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Title: Humour of the North
Author: Burpee, Lawrence J. (Lawrence Johnstone), 1873-1946
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Humour of the North" ***

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HUMOUR OF THE NORTH



SELECTED AND ARRANGED BY

LAWRENCE J. BURPEE



TORONTO
THE MUSSON BOOK COMPANY
LIMITED


_Entered at
Stationers' Hall_
1912



INTRODUCTORY NOTE


Some day an enterprising editor may find time to glean from the whole
field of Canadian literature a representative collection of wit and
humour. It would include the productions of such acknowledged humorists
as Thomas Chandler Haliburton and George Thomas Lanigan, as well as
specimens of characteristic humour from writers who are better
remembered by their more serious work. It would also include a great
deal of genuine wit and humour, largely anonymous, in such Canadian
periodicals as _Grip_, _Punch in Canada_, the _Grumbler_, the _Free
Lance_, and _Diogenes_; and characteristic passages from the speeches
of such brilliant and witty debaters as Thomas D'Arcy McGee, Joseph
Howe, and Nicholas Flood Davin. The present little collection obviously
makes no such ambitious claim. It embraces, however, what are believed
to be representative examples of the work of some of our better-known
writers, many of which will no doubt be quite familiar to Canadian
readers, but perhaps none the less welcome on that account.

For permission to reproduce these selections the Editor is indebted to
the authors or their representatives, and in the case of the late Dr.
Drummond he is also indebted to the publishers, G. P. Putnam's Sons,
New York. The selection from Joseph Howe's work is taken from his
_Poems and Essays_; Haliburton's sketches are taken from _The Old
Judge_; those of Dr. Drummond from _The Habitant_, _Johnnie Courteau_,
and _The Voyageur_; that of Mrs. Cotes from her _Social Departure_;
McCarroll's poem from _Madeleine_; Lanigan's Fables from the little
volume published under that title; and DeMille's selection from _The
Dodge Club_. Lanigan's humorous verse was never brought together in
book form.

Ottawa,
_August, 1910_.



CONTENTS


                                                         PAGE

JOSEPH HOWE (1804-1873):
  The Blue Nose                                             1
  To Mary                                                   3
  A Toast (To Haliburton)                                   5

THOMAS CHANDLER HALIBURTON (1796-1865):
  Sheepskins and Politics                                   8
  The Doctor                                               11
  Mother Hunt's Chickens                                   15
  The Deacon's Bargain                                     19

WILLIAM HENRY DRUMMOND (1854-1907):
  The Corduroy Road                                        22
  Dominique                                                30
  How Bateese came Home                                    34

MRS. EVERARD COTES (1862-):
  The Japanese Reporter                                    46

JAMES McCARROLL (1814-1890):
  The Gray Linnet                                          59

GEORGE THOMAS LANIGAN (1845-1886):
  The Ahkoond of Swat                                      61
  The Amateur Orlando                                      64
  The Plumber's Revenge                                    71
  The Merchant of Venice                                   77
  The Unfortunate Elephant                                 78
  The Coroner and the Banana Peel                          79
  The Rhinoceros and the Dromedary                         80
  The Hen and the Tailor                                   82
  The Glow-worm and the Famished Nightingale               83
  The Centipede and the Barbaric Yak                       85
  The Honest Newsboy                                       87
  The Villager and the Snake                               88
  The Ostrich and the Hen                                  90

JAMES DEMILLE (1836-1880):
  The Senator's Laundry                                    91



HUMOUR OF THE NORTH



THE BLUE NOSE


    Let the Student of Nature in rapture descant,
      On the Heaven's cerulean hue;
    Let the Lover indulge in poetical rant,
      When the eyes of his Mistress are blue.

    But fill high your glasses--fill, fill to the brim,
      I've a different toast to propose:
    While such eyes, and such skies, still are beaming for him,
      Here's a health to the jolly Blue Nose.

    Let the Frenchman delight in his vine-covered vales,
      Let the Greek toast his old classic ground;
    Here's the land where the bracing Northwester prevails,
      And where jolly Blue Noses abound.

    Long--long may it flourish, to all of us dear,
      Loved and honoured by hearts that are true;
    But, should ever a foe chance his nose to show here
      He shall find all our Noses true Blue.



TO MARY


    Oh! blame me not, Mary, for gazing at you,
      Nor suppose that my thoughts from the Preacher were straying,
    Tho' I stole a few glances--believe me 'tis true--
      They were sweet illustrations of what he was saying.

    For, when he observed that Perfection was not
      To be found upon Earth--for a moment I bent
    A look upon you--and could swear on the spot
      That perfection in Beauty was not what he meant.

    And when, with emotion, the worthy Divine
      On the doctrine of loving our neighbours insisted,
    I felt, if their forms were as faultless as thine,
      I could love every soul of them while I existed.

    And Mary, I'm sure 'twas the fault of those eyes--
      'Twas the lustre of them to the error gave birth--
    That, while he spoke of Angels that dwelt in the Skies,
      I was gazing with rapture at one upon Earth.



A TOAST


    Here's a health to thee, Tom: a bright bumper we drain
      To the friends that our bosoms hold dear,
    As the bottle goes round, and again and again
      We whisper, "We wish _he_ were here."

    Here's a health to thee, Tom: may the mists of this earth
      Never shadow the light of that soul
    Which so often has lent the mild flashes of mirth
      To illumine the depths of the Bowl.

    With a world full of beauty and fun for a theme,
      And a glass of good wine to inspire,
    E'en without thee we sometimes are bless'd with a gleam
      That resembles thy spirit's own fire.

    Yet still, in our gayest and merriest mood,
      Our pleasures are tasteless and dim,
    For the thoughts of the past and of Tom that intrude
      Make us feel we're but happy with him.

    Like the Triumph of old where the _absent one_ threw
      A cloud o'er the glorious scene,
    Are our feasts, my dear Tom, when we meet without you,
      And think of the nights that have been.

    When thy genius, assuming all hues of delight
      Fled away with the rapturous hours,
    And when wisdom and wit, to enliven the night,
      Scattered freely their fruits and their flowers.

    When thy eloquence played round each topic in turn,
      Shedding lustre and life where it fell,
    As the sunlight, in which the tall mountain tops burn,
      Paints each bud in the lowliest dell.

    When that eye, before which the pale Senate once quailed
      With humour and deviltry shone,
    And the voice which the heart of the patriot hailed,
      Had mirth in its every tone.

    Then a health to thee, Tom: ev'ry bumper we drain
      But renders thy image more dear,
    As the bottle goes round, and again and again,
      We wish, from our hearts, you were here.



SHEEPSKINS AND POLITICS


You know Uncle Tim; he was small, very small--not in stature, for he
was a six-footer, but small in mind and small in heart; his soul was no
bigger than a flea's. "Zeb, my boy," says he to me one day, "always be
neuter in elections. You can't get nothing by them but ill-will. Dear,
dear! I wish I had never voted. I never did but oncest, and, dear,
dear! I wish I had let that alone. There was an army doctor oncest,
Zeb, lived right opposite to me to Digby: dear, dear! he was a good
friend to me. He was very fond of wether mutton; and, when he killed a
sheep, he used to say to me, 'Friend Tim, I will give you the skin if
you will accept it.' Dear, dear! what a lot of them he gave me, first
and last! Well, oncest the doctor's son, Lawyer Williams, offered for
the town, and so did my brother-in-law, Phin Tucker; and, dear, dear! I
was in a proper fix. Well, the doctor axed me to vote for his son, and
I just up and told him I would, only my relation was candidating also;
but ginn him my hand and promise I would be neuter. Well, I told
brother-in-law the same, that I'd vote for him with pleasure, only my
old friend, the doctor's son, was offering too; and, therefore, gave
him my word also, I'd be neuter. And, oh, dear, dear! neuter I would
have remained too, if it hadn't a-been for them two electioneering
generals--devils, I might say--Lory Scott and Terry Todd. Dear, dear!
somehow or 'nother, they got hold of the story of the sheepskins, and
they gave me no peace day or night. 'What,' says they, 'are you going
to sell your country for a sheepskin?' The day of the election they
seized on me, one by one arm, and the other by the other, and lugged me
off to the poll, whether I would or no.

"'Who do you vote for?' said the sheriff.

"'Would you sell your country for a sheepskin?' shouted Terry, in one
ear.

"'Would you sell your country for a sheepskin?' bellowed Lory, in the
other ear.

"I was so frightened, I hardly knew what I did; but they tell me I
voted for brother Phin! Dear, dear! the doctor never gave me a
sheepskin while he lived after that. Dear, dear!--that was an ugly vote
for me!"



