Samantha at the St. Louis Exposition
Part 2 out of 4
Smilin' and gleamin' jest beyond wuz the bright sunny waters on which
little boats painted in bright colors with gay awnin's wuz glidin' about
here and there, and bursts of melodious song come from the gayly attired
boatmen anon or oftener. And furder on wuz the Grand Basin, a large
beautiful piece of water, and back on't down a green hill seventy feet
high leaps and bounds and gurgles and sings three glitterin' cascades,
each one seemin' to start out from a splendid buildin' up on the hill.
The ones on the side smaller, but the middle one a grand and stately
palace called Festival Hall, and jinin' these three buildin's together
are what they call the Collonnade of States. A impressive row of
snow-white pillows, and on them pillows, settin' up in the place of
honor, are big statutes of female wimmen, fourteen in number, symbolic
of the original States of the Louisiana Purchase.
I wanted to go right up to Festival Hall the first minute, it didn't
seem fur it wuz through such seens of bewilderin' beauty, but a
bystander standin' by said it wuz half a mild.
But Josiah kinder nudged me and said, "Mebby we'd better take the
Immoral Railway. With you by my side, Samantha, I feel I can face its
Sez I, "Where has your principle gone that you had this mornin',
"I have got it, Samantha, jest the same; I hain't used none this time o'
day. But I thought I would kinder love to tell the brethren I'd rid on
it." And before I could parley with him he asked that same bystander, a
good lookin' iron gray man,
"Where is the Immoral Railway?"
"The Intre Moral Railway starts there," sez he, pintin' to a place quite
nigh to us.
"Intre Moral," sez I to myself; "that is a good name." And as we wended
our way to it through the crowds of folks of every name and nation I sez
to myself, "I'd love to ride on it." For havin' naterally so scientific
and deep a mind I love to trace back words like little rivulets, to
their source, and see where they spring from. For meandering through the
ages they gather lots of foreign stuff and take queer turns.
Intre Moral, I took it that that meant extra moral. I liked the sound
on't, and we got on and rode quite a spell, and see everything we could,
and when we went clear 'round on that, we got onto a big ortomobile and
rid 'round on that so's we could see the hull Fair as it were in one
picture, before we examined its glories more minutely one by one.
And I should have took sights of comfort viewin' the magnificent seens
spread out and growin' and changin' every minute if I hadn't had to kep'
one eye onto Josiah Allen all the time, or as you may say two eyes, one
my own gray orb and the other the eye of my specs. The seen wuz so
hugely grand, so magnificently stupendous, and the mind that it wuz my
duty as first chaperone to guard wuz so small I sez to myself, could it
be bombarded by that immense grandeur and not utterly collapse. But
Blandina wuz on the other side on him, so I didn't feel as I should had
the responsibility devolved on me alone.
But he bore it well. He looked off on the seen grander than anything
Fairy Land ever dremp on or ever will, I believe. And then he looked
pensively at my silk bag where I'd stored all the cookies and nut-cakes
it would hold, to keep up his strength between meals.
And so gradually I dropped my agonizing anxiety and let my eyes drink in
the onequalled beauty of the seen as we went by the tall glorious
palaces towerin' up in white magnificence. Past sparklin' water spaces
filled with gay pleasure craft full of happy white-robed voyagers. Past
the spans of arched bridges leadin' from one seen of glory to another,
past tall white shafts carryin' up to the listenin' Heavens deeds of
glory and valor.
Past white statutes more beautiful than poet's dreams, risin' up from
green velvet lawns or marble terraces. Broad highways would dawn on our
vision, anon vistas of incomparable beauty way off, way off as fur as we
could see would open up other views jest as fair. Anon the columned
walls of some nearby palace would seem to close in the view, and then
agin the fur vision, and anon the blue waters flowin' on and on. And
scattered all over the ground roamed the happy people, men, wimmen and
children of every name and nation, clothed in every garb that folks ever
wore under the sun, and some, it seemed to me, made up jest for that
occasion, as Eve started her new fashion of fall dress, only this wuzn't
made of leaves, no indeed! fur from it.
But I believe the foreign costoom we see most of all wuz the Japan. And
all through the Fair that nation seemed to show off in the very first
rank. Well, I wuz willin', I always kinder liked 'em, they're so polite
and courteous to everybody, and as for makin' storks and folks settin'
on nothin' and lookin' perfectly comfortable settin' on it, they go fur
ahead of anybody else, and they have lots of other noble qualities. In
cleanin' house time, now I have fairly begreched the ease and comfort of
them Japanese housewives who jest take up their mat and sweep out, move
their paper walls a little mebby and there it is done.
No heavy, dirt-laden carpets to clean, no papered walls and ceilings to
break their back over, no trumpery brickaty brack to take care of and
dust and make life a burden. Kind hearted, reverent to equals and
superiors--trained to kindness and courtesy and reverence in childhood
when American mothers are ruled and badgered by short skirted and
roundabout clad tyrants.
I set store by the Japans and am glad to hear how fast they're pressin'
forwards in every path civilization has opened; science, art and the
best education. And wuz glad to see so many of 'em here. They could give
Uncle Sam a good many lessons if he wuz willin' to take 'em. But good as
he is he is a heady old creeter, and won't be driv into anything and has
a powerful good opinion of himself.
But to resoom forwards. After we'd gone the complete 'round of the Intre
Moral Railway and ortemobile we got out agin on the Plaza not fur from
where we embarked, and at my request we took a boat. Josiah chose one of
the handsomest ones with the front end kinder bowin' up and a
bright-colored awnin' over it; they called it a gondola.
The gondolier had bold flashin' black eyes and a gay suit that struck
Josiah's fancy, and I knowed by his looks he wuz meditatin' on what
Might Have Been. I felt that he wuz in fancy rowin' a boat up our creek
in a red coat and green hat with yeller feathers mebby, carryin' sister
Submit Tewksbury or sister Gowdey, sailin' towards his own Exposition of
St. Josiah. There wuz a sad pensive look on his liniment that belonged
to ruined hopes and blighted emotions.
Blandina whispered to me she thought the gondolier a image of beauty and
wondered if he had a companion; she said she believed he would be
devoted to a wife if he had one that looked up to him.
I answered her like one talkin' onbeknown to herself, two of my eyes and
my spectacles furtively watchin' the liniment of my beloved pardner, and
my speritual eyes feastin' on the perfect loveliness of the seen. Broad
smooth waters how beautiful they were, dotted with craft similar to ourn
and freighted with happy voyagers dartin' here and there, and some of
the boats wuz the queerest shapes, one on 'em looked jest exactly like a
big white swan, and there wuz one, if you'll believe it, that looked
like a sea serpent, I wouldn't have rid in it for a dollar bill, though
Josiah said he'd love to tell Deacon Henzy that he'd straddled the old
sea serpent and rid to shore on it.
But I sez, "Good land, Josiah, you don't ride on the outside on it,
there is a place fixed inside somewhere for passengers."
But most of the boats wuz handsome. Anon the water lay smooth and fair
about us, and fur off we could see immense fountains risin' right up out
of the glassy surface, sprayin' up and glitterin' down floods of rainbow
Agin we landed on terry firmy I a feelin' as if we wuz roamin' through
Fancy's fields, for it seemed as if cold Reality never could have
planned anything approachin' what wuz all round us. For as you draw nigh
the glittering Cascades you fairly stop bewildered by the beauty, and
most want to shet your eyes on it, not knowin' what path to choose where
all are so bagonin' full of allurements and the hull world seemin' to be
allured there by 'em. On one side the glory of the waters dashing,
sparkling, bounding along down, with fountains sprayin' up every little
while, and white statutes smilin' down on us nigher by. On the other
side green verdure and beyond and on every side the glory of the water,
and above us the most magnificent buildin' in the world flanked on each
side with the long Colonnade of States.
And speakin' of statutes, jest think of the sculptured groups we passed
by that eventful day, more'n I could describe in a month of Sundays.
Louis and Clark, the very men I'd read about in Gasses Journal, how I
wished their eyes could see and their ears hear me. How interested and
proud they would have been to hear me tell how even as a child I loved
to hear mother Smith read about their journeyin's into the new and
onexplored country, findin' swamps and stumps and savages, where now wuz
smilin' gardens and palaces. Then there was Robert Livingstone, and
Franklin, noble high souled old creeter, I always loved him in a meetin'
house sense, drawin' down lightnin' and so forth--he wuz the very Pa of
electricity as you may say.
And James Monroe, and Boone, and Settin' Bull, yes there wuz Settin'
Bull settin' or ruther standin' right in that great company. And all on
'em mute and onafraid, onmindful of the presence of a Samantha and
Josiah, I felt to pity 'em.
But the noblest meanin' statute of all in my eyes wuz right in front of
the main Cascade. There stood a immense statute of Liberty, raisin' the
veil of Ignorance and protectin' Truth and Justice. Ignorance don't want
her eyes oncovered, she'd 'drather keep on blind as a bat. But Liberty
hain't goin' to mind her, she wuz bound to git the bandages off; I
wanted to encourage her in it and I waved my hand towards her and smiled
in lovin' greetin'. Josiah thought I wuz flirtin', and asked me
anxiously if I'd got sight of any man from Jonesville. I wouldn't dain
to reply to him--at my age! and with my reputation to carry round! The
Well, when we stood on the stun balcony over the spot where the central
cascade gushes out, what a seen lay spread out before us. You can look
off two milds one way and most a mild another. And wuz there ever in the
world milds so crowded full of beauty and each beauty differin' from the
other as one star differs from another in glory. Eight magnificent
palaces are in full sight, their walls bathed by the blue waters, and
beyond 'em, interspersed by green foliage, wuz a perfect wilderness of
towers, minarets, domes, banners, battlements.
I hain't goin' to describe what I looked down on, for I can't. No, if I
had a big book of synonyms to the words Grand and Glorious and used
every one on 'em tryin' to describe that seen I couldn't begin to do
justice to it, and so what is the use of tryin' with the Jonesville
And if I can't describe it, don't for pity sake ask Josiah Allen to, for
you might know that if I couldn't he wouldn't stand no chance. But I
hearn him gin a sort of gaspin' sithe as he looked, and Blandina I
believe forgot for a few minutes her passionate though chaste,
As magnificent as the hull of St. Louis Exposition is, it naterally has
one spot handsomer than the rest, a particular beauty spot as you may
say. Why every house has it. The beauty of my parlor kinder branches
out, as you may say, from my new rep rocker, a lovely work of art that
cost over six dollars. I keep it in the sightliest place, where the eye
of man can fall on it at first. And the central beauty spot of the Fair
wuz centered in the place I have been talkin' about.
I'd hearn that it wuz some the shape of a fan and we had talked it over
between us, whether it would look like my best paper fan I carry to
meetin' Sundays, or my big turkey feather fan. But, good land! they
dwindled down so in my mind while I stood there that I might be said to
never have sot my eyes on a turkey's feather, or a turkey or anything.
It is a spectacle that once seen is never forgot.
The central spot, or handle of the fan (in allegory), is occupied by
Festival Hall and on either side stretches out the beautiful Collonnade
of States with its lovely and heroic female wimmen settin' up there as
if sort o' takin' care of the hull concern. I spoke to Blandina about
it, how pleased I wuz to see my sect settin' up so high in the place of
honor, and she sez:
"Oh, Aunt Samantha, I cannot rejoice with you, it rasps my very soul to
see men slighted! What would the world do without men?"
"Well," sez I, wantin' to please her, "men do come handy lots of times.
