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Title: Josiah Allen on the Woman Question
Author: Holley, Mariettta
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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 Josiah Allen on the Woman
 Question


[Illustration: "She made me think that minute of them big rocks when I
was tryin' to plough 'round 'em" (see p. 82)]



 Josiah Allen on the
 Woman Question


 By
 MARIETTA HOLLEY

 _Author of "Samantha on the Woman Question", "Samantha
 at Saratoga", "My Opinions and Betsy Bobbett's", etc._


 _ILLUSTRATED._


 [Illustration]


 New York      Chicago      Toronto

 Fleming H. Revell Company

 London and Edinburgh



 Copyright, 1914, by
 FLEMING H. REVELL COMPANY


 New York: 158 Fifth Avenue
 Chicago: 125 North Wabash Ave.
 Toronto: 25 Richmond Street, W.
 London: 21 Paternoster Square
 Edinburgh: 100 Princes Street



Contents


 I. In Which I Resolve to Write a Book                    9

 II. In Which Betsy Bobbett Butts In                     25

 III. I Talk on Wimmen's Duty to Marry                   39

 IV. I Talk on Man's Protectin' Love for Wimmen          59

 V. Wherein I Prove Man's Courtesy Towards Wimmen        74

 VI. I Talk on Females Infringin'                        96

 VII. About Wimmen's Foolish Love for Petickulars       113

 VIII. I Talk on Wimmen's Extravagance                  135

 IX. The Danger From Wimmen's Exaggeration              151

 X. The Modern Wimmen Condemned                         169



ILLUSTRATIONS


                                                   Opposite
                                                       Page

 I. "She Made Me Think That Minute
 of Them Big Rocks When I Was
 Tryin' to Plough Round 'Em"                          title

 II. "And She Looked As If She Would
 Sink Down In Her Tracts"                               42

 III. "Till She Gets 'Em All Rousted Up,
 and Just Boy Cote That Man Till
 He Has to Keep Hullsome Food"                         120

 IV. "Josiah", Sez She, "a Hen Don't
 Cackle Till She Lays Her Egg"                         138



I

IN WHICH I RESOLVE TO WRITE A BOOK


For years and years I've been deeply wownded in my most sacred feelin's
and my reason has been outraged by my pardner, Samantha's, writin' agin
the righteous cause of man's superiority to wimmen.

But though my feelin's have been rasped and almost bleedin' from the
unjust wownds I've kep' still and let her go on with other headstrong
and blinded females, and argey and deny man's sole and indefrangible
right to oversee and order the affairs of the universe, and specially
the weak helpless female sect, the justice of which, it seems to me, a
infant babe might see without spectacles.

I have curbed in my wownded sperit and my mighty inteleck with almost
giant strength, and never let 'em have free play in public print to
dispute and overthrow them uroneous doctrines.

And my reason for this course has been twofold. First, as any male
Filosifer and female Researcher knows, that owin' to her weakness of
inteleck and soft nater, a woman's mind gits ruffled up easy, and
that rufflin' up affects her cookin'. And under a too severe strain a
female has sometimes forgot to be promp with her meals, and not notice
seemin'ly that her pies wuz runnin' out, and the cookie jar gittin'
empty. Such things, no matter how strong a man's inteleck is, has a
deleterious effeck on his internal systern, which reacts on his branial
cranium. And I've been afraid of the consequences if I onleashed the
lion in me, and answered and crushed her onholy arguments in cold type.

And my second reason wuz that in spite of her almost blasphemous
doctrine that wimmen are equal to men, I knowed that under them mistook
idees it wuz a lackage of good horse sense and not inherient depravity
that ailed her. I knowed that if Samantha wuz only willin' to settle
down peacefully in the shelter and shade of man's powerful strength and
personality, there never wuz a better woman or a neater, equinomicler
housekeeper on earth than Samantha Smith Allen, and as a maker of cream
biscuit and apple dumplin's, and a frier and briler of spring chickens
never outdone and seldom equalled. I've argued in private life with
her till my jaws ached and my lungs wheezed with incessant labor. Have
experimented in various ways and appeared before her daily for years
as a shinin' sample of man's superiority. But never, never have I been
able to make her own up how inferior her sect is to the more opposite
one. But as I say, as long as I've suffered, I have never before took
my rightful place in literatoor, never took the high peak waitin'
for me to set down on, while I hurled the thunderbolts of convincin'
eloquence down upon the female wimmen squirmin' beneath me.

But I dassent wait a minute longer. I have got to put a stop to the
awful doin's goin' on around me. And if my worst forebodin's are
realized, and I've got to starve it out, I will offer myself a hungry
victim to Duty, and die with my manly principles enfoldin' my gant form
like a halo of glory. But mebby I've waited too long. I tremble to
think on't. I ort to made the move sooner.

For things are growin' worse and worse all the time, female wimmen
are risin' up on every side claimin' to be equal to men, talkin',
preachin', hikin', paradin' with lyin' banners, vowin' with brazen
impudence that since they bear the financial and legal burdens of
citizenship, they ort to be citizens of the U.S., and since they bear
children they want to protect 'em in the house and outdoors, and so on
to the end of their windy arguments. Want to be citizens! how can they
be? Hain't the eagle a male bird? And what duz E Pluribus Unum mean?
Why, we men translated it years ago--Eminent People Us--Us males. And
every fool knows that wimmen hain't a people, hain't a citizen and
never has been. Jest think on't, weak wimmen, underlin's, as they've
always been legally and politically considered, dashin' and hikin'
about, bilin' up like foamin' billers of froth and folly threatenin'
to engulf our noble Ship of State. I've knowed how a strong minded
man wuz needed to grasp holt of the hellum and try to steer that poor
staggerin' wobblin' wimmen tosted craft into a haven of safety, into
some place where men can agin enjoy their Heaven born rights to rule
the world and boss round the female sect, and to turn that frothy
turbulent feminist tide sweepin' out into broad paths never meant for
it to sweep in, into the shaller narrer safe channels it is fitted for.
I had decided not to tell Samantha about my great book aginst Female
Suffrage till it wuz writ and published and the crash come. But the
very day I begun my immortal work she wuz cookin' a young duck with
dressin', and the delicious uroma come like incense to my nostrils,
and insensibly it softened my feelin's. And I thought mebby I ort
to prepare her for what would be the effect of my book on her sect,
and the world at large. We'd lived together for years and outside of
her uroneous beliefs she'd been a kind and agreeable companion, a fur
better cook and housekeeper than any Aunty Suffragist I ever see or
hearn on, and had been a help and comfort to me; she wuz bakin' a plum
puddin' too, and some Hubbard squash. And as I inhaled the delicious
odors I felt more and more soft and meller towards her, most as soft as
the squash. And so I broached the subject to her.

Sez I, "What do you think, Samantha, about my great projeck of
destroyin' female suffrage? What do you think of my writin' the book?"

I said the words and paused for a reply. The kitchen wuz clean and
cozy, the cheerful fire blazed; Samantha sot with smooth hair and
serene face in a new gingham dress and white apron, choppin' some
cabbage and celery for a salad; all wuz peace and happiness.

As I spoke the fateful words it seemed as if old Nater herself wuz
listenin' and peakin' in through the kitchen door to see what would
happen. What would be the effect on Samantha? I dreaded, yet waited for
the result. Would she overwhelm me with reproaches and entreaties to
stop and not ruin her sect? Would she be overcome and swoon away? And
the appaulin' thought come to me onbid, if she did who would finish up
the dinner? As I asked the question she paused with the choppin' knife
in her hand and sez:

"When I wuz a girl we had a Debatin' School, and there wuz one feller
that we always tried to git on the side opposite to us, his talk and
arguments wuz such a help to us. I hain't no objections to your writin'
the book, Josiah." And then she resoomed her work with her linement cam
as ever. I felt relieved, but couldn't see what sot her off to tellin'
that old story at this juncter, and can't to this day, but set it down
to female's inability to grasp holt of important questions, and answer
'em in a straightforward way as males do.

I knowed when I begun my great work of stompin' out Woman's Suffrage
that I must proceed careful; wimmen had clogged up the road to Truth
and Reason so with their fool arguments, lectures, parades, etc., I
must plough through 'em and make my way clear every step I took so no
clackin' arguin' female could rise up and dispute 'em.

I laid out to chase females back to the very beginin', and there in the
dim light of the dawnin' day of Time to grasp holt of the unanswerable
argument that proves to every reasonable mind wimmen's inferiority and
man's greatness. And then chase 'em back agin through the centuries up
to the present time, and there corner 'em and break down their flimsy
arguments of equality, and crush 'em forever. And make an end to this
male disturbin', world opsettin' bizness of Wimmen's Rights. And in
divin' back into history as fur as I've doven I want to give suitable
credit to my chumb, Uncle Simon Bentley. Bein' a bacheldor without no
hamperin' female ties drawin' on him and holdin' him back, he's had
more time than I have to devote to arjous study and research on the
subject, and has been a help to me. Not but what I could have equalled
him or gone ahead on him if I'd been foot-loose. But Samantha and the
barn stock wuz on my back, and fambly cares kep' me down. But after he
mentioned to me certain things he had studied out, I told him I had
thought of them very things more than one hundred times, but hadn't had
time to write 'em down.

Why, in the very first beginin' of time, we find the great fact that
smashes female equality down into the dirt where it belongs. We find
that wimmen wuz made and manufactured jest because men wuz kinder
lonesome. As Uncle Sime well sez, "It wuz jest a happen that wimmen
wuz made at all. Adam happened to feel kinder lonesome alone on that
big farm, and probable needed wimmen's help. And he happened to have
a extra rib he could spare as well as not, and so wimmen wuz made out
of that spare rib. But," sez Uncle Sime, "Adam would have been as
well agin off if Eve hadn't been made, and I should have told him so
if I had been there." Sez he bitterly, "Men hain't been lonesome since
wimmen wuz made. Oh, no! she has kep' her clack goin', and kep' men's
noses down on the grindstun ever sence."

"Well," sez I, "Simon, it wuz noble in Adam to be willin' to lose one
of his ribs to make her, for who knows to what hites men might have riz
up if he hadn't parted with it. If us men have riz up to such a hite
with one rib lackin' who knows how fur we should have gone up with the
hull on 'em."

"That hain't the pint," sez Uncle Sime. "The pint is, how dast wimmen
feel so big and claim to be equal to us men, when they think how, and
why, and what out of they wuz created. Wimmen ort to feel thankful and
grateful to men that she wuz made at all. How would she felt if she
hadn't been made? I guess she would feel pretty cheap and not put on so
many airs, and be hikein' round preachin' to her superiors."

In his excitement Uncle Sime had enunciated that crushin' argument
in a ruther loud tone. We wuz settin' on the back stoop and Samantha
comin' out to shake the table-cloth must have hearn it. But instead of
actin' humiliated and crushed by that masterly argument she looked at
us kinder queer over her specs, folded her table-cloth camly and said
nothin'.

And after she went in Uncle Sime resoomed his unanswerable arguments.
"Why, beside Bible proofs I can prove it in a scientific way. Weigh up
a man's bones in the stillyards and they'll weigh one hundred pounds
more or less, jest the bones. And now jest think on the preposterous
idee of that one little rib bone a risin' up right in the face of
science and reason, and pretendin' to be equal to the hull carcass.
And worse yet tryin' to stomp on him and bring him down to her level
by votin'. Why, if Adam had hearn to me and kep' that rib bone where
it wuz, jest think what the world would have escaped, think of the
jealousies, angers, revenges, weariness, expenses, wars, ruin and
bloodshed caused through the centuries by changin' that rib bone into a
female!"

I wuz astounded to see how deep Uncle Sime had doven into the great
mysteries of human existence, not but what I'd have thought it out
myself, if I'd had time from fambly cares.

But Uncle Sime went on, "Jest think, Josiah, of wimmen's wild and
turbulent doin's and the commotions and troubles and sufferin's wimmen
has caused males, and then think how quiet and peaceable that rib wuz
before it had been meddled with, and brought into the woman question.
A layin' there in Adam's side onquestionin' and cam. Never startin'
up and argyin' with the liver or diafram, never sassin' the spinal
collar, or disputin' the knee jints, that one small bone risin' up, and
demandin' the rights that justly belong to the hull carcass. Oh, what
lessons to female suffragists can be drawed from that scientific fact,
and how fur they can be drawed."

As long as I'd knowed Uncle Sime I never had realized before he wuz
such a deep thinker, and had such a fund of scientific knowledge to
back up his arguments. Of course I had 'em too, all on 'em, layin'
dormer inside on me.

       *       *       *       *       *

Of course it made a tremendous stir in Jonesville when the startlin'
news got out that I wuz writin' a book agin female suffrage with the
settled intention and firm determination of puttin' an end to it
forever. It lifted me up to such a tottlin' hite in the estimation of
the male Jonesvillians that it would have gin a weaker man the Big
Head and made 'em liable to fall off. But such is my strength of mind
that I kep' cool on the outside, talked in a friendly and patronizin'
way to Samantha and the neighborin' wimmen, associated with the folks
that had the honor to live round me, and wore the same hat. The
Creation Searchin' Society of Jonesville called a special meetin' to
congratulate me and themselves on havin' their views on the inferiority
of wimmen disseminated in my book through the entire habitable globe. I
knowed my beliefs regardin' wimmen wuz the same as theirn, for we had
often laid them views out side by side and compared 'em together. And
Uncle Sime Bentley when I first told him on't shed tears of joy and sez
he:

"At _last_, at _last_ the men of Jonesville, the male men, are goin'
to be hearn from, and did justice to." And he grip holt of my hand in
one of hisen, and with the other he wep' onto his bandanna handkerchief
tears of pure joy and thankfulness.

Deacon Henzy, Solomon Sypher, Deacon Bobbett and a lot of other
bretheren in the meetin' house, talked to me about the forthcomin' book
with a solemn joy and triump in their linements and told me to consider
and weigh well every word I writ, up to the very ounce, "For," sez
they, "the broad onwinkin' eye of the World is on you and in that eye
we male Jonesvillians have been demeaned and lowered and looked down
on by the abominable things that wuz writ by----"

But I riz up my right hand and arm in a noble jester of warn, and sez
I, "Not one word agin Samantha, bretheren, not a word!"

They see the stern wild glare in my eye, and turned it off by sayin',
"Things have been writ by a female who shall be nameless, that has had
a tendency to make us male Jonesvillians objects of contemp. And the
uroneous and blasphemous idee has been disseminted in them writin's
that females are equal to males, and want rights that we know they
don't need or deserve, rights that will bring 'em to the brink of
ruin if not held back by a manly arm. Now it is in the power of a
male Jonesvillian to lift his sect up on the hite he's been partially
knocked off of, by them writin's, and put the weaker inferior sect down
into the holler place where they belong. It is your honor and your
privelige, Josiah Allen, to let the hull world see how superior to
females, how noble, how grand is the male manhood of Jonesville U.S.A."

It wuz a solemn occasion, but I riz up to it and told 'em I laid out in
my book to make such a change in public opinion that it would shake the
very pillows of society, but sez I, "After the shake and the quake is
over, things will settle down in their proper place agin. And then as
of old, men will take their position as master and females their proper
place as the tenderly governed class, lookin' up agin meekly to male
men as their nateral gardeens and protectors."



II

IN WHICH BETSY BOBBETT BUTTS IN


Owing to the inclemency of the inclement weather, and the hardness
of the wood (slippery ellum) I would had to split for extra fires, I
did the writin' of my great work of destroyin' Female Suffrage in the
common settin' room. I didn't feel above it. As I told Samantha, many a
immortal work had been writ in a garret, and even in a prison (namely
by Mr. Keats and Mr. J. Bunyan and others).

She didn't dispute me, she kep' right on with her usual housework,
bakin', etc., and I almost thought the delicious uroma of her vittles
which come in from the contagious kitchen wuz a inspiration to me.
So dificult it is to tell what tiny springs feeds the great spoutin'
fountain of genius.

On the mornin' I made this memorable remark jest quoted, I hadn't
more'n got started on my masterly work and wuz settin' almost drownded
in the bottomless sea of Thought while Samantha wuz parin' some apples
for pies, havin' fetched her pan into the settin' room, when the
magestic onward and upward flow of my thought wuz arrested or dammed
up, as you may say figuratively speakin', by the tall awkward obstacle
of a onwelcome female figger. It wuz Betsy Bobbett Slimpsey who came
in with a red and green plaid shawl wropped round her gant form, and a
yeller fascinator on her humbly head.

Fascinator! Who wuz fascinated by it? I wuzn't, no indeed! And so
lightnin' quick is my mind to ketch holt of any argument illustratin'
wimmen's weakness of inteleck to transcribe in my volume, that I
methought instantly how that one article of Betsy's attire showed plain
the inferiority of her sect that I wuz tryin' to prove to the world.
As I glanced at it, my eager soul questioned my active mind, "Did you
ever ketch a man wearin' anything on his head with such vain silly
names," and my mind thundered back to my listenin' soul, "No! no sir!"
The strong brain within the manly head would spurn such a coverin', and
tread it into the dust. A man's fascination consists of sunthin' inside
his skull, his powerful brain, his invincible will, not in a flimsy
woosted affair knit with a tattin' hook. With what hauty coldness would
a man spurn it, if his wife tried to put it onto his noble head to wear
to meetin' or to a neighbors.

But to resoom. Betsy passed a few triflin' onimportant remarks about
the weather, her hens, her husband, etc., but my keen eye pierced
through her outward demeanor, which she tried to make nateral,
and I see she had a ulterior object in comin' out so early in the
mornin'. And soon it broke forth in speech, and she uttered the bold
presumptious request that I would let her insert some of her poetry
writ before, and after her marriage, in my great forthcomin' volume.

For a minute I wuz almost stunted and stumped by the brazen impudence
of the idee, that I would let a female have any part however small in
that grand work proclaimin' and provin' the superiority of my sect.
And havin' a mind so powerful and many sided it can see both sides to
once, I methought how onbecomin' it would be in me and how meachin' to
let females take part in a work designed to be the ruination of 'em,
or that is the ruination of their claims to be equal to the sect I wuz
nobly representin'. How could I grant her request without sinkin' down
to the low female level?

No, I answered her promp in the negative. But she clung to the idee as
clost as she ever clung to the various men she had paid attention to
until her doom wuz sealed and she had with herculeanium efforts won
Simon to be her pardner.

Sez she pleadin'ly, "Josiah Allen, do let me insert some of my poetry
on woman's spear in your noble volume. I feel that my poems deserve
immortality, but they won't never git there if a man don't help me to
lift 'em up."

That idee wuz indeed grateful to me, it naterally would be to any man,
but agin I answered her coldly in the negative, Samantha lookin' on,
but sayin' nothin'. Anon Betsy turned to her and sez, "Josiah Allen's
wife, will you not help plead with him in the name of a strugglin'
sister woman?"

Samantha kep' on parin' and slicin' her greenin's but sez coldly, "I
hain't no objections to it. I guess the verses will correspond pretty
well with the rest of the book."

"Yes, indeed!" sez Betsy eagerly. "Our two idees about the loftier,
superior sect, and the overpowerin' need of wimmen to be protected by
'em, are perfect twins, you couldn't hardly reconize 'em apart." And
agin she sez in a still more hungry axent:

"Do grant my request, Josiah Allen; poetry makes a book so interestin'.
Mebby it hain't necessary, but some like the tail feathers of a
rooster, though they may not add to the weight of the fowl; without 'em
he has a bare lonesome look. Poetry may not add to the strength and
matchless power of your arguments, probably nothin' could; but somehow
a book looks sort o' bare and lonely without these feathery gushin's of
the soul."

