain’t afraid of the face of man or woman, though she told me, and I believe it, that “her cook wuz that cross and fiery of temper, that she would skair any common person almost into coniption fits.”

“But,” sez she, “the first teacup that she throwed at me, because I wanted to make some pancakes, wuz the last.”

I don’t know what she done to her, but presoom that she held her with her eye.  It is a firm and glitterin’ one as I ever see.

Anyway, she put a damper onto that cook, and turns it jest when she is a mind to—­to the benefit of her boarders; for better vittles wuz never cooked than Miss Plank furnishes her boarders at moderate rates and the comforts of a home, as advertisements say.

Her house wuz kep clean and sweet too, which wuz indeed a boon.

She talked a sight about her husband, which I don’t know as she could help—­anyway, I guess she didn’t try to.

She told me the first oppurtunity what a good Christian he wuz, how devoted to her, and how much property he laid up, and that he wuz “in salt.”

I thought for quite a spell she meant brine, and dassent hardly enquire into the particulars, not knowin’ what she had done by the departed, widders are so queer.

But after she had mentioned to me more’n a dozen times her love for the departed, and his industrious and prosperous ways, and tellin’ me every single time, “he wuz in salt,” I found out that she meant that he wuz in the salt trade—­bought and sold, I spozed.

I felt better.

But oh, how she did love to talk about that man; truly she used his sirname to connect us to the vast past, and to the mysterious future.  We trod that Plank every day and all day, if we would listen to her.

And sometimes when I would try to get her offen that Plank for a minute, and would bring up the World’s Fair to her, and how big the housen wuz, I would find my efforts futile; for all she would say about ’em wuz to tell what Mr. Plank would have done if he had been a-livin’, and if he had been onhampered, and out of salt, how much better he would have done than the directors did, and what bigger housen he would have built.

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And I would say, “A house that covers over most forty acres is a pretty big house.”

But she seemed to think that Mr. Plank would have built housen that covered a few more acres, and towered up higher, and had loftier cupalos.

And finally I got tired of tryin’ to quell her down, and I got so that I could let her talk and keep up a-thinkin’ on other subjects all the time.  Why, I got so I could have writ poetry, if that had been my aim, right under a constant loadin’ and onloadin’ of that Plank.

Curious, hain’t it?

As I said, there wuz only a few boarders, most of ’em quiet folks, who had been there some time.  Some on ’em had been there long enough to have children born under the ruff, who had growed up almost as big as their pa’s and ma’s.  There wuz several of ’em half children there, and among ’em wuz one of the same age who wuz old—­older than I shall ever be, I hope and pray.

He wuz gloomy and morbid, and looked on life, and us, with kinder mad and distrustful eyes.  Above all others, he wuz mean to his twin sister; he looked down on her and browbeat her the worst kind, and felt older than she did, and acted as if she wuz a mere child compared to him, though he wuzn’t more’n five minutes older than she wuz, if he wuz that.

Their names wuz Algernon and Guenivere Piddock, but they called ’em Nony and Neny—­which wuz, indeed, a comfort to bystanders.  Folks ort to be careful what names they put onto their children; yes, indeed.

Neny wuz a very beautiful, good-appearin’ young girl, and acted as if she would have had good sense, and considerable of it, if she hadn’t been afraid to say her soul wuz her own.

But Nony wuz cold and haughty.  He sot right by me on the north side, Josiah Allen sot on my south.  And I fairly felt chilly on that side sometimes, almost goose pimples, that young man child felt so cold and bitter towards the world and us, and so sort o’ patronizin’.

[Illustration:  He sot by me.]

He didn’t believe in religion, nor nothin’.  He didn’t believe in Christopher Columbus—­right there to the doin’s held for him, he didn’t believe in him.

“Why,” sez I, “he discovered the land we live in.”

He said, “He was very doubtful whether that wuz so or not—­histories made so many mistakes, he presoomed there never was such a man at all.”

“Why,” sez I, “he walked the streets of Genoa.”

And he sez, “I never see him there.”

And, of course, I couldn’t dispute that.

And he added, “That anyway there wuz too much a-bein’ done for him.  He wuz made too much of.”

He didn’t believe in wimmen, made a specialty of that, from Neny back to Rachael and Ruth.  He powed at wimmen’s work, at their efforts, their learnin’, their advancement.

Neny, good little bashful thing, wuz a member of the WCTU and the Christian Endeavor, and wanted to do jest right by them noble societies and the world.  But, oh, how light he would speak of them noble bands of workers in the World’s warfare with wrong!  To how small a space he wanted to reduce ’em down!

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And I sez to him once, “You can’t do very much towards belittlin’ a noble army of workers as that is—­millions strong.”

“Millions weak, you mean,” sez he.  “I dare presoom to say there hain’t a woman amongst ’em but what is afraid of a mouse, and would run from a striped snake.”

Sez I, “They don’t run from the serpent Evil, that is wreathin’ round their homes and loved ones, and a-tryin’ to destroy ’em—­they run towards that serpent, and hain’t afraid to grapple with it, and overthrow it—­by the help of the Mighty,” sez I.

Sez he, “There is too much made of their work.”  Sez he, “There hain’t near so much done as folks think; the most of it is talk, and a-praisin’ each other up.”

“Wall,” sez I, “men won’t never be killed for that in their political rivalin’s, they won’t be condemned for praisin’ each other up.”

“No,” sez he, “men know too much.”

And then I spoke of that silver woman—­how beautiful and noble an appearance she made, in the spear she ort to be in, a-representin’ Justice.

And Nony said, “She wuz too soft.”  Sez he, “It is with her as it is with all other wimmen—­men have to stand in front of her with guns to keep her together, to keep her solid.”

That kinder gaulded me, for there wuz some truth in it, for I had seen the men and the rifles.

But I sprunted up, and sez I—­

“They are a-guardin’ her to keep men from stealin’ her, that is what they are for.  And,” sez I, “it would be a good thing for lots of wimmen, who have got lots of silver, if it hain’t in their bodies, if they had a guard a-walkin’ round ’em with rifles to keep off maurauders.”

Why, there wuzn’t nothin’ brung up that he believed in, or that he didn’t act morbid over.

Why, I believe his Ma—­good, decent-lookin’ widder with false hair and a swelled neck, but well-to-do—­wuz ashamed of him.

Right acrost from me to the table sot a fur different creeter.  It wuz a man in the prime of life, and wisdom, and culture, who did believe in things.  You could tell that by the first look in his face—­handsome—­sincere—­ardent.  With light brown hair, tossed kinder careless back from a broad white forward—­deep blue, impetuous-lookin’ eyes, but restrained by sense from goin’ too fur.  A silky mustache the same color of his hair, and both with a considerable number of white threads a-shinin’ in ’em, jest enough so’s you could tell that old Time hadn’t forgot him as he went up and down the earth with his hour-glass under his arm, and his scythe over his shoulder.

He had a tall, noble figger, always dressed jest right, so’s you would never think of his clothes, but always remember him simply as bein’ a gentleman, helpful, courteous, full of good-nature and good-natured wit and fun.  But yet with a sort of a sad look underlyin’ the fun, some as deep waters look under the frothy sparkle on top, as if they had secrets they might tell if they wuz a mind to—­secrets of dark places down, fur down, where the sun doesn’t shine; secrets of joy and happiness, and hope that had gone down, and wuz carried under the depths—­under the depths that we hadn’t no lines to fathom.

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No, if there wuz any secrets of sadness underlyin’ the frank openness and pleasantness of them clear blue eyes, we hadn’t none of us no way of tellin’.

We hadn’t no ways of peerin’ down under the clear blue depths, any further than he wuz willin’ to let us.

All we knew wuz, that though he looked happy and looked good-natured, back of it all, a-peerin’ out sometimes when you didn’t look for it, wuz a sunthin’ that looked like the shadder cast from a hoverin’ lonesomeness, and sorrow, and regret.

But he wuz a good-lookin’ feller, there hain’t a doubt of that, and good actin’ and smart.

He wuz a bacheldor, and we could all see plain that Miss Plank held his price almost above rubies.

If there wuz any good bits among vittles that wuz always good, it wuz Miss Plank’s desire that he should have them bits; if there wuz drafts a-comin’ from any pint of the compass, it wuz Miss Plank’s desire to not have him blowed on.  If any soft zephyr’s breath wuz wafted to any one of us from a open winder on a hot evenin’ or sunny noon, he wuz the one she wanted wafted to, and breathed on.

If her smiles fell warm on any, or all on us, he wuz the one they fell warmest on.  But we all liked him the best that ever wuz.  Even Nony Piddock seemed to sort of onbend a little, and moisten up with the dew of charity his arid desert of idees a little mite, when he wuz around.

And occasionally, when the bacheldor, whose name wuz Mr. Freeman, when he would, half in fun and half in earnest, answer Nony’s weary and bitter remarks, once in a while even that aged youth would seem to be ashamed of himself, and his own idees.

There wuz another widder there—­Miss Boomer; or I shouldn’t call her a clear widder—­I guess she wuz a sort of a semi-detached one—­I guess she had parted with him.

Wall, she cast warm smiles on Mr. Freeman—­awful warm, almost meltin’.

Miss Plank didn’t like Miss Boomer.

Miss Piddock didn’t want to cast no looks onto nobody, nor make no impressions.  She wuz a mourner for Old Piddock, that anybody could see with one eye, or hear with one ear—­that is, if they could understand the secrets of sithes; they wuz deep ones as I ever hearn, and I have hearn deep ones in my time, if anybody ever did, and breathed ’em out myself—­the land knows I have!

Miss Plank loved Miss Piddock like a sister; she said that she felt drawed to her from the first, and the drawin’s had gone on ever sence—­growin’ more stronger all the time.

Wall, there wuz two elderly men, very respectable, with two wives, one apiece, lawful and right, and their children, and Miss Schack and her three children, and a Mr. Bolster, and that wuz all there wuz of us, includin’ and takin’ in my pardner and myself.

Mr. Freeman wuz very rich, so Miss Plank said, and had three or four splendid rooms, the best—­“sweet”—­in the house, she said.

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I spoze she spoke in that way to let us know they wuz furnished sweet—­that is, I spoze so.

His mother had died there, and he couldn’t bear to know that anybody else had her rooms; so he kep ’em all, and paid high for ’em, so she said, and wuz as much to be depended on for punctuality, and honesty, as the Bank of England, or the mines of Golcondy.

Yes, Miss Plank said that, with all his sociable, pleasant ways with everybody, he wuz a millionare—­made it in sugar, I believe she said—­I know it wuz sunthin’ good to eat, and sort o’ sweet—­it might have been molasses—­I won’t be sure.

But anyway he got so awful rich by it that he could live anywhere he wuz a mind to—­in a palace, if he took it into his head to want one.

But instead of branchin’ out and makin’ a great show, he jest kep right on a-livin’ in the rooms he had took so long ago for his family.  But they had all gone and left him, his mother dead, and his two nieces gone with their father to California, where they wuz in a convent school.  And he kep right on a-livin’ in the old rooms.

Miss Plank told me in confidence, and on the hair-cloth sofa in the upper hall, that it would be a big wrench if he ever left there.

[Illustration:  Miss Plank told me in confidence that it would be a big wrench if he left.]

She said, “She didn’t say it because he wuz a bacheldor and she a widder, she said it out of pure-respect.”

And I believed it, a good deal of the time I did; for good land! she wuz old enough to be his ma, and more too.

But he acted dretful pretty to her, I could see that.  Not findin’ no fault, eatin’ hash jest as calm as if he wuzn’t engaged in a strange and mysterious business.

For great, great is the mystery of boardin’-house hash.

Not a-mindin’ the children’s noise—­indeed, a-courtin’ it, as you may say, for he would coax the youngest and most troublesome one away from its tired mother sometimes, and keep it by him at the table, and wait on it.

He thought his eyes of children, so Miss Plank said.

I might have thought that he took care of the child on its mother’s account, out of sentiment instead of pity, if Miss Schack hadn’t been as humbly as humbly could be, and a big wart on the end of her nose, and a cowlick.  She had three children, and they wuz awful, awful to git along with.

Her husband “wuz on the road,” she said.  And we couldn’t any of us really make out from what she said what he wuz a-doin’ there, whether he wuz a-movin’ along on it to his work, or jest a-settin’ there.

But anyway she talked a good deal about his “bein’ on the road,” and how much better the children behaved “before he went on it.”

They jest rid over her, and over us too, if we would let ’em.

They wuz the awfullest children I ever laid eyes on, for them that had such pious and well-meanin’ names.

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There wuz John Wesley, and Martin Luther, and little Peter Cooper Schack.

Miss Schack wuz a well-principled woman, no doubt, and I dare say had high idees before they wuz jarred, and hauled down, and stomped and trampled on, by noise and confusion.  And I dare presoom to say that she had named them children a-hopin’ and a-expectin’ some of the high and religious qualities of their namesakes would strike in.  But to set and hear Martin Luther swear at John Wesley wuz a sight.  And to see John Wesley clench his fists in Martin Luther’s hair and kick him wuz enough to horrify any beholder.  But Peter Cooper wuz the worst; to see him take everything away from his brothers he possibly could, and devour it himself, and want everything himself, and be mad if they had anything, and steal from ’em in the most cold-blooded way, and act—­why, it wuz enough to make that blessed old philanthropist, Peter Cooper, turn over in his grave.

They wuz dretful troublesome and worrisome to the rest of the boarders, but Mr. Freeman could quell ’em down any time—­sometimes by lookin’ at ‘em and smilin’, and sometimes by lookin’ stern, and sometimes by candy and oranges.

I declare for’t, as I told Miss Plank sometimes, I didn’t know what we would have done durin’ some hot meal times if it hadn’t been for that blessed bacheldor.

I said that right out openly to Miss Plank, and to everybody else.  Bein’ married happy, I felt free to speak my mind about bacheldors, or anything.  Of course, bein’ a widder, Miss Plank felt more hampered.

And he wuz good to me in other ways, besides easin’ my cares and nerves at the table.

His rooms wuz jest acrost the hall from ourn, and my Josiah’s and my room wuz very small; it wuz the best that Miss Plank could do, so I didn’t complain.  But it wuz very compressed and confined, and extremely hot.

When we wuz both in there sometimes on sultry days, I felt like compressed meat, or as I mistrusted that would feel, sort o’ canned up, as it were.

And one warm afternoon, ’most sundown, jest as I opened my door into the hall, to see if I could git a breath of fresh air to recooperate me, Josiah a-pantin’ in the rockin’-chair behind me, Mr. Freeman opened his door, and so there we wuz a-facin’ each other.

[Illustration:  And so there we wuz a-facin’ each other.]

And bein’ sort o’ took by surprise, I made the observation that “I wuz jest about melted, and so wuz my Josiah, and my room wuz like a dry oven and a tin can.”

I wouldn’t have said it if I hadn’t been so sort o’ flustrated, and by the side of myself.

And he jest swung open his door into a big cool parlor, and I could see beyend the doors open into two or three other handsome rooms.

And, sez he, “I wish, Mrs. Allen, that you and your husband would come in here and see if it isn’t cooler.”  Sez he, “I feel rather lonesome, and would be glad to have you come in and visit for a spell.”

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He told me afterwards that it wuz the anniversary of his mother’s death.

He looked sort o’ sad, and as if he really wanted company.  So we thanked him, or I did, and we walked in and sot down in some big, cool cane-seat easy-chairs.

And we sot there and visited back and forth for quite a spell, and took comfort.  Yes, indeed, we did.  This room wuz on the cool side of the house, and the still side.  And it wuz big and furnished beautiful.  It wuzn’t Miss Plank’s taste, I could see that.

No, her taste is fervent and gorgeous.  Gildin’ is her favorite embellishment, and chromos, high-colored, and red.

This room wuz covered with pure white mattin’, and such rugs on it scattered over the floor as I never see, and don’t know as I ever shall see agin.

Some on ’em was pure white silky fur, and some on ’em as rich in colorin’ as the most wonderful sunset colors you ever see in the red and golden west, or in the trees of a maple forest in October.

And such pictures as hung on the walls I never see.

Why, on one side of the room hung a picture that looked as if you wuz a-gazin’ right out into a green field at sunset.  There wuz a deep, cool rivulet a-gurglin’ along over the pebbles, and the green, moist rushes—­why, you could almost hear it.

And the blue sky above—­why, you could almost see right up through it, it looked so clear and transparent.  And the cattle a-comin’up through the bars to be milked.  Why, you could almost hear the girl call, “Co, boss! co, boss!” as she stood by the side of the bars with her sun-bunnet a-hangin’ back from her pretty face, and her milk-pail on her arm.

[Illustration:  “Co, boss! co, boss!”]

Why, you could fairly hear the swash, swash of the water, as the old brindle cow plashed through its cool waves.

It beat all I ever see, and Josiah felt jest as I did.  The beautiful face of the girl looked dretful familiar to me, though I couldn’t tell for my life who it wuz that she looked so much like.

And there on every side of us wuz jest as pretty pictures as that, and some white marble figures, that stood up almost as big as life on their marble pedestals, and aginst the dark red draperies.

Why, take it all in all, it was the prettiest room I had ever looked at in my life, and so I told Mr. Freeman.

And, if you’ll believe it, that man up and said right there that we wuz perfectly free to use that room jest as much as we wanted to.

He said he had another room as large as this that he staid in most of his time when he was at home—­his writin’-desk wuz in that room.  But he was not here much of the time, only to sleep and to his meals.

And as he said this, what should that almost angel man do but to put a key in my hand, so Josiah and I could come in any time, whether he wuz here or not.

Why, I wuz fairly dumbfoundered, and so wuz Josiah.  But we thanked him warm, very warm, warmer than the weather, and that stood more’n ninety in the shade.

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And I told him—­for I see that he really meant what he said—­I told him that the chance of comin’ in there and settin’ down in that cool, big room, once in a while, as a change from our dry oven, would be a boon.  And I didn’t know but it would be the means of savin’ our two lives, for meltin’ did seem to be our doom and our state ahead on us, time and time agin.

And he spoke right up in his pleasant, sincere way, and said, “The more we used it the more it would please him.”

And then he opened the doors of a big bookcase—­all carved off the doors wuz, and the top, and the beautiful head of a white marble female a-standin’ up above it.  And he sez—­

“Here are a good many books that are fairly lonesome waiting to be read, and you are more than welcome to read them.”

Wall, I thanked him agin, and I told him that he wuz too good to us.  And I couldn’t settle it in my own mind what made him act so.  Of course, not knowin’ at that time that I favored his mother in my looks—­his mother he had worshipped so that he kep her room jest as she left it, and wouldn’t have a thing changed.

But I didn’t know that, as I say, and I said to my Josiah, after we went back into our room—­

Sez I, “It must be that we do have a good look to us, Josiah Allen, or else that perfect stranger wouldn’t treat us as he has.”

“Perfect stranger!” sez Josiah.  “Why, we have neighbored with him ’most a week.  But,” sez he, “you are right about our looks—­we are dum good-lookin’, both on us.  I am pretty lookin’,” says he, firmly, “though you hain’t willin’ to own up to it.”

Sez he, “I dare presoom to say, he thought I would be a sort of a ornament to his rooms—­kinder set ’em off.  And you look respectable,” sez he, sort o’ lookin’ down on me—­

“Only you are too fat!” Sez he, “You’d be quite good-lookin’ if it wuzn’t for that.”

And then we had some words.

And I sez, “It hain’t none of our merits that angel looks at; it is his own goodness.”

“Wall, there hain’t no use in your callin’ him an angel.  You never called me so.”

“No, indeed!” sez I; “I never had no occasion, not at all.”

And then we had some more words—­not many, but jest a few.  We worship each other, and it is known to be so, all over Jonesville, and Loontown, and Zoar.  And I spozed by that time that Chicago wuz a-beginnin’ to wake up to the truth of how much store we sot by each other.  But the fairest spring day is liable to have its little spirts of rain, and they only make the air sweeter and more refreshin’.

Wall, from that time, every now and then—­not enough to abuse his horsepitality, but enough to let him know that we appreciated his goodness—­when our dry oven become heated up beyend what we could seem to bear, we went into that cool, delightful room agin, and agin I feasted my eyes on the lovely pictures on the wall; most of all on that beautiful sunset scene down by the laughin’ stream.

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And as hot and beat out as I might be, I would always find that pretty girl a-standin’, cool and fresh, and dretful pretty, by the old bar post, with her orburn hair pushed back from her flushed cheeks, and a look in her deep brown eyes, and on her exquisite lips, that always put me dretfully in mind of somebody, and who it wuz I could not for my life tell.

Josiah used to take a book out of the bookcase, and read.  Not one glance did I ever give, or did I ever let Josiah Allen give to them other rooms that opened out of this, nor into anything or anywhere, only jest that bookcase.  We didn’t abuse our priveleges; no, indeed!

And Josiah would lean back dretful well-feelin’, and thinkin’ in his heart that it wuz his good looks that wuz wanted to embellish the room, and I kep on a wonderin’ inside of myself what made Mr. Freeman so oncommon good to us, till one day he told us sunthin’ that made it plainer to us, and Josiah Allen’s pride had a fall (which, if his pride hadn’t been composed of materials more indestructible than iron or gutty perchy, it would have been broke to pieces long before, so many times and so fur had it fell).

But Mr. Freeman one day showed us a picture of his mother in a little velvet case.  And, sez he to me—­

“You look like her; I saw it the first time I met you.”

And I do declare the picture did look like me, only mebby—­mebby I say, she wuzn’t quite so good-lookin’.

Yes, I did look like his mother.  And then I see the secret of his interest in, and his kindness to me and mine.

And Mr. Freeman wuz raised up in my mind as many as 2 notches, and I don’t know but 3 or 4.  To think that he loved his mother’s memory so well as to be so kind for her sake, for the sake of a fleetin’ likeness, to be so good to another female.

But Josiah Allen looked meachin’.  I gin him a dretful meanin’ look.  I didn’t say nothin’, only jest that look, but it spoke volumes and volumes, and my pardner silently devoured the volumes, and, as I say, looked meachin’ for pretty near a quarter of a hour.

And that is a long time for a man to look smut, and conscience-struck.  It hain’t in ’em to be mortified for any length of time, as is well known by female pardners.

But we kep on a-goin’.  And every single time I went into that beautiful room, whether it wuz broad daylight or lit up by gas, every single time the face of that tall slender girl, a-standin’ there so calm by the crystal brook, would look so natural to me, and so sort o’ familiar, that I almost ketched myself sayin’—­

“Good-evenin’, my dear,” to it, which would have been perfectly ridiculous in me, and the very next thing to worshippin’ a graven image.

And what made it more mysterious to me, and more like a circus (a solemn, high-toned circus), wuz, to ketch ever and anon, and I guess oftener than that, Mr. Freeman’s eyes bent on that pretty young face with a look as if he too recognized her, and wanted to talk to her.  And some, too, he looked as if she wuz dead and buried, and he wuz a-mournin’ deep for her, very deep.

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As curious a look as I ever see; and if I hain’t seen curious looks in my time, then I will say nobody has.  Yes, indeed!  I have seen curious looks in my journey through life, curious as a dog, and curiouser.

But there she stood, no matter what looks wuz cast on her from friend or foe—­and I guess it would sound better to say from friend or lover, for nobody could be a foe to that radiant-faced, beautiful creeter.

There she stood, in sun or shade, knee-deep in them fresh green grasses, a-lookin’ off onto them sunset clouds always rosy and golden, by the side of that streamlet that always had the sparkle on its tiny waves.

I might be tired and weak as a cat, and Mr. Freeman might have the headache, and Josiah Allen be cross, and all fagged out—­

But her face wuz always serene, and lit up with the glow of joy and health, and her sweet, deep eyes always held the secret that she couldn’t be made to tell.

Mr. Bolster was a stout, middle-aged man, with bald head, side whiskers, and a double chin.  And his big blue eyes kinder stood out from his face some.  He was a real estate agent, so Miss Plank said.  But his principal business seemed to be a-praisin’ up Chicago, and a-puffin’ up the World’s Fair.

Good land!  Columbus didn’t need none of his patronizin’ and puffin’ up, and Chicago didn’t, not by his tell.

Josiah wuz dretful impressed by him.  We didn’t lead off to the Fair ground the next day after our arrival.  No; at my request, we took life easy—­onpacked our trunks and got good and rested, and the mornin’ follerin’ we got up middlin’ early, bein’ used to keepin’ good hours in Jonesville, and on goin’ down to the breakfast-table we found that there wuzn’t nobody there but Mr. Bolster.  He always had a early breakfast, and drove his own horse into the city to his place of business.

He looked that wide awake and active as if he never had been asleep, and never meant to.

And my companion bein’ willin’, and Mr. Bolster bein’ more than willin’, they plunged to once into a conversation concernin’ Chicago, Miss Plank and I a-listenin’ to ’em some of the time, and some of the time a-talkin’ on our own hook, as is the ways of wimmen.

Mr. Bolster—­and I believe he knew that we wuz from York State, and did it partly in a boastin’ way—­he begun most to once to prove that Chicago wuz the only place in America at all suitable to hold the World’s Fair in.

And I gin him to understand that I thought that New York would have been a good place for it, and it wuz a disapintment to me and to several other men and wimmen in the State to not have it there.

But Mr. Bolster says, “Why, Chicago is the only place at all proper for it.  Why,” sez he, “in a way of politeness, Chicago is the only place for it.  In what other city could the foreigners be welcomed by their own people as they can here?” Sez he—­

“In Chicago over 75 per cent of the population is foreign.”

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“Yes,” sez Josiah, with a air as if he had made population a study from his youth.

But he didn’t know nothin’ about it, no more than I did.

Sez Mr. Bolster, “Out of a population of a little over a million 200,000, we have nine hundred and 14,000 foreigners.  That shows in itself that Chicago is the only city calculated to make our foreign friends feel perfectly at home.”

“Yes,” sez Josiah, “that is very true.”

But I sez to Miss Plank, “There is other folks I like jest as well as I do my relations, and if they had thought so much on ’em, why didn’t they stay with ’em in the first place?”

And Miss Plank kinder looked knowin’ and nodded her head; she couldn’t swing right out free, as I could, bein’ hampered by not wantin’ to offend any of her boarders.

Sez Mr. Bolster, “Chicago has the most energetic and progressive people in the world.  It hain’t made up, like a Eastern village, of folks that stay to home and set round on butter-tubs in grocery stores, talkin’ about hens.  No, it is made up of people who dared—­who wuz too energetic, progressive, and ambitious, to settle down and be content with what their fathers had.  And they struck out new paths for themselves, as the Pilgrim Fathers did.

“And it is of these people, who represent the advancin’ and progressive thought of the day, that Chicago is made up.  It embodies the best energy and ambition of the Eastern States and of Europe.”

“Yes,” sez Josiah, “that is jest so.”

And then, sez Mr. Bolster, “Chicago is, as is well known, in the very centre of the earth.”

[Illustration:  “Chicago is the very centre of the earth.”]

“Yes,” sez Josiah.

But I struck in here, and couldn’t help it, and, sez I, “That is what Boston has always thought;” and, sez I, candidly, “That is what has always been thought about Jonesville.”

He looked pityin’ly at me, and, sez he, “Where is Jonesville?”

And I sez, “Jest where I told you, in the very centre of the earth, as nigh as we can make out.”

“How old is the place?” sez Mr. Bolster.

Sez I proudly, “It is more than a hundred and fifty years old, for Uncle Nate Bently’s grandfather built the first store there, and helped build the first Meetin’-House; and,” sez I, “Uncle Nate is over ninety.”

“How many inhabitants has it?” sez he briskly.

And then my own feathers had to droop; and as I paused to collect my thoughts, Josiah spoke up—­he is always so forward—­and, sez he, “About 200 and 10 or 11.”

But I sez, with dignity, “Perhaps I know more about some things than you do, Josiah.  There may be, by this time, one or two more inhabitants.”

Sez Mr. Bolster, “A growth of about 200 in one hundred years!  Chicago is about half as old, and has one million eight hundred thousand population.  In ten years the population has increased 108 per cent, and property has increased in the same time 656 per cent, the greatest growth in the world.”

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He regarded Jonesville as he would a fly in dog days.  He went right by it.

“As I was saying, we say nothing about Chicago but what we can prove.  Look on the map and you will see for yourself that Chicago is right in the centre of the habitable portion of North America.  Put your thumb down on Chicago, and then sweep round it in an even circle with your middle finger, and you will see that it takes in with that sweep all the settled portion of North America.”

“Yes,” sez Josiah, with a air as if he had proved it with his thumb and finger, time and agin, but he hadn’t no such thing.

Sez Mr. Bolster, “We say nothing about our City that we can’t prove.  As Chicago is in the very centre of productive North America, so it is the centre of population of the United States.

“It is the centre of the raw materials for manufactures, cotton, wool, metals, coal, gas, oil fields, all sorts of food.  And as it is the centre of supply, so it is of distribution—­60 railroads and branches bring freight and carry out manufactured products to every part of the country—­to say nothing of the great number of lines of water transportations—­connecting with all parts of the world.  Why, last year Chicago had 50 per cent more arrivals and clearances than New York.  It is the greatest shipping place in America.  And,” sez Mr. Bolster, “not only can we prove that Chicago is the centre of the world for manufactures, but it is the healthiest place to live in.”

And then agin I spoke out, and, sez I, “I always hearn that it was built on low, swampy ground.”

“Yes,” sez Mr. Bolster cheerfully, “that is the reason why it is healthy.  The ground was originally low and wet, and so it was elevated, filled in.  Why, just before the great fire we lifted up all the houses, in the best part of the city, on jack-screws for eight feet, and filled the ground under them.  The idea of lifting up a whole city eight feet and making new ground under it!  There never was such an undertaking before since the world began.

“And then the fire come, and the city was rebuilt just as we wanted it.  Why, the death-rate of Chicago is lower than almost any city of the world except London—­it is just about the same as that.  Then,” sez he, “our climate is perfect; it is so temperate and even that folks don’t have to spend all their energies in keeping warm, as they do in colder climates, nor is it so warm that they have to spend their vital energies in fanning themselves.”

Sez Josiah, “I had ruther mow a beaver medder in dog days than to fan myself—­it wouldn’t tire me so much.”

Sez Mr. Bolster, “The climate is just right to call forth the prudent saving qualities to provide for the winter; and warm enough to keep them happy and cheerful looking forward to bounteous harvests.”

“Wall,” sez I, “it got burnt up, anyway.”

It fairly provoked me to see him look down so on all the rest of the world.

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“Yes,” sez he, “that is another evidence of the city’s marvellous power and resources.  Find me another city, if you can, where in a few hours 200 millions of dollars were burnt up, two thousand 100 acres burnt over, right in the heart of a big city, with a loss of two hundred and ninety million dollars, and then to have it spring up in a marvellously short time—­not only as good as new, but infinitely better; so much better that the disaster proved to be an untold blessing to the city.”

Truly, as I see, swamps couldn’t dround out his self-conceit, nor fire burn it up.

And I knew myself that Chicago had great reason to be proud of her doin’s, and I felt it in my heart, only I couldn’t bear to see Mr. Bolster act so haughty.

And I sez to my pardner, with quite a lot of dignity, “I guess it is time we are goin’, if we get to the Fair in any season.”

And Mr. Bolster to once told us what way would be best for us to go.  A good-natured creeter he is, without any doubt.

But jest as we wuz startin’ I happened to think of a errent that had been sent me by Jim Meesick, he that wuz Philura Meesick’s brother.

He wanted to get a place to work somewhere in Chicago, through the Fair, so’s to pay his way, and gin him a chance to go to the Fair.

I had already asked Miss Plank about it, but she didn’t know of no openin’ for him, and I happened to think, mebby Mr. Bolster, seein’ he knew everything else, might know of a place where Jim could get work.

And, sez I, “He is handy at anything, and I spoze there are lots of folks here in Chicago that hire help.  I spoze some of ’em have as many as four or five hired men apiece.”

Sez I, “There are them in Jonesville, durin’ the summer time, who employ as high as two men by the day, besides the regular hired man, and I spoze it is so here.”

“Yes,” sez he; “Mr. Pullmen has five thousand four hundred and fifty hired men, and Philip Armoor has seven thousand seven hundred and seventy-five.”

Wall, there wuz no more to be said.  Bolster had done what he sot out to do—­he had lowered my pride down lower than the Queen of Sheba’s ever wuz, by fur.  I had no sperit left in me.  He might have gone on to me by the hour, and I not sensed it.

But I didn’t let on how I felt.  I only sez weakly, “Wall, they hain’t a-sufferin’ for help, I guess, and I’ll write to Philura so.”

But Bolster, good-natured agin, sez, “I will look round, and see what I can do for him.”  And he snatched out a note-book, and writ his name down.  And I thanked him, and weakly follered my companion from the room.

And I felt that if the door had been much smaller I could have got out of it.  I felt very diminutive—­very—­almost tiny.  But I got over it pretty soon.  I felt about my usial size as we descended the stairs and stood on the steps, ready to sally out and take the street cars that wuz to transport our bodys to the Christopher Columbus World’s Fair.

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But while we wuz a-standin’ there a-lookin’ round to see jest which wuz the best way to go to get to the corner Miss Plank had directed us to, Mr. Bolster come down the steps spry and active as a young cat, and, sez he—­

“My carriage is waiting to take me to my orfice, and I will be glad to take you both in, and take you past some of our city sights, and I will leave you at a station where the train will take you right to the grounds.”

So we accepted his offer, Josiah with joy and I with a becomin’ dignity, and the carriage sot off down the street.

And what follers truly seems like a dream to me, and so duz the talk accompanyin’ it.  The tall buildin’s we looked at, one of ’em 260 feet high, 20 storys—­elevators that carry 40,000 passengers—­and a garden on the roof, a garden 260 feet in the air, where you can set and talk and eat nut-cakes, and fried oysters—­the idee!

And then the block that Mr. Bolster said wuz the largest business block in the world, it accomidated 6000 people.  And then we went by big meetin’-housen, and other big housen, whose ruffs seemed so high that it seemed as if you could stand up on the chimblys and shake hands with the man in the moon, and neighbor with him.

And then the talk I hearn—­22 miles of river frontage sweepin’ up from the lake into the heart of the city, where the giant elevators unload their huge traffic.  He told us what the revenue of the city wuz yearly, $25,000,000, 25 millions—­the idee!

And Jonesville, fifty years older than Chicago, thinks she has done well if she has 3 dollars and 25 cents in her treasury.

Why, that man used so many immense sums in his talk, that I got all muddled up, and a ort seemed to me almost like a million—­I felt queer.

And then the system of Parks and Boulevards, the finest in the world—­100 miles of them beautiful pleasure drives.  I believe, from what I see afterwards, that he told the truth, for no city, it seems to me, could improve on that long, broad, beautiful way, smooth and tree-bordered, edged with stately homes, leadin’ into the matchless beauty of the Parks.

But anon, when I felt that I wuz bein’ crushed down beneath a gigantic weight of figgers, and estimates, elevators, population, hite, depth, underground tunnels, and systems of drainage—­though every one of ’em wuz a grand and likely subject and awful big—­but I felt that I wuz a-bein’ crushed by ’em—­I felt that the Practical, the Real wuz a crushin’ me down—­the weight, and noise, and size of the mighty iron wheel of Progress, that duz roll faster in Chicago than in any other place on earth, it seems to me.  But I felt so trodden down by it, and flattened out, that I thought I would love to see sunthin’ or other different, sunthin’ kinder spiritual, and meditate a spell on some of the onseen forces that underlays all human endeavor.

So, at my request, we went out of our way a little, so I could set my eyes on that Temple dreamed out by a woman and wrought a good deal by faith, some like the walls of Jericho, only different, for whereas they fell by faith, this wuz riz up by it.

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And my feelin’s as I looked at that Temple wuz large and noble-sized as you will find anywhere.

A Temple consecrated not so much to the Almighty in Heaven, who don’t need it, as to God in Humanity—­to the help of the Divine as it shows itself half buried and lost in the clay of the human—­a help to relieve the God powers from the trammels of the fiend—­

A Temple—­not so much to set, and pray, and sing in, about the beauties of our Heavenly home, as to build up God’s kingdom on earth, show forth His praise in helpin’ His poor, and weak, and sinful.

My feelin’s wuz a sight—­a sight to behold, as I sot and looked at it—­that tall, noble, majestic pile, and thought of the way it wuz built, and what it wuz built for.

But as we drove on agin, my mind got swamped once more in a sea of immense figgers that swashed up agin me—­elevators that carry grain up to the top of towerin’ buildin’s, 10,000 bushels a hour, and then come down its own self and weigh itself, and I guess put itself into bags and tie ’em up—­though he didn’t speak in particuler about the tyin’ up.

And then he praised their stores—­one of ’em which employed 2,000,400 men.  And then he praised up their teliphone system, so perfect that nothin’ could happen in any part of the city without its bein’ known to once at police headquarters.

And then he praised up agin and agin the business qualities and go-ahead-it-ivness of the people, and how property had riz.

“Why,” sez he, “Chicago and three hundred miles around it wuz bought for five shillings not so long ago as your little town was founded, and now look at the uncounted millions it represents.”

And then he boasted about the Board of Trade, and said its tower wuz 300 feet high.  And, sez he, “While folks all over the world are prayin’ for their daily bread, the men inside that building was deciding whether they could get it or not.”

And after he talked about everything else connected with Chicago, and hauled up figgers and heaped ’em up in front of me till my brain reeled, and my mind tottered back, and tried to lean onto old Rugers’ Rithmatick—­and couldn’t, he wuz so totally inadequate to the circumstances—­he mentioned “that they had 6000 saloons in Chicago, and made twenty-one million barrels of beer in a year.”

“Wall,” sez I, a-turnin’ round in the buggy, “my brain has been made a wreck by the figgers you have brung up and throwed at me about the noble, progressive doin’s of Chicago, and,” sez I firmly, “I wuz willin’ to have it, for I respect and honor the people who could do such wonders, and keepon a-doin’ ’em, to the admiration of the world.  But,” sez I, “my brain shall not totter under none of your beer and whiskey statisticks.”  And as I spoke I put my hand to my fore-top, and I looked quite bad, and truly I felt so.

He glanced at me, and see that I wuz not in a situation to be trifled with.

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And as we wuz jest approachin’ the station where we wuz to be left, he ceased his remarks, and held his horse in.

He helped me to alight, and I thanked him for his kindness, and acted as polite as a person could whose brain lay a wreck in the upper part of her head.  The last word Mr. Bolster said to us wuz, as he gathered up the reins, sez he: 

“Thirty-six lines of cars come to and leave Chicago, which, with its immense shipping facilities, makes it the—­”

But the cars tooted jest then, and I didn’t hear his last words, and I wuz glad on’t, as I say, I had thanked him before.

But good land! he would have carried two giraffes or camels willin’ly if he could have got ’em into his buggy, and sot ’em up by him on the seat, and could have boasted to ’em understandin’ly about Chicago.  But I guess he is well-meanin’.


Wall, after he left us we boarded some cars, and found ourselves, with the inhabitants of several States, I should judge, borne onwards towards the White City.

And anon, or about that time, we found ourselves at a depot, where wuz the entire census of several other States, and Territories.

There we wuz right in front of the Gole, and I don’t believe there wuz a better-lookin’ Gole sence the world begun.

The minute we left the cars we found ourselves between two lines of wild-lookin’ and actin’ men, a-tryin’ to sell us things we hadn’t no need on.

What did I want with a cane? or Josiah with a little creepin’ beetle?  And what did I want with galluses?

They didn’t use no judgment, and their yellin’s wuz fearful; whatever else they had, they didn’t have consumption, I don’t believe.

After payin’ our two fares, a little gate sort o’ turned round and let us in to the Columbian World’s Fair—­that marvellous city of magic; and anon, if not a little before, the Adminstration Buildin’ hove up in front of us.

All the descriptions in the World can’t give no idee of the wonderful proportions of the buildin’s and the charm of the surroundin’s.  The minute you pass the gate you are overwhelmed with the greatness, charm, and nobility, the impressive, onspeakable aspect of the buildin’s.

The stucco, of which most of the buildin’s are composed, made it possible for the artist and the architect to carry out their idees to a magnitude never before attempted.  It is a material easy to be moulded into all rare and artistic shapes and groupin’s, and still cheap enough to be used as free as their fancy dictated, and is as beautiful as marble.

Colossial buildin’s, beautiful enough for any Monarch, and which no goverment on earth wuz ever rich enough to carry out in permanent form.

Wall, as I said, the Adminstration Buildin’ wuz the one that hove up directly in front of us.

[Illustration:  The Adminstration Buildin’ hove up directly in front of us.]

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It towers up in the circumambient air with its great gilded dome, and seems to begen to us all to come and pass through it into the marvels beyend.

This buildin’ is like a main spring to a watch, or the pendulum to a gigantick clock—­it regulates the hull of the rest of the works.  Here is the headquarters of the managers of the World’s Fair—­the fire and police departments—­the press, and them that have charge of the foreign nations.

Here is a bank, post-office, and the department of general information about the Fair.

And never, never sence the creation of the world has old General Information had a better-lookin’ place to stay in.

Why, some folks call this high, magnificent buildin’, with its great shinin’ dome, the handsomest buildin’ amongst that city of matchless palaces.  It covers four acres, every acre bein’ more magnificent than the other acres.  Why, the Widder Albert herself gin Mr. Hunt, the architect, a ticket, she was so tickled with his work.

The dome on top of it is the biggest dome in the world, with the exception of St. Peter’s in Rome.  And it seemed to me, as I looked up at the dome, that Peter might have got along with one no bigger than this.

Howsumever, it hain’t for me to scrimp anybody in domes.  But this wuz truly enormious.

But none too big, mebby, for the nub on top of the gate of the World’s Fair.  That needs to be mighty in size, and of pure gold, to correspond with what is on the inside of the gate.

But never wuz there such a gorgeous gate-way before, unless it wuz the gate-way of Paradise.

Why, as you stood inside of that dome and looked way up, up, up towards the top, your feelin’s soared to that extent that it almost took you offen your feet.

Noble pictures and statutes you see here, too.  Some on ’em struck tremendious hard blows onto my appreciation, and onto my head also.

And a-lookin’ on ’em made me feel well, dretful well, to see how much my sect wuz thought on in stun, and canvas, and such.

There wuz Diligence, a good-lookin’ woman, workin’ jest as she always has, and is willin’ to; there she sot a-spinnin’ and a-bringin’ up her children as good as she knew how.

Mebby she wuz a-teachin’ a Sunday-school lesson to the boy that stood by her.

He had his arms full of ripe fruit and grapes.  I am most afraid for his future, but she wuz a-teachin’ him the best she could; you could see that by her looks.

Then there wuz Truth, another beautiful woman, a-holdin’ a lookin’-glass in her hand, and a-teachin’ another little boy.  Mebby it wuz the young Future she wuz a-learnin’ to tell the truth, anyway, no matter how much it hurt him, how hard it hit aginst old custom and prejudices.  He wuz a-leanin’ affectionate on her, but his eyes wuz a-lookin’ away—­fur off.  Mebby he’ll hear to her, mebby he will—­he’s young; but I feel kinder dubersome about it.

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She held her glass dretful high.  Mebby she laid out that Uncle Sam should see his old features in it, and mebby she wuz a-remindin’ him that he ortn’t to carve woman as a statute of Truth, and then not be willin’ to hear her complaints when she tries to tell him about ’em, in his own place, where he makes his laws, year in and year out.

If he believes she is truthful—­and he must, or he wouldn’t name her Truth and set her up so high for the nations to look at—­what makes him, year after year, act towards wimmen as if he believed she wuz a-lyin’?  It is onreasonable in him.

And then there wuz Abundance, a woman and a man.  I guess they had an abundance of everything for their comfort, and it looked real good to see they wuz both a-sharin’ it.

She wuz a-settin’ in a chair, and he wuz on the floor.  That might do for a Monument, or Statute, but I don’t believe they would foller it up so for day after day in real life, and they hadn’t ort to.  Men and wimmen ort to have the same settin’ accommodations, and standin’ too, and ort to be treated one of ’em jest as well as the other.  They are both likely creeters, a good deal of the time.

Then there wuz Tradition.  Them wuz two old men, as wuz nateral—­wimmen wuzn’t in that—­woman is in the future and the present.  Them two men, a-lookin’ considerable war-like, wuz a-talkin’ over the past—­the deeds of Might.

They didn’t need wimmen so much there, and I didn’t feel as if I cared a cent to have her there.

When they git to talkin’ over the deeds of Right, I’d want wimmen to be present. And she will be there.

And then there wuz Liberty, agin a woman, beautiful and serene, a-depicterin’ Liberty, and agin a-holdin’ her arms round a young male child, and a-teachin’ him.

That, too, filled me with high hope, that Uncle Sam had at last discovered the mean actions that wuz a-goin’ on about wimmen; that he had seen the chains that wuz a-bindin’ her, and a-gaulin’ her.

He wouldn’t be likely to depicter her as Liberty, and set her up so high in the gate-way to the World’s Fair, if he calculated to keep her on in the slavery she is now, a-bindin’ her with her own heart-strings—­takin’ away her power to help her own heart’s dearest, in their fights aginst the evils and temptations of the World.

No, I believe Uncle Sam is a-goin’ to turn over a new leaf—­anyway, Liberty sot up there, a-lookin’ off with a calm mean, and there wuz a smile on her face, as if she see a light in the future that begened to her.

And then, there wuz Charity; of course she wuz a woman—­she always is.

She had two little boys by her; one had his hand on her heart, and that faithful heart wuz filled with love and pity for him, jest as it always has been, and always will be.  Another wuz a-kneelin’ at her feet, with her fosterin’ hand on his head.  A good-lookin’ creeter Charity wuz, and well behaved.

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Joy seemed to be enjoyin’ herself first rate.  Her pretty face seemed to answer back the music that the youth at her feet wuz a-rousin’ from his magic flute.

Theology wuz a wise, reverend-lookin’ old man, a-thinkin’ up a sermon, or a-thinkin’ out some new system of religion, I dare presoom to say, for his book seemed to be half closed, and he wuz lost in deep thought.

He looked first rate—­a good and well-behaved old man, I hain’t a doubt on’t.

Then, there wuz Patriotism—­a man and a woman.  He, a-standin’ up ready to face danger, or die for his country; she, with her arms round him, a-lookin’ up into his face, as if to say—­

“If you must go, I will stay to home with a breakin’ heart, and take care of the children, and do the barn chores.”

They both looked real good and noble.  Mr. Bitters done first rate—­Josiah couldn’t have begun to done so well, nor I nuther.

Then there wuz a dretful impressive statute there, a grand-lookin’ old man, with his hand uplifted, a-tellin’ sunthin’ to a young child, who wuz a-listenin’ eagerly.

I d’no who the old man wuz; there wuz broad white wings a-risin’ up all round him, and it might be he wuz meant to depicter the Recordin’ Angel; if he wuz, he could have got quills enough out of them wings to do all his writin’ with.

And it might be that it wuz Wisdom instructin’ youth.

And it might be some enterprisin’ old goose-raiser a-tellin’ his oldest boy the best way to save the white wings of ganders.

But I don’t believe this wuz so.  There wuz a riz up, noble look on the old man’s face that wuz never ketched, I don’t believe, with wrestlin’ with geese on a farm, and neighbors all round him.

No, I guess it wuz the gray and wise old World a-instructin’ the young Republic what to do and what not to do.

The child looked dretful impetuous and eager, and ready to start off any minute, a good deal as our country does, and I presoom wherever the child wuz a-startin’ for it will git there.

A noble statute.  Mr. Bitters did first rate.

But when I git started on pictures and statutes—­I don’t know where or when to stop.

But time hastens, and to resoom.

As I reluctantly tore myself away from the glory and grandeur inside, and passed through the buildin’ to the outside, and a full view of the Court of Honor busted on to our bewildered vision, I did—­I actually did feel weak as a cat.

Never agin—­never agin will such a seen glow and grow before mine eyes, till the streets of the New Jerusalem open before my vision.

Beyend that wide Plaza, that long basin of clear sparklin’ water, dotted all over its glowin’ bosom with fairy-like gondolas, and gondolers, dressed in all the colors of the rainbow, or picturesque launches, with their gay freight of happy sightseers.  And here and there, jest where they wuz needed, to look the best, wuz statutes and banners and the most gorgeous fountain that ever dripped water.

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Then the broad flights of snowy marble steps risin’ from the water to the green flowery terraces, and then above them the magnificent white wonders of the different buildin’s.

And standin’ up aginst the sky, and the blue waters of the lake, the tall ivory columns of the Perestyle stood, like a immense beautiful screen, to guard this White City of magic splendor.

And risin’ from the blue waters of the Basin stands the grand figure of the Republic, towerin’ up a hundred feet high, lookin’ jest as she ort to look.  Calm, stately, but knowin’ in her heart jest what she had done, and jest what she hadn’t done, knowin’ jest what she had to be proud on, if she only let her mind run on’t.

But there wuz no high-headedness, no tostin’ of her neck.  No, fair and stately and serene as a dream Queen, she stood a fittin’ centre for the onspeakable beauty of her surroundin’s.

It wuz all perfect, everything—­no flaw in the perfect harmony of the seen.  No limit to its onapproachable beauty.  Yes, the glory of that seen as it bust onto my raptured vision will go with me through life, and won’t never be outdone and replaced by anything more perfect, till that rapt hour when the mortal puts on immortality, and the glory that no eye hath seen busts on my glorified vision.

And as we wended onwards and got still further views of the matchless wonders of the Columbus World’s Fair—­wall, I gin in, and felt and said, that I spozed I had had emotions all my life, and sights of ’em; why, I have had ’em as high as from 70 to 80 a minute right along for a hour on a stretch—­sometimes when I have been rousted up about sunthin’.

But when I stood stun still in my tracts, and the full glory and beauty of that seen of wonder and enchantment broke onto my almost enraptured vision, I gin up that I never had had a emotion in my hull life, not one, nothin’ but plain, common breathin’s and sithes.

When I see these snowy palaces, vast and beautiful and dreamlike, risin’ up from the blue waters, and their pure white columns and statuary reflected into the mirrow below, and the green beauty of the Wooded Island, and the tall trees a-dottin’ them here and there—­

And when I see the lagoon a-windin’ along, and arched over with bridges, like the best of the beauty of Venice born agin, perfect and fresh in the heart of the New World—­

When I beheld the immense quantity of shrubs and flowers of every kind known to the world—­

And all along the blue waters of the Grand Basin, surrounded by the magnificence and glory of these beautiful palaces—­the fountains a-sprayin’ up, and waters a-flashin’, and banners a-flyin’, and the tall white statutes a-standin’ on every side of us a-watchin’ us with their still eyes, to see how we took in the transcendent seen, and how we appeared under the display—­wall, I stood, as I say, stun still in my tracts, and sez to myself—­

“It would be jest as easy to comprehend the wonder of this Exposition by readin’ about it, as it would be for any one to try to judge Niagara by lookin’ at a pan of dishwater.”

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They are both water, but different, fur different.

And you have got to take in the wonder and majesty of the sight, through the pores as it wuz, through all your soul, not at first, but it has got to grow and soak in, and make it a part of yourself.

And then, when you have, you hain’t a-goin’ to describe it—­words can’t do it; you can walk through it and talk about the size of the buildin’s, and the wonders of the display, but that hain’t a-goin’ to describe it, no more than the pan of dishwater can explain Niagara.

You can converse about Niagara, the depth, the eddies, the swirl of the waters, the horseshoe falls, the rainbow that rises over it, the grotto, the slate-stun on the banks below, and so forth, and so forth, and so on.

And how to show off the might and rush of the volume of water that shakes the earth, the mountain of shinin’ mist that floats up to the wonderin’ and admirin’ heavens—­how to paint this wonderful and inexpressible glory by tongue, how to put in words that which is mightier than any words that wuz ever said or sung!  Wonder and awe, overwhelmin’ sensation that makes the pulse stop and then beat agin in bounds.

When you paint a picture showin’ the full power and depth of a mother’s love; when you can paint the ardor and extacy that inspires the hero’s soul as he leads the forlorn hope, and dies with his face to the foe—­

Then you may try to describe Niagara; no pen, no tongue can describe this ever rushin’, ever old and ever new Wonder of the new world.

And no more can any pen describe the World’s Fair, the tall, towerin’ fruit of the four-century tree of civilization, and liberty, and equal rights.

You can talk about the buildin’s—­how they are made, how long and wide they are.  You can talk about the lagoons, the Grand Basin, the Bridges, the Statutes, the Fountains, the wonders of the flowers and foliage, the grandeur of the display, and so forth, and so forth, and so forth.

But how to describe this as a hull, its immensity, its concentrated might of material, practical beauty and use, that moves the world with its volume and power—­

Or the more wonderful forces and influences that arise from it, like a gold mist seekin’ the Heavens, to fall in showers of blessin’s to the uttermost ends of the earth—­knowledge, wisdom, and beauty, of Freedom, and Individual Liberty, Educational, Moral, and Beneficent influences—­who is a-goin’ to describe all this?

I can’t, nor Josiah, nor Miss Plank, nor nobody.  No, Mr. Bolster couldn’t.

Why, jest a-lookin’ at it cracked the Old Liberty Bell, and I don’t wonder.  I spoze she tried to swing out and describe it, and bust her old sides in the attempt; anyway, that is what some think.  The new crack is there, anyway.  Who’d a thought on’t—­a bell that has stood so many different sights, and kep herself together?  But I wuzn’t surprised a mite to think it wuz too much for her—­no, nobody could describe it.

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[Illustration:  She bust her old sides in the attempt.]

I know Miss Plank couldn’t, for we met her there, or ruther she come onto us, as I stood stun still and nearly lost, and by the side of myself, and I felt so queer that I couldn’t hardly speak to her.  I don’t know but she thought I felt big and haughty, but good land! how mistook she wuz if she thought so!  I felt as small as I stood there that very minute, as one drop of milk in the hull milky way.

But when my senses got kinder collected together, and my emotions got quelled down a little, I passed the usual compliments with Miss Plank—­“How de do?” and so forth.

And she proposed that we should go round a little together—­she said that she had been here so many times, that she felt she could offer herself as our “Sissy Roney.”

She looked at Josiah as she spoke kinder kokettish, and I thought to myself, You are a-actin’ pretty kittenish for a woman of your age.

“Sissy!” Sez I to myself, the time for you to be called “sissy” rightfully lays fur back in the past—­as much as fifty years back, anyway.  As for the “Roney,” I didn’t know what she did mean, but spozed it wuz some sort of a pet name that had been gin her fur away in that distant past.

And I spozed she had brung it up to kinder attract Josiah Allen; but, good land! if his morals hadn’t been like iron for solidity, I knew that for her to try to flirt wuz like a old hen to try to bite; they don’t have no teeth, hens don’t, even when they are young, and they won’t be likely to have any when they are fifty or sixty years old.  So I looked on with composure, and didn’t take no notice of her flirtacious ways, and I consented to her propisition, and Josiah did too.  That man hadn’t been riz up by his emotions as I had, by the majesty and glory of the scene—­no, he felt pretty chipper; and Miss Plank, after she quieted down a little, and ceased talkin’ about her girlish days, she could think, even in that rapt hour, of pancakes; for she mentioned, when I spoke of how high the waters of the fountain riz up, “Yes,” sez she—­

“Speakin’ of risin’, I left some pancakes a-risin’ before I left home;” and she wondered if the cook would tend to ’em.

Pancakes! in such a time as this.

And then Josiah proposed to go and see the live stock, and Miss Plank said dreamily that she would like to go to a certain restaurant at the fur end of the grounds to see the cookin’ of a certain chef; she had heard it went ahead of anything in America.

“Chef”—­I didn’t want to act green, but I did wonder what “chef” wuz.  I thought mebby it wuz chaff she meant, and I spozed they had got up some new way to cook chaff.

I would liked to seen it and tasted of it, but Duty begened to me, and I followed her blindly, and I sez, as I planted my umbrell firm down on the ground, sez I—­

“Here I take my stand; I don’t often stand out and try to have my way—­”

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Here Josiah gin a deep groan out to one side, but he no need to—­I spoke truth, or pretty near the truth, anyway.

Sez I, “Here I take my stand!” and I brung down my good cotton umbrell agin firmly, as if to punctuate my remarks, and add weight to it, and I wuz so earnest that before I knew it I fell into a fervid eloquence—­catched from my old revolutionary 4 fathers, I spoze—­and, sez I—­

“I care not what course others may take—­”

“But,” sez Miss Plank, “we will hang together in such a crowd as this.”

“Yes,” sez Josiah; “you mustn’t go wanderin’ off by yourself, Samantha; it hain’t safe.”

I wuz brung down some, but I kep on with considerable eloquence, though it wuz kinder drizzlin’ away onbeknown to me, such is the power of environment.

Sez I, “I care not what course others may take, I will go first to the place my proud heart has dwelt on ever sence the Fair wuz opened—­

“I will go first to the Woman’s Buildin’, home of my sect, and my proud ambition and love.”

Miss Plank demurred, and said “that it wuz some distance off;” but I held firm—­Josiah see that I wuz firm—­and he finally gin in quite graciously, and, sez he—­

“I don’t spoze it will take long, anyway, to see all that wimmen has brung here—­and I spoze the buildin’ will be a sight—­all trimmed off with ornaments, and flowers, and tattin’; mebby they will have lace all festooned on the outside.”

Sez he, “I always did want to see a house trimmed with bobinet lace on the outside, and tattin’ and ribbin streamers.”

I wouldn’t dain a reply; he did it to lower my emotions about wimmen.

But it wuz impossible.  So we turned our bodies round and set off north by northwest.

Agin Miss Plank mentioned the distance, and agin my Josiah spoke longin’ly of the live stock.

And I sez with a calm dignity, “Josiah, you are not a woman.”

“No,” sez he, “dum it all, I know I hain’t, and so there hain’t much chance of my gettin’ my way.”

I kep on calmly, and with the same lofty mean, “You are not a woman, and therefore you can’t tell a woman’s desires that go with me, to see the glorification of her own sect, in their great and lofty work, and the high thrones on which they have sot themselves in the year of our Lord, 1893; I am sot,” sez I, “I am sot as ever the statute of America is on her marble pedestal, jest so solid am I riz up on the firm and solid foundation of my love, and admiration, and appreciation for my own sect.”

And so, as I say, we turned round in our tracts and went back round that noble Adminstration Buildin’—­

Josiah a-talkin’ anon or oftener about what he expected to see in the Woman’s Buildin’, every one on ’em light and triflin’ things, such as gauzes, and artificial flowers, and cossets, and high-heel shoes, and placks, and tattin’, and etc.

And I anon a-answerin’ his sneerin’ words, and the onspoken but fatigued appeals in Miss Plank’s eyes, by sayin’—­

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“Do you suppose I would hurt the feelin’s of my sect, do you suppose I would mortify ’em before the assembled nations of the earth, by slightin’ ’em, by not payin’ attention to ’em, and makin’ ’em the first and prime object of my distinguished and honorable consideration?

“No, indeed; no, indeed!”

So we went on at a pretty good jog, and a-meetin’ every single person in the hull earth, every man, woman, and child, black and white, bond and free, lame and lazy, or it did seem so to my wearied and bewildered apprehenshion.

And I sez to myself mekanicly, what if conflagrations should break out in Asia, or the chimbly get afire in Australia, or a earthquake take place in Africa, or a calf get into the waterin’ trough at Jonesville, who would git it out or put ’em out?

Everybody in the hull livin’ world is here; the earth has dreaned off all its livin’ inhabitants down into this place; some of the time I thought mebby one or two would be left in Jonesville, and Loontown, and the hind side of Asia, and Hindoostan; but as I wended on and see the immense crowd, a-passin’ out of one buildin’ and a-passin’ in to another, and a-swarmin’ over the road and a-coverin’ the face of the water, I sez to myself—­

“No, there hain’t a soul left in Hindoostan, or Jonesville, not one; nor Loontown, nor Shackville, nor Africa, nor Zoar.”

It wuz a curious time, very, but anon, after we had wended on for some distance, and Miss Plank looked some wilted, and Josiah’s steps dragged, and my own frame felt the twinges of rheumatiz—­

Miss Plank spoke up, and sez she, “If you are bound on going to the Woman’s Building first, why not take a boat and go around there, and that will give you a good view of the buildings.”

I assented to her propisition with alacrity, and wondered that I hadn’t thought of it before, and Josiah acted almost too tickled.

That man loves to save his steps; and then, as I soon see, he had another idee in his head.

Sez he, “I always wanted to be a mariner—­I will hire a boat and be your boatman.”

“Not with me for a passenger, Josiah Allen,” sez I.  “I want to live through the day, anyway; I want to live to see the full glory of my sect; I don’t want to be drownded jest in front of the gole.”

He looked mad—­mad as a hen; but he see firmness in my mean, so we went back, and down a flight of steps to the water’s edge, and he signalled a craft that drew up and laid off aginst us—­a kinder queer-shaped one, with a canopy top, and gorgeous dressed boatmen—­and we embarked and floated off on the clear waters of the Grand Basin.  Oh! what a seen that would have been for a historical painter, if Mr. Michael Angelo had been present with a brush and some paint!

Josiah Allen’s Wife a-settin’ off for the express purpose of seein’ and admirin’ the work of her own sect, and right in front of her the grand figger of Woman a-standin’ up a hundred feet high; but no higher above the ordinary size of her sect wuz she a-standin’ than the works of the wimmen I wuz a-settin’ out to see towered up above the past level of womankind.  Oh, what a hour that wuz for the world! and what a seen that wuz for Josiah Allen’s Wife to be a-passin’ through, watched by the majestic figger of Woman.