But," sez I reasonably, "the world wouldn't last long if it wuzn't for
wimmen." But to resoom.
At each end of the Collonnade, peakin' up a little higher, is a sort of
a round shaped buildin', beautiful in structure, where food can be
obtained. And knowin' the effect on men of good food I knowed this wuz a
sensible idea, for no matter how festivious a man may be, and probably
is in Festival Hall, yet his appetite stretches out on both sides on him
jest as it wuz depicted here. And female wimmen stand between him and
starvation most of the time. I considered the hull thing highly
symbolical and loved to see it.
But jest think of a magnificent picture containin' all that is most
beautiful in land and water, extendin' in a graceful, curvin' way three
thousand feet. Why that's as fur as from our house over the Ebenezer
Bobbettses, and I d'no but furder, and every foot and inch of it
perfectly beautiful. How much land do you spoze is took up by this
central spot of beauty? Now if I should ask sister Sylvester Gowdey, who
always thinks she knows everything worth knowin', if I should say, "How
much land do you spoze, sister Gowdey, is took up by jest this central
beauty spot of the Fair?" I'll bet she'd say, "Mebby half an acre."
But I'd say, "Melissy, it occupies six hundred acres."
I d'no as sister Gowdey would believe me, but it's so, the livin' truth.
Why, the three Cascades are three hundred feet long. Beautiful in the
daytime as a dream of Paradise! fancy it in the evening when thousands
and thousands of colored lights lend their glowin' charm to the seen.
Why you almost cover your eyes from the bewilderin' glory on't. And as I
said to Josiah, "We shall never see another seen so beautiful till we
see Jerusalem the Golden descend before our rapt vision." And he bein'
kinder fraxious, sez:
"I hain't seen that yet, nor you nuther."
"By the eye of Faith I have, Josiah."
"Well, tain't no time or place for preachin', we better be gittin'
Right under the main Cascade we went down into a beautiful grotto all
lighted up, with one hull side of the room made of fallin' water. I
never expected to step into such a place. I have felt perfectly
satisfied when I've papered over my dining-room with paper a shillin' a
roll, and it did look well. But what wuz it to this? Refreshments are
served down there clost to the sparklin' liquid side of the room, and
Josiah wantin' to go the hull figure, set down and eat a nut-cake which
I gin him.
They say stimulants can be obtained down here. And mebby they can, them
that seek can generally find, there wuz a serpent in Paradise; but _I_
didn't see any, I spoze the noble look on my face would dant any dealer
in such pizen from displayin' it to me. And it ain't likely that Josiah
with two chaperones would set eyes on any.
The two side cascades represent the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Josiah
sez in a kinder patronizing way, "They're likely Cascades, but I can't
see in what way they represent oceans."
And I sez, "It hain't _for_ you to know everything, Josiah, you hain't
expected to. Such knowledge would be more than you with your small frame
could stand up under."
"Oh, keep throwin' my size in my face. It's a pity I hain't a giraffe,
then mebby I'd suit you." And he added snappishly, "I'll bet you can't
tell yourself how they look like oceans."
And I sez, "I wuz never any hand to tell all I knew, I always thought it
wuz best to keep one story back."
But to tell the truth I couldn't see how they represented oceans, only
they wuz both water, but so is a teacupful of water, or a spunful.
Another way they differed from the ocean, the water hain't there all the
time, only once in awhile. Josiah, bent on findin' fault, sez:
"Pretty oceans they be! Dry land most all the time."
But I sez, "I've always wished the Atlantic would dry up long enough for
me to go over afoot or with the old mair, like the Israelites over the
Red Sea, I'd start to-morry." I'm afraid of deep water. Why half the
time I'm afraid of our creek and dassent go acrost the foot bridge.
But the water wuz there when we see 'em, and the Cascades wuz beautiful
as a dream and more beautiful than lots of mine, specially when I'm
As to representin' the two oceans, I spoze it means them beautiful
golden tinted statutes, the Spirit of the Atlantic and the Spirit of the
Pacific that stands at the head of the Cascades.
Well, we hung round there a long time, and finally at my request we went
into Festival Hall and sot down a spell and rested. And I thought as I
sot there I'd like to ask Sister Gowdey how big she thought this
buildin' wuz. She would never dream it covered two hull acres, but it
duz, three or four thousand people can set in it, and its organ is the
biggest in the world, more than ten thousand pipes in it and each pipe
as full of music as an egg is of meat.
The two pipes havin' the lowest notes a small horse can walk through or
two good-sized men standin' side by side. So you can imagine the streams
of melody that can float through them immense channels. It has one
hundred and forty stops, every one on 'em that will stop if told to
quick as a wink.
It took a train of ten cars to bring it from Los Angelus where it wuz
made. You can imagine how its music fairly shakes the ground and carries
you off your feet, seemin'ly like the very music of the spears.
Good land! what's Tirzah Ann's organ compared to it? And I thought that
wuz as good as any they make, the agent said it wuz; we paid over sixty
dollars for it.
And who do you think dedicated this most beautiful structure that wuz
ever built, to the music of the biggest organ in the world'? Why, it wuz
woman, my own female sect. I tell you it made me proud to think on't. It
wuz told me by one that wuz there that it wuz filled with wimmen on that
occasion, and as many men as could git in after the wimmen wuz seated.
Jest think on't, oh, my sect! who have been used to sneakin' up back
stairs to look down on men seated in state at banquet tables, or peak
from the gallery at the Capitol to see 'em nobly engaged in makin' laws
to govern her, tellin' her how to spend the money she earned herself,
and how long to send her to jail, and where and when to hang her, and
etcetery; while she could only jest peak at 'em. Oh, my soul! wuzn't it
a agreeable state of affairs the doin's here at Festival Hall? As I said
to Josiah as we sot there, "Don't it show my sect is lookin' up?"
And he said he never found wimmen backward in lookin' up, he said he
never see a place that would dant 'em and stop their tongues from
waggin'. He made light of the great incident and would been glad to had
men dedicate it; indeed he jest the same as told me he felt the
Exposition had stood in its own light in not havin' a certain leadin'
man in Jonesville, who wuz way up in political and moral life, havin'
held the offices of path-master and deacon. "But," sez he, with some
bitterness of sperit and speakin' skornfully:
"What if wimmen did dedicate it? They can git up dressed in their silks
and shiffoniers, and talk, talk, but they can't vote no matter how well
off they be. They've got to pony up and pay taxes and toe the mark in
law jest as men tell 'em to."
"Why," sez he, warmin' with his subject, "we men can set on you in
juries and you can't help yourselves, and hang you and so forth. And you
W.C.T.U. wimmen would have to let your tax money go to pay for drinkin'
shacks if we men of Jonesville, and the world, took it into our heads to
make you. Why," sez he, lookin' more and more big feelin' as he went on,
as why shouldn't he, as he recounted men's glorious advantages,
"Nate Flanders, who is most a fool, can vote and make you knuckle down
and do as he tells you to. And don't you remember that time the 'lection
run so clost they got up old bed-ridden Nate Haskins, whose brain had
been softenin' for years, and his wife had to dress him and git him
ready for the pole, he callin' on his wife, Nancy, to put on every
identical garment and tell where it went, and when they got him to the
pole he wouldn't vote because Nance wuzn't there to tell him which
ticket to vote. She'd jest kep' that voter alive for years, and been
head and hands for him, but she couldn't vote and he could."
Everybody has seen hosses run off the track when they wuz goin' too
fast; Josiah wuz so engaged in runnin' wimmen's pride down, he didn't
realize where he wuz gallopin' to. "And there wuz Jane Ellis who lost
her husband and two boys through drinkin', she had to let her tax money
be used to help nominate a license man, who opened a liquor saloon right
under her nose, and the last boy she had took to drinkin' and killed
himself last week drunk as a fool."
"I'd be ashamed to boast of that, Josiah Allen, I'd be ashamed on't."
"Well," sez he, lookin' kinder meachin', "I didn't say I approved of
that, I only said it to prove how weak and triflin' a thing woman really
is in the eyes of the law." And the rubber-like self-esteem of a male,
havin' sprung back in full force, he went on:
"Why, Miss Corkins, up to Zoar, that pays bigger taxes than any man in
town, earnt it all herself too in the millionary bizness, why, that
snub-nosed nigger that drives for her can vote, and she can't. And then
I'd talk about dedicatin' the biggest buildin' in the world, singin'
hims on the biggest organ and lettin' a few men into the back door--I
wouldn't feel so big about it if I wuz you.
"Why, we men jest throw such little compliments in the way of females to
keep you contented, jest as I throw crumbs from the table to Bruno to
home and pat him on the back. He knows he can't come to the table. We
men jest hang onto the ballot; wimmen hain't goin' to git holt of that
in a hurry and boss us round, no indeed!"
Oh, how obstrepolous and important he did talk and act! And Blandina
lookin' up so admirin' at him and agreein' to every word he said, jest
for all the world like an anty, seemed to rile me worse than anything
else. But as long as I couldn't dispute a word he said, knowin' it wuz
as true as gospel, I kep' demute, and hoped he would take it for a
dignified silence that wouldn't dain to argy.
Well, we had our lunch in a box and a bottle of cold tea, and we eat it,
and rested quite a spell, Josiah's good nater returnin' with every
mouthful he took, till by the time we got ready to start out agin, he
wuz as clever a critter as I want to see.
I wanted to tackle the Palace of Arts next, as it wuz quite nigh by
considerin'. The Fair grounds are so immense that you have to travel
quite a distance to git anywhere. But Josiah said he wanted to see
sunthin' that wuz of practical use, ondervaluin' beauty, the great
Power, as some do. He wanted to see sunthin' solid, such as mines and
metals. And of course Blandina jined in with him, and though that is
what I wanted of her, as second chaperone, it provoked me time and agin;
queer, hain't it?
So as that too wuz quite nigh by, we went to the Palace of Mines and
Metals. It wuz a beautiful buildin', the walls covered with ornamental
carvin' and ornaments, and two tall pillars standin' up each side of the
entrance as if they wuz two Genis jealously guardin' the Under World
from intrusion. But we got by 'em. And what didn't we see there?
Everything that wuz ever dug out of the earth, and the way it wuz
discovered, mined and made useful to man.
Gems, precious stuns, granite, marble and all the processes for cutting
and polishing. Minerals of all kinds, natural mineral paints and
fertilizers, cement, luminants and waters. Asbestos, mica, coal, coal
oil and all the machinery for refining and storing it. Displays for
natural gas, petroleum; everything relating to lighting mines; safety
lamps; oils; electricity; acetyline. Most interestin' display in
geology; all kinds of rocks; crystal; clay; ores; nickel and all the
metals for making iron and steel and makin' 'em right there before you.
Explosives used in the Under World. Everything relating to the workin'
of salt mines; oil wells; metals, photographs; maps, illustrating how
these riches of the earth wuz deposited, and all the machinery for
collecting and making them useful to man.
And there wuz a place where we could see a miner's cabin, and miners at
work, blasting, draining, driving tunnels, drilling, traveling
underground. A gold mill; a New Mexican turquoise mine; a lead, zinc and
copper mine, all working there before us; and a coal mine discovered
there on the Exposition grounds, an underground railway connected these
two mines. And all sorts of mineral waters, queer things they be flowin'
side by side out of the same ground as different as water and wine. And
there wuz a foundry and mint for makin' money.