Sez I in a cold austere axent, "I have laid out to enrich the prose
pages of my great work with my own poetry, some as lovely flowers might
appear on the smooth side of a volcano, softenin' and amelioratin' the
comin' roar and rush of the destroyin' fire and flames, that is to bust
out and burn up Error and mistook idees in females."

"Oh, what eloquence! what grand thoughts!" sez Betsy claspin' her
yeller cotton gloves together, and lookin' up to me in almost worship.
"What a inteleck has been burnin' under that bald head for years. No
wonder it is bald, no hair could live in such a fiery atmosphere."

As she said this my feelin's softened towards her and I felt different
than I did feel. I had never liked Betsy Bobbett Slimpsey; she wuz
always too sentimental and persistent to suit me. When I wuz a widow
man she paid me a lot of attention oninvited and onrecipercated. I
never responded to her ardent overtoors. I spurned her poetry from me.
And she wuz a slack housekeeper, and mizuble cook, which always riles
men, and I felt relieved and glad when she got round Simon Slimpsey and
won him to be her husband. But I do like her idees on man's supremacy
and her clingin' idees on marriage. Such voylent and persistent efforts
in that direction, by elderly onmarried females are esteemed worthy of
every man's admiration, when directed in another direction than himself.

I own I suffered from them clingin' idees of hern durin' my widowerhood
till Samantha rendered me immune. But under all them sufferin's of mine
and my almost hopeless efforts to shy off from her, and avoid her, yet
I felt that her adorin' love and her warm clingin' attentions to males
wuz eminently becomin' to a female if only turned off from me onto some
more willin' man. All these thoughts chased each other through my
brain, but still I kep' the cool superiority of my sect and sez coldly:

"I want no female thought to cumber and weigh down the sails of my
skyward bound volume."

But sez she in a humble pleadin' manner, so becomin' in a female
and agreeable to males, "My poetry all breathes the weakness and
inferiority of my sect, and the overwhelmin' need we have to be
protected by the nobler uplifteder sect. And though Simon has been
bedrid for years and his brain had softened even when we wuz wed, and
he and his numerous children have been hard for my emmanuel strength
to support and take care on, yet I found in my union to a male man a
dignity and rest I had never known in my more single state." Here Betsy
sithed hard a few times, for she wuz indeed weary, she works hard and
fares hard and shows it, but she continued:

"Is it not possible that in a humble way my verses may give a tiny
puff of wind, that added to your mighty roarin' gusts will waft your
grand craft upward and onward on its Heaving sent mission of elevatin'
men up, and helpin' 'em in this turrible epock of time they're passin'
through. And rebukin' and lowerin' females down for their bold doin's,
in opposin' and badgerin' their natural gardeens and protectors, their
brazen efforts to be equal to 'em which is a crime agin Nater.

"For though as I said, Simon can't lift his head from the piller,
and his language to me is awful at times, and extremely profane, and
boot-jacks have been throwed at me, and teacups and sassers smashed
agin my form, and milk porridge and catnip tea have deluged me from
them flyin' cups and bowls, yet, as I said, I felt through all, even
when I wuz bruised and wet as sop, that when he gin me his name at the
altar, he gin with it a dignity and uplifted feelin', that nothin' else
could give or take away. And I would fain have them womanly idees of
mine made immortal by appearin' in your noble volume as a pattern for
bolder onwomanly wimmen to foller."

As Betsy paused I once more waded out bare legged into the sea of
thought. Thinkses I even a tiny drop of water helps to make the mighty
Ocean, and the Ocean he never repels the humble drop. Though a female,
Betsy wuz a human bein' like myself. Wuz it right for me to deny her
the boon of immortality in the pages of my great work? What wuz my duty
in the matter?

I rubbed my forward, behind which my brain wuz revolvin' with lightnin'
speed, with my forefinger, gittin' considerable ink on the outside of
my brain (namely my forward) which Samantha reminded me of afterwards
and finally I sez:

"I will give this triflin' matter due consideration, Betsy Slimpsey,
and let you know the result of my cogitations. And now," sez I, wavin'
my hand towards the outside door in a noble lordly wave, "Woman
depart! leave me to my thoughts."

She went, Samantha accompanyin' her to the doorstep on which I hearn
her dickerin' with Betsy for some Rhode Island hen's eggs to set, so
irresponsive and oncongenial is a female pardner ofttimes and onmindful
of the great historical event happenin' so near her, and the great
man she is throwed amongst. Alas! how often is genius bound down and
trammeled in its own environment.

When Samantha come in lookin' cheerful, for she could git the eggs on a
even swop for our Brown Leghorns, I asked her agin about it, for every
married man will testify that you can't depend on what a pardner will
say before other wimmen on such a occasion. Sez I, "Would you honor
Betsy by lettin' her put some of her verses in my great volume? Do you
think," sez I anxiously, "that it will clog and weigh it down too much?"

Sez she, "It may be a good thing to have some weight hitched to it."

I didn't really know what she meant, but as she immegiately retired
into the buttery to make and roll out her pie crust, I didn't want to
interrupt her, for every man knows that a woman needs the hull of what
little mind she's got at such a time. Such apple pies as Samantha makes
with tender flaky crust and delicious interior are a work of art, and
requires ondivided attention.

So I wuz throwed back onto my own resources and judgment, and didn't
try to argy no more. Duty and pity for her and her sect conquerored in
the end, and the next day I gin my consent and Betsy sent down by one
of her various stepchildren a bran sack full of her poetry, which I
emptied for convenience into a huge dish pan which wuz exempt from work
by age.

How tickled and full of triump Betsy wuz, and it wuz enough to tickle
any female to have her poetry appear in the pages of my gigantic
effort. The follerin' verses of hern writ before her marriage I culled
at random from the dish pan and subjoin:


WIMMEN'S SPEAR

_Or Whisperin's of Nature to Betsy Bobbett_

  Last night as I meandered out
  To meditate apart,
  Secluded in my parasol,
  Deep subjects shook my heart.
  The earth, the skies, the prattling brooks
  All thundered in my ear--
  It is matrimony, it is matrimony,
  That is a woman's spear.

  Day, with a red shirred bunnet on
  Had down for China started,
  Its yellow ribbons fluttered o'er
  Her head as she departed--
  She seemed to wink her eyes on me
  As she did disappear--
  And say it is matrimony, Betsy
  That is a woman's spear.

  A rustic had broke down his team,
  I mused almost in tears,
  How can a yoke be borne along
  By half a pair of steers?
  Even thus in wrath did Nature speak
  Hear, Betsy Bobbett, hear;
  It is matrimony, it is matrimony,
  That is a woman's spear.

  I saw a pair of roses
  Like wedded pardners grow,
  Sharp thorns did pave their mortal path,
  Yet sweetly did they blow.
  They seemed to blow these glorious words
  Into my willing ear,
  It is matrimony, it is matrimony
  That is a woman's spear.

  Two gentle sheep upon the hills,
  How sweet the twain did run,
  As I meandered gently on
  And sot down on a stun;
  They seemed to murmur sheepishly
  Oh Betsy Bobbett, dear--
  It is matrimony, it is matrimony,
  That is a woman's spear.

  Sweet wuz the honeysuckle's breath
  Upon the ambient air,
  Sweet wuz the tender coo of doves,
  Yet sweeter husbands are;
  All Nature's voices poured these words
  Into my willing ear,
  B. Bobbett, it is matrimony,
  That is a woman's spear.



III

I TALK ON WIMMEN'S DUTY TO MARRY


Cephas Slinker stopped yesterday mornin' and had a little talk with me
over the barnyard fence. I pitied Cephas; he don't live happy with his
wife, she's hard on him, and they have frequent spells. They had one
last night, and he got up and started for Jonesville quick as he'd had
his breakfast. He said he never stopped to git a stick of wood or a
pail of water (they bring their water from a spring under the hill) but
he hurried away he said for fear she'd begin on him agin, and aggravate
him. He wanted sympathy, and I see he needed it, so he told me about it.

He's been out of a job for some time, and his wife has took in washin'
and worked round for the neighbors to keep 'em goin'.

He said he wuz to Jonesville all day yesterday lookin' for a job. He
said he thought the best way to find one wuz to set right still in
some place where men wuz comin' and goin' all the time, so they could
see him handy if they wanted to hire him. But he said he never got a
job, or no hopes of one, and he went home completely discouraged and
deprested, and he said that if he ever felt the need of tender words
from a comfortin' companion it wuz then; he said he felt so bad that
he went in and busted these words right out to his wife, "I want to be
soothed and comforted."

And if you'll believe it she told him, "if he wanted to be soothed to
soothe himself." Jest so hash and onfeelin' she spoke. He said she
wuz splittin' kindlin' wood at the time to git supper, and she struck
at that wood as if she would bring the woodhouse down. And I guess
from his tell that he gin it to her hot and heavy. But 'tennyrate she
refused outright to soothe and comfort him, and if that hain't a wife's
duty what is? It has always been called so, as I told Samantha. She
asked what Cephas and I wuz talkin' so long about, and I had to tell
her.

And she said she see Miss Slinker go home from Deacon Gowdey's where
she'd done a two weeks washin'. She wuz pushin' the baby carriage in
front of her with her twins in it, and a bag of potatoes, and little
Cephas draggin' at her skirts and cryin' to be carried, and she looked
as if she would sink down in her tracts. And it seemed, sez Samantha,
"as tired as she wuz she had to split wood to git supper. And how could
she soothe and comfort anybody droudgin' round as she had all day and
all wore out? Under the circumstances it wuzn't reasonable in Cephas to
ask it."

That's jest the way on't, wimmen will argy and argy and try to have the
last word. I wouldn't say no more for I knowed it wuz no use. But I
must say that when Samantha has the time she's always ready to soothe
and comfort me if I'm in trouble. She sez it is a woman's nater to want
to help and comfort the man she loves, but he ort to be reasonable and
not ask it of her as Cephas did. Under such circumstances she said it
wouldn't hurt him to soothe her a spell.

I see I couldn't make no headway arguin' with her, so I kep' demute and
went to writin' on the subject I'd laid out to hold forth on which is
as follers.

When the first thought of writin' this great work bust onto my soul
like the blazin' sun risin' up and pourin' down his dazzlin' beams
onto Jonesville and the surroundin' world, there wuz one idee that
stood towerin' up like a Light House. One fundamental truth I laid
out to lift up so high and make so plain that even a female's feeble
comprehension could grasp it, and see its first and primary importance.
And that wuz that wimmen should not try to have Rights, but at all
hazards and under all circumstances not fail to marry a man, and
secondly I laid out to prove that them two things Matrimony and Rights
could never by any possibility be combined and run together.

[Illustration: "And she looked as if she would sink down in her tracts"]

For truly these two great truths are what we male men
have considered the very ground work and underpinnin' of our
strongest and most unanswerable arguments agin Wimmen's Suffrage,
Marriage--Home--Clean Children--Housework--Good Vittles--oh, how sweet
them words have always sounded in men's ears and are still a soundin',
and how eminently fitted to wimmen's weak tender minds and patient
confidin' naters. And how obnoxious and loathsome to every male ear
have been and are now, the words Justice--Freedom--Equality.

Oh, how continuously and loudly have my male bretheren, we and us,
twanged upon them two strings on life's lyre, and tried to make females
jine in the melogious song, tried to make 'em comprehend the beauty and
full meanin' on 'em.

And right here before I go any furder mebby I ort to stop and make
it plain to the modern female who is always tryin' to pick flaws and
argy, that I said l-y-r-e and not liar, which they might out of clear
aggravation try to make out I meant when I made the hullsale insertion
that marriage is woman's duty, and a perfect heaven on earth, and
woman's suffragin' is ruination and come straight from Hadees.

I had writ a hull chapter full of the most beautiful and high flown
eloquence on this most congenial subject, and proved I thought to every
right minded person that it wuz the duty and delightful privelige of
every female to stop immegiately seekin' for Rights, and marry to a man
to once. It wuz a lovely chapter, and very affectin' in spots, so much
so I shed several tears over it, as I told Samantha, when she glanced
over it at my request. I longed for her appreciation of my genius, if
she didn't share my idees, but she only made this remark:

"No wonder you shed tears! it is enough to make a graven image weep."

She didn't explain what she meant by this remark. But I most knew by
the looks on her linement that she wuz makin' light on't. But I wuzn't
goin' to pay no attention to slurs comin' from them that want Rights.
Her remark only goaded me on to amplify on the beautiful subject,
and I had spent I presoom to say most a teaspunful of ink, and pretty
nigh half a pad of paper, besides a soul full of emotion on it, when
my dear friend and Literary Adviser, Uncle Sime Bentley come in, and
Samantha bein' then out in the buttery makin' sugar cookies and spice
cake, I had a clear field and read the chapter over to him, longin' for
sympathy and admiration, and feelin' sure I'd tapped the right tree
to git the sweet sap of true understandin' and appreciation flow out
and heal my wownded sperit, when to my great surprise (and it wouldn't
been any more shock to me if I'd tapped a butnut tree and see it run
blue ink) Uncle Sime jined in with Samantha's idees, and objected to my
hullsale insertion that it wuz the bounden duty of every human bein' to
marry.

As I read it over to him, expectin' to be interrupted by a warm hand
grasp of sympathy and lovin' praise of my idees, I see a dark shadder
pass over his linement and he wiggled round oneasy in his chair and
finally he said:

"That won't do, Josiah! You've got to change that or you'll git lots
of the Jonesvillians down on you," sez he. "There are a good many
bacheldors round here, and their feelin's will feel hurt."

Sez I in a sombry dissapinted axent, "I guess I can handle the subject
so's not to hurt their feelin's."

"Id'no," sez he, "lots on 'em might have married if they'd wanted to,
and there are three or four grass widowers too, or mebby I should say
hay widowers, for they're pretty old for grass." And Simon continued
feelin'ly:

"This book of yourn, Josiah, is as dear to me as if it sprung like a
sharp simeter from my own brain, and I can't bear to see you make any
statement in it that will be called a slur on our sect."

Strange as it wuz I hadn't thought on that side of the subject till
Simon pinted it out to me, my barn chores and fambly cares are so
wearin' on me that it had slipped my mind, though probable I should
thought on't of my own accord when I had time. But I see the minute my
attention wuz drawed to it that I must meller the chapter down for the
good of my own sect. And after Simon went home (he had come to borry a
auger) I meditated on the other side, what you might call the off side
of the argument and I see different from what I had seen. And I brung
up convincin' incidents and let 'em run through my mind.

Firstly, I see I wuz hittin' my dear friend Simon, hittin' him hard,
for he wuz a bacheldor, though he thought too much on me to mention his
own wownded feelin's. But when I realized what I had done it fairly
stunted me, for it wuz like kickin' my own shins with a hard cowhide
boot to hit Simon. And I see that take it with all the grass and hay
widowers, and what you might call plain bacheldors, there wuz a good
many male Jonesvillians who would had reason to feel riled up, and I
wuzn't one to cast no slurs onto my own sect.

Id'no why a number of them bacheldors hadn't married, for they wuz well
off and might have married if they'd wanted to. I guess it wuz jest
because they didn't feel like it. And my mind is so strong and keen
I see immegiately how that would spile my argument that females must
turn their backs on Rights, and marry at all hazards and under all
circumstances. For it stands to reason that a woman can't marry if a
man is not forthcomin', and hadn't ort to be blamed for it. And I could
see every time a man hung back it left a female in the lurch.

I see I must wiggle out on't the best I could for I'll be hanged when
it come down to brass tacks and I figgered it out, I dassent print
a word of what I'd writ; as beautious and eloquent as it wuz I had
got to drop it onwillin'ly into the waist basket. For I see that
besides a lackage of men caused by hangin' back which wuz of itself a
overwhelmin' argument, I see how lots of the females wuz situated that
had turned their backs on matrimony. Susan Jane Adsit stayed to home to
take care of her old father, and by the time he died she'd got off the
notion of marryin'.

Huldah Pendergrast wuz humbly as the old Harry, and Samantha sez that
a man always puts a pretty face before reason or religion, 'tennyrate
no man had ever asked her to marry I knowed, so how could she help her
single state.

Amelia Burpee wuz left a orphan with five younger children that she
promised her dyin' ma to take care on, and when she got them all rared
up and settled down in life, she wuz too tuckered out to think of
matrimony.

And Serepta Corkins wuz a born man hater, would git over the fence
ruther than meet one in the road. She didn't want a man, and Heaven
knows a man didn't want her.

Luella Pitkin's bo died durin' engagement, and she never wanted to look
at a man after that. And her sister, Drusilla, wuz all took up with
music, and no man could ever take the place with her of B flat, or high
G.

And Abigail Mooney's feller she wuz engaged to got led off and married
another girl, and Abigail went into a incline and the doctor had hard
work to raise her up, besides all her own folks did with spignut and
wild cherry bark and other strengthenin' and soothin' herbs.

And Almina Hagadone's feller left her because she fell and broke her
hip durin' engagement. And Id'no but it wuz for the best, for how could
she bring up a fambly with only one hip.

And so it went on, the hull train of single wimmen swep' through my
brain, follered by a crowd of widders, grass, and hay, and sod. And as
I mentally stared at 'em I see what I'd done on insistin' that they
should every one on 'em marry a man and stay to home, when they hadn't
no man and no home to stay in. Why, I wuz fairly browbeat and stumped
to see what a ticklish place I would stood in with the Jonesvillians,
if I had writ my chapter as I laid out to, that wimmen _must_ marry and
must _not_ vote.

I see I had got to turn round and take a new tact. But it wuz like
tearin' a bulldog from a good shank bone to uproot a man from that
inborn belief. And I thought it over pro and con, con and pro, till my
head got fairly dizzy and in one of the dizziest spells this thought
come to me that mebby Simon's bein' a bacheldor had hampered him and
colored his advice, and thinkses I before I lay down in the dust my old
beloved belief for good and all, it won't do any hurt to jest mention
the subject casually to Samantha agin, which I did.

I sez in a meachiner axent than I ginerally use, for I felt fur more
meachin' than I had felt, sez I, "Samantha, wimmen ort to marry instead
of votin'."

And she sez, "Why can't they do both? Men marry and vote."

"But," sez I, recoverin' with a herculaneum effort a little of my usual
feelin' of male superiority, "that is very different, Samantha. Men
have bigger, roomier minds, wimmen and politics can sort o' run side by
side through 'em without crowdin' each other. But female minds bein'
more narrer and contracted they naterally can't, and hadn't ort to try
to hold more'n one on 'em.

"But," sez I with a last effort to put forth the beautious arguments
that my sect has clung to for ages, I sez in a deep protectin' axent,
"marriage is the holiest, the most beautifulest state on this earth."

"Yes," sez Samantha reasonably, "a happy marriage is, I guess, about
as nigh Heaven as folks ever git on earth, but how many do you find,
Josiah?"

"Oceans on 'em," sez I, "oceans on 'em," for I wuzn't goin' to spile my
argument entirely till I had to.

"Yes," sez Samantha, "there is once in a while one that looks so from
the outside, and mebby it looks so from the inside. But," sez she,
"the hands of divorce lawyers are pretty busy nowadays. Marriage," sez
Samantha, "is a divine institution, but its beauty has been dimmed by
the rust of unjust and foolish idees and practices. Always when time
honored customs change from the old to the new, from bad to better,
there is a period of upheaval and unrest, until the new becomes natural
and common.

"Wimmen," sez Samantha, "are beginin' to look upon marriage
differently than they used to. They look now on both sides of the
question. Instead of settin' with folded hands in a shadowy bower,
waitin' and listenin' for the prancin' steed that is to bring the
Prince to her feet to ask for her lily white hand, which she gives him
with grateful, rapturous tears of joy, wimmen are now standin' up on
their feet in broad daylight, lookin' on every side of the marriage
question and lettin' the full light of day shine on it, the same light
they've got to live under after the hazy days of the honeymoon are
over."

