“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.”