Imagine a buildin' coverin' nine acres full of such interestin' sights,
and thirteen acres out-doors. For you must remember that it wuz not only
the riches of America's Under World, but the wealth of England, France,
Germany, Sweden, Italy, Japan and in fact every foreign nation. Josiah
reveled in it, and so did Blandina vicariously. And I enjoyed it too,
for I always wuz wonderin' what wuz goin' on under my feet, and now I
had a glimpse on't.
Well, we stayed there a long time and went from there into Manufactures
Buildin', when who should we meet but Uncle Giles Petigrew, a M.E.
deacon who used to live in Zoar but who had moved to St. Louis some
years before. We used to know him well. He wuz a old man when he left
Zoar, and had lost four wives a runnin' before he left there, and of
course I didn't know how many he'd lost since he come West, I see he
wore a mournin' weed, and mistrusted he'd lost another, and so it turned
out. It beats all what bad luck he has had. He wuzn't to blame for any
one on 'em, 'tennyrate them that passed away at Zoar, and I spozed it
wuz jest the same here. Never pizened any of 'em, or divorced 'em or
anything, it wuz jest his bad luck.
He seemed real glad to see us and wuz dretful chipper for a man most a
hundred; he got hold of my hand and shook it as if he never would leggo,
and went right on confidin' in me about his lost companion, what a
treasure she wuz, and what a loss.
And I sez, "Your wives wuz real nice wimmen, most all on 'em wuz, or
them that I knowed."
"Oh, yes," sez he, "and these blows that has fell on me has most
And I sez in pityin' axents, "You won't try to git another wife, will
you, Uncle Giles?"
"Yes, I shall, as long as the Lord keeps a takin', I shall--is that
woman with Josiah a widder?"
I answered evasive, and kinder stepped in between him and Blandina, I
didn't want her to hear what he wuz sayin', I dassent. It wouldn't been
best for her to married a man most a hundred. And I knowed her soft
nater made her a willin' martyr to widower's wiles. Age made no
difference to Blandina. And I dassent venter to let him git nearer to
her. So I bid him a hasty good-by and linked my arm into hern and led
her away. She lookin' back and sayin', "How agreeable and willin' a
lookin' man that wuz," and I hurried her on fast to Manufactures
Buildin'--stoppin' by the way to see the beautiful Sunken Garden.
The display in Manufactures is so large that they fill two immense
palaces, Manufacturers and Varied Industries, and you'd git lost you
couldn't help it, amongst the bewilderin' and endless native and foreign
displays, only the aisles are divided off into streets and squares, all
the same width, so you can git 'round first-rate. And if you had ten or
fifteen years you could spend here you might possibly see most of the
displays of your own native land and all the foreign countries. These
two palaces cover twenty-eight acres, as big as Luman Gowdey's farm that
he gits a good livin' on, and the hull twenty-eight acres are full of
interestin' sights. You can walk nine miles in it right ahead--as fur as
from Jonesville way up to Zoar, and back agin.
And jest think of every single thing that wuz ever manufactured from a
hatpin to a rose-wood bedstead, and from a needle to a piano, and there
it wuz in plain sight if you could git to it, for truly you got
bewildered amongst the endless displays. Furniture, upholstery, all
sorts of cloth, silk, wool and cotton that wuz ever woven, all kinds of
silver and gold, and pearl and jet and shell and ivory articles that wuz
ever used, clocks, watches, jewels, embroideries, laces, carpets,
curtains, wall paper, stationery, hardware, glass and crystal, furs,
bronze, ironware, leather goods, stained glass, artists' supplies,
tailor shop, rubber store, toy store.
But good land! what is the use of tryin' to name 'em over? I couldn't do
it if I had a blank book as big as a dictionary and writ it full. But
you can jest think of everything manufactured you ever see, or ever
didn't see and there it wuz, and more and more and more, and I might
fill pages with "mores," but what use would it be.
But one of the best things we see at the hull Fair wuz there in the
Palace of Varied Industries. For to the thinkin' mind, the countless
display of articles, the marvels and magnificence of this Exposition is
not its main value, but its educational worth, its power to inspire and
teach the people of the world better ways of living and working, how to
make the most and best of life for themselves and others. And among the
educational exhibits one of the most interestin' to my mind is the one I
speak on in the Varied Industries Palace.
The company that displays this has other interestin' exhibits at
different places at the Exposition, but here they have a display that I
wish the head of every big concern that employs labor could see and
study and take to heart. This company employs thousands of men and
wimmen in makin' a machine that wonderfully simplifies labor.
But where the real educational value comes in hain't in the machine
itself, or the makin' on't, though that's interestin', but the way this
company treats its employees.
You sit in a neat little theatre, fitted up with easy seats, and
electric fans and every comfort, and right in front of you, throwed onto
a big screen, are pictures from real life showin' Capital and Labor
dwellin' together like a lion and a lamb, and the child Justice leadin'
Here you see and hear in the interestin' talk of the lecturer pictures
from the old time, when the company first begun its work up to the
gigantic plant and immense buildings of to-day. You see a woman tryin'
to warm some coffee over a radiator, they say the president of the
company see that, and it first made him think of furnishin' a lunch room
with a kitchen and every convenience for his employees.
You see pictures of the women employees goin' to their work a half hour
later than the men, so the cars won't be so crowded. You see 'em at
their recreation time of fifteen minutes, at ten in the forenoon and
three in the afternoon, goin' through their physical exercises, or some
other recreation to brighten 'em up for the rest of the day.
Then you see 'em at their clubs and classes, or playing tennis or
baseball, or in the big auditorium built for their use, listenin' to
some great orator or fine musician. These employees are not drudges, but
joy is labor and labor is joy.
Then there is a picture showing a street of the homes of these
employees, pretty houses with windows and doorways covered with vines
and bright blossoms, makin' a picture of what some say is the most
beautiful street in the world.
And there are pictures of noted people who have been there to study and
learn their methods, folks from foreign countries, who will carry the
blessed and beautiful example seen here to other lands. In one view is a
Prince and Princess who went there to learn their ways, lookin'
admirin'ly on. In another is a Cardinal givin' his benediction to
thousands of the happy workers.
It is a sermon better than is often preached, what you see there in that
little theatre. It is Love and Labor and Beauty and Joy walkin' hand in
hand. I wuz highly tickled with it, and spent a glad hour here.
But Josiah and I thought we'd seen enough for one day, and would go
home. But Blandina wanted to look over the articles of men's wearin'
apparell a little more; I don't see what comfort they wuz to her but she
said, "They brought back memories." And I spoze they did make her think
of Teeter and mebby his possible successor. But one thing, I believe,
that made her want to stay, we met Billy Huff jest as we wuz comin' out
of the buildin', and Blandina proposed that she should stay a little
longer with him and I gin a willin' consent, more willin' it seemed to
me than Billy wuz, though he couldn't refuse to escort home a guest of
But Josiah and I went home and both on us used some anarky on our tired
limbs, and he cleaned the mud offen our shoes, for truly it wuz faithful
and stuck by us.
It had rained the night before and that made it dretful muddy, Josiah
acted real grouty about it and sot there mutterin' and complainin' about
the mud till I got kinder wore out and sez:
"For mercy sake! I guess you've seen mud before, Josiah Allen. Think of
our Jonesville streets after a heavy rain."
"Well, they never wuz so muddy that I lost the old mair in 'em, and a
man told me to-day that they lost a elephant here the other day, it went
right down in the mud out of sight, and they never see hide or hair of
"Don't you believe that, Josiah Allen; it hain't no such thing, I hearn
all about it, the elephant didn't go clear in. He didn't go more than
half in, they could see his back all the time and they got him out all
"Well, that's furder in the mud than the old mair ever went enough
sight, and I never could have faced my country agin, if the streets had
been so muddy at my Exposition."
"Don't be pickin' flaws all the time, Josiah. There is enough of beauty
and grandeur here to satisfy any common man."
"But I hain't a common man, Samantha, and never wuz called so."
"Well, oncommon then, there is enough beauty here to satisfy an oncommon
That seemed to molify him, and he gin in that it wuz a pretty good show.
But in many things inferior to what hisen would have been if he'd
carried it out. But I discouraged all such morbid idees and led his mind
off onto sunthin' else.
That evenin' whilst Josiah went out to mail a letter Blandina come into
my room and sez the first thing, "Aunt Samantha, I love him passionately
but my love is scorned by him."
And she busted into tears. I didn't ask no questions, but from Billy's
icy demeanor at supper table and Blandina's sentimental grief-stricken
linement I mistrusted she'd made overtoors to him that had been
But I tried to turn her mind 'round by showin' her a letter I'd jest got
from Maggie, my son, Thomas Jefferson's wife, tellin' me that her sister
Molly, who had been visitin' a college friend in the South, had come
home much sooner than she had been expected and seemed run down and most
But she wuz bound to go to the Fair and they thought it wouldn't hurt
her to go, as there didn't seem to be anything serious the matter with
her only she seemed melancholy and out of sperits, it seemed to be her
mind that wuz ailin' more than her body. And would I if there wuz room
in my boardin' place take her in and mother her a little. Maggie
couldn't come herself, she wuzn't feelin' strong enough, and Thomas J.
won't leave her, specially if anything ails her, no indeed! he jest
worships her, and visey versey she him.
I can't deny my first thought on readin' the letter wuz, another straw
to be laid on the back of the camel, meanin' myself in metafor. But my
second thought wuz I should be glad to have her come, for she is a
lovely girl and I set store by her. She's been away to school and
college for years, but I had often seen her durin' her vacations at
Maggie had showed her letters to me that she had writ whilst she wuz
away South on this visit to her friend. One young man's name run through
'em like the theme to a great melody, and then all to once stopped, and
though Maggie and I hadn't passed a word on the subject I mistrusted
more than Maggie mistrusted I did about the cause of Molly bein' so
Young folks will be young folks! young blood can't run slow and stiddy,
and how young hearts can ache, ache. The tide that youth sails out on is
a restless one, it has its passionate tides, lit by glowing sunshine,
and anon by the glare of the tempest. It flows ever and anon smooth, and
then agin rough rocks of disappointment checks its swift glad flow, and
what it calls despair, but which dwindles down into nothin' more than
regret time and agin. It has its low tides, full of the sobbin' of
waters that are flowin' back to the depths, and everything seems lost
and gone. But anon the tide flows back again and so it goes on, storm
and dull calm, sunshine and tempest, and they don't know which is the
hardest to endure. That's why youth is so beautiful, so glorious, so
How I wished I could take Molly (for I loved her) and lift her clear
over the breakers into the calm of the deeper, smoother waters that the
home going boat finds when it is nearing the nightfall. The calm waters
lit by a light, soft and stiddy but sort o' sad like, not like the
dancin' sunlight of the mornin', oh no! when the tired mariner looks
back over the voyage and gits ready to cast anchor in the Home Haven.
But I knowed I wuz onreasonable to even wish it, for grim old Experience
must stand at the hellum every time in everybody's life, and folks
hadn't ort to expect dyin' grace to live by; Molly had got to weather
the storm of life whether or no and I couldn't help it. But to stop
eppisodin' and resoom.
I made a practice of writin' down mornings before I started for the Fair
the places I wanted to see that day if the rest of the party consented,
and I writ down that mornin' Liberal Arts, Fisheries, Educational
Buildin', Electricity, Machinery, Transportation, Horticultural and
Agricultural Buildin's and etcetery.
