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Title: The Art of Amusing - Being a Collection of Graceful Arts, Merry Games, Odd - Tricks, Curious Puzzles, and New Charades
Author: Bellew, Frank
Language: English
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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.

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_Beautifully printed and elegantly bound._

The Art of Conversation,

With Directions for Self-Culture. An admirably conceived and
entertaining book--sensible, instructive, and full of suggestions
valuable to every one who desires to be either a good talker or
listener, or who wishes to appear to advantage in good society.
*** Price $1.50.

The Habits of Good Society.

A Handbook for Ladies and Gentlemen. With thoughts, hints, and anecdotes
concerning social observances; nice points of taste and good manners;
and the art of making oneself agreeable. The whole interspersed with
humorous social predicaments; remarks on fashion, etc. *** Price $1.75.

The Art of Amusing.

A collection of graceful arts, merry games, and odd tricks, intended to
amuse everybody, and enable all to amuse everybody else. Full of
suggestions for private theatricals, tableaux, charades, and all sorts
of parlor and family amusements. With nearly 150 illustrative pictures.
*** Price $2.00.

    _These three books are the most perfect of their kind ever
    published. They are made up of no dry stupid rules that everybody
    knows, but are fresh, sensible, good-humored, entertaining, and
    readable. Every person of taste should possess them, and cannot be
    otherwise than delighted with them. *** Each will be sent by mail,
    free, on receipt of price, or the three books for $5.00._

Carleton, Publisher,

New York.

  [Illustration: THE art of AMUSING
  BY Frank Bellew
  CARLETON, Publisher, NEW YORK.]








  _Carleton, Publisher, 413 Broadway._
  _London: S. Low, Son & Co._

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1866, by


In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the
Southern District of New York.


To J. C. W.

  To you, my little kinsman, I dedicate these pages,
  Tho' not so wise, perhaps, as some you've read by graver sages;
  They're not without a purpose, and I trust a kind and true one,
  Older than eighteen hundred years, still good as any new one.

  If they could cheer some winter nights, and make some days seem
    I'd feel I'd paid a groat or so,
    Of that great debt of love I owe,
  To one at rest who, long ago, dealt kindly by the writer.

                                                               F. B.


  _CHAPTER I.--Something censorious.--Declaration of
    Independence.--Card puzzle.--The magic coin.--A
    hoax.--The telescopic visitor.--Boy's head knocked off._         7

  _CHAPTER II.--Colored mesmerism._                                 17

  _CHAPTER III.--Lemon pig and root dragon.--Portrait of the
    gorilla.--Creature comforts.--High shoulders.--Theatre
    and theatrical performances.--Nose turned up and teeth
    knocked out without pain.--The Long-nosed Night-howler,
    or Vulgaris Pueris cum Papyrus Capitus.--Imitation banjo
    on piano.--Some conjuring tricks.--The reduced gentleman,
    or dwarf perforce._                                             20

  _CHAPTER IV.--The voice of the Night-howler.--The play
    of Punch and Judy, with full directions for producing
    the same.--Charade on rattan._                                  38

  _CHAPTER V.--Parlor arts and ornaments, comprising
    apple-seed mice, turnip roses, beet dahlias, and
    carrot marigolds.--Counting a billion.--The algebraic
    paradox.--Answer to charade on rattan.--Riddles, etc._          56

  _CHAPTER VI.--A patent play._                                     72

  _CHAPTER VII.--Pragmatic and didactic discourse.--Aunty
    Delluvian, her party.--The duck and double-barrelled
    speech.--The dwarf.--Trick with four grains of
    rice.--Riddles, etc._                                           81

  _CHAPTER VIII.--The dancing Highlander and Matadore._             99

  _CHAPTER IX.--Answer to trick with four grains of rice.--How
    to make an old apple-woman out of your fist._                  105

  _CHAPTER X.--About giants, and how to make them._                110

  _CHAPTER XI.--A merry Christmas.--The boomerang.--Optical
    illusion.--How to turn a young man's head.--The tiger-dog,
    how to make him.--The elephant, how to make him.--Two
    queer characters.--Captain Dawk and Colonel Gurramuchy._       113

  _CHAPTER XII.--Hanky-panky, instruction in the art._             134

  _CHAPTER XIII.--A tranquil mood.--Transparencies of
    paper.--The dancing pea.--Artificial teeth._                   138

  _CHAPTER XIV.--Artemus Ward, parlor edition._                    157

  _CHAPTER XV.--Bullywingle the Beloved. A drama for private
    performance._                                                  164

  _CHAPTER XVI.--A quiet evening.--Fruit animals.--Window
    staining.--Oddities with pen and ink._                         189

  _CHAPTER XVII.--A country Christmas.--The trick
    trumpet.--Eatable candle.--How to cut off a
    head.--Ventriloquism.--The jumping rabbit.--Santa
    Claus arrives._                                                199

  _CHAPTER XVIII.--The bird-whistle, how to make it._              219

  _CHAPTER XIX.--A quiet party.--Electric nose.--Miniature
    camera.--The hat trick.--The magician of Morocco._             222

  _CHAPTER XX.--Theatrical red and green fire, how to make
    them.--How to get up a theatrical storm._                      232

  _CHAPTER XXI.--Card-board puzzles, the cross, the horseshoe,
    the arch._                                                     238

  _CHAPTER XXII.--The muffin man.--Earth, air, fire, and
    water.--The broken mirror._                                    243

  _CHAPTER XXIII.--At a watering-place.--A ladies' fair.--Three
    sticks a penny.--Smoking a cigar under water.--Firing at a
    target behind you.--Firing firewater.--A practical
    joke.--Explosive spiders._                                     254

  _CHAPTER XXIV.--Arithmetical puzzles.--The wolf, the goat, and
    the cabbage.--Alderman Gobble's six geese, etc., etc._         264

  _CHAPTER XXV.--Charades._                                        271

  _CHAPTER XXVI.--The art of transmuting everything into coral._   274

  _CHAPTER XXVII.--Acting charades._                               279

  _CHAPTER XXVIII.--The worship of Bud._                           299

The Art of Amusing.

  "_All work and no play,
  Makes Jack a dull boy._"



Perhaps one of the great social faults of the American is, that he does
not amuse himself enough, at least in a cheerful, innocent manner. We
are never jolly. We are terribly troubled about our dignity. All other
nations, the French, the German, the Italian, and even the dull English,
have their relaxation, their merry-making; but we--why, a political or
prayer-meeting is about the most hilarious affair in which we ever
indulge. The French peasant has his _ducas_ almost every week, when in
some rustic orchard, lighted with variegated lamps, ornamented with
showy booths, he dances the merry hours away with Pauline and Josephine,
or sips his glass of wine with the chosen of his heart in a canvas
cabaret, whilst the music of a band and the voices of a hundred merry
laughers regale his ears. He has, too, numberless _fêtes_, which he
celebrates with masquerades and other undignified kinds of
jollification. At these entertainments all are welcome, high and low,
and all conduct themselves with a politeness worthy of our best
society--_only more_. We, the writer of this, have often and often
danced at these _bals champêtres_ with a hired girl, a cook, or a nurse
for our partner. Does it not sound plebeian? The Germans enjoy endless
festivals and gift periods, when they have the meanness to offer each
other little presents "that an't worth more than two or three cents;"
but they are tokens of love and kindness, which make them all feel
better and happier. Then our grumpy friend, John Bull, has his
free-and-easies, and his cosy tavern parlor-meetings, and song-singings,
and his dinner-parties, and his tea-fights, at which latter, be the host
rich or poor, you will get a good cup of tea, and tender muffins, and
buttered toast, and cake, and shrimps, and fresh radishes, and Scotch
marmalade, or similar delicacies.

A delightful repast and a cosy chat, followed, perhaps, by a rubber of
whist and a glass of wine or whiskey-punch, or mug of ale, according to
the condition of the entertainer; then there is a general "unbending of
the bow," and no one is troubled about his dignity. We have seen,
ourselves, in England, in a stately old castle, a party of lords and
ladies--for we, like the boy who knew what good victuals were, having
been from home several times--even we have seen good company--we say
that we have seen a party of lords and ladies, knights and dames of high
degree, and of mature years, romping and frolicking together, like a lot
of children, playing _Hunt the Slipper_, _Puss in the Corner_, _and
Blindman's Buff_, without the remotest idea that they had such a thing
as dignity to take care of; and no one seemed to have the slightest fear
that any one of the party could by any possibility do anything that
would offend or mortify any one else. The fact is, gentlemen or
gentlewomen can do anything; all depends on the way of doing it. If you
are a snob, for heaven's sake don't be playful; keep a stiff upper lip
and look grave; it is your only safety.

However, we are improving. We have skating clubs. We play cricket and
base ball. We dine later, and take things a trifle more leisurely.
Theatre-going, our chief amusement, can hardly be reckoned a healthy
relaxation, though well enough now and then. Sitting in a cramped
attitude, in a stifling atmosphere, is not conducive to moral or
physical development. What we need are informal social gatherings, where
we may laugh much and think little, and where dignity won't be invited;
where we need not make ourselves ill with bad champagne and ice-starch,
nor go into the other extreme of platitudes, ice-water and doughnuts:
but where both body and mind will be treated considerately, tenderly,

Now we are going to give a few hints that may help to make little
meetings such as we mention pass pleasantly; and should any of our
austere readers be afraid to risk our programme in full, they can call
in the children and make them shoulder the responsibility. "It is," you
can say, "a child's party," and then you can enjoy all the fun yourself.
The juveniles will not object.

If merely for the purpose of promoting conversation, something ought to
be _done_, on all occasions of social gatherings, something to talk
about, something that will afford people an excuse for getting from
their seats, something to bring people together, something to break the
ice. We have seen a whole party of very estimable people sit round the
room for hours together in an agony of silence, only broken now and then
by a small remark fired off by some desperate individual, in the forlorn
hope that he would bring on a general conversation.

In our little sketches we shall be discursive, erratic, and
unsystematic, just as the fancy takes us. Still, there will be a method
in our madness; we shall try to give in each chapter a programme
somewhat suited to some one season, and of sufficient variety and
quantity to afford amusement for one evening.


In the first place, we must remark, in a general way, that we like a
large centre-table. It is something to rally round, it is handy to put
things on, and convenient for the bashful to lean against. On this table
I would accumulate picture-books, toys, and knick-knacks--little odds
and ends which will serve as subjects for conversation. If you can do no
better, make a pig out of a lemon and four lucifer matches, or an
alligator out of a carrot. But we will give some detailed instructions
on this point in a future chapter. Any simple puzzles, numbers of which
can be made out of cards, will be found helpful. Take, for example, a
common visiting-card, and bend down the two ends, and place it on a
smooth table, as represented in the annexed diagram, and then ask any
one to blow it over. This seems easy enough; yet it is next door to an
impossibility. Still, it is to be done by blowing sharply and not too
hard on the table, about an inch from the card. Another little trick
consists in making a coin (if such a thing is to be found nowadays)
stick to the door. This is done by simply making a little notch with a
knife on the edge of the coin, so that a small point of metal may
project, which, when it is pressed against the woodwork, will penetrate,
and so cause the dime or half-dime to appear to adhere magically to a
perpendicular surface. When you have exhibited one or two tricks of this
kind, some other member of the party may have something to show. Then,
having secured the confidence of your audience, you may venture to play
a hoax upon them. Never mind how trifling or how old these things are,
they will serve the purpose of making people talk. Say, for example:
"Now, ladies and gentlemen, I will show a trick that is worth seeing.
There are only two people in the United States that can execute
it--myself and the Siamese Twins. First of all, I must borrow two
articles from two ladies--a pocket-handkerchief and--a boot-jack." Of
course no one has the boot-jack; so, pretending to be a little
disappointed, you say: "Never mind; I must do without it. Will some
gentleman be kind enough to lend me three twenty-dollar gold pieces?" Of
course no one has these, either; so you content yourself with borrowing
two cents. You place one in each hand, and extending your arms wide
apart, assure your audience that you will make both pennies pass into
one hand without bringing your arms together. This you do by laying one
on the mantel-piece, and turning your whole body round, your arms still
extended, till the hand containing the other coin comes over the place
where you laid down the cent; then you quietly take it up, and the trick
is performed.

After a little conversation, you can try something which requires a
little more preparation. The servant, whom you have previously
instructed, comes into the room and announces that "that" gentleman has
called to look at the pictures. You desire him to be shown in, and a
short, broad-shouldered man makes his appearance. Soon after he enters,
he turns his back on the company and begins to examine the works of art
on the wall, lengthening and shortening his body to suit the height of
the object he wishes to inspect. This is performed by your little
brother or son, aided by a broom, a couple of cloaks, and a hat. How,
you will doubtless be able to understand by looking at the subjoined



Another trick of the same order can be performed in this wise: The
servant comes in to inform you that a naughty little boy--Jacky or
Willy--in another room won't eat his custard, but will cry for
ice-cream, or roast-beef, or alligator-soup. Every one is invited into
the room to see this singular child. You find him seated on a high
chair, with a very dirty face, making grimaces. You take the dish of
custard in one hand and a large spoon (the larger the better) in the
other, and begin to expostulate with him on his perversity, but all to
no effect; he only cries and makes faces. You then tell him if he does
not behave better you will be obliged to knock his head off. He
continues not to behave better, whereupon you give him a tap with the
spoon, and, to the surprise of all, his head rolls off on to the floor.
Your audience then find out that the naughty boy was made of a pillow
and a few children's clothes, whilst the head was supplied by Master
Jacky or Willy, ingeniously concealed behind the chair.


A good practical joke to play in a rollicking party, where you can
venture to do it, is that of mesmerizing; you of course manage
beforehand to lead the conversation to the subject of mesmerism, then
profess to have wonderful powers in that line yourself. After more or
less persuasion, allow yourself to be induced to operate. You then say:

"Well, I will try if there is any person in the company who is
susceptible to the magnetic influence. It is only in rare cases we find
this susceptibility; the person must be of exquisitely fine organization
and steady nerve. Few people can look one long enough in the face to
come under the influence; and, if the current be suddenly broken, the
result is apt to be very serious, if not fatal, by producing suspended
action of the heart and vital organs generally."

Having now fully impressed on your audience the absolute necessity of
keeping still, you begin to look into the eyes of different persons,
press their hands, make passes at them, etc., as though you were
searching for the right temperament. At last you come to your intended
victim, and pronounce him just the man. You now seat him in a chair,
whilst you go into another room to prepare the necessary implements.
These are two plates, each having on it a tumblerful of water. One
plate, however, must be thoroughly blackened at the bottom, by holding
it in the smoke of a lamp or candle. This done, you carry the plates and
tumblers into the audience, and hand the one which is black to the
victim, who is seated in a chair.

Before commencing operations, you must warn the audience that it is
absolutely necessary that they observe strict silence, as the least word
or exclamation will break the charm, and be attended with painful
effects to both operation and operatee. You may tell how, after being
once disturbed in this manner, you had most painful shooting-pains in
your nose for fifteen minutes, that being the point in contact with your
finger at the moment of interruption. All this is to prevent any one
giving vent to some exclamation calculated to betray the trick to your

[Illustration: COLORED MESMERISM.--_See page 19._]

You now seat yourself opposite the subject, and desire him to keep his
eyes steadily on yours, and imitate the motions of your fingers. You
then commence. First, you dip your finger in the water, and draw it down
the centre of your nose; he does the same; then you rub the bottom of
your plate with your fingers, and draw it over your chin; he follows
your example, and makes a black smudge on his face; you rub the bottom
of the plate again, and draw your finger over your nose, and so on for
several minutes, till the victim has smeared himself all over with
black. You then rise and compliment him on the steadiness with which he
underwent the ordeal, adding, however, that he has too powerful a
nervous organization for you to operate on. The victim will generally
rise with a rather complacent smile at these compliments, at which point
the audience will generally explode with laughter. The victim looks
puzzled--more laughter--the victim, thinking they are laughing at your
failure, joins in the merriment, which generally has the effect of
convulsing every one, when the climax is reached by handing a mirror to
the unhappy operatee, who usually looks glum, and does not see much fun
in the joke.


We will now describe a little party we attended at a country house one
Christmas, some years ago; and should any of our readers find aught in
the entertainment they think worth copying, they can do so.


When we arrived at Nix's house all the company had assembled--it
consisted of about ten grown people and a dozen children. All were in a
chatter over a couple of little objects on the centre-table. The one a
pig manufactured out of a lemon, and the other a dragon, or what not,
adapted from a piece of some kind of root our friend Nix had picked up
in the garden. We alluded to these works of art in our last chapter, and
now give a couple of sketches of them. As will be seen, they are very
easy of manufacture, and not excessively exciting when made, but they
serve to set people talking. One person told the story of Foote, or
some other old wit, who, at a certain dinner-table, after numerous
fruitless efforts to cut a pig out of orange-peel, retorted on his
friend who was quizzing him on his failure: "Pshaw! you've only made one
pig, but (pointing to the mess on the table) I have made a litter." Then
some one else discovered a likeness between the dragon and a mutual
friend, which produced a roar of laughter. Then a child exclaimed, "Oh!
what a little pig!" and some one answered her: "Yes, my dear, it's a
pigmy." Then a young lady asked how the eyes were painted, and a young
gentleman replied: "With pigment." Whereupon a small boy called out, "Go
in lemons!" which was considered rather smart in the small boy, and he
was told so, which induced him to be unnecessarily forward and pert for
the rest of the evening; but as he never succeeded in making another
hit, he gradually simmered down to his normal condition towards the end
of the entertainment. One group got into conversation about the dragon,
the dragon led to fabulous animals generally, fabulous animals to
antediluvian animals, these to pre-Adamite animals, and so in a few
minutes they were found deep in the subject of Creation; whilst the
group next to them, owing to some one's having conjectured whether my
friend's piece of sculpture could walk, and some one else having
suggested that it might be made to do so by means of clock-work or
steam, had got on to the subject of machinery, modern improvements,
flying-machines, and were away two thousand years off in the future,
making a difference of no less than ten thousand years between
themselves and the other party. At about this juncture of affairs, we
happened to notice a book on the table treating of a certain very
interesting animal, the newly discovered African ape, a subject which
was attracting a good deal of attention at that time. We took the work
in our hand and read on the cover the inscription: "Portrait of the
Gorilla." "Nix," we said to our friend, still holding the book in our
hand, "if all we hear of this gorilla be true, it must be a most
extraordinary animal, although I am rather inclined to be sceptical in
the matter; however, I have no right, perhaps, to form an opinion, as I
have never looked into the subject; but I'll get you to lend me this
book to-morrow. I will take the greatest care of it, and return it;
yes, I will, upon my word of honor. You never knew me fail to return any
work you lent me." This we said rather warmly, thinking we detected a
somewhat suspicious smile playing round the corner of our friend's
mouth. "Oh! yes, certainly," replied he; "you can have it with
pleasure--though I think your doubts will vanish when you have _looked
into it_." We did not notice specially that all eyes were upon us. We
carelessly opened the volume, and there, by all the spirits ever bought
and sold! was a neat little mirror between the covers of the book, and
reflected in it our own lovely countenance. Portrait of the Gorilla! eh?
This was what the boys would call _rather rough_, but every one except
ourself seemed to think it quite funny. It was some satisfaction,
however, to know that every one of the party had been taken in in like
manner before our arrival.

A slight but pleasant tinkling now fell upon our ear, and behold! a
maiden entered, bearing a tray covered with tall crystal minarets, and
transparent goblets, which sparkled and twinkled in the lamplight,
followed by a more youthful figure supporting vessels of porcelain and
implements of burnished silver, above which wreathed and curled clouds
of aromatic incense; or, in other and better words, two hired girls
brought in coffee and punch. Punch! was it punch, or was it negus, or
was it sherbet? We don't know, but it was a pleasant, moderately
exhilarating beverage, compounded of whiskey, raspberry syrup, sugar,
and orange-flower water, and manufactured by Nix, as he subsequently
explained, at a cost of about thirty cents per bottle. A few little
cakes and some plates of thin, daintily cut slices of bread-and-butter
accompanied the beverages, and were handed round with them. We are great
believers in eating and drinking at all social gatherings. It is
convenient to have something to do with your mouth when you are stumped
in the way of conversation. If suddenly asked a puzzling question, or
hit in the chest with a sarcasm, what a resource is a glass of wine or
cup of coffee, in which to dip your nose whilst you collect your ideas,
or recover your breath. Besides, they give you something to do,
generally, in a small way. They afford opportunities for small
attentions, and excuses for rising from your seat, or moving from one
part of the room to the other. Added to which, wine and coffee and cakes
are nice things to take--you have the gratification of an additional
sense. Then, too, these little things are refreshing, and put you all in
good-humor. Therefore, for all these good reasons, and many more, we
insist on refreshments, and we insist, too, upon some kind of vinous
stimulant; this ice-water and doughnut business has been carried
altogether too far; had we less of it in our homes, less money would
pour into the coffers of the bar-keeper. If persons are teetotallers,
all very well; we respect their opinions, and, perhaps, decline their
invitations; but for people who have no moral scruples on the subject,
to ask you to visit them, and then insist on your drinking red-hot weak
green tea, when you are already nervous, perspire readily, have a tender
gullet, and hate the confounded stuff any way, is downright tyranny, and
the very opposite of all hospitality and true Christian charity.
However, our friend Nix held orthodox views on this question; so all
went well. By dint of helping each other to things we did want, and
offering each other things we didn't want, with the aid of a cup of
coffee for those that liked coffee, and a glass of punch for those who
liked punch, not to forget the little cakes, which came in quite handy
to nibble at occasionally, we all began to feel wonderfully at our ease,
and quite sociable. The conversation did not flag much; but once when it
showed a slight tendency to wobble, Nix set it in motion again by
introducing the subject of optical illusions in connexion with the
height of objects. After informing us that a horse's head was exactly
as long as a flour-barrel, and that a common stove-pipe hat was as broad
across the crown as it was high from the brim to the top (both of which
statements were argued pro and con), he drew our attention to the vast
difference the position of the shoulders make in a man's height. This he
illustrated by walking from the audience with his shoulders in their
natural position, until, having traversed half the length of the room,
he suddenly raised them, as represented in the accompanying sketches.
The effect was quite startling, and very ludicrous. All the male part of
the company tried their shoulders at this experiment, even down to
Freddy Nix, a little three-year-old, who, after ducking his head down on
his chest, and toddling off across the room, returned swaggering,
evidently under the impression that he had made a perfect giant of
himself by the operation.



This was nominally a child's party, so we were to have some
_performances_. The folding-doors into the adjoining parlor were closed,
and one or two members of the company who were to be performers retired.
In a few moments the doors opened and revealed an extempore stage. The
kitchen clothes-horse, beautifully draped and decorated, formed the
background; while on a line with the foot-lights were two heads, one at
each side of the stage, intended to represent Tragedy and Comedy. They
were simply two large pumpkins with grotesque faces marked on them with
black and white paint. In less than no time a most remarkable-looking
stranger stepped forward and began to address us. Every one stared, and
wondered whence this singular-looking person could have come, for we
hardly supposed that Nix could have had him secreted in the house all
the evening for our special surprise. At last it dawned upon us, one by
one, that the individual in question was no other than Mr. Graham, a
very staid gentleman, who had been with us a moment before. The annexed
brace of sketches will show the appearance of Mr. Graham off and on the
stage. But how was this change effected? We will explain. In the first
place he had procured a narrow strip of black silk, which he had drawn
round one of his front teeth, with the two ends inside his mouth, which,
at a very short distance, looked exactly as though he had lost one of
his teeth. (A little piece of court-plaster stuck on the tooth will
answer the same purpose.) Then he had made a loop of horse-hair or grey
thread, and securing two of the ends to the lining inside his hat, had
hooked up the end of his nose with the other; in fact, he had put his
nose in a sling. This altered the character of his whole face, so that
his own wife would not have known him had she not heard him speak. He
now addressed the audience in a long, funny, showmanic rigmarole, of
which we only remember the following:

"Ladies and gentlemen, you have all heard of the Ornithorhyncus, which,
as you are aware, is a species of duck-billed Platypus. You are familiar
with the habits and appearance of the Ororo Wow; and you have listened
to the sweet notes of the Catomonsterbung; but you are entirely ignorant
of the newly-discovered creature known to scientific men as the
Long-nosed Night-Howler, or Vulgaris Pueris cum Papyrus Capitus. This
extraordinary animal is chiefly sugariverous in its diet, though it will
eat almost everything when driven by hunger. It is perfectly tame, and
will only attack human beings when it feels like it. I will now proceed
to exhibit this extraordinary creature, requesting you only not to run
pins into the animal, as it does not like that style of thing. Bring in
the Night-Howler!!"

The last words were addressed in a loud voice to an assistant outside,
who immediately appeared, leading an animal such as is represented in
the annexed cut. This monster began immediately to emit the most hideous
and unearthly noises, as became the Night-Howler. After walking round
among the audience once or twice, the Vulgaris Pueris retired behind the
curtain. The accompanying sketch will explain how the Night-Howler is
made. Beyond the boy and the boots and the brown-paper cap, all that is
wanted is a rough shawl or large fur cape. The howl is produced by means
of one or two instruments, into the construction of which we will in a
future chapter initiate our readers. With one of these instruments the
most varied tones may be produced, from the grunt of the hog to the most
delicate notes of the canary.



The performance now proceeded: the second act being some feats of
strength by one of our party who had the necessary physical ability for
that kind of display. These embraced the following programme, each feat
being announced by Mr. Showman with some extravagantly pompous title:

Balancing chair on chin.

Holding child three years old at arm's length.

Lying with the head on one chair and the heels on another without any
intermediate support, and in this position allowing an apparently heavy
but really light trunk to be placed on his chest.

The whole wound up by his dancing a negro breakdown to imitation
banjo[1] on the piano, the entire audience patting Juba.

  [1] Should any of our friends not know how to produce an imitation
      of the banjo on a piano, we may as well inform them that it is
      done by simply laying a sheet of music over the strings during
      the performance.

Now another performer appeared on the stage, dressed in extravagant
imitation of the one who had preceded him, and commenced parodying in a
still more extravagant style all the motions of the professional
acrobat. We expected something grand! After innumerable flourishes he
brought forward a small three-pound dumb-bell, laid it on the floor,
and, bowing meekly to the audience in different parts of the house, he
stooped down as though about to make an immense muscular effort,
grasped the dumb-bell, slowly stretched it forth at arm's length, held
it there a second or two, and then laid it down again, made a little
flourish with his hands, and a low bow, just as they do in the circus
after achieving something extra fine. In this way the performer went on
burlesquing till we all roared with laughter. When he had retired, a
conjuror appeared and exhibited numerous tricks, such as the ring trick,
tricks with hat and dice, cup and ball, etc.; but as all these need
machinery, we will not describe them at present. One or two, however, we
may explain. No. 1. The performer presented a pack of cards to one of
the audience and begged him to select a card; this the performer then
took in his own hand, and carried it with its face downward, so that he
could not see it, and placed in the middle of the floor of the stage; he
then produced a large brown-paper cone, and placed it over the card, and
commenced talking to the audience, telling them what he could do and
what he could not do: finally he informed the audience that he could
make that card pass to any place he or they chose to name. Where would
they have it? One said one place, one another, till finally he pretended
reluctantly to accede to one particularly importunate person's wishes,
and declared that it should be found in the leaves of a certain book on
a certain table at the back of the audience--and there it was, sure
enough. This was done by having a piece of waxed paper attached to a
thread lying ready in the middle of the floor; on this waxed paper the
conjuror pressed the card, the thread being carried out under the screen
at the back, where stood a confederate, who quietly pulled the card out
from under the cone, and while the conjuror was talking he walked round,
entered by another door, and placed the card in the book, where it was
subsequently found.

Another trick consisted in his allowing a person to draw a card which he
was requested to examine carefully, and even to mark slightly with a
pencil. While the spectator was doing this, the performer turned round
the pack in his hand so as to have all the faces of the cards upwards
except the top one, which showed its back; he then desired that the card
might be slipped anywhere into the pack; he then shuffled them well. Of
course, on inspecting the pack he soon detected the selected card, it
being the only one with its face down, which, after various
manipulations, putting under cones and what not, he returned to the
audience much to their surprise.

These efforts at legerdemain were certainly not very brilliant, but they
amused the audience and were easy to do. We should like to give a few
more of his simple tricks, but with one illusion-trick we will close the
chapter, for which purpose it will serve, as it formed the _finale_ to
the conjuror's performance.

He stepped forward and said:

"I have shown you many wonderful things, but they are as nothing
compared to what I can do. My supernatural power is such that I can
lengthen or compress the human frame to any extent I please. You doubt
it? Well, I will show you. You see Mr. Smith, yonder; he is a rather
tall man; six feet two, I should judge? Well, I will throw him into a
trance, and while he is in that state, I will squeeze him down to a
length of about three feet, and I will have him carried to you in that
condition. I must only insist upon one thing, and that is, that you do
not say _hokey pokey winkey fumm_ while he is in the trance; for if you
do it might wake him up, and then he would be fixed at the height of
three feet for the rest of his life; I could never stretch him out

Mr. Smith was requested to step behind the curtain. He walked forward,
pale but firm and collected. Soon after he had disappeared we heard
strange noises and fearful incantations, accompanied by a slight smell
of brimstone and a strong smell of peppermint. After a few minutes the
tall Mr. Smith was carried in on the shoulders of two men a perfect
dwarf, as promised by the conjuror, and as represented in the following


How this is managed will become tolerably clear to the reader on
examining the next diagram.

