Observations by Mr. Dooley
Finley Peter Dunne
Part 3 out of 3
Did ye see what th' prisidint said to th' throlley man that bumped
him?" asked Mr. Dooley.
"I did not," said Mr. Hennessy. "What was it?"
"I can't tell ye till I get mad," said Mr. Dooley. "Lave us go
into ixicutive sission. Whisper. That was it. Ha, ha. He give
it to him sthraight. A good, honest, American blankety-blank.
Rale language like father used to make whin he hit his thumb with
th' hammer. No 'With ye'er lave' or 'By ye'er lave,' but a dacint
'Damn ye, sir,' an' a little more f'r th' sake iv imphasis.
"What else wud ye have him do? 'Twas nayether th' time nor th'
occasion, as th' candydate said whin they ast him where he got his
money, 'twas nayether th' time nor th' occasion f'r wurruds that
wud be well rayceived at Chatauqua. A throlley car had pushed him
an' diplomatic relations was suspinded. He was up on top iv a
bus, hurryin' fr'm speech to speech an' thinkin' what to say next.
'Th' thrusts,' says he to himsilf, ' are heejous monsthers built
up be th' inlightened intherprise iv th' men that have done so
much to advance pro-gress in our beloved counthry,' he says. 'On
wan hand I wud stamp thim undher fut; on th' other hand not so
fast. What I want more thin th' bustin' iv th' thrusts is to see
me fellow counthrymen happy an' continted. I wudden't have thim
hate th' thrusts. Th' haggard face, th' droopin' eye, th' pallid
complexion that marks th' inimy iv thrusts is not to me taste.
Lave us be merry about it an' jovial an' affectionate. Lave us
laugh an' sing th' octopus out iv existence. Betther blue but
smilin' lips anny time thin a full coal scuttle an' a sour heart.
As Hogan says, a happy peasanthry is th' hope iv th' state. So
lave us warble ti-lire-a-lay--' Jus' thin Euclid Aristophanes
Madden on th' quarther deck iv th' throlley car give a twisht to
his brake an' th' chief ixicutive iv th' nation wint up in th' air
with th' song on his lips. He wint up forty, some say, fifty feet.
Sicrety Cortilloo says three hundherd an' fifty. Annyhow whin he
come down he landed nachrally on his feet.
"Now, Hinnissy, no matther what a man may've been wan minyit befure
he was hit be a throlley car, a minyit afther he's on'y a man.
Th' throlley car plays no fav'rites. It bounces th' high an' th'
low alike. It tears th' exalted fr'm their throne an' ilivates
th' lowly. So whin th' prisidint got back to the earth he wasn't
prisidint anny longer but Tiddy Rosenfelt, 180 pounds iv a man.
An' he done accordin'ly. If it'd been Willum Jennings Bryan,
he'd've ast th' throlley engineer was he a mimber iv th' Union.
If he cud show a wurrukin' card he was entitled to bump anny wan.
At worst Willum Jennings Bryan wud've written an article about
him in th' Commoner, or if he felt unusually vindicative, maybe
he'd sind it to him through th' mails. Whin Sicrety Cortilloo
come to fr'm a dhream that he'd jus' rayfused a favor to Sinitor
Tillman, he hauled out a little note book an' got ready to take
down something that cud be put on th' thransparencies two years
fr'm now--something like--'No power on earth can stop American
business entherprise.' But nawthin' that will iver be printed in
th' first reader dhropped fr'm th' lips iv th' chief exicutive.
With two jumps he was in th' throlley man's hair an' spoke as
follows--No, I won't say it again. But I'll tell ye this much, a
barn-boss that was standin' by an' heerd it, said he niver befure
regretted his father hadn't sint him to Harvard.
"We know what Wash'nton said to his gin'rals an' what Grant said
to Lee an' what Cleveland said to himsilf. They're in th' books.
But engraved in th' hearth iv his counthrymen is what Rosenfelt
said to th' throlley man. 'Twas good because 'twas so nachral.
Most iv th' sayin's I've read in books sounds as though they was
made be a patent inkybator. They go with a high hat an' a white
tie. Ye can hear th' noise iv th' phonygraft. But this here jim
of emotion an' thought come sthraight fr'm th' heart an' wint right
to th' heart. That's wan reason I think a lot iv us likes Tiddy
Rosenfelt that wudden't iver be suspicted iv votin' f'r him. Whin
he does anny talkin'--which he sometimes does--he talks at th' man
in front iv him. Ye don't hear him hollerin' at posterity.
Posterity don't begin to vote till afther th' polls close. So whin
he wished to convey to th' throlley man th' sintimints iv his bosom,
he done it in wurruds suited to th' crisis, as Hogan wud say. They
do say his remarks singed th' hair off th' head iv th' unforchnit
"I don't believe in profanity, Hinnissy--not as a reg'lar thing.