Josiah wanted to know what etcetery meant, and I told him any other
place we wanted to see which he said wuz reasonable, and he thought
probable he should have to go to some shows on the Pike, he said he had
met Uncle Sime Bentley the day before and they talked it over and
decided that it seemed to be their duty as solid stiddy men to go to
some of the worst shows, specially them that had pretty girls in 'em, so
they could be convinced of their iniquity and warn the young
Jonesvillians. He said they would take their advice as quick agin if
they could warn 'em from experience.
"But Josiah," sez I, "I wouldn't take such a distasteful, hateful job
onto me, it hain't your duty to make such a martyr of yourself,
specially as you hain't well."
But Josiah said he'd always said "He wouldn't put his hand to the plow
and look back," and he and Uncle Sime had talked it all over and agreed
they would make the sacrifice for the good of Jonesville. But I meant to
break it up; I knowed it wuzn't his duty to nasty up his mind, hopin' to
do good by it, when I could never git it cleaned up agin as clean as it
Aunt Tryphena come in to make up our room whilst we wuz argyin' about
it. She come earlier than common, for she said she wuz goin' herself to
the Fair that day and take Dotie, who hadn't been at all. I told her it
would be a job to take care of a child in that big crowd.
But she said, "I'd rather take care of Miss Dotie than to eat any time.
And as for the crowd it wuz nothin' to crowds she'd been in when she
lived in Paris with Miss Louise and Prince Arthur. She had took him when
he wuz a little boy to the Boy Bolony and the Champin Eliza when there
wuz millions of folks there." She wuz always talking of Prince Arthur,
which I fancied wuz a pet name for a child, and still given to the young
man she wuz constantly talkin' about through her pride and love for him.
Aunt Tryphena wuz from slave parentage, but she had always lived in
white families since a child, so she had little of the peculiar dialect
of her race. But she wuz black as the Founder of Evil himself, tall and
thin with a mighty head of wool white as snow, which she covered with a
yellow turban about her work. She had abnormal powers of falsehood, not
for profit or to make trouble, but jest simple lying for lie's sake. The
most incredible stories she would string off, and nothing pleased Billy
more than to git her to goin', as he called it.
He would call our attention silently and reach behind her when she wuz
about her work and turn an imaginary crank in her back, and then in the
same pantomime would jump back as if in fear of the fatal power he'd
invoked, but would wickedly delight in the endless stream of talk let
forth, occasionally asking a few questions, enough to keep her going.
She would lean on top of her broom and tell of her former adventures
thrilling enough and lengthy enough to fill a dozen lives. But
everything had happened to her personally, very few noted people but she
had seen and been on intimate terms with, very few far distant countries
but what she had visited, "Santered through," as she termed it.
In a fine disregard for geography she would tell of stepping from
Chicago over to the Phillippines, and so on to London and then to
Europe. She detailed many adventures in Paris and described places that
made us think that she had some time lived there. She said she went
there with Miss Louise and her son, Prince Arthur, when he wuz little,
as his nurse. And she described him as having all the virtues of his sex
with none of its frailties. She said she had his picture which she would
show us some day. She described his mother as a "proud piece," almost
putting her down on a level with "poor white trash," which wuz the
deepest depth her plummet of contumely could reach. And she described
her as holding her son by her apron string, as she termed it.
She said he had been home this summer on bizness down South and had come
to see her, which Billy said wuz true, a very handsome and elegant young
gentleman having called twice to see his old nurse during the spring and
She said he come to see her on his arrival at St. Louis on some bizness
connected with the Fair, and then he santered off to Saratoga for a few
weeks, and then on to ole Virginny and New Zealand, and then back to St.
Louis to attend to his bizness agin about the Fair. She said he wuz pale
and sad the last time she see him, and she mistrusted his ma had been
cuttin' up. She sez:
"You know she _lacks_." That wuz Aunt Tryphena's greatest condemnation
to say folks lacked. She never told what they lacked, but left it to the
imagination of the hearer; from her expression you would imagine they
lacked all the cardinal virtues and them that wuzn't cardinal. She said
his ma wuz sick and kep' the Prince right under her feet, and he'd gone
back now to be with her leaving St. Louis only a week or so before we
Bein' asked why she left Miss Louise she wuz more reticent, only
remarking that after Prince Arthur went to college she wanted a change,
so she had strolled over to South America, and from there to Asia and so
on to Chicago where she wuz hired as nurse to Miss Dotie, and when her
ma died and the child wuz taken by its great-aunt, Miss Huff, she had
been willing to help the latter through the Exposition, for she wuz a
nice woman and didn't lack.
But we could see that her real reason wuz to be with the child--faithful
creeter she wuz, though queer, queer as they make. And to see the little
creature's white snow and rose face resting lovingly and confidingly
aginst the black cheeks, you knew that Aunt Tryphena had good in her.
Little children are good detectives, like the sun that photographs
hidden virtues and failings in the human face, so a child's intuition
brought from the heaven they have so lately left, takes the best
impressions of a person's real character. Children and animals live so
near Nature's heart they can detect real diamonds from the false, no
paste glitter can deceive 'em. Aunt Pheeny had qualities, or Dotie
wouldn't have loved her so well, and I felt it a great compliment that
she seemed to like me.
Well, as observed heretofore we had took a hefty job that day, and we
proceeded first to the Educational Buildin'. It wuz a noble lookin'
structure with a row of snowy pillows all 'round it; a good many think
it is the handsomest buildin' on the Fair ground, and as I said to
Josiah, it ort to be considerin' the greatness and importance of the
work it displays, for our free schools, our educational advantages, are
the pride and glory of our country.
"Yes, Samantha," sez he, "I hearn a man say yesterday education wuz the
very bull work of our country, meanin' you know, Samantha, it wuz strong
as a bull."
"Oh, you hain't got it jest right, Josiah, bulwark don't mean jest that,
but you've got the sperit of it," I hastened to say, for he don't love
to be corrected.
And here in this buildin' we see everything relating to schools from
kindergarten to university, training schools, where children wuz to
work, schools for the blind, deaf and dumb in operation; the work of
labratories going on before you; departments in drawing, music,
agricultural colleges; experiment stations, forestry, engineering
schools and institutions, libraries, museums, education of the Indian
and negro, evening industrial schools, business and commercial schools,
people's institutes, and every way and manner of mind training.
Photograph, charts, maps, and not only all our own educational exhibits,
but England, France, Germany, Russia, China, and in short all the
We stayed a good while there and I would have loved to stay longer, but
Josiah got worrisome and wanted to go on to Electricity Buildin' which
wuz next in our programmy. And here I took more solid comfort than in
any place I'd been, beholdin' the marvelous works wrought by the
greatest discovery of the ages. That wonderful Force that has power to
overcome space, save or slay. It is intelligent, can talk over the ocean
and under it, talk with wires, and if a wire hain't handy it will take a
beam of light and talk on that, and it can git along without either one,
for here is the biggest wireless telegraph station ever built; visitors
can talk on it from city and city, jest throwin' their words out into
the air and this onseen agency carries 'em along to the one sent to and
nobody else--wonderful hain't it? Wonderful to meditate on the great
onseen forces all about us, mysterious viewless shapes, nigh to us,
helpin' us, journeyin' on errents of mercy to and fro on paths we can't
see, leadin' up and down from star to star from heaven to earth mebby.
And curious, hain't it, that the noble and ardent discoverers who have
tried to git friendly with them Great Forces and introduce 'em to the
world have been called ignorant and pagan, when if these scoffers knowed
it there is no paganism or ignorance to be compared to that of bigotry
And we see there dynamos of all kinds, motors, storage batteries, all
sorts of power machines. Electric railway equipments of every kind,
telephone stations for talking with wires and without 'em, all kinds of
electric lighting, arc lamps, electro-chemical displays. And in one
place they show the way Niagara wuz made to yield up her resistless
power to work for mankind. Labratories for all sorts of electrical
exhibits and research work. Electricity purifying water, making it safe
to drink, wuz one of its best exhibits.
There wuz everything there it wuz possible to show in electricity and
magnetism, not only in our own country, but the work and discoveries of
all the foreign countries in this most interestin' of fields.
There is another wireless telegraph and telephone station in the Model
City that we visited another time. You walk into this room and you don't
hear anything more than the ordinary noise the big crowd makes passin'
to and fro. And the air about you don't seem any different from jest
plain Jonesville air. Your human eyes and ears can't discover any
But you jest take up a receiver and put it to your ear and lo, and
behold the atmosphere all about you is full of voices, near and fur off,
strains of music. It's a sight.
And I sez to Josiah, "Who knows but some happy soul some happy day may
discover the secret of _seeing_? Who knows what divine visitors are this
minute coming and going over these onseen routes connecting our souls
with distant ones, connecting one land to another, one planet to another
like as not."
And growin' some eloquent, I kep' on, "We don't hear the sound of their
footsteps lighter and more noiseless than the down of a blossom, shod as
they are with the softness of silence. We don't hear the rustle of their
garments, woven of frabic [sic] lighter than air. We can't see their
tender faces no more than we can see the sweet breath of the rose. If
they lay their tender hands on our foreheads they rest there so light
and tender we fancy it is only a breath of air touchin' our fevered
brows bringing a sudden rest and comfort.
"If they speak to us when we're tired out and heartbroken we hear their
voices only in our souls that are suddenly and strangely consoled. If
their eyes ever look into our eyes filled with the divine pity and
sweetness of their all comprehendin' love and sympathy, we only know it
by the sudden sunshiny light and warmth that fills our being. But
sometime, somewhere, some happy soul may see and comprehend what we now
Josiah whispered, "Samantha Allen, do you realize what you're doin'?
You're attractin' attention and makin' talk, come along! this is no time
for eppisodin', if there ever _is_ a right time."
And bein' brung down to earth agin I found to my great surprise I wuz
sayin' this out loud entirely unbeknown to myself. And I follered my
pardner out of the buildin'.
But to resoom backwards. We thought we would go from the Palace of
Electricity to that of Transportation, and I feelin' real tired thought
I would take a chair a spell (eloquence is tuckerin' specially when
you're walkin' afoot), and I proposed that we should all take chairs for
a spell. But Josiah said he didn't want any chair, and Blandina of
course follered suit and said she felt jest like Uncle Josiah, she
wouldn't set down if she could.
But I sez, "Well, I think I will take one," and Josiah ruther
onwillin'ly said he would git one for me, and sez he, "I'll see how much
the man will throw off if I push the chair myself."
Sez I, "The man wouldn't trust a perfect stranger with a chair."
Then Josiah wondered if he couldn't borry the loan of a wheelbarru that
would hold me up. He could trundle me along as well as not.
Sez I, "I shall not enter the Palace of Transportation, Josiah Allen, in
"Well, I could probable git in Machinery Hall a pair of big castors and
fix 'em onto your shoes, and Blandina and I could push you 'round like a
buro. What do you think of that?" sez he anxiously.
"I shall not enter into any such operation!" sez I. "How it would look!"
"I d'no as it would look so dretful, you standin' up straight and easy,
and Blandina and I pushin' you along, and 'tennyrate I guess it would
look as well as bein' throwed onto the town! chairs cost like the old
Sez I, "Don't worry, I shall pay with my own butter money." And so I
did, and rid to Transportation Buildin' with Josiah and Blandina walkin'
by my side. We entered one of its sixty doors, and the first thing we
sot our eyes on up in plain sight, but fur ahead wuz the wheels of a
great locomotive weighin' more than two hundred thousand pounds,
revolvin' 'round in dizzy speed. They said it went by compressed air,
another wonder, jest common air that you could dip up in your hand and
not think you had anything in it, and yet if managed right had power
enough to turn all the machinery we see goin'. Around this monster
engine wuz electric head-lights throwin' dazzlin' beams in every
direction. The hull thing well named, the Spirit of the Twentieth
Century. And all 'round it wuz grouped models showing the development of
the inventor's dream from the first rough effort at an engine up to the
most perfect specimen of to-day. All sorts of electrical railways,
freight and work cars, tracks, switches, signals, carriages,
ortomobiles, motor vehicles, naval architecture, models, boats,
steamships, men-of-war, battleships of the line.
