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Title: Bill Nye's Sparks
Author: Nye, Edgar Wilson Nye AKA Bill
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.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Bill Nye's Sparks" ***

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By Edgar Wilson Nye (Bill Nye)


New York and Chicago


[Illustration: 0001]

[Illustration: 0009]


Edgar Wilson Nye was whole-souled, big-hearted and genial. Those who
knew him lost sight of the humorist in the wholesome friend.

He was born August 25, 1850, in Shirley, Piscataquis County, Maine.
Poverty of resources drove the family to St. Croix Valley, Wisconsin,
where they hoped to be able to live under conditions less severe. After
receiving a meager schooling, he entered a lawyer's office where most
of his work consisted in sweeping the office and running errands. In his
idle moments the lawyer's library was at his service. Of this crude and
desultory reading he afterward wrote:

"I could read the same passage today that I did yesterday and it would
seem as fresh at the second reading as it did at the first. On the
following day I could read it again and it would seem as new and
mysterious as it did on the preceding day."

At the age of twenty-five, he was teaching a district school in Polk
County, Wisconsin, at thirty dollars a month. In 1877 he was justice of
the peace in Laramie. Of that experience he wrote:

"It was really pathetic to see the poor little miserable booth where
I sat and waited with numb fingers for business. But I did not see the
pathos which clung to every cobweb and darkened the rattling casement.
Possibly I did not know enough. I forgot to say the office was not a
salaried one, but solely dependent upon fees. So while I was called
Judge Nye and frequently mentioned in the papers with consideration, I
was out of coal half the time, and once could not mail my letters for
three weeks because I did not have the necessary postage."

He wrote some letters to the Cheyenne _Sun_ and soon made such a
reputation for himself that he was able to obtain a position on the
Laramie _Sentinel_. Of this experience he wrote:

"The salary was small, but the latitude was great, and I was permitted
to write anything that I thought would please the people, whether it was
news or not. By and by I had won every heart by my patient poverty and
my delightful parsimony with regards to facts. With a hectic imagination
and an order on a restaurant which advertised in the paper I scarcely
cared through the livelong day whether school kept or not."

Of the proprietor of the _Sentinel_ he wrote:

"I don't know whether he got into the penitentiary or the Greenback
party. At any rate he was the wickedest man in Wyoming. Still, he was
warm-hearted and generous to a fault. He was more generous to a fault
than to anything else--more especially his own faults. He gave me
twelve dollars a week to edit the paper--local, telegraph, selections,
religious, sporting, political, fashions, and obituary. He said twelve
dollars was too much, but if I would jerk the press occasionally and
take care of his children he would try to stand it. You can't mix
politics and measles. I saw that I would have to draw the line at
measles. So one day I drew my princely salary and quit, having acquired
a style of fearless and independent journalism which I still retain.
I can write up things that never occurred with a masterly and graphic
hand. Then, if they occur, I am grateful; if not, I bow to the
inevitable and smother my chagrin."

In the midst of a wrangle in politics he was appointed postmaster of his
town and his letter of acceptance, addressed to the Postmaster-General
at Washington, was the first of his writings to attract national

He said that, in his opinion, his being selected for the office was a
triumph of eternal right over error and wrong. "It is one of the epochs,
I may say, in the nation's onward march toward political purity and
perfection," he wrote. "I don't know when I have noticed any stride
in the affairs of state which has so thoroughly impressed me with its

Shortly after he became postmaster he started the _Boomerang_. The
first office of the paper was over a livery stable and Nye put up a sign
instructing callers to "twist the tail of the gray mule and take the

He at once became famous and was soon brought to New York, at a salary
that seemed fabulous to him. His place among the humorists of the world
was thenceforth assured.

He died February 22,1896, at his home in North Carolina, surrounded by
his family.

James Whitcomb Riley, the Hoosier poet, was for many years a close
personal friend of the dead humorist. When informed of Nye's death, he
said: "Especially favored, as for years I have been, with close personal
acquaintance and association with Mr. Nye, his going away fills me with
selfishness of grief that finds a mute rebuke in my every memory of him.
He was unselfish wholly, and I am broken-hearted, recalling the always
patient strength and gentleness of this true man, the unfailing hope and
cheer and faith of his child-heart, his noble and heroic life, and pure
devotion to his home his deep affections, constant dreams, plans and
realizations. I cannot doubt but that somehow, somewhere, he continues
cheerily on in the unbroken exercise of these same capacities."

Mr. Riley recently wrote the following sonnet:=

``O William, in thy blithe companionship

```What liberty is mine--what sweet release

```From clamourous strife, and yet, what boisterous peace!

``Ho! ho! It is thy fancy's finger tip

``That dints the dimple now, and kinks the lip

```That scarce may sing in all this glad increase

```Of merriment! So, pray thee, do not cease

``To cheer me thus, for underneath the quip

``Of thy droll sorcery the wrangling fret

```Of all distress is still. No syllable

``Of sorrow vexeth me, no tear drops wet