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The green, tree-dotted terraces bloomin’ with flowers a-risin’ up from the blue water, and above the verdent terraces the tall white walls of them gorgeous palaces, a-risin’ up with colonades, and statutes, and arabesques, and domes, and pinnacles, and on the smooth white path that lay in front of ’em, and on every side of ’em, the hull world a-walkin’ and a-admirin’ the seen jest as much as we did.  And if there wuzn’t everything else to look at and admire, the looks of that crowd wuz enough—­full enough—­for one pair of eyes; for they wuz from every country of the globe, and dressed in every fashion from Eve, and her men folks, down to the fashions of to-day.

And anon we would come to a bridge gracefully arched over the water, and float under it, and then sail on, and on, and on, past the vast palace 45 acres big, and every single acre of ’em majestic and beautiful more than tongue can tell or give any idee on, and then by some more of them matchless marvels of housen crowned with pinnacles, and domes, and wavin’ banners, and then by the electrical buildin’, with white towers, and battlements, and sculptured loveliness, on one side of us, and, on the other, that beautiful Wooded Island, that is a hantin’ dream of beauty inside of a dream of matchless loveliness.

Acres and acres of flowers of every kind and color; the perfume floated out and wrapped us round like a sweet onseen mantilly, as we floated past fur dim isles of green trees, with domes and minarets a-risin’ up above the billows of emerald richness, and then anon, under another bridge, and more of them enchantin’ wonders of Art, and on, under another one, and another.

And my emotions all of the time wuz what no man might number, and as for the size of ’em, there hain’t no use of talkin’ about sortin’ ’em out, or weighin’ ’em—­no steel yards on earth could weigh the little end on ‘em, let alone weighin’ the hull caboodle of ’em.

No Rasfodist that ever rasfodized could do justice to the transcendent grandeur that shone out on every side of us.

No, the rasfodist would have to set down and hold up his hands before him, as I have done sometimes before a big pile of work, when I have seen a wagon load of visitors a-stoppin’ at the gate to stay all day.

I have just clasped my hands and sez, “Oh dear me!”

Or in aggravated cases I would say, mebby,

“Oh dear me suz!”

And that wuz about all I could say here.

Yes, my feelin’s, I do believe, if they could have been gazed on, would have been jest about as a impressive a sight to witness as the Columbian Fair.

But anon my rapt musin’s wuz broke into sudden; I heard as through a dream a voice say—­

“If she forgets to take the dough off from the dry oven, the pancakes will run over.”


It wuz like Peri in Paradise callin’ for root-beer; it brung me down to the world agin, and anon I heard my pardner say—­

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“Wall, I wish I had a few of ’em this minute, Miss Plank.”

Eatin’ at such a time as this—­the idee!

But I wuz brung clear down, and I don’t know but it wuz jest as well, for it wuz time for us to alight from our bark.

And with the feelin’s I had ever sence I started, I wuz that riz up that I could almost expect to step over the lagoon at one stride and swing my foot clear over the hull noble flight of marble steps, and the wide terrace, and land in front of the Woman’s Buildin’.  With my head even with its highest cupalo, I wuz fearfully riz up, and by the side of myself.

But these allusions to pancakes had brung me down, so I stepped meekly out on to the broad, noble flight of steps, and the full beauty of the Woman’s Buildin’ riz up in front of us.

Even Josiah wuz impressed with the simple, noble perfection of that buildin’.  I heard him say—­

“By Crackey! not a bit of lace or tattin’; not a streamer of ribbin.  Well done for wimmen; they have riz up for once above gauzes, and flummeries, and ornaments.”

“No,” sez I; “if you want to look at ornament, you might look at the Adminstration Buildin’, designed by a man.  Men love ornament, Josiah Allen.”

He quailed; he hadn’t forgot the pink necktie he wanted to adorn himself with, and the breastpin he wanted to put on that mornin’.

The waters of the lagoon in front of the buildin’ is as wide as a bay; from the centre of this rises the grand landin’ and staircase, leadin’ to a terrace six feet above the water.

The first terrace is laid out in glowin’ flower-beds, and anon, green flowerin’ shrubs, above which the ivory white balustrade shines out, separatin’ it from the upper terrace.

And along the upper terrace, about one hundred feet back, the beautiful Woman’s Buildin’ rises, with a background of stately old oak trees.

This most artistic and beautiful buildin’ consists of a centre pavilion, flanked at each end by corner pavilions, connected by open corridors forming a sheltered and beautiful walk the hull length of the structure.  On goin’ through a wide lobby you come into a vast open rotunda reachin’ clear up to the top of the buildin’, where the sunlight falls down most graciously through a richly ornamented skylight.  This rotunda is surmounted by a two-story open arcade, as delicate and refined in its beauty as the outside of the buildin’, givin’ light and air in abundance to all of the rooms openin’ into the interior space.  On the first floor, on the right hand, is located a model kindergarten; on the left, a model horsepital.  You see, these two things are attended to the first thing by wimmen.

Wimmen have always had to take time by the forelock and do the most important things first, or she never would be done with her work.

Before she tackled the ironin’, or dishwashin’, or piecin’ up bedquilts, or knittin’, she has always had to dress, and nurse, and take care of the children, make them comfortable, and take care of the sick; had to, or it wouldn’t be done.

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And she wuzn’t goin’ to stop her good, tender, motherly doin’s here—­not at all.  No; the children, the future hope of our country, the Lord’s work laid onto mothers, is on the right side.

Here are shown the very latest and best helps in takin’ care and trainin’ up these little immortals, teachin’ them to be good first, and then wise, and healthy all the time—­the most important work in the hull world, in my estimation; for the children we spank to-day will hold the destinies of the human race in their hands to-morrow.

Yes, on the right hand the children; on the left hand is a model horsepital, not merely a exhibit, but a real horsepital, at full work in its blessed and sanctified labor, a-takin’ care of the sick and smoothin’ the brows racked with agony, alleviatin’ the distresses of the frame racked with pain.

What another good work!  Can a man show anything at their hull Columbus World’s Fair—­anything that will equal these two blessed labors?

No; he can show lots of knowledge and wisdom, and he can show guns, and cannons, and pistols, boey-knives, to cut and slash; but it is woman’s work (blessed angel that she is, a good deal of the time), it is them that shows this broad, efficient system of relieving the hurts and distresses of the world.  Besides the most skilled of our own country, foreign nations send their best-trained nurses from their trainin’ schools, showin’ the latest and most perfect methods of relievin’ pain and agony.

And not contented with showin’ off here what they could do, and how they do it—­not content with makin’ this one big room a perfect nest for female good Samaritans—­a carin’ for the sick and dyin’—­

They have soared out of this room—­60 by 80 feet couldn’t confine ’em—­they have located all over the grounds horsepitals to care for them who are took sick here at Columbuses doin’s, and, good creeters, I suppose they will have their hands full, specially in dog days.

Yes, woman begun her work jest as she ort to, right on the ground floor—­on the right, the children; on the left, the sick and helpless.

Right opposite the main front is the library, furnished by the wimmen of New York.  It is one of the largest and finest rooms in the house, and every book in it writ by a woman.

And right here I see my own books; there they wuz a-standin’ up jest as noble and pert as if they wuz to home in the what-not behind the parlor door, not a-feelin’ the least mite put out before princes, or zars.  A-standin’ jest as straight in front of a king as a cow-boy, not a-humpin’ themselves up in the latter instance, or a-meachin’ in the more former one.

I felt proud on ’em to see their onbroken dignity and simplicity of mean.  And, thinkses I, the demeanor of them books is a lesson to Republics—­how to act before Royalties; not a-backin’ up and a-actin’, not put out a mite, not forward, and not too backward—­jest about megum.

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A-keepin’ right on in their own spear, jest as usial, not intrudin’ themselves and a-pushin’, but ready to greet ’em and give ’em the best there wuz in ’em, if occasion called for it, and then ready to bid ’em a calm, well-meanin’ farewell when the time come to part.

It wuz a great surprise to me, and how they got there wuz a mystery.  But I spoze the nation collected ’em together and sot ’em up there because it sets such a store by me.  It is dretful fond of me, the nation is, and well it may be.  I have stood up for it time and agin, and then I’ve done a sight for it in the way of advisin’ and bracin’ it up.

As I stood and looked at them books I got carried a good ways off a-ridin’ on Wonder—­a-wonderin’ whether them books had done any good in the world.

I’d wanted ’em to, I’d wanted ’em to like a dog.  Sometimes I’d felt real riz up a-thinkin’ they had, and then agin I’ve felt dubersome.

But I knew they had gin great enjoyment, I’d hearn on’t.  Why, the minister up to Zoar had told me of as many as seven relations of hisen, who, when they wuz run down and weak, and had kinder lost their minds, had jest clung to them books.

In softenin’ of the brain now, or bein’ kicked on the head, or nateral brain weakness—­why, them books are invaluable, so I spoze.

But to resoom.  The corner pavilion, like all the rest of the buildin’, have each a open colonade above the main cornice.  Here are the hangin’ gardens, and also the committee rooms of the lady managers.

This palace of beauty wuz designed by a woman—­woman has got to have the credit for everything about it.

A woman designed the hull buildin’; a woman modelled the figgers that support the ruff; a woman won fairly in competition the right to decorate the cornice.  The interior decoration, much of it carved work, is done by wimmen; panels wuz carved by wimmen all over the country and brought here to decorate the walls.

And not only decorated, but in a good many rooms the woodwork wuz finished by wimmen.  California has a room walled and ceiled with redwood by wimmen.

And wimmen of all the States, from Maine and Florida, have joined to make the place beautiful.  Even the Indian wimmen made richly embroidered hangin’s for the doors and windows.

The wimmen managers wuz the first wimmen that wuz ever officially commissioned by Congress, and never have wimmen swung out so, or, to be poetical, never have they cut so wide and broad a swath on the seedy old fields of Time, as they do to this Fair.  They can exhibit with the best of the contestants, men or wimmen, and by act of Congress represent their own sect on the Jury of Award.

Congress did the fair thing by wimmen in this matter.  Let him step up one step higher on the hill of justice, and gin ’em the right to set on the jury of award or punishment when their own honor is at the stake.

It has let wimmen tell which is the best piece of woosted work, or tattin’; now let her be judged by her peers when life or death is the award meted out to ’em.  But to resoom.

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The Gallery of Honor is the centre hall of the buildin’, and runs almost the entire length, and openin’ out of it is the display that shows that wimmen wuz really the first inventors and producers of what wuz useful as well as beautiful, and that men took up the work when money could be made from it.

Here is the work of the first and rudest people, but all made by female wimmen—­the rough, hard buds of beauty and labor; and in the Central hall, like these buds open in full bloom and beauty, is the fruit of the most advanced thought and genius.

The interior glows with soft and harmonious colors, and chaste ornamentation.

Mrs. Candace Wheeler, of New York, had charge of the decoration, which is sayin’ enough for its beauty, if you didn’t say anything else, and Illinois and the rest of the world wuz grand helpers in the work of beauty.

The Gallery of Honor, the central hall of the buildin’, runs almost the entire length.  The noble, harmonious beauty of this room strikes you as you first enter, some as it would if you come up sudden out of the woods, a-facin’ a gorgeous sunset—­or sunrisin’, I guess, would be a suitabler metafor.

The colorin’ of this room is ivory and gold, in delicate and beautiful designs.  But the pictures that cover the walls adds the bright tints neccessary to make the hull picture perfect.

The beautiful panels on the side walls are the work of American artists.  One, on the west side, by Amanda Brewster Sewall, represents an Algerian pastural seen, showing country maids tendin’ their flocks; which proves that Algerian girls are first-rate lookin’, and that dumb brutes in Algeria, though it is so fur from Jonesville, have got to be tended to, and that wimmen have got to tend to ’em a good deal of the time.

The other paintin’, on the same side, is the work of Miss Fairchild, of Boston, and it shows our old Puritan 4 Mothers hard to work, a-takin’ care of their housen and doin’ up the work.  Likely old creeters they wuz, and industrius.

Opposite, on the east side, is a panel by Mrs. Lydia Emmet Sherwood—­another group of wimmen; good-lookin’ wimmen they be, all on ’em.  And the other panel, by Miss Lydia Emmet, shows the interior of a studio, with young females a-studyin’ different arts that are useful and ornamental, and calculated to help themselves and the world along.  At the north end of this great gallery is a large panel by Mrs. MacMonnies, wife of the sculptor, representin’ Primitive Wimmen.  A-showin’, plain as nobody less gifted than she could, jest how primitive wimmen used to be.

Opposite, on the south side, is a companion piece by Miss Cassette, of Paris, called Modern Wimmen, and a-showin’ up first rate how fur wimmen have emerged from the shadders of the past.

The centre panel depicters a orchard covered with bright green grass, and graceful female wimmen a-gatherin’ apples offen the tree.

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Apples of knowledge, I spoze, but different from Eve’s—­fur different; these wuz peaceful Knowledge, Literature, Art, and all beautiful and useful industries.

A smaller panel describes Music and Dancin’ in a charmin’ way.

On the other side of the central panel are several maidens pursuin’ a flyin’ figger.

Mebby it wuz the Ideal.  If it wuz, I wuz glad to see them young females a-follerin’ it up so clost.  But girls will be more apt to catch her, when they leave off cossets, and long trains, and high-heeled shoes (metafor).  But these seemed to be a-doin’ the best they could, anyway.

A border in rich colors went all round the picture, and in the corners wuz medallions all full of sweet babies—­perfect cherubs of loveliness.

In some things the picture mebby could have been bettered a little—­mebby the ladder wuzn’t quite stiddy enough—­mebby I should ruther have not clumb up it.  But the colorin’ of the picture is superb.  So rich and gorgus that it put me in mind of our own Jonesville woods in September, when you look off into the maple forests, and your eyes would fairly be dazzled with the blaze of the colors, if they wuzn’t so soft and rich, and blended into each other so perfect.

Yes, Miss Cassette done real well, and so did Mrs. MacMonnies, too.

And all round this room hung pictures that filled me with delight, and the proudest kind of pride, to think my own sect had done ’em all—­had branched out into such noble and beautiful branchin’s, for the statutes wuz jest as impressive as the pictures.  There wuz one statute in the centre of the main corridor that I liked especially.

It wuz Maud Muller.  As I looked on Maud, I thought I could say with the Judge, when he first had a idee of payin’ attention to her—­

“A sweeter face I ne’er have seen.”  And I thought, too, I could read in Maud’s face a sort of a sad look, as if the shadder Pride, and Fate, held above her, wuz sort o’ shadin’ her now.  Miss Blanche Nevins done first rate, and I’d loved to told her so.

And then there wuz a statute of Elaine that rousted up about every emotion I had by me.

There she wuz, “Elaine the fair,” the lovable, the lily maid of Astolot.

I always thought a sight of her, and I’ve shed many a tear over her ontimely lot.  I knew she thought more of Mr. Lancelot than she’d ort to, specially he bein’ in love with a married woman at the same time.

Her face looked noble, and yet sweet, riz up jest as it must have been when she argued with her pa about the man she loved.

“Never yet was noble man, but made ignoble talk;
  He makes no friends who never made a foe.”

And down under the majesty of her mean wuz the tenderness and pathos of her own little song; for, as Alfred Tennyson said, and said well, “Sweetly could she make, and sing.”

“Sweet is true love, though given in vain, in vain;
 And sweet is Death, who puts an end to pain. 
 I know not which is sweeter—­no, not I.”

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There wuzn’t hardly a dry eye in my head as I stood a-lookin’ at Elaine.

And jest at this wropped moment I heard some voices nigh me that I recognized a-sayin’ in glad and joyous axents, “How do you do, Josiah Allen’s Wife?”

I turned and met seven glad extended hands, and thirteen eyes lookin’ at mine, in joyous welcome, besides one glass eye (and you couldn’t tell the difference, it wuz so nateral—­Oren bought the best one money could git when his nigh eye wuz put out by a steer gorin’ it).  Yes, it wuz Oren Rumble and Lateza, his wife, and the hull of the family—­the five girls, Barthena, Calfurna, Dalphina, Albiny, and Lateza.

But what a change had swep’ over the family sence I had last looked on ’em!

I could hardly believe my two eyes when I looked at their costooms, for the hull family had dressed in black for upwards of ’leven years, and Jonesvillians had got jest as ust to seein’ ’em as they wuz a-seein’ a flock of crows in the spring.

And I do declare it wuz jest as surprisin’ to me to see the way they wuz rigged out as it would be to see a lot of crows a-settlin’ down on our cornfield with red and yeller tail feathers.

To home they didn’t go nowhere, only to meetin’—­the mother bein’ very genteel, comin’ down as she did from a very old and genteel family.  Dretful blue blood I spoze her folks had—­blue as indigo, I spoze.  And she didn’t think it wuz proper to go into society in mournin’ clothes—­she thought it would make talk for mourners to git out and enjoy themselves any in crape.

Oren wuz naterally of a lively disposition, and loved to visit round, and it made it bad for him.  But he felt quite proud of marryin’ such a aristocratic woman, and so he had to take the bitter with the sweet.

Besides their bein’ so old, she had come from a mournin’ family—­her folks always mourned for everybody and everything they could. (You know some families are so, and I spoze they git some comfort out of it.  And black duz look real respectable, but considerable gloomy.)

Their house wuz always shet up, and Oren walked round (rebellin’ inside) under a mournin’ weed.

And the six wimmen was all swathed in crape, and the hull house smelt of crape and logwood.

As I sez more formally, Lateza was brung up to it.  She wuz ready to mourn on the slightest pretext, and mourn jest as long and stiddy as possible.

Wall, black wuz becomin’ to her.  Bein’ tall and spindlin’, black sot her off, and crape draperies sort o’ rounded off her figger and made her look some impressive.

And she loved to stay at home—­she wuz made that way.

But I always felt that if she wanted to make a raven of herself for life, she no need to dye the feathers of the hull family in logwood, and tie ’em all up clost to the nest.

Oren had chafed aginst it bitterly, but he bore the sable yoke until the youngest girl, Lateza (and mebby she inherited some of the aristocratic sotness of her mother with the name)—­

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Anyway, when she come home from school she come dressed in gay colors.  She had on a yeller woosted dress with sky-blue trimmin’s, a pink hat, a lilock veil, and a bunch of flowers in her bosom—­too many colors to look well, but she did it to break her yoke.

This kinder stunted the mother, so she wuz easier to handle, bein’ kinder dazed.

So they took her off to a Christian Science meetin’, and got her converted the first thing.

This broke her chain, for they don’t believe in mournin’ as one without hope, and they believe in wanderin’ round and seein’ the beautiful world all you can, and takin’ some comfort while you are in it.

So while the zeal of the convert wuz on her, and she didn’t feel like disputin’, the girls made her some red dresses, and some yeller ones, and had some white streamers put onto a white bunnet she had.  And they bought themselves the most gorgeous and gay clothin’ Jonesville and Loontown afforded.  Oren is well off, and he wouldn’t stent ’em in such a cause as this—­no, indeed!

And Oren bought some bright, gay-lookin’ suits, and some brilliant neckties—­pale blue silk, with red polka dots on ’em, and some otter-colored ones.

He had on the day we met him a bright plaid suit and a red necktie spangled with yeller, hangin’ out kinder loose in front.

And Oren bought a three-seated carriage, and they jest scoured the hull country—­went to all the parties they could hear on, and the fairs, and camp-meetin’s, and such.  They wuz on the go the hull time; and Lateza Alzina got to likin’ it as much as Oren did.

I don’t spoze they wuz to home hardly enough to eat their meals whilst they wuz in Jonesville; they had a good hired girl, so they wuz free to wander all they wuz a mind to.

This summer Lateza Alzina told me that they had been up to the upper end of Canada and British America on a tower, and come home round by Lake Champlain, and Lake George, and Saratoga; they’d stayed there three weeks, and then they went home and hurried and got ready for the Fair.  They come the first day it wuz opened in the mornin’, and laid out to go home the last day of the Fair along in the night, so Oren said.

They all looked real happy, but some fagged out from seein’ so much.

I’m dretful afraid that the pendulum, havin’ swung too fur on one side, is a-goin’ too fur on the other; it is nater.

But mebby they’ll settle down and be more megum when the pendulum gits kinder settled down some, and its vibration ceases to be so vibratin’.

Anyway, I’m glad to see ’em a-steppin’ out of their weeds, and I told ’em so.

Sez I, “You wuz in mournin’ a awful while, wuzn’t you?”

Oren fairly gritted his teeth, and before Lateza Alzina could speak, he busted out—­

“By Vum!  I’ve mourned all I’m a-goin’ to!  I’ve staid penned up in the house all I’m a-goin’ to!

“I’ve quit it, by Vum!  First my stepfather passed away.  I never liked him—­he always imposed on me; but we all went into deep mournin’, staid out of society—­jest shet ourselves up in a black jail for years.

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“Then my mother-in-law left me—­then three years more of solid black and solid stayin’ to home.

“Then, at the end of the third year, we kinder quit off and begun to creep out a little and kinder lighten ourselves up a little; but then my wife’s brother that she never see died way out to California and left a big property, but not a cent to us.

“But the rest of the family wanted to mourn, so my wife had to foller on and mourn too.

“And there it wuz agin, another time of gloom—­another time of stayin’ to home.

“Time after time, jest as we got out a little, we had to plunge back into gloom agin.

“But now we’re out of it, and by Heavens and earth we’re a-goin’ to stay out!  There hain’t a-goin’ to be any more mournin’ done in this family—­not if I know myself, there hain’t.”

But I sez, “Oren, don’t talk so; folks have to mourn; this is a World of trials, and grief is nateral to it.”

“Wall, I’ll mourn in pepper and salt, and I’ll mourn out-doors.  I hain’t a-goin’ to wind myself up in crape, and shet myself up in a black hole no more, mourn or not mourn.

“And I’m a-goin’ to laugh when I want to.”  And he jest laid his head back and bust out into a horse-laugh at nothin’.

But they didn’t seem to mind it; I guess they wuz ust to it, and the girls kinder put in and laughed too.  Lateza Alzina didn’t laugh out loud, but she kinder snickered some.

It made me feel queer.

I see—­I see the truth; the bow had been drawed too tight back, and now it wuz a-goin’ to shoot too fur—­way over the mark.

But still I felt that Oren had some truth on his side.

And I sez, “I always felt that you shet yourselves up too much and mourned too deep.”

“Wall,” sez Lateza Alzina, “my folks always brung me up to think that it would be apt to make talk if folks went out any while they wuz in black.”

“Wall,” sez I, “I always felt that folks had better set down and calculate which would be the most agreeable to ’em, to shet themselves up and lose their health, and die, or to let folks talk.

“And then act on them thoughts, and do as they want to with fear and tremblin’.

“And,” sez I, “folks would talk whilst you wuz dyin’, anyway; you can’t keep folks from talkin’.”  Sez I, “Like as not they’d say it wuz a guilty conscience that made you droop round and stay to home so.”

“Wall,” sez Lateza Alzina, “I wuz brought up to think that it showed so much respect to them that wuz gone to stay to home in black.”

“Wall,” sez I, “if the ones that wuz gone loved you, they would want you to git all the consolation you could whilst you wuz parted.  Jest as a mother lets her child have some picture-books to comfort it while she leaves it a spell.

“And if you loved them,” sez I, “their memory would go out-doors with you, and go back into the house with you.  You would see the beloved face lookin’ down at you from every mountain you would climb, and the shadder of their form would seem to appear in the mist of every valley.  Every sunset would gleam with the smilin’ light of their eyes, and every sunrise would begen to you, tellin’ you that one more night had gone, and you wuz so much nearer to the Eternal Reunion.

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“Folks don’t have to stay indoors to remember, Lateza.  I have remembered folks out-doors, it seems to me, more than I ever did in the house.

“And the voice you loved would seem to be a-tellin’ you, ’Keep well, beloved, so you can do some of my day’s work I had to lay down, as well as your own, and the meetin’ will be all the gladder and more joyous.’

“And as for puttin’ on black, the dear remembered voice seems to be a-sayin’ to me, ’Don’t put on the symbol of sorrow for one who has found the very secret of happiness, who has left the dark shadders and has gone into the great brightness.  Don’t carry the idee to the world that you have lost me, for I am nearer to you than I ever could have been on earth, for the clay has only fell off from my soul, leavin’ the barrier but thin indeed between us now.

“‘Don’t act as if you wuz mournin’ for me, dear heart.  Let the world see your thought, see the truth we both know, by its reflection in your face.’

“These are my idees, Lateza Alzina,” sez I; “but howsumever, in this, as in every other matter that don’t have any moral wickedness in it, let everybody be fully persuaded in their own mind, if they have got a mind, and do as they want to, if they know what they want to do.”

Oren had looked real tickled all the while I had been speakin’.  And he stood there on his bright plaid legs, and smoothed out the ends of his gorgeous necktie with his yeller gloved hand, a happy and triumphant mean onto him.

And the girls and their ma stood round him like a flock of gay-plumaged birds, or a bokay of brilliant blossoms, and seemed real happified and contented.

Wall, they wuz a-boardin’ way out to the other end of the city, almost ‘leven milds from there, so they had to leave middlin’ early.

And they all come back in the evenin’, they said.  “They boarded a good ways out—­they enjoyed the ride so much a-goin’ and comin’.”

Sometimes I’m afraid the pendulum will break down, it swings so fur, and then agin I don’t know.

But anyway, they bid me a glad adoo, and the proud and gay Oren led his brood off.

And to resoom.

The English Vestibule is decorated with panels painted by the wimmen of that country.  There wuz one by Mrs. Swimerton, of London, that appealed strong to my heart; it was a seen from the temporary hospital at Scutori.

Florence Nightingale stood in the foreground—­good, pityin’ female angel that she wuz—­and all round her lay sick and dyin’ soldiers, and she a-doin’ all she could to help ’em.

This picture, showin’ woman as a Healer and Consoler, is in the centre, as it ort to be.  On one side of it is a panel called Motherhood, an Italian mother a-holdin’ a baby in her arms, and on the other side is Old Age and Youth, an old female bein’ tenderly took care on by the beautiful young girl who kneels before her.

On the other side of the vestibule is the paintin’s of Mrs. Merritt, of London.  The centre piece shows a number of likely lookin’ young females a-studyin’ art, and the panels on either side shows young girls and older ones all a-studyin’ and workin’, and doin’ the best they could with what they had to do with.

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Dretful upliftin’ to my sect it wuz to look on them pictures, all on ’em.

Wall, if I’d spent a month I couldn’t begin to tell all the contents of them rooms—­the paintin’s and statuary, laces, embroidery, tapestry, and etc., and etc., and everything under the sun, moon, and stars, and so forth, and so on.

All the works of wimmen from the present age of the world back to that wonderful book writ by the Abbess Herrard in the twelfth century, which contains about all the knowledge of that date.

And tapestries wrought by hands that have been dust for hundreds and hundreds of years.  But the work them hands wrought still remains, giving the best descriptions of them times we have now, of the manners and customs of that fur back time.

They show off the part wimmin have took in philanthropy in all ages.  They show that all through time that wimmen have been a help-meet.  And you can see the tender, strong faces of them that have helped the world.

One of the most interestin’ things in the hull buildin’ wuz the exhibit of the Beneficent Societies formed by wimmen all over the world—­what they have done in war, pestilence, and famine, what they have done in wrestlin’ with that deadly serpent, whose folds encompass the earth—­the foulest serpent of Intemperance.  What my sect have done banded together to promote liberty, to establish religion, and all good works.

The decoration of the big room set apart for the association and organizations are strikin’.

Fifty-four organizations of Christian wimmen and workers for righteousness in different ways have their headquarters here.

The Wimmen’s Christian Temperance Union makes a big display; from post to post is extended long links of pledge cards signed by boys and girls of forty-four countries—­France, Africa, Japan, China, etc., etc., etc.

What links them wuz that bound them children to a future of temperance and usefulness!  Strong cords a-spreadin’ out to the very ends of the earth, and a-bringin’ them all together and tyin’ ’em up to the ramparts of Heaven.

Denmark has a display of seven little wimmen a-wearin’ the white ribbon.

In the Japanese department hangs a large bell all made of pipes, and Josiah sez—­

“It’s curious that wimmen, who run smokin’ so, should have such a lot of pipes to sell.”  Sez he, “I’m most a-mind to buy one, smokin’ is gittin’ so fashionable, and lady-like.  Mebby you’d better have one, Samantha.”

I looked at him witherin’ly, but he didn’t seem to wither any.

But a bystander spoke up and sez, “These are the pipes of opium-smokers, who have given up the vile habit.  They wuz collected in Japan and presented to that noble worker, Mary Allen West.”

And the bell rung for the first time at her funeral in way-off Japan, where she laid down her sickle on her ripe sheaves, and rested from her labors.

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(These last lines are my own eppisodin; he simply related the facts.)

There wuz associations on exhibition from all the different countries of the globe, of Christian workers of all kinds, in organizations, horsepitals, missionary fields, etc. from Loontown clear to Turkey.

The Turkish Compassionate Fund rousted up sights of emotions in me.  When you looked at the marvellous Oriental embroideries of the Mahommeden wimmen, you didn’t dispute that their work has devoloped a new art.

You see, them female Turkeys wuz drove from their homes by the Tigers, War, and Starvation, and the Baroness Burdette Coutts and Lady Layard bought the materials and organized this work.  There are two thousand engaged in it now.

Madame Zarcoff, who is in charge of it now, has a medal gin her by the Sultan, with “Charity” engraved on it in the language of the Turkeys.

I couldn’t read it, or Josiah.  But she told us what it wuz.

Wall, as I say, there wuz displays of every other kind of Christian work, and a-lookin’ over them records, and seein’ the benign faces of them wimmen who had led on the fight aginst the banded powers of Hell—­why, the tears jest run down my face some like rain water, and Josiah asked me anxiously, “If I wuz took with a cramp.”

And I sez, “No, fur from it.  I am took with the sperit of rejoicin’, and wonder, and thanksgivin’, and everything else.”

And he sez, “Wall, I wouldn’t stand up and cry; if I wuz a-goin’ to cry, I would set down to it.”

And agin I sez, as I had said before, “Josiah, you’re not a woman.”

And he sez, “No, indeed; you wouldn’t catch a man a-cryin’ because he wuz tickled about sunthin’; he would more likely snap his fingers, and whistle.”

But I heeded not his remarks, and we wended onwards.

And I see, with everything else under the sun, moon, and stars, a collection of all the kinds of flowers in the country, clear from Maine to California; and lots of the flowers preserved in their nateral colors.

And if you think this is a easy job, I can tell you that you are very much mistaken.

Why, jest a-walkin’ over to Miss Alexander Bobbet’ses, acrost lots, I have come acrost more than forty different kinds of wild flowers, and then, when I got there, I can’t begin to tell how many flowers she had in her dooryard.

More than a hundred, anyway; and then if I come home by she that wuz Submit Tewksbury—­why, my ‘rithmetic would fairly gin out a-countin’ before I got home; and then to think of all the broad acres of land, hills and valleys, mountains and forests between Oregon, and New Jersey, and Maine, and Florida, and California!

Wuz it a easy job that wimmen took on to themselves, then?

No, indeed; no, indeed!

But wimmen are ust to hard jobs, and if she begins ’em she will carry ’em out and finish ’em; as wuz proved by the cloak we see there, made of feathers, that took five years to make.

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But when I go to talk about the paintin’s, and statutes, and the embroideries my sect shows off in that buildin’, then agin I draw deep breaths full of praise and admiration, sunthin’ like sithes, only happier ones, to think mine eyes had been permitted to gaze on the marvels and wonders my own sect had wrought.

And then I thought of Isabelle, and I thought I would love to have her there to neighbor with; thinkses I, if it hadn’t been for her we wouldn’t have been discovered at all, as I know on, and then where would have been the Woman’s Buildin’?  I thought I would love to talk it over with her; how, though she furnished the means for a man to discover us, yet four hundred years had to wear away before men thought that wimmen wuz capable of takin’ part in any Internatinal Exposition.  I wanted Isabelle there that day—­I wanted her like a dog.

But my thoughts wuz brought back from my rapt contemplation by my companion’s voice.  He sez: 

“By Jocks!  I hadn’t no idee that wimmen had ever done so much work that is useful as well as ornamental.”  Sez he, “I had read a sight about the Lady Managers, and I had got the idee that them ladies couldn’t do much more than to set down and tend poodles, and knit tattin’.  I hadn’t no idee that they wuz a-goin’ to swing out and make such a show as this.”

[Illustration:  Josiah’s “idee” of “them ladies.”]

Them remarks of hisen wuz wrung out of him by the glory of the display, as the sweet sap is brung out of the maple trees by the all-powerful influence and glory of the spring sun, and they show more plain than song or poem of the wonders about us.

Josiah don’t love to praise wimmen—­he hates to.  But I answered him proudly, “Yes, this Magic Wonder Land o’ beauty and practical use wuz wrought by Sophia Haydon, and other noble wimmen.  They must have the credit for everything about it, and for all the work it shows off within its borders.”

Sez I, “Uncle Sam was a good-actin’ creeter for once, anyway, when he made that act of Congress about the World’s Columbian Exposition.  He made that body of men appoint a board of Lady Managers—­two ladies from each State and Territory, and eight lady managers at large, and nine at Chicago.”

That name “Lady Manager” wuz done by Uncle Sam’s over-politeness to the sect, and I don’t know as Josiah wuz to blame.  You would think by the name that them ladies wuz a-settin’ in rows of gilded chairs, a-holdin’ a rosy in their hands.

But, in fact, amongst them female managers there wuz one hard-workin’ doctor and lawyer, real-estate agents, journalists, editors, merchants, two cotton planters, teachers, artists, farmers, and a cattle queen.

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And you’d think to hear it talked on that there wuz only eight ladies at large amongst ’em—­that the rest on ’em wuz kinder shet up and hampered.  But you’d git that idee out of your head after one look in that Woman’s Buildin’.  You’d think that not only the hull board of Lady Managers wuz at large, but that every female woman the hull length and breadth of our country not only wuz at large, but the wimmen of the hull world.  Why, connected with this great work is not only the hull caboodle of our own wimmen, fur or near—­American wimmen, every one on ’em a queen, or will be when she gits her rights; besides them wimmen, the Queen of England’s daughter, the Princess Christian, is at the head of the British wimmen at the Fair.

And Queen Victoria herself has sent over some things, amongst ’em them napkins of hern, spun and wove by her own hands.

What a lesson for snobbish young ladies, who would think it lowerin’ to hem a napkin!  What would they think to tackle ’em in the flax?  And then there wuz a hat made by England’s Queen, and gin to her grand-daughter; and there wuz six pictures painted by her, original sketches from nater.  One view wuz from the Queen’s own room at Balmoral.

And then the Princess of Wales sent a chair of carved walnut, upholstered with leather, all the work of her own hands.

What another lesson that is to our lazy, fashionable girls!  And Princess Maud of Wales sent a embroidered piano stool.  And Princess Louise—­Miss Lorne that now is—­and Princess Beatrice sent the work of their own brains and hands.

I guess queens have always made a practice of workin’.

Why, I see there—­and I could have wept when I seen it if I’d had the time—­an elegant bedquilt made by poor Mary Queen of Scots.  She sot the last stitches in it the day before her death.

What queer stitches them must have been—­Agony and Remorse a-twistin’ the thread in the needle.

[Illustration:  Queen Victoria sent over some things.]

And then there wuz a piece of embroidery by Queen Marie Antoinette.  What queer stitches them must have been, if she could have seen the End!

And then there wuz a portrait of Maria de Medici, Queen of France, made by herself.

And then there wuz a Bible presented by Queen Anne to the Moravian Church of New York, and a Bible of Princess Christian’s.

The fine needlework of the wimmen of Greece makes a splendid show.  The Queen of Greece is at the head of their commission.

The Queen of Italy goes ahead of all the other monarchs; she shows her own private collection of lace handkerchiefs, and neckties, and mantillys, and so forth.  And even her crown laces—­them beautiful laces that droop down over her regal head-dress when she sets with her crown on, and her sceptre held out in her hand.

The Queen of Belgium is at the head of their exposition.  And the German commission is headed by a Princess.

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Wall, you see from what I have said that there wuz a great variety of Queens a-showin’ off in that buildin’; and as for Baronnesses, and Duchesses, and Ladies, etc., etc.—­why, they wuz as common there as clover in a field of timothy.  You felt real familiar with ’em.

The reception-room of Mrs. Palmer, the beautiful President of the Woman’s Committee, is a fittin’ room for the presidin’ genius.

All along the walls below the ceilin’ runs a design of roses, scattered and grouped with exquisite taste.  Miss Agnes Pitman, of Cincinnati, decorated that room.

In Mrs. Palmer’s office is a wonderful table donated by the wimmen of Pennsylvania.

In that table is cedar from Lebanon, oak from the yoke of Liberty Bell, oak from the good old ship Constitution, from Washington’s headquarters at Valley Forge, and wood from other noted places.

And none of the woods wuz ever put to better use than now, to hold the records of woman’s Aspirations and Success in 1893.

The ceilin’ of the New York room wuz designed by Dora Keith Wheeler, and is beautiful and effective.  And the room is full of objects of beauty and use.

The gorgeous President’s chair from Mexico is a sight; and so to me wuz the chair in the Kentucky room, three hundred years old, that used to be sot in by old Elder Brewster, of Plymouth.

Good old creeter! if he could have been moved offen that rock of hisen three hundred years ago, into this White City, he would have fell out of that chair in a fit—­I most know he would.

And then there wuz a silk flag made by General Sheridan’s mother when she wuz eighty years old, and a group of dolls dressed in costooms illustrating American history.

And there wuz a shirt of old Peter Stuyvesent’s and a baby dress of De Witt Clinton’s.

I never mistrusted that he wuz ever a baby till I seen that dress.  I’d always thought on him as the first Governor of New York.

And speakin’ of babys—­why, I wuz jest a-lookin’ at that dress when I met Miss Job Presley, of Loontown.

And I sez, almost the first thing, “Where is your baby?”

And she sez, “It is in the Babys’ Buildin’.  I have got a check for her—­one for her, and one for my umbrell.”  And she showed ’em to me.

“Wall,” sez I, “that is a good, noble idee to rest mothers’ tired arms; but it must make you feel queer.”

And she said, as she put the checks back into her portmoney, “That it did make her feel queer as a dog.”

[Illustration:  Miss Job Presley.]

Wall, there wuz a table from Pennsylvania, containin’ more than two thousand pieces of native wood; and there wuz a Scotchwoman with her good old spinnin’-wheel, and a Welsh girl a-weavin’ cloth.

And inventions of females of all kinds, from a toboggan slide, and a system of irrigation, and models of buildin’s of all kinds, to a stock car.

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Why, the very elevator you rode up to the ruff garden on wuz made by a woman.

And then there wuz cotton raised and ginned by wimmen of the South, and nets by the wimmen of New Jersey, and fruit raised by the wimmen of California—­the most beautiful fruit I ever sot my eyes on, and wine made by her, too.

(I could have wept when I see that, but presoom it wuz for sickness.)

And from Colorado there wuz tracin’s of minin’ surveys.  Wimmen a-findin’ out things hid in the bowels of the earth!  O good land! the idee on’t!

And engravin’s and etchin’s done by wimmen way back to 1581.

And in stamped leather, wall decoration, furniture, it wuz a sight to see the noble doin’s of my sect; and a exhibit that done my soul good wuz from Belva Lockwood, admittin’ wimmen to practise in the Supreme Court.  That wuz better than leather work, though that is worthy, and wuz more elevatin’ to my sect than the elevator.

The British exhibit is arranged splendidly to show off wimmen’s noble work in charity, education, manafacture, art, literature, etc., and amongst their patents is one for a fire-escape, and one to extract gold from base metals.  Both of these are good idees, as there can’t anybody dispute.

Another exhibit there that appeals strong to the feelin’ heart wuz Kate Marsdon’s Siberian leper village.

She is a nurse of the Red Cross, and her heart ached with pity for them wretched lepers, in their dretful lonely huts in the forests of Siberia.

She went herself to see their awful condition, and tried to help ’em; she raised money herself for horsepitals and nurses.

[Illustration:  Relics of Kate Marsdon.]

Here is a model of the village, with church, horsepital, schoolhouse, store, and cottages for them that are able to work.

Here is the saddle she wore durin’ her long, dretful journey to Siberia, and the knife she carried, and some of the miserable, hard black bread she had to eat.

Here are letters to her from Queen Victoria, and the Empress of Russia.

But a Higher Power writ to her, writ on her heart, and went with her acrost the dark fields of snow and ice.

Wall, after lookin’ at everything under the sun, from a Lion’s Head, by Rosa Bonhuer, to a piece of bead-work by a Injun, and every queer and beautiful Japan thing you ever thought on, or ever didn’t think on, and everything else under the sun, moon, and stars, that wuz ever made by a woman—­and there is no end to ’em—­we went up into the ruff garden, where, amidst flowers, and fountains, and fresh air, happy children wuz a-playin’, with birds and butterflies a-flyin’ about ’em over their heads.

The birds couldn’t git out, nor the children either, for up fifteen feet high a wire screen wuz stretched along, coverin’ the hull beautiful garden.  Nothin’ could git in or out of it but the sweet air and the sunshine.

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Oh, what a good idee!  You could see that the Woman’s Buildin’ wuz full of beautiful, practical idees, from the ground floor to the very top; as you could see plain by this that the children wuz thought on and cared for, from the bottom to the top of this palace.  Some say that wimmen soarin’ out in art and business makes ’em hard and ontender; you can see that this is a plain falsehood jest by walkin’ once through the Woman’s Buildin’.

If ever wimmen soared out in art and business, and genius, and philanthropy, and education, and religion, she does here; and from the floor to the ruff is the highest signs of her tenderness for the children, and all weak and helpless ones.

Oh, what emotions I had in that buildin’, and of what a immense size!  Some of the time I got lost and by the side of myself, a-thinkin’ such deep and high thoughts about the World’s Fair, and wimmen, etc., and they wuz so fur-reachin’, too; it wuz a sight.

For I knew on that openin’ day, when the hammer struck that marvellous golden nail, and this world of treasures opened at the signal—­I knew that the echo of that blow wuzn’t a-goin’ to die out on Lake Michigan.  I knew that at its echo old Prejudice, and Custom, and Might wuz a-goin’ to skulk back and hide their hoary heads; and Young Progress, and Equality, and Right wuz a-goin’ to advance and take their places.

Stiflin’, encumberin’ veils wuz a-goin’ to fall from the sad eyes of the wimmen of the East.  Chains wuz a-goin’ to fall from the delicate wrists of the wimmen of the West.

I hailed that sound as helpin’ forward the era of Love, Peace, goodwill to men and wimmen.

Yes, it wuz a happy hour for her who was once Smith, when man, in the shape of President Cleveland, pressed the button with his thumb.  And woman, in the form of Bertha Honore Palmer, drove that nail home with a hammer.

Josiah thought it ort to been the other way.  He sez, “That men wuz so used to hammer and nails;” and he sez, and stuck to it, that, “No woman livin’ ever druv a nail home without splittin’ her own nail in the effort, and bendin’ the nail she driv sideways.”

But I sot him down in my mind as representin’ Old Prejudice, and I did not dain a reply to him.  Only I merely said—­

“Wall, she did drive the nail in straight, and she clinched it solid with the golden words of her address.”

Yes, Mrs. Palmer has stood up on a high mount durin’ the hard years past since the Fair wuz thought on.

She has stood up so high that she could see things hid from them on the ground.

She could see over the hull world, and could see that, like little children of one family, the nations wuz all havin’ their own separate work to do to help their Pa’s and Ma’s—­their Pa Progress, and Grandpa Civilization, and their Ma and Grandma Love and Humanity.

She could see that some of the children wuz dark complexioned, and some lighter, and some kinder yeller favored, and some wuz big, and some wuz small.

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They differed in looks and behavior, as every big family will, and she could see that they had their little squabbles together, a-quarrelin’ among themselves over their possessions, their toys and their rights—­they wuz jealous of each other, and greedy, as children will be; and they had their perplexities, and their deep troubles, and their vexations, as children must have in this world, and some wuz fractious, and some wuz balky, and some wuz good dispositioned, and some wuz cross and mean, and had to be spanked more or less.

But she could see from her sightly place that the hull of the children wuz a-movin’ on, some slower and some faster, movin’ on, and a-gittin’ into line, and a-fallin’ into step, to the music of the future.

She could see, and she has seen from the first minute she wuz lifted up and looked off over the world, that this gatherin’ of all the children together, a-showin’ the best they had done, or could do, wuz a-goin’ to help the hull family along more than tongue could tell, or mind could conceive of.

She could see that it wuz encouragin’ the good children to do still better.  Allowin’ the smart ones to show off their smartness to the best advantage.  Awakenin’ a spirit of helpful emulation in the more backward and sluggish of ’em.

Yes, the light from this big house-warmin’ she knew would penetrate and glow into the darkest corners of the earth, and, like a great warm sun, bring forth a glowin’ and never-endin’ harvest of blessed results.

The hull family wuz a-doin’ first rate, and their Pa and Ma wuz proud enough of ’em.

And they felt well, for they knew that they wuz advancin’ rapid, and with quick steps and with happy hearts.

And when she looked way back, and watched the long procession a-defilin’ along, some a-walkin’ swift and some a-laggin’ back with slower, more burdened footsteps (chains of different kinds a-draggin’ on ’em)—­

When she see the dark shadders of the past behind ’em—­the dretful shapes of ignorance and evil a-lurkin’ in the heavy blackness from which they wuz emergin’—­her tender heart ached with sympathy.

But when she looked fur off, fur off, ahead on ’em the gole that they wuz a-settin’ out for, she had to almost lift her hands and hide her eyes from the dazzlin’ glory.

It most blinded her, so bright it wuz, and so golden the rays streamed out.

Equal rights, Freedom for all, Love, Peace, Joy.  I spoze she see a sight.

Her face shone!

But to resoom:  Josiah wuz dretful interested in the Agricultural display of the ladies of Iowa, and it wuz interestin’ to look at.

On one end is panels of pansies all made out of kernels of corn, so nateral that you almost wanted to pick ’em off and make a posey of ’em.

On one of the other walls is a row of wimmen’s heads done in corn; the hair is done in corn silks, and their clothes out of the husks.

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And then there is a border made of corn, illustratin’ the story of corn in Greek Mythology.

There is a picture called the Water Carrier—­a woman made of different kinds of corn, jest as nateral as life, and the landscape round her made of grasses, and trees of sorghum, and the frame is made of ears of corn.

Josiah wuz crazy to have one to home.  Sez he, “Samanthy, I am bound to have your picture took in corn, it is so cheap.”  Sez he, “Ury and I could do it some rainy day, and how you would treasure it!” sez he.

Sez he, “I could make your hair out of white silk grass, and your face out of red pop-corn mostly.”  Sez he, “Of course, to make you life size it would take a big crop of corn.  I should judge,” sez he, “that it would take about two bushels to make your waist ribbon; but I wouldn’t begretch it.”

Sez I, “If you want to make me happy in corn, Josiah Allen, take it to the mill and grind it into samp or good fine meal.  You and Ury can’t bring happiness to me by paintin’ me in corn, so dismiss the thought to once, for I will not be took.”

“Yes, break it up,” sez he bitterly; “you always do, if I branch out into anything uneek.”

It wuz some time before I could quiet him down.

The display by Norway and Sweden is very complete, showin’ the work of the lower and upper classes, laces, and embroideries, etc., etc.

And so they wuz from every other nation of the Globe.  It fairly makes my brain reel now, to think of the wonder and the glory of ’em.

Wall, towards the last we went to see the model kitchen.  And Miss Plank, who had been off with some friends, jined us here, and she wuz happy here, as happy as a queen on her throne; and Josiah, and I thought he richly deserved it, in the restaurant attached, he eat such a lunch as only a hungry man can eat, cooked jest as good as vittles can be, and all done by wimmen.  Why, Miss Rorer herself, that I have kep (in book form) on my buttery shelf for years, wuz here in the body, a-learnin’ folks to cook.  That is sayin’ enough for the vittles to them that knows her (in book form).

There wuz every appliance and new-fangled invention to help wimmen cook, and do her work, and every old-fangled one.  Miss Plank hunted hard to find sunthin’ to make better pancakes than hern, but couldn’t.

But it wuz a sight—­a sight, the things we see there.

Wall, we spent the hull of the day here—­never stepped our feet outside, and didn’t want to, or at least I didn’t.

And as Night softly onrolled her mantilly, previous to drawin’ it over her face and goin’ to sleep, we reluctantly turned our feet away from this beautiful, sacred place, and went home on the cars.  And didn’t the bed feel good?  And didn’t Sleep come like a sweet, consolin’ friend and lay her hand on my gray hair and weary fore-top jest as lovin’ as Mother Smith ust to, and murmur in my ear, jest as soft and low as Ma Smith did, “Hush, my dear; lie still and slumber.”

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Wall, the next mornin’—­such is the wonderful balm of onbroken sleep that any one takes in onbeknown to themselves—­we felt considerable brisk.

And Josiah proposed that we should go and pay attention to the Buildin’ of Liberal Arts and Manafactures that day.

Havin’ had my way the day before on goin’ to the home and headquarters of my sect first, I thought it wuzn’t no more than right that my pardner should have his way that day as to what buildin’ we should pay attention to, and he wanted to go to the biggest one next.

He said that, “When he wuz a-shearin’ sheep he always wanted to tackle the biggest one first, and he felt jest so about any hard job.”

I kinder wanted to go to the Art Gallery that mornin’; first wimmen, and then Art—­them wuz my choices.  But Love prevailed.  And the feelin’ that, after seein’ the display that wimmen had wrought, that mebby it wuz best to go next to the largest house on the grounds, and the most liberal one.

So we sot off, after a good breakfast.

We thought we would meander kinder slow that mornin’, and examine things closely.  Truly we had been too much overcome by that first visit the day before to take much notice of things in particular.

When that seen had bust onto us it wuz some like a blind man comin’ to his sight in the middle of a June day.  He wouldn’t pay any particular attention to each separate glory that made up the seen—­blue sky, green fields, sunshine, white clouds, sparklin’ waters, rustlin’ trees, wavin’ grass, roses, green fields, and so forth and so forth.

No, it would all mingle in one dazzlin’ picture before his astounded eyeballs.  So it had been with us, or with me, at any rate.

Now we laid out to go slower and take things in more separate—­one by one, as it were; and we seemed to realize more than we had sensed it the immense—­immense size of the depot, the rumble of the elevated trains overhead, and the abundance of the facilities to git into the Columbian World’s Fair.

Why, there is about fifty places right there to git tickets, and ninety-six turnstiles—­most a hundred!  The idee!

Wall, with no casualities worth enumeratin’, we found ourselves in that glorious Court of Honor, and pretty nigh that gorgeous fountain of MacMonnies.  This matchless work of art occupies the place of honor amidst the incomparable group of wonders in that Court of Honor, and it deserves it.  Yes, indeed! its size is immense, but it don’t show it, owin’ to the size of the buildin’s surroundin’ it.

Here in this fountain, as elsewhere at Columbus’s doin’s, female wimmen are put forward in the highest and loftiest places.

High up, enthroned in a mammoth boat, stately and beautiful in design, sets a impressive female figger, her face all lit up with Truth and Earnest Purpose as she towers up above the others.  The boat seems to be a-goin’ aginst the wind, as boats that amount to anything and git there always have in the past, and most likely will in the future.  And the keen wind wuz a-blowin’ hard aginst the female figger that wuz a-standin’ up in front of the boat, but she didn’t care; it blowed her drapery back some, but it only floated out her wings better.

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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.

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And the female figgers around Columbia’s throne wuz meant for Science, Industry, Commerce, Agriculture, Music, Drama, Paintin’, and Literature, all on ’em a-helpin’ Columbia along in her grand pathway.

And then I see that what I had hearn wuz true, that Columbia had jest discovered Woman.  Yes, the boat wuz headed directly towards Woman, who stood up one hundred feet high in front.

And I see plain that Columbia couldn’t help discoverin’ her if she wanted to, when she’s lifted herself up so, and is showin’ plain in 1893 jest how lofty and level-headed, how many-sided and yet how symmetrical she is.

There she stands (Columbia didn’t have to take my word for it), there she wuz a-towerin’ up one hundred feet, lofty, serene, and sweet-faced, her calm, tender eyes a-lookin’ off into the new order of centuries.

And Columbia wuz a-sailin’ right towards her, steered by Time, the invincible.

I see there wuz a great commotion down in the water, a-snortin’, and a-plungin’, and a-actin’ amongst the lower order of intelligences.

But Columbia’s eyes wuz clear, and calm, and determined, and Old Time couldn’t be turned round by any prancin’ from the powers below.

Woman is discovered.

But to resoom.  This immense boat wuz in the centre, jest as it should be; and all before it and around wuz the horses of Neptune, and mermaids, and fishes, and all the mystery of the sea.

Some of the snortin’ and prancin’ of the horses of the Ocean, and pullin’ at the bits, so’s the men couldn’t hardly hold ’em, wuz meant, I spoze, to represent how awful tuckerin’ it is for humanity to control the forces of Nater.

Wall, of all the sights I ever see, that fountain wuz the upshot and cap sheaf; and how I would have loved to have told Mr. MacMonnies so!  It would have been so encouragin’ to him, and it would have seemed to have relieved that big debt of gratitude that Jonesville and America owed to him; and how I wish I could make a good cup of tea for him, and brile a hen or a hen turkey!  I’d do it with a willin’ mind.

I wish he’d come to Jonesville and make a all-day’s visit—­stay to dinner and supper, and all night if he will, and travel round through Jonesville the next day.  I would enjoy it, and so would Josiah.  Of course, we couldn’t show off in fireworks anything to what he does, havin’ nothin’ but a lantern and a torchlight left over from Cleveland’s campain.  No; we shouldn’t try to have no such doin’s.  I know when I am outdone.

Bime-by we stood in front of that noble statute of the Republic.

And as I gazed clost at it, and took in all its noble and serene beauty, I had emotions of a bigger size, and more on ’em, than I had had in some time.

Havin’ such feelin’s as I have for our own native land—­discovered by Christopher Columbus, founded by George Washington, rescued, defended, and saved by Lincoln and Grant (and I could preach hours and hours on each one of these noble male texts, if I had time)—­

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Bein’ so proud of the Republic as I have always been, and so sot on wantin’ her to do jest right and soar up above all the other nations of the earth in nobility and goodness—­havin’ such feelin’s for her, and such deep and heartfelt love and pride for my own sect—­what wuz my emotions, as I see that statute riz up to the Republic in the form of a woman, when I went up clost and paid particular attention to her!

A female, most sixty-five feet tall!  Why, as I looked on her, my emotions riz me up so, and seemed to expand my own size so, that I felt as if I, too, towered up so high that I could lock arms with her, and walk off with her arm in arm, and look around and enjoy what wuz bein’ done there in the great To-Day for her sect, and mine; and what that sect wuz a-branchin’ out and doin’ for herself.

But, good land! it wuz only my emotions that riz me up; my common sense told me that I couldn’t walk locked arms with her, for she wuz built out in the water, on a stagin’ that lifted her up thirty or forty feet higher.

And her hands wuz stretched out as if to welcome Columbia, who wuz a-sailin’ right towards her.  On the right hand a globe was held; the left arm extended above her head, holdin’ a pole.

I didn’t know what that pole wuz for, and I didn’t ask; but she held it some as if she wuz liable to bring it down onto the globe and gin it a whack.  And I didn’t wonder.

It is enough to make a stun woman, or a wooden female, mad, to see how the nation always depicters wimmen in statutes, and pictures, and things, as if they wuz a-holdin’ the hull world in the palm of their hand, when they hain’t, in reality, willin’ to gin ’em the right that a banty hen has to take care of their own young ones, and protect ’em from the hoverin’ hawks of intemperance and every evil.

But mebby she didn’t have no idee of givin’ a whack at the globe; she wuz a-holdin’ it stiddy when I seen her, and she looked calm, and middlin’ serene, and as beautiful, and lofty, and inspirin’ as they make.

She wuz dressed well, and a eagle had come to rest on her bosom, symbolical, mebby, of how wimmen’s heart has, all through the ages, been the broodin’ place and the rest of eagle man, and her heart warmed by its soft, flutterin’ feathers, and pierced by its cruel beak.

The crown wore on top of her noble forehead wuz dretful appropriate to show what wuz inside of a woman’s head; for it wuz made of electric lights—­flashin’ lights, and strange, wrought of that mysterious substance that we don’t understand yet.

But we know that it is luminous, fur-reachin’ in its rays, and possesses almost divine intelligence.

It sheds its pure white light a good ways now, and no knowin’ how much further it is a-goin’ to flash ’em out—­no knowin’ what sublime and divine power of intelligence it will yet grow to be, when it is fully understood, and when it has the full, free power to branch out, and do all that is in it to do.

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Jest like wimmen’s love, and divine ardor, and holy desires for a world’s good—­jest exactly.

It wuz a good-lookin’ head-dress.

Her figger wuz noble, jest as majestic and perfect as the human form can be.  And it stood up there jest as the Lord meant wimmen to stand, not lookin’ like a hour-glass or a pismire, but a good sensible waist on her, jest as human creeters ort to have.

I don’t know what dressmakers would think of her.  I dare presoom to say they would look down on her because she didn’t taper.  And they would probable be disgusted because she didn’t wear cossets.

But to me one of the greatest and grandest uses of that noble figger wuz to stand up there a-preachin’ to more than a million wimmen daily of the beauty and symmetry of a perfect form, jest as the Lord made it, before it wuz tortured down into deformity and disease by whalebones and cosset strings.

Imagine that stately, noble presence a-scrunchin’ herself in to make a taper on herself—­or to have her long, graceful, stately draperies cut off into a coat-tail bask—­the idee!

Here wuz the beauty and dignity of the human form, onbroken by vanity and folly.  And I did hope my misguided sect would take it to heart.

And of all the crowds of wimmen I see a-standin’ in front of it admirin’ it, I never see any of ’em, even if their own waists did look like pismires, but what liked its looks.

Till one day I did see two tall, spindlin’, fashionable-lookin’ wimmen a-lookin’ at it, and one sez to the other: 

“Oh, how sweet she would look in elbow-sleeves and a tight-fittin’ polenay!”

“Yes,” sez the other; “and a bell skirt ruffled almost to the waist, and a Gainsboro hat, and a parasol.”

“And high-heel shoes and seven-button gloves,” sez the other.

And I turned my back on them then and there, and don’t know what other improvements they did want to add to her—­most likely a box of French candy, a card-case, some eye-glasses, a yeller-covered novel, and a pug dog.  The idee!

[Illustration:  “How sweet she would look!”]

And as I wended on at a pretty good jog after hearin’ ’em, I sez to myself—­

“Some wimmen are born fools, some achieve foolishness, and some have foolishness thrust on ’em, and I guess them two had all three of ’em.”

I said it to myself loud enough so’s Josiah heard me, and he sez in joyful axents—­

“I am glad, Samantha, that you have come to your senses at last, and have a realizin’ sense of your sect’s weaknesses and folly.”

And I wuz that wrought up with different emotions that I wuz almost perfectly by the side of myself, and I jest said to him—­

“Shet up!”

I wouldn’t argy with him.  I wuz fearful excited a-contemplatin’ the heights of true womanhood and the depths of fashionable folly that a few—­a very few—­of my sect yet waded round in.

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But after I got quite a considerable distance off, I instinctively turned and looked up to the face of that noble creeter, the Republic.

And I see that she didn’t care what wuz said about her.

Her face wuz sot towards the free, fresh air of the future—­the past wuz behind her.  The winds of Heaven wuz fannin’ her noble fore-top, her eyes wuz lookin’ off into the fur depths of space, her lips wuz wreathed with smiles caught from the sun and the dew, and the fire of the golden dawn.

She wuz riz up above the blame or praise—­the belittlin’, foolish, personal babblin’ of contemporary criticism.

Her head wuz lifted towards the stars.

But to resoom, and continue on.


After we reluctantly left off contemplatin’ that statute of Woman, we wended along to the buildin’ of Manafactures and Liberal Arts, that colossial structure that dwarfs all the other giants of the Exposition.

This is the largest buildin’ ever constructed by any exposition whatsoever.

It covers with its galleries forty acres of land—­it is as big as the hull of Elam Bobbet’s farm—­and Elam gets a good livin’ offen that farm for him and Amanda and eight children, and he raises all kinds of crops on it, besides cows, and colts, and hens, grass land and pasture, and a creek goes a-runnin’ through it, besides a piece of wood lot.

And then, think to have one buildin’ cover a place as large as Elam’s farm!  Why, jest the idee on’t would, I believe, stunt Amanda Bobbet, or else throw her into spazzums.

For she has always felt dretful proud of their farm, and the size of it; she has always said that it come hard on Elam to do all the work himself on such a big farm.  She has acted haughty.

And then, if I could have took Amanda by the hand, and sez—­

“Here, Amanda, is one house that covers as much ground as your hull farm!”

I believe she would have fell right down in a coniption fit.

But Amanda wuzn’t there; I had only my faithful pardner to share my emotions, as I went into one of its four great entrances, under its triumphal arches, each one bein’ 40 feet wide and 80 feet high—­as long as from our house to the back pasture.

The idee! the idee!