Exhibits of all sorts, illustrating inland transportation in India,
France, Germany, Switzerland, Spain and every other foreign country. You
could see to once that there wuz ways enough to travel, and if you
stayed to home it wuz your own fault.
Well, we went from there to Machinery Buildin', that bein' writ down
next on my pad. But as we walked along, I considerable riz up in my
mind, owin' to what I'd seen, who should we come acrost but the widder
Whisher of Loontown, a woman we knew well. She wuz settin' on a bench
cryin' as if her heart would break, and I sez:
"Why, sister Whisher, what is the matter?" (She wuz sister in the
She had a paper in her hand and held it out to us, "Jest see that! I
found it in the pocket of my innocent boy!" pintin' to a coat layin' by
"Why," sez I, "that paper is took more than any other almost; I like it
myself first-rate, its editorials are the brightest and smartest you'll
"Oh, but it is so sensational! so vulgar, so demoralizin' to the tender
and innocent heart of youth. And to think that my spotless child that I
have guarded so sedgously from every breath of evil should have it
concealed in his pocket. I have always burnt every copy I've found." And
agin she sobbed, and agin I sez:
"Sister Whisher, don't take it so to heart; he'll have to weather worst
storms than this on the sea of life. And you can't expect to be with him
always and stand to the hellum."
"Oh, but Reginald Heber is so innocent, so pure-hearted; almost an
angel," sez she, "I have been so afraid that he wuz too perfect for this
sinful world!" And her tears flowed afresh.
Well, I see I couldn't plug up this flowin' fountain of tears with
sympathy or reason, so we mogged along. Widder Whisher wuz always kinder
soft and she'd made a perfect idol of Reginald, who wuzn't any better
than common children so fur as I could see.
And after goin' a few steps, Josiah and I in advance, Blandina a little
in our rears, who should we see comin' directly towards us but Reginald
Heber himself. He evidently didn't notice who we wuz, but wuz merely
takin' note of a new victim, for after takin' fair aim at my stomach he
bent his head down and went, "Choo, choo!--choo, choo!" like a engine
and run towards me at full speed, and bunted his round shingled head
right into my stomach with almost the force of an arrer shot out of a
catamount, yellin' all the while like a demon.
"Git out of the way, you old four-eyed devil you!"
Makin' light of my spectacles, I spoze, though truly I wuz too weak to
reason. After doublin' me up in agony he sought safety in flight. But my
indignant pardner ketched him by his little short-tailed coat and
dragged him back to his ma, hollerin' at her:
"I'll give you a specimen of your innocent boy! He's jest the kind of an
innocent angel I'd love to take a hemlock shingle to, and would, if it
wuzn't for makin' talk." And he told the hull thing before I could
She wept afresh, but sez she, lookin' at the whimperin' and strugglin'
Reginald H., "How soon the demoralizin' effects of that paper shows----"
But Josiah continued on in that same loud axent, his liniment red as
blood with anger, "If I had your darling to deal with a spell, there
would be a change in him, or a funeral appinted, and the body would be
ready at the time sot, I can tell you that!"
Josiah wuz fearful excited and by the side of himself. Such voylent
language is almost a perfect stranger to him, but he feared for my
bones. But I found after walkin' 'round a spell that they wuz intact,
but the pain in my stomach hung about me all day, and that night, no
matter how high my standin' wuz in the W.C.T.U., I had to take a
But to resoom backward. Machinery Buildin' wuz an immense beautiful
palace. And when I tell you its contents are valued at eight millions
you won't expect me to disscribe the hull on 'em, no, it hain't
reasonable. When we entered we see the first thing a engine of over
fifty thousand horse-power.
Now, jest think on't, a one horse-power hain't to be despised. Why, I've
thought our old mair power when she wuz hitched onto a bob sled wuz
powerful. But jest think of fifty thousand horse-power. Why, if they wuz
hitched in front of each other with lines about the usual length, the
line would reach more than a hundred miles. Why, the very idee is
staggerin' to the intellect.
But, there it was right there before our eyes grindin' out power to run
this monster Exposition, and not complainin' or needin' the whip as the
fifty thousand horses would, only jest knucklin' down stiddy to the
work, groanin' considerable loud, and who blames it. And you could see
everything in the line of engines from the little half horse-power gas
engine, about half the mair's strength, about cow power, mebby, and from
this up to a steam turbin of eight thousand horse-power, a rotary steam
engine. And in the Belgian exhibit wuz a gas engine of three thousand
horse-power, a common sized horse can be driv through its cylinders, it
takes about thirty tons of coal a day to run it. And there wuz a big
French steam engine turnin' three hundred and thirty times a minute. And
there wuz a great hydraulic press from Germany that exerts the terrific
pressure of ninety thousand pounds to the square inch--what would it be
to the yard? My brain hain't powerful enough to tackle the idee.
Well, there wuz every kind of machinery in the world from all the
foreign countries as well as ours, and the methods of making and running
them. And we stayed there till my head seemed to turn 'round and 'round,
and I told my pardner I must git out into the open air or I should begin
to turn 'round and revolve in spite of me. I spoze I did look bad, and
Josiah said we would go and have lunch. He said there wuz a caff right
'round the corner, as he pronounced cafe it sounded like a young cow.
But the idee wuz good, and after we eat quite a good meal and rested a
little we started to tackle Agricultural Buildin' which wuz writ next on
It wuz quite a journey there, in fact, as I've said before, you have to
walk a long distance to git anywhere, but jest before we got there we
see sunthin' that made us forgit for the moment our achin' limbs. On the
side of a slopin' hill at the bottom of the long flight of stairs, that
lead up to the north entrance of Agricultural Hall is the most wonderful
clock that wuz ever seen on this globe, and I don't believe they've got
anything to beat it in Mars or Saturn.
I can't give you much idee of it by writin', nobody can, but I can
probably describe it so you can see it goes ahead of your own clock on
the kitchen wall or mantelry piece. To begin with how long do you spoze
the minute hand is? The minute hand on our clock is about three inches
long, and the minute hand to this is fifty feet long, and its face is
about three hundred feet 'round and all made of the most beautiful
Why, the figures that mark the hours are fifteen feet long, most three
times as long as my pardner, if he lay flat as a pan-cake to be measured
by a pole, jest think of that and these figgers are all made of bright
colored foliage plants. The ornaments 'round the face of the clock is a
border of twenty-five different plants, each one fifteen feet wide. Some
different from the ornamental wreath 'round our clock face, that hain't
more'n half an inch wide, if it is that. Our clock has a picture
underneath of old Time with his scythe a mowin' down the hours and
minutes as his nater his. And I told Josiah how beautiful and symbolical
it wuz to think old Time had laid down his scythe for a spell, and wuz
measurin' off the hours here in this Fairy Land with beautiful posies.
And Josiah said, "The hours ort to be marked here with canes and
crutches," he said his legs ached like the toothache.
The distances are awful and I couldn't deny it, and you do git tuckered
out, but then, as I told Josiah, jest think what you're tuckered for.
And he said, "When you're as dead as a door-nail he didn't know what
good some steeples and flags wuz goin' to do you, or floral clocks." I
mistrusted he'd walked too fur lately, and had strained the cords of his
legs, and his patience too much, though the last-named wuz easy hurt and
But Josiah took out his watch and looked at it and said he'd promised to
meet a man on important bizness, and he'd meet us at a certain spot in
Agricultural Hall in jest one hour.
I asked him what bizness it wuz, and he hesitated a little and said as
he hurried away that it wuz "Bizness connected with the meetin' house,"
and I asked him "What meetin' house?" and he didn't answer me, he wuz
walkin' off so fast--_mebby_ he didn't hear me.
Well, Blandina and I stayed lookin' at this wonderful clock for some
time, and she said that the man that invented this clock wuz a powerful
genius and how she did wish she could meet him. She said such a man
needed a kind and lovin' companion to take every care offen him and pet
him and make of him.
The machinery of this clock, what makes it go, is up above a little ways
on the hill in a small pavilion. There are glass doors, and you can look
in and see the works of the clock. A great bell there strikes off the
hours and quarter hours, and there is a big hour-glass there too. One
thousand electric lights light it up at night so folks can see day or
night jest how time is passin' away.
Agricultural Building is the largest on the ground. The two palaces of
Agriculture and Horticulture stand up on a beautiful hill surrounded by
orchards, gardens, vineyards, shrubs, vines of all sorts. This outside
exhibit covers fifty acres. There are beautiful lakes full of the rarest
aquatic plants, from the great Egyptian lotus, whose leaves are large
and strong enough to hold up a good-sized child, and all kinds of
smaller plants, but jest as beautiful; indeed, there is everything rare
and lovely in that display that ever grew in water or on land, and they
make it one of the most beautiful places of the hull Exposition.
The enormous display outside and inside covers seventy acres, and every
inch on 'em beautiful and instructive. The twenty acres covered by
Agricultural Hall contains everything relating to the soil and its
cultivation, everything that Mother Earth gives to man, all the tools,
implements of every kind used in agriculture, ploughs, reapers, mowers,
threshers, etc., run by horse-power, steam or electricity.
Among the ploughs we see a small old-fashioned one made of wood, used by
Daniel Webster when he wuz a poor farmer boy. Workin' hard at his humble
work but his boyish mind, most probable, sot on sunthin' fur above,
lookin' at the hard soil ahead on him that he must break up, with them
wonderful, sad, eloquent eyes of hisen, and seein' visions, no doubt,
and dreamin' dreams. Callin' out to his oxen or horses, "gee," or "whoa"
as the case might be, and they not sensin' the fact that this voice wuz
goin' to give utterance to silver-tongued, heart thrillin' eloquence in
the highest places of Europe and his native land.
As I looked at it pensively I pictured the tired boy holdin' the onhandy
handles of the plow and trudgin' along behind his team through the long
sultry days, and thought to myself, what hopes and dreams and ambitions
wuz turned over by that old plow as well as green-sward.
Right by that little plow wuz a big powerful one that went by
electricity. A sight that would probable looked as strange to Daniel,
could it have appeared to him then, as any of his wildest day-dreams
And there wuz all the methods of irrigation, draining, engines,
wind-mills, pumps, farm wagons, all kinds of fruit, sugar canes,
vegetable sugar, candy stores, confectionery displays, vegetables of all
kinds that wuz ever hearn on, some on 'em of such monster size that you
never dremp on 'em, unless it wuz in a night-mair.
Well, the time had arrived when we promised to meet Josiah at the
appinted rondevoo. Indeed Blandina, went a little ahead of time, for as
second chaperone she said it might be he would get there a little early,
and bein' naturally high-sperited he might get impatient, and she said
men ort to be guarded from anything that would wear on their tempers,
jest as much as possible.