```My teeming lids, save those that leap to tell

``Thee thou'st a guest that overweepeth yet

```Only because thou jokest overwell.=




Washington, D. C.

Along toward morning, 1887.

_Cashier World Office_, New York.--

|MY DEAR SIR: You will doubtless be surprised to hear from me so soon,
as I did not promise when I left New York that I would write you at all
while here. But now I take pen in hand to say that the Senate and House
of Representatives are having a good deal of fun with me, and hope you
are enjoying the same great blessing. You will wonder at first why I
send in my expense account before I send in anything for the paper, but
I will explain that to you when I get back. At first I thought I would
not bother with the expense account till I got to your office, but I can
now see that it is going to worry me to get there unless I hear from you
favorably by return mail.

When I came here I fell into the mad whirl of society, and attracted a
good deal of attention by my cultivated ways and Jeffersonian method of
sleeping with a different member of Congress every night.

I have not written anything for publication yet, but I am getting
material together that will make people throughout our broad land open
their eyes in astonishment. I shall deal fairly and openly with these
great national questions, and frankly hew to the line, let the chips
fall where they may, as I heard a man say to-day on the floor of the
house--the Willard House, I mean. But I believe in handling great
political matters without gloves, as you will remember, if you have
watched my course as justice of the peace and litterateur. Candor is my
leading characteristic, and if you will pardon me for saying so in the
first letter you ever received from me I believe there is nothing about
my whole character which seems to challenge my admiration for myself any
more than that.

Congressmen and their wives are daily landing at the great national
Castle Garden and looking wildly around for the place where they
are told they will get their mileage. On every hand all is hurry and
excitement. Bills are being introduced, acquaintances renewed, and punch
bowls are beginning to wear a preoccupied air.

I have been mingling with society ever since I came here, and that is
one reason I have written very little for publication, and did not send
what I did write.

Yesterday afternoon my money gave out at 3:20, and since that my mind
has been clearer and society has made fewer demands on me. At first I
thought I would obtain employment at the Treasury Department as exchange
editor in the greenback room. Then I remembered that I would get very
faint before I could go through a competitive examination, and, in the
meantime, I might lose social caste by wearing my person on the outside
of my clothes. So I have resolved to write you a chatty letter about
Washington, assuring you that I am well, and asking you kindly to
consider the enclosed tabulated bill of expenses, as I need the money to
buy Christmas presents and get home with.

Poker is one of the curses of national legislation. I have several times
heard prominent foreigners say, in their own language--think ing,
no doubt, that I could not understand them--that the members of the
American Congress did not betray any emotion on their countenances.
One foreigner from Liverpool, who thought I could not understand his
language, said that our congressmen had a way of looking as though they
did not know very much. When he afterwards played poker with those same
men he saw that the look was acquired. One man told me that his vacant
look had been as good as $50,000 to him, whether he stood pat or drew to
an ostensible flush while really holding four bullets.

So far I have not been over to the Capitol, preferring to have Congress
kind of percolate into my room, two or three at a time; but unless you
can honor the inclosed way-bill I shall be forced to go over to the
House to-morrow and write something for the paper. Since I have been
writing this I have been led to inquire whether it would be advisable
for me to remain here through the entire session or not. It will be
unusually long, lasting perhaps clear into July, and I find that the
stenographers as a general thing get a pretty accurate and spicey
account of the proceedings, much more so than I can, and as you will see
by inclosed statement it is going to cost more to keep me here than I
figured on.

My idea was that board and lodgings would be the main items of expense,
but I struck a low-priced place, where, by clubbing together with some
plain gentlemen from a distance who have been waiting here three
years for political recognition, and who do not feel like surrounding
themselves with a hotel, we get a plain room with six beds in it. The
room overlooks, the District of Columbia, and the first man in has the
choice of beds, with the privilege of inviting friends to a limited
number. We lunch plainly in the lower part of the building in a
standing position without restraint or finger-bowls. So board is not the
principal item of expense, though of course I do not wish to put up at a
place where I will be a disgrace to the paper.

I wish that you would, when you send my check, write me frankly whether
you think I had better remain here during the entire season or not. I
like the place first rate, but my duties keep me up nights to a late
hour, and I cannot sleep during the day, because my roommates annoy me
by doing their washing and ironing over an oil stove.

I know by what several friends have said to me that Congress would like
to have me stay here all winter, but I want to do what is best for the

I saw Mr. Cleveland briefly last evening at his home, but he was
surrounded by a crowd of fawning sycophants, so I did not get a chance
to speak to him as I would like to, and don't know as he would have
advanced the amount to me anyway. He is very firm and stubborn, I
judged, and would yield very little indeed, especially to

Yours truly,

Bill Nye.

The following bill looks large in the aggregate, but when you come to
examine each item by itself there is really nothing startling about it,
and when you remember that I have been here now four days and that this
is the first bill I have sent in to the office during that time, I
know you will not consider it out of the way, especially as you are
interested in seeing me make a good paper of the _World_, no matter what
the expense is.

We are having good open winter weather and stock is looking well so far.

I fear you will regard the item for embalming as exorbitant, and it is
so, but I was compelled to pay that price, as the man had to be shipped
a long distance, and I did not want to shock his friends too much when
he met them at the depot.

[Illustration: 0024]

I will probably remain here until I hear from you favorably. I have met
several members of Congress for whom I have voted at various times off
and on, but they were cold and haughty in their intercourse with me.
I have been invited to sit on the floor of the House until I get some
other place to stay, but I hate to ride a free horse to death.

b. n.


|I AM now preparing for general use and desire to call the attention of
numerous readers to what I have nominated the Campaigner's Companion,
for use during or preceding a hot political campaign. Eureka is a very
tame expression for this unique little contrivance, as it is good for
any speaker and on behalf of any party, I care not of what political
belief the orator may be. It is intended for immediate use, like a box
of dry plates on an amateur photographic tour, only that it is more on
the principle of the Organette, with from 500 to 5,000 tunes packed with
it ready for use.

It is intended to be worked easily on the rear platform of a special
car, and absolutely prevents repetition or the wrong application of
local gags. Every political speaker of any importance has suffered more
or less from what may be called the misplaced gag, such as localizing
the grave of a well-known member of Congress in the wrong county or
swelling up with pardonable pride over large soap works in a rival town
fifty miles away from the one where they really are. All these things
weaken the political possibilities of great men and bring contumely upon
the party they represent.

My idea is to arrange a sort of Organette on the rear platform of the
car, to be operated by steam conducted from the engine by means of
pipes, the contrivance to be entirely out of sight, under a neat little
spread made of the American flag. Behind this an eminent man may stand
with his hand socked into the breast of his frock coat nearly up to the
elbow, and while his bosom swells with pardonable pride the engineer
turns on steam. Previously the private secretary has inserted a speech
prepared on punched paper, furnished by me and bearing on that special
town and showing a degree of familiarity with that neighborhood which
would win the entire adult population.

Behind this machine the eminent speaker weaves to and fro, simply making
the gestures and shutting off the steam with his foot whenever there is
a manifest desire on the part of the audience to applaud.

I am having over five hundred good one-night towns prepared in this way
and, if it would not take up too much of your space, I would like to
give here one speech, illustrating my idea and showing the plan in
brief, though with each machine I furnish a little book called "Every
Man his Own Demosthenes." This book tells exactly how to work the
Campaigner's Companion and makes it almost a pleasure to aspire to

I have chosen as an illustration a speech that I have had prepared for
Asheville, N. C., but all the others are equally applicable and apropos.

(Note: See that all bearing's are well oiled before you start,
especially political bearings. See that the crank is just tight enough,
without being too tight, and also that the journals do not get hot.)

_Fellow-Citizens of Asheville and Buncombe County and Brother Tarheels
from Away Back_:

If I were a faithful Mohammedan and believed that I could never enter
heaven but once, I would look upon Buncombe County and despair ever
afterwards. (Four minutes for applause to die away.) Asheville is 2,339
feet above tide-water. She is the hotbed of the invalid and the home
of the physical wreck who cannot live elsewhere, but who comes here and
lives till he gets plum sick of it. Your mountain breezes and your fried
chicken bear strength and healing in their wings. (Hold valve open two
minutes and a half to give laughter full scope.) Your altitude and your
butter are both high, and the man who cannot get all the fresh air he
wants on your mountains will do well to rent one of your cottages and
allow the wind to meander through his whiskers. Asheville is a beautiful
spot, where a peri could put in a highly enjoyable summer, picknicking
along the Swananea through the day and conversing with Plum Levy at
his blood-curdling barber shop in the gloaming. Nothing can possibly
be thrillinger than to hear Plum tell of the hair-breadth escapes his
customers have had in his cozy little shop.

The annual rainfall here is 40.2 inches, while smoking tobacco and
horned cattle both do well. Ten miles away stretches Alexander's. You
are only thirty-five miles from Buck Forest. Pisgah Mountain is only
twenty miles from here, and Tahkeeastee Farm is only a mile away, with
its name extending on beyond as far as the eye can reach. The French
Broad River bathes your feet on the right and the sun-kissed Swananoa,
with its beautiful borders of rhododendrons, sloshes up against you on
the other side. Mount Mitchell, with an altitude of 6,711 feet and an
annual rain-fall of 53.8 inches, is but twenty miles distant, while
Lower Hominy is near, and Hell's Half Acre, Sandy Mush and Blue Ruin are
within your grasp.

The sun never lit up a cuter little town than Asheville. Nature just
seemed to wear herself out on Buncombe County and then she took what
she had left over to make the rest of the country. Your air is full of
vigor. Your farms get up and hump themselves in the middle or on one
side, so that you have to wear a pair of telegraph-pole climbers when
you dig your potatoes. Here you will see the japonica, the jonquil
and the jaundice growing side by side in the spring, and at the
cheese-foundry you can hear the skipper calling to his mate.

Here is the home of General Tom Clingman, who first originated the
idea of using tobacco externally for burns, scalds, ringworm, spavin,
pneumonia, Bright's disease, poll evil, pip, garget, heartburn, earache
and financial stringency Here Randolph & Hunt can do your job printing
for you, and the _Citizen_ and the _Advance_ will give you the news.

You are on a good line of railroad and I like your air very much, aside
from the air just played by your home band. Certainly you have here the
makings of a great city. You have pure air enough here for a city
four times your present size, and although I have seen most all the
Switzerlands of America, I think that this is in every way preferable.
People who are in search of a Switzerland of America that can be relied
upon will do well to try your town.

And now, having touched upon everything of national importance that I
can think of, I will close by telling you a little anecdote which will,
perhaps, illustrate my position better than I could do it in any other
way. (Here I insert a humorous anecdote which has no special bearing on
the political situation and during the ensuing laughter the train pulls


|MY NAME is Veritas. I write for the papers. I am quite an old man and
have written my kindly words of advice to the press for many years. I am
the friend of the public and the guiding star of the American newspaper.
I point out the proper course for a newly-elected member of Congress
and show the thoughtless editor the wants of the people. I write on the
subject of political economy; also on both sides of the paper. Sometimes
I write on both sides of the question. When I do so I write over the
name of Tax-Payer, but my real name is Veritas.

I am the man who first suggested the culvert at the Jim street crossing,
so that the water would run off toward the pound after a rain. With my
ready pen--ready, and trenchant also, as I may say--I have, in my poor,
weak way, suggested a great many things which might otherwise have
remained for many years unsuggested.

I am the man who annually calls for a celebration of the Fourth of July
in our little town, and asks for some young elocutionist to be selected
by the committee, whose duty it shall be to read the Declaration of
Independence in a shrill voice to those who yearn to be thrilled through
and through with patriotism.

Did I not speak through the columns of the press in clarion tones for
a proper observance of our nation's great natal day in large gothic
extended caps, the nation's starry banner would remain furled and the
greased pig would continue to crouch in his lair. With the aid of my
genial co-workers Tax-Payer, Old Settler, Old Subscriber, Constant
Reader, U. L. See, Fair Play, and Mr. Pro Bono Publico, I have made
the world a far more desirable place in which to live than it would
otherwise have been.

My co-laborer, Mr. Tax-Payer, is an old contributor to the paper, but he
is not really a taxpayer. He uses this signature in order to conceal his
identity, just as I use the name Veritas. We have a great deal of fun
over this at our regular annual reunions, where we talk about all our

Old Settler is a young tenderfoot who came here last spring and tried
to obtain a livelihood by selling an indestructible lamp-chimney. He did
well for several weeks by going to the different residences and throwing
one of his glass chimneys on the floor with considerable force to show
that it would not break. He did a good business till one day he made a
mistake. Instead of getting hold of his exhibition chimney, he picked
out one of the stock and busted it beyond recognition. Since that he has
been writing articles in violet ink relative to old times and publishing
them over the signature of Old Settler.

Old Subscriber is a friend of mine who reads his paper at the hotels
while waiting for a gratuitous drink. Fair Play is a retired monte man,
and Pro Bono Publico is our genial and urbane undertaker.

I am a very prolific writer, but all my work is not printed. A venal and
corrupt press at times hesitates about giving currency to such fearless,
earnest truths as I make use of.

I am also the man who says brave things in the columns of the papers
when the editor himself does not dare to say them because he is afraid
he will be killed. But what recks Veritas the bold and free? Does he
flinch or quail? Not a flinch; not a quail.

Boldly he flings aside his base fears, and with bitter vituperation he
assails those he dislikes, and attacks with resounding blows his own
personal enemies, fearlessly signing his name, Veritas, to the article,
so that those who yearn to kill him may know just who he is.

What would the world do without Veritas? In the hands of a horde of
journalists who have nothing to do but attend to their business, left
with no anonymous friend to whom they can fly when momentous occasions
arise, when the sound advice and better judgment of an outside friend
is needed, their condition would indeed be a pitiable one. But he will
never desert us. He is ever at hand, prompt to say, over his nom de
plume, what he might hesitate to say over his own name, for fear that he
might go home with a battle of Gettysburg under each eye and a nose like
a volcanic eruption. He cheerfully attacks everything and everybody, and
then goes away till the fight, the funeral, and the libel suit are
over. Then he returns and assails the grim monster Wrong. He proposes
improvements, and the following week a bitter reply comes from
Tax-Payer. Pro Bono Publico, the retired three-card-monteist, says: "Let
us have the proposed improvement, regardless of cost."

Then the cynical U. L. See (who is really the janitor at the blind
asylum) grumbles about useless expense, and finally draws out from
the teeming brain of Constant Reader a long, flabby essay, written
on red-ruled leaves, cut out of an old meat-market ledger, written
economically on both sides with light blue ink made of bluing and cold
tea. This essay introduces, under the most trying circumstances, such
crude yet original literary gems as:

Wad some power the giftie gie us, etc.

He also says:

The wee sma' hours ayant the twal.

And farther on:

Breathes there a man with soul so deal.

Who never to himself hath said, etc.

His essay is not so much the vehicle of thought as it is the
accommodation train for fragments of his old school declamations to ride

But to Veritas we owe much. I say this because I know what I am talking
about, for am I not old Veritas himself? Haven't I been writing things
for the papers ever since papers were published? Am I not the man who
for years has been a stranger to fear? Have I not again and again
called the congressman, the capitalist, the clergyman, the voter and
the philanthropist everything I could lay my tongue to, and then fought
mosquitoes in the deep recesses of the swamp while the editor remained
at the office and took the credit for writing what I had given him for
nothing? Has not many a paper built up a name and a libel suit upon what
I have written, and yet I am almost unknown? When people ask, Who is
Veritas? and where does he live? no one seems to know. He is up
seven flights of stairs, in a hot room that smells of old clothes and
neglected thoughts. Far from the "madding crowd," as Constant Reader has
so truly said, I sit alone, with no personal property but an overworked
costume, a strong love for truth, and a shawl-strap full of suggestions
to the overestimated man who edits the paper..

So I battle on, with only the meager and flea-bitten reward of seeing my
name in print "anon," as Constant Reader would say. All I have to fork
over to posterity is my good name, which I beg leave to sign here.



Hudson, Wis.

|MR. BILL NYE.--Dear Sir: I hope you will pardon me for addressing you
on a matter of pure business, but I have heard that you are not averse
to going out of your way to do a favor now and then to those who are
sincere and appreciative.

I have learned from a friend that you have been around all over the
west, and so I have taken the liberty of writing you to ask what you
think would be the chance of success for a young man if he were to go to
Kansas to enter the drug business.

I am a practical young druggist 23 years of age, and have some money--a
few hundred dollars--with which to go into business. Would you advise
Kansas or Colorado as a good part of the west for that business?

I have also written some for the press, but with little success. I
inclose you a few slips cut from the papers in which these articles
originally appeared. I send stamp for reply and hope you will answer
me, even though your time may be taken up pretty well by other matters.
Respectfully yours.

Adolph Jaynes,

Lock-Box 604.

Hudson, Wis., Oct. 1.

MR. Adolph Jaynes, Lock-box 604.--

DEAR SIR: Your favor of late date is at hand, and I take pleasure in
writing this dictated letter to you, using the columns of the Chicago
Daily News as a delicate way of teaching you. I will take the liberty of
replying to your last question first, if you pardon me, and I say that
you would do better, no doubt at once, in a financial way, to go on with
your drug business than to monkey with literature.

In the first place, your style of composition is like the present
style of dress among men. It is absolutely correct, and therefore it is
absolutely like that of nine men out of every ten we meet. Your style
of writing has a mustache on it, wears a three-button cutaway of some
Scotch mixture, carries a cane, and wears a straight, stand-up collar
and scarf. It is so correct and so exactly in conformity with the
prevailing style of composition, and your thoughts are expressed so
thoroughly like other people's methods of dressing up their sentences
and sand-papering the soul out of what they say, that I honestly think
you would succeed better by trying to subsist upon the quick sales and
small profits which the drug trade insures.

Now, let us consider the question of location.

Seriously, you ought to look over the ground yourself, but as you have
asked me to give you my best judgment on the question of preference as
between Kansas and Colorado I will say without hesitation that, if you
mean by the drug business the sale of sure-enough drugs, medicines,
paints, oils, glass, putty, toilet articles, and prescriptions carefully
compounded, I would _not_ go to Kansas at this time.

If you would like to go to a flourishing country and put out a big
basswood mortar in front of your shop in order to sell the tincture of
damnation throughout bleeding Kansas, now is your golden opportunity.
Now is the accepted time.

If it is the great, big, burning desire of your heart to go into a town
of 2,000 people and open the thirteenth drug store in order that you may
stand behind a tall black-walnut prescription case day in and day out,
with a graduate in one hand and a Babcock fire-extinguisher in the
other, filling orders for whisky made of stump-water and the juice of
future punishment, you will do well to go to Kansas. It is a temperance
state, and no saloons are allowed there. All is quiet and orderly, and
the drug business is a great success.

You can run a dummy drug store there with two dozen dreary old glass
bottles on the shelves, punctuated by the hand of time and the Kansas
fly of the period, and with a prohibitory law at your back and a tall,
red barrel in the back room filled with a mixture that will burn great
holes into nature's heart and make the cemetery blossom as the rose, and
in a few years you can sell enough of this justly celebrated preparation
for household, scientific, and experimental purposes only to fill your
flabby pockets with wealth and paint the pure air of Kansas a bright and
inflammatory red.

If you sincerely and earnestly yearn for a field where you may go forth
and garner an honest harvest from the legitimate effort of an
upright soda fountain and free and open sale of slippery elm in its
unadulterated condition, I would go to some state where I would not have
to enter into competition with a style of pharmacy that has the unholy
instincts and ambitions of a blind pig. I would not go into the
field where red-eyed ruin simply waited for a prescription blank, not
necessarily for publication, but simply as a guaranty of good faith,
in order that it may bound forth from behind the prescription case and
populate the poorhouses and the paupers' nettle-grown addition to the
silent city of the dead.

The great question of how best to down the demon rum is before the
American people, and it will not be put aside until it is settled; but
while this is being attended to, Mr. Jaynes, I would start a drug store
farther away from the center of conflict and go on joyously, sacrificing
expensive tinctures, compounds, and sirups at bed-rock prices.

Go on, Mr. Jaynes, dealing out to the yearning, panting public, drugs,
paints, oils, glass putty, varnish, patent medicines, and prescriptions
carefully compounded, with none to molest or make afraid, but shun, oh
shun the wild-eyed pharmacopoeia that contains naught but the festering
fluid so popular in Kansas, a compound that holds crime in solution and
ruin in bulk, that shrivels up a man's gastric economy, and sears great
ragged holes into his immortal soul. Take this advice home to your heart
and you will ever command the hearty co-operation of "yours for health,"
as the late Lydia E. Pinkham so succinctly said.


Chicago, Feb. 20,1888.

|FINANCIAL circles here have been a good deal interested in the
discovery of a cipher which has been recently adopted by a depositor and
which began to attract the attention at first of a gentleman employed
in the Clearing House. He was telling me about it and showing me the
vouchers or duplicates of them.

It was several months ago that he first noticed on the back of a check
passing through the Clearing-House the following cipher, written in a
symmetrical Gothic hand:

_Dear Sir: Herewith find payment for last month's butter. It was hardly
up to the average. Why do you blonde your butter? Your butter last month
tried to assume an effeminate air, which certainly was not consistent
with its vigor. Is it not possible that this butter is the brother to
what we had the month previous, and that it was exchanged for its sister
by mistake? We have generally liked your butter very much, but we will
have to deal elsewhere if you are going to encourage it in wearing a
full beard. Yours truly, W._

Moneyed men all over Chicago and financial cryptogrammers came to
read the curious thing and to try and work out its bearing on trade.