Them forward practical idees of hern riled me, and I sez, "I guess men
have sunthin' to complain on in the marriage question."

"Yes indeed they have," sez Samantha (with a justice no doubt ketched
from me). "Lots of silly simperin' girls look upon marriage as a means
to be supported without labor, an unlimited carnival of picture shows,
circuses and candy. But in the good times comin' when men have learned
not to look exclusively for a pretty face and kittenish ways, and seek
the sterling qualities of common sense, thrift, and industry, qualities
that will keep the domestic hearth bright when the honeymoon has waned,
girls will begin to prize and practice these traits which men find
admirable.

"And another thing, Josiah, thoughtful inteligent wimmen are getting
so they don't admire the crop of wild oats that used to be considered
inevitable, and in a way dashing and admirable. Instead of blindly
accepting what the Prince danes to bestow upon her and asking nothing
in return, she demands the same things of him he asks of her, the same
purity he demands of her, and why not the same moral and legal rights,
since they are both human bein's, made as all mortals are of God and
clay?"

I gin a deep groan here, showin' plain how distasteful them forward
onwomanly idees wuz to me. But she went right on onheedin' my sithes,
or the dark frown gatherin' on my eyebrows.

Sez she, "So many avenues of pleasant lucrative employment are open
now to wimmen, and the epithet, Old Maid, is not as of old a badge of
contumely, that wimmen won't take a ticket for the lottery of marriage,
for but one reason, the only reason that ever made marriage honorable
and respectable, and that is true love, not a light mental fancy,
nor a short lived physical attraction, but the love that in spite of
earthly shadows illuminates hovel and palace, and makes both on 'em
the ante-room of Paradise. The love that upholds, inspires, overlooks
faults, is constant in sun and shade, and lasts down to the dark
valley, and throws its light acrost it into the very Land of Light."

Them words sounded good to me, they sounded some like what I had writ
more formerly on the subject, and I jined in fervently. "Yes, indeed,
and why can't females settle down in matrimony and stay to home with
their famblys, and take care of their children?" and I quoted a few
words from the dear chapter I had writ first. "There woman is a queen,
the poorest female in the slummiest slum is a monark in that sacred
place."

"Yes," sez Samantha, "sometimes a good man makes a wife supremely
happy. But too often nowdays a bright healthy young woman finds in the
life she has pictured as the dooryard of Eden a worse serpent than Eve
found there, a loathsome souvenir of her husband's old gay life which
destroys her own health and happiness, and which she has to hand down
to her children's children, makin' 'em invalids and idiots.

"The poor workin' mother you speak on if she is well enough can stay at
home if she has a home to stay in, and doesn't have to labor outside to
sustain it. She can breathe the filthy tenement air, be frozen by its
winter, choked by its summer atmosphere, she can guide and guard the
youthful steps of her children as far as the doorstep and then she must
drop the helpless hand, and if she is inteligent and loving hearted she
can wet her pillow with vain tears thinking how her pretty innocent
young girl has got to pass vile saloons full of evil men on her way
to and from store and factory. The factory filled with gant childish
forms, with all the care-free happiness of childhood ground from their
faces by the brutal hand of Incessant Toil. Unguarded machinery on
every side that one false careless move of her girl may maim or kill.
Her pretty girl alone strugglin' with ontold dangers. Youth's wild
blood urging her to indiscreet acts, Wolves of Prey on one side, Grim
Want on the other. If the mother has a mother's heart, her body may be
at home where she is so eloquently urged to be, but her heart will be
abroad, in the greater home wimmen want to make safer; the home where
her children spend their days. It will be hantin' the factory, the
grog shop, the vile picture show, the white slaver's abode, watchin',
waitin', for what may happen, what has happened so often to other
mothers' children."

Samantha goes too fur when she gits to goin', and I told her so
plain and square, she aggravates me. And to let her see how much I
disapproved of her talk I never dained a reply to her in verbal words.
But I riz up with a hauty mean on my eyebrow, and went to pokin' the
kitchen fire. I poked it with all the strength of a strong man whose
arguments have been spilte and whose feelin's have been wownded by his
own pardner.

But I believe my soul that she thought that I did it as a hint that
it wuz about dinner time, for she went out to once and hung on the
teakettle. And as she did so she mentioned incidentally that she laid
out to have lamb chops and green peas and mashed potatoes for dinner,
with peach pie and coffee to foller. As she said this my angry emotions
settled down and grew more clear and composed, some like Samantha's
delicious coffee, when she drops the powdered eggshells into it.



IV

I TALK ON MAN'S PROTECTIN' LOVE FOR WIMMEN


It wuz a beautiful mornin'. I felt boyed up by the invigoration of
the invigoratin' atmosphere, the boyness helped along mebby by three
cups of Samantha's delicious coffee with rich cream in it, three veal
cutlets brown and tender, four hot rolls light as day, several flaky
baked potatoes and some biled eggs.

I felt well and I devoted my muse on this auspicious occasion to
writin' specially on the protectin' love and care that men had always
shown and delighted to show to females. It wuz a subject that I loved
and my mind and tongue had often reverted to, follerin' the example of
all the other good and great statesmen who have talked and writ on the
feminist question. And I felt that I wuz abundantly qualified to do
justice to it, havin' protected Samantha and lovin'ly guarded her weak
footsteps for goin' on forty years.

I set with my steeled pen in hand and got so lost and wropped up in
contemplation of the beautiful and inspirin' subject, and plannin' how
I would handle it to the best advantage, that time passed onheeded and
first I knowed I hearn by the sound of dishes rattlin' in the near and
adjacent kitchen that Samantha wuz beginin' to make preparations for
dinner.

The kitchen as I said wuz contagious to the settin' room and the door
wuz open. I had laid out and intended to begin the chapter on this
important and most congenial subject with some strong stern language
calculated to shame wimmen for the unbelievin' remarks they had made
on this beautiful and universal trait of my sect, and their seemin'
teetotle inability to appreciate the constant onvaryin' and lovin'
protection that men had always gin to the weaker and more inferior
sect.

I remembered well how in a former talk with Samantha on this subject,
though she had admitted willin'ly enough that there wuz lots of good
generous men runnin' loose in the world. Yet she tried to dispute my
insertion that _all_ men _always_ cared for and tenderly protected
wimmen, by bringin' up instances where she claimed men had balked and
kicked over the traces, and instead of protectin' wimmen had run 'em
away into ruination and destruction.

She brung up White Slavery, political, social and industrial
dependence, and the average man's inherient objection to regard wimmen
as a citizen and plain human bein', bein' inclined to regard 'em either
as angels or underlin's. And a lot of other trashy arguments calculated
to rile a man up, yes mad a man to the very quick, who knowed what he
wuz talkin' about. One who had spent the heft of his life in protectin'
and guidin' her that now turned agin him and disputed him. A man who
knowed as well as he knowed the looks of his linement in the shavin'
glass, that man's protectin' love and care wuz all that had held wimmen
up, and wuz still a proppin' her.

I spoze in my righteous indignation I may have said kinder hash things
about the low down ornary traits of the inferior sect to which Samantha
belonged, for she begun to bring up traits that she said some of my
sect had, and throw 'em at me, traits that I know no man ever had or
skursley ever had hearn on. But I must say that all the while riled
up as she wuz inside of her, she kep' knittin' away on my indigo blue
sock, and kep' makin' honorable exceptions of good men and smart men.
But she brung up Vanity, said I and my sect wuz vain. Sez she, "If a
woman tries to talk sense and reason to a man about her needs and her
rights, he will generally pay her a compliment about her eyes or her
nose. 'Tennyrate he will turn the subject some way and won't listen
to her. But if she makes eyes at him, and talks soft nonsense, and
flatters him, he will purr like a pussy cat."

'Tain't so. Who ever hearn a man purr? Purrin' is sunthin a man's nater
would rebel at and scorn with perfect contemp. But I smashed that
argument about vanity to once and forever. Sez I so scathin'ly that it
seemed as if she must show signs of scorchin', "Did you ever see a man
wear a cosset? Or carry a vanity bag?"

And then still a knittin' and still makin' exceptions of some good and
generous men, she throwed the trait of selfishness in my face, said my
sect had passed along down the fields of time, gatherin' up the ripe
wheat and leavin' wimmen to rake up the leavin's.

'Tain't so, and even if it wuz, I presoom to say Ruth got quite a good
bundle of grain out of Boazes' wheat field.

And then she took pomposity and throwed at me (still a knittin', and
still makin' exceptions of some men) said lots of men stood up on a
self-made pedestal lookin' down mentally on them who in many cases wuz
their superiors, but she added that wimmen wuz more to blame for this
trait in men than they wuz, for they had been educated to look up to
men instead of lookin' sideways where they ort to find him on a level
at her side.

It is needless to say to any one who knows my keenness of inteleck that
I took immegiate advantage of this slip of her tongue and sez, "I am
glad that you admit, Samantha, that wimmen are always in the wrong. I
and my sect have always knowed it, and we've always laid the blame on
'em from Eve down to Miss Pankhurst."

And that seemed to set her off agin, and she brung up my blindness.
Blind as a bat! Them wuz her words she throwed at me, at _me_! who has
got eyes as keen as a eagle's. That injustice did rankle and make me
hash and say hash things.

But she kep' cam on the outside, kep' on with her knittin' and
intimidated agin that though there wuz lots of good generous men in the
world, yet it had always been a trait of the average man from Solomon
to Harry Thaw to look upon woman as a plaything or a convenience. And
then she brung up inconsistency and how men showed it in the laws they
made, _criminal inconsistency_, she called it. Sez she, "A girl must
be twenty-one when she is considered by men lawmakers wise enough to
sell them a hen, or buy a cat. But yet at the age of ten in one state,
twelve in another, she is considered by them wise and prudent enough to
sell them the crowning jewel of her life with the payment of lifelong
shame, agony, and despair, and mebby a little candy. Men make such
laws," sez she, "not for their own sweet young girls, but for some
other men's daughters, just like the infamous White Slave traffic that
sells every year thousands and thousands of young girls into a livin'
death. And I think," sez she, "when men make such shameful barbarous
laws it is high time for 'em to have help from angels or wimmen or
sunthin' or ruther."

"That hain't religious, Samantha," sez I, "to speak of angels makin'
laws, tendin' corkuses and such. As a deacon I object to it."

Sez she, "As a deacon you better object to the laws I'm talkin' about,
and if clergymen, deacons and church members generally, would all rise
agin 'em, they'd be stamped out pretty sudden." Sez she, "When the
young girls of our country are considered of equal importance with cows
and clover to oversee and protect, there will be different laws, and I
believe wimmen's votin' will hasten that day."

There is always a time for a man if he wants to keep his dignity intack
before females, to stop arguin' with 'em. That time had come to me at
that juncture, and I knowed that it would be more dignified to show a
manly superiority to such hullsale calumnity of my sect so I looked
hautily at her, and didn't dain to reply to her in verbal words though
I grated my teeth some, as I walked out of the settin' room with head
erect into the kitchen, and brought in a armful of wood from the
contagious woodshed with my head still held high, and hung on the
teakettle with a hauty mean. For I felt that some of Samantha's good
vittles would soothe my wownded and perturbed sperit if anything could
and they did cam me.

I thought of that former interview with my pardner as I sot there
preparin' my mind for the masterful effort I wuz about to make.

As I said more formerly I had intended to begin the chapter at this
epock of time with a few witherin' remarks calculatin' to rebuke wimmen
and wither 'em. I laid out to stun 'em and skair 'em with the artillery
of my brilliant eloquence, my protectin' love for the weaker sect riz
up so powerful, and my anger wuz so hot agin them that had dasted to
deny it.

I felt that they _did_ believe in men's constant and tender protection,
but held out and denied it jest to be mean, jest to carry out their
sect's well known desire to argy and aggravate us. And as I meditated
on these things and thought of my former talk with Samantha I have jest
related, I held my steeled pen in almost a iron grip, and my linement
I knowed growed fearful to look upon, charged as it wuz with the
awakened powers of a strong man.

When jest as I wuz beginin' the turrible rebukin' words Samantha opened
the oven door in the contagious kitchen and the fragrant breath of a
lemon custard pie floated out, accompanied with the delicious uroma of
a roast chicken with dressin'.

And as on so many former occasions, the delicious odor seemed to enter
into and permenate my hull mental and physical systern and soften 'em
and quiet my wild and dangerous emotions, I felt mellerer towards her
and her sect, and I held my steeled pen in a gentler, softer grip. And
instead of the thunderbolt of convincin' argument I had even begun to
transcribe, I sez to Samantha, who had come in with a pan of potatoes
to peel, and my voice wuz as sweet as the lemon custard.

"You do know, don't you, dear Samantha, that it has always been men's
chief aim and desire to protect the weaker inferior sect?" sez I
tenderly. "Any man that has the sperit of manhood within him will
agree with me." Agin I inhaled into my nostrils the sweet uroma comin'
from the contagious kitchen, and sez I in a still tenderer axent, "Men
love to protect wimmen, don't you think so?"

Sez Samantha in a cam reasonable voice peelin' away at her potatoes, "A
man loves to protect and warn a woman agin every man only himself." Sez
she, "Amanda Peedick wuz protected by men and warned."

And I sez kinder short, my tenderer emotions driv back into myself,
"What of it, what if she wuz!"

And then she had to go on and recall to my mind that triflin' incident
that had occurred and took place in Jonesville the fall before.

Sez she, "You remember, Josiah, old man Peedick who wuz rich as a Jew,
left all his money to his boys, a handsome propputy to each one on 'em,
and Almina who had stayed to home and took care on him, and lifted him,
and rubbed him, and soaked him, and swet him, and dressed and fed him,
he only left the house and apple orchard.

"The boys all had splendid homes in the city, but their houses wuz
either too big or too small, or too hot or too cold, to have Almina
live with 'em, and she wuz expected to git her livin' out of the
apples. They wuz first class grafts, none so good anywhere round, and
brought the very highest price, and she would got a good livin' and
laid up money, if she had been left alone, if she hadn't been protected
and warned.

"But every single one of them brothers would come out from the city
and warn her agin the other brothers, and tell her how easy it wuz for
a weak innocent woman to be deceived and cheated by designin' men,
her nearest relation mebby. And that a gentle female's mind wuzn't
strong enough to grapple with depravity, and she must lean on him for
protection, and he would see her through, so every single one on 'em
told her, and warned her agin the other six brothers.

"And Amanda would feel real affectionate and grateful to each one on
'em in turn, and be glad she had such a strong protector and warner
to take care of her. And every single time they come to protect and
warn her they would take home a few bushels of them delicious apples,
and when they got through protectin' and warnin' her, she didn't have
apples enough left to make a mess of sass."

But what of it, what had that got to do with my great work that wuz
seethin' through my brain? That shows how triflin' and how ornary a
woman's mind is, to bring up that old story whilst my brain wuz workin'
to a almost dangerous degree inside of my forward tryin' to prove to
the female masses at large the great fact of men's protectin' love and
the needecessity for it, to prove to 'em as I laid out to prove to
the listenin' world that wimmen wuz naterally inferior to men, their
brains smaller and lighter, when weighed up in the stillyards. Their
emmanuel strength less, their idees more whifflin' and onstabled, and
that therefore and accordin'ly wimmen needed and had got to have man's
masterful mind and emmanuel strength to protect her from the evils and
wickedness of the world, and specially from the awful tuckerin' and
dangerous job of votin'.

At this juncter I paused for a minute to collect my thoughts together
and then I brought forth from my brain this convincin' argument.

If wimmen don't need a man to protect her and take care on her, why is
she so much more ignorant of sin and depravity? Why is there five times
more men in prisons and penitentiaries than there is wimmen, if they
knowed as much about crime as men do?

"No," sez I, soarin' up in eloquence, "what a man has been through and
been educated up to in business and political life, he knows how to
protect tender females from. Why," sez I, fairly carried away on the
wings of my own eloquence, "men can teach wimmen more in one day about
criminal wickedness, graft, false witnessing, drunkenness, bribery,
political corruption of all kinds, than she can learn from her own sect
in months. Not but what," sez I reasonably, "she can learn some from
some on 'em, but not nigh so much nor nigh so fast."

I didn't know but Samantha would take lumbago from my cuttin' remarks,
but she didn't seem to. She took up her pan of peeled potates and
prepared to leave the room. But as she went out she said sunthin' agin
about that old Debatin' School, and the feller she always tried to git
on the other side of the argument, so's to help her out. Showin' as
plain as the nose on your face jest how queer wimmen are, how their
minds will wander, and how impossible it is to keep 'em down to the
subject under discussion.



V

WHEREIN I PROVE MAN'S COURTESY TOWARDS WIMMEN


In my tremenjous efforts to succor my sufferin' and women-hounded sect
at this awful epock of time, I have already held forth on the beautiful
and congenial subject of the love and protectin' care males have
always loved to show towards females. But agin I take up my steeled
pen to write upon this most important subject. For I agin warn my sect
solemnly that this beautiful trait in me and us, is what we should
enlarge upon, and insist on makin' the female sect admit at this epock
of danger and revolt.

Yes, my sufferin' sect, we should make 'em own up to it, peacefully if
we can, but if necessary let us insert it into their obstinate craniums
with a crowbar and hammer. For though a weaker inteleck may not grasp
its importance and extreme needecessity, it is plain to the eagle eye
of a Researcher and Reformer of females that if they admit this, they
have got to admit all that follers, the perfect peace and rest they
feel surrounded by these noble traits as by a shinin' mantilly.

With this worthy end in view I've tried to warn Samantha time and agin
that if females insisted on risin' up and demandin' their Rights they
would become so obnoxious to the stronger and opposite sects that men
would lose that tender courtesy they have always loved to show towards
wimmen. But I've never been able to skair her, and I don't know as
I ever shall. Mebby this Great Work of mine when it is finished and
lanched onto a waitin' world may dant her, but, I don't know, I feel
dubersome about it.

Sez she when I brung it up to her agin, "Men and wimmen are born with
different traits; wimmen have love and tenderness and sympathy towards
the helpless, babies, husbands, etc.; you insist that votin' hain't
changed nor harmed men's courtesy and chivalry you talk so much about,
so why should votin' break down these inborn traits in wimmen that men
admire?"

"But you will see that it will," sez I, "and methought I had proved it
to you on a former occasion that it is a scientific fact proved by such
scientific men as myself, Simon Bentley Esq., and other deep thinkers,
that the very minute a woman goes to the pole that very minute a man's
courtesy and chivalry towards her is utterly destroyed."

But if you'll believe it even this turrible idee didn't seem to skair
her. She sez, "If I can't have but one I'd ruther have justice than
courtesy, but I'd like both, and don't see why I can't have 'em."

But I sez agin firmly and decisively, "You can't have both on 'em,
for if a woman votes, by that brazen and onbecomin' move of hern,
wimmen lose that winnin' weakness and appealin' charm for men, their
helplessness before the law, and their clingin' dependence upon them
to take care of them and their propputy that is so endearin' to my
sect. And if they spile this by their obnoxious act of votin' they must
take the awful consequences."

Sez Samantha, "It has worked well in other states; it has helped men,
wimmen and children mentally, socially and legally. If it wuz such
a dangerous thing as you say it is, why have men granted suffrage
to wimmen after it has been tried for twenty years or more in a
neighborin' state, right in their own dooryard as you may say? Would
they venter if they hadn't found that it wuz a good thing?"

