The Complete Works of Artemus Ward, Part 1
Charles Farrar Browne
Part 2 out of 4
I pawsd a minit, and then, thinkin I'd be faseshus with him and
see how that would go, I slapt him on the shoulder, bust into a
harty larf, and told him that as a yayer he had no livin ekal.
He jumpt up as if Bilin water had bin squirted into his ears,
groaned, rolled his eyes up tords the sealin and sed: "You're a
man of sin!" He then walkt out of the room.
Jest then the female in the meal bag stuck her hed into the room
and statid that refreshments awaited the weary travler, and I sed
if it was vittles she ment the weary travler was agreeable, and I
follored her into the next room.
I sot down to the table and the female in the meal bag pored out
sum tea. She sed nothin, and for five minutes the only live
thing in that room was a old wooden clock, which tickt in a
subdood and bashful manner in the corner. This dethly stillness
made me oneasy, and I determined to talk to the female or bust.
So sez I, "marrige is agin your rules, I bleeve, marm?"
"The sexes liv strickly apart, I spect?"
"It's kinder singler," sez I, puttin on my most sweetest look and
speakin in a winnin voice, "that so fair a made as thow never got
hitched to some likely feller." [N.B.--She was upards of 40 and
homely as a stump fence, but I thawt I'd tickil her.]
"I don't like men!" she sed, very short.
"Wall, I dunno," sez I, "they're a rayther important part of the
populashun. I don't scacely see how we could git along without
"Us poor wimin folks would git along a grate deal better if there
was no men!"
"You'll excoos me, marm, but I don't think that air would work.
It wouldn't be regler."
"I'm fraid of men!" she sed.
"That's onnecessary, marm. YOU ain't in no danger. Don't fret
yourself on that pint."
"Here we're shot out from the sinful world. Here all is peas.
Here we air brothers and sisters. We don't marry and consekently
we hav no domestic difficulties. Husbans don't abooze their
wives--wives don't worrit their husbans. There's no children
here to worrit us. Nothin to worrit us here. No wicked
matrimony here. Would thow like to be a Shaker?"
"No," sez I, "it ain't my stile."
I had now histed in as big a load of pervishuns as I could carry
comfortable, and, leanin back in my cheer, commenst pickin my
teeth with a fork. The female went out, leavin me all alone with
the clock. I hadn't sot thar long before the Elder poked his hed
in at the door. "You're a man of sin!" he sed, and groaned and
Direckly thar cum in two young Shakeresses, as putty and slick
lookin gals as I ever met. It is troo they was drest in meal
bags like the old one I'd met previsly, and their shiny, silky
har was hid from sight by long white caps, sich as I spose female
Josts wear; but their eyes sparkled like diminds, their cheeks
was like roses, and they was charmin enuff to make a man throw
stuns at his granmother if they axed him to. They comenst
clearin away the dishes, castin shy glances at me all the time.
I got excited. I forgot Betsy Jane in my rapter, and sez I, "my
pretty dears, how air you?"
"We air well," they solumly sed.
"Whar's the old man?" sed I, in a soft voice.
"Of whom dost thow speak--Brother Uriah?"
"I mean the gay and festiv cuss who calls me a man of sin.
Shouldn't wonder if his name was Uriah."
"He has retired."
"Wall, my pretty dears," sez I, "let's have sum fun. Let's play
puss in the corner. What say?"
"Air you a Shaker, sir?" they axed.
"Wall my pretty dears, I haven't arrayed my proud form in a long
weskit yit, but if they was all like you perhaps I'd jine 'em.
As it is, I'm a Shaker pro-temporary."
They was full of fun. I seed that at fust, only they was a
leetle skeery. I tawt 'em Puss in the corner and sich like plase,
and we had a nice time, keepin quiet of course so the old man
shouldn't hear. When we broke up, sez I, "my pretty dears, ear I
go you hav no objections, hav you, to a innersent kiss at
"Yay," they said, and I YAY'D.
I went up stairs to bed. I spose I'd bin snoozin half an hour
when I was woke up by a noise at the door. I sot up in bed,
leanin on my elbers and rubbin my eyes, and I saw the follerin
picter: The Elder stood in the doorway, with a taller candle in
his hand. He hadn't no wearin appeerel on except his night
close, which flutterd in the breeze like a Seseshun flag. He sed,
"You're a man of sin!" then groaned and went away.