THE DOCTOR


Old Dr. Green (you knowed him, in course--everybody knowed him) lived
on Digby Neck. He was reckoned a skilful man, and was known to be a
regular rotated doctor; but he drank like a fish (and it's actilly
astonishing how many country doctors have taken to drink), and, of
course, he warn't always a very safe man in cases where a cool head and
a steady hand was needed (though folks did say he knowed a plaguey
sight more, even when he was drunk, than one-half of them do when they
are sober). Well, one day old Jim Reid, who was a pot-companion of his,
sent him a note to come into town immediately, without the loss of one
moment of time, and bring his amputating instruments with him, for
there was a most shocking accident had happened to his house. So in
come the doctor as hard as he could drive, looking as sorry, all the
time, as if he didn't live by misfortunes and accidents, the old
hypocrite!

"My dear friend," said he solemnly, to Reid, and a-taking of him by the
hand, and giving it a doleful shake--"My dear friend, what is the
matter?--who is hurt? And what the devil is to pay now? How thankful we
all ought to be that the accident hasn't occurred to one whom we all
respect so much as you!"

And then he unpacked his instruments, off with his coat, and up with
his sleeves; and, with one hand, pulls a hair out of his head, and,
with the other, takes his knife and cuts it in two, to prove the edge
was all right. Then he began to whistle while he examined his saw, for
nothing puts these chaps in such good humour as cutting and slashing
away at legs and arms--operating, as they call it--and, when all was
ready, says he--

"Reid," says he, a-tapping him on the shoulder, "where is the patient?"

Well, Reid opened the door of another room, and there was a black boy
a-holding of a duck on the table that had broke his leg!

"There is a case for amputation, doctor!" said he; "but, first of all,
take a glass of brandy and water to steady your nerves. He knows you,"
says he; "hear him how he calls out Quack, quack! after you, as if he
was afraid to let you perform on him."

Well, the doctor entered into the joke as good-natured as possible,
laughed like anything, whipped down the grog, whipped off the leg, and
whipped up the knives and saws in no time.

"You must stay to dine, doctor," said Reid (for the joke was only
intended to get him into town to drink along with him); and he stayed
to dine, and stayed to sup, and, being awful drunk, stayed to bed, too.

Well, every time Reid saw him arter that in town, he asked him to come
in and see his patient, which meant to come in and drink; and so he did
as long as the cask of rael, particular Jamaikey lasted.

Some time after that the old fellow sent in a bill for operating,
making a wooden leg, medical attendance, and advice, per order, for
twenty-five pounds; and, what's more, when Reid wouldn't pay it, the
doctor sued him for it to court, and gained his cause. Fact, I assure
you.



MOTHER HUNT'S CHICKENS


Five years ago, come next summer, the old lady made a trip to Halifax,
in one of our Digby coasters, to see sister Susannah, that is married
in that city to Ted Fowler, the upholsterer, and took a whole lot of
little notions with her to market to bear expenses; for she is a saving
kind of body, is mother, and likes to make two ends meet at the close
of the year. Among the rest, was the world and all of eggs, for she was
a grand hand in a poultry-yard. Some she stowed away in boxes, and some
in baskets, and some in tubs, so that no one accident could lose them
all for her. Well, under the berths in the cabin were large drawers for
bedding; and she rotated that out, and packed them full of eggs in
wool, as snug as you please, and off they started on their voyage.
Well, they had nothing but calms, and light airs, or head winds, and
were ever so long in getting to town; and, when they anchored, she got
her duds together, and began to collect her eggs all ready for landing.
The first drawer she opened, out hopped ever so many chickens on the
cabin floor, skipping and hopping about, a-chirping, "Chick, chick,
chick!" like anything!

"Well, if that don't beat all!" said mother, and she looked the very
picture of doleful dumps. "I hope there is no more of them a-coming
into the world that way, without being sent for!" and she opened a
second, and out came a second flock, with a "Chick, chick, chick!" and
another, and another, till she pulled them all out. The cabin floor was
chockful of them; for the heat and confined bilge air had hatched all
the eggs that were in the close and hot drawers.

Oh, the captain, and passengers, and sailors, they roared with
laughter! Mother was awful mad, for nothing makes one so angry as
accidents that set folks off a tee-hee-ing that way. If anybody had
been to blame but herself, wouldn't they have caught it, that's all?
for scolding is a great relief to a woman; but as there warn't, there
was nothing left but to cry: and scolding and crying are two
safety-valves that have saved many a heart from busting.

Well, the loss was not great, though she liked to take care of her
coppers, too; it was the vexation that worried her. But the worst was
to come yet. When she returned home, the boys to Digby got hold of the
story; and, wherever she went, they called out after her "Chick, chick,
chick!" I skinned about half-a-dozen of the little imps of mischief for
it, but it only made them worse; for they hid in porches, and behind
doors, and gates, and fences, as seen her a-coming, and roared out,
"Chick, chick, chick!" and nearly bothered her to death. So she give up
going out any more, and never leaves home now. It's my opinion, her
rheumatism is nothing but the effect of want of exercise, and all comes
from that cursed "Chick, chick, chick!"



THE DEACON'S BARGAIN


Old Deacon Bruce of Aylesford, last Monday week, bought a sleigh of his
fellow-deacon, Squire Burns, for five pounds. On his way home with it,
who should he meet but Zeek Morse, a-trudging along through the snow
a-foot.

"Friend Zeek," says the old Christian, "won't you get in and ride?
Here's room for you and welcome."

"Don't care if I do," said Zeek, "seeing that sitting is as cheap as
walking, if you don't pay for it." So he hops in, and away they go.

Well, Zeek was mightily taken with the sleigh.

"Deacon," says he, "how shall you and me trade for it? It's just the
article I want, for I am a-going down to Bridgetown next week to be
married; and it will suit me to a notch to fetch Mrs. Morse, my wife,
home in. What will you take for it?"

"Nine pounds," said old Conscience. "It cost me seven pounds ten
shillings, to Deacon Burns, who built it; and as it's the right season
for using it, and I can't get another made till next winter, I must
have nine pounds for it, and it ain't dear at that price neither."

"Done!" says Zeek--for he is an offhand kind of chap, and never stands
bantering and chaffering a long time, but says at once what he means,
as I do. "Done!" says he--"'tis mine!" and the deacon drives up to his
house, gets his pay, and leaves the sleigh there.

Next morning, when Zeek went to examine his purchase, he found there
was a bolt left out by mistake, so off he goes to the maker, Deacon
Burns, to get it put in, when he ups and tells him all about the
bargain.

"Did the old gentleman tell you my price was seven pounds ten?" said
he.

"Oh yes," said Zeek, "in course he did--there is no mistake about it.
I'll take my oath to it."

"Well, so it was," said Burns. "He told you true. He was to give me
seven pounds ten; but as there was nobody by but him and me when we
traded, and as it ain't paid for yet, he might perhaps forget it, for
he is getting to be an old man now. Will you try to recollect it?"

"Sartainly," said Zeek. "I'll swear to it any day you please, in any
court in the world, for them was his very words to me."

What does Deacon Burns do but go right off and sue Deacon Bruce for
seven pounds ten, instead of five pounds, the real price; called Zeek
as a witness to his admission, and gained his case! Fact, upon my soul!



THE CORDUROY ROAD


    De corduroy road go bompety bomp,
    De corduroy road go jompety jomp,
    An' he's takin' beeg chances upset hees load
    De horse dat'll trot on de corduroy road.

    Of course it's purty rough, but it's handy t'ing enough,
    An' dey mak' it wit' de log all jine togeder
    W'en dey strek de swampy groun' w'ere de water hang aroun'
    Or passin' by some tough ole beaver medder.

    But it's not macadamise, so if you're only wise
    You will tak' your tam an' never min' de worry,
    For de corduroy is bad, an' will mak' you plaintee mad
    By de way de buggy jomp, in case you hurry.

    An' I'm sure you don't expec' leetle Victorine Leveque
    She was knowin' moche at all about dem places,
    'Cos she's never dere before, till young Zepherin Madore
    He was takin' her away for see de races.

    Oh, I wish you see her den! dat's before she marry, w'en
    She's de fines' on de lan'; but no use talkin'.
    I can bet you w'at you lak, if you meet her you look back
    Jus' to watch de fancy way dat girl is walkin'.

    Yass, de leetle Victorine was de nices' girl between
    De town of Yamachiche an' Maskinongé,
    But she's stuck up an' she's proud, an' you'll never count de crowd
    Of de boy she geev it w'at dey call de congé.