The tall Mr. S. had put a pair of boots on his hands, a roll of sheeting
round his neck, so as to form something resembling a pillow, behind his
head; then something on his arms under his chin to represent his chest
(which is not shown in the diagram), and over that a baby's
cradle-quilt, and then he rested his boots on another gentleman's
shoulders; two long sticks were provided and slung as represented, and
the miracle was complete. We have seen the figure lengthened to an
inordinate extent by the same process, the only difference being that
the gentlemen were further apart.


Mr. Nix's party concluded, after several other games and amusements,
with a neat but inexpensive entertainment, consisting of sandwiches,
sardines, cold chicken, cakes, oranges, apples, nuts, candies, punch,
negus, and lemonade. But everything was good of its kind; the sandwiches
were sandwiches, and not merely two huge slices of bread plastered with
butter, concealing an irregular piece of sinew and fat, which in vain
you try to sever with your teeth, till you find yourself obliged to
drop the end out of your mouth, or else to pull the whole piece of meat
out from between the bread, and allow it to hang on your chin till you
cram it all into your mouth at once. His were not sandwiches of that
kind, but, as we said before, sandwiches; the cakes had plenty of sugar
in them, and so had the lemonade. But, above all, what made these little
trifles the most enjoyable was the taste displayed by _some one_ in the
decoration of the table with a few evergreens, some white roses made out
of turnip, and red roses out of beets, not to mention marigolds that
once were carrots, nor the crisp frills of white paper which surrounded
the large round cakes, nor the green leaves under the sandwiches, the
abundance of snowy linen, shining knives and forks, and spoons. But we
must conclude; what we wish particularly to impress upon the minds of
our readers by thus _dwelling on sandwiches and fine linen_ is, that you
cannot afford to ignore one sense while you propose to gratify another;
they are all intimately related and bound together like members of a
fire company; if you offend one, all the others take it up.


In our last chapter we promised to explain the nature of the little
instrument by which the Night-Howler produced those "hideous and
unearthly noises" to which we alluded. We will now proceed to do so; and
as this instrument is the same as that used by showmen in the play of
Punch and Judy, we cannot do better, while we are about it, than
instruct our readers how to get up a Punch and Judy show.

First, with regard to the instrument. It is a very simple affair: get
two small pieces of clean white pine, and with a sharp knife cut them of
the shape and size of the diagram marked 1. Then put these two pieces
together as represented in Figure 2, having previously slipped between
them a piece of common tape, also represented in the diagram (the tape
must be just the same width as the wood); then wind some thread round
the whole thing lengthwise (to keep the bits of wood together and the
tape taut), and the Punch-trumpet is made, as represented in figure 3.
Place the instrument between your lips and blow; if you cannot produce
noise enough to distract any well-regulated family in three-quarters of
an hour, we are very much mistaken.


To produce variety of notes and tones, as well as to speak through it,
after the manner of the Punch showmen, the instrument must be placed
well back in the mouth near the root of the tongue, in such a position
that you can blow through it and at the same time retain free use of
your tongue. A little practice will enable you to do this, and to
pronounce many words in a tolerably understandable manner. To discover
this last item in the use of the instrument, simple as it is, cost the
writer of this an infinity of trouble and some money; and it was not
until after two years' hunting and inquiry, and the employment of agents
to hunt up professors of Punch and Judy, that we discovered an expert
who, for a handsome fee, explained the matter; and then, of course, we
were amazingly surprised that we had never thought of it before. From
the same expert we learned how to make another instrument by means of
which it is possible to imitate the note of almost every animal, from
the hog to the canary-bird. We soon compassed the hog, the horse, the
hen, the dog, the little pig, and something that might be called the
horse-linnet, or the hog-canary; but ere long we found that considerable
practice was necessary to enable us to accomplish the finer notes of the
singing-birds. How to make this latter instrument we will explain in a
future chapter; at present we must go on with the play of Punch and

We commence instructions with a view taken behind the scenes, which will
help the description (see cut on page 40). We may state that the London
showmen carry about with them a species of little theatre of simple
construction, which is of course better than a mere door-way; but as the
latter will answer the purpose, and many people will not care to make
a theatre, we will at present content ourselves with that which every
house affords.

[Illustration: PUNCH AND JUDY, BEHIND THE SCENES.--_See page 40._]

In the play of Punch and Judy there are many characters--indeed, you can
introduce almost as great a variety as you please; but the leading ones

  Mr. Punch, a merry gentleman, of violent and capricious temper.
  Judy (wife of Punch).
  Baby (offspring of Punch and Judy).

The heads of these characters can be made in several ways. The first is
to get the necessary number of common round wooden lucifer match-boxes
and some red putty. With the putty you make the noses and chins of the
characters (all except the Ghost, who requires no nose). With a
camel's-hair brush and a little India-ink or black paint you mark out
the features strongly, taking care to make the eyes and eyeballs of a
good size, so as to be seen at a distance. With a little red paint or
red chalk you can color the cheeks, and with a little white paint or
white chalk give brilliancy to the teeth and eyes. The annexed cut will
show what the style of countenance ought to be of each, No. 1 being the
Constable, No. 2 Judy, and No. 3 Mr. Punch himself. The Ghost is not
represented. In feature he is much like the Constable, only that his
face must be made as white as possible, and the features simply marked
out in blue or green or black. The Baby can be made out of an ordinary
clothes-pin or stick of wood.





If the match-boxes cannot be easily obtained, just roll up a good-sized
card, as represented in this figure, and paint on it the features. The
nose and chin can be made of a bit of red rag or paper folded up of the
desired shape, and either sewed or gummed on. Another and far better way
of making these heads (though it takes more trouble), is to get a
carpenter to cut out for you four or five pieces of white pine or other
fine wood of the shape of the sketch annexed, with a hole in each large
enough to easily admit your fore-finger. From this block you can carve
as elaborate a head as you please, and one of larger size than the
match-box, which will be advantageous. The diagram marked O will show
you how to set about making the carving. Having now made the bald heads,
you must proceed to dress them. Punch must have a bright red cap with
yellow tassel and binding, like the one in the accompanying sketch. Judy
must have a white cap with broad frill and black ribbon. The Constable
must have a wig made out of some scrap of fur (the remains of a tippet
or cuff), or if fur cannot be procured, a piece of rope unravelled will
make a good wig. The Ghost only requires his winding-sheet drawn over
his head. All these can be nailed on the heads of the actors with small
tacks without hurting their feelings.


Having got the heads complete, we will proceed to construct their
bodies. These merely consist of empty garments, the operator's hand
supplying the bone and sinew. The dresses must be neatly fastened round
the neck of the head, so that when the performer puts his hand inside
the dress, he can thrust his fore-finger into the hole in the head. They
must of course be sufficiently large to admit the hand of the showman,
each sleeve to admit a thumb or finger, and the neck large enough for
the passage of the fore-finger. Thus the thumb represents one arm, the
middle finger another arm, whilst the fore-finger, thrust into the head,
supports and moves it about. The style of dress of Punch and Judy can be
easily seen in the small sketch. The color of Punch's coat should be
red, with yellow facings, with a hump sewed on his back and a paunch in
front. Judy should have a spotted calico and white neck-handkerchief.
The Constable had better be attired in black, and the Ghost and Baby in
white. Each of the sleeves should have a hand fastened into it. The
hands can be made of little slips of wood, with fingers and thumbs
marked on them. They should be about two and a half or three inches
long, only about three-quarters of an inch of which, however, will
project beyond the sleeve; the rest, being inside, will serve to give
stiffness to the arm when the performer's fingers are not long enough to
reach the whole way.


Mr. Punch requires a club wherewith to beat his wife, and to perform his
various other assaults and batteries. A gallows, too, should be
provided, on the plan represented in the diagram, the use of which will
be explained hereafter.

So much for the performers. Now for the theatre and the play. The
theatre is easily made. A narrow board about three or four inches wide
should be fixed across an open doorway just about one inch higher up
than the top of the head of the exhibitor. From this board hangs a
curtain long enough to reach the floor. Behind this curtain stands the
operator, with his actors all ready on a chair or table at his side. He
puts his Punch-trumpet in his mouth, gives one or two preliminary
_root-et-too-teet-toos_, puts his hand fairly inside Mr. Punch's body,
and hoists him up so that half his manly form may be seen above the
screen. A glance at our picture, BEHIND THE SCENES, will explain
anything our words have failed to convey. The audience are of course on
the opposite side of the curtain to which the performer stands.

Before we commence with the dialogue of the play, we must mention one
very important part of the exhibition. As Mr. Punch's voice is, at the
best of times, rather husky, it is necessary that the exhibitor should
have a colleague or interpreter among the audience who knows the play by
heart, and who, from practice, can understand what Mr. Punch says better
than the audience. This person must repeat after Punch whatever he may
say, only not to wound his feelings; he must do so in the form of
questions--for example, suppose Mr. Punch says, "Oh! I've got such a
pretty baby!" the showman outside must repeat: "Oh! you've got a pretty
baby, Mr. Punch, have you? Where is she?" The outside showman ought to
have some instrument to play on--a tin tea-tray or tin pan will do--and
if there is any one to accompany him on the piano when Mr. Punch sings a
song or dances, so much the better. Now for the play.

Mr. Punch makes his _début_ by dancing round his small stage in an
extravagant and insane manner, singing some rollicking song in his own
peculiar style. Having indulged himself in this way for a few seconds,
he pulls up suddenly, and looking over the edge of the screen at the
showman outside, exclaims:

_Punch._ "I say, old hoss!"

_Showman._ "I say, 'old hoss!' Mr. Punch, that's not a very polite way
to address a gentleman. Well, what do you say?"

_P._ "I say!"

_S._ "Well, what do you say?"

_P._ "I say!"

_S._ "Well, you've said 'I say!' twice before. What is it you have to

_P._ "I say!"

_S._ "What?"

_P._ "Nothing particular!"

Mr. Punch dances off, hilariously singing.

_S._ "Nothing particular! Well, that is a valuable communication."

_P._ (Stopping again). "Oh, you April fool!"

_S._ "April fool? No, Mr. Punch, I'm not an April fool. This isn't the
first of April."

_P._ "Isn't it? Well, salt it down till next year."

_S._ "Salt it down till next year? No, thankee, Mr. Punch. Guess you'll
want it for your own use."

_P._ "Mr. Showman!"

_S._ "Well, Mr. Punch?"

_P._ "Have you seen my wife?"

_S._ "Seen your wife? No, Mr. Punch."

_P._ "She's such a pretty creature!"

_S._ "Such a pretty creature, eh? Well, I'd like to be introduced."

_P._ "She's such a beauty! She's got a nose just like mine" (touching
his snout with his little hand).

_S._ "Got a nose just like yours, eh? Well, then, she must be a beauty."

_P._ "She's not quite so beautiful as me, though."

_S._ "Not so beautiful as you? No, of course not, Mr. Punch; we couldn't
expect that."

_P._ "You're a very nice man. I like you."

_S._ "Well, I'm glad you like me, Mr. Punch."

_P._ "Shall I call my wife?"

_S._ "Yes, by all means call your wife, Mr. Punch."

_P._ (Calling loudly). "Judy! Judy, my dear! Judy! come up-stairs!"

Judy now makes her appearance. Punch draws back and stands gazing at her
for a few minutes in mute admiration. Without moving, he exclaims: "What
a beauty!" then, turning to the audience, he asks earnestly: "Isn't she
a beauty?" He now turns to Judy and asks her for a kiss; they approach
and hug each other in a prolonged embrace, Mr. Punch all the time
emitting a species of gurgling sound expressive of rapture. This is
repeated several times, interspersed with the remarks of Mr. Punch on
the beauty of his spouse; after which, at Mr. _P._'s suggestion, the
couple dance together to lively music and the enlivening tones of Mr.
_P._'s voice; the performance winding up by Mr. Punch's leaning up
against the door of the theatre exhausted and delighted, and giving vent
to a prolonged chuckle of gratification.

Punch now turns to the Showman and asks him if he has ever seen his
Baby. The Showman replying in the negative, Punch extols the beauty of
his offspring in the same extravagant strain as he has already done
that of his wife, makes the same comparison between his own and the
Baby's nose, declares that the Baby never cries, and that she is "_so
fond of him_."

The Baby is now ordered to be brought up-stairs, and Judy disappears to
obey her lord's mandate. During her absence Punch favors the company
with a song. When Judy returns, bearing the infant Punch in her arms,
Mr. P. goes into raptures, calls it a pretty creature, pats its cheek,
and goes through all the little endearing ceremonies common to fathers.
After again informing the Showman that his Baby never cries, and is
fondly attached to him, he takes the infant in his arms, whereupon she
immediately sets up a continuous howl. Punch tries to hush and pacify it
for some time, but at last, losing his temper, shakes it violently and
throws it out of the window, or in other words, at the feet of the
audience. Judy is of course distracted, weeps bitterly, and upbraids her
husband, when the enraged Mr. Punch dives down-stairs and gets his club,
and whilst Mrs. P. is still weeping, gives her three or four sound blows
on the back of the head. This makes Mrs. P. cry still more, which, in
turn, increases Mr. P.'s wrath, who ends by beating her to death and
throwing her after the Baby. The Showman upbraids Punch with his crime,
but Punch defends himself by saying it served her right. However, he
finally admits that he is naturally a little hasty, but then he adds,
"It's over in a minute," and that's the kind of disposition he likes. He
further adds:

_P._ "I'm a proud, sensitive nature."

_S._ "You're a proud, sensitive nature, are you, Mr. Punch? I don't see
much pride in killing a baby."

_P._ "That's because you don't understand the feelings of a gentleman."

_S._ "Because I don't understand the feelings of a gentleman? Well, if
those are the feelings of a gentleman, I don't want to understand them,
Mr. Punch."

This dialogue can be carried on to suit the taste and invention of the

Presently, while Mr. P. is recklessly glorying in his crime, declaring
that he is afraid of nothing, and laughing to scorn the Showman's
admonition, the Ghost makes his appearance close to Mr. _P._'s shoulder,
and stands there for some time, listening unobserved to Punch's brag.
After a while, however, turning round, Punch catches sight of him, and
is rooted to the spot with horror for a few seconds; then he retreats
backwards, his whole body trembling violently, till he reaches the side
of the theatre; here he turns round slowly to hide his face from the
awful apparition. When, by turning away, he loses sight of the Ghost for
a few seconds, he recovers his voice so far as to say to the Showman in
trembling tones: "W-h-h-a-a-t a hor-r-r-rid creature! What an awful
creature!" Then he turns round very slowly to see whether the "horrid
creature" is gone, but finding it still there, suddenly jumps
back--jambs himself up in the corner--pokes his head out of the window,
and screams, "Murder! murder! murder!" shaking all the time violently.
This he repeats several times, till at last the Ghost disappears. Then
Mr. P. recovers his courage and swaggers about as before, vowing he is
afraid of nothing, etc., etc.

Now appears on the stage the Constable, who twists himself about in a
pompous style for some seconds, and then addressing Mr. Punch, says:

_Constable._ "I've come to take you up!"

_P._ "And I've come to knock you down!" (which he accordingly does with
his club).

The Constable gets up, and is again knocked down several times in
succession. Not relishing this style of thing, however, he disappears
and returns with a club, and a battle royal ensues, part of which--that
is to say, one round of the battle--shows the skill of the Constable in
dodging Mr. P.'s blows, and can be made immensely funny if properly
performed. It is done in this way: The Constable stands perfectly still,
and Punch takes deliberate aim; but when he strikes, the Constable bobs
down quickly, and the blow passes harmlessly over his head. This is
repeated frequently, the Constable every now and then retaliating on
Mr. P.'s "nob" with effect. Not succeeding with the sabre-cut, Punch
tries the straight or rapier thrust. He points the end of his _baton_
straight at the Constable's nose, and after drawing back two or three
times to be sure of his aim, makes a lunge; but the Constable is too
quick, dodges on one side, and Punch's club passes innocently out of the
window. This is repeated several times, till the Constable sails in and
gives Punch a whack on the head, crying: "There's a topper!" Punch
returns the compliment with the remark: "There's a whopper!" Now they
have a regular rough and tumble, in which Punch is vanquished.

The Constable disappears and returns with the gallows, which he sticks
up in a hole already made in the stage (four-inch board previously
mentioned), and proceeds to prepare for the awful ceremony of hanging
Mr. P. Punch, never having been hung before, cannot make out how the
machine is intended to operate--at least he feigns profound ignorance
on the subject. When the Constable tells him to put his head into the
noose, he puts it in the wrong place over and over again, inquiring each
time, "That way?" till at last the executioner, losing all patience,
puts his own head in the loop, in order to show Mr. P. how to do it,
saying: "There! that's the way! Now do you understand?" To which Punch
responds, "Oh! that's the way, is it?" at the same time pulling the end
of the rope tight, and holding on to it till the struggling functionary
is dead, crying all the time: "Oh! that's the way, is it? Now I

Punch dances a triumphant jig, and so ends the _immoral_ drama of Punch
and Judy.

Many more characters can be added at the option of the performer,
besides which, jokes and riddles can be introduced to any extent. We
have given the skeleton of the play, with all the necessary information
for getting up the characters.

We will conclude this chapter with an excellent charade, the answer to
which will be given in the next chapter:


  My whole is the name of the school-boy's dread,
  My first is the name of a quadruped;
  My first transposed a substance denotes,
  Which in carts or in coaches free motion promotes;
  Transpose it again, and it gives you the key
  Which leads to the results of much industry.
  My second is that which deforms all the graces
  Which cluster around the fair maidens' fair faces;
  Transpose it, and it gives you the name of a creature
  Of no little notice in the history of nature.
  Now take my whole in transposition,
  And it will give you the dress of a Scotch musician.



Heretofore the fireside amusements recorded by us have been rather
masculine in their character. In this chapter we shall have the pleasure
of describing an entertainment of more feminine qualities. It was a
small party, of the description which the Scotch call a cookeyshine, the
English a tea-fight, and we a sociable. A few young ladies in a country
village had conspired together to pass a pleasant evening, and the head
conspirator wrote us a note, which consisted of several rows of very
neat snake-rail fences (not "rail snake" fences, as the Irishman said),
running across a pink field. We got over the fences easily, and found
ourselves in a pretty parlor, with six pretty young ladies, one elderly
ditto, and a kind of father. The ladies, as we entered, were engaged in
making tasty little scent-bags. We had often seen the kind of thing
before, but never so completely carried out.


The principal idea consisted in making miniature mice out of
apple-seeds, nibbling at a miniature sack of flour. But in this case
they had filled the sack with powdered orris-root, and the small bottles
with otto of roses, making altogether a very fragrant little ornament.
The subjoined sketch will convey the idea to any one wishing to try her
hand at this kind of art.

As to the process of manufacture, that is simple enough: you first make
neat little bags of white muslin, and with some blue paint (water color)
mark the name of the perfume, in imitation of the ordinary brands on
flour-bags; then fill the bag with sachet-powder and tie it up. You then
get some well-formed apple-seeds, and a needle filled with brown thread
or silk with a knot at the end; after which pass the needle through one
side of the small end of the seed, and out through the middle of the big
end; then cut off your thread, leaving about half an inch projecting
from the seed; this represents the tail of the mouse. After this you
make another knot in your thread, and pass it through the opposite side
of the small end of the seed, bringing it out, not where you did the
other thread, but in the middle of the lower part, that part, in fact,
which represents the stomach of the mouse. You can now sew your mouse on
the flour-sack. It should be borne in mind that the two knots of thread,
which represent the ears, must appear near the small end of the seed. We
once saw some mice made of apple-seeds where the ears were placed at the
big end, producing the most ridiculous effect. We annex enlarged
diagrams of each style.

It will be seen that one looks like a mouse, whilst the other resembles
a pollywog, or a newly-hatched dragon.


You must now get a good-sized card, and if you wish to have it _very
nice_, paint it to resemble the boards of a floor. On this you sew your
sack, and one or two stray mice who are supposed to be running round
loose. Then having provided yourself with a couple of those delicate
little glass bottles of about an inch and a half in length, which are to
be found in most toy-stores, you fill them with otto of roses or any
other perfume; and with a little strong glue or gum, stick them to the
card in the position represented. If glass bottles are not to be
obtained, you may cut some out of wood, a small willow stick perhaps
being the best for the purpose; blacken them with ink, and varnish them
with weak gum-water, at the same time sticking on them little pieces of
paper to represent the labels, and, if you please, a little lead-paper
round the neck and mouth of the bottles, to give the flasks a champagney
flavor. The boxes and jars are likewise cut out of wood, and easily
painted to produce the desired appearance.

After a time, while the young ladies were still at work on the mice like
so many kittens at play, a practical young gentleman, in spectacles and
livid hands, came in, and asked _of what use were those articles_. Upon
which one of the young ladies very properly replied that they did not
waste their time in making anything _useful_. This seemed to afford an
opportunity to the young gentleman to say something agreeable in
connection with _beauty_; but he put his foot in it, and we heard him
late in the evening, as the party was breaking up, trying to explain his
compliment, which, though well intended, had unfortunately taken the
form of an insult, and had not been well received.

We had observed, on entering, that one of the young ladies present wore
in her hair a very beautiful white rose, and that another held in her
hand a small bunch of marigolds. As the season was mid-winter, this fact
attracted our attention, and we very gracefully complimented said damsel
on the beauty of her _coiffure_, at the same time expressing our ardent
admiration for flowers generally, roses particularly, and white roses
above all other roses. "We had made a study of them." We spoke
rapturously of them as the poetry of vegetation, as _vestals among
flowers, as the emblems of purity, the incarnation of innocence_. Then
the young lady asked us how we liked them _boiled_, and taking the one
from her head begged us to wear it next our heart for her sake. We
received it reverentially at her hand--it was heavy as lead. Her
somewhat ambiguous language immediately explained itself as she gaily
stripped off the leaves and revealed a good-sized turnip-stock on a
wooden skewer. We felt slightly embarrassed, but got over the difficulty
by saying that when we spoke so poetically we had no idea what would

"Ah!" sighed one of the young ladies, "it is the way of the world; the
flower worshipped from afar, possessed, will ever turn out a turnip!"

"Or," added we, "as in the case of Cinderella's humble vegetable turn
up, a turnout."

This inoffensive little joke, being rather far-fetched, perhaps, was
immediately set upon and almost belabored to death by those who
understood it; whilst for the enlightenment of those who did not, we had
to travel all the way to fairy-land, so that it was some time before we
got back to vegetable flowers--a subject on which we felt not a little
anxious to be enlightened, as we saw therein something that might
interest our friends who meet by the fireside and help us in our
occupation of unbending the bow. Marvellously simple were the means
employed in producing such beautiful results. A white turnip neatly
peeled, notched all round, stuck upon a skewer, and surrounded by a few
green leaves, and behold a most exquisite white rose, perfect enough to
deceive the eye in broad daylight at three feet distance. The above
sketch will explain the whole mystery at once.


[Illustration: ROSE COMPLETED.]

On the same principle a marigold may be cut out of a round of carrot
with a little button of beet-root for the centre; a daisy can be made
from a round of parsnip with a small button of carrot for the centre; a
dahlia from a beet; and several other flowers from pumpkins. It will be
easily seen that a beautiful bouquet can be compiled of these flowers
with the addition of a few sprigs of evergreen. Indeed, great taste and
ingenuity may be displayed in managing these simple materials. When the
process had been explained to us, as above described, we expressed our
delight, at the same time saying carelessly that there were doubtless
millions of ladies in the country who would find pleasure in learning so
graceful an accomplishment. The gentleman with the gold spectacles was
down upon us in a moment.

"Did we know what a million meant?"

To which we promptly replied that a million meant ten hundred thousand.

"Did we know what a billion meant?"

A billion, according to Webster, was a million million.

A light twinkled out of the gold spectacles, and a glow suffused the
expansive forehead, as, with a certain playful severity, he propounded
the following:

"How long would it take you to count a million million, supposing you
counted at the rate of two hundred per minute for twenty-four hours per

We replied, after a little reflection, that it would take a long time,
probably over six months.

With a triumphant air, the gold spectacles turned to our friend Nix.
Nix, who is a pretty good accountant, thought it would take nearer six
years than six months. One young lady, who was not good at figures, felt
sure _she_ could do it in a week. Gold Spectacles exhibited that intense
satisfaction which the mathematical mind experiences when it has
completely obfuscated the ordinary understanding.

"Why, sir," he said, turning to us, "had you been born on the same day
as Adam, and had you been counting ever since, night and day, without
stopping to eat, drink, or sleep, you would not have more than
accomplished half your task."

This statement was received with a murmur of incredulous derision,
whilst two or three financial gentlemen, immediately seizing pen and
paper, began figuring it out, with the following result:

        200 Number counted per minute.
         60 Minutes in an hour.
      12000 Number counted per hour.
         24 Hours in a day.
     288000 Number counted per day.
        365 Days in the year.
  105120000 Number counted per year.

From this calculation we see that by counting steadily, night and day,
at the rate of two hundred per minute, we should count something over
one hundred and five millions in a year. Now let us proceed with the

  105,12(0,000)1,000,000,00(0,000(9,512 years.

So that it would take nine thousand five hundred and twelve years, not
to mention several months, to count a billion. Gold Spectacles chuckled
visibly, and for the rest of the evening gave himself airs more worthy
of a conquered Southerner than a victorious mathematician. He afterwards
swooped down upon and completely doubled up a pompous gentleman bearing
the cheerful name of Peter Coffin, for making use of the very proper
phrase, "As clear as a mathematical demonstration."

"That may not be very clear, after all, Mr. Coffin," said Gold

"How is that, Mr. Sprawl (Gold Specks' proper name being Sprawl); can
anything be clearer than a mathematical demonstration?"

"I think, sir," answered Mr. Sprawl, "I could _mathematically
demonstrate_ to you that one is equal to two. What would you think of
that, sir?"

"I think you couldn't do it, sir."

Thereupon Mr. Sprawl took a sheet of paper and wrote down the following
equation--the celebrated algebraic paradox:

      _a_ = _x_
  _a_ _x_ = _x_^{2}
  _a_ _x_ - _a_^{2} = _x_^{2} - _a_^{2}
  (_x_ - _a_) × _a_ = (_x_ - _a_) × (_x_ + _a_)
                _a_ = _x_ + _a_
                _a_ = 2 _a_
                  1 = 2

Mr. Coffin examined it carefully standing up, and examined it carefully
sitting down, and then handed it back, saying that Mr. Sprawl had
certainly proved one to be equal to two. The paper was passed round, and
those learned enough scrutinized it carefully. The _demonstration_ all
allowed to be positive, yet no one could be made to admit the _fact_.

Here a certain married lady avowed her great delight in knowing that
_one_ had at last been _proved_ equal to _two_. She had been for years,
she said, trying to convince her husband of this fact, but he always
obstinately refused to listen to the voice of reason. She now trusted he
would not have the effrontery to fly in the face of an _algebraic

Seeing the talk had taken an arithmetical turn, and was moreover getting
fearfully abstruse, our friend Nix thought he would gently lead the tide
of conversation into some shallower channel, wherein the young ladies
might dabble their pretty feet without danger of being swept away in the
scientific torrent. To this end he submitted the well known problem:
"What is the difference between six dozen dozen and half a dozen dozen?"
Strange to say, no one present had ever before heard of it, but the best
part of the joke consisted in Mr. Sprawl being completely taken by it.

"Why, they are both the same," he answered promptly.

All the rest seemed to think so too, and some could not get into their
heads, although poor Nix spent half an hour trying to convince them,
that half a dozen dozen was the same thing as six dozen, or 72; whilst
six dozen dozen must of course be seventy-two dozen, or 864.

While Nix still spoke, a handmaiden appeared, bearing tinkling cups and
vessels of aromatic tea (not the weak green kind, bear in mind), and
plates of sweet cookies and toast, and then bread and butter, and
steaming waffles, and divers and sundry other delicacies known to true
housewives and good Christian women, who love their fellow-creatures and
respect their organs of digestion.

As the tea is being served, we walk up to a young gentleman and ask him
if he knows why the blind man was restored to sight when he drank tea.
The young gentleman _gave it up_ precipitately.

"Because he took his cup and saucer (saw sir)."

The gentleman in gold spectacles says something about our being a
_sorcerer_, but we heed him not, fearing he may put us through another
algebraic paradox. Then comes a general demand for the answer to the
charade we published in our last chapter, which commenced:

  "My whole is the name of a school-boy's dread."

"The answer to this, ladies, is Rattan; and you will find it," said we,
"a most excellent charade for children."

Now commenced a grand festival of puzzles and riddles. Specimens of all
kinds were trotted out for inspection, from the ponderous construction
of our ancestors, commencing in some such style as, "All round the
house, through the house, and never touching the house," etc., to the
neatly turned modern con.

Our friend Nix asked why Moses and the Jews were the best-bred people in
the world?

Another wished to know why meat should always be served rare?