I went to sleep agin, and drempt of runnin orf with the pretty
little Shakeresses mounted on my Californy Bar. I thawt the Bar
insisted on steerin strate for my dooryard in Baldinsville and
that Betsy Jane cum out and giv us a warm recepshun with a
panfull of Bilin water. I was woke up arly by the Elder. He
said refreshments was reddy for me down stairs. Then sayin I was
a man of sin, he went groanin away.
As I was goin threw the entry to the room where the vittles was,
I cum across the Elder and the old female I'd met the night
before, and what d'ye spose they was up to? Huggin and kissin
like young lovers in their gushingist state. Sez I, "my Shaker
friends, I reckon you'd better suspend the rules and git
"You must excoos Brother Uriah," sed the female; "he's subjeck to
fits and hain't got no command over hisself when he's into 'em."
"Sartinly," sez I, "I've bin took that way myself frequent."
"You're a man of sin!" sed the Elder.
Arter breakfust my little Shaker frends cum in agin to clear away
"My pretty dears," sez I, "shall we YAY agin?"
"Nay," they sed, and I NAY'D.
The Shakers axed me to go to their meetin, as they was to hav
sarvices that mornin, so I put on a clean biled rag and went.
The meetin house was as neat as a pin. The floor was white as
chalk and smooth as glass. The Shakers was all on hand, in clean
weskits and meal bags, ranged on the floor like milingtery
companies, the mails on one side of the room and the females on
tother. They commenst clappin their hands and singin and dancin.
They danced kinder slow at fust, but as they got warmed up they
shaved it down very brisk, I tell you. Elder Uriah, in
particler, exhiberted a right smart chance of spryness in his
legs, considerin his time of life, and as he cum a dubble shuffle
near where I sot, I rewarded him with a approvin smile and sed:
"Hunky boy! Go it, my gay and festiv cuss!"
"You're a man of sin!" he sed, continnerin his shuffle.
The Sperret, as they called it, then moved a short fat Shaker to
say a few remarks. He sed they was Shakers and all was ekal.
They was the purest and Seleckest peple on the yearth. Other
peple was sinful as they could be, but Shakers was all right.
Shakers was all goin kerslap to the Promist Land, and nobody want
goin to stand at the gate to bar 'em out, if they did they'd git
The Shakers then danced and sung agin, and arter they was threw,
one of 'em axed me what I thawt of it.
Sez I, "What duz it siggerfy?"
"What?" sez he.
"Why this jumpin up and singin? This long weskit bizniss, and
this anty-matrimony idee? My frends, you air neat and tidy.
Your lands is flowin with milk and honey. Your brooms is fine,
and your apple sass is honest. When a man buys a keg of apple
sass of you he don't find a grate many shavins under a few layers
of sass--a little Game I'm sorry to say sum of my New Englan
ancesters used to practiss. Your garding seeds is fine, and if I
should sow 'em on the rock of Gibralter probly I should raise a
good mess of garding sass. You air honest in your dealins. You
air quiet and don't distarb nobody. For all this I givs you
credit. But your religion is small pertaters, I must say. You
mope away your lives here in single retchidness, and as you air
all by yourselves nothing ever conflicks with your pecooler
idees, except when Human Nater busts out among you, as I
understan she sumtimes do. [I giv Uriah a sly wink here, which
made the old feller squirm like a speared Eel.] You wear long
weskits and long faces, and lead a gloomy life indeed. No
children's prattle is ever hearn around your harthstuns--you air
in a dreary fog all the time, and you treat the jolly sunshine of
life as tho' it was a thief, drivin it from your doors by them
weskits, and meal bags, and pecooler noshuns of yourn. The gals
among you, sum of which air as slick pieces of caliker as I ever
sot eyes on, air syin to place their heds agin weskits which
kiver honest, manly harts, while you old heds fool yerselves with
the idee that they air fulfillin their mishun here, and air
contented. Here you air all pend up by yerselves, talkin about
the sins of a world you don't know nothin of. Meanwhile said
world continners to resolve round on her own axletree onct in
every 24 hours, subjeck to the Constitution of the United States,
and is a very plesant place of residence. It's a unnatral,
onreasonable and dismal life you're leadin here. So it strikes
me. My Shaker frends, I now bid you a welcome adoo. You hav
treated me exceedin well. Thank you kindly, one and all.