Sez I hautily, "I am not talkin' about other states or other countries,
or other males or other females. I am working and writing in the
interests of Jonesville and its environin' environs. I am tryin' to
ward off with my right hand, and my steeled pen the waves of error that
I see in my own mind sweepin' down nigher and nigher onto us."

And I went on with a soarin' eloquence enough to melt the heart of
a salamander, "I stand at the Gate of Jonesville as the boy stood on
the burnin' deck when all but him had flowed, and I will stand there
protectin' that Gate, and us male Jonesvillians from infringin' and
encroachin' females till I'm sot fire to."

I waved out my hand in a noble jester as I spoke, and spozed mebby it
would touch Samantha's heart. But she looked at me over her specs from
head to foot in the cool aggravatin' way wimmen have sometimes, and I
read in her eyes the remark she didn't utter:

"You hain't big enough to make much of a bonfire."

But I didn't reply to that unuttered tant, I felt above it, and went
on, "I am not the only man who takes that firm onchangeable position.
England has a high official who occupies the same noble poster. He
don't heed or care what females want or don't want, nor what other
statesmen want or don't want. Nor he don't care what is goin' on in
other parts of the world, or not goin' on. His proud position is to
shield England from the encroachin' army of Female Suffragists. To
do what he's made up his mind to do, and nothin' can't stop him, not
threats, nor reason, nor argument, nor broken winders, nor torn coat
tails. A good hard shakin' from a female can't change him, nor shake
his resolve out of him, nor hunger strikes, nor fleein' wimmen, nor
pursuin' ones. He stands side by side with me. And even if it brought
the towers of Jonesville and England in ruins at our four feet we would
not then change our two great minds.

"His bizness is to not look to see what is done in other places or not
done, but to protect his own Green Isle from what he's made up his mind
is dangerous and infringin'.

"Oh," sez I with a deep heart felt sithe, "would that we two congenial
souls might meet and sympathize with each other. But though sea and
land divides our bodies, our sperits meet and flow together." I wuz
almost lost in the rapped idee of the sweet conference meetin' we
two could enjoy together. But anon I gin my attention to the subject
momentarily broke in upon (for my mind is so large and roomy it is big
enough for several trains of thought to run through it at one time).

And I sez as I remarked prior and heretofore, "Samantha, that courtesy
in males is a most beautiful trait; you see it everywhere, to mill
and to meetin', as the old sayin' is. Now last week when I wuz to the
conference, Uncle Sime and I wuz in a crowded street car and a dretful
fat woman come in, heftier than you are, Samantha."

"Is it possible?" sez she coldly (she thinks I make light of her heft
but I don't; it hain't nothin' to make light of, specially when you
lift her in and out the democrat).

"Yes," sez I, "she wuz even fatter than you are, and she come in
red-faced and pantin' from the exertion. And a young chap who had been
settin' with two or three other young fellers carryin' on and laughin',
the very minute she come wheezin' in, he riz up and sez to her:

"'I will be one of three men to give you a seat, madam.'

"You see, Samantha," sez I, "how that inborn courtesy in males inserted
itself even in a street car."

"Yes, I see," sez Samantha in a still colder axent, but I could tell
by her linement that she wuzn't a mite convinced. And I went on a
praisin' up that noble trait of my sect, and tryin' to convince her
how universal it wuz, and how turrible it would be for females to lose
it, but she kep' on a knittin' on my blue sock, and sez in quite a
reasonable axent for a female to use:

"Yes, to see a great hearted noble man guard and protect a woman is a
beautiful sight, but," sez she, "that trait, though sometimes seen, is
not universal."

Sez I, "It is; it is jest as universal as--as--any universalist ever
wuz."

But she kep' right on in the persistent, irritatin' way wimmen have;
as I've said prior and before, they can't seem to be willin' to give
up to man's superior judgment, they're bound to talk and argy. And her
voice wuz as firm as any rock in our medder, and if there is anything
more firmer and aggravatin' than them I'd like to see 'em. She made me
think that minute of them big rocks when I wuz tryin' to plough round
'em. I see I could jest as easy make a furrer through them as through
her sot obstinate old mind as she said agin:

"Men don't always use courtesy towards wimmen."

As she made that damagin' insertion agin, is it any wonder that the
plough of my manly judgment struck fire from her rocky obstinacy? I
acted fearful wrathy and disputed her right up and down.

Sez I, "That is sunthin' that no man will stand for; they will not
brook bein' accused of a lack of courtesy towards wimmen." I acted
dretful indignant, for in this turrible time us men have got to lay
holt of every little nub of argument and hang onto it like a dog to a
bone, or the Lord only knows what will become on us, or how low a hole
we will be ground down into by the high heels of females.

Sez Samantha, "I admit there are beautiful instances of men protectin'
and guardin' wimmen, but how wuz it with Fez Lanfear? He wuz always
boastin' about men's courtesy and chivalry, and how did it come out?"

I sot silent and scratched my head for a minute or so, not as Samantha
intimidated to try to dig out a favorable idee, no, it itched.

And I sez, "Id'no as I blame Fez for always talkin' about this trait
in his sect, and Id'no as I blame him for what it led to." He see
how necessary it wuz to insist on men's havin' these traits, and his
wife would argy agin him, and he'd git riled up. He always had to be
real sharp with her and boss her, for if he hadn't he would lost the
upper hand of her, which every man ort to have, and she would took
the advantage on him and run on him. For the propputy all belonged to
her and it made Fez discouraged, and took his ambition away, and he
couldn't seem to set himself to work, and all the comfort he had wuz
in arguin' on them traits of men and playin' on the fiddle and base
drum, so she rented her place and they lived on what she got for it.

But knowin' it wuz her ruff that covered him, and her chairs he sot
in, and her vittles he et, and clothes he wore, made him irritated and
fraxious, and he knowed he'd got to sass her and act uppish towards
her or he wouldn't be nothin' nor nobody. And she would act real
disagreeable and tell him she'd love to see some of the courtesy of his
sect he talked so much about showed out by him to home, and she doubted
he had any, and knowin' that he had oceans of it, for every man has, it
naterally madded him.

And one washin' day they got to arguin' and he brung up them noble
traits of men, and their onvaryin' courtesy and generosity towards
wimmen. And right in the midst on't she asked him to bring in two pails
of water to finish her washin' on account of her havin' a lame back.

He wuz practicin' a new piece entitled "Woman, Lovely Woman," and
bein' so interested in it and bein' broke off so sudden from melody
and men's noble traits to act as a chore boy (he'd argyed so much he
could argy and fiddle) and a smartin' I spoze from the dispute they wuz
havin', he wouldn't git her the water and told her real short to git it
herself.

And as she started with two pails for the water--they brung it up from
the creek by hand, for Fez had never had time to make a cistern--she
twitted him agin about that courtesy of men towards wimmen, and bein'
so high strung and independent sperited, he up and hit her and knocked
her down, and stood over her a hollerin':

"Now will you dispute me agin, and say that men don't show any courtesy
towards wimmen?" And bein' browbeat and skairt (for he wuz a great
strong man and she a little mite of a woman and tired out) she had to
knuckle down and admit that men _did_ have courtesy, oceans of it. But
he wouldn't git the water, he showed his independence there and she
better kep' still and not aggravated him.

Lots of folks blamed him, Samantha did, them that see shaller, and
didn't see deep into first causes. He told Uncle Sime and me jest how
it wuz; he said that mad and aggravated as he wuz he didn't forgit
that his wife belonged to the weaker and tenderer sect, and it wuz a
husband's duty and privelige to take care on her and shield her from
harm. And he said he didn't hit her hard at all, only gin her a little
tunk to let her know who wuz master there and that he wouldn't brook
female arguin', and he said that if she hadn't been so tuckered out it
wouldn't have hurt her much of any, and he wuz as surprised as she wuz
when she tumbled over. But he said seein' she laid there on the floor
he see it wuz his duty to his own sect to make her own up how truly
superior men wuz, and how much courtesy they had, for he thought mebby
he should never git so good a chance agin to make her own up to them
noble traits of men. Uncle Sime and I both see how Fez felt and what
driv him to do what he did.

I tell you agin it is a perilous and agonizin' epock of time for the
male sect at home and abroad. Men in America havin' to set curled up
on a bench by the side of the road, and see weak wimmen, underlin's,
a marchin' by 'em in the center of the street with brass bands and
banners a flyin'. And in England the highest official of the Empire
held by the collar and shook by a weak female jest like a spitball
thrower of a schoolboy, and couldn't resent it in court owin' to his
havin' so much dignity at the stake.

Oh, my downtrod sect! what are we a comin' to? I do git so wrought
up a meditatin' on the dretful things that are a happenin' to us men
nowdays, and how browbeat and how humiliated we are by our inferiors,
I git so cast down and deprested that my melancholy sperit has to
bust out in poetry. For some time I've had them feelin's. Now last
Christmas night I had such a spell, and I had to git out of bed and
put Samantha's crazy quilt round me (and it seemed as if that insane
quilt made me feel more high strung and wild) and go out in the settin'
room and ease my strugglin' sperit in verse.

Why, sometimes it seems if I didn't have this safety valve to my
bustin', swellin' emotions it seems almost as if I should have to be
hooped to keep myself together. But poetry kinder easies me a little.
Now last Saturday night I writ the follerin' verses as late as leven
P.M. We'd been to meetin' as usual, and had a splendid Christmas
dinner. Samantha, as I have mentioned prior and before this, with all
the weaknesses and shortcomin's of her inferior sect, is a masterly
cook. But it is all nonsense her thinkin' I et too much; I didn't eat
more'n four pieces of mince pie, and three helpin's of plum puddin',
besides the turkey and vegetables and salad and such. If a strong man
belongin' to a strong and superior sect can't stand that, it is a pity.

She insisted that it wuz a nightmair that sot on my chist and rid me
out of bed into the settin' room that time o' night. But it wuzn't no
such thing, it wuz my melancholy and deprested sperit that overcome me
a thinkin' of my sect and what wuzn't to be.

It seems as if everything melancholy and cast down appeared right
in front on me. Seems as if I could see old Fate a encouragin' and
pompeyin' the more opposite sect, and turnin' her back and lookin'
down onto me and my sect, and refusin' me and us things she might have
gin us if she'd a mind to. But bein' a female we might know she'd be
contrary and love to tromple on us, and on me in petickular. As I sot
there in them solemn night hours, with Samantha sleepin' peacefully in
the next room and the old clock tickin' away as if onmindful of the
sufferin' sperit near it, it seemed as if every mean jab old Fate had
ever gin me from her sharp elbows and hard knuckles riz right up before
me, and I seemed to see all the agreable things she might have did for
the benefit of me and my sect if she hadn't been so contrary, but as I
said, what could you expect of a female? My feelin's wuz turrible; the
verses I gin vent to relieved me a little some like prickin' a bile and
after writin' 'em I went back to bed and slep' so sound that I never
hearn Samantha buildin' a fire and gittin' breakfast till the sweet
uroma of the coffee and briled chops stole on my wakened senses and I
forgot for the moment the trials of me and my sect and felt better than
I did feel. The verses wuz entitled:


A CHRISTMAS OWED

_By Josiah Allen, Esq., P.M.S.J.C.F._

  Yes Christmas has come, it got here at last,
  A bringin' me memories out of the past,
  And a pair of galluses, a necktie sad--
  A gray night-shirt and a paper pad;
  Useful presents, but nothin' gay,
  _Useful presents_, dum 'em! I say!
  I wanted some jew'lry for the brethren to see,
  But it wuzn't to be, it wuzn't to be.

  Ministers preach 'tis a blessed day,
  And so it is in a meetin' house way;
  But to me it has been a day of gloom,
  Samantha I see didn't like the broom,
  And mop-stick, and pair of cowhide shues,
  It took me the heft of a hour to chuse;
  It made me deprested, and mournfulee
  I've mused on the things that wuzn't to be.

  Weak females risin' on every hand
  Pertendin' that they're equal to man--
  Wantin' to stand right up by his side,
  Instead of the place where they ort to abide
  Down in the safety and peace at his feet;
  Oh the dear old times, so happy so sweet,
  Will never come back to my sect, nor to me,
  No, it wuzn't to be, it wuzn't to be.

  Yes, I guess old Fate made a slip of her pen,
  When fixin' the lot of the children of men,
  'Twas bad for the world and for me I ween
  That I wuzn't born a king or a queen;
  My bald head shines out bare and cold,
  Or wears a hat, oh a crown of gold
  Would set it off fur agreabler to me,
  But it wuzn't to be, it wuzn't to be.

  Fate sets a writin' in darkness and night,
  'Tain't spozeable she always gits things right;
  To the poor she sends ten children or more
  Crowdin' in through Famine Wolves round the door,
  While for one kid the rich may vainly sigh,
  But she flirts her skirts and passes 'em by;
  Why hain't villains shot while the good go free?
  It wuzn't to be, it wuzn't to be.

  A poet comes with his dreamy way
  Right into a nest of common clay;
  And in pious home a soul gits in
  The size of the hole in the head of a pin;
  So 'tain't so strange some feller and I
  Should git mixed up on our way through the sky;
  If I had to be born why not been he.
  It wuzn't to be, it wuzn't to be.

  Fate sort o' yanked me and throwed me down
  On a Yankee hillside bare and brown;
  And gin me a chance to die or live
  Accordin' to labor I had to give;
  I couldn't eat stuns or a burdock burr,
  So I had to hustle and make things purr,
  No bread-fruit round, nor no custard-tree;
  No, it wuzn't to be, it wuzn't to be.

  Now that other feller that might have been me
  By a turn of Fate's pen, oh in luxury
  He lays and counts up his millions in bed,
  With his crown on the bed-post over his head;
  I wonder by Snum! if he thinks it straight--
  For me to be small and him to be great;
  When I might have been him and he might have been me,
  But it wuzn't to be, it wuzn't to be.

  I'd ask how he'd like it to take off his crown
  And to good hard hoein' knuckle down.
  Or plantin', or hayin', or a weed pullin' bee
  In onion beds, (dum 'em from A to Z!)
  I bet I could work on his feelin's so deep
  He'd up and divide a part of his heap,
  Jest a thinkin' of how he might have been me--
  But it wuzn't to be, it wuzn't to be.

  Now that feller's wife, I presoom to say
  That some of the time he has his way;
  He's so tarnal lucky and happy and fat,
  It would be jest like him to git even that.
  Oh I'd dearly love to have it to say
  That _once_, jest _once_ I'd had my way
  When Samantha and I didn't chance to agree,
  But it wuzn't to be, it wuzn't to be.

Samantha of course had to find fault with these sad but beautiful
verses. And she asked me what them letters meant I had strung along
after my name, showin' plain the inherient weakness of a female's brain.

Of course a man would see to once that they stood for Path Master and
Salesman in the Jonesville Cheese Factory. I had talked it over with
Uncle Sime and we both agreed that at this time, when the hull race of
men wuz facin' complete insignificance, if not teetotal anhiliation,
it behooved us to lay holt of every speck of dignity we could lay our
hands on, and we both thought them letters made my name look more noble
and riz up.

But Samantha didn't like the verses at all, and agin advanced the
uroneous idee that it wuz my liver that ailed me instead of genius.

Sez she, "If folks will gorge themselves 'till their eyes stand
out with fatness,' as the Good Book sez, how can they see plain to
gratefully count over the blessin's the past year has brought 'em, and
lay plans to pass on some of their good cheer to them that set in the
shadders of grief and poverty?"

She said I'd be all right in a day or two, and if I wuzn't she should
soak my head, and doctor me, for, sez she, "I hain't goin' to have
anybody round writin' such deprestin' and ongrateful verses.

"Lots of times," sez she, "if sentimental and melancholy poets would
git their livers to workin' better they wouldn't harrer up their
readers so. Catnip would help 'em to look on the brighter side of life,
or thoroughwort."

And she didn't like the last pathetic and interestin' stanza; she said
I'd had my way, or _thought_ I'd had it time and agin. And agin she
said it wuz my liver that ailed me, and she even approached me with
some catnip tea.

Good heavens! _Catnip!_ to curb my soarin' sperit, and soothe the
ardent emotions of my soul.

A regular fool idee. You might know it sprung from a female's brain,
or ruther the holler spot where brains should be--Gracious heaven!
_Catnip!_



VI

I TALK ON FEMALES INFRINGIN'


As I've repeated time and agin it is a apaulin' epock of time us males
are a passin' through. More and more, day by day and year by year the
female sect is a infringin' on us. Right after right, privelige after
privelige, dear to our manly souls as the very apples in our eyes, are
grasped holt on by encroachin' female hands and torn away from us weak
and helpless men.

From birth to death the infringin' goes on, you can't take up a
newspaper now but you see signs on't. In the good old times when a man
had a child born to him to carry on his name and his propputy to future
generations, he took the credit on't. How is it told on now? instead of
puttin' it in as it used to be, and ort to be, "John Smith has got a
son, John Smith Jr."--it is writ down now in this fool way:

"A son is born to John and Mary Smith." What's the use on't? John's
name is enough any fool would know there wuz a female somewhere
connected with the event in a womanly onobstrusive way, but why do
they have to bring her name forward to set her up, and spile her, and
mention all these little petickulars?

Why, how wuz it in Bible times, as I asked Samantha, sez I, "From the
very first it wuz set down as it ort to be and a sample to foller, Noah
begot Ham, and Ham begot Cush, and Cush begot Nimrod, and they kep' on
begettin' and begettin', chapter after chapter, and no female's name
connected with it in any way, shape or manner." Sez I, "Hain't that a
solemn proof, Samantha, that females are inferior and wuzn't considered
worth writin' about?" Sez I, "You nor no other Female Suffragist can
squirm out of that."

Sez Samantha, "Men translated the Bible, but I can tell you," sez she,
"that when Miss Ham, racked with agonizin' pain, went down to death's
door for little Cush, whilst Mr. Ham wuz santerin' round Canean smart
as a cricket, and probable flirtin' with some good lookin' four-mother,
if Miss Ham had writ it up for the Daily Paper her name would been
mentioned in the transaction."

That's jest the way it is, even Bible proof can't stop wimmen's clack
and argyin'. Yes, jest as I said, infringin' follers a man from the
cradle to the grave. For I'll be hanged if you don't see it writ
nowdays, "James Brown, beloved husband of Sarah Brown." How bold, how
forward! _husband of!_ It seems as if it is enough to make his grampa,
old Jotham Brown, turn over in his grave and try to git up, to stop
such doin's. He lived in a time when females knowed their place and
kep' in it. He had twenty-one children by his seven different wives,
and every one on 'em wuz put in the paper and the old Fambly Bible
credited to him; ketch him havin' any female's name mixed up with it,
oh no! They couldn't infringe on him, not whilst he wuz alive, they
couldn't. He worked his wives hard, and when one died off, he married
another. He said as long as the Lord kep' takin' 'em, he should.

As I said no female couldn't git the better of him whilst he wuz alive,
but they played a nasty mean trick on him after he wuz dead. His last
wife wuz a high headed creeter, or would have been if he hadn't broke
her in, and held her head down with such a tight rain. But owin' to
his disagreein' with all his children and bloody relatives she got
the propputy all in her hands, and after he died she got tall noble
gravestuns for every one of his different wives, almost monuments, with
a long verse of poetry on each one on 'em, and their names writ down in
full.

"Mahala Eliza--Mehitable Jane--Amanda Mandana--Drusilly
Charity--Priscilla Charlotte--Alzina Trypheena--Diantha Cordelia--all
carved in big deep letters, and their names before they wuz married.
These seven high stuns stood in a sort of a half circle with a little
low stun in the center and on it printed in little letters wuz:

"Our Husband."