But it has its uses an' its place. F'r instance, it is issintial
to some thrades. No man can be a printer without swearin'. 'Tis
impossible. I mind wanst I wint to a printin' office where a frind
iv mine be th' name iv Donovan held cases an' I heerd th' foreman
say: 'What gintleman is setting A thirty?' he says. 'I am,' says
a pale aristocrat with black whiskers who was atin' tobacco in th'
rear iv th' room. 'Thin,' says th' foreman, 'ye blankety-blank
blacksmith, get a move on ye. D'ye think this is a annyooal
incyclopejee?' he says. Ivrybody swore at ivrybody else. Th'
little boys runnin' around with type prattled innocent pro-fanity
an' afther awhile th' iditor come in an' he swore more thin annybody
else. But 'twas aisy to see he'd not lamed th' thrade iv printer.
He swore with th' enthusyasm an' inacc'racy iv an amachoor, though
I mus' say, he had his good pints. I wisht I cud raymimber what
it was he called th' Czar iv Rooshya f'r dyin' jus' as th' pa-aper
was goin' to press. I cud've often used it since. But it's slipped
"Swearin' belongs to some thrades,--like printin', bricklayin' an'
plumbin'. It is no help at all, at all to tailors, shoemakers,
hair-dressers, dintists or authors. A surgeon needs it but a
doctor niver. It is a great help in unloadin' a ship an' sailor
men always swear--th' cap'n an' mate whin wurruk is goin' on an'
th' men befure th' mast at meals. Sojers mus' swear. They'se no
way out iv it. It's as much th' equipment iv a sojer as catridges.
In vigorous spoort it is niciss'ry but niver at checkers or chess
an' sildom at dominoes. Cowboys are compelled to use it. No wan
cud rope a cow or cinch a pony without swearin'. A sthrick bringin'
up is th' same as havin' a wooden leg on th' plains. Profanity
shud be used sparingly if at all on childher--especially girls--an'
sildom on women, though I've knowed an occasional domestic: 'Damn
ye'er eyes' to wurruk wondhers in reg-latin' a fam'ly. Women can't
swear. They have th' feelin' but not th' means. Westhern men
swear betther thin Eastern men though I mus' say th' mos' lib'ral
swearers I iver knew come fr'm Boston.
"But it don't do to use pro-fanity th' way ye wud ordin'ry wurruds.
No, sir. Ye've got to save it up an' invist it at th' right time
or get nawthin' fr'm it. It's betther thin a doctor f'r a stubbed
toe but it niver cured a broken leg. It's a kind iv a first aid
to th' injured. It seems to deaden th' pain. Women an' childher
cry or faint whin they're hurt. That's because they haven't th'
gift iv swearin'. But as I tell ye, they'se no good wastin' it.
Th' man that swears at ivrything has nawthin' to say when rale
throubles come. I hate to hear annywan spillin' out th' valyable
wurruds that he ought to save to be used whin th' shtove-pipe comes
down. Not that it shocks me. I'm a dimmycrat. But I know th'
foolish man is hurtin' himsilf. Put a little pro-fanity by f'r
rainy days, says I. Ye won't miss it an' at th' end iv th' year
whin ye renew ye'er lease ye'll be surprised to find out how much
ye have on hand. But if ye hurl it broadcast, if ivry time ye
open ye'er mouth a hot wan lapes out, th' time will come whin ye'll
want to say something scorchin' an' ye'll have nawthin' to say
that ye haven't said f'r fun. I'd as soon think iv swearin' f'r
pleasure as iv lindin' money f'r pleasure. They ain't too much
pro-fanity in th' wurruld. A good dale iv it has been used up
since th' coal sthrike begun. Th' govermint ought to presarve it
an' prevint annywan fr'm swearin' more thin was niciss'ry f'r to
"I niver knew Father Kelly to swear but wanst. 'Twas a little
wan, Hinnissy. Dhropped fr'm th' lips iv a polisman it wud've
sounded like a 'thank ye kindly.' But, be Hivins, whin I heerd it
I thought th' roof wud fall down on th' head iv Scanlan that he
was thryin' to show th' evil iv his ways. Melia Murdher, but it
was gran'! They was more varchue in that wan damn thin in a fastin'
prayer. Scanlan wint to wurruk th' nex' day an' he hasn't tasted
a dhrop since.
"But th' best thing about a little judicyous swearin' is that it
keeps th' temper. 'Twas intinded as a compromise between runnin'
away an' fightin'. Befure it was invinted they was on'y th' two
ways out iv an argymint."
"But I've heerd ye say a man was swearin' mad," said Mr. Hennessy.
"He wasn't fightin' mad, thin," said Mr. Dooley.
The War Game
What's this here war game I've been readin' about?" asked Mr.
"It's a kind iv a blind man's buff," said Mr. Dooley. "It's a
thrile iv cunnin' an' darin' between th' army an' th' navy. Be
manes iv it we tarn whether th' inimy cud sneak into Boston afther
dark without annywan seein' thim an' anchor in Boston common. Ye
an' I know diff'rent, Hinnissy. We know how manny people are in
th' sthreets afther dark. But th' navy don't know an' th' army
don't know. Their idee is that a German fleet might gum-shoe up
th' harbor in th' dark iv th' moon an' whin people turned out f'r
their mornin' dhram, there wud be th' Impror Willum atin' his
breakfast iv Hungayrian Goolash an' noodle soup on th' steps iv
th' State House iv Matsachoosetts. But it's a gran' game. I'd
like to play it mesilf. It's as noisy as forty-fives between
Connock men an' as harmless as a steeryopticon letcher. If war
an' th' war game was th' same thing, I'd be an admiral, at laste,
be this time with me face gashed an' seamed be raspberry jam an'
me clothes stained with English breakfast tea.