"A base exhibiter of depraved monkeys and onprincipled wax
works!" sed Uriah.
"Hello, Uriah," sez I, "I'd most forgot you. Wall, look out for
them fits of yourn, and don't catch cold and die in the flour of
your youth and beauty."
And I resoomed my jerney.
1.4. HIGH-HANDED OUTRAGE AT UTICA.
In the Faul of 1856, I showed my show in Uticky, a trooly grate
sitty in the State of New York.
The people gave me a cordyal recepshun. The press was loud in
1 day as I was givin a descripshun of my Beests and Snaiks in my
usual flowry stile what was my skorn disgust to see a big burly
feller walk up to the cage containin my wax figgers of the Lord's
Last Supper, and cease Judas Iscarrot by the feet and drag him
out on the ground. He then commenced fur to pound him as hard as
"What under the son are you abowt?" cried I.
Sez he, "What did you bring this pussylanermus cuss here fur?"
and he hit the wax figger another tremenjis blow on the hed.
Sez I, "You egrejus ass, that air's a wax figger--a
representashun of the false 'Postle."
Sez he, "That's all very well fur you to say, but I tell you, old
man, that Judas Iscarrot can't show hisself in Utiky with
impunerty by a darn site!" with which observashun he kaved in
Judassis hed. The young man belonged to 1 of the first famerlies
in Utiky. I sood him, and the Joory brawt in a verdick of Arson
in the 3d degree.
1.5. CELEBRATION AT BALDINSVILLE IN HONOR OF THE ATLANTIC CABLE.
Baldinsville, Injianny, Sep. the onct, 18&58.--I was summund home
from Cinsinnaty quite suddin by a lettur from the Supervizers of
Baldinsville, sayin as how grate things was on the Tappis in that
air town in refferunse to sellebratin the compleshun of the
Sub-Mershine Tellergraph & axkin me to be Pressunt. Lockin up my
Kangeroo and wax wurks in a sekure stile I took my departer for
Baldinsville--"my own, my nativ lan," which I gut intwo at early
kandle litin on the follerin night & just as the sellerbrashun
and illumernashun ware commensin.
Baldinsville was trooly in a blaze of glory. Near can I forgit
the surblime speckticul which met my gase as I alited from the
Staige with my umbreller and verlis. The Tarvern was lit up with
taller kandles all over & a grate bon fire was burnin in frunt
thareof. A Traspirancy was tied onto the sine post with the
follerin wurds--"Giv us Liberty or Deth." Old Tompkinsis grosery
was illumernated with 5 tin lantuns and the follerin Transpirancy
was in the winder--"The Sub-Mershine Tellergraph & the
Baldinsville and Stonefield Plank Road--the 2 grate eventz of the
19th centerry--may intestines strife never mar their grandjure."
Simpkinsis shoe shop was all ablase with kandles and lantuns. A
American Eagle was painted onto a flag in a winder--also these
wurds, viz.--"The Constitooshun must be Presarved." The Skool
house was lited up in grate stile and the winders was filld with
mottoes amung which I notised the follerin--"Trooth smashed to
erth shall rize agin--YOU CAN'T STOP HER." "The Boy stood on the
Burnin Deck whense awl but him had Fled." "Prokrastinashun is
the theaf of Time." "Be virtoous & you will be Happy."
"Intemperunse has cawsed a heap of trubble--shun the Bole," an
the follerin sentimunt written by the skool master, who graduated
at Hudson Kollige: "Baldinsville sends greetin to Her Magisty
the Queen, & hopes all hard feelins which has heretofore previs
bin felt between the Supervizers of Baldinsville and the British
Parlimunt, if such there has been, may now be forever wiped frum
our Escutchuns. Baldinsville this night rejoises over the
gerlorious event which sementz 2 grate nashuns onto one anuther
by means of a elecktric wire under the roarin billers of the
Nasty Deep. QUOSQUE TANTRUM, A BUTTER, CATERLINY, PATENT
NOSTRUM!" Squire Smith's house was lited up regardlis of
expense. His little sun William Henry stood upon the roof firin
orf crackers. The old 'Squire hisself was dressed up in soljer
clothes and stood on his door-step, pintin his sword sollumly to
a American flag which was suspendid on top of a pole in frunt of
his house. Frequiently he wood take orf his cocked hat & wave it
round in a impressive stile. His oldest darter Mis Isabeller
Smith, who has just cum home from the Perkinsville Female
Instertoot, appeared at the frunt winder in the West room as the
goddis of liberty, & sung "I see them on their windin way."