Everybody took a look at it, and went away defeated. Even the men who
were engaged in trying to figure out the identity of the Snell murderer
took a day off and tried their Waterbury thinkers on this problem. In
the midst of it all another check passed through the Clearing House with
this cipher, in the same hand:

_Sir: Your bill for the past month is too much. You forget the eggs
returned at the end of second week, for which you were to give me
credit. The cook broke one of them by mistake, and then threw up the
portfolio of pie-founder in our once joyous home. I will not dock you
for loss of cook, but I cannot allow you for the eggs. How you succeed
in dodging quarantine with eggs like that is a mystery to yours truly,

Great excitement followed the discovery of this indorsement on a check
for $32.87. Everybody who knew anything about-ciphering was called in
to consider it. A young man from a high school near here, who made a
specialty of mathematics and pimples, and who could readily tell how
long a shadow a nine pound groundhog would cast at 2 o'clock and 37
minutes p.m., on groundhog day, if sunny, at the town of Fungus, Dak.,
provided latitude and longitude and an irregular mass of red chalk be
given to him, was secured to jerk a few logarithms in the interests of
trade. He came and tried it for a few days, covered the interior of the
Exposition Building with figures and then went away.

The Pinkerton detectives laid aside their literary work on the great
train book, entitled "The Jerk-water Bank Bobbery and Other Choice
Crimes," by the author of "How I Traced a Lame Man Through Michigan,
and Other Felonies." They grappled with the cipher, and several of them
leaned up against something and thought for a long time, but they could
make neither head nor tail to it. Ignatius Donnelly took a powerful dose
of kumiss, and under its maddening influence sought to solve the great
problem which threatened to engulf the nation's surplus. All was in
vain. Cowed and defeated, the able conservators of coin, who require a
man to be identified before he can draw on his overshoes at sight, had
to acknowledge if this thing continued it threatened the destruction of
the entire national fabric.

About this time I was calling at the First National Bank of Chicago,
the greatest bank, if I am not mistaken, in America. I saw the bonds
securing its issue of national currency the other day in Washington, and
I am quite sure the custodian told me it was the greatest of any bank
in the Union. Anyway, it was sufficient, so that I felt like doing my
banking business there whenever it became handy to do so.

I asked for a certificate of deposit for $2,000, and had the money to
pay for it, but I had to be identified. "Why," I said to the receiving
teller, "surely you don't require a man to be identified when he
deposits money, do you?"

"Yes, that's the idea."

"Well, isn't that a new twist on the crippled industries of this

"No; that's our rule. Hurry up, please, and don't keep men waiting who
have money and know how to do business."

"Well, I don't want to obstruct business, of course, but suppose, for
instance, I get myself identified by a man I know and a man you know and
a man who can leave his business and come here for the delirious joy
of identifying me, and you admit that I am the man I claim to be,
corresponding as to description, age, sex, etc., with the man I
advertise myself to be, how would it be about your ability to identify
yourself as the man you claim to be? I go all over Chicago, visiting
all the large pork-packing houses in search of a man I know, and who is
intimate with literary people like me, and finally we will say, I find
one who knows me and who knows you, and whom you know, and who can leave
his leaf lard long enough to come here and identify me all right. Can
you identify yourself in such a way that when I put in my $2,000 you
will not loan it upon insufficient security, as they did in Cincinnati
the other day, as soon as I go out of town?"

"Oh, we don't care especially whether you trade here or not, so that you
hurry up and let other people have a chance. Where you make a mistake is
in trying to rehearse a piece here instead of going out to Lincoln Park
or somewhere in a quiet part of the city. Our rules are that a man who
makes a deposit here must be identified."

"All right. Do you know Queen Victoria?"

"No sir; I do not."

"Well, then, there is no use in disturbing her. Do you know any other of
the crowned heads?"

"No sir."

"Well, then, do you know President Cleveland, or any of the Cabinet, or
the Senate or members of the House?"


"That's it, you see. I move in one set and you in another. What
respectable people do you know?"

"I'll have to ask you to stand aside, I guess, and give that string of
people a chance. You have no right to take up my time in this way. The
rules of the bank are inflexible. We must know who you are, even before
we accept your deposit."

I then drew from my pocket a copy of the Sunday _World_ which contained
a voluptuous picture of myself. Removing my hat and making a court
salaam by letting out four additional joints in my lithe and versatile
limbs, I asked if any further identification would be necessary.

Hastily closing the door to the vault and jerking the combination, he
said that would be satisfactory. I was then permitted to deposit in the

I do not know why I should always be regarded with suspicion wherever
I go. I do not present the appearance of a man who is steeped in crime,
and yet when I put my trivial, little, two-gallon valise on the seat
of a depot waiting-room a big man with a red mustache comes to me and
hisses through his clenched teeth: "Take yer baggage off the seat!" It
is so everywhere. I apologize for disturbing a ticket agent long enough
to sell me a ticket, and he tries to jump through a little brass wicket
and throttle me. Other men come in and say: "Give me a ticket for
Bandoline, O., and be dam sudden about it, too," and they get their
ticket and go aboard the car and get the best seat, while I am begging
for the opportunity to buy a seat at full rates and then ride in the
wood box. I believe that common courtesy and decency in America needs
protection. Go into an hotel or a hotel, whichever suits the eyether and
nyether reader of these lines, and the commercial man who travels for a
big sausage-casing house in New York has the bridal chamber, while the
meek and lowly minister of the Gospel gets a wall-pocket room with a
cot, a slippery-elm towel, a cake of cast-iron soap, a disconnected
bell, a view of the laundry, a tin roof and $4 a day.

But I digress. I was speaking of the bank check cipher. At the First
National Bank I was shown another of these remarkable indorsements. It
read as follows:

_Dear Sir: This will be your pay for chickens and other fowls received
up to the first of the present month. Time is working' wondrous changes
in your chickens. They are not such chickens as we used to get of you
before the war. They may be the same chickens, but oh! how changed by
the lapse of time! How much more indestructible! How they have learned
since then to defy the encroaching tooth of remorseless ages, or any
other man! Why do you not have them tender like your squashes! I found a
blue poker chip in your butter this week. What shall I credit myself for
it? If you would try to work your butter more and your customers less it
would be highly appreciated, especially by, yours truly, W._

Looking at the signature on the check itself, I found it to be that of
Mrs. James Wexford, of this city. Knowing Mr. Wexford, a wealthy and
influential publisher here, I asked him today if he knew anything about
this matter. He said that all he knew about it was that his wife had a
separate bank account, and had asked him several months ago what was the
use of all the blank space on the back of a check, and why it couldn't
be used for correspondence with the remittee. Mr. Wexford said he'd bet
$500 that his wife had been using her checks that way, for he said
he never knew of a woman who could possibly pay postage on a note,
remittance or anything else unless every particle of the surface had
been written over in a wild, delirious, three-story hand. Later on I
found that he was right about it. His wife had been sassing the grocer
and the butter-man on the back of her checks. Thus ended the great bank

I will close this letter with a little incident the story of which
may not be so startling, but it is true. It is a story of child faith.
Johnny Quinlan, of Evanston, has the most wonderful confidence in the
efficacy of prayer, but he thinks that prayer does not succeed unless
it is accompanied with considerable physical strength. He believes
that adult prayer is a good thing, but doubts the efficacy of juvenile

He has wanted a Jersey cow for a good while, and tried prayer, but
it didn't seem to get to the central office. Last year he went to a
neighbor who is a Christian and believer in the efficacy of prayer, also
the owner of a Jersey cow.

"Do you believe that prayer will bring me a yaller Jersey cow?" said

"Why, yes, of course. Prayer will remove mountains; it will do anything.

"Well, then, suppose you give me the cow you've got and pray for another


|MY DEAR SOX: We got your last letter some three days ago. It found us
all moderately well though not very frisky. Your letters now days are
getting quite pretty as regards penmanship. You are certainly going
to develop into a fine penman your mother thinks. She says that if you
improve as fast in your writing next year as you have last, you will
soon be writing for the papers.

In my mind's eye I can see you there in your room practicing for a long
time on a spiral spring which you make with your pen. I believe you
call it the whole arm movement. I think you got the idea from me. You
remember I used to have a whole arm movement that I introduced into our
family along in the summer of '69. You was at that time trying to learn
to swim. Once or twice the neighbors brought you home with your lungs
full of river water and your ears full of coarse sand. We pumped you dry
several times, but it did not wean you from the river, so I introduced
the whole arm movement, one day and used it from that on in what you
would call our curric kulum. It worked well.

Your letters are now very attractive from a scientific standpoint. The
letters all have pretty little curly tails on them, and though you do
not always spell according to Gunter, the capital letters are as pretty
as a picture. I never saw such a round O as you make when you hang
your tongue out and begin to swing yourself. Your mother says that
your great-uncle on her side was a good writer too. He could draw off
a turtle dove without taking his pen from the paper, and most everybody
would know as soon as they looked at it that it was a turtle dove or
some such bird as that.

He could also draw a deer with coil spring horns on him, and a barbed
wire fence to it, and a scolloped tail, and it looked as much like a
deer as anything else you could think of.

He was a fine penman and wrote a good deal for the papers. Your mother
has got a lot of his pieces in the house yet, which the papers sent back
because they were busy and crowded full of other stuff. I read some of
these letters, and any one can see that it was a great sacrifice for
the editors to send the pieces back, but they had got used to it and
conquered their own personal feelings, and sent them back because they
were too good for the plain, untutored reader. One editor said that he
did not want to print the enclosed pieces because he thought it would be
a pity to place such pretty writing in the soiled hands of the practical
printer. He said that the manuscript looked so pretty just as it was,
that he hadn't the heart to send it into the composing room. So the
day may not be far away, Henry, when you can write for the press, your
mother thinks. I don't care so much about it myself, but she has her
heart set on it. Your mother thinks that you are a great man, though
I have not detected any symptoms of it yet. She has got that last pen
scroll work here of yours in the bible, where she can look at it every
day. Its the picture of a hen setting in a nest of curly-cues made with
red ink, over a woven wire mattress of dewdads in blue ink, and some
tall grass in violet ink. Your mother says that this fowl is also a
turtle dove, but I think she is wrong.

She says the world has always got a warm place for one who can make such
a beautiful picture without taking his pen off the paper. Perhaps she
is right. I hope that you will not take me for an example, for I am no
writer at all. My parents couldn't give me any advantages when I was
young. When I ought to have been learning how to make a red ink bird of
paradise swooping down on a violet ink butterfly with green horns, I was
frittering away my time trying to keep my misguided parents out of the

I tell you, Henry, there was mighty little fluff and bloom and funny
business in my young life. While you are acquiring the rudiments of
Long Dennis and polo and penmanship, and storing your mind with useful
knowledge with which to parlize your poor parents when you come home,
do not forget, Henry, that your old sway-back father never had those
opportunities for soaking his system full of useful knowledge which you
now enjoy. When I was your age, I was helping to jerk the smutty
logs off of a new farm with a pair of red and restless steers, in the
interest of your grandfather.

But, I do not repine. I just simply call your attention to your
priviledges. Could you have a Summer in the heart of the primeval
forest, thrown in contact with a pair of high-strung steers and a large
number of black flies of the most malignant type, "snaking" half-burnt
logs across yourself and fighting flies from early dawn till set of sun,
you would be willing, nay tickled, to go back to your monotonous round
of base ball and Suffolk jackets and pest-house cigarettes. .

We rather expected you home some time ago, but you said you needed sea
air and change of scene, so you will not be home very likely till the
latter part of the month. We will be glad to see you any time, Henry,
and we will try to make it as pleasant as we can for you. Your mother
got me to fill the big straw-tick for your bed again, so that you would
have a nice tall place to sleep, and so that you could live high, as the
feller said.

I tried on the old velocipede pants you sent home last week. They are
too short for me with the style of legs I am using this Summer. Your
bathing pants are also too short for me, so I gave them to a poor woman
here who is trying to ameliorate the condition of her sex.

I send you our love and $9 in money. We will sell the other calf as soon
as it is ripe. Chintz bugs are rather more robust than last year, and
the mortgage on our place looks as if it might mature prematurely. We
had a lecture on phrenology at the school-house Tuesday night, during
which four of our this spring's roan turkies wandered so far away from
home that they lost their bearings and never came back again. So good-by
for this time. Your father,

Bill Nye


|IT HAS been my good fortune within the past ten years to witness a
number of the remaining landmarks left to indicate the trail of the
original inhabitant of this country. It has been a pleasure, and yet a
kind of sad pleasure, to examine the crumbling ruins of what was
once regarded, no doubt, as the very triumph of aboriginal taste and
mechanical ingenuity.

I can take but a cursory glance at these earmarks of a forgotten age,
for a short treatise like this cannot embrace minute details, of course.

We are told by the historian that there were originally two distinct
classes of Indians occupying the territory now embraced by the United
States, viz., the village Indians or horticultural Indians, and the
extremely rural Indians or nonhorticultural variety.

The village Indians or horticulturalists subsisted upon fruits and
grain, ground in a crude way, while the non-horticulturalists lived on
wild game, berries, acorns and pilgrims.

Of the latter class few traces remain, excepting rude arrow heads and
coarse stone weapons. These articles show very little skill as a rule,
the only indication of brains that I ever discovered being on a large
stone hammer or Mohawk swatter, and they were not the brains of the man
who made it either.

The village Indians, however, were architects from away up the gulch.

They constructed a number of architectural works of great beauty,
several of which I have visited. They were once, no doubt, regarded
as very desirable residences, but now, alas, they have fallen into
innocuous desuetude--at least that is what it looked like to me, and the
odor reminded me of innocuous desuetude in a bad state of preservation.

In New Mexico, over 300 years ago, there were built a number of pereblos
or villages which still stand up, in a measure, though some of them are
in a recumbent position. These pereblos or villages are formed of three
or four buildings constructed in the retrousse style of architecture,
and made of adobe bricks. These bricks are generally of a beautiful,
soft, black and tan color, and at a distance look like the first loaf
of bread baked by a young lady who has been reared in luxury but whose
father has been suddenly called away to Canada. The adobe brick is said
to be so indigestible, in fact, that I am confident the day is not far
distant when it will be found on every hotel bill of fare in our broad
sin-cursed land.

One of these dwellings was generally about 200 feet long, with no
stairways in the interior, but movable ladders on the outside instead.
This manner of reaching the upper floor had its advantages, and yet it
was not always convenient. One feature in its favor was the isolation
which a man could pull around himself by going in at the second-story
window and pulling the ladder up after him, as there was no entrance to
the house on the ground floor. If a man really courted retirement,
and wanted to write a humorous lecture or a $2 homily, he could insert
himself through the second-story window, pull in the staircase and go
to work. Then no one could disturb him without bribing a hook and ladder
company to come along and let him in.

But the great drawback was the annoyance incident to ascending these
ladders at a late hour in the night, while under the influence of Aztec
rum, a very seductive yet violently intoxicating beverage, containing
about eight parts cheer to ninety-two parts inebriate.

These residences were hardly gothic in style, being extremely
rectangular, with a tendency toward the more modern dry-goods box. It
is believed by abler men than I am, men who could believe more in two
minutes than I could believe in a lifetime if I had nothing else to do,
that those houses contained about thirty-eight apartments on the first
floor and nineteen on the second. These apartments were separated by
some kind of cheap and transitory partition, which could not stand
the climatic changes, and so has gone to decay; but these Indians were
determined to have their rooms separated in some way, for they were very
polite and decorous to a fault. No Aztec gentleman would emerge from his
room until he had completed his toilet, if it cost him his position.

I once heard of an Aztec who lived away down in old Mexico somewhere
several centuries ago and who was the pink of politeness. He wore
full-dress winter and summer, the whole year round, and studied a large
work on etiquette every evening. At night he would undress himself by
unhooking the german-silver ring from his nose and hanging it on the
back of a chair.

One night a young man from the capital, named Ozone, or something like
that, a relative of the Montezumas, came over to stay a week or two with
this Aztec dude. As a good joke he slipped in and nipped the nose-ring
of his friend just to see if he would so far violate the proprieties as
to appear at breakfast time without it.

Morning came and the dude awoke to find the bright rays of a Mexican sun
streaming in through his casement. He rose, and, bathing himself in a
gourd, he looked on the back of the chair for his clothing, but it was
not there. A cold perspiration broke out all over him. He called for
assistance, but no one came. He called again and again, louder and still
more loud, but help came not. He went to the casement and looked out
upon the plaza. The plaza did not turn away. A Mexican plaza is not
easily dashed.

He called till he was hoarse, but all was still in the house. Hollow
echoes alone came back to him to mock him.

At night, when the rest of the household returned from a protracted
picnic in the distant hills, young Ozone ascended the ladder which he
carried with him in a shawl-strap, and entering the room of the Aztec
dude gave him the nosering with a hearty laugh, but, alas! he was
greeted with the wild, piercing shriek of a maniac robbed of his
clothing; the man had suffered such mental tortures during the long,
long day, that when night came, reason tottered on her throne. It is
said that he never regained his faculties, but would always greet his
visitors with a wild forty-cent shriek and bury his face in his hands.
His friends tried to get him into society again, but he could not be
prevailed upon to go. He seemed to be afraid that he would be shocked
in some way, or that some one might take advantage of him and read an
immoral poem to him.


|ASHEVILLE, N.C., December 9.--There is no place in the United States,
so far as I know, where the cow is more versatile or ambidextrous, if I
may be allowed the use of a term that is far above my station in life,
than here in the mountains of North Carolina, where the obese 'possum
and the anonymous distiller have their homes.

Not only is the Tar-heel cow the author of a pale but athletic style of
butter, but in her leisure hours she aids in tilling the perpendicular
farm on the hillside, or draws the products to market. In this way she
contrives to put in her time to the best advantage, and when she dies,
it casts a gloom over the community in which she has resided.

The life of a North Carolina cow is indeed fraught with various changes
and saturated with a zeal which is praiseworthy in the extreme. From the
sunny days when she gambols through the beautiful valleys, inserting her
black, retrousse and perspiration-dotted nose in to the blue grass from
ear to ear, until at life's close, when every part and portion of her
overworked system is turned into food, raiment or overcoat buttons, the
life of the Tar-heel cow is one of intense activity.

Her girlhood is short, and almost before we have deemed her emancipated
from calfhood herself we find her in the capacity of a mother. With
the cares of maternity other demands are quickly made upon her. She is
obliged to ostracize herself from society, and enter into the prosaic
details of producing small, pallid globules of butter, the very pallor
of which so thoroughly belies its lusty strength.

The butter she turns out rapidly until it begins to be worth something,
when she suddenly suspends publication and begins to haul wood to
market. In this great work she is assisted by the pearl-gray or ecru
colored jackass of the tepid South. This animal has been referred to in
the newspapers throughout the country, and yet he never ceases to be an
object of the greatest interest.

Jackasses in the South are of two kinds, viz., male and female. Much as
has been said of the jackass pro and con, I do not remember ever to have
seen the above statement in print before, and yet it is as trite as it is
incontrovertible. In the Rocky mountains we call this animal the burro.
There he packs bacon, flour and salt to the miners. The miners eat the
bacon and flour, and with the salt they are enabled to successfully salt
the mines.

The burro has a low, contralto voice which ought to have some machine
oil on it. The voice of this animal is not unpleasant if he would pull
some of the pathos out of it and make it more joyous.

Here the jackass at times becomes a coworker with the cow in hauling
tobacco and other necessaries of life into town, but he goes no further
in the matter of assistance. He compels her to tread the cheese press
alone and contributes nothing whatever in the way of assistance for the
butter industry.

The North Carolina cow is frequently seen here driven double or single
by means of a small rope line attached to a tall, emaciated gentleman,
who is generally clothed with the divine right of suffrage, to which he
adds a small pair of ear-bods during the holidays.

The cow is attached to each shaft and a small singletree, or
swingletree, by means of a broad strap harness. She also wears a
breeching, in which respect she frequently has the advantage of her

I think I have never witnessed a sadder sight than that of a new milch
cow, torn away from home and friends and kindred dear, descending a
steep, mountain road at a rapid rate and striving in her poor, weak
manner to keep out of the way of a small Jackson democratic wagon loaded
with a big hogshead full of tobacco. It seems to me so totally foreign
to the nature of the cow to enter into the tobacco traffic, a line of
business for which she can have no sympathy and in which she certainly
can feel very little interest.

Tobacco of the very finest kind is produced here, and is used mainly
for smoking purposes. It is the highest-priced tobacco produced in this
country. A tobacco broker here yesterday showed me a large quantity of
what he called export tobacco. It looks very much like other tobacco
while growing.

He says that foreigners use a great deal of this kind. I am learning all
about the Tobacco industry while here, and as fast as I get hold of any
new facts I will communicate them to the press. The newspapers of this
country have done much for me, not only by publishing many pleasant
things about me, but by refraining from publishing other things about
me, and so I am glad to be able, now and then, to repay this kindness
by furnishing information and facts for which I have no use myself, but
which may be of incalculable value to the press.

As I write these lines I am informed that the snow is twenty-six inches
deep here and four feet deep at High Point in this State. People who
did not bring in their pomegranates last evening are bitterly bewailing
their thoughtlessness to-day.

A great many people come here from various parts of the world, for the
climate. When they have remained here for one winter, however, they
decide to leave it where it is.

It is said that the climate here is very much like that of Turin. But I
did not intend to go to Turin even before I heard about that.

Please send my paper to the same address, and if some one who knows a
good remedy for chilblains will contribute it to the Sabbath Globe, I
shall watch for it with great interest. Yours as here 2 4.

Bill N ye.