Both these individuals, however, refused to give the solution until the
next meeting of the assembled company. Others were more obliging, but as
their riddles were mostly old friends, somebody knew the answers and
revealed them. It is a mistake to suppose that a good thing ought not to
be repeated more than once. There are certain funny things that we
remember for the last twenty years, and yet we never recall them without
enjoying a hearty laugh. We have read Holmes's _Autocrat of the
Breakfast-Table_ once every six months, ever since it was published, and
enjoy it better each time. We have been working away at the
_Sparrowgrass Papers_ for years, and yet we raise just as good a crop of
laughter from them as ever. These books resemble some of our rich
Western lands: they are inexhaustible. So when one of the company asked,
"When does a sculptor die of a fit?" we waited quietly for the answer,
"When he makes faces and busts," and laughed as heartily as though it
were quite new, although we had been intimate with the old con ever
since it was made, some fifteen years ago. We even enjoyed the
time-honored riddle: "What was Joan of Arc made of?" "Why, she was Maid
of Orleans, of course." But then this was put by a seraph with amber
eyes, and a very bewildering way of using them. The success attending
this effort seemed to stimulate the gentleman in gold spectacles, who
rushed into the arena with the inquiry: "What was Eve made for?" Most of
us knew the answer well enough, but we waited politely to let him
deliver it himself. Our surprise may be readily conceived when he
informed us, with evident glee, that "she was made for Harnden's Express
Company." Some looked blank, and others tittered, whilst Nix explained
to the ladies the true solution. It was for Adam's Express Company that
Eve was made. After this followed in quick succession a shower of
riddles, some of them so abominably bad, that an old gentleman, who did
not seem to take kindly to that sort of amusement, gave the
finishing-stroke to the entertainment by the annexed:

Question. "Why is an apple-tart like a slipper?"

Answer. "Because you can put your foot in it--if you like."

After that we all went home.


A friend of ours, Dudley Wegger, who recently gave an extemporaneous
entertainment, amongst other things, devised a new kind of play, of such
exceedingly simple construction that we have judged it expedient to put
it on record. It must be observed that it is his _method_ especially
which we applaud and recommend, and further be it observed, that we
applaud and recommend it on account of no other excellence save that of

Mr. Wegger possessed the power of imitating one or two popular actors.
He had read our instructions on _make-up_--viz.: curled hair, turn-up
nose, high shoulders, etc., and from these slender materials he made the
body of his play. As soon as we arrived, he seized upon ourself, dragged
us into a back room, put a hideous mask on our face (which smelt
painfully of glue and brown paper, by the way), and then commanded us to
don sundry articles of female attire--to wit, a hat and gown. To our
earnest appeals as to what we were to do, he only replied:

"Oh, nothing; just come on the stage, kick about, and answer my
questions. You hold the stage and talk to the audience, whilst I go off
and change my dress."

This we pledged ourself to do, and were nearly suffocated in the mask as
a consequence.

When the curtain rose, Wegger marched on the stage attired in blue coat,
brass buttons, striped pantaloons, yellow vest, and stylish hat stuck on
one side. In his hand he held a small walking-cane, with which he
frequently slapped his leg. This was the walking-gentleman part.

"Egad! here I am at last, after the fastest run across country on
record. Slipped the Billies, took flying hollow at a leap, gave my
admirable aunt the go-by, extracted the governor's lynch-pin, sent them
all sprawling in the ditch, just in time to be picked up by old Hodge,
the carrier, jogging along with his blind mare and rumbling old
shandrydan. Gad, Mortimer, you are a sad rogue! I must turn over a new
leaf, ecod! become steady, forget kissing and claret, go to church, read
the _Times_, and in fact, become a respectable member of society. Ah,
ha, ha! What has brought me here? Gad, I deserve success. Heard from my
valet last night that certain lady just come into immense fortune;
lovely as she is wealthy, Venus and an heiress; total stranger, no means
of procuring introduction; hired coach and four, gave post-boy guinea,
told drive like devil, and here I am in a strange country, a strange
house, and amongst strange people, to kill or conquer, _veni, vidi,
vici_! Ha! ha! ha! first in the field--fair start and a free run; back
myself at long odds to be in at the death. But gad! here she comes, the
country Hebe, the pastoral Venus, the naiad of turnip-tops and

  Enter _Heiress_ (ourself).

Gad! she is a devilish fine-looking woman. I must approach her
(_advances_). Have I the honor to address the Lady Cicily de Rhino?"

_Lady Cicily de Rhino._ "You get eout!"

_Mortimer_ (aside). "Charming! Gad! I am over head and ears in love
already. Oh, bright divinity, why hide those radiant charms in sylvan
shades, when charms of fashion and bon-ton beckon you away! With me your
life shall be one live-long summer's day, and you and I two butterflies
sipping sweet nectar from the ruby rims of endless brimming goblets.
Say you'll be mine! A chaise awaits us, and on the wings of love we'll
fly away! Say, charmer, say the word, and I am your slave for life."

_Lady Cicily de Rhino._ "Wal, slavery's bin abolished even in New
Jersey--guess you forgot that. However, I don't keer if I do; jist hold
on till I git my things."


_Mortimer._ "Gad! I took the citadel by storm--but some one approaches;
I must withdraw for a moment."


  Re-enter _Lady C._, with bundle and umbrella.

_Lady C._ "Wal, if the young man arn't gone; now that's mean."

  Enter _Reginald Spooneigh_ (Wegger, in a new dress).

_Reginald._ "Kynde fortune has thrown me in the angel's path. The belue
skuye already smyles more beounteously on my poor fate. Fayer laydee,
turn not away those gentle eyes, that e'en the turtle-dove might sigh,
and dying, envy, envying, die of envy."

_Lady C._ "Oh, git eout!"

_Reginald._ "Say not so, fair laydee. A wanderer on this cruel earth, a
lover of the sweet songs of birds, the murmuring of streams, the gay
garb of nature, from mighty mountain-tops to rustling glens. I bring an
aching spirit seeking sympathy to thee."

_Lady C._ "Dew tell!"

_Reginald._ "A sympathetic heart within your bosom burns; say, let it
beat in unison with mine?"

_Lady C._ "Well, I don't keer if I do; only hurry up, there's some one

_Reginald._ "Coming? sayest though; then will I retire for a brief


_Lady C._ "He seems a pretty nice kind or young man, tho' he ain't got
so much style into him as tother feller. Wal, them folks didn't come
this way arter all, so he'd no call to be so scart," etc., etc.

  Enter _General Hab-grabemall_ (Wegger again).

_General._ "Thunder and Mars! I thought I should never have got here.
Road as dusty as a canteen of ashes; coach as slow as a commissary mule.
Had half a mind to bivouac on the roadside--make a fire of the
axletrees, and roast the postilion for dinner. But shells and rockets! I
must beat up the quarters of this fair one, or some jackanapes civilian
will be stealing a march upon me (sees _Lady C._). Gad! there she is! I
must make a charge on her left wing. Hey! my little beauty, here's a
battered old soldier, wounded everywhere except in his heart, crying
surrender at your first fire. He yields himself prisoner-of-war, and
gives up his untarnished sword to you and you alone."

_Lady C._ "Wal, I ain't no use for swords, and there are summeny solgers
straggling round now with old weppins--"

_General._ "I have fought for my king and country through many a burning
summer noon, and many an Arctic winter night, and now I would plant my
laurels in the sunshine of your eyes, that they may bring forth bright

_Lady C._ "Wal, if them's the case, they makes a difference."

_General_ (aside). "Now for a bold charge! (aloud). Share, oh fairest of
your sex, my niche in the Temple of Fame, my hand and heart as true as
steel. Say, will you accept a rough old soldier's hand and a
Major-General's cocked hat."

_Lady C._ "Wal, I don't mind if I dew, only don't you fool me as them
other fellers did."

_General._ "What, blood and ouns! have any fellers dared to fool the
fairest of her sex. I will demand satisfaction; where are they?"


_Lady C._ "I want to know! Ef the Genrl ain't gone off to whip them two
fellers! O my! won't there be a muss, jest. But Lor! he'd no call to be
so mad about it. I didn't keer.

  (_Sings_)--"When the moon is on the mountain,
              My heart it is with you,
              And stirring thoughts come stirring up
              The extra oyster stew."

  Enter _Adolphus Tinkletop_ (Wegger again).

_Adolphus._ "Well I declare, if here ain't a feminine young woman of the
female persuasion a-singing a song. Go on, most charming of your sex,
and I'll jine in the chorus. But hold! pause--be calm, Tinkletop: this
must be she, the lovely heiress I have come in search of. The young and
lovely female heiress, who has just dropt into a very large fortune in
silver and gold, sing tooral lol, looral, lol looral le day. Tinkletop,
my boy, you are a lucky fellow. I think I may venture to remark, without
any immediate dread of contradiction, that I am an exceedingly fortunate
individual. I must put on my most insinuating manner without further
procrastination, which is the thief of time. Ah! ahem! how shall I
begin? Ahem! how de do, my dear? How's the folks?"

_Lady C._ "Purty well; how's yourself?"

_Adolphus._ "Oh! I'm exceedingly well; remarkably well; excessively
well. I've quite got over that pain in my chest."

_Lady C._ "Ye don't say!"

_Adolphus._ "Fact! Hembold's Cosmos cured me immediately, if not sooner.
Oh, yes! I'm all right, thank ye. But excuse me, young woman. I've come
down here on a little matter of business of the highest importance. Your
name is Lady Cicily Rhino?"

_Lady C._ "Wal, 'taint nothin' else."

_Adolphus._ "That is precisely what I want to arrive at. I am in the
dry-goods business, than which there is no higher social position in the
world. I am not rich, but I expect to be. Of my personal appearance you
can form a more just and adequate opinion than any language of mine
could convey. In other words, I am more easily conceived than described.
Now, the question is, whether you will accept my hand and heart."

_Lady C._ "Wal, I don't keer if I do."

_Adolphus._ "Most charming little pippetsy poppetsy; let me embrace
those virgin lips."

_Lady C._ "Oh, lor! Now wait a minute." (Turns her head away bashfully,
and puts up her umbrella. Both parties retire behind the umbrella, when
a loud smack is heard--such a smack as has been compared to the noise
produced by a horse dragging his foot out of a mud-hole. Then both
strike an attitude with the umbrella between them, and the curtain
descends in a blaze of red light.)


Now if this is not a simple way of building a drama, we are no judge.

Our adjoining illustration represents the interview between General
Hab-grabemall and the lady. The General acquires a gigantic appearance
by tying a folded shawl or small pillow on each shoulder before he puts
on his cloak; his face is made up chiefly of curled hair and diachylon.
Reginald Spooneigh has long flaxen hair, made out of some rope
unravelled for the purpose, and sewed on to a tightly-fitting cap,
moustache and beard to match, and turn-down collar. The rest of his
attire may be in any style most convenient.

Mr. Tinkletop is remarkable for a red nose, turned up, and one tooth
missing (both according to our prescription given in a previous
chapter). His vest and cravat are of bright colors, and his coat also,
if possible.

[Illustration: PRIVATE THEATRICALS.--_See page 80._]


Mankind in general, and we modern Americans in particular, are
perpetually striving to come a "gouge game" over nature. We feel that
this expression is very slangy and low-lived, but as none other seems so
precisely to convey our idea, we must for once borrow a phrase from the
ring and the race-course. So we repeat that we are, most of us,
perpetually striving to "gouge" nature; but nature is too smart for us,
and will not allow herself to be fooled by any clumsy device it is in
our power to invent. Nature starts us in the business of life with a
certain amount of capital in mental, physical, and nervous power; and
just so much capacity for enjoyment; and we, instead of investing this
in the best manner to produce the largest legitimate amount of interest,
are perpetually engaged in trying some "dodge" whereby we may spend the
capital and still draw the interest. A young man starts in business
with the resolution that he will make a fortune in such and such a
number of years, and then he will retire while he is still young, and
lead the most glorious life mortal ever knew. And so he _pitches in_,
buys, sells, wheedles, bullies, tricks, cheats, works night and day,
without any let-up at all. There will be plenty of time, he thinks, for
recreation when he has made his fortune. Then he will go to Europe,
build himself a house on the Hudson, buy the fastest pair of horses,
cultivate society, purchase pictures, and be supremely happy. The years
trot on, but the hopeful man finds it is slower work making a _pile_
than he thought; or perhaps he raises his figure, so he sets to work
with renewed vigor. His nerves are allowed no rest to recover their
tone; his stomach is allowed no leisure to perform its work; his body
gets no healthful exercise; and his soul no ray of light from the
beautiful and lovable. "There will be time for all these things by and
by, when he has made that two hundred thousand dollars." At last the sum
is made, though our hopeful man is a few years older than he intended he
should be on retiring. Still the money is made, and he is going to enjoy
it. He builds himself a fine house in the country, with "lots of style
into it," and plants around it a number of small trees, which will be
of decent size about twenty years after he is buried. But that is of no
consequence--there is beautiful scenery all around. But what is this the
rich man discovers? Why, that the trees and hills and streams are not
the same that they were when he was young. He finds, too, that pictures
"don't amount to much." He is rather nervous about driving fast horses;
and as to society, he has got quite out of the way of that whilst making
his fortune. He finds that collecting round one congenial and agreeable
people is a work of time and care, besides which, there is no society in
the country any way. Then his wife hates the country. So our rich man
sells his house in the country, returns to the city, and enters into
some new business operations just to pass the time away; having made the
melancholy discovery that whilst engaged in acquiring means, he has lost
the capacity for enjoyment. The fact is, nature will not stand much
nonsense. If you think you are going to work her without mercy or
consideration the best part of your life, and then expect that she will
gaily bear you on her back, sporting through valleys of delight, you are
very much mistaken.

Another man thinks he will get the maximum enjoyment out of life by aid
of wine, and so he mortgages his whole capacity of enjoyment for a few
years' excessive excitement, and is amazingly surprised when he finds
himself a bankrupt. Nature will not cash his draft at any price. He is
not aware that every thrill of pleasure derived from excessive
stimulating has to be paid for with usury. Others again fancy they will
get ahead of nature by forcing the minds of their children as they would
cucumbers; but after an incalculable amount of trouble, expense, and
cruelty, the child comes of age a bankrupt, mentally and physically. The
soil has run out; it can produce no more--and what wonder! It was never
allowed to lie fallow; it was never renewed; and now it is fit for
little or nothing.

These are some of the ways in which we attempt to _gouge_ nature. We
overtax her in every way, until we _drive the willing horse to death_,
and then our journey ends; all the load of fine goods we have been to
market for, must be dumped into the mud for the next traveller coming
along with a fresh horse.

Now, one great aim of this book on "Fireside Amusements," is to persuade
people to let up on nature. We should all be so much healthier, so much
kinder, so much better Christians, if we would only amuse ourselves and
each other a good deal more. We should get such infinitely better work
out of ourselves, and more of it, so that we should be richer into the
bargain. No man can expect to win the race with a jaded horse. Suppose
you owned Flora Temple, and in your eagerness to make money, should
oblige her to run two or three races every day; why, the chances are you
would lose every time, and soon be a beggar. But suppose you only match
her at proper intervals, when she is fresh and in good condition; you
don't run so many races, but you win every time. Why should you treat
yourself so much worse than a horse? Is it because you are ----? No, you
have simply adopted a bad national custom.


We have a female relative whom we have playfully christened Aunty
Delluvian--an old-fashioned person, who is particularly opposed to all
"new-fangled notions," who loves the "good old times" and "good old
ways;" who thinks there are no young men nowadays to compare with
those of her day. She tells how straight they used to carry themselves,
and she draws herself bolt upright and throws back her shoulders
to give effect to her words, and "they didn't wear those nasty
things--pshaw!--over their lips." She has never become reconciled to
moustaches. She thinks, too, the girls are not so pretty nowadays as
they used to be; then, their cheeks were so bright and red, "just like
roses," and their eyes were so bright they fairly snapped and twinkled;
"but now, my dear, it's all dough and boiled gooseberries--dough and
boiled gooseberries!" She tells us, too, of many persons, long since
gone, among whom stands, out in bold relief and heroic proportions one
'Squire Dexter. Then there is another person, Sally Mason, of whom we
hear repeatedly, who must have been a very deceitful character, from
what Aunty Delluvian tells us. But why does she take such pains to tell
us so much about Sally Mason, and to convince us that she was not pretty
"one mite," only "she had those forward, pushing ways with her, my dear,
which men find out sooner or later, my dear, and 'Squire Dexter found
her out at last, to his sorrow." Why does she tell us this, and ask our
opinion as to whether getting into a seat in a gig, which had been
expressly reserved for another person, was not conduct unworthy of a
girl of proper modesty and self-respect? When we answer, as we
invariably do, with feigned surprise that such conduct "would be
unpardonable," she straightens herself up, saying: "Well, my dear, Sally
Mason did just that thing!" Why does Aunty Delluvian consult us on this
point, and many other trivial points concerning the proper conduct of a
"modest, right-minded maiden?" It is hard to say. But, though we laugh
and quizz Aunty Delluvian about many things, we feel that this is,
somehow or another, sacred ground, and tread gently over the graves of
her dead memories.

Aunty Delluvian is a great favorite in our circle. She has many stories
to tell, popular legends in her girlhood, of General George Washington
and the Hessians and Red-Coats; and though she does not understand the
humor of the present day, she knows some very funny verses by George
Coleman the Younger, and some riddles of the composite order of

Well, Aunty Delluvian has taken quite an interest in our theory on
"Fireside Amusements." She thinks its tendency good, for, as she justly
observes, "young people are far too stuck up nowadays; too stuck up, my
dear." So, in the goodness of her heart, the other evening she gave a
little party, built on our principle, which we herewith beg to report.

At the back of her old-fashioned country-house spreads a green lawn,
surrounded by old apple and cherry-trees, with trunks as big round as
the body of a horse. On this lawn she gave her party. When we arrived we
found tables spread out with a goodly array of eatables and drinkables,
the aroma of the tea mingled with the songs of the birds, whilst the
perfume of the ripe strawberries, the grape-jelly, the steaming
biscuits, and the hundred other country delicacies, blended harmoniously
with the chirp of the crickets and the drone of the bees. It was a
pretty, a very pretty sight; the long rows of snow-white table-cloth,
the old china, the shining silver and steel, the glittering glass, the
mountains of red strawberries surrounded by grape-leaves, and the
innumerable nosegays of bright flowers. Not far off, in the little
barn-yard, we heard the "peet-peet," of the young chickens, whilst the
occasional double-bass of the family cow gave delightful assurance of
the freshness of the milk and the purity of the cream. Aunty Delluvian,
clad in brown silk with full sleeves and scanty skirt, was all bustle
and smiles. Her old handmaiden, and hired boy from the farm-yard, and
two women who were strangers in the land of Delluvian, aided with

Between forty and fifty persons, little (some very little) and big (some
very big), sat down to tea, and did generously by the repast. The meal
concluded, _dignity_ received informal notice to quit, and all pitched
in to clear away the things. A circle of humanity formed itself, and
behold the noble sport of "Oats, peas, beans, and barley grows."
Leading moral philosophers, eminent divines, weather-beaten old vikings,
gallant soldiers, and care-worn editors, sowed their seed, took their
ease, stamped their feet, clapped their hands, viewed their lands, and,
after waiting for a partner, became united in the bonds of juvenile
matrimony with little curly-headed toddlers, and seemed to enjoy the fun
just as much as though they had never looked into a Greek lexicon, heard
the boom of cannon, or written a leader.

We would like to dwell long upon this merry-making under the sky, for
there occurred enough pretty incidents and enough funny things out there
to bear telling for a week; but our mission is to instruct our friends
how to amuse others; so we must pass from the romps in the open air to
the amusements which took place inside, after darkness had driven the
merry-makers from the lawn.

First in order came a great duck, chiefly made out of a boy and a sheet.
First of all we were requested to introduce the bird, and expatiate to
the company on its qualities. For who, they said, could speak better on
the virtues of a _great canard_ than an editor? Some one, however,
maliciously mentioned that the family doctor, Mr. Pillules, was the best
person to show up a _quack_. Some one else argued that some lady would
be better qualified to speak on Ducks; but no lady could be found with
courage enough to attempt the task, so it was finally agreed that Dr.
Pillules and ourself should deliver a double-barrelled speech. This
novel idea was, of course, rapturously received, so the doctor and
editor were compelled, _nolens volens_, to stand up and deliver, which
we did something after the following manner:


_Doctor._ "This bird which you now see before you, ladies and gentlemen,
is one of those detestable creatures known as the _Canard_. This
specimen was recently captured down South by some of the brave soldiers
in General Grant's army on the occasion of that gentleman's recent visit
to Richmond. This bird was formally the property of several newspaper
editors, and was used by them for the purpose of raising fowl for the
English market, where--"

_Editor._ "They found a ready sale, being served up in the columns of
the _Times_ with peace-pudding, and subsequently rehashed with coal lies
and bully sauce, to satisfy the cravings of the British public. This
curious bird has, however--"

_Doctor._ "Fallen into disrepute of late, and the people of England will
have to take a big dose of truth (a very unpleasant thing to an
Englishman) to counteract the disease which their gross indulgence in
the flesh of this foul bird has engendered; they will likewise--"

_Editor._ "Be obliged to confine their diet to the wholesome but
unsavory humble pie. A kind of pie--"

_Doctor._ "We have often prescribed for them before. However, the
cloud-capped summits of the mountains of Jehoshaphat--"

_Editor_ (a little nonplussed). "May have _summit_ to do with the
question, and then again they may not. We are inclined to think that
Jehoshaphat was not half so fat as John Bull, and would have scorned to
eat a canard anyhow, particularly one raised by "niggers," and hatched
by steam; a bird which Shakspeare justly remarked--"

_Doctor_ (a little puzzled this time). "Didn't know _beans_, or at all
events did not care about that wholesome and nutritious vegetable,
preferring to pick up the sentiments falling from the lips of Bull Run
Russell, or the revolting food provided for travellers at refreshment
saloons on the Camden and Amboy Railway, which, as every one knows--"

_Editor._ "Are simply provided by that company to kill off transient
citizens of loyal States, which they do as effectually as the greatest
quack, even were he as large as the specimen now before us. I do not of
course refer to our friend the----"

How long this double-barrelled speech might have continued, this
chronicle cannot say, had not the duck at this moment declared, in very
plain English, that "Oh thunder! he couldn't stand it any longer, he was
getting tired," which terminated _that_ part of the entertainment.



The latent principle, the motive power, the core, the occult substratum
of the duck is, of course, as in the case of the _vulgaris pueris_--a
small boy. The mode of transforming him into a duck needs scarcely any
explanation; the illustrations save all that trouble. A board tied on
the youth's back, a sufficiency of wadding in the way of rags, and a
sheet properly arranged over all; then a ball of rags, with a couple of
sticks for the bill, making the head, and a newspaper cut into strips
representing the tail, and web-feet cut out of brown paper--and there is
your duck! The next thing in order for the evening's entertainment
proved to be a little dwarf, who was exhibited on a table. He made a
speech, danced a jig, took snuff, and altogether made himself very
amusing and entertaining. The mode of manufacturing this _lusus naturæ_
is, as usual, with the substratum of small boy. The small boy paints a
pair of moustaches on his upper lip and puts a pair of boots on his
hands, resting his booted hands on a table, whilst a taller person
stands behind him and reaches his arms over the first one's shoulders,
as represented in the engraving; then a loose cloak or great-coat or
shawl is arranged about the dwarf so as to allow the arms of No. 2 to
project and appear as if they belonged to No. 1. This performance should
take place in a window or doorway, where a curtain can be so arranged as
to hide the head and body of No. 2. Then you have the dwarf all
complete, as represented in the annexed sketch. It is almost impossible
to describe this performance with precision, as much of the arrangement
must be left to the intelligence of the exhibitor. The dwarf, however,
we may state, is very easily made when you once get the idea.


Aunty Delluvian was very much amused with the dwarf; it reminded her of
a trick that was played on her mother's father--who was once Governor of
Massachusetts--and described by her uncle George, who was such a droll
fellow, _he always had some of his puns to get off_. She did not
remember the story exactly, but it was something about a dwarf being
served up in a pie at the Governor's table, in such a way that the dwarf
popped out when the Governor was about to carve the pie. "Oh! it was
such a funny story; if you could only have heard her uncle George tell
it," and Aunty Delluvian went into silent convulsions of laughter at the
bare memory of the exquisite humor of uncle George's narration. "But
that was before your time, my dear; and between you and me, the young
men are very dull nowadays, with their cigars, and their moustaches, and
their fiddle-faddle--but mum, mum, my dear," and Aunty Delluvian laid
her fingers on her lips, as though she had been communicating a most
important secret. As to the dwarf of this evening, having no control
over his hands, for the reason that they belonged to the person behind
him, he was subject to the most grievous annoyance from those members;
they would persist in pulling his own nose to a fearful extent, and
performing that manual evolution known as taking a sight in the middle
of his prettiest speech to the ladies; he, however, enjoyed a limited
revenge on one of these occasions by catching the extended thumb between
his teeth and doing something to it, the nature of which could only be
inferred from the howl of agony proceeding from the person immediately
behind him, and a general dislocation and disintegration of his various
members, which occurred amidst the shouts of the spectators.

A slight pause ensuing on the completion of the dwarf performance,
afforded an opportunity to the young man in gold spectacles to come upon
the stage. He had something very ingenious to show us. It was a trick
performed with four small seeds, and was invented by a certain poor
tutor at one of the English universities. Although exceedingly simple,
no one had been able to discover the secret, when finally some English
nobleman, whose name he mentioned, gave the poor tutor five hundred
pounds to reveal the mystery. Having concluded this little introduction,
the gentleman in gold spectacles turned to Aunty Delluvian, and asked
her if she would be kind enough to let him have four grains of rice.
"Lor' bless the man! to be sure I will, as much as ever you like!"
exclaimed Aunty, in the fulness of her generous heart, as she turned
round and called to the servant at the other end of the room: "Here,
Katy, fetch up what was left of that cold rice-pudding we had
yesterday." The gentleman in gold spectacles hastily explained that he
did not wish the rice to be boiled, and four grains would be ample.
However, Aunty Delluvian insisted upon all the rice in the establishment
being produced. The gentleman in gold spectacles selected four grains,
and throwing them on the table, challenged us to arrange them in such a
manner that _each grain should be precisely the same distance from
every other grain_, and yet the grains not touch each other. We all took
our turn till we were tired, and then gave it up, save a couple of
determined fellows, who requested they might have till their next
meeting to find it out, which respite was accordingly granted.

We were now tumultuously beset with demands for the solution of two
riddles in our last chapter. First came the question: "Why were Moses
and the Jews the best bred people in the world?"

Answer. "Because they got their manna (manner) from heaven."

The second was: "Why meat should always be cooked rare?"

Answer. "Because what is _done_ cannot be _helped_."

After this came cakes and nuts and cider. Aunty Delluvian thought nuts
and cider could never come amiss, and we agree with her when the cider
is such as she produced, clear, fruity, sparkling, which, as it courses
down your gullet, seems like health incarnate, and as far superior to
that bedevilled liquid which city boobies call champagne, and pay three
dollars a bottle for, as faith is to smartness. So ended our evening at
Aunty Delluvian's.


The Highlanders are a hardy race, inhabiting the north of Scotland. They
are brave, hospitable, and exceedingly fond of dancing.

When you reflect that a very moderate nigger _used_ to fetch one
thousand dollars, it will be exhilarating to know that you can have a
Highlander, with all his natural characteristics, for nothing. Yet such
is our proposition to you on the present occasion.

Will you have him for nothing?

We assume, of course, that you have at least one hand. A foot will not

You have a hand?


Get an old glove and cut off the thumb and fingers to about the extent
represented in the annexed diagram.

Place the glove on your hand, and then hold your hand in the position
represented below. You will now have a general idea of what is to
constitute the substratum of the Highlander.



Now make a pair of little socks to fit your first and second fingers.
Here is a picture of the style in which they should be gotten up. These
socks can be made of white linen or calico, and painted with
water-colors of the desired pattern--the shoes black and the socks
plaid. If the colors are mixed with very little water they will not run
on the cloth. We suggest water-colors because the plaid can be very
neatly represented by cross lines of red and green. If, however, you
have no water-colors, you can stitch the stockings across with red and
green thread. It will be well to bear in mind that as your second finger
is longer than the first, the stocking for the first must be stuffed out
with cotton or wool to make it equal in length to the second.

[Illustration: THE HIGHLANDER TRICK.--_See page 101._]


Now make a careful copy of our full-page picture opposite; stitch it on
to the back of the glove; put the socks on your fingers, and your
Highlander is ready to dance, as represented in the above cut.

You move about the fingers, simulating a man dancing the Highland-fling
or double-shuffle, and the result will be very curious and eminently


Another variation of the same performance can be made, which will save
the trouble of drawing a Highlander. It is done thus: You procure a kid
glove, and cut it down as before. You will see by the subjoined cut how
the hand looks with the glove on before it has been fixed up. A white
kid glove is best, because on the white kid you can paint almost the
entire dress with water-colors--blue vest, red sash, and black
pantaloons. A little piece of some gay rag must, however, be stitched on
each side to represent the jacket; the chief object of the jacket being
to hide the knuckles of the third and fourth fingers.


Now, having fixed your glove and put it on, paint on your hand a face in
the style of the following sketch, and your dancing Spaniard, or
Terpsichorean Matadore, is ready for action. The glove forms a complete
suit (barring the boots), which you can slip off and on with the
greatest ease at pleasure.

If you have not a white kid glove wherewith to make the dress of the
above-mentioned gentleman, you will have to sew a small piece of calico
or paper in the proper place, for the shirt. You will also be obliged
to make him a vest out of some little scrap of red or blue silk; in
short, you must use your needle instead of your paint-brush. But this is
plain enough and needs no further explanation.


There is one more item, however, which we must mention. It will be found
rather difficult to paint moustaches on the hand so as to give them the
right merry expression. The teeth, which lend so much life to the face,
are troublesomely small to represent. We therefore think it best to draw
a pair of moustaches exactly similar to the ones we subjoin, which can
be made to stick in their place by the aid of a little diaclon or
shoemaker's wax.