Why, to change my metafor a little about the bigness of this buildin’, so’s to let foreign nations git a little clearer idee of the size on’t, I will state—­

This one house is bigger than all those of Jonesville, and Loontown, and Shackville, and Zoar.  It is the biggest house on this planet.  Whether they have got any bigger ones in Mars, or Jupiter, or Saturn, I don’t know; but I will say this—­if they have, and the Marites, and Jupiterians, and Satens, are made up as we be, and calculate to go through the buildin’s, I am sorry for their legs.

It faces the lake, in plain view of all admirin’ mariners, the long row of arches, and columns; is ornamented beyend anything that Jonesville ever drempt of, or Zoar, and a gallery fifty feet wide runs all round the buildin’; and from this gallery runs eighty-six smaller galleries, so nothin’ hinders folks from lookin’ down into the big hall below, and seein’ the gorgeous seen of the Exposition, and the immense throng of people admirin’ it.

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As Josiah and I wuz a-wendin’ along on the gallery a-frontin’ the lake, I heard a man—­he looked some like a minister, too—­say to another one, sez he, “The style of this buildin’ is Corinthian.”

[Illustration:  “This Buildin’ is Corinthian.”]

And I spoke right up, bein’ determined that Josiah and I too should be took for what we wuz—­good, Bible-readin’ Methodists.

I said to Josiah, but loud enough so that the man should hear—­

“The New Testament hain’t got a better book in it than Corinthians—­it is one of my favorites; I am glad that this buildin’ takes after it.”

He looked kinder dumfoundered, and then he looked tickled; he see that we wuz congenial, though we met only as two barks that meet on the ocean, or two night-hawks a-sailin’ past each other in the woods at Jonesville.

But true it is that a good-principled person is always ready to stand by his colors.

But the crowd swept us on, and we wuz divided—­he to carry his good, solid principles out-doors, and disseminate ’em under the open sky; I to carry mine inside that immense—­immense buildin’.

Why, a week wouldn’t do justice at all to this buildin’—­you ort to come here every day for a month at least, and then you wouldn’t see a half or a quarter of what is in it.

Why, to stand and look all round you, and up and down the long aisles that stretch out about you on every side, you feel some as a ant would feel a-lookin’ up round it in a forest, (I mean the ant “Thou sluggard” went to, not your ma’s sister.)

Fur up, fur up the light comes down through the immense skylight, so it is about like bein’ out-doors, and in the night it is most as light as day, for the ark lights are so big that, if you’ll believe it, there are galleries of ’em up in the chandliers, and men a-walkin’ round in ’em a-fixin’ the lights look like flies a-creepin’ about.  The idee!

And the exhibits in that buildin’ are like the sands of the sea for number, and it would be harder work to count ’em if you wuz a-goin’ to tackle the job, for they hain’t spread out smooth, like sea sand, but are histed up into the most gorgeous and beautiful pavilions, fixed off beyend anything you ever drempt on, or read of in Arabian Nights, or anywhere else.

They wuz like towerin’ palaces within a palace, and big towers all covered with wonderful exhibits, and cupalos, and peaks, and scollops, and every peak and every scollop ornamented and garnished beyend your wildest fancy.

The United States don’t make such a big show as Germany duz, right acrost, but come to look clost, you’ll see that she holds her own.

Why, Tiffany’s and Gorham’s beautiful pavilion, that rises up as a sort of a centre piece to the United States exhibit, some think are the most beautiful in the hull Exposition.

Big crowds are always standin’ in front of that admirin’ly; the decoration and colorin’ are perfect.

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The pavilions of the different nations tower up in all their grandeur that their goverments could expend on ’em, and they rival each other in beauty; but private undertakin’s show off nobly.

There wuz one man who sells stoves who has built a stove as big as a house—­put electric lights in it, to show off its name, and he asks folks to step into the stove, which is a pavilion, to see what he has to sell.

[Illustration:  He asks folks to step into the stove.]

And then one man—­a trunk-maker—­has made a glass trunk as big as a house, and shows off his exhibits there.

And take the thousands and thousands of pavilions and pagodas on every side of you, and every one of ’em filled with thousands and millions of beautiful exhibits, and you can see what a condition your head would be in after a half a day in that buildin’, let alone your legs.

Some think that the German Pavilion is the most notable of any.  Never wuz such iron gates seen in this country, a-towerin’ up twenty feet high, and ornamented off in the most elaborate manner, and high towers crowned by their gold eagles; and high up in the back is a majestic bronze Germania.  On either side, and in the centre, are other wonderful pavilions.  If you go through these gates you will want to stay there a week right along, examinin’ the world of objects demandin’ your attention—­marvellous tapestry, porcelain, paintin’, statuary, furniture, hammered iron, copper, printin’, lithographin’, etc., and etcetry.

It wuz here that we see the Columbian diamond, a blue brilliant, the finest diamond at the Exposition.

The French pavilion is a dream of beauty.  It rises up in white, marble-like beauty, not excelled by any country, it seems to me, and is filled with the very finest things to be found in the French shops, and that is sayin’ the finest in the world.

Here are beautiful figgers in wax, wearin’ the most magnificent dresses you ever hearn on—­Papa, Mama, Grandma, Baby, and Nurse—­all fitted out in clothes suitable, and the hite of beauty and elegance.

Why, in goin’ through this section you can jest imagine the most beautiful and perfect things you ever hearn on in dress, furniture, jewelry, etc., etc., and multiply ’em by one hundred, and then you wouldn’t figger out the result half gorgeous enough.

Why, it is insured for ten millions, and it is worth it.  I wouldn’t take a cent less for it—­not a cent; and so I told Josiah.

Why, there is one baby’s cradle worth thirty-one thousand dollars, and a vase at twenty thousand, and a parasol at two thousand five hundred, and other things accordin’—­the idee!

The Gobelin tapestries that are loaned by the French Goverment are absolutely priceless.

Austria’s big pavilion has her double eagles reared up over it; it stands up sixty-five feet high, and is full of splendor.

Bohemian glass in every form and shape bein’ one of its best exhibits, and terry-cotty figgers, and beautiful gifts of Honor loaned by the Emperor, and etc.

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And you can tell the Russian pavilion as fur as you can see it by its dark, strong architecture.

Along the outer court runs a long platform ornamented with urns and vases of hewn marble and other hard stuns, from the exile mines of Siberia.

I wondered how many tears had wet the stuns as they wuz hewn out.

But, howsumever, the Russians did well; their enamel in this exhibit is the best shown anywhere.  They are dretful costly, but not any too much for the value of ’em.  They don’t want to cheat America, the Russians don’t—­they remember the past.

One giant punch-bowl of gilt enamel is claimed to be the finest thing of the kind ever done in the Empire.

Their bronzes are wonderful—­there is vigor and life in ’em.  A Laplander in his sledge, drawn by reindeers over the frozen sea, and a dromedary and his driver on the sandy desert, shows plain how fur the Zar’s dominions extend.

A Laplander killin’ a seal in a ice hole—­Two horses a-goin’ furiously, tryin’ to drag a sleigh away from pursuin’ wolves—­Mounted Cossacks—­Farmers ploughin’ the fields—­A woman ridin’ a farm horse, with a long rake in her hand—­

A woman standin’ on tiptoe to kiss her Cossack as he bends from his saddle—­A rough rider out on the steepes a-catchin’ a wild horse.

After ten or twelve acres of Nymphs and Venuses in bronze, these are real refreshin’ to see, and a change.  And in furs and such their display is magnificent.

Russia shows eight hundred schools in the Liberal Art Department, and it is here that the beautiful pieces of embroidery made by the larger scholars for Mrs. Grover Cleveland are displayed.

No, Russia don’t forgit the past.

And the display of laces in the Belgian exhibit is sunthin’ to remember for a hull lifetime, and its pottery, and gems, and bronzes.  And the exhibit of Switzerland, though not so large as some of the rest, is uneek.  Their exhibit is all surrounded by a panorama of the Alps, the high mountains a-lookin’ down into the peaceful valley, with its arts and industries.

Great Britain don’t make so much show in her pavilions and in showin’ off her things; but come to examine it clost, and you’ll see, as is generally the case with our Ma Country, the sterling, sound qualities of solid worth.

Her immense display of furniture, jewelry, and all objects of art and industry are worth spendin’ weeks over, and then you’d want to stay longer.

They don’t make any attempt at display in pavilions and show winders.  But in the plain, rich cases you find some of the most wonderful and gorgeous works of man.

I spoze, mebby, as is the nater of showin’ off, the Ma Country felt some as if she wuz right in the family, and she and her daughter America hadn’t ort to dress up and try to put on so many ornaments as the visitors.

I make a practice of that myself, to try to not dress up quite so ornamental as my company duz.

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But for solid worth and display, as I say, Great Britain and the United States are where they always are—­in the first rank.

But, speakin’ of the visitors of the nation, if you want to git a good sight of ’em, jest stand in the clock tower, which looms up in the centre of the forty-acre buildin’, as high as a Chicago house (and that is sayin’ enough for hite), and you’ll see all round you all the nations of the earth.

The guests of the nation occupy the place of honor, as they ort to.

Lookin’ down, you see the flags of Great Britain, France, Germany, Russia, Austria, Japan, India, Switzerland, Persia, Mexico, etc., etc., etc.

Wall, Josiah wanted to go up to the top of the buildin’ on the elevator, and though I considered it resky, I consented, and would you believe it—­I don’t suppose you will—­but to look down from that hite, human bein’s don’t look much larger than flies.  There they wuz, a-creepin’ round in their toy-house fly-traps; it wuz a sight never to be forgot as long as Memory sets upon her high throne.

Wall, as I said, in them pavilions and gorgeous glass cases in that vast buildin’ you can find everything from every country on the globe.

Everything you ever hearn on, and everything you ever didn’t hearn on, from the finest lace to iron gates and fences—­

From big, splendid rooms, all furnished off in the most splendid manner with the most gorgeous draperies and furniture, to a tiny gold and diamond ring for a baby, and everything else under the sun, moon, and stars, from a pill to a monument.

Pictures, and statuary, and bronzes, and every other kind of beautiful ornament, that makes you fairly stunted with admiration as you look on ’em.

At one place a silver fountain wuz sendin’ up constantly a spray of the sweetest perfume, and when I first looked at it, Josiah wuz a-holdin’ his bandana handkerchief under it, and he wuz a-dickerin’ with the girl that stood behind it as to what such a fountain cost, and where he could git the water to run one.

Sez he, “I’d give a dollar bill to have such a stream a-runnin’ through our front yard.”

I hunched him, and sez I, “Keep still; don’t show your ignorance.  It hain’t nateral water; it is manafactured.”

“Wall, all water is manafactured!  Dum it, the stream that runs through our beaver medder is made somehow, or most probable it wouldn’t be there.”

But I drawed him away and headed him up before some lovely dresses—­the handsomest you ever see in your life—­all trimmed with gold and pearl trimmin’.  The price of that outfit wuz only twenty thousand dollars.

And when I mentioned how becomin’ such a dress would become me, I see by his words and mean that he had forgot the fountain.

The demeanin’ words that he used about my figger would keep females back from matrimony, if they knew on ’em.

But I won’t tell.  No, indeed!

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And then there wuz all sorts of art work on enamel and metal, and all sorts of dazzlin’ jewelry that wuz ever made or thought on, and all the silverware that wuz ever hearn or drempt of—­why, jest one little service of seven pieces cost twenty thousand dollars.

In Tiffany’s gorgeous display wuz a case that illustrated the arts in Ireland in the fourteenth century.

They said that it contained a tooth of St. Patrick.  Mebbe it wuz his tooth; I can’t dispute it, never havin’ seen his gooms.

Then there wuz a Latin book of the eighth century, containin’ the four gospels; and in another wuz St. Peter’s cross, they said.  Mebby it wuz Peter’s!

And every kind of silk fabric that wuz ever made—­raw silk, jest as the worm left it when she sot up as a butterfly, and jest what man has done to it after that—­spinnin’, weavin’, dyein’—­up to the time when it appears in the finest ribbon, and glossiest silk, and crapes, and gauzes, and velvets, and knit goods of every kind, and etc., and so forth.

And every kind of cloth, and felt, and woollen, and carpets enough to carpet a path clear from Chicago to Jonesville for me and Josiah to go home in a triumphal procession, if they had felt like it.

In front of the French section I see another statute of the Republic.

She wuz a-settin’ down.  Poor creeter, she wuz tired; and then agin she had seen trouble—­lots of it.

Her left arm was a-restin’ firm on a kind of a square block, with “The Rights of Man” carved on it, and half hidin’ them words wuz a sword, which she also held in her left hand.

The rights of Man and a sword wuz held in one hand, jest as they always have been.

But, poor creeter! her right arm wuz gone—­her good right hand wuz nowhere to be seen.

I don’t like to talk too glib about the judgments of Providence.  The bad boys don’t always git drownded when they go fishin’ Sundays—­they often git home with long strings of trout, and lick the good boys on their way home from Sunday-school.  Such is real life, too oft.

But I couldn’t help sayin’ to Josiah—­

“Mebby if they had put onto that little monument she holds, ’The Rights of Man and Woman’—­mebby she wouldn’t had her arm took off.”

But anyway, judgment or not, anybody could see with one eye how one-sided, and onhandy, and cramped, and maimed, and everything a Republic is who has the use of only one of her arms.  Them that run could read the great lesson—­

“Male and female created He them.”

Both arms are needed to clasp round the old world, and hold it firm—­Justice on one side, Love on the other.

I felt sorry for the Republic—­sorry as a dog.

But that wuz the first time I see her.  The next time she had had her arm put on.

I guess Uncle Sam done it.  That old man is a-gittin’ waked up, and Eternal Right is a-hunchin’ him in the sides.

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She wuz a-holdin’ that right arm up towards the Heavens; the fingers wuz curved a little—­they seemed to be begenin’ to sunthin’ up in the sky to come down and bless the world.

Mebby it wuz Justice she wuz a-callin’ on to come down and watch over the rights of wimmen.  Anyway, she looked as well agin with both arms on her.

Amongst the wonders of beauty in the French exhibit we see that vase of Gustave Dore’s.  That attracted crowds of admirers the hull time; it stood up fifteen feet high, and every inch of it wuz beautiful enough for the very finest handkerchief pin!

There wuz hundreds of figgers from the animal and vegetable kingdom, and Mythology—­cupids, nymphs, birds, and butterflies disportin’ themselves in the most graceful way, and such beautiful female figgers!—­Venuses as beautiful as dreams, and over all, and through all, wuz a-trailin’ the rich clusters of the vine.

The figgers seemed at first sight to kind o’ encourage wine-makin’ and wine-drinkin’.  But look clost, and you’d see on one side, workin’ his stiddy way up through the fairy landscape, up through the gay revellers, a venemous serpent wuz a-creepin’.

He wuz bound to be there, and Venus or Nymph, or any of ’em that touched that foamin’ wine, had to be stung by his deadly venoms.  Mr. Dore made that plain.

Wall, we tried to the best of our ability to not slight a single country, but I’m afraid we did; I tried to act the part of a lady and pay attention to the hull on ’em, but I’m afraid that fifty or sixty countries had reason to feel that we slighted ’em; but I hope that this will explain matters to ’em.

I felt that I hadn’t done justice to our own country and our Ma Country, not at all; but when you jest think how big the United States is, and how many firms try to show off in every county of every State—­why, it tires anybody jest to think on’t; and Great Britain too; for, as I thought, what good duz visitors do when their brain is a-reelin’ under their head-dresses, and stove-pipe hats!  And truly that wuz our condition before we fairly begun to go through the countries.

Beautiful works of art—­marvellous exhibits to the right of us, to the left of us, and before us and behind us—­forty-five acres on ’em.  What wuz two small pair of eyes and four ears to set up aginst this colossial and imeasureable show!

We went till we wuz ready to drop down, and then Josiah sez, “Less take the rest of the grandeur for granted, and less go somewhere and git a cup of tea, and a nip of sunthin’ to eat.”

I said sunthin’ about hurtin’ the different countries feelin’s by not payin’ attention to ’em.

And he sez, “Dum it all, I don’t know as it would make ’em any happier to have two old folks die on their hands; and I feel, Samantha, that the end is a-drawin’ near,” sez he.

He did look real bad.  So we went to the nearest place and got a cup of tea, and rested a spell, and when we come back we kinder left the Manafactures part, and tackled the Liberal part, and I declare that wuz the best of all by fur.

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That wuz enough to lift up anybody’s morals, and prop ’em up strong, to see how much attention is paid to education and trainin’ right from the nursery up—­devolipin’ the mind and the body.

It wuz some as if the Manafactures part tended to the house and clothin’, and this part tended to the livin’ soul that inhabited it.

It wuz dretful interestin’ to see everything about devolipin’ the strength and muscle in gymnasiums, skatin’, rowin’, boatin’, and every other way.  Food supply and its distribution, school kitchens.  How to make buildin’s the best way for health and comfort for workin’men, school-housen, churches, and etc.  How to heat and ventilate housen, how to keep the sewers and drains all right, and how neccessary that is!  Some folkses back doors are a abomination when their front doors are full of ornament.

All kinds of instruction in infant schools, kindergartens; domestic and industrial trainin’ for girls, models for teachin’ and cookery, housework, dressmakin’, etc.; how neccessary this is to turn out girls for real life, so much better than to have ’em know Greek, but not know a potatoe from a turnip; to understand geology, but not recognize a shirt gusset from a baby’s bib!

Books, literature, examples of printin’ paper, bindin’, religion, natural sciences, fine arts, school-books, newspapers, library apparatus, publications by Goverment, etc.

And wuzn’t it a queer coincidence? that right where books wuz all round me, right while my eyes wuz sot on ’em—­

I hearn a voice I recognized.  It wuz a-givin’ utterance to the words I had heard so often—­

“Two dollars and a half for cloth—­three for sheep, and four for morocco.”

I turned, and there she wuz; there stood Arvilly Lanfear.  She wuz in front of a good, meek-lookin’ freckled woman, a-canvassin’ her.

Or, that is, she wuzn’t exactly applyin’ the canvas to her, but she wuz a-preparin’ her for it.

It seemed that she had been introduced to her, and wuz a-goin’ to call on her the next day with the book.

Sez I, advancin’ onto her, “Arvilly Lanfear, did you really git here alive and well?”

“Wall,” sez she, “I shouldn’t have got here, most likely, if I wuzn’t alive, and I never wuz so well in my life, in body and in sperits.  Hain’t it glorious here?” sez she.

“Yes,” sez I; and, sez I, “Arvilly, did you walk afoot all the way here?”

And then she went on and related her experience.

She said that she wuz five weeks on her way, and made money all the way over and above her expenses.  She walked the most of the way.

She wuz now a-boardin’ with a old acquaintance at five dollars a week, and she canvassed three days in the week, and come three days to the Fair, and more’n paid her way now.

Sez I, “Arvilly, you look better than I ever knew you to look; you look ten years younger, and I don’t know but ’leven.”

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Sez I, “Your face has got a good color, and your eyes are bright.”  Sez I, “You hain’t enjoyin’ sech poor health as you did sometimes in Jonesville, be you?”

Sez she, “I never wuz so well before in my life!”

Sez I, “You’ve somehow got a different look onto you, Arvilly.”  Sez I, “Somehow, you look more meller and happy.”

“I be happy!” sez she.

Sez I, “I spoze you are still a-sellin’ the same old book, the ’Wild, Wicked, and Warlike Deeds of Man’?”

She kinder blushed, and, sez she, “No; I have took up a new work.”

“What is it?” sez I, for she seemed to kinder hang back from tellin’, but finally she sez, “It is the ’Peaceful, Prosperous, and Precious Performances of Man.’”

“Wall,” sez I, “I’m glad on’t.  Men should be walked round and painted on all sides to do justice to ’em.

“‘Im real glad that you’re a-goin’ to canvas on his better side, Arvilly.”

“Yes,” sez she, “men are amiable and noble creeters when you git to understand ’em.”

The change in her mean and her sentiments almost made my brain reel under my slate-colored straw bunnet, and my knees fairly trembled under my frame.

And, sez I, “Arvilly, explain to a old and true friend the change that has come onto you.”

So we withdrew our two selves to a sheltered nook, and there the story wuz onfolded to me in perfect confidence, and it must be kep. I will tell it in my own words, for she rambles a good deal in her talk, and that is, indeed, a fault in female wimmen.

Thank Heaven!  I hain’t got it.

It seems that when she sot out for the World’s Fair with the “Wild, Wicked, and Warlike Deeds of Man,” she had only a dollar in her pocket, but hoards and hoards of pluck and patience.

She canvassed along, a-walkin’ afoot—­some days a-makin’ nothin’ and bein’ clear discouraged, and anon makin’ a little sunthin’, and then agin makin’ first rate for a day or two, as the way of agents is.

Till one day about sundown—­she hadn’t seen a house for milds back—­she come to a little house a-standin’ back on the edge of a pleasant strip of woods.  A herd of sleek cows and some horses and some sheep wuz in pastures alongside of it, and a little creek of sparklin’ water run before it, and she went over a rustic bridge, up through a pretty front yard, into a little vine-shaded porch, and rapped at the door.

Nobody come; she rapped agin; nobody made a appearance.

But anon she hearn a low groanin’ and cryin’ inside.

So, bein’ at the bottom one of the kindest-hearted creeters in the world, but embittered by strugglin’ along alone, Arvilly opened the door and went in.  She went through a little parlor into the back room, and wuzn’t that a sight that met her eyes?

A good-lookin’ man of about Arvilly’s age laid there all covered with blood and fainted entirely away, and on his breast wuz throwed the form of a little lame girl all covered with blood, and a-cryin’ and a-groanin’ as if her heart would break.

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She thought her Pa wuz dead.

It seemed that he had cut his head dretfully with a tree branch a-fallin’ onto it, and had jest made out to git to the house before he fainted; and his little girl, havin’ never seen a faint, thought it wuz death; and it is its first cousin.

Wall, here wuz a place for Arvilly’s patience, and pluck, and faculty, to soar round in.

The first thing, she took up the little lame girl in her arms—­a sweet little creeter of five summers—­and sot her in a chair, and comforted her by tellin’ her that her Pa would be all right in a few minutes.

And she then, (and I don’t spoze that she had ever been nigher to a good-lookin’ man than from three to five feet,) but she had to lift up his head and wash the blood from the clusterin’ brown hair, with some threads of silver in it, and tear her own handkerchief into strips to bind up his wounds; and she had some court-plaster with her and other neccessaries, and some good intment, and she is handy at everything, Arvilly is.

Wall, by the time that a pair of good-lookin’ blue eyes opened agin on this world, Arvilly had got the pretty little girl all washed and comforted, and a piller under his head; and the minute his blue eyes opened a spark flew out of ’em right from that piller that kindled up a simultanous one in the cool gray orbs of Arvilly.

Wall, although he had his senses, he couldn’t move or be moved for a day and a half.  He didn’t want nobody sent for, and Arvilly dassent leave ’em alone to go; so as a Christian she had to take holt and take care on ’em.

Wall, Arvilly always wuz, and always will be, I spoze, as good a housekeeper and cook as ever wuz made.

So I spoze it wuz a sight to see how quick she got that disordered settin’-room to lookin’ cozy and home-like, and a good supper on a table drawed up to the side of the little lame girl.

And I spoze that it wuz one of the strangest experiences that ever took place on this planet, and I d’no as they ever had any stranger ones in Mars or Jupiter.  Arvilly had to kinder feed the invalid man, Cephus Shute by name—­had to kinder kneel down by him and hold the plate and teacup, and help him to eat.

And, strange to say, Arvilly wuzn’t skairt a mite—­she ruther enjoyed it of the two; for before two days wuz over she owned up that if there wuz any extra good bits she’d ruther he’d have ’em than to have ’em herself.

[Illustration:  And, strange to say, Arvilly wuzn’t skairt a mite—­she ruther enjoyed it.]

The world is full of miracles; Sauls breathin’ out vengeance are dropped down senseless by the power of Heaven.

Pilgrim Arvilly’s displayin’ abroad the “Wild, Wicked, and Warlike Deeds of Man” are struck down helpless and mute by the power of Love.

In less than three days she had promised to marry Cephus in the Fall.

He had a good little property—­his wife had been dead two years.  His hired girl—­a shiftless creeter—­had flown the day Arvilly got there, and nothin’ stood in the way of marriage and happiness.

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Arvilly’s heart yearned over the little girl that had never walked a step, and she loved her Pa, and the Pa loved her.

When she sot off from there a week later—­for she wuz bound to see the Fair, and quiltin’ had to be done, and clothin’ made up before marriage, no matter how much Cephus plead for haste—­he had got well enough to carry her ten milds to the cars, and she had come the rest of the way by rail; and she said, bein’ kinder sick of canvassin’ for that old book, she had tackled this new one, and wuz havin’ real good luck with it.

Wall, I wuz tickled enough for Arvilly, and I made up my mind then and there to give her a good linen table-cloth and a pair of new woollen sheets for a weddin’ present, and I subscribed for the “Precious Performances” on the spot.  I didn’t spoze that I should care much about readin’ “The Peaceful, Prosperous, and Precious Performances of Man”—­

But I bought it to help her along.  I knew that she would have to buy her “true so” (that is French, and means weddin’ clothes), and I thought every little helped; but she said that it wuz “A be-a-u-tiful book, so full of man’s noble deeds.”

“Wall,” sez I, “you know that I always told you that you run men too much.”

“But,” sez she, “I never drempt that men wuz such lovely creeters.”

“Oh, wall,” sez I, “as for that, men have their spells of loveliness, jest like female mortals, and their spells of actin’, like the old Harry.”

“Oh, no,” sez she; “they are a beautiful race of bein’s, almost perfect.”

“Wall,” sez I, “I hope your opinion will hold out.”  But I don’t spoze it will.  Six months of married life—­dry days, and wet ones, meals on time, and meals late, insufficient kindlin’ wood, washin’ days, and cleanin’ house will modify her transports; but I wouldn’t put no dampers onto her.

I merely sez, “Oh, yes, Arvilly, men are likely creeters more’n half the time, and considerable agreeable.”

“Agreeable!” sez she; “they’re almost divine.”  Arvilly always wuz most too ramptious in everything she undertook; she never loved to wander down the sweet, calm plains of Megumness, as I do.

And then I spoze Cephus made everything of her, and it wuz a real rarity to her to be made on and flattered up by a good-lookin’ man.

But well he might make of her—­he will be doin’ dretful well to git Arvilly; she’s a good worker and calculator, and her principles are like brass and iron for soundness; and she’s real good-lookin’, too, now—­looks ’leven years younger, or ten and a half, anyway.

But jest as Arvilly and I wuz a-withdrawin’ ourselves from each other, I sez,

“Arvilly, have you been to the Fair Sundays?”

“No,” sez she; “I didn’t lay out to, for I could go week days.  ’The Precious Performances’ yields money to spare to take me there week days, and you know that I only wanted it open for them that couldn’t git there any day but Sundays.  And also,” sez she honestly,

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“I talked a good deal, bein’ so mad at the Nation for makin’ such dretful hard work partakin’ of a gnat, and then swallerin’ down Barnum’s hull circus, side-shows and all.

“Why didn’t the Nation shet up the saloons?” sez she, in bitter axents.  “Folks can have their doubts about Sunday openin’ bein’ wicked, but the Lord sez expressly that ‘no drunkard can inherit Heaven.’  The nation wuz so anxious to set patterns before the young—­why wuzn’t it afraid to turn human bein’s into fiends before ’em, liable to shoot down these dear young folks, or lead ’em into paths worse than death?

“And it wuz so anxious to show off well before foreign nations.  Wuz it any prettier sight to reel round before ’em, drunk as a fool, a-committin’ suicide, and rapinin’, and murder, and actin’?  I wuz so mad,” sez Arvilly, “that I felt ugly, and spoze I talked so.”

“Wall,” sez I, “they’ve acted dretful queer about Sunday openin’, take it from first to last.

“But,” sez I, reasonably, “takin’ such a dretful big thing onto their hands to manage would be apt to make folks act queer.

“I spoze,” sez I, fallin’ a little ways into oritory—­“I spoze that if Josiah and me had took a rinosterhorse to board durin’ the heated term, our actions would often be termed queer by our neighbors.  To begin with, it’s bein’ such new business to us, we shouldn’t know what to feed it, to agree with its immense stomach; we should, I dare presoom to say, try experiments with it before we got the hang of its feed, and peek through the barn doors dretful curious at it to see how it wuz a-actin’, and how its food wuz agreein’ with it.

“We shouldn’t dast to ride it to water, or holler at it, as if it wuz a calf; and if it should happen to break loose, Heaven knows what we should do with it!

“And I spoze every fence would be full of neighbors a-standin’ safe on their own solid premises, a-hollerin’ out to us what to do, and every one on ’em mad as hens if we didn’t foller their directions.

“Some on ’em hollerin’ to us to mount up on it and ride it back into the barn, when they knew that it would tear us to pieces if we went nigh it when it wuz mad.  And some on ’em orderin’ us to git rid of it.  And how could we dispose of a ragin’ rinosterhorse at a minute’s notice?  And some on ’em a-yellin’ at us to kill it.  How could we kill it, when the creeter didn’t belong to us?

“And some on ’em, not realizin’ that our rinosterhorse boardin’ wuz new business to us, and we wuz liable to make mistakes, standin’ up on the ruff of their own barns, safe and sound, a-readin’ the Bible to us and warnin’ us, and we tuggin’ away and swettin’ with this wild creeter on our hands, and tryin’ to do the best we could with it.

“And then, right on top of this, Jonesville might serve a injunction onto us, that we had no right to let such a dangerous creeter into the precincts of Jonesville; and then we, feelin’ kinder sorry, mebby, that we had ondertook the job, tried to git rid on’t; and the rinosterhorse owner serves another injunction on us, makin’ us keep it, sayin’ that he’d paid its board in advance, and that he wouldn’t take it back.

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“And there we would be, all wore out with our job, and not pleasin’ nobody, nor nothin’, but makin’ the hull caboodle mad as hens at us; and we a-not meanin’ any hurt, none of the time, a-meanin’ well towards Jonesville and rinosterhorses.  Wouldn’t we be in a situation to be pitied, Arvilly?”

“Yes,” sez she, “it is jest so as I tell you; Cephus sez that he won’t wait a minute longer than September.”

I see how it wuz—­she hadn’t hearn a word of my remarkable eloquence.  Like all the rest, she had vivid idees about Sunday closin’; but come to the p’int, her own affairs wuz of the most consequence.  She forgot all about the struggles of the Directors in their efforts to do what wuz right and best, in thoughts of Cephus.

But I considered it human nater, and forgive her.  Wall, after Arvilly left me, I returned agin to the sights in the noble Liberal Arts Department, and see everything else that wuz riz up and helpful; and finding out everything about the land and sea, the Heavens, and depths below the earth and seas.

And oh, what queer, queer feelin’s that sight gin me; they hain’t to be described upon, and I hain’t a-goin’ to try to; it would be too much—­too much for the public to hear about it, and for me to record ’em; though there wuz plenty of weights, measures, and balances, if I had tried to tackle the job of weighin’ ’em.

Now, what I have said of the liberal part, and especially of the trainin’ of the young, you can see plain that it wuz as much more interestin’ than the manafactures part as the soul is superior to the body, or eternity is longer than time.

So, the world bein’ such a sort of a curious place, it didn’t surprise me a mite to see that this department, that wuz the most important in the hull Columbian World’s Fair, wuz dretful cramped for room, and kinder put away upstairs.

For, as I sez to myself, the old world has such dretful curious kinks in it, it didn’t surprise me a mite to have this department sort o’ squeezed into the end o’ one buildin’, and upstairs kinder, while the display for horned cattle covered over sixty acres.

A good many farmers are as careful agin of their blooded stock as they are of the welfare of their wives and children.

They will put work and hardship on the mother of their children that they wouldn’t think of darin’ to venture with their cows with a pedigree, for they would say, such overwork will injure the calf.

How is it with their own children, when the delicate mother does all the household drudgery of a farm, and milks seven or eight cows night and mornin’?

Toilin’ till late bedtime, gettin’ up before half rested, and takin’ up agin the hard toil till the little feeble child-life is born into the world.

How is it with the mother and the child?

For answer, I refer you to countless newspaper files, under the headin’ of “mysterious dispensations of Providence,” and to old solitary churchyards, and to the insane statisticks of the country.

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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.

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Wall, the next day after our visit to the Manafactures and Liberal Arts Buildin’, I told Josiah to-day I wouldn’t put it off a minute longer, I wuz goin’ to see the Convent of La Rabida; and sez I, “I feel mortified and ashamed to think I hain’t been before.”  Sez I, “What would Christopher Columbus say to think I had slighted him all this time if he knew on’t!”

And Josiah said “he guessed I wouldn’t git into any trouble with Columbus about it, after he’d been dead four hundred years.”

“Wall,” sez I, “I don’t spoze I would, but I d’no but folkses feelin’s can be hurt if their bodies have moved away from earth.  I d’no anything about it, nor you don’t, Josiah Allen.”

“Wall,” he said, “he wouldn’t be afraid to venter it.”

He wanted to go to the Live-Stock Exhibit that day—­wanted to like a dog.

But I persuaded him off the notion, and I don’t know but I jest as soon tell how I done it.

I see Columbus’s feelin’s wouldn’t do, and so forth, nor sentiment, nor spirituality, don’t appeal to Josiah Allen nothin’ as vittles do.

So I told him, what wuz indeed the truth, that a restaurant was nigh there where delicious food could be obtained at very low prices.

He yielded instantly, and sez he, “It hain’t hardly fair, when Christopher is the cause of all these doin’s, that he should be slighted so by us.”

And I sez, “No, indeed!” so we went directly there by the nearest way, which wuz partly by land and partly by water; and as our boat sailed on through the waves under the brilliant sunshine and the grandeur of eighteen ninety-three, did it not make me think of Him, weary, despairin’, misunderstood, with his soul all hemmed in by envious and malicious foes, so that there wuz but one open path for him to soar in, and that wuz upward, as his boat crept and felt its way along through the night, and storm, and oncertainty of 1492.

Wall, anon or about that time, we drew near the place where I wanted to be.

The Convent of La Rabida is a little to the east of Agricultural Hall, a sort of a inlet lake that feeds a long portion of the grand canal.

A promontory is formed by the meetin’ of the two waters, and all round this point of land, risin’ to a height of twenty-two feet, is a rough stun wall.

This wall is a reproduction of the dangerous coast of Spain, and back on this rise of ground can be seen the Convent of La Rabida, a fac-simile, or, as you might say, a similer fact, a exact reproduction of the convent where Columbus planned out his voyage to the new world.

Yes, within these walls wuz born the great and darin’ scheme of Columbus—­a great birth indeed; only next to us in eternal consequences to the birth in the manger.

It stands jest as it ort to, a-facin’ the risin’ sun.

A low, eight-sided cupalo surmounts the choir space inside the chapel, and above the nave rises the balcony.

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On three sides of a broad, open court are the lonesome cloisters in which the Monks knelt in their ceaseless prayers.

The chapel floor is a little higher than the court and cloisters, and is paved with bricks.

It wuz at this very convent door that Columbus arrived heart-sore and weary after seven years’ fruitless labor in the cause he held so clost to his heart.

Seven long years that he had spent beggin’ and importunin’ for help to carry out his Heaven-sent visions.

A livin’ light shinin’ in his sad eyes, and he couldn’t git anybody else to see it.

The constant washin’ of new seas on new shores, and he couldn’t git anybody to hear ’em.

A constant glow, prophetic and ardent, longin’ to carry the religion of Christ into a new land that he knew wuz a-waitin’ him, but everybody else deaf and dumb to his heart-sick longin’s.

Oh, I thought to myself as I stood there, if that poor creeter could only had a few of the gorgeous banners that wuz waved out to the air, enough to clothe an army; if he could have only had enough of ’em to made him a hull shirt; if he could have had enough of the banquets spread to his memory, enough to feed all the armies of the earth; if he could have a slice of bread and a good cup of tea out of ’em, how glad I would be, and how glad he would have been!

But it wuzn’t to be, it wuzn’t to be.

Hungry and in rags, almost naked, foot-sore, heart-sore, he arrived at the convent gate, to ask food and shelter for himself and child.

[Illustration:  Almost naked, foot-sore, heart-sore, he arrived at the convent gate.]

It wuz here that he found an asylum for a few years, carryin’ on his plans, makin’ out new arguments, stronger, mebby, than he had argued with for seven stiddy years, and I should a thought them old arguments must have been wore out.

It wuz in one of the rooms of the convent that he met the Monks in debate, and also argued back and forth with Garcia Fernandez and Alonzo Penzen, gettin’ the better of Alonzo every time, but makin’ it up to him afterwards by lettin’ him command one of the vessels of his fleet.  It wuz from here the superior of the convent, won over by Columbuses eloquence, went for audience with the Queen, and from it Columbus wuz summoned to appear at court.

In this very convent he made his preparations for his voyage, and on the mornin’ he sailed from Palos he worshipped God in this little chapel.  What visions riz up before his eyes as he knelt on the brick floor of that little chapel, jest ready to leave the certainty and sail out into the oncertainty, leavin’ the oncertainty and goin’ out into the certainty!

A curious prayer that must have been, and a riz up one.

In that prayer, in the confidence and aspiration of that one man, lay the hull new world.  The hope, the freedom, the liberty, the enlightenment of a globe, jest riz up on the breath of that one prayer.

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A momentious prayer as wuz ever riz up on earth.

But the stun walls didn’t give no heed to it, and I dare say that Alonzo and the rest wuz sick a-waitin’ for him, and wanted to cut it short.

Yes, Columbus must have had emotions in this convent as hefty and as soarin’ as they make, and truly they must have been immense to gone ahead of mine, as I stood there and thought on him, what he had done and what he had suffered.

Why, I had more’n a hundred and twenty-five or thirty a minute right along, and I don’t know but more.

When I see them relics of that noble creeter, paper that he had had his own hand on, that his own eyes had looked at, his own brain had dictated, every one of ’em full of the ardentcy and earnestness of his religion—­why, they increased the number and frequency of my emotions to a almost alarmin’ extent.

[Illustration:  Manuscripts]

Here are twenty-nine manuscripts all in his own hand.

They are truly worth more than their weight in gold—­they are worth their weight in diamonds.

Amongst the most priceless manuscripts and documents is the original of the contract made with the Soverigns of Spain before his first voyage, under which Columbus made his first voyage to America.

The most remarkable contract that wuz ever drawn, in which the Soverigns of Spain guaranteed to Columbus and his heirs forever one eighth of all that might be produced of any character whatever in any land he might discover, and appinted him and his descendants perpetual rulers over such lands, with the title of Viceroy.

I looked at the contract, and then thought of how Columbus died in poverty and disgrace, and now, four hundred years after his death, the world a-spendin’ twenty million to honor his memory.

A sense of the folly and the strangeness of all things come over me like a flood, and I bent my head in shame to think I belonged to a race of bein’s so ongrateful, and so lyin’, and everything else.

I thought of that humble grave where a broken heart hid itself four hundred years ago, and then I looked out towards that matchless White City of gorgeous palaces riz up to his honor four hundred years too late; and a sense of the futility of all things, the pity of it, the vanity of all things here below, swept over me, and instinctively I lay holt of my pardner’s arm, and thought for a minute I must leave the buildin’; but I thought better on’t, and he thought I laid holt of his arm as a mark of affection.  And I didn’t ondeceive him in it.

Then there is Columbuses commission as Admiral of the Ocean Seas.

His correspondence with Ferdinand and Isabella before and after his discovery, and a host of other invaluable papers loaned by the Spanish Goverment and the living descendants of Columbus in Spain.  And there is pieces of the house his father-in-law built for him—­a cane made from one of the jistes, and the shutters of one of the windows.  Columbuses own hand may have opened them shutters!  O my heart! think on’t.

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And then there wuz the original copy of the first books relatin’ to America, over one hundred of ’em, obtained from the Vatican at Rome, and museums, and libraries, in London, and Paris, and Madrid, and Washington, D.C.  They are writ by Lords, and Cardinals, and Bishops, way back as fur as fourteen hundred and ninety-three.

Then there wuz quaint maps and charts of the newly discovered country, lookin’ some as our first maps would of Mars, if the United States had made up its mind to annex that planet, and Uncle Sam had jest begun to lay it out into countries.

Then there are the portraits of Columbus.  Good creeter! it seemed a pity to see so many of ’em—­his enemies might keep right on abusin’ him, and say that he wuz double-faced, or sixty or eighty faced, when I know, and they all ort to know, that he wuz straightforward and stiddy as the sun.  Poor creeter! it wuz too bad that there should be so many of ’em.

[Illustration (handwritten in the illustration):  These are my authentic portraits!  Ch.  Columbus, Esq. mp]

[Illustration:  Poor creeter! it wuz too bad that there should be so many of ’em.]

Then there are models and photographs of statutes and monuments of him, and the very stun and clay that them tall monuments is made of, mebby they are the very stuns that hurt his bare feet, and the clay the very same his tears had fell on, as he’d throw himself down heart-weary on his lonesome pilgrimages.  I dare presoom to say that he would lay his head down under some wayside tree and cry—­I hain’t a doubt on’t.

When I thought it over, how much had been said about Columbus even durin’ the last year in Jonesville and Chicago, to say nothin’ about the rest of the world, it wuz a treat indeed to see the first printed allusion that wuz ever made to Columbus, about three months after Columbus arrived in Portugal, March fifteenth, fourteen hundred and ninety-three.  It was writ by Mr. Carvugal, Spanish Cardinal.

In it Mr. Carvugal says—­

“And Christ placed under their rule (Ferdinand and Isabella) the Fortunate Islands.”

I sez to Josiah, “I guess if Mr. Carvugal was sot down here to-day, and see what he would see here, he would be apt to think indeed they wuz Fortunate Islands.”

But as I said that I heard a voice a-sayin’—­

“Who is Mr. Carvugal, Samantha?”

I recognized the voice, and I sez, “Why, Irena Flanders, is it you?  I have been to see you; I hearn you wuz sick.”

“Yes,” sez she, “I wuz beat out, and I thought I couldn’t stand it; but I feel better to-day, so we have been to the Forestry Buildin’, and thought we would come in here.”

But I see that she didn’t feel as I did about the immortal relics, but she kinder pretended to, as folks will; and Elam and Josiah went to talkin’ about hayin’, and wondered how the crops wuz a-gittin’ along in Jonesville.  But I kep on a-lookin’ round and listenin’ to Irena’s remarks about her symptoms with one half of my mind, or about half, and examinin’ the relics with the other half.

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There wuz a little Latin book with queer wood-cuts, “Concernin’ Islands lately discovered,” published in Switzerland in 1494; under the title it begun—­“Christopher Colum—­”

It made me mad to hear that good, noble creeter’s name cut off and demeaned, and I told Irena so.

And she sez, “That’s what little Benjy calls our old white duck; his name is Columbus, but he calls it Colum.”

She is a great duck-raiser; but I didn’t thank her for alludin’ to barn-yard fowls in such a time as this.

Wall, there wuz the first life of Columbus ever writ, by his son Farnendo.

And a book relatin’ to the namin’ of America.  I thought it would been a good plan if there had been a few more about that, and had named it Columbia—­jest what it ort to be, and not let another man take the honor that should have been Christopher’s.

But I meditated on what a queer place this old world wuz, and how nateral for one man to toil and work, and another step in and take the pay for it; so it didn’t surprise me a mite, but it madded me some.

Then there wuz the histories of the different cities where he wuz born, and the different places where his bones repose.

Poor creeter! they fit then because they didn’t want his bones, and they starved him so that he wuzn’t much besides bones, and they didn’t want his bones anyway, and they put chains onto them poor old bones, and led ’em off to prison.

And now hull cities and countries would hold it their chief honor to lie about it, and claim the credit of givin’ ’em burial.  O dear suz!  O dear me!

Wall, there wuz one of the anchors, and the canvas used by Columbus on board his flag-ship.

The very canvas that the wind swelled out and wafted the great Discoverer.  O my heart, think on’t!

And then there wuz the ruins of the little town of Isabella, the first established in the new world, brung lately from San Domingo by a man-of-war.

And then there wuz the first church bell that ever rung in America, presented to the town of Isabella by King Ferdinand.

Oh, if I could have swung out with that old bell, and my senses could have took in the sights and seens the sound had echoed over!  What a sight—­what a sight it would have been!

Ringin’ out barbarism and ringin’ in the newer religion; ringin’ out, as time went on, old simple ways, and idees—­mebby bringin’ in barbarous ways; swingin’ back and forth, to and fro; ringin’ in now, I hope and pray, the era of love and justice, goodwill to man and woman.

Wall, I wuz almost lost in my thoughts in hangin’ over that old bell.  It had took me back into the dim old green forest isles and onbroken wilderness, when I heard a bystander a-sayin’ to another one—­“There is Columbuses relations; there is the Duke of Veragua.”

And on lookin’ up, I indeed see Columbuses own relation on his own side, with his wife and daughter.

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The relation on Columbuses side wuz a middlin’ good-lookin’ and a good-natered lookin’ man, no taller than Josiah, with blue eyes, gray hair, and short whiskers.

[Illustration:  Columbuses own relation on his own side, with his wife and daughter.]

His wife wuz a good-lookin’, plump woman, some younger apparently than he wuz, and the daughter wuz pretty and fresh-lookin’ as a pink rose.

I liked their looks first rate.

And jest the minute my eyes fell on ’em, so quick my intellect moves, I knew what was incumbent on me to do.

It wuz my place, it would be expected of me—­I must welcome them to America; I must, in the name of my own dignity, and the power of the Nation, gin ’em the freedom of Jonesville.  I must not slight them for their own sakes, and their noble ancestors.

One human weakness might be discovered in me by a clost observer in that rapt hour:  I didn’t really know how to address the wife of the Duke.

And I whispered to Irena Flanders, and, sez I, “If a man is a duke, what would his wife be called?” Sez I, “She’d feel hurt if I slighted her.”

And sez she, “If one is a duke, the other would naterally be called a drake.”

I knew better than that—­she hain’t any too smart by nater, and her mind runs to fowls, what there is of it.

But my Josiah heard the inquiry, and sez he—­

“I should call her a duck;” and he continued, with his eyes riveted on the beautiful face of the Duke’s daughter—­

“That pretty girl is a duck, and no mistake.”

But I sez, “Hush; that would be too familiar and also too rural.”

I hain’t ashamed of the country—­no, indeed, I am proud on’t; still I knew that it wuz, specially in June, noted for its tender greenness.

And sez I, “I’ll trust to the hour to inspire me; I’ll sail out as his great ancestor did, and trust to Providence to help me out.”

So I advanced onto ’em, and I thought, as I went, if you call a man by the hull of his name he hadn’t ort to complain; so I sez with a deep curchey—­I knew a plain curchey wouldn’t do justice to the occasion.

So I gracefully took hold of my alpaca skirt with both hands and held it out slightly, and curchied from ten to fourteen inches, I should judge.

I wanted it deep enough to show the profound esteem and honor in which I held him, and not deep enough so’s to give him the false idee that I wuz a professional dancer, or opera singer, or anything of that sort.

I judged that my curchey wuz jest about right.

[Illustration:  “I salute you in the name of Jonesville and America.”]

Imegatly after my curchey I sez, “Don Christobel Colon De Toledo De La Cerda Y Gante,” and then I paused for breath, while the world waited—­

“I welcome you to this country—­I salute you in the name of Jonesville and America.”

And then agin I made that noble, beautiful curchey.

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He bowed so low that if a basin of water had been sot on his back it would have run down over his head.

Sez I, “The man in whose veins flows a drop of the precious blood of the Hero who discovered us is near and dear to the heart of the new world.”

Sez I, “I feel that we can’t do too much to honor you, and I hereby offer you the freedom of Jonesville.”

And sez I, “I would have brung it in a paper collar box if I’d thought on’t, but I hope you will overlook the omission, and take it verbal.”

Agin he bowed that dretful perlite, courteous bow, and agin I put in that noble curchey.

It wuz a hour long to be remembered by any one who wuz fortunate enough to witness it; and sez he—­

“I am sensible of the distinguished honor you do me, Madam; accept my profound thanks.”

I then turned to his wife, and sez I, “Miss Christobel Colon Toledo Ohio—­”

I got kinder mixed up here by my emotions, and the efforts my curcheys had cost me; I hadn’t ort to mentioned the word Ohio.

But I waded out agin—­“De La Cerda Y Gante—­

“As a pardner of Columbus, and also as a female woman, I bid you also welcome to America in the name of woman, and I tender to you also the freedom of Jonesville, and Loontown, and Zoar.

“And you,” sez I, “Honorable Maria Del Pillow Colon Y Aguilera—­

“You sweet little creeter you, I’d love to have you come and stay with me a week right along, you pretty thing.”  Sez I, “How proud your Grandpa would be of you if he wuz here!”

My feelin’s had carried me away, and I felt that I had lost the formal, polite tone of etiquette that I had intended to carry on through the interview.

But she wuz so awful pretty, I couldn’t help it; but I felt that it wuz best to terminate it, so I bowed low, a-holdin’ out my alpaca skirt kinder noble in one hand and my green veil in the other, some like a banner, and backed off.

They too bowed deep, and sorter backed off too.  Oh, what a hour for America!

Josiah put out his arm anxiously, for I wuz indeed a-movin’ backwards into a glass case of relics, and the great seen terminated.

Miss Flanders and Elam had gone—­they shrunk from publicity.  I guess they wuz afraid it wuz too great a job, the ceremony attendin’ our givin’ these noble foreigners the freedom of our native town.

But they no need to.  A willin’ mind makes a light job.

It had been gin to ’em, and gin well, too.

Wall, Josiah and I didn’t stay very much longer.  I’d have been glad to seen the Princess sent out from Spain to our doin’s, and I know she will feel it, not seein’ of me.

She wuzn’t there, but I thought of her as I wended my way out, as I looked over the grandeur of the seen that her female ancestor had rendered possible.

Thinkses I, she must have different feelin’s from what her folks did in fourteen hundred.

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Then how loath they wuz to even listen to Columbuses pathetic appeals and prayers!  But they did at last touch the heart of a woman.  That woman believed him, while the rest of Spain sneered at him.  Had she lived, Columbus wouldn’t have been sent to prison in chains.  No, indeed!  But she passed away, and Spain misused him.  But now they send their royalties to meet with all the kings and queens of the earth to bow down to his memory.

As we wended out, the caravels lay there in the calm water—­the Santa Maria, the Pinta, and the Nina, all becalmed in front of the convent.

No more rough seas in front of ’em; they furl their sails in the sunlight of success.

All is glory, all is rejoicing, all is praise.

Four hundred years after the brave soul that planned and accomplished it all died heart-broken and in chains, despised and rejected by men, persecuted by his enemies, betrayed by his friends.

True, brave heart, I wonder if the God he trusted in, and tried to honor, lets him come back on some fair mornin’ or cloudless moonlight evenin’, and look down and see what the nations are sayin’ and doin’ for him in eighteen hundred and ninety-three!

I don’t know, nor Josiah don’t.

But as I stood a-thinkin’ of this, the sun come out from under a cloud and lit up the caravels with its golden light, and lay on the water like a long, shinin’ path leadin’ into glory.

And a light breeze stirred the white sails of the Santa Maria, some as though it wuz a-goin’ to set sail agin.

And the shadders almost seemed alive that lay on the narrer deck.

After we left La Rabida, Josiah wanted to go and see the exhibit called Man and his Works.

Sez he, “I’ll show you now, Samantha, what our works are.  I’ll show you the most beautiful and august exposition on the grounds.”

Sez he, “You boasted high about wimmen’s doin’s, and they wuz fair,” sez he, “what I call fair to middlin’.  But in this you’ll see grandeur and True Greatness.”

Josiah didn’t know a thing about the show, only what he gathered from its name; and feelin’ as he did about himself and his sect, he naterally expected wonders.

So, leanin’ on the arm of Justice, I accompanied him into the buildin’, which wuzn’t fur from La Rabida.

But almost the first room we went into, Josiah almost swooned at the sight, and I clung to his arm instinctively.  There we wuz amongst more than three thousand skeletons and skulls.

Why, the goose pimples that rose on me didn’t subside till most night.

And in the very next room wuz a collection of mummies, the humbliest ones that I ever sot my eyes on in my hull life—­two or three hundred on ’em, from Peru, Utah, New Mexico, Egypt, British Columbia, etc., etc.

When Josiah’s eyes fell onto ’em, my poor pardner sez, “Samantha, less be a-goin’.”

Sez I, “Are you satisfied, Josiah Allen, with the Works of Man?”

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And he advised me strong—­“Not to make a luny and a idiot of myself.”

And sez he, “Dum it all, why do they call it the works of man?  There is as many wimmen amongst them dum skeletons as men, I’ll bet a cent.”

Wall, we went into another room and found a very interestin’ exhibit—­the measurements of heads:  long-headed folks and short-headed ones; and measurements of children’s heads who wuz educated, and the heads of savage children, showin’ the influence that moral trainin’ has on the brains of boys and girls.

Wall, it would take weeks to examine all we see there—­the remains of the Aborigines, the Greeks, the Romans, the Egyptians.  We could see by them relics how they lived—­their religions, their domestic life, their arts, and their industries.

And then we see photographs by the hullsale of mounds and ruins from all over the world.

Why, we see so many pictures of ruins, that Josiah said that “he felt almost ruined.”

And I sez, “That must come from the inside, Josiah.  It hadn’t ort to make you feel so.”

And then we see all sorts of things to illustrate the games that these old ruined folks used to play, and their religions they believed in—­idols, and clay altars, and things; and once, when I wuz a-tryin’ to look calm at the very meanest-lookin’ idol that I ever laid eyes on,

Sez Josiah, “The folks that would try to worship such a lookin’ thing as that ort to be ruined.”

And I whispered back, “If the secret things that folks worship to-day could be materialized, they would look enough sight worse than this.”  Sez I, “How would the mammon of Greed look carved in stun, or the beast of Intemperance?”

“Oh!” sez he, “bring in your dum temperance talk everywhere, will you?  I should think we wuz in a bad enough place here to let your ears rest, anyway.”

“Wall,” sez I, “then don’t run down folks that couldn’t answer back for ten thousand years.”

But truly we wuz in a bad place, if humbliness is bad, for them idols did beat all, and then there wuz a almost endless display of amulets, charms, totems, and other things that they used to carry on their religious meetin’s with, or what they called religion.

And then we see some strange clay altars containin’ cremated human bein’s.

Here Josiah hunched me agin—­

“You feel dretful cut up if you hear any one speak aginst these old creeters, but what do you think of that?” sez he, a-pintin’ to the burnt bodies.  Sez he, “Most likely them bodies wuz victims that wuz killed on their dum altars—­dum ’em!”

“Yes,” sez I, “but we of the nineteenth century slay two hundred thousand victims every year on the altar of Mammon, and Intemperance.”

“Keep it up, will you—­keep a preachin’!” sez he, and his tone wuz bitter and voyalent in the extreme.

And here he turned his back on me and went to examine some of the various games of all countries, such as cards, dice, dominoes, checkers, etc., etc.

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[Illustration:  Josiah turned his back on me.]

Which shows that in that savage age, as well as in our too civilized one, amusements wuz a part of their daily life.

Wall, it wuz all dretful interestin’ to me, though Skairfulness wuz present with us, and goose pimples wuz abroad.

And out-doors the exhibit wuz jest as fascinatin’.

Along the shores of the pond are grouped tribes of Indians from North America.  They live in their primitive huts and tents, and there we see their rude boats and canoes.  New York contributes a council house and a bark lodge once used by the once powerful Iroquois confederation.

And, poor things! where be they now?  Passed away.  Their canoes have gone down the stream of Time, and gone down the Falls out of sight.

But to resoom.

Wall, seein’ they wuz right there, we went to see the ruins of
Yucatan—­they wuz only a few steps away.

Now, I never had paid any attention to Yucatan.  I had always seen it on the map of Mexico, a little strip of land a-runnin’ out into the water, and washed by the waves on both sides.  But, good land!  I would have paid more attention to it if I had known that down deep under its forests, where they had lain for more than a thousand years, wuz the ruins of a vast city, with its castles and monuments wrought in marble, and fashioned with highest beauty and art.

Whose hands had wrought them marble columns, and carved facades?

The silence of a thousand years lays between my question and its true answer.

I can’t tell who they wuz, where they come from, or where they went to.

But the pieces of soulless stun remain for us to marvel over, when the livin’ hands that wrought these have vanished forever.

Curious, very.

But mebby some magnetizm still hangs about them hoary old walls that has the power to draw their founders from their new home, wherever it is now.

Mebby them old Yucatanners come down in a shadder sloop and lay off over aginst them ruins, and enjoy themselves first-rate.

Here too is the city of the Cliff Dwellers—­the most wonderful city I ever see or ever expect to see.  There towers up a mountain made to look exactly like Battle Mountain, where these ruins are found—­the homes and abidin’ place of a race so much older than the Mexican and Peru old ones that they seem like folks of last week—­almost like babies.

The hull of these buildin’s which is called Cliff Palace is over two hundred feet long, and the rooms look pretty much all alike.  They wuz round rooms mostly, with a hole in the floor for a fireplace, and stun seats a-runnin’ clear round the room, and I’d a gin a dollar bill if I could a seen a-settin’ in them seats the ones that used to set there—­if I could seen ’em sot down there in Jackson Park, and its marvels, and I could have hearn ’em tell what Old World wonders they had seen, and what they had felt and suffered—­the beliefs of that old time; the laws that governed ’em, or that didn’t govern ’em; their friends and their enemies; the strange animals that lurked round ’em; the wonderful flowers and vegetation—­in short, if I could a sot down and neighbored with ’em, I would a gin, I believe my soul, as much as a dollar and thirty-five cents.

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The rooms are about six feet high, and they wuz like me in one thing—­they didn’t care so much for ornament as they did for solid foundation.  The only ornament I see in any of the rooms wuz some kinder wavin’ streaks of red paint.  But, oh! how solid the housen wuz, how firm the underpinnin’.

There wuz some stun towers and some winders, and oh! how I do wish I could seen what them Old Cliffers looked out on when they rested their arms on the stun winder sills and looked down on the deep valley below.

Children a-lookin’ out for pleasure mebby; older ones a-lookin’ for Happiness and Ambition like as not, the aged ones a-leanin’ their tired arms on the hard stun, while the settin’ sun lit up their white locks, and a-lookin’ for rest.

The cliffs are a good many colors, and each a good-lookin’ one.

One thing struck me in all the housen, and made me think that though the Cliff Dwellers wuz older than Abraham or Moses, yet if I could see some of them female Cliffers I could neighbor with ’em like sisters.

They did love closets so well, and that made ’em so congenial to me.  I never had half closets enough, and I don’t believe any woman did if she would tell the truth.

There wuz sights of closets all closed up with good slab doors, some like grave-stuns.

I shouldn’t have liked that so well, to had to heave down that heavy slab every time that I wanted a teacup, but mebby they didn’t drink tea.

I spoze they kep their strange-lookin’ pottery there, and I presoom the wimmen prided themselves on havin’ more of them jars than a neighbor female Cliffer did.  Then there are farmin’ implements, and sandals, and leggins, and weapons, and baby boards—­and didn’t I wish that I could ketch sight of one of them babies!

The bodies of the dead wuz wrapped in four different winders—­first in fine cloth, then a robe of turkey feathers wove with Yucca fibre, then a mattin’, and then a wrap made of reeds.

The mummies found wrapped in these grave-clothes are more perfect than any found in Egypt, the hot, dry air of Colorado a-doin’ its best to keep folks alive, and then after they are dead, a-keepin’ ’em so as long as it can.  There wuz one, a woman with pretty figure, and small hands and feet, and soft, light-colored hair.  What wuz she a-thinkin’ on as she done up that fore-top or braided that back hair?

Did any hand ever lay on that soft, shinin’ hair in caresses?  I presoom more than like as not there had.  Her mother’s, anyway, and mebby a lover’s, sence the fashion of love is older than the pyramids enough sight—­old as Adam, and before that Love wuz.  For Love thought out the World.

By her side wuz a jar with some seeds in it—­probable the hand of Love put it there to sustain her on her long journey.

Wall, the centuries have gone by sence she sot out for the Land of Sperits, but the seeds are there yet.  She didn’t need ’em.

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These seeds are in good shape, but they won’t sprout.  That shows plain how much older these mummies are than the Egyptian ones, for the seeds found by them will sprout and grow, but these are too old—­the life in the seeds is gone, as well as the life in the dead forms by ’em, centuries ago, mebby.

Wall, it wuz a sight—­a sight to see that city, and then to see a-windin’ up the face of the cliff the windin’ trail, and the little burros a-climbin’ up slowly from the valley, and the strange four-horned sheep of the Navago herds a-grazin’ amongst the high rocks.

It wuz one of the most impressive sights of all the wonderful sights of the Columbus Fair, and so I told Josiah.

Wall, seein’ we wuz right there, we thought we would pay attention to the Forestry Buildin’.

And if I ever felt ashamed of myself, and mortified, I did there; of which more anon.

It wuz quite a big buildin’, kinder long and low—­about two and a half acres big, I should judge.

Every house has its peculiarities, the same as folks do, and the peculiar kink in this house wuz it hadn’t a nail or a bit of iron in it anywhere from top to bottom—­bolts and pegs made of wood a-holdin’ it together.

Wall, I hadn’t no idee that there wuz so many kinds of wood in the hull world, from Asia and Greenland to Jonesville, as I see there in five minutes.