Booteus 1, sed I to myself, you air a angil & nothin shorter. N.
Boneparte Smith, the 'Squire's oldest sun, drest hisself up as
Venus the God of Wars and red the Decleration of Inderpendunse
from the left chambir winder. The 'Squire's wife didn't jine in
the festiverties. She sed it was the tarnulest nonsense she ever
seed. Sez she to the 'Squire, "Cum into the house and go to bed
you old fool, you. Tomorrer you'll be goin round half-ded with
the rumertism & won't gin us a minit's peace till you get well."
Sez the 'Squire, "Betsy, you little appresiate the importance of
the event which I this night commererate." Sez she, "Commemerate
a cat's tail--cum into the house this instant, you pesky old
critter." "Betsy," sez the 'Squire, wavin his sword, "retire."
This made her just as mad as she could stick. She retired, but
cum out agin putty quick with a panfull of Bilin hot water which
she throwed all over the Squire, & Surs, you wood have split your
sides larfin to see the old man jump up and holler & run into the
house. Except this unpropishus circumstance all went as merry as
a carriage bell, as Lord Byrun sez. Doctor Hutchinsis offiss was
likewise lited up and a Transpirancy, on which was painted the
Queen in the act of drinkin sum of "Hutchinsis invigorater," was
stuck into one of the winders. The Baldinsville Bugle of Liberty
noospaper offiss was also illumernated, & the follerin mottoes
stuck out--"The Press is the Arkermejian leaver which moves the
world." "Vote Early." "Buckle on your Armer." "Now is the time
to Subscribe." "Franklin, Morse & Field." "Terms 1.50 dollars a
year--liberal reducshuns to clubs." In short the villige of
Baldinsville was in a perfect fewroar. I never seed so many
peple thar befour in my born days. Ile not attemp to describe
the seens of that grate night. Wurds wood fale me ef I shood try
to do it. I shall stop here a few periods and enjoy my "Oatem
cum dig the tates," as our skool master observes, in the buzzum
of my famerly, & shall then resume the show biznis, which Ive bin
into twenty-two (22) yeres and six (6) months.
1.6. AMONG THE SPIRITS.
My naburs is mourn harf crazy on the new-fangled ideas about
Sperrets. Sperretooul Sircles is held nitely & 4 or 5 long hared
fellers has settled here and gone into the Sperret biznis
excloosively. A atemt was made to git Mrs. A. Ward to embark
into the Sperret biznis but the atemt faled. 1 of the long hared
fellers told her she was a ethereal creeter & wood make a sweet
mejium, whareupon she attact him with a mop handle & drove him
out of the house. I will hear obsarve that Mrs.Ward is a
invalerble womum--the partner of my goys & the shairer of my
sorrers. In my absunse she watchis my interests & things with a
Eagle Eye & when I return she welcums me in afectionate stile.
Trooly it is with us as it was with Mr. & Mrs. INGOMER in the
Play, to whit,--
2 soles with but a single thawt
2 harts which beet as 1.
My naburs injooced me to attend a Sperretooul Sircle at Squire
Smith's. When I arrove I found the east room chock full includin
all the old maids in the villige & the long hared fellers a4sed.
When I went in I was salootid with "hear cums the benited man"--
"hear cums the hory-heded unbeleever"--"hear cums the skoffer at
trooth," etsettery, etsettery.
Sez I, "my frens, it's troo I'm hear, & now bring on your
1 of the long hared fellers riz up and sed he would state a few
remarks. He sed man was a critter of intelleck & was movin on to
a Gole. Sum men had bigger intellecks than other men had and
thay wood git to the Gole the soonerest. Sum men was beests &
wood never git into the Gole at all. He sed the Erth was
materiel but man was immaterial, and hens man was different from
the Erth. The Erth, continnered the speaker, resolves round on
its own axeltree onct in 24 hours, but as man haint gut no
axeltree he cant resolve. He sed the ethereal essunce of the
koordinate branchis of super-human natur becum mettymorfussed as
man progrest in harmonial coexistunce & eventooally anty
humanized theirselves & turned into reglar sperretuellers. (This
was versifferusly applauded by the cumpany, and as I make it a
pint to get along as pleasant as possible, I sung out "bully for
you, old boy.")