"Th' navy chose to be th' inimy an' 'twas th' jooty iv th' navy
to divastate th' New England coast. On th' other hand, th' business
iv th' army was to catch th' navy at its neefaryous wurruk an' tag
it befure it cud get its fingers crost. To play th' game well,
th' navy must act as much like an inimy as it can an' th' army
must pretind to be jus' as cross at th' navy as it is whin they
are both on the same side. Frindship ceases whin they set in.
"It's a hard game to follow if ye're lookin' on an' puttin' up th'
money as I am. I've been readin' about it in th' pa-apers an' I
can't make out now whether th' inimy is lootin' th' breweries iv
Conneticut or whether th' definders iv our hearths has blown thim
up in th' harbor iv New London. 'I have th' honor to rayport,'
says Admiral Higginson, 'that I have this day desthroyed all th'
forts on th' New England coast, put th' definders to rout with
gr-reat slaughter an' kilt with me own hands Gin'ral McArthur th'
Commander iv th' lan' foorces--a brave man but no match f'r ye'ers
thruly. His las' wurruds to me was "Higginson, ye done well!" I
rayturned him his soord with th' wurruds: "Gin'ral, between two
brave men there can be no hard feelin's." Th' battle in which me
gallant foe met his fate was th' con-clusion iv wan iv th' mos'
successful socyal an' naval campaigns in th' histhry iv our counthry.
I have th' honor to inform ye that promptly on th' declaration
iv war, I give an afthernoon tea to th' Duchess iv Marlborough.
Th' forts at Newport attimpted to reply, but was unable to scoor
more thin three or four westhren millyonaires an' soon succumbed
to th' inivitable. I thin moved up th' Sound an' fell upon Gin'ral
McArthur whin he wasn't lookin'. Befure he cud load his guns, we
poored a perfect blankety-blank hell iv blank catridges on him.
He made a spirited reply but t'was useless. We outfought him be
nearly fifty thousan' dollars worth iv powdher. In th' mist iv
th' flame an' smoke, I discerned th' caitiff foe standin' on top
iv a fort directin' his wav'rin' foorces. "Hi-spy, Gin'ral McArthur,"
says I in claryon tones, an' th' battle was over to all intints
an' purposes. I have to ispicially commind Cap'n McWhallop who,
findin' his boat caught between th' fires an' th' inimy, called
out: "Lay me down, boys, an' save th' ship. I'm full iv marmylade."
Th' ladies aboord was perfectly delighted with th' valor an'
hospitality iv our men. To-night we completed our wurruk be givin'
a dinner an' hop on boord th' flagship. Among those presint was--'
an' so on.
"That's what th' gallant Higginson says. But listen to what th'
akelly gallant McArthur says: 'I have th' honor to rayport that
mesilf an' me gallant men, but largely if I do say it that shudden't,
mesilf, crushed an' annihilated th' inimy's fleet at high noon
to-day. Las' night at th' first round iv jacks, or midnight, as
civilyans wud say, we rayceived a rayport fr'm our vigylant scouts
that th' inimy were not at Bar Harbor, Pookypsie, Keokuk, Johannesboorg
or Council Bluffs. But where were they? That was th' question.
An idee struck me. War is as much a matther iv ingenooty an'
thought as iv fire an' slaughter. I sint out f'r an avenin' paper
an' as I suspicted, it announced that th' craven foe was about
two blocks away. At that very moment, th' sthrains iv th' "Bloo
Danoob" was wafted to me ears an' me suspicions was confirmed. On
such occasions there is no sleep f'r th' modhren sojer. Napolyon
wud've gone to bed but slumber niver crost me tired eyelids. 'Twas
six o'clock whin we cashed in an' each wint to th' mournful jooties
iv th' day, silently but with a heart full iv courage. At high
noon, we fell upon th' inimy an' poored out about eighty-five
thousan' dollars worth iv near-slaughter on him. His guns was
choked with cotillyon favors an' he did not reply at wanst, but
whin he did, th' scene was thruly awful. Th' sky was blackened
be th' smoke iv smokeless powdher an' th' air was full iv cotton
waste fr'm th' fell injines iv desthruction. A breeze fr'm shore
carried out to me ears th' wails iv th' wounded tax payers. At
twelve fifteen, I descried th' bloodthirsty Higginson--an' a good
fellow Caleb is at that--on th' roof iv his boat. "Hi-spy," says
he. "Hi-spy ye'er gran'mother," says I. "I've had me eye on ye
f'r fifteen minyits an' ye're a dead man as I can prove be witnesses,"
I says. An' he fell off th' roof. I was sorry to take his life
but war knows no mercy. He was a brave man but foolhardy. He
ought niver to've gone again' me. He might've licked Cervera but
he cudden't lick me. We captured all th' men-iv-war, desthroyed
most iv th' cruisers an' ar-re now usin' th' flag-ship f'r a
run-about. Th' counthry is safe, thanks to a vigylant an' sleepless
army. I will go up to New York tomorrah to be measured f'r th'
"There it is, Hinnissy. Who won? I don't know. I can't tell at
this minyit whether I ought to be undher th' bed larnin' German
f'r th' time whin a Prooshyan sojer'll poke me out with his saber,
or down at Finucane's hall callin' a meetin' to thank th' definders
iv th' fireside. Nobody knows. It's a quare game, f'r they tell
me afther th' battles has been fought an' th' kilt has gone back
to holeystonin' th' deck an' th' smoke fr'm th' chafin' dish has
cleared away, th' decision is up to a good figurer at Wash'nton.