Of course I had been round enough in our woods and the swamp to know that there wuz several different kinds of wood—­ellum and butnut, cedar and dog-wood, and so forth.

But good land! to see the hundreds and thousands of kinds that I see here made anybody feel curious, curious as a dog, and made ’em feel, too, how enormous big the world is—­and how little he or she is, as the case may be.

The sides of the buildin’ are made of slabs, with the bark took off, and the roof is thatched with tan-bark and other barks.

The winder-frames are made in the same rustic, wooden way.

The main entrances are made of different kinds of wood, cut and carved first-rate.

All around this buildin’ is a veranda, and supportin’ its roof is a long row of columns, each composed of three tree trunks twenty-five feet in length—­one big one and the other two smaller.

These wuz contributed by the different States and Territories and by foreign countries, each sendin’ specimens of its most noted trees.

And right here wuz when I felt mad at myself, mad as a settin’ hen, to think how forgetful I had been, and how lackin’ in what belongs to good manners and politeness.

Why hadn’t I brung some of our native Jonesville trees, hallowed by the presence of Josiah Allen’s wife?

Why hadn’t I brung some of the maples from our dooryard, that shakes out its green and crimson banners over our heads every spring and fall?

Or why hadn’t I brung one of the low-spreadin’ apple-trees out of Mother Smith’s orchard, where I used to climb in search of robins’ nests in June mornin’s?

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Or one of the pale green willers that bent over my head as I sot on the low plank foot-bridge, with my bare feet a-swingin’ off into the water as I fished for minnies with a pin-hook—­

The summer sky overhead, and summer in my heart.

Oh, happy summer days gone by—­gone by, fur back you lay in the past, and the June skies now have lost that old light and freshness.

But poor children that we are, we still keep on a-fishin’ with our bent pin-hooks; we still drop our weak lines down into the depths, a-fishin’ for happiness, for rest, for ambition, for Heaven knows what all—­and now, as in the past, our hooks break or our lines float away on the eddies, and we don’t catch what we are after.

Poor children! poor creeters!

But I am eppisodin’, and to resoom.

As I said to Josiah, what a oversight that wuz my not thinkin’ of it!

Sez I, “How the nations would have prized them trees!” And sez I,

“What would Christopher Columbus say if he knew on’t?”

And Josiah sez, “He guessed he would have got along without ’em.”

“Wall,” sez I, “what will America and the World’s Fair think on’t, my makin’ such a oversight?”

And he sez, “He guessed they would worry along somehow without ’em.”

“Wall,” sez I, “I am mortified—­as mortified as a dog.”

And I wuz.

There wuzn’t any need of makin’ any mistake about the trees, for there wuz a little metal plate fastened to each tree, with the name marked on it—­the common name and the high-learnt botanical name.

But Josiah, who always has a hankerin’ after fashion and show, he talked a sight to me about the “Abusex-celsa,” and the “Genus-salix,” and the “Fycus-sycamorus,” and the “Atractylus-gummifera.”

He boasted in particular about the rarity of them trees.  He said they grew in Hindoostan and on the highest peaks of the Uriah Mountains; and he sez, “How strange that he should ever live to see ’em.”

He talked proud and high-learnt about ’em, till I got tired out, and pinted him to the other names of ’em.

[Illustration:  He talked proud and high learnt about ’em.]

Then his feathers drooped, and sez he, “A Norway spruce, a willer, a sycamore, and a pine.  Dum it all, what do they want to put on such names as them onto trees that grow right in our dooryard?”

“To show off,” sez I, coldly, “and to make other folks show off who have a hankerin’ after fashion and display.”

He did not frame a reply to me—­he had no frame.


I told Josiah this mornin’ I wanted to go to the place where they had flowers, and plants, and roses, and things—­I felt that duty wuz a-drawin’ me.

For, as I told him, old Miss Mahew wanted me to get her a slip of monthly rose if they had ’em to spare—­she said, “If they seemed to have quite a few, I might tackle ’em about it, and if they seemed to be kinder scrimped for varieties, she stood willin’ to swap one of her best kinds for one of theirn—­she said she spozed they would have as many as ten or a dozen plants of each kind.”

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And I thought mebby I could get a tulip bulb—­I had had such poor luck with mine the year before.

But sez I, “Mebby they won’t have none to spare—­I d’no how well they be off for ’em,” but I spozed mebby I would see as many as a dozen or fifteen tulips, and as many roses.

He kinder wanted to go and see the plows and horse-rakes that mornin’, but I capitulated with him by sayin’ if he would go there first with me, anon we would go together to the horse-rake house.

So we sot out the first thing for the Horticultural Buildin’, and good land! good land! when we got to it I wuz jest browbeat and frustrated with the size on’t—­it is the biggest buildin’ that wuz ever built in the world for plants and flowers.

And when you jest think how big the world is, and how long it has stood, and how many houses has been built for posies from Persia and Ingy, down to Chicago and Jonesville, then you will mebby get it into your head the immense bigness on’t—­yes, that buildin’ is two hundred and sixty thousand square feet, and every foot all filled up with beauty, and bloom, and perfume.  It faces the risin’ sun, as any place for flowers and plants ort to.  Like all the rest of the Exposition buildin’s, it has sights of ornaments and statutes.  One of the most impressive statutes I see there wuz Spring Asleep.  It struck so deep a blow onto my fancy that I thought on’t the last thing at night, and I waked up in the night and thought on’t.

There never wuz a better-lookin’ creeter than Spring wuz, awful big too—­riz way up lofty and grand, and hantin’ as our own dreams of Spring are as we set shiverin’ in the Winter.

Her noble face wuz perfect in its beauty, and she sot there with her arms outstretched; and grouped all round her wuz beautiful forms—­lovely wimmen, and babies, and children, all bound in slumber, but, as I should imagine, jest on the pint of wakin’ up.

I guess they wuz all a-dreamin’ about the song of birds a-comin’ back from the south land, and silky, pale green willers a-bendin’ low over gurglin’ brooks, and pink and white may-flowers a-hidin’ under the leafy hollows of Northern hills, and the golden glow of cowslips down in the dusky brown shallows in green swamps, and white clouds a-sailin’ over blue skies, and soft winds a-blowin’ up from the South.

They wuz asleep, but the cookoo’s notes would wake ’em in a minute or two; and then I could see by their clothes that they wuz expectin’ warmer weather.  It wuz a very impressive statute.  Mr. Tafft done his very best—­I couldn’t have done as well myself—­not nigh.  Wall, to go through that buildin’ wuz like walkin’ through fairyland, if fairyland had jest blown all out full of beauty and greenness.

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Right in the centre overhead, way up, way up, is a crystal ruff made to represent the sky, and it seems to be a-glitterin’ in its crystal beauty way up in the clouds; underneath wuz the most beautiful pictures you ever see, or Josiah, or anybody.  They wuz painted in Paris—­not Paris in the upper end of Lyme County, but Paris in France, way over the billowy Atlantic; and under this magnificent dome wuz all kinds of the most beautiful palms, bamboos and tree ferns, with their shiny, feathery foliage, and big leaves.  Why some of them long, feathery leaves wuz so big, if the tree wuz in the middle of our dooryard the ends of ’em would go over into the orchard—­one leaf; the idee!  Why, you would almost fancy you wuz in a tropical forest, as you looked up into the great feathery masses and leaves as big as a hull tree almost; and risin’ right in the centre wuz a mountain sixty feet high all covered with tropical verdure; leadin’ into it wuz a shady, cool grotto, where wuz all kinds of ferns, and exquisite plants, that love to grow in such spots.

And way in through, a-flashin’ through the cool darkness of the spot, you could see the wonderful rays of that strange light that has a soul.

And if you will believe it—­I don’t spoze you will—­but there is plants here grown by that artificial light—­the idee!

I sez to Josiah, “Did you ever see anything like the idee of growin’ plants by lamplight?” and he sez—­

“It is a new thing, but a crackin’ good one,” and he added—­

“What can be done in one place can in another,” and he got all excited up, and took his old account-book out of his pocket and went to calculatin’ on how many cowcumbers he could raise in the winter down suller by the light of his old lantern.

I discouraged him, and sez I, “You can’t raise plants by the light of that old karsene lantern, and there hain’t no room, anyway, in our suller.”

And he said, “He wuz bound to spade up round the pork barrel and try a few hills, anyway;” and sez he, dreamily, “We might raise a few string-beans and have ’em run up on the soap tub.”

But I made him put up his book, for we wuz attractin’ attention, and I told him agin that we hadn’t got the conveniences to home that they had here.

He put up his book and we wended on, but he had a look on his face that made me think he hadn’t gin up the idee, and I spoze that some good cowcumber seed will be wasted like as not, to say nothin’ of karsene.

Wall, all connected with this house is two big open courts, full and runnin’ over with beauty and wonder; on the south is the aquatic garden, showin’ all the plants and flowers and wonderful water growth.

Here Josiah begun to make calculations agin about growin’ flowers in our old mill-pond, but I broke it up.

On the north court is a magnificent orange grove.  Why, it makes you feel as though you wuz a-standin’ in California or Florida, under the beautiful green trees, full of the ripe, rich fruit, and blossoms, and green leaves.

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Wall, the hull house, take it all in all, is such a seen of wonder, and enchantment, and delight, that it might have been transplanted, jest as it stood, from the Arabian nights entertainment.

And you would almost expect if you turned a corner to meet Old Alibaby, or a Grand Vizier, or somebody before you got out of there.

But we didn’t; and after feastin’ our eyes on the beauty and wonder on’t, we sot off to see the rest of the flowers and plants, for we laid out when we first went to the World’s Fair to see one thing at a time so fur as we could, and then tackle another, though I am free to confess that it wuz sometimes like tacklin’ the sea-shore to count the grains of sand, or tacklin’ the great north woods to count how many leaves wuz on the trees, or measurin’ the waters of Lake Ontario with a teaspoon, or any other hard job you are a mind to bring up.

But this day we laid out to see as much as we could of the immense display of flowers.

But where there is milds and milds of clear flowers, what can you do?  You can’t look at every one on ’em, to save your life.

Why, to jest give you a small idee of the magnitude and size, jest think of five hundred thousand pansies from every quarter of the globe, and every beautiful color that wuz ever seen or drempt of.  You know them posies do look some like faces, and the faces look like “the great multitude no man could number,” that we read about, and every one of them faces a-bloomin’ with every color of the rainbow.  And speakin’ of rainbows, before long we did see one—­a long, shinin’, glitterin’ rainbow, made out of pure pansies, of which more anon and bimeby.

And then, think of seein’ from five to ten millions of tulips.  Why, I had thought I had raised tulips; I had had from twenty to thirty in full blow at one time, and had realized it, though I didn’t mean to be proud nor haughty.

But I knew that my tulips wuz fur ahead of Miss Isham’s, or any other Jonesvillian, and I had feelin’s accordin’.

But then to think of ten millions of ’em—­why, it would took Miss Isham and me more’n a week to jest count ’em, and work hard, too, all the time.

Why, when I jest stretched out my eye-sight to try to take in them ten millions of globes of gorgeous beauty, my sperits sunk in me further than the Queen of Sheba’s did before the glory of Solomon; I felt that minute that I would love to see Miss Sheba, and neighbor with her a spell, and talk with her about pride, and how it felt when it wuz a-fallin’.  I could go ahead of her, fur, fur, and I thought I would have loved to own it up to her, and if Solomon had been present, too, I wouldn’t have cared a mite—­I felt humble.  And I jest marched off and never said a word about gittin’ a root for me or Miss Isham—­I wuz fairly overcome.

And still we walked round through milds and milds of solid beauty and bloom.  Every beautiful posey I had ever hearn on, and them I had never hearn on wuz there, right before my dazzled eyes.

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The biggest crowd we see in the Horticultural Hall wuz round what you may call the humblest thing—­a tree, something like old Bobbetses calf, with five legs.

There wuz a fern from Japan, two separate varieties growin’ together in one plant.

There wuz Japanese dwarf trees one hundred years old and about as big as gooseberries.

A travellin’ tree from Madagascar wuz one of the most interestin’ things to look at.

And then there wuz a giant fern from Australia that measured thirty-two feet—­the largest, so I wuz told, in Europe or America.  Thirty-two feet!  And there I have felt so good and even proud-sperited over my fern I took up out of our woods and brung home and sot out in Mother Smith’s old blue sugar-bowl.  Why, that fern wuz so large and beautiful, and attracted the envious and admirin’ attention of so many Jonesvillians, that I had strong idees of takin’ it to the Fair!

Philury said she “hadn’t a doubt of my gittin’ the first prize medal on’t.”  “Why,” sez she, “it is as long as Ury’s arm!” And it wuz.  Miss Lum thought it would be a good thing to take it, to let Chicago and the rest of the world see what vegetation wuz nateral to Jonesville, feelin’ that they would most likely have a deep interest in it.

And Deacon Henzy thought “it might draw population there.”

And the schoolmaster thought that “it would be useful to the foreign powers to see to what height swamp culture had attained in the growth of its idigenious plants.”

I didn’t really understand everything he said—­there wuz a number more big words in his talk—­but I presoom he did, and felt comforted to use ’em.

Why, as I said, I had boasted that fern wuz as long as my arm.

But thirty-two feet—­as high as Josiah, and his father, and his grandfather, and his great-grandfather, and his great-great-grandfather, and Ury on top.

Where, where wuz my boastin’?  Gone, washed away utterly on the sea of wonder and or.

And then there wuz a century plant with a blossom stem thirty feet high, and a posey accordin’, one posey agin as high as my Josiah, and his father, and etc., etc., etc., and Ury.

Oh, good gracious! oh, dear me suz!

That plant wuzn’t expected to blow out in several years, but all of a sudden it shot up that immense stalk, up, up to thirty feet.

It wuz as if the Queen of the Flowery Kingdom had come with the rest of the kings and princesses of the earth to the Columbus World’s Fair.

Had changed her plans to come with the rest of the royal family.  It wuz a sight.

Wall, after roamin’ there the best part of two hours, I said to my companion, “Less go and see the Wooded Island.”  And he said with a deep sithe, “I am ready, and more than ready.  The name sounds good to me.  I would love to see some good plain wood, either corded up or in sled length.”

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I see he wuz sick of lookin’ at flowers, and I d’no as I could blame him; for my own head seemed to be jest a-turnin’ round and round, and every turnin’ had more colors than any rainbow you ever laid eyes on.

He wuz dretful anxious to git out-doors himself.  He said it wuz all for himself that he wuz hurryin’ so.

I d’no that, but I do know that in his haste to help me git out he stepped on my foot, and almost made a wreck of that valuable member.

I looked bad, and groaned, and sithed considerable ’fore he got to the sheltered bench he’d sot out for.

He acted sorry, and I didn’t reproach him any.

I only sez, “Oh, I don’t lay it up aginst you, Josiah.  It jest reminds me of Sister Blanker.”

And he sez, “I don’t thank you to compare me to that slab-sided old maid.”

Sez I, “I believe she’s a Christian, Josiah.”

And so I do.  But sez I, “Folks must be megum even in goodness, Josiah Allen, and in order to set down and hold a half orphan in your arms, you mustn’t overset yourself and come down on the floor on top of a hull orphan or a nursin’ child.

“You mustn’t tromple so fast on your way to the gole as to walk over and upset two or three lame ones and paryletics.”

Sez I, “Do you remember my eppisode with Sister Blanker, Josiah?”

He did not frame a reply to me, but sot off to look at sunthin’ or ruther, sayin’ that he would come back in a few minutes.

And as I sot there alone Memory went on and onrolled her panorama in front of my eyeballs, about my singular eppisode with Drusilla Blanker.

Sister Blanker is a good woman and a Christian, but she never so much as sot her foot on the fair plains of megumness, whose balmy, even climate has afforded me so much comfort all my life.

No; she is a woman who stalks on towards goles and don’t mind who or what she upsets on her way.

She is a woman who a-chasin’ sinners slams the door in the faces of saints.

And what I mean by this is that she is in such a hurry to git inside the door of Duty (a real heavy door sometimes, heavy as iron), she don’t see whether or not it is a-goin’ to slam back and hit somebody in the forward.

A remarkable instance of this memory onrolled on her panorama—­a eppisode that took place in our own Jonesville meetin’-house.

The session room where we go to session sometimes and to transact other business has got a heavy swing door.  And everybody who goes through it always calculates to hold it back if there is anybody comin’ behind ’em, for that door has been known to knock a man down when it come onto him onexpected and onbeknown to him.

Wall, Sister Blanker wuz a-goin’ on ahead of me one night; it wuz a charitable meetin’ that we wuz a-goin’ to—­to quilt a bedquilt for a heathen—­and she knew I wuz jest behind her—­right on her tracts, as you may say, for we had sot out together from the preachin’-room, and we had been a-talkin’ all the way there on the different merits of otter color or butnut for linin’ for the quilt, and as to whether herrin’-bone looked so good as a quiltin’ stitch as plain rib.

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She favored rib and otter; I kinder leaned toward herrin’-bone and butnut.

We had had a agreeable talk all the way, though I couldn’t help seein’ she wuz too hard on butnut, and slightin’ in her remarks on herrin’-bone.

Anyway, she knew I wuz with her in the body; but as she ketched sight of the door that wuz a-goin’ to let her in where she could begin to do good, her mind jest soared right up, and she forgot everything and everybody, and she let that door slam right back and hit me on my right arm, and laid me up for over five weeks.

And I fell right back on Edna Garvin, and she is lame, and it knocked her over backwards onto Sally Ann Bobbetses little girl, and she fell flat down, and Miss Gowdey on top of her, and Miss Gowdey, bein’ a-walkin’ along lost in thought about the bedquilt, and thinkin’ how much battin’ we should need in it, and not lookin’ for a obstacle in her path, slipped right up and fell forwards.  Wall, a-tryin’ to save little Annie Gowdey from bein’ squashed right down, Miss Gowdey throwed herself sideways and strained her back.  She weighs two hundred, and is loose-jinted.

And she hain’t got over it to this day.  She insists on’t that she loosened her spine in the affair.

And I d’no but she did!

But the child wuz gin up to die.  So for weeks and weeks the Bobbetses and all of Sally Ann’s relations (she wuz a Henzy and wide connected in the Methodist meetin’-house) had to give up all their time a-hangin’ over that sick-bed.

And the Garvins wuz mad as hens, and they bein’ connected with most everybody in the Dorcuss Society—­and it wuzn’t over than above large—­why, take it with my bein’ laid up and the children havin’ to be home so much, Sister Blanker in that one slam jest about cleaned out the hull Methodist meetin’-house.

The quilt wuzn’t touched after that night, and the heathen lay cold all winter, for all I know.

I had all I could do to take care of my own arm, catnip and lobela alternately and a-follerin’ after each other I pursued for weeks and weeks, and the pain wuz fearful.

Sister Blanker wuz about the only one who come out hull, and she had plenty of time to set down and mourn over a lack of opportunities to do good, and to talk a sight about the lukewarmness of members of the meetin’-house in good works.  And there they wuz to home a-sufferin’, and it wuz her own self who had brung it all on.

You see, as I have said more formally, in our efforts to march forwards to do good it is highly neccessary to see that we hain’t a-tromplin’ on anybody; and in order to help sinners in Africa it hain’t neccessary to knock down Christians in New Jersey and Rhode Island, or to stomp onto professors in Maine.

Howsumever, that is some folkses ways.

Wall, I’d a been a-lookin’ at the panorama with one half of my mind and admirin’ the beauty round me with the other half.

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But at this minute—­and it wuz lucky my eppisode had come to an end, for if there is anything I hate it is to be broke up in eppisodin’—­my Josiah returned.

In front of Horticultural Hall is a flower terrace for out-door exhibits of loveliness, and then in front of that is the beautiful, cool water, and down in the centre of that, below the terrace, and its beauty, and vases, is a boat-landin’.  The water did look dretful good to me after lookin’ at so many gorgeous colors—­more than any rainbow ever boasted of, enough sight—­it did seem good to me to look down into them cool waters; and I sez to my pardner—­

“The water does look dretful good and sort o’ satisfyin’, don’t it, Josiah?”

A bystander a-standin’ by sez, “I guess if you would go into the south pavilion here and look at the display of wine you wouldn’t talk about lookin’ at water; why,” sez he, “to say nothin’ of the display of our own country, the exhibit of wine from France, Italy, Spain, and Germany is enough to set a man half crazy to look at.”

I looked at him coldly—­his nose wuz as red as fire—­and I sez, “I hain’t got no call to look at wine.

[Illustration:  His nose wuz as red as fire.]

“I wouldn’t give a cent a barrel for the best there is there, if I had got to consoom it myself.

“Though,” sez I, reasonably, “I wouldn’t object to havin’ a pint bottle on’t to keep in the house in case of sickness, or to make jell, or sunthin’.

“But I will not go and encourage the makin’ of such quantities as there is there, I will not encourage ’em in makin’ that show.”

He looked mad, and sez he, “I guess they won’t stop their show because you won’t go and see it.”

“Probable not,” sez I; but sez I, real eloquent, “I will hold up my banner afoot or on horseback.”

And then I sez to my husband, with quite a good deal of dignity—­

“Less proceed to the Wooded Island, Josiah Allen.”

But alas! for Josiah’s hope of seein’ sunthin’ plain and simple.  When we got there, that seemed to be the very central garden of the earth for flowers, and beauty, and bloom, and there it wuz that we see the most gorgeous rainbow—­all made of pansies—­glow and dazzlement.

The island contains seventeen acres, and it stands on such a rise of ground, that every buildin’ on the Fair ground can be seen plain.

In the centre of the south end wuz the rose garden, where the choicest and most beautiful roses from all over the world bloom in their glowin’ richness.

When I thought how much store I had sot by one little monthly rose a-growin’ in a old earthen teapot of Mother Allen’s—­and when it wuz all blowed out I had reason to be proud on’t—­

But jest think of seein’ fifty thousand of the choicest roses in the world, all a-blowin’ out at one time.

Why, I had a immense number of emotions.

I thought of the ancient rose gardens we read of, and Solomon’s Songs, and most everything.

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It wuz surrounded on all four sides with a wire trellis, with archways openin’ on four sides, and all over these pretty trellises climbin’ roses and honeysuckles, and all lovely climbin’ plants covered it into four walls of perfect beauty.

It wuz truly the World’s Rose Garden.

Well might Josiah say he wuz sick of flowers, and wanted to see some plain cord wood!  Why, that day we see in one batch twenty thousand orchids, six thousand Parmee violets, and one man—­jest one man—­sent ’leven hundred ivies and one thousand hydarangeas, and every flower you ever hearn on in proportion, let alone what all the other men all over the earth had sent.

On the north side of the island Japan jest shows herself at her very best, and lets the world see her in a native village, and how she raises flowers, and makes shrubs and trees look curious as anything you ever see, and curiouser, too; all surrounded a temple where she keeps what she calls her religion, and lots of other things.

Japan is one of the likeliest countries that are represented in Columbuses doin’s.  She wuz the first country to respond to the invitation to take part in it, and I spoze mebby that is the reason that Chicago gin her this beautiful place to hold her own individual doin’s in.  The temple is a gorgeous-lookin’ one, but queer as anything—­as anything I ever see.

But then, on the other hand, I spoze them Japans would call the Jonesville meetin’-house queer; for what is strange in one country is second nater in another.

This temple is built with one body and two wings, to represent the Phoenix—­or so they say; the wood part wuz built in Japan and put up here by native Japans, brung over for that purpose.

It is elaborate and gorgeous-lookin’ in the extreme, and the gorgeousness a-differin’ from our gorgeousness as one star differeth from a rutabaga turnip.

Not that I mean any disrespect to Japan or the United States by the metafor, but I had to use a strong one to show off the difference.

In one wing of the temple is exhibited articles from one thousand to four thousand years old—­old bronzes, and arms, and first attempts at pottery and lacquer.

Some of these illustrate arts that are lost fur back in the past—­I d’no how or where, nor Josiah don’t.

In the other wing are Japan productions four hundred years old, showin’ the state of the country when Columbus sot out to discover their country; for it wuz stories of a wonderful island—­most probable Japan—­that wuz one thing that influenced Columbus strong.

In the main buildin’ are sights and sights of goods from Japan at the present day.

All of the north part of the island is a marvellous show of their skill and ingenuity in landscape gardenin’, and dwarf trees, and the wonderful garden effects for which they are noted.

They make a present of the temple and all of these horticultural works to Chicago.

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To remain always a ornament of Jackson Park, which I call very pretty in ’em.

Take it all together, the exhibits of Japan are about as interesting as that of any country of the globe.

In some things they go ahead of us fur.  Now in some of their meetin’-houses I am told they don’t have much of anything but a lookin’-glass a-hangin’, to show the duty and neccessity of lookin’ at your own sins.

To set for a hour and a half and examine your own self and meditate on your own shortcomin’s.

How useful and improvin’ that would be if used—­as it ort to be—­in Jonesville or Chicago!

But still the world would call it queer.

I leaned up hard on that thought, and wuz carried safe through all the queer sights I see there.

I see quite a number of the Japans there, pretty, small-bonded folks, with faces kinder yellowish brown, dark eyes sot considerable fur back in their heads, their noses not Romans by any means—­quite the reverse—­and their hair glossy and dark, little hands and feet.  Some on ’em wuz dressed like Jonesvillians, but others had their queer-shaped clothin’, and dretful ornamental.  Josiah wuz bound to have a sack embroidered like one of theirn, and some wooden shoes, and caps with tossels—­he thought they wuz dressy—­and he wanted some big sleeves that he could use as a pocket; and then sez he—­

“To have shoes that have a separate place for the big toe, what a boon for that dum old corn on that toe of mine that would be!”

But I frowned on the idee; but sez he—­

“If you mind the expense, I could take one of your old short night-gowns and color it black, and set some embroidery onto it.  I could cut some figgers out of creton—­it wouldn’t be much work.  Why,” sez he, “I could pin ’em on—­no, dum it all,” sez he, “I couldn’t set down in it, but I could glue ’em on.”

But I sez, “If you want to foller the Japans I could tell you a custom of theirn, and I would give ten cents willin’ly to see you foller it.”

“What is that?” sez he, ready, as I could see, to ornament himself, or shave his hair, or dress up his big toe, or anything.

But I sez, “It is their politeness, Josiah Allen.”

“I’d be a dum fool if I wuz in your place,” sez he.  “What do I want to foller ’em for?  I am polite, and always wuz.”

I looked coldly at him, and sez I—­

“Japans wouldn’t call their wives a dum fool no quicker than they would take their heads off.”

Sez he, conscience-struck, “I didn’t call you one.  I said I would be one if I wuz in your place—­I wuz a-demeanin’ myself, Samantha.”

Sez I, not mindin’ his persiflage, “The Japans are the politest nation on the earth; they say cheatin’ and lyin’ hain’t polite, and so they don’t want to foller ’em; they hitch principle and politeness right up in one team and ride after it.”

“Wall,” sez he, “I do and always have.”

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I wouldn’t deign to argue with him, only I remarked, “Wall, the team prances, and throws you time and again, Josiah Allen.”

Sez I, “The Japans are neat, industrious, studious, and progressive, ardent in desirin’ knowledge.”

“Wall,” sez he, “if you think so much on ’em, why don’t you buy a pipe—­they all smoke, men and wimmen.”

He didn’t love to hear me praisin’ even a nation, that man didn’t, but I soothed him down by drawin’ his attention to the housen of the little village.

They wuz low, and had broad eaves, and a sort of a piazza a-runnin’ all round ’em; they seemed to be kinder plastered on the outside; and the doors and winders—­I wouldn’t want to swear to it—­but they did seem to be wood frames covered with paper, that would slide back and forth, and the partitions of the housen seemed to be made of paper that could be slipped and slided every way, or be took down and turn the hull house into one room.

And the little gardens round the housen looked curious as a dog, and curiouser, with trees and shrubs dwarfed and trained into forms of animals and so forth.

But I leaned heavy on the thought that my house and garden in Jonesville would look jest as queer to ’em, and got along without bein’ too dumbfoundered.  As I wuz a-walkin’ along there I did think of the errant Old Miss Baker sent by me.

She wanted me to git her a japanned dust-pan.  She said that “them she bought of tin-peddlers wuzn’t worth a cent—­the japan all wore off of ’em.”

“But,” sez she, “you buy it right at headquarters—­you’d be apt to git a good one;” and she told me that I might go as high as twenty-five cents if I couldn’t git it for no less.

And I spoke on’t there, but Josiah said “that he wouldn’t go a-luggin’ round dust-pans for nobody to this Fair.”

But I sez, “I guess that Columbus went through more than that.”

But I did in my own mind hate to go round before the nations a-carryin’ a dust-pan—­they’re so kinder rakish-lookin’.

But if I’d seen a good one I should have leaned on duty and bought it.

But we didn’t see no signs of any.

But we see pictures and ornaments so queer that I felt my own eyes a-movin’ round sideways a-beholdin’ of ’em, or would have if we had stayed there long enough.  We see as we wended along that all round the island wuz another garden all full of flowers, and ornamental grasses, and beautiful shrubs, and windin’ walks, and so forth, and so forth, and so forth—­an Eden of beauty.

And in one place we see in a large tank the Victoria Regia.  Its leaves wuz ten feet long, and when in the water in its own home, the River Amazon in Brazil, the leaves will hold up a child six years old.

Then there wuz the lotus from Egypt, and Indian lilies, and that magnificent flower, Humboldt’s last discovery, “the water poppy.”

It wuz a sight—­a sight.

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But of all the sights I see that day I guess the one that stayed by me the longest, and that I thought more on than any of the other contents of Horticultural Hall, as I lay there on my peaceful pillow at Miss Plankses, wuz the reproduction of the Crystal Cave of Dakota.

[Illustration:  My peaceful pillow at Miss Plankses.]

The original cave, so fur as they have discovered it, is thirty-three milds long—­

Three times as long as the hull town of Lyme—­the idee!

Thirty lakes of pure water has been found in it, and one thousand four hundred rooms have been opened up.

Here is a reproduction of seven of them rooms.  Two men of Deadwood of Dakota wuz over a year a-gittin’ specimens of the stalactites and stalagmites which they have brought to the Exposition.

One of the rooms is called “Garden of the Gods;” another is “Abode of the Fairies,” and one is the “Bridal Chamber;” another is the “Cathedral Chimes.”

Language can’t paint nor do anything towards paintin’ the dazzlin’ glory of them rooms, with the great masses of gleamin’ crystal, and slender columns, and all sorts of forms and fancies wrought in the dazzlin’ crystalline masses.

The chimes wuz perfect in their musical records—­the guide played a tune on ’em.

They wuz all lit up by electricity, and it wuz here that the plants wuz a-growin’ by no other light but electricity.

By windin’ passages a-windin’ through groups of fairy-like beauty and grandeur, you at last come out into the principal chamber, and here indeed you did feel that you wuz in the Garden of the Gods, as you looked round and beheld with your almost dazzled eyes the gorgeous colors radiatin’ from the crystals, and the gleamin’ and glowin’ fancies on every side of you.

And I sez to Josiah—­

“The hull thirty-three milds that this represents wuz considered till about a year ago as only a small hole in the ground, so little do we know.”  Sez I, “What glorious and majestic sights are about us on every side, liable to be revealed to us when the time comes.”

And then he wuz all rousted up about a hole down in our paster.  Sez he, “Who knows what it would lead to if it wuz opened up?” Sez he, “I’ll put twenty men to diggin’ there the minute I git home.”

Sez I, “Josiah, that is a woodchuck hole—­the woodchuck wuz took in it; you have got to be megum in caves as much as anything.  Be calm,” sez I, for he wuz a-breathin’ hard and wuz fearful excited, and I led him out as quick as I could.

But he wuz a-sleepin’ now peaceful, forgittin’ his enthusiasm, while I, who took it calm at the time, kep awake to muse on the glory of the spectacle.

After we left the Horticultural Buildin’ I proposed that we should branch out for once and git a fashionable dinner.

“Dinner!” sez Josiah.  “Are you crazy, or what does ail you?  Talk about gittin’ dinner at this time of day—­most bedtime!”

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But I explained it out to him that fashion called for dinner at the hour that we usually partook of our evenin’ meal at Jonesville.

Sez I, “Josiah, I would love for jest once to go to a big fashionable restaurant and mingle with the fashionable throng—­jest for instruction and education, Josiah, not that I want to foller it up.”

But sez he, “We’d better go to the same old place where we’ve got good, clean dinners and supperses, and enough on ’em, and at a livin’ price.”

But he argued warm at the foolishness of the enterprise.

But onlucky creeter that I wuz, I argued that, bein’ a woman in search of instruction and wisdom, I wanted to see life on as many sides as I could; while I was at Columbuses doin’s I wanted to look round and see all I could in a social and educational way.

Poor deceived human creeters, how they will blind their own eyes when they pursue their own desires!

I do spoze it wuz vanity and pride that wuz at the bottom of it.

And truly, if I desired to see life on a new side I wuz about to have my wish; and if I had a haughty sperit when I entered that hall of fashion, it wuz with droopin’ feathers and lowered crest that I went out on’t.

Josiah wuz mad when he finally gin up and accompanied and went in with me.

It wuz a beautifully decorated room, and crowds of splendidly dressed men and wimmen wuz a-settin’ round at little tables all over the room.

And as we went in, a tall, elegant-lookin’ man, who I spozed for a long time wuz a minister, and I wondered enough what brung him there, and why he should advance and wait on me, but spozed it wuz because of the high opinion they had of me at Chicago, and their wantin’ to use me so awful well.

But for all his white collar, and necktie, and sanctimonious look, I found out that he wuz a waiter, for all on ’em looked jest as he did, slick enough to be kept in a bandbox, and only let out once in a while to air.

Wall, he led the way to a little table, and we seated ourselves, Josiah still a-actin’ mad—­mad as a hen, and uppish.

And then the waiter put some little slips of paper before us, one with printin’ and one with writin’ on it, and a pencil, and sez he, “I will be back when you make out your order.”

And Josiah took out his old silver spectacles and begun to read out loud, and his voice wuz angry and morbid in the extreme.

Sez he, loud and clear, “Blue pints—­pints of what, I’d love to know?  If it wuz a good pint of sweetened vinegar and ginger, I’d fall in with the idee.”

Sez I, “Keep still, Josiah; they’re a-lookin’ at you.”

“Wall, let ’em look,” sez he, out loud and defiant.

“Consomme of chicken a la princess—­what do we want of Princesses here, or Queens, or Dukesses—­we want sunthin’ to eat!  Devilish crabs—­do you want some, Samantha?”

I looked over his shoulder, in wild horrer at them awful words, and then I whispered, “Devilled crabs—­and do you keep still, Josiah Allen; I’d ruther not have anythin’ to eat at all than to have you act so—­it hain’t devilish.”

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“Wall, what is the difference?” he sez, out loud and strong; “devilish or bedevilled, they both mean the same.

“And it is true, too—­too true; they are all bedevilled,” sez he, gloomily eyin’ the bill.

I allers hated crabs from the time they used to fasten to my bare toes down in the old swimmin’ hole in the creek.  “Wall, you don’t want any bedevilled crabs, do you?”

[Illustration:  “I allus hated crabs!”]

“No,” sez I, faintly; for I wuz mortified enough to sink through the floor if there had been any sinkin’ place, and I whispered, “I’d ruther go without any dinner at all than to have you act so.”

“Oh, no,” sez he, loud and positive, “you don’t want to go without your dinner; you want to be fashionable and cut style—­you want to make a show.”

“Wall,” sez I, faint as a cat, “I am apt to git my wish.”

For three men looked up and laughed, and one girl snickered, besides some other wimmen.

Sez I, hunchin’ him, “Do be still and less go to our old place.”

“Oh, no,” sez he, speakin’ up to the top of his voice, “don’t less leave; here is such a variety!”

“Potatoes surprise,” sez he; “it must be that they are mealy and cooked decent; that would be about as much of a surprise as I could have about potatoes here, to have ’em biled fit to eat; we’ll have some of them, anyway.

“Philadelphia caperin’—­I didn’t know that Philadelphia caperin’ wuz any better than Chicago a-caperin’ or New York a-caperin’.  Veal o just!  I guess if he had been kicked by calves as much as I have, he wouldn’t talk so much about their Christian habits.

“Leg of mutton with caper sass—­wall, it is nateral for sheep to caper and act sassy, and it is nobody’s bizness.

“Supreme pinted bogardus—­what in thunder is that?  Supreme—­wall, I’ve hearn of a supreme ijiot, and I believe that Bogardus is his name.

“Terrapin a-layin’ on Maryland—­I never knew that terrapin wuz a hen before, and why is it any better to lay on Maryland than anywhere else?  Mebby eggs are higher there; wall, Maryland hain’t much too big for a good-sized hen’s nest, nor Rhode Island neither.”

“Josiah Allen,” I whispered, deep and solemn, “if you don’t stop I will part with you.”

Folks wuz in a full snicker and a giggle by this time.

“Oh, no,” sez he, loud and strong, “you don’t want to part with me till I git you a fashionable dinner, and we both cut style.

“Tenderloin of beef a-tryin’ on”—­a-tryin’ on what, I’d love to know?—­style, most probable, this is such a stylish place.”

“Will you be still, Josiah Allen?” sez I, a-layin’ holt of his vest.

“No, I won’t; I am tryin’ to put on style, Samantha, and buy you sunthin’ stylish to eat.”

“Wall, you needn’t,” sez I; “I have lost my appetite.”

“Siberian Punch!  Let him come on,” sez Josiah; “if I can’t use my fists equal to any dum Siberian that ever trod shoe leather, then I’ll give in.”

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Then three wimmen giggled, and the waiters began to look mad and troubled.

“English rifles”—­wall, I shouldn’t have thought they would have tried that agin.  No, trifles,” sez he, a-lookin’ closer at it.

“English trifles!—­lions’ tails and coronets, mebby—­English trifles and tutty-frutty.  Do have some tutty-frutty, Samantha, it has such a stylish sound to it, so different from good pork and beans and roast beef; I believe you would enjoy it dearly.

“Waiter,” sez he, “bring on some tutty-frutty to once.”

The waiter approached cautiously, and made a motion to me, and touched his forehead.

He thought he wuz crazy, and he whispered to me, “Is it caused by drinkin’? or is it nateral and come on sudden—­”

Josiah heard it, and answered out loud, “It wuz caused by style, by bein’ fashionable; my only aim has been to git my wife a fashionable dinner, but I see it has overcome her.”

The waiter wuz a good-hearted-lookin’ man—­a kind heart beat below that white necktie (considerable below it on the left side), and sez he to me—­

“Shall I bring you a dinner, Mom, without takin’ the order?”

And I replied gratefully—­

“Yes, so do;” and so he brung it, a good enough dinner for anybody—­good roast beef, and potatoes, and lemon pie, and tea, and Josiah eat hearty, and had to quiet down some, though he kept a-mournin’ all through the meal about its not bein’ carried on fashionable and stylish, and that it wuz my doin’s a-breakin’ it up, and etc., etc., and the last thing a-wantin’ tutty-frutty, and etc., etc.

And I paid for the meal out of my own pocket; the waiter thought I had to on account of my companion’s luny state, and he gin the bill to me.

And Josiah a-chucklin’ over it, as I could see, for savin’ his money.

And I got him out of that place as quick as I could, the bystanders, or ruther the bysetters, a-laughin’ or a-lookin’ pitiful at me, as their naters differed.

And as we wended off down the broad path on the outside, I sez, “You have disgraced us forever in the eyes of the nation, Josiah Allen.”

And he sez, “What have I done?  You can’t throw it in my face, Samantha, that I hain’t tried to cut style—­that I didn’t try to git you a stylish meal.”

I wouldn’t say a word further to him, and I never spoke to him once that night—­not once, only in the night I thought there wuz a mouse in the room, and I forgot myself and called on him for help.

And for three days I didn’t pass nothin’ but the compliments with him; he felt bad—­he worships me.  He did it all to keep me from goin’ to a costly place—­I know what his motives wuz—­but he had mortified me too deep.


Wall, this mornin’ I said that I would go to see the Palace of Art if I had to go on my hands and knees.

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And Josiah sez, “I guess you’d need a new pair of knees by the time you got there.”

And I do spoze it wuz milds and milds from where I wuz.

But I only wanted to let Josiah Allen know my cast-iron determination to not be put off another minute in payin’ my devours to Art.

He see it writ in my mean and didn’t make no moves towards breakin’ it up.

Only he muttered sunthin’ about not carin’ so much about ile paintin’s as he did for lots of other things.

But I heeded him not, and sez I, “We will go early in the mornin’ before any one gits there.”  But I guess that several hundred thousand other folks must have laid on the same plans overnight, for we found the rooms full and runnin’ over when we got there.

Before we got to the Art Palace, you’d know you wuz in its neighborhood by the beautiful statutes and groups of figgers you’d see all round you.

The buildin’ itself is a gem of art, if you can call anything a gem that is acres and acres big of itself, and then has immense annexes connected with it by broad, handsome corridors on either side.

It is Greek in style, and the dome rises one hundred and twenty-five feet and is surmounted by Martiny’s wonderful winged Victory.

Another female is depictered standin’ on top of the globe with wreaths in her outstretched hands.

Wall, I hope the figger is symbolical, and I believe in my soul she is!

You enter this palace by four great portals, beautiful with sculptured figgers and ornaments, and as you go on in the colonnade you see beautiful paintin’s illustratin’ the rise and progress of Art.

And way up on the outside, on what they call the freeze of the buildin’ (and good land!  I don’t see what they wuz a-thinkin’ on, for I wuz jest a-meltin’ down where I wuz, and it must have been hotter up there).

But that’s their way.

Wall, way up there and on the pediment of the principal entrances are sculptures and portraits of the ancient masters of Art in relief.

In relief?  That’s what they called it, and I spoze them old men must felt real relieved and contented to be sot down there in such a grand place, and so riz up like.  You could see plain by their liniments how glad and proud they wuz to be in Chicago, a-lookin’ down on that seen of beauty all round ’em.  Lookin’ down on the terraces richly ornamented with balustrades—­down over the immense flight of steps down into the blue water, with its flocks of steam lanches, and gondolas, like gay birds of passage, settled down there ready for flight.

All the light in this buildin’ comes down through immense skylights.

There is no danger of folks a-fallin’ out of the winders or havin’ anybody peek in unless it is the man in the moon.

All round this vast room is a gallery forty feet wide, where you could lock arms and promenade, and talk about hens.

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But you wouldn’t want to, I don’t believe.  You’d want to spend every minute a-feastin’ your eyes on the Best of the World.

All along the floors of the nave and transepts are displayed the most beautiful sculptures that wuz ever sculped in any part of the world, while the walls are covered with paintin’s and sculptured panels in relief.

That’s what they call ’em, because it’s such a relief for folks to set down and look at ’em.

Between the promenades and naves and transepts are the smaller rooms, where the private collections of picters are kep and the works of the different Art Schools, and the four corners are filled with smaller picter galleries.

Why, to go through jest one of them annexes, let alone the palace itself, would take a week if you examined ’em as you ort to.  Josiah told me that mornin’, with a encouraged look onto his face—­

“Samantha, after we’ve seen all the ile paintin’s we’ll go somewhere, and have a good time.”

“But good land! see all the ile paintin’s!”

Why, as I told him after we’d wandered through there for hours and hours, sez I, “If we spent every minute of the hull summer we couldn’t do justice to ’em all.”

And we couldn’t.  Why, it has been all calculated out by a good calculator, that spend one minute to a picter, and it would take twenty-six days to go through ’em.  And good land! what is one minute to some of the picters you see.  Why, half a day wuzn’t none too long to pour over some on ’em, and when I say pour, I mean pour, for I see dozens of folks weepin’ quite hard before some on ’em.

[Illustration:  I see dozens of folks weepin’ quite hard before some on ’em.]

For these picters wuzn’t picked out haphazard all over the country.  No, they had to, every one on ’em, run the gantlet of the most severe and close criticism.

The Jury of Admittance stood in front of that gallery, and over it, as you may say, like the very finest and strongest wire sieve, a-strainin’ out all but the finest and clearest merits.  No dregs could git through—­not a dreg.

I guess that hain’t a very good metafor, and if I wuzn’t in such a hurry I’d look round and try to find a better one, not knowin’, too, but what that Jury of Admittance will feel mad as hens at me to be compared to sieves; but I don’t mean the common wire ones, such as tin-peddlers sell.  No, I mean the searchin’ and elevatin’ process by which the very best of our country and the hull world wuz separated from the less meritorious ones, and spread out there for the inspiration and delight of the assembled nations.

And wuzn’t it a sight what wuz to be found there!

Landscapes from every land on the globe—­from Lapland to the Orient.  Tropical forests, with soft southern faces lookin’ out of the verdant shadows.  Frozen icebergs, with fur-clad figgers with stern aspects, and grizzly bears and ice-suckles.

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Bits of the beauty of all climes under all skies, dark or sunny.  Mountains, trees, valleys, forests, plains and prairies, palaces and huts, ships, boats and balloons.  The beauty and the sadness of every season of the year, beautiful faces, inspired faces, humbly faces, strikin’ powerful means, and mean cowardly sly liniments looked out on every side of us.

Picters illustratin’ every phase of human life, in every corner of the globe, from birth to death, from kingly prosperity and luxurious ease to prisons and scaffolds, the throne, the hospital, the convent, the pulpit, the monastery, the home, the battle-field, the mid-ocean, and the sheltered way, and Heaven and Hell, and Life and Death.

Every seen and spot the human mind had ever conceived wuz here depictered.

Every emotion man or woman ever felt, every inspiration that ever possessed their soul, every joy and every grief that ever lifted or bowed down their heads wuz here depictered.

And seens from the literature of every land wuz illustrated, the world of matter, the world of mind, all their secrets laid bare to the eyes of the admirin’ nations.

It wuz a sight—­a sight!

Gallery after gallery, room after room did we wander through till the gorgeous colorin’ seemed to dye our very thoughts and emotions, and I looked at Josiah in a kinder mixed-up, lofty way, as if he wuz a ile paintin’ or a statute, and he looked at me almost as if he considered me a chromo.

It wuz a time not to be forgot as long as memory sets up high on her high throne.

Room after room, gallery after gallery, beauty dazzlin’ us on every side, and lameness and twinges of rumatiz a-harassin’ us in our four extremities.

Why, the sight seemed so endless and so immense, that some of the time we felt like two needles in a haymow, a haymow made up of a vision of loveliness, and the two little needles feelin’ fairly tuckered out, and blunted, and browbeat.

Why, we got so kinder bewildered and carried away, that some of the time I couldn’t tell whether the masterpiece I wuz a-devourin’ with my eyes come from Germany or Jonesville, from France or Shackville, from Holland or from Zoar, up in the upper part of Lyme.

Of course amongst that endless display there wuz some picters that struck such hard blows at the heart and fancy that you can’t forgit ’em if you wanted to, which most probable you don’t.

And now, in thinkin’ back on ’em, I can’t sort ’em out and lay ’em down where they belong and mark ’em 1, 2, 3, 4, and etcetry, as I’d ort to.

But I’m jest as likely to let my mind jump right from what I see at the entrance to sunthin’ that I see way to the latter end of the buildin’, and visa versa.

It kinder worries me.  I love to even meditate and allegore with some degree of order and system, but I can’t here.  I must allegore and meditate on ’em jest as they come, and truly a-thinkin’ on these picters, I feel as Hosey Bigelow ust to say: 

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“I can’t tell what’s comin’—­gall or honey.”

But some of them picters and statutes made perfect dents in my memory, and can’t be smoothed out agin nohow.

There wuz one little figger jest at the entrance where we went in, “The Young Acrobat,” that impressed me dretfully.

It wuz a man’s hand and arm that wuz a-risin’ up out of a pedestal, and on the hand wuz set the cutest little baby you ever see.  I guess it wuz the first time that he’d ever sot up anywhere out of the cradle or his ma’s arms.

He looked some skairt, and some proud, and too cunnin’ for anything, as I hearn remarked by a few hundred female wimmen that day.

And like as not it is jest like my incoherence in revery that from that little baby my mind would spring right on to the French exhibit to that noble statute of Jennie D. Ark, kneelin’ there with her clasped hands and her eyes lifted as if she wuz a-sayin’:  “I did hear the voices!”

And so she did hear the language of Heaven, and the dull souls around her wuz too earthly to comprehend the divine harmonies, and so they burnt her up for it.

Lots of folks are burnt up in different fires to-day, for the same thing.

Then mebby my mind will jest jump to the “Age of Iron” or to the “Secrets of the Tomb,” or “The Eagle and the Vulture,” or “Washington and Lafayette,” or “Charity”—­a good-lookin’ creeter she wuz—­she could think of other children besides her own; or mebby it will jump right over onto the “Indian Buffalo Hunt”—­a horse a-rarin’ right up to git rid of a buffalo that wuz a-pressin’ right in under its forelegs.

I don’t see how that hunter could stay on his back—­I couldn’t—­to say nothin’ to shootin’ the arrows into the critter as he’s a-doin’.

Or mebby my mind’ll jump right over to the “Soldier of Marathon,” or “Eve,” no knowin’ at all where my thoughts will take me amongst them noble marble figgers.

And as for picters, my revery on ’em now is a perfect sight; a show as good as a panorama is a-goin’ on in my fore-top now when I let my thoughts take their full swing on them picters.

Amongst them that struck the hardest blows on my fancy wuz them that told stories that touched the heart.

There wuz one in the Holland exhibit, called “Alone in the World,” a picter that rousted up my feelin’s to a almost alarmin’ extent.  It wuz a picter by Josef Israel.

It wuz a sight to see how this picter touched the hearts of the people.  No grandeur about it, but it held the soul of things—­pathos, heart-breakin’ sorrow.

A peasant had come home to his bare-lookin’ cottage, and found his wife dead in her bed.

He didn’t rave round and act, and strike an attitude.  No, he jest turned round and sot there on his hard stool, with his hands on his knees, a-facin’ the bare future.

The hull of the desolation of that long life of emptiness and grief that he sees stretch out before him without her, that he had loved and lost, wuz in the man’s grief-stricken face.

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It wuz that face that made up the loss and the strength of the picter.

I cried and wept in front of it, and cried and wept.  I thought what if that wuz Josiah that sot there with that agony in his face, and that desolation in his heart, and I couldn’t comfort him—­

Couldn’t say to him:  “Josiah, we’ll bear it together.”

I wuz fearful overcome.

[Illustration:  I cried and wept in front of it, and cried and wept.]

And then there wuz another picter called “Breakin’ Home Ties.”

A crowd always stood before that.

It wuz a boy jest a-settin’ out to seek his fortune.  The breakfast-table still stood in the room.  The old grandma a-settin’ there still; time had dulled her vision for lookin’ forward.  She wuz a-lookin’ into the past, into the realm that had held so many partin’s for her, and mebby lookin’ way over the present into the land of meetin’s.

The little girl with her hand on the old dog is too small to fully realize what it all means.

But in the mother’s face you can see the full meanin’ of the partin’—­the breakin’ of the old ties that bound her boy so fast to her in the past.

The lettin’ him go out into the evil world without her lovin’ watchfulness and love.  All the love that would fain go with him—­all the admonition that she would fain give him—­all the love and all the hope she feels for him is writ in her gentle face.

As for the boy, anticipation and dread are writ on his mean, but the man is waitin’ impatient outside to take him away.  The partin’ must come.

You turn away, glad you can’t see that last kiss.

Then there wuz “Holy Night,” the Christ Child, with its father and mother, and some surroundin’ worshippers of both sects.

Mary’s face held all the sweetness and strength you’d expect to see in the mother of our Lord.  And Joseph looked real well too—­quite well.

Josiah said that “the halos round his head and Mary’s looked some like big white plates.”

But I sez, “You hain’t much of a judge of halos, anyway.  Mebby if you should try to make a few halos you’d speak better of ’em.”

I often think this in the presence of critics, mebby if they should lay holt and paint a few picters, they wouldn’t find fault with ’em so glib.  It looks real mean to me to see folks find so much fault with what they can’t do half so well themselves.

Then there wuz the wimmen at the tomb of the Christ.  The door is open, the Angel is begenin’ for ’em to enter.

In the faces of them weepin’, waitin’ wimmen is depictered the very height and depth of sorrow.  You can’t see the face of one on ’em, but her poster gives the impression of absolute grief and loss.

The quiverin’ lips seems formin’ the words—­“Farwell, farwell, best beloved.”

Deathless love shines through the eyes streamin’ with tears.

In the British section there wuz one picter that struck such a deep blow onto my heart that its strings hain’t got over vibratin’ still.

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They send back some of them deep, thrillin’ echoes every time I think on’t in the day-time or wake up in the night and think on’t.

It wuz “Love and Death,” and wuz painted by Mr. Watts, of London.

It showed a home where Love had made its sweet restin’-place—­vines grew up round the pleasant door-way, emblematic of how the heart’s deep affection twined round the spot.

But in the door-way stood a mighty form, veiled and shadowy, but relentless.  It has torn the vines down, they lay witherin’ at its feet.  It wuz bound to enter.

Though you couldn’t see the face of this veiled shape, a mysterious, dretful atmosphere darkened and surrounded it, and you knew that its name wuz Death.

Love stood in the door-way, vainly a-tryin’ to keep it out, but you could see plain how its pleadin’, implorin’ hand, extended out a-tryin’ to push the figger away, wuz a-goin’ to be swept aside by the inexorable, silent shape.

Death when he goes up on a door-step and pauses before a door has got to enter, and Love can’t push it away.  No, it can only git its wings torn off and trompled on in the vain effort.

It wuz a dretful impressive picter, one that can’t be forgot while life remains.

On the opposite wall wuz Crane’s noble picter, “Freedom;” I stood before that for some time nearly lost and by the side of myself.  Crane did first-rate; I’d a been glad to have told him so—­it would a been so encouragin’ to him.

Then there wuz another picter in the English section called “The Passing of Arthur” that rousted up deep emotions.

I’d hearn Thomas J. read so much about Arthur, and that round extension table of hisen, that I seemed to be well acquainted with him and his mates.

I knew that he had a dretful hard time on’t, what with his wife a-fallin’ in love with another man—­which is always hard to bear—­and etcetry.  And I always approved of his doin’s.

He never tried to go West to git a divorce.  No; he merely sez to her, when she knelt at his feet a-wantin’ to make up with him, he sez, “Live so that in Heaven thou shalt be Arthur’s true wife, and not another’s.”

I’ll bet that shamed Genevere, and made her feel real bad.

And his death-bed always seemed dretful pathetic to me.

And here it wuz all painted out.  The boat floatin’ out on the pale golden green light, and Arthur a-layin’ there with the three queens a-weepin’ over him.  A-floatin’ on to the island valley of Avilion, “Where falls not hail nor rain, nor any snow.”

And then there wuz a picter by Whistler, called “The Princess of the Land of Porcelain.”

You couldn’t really tell why that slender little figger in the long trailin’ silken robes, and the deep dark eyes, and vivid red lips should take such a holt on you.

But she did, and that face peers out of Memory-aisles time and time agin, and you wake up a-thinkin’ on her in the night.

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Mr. Whistler must a been dretful interested himself in the Lady of the Land of Porcelain, or he couldn’t have interested other folks so.

And then there wuz another by Mr. Whistler, called “The Lady of the Yellow Buskin.”

A poem of glowin’ color and life.

And right there nigh by wuz one by Mr. Chase, jest about as good.  The name on’t wuz “Alice.”

I believe Alice Ben Bolt looked some like her when she wuz of the same age, you know—­

“Sweet Alice, whose hair was so brown,
Who wept with delight when Mr. Ben Bolt gin her a smile;
And trembled with fear at Mr. Ben Boltses frown.”

She ort to had more gumption than that; but I always liked her.

Elihu Vedder’s picters rousted up deep emotions in my soul—­jest about the deepest I have got, and the most mysterious and weird.

Other artists may paint the outside of things, but he goes deeper, and paints the emotions of the soul that are so deep that you don’t hardly know yourself that you’ve got them of that variety.

In lookin’ through these picters of hisen illustratin’ that old Persian poem, “Omer Kyham”—­

Why, I have had from eighty to a hundred emotions right along for half a day at a time.

Mr. Vedder had here “A Soul in Bondage,” “The Young Marysus and Morning,” and “Delila and Sampson,” and several others remarkably impressive.

And Mr. Sargent’s “Mother and Child” looked first-rate in its cool, soft colors.  They put me in mind a good deal of Tirzah Ann and Babe.

And “The Delaware Valley” and “A Gray Lowery Day,” by Mr. George Inness, impressed me wonderfully.  Many a day like it have I passed through in Jonesville.

“Hard Times,” also in a American department, wuz dretful impressive.  A man and a woman wuz a-standin’ in the hard, dusty road.

His face looked as though all the despair, and care, and perplexities of the hard times wuz depictered in it.

He wuz stalkin’ along as if he had forgot everything but his trouble.

And I presoom that he’d had a dretful hard time on’t—­dretful.  He couldn’t git no work, mebby, and wuz obleeged to stand and see his family starve and suffer round him.

Yes, he wuz a-walkin’ along with his hands in his empty pockets and his eyes bent towards the ground.

But the woman, though her face looked haggard, and fur wanner than hissen, yet she wuz a-lookin’ back and reachin’ out her arms towards the children that wuz a-comin’ along fur back.  One of ’em wuz a-cryin’, I guess.  His ma hadn’t nothin’ but love to give him, but you could see that she wuz a-givin’ him that liberal.

And Durant’s “Spanish Singing Girl” rousted up a sight of admiration; she wuz very good-lookin’—­looked a good deal like my son’s wife.

Well, in the Russian Department (and jest see how my revery flops about, clear from America to Russia at one jump)—­

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There wuz a picter there of a boat in a storm.

And on that boat is thrown a vivid ray of sunshine.  You’d think that it wuz the real thing, and that you could warm your fingers at it, but it hain’t—­it is only painted sunshine.  But it beats all I ever see; I wouldn’t hesitate for a minute to use it for a noon-mark.

In the German Exhibit wuz as awful a picter as I want to see.  It was Julia, old Mr. Serviuses girl—­Miss Tarquin that now is—­a-ridin’ over her pa and killin’ him a purpose, so she could git his property.

To see Miss Tarquin, that wicked, wicked creeter, a-doin’ that wicked act, is enough to make a perfect race of old maids and bacheldors.

The idea of havin’ a lot of children to take care on and then be rid over by ’em!

But I shall always believe that she wuz put up to it by the Tarquin boys.  I never liked ’em—­they wuzn’t likely.

But the picter is a sight—­dretful big and skairful.

And in that section is a beautiful picter by Fritz Uhele, whose figgers, folks say, are the best in the world.

“The Angels Appearing to the Shepherds.”

Oh, what glowin’ faces the angels had!  You read in ’em what the shepherds did: 

“Love, Good Will to Man.”

There wuz some little picters there about six inches square, and marked: 

“Little Picters for a Child’s Album.”

And Josiah sez to me, “I believe I’ll buy one of ’em for Babe’s album that I got her last Christmas.”

Sez he, “I’ve got ten cents in change, but probable,” sez he, “it won’t be over eight cents.”

Sez I, “Don’t be too sanguine, Josiah Allen.”

Sez he, “I am never sanguinary without good horse sense to back it up.  They throwed in a chromo three feet square with the last calico dress you bought at Jonesville, and this hain’t over five or six inches big.”

“Wall,” sez I, “buy it if you want to.”

“Wall,” sez he, “that’s what I lay out to do, mom.”

So he accosted a Columbus Guard that stood nigh, and sez he—­

“I’m a-goin’ to buy that little picter, and I want to know if I can take it home now in my vest pocket?”

[Illustration:  “I’m a-goin’ to buy that little picter, and I want to know if I can take it home now in my vest pocket?”]

“That picter,” sez he, “is twenty thousand dollars.  It is owned by the German National Gallery, and is loaned by them,” and sez he, with a ready flow of knowledge inherent to them Guards, “the artist, Adolph Menzel, is to German art what Meissonier is to the French.  His picters are all bought by the National Gallery, and bring enormous sums.”

Josiah almost swooned away.  Nothin’ but pride kep him up—­

I didn’t say nothin’ to add to his mortification.  Only I simply said—­

“Babe will prize that picter, Josiah Allen.”

And he sez, “Be a fool if you want to; I’m a-goin’ to git sunthin’ to eat.”

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[Illustration:  “Be a fool if you want to.”]

And he hurried me along at almost a dog-trot, but I would stop to look at a “Spring Day in Bavaria,” and the “Fish Market in Amsterdam,” and the “Nun,” and some others, I would—­they wuz all beautiful in the extreme.

Wall, after we come back into the gallery agin, the first picter we went to see wuz “Christ Before Pilate,” by Mr. Muncaxey.

There He stood, the Man of Sorrows, with His tall figure full of patient dignity, and His face full of love, and pity, and anguish, all bent into a indescribable majesty and power.

His hands wuz bound, He stood there the centre of that sneering, murderous crowd of priests and pharisees.  On every side of Him He would meet a look of hate and savage exultation in His misery.

And He, like a lamb before the shearers, wuz dumb, bearing patiently the sins and sorrows of a world.

The fate of a universe looked out of His deep, sweet eyes.

He could bear it all—­the hate, all the ignominy, the cruel death drawin’ so near—­He could bear it all through love and pity—­the highest heights love ever went, and the deepest pity.

Only one face out of that jeerin’, evil crowd had a look of pity on’t, and that wuz the one woman in the throng, and she held a child in her arms.

