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.