    Ah! de moder spoil her, sure, for even to Joe D'Amour,
    W'en he's ready nearly ev'ry t'ing to geev her
    If she mak' de mariée, only say, "Please go away,"
    An' he's riches' habitant along de reever.

    Zepherin he try it too, an' he's workin' somet'ing new,
    For he's makin' de old woman many presen'--
    Prize package on de train, umbrella for de rain--
    But she's grompy all de tam, an' never pleasan'.

    Wall, w'en he ax Ma-dame tak' de girl away dat tam
    See dem races on Sorel wit' all de trotter
    De moder say, "All right, if you bring her home to-night,
    Before de cow's milk, I let her go, ma daughter."

    So Victorine she go wit' Zepherin her beau
    On de yankee buggy mak' it on St. Bruno,
    An' w'en dey pass hotel on de middle of Sorel
    Dey're puttin' on de beeges' style dat you know.

    Wall! dey got some good horse dere, but Zepherin don't care.
    He's back it up, hees own paroisse, ba golly,
    An' he mak' it t'ree doll-arre w'en Maskinongé Star
    On de two mile heat was beating Sorel Molly.

    Victorine don't min' at all, till de "free for all" dey call--
    Dat's de las' race dey was run before de snow fly--
    Den she say, "I t'ink de cow mus' be gettin home soon now
    An' you know it's only clock ole woman go by.

    "An' if we're comin' late w'en de cow pass on de gate
    You'll be sorry if you hear de way she talk dere,
    So w'en I see de race on Sorel or any place
    Affer dis, you may be sure I got to walk dere."

    Den he laugh, dat Zepherin, an' he say, "Your poor mama,
    I know de pile she t'ink about her daughter
    So we'll tak' de short road back on de corduroy race track;
    Don't matter if we got to sweem de water."

    No wonder he is smile till you hear heem half a mile,
    For dat morning he was tole hees leetle broder
    Let de cattle out de gate, so he know it's purty late
    By de tam dem cow was findin' out each oder.

    So along de corduroy de young girl an' de boy
    Dey was kipin' up a joggin' nice an' steady.
    It isn't heavy load, an' Guillaume he know de road
    For many tam he's been dat way already.

    But de girl she fin' it slow, so she ax de boy to go
    Somet'ing better dan a mile on fifteen minute,
    An' he's touch heem up, Guillaume; so dat horse he lay for home,
    An' de nex' t'ing Victorine she know she's in it.

    "Oh, pull him in," she yell, "for even on Sorel
    I am sure I never see de quicker racer,"
    But it's leetle bit too late, for de horse is get hees gait
    An' de worse of all, ba gosh! Guillaume's a pacer.

    See hees tail upon de air, no wonder she was scare!
    But she hang on lak de winter on T'ree Reever.
    Cryin' out, "Please hol' me tight, or I'm comin' dead to-night,
    An' ma poor old moder dear, I got to leave her."

    Wit' her arm aroun' hees wais'--she was doin' it in case
    She bus' her head, or keel herse'f, it's not so easy sayin'--
    Dey was comin' on de jomp t'roo dat dam old beaver swamp
    An' meet de crowd is lookin' for dem cow was go a-strayin'.

    Den she' cryin', Victorine, for she's knowin' w'at it mean--
    De parish dey was talkin' firse chances dey be gettin'.
    But no sooner dat young man stop de horse, he tak' her han'
    An' w'isper, "Never min', ma chère, won't do no good a-frettin'."

    Non! she isn't cryin' long, for he tole her it was wrong.
    She's sure he save her life too, or she was moche mistaken,
    An' de ole Ma-dame Leveque also kiss heem on de neck
    An' quickly after dat, Hooraw! de man an' wife dey're makin'.



DOMINIQUE


    You dunno ma leetle boy Dominique?
      Never see heem runnin' roun' about de place?
    'Cos I want to get advice how to kip heem lookin' nice,
      So he won't be alway dirty on de face.
    Now dat leetle boy of mine, Dominique,
      If you wash heem an' you sen' heem off to school,
    But instead of goin' dere, he was playin' fox an hare--
      Can you tell me how to stop de leetle fool?

    "I'd tak' dat leetle feller Dominique,
      An' I'd put heem on de cellar ev'ry day,
    An' for workin' out a cure bread an' water's very sure,
      You can bet he mak' de promise not to play!"

    Dat's very well to say, but ma leetle Dominique
      W'en de jacket we put on heem's only new,
    An' he's goin' travel roun' on de medder up an' down,
      Wit' de strawberry on hees pocket runnin' t'roo,
    An' w'en he climb de fence, see de hole upon hees pant,
      No wonder hees poor moder's feelin' mad!
    So if you ketch heem den, w'at you want to do, ma frien'?
      Tell me quickly an' before he get too bad.

    "I'd lick your leetle boy Dominique,
      I'd lick heem till he's crying purty hard,
    An' for fear he's gettin' spile, I'd geev' heem castor ile,
      An' I wouldn't let heem play outside de yard."

    If you see ma leetle boy Dominique
      Hangin' on to poor ole "Billy" by de tail,
    W'en dat horse is feelin' gay, lak I see heem yesterday,
      I suppose you t'ink he's safer on de jail?
    W'en I'm lightin' up de pipe on de evenin' affer work,
      An' de powder dat young rascal's puttin' in,
    It was makin' such a pouf, nearly blow me t'roo de roof--
      W'at's de way you got of showin' 'twas a sin?

    "Wall! I put heem on de jail right away,
      You may bet de wan is got de beeges' wall!
    A honder foot or so, w'ere dey never let heem go,
      Non! I wouldn't kip a boy lak dat at all."

    Dat's good advice for sure, very good,
      On de cellar, bread an' water--it'll do,
    De nice sweet castor ile geev heem ev'ry leetle w'ile,
      An' de jail to finish up wit' w'en he's t'roo!
    Ah! ma frien', you never see Dominique
      W'en he's lyin' dere asleep upon de bed;
    If you do, you say to me, "W'at an angel he mus' be,
      An' dere can't be not'ing bad upon hees head."

    Many t'ank for your advice, an' it may be good for some,
      But de reason you was geev it isn't very hard to seek--
    Yass! it's easy seein' now, w'en de talk is over, how
      You dunno ma leetle boy Dominique.



HOW BATEESE CAME HOME


    W'en I was young boy on de farm--dat's twenty year ago--
    I have wan frien', he's leev near me, call Jean Bateese Trudeau,
    An offen, w'en we are alone, we lak for spik about
    De tam w'en we was come beeg man, wit' moustache on our mout'.

    Bateese is get it on hees head he's too moche educate
    For mak' de habitant farmerre--he better go on State--
    An' so wan summer evening we're driving home de cow
    He's tole me all de whole beez-nesse--jus' lak you hear me now.

    "Wat's use mak foolish on de farm? dere's no good chances lef',
    An' all de tam you be poor man--you know dat's true you'se'f;
    We never get no fun at all--don't never go on spree
    Onless we pass on 'noder place, an' mak it some monee.

    "I go on Les Etats-Unis, I go dere right away,
    An' den, mebbe, on ten-twelve year, I be rich man some day,
    An' w'en I mak' de large fortune I come back, I s'pose,
    Wit' Yankee famme from off de State, an' monee on my clothes.

    "I tole you somet'ing else also--mon cher Napoléon--
    I get de grande majorité, for go on parliament,
    Den buil' fine house on borde l'eau--near w'ere de church is stand--
    More finer dan de Presbytère, w'en I am come riche man!"

    I say, "For w'at you spik lak dat? you must be gone crazee.
    Dere's plaintee feller on de State, more smarter dan you be;
    Besides, she's not so healtee place, an' if you mak l'argent,
    You spen' it jus' lak Yankee man, an' not lak habitant.

    "For me, Bateese, I tole you dis: I'm very satisfy--
    De bes' man don't leev too long tam; some day, ba gosh! he die--
    An' s'pose you got good trotter horse, an' nice famme Canadienne
    Wit' plaintee on de house for eat--W'at more you want, ma frien'?"

    But Bateese have it all mak' up, I can't stop him at all.
    He's buy, etc., seconde classe tiquette, for go on Central Fall,
    An' wit' two-t'ree some more de boy--w'at t'ink de sam' he do--
    Pass on de train de very nex' wick, was lef' Rivière du Loup.

    Wall! mebbe fifteen year or more since Bateese go away
    I fin' meself Rivière du Loup, wan cole, cole winter day.
    De quick express she come, horraw! but stop de soon she can,
    An' beeg swell feller jomp off car, dat's boss by nigger man.