So I looked 'round a little more, and when I got to the place appinted,
there sot Blandina readin' extracts from "The Noble Achievements of Men"
in a paper cover, which she carried 'round in her pocket. But no Josiah
Minutes passed; my happiness and peace of mind passin' off faster than
the minute hand, and no Josiah. A quarter of a hour passed, and still no
sign of that dear man. And when half an hour had gone by I busted into
tears, and Blandina I could see wuz torn with anxiety and offered to go
out into the streets of St. Louis and hunt for him. She mistrusted he
had wandered off the Fair ground, and that clever creeter wuz willin' to
leave all the allurements that wuz allurin' her here to hunt for him.
I sez, "I don't believe he is there. But, oh, where shall we find him?
and what state will he be in when found!" Knowin' the past as we did, we
feared for the worst. But jest then Billy Huff happened to pass by and
stopped and asked what wuz the matter.
"Oh!" sez I, with the tears runnin' down my cheeks in copious as
torrents, "my pardner is lost!"
"Where did you lose him?" sez he.
I told him how it wuz and he sez, "I'll bet I can find him for you; I
remember his talkin' last night about a certain place."
Sez I in tearful axents, "Oh, do! do try, and ease the heart of a
But when he mentioned the place he thought he wuz I repelled the
insinuation with scorn. It wuz one of the most hilarious and vain places
of revelry at the Fair, where there wuz lots of bally girls and
etcetery, and I sez:
"No, indeed! He may have gone into some meetin' house and wandered up
into the steeple onbeknown to him, or some educational exhibit, or Bible
rooms, but never, never in that place."
But yieldin' to his arguments I consented to go with him sayin' we would
stay at the door while he reconoitered. But jest as we got to the door
who should we see comin' out radiant and smilin' but Josiah Allen and
Uncle Sime Bentley.
Billy sez, "What did I tell you?"
I couldn't frame a reply, I had no frame that fitted the remark, but as
Billy disappeared to once it didn't matter. When Josiah ketched my eye
and the look it wore, the blush of shame mantiled his cheek--or wuz it
remorse?--I couldn't tell, they look some alike.
And he sez, "We went in, Samantha, to look for a missin' man, and my
corn ached like furiation jest as we wuz passin' the door, and I
couldn't seem to walk another step, and it looked some like rain and I
knew you wouldn't want me to spile my new coat----"
And Uncle Sime chimed in, "We wuz took faint both on us jest as we got
to the door and had to set down, and I mistrusted I should find cousin
Zekiel there," and then happenin' to remember, both at the same time,
they begun to say how they went for the good of the meetin' house.
Sez I in frigid axents, "Say no more!" And I turned onto my heel and
walked coldly away.
But Blandina whispered to me, "Oh, be merciful, Aunt Samantha, men have
such powerful intellects, that Shows that would almost ruin a woman,
don't affect them hardly any. Speak tenderly to him," sez she, "and I
myself will gently accost Mr. Bentley."
So she stepped back to his side and Josiah advanced and walked by me
still pourin' out excuses. Why he gin enough reasons to excuse a
regiment let alone one small deacon.
But Blandina seemed to lose her efforts, for Uncle Sime talked real
grouty to her, he has never had a idee of marryin' anybody since his
wife died and he mistrusts wimmen are runnin' after him. You know male
widowers do git that idee into their heads, them that are as humbly as
Time in the Primer, and a onmarried woman can't ask 'em about the
weather, or sheep, or anything but what they mistrust some hidden
warmth, and pride themselves on how attractive they be. It's a sight.
As nigh as I could find out the minute Josiah Allen left me he took the
railway and hurried to the wicked place where he and Uncle Sime wuz to
meet, expectin' to git back in ample time to meet us. But they wuz so
took up with the show they dallied, and so retribution and a indignant
pardner overtook 'em. Well, we took the Intremoral railway and went back
to finish Agricultural Hall, for that bein' writ on my pad I wanted to
complete it so fur as we could, of course it would took months to do
justice to it.
We got there in a few minutes, and Josiah, as might be expected, wanted
to see the food exhibits, so we went where there wuz all kinds of food
made of vegetable products, all kind of grain, flour mills where you
could see wheat go in one end and bread come out the other, bakeries,
kitchens, tea and coffee pavilions and every sort of animal food
products, milk and cream in every form, fresh and preserved cheese and
butter dairies, all sorts of dairy tools, churns, separators, cheese
presses and vats, everything connected with makin' butter and cheese,
transporting and distributing. Starch factories, broom factories, market
gardening in all branches.
Grasses, all sorts of fodder for cattle, raised in every country of the
world, and the best methods of raising. Everything relating to poultry,
artificial hatching and raising. Every kind of crop raised in every
country of the world and the best methods of raising and handling them.
As in cotton, you can see it from the tiny seed clear to the cotton
mill, so in corn, you see everything that is manufactured from it and
how it is done--meal, breakfast foods, starch, bread, pastry, baking
powders, yeast, from a kernel of corn up to mills and manufactories. And
so it wuz in everything raised in our own country and all over the
And there wuz a display of insects, bees and everything relating to
honey and wax. Silk worms and their work and products, cochineal and all
kinds of useful insects and their work, and hurtful insects and methods
of destroying them, and so on and so on and so on. I couldn't tell all I
see if I should try a week, and what we see wuzn't a drop to a fountain.
The immense buildin' is divided off into streets and blocks jest like a
city, and you might roam through them streets a month and find sunthin'
new and interestin' every day and hour.
Well, from there we went to Horticultural Hall, or we had started for
there when Josiah made a observation about the size of a potato he had
seen in Agricultural Hall, that I had to in the cause of Truth and Duty
object to, the size he mentioned was a twelve-quart pail, and I said:
"Josiah, take off a few quarts from that pail. For the good of your soul
take off two quarts anyway."
"Not a quart!" sez he, "nor a spunful."
Well, we had words about it, Blandina as usual siding with her uncle,
and it ended with their goin' back with a string, which Josiah produced
from his pocket to measure it, I offering to stay by a certain statute
till they got back. And as I stood there lookin' at the stiddy passin'
crowd and philosophizin' on it as my nater is, I wuz accosted by a
strange lookin' man, as I took it to be (I say It for reasons named
"Josiah Allen's wife, I am happy to meet you; I knew you at once though
it is so long since we met." In the meantime it had gripped holt of my
hand with fervor.
I drawed back and sez, "Sir!" (I thought it favored that gender most)
"Sir, I think you are mistook."
"Oh, no, you are Josiah Allen's wife; I am Dr. Mary Walker."
"Oh!" sez I in a relieved axent, as I returned the warm grasp of her
hand, "I am glad to meet you, Mary."
She's done some good things in her life, takin' care of poor wounded
soldiers, etc., and I honored her for 'em. Though I don't approve of her
costoom, as I told her in the conversation that ensued, after we'd
talked considerable about the Fair and kindred matters. For I see as we
stood there behavin' ourselves, curious eyes wuz bent on her and
onbecomin' epithets hurled at her by them who knowed no better. She
seemed oblivious to 'em, but I asked her if she wouldn't rather wear
less noticeable attire.
And she said she cared not for ribald remarks as long as her motives wuz
And I said we could carry pure motives under a headdress of peacock's
feathers standin' up straight over our foreheads, but wouldn't it be
better to carry 'em under a bunnet?
"No better!" sez she. "Not a whit."
"Well, easier?" sez I. "Wouldn't it be easier for ourselves and
Sez she, "I care not for Public Opinion!"
"But," sez I, "as long as we've got to live clost neighbor to Public
Opinion wouldn't it be easier for us to fall in with his idees a little
on comparatively unimportant things than to keep him riled up all the
time? It seems to me that if folks want to impress their personality on
the world it is better to do it by noble deeds and words than by
Sez she, "My dress is fur more comfortable than the ordinary dress of
Sez I reasonably, "Short dresses are a boon and a blessin', but in my
opinion they can be short enough for comfort and still not infringe on
man's chosen raiment. And as for pantaloons, men are welcome to 'em so
fur as I'm concerned, and also tall hats, they hain't nothin' I hanker
for either on 'em."
Sez she, "We have a right to wear any clothes we see fit."
Sez I, "We have a right to plow green sword, shingle a steep barn ruff,
or break a yoke of steers. But the question is, will it pay in comfort
or economy to do this? As for me, I'd ruther be in the house in a
comfortable dress and clean apron, cookin' a good dinner for Josiah, or
settin' down knittin' his socks whilst he duz the harder work he is by
nater and education fitted for. But everybody to their own mind. And so
fur as I am concerned I'd ruther attract attention by doin' sunthin'
worth while, sunthin' really noble and good, than by tyin' a red rag
round my fore-top. But as I say, folks are different, and I am fur from
sayin' that my way is the only right way."
Mary kinder waived off some of my idees and went on and spoke of her
work on the battlefield and how necessary her dress wuz in such a place.
And I sez, "Mary, I've always honored you for your noble work there. But
I believe I could lift up the head of a dyin' man easier in a loose
gingham dress and straw bunnet tied on, than I could in your tight
pantaloons and high hat, but howsumever the main thing is that the man
is lifted, and he doubtless wouldn't quarrel about the costoom of his
preserver. The main thing in this world, Mary, is the work we do, the
liftin', or tryin' to lift; the day's work we do in the harvest field of
Endeavor. And I spoze a few trousers more or less hain't goin' to count
when we carry in our sheaves. Though I must say to the last, Mary
Walker, I could carry 'em easier in my dress than I could in yourn."
In the heat of our good-natered conversation Mary had slipped her hand
through my arm and neither of us noticed it, so wropped up wuz we in the
topics under discussion, when I hearn Blandina's voice behind me sayin',
"Oh, what a noble lookin' man Aunt Samantha is talkin' to and how
affectionate actin'; how sweet it will be to meet him." And then I hearn
a sharp raspin' voice clost to me sayin':
"Sir, I will thank you to onhand my wife!"
I wouldn't hardly have knowed my pardner's voice, such burnin' anger
showed in it and wuz depictered on his liniment as I turned round and
faced him. And he went on:
"Samantha, have I lived with you most a century to be deceived in you
His turrible emotions had onhinged his reasonin' faculties, we hain't
lived together so long as that, but I didn't dane to argy, I only sez
with calm dignity:
"Miss Walker, this is my pardner, Josiah Allen."
"_Miss_!" sez he in a overbearin' axent, "_Miss_ Walker!" He looked as
if he thought it wuz a conspiracy hatched up between us to deceive him.
"Yes," sez I coolly, "Miss Walker, Dr. Mary Walker."
"Oh!" sez Josiah, in his surprise and relief not offerin' to bow or
shake hands or nothin'. "Dear Samantha, I've hearn on her." And he
turned and linked his hand in my other arm so for a minute we looked
like three twins perambulatin' along. In the meantime I introduced
Blandina, who looked bewildered and disappointed.
But Dr. Mary Walker remembered a engagement, and to my relief took leave
on us. And I said a few words to Josiah on the danger and cruelty to me
of his hasty opinion and suspicion and in the cause of Duty I mentioned
the late eppisode of himself and Uncle Sime, and he seemed mortified and
apologetic for as many as three minutes. But it didn't last, it never
duz with his sect. And we went on to Horticultural Hall, Josiah on the
way reluctantly showin' me the string he had measured the potato with.
He had to take off several quarts offen that pail, jest as I told him he
would, and it made him fraxious.
But he lost his shagrin on the way, it wuz buried under the acres of
posies and beautiful shrubs and trees through which we wuz passin'.