P.S.--I should have said relative to the cows of this State that if
the owners would work their butter more and their cows less, they would
confer a great boon on the consumer of both. B. N.


|TO the general public I may say that I violate no confidence in saying
that spring is the most joyful season of the year. But June is also a
good month. Well has the poet ejaculated, "And what is so rare as a day
in June?" though I have seen days in March that were so rare that they
were almost raw. This is not a weather report; however. I started out to
state that Central Park just now is looking its very best, and opens up
with the prospects of doing a good business this season. A ride through
the Park just now is a delight to one who loves to commune with nature,
especially human nature.

The nobility of New York now turns out to get the glorious air and
ventilate its crest. I saw several hundred crests and coats-of-arms the
other day in an hour's time, and it was rather a poor day, too, for a
great many of our best people are just changing from their spring to
their light, summer coats-of-arms.

One of the best crests I saw was a nice, large, red crest, about the
size of an adult rhubarb pie, with a two-year-old Durham unicorn above
it, bearing in his talons the unique maxim, "_Sans culottes, sans
snockemonthegob, sans ery sipelas est_."

And how true this is, too, in a great many cases.

Another very handsome crest on the carriage of the van Studentickels
consisted of a towel-rack penchant, with cockroach regardant, holding
in his beak a large red tape-worm on which was inscribed: "_Spirituous
frumenti, cum homo to-morrow_."

Many of the crests contained terse Latin mottoes, taken from the
inscriptions on peppermint conversation candies, and were quite cute.
A coat-of-arms, consisting of a small Limburger cheese couchant, above
which stood a large can of chloride of potash, on which was inscribed
the words, "Miss, may I see you home?" I thought very taking and just
mysterious enough to make it exciting.

Some day I am going to get myself a crest. I am only waiting for
something to put it on. It will consist of a monkey with his eye knocked
out and a bright green parrot with his tail pulled off, and over this
the simple remark: "We have had a high old time," or words to that

Not so many equestrians were out as usual on the day I visited the park,
but those who were out afforded the observer a beautiful view of the
park between their persons and the saddle. The equestriennes were more
numerous, and one or two especially were as beautiful as anything that
nature ever turned out. One young woman, in a neat-fitting plug hat,
looked to me like a peri. It has been a good while now since I saw a
peri, but I have always heard them very highly spoken of, and I hope she
will not be offended when she reads these lines and finds that I regard
her in that light.

Carriage-horses are dressing about as they did last season, except that
pon-pon tails are more worn, especially at the end. Neck-yokes are cut
low this year so as to show the shoulders of the wearer, and horses in
mourning wear their tails at half-mast.

The porous plastron is not in favor this year, but many horses who
interfere are wearing life-preservers over the fetlock, and sometimes a
small chest-protector of russet leather over the joint, according to the
taste of the wearer.

Polka-dot or half-mourning dogs are much affected by people who are
beginning to get the upper hand of their grief. Much taste is shown in
the selection of dogs for the coming season, and many owners chain their
coachman to the dog, so that if any one were to come and try to abduct
the dog the coachman could bite him and drive him away. A good coachman
to take care of a watch-dog is almost invaluable.

A custom of taking the butler along in the seat with the coachman
is growing in favor for two reasons: First, it shows that you have a
butler, and, second, you know that while he is out with you he is not
putting paste in the place of your diamonds at home. So I had almost
said that it paste to do this.

The automatic or jointless footman is still popular, and a young man who
has a good turning-lathe leg and an air of impenetrable gloom can get a
job most any time.

Many New York gentlemen who are fond of driving take their grooms out
to Central Park every afternoon for an airing. This is a wise provision,
for those who have associated much with grooms will agree with me that a
little airing now and then is just what they need.

There ought to be a book of park etiquette printed soon, however,
for the guidance of its patrons. In the first place, it should be

Autre for a gentleman to hire a coupe by the hour in order to recover
from alcoholic prostration, and then sleep up and down the drive with
his feet out the window. It is not respectful, and besides that the
blood is liable to all rush to his head.

Drunken cab-drivers, too, should not be permitted to drive in the park,
for only a little while ago one of them is said to have fallen from his
high perch and injured his crest.

A park policeman should be specially detailed as a breath tester to
stand at each entrance and smell the breath of all drivers and other
patrons of the park. Let us enforce the law.

But the most curious feature about the exhibition afternoon spin in the
Park is the great prevalence of mourning symbols. Almost, if not quite,
one-third of the carriages one meets is decorated with black in every
possible way, till sometimes it looks like a runaway funeral procession.

Why people should come to Central Park to advertise their woe by means
of long black mourning tassels at their horses' heads and a draped
driver with broad bands of bombazine concealing the russet tops of
his boots, sometimes dressed in black throughout, is more than I can

The honest, earnest and genuine affection of a good woman for a worthy
man, alive or dead, is too sacred to treat lightly and the love that
survives the wreck and ruin of gathering years has inspired more than
one man to deeds of daring whereby he has won everlasting renown, but
the woe that is divided up among the servants and shared in by the
horses is not in good taste, it is not in good order and there are flies
on it.

It is like saying to the world come and see how I suffer. It is parading
your sore toe in Central Park, where people with sore toes are not
supposed to congregate. It is like a widow wailing her woe through the
"Want" column of a healthy morning paper. It is, in effect, saying to
Christendom, come and hear me snort and see me paw up the ground in
my paroxysms of wild and uncontrollable anguish. My grief is of such a
penetrating nature and of that searching variety that it has broken
out at the barn, and even the horses that I bought two weeks after
the funeral, with a part of the life insurance money, have gone into
mourning, and the coachman who got here day before yesterday from
Liverpool has tied himself up in black bombazine and takes special
delight in advertising our sorrow.

I do not believe that it will always be popular to wear mourning for our
friends unless we feel a little doubtful about where they went.

Black is offensive to the eye, offensive to the nose, and it makes your
flesh crêpe to touch it. Will the proofreader please deal gently with
the above joke and I will do as much for him sometime.

Henry Ward Beecher had the right idea of the way to treat death, and
when at last it came his turn to die his home and his church both seemed
to say: "The great preacher is gone, but there is nothing about the
change that is sad."

There is something the matter with grief that works itself up into black
rosettes and long black banners that sweep the ground and shut out the
sky and look like despair and feel like the season-cracked back of a
warty dragon.

But wealth has its little eccentricities and we must bear with them. But
he alone is indeed rich who is content and who does not look under the
bed every night for an indictment. Look at poor old Mr. Sharp, with his
stock of Aldermen depreciating on his hands--men for whom he paid a big
price only a few years ago and who would not attract attention now on a
ten-cent counter, while he don't feel very well himself.

No, I would not swap places with J. Sharp and ride through Central Park
behind a pair of rip, snorting horses, with mourning rosettes on their
heads, and feel that I must hurry back to help select an unprejudiced
jury. I would rather hang on to the brow of a Broadway car till I got to
Fifty-second street, and then stroll over to the menagerie and feed red
pepper to the Sacred Cow and have a good, plain, quiet time than to wear
fine clothes and be wealthy and hate myself all the time. I believe that
I am happier in my untroubled, dreamless sleep on my quiet couch, which
draws a salary during the daytime as an upright piano; happier browsing
about at a different restaurant each day, so that the waiters will not
get well acquainted with me and expect me to give them the money that
I am saving up to go to Europe with; happier, I say, to be thus tossed
about on the bosom of the great, heaving human tide than to have forty
or fifty millions of dollars concealed about my person that I cannot
remember how I obtained.

I dislike notoriety, and nothing irritates me more than the coarse
curiosity of people who ride at night in the elevated trains and peer
idly into my room as I toil over my sewing or go gayly about humming a
simple air as I prepare the evening meal over my cute little portable
oil stove, and though I have not courted this interest on the part of
the people, and though I would prefer to live less in the eye of the
public, I feel that, occupying the position I do, I cannot expect to
wholly consult my own wishes in the matter, and I am content to live
quietly and enjoy good health rather than wear good clothes and feel
rocky all the time.

I would rather have a healthy alimentary

Than he garnished all over with passementerie.


|WHEN Patrick Henry put his old cast-iron spectacles on the top of his
head and whooped for liberty, he did not know that some day we would
have more of it than we knew what to do with. He little dreamed that the
time would come when we would have more liberty than we could pay for.
When Mr. Henry sawed the air and shouted for liberty or death, I do
not believe that he knew the time would one day come when Liberty would
stand knee deep in the mud of Bedloe's Island and yearn for a solid
place to stand upon.

It seems to me that we have too much liberty in this country in some
ways. We have more liberty than we have money. We guarantee that every
man in America shall fill himself up full of liberty at our expense,
and the less of an American he is the more liberty he can have. If he
desires to enjoy himself, all he needs is a slight foreign accent and
a willingness to mix up with politics as soon as he can get his baggage
off the steamer. The more I study American institutions the more I
regret that I was not born a foreigner, so that I could have something
to say about the management of our great land. If I could not be a
foreigner, I believe I would prefer to be a Mormon or an Indian not

I am often led to ask, in the language of the poet, "Is the Caucasian
played out?" Most everybody can have a good deal of fun in this country
except the American. He seems to be so busy paying his taxes all the
time that he has very little time to mingle in the giddy whirl with the
alien. That is the reason that the alien who rides across the United
States on the "Limited Mail" and writes a book about us before breakfast
wonders why we are always in a hurry. That is the reason we have to
throw our meals into ourselves with a dull thud, and hardly have time to
maintain a warm personal friendship with our families.

We do not care much for wealth, but we must have freedom, and freedom
costs money. We have advertised to furnish a bunch of freedom to every
man, woman or child who comes to our shores, and we are going to deliver
the good whether we have any left for ourselves or not.

What would the great world beyond the seas say to us if some day the
blue-eyed Mormon, with his heart full of love for our female seminaries
and our old women's homes, should land upon our coasts and find that we
were using all the liberty ourselves? What do we want of liberty anyhow?
What could we do with it if we had it? It takes a man of leisure to
enjoy liberty, and we have no leisure whatever. It is a good thing to
keep in the house "for the use of guests only," but we don't need it for

Therefore, I am in favor of a statue of Liberty Enlightening the World,
because it will show that we keep it on tap winter and summer. We want
the whole broad world to remember that when it gets tired of oppression
it can come here to America and oppress us. We are used to it, and we
rather like it. If we don't like it, we can get on the steamer and go
abroad, where we may visit the effete monarchies and have a high old

The sight of the Goddess of Liberty standing there in New York harbor
night and day, bathing her feet in the rippling sea, will be a good
thing. It will be first-rate. It may also be productive of good in a
direction that many have not thought of. As she stands there day after
day, bathing her feet in the broad Atlantic, perhaps some moss-grown
Mormon moving toward the Far West, a confirmed victim of the matrimonial
habit, may fix the bright picture in his so-called mind, and remembering
how, on his arrival in New York, he saw Liberty bathing her feet with
impunity, he may be led in after years to try it on himself.


|WHEN I got off the Pennsylvania train yesterday I went to a barber shop
before I did anything else. I have a thick, Venetian red, chinchilla
beard, which grows rapidly, and which gives me a fuzzy appearance every
twenty-four hours, unless I place myself frequently into the hands of a
barber. At first I used to shave myself, but I cut myself to pieces in
such a sickening manner, without seeming to impede the growth of the
rich and foxy beard, that until last summer I gave up being my own
barber. At that time I was presented with a safety razor which the
manufacturer said would not cut my face, because it was impossible
for it to cut anything except the beard. The safety razor resembles in
appearance several other toilet articles, such as the spoke shave, the
road scraper, the can opener, the lawn mower and the turbine water wheel,
but it does not look like a razor. It also looks like a carpet sweeper
some, and reminds me of a monkey wrench. It is said that you can shave
yourself on a train if you will use this instrument. I tried it once
last winter while going west. In fact, I took the trip largely to see
if one could shave on board the train safely with this razor. I had no
special trouble. At least I did not cut off any features that I cared
anything about, but I was disappointed in the results, and also in the
length of time consumed in cleaning the razor after I got through. I was
shaving myself only from Forty-second street to Albany, but it took
me from Albany to Omaha to pull the razor apart, and to dig out the
coagulated lather and the dear, dear whiskers. I now employ a valet
whose name is Patria McGloria. He irons my trousers, shaves and dresses
me, and mows the lawn. When I come to Washington, I am too democratic
to travel with a valet, fearing that it might cost me several thousand
votes some day, and so I leave my maid at home to wash and dress
the salad. In that way he does not miss me, and I get the credit at
Washington of being a man who spends so much time thinking of his
country's welfare that he doesn't have a chance to look pretty.

I did not fall into a very gaudy barber shop. The appointments were like
some of the president's appointments, I thought--viz., in poor taste,
but this is not a political letter. I do not wish to antagonize anybody,
especially the president of the United States. He has always treated me

I will now return to the barber shop. It was a plain structure, with
beautiful sarsaparilla pictures here and there on the walls and a faint
odor of rancid pomatum and overworked hair restoratives.

There were three chairs richly upholstered in two-ply carpeting of some
inflammatory hue, with large vines and the kind of flowers which grow
on carpets but nowhere else. I have seen blossoms woven into ingrain
carpets, varying in color from a dead black to the color of a hepatized
lung, but I have never seen one that reminded me of anything I ever saw
in nature. The chair I sat in also had springs in it. They were made of
selections from the Washington monument.

The barber who waited on me asked me if I wanted a shave. A great many
barbers ask me this during the year. Sometimes they do it from habit,
and sometimes they do it to brighten up my life and bring a smile to
my wan cheek. As I have no hair, the thinking mind naturally and by a
direct course of reasoning arrives at the conclusion that when I go into
a barber shop and climb into a chair, I do so for the purpose of getting
shaved and not with the idea of having my fortune told or my deposition
taken. Still barbers continue to ask me this question and look at each
other with ill concealed mirth.

I said yes, I would like a shave unless he preferred to take my
temperature, or amuse me by making a death mask of himself. He then
began to strap a large razor with a double shuffle movement and to size
me up at the same time.

He was a colored man, but he had lived in Washington a long time and
knew a great deal more than he would if his lot had fallen elsewhere.
He spoke with some feeling and fed me with about the most unpalatable
lather I think I ever participated in. He also did an odd thing when he
went for the second time over my face. I never have noticed the custom
outside of that shop. Most barbers, in making the second trip over a
customer's face, moisten one side at a time with a sponge or the damp
hand as they go along, but in this case a large quantity of lather was
put in my ear and, as he needed it, he took out what he required from
time to time, using his finger like a paint brush and spreading on the
lather as he went along. So accurately had he learned to measure the
quantity of lather which an ear will hold that when he got through with
me and I went away there was not over a tablespoonfnl in either ear and
possibly not that much.

While I sat in the chair I heard a man, who seemed to be in about the
third chair from me, saying that a certain bill numbered so-and-so had
been referred to a certain committee and would undoubtedly by reported
favorably. If so, it would in its regular order come up for discussion
and reach a vote so-and-so. I was charmed with the man's knowledge of
the condition of affairs in both houses and the exact status of all
threatened legislation, because I always have to stop and think a good
while before I can tell whether a bill originates on the floor of the
house or in the rotunda.

I could not see this man, but I judged that he was a senator or
sergeant-at-arms. He talked for some time about the condition of
national affairs, and finally some one said something about evolution.
I was perfectly wrapped up in what he was saying and remember distinctly
how he referred to Herbert Spencer's definition of evolution as a
change from indefinite, coherent heterogeneity through continuous
differentiations and integrations.

When I arose from my chair and looked over that way I saw that the
gentleman who had been talking on the condition of congressional
legislation was a colored hotel porter of Washington, who was getting
shaved in the third chair, and the man who was discussing the merits of
evolution was the colored man who was shaving him.

Here in Washington the colored man has the air of one who is holding up
one corner of the great national structure. Whether he is opening your
soft boiled eggs for you in the morning, or putting bay rum on your
nose, or checking your umbrella or brushing you with a wilted whisk
broom, his thoughts are mostly upon national affairs. He is naturally
an imitator wherever he goes, and this old resident of Washington
has watched and studied the air and language of eminent statesmen so
carefully that when he goes forth in the morning with his whitewashing
portfolio on his arm he walks unconsciously like Senator Evarts or John
James Ingalls. I saw a colored man taking a perpendicular lunch at the
depot yesterday, and evidently the veteran Georgia senator is his model,
for he cut his custard pie into large rectangular hunks and pushed
it back behind his glottis with a caseknife, after which he drew in
a saucerful of tea, with a loud and violent ways-and-means committee
report which reminded me of the noise made by an unwearied cyclone
trying to suck a cistern dry. I think that the colored man exaggerated
the imitation somewhat, but he was evidently trying to assume the table
manners of Senator Brown of Georgia.

For this reason, if for no other, members of the cabinet, senators,
representatives, judges and heads of departments cannot be too careful
in their daily walk and conversation. Unconsciously they are molding the
customs, the manners, and the styles of dress which are to become the
customs, the manners, and the dress of a whole race. If I could to-day
take our statesmen all apart, not so much for the purpose of examining
their works, but so that we could be alone and talk this matter over
by ourselves, I would strive in my poor, weak, faltering way to impress
upon them the awful responsibility which rests upon them not only as
polite and fluent conversationalists, classical and courteous debators.
speaking pieces for the benefit of future conventions, of referring to
each other as liars, traitors, thieves, deserters, bummers, beats, and
great moral abscesses on the body politic; rehearsing campaign speeches
in congress at an expense of $20 per day each, and meantime obstructing
wholesome tariff legislation, but as the conservators of etiquette,
statesmanship, and morality for a race of people the great responsibility
for whose welfare still rests upon us as a nation.

Only the day before yesterday I saw a thin, wiry, and colored gentleman
pawing around in an ash barrel for something, and I waited to see what
he was after. He resurrected a sad and dejected plug hat, and, though it
was not half so good as the one he wore, he seemed much pleased with
it and put it on. I ventured to ask him why he had done so without
improving his appearance, and he said that for a long time he had been
looking for a hat which would highten the resemblance which people had
often noticed and remarked in days gone by, both in person, sah, and
general carriage, walk, and conversation, sah, also in the matter of
clear cut and logical life sentences, as existing between himself, sah,
and Senator Evarts, sah. He believed that he had struck it, sah.

As spring warms up the air about Washington the heating apparatus of
the capitol building begins to relax its interest, and now you can visit
most any part of the stately pile without being scrambled in your own
embonpoint. Last winter I heard Senator Frye of Maine make his great
tariff speech, and although there was nothing, about the speech itself
which seemed to evolve much exercise or industry--for it was the same
speech in every essential quality that I have heard every November since
I began to take an interest in politics--the perspiration ran down his
face in small washouts and sweatlets and fell in the arena with a mellow

I believe this unnatural heat to be the cause of much ill health among
our law-makers, and I freely admit that the unhealthy surroundings of
Washington and the great contrast between the hot air of the capitol and
the cold air outside have done a great deal towards keeping me out of
the senate. The night air of Washington is also filled with malaria and
is much worse than any night air I have ever used before.


|IT HAS become such a general practice to speak disrespectfully of the
United States Navy that a few days ago I decided to visit the Brooklyn
Navy Yard for the purpose of ascertaining, if possible, how much cause
there might be for this light and airy manner of treating the navy, and,
if necessary, to take immediate steps towards purifying the system.

I found that the matter had been grossly misrepresented, and that our
navy, so far as I was able to discover, is self-sustaining. It has been
thoroughly refitted and refurnished throughout, and is as pleasant a
navy as one would see in a day's journey.

I had the pleasure of boarding the man-of-war Richmond under a flag of
truce and the Atlantic under a suspension of the rules. I remained some
time on board each of these war ships, and any man who speaks lightly of
the United States Navy in my presence hereafter will receive a stinging

The Brooklyn Navy Yard was inaugurated by the purchase of forty acres
of ground in 1801. It has a pleasant water-front, which is at all times
dotted here and there with new war vessels undergoing repairs. Since the
original purchase others have been made and the land side of the yard
inclosed by means of a large brick wall, so that in case there should be
a local disturbance in Brooklyn the rioters could not break through and
bite the navy. In this way a man on board the Atlanta while at anchor in
Brooklyn is just as safe as he would be at home.

In order to enter and explore the Navy Yard it is necessary that
one should have a pass. This is a safeguard, wisely adopted by the
Commandant, in order to keep out strangers who might get in under the
pretext of wishing to view the yard and afterwards attack one of the new

On the day I visited the Navy Yard just ahead of me a plain but
dignified person in citizen's dress passed through the gate. He had the
bearing of an officer, I thought, and kept his eye on some object about
nine and one-fourth miles ahead as he walked past the guard. He was told
to halt, but, of course, he did not do so.

He was above it. Then the guard overhauled him, and even felt in his
pockets for his pass, as I supposed. Concealed on his person the guard
found four pint bottles filled with the essence of crime. They poured
the poor man's rum on the grass and then fired him out, accompanied by a
rebuke which will make him more deliberate about sitting down for a week
or two.

The feeling against arduous spirits in the United States Navy is
certainly on the increase, and the day is not far distant when alcohol
in a free state will only be used in the arts, sciences, music,
literature and the drama.

The Richmond is a large but buoyant vessel painted black. It has a front
stairway hanging over the balcony, and the latch-string to the
front door was hanging cheerily out as we drew alongside. During an
engagement, however, on the approach of the enemy, the front stairs