Mebby Love had taught her the secret of Grief.

Anyway, she looked as if she pitied Him and would have loosed His bonds if she could.  It wuz a dretful impressive picter, one that touched the most sacred feelin’s of the beholder.

There wuz a great fuss made over Alma Tadema’s picter of “Crowning Bachus.”

But I didn’t approve on’t.

The girls’ figgers in it wuz very beautiful, with the wonderful floatin’ hair of red gold crowned with roses.

But I wanted to tell them girls that after they got Mr. Bachus all crowned, he’d turn on ’em, and jest as like as not pull out hull handfuls of that golden hair, and kick at ’em, and act.

Mr. Bachus is a villain of the deepest dye.  I felt jest like warnin’ ’em.

I like Miss Tadema’s picters enough sight better—­pretty little girls playin’ innocent games, and dreamin’ sweet fancies By the Fireside.

“The Flaggalants,” by Carl Marr, is a enormous big picter, but fearful to look at.

It made me feel real bad to see how them men wuz a-hurtin’ their own selves.  They hadn’t ort to.

Another picter by the same artist, called “A Summer Afternoon,” I liked as well agin; the soul of the pleasant summer-time looked out of that picter, and the faces of the wimmen and children in it.

The little one clingin’ to its mother’s hand and feedin’ the chickens looked cute enough to kiss.  She favored Babe a good deal in her looks.

“The Cemetery in Delmatia” and the “Market Scene in Cairo,” by Leopold Muller, struck hard blows onto my fancy.  And so did three by Madame Weisenger—­

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“Mornin’ by the Sea-shore,” “Breakfast in the Country,” and “The Laundress of the Mountain.”

“Christ and the Children,” by Julius Schmid, wuz beautiful as could be.

And so wuz “The Death of Autumn,” by Franz Pensinger—­they held in ’em all the sadly glorious beauty of the closing year.

“The Three Beggars of Cordova,” by Edwin Weeks, wuz dretful interestin’.

Them tramps set there lookin’ so sassy, and lazy, nateral as life.  Lots of jest such ones have importuned me for food on my Jonesville door-step.

[Illustration:  Them tramps set there lookin’ so sassy and lazy, nateral as life.]

Then he had two Hindoo fakirs that wuz real interestin’.  The fur-off Indian city, the river, and the fakir a-layin’ in the boat, tired out, I presoom, a-makin’ folks stand up in the air, and climb up ladders into Nowhere, and eatin’ swords, and eatin’ fire, and etcetry.

He wuz beat out, and no wonder.  The colorin’ of this picter is superb.

And so wuz his “Persian Horse Dealers” and others.

Mr. Melcher’s “Sermon” and “Communion” wuz very impressive, as nateral as the meetin’-housen and congregation at Jonesville and Zoar.

In the Holland Exhibit wuz all kinds of clouds painted—­

Clouds a-layin’ low in sombre piles, and clouds with the sun almost a-shinin’ through ’em.  Wonderful effects as I ever see.

And I wuz a-lookin’ at a picter there so glowin’ and beautiful that it seemed to hold in it the very secret of summer.  The heart fire and glow of summer shone through its fine atmosphere.  And sez I, “Josiah, did you ever see anything like it?”

“Oh, yes,” sez he; “it’s quite fair.”

“Fair!” sez I; “can’t you say sunthin’ more than that?”

“Wall, from fair to middlin’, then,” sez he.

“But for real beauty,” sez he, “give me them picters made in corn, and oats, and beans.  Give me that Dakota cow made out of grain, with a tail of timothy grass, and straw legs, and corn ear horns.  There is real beauty,” sez he.

“Or that picter in the State Buildin’ of the hull farm made in seeds.  The old bean farm-house, and barley well-sweep, and the fields bounded with corn twig fences, and horses made of silk-weed, and manes and tales of corn-silk—­there is beauty,” sez he.

“And as for statutes, I’d ruther see one of them figgers that Miss Brooks of Nebraska makes out of butter than a hull carload of marble figgers.”

I sithed a deep, curious sithe, and he went on: 

“Why,” sez he, “it stands to reason they’re more valuable; what good would the stun be to you if a marble statute got smashed?  A dead loss on your hands.

“But let one of her Iolanthes git knocked over and broke to pieces, why there you are, good, solid butter, worth 30 cents of any man’s money.

“Give me statuary that is ornamental in prosperity, and that you can eat up if reverses come to you,” sez he.

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“Why,” sez he, “there is one hundred kinds of grain in that one model farm of Illinois.

“Now, if that picter should git torn to pieces by a cyclone, what would a ile paintin’ be?  A dead loss.

“But that grain farm-house, what food for hens that would make—­such a variety.  Why, the hens would jest pour out eggs fed on the ruins of that farm.

“Give me beauty and economy hitched together in one team.”

[Illustration:  “What food for hens that would make.”]

I sithed, and the sithe wuz deep, almost like a groan, and sez I—­

“You tire me, Josiah Allen—­you tire me almost to death.”

“Wall,” sez he, “I’m talkin’ good horse sense.”

Sez I, “I should think it wuz animal sense of some kind—­nothin’ spiritual about it and riz up.”

“Wall,” sez he, “you’ll see five hundred folks a-standin’ round and praisin’ up them seed picters where there is one that gits carried away as you do over Wattses ‘Love and Death’ and Elihu Vedder’s dum picters.”

“Wall,” sez I, in a tired-out axent, “that don’t prove anything, Josiah Allen.  The multitude chose Barrabus to the Divine One.

“Not,” sez I reasonably, “that I would want to compare the seed picters and the butter females to a robber.

“They’re extremely curious and interestin’ to look at, and wonderful in their way as anything in the hull Exposition.

“But,” sez I, “there is a height and a depth in the soul that them butter figgers can’t touch—­no, nor the pop-corn trees can’t reach that height with their sorghum branches.  It lays fur beyond the switchin’ timothy tail of that seed horse or the wavin’ raisen mane of that prune charger.  It is a realm,” sez I, “that I fear you will never stand in, Josiah Allen.”

“No, indeed,” sez he; “and I don’t want to.  I hain’t no desires that way.”

Again I sithed, and we walked off into another gallery.

Wall, I might write and keep a-writin’ from Fourth of July to Christmas Eve, and then git up Christmas mornin’ and say truly that the half hadn’t been told of what we see there, and so what is the use of tryin’ to relate it in this epistle.

But suffice it to say that we stayed there all day long, and that night we meandered home perfectly wore out, and perfectly riz up in our two minds, or at least I wuz.  Josiah’s feelin’s seemed to be clear fag, jest plain wore out fag.

The nights are always cool in Chicago—­that is, if the weather is anyways comfortable durin’ the day.

And this night it wuz so cool that a good woollen blanket and bedspread wuz none too much for comfort.

And it wuz with a sithe of contentment that I lay down on my peaceful goose-feather pillow, and drawed the blankets up over my weary frame and sunk to sleep.

I had been to sleep I know not how long when a angry, excited voice wakened me.  It said, “Lay down, can’t you!”

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I hearn it as one in a dream.  I couldn’t sense where I wuz nor who wuz talkin’, when agin I hearn—­

“Dum it all! why can’t you fall as you ort to?”

Wuz some struggle a-goin’ on in my room?  The bed wuz in an alcove, and I could not see the place from where the voice proceeded.

I reached my hand out.  My worst apprehensions wuz realized.  Josiah wuz not there.

Wuz some one a-killin’ him, and a-orderin’ him to lay still and fall as he ort to?

Wuz such boldness in crime possible?

I raised my head and looked out into the room, and then with a wild shriek I covered up my head.  Then I discovered that there wuz only one thin sheet over me.

The sight I had seen had driv’ the blood in my veins all back to my heart.

A tall white figger wuz a-standin’ before the glass, draped from head to foot in heavy white drapery.

I’d often turned it over in my mind in hours of ease which I’d ruther have appear to me in the night—­a burglar or a ghost.

And now in the tumultous beatin’s of my heart I owned up that I would ruther a hundred times it would be a burglar.

Anything seemed to me better than to be alone at night with a ghost.

But anon, as I quaked and trembled under that sheet, the voice spoke agin—­

“Samantha, are you awake?” And I sprung up in bed agin, and sez I—­

“Josiah Allen, where are you?  Oh, save me, Josiah! save me!”

The white figger turned.  “Save you from what, Samantha?  Is there a mouse under the bed, or is it a spider, or what?”

“Who be you?” sez I, almost incoherently.  “Be you a ghost?  Oh, Josiah, Josiah!” And I sunk back onto the pillow and busted into tears.  The relief wuz too great.

But anon Wonder seized the place that Fear had held in my frame, and dried up the tear-drops, and I sprung up agin and sez—­

“What be you a-doin’, Josiah Allen, rigged up as you be in the middle of the night, with the lights all a-burnin’?”

For every gas jet in the room was a-blazin’ high.

Sez he, “I am posin’ for a statute, Samantha.”

And come to look closter, I see he had took off the blanket and bedspread and had swathed ’em round his form some like a toga.

And I see it wuz them that he wuz apostrofizin’ and orderin’ to lay down in folds and fall graceful.

And somehow the idee of his takin’ the bedclothes offen me seemed to mad me about as much as his foolishness and vanity did.

And sez I, “Do you take off them bedclothes offen you, and put ’em back agin, and come to bed!”

But he didn’t heed me, he went on with his vain doin’s and actin’.

“I am impersonatin’ Apollo!” sez he, a-layin’ his head onto one side and a-lookin’ at me over his shoulder in a kind of a languishin’ way.

Sez he, a-liftin’ his heel, and holdin’ it up a little ways, “I did think I would be Mercury, but I hadn’t any wing handy for my off heel.  I would be strikin’ as Mercury,” sez he, “but I think I would be at my best as Apollo.  What do you think I had better be, Samantha?”

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[Illustration:  “I would be strikin’ as Mercury, but I think I would be at my best as Apollo.”]

“A loonatick would strike me as the right thing, Josiah Allen, or an idiot from birth.

“Or,” sez I, speakin’ more ironicler as my fear died away, leavin’ in its void a great madness and tiredness, “if you’d brung your scythe along you might personate Old Father Time.”

I guess this kinder madded him, and sez he, “Don’t you want to pose, Samantha?

“Don’t you want to be the Witch of Endor?” sez he.

“Yes,” sez I, “I’d love to!  If I wuz her you’d see sights in this room that would bow your old bald head in horrow, and drive you, vain old creeter that you be, back where you belong.”

He wuz afraid he’d gone too fur, and sez he, “Mebby you’d ruther be Venus, Samantha?  Mebby you’d ruther appear in the nude?”

Sez I, coldly, “I should think that you’d done your best to make me appear in that way, Josiah Allen.  There’s only one thin sheet to keep me from it.

“But,” sez I, spruntin’ up, “if you talk in that way any more to me I’ll holler to Miss Plank!

“Pardner or no pardner, I hain’t a-goin’ to be imposed upon this time of night!”

Sez I, “I should be ashamed if I wuz in your place, the father and grandfather of a family, and the deacon in a meetin’-house, to be up at midnight a-posin’ for statutes and actin’.”

“But,” sez he, “I didn’t know but they would want to sculp me while I wuz here in Chicago, and I thought I’d git a attitude all ready.  You never know what may happen, and it’s always well to be prepared, and attitudes are dretful hard to catch onto at a minute’s notice.”

Sez I, “Do you come back to bed, Josiah Allen.  What would they want of you for a statute?”

“Wall,” sez he, reluctantly relinquishin’ his toga, or, in other words the flannel blanket and bedspread—­

“I see many a statute to-day with not half my good looks, and if Chicago wanted me to ornament it, I wanted to be prepared.”

I sithed aloud, and sez I—­

“Here I be waked up for good, as tired as I wuz, all for your vanity and actin’.”

“Wall,” sez he, “Samantha, my mind wuz all so stirred up and excited by seein’ so many ile paintin’s and statutes to-day, that I felt dretful.”  And as he sez this my madness all died away, as the way of pardners is, and a great pity stole into my heart.

I do spoze he wuz half delirous with seein’ too much.  Like a man who has oversot himself and come down on the floor.

That man had been led round too much that day, for my own pleasure; to gratify my own esthetik taste I had almost ruined the pardner of my youth and middle age.

His mind had been stretched too fur, for the size on’t, so I sez soothin’ly—­

“Wall, wall, Josiah, come back to bed and go to sleep, and to-morrow we’ll go and see some live stock and some plows and things.”

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So at last I got him quieted down, though he did murmur once or twice in his sleep—­Apollo!  Hercules! etc., so I see what his inward state wuz.

But towards mornin’ he seemed to git into a good sound sleep, and I did too, and we waked up feelin’ quite considerable rested and refreshed.

And it wuzn’t till I had a sick-headache bad, and he wuz more than good to me, and I see that he repented deep of it, that I forgive him fully.

But of course it broke up our goin’ to fashionable places agin to eat—­he come out conqueror, after all—­men are deep.


Wall, this mornin’—­it bein’ kind of a muggy and cloudy one, I proposed that we should go and visit the Fishery Department.

And I d’no why I should a thought on it this mornin’ more’n another one—­only it wuz jest such a day as Josiah and Thomas Jefferson always took for goin’ a-fishin’ in the creek back of Jonesville.

And then we had fish for breakfast too—­siscoes—­mebby that put me in mind on it some.

But anyway, I wuz always interested in the subject of fishin’, and the hull world is.  For what wuz the Postles?  Fishers.  For what did the Great Master name His beloved?  Fishers of men.

Why, the Bible is full of fishin’ and fisherman, clear back to Jonah; and how took up he wuz with a fish, and how full the fish wuz of him!

Fishin’ wuz the first industry in the New World.

When our Forefathers landed on Plymouth Rock they found the harbor shaped some like a fish-hook, and then consequently they went to fishin’.

Who got Washington and his army over the Delaware River that bitter cold night in 1777, when the fate of our country wuz a-hangin’ over that sea of broken ice—­ruin on this side, and possible success on the other, but the impassable gulf of bitter cold water and the crashing masses of ice between—­who got ’em acrost?  Fisherman.

Our country has always been noted in its interest in fishin’.  Why, at the Internatial Exhibition at Berlin in 1880, America won the first prize given by the Emperor for its display.

And I knew when it done so well on a foreign shore, it wuzn’t goin’ to make any failure of itself here under its own line, and fish tree, so to speak.

Wall, as I said, Josiah expressed a willingness to go, and consequently and subsequently we went.

Wall, we found it wuz a group of buildin’s on a beautiful island—­in the northern part of the lagoon, joinin’ the improved part of Jackson Park.

There wuz three on em’ in number.  The middle one wuz a long buildin’ with a high dome, and some towers in the centre on’t, and the arches and the pillows wuz all ornamented off with figgers of fishes, and crabs, and lobsters, and all sorts of water growth.  It looked uneek, and first-rate, too.

And when I say it wuz a long buildin’, I don’t want it understood that I mean length as we call it in Jonesville, but Chicago length—­or rather Chicago Jackson Park length, which is fur longer than jest plain Chicago largeness.

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In the centre of the big buildin’ is a fish-pond all ornamented with rock work, and all sorts of aquatic plants.

And then all joined on to the main buildin’, at each end and connected with it by carved arches, handsome as arches wuz ever made in the world, and trimmed off in the uneek way I’ve mentioned prior to and beforehand, wuz two other buildin’s, each one on ’em 135 feet long.

The buildin’ to the east is the aquarum, or live fish exhibit, and that to the west is to show off the anglin’ exhibit.  They wuz round and kinder double-breasted lookin’ on both sides.

The shape on ’em is called pollygon—­probable named after the man’s wife that built it.  It had a good many sides to it—­mebby Polly had to her.  I know wimmen are falsely called seven-sided lots of times.

Wall, in the middle of the buildin’ designed for the aquarum is a big pool of water 26 feet in diameter; in the middle of the pool is a risin’ up some rocks covered with moss and ferns, from which cool streams of water are a-drippin’ and a-drizzlin’ down onto the reeds and rushes, where the most gorgeous-colored fishes you ever see are playin’ round in the water, as cool and happy in the middle of a meltin’ summer-day—­not needin’ no fans or parasols, jest a-divin’ and a-splashin’ down in the wet water, and enjoyin’ themselves.  I bet lots of swelterin’ folks jest envied ’em.

Surroundin’ this rotunda, under a glass ruff, runs two lines of aquarums, separated by a wide gallery—­more’n fifty of ’em in all.

In the fresh water wuz all kinds of fishes from all parts of the country, and the world.  Salmons, muskalunges, the great Mississippi cat-fish, alligators, trout, white-fish, sun-fishes, etc., and etcetry.

In the salt water wuz sharks, torpedoes, dog-fishes, goose-fishes, sheeps heads, blue-fishes, weak-fish, and strong ones, too, I should think—­why, more’n I could name if I should talk all day.

[Illustration:  In the salt water wuz sharks, torpedoes, dog fishes, goose-fishes, weak-fish, and strong ones, too, I should think.]

Why, I shouldn’t a been surprised a mite if I had seen a-floatin’ up to me that old Leviathan of Job’s that “couldn’t be pulled out with a hook, or his nose with a cord that wuz let down.”

Why, I wouldn’t a been surprised at nothin’—­I felt a good deal of the time jest like that in all of the buildin’s, and I said so to my Josiah when he’d try to surprise me by lookin’ at some strange thing.  “No, Josiah,” I would say, “I can’t be surprised no more, the time for that has gone by—­gone by, a long time ago.”

And then there wuz gobys, sticklebacks, sea-horses, devil-fishes, and I believe there wuz a jell fish, though I didn’t see it.

Though so fur as jell goes, as I told Josiah, I would ruther make my own jell out of my own berries and crab-apples, and then I know how it’s made.

But, howsumever, there wuz all the fishes that ever swum in America, Mexico, South America, Europe, and Asia, and I d’no but what there wuz a few from Africa.  And to see on the bottom of them aquarums shells a-walkin’ round, with the owners of them shells inside of ’em, wuz a sight to see.

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Why, any one here would have 60 or 70 emotions a minute right along—­a-seein’ these, and a-meditatin’ on the wonders of the deep.

And then there wuz the rainbow fish, which is found both on the Pacific and Atlantic coasts—­it has all the colors the rainbow ever had, and more too.

And then to see our own magnificent water-lilies a-floatin’ on top of the water, and then to see ’em down under the water, with fishes a-floatin’ all amongst ’em—­oh, what a sight! what a sight it wuz!

Outside of the buildin’, when at last we did tear ourselves away from that seen of enchantment, and went outside, I upheld by my motive to see everything I could, and Josiah by the idee that we would step into a restaurant that wuzn’t fur away.

When outside we see a lot of ponds all illustratin’ the best way of pond culture, and all sorts of aquatic plants.

Wall, at Josiah’s request, we went to the nighest place and had a cup of tea and a good little lunch.

And then we went back to see the fish-hooks and things that is in the west buildin’ of the group.

Josiah said mebby he could git his eye on some new kind of a fish-hook.  He said he’d love to go beyend Deacon Henzy and Sime Yerden if he could—­they boasted so over their tackle.

And truly I should have thought he might have gone ahead of anything, or anybody, if he could have carried ’em home.  There wuz everything that could be thought on, or that ever wuz seen in the form of fishin’ apparatus—­every kind of hook, and spear, and rod, and queer-lookin’ baskets and pots, and tackle to catch eels and lobsters, and then there wuz models of fishin’ boats and vessels, and everything else under the sun that any fisherman ever sot eyes on, from Josiah back to the Postles, and from the Postles down to any fishin’ club in 1893.

Why, if you’ll believe it—­and I d’no as I would blame you if you wouldn’t, it bein’ a fish story, as it were—­but we did see some fish-hooks from Pompeii that had been buried 2000 years, and come out fish-hooks after all—­a good deal like them Josiah uses in Jonesville creek.

And speakin’ of old things, we see some fishes that day—­the oldest in the world; they come from Colorado—­dug out of the rocks of ages ago; they wuz covered with bone instead of scales, which showed that they had had a pretty hard time on’t.

[Illustration:  They wuz covered with bone instead of scales.]

And then there wuz a big collection of nets made by the Indians from seal sinew, seal-skin braided, roots of willow tree, and whalebone.

Of these last it took four men three weeks to make one, and two of these wuz gin in exchange for a jug of molasses to make rum with.

A shame and a disgrace!  No savage would have cheated so—­no, it takes a white man to do that.

And we see artificial flies so nateral that a spider would go to weavin’ a net to catch it.

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And artificial grasshoppers, and crickets, and frogs, and little artificial minney fish made of metal, glass, pearl, and rubber.  Why, if I had seen one of ’em in the brook that runs through our paster, I should have been tempted to have bent a pin, and take some weltin’ cord out of my pocket and go to fishin’ for it.

And if they fooled me, who am often called very wise, what would you think of their foolin’ a fish, who hain’t got any bump of wisdom on their heads?

And then there wuz trollin’ spoons of all kinds and shapes, in all kinds of metal, and trollin’ squids—­I’d never hearn of that name before—­squid! but they had ’em of all kinds; and tackle boxes, and floats, and landin’ nets, and gaff hooks; there is sunthin’ else I never hearn on—­gaff hooks! and snells, and gimps, and spinners.

Why, I’d never hearn on ’em, and Josiah hadn’t either, though he acted dretful knowin’, and put on a face of extreme enjoyment and appreciation.  And he sez, “How a man duz enjoy seein’ such things that he’s ust to and knows all about!”

And I sez, “What do you do with squids, anyway, or gaffs, or snells?”

“Why,” sez he, “I should snell with ’em, and gaff, and squid.  What do you spoze?”

“How do you do it?” sez I.  “How do you snell?”

And then he had to own up that he didn’t know how it wuz done.

Truly it has been said that three questions will floor the biggest philosopher.  But it only took two to take the pride and vainglory out of Josiah Allen.

Wall, the information gathered together here from all parts of the world, and disseminated out to individuals of the collected world, will probable make a great difference in the enjoyment and practical benefit of the fisherman, and tell hard on the fishes of 1894.

Wall, we stayed round here a-lookin’ at ’em different buildin’s till dark, and then we didn’t see a thousandth nor a millionth part of what wuz to be seen there.

And I hain’t half described its wonders and glories as I’d ort to, and one reason is, nobody can describe any of the buildin’s—­no, not if they had the tongue of men and angels.

No, they are too stupendous to describe.

And then, agin, I have had a kind of a feelin’ of delicacy that has kind of held me back—­I have been hampered.

For I have kep such a tight grip holt of my principle all the while I’ve been describin’ it, that it has weakened the grasp of my good right hand on my steel pen.

I knew well how hard, how almost impossible it wuz to talk about fishin’ for any length of time without lyin’.

But I know I have told Josiah time and agin that it wuz possible to do it, if you kep a firm holt of the hellum, and leaned heavy on principle.

I have done it, and I am proud and happy in the thought.

Unless, mebby, I have lied the other way.  Good land!  I didn’t think of that; I wuz so determined to keep within bounds, that I am actually afraid that I’ve lied that way; in order not to tell the fish story too big, I hain’t told it big enough.

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Good land!  I guess I won’t boast any more.

Wall, seein’ that I am in sunthin’ of a hurry, I will let it go, and mebby if I should go over it agin I should lie the other way.

Good land! good land! what a world this is, and with all your care and watchfulness, how hard it is to keep walkin’ right along, in Injun file, along the narrer rope walk of megumness and exact truth.

But I am a-eppisodin’, and to resoom.

Wall, as I said, we didn’t git home till pitch dark, and then I drempt of fish all night, and eels, and alligators, and such.  It wuz tegus.

[Illustration:  I drempt of fish all night.]

The next mornin’ Josiah Allen met me all riz up with a new idee.

He had been out to buy a new pair of suspenders, his havin’ gin out the day before; and he come to our room, where I wuz calmly settin’ a-bastin’ in some clean cotton lace into the sleeves of my alpaca dress.

And sez he right out abrup, with no preamble, “Samantha, less go down to the Fair Ground in a whale.”

“In a whale?” sez I; “are you a loonatick, or what duz ail you, to try to make a pair of Jonahses of us at our age?”

“Wall,” sez he, “they have ’em here to carry folks down to the Fair, I know, for I hearn it straight, and I should think we wuz jest the right age to go as easy as possible, and try experiments.”

“Wall,” sez I firmly, “I hain’t a-goin’ to try no such experiment as that.  If the Lord called me to tackle a whale, I would tackle it, but I hain’t had no callin’, and I hain’t goin’ to try to ride out in no whale.”

“I’m a-callin’ you,” sez he.

“Wall,” sez I dryly, “you hain’t the Deity—­no, indeed, fur from it.”

“Wall,” sez he, “I’d love to go, Samantha.  What a glorious piece of news to carry back to Jonesville, that we rid out in a whale.  In the old Jonesville meetin’-house now, when Elder Minkley is a-preachin’ on Jonah—­and you know he trots him out a dozen times a year as a warnin’—­how you and I could lift up our heads and tost ’em, and how the necks of the Jonesvillians would be craned round to look at us—­we two, who had rid out in a whale—­we had been right there, and knew how it wuz.”

“I don’t want to show off,” sez I, “and I don’t want any necks craned or tosted on account of my gettin’ into a whale and ridin’ it;” and then I sez, “Good land! what won’t Chicago do next?”

And I added, “It don’t surprise me a mite; it hain’t no more of a wonder than lots of things I have seen here.  I might a known if Chicago had sot its mind on havin’ a whale to transport folks to the World’s Fair she’d a done it, but I won’t tackle the job.”

“There it is,” sez he gloomily, “I never make arrangements to distinguish myself and make a name, but you must break it up.  I had lotted on this, Samantha,” sez he.

He looked sad and deprested, and though I was bound not to give in and go, yet I made some inquiries.

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“How many does the whale carry?  What makes you think we could both git into it?”

Sez Josiah, “It carries 5000 at a time.”

I felt weak as a cat, jest as I had felt time and agin sence I had come to Chicago.

“Wall,” sez I in weak axents, and dumbfoundered, “any whale story I could hear about Chicago wouldn’t surprise me a mite.”

And I wiped my brow on my white linen handkerchief, for though the idee didn’t surprise me none, it started the sweat.

Sez Josiah, “It is 225 feet long, and has a fountain in it, and a skylight 138 feet long.”

But jest at that minute, before I could frame a reply, even if I could have found a frame queer-shaped enough to hold my curious—­curious feelin’s—­

Miss Plank knocked at the door and said she wuz ready to go—­we had made arrangements to go together that mornin’—­and Josiah tackled her about the whale; and sez she briskly—­

“Oh, yes; the whaleback Christopher Columbus!  It would be a good idee to go to the grounds in it; you can go down in it in half an hour—­it is only seven or eight milds.”

So we fell in with her idee; and bein’ ust to the place, she took the lead, and also the street cars, and we soon found ourselves on board the biggest floatin’ ship I ever laid eyes on.  And I couldn’t see as it looked much like a whale, unless it wuz that it wuz long, and kinder pinted, and turned up at both ends, some the shape of a whale.

Wall, I guess the hull five thousand folks wuz on board, and had brung their relations on both sides.  It looked like it, and we steamed along by the shore for quite a spell, the city a-layin’ in plain view for mild after mild—­or that is, in as plain view as it could be under its envelopin’ curtain of smoke.

But bimeby the smoke all cleared away, the air wuz clear and pure, and the lake lay fair and placid fur off as we could see.  It might a been the ocean, for all we could tell, for you can’t see no further than you can, anyway, and you can’t see no further than that on the Atlantic or the Pacific.

Way beyend what you can’t see might stretch thousands and thousands of milds and a new continent; or it might be a loggin’ camp, or Kalamazoo.  It don’t make no difference to your feelin’s, it has all the illimitable expanse, the vastness of the great ocean.

So it wuz with the outlook on the flashin’ blue waters on that magic mornin’.

And pretty soon the White City riz up like a city of bewilderin’ beauty and enchantment, with the sun a-lookin’ down from a blue sky, and lightin’ up the tall, white walls, and gilded domes, and towers, and minarets.  And as we floated along by Jackson Park, and could git a plain view of the perfect buildin’s—­the lagoons with fairy boats a-skimmin’ over the sparklin’ surface—­in fact, in plain view of the hull vast, bewilderin’ seen of matchless splendor—­why, I declare I felt almost as if I wuz took back clear into the Arabian Nights Entertainments, and magic seens wuz bein’ unfolded before my enraptured vision.

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Why, I almost felt that my Josiah wuz a genii, and Miss Plank a geniess.  I wouldn’t a wondered a mite any minute if a carpet had dropped down for us to git onto, and we floated off into Bagdad.  I felt queer—­extremely.

But Bagdad nor no other Dad wuz ever so enchantin’ly lovely as the seen outspread before our eyes.  As surpassin’ly beautiful as the Exposition is from every side, hind side and fore side, and from top to bottom, it is, I do believe, most radiantly lovely from the water approach.

You needn’t be a mite afraid of gittin’ your idees too riz up about the onspeakable beauty of the seen.  No matter if they wuz riz up higher than you ever drempt of rizin’ ’em up, instead of fallin’, they will, so to speak, find themselves on the ground floor—­in the suller, as you may say—­so fur up beyend your highest imagination is the reality of that wonderful White City of the West—­

Magic city that has sprung up there amidst the blue waters and green forests like a dream of enchantment, a hymn of glory, with not one false, harsh note in it to mar the glory and perfectness of the song.

Now, I have had my idees riz up lots of times—­they have riz and fell so much that my muse has fairly lamed herself time and agin, and went round limpin’ for some time.

And Josiah had told me time and agin, as I would go on about the beauty I expected to see at the World’s Fair, “Samantha, you expect too much; you will get dissapinted; tain’t Heaven you are goin’ to; anybody would most expect, to hear you go on, that you expected to see the New Jerusalem—­you are goin’ to be dissapinted.”

Wall, sure enough I wuz, but the dissapintment wuz on the other side—­I hadn’t expected half nor a quarter nor a millionth part enough.  My muse instead of comin’ down from the heights that I spozed she wuz on a-cungerin’ up that seen—­to use metafor—­she had always, as you may say, sot down flat on the ground.

Why, I couldn’t do justice to it in words, nor Josiah couldn’t, nor Miss Plank couldn’t, not if we all on us had a dictionary in one hand and a English reader in the other, and had travelled down there that beautiful mornin’ with a brass band.

I wuz so wropped up in my bewildered and extatic admiration that my companions wuz entirely lost from sight, when Miss Plank sez—­

“Here we are, ready to land.”  And indeed I see on comin’ to myself that the hull 5000, and their relations on both sides, wuz on the move, and it wuz time for me to disembark myself, which I proceeded to do, a-follered by the forms of my Josiah and Miss Plank.  She stepped out quite briskly over her namesake, and so did Josiah.  They didn’t take in the full beauty and grandeur of the seen as I did—­no, indeed.

[Illustration:  I proceeded to disembark, a-follered by the forms of my Josiah and Miss Plank.]

They could think of vittles even at that time, for I heard Josiah say—­

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“We will settle on some place to go that is handy to a restaurant.”

And Miss Plank picked one where the biled corned beef wuz delicious, and the pies and coffee—­

Corned beef! oh, my heart, in such a time as this!  Beef corned in such a hour!  But I forgive ’em and pitied ’em, for it wuz my duty.

Wall, we told Josiah he should have his way that mornin’, and go where he wanted to—­and he wanted to tackle Machinery Hall; consequently we tackled it.

And how many acres big do you suppose this buildin’ wuz?  Seventeen acres and a half is the size of the floor—­

Jest half a acre more than Silenas Bobbetses farm, that he broke old Squire Bobbetses will to git, and he and his twin brother Zebulin come to hands and blows about, in front of the Jonesville post-office.

Zebulin said it wuz too much land to give to one of the children—­they wuz leven of ’em—­and the farm didn’t go round—­the others didn’t have only fifteen acres apiece.

Yes; this one buildin’ covered as much ground as Silenas Bobbet gits a good livin’ from, a-raisin’ cabbage and spinach.

And the buildin’ wuz seemin’ly all wrought of white marble, with statutes, and colonnades, and towers, and everything else for its comfort, and inside wuz every machine that wuz ever made or thought on, from a sassage-cutter and apple-parer to a steam engine in full blast.

I believe they tuned up higher and louder when I went in—­it wouldn’t be nothin’ surprisin’ if they did, some as the brass band strikes up as the hero enters.

This song wuz the loud, strong chorus of Labor, that echoes all over the world, grand chorus that is played by the full orkestry of the sons and daughters of toil.

Oh, how many notes there is in this strong, ail-pervadin’ anthem!  Genius, and Patience, and Ambition, and Enterprise, and Ardent Endeavor—­high notes, and low ones, all blent together, all tuned to the hauntin’ key.  It is a sam that shakes the hull earth with its might.

As I entered this palace, sacred to its song, how its echoes rolled through my ear pans, how them pans seemed to fairly shiver under the mighty strokes of the song, and its weird, painful accompaniment of boilers a-boilin’, rollin’ mills a-rollin’!

Water wheels, freight elevators—­cranes a-cranin’, derricks a-derrickin’, divin’ apparatus, fire-extinguishin’ apparatus—­

Machines of all sorts and kinds to manufacture all sorts of goods, and all hands to work at it—­silk, cotton, wool, linen, ingy-rubber, ropes, and paper.

Saw-mills, wind-mills, printin’-presses a-pressin’.  All sorts of tools to make all sorts of picters—­engravin’s, color printin’—­picters from the 16th century up to 1893—­they wuz relief engravin’s.

I spoze they are called so because it is such a relief to think we don’t have to look at them old picters now.

And there wuz half-tone processes, mechanical and medicinal processes, and every other process you ever hearn on, and didn’t ever hear on, right there in a procession in front of me, and all a-processin’.

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And there wuz machines for makin’ clocks, and watches, and jewelry, and buttons, and pins, and all kinds of appliances ever used in machinery, and stun, sawin’, and glass-grindin’ machinery a-grindin’ and makin’ bricks and pottery, and used in makin’ artificial stun—­the idee!

You’d a thought the stun wuz all made before the Lord rested.

And there wuz rollin’ mills a-rollin’, and forges a-forgin’, and rollin’ trains, and harnesses, and squeezers a-squeezin’—­and every machine that wuz ever made to shape metals and tire mills, and mills that wuzn’t tired, I guess—­I didn’t see any, but I spoze they wuz there.  But they all looked tired to me—­tired as a dog, but I spoze it wuz my feelin’s.

I see all through this buildin’ that there wuz more wimmen than men there—­which shows what interest wimmen takes in solid things as well as ornimental.

Wall, we hung around there till I wuz fearfully wore out—­with the sights I see and the noise I hearn—­and it wuz a relief to my eyes and ears (and I believe them ear pans never will be the pans they wuz before I went in there)—­it wuz a relief when my companion begun to feel the nawin’s of hunger.  And after we went through Machinery Hall we went through the machine shops, at a pretty good jog, and the power-house, where there is the biggest engine in the world—­24,000 horse power.

Good land! and in Jonesville we consider 4 horses hitched to a load very powerful; but jest think of it, twenty-four thousand horses jest hitched along in front of each other—­why, they would reach from our house clear to Zoar—­the idee!

But Josiah’s inward state grew worse and worse, and finally sez he, in pitiful axents—­

“Samantha, I am in a starvin’ state,” and Miss Plank looked quite bad.

So at their request we went a little further south to the White Horse Inn.

This inn is a exact reproduction of the famous White Horse Inn in England.  Thinkin’ so much of Dickens as I do (introduced to him by Thomas Jefferson), it wuz a comfort to see over the mantlery-piece the well-known form of “Sam Weller,” the old maid, and others of Dickenses characters, that seem jest as real to me as Thomas Jefferson, or Tirzah Ann.

Over the main entrance is a statute of a white horse, lookin’ considerable like our old mair, only more high-headed.

The original inn had a open court, where stage-coaches drove in to unload, and from which Mr. Pickwick and his faithful Sam Weller often alighted.

But instead of using it for horses now, they use it for a smokin’-room for men; they can’t use it for both of ’em, for horses don’t want to go in there—­horses don’t smoke; tobacco makes ’em sick—­sick as a snipe.

Man is the only animal, so fur as I know, who can have tobacco in any shape put into his mouth without resentin’ it, it is so nasty.

Wall, we got a good clean meal there at a reasonable price, though Miss Plank thought there wuzn’t enough emptin’ in the bread, and the sponge cake lacked sugar.  But I think they know how to cook there—­that inn is the headquarters of the Pickwick Club.  Lots of English folks go there, as is nateral.

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Wall, after we had a lunch and rested for a spell, Josiah proposed that we should go and see the Transportation Buildin’.

Miss Plank had to leave us now to go home and see about her cookin’.  And we wended on alone.

On our way there we met Thomas J. and Maggie and Isabelle.  They wuz jest a-goin’ to Machinery Hall.  Maggie and Isabelle looked sweet as two new-blown roses, and Thomas J. smart and handsome.

We stopped and visited quite a spell, real affectionate and agreeable.

Oh, what a interestin’ couple our son and his wife are! and Isabelle is a girl of a thousand.

Krit had gone on to Dakota, on business, they said, but wuz comin’ back anon—­or mebby before.

Truly, if anybody had kep track of their pride and self-conceit, and counted how many times it fell, and fell hard, too, durin’ the World’s Fair, it would have been a lesson to ’em on the vanity of earthly things, and a good lesson in rithmetic, too.

Why, they couldn’t tell the number of times unless they could go up into millions, and I d’no but trillions.

Why, it would keep a-fallin’ and a-fallin’ the hull durin’ time you wuz there, if you kep watch on it to see; but truly you didn’t have no time to, no more’n you did your breathin’, only when it took a little deeper fall than common, and then as it lay prostrate and wounded, it drawed your attention to it.

Now, at Jonesville, the neighborin’ wimmen had envied and looked up to my transportation facilities.

Miss Gowdy and she that wuz Submit Tewksbury would often say to me—­

“Oh, if I had your way of gittin’ round—­if I could only have your way of goin’ jest where you want to and when you want to!”

Such remarks had fed my vanity and pride.

And I will own right up, like a righteous sinner, that I had ofttimes, though I had on the outside a becomin’ appearance of modesty—­

Yet on the inside I wuz all puffed up by a feelin’ of my superior advantages—­

As I would set up easy on the back seat of the democrat, and the old mair would bear me on gloriously, and admired by the neighborin’ wimmen who walked along the side of the road afoot, and anon the old mair a-leavin’ ’em fur behind.

And, like all high stations, that back seat in the democrat and that noble old mair had brung down envy onto me and mean remarks.

It come straight back to me—­Miss Lyman Tarbox told she that wuz Sally Ann Mayhew, and she that wuz Sally Ann told the minister’s wife, and she told her aunt, and her aunt told my son-in-law’s mother, and Miss Minkley told Tirzah Ann, and she told me—­it come straight—­

“That Josiah Allen’s wife looked like a fool, and acted like one, a-settin’ up a-ridin’ whenever she went anywhere, while them that wuz full as likely walked afoot!”

I took them remarks as a tribute to my greatness—­a plain acknowledgement of my superior means of locomotion and transportation.

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They didn’t break the puff ball of my vanity and pride, and let the wind out—­no, indeed!

But alas! alas! as I entered the Transportation Buildin’, and looked round me, there wuz no gentle prick to that overgrown puff ball to let the gas out drizzlin’ly and gradual—­no, there wuz a sudden smash, a wild collapse, a flat and total squshiness—­the puff ball wuz broke into a thousand pieces, and the wind it contained, where wuz it?  Ask the breezes that wafted away Caesar’s last groans, that blowed up the dust over buried Pompeii.

The buildin’ itself wuz a sight—­why, it is 960 feet long, and the cupola in the centre 166 feet high, with eight elevators to take you up to it; the great main entrance wuz all overlaid with gold—­looked full as good as Solomon’s temple, I do believe—­and broad enough and big enough for a hull army of giants to walk through abreast, and then room enough for Josiah and me besides.

But it wuz on the inside of it that my pride fell and broke all to pieces, as I looked round me and down the long distance behind and before me.

I knew—­for I had been told—­that one fourth of all the savin’s of civilized man is invested in railroads, and when I thought of how dretful rich some men and countries are, and kings and emperors, etc., I felt prepared to do homage to a undertakin’ that had swallowed up one fourth of all that accumulated wealth.

But sence the world begun, never had there been a exhibition before showin’ all the railroad systems of the world side by side, all the big American railroads, and great Britain, and France, and Germany.

The Baltimore and Ohio exhibit shows how the railroads of the world have been thought out gradual, and come up from nothin’ to what they are—­grew up from a little steam carriage that wuz shut up in Paris in 1760 as bein’ disordely.

“Disordely!” Good land! there never wuz a new idee worth anything in this world but has been called “disordely” by fools.

You can see that very little carriage here at the Fair; after bein’ shut up for two hundred years, it comes out triumphant, just as Columbus has.

Stevensonses first engine is here—­an exact reproduction—­and the hull caboodle of the first attempts leadin’ up to the engines of to-day.

Dretful interestin’ to look at these rough little inventions and to speculate on what prophetic strivin’s, and yearnin’s, and heartaches, and despairs, and triumphs went into every one on ’em.

For every one on ’em wuz follered, as a man is by his black shadder, by the cold, evil spirits of unbelief, malice, envy, and cheatin’.

The sun the inventors walked under—­the glowin’ sun of prophecy and foreknowledge—­always casts such shadders, some as our sun duz, only blacker.

And every one of them old engines by the help of machinery is moved and turned, just as if Old Time himself had laid his hour-glass offen his head, and wuz a-puttin’ his old shoulders under their iron shafts, and a-settin’ them to goin’ agin, after so long a time.

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How I wished as I looked at ’em that Stevenson and the rest of them men who lived, and worked, and suffered ahead of their time, could a been there to see the fruit of their glowin’ fancies blow out in full bloom!

But then I thought, as I looked out of a winder into the clear, blue depths of sky overhead, Like as not they are here now, their souls havin’ wrought out some finer existence, so etheral that our coarser senses couldn’t recognize ’em—­mebby they wuz right here round the old home of their thoughts, as men’s dreams will hang round the homes of their boyhood.

Who knows now?  I don’t, nor Josiah.

The New York Central exhibit shows the old Mohawk and Hudson train, a model of the first locomotive sot a-goin’ on the Hudson in 1807 with a boundin’ heart and a tremblin’ hand by Robert Fulton, and which wuz pushed off from the pier and propelled onwards by the sneerin’, mockin’, unbelievin’ laughs of the spectators as much as from the breezes that swept up from the south.

I would gin a cent freely and willin’ly if I could a seen Robert stand there side by side with that old locomotive and the fastest lightin’ express of to-day—­like seed and harvest—­with Josiah and me for a verdant and sympathizin’ background.

Oh, what a sight it would a been, if his emotions could a been laid bare, and mine, too!

It would a been a sight long to remember.

But to resoom.

The first locomotive ever seen in Chicago wuz there a-puffin’ out its own steam.  It must felt proud-sperited in all of its old jints, but it acted well and snorted with the best on ’em.  The 999, the fastest engine in the world, wuz by the side of the Clinton, the first engine ever made.  I opened the coach door and got in.  It looked jest like a common two-seated buggy of to-day, with seats on top, and water and wood to run it with kep in barrels behind the engine.

And England and Germany, not to be outdone, brung over some of their finest railroads.  Why, Wales brought over some of the actual stun ties and iron rails of the first railway in Great Britain; and as for the splendor of the coaches, they go beyend anything that wuz ever seen in the world.  Side by side with the finest passenger coaches that London sends stands the Canadian Pacific, with its dinin’ and sleepin’ cars, and you can form an idee about the richness on ’em when I tell you that the woodwork of ’em is pure mahogany.

And then the other big railroads, not to be outdone, they have their finest and most elegant cars on show—­

The Pullman and Wagner and the Empire State, with its lightnin’ speed, and post-office and newspaper cars, and freight, and express, and private cars.

There is a German exhibit of some of them likely ambulance cars used by the Red Cross Society in war time—­cars that angels bend over as the poor dyin’ ones are carried from the battle-field—­angels of Healin’ and of Pain.

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Then the Belgians have a full exhibit of the light, handy vehicles of all shapes, from a barrel to a basket, that they make to run on rails.  Platforms movin’ by the instantaneous action of the Westinghouse brake on a train of one hundred cars is a sight to see.

There are railroads for goin’ like lightin’ over level roads, and goin’ up and down, and all sorts of street cars, a-goin’ by horses, or mules, or lightnin’, as the case might be.  President Polk’s old carriage looked jest like Grandpa Smedly’s great-grandfather’s buggy, that stands in this old stun carriage house, and has stood there for 100 years and more.

And all sorts of gorgeous carriages that wuz ever seen or hearn on, and carts, and wagons, and buggies, from a tallyho coach to a invalid’s chair and a wheelbarrow, and from a toboggan to a bicycle, and palanquins of Japan, China, India, and Africa.

Howdahs for elephants, saddles for camels, donkey exhibits from South America and Egypt, the rig of the water-carriers of Cairo, the milk-sellers of South America, and the cargados, or human pack-horses, of both sexes of that country—­models that show the human and brute forms of labor.

Models of ox-carts, used in Jacob’s time, and in which, I dare presoom to say, Old Miss Jacob ust to go a-visitin’ to old Miss Abraham and Isaac, and mebby stay all day, she and the children.

[Illustration:  Ox-cart in which old Miss Jacob ust to go a-visitin’.]

And pneumatic tubes that I spoze will be used fur more in the future, and for more various uses, and all kinds of balloons and air-ships.

Balloon transportation—­ridin’ through the air swift as the wind—­what idees that riz up under my fore-top, of takin’ breakfast to home, and a-eatin’ supper with the Widder Albert, or some of her folks, and spendin’ the night with the Sphynx, a-settin’ out by moonlight on the pyramids—­a-settin’ on the top stun, my feet on another one, and my chin in my hand, a-meditatin’ on queer things, and a-neighborin’ with ’em.  From Jonesville to the Desert of Sarah, in a flash, as it were.

Where wuz the old democrat—­where, oh, where wuz she?  Ask the ocean waves as they break in thunder on the cliff, and hain’t heard from no more—­ask ’em, and if they answer you, you may hear from the old democrat.

And then there wuz all kinds of vessels, and boats, and steamships, and canal-boats, and yachts, and elevators, and water railways.

Why, right there in plain sight wuz a section sixty feet long of one of the new Atlantic steamers, cut out of the ship, some as you cut a quarter out of an orange, or cut off a stick of candy.

You can see the hull of the ship in that one piece, from the hold to the upper deck—­it looks like a structure five stories high—­it shows the state-room, saloon, music-room, and so forth, fitted up exactly as they are at sea, gorgeous and comogeous in the extreme.

And here is the reproduction of the Viking ship, nine hundred years old—­dug up in a sand-hill in Norway, in 1880.  It is fitted up exactly as the Storm Kings of one thousand years ago used ’em—­thirty-two oars, each seventeen feet long.  Mebby that same ship brung over some Vikings here when the old Newport Mill wuz new.

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The English exhibit has a model of H.M.S.  Victoria, three hundred and sixty feet long; there is a immense lookin’-glass behind this model, so as to make it look complete, and it is a sight to behold—­a sight.

Why, the U.S. has models of their great steamships, the Etruria and the Umbria, and there are every kind of vessels that wuz ever hearn on, for trade, pleasure, or war, and all kinds of Oriental ships, and all kinds of craft that ever floated in every ocean and river of the known world.

From a miniature Egyptian canoe, found in a tomb, to the sheep-skin rafts of the Euphrates and the dugouts of Africa, with sails, to the gorgeous sail-boats of the Adriatic and the most ancient vessels in the world.

What a sight! what a sight!  It would take weeks to jest count ’em, let alone studyin’ ’em as you ort.

And every machine in the known world for propellin’ boats and railways, from steam to lightnin’.

Where wuz my old mair in such a seen?  Oh, ask my droopin’ sperits where wuz she?

And there wuz everything about protection of life and property, communication at sea, protection against storms and fire, and all kinds of light-houses and divin’ apparatus, and pontoons for raisin’ sunken vessels out of the depths of the sea.

And relics of Arctic explorations, every one on ’em weighted down with memories of cold, and hunger, and frozen death.

And then there wuz movin’ platforms and sidewalks.  The idee!  What would Submit and Miss Henzy say—­to go out from our house and stand stun-still on the side of the road and be moved over to Miss Solomon Corkses!

Oh, my soul, oh, my soul, think on’t!

And there wuz what they called a gravity road.

And I asked Josiah “what he spozed that wuz?” and he said,

“He guessed it meant our country roads in the spring or fall.”

Sez he, “If them roads won’t make a man feel grave to drive over ’em, or a horse feel grave, too, as they are a-wadin’ up to their knees in the mud, and a-draggin’ a wagon stuck half way up over the hub in slush and thick mud”—­

Sez he, “If a man won’t feel grave under such circumstances, and a horse, too, then I don’t know what will make him.”

“Wall,” sez I, “if I wuz in Uncle Sam’s place I wouldn’t try to display ’em to foreign nations.”  Sez I, “They are disgraces to our country, and I would hush ’em up.”

“Yes,” sez Josiah; “that is a woman’s first idee to cover up sunthin’.”

Sez he, “I honor the old man a-comin’ right out and ownin’ up his weaknesses.  The country roads are shameful, and he knew it, and he knew that we knew it; so why not come right out open and show ’em up?”

“Wall,” sez I, “it would look as well agin in him to show a good road—­a good country road, that one could go over in the spring of the year without wishin’ to do as Job did—­curse God and die.”

Sez Josiah, “Job didn’t do that; his wife wanted him to, and he refused; men hain’t profane naterally.”

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“Josiah Allen,” sez I, “the language you have used over that Jonesville road in muddy times has been enough to chill the blood in my veins.  Tell me that men hain’t profane!”

“Not naterally, I said; biles and country roads is enough to make Job and me swear.”  And he looked gloomy as he thought of the stretch from Grout Hozletons to Jonesville, and how it looked from March till June.

“Wall,” sez I, “less get our minds off on’t,” and I hurried him on to look at the Austrian exhibit, and the Alps seemed to git his mind off some.

There they wuz.  There was the Alps, with a railroad in the foreground; then the ship of the Invincible Armada, in the Madrid exhibit, seemed to take up his mind; and all of the guns, from the fifteenth century on to our day; and the Spanish collection of models of block-houses, forts, castles, towers, and so forth.

In the middle of the main buildin’ stood two big masts fifty feet high—­one of our own day, with every modern convenience; the other like them masts on them ships of Columbus.

I hope our sails will waft on the ship of our country to as great a success as Columbuses did.  Mebby it will; I hope so.

Wall, after we left the Transportation Buildin’, sez Josiah, “I am dead sick of grandeur, and palaces 30 and 40 acres big, and gildin’, and arches, and pillars, and iron.”

Sez he, “I would give a cent this minute to see our sugar house, and if I could see Sam Widrig’s hovel, where he keeps his sheep, and our old log milk house, I’d be willin’ to give a dollar bill.”

“Wall,” sez I, in a kinder low voice, for I didn’t want it to git out—­I felt that I would ruther lose no end of comfort than to hurt the Christopher Columbus World’s Fair’s feelin’s—­

I whispered, “I feel jest exactly as you do.  And,” sez I, “less go and find a cabin and some huts if we can, and a board.”

So we, havin’ been told before where we should find these, wended our way to the Esquimo village, and lo! there wuz a big board fence round it.

And Josiah went up and laid his hand on them good hemlock boards lovin’ly, and sez he, “It looks good enough to eat.”  I could hardly withdraw him from it—­he clung to it like a brother.

[Illustration:  “It looks good enough to eat.”]

Wall, inside that board fence wuz a number of cabins or huts, containin’ some of ’em a hide bag or a bed, a dog sled with some strips of tin for a harness, and some plain tables, white as snow in some huts, and in some as black as dirt could make ’em.

There wuz about fifty or sixty males and females and children there, and one on ’em, a little bit of a baby, born right there on the Fair ground.

She wuz about as big as a little toy doll.  She wuz a-swingin’ there in a little hammock, and she didn’t seem to care a mite whether she wuz born up to the Arctic Pole or in Chicago.  Good land! what did she care about the pole?  Mother love wuz the hull equatorial circle to her, and it wuz a-bendin’ right over her.

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The little mother had pantaloons on, and didn’t seem to like it; she had a long jacket and some moccasins.

Right there inside of that board fence is as good a object lesson as you’ll find of the cleansin’ and elevatin’ power of the Christian religion.  There wuz two heathen families, and their cabins wuz dirty and squalid, while the Christianized homes are as clean and pure as hands can make ’em.

First godliness, and then cleanliness.

The way the Esquimos tell their age is to have a bag with stuns in it for years.  Every year in the middle of summer they drop a stun in.  How handy that would be for them who want to act young—­why jest let the summer run by without droppin’ the stun in, or let a hole come sort o’ axidental in the bag, and let a few drop out.  But, then, what good would it do?

Sence Old Time himself is a-storin’ up the stunny years in his bag that can’t be dickered with, or deceived.

And he will jest hit you over the head with them stuns; they will hit your head and make it gray—­hit your eyes, and they will lose their bright light—­hit your strong young limbs and make ’em weak and sort o’ wobblin’.

What use is there a-tryin’ to drop ’em out of your own private collection of stuns?

But to resoom.  The Esquimos show forth some traits that are dretful interestin’ to a philosopher and a investigator.

They do well with what they have to do with.

Now, no sewin’ machine ever made finer stitches than they take on their sleepin’ bags and their rain coats, etc.

But the thread they use is only reindeer sinews split fine with their teeth.

What would they do with sewin’ silk and No. 70 thread?

I believe they would do wonders if they had things to do with.

There wuz one young boy who they said wuz fifteen, but he didn’t look more’n seven or eight.  He looked out from his little cap that come right up from his coat, or whatever you call it; it looks some like the loose frock that Josiah sometimes wears on the farm, only of course Josiah’s don’t have a hood to it.

No, indeed; I never can make him wear a hood in our wildest storms, nor a sun-bunnet.

But this little Esquimo, whose name is Pomyak, he looked out on the world as if he wuz a-drinkin’ in knowledge in every pore; he looked kinder cross, too, and morbid.  I guess lookin’ at ice-suckles so much had made his nater kinder cold.

And who knows what changes it will make in his future up there in the frozen north—­his summer spent here in Chicago?

Anyway, durin’ the long, long night, he will always have sunthin’ besides the northern lights to light up its darkness.

What must memory do for him as he sits by the low fire durin’ the six months night?

Cold and blackness outside, and in his mind the warm breath of summer lands, the gay crowds, the throng of motley dressed foreigners, the marvellous city of white palaces by the blue waters.

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Wall, Josiah got real rested and sort o’ sot up agin.  And he laid his hand agin lovin’ly on the boards as we left the seen.

Wall, on our way home I had an awful trial with Josiah Allen.  Mebby what he had seen that day had made him feel kind o’ riz up, and want to act.

He and I wuz a-wendin’ our way along the lagoon, when all of a sudden he sez—­

“Samantha, I want to go out sailin’ in a gondola—­I want to swing out and be romantic,” sez he.

Sez he, “I always wanted to be romantic, and I always wanted to be a gondolier, but it never come handy before, and now I will!  I will be romantic, and sail round with you in a gondola.  I’d love to go by moonlight, but sunlight is better than nothin’.”

[Illustration:  “I want to swing out and be romantic and sail round with you in a gondola.”]

I looked down pityin’ly on him as he stood a few steps below me on the flight o’ stairs a-leadin’ down to the water’s edge.

I leaned hard on my faithful old umbrell, for I had a touch of rumatiz that day.

And sez I, “Romance, Josiah, should be looked at with the bright eyes of youth, not through spectacles No. 12.”  Sez I, “The glowin’ mist that wrops her round fades away under the magnifyin’ lights of them specs, Josiah Allen.”

He had took his hat off to cool his forward, and I sez further—­

“Romance and bald heads don’t go together worth a cent, and rumatiz and azmy are perfect strangers to her.  Romance locks arms with young souls, Josiah Allen, and walks off with ’em.”

“Oh, shaw!” sez Josiah, “we hain’t so very old.  Old Uncle Smedly would call us young, and we be, compared to him.”

“Wall,” sez I, “through the purblind gaze of ninety winters we may look younger, but bald heads and spectacles, Josiah Allen, tell their own silent story.  We are not young, Josiah Allen, and all our lyin’ and pretendin’ won’t make us so.”

“Wall, dum it all!  I never shall be any younger.  You can’t dispute that.”

“No,” sez I; “I don’t spoze you will, in this spear.”

“Wall, I am bound to go out in a gondola, I am bound to be a gondolier before I die.  So you may as well make up your mind first as last, and the sooner I go, the younger I shall go.  Hain’t that so?”

With a deep sithe I answered, “I spoze so.”

And he continued on, “There is such wild, free pleasure on the deep,

But, sez I, layin’ down the sword of common sense, and takin’ up the weepons of affection,

“Think of the dangers, Josiah.  The water is damp and cold, and your rumatiz is fearful.”

“Dum it all!  I hain’t a-goin’ in the water, am I?”

“I don’t know,” sez I sadly, “I don’t know, Josiah, and anyway the winds sweep down the lagoons, and azmy lingers on its wings.  Pause, Josiah Allen, for my sake, for liniments and poultices as well as clouds have their dark linin’s, and they turn ’em out to me as I ponder on your course.”  Sez I, “Your danger appauls me, and also the idee of bein’ up nights with you.”

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“But,” sez he firmly, “I will be a gondolier, I’m bound on’t.  And,” sez he, “I want one of them gorgeous silk dresses that they wear.  I’d love to appear in a red and yeller suit, Samantha, or a green and purple, or a blue and maroon, with a pink sash made of thin glitterin’ silk, but I spoze that you will break that up in a minute.  So, I spoze that I shall have to dwindle down onto a silk scarf, or some plumes in my hat, mebby—­you never are willin’ for me to soar out and spread myself, but you probable wouldn’t break up a few feathers.”

I groaned aloud, and mentally groped round for aid, and instinctively ketched holt of religion.

Sez I, “Elder Minkley is here, Josiah Allen, and Deacon Henzy—­Jonesville church is languishin’ in debt.  Is this a time for feathers?  What will they think on’t?  If you can spend money for silk scarfs and plumes, they’ll expect you, and with good reason, too, to raise the debt on the meetin’-house.”

He paused.  Economy prevailed; what love couldn’t effect or common sense, closeness did.

His brow cleared from its anxious, ambitious creases, and sez he, “Wall, do come on and less be goin.”


It rained some in the mornin’, and Josiah said, “That it wuz presumptious for any one to go out onto the Fair ground in such a time.”

So he settled down with the last Sunday’s World, which he hadn’t had time to read before, and looked and acted as if he wuzn’t goin’ to stir out of his tracks in some time.

[Illustration:  He wuzn’t goin’ to stir.]

But I went out onto the stoop and kinder put my hand out and looked up into the clouds clost, and I see that it didn’t do no more than to mist some, and I felt as if it wuz a-goin’ to clear off before long.

So I said that I wuz a-goin’ to venter out.

Josiah opposed me warmly, and brung up the dangers that might befall me with no pardner to protect me.

He brung up a hull heap on ’em and laid ’em down in front of me, but I calmly walked past ’em, and took down my second-best dress and bunnet, and a good deep water-proof cape, and sot off.

Wall, I got to the Fair ground with no casualities worth mentionin’, and I sauntered round there with my faithful umbrell as my only gardeen, and see a sight, and took considerable comfort.

I had a good honorable lunch at noon, and I wuz a-standin’ on the steps of one of the noble palaces, when I see a sedan chair approachin’ shaped jest like them in my old Gography, borne by two of the men who carry such chairs.  Curius-lookin’ creeters they be, with their gay turbans and sashes, and long colored robes lookin’ some like my long night-gowns, only much gayer-lookin’.

As it approached nearer I see a pretty girlish face a-lookin’ out of the side from the curtains that wuz drawed away, a sweet face with a smile on it.

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And I sez to myself, “There is a good, wholesome-lookin’ girl, who don’t care for the rain no more than I do,” when I heard a man behind me say in a awe-strucken voice, “That is the Princess! that is the Infanty!”

[Illustration:  “There is a good, wholesome-lookin’ girl.”]

And I sez to myself, here is a chance to put yourself right in her eyes.  For I wuz afraid that she would think that I hadn’t done right by her sence she come over from Spain to see us.

And I didn’t want her to go back with any false impressions.  I wanted Spain to know jest where I stood in matters of etiquette and politeness.

So it happened jest right—­she descended from her chair and stood waitin’ on the steps for the rest of her folks, I guess.

And I approached with good nater in my mean, and my umbrell in my hand.

And sez I, a-holdin’ out my hand horsepitably, sez I, “Ulaley, I am dretful glad of a chance to see you.”  Sez I, “You have had so much company ever sence you come to America, that I hain’t had no chance to pay attention to you before.

“And I wanted to see you the worst kind, and tell you jest the reason I hain’t invited you to my house to visit.”  Sez I, a-bowin’ deep, “I am Josiah Allen’s Wife, of Jonesville.”

“Of Jonesville?” sez she, in a silver voice.

“Yes,” sez I; “Jonesville, in the town of Lyme.”

Sez I, “You have probable read my books, Ulaley.”  Sez I, “I spoze they are devoured all over the World as eager as Ruger’s Arithmetic, or the English Reader.”

She made a real polite bow here, and I most knew from her looks that she wuz familiar with ’em.