Every rare posy you ever hearn on wuz there and them you never dremp on,
and trees, some beautiful and familiar, and them with strange and
beautiful foliage. Little lakes, where gold and silver fish played and
dotted over with the rarest and loveliest water plants and blossoms,
shrubs runnin' over with bloom, why, there wuz acres of jest rosies. And
in the middle of a six-acre rose garden stood a handsome statute of one
of my own sect, Flora by name, jest lookin' down as if she owned the
hull on't, and wuz proud and happy to be there, as well she
might--she'll never git into such a delightful spot agin, I don't
And there wuz pleasant walks windin' round every which way and once in
awhile a big tree shadin' a cozy nook where you could sit down and enjoy
the beauty and perfume. It wuz good to be there, and it seemed as if the
hull world had the same mind about comin' and wuz all there walkin'
about or else settin' down enjoyin' themselves.
Horticultural Buildin' is big enough and full enough to keep folks busy
a month. Right in the centre, in a place as long as from our house clear
over to she that wuz Submit Tewksbury's and I d'no but furder, wuz a
display of fruit, all kinds of fruit of every shape and size that grow
in every climate from frigid to torrid, and every country from Greenland
to Asia, it wuz a sight. Then there wuz a display of every kind of
horticultural machinery and implements, glass housen, aquariums,
ferneries, all sorts of ornaments for gardens.
All kinds of small fruits and how to grow 'em, everything relating to
the culture of vines, vineyards, wine cellars. All sorts of ornamental
plants and flowers, models of fruit in wax and plaster, baskets and
bunches of flowers, conservatories, all flowering plants from every
country and the way to grow them. All sorts of seeds, grass, fruit trees
of all kinds, and the best way to prune and plant them.
Josiah told me he thought we could git round and see what wuz in this
buildin' in four weeks, but I felt dubersome about it and told him we
would have to go a pretty good jog if we did. Blandina thought she could
git round in three weeks if she had some good man's arm to lean on the
most of the time.
But 'tennyrate, after stayin' there and lookin' round a long time, I
told Josiah I wuz tired enough to go home, so we went.
I wuz most melted too, for St. Louis weather is tuckering to them that
can't stand heat. It made Josiah real worrisome time and agin. And one
thing he said about it put a idee into my head that I never had thought
on, I thought it wuz real smart.
Somebody wuz lamentin' the fact in our hearin' that so many thieves and
villains of all sorts had congregated at St. Louis this summer, and
"It's a first rate thing for sinners to come here to git acclimated, as
it were, before they die."
I hadn't thought on't, but felt there wuz sunthin' in it, for truly the
burnin' climate of the place I don't want to speak on by name, must be
easier to bear after visitin' St. Louis than to plunge into it from
cooler and more northern States. And still I don't know why we should
want to make it easier for 'em, I spoze it wuz our pityin' naters that
made us think ont.
The weather wuz simply burnin' hot, no other word describes it, oveny,
furnacy hot! and Josiah said, and well said, it set folks to thinkin'
and inclined 'em to take warnin' and mend their ways. Sez he, "Two days
of St. Louis weather wuz worth more to sinners than the sermons of a
month of winter Sundays."
Truly in heat it wuz a great object lesson. I wore my brown lawn dress
day after day, havin' no chance to wear my rich alpacky, as I wanted to,
to kinder show off before Miss Huff, and Blandina presented the wilted
appearance of a long slim cabbage leaf plunged in bilin' water.
I believe Josiah's groanin's and takin's on and mutterin's helped him to
bear it better than if he had held in. Not that I told him so, no, I
told him it wuz onmanly to carry on so. But truly the heat wuz fearful,
our clothin' stuck to us and prespiration and sweat run down our faces.
The next day it wuz so hot I felt kinder mauger and stayed to home.
Blandina and Miss Huff went half a day, and in the afternoon Blandina
went to a big department store in the city to git some thinner
underwear, and I got awful skairt about her. Miss Huff gin her the most
minute directions about where it wuz and what car to take, it wuzn't a
great ways off, and she ort to got back at four o'clock anyway.
But time run along, four struck, then five and then six, and I wuz
gittin' dretful worried about her when she come in tired enough.
Sez I, "I wuz awful worried about you, Blandina. Did you git lost?"
"No." She said she got onto the right car and the conductor wuz a
dretful handsome and fascinatin' man, and she went to git off at the
right street, and kinder backed off, she always duz git off that way,
and the conductor thinkin' she wanted to git on, he smiled so sweet and
held out his hand to help her on so she would git on again. And that
happened over and over. She not wantin' to hurt his feelin's and slight
him by not takin' holt of his hand and climbin' on agin. Till finally
she did show some good sense, she asked the man standin' on the platform
if he would help her off, for she had been tryin' to git off for the
last five stations. So she had to take a car back, but the conductor wuz
humbly and gruff and she got along all right, but it belated her.
Sez I, "What made you do it, Blandina?"
"Oh," sez she, "he looked so winnin' and invitin' I didn't want to hurt
Sez I, "You'll sup sorrer yet, Blandina, by your wantin' to obleege
everybody. You ort to look out for yourself some, you're alltogether too
good to be comfortable."
Well, Josiah went that day with Billy Huff, he santered off without any
system or plan, and wouldn't take my pad though I offered it to him. But
I guess they jest poked round miscelaneous, as you may say, seein' jest
what they happened to run into. And in some of their travels they met
Barzelia Trimble, a woman lecturer, she's young and good lookin' and
smart as a whip, and I guess she made much of Josiah, 'tennyrate she gin
him tickets to her lecture.
She said she'd met a man whose brother-in-law's cousin had bought a dog
once of a neighbor of mine, and so feelin' so well acquainted with me
she sent me the tickets, and did hope we would come. She said she felt
that she knew us both so well that it would be a treat to her.
The way she come to see Josiah that day, Billy had met her at school
where she lectured.
Josiah wuz very anxious that we should both go. He remembered the dog.
But I sez, "I thought you didn't believe in wimmen's lecturin' and
havin' rights, Josiah."
"Well, I don't believe in 'em, but the tickets wuz gin to us, fifty
cents right out of her pocket, and she'll expect us. She said it would
make her feel more homelike to have us present."
"Well," sez I, "I don't know as I feel so very intimate with her, I
never see the dog, but her idees on wimmen's rights is sensible, I've
read about 'em."
And that kinder headed Josiah off onto a new tact; we had had a dretful
good supper, and I believe Miss Trimble had made a sight on him, I
believe she had flattered and pompeyed him and for the time bein' he
felt soft in sperit towards the sex.
And 'tennyrate men's moods are like the onfathomable sea, sometimes
turbulent, throwin' up stunny arguments and sandy ones, and agin flowin'
calm and smooth as ile, and this wuz one of the gently swashin' ones.
"Id'no," sez he, "and I told her so, what wimmen want rights for, or to
vote; I never wanted wimmen to vote, I told her they wuz too good, they
wuz too near angels to have rights. You know I've always said so,
Samantha, and I wuz readin' a piece a day or two ago, writ by one of the
first ministers in the country, and he said that wimmen hadn't ort to
want any rights; they ort to be riz up on a pedestal and I say so too."
And I sez, "No, Josiah, I can't go into that with all the rest I have to
do, and it seems onreasonable in that minister to want wimmen to climb
up onto pedestals when they have to do their own housework."
"Well, I say it hain't onreasonable. You ort to be up on one, Samantha."
(How much Miss Trimble must have made on him. He wuz so oncommon clever,
and he never wuz megum, poor creeter!) I didn't really want to git into
an argument at that time o' day, but I see he wuz on the wrong tact, and
I felt I must convince him, so I sez in reasonable axents:
"I jest as lives be on a pedestal as not, I'd kinder love to if I could
set, I always did enjoy bein' riz up, if I had nothin' to do only to
stay up there some time, but wimmen have to git round so much it
wouldn't work. How could I take a tower histed up like the car of
Juggernaut or a Pope in a procession. I couldn't get carriers for one
thing, and I wouldn't give a cent to be carried round anyway with my
dizzy spells, I should more'n as likely as not fall off. But that hain't
the main reason I'm agin it, it is too tuckerin' a job for wimmen."
"Tuckerin' to be enthroned on a pedestal with the male sect lookin' up
to you and worshippin' you. You call that tuckerin'?" sez he.
"Yes," sez I, "I do. How under the sun can I or any other woman be up on
a pedestal and do our own housework, cookin', washin' dishes, sweepin',
moppin', cleanin' lamps, blackin' stoves, washin', ironin', makin' beds,
quiltin' bed quilts, gittin' three meals a day, day after day, biled
dinners and bag puddin's and mince pies and things, to say nothin' of
custard and pumpkin pies that will slop over on the level, do the best
you can; how could you keep 'em inside the crust histin' yourself up and
down? And cleanin' house time----"
"Mebby," sez I honestly, "it would come handy in whitewashin' or fixin'
the stovepipe, but where would it be in cleanin' mop-boards, or puttin'
down carpets, or washin' winders, or doin' a three weeks washin', or
bilin' soap? or pickin' geese? They act like fury shot up on the barn
floor. How could you git our old gander up on a pedestal? His temper is
that fiery, to say nothin' of settin' or standin' on it and holdin' on
to the old thing and pickin' it. And raisin' chickens and washin' old
trousers and overalls, and cleanin' sullers and paintin' floors and
paperin', and droudgin' round all the time, as a woman has to to keep
her house comfortable.
"And pickin' black-caps and strawberries, and churnin' big churnin's of
butter, and pickin' wool, to say nothin' of onexpected company comin',
and no girl. Let a lot of company come to stay all day the relations on
your side and the work not done, and me posin' like a statute, lookin'
down on you and your sect, you'd feel like a fool and jaw, you know you
would. I presoom you'd throw your boot-jack at me and threaten to part
with me, and how mean that would be in you when I did it at your
request. 'Tain't anything any woman would go into if she wuz let alone."
"And then think of the thrashers and silo fillers comin' in hungry as
bears, what would they say? No dinner cookin' and I on a pedestal, why
it would be the town's talk. Or you comin' home from Jonesville on a
cold night fraxious as a dog and sayin' you should die off if you didn't
have supper in ten minutes. How could I git it on time perched up there?
"I say it can't be done, and it is onreasonable for men to want it, and
at the same time want wimmen to do her own housework. For these men,
every one on 'em, would act like fury if their house wuzn't clean and
their clothes in order, and meals on time. And you must know it would
jest about kill a woman to be doin' all this and histin' herself up and
down a hundred times a day, and mebby half dead with rumatiz too. Why,
it would be worse for me than all the rest of my work, and you hadn't
ort to ask it of me."
Josiah looked real huffy and sez, "I hain't the only man that's wantin'
it done; men have always been sot on it. There's been more'n a wagon
load of poetry writ on it and you know it. Men have always said a sight
about it, I hain't alone in it," he snapped out.
"No," sez I honestly, "I've hearn it before. But you see it wouldn't
work, don't you? And I believe I could convince every man if I could git
to 'em and talk it over with 'em. And I don't see where the beauty on't
would come in; of course a woman couldn't change her clothes and put on
Greek drapery right in the midst of cleanin' the buttery shelves or
moppin' off the back steps. And to see a woman standin' up on a pedestal
with an old calico dress pinned up round her waist and a slat sunbunnet
on and her pardner's rubber boots, and her sleeves rolled up, and her
face red as blood with hard work, and her hands all swelled up with hot
soap suds and lye, what beauty would there be in it? It always did seem
onreasonable besides bein' so tuckerin' no woman could stand it for a
He looked mad as a hen and sez he, "They could manage it if their minds
wuz strong enough."