The cumpany then drew round the table and the Sircle kommenst
to go it. Thay axed me if thare was an body in the Sperret land
which I wood like to convarse with. I sed if Bill Tompkins, who
was onct my partner in the show biznis, was sober, I should like
to convarse with him a few periods.
"Is the Sperret of William Tompkins present?" sed 1 of the long
hared chaps, and there was three knox on the table.
Sez I, "William, how goze it, Old Sweetness?"
"Pretty ruff, old hoss," he replide.
That was a pleasant way we had of addressin each other when he
was in the flesh.
"Air you in the show bizniz, William?" sed I.
He sed he was. He sed he & John Bunyan was travelin with a
side show in connection with Shakspere, Jonson & Co.'s Circus.
He sed old Bun (meanin Mr. Bunyan,) stired up the animils &
ground the organ while he tended door. Occashunally Mr. Bunyan
sung a comic song. The Circus was doin middlin well. Bill
Shakspeer had made a grate hit with old Bob Ridley, and Ben
Jonson was delitin the peple with his trooly grate ax of
hossmanship without saddul or bridal. Thay was rehersin
Dixey's Land & expected it would knock the peple.
Sez I, "William, my luvly friend, can you pay me that 13
dollars you owe me?" He sed no with one of the most tremenjis
knox I ever experiunsed.
The Sircle sed he had gone. "Air you gone, William?" I axed.
"Rayther," he replide, and I knowd it was no use to pursoo the
I then called fur my farther.
"How's things, daddy?"
"Middlin, my son, middlin."
"Ain't you proud of your orfurn boy?"
"Why not, my parient?"
"Becawz you hav gone to writin for the noospapers, my son.
Bimeby you'll lose all your character for trooth and
verrasserty. When I helpt you into the show biznis I told you
to dignerfy that there profeshun. Litteratoor is low."
He also statid that he was doin middlin well in the peanut
biznis & liked it putty well, tho' the climit was rather warm.
When the Sircle stopt thay axed me what I thawt of it.
Sez I, "My frends I've bin into the show biznis now goin on 23
years. Theres a artikil in the Constitooshun of the United
States which sez in effeck that everybody may think just as he
darn pleazes, & them is my sentiments to a hare. You dowtlis
beleeve this Sperret doctrin while I think it is a little mixt.
Just so soon as a man becums a reglar out & out Sperret rapper
he leeves orf workin, lets his hare grow all over his fase &
commensis spungin his livin out of other peple. He eats all
the dickshunaries he can find & goze round chock full of big
words, scarein the wimmin folks & little children & destroyin
the piece of mind of evry famerlee he enters. He don't do
nobody no good & is a cuss to society & a pirit on honest
peple's corn beef barrils. Admittin all you say abowt the
doctrin to be troo, I must say the reglar perfessional Sperrit
rappers--them as makes a biznis on it--air abowt the most
ornery set of cusses I ever enkountered in my life. So sayin I
put on my surtoot and went home.
1.7. ON THE WING.
Gents of the Editorial Corpse.--
Since I last rit you I've met with immense success a showin my
show in varis places, particly at Detroit. I put up at Mr.
Russel's tavern, a very good tavern too, but I am sorry to
inform you that the clerks tried to cum a Gouge Game on me. I
brandished my new sixteen dollar huntin-cased watch round
considerable, & as I was drest in my store clothes & had a lot
of sweet-scented wagon-grease on my hair, I am free to confess
that I thought I lookt putty gay. It never once struck me that
I lookt green. But up steps a clerk & axes me hadn't I better
put my watch in the Safe. "Sir," sez I, "that watch cost
sixteen dollars! Yes, Sir, every dollar of it! You can't cum
it over me, my boy! Not at all, Sir." I know'd what the clerk
wanted. He wanted that watch himself. He wanted to make
believe as tho he lockt it up in the safe, then he would set
the house a fire and pretend as tho the watch was destroyed
with the other property! But he caught a Tomarter when he got
hold of me. From Detroit I go West'ard hoe. On the cars was a
he-lookin female, with a green-cotton umbreller in one hand and
a handful of Reform tracks in the other. She sed every woman
should have a Spear. Them as didn't demand their Spears,
didn't know what was good for them. "What is my Spear?" she
axed, addressing the people in the cars. "Is it to stay at
home & darn stockins & be the ser-LAVE of a domineerin man? Or
is it my Spear to vote & speak & show myself the ekal of a man?