The scientific gentleman at our last meeting bewildered us all with four
grains of rice. It will be remembered that he challenged us to arrange
those four seeds in such a manner that each should be an equal distance
from each, and yet not touch each other. Did we belong to the betting
class, we would be willing to wager a moderately-sized cobble-stone that
not one of our readers has yet solved the problem. It is explained thus:
You lay three of the seeds on the table in the form of an equilateral
triangle; then taking the fourth seed between the finger and thumb, you
hold it above the other three, in the position represented in diagram on
page 106. In this way, and this alone, can the objects be so arranged as
to be each equidistant from each. It is a very simple matter when once
explained, but we never yet knew any one to find it out.


Our friend Nix is in very fervid condition concerning a new picturesque
trick he has learned. It is an old affair, but very funny, and consists
in making an old woman's face with your fist, and is done as follows:
You double your fist, as represented in the above diagram, and draw on
it a face as also represented.


Then you make a species of hood something like a mitten, with a hole in
the side, around which hole you sew a frill, to make it look like a cap,
which we also illustrate with a diagram. The mitten is placed on the
hand, and a shawl pinned carefully round it, as shown in our diagram on
page 108, and you have the old woman complete.


Now, in order to make the old woman appear to speak, you must move the
knuckle of the thumb up and down, at the same time simulate a cracked,
squeaky old voice. By moving your thumb in time to your voice, the
illusion becomes perfect. You can, of course, make the old woman say
whatever you please; but the more emphatic the style of her
conversation the better, as you can make the jaw more energetic, and the
pauses more marked. The conversation might commence something in this
style (you in your natural tone of voice): "Well, aunty, how are _you_


Aunty Grummidge: "How am I? Ah! Hum! I'm well enough if it warn't for
them plaguey boys! Drat the boys! Heavin' stones at my geese! I'll geese
them, if I ketch 'em! Drat 'em! and tramplin' all over my string-beans!
Drat 'em! I'll string-bean 'em, if I ketch hold of 'em! And then the
pesky young warmints callin' me old Dot-and-go-one! I'll old
Dot-and-go-one them, if I ketch hold of 'em."

It will require a little practice to keep time between the thumb and the
voice; but by making the phrases short and emphatic, it will be soon
learned. When the old woman has done talking, you can stick a pipe in
her mouth, and make her look quite comfortable.


"_In those days there were giants._" Those days were the days when our
mother was a young lady, and, as we devoutly believe, the most beautiful
woman of her period; when our father's side-whiskers were glossy black;
when he wore his hat just a _leetle_ bit on one side, and when they
twain used now and then to go forth magnificently arrayed after the
lamps were lit, to balls and parties, whilst we little ones sat up in
our white beds to receive the parting kiss and injunction flavored with
blessings and _eau de cologne_. In those days, we repeat, there were
giants. Giants in our story-books, giants in our young imaginations,
mere suckers from the parent stem of the story-books, but terrible in
their proportions. There were giants, too, in our narrow path, springing
out of our waywardness and evil passions, and the evil passions of
others; there were giants, too, on the road to knowledge; oh, such
monstrous giants all of them, far bigger and fiercer than any we ever
met in after life. But there was another giant of a far different sort,
who used to make his appearance at our little parties about
Christmas-time, and in sustaining whose character we have over and over
again sweltered and staggered and suffered martyrdom the most terrible.
Still he was a pleasant giant (particularly to the upper-story boy), and
welcome to the whole company. He had a very youthful look, in spite of
his ferocious moustache; his hat had a tendency to drop over his eyes
and his gait was erratic; though his proportions inspired awe in the
hearts of the tiny portion of the audience. We have but rarely met this
gentleman in later days, partially, we fancy, from a difficulty in
procuring legs; we have observed a growing disinclination in persons to
perform these members; indeed, we have ourself shrunk several times from
the task. It is, indeed, an ordeal rather severe, after partaking
heartily of Christmas dinner, and, perhaps, generously of wine, to walk
about a hot room with a warm boy on your shoulders, and your entire
person--head, face, and all--enveloped in a heavy cloak or overcoat, and
not a breath of fresh air to be taken under penalty of _spoiling the

A small and cool boy is placed on the shoulders of a man or boy who is
stout in the legs; a long military cloak or overcoat is thrown over the
two, and the monster is made. You can embelish him with moustaches, a
hat, and a long walking-cane, and then you will have the creature
complete, as represented in the picture opposite.

[Illustration: HOW TO MAKE A GIANT.--_See page 112._]



Folly is better than physic. If no one ever made this aphorism before,
we at once lay claim to and include it in our copyright; entered
according to act of Congress in the clerk's office, and all the rest of
it. A good old-fashioned time we had of it last Christmas evening at the
house of our friend Nix. What a happy, merry, jolly crowd of noodles,
ninnies, judies, tomfools, and undignified people we were to be sure!
Nix gave himself unheard-of moustaches and eyebrows with India-ink, and
then washed himself into the likeness of a boss chimney-sweep, in which
condition he remained the whole evening, and came to business the next
day with a faint tinge of the dusty pigment under his left ear, although
he averred that he had parboiled himself over night with scalding soap
and water in honest efforts to remove the oriental stain.

At this distance of time it would be hard to recall who were the guests
at this tomfool's festival, even had we ever known them all; but a
fluttering of little faces and pink sashes, and very bunchy frocks
suggestive of new crinoline--indeed, now we think of it, one _wee_ thing
told us emphatically she had on a "noo hoop-stirt," and raised her short
red frock to show us the inestimable treasure; and that again reminds us
of another toddler, of the masculine persuasion, who thrice called our
attention to his new boots, and once requested us to feel the soles
where his mother had scratched them with her scissors to prevent his
slipping on the carpets. But, as we were saying, a certain confused
picture of fluttering pink sashes, bunchy crinoline, blue eyes, and
flushed cheeks, is one of the _chefs-d'oeuvre_ in the private gallery
of our memory, and was nearly all we carried away from that foolish
Christmas carnival. We remember, though, Aunty Delluvian, in all the
pomp, pride, and circumstance of a dress which might have been described
by some fashionable _modiste_ of fifty years ago, but before which the
steel nibs of a modern pen grow parched and gape inkless in their course
over the _cream laid_. We can state that it was of silk, and very thick,
and rustled, and had an odor, not of myrrh--for that we have purchased
at the drug stores as being good for the gums--though perhaps of
frankincense, but certainly of some Eastern perfume; and there our
descriptive capacity ends. Concerning certain gems and trinkets, also
worn by that worthy lady, we are equally humble and bewildered; but if
our memory serves us rightly, they were chiefly of pale and yellow
stones surrounded by pearls, and of oval and slender forms, save one
sombre brooch (she wore in the neck of her dress under a bow of ribbon),
which has hair in it, and was shown us as a rare piece of workmanship
and a great relic; indeed, Aunty Delluvian informed us, very
confidentially, that a person by the name of Sally Mason would have
given her ears to possess it once--from which we judged it to be of
great value.

The scientific gentleman was there; and others "too numerous to
mention," as the advertisements say. One of the company, whom we had
never met before, left a particular impression on our mind, partly
because he came from a far-off land, with a large budget of strange
knowledge and exotic ideas, and partly because he showed us a quite
curious and simple little toy. Among other things he expatiated on the
dexterity of the Australasian savages in the use of the boomerang, which
they would throw in such a way as to make it skim entirely around a
house and return to their feet. He told us that one of these savages
would seize his boomerang and send it whirling into a flock of parrots,
bringing down half a dozen of the birds, and then return to his feet. He
added that parrot-pie was excellent eating; a statement which sent a
thrill of indignation through the juvenile portion of the company. The
idea of cooking birds that say "Pretty Poll!" While the young were
indignant, many of the elders felt incredulous, touching the boomerang;
one person, indeed, delicately hinting that "throwing the boomerang"
must be the Australasian equivalent of our expression "pulling the long
bow;" but Aunty Delluvian, who had just heard the latter part of the
discourse, came gallantly to the rescue (she had taken rather a _notion_
to the young Australian). She assured the company that there could be
no doubt of the existence of the boomerang, for an uncle of hers had on
a certain occasion brought one from China, and that it grew so tame that
it would come and feed out of your hand. This statement, as may be
supposed, produced a profound sensation, which good breeding alone
prevented from being an explosion. Several persons present tried to hush
the matter up by suggesting that the good lady probably confounded the
instrument in question with a baboon or orang-outang. But Aunty
Delluvian would listen to nothing of the kind; _no compromises for her_.
"Bless the child, she had seen it with her own eyes, and it went all
round the house and came back to her feet, and caught the pigeon, and
killed the parrot, just as the gentleman described." However, the young
antipodean asserted his own veracity very effectively by offering to
manufacture a model of the weapon then and there.

"If you will only provide me," he said, "with a good stiff card--an old
playing-card will do as well as anything--I will soon satisfy you that
what I described _can_ be done."

The card was produced, and in a couple of minutes he had with a pair of
scissors clipped out a piece of the size and shape of the subjoined
diagram. He then borrowed a book and a lead pencil, and placed the
miniature boomerang on the former, with one end projecting over the edge
of the book about an inch. He then took the book in his left hand, and
holding it at a slight angle as represented in the diagram, page 119,
struck the projecting end a smart blow with the pencil. This sent it
whirling through the air towards the opposite corner of the ceiling,
which it nearly though not quite reached--then it came fluttering back
to the very feet of the performer. This operation was repeated several
times with almost universal applause, the only dissentient voice being
that of a little shaver of five, who wanted to see the parrots come


About this time it became evident that some mysterious preparations
were being made outside. A good deal of whispering occurred, and Nix,
with one or two others, disappeared from the apartment. We, in the
meantime, amused ourselves with sundry time-honored experiments. First
came an optical illusion-trick, the fun of which consisted in the futile
efforts of several persons to knock a cork off a fork with the
fore-finger; and is performed thus: A steel fork, or some other sharp
instrument, is stuck in the door, and a cork placed on the end of it.



The person wishing to test his skill places himself in front of it;
fixing his eyes on the cork, he then walks slowly backwards ten or
twelve feet, his eyes still fixed on the cork; having done which, he
extends his right hand, closes an eye, and advances towards the cork,
till he thinks he has reached near enough to knock the cork from its
position with one blow of the finger. Nine times out of ten the
performers fail, as they did on the occasion in question. This
experiment seemed to afford a good excuse to a certain little witch,
with black eyes, to propose the performance of pinning a thimbleful of
water to the wall. The thimble was filled with water, a pin borrowed,
and mademoiselle, escorted by her cavalier--a young gentleman in
patent-leather boots, and breathing incense from every curl of his hair,
and from every part of his dress, to a degree calculated to drive Phalon
mad and ruin the reputation of Arabia. Escorted by this exquisite
being, the young lady repaired to the spot selected for the experiment;
but, alas! just as she was about to fix the thimble to the wall the pin
dropped to the floor. In an instant the perfumed gallant was on his
knees searching for the lost article, and with equal promptitude the
treacherous belle had emptied the water on his fragrant pate, amid the
roars of laughter of those around--for in this consisted the trick.

While we were still laughing the door opened, and Nix entered, somewhat
flushed, and with a comical frown on his brow.

"Ladies and gentlemen," he began, "I have a serious complaint to
make--really it is too bad. Upon my life it is. I think Miss Mary Fenn
and Miss Julia Farley, and several of the other young ladies, ought to
be spoken to" (the ladies mentioned and several others here colored up
and looked rather scared). "I think they ought to be very seriously
spoken to, going round in this reckless way. Why, upon my life, there's
no knowing what may happen--and they don't care one bit. They care no
more for a fellow-creature than I do for a fly. Ah! (with a sigh) there
is one feller-creature which I wish they would think a little more of.
In common honesty they ought to do something to their eyes--wear
spectacles, or something of that sort; and for their lips, since nature
has seen fit not to provide them with moustaches, they might use
respirators or--or--or--well, something has to be done, or there won't
be a sane man in the neighborhood. I myself have a severe pain in my
left side; and here, when I go outside--I don't mean the left side, but
outside the room--for a little temporary relief, I find a poor fellow
maimed, probably for life--his head completely turned."

At this point a figure resembling the opposite sketch walks in, and
declares that he would not have his head turned back for the world; on
the contrary, he finds his present position far more comfortable than
any other, etc., etc., etc.


The construction of this figure is so simple that it seems almost
superfluous to explain it. The person performing it puts on a loose coat
and vest, wrong side foremost, fastens a false face to the back of his
head, and a wig over his face, and the whole is complete. The wig may be
made of curled hair from an old mattress, sewed on to a black silk cap.
By the way, while we are on the subject, we may as well say a word or
two more concerning this curled hair, which will be found very useful
for amateur theatricals. With a handful of this cheap material (the
imitation or grass substitute will answer just as well), you can make
beards, whiskers, and moustaches of any desired shape. All that is
required is to twist, stretch, or mould the tangled mass into the
desired shape, and then, in the proper place, stick on a small piece of
diachylon, and the appendage is ready for use. The diachylon can be
purchased in lump form of any druggist. In order to adhere it to the
face, it should be slightly warmed before the fire.

"Why, bless my soul alive, if the poor fellow's head isn't turned!"
exclaimed Aunty Delluvian, in unfeigned surprise. "Well, some foolish
fellows do get their heads turned by the girls," and the good old lady
laughed heartily, honestly believing she had made a joke. Indeed, she
patted us on the knee to draw our attention, as she added, in an
explanatory way:

"You know, when I was a girl, and any young fellow fell in love with one
of the girls, we used to say his head was turned; so I say that young
man's head is turned--don't you see!" and again the old lady went off in
a transport of merriment at her own wit. But in a moment it was over,
and when we turned there was something glistening in her eye, as she
looked dreamily before her out of that Christmas-day away off,
doubtless, to some other Christmas-day when young men had their heads
turned by designing young women. But there was no time for reverie; for
Nix, who had assumed the position of showman, now made himself heard,
bellowing through his nose:

"Now, ladies and gentleman, I will proceed to show you a highly moral
exhibition, some of the four-footed works of nature, or, as they are
commonly called, quadrupedals. This exhibition, by calling the mind to
contemplate the works of nature, elevates the soul to things above, and
makes us all better fathers, husbands, wives, sweethearts, sons, and
girls to do general housework. Now, ladies and gentlemen, I would ask
you who, after contemplating the rhinoceros, would fail to return home a
more dutiful parent or respectful sweetheart? But, to step from the
realms of fancy to the practical regions of fact, I will proceed to
interdooce to you that splendid anumile Saladin, the royal Bengal tiger,
from Botteny Bay, in the West Injees. This wonderful creature measures
sixteen feet from the tip of the tail to the tip of the snout, and
sixteen feet from the tip of the snout to the tip of the tail, making in
all thirty-two feet."


At this point of his oration the showman paused, opened the door, and
gave a loud whistle, when in scampered a creature more easily sketched
than described. At first we did not recognise the stub-tailed
bull-terrier Snap, so completely was he disguised and bestriped with
black paint, more to resemble a zebra, however, than a tiger. Snap, all
unconscious of his new character, began frisking and capering round,
wagging his tail _vociferously_, as Nix expressed it.

"This beautiful but terrible creature," continued Nix, "is exquisitely
marked by nature. His, however, are not good-conduct marks, for, in his
native wilds, his behavior is anything but proper. He will devour
anything that comes in his way, having been known, when pressed by
hunger, to eat even an alderman. Such being the nature of the beast, I
will now proceed to show you a more amiable specimen of this moral
exhibition. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the largest of all animals.
It belongs to Asia and Africa. We have no elephants, naturally, in
America, any more than we have Irishmen. They are all imported at great
expense, two ships being required to bring over each creature, one for
himself, and one for his trunk, I believe."

Enter elephant (adjoining page).

"The elephant lives chiefly on ginger-snaps, sugar, rice, and cayenne
pepper, which, at the present price of groceries, makes his board come
rather heavy. You have all heard of the sagacity of the elephant--how
he squirted the dirty water over that injudicious tailor who ran his
needle into the elephant's trunk. But, ladies and gentlemen, I was
witness to a more singular instance of intelligence on the part of this
elephant here, which is, perhaps, the largest of its kind ever imported
to this country. While passing through the streets of one of our inland
towns during the late election, this very anumile seized a slip of paper
from one of the crowd, rushed up to the polls, and actually voted the
Union ticket before we knew what he was about."

[Illustration: HOW TO MAKE AN ELEPHANT. _See page 126._]

In this strain Nix continued for some time, while the elephant walked
round the room. Little boys were mounted on his back for a ride, and
enjoyed the fun hugely.

The scientific gentleman with gold spectacles threw a temporary damper
on the merriment by asking, in a sombre voice, whether we knew how many
times round the elephant's foot was equal to his height, and then
equally solemnly informing us that it was "Twice." Having said "twice!"
very emphatically, he became silent, and the fun went on.

Now comes the question--How was the elephant made? A glance at the
annexed picture will throw considerable light on the subject at once.

Here we have the usual human substratum. Two gentlemen, wearing rubbers,
place themselves in the position represented, while the foremost one
holds something in his hands. This is a grey shawl or table-cover,
rolled up to represent the elephant's trunk, which the performer swings
about to produce a life-like effect. All that now remains to be done is
to procure another grey shawl and spread it over the united operators,
fastening two pieces of round paper, with black dots on them, in the
proper places, for eyes, and a couple of rags or old gloves for ears.
The elephant is now complete, save the tusks. These can be made out of
long pieces of twisted white paper, pinned to the inside of the shawl,
and there you have a first-rate elephant for a small tea-party. Dish,
and serve up with lots of _sass_, as the cookery books say. But let us
listen to Nix; he is spouting some more nonsense:

"Ladies and gentlemen: This elephant was captured and imported into this
country by a Bengal officer, Colonel Gurramuchy, whom I shall have much
pleasure in introducing to you. You have all heard of Cumming--well, he
is coming."



Here entered the most extraordinary being we had ever beheld; a very
military-looking person, with a very small head and an exceedingly long
neck. However, refer to the illustration, where you see him faithfully
portrayed. Following him was an equally singular person, who was
presented to us as Captain Dawk, a particular friend of the Colonel's,
whose portrait we likewise subjoin. These gentlemen chatted with Nix,
and told us one or two of their hunting adventures--the most extravagant
yarns. We have only space for one, which we shall condense as much as
possible. Captain Dawk once, while hunting the wild boar in India, had
the misfortune to have his horse ripped open by the tusks of the
infuriated beast. His horse of course fell heavily, and died almost
immediately. While he was standing at the side of the poor creature,
deploring his loss, and wondering how he should ever reach home, he
beheld at some distance from him, on the open plain, a huge tiger
approaching. There was no tree within miles; to run away would have been
useless; he at once bethought himself of an idea. Seizing his
hunting-knife, he rapidly removed the internals of the horse, and crept
into the cavity himself. The tiger, on coming up, seized the horse by
the neck, and dragged it several miles to its den in the jungle, where
it commenced at once to feast upon the carcass. Watching a favorable
opportunity, when the tiger had eaten a hole in the horse's side,
Captain Dawk drew a small revolver from his pocket, and shot the animal
dead. He was just in the act of crawling from his place of concealment
when he beheld five more tigers approaching. Four of these he shot one
after the other from inside the horse, and then all his ammunition was
exhausted, and one tiger was left alive; but, drawing his knife, he
resolved to sell his life dearly. Here the Captain gave us a most
harrowing account of his encounter with the last tiger, which was larger
than any of the others. First it broke both his legs, then his arms,
then his back, and finally the ferocious beast got the officer's head
into its mouth--but to conclude in his own words: "I felt the hot breath
in my face, the sharp teeth pressing both sides of my skull. In another
instant I felt all would be over, and my worst fears were realized. With
one gripe the wretched brute bit off my head, and then tearing me limb
from limb, devoured me on the spot." This story was pronounced a

But how were these extraordinary faces produced? First, we will refer
our readers to the diagram, which will explain a good deal, and then
throw what light we can on the subject with words.

The face of the Colonel was made by painting an entire set of features
on the forehead with India-ink. The white of the eyes in both cases was
effected by wetting the finger and rubbing it on an enamelled
visiting-card; by this means you take a good deal of the white from the
card which can be transferred to the proper place on the forehead. In
the case of the Colonel, if the performer moves his eyebrows up and down
as he is speaking, it will communicate a motion to the pointed
moustaches, and a most comical expression to the entire face.


To make the second face, you must, if possible, get some one with very
light eyebrows and no moustaches; then paint eyes and eyebrows on the
forehead, which must be done artistically, shadows and all, and connect
them, as represented, with the bridge of the nose, paint heavy black
moustaches, and your performer will have the appearance of possessing
an immensely long face; he must, however, keep his eyes shut, or the
illusion will be dispelled.

After this performance, the scene, as painted on our memory, resolves
itself into blue eyes, pink ribbons, bunchy skirts, oranges, candies,
lemonades, wax-lights, Christmas-trees, Aunty Delluvian, and endless
smiling faces.

May all good people have as foolish, merry a Christmas as we had at
Aunty Delluvian's!


Hanky-panky is the name of a certain art practised by pantomimists of
the clown and harlequin school, and is the subject of no little study
and practice. We do not think it within our power to define hanky-panky,
composed as it is of fictitious whackings and kickings and smackings,
unless, indeed, that be a definition. We can, however, give a couple of
illustrations of the art as it may be practised in the family circle. We
may look further into the matter at some future day, and possibly issue
a volume of Parlor hanky-panky, beautifully illustrated by the author.

The first example we shall now give is how to knock your knuckles on the
edge of a marble mantel-piece or other hard substance without hurting
them. It is done thus: You raise your clenched fist high in the air,
hold it poised there some seconds for all the audience to see, and then
bring it swiftly down; but just before your hand reaches the object,
open your fingers quickly, so they will strike the object with a sharp
slap, then close them quickly; if this is neatly done, it will appear as
if you had struck your knuckles a violent blow. This will make the
ladies scream, and every one else thrill of horror.


The second feat of hanky-panky consists in knocking your head against
the edge of a door with such apparent force as to break your skull,
provided it be anything under an inch thick.

This you do by holding your hand which is farthest from the audience on
a level with your face, as represented in the annexed picture. At the
moment your forehead touches the edge you must give the side of the door
a good smart bang with the palm of your hand. To the audience on the
other side of the door, who do not see this motion of the hand, you
appear to have given your poor head a terrific blow.


Another piece of hanky-panky frequently practised on the stage requires
two performers. No. 1 aims a blow at the head of No. 2; No. 2, just as
the blow reaches him, raises both hands as though to guard the blow,
managing, however, as he does so to slap them smartly together so as to
produce a loud report. If the blow and the report occur simultaneously,
No. 1 will appear to have given No. 2 a most vicious box on the ear.

This is all we have to say about hanky-panky.


Being in a tranquil mood the other evening, and indisposed for the
rollicking fun and tomfoolery in which, we are glad to say, we have so
often indulged, we called upon our friend Nix to pass a quiet hour or
two. When we had explained the object of our visit, Nix replied that it
was well, for although he could not entertain us himself in the
character of host, he could introduce us to a family to whom he happened
to be engaged himself that evening.

"They are," said he, "the most charming people in the world--all ladies,
excepting a little pickle of a boy, a child after your own heart, by the
way; not one of your impulsive, high-spirited humbugs, who does all
sorts of vicious things for twelve hours, and is sorry for them for five
minutes; not one of your easy penitents, who is never ashamed of owning
himself in the wrong, and at the same time never too proud to do wrong;
but a stubborn, sensitive, ingenuous, affectionate, fun-loving little
fellow. Do you know I like people who, when they are mad, get sulky? I
have found they make the best of friends, the best servants, and the
best members of society generally. I wonder who started the admiration
of _impulsive_ people? 'Oh!' you hear a young lady say, who never really
gave the subject five minutes' thought in her life, and is quite
unconscious that she is repeating a hackneyed sentiment which has been
knocking about the world for the last fifty years; 'oh!' you hear her
say, 'I like quick-tempered people, who get into a passion and are over
it in a minute.' Then you hear some one else: 'Oh, yes, he does wrong,
but he is full of fine impulses!' For my part, I think these impulsive
folks are the greatest humbugs in the world. In the first place, there
is scarcely any villany which cannot be perpetrated in a moment, if you
have only the necessary impulse; but then, to look into the origin of
this impulsiveness, it arises altogether from a lack of self-control, a
violent, self-indulgent spirit. Then, as to ready repentance and
confession, that, to my mind, is the worst sign man, woman, or child can
show; it simply shows they do not fully appreciate the seriousness of
their offence, or are so devoid of pride that they do not care in what
estimation they are held by others; or, as is often the case, it is a
cheap way of squaring accounts and starting afresh, perhaps on better
terms than before, with people who like _impulsive_ characters. Bah!
Confession and repentance ought to come out of a man with tears of
blood, and----"

"But about the ladies?" we broke in. "Your dissertation on character is
very good, but I think you made use of the adjective charming in
connection with the noun ladies."

"Oh, yes," answered Nix, suddenly changing his manner, for he had grown
quite fierce and enthusiastic in his tirade against impulsive persons.
"The ladies--'that man who would lay his hand on a lady in aught save
kindness, is unworthy the name of a British officer and a gentleman.'

  "'A wife, a dog, and a walnut-tree,
  The more you lick 'em, the better they be.'

"Arguments _pro_ and _con_. But you said something about the ladies.
Well, this family comprises a widow, three daughters, and little pickle
aforementioned. These ladies, I may tell you, are not only ladies, but
gentlewomen--a very, very rare article, I can assure you."

"True," we responded; "painfully true."

"These ladies have found out--no, there I am wrong; they never gave the
subject a thought. But they are illustrations of the fact, though they
are ignorant of it, for their good-breeding came to them partly by
nature and partly by careful, motherly, Christian training. They are
illustrations of the fact, that to be gentlewomen it is necessary to be
gentle women."

"Women do not appear to be generally aware of that fact," we chimed in.

"These ladies, although full of intelligence and _esprit_, besides being
highly educated and accomplished, could not, I believe, give a smart
retort to--to--to save their eyes; and when you see their eyes you will
be able to judge of the value of the stake. If any one were to make a
rude or impertinent speech to them they would not understand him. As
they never wound the feelings of others, they cannot imagine any one
else doing so."

"But," said we, "there are certain forms of words which no one could
possibly mistake--not even the simplest of human beings."

"Oh, of course, I don't refer to such cases as those! Under such
circumstances, my friends would feel deeply grieved, and even rebuke the
offender. But as to making one of those sharp retorts in which
underbred young women so greatly delight, why, they could no more do it
than fly!"

Fortunately, at this point in Nix's harangue, we reached the door of the
ladies under discussion; for be it understood that most of our
conversation had occurred on our way thither.

We doubt whether it is a good plan to praise one's friends too highly
before an introduction; it is calculated to produce a reaction. At
least, we felt just the least shade of disappointment on being ushered
into the presence of the subject of our companion's eulogy. Four
plainly-dressed, oval-faced, soft-eyed ladies, seated round a large
centre-table, on which were strewn water-colors, albums, scissors, and
scraps of paper.

"Mr. Nix has told us all so much about you," said the eldest, "that I
feel as though we were old friends. My daughters are now enthusiastic on
the subject of transparencies, and I've no doubt your ingenuity will
enable them to solve many knotty points beyond their amateur capacity."

We soon found, however, that we were the one to learn, for the work on
which the white fingers were engaged was something entirely new to us.
There were beautiful transparencies, mostly representing landscapes, and
cut out of writing-paper. We immediately became a devoted student of the
art of transparent picture-making, with a single eye, of course, to
the amusement of our readers. The soft, brown eyes, the taper fingers,
and the gentle manners, had nothings to do with our assiduity, upon
which we pledge our sacred honor, as a Calmuc Tartar.

[Illustration: PAPER TRANSPARENCIES.--_See page 143._]

We will now proceed to explain, if those white fingers do not get in the
way, how these pictures are produced; and first, according to our
custom, we refer the reader to the annexed diagram (No. 1)--a diagram is
a good basis to start upon. Before you look at the diagram, it would be
well to collect the necessary materials, which are as follows:

Several sheets of writing-paper.

One piece, say four inches square, of thick paper or card.

A pair of small fine-pointed scissors.

A sharp-pointed penknife.

A small piece of charcoal. Burnt grape-vine or cedar makes the best.

A piece of transparent tracing-paper. A black lead-pencil.

Pen and ink.

A thick pasteboard, or thin pine board, about the thickness of an
ordinary book-cover, and at least two inches longer and wider than the
picture you are about to make. A sheet of glass will answer as well,
perhaps better.

A small quantity of thin, fine paste, free from lumps, made of flour and
water boiled. Mind that it is boiled and free from lumps.

Now see the diagram No. 1. This is the picture you wish to produce in
the transparency. Take your tracing-paper, and with a pen and ink make
an outline of this picture, having done which, rub the charcoal over the
back of the tracing, then lay the tracing-paper on a sheet of
letter-paper, take your lead-pencil in your hand; now, every mark you
make on the tracing-paper with the pencil will leave a corresponding
charcoal mark on the paper beneath it. Bearing this in mind, you will
draw your pencil carefully round the outline of the moon, the window of
the old castle, and the bright light in the water. Now carefully remove
the tracing-paper, and you will find the forms of these objects faintly
marked in charcoal lines on the writing-paper. Now, with the fine point
(it must have a fine point) of your lead-pencil, travel over the
charcoal lines, so as to make them distinct and permanent. You do so
because the charcoal easily brushes off. You will then proceed to brush
off the charcoal with a soft rag as soon as you have made your pencil
outline. You will now, with the scissors or penknife, whichever is most
convenient for the purpose, cut out the parts you have traced--that is
to say, a round hole for the moon, a small square patch for the castle
window, and a few irregular slits for the water. Then you will have a
piece of paper like diagram No. 2 (page 152).