Sez I, "It seems to me it would depend more on the strength of their
legs, specially if the pedestal wuz a high one. I never could git up
onto it at all if I should go into it without gittin' up on a chair and
then on a table. No woman no matter how strong she wuz could git more
than two meals a day under the circumstances."
Josiah looked worried and sez, "Well, mebby there has been too much said
about it, mebby it would be jest as well to leave pedestals to
And I sez, "It is as well agin. Wimmen couldn't stand it with all they
have to do."
And so we ended by bein' real congenial in our two minds and thinkin'
considerable alike, which is indeed a comfort to pardners. And we read
our chapter in the Bible and had family prayers jest as we do to home.
For I would not leave off all the good old habits of my life because my
body wuz moved round a little. And we had a good night's rest and sot
out in good season the next mornin' for the Exposition.
The next mornin' grandpa Huff said to the breakfast table that he did
wish he had someone to read to him that day, everybody wuz goin' to the
Fair and he wuz goin' to be left alone. So Blandina, clever creeter that
she is, said she would stay and read to him from his favorite volume,
Foxe's Book of Martyr's, and also from Lamentations and Job. Billy said
his grandpa wuz never happy only when he wuz perfectly miserable. We
have all seen such folks.
So Josiah and I sot off alone, and he bein' in good sperits and bein'
gin to new and strange projects, proposed that we should take an
ortomobile. I didn't favor the idee and said:
"Id'no about it, Josiah, I feel kinder skairful about ortos, I fear that
it might prove our last ride."
"But," sez he, "with a good shuffler there hain't any danger."
But I still wuz dubersome and sez, "Mebby it would end by our shufflin'
off our mortal coils, as Mr. Shakespeare tells on."
"You don't wear 'em, Samantha, nor never did, nor I don't wear a
pompodoor" (he meant this for a joke for his head is most as bare as a
And he went on, "It would be a very stylish and genteel ride. I'd love
to tell brother Gowdey about it. The bretheren will expect it of me as a
live progressive Jonesvillian minglin' here with the noblest in the land
to cut sunthin' of a dash."
But seein' that I still looked dubersome he sez, "I don't feel very
rugged this mornin' and I dread the crowded car; Id'no but I should
faint away in 'em if I sot out."
That of course settled the matter. As his anxious chaperone I consented
to the project and he went and got the showiest one he could find. He
didn't look for character or stability, only for gildin' and red paint.
And we embarked, Josiah with a proud liniment, as if he wuz introducin'
me into gay life and fashionable amusements. The man wuz to take us to
the Fair ground for so much, and Josiah feelin' so neat had paid him in
advance, and there wuz another party waitin' for him. And the speed that
shuffler put on wuz sunthin' awful.
The first few minutes before we got to goin' that terrific speed Josiah
liked it, and seemed to look patronizin'ly down on the people walkin'
afoot that we passed by and pity 'em. But anon the man got to goin'
faster and faster and Josiah's liniment underwent a change and he
hollered out to me, for the noise wuz so loud and skairful he had to
"Samantha, I don't believe it is right for members of the meetin' house
to be goin' at such a gait."
And I hollered back to him, "It hain't none of my doin's, it hain't
nothin' I wanted," I a hangin' onto my bunnet strings and tryin' to keep
my bunnet on. As for the tabs of my mantilly I had gin up tryin' to curb
'em down, and they waved out like a pirate's flag in a cyclone only a
Finally Josiah hollered to the shuffler, "I want you to curb in your
machine! I'm a deacon, and have got my station in the Jonesville meetin'
house to think on. Hold it in, I say!"
The shuffler glanced round at us as calm as a goggle-eyed clam and never
dained to answer, and seemin'ly urged on the orto to redoubled speed.
Oh, the awfulness of the seen! the terrific noise soundin' on my ear
pans till it seemed as if them pans must break down, the dirt a flyin',
my pardner standin' up with his whiskers and coat tails wavin' in the
breeze. His hat blowed off and by almost superhuman exertions I ketched
it and carried it in my hand, thinkin' it wuz safer than on his head.
He a yellin', "Stop, I tell you! Whoa! back up! Dum your dum picter,
whoa I say!"
For the last few milds Josiah rid standin' all I could do and say.
Yellin' at the shuffler, hollerin' whoa to him, and appealin' to Heaven
and me simultaneous as it were, for mercy and succor.
And that shuffler payin' no more attention to him than as if he wuz a
fly, not a hoss fly, but jest a common fly. Only he would look back at
us once in awhile through them big goggles of hisen that most curdled my
blood to see 'em.
At last Josiah, seemin' to give up all hope, sunk back and grasped holt
of my tab and sez, "Good-bye, Samantha, if you git through alive
remember I died tryin' to save you." His emotions and the dirt choked
him, and he faintly added:
"Tell the bretheren and see that it is put in the Jonesville Augur, that
I died a hero's death tryin' to save my pardner." And his grasp on my
tabs become almost hysterical.
But at that minute the entrance gate wuz reached and the orto stopped so
abruptly, that Josiah who had got up agin, wuz precipitated into my lap.
But he got out immegiately, and the minute he and I stepped onto terry
firmy he turned and shook his fist at the man and sez he, "If it wuzn't
for the crowd and Samantha's feelin's, I would whip you within an inch
of your life! Oh, if I only had you in a ten acre lot you'd feel the
wrath of a lion when it wuz rousted up!"
But I laid my hand on him and led him away, I knowed such seens wuz bad
for his nerve. He trembled like a popple leaf, and the minute we got
through the gate I had to set down with him and deal out four nut-cakes
before he wuz himself agin.
I wuz determined this day to go to the Palace of Fine Arts, so we did
and I put in a time of almost perfect happiness there. We went into
Government Building entrance that day, and I proposed to Josiah that we
should stop at Liberal Arts Building on the way, and he at first
demurred and sez:
"Samantha, you're too liberal by half now for folks with our means and
Id'no as I want you to spend your time in such a display." He said he
would rather take me to the display of Economics, and sez he, wantin' to
persuade me to go with him, "Wimmen has countless virtues, but to my
mind her crownin' excelence is to be equinomical."
But I explained to him that exhibit didn't mean bein' liberal with money
but it wuz jest a step behind Fine Arts, and sez I, "I should think you
would want to see the place where this Exposition wuz dedicated in the
presence of one of the biggest crowds that wuz ever gathered together."
So we stopped there a little while, and could have spent days there with
interest and profit. The foreign countries have splendid exhibits here
as well as our own.
Everything in typography and books, everything possible in photography;
models of light-houses; dams; geographical maps; Egyptian, Hebrew and
Imperial surveys. Scientific demonstrations in liquid hydrogen and that
queer substance, radium.
I wuz dretfully interested in that wonderful new discovery and sez I to
myself as I looked at it, "As little as there is of you there is enough
to overturn big systems of science and philosophy, and begin a new
history of the inside of the world." I wuz glad my sect had discovered
this and thought it wuz one of the best things she had done in a number
And there wuz all kinds of hygienic displays, chemical and engineering
works. China had a dretful interestin' exhibit, ancient manuscripts,
books published thousands of years before our kind of type wuz invented.
Weapons that wuz old when Mr. Confucious wuz livin'. Armor, costumes,
musical instruments, queer lookin' things them wuz as I ever see and
nothin' I would want to play on. Photo engineering, electrotyping,
lithography, typewriting; telescopes of all kinds from tiny ones up to
ones that weigh four thousand pounds. The latest medical and surgical
instruments. The piano from the first one made up to the present
automatic instruments of all kinds; stringed instruments, church organs;
displays in civil and military engineering; machinery for making good
roads; rock crushers, water purifying, and so on and so on and so on.
The time spent in this buildin' is full of education as well as
interest. There wuz some beautiful statutes too decoratin' this
buildin', most on 'em I wuz proud to see wuz figgers of my own sect.
But having sot out for the Palace of Fine Arts we anon wended our way
thither. It is a beautiful building, or ruther there are four massive
buildings connected together to form this Palace of Art. There are three
big buildings in front and an annex, the central building built of stone
and brick is the only permanent buildin' in this enormous Exposition so
naturally they would make it as perfect as possible.
And it is crowded full of beauty. In fact turn where you would you would
see such glowing landscapes, such beautiful faces, such perfect
sculpture that you git all mixed up, and when you thought it over you
couldn't remember whether some picture or statute that stood out in your
memory wuz in the U.S. exhibit or the French, or German, or Italian, or
In lookin' back and thinkin' on't and tryin' to git 'em in the right
place in your mind it is as difficult as it would be in walking through
a big clover meadow and tryin' to sort out the clover blossoms and
describe 'em one by one and tell in jest what corner of the lot you
found 'em. It can't be done; in such an immense field of art your brain
sort o' fills up and turns round and round and you git mixed. But as I
say some of the pictures and statutes stayed in my memory so I couldn't
dislodge 'em and don't want to, no indeed!
Now there are three noble figgers at the entrance that you can't forgit.
Inspiration standin' up above the main entrance is jest where she should
be. Inspiration, breath of the Most High breathed into some of His
children below anon or oftener, and then on each side is Truth and
Nature. Nature, the kind All Mother, Truth, the divine one. How sweet to
find 'em all there together guardin' and consecratin' these walls. You
went in feelin' safer with such gardeens at the portal.
I must say though that Truth didn't have any clothes on, she wuz jest
settin' there on top of the world jest as naked as she could be, she
could have wore one of my bib aprons as well as not, durin' the Fair
anyway, whilst there wuz so many folks round and she would have looked
enough sight better to me and been jest as truthful. But howsumever I
knew she wuz likely, her face wuz innocent and beautiful.
As I said it is some of the pictures and statutes that stand out
clearest in my memory, but there wuz everything else there admirable and
choice in art, paintings in oil, wax; on canvas, wood, enamel, metal,
fresco paintings on walls and ceilings. Water colors, chalk, pastel,
ivory, pyrography. Engravings, etchings, figgers in marble, metal,
plaster. Carvings in ivory, stone, wood, etc. Architectural designs of
all kinds; mosaics; art work in glass, earthen ware, leather, metal;
artistic book binding and etc., etc., etc., and I might spread these out
And didn't my soul jest spread her wings here in delight, to speak in
flowery language. What pictures of beauty dawned on my rapt eyesight,
faces sweet as wuz ever dremp on, sad faces, tragic faces, old faces and
young faces; children sweet and bonny as wuz ever seen. Youth and love,
age and manhood and gratified ambition, princes and paupers, life and
Landscapes full of the dewy freshness and joy of the morning, night
seens dark and full of mystery and melancholy. Mountain and valley, hill
and dale, ocean and rivulet. Every phase of human joy and sorrow wuz
depictered there, and every phase of peaceful and warlike life. It wuz a
sight. If I could stayed there a year right in them walls I might have
got round mebby and seen what I wanted to and as long as I wanted to.
But of course this wuzn't to be, for one thing the Fair would be closed
before and then Josiah wouldn't gin his consent anyway. He got kinder
worrisome as it wuz and didn't want to stay so long as we did, and after
a hour or so I compromised with him, gin him nut cakes occasionally and
anon when we would enter a new gallery he would set down by the door
till I had got through lookin'.
As I said some of the pictures and statutes clung to my memory as if
they'd been throwed at my mind so powerful that they jest stuck there
and couldn't be dislodged even by all the later multitude of sights
throwed over 'em.
There wuz one by Whistler full of the subtle mystery that he wrops round
his figgers. Why you know he has painted one that to them that are
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