    He's dressim on de première classe, an' got new suit of clothes
    Wit' long moustache dat's stickin' out, de 'noder side hees nose,
    Fine gol' watch chain--nice portmanteau--an' long, long overcoat
    Wit beaver hat--dat's Yankee style--an' red tie on hees t'roat--

    I say, "Hello, Bateese! Hello! Comment ça va, mon vieux?"
    He say, "Excuse to me, ma frien', I t'ink I don't know you."
    I say, "She's very curis t'ing, you are Bateese Trudeau,
    Was raise on just sam' place wit' me, dat's fifteen year ago?"

    He say, "Oh yass, dat's sure enough--I know you now firs'-rate;
    But I forget mos' all ma French since I go on de State.
    Dere's 'noder t'ing kip on your head, ma frien', dey mus' be tole
    Ma name's Bateese Trudeau no more, but John B. Waterhole!"

    "Hole on de water's" fonny name for man wat's call Trudeau;
    Ma frien's dey all was spik lak dat, an' I am tole heem so.
    He say, "Trudeau an' Waterhole, she's jus' about de sam,
    An' if you for leev on State, you must have Yankee nam'."

    Den we invite heem come wit' us, "Hôtel du Canadaw,"
    W'ere he was treat mos' ev'ry tam, but can't tak' w'iskey blanc.
    He say sat's leetle strong for man jus' come off Central Fall,
    An "tabac Canayen" bedamme! he won't smoke dat at all!

    But fancy drink lak "Collings John" de way he put it down!
    Was long tam since I don't see dat--I t'ink he's goin' drown!--
    An' fine cigar cos' five cent each, an' mak' on Trois-Rivières!
    L'enfant! he smoke beeg pile of dem--for monee he don't care!

    I s'pose, meseff, it's t'ree o'clock w'en we are t'roo dat night.
    Bateese, hees fader come for heem, an' tak' heem home all right;
    De ole man say Bateese spik French, w'en he is place on bed--
    An' say bad word--but w'en he wake--forget it on hees head.

    Wall! all de winter, w'en we have soirée dat's grande affaire
    Bateese Trudeau, dit Waterhole, de be de boss man dere--
    You bet he have beeg tam!--but w'en de spring is come encore
    He's buy première classe tiquette for go on State some more.

    You 'member w'en de hard tam come on Les Etats-Unis,
    An' plaintee Canayens go back for stay deir own contree?
    Wall! jus' about dat' tam again I go Rivière du Loup
    For sole me two-t'ree load of hay--mak' leetle visit too.

    De freight train she is jus' arrive--only ten hour delay;
    She's never carry passengaire--dat's w'at dey always say.
    I see poor man on char caboose--he's got heem small valise.
    Begosh! I nearly tak' de fit.--It is--it is Bateese!

    He know me very well dis tam, an' say, "Bon jour, mon vieux.
    I hope you know Bateese Trudeau was educate wit' you.
    I'm jus' come off de State to see ma familee encore;
    I bus' mesef on Central Fall--I don't go dere no more.

    "I got no monee--not at all! I'm broke it up for sure.
    Dat's locky t'ing, Napoleon, de brakeman, Joe Latour,
    He's cousin of wan frien' of me call Camille Valiquette,
    Conductor too's good Canayen--don't ax me no tiquette."

    I tak' Bateese wit' me once more "Hôtel du Canadaw."
    An' he was glad for get de chance drink some good w'iskey blanc!
    Dat's warm heem up, and den he eat mos' ev'ryt'ing he see;
    I watch de w'ole beez-nesse mese'f--Monjee! he was hongree!

    Madame Charette, w'at's kip de place, get very much excite
    For see de many pork an' bean Bateese put out of sight--
    Du pain doré--potato pie--an' 'noder t'ing be dere,
    But w'en Bateese is get heem t'roo--dey go I don't know w'ere.

    It don't tak' long for tole de news "Bateese come off de State."
    An' purty soon we have beeg crowd, lak village she's en fête.
    Bonhomme Maxime Trudeau hese'f he's comin' wit' de pries'
    An' pass heem on de "Room for eat" w'ere he is see Bateese.

    Den ev'rybody feel it glad, for watch de embrasser,
    An' bimeby de old man spik. "Bateese, you here for stay?"
    Bateese, he's cry lak beeg bebé, "Bâ, j'eux rester ici.
    An' if I never see de State, I'm sure I don't care--me."

    "Correc'," Maxime is say right off. "I place you on de farm
    For help your poor ole fader; won't do you too moche harm.
    Please come wit' me on Magasin, I feex you up--bâ oui,
    An' den you're ready for go home an' see de familee."

    Wall! w'en de old man an' Bateese come off de Magasin
    Bateese is los' hees Yankee clothes--he's dress lak Canayen
    Wit' bottes sauvages--ceinture fléchée--an' coat wit' capuchon
    An' spik Français au naturel, de sam' as habitant.

    I see Bateese de oder day, he's work hees fader's place.
    I t'ink mese'f he's satisfy--I see dat on hees face.
    He say, "I got no use for State, mon cher Napoléon.
    Kebeck, she's good enough for me--Hooraw! pour Canadaw."



THE JAPANESE REPORTER


We do not know to this day to what circumstance we owed the honour of
appearing in print in Japan--whether we were mistaken for individuals
of distinction, or whether we were considered remarkable on our own
merits on account of being by ourselves; but we went downstairs fully
believing it to be a custom of the country, a rather flattering custom,
to which we were much pleased to conform; and this is a true chronicle
of what happened.

It was a slender, round-faced youth who made his deprecating bow to us
in the drawing-room. His shoulders sloped, his gray-blue kimono lay in
narrow folds across his chest like what the old-fashioned people at
home used to call a sontag. American boots were visible under the skirt
of the garment, and an American stiff felt hat reposed on the sofa
beside him. His thick, short black hair stood crisply on end, and out
of his dark eyes slanted a look of modest inquiry. He was the most
unaggressive reporter I have ever seen. His boots and his hat were the
only things about him that I could connect with journalism, as I had
previously been acquainted with it.

"How do you do?" I said, seeing that the silence must be broken and the
preliminaries gone through with by somebody.

"Yes!" he responded, with an amiability that induced Orthodocia to get
up hurriedly and look out of the window. "Did the radies arrive to the
_Duke of Westminster_?" looking from one to the other of us.

"We believe they did!" gasped Orthodocia, and immediately looked out of
the window again. I edged my chair toward the other window. Then the
cloven foot appeared in the shape of a note-book. He produced it with
gentle ostentation, as one would a trump card. The simile is complete
when I add that he took it from his sleeve.

"How old is rady?" calmly, deliberately.

"I--I forget," falsified this historian; "forty-five, I believe."

The reporter put it down.

"Other rady, your friend,--not so old? Older? More old?"

"I am twenty-two years of age," said Orthodocia gravely, with a
reproachful glance at me, "and I weigh ten stone. Height, five feet
eight inches. In shoes, I am in the habit of wearing fives; in gloves,
six and a half."

The reporter scribbled convulsively.

"Radies will study Japanese porryticks--please say."

"I beg pardon?"

"Yes." Fills another page.

Orthodocia, suavely, "Are they produced here to any extent?"

"We have here many porryticks--ribarer, conservative, monarchist."

"Oh!" more recourse to the window.

"Orthodocia," I said severely, "you may not be aware of it, but your
conduct is throwing discredit upon a person hitherto fairly entitled to
the world's good opinion--which is me. Continue to be absorbingly
interested in that brick wall, and allow me to talk to the gentleman."

"We have come," I said distinctly--Orthodocia bears testimony to the
fact that I said it distinctly--"to see Japan as far as Japan will
permit. Her politics, system of education, customs, and arts will be
of--ahem!--interest to us. We cannot truthfully say that we expect to
penetrate more deeply into the national life than other travellers have
done. In repressing this expectation we claim to be original. We
confess that our impressions will naturally be superficial, but we hope
to represent the crust so charmingly that nobody will ask for any of
the--interior--of the--well, of the pie."

"That's equivocal," said Orthodocia, "and ridiculous."

"Notwithstanding the well-known reticence of the Japanese," I
continued, "we hope to meet some of them who will show us something
more of their domesticity than we can see through the windows."

"You will acquire ranguage of Japan?"

"Not all of it, I think. It seems a little difficult, but musical--much
more musical than our ugly English," interposed Orthodocia.

"Yes. Will you the story of your journey please say?"