It looked dretful; but his children all hatin' him as they did they
didn't interfere. But it wuz a mean trick and she couldn't have done it
if he'd been alive, no indeed. But seein' he wuzn't there to rain her
in and hold her down, she took the advantage on him as wimmen will if
you give 'em the chance. Folks all thought she done it to come up with
him for bein' so hard on his different wives, and keepin' 'em down so,
and I presoom she did. I presoom she wuz a regular female infringer and
suffrager.

Now in the marriage notices, instead of bein' put in the newspaper in
the modest becomin' way it used to be, "John Smith's son married to
Mary Brown," it has to be put in Mr. and Mrs. Smith's son or daughter
is married. Where is the good horse sense on't? Everybody would know
that young Smith had a mother somewhere in the background, but what's
the use of bringin' her forward so and makin' on her? It is jest to
infringe on men, that's what it is for.

And when Luke Dingman married Nancy Whittle she had the money to start
a store bizness, but Luke bein' a man, his wuz the name that ort to
been spoke on, and he went and got a handsome sign all painted "Luke
Dingman's Store." And if you'll believe it Nancy made him git it
painted all over agin "L. and N. Dingman's Store." What wuz the use of
draggin' a female's initional into it? Jest to infringe on us men. But
lots of men made fun on't and told Luke he'd ort to been man enough to
stand his ground and kep' the first sign. They say it makes Luke real
huffy, and he takes it out on Nancy, is dretful mean to her, but she's
only got herself to blame, she hadn't ort to infringed on him.

And last week Samantha and I went to Philena Peedick's weddin'. And
when the minister asked, "Who giveth this woman to this man?" the
widder Peedick walked up bold as brass, and gin Philena away, _she_, a
_female woman_! Never, as I told Uncle Sime, never did I see a plainer
or more flagrant case of infringin' on men's rights. Why, Philena had
a male uncle there, and ruther than see such things go on I would have
gin her away myself.

But thank Heaven, there is one thing they hain't changed yet, females
have got to knuckle down and be gin away to a man, in marriage, that's
a little comfort. "Who giveth this woman!" They have got to hear that,
much as it may gald 'em.

But as I told Uncle Sime, it would be jest like 'em to try to change
that. And I told him the first we knew a female would snake a man up to
the altar, and the minister would be made to say, Who giveth this man
to this woman? and the woman who walked him up there would say, "I give
him." And then she'll hand him over to the bride. Oh, my soul! have I
ever got to see that day? Uncle Sime and I both said that we hoped and
trusted that we would be dead and buried under our tombs before that
humiliation come onto our sect.

Uncle Sime and I sympathize a lot together and talk of the good old
times and forebode about the future. And one day when my sperit seemed
crushed down and deprested more than common, and the future for us men
looked dark and gloomy indeed, I sez to him:

"Simon, I see ahead on us the time when I shall be called Mr. Samantha
Smith."

Uncle Sime, though very smart, hain't got my mind, sort o' forebodin'
and prophetic, and much as he'd worried about wimmen's infringin', he
hadn't foreboded to that extent, and he trembled like a popple leaf at
them dretful words and sez:

"Oh, gracious heavens, Josiah! how can we men ever stand up under that!"

But I went on, turnin' the knife in the wownd, "Mr. Kittie Brown, Mr.
Nellie Jones! What do you think of that, Simon?"

He groaned and sithed but didn't say nothin'; it seemed as if the very
idee had fairly stunted him, and I kep' still and meditated and my mind
roamed back to the humiliatin' time when I laid my onwillin' nose on
the grindstun, or ruther it wuz laid on for me and held there, and I
signed a piece of poetry I had writ "Samantha Allen's Husband."

It hain't no use to go into the petickulars and tell all about the
means employed to git me under such mortifyin' subjugation. Vittles
had sunthin' to do with it, and I hain't goin' to tell no furder. But
never, never shall I forgit my meachin' and downtrod linement as I
surveyed it in the glass when I wuz shavin' jest afterwards. Shavin' a
beard! that very act riz up and asserted the supremacy of my sect and
mocked the move I had made. Oh, the sufferin's of that occasion and
my vain efforts to git out of it. But Samantha never sympathized with
me a mite. She said, "You've seen me doin' the same thing for years
and enjoyed it, and what is sass for the gander ort to be sass for the
goose."

There is another proof of wimmen's infringin'; she turned that familiar
old sayin' right round to carry her pint, and put the goose where the
gander always had been, and ort to be. I tell you there hain't no
length a female won't go to to carry the day and infringe on men's
rights.

And you might as well git blood from a white turnip as to git any pity
and sympathy from 'em for my downtrod sect. For when I mentioned to
Samantha my turrible forebodin' about my sect havin' to take wimmen's
names at the altar, and asked her if she could begin to realize what
men's humiliated and despairin' feelin's would be at such a time, she
up and sez:

"Do you realize what wimmen's feelin's are at the altar? She's had
to stand it. No matter how romantic and beautiful her name wuz, Miss
Victoria Angela Chesterfield has had to change it for Miss Ichabod
Tubbs, or Miss Peleg Hogg.

"And," sez she, "if she has a big propputy and married a man so poor he
had to borry his weddin' shirt, she had to hear him say, 'With all my
worldly goods I thee endow,' when all them goods wuz a pile of debts
she had to pay for him, but she had to stand it and couldn't snicker,
for it wuzn't a snickerin' time.

"And a great able bodied business woman had to promise to obey a
little snip of a boy, when they both knew she wuz lyin', with a priest
hearin' the lie and givin' it his blessin'. My sect has had to stand
considerable from yourn," sez Samantha.

No, I didn't git a mite of sympathy from her, and might have knowed it,
and I'd better not said a word to her about my forebodin's.

But Uncle Simon Bentley always hears my prognostics with respectful
sympathy, and he said after I come out of my meditations, and asked him
agin how he would feel to take a woman's name, he sez:

"Thanks to a kind and protectin' Providence, I hain't married. But
never! whilst I have the sperit of manhood in me would I, Simon
Bentley, ever be called Miss Polly Brown. No, I would cover that alter
with my goar, before I would submit to it." And to comfort me he sez,
"Josiah, mebby it won't take place in our day."

But I sez, "Simon, I see it jest ahead on us if this infringin' can't
be stopped, and I don't see no way to stop it."

But sez Simon in his comfortin' way, "Your book, Josiah, that great
work, you forgit that. I believe it will work wonders for our poor
strugglin' sect."

"No, Simon," sez I, "I don't forgit that great work for a moment of
time; it is the anchor throwed out into the heavin' water of woman's
revolt that is a risin' all round us. Sometimes I hope the anchor will
touch the solid bottom of man's supremacy, and hold, and then I feel
boyed up. But my feelin's ebbs and flows like the mighty ocean to which
I have before fittin'ly compared my emotions. We both on us heave up,
and heave down. To-day I am a heavin' down. Oh, how deprested and
dubersome I do feel," but I went on in tremblin' axents, "I am bound
to make this tremenjous effort, and if you and I, Uncle Sime, and the
rest of our sect have got to lay down in the dust to be trod on by the
feet of underlin's, whilst layin' there under them high heels, I will
have the conscientiousness that I have did what I could for my downtrod
sect."

My feelin's overcome me so here that I took out my bandanna and wiped
my eyes, and Uncle Sime hisen. He looked as cast down as I did, as
we both realized our danger from the turrible doin's round us, and
instinctively we took holt of hands and sot there sympathizin' for
quite a spell.

But anon Uncle Sime had to go home. He lives with his niece and she
sez, "if she has to support him, he has got to be promp to his meals,
or go without," so he hastened off.

And I summoned up the brave dantless sperit of manhood and walked
upright through the kitchen (we'd been settin' on the back stoop).
I trod with a firm bold step and braved Samantha's onsympathizin'
demeanor as she stood fryin' nut cakes, and retired into the welcome
seclusion of the corner sacred to my literary pursuits.

Mekanically I run my hands through the dish-pan heaped with Betsy's
poetry. Oh, how sad, when a man has to turn to another female (and one
he has always detested) for the sympathy and understandin' denied him
on his own hearthstun. And though I despise Betsy Bobbett Slimpsey as
a human bein' and a female, yet when torn and wownded from infringin'
and cold remarks from my own pardner, I do draw a little mite of
comfort from that granny iron dish-pan, and runnin' my hand through
the poetry heaped up in it, and read how she looks up to my sect, and
the becomin' and reverent views she takes on us, and me in petickular.
And how it has always been the goal of her life and should be to every
womanly female to be united by hook or by crook to one on us, it
soothed me, it brought back the dear old days when man's supremacy wuz
onquestioned and he wuzn't infringed on.

And I read how she despises and looks down on the encroachments of
the inferior sect to which she belongs, and how she loathes the great
tide of the Feminist movement that is risin' up all over the world,
threatenin' to sweep us strong males away, as frothy water, if there is
enough on't will uproot giant oaks.

I read over piece after piece to cam my sperit, hurt and wownded by
infringin', and my pardner's onsympathizin' words, and I picked out the
follerin' one as bein' comparitively worthy a place in my great work.

This poem, writ before her marriage, I consider the most touchin'ly
pathetic one of all the enormous pile on 'em I had perused. What to a
feelin' mind and tender heart is more pitiful than to see a patridge
hidin' his head under a maple leaf, and thinkin' his hull body is hid
from the hunter? What is more affectin' than to see how Betsy tried to
hide her lifelong pursuit of man, and matrimony, under the cold word,
_duty_?

 "Unless she see her duty plain."

Oh, what a soul of meanin' there is hid under that word, _unless_.
A keen eye, and a tender heart can read between the lines her real
meanin', her dantless resolve, as plain as the hunter sees the plump
body and gray tail feathers of the patridge. But I will not keep the
reader longer from the sad but beautiful poem.


STANZAS ON DUTY

_By Betsy Bobbett_

  Unless they do their duty see
  Oh who would spread their sail
  On matrimony's cruel sea
  And face its angry gale?
  Oh Betsy Bobbett I'll remain _unless_ I see my duty plain.

  Shall horses calmly brook a halter
  Who over fenceless pastures stray?
  Shall females be dragged to the altar,
  And down their freedom lay?
  No, no, B. Bobbett I'll remain, _unless_ I see my duty plain.

  Beware! beware, oh rabid lover
  Who pines for intellect and beauty,
  My heart is ice to all your overtures
  unless I see my duty,
  For Betsy Bobbett I'll remain _unless_ I see my duty plain.

  Come not with keys of rank and splendor
  My heart's cold portals to unlock,
  'Tis vain to search for feelin's tender
  Too late you'll find you've struck a rock;
  For Betsy Bobbett I'll remain _unless_ I see my duty plain.

  'Tis vain for you to pine and languish,
  I cannot soothe your bosom's pain,
  In vain are all your groans, your blandishments
  I warn you are in vain;
  For Betsy Bobbett I'll remain _unless_ I see my duty plain.

  You needn't lay no underhanded
  Plots to ketch me, men desist
  Or in the dust you will be landed
  For to the last I will resist.
  For Betsy Bobbett I'll remain _unless_ I see my duty plain.



VII

ABOUT WIMMEN'S FOOLISH LOVE FOR PETICKULARS


How folkses emotions will sometimes rise up entirely onexpected and
onbeknown to them, and git the better on 'em. Of course we male
Americans have always foreboded and felt dretful about a certain
subject. But this mornin' it come over me like a black flood, the
realizin' sense of the enormous labor that votin' would bring onto
weak delicate females, and how impossible it wuz for their fraguile
constitution and puny strength to stand up under it.

Why, how many many times we statesmen have said and preached and
lectured that wimmen wuzn't much more nor less than angels, and ort to
be treated as such. Tender delicate flowers, to be kep' from every
chillin' breeze of life that tried to blow onto 'em.

Such talk has been one of the greatest comforts of us men, and has been
very affectin' and effective with lots of females. As I say I've knowed
it and held forth on it for years and years, ever since this loathsome
doctrine of Wimmen's Rights become so prominent in Jonesville.

But as many different emotions as I've had about it, never wuz my
feelin's so wrought up as upon this occasion I speak of. My steeled pen
fairly trembled in my hands, shook by my devotion to Samantha, and my
determination if possible to keep her beloved and delicate form from
sinkin' down under the awful fateeg of votin', and havin' Rights. I wuz
so excited and strung up by my feelin's, that I felt that I must warn
her agin about it that very minute, and I hollered to her to come to me
to once.

I spoze my voice wuz skairful, my feelin's wuz such, and she come a
hurryin' in wipin' her hands on her apron, and sez she, "For the
land's sake! what is the matter, Josiah? Have you got a crick?"

"No," sez I, "I've fell into fur deeper waters than any crick. It come
over me like a overwhelmin' flood, the thought of the weakness of
wimmen, and the arjous and tuckerin' job of votin', and how impossible
it wuz for weak wimmen to not sink down under it, and I felt I had to
warn you about it this very minute, and entreat you agin to shun it as
you would a pizen serpent."

"Well," sez she, "you better forebode to yourself another time. I wuz
jest rensin' out my last biler of clothes, and I've got to whitewash
the summer kitchen, and paint the buttery floor, and scrape the paper
off overhead in the settin' room, so's to paper it to-morrow. And I
guess that whitewashin' and scrapin' off that paper with a case knife
overhead is as hefty a job as liftin' up a paper ballot, to say nothin'
of the biler full of clothes I'm liftin' on and off, and sweatin' over
the wash-tub. And I'll thank you to keep your forebodin's and warnin's
to yourself in the future, and not call me offen my work." And she went
out and shet the door hard.

And that's all the thanks I got for my tender feelin's and overpowerin'
desire to keep hardships from her. But I knowed she wuz expectin'
company, and fixin' up and preparin' for 'em, so I overlooked it in
her, and I presoom to say the thought of that company and the extra
good meals we wuz sure to have, had a amelioratin' effect on me. But
her hashness won't stop me nor other noble tender hearted males from
worryin' about the turrible hardship and labor of votin', and tryin'
our best to keep the gentle delicate females we are protectin' and
guardin' from plungin' into it.

But I'm so sensitive and my feelin's so easy hurt, that it must have
been a minute and a half before my mind settled down agin and I could
hold my steeled pen in as firm a grip as heretofore, and resoom my
powerful argumentative strain.

Another reason I've argued why wimmen should not vote wuz she would act
so awkward in politics she would put in so many petickulars, wimmen's
minds hain't stabled, they hain't got horse sense. And they don't nor
won't appreciate that good old doctrine that has always been such a
comfort to me and Uncle Sime and other statesmen, that what has been
always will be, and to let well enough alone. No they have got to be
tinkerin' and tryin' to make things better, and interfere, and talk and
tell petickulars. Now if a merchant sells 'em cloth for their fambly,
instead of buyin' and payin' for it and keepin' their mouth shet as a
man would, they'll feel of it and pull it to and fro, fro and to. And
if it hain't what he claims it is, if it is shoddy and poor, they'll
talk and talk till he has to hustle round and buy good stuff, or they
won't trade with him, takin' off his profits jest by petickulars.

And if a grocer lets his eatin' stuff lay round outdoors for the flies
to roost on, do you spoze they'll buy that stuff? No, their minds not
bein' bigger than them fly specks, they'll hound that man till they
make him cover up that stuff or bring it into the house, and every one
that has got horse sense knows it makes that man extra work, but what
do they care? And if he tries to make a little more money by sellin'
things that hain't jest what you might call hullsome--and of course
every business man understands that he wants to make all the money he
can--why, the woman that buys that stuff once, and thinks it hain't
what she wants to feed her fambly on, she begins to tell petickulars;
she'll call it rotten, and tell how long it has been in cold storage,
she'll say "to lessen population and increase some millionaire's
revenue." And she'll call his canned vegetables mouldy, and tell how
his canned meat smells, and how it made her children sick, and how Eben
Purdy's little girl died after eatin' it, and how it took off old Miss
Lanfear.

All these little petickulars she has to dwell on with other wimmen till
she gits 'em all rousted up and there will be a dozen talkin' at one
time, sez I, and sez he, and sez she, and sez they. And they'll keep it
up and jest boycote that man till he has to keep hullsome goods that
cost him most as much agin, and of course cuts down his profits, but
they don't think of that.

And how them wimmen found fault with the decision of the Supreme court,
that pizen could be used to bleach flour, when they knew the Supreme
court is composed of the very smartest men in the Nation. And they
knowed them supreme men didn't approve of usin' enough pizen in it to
kill the aged and infants.

But they had to argy and boast that if they wuz supreme wimmen, they
wouldn't had a mite of pizen put into bread, jest as if grown folks
can't stand a little pizen now and then. But you can see plain that
they claim that wimmen can manage the home and food bizness better than
men, and want to find fault with men and git the upper hands on 'em.

And it is jest so with milk. A fool ort to know that it makes a man as
much agin work to fuss and clean off his cows and his stables every
day, and keep his milk absolutely clean. But what do they care if a man
breaks his back cleanin' his stables and washin' off his cows' tits.
They'll talk and put in every little petickular about how many babies
wuz killed by his bad milk, and how many folks got tomain from it, till
they carry the day and git the milk they want. Another man made to toe
the mark by petickulars.

And it is jest so with stuff throwed into the street--why, a man can't
call his soul his own, and throw a old cabbage or rotten potato into
the street without their interferin' with him, and makin' him clean up
his primises and keep a covered garbage can.

[Illustration: "Till she gets 'em all rousted up, and just boycote that
man till he has to keep hullsome food"]

Now jest imagine what that meddlin' interferin' sperit would be if
carried into politics, if public officials wuz a prey to woman's
petickulars. Now spozin' a man wuz nominated for some high office
that hain't mebby jest exactly square. For as Uncle Sime sez, "What
man is square in public life? No," he sez, "you'll find 'em every shape
and size, except 4 by 4."

But wimmen can't accept that scientific statement, made by folks that
know, that men are made in such a way that public life and politics
wears and rubs on their square corners, and digs into and destroys
their shape, so as Uncle Sime sez, "They can't help bein' crooked."

But wimmen's brains hain't strong enough, and their naters and
consciences hain't elastic enough to comprehend such matters. They
always have and always will pay more attention to them little
petickulars of Right and Wrong than men have time to. As I've said
before, they can't see big, they see little. They'll talk it over
together how many million dollars is made by the White Slave trade
every year, ketchin' sweet young girls, they'll say by the net of their
love, by drink, by pizened needles, flattery, lies, treachery, takin'
'em from health, home and happiness, and throwin' 'em to the lions of
Lust and Greed, into livin' deaths.

Oh, yes, they'll put in all the petickulars. And they'll ask how many
millions wuz made by highway graft, tax-payers wadin' through mud,
whilst high officials, contractors and public grabbers stuff the
tax-payer's money in their pockets. And they'll bring up stories about
all the other big corporations and money grabbers.

And how much blood money is made yearly by whiskey sellin'? That is
the main fountain their petickulars gush from. Now if a smart hustlin'
saloon keeper is nominated for some high office and wimmen could vote,
what would be the consequence? Why, they would jest onloose them
petickulars onto him and he would be washed completely away on 'em.

They wouldn't know any better than to peek and pry into his bizness,
and run it down to the lowest notch. Jest as if a bizness that is good
enough for the U.S. Govermunt isn't good enough for them. No, their
naters bein' such, and they've got such itchin' ears, they'll pry
round into every crook and turn of that man's bizness, and talk about
it till they git the hull community riled up. The hull wimmen crew will
pin on their white ribbings, and git their heads together, tellin' some
story agin him, and the bizness he represents, and go into all the
petickulars, sez I, and sez he, and sez she, and sez they.