are pulled up and the latch-string is pulled in, while the commanding
officer makes the statement, "April Fool" through a speaking-trumpet to
the chagrined and infuriated foe.

The Richmond is a veteran of the late war, a war which no one ever
regretted more than I did; not so much because of the bloodshed and
desolation it caused at the time, but on account of the rude remarks
since made to those who did not believe in the war and whose feelings
have been repeatedly hurt by reference to it since the war closed.

The guns of the Richmond are muzzle-loaders, _i.e._, the load or charge
of ammunition is put into the other or outer end of the gun instead
of the inner extremity or base of the gun, as is the case with the
breech-loader. The breech-loader is a great improvement on the old style
gun, making warfare a constant source of delirious joy now, whereas in
former times in case of a naval combat during a severe storm, the
man who went outside the ship to load the gun, while it was raining,
frequently contracted pneumonia.

Modern guns are made with breeches, which may be easily removed during
a fight and replaced when visitors come on board. A sort of grim humor
pervades the above remark.

The Richmond is about to sail away to China. I do not know why she
is going to China but presume she does not care to be here during the
amenities, antipathies and aspersions of a Presidential campaign. A
man-of-war would rather make some sacrifices generally than to get into

I must here say that I would rather be captured by our naval officers
than by any other naval officers I have ever seen. The older officers
were calm and self-possessed during my visit on board both the Richmond
and Atlanta, and the young fellows are as handsome as a steel engraving.
While gazing on them as they proudly trod the quarter deck or any
other deck that needed it, I was proud of my sex, and I could not help
thinking that had I been an unprotected but beautiful girl, hostile to
the United States, I could have picked out five or six young men
there to either of whom I would be glad to talk over the details of an
armistice. I could not help enjoying fully my hospitable treatment by
the officers above referred to after having been only a little while
before rudely repulsed and most cruelly snubbed by a haughty young
cotton-sock broker in a New York store.

When will people ever learn that the way to have fun with me is to treat
me for the time being as an equal?

It was wash-day on board ship, and I could not help noticing how the
tyrant man asserts himself when he becomes sole boss of the household.
The rule on board a man-of-war is that the first man who on
wash-day shall suggest a "picked-up dinner" shall be loaded into the
double-barrelled howitzer and shot into the bosom of Venus.

On the clothes-line I noticed very few frills. The lingerie on board
a war vessel is severe in outline and almost harsh in detail. Here the
salt breezes search in vain for the singularly sawed-off and fluently
trimmed toga of our home life. Here all is changed. From the basement to
the top of the lightning rod, from pit to dome, as I was about to say, a
belligerent ship on washday is not gayly caparisoned.

The Atlanta is a fair representative of the modern war vessel and would
be the most effective craft in the world if she could use her guns. She
has all the modern improvements, hot and cold water, electric lights,
handy to depots and a good view of the ocean, but when she shoots
off her guns they pull out her circles, abrade her deck, concuss her
rotunda, contuse the main brace and injure people who have always been
friendly to the Government. Her guns are now being removed and new
circles put in, so that in future she would be enabled to give less pain
to her friends and squirt more gloom into the ranks of the enemy. She is
at present as useful for purposes of defense as a revolver in the bottom
of a locked-up bureau drawer, the key of which is in the pocket of your
wife's dress in a dark closet, wherein also the burglar is, for the
nonce, concealed.

Politics has very little to do with the conduct of a navy-yard. No one
would talk politics with me. I could not arouse any interest there
at all in the election. Every one seemed delighted with the present
Administration, however. The navy-yard always feels that way.

In the choky or brig at the guard-house I saw a sailor locked up who was
extremely drunk.

"How did you get it here, my man?" I asked.

"Through thinfloonee of prominent Democrat, you damphool. Howje
spose?" he unto me straightway did reply.

The sailor is sometimes infested with a style of arid humor which
asserts itself in the most unlooked-for fashion. I laughed heartily at
his odd yet coarse repartee, and went away.

The guard-house contains a choice collection of manacles, handcuffs,
lily irons and other rare gems. The lily irons are not now in use. They
consist of two iron bands for the wrists, connected by means of a flat
iron, which can be opened up to let the wrists into place; then they
are both locked at one time by means of a wrench like the one used by a
piano-tuner. With a pair of lily irons on the wrists and another pair on
the ankles a man locked in the brig and caught out 2,000 miles at sea in
a big gale, with the rudder knocked off the ship and a large litter of
kittens in the steam cylinder, would feel almost helpless.

I had almost forgotten to mention the drug store on board ship. Each
man-of-war has a small pharmacy on the second floor. It is open all
night, and prescriptions are carefully compounded. Pure drugs, paints,
oils, varnishes and putty are to be had there at all times. The ship's
dispensary is not a large room, but two ordinary men and a truss would
not feel crowded there. The druggists treated me well on board both
ships, and offered me my choice of antiseptics and anodynes, or anything
else I might take a fancy to. I shall do my trading in that line
hereafter on board ship.

The Atlanta has many very modern improvements, and is said to be a
wonderful sailor. She also has a log. I saw it. It does not look exactly
like what I had, as an old lumberman, imagined that it would.

It is a book, with writing in it, about the size of the tax-roll for
1888. In the cupola of the ship, where the wheel is located, there is
also a big brass compass about as large as the third stomach of a cow.
In this there is a little index or dingus, which always points towards
the north. That is all it has to do. On each side of the compass is
a large cannon ball so magnetized or polarized or influenced as to
overcome the attraction of the needle for some desirable portion of the
ship. There is also an index connected with the shaft whereby the man at
the wheel can ascertain the position of the shaft and also ascertain
at night whether the ship is advancing or retreating--a thing that he
should inform himself about at the earliest possible moment.

The culinary arrangements on board these ships would make many a hotel
blush, and I have paid $1 a day for a worse room than the choky at the

In the Navy-Yard at Brooklyn is the big iron hull or running gears of
an old ship of some kind which the Republicans were in the habit of
hammering on for a few weeks prior to election every four years. Four
years ago, through an oversight, the workmen were not called off nor
informed of Blaine's defeat for several days after the election..

The Democrats have an entirely different hull in another part of the
yard on which they are hammering.

The keel blocks of a new cruiser, 375 feet long are just laid in the
big ship-house at the Brooklyn Navy-Yard. She will be a very airy and
cheerful boat, I judge, if the keel blocks are anything to go by.

In closing this account I desire to state that I hope I have avoided
the inordinate use of marine terms, as I desire to make myself perfectly
clear to the ordinary landsman, even at the expense of beauty and style
of description. I would rather be thoroughly understood than confuse
the reader while exerting myself to show my knowledge of terms. I also
desire to express my thanks to the United States Navy for its kindness
and consideration during my visit. I could have been easily blown into
space half a dozen times without any opportunity to blow back through
the papers, had the navy so desired, and yet nothing but terms of
endearment passed between the navy and myself.

Lieut. Arthur P. Nazro, Chief Engineer Henry B. Nones, Passed Assistant
Engineer E. A. Magee, Capt. F. H. Harrington, of the United States
Marine Corps; Mr. Gus C. Roeder, Apothecary Henry Wimmer and the dog
Zib, of the Richmond; Master Shipwright McGee, Capt. Miller, captain of
the yard, and Mr. Milligan, apothecary of the Atlanta, deserve honorable
mention for coolness and heroic endurance while I was there.


|WASHINGTON, D.C. I Have just returned from a polite and recherche party

Washington is the hot-bed of gayety, and general headquarters for the
recherche business. It would be hard to find a bontonger aggregation
than the one I was just at, to use the words of a gentleman who was
there, and who asked me if I wrote "The Heathen Chinee."

He was a very talented man, with a broad sweep of skull and a vague
yearning for something more tangible--to drink. He was in Washington, he
said, in the interests of Mingo county. I forgot to ask him where Mingo
county might be. He took a great interest in me, and talked with me
long after he really had anything to say. He was one of those fluent
conversationalists frequently met with in society. He used one of these
web-perfecting talkers--the kind that can be fed with raw Roman
punch and that will turn out punctuated talk in links, like varnished
sausages. Being a poor talker myself and rather more fluent as a
listener, I did not interrupt him.

He said that he was sorry to notice how young girls and their parents
came to Washington as they would to a matrimonial market.

I was sorry also to hear it. It pained me to know that young ladies
should allow themselves to be bamboozled into matrimony. Why was it, I
asked, that matrimony should ever single out the young and fair?

"Ah," said he, "it is indeed rough!"

He then breathed a sigh that shook the foliage of the speckled geranium
near by, and killed an artificial caterpillar that hung on its branches.

"Matrimony is all right," said he, "if properly brought about. It breaks
my heart, though, to notice how Washington is used as a matrimonial
market. It seems to me almost as if these here young ladies were brought
here like slaves and exposed for sale." I had noticed that they were
somewhat exposed, but I did not know that they were for sale.

I asked him if the waists of party dresses had always been so sadly in
the minority, and he said they had.

I danced with a beautiful young lady whose trail had evidently caught
in a doorway. She hadn't noticed it till she had walked out partially
through her costume. I do not think a lady ought to give too much
thought to her apparel, neither should she feel too much above her
clothes. I say this in the kindest spirit, because I believe that man
should be a friend to woman. No family circle is complete without a
woman. She is like a glad landscape to the weary eye. Individually and
collectively, woman is a great adjunct of civilization and progress. The
electric light is a good thing, but how pale and feeble it looks by the
light of a good woman's eyes. The telephone is a great invention. It is
a good thing to talk at and murmur into and deposit profanity in, but to
take up a conversation and keep it up and follow a man out through the
front door with it, the telephone has still much to learn from woman.

It is said that our government officials are not sufficiently paid, and
I presume that is the case, so it became necessary to economize in every
way, but, why should wives concentrate all their economy on the waist of
a dress? When chest protectors are so cheap as they now are, I hate to
see people suffer, and there is more real suffering, more privation and
more destitution, pervading the Washington scapula and clavicle this
winter than I ever saw before.

But I do not hope to change this custom, though I spoke to several
ladies about it, and asked them to think it over. I do not think they
will. It seems almost wicked to cut off the best part of a dress and put
it at the other end of the skirt, to be trodden under feet of men, as I
may say. They smiled good humoredly at me as I tried to impress my views
upon them, but should I go there again next season and mingle in the mad
whirl of Washington, where these fair women are also mingling in said
mad whirl, I presume that I will find them clothed in the same gaslight
waist, with trimmings of real vertebræ down the back.

Still, what does a man know about the proper costume for woman? He knows
nothing whatever. He is in many ways a little inconsistent. Why does a
man frown on a certain costume for his wife and admire it on the first
woman he meets? Why does he fight shy of religion and Christianity
and talk very freely about the church, but get mad if his wife is an

Crops around Washington are looking well. Winter wheat, crocusses and
indefinite postponements were never in a more thrifty condition. Quite a
number of people are here who are waiting to be confirmed. Judging from
their habits, they are lingering around here in order to become
confirmed drunkards.

I leave here to-morrow with a large, wet towel in my plug hat. Perhaps
I should have said nothing on this dress reform question while my hat
is fitting me so immediately. It is seldom that I step aside from the
beaten path of rectitude, but last evening, on the way home, it seemed
to me that I didn't do much else but step aside. At these parties no
charge is made for punch. It is perfectly free. I asked a colored man
who stood near the punch bowl, and who replenished it ever and anon,
what the damage was, and he drew himself up to his full height.

Possibly I did wrong, but I hate to be a burden on any one. It seemed
odd to me to go to a first-class dance and find the supper and the band
and the rum all paid for. It must cost a good deal of money to run this


|IT WAS not generally known at the time, but about a year ago a
gentleman from Jays-burg, named Alanson G-. Meltz, opened a law office
in Chicago, intending to give that city a style of clear-cut counseling,
soliciting, conveyancing, prosecuting and defending, such as she had
never witnessed before. He was young, but he was full of confidence,
and as he pulled the nails out of the dry goods boxes, in which he had
brought his revised statutes and replevin appliances, he felt ready
and willing to furnish advice at living rates to all who would come and
examine his stock.

But time kept on in his remorseless flight, bringing in at the casement
of Mr. Meltz the roar and hum of traffic, and the nut-brown flavor of
the Chicago river, but that was all. He was there, ready and almost
eager to advise one and all, but one and all, without exception, evaded
him. No matter how gayly he lettered his window with the announcement
that he would procure a divorce for any one without pain, married people
continued to suffer on or go elsewhere. Even though he had put up a



No one called at his office, No. 61 Water street, to get one. Day after
day innumerable people went by him in the mad rush and hurry of life,
married but not mated, forgetting that Mr. Meltz could relieve them
without publicity.

Remorseless time had rolled on in this way for three months, now and
then picking out a fragment of the cornice on the new court-house and
braining a pedestrian with it, when one day Mr. Meltz was solicited by
the proprietor of a new remedy for indigestion and brain-fever to try
his medicine. He also told Mr. Meltz that in case of cure or beneficial
effects he desired to use his endorsement, and as the remedy was new
he proposed to issue an edition of 1,000,000 circulars containing the
endorsement of prominent professional people of Chicago.

Alanson G. Meltz bought a bottle and began using it. In three weeks the
following endorsement entered over a million and a half families in the
United States at the expense of the man who owned the remedy:

Chicago, Dec. 13, 1883.

Dr. J. Burdock Wells.--

Sir: I am a lawyer of this city, and for the past year have been
seriously and dangerously afflicted with sharp, darting pains up and
down the spinal column, dimness of sight, acidity of the tonsils and
in-growing spleen. I suffered the agonies of the d------d.

I take this method of informing the world, especially those who may be
suffering as I did, that less than a month ago I was in a pitiful
state. I have a large practice, especially as an attorney, in procuring
noiseless divorces. My office is at No. 6 5/8 South Water Street, and
for years I have been engaged in this line, procuring divorces for
thousands everywhere, orders filled by mail, etc., by a new system of
my own, by which applicants throughout the union may be treated at a
distance as well as in my office.

This had so taken up my time and engrossed my attention that, before I
knew it, my health had become impaired materially, and I did not know at
any time but that the next succeeding moment might be my subsequent one.
With clients calling on me and pressing me by mail for their services,
with persistent people hurrying and urging me for divorces, so that they
could marry some one else without unnecessary delay, I was stricken
down with ingrowing spleen and gastric yearning of the most violent
character. My physicians gave me up. They said I could never recover. I
was in despair.

At that moment, like a clap of thunder from a clear sky, came Dr. J.
Burdock Wells, with a bottle of his unerring Bile Renovator and Gastric
Rectifier. I took one bottle and called for another. In a little while I
began to hope.

When I arose in the morning my mouth did not taste like that of a total
stranger any more. In one week my eye had recovered its old brilliancy,
and in ten days I was back in my office again at No. 6 5/8 South Water
Street, rapidly catching up with my large business and answering all
calls made upon me from all quarters. I have not only regained my
health, but I have been the humble means, since my recovery, of bringing
peace to many an aching heart. One man from Kansas writes me: "Your
recovery was indeed a great boon to me. You have saved my life. Whenever
I want a divorce again I shall surely go to you. God bless you and
prolong your life for many years that you may go on spreading joy and
hope again throughout our broad land, furnishing your automatic and
delightful divorces to those who suffer." I can most heartily endorse
Dr. J. Burdock Wells' remedy and would cheerfully recommend it to those
who have tried everything else without success. I would be glad to have
any or all who suffer call at my office, No. 6 5/8 South Water street,
if they doubt my recovery, when they will find me removing superfluous
husbands or wives absolutely without pain.

Alanson G. Meltz.

Attorney and counselor-at-law, solicitor in chancery.

Practices in all the courts. Divorces sent C. O. D. at a moment's
notice. Try our home treatment for divorce.

A man who visited Mr. Meltz' office last week says that his business is
simply enormous, and that he has added to his former office the gorgeous
room at No. 7 1/8 People are now coming from all quarters of the globe
to get Mr. Meltz to administer his divorces to them.


|THE interchange of letters of introduction between old friends, by
which valuable acquaintances are added to the list, is a great blessing,
and in good hands these letters have, no doubt, been the beginning
of many a warm friendship; but, like all other blessings, it has been
greatly abused. I have been the recipient of letters, presented by
tourists, which, it was easy to see, had been wrung from some sandbagged
friend of mine--letters with sobs between the lines, letters punctuated
with invisible signals, calling upon me to remember that the bearer had
looked over the writer's shoulder as each sentence grew into a polite

To those who are in the habit of giving hearty letters of introduction
and endorsement to casual acquaintances, I desire to say that I am
perfecting a system by which the drugged and kidnapped writer of a style
of assumed sincerity and bogus hilarity will be thoroughly protected.

Let me explain briefly and then illustrate my method.

A casual acquaintance, who has met you, say four or five times, and who
feels thoroughly intimate with you, calling you by the name that no
one uses but your wife, approaches you with an air of confidence
that betrays his utter ignorance of himself, and asks for a letter of
introduction (in the same serious vein in which one asks for a match).
You are already provided with my numbered Introductory Letter Pad. You
write the letter of introduction on a sheet numbered to correspond with
a letter of advice mailed simultaneously to the person who is to submit
to the letter of introduction.

For instance, a young man, inclined to be fresh, enters your office or
library and states that he is going abroad. He has learned that you are
intimate with Dom Pedro, of Brazil. Perhaps you have conveyed that idea
unintentionally while in the young man's presence at some time. So now
he asks the trifling favor of a letter of introduction to the Emperor.
He is going to see the President and Cabinet and the members of the
Supreme Court before he leaves this country, and when he goes to South
America he naturally wants to meet Dom Pedro.

So you fill out the right-hand end or coupon of the sheet as follows:

[International Introductory Letter System, Form Z 23.]

No. B 135,986.

New York, Dec. 25,1886.

Sir: You will please honor this letter of introduction in accordance
with the terms of a certain letter of advice numbered as above, and
bearing even date herewith, mailed to you this day, and oblige, Yours,

A. B.

The young man goes abroad with this letter inclosed in a maroon
alligator-skin pocket-book, and when he arrives in Brazil he finds that
the way has been paved for him by the following letter of advice:

[International Introductory Letter System, Form Z 23,] New York, Dec.
25, 1886.

No. B 135,986.

Sir: Mr. W------, a young man with great assurance and a maroon-colored
alligator-skin pocket-book, bearing a letter of introduction to you
numbered as above, is now at large. He will visit Europe for a few
weeks, after which he will tour about South America. He will make a
specialty of volcanoes and monarchs.

He will offer to exchange photographs with you, but you must use your
own judgment about complying with this request. Do not allow this letter
to influence you in the matter.

You will readily recognize him by the wonderful confidence which he has
in himself, and which is not shared by those who know him here.

He is a fluent conversationalist, and can talk for hours without fatigue
to himself.

You will find it very difficult to wound his feelings, but there would
be no harm in trying.

Should you get this letter in time, you might do as you thought best in
the matter of quarantine. Some foreign powers are doing that way.

Mr. W------has met a great many prominent people in this country.
What this country needs is more free trade on the high seas and better
protection for its prominent people.

I have tried to be conservative in what I have said here, and if I have
given you a better opinion of the young man than his conduct on
fuller acquaintance will warrant, I assure you that I have not done so

You will notice at once that he is a self-made man, so your admiration
for the works of nature need not be in any way diminished. With due
respect, your most obedient servant,

A. B.

To his Imperial Highness D. Pedro, Esq.,

Brazil, S. A.

No. Z 30,805.

Sir: This letter of advice will probably precede a tall youth named
Brindley. Mr. Brindley is a young man who, by a strange combination of
circumstances, is the eldest son of a perfect gentleman, who now has,
and will ever continue to have, my highest esteem and my promissory note
for $250.

Will you kindly bear this in mind while you peruse my pleading letter of
introduction, which will accompany Mr. Brindley, Jr.?

All through his stormy and tempestuous career in the capacity of son
to his father, he has never done anything that the grand jury could get
hold of. Treat him as well as you can consistently, and if you can get
him a position in a bank, I am sure his father would appreciate it. A
place in a bank, where he would not have anything to do but look pretty
and declare dividends in a shrill falsetto voice, would please him very
much. He is a very good declaimer. He is not accustomed to manual
toil, but he has always yearned to do literary work. If he could do
the editorial work connected with the sight-draft department, or write
humorous indorsements on the backs of checks, over a _nom deplume_,
it would tickle the boy almost to death. Anything you could do toward
getting him a position in a large bank that is nailed down securely,
would be thoroughly appreciated by me, and I should be glad to retaliate
at any time.

Yours candidly,

Wyman Dayton.

To Mr. K. O. Peck, London.

A beautiful feature of this invaluable system is the understanding
to which everybody is committed, that the original letter is entirely
worthless on its presentation unless the letter of advice has been
already received.


|I AM GLAD to know Cornell University is to I establish a department of
journalism next September. I have always claimed that journalism could
be taught in universities and colleges just as successfully as any other
athletic exercise. Of course you cannot teach a boy how to jerk a giant
journal from the clutches of decay and make of it a robust and rip
snorting shaper and trimmer of public opinion, in whose counting-room
people will walk all over each other in their mad efforts to insert
advertisements. You cannot teach this in a school any more than you can
teach a boy how to discover the open Polar Sea, but you can teach
him the rudiments and save him a good deal of time experimenting with

Boys spend small fortunes and the best years of their lives learning the
simplest truths in relation to journalism. We grope on blindly, learning
this year perhaps how to distinguish an italic shooting-stick when we
see it, or how to eradicate type lice from a standing galley, learning
next year how to sustain life on an annual pass and a sample
early-rose potato weighing four pounds and measuring eleven inches in
circumference. This is a slow and tedious way to obtain journalistic
training. If this can be avoided or abbreviated it will be a great boon.

As I understand it, the department in Cornell University will not deal
so much with actual newspaper experience as it will with construction
and style in writing. This is certainly a good move, for we must
admit that we can improve very greatly our style and the purity of