There now, we think we managed to keep the white fingers out of that
pretty well, though it was pretty hard work, rest assured. So far so
good. Now you want to cut a piece of paper, which shall be your second
tint, to represent the clouds and water. To this end you again lay your
outline tracing on the white paper, and trace the shape of the clouds,
the castle window, and the lights on the water, which will give you a
form similar to that represented in diagram No. 3 (page 153). This you
will cut out as before.

Now you wish for a tint to represent the distant mountains and the
reflection of the old castle; therefore, trace and cut out as before
directed a piece of paper corresponding with the outlines of these
forms, which piece will correspond exactly with diagram No. 4 (page
154). Now you will cut out a piece of paper to represent the nearer
mountains and the castle, which will correspond with diagram No. 5 (page
155). After which you will cut a piece to represent the castle alone;
and lastly, you cut out of your card the form of the fir-tree and old
railing in the foreground, and the chief part of your labor is done.

Again we must congratulate ourself on keeping those little fingers out
of our description, though they have been playing about like white mice
among our ideas all the time. We only trust we have made the process
clear to our readers.

We will now presume you wish to mount your transparency on a sheet of
glass. First take the piece of white paper corresponding with diagram
No. 2, and cover it with a thin coat of paste, being careful that it is
free from lumps, and lay it on the glass, pressing it evenly all over
with a soft handkerchief. Over this, in its proper place, paste No. 3,
over that No. 4, and so on, one over the other, till they are all on.
You can now hold it up to the light to see if the reflected lights in
the water are correct; if not, wait till the transparency is dry, and
brighten them up by cutting the necessary pieces out with the sharp
point of a penknife. All that needs doing now is to paste over all a
thin sheet of white paper. This need only be pasted round the edges just
enough to make it keep its place. To give the picture a finish, it
should either be put in a frame or have a border of gilt paper or other
untranslucent material pasted round it to conceal the ragged edges of
the picture. Now your picture is complete. Hold it once more up to the
light, and you will be surprised what a beautiful effect is produced.

If the transparency be not to be mounted in glass, the process is as
follows: Cut a square hole, a trifle smaller than the picture, in the
board you have provided; cut a piece of white paper of the same shape as
the hole, only about one inch larger each way; moisten it slightly with
a wet rag, then put some paste all round the edges of the paper, and
paste it over the square hole in the board; keep the paper slightly
moistened till the paste has thoroughly dried; then you can allow the
paper to dry, when it will become smooth and tight like the head of a
drum. On this you can paste the transparency in the same way you did on
the glass.

Our young lady friends had a number of wonderful things produced in this
way, into some of which they had introduced color with remarkable
effect. In the design we have given as an example, being one of the
simplest in their collection, the light in the castle window was red,
and threw long rays of red light across the rocks, with a red reflection
in the water. This was easily done with a little water-color (crimson
lake); but we refrained from introducing it into our description, for
fear of complicating the matter and puzzling the reader. However, when
you have made the one we have described, you will soon see a number of
other effects which can be produced--sunsets with a moving sun,
rain-storms, floating clouds; skies and water painted blue, and trees
green, etc., etc.

Little Pickle did not take any active part in the transparency business,
though he looked on admiringly, occasionally throwing in a few words of
applause or advice, something in this style:

"Oh! I say, Lucy, couldn't you put a cow in there; it would look
fust-rate. I can draw a cow, all but the feet, and you can hide them
behind the rocks, you know."


"Yes--ah--yes--that snow is pretty good, only that feller has only got
one runner to his sled!"

It is strange that boys will always say _feller_ and _fust-rate_.

Little Pickle was not, however, idle in his way. While we were studying
white fingers, brown eyes, and transparencies, he had cut out a sled, a
wheel-barrow, and manufactured a dancing-pea. The latter he made by
running a pin half way through a pea, one end of which he stuck into a
broken piece of tobacco-pipe. He then threw his head back till the
tobacco-pipe attained a perpendicular position, when he commenced
blowing, which made the pea dance in the air in the most amusing manner
for nearly a minute. The mode of arranging the pea, as well as of using
it, is illustrated in the accompanying sketch.


He likewise horrified us all by suddenly appearing with a hideous double
row of protruding yellow teeth, which he coolly dropped into the palm of
his hand, when he thought our feelings had been sufficiently outraged.

"They are only made of orange-peel," he explained. "You just cut a slit
there, and notch them along like that, and then put them into your


Now, in order to convey to your mind, dear reader, the method of
constructing this ornament, shall we tell you to cut an elliptical piece
of orange, and then make a longitudinal incision here, with transverse
incisions there, etc., etc.? No, we will not; we will fall back to our
old friend the diagram, and if you cannot make yourself a set of false
teeth after that, then remain in heathen darkness on all matters of
dentistry, as you deserve. Cut a piece of orange-peel in the shape
represented, and at the foot of the preceding diagram you will see how
they look when you put them on.

[Illustration: Diagram No. 2.]

[Illustration: Diagram No. 3.]

[Illustration: Diagram No. 4.]

[Illustration: Diagram No. 5.]

[Illustration: Diagram No. 6.]

[Illustration: Diagram No. 7.]


A friend of ours, who is an ardent admirer of that great humorist of the
plains, Artemus Ward, has recently been edifying a large circle of
private friends with imitations of the celebrated showman. He has had a
wig and false nose made expressly for this entertainment, by the aid of
which adjuncts he succeeds in establishing quite a respectable
resemblance to the grand original, as may be seen by his portrait, which
we have taken the trouble to get engraved.

Most of the jokes are those of Artemus repeated from memory. The more
sober ones, we fancy, are original. The lecture runs thus:

"LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:--Having recently paid a visit to Salt Lake City,
the great Mormon capital, I think a short lecture on the subject may
prove instructive as well as amusing. Although I appear before you with
the cap and bells, I would have you understand that when I speak of
matters of fact I shall confine myself strictly to the truth. You may,
therefore, rely upon all I shall tell you concerning the Mormons as
being strictly true.


"When on the dock preparatory to start on my voyage, I found myself
surrounded by a large concourse of people, who seemed perfectly willing
that I should go. 'Go along,' they said, 'old feller, and stay as long
as you please.' I would like you to take a good look at the noble vessel
in which I sailed (pointing to a crude delineation of a steamship),
because, if you ever go to California, travel by some other boat.

"When we were fairly out at sea, I observed that many of the passengers
ran frequently to look over the side of the vessel--to see if there were
any dolphins alongside, I presume. One young couple sitting near me,
newly married and very haggard, talked earnestly together. I could not
avoid hearing a part of their conversation.

"'Oh, Julia,' said the gentleman, 'you are very noble; you have thrown
up society, friends, everything for me.'

"'Do not say a word, Alfred,' replied the young lady; 'you have thrown
up more than I have.'

"It was very touching, for they certainly threw up a great deal between

"In San Francisco I delivered an oration. It was not, perhaps, equal to
Cicero's, but still I think--I don't know--but I think if old Cis had
heard it he would have been astonished. I delivered an oration to the
soldiers once. They were much delighted--very much delighted indeed--so
delighted, in fact, that they come dooced near shooting me.

"The hotels on the road to Salt Lake City are, as a rule, inferior to
our leading ones in New York. At one of them they gave me a sack of oats
for a pillow. That night I had nightmares. I suppose they were attracted
by the oats. The next morning the landlord asked me how I was, _old
hoss_! I replied that I felt my oats!

"After travelling several days, more or less, we reached Utah, and put
up at this hotel (here a rude picture is produced). It is a temperance
hotel. The only objection I have to temperance hotels is
that--that--they keep such dooced poor _licker_. In the front of the
hotel may be seen the coach in which we had been confined for the last
eight days. Those among my audience who have served a term in the State
prison will understand our feeling when we escaped from that vehicle.

"Utah is a beautiful city, laid out in broad streets, with avenues of
fine trees. Brigham Young is the big injun of the place, next to whom
comes Heber Kimball. Brigham has the largest number of wives--two
hundred in all. He says his only hope now is to have his dying pillow
smoothed by the hands of his family. Under the circumstances, it strikes
me he'd have to go out of doors to die if he wishes to accomplish it.

"The number of his children is unknown, though, if you multiply two
hundred wives by fifteen, you will get a rough estimate. We mentioned
this to Briggy, and he seemed to think it rather rough. Perhaps so. Brig
is very exact in his calculations; he knows to a ton of beef what is
consumed in his household daily. As an illustration of his exceeding
accuracy in little matters, we may mention a fact. On one occasion one
of his wives was missing. Five weeks had not elapsed before Brigham had
discovered the fact. Those of my audience who have mothers-in-law will
appreciate the advantage of two hundred wives. There must be a good deal
of mother-in-law to that number; an amount highly calculated to keep
things lively. Possibly Brigham is fond of excitement.

"On one occasion Briggy took a fancy to a certain young lady, and
proposed for her hand. She replied that she could not accept his offer
unless he also married her elder sister. To this he readily
assented--went to her--the proposition was made--the sister said she
should be obliged to decline unless he married her mother also. After
some deliberation he proposed to the mother, but she refused unless he
would also propose to her old grandmother. Finally he married the whole

"Of course Brigham cannot attend personally to the amount of courting
necessary--that is to say, in our old-fashioned style. No, he has his
form of love done up in pamphlet form, which he sends to any lady to
whom he wishes to be united. This saves trouble.

"Though the Mormons generally are a very steady people, they still have
loose fish among them. On one occasion a gay Mormon Lothario gained
access to a young ladies' seminary. In the morning it was found he had
eloped with the entire establishment.

"I, even I did not escape without some difficulty. Just before my
departure, a worthy gentleman in the pickle business died, leaving
fourteen wives. They sent for me. When I called I found them all in

"'Why is this thus?' I inquired.

"'Art going?' inquired they.

"'I ist,' I replied.

"'Oh, why! oh, why goest thou?'

"'Because when I gettest ready to doest a thing, I generally doest it,'
replied I.

"'Wilt marry us?' said they.

"'I rather think not,' I replied.

"'Oh, this is too much!' cried they.

"'That's where it is,' rejoined myself. 'It's precisely on account of
its being too much that I object to it.'

"My lectures were very popular at Salt Lake, and always well attended.
On one occasion I incautiously gave a family ticket to a certain Elder.
That night my house was crowded to overflowing. It was entirely filled
with the Elder's family. There was not room for a single paying visitor
to come in. The next day they called to say they were very much pleased,
and gave me their photograph in a very pretty pocket-case, something
like a wallet. Subsequently it was taken out of my pocket by a young man
on Broadway, but I detected him in the act and seized him by the collar.
He at once acknowledged the deed, but said he did it in the name of the
Confederate government in retaliation for outrages committed by our
troops in the Shenandoah Valley."

Here the lecture ended. It generally received nearly as much applause as
that of the great original, for my friend had studied Ward's peculiar
manner and quaint enunciation till he had got it to a nicety.


This chapter we shall devote exclusively to a little play, written
expressly for parlor performance. The characters are so few, and the
materials--in the way of dress and scenery--so simple, that it can be
easily gotten up in any household. In the full-page picture you will see
our idea of the "make-up" of the Artist, but as Mr. Bullywingle does not
come out so well on so small a scale, we annex a picture of his head and
shoulders as a guide to the reader. We feel disposed, however, to allow
the largest latitude to the performers as to make-up. They can modify
the dress of the characters according to circumstances. Another reason
we have for giving the portrait of Mr. Bullywingle is, that a large copy
of it is required in the performance of the piece. In copying this it is
no matter how ludicrously inaccurate your performance is, provided you
make the face fiery red, the hair white, and the spectacles green.
Indeed, the worse the picture the funnier the effect.


_Mr. Bullywingle._--Hat--white, with black band. Face very red,
culminating in a bright crimson on the nose. The face should be colored
with vermilion, which can be procured in a powdered state at any color
store. If you get it in this state mix it with water, to which add a
very small quantity of gum or glue. The best plan, however, is, if
convenient, to purchase a cake of vermilion such as is used for

Hair, eyebrows, and moustache must be very white. The hair and moustache
can be made white by dressing with plenty of pomatum, and then
sprinkling them liberally with flour from the flour dredger. The
imperial and eyebrows should be painted on the face with flake-white.
Procure two ounces of flake-white (in powder) in any paint store; mix it
carefully with water till it is about as thick as molasses. A small
piece of glue, about the weight of two beans, should be dissolved in the
water before it is added to the flake-white.

Spectacles--green, which you can either borrow from a friend, buy at a
store, or steal anywhere. If, however, you are too proud to steal, and
you cannot get the specs any other way, you may cut them out of
card-board and paint the proper color. As Mr. Bullywingle wears his
specs on the end of his nose, never using them to look through, it is of
little consequence whether they be transparent or not.

Cravat--large and white.

Shirt collar--large; can be cut out of writing-paper.

Coat--blue, with gilt buttons.

Vest and pants--light; the latter short in the legs.


_Mr. Puttyblow_ (the artist).--Nose red; eyebrows black, and painted
above the natural eyebrows. This gives the eyebrows a continued
elevated appearance, which is very comical in effect.

The moustache and beard can either be painted with burnt cork or
India-ink, or, which is far better, made out of curled hair and a little
diachylon, as described in a previous chapter. If you wish to make the
character very comic, you can turn up the nose with a piece of thread
and stick a patch of court-plaster over one of your teeth, all of which
has been described in earlier chapters.

Cap--something fancy, of bright color if possible.

Coat--anything comical and shabby. The young man is poor.

Pants--short in the legs.

_Miss MacSlasher_ must be attired in walking costume, and make herself
look as elegant and pretty as possible. Or in case the ladies won't act,
or you happen to be out of pretty girls, you can get Miss MacSlasher up
as an old lady, and make her look as comical as you can. You see our
play is on a compensating, self-adjusting principle. Now we will give
you a list of all the things you will require in the way of
"properties," as they are called in stage parlance. Before doing so,
however, we must impress upon you the necessity of having a stage
manager, otherwise you will surely get into a state of confusion and
spoil the play. It is the duty of the stage-manager to collect the
properties together and see that they are all in their right places. He
will arrange the stage, and, if desirable, act as prompter.

Vermilion--To be procured at a paint store.

Flake-white and green paint--paint store.

Card-board for imitation spectacles, and glue--paint store.

Three or four camel's-hair pencils--paint store.

India-ink or burnt cork.

Pomatum, butter or lard for hair.

Ten cents' worth of diachylon (in lump form, not plaster--remember this;
also remember that the diachylon must be warmed before the fire to make
it stick), which can be had at any drug store.

Flour for hair can be procured from the kitchen, if the barrel ain't
gin' out.

Green spectacles.

White cravat and large shirt-collar.

Blue or green coat, with bright buttons.

Vest and pantaloons, light in color.

Small piece of court-plaster or black silk, for tooth.

Curled hair from stuffing of mattresses.

Cap for artist, of bright color.

Coat for artist.

Pants for ditto, legs short.

Slippers for ditto.

Large portrait of Mr. Bullywingle.

Easel or stand for portrait.

Palette (the palette should be cut out of pasteboard, the cover of a
large book, or something of that kind--a wooden palette would break when
sat upon); a maul-stick and brushes, pictures, casts, etc., to give the
artist's studio an artistic appearance.

Stale hard loaf of bread.

Knife--palette knife if possible.

Tray with two cups.

Tea-pot containing very weak tea.

Plates, butter, and pieces of crockery, to make a clatter.

Sheets, comfortable, shawls, or Turkey-red, to make proscenium and

Several sheets of tissue-paper, red and blue, to ornament proscenium.

Lamps to light the stage.

Deeds and legal documents for Mr. Bullywingle.

Umbrella for Mrs. Bullywingle.

White hat with black band.

Towels, or rags, to cover and conceal artist's breakfast on a chair.

Slice of bread prepared with diachylon or hooked pins to stick to Mr.
Bullywingle's coat-tail.



_Dramatis Personæ._

_Mr. Puttyblow_, an artist.

_Mr. Bullywingle_, a bachelor who is beloved by women, or thinks himself

_Miss MacSlasher._

SCENE.--_An artist's studio._

Curtain rises, or is pulled down, and discovers Mr. Puttyblow seated at
an easel opposite a picture which is so placed that the audience cannot
see the face of it.

_Mr. Puttyblow_ (yawning). Oh--on--on--awe--awe--oo--oo! Oh, thunder!
Oh, pickled thunder, turnip-tops, trust, tick, and tomatoes! I wish to
goodness, goose-pies, and the goddess of fame, some one would give me a
commission to paint a picture--one thousand dollars--half cash in
advance, and the balance on completion of the work--some grand heroic
subject, which would send my name and fame resounding through the
nations of the earth like the mighty avalanche of the Alps, till the
human race with one voice should stand back and exclaim--"That's him!"

Now, I think I could paint a picture of Washington Crossing the Delaware
in a style of art equally creditable to my feelings as an artist and an
American citizen. I'd make Washington--yes--I would not make him as they
generally do, in a great, big, comfortable boat, with a new suit of
clothes, looking up to heaven, while a lot of other fellows are shoving
the boat through lumps of ice with hooks and pikes, and things of that
kind. No! I'd make him swimming across, with the stars and stripes
between his teeth and a horse-pistol of the period behind each ear.
That's what I should call something like a picture. But all this is
vain; instead of painting big pictures, and building my palatial villa
on the Hudson, I am stuck and starved in this miserable chamber--a poor
artist with scarcely anything to feed upon but tobacco-smoke and my own
ideas. Talking about feed reminds me that I have had no breakfast yet.
Now breakfast is one of those ideas about which I have my own
ideas--namely, to wit: that you can't continually do without it--that's
to say, not as a steady thing. It grows monotonous after a time. That
tea has been standing three-quarters of an hour, and ought to be now fit
for human nourishment (pours out tea, which is quite colorless). Rather
weak--I may even go so far as to say exceedingly weak. It is like
Hancock's veterans, will stand any amount of fire for any length of time
without changing color. But you are very weak, poor tea; like women, let
us respect your weakness. The butter is strong enough to take care of
you (smells butter). I wonder whether this butter is not manufactured
near Forty-second street, N. Y. It strikes me I have smelt something
very like it near the soap factory on the Hudson River Railroad. Where's
the knife (takes knife and loaf)? Ah! here it is (tries to cut loaf,
which resists all his efforts). This loaf is beginning to get slightly
obstinate. Most extraordinary thing how hard a loaf becomes after you
have kept it for a week or two. However, I ain't the kind of man to let
any darned baker's bread--ever baked--get the best of me. No! (Takes up
hatchet at one side, places bread on floor, and begins chopping it. Cuts
off a piece which he butters, and lays upon a chair.) Now, Puttyblow, my
boy; you shall have bread and chops for breakfast. C-h-e-o-p-s--chops!
Chops with a large C. (A loud knocking is heard at the door.) Oh,
thunder! there's some one at the door--it will never do to let them see
these things around (piles up cups and saucers on tray and covers them
with towels. He leaves the slice of bread and butter, however, on the
chair). It doesn't look prosperous; and nobody ever thinks anything of
any one who isn't prosperous. (Seats himself at easel, and pretends to
be busy painting.) Come in!

  Enter _Mr. Bullywingle_.

_Mr. B._ Ha! I've found a refuge at last, thank goodness! I'm all in a
flutter--she nearly caught me. It was a dooced close shave. Here am I
tormented to death by women who will insist upon marrying me. 'Pon my
soul it is rather too bad that a man, because he is rather nice-looking
and has a little money saved up, cannot leave his house without being
pursued by all the women in creation wanting to marry him. I don't want
to marry _them_. I don't see any particular fun in dividing all my
property, my time, my comfort, my amusement, with another individual,
besides giving that individual the life-long privilege of--the life-long
right to dictate the temperature of the apartment in which I sit, the
amount of light which shall illuminate my chamber; who shall be my
associates; where I shall live; what I shall eat; what I shall
drink--there's the rub! actually putting the power into the hands of a
mortal like yourself to come between you and your social tod. Oh, it's
horrible to think of! Marriage is a humbug. I wouldn't marry the
Bearded Lady herself. But I wonder what kind of an office this is I've
rushed into--not a lawyer's; no--doesn't smell of Russia leather. Not a
Government office; no--don't smell any whiskey. Not p-e-t--yes,
r-o--l-e-u-m; there's certainly a smell of oil around. Ah, oh--yes, I
see; it's some kind of a paint shop. I must trump up some business with
the proprietor as an excuse for coming in. Wonder, by the way, whether
there's anybody about, after all? Ah! yes, to be sure; bless my soul,
there he is. (Takes a step towards artist, and coughs. Artist pretends
to be deeply engaged in his art, and does not hear him.) Ahem! ahem!
wonder whether the poor creature is deef and dumb. Ahem! ah, excuse me,
sir, but--ah, that is fine day--ahem! good-morning, sir.

_Artist._ Good-morning, sir.

_Mr. B._ You are a painter, are you not, sir?

_Artist._ That is my name--ah, that is to say, that is my profession.

_Mr. B._ I want you to paint me a sign for my store.

_Artist._ A what, sir?

_Mr. B._ A sign. Jothan H. Bullywingle, wholesale----

_Artist._ Wholesale fiddlestick!

_Mr. B._ Wholesale dealer in----

_Artist._ Sir, I would have you to understand that I don't paint signs,
sir. I am an artist--historical and portrait delineator.

_Mr. B._ Oh, ah! yes, exactly; that's what I mean. I want you to paint
my portrait--Jothan H. Bullywingle, wholesale--no, exactly as you were
saying, my portrait. (Aside)--By Jove, I--I'm in for it.

_Artist._ Would you like a full face?

_Mr. B._ (thoughtfully). Why, pretty full.

_Artist._ Or a side face?

_Mr. B._ Oh, yes--a side face.

_Artist._ Or a three-quarter face?

_Mr. B._ Yes, a three-quarter face. Yes, she was a blue one, I think,
this last one.

_Artist_ (prepares seat). Will you take a seat, Mr. Bully--Bully----

_Mr. B._ Wingle.

_Artist._ Will you take a seat, Mr. Wingle?

_Mr. B._ Bully, sir.

_Artist._ Take a seat, Mr. Winglebully.

_Mr. B._ Yes, yes, certainly. (Aside--I'm regularly stuck for a
portrait.) Certainly, sir; though you haven't got my name exactly
right--not quite correct, my young friend. My name is Bullywingle.
(Aside--The first one was purple and diamonds.)

[Mr. B. seats himself at opposite side of stage to artist, who sits down
and prepares to paint.]

_Artist._ Will you smile, sir?

_Mr. B._ (aside.) Really, a very polite young man. Thank you, I don't
mind if I do--the least drop in the world; Bourbon, or anything that's

_Artist._ I mean, sir, will you be pleased to smile with your mouth?

_Mr. B._ (aside.) With my mouth? Of course, with my mouth. Does the
young man fancy that I propose to drink through my nose, like an
elephant? (Aloud.) Oh, yes, I'll smile with my mouth, of course.

_Artist._ I perceive you do not understand me, sir. I allude to the

_Mr. B._ Oh! I'm perfectly familiar with the expression--perfectly
familiar with the _expression_.

_Artist._ Mr. Winglebully, I wish you to assume an agreeable expression
of countenance in order that I may transfer your beautiful features to
my canvas in a manner satisfactory to yourself, myself, and mankind

_Mr. B._ Oh, ah! yes, certainly--exactly--to be sure--bless my
soul--yes. (Mr. B. grins in an exaggerated manner).

_Artist._ Ah--yes; that's it--that's it--just so. A little to the left.
I'm afraid--keep your head up--I cannot give you a very long sitting
to-day--I'm so crowded with sitters. (Mr. B. forgets that he is sitting
for his portrait and begins to look very melancholy and miserable.) I am
obliged to--smile, if you please. (Mr. B. starts and resumes his
exaggerated grin.) I'm obliged to fix certain days and hours to receive
my friends and patrons, otherwise they--will you smile, if you
please?--otherwise they would not leave me a--will you smile, if you
please, sir? Look at me and think of something pleasant. Think of a lady
(Mr. B. looks miserable and frightened). (Aside--He doesn't look as if
he were thinking of a lady, does he?) Think of something pleasant,
now--something pleasing. Think of _Hash_ (Mr. B. brightens up). Yes,
hash. Keep on thinking of hash, hash, hash! Good gracious! will you
smile, sir? Hash--hash--hash! Keep smiling--hash--that's it; hash!
There, sir, will you be kind enough to look at that? You are a little
rough and raw (Mr. B. starts), but, of course, I have only rubbed you
in. You will come out better at the second painting.

_Mr. B._ (rising and advancing towards the picture). Oh, yes--yes, very
good. The shirt-collar and the cravat are extremely like; but don't you
think you might alter the rest?

_Artist._ Well--ah--umph! I don't know. I think I have hit your eye
exactly. (Mr. B. starts slightly.) The hair is very fair, and I've got
hold of your nose very satisfactorily. (Mr. B. rubs his nose.) The mouth
might look all the better, perhaps, for a little madder, but----

_Mr. B._ Oh, dear, no, it's quite mad enough. I don't wish to have a
severe expression of countenance.

_Artist._ I refer to the color--the pigment.

_Mr. B._ The color the pig meant. The pig--the pig. I meant what I said,
sir; and if you think to call me a pig with impunity you are very much

_Artist._ Oh, no--no--no, my dear sir; you mistake me. We artists use a
beautiful pink color called madder, and I spoke of this as a pigment--no
offence, not for the world. But allow me to place the picture in a
better light; you can hardly judge of it in its present position. (Turns
easel and picture round facing the audience.) (Aside.)--Now won't he be
an unreasonable old polypus to object to that as a likeness?
(Aloud.)--There, sir, now you can see it better. (They both sit down in
chairs, the artist on his own palette and Mr. B. on the slice of bread
and butter left by the artist.)

_Artist._ Now, sir, I think I have caught the expression of your eyes
and spectacles; and as for the nose, it literally speaks, while the
chin and mouth--

_Mr. B._ Yes--yes, but I don't think you have stuck quite closely enough
to nature. There is nothing like sticking to a thing. (Rises and moves
towards picture, showing slice of bread sticking to his coat-tails.
Advances and examines picture critically.)

_Artist._ I declare, if the idiotic old grampus has not been sitting
down on my bread and butter. It is most extraordinary that some people
will never look where they sit down. (Rises to remove bread and butter,
and shows palette sticking to his dressing-gown behind.) The
carelessness of some people is marvellous--really astonishing.

_Mr. B._ The shirt-collar is certainly very like; but don't you think
the complexion is a little high? because I am really rather pale, you

_Artist_ (making futile endeavors to remove the bread and butter with
one hand). Ah, yes, perhaps that might be toned down a little. (Aside.)
I'll whitewash the old brute if he likes. (Aloud.) If you will be kind
enough to take a seat for two minutes I will try to avail myself of your
valuable suggestion (looks around for his palette). Now, where on earth
can be my palette? (Looks suspiciously at old Mr. B.) He can't have been
sitting down on that too--and yet I do believe he's stupid enough for
anything. (Looks for palette again.) No. (At this moment Mr. B. sits
down on the chair where Mr. P. has concealed his breakfast, and
everything goes with a crash.)

_Artist._ There goes that old porpoise again! All my breakfast gone--my
beautiful tea and my elegant bread and butter. (To Mr. B., who
apologizes.) Ah, never mind, sir--no consequence; only a few paint
saucers, that's all. No consequence; take a seat over here. (Seats old
gent in the chair which Mr. B. first occupied, and which artist has
since used.) But my palette--where can it have gone? Where's that d--d
palette? Let me see; I think I laid it on that chair. Will you kindly
rise for one moment, Mr. Winglebully? (Looks at Mr. B.'s back.) No!
strange--let me see--oh! ah! yes--I--he sat over there. (A thought seems
to have struck him. He begins to feel behind his own coat, where he
finds the palette. Produces it--his own fingers covered with paint.)
There it is--I knew I'd put it somewhere. (Here a knocking is heard at
the door. Mr. B. jumps up and grasps the artist by the hand, getting his
own covered with paint in the operation.)

_Mr. B._ Here she is! For heaven's sake, conceal me!

[Illustration: THE DRAMA OF "BULLYWINGLE."--_See page 180._]

_Artist._ Here is who?

_Mr. B._ The blue woman.

_Artist._ The blue woman?

_Mr. B._ Yes--they pursue me wherever I go. It's a blue woman now.
Yesterday it was a red woman. Oh, all sorts of women--black women--green
women--white women--for pity's sake, conceal me! They'd make a Mormon or
polygamist of me. (Wipes his painted fingers over his face.) Oh, my dear
sir, you would not have me commit trigamy--you would not--but hide me
somewhere--hide me!

_Artist._ Here--here, behind the curtain.

_Lady_ enters.

_Lady._ Is there a gentleman here?

_Artist._ Em--ah! gentleman? no--no; that is to say, not exactly.

_Lady._ This is an artist's studio, is it not?

_Artist._ Yes, madam; this is an artist's studio.

_Lady._ There is no other studio in this building?

_Artist._ This is the only studio in this building. Will you take a
seat, madam?

_Lady._ I was to meet an elderly gentleman here--my father--who was
going to have his portrait taken.

_Mr. B._ (aside.) Her father--that's a deep dodge. Pretends to be after
her father, the artful thing.

_Artist._ Yes, madam.

_Lady._ He should have been here some time ago--that is to say, if I
have come to the right place.

_Artist._ Ah, yes; this is the right place. (Aside.) Hooray! here's
another job.

_Mr. B._ (aside.) Send her away! send her away! Ah, you villain, are you
going to betray me?

_Lady._ You seem to have a great many pretty pictures here.