And I kep right on, and sez I—­

“From everything that I have hearn on you ever sence you come here I have took to you, jest as the hull of the rest of America has.  We think a sight on you—­you have shown a pattern of sweetness, and grace, and true politeness, that is long to be remembered.

“And I want you to know that the only reason that I hain’t invited you to Jonesville to visit me is that you have had such sights and sights of company and invitations here and there, that I told Josiah that I wouldn’t put another effort onto you.

“I sez to him, sez I, ’There are times when it is greater kindness to kinder slight anybody than it is to make on ’em.’  And I told Josiah that though I would be tickled enough to have you come and stay a week right along, and though, as I sez to him,

“’The Infanty may feel real hurt to not have me pay no attention to her,’ still I felt that I had Right on my side.

“Sez I, ’It is enough to kill a young woman to have to be on the go all the time, as she has had to.’  Sez I, ’The American Eagle has jest driv her about from pillar to post.  And Uncle Sam has most wore his old legs out a-escortin’ her about “from pleasure to palaces,” as the Him reads.’

“And then, sez I, ’She has had considerable to do with Ward McAllister, and he’s dretful wearin’.’

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“He’s well-meanin’, no doubt, and I have a good deal of sympathy for him.  For, as I told Josiah, he’s gittin’ along in years, and I don’t know what pervision eternity would give to him in the way of entertainment and use.  He can’t expect to go on there to all eternity a-samplin’ wine, and tyin’ neckties, and makin’ button-hole bokays.

“And I don’t suppose that he will be allowed to sort out the angels, and learn ’em to bow and walk backwards, and brand some on ’em four hundred, and pick out a few and brand ’em one hundred, and keep some on ’em back, and let some on ’em in, and act.

“I d’no what is a-goin’ to be done in the next world, the home of eternal Truth and Realities, with a man who has spent his hull life a-smoothin’ out and varnishin’ the husks of life, and hain’t paid no attention to the kernel.

“He tires America dretful, Ward duz, and I spoze like as not he’d be still more tuckerin’ to Spain, not bein’ used to him, and then, too, she’s smaller, Spain is, and mebby can’t stand so much countin’ and actin’.  So, as I said to Josiah, ‘The Infanty is a-havin’ a hard time on’t with the Ward McAllisters of society;’ for, sez I, ’Though she has set ’em a pattern of simple courtesy and good manners every time she’s had a chance, I knew them four hundred well enough to know that it wouldn’t be took.’  I knew that the American Republic, as showed out by Ward McAllister and his ’postles, wouldn’t be contented to use the simple, quiet courtesy of a Royal Princess.

“No; I knew America and Jonesville would have to see ’em a-goin’ on, and actin’, and a-plannin’ which foot ort to be advanced first, and how many long breaths and how many short ones could be genteelly drawed by ’em durin’ a introduction, and how many buttons their gloves must have, and how many inches the tops of their heads ort to come from the floor when they bowed, and whether their little fingers ort to be held still, or allowed to move a little.

“And while Ward and his ’postles was drawed up in a line on one side of the ball-room, and not dastin’ to move hand or foot for fear they wouldn’t be moved genteel, you got dead tired a-waitin’ for ’em to make a move of some kind.

“It wuz a weary, tuckerin’ sight to America and me, and must have been dretful for you to gone through.

“And I sez to Josiah, ’It is no wonder that the Infanty got so tired of them performances that she had to set down and rest.

“It tired America so a-seein’ ’em a-pilotin’ the party that she would have been glad to have sot down and rested.

“Now if I’d invited you, Ulaley, as I wanted to, I wuzn’t a-calculatin’ to draw up Josiah and the boys and Ury on one side of the room, and the girls and myself in a line on the other side, and not dastin’ to advance and welcome you for fear I wouldn’t put the right foot out first, or wouldn’t put in the right number of breaths a second I ort to.

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“No; I should have forgot myself in the pleasure of welcomin’ you.  I should have advanced to once with pride and welcome in every line of my liniment, and held out my hand in a respectful and joyful greetin’, and let you know in every move I made how proud and glad I wuz to see you, and how proud and glad I wuz you could see me, and then I should have introduced Josiah and the children, who would have showed in their happy faces how truly welcome you wuz to Jonesville.  You’d’ve enjoyed it first rate, Ulaley, and if there had been any difference in our manners from what you’d been used to, and we might have made a bow or two less than you wuz accustomed to, why, your good sense would have told you that manners in Jonesville wuz different from Madrid, and you’d expect it and enjoy the difference, mebby.

“Of course, I knew that we couldn’t do by you exactly as they do in Spain in the way of amusement—­we couldn’t git up no bull fight, not havin’ the two materials.

“But Josiah has got a old pair of steers down in our back medder that was always touchy and kinder quarrelsome.  They are gittin’ along in years, but mebby there is some fight left in ’em yet.

“I think like as not that Josiah and Ury could have got ’em to kinder backin’ up and kickin’ at each other, and actin’.

“I wouldn’t gin a cent to seen it go on, but it would have been interesting I hain’t a doubt on’t, to them that wuz gin to that sort o’ things.

“But, as I sez, I wouldn’t put it on you, Ulaley.”

The Infanty looked real pleasant here—­she almost laughed, she looked so amiable at me; she realized well that she wuz a-meetin’ one of the first wimmen of the nation, and that woman wuz a-doin’ well by her.

“But, as I say, Ulaley, I knew that it wuz too hard for you.  I knew that between them Ward McAllisters of society, and the hosts of your honest admirers, from Uncle Sam down to Commander Davis and Miss Mayor Gilroy, you wuz fairly beat out.  And I wouldn’t put you to the extra effort of comin’ to Jonesville.  I hated to give it up, but Duty made me, and I want you to understand it and to explain it all out to Spain jest how it wuz.”

She smiled real sweet, and said she would, and she said “that she appreciated my thoughtful kindness.”

She wuz too much of a lady to talk about them that had entertained her.

And I spoze she had been entertained through them New York parties.  She’s quite a case for fun, and we got to feelin’ real well acquainted with each other, and congenial.

She looked dretful pretty as she looked out sideways at me and smiled.  She’s as pretty as a pink.

And sez she, “You are very kind, madam; I highly appreciate your goodness.”

“Yes,” sez I, “it wuz nothin’ but goodness that kep me back, for Josiah and I both think our eyes on you, both as a smart, pretty woman, and a representative of that country that wuz the means of discoverin’ us.”

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And sez I with a shudder, and a skairful look onto me, “I can’t bear to think of the contingency to not had Jonesville and Chicago discovered, to say nothin’ of the rest of the World.

“But,” sez I, “my anxiety to put myself right in your eyes has runaway with my politeness.”  Sez I, “How is all your folks?” Sez I, “How is little Alphonso?  We think a sight of that boy here, and his Ma.  She’s a-bringin’ him up first rate, and you tell her that I think so.  It will encourage her.

“And how is your Ma?” sez I; and then I kinder backed out polite from that subject, and sez I, “I dare presoom to say that she has her good qualities; and mebby, like all the rest of the world, she has her drawbacks.”

And then a thought come onto me that made me blush with shame and mortification, and sez I, “I hain’t said a word about your husband.”  Sez I, “I have said that I would pay particular attention to that man if I come in sight on him, and here I be, jest like the rest of America, not payin’ him the attention that I ort, and leavin’ him a-standin’ up behind you, as usual.

“How is Antoine?” sez I.

She said that “He was very well.”

“Wall,” sez I, “I am glad on’t; from everything that America and I can learn of him he is a good feller—­a manly, good-appearin’, good-actin’ young man.

“And America and I wish you both dretful well—­you and Spain.  We think dretful well of all of you; and now,” sez I, with some stateliness, “I am a-goin’ to withdraw myself, and not tire you out any more.”

And so we shook hands cordial, and said good-bye, and I proceeded to withdraw myself, and I wuz jest a-backin’ off, as I make a practice of doin’ in my interviews with Royalty, when Duty gin me a sharp hunch in my left side, and I had to lock arms with her, and approach the Infanty agin on a delicate subject.

I hated to, but I had to.

Sez I, “Ulaley, I want you to forgive me for it if you feel hurt, but there is one subject that I feel as if I want to tackle you on.”

Sez I, “You’ve acted like a perfect lady, and a sampler of all womanly and royal graces, ever sence you come over here a-visitin’, good enough to frame,” sez I, “and hang up in our heart of hearts.

“And there hain’t but one fault that I have got to find with you, and I want to tell you plain and serious, jest as I’d love to have your folks tell Tirzah Ann if she should go over to Spain to represent Jonesville—­

“I want to say, jest as kind as I can say, that if I wuz in your place I wouldn’t smoke so much.

“I want to tell you that if my girl, Tirzah Ann, should ever go to Spain under the circumstances I speak on, and should light up her pipe in the Escurial, I should want you to put it out for her.

“I hate to have you smoke, Ulaley—­I hate to like a dog.  Of course,” sez I, in reasonable axents, “if you wanted to smoke a little mullen or catnip for the tizik, I wouldn’t mind it; but cigaretts are dretful onhealthy, and I’m afraid that they will undermind your constitution.  And I think too much on you, Ulaley, to want you underminded.”

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[Illustration:  “I hate to have you smoke, Ulaley—­I hate to like a dog.”]

She smiled, and said sunthin’ about its bein’ the custom of her country.

And I looked real pleasant at her, but firm, and sez I, “Customs has to be gone aginst by true Reformers, and Prophets, Ulaley.”  Sez I, “Four hundred years ago it wuzn’t the custom of the countries to discover new worlds.

“But your illustrious countryman branched out and stemmed the tide of popular disfavor, and found a grand New Land.

“New Worlds lay before all on us, Ulaley—­we can sail by ’em on the winds of popular favor and old custom, or we can stem the tide and row aginst the stream, and, ‘Go in and take the country.’

“You don’t know what good lays in your power to do, Ulaley, you sweet young creeter you, and now God bless you, and good-bye.”

There wuz a tear standin’ in every one of my eyes as I said it, for a hull tide of emotions from four hundred years past to the present swashed up aginst me as I grasped holt of her pretty hand, and we parted.

She looked real tender-hearted and good at me, as if she liked me, and as if her heart leaned up aginst my heart real clost.

(What duz Ward McAllister and his ’postles know of such rapt moments?)

Her escort driv up in two carriages jest then, and I left her, and as I went down the steps on the other side I heard her talkin’ volubly to ‘em—­a-describin’ the great seen that had took place between us, I dare say.

They wuz pleased with it, I could see they wuz fairly a-laughin’, they wuz so edified and highly tickled.  Yes, Spain realizes it, my makin’ so much on’t.

Wall, I didn’t stay much longer, for weariness, and also the cords of affection, wuz a-drawin’ me back to Miss Planks.

Wall, the days and weeks wuz a-wearin’ away, and Josiah and I wuz a-enjoyin’ ourselves first rate.

The children, and Isabelle, and Krit wuz a-havin’ jest as good a time, too, as four smart young folks can have.

Their minds wuz naterally, all four on ’em, as bright as a new dollar, and they had been enriched and disciplined by culture and education, so there wuz good soil indeed for the marvellous seed sowed here to spring up in a bountiful harvest.

They, all four on ’em, enjoyed more than anything else the Congresses, and meetin’s of the different societies of the world, for noble, and humane, and philanthropic interests.

And as for me, if I wuz to be made to tell at the pint of the sword what I thought wuz the very best and most glorious product of the World’s Columbian Fair, I would say I thought it wuz these orations, and debates, by the brightest men and wimmen on earth, congregated at Columbuses doin’s.

They wuz the wreaths of the very finest, sweetest blossoms that crowned Uncle Sam’s old brow this glorious summer of 1893.

The most advanced thought on religion, art, science, philanthropy, and every branch of these noble and riz-up subjects wuz listened to there by my own rapt and orstruck ears.  And not only the good and eloquent of my own Christian race, but Moslem, Buddhist, and Hindoo.  Teachers of every religious and philosophical system wuz heard, givin’ friendly idees, and dretful riz-up ones, on every subject designed to increase progress, prosperity, and the peace of mankind.

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What subjects could be bigger than these, and more important to the World and Jonesville?  Not any; not one.

And what solid comfort I took through the hull caboodle of ’em—­Peace Societies, Temperance, Wimmen’s Rights, Sabbath Schools, Kindergarten, Christian Science, Woman’s protective union, Improvement in dress, etc., etc., and etcetry.

I sot happy as a queen through ’em all, and so did the girls, a-listenin’ to every topic hearn on the great subject of makin’ the old world happier and better behaved.

Josiah didn’t seem to care so much about it.

He would often excuse himself—­sometimes he would have a headache, but most always his headaches would improve so that he could git out into the city somewhere or onto the Fair ground.  He would most always recooperate pretty soon after we started to the Congress, or Lecture Hall, or wherever our intellectual treat wuz.

[Illustration:  Sometimes he would have a headache.]

And when I’d come home I’d find him pretty chipper.

And then often the children would come after us in a carriage and take us all over the city and out into the suburbs, and display all the strange sights to us, or they would take us to the beautiful parks, through the long, smooth, beautiful boulevards.

And no city in the world can go ahead of Chicago in this, or so it seems to me—­the number and beauty of their parks, and the approaches to them.  There wuz a considerable number of railroads to cross, and I wuz afraid of bein’ killed time and agin a-crossin’ of ’em, and would mention the fact anon, if not oftener; but I didn’t git killed, not once.

Wall, so Time run along; roses and ripe fruit wreathed his old hour-glass, and we didn’t hardly realize how fast he wuz a-swingin’ his old scythe, and how rapid he was a-walkin’.

Isabelle had promised to come and stay a week with me jest as soon as a room was vacant.

And so the day that Gertrude Plank left I writ a affectionate note to her, and reminded her of her promise, and that I should expect her that evenin’ without fail.

I sent the note in the mornin’, and at my pardner’s request, and also agreeable to my own wishes, we meandered out into the Fair grounds agin.

There wuz a number of things that we hadn’t seen yet, and so there would have been if we had stayed there a hull year.

But that day we thought we would tackle the Battle Ship, so we went straight to it the nearest way.

Wall, as I looked off and got a plain view of the Illinois, it was headed towards me jest right, and I thought it wuz shaped some like my biggest flat-iron, or sad-iron, as some call ’em.

And I don’t know why, I am sure, unless it is because wimmen are middlin’ sad when they git a big ironin’ in the clothes-basket, and only one pair of hands to do it, and mebby green wood, or like as not have to pick up their wood, only jest them arms to do it all, them and their sad-irons.

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Wall, as I say, it wuz headed jest right, so it did look shaped for all the world like that old flat-iron that fell on to me from Mother Allen.

Of course it wuz bigger, fur bigger, and had a hull string of flags hitched from each end on’t to the middle.  Wall, it wuz a high, good-lookin’ banner a-risin’ out and perched on top of a curius-lookin’ smoke-stack.

And for all the world, if that line of flags didn’t look some like a line of calico clothes a-hangin’ out to dry, hitched up in the middle to the top of the cherry-tree, and then dwindlin’ down each end to the corner of the house, and the horse barn.

But I wouldn’t have that Battle-Ship git wind on’t that I compared it to clothes-lines, and flat-irons, not for a dollar bill; for battle-ships are naterally ferocious, and git mad easy.

There wuz sights of good-lookin’ flags histed up at one end on’t, besides the clothes-line full, and lots of men a-standin’ round on’t.

They didn’t seem to act a mite afraid, and I don’t spoze I ort to be.

But lo and behold! come to pry into things, and look about and find out, as the poet sez, that wuzn’t a real ship a-sailin’ round, as it looked like, but it wuz built up on what they call pilin’—­jest as if Josiah should stick sticks up on the edge of the creek, and build a hen-house on ’em, or anything.

[Illustration:  Come to pry into things, and look about and find out, that wuzn’t a real ship a-sailin’ round.]

It is a exact full-sized model, three hundred and forty-eight feet long, of one of the new coast-line battle-ships now a-bein’ built for the safety and protection of our country, at a cost of about three million dollars each.

The imitation ship is built on the lake front at the northeastern point of Jackson Park.  It is all surrounded with water, and has all the appearance of bein’ moored to the wharf.

It has all the fittin’s that belong to the actual ship, and all the appliances for workin’ it.

Officers, seamen, marines, mechanics, are sent there by the navy department, and the discipline and way of life on a naval vessel is fully shown.

I wuz glad to see that it had a woman for a figger-head.

I guess that the nation thought, after seein’ how Miss Palmer went ahead and overcome the difficulties in her path, and kep her beautiful face serene, and above the swashin’ waves of opposition all the time—­they thought that they wuzn’t afraid to let a woman be riz up on their ship, a-lookin’ fur out over the waters, and a-takin’ the lead.

It looked quite well.  There wuz lots of lace-work and ornaments about her, but she carried herself first rate.

Wall, the ship as a hull is dretful interestin’ to warriors and such, and mariners.

As for me, I thought more of statutes, and pictures, and posies, and Josiah didn’t take to it so much as he did to steers, and horse-rakes, and so forth.

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But good land! in such a time as this, when there is everything on the face of the earth, and under it, and above the earth to see, everybody has a perfect right to suit themselves in sights, and side shows.

Wall, we stayed there for some time a-lookin’ round, and a-meditatin’ on how useful this ship and others like it would be in case another war should break out, and how them ships and what is contained in ’em would be the means of savin’ America and Jonesville.

And I had quite a number of emotions, and I guess Josiah did too.

And then we kinder sauntered along on that broad, smooth path by the side of Lake Michigan, and kinder looked off onto her with a affectionate look, and neighbored some with her.

Her waters looked dretful peaceful and calm, after seein’ everybody in the hull world, and hearin’ every voice that ever wuz hearn, a-talkin’ in every language, and seein’ every strange costume that wuz ever worn, and etc., etc., etc.

And so we sauntered along till we got to the Casino, and Music Hall a-risin’ up at the eastern end of the grand basin.

We had laid out to come here before, and should, most probable, if the hull of music had been shet up inside of that tall, impressive-lookin’ buildin’; but truly music had cheered our souls frequent on our daily pilgrimages, so we had neglected to pay attention to the Music Hall and Casino till now.

Josiah wuz anxious to attend to it.

And I myself felt that Duty drawed me, bein’ quite a case for music.

And havin’ led the choir for years before my marriage to Josiah Allen, and havin’ married a man that sez he can sing.

But if the noise he makes is singin’, then I would be willin’ to say that I never had riz the eight notes, or fell ’em neither.

But he sez that he loves music; and he had talked quite a good deal to me about the Music Hall and Casino.

That Casino didn’t sound quite right; it sounded sunthin’ like “Seven-Up” and “Pedro,” and I told him so.

But he said that “it wuz all right;” he said “that it wuz took from the Hebrew.”

But I believe he said that to blind my eyes.  Wall, when we hove in sight of it we see the high towers that riz up above it some distance off, with flags a-comin’ kinder out of it on both sides, some like a stupendious pump, with handles on both sides and red table-cloths a-hangin’ over ’em, but immense—­immense in height.

Wall, I spozed it would look as well agin there as the Jonesville Singin’ School, and be fur bigger.

But good land! and good land!

Why, jest the entrance to them buildin’s is enough to strike the most careless beholder with or.  Such pillows, and such arches, and such ornaments, I never expected to see till I got through with this planet anyway.

But there wuz one piece of sculpture there that when I see it I instinctively stopped stun still and gazed up at it with mingled feelin’s of pride and sorrow.

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It wuz a chariot in which stood the Discoverer, a-lookin’ off, fur-sighted, and determined, and prophetic, and everything else that could be expected of that noble Prophet and Martyr, Columbus.

The chariot wuz drawn by four high-headed and likely horses as I ever see.  But alas! for my own sect.

Two noble and beautiful wimmen stood a-walkin’ afoot, barefoot too—­stood right there between the horses, each one a-holdin’ the bits of two of them high-headed beasts, and their huffs ready to kick at ’em.  They didn’t look afraid a mite, so I don’t know as I need to worry about ’em.

But I couldn’t help thinkin’—­that is the way that it has always been, men a-ridin’ the chariots of Power, drawed by satisfied ambition, and enterprise, and social and legal powers, and the wimmen a-walkin’ along afoot by the side of the chariot, and a-leadin’ the horses.

Bringin’ men into the world, nurturin’ ’em, comfortin’ ’em through life, and weepin’ over their tomb.

Yes, she has led the horse, but walked afoot, and the stuns have been sharp and cold under her bare feet, and the dust from the chariot has riz up and blinded her sad eyes time and agin, so’s that she couldn’t look off any distance.  The horses have been hard bitted; their high huffs and heads drawed dretful hard at the bit held in her weak grasp, and she has been kicked a good deal by their sharp huffs.

On the two off horses there wuz two figgers a-holdin’ up high gorgeous banners; of course they wuz men, and of course they wuz ridin’.

Three men a-ridin’ and two wimmen a-walkin’ afoot; it didn’t seem right.

Not that I begretched Columbus—­that noble creeter—­the ease he had; if I’d had my way I’d had a good spring seat fixed onto that chariot, so that he could rid a-settin’ down; or, at any rate, I’d laid a board acrost it, with a buffalo robe on’t.  I wouldn’t had him a-standin’ up.

It hain’t because I’ve got anything aginst Columbus—­no indeed; but I am such a well-wisher of my own sect that I hate to see ’em in such a tryin’ place.

But I wuz glad of one thing, and mebby that wuz one thing that made them poor wimmen look so fearless and sort of riz up.

They wuz in the East—­they wuz in the past; the sun wuz a-movin’ along, they could foller its rays along into the golden day.  Why, right before ’em, on the other side of the basin, with only a little water between ‘em that would soon be crossed, they could see a woman a-towerin’ up a hundred feet, in plain view of all the countries of the assembled world, a-holdin’ in her outstretched hand the emblems of Power and Liberty.

But to resoom:  Josiah and I had a first-rate time there at that Music Hall, and enjoyed ourselves first rate a-hearin’ that most melodious music, though pretty loud, and a-seein’ the Musicianers all dressed up in the gayest colors, as if they wuz officers.

And truly they wuz.  They marshalled the rank and file of that most powerful army on earth, the grand onseen forces of melody, that vanquishes the civilized and savage alike, and charms the very beast and reptile.

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The sweet power that moves the world, and the only earth delight that we know will greet us in the land of the Immortals.

Truly the hour we spent there wuz long, long to be remembered.

And after we reluctantly left the Hall of Melody, the music still swelled out and come to our ears in hauntin’ echoes.

Josiah had wandered away to a little distance to see sunthin’ or ruther that had attracted his attention, and I stood still, lost in thought, and almost by the side of myself, a-listenin’ to the low, sobbin’ music of the band.

[Illustration:  A-listenin’ to the low, sobbin’ music.]

I wuz almost by the side of myself with my rapt emotions when I hearn a voice that recalled me to myself—­

“Drusilla, I’m clean beat out.”

“Are you, Deacon Sypher?  Wall, it is because you are so smart, and see so much.”

Truly, thinkses I, it don’t take much smartness to see much in this place.

But instinctively with that idee come the thought—­nobody but Drusilla Sypher could or would make that admirin’ remark.

And I turned and advanced onto ’em with a calm mean.

But I see in that first look that they looked haggard and wan, as wan agin as I ever see ’em look, and fur, fur haggarder.  They looked all broke up, and their clothes looked all rumpled up and seedy, some as if they had slept in ’em for some weeks.  But I hain’t one to desert old friends under any circumstances, so I advanced onto ’em, and sez, with a mean that looked welcomin’ and glad—­

“Why, Drusilla and Deacon Sypher,” sez I, “how glad I am to see you!  When did you come?  Have you been here long?”

And they said “they had been in Chicago some five weeks.”

“Is that so?” sez I.  “And how have you enjoyed the Fair?  I spoze you have seen a good deal, if you have been here so long.”

Sez Drusilly, “This is the first time we have been on to the Fair ground.”

“Why’ee!” sez I, “what wuz the matter?”

She turned round, and see that Deacon Sypher had stopped some distance away to speak to my pardner and to look at sunthin’ or ruther, and she told me all about it.

She said that the Deacon had thought that it would be cheaper to live in a tent, and cook over a alcohol lamp; so they had hired a cheap tent, and went to livin’ in it.

But a hard wind and rain-storm come up the very first night, and blew the hull tent away; so they had to live under a umbrell the first night in a hard rain.

Wall, she took a awful cold, and by the time they got the tent fastened down agin she wuz down with a sore throat and wuz feverish, and couldn’t be left alone a minit, so the doctor said.

[Illustration:  She took a awful cold.]

So the Deacon had to stay with her night and day, and change poultices, and give medicine, etc., and he had to hire porridges made for her, and things.

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There wouldn’t any of the campers round ’em do anything for ’em; for he had, accordin’ to his own wishes, got right into a perfect nest of Prohibitionists.  The Deacon wuz perfectly devoted to the temperance cause himself—­wouldn’t drink a drop to save his life—­and dretful bitter and onforgivin’ to them that drinked.

But it happened that bottle of alcohol for their lamp got broke right onto the Deacon’s clothes.  His vest, and pantaloons, and coat wuz jest soaked with it; so’s when he went after help they called him an old soaker, and said if he’d been sober the tent wouldn’t have broke loose.  They scorfed at him fearful, and wouldn’t do a thing to help him.

He told ’em he wuz a strict tetoteler, and hadn’t drinked a drop for over forty years.

And they said, “Git out, you wretched old sot!  You smell like a saloon!”

And another said, “Don’t tell any of your lies to me, when jest one whiff of your breath is enough to make a man reel.”

It cut the Deacon up dretful to be accused of drinkin’ and lyin’.  But they wouldn’t one of ’em help a mite, and it kep him boned right down a-waitin’ on her.

And they, jest as she got a little better, there come on a drizzlin’ rain, and it soaked right down through the tent, and run in under it, so they wuz a-drippin’, both on ’em.

But the Deacon took it worse than she did, for he elevated her onto their trunks, made a bed up on top of ’em for her as well as he could.

But he got soaked through and through, and it brung on rumatiz, and he couldn’t move for over nine days.  And the doctors said that his case wuz critical.

Of course she couldn’t leave him, and havin’ to cook over a alcohol lamp, it kep her to home every minit, even if he could be left.

So she said they got discouraged, and their bills run up so high for doctors, and medicines, and plasters, etc., that they calculated to break up tent and go and board for a few days, git a look at the Fair, and then go home.

And sez she, “I spoze you have been here every day.”

“Yes,” sez I; “we would have a nice warm breakfast and supper at our boardin’ place, and a good comfortable bed to sleep in, and we would buy our dinner here on the Fair ground, and we have kep real well.”

She looked enviously at me out of her pale and haggard face.

Sez she, “We have both ruined our stomachs a-livin’ on crackers and cheese.  I shall never see a well day agin!  And we both have got rumatiz for life, a-layin’ round out-doors.  It is dangerous at our time of life,” sez she.

“What made you do it, Drusilla?” sez I.

“Wall,” she said, “the Deacon wanted to; he thought he couldn’t afford to board in a house; and you know,” sez Drusilla, “that the Deacon is a man of most splendid judgment.”

“Not in this case,” sez I.

And then, at my request, she told me what they had paid out for doctors and medicines, and it come to five dollars and 63 cents more than Josiah and I had paid for our board, and gate fees, and everything.  And that didn’t count in the cost of their two dyspeptic boards, or their agony in sickness and sufferin’, or their total loss of happiness and instruction at the Fair.

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When we reckoned this up Drusilla come the nighest to disapprovin’ of the Deacon’s management that I ever knew her to.  She sez, and it wuz strong language for Drusilla Sypher to use—­

Sez she, “If it had been any other man but Deacon Sypher that had done this, I should been mad as a hen.  But the Deacon is, as you well know, Josiah Allen’s Wife, a wonderful man.”

“Yes,” sez I, “Drusilla, I know it, and have known it for some time.”

She looked real contented, and then I sez—­

“Josiah Allen had got his mind all made up to tent out durin’ the Fair.  But I broke it up,” sez I—­“I broke it up in time!”

At this very minit Josiah and Deacon Sypher come back to us, the Deacon a-limpin’, and a-lookin’ ten years older than when we last seen him in Jonesville.  And my pardner pert, and upright, and fat, under my management.

Wall, we four stayed together the rest of the day, a-lookin’ at one thing and another.

And when we got home that night, lo and behold!  Isabelle had come jest before we did.

And supper wuz all ready—­or dinner, as they all called it; but I don’t know as it makes much difference when you are hungry.  The vittles taste jest about the same—­awful good, anyway.

We wuz pretty late, so there wuzn’t anybody to the table but jest Isabelle and Josiah and me.

And we three had a dretful good visit with each other.  She is jest as sweet as a rosey in June.

I make no matches, nor break none.  But I couldn’t help tellin’ Josiah Allen in confidence from time to time that it did seem to me that Isabelle and Mr. Freeman wuz cut out for each other.

Every time I see Isabelle—­and Krit and Thomas J. had often made some app’intment where our family party could all meet—­and every time I see her, I liked her better and better.

And Maggie, who of course had seen more of her than I had, bein’ in the same house with her, she told me in confidence, and in the Mexican Exhibit, that “Isabelle was an angel.”

No, I make no matches, nor break none.

But I happened to speak sort of axidently as it were to Mr. Freeman one day, and told him my niece wuz a-comin’ to spend a week with me, jest as quick as Miss Planks step-sister’s daughter’s cousin got away. (Miss Plank, like the rest of Chicago freeholders, had relations back to the 3d and 4th generation come onto ’em like flocks of ravenin’ grasshoppers or locusses, durin’ the Fair.)

And I sez—­though I am the one that hadn’t ort to say it, mebby—­“She is one of the sweetest girls on earth.”

Sez I, “I call her a girl, though I spoze I ort to call her a woman, for she is one in years.  But because she hain’t never been married,” sez I presently, “hain’t, no reason that she couldn’t be, for she has had offers, and offers, and might be married any day now.

“But,” sez I, “she kep single from duty once, and now it seems to be from choice.”

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He sort of smiled with his eyes.  He wuz used to such talk, I spoze.  Good land! the wimmen all made perfect fools of themselves about him.

But he sez in his pleasant way, “I shall be very glad to meet your niece.  I shall be sure to like her, if she is any like her aunt.”

Pretty admirin’ talk, that wuz.  But good land!  Josiah sot right there, and he wuzn’t jealous a mite.  Mr. Freeman wuz young enough to be my boy, anyway.  And then Josiah knew what I had in my mind.

But I told my pardner that night, sez I—­

“I hain’t mentioned Mr. Freeman’s name to Isabelle, and hain’t a-goin’ to; for one reason, she wouldn’t come nigh the house if she knew what I wuz a-thinkin’ on, and for another reason, I am a-goin’ to try to stop a-thinkin’ on’t.  He took it so beautiful, and he has match-makers a-besettin’ him so much, I dare presoom to say he mistrusted what I wuz up to in my own mind.  And, like as not, Isabelle wouldn’t look at him, or any other man, anyway.

“But I wouldn’t have thought on’t in the first place,” sez I, “if Isabelle hadn’t been such a born angel, and seemed cut out a purpose for him by Providence.  But I shall try to stop a-thinkin’ on’t.”

And sez Josiah, “You had better have done that in the first place.”

Wall, I wuz as good as my word.  I didn’t say another word pro nor con.  But I kep up a-thinkin’ inside of me, bein’ but mortal, and havin’ two eyes in my head.

Wall, as I say, finally Gertrude Plank had left her room vacant, and our niece had come to us with a cheerful face and one small trunk full of neccessaries for her week’s visit.

I call her our niece, though she wuzn’t quite that relationship to us.  But it is quite hard sometimes to git the relationship headed right, and marshal ’em out into company before you—­specially when they are fifth or sixth cousins.

And I thought, bein’ our ages wuz such, and our affections wuz so strong, back and forth, that it would be jest as well to jest use that plain term aunt and uncle and niece—­it looked better, anyway, as our ages stood.  And I didn’t think it wuz anything wrong, for good land! we are called uncle and aunt, my Josiah and me are, by lots of folks that hain’t no sort of kin to us, and Isabelle wuz related to us anyway by kin and by soul ties.

Wall, to resoom:  the evenin’ after Isabelle got there it wuz burnin’ warm in my room.  And her room wuz still worse, way up on top of the house; but it wuz the best room that we could git for her, and she wuz contented with it for the sake of bein’ with her Uncle Josiah and me.

After we got up from the supper-table—­Mr. Freeman wuz away that day, but I felt free to take her into that big, cool room, and so we went into that beautiful place.

And then, all of a sudden, as Isabelle stood there in front of that pretty girl down by the medder brook amongst the deep grasses—­

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All of a sudden it come to me who the girl looked like:  it wuz Isabelle.

As she stood in front of it, in her long white dress, with her white hands clasped loose in front of her, and her auburn hair pushed back careless from her beautiful face, I see the girl in the picture, or as she would be if she had grown refined and beautiful by sorrow and a sweet patience and reasonableness, which is the twin of Patience, both on ’em the children of Pain.

As I stood there a-lookin’ at her in admiration and surprise, I heard a sound behind me.  It wuzn’t a cry nor a sithe, but it wuz sunthin’ different from both, more eager like, and deadly earnest, and dumbfoundered.

And then it wuz Mr, Freeman’s voice I knew that said—­

“My God! am I a-dreamin’?”

And then Isabelle turned, and her face filled with a rapturous surprise and joy, and everything.

And sez she—­


And he jest rushed forward, and in a secent had her in his arms.  And I bust out a-cryin’, and turned my back to ’em, and went out.

But it wuzn’t more than a few minutes before they rapped at my door, and their faces looked like the faces of two angels who have left the sorrows of earth and got into Heaven at last.

And I cried agin, and Isabelle cried as I held her in my arms silently, and kissed her a dozen times, and I presoom more.

And Mr. Freeman kissed me on my left cheek, and wrung my hand that hard that that right hand ached hard more’n a hour and a half.  And I bathed it in arneky and water long enough after Isabelle had gone to her room, and Mr. Freeman to hisen.

For till this mortal has put on immortality folks have to eat and sleep, and if their hands are wrung half off, either through happiness or anger, flesh, while it is corruptible, will ache, and bones will cry out if most crushed down.

But arneky relieved the pain, and the light of the mornin’ showed the faces of these reunited lovers, full of such a radiant bliss that it did one’s soul good even to look at ’em.

It seems that Isabelle had told him in that long-ago time when they parted that she wouldn’t keep up a correspondence with him.  She felt that she had ort to leave him free.  And he wuz poor, and he would not fetter her with a memory she might perhaps better forgit.  Poor things! lovin’ and half broken-hearted, and both hampered with duties, and both good as gold.

So they parted, she to take care of her feeble parents, and he to take care of his invalid mother and the two little ones.

But lo and behold! after they had lived in that Western city for a few years, Tom a-workin’ hard as he could to keep the wolf from the door, and from devourin’ the three helpless ones, his brother returned from California as rich as a Jew, and he took his two little girls back with him and put ’em in school, and give Tom the money to start in business, and he wuz fortunate beyend any tellin’—­got independent rich; then his ma wuz took sick and died, he a-waitin’ on her devoted to the very last.

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Then, heart-hungry and lonesome, he broke through the vow he had made, and writ to Isabelle; but Isabelle had gone from the old place—­she didn’t git the letters.

Then he writ agin, for his love wuz strong and his pride weak—­weak as a cat.  True Love will always have that effect on pride and resolve, etc.

But no answer came back to his longin’ and waitin’ heart.

And then, I spoze, Pride kinder riz up agin, and he said to himself that he wouldn’t worry her and weary her with letters that she didn’t think enough of to answer.

And he had about made up his mind that all he should ever see of Isabelle would be the shadder of her beauty in the girl by the old medder bars, standin’ in the fresh grasses, by the laughin’ brook, all lookin’ so like the dear old farm when he won her love so long ago.

That dead, mute, irresponsive picture wuz more to him than any livin’, breathin’ woman could ever be.

So he camped down before it, as you may say, for life—­that is, he thought so; but Providence wuz a-watchin’ over him, and his thoughtful, unselfish kindness to a stranger, or strangers, wuz to be rewarded with the prize of love and bliss.

Wall, the World’s Fair wuz, I spoze, looked on by many a pair of glad eyes.  Hearts that throbbed high with happiness beat on through them majestic rooms.  But happier hearts and gladder eyes never glowed and rejoiced in ’em than Isabelle’s and her handsome lover’s.

And wuzn’t Krit glad?  Wuzn’t he glad of soul to see Isabelle’s happiness?  Yes, indeed!  And Maggie and Thomas Jefferson.

Why, of course we wouldn’t sing out loud in public, not for anything.  We knew it wouldn’t do to go along the streets or in the halls and corridors of the World’s Fair, a-singin’ as loud as we could—­

“Joy to the World!”

Or, “What amazin’ bliss is this!” or anything else of that kind—­no, we wuz too well-bread to attempt it; but inside of us we jest sung for joy, the hull set and caboodle of us.

All but Miss Plank, and a few old maids and widders, and such, who mebby had had hopes.  Miss Plank looked and acted as flat and crushed down as one of her favorite cakes, or as if she wuz a-layin’ under her own sirname.

She said she hated to lose the profit of such a boarder, and mebby that wuz it—­I don’t say it wuzn’t.  But this I know, wimmen will keep up hopes, moles or no moles, and age has no power to keep out expectations.

But I make no insinuations, nor will take none.  She said that it wuz money she hated to lose, and mebby it wuz.

But on that question I riz up her hopes agin, for Mr. Freeman wuz bound on bein’ married imegatly and to once, and he said that they would remain right there for the remainder of the year at least.

Isabelle hung off, and wanted to go back to Jonesville and be married to our house, as I warmly urged ’em to.

But Mr. Freeman, lookin’ decided and firm as anything you ever see, he sez to Isabelle—­

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“Do you suppose I am ever goin’ to lose sight of you agin?  No indeed!”

And I sez, “Wall, come right home with us to Jonesville, and keep your eyes on her.”

I wuz as happy as a king, and he knew it.  And he thinks a sight of me, for it wuz through me, he sez, that their meetin’ wuz brought about.

He didn’t say he wouldn’t do that, so I wuz greatly in hopes that that would be the way it would turn out.

I thought to myself, “Oh, how I would love to have ’em married in my parlor, right back of the hangin’ lamp!”

The semi-detatched widder said she got a letter about that time bringin’ her bad news, trials, and tribulations, so it wuzn’t to be wondered that she looked sad and worried.  Mebby she did git such a letter.

But anyway she and Miss Plank made up with each other.  They become clost friends.  Miss Plank told me, “She loved her like a sister.”

And the semi-detatched widder told me, “If she ever see a woman that she thought more on than she did her own mother, it wuz Miss Plank.”

Wall, I wuz glad enough to see ’em reconciled, for they had been at such sword’s pints, as you may say, that it made it dretful disagreeable to the other boarders.

Miss Piddock acted, and I believe wuz tickled, to see Mr. Freeman’s happiness; for he didn’t make any secret of it, and couldn’t, if he wanted to.  For radiant eyes and blissful smiles would have told the story of his joy, if his lips hadn’t.

Miss Piddock said that “if Mr. Piddock had been alive that he could say truly that he could sympathize with him in every respect, for that dear departed man had known, if anybody had, true connubial bliss.”

And then she brung up such piles of reminiscences of that man, that I felt as if I must sink under ’em.

But I didn’t; I managed to keep my head above ’em, and keep on a-breathin’ as calm and stiddy as I could.

Even Nony acted a trifle less bitter and austeer when he heard the news, and made the remark, “That he hoped that he would be happy.”  But there wuz a dark and shudderin’ oncertainty and onbelief in his cold eyes as he said that “Hope” that wuz dretful deprestin’ to me—­not to Mr. Freeman; no, that blessed creeter wuz too happy to be affected by such glacial congratulations as Nony Piddock’s.


Of course, feelin’ as I did about my Uncle Samuel, it wouldn’t have done to not gone to the Government Buildin’, where he makes his headquarters, so to say.

Like the other palaces, this is so vast that it seemed as we stepped up to it some like wadin’ out into Lake Michigan to examine her.

We couldn’t do it—­we couldn’t do justice to Michigan with one pair of feet and eyes—­no, indeed.

Wall, no more we couldn’t do justice to these buildin’s unless we laid out to live as long as Methusleah did, and hang round here for a hundred years or so.

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We had to go by a lot of officers all dressed up in uniforms.  But we wuzn’t afraid—­we knew we hadn’t done anything to make us afraid.

Josiah wuz considerable interested in the enormous display of rifles, and all the machinery for makin’ ’em, and showin’ how and where the destructive instruments used in war are made.

And then there wuz dummy cavalry horses, and men, and ponies, and cattle, showin’ the early means for transportation of the mails, compared with the modern way of carryin’ it on lightnin’ coaches.

But it wuz a treat indeed to me to see the original papers writ by our noble forefathers.

To be sure, they wuz considerable faded out, so that I couldn’t read ’em much of any; but it wuz a treat indeed to jest see the paper on which the hands of them good old creeters had rested while they shaped the Destinies of the New World.

They held the pen, but the Almighty held the hands, and guided them over the paper.

When I see with my own two eyes, and my Josiah’s eyes, which makes four eyes of my own (for are we two not one?  Yes, indeed, we are a good deal of the time)—­

Wall, when I see with these four eyes the very paper that Washington, the Immortal Founder of His Country, had rested his own hand on—­when I see the very handwritin’ of his right hand and the written thoughts of hisen, which made it seem some like lookin’ into the inside of that revered and noble head, my feelin’s riz up so that they wuz almost beyend my control, and I had to lean back hard on the pillow of megumness that I always carry with me to stiddy myself with.

I had to lean hard, or I should have been perfectly wobblin’ and broke up.

And then to see Jefferson’s writin’, and Hamilton’s, and Benjamin Franklin’s—­he who also discovered a New World, the mystic World that we draw on with such a stiddy and increasin’ demand for supplies of light, and heat, and motion, and everything—­

When I see the very writin’ of that hand that had drawed down the lightnin’, and had hitched it to the car of commerce and progress—­

Oh, what feelin’s I felt, and how many of ’em—­it wuz a sight.

And then I see the Proclamation of the President; and though I always made a practice of skippin’ ’em when I see ’em in the newspaper, somehow they looked different to me here.

[Illustration:  I see the Proclamation of the President.]

And then there wuz agreements with Foreign Powers, and some of them Powers’ own handwritin’ photographed; and lots of treaties made by Uncle Sam—­some of ’em, especially them with the Injuns, I guess the least said about the soonest mended, but the biggest heft on ’em I guess he has kept—­

Treaties of peace and alliance, pardon of Louisiana and Florida, Alaska, etc., all in Uncle Sam’s own handwritin’.

And then there wuz the arms of the United States—­and hain’t it a sight how fur them arms reach out north and south, east and west—­protectin’ and fosterin’ arms a good deal of the time they are, and then how strong they can hit when they feel like it!

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And then there wuz the big seal of the United States.

I had read a description of it to Josiah that mornin’, and had explained it all out to him—­all about the Argant, and Jules, and the breast of the American Eagle displayed proper.

I sez, “That means that it is proper for a bird to display its breast in public places; and,” sez I, “though it don’t speak right out, it probable means to gin a strong hint to fashionable wimmen.

“And then,” says I, “it holds in its dexter talons a olive branch.  That means that it is so dextrous in wavin’ that branch round and gittin’ holt of what it wants.

“And holdin’ in its sinister talons a bunch of arrows.”  Sez I, “That means that in war it is so awful sinister, and lets them arrows fly onto its enemies where they are needed most.”

And then the Eagle holds in its beak a strip of paper with “E.  Pluribus Unum” on it, which means “One formed out of many.”

And how many countries will wheel into the procession and become part of the great one as the centuries go on?  I don’t believe Uncle Sam has the least idee; I know I hain’t, nor Josiah.

For on the back part is a pyramiad unfinished; no knowin’ how many bricks will yet be laid on top of that pyramiad, or how high it will shoot up into the heavens.

And then there is a big eye surrounded with a Glory.

The eye of the United States most likely, and I spozed mebby it meant big I and little You.

I didn’t know exactly what it did mean till I catched sight of the words above, meanin’ “The eye of Providence is favorable to our undertakin’s.”

And then I felt better, and hoped it wuz so.

Down under the pyramiad is words meanin’ “A New Order of Centuries.”

That riz me up still more, for I knew it wuz true.  Yes; when Columbus pinted the prow of that caraval of hisen towards the New World, the water broke on each side of it, a-washin’ back towards the Old World the decayin’ creeds and orders of the Old World, and the ripples that danced ahead on’t, clear acrost the Atlantic, wuz a-carryin’ new laws, new governments; and hoverin’ over the prow as it swept on in the darkness and the dawn, onseen to any eye, not even the prophetic eye of the discoverer, hovered the great angels Liberty, Equal Rights, and Human Brotherhood.

For them angels could see further than we can; they could see clear ahead when the iron chains should fall from black wrists, and as mighty chains, though wrought with gold, mebby, should fall from the delicate white wrists of mother, and wife, and sister.

It could see that this indeed wuz “A New Order of Centuries.”

And then we see—­kep jest as careful as though it wuz pure gold and diamonds—­the petition of the Colonies to the King of England.  And I’ll bet England has been sorry enuff to think it didn’t hear to ’em, and act a little more lenient to ’em.

And then there wuz the old Constitution of the United States, in the very handwritin’ of its immortal framer.

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And then there wuz the Declaration of Independence.

Good, likely old document as ever wuz made.  I know I hain’t felt towards it as I’d ort to time and agin, when I’ve hearn it read Fourth of Julys by a long-winded orator, in muggy and sultry dog-days in Jonesville.

But though, as I ort to own up, I’ve turned my back onto it at sech times, I’ve allers respected it deeply, and it wuz indeed a treat to see it now—­

The very paper, writ in the darkness of oncertainty, and hopelessness, and despair of our forefathers, and which them four old fathers wuz willin’ to seal with their blood.

Oh, if that piece of yeller, faded old paper could jest speak out and tell what emotions wuz a-rackin’ the hearts, and what wild dreams and despairs wuz a-hantin’ the brains of the ones that bent over it in that dark day, 1776—­

Why, the World’s Fair would be thrilled to its inmost depths; Chicago would tremble from its ground floor up to its 20th and 30th story, and Josiah and I would be perfectly browbeat and stunted.

But it wuzn’t to be; only the old yeller paper remained writ over with them immortal words.  Their wild emotions, their dreams, their despairs, and their raptures have passed away, bloomin’ out agin in the nation’s glory and grandeur.

And then we see amongst the treaties with foreign powers friendship tokens from semi-barbarous tribes and nations—­

Poor little gifts that didn’t always buy friendship and justice, and I’d told Uncle Sam so right to his old face if I’d’ve met him there as I wuz a-lookin’ at ’em.  I’d a done it if he had turned me right out of the Government Buildin’ the next minit.

And then there wuz the first cannon ever brought to America, and the first church-bell ever rung in America, and picters of every place that Columbus ever had anything to do with, and a hull set of photographs of hisen.  Good creeter! it is a shame and a disgrace that there is so many on ’em, and all lookin’ so different—­as different as Josiah and Queen Elizabeth.

And then there wuz everything relatin’ to conquest—­conquest of Mexico and etc., and everything about the food and occupations of men—­all sorts of food, savage and civilized, and all sorts of occupations, from makin’ molasses to gatherin’ tea.

And there wuz the most perfect collection of coins and medals ever made—­7500 coins and 2300 medals.  There wuz some kinder stern-lookin’ guards a-watchin’ over these, but they had no need to be afraid; I wouldn’t have meddled with one of ’em no more’n I’d’ve torn out the Book of Job out of the family Bible.

[Illustration:  Stern-lookin’ guards a-watchin’ over the coins.]

There wuz everything under the sun that could be seen in South America, from a mule to a orchid.

And in the centre of the buildin’ wuz a section of the great Sequois tree from California.  The tree is twenty-five feet in diameter, and has been hollowed out, and a stairway built up inside of it.  Stairs inside of a tree!  Good land!

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But what is the use, I have only waded out a few steps.  The deep lake lays before us.

I hain’t gin much idee of all there is to see in that buildin’, and I hain’t in any on ’em.

You have got to swim out for yourself, and then you may have some idee of the vastness on’t.  But you can’t describe ’em, I don’t believe—­nobody can’t.

In front of that buildin’ we see one of the two largest guns ever made in the world.

It wuz made in Essen, Germany.  It weighs two hundred and seventy thousand pounds, and is forty-seven feet long.

It will hit anything sixteen miles off, and with perfect accuracy and effect at a distance of twelve miles.

Good land! further than from Zoar to Shackville.

It costs one thousand two hundred and fifty dollars to discharge it once.  As Josiah looked at it, sez he—­

“Oh, how I do wish I had sech a gun!  How I could rake off the crows with it in plantin’ time!  Why,” sez he, “by shootin’ it off once or twice I could clear the hull country of ’em from Jonesville to Loontown.”

“Yes,” sez I; “and have you got a thousand dollars to pay for every batch of crows you kill, besides damages—­heavy damages—­for killin’ human bein’s, and horses, and cows, and sech?”

And he gin in that it wouldn’t be feasible to own one.  And I sez, “I wouldn’t have one on the premises if Mr. Krupp should give me one.”

So we wended onwards.

Wall, about the most interestin’ and surprisin’ hours I enjoyed at Columbuses doin’s wuz to the stately house set apart for that great wizard of the 19th century—­Electricity.

As wuz befittin’, most the first thing that our eyes fell on wuz a big, noble statute of Benjamin Franklin.  He stands with his kite in his hand, a-lookin’ up with a rapt look as if waitin’ for instructions from on high.

He seemed to be guardin’ the entrance to this temple, and he looked as if he wuz glad to be there, and I truly wuz glad to have him there.

For he ort to be put side by side with Christopher Columbus.  Both sailed out on the onknown, both discovered a new world.

Columbuses world we have got the lay on now considerable, and we have mapped it out and counted the inhabitants.

But who—­who shall map out this vast realm that Benjamin F. discovered?

We stand jest by the sea-shore.  We have jest landed from our boats.  The onbroken forest lays before us, and beyend is deep valleys, and high, sun-kissed mountains, and rushin’ rivers.

A few trees have been felled by Morse, Edison, Field and others, so that we can git glimpses into the forest depths, but not enough to even give us a glimpse of the mountains or the seas.  The realm as a whole is onexplored; nobody knows or can dream of the grandeur and glory that awaits the advance guard that shall march in and take the country.

This beautiful house built in its honor is 690 feet long and 345 feet wide.

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The main entrance, which is in the south side, has a magnificently decorated open vestibule covered by a half dome, capable of the most brilliant illumination.

Indeed, you can judge whether this buildin’ has advantages for bein’ lit up, when I tell you that it has 20,000 incandescent and 3000 ark lights.

I hearn a bystander a-tellin’ this, and sez Josiah, “I can’t imagine what a ark light is—­Noah couldn’t had a light so bright as that is.  But,” he sez, “mebby the light shines out as big as the ark did over the big water.”

And I spoze mebby that is it.

Why, they say the big light on top of the buildin’—­the biggest in the world—­why, they do say that that throws such a big light way off—­way off over Lake Michigan, that the very white fishes think it is mornin’, and git up and go to doin’ up their mornin’s work.

There wuz everything in the buildin’ that has been hearn on up to the present time in connection with electricity—­everything that we know about, that that Magician uses to show off his magic powers, from a search-light of 60,000 candle power down to a engine and dynamo combined, that can be packed in a box no bigger than a pea.

Josiah looked at the immense display with a wise eye, and pretended to understand all about it, and he even went to explainin’ it to me.

But I sez, “You needn’t tire yourself, Josiah Allen; I should know jest as much after you got through as I do now.

“And,” sez I, “you can explain to me jest as well how the hoe and the planter cause the seed to spring up in the loosened ground.  You put the seed in the ground, Josiah Allen, and the hoe loosens the soil round it.  You may assist the plant some, but there is a secret back of it all, Josiah Allen, that you can’t explain to me.

“No, nor Edison couldn’t, nor Benjamin Franklin himself couldn’t with his kite.”

Sez Josiah, “I could explain it all out to you if you would listen—­all about my winter rye, and all about electricity.”

But agin I sez considerately, “Don’t tire yourself, Josiah Allen; it is a pretty hot day, and you hain’t over and above well to-day.”

He didn’t like it at all; he wanted to talk about electric currents to me, and magnets, and dynamos, but I wouldn’t listen to it.  I felt that we wuz in the palace of the Great Enchanter, the King of Wonders of the 19th century, and I knew that orr and silence wuz befittin’ mantillys to wrop ourselves in as we entered his court, and stood in his imperial presence.  And I told Josiah so.

And he sez, “You won’t catch me with a mantilly on.”

He is dretful fraid to wear wimmen’s clothes.  I can’t git a apron or a sun-bunnet on him in churnin’ time or berryin’ in dog-days—­he is sot.

But I sez, “Josiah, I spoke in metafor.”

And he sez, “I would ruther you would use pantaloons and vests, if you are a-goin’ to allegore about me.”

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But to resoom.  France, England, Germany, all have wonderful exhibits, and as for our own country, there wuz no end seemin’ly to the marvellous sight.

Why, to give you a idee of the size and splendor of ’em, one electrical company alone spent 350,000 dollars on its exhibit.

Among the German exhibits wuz a wonderful search-light—­jest as searchin’ as any light ever could be—­it wuz sunthin’ like the day of judgment in lightin’ up and showin’ forth.

One of the strange things long to be remembered wuz to set down alone beside of a big horn in Chicago and hear a melodious orkestry in New York, hundreds and hundreds of miles away, a-discoursin’ the sweetest melody.

Wall, what took up Josiah’s mind most of anything wuz a house all fitted up from basement to attic with electricity.

You come home (say you come in the evenin’ and bring company with you); you press a button at the door, the door opens; touch another button, and the hall will be all lighted up, and so with every other room in the house.  Some of these lights will be rosettes of light let into the wall, and some on ’em lamps behind white, and rose-tinted, and amber porcelain.

When you go upstairs to put on another coat, you touch a button, the electric elevator takes you to your room; and when you open the closet door, that lights the lamp in the closet; when you have found your coat and vest, shuttin’ the door puts the light out.

In the mean time, your visitors down below are entertained by a selection from operatic or sacred music or comic songs from a phonograph on the parlor table.  Or if they want to hear Gladstone debate, or Chauncey Depew joke, or Ingersoll lecture, or no matter what their tastes are, they can be gratified.  The phonograph don’t care; it will bring to ’em anything they call for.

Then, when they have got ready for dinner, a button is touched; the dinner comes down from the kitchen in the attic, where it wuz all cooked by electricity, baked, roasted, or biled, whatever it is.

When the vittles are put on the table, they are kept warm by electric warmin’ furnaces.

They start up a rousin’ fire in the open fireplace by pressin’ a button, and if they git kinder warm, electric fans cool the air agin, though there hain’t much chance of gittin’ too warm, for electric thermostats regulate the atmosphere.  But in the summer the fans come handy.

When dinner is over the dishes mount upstairs agin, and are washed by a electric automatic dish washer, and dried by a electric dish drier.

The ice for dinner is made by a miniature ammonia ice plant, which keeps the hull house cool in hot days and nights.

On washin’ days the woman of the house throws the dirty clothes and a piece of soap into a tub, and electricity heats the water, rubs and cleanses the clothes, shoves ’em along and rings ’em through an electric ringer, and dries ’em in a electric dryin’ oven, and then irons ’em by an electric ironin’ machine.

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If the female of the house wants to sew a little, she don’t have to wear out her own vital powers a-runnin’ that sewin’ machine—­no; electricity jest runs it for her smooth as a dollar.

If she wants to sweep her floor, does she have to wear out her own elbows?  No, indeed; electricity jest sweeps it for her clean as a pin.

Oh, what a house! what a house!

Josiah of course wuz rampant with idees of havin’ our house run jest like it.

He thought mebby he could run it by horse power or by wind.

“But,” I sez, “I guess the old mair has enough on her hands without washin’ dishes and cookin’.”

He see it wuzn’t feasible.

“But,” sez he, “I believe I could run it by wind.  Don’t you know what wind storms we have in Jonesville?”

And I sez, “You won’t catch me a-sewin’ by it, a-blowin’ me away one minute, and then stoppin’ stun-still the next;” and sez I, “How could we be elevated by it? blow us half way upstairs, and then go down, and drop us.  We shouldn’t live through it a week, even if you could git the machinery a-runnin’.”

“Wall,” sez he, with a wise, shrewd look, “as fur as the elevator is concerned, I believe I could fix that on a endless chain—­keep it a-runnin’ all the time, sunthin’ like perpetual motion.”

“How could we git on it?” sez I coldly.

“Catch on,” sez he; “it would be worth everything to both on us to make us spry and limber-jinted.”

“Oh, shaw!” sez I; “your idees are luny—­luny as can be; it has got to go by electricity.”

“Wall,” sez he, “I never see any sharper lightnin’ than we have to Jonesville.  I believe I could git the machinery all rigged up, and catch lightnin’ enough to run it.  I mean to try, anyway.”

“Wall,” sez I, “I guess that you won’t want to be elevated by lightnin’ more’n once; I guess that that would be pretty apt to end your experiments.”

“Oh, wall,” sez he, “break it up!  I never in my hull life tried to do sunthin’ remarkable and noteworthy but what you put a drag on to me.”

Sez I, “I have saved your life, Josiah Allen, time and agin, to say nothin’ of my own.”

He wuz mad, but I drawed his attention off onto a ocean cable, and asked him to explain it to me how the news went; and he wuz happy once more—­happier than I wuz by fur.  I wuz wretched, and had got myself into a job of weariness onspeakable and confusion, etc., and so forth.

But to such immense sacrifices will a woman’s love lead her.

[Illustration:  He wuz happy once more.]

I could not brook his dallyin’ with lightnin’ at his age or to have it brung into our house in a raw state.

Josiah wuz dretful impressed with a big post completely covered with red, white, and blue globes, and all other colors, and at the top it branched out into four posts, extendin’ towards the corners of the ceilin’.

A spark of electricity starts at the base of the post, and steadily works its way up.  It lights the red, then the white, and then the blue, and etc., and then it goes on and lights the four branches until it gits to the end, and then it lights up a big ball.

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And then it goes back to the beginnin’ agin, and so it goes on—­flash! flash! flash! sparkle! sparkle! sparkle! in glowin’ colors.  It is a sight to see it.

But what impressed me beyend anything wuz what seemed a mighty onseen hand a-risin’ up out of Nowhere, and a-holdin’ a pencil, and a-writin’ on the wall in letters of flame.  And then that same onseen hand will wipe out what has been writ, and write sunthin’ else.  Why, it all makes folks feel a good deal like Belschazarses, only more riz up like.  He felt guilty as a dog, which must hendered his lofty emotions from playin’ free; but folks that see this awsome and magestick spectacle don’t have nothin’ to drag down their soarin’ emotions.

Why, I’ll bet that I had more emotions durin’ that sight than Belschazar had when he see his writin’ on the wall, only different.  I guess that mine wuz more like Daniel’s, though I can’t tell, havin’ never talked it over with Daniel.  But to resoom.

When we left the Electrical Buildin’, it wuz so nigh at hand we jest stepped acrost into the Hall of Mines and Minin’.  And it wuz dretful curious, wuzn’t it?

Here we two wuz on the surface of the Earth, and we had jest been a-studyin’ in a entranced way the workin’s of a mighty sperit, who wuz, in the first place, brung down from above the Earth, and now, lo and behold! we wuz on our way to see what wuz below the Earth.

Curious and coincidin’, very.

Wall, as I walked acrost them few steps I thought of a good many things. 
One thing I thought on wuz the path I wuz a-walkin’ on.

I d’no as I’ve mentioned it before, but them foot-paths at the World’s
Fair are as worthy of attention as anything as there is there.

I’ll bet Columbus would have been glad to had such paths to walk on when he wuz foot-sore, and tired out.

They are made of a compound of granite and cement, and are as smooth as a board, and as durable as adamant.

What a boon sech roads would be in the Spring and the Fall!  How it would lessen profanity, and broken wagons, and broken-backed horses!  Folks say that they will be used throughout the World.  Jonesville waits for it with longin’.

Its name is Medusaline.  I wuz real glad it had such a pretty name—­it deserves it.

Josiah wuz dretful took with the name.  He said that he wuz a-goin’ to name his nephew’s twins Maryline and Medusaline.  But mebby he’ll forgit it.

Wall, the Hall of Mines and Minin’ is a immense, gorgeous palace, jest as all the rest on ’em be, and, like ’em all, it has more’n enough orniments, and domes, and banners, and so forth to make it comfortable.

As we advanced up the magestick portal the figgers of miners, with hammers and pans in their hands, seemed to welcome us, and tell us what they had to do with the big show inside; they seemed to be a-sayin’ with their still lips, “If it hadn’t been for us—­for the great Army of Labor, this show would have been a pretty slim one.”  Yes; the great vanguard of Labor leads the van, and cuts down the trees, so’s that Old Civilization and Progress can walk along, and swing their arms, and spread themselves, as they have a way of doin’.

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Wall, to anybody that loves to look on every side of a idee from top to bottom, and had had sech experiences on top of the Earth as I had, it wuz a great treat to see what wuz inside of the Old World.

And wuzn’t it a sight!  Sech heaps of glitterin’ golden and silver ore, sech slabs of shinin’ marble, and sech precious stuns I never expect to see agin till I git where the gates are Pearl and the streets paved with Pure Gold.