"Certainly. We came from Montreal to Vancouver by the C.P.R.--that is
the best Western railroad on the continent, because it is built with
English capital," bombastically. "Some people say that you never would
have heard of Canada in Japan but for the C.P.R., but I am told that
they are mostly jealous Republican Americans."

The reporter bowed.

"We travelled three thousand nine hundred miles by this route across
the North-West and through the Rocky Mountains." Here Orthodocia dwelt
upon the remarkable snow-sheds for protection against avalanches. She
went on with vague confidence to speak of the opening up of trade
between Canada and Japan by the new railway and steamship line, and I
added a few remarks about the interest in Japanese art that existed in
Montreal, and the advisability of the Japanese establishing firms of
their own there; while the reporter flattered our eloquence by taking
down notes enough to fill a quarto volume. We had never been
interviewed before--we might never be again--and we were determined to
make the occasion an illustrious one. We were quite pleased with
ourselves as the nice little creature bowed himself out, promising to
send us the fortunate _shimbun_ which would publish the interview, with
a translation of the same, a day or two later.

I suppose it was Orthodocia's effect upon him--the effect I had begun
to find usual--but he didn't send the _shimbun_; he brought it next
morning with much apology and many bows. I have before me a pencilled
document in the handwriting of three persons. The document contains the
interview as it was set down in the language of the translator, who sat
with an expression of unruffled repose, and spake aloud from the
_shimbun_ which he held in his hand. Sometimes Orthodocia took it down,
sometimes he took it down himself, sometimes I took it down while
Orthodocia left the room. The reason for this will perhaps be
self-evident. Orthodocia and I possess the document in turns, to ward
off low spirits. We have only to look at it to bring on an attack of
the wildest hilarity.

The reporter came entirely in Japanese costume the second time, and
left his wooden sandals outside on the stairs. He left most of his
English there, too, apparently, but he bowed all the way from the door
to the middle of the apartment in a manner that stood for a great deal
of polite conversation. Then he sat down and we sat down, and
Orthodocia prepared to transcribe the interview which had introduced us
to the Japanese nation from his lips. It was a proud, happy moment.

The reporter took the journal with which he was connected out of one of
the long, graceful, flowing sleeves which make life worth living for
masculine Japan. He told us that it was the _Hochi-Hochi-Shimbun_, and
he carefully pointed out the title, date beginning and end of the
article, which we marked, intending to buy several copies of the paper
and send them home. We were anxious that the people there should be
kept fully enlightened as to our movements, and there seemed to be a
great deal of detail in the article. Its appearance was a little
sensational, Orthodocia thought, but she silently concluded, with her
usual charity, not to blame the reporter for that, since he couldn't
possibly be considered responsible for the exaggerations of the Chinese
alphabet.

"Yesterday," translated the reporter solemnly--I must copy the
document, which does not give his indescribable pronunciation--"by
Canada steamer radies arrived. The correspondent, who is me, went to
Grand Hotel, which the radies is. Radies is of Canada, and
in-the-time-before of Engrand. They have a beautiful countenance."

Here the reporter bowed, and Orthodocia left the room for the first
time. I think she said she must go and get her pencil sharpened. She
left it with me, however, and I took up the thread of the interview.

"Object of radies' rocomotion, to make beautiful their minds. Miss
Elder-Rady answered, 'Our object is to observe habits, makings, and
beings of the Japanese nation, and to examine how civirisation of
Engrand and America prevails among the nation. And other objects is to
examine the art and drawing and education from the exterior of the
confectionery. In order to observe customs of Japan we intend to rearn
a private house.'"

We were getting on swimmingly when Orthodocia reappeared, having
recovered in the interval, and told the reporter that he must think
foreigners very abrupt and rude, and that he really spoke English
extremely well. To both of which remarks he responded, with a polite
suavity that induced me to turn my back upon her in an agony of
suppressed feeling, "Yes."

"Miss
Younger-Rady-measuring-ten-stone-and-wearing-six-shoes-and-a-half,
continue, 'The rai-road between the Montreal and Canada is
passing----'"

"I beg pardon," said the unhappy Orthodocia, with an awful galvanism
about the corners of her mouth, "I didn't quite catch what you said--I
mean what I said."

The reporter translated it over again.

"Perhaps," said I nervously, "it's a misprint."

"No," the reporter replied gravely, "Miss Younger-Rady."

"Gracious!" said Orthodocia.

"And if by the rai-road we emproy the steamer, the commerce of Montreal
and Japan will prevail. Correspondent asked to Miss Younger-Rady may I
heard the story of your caravansery?"

Orthodocia again retired. It was a little trying for me, but when he
continued, "She answered, 'From Montreal to Canada the distance is
three thousand mires,'" I was glad she had gone. I am afraid I choked a
little at this point, for just here he decided to wrestle with the
pencil himself. When he handed the paper back again I read: "While we
are passing the distance between Mount Rocky I had a great danger, for
the snow over the mountain is falling down, and the railroad shall be
cut off. Therefore, by the snowshade, which is made by the tree, its
falling was defend. Speaking finish. The ladies is to took their
caravansery attending among a few days. Ladies has the liability of
many news."

"That last item," said Orthodocia, who had come in with the excuse of
some tea, "is frightfully correct."

Having despatched the business of the hour and a half, the reporter
began to enjoy himself, while Orthodocia and I tried to seat ourselves
where we couldn't see each other's faces in the mirror over the
mantelpiece. He drank his tea with his head on a level with the table,
and if suction can express approval it was expressed. He said that
there were fourteen editorial writers on his _shimbun_, and that its
circulation was one million. Which shows that for the soul of a
newspaper man Shintoism has no obvious advantages. He dwelt upon the
weather for quarters of an hour at a time. The Japanese are such a
leisurely people. He took more tea, by this time stone cold. He said he
would bring a Japanese "gentleman and rady" to see us, and in response
to our inquiry as to whether the lady was the wife or the sister of the
gentleman, he said, with gravity, "I do not know the rady's wife." He
asked us for our photographs, and when Orthodocia retired at this for
the fifth time he thought she had gone to get them, and stayed until I
was compelled to go and pray her to return. It was the ringing of the
two o'clock lunch bell that suggested to him that the day was waning,
and that perhaps he had better wane too.



THE GRAY LINNET


There's a little gray friar in yonder green bush, Clothed in
sackcloth--a little gray friar, Like the druid of old in his
temple--but hush! He's at vespers; you must not go nigher.

Yet, the rogue! can those strains be addressed to the skies, And around
us so wantonly float, Till the glowing refrain like a shining thread
flies From the silvery reel of his throat?

When he roams, though he stains not his path through the air With the
splendour of tropical wings, All the lustre denied to his russet plumes
there Flashes forth through his lay when he sings;

For the little gray friar is so wondrous wise, Though in such a plain
garb he appears, That on finding he can't reach your soul through your
eyes, He steals in through the gates of your ears.

But the cheat!--'tis not heaven he's warbling about-- Other passions,
less holy, betide-- For behold, there's a little gray nun peeping out
From a bunch of green leaves at his side.



THE AHKOOND OF SWAT


    What, what, what,
    What's the news from Swat?
        Sad news,
        Bad news,
    Comes by the cable led
    Through the Indian Ocean's bed,
    Through the Persian Gulf, the Red
    Sea and the Med-
    Iterranean--he's dead;
    The Ahkoond is dead!

    For the Akhoond I mourn,
        Who wouldn't?
    He strove to disregard the message stern,
        But he Ahkoodn't.

    Dead, dead, dead;
        Sorrow Swats!
    Swats wha hae wi' Ahkoond bled,
    Swats whom he had often led
    Onward to a gory bed,
        Or to victory,
        As the case might be.
        Sorrow Swats!
    Tears shed,
        Shed tears like water,
    Your great Ahkoond is dead!
        That Swats the matter!

    Mourn, city of Swat!
    Your great Ahkoond is not,
    But lain 'mid worms to rot:
    His mortal part alone, his soul was caught
    (Because he was a good Ahkoond)
    Up to the bosom of Mahound.
    Though earthly walls his frame surround
    (For ever hallowed be the ground!)
    And sceptics mock the lowly mound
    And say, "He's now of no Ahkoond!"
    (His soul is in the skies!)
    The azure skies that bend above his loved
        Metropolis of Swat
      He sees with larger, other eyes,
      Athwart all earthly mysteries--
        He knows what's Swat.

    Let Swat bury the great Ahkoond
      With a noise of mourning and of lamentation!
    Let Swat bury the great Ahkoond
      With the noise of the mourning of the Swattish nation!