_Artist._ Ah--oh--well, a few little trifles. Are you fond of art?

_Lady._ Oh, yes--very.

_Artist._ I shall be happy to show you some of my sketches. If you will
excuse me for a moment, I will bring them from the other room.

_Lady._ Certainly, It will give me great pleasure to look at anything in
the shape of pictures. I once studied Poonah Painting and Potichomanie
myself; and mamma's uncle, who was a great artist, and used to draw
things with a red-hot poker, said he couldn't tell my pictures from
life, almost--only I could never learn to do trees. Don't you find trees
very difficult? Mamma's uncle used to say the only fault with my trees
was that they looked like cabbages. I can paint cabbages very well; but
then they don't look pretty in a picture, you know.

_Artist._ Indeed, I doubt not your delicate hand would lend a charm to
any object it might portray. Nature is full of beauties, and there is a
world of loveliness even in a cabbage.

_Mr. B._ (aside.) In a cabbage-head.

_Artist._ But I will bring you my portfolio--a few unworthy sketches
which may serve to while away the moments till the arrival of your
estimable father.


_Mr. B._ (aside.) Good heaven! He is going to keep me here all day while
he makes a fool of himself to that young woman. This will never do! I
must escape. I must throw myself on her mercy. She has an awful vicious
expression of countenance, though. However, she must have the heart of a
woman. Perhaps she has a brother; and how would she like to have him
married against his will by fifteen women in blue? I will--yes, I will
throw myself on her mercy. I will implore her to spare me. Poor thing! I
shall be sorry to break her heart--but it must be done.----Courage,
Bullywingle--courage! (Rushes out and throws himself at her feet.) My
good young woman, spare me! Think of your own brother, and spare me!

      [Lady screams and rushes off.

I cannot marry you all. If I did marry you I should make the red lady
miserable for life, and the green lady would die of jealousy, and the
yellow lady might commit suicide.

Enter _Artist_, with portfolio, which falls on the floor.

_Artist._ You venerable reptile, what are you about! What do you mean,
sir? Get up, sir! I'll knock you down, sir! You've driven away one of my
best customers. (They scuffle.)

_Mr. B._ But my dear sir--my good young friend, what was I to do? Hear
me--listen--leave go--you'll tear my coat--let go, or she'll be back,
and then I'm lost! Do you hear, you rascal! You'll tear my coat--there
go my suspenders--there goes something else! I'll have you arrested for
intent to do grievous bodily battery and commit violent matrimony--let

_Artist._ You old rascal--you old polypus--you old humbug--you are
ruining me! (Rushes to one side and returns with club or stick. A fight
ensues. Old gent strikes an attitude with umbrella.)

_Mr. B._ Come on, Mac what's your name! and damned be he who first cries

_Artist_ (aside). I'll be hanged if the old buffer ain't swearing!
(Aloud.) By all the powers I'll be revenged! As sure as my name is
Puttyblow I will be re-ve-n-ged! (Is about to rush at old gent.)

_Mr. B._ Pause, rash man! Did you say Puttyblow?

_Artist._ I did.

_Mr. B._ Have you a strawberry mark on your left arm?

_Artist._ Nature has ornamented me in the manner you describe.

_Mr. B._ Are you short-sighted in your left eye?

_Artist._ Such is my affliction.

_Mr. B._ Do you snore at nights?

_Artist._ So I have been informed by the people over the way, who have
sent over several times to expostulate with me in the most offensive
terms possible.

_Mr. B._ And sleep late in the morning?

_Artist._ I do.

_Mr. B._ (rushing forward.) My long-lost son!

_Artist._ Excuse me for one moment. Have you a gooseberry bush on your
left arm?

_Mr. B._ Gooseberry? No--no--not specially.

_Artist._ Do you wear corns or paper collars?

_Mr. B._ Well, I've had chilblains.

_Artist._ Are you subject to hydrophobia?

_Mr. B._ Well, not precisely; but I've been run over by a Broadway

_Artist._ Are you in the habit of committing suicide?

_Mr. B._ Well--I--I--don't know--I travel on the Hudson River Railroad

_Artist._ Come to my arms, my long-lost father!

      [They embrace.

_Mr. B._ Bless you, my boy--bless you! bless you!

Enter _Lady_. Artist sees her, and struggles to escape from Mr. B.'s

_Artist._ Let go--let me go--drat it all, let go.

_Mr. B._ Bless you, my boy--bless you!

_Lady._ I have left my portemonnaie in your studio--will you be kind
enough to let me have it?

_Mr. B._ Young woman, spare me!

_Lady_ (to Artist). Pray protect me from this venerable ruffian.

_Mr. B._ (aside.) Venerable ruffian! Come, now, that is what the boys
call rather rough. (Aloud.) Then you don't love me?

_Lady._ If you insult me further, I shall inform my father.

_Mr. B._ Then you have a father?--wonderful! Are you sure of it--no
deception? What is his name? Where does he live? Tell me
quick--quick--do not deceive me!

_Lady._ My father, sir, is General MacSlasher, who will not allow his
daughter to be insulted with impunity.

_Mr. B._ MacSlasher! The brave MacSlasher, who married my half-cousin
Columbia Ann, of Pickleville, Indiana?

_Lady._ Indeed, it is true.

_Mr. B._ Come to my arms, my long-lost niece! No, not niece;
cousin--second cousin--oh, hang the relationship! Come to my arms, any
way! But hold--you are the richest heiress in New York. I have the deeds
in my pocket to prove it. By the will of your late grandfather Grampus
you are the sole possessor of six blocks on Broadway, Trinity Church,
Erie Railroad, two steamboats on the Hudson River that won't burst, and
vast territories on Coney Island.

_Artist._ Good gracious!

_Mr. B._ Happy hour--auspicious moment! to have thus met my son and
niece on the same day. Puttyblow, my son--no longer Puttyblow, but
Bullywingle--this is the lady I have destined for you for ten long
years, if I could only have found you. She is rich and beautiful. I know
you love each other; and if you don't, make believe you do, or you'll
spoil the play. Bullywingle, junior, embrace your bride! Take her and be
happy! Bless you, my children--bless you!

  Grand tableau. Mr. Puttyblow and Miss MacSlasher embrace. Mr.
      Bullywingle opens his umbrella, and, standing on one leg,
      holds it over them.


It may be remembered that in a recent chapter we mentioned being in a
_tranquil mood_, and, while in that condition, calling on our friend
Nix, and further, that Nix introduced us that same evening to some
ladies with brown eyes.

Since that event the _tranquil_ moods have come over us periodically,
with rapidly increasing virulence. So much so that latterly we have
found it desirable to dispense with the cumbrous ceremony of going round
to call for Nix. The fact is we have taken a great fancy to _that_ boy
Little Pickle; he is certainly a very fine boy.

It occurs to us at this moment that we have not yet given a name to this
family. Their real name is one of those which recall old revolutionary
times directly it is uttered. One of those names which, to ourself at
least, at once summons up a picture of marching ranks of men in
three-cornered hats and yellow breeches, toiling forward with glistening
muskets over their shoulders, past rows of quaint gabled houses. We
cannot give the real name, of course--that is out of the question--so we
will call them Adams, because that is not their name. Then we will
subdivide them as follows: Mrs. Adams, Bud, Blossom, and Berry. We
christen them thus because these were the titles they received in a
little floral and pomological game we once played.

The Adams family were going to give a party. We were called in as
consulting engineer, to suggest attractions. We readily accepted the
office. The reader knows our system and will easily guess our first
order. Objects to provoke conversation!

Pig made out of lemon. Good! The pig was made and applauded.

"But," suggested Bud, "why confine ourselves to a pig; surely we can
make something else."

"Surely," we assented. So all of us set our wits to work at zoology.

Bud made the first discovery. "Oh!" she exclaimed, "I have found out
something beautiful--a whole litter of little pigs to go with the

And, indeed, 'twas true. In a few seconds she had some almonds soaking
in a cup of boiling water. In a few seconds more she was peeling off
their brown jackets, revealing the smooth white nut, as white as the
tips of her own taper fingers. The almonds were soon converted into
sucking-pigs, and were admitted on all hands to look quite cunning, and
as natural as nature, with their little white bodies grouped round the
maternal lemon--some running, some standing, and some seated on their


We need not explain to the gifted reader the _modus operandi_. It is
much the same as with the lemon, only the eyes are dotted with a black
lead pencil and the ears are made from small slips of wood.


Stimulated by the success of Bud, Blossom dived down into the depths of
her imagination, and fished out a goat. The goat was unquestionably a
triumph. The body consisted of a pear, the head of an unbleached
almond, the legs, horns, and beard of raisin stalks.


On the same principle, and with wonderful celerity, Berry took up the
idea, gracefully acknowledged her indebtedness to the original inventor,
and produced a deer--a deer with wide-spreading antlers made of raisin
stalks, and legs of the same material, which counterfeited nature even
to the knee-joints. The neck cost some little mental exertion, but was
finally triumphed over in the following shape, neatly cut out of wood.

The deer now appeared truly a monarch of the forest; a little weak in
the shoulders perhaps, and rather full-chested behind, but still a noble


Not to be outdone with her own idea, Blossom wrestled vigorously with
her subject, and ere we had ceased admiring the deer, had very nearly
completed a sheep--a sheep so fleecy and short in the legs that it was
at once voted the greatest triumph of all, though WE personally and
privately thought, and still think, that, for true genius, Bud's idea of
the pigs far exceeded any of them. The white almond certainly made a
most admirable sheep's head, but then apple, of which the body was made,
grew rapidly rusty when once peeled--so much so that we had to scrape
our sheep once or twice in the course of the evening to restore its



Having made large herds of deer, flocks of goats and sheep, not to
mention litters of pigs, we disposed some of them on the mantel-piece
and what-nots, while others were reserved to make a grand pastoral scene
on the supper table. Having finished these, we devoted our energies to
constructing scent-bags and mice, the latter made out of apple-seeds, as
described in a previous chapter. Here the transcendent genius of Bud
again asserted itself--she invented a rat; a rat made out of an
unbleached almond. When grouped with the mice and flour-sacks the effect
was truly grand.

What now?

"What shall we make next?" was the general inquiry.

"Oh, can't you make something that will jump up?" eagerly suggested
Little Pickle, who had kept pretty quiet during our zoological

"Can't you make something that will jump up?" This was so vague that we
were fain to demand further light.

"Oh, you know at our school one of the boys made a kind of thing with a
bit of wax that jumped up and frightened you."

This was still far from clear, but whatever it might be, it was
evidently calculated to frighten somebody, and so was immediately voted
down by the ladies.

"Oh, make that gorilla portrait, you know," again entreated Little
Pickle; "that makes such fun."

This proposition, though received coolly, was, nevertheless, discussed
at some length, till Blossom called her sister's attention to the fact
that one of their invited guests would be a certain Dr. O'Tang, who
really did resemble a gorilla, and should the glass fall into his
hands, he would feel hurt at the joke; so Little Pickle's second
proposition was voted down.

We now felt a heavy weight of responsibility hanging on our shoulders.
Six brown eyes were resting upon us, each as deep and brown as a
mountain pool.

"Can we not do something with paper?" suggested Bud, her exquisite
genius again coming to our aid. This suggestion gave us the cue.

"I have it," we exclaimed; "I will teach you to make stained glass. To
be sure, it is only a variation of your own beautiful art of making
transparencies; still, if you have never heard of the process, it may
afford some amusement, and help you to decorate your rooms."

One apartment in the house of Adams was of the kind known as _extension
room_. The two windows which separated this apartment from the back
parlor served admirably to exhibit the new art. The object of the
process is to produce an effect somewhat similar to the heraldic
painting on the casements of old European houses, and is done thus:

You procure several sheets of tissue paper of various colors, a pair of
scissors, and some fine boiled paste. You fold a sheet of the paper
twice, then cut out of the folded paper a form--say, for example, like
the one on the left: so that when the sheet is open there will be two
pieces like the one on the right.


Paste one of these in the centre of the window-pane you wish to
decorate, then paste the other over it, only lapping over a little on
one side and below, as represented in this diagram.

When this is dry it will have a very pretty effect. Of course you can
cut the papers in any form you choose and have them in different
colors--red over green, or yellow over blue. You may also stitch one
pattern of a smaller size right in the centre of another, or paste three
or four different patterns one above the other, as illustrated by our
subjoined cuts.


Having delivered our short lecture (illustrated with examples) to the
six brown eyes, and also to the six white ears--like quaint sea-shells
from the shores of Elysium--we all proceeded to operate on the windows
before mentioned, and we are glad to say with the most pleasing results.


Our scissorings with the colored paper brought to light an
accomplishment of Little Pickle, which set us all to work anew with
scissors and pen and ink for some time.

Master Adams's system was this: he took a small piece of writing paper,
and dropping a minute quantity of ink in the centre, then folded it
right across the blot and rubbed it over with his finger. When the paper
was opened it displayed some curious form or another. This, with a few
touches of the pen, we generally made to resemble some object in nature.
Bud made an excellent stag's head on one occasion, which we subjoin.


But Little Pickle's course of instruction did not stop with blots. He
folded bits of paper and cut them into grotesque patterns, and set us
all to filling them up with pictures. The great art consisted in making
your design conform to the outline of the paper. One of these, which we
happened to have brought away by accident, we have here engraved. It was
drawn by Bud, and is really very clever.

That was a very delightful evening we passed with the Adams's. Little
Pickle is a very fine boy; guess we will call for him on our road up in
the afternoon--to go skating.


That night, when we reached home, we found Nix had called and left us a
very curious work--_The Veda, or the Sacred Writings of the Hindoos_. We
slept sweetly, and dreamed we were reclining on the banks of the Ganges
conversing pleasantly with Brahma. Singular dream, was it not?


Blue and white Christmas, with his henchman, Santa Claus, having come
and gone, leaving behind him, however, for a while, his raiment of white
and blue, with a host of dear memories for our hearts' nourishment
through the next twelvemonth's stage in this journey of life, we think
we cannot better show our appreciation of his goodness than by painting
a portrait of that small fraction of the universal jollity which fell to
our individual lot.

We have some friends who live in the country, a long way from sidewalks
and gas and railroads, or at least far enough off to debar the dear
souls from many tastes of city pleasures. So, as these friends cannot
well go to town for amusement, and as they have a large love of fun and
several small children, they try to bring amusements home on all festive

To this house, with a small party of mutual acquaintances, we went our
way on the twenty-fifth of December last. Before starting there were
great business operations to be performed, and such a time as we had of
it! One item was easily managed, and caused no mental anxiety. We went
_en masse_ to Ridley's, and, after waiting in a crowd of crinoline for
some time, came away each with his dexter coat-pocket swelled out with a
pound package of mixed candies. That, of course, was simple enough; but
when it came to buying something else--something of a more durable
nature--then our ingenuity was, indeed, put to the test. It will be seen
that our task was no ordinary one. There were three of us, and we each
wished, according to our annual custom, to present each member of the
family with some appropriate gift; and as there were five in the family,
namely--papa, mamma, daughter aged eleven, son aged four, and another
daughter aged two, and assuming that we each only gave one object to
each of the individuals in the country house, it would make--three fives
are fifteen--fifteen different objects to be purchased, every one of
which ought to differ from the other, besides being unlike anything they
would be already likely to possess. When we came to compare notes, we
found that we had, to a man, privately and separately resolved to
present papa with a meerschaum pipe; two out of the three had thoughts
of giving mamma a dressing-case; while the unanimity on the subject of
work-boxes, dolls, and jumping-jacks was really marvellous.

But we must not linger around fancy-stores, and over candy counters, and
in city streets. We have a long evening before us away off in the
country, over miles of snowy roads. It is enough that, by the aid of a
steaming locomotive, which whizzed and buzzed and thundered us through
the lonely snow-clad cuttings, as though it were saying: "Come along!
come along! come along! Hurry up! Pish! phew! Here's another stoppage!
Clear the track! Don't keep us waiting!" stopping only now and then,
stock still, to brighten up the mean way-station into a glow of
mysterious grandeur, with fitful flashes of light, as though it were
some monster fire-fly of the season. By means of this lusty bug at
first, and afterwards by a rickety, ramshackle, old shandradan of a
hack, tortured along by two horses, one of which was balky, we reached
the house of our entertainers, where the light streamed out through the
red curtains to meet us, and glorified the snow in our path long before
we pulled up at the hospitable door.

Mr. and Mrs. Merryweather both greeted us heartily before we had kicked
the snow from our boots; while the former, with a celerity equally
creditable to his head and legs, dashed into the kitchen, and reappeared
with three smoking glasses of hot brandy-punch.

"Here, boys," he cried, "take this. It will keep the cold out. Come, I
insist upon it."

Mr. Greeley and other good people tell us that it is all wrong to drink
spirituous liquors, and we are not quite clear ourself as to the
propriety of the practice. But there was something genial in the
thoughtful attention of our friend Merryweather, and something else
grateful in the aroma of the brandy-punch, that certainly made us all
feel more truly welcome and happy than had we been politely shown
up-stairs to wash our hands in a cold bedroom, with the prospect of two
doughnuts and a cup of weak tea to follow.

Aunty Delluvian was of the party, being a very old friend of the family.
With regard to the company generally, it may be defined as mixed. Some
of the children, whose parents were neighbors, betrayed their status by
the excess of starch and bright colors which characterized their
dresses; while others from the city displayed all the ostentatious
simplicity of cultivated taste.

Mr. Merryweather opened the entertainment with an exceedingly well
intentioned, though rather transparent, display of prestidigitation (if
that is the way to spell the abominable word); but as most of his tricks
depended upon the use of a new and complete set of conjuring apparatus
he had purchased for the occasion, we will not linger over his magic
rings and dice and cups. Two items, however, in his performance being
attainable by very simple means, we will describe.

At one stage in the entertainment it seemed absolutely necessary that he
should have the aid of a small boy, in order to make six copper cents
pass from under a hat to the top of a bird-cage. Making known his want,
a red-faced youth with black curly hair volunteered his services. The
juvenile, be it observed, had rendered himself somewhat conspicuous by
declaring at the end of every trick that he knew how it was done, and by
inquisitively desiring to inspect the interior of goblets and the
bottoms of boxes. Merryweather's eyes twinkled as this gentleman
tendered his assistance.

"Here," he said, producing a small trumpet, "this is my magic horn. Take
it in your right hand, till I say: 'Heigh! presto! pass!' Then, if your
lungs are strong enough, and you blow with sufficient force, those six
cents will pass from under the hat to the top of that cage yonder."

The youth took his stand firmly, looked knowingly, and placed the
trumpet to his lips confidently.

"Are you ready?" asked Mr. Merryweather. "Then, heigh! presto! pass!"

In an instant the face of the bold volunteer, black hair, red cheeks,
and all, were white as the driven snow; and comic enough he looked, as
he gaped round with a chap-fallen expression, puzzled beyond measure to
know into what condition he had blown himself. He had, in truth, blown
himself all over flour, the trumpet being constructed for that special



This instrument is very simple. You first procure a tube of tin, or
wood, or card-board, of about two inches in diameter. A box of the
desired shape can be found in the store of almost any druggist, or in
default of that, a wide-mouthed vial can be made to answer. The next
thing required is a thin tube, for which a piece of elder or a stick of
maccaroni will answer. These, with a large cork or bung, are all the
materials that are required. Having cut a slice off the cork of about
half an inch in thickness, you fit it tightly into the centre of the
large tube; then cut another slice of the cork to fit into one end of
the tube; but, before fixing it, cut some notches round the edge, and
make a hole in the centre large enough to hold firmly the smaller tube.
Now fix the smaller tube in the second cork, so that it will extend
about two-thirds of the way down one of the compartments in the larger
tube; fix the second cork (the one with the notches in it) in the mouth
of the large tube, and the trumpet is made. By referring to the diagram,
you will probably get a better idea of the construction of this weapon
than from our description.

When you wish to use the instrument, pour flour through the notches you
have cut in the cork, and it is ready. Any one blowing sharply through
the small tube will, of course, blow all the flour in his own face.

The second item in Mr. Merryweather's entertainment we propose to
describe is still more simple. One of his feats consisted in burning a
hole in a pocket-handkerchief. To do this he required fire, so he
ordered his assistant to bring in a candle, which was accordingly done,
the candle being already lighted. As soon as Mr. Merryweather cast his
eyes upon the luminary, he feigned to fly into a terrible passion,
roundly rating the unfortunate attendant for presenting him with such a
miserable fag-end of an old kitchen dip. Then taking the candle from the
candlestick, he held the wretched stump up to the audience, and appealed
to them whether it was not disgraceful that he, the great Wizard of the
Western World, should be presented with such a paltry luminary.

"Why," he exclaimed, "I could eat a dozen such for lunch!"

And, suiting the action to the word, blew out the light, and popped the
offending morsel in his mouth, and quietly munched it up.

A subdued cry of horror echoed through the apartments, above which was
heard the exclamation of Aunty Delluvian:

"If the man isn't crunching his candle!"


To those not familiar with it, this trick is certainly startling. The
truth is that the candle in question is made out of a piece of apple,
with a small peg cut from a nut or almond for a wick. The almond wick
will light readily, and burn brightly for some time, so that the
deception is perfect. These diagrams will show the form in which to cut
the candle and the wick, No. 1 representing the candle in its completed
state, and No. 2 the wick before it is inserted.

The great wizard having completed his performances and retired into
private life, even to the extent of handing cake round to the ladies and
drinking a glass of wine himself, he mingled freely with the throng, but
did not, however, unbend immediately, but smiled condescendingly when
the ladies expressed admiration and surprise at the supernatural powers
he had just displayed.

Aunty Delluvian continued to evince considerable disgust at our friend
for eating the tallow candle, a feeling which found vent in utterance of
the monosyllables:

"Finn! The Finn! The Finn!"

This good Aunty favored us with a narrative concerning an uncle of hers,
who was a sea-captain, and once made a voyage to "Moscow!" It was a
peculiarity, be it observed, of Aunty Delluvian, that she appeared to
have uncles ready at hand for all emergencies. She told us that this
uncle, when at the Sclavonic capital, invited some Russian officers on
board his ship to dine. The dinner was of the most sumptuous
description, but the Muscovites seemed to take but little interest in
the repast, until something on deck happened to call the host
up-stairs; on his return he found all the guests looking more cheerful.
They chatted pleasantly until the party broke up; and then, and not till
then, he discovered that his friends, during his absence, had drunk all
the oil out of the lamps, eaten six boxes of candles stowed away under
the table, and had even devoured the shaving-soap off his

[Illustration: THE HEADLESS BODY.--_See page 209._]

We had a faint recollection of having heard this story before, and quite
pleased Aunty Delluvian by telling her so; she considered it quite a
tribute to her uncle's popularity.

The second feature of the evening's programme was of a less cheerful
character than the first, consisting of the display of a no more
pleasing object than a bodyless head. Our illustration on next page will
at once place the scene before our readers, bereft, however, of some of
the grim features of the real spectacle; for, as we beheld it, there was
the real flesh tint, and the eyes rolled fearfully.

Startling and complete as is the illusion in this case, it is very
simply managed. Get some person with a high forehead and tolerably long
hair, and paint under the eyes a pair of eyebrows, and on the forehead a
nose and pair of moustaches, as represented in the annexed cut. Then
make the person lie down on his back under a table, in such a way that
you can arrange a curtain so as to conceal all the body and half the
face. Brush the hair out to resemble a beard, and you have a perfect
representation of a bodyless head.


For painting the moustaches and eyebrows, Indian-ink or burnt cork will

There is one advantage which the spectacle can boast of: it affords the
ladies an opportunity for giving those sweet little musical shrieks
which are so charming, and of being frightened generally--some ladies
look very bewitching when they are frightened--besides giving ladies an
excuse for clinging to gentlemen's arms, which is very pleasant for the

Mr. Merryweather now introduced to our notice a young gentleman who was
detailed to amuse us with some specimens of ventriloquism. We had no
notion before this time, when our attention was particularly drawn to
the subject, how much suitable action has to do with ventriloquial
illusions. As performed before us by the young gentleman in question,
whose name was Noddles, the deception was capital; but when the sounds
were reproduced in a private room, without action, for our special
instruction, we marvelled that any one could have been deluded by them.
First of all, Mr. Noddles imitated the drawing of a cork. To give
effect to this, he turned his back to the audience, and feigned to
have a bottle between his knees. The method of doing this is so
simple that we think we can almost describe it in words. First you
make three or four chirps in succession, such as people are in the
habit of making to birds; this sounds like driving in the corkscrew.
Then you place your fore-finger in your mouth, and force it out so
as to make a loud pop, which signifies that the cork is drawn. Then
you smack your lips together, producing a sound something like
"Pop--pop--pop--pop--pop--pop" rapidly, to imitate the wine bubbling
from the bottle. _Voilà tout!_

After that, Mr. Noddles pretended to call to a mason up the chimney,
the mason answering in a husky voice from above, and finally proceeding
with his work of knocking out a brick. The knocking was produced much in
the same way as the pouring out the wine, by parting the lips suddenly;
only, in the case of the brick, the note was in a deeper key, more
resembling "Bubp--bubp--bubp--bubp." We noticed particularly that when
the performer addressed the person up the chimney, he spoke with
especial clearness, delivering the words, as much as possible, from the
lips. This was in order to produce a strong contrast to the tones of the
man up the chimney, which were produced far down in his own throat.

Another of his performances was to pretend that a dog was under the
lounge, which refused to come out, and finally bit him when he tried to
drag it out by the leg.

Still another consisted in imitating a man outside the door trying to
force it open. Sometimes the supposed man would succeed in forcing the
door a short way, when a gush of his loud voice would rush in, to be
immediately cut short by the sudden closing of the door.


Mr. Noddles concluded his part of the entertainment by the performance
of the jumping rabbit--the rabbit on this occasion being made out of a
lady's fur cuff tied up with a piece of string. This crude counterfeit
of bunny he laid on the palm of his left hand, with one end resting
against his fingers, as represented in the cut, while with the other
hand he stroked and caressed it, saying at the same time, "Be still,
bunny--don't run away; if you run away the dogs will catch you, and you
will be made into chicken-pie, and your skin will be made into a fur cap
and sold in the Bowery to--hallo! hold on! hi!" the latter exclamations
being elicited by the rabbit jumping up his arm, while he struggled to
capture it and bring it back with his right hand. The first jump made by
the rabbit was produced by a sharp jerk of the fingers, which sometimes
sends him flying into the middle of the room with a most lifelike

But now a more imposing portion of the programme claims our attention. A
subdued jingling of bells is heard at the door, a few spasmodic bumps,
and in trots the patron saint of the day--good Santa Claus, sleigh,
reindeer, red cap, and all. (See next page.) It may not have been
polite, but we could not help it, and greeted the good saint with an
unrestrained roar of laughter. Surely never before was seen out of
Noah's Ark such a comical steed, such legs, such proportions, and such a
dislocated style of locomotion. No matter, he amused us more than a
whole troop of the veritable article from Spitzbergen; and, as a simple
act of justice between man and beast, we must admit that he propelled
Santa Claus and his turn-out in a most efficient, not to say
intelligent, style around the room. This was the Merryweather substitute
for a Christmas-tree. Santa Claus came to distribute the
Christmas-gifts--a task he performed with a discretion beyond his years.
It is pleasing to record that no one, not even the dullest in the
company, recognised Master Georgy in his disguise; but one and all, with
admirable tact, feigned to be completely taken in, and fully believed
that they were receiving a visit from the good saint himself.

[Illustration: THE ARRIVAL OF SANTA CLAUS.--_See page 214._]




After the _vulgaris pueris_, the _elephant_, and other specimens of
zoology, it is almost needless to explain how the reindeer was
constructed. Our illustration seems almost superfluous; still, something
may be made a little clearer by them; and to them we refer the reader
who wishes to learn how to build a reindeer. In the case before us, the
hide of the deer was made out of a pair of army blankets, purchased by
Merryweather for five dollars in Chambers street--about the best
material that could possibly be selected for the purpose. These he cut
out and fitted himself, and had them sewed on his wife's
sewing-machine. The head and horns were made of thick brown paper, and
here is the most difficult part of the animal to describe--not the most
difficult to make, bear in mind. We hate long explanations, and yet we
feel puzzled now, as we have often been before, to tell you how to make
this reindeer mask. However, here goes: You require two or three sheets
of thick brown paper, a bowl of paste (flour and water boiled), and a
block of wood, from the wood-pile, of about six or seven inches in
diameter. (See annexed cut.) You moisten one sheet of the paper
slightly, and then mould it over the block; having done this, you smear
the entire surface with paste, and mould another sheet of paper over
that; then you smear the second sheet over with paste, and mould a third
sheet over all; then let them stand till dry. This, when dry, can be
removed from the block, and will give you a hollow cone on which you can
paint the eyes and mouth of the deer, and to which you can likewise
paste the horns, as indicated in this diagram. It may strike you that
the diagram looks more like a bottle-nosed shark than the face of any
denizen of the forest. You must not, however, be discouraged on this
account; it will look all right when you get it in its proper place.

Need we add, that after this we had supper; when good-humor culminated
in the grand old song of "Auld Lang Syne," all singing and joining hands
round the table, down even to the little two and a half year old Dolly,
whose _auld lang syne_ dated no further back than two strawberry
seasons. The idea of taking a "richt gude wully wut" with such a wee
mite of a thing was so very comic that we all laughed right merrily,
while Mrs. Merryweather, with tears in her eyes, clasped the child to
her bosom as though she would protect it from some impending danger,
possibly the approach of the monster "richt gude wully wut."

The ladies and children retired. And we gentlemen soothed our excited
nerves with a quiet cigar in Mr. Merryweather's library.