"Le'me see," sez they, "when wuz it he got Hen Daggett so drunk that he
went home and whipped his wife, and most killed her and her next baby
wuz born a fool.

"And what time o' night wuz it, wuz it ten or twelve, that he got old
Chawgo's boy crazy drunk and wantin' to git rid on him, histed him up
on his motorcycle and started him for home, and he didn't go half a
mile before he fell off and wuz killed.

"And what time of year wuz it, wuz it late in the spring or early in
the summer, that them two Wizzel girls wuz took from his saloon drugged
and unconscious, and not a hide or hair on 'em seen sence.

"And le'me see, wuz it on a Monday or a Tuesday, that them two men got
into a drunken fight in his saloon and both on 'em got killed. No, it
wuz on a Wednesday, for I remember I cut my bib apron wrong, I cut it
ketrin ways, and jest as I wuz cuttin' it over, I hearn of that big
railroad smash-up where two hundred got killed and maimed by a drunken
engineer."

Them wimmen would bring up all them little petickulars agin that man,
and his bizness lection day, jest to be mean, and to beat him. Every
man and woman whiskey had destroyed, all the crime and agony and
poverty it has caused, every fambly wrecked by it, every young man
ruined, every young girl who went through the saloon into destruction,
and the one hundred thousand deaths caused by it every year. They
wouldn't know enough to keep their mouths shet at this time when it
wuz so important to have 'em shet up; they'd jest clutter up the road
to the pole with petickulars. And no matter how flourishin' a bizness
that man wuz doin', and how much money he wuz makin', and how much he
wuz willin' to pay for votes, helpin' the male community in this way,
they'd carry the day agin him.

They can't seem to realize what a loss in propputy it is to the man
they're a houndin'. And if you twit 'em of it they'll twit back and
ask, What of the one billion, four hundred million dollars loss to the
country every year, caused by strong drink, and ask you if you know
that as many Americans are killed every year by it as has been killed
in all the battles of the world since time begun. Havin' to ask all
these little leadin' questions at jest that onconvenient time and take
the advantage on him.

And then when they git him turned down and some favorite religious man
elected in his place, oh, how their tongues would run agin, tellin' of
all the good things he'd done and would do; agin it would be sez I, and
sez he, and sez she, and sez they. Wimmen can't seem to learn to set
still to home, and knit, no, they have got to meddle and interfere
with men's bizness, as fur as they can, and woe be to us if they ever
cut loose and run furder.

Why the Hullsale Liquor Dealers' Association will agree with every word
I've said. They know what females are, and what they can do when they
git their white ribbings on, and are banded together agin 'em, and they
begin to tell petickulars. That's what makes 'em fight so agin Woman's
Suffrage. They know where they and their bizness would be after a few
years of wimmen's petickulars and votin', and they're willin' to pay
well them that help 'em.

As I've intimidated before, to a smart hustlin' bizness man who looks
out for his own interest, it is absolutely appallin' to see how
Woman Suffragists stand in their own light. But in my talk about the
shiftless ways of these wimmen, and their tetotle inability to see
where their interests lays, I want to make a honorable exception of
the modest retirin' She Auntys. Them wimmen, though females, have got
some good horse sense; they know which side their bread is buttered and
they lay out to keep it right side up. They know who helps butter that
bread. They know it is better to ride round in palace cars to their
lectures agin Female Suffrage, helped by them who hate that cause like
pizen, than it is to walk afoot. And they know enough to grasp special
priveliges, and enjoy 'em, and they lay out to help the ones that help
them.

Liquor dealers have got oceans of horse sense, and oceans of money, and
they let that money flow along where it will do the most good, into
female channels if necessary. Anything to dam up the big waters of
Reform from risin' up and washin' 'em away, and stop Woman Suffragists
from ruinin' their bizness, and tellin' petickulars and votin'. And
I'll ask this question of any man or woman with the brains of a
angleworm or caterpillar--Hain't it easier to float along with the
current, than to fight agin it and go in the other direction? Why a
fool ort to know it is.

You won't ketch them She Auntys a peekin' round huntin' for every
little petickular about what the Liquor Dealers' Association stands
for, and talk and tattle about the effects of liquor sellin', no
indeed. And I want to say and own up that when I find a spark of horse
sense in a female, I'm willin' to own up to seein' that spark shinin'
out agin the background of females' nateral ignorance and folly.
We Jonesvillians reconize smartness and horse sense, and I want to
encourage and happify them She Auntys by sayin', that the Creation
Searchin' Society of Jonesville will never be found throwin' out no
slurs agin them. Neither will I as a male man, and a celebrated author,
ever be found mockin' and sneerin' at 'em.

Of course they are females, but considerin' the limited amount of
brains that females have and their scurcity of horse sense, they have
done and are doin' the best they can. The Creation Searchin' Society of
Jonesville and the Liquor Dealers' Association stand up hand in hand,
with me in the midst, and publicly reconize their humble helpfulness,
and what more in the way of honor can any human female ask for?

I always despised petickulars, every male man duz. It's nateral when
our minds are took up with big things, big thoughts, petickulars jar on
us; we hain't got the time for 'em in our busy lives. But I believe few
of my bretheren can say what I can, that petickulars come within one of
bein' the death on 'em.

The way on't wuz Samantha wuz to Tirzah Ann's visitin' and wuz took bed
sick there, and right while I wuz stark livin' alone, I wuz took down
with voylent pains runnin' up and down my spinal collar, and hull body.

But the neighborin' wimmen, friends of Samantha, I will say done all
they could for me, they flocked in and filled me up with milk porridge,
chicken broth, etc., and sot up with me nights and waited on me, helped
by their various husbands. And I should got along all right if it
hadn't been for the endless swarm of petickulars they driv into my room.

Talk, talk, talk, and tellin' petickulars, some on 'em smaller than the
end of a nat's toe nail.

And one day when I'd been made almost delerious by 'em, I made out to
open the stand draw at the head of my bed and git out a pad and pencil,
and writ the follerin' verses which come from the very bottom of my
soul, Heaven knows!


OWED TO PETICKULARS

_By Josiah Allen, Esq._

  I've been bed-sick and very bad,
  And pains and chills and cramps I've had;
  And at Tirzah's Samantha come suddenly down
  With pleuresy pains from heel to crown,
  She couldn't git home with her plaguey crick--
  So they never let her know I wuz sick.
  But the neighbors turned out good and true
  And stood by me to help me through,
  They come alone, and they come in pairs,
  They come with mules, and they come with mares;
  And I felt the goodness that in 'em lay
  And treated 'em well both night and day,
              Till they brung in them petickulars.

  They come from fur, and they come from near,
  With new wild remedies strange and queer--
  My mouth wuz a open and burnin' road
  Down which the streams of their medicines flowed;
  Streams of worm-wood and oil of tar,
  And onions, and warnuts, and goose, and bar;
  But my mean wuz a christian's all the while--
  I sithed and swallered and tried to smile--
              Till they brung in them petickulars.

  They blistered my back, and they blistered my breast;
  They iled my nose, and they iled my chest,
  They gin me sweats of various sorts,
  Hemlock and whiskey and corn and oats--
  I drinked their gruel weaker'n a cat,
  I drinked their whey, didn't wink at that;
  I stood their faith cures, and their mind,
  I took 'em all and acted resigned--
              Till they brung in them petickulars.

  But they tried their cures to the very last,
  And I grew no better very fast;
  And I spoze they thought it would brighten my gloom,
  To bring some petickulars into my room.
  So they drove 'em in and they talked of flies--
  And of chicken's teeth, and muskeeter's eyes,
  And they talked of pins, and stalks of hay,
  And lettice seed, and there I lay--
              A victim of small petickulars.

  And one recounted a lengthy tale
  About the best way to drive a nail,
  And one old woman talked a hour
  On a pinch of salt and a spunful of flour;
  And Jane she boasted two hours the deed
  She did when she pizened a pusley weed,
  And there I'd sweat, and there I'd groan,
  And pull my gray locks onbeknown--
              A victim to small petickulars.

  And a female sot with anxious frown
  Disputin' herself right up and down--
  As to whether the hour wuz one or two,
  When their old white mare lost off its shoe--
  Sometimes 'twas two, and then 'twas one,
  And so through the hours that mare wuz run,
  And it trompled my brain till I cried, "Whoa!
  Do shue the old mair and let her go!"
  But under its heels I had to lay,
  And sweat, and rithe, and cuss the day--
              They driv in them petickulars.

  And they wondered if Jane had cloth enough
  For her calico apron with bib and ruff,
  And they mentally rent their robes and tore,
  For fear that sunthin' wuz wrong with the gore,
  Till I wished that gore wuz over it rolled,
  And on Martha's boots that had been new soled,
  And they almost mistrusted wuz too thin,
  By pretty nigh the wedth of a pin.
  And I vowed I could put their souls all in,
  And rattle 'em round in the head of a pin.
  And there I groaned, and turned, and lay,
  And sweat and sithed from day to day,
              A victim to small petickulars.

  Till one day I riz and cried with might,
  "Bring on a earthquake into my sight,
  Fetch me a cyclone good and strong,
  A hurrycain, pestilence, bring 'em along,
  Let me see 'em before I am dead;
  Let 'em roar and romp around my bed,
  But ketch 'em, kill 'em, drive 'em away,
  This very minute of this very day
              Every one of your dum petickulars.

  "Let me be killed out square and rough,
  By a good hard kick from a elephant's huff,
  Or let a volcano rise and bust
  This mortal frame, if bust it must.
  But I swan to man that I won't die
  By a kick from the off leg of a fly;
  And agin I swan, that I won't give in
  And go to my grave on the pint of a pin,
              Killed by your dum petickulars."

  My eyes wuz wild, my goery meen
  Skairt 'em almost to death, I ween
  The females all fled out of my sight,
  The two old women mad with fright,
  Jostled each other and fell over chairs;
  And all on 'em said "I wuz crazier'n bears."
  But I settled back on my peaceful bed
  And most mistrusted I wuz dead
  And had got through the gate to Beuler land,
  And I smiled some smiles, serene and bland,
  For I never had felt such peace before,
  As when I drove 'em out of the door,
              Every one of them dum petickulars.



VIII

I TALK ON WIMMEN'S EXTRAVAGANCE


It wuz a cam beautiful mornin'; old Mom Nater seemed agreeable and
serene, goin' about her mornin's work of lightin' up and warmin' the
world. And Samantha seemed as busy as old Nater herself, and as cam, as
she went about her work of makin' the house comfortable and clean.

As I've mentioned prior and before this a better, cleaner housekeeper
than Samantha Allen never trod on no shoe leather whatsoever, or went
barefoot. Equinomical, industrious, and as a cook beyond any compare.
If these words wuz the last I should ever write I'd die solemnly
declarin' as a housekeeper and home maker Samantha Allen can't never
be beat. Oh, if her principles about female suffragin', and the
inferiority of her sect, and the superiority of my sect, wuz only equal
to her housekeepin', what a treasure I would have in a earthen vessel
(that is Bible; I don't really understand what it means, but I think it
looks well for a deacon to patronize the Bible all he can conveniently,
and bring into his literary work passages out on't).

I feelt meller and agreeable in my mind, as I sot there in my favorite
corner almost immersed in the parfenalia of my perfession, two paper
pads, a bottle of ink, a steeled pen, two lead pencils, a pen knife and
the immense granny iron dish-pan containin' Betsy B.'s poetry.

And as I sot there with my steeled pen in my hand ready to begin work
on my remarkable book, my mind become so impressed by the inestimable
value it wuz goin' to be to the world and the male and female sect,
that almost onbeknown to myself I uttered the words aloud that wuz
seethin' through my large active brain.

Sez I, "Samantha, don't you believe this forthcomin' book of mine is
goin' to be the greatest work of this age, or any age?"

She wuz pickin' the pin feathers offen a plump spring chicken for
dinner, and she looked up at me over her specs in the cool deliberate
way she has sometimes, and sez, "Josiah, a hen don't cackle till she
lays her egg."

And then she resoomed her work agin, sayin' no more. Naterally my
feelin's immediately hardened more hard than they had been, for I would
ask any human bein' did not that one speech show what I've sot out
to prove in my book, what wifflin' onstabled minds females have got,
and how onfit for votin', onjinted, tottlin', wanderin' way off from
the subject spoke on, flyin' down at one jump from literatoor onto
poultry. For what connection, I ask, is there between the finest fruit
in literature, and hens? Hens which are known to be the awkwardes and
stupidest of any liven critters. What jinin' link is there between the
most scathin' and convincin' arguments ever writ by mortal man, and
eggs? Mute, onfeelin', onseein', eggs.

But I only gin a moment of my valuable time to contemplate this
prominent phase of wimmen's folly. And bein' driv back as I have often
been by a lack of congenial sympathy into my own interior (my mind), my
inteleck seemed to flow freer than ever, and I devoted this propishous
time to enlargin' on a important subject I had not had time to enlarge
on before, and that wuz the well known extravagance of females and
how fatally fatal that trait which is exclusively confined to her own
sect would be if let loose on the political world. And so harrered
up my mind got in contemplatin' that gigantic danger to my sect, and
my country, that before I knowed it I wuz speakin' my thoughts and
forebodin's aloud.

Sez I, "Another insurmountable objection agin female suffragin',
another fearful danger facin' the country if females should have a free
run in the political field, is their well known extravagance."

[Illustration: "Josiah," sez she, "a hen don't cackle till she lays her
egg."]

Sez I, "To a Female Researcher of the prudent, equinomical male
sect, it is absolutely appallin' to witness the blind reckless
extravagance of wimmen and their well known habits of follerin' each
other's fashions blindly, like a flock of sheep jumpin' over the fence.
If one woman gits a new dress the neighborin' wimmen have got to git
one like it, or better, not a mite of independent sperit about 'em. Why
can't they take pattern of us men who always wear jest what we please,
and pay no attention to what any other male wears, pay no attention
whatsumever to fashion or extravagance. In fact men would hardly know
there wuz any such words as them, if it wuzn't for female doin's and
the dictionary."

I knowed I had got Samantha in a corner then that she couldn't git out
on and I waited with a dignified stately look on my linement to hear
her say, "I gin up, Josiah; you're in the right on't." But did I hear
her say this? Oh, no!

She lifted up the plump yeller skinned chicken in one hand, whilst
she peered under its wings for a stray pin feather. And then she laid
it down gently on the pages of the _World_ that wuz spread for its
benefit over the table, I spoze to keep her dress clean, and as she
looked down on the smooth crisp folds of gingham she sez:

"Yes, lots of wimmen are extravagant. But as the fashion is now,
Josiah, five or six yards will make a woman a dress, and have enough
left to make her husband a vest, if he would wear anything so cheap.
I've got enough left of this very dress, good green and white plaid
gingham, costin' ten cents per yard to make you a good cool summer
vest; it would wear like iron, and I stand ready to make it, and will
you wear it, Josiah?"

She thought she had me in a corner then, but my mind works so quick I
answered her almost instantaneously, "Id'no as a green and white plaid
vest would be becomin' to my complexion, but I will wear it if the
other bretheren will."

Sez she, "I thought you didn't care what any one else wore."

Is there any limit to a female's aggravatin'? I wouldn't dane a reply.
But I took up Ayer's Albernack with a stern cold linement, and went
to readin' the advertisements, and of course she didn't see the danger
ahead on her, of irritatin' too fur a strong nater.

She kep' right on, "No doubt wimmen are sometimes extravagant, Josiah,
no doubt they spend lots of money foolishly and worse than foolishly,
but before we decide that it ort to deprive her of political rights,
let us compare it with men's extravagance for a few minutes."

I felt above replyin' to her, but kep' my eye on the bottle of
medicine, and the woman raised from the tomb by a smell of the cork,
and she went on:

"Which party is it in a workman's home that usually wants to buy an
automobile before the little home is paid for? Mebby in some rare cases
the woman eggs the man on, but I believe that it is safe to say that
in seven cases out of ten, it is not the housekeeper and house mother
that is willin' to risk losin' the ruff that covers her baby's pretty
head, and councils waitin' a while before takin' on the extravagance
of the added expense. And which party is it, Josiah, that turns and
twists every way to save money so her boy and girl can present a decent
appearance before her mates? How many millions a year duz the horse
races, yot races and polo games and other manly amusements amount to?
How many billions a year duz the useless extravagance of tobacco cost?
Of course you can substract sunthin' for some wimmen's foolish habit of
cigarette smoking, but in the great total it would hardly count. And
in how many poor homes duz a woman toil into the night hours to mend
and make so that her family may look respectable, while her husband is
spendin' his spare hours and spare change in the corner saloon?"

Sez I, lookin' up from the Albernack with a scathin' irony that must
have scathed her, whether she owned up to it or not, "I thought it wuz
about time for you to drag in that saloon bizness."

"Yes," sez she, "it is time. How many billion dollars a year is spent
mostly by men, in the ruinous extravagance of strong drink, and how
many billions more in payin' for the effects on't, loss of labor,
jails, prisons, hospitals, police force, pauper burials, etc., etc.,
and I might string out them etc.'s, Josiah, clear from here to Grout
Hozleton's and then not begin to git in the perfectly useless and
ruinous extravagance of the liquor bizness. And I guess that take all
the wimmen's extravagance, it will count up so small in comparison
as to be lost sight on. And unlike the liquor bizness if a woman
dresses extravagantly, which no doubt she often duz, the dressmakers
and merchants and jewelers reaps a profit, if she gives extravagant
fashionable parties, the grocer, the florist, the laboring class gits
some benefit from it; it is not a danger to human life, like the heart
breakin', soul destroyin' extravagance and danger to the hull community
of the liquor traffic."

I felt above arguin' with her agin on this subject I had so often
wasted my finest eloquence on. She knowed how I felt, and I wouldn't
demean myself by repeatin' my crushin' arguments in that direction,
for I knowed as well as I sot there that she wouldn't act crushed, no
matter if she felt flat as a pan-cake. So I passed on to another faze
of woman's extravagance.

Sez I, "It hain't enough for her to spend money like water on her
bridge parties, and maskerades, and theatre and tango parties, but she
has to rack what little brain she's got, tryin' to git up new follies
that other wimmen hain't thought on; she has to have her dog parties,
and monkey parties, when them animals come dressed like human bein's
with human folks to wait on 'em. Thank Heaven! you can't say but what
male men would look down with abhorrence on such fool doin's."

But Samantha sez, "Id'no, take a stag party sometimes--mebby in the
beginin' them stags might be able to look down on the monkeys, but
after high-balls and cock-tails and gallons of shampain has been
consumed, Id'no whether them stags could look down on sober temperate
monkeys, or the monkeys look down on them, though no doubt some of the
stags behave and can see straight."

I scorned to notice this slur onto my sect, brung up I knowed to make
me swurve from my subject, but it didn't make me swurve a inch. I went
right on and brung up wimmen's extravagance in their houses.

Sez I, "Look at her gorgeous Brussels carpets, her draperies hangin'
from elegant brass poles, her superb black walnut furniture, her
glossy black hair-cloth sofias and easy chairs, a perfect riot of
extravagance, Samantha. Who can blame a man from kickin' agin it,
kickin'," sez I, "with the hull strength of a outraged nater and a
number nine shue."

"No doubt," sez Samantha, "wimmen are sometimes extravagant in makin'
their homes beautiful, but their families and admirin' friends benefit
by it. And how duz her velvet carpets and Persian rugs, her rose-wood
furniture, statuary, and costly pictures and silken draperies compare
with men's outlay and extravagance in Public Buildings; for instance,
the Capitol at Albany; wimmen have had nothing to do with that, and I
guess her most extravagant doin's in her house will compare favorably
with the millions men have spent in that house for years, and no sign
of there ever bein' an end to it."