        Fallen is at length
        Its tower of strength,
    Its sun had dimmed ere it had nooned;
    Dead lies the great Ahkoond,
        The great Ahkoond of Swat
        Is not.



THE AMATEUR ORLANDO


    It was an Amateur Dram. Ass.
    (Kind reader, although your
    Knowledge of French is not first-class
    Don't call that Amature.)
    It was an Amateur Dram. Ass.,
    The which did warfare wage
    On the dramatic works of this
    And every other age.

    It had a walking gentleman,
    A leading juvenile,
    First lady in book-muslin dressed,
    With a galvanic smile;
    Thereto a singing chambermaid,
    Benignant heavy pa,
    And oh, heavier still was the heavy vill-
    Ain, with his fierce "Ha! ha!"

    There wasn't an author from Shakespeare down--
    Or up--to Boucicault
    These amateurs weren't competent
    (S. Wegg) to collar and throw.
    And when the winter time came round--
    "Season" 's a stagier phrase--
    The Am. Dram. Ass. assaulted one
    Of the Bard of Avon's plays.

    'Twas _As you Like It_ that they chose;
    For the leading lady's heart
    Was set on playing Rosalind,
    Or some other page's part.
    And the President of the Am. Dram. Ass.,
    A stalwart, dry-goods clerk,
    Was cast for Orlando, in which rôle
    He felt he'd make his mark.

    "I mind me," said the President
    (All thoughtful was his face),
    "When Orlando was taken by Thingummy
    That Charles was played by Mace.
    Charles hath not many lines to speak,
    Nay, not a single length--
    Oh, if find we can a Mussulman
    (That is, a man of strength),
    And bring him on the stage as Charles--
    But, alas! it can't be did!"
    "It can," replied the Treasurer;
    "Let's get The Hunky Kid."

    This Hunky Kid of whom they spoke
    Belonged to the P. R.;
    He always had his hair cut short,
    And always had catarrh.
    His voice was gruff, his language rough,
    His forehead villainous low,
    And 'neath his broken nose a vast
    Expanse of jaw did show.
    He was forty-eight about the chest,
    And his fore-arm at the mid
    Did measure twenty-one and a half--
    Such was The Hunky Kid!

    The Am. Dram. Ass., they have engaged
    This pet of the P. R.;
    As Charles the Wrestler he's to be
    A bright, particular star.
    And when they put the programme out,
    Announce him thus they did:
    Orlando ... Mr. Romeo Jones;
    Charles ... Mr. T. H. Kid.

    The night has come; the house is packed
    From pit to gallery,
    As those who through the curtain peep
    Quake inwardly to see.
    A squeak's heard in the orchestra,
    As the leader draws across
    Th' intestines of the agile cat
    The tail of the noble hoss.

    All is at sea behind the scenes.
    Why do they fear and funk?
    Alas, alas, The Hunky Kid
    Is lamentably drunk!
    He's in that most unlovely stage
    Of half-intoxication
    When men resent the hint they're tight
    As a personal imputation!

    "Ring up! ring up!" Orlando cried,
    "Or we must cut the scene;
    For Charles the Wrestler is imbued
    With poisonous benzine,
    And every moment gets more drunk
    Than he before has been."

    The wrestling scene has come and Charles
    Is much disguised in drink;
    The stage to him's an inclined plane,
    The footlights make him blink,
    Still strives he to act well his part
    Where all the honour lies,
    Though Shakespeare would not in his lines
    His language recognise
    Instead of "Come, where is this young----?"
    This man of bone and brawn,
    He squares himself and bellows, "Time!
    Fetch your Orlandos on!"

    "Now, Hercules be thy speed, young man,"
    Fair Rosalind said she,
    As the two wrestlers in the ring
    Grapple right furiously;
    But Charles the Wrestler had no sense
    Of dramatic propriety.

    He seized on Mr. Romeo Jones
    In Graeco-Roman style;
    He got what they call a grapevine lock
    On that leading juvenile;
    He flung him into the orchestra,
    And the man with the ophicleide,
    On whom he fell, he just said--well,
    No matter what--and died!

    When once the tiger has tasted blood,
    And found that it is sweet,
    He has a habit of killing more
    Than he can possibly eat.

    And thus it was with The Hunky Kid.
    In his homicidal blindness
    He lifted his hand against Rosalind,
    Not in the way of kindness.
    He chased poor Celia off at L.,
    At R. U. E. Le Beau,
    And he put such a head upon Duke Fred,
    In fifteen seconds or so,
    That never one of the courtly train
    Might his haughty master know.

        *     *     *     *     *

    And that's precisely what came to pass
    Because the luckless carles
    Belonging to the Am. Dram. Ass.
    Cast The Hunky Kid for Charles!



THE PLUMBER'S REVENGE

A LEGEND OF MADISON AVENUE


    _Canto I--The Death-Bed Oath_

    It was some thirty years ago,
    An evening calm and red,
    When a gold-haired stripling stood beside
    His father's dying-bed.
    "Attend, my son," the sick man said,
    "Unto my dying tones,
    And swear eternal vengeance to
    The accursed race of Jones.
    For why? Just nineteen years ago
    A girl sat by my side,
    With cheek of rose and breast of snow,
    My peerless, promised bride.
    A viper by the name of Jones
    Came in between us twain;
    With honeyed words he stole away
    My loved Belinda Jane.
    For he was rich and I was poor,
    And poets all are stupid
    Who feign the god of Love is not
    Cupidity, but Cupid.
    Perchance 'tis well, for had I wed
    That maid of dark-brown curls,
    You had not been, or been, instead
    Of boy, a pair of girls.
    Now listen to me, Walter Smith;
    Hie to yon plumber bold,
    An thou would'st ease my dying pang,
    His 'prentice be enrolled.
    For Jones has houses many on
    The fashionable squares,
    And thou, perchance, may'st be called in
    To see to the repairs.
    Think on thy father's ravished love.
    Recall thy father's ills,
    Remember this, the death-bed oath,
    Then, make out Jones's bills."


    _Canto II--The Young Avenger_

    Young Walter's to the plumber gone.
    A boy with smut on nose,
    Furnace and carpet-sack in hand,
    With the journeyman he goes.
    Now grown a journeyman himself,
    In grimy hand he gripes
    A candle-end, and 'neath the sink
    Explores the frozen pipes.
    His furnace portable he lights
    With smoking wads of news-
    Papers, and smiles to see within
    The pot the solder fuse.
    He gives his fiat: "They are froze
    Down about sixteen feet;
    If you want water ere July
    You must dig up the street."
    "Practical Plumber" now is he,
    As witnesseth his sign,
    And ready now to undertake
    Repairs in any line.
    One day a housemaid, as he sat
    At the receipt of biz,
    Came crying, "Ho, Sir Smith, Sir Smith,
    Sir Jones's pipes is friz."
    He girt his apron round his loins,
    His tools took from the shelf,
    And to the journeyman he said,
    "_I'll see to this myself._"

    "Would," said he, as he drew the bill,
    "My father were alive;
    Ten pounds of solder at ten cents,
    $1.75!"


    _Canto III--The Traitor's Doom_

    The Jones had houses many on
    The avenues and squares,
    And hired the young Avenger Smith
    To see to the repairs,
    And Smith put faucets in, and cocks,
    And meters, eke, and taps,
    Connections, T-joints, sewer pipes,
    Basins and water-traps;
    He tore the walls and ripped the floors
    To reach the pipes beyond,
    And excavations in the street
    And 'neath the side-walk yawned;
    And daily as he entered up
    The items in his book
    The plumber's face wore a serene
    And retrospective look.
    And Jones would wring his hands and cry,
    "Woe, woe, and utter woe!
    Ah me! that taxes should be so high
    And rents should be so low!"
    Then he would give the Smith the house
    As instalment on account
    Of its repairs, and notes of hand
    For the rest of the amount.


    _Canto IV--Avenged at Last_

    Now Smith had been for a dozen years
    In the practical plumbing line,
    And the bills of Smith did not grind slow,
    And they ground extremely fine.
    Terrace by terrace, house by house,
    The lands of Jones he took,
    And heavier still the balance was
    Writ in that fatal book.
    At last, no property nor cash
    Had he, so he did fail,
    And the avenging plumber locked
    Him up in Ludlow Jail.
    His heartless creditor he besought
    For mercy in his need.
    "Nay, nay, no mercy, lie and rot,"
    Quoth he, "in jail, like Tweed.
    For I have sworn avenged to be
    On thee, thy kin and kith;
    Rememberest thou Belinda Jane?
    I am the son of Smith!!!"