It depinds on him whether we ar-re a free people or whether we
wear th' yoke iv sarvichood an' bad German hats f'r all time.
He's th' officyal scoorer an' what Higginson thinks was a base
hit, he calls a foul an' what McArthur calls an accipted chanst
is an error. Afther th' gallant lads in blue an' gold has got
through, a wathry-eyed clerk named Perkins H. Something-or-other,
sets down an' figures out th' victhry. Th' man behind th' fountain
pen is th' boy. It's up to him whether th' stars an' sthripes
still floats over an onconquered people or whether five pfennigs
is th' price iv a dhrink in New York. He sets on his high stool
an' says he: 'Five times eight is twinty-nine, subthract three
f'r th' duchess, a quarther to one o'clock an' eighty miles fr'm
Narragansett pier is two-an'-a-half, plus th' load-wather-line iv
th' saloon companionway, akel to two-fifths iv th' differentyal
tangent. Huroo! Misther Sicrety, ye can go home an' tell ye'er
wife th' counthry's safe.' He has to be a smart man. A good
book-keeper, as th' pote says, is th' counthry's on'y safety. He
mus' be careful, too, d'ye mind. Th' honor iv th' army an' the
navy is at stake. Wan or th' other iv thim has been careless."
"D'ye think a foreign fleet cud capture this counthry?" asked Mr.
"Not onless it was op'rated be a throlley," said Mr. Dooley.
"Supposin' ye an' I had throuble, Hinnissy, an' both iv us was
armed with bricks an' ye was on roller skates an' I was on th' top
iv a house, how much chanst wud ye have again' me? Ships is good
to fight other ships. That's all. I'd sooner be behind a bank
iv mud thin in th' finest ship in th' wurruld. A furrin inimy
thryin' to get up to New York wud be like a blind burglar attimptin'
to walk on th' top iv a hot-house with all th' neighbors an' th'
neighbors' dogs waitin' f'r him. Th' war game is all right. It
don't do anny harm. But it's like punchin' th' bag an' I'd jus'
as soon thrain a man f'r a fight be larnin' him to play th' mandolin,
as be insthructin' him in bag punchin'. It's a fine game. I don't
know who won, but I know who lost."
"Who's that?" asked Mr. Hennessy.
"Th' threeasury," said Mr. Dooley.
"Was ye iver in th' pa-apers?" asked Mr. Dooley.
"Wanst," said Mr. Hennessy. "But it wasn't me. It was another
Hinnissy. Was you?"
"Manny times," said Mr. Dooley. "Whin I was prom'nent socyally,
ye cud hardly pick up a pa-aper without seein' me name in it an'
th' amount iv th' fine. Ye must lade a very simple life. Th'
newspaper is watchin' most iv us fr'm th' cradle to th' grave, an'
befure an' afther. Whin I was a la-ad thrippin' continted over
th' bogs iv Roscommon, ne'er an iditor knew iv me existence, nor
I iv his. Whin annything was wrote about a man 'twas put this
way: 'We undhershtand on good authority that M--l--chi H---y,
Esquire, is on thrile before Judge G----n on an accusation iv
l--c--ny. But we don't think it's true.' Nowadays th' larceny is
discovered be a newspa-aper. Th' lead pipe is dug up in ye'er
back yard be a rayporther who knew it was there because he helped
ye bury it. A man knocks at ye'er dure arly wan mornin' an' ye
answer in ye'er nighty. 'In th' name iv th' law, I arrist ye,'
says th' man seizin' ye be th' throat. 'Who ar-re ye?' ye cry.
'I'm a rayporther f'r th' Daily Slooth,' says he. 'Phottygrafter,
do ye'er jooty!' Ye're hauled off in th' circylation wagon to th'
newspaper office, where a con-fission is ready f'r ye to sign;
ye're thried be a jury iv th' staff, sintinced be th' iditor-in-chief
an' at tin o'clock Friday th' fatal thrap is sprung be th' fatal
thrapper iv th' fam'ly journal.
"Th' newspaper does ivrything f'r us. It runs th' polis foorce
an' th' banks, commands th' milishy, conthrols th' ligislachure,
baptizes th' young, marries th' foolish, comforts th' afflicted,
afflicts th' comfortable, buries th' dead an' roasts thim aftherward.
They ain't annything it don't turn its hand to fr'm explaining
th' docthrine iv thransubstantiation to composin' saleratus biskit.
Ye can get anny kind iv information ye want to in ye'er fav'rite
newspaper about ye'ersilf or annywan else. What th' Czar whispered
to th' Imp'ror Willum whin they were alone, how to make a silk
hat out iv a wire matthress, how to settle th' coal sthrike, who
to marry, how to get on with ye'er wife whin ye're married, what
to feed th' babies, what doctor to call whin ye've fed thim as
directed,--all iv that ye'll find in th' pa-apers.