our English. For instance, I select an exchange at random, and on the
telegraphic page I find the details of a horrible crime. It seems that
an old lady, who lived by herself almost, and who had amassed between
$16 and $17, was awakened by an assassin, dragged from her bed and
cruelly murdered. The large telegraph headline reads: "Drug from her bed
and murdered!" This is incorrect in orthography, syntax and prosody, bad
in form and inelegant in style. Carefully parsing the word drug as it
appears here, I find that it does not agree with anything in number,
gender or person. I do not like to criticise the style of others when I
know that my own is so faulty, but I am sure that the word drug should
not be used in this way.

Take the following, also, from the Kansas correspondence of the
Statesville (N.C.) _Landmark_:

"There were several bad accidents in and around Clear Water during
my absence from home. The saddest one was the shooting of one Peter
Peterson by his father. They were out rabbit-hunting in the snow. A
rabbit got up and started to run. The son was in a swag of a place and
the father was taking aim at the rabbit. The son at the same time
was trying to get a shot at it and, not knowing that his father was
shooting, ran between the rabbit and his father and was killed dead,
falling on the snow with his gun grasped in his hands and never moved.
He still carried that pleasant smile which he had on, in expectation of
shooting that jack rabbit, when put in the grave. Wheat is selling at
about 60 cents; corn, 40 to 50 cents; fat hogs, gross, 44 to 41; fat
steers, 41; butcher's stock, 2 cents."

It is hard to say just exactly wherein this is faulty, but something is
the matter with it. I would like to get an expression of opinion from
those who take an interest in such things, as to whether the fault is in
orthoepy, orthography, anatomy, obituary or price current, or whether it
consists in writing several features too closely in the same paragraph.

It would also be a good idea to establish a chair for advertisers in
some practical college, in order that they might run in for a few hours
and learn how to write an advertisement so that it would express in the
most direct way what they desired to state. Here is an advertisement,
for instance, which is given exactly as written and punctuated:

Mrs. Dr. Edwards,


Has arrived, and-will remain only a short time. Call at once at HOTEL
WINDSOR, 119, 121 and 123 East State street, Room 19, third floor.
Please take elevator.

The greatest and most natural born, and highly celebrated, and
well-known all over the country, Clairvoyant, now traveling on the road,
and Wonder from the Pacific coast.

Seventh Daughter of the Seventh Daughter; born with veil and second
sight; every mystery revealed; if one you love is true or false; removes
trouble; settles lovers' quarrels; causes a speedy marriage with one you
Jove; valuable information to gentlemen on all business transactions;
how to make profitable investments for speedy riches; lucky numbers;
Egyptian talisman for the un lucky; cures mysterious and chronic
diseases. All who are sick or in trouble from any cause are invited to
call without delay.

I have always claimed that clairvoyance could be made a success if we
could find some one who was sufficiently natural born to grapple with
it. Now, Mrs. Edwards seems to know what is required. She was born
utterly without affectation. When she was born she just seemed to say to
those who happened to be present at the time, "Fellow citizens, you will
have to take me just as you find me. I cannot dissemble or appear to
be otherwise than what I am. I am the most natural born and highly
celebrated all over the country clairvoyant now traveling on the road,
and Wonder from the Pacific coast." She then let off a whoop that ripped
open the sable robes of night, after which she took a light lunch and
retired to her dressing-room.

Ex-Mayor Henry C. Robinson, of Hartford, Conn., if I am not mistaken,
suggested a school of journalism at least twelve years ago, but it did
not meet with immediate and practical indorsement. Now Cornell comes
forward and seems to be in earnest, and I am glad of it. The letters
received from day to day by editors, and written to them by men engaged
in other pursuits, practically admit and prove that there is not now in
existence an editor who knows enough to carry liver to a bear.

That is the reason why every means should be used to pull this
profession out of the mire of dense ignorance and place it upon the
high, dry soil which leads to genius and consanguinity.

The above paragraph I quote from a treatise on journalism which I wrote
just before I knew anything about it.

The life of the journalist is a hard one, and, although it is not
so trying as the life of the newspaper man, it is full of trials and
perplexities. If newspaper men and journalists did not stand by each
other I do not know what joy they would have. Kindness for each other,
gentleness and generosity, even in their rivalry, characterize the
conduct of a large number of them.

I shall never forget my first opportunity to do a kind act for a fellow
newspaper man, nor with what pleasure I availed myself of it, though
he was my rival, especially in the publication of large and spirited
equestrian handbills and posters. He also printed a rival paper and
assailed me most bitterly from time to time. His name was Lorenzo Dow
Pease, and we had carried on an acrimonious warfare for two years. He
had said that I was a reformed Prohibitionist and that I had left a
neglected wife in every State in the Union. I had stated that he would
give better satisfaction if he would wear his brains breaded. Then he
had said something else that was personal and it had gone on so for
some time. We devoted fifteen minutes each day to the management of our
respective papers, and the balance of the day to doing each other up in
a way to please our subscribers.

One evening Lorenzo Dow Pease came into my office and said he wanted to
see me personally. I said that would suit me exactly and that if he
had asked to see me in any other way I did not know how I could have
arranged it. He said he meant that he would like to see me by myself. I
therefore discharged the force, turned out the dog and we had the office
to ourselves. I could see that he was in trouble, for every little while
he would brush away a tear in an underhanded kind of way and swallow
a large, imaginary mass of something. I asked Lorenzo why he felt so
depressed, and he said: "William, I have came here for a favor." He
always said "I have came," for he was a self-made man and hadn't done a
very good job either. "I have came here for a favor. I wrote a reply to
your venomous attack of to-day and I expected to publish it to-morrow in
my paper, but, to tell you the truth, we are out of paper. At least, we
have a few bundles at the freight office, but they have taken to sending
it C. O. D., and I haven't the means just at hand to take it out. Now,
as a brother in the great and glorious order of journalism, would it be
too much for you to loan me a couple of bundles of paper to do me till I
get my pay for some equestrian bills struck off Friday and just as good
as the wheat?"

"How long would a couple of bundles last you?" I asked as I looked out
at the window and wondered if he would reveal his circulation.

"Five issues and a little over," he said, filling his pipe from a small
box on the desk.

"But you could cut off your exchanges and then it would last longer," I

"Yes, but only for one additional issue. I am very anxious to appear
to-morrow, because my subscribers will be looking for a reply to what
you said about me this morning. You stated that I was 'a journalistic
bacteria looking for something to infect,' and while I did not come here
to get you to retract, I would like it as a favor if you would loan me
enough white paper to set myself straight before my subscribers."

"Well, why don't you go and tell them about it? It wouldn't take long,"
I said in a jocund way, slapping Lorenzo on the back. But he did not
laugh. I then told him that we only had paper enough to last us till
our next bill came, and so I could not possibly loan any, but that if he
would write a caustic reply to my editorial I would print it for him. He
caught me in his arms and then for a moment his head was pillowed on my
breast. Then he sat down and wrote the following card:

Editor of the Boomerang:

Will you allow me through your columns to state that in your issue
of yesterday you did me a great injustice by referring to me as a
journalistic bacteria looking for something to infect; also, as a lop
eared germ of contagion, and warning people to vaccinate in order
to prevent my spread? I denounce the whole article as a malicious
falsehood, and state that if you will only give me a chance I will fight
you on sight. All I ask is that you will wait till I can overtake you,
and I am able and willing to knock great chunks off the universe with
you. I do not ask any favors of an editor who misleads his subscribers
and intentionally misunderstands his correspondents; a man who advises
an anxious inquirer who wants to know "how to get a cheap baby buggy" to
leave the child at a cheap hotel; a man who assumes to wear brains,
but who really thinks with a fungus growth; a man the bleak and
barren exterior of whose head is only equalled by its bald and echoing

Lorenzo Dow Pease.

I looked it over, and as there didn't seem to be anything personal in
it, I told him I would print it for him with pleasure. He then asked
that I would, as a further favor, refrain from putting any advertising
marks on it and that I would make it follow pure reading matter, which
I did. I leaded the card and printed it with a simple word of
introduction, in which I said that I took pleasure in printing it,
inasmuch as Mr. Pease could not get his paper out of the express office
for a few days. It was a kindness to him and did not hurt my paper in
the end.

There are many reasons why the establishment of a department of
journalism at Cornell will be a good move, and I believe that while it
will not take the place of actual experience, it will serve to shorten
the apprenticeship of a young newspaper man and the fatigue of starting
the amateur in journalism will be divided between the managing editor
and the tutor. It will also give the aspiring sons of wealthy parents
a chance to toy with journalism without interfering with those who are
actually engaged in it.


|I ALWAYS enjoy a vegetable garden, and through the winter I look
forward to the spring days when I will take my cob pipe and hoe and
go joyously afield. I like to toy with the moist earth and the common
squash bug of the work-a-day world. It is a pleasure also to irrigate
the garden, watering the sauer kraut plant and the timid tomato vine as
though they were children asking for a drink. I am never happier than
when I am engaged in irrigating my tropical garden or climbing my
neighbor with a hoe when he shuts off my water supply by sticking an old
pair of pantaloons in the canal that leads to my squash conservatory.

One day a man shut off my irrigation that way and dammed the water up
to such a degree that I shut off his air supply, and I was about to say
dammed him up also. We had quite a scuffle. Up to that time we had never
exchanged a harsh word. That morning I noticed that my early climbing
horse-radish and my dwarf army worms were looking a little au revoir,
and I wondered what was the matter. I had been absent several days and
was grieved to notice that my garden had a kind of blase air, as though
it needed rest and change of scene.

The Poland China egg-plant looked up sadly at me and seemed to say:
"Pardner, don't you think it's a long time between drinks?" The
watermelon seemed to have a dark brown taste in its mouth, and there was
an air of gloom all over the garden.

At that moment I discovered my next-door neighbor at the ditch on the
corner. He was singing softly to himself:

O, yes, I'll meet you;

I'll meet you when the sun goes down.

He was also jamming an old pair of Rembrandt pants into the canal, where
they would shut off my supply. He stood with his back towards me, and
just as he said he would "meet me when the sun went down," I smote him
across the back of the neck with my hoe handle, and before he could
recover from the first dumb surprise and wonder, I pulled the dripping
pantaloons out of the ditch and tied them in a true-lover's knot around
his neck. He began to look black in the face, and his struggles soon
ceased altogether. At that moment his wife came out and shrieked
two pure womanly shrieks, and hissed in my ear: "You have killed me

I said, possibly I had. If so, would she please send in the bill and
I would adjust it at an early day. I said this in a bantering tone of
voice, and raising my hat to her in that polished way of mine, started
to go, when something fell with a thud on the greensward!

It was the author of these lines. I did not know till two days afterward
that my neighbor's wife wore a moire antique rolling-pin under her apron
that morning. I did not suspect it till it was too late. The affair was
kind of hushed up on account of the respectability of the parties.

By the time I had recovered the garden seemed to melt away into thin
air. My neighbor had it all his own way, and while his proud hollyhocks
and Johnny-jump-ups reared their heads to drink the mountain water at
the twilight hour, my little, low-necked, summer squashes curled up and

Most every year yet I made a garden. I pay a man $3 to plow it. Then I
pay $7.50 for garden seeds and in July I hire the same man at $3 to
summer-fallow the whole thing while I go and buy my vegetables of a
Chinaman named Wun Lung. I've done this now for eight years, and I owe
my robust health and rich olive complexion to the fact that I've got a
garden and do just as little in it as possible. Parties desiring a dozen
or more of my Shanghai egg-plants to set under an ordinary domestic hen
can procure the same by writing to me and enclosing lock of hair and


Asheville, N. C., Feb. 10,1887.

|MY DEAR HENRY: Your last issue of the _Retina_, your new thought
vehicle, published at New Belony, this state, was received yesterday. I
like this number, I think, better than I did the first. While the news
in it seems fresher, the editorial assertions are not so fresh. You do
not state that you "have come to stay" this week, but I infer that you
occupy the same position you did last week with inference to that.

I was more especially interested in your piece about how to rear
children and the care of parents. I read it to your mother last night
while she was setting her bread. Nothing tickles me very often at my
time of life, and when I laugh a loud peal of laughter at anything
nowadays it's got to be a pretty blamed good thing, I can tell you that.
But your piece about bringing up children made me laugh real hard. I
enjoy a piece like that from the pen of a juicy young brain like yours.
It almost made me young again to read the words of my journalistic
gosling son.

You also say that "teething is the most trying time for parents." Do you
mean that parents are more fretful when they are teething than any other
time? Your mother and me reckoned that you must mean that. If so, it
shows your great research. How a mere child hardly out of knee-panties,
a young shoot like you, who was never a parent for a moment in his life,
can enter into and understand the woes that beset parents is more than
I can understand. If you had been through what I have while teething I
could see how you might understand and write about it, but at present
I do not see through it. The first teeth I cut as a parent made me very
restless. I was sick two years ago with a new disease that was just out
and the doctor gave me something for it that made my teeth fall like the
leaves of autumn. In six weeks after I began to convalesce my mouth was
perfectly bald-headed. For days I didn't bite into a Ben Davis apple
that I didn't leave a fang into it.

Well, after that I saw an advertisement in the _Rural Rustler_--a paper
I used to take then--of a place where you could get a set of teeth for

I didn't want to buy a high-priced and gaudy set of teeth at the tail
end of such a life as I had led, and I knew that teeth, no matter how
expensive they might be, would be of little avail to coming generations,
so I went over to the place named in the paper and got an impression of
my mouth taken.

There is really nothing in this life that will take the stiff-necked
pride out of a man like viewing a plaster cast of his tottering mouth.
The dentist fed me with a large ladle full of putty or plaster of paris,
I reckon, and told me to hold it in my mouth till it set.

I don't remember a time in all my life when the earth and transitory
things ever looked so undesirable and so trifling as they did while I
sat there in that big red barber-chair with my mouth full of cold putty.
I felt just as a man might when he is being taxidermied.

After awhile the dentist took out the cast. It was a cloudy day and so
it didn't look much like me after all. If it had I would have sent
you one. After I'd set again two or three times, we got a pretty fair
likeness, he said, and I went home, having paid $6 and left my address.

Three weeks after that a small boy came with my new teeth.

They were nice, white, shiny teeth, and did not look very ghastly after
I had become used to them. I wished at first that the gums had been a
duller red and that the teeth had not looked so new. I put them in my
mouth, but they felt cold and distant. I took them out and warmed them
in the sunlight. People going by no doubt thought that I did it to show
that I was able to have new teeth, but that was not the case.

I wore them all that forenoon while I butchered. There were times
during the forenoon when I wanted to take them out, but when a man is
butchering he hates to take his teeth out just because they hurt.

Neighbors told me that after my mouth got hardened on the inside it
would feel better.

But, oh, how it relieved me at night to take those teeth out and put
them on the top of a cool bureau, where the wind could blow through
their whiskers! How I hated to resume them in the morning and start
in on another long day, when the roof of my mouth felt like a big, red
bunion and my gums like a pale red stone-bruise.

A year ago, Henry, about two-thirty in the afternoon I think it was, I
left that set of teeth in the rare flank of a barbecue I was to in our

Since then I have not been so pretty, perhaps, but I have no more
unicorns on the rafters of my mouth and my note is just as good at
thirty days as ever it was.

You are right, Henry, when you go on to state in your paper that
teething is the most trying time for parents.

Ta, ta, as the feller says.

Your father.


George E. Beath, Areola, Ill.,-writes to know "the value of a silver
dollar of 1878 with eight feathers in the eagle's tail."

It is worth what you can get for it, Mr. Beath. Perhaps the better way
would be to forward it to me and I will do the best I can with it. There
being but eight feathers in the eagle's tail would be no drawback. Send
it to me at once and I will work it off for you, Mr. Beath.

"Tutor," Tucson, Ariz., asks "What do you regard as the best method of
teaching the alphabet to children?"

Very likely my method would hardly receive your indorsement, but with
my own children I succeed by using an alphabet with the names attached,
which I give below. I find that by connecting the alphabet with certain
easy and interesting subjects the child rapidly acquires knowledge of
the letter, and it becomes firmly fixed in the mind. I use the following
list of alphabetical names in the order given below:

A is for Antediluvian, Anarchistic and Agamemnon.

B is for Bucephalus, Burgundy and Bull-head. C is for Cantharides,
Confucius and Casabianca. D is for Deuteronomy, Delphi and Dishabille.

E is for Euripedes, European and Effervescent. F is for Fumigate,
Farinaceous and Fundamental.

G is for Garrulous, Gastric and Gangrene.

H is for Hamestrap, Honeysuckle and Hoyle.

I is for Idiosyncrasy, Idiomatic and Iodine.

J is for Jaundice, Jamaica and Jeu-d'esprit.

K is for Kandilphi, Kindergarten and KuKlux. L is for Lop-sided, Lazarus
and Llano Estacado. M is for Menengitis, Mardi Gras and Mesopotamia.

N is for Narragansett, Neapolitan and Nix-comarous.

Q is for Oleander, Oleaginous and Oleomargarine.

P is for Phlebotomy, Phthisic and Parabola.

Q is for Query, Quasi and Quits.

R is for Rejuvenate, Regina and Requiescat.

S is for Simultaneous, Sigauche and Saleratus.

T is for Tubercular, Themistocles and Thereabouts.

U is for Ultramarine, Uninitiated and Utopian.

V is for Voluminous, Voltaire and Vivisection. W is for Witherspoon,
Woodcraft and Washerwoman.

X is for Xenophon, Xerxes and Xmas.

Y is for Ysdle, Yahoo and Yellowjacket.

Z is for Zoological, Zanzibar and Zacatecas.

In this way the eye of the child is first appealed to. He becomes
familiar with the words which begin with a certain letter, and before he
knows it the letter itself has impressed itself upon his memory.

Sometimes, however, where my children were slow to remember a word and
hence its corresponding letter, I have drawn the object on a blackboard
or on the side of the barn. For instance, we will suppose that D is hard
to fix in the mind of the pupil and the words to which it belongs as
an initial do not readily cling to memory. I have only to draw upon the
board a Deuteronomy, a Delphi, or a Dishabille, and he will never forget
it. No matter how he may struggle to do so, it will still continue to
haunt his brain forever. The same with Z, which is a very difficult
letter to remember. I assist the memory by stimulating the eye, drawing
rapidly, and crudely perhaps, a Zoological, a Zanzibar or a Zacatecas.

The great difficulty in teaching children the letters is that there is
really nothing in the naked alphabet itself to win a child's love. We
must dress it in attractive colors and gaudy plumage so that he will be
involuntarily drawn to it.

Those who have used my method say that after mastering the alphabet, the
binomial theorum and the rule in Shelly's case seemed like child's play.
This goes to show what method and discipline will accomplish in the mind
of the young.

"Fond Mother," Braley's Fork, asks: "What shall I name my little girl

That will depend upon yourself very largely, "Fond Mother." Very likely
if your little girl is very rugged and grows up to be the fat woman in
a museum, she will wear the name of Lily. When a girl is named Lily,
she at once manifests a strong desire to grow up with a complexion like
Othello and the same fatal yearning for some one to strangle. This is
not always thus, but girls are obstinate, and it is better not to put a
name on a girl baby that she will not live up to.

Again, "Fond Mother," let me urge you to refrain from naming your little
daughter a soft, flabby name like Irma, Geraldine, Bandoline, Lilelia,
Potassa, Valerian, Rosetta or Castoria. These names belong to the
inflammatory pages of the American novelette. Do not put such a name on
your innocent child. Imagine this inscription on a marble slab:




DIED MARCH 27,1888.


I have seen a young lady try faithfully for years to live down one of
these flimsy, cheesecloth names, but the harsh world would not have it.
A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and while I can
imagine your little girl in future years as a white-haired and lovely
grandmother, wearing the name of Mary or Ruth, with a double chin
that seems to ever beckon the old gentleman to come and chuck his fat
forefinger under it, I cannot, in my mind's eye, see her as a household
deity, wearing a white cap and the name of Rosette or Penumbra, or
Sogodontia, or Catalpa, or Voxliumania.


|ON BOARD a western train the other day I held in my bosom for over
seventy-five miles the elbow of a large man whose name I do not know.
He was not a railroad hog or I would have resented it. He was built wide
and he couldn't help it, so I forgave him.

He had a large, gentle, kindly eye, and when he desired to spit he
went to the car door, opened it and decorated the entire outside of
the train, forgetting that our speed would help to give scope to his

Naturally, as he sat there by my side, holding on tightly to his ticket
and evidently afraid the conductor would forget to come and get it,
I began to figure out in my mind what might be his business. He had
pounded one thumb so that the nail was black where the blood had settled
under it. This might happen to a shoemaker, a carpenter, a blacksmith,
or almost any one else. So it didn't help me out much, though it looked
to me as though it might have been done by trying to drive a fence-nail
through a leather hinge with the back of an ax, and nobody but a farmer
would try to do that. Following up the clew, I discovered that he had
milk on his boots, and then I knew I was right. The man who milks before
daylight in a dark barn when the thermometer is 28° below zero, and who
hits his boots by reason of the uncertain light and prudishness of the
cow, is a marked man. He cannot conceal the fact that he is a farmer
unless he removes that badge. So I started out on that theory, and
remarked that this would pass for a pretty hard winter on stock. The
thought was not original with me, for I have heard it expressed by
others either in this country or Europe. He said it would.

"My cattle has gone through a mowful o' hay sence October and eleven
ton o' brand. Hay don't seem to have the goodness to it thet it hed last
year, and with their new process griss mills they jerk all the juice out
o' brand, so's you might as well feed cows with excelsior and upholster
your horses with hemlock bark as to buy brand."

"Well, why do you run so much to stock? Why don't you try diversified
farming and rotation of crops?"

"Well, prob'ly you got that idee in the papers. A man that earns big
wages writing 'Farm Hints' for agricultural papers can make more money
with a soft lead-pencil and two or three season-cracked idees like that
'n I can carrying of 'em out on the farm. We used to have a feller in
the drug-store in our town that wrote such good pieces for the _Rural
Vermonter_, and made up such a good condition powder out of his own head
that two years ago we asked him to write a nessay for the annual meeting
of the Buckwheat Trust, and to use his own judgment about choice of
subject. And what do you s'pose he had selected for a nessey that took
the whole forenoon to read?"

"What subject, you mean?"


"Give it up!"

"Well, he'd wrote out that whole blamed intellectual wad on the subject
of 'The Inhumanity of Dehorning Hydraulic Rams.' How's that?"

"That's pretty fair."

"Well, farmin' is like runnin' a paper in regard to some things. Every