Is there a sister in these keers that has her proper Spear?"
Sayin which the eccentric female whirled her umbreller round
several times, & finally jabbed me in the weskit with it.
"I hav no objecshuns to your goin into the Spear bizness," sez
I, "but you'll please remember I ain't a pickeril. Don't Spear
me agin, if you please." She sot down.
At Ann Arbor, bein seized with a sudden faintness, I called for
a drop of suthin to drink. As I was stirrin the beverage up, a
pale-faced man in gold spectacles laid his hand upon my
shoulder, & sed, "Look not upon the wine when it is red!"
Sez I, "This ain't wine. This is Old Rye."
"'It stingeth like a Adder and biteth like a Sarpent!'" sed the
"I guess not," sed I, "when you put sugar into it. That's the
way I allers take mine."
"Have you sons grown up, sir?" the man axed.
"Wall," I replide, as I put myself outside my beverage, "my son
Artemus junior is goin on 18."
"Ain't you afraid if you set this example be4 him he'll cum to
a bad end?"
"He's cum to a waxed end already. He's learnin the shoe makin
bizness," I replide. "I guess we can both on us git along
without your assistance, Sir," I obsarved, as he was about to
open his mouth agin.
"This is a cold world!" sed the man.
"That's so. But you'll get into a warmer one by and by if you
don't mind your own bizness better." I was a little riled at
the feller, because I never take anythin only when I'm onwell.
I arterwards learned he was a temperance lecturer, and if he
can injuce men to stop settin their inards on fire with the
frightful licker which is retailed round the country, I shall
hartily rejoice. Better give men Prusick Assid to onct, than
to pizen 'em to deth by degrees.
At Albion I met with overwhelmin success. The celebrated
Albion Female Semenary is located here, & there air over 300
young ladies in the Institushun, pretty enough to eat without
seasonin or sass. The young ladies was very kind to me,
volunteerin to pin my handbills onto the backs of their
dresses. It was a surblime site to see over 300 young ladies
goin round with a advertisement of A. Ward's onparaleld show,
conspickusly posted onto their dresses.
They've got a Panick up this way and refooze to take Western
money. It never was worth much, and when western men, who
knows what it is, refooze to take their own money it is about
time other folks stopt handlin it. Banks are bustin every day,
goin up higher nor any balloon of which we hav any record.
These western bankers air a sweet & luvly set of men. I wish I
owned as good a house as some of 'em would break into!
Virtoo is its own reward.
1.8. THE OCTOROON.
It is with no ordernary feelins of Shagrin & indignashun that I
rite you these here lines. Sum of the hiest and most purest
feelins whitch actoate the humin hart has bin trampt onto. The
Amerycan flag has bin outrajed. Ive bin nussin a Adder in my
Boozum. The fax in the kase is these here:
A few weeks ago I left Baldinsville to go to N.Y. fur to git
out my flamin yeller hanbills fur the Summer kampane, & as I
was peroosin a noospaper on the kars a middel aged man in
speckterkuls kum & sot down beside onto me. He was drest in
black close & was appeerently as fine a man as ever was.
"A fine day, Sir," he did unto me strateway say.
"Middlin," sez I, not wishin to kommit myself, tho he peered to
be as fine a man as there was in the wurld--"It is a middlin
fine day, Square," I obsarved.
Sez he, "How fares the Ship of State in yure regine of
Sez I, "We don't hav no ships in our State--the kanawl is our
He pawsed a minit and then sed, "Air yu aware, Sir, that the
krisis is with us?"
"No," sez I, getting up and lookin under the seet, "whare is
"It's hear--it's everywhares," he sed.
Sez I, "Why how you tawk!" and I gut up agin & lookt all round.