"They used to say a man's life was a closed book. So it is but
it's an open newspaper. Th' eye iv th' press is on ye befure ye
begin to take notice. Th' iditor obsarves th' stork hoverin' over
th' roof iv 2978 1/2 B Ar-rchey Road an' th' article he writes
about it has a wink in it. 'Son an' heir arrives f'r th' Hon'rable
Malachi Hinnissy,' says th' pa-aper befure ye've finished th'
dhrink with th' doctor. An' afther that th' histhry iv th'
offspring's life is found in th' press:
"'It is undhershtud that there is much excitement in th' Hinnissy
fam'ly over namin' th' lates' sign. Misther Hinnissy wishes it
called Pathrick McGlue afther an uncle iv his, an' Mrs. Hinnissy
is in favor iv namin' it Alfonsonita afther a Pullman car she seen
wan day. Th' Avenin Fluff offers a prize iv thirty dollars f'r
th' bes' name f'r this projeny. Maiden ladies will limit their
letters to three hundherd wurruds.'
"'Above is a snap shot iv young Alfonsonita McGlue Hinnissy, taken
on his sicond birthday with his nurse, Miss Angybel Blim, th'
well-known specyal nurse iv th' Avenin' Fluff. At th' time th'
phottygraft was taken, th' infant was about to bite Miss Blim which
accounts f'r th' agynized exprission on that gifted writer's face.
Th' Avenin Fluff offers a prize iv four dollars to th' best answer
to th' question: "What does th' baby think iv Miss Blim?"'
"'Young Alf Hinnissy was siven years ol' yisterdah. A rayporther
iv th' Fluff sought him out an' indeavored to intherview him on
th' Nicaragooan Canal, th' Roomanyan Jews, th' tahriff an' th'
thrusts. Th' comin' statesman rayfused to be dhrawn on these
questions, his answer bein' a ready, "Go chase ye'ersilf, ye big
stiff!" Afther a daylightful convarsation th' rayporther left,
bein' followed to th' gate be his janial young host who hit him
smartly in th' back with a brick. He is a chip iv th' ol' block.'
"'Groton, Conn., April 8. Ye'er rayporther was privileged to see
th' oldest son iv th' Hon'rable Malachi Hinnissy started at this
siminary f'r th' idjacation iv young Englishmen bor-rn in America.
Th' heir iv th' Hinnissys was enthered at th' exclusive school
thirty years befure he was bor-rn. Owin' to th' uncertainty iv
his ancesthors he was also enthered at Vassar. Th' young fellow
took a lively intherest in th' school. Th' above phottygraft
riprisints him mathriculatin'. Th' figures at th' foot ar-re
Misther an' Mrs. Hinnissy. Those at th' head ar-re Profissor
Peabody Plantagenet, prisident iv th' instichoochion an' Officer
Michael H. Rafferty. Young Hinnissy will remain here till he has
a good cukkin' idjacation.'
"'Exthry Red Speshul Midnight Edition. Mumps! Mumps! Mumps! Th'
heir iv th' Hinnissy's sthricken with th' turr'ble scoorge. Panic
on th' stock exchange. Bereaved father starts f'r th' plague spot
to see his afflicted son. Phottygrafts iv Young Hinnissy at wan,
two, three, eight an' tin. Phottygrafts iv th' house where his
father was born, his mother, his aunt, his uncle, Profissor
Plantagenet, Groton School, th' gov'nor iv Connecticut, Chansy
Depoo, statue iv Liberty, Thomas Jefferson, Niagara Falls be
moonlight. Diagram iv jaw an' head showin' th' prob'ble coorse
iv the Mumpococeus. Intherviews with J. Pierpont Morgan, Terry
McGovern, Mary MeLain, Jawn Mitchell, Lyman J. Gage, th' Prince
iv Wales, Sinitor Bivridge, th' Earl iv Roslyn, an' Chief Divry
on Mumps. We offer a prize iv thirty million dollars in advertisin'
space f'r a cure f'r th' mumps that will save th' nation's pride.
Later, it's croup.'
"An' so it goes. We march through life an' behind us marches th'
phottygrafter an' th' rayporther. There are no such things as
private citizens. No matther how private a man may be, no matther
how secretly he steals, some day his pitcher will be in th' pa-aper
along with Mark Hanna, Stamboul 2:01 1/2, Fitzsimmons' fightin'
face, an' Douglas, Douglas, Tin dollar shoe. He can't get away
fr'm it. An' I'll say this f'r him, he don't want to. He wants
to see what bad th' neighbors are doin' an' he wants thim to see
what good he's doin'. He gets fifty per cint iv his wish; niver
more. A man keeps his front window shade up so th' pa-apers can
come along an' make a pitcher iv him settin' in his iligant furnished
parlor readin' th' life iv Dwight L. Moody to his fam'ly. An'
th' lad with th' phottygraft happens along at th' moment whin he
is batin' his wife. If we wasn't so anxious to see our names among
those prisint at th' ball, we wudden't get into th' pa-apers so
often as among those that ought to be prisint in th' dock. A man
takes his phottygraft to th' iditor an' says he: 'Me attintion has
been called to th' fact that ye'd like to print this mug iv a
prom'nent philanthropist;' an' th' iditor don't use it till he's
robbed a bank. Ivrybody is inthrested in what ivrybody else is
doin' that's wrong. That's what makes th' newspapers. An' as
this is a dimmycratic counthry where ivrybody was bor-rn akel
to ivrybody else, aven if they soon outgrow it, an' where wan man's
as good as another an' as bad, all iv us has a good chanst to have
his name get in at laste wanst a year.