feller in the world will take and turn in and tell you how to do it,
even if he don't know a blame thing about it. There ain't a man in the
United States to-day that don't secretly think he could run airy one
if his other business busted on him, whether he knows the difference
between a new milch cow or a horse hayrake or not. We had one of these
embroidered nightshirt farmers come from town better'n three years ago.
Been a toilet-soap man and done well, and so he came out and bought a
farm that had nothing to it but a fancy house and barn, a lot of medder
in the front yard, and a Southern aspect. The farm was no good. You
couldn't raise a disturbance on it. Well, what does he do? Goes and gits
a passle of slim-tailed yeller cows from New Jersey and aims to handle
cream and diversified farming. Last year the cuss sent a load of cream
over and tried to sell it at the new crematory while the funeral and
hollercost was goin' on. I may be a sort of a chump myself, but I read
my paper and don't get left like that."

"What are the prospects for farmers in your State?"

"Well, they are pore. Never was so pore, in fact, sence I've ben
there. Folks wonder why boys leaves the farm. My boys left so as to get
protected, they said, and so they went into a clothing store, one of
'em, and one went into hardware, and one is talkin' protection in the
Legislature this winter. They said that farmin' was gettin' to be like
fishin' and huntin', well enough for a man that has means and leisure,
but they couldn't make a livin' at it, they said. Another boy is in a
drug store, and the man that hires him says he is a royal feller."

"Kind of a castor royal feller," I said, with a shriek of laughter.

He waited until I had laughed all I wanted to, and then he said:

"I've always hollered for high tariff in order to hyst the public debt,
but now that we've got the National debt coopered I wish they'd take
a little hack at mine. I've put in fifty years farmin'. I never drank
licker in any form. I've worked from ten to eighteen hours a day; been
economical in cloz and never went to a show more'n a dozen times in my
life; raised a family and learned upwards of two hundred calves to drink
out of a tin pail without blowing their vittles up my sleeve. My wife
worked alongside o' me sewin' new seats on the boys' pants, skim-min'
milk, and even helpin' me load hay. For forty years we toiled along
together and hardly got time to look into each other's faces or dared to
stop and get acquainted with each other. Then her health failed. Ketched
cold in the springhouse, prob'ly skimmin' milk, and wash-in' pans, and
scaldin' pails, and spankin' butter. Anyhow, she took in a long breath
one day while the doctor and me was watchin' her, and she says to me,
'Henry,' says she, 'I've got a chance to rest,' and she put one tired,
wore-out hand on top of the other tired, wore-out hand, and I knew she'd
gone where they don't work all day and do chores all night.

"I took time to kiss her then. I'd been too busy for a good while
previous to do that, and then I called in the boys. After the funeral it
was too much for them to stay around and eat the kind of cookin' we had
to put up with, and nobody spoke up around the house as we used to.
The boys quit whistlin' around the barn, and talked kind of low to
themselves about goin' to town and getting a job.

"They're all gone now, and the snow is four feet deep up there on
mother's grave in the old berryin'-ground."

Then both of us looked out of the car-window quite a long while without
saying anything.

"I don't blame the boys for going into something else long's other
things pays better; but I say--and I say what I know--that the man who
holds the prosperity of this country in his hands, the man that actually
makes the money for other people to spend, the man that eats three good,
simple, square meals a day and goes to bed at 9 o'clock so that future
generations with good blood and cool brains can go from his farm to the
Senate and Congress and the White House--he is the man that gets left at
last to run his farm, with nobody to help him but a hired man and a
high protective tariff. The farms in our State is mortgaged for over
$700,000,000. Ten of our Western States--I see by the papers--has got
about three billion and a half mortgages on their farms, and that
don't count the chattel mortgages filed with the town clerks on farm
machinery, stock, waggins, and even crops, by gosh! that ain't two
inches high under the snow. That's what the prospect is for farms now.
The Government is rich, but the men that made it, the men that fought
perarie fires and perarie wolves and Injins and potato bugs and
blizzards, and has paid the war debt and pensions and everything else,
and hollored for the Union and the Republican party and high tariff
and anything else that they was told to, is left high and dry this cold
winter with a mortgage of seven billions and a half on the farms they
have earned and saved a thousand times over."

"Yes; but look at the glory of sending from the farm the future
President, the future Senator and the future member of Congress."

"That looks well on paper; but what does it really amount to? Soon as a
farmer boy gits in a place like that he forgets the soil that produced
and holds his head as high as a hollyhock. He bellers for protection to
everybody but the farmer, and while he sails round in a highty-tighty
room with a fire in it night and day, his father on the farm has to
kindle his own fire in the morning with elm slivers, and he has to wear
his son's lawn-tennis suit next to him or freeze to death, and he has to
milk in an old gray shawl that has held that member of Congress since he
was a baby, by gorry! and the old lady has to sojourn through the
winter in the flannels that Silas wor at the rigatter before he went to

"So I say, and I think that Congress agrees with me, Damn a farmer,

He then went away.


|DURING the recent conventions a great many good speeches have been made
which did not get into print for various reasons. Some others did not
even get a hearing and still others were prepared by delegates who could
not get the eye of the presiding officer.

The manuscript of the following speech bears the marks of earnest
thought, and though the author did not obtain recognition on the floor
of the convention I cannot bear to see an appreciative public deprived
of it:

MR. Chairman and Gentlemen of the Convention: We are met together here
as a representation of the greatest and grandest party in the world--a
party that has been first in peace, first in war and first in the
hearts of its countrymen, as the good book has it. We come together here
to-day, Gentlemen, to perpetuate by our action the principles which
won us victory at the polls and wrenched it from an irritated and
disagreeable foe on many a tented field. I refer to freedom.

Our party has ever been the champion of freedom. We have made a
specialty of freedom. We have ever been in the van. That's why we have
been on the move. Where freedom a quarter of a century ago was but a
mere name, now we have fostered it and aided it and encouraged it and
made it pay.

We have emancipated a whole race, several of whom have since voted the
other way. But we must not be discouraged. We are here to work. Let us
do it and so advance our common cause and honor God.

But who is to be the leader? Who will be able to carry our victorious
banner from Portland, Me., to Portland, Ore., gayly speaking pieces from
the tail-gate of a train? Who is sufficiently obscure to safely make the
race? (Cries of "Jeremiah M. Rusk," "Rudolph Minkins Pitler," "Blaine,"
"James Swartout," "John Sherman," "Charlie Kinney," &c.)

The eye of the nation is upon us. We cannot escape the awful
responsibility which we have to-day assumed. With all our anxiety to
please our friends we must not forget that we are here in the interests
of universal freedom. Do not allow yourselves to be blinded, gentlemen,
by the assurance that this is to be a businessman's campaign, a campaign
in which conflicting business interests are to figure more than the
late war. It is a fight involving universal freedom, as I said in our
conventions four, eight and twelve years ago.

We have before us a pure and highly elocutionary platform. Let us
nominate a man who will, as I may say, affilliate and amalgamate with
that platform. Who is that man? (Cries of "Blaine, Blaine, James G.
Blaine," "Lockwood, Lockwood, Belva A. Lockwood," and general confusion,
during which John A. Wise is seen to jerk loose about a nickel's worth
of Billy Mahone's whiskers.)

Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen of the convention, there has never been a
more harmonious convention in the United States to my knowledge since
the Sioux massacre in Minnesota. We are all here for the best good of
the party and each is willing to concede something rather than create
any ill-feeling. Look at Mahone for instance.

We have a good platform, now let us nominate a man whose record is in
harmony with that platform. Freedom has ever been our watchword. Now
that we have made the human race within our borders absolutely free, let
us add to our magnificent history as a party by one crowning act. Let us
fight for the Emancipation of Rum!

Rum has always been a mighty power in American politics, but it has not
been absolutely free. Let us be the first to recognize it as the great
corner-stone of American institutions. Let us make it free.

We have never had any Daniel Websters or Henry Clays since rum went up
from 20 cents a gallon to its present price. The war tax on whiskey for
over twenty years has made freedom a farce and liberty a loud and empty
snort in mid-air. 'Who, then, shall be our standard-bearer as we journey
onward towards victory? (Cries of "Blaine, Blaine, James G. Blaine," and

Gentlemen, I wish that a better and thrillinger orator had been selected
in my place to name the candidate on whom alone I can unite. Soldiers,
rail-splitters, statesmen, canal boys, tailors, farmers, merchants and
school teachers have been Presidents of the United States, but to my
knowledge no convention has ever yet named a distiller. I have the honor
to-day to name a modest man for the high office of President; a man who
never before allowed his name to be presented to a convention; a man who
never even stated in the papers that his name would not be presented to
the convention; a man who has never sought or courted publicity even in
his own business; a man who has been a distiller in a quiet way for over
fifteen years and yet has never even advertised in the papers; a man who
has so carefully shunned the eye of the world that only two or three
of us know where his place of business is; a man who has such an utter
contempt for office that he has shot two Government officials who
claimed to be connected with the internal revenue business; a man who
can drink or let it alone, but who has aimed to divide the time up about
equally between the two; a man who had absolutely nothing to do with
the war, not having heard about it in time; a man who defies his
culumniators or anybody else of his heft; a man who would paint the
White House red; a man who takes great pleasure in being his own worst
enemy. (Cries of "Name him! Name him!" Great confusion, and cries of
pain from several harmonious delegates who are getting the worst of it.)

Not to take up your time, let me say in closing that the day for great
men as candidates for an important office is past. Great men in a great
country antagonize different factions and are then compelled to fall
back on literature. What we want is an obscure and silent chump. I have
found him. He has never antagonized but two men in his life and they
are now voting in a better land. He is a plain man, and his career at
Washington would be marked with more or less tobacco juice. For over
fifteen years he has been constructing at his country seat a lurid style
of whiskey known as The Essence of Crime. Quietly and unostentatiously
he has fought for the emancipation of whiskey everywhere. He says that
we are too prone to worry about our clothes and their cost and to give
too little thought to our tax-ridden rum.

Then, Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen, here in the full glare of public
approval, feeling that the name I am about to pronounce will in a few
moments flash across a mighty continent and greet the moist and moaning
news editor, the grimy peasant, the pussy banker and the streaked tennis
player; that the name I now nourish in my panting brain will soon be
taken up on willing tongues and borne across the union, rising and
saluting the hot blue dome of heaven, pulsating across the ocean,
rocking the beautifully upholstered thrones of the Old World and
calling forth a dark blue torrent of profanity from the offices of the
illustrated papers, none of which will be provided with his portrait,
I desire to name Mr. Clem Beasly, of Arkansaw, a man who has spent his
best years manufacturing man's greatest enemy. I hurrah for him and
holler for him, and love him for the (hic) enemy he has made.


|I LEARN with much sadness that Mr. William H. Vanderbilt's once
princely fortune has shrivelled down to $150,000,000. This piece of
information comes to me like a clap of thunder out of a clear sky. Once
petted, fondled and caressed, William H. Vanderbilt shorn of his wealth,
and resting upon no foundation but his sterling integrity, must struggle
along with the rest of us.

It would be but truth to say that Mr. Vanderbilt will receive very
little sympathy from the world now in the days of his adversity and
penury when the wolf is at his door. There are many of his former
friends who will say that William could economize and struggle along on
$150,000,000, but let them try it once and see how they would like it
themselves; $150,000,000, with no salary outside of that amount, will
not last forever.

A poor man might pinch along in such a case if he could get something
to do, but we must remember that Mr. Vanderbilt has always lived in
comparatively comfortable circumstances. His hands, therefore, are
tender and his stomach juts out into the autumn air. He will, therefore,
find it hard at first to husk corn and dig potatoes. When he stoops over
a sawbuck around New York this winter his stomach will be in the way
and his vest will no doubt split open on the back. All these things
will annoy the spoiled child of luxury, and his broad features will be
covered with sadness. They will, at least, if there is sadness enough in
the country to do it.

The fall of William 'H. Vanderbilt and his headlong plunge from the
proud eminence to which his means had elevated him downward to the
cringing poverty of $150,000,000 should be a sad warning to us all.
This fate may fall to any of us. Oh, let us be prepared when the summons
comes. For one I believe I am ready. Should the dread news come to me
to-morrow that such a fate had befallen me, I would nerve myself up to
it and meet it like a man. With the ruin of my former fortune I would
buy me a crust of bread and some pie, and then I would take the
balance and go over into Canada and there I would establish a home for
friendless bank cashiers who are now there, several hundred of them, all
alone and with no one to love them.

All kinds of charitable institutions, costing many thousands of dollars,
are built in America from year to year for the comfort of homeless and
friendless women and children, but man is left out in the cold. Why is
this thus. Lots of people in Canada, of course, are doing their best to
make it cheerful and sunny for our lovely cashiers there, but still it
is not home. As a gentleman once said in my hearing, "There is no place
like home." And he was right.

In conclusion, I do not know what to say, unless it be to appeal to the
newspaper men of the country in Mr. Vanderbilt's behalf. While he was
wealthy he was proud and arrogant. He said, "Let the newspapers be
blankety blanked to blank," or words to that effect, but we do not care
for that. Let us forget all that and remember that his sad fate may some
day be our own. In our affluence let us not lose sight of the fact that
Van is suffering. Let us procure a place for him on some good paper.
His grammar and spelling are a little bit rickety but he could begin as
janitor and gradually work his way up. Parties having clothing or funds
which they feel like giving may forward the same to me at Hudson, Wis.,
postpaid, and if the clothes do not fit Van they may possibly fit me.

New York, Oct. 7,1883.

Bill Nye.

P.S,--Oct. 30.--Since issuing the above I have received several
consignments of clothes for the suffering, also one sack of corn-meal
and a ham. Let the good work go on, for it is far more blessed to give
than to receive, I am told; and as Jay Gould said when, as a boy, he
gave the wormy half of an apple to his dear teacher, "Half is better
than the hole."


|IN June the medicated tropical fruit known as the rhubarb-pie is in
full bloom. The farmer goes forth into his garden to find out where the
coy, old setting hen is hiding from the vulgar gaze, and he discovers
that his pie-plant is ripe. He then forms a syndicate with his wife for
the purpose of publishing the seditious and rebellious pie.

It is singular that the War Department has never looked into the scheme
for fighting the Indians with rhubarb-pie, instead of the regular army.
One-half the army could then put in its time court-martialing the other
half, and all would be well.

Rhubarb undoubtedly has its place in the _materia medica_, but when
it sneaks into the pie of commerce it is out of place. Castor-oil,
and capsicum, and dynamite, and chloroform, and porous-plasters, and
arsenic, all have their uses in one way or another, but they would not
presume to enter into the composition of a pie.

They know it would not be tolerated. But rhubarb, elated with its
success as a drug, forgets its humble origin and aspires to become au
article of diet.

Now the pumpkin knows its place. You never knew of a pumpkin trying to
monkey with science. The pumpkin knows that it was born to bury itself
in the bosom of the pumpkin-pie. It does not therefore, go about the
country claiming to be a remedy for spavin.

Supposing that the gory, yet toothsome steak, that grows on the back of
the twenty-one-year-old steer's neck, should claim for itself that it
could go into a drug-store and cure rheumatism and heartburn. Wouldn't
every one say that it was out of place and uncalled for? Certainly. The
back of the tough old steer's neck knows that it is destined for
the mince-pie, and nature did not intend otherwise. So also with the
vulcanized gristle, and arctic overshoe heel, and the shoe-string,
and the white button, and all those elements that go to make up the
mince-pie. They do not try to make medicines and cordials and anodynes
of themselves. Rhubarb is the only thing that successfully holds its
place with the apothecary, and yet draws a salary in the pie business.

I do not know how others may look at this matter, but I do not think
it is right. Still you find this medicated pie in the social circle
everywhere. We guard our homes with the strictest surveillance in other
matters, and yet we allow the low, vulgar pie-plant-pie to creep into
our houses and into our hearts. That is, it creeps into our hearts
figuratively speaking. The heart is not, as a matter of fact, one of
the digestive organs, but I use the term just as all poets do under like

Many, however, will always continue to use the rhubarb-pie, and for
those I give below a receipt which has stood the test of years,--one
which results in a pie that frosts and sudden atmospheric changes cannot

None but the youngest rhubarb should be used in making pies. Go out and
kill your rhubarb with a club, taking care not to kill the old and tough
variety. Give it a chance to repent. Remove the skin carefully, and take
out the digestive economy of the plant. Be specially careful to get off
the "fuzzy" coating, as rhubarb-pies with hair on are not in such favor
as they were when the country was new. Now put in the basement of cement
and throw on your rhubarb. Flavor with linseed-oil, and hammer out the
top crust until it is moderately thin. Then solder on the cover and
drill holes for the copper rivets. Having headed the rivets in place,
nail on zinc monogram, and kiln-dry the pie slowly. When it is cooled,
put on two coats of metallic paint, and adjust the time-lock. After you
find that the pie is impervious to the action of chilled steel or acids,
remove and feed it to the man who cheerfully pays for his whiskey and
steals his newspaper.


|LAST night I was awakened by the cry of fire. It was a loud, hoarse
cry, such as a large, adult man might emit from his window on the night
air. The town was not large, and the fire-department, I had been told,
was not so effective as it should have been.

For that reason I arose and carefully dressed myself in order to assist,
if possible. I carefully lowered myself from my room by means of a
staircase which I found concealed in a dark and mysterious corner of the

On the streets all was confusion. The hoarse cry of fire had been taken
up by others, passed around from one to another, till it had swollen
into a dull roar. The cry of fire in a small town is always a grand

All along the street in front of Mr. Pendergast's roller rink the
blanched faces of the people could be seen. Men were hurrying to and
fro, knocking the by-standers over in their frantic attempts to get
somewhere else. With great foresight Mr. Pendergast, who had that day
finished painting his roller rink a dull-roan color, removed from the
building the large card which bore the legend


so that those who were so disposed might feel perfectly free to lean up
against the rink and watch the progress of the flames.

Anon the bright glare of the devouring element might have been seen
bursting through the casement of Mr. Cicero Williams' residence, facing
on the alley west of Mr. Pendergast's rink. Across the street the
spectator whose early education had not been neglected could distinctly
read the sign of our esteemed fellow-townsman, Mr. Alonzo Burlingame,
which was lit up by the red glare of the flames so that the letters
stood out plain as follows:


Dealer in Soft and Hard Coal, Ice-Cream, Wood, Lime.

Cement, Perfumery, Nails, Putty, Spectacles, and Horse


Chocolate Caramels and Tar Roofing.

Gas-Pitting and Undertaking in All Its Branches.

Hides, Tallow and Maple Syrup.

Fine Gold Jewelry, Silverware and Salt.

Glue, Codfish and Gent's Neckwear.

Undertaker and Confectioner.

}}"Diseases of Horses and Children a Specialty."

John White, Ptr.

The flames spread rapidly, until they threat ened the Palace rink of our
esteemed fellow-townsman, Mr. Pendergast, whose genial and urbane manner
has endeared him to all.

With a degree of forethought worthy of a better cause, Mr. Leroy
W. Butts suggested the propriety of calling out the hook and ladder
company, an organization of which every one seemed to be justly proud.
Some delay ensued in trying to find the janitor of Pioneer Hook and
Ladder Company No. 1's building, but at last he was secured, and after
he had gone home for the key, Mr. Butts ran swiftly down the street
to awake the foreman, but after he had dressed himself and inquired
anxiously about the fire, he said that he was not foreman of the company
since the 2d of April.

Meantime the fire-fiend continued to rise up ever and anon on his hind
feet and lick up salt barrel after salt barrel in close proximity to the
Palace rink, owned by our esteemed fellow-citizen, Mr. Pendergast. Twice
Mr. Pendergast was seen to shudder, after which he went home and filled
out a blank which he forwarded to the insurance company.

Just as the town seemed doomed the hook-and-ladder company came rushing
down the street with their navy-blue hook-and-ladder truck. It is indeed
a beauty, being one of the Excelsior noiseless hook-and-ladder factory's
best instruments, with tall red pails and rich blue ladders.

Some delay ensued, as several of the officers claimed that under a new
by-law passed in January they were permitted to ride on the truck to
fires. This having been objected to by a gentleman who had lived in
Chicago for several years, a copy of the by-laws was sent for and the
dispute summarily settled. The company now donned its rubber overcoats
with great coolness and proceeded at once to deftly twist the tail of
the fire-fiend.

It was a thrilling sight as James McDonald, a brother of Terrance
McDonald, Trombone, Ind., rapidly ascended one of the ladders in the
full glare of the devouring element and fell off again.

Then a wild cheer rose to a height of about nine feet, and all again
became confused.

It was now past 11 o'clock, and several of the members of the
hook-and-ladder company who had to get up early the next day in order to
catch a train excused themselves and went home to seek much-needed rest.

Suddenly it was discovered that the brick livery stables of Mr.
McMichaels, a nephew of our worthy assessor, was getting hot. Leaving
the Palace rink to its fate, the hook-and-ladder company directed
its attention to the brick barn, and after numerous attempts at last
succeeded in getting its large iron prong fastened on the second story
window-sill, which was pulled out. The hook was again inserted but not
so effectively, bringing down this time an armful of hay and part of an
old horse blanket. Another courageous jab was made with the iron hook,
which succeeded in pulling out about five cents' worth of brick. This
was greeted by a wild burst of applause from the bystanders, during
which the hook-and-ladder company fell over each other and added to the
horror of the scene by a mad burst of pale-blue profanity.

It was not long before the stable was licked up by the fire-fiend,
and the hook-and-ladder company directed its attention toward the
undertaking, embalming, and ice-cream parlors of our highly-esteemed
fellow-townsman, Mr. A. Burlingame. The company succeeded in pulling two
stone window-sills out of this building before it burned. Both times
they were encored by the large and aristocratic audience.

Mr. Burlingame at once recognized the efforts of the heroic firemen by
tapping a keg of beer, which he distributed among them at twenty-five
cents per glass.

This morning a space forty-seven feet wide, where but yesterday all was
joy and prosperity and beauty, is covered over with blackened ruins. Mr.
Pendergast is overcome by grief at the loss of his rink, but assures us
that if he is successful in getting the full amount of his insurance he
will take the money and build two rinks, either one of which will be far
more imposing than the one destroyed last evening.

A movement is on foot to give a literary and musical entertainment at
Burley's Hall to raise funds for the purchase of new uniforms for the