I knowed by the look on her linement that she meant to intimidate that
there had been shiftlessnes and stealin' goin' on in that direction,
and in other public works through the country, but I refused to notice
the slur on my sect. That slur that females love to sling at us and
which we'd better treat with silent contemp, jest as I did now, for
no knowin' if we'd stoop to argy with 'em about it, what figgers and
statistics they may bring up, to prove their slurs, so as I say I
passed it over with silent disdain, but I sez in a safe general way,
fur removed from probable figgers she would be apt to throw at me
to prove her reckless insertions, I sez, puttin' a sad look onto my
linement:

"Wimmen's extravagance makes the heart of man to ache and often drives
him to a ontimely tomb, strivin' for fashionable display, strivin' for
rights she don't need." And bein' anxious to change the subject at that
juncter (I always think it is best to change the flow of my thought
occasionally) I put on a sort of a solemn, fraid look on my linement,
"Such talk as you wimmen talk is revolutionary, Samantha, and is liable
to lead to war."

And then, if you'll believe it, so contrary and hard to conquer is
females, she took advantage of that speech of mine to invay on the
expenditure of war. She asked me then and there how many billions wuz
spent every year by male men on the extravagance of man-made war, its
preperation and consequences.

I told her coldly and with a irony as iron as our old cook stove, that
as much as she expected of me, she couldn't expect me to figger up to a
cent what war had cost the nation. Sez I, "With the barn chores on my
hands, and my great work of destroyin' Woman's Suffrage do you expect
me to keep track of every cent the nation has spent on war?"

"No," sez she, "one man couldn't reckon it up if he spent his hull
lifetime at it, but jest the money spent on it yearly is two billion
five hundred million. But," sez she, "it seems that the enormous
extravagance of man in this direction and others don't unfit him for
the franchise. And if you should spend a few years tryin' to reckon
up the gigantic expenditure in money and misery, the horrors and
extravagance of war and its effects, you might feel like talkin' less
about wimmen's extravagance and how it makes her onfit to be a citizen
of the country she's born into, and helps to support with her labor and
taxes."

Oh, how aggravatin' a woman can be when she sets out to be. Much as
I think of Samantha and the tendrils of my great heart are wropped
completely round her, as big as she is round her waist--yet sometimes
on occasions like this I almost wish I wuz a bacheldor, a fur off
lonely man in some distant cave, or on some lonesome mountain peak,
encumbered not by a female who thinks she has a right to argy with me
and irritate me.

But these feelin's always come over me in the middle of the forenoon,
or the middle of the afternoon. When it comes nigh meal time, my wild
seethin' emotions gradually simmers down and as the appetizin' meals
progress so duz my feelin's change and grow less dangerous; if they
didn't I don't know what the effect would be to the world of females.

I spoze it is the way the overrulin' power has fixed it as a means of
safety to females, for with my strong nater and massive inteleck, if it
wuzn't for them three daily safety valves to let off the steam of my
indignation at female doin's, and sayin's, Heaven only knows what would
be the consequences. Things and folks would be tore to pieces for all
that I knew and utterly destroyed. For how can you curb in a outraged
and high sperited nature when it is fully rousted up, and aggravation
has gone too fur? It is well that good vittles stand guard between me
and them.

But as a man who loves peace and quiet, and despises female arguin' I
wuz glad at this juncter to see the welcome form of Uncle Sime wendin'
his way towards the barn. And I throwed down the Albernack with a hauty
movement of my right hand, and strode off barnward with my head erect.
And then we two valiant warriors in a noble cause held a meetin' of
sweet sympathy and full understandin' in the horse barn.



IX

THE DANGER FROM WIMMEN'S EXAGGERATION


I told Samantha one day that another strong reason why wimmen hadn't
ort to vote, and why they would be such a dangerous element in politics
wuz that they prevaricated and exaggerated to such a alarmin' extent.

Sez I, "A woman can't tell a story straight to save her life--but has
to put in so many exaggerations and stretch out facts so you couldn't
reconize 'em when she gits 'em pulled out to the length she pulls 'em.
They don't seem to have any idee of plain straightforward truthfulness
such as my sect has. As long as they've seen men appearin' before 'em,
tellin' the exact truth from day to day, and from year to year, they
can't or won't foller his example.

"That trait of theirn," sez I, "is bad enough in the home and social
circle, for there their men folks can head 'em off, and cover things
up and make excuses for 'em, and tell the story straight. But if it
wuz carried into public life where their men folks couldn't reach 'em,
and quell 'em down, and ameliorate the effects on it, where would this
nation be? It would be looked down on and shawed at by Foreign Powers
as a nation of exaggerators and false witnessors, and it ort to be.

"Wimmen can't seem to learn to tell the truth and 'nothin' but the
truth,' and that is the reason, Samantha," sez I, "that that clause wuz
put in the law books; it wuz designed to try to skair female witnesses,
and drive 'em into tellin' the truth. But it hain't done it."

I wuz gittin' real eloquent and riz up, for nothin' pleases a man more
than to teach his wimmen folks great truths and enlighten 'em about
laws. But Samantha had to bring me down from the hite I wuz on, in the
aggravatin' way females have. And as it turned out I wuz kinder sorry
I had dwelt on that trait of females that particular time, for she said
in the irritatin' way wimmen have of bringin' up facts at times when
there hain't no use of bringin' 'em up and when it is inconvenient for
'em to be brung.

Sez she, "I would talk about exaggeration in females, and men's love
for exact truth, after what took place in this settin' room only last
evenin'."

I didn't reply to her for there are times when silent disapproval is
better than argument. I knowed what she meant, and I knowed she wanted
to spile my argument, in the ornary way females have, so, as I say, I
treated them words with silent contemp and went out to the barn. But I
spoze I may as well tell you how it wuz, for if I don't she may tell
it and make it out worse than it wuz. Condelick Henzy come over here
last night after supper to borry my neck-yoke and Dr. Meezik from Zoar,
where he used to live, went to see Condelick on bizness, and his wife
told him he wuz here so he stopped here on his way home (I mistrust
Condelick owes him though he didn't dun him before us).

They're both on 'em good natered easy-goin' men, and love to talk and
tell stories. And I brung up a basin of good sick-no-furder apples, and
they set and et apples and talked and talked. They both on 'em love to
brag about what they've seen and hearn and naterally both on 'em want
to tell the biggest story about it. Onfortinately Samantha wuz in the
room to work on a new insane bed-quilt. And of course she has to find
fault and cricketcise what they said and won't make allowances for high
sperits.

Sez Dr. Meezik, "When I wuz a young man my folks lived on a farm that
run along one side on a creek. And one day I wuz down on the creek lot
hoein' corn and a bear come down on the ice from the big woods, and I
rushed right out on the ice and killed that bear with my hoe."

Sez Condelick, "That's nothin' to what I did at about the same time.
I lived on that same creek though furder south; it wuz dretful rich
land. And I raised a cabbage there that wuz so big I hollered out the
stem on't and made a boat of it, and used it to ferry me acrost that
very stream of water."

"And it wuz jest about that time," sez Dr. Meezik, "le'me see, it wuz
on my birthday about nine minutes past four o'clock in the afternoon,
or it may have been nine and a half minutes past, I always want to be
perfectly exact in my statements, but we will let it go at nine minutes.

"I wuz a great hunter in them days and fearless as a lion as you may
know by my goin' out on the ice to meet that bear who had come to eat
green corn, and killed him with my hoe handle.

"I had gone a little further north than I had ever gone before, and I
come out to a big clearin' that I had never seen. I should say it wuz
half a degree north of where we're settin' now, or it might have been
half a pint further, a man can't be too exact and particular in telling
such things, for some folks if they wanted to pick flaws and find
fault might doubt his statement. But I didn't have my pocket compass
with me and I wuz so surprised at what I see there that I don't know
that I should thought to use it if I had had it.

"I must say that as many strange things as I've seen and heard I never
wuz so surprised as I wuz at what I see there.

"Right there in that big clearin' there wuz a perfect army of tinkers
makin' a immense brass kettle. There wuz jest one hundred of 'em, for I
counted 'em over twice so's to be sure of gittin' the exact number. I
am always so perfectly reliable in my statements, and am bound to git
the smallest petickulars jest right. I spoze I got the habit partly
from weighin' out my medicines so exact.

"And them tinkers wuz hammerin' away for all they wuz worth on that
kettle, and you may judge of the size of it when I tell you them
workmen wuz so fur apart they couldn't hear each other a hammerin'."

Even Condelick Henzy wuz took back and browbeat and sez mekanically,
"What do you spoze they wuz goin' to do with the kettle?"

"Well," sez Dr. Meezik, "they didn't tell me, for I didn't want to act
forward and ask, but I always spozed they wuz goin' to use it to bile
your cabbage in."

Just at this epock of time Samantha gathered up her insane piece work
and left the room. She didn't say nothin', but I knowed by the looks of
her linement jest as well as I know now, that she'd throw that kettle
and that cabbage in my face some time the most inconvenient for me, and
you can see plain she's done it and now I hope she's satisfied.

As I said I went out to the barn and kinder fussed round cleanin' up
some, and I never see Samantha agin till dinner time. I wuzn't afraid
to go in and meet her and have her resoom her argument agin. No, I
skorn the importation. I belong to a fearless sect, and am almost
unacquainted with the word fear, though I know there is such a word in
the Dictionary.

No, I had considerable putterin' round to do in the barn, and hen
house, and so I stayed out there till I hearn the welcome sound of the
dinner bell and smelt even from the barn door the agreable odors risin'
from a first class dinner.

The smell and taste of the tender roast lamb and lushious vegetables
softened my feelin's considerable, or would have if it hadn't been for
the look on Samantha's face. It wuzn't a cross look nor a mean one,
would that it wuz, for I could handle them looks better.

No, it wuz a kind of a superior look, as if she had conquored me in
the argument about exaggeration and prevarication, and wuz gloatin'
over the _contrary temps_ that had occurred in the settin' room only
the evenin' before, the little incident that broke down my excelent
argument.

And of all the looks that mankind ever read on a woman's linement, the
one a man can't stand is a superior look, a look that says as plain as
words, "I like you and pity you, but I can't help lookin' down on you,
Poor Thing!" That look from a inferior sect always aggravates a man so
that he hain't skursly answerable for what he sez and duz.

And almost onbeknown to me I broke forth in a crushin' argument
designed to crush her and change that look on her linement to one of
humbleness becomin' to a female. Sez I, "Our sect has been the makin'
of yourn, and it seems that when a female considers and thinks on all
that men have done for wimmen and are willin' to do for 'em, they would
have some feelin's of gratitude towards 'em, but they don't; they
delight in argyin' with 'em and tryin' to git the better on 'em."

Instead of my smart reasonable words affectin' her favorably it seemed
as if the look I despised deepened on her linement; not a sign did I
see of meach, nor a sign of humble gratitude, and I wuz so irritated by
it that I lanched right out in the crushin' argument that I had on my
mind and that ort to bring female feathers droopin' down in the very
dust.

Sez I, "Do you ever pause to think, Samantha, of the inestimable boon
wimmen owe to men? Why," sez I, "if it hadn't been for a man, wimmen
wouldn't had no souls to-day."

"How do you make that out?" sez Samantha, helpin' herself camly to some
more dressin'.

"Why, it is a matter of history that way back in the centuries the
preachers of that time had a meetin' to settle the question, and when
they took a vote on't, the majority on 'em stood out on the popular
side and cast their votes agin 'em, and vowed and declared that females
hadn't no souls. And it wuz only by the vote of one single solitary man
that it wuz carried in their favor and decided that they had souls.

"And I should think females would be so grateful to that noble man for
what he done for 'em, for his bein' willin' to admit that they had
souls, that they would honor the hull sect to which he belonged, and
look up to 'em in humble and grateful gratitude, and never try to argy
with 'em and aggravate 'em. For let me ask you, Samantha," sez I, in
a solemn axent, "where would wimmen have been if that man had held out
and jined in with the rest, and decided that wimmen hadn't got any
soul? Where would they been then, and where would they be to-day?"

"Jest where they always wuz and are now," sez Samantha camly helpin'
herself to a apple dumplin'. "It seems that it wuz men that started the
question in the first place, and I spoze that if wimmen hadn't been so
wore out and hampered by her hard work of takin' care of men, cookin',
mendin', and cleanin' for 'em and bringin' up their children, etc.,
they might have had a jury of wimmen set on men to find out if _they_
had souls. But I don't spoze they had a minute's time to spare from
their hard work no more than I have, and I don't spoze it would make
any difference either way. The main thing is whether men and wimmen
have got souls to-day, and use them souls for the good of mankind,
instead of lettin' 'em grow hard, or wither away in indifference to
the woes and wants of the world, and the cause of Eternal Justice for
every one, male and female."

That is jest the way with wimmen, they've got to talk and argy and try
to have the last word. You can't seem to make 'em act meachin' and
beholdin' to men anyway you can work it, and it seems to me I've tried
every way there is from first to last.

But I wouldn't argy no more, I felt above it. I helped myself to my
fourth apple dumplin' with a look of silent contemp on my linement,
also I had the same look when I poured the lemon sass over it and took
my third cup of coffee.

And my linement still showed to a clost observer the marks of a tried
though hauty sperit, as I riz up from the table and retired with a high
step to my sacred corner to resoom my literary efforts.

Sometimes pardners are real aggravatin' to each other and a trial to be
borne with. And though I don't know what I'd do if I should ever lose
Samantha, it don't seem as if I could ever eat another woman's vittles
after livin' on the fat of the land as you may say for forty years.

Yet there are times when you set smartin' under wownds your pardner has
gin your sperit and from arguments she no need to have brung up, and
you see a widow man a passin' by, you have feelin's that can skursly be
told on. You can see by the looks of his face and hands that he don't
wash any oftener than he wants to, and never combs his hair and don't
change his clothes till the Board of Health gits after him. And you
know he never goes to meetin', and throws off girl blinders boldly, and
stays out nights till as late as ten P.M. onquestioned and onscolded.
And don't have to clean his shues when he goes in, and never curbs his
appetite, but eats like a hog and enjoys himself.

Why, much as you love the dear pardner of your bosom, and prize the
excelent food she cooks, and the clean comfortable home she makes for
you--the air of freedom that seems to blow from that widow man (kinder
stale air too) yet it fans your clean head and clean stiff shirt bosom
like a breath from the Isle of Freedom.

And so after Samantha had hurt my feelin's and wownded my self respect
by remindin' me of the incident mentioned, when if she had kep' still
I should have come off victorious in my argument, I retired into the
solitude of my corner in the settin' room where Betsy Bobbett's poetry
lay heaped up in the dish-pan and I read with feelin' that I couldn't
skursly describe the follerin' verses which I spoze Betsy writ after
her husband had wownded her feelin's. And in readin' it I dedicate it
silently to my brother men who have been aggravated by their pardners.


LONGIN'S OF THE SOLE

_By Betsy Bobbett Slimpsey_

  Oh Gimlet! back again I float,
  With broken wings, a weary bard;
  I cannot write as once I wrote,
  I have to work so very hard;
  So hard my lot, so tossed about,
  My muse is fairly tuckered out.

  My muse aforesaid once hath flown,
  But now her back is broke, and breast;
  And yet she fain would crumple down;
  On Gimlet's pages she would rest,
  And sing plain words as there she's sot--
  Haply they'll rhyme, and haply not

  I spake plain words in former days,
  No guile I showed, clear was my plan;
  My gole it matrimony was;
  My earthly aim it was a man.
  I gained my man, I won my gole;
  Alas! I feel not as I fole.

  Yes, ringing through my maiden thought
  This clear voice rose: "Oh come up higher."
  To speak plain truth with candor fraught,
  To married be was my desire--
  Now, sweeter still this lot doth seem,
  To be a widder is my theme.

  For toil hath claimed me for her own,
  In wedlock I have found no ease;
  I've cleaned and washed for neighbors round,
  And took my pay in beans and pease;
  In boiling sap no rest I took,
  Or husking corn in barn and stook.

  Or picking wool from house to house,
  White-washing, painting, papering,
  In stretching carpets, boiling souse;
  E'en picking hops it hath a sting,
  For spiders there assembled be,
  Mosquitoes, bugs and etc.

  I have to work oh! very hard;
  Old Toil I know your breadth and length;
  I'm tired to death, and in one word,
  I have to work beyend my strength.
  And mortal men are very tough
  To get along with, nasty, rough.

  Yes, tribulations doomed to her
  Who weds a man, without no doubt,
  In peace a man is singuler;
  His ways they are past findin' out,
  And oh! the wrath of mortal males--
  To paint their ire, earth's language fails.

  And thirteen children in our home
  Their buttons rent their clothes they burst,
  Much bread and such did they consume;
  Of children they did seem the worst.
  And Simon and I do disagree;
  He's prone to sin continualee.

  He horrors has, he oft doth kick,
  He prances, yells--he will not work.
  Sometimes I think he is too sick;
  Sometimes I think he tries to shirk;
  But 'tis hard for her in either case,
  Who B. Bobbett was in happier days.

  Happier? Away! such thoughts I spurn.
  I count it true from spring to fall,
  'Tis better to be wed, and groan,
  Than never to be wed at all.
  I'd work my hands down to the bone
  Rather than rest a maiden lone.

  This truth I cannot, will not shirk,
  I feel it when I sorrow most:
  I'd rather break _my_ back with work,
  And haggard look as any ghost,--
  Rather than lonely vigils keep,
  I'd wed and sigh and groan and weep.

  Yes, I can say though tears fall quick
  Can say, while briny tear-drops start,
  I'd rather wed a crooked stick,
  Than never wed no stick at all.
  Sooner than laughed at be, as of yore
  I'd ruther laugh myself no more.

  I'd ruther go half clad and starved,
  And mops and dish-cloths madly wave
  Than have the name, B. Bobbett, carved
  On head-stun rising o'er my grave.
  Proud thought! now, when that stun is risen
  'Twill bear two names--my name and hisen.

  Methinks 'twould colder make the stun
  If but one name, the name of she,
  Should linger there alone--alone.
  How different when the name of he
  Does also deck the funeral urn;
  Two wedded names, his name and hurn.

  And sweeter yet, oh blessed lot!
  Oh state most dignified and blest!
  To be a widder calmly sot,
  And have both dignity and rest.
  Oh Simon, strangely sweet 'twould be
  To be a widder unto thee.

  The warfare past, the horrors done,
  With maiden's ease and pride of wife,
  The dignity of wedded one,
  The calm and peace of single life,--
  Oh, strangely sweet this lot doth seem;
  A female widder is my theme.

  I would not hurt a hair of he,
  Yet did he from earth's toil escape,
  I could most reconciléd be,
  Could sweetly mourn e'en without crape.
  Could say without a pang of pain
  That Simon's loss was Betsy's gain.

  I've told the plain tale of my woes,
  With no deceit or language vain,
  Have told whereon my hopes are rose,
  Have sung my mournful song of pain.
  And now I e'en will end my tale,
  I've sung my song, and wailed my wail.



X

THE MODERN WIMMEN CONDEMNED


The Vice President of the Creation Searchin' Society of Jonesville
wuz here yesterday mornin', and as soon as he'd gone through the
usual neighborly talk about the weather, the hens, his wife, and the
neighbors, etc., he tipped back in his chair and pushed back his hat
a little furder on his head. He never took off his hat in my sight;
Samantha asked me once "if I spozed he took it off nights, or slep in
it."

But I explained it to her as a kind man is always willin' to do if a
female asks him properly for information.