"Some goes in at Mrs. Rasther's dinner an' some as victims iv a
throlley car, but ivrybody lands at last. They'll get ye afther
awhile, Hinnissy. They'll print ye'er pitcher. But on'y wanst.
A newspaper is to intertain, not to teach a moral lesson."
"D'ye think people likes th' newspapers iv th' prisint time?" asked
"D'ye think they're printed f'r fun?" said Mr. Dooley.
"What a life iv advinture I have led, to be sure. I've niver been
still a minyit since I cud see an' hear--always on th' go, performin'
heeroyc actions on land an' sea. Between th' ages iv eight an'
fifteen I bet ye I caught more runaway teams thin all th' park
polismen in th' wurruld. I begun with stoppin' th' horses iv a
man called Monahan that owned a canal boat an' askin' as a reward
that he give me a job dhrivin' th' mule. But I rose rapidly in
th' wurruld, an' befure I was fifteen I was dashin' out nearly
ivry hour an' nailin' a team iv maddened animals in th' bullyvard
an' savin' th' life iv th' pet daughther iv a millyonaire. She
usully accepted me young hand in marredge in th' dhrug store. But
sometimes whin I needed a top or a kite I took money. I'm ashamed
to con-fiss it, but I did. Iv coorse I rayfused th' first offer
iv th' pluthycrat. Whin he thried to crowd wan millyon dollar on
me, I give him a look iv scorn an' moved away. He was tur-rbly
ashamed iv his onmanly action an' followed me up an' be sharp
schamin' managed to get two millyons to me in a way that I cuddn't
resint. I think it come in th' shape iv an advance payment on th'
"At fifteen I quit stoppin' runaway horses as on'y suited to
childher. After that I wint in almost entirely f'r knockin' down
arnychists as they was about to shoot. I saved th' life iv th'
Impror iv Rooshya, an' he was anxious f'r to have me stay at th'
coort, but people begun to talk about me an' wan iv th' rile
princesses an' I left. On my way home I seized an arnychist jus'
as he had raised his pistol again th' Prince iv Wales, an' as a
reward he freed Ireland on th' spot. I rayceived an ovation f'r
this in Dublin in 1860 or thereabouts, but I disclaimed anny glory,
was always willin' to do annything f'r me counthry, wisht them th'
best iv luck: gintlemen, I can on'y say, I thank ye, I thank ye,
I thank ye.
"Me raycint advintures has been more in th' spoortin' line. I had
to give up futball afther winnin' victhry f'r me almy matther f'r
four successive years be a suparb run aroun' th' end. F'r a long
time I sailed th' cup dayfinder ivry year, an' always won be a
sthrategy that no wan but mesilf undherstands. I've killed iliphants
an' tigers be th' hundherd, rescooed people fr'm dhrownin' be th'
thousan', climbed up th' outside iv a burnin' buildin' an' come
down with two or three fine-lookin' ladies in me arms, captured
forts, charged armies, knocked out th' wurruld's greatest pugilists
with a punch, led revolutions, suppressed thim, an' done it all
modestly an' quietly.
"Iv coorse I won't say 'twas always th' spirit iv advinture led
me into these gallant acts. If I must tell ye th' thruth I've
gin'rally took less intherest in th' advinture itself thin in th'
reward. I'm always a little hazy about th' details iv how I saved
th' girl fr'm th' rapids iv Niagra whin I can't swim, or how I
happened to hit th' tiger in th' eye whin I'm so afraid iv firearms,
or how I stopped th' runaway team whin I know that th' other day
whin th' milkman's horse broke loose th' best I cud do was run to
th' edge iv th' sidewalk an' wring me hands an' yell: "Whoa!" But
th' grateful millyonaire is always distinct. I can always hear
th' cheers iv th' crowd as I come dhrippin' fr'm th' wather.
Though th' raison I happened to be ladin' me rig'mint up th' hill
iv San Joon is not clear to me now, I can plainly see mesilf
returnin' fr'm th' war, bronzed and weather-beaten, settin' erect
on me horse an' respondin' to th' frantic cheers iv th' multichood
with a slight bow. I always used to lose an arm or part iv an
arm, but I've larned that isn't nicess'ry.
"An' where have all these advintures occurred, d'ye say? Well,
some iv th' most feerocyous iv thim happened in me bedroom, an'
some on th' front stoop iv th' house on warm moonlight nights, but
most iv thim here in this room in front iv th' fire. Be rights
th' walls ought to be dic'rated with moose antlers, tigers' heads,
diplomas, soords, votes iv Congress, medals an' autygrafted pitchers
iv th' crowned heads iv Europe. Th' best advintures anny iv us
has is at home in a comf'rtable room--th' mos' excitin' an' th'
asiest. Ye can make ye'ersilf as brave as ye want an' as cool,
ye avide mussin' ye'er clothes, ye flavor with danger to suit th'
taste, an' ye get a good dale more applause an' get it quicker
thin th' other kind iv hayro. F'r manny years I've shot all me
tigers fr'm this rockin' chair."