THE MERCHANT OF VENICE


A Venetian Merchant who was lolling in the lap of luxury was accosted
upon the Rialto by a friend who had not seen him for many months. "How
is this?" cried the latter. "When I last saw you your gaberdine was out
at elbows, and now you sail in your own gondola." "True," replied the
Merchant, "but since then I have met with serious losses, and been
obliged to compound with my creditors for ten cents on the dollar."


_Moral._--Composition is the life of trade.



THE UNFORTUNATE ELEPHANT


An Elephant had been endeavouring to rive the bole of a knotted oak
with his trunk, but the tree closed upon that member, detaining it, and
causing the hapless _Elphas Africanus_ intense pain. He shook the
forest with his trumpeting, and all the beasts gathered around him.
"Ah, ha, my friend," said a pert Chimpanzee, "you have got your trunk
checked, I see." "My children," said a temperate Camel to her young,
"let this awful example teach you to shun the bole." "Does it hurt
much?" said a compassionate Gnu. "Ah, it does; it does; it must; I gnu
it; I have been a mother myself." And while they were sympathising with
him the unfortunate Elephant expired in great agony.


_Moral._--The moral of the above is so plain as to need explanation.
Talk is cheap.



THE CORONER AND THE BANANA PEEL


As a Coroner was entering a saloon to see a man he beheld a careless
boy, who was eating a Banana, cast the rind of the fruit upon the
slippery stone sidewalk, but instead of chiding the urchin, smiled and
passed on. As he was coming out of the saloon, having satisfied his
thirst, he slipped on the peel of the Banana, and, falling, broke his
neck; so that a rival coroner made the fees from the inquest.


_Moral._--It is rare sport to see the Coroner hoist with his own
petard.



THE RHINOCEROS AND THE DROMEDARY


A thirsty Rhinoceros, having to his great joy encountered a Dromedary
in the desert of Sahara, besought the latter animal of his mercy to
give him a drink, but the Dromedary refused, stating that he was
holding the fluid for an advance. "Why," said he to the Rhinoceros,
"did you not imitate my forethought and prudence, and take some heed to
the morrow?" The Rhinoceros acknowledged the justice of the rebuke.
Some time afterwards he met in an oasis the Dromedary, who had realised
at the turn of the market and was now trying to cover his shorts. "For
Heaven's sake," he gasped to the Rhinoceros, who was wallowing in the
midst of a refreshing pool, "trust me for a nip." "When I was thirsty,"
replied the Rhinoceros, "you declined to stand the drinks, but I will
give you a horn." So saying, he let the grateful sunlight into the
Dromedary's innards.


_Moral._--Virtue is its own reward.



THE HEN AND THE TAILOR


A Hen who had saved a Tailor from drowning in a marine disaster that
had cost several of his less fortunate companions their lives asked him
his opinion of the theory of evolution. The grateful Tailor replied
that he was himself an instance of the survival of the fittest; and the
philosophical Fowl, remarking that it was vulgar to pun, walked off
with much dignity to resume her interrupted occupation of hatching out
a china nest-egg.


_Moral._--Some people cannot take a joke.



THE GLOW-WORM AND THE FAMISHED NIGHTINGALE


A famished Nightingale, who had been singing to very thin houses,
chanced to encounter a Glow-worm at eventide and prepared to make upon
him a light repast. The unfortunate Lampyris Splendidula besought the
Songster, in the sacred name of Art, not to quench his vital spark, and
appealed to his magnanimity. "The Nightingale who needlessly sets claw
upon a Glow-worm," he said, "is a being whom it were gross flattery to
term a Luscinia Philomela." The Bird, however, turned a deaf beak to
these appeals and was about to douse the glim, when the Glow-worm cried
out, "Beware, lest I give you the heartburn; remember how Herod and
Luther died of a diet of Glow-worms," and while the Nightingale (who
was by no means a bad bird at stomach) was considering these
propositions, escaped, hanging out false lights to baffle his enemy's
pursuit.


_Moral._--Let the dead past bury its dead; act, act in the living
present.



THE CENTIPEDE AND THE BARBARIC YAK


While a Centipede was painfully toiling over the Libyan Desert he was
encountered by a barbaric Yak, who scornfully asked him how were his
poor feet. The humble creature made no reply at the time, but some days
later found the barbaric Yak taken in the nets of the hunter and almost
devoured by insects, which fled at the approach of the Centipede.
"Help, help, my good friend!" exclaimed the unfortunate beast. "I
cannot move a muscle in these cruel toils, and the ravenous insects
have devoured my delicate flesh." "Say you so?" responded the
Centipede. "Can you really not defend yourself?" "Alas! how can I?"
replied the Yak. "See you not how straitly I am bound?" "And is your
flesh then so delicate?" "It is, though I say it who should not."
"Then," said the Centipede, "I guess I'll take a bite myself."


_Moral._--The other man's extremity is often our opportunity.



THE HONEST NEWSBOY


A Newsboy was passing along the street, when he chanced to discover a
purse of greenbacks. He was at first inclined to conceal it, but,
repelling the unworthy suggestion, he asked a Venerable Man if it was
his'n. The Venerable Man looked at it hurriedly, said it was, patted
him on the head, gave him a quarter, and said he would yet be
president. The Venerable Man then hastened away, but was arrested for
having counterfeit bills in his possession, while the honest Newsboy
played penny-ante with his humble quarter and ran it up to $2.62.


_Moral._--Honesty is sometimes the best policy.



THE VILLAGER AND THE SNAKE


A Villager one frosty day found under a hedge a Snake almost dead with
cold. Moved with compassion, and having heard that snake oil was good
for the rheumatiz, he took it home and placed it on the hearth, where
it shortly began to wake and crawl. Meanwhile, the Villager having gone
out to keep an engagement with a man 'round the corner, the Villager's
son (who had not drawn a sober breath for a week) entered, and,
beholding the Serpent unfolding its plain, unvarnished tail, with the
cry, "I've got 'em again!" fled to the office of the nearest Justice of
the Peace, swore off and became an apostle of Temperance at $700 a
week. The beneficent Snake next bit the Villager's mother-in-law so
severely that death soon ended her sufferings--and his; then silently
stole away, leaving the Villager deeply and doubly in its debt.


_Moral._--A virtuous action is not always its only reward. A snake in
the grass is worth two in the boot.



THE OSTRICH AND THE HEN


An Ostrich and a Hen chanced to occupy adjacent apartments, and the
former complained loudly that her rest was disturbed by the cackling of
her humble neighbour. "Why is it," she finally asked the Hen, "that you
make such an intolerable noise?" The Hen replied, "Because I have laid
an egg." "Oh no," said the Ostrich, with a superior smile, "it is
because you are a Hen and don't know any better."


_Moral._--The moral of the foregoing is not very clear, but it contains
some reference to the Agitation for Female Suffrage.



THE SENATOR'S LAUNDRY


Signora Mirandolina Rocca, who was the landlady of the house where the
Club were lodging, was a widow, of about forty years of age, still
fresh and blooming, with a merry dark eye, and much animation of
features. Sitting usually in the small room which they passed on the
way to their apartments, they had to stop to get their keys, or to
leave them when they went out, and Buttons and Dick frequently stopped
to have a little conversation. The rest, not being able to speak
Italian, contented themselves with smiles; the Senator particularly,
who gave the most beaming of smiles both on going and on returning.
Sometimes he even tried to talk to her in his usual adaptation of
broken English, spoken in loud tones to the benighted but fascinating
foreigner. Her attention to Dick during his sickness increased the
Senator's admiration, and he thought her one of the best, one of the
most kind-hearted and sympathetic of beings.

One day, toward the close of their stay in Rome, the Senator was in a
fix. He had not had any washing done since he came to the city. He had
run through all his clean linen, and came to a dead stand. Before
leaving for another place it was absolutely necessary to attend to
this. But how? Buttons was off with the Spaniards; Dick had gone out on
a drive. No one could help him, so he tried it himself. In fact, he had
never lost confidence in his powers of making himself understood. It
was still a fixed conviction of his that in cases of necessity any
intelligent man could make his wants known to intelligent foreigners.
If not, there is stupidity somewhere. Had he not done so in Paris and
in other places?

So he rang and managed to make the servant understand that he wished to
see the landlady. The landlady had always shown a great admiration for
the manly, not to say gigantic charms of the Senator. Upon him she
bestowed her brightest smile, and the quick flush on her face and
heaving breast told that the Senator had made wild work with her too
susceptible heart.