Sez I, "I hearn him say once, Samantha, that the way he got in the
habit of not takin' off his hat before wimmen wuz to impress 'em with
the fact of male superiority, and to let 'em know that he wuzn't goin'
to bow down before 'em and act meachin'. He wuz always a big feelin'
feller and after he got to be such a high official in the C.S.S. he
naterally is hautier actin'."

Well, almost to once he begun to Samantha about wimmen's votin',
runnin' the idee down to the very lowest notch it could go on the
masculine stillyards. You see my forthcomin' great work agin Wimmen
Rights has excited the male Jonesvillians dretfully, and emboldened
'em, till they act as fierce and bold as lions when they're talkin' to
females.

They realize that when that immortal work is lanched onto the waitin'
world the cause of Woman's Suffrage will collapse like the bladders
we used to blow up in childhood, jest as sharp and sudden and jest as
windy. They know that them that uphold such uroneous beliefs won't be
nothin' nor nobody then, and so they begin beforehand to act more hauty
and uppish towards Suffragists, and browbeat 'em. And he poked fun at
the cause and slurred at it, and sneered at it till I didn't know but
Samantha would take lumbago from his remarks, but she didn't seem to.

She had got her mornin's work all did up slick, her gingham apron hung
up behind the kitchen door, and she'd resoomed her white one trimmed
with tattin'. And she sot knittin' on a pair of blue woosted socks for
me, her linement as smooth and onrumpled as her hair, which wuz combed
smooth round her forward. And she kep' on with her knittin', only once
in a while she would look up at him over her specs in the queer way she
has at times, but still kep' lookin' cam, and sayin' nothin'.

And her camness and her silence seemed to spur him on and make him
bolder and more aggressiver. He thought she wuz afraid on him, but I
knowed she wuzn't.

At last he flung out the remark to her that if wimmen could vote it
would be the bad wimmen who would flock to the poles; Samantha wuz
jest turnin' the heel in my sock and after she made the turn she said
that that wuzn't so, and she brought up statisticks and throwed at
him (still a knittin' and seamin' two and two) provin' that it is the
educated conscientious wimmen who want to help the good men of the
country to make the laws to try to make the world a safer place for
their children, a better, cleaner place for every one, and she threw
some statements at him from States that had Woman's Suffrage for years
and years to prove her insertion, but the statisticks, the figgers and
the proofs piled about him onheeded, for he had got hot and excited by
this time and it seemed as if Samantha's very camness madded him, and
her knittin', and her seamin' two and two, and her countin' "one--two,"
to herself once in a while.

And sez he agin in a overbearin' skairful voice, intended to intimidate
females, "I tell you it is the bad wimmen who will rush to the poles,
and I can prove what I say." Sez he, "The meaner anybody is the more
and the oftener they want to vote; my father is one of the best of men
and you can't hardly git him to stir his stumps 'lection day. And my
wife's father is the meanest man in the country and he will vote from
mornin' till night for either party and sell his vote where he can git
the highest figger--(he don't live happy with his wife, and he went
on) and so will her Uncle Josh sell his vote to anybody for a glass of
whiskey, and most all the men on her side will sell their vote and make
money by it. And I know more'n a dozen men right round here who do the
same thing. I don't spoze you wimmen read much of any, but if you did
you'd see how common graft and fraud is in politics, all the way from
Jonesville to Washington. So you see," sez he, "I can prove right out
what I said that it is the bad wimmen who would vote."

Samantha counted "two and two" to herself, and then said in a mild
axent, "Why would a bad woman's vote be worse than a bad man's?" The
Vice President see in a minute into what a deep hole his excitement and
voylent desire to prove his argument had led him, and he acted sheepish
as a sheep.

But anon he revived and ketched holt of the first argument he could lay
his hand on, to prop up his side of the question. It wuz a argument he
had read about, he didn't believe it himself, but ketched at it in his
hurry.

Sez he, "We expect more from wimmen than we do from men; they're
naterally better than men and we want to keep 'em so, keep 'em out of
the dirt of public affairs."

Sez Samantha still a knittin' and still a lookin' cam, "You must use
clean water to cleanse dirty things. I don't believe as you do. I think
the good qualities of men and wimmen would heft jest about equal, and
need equal treatment. But accordin' to your tell if men are so much
worse than wimmen they need her help to clean up things."

Agin the Vice President see where his hasty talk and anxiety to prove
his pint had led him. He wiggled round in his chair till I trembled for
the legs on it, for he wuz still leanin' back in it too fur for safety.
He kinder run his hand up under his hat and scratched his head, but
didn't seem to root any new idees out of his hair, and he finally give
up, settled his hat back more firmly on his head agin, let his chair
down sudden and got up and sez:

"I come over this mornin' to borry Josiah's sheep shears."

And after he went out with 'em I asked Samantha, "What do you spoze the
Vice President wanted of sheep shears this time of year?" And she sez:

"He looked sheepish enough to use 'em on himself."

Well, it wuz gittin' along towards noon, as I reminded Samantha, and
she riz up and put her knittin' work on the mantelry piece, resoomed
her gingham apron and went out into the kitchen and soon I hearn the
welcome sounds so sweet to a man's ear whether literary or profane,
that preperations wuz goin' on for a good square meal.

And as I sot there peaceful and happy in my mind who should come in but
my dear and congenial friend, Uncle Sime Bentley. He had been on a
visit to Illenoy. And after his first words of greetin' and his anxious
inquiries as to how my great work wuz progressin' and gittin' along, he
went on and gin me the petickulars about his journey.

He'd been on a visit to the city to see his nephew, Bill Bentley. Bill
is well off and smart, and his father-in-law is rich and sent his only
child, Bill's wife, to college; "jest like a fool," Uncle Sime said.
"For what duz a female want with such a eddication." Sez he, "The three
R's, Readin', Ritin' and Rithmetic are enough for her and would be for
any woman if they worked and tended to things as my ma, Bill's grandma
did.

"Up at four every mornin' summer and winter, milkin' five or six cows
and then gittin' breakfast for her big fambly, hired men and all, and
doin' every mite of the housework, and spinnin', weavin', makin' and
mendin', and takin' sole care of her eight children, in sickness and
health, and takin' care of her mother who had been as big a worker and
stay-at-home as she wuz, and who wuz now melancholy crazy in a little
room done off the woodshed.

"How ma did work," sez Uncle Sime in a reminescin' axent, "stiddy at it
from mornin' till night, never stirrin' out of the house from year to
year. Oh! if she could only have lived to set a sample for Bill's wife,
and instruct her in a wife's duty.

"I told Bill so," sez Uncle Sime. "And if you please," sez he, "Bill
resented it, and said, ketch him a killin' his wife with work hard
enough for four wimmen, and not stirrin' out of the house from year to
year, he thought too much of her; sez he, 'if I wanted a slave I'd buy
one and pay cash for her.'

"He didn't seem to appreciate ma's doin's no more than nothin', though
as I told him, _There_ wuz a woman whose price wuz above rubies, so
different from the slack forward wimmen of to-day. So retirin', so
modest and womanly, willin' to work her fingers to the bone and not
complain. Never puttin' forward her opinion about anything, always
lookin' up to pa and knowin' he wuz always right. And if she ever did
seem curious about anything outside her housework and fambly, pa would
shet her up and bring her back to her duty pretty quick. Yes indeed! pa
wuz the head of the house, and laid out to be. But Bill didn't seem to
have no gumption and self respect at all, and wuz perfectly willin' to
be on equal terms with his wife. And Bill told him she had a household
allowance and a private bank account. Private bank account! I told Bill
it wuz enough to make his grandma rise from her grave to see such bold
onwomanly doin's.

"And Bill said 'it would be a good thing for her to rise, if she could
stay up, for mebby she would take a little comfort and rest her mind
and her bones a little, at this epock of time.'"

I sez, "I spoze, Simon, you didn't have nothin' fit to eat there and
everything goin' to rack and ruin about the house."

"No," Uncle Sime said, "I must own up that things run pretty smooth,
and Bill's wife sot a good table. They had a stout woman who helped
about the work and takin' care of the children, leavin' Bill's wife
free to go round with Bill to meetin's and clubs and a fishin' and
motor ridin', and picknickin' with him and the kids."

"I spoze she wuz high headed and disagreable," sez I.

"No," sez Uncle Sime, "she wuz always good natered and dressed pretty,
and why shouldn't she?" sez he bitterly, "havin' her own way and
runnin' things to suit herself. And why shouldn't she dress pretty?
Lanchin' out and buyin' everything she wanted. Not curbed down by Bill,
nor askin' a man's advice at all about her clothes or housen stuff so
fur as I could see."

Sez I, "Mebby Bill didn't like it so well as you thought, Simon; mebby
he wuz chafin' inside on him."

"No, he wuzn't, he liked it, there's one of the pints I'm comin'
at, how these modern wimmen will pull the wool over men's eyes, no
matter how smart he is naterally. They did seem to have good times
together, laughin' and talkin' together, settin' to the table a hour
or so, a visitin' away as if they hadn't seen each other for a month.
But merciful heavens! the subjects they talked on and discussed over!
It seemed that she knew every crook and turn on subjects that Bill's
grandma never had heard on by name. Hygeen, books, Street Cleanin',
Hospital work, Charities, Political affairs from pole to pole and
Scientific subjects--Radium, Electricity, Spiritualism, Woman's
Suffrage, which they both believed in. There seemed to be no end to the
subjects they talked about. So different from pa and ma's talk. They
eat their meals in perfect and solemn silence most all the time, ma
always waitin' on him. And if she did venter any remarks to him they
usually didn't fly no higher than hen's eggs or neighborhood doin's.
Do you spoze that pa would stood it havin' a wife that acted as if she
knew as much as he did? Not much.

"But Bill's wife wuz right up to snuff as well informed as Bill wuz,
and Bill didn't seem to know enough to be jealous and mad about a wife
actin' as if she wuz on a equality with him. It made me ashamed to
think a male relation on my own side should act so meachin'. And in one
thing she even went ahead of Bill, owin' to the money men had spent
on her. She sung like a bird, and evenin's Bill would lay back in his
chair before the open fireplace and listen to her singin' and playin'
them old songs and look at her as if he worshipped her. He didn't seem
to want to stir out of the house evenin's unless she went too, lost all
his ambition to go out and have a good man time, seemed perfectly happy
where he wuz. And he used to be a great case to be out nights and act
like a man amongst men.

"But," sez Uncle Sime, "I believe that one of the things that galded me
most amongst all the galdin' things I see and hearn there, wuz Bill's
wife's independence in money matters. Economic Independence! That wuz
one of her fool idees. Oh, how often I thought of you, Josiah, and
wished you wuz there to put down what I see and hearn in the beautiful
language you know so well how to use."

My feelin's wuz touched and I sez solemnly, "Simon, I would loved to
been there, and if I couldn't help you I could have sot and sympathized
with you."

Sez Simon, "Never once durin' them six weeks I wuz there did I see her
ask Bill for a cent, and how well I remember," sez Simon, "when if ma
wanted the money for a pair of shues, or a gingham dress for herself,
how she would have to coax pa and git him extra vittles and pompey him
and beg for the money in such a womanly and becomin' way. And sometimes
pa wuz real short with her and would deny her. Not but what he meant to
git 'em in the end, for he wuz a noble man. But he held off, wantin'
her to realize he wuz the head of the fambly, and to be looked up to."

Sez Simon, "Ma would have to manage every way for days and days to git
them shues and that dress and when he did git any clothes for her pa
picked 'em out himself, for ma had been brought up to think his taste
wuz better'n hern."

Sez I, "Probable it wuz better, probable he got things that wore like
iron."

"Yes, he did," sez Simon, "he did. He never cared so much for looks
as he did the solid wear of anything." And for a few minutes Uncle
Sime seemed lost in a silent contemplation of his pa's oncommon good
qualities, and then he resoomed agin. "The news come right whilst I wuz
there, about the leven hundred saloons closed durin' the few months
since wimmen voted in that state. And Bill never resented it and even
jined in with the idee that it wuz owin' to wimmen's votes largely that
that and the other big temperance victories of late wuz accomplished.
He didn't seem to have no more self respect than a snipe. And if you'll
believe it, Josiah, Bill's wife made a public speech right whilst I
wuz there, sunthin' about school matters she thought wuz wrong and ort
to be set right."

"How did Bill like that, Simon?" sez I. "I guess that kinder opened his
eyes."

"Like it!" sez Uncle Sime in a indignant axent. "Why, instead of actin'
ashamed and resentin' it as a man of sperit would, he went with her
and made a speech too, and they carried the day and beat the side they
said wuz usin' the school to make money. And I hearn 'em with my own
ears comin' in at ten P.M. laughin' and jokin' together like two kids.
Makin' a speech before men! Oh, what would Bill's great-grandma thought
on't? She'd say she had reason for her melancholy madness, and his
grandma would say she wuz glad she wuz dead."

"Most probable that is so, Simon," sez I, sympathizin' with him.
"As I've intimidated to you before, Simon, time and agin, this is a
turrible epock of time us male men are a passin' through, jest like a
see-saw gone crazy, wimmen up and stayin' up, and men down and held
down. But wait till my great work agin Female Suffrage is lanched onto
the world and then see what will happen, and jest as soon as I git a
little ahead with my outdoor work I'm a goin' to lanch it. Then will
come the upheaval and the crash, follered by peace and happiness. Men
will resoom their heaven-born station as rulers and protectors of the
weaker sect, and females will sink down agin into hern, lookin' up to
man as their nateral gardeens and masters."

"Ma knowed it in her day and practiced it," sez Simon. "And pa knowed
it and acted his part nobly. Ma wuz so retirin' and so womanly. Why, if
once in a great while she took it in her head to ask about such things
as Bill's wife boldly lectured about, do you spoze she'd go before
any strange man to talk out about it? No, she would always ask pa to
explain it to her. And I remember well how kinder wishful and wonderin'
her eyes looked and yet timid and becomin'. And pa actin' his part in
life as a man of sperit should, would most always tell her to tend
to her housework and let men run them things. But if he did feel good
natered and explain 'em to her she took his word for law and gospel and
acted meek and grateful to him.

"Yes, pa wuz to the head of his house and kep' females down where they
belonged, and her actions wuz a pattern for wimmen to foller. And it
wuz such a pity and a wonder that she had to die so early, only thirty
years old when the Lord took her before her virtues wuz known to the
world at large.

"I remember well the night she passed away," sez Simon, in a softer
reminescener axent.

"She wanted her bed drawed up to the open winder. And she lay lookin'
up to the full moon and stars a shinin' in the great clear sky. She
looked up and up and kinder smiled and sez in a sort of a wishful,
wonderin' axents:

"'Oh, how big! And how free!'

"And I always spozed she meant sunthin' about how big pa wuz, and how
free to understand things she didn't, and hadn't ort to."

Sez I, "I hain't a doubt, Simon, but that wuz what she meant, not a
doubt on't!"


PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA



By

Marietta Holley


_Josiah Allen on the Woman Question_

 Illustrated, 16mo, cloth      net $1.00.

A new volume from the pen of Miss Holley, marked by such quaint
thoughtfulness and timely reflection as ran through "Samantha". All who
read it will be bound to feel better, as indeed they should, for they
will have done some hearty laughing, and have been "up against" some
bits of striking philosophy delivered with point, vigor, and chuckling
humor.


_Samantha on the Woman Question_

 Illustrated, 16mo, cloth      net $1.00.

"This is the book we have been waiting for. What Samantha doesn't know,
isn't worth knowing--will throw a little humor on a situation which
is becoming too intense. We hope it may have a wide circulation in
England, for Samantha, who believes in suffrage, does not believe in
dynamite, gunpowder and mobs."

 --_Examiner._


FICTION


_CAROLINE ABBOT STANLEY_

 _Author of
 "The Master of the Oaks"_

The Keeper of the Vineyard

A Tale of the Ozarks. Illustrated, $1.25 net.

This story of a "return to nature," like the author's "Master of the
Oaks," pulsates with real life. The scene lies in the Missouri Ozarks,
a melting pot wherein those who seek the solace of nature and a living
from the soil fuse their lives with the natives of the Hills in the
common quest for liberty and education, love and life.


_NORMAN HINSDALE PITMAN_

The Lady Elect

A Chinese Romance. Illustrated by Chinese artists. 12mo, cloth, net
$1.25.

Some of the best judges of a good story as well as some of the highest
authorities on "Things Chinese" pronounce this story a remarkable
combination of the rarest and most irresistible type of pure romance
and the truest and most realistic delineation of Chinese life. The
novelty of the setting and the situations will win the instant approval
of the lover of good fiction.


_RICHARD S. HOLMES_

Bradford Horton: Man

A Novel. 12mo, cloth, net $1.25.

Dr. Holmes made a distinct place for himself among lovers of good
fiction with his earlier stories, "The Victor," and "The Maid of
Honor." Competent critics pronounce this new story the author's best.
The hero is a man's man who wins instant admiration. Originality of
humor, reality of pathos, comedy and heart tragedy are woven into the
story.


_MARIETTA HOLLEY_ (_Josiah Allen's Wife_)

Samantha on the Woman Question

Illustrated, 12mo, cloth, net $1.00.

For an entire generation Marietta Holley has been entertaining lovers
of good humor. "My Opinion and Betsy Bobbitts" and "Samantha at the
Centennial" made her name a household word. This last volume is not
only timely but with all its facetiousness, keen and telling in it's
advocacy of "Votes for Women" and Temperance. It equals anything the
author has produced.


_CHARLES H. LERRIGO_

Doc Williams

A Tale of the Middle West. Illustrated, net $1.25.

"The homely humor of the old doctor and his childlike faith in
'the cure' is so intensely human that he captures the sympathy of
the layman at once--a sympathy that becomes the deepest sort of
interest."--_Topeka Capital._


FICTION, JUVENILE


_HENRY OTIS DWIGHT_

A Muslim Sir Galahad

A Present Day Story of Islam In Turkey. 12mo, cloth, net $1.00.

A story of the Mohammedan world which holds the reader's attention
unfailingly from beginning to end. The narration of Selim, the
Moslem's quest for a satisfying religion has the quality of reality.
Dramatic interest and thrills of adventure are here in full measure.
It is a worthy addition to missionary narration and in view of recent
portentious events in the near East a timely and acceptable work.


_CHARLES H. LERRIGO_

Doc Williams

A Tale of the Middle West. 12mo, cloth, net $1.25.

The story of a "doctor of the old school" with every element which
makes a novel worth the reading, plot, character delineation, setting,
style--all are here. Intensely human, natural, humorous, pathetic,
joyous. The originality of the plot piques the reader's curiosity
and the most jaded devourer of novels will find himself irresistibly
held in delightful suspense. The sentiment and suggestion and mellow
philosophy which run through the story are altogether delightful.


_I. T. THURSTON_

The Torch Bearer

A Camp Fire Girls' Story. Illustrated, net $1.00.

The author of "The Bishop's Shadow" and "The Scout Master of Troop 5,"
has scored another conspicuous success in this new story of girl life.
She shows conclusively that she knows how to reach the heart of a girl
as well as that of a boy. The beautiful ritual and practices of "The
Camp Fire Girls" are woven into a story of surpassing interest and
charm.


SOCIOLOGY AND PRACTICAL RELIGION


_PROF. GIOVANNI LUZZI, D.D._

The Struggle for Christian Truth in Italy

8vo, cloth, net $1.50.

The author traces the history of Christianity in Italy from its dawn
in Rome, through the Protestant development, giving a concise history
of the Bible in Italy, the founding of the Waldensian Mission among
the Alps, the religious revival of 1800, the exile period; up to the
present movement, termed "Modernism," an attempt to bring the Roman
Catholic Church back to the simplicity of Christ.





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