We shall now amuse the fireside with a little song, or rather we will
try to tell our friends how to gladden their own chimney-corners with
the songs of birds through the long winter evenings. It will be pleasant
when the wind is howling without among the snow-laden limbs of the
trees, to be reminded of the gay summer by the counterfeit notes of the
woodland songsters. Still, we must warn our readers, that to acquire the
art thoroughly needs patience and perseverance; we can but tell them how
to make and use the instrument, and the rest they must learn for
themselves. First look at the annexed diagram, and then procure a leek
and cut off from the green leaf thereof a piece about the size of the
diagram; then lay it on a smooth table, and with the thumb-nail
delicately scrape away a semicircular patch of the green pulpy
substance of the leaf (as represented in the diagram), being careful to
leave the fine membrane or outer skin of the leaf uninjured--and there
is the instrument complete. It may require several experiments to make
the first one, but once having discovered the right way, they are very
easily manufactured. The reader may not be aware of the fact that the
leaf of the leek has a fine transparent outer skin which is quite tough,
but by breaking and carefully examining one or two leaves, he will soon
find out to what we allude.


The way of using this instrument is to place it in the roof of the mouth
with the side on which is the membrane downwards; then press it gently
in its place with the tongue, and blow between the tongue and the upper
teeth. After the first two or three attempts, you will be able to
produce a slight sound like a mild grunt; then as you practise it you
will find that you can prolong and vary the sound somewhat, so that in
the course of a couple of days you can imitate the barking of a dog and
the neighing of a horse. With two or three weeks' practice, you will be
able to imitate some of the song-birds; but to produce exact
counterfeits of the best singing-birds will probably require months of
study; the result, however, will reward you for all your pains; for
certainly to be able to carry a mocking-bird, canary, thrush, cat-bird,
and sucking-pig in your vest-pocket is no small accomplishment.

When not using the instrument, it should be kept in a glass of water to
prevent its drying.


Those _tranquil moods_ of which we have twice spoken come over us with
still increasing frequency. Little Pickle is certainly a very smart boy.
We are giving him lessons in drawing; he comes on rapidly, but requires
a great deal of attention. Our time passes peaceably enough in study and
contemplation. Nix has procured us some more works of Brahminical lore.
It is a curious religion, that of the Hindoos, resembling in many points
Christianity. Nix declares, in his good-natured way, that we are more
than half converted already, and threatens to send a missionary to
reason us back from heathenism, as we need a minister badly. He is an
exceedingly good-natured fellow is Nix, though a little broad, perhaps,
at times, in his style of jocularity. Our readers are probably not aware
that there is a certain form of vulgar humor known as a sell, which
consists in inducing some person to ask you a question, and then giving
some idiotic answer in reply. The other day Nix overtook us in Broadway.
After talking a few minutes he exclaimed:

"Oh, by the way, I have a note for you," at the same time feeling
vigorously in his pockets.

"When did you get it? Who is it from?" we inquired, with some
earnestness, for we were expecting a letter from some one.

"Don't know--don't know," he replied, continuing to fumble in his
pockets. "Ah, here it is."

At the same time grasping one hand, he placed in it an oat--one seed of
the grain upon which horses and Scotchmen are fed.

Nix laughed boisterously, and told us we were _sold_. We don't see very
much fun in it.

We have spent another pleasant evening at the Adams'. We mentioned in a
recent chapter making some preparations for a little party they were
about to give. Well, it went off very pleasantly indeed; there were no
hitches and no awful pauses. Indeed, our own pleasure would have been
unalloyed had it not been for the presence of one officious person with
large whiskers, who (there are always one or more such persons in every
assembly) obtruded his attentions too much on the ladies; we observed
that Bud, amongst others, was quite embarrassed by them. She was too
well bred, however, to allow him to perceive her vexations, though I
must say I think there is is such a thing as carrying complaisance and
self-abnegation too far.

The scientific gentleman with gold spectacles was there, and had an
electrical novelty for us which attracted much attention. At first we
supposed the gentleman named was giving Little Pickle lessons in
skating, for he was directing that youth's movements as he shuffled up
and down the hearth-rug in his slippered feet. Rather jealous for the
credit of our pupil, we informed the spectacles that there was nothing
in the way of skating he could teach Master Pickle, he being already a
proficient in that art. To which he only replied:

"Put your knuckle to his nose."

Rather staggered by this request, which savored somewhat of the ruder
style of badinage, and the very last thing we expected from the decorous
gentleman of science, we replied, with just a shade of hauteur:


"Put your knuckle to his nose."

"Really, I do not comprehend you."

"Put your finger to his nose and you will get a shock."

All this time Little Pickle was sliding and _slithering_ up and down the
rug in a manner highly calculated to wear out that costly piece of

"You perceive," continued spectacles, in an explanatory way, "that he
has slippers on his feet. By keeping his feet in close contact with the
rug, and rubbing them violently up and down, he generates electricity in
his body to such an extent that he can transmit quite a sensible shock
to another person.[2] Now try!"

  [2] The spark emitted is sufficiently powerful to light a
      jet of gas.

We tried. Tick! A most unmistakable spark passed from the nose of L. P.
to our knuckle.

The guests now began to crowd round, applying their knuckles to the poor
boy's nose to that extent that it grew quite red, which, combined with a
trifling unsteadiness his legs acquired from the unusual exertion, gave
the dear boy quite a _groggy_ appearance. Indeed, we observed his mother
soon after draw him towards her and, stooping down, whisper something in
his ear, at which he colored up, shook his head, and replied quickly,
"No, only lemonade."

The scientific person, who was really a very amiable gentleman after
all, taught us during the evening to make quite a curious little toy--to
wit, a miniature camera. Having enlisted the services of Little Pickle,
he procured a small pill-box, a minute fragment about half an inch
square of broken looking-glass, and a fragment of beeswax. He first
bored a small hole in the centre of the lid of the pill-box and another
in the side; he then, with the aid of the beeswax, stuck the piece of
the mirror across the bottom of the box at an angle of forty-five
degrees to the axis of the disc of the box, so that by looking through
one hole he could see objects through the other hole, thus enabling a
person to look behind him. We feel that this description is not very
clear, and yet for the life of us we do not know how to make it clearer.
The best plan for the reader will be to look well at the diagrams
showing the inside and outside of the camera, get the wax, glass, and
pill-box, and then _potter_ about with them till he gets it right.


Camera led the conversation in our corner of the room to the subject of
optical illusions, when some one of course suggested the hat experiment.
There is probably nothing the proportions of which are so deceptive as a
hat. Reader, if you have never tried the experiment, take a stick and
point out on the wall how high you think a hat would reach from the
floor if placed on its crown, as represented in our sketch.


Aunty Delluvian, the first to try, took the stick and boldly measured
off a distance of between two and three feet, and utterly laughed to
scorn the moderate persons who satisfied themselves with ten inches.
After each of the measurements was marked with a pencil, and the hat
itself put beside them, showing every one to be wrong, Aunty's
amazement knew no bounds. Indeed, she would not be satisfied till we
brought our own hat to convince her that some deception had not been

This was Aunty Delluvian's first visit to the Adams', having only
recently been introduced through the agency of Nix. I was, therefore,
not unprepared for some criticism on our friends; but when the good
lady, towards the close of the evening, took us to one side and said
confidentially and emphatically, nodding her head at the same time
knowingly, "No flippery, flummery. I like her!" we were a little
surprised, the statement was so emphatic and yet so vague. That was all
she said, walking away briskly when she had so delivered herself, as
though she had rendered a final verdict. To which of the family did she
refer? To Mrs. Adams, we presume, and yet she might have said something
about the other members of the family. She is a queer creature is Aunty

We are disposed to think that the ART of entertaining is rarely if ever
regarded as an ART, and certainly never treated as such. We, however, on
this occasion, laid our plans and arranged our forces with as much care
and skill as a general exercises in laying out a campaign. We have as
profound a respect for a good commissary as ever did Napoleon Bonaparte.
We had our reserve, too, and our signal corps, so that should the battle
waver at any moment, it might be immediately set going again. Amongst
other resources, we had a number of surprise pictures concealed in a
certain place, which were to be produced when occasion might require.
One of these will be found on opposite page, and comprises fifteen faces
in one. Pictures of this kind always amuse, and are fine provocatives of

[Illustration: FIFTEEN FACES IN ONE.--_See page 229._]

Reader, when you give a party, do not bring your entire force into
action at first; always have a reserve to fall back upon.

We saw a whole group which was showing alarming symptoms of
demoralization rallied with a pocket-handkerchief. Nix saw the
emergency, drew his handkerchief, tied one end round the tip of his
finger, on which, with a few dots of the pen, he had indicated a comic
face, and threw himself into the dispirited crew, exclaiming:

"This is Rantepolefungus, the mysterious magician of Morocco." Then, in
a feigned voice:



"How do, pretty ladee and gentlemen? Me tell fortune, work spell, makee
incantation. Me tell you fortune, pretty missee; you be, by-a-by, sixt
wife great street contractor; favorite wife, he givee dust-cart full of
greeny-back; much lovee you; cut off head of all other wife, makee you
much happy; he givee you large gold ring big's flour-barrel to wear in
your nosee, and six whiskey cocktails every morning. Pretty ladee, give
great magician buckshees," and a whole string of other nonsense, the
little Moor moving his head and hands all the time, suiting the action
to the words.

The sketches opposite will show how the Moor is made.

As we walked home with Nix, smoking our cigars, we agreed that the party
had been managed with consummate generalship. As we parted, he asked us
if we should like to have a small statue of Vishnu? Wonder what he


Those red and green lights which lend such a glory to the final tableaux
of fairy pieces on the public stage, can easily be introduced into
private parlor performances. There is no danger in using them; they are
quite inexpensive, and very easily managed. Warning, however, should be
given to all asthmatic persons to vacate the ranch before firing off, as
their fumes are apt to produce unpleasant results. When we first
performed the play of _Bullywingle the Beloved_, the red light was
calculated on as a startling feature of the performance. At the proper
moment the match was applied, the combustibles behaved handsomely,
everybody was entranced, all save one unfortunate gentleman, subject to
asthma, who created quite a sensation by rushing out of the house in a
choking condition, and remaining speechless in the snow for over twenty

The mode of working these lights is to place one of the powders, for
which we shall presently give you prescriptions, in an iron shovel, and
apply a lighted match. The powder will begin to burn slowly, emitting a
bright red or green light, accompanied by volumes of smoke. Before
exhibiting these lights, all others in the room, gas or lamps, should be
turned down as low as possible.

If the operator stands behind the scenes, so as to be out of sight
during the performance, the effect is what Artemus Ward would call
_Trooly Grand_.

In order to procure the lights, go to some druggist and give him the
following prescriptions. He will procure the necessary materials and mix
them for you.


Forty parts of dry nitrate of strontian, thirteen parts of finely
powdered sulphur, five parts of chlorate of potash, and four parts of
sulphuret of antimony. The chlorate of potash and sulphuret of antimony
should be powdered separately in a mortar, and then mixed together on
paper; after which they may be added to the other ingredients,
previously powdered and mixed.


Green fire, when burned in a reflector, sheds a beautiful light on all
surrounding objects. Take of flour of sulphur thirteen parts, of nitrate
of baryta seventy-seven, of oxymuriate of potassa five, of metallic
arsenic two, of charcoal three. The nitrate of baryta should be well
dried and powdered; it should then be mixed with the other ingredients,
all finely pulverized, and the whole triturated until perfectly blended
together. A little calamine may be occasionally added, in order to make
the compound slower of combustion; and it is above all things requisite
that the rubbing together of the materials should be continued until
they are completely mixed.

It may so happen that in some of your parlor theatricals you may wish to
introduce a storm, so we will tell you how to manage it.

There are several elements in a storm which can be counterfeited.

  The sound of rain or hail.

The noise of thunder is produced by shaking a sheet of iron behind the
scenes. The sheet should be about three feet square, and can be procured
at any stove store.

Snow can be represented by throwing handfuls of small scraps of paper
from above.

It is best to mount on a chair or step-ladder behind the scenes, and
strew them down in the proper direction. The scraps of paper should be
of course white and _torn_, not cut, of the requisite size.

The sound of rain or hail is produced thus: Get the carpenter to make
for you a box, from eight to twelve feet in length, and of about four
inches inside diameter; put in a couple of handfuls of dried peas, and
then fasten up the box; when you wish to make rain, tilt up one end of
the box and let the peas run down to the other end, then reverse the box
and let them run back again. As long as you continue to do this you will
have an excellent imitation of rain, at least as far as the sound is

Lightning is imitated by having a lamp in a box; whenever you want to
produce a flash, open the lid suddenly and close it again. Of course all
the other lights in the room must have been previously lowered.

Wind. Sufficient wind to blow about the flakes of snow can be produced
with a very large fan, a wooden frame with calico stretched over it
being as good as anything. But to simulate the effects of a gale, some
other means must be adopted.


We will assume that the curtain rises on a storm scene; thunder and hail
are heard, and fitful flashes of lightning illumine the landscape. Enter
a wandering female, a little girl, we will presume, in search of
shelter; as she walks on to the stage leaning forward as though
struggling against the blast, her shawl and dress are violently agitated
by the wind. To produce this effect attach two or three strong threads
to the garments named, and at the proper time jerk and pull them with a
tremulous motion, to impart the natural action. The preceding diagram
will illustrate our meaning.

These instructions may be found useful to amateur players, and will
certainly heighten the effect of the performance when they can be

There is another point in connection with _make-up_ to which we may as
well call the reader's attention before closing this chapter. All
persons, no matter how ruddy their complexions may be, look pale or
sallow under the influence of the bright light necessary to illuminate a
stage; to counteract this effect it is absolutely necessary to rouge, or
in other words, paint the cheeks pink; a little carmine from your
paint-box will serve for this purpose, if you have not the regular rouge
powder on hand.


It is marvellous how much amusement, in a quiet way, can be got out of a
pair of scissors and a piece of card-board. Moreover, if the fingers be
plump and white, we know of no position in which they look more
tantalizingly bewitching, than when harnessed like a couple of white
mice in the iron yoke of a pair of liliputian shears. We have passed
many a pleasant evening in contemplating and cutting. On one occasion
which we remember well, as it led to sudden and unexpected matrimony of
a valued friend, we sat till twelve o'clock at night and used up a whole
pack of cards, except the jack of diamonds, in making boomerangs and
other mechanical notions. The boomerang we have already introduced to
our readers, and some of the other contraptions we shall now proceed to
explain. So scare up all the cards you can, and bring out your army of


One card puzzle we have often tried, and with which most persons are
familiar, is that of the cross. You cut out of card or stiff paper, five
pieces similar in shape and size to the following, viz. one piece of
fig. 1, one piece of fig. 2, and three pieces of fig. 3.

These five pieces you put together so as to make a cross like Figure 4.


If you cannot solve the problem, look at the following cut, and you will
cease to be puzzled.


Now we will try another card puzzle. Cut a piece of card or paper in the
shape of a horse-shoe, and mark on it the places for the nails as
represented in the subjoined sketch.

The puzzle is with two cuts to divide it into six parts, each part
containing one nail.

Of course you cannot do it; we could not do it ourselves, and had to get
the white mice to show us the way.

Somehow or another we never can find out anything with half a dozen
taper fingers fluttering before our eyes. They bewilder us terribly,
getting between the feet of our ideas, so to speak, and tripping us up;
as young lambs might serve an awkward shepherd.

Well, the mystery is solved thus: you cut off the upper circular part,
containing two of the nails; then by changing the position of the piece,
another cut will divide the horse-shoe into six portions, each
containing one nail.


The next trick is of a slightly different style. Cut two pieces of card
like those represented in the diagram and place them in the position
represented; the problem is, with a small stick or lead-pencil, to
raise them from the table, without of course touching them with your
fingers. You may try this as often as you like. If you succeed, well and
good; if you do not, you can come back here and refer to the solution.


Here is a picture (No. 2) representing the way in which it is done; need
we add anything in the way of explanation? We think not--so we won't do


Nix has a sister married to a wealthy leather merchant, whose place of
business is in that odoriferous part of New York city called The Swamp.
She is very beautiful, so we call her the _Swamp Angel_, and her
husband's counting-house, _Araby the Blest_. Her children we have
christened _Findings_, the youngest being always spoken of as the
_last_. We have numerous jokes, of course, about the _cobbler sticking
to his last_, the _best quality of calf_, and so on. She is very
good-natured, and enjoys our badinage heartily, having a healthy vein of
fun of her own, which transmutes all the little events of domestic life
into the most refined humor. We like humor in a woman, or we should
rather say in a gentlewoman; her culture and the natural tact peculiar
to her sex, seem to eliminate any of those grosser particles which the
coarse sensibilities of a man would not detect. Humor is as fascinating
in a woman as sarcasm is abominable; it requires the very highest
breeding to make the latter quality moderately safe in the hands of
young women. For our own part, we would rather see a woman chew tobacco
than hear her say sharp things. However, this is a digression. Mrs.
Crofton, as we said, is very fond of fun, and in her house there is that
perfect ease and abandon which can only be enjoyed by well-bred people;
whoever visits there is at home; and a favored few, of whom the writer
has the honor of being one, are treated quite as _enfants de famille_.

If, on calling, we find the heads of the house from home, we know where
the claret and cigars are kept. Cicero, the negro waiter, obeying
standing orders, promptly serves up some repast, and presses the
hospitality of the house upon us with all the aplomb and grace for which
his race are remarkable.

We drop into breakfast whenever we feel so disposed, and invite
ourselves to dinner or tea as freely as though our friends kept a hotel;
indeed we jocularly call their mansion by various public names: "The
Crofton House," "Fifth Avenue Hotel," "The Shoe and Leather House,"
etc., etc. We have perpetrated more sheer, downright nonsense in their
saloons than any forty strait-laced country school-children ever
condescended to commit in their rural play-ground.

One day during the holidays, when some fourteen or fifteen friends had
dropped in _quite promiscuous_, and were playing all kinds of tricks, a
certain gentleman, imported from England, an officer in the Guards,
genus Swell, "pwoposed" that we should play the _Muffin man_. As none of
us had ever heard of this gentleman or the muffin business, there was a
general cry for light.

"Oh, its vewy jolly, I asshua yaw. We all sit wound in a wing, yaw know,
and one of us, yaw know, sings:

  "'Do yaw know the muffin man,
  Do yaw know his name,
  Do yaw know the muffin man,
  That lives in Cwumpet Lane.'

Then the next person answers:

  "'Oh, yes, I know the muffin man,
  Oh, yes, I know the muffin man,
  Oh, yes, I know the muffin man,
  Who lives in Cwumpet[3] Lane.'

Then he turns to the next person, and when each person has sung his
verse, yaw know, he then joins in the cawus,[4] until it has gone all
wound;[5] then, yaw know, we all sing together:

  "'We all know the muffin man,
  We all know his name;
  We all know the muffin man,
  Who lives in Cwumpet Lane.'

The game is, yaw know, to keep a gwave[6] face all the time. If yaw
laugh yaw pay a forfeit."

"The muffin man, the muffin man," echoed half a dozen voices; "let us
play the muffin man."

  [3] This word means Crumpet.

  [4] This word means Chorus.

  [5] Round.

  [6] Grave.

The proposition being carried _nem. con._, we all sat "wound in a wing,"
or round in a ring, a circle of individuals of every age from three up
to seventy. The Englishman, as head instigator, started the game, but
before he got half through his verse we were all in convulsions of
laughter; the next person took it up, but it was utterly useless to
think of collecting the forfeits; we were all, in spite of every effort,
like a party of maniacs reeling in our seats with merriment. There was
something so utterly idiotic and absurd in a large party of respectable,
rational beings, congratulating themselves in song that they "knew the
muffin man of Crumpet Lane."

The English swell was immediately made an honorary member of our order,
which is, as yet, without a name.

As we had all laughed our throats dry, Mr. Crofton invited us into the
next room to _see a man_, as the Immortal Artemus delicately expresses
it, so we all went in and saw the man. Some of us saw him in ice claret,
some in hot punch, and some in cool champagne. One of Crofton's
children, a maiden aged three years, whom they called Toney, as the
diminutive of her Christian name, Antonia, came toddling in with the
rest and said:

"Me, Nooni, want see man." Whereupon her father gave her a goblet of
lemonade. She just tasted it, and handed it back with supreme contempt,

"Me, Nooni, want banny wasser;" which being translated into English

"Me, Toney, wants brandy and water."

The little voluptuary was satisfied with a glass of weak claret punch.

During this conversation, Bub, a patriarch of five years, who had been
looking on with a very patronizing air, now came forward, and laying his
hand on his sister's shoulder, lisped out:

"Oh, you tunnen witty sing, zats nice banny water." Then turning to us
in a confidential way, he continued: "She's a witty durl (little girl);
she finks (thinks) zats banny water; banny water make witty durls fick
(sick); me, big boy, banny water not make me fick."

We gave him a nondescript drink, flavored with every liquor on the
table, which made him feel immensely proud.

"Let us play at earth, air, fire, and water," said Mrs. Crofton.

"Very well, Toney," answered her husband. "You can play at earth, and I
will play with the fire-water." So saying, he filled himself a glass of
punch, and stretched his limbs in an easy-chair.

"I think my husband is the laziest fellow living," laughed Mrs. Crofton.
"I do believe if I were being carried off by wild Indians, he would make
a note of it in his memorandum book, to have his porter attend to the
matter next day."

Nix here interposed: "Dear, dear, these family quarrels are very
painful. Come, Toney, and help to amuse the young people. Earth, air,
fire, and water, whatever that may be, is the order of the day. How do
you play it, Toney?"

"You all sit round the room, and then one of the party throws something
at one of the others, at the same time naming one of the elements,
earth, or air, or fire, or water; then he begins to count one, two,
three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, and before he says ten, the
person struck must name some animal living in the element chosen."

"Well, but what do you throw at the person?" inquired Nix; "a bureau, or
decanter, for instance?"

"No, no; something small and soft, like a pair of gloves, or--or--oh, I
know, wait a minute and I will run up-stairs and get the baby's worsted
ball; that will be just the thing."

While Mrs. Crofton was absent, and she was detained rather longer than
her mission seemed to warrant, Nix, in poking about in his sister's
work-basket in pursuit of mischief, discovered a piece of white beeswax.

"Eureka!" he exclaimed, "I have it; we will play Toney a trick before
she comes back; we will make her think some one has broken her new

Saying this, he advanced to a large pier-glass between the windows, and
marked on it a huge star with the white wax something like the
accompanying diagram, and then instructed one or two of us to make
lamentations over it when his sister should return. We had not to wait
long: in a few minutes Mrs. C. entered the room, whereupon we
conspirators set to work gesticulating, and talking over the supposed

"Dear! dear!" said one, "how unfortunate!"

"How did it happen?" queried a second.


"I really don't know," answered a third. "I merely heard a crash,

Here the lady came on the scene, looking quite flushed.

"I knew you children would be in some mischief," she said, "while I was
away. I suppose this is some of my clumsy brother's work. He never comes
into the house without destroying something."

"I'm very sorry," whined Nix, contritely; "it was quite an accident, I
assure you; but I wonder whether it could not be mended?"

"Mended! you goose," exclaimed his sister. "Who ever heard of mending a
broken mirror! It will take a pretty big cheque on your banker to mend
that, sir."

"I am not so sure of that," replied Nix. "If it is not very bad I
might----any way I will try." Suiting the action to the words, he
advanced towards the mirror in such a position that his sister could not
see what he did, and very deliberately wiped out the wax marks with his
pocket-handkerchief. The astonishment of Mrs. C. at this miracle knew no
bounds, nor could the gift of any amount of new pier-glasses have given
her more pleasure.

"Now, then, all take your seats; we are going to play earth, air, fire,
and water."

The circle is formed; our hostess holds the woollen ball poised in her
hand for an instant, and then sends it flying into the bosom of a
grey-haired old gentleman, at the same time uttering the word "air," and
commencing to count rapidly, "one, two, three, four, five, six, seven,
eight, nine, ten." The old gentleman seemed utterly paralysed until she
had finished counting, when he stammered out, "Wh--h--h--h--h--PIG!"
amidst the roars of laughter of every one present. Of course he had to
pay a forfeit, and took his turn at throwing the ball.

No one who has not seen this game played can conceive how ludicrous it
is, or how much good wholesome laughter may be got out of it. When a
sufficient number of forfeits had accumulated, they were cried in the
usual manner. A good deal of ingenuity was displayed in awarding the
tasks as well as in executing them. One was that the owner of this
"pretty thing" should make an impromptu containing the names of every
one in the room, and was managed in the following style:

  "Three Howards--Corsey, Toney, Archibald, and Nix,
  Bub, Brown, Campbell, Jim and Jane have got me in a fix."

Another task imposed was, that the owner of a cigar-case should give us
a riddle no one could solve. Going into the next room, this person
procured a glass of wine, and holding it up said: "Gentlemen, I give you
'the ladies.'" No one attempted to solve this riddle. Another gentleman
was ordered to point out the greatest goose in the room. This delicate
task he set about performing in the following manner: he went to one
young lady and asked her to hold up her face to the light, which she
did, whereupon he imprinted a chaste salute on her lips; he then went to
the next, but she persisted in holding down her head. He then turned
round to his tasker and said: "Really it is impossible for me to
determine which are the geese if they will not allow me to examine
their bills." He was let off.

When all the forfeits were restored, even to little Toney's
pocket-handkerchief, which she recovered by throwing herself into her
papa's arms and hugging him round the neck, as the _prettiest_, and
_wittiest_, and _one she loved best_, we all adjourned to broiled
oysters and chicken salad.


A few days ago when the blistering sun had converted the whole of New
York city into one vast bake-oven, Nix called at our office, and
proposed a flying trip to a certain watering-place. We will not mention
its name for fear of incurring the suspicion of writing puffs. It was,
however, sufficiently unfashionable to be tolerably comfortable. In
order to reach our destination we took an early steamboat, leaving New
York at six o'clock in the morning. With what intense satisfaction we
became conscious of possessing lungs as we inhaled the cool air which
had been washing itself all night in the great waves of the Atlantic
ocean, or sleeping among the pine-woods of Delaware and New Jersey.
There is nothing surely which makes one feel more grateful for the gift
of life than to breathe the early morning air, laden with the perfume
of salt-water. On this occasion the bracing atmosphere gave a relish to
everything. The crisp broiled ham, the clam-fritters, and even the
miserable coffee we had for breakfast on board, all tasted like food
worthy of the gods. And as for our cigars (genuine Havanas) which
followed the meal, their incense fairly sent us up to the seventh heaven
of delight. But our business is to write on the _Art of Amusing_, and
although an early steamboat trip may be one of the most enjoyable of
things, it scarcely comes within the sphere of our work.

When we arrived at the hotel, we found the lady guests were in process
of organizing a fair for the benefit of the sufferers by the great
Portland fire.

Nix rushed into the enterprise with his usual enthusiasm; and by that
evening, when the fair commenced, had fully qualified himself to start
in business as a Three-sticks-a-penny-man. This plebeian pastime he had
picked up at some English race or fair he had once visited, and now
attempted with considerable success to acclimatize in America. His first
step was to go to the village store and purchase a number of penknives,
jack-knives, pincushions, tobacco-boxes, and similar contraptions. His
second care was to cut half-a-dozen hickory-sticks or wands, of about
four feet six inches in length, and of the thickness of your middle
finger--that is, if you are blest with as spacious a paw as ourself; if
not, we feel at a loss how to convey to your mind an approximate idea of
the measurement. But suppose you take any healthy Irish day-laborer, and
make his third finger the standard, not the part where the knobs are,
but the spaces between them. Well, Nix cut six sticks of about the
thickness of a healthy Irish day-laborer's third finger, in the spaces
between the joints or knobs. He then cut a dozen other sticks of about
the thickness of anybody's wrist, and about two feet long. Good! When he
wished to commence operations on the fair-ground he selected a piece of
level turf, and on one side of it dug six holes about the size of the
late Daniel Webster's hat; these holes he half filled with sand, and in
the centre of every hole he then stuck one of the sticks of _about_ the
thickness of a healthy Irish, etc., etc. Then on the top of each stick
he balanced a jack-knife, pin-cushion, or some other object of more or
less value. Now all his preparations were completed. He was prepared to
receive customers. Standing in a commanding attitude, at a distance of
about thirty feet from the arrangement we have described, he cried out
in truly English style:

"Now, ladies and gents, ere yer are--three sticks a penny. Any lady or
gent wishin to make a immediate fortin, and marry the being of his art
on the result, have only to invest a few dollars in my establishment,
and he will retire wealthy in arf a nour. Here, ladies and gents, look
at these ere sticks" (holding up one of the clubs about the thickness of
anybody's wrist), "hall you ave to do is to throw one of these ere at
them there" (pointing to the pincushions, etc.); "hany article you knock
orf is yourn, provided it don't fall inter the ole. Now, all I charge
you for the priviledge orf throwin' three of these sticks, is the
radicerlously small sum of ten cents. You are sure to win five dollars
each time. Now, walk up; walk up, and take yer chance, and make yer
everlastin fortin; marry the hobject of yer haffections, and build yer
pallatial willa on the Udson."

Here a courageous youth stepped up, examined the whole arrangement
minutely, and concluded to invest ten cents. Fortunately for Nix and the
cause this youth knocked off a dollar jack-knife at the first throw. The
consequence was an immense rush of patronage; indeed, the sport became
so exciting that two similar establishments could have been kept in
active operation. As it was, Nix cleared fifty-four dollars over and
above all expenses for the good of the fair, and the benefit of the poor
folks of Portland.