Rights and Privileges of Women
"Woman's rights? What does a woman want iv rights whin she has
priv'leges? Rights is th' last thing we get in this wurruld.
They're th' nex' things to wrongs. They're wrongs tur-ned inside
out. We have th' right to be sued f'r debt instead iv lettin' the
bill run, which is a priv'lege. We have th' right to thrile be a
jury iv our peers, a right to pay taxes an' a right to wurruk.
None iv these things is anny good to me. They'se no fun in thim.
All th' r-rights I injye I don't injye. I injye th' right to
get money, but I niver have had anny money to spind. Th'
constichooshion guarantees me th' right to life, but I die; to
liberty, but if I thry bein' too free I'm locked up; an' to th'
pursoot iv happiness, but happiness has th' right to run whin
pursood, an' I've niver been able to three her yet. Here I am at
iver-so-manny years iv age blown an' exhausted be th' chase, an'
happiness is still able to do her hundhred yards in tin minyits
flat whin I approach. I'd give all th' rights I read about for
wan priv-lege. If I cud go to sleep th' minyit I go to bed I
wudden't care who done me votin'.
"No, sir, a woman don't need rights. Th' pope, imprors, kings an'
women have priv-leges; ordhin'ry men has rights. Ye niver hear
iv th' Impror of Rooshya demandin' rights. He don't need thim
in his wurruk. He gives thim, such as they ar're, to th' moojiks,
or whativer it is ye call thim. D'ye think anny wan wud make a
gr-reat success be goin' to th' Czar an' sayin': "Czar (or sire,
as th' case may be), ye must be unhappy without th' sufferage.
Ye must be achin' all over to go down to th' livry stable an' cast
ye'er impeeral ballot f'r Oscaroviski K. Hickinski f'r school
thrustee?" I think th' Czar wud reply: 'Gintlemen, ye do me too
much honor. I mus' rayfuse. Th' manly art iv sufferage is wan
iv th' most potint weepins iv th' freeman, but I'm not used to it,
an' I wudden't know what to do with it. It might be loaded. I
think I'll have to crawl along with me modest preerogatives iv
collectin' th' taxes, dalin' life an' death to me subjicks, atin'
free, dhrinkin' th' best an' livin' aisy. But ye shall have ye'er
rights. Posieotofski, lade th' gintlemen out into th' coortyard
an' give thim their rights as Rooshyan citizens. I think about
twinty f'r each iv th' comity an' about a dozen exthry f'r the
chairman. F'r wan iv th' rights guaranteed to his subjicks, be
me sainted father, was a good latherin' ivry time it was comin'
"An' so it is with women. They haven't th' right to vote, but
they have th' priv'lege iv conthrollin' th' man ye ilict. They
haven't th' right to make laws, but they have th' priv'lege iv
breakin' thim, which is betther. They haven't th' right iv a fair
thrile be a jury iv their peers; but they have th' priv'lege iv
an unfair thrile be a jury iv their admirin' infeeryors. If I cud
fly d'ye think I'd want to walk?"
Avarice and Generosity
"I niver blame a man f'r bein' avaricyous in his ol' age. Whin a
fellow gits so he has nawthin' else to injye, whin ivrybody calls
him 'sir' or 'mister,' an' young people dodge him an' he sleeps
afther dinner, an' folks say he's an ol' fool if he wears a
buttonhole bokay an' his teeth is only tinants at will an' not
permanent fixtures, 'tis no more thin nach'ral that he shud begin
to look around him f'r a way iv keepin' a grip on human s'ciety.
It don't take him long to see that th' on'y thing that's vin'rable
in age is money an' he pro-ceeds to acquire anything that happens
to be in sight, takin' it where he can find it, not where he wants
it, which is th' way to accumylate a fortune. Money won't prolong
life, but a few millyons judicyously placed in good banks an'
occas'nally worn on th' person will rayjooce age. Poor ol' men
are always older thin poor rich men. In th' almshouse a man is
decrepit an' mournful-lookin' at sixty, but a millyonaire at sixty
is jus' in th' prime iv life to a frindly eye, an' there are no
"It's aisier to th' ol' to grow rich thin it is to th' young. At
makin' money a man iv sixty is miles ahead iv a la-ad iv
twinty-five. Pollytics and bankin' is th' on'y two games where
age has th' best iv it. Youth has betther things to attind to,
an' more iv thim. I don't blame a man f'r bein' stingy anny more
thin I blame him f'r havin' a bad leg. Ye know th' doctors say
that if ye don't use wan iv ye'er limbs f'r a year or so ye can
niver use it again. So it is with gin'rosity. A man starts arly
in life not bein' gin'rous. He says to himsilf: "I wurruked f'r
this thing an' if I give it away I lose it." He ties up his
gin'rosity in bandages so that th' blood can't circylate in it.