"fire laddies," at which Mrs. Butts has consented to sing "When the
Robins Nest Again," and Miss Mertie Stout will recite "'Ostler Joe,"
a selection which never fails to offend the best people everywhere.
Twenty-five cents for each offence. Let there be a full house.


|YOU think, no doubt, William, that I am happy, but I cannot say that
I am. I will tell you my little reminiscence if you don't mind, and you
can judge for yourself." These were the words of Big Steve, as we sat
together one evening, watching the dealer slide the cards out of his
little tin photograph album, while the crowd bought chips of the banker
and corded them up out the green table.

"You look on me as a great man to inaugurate a funeral, and wish that
you had a miscellaneous cemetery yourself to look back on; but greatness
always has its drawbacks. We cannot be great unless we pay the price.
What we call genius is after all only industry and perseverance. When
my father undertook to clean me out, in our own St. Lawrence County
home, I filed his coat-tails full of bird-shot and fled. Father
afterwards said that he could have overlooked it so far as the coat was
concerned, but he didn't want it shot to pieces while he had it on.

"Then I went to Kansas City and shot a colored man. That was a good many
years ago, and you could kill a colored man then as you can a Chinaman
now, with impunity, or any other weapon you can get your hands onto.
Still the colored man had friends and I had to go further West. I went
to Nevada then, and lived under a cloud and a _nom de plume_, as you
fellers say.

"I really didn't want to thin out the population of Nevada, but I had to
protect myself. They say that after a feller has killed his man, he
has a thirst for blood and can't stop, but that ain't so. You
'justifiable-homicide' a man and get clear, and then you have to look
out for friends of the late lamented. You see them everywhere. If your
stomach gets out of order you see the air full of vengeance, and you
drink too much and that don't help it. Then you kill a man on
suspicion that he is follering you up, and after that you shoot in
an extemporaneous, way, that makes life in your neighborhood a little

"That's the way it was with me. I've got where I don't sleep good any
more, and the fun of life has kind of pinched out, as we say in the
mines. It's a big thing to run a school-meeting or an election, but it
hardly pays me for the free spectacular show I see when I'm trying to
sleep. You know if you've ever killed a man--"

"No, I never killed one right out," I said apologetically. "I shot one
once, but he gained seventy-five pounds in less than six months."

"Well, if you ever had, you'd notice that he always says or does
something that you can remember him by. He either says, 'Oh, I am shot'!
or 'You've killed me'! or something like that, in a reproachful way,
that you can wake up in the night and hear most any time. If you kill
him dead, and he don't say a word, he will fall hard on the ground, with
a groan that will never stop. I can shut my eyes and hear one now. After
you've done it, you always wish they'd showed a little more fight. You
could forgive 'em if they'd cuss you, and holler, and have some style
about 'em, but they won't. They just reel, and fall, and groan. Do you
know I can't eat a meal unless my back is agin' the wall. I asked Wild
Bill once how he could stand it to turn his back on the crowd and eat a
big dinner. He said he generally got drunk just before dinner, and that
helped him out.

"So you see, William, that if a man is a great scholar, he is generally
dyspeptic; if he's a big preacher, they tie a scandal to his coat-tail,
and if he's an eminent murderer, he has insomnia and loss of appetite. I
almost wish sometimes that I had remained in obscurity. Its a big thing
to be a public man, with your name in the papers and everybody afraid to
collect a bill of you, for fear you'll let the glad sunlight into their
thorax; but when you can't eat nor sleep, and you're liable to wake
up with your bosom full of buckshot, or your neck pulled out like
a turkey-gobler's, and your tongue hanging out of your mouth in a
ludicrous manner, and your overshoes failing to touch the ground by
about ten feet, you begin to look back on your childhood and wish you
could again be put there, sleepy and sinless, hungry and happy."


|IT HAD been a day of triumph at Erastina. Buffalo Bill, returning
from Marlborough House, had amused the populace with the sports of an
amphitheatre to an extent hitherto unknown even in that luxurious city.
A mighty multitude of people from Perth Amboy and New York had been
present to watch the attack on the Dead wood coach and view with bated
breath the conflict in the arena.

The shouts of revelry had died away. The last loiterer had retired from
the bleaching boards and the lights in the palace of the cowboy band
were extinguished. The moon piercing the tissue of fleecy clouds, tipped
the dark waters about Constable Hook with a wavy, tremulous light.
The dark-browed Roman soldier, wearing an umbrella belonging to Imre
Kiralfy, wabbled slowly homeward, the proud possessor of a large
rectangular "jag."

No sound was heard save the low sob of some retiring wave as it told
its story to the smooth pebbles of the beach, or the lower sob of some
gentleman who had just sought to bed down a brand-new bucking bronco
from Ogallalla and decided to escape violently through the roof of the
tent; then all was still as the breast when the spirit has departed.
Anon the smoke-tanned Cheyenne snore would steal in upon the silence and
then die away like the sough of a summer breeze. In the green-room of
the amphitheatre a little band of warriors had assembled. The foam of
conflict yet lingered on their lips, the scowl of battle yet hung upon
their brows, and the large knobs on their classic profiles indicated
that it had been a busy day with them. The night wynd blew chill and
the warrior had added to his moss-agate ear-bobs a heavy coat of
maroon-colored roof paint.

There was an embarrassing silence of a little spell and then Red Shirt,
fighting chief of the Sioux Nation borrowed a chew of tobacco from
Aurelius Poor Doe, stepped forth and thus addressed them:

Fellow-Citizens and Gentlemen of the Wild West: Ye call me chief, and
ye do well to call him chief who for two long years has met in the arena
every shape of man or beast that the broad empire of Nebraska could
furnish, and yet has never lowered his arm.

If there be one among you can say that ever at grub dance or scalp
german or on the war-path my action did belie my tongue let him stand
forth and say it and I will send him home with his daylights done up in
the morning paper. If there be three in all your company dare face me
on the bloody sands let them come on and I will bore holes in the arena
with them and utilize them in fixing up a sickening spectacle.

And yet I was not alway thus, a hired butcher attacking a Deadwood
coach, both afternoon and evening, the savage chief of still more savage

My ancestors came from Illinois. They dwelt there in the vine-clad hills
and citron groves of the Sangamon at a time when the country was overrun
with Indians. Instead of paying to see Indians, my ancestors would walk
a long distance over a poor road in order to get a shot at a white man.

In Dakota my early life ran quiet as the clear brook by which I babbled,
and my boyhood was one long, happy summer day. We bathed in the soiled
waters of the upper Missouri and ate the luscious prickly pear in the
land of the Dakotahs.

I did not then know what war was, but when Sitting Bull told me of
Marathon and Leuctra and Bull Run, and how at a fortified railroad pass
Imre Kiralfy had withstood the whole Roman army, my cheek burned, I knew
not why, and I thought what a glorious thing it would be to leave the
reservation and go upon the warpath. But my mother kissed my throbbing
temples and bade me go soak my head and think no more of those old tales
and savage wars.

That very night the entire regular army and wife landed on our coasts.
They tore down our tepee, stampeded our stock, stole our grease paints
and played a mean trick on our dog.

To-day in the arena I killed a man in the Black Hills coach, and when I
undid his cinch, behold! he was my friend. The same sweet smile was on
his face that I had noted when I met him on my trip abroad. He knew me
smiled faintly, made a few false motions and died. I begged that I might
bear away the body to my tepee and express it to his country seat,
near Limerick, and upon my bended knees, amid the dust and blood of
the arena, I begged this pool favor, and a Roman prætor from St. George
answered: "Let the carrion rot. There are no noble men but Romans and
banana men. Let the show go on. Give us our money's worth. Bring out
the bobtail lion from Abyssinia and the bucking bronco from Dead Man's
Ranch." And the assembled maids and matrons and the rabble shouted in
derision and told me to brace up, and bade Johnnie git his gun, git his
gun, git his gun, and other vile flings which I do not now recall. And
so must you, fellow warriors, and so must I, die like dogs. Ye stand
here like giants (N. Y. Giants) as ye are, but to-morrow the fangs of
the infuriated buffalo may sink into your quivering flesh. To-night
ye stand here in the full flush of health and conscious rectitude, but
to-morrow some crank may shoot you from the Deadwood coach.

Hark! Hear ye yon buffalo roaring in her den? 'Tis three days since she
tasted flesh, but to-morrow she will have warrior on toast, and don't
you forget it. And she will fling your vertebrae about her cage like the
costly Etruscan pitcher of a League nine.

If ye are brutes, then stand here like fat oxen waiting for the
butcher's knife. If ye are men, arise and follow me. We will beat down
the guard, overpower the ticket-chopper and cut for the tall timber. We
will go through Ellum Park, Port Richmond, Tower Hill, West Brighton,
Sailors' Snug Harbor and New Brighton like a colored revival through a
watermelon patch, beat down the walls of the Circus Maximus, tear the
mosquito bars from the windows of Nero's palace, capture the Roman
ballet and light out for Europe.

O comrades! warriors!! gladiators!!!

If we be men, let us die like men, beneath the blue sky, don't you know,
and by the still waters, according to Gunter, in the presence of the
nobility, rather than be stepped on by a spoiled bronco, surrounded by
low tradesmen from New York.


|THERE can be nothing more pathetic than to watch the decay of a race,
even though it be a scrub race. To watch the decay of the Indian race,
has been with me, for many years a passion, and the more the Indian has
decayed the more reckless I have been in studying his ways.

The Indian race for over two hundred years has been a race against Time,
and I need hardly add that Time is away ahead as I pen these lines.

I dislike to speak of myself so much, but I have been identified with
the Indians more or less for fifteen years. In 1876 I was detailed by a
San Francisco paper to attend the Custer massacre and write it up,
but not knowing where the massacre was to be held I missed my way and
wandered for days in an opposite direction. When I afterwards heard how
successful the massacre was, and fully realized what I had missed, my
mortification knew no bounds, but I might have been even more so if I
had been successful. We never know what is best for us.

But the Indian is on the wane, whatever that is. He is disappearing from
the face of the earth, and we find no better illustration of this sad
fact than the gradual fading away of the Shinnecock Indians near the
extremity of Long Island.

In company with _The World_ artist, who is paid a large salary to
hold me up to ridicule in these columns, I went out the other day to
Southampton and visited the surviving members of this great tribe.

Neither of us knows the meaning of fear. If we had been ordered by the
United States Government to wipe out the whole Shinnecock tribe we would
have taken a damp towel and done it.

The Shinnecock tribe now consists of James Bunn and another man. But
they are neither of them pure-blooded Shinnecock Indians. One-Legged
Dave, an old whaler, who, as the gifted reader has no doubt already
guessed, has but one leg, having lost the other in going over a reef
many years ago, is a pure-blooded Indian, but not a pure-blooded
Shinnecock. Most of these Indians are now mixed up with the negro race
by marriage and are not considered warlike.

The Shinnecocks have not been rash enough to break out since they had
the measles some years ago, but we will let that pass.

There are now about 150 Shinnecocks on the reservation, the most of whom
are negroes. They live together in peace and hominy, trying most of the
time to ascertain what the wild waves are saying in regard to fish.

There is an air of gentle, all-pervading peace which hangs over the
Shinnecock hills and that had its effect even upon my tumultuous and
aggressive nature, wooing me to repose. I could rest there all this
summer and then, after a good night's sleep, I could go right at it
again in the morning. Rest at Southampton does not seem to fatigue one
as it does elsewhere.

The Shinnecock Indian has united his own repose of manner with the calm
and haughty distrust of industry peculiar to the negro, and the result
is something that approaches nearer to the idea of eternal rest than
anything I have ever seen. The air seems to be saturated with it and the
moonlight is soaked full of calm. It would be a good place in which to
wander through the gloaming and pour a gallon or so of low, passionate
yearning into the ear of a loved one.

As a friend of mine, who is the teacher of modern languages and
calisthenics in an educational institution, once said, "the air seems
filled with that delicious dolce farina for which those regions is noted
for." I use his language because I do not know now how I could add to it
in any way.

We visited Mr. James Bunn at his home on Huckleberry avenue, saw the
City Hall and Custom House and obtained a front view of it, secured a
picture of the residence of the Street Commissioner and then I talked
with Mr. Bunn while the artist got a marine view of his face.

Mr. Bunn was for forty years a whaler, but had abandoned the habit now,
as there is so little demand among the restaurants for whales, and also
because there are fewer whales. I ascertained from him that the whale at
this season of the year does not readily rise to the fly, but bites the
harpoon greedily during the middle of the day.

Mr. Bunn also gave us a great deal of other Information, among other
things informing us of the fact that the white men had been up to their
old tricks and were trying to steal portions of the reservation that had
not been nailed down. He did not say whether it was the same man who is
trying to steal the old Southampton graveyard or not.

James is about seventy-five years old and his father once lived in a
wigwam on the Shinnecock Hills. Mr. Bunn says that the country has
changed very much in the past 250 years and that I would hardly know the
place if I could have seen it at first. During that time he says two
other houses have been built and he has reshingled the L of his barn
with hay.

He told us the thrilling story of the Spanish Sylph and how she was
wrecked many years ago on the coast near his house, and how the Spanish
dollars burst out of her gaping side and fell with a low, mellow plunk
into the raging main.

How and then the sea has given up one of these "sand-dollars" as the
years went by, and not over two years ago one was found along the shore
near by. What I blame the Shinnecock Indians for is their fatal yearning
to subsist solely on this precarious income.

But with the decline of the whaling industry, due somewhat to the great
popularity of natural and acquired gas as a lubricant, together with
the cheap methods of picking up electricity and preserving it for
illuminating purposes, and also to the fact that whales are more
skittish than they used to be, the Shinnecock whaler is left high and

It is, indeed, a pathetic picture. Here on the stern and rock-bound
coast, where their ancestors greeted Columbus and other excursionists
as they landed on the new dock and at once had their pictures taken in a
group for the illustration on the greenbacks, now the surviving relic of
a brave people, with bowed heads and frosting locks, are waiting a few
days only for the long, dark night of merciful oblivion.

So he walks in the night-time, all through the long fly time, he walks
by the sorrowful sea, and he yearns to wake never, but lie there forever
in the arms of the sheltering sea, to lie in the lap of the sea.

At least that is my idea of the way the Shinnecock feels about it.

The Indian race, wherever we find it, gives us a wonderful illustration
of the great, inherent power of rum as a human leveler. The Indian has,
perhaps, greater powers of endurance than the white man, and enters into
the great unequal fight with rum almost hilariously, but he loses his
presence of mind and forgets to call a cab at the proper moment. This is
a matter that has never been fully understood even by the pale face, and
of course the Indian is a perfect child in the great conflict with rum.
The result is that the Indian is passing away under our very eyes, and
the time will soon come when the Indian agent will have to seek some
other healthful, outdoor exercise.

So the consumptive Shinnecock, the author of "Shinny on Your Own Ground
and Other Games," is soon to live only in the flea-bitten records of a
great nation. Once he wrote pieces for the boys to speak in school, and
contributed largely to McGuffy's and Sander's periodicals, but now you
never hear of an Indian who is a good extemporaneous public speaker, or
who can write for sour apples.

He no longer makes the statement that he is an aged hemlock, that his
limbs are withered and his trunk attached by the constable. He has
ceased to tell through the columns of the Fifth Reader how swift he used
to be as a warrior and that the war-path is now overgrown with grass. He
very seldom writes anything for the papers except over the signature of
Veritas, and the able young stenographer who used to report his speeches
at the council fire seems to have moved away.

Two hundred and fifty years ago the Shinnecock Hills were covered by a
dense forest, but in that brief period, as if by magic, two and one-half
acres of that ground have been cleared, which is an average of an entire
acre for every hundred years. When we stop to consider that very little
of this work was done by the women and that the men have to attend to
the cleaning of the whales in order to prepare them for the table, and
also write their contributions for the school-books and sign treaties
with the White Father at Washington, we are forced to admit that had the
Indian's life been spared for a few thousand years more he would have
been alive at the end of that time.

So they wander on together, waiting for the final summons. Waiting for
the pip or measles, and their cough is dry aud hacking as they cough
along together towards the large and wide hereafter.

They have lived so near Manhattan, where refinement is so plenty, where
the joy they jerk from barley--every other day but Sunday--gives the
town a reddish color, that the Shinnecock is dying, dying with his
cowhide boots on, dying with his hectic flush on, while the church
bells chime in Brooklyn and New Yorkers go to Jersey, go to get their
fire-water, go to get their red-eyed bug-juice, go to get their cooking

Far away at Minnehaha, in the land of the Dakota, where the cyclone
feels so kinky, rising on its active hind-feet, with its tail up o'er
the dash-board, blowing babies through the grindstone without injuring
the babies, where the cyclone and the whopper journey on in joy
together--there refinement and frumenti, with the new and automatic
maladies and choice diseases that belong to the Caucasian, gather in the
festive red man, take him to the reservation, rob him while his little
life lasts, rob him till he turns his toes up, rob him till he kicks the

And the Shinnecock is fading, he who greeted Chris. Columbus when he
landed, tired and seasick, with a breath of peace and onions; he who
welcomed other strangers, with their notions of refinement and their
knowledge of the Scriptures and their fondness for Gambrinus--they have
compassed his damnation and the Shinnecock is busted.


|NOAH Webster probably had the best command of language of any author
of our time. Those who have read his great work entitled Webster's
Unabridged Dictionary, or How One Word Led to Another, will agree with
me that he was smart. Noah never lacked for a word by which to express
himself. He was a brainy man and a good speller.

We were speaking of Mr. Webster on the way up here this afternoon, and a
gentleman from Ashland told me of his death. Those of you who have read
Mr. Webster's works will be pained to learn of this. One by one our
eminent men are passing away. Mr. Webster has passed away; Napoleon
Bonaparte is no more, and Dr. Mary Walker is fading away. This has been
a severe winter on Sitting Bull, and I have to guard against the night
air a good deal myself.

It would ill become me at this late date to criticise Mr. Webster's
work, a work that is now I may say in nearly every office, home,
school-room and counting-room in the land. It is a great book. I only
hope that had Mr. Webster lived he would have been equally fair in his
criticism of my books.

I hate to compare my books with Mr. Webster's, because it looks
egotistical in me; but although Noah's book is larger than mine and has
more literary attractions as a book to set a child on at the table, it
does not hold the interest of the reader all the way through.

He has tried to introduce too many characters into his book at the
expense of the plot. It is a good book to pick up and while away a
leisure hour, perhaps, but it is not a work that could rivet your
interest till midnight, while the fire went out and the thermometer went
down to 47 below zero. You do not hurry through the pages to see whether
Reginald married the girl or not. Mr. Webster didn't seem to care
whether he married the girl or not.

Therein consists the great difference between Noah and myself. He don't
keep up the interest. A friend of mine at Sing Sing who secured one of
my books, said he never left his room till he had devoured it. He said
he seemed chained to the spot, and if you can't believe a convict who is
entirely ont of politics, who in the name of George Washington can you

Mr. Webster was certainly a most brilliant writer, but a little
inclined, perhaps, to be wrong. I have discovered in some of his later
books 118,000 words no two of which are alike. This shows great fluency
and versatility, it is true, but we need something else. The reader
waits in vain to be thrilled by the author's wonderful word-painting.
There is not a thrill in the whole tome. Noah wasn't much of a thriller.
I am free to confess that when I read this book, of which I had heard
so much, I was bitterly disappointed. It is a larger book than mine and
costs more, and has more pictures in it than mine, but is it a work that
will make a man lead a different life? What does he say of the tariff?
What does he say of the roller skating rink? He is silent. He is full
of cold, hard words and dry definitions, but what does he say of the
Mormons and female suffrage, and how to cure the pip? Nothing. He evades
everything, just as a man does when he writes a letter accepting the
nomination for President.

As I said before, however, it is a good book to pickup for a few moments
or to read on the train. I could never think of taking a long r. r.
journey without Mr. Webster's tale in my pocket. I would just as quick
think of traveling without my bottle of cough medicine as to start out
without Mr. Webster's book.

Mr. Webster's Speller was a work of less pretensions, perhaps, but it
had an immense sale. Eight years ago 40,000,000 of these books had been
sold, and yet it had the same grave defect. It was disconnected, cold,
prosy and dull. I read it for years, and at last became a very close
student of Mr. Webster's style. Still I never found but one thing in
the book for which there was such a stampede, which was even ordinarily
interesting, and that was a perfect gem. It was so thrilling in detail
and so different from Mr. Webster's general style that I have often
wondered who he got to write it for him. Perhaps it was the author of
the _Bread Winners_. It related to the discovery of a boy in the
crotch of an old apple tree by an elderly gentleman, and the feeling of
bitterness and animosity that sprang up between the two, and how the old
man told the boy at first that he had better come down out of that tree,
because he was afraid the limb would break with him and let him fall.
Then, as the boy still remained, he told him that those were not
eating-apples, that they were just common cooking-apples, and that there
were worms in them. But the boy said he didn't mind a little thing like
that. So then the old gentleman got irritated and called the dog and
threw turf at the boy, and at last saluted him with pieces of turf
and decayed cabbages; and after he had gone away the old man pried the
bulldog's jaws open and found a mouthful of pantaloons and a freckle.
I do not tell this, of course, in Mr. Webster's language but I give the
main points as they recur now to my mind.

Though I have been a close student of Mr. Webster for years and examined
his style closely, I am free to say that his ideas about writing a book
are not the same as mine. Of course it is a great temptation for a young
author to write a book that will have a large sale, but that should not
be all. We should have a higher object than that, and strive to interest
those who read our books. It should not be jerky and scattering in its

I do not wish to do an injustice to a great man who I learn is now no
more, a man who has done so much for the world and who could spell the
longest word without hesitation, but I speak of these things just as I
would expect others to criticise nay work. If one aspire to monkey with
the _literati_ of our day we must expect to be criticised. I have been
criticised myself. When I was in public life--as a justice of the peace
in the Rocky Mountains--a man came in one day and criticised me so that
I did not get over it for two weeks.

I might add, though I dislike to speak of it now, that Mr. Webster was
at one time a member of the Legislature of Massachusetts. I believe that
was the only time he ever stepped aside from the straight and narrow
way. A good many people do not know this, but it is true. It only shows
how a good man may at one time in his life go wrong.

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