On the west side are the exhibits from Foreign mineral-producin’ countries, beginnin’ with the Central and South American States.

These Mines, worked way back before history begins, that furnished the gold that Cortez loaded his returnin’ galleons with, still keep right on a-yieldin’ their rich treasures, provin’ that there is no end to ’em, as you may say.

On the opposite side of the avenue are the treasures of our own country.  Each State and Territory has tried, seemin’ly, to make the richest and most dazzlin’ exhibition.

Here New England shows in a way that can’t be disputed her solid granite and marble foundation—­vast and beautiful and glossy exhibit.

Then the immense coal exhibit of the great States of the Appalachian range, and the Ohio valley, shows forth its wealth in shinin’ black masses.

Pyramiads and arches of glitterin’ iron and steel, statutes in brass, bronze, and copper, supported on pedestals of elaborate wrought metals.

Then there are pillows and statutes and pyramiads of salt so blindin’ly brilliant that you almost have to shet your eyes when you look at ’em.

The South shows up her mineral fertilizers, and paints, and her precious ores.  The gold of North Carolina, the phosphates of Florida, and the iron ores of Alabama are here in plain sight.

California, Montana, Colorado, Idaho, shows a gorgeous exhibit of gold and other precious ores.

In the large porch in the centre of the buildin’ is a high tower, made at the bottom of all sorts of minerals, and trimmed off handsome and appropriate; and the tower that shoots up from this foundation is made of all sorts of machines employed in minin’.

From this centre aisles and avenues branch off in every direction.

Great Britain and Germany and our own greatest mineral States are here facin’ this centre.

And you can walk down every avenue, and have your eyes most blinded by the splendor of the exhibit.

You can see jest how they extract the gold from the ore from the minute it is dug out of the earth till it is wrought into the shinin’ dollar or beautiful orniment.

You can see how Electricity, the Wizard, plays his part here, as everywhere else, in drivin’ drills, and workin’ huge minin’ pumps and hoistin’ appliances.

You can see how this Wizard gives the signals, fires the blast, and does everything he is told to do, and does it better than anybody else could, and easier.

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Then there are figgers in groups representin’ the old laborious way of minin’, old crushin’ mortars and mills of ancient Mexico, propelled by mules, compared with the automatic tramways and hydraulic transmission of coal by a liquid medium, and all the other swift and modern ways.

South Africa shows off her diamond fields.  The machinery picks up the blue clay right before our eyes, the native Kaffirs pick out the precious pebbles and sort ’em out, and a diamond-cutter right here, with his chisel and wheel, cuts and polishes ’em till they are turned out a flashin’ gem to adorn a queen.

Then, if you git tired of roamin’ round on the first floor, you can go up into the broad gallery and look down in the vast halls and avenues, full of dazzle and glitter.

Dretful interestin’ them wuz to look at—­dretful.

And up here are the offices of Geoligists, Minin’ Engineers, and
Scientists, and a big library under charge of a librarian.

And here, too, is a laboratory where experiments are a-bein’ conducted all the time.

Wall, it wuz a sight—­a sight what we see there.

But the thing that impressed me the most in the hull buildin’, and I thought on’t all the time I wuz there, and thought on’t goin’ home, and waked up and thought on’t—­

It wuz a statute of woman named Justice—­a female big as life, made of solid silver from her head to her heels, and a-standin’ on a gold world—­

Jest as they do in the streets of the New Jerusalem.  Oh, my heart, think on’t!

Yes, it tickled me to a extraordinary degree, for sech a thing must mean sunthin’!  The world borne on the outspread wings of an eagle is under her feet, and under that is a foundation of solid gold.

First, the riches of the earth to the bottom; then the eagle Ambition, and wavin’ wings of power and conquest, carryin’ the hull round world, and then, above ’em all, Woman.

Yes, Justice in the form of woman stood jest where she ort to stand—­right on top of the world.

Justice and Woman has too long been crumpled down, and trod on.  But she has got on top now, and I believe will stay there for some time.

She holds a septer in her right hand, and in her left a pair of scales.

She holds her scales evenly balanced—­that is jest as it ort to be; they have always tipped up on the side of man (which has been the side of Might).

But now they are held even, and Right will determine how the notches stand, not Might.

I don’t believe that the Nation would make a statute of woman out of solid silver, and stand it on top of the world, if it didn’t lay out to give her sect a little mite of what she symbolizes.

They hain’t a-goin’ to make a silver woman and call it Justice, if they lay out to keep their idee of wimmen in the future, as they have in the past, the holler pewter image stuffed full of all sorts of injustices, and meannesses, and downtroddenness.

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They hain’t a-goin’ to stand the figger of woman and Justice on top of the world, and then let woman herself grope along in the deepest and darkest swamps and morasses of injustice and oppression, taxed without representation, condemned and hung by laws they have no voice in makin’.

Goin’ on in the future as in the past—­bringin’ children into the world, dearer to ’em than their heart’s blood, and then have their hearts torn out of ’em to see these children go to ruin before ’em through the foolishness and wickedness of laws they have no power to prevent—­nay, if they are rich, to see their loved ones helped to their doom by their own wealth; taxed to extend and perpetuate these means of death and Hell, and they with their hands bound by the chains of Slavery and old Custom.

But things are a-goin’ to be different.  I see it plain.  And I looked on that figger with big emotions in my heart, and my umbrell in my hand.

I knew the Nation wuzn’t a-goin’ to depicter woman with the hull earth at her feet, and then deny her the rights of the poorest dog that walks that globe.  No; that would be makin’ too light of her, and makin’ perfect fools of themselves.

They wouldn’t of their own accord put a septer in her hand, if they laid out to keep her where she is now—­under the rule of the lowest criminal landed on our shores, and beneath niggers, and Injuns, and a-settin’ on the same bench in a even row with idiots, lunaticks, and criminals.

No; I think better of ’em; they are a-goin’ to carry out the idee of that silver image in the gold of practical justice, I believe.

If I hadn’t thought so, I would a-histed up my umbrell and hit that septer of hern, and knocked that globe out from under her feet.

And them four mountaineers, a-guardin’ her with rifles in their hands, might have led me off to prison for it if they had wanted too—­I would a done it anyway.

But, as I sez, I hope for better things, and what give me the most courage of anything about it wuz that Justice had got her bandages off.

That is jest what I have wanted her to do for a long time.  I had advised Justice jest as if she had been my own Mother-in-law.  I had argued with her time and agin to take that bandage offen her eyes.

And when I see that she had took my advice, and meditated on what happiness and freedom wuz ahead for my sect, and realized plain that it wuz probable all my doin’s—­why, the proud and happy emotions that swelled my breast most broke off four buttons offen my bask waist.  And onbeknown to me I carried myself in that proud and stately way that Josiah asked me anxiously—­

“If I had got a crick in my back?”

I told him, “No, I hadn’t got any crick, but I had proud and lofty emotions on the inside of my soul that no man could give or take away.”

“Wall,” sez he, “you walked considerable like our old peacock when she wants to show off.”

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I pitied him for his short-sightedness, but unconsciously I did, I dare presoom to say, onbend a little in my proud gait.

And we proceeded onwards.

Wall, on our way home we heard a bystander a-speakin’ about the beautiful vistas, and the other one replied, and said how wonderful and beautiful he considered ’em.

And Josiah sez to me, “Where be them ‘Vistas,’ anyway?  I’ve hearn more talk about ’em than a little—­do they keep ’em in cases, or be they rolled up in rolls?  I want to see ’em, anyway,” and he turned and went to go into one of the big palaces.  Sez he, “He seemed to be a-pintin’ this way; we must have missed ’em the day we wuz here.”

But I took holt of his arm and drawed him back, and I pinted down the long, beautiful distance, the glorious view bounded by the snowy sculptured heights of palaces—­long, green, flower-gemmed avenues of beauty—­with the blue waters a-shinin’ calm behind towerin’ statutes of marvellous conception, and sez I—­

“Behold a vista!”

[Illustration:  “Behold a vista!”]

He put on his specs and looked clost, and sez he—­

“I don’t see nothin’ out of the common.”

“No,” sez I; “spiritual things are spiritually discerned.  The wind bloweth where it listeth,” sez I.

“Oh, bring up the Bible,” sez he; “there is a time for all things.”

He acted real pudgiky.

But I at last got him to understand what a vista wuz, and I told him that Mr. Burnham and the others who had charge of buildin’ this marvellous city took no end of pains to design these marvellous picters—­more lovely than wuz ever painted on canvas sence the world begun.

And sez I, as I looked round me once more, some as Moses did on Pisga’s height, “and viewed the landscape o’er”—­

Sez I, “I must thank the head one here—­I must thank Director-General Davis in my own name, and in the name of Jonesville, and the world, for gittin’ up this incomparable spectacle, the like of which will never be seen agin by livin’ eyes.”

And if you’ll believe it, I hadn’t hardly finished speakin’ when who should come towards us but General Davis himself.  I knew him in a minute, for his picter had been printed in papers as many as two or three times since the Fair begun—­it wuz a real good-lookin’ face, anyway, in a paper or out of it.

And I gathered up the folds of my cotton umbrell more gracefully in my left hand, and kinder shook out the drapery of my alpaca skirt, and wuz jest advancin’ to accost him, when Josiah laid holt of my arm and whispered in a sharp axent—­

“I won’t have it.  You hain’t a-goin’ to stop and visit with that man.”

I faced him with dignity and with some madness in my liniment, and sez I, “Why?”

Sez he, “Do you ask why?”

“Yes,” sez I, with that same noble, riz-up look on my eyebrow—­“why?”

“Wall,” sez he, a-lookin’ kinder meachin’, “I want sunthin’ to eat, and you’d probable talk a hour with him by the way you’ve praised up his doin’s here.”

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By this time General Davis wuz fur away.

And I sithed, when I thought on’t, what he’d lost by not receivin’ my eloquent and heartfelt thanks, and what I’d lost in not givin’ ’em.

I d’no as Josiah was jealous—­mebby he wuzn’t.  But General Davis is considerable handsome, and Josiah can’t bear to have me praise up any man, livin’ or dead.  Sometimes I have almost mistrusted that he didn’t like to have me praise up St. Paul too much, or David, or Job—­or he don’t seem to care so much about Job.  But, as I say, mebby it wuzn’t jealousy—­his appetite is good; mebby it was hunger.


Wall, this mornin’, on our way to the grounds, I sez to Josiah—­

“There is one thing that I want you to do the first thing to-day, and that is for you to see that good creeter, Senator Palmer.”

Sez I, “I jest happened to read this mornin’ how he’s takin’ up a subscription to help the Duke of Veragua, and we must see him and help the cause along.”  Sez I, “I can’t bear to think of Columbuses folks a-sufferin’ for things.”

Sez Josiah, “Let Columbuses folks nip in and work jest as I do, and they’ll git along.”

“They hain’t been brung up to it,” sez I; “I don’t spoze he ever ploughed a acre of land in his life, or sheared a sheep.  And I don’t spoze she knows what it is to pick a goose, or do a two weeks’ washin’.”

I’m sorry for ’em as I can be.  And to think that that villain of a Manager should have run away with that money while they wuz over here a-helpin’ their forefathers birthday!

Sez I, “It makes me feel like death.”

“It makes me feel,” sez Josiah gloomily, “that no knowin’ but the Old Harry will git into Ury while we are away.”

But I sez, “Don’t worry, Josiah—­Ury and Philura are pure gold.”

“Wall, dum it all, pure gold can be melted if the fire is hot enough.”

But I went back to the old subject—­“We must give sunthin’ to the cause; it will be expected of us, and it is right that we should.”

“But,” sez Josiah, with a gloomy and fierce look, “if I can git out of Chicago with a hull shirt on my back it’s all I expect to do.  I hain’t no money to spend on Dukes, and you’ll say so when we come to pay our bills.”

Sez I, “You needn’t send any money, Josiah Allen; but,” sez I, “we might send ’em a tub of butter and a kag of cowcumber pickles jest as well as not, and a ham, to help ’em along through the winter, and I’d gladly send him and her yarn enough for a good pair of socks and stockin’s.  She might knit ’em,” sez I, “or I would.  I’ll send him a pair of fringe mittens anyway,” sez I; “it hain’t noways likely that she knows how to make them.  They take intellect and practice to knit.”

And sez I, “I want you to be sure and see Senator Palmer without fail, and tell him to be sure and let us know when he sends things, so’s we can put in and add our two mites.”

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Sez he, “The money has gone.”

“Wall,” sez I, “I am a disap’inted creeter.  I wanted to do my part towards gittin’ them good, noble folks enough to live on till Spring.”

Sez Josiah (and mebby it wuz to git my attention off from the subject, which he felt wuz perilous to his pocket—­he is clost)—­sez he, “There is one man here, Samantha, that I’d give a cent to see.”

Sez I, “Who is it that you are willin’ to make such a extraordinary outlay for?”

“The Rager,” sez he.

“The Rager,” sez I dreamily; “who’s that?”

“Why, the Rager from India.  I spoze,” sez he, “that he is one of the raginest men that you ever see.  He took his name from that, most likely, and to intimidate his subjects.  Now, King or Emperor don’t strike the same breathless terror; but Rager—­why, jest the name is enough to make ’em behave.”

“Wall,” sez I, “if the Monarch of Ingy is here I must see him, and git him not to burn any more widders with their dead pardners.”  Sez I, “It’s a clear waste of widders, besides bein’ wicked as wicked can be.  Widders is handy,” sez I, “now to keep boardin’-housen, or to go round as agents.  Old maids hain’t nothin’ by the side of ’em, and they look so sort o’ respectable behind their black veils, and then they are needed so for the widdower supply—­and that market is always full.”  Sez I, “I don’t want ’em wasted, and I want the wickedness to be stopped.

“And then to insist on marryin’ so many wimmen.  I’d love to labor with him, and convince him that one’s enough.”

“It seems to me,” sez Josiah, “that I could make him know that one’s enough.  It seems as if any married man might.  Heaven knows, it seems so!” sez he.

I didn’t like his axent.  There seemed to be some iron in it, but I wouldn’t dane to parley.

“And then,” sez I, “their makin’ their wimmen wear veils all the time.  What a foolish habit!  What’s the use on’t?  Smotherin’ ’em half to death, and wearin’ out their veils for nothin’.

“And then I’d make him educate ’em—­gin ’em a chance,” sez I; “but whether he gives it or not the bell of Freedom is a-echoin’ clear from Wyomin’ to Ingy, and it sounds clear under them veils.  They will be throwed off whether he is willin’ or not, and I’d love to tell him so.”

Sez Josiah, “I guess it will be as the Rager sez.”

“No,” sez I solemnly; “it will be as the Lord sez, and He is callin’ to wimmen all over the earth, and they are answerin’ the call.”

But we hearn afterwards that Josiah had got it wrong—­it wuz Ragah—­R-a-g-a-h—­instead of Rager—­and he wuz one of the most sensiblest fellers that ever stepped on our shores in royal shoes.  He paid his own bills, wuz modest, and intelligent, wanted to git information instead of idolatry from the American people.  He didn’t want no ball, no bowin’ and backin’ off—­no escort.  No chance at all here for the Ward McAllisters to show off, and act.

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He acted like a good sensible American man, some as our son Thomas Jefferson would act if he should go over to his neighborhood on business.

He wanted to see for himself the life of the Americans, the way the common people lived—­he wanted to git information to help his own people.

And he wanted to see Edison the most of all.  That in itself would make him congenial to me.  I myself think of Edison side by side with Christopher Columbus, and I guess the high chair he sets on up in my mind, with his lap full of his marvellous discoveries, is a little higher than Columbuses high chair.

Oh, how congenial the Ragah of Kahurthalia would be!  How I wish we could have visited together!  But it wuzn’t to be, for Josiah said that he’d gone the night before, so we wended on.

Wall, we hadn’t more than got into the grounds this mornin’ when Josiah hearn a bystander a-standin’ near tell another one about the Ferris Wheel.

“Why,” sez he, “you jest git into one of them cars, and you are carried up so that it seems as if you can see the hull world at your feet.”

Josiah turned right round in his tracts, and sez he, “Where can I find that wheel?”

And the man sez, “On the Midway Plaisance.”

And Josiah sez, “Where is that?”

And the man pinted out the nearest way, and nothin’ to do but what we must set out to find that wheel, and go up in one.

I counselled caution and delay, but to no effect.  That wheel had got to be found to once, and both on us took up in it.

I dreaded the job.

Wall, the Plaisance begins not fur back of the Woman’s Buildin’.  It is a strip of land about six hundred feet wide and a mild in length, connecting Washington Park with Jackson Park, where Columbus has his doin’s, and it comes out at the Fair Ground right behind the Woman’s Buildin’.

Josiah jest wanted to rush along, clamorin’ for the wheel, and not lookin’ for nothin’ on either side till he found it.

But I wuz firm in this as a rock, that if I went at all I would go megum actin’ and quiet, and look at everything we come to.

And wuzn’t there enough to look at jest in the street?  Folks of all nations under the earth.  They seemed like the leaves of a forest, or the sands of the sea, if them sands and leaves wuz turned into men, wimmen, and children—­high hats, bunnets, umbrells, fans, canes, parasols, turbans, long robes, and short ones, gay ones, bright ones, feathers, sedan chairs, bijous, rollin’ chairs, Shacks—­or that is how Josiah pronounced it.  I told him that they wuz spelt S-h-e-i-k-s.

But he sez that you could tell that they wuz Shacks by the looks on ’em.

Truly it wuz a sight—­a sight what we see in that street.  Why, it wuz like payin’ out some thousand dollars, and with two trunks, and onmeasured fatigue, spend years and years travellin’ over the world.

Why, we seemed to be a-journeyin’ through foreign countries, a-carryin’ the thought with us that we took our breakfast in our own hum, and that we should sleep there that night, but for all that we wuz in Turkey, and Japan, and Dahomey, and Lapland, etc., etc., etc.

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Wall, the first thing we come to as we begun on the right side—­and anybody with my solid principles wouldn’t begin on any other side but the sheep’s side—­we wouldn’t begin on the goats—­no, indeed!

The first thing we come to wuz the Match Company.  Here you could see everything about makin’ matches, and when you consider how hard it would be to go back to the old way of strikin’ light with a flint, and traipsin’ off to the neighbors to borrow a few coals on a January mornin’, you will know how interestin’ that exhibit wuz.

And then come the International Dress and Costume Company—­all the different countries of the globe show their home life and costumes.

And I sez to Josiah, “If this Fair had been put off ten years, or even five, I believe the American wimmen would show a costume less adapted to squeezin’ the life out of ’em, and scrapin’ up all the filth and disease in the streets, and rakin’ it hum.”

And Josiah sez, “Oh, do come along! we shan’t git to that wheel to-day if you dally so, and begin to talk about wimmen and their doin’s.”

Then come the Workin’ Man’s Home in Philadelphia.  Then the Libby Glass Works, and when Josiah discovered it wuz free, he willin’ly accedded to my request to walk in and look round.  He told me from the first on’t that he wuzn’t goin’ to pay out a cent of money there.  Sez he, “We can see enough—­Heaven knows we can—­without payin’ for any sights.”

Wall, here we see all kinds of American glass manufactured, from goblets and butter-dishes up to glass draperies, dresses, laces, neckties, and all sorts of orniments.

Josiah sez, “Samantha, oh, how I would like a glass necktie—­it would be so uneek; how I could show off to Deacon Gowdy!”

“Wall,” sez I, “we can try to buy one, and at the same time I will order a glass polenay.”

“Oh, no,” sez he, “it would be too resky; glass is so brittle it would make you restive.”

And he tried to hurry me along, but I would look round a little; and we see there right before our face and eyes a man take a long tube and dip it into melted glass, and blow out cups and flower-vases, and trim ’em all off with flowers of glass of all colors, and sech cut glass as we see there I never see before; why, one little piece takes a man a month to cut it out into its diamond glitter.

And I would stop to see that glass dress all finished off for the Princess Eulaly.  There it wuz in plain sight in Mr. Libby’s factory draped on a wax figger of Eulaly.  Mr. Libby made it and presented it to the Princess.

It took ten million feet of glass thread; it wuz wove into twelve yards of cloth, and sent to a dressmaker in New York, who fitted it to the Princess on her last days in the city.  It is low neck and short sleeves, and has a row of glass fringe round the bottom, and soft glass ruching round the neck and sleeves.  It looks some like pure white satin, and some different.  It is as beautiful as any dress ever could be, and Eulaly will look real sweet in it.  She’ll be sorry to not have me see her in it, I hain’t a doubt.

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[Illustration:  It took ten million feet of glass thread, and Eulaly will look real sweet in it.]

And oh, how I did wish, as I looked at it, that her ancestor could have seen it, and meditated how pert and forwards the land wuz that he’d discovered!

Glass dresses—­the idee!

But Josiah looked kinder oneasy all the time that I wuz a-lookin’ at it; he wuz afraid of what thoughts I might be entertainin’ in my mind onbeknown to him, and he hurried me onwards.

But the very next place we come to be wuz still more anxious to proceed rapidly, for this wuz the Irish Village, where native wimmen make the famous Irish laces.

It wuz a perfect Irish village, lackin’ the dirt, and broken winders, and the neighborly pigs, and etc.

At one end of it is the exact reproduction of the ancient castle Donegal, famed in song and story.  In the rooms of this castle the lace wuz exhibited—­beautiful laces as I ever see, or want to see, and piles and piles of it, and of every beautiful pattern.

I did hanker for some of it to trim a night-cap.  As I told Josiah, “I wouldn’t give a cent for any of the white lace dresses, not if I had to wear ’em, or white lace cloaks.”  Sez I, “I’d feel like a fool a-goin’ to meetin’ or to the store to carry off butter with a white lace dress on, or a white lace mantilly, but I would love dearly to own some of that narrer lace for a night-cap border.”

But his anxiety wuz extreme to go on that very instant.

He wanted to see the Blarney stun on top of the tower of the castle.  It is a stun about as big as Josiah’s hat, let down below the floor, so’s you have to stoop way down to even see it, let alone kissin’ it.

Josiah wuz very anxious to kiss it, but I frowned on the needless expense.

Sez I, “Men don’t need to kiss it; Blarney is born in ’em, as you may say, and is nateral nater to ’em.”

Sez he, “But it is so stylish to embrace it, Samantha, and it only costs ten cents.”

[Illustration:  “But it is so stylish, Samantha, and it only costs ten cents.”]

“But,” I sez firmly, “you hain’t a-goin’ to kiss no chunk of Chicago stun, Josiah Allen, or pay out your money for demeanin’ yourself.”

Sez I, “The original Blarney stun is right there in its place in the tower of Blarney Castle in Ireland.  It hain’t been touched, and couldn’t be.”

“I don’t believe that Lady Aberdeen would allow no sech works to go on,” sez he.

Sez I, “Lady Aberdeen can’t help herself.  How can a minister keep the hull of his congregation from lyin’?”

Sez I, “She is one of the nicest wimmen in the world—­one of the few noble ones that reach down from high places, and lift up the lowly, and help the world.  I don’t spoze she knows about the Blarney stun.  And don’t you go to tellin’ her,” sez I severely, “and hurt her feelin’s.”

Sez he, in a morbid tone, “We hain’t been in the habit of visitin’ back and forth, and probable if we wuz, you’d tell her before I could if you got a chance.  Wimmen have sech long tongues.”

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He wuz mad, as I could see, about my breakin’ up his fashionable performance with that Chicago rock, but I didn’t care.

I merely sez, “If you want to do anything to remember the place, you can buy me a yard and a half of linen lace to trim that night-cap, or a under-clothe, Josiah.”  But he acted agitated here, and sez he, “I presoom that it is cotton lace.”

Sez I, “I wish you’d be megum, Josiah Allen.  This lace is perfectly beautiful, and it is jest what they say it is.

“And what a noble thing it wuz,” sez I, “for Lady Aberdeen to do to gin these poor Irish lace-makers a start that mebby will lift ’em right up into prosperity; and spozen,” sez I, “that you buy me a yard or two?”

But he fairly tore me away from the spot.  He acted fearful agitated.

But alas! for him, he found the next place we entered also exceedin’ly full of dangers to his pocket-book, for this wuz a Japanese Bazaar, where every kind of queer, beautiful manufactures can be bought—­

[Illustration:  He found the next place we entered full of dangers to his pocket-book.]

Rugs, bronzes, lacquer work, bamboo work, fans, screens, more tea-cups than you ever see before, and little silk napkins of all colors, where you can have your name wove right in it before your eyes, and etcetry, etcetry.  Here also the peculiar fire department of the Japanese is kept.

The next large place is occupied by the Javanese; this concession and the one right acrost the road south of it is called the “Dutch Settlement,” because the villages wuz got up by a lot of Dutch merchants.

But the people are from the Figi, Philippine, and Solomon Islands, Samoa, Java, Borneo, New Zealand, and the Polnesian Archipelagoes.

Jest think on’t! there Josiah Allen and I wuz a-travellin’ way off to places too fur to be reached only by our strainin’ fancy—­places that we never expected or drempt that we could see with our mortal eyes only in a gography.

Here I wuz a-walkin’ right through their country villages with my faithful pardner by my side, and my old cotton umbrell in my hand, a-seemin’ to anchor me to the present while I floated off into strange realms.

All these different countries show their native industries.

We went into the Japanese Village, under a high arch, all fixed off with towers, and wreaths, and swords—­dretful ornimental.

There wuz more than a hundred natives here.  Their housen are back in the inclosure, and their work-shops in front, and in these shops and porticos are carried on right before your eyes every trade known in Japan, and jest as they do it at home—­carvers, carpenters, spinners, weavers, dyers, musicians, etc., etc.  The colorin’ they do is a sight to see, and takes almost a lifetime to learn.

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The housen of this village are mostly made of bamboo—­not a nail used in the place.  Why, sometimes one hull side of their housen would be made of a mat of braided bamboo.  Bamboo is used by them for food, shelter, war implements, medicine, musical instruments, and everything else.  Their housen wuz made in Japan, and brung over here and set up by native workmen.  They have thatched ruffs and kinder open-work sides, dretful curious-lookin’, and on the wide porticos of these housen little native wimmen set and embroider, and wind skeins of gay-colored cotton, and play with their little brown black-eyed babies.

The costumes of the Japanese look dretful curious to us; their loose gay-colored robes and turbans, and sandals, etc., look jest as strange as Josiah’s pantaloons and hat, and my bask waist duz to them, I spoze.

They’re a pleasant little brown people, always polite—­that is learnt ’em as regular as any other lesson.  Then there is another thing that our civilized race could learn of the heathen ones.

Missionaries that we send out to teach the heathen let their own children sass ’em and run over ’em.  That is the reason that they act so sassy when they’re growed up.  Politeness ort to be learnt young, even if it has to be stomped in with spanks.

The Japanese are a child-like people easily pleased, easily grieved—­laughin’ and cryin’ jest like children.

They work all day, not fast enough to hurt ’em, and at nightfall they go out and play all sorts of native games.

That’s a good idee.  I wish that Jonesvillians would foller it.  You’d much better be shootin’ arrers from blowpipes than to blow round and jaw your household.  And you’d much better be runnin’ a foot race than runnin’ your neighbors.

They’ve got a theatre where they perform their native dances and plays, and one man sets behind a curtain and duz all the conversation for all the actors.  I spoze he changes his voice some for the different folks.

Wall, I led Josiah off towards the church, where all the articles of furniture is a big bamboo chair, where the priest sets and meditates when he thinks his people needs his thought.

I d’no but it helps ’em some, if he thinks hard enough—­thoughts are dretful curious things, anyway.

Josiah and I took considerable comfort a-wanderin’ round and seein’ all we could, and noticin’ how kind o’ turned round things wuz from Jonesville idees.

Now, they had some queer-lookin’ little store-housen, and for all the world they opened at the top instead of the sides, to keep the snakes out of the rice in their native land, so they said.

Josiah wuz jest crazy to have one made like it.

“Why,” sez he, “think of the safety on’t, Samantha!  Who’d ever think of goin’ into a corn house on top if they wanted to steal some corn?”

But I sez, “Foreign customs have got to be adopted with megumness, Josiah Allen.”  Sez I, “With your rumatiz, how would you climb up on’t a dozen times a day?”

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He hadn’t thought of that, and he gin up the idee.

Then the ideal figger of the Japanese wimmen is narrer shoulders and big waist.

And though I hailed the big waist joyfully, I drawed the line at the narrer shoulders.

They have long poles about their housen, with holes bored in ’em, through which the wind blows with a mournful sort of a voice, and they think that that noise skairs away evil sperits.

When they come here each of their little verandas had a cage with a sacred bird in it to coax the good sperits; they all died off, and now they’ve got some pigens for ’em, and made ’em think that they wuz sacred birds.

And Josiah, as he see ’em, instinctively sez, “Dum ’em, I’d ruther have the evil sperits themselves round than them pigens, any time.”

He hates ’em, and I spoze they do pull up seeds considerable.

Them Japanese wimmen are dretful cheerful-lookin’, and Josiah and I talked about it considerable.

Sez Josiah, “It’s queer when, accordin’ to their belief, a man’s horse can go to Heaven, but their wives can’t; but the minute they leave this world another celestial wife meets him, and he and his earth wife parts forever.  It is queer,” sez he, “how under them circumstances that the wimmen can look so happy.”

And I sez, “It can’t be that they hail anhialation as a welcome rest from married life, can it?”

Josiah acted mad, and sez he, “I’d be a fool if I wuz in your place!”

And bein’ kinder mad, he snapped out, “Them wimmen don’t look as if they knew much more than monkeys; compared to American wimmen, it’s a sight.”

But I sez, “You can’t always tell by looks, Josiah Allen.”  Sez I, “As small as they be, they’ve showed some of the greatest qualities since they’ve been here—­Constancy, Fidelity, Love.”

Now one of them females lost a baby while she wuz here.  Did she act as some of our fashionable American wimmen do?  No.  They own twenty Saritoga trunks, and wear their entire contents, but they do, as is well known, commit crime to evade the cares of motherhood.

But this little woman right here in Chicago, she jest laid down broken-hearted and died because her baby died.  Her true heart broke.

Little and humbly, no doubt, and not many clothes on, but from a upper view I wonder if her soul don’t look better than the civilized, fashionably dressed murderess?

There wuz theatres here with dancin’ girls goin’ as fur ahead, they said, of Louie Fuller and Carmenciti as them two go ahead of Josiah and Deacon Sypher as skirt-dancers.

I guess that Josiah Allen would have gone in, regardless of price, to see this sight, so onbecomin’ to a deacon and a grandfather, but I broke it up at the first hint he gin.  Sez I, “What would your pasture say to your ondertakin’ such a enterprise?  What would be the opinion of Jonesville?”

“Dum it all,” sez he; “David danced before the Ark.”

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“Wall,” sez I, “I hain’t seen no ark, and I hain’t seen no David.”  Sez I reasonably, “I wouldn’t object to your seein’ David dance if he wuz here and I wouldn’t object to your seein’ the Ark.”

“Oh, wall, have your own way,” sez he, and we wandered into the German Village.

[Illustration:  “Oh, wall, have your own way,” sez he, and we wandered into the German Village.]

The German Village represents housen in the upper Bavarian Mountains.

There are thirty-six different buildin’s.  Inside the village is a Country Fair, the German Concert Garden, a Water Tower, and two Restaurants, Tyrolese dancers, Beer Hall, etc.

In the centre is a 16th century castle, with moat round it, and palisades.

Josiah wuz all took up with this, and said “how he would love to have a moat round our house.”  Sez he, “Jest let some folks that I know try to git in, wouldn’t I jest hist up the drawbridge and drop ’em outside?”

And I sez, “Heaven knows, Josiah, that sech a thing would be convenient ofttimes, but,” sez I, “anxieties and annoyances have a way of swimmin’ moats, you can’t keep ’em out.”

But he said “that he believed that he and Ury could dig a moat, and rig up a drawbridge.”  And to git his mind off on’t I hurried him on.

Inside the castle is a dretful war-like-lookin’ group of iron men, all dressed up in full uniform, and there wuz all kinds of weepons and armor of Germany.

The Town Hall of this village is a museum.

In the village market-place is sold all kinds of German goods.  Two bands of music pipe up, and everybody is a-talkin’ German.  It made it considerable lively to look at, but not so edifyin’ to us as if we knew a word they said.

And then come the Street of Cairo, a exact representation of one of the most picturesque streets in old Cairo, with queer-lookin’ kinder square housen, and some of the winders stood open, through which we got lovely views of a inner court, with green shrubs, and flowers, and fountains.

On both sides of this street are dance halls, mosques, and shops filled with manufactures from Arabia and the Soudan.  In the Museum are many curious curiosities from Cairo and Alexandria.

And the street is filled with dogs, and donkeys, and children and fortune-tellers, and dromedaries, and sedan chairs, with their bearers, and camels, and birds, and wimmen with long veils on coverin’ most of their faces, jest their eyes a-peerin’ out as if they would love to git acquainted with the strange Eastern world, where wimmen walk with faces uncovered, and swung out into effort and achievement.

I guess they wuz real good-lookin’.  I know that the men with their turbans and long robes looked quite well, though odd.  In the shops wuz the most beautiful jewelry and precious stuns, and queer-lookin’ but magnificent silk goods, and cotton, and lamps, and leather goods, and weepons, etc., etc., etc.

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Wall, right there, as we wuz a-wanderin’ through that street, from the handsomest of the residences streamed forth a bridal procession.  The bride wuz dressed in gorgeous array of the beautiful fabrics of the East.

And the bridegroom, with a train of haughty-lookin’ Arabs follerin’ him, all swept down the streets towards the Mosque, with music a-soundin’ out, and flowers a-bein’ throwed at ’em, and boys a-yellin’, and dogs a-barkin’, etc., etc.

I drew my pardner out of the way, for he stood open-mouthed with admiration a-starin’ at the bride, and almost rooted to the spot.

[Illustration:  A-starin’ at the bride.]

But I drawed him back, and sez I, “If you’ve got to be killed here,
Josiah Allen, I don’t want you killed by a Arab.”

And he sez, “I d’no but I’d jest as lieves be killed by a Arab as a Turkey.

“But,” sez he, “you tend to yourself, and I’ll tend to myself.  I wuz jest a-studyin’ human nater, Samantha.”

And that wuz all the thanks I got for rescuin’ him.

It wuz jest as interestin’ to walk through that village as it would be to go to Egypt, and more so—­for we felt considerable safer right under Uncle Sam’s right arm, as it wuz—­for here we wuz way off in Africa, amongst their minarets and shops, and tents, men, wimmen, and children in their strange garbs, dancin’, playin’ music, cookin’ and servin’ their food, jest as though they wuz to hum, and we wuz neighborin’ with ’em, jest as nateral as we neighbor to hum with Sister Henzy or she that wuz Submit Tewksbury.

Then there wuz some native Arabs with ’em who wuz a-eatin’ scorpions, and a-luggin’ round snakes, and a-cuttin’ and piercin’ themselves with wicked-lookin’ weepons, and eatin’ glass; I wuz glad enough to git out of there.  I hate daggers, and abominate snakes, and always did.

And then I knew what a case Josiah Allen is to imitate and foller new-fangled idees, and I didn’t want my new glass butter dish and cream pitcher to fall a victim to his experiments.

Wall, next come Algeria and Tunis, and then Tunicks showed jest how they lived and moved in their own Barbery’s state.

Their housen are beautiful, truly Oriental—­white, with decorations of pale green, blue, and vermilion.

One is a theatre that will hold 600 folks.

Then comes the panorama of the big volcano Kilauana.

They couldn’t bring the volcano with ’em, as volcanoes can’t be histed round and lifted up on camels, or packed with sawdust, specially when they’re twenty-seven milds acrost.

So they brung this great picter of it.  I spoze it is a sight to see it.

But Josiah felt that he couldn’t afford to go in and see the sight, and he sez, “It is only a hole with some fire and ashes comin’ out of the top of it.”

I sez ironically, “Some like our leech barrel, hain’t it, with a few cinders on top?”

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“Why, yes; sunthin’ like that,” sez he.  “It wouldn’t pay to throw away money on ashes and fire that we can see any day to hum.”

I didn’t argue with him, for I never took to volcanoes much—­I never loved to git intimate with ’em.  But it wuz a sight to behold, so Miss Plank said—­she went in to see it.  She said, “It took her breath away the sight on’t, but she’s got it back agin (the breath); she talked real diffuse about it.  But to resoom.  The Chinese Village wuz jest like goin’ through China or bein’ dropped down onbeknown to you into a China village.

Two hundred Chinamen are here by a special dispensation of Uncle Sam.

And next to China is the Captive Balloon.  I had wondered a sight what that meant.

Josiah thought that somebody had catched a young balloon, and wuz bringin’ it up by hand, but I knew better than that.  I knew that balloons didn’t grow indigenious.

And it wuz jest as I’d mistrusted—­they had a big balloon here all tied up ready to start off at a minute’s notice.

You jest paid your money, and you could go on a trip up in it through the blue fields of air.  I told Josiah “that it wouldn’t be but a few years before folks would ride round in ’em jest as common as they do in wagons.”  Sez I, “Mebby we shall have a couple of our own stanchled up in our own barn.”

“You mean tied up,” sez he, and I do spoze I did mean that.

But now to look up at the great deep overhead, and consider the vastness of space, and consider the smallness of the ropes a-holdin’ the balloon down, I said to myself, “Mebby it wuz jest as well not to tackle the job of ridin’ out in it that day.”

Jest as I wuz a-meditatin’ this Josiah spoke up, and sez, “I won’t pay out no two dollars apiece to ride in it.”

And I sez, “I kinder want to go up in it, and I kinder don’t want to.”

And he sez, “That is jest like wimmen—­whifflin’, onstabled, weak-livered.”

Sez I, “I believe you’re afraid to go up in it.”

“Afraid!” sez he; “I wouldn’t be afraid a mite if it broke loose and sailed off free into space.”

“Why don’t you try it, then?” I urged.  “Wall,” he sez, a-lookin’ round as if mebby he could find some excuse a-layin’ round on the ground, or sailin’ round in the air, “if I wuz,” sez he—­“if I had another vest on.  I hain’t dressed up exactly as I’d want to be to go a-balloon ridin’.

“And then,” sez he, a-brightenin’ up, “I don’t want to skair you.  You’d most probable be skairt into a fit if it should break loose and start off independent into space.  And it would take away all my enjoyment of such a pleasure excursion to see you a-layin’ on the earth in a fit.”

Sez I, “It hain’t vests or affection that holds you back, Josiah Allen—­it’s fear.”

“Fear!” sez he; “I don’t know the meanin’ of that word only from what I’ve read about it in the dictionary.  Men don’t know what it is to be afraid, and that is why,” sez he, “that I’ve always been so anxious to have wimmen keep in her own spear, where men could watch over her, humble, domestic, grateful.

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“Nater plotted it so,” sez he; “nater designs the male of creation to branch out, to venter, to labor, to dare, while the female stays to hum and tends to her children and the housework.”  Sez he, “In all the works of nater the females stay to hum, and the males soar out free.

“It is a sweet and solemn truth,” sez he, “and female wimmen ort to lay it to heart.  In these latter days,” sez he, “too many females are a-risin’ up, and vainly a-tryin’ to kick aginst this great law.  But they can’t knock it over,” sez he—­“the female foot hain’t strong enough.”

He wuz a-goin’ on in this remarkably eloquent way on his congenial theme, but I kinder drawed him in by remindin’ him of Miss Sheldon’s tent we see in the Transportation Buildin’—­the one she used in her lonely journeyin’ a-explorin’ the Dark Continent.  Sez I, “There is a woman that has kinder branched out.”

“Yes,” sez he, “but men had to carry her.”  Sez he, “Samantha, the Lord designed it that females should stay to hum and tend to their babies, and wash the dishes.  And when you go aginst that idee you are goin’ aginst the everlastin’ forces of nater.  Nater has always had laws sot and immovable, and always will have ’em, and a passel of wimmen managers or lecturers hain’t a-goin’ to turn ’em round.

“Nater made wimmen and sot ’em apart for domestic duties—­some of which I have enumerated,” sez he.

“Whilst the males, from creation down, have been left free to skirmish round and git a livin’ for themselves and the females secreted in the holy privacy of the hum life.”

Jest as he reached this climax we come in front of the Ostrich Farm, where thirty of the long-legged, humbly creeters are kept, and we hearn the keeper a-describin’ the habits of the ostriches to some folks that stood round him.

And Josiah, feelin’ dretful good-natered and kinder patronizin’ towards wimmen, and thinkin’ that he wuz a-goin’ to be strengthened in his talk by what the man wuz a-sayin’, sez to me in a dretful, overbearin’, patronizin’ way, and some with the air as if he owned a few of the ostriches, and me, too, he kinder stood up straight and crooked his forefinger and bagoned to me.

“Samantha,” sez he, “draw near and hear these interestin’ remarks.  I always love,” sez he, “to have females hear about the works of nater.  It has a tendency,” sez he, “to keep her in her place.”

Sez the man as we drew near, a-goin’ on with his remarks—­he wuz addressin’ some big man—­but we hearn him say, sez he—­

“The ostrich lays about a dozen and a half eggs in the layin’ season—­one every other day—­and then she sets on the eggs about six hours out of the twenty-four, the male bird takin’ her place for eighteen hours to her six.

“The male bird, as you see, stays to hum and sets on the eggs three times as long as she duz, and takes the entire care of the young ostriches, while the female roams round free, as you may say.”

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I turned round and sez to Josiah, “How interestin’ the works of Nater are, Josiah Allen.  How it puts woman in her proper spear, and men, too!”

He looked real meachin’ for most a minute, and then a look of madness and dark revenge come over his liniment.  A tall, humbly male bird stood nigh him, as tall agin most as he wuz.

And as I looked at Josiah he muttered, “I’ll learn him—­I’ll learn the cussed fool to keep in his own spear.”

I laid holt of his vest, and sez I, “What, do you mean, Josiah Allen, by them dark threats?  Tell me instantly,” sez I, for I feared the worst.

“Seein’ this dum fool is so willin’ to take work on him that don’t belong for males to do, I’ll give him a job at it.  I’ll see if I can’t ride some of the consarned foolishness out of him.”

Sez I, “Be calm, Josiah; don’t throw away your own precious life through madness and revenge.  The ostrich hain’t to blame, he’s only actin’ out Nater.”

“Nater!” sez Josiah scornfully—­“Nater for males to stay to hum and set on eggs, and hatch ’em, and brood young ones?  Don’t talk to me!”

He wuz almost by the side of himself.

And in spite of my almost frenzied appeals to restrain him, he lanched upon him.

You could ride ’em by payin’ so much, and money seemed to Josiah like so much water then, so wild with wrath and revenge wuz he.

I see he would go, and I reached my hand up, and sez I, “Dear Josiah, farewell!”

But he only nodded to me, and I hearn him murmurin’ darkly—­

“Seein’ he’s so dum accommodatin’ that he’s took wimmen’s work on him that they ort to do themselves, I’ll give him a pull that will be apt to teach him his own place.”

[Illustration:  “I’ll give him a pull that will be apt to teach him his own place.”]

And he started off at a fearful rate; round and round that inclosure they went, Josiah layin’ his cane over the sides of the bird, and the keeper a-yellin’ at him that he’d be killed.

And when they come round by us the first time I heard him a-aposthrofizin’ the bird—­

“Don’t you want to set on some more eggs? don’t you want to brood a spell?” and then he would kick him, and the ostrich would jump, and leap, and rare round.  But the third time he come round I see a change—­I see deadly fear depictered in his mean, and sez he wildly—­

“Samantha, save me! save me!  I am lost!” sez he.

I wuz now in tears, and I sez wildly—­

“I will save that dear man, or perish!” and I wuz jest a-rushin’ into the inclosure when they come a-tearin’ round for the fourth time, and jest a little ways from us the ostrich give a wild yell and leap, and Josiah wuz thrown almost onto our feet.

As the keeper rushed in to pick him up, we see he held a feather in his hand.

He thought it wuz tore out by excitement, and Josiah clinched the feathers to save himself.

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But Josiah owned up to me afterwards that he gin up that he wuz a-goin’ to be killed, and that his last thought wuz as he swooned away—­wuz how much ostrich feathers cost, and how sweet it would be to give me a last gift of dyin’ love, by pickin’ a feather off for nothin’.

I groaned and sithed when he told me, and sez I, “What won’t you do next, Josiah Allen?”

But this wuz hereafter, and to pick up the thread of my story agin.

Wall, Josiah wuzn’t killed, he wuz only stunted, and he soon recovered his conscientousness.

And before half a hour passed away he wuz a-talkin’ as pert as you please, a-boastin’ of how he would tell it in Jonesville.  Sez he, “I wonder what Deacon Henzy will say when I tell him that I rode a bird while I wuz here?” Sez he, “He never rode a crow or a sparrer.”

“Nor you, nuther,” sez I; “how could you ride a crow?”

“Wall,” sez he, “I’ve rid a ostrich, and the news will cause great excitement in Jonesville, and probable up as fur as Zoar and Loontown.”

Then come Solomon’s Temple.  Josiah and I both felt that that wuz a good scriptural sight, worthy of a deacon and a deaconess, for some say that that is the proper way to address a deacon’s wife.

But come to find out, the Temple wuz inside of a house, and you had to pay to go in.

And I sez, “Less pay, Josiah Allen, and go in.”

And he said that “it wuzn’t scriptural.  Solomon’s Temple in Bible times never had a house built round it.  And he wuzn’t a-goin’ to encourage folks to go on and build meetin’-housen inside of other housen.

“Why,” sez he, “if that idee is encouraged, they will be for buildin’ a house round the Jonesville meetin’-house, and we will have to pay to go in.”

Sez he, “Less show our colors for the right, Samantha.”

The argument wuz a middlin’ good one, though I felt that there wuzn’t no danger.

But he went on ahead, and I had to foller on after him, like two old ducks goin’ to water.

I guess that if it had been free he wouldn’t have insisted on our showin’ our colors.

Wall, the end of the Plaisance wuz devoted to soldiers, military displays, and camps and drill grounds.

Quite a spacious place, as big as two city blocks, and it must have been very interestin’ for war-like people to look on and see ’em in their handsome uniforms, a-marchin’, and a-counter-marchin’, and a-haltin’, and a-presentin’ arms, etc., etc.

And there wuz gardens and orange groves nigh by, too, where you could see ripe oranges and green ones hangin’ to the same trees—­dretful interestin’ sight.

Wall, if you would turn back agin and go towards the Fair ground on the south side, a Hungarian Orpheum is seen first.  This is a dance hall, theatre, and restaurant all combined.

Folks can dance here all the time from mornin’ till night, if they want to, but we didn’t want to dance—­no, indeed! nor see it; our legs wuz too wore out, and so wuz our eyes, so we wended on to the Lapland Village.

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The main buildin’ in this is a hundred feet long, with a square tower in the centre.

Above the main entrance is a large paintin’ representin’ a scene in Lapland.  Inside the inclosure are the huts of a Lapland Village, with the Laps all there to work at their own work.

What a marvellous change for them!  Transported from a country where there is eight months of total darkness, and four months of twilight or midnight sun, and so cold that no instrument has ever been invented to tell how cold it is.

When the frozen seas and ice and snow is all they can see from birth till death.

I wonder what they think of the change to this dazzlin’ daylight, and the grandeur and bloom of 1893!

But still they seem to weather it out a considerable time in their own icy home.

King Bull, who is in Chicago, is one hundred and twelve years old, and is a five great-grandpa.

And most of the five generations of children is with him here.  But marryin’ as they do at ten or twelve, they can be grandpa a good many times in a hundred years, as well as not.

In this village is their housen, their earth huts, their tepees, orniments, reindeers, dogs, sledges, fur clothin’, boats, fishin’ tackle, etc., etc.

As queer a sight as I ever see, and here it wuz agin, my Josiah and me a-journeyin’ way off in Lapland—­the idee!

[Illustration:  My Josiah and me a-journeyin’ way off in Lapland—­the idee!]

The Dahomey Village come next.  This shows the homes and customs of that country where the wimmen do all the fightin’.

I sez to Josiah, “What a curiosity that wuz!”

And he sez, “I d’no about the curiosity on’t.  It don’t seem so to me; some wimmen fight with their fists,” sez he, “and some with their tongues.”

That wuz his mean, onderhanded way of talkin’.

But these wimmen are about as humbly as they make wimmen anywhere.

And as for clothes, they are about as poor on’t for ’em as anybody I see to the Fair.  They had on jest as few as they could.

They say their war dances is a sight to see.  But I didn’t let Josiah look on any dancin’ or anything of the kind that I could help.  I did not forget what I mistrusted he sometimes lost sight on, when he’s on towers—­that he wuz a deacon and a grandpa.

He acted kinder longin’ to the last.  He said “he spozed it wuz a sight to see ’em dance and beat their tom-toms.”

And I sez, “I don’t want to see no children beat; and,” sez I, “what did Tom do to deserve beatin’?”

Sez he, “I meant their drums, and the stuns they roll round in their husky skin bags, and cymbals,” sez he.

“Then,” sez I, “why didn’t you say so?”

Sez he, “I spoze to see them humbly creeters with rings in their noses, a-dancin’ and contortin’ their bodies, and twistin’ ’em round, is a sight.  And I spoze the noises is as deafenin’ as it would be for all the Jonesville meetin’-house to knock all the tin pans and bilers they could git holt of together, and yell.

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“And they don’t wear nothin’ but some feathers,” sez he.

“Wall,” sez I, “I don’t want to see no sech sight, and I don’t want you to.”

And dretful visions, as I said it, rolled through my mind of the awful day it would be for Jonesville, if Josiah Allen should carry home any such wild idees, and git the other old Jonesvillians stirred up in it.

To see him, and Deacon Henzy, and Deacon Bobbet, and the rest dressed up in a few feathers a-jumpin’ round, and a-beatin’ tin-pans, and a-contortin’ their old frames, would, I thought, be the finishin’ touch to me.  I had stood lots of his experimentin’ and branchin’s out into new idees, but I felt that I could not brook this, so I would not heed his desire to stop.  I made him move onwards.

And then come Austria.  There is thirty-six buildin’s here, and they show Austrian life and costumes in every particular.

Then come the Police Station, and Fire Department, and then a French Cider Press; but I didn’t care nothin’ about seein’ that—­cider duz more hurt than whiskey enough sight, American or French, and it wuzn’t any treat to me to see it made, or drunk up, nor the effects on it nuther.

Then there wuz a large French Restaurant, one of the best-built structures on the ground.

Then come right along St. Peter’s, jest as it is in this world, saints a-follerin’ sinners.

It is the exact model of the Church of St. Peter’s at Rome.

I would go in to see that, and Josiah consented after a parley.

It is the exact model down to the most minute details of that most wonderful glory of art.  It is about thirty feet long, and about three times as high as Josiah, and it is a sight to remember; it is perfectly beautiful.

In this buildin’ where the model is seen is some portraits of the different Popes, and besides these large models is some smaller ones of the beautiful Cathedral of Milan, the Piambino Palace, the Pantheon, and a statute of St. Peter himself.

Good old creeter, how I’ve always liked him, and thought on him!

But Josiah hurried me almost beyend my strength on the way out, for the Ferris Wheel wuz indeed nigh to us, and I forgive Josiah for his ardor when I see it.

[Illustration:  The Ferris Wheel wuz indeed nigh to us, and I forgive Josiah for his ardor when I see it.]

If there wuz nothin’ else to the World’s Fair but jest that wheel, it would pay well to go clear from Jonesville to Chicago to see it.  It stands up aginst the sky like a huge spider-web.  It is two hundred and fifty feet in diameter—­jest one wheel; think of that!  As wide as twenty full-sized city houses—­the idee!  And there are thirty-six cars hitched to it, and sixty persons can ride in each car.  So you can figger it out jest how much that huge spider-web catches when it gits in motion.  Wall, my feelin’s when I wuz a-bein’ histed up through the air wuz about half and half—­half sublimity and orr as I looked out on the hull glory of the world spread at my feet, and Lake Michigan, and everything—­

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That part wuz clear riz up and noble, and then the other half wuz a skittish feelin’ and a-wonderin’ whether the tacklin’ would give way, and we should descend with a smash.

But the fifty-nine other people in the car with me didn’t seem to be afraid, and I thought of the thirty-five other cars, all full, and a-swingin’ up in the air with me; and the thought revived me some, and I managed to maintain my dignity and composure.

Josiah acted real highlarious, and he wanted to swing round time and agin; he said “he would give a cent to keep a-goin’ all day long.”

But I frowned on the idee, and I hurried him off by the model of the Eiffel Tower into Persia.

There it wuz agin, my pardner and I a-travellin’ in Persia—­the very same Persia that our old Olney’s gography had told us about years and years ago—­a-visitin’ it our own selves.

I see the bazaars and booths all filled with the costliest laces, and rugs, and embroideries, and the Persians themselves a-sellin’ ’em.

But Josiah hurried me along at a fearful rate, for I had got my eye onto some lace that I wanted.

I did not want to be extravagant, but I did want some of that lace; I thought how it would set off that night-cap.

But he said “that Jonesville lace wuz good enough if I had got to have any; but,” sez he, “I don’t wear lace on my night-cap.”

“No,” sez I; “how lace would look on a red woollen night-cap!”

“Wall,” sez he, “why don’t you wear red woollen ones?”

Sez I, “Josiah, you’re not a woman.”

“No,” sez he; “you wouldn’t catch a man goin’ to Persia for trimmin’ for a night-cap.”

His axents jarred onto me, and mechanically I follered him into the
Moorish Palace.

One reason why I follered him so meekly and willin’ly, I didn’t know but he would broach the subject of seein’ them Persian wimmen dance.

And I felt that I would ruther give a hull churnin’ of fall’s butter than to have his moral old mind contaminated with the sight.

For they do say, them who have seen the sight, that “them Persian dancin’ girls carry dancin’ clear to the very verge of ondecency, and drop way off over the verge.”

I see lots of wimmen comin’ out with their fan held before their blushin’ faces.

They say that wimmen fairly enjoy a-goin’ in there to be horrified.

They go day after day, they say, so to come out all horrified up, and their faces bathed in blushes.

The men didn’t come out at all, so they said.

Wall, Josiah Allen didn’t git in—­no, indeed.  I remembered the Jonesville meetin’-house, our pasture, and the grandchildren, and kept ’em before him all the time, so I tided him over that crisis.

Now, I never had paid any attention to the Moors, and Josiah hadn’t; we never had had any to neighbor with, and I felt that I wuzn’t acquainted with ’em at all, unless of course I had a sort of bowin’ acquaintance, as it wuz, with that one old Moor in my Olney’s gography in my school-days.

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And what I’d seen of him didn’t seem to make me hanker after any further acquaintance with him.

But when I see that Palace of theirn I felt overwhelmed with shame and regret to think I’d always slighted ’em so, and never had made any overtoors towards becomin’ intimate with ’em.

The outside on’t wuz splendid enough to almost take your breath, with its strange and gorgeous magnificence.  It wuz sech a contrast in its construction to the Exposition Buildin’s that lift their domes in such glory on the East.

But if the outside struck a blow onto our admiration and astonishment, what—­what shall I say of the inside?

Why, as I entered that magnificent arched vestibule, with my faithful pardner by my side, and my good cotton umbrell grasped in my right hand, the view wuz pretty nigh overwhelmin’ in its profusion of orniment and gorgeous decoration.

That first look seemed to take me back to Spain right out of Chicago, and other troubles.  I wuz a-roamin’ there with Mr. Washington Irving, and Mr. Bancroft, and other congenial and descriptive minds, and surrounded with the gorgeous picters of that old time.

I wuz back, I should presoom to say, as much, if not more, than four hundred years, when all to once I was recalled by my companion.

“Dum it, I didn’t know they charged folks for goin’ to meetin’!”

“Hush!” sez I; “this is not a meetin’-house, this is a palace; be calm!”

And comin’ down through the centuries as sudden as if jerked by a electric lasso of lightnin’, I see that old familiar sight of a man a-settin’ a-sellin’ tickets.

And Josiah with a deep sithe paid our fares, and we meandered onwards.

Right beyend the ticket man, to the right on him, wuz a colonnade runnin’ round a circular room covered with a ruff in the shape of a tent.  The ceilin’ and walls are covered with landscape views of Southern Spain, and a mandolin orchestra carried out the idee of a Andulusian Garden.

And then comes a labyrinth of columns and mirrors, and through ’em and round ’em and up overhead wuz splendor on splendor of orniment, gorgeousness on gorgeousness.

These columns are made to put one in mind of the Alhambria, where we so often strayed with our friend Washington Irving.

[Illustration:  Josiah paid our fares.]

And oh, what curious feelin’s it did make me have to cast my eyes onwards amongst these splendid arches and pillows, and see anon or oftener a tall Moor, with his long robe and his white turban, or whatever they call it, a-fallin’ round his face!

And then another and another of the white-robed figgers, a-glidin’ round in amongst the arches, or a-settin’ there in a vista of gorgeousness, like ghosts of the past come to visit the Columbus Fair.

Way beyend the labyrinths, and to the left on’t, is the Palm Garden, with lounging places for three or four hundred visitors, and a Moorish orchestra hid by a cluster of branchin’ palms, and Arab attendants in native costumes.

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And then there wuz grottoes and fountains lit by electric lights, and groups of statuary illustratin’ famous historical seens.

And right here, while the past wuz a-pressin’ so clost to us, that we wuz almost took back there in the body—­our minds wuz there, way, way back—­

When sudden, swift, wuz we brung back from the past—­brung back to conscientousness, as it were, by two forms and two voices.

Here of all places in the world, in the heart of a Moorish palace, did my eyes fall upon the faces of Bizer Dagget, and Selinda, his wife.

And I sez, as my eyes fell from the contemplation of art-decked freeze and fretted archways onto the old familar freckled face, and green alpaca dress, and Bizer’s meek sandy whiskers, and pepper-and-salt suit—­

Sez I, “Whyee, Selinda and Bizer, is it you?  How do you do?  When did you git here?  You didn’t lay out to come when we started.”

“No,” sez Selinda; “you know jest how it wuz, you know we had his folks to take care on, and Father Dagget wuz so helpless that we had to lift him round.  And we shouldn’t been able to git here at all, only Father had a severe fall out o’ bed one night in the dead of night.  He wuz all alone, and skairt—­so we spoze—­and that fall took him off on the second day.

“And as quick as we could git ready we sot off here.

[Illustration:  “Whyee!  Selinda and Bizer, is it you?”]

“It didn’t seem really right, but you know Father hain’t known anything for upwards of two years, and you know jest how bad we did want to come here.

“But I don’t know as it wuz exactly right to come off so soon after he fell.  I spoze it will make talk, I spoze his folks will talk, and the Jonesvillians.”

“But,” I sez, for I wanted to comfort her—­she’s a good creeter—­

Sez I, “Columbus had to wait before he sot out to discover us, till Grenada fell, and that made talk.”  Sez I, “Probable Columbuses folks talked as much as Bizer’s folks will.  But,” sez I, “it wuz all for the best.

“And,” sez I, “your Father Dagget wuz a good creeter before he lost his mind.”

“Yes,” sez she, “but for upwards of two years he’s tried to put his pantaloons on over his head, and he’d put his arms in his boots every time if we’d let him, thinkin’ it wuz a vest.”

“Wall,” sez I, “you’ve did well by him, Selinda, and now if I wuz in your and Bizer’s place, I’d try to look round all I could and git my mind off, and see everything I could see.”

Sez she with a deep sithe, “There hain’t no trouble about that; there is enough to see.”  Sez she, “It seems as though I had seen enough every five minutes sence I come, if it wuz spread out even and smooth, to cover a hull lifetime, and cover it thick, too,” sez she.

“And,” sez I, warmly and candidly, “Heaven knows that is true—­true as gospel.”

And then Selinda and Bizer, and Josiah and me walked on into other parts of the buildin’, and there we see a small-lookin’ model of the Santa Maria, the Admiral’s flag-ship, manned by men with the same clothes on as wuz wore by Columbuses mariners.  That filled me with large emotions, and Selinda felt it too.

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And it wuz here that Josiah nudged me, and sez he, “You’ve always throwed it into my face that men don’t think so much of each other as wimmen do; and now,” sez he, “look at them two men—­I’ve watched ’em as long as ten minutes—­a-holdin’ each other’s hands.”

And sure enough, I turned, and I see two good-lookin’ men a-holdin’ each other by the hand as if they loved each other fondly—­

As if they couldn’t bear to leggo.  They wuz first-rate lookin’ men, too, and you could see plain by their liniments how much store they sot by each other.

Wall, Josiah and I wended off and looked at the wax figgers of Lincoln, and the death of Marie Antoinette, and lots of other interestin’ wax statutes; and when we come back, there stood them two men still a-holdin’ each other by the hand; and Josiah whispered agin, “How they love each other! no gabblin’ and gushin’, like wimmen, but jest silent, clost, deep love.”

“But,” I sez, “I believe there is sunthin’ wrong about ’em.  It hain’t nateral for men to stand still so long holt of hands.  I believe they’re in a fit or sunthin’.”

“A fit!” sez he.  “I spoze a woman would have a fit if she had to keep still a minute with another woman in gunshot of her.

“But to satisfy you,” sez he, “I’ll see.”

So he accosted ’em, and sez he, “I will ask the way to Noah’s Ark.”  So he advanced with a polite air, and sez he, “Could either one of you two gentlemen tell me where Noah’s Ark is situated?” Sez he, “Bizer is anxious to see it.”