So now when she learned that the Senator wished to see her, she at once
imagined the cause to be any thing and every thing except the real one.
Why take that particular time, when all the rest were out? she thought.
Evidently for some tender purpose. Why send for her? Why not come down
to see her? Evidently because he did not like the publicity of her room
at the Conciergerie.

She arrayed herself, therefore, in her brightest and her best charms;
gave an additional flourish to her dark hair that hung wavingly and
luxuriantly, and still without a trace of gray, over her forehead;
looked at herself with her dark eyes in the glass to see if she
appeared to the best advantage; and finally, in some agitation, but
with great eagerness, she went to obey the summons.

Meantime the Senator had been deliberating how to begin. He felt that
he could not show his bundle of clothes to so fair and fine a creature
as this, whose manners were so soft and whose smile so pleasant. He
would do anything first. He would try a roundabout way of making known
his wishes, trusting to his own powers and the intelligence of the lady
for a full and complete understanding. Just as he had come to this
conclusion there was a timid knock at the door.

"Come in," said the Senator, who began to feel a little awkward
already.

"_E permesso?_" said a soft, sweet voice, "_se puo entrare?_" and
Signora Mirandolina Rocca advanced into the room, giving one look at
the Senator, and then casting down her eyes.

"_Umilissima serva di Lei, Signore, mi commandi._"

But the Senator was in a quandary. What could he do? How begin? What
gesture would be the most fitting for a beginning?

The pause began to be embarrassing. The lady, however, as yet was
calm--calmer, in fact, than when she entered.

So she spoke once more.

"_Di che ha Ella bisogna, Illustrissimo?_"

The Senator was dreadfully embarrassed. The lady was so fair in his
eyes. Was this a woman who could contemplate the fact of soiled linen?
Never.

"Ehem!" said he.

Then he paused.

"_Serva devota_," said Signora Mirandolina. "_Che c'e, Signore._"

Then, looking up, she saw the face of the Senator, all rosy red, turned
toward her with a strange confusion and embarrassment in his eye; yet
it was a kind eye--a soft, kind eye.

"_Egli e forse innamorato di me_," murmured the lady, gathering new
courage as she saw the timidity of the other. "_Che grandezza!_" she
continued, loud enough for the Senator to hear, yet speaking as if to
herself. "_Che bellezza! un galantuomo, certamente--e quest' e molto
piacevole._"

She glanced at the manly figure of the Senator with a tender admiration
in her eye, which she could not repress, and which was so intelligible
to the Senator that he blushed more violently than ever, and looked
helplessly around him.

"_E innamorato di me, senza dubio_," said the Signora, "_vergogna non
vuol che si sapesse._"

The Senator at length found voice. Advancing toward the lady he looked
at her very earnestly, and as she thought very piteously held out both
his hands, then smiled, then spread his hands apart, then nodded and
smiled again, and said:

"Me--me--want--ha--hum--ah! You
know--me--gentleman--hum--me----Confound the luck!" he added, in
profound vexation.

"_Signore_," said Mirandolina, "_la di Lei gentelezza me confonde._"

The Senator turned his eyes all around, everywhere, in a desperate,
half-conscious search for escape from an embarrassing situation.

"_Signore noi ci siamo sole, nessuno ci senti_," remarked the Signora
encouragingly.

"Me want to tell you this!" burst forth the Senator. "Clothes--you
know--washy--washy." Whereupon he elevated his eyebrows, smiled, and
brought the tips of his fingers together.

"_Io non so che cosa vuol dir mi, Illustrissimo_," said the Signora, in
bewilderment.

"You--you--you know. Ah? Washy? Hey? No, no," shaking his head, "not
washy, but _get_ washy."

The landlady smiled. The Senator, encouraged by this, came a step
nearer.

"_Che cosa? Il cuor me palpita. Io tremo_," murmured La Rocca.

She retreated a step. Whereupon the Senator at once fell back again in
great confusion.

"Washy, washy," he repeated mechanically, as his mind was utterly vague
and distrait.

"_Uassi-Uassi?_" repeated the other interrogatively.

"Me----"

"_Tu_," said she, with tender emphasis.

"Wee, mounseer," said he, with utter desperation.

The Signora shook her head.

"_Non capisco. Ma quelle, balordaggini ed intormentimente, che sono si
non segni manifesti d'amore?_"

"I don't understand, marm, a single word of that."

The Signora smiled. The Senator took courage again.

"The fact is this, marm," said he firmly, "I want to get my clothes
washed somewhere. Of course you don't do it, but you can tell me, you
know. Hm?"

"_Non capisco._"

"Madame," said he, feeling confident that she would understand that
word at least, and thinking, too, that it might perhaps serve as a key
to explain any other words which he might append to it, "my clothes--I
want to get them washed--laundress--washy--soap and water--clean 'em
all up--iron 'em--hang 'em out to dry. Ha?"

While saying this he indulged in an expressive pantomime. When alluding
to his clothes he placed his hands against his chest, when mentioning
the drying of them he waved them in the air. The landlady comprehended
this. How not? When a gentleman places his hand on his heart, what is
his meaning?

"_O sottigliezza d'amore!_" murmured she. "_Che cosa cerca_," she
continued, looking up timidly but invitingly.

The Senator felt doubtful at this, and in fact a little frightened.
Again he placed his hands on his chest to indicate his clothes; he
struck that manly chest forcibly several times, looking at her all the
time. Then he wrung his hands.

"_Ah, Signore_," said La Rocca, with a melting glance, "_non è d'uopo
di desperazione._"

"Washy, washy----"

"_Eppure, se Ella vuol sposarmi, non ce difficoltà_," returned the
other, with true Italian frankness.

"Soap and water----"

"_Non ho il coraggio di dir di no._"

The Senator had his arms outstretched to indicate the hanging-out
process. Still, however, feeling doubtful if he were altogether
understood, he thought he would try another form of pantomime. Suddenly
he fell down on his knees, and began to imitate the action of a
washer-woman over her tub, washing, wringing, pounding, rubbing.

"_O gran' cielo!_" cried the Signora, her pitying heart filled with
tenderness at the sight of this noble being on his knees before her,
and, as she thought, wringing his hands in despair. "_O gran' cielo!
Egli è innamorato di me non puo parlar Italiano e cosi non puo
dirmelo._"

Her warm heart prompted her, and she obeyed its impulse. What else
could she do? She flung herself into his outstretched arms as he raised
himself to hang out imaginary clothes on an invisible line.

The Senator was thunderstruck, confounded, bewildered, shattered,
overcome, crushed, stupefied, blasted, overwhelmed, horror-stricken,
wonder-smitten, annihilated, amazed, horrified, shocked, frightened,
terrified, nonplussed, wilted, awe-struck, shivered, astounded,
dumfounded. He did not even struggle. He was paralysed.

"_Ah, carissimo_," said a soft and tender voice in his ear, a low,
sweet voice, "_se veramenta me ami, saro lo tua carissima sposa----_"

At that moment the door opened and Buttons walked in. In an instant he
darted out. The Signora hurried away.

"_Addio, bellissima, carissima gioia!_" she sighed.

The Senator was still paralysed.

After a time he went with a pale and anxious face to see Buttons. That
young man promised secrecy, and when the Senator was telling his story
tried hard to look serious and sympathetic. In vain. The thought of
that scene, and the cause of it, and the blunder that had been made
overwhelmed him. Laughter convulsed him. At last the Senator got up
indignantly and left the room.

But what was he to do now? The thing could not be explained. How could
he get out of the house? He would have to pass her as she sat at the
door.

He had to call on Buttons again and implore his assistance. The
difficulty was so repugnant, and the matter so very delicate, that
Buttons declared he could not take the responsibility of settling it.
It would have to be brought before the Club.

The Club had a meeting about it, and many plans were proposed. The
stricken Senator had one plan, and that prevailed. It was to leave Rome
on the following day. For his part he had made up his mind to leave the
house at once. He would slip out as though he intended to return, and
the others could settle his bill, and bring with them the clothes that
had caused all this trouble. He would meet them in the morning outside
the gates of the city.

This resolution was adopted by all, and the Senator, leaving money to
settle for himself, went away. He passed hurriedly out of the door. He
dared not look. He heard a soft voice pronounce the word "_Gioia!_" He
fled.

Now that one who owned the soft voice afterward changed her feelings so
much toward her "gioia" that opposite his name in her house-book she
wrote the following epithets: _Birbone_, _Villano_, _Zolicaccio_,
_Burberone_, _Gaglioffo_, _Meschino_, _Briconaccio_, _Anemalaccio_.





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