It gets to be a superstition with him that he'll have bad luck if
he iver does annything f'r annybody. An' so he rakes in an' puts
his private mark with his teeth on all th' movable money in th'
wurruld. But th' day comes whin he sees people around him gettin'
a good dale iv injyemint out iv gin'rosity an' somewan says: 'Why
don't ye, too, be gin-rous? Come, ol' green goods, unbelt, loosen
up, be gin-rous.' 'Gin'rous?' says he, 'what's that?' 'It's th'
best spoort in th' wurruld. It's givin' things to people.' 'But
I can't,' he says. 'I haven't annything to do it with,' he says.
'I don't know th' game. I haven't anny gin'rosity,' he says.
'But ye have,' says they. 'Ye have as much gin'rosity as annywan
if ye'll only use it,' says they. 'Take it out iv th' plasther
cast ye put it in an' 'twill look as good as new,' says they. An'
he does it. He thries to use his gin'rosity, but all th' life is
out iv it. It gives way undher him an' he falls down. He can't
raise it fr'm th' groun'. It's ossyfied an' useless. I've seen
manny a fellow that suffered fr'm ossyfied gin'rosity.
"Whin a man begins makin' money in his youth at annything but games
iv chance, he niver can become gin'rous late in life. He may make
a bluff at it.
Some men are gin'rous with a crutch. Some men get the use of their
gin'rosity back suddenly whin they ar-re in danger. Whin Clancy
the miser was caught in a fire in th' Halsted Sthreet Palace hotel
he howled fr'm a window: 'I'll give twinty dollars to annywan
that'll take me down.' Cap'n Minehan put up a laddher an' climbed
to him an' carrid him to the sthreet. Half-way down th' laddher
th' brave rayscooer was seen to be chokin' his helpless burdhen.
We discovered aftherwards that Clancy had thried to begin negotyations
to rayjooce th' reward to five dollars. His gin'rosity had become
suddenly par'lyzed again.
"So if ye'd stay gin'rous to th' end niver lave ye'er gin'rosity
idle too long. Don't run it ivry hour at th' top iv its speed,
but fr'm day to day give it a little gintle exercise to keep it
supple an' hearty an' in due time ye may injye it."
The End of Things
"The raison no wan is afraid iv Death, Hinnessy, is that no wan
ra-ally undherstands it. If anny wan iver come to undherstand
it he'd be scared to death. If they is anny such thing as a cow'rd,
which I doubt, he's a man that comes nearer realizin' thin other
men, how seeryous a matther it is to die. I talk about it, an'
sometimes I think about it. But how do I think about it? It's me
lyin' there in a fine shoot iv clothes an' listenin' to all th'
nice things people are sayin' about me. I'm dead, mind ye, but I
can hear a whisper in the furthest corner iv th' room. Ivry wan
is askin' ivry wan else why did I die. 'It's a gr-reat loss to
th' counthry,' says Hogan. 'It is,' says Donahue. 'He was a fine
man,' says Clancy. 'As honest a man is iver dhrew th' breath iv
life,' says Schwartzmeister. 'I hope he forgives us all th' harm
we attimpted to do him,' says Donahue. 'I'd give annything to
have him back,' says Clancy. 'He was this and that, th' life iv
th' party, th' sowl iv honor, th' frind iv th' disthressed, th'
boolwark iv th' constichoochion, a pathrite, a gintleman, a Christyan
an' a scholard.' 'An' such a roguish way with him,' says th' Widow
"That's what I think, but if I judged fr'm expeeryence I'd know
it'd be, 'It's a nice day f'r a dhrive to th' cimitry. Did he
lave much?' No man is a hayro to his undertaker."
"It must be a good thing to be good or ivrybody wudden't be
pretendin' he was. But I don't think they'se anny such thing as
hypocrisy in th' wurruld. They can't be. If ye'd turn on th' gas
in th' darkest heart ye'd find it had a good raison for th' worst
things it done, a good varchous raison, like needin' th' money or
punishin' th' wicked or tachin' people a lesson to be more careful,
or protectin' th' liberties iv mankind, or needin' the money."
"I know histhry isn't thrue, Hinnessy, because it ain't like what
I see ivry day in Halsted Sthreet. If any wan comes along with a
histhry iv Greece or Rome that'll show me th' people fightin',
gettin' dhrunk, makin' love, gettin' married, owin' th' grocery
man an' bein' without hard-coal, I'll believe they was a Greece
or Rome, but not befure. Historyans is like doctors. They are
always lookin' f'r symptoms. Those iv them that writes about their
own times examines th' tongue an' feels th' pulse an' makes a wrong
dygnosis. Th' other kind iv histhry is a post-mortem examination.
It tells ye what a counthry died iv. But I'd like to know what
it lived iv."
"I don't think we injye other people's sufferin', Hinnessy. It
isn't acshally injyement. But we feel betther f'r it."
"Wan raison people ar-re not grateful is because they're proud iv
thimsilves an' they niver feel they get half what they desarve.
Another raison is they know ye've had all th' fun ye're entitled
to whin ye do annything f'r annybody. A man who expicts gratichood
is a usurer, an' if he's caught at it he loses th' loan an' th'
Back to Full Books