They didn’t move or stir, and Josiah agin sez, “Do you know where Noah’s Ark is?” and he laid his hand on the arm of one of the men who stood near him.

A Columbian Guard who stood near sez, “Keep your hand offen the wax figger!”

Josiah wuz mortified most to death.  He’d wanted to show off the equality of his sect, and to have man’s love and fidelity proved to be but wax wuz harrowin’.

But he didn’t stay mortified more’n a minute and a half on sech a business.

And the Guard told us where Noah’s Ark wuz.

And Bizer and Josiah wuz all carried away with it.  This wuz in the children’s room, and all the animals are reproduced life size, every one of ’em two and two, jest as they enter the Ark.

We couldn’t hardly tear our two pardners away, Selinda and I couldn’t.

Josiah said, “It wuz so beautiful and interestin’,” and so Bizer said.

But I believe what made them men cling to it so for sech a length of time, they hearn us talk about how we wanted to go into the Bazaar, where there wuz lots of things to sell.

But finally they see they couldn’t hold us back no longer, so we went through that gorgeous place, all full of bronzes, rugs, vases, pipes, and etcetry.

We didn’t stay long here, though, for Bizer and Josiah said that the air wuz that bad they wuz chokin’, and that they couldn’t stan’ it.

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And Selinda and I a-feelin’ that chokin’ a pardner wuz the last thing we wanted to undertake, we went through it at a pretty good jog, and anon we found ourselves in Turkey; and here I found the Turkeys had done first-rate.

Why, one piece of their hand-wrought lace wuz worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.  While I wuz a-admirin’ of it, Josiah whispered firmly—­

“Don’t go to thinkin’ of that old night-cap in sech a time as this.”

And I whispered back, “I hain’t no more idee on’t than you have of buyin’ that old tent to take down to the lake with you a-fishin’.”

That very old battle-tent wuz all hand work, embroidered in gold and silver and silk in nateral figgers, and they said it wuz worth five millions of dollars—­

And a silver bedstead the Sultan is a-goin’ to give to his daughter as a part of her settin’ out when she marries wuz worth four hundred and fifty thousand dollars.

You can from this form some idee of the value of the other enormous exhibits.

And the most beautiful horses you ever see, right from the Sultan’s stable, wuz a-prancin’ round.  And one hundred Beoudins with camels and dromedaries added to the picteresqueness of the seen.

And then we see Cleopatri’s needle, that tall column a-risin’ up to the sky, all covered with writin’ worse than mine, and that’s a-sayin’ a good deal.  I couldn’t read a word on’t, nor Josiah couldn’t.

And to the back of the Grand Bazaar wuz leven cottages, where male and female Turkeys wuz workin’ at their different trades, showin’ jest how rugs, and carpets, and embroideries, and brass work is made.

As I said to Selinda, “Would you believed it possible, Selinda, if we’d been told on’t a dozen years ago that you and I should be a-travellin’ in Turkey to-day?”

And she said, “No, indeed; she had never imagined that she should ever visit sech foreign shores.”

Yes, we felt considerable riz up to think that we wuz engaged in foreign travel, but not hauty.  No, we are both on us well-principled, and don’t believe in puttin’ on airs.

Wall, we stayed here a good while, and Josiah thought he’d eat sunthin’ here, too.  If he’d had his way, he would had a good square meal in every foreign country, and native one, too.  That man’s appetite is wonderful.  Foreign countries can’t quell it down, nor rumatiz, nor nothin’.

Hakenbeck’s animal show comes next, and it is the most complete—­so they say—­that wuz ever exhibited.

The tent is two hundred feet square, and is filled with all the animals that ever went into the Ark, and more, too, I believe.  Five thousand people can go in here at one time, and set down, and see lions a-ridin’ on horseback, with a woman to run the performance, and see animals a-doin’ everything else that ever wuz done by ’em, and tigers, and elephants, and performin’ horses, and two hundred monkeys, and one thousand parrots.

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We didn’t go in, but Josiah slipped in one day when I wuzn’t with him, and he described it to me.  He owned up to me that he had.

And he said he did it to keep me from havin’ sech a skair.

“Why,” sez he, “a woman that is afraid of a gobbler, and runs from a snake—­

“Why,” sez he, “I wouldn’t as a man of feelin’ take her right in the way of havin’ her feelin’s hurt and skairin’ her most to death for nothin’ this world could give.”

And I said—­and I meant it—­“If it hadn’t been for the fifty cents I guess you wouldn’t felt so, Josiah Allen.”

But he stuck to it that it wuz pure affection and principle.  I d’no what to think about it, but I have my suspicions.

Wall, at the next place Josiah could not be restrained.  It wuz the good old-fashioned New England house with gable ends, and here a good New England dinner wuz served.

And sez Josiah, “I don’t leave this house till I have a good square meal.”

Bizer felt jest so, and so Selinda and I jined ’em in a meal most as good as she and I got up to hum, and that is sayin’ a great deal.

Josiah’s satisfaction in eatin’ that pork and beans, and them doughnuts, wuz a sight to witness.

Bizer called for cold biled vittles, and sure enough, they brung ’em on.

And the enjoyment of them two men wuz extreme.  Selinda and I took comfort in some old-fashioned pound-cake and custard pie.

Selinda said she’d love to have the receipt of that pound-cake.

Selinda is a good plain cook.  She can’t cook like me, of course, but she duz well.

Wall, their extra good meal had sot up Josiah and Bizer to a wonderful extent (they had drunk coffee too strong for ’em by half, and I knew it), and them two men wanted to go back into the Cairo Street.  Bizer and Selinda had never seen it, and all the way there Josiah seemed to be on the lookout to do sunthin’ heroic and surprisin’ to Bizer.

And jest after we got there, we did see as strange a sight as I ever see.  It wuz a Eastern Fakir, as they called him.  He wuz performin’ one of his strange sights right there before our face and eyes.

A big crowd wuz gathered round him of human bein’s in all strange costumes, and camels and their drivers, and dromedaries, and donkeys, and everything else under the sun.  But this man stood calm under the sights and ear-piercin’ yells and jabbers.

And in some way, I d’no how, nor Josiah don’t, he wuz a-holdin’ another Japan or Turkey—­anyway, one of them foreign men—­suspended right up in the air.

I see it, and Josiah see it, and Bizerses folks.  Eight eyes from Jonesville looked at it, to say nothin’ of the assembled crowd.

He wuzn’t restin’ on nothin’ at all, so fur as we could see.  What material wrought out of the Occult World wuz piled up under him I d’no.

There might have been a sofa and two cushions wrought out of another fabric different from what we know anything about, and that don’t make any show aginst the summer sky.

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And then, agin, it might be that Josiah wuz right.

He sez, “It’s easy enough to do that.  He casts a mist before our eyes, and we have to see jest what he wanted us to.”

“Wall,” sez I, “if I had to do one of ’em to entertain the Missionary Society at Jonesville, I d’no but I had jest as soon hist Submit Tewksbury up in the air, and suspend her there in our parlor, as to cast mists before the eyes of the Jonesvillians and make ’em see her there when she wuz a-settin’ on the sofa.  Either one on ’em is queer—­queer as a dog.”

“Wall,” sez he, “you don’t want to go into any sech a job.  You’ll kill Submit, anyway, experimentin’ on her.”

And I sez, “You needn’t worry; I hain’t a-goin’ to try to branch out into no sech doin’s.”  Sez I, “I wuz usin’ Submit as a metafor.”

Wall, the Fakir after a while asked the queer-lookin’ crowd gathered round him for money to try more experiments with.

And wantin’ to branch out and outdo Bizer, and make himself a hero, Josiah planked out a five-dollar bill.

And then the man asked Josiah to look in his hat, and there inside the band he found the money, or so it seemed.

And then he told me to look in my pocket, and there wuz five silver dollars to all appearance.

I felt real well about it, and wuz about to put ’em into my portmoney, thinkin’ that they wuz my lawful prey, seein’ they had fell onto me through my pardner’s weakness, when lo and behold! they wuzn’t there.

I felt real stunted, and kinder sot back.

“Slight of hand,” sez Josiah to me and Bizer.  “Don’t be afraid, I’ll make it all right.”  And he reached out his hand to git the money back.  The man handed the money back, or so we spozed, and vanished in the crowd.

And Josiah, when he went to look in his hand, found some pink and white paper.  He hollered round and acted for quite a spell, but the man wuz gone for good, and Josiah’s money with him.  Wall, Josiah wuz almost broken-hearted over the loss of his money; he felt awful browbeat and smut, and acted so.

And then it wuz Bizer’s time to show off and act.  Nothin’ to do but what Selinda had got to ride a camel.

She hung back and acted ’fraid.  She hain’t a bit well, for all she is so fat.  She has real dizzy spells sometimes, and is that cowardly that she’d be ’fraid to ride a cow, let alone one of them tall, humbly monsters.  But nothin’ to do but what Bizer would have his way.

He did it jest to go ahead of us, and I knew it, for I put my foot right down in the first on’t.

Josiah would a paid out the money willin’ly ruther than had Bizer go ahead of him.

Bizer said he wanted to give Selinda all the enjoyment he could while on her tower, she had been shet up so much, and hadn’t had the pleasures she ort to had.

I knew his motives and Selinda’s feelin’s, but couldn’t break it up, for Selinda had always follered Elder Minkley’s orders strict, that he gin her at the altar—­

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“Wives, obey your husbands.”

She didn’t rebel outward, but she whispered to me in pitiful axents—­

“I hate to ride that creeter—­oh, how I hate to!  But you know my principles,” sez she; “you know I always said that wives ort to obey their pardners.”

And I sez, “When pardners and common sense conflict, I foller common sense every time.  Howsumever,” sez I, “if you want to air them principles of yourn, you won’t be apt to find a more lofty place to exhibit ’em.”

And I glanced up the gray precipitous sides of that camel, and she looked up ’em, too, with fear and tremblin’, but begun to gird her lions, figgeratively speakin’, to obey Bizer and embark.

She has always boasted to me and the other neighborin’ wimmen that she has never disobeyed her husband once; and I sez to her cheerfully, “Wall, I have, and expect to agin, if the Lord spares my life.”

And so Miss Bobbet told her, and Miss Gowdy, and Miss Peedick, and all the rest.  She acted so high-headed about it, that we said it some to take down her pride, and some on principle.

We believed there wuz reason in all things, and none of us wimmen felt that we would stand

“On a burnin’ deck,
Whence all but we had fled,”

and burn up, even if our pardners had ordered us to.  We wuz law-abidin’, every one on us, but we felt there wuz times where law ended and common sense begun.

But Selinda argued, I well remember, that if Bizer had ordered her to stay on that deck, she should stay and be sot fire to.

And she praised up little Casey Bianky warmly, while we thought and said that Casey acted like a fool, and felt that Mr. Bianky would much ruther had him run and save himself than to burn up; anyway, old Miss Bianky would, and I believe his pa would.

Men are good-hearted creeters the biggest heft of the time, but failable in judgment sometimes, jest like female wimmen.

But Selinda wuz firm in her belief.

And here this day in Chicago she gin one of the most remarkable proofs of it ever seen in this country.

So while Selinda trembled like a popple leaf, and her false teeth rattled over her dry tongue (besides the camel, she wuz ’fraid as death of the Turkey that driv it, and he did look fierce), the camel knelt down, and the almost swoonin’ Selinda was histed up onto his back by the proud and haughty Bizer, and the strange-lookin’ Turkey.

She had no more than got seated when the driver give a skairful yell, and the camel give a fearful lunge, and straightened up on its feet, and Selinda’s bunnet fell back onto her neck, and lay there through the hull of the enterprise, and her gray hair floated back onchecked, for she dassent let her hands go a minit to fix it.

It wuz a mournin’ bunnet and veil, but black gittin’ soiled so easy, she had put on a bright green alpaca dress she had, thinkin’ that she wouldn’t see nobody she knew; and she wore some old yeller mitts for the same reason, and some low, shabby-lookin’ shoes, and some white stockin’s.

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And her weight bein’ two hundred and forty, she showed off vivid aginst the settin’ sun.

Selinda is a meek woman and obedient, but she cries easy.  You have got to take good traits and bad ones in folks.  She can’t help it.  She always cries in class meetin’, or anywhere—­has cried time and agin a-tellin’ how she would be trompled on and lay down and have her head chopped off if Bizer told her to.

And of course it couldn’t be expected she would go through this fearful experience without sheddin’ tears.  No; before she had been up there two minits she begun to cry.

[Illustration:  Before she had been up there two minits she begun to cry.]

She always makes up pitiful faces when she weeps.  It has been talked on a sight in Jonesville, some sayin’ she might help it, and some contendin’ that she couldn’t; but she skairs children frequent.

But now she dassent leggo a minit to git her handkerchief, so she rode along weepin’ silently, and a fearful sight for men or angels, but truly a cryin’ monument of wifely devotion.

As she moved off, I could see at the first strain her dress waist, bein’ one of the short round ones with a belt, had bust asunder, leavin’ a white waist of cotton flannel between ’em, which seemed to be a-growin’ wider and wider all the time. (She wears cotton flannel for her health.)

As I see this, and not knowin’ what would ensue and take place in her clothin’, I cast onto the wind my own fears, and the shrinkin’ timidity of my sect, and graspin’ my umbrell in my hand, I run along by the side of the lofty quadreped, a-tryin’ to reach up and fix her a little.

But I could not; her position wuz too lofty, the mount wuz too precipitous on which she sot.

She see me, but she didn’t stop her cryin’, and the faces she wuz a-makin’ wuz pitiful in the extreme, and skairful to anybody that hadn’t seen ’em so much as I had.  She wuz half bent, which made her cotton-flannel infirmity harder to witness.

The camel wuz a-swayin’ fearful from side to side, and a-lurchin’ forwards and a lurchin’ backwards at a dangerous rate.

Oh, how dizzy-headed Selinda must have been!  How skairt and how dretful her feelin’s wuz!

Sez I, “Dismount to once, Selinda Dagget.”

“No,” sez she; “Bizer has placed me here, and here I will stay.”

“You don’t know whether you will or not,” sez I.  “I believe you are a-fallin’ off; and,” sez I, “I’m ’fraid you’ll git killed, Selinda; do git down!”

“I fear it too,” sez she, and she looked down on me with agony in her mean, and sez she—­

“Good-bye, Sister Allen; if we don’t meet agin, we both believe in a better country.”

I wuz all carried away by my emotions, or wouldn’t spoke out so; but I sez—­

“This country is all right enough, if folks didn’t act like fools in it.”  Sez I, “Do you git down and pull down your bask, and wipe your nose and eyes; you look like fury, Selinda Dagget.”

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“No,” sez she; “Bizer wanted me to ride, and I shall die a-pleasin’ him.  I took vows of obedience onto me at the altar, and if I die here, Sister Allen, tell the female sistern at Jonesville that I died a-keepin’ them vows.”

Sez I, “I’ll tell ’em you died a nateral fool;” and sez I agin, “Git down offen that camel, Selinda Dagget, before you fall off.”

And I kep clost by her, and kinder poked at her with my umbrell, to let her know I hadn’t deserted her, and havin’ a blind idee that I could hold her up with it if the worst come.

Where wuz Bizer durin’ this fearful seen? while I wuz a-showin’ plain the deathless devotion to my sect—­to another one in distress.

He wuz all took up with his own feelin’s of pride and show.

He wuz a-ridin’ a donkey, and it wuz a-backin’ up and a-actin’, and took every mite of his strength and firmness to keep on.

He had a tall white hat with a mournin’ weed on’t, and a long linen duster, and the wind blowed this out some like a balloon.

He looked queer; but as soon as he stiddied himself on’t he tried his best to reach the side of Selinda—­I’ll say that for him.  But the donkey wuz obstinate, and kep a-backin’ up, and Bizer, bein’ his legs dragged, kinder walked along with the donkey under him.  Occasionally he would set down for a spell, but the most of his journey wuz done a-walkin’ afoot.  And the crowd see it and cheered.

It wuz hard on Bizer.  Nothin’ but pride and ambition led him into the undertakin’, or kep him up through it.

As for me, I lost all patience, and my breath, too, and went back to my pardner.

And anon or about that time they made their rounds, and come back where Josiah and I stood.

I reached up a handkerchief to Selinda as quick as I could, but she couldn’t wipe her eyes or tend to her nose until she dismounted, or fix the gapin’ kasum at the back of her waist.

She greeted me warmly the minit her feet touched terry firmy, as one might who had come out of great peril.  She’s a good-hearted creeter.

And between us both, with some pins I took out of my huzzy I always carry with me, we fixed her up agin.

And if you’ll believe it, the very minit I got her pinned up she begun to act high-headed and to boast of how much principle she’d shown.

And I said, “You’ve shown more’n principle, Selinda; you’ve showed cotton flannel that you had ort to have kep to yourself.  You have made a panorama that can’t be described.”

“Yes,” sez she; “it will be sunthin’ to tell on all my life.”

She took it as a compliment.  Oh dear me suz!

Bizer had scraped the patent leather all offen the toes of his shoes, and had squandered three dollars in money, but he felt good.  Yes, they both said what a excitement this adventure would make in Jonesville when they told on’t.

And I thought to myself, if the Jonesvillians could see jest how she looked, and he too, it would be apt to make a excitement.

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How many times did I digest this great truth while on my tower!  How little we know sometimes what a appearance we are a-makin’ before men and angels, when we think we are a-doin’ sunthin’ wonderful!

Wall, Josiah wuz all took aback; he couldn’t seem to bear Bizer’s patronizin’ ways so well as I could Selinda’s.  Truly, females learn the lesson well to suffer and be calm.

But he acted kinder surly, and proposed that we should go hum; and bein’ tired as a dog, I gin a willin’ consent, and Bizer and Selinda parted from us, their way layin’ different from ourn.

Wall, that night, after we got back to Miss Plankses, I felt all kind o’ shook up in sperit, and considerable as I do when I’ve eat too hearty, and of too many kinds of food.

You know, you mustn’t swaller a big meal too quick, or eat too many kinds of food when you’re tired, or it won’t set right on your stomach.

I felt real dyspeptic in my mind that night, and I felt that I had wandered out of the sweet, level paths of Moderation and Megumness that I love to wander in.

But I am a eppisodin’, and to resoom.

It seemed as if the bed never felt so good to me as it did that night; and the pillers never felt so soft, and quiet, and comfortable.  And with a deep sithe of content I went out at once into the Land of Sleep, and bein’ too tired to

“tread its windin’ ways Beyend the reach of busy feet,”

I sunk down under the shade of a branchin’ Poppy Tree, and laid there becalmed and peaceful till Miss Plankses risin’ bell rung—­way up the stairway, up into my bedroom—­and echoed over into the Land, shook the drowsy boughs over my head, and waked me up.

And then, tired as I wuz the night before, I felt considerable chipper.


Wall, this mornin’ we sot off in good season.  We would always lay our plans in the mornin’, and that mornin’ I said, “I would love to tackle the Agricultural Buildin’.”

And Josiah gin his willin’ consent.  He said, “After so much gildin’ and orniments, he would love to look at a potato, or a rutabagy, or a cowcumber.”

And I sez, “If you lay out to git rid of seein’ orniments, you had better not stir out of your tracks.”

And Nony Piddock said, “It sickened a man to see so much vain orniment.”

And the Twin said, “It wuz perfectly beautiful to see it.”

And the rest of the boarders bein’ agreed jest about as well on’t, we set out for the Agricultural Hall in pretty good sperits.

Wall, truly did Nony say that the orniments wuz impressive and overwhelmin’.

Now, I thought I had seen orniments, and I thought I had seen pillows.

Why, Father Allen had a porch held up by as many as five pillows—­holler ones—­boarded round and painted to look like granite stun.

And our Meetin’-House steeple wuz, I had always spozed, ornimented.

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Why, we had gin as high as fourteen dollars for the ornimental work on that steeple, and the Jonesvillians, and the Loontowns, and the Zoarites come from fur and near to look at it and admire it, the Jonesvillians in pride and the others in envy, and a-hankerin’ to have one like it.

[Illustration:  The Jonesvillians, and the Loontowns, and the Zoarites came from fur and near to admire it.]

But truly our pride in that steeple tottered and fell when we hove in sight of that Agricultural Hall.

And when you look at the size of that buildin’, and the grandeur of it, you can see plain what sort of a place Agriculture holds in the minds of the world, and how much store folks set on eatin’; and truly, how could the world git along without it?  It would run right down.

Why, imagine, if you can, eight hundred feet one way and five hundred the other way, all orniments and pillows, pillows and orniments, and one big towerin’ dome in the centre, and lots of smaller ones, each one topped off with the most beautiful figger, and groups of figgers, you ever laid eyes on.

Where wuz Father Allen’s pillow, and our steeple?  Gone, crushed down under twenty-six hundred feet of clear pillows and orniments.

On top of the great central dome stands the beautiful figger of Diana, who had flown away from Madison Square, New York, and had settled down here on purpose to delight the beholders of the United Globe with her beauty and grace.

She wuz still a-holdin’ her arrows in her hand, still a-turnin’ her beautiful face around so everybody could see it, still a-kickin’ at the wind with her pretty heel.  But, as in the past, so now, let her kick ever so hard, she couldn’t turn the wind a mite when it got its mind made up to blow from any particular pint of the compass.

And besides this figger on the dome, every little while on the four corners of the buildin’ wuz long, low groups of female wimmen a-holdin’ garlands, depicterin’ the four seasons.

And the long line of pillows would be broken by noble piers, with a beautiful group of figgers on every one on ’em, and some flags a-wavin’ out, as if to draw attention to the perfectness of the statutes.

One on ’em wuz a good-lookin’ man a-holdin’ two prancin’ horses, and I sez to myself, I am glad to see a man a-holdin’ the bits for once.

But come to look closter, I see that there wuz two figgers—­little girls, I guess—­that wuz holt of the horses’ heads.  And then I see the man had a sword in one hand and a club in the other.  He wuzn’t to blame—­he couldn’t hold ’em.  Jest like Josiah; lots of times he would be real glad to do things, only his hands are full.

And then another group wuz a beautiful female a-standin’ up between two great, big, long-horned oxen, a-holdin’ them powerful-lookin’ beasts with a rope made of posies.

Good land!  I wouldn’t held ’em with iron chains.  They looked so high-headed, and their horns looked so long, and it seemed too bad to put her at such a dangerous job.

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But she didn’t seem to be a mite afraid; she looked calm, and she had on plenty of store clothes, which wuz indeed a comfort.

[Illustration:  She didn’t seem to be a mite afraid.]

And then, besides these main piers, with their large, beautiful groups, there wuz fifty-two smaller piers, each one havin’ a handsome statute, representin’ winged Geniis, sometimes a-holdin’ tablets in their hands, and anon horns of plenty, and abundance.

Most of this beautiful sculpture wuz designed by a man named Martiney, French born, but I guess a-callin’ himself an American now.

And I thought, as I looked at it, I would love to see him, and tell him how well I thought on him and his works.  He also made the beautiful orniments in the interior of the large rotunda, and the great figger of Ceres that stands in the centre.

In the pediment over the main entrance stands another beautiful figger of Ceres—­she that wuz Demetor Saturn.

I spoze, mebby, now we ort to call her Miss Jupiter.  But, anyway, she is as good-hearted as can be, always a-handin’ out grain and food to the perishin’.

Here she stands in the sculpture, which is made by an American, Mr. Mead by name—­here she stands, tall and benignant, in the centre of as many as twenty men, wimmen, and children, a-sufferin’ from hunger the most on ‘em, and she a-handin’ out food right and left.  What a good creeter she is, anyway!

Wall, mebby I have gin you a faint, a very faint idee of the beauty of the hull twenty-six hundred feet of solid loveliness and perfection.

But who—­who will tell what we see inside on’t?

In this buildin’ every State in the Union, and almost every civilized nation of the world, is represented with agricultural exhibits, and food products in their manufactured state.  Prizes will be gin at the end of the Fair to the best.

Every nation is shown up here; and if you have got any learnin’, you can look it up in your own Gography, and realize the number on ’em, and the immense size of the exhibition.

And then there is the most interestin’ exhibits in agricultural teachin’, Schools and Colleges of different nations, side by side with the best American colleges of Agriculture, and Experimental Stations.

Here in this exhibit you can see everything eatable and drinkable, from Jonesville wheat to palm sugar, and all sorts of vegetables that wuz ever seen, and the very biggest ones that wuz ever grown, from a sweet potato to a squash, and peanuts to cocoanuts—­

And all sorts of animal products, from a elephant’s tusk, from Africa, to a sleek deacon’s skin, from Jonesville.

And then, besides the exhibit of raw products of every kind, from Egypt to Shackville, there are shown off all sorts of manufactured foods, and everything else, and so forth and so on.

If you stay here long enough, say from 2 to 3 months, you can git a good idee of what the world feeds on, from Hindoostan to Loontown and Zoar.

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Josiah enjoyed himself here richly.

He hardly could be torn away.

And I took comfort, too, in the dairy, where the butter and cheese from the different States is shown off in handsome cases, and kep cool and fresh in dog-days.  This wuz, I spoze, to test the merits of the different breeds of dairy cattle, and teach the very best methods of makin’ butter and cheese.

I took solid comfort here, and I also got some new and useful idees that
I could disseminate to Miss Isham, and she that wuz Submit Tewksbury.

As for Philury, I mean to give her lessons daily (she runs our dairy in my absence).

In the annex of this buildin’ wuz exhibits of all the Agricultural implements ever known or hearn on, from the first old rickety reaper up to the noble machine of to-day, that will cut the grain, and take out a string and tie it up in sheafs; and I guess if it wuz encouraged enough, it would take it to the mill and grind it—­

And the first old cotton-gin and mower up to the finished machines of to-day.

Outside this buildin’, directly on the lagoon, wuz exhibits of gates, fences, and all sorts of wind-mills, from the picteresque old Dutch mills up to the ones of eighteen hundred and ninety-three.

And engines, portable and traction ones.

I asked Josiah, “What he spozed a traction engine wuz,” and he sez, “One that is tractable—­easy to manage.”  Sez he, “Some on ’em, you know, is obstropolos.”

I don’t know whether he got it right or not, but he seemed sure on’t, and that is half the battle, so fur as makin’ a show is concerned, in this world.

Jined to this department is a Assembly Hall, on purpose for speakers and orators to disseminate the best and latest idees about agriculture.

And, take it all in all, what a boon to Jonesville and the World the hull exhibit is!

It wuz a sight!

Wall, bein’ pretty nigh to it—­only a little walk acrost a tree-shaded green—­I acceded to my pardner’s request that I would go with him to the Stock Exhibit.  He had been before, but I hadn’t got round to it.

It is sixty-three acres big, forty-four acres under ruff.

Think of a house forty-four acres big!

Wall, here we see every live animal that wuz ever seen, from a little trick pony to a elephant, and from a sheep to a camel—­a dretful interestin’ exhibit, but noisy.

And all kinds of dogs, from a poodle to a mastiff.

Why, there wuz one dog there that wuz worth three thousand and seven hundred dollars; it is the biggest dog in the world.

But I told Josiah that I wouldn’t gin a cent for it if I had got to have it round; it wuz so big that it wuz fairly skairful.  Why it weighed about two hundred and fifty pounds.

[Illustration:  It wuz so big that it wuz fairly skairful.]

It wuz a St. Bernard; but I told Josiah, “Santi or not, I wouldn’t want to meet it alone in the back lane in the evenin’.”

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It would skair a young child into fits to go through this department; some of them wild creeters look so ferocious, especially the painters, they made my blood fairly curdle.

Wall, we stayed here for some time, or until my ear-pans seemed to be ruined for life.  And then we had a little time on our hands, and Josiah proposed that we should go out on the water and take a short voyage to rest off.  I gin a glad consent, and we sot off.

Wall, after bein’ on the water a little while, I begun to feel so much rested that I proposed that we should row round to the other end of the park, and pay attention to some of the State Buildin’s.

“For,” sez I, “if the different countries should hear on’t that I have been here all this while, without payin’ ’em any attention, they will feel hurt.”  And sez I, “I had ruther give a cent than to have Great Britain feel hurt, and lots of the rest on ’em.

“And then,” sez I, “it hain’t right to slight ’em, even if they never heard on’t.”

“Oh, shaw!” sez Josiah, “I guess that they would git along if you didn’t go at all; I guess that they hain’t a-sufferin’ for company this year.”

“But,” sez I with dignity, “this is a fur different thing, and as fur as our own United States Buildin’s are concerned, I feel bound to ’em, bein’ such a intimate friend to their Father-in-law.”

“What do you mean?” sez Josiah.

“Why, Uncle Sam,” sez I—­“U.S.  Epluribus Unim.”

Agin he sez, “Oh, shaw!” But I held firm, and at my request the boat headed that way.

And we landed as nigh ’em as we could.

You see, all the United States, and most of the Foreign Countries, have a separate buildin’, mostly gin up to social and friendly purposes, where natives of that State and country can go in and rest, and recooperate—­see some of their friends, and so on, and so forth.

Wall, we laid out to pay attention to a lot on ’em that day.

But, as it turned out, we didn’t go to but jest three on ’em, the reasons of which I will set down, and recapitulate.

I felt that we had to go to New York and Illinois.  Loyalty and Politeness stood on both sides of us, a-leadin’ us to the home of our own native State, and the folks we wuz a-visitin’; and we found New York a perfect palace, modelled after an Italian one.  And the row of green plants a-standin’ on the ruff all round made it look real uneek and dretful handsome.  And inside it wuz fitted up as luxurious as any palace need to be, with a banquet hall eighty-four feet long and forty-six feet high; a glow of white, and gold, and red, and crystal.

Yes, the hull house wuz pleasant and horsepitable, as become the dwellin’ place of the Empire State.

And Illinois!  You might know what you’d expect to find inside, when you see what they had outside on’t.

That statute, “Hide and Seek,” before the entrance, wuz, I do believe, the very best thing I see to the hull Fair—­

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Five little children with merry, laughin’ faces a-playin’ at hide and seek in a broken gray old stump, and flowers, and vines, and mosses a-runnin’ round it and over it as nateral as life.

Wall, I stood before that beautiful object till Josiah had to draw me away from it almost by main force.

But inside it come my time to draw him away.

When we see that picter of the old farm made in seeds, he wuz as rooted to the spot as if he intended to remain sot out there, and grow up with the State.

[Illustration:  He wuz rooted to the spot.]

And it wuz a dretful interestin’ sight—­the farm-house, the barns, the well, the old windmill, the long fields a-stretchin’ back, and fenced off, with different crops on ’em, the good-lookin’ men and wimmen, and the horses, with their glossy hides and silky manes and tails, and all made of different kinds of seeds and grasses.  It wuz a sight to see the crowd that stood before that from mornin’ till night, and you ask ten folks what impressed ’em the most at the Fair, and more’n half on ’em would most likely say that it wuz that seed picter in the Illinois Buildin’.  Over one side on’t wuz draped sunthin’ that I took to be the very richest silk or velvet, all fringed out with a deep fringe on the end on’t.  But it wuz all made of grasses of different kinds—­the idee!  Fifteen young ladies of Illinois made that, and they done first-rate.  I want ’em to know what I think on’t, and what Josiah duz.

Wall, inside the buildin’ wuz full and runnin’ over with beautiful objects—­lovely picters, noble statuary, beautiful works of art and industry done by the sons and daughters of the State.

It would take more’n a week to do any justice to it.  Illinois done splendid.  I want her to know how I appreciated it.  She’ll be glad to know how riz up I felt there.

Wall, when we left there we had a little dialogue—­not mad exactly, but earnest.

I wanted to go and see Great Britain, and Josiah wanted to go to Vermont (he has got a third cousin a-livin’ there, and he wanted to see him).  “Wall,” sez I, “we’ve got a mother to tend to; the Mother Country calls for a little filial attention.”

“Oh, shaw!” sez he; “I guess you feel more related than they do; and,” sez he, “I shall go to Vermont.  Mebby I shall meet Bildad Allen right there in the settin’-room.”

So there it wuz—­we wuz both determined.  I see by my companion’s mean that it wouldn’t do to insist on Great Britain.

But a woman hates to give in awful.  So I suggested makin’ a compromise on California.

[Illustration:  A woman hates to give in awful, so I suggested a compromise on California.]

And he agreed to it.  He, too, had seen a look of marble determination on my mean, and he dassent press the Vermont question too hard.

So we directed our steps towards the California Buildin’.  It is a exact reproduction of the old Monastery of San Diego, and one hundred thousand square feet is the size on’t.

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It is full of the products of California.  Sech fruit and flowers I never see, and don’t expect to agin.

The flowers wuz gorgeous, and perfectly beautiful, and I spoze, though I don’t really want to twit ’em of it, yet I do spoze they brought every mite of fruit out of California for this occasion.  I don’t spoze there wuz a orange left there, or a grape, nor anything else in the line of fruit.  Mebby there might a been one or two green oranges left, but I doubt it.

And as for canned and dried fruit, I don’t spoze there wuz a teacupful left in the hull State.

Why, jest think of the dried prunes it must have took to make that horse that wuz rared up there seven feet from the floor!

And wuzn’t that horse a sight to see?—­jest as nateral as though he wuz made of flesh instead of fruit.

I hearn, but mebby it come from some of their own folks—­but I hearn that California had the best exhibits of all kinds of any of the States.  But I wouldn’t want it told from me.  I don’t want to git thirty or forty States mad as a hen at me; the States are dretful touchy, anyway, in the matter of State Rights and pride.

But the show wuz impressive—­dretful.

This house wuz built, I spoze, in honor of Spain, like a old Spanish Mission Buildin’; and up in the towers which rise up on the four corners are belfrys, in which are some of the old Spanish bells, that still ring out and call to prayers, when the good old Fathers that used to hear ’em, and the Injun converts, generations and generations of ’em, have slept so sound that the bells can’t wake ’em.

And the bells still swing out over this restless and ambitious generation, and they will swing and echo jest the same when we too have gone to sleep, and sleep sound.

Queer, hain’t it, that a little dead lump of metal should outlive the beatin’ human heart—­the active, outreachin’ human life, with its world-wide activities and Heaven-high aspiration?

But so it is; generations and generations are born, live, and die, and the old bells, a-takin’ life easy, jest swing on, and ring out jest as sweet and calm and kinder careless at our death as at our birth.

The bells sounded dretful melancholy and heart achin’ to me; that day they seemed to be soundin’ a requiem clear from California to Jonesville for the good Man who had passed away.

Jest as we went down the steps we hearn a bystander a-tellin’ another one “that Leland Stanford wuz dead.”  And I wuz fearful rousted up about it; I felt like death to hear on’t; and to think that I never had a chance to tell him what I thought on him.  I was fearful agitated, and almost by the side of myself; but jest at that juncture—­jest as I sez to Josiah, “I shouldn’t felt so bad if I had had a chance to tell him what I thought on him, and encourage him in his noble doin’s, and warn him in one or two things”—­jest at that minit, sez Josiah, “I’ve lost my bandanny handkerchief;” and he told me, “To wait there for him, that he thought that he remembered where he had dropped it—­back in a antick room in the back part of the house.”

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And I thought more’n like as not that wuz the last I should see of him for hours and hours, the crowd wuz so immense and the search wuz so oncertain.

But it wuz a good new handkerchief—­red and yeller, with a palm-tree pattern on it—­and I couldn’t discourage him from huntin’ for it.

And jest as he turned to go back, he sez—­

“Why, if there hain’t Deacon Rogers of Loontown!”

And he advanced onto a good-lookin’ man, who wuz a-standin’ some distance off.

My pardner put out his hand and stepped forward with a glad face till he got to within three feet of him, and then his gladness died out, and he looked meachin’.

It wuzn’t Rogers.  And my pardner jest turned on his tracks, and disappeared round the buildin’.  A bystander who wuz a-standin’ by spoke up and sez: 

“That is Governor Markham, of California.”

“Why’ee!” sez I, “is that so?” and then the thought come to me that the pityin’ Providence that had removed Senator Stanford from my encouragement, and warnin’, had throwed this man in my way.

I see in a minit what would be expected of me both by the nation and by my own Gardeen Angel of Duty.

I must encourage him by tellin’ him what I thought of the noble doin’s of one of his folks, and I must warn him on a few things, and git him to turn round in his tracks.

So I advanced, and accosted him.

He was a-standin’ out a little ways to one side a-lookin’ up to the handsome front of the house, and I sez to him, in a voice nearly tremblin’ with emotion—­

“I have wanted to tell you, Governor Markham, how I feel, and how Josiah feels.”

He turned round and looked kinder surprised, but good-natered, and I see then that he wuz a real good-lookin’ man, and sez he—­“Who is Josiah?”

And I sez, “My own pardner.  I am Josiah Allen’s Wife.”

And as I sez this, bein’ very polite, I kinder bowed my head, and he kinder bowed his head too.  We appeared real well, both on us.

And sez I, “We feel it dretful, the passin’ away and expirin’ of one of your folks.”

And sez he, “You allude to Senator Stanford?”

And I sez, “Yes; when I think of that noble school of hisen that he has sot up there in your great State—­the finest school in the world for poor boys and poor girls, as well as rich ones—­when I think what that great educational power is a-goin’ to do for the children of this great country, rich and poor, I think on him almost by the side of Christopher Columbus.  For if Christopher discovered a new world, Senator Stanford wuz a-takin’ the youth of this country into a new realm—­a-sailin’ ’em out into a new world, and a grander one than they’d any idee on—­a-sailin’ ’em out on the great ship of his magnificent Charity; and that Ship,” sez I, in a kind of a tremblin’ voice, “wuz wafted out at first on the sombre wings of a heart-breakin’ sorrow; but they grew white,” sez I—­“they grew silver white as that great Ship sailed on and on.

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“And up through the cloudless blue overhead I believe an angel looks down smilin’ly and lovin’ly on what has been done, and what is a-doin’ now—­that youth whose tender heart, while he walked with man, wuz so tender and compassionate to the poor, and so wise to help ’em.”

The Governor showed plain in his good-lookin’ face how deeply he felt what I said, and I hastened to add—­

“I wanted to thank him who is gone for this great and noble work; and as he has passed on beyend this world’s praise, or blame, I want to tell you about it, seein’ that you’re at the head of the family.

“I speak,” sez I, “in the name of Jonesville!”

“Whose name?” sez he.

And I sez, “My own native land, Jonesville, nigh to Loontown, seven milds from Zoar.”

“Oh!” sez he.

“Yes,” sez I, “Jonesville wuz proud of his doin’s, and she thinks a sight of California.

“But in one thing she feels bad:  she don’t want California to make so much wine; she wishes you’d stop it.

“She’s proud of your fruit, your flowers, your big trees, and other products, but she wishes you’d stop makin’ so much wine.  Jonesville wouldn’t care if you made a couple of quarts for sickness or jell, but she feels as if she couldn’t bear to see you swing out and make so much.”  Sez I, “Jonesville and I want you to stop makin’ it—­we want you to like dogs.”

And then sez I, in still firmer axents, “It hain’t a-settin’ a good example to the schoolchildren in Palo Alto and the United States.”

He looked real downcasted and sad, some as if he’d never thought on’t in that light before.

He didn’t really promise me, but I presoom to say that he won’t never make another drop.

But his face looked dretful deprested.  I see that he felt it deeply to think I had found fault with him.

But to resoom.  Sez I—­for here my gardeen angel hunched me hard and told me that here wuz a chance to do good—­mebby the Governor could carry out the wishes of him that wuz gone—­sez I, “Another great thing that Jonesville and I approve of wuz Senator Stanford’s bill about lendin’ money.”  Sez I, “There never wuz a better bill brought before America, and if Uncle Sam don’t pass it, he hain’t the old man I think he is.

“For,” sez I, “jest take the case of Jim Widrig alone; that would pay for the trouble of passin’ it.

“He has got a big farm of more’n two hundred acres, but the land is all run down—­he can’t raise nothin’ on it hardly, it needs enrichin’ so; he hain’t no stock, and, as he often sez, ’If I should run in debt for ’em, we should soon be landed in the Poor-House.’  He’s got a wife and seven boys.

“Wall, now if he could only borry 2000 dollars of Uncle Sam, and only pay forty dollars a year for it—­why, they would be jest made.

“They could put on twenty young cows on the place, two good horses, and go right on to success, for Jim is hard-workin’, and Mahala Widrig is one of the best hard-workin’ wimmen in the precincks of Jonesville, and I don’t believe she has got a second dress to her back.”

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The Governor murmured sunthin’ about a engagement he had.  He looked worried and anxious, but I and my Gardeen Angel hadn’t no idee of lettin’ him go while there wuz a chance for us to plead for the Right.

And I hastened to say, “Uncle Sam needn’t be ‘fraid of lendin’ money on that farm, for it is there solid, clear down to China; it can’t run away.”

The Governor kinder moved off a little, as if meditatin’ flight, and I spoke up some louder, bein’ determined to do all I could for Mahala Widrig—­good, honest, hard-workin’ creeter.

Sez I, “It will be the makin’ of Jim Widrigses folks and more’n fifty others right there round Jonesville, to say nothin’ about the hull of the United States; and it will be money in Uncle Sam’s pocket, too, in the end, and he will own up to me that it is.”

The Governor here took out his watch and looked at it almost onbeknown to me, I wuz so took up a-talkin’ for Justice and Mahala.

[Illustration:  The Governor took out his watch.]

Sez I, “This bill will bring money into Uncle Samuel’s pocket in the end, for it will keep the boys to hum on the old farm.”  Sez I, “It is Poverty that has driv the boys off—­hard work, high taxes, and ruinous mortgages drives to the city lots of ’em, to add to the pauper and criminal classes—­boys that Uncle Sam might have kep to hum by the means I speak of, to grow up into sober, respectable, prosperous citizens, a strength and a safeguard to the Republic, but whom he now will have to support in prisons and almshouses, a danger and menace to the Goverment.

“Poor Uncle Sam!—­poor, well-meanin’, but oft misguided old creeter!  It would be easier for him, if he only knew it, to do what Mr. Stanford wanted him to.

“Besides, think of the masses of fosterin’ crime he would be a-pressin’ back and a-turnin’ into good, pure influences to bless the world!  And besides, the oncounted gain to Heaven and earth!  Uncle Sam would git the two-cent mortgages back a dozen times in the increase of taxable property.”

The Governor murmured agin that he wuz wanted to once, in a distant part of the city—­he must start for California imegatly, and on the next train.  Sez he incoherently, “That school wuz about to open; he must be to the University to once.”

He wuz nearly delirious—­I spoze he wuz nearly overcome by my remarkable eloquence, but don’t know.

But as he sot off, a-movin’ backward in a polite way but swift, entirely onbeknown to him he come up aginst a big tree, and with a hopeless look of resignation he leaned up aginst it, while I, a-feelin’ that Providence had interfered to give me another chance at him, advanced onwards, and sez to him in a real eloquent way, “That bill will do more than any amount of beggin’, or jawin’, or preachin’, towards keepin’ the boys to hum on the old deserted farms that are so thick in the country; and,” sez I, “now that bill has fell out of his hands, I want you to take it up and pass it on to success.”

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Sez I, “Let Uncle Sam and you go out, as I have, in the country byroads in Jonesville, and Loontown, and Zoar, and you’ll both gin in that I’m a-tellin’ the truth.”

Sez I, “If it hain’t a pitiful sight in one short mornin’s ride to go by more’n a dozen of them poor deserted old homes, as I have many a time, and I spoze they lay jest as thick scattered all over the State and country as they do round Jonesville.”

Sez I, “To see them old brown ruffs a-humpin’ themselves up jest as lonesome-lookin’ and cold—­no smoke a-comin’ out of the chimblys to cheer ’em up—­to see the bare winders a-facin’ the west, and no bright eyes a-lookin’ out, nor curly locks for the sunlight to git tangled in—­to see the poor old door-step a-settin’ there alone, as if a-tellin’ over its troubles to the front gate, and that a-creakin’ back to it on lonesome nights or cold, fair mornin’s—­

“And the old well-sweep a-pintin’ up into the sky overhead, as if a-callin’ Heaven to witness that it wuzn’t to blame for the state of things—­

“And the apple trees, with low swingin’ branches, with no bare brown feet to press on ’em on the way up to the robin’s nest overhead—­empty barns, ruins, weedy gardens, long, lonesome stretches of paster and medder lands—­

“Why, if Uncle Sam could look on sech sights, and have me right by him to tell him the reason on’t—­to tell him that two thousand dollars lent on easy interest would turn every one of them worthless, decayin’ pieces of property into beautiful, flourishin’, prosperous homes, he’d probable feel different about passin’ the bill from what he duz now—­

[Illustration:  “If Uncle Sam could have me right by him to tell him the reason.”]

“When I told him that most generally out behind the barn, and under the apple trees and gambrul ruff, wuz crouchin’ the monster that had sapped the life out of the hum—­the bloated, misshapen form of a mortgage at six per cent, and that old, insatiable monster had devoured and drinked down every cent of the earnin’s that the hull family could bring to appease it with—­

“It would open its snappin’ old jaws and swaller ’em all down, and then set down refreshed but unappeased to wait for the next earnin’s to be brung him.

“Wall, now, if they could pay off that mortgage, and git rid of it, they could walk over its prostrate form into prosperity; they could afford to lighten up the bare poverty of a country farm, so repellin’ to the young, with some touches of brightness.  Books, music, good horses, carriages would preach louder lessons of content to the children than any they would hear from their pa’s or ma’s or ministers.

“They would love their hums—­would make them yield, instead of ruin and depressin’ influences, a good income to themselves, and good tax-payin’ property to help Uncle Sam—­

“Decrease vice, increase virtue—­lead away from prisons and almshousen, lead toward meetin’-housen, and the halls of justice, mebby.  For in the highest places of trust and honor in the United States to-day is to be found the sons and daughters of country homes.”

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Here, at jest this juncture, my umbrell fell out of my hand, and it brung my eyes down to earth agin; for some time, entirely onbeknown to me, I had been a-lookin’ up into the encirclin’ heavens, and a-soarin’ round there in oratory.

But as my eyes fell onto the Governor, I noticed the extreme weariness and mute agony on his liniment; he picked up my umbrell and handed it to me, and sez he, a-speakin’ fast and agitated, as if in fear of sunthin’ or ruther:—­

“Your remarks are truly eloquent, and I believe every word on ’em; but,” sez he, “I have an engagement of nearly life and death; I must leave you,” and he sot off nearly on a run.

And I spread my umbrell and walked off with composure and dignity to tackle the next buildin’, which wuz Oregon.

But my pardner jined me at that minit with his handkerchief held triumphantly in his hand.

And at his earnest request we didn’t examine clost any of the State buildin’s—­that is, we didn’t go in and look ’em over; but, from the outside view, we had a high opinion on ’em.

They wuz beautiful and extremely gorgeous, some on ’em.

And they looked real good, too, and wuz comfortable inside, I hain’t a doubt on’t.

I felt bad not to pay attention to every State jest as they come, and I know that they’ll feel it if they ever hear on’t.

But, as Josiah said, there wuz so many to pay attention to ’em, that they wouldn’t mind so much as if they wuz more alone and lonely.

Wall, Josiah felt as if he’d got to have a bite of sunthin’ to eat, and so we sot off at a pretty good jog for the nearest restaurant, and there we got a good lunch, and after we had done eatin’, and Josiah wuz in a real good frame of mind, to all human appearance, I sez, “I’m a-goin’ to see Hatye, if I don’t see nothin’ else.”

And Josiah sez, “Where is Hatye?”

And I sez, “Not but a little ways from the German Buildin’.”

And sez he, “Who is Hatye, anyway?”

And I sez, “Hatye is one of the first islands that Columbus discovered, and it ort to take a front rank in his doin’s, and for lots of other reasons, too,” sez I.  “It is there that we see the exhibit of our colored men and bretheren.”

We found Hatye a good-lookin’ buildin’, a story and a half high, with a good-lookin’ dome a-risin’ out of the centre.

And inside on’t we found exhibits in fruit, grain, and machinery, and all sorts of products, and in the picters and other works of art we see that the Hatyeans wuz a-doin’ first rate.

And, as I remarked to Josiah, sez I, “If Christopher Columbus stood right here by my side, he’d say—­

“’Josiah Allen’s wife, Hatye has done real well, and I am glad that I discovered it.’”

[Illustration:  “Josiah Allen’s wife, Hatye has done real well, and I am glad that I discovered it.”]

Wall, that night, when I got back to Miss Plankses, I found a letter from Tirzah Ann, and my worst apprehensions I had apprehended in her case wuz realized.

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She and Whitfield wuzn’t a-comin’ to the Fair at all.

By the time she got her oyster-shell stockin’s done, the weather had moderated, so it wuz too cool to wear ’em, and it was too late then to begin woosted ones (of course, she could buy stockin’s, but she wuz sot on havin’ hand-made ones, bein’ so much nicer, and so much more liable to attract respect and admiration)—­

And then by that time the weather wuz so variable that she didn’t know whether to take summer clothes or winter ones, and so she dallied along till it got so late that Whitfield didn’t dast to take her out at all, she wuz so kinder mauger.

She had wore herself all out a-bonin’ down and knittin’ them stockin’s, and embroiderin’ them night-shirts, and preparin’ for the Fair, so they gin up comin’.

I felt bad.


Wall, it wuz all settled as I wanted it to be.  Them two angels, as I couldn’t hardly keep callin’ ’em, if one of ’em wuz a he angel—­them two lovely good creeters wuz married right in the place where I wanted ’em to be married—­right in our parlor, in front of the picter of Grant, and not fur back of the hangin’ lamp, but fur enough back so’s to allow of a lovely bell of white roses and lilies to swing over their heads.

The bell wuz made of the white roses, and a fair white lily hung down, a-swingin’ its noiseless music out into the hearts below—­sacred music which we all seemed to hear in our inmost hearts as we looked into the faces that stood under that magic bell.

Isabelle had on a white muslin gown, plain, but shear and fine, and she wore a bunch of white roses at her belt and at her white throat, and she carried in her hand a bunch of rare ones.

But it all corresponded, for she wuz the white lily herself, as tall, and fair, and queenly.

Only when the words wuz said that made her Tom’s wife, her cheeks flushed up as no white lily ever did, even under the sun’s rosiest rays.

But a sun wuz a-shinin’ on her that went beyend any earthly sun—­it wuz the rays of the great planet Love that illuminated her face, and lit up her glorified eyes with the light that wuz never on sea nor on shore.

Her husband looked right into her face all the while the Elder wuz a-unitin’ ’em, a-lookin’ at her as if he could not quite believe in his happiness yet—­looked at her as one looks at a pearl of great price, when he has recovered it after a long loss.

I sez to Josiah, as I see that look on his face—­

“Many waters may not quench it, Josiah Allen, nor floods drown it, can they?”

And he brung me back to the present by remarkin’—­

“I wouldn’t bring up drowndins and conflagrations at such a time as this, Samantha.”

And I sithed and sez to myself, what I have said so many times to she that wuz Samantha Smith, in strict confidence—­

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“How different, how different Josiah Allen and I look at things!  And still we worship each other, jest about.”

Wall, Thomas Jefferson and Maggie wuz there, and Tirzah Ann and Whitfield, and the children, and Krit.  The two girls, our daughters, wuz dressed in white, and the Babe stood up by the bride dressed in white, and holdin’ a cunnin’ little basket of posies in her hand, and they all looked pretty, and felt pretty, and acted so.

We had good refreshments to refresh ourselves with, and everything went off happy and joyous, as weddings should, and will, if True Love stands up with ’em; and she is the only Bridesmaid worth a cent.

(I am aware that it is usual to call Love a he, but I believe in fair play, and you may as well call it a she once in a while, specially as the female sect are as lovin’ agin as the he ones, so I think.)

Wall, they had lots and lots of presents—­nice ones too.  Mr. Freeman’s gift to her wuz two diamond and ruby bracelets, that shone on her white wrists like sparks of fire and dew.

Them diamonds seemed to be the mates of the ones that had burned on her finger ever sence a day or two after they met at the World’s Fair.

So you see, though she gin her jewels away in her youth, she found ’em agin in her ripe, sweet womanhood.  She gin away the jewels of her ambition, her glowin’ hopes and desires, for a career, and she found ’em more than all made up to her.

But the jewels her husband prized most in her wuz the calm light of patience, and love, and womanliness that shone on her face.  They wuz made, them pure pearls of hern, as pearls always are, by long sufferin’ and endurance, and the “constant anguish of patience.”

Krit give her for his gift a beautiful cross of precious stones, and I mistrusted, from what I see in her face when he gin it to her, that he meant it to be symbolical, and then agin I don’t know.  But, anyway, she wore it a-fastenin’ the lace at her white throat.

[Illustration:  Krit give her a beautiful cross.]

But I do know that the girls and I gin her some good linen napkins, and towels, and table-cloths, and the boys a handsome set of books.

And I do know that the supper afterwards wuz, although well I know the impoliteness of my even hintin’ at it—­I do know, and I should lie if I said that I didn’t know it, that that supper wuz a good one—­as good a one, so fur as my knowledge goes, as wuz ever put on a table in the town of Lyme, or the village of Jonesville.

And Josiah Allen, he eat too much—­fur, fur too much.  And I hunched him three times to that effect at the time, to no avail.

And once I stepped on his toe—­a dretful warnin’ steppin’—­and he asked me out loud and snappish (I hit a corn, I spoze, onbeknown to me)—­and he asked me right out before ’em all, voyalent, “What I wuz a-steppin’ on his toe for?”

[Illustration:  I stepped on his toe.]

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And so, of course, that curbed me in, and I had to let him go on, and cut a full swath in the vittles.  But it wuz some comfort for me to think that most likely he wouldn’t be tempted by a weddin’ supper agin—­not for some time, anyway.  For the Babe wuz but young yet, and we wuz gettin’ along.

Yes, that hull weddin’ went off perfectly beautiful, and there wuzn’t but one drawback to my happiness on that golden day that united them two happy lovers.

Yes, onbeknown to me a feelin’ of sadness come over me—­sadness and regret.

It wuzn’t any worriment and concern about the fate of Isabelle and her husband —­no; True Love wuz a-goin’ out with ’em on their weddin’ tower, and I knew if he went ahead of ’em, and they wuz a-walkin’ in the light of his torch, their way wuz a-goin’ to be a radiant and a satisfyin’ one, whether it led up hill or down or over the deep waters—­yea, even over the swellin’ of Jordan.

No, it wuzn’t that, nor anything relatin’ to the children, or my dress, or anything—­

No, my dress—­a new lilock gray alpaca—­sot out noble round my form, and my new head-dress wuz foamin’ lookin’, but it didn’t foam too much.

No, it wuzn’t that, nor anything about the neighbors—­no; they looked some envious at our noble doin’s, and walked by the house considerable, and the wimmen made errents, and borrowed more tea and sugar, durin’ the preparations, than it seemed as if they could use in two years; but I pitied ’em, and forgive ’em—­

And it wuzn’t anything about the children or Krit.

For the children wuz happy in their happy and prosperous hums, and Krit, they say—­I don’t tell it for certain—­but they say that he come back engaged to a sweet young girl of Chicago—­

Come back from the great New World of the World’s Fair, as his illustrious namesake went home so long ago, in chains—­

Only Krit’s chains wuz wrought of linked love and blessedness instead of iron—­so they say.

I’ve seen her picter; but good land! how can I tell who or what it is?  It is pretty as a doll, and Krit seems to think his eyes on it; but he’s so full of fun, I can’t git any straight story out of him.

But Thomas Jefferson says she is a bonny fidy girl—­a good one and a pretty one, and has got a father dretful well off; and he sez that she and Krit are engaged.  So I spoze more’n like as not they be.

And I also learnt, through a letter received that very day, that Mr. Bolster has led Miss Plank to the altar, or she has led him—­it don’t make much difference.  Anyway, she has walked offen the Plank of widowhood, and settled down onto a Bolster for life.

[Illustration:  Mr. Bolster led Miss Plank to the altar.]

I wuz glad on’t.  She wanted a companion, and he loves to converse, Heaven knows; and he is sure of one thing—­he’s almost certain, or as certain as we can be of anything in this life, that he will have the best pancakes that hands can make or spoons stir up.

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I learnt also from her letter—­Miss Bolster’s, knee Plankses—­that Nony Piddock wuz a-goin into the ministery.  What a case for funerals he will be, and shockin’ casualities!  But he won’t be good for much on a weddin’ occasion.

And speakin’ of weddin’s brings me back to my subject agin.

No, it wuzn’t any of these things that cast that mournful shadder on my eyebrows, anon, and even oftener, when I wuz out by myself—­

And I spoze that I might as well tell what it wuz that I regretted and missed—­

It wuz Christopher Columbus! the Brave Admiral! good, noble creeter!

I felt, in view of all he had done for America and the world, it wuz too bad that he had to die without havin’ the privilege of seein’ Jonesville, and bein’ with us that day, and seein’ what we see, and hearin’ what we heard, and eatin’ what we eat—­

It wuz his doin’s, the hull on’t wuz Christopher Columbuses doin’s.  For if he hadn’t discovered America, why, he wouldn’t had no World’s Fair for him.  And then it stands to reason that Josiah and I shouldn’t have gone to it.  And if we hadn’t gone to Miss Plankses, Mr. Freeman and Isabelle wouldn’t have met.

Yes, I felt to lay the praise of it all to that blessed old mariner—­I felt that I hadn’t done nothin’ towards it to what he had.  And I kep on a-sayin’ to myself—­

“Oh, if he could only have been here, and seen with his own eyes what he had done!”

And when I thought how he walked hungry through the streets of Genoa, oh, how I did wish he could have had some of my scolloped oysters, and pressed chickens, and jell-cake, and tarts, and my heartfelt pity and sympathy, to say nothin’ of other vittles, and well-meanin’ actions accordin’.

[Illustration:  How I did wish he could have had some of my scolloped oysters, and jell-cake, and tarts.]

Of course, I would have been pleased to have had Queen Isabelle and Ferdinand there—­

There wuz cake enough, and ice-cream, and oysters, and everything.  And everybody that knows me knows that I hain’t one to begrech havin’ one or two more visitors to wait on and provide for than I had planned havin’.

Yes, I should have been glad to seen ’em, and wait on ’em.  But I didn’t seem to care anything about seein’ ’em, compared to my feelin’s about Christopher Columbus.

Yes, Christopher wuz my theme, and my constant burden of mind.

But I had to gin it up.  I couldn’t expect a man to live four or five hundred years jest to please me, and gratify Jonesville.

No, Columbus wuzn’t there.  He wuz off somewhere a-discoverin’ new continents, or planets, mebby.

For I don’t believe he crumpled right down, and sot down forever on them golden streets.

No; I believe the eager, active mind would be a-reachin’ out, a-findin’ out new truths, new discoveries, so great that it would probable make us shet our eyes before the blindin’ glory of ’em, if we could only git a glimpse of ’em.

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But there, in that New World that lays beyend the sunset, he is happy at last—­blest in the companionship of other true prophetic ones, whose deepest strivin’s wuz, like his, to make the world better and wiser—­them who longed for deeper, fuller understandin’, and who walked the narrer streets of earth, like him, in chains and soul-hunger.

I love to think that now, onhampered by mutinous foes, or mortal weakness, they are a-sailin’ out on that broad sea of full knowledge, and comprehension, and divine sympathy.  Lit by the sunshine of infinite love, they sail on, and on, and on.


Other Works by Joshiah Allen’s Wife.


A Charming Volume of Poetry.  Beautifully Illustrated by W. Hamilton Gibson and other Artists.  Bound in Colors.  Square 12mo, 216 pp.  Cloth, $2.00.

        “Will win for her a title to an honorable place among American
        poets.”—­Chicago Standard.

        “Miss Holley has here more than sustained her previous high
        literary reputation.”—­Interior, Chicago.


By “Josiah Allen’s Wife.”  Illustrated.  Square 12mo, 452 pp.  Cloth, $2.50.

        “It is irresistibly humorous and true.”—­Bishop John P.

“It is as full of meat as an egg....  Calculated to do immense good in that department of woman’s rights which relates to her participation in the great work of the Church of Christ, beyond the scrubbing and papering of the meeting-house.”—­Ex-Judge Noah Davis.

        “It abounds in mingled humor, pathos and inexorable common
        sense.”—­Will Carleton.

        “It is exceedingly entertaining.”—­New York Observer.


Or, Josiah Allen as a Politician.  A Fascinating Story.  Square 12mo, 390 pp.  Cloth, $2.00.

“The interest of the book is intense....  Never was such a defender of woman’s rights, never was such an exponent of woman’s wrongs!  In Samantha’s pithy, pointed, scornful utterances we have in very truth the expression of feelings common to most thoughtful women, well understood among them, but rarely finding voice except in confidential intercourses and for sympathetic ears.  Other women besides poor Cicely, and warm-hearted, clear-headed Samantha, and ‘humble’ Dorlesky eat their hearts out over the injustice of laws that they have no hand in making, and can have no hand in altering, though ruin and agony are their result....  It would be impossible to find in literature anything more pitiful than this story of the struggle of a gentle-natured woman against the dangers which surround her child,

Page 259

and her agony as she realizes her helplessness to avert evil from her fellow-sufferers.  If it were not for the strong vein of humor which lightens up the darkest passages, the interest would be too painful.  But Samantha intervenes with her quaint epigrams and keen-witted analysis, and lo, a smile broadens before the tear has dried!...  Alongside of the fun are genuine eloquence and profound pathos; we scarcely know which is the more delightful.”—­The Literary World, London, Eng.