"I must say, my fren," I continnered, as I resoomed my seet,
"that I kan't see nothin of no krisis myself." I felt sumwhat
alarmed, & arose & in a stentoewrian voice obsarved that if any
lady or gentleman in that there kar had a krisis consealed
abowt their persons they'd better projuce it to onct or suffer
the konsequences. Several individoouls snickered rite out,
while a putty little damsell rite behind me in a pinc gown made
the observashun, "He, he."
"Sit down, my fren," sed the man in black close, "yu
miskomprehend me. I meen that the perlittercal ellermunts are
orecast with black klouds, 4boden a friteful storm."
"Wall," replide I, "in regard to perlittercal ellerfunts I
don't know as how but what they is as good as enny other kind
of ellerfunts. But I maik bold to say thay is all a ornery set
& unpleasant to hav around. They air powerful hevy eaters &
take up a right smart chans of room, & besides thay air as ugly
and revenjeful, as a Cusscaroarus Injun, with 13 inches of corn
whisky in his stummick." The man in black close seemed to be
as fine a man as ever was in the wurld. He smilt & sed praps I
was rite, tho it was ellermunts instid of ellerfunts that he
was alludin to, & axed me what was my prinserpuls?
"I haint gut enny," sed I--"not a prinserpul. Ime in the show
biznis." The man in black close, I will hear obsarve, seemed
to be as fine a man as ever was in the wurld.
"But," sez he, "you hav feelins into you? You cimpathize with
the misfortunit, the loly & the hart-sick, don't you?" He bust
into teers and axed me ef I saw that yung lady in the seet out
yender, pintin to as slick a lookin gal as I ever seed.
Sed I, "2 be shure I see her--is she mutch sick?" The man in
black close was appeerently as fine a man as ever was in the
"Draw closter to me," sed the man in black close. "Let me git
my mowth fernenst yure ear. Hush--SHESE A OCTOROON!"
"No!" sez I, gittin up in a exsited manner, "yu don't say so!
How long has she bin in that way?"
"Frum her arliest infuncy," sed he.
"Wall, whot upon arth duz she doo it fur?" I inquired.
"She kan't help it," sed the man in black close. "It's the
brand of Kane."
"Wall, she'd better stop drinkin Kane's brandy," I replide.
"I sed the brand of Kane was upon her--not brandy, my fren.
Yure very obtoose."
I was konsiderbul riled at this. Sez I, "My gentle Sir, Ime a
nonresistanter as a ginral thing, & don't want to git up no
rows with nobuddy, but I kin nevertheles kave in enny man's hed
that calls me a obtoos," with whitch remarks I kommenst fur to
pull orf my extry garmints. "Cum on," sez I--"Time! hear's the
Beniki Boy fur ye!" & I darnced round like a poppit. He riz up
in his seet & axed my pardin--sed it was all a mistake--that I
was a good man, etsettery, & sow 4th, & we fixt it all up
pleasant. I must say the man in black close seamed to be as
fine a man as ever lived in the wurld. He sed a Octoroon was
the 8th of a negrow. He likewise statid that the female he was
travlin with was formurly a slave in Mississippy; that she'd
purchist her freedim & now wantid to purchiss the freedim of
her poor old muther, who (the man in black close obsarved) was
between 87 years of age & had to do all the cookin & washin for
25 hired men, whitch it was rapidly breakin down her konstitushun.
He sed he knowed the minit he gazed onto my klassic & beneverlunt
fase that I'd donate librully & axed me to go over & see her,
which I accordingly did. I sot down beside her and sed, "yure
Sarvant, Marm! How do yer git along?"
She bust in 2 teers & sed, "O Sur, I'm so retchid--I'm a poor
"So I larn. Yure rather more Roon than Octo, I take it," sed
I, fur I never seed a puttier gal in the hull endoorin time of
my life. She had on a More Antic Barsk & a Poplin Nubier with
Berage trimmins onto it, while her ise & kurls was enuff to
make a man jump into a mill pond without biddin his relashuns
good-by. I pittid the Octoroon from the inmost recusses of my
hart & hawled out 50 dollars kerslap, & told her to buy her old
muther as soon as posserbul. Sez she "kine sir mutch thanks."