One of Nix's most profitable customers was a good-natured flashy young
man of the wholesale dry-goods pattern, who appeared each day in some
new shade of mustard-colored clothing, from the delicate yellow of
freshly mixed pure Durham to the rich tones of stale German. He told us
in confidence that he had intended to go to Saratoga, but the _old
gentleman_ and _old lady_ (his father and mother) had insisted on his
coming down with them to "this d----d hole;" then, suddenly recollecting
that we had all probably come from chance, he added:

"Oh, this is a very nice place; first-rate; I don't say anything about
that, only I had a party of friends going up to Saratoga, and they'll
expect me; they know there's always fun going on where I am. It don't
make any difference to me whether I spend fifty dollars or five hundred.
I'm bound to have a good time. I appreciate anything; tha's--anything,
you know--tha's got any wit into it, you know. Well, you know, there are
some people who ain't got any idea; don't seem to appreciate, you know.
Now, when I saw you throwin' sticks, well, I piled right in; I didn't
care about it, of course, only I saw what you were doing it for, and I
didn't care. Some people would think it awful vulgar, you know, but I
don't care; that's the sort of man I am. Perhaps I shouldn't have liked
some of my aristocratic lady friends to have seen me; but then down
here, you know. Oh, I'd just as lief have given the money to the fair;
I'd spent thirty dollars before in slippers and things, and then gave
'em back. I didn't want 'em, you know, only I like to see things lively;
there's bound to be fun when I'm round."

However, we will not follow our good-natured friend through his long
monologue of refined egotism; we merely introduced him because he showed
us a variety of tricks, two of which we think worth recording in our
book on amusements. On the morning after the fair, Nix and ourself, in
company with the mustard-colored aristocrat, took a bath in the ocean.
The aristocrat appeared in the water attired in a sumptuous bathing
dress, smoking a cigar which he told us cost $800 per thousand; which,
he frankly confessed, he thought too high a price for a man to pay for
cigars in these times. He further stated that he relished smoking in the
water very much. To our inquiry whether there was no danger of the waves
putting it out, he replied by informing us that he could dive under
water with a lighted cigar in his mouth without extinguishing it.

"D'you see that boat there?" he said, pointing to a small scow about a
hundred and fifty yards distant. "Well, I will dive under that; you
watch me, and you will see me come up." We thought there must be some
hoax in the matter, and so kept a strict eye upon his movements. He swam
out to the craft, gave a plunge and a kick, after the manner of ducks in
a pond, disappeared, and came up on the other side, calmly puffing his
weed. Never having seen or heard of the feat before, Nix and ourself
were what the ancient Greeks used to call _flabbergasterd_. When he had
enjoyed his triumph and our bewilderment for a few minutes, he showed us
how it was done; simply by putting the lighted end of the cigar in his
mouth just before going under water, that was all. He added: "I will
show you something better if you will come up to the shooting-gallery
after we get through bathing. Did you ever see a man ring the bell with
his back to the target?"

Arrived at the shooting-gallery, our young friend procured a mirror
which he hung on the wall opposite the target, then placing himself in
front of the former, with his back to the latter, he held the pistol
over his shoulder and took aim, looking at the image of the pistol in
the glass as if it were the pistol itself; that is, in such a manner
that the reflection of the object was covered by the reflection of the
pistol; he then fired, and came within an inch of the bull's-eye.

When we got back to the hotel he amused us by setting fire to a glass of
alcohol with a burning glass. He placed a silver dollar (a red cent
would have answered as well) in the spirit, and then directed the rays
of the sun through the burning-glass on the metal; in an instant the
liquid was all ablaze.

In the afternoon this same youth called us all to enjoy a trick he had
played upon the _old gentleman_.

The _old gentleman_, it appeared, was engaged in reading Macaulay's
History of England, and like a methodical old gentleman, whenever he
laid down the book, marked the place where he left off. On the day in
question his son had abstracted his book from its accustomed place, and
painted on the page following the one he was, reading a very excellent
imitation of a fly. At his usual hour the old gentleman was seen to put
on his spectacles, and take up the book; all those in the secret were of
course on hand; presently he came to the passage on which appeared the
counterfeit fly; the old gentleman shook the book, but the fly stirred
not; then he blew at it; then he laid down the volume, and deliberately
taking out his handkerchief, made a pass at the offending insect with
that weapon, replaced his handkerchief, settled his glasses, took up
the book again, but to his utter surprise the fly still remained. A
light seemed now to dawn on him--the fly had got crushed between the
leaves--so he essayed to remove it with his finger-nail; here his
hopeful offspring could stand it no longer, and burst into a roar of
laughter, in which several others joined. When the joke was explained to
the worthy victim, he said: "Now, that's very good, isn't it; very good.
I made sure it was a real fly, as true as you live. Look here, wife;
look at this, some of Master Tom's doing; good, ain't it; as true as you
live, that's a fact. Ah! Ha!"[7]

  [7] We have since seen a somewhat similar trick played by painting
      a fly on the face of a watch or inside the glass.

Later in the evening Young Hopeful horrified a circle of ladies by
discovering at their feet a huge spider; in the midst of their shrieks
and exclamations a courageous gentleman with large whiskers stepped
forward to crush the intruder, raised his foot, and brought it down
firmly, but staggered back astounded--the creature had exploded with a
loud report, conveying an idea of vindictiveness and power truly
appalling. The young gentleman took us aside and explained the mystery,
at the same time producing from his pocket a small box containing some
half-dozen similar spiders.

"I have them made on purpose for me," he said. "A German porter in our
store first put me up to it, and I told him to set to work and make me
as many as he liked, and charge me any price he chose. I tell ye, that
Dutchman thinks I'm a great boy. I pay him about five dollars a week for
spiders; well, you know, that's a good deal for a man like him; only
gets twelve dollars a week in the store."

We examined the specimen carefully, and found it was constructed very
much on the plan of the torpedoes used by children on the Fourth of
July; only the paper was brown and a little thicker, and there were legs
of fine wire attached, which gave it a very lifelike and spidery
appearance. The Dutchman had evidently gone into the matter _con amore_,
for he had taken the pains to wash some of his specimens with gum, and
then sprinkle them with wool-dust to produce the appearance of what are
called hairy spiders. About one-third of a grain of fulminating silver
produces the explosion in each. They are very easily made.

As we steamed back to the great city of New York next day, Nix said he
thought we had made a very good investment of three red-hot days of
mid-summer time. We thought so, too.


We are not a great advocate for arithmetical puzzles as a pastime for
festive occasions, that is to say not as a general rule; but there are
certain tricks of figures which are quite amusing, and some few problems
which from their very simplicity become almost ludicrous. We have seen
many a tolerably wise head puzzled over the question:

"If a barrel of flour cost thirty-nine dollars thirteen and three
quarter cents, what will a penny loaf come to?"

And consume considerable time and paper without discovering the obvious
fact, that a penny loaf will of course come to a penny and nothing else.

We remember, too, an amiable Divine, who tortured his dear old head for
three-quarters of an hour to solve the question:

"If a shovel, poker, and tongs, cost thirteen dollars forty-three and a
quarter cents, what will a ton of coals come to?"

And when informed that they would come to ashes, he seemed to feel quite
hurt; and indeed, to labor for some time under a sense of having been
trifled with. When told that it was merely a joke, a little fun, he
replied that he was a great admirer of Don Quixote, could appreciate Gil
Bias, and relished exceedingly the wit of Swift and Sterne; but failed
to perceive the particular humor of our joke about the ton of coals.

With all due respect for the estimable prelate, we must venture to
differ from him, fortified as we are in our opinion by a young lady,
who, if not a divine herself, has a pair of eyes that are, in whose
company we have solved some of the most intricate arithmetical
jocularities and trivialities, till we were up to the eyes in ink and
love. One we well remember, partly because it gave us so much trouble,
and partly because there was a wild picturesqueness about the subject
which appeals to our imagination. It ran thus:

A man has a wolf, a goat, and a cabbage, to carry over a river, but he
can only convey them one at a time, his boat being very small. How is he
to manage this, so that the wolf may not be left alone with the goat,
nor the goat with the cabbage? It is obvious if the wolf be left with
the goat, he will eat it up; whilst if the goat be left with the
cabbage, short work will be made of that classic vegetable.

Oh, how often we crossed and recrossed that river; how often we took the
goat out, and put the wolf in; and how frequently we took out the wolf,
and put in the goat. How we trembled for the poor man, fearing there
could be no alternative for him but to sacrifice either the goat or the
cabbage, or else kill the wolf. How varied and wild were our expedients,
such as throwing the wolf across, sending the cabbage round by express,
digging a tunnel under the bed of the river, forcing the proprietor to
eat the cabbage himself, towing the goat behind the boat, and other
devices too numerous to mention, all of which we were assured, by those
holding the key to the mystery, were altogether inadmissible; and then
when, with humbled pride, we reluctantly _gave it up_, how mad we were
at the simplicity of the solution, which was this:

He first takes over the goat, and then returns for the wolf; he then
takes back the goat, which he leaves, and takes over the cabbage, he
then returns and takes over the goat All as simple as A, B, C, when _you
know how to do it_; that knowing how to do it is the great difficulty in
ninety-nine out of every hundred things in this world.

Puzzles which involve long and laborious calculation are not in our
line; they are too suggestive of the school and the country room.
Something like the following is good for skirmishing:


Put down four nines, so that they will make one hundred.

After a short struggle you surrender at discretion, and in an instant
get the



There is no delay, no tedious figuring up; you get your answer and are
ready for something fresh. Some such abstruse calculation as the
following, for instance:


If a herring and a half cost three cents, how many will you get for a

To ladies, who as a general rule have not the organ of calculation very
largely developed, this will usually prove a poser. As the problem is to
be solved by patience and study, we will leave them to do it, _or give
it up_, and proceed to the next


A gentleman sent his servant with a present of nine ducks in a box, upon
which was the following direction:--

  "To Alderman Gobble with IX. ducks."

The servant, who had more ingenuity than honesty, purloined three of the
ducks, and contrived it so that the number contained in the box
corresponded with that upon the direction. As he neither erased any word
or letter, nor substituted a new direction, how did he so alter it as to
correspond with the contents of the box?

The dishonest but ingenious servant simply placed the letter S before
the two Roman numerals, IX. The direction then read thus:

  "To Alderman Gobble, with SIX ducks."

It will be seen that this problem is very easy of solution to every one,
save Artemus Ward, who would spell it _Sicks dux in a bocks_.

Here is one, however, which would suit the taste, if not the ability, of
the great showman to a nicety:


To distribute among three persons twenty-one casks of wine, seven of
them full, seven of them empty, and seven of them half full; so that
each of them shall have the same quantity of wine, and the same number
of casks.

This problem admits of two solutions, which may be clearly comprehended
by means of the two following tables:

                          FIRST SOLUTION.

  _Persons._     _Full casks._     _Empty._     _Half full._
      1                2              2              3
      2                2              2              3
      3                3              3              1

                          SECOND SOLUTION.

  _Persons._     _Full casks._     _Empty._     _Half full._
      1                3              3              1
      2                3              3              1
      3                1              1              5

One more problem, and we shall have had enough mathematics for one


A figure similar to the preceding can be formed without removing the
pencil from the paper, without crossing any line or retracing any part.
Now set to work and do it.

If you do not succeed, you may refer to the annexed diagram and


Draw a line from 1 to 2, 2 to 3, 3 to 4, 4 to 5, 5 to 6, 6 to 1, 1 to 7,
7 to 8, 8 to 9, 9 to 3, 3 to 10, and 10 to 1.


We have observed that Tableaux and Charades run in some families, and
that these families are always ready to spend any amount of time and
money to carry out their favorite ideas; we cannot help feeling
considerable admiration for any one having some honest enthusiasm for
any amusement in this toiling age of ours. But our mission is not to
deal much with the costly or complicated. Those who wish to produce
tableaux from Waverley or the Bride of Abydos, who desire to attire
themselves as Mary Queen of Scots, Di Vernon, or Dolly Varden, we leave
to their own devices, giving only our best wishes. There are, however,
charades to be got up on the spur of the moment, which are not less
entertaining than the more elaborate performances to which we allude. We
will mention one or two which have come under our observation during a
chequered existence; they may serve to give the key-note, if nothing

On the occasion of a certain impromptu party, the lady of the house
begged some of her guests to get up _something_ which would entertain
the rest, some charades, or what not. Two gentlemen consulted for a
moment, and then took up their positions in the back of the parlor,
which represented the stage. One sat down to read, whilst the other
crept up slyly behind him, and much to his dismay turned off the gas.
They then both rose and declared the charade completed, leaving it to
the audience to divine the answer. Whether any one guessed it or not we
do not know--but the answer was Gastric--Gas-trick.

Another gentleman then stepped into the stage, with a large hat at the
back of his head, and began calling--"Mooley, mooley, mooley; com, com,
mooley. Where kin that keow a poked herself now? she's allers a
concealing of herself somewheres or another--mooley," etc.,

His riddle was now concluded, and he desired the audience to give him
the answer.

The answer was _Cow-hiding_.

A famous physician and wit was the next to come forward, accompanied by
a friend. They took positions in opposite corners of the room, advanced
towards each other, and as they passed, the friend said to the doctor,
"How do, Doctor?" To the surprise of all, they declared the charade
completed. No one could guess it, of course; the answer was
_metaphysician_, met-a-physician.

Again they took their positions precisely as before, announcing that
they were about to give another charade. Again they walked across the
room, and as they passed, one said to the other, "How do, again?" This
was the conclusion of the second charade; quite as puzzling as the
first, only more so. The answer was _metaphor_--met-afore. This
absurdity was received with roars of laughter and thunders of applause.

Charades of this kind, we are inclined to think, give more real pleasure
after all, than the studied, costly elaborations. They are perhaps not
so pretty; but, ye gods! where there are pretty women, what else could
mortal man desire in the way of beauty!


A certain young lady with whom we are acquainted has discovered a new
art, which seems to absorb a great portion of her being. It is a method
by which almost anything may be transmuted into coral. The consequence
of this discovery is that the English-basement house in which the maid
in question dwells, is converted into a perfect mermaid's grotto. We
told her so the other day, since which she has called us her Triton; and
further intimated that in order to preserve the fitness of things, we
might invite her to an oyster supper at Delmonico's. This hint we took
with the avidity of a pickerel; but alas for the fickleness of woman,
and our visions of marine happiness, the damsel changed her position and
absolutely declined accepting our hospitality, even to the extent of a

It is marvellous what very poor jokes afford rich amusement, when they
are passed amongst intimate friends. When we called the lady in
question, South Coral-ina, every one present seemed quite amused; indeed
only one person, an obnoxious individual with large whiskers, seemed to
resent it at all:--but now that the title by frequent repetition has
assumed the character of a nickname, it is always received as an
exquisite piece of humor. Numerous ramifications of this subject afford
us endless themes for badinage.

We profess to ridicule the idea that involuntary servitude is abolished,
when South Coral-ina holds ourselves and so many others in slavery. She
retorts by calling us Neptune, and asking after the telegraph cable.
When this badinage had been going on for some time, our friend Nix
played quite a pretty hoax on the ladies. He arrived one evening with a
somewhat dirty-looking basket on his arm filled with oysters. This was
rather an inelegant thing to bring into the parlor, and naturally
excited some surprise; but when he began to take out the grimy-looking
bivalves, and one by one, hand them round to the ladies, there was a
commotion bordering on indignation; the first lady declined to receive
so plebeian a gift, whereupon Nix took a penknife from his pocket and
opened it; revealing the inside lined with rich velvet, and bearing
some trinket made of gold and pearls. This was in payment of a bet of an
oyster supper which he had playfully made with and purposely lost to one
of the ladies.

But to revert to our Coral. We often aided the fair mermaid in her
manufactures, making sprays of coral nearly as large as in currant
bushes, coral walking-canes, coral ear-rings, pen racks, paper weights,
and other useful articles. We converted into coral--walnuts, small
mud-turtles, birds' claws, sea-shells, and indeed almost everything on
which we could lay our hands. Finally we took paterfamilias' felt hat
one night and gave it a couple of coats of scarlet varnish, much to the
astonishment of that good gentleman when he wished to put it on next

The mode of making these coral ornaments is, of course, very simple;
otherwise it would not find a place in this book:


To two drachms of fine vermilion, add one ounce of clear resin, and melt
them together; paint the object with this mixture while hot, and then
hold it over a gentle fire till it is perfectly covered and smooth.

To make sprays of coral you should procure some twigs of thorn; peel and
dry, before painting with the varnish.

The Nix gift of pearls has set all the ladies to work on a new
idea--painting pictures in oil-colors on the inside of oyster shells;
these are mostly marine subjects where the natural hues of the shell
supply the requisite tints for the clouds and water. One of these little
works represented a fish, where the sheen of the mother-of-pearl gave a
marvellously natural effect to the scales and gills.

They have also taken to making pictures on egg-shells in water-colors,
which are very pretty. One egg they tattooed all over with pen-and-ink
arabesque, and emblazoned with crimson and gold. It looks very handsome,
though possibly of not quite so much practical use as a locomotive or a
reaping-machine. Still, let us always remember that quotation from

"_Encourage the beautiful, the useful will take care of itself!_"

To which we might add a paraphrase of our own:

"Encourage the amusing, the dreary will take care of itself."

For our own part we have serious ideas of organizing a SOCIETY FOR THE
ENCOURAGEMENT OF AMUSEMENT. We firmly believe that judicious and
rational amusement tends more to make men _healthy_, _wealthy_, _and
wise_, than ever did early rising, for which, nevertheless, we have
profoundest respect.


To those who are fond of charades, and indeed to all those good people
who love to be merry, we commend what the French call _charades en
action_, or pantomime charades. These charades, as the name indicates,
are acted, not spoken. The great rule to be observed is silence, nothing
more than an exclamation being allowed. In extreme cases, where it is
utterly impossible to convey the idea by actions, a placard may be
introduced bearing some helpful inscription, as in the case of Mr. Cuffy
(in the charade on carpet which we shall presently give), who draws from
his bosom a monster letter from Mr. Swab, which he displays to the
audience. In addition to the information it conveys, the production of
this preposterously large note is calculated to create a laugh.

The chief merit in a charade actor is inventive ingenuity in so,
adapting the domestic adjuncts of an ordinary household as to supply
the place of necessary theatrical properties and wardrobe. We have seen
a very respectable Richard Coeur de Lion made up of the tinware of an
ordinary cooking-range; and Queen Elizabeth, frill, hair and all, out of
a few copies of the _Daily Tribune_. We have known a steam fire-engine
to be manufactured out of a baby's crib and a tea-kettle; and Bunker
Hill monument from two chairs, a fishing-rod, and a sheet. Those who
have followed us so far through these pages, have gone through a good
course of study, and will start with great advantages in the pursuit of

For the convenience of our clients we add a list of words which may be
acted as charades.


  Accent             Axe--cent.
  Accident           Axe--sigh--dent.
  Altar              Awl--tar.
  Artful             Art--full.
  Apex               Ape--X.
  Bagpipe            Bag--pipe.
  Bandage            Band--age.
  Bedlam             Bed--lamb.
  Bustard            Bust--tarred.
  Behead             Bee--head.
  Blacksmith         Black--smith.
  Bulrush            Bull--rush.
  Buttress           Butt--tress.
  Catsup             Cat--sup.
  Carboy             Car--boy.
  Corselet           Course--let.
  Cribbage           Crib--age.
  Crossbow           Cross--beau.
  Cutlass            Cut--lass.
  Cartel             Car--Tell (William).
  Cartoon            Cart--tune!
  Cashier            Cash--ear.
  Dolphin            Doll--fin.
  Donkey             Don--key.
  Ductile            Duck--tile.
  Definite           Deaf--inn--night
  Footpad            Foot--pad.
  Flatten            Flat--ten.
  Gastric            Gas--trick.
  Gallic             Gall--lick.
  Hamlet             Ham--let.
  Handcuff           Hand--cuff.
  Hartshorn          Hearts--horn.
  Hemlock            Hem--lock.
  Henpeck            Hen--peck.
  Humbug             Hum--bug.
  Humdrum            Hum--drum.
  Idol               Eye--doll.
  Ill-bred           Ill--bread.
  Instep             Inn--step.
  Implore            Imp--lore.
  Invest             Inn--vest.
  Incite             Inn--sight.
  Jackal             Jack--awl.
  Jury               Jew--rye.
  Sappet             Sap--pet.
  Linch-pin          Linch--pin.
  Loadstone          Load--stone.
  Mastiff            Ma--stiff.
  Messmate           Mess--mate.
  Mistake            Miss--take.
  Muffin             Muff--fin.
  Nightmare          Night--mare.
  Nightshade         Night--shade.
  Outfit             Out--fit.
  Pardon             Pa--don.
  Payday             Pay--dey.
  Phantom            Fan--tom.
  Picnic             Pick--nick.
  Pilot              Pie--lot.
  Pollute            Poll--lute.
  Puppet             Pup--pet.
  Prior              Pry--oar.
  Ringlet            Wring--let.
  Sauce-box          Sauce--box.
  Seesaw             Sea--sore.
  Shamrock           Sham--rock.
  Spinster           Spin--stir.
  Surtout            Sir--tout, or Sir--two.
  Toilet             Toy--let.
  Waistcoat          Waste--coat.
  Welcome            Well--come.
  Wilful             Will--full.
  Yellow             Yell--low.




CAR ----.

  _Dramatis Personæ_,

  SCENE--_Sixth Avenue, New York._

Scene opens and discovers street-car driving furiously along, drawn by
two chestnut acquaintances. Conductor and driver represented by two
small boys. Car composed of lounge, clothes-horse, and two chairs,
judiciously arranged and draped; wheels of band box-lids or circular
tea-trays. Noise of car simulated by confederates outside shaking
sleigh-bells or hand-bells, and drumming on door with fingers and hand;
also rattling on floor with feet.

Enter some passengers, running and hailing car. Bell rings, by knocking
goblet with spoon. Car stops.



Passengers rush towards car. Gentleman is in the act of stepping on car
when bell rings, and car suddenly starts off, throwing gentleman
violently to the ground. Great screaming and wailing; friends gather
round and try to raise him; find he is insensible; all immediately begin
shaking their fists at conductor; then simultaneously they bethink
themselves of the propriety of taking the number of the car. All draw
out their memorandum-books and commence writing. Conductor and driver
make gestures of defiance.


Grand tableau.


---- PET.

  _Dramatis Personæ_,

Enter lady poutingly, followed by her husband, who tries to coax her
into a good humor, but without avail. She persists in being in a _pet_.


  by his gestures promises to buy her shawls,




  a piano,

and even


  a riding-horse.[8]


Finding all these promises are of no use, he begins to get excited;
declares she shall have nothing; lady remains sulky; gentleman seizes
his hat, rams it on his head, and exits. Lady walks off in the opposite
direction, clenching her fists.


  [8] To convey this idea, the gentleman must neigh while he prances.



  _Dramatis Personæ_,

  SCENE--_Street-door of fashionable house--door-plate of white paper
    on door bearing the name of Swab._

Enter colored man,[9] with his face well spotted with whitewash, who
rings at door of fashionable house.

  [9] The usual way of making a colored man is by blacking the face
      with burnt cork; but as gentlemen at evening parties sometimes
      object to undergoing this ordeal, a good nigger may be
      manufactured by stretching a piece of dark silk across the
      face and cutting out holes for the eyes and mouth. Hair can
      be made of cotton wadding.


Irish servant appears with her sleeves rolled up and her dress pinned in
the form of a dress-coat behind. She turns up her nose at darkey, who
humbly intimates that he has called for the _carpet_. Girl slams the
door in his face. Colored man considers this outrageous conduct, as he
has been specially requested to call for orders, and produces the
following note from Mr. Swab:

      "Please call at No. 13 Fifth Avenue, for carpet.
                                                      "JOHN SWAB."


He points to note and name on door to show he has come to the right


Enter Irishman, who approaches Mr. Swab's door and rings bell; reappear
girl, who smiles as she produces a roll of carpet. Cuffy steps forward
and expostulates, showing Mr. Swab's letter. Irishman pitches into
Cuffy, and a furious fight ensues, in which the girl joins with a broom.







  _Dramatis Personæ_,

  SCENE--_Backyard of city house, with small table placed on top of
    other table, to represent window._

Enter cat (head done up in brown paper, with cat's face painted on it,
brown paper ears, tail made out of lady's boa, black silk handkerchief,
or any suitable thing).


Cat commences to _meow_ and caterwaul. Old gentleman appears at window
with nightcap on and sheet wrapped round him, and shakes his fist at
cat. Cat continues to make a noise.


Old gentleman gets very angry, shakes both his fists, withdraws into
room, reappears with hair-brush, which he throws at cat. Cat continues
to make a noise. Old gentleman commences a fusilade of boots, books,
combs, and toilet articles generally. Cat makes more noise than ever,
putting up her back and spitting at the objects as they fell around her.
The old gentleman is almost in despair, when suddenly a bright idea
strikes him, which he expresses by pantomime, placing his finger to the
side of his nose and winking. He disappears from the window. Presently
is heard the rattling of a chain and barking of a dog.


Enter dog, barking furiously, and pursues cat out of yard. Old gentleman
rubs his hands with glee, and pats dog on head. Dog frisks about.



  _Dramatis Personæ_,

  SCENE--_Public Street._

Enter rag and soap-fat man dragging donkey after him. Donkey dragging
cart made of chair with bandbox-lid wheels, cart filled with odds and
ends of tinware, old rags, etc. Donkey very obstinate; driver beats him
with roll of stiff paper. Servant hails soap-fat man and offers for sale
several large jarsful of drippings, sheets, pillow-cases, etc.,
belonging to her mistress. They chaffer for some time over the bargain,
but finally agree upon a price. The money (all copper pennies) is about
to change hands when the donkey, close by, gives an unearthly bray,
which, to their guilty consciences, sounds like the voice of some
avenging spirit; both scream, drop the money on the floor, and rush off;
donkey turns round and runs off too.





  _Dramatis Personæ_,

  SCENE--_A camp, tents made of sheets hung over chairs, etc._

Enter soldiers, leading prisoners, and bearing ragged and shot-torn flag
on broomstick, band playing trumpets (sheets of music rolled up), and
beating drums (tin pails); they halt and form in line; the officer, by
suitable gestures, calls attention to the trophy.


Enter general and staff. General makes a speech, pointing to the trophy,
and then decorates their captain by pinning a medal (a circular
soda-cracker fastened to a bit of red ribbon will do) on his breast. All
strike an attitude, and the scene closes.



  _Dramatis Personæ_,

  SCENE--_Central Park._

A superb carriage, made out of the lounge with bandbox-lid wheels, and
drawn by a span of spirited bay gentleman, is discovered; an elegant
youth is seated on the box driving, whilst the carriage is filled with a
gay and festive party of youthful ladies and gentlemen.


Presently the horses become restive, plunge wildly about, and, in spite
of all the efforts of the driver, dash the vehicle against a post; the
inmates scream and tumble out. Enter two policemen, who seize the
horses, put the driver on his legs, and carry the rest of the party to
the hospital on stretchers made of the clothes-horse.




Those tranquil moods to which allusion has already been made on several
occasions, have now become a decided feature in our character. There is
certainly something very charming in the society of well-bred women.
However, we hope before long we need not be forced from home to find
that enjoyment. We have discovered the object of Nix's recent gifts of
Brahminical works. It was a ponderous roundabout species of humor
peculiar to Nix, the works in question being supposed to furnish
appropriate study for a person in our presumed position as admirer of
Bud (or Boodh).

Nix has for some time past made himself very wearisome with continual
allusions to Vishnu, Siva, Buddhism, and so forth. We gained one idea,
however, from his jest. We have written a Hindoo play, the plot of which
turns on the love of a devout Brahmin. The play is entirely finished
save the last act, which is complete up to the point where Neer Je Haun
declares his love for the Unblown Rose.


We took our play to the Adams' to-night, and told Bud that it was nearly
completed, but we were in some embarrassment how to conclude it. We had
consequently come to consult her on the subject, begging at the same
time she would give it her most careful attention, as her decision was
of vital importance. We were alone. We had read the whole play through
with the utmost care, till we came to the final sentence in our
manuscript, where the hero declares his passion for the Unblown Rose. It
runs thus:

_Neer Je Haun._ "Light of my soul, whose voice is sweeter than the
murmur of the Ganges, whose name is incense to my nostrils, whose eyes
are brighter than the fire-flies by night--my highest ambition is to be
thy slave, my greatest hope to guard thee from harm, to bask in the
radiance of thine eyes. For thee I would sacrifice all other earthly
happiness. When I pray thee to share my humble fortunes, turn not away
thy proud head; parch not my soul with scorn, though well I should
deserve such a fate for my temerity."

Now turning to Bud, we asked her to decide what answer the lover should
receive; should he be accepted or rejected?

"Oh, accepted, of course!" eagerly exclaimed Bud, her bright eyes
kindling with sympathy for the ardent Hindoo.

"It is well!" we replied, and wrote down the maiden's answer.

"I will trust my life in thy hands from this day till death."

"Is that right?" we asked.

She said it was, though perhaps a little cold.

We then drew from our breast pocket one sheet of the manuscript she had
not yet seen. It was the title of the play:


Bud colored--looked at us in an embarrassed way, and then with much
hesitation was about to speak, when we stretched out our hand and said:

"You will not make us alter what we have written?"

She gave no answer, but from the pressure of her hand we knew we need
doubt no more.

Now this heathen idolator would not change places with the greatest
Christian monarch in Europe.



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About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.