She then lade her hed over onto my showlder & sed I was "old
rats." I was astonished to heer this obsarvation, which I
knowd was never used in refined society & I perlitely but
emfattercly shovd her hed away.
Sez I "Marm, I'm trooly sirprized."
Sez she, "git out. Yure the nicist old man Ive seen yit. Give
us anuther 50!" Had a seleck assortment of the most tremenjious
thunderbolts descended down onto me I couldn't hav bin more
takin aback. I jumpt up, but she ceased my coat tales & in a
wild voise cride, "No, Ile never desart you--let us fli together
to a furrin shoor!"
Sez I, "not mutch we wont," and I made a powerful effort to get
awa from her. "This is plade out," I sed, whereupon she jerkt
me back into the seet. "Leggo my coat, you scandaluss female,"
I roared, when she set up the most unarthly yellin and hollerin
you ever heerd. The passinjers & the gentlemunly konducter
rusht to the spot, & I don't think I ever experiunsed sich a
rumpus in the hull coarse of my natral dase. The man in black
close rusht up to me & sed "How dair yu insult my neece, you
horey heded vagabone. You base exhibbiter of low wax figgers--
yu woolf in sheep's close," & sow 4th.
I was konfoozed. I was a loonytick fur the time bein, and
offered 5 dollars reward to enny gentleman of good morrul
carracter who wood tell me whot my name was & what town I livd
into. The konducter kum to me & sed the insultid parties wood
settle for 50 dollars, which I immejitly hawled out, & agane
implored sumbuddy to state whare I was prinsipully, & if I
shood be thare a grate while my self ef things went on as
they'd bin goin fur sum time back. I then axed if there was
enny more Octoroons present, "becawz," sez I, "ef there is, let
um cum along, fur Ime in the Octoroon bizniss." I then threw
my specterculs out of the winder, smasht my hat wildly down
over my Ise, larfed highsterically & fell under a seet. I lay
there sum time & fell asleep. I dreamt Mrs. Ward & the twins
had bin carried orf by Ryenosserhosses & that Baldinsville had
bin captered by a army of Octoroons. When I awoked the lamps
was a burnin dimly. Sum of the passinjers was a snorein like
pawpusses & the little damsell in the pinc gown was a singin
"Oft in the Silly nite." The onprinsipuld Octoroon & the
miserbul man in black close was gone, & all of a suddent it
flasht ore my brane that I'de bin swindild.
1.9. EXPERIENCE AS AN EDITOR.
In the Ortum of 18-- my frend, the editor of the Baldinsville
Bugle, was obleged to leave perfeshernal dooties & go & dig his
taters, & he axed me to edit for him dooring his absence.
Accordingly I ground up his Shears and commenced. It didn't
take me a grate while to slash out copy enuff from the xchanges
(Perhaps five per cent. of the Western newspapers is original
matter relating to the immediate neighborhood, the rest is
composed of "telegraphs" and clippings from the "exchanges"--a
general term applied to those papers posted in exchange for
others, the accommodation being a mutual benefit.) for one
issoo, and I thawt I'd ride up to the next town on a little
Jaunt, to rest my Branes, which had bin severely rackt by my
mental efforts. (This is sorter Ironical.) So I went over to
the Rale Road offiss and axed the Sooprintendent for a pars.
"YOU a editer?" he axed, evijently on the pint of snickerin.
"Yes Sir," sez I; "don't I look poor enuff?"
"Just about," sed he, "but our Road can't pars you."
"No Sir--it can't."
"Becauz," sez I, lookin him full in the face with a Eagle eye,
"IT GOES SO DARNED SLOW IT CAN'T PARS ANYBODY!" Methinks I had
him thar. It's the slowest Rale Road in the West. With a
mortified air, he told me to git out of his offiss. I pittid
him and went.
About two years ago I arrove in Oberlin, Ohio. Oberlin is
whare the celebrated college is. In fack, Oberlin IS the
college, everything else in that air vicinity resolvin around
excloosivly for the benefit of that institution. It is a very
good college, too, & a grate many wurthy yung men go there
annooally to git intelleck into 'em. But its my onbiassed
'pinion that they go it rather too strong on Ethiopians at
Oberlin. But that's nun of my bisniss. I'm into the Show
bizness. Yit as a faithful historan I must menshun the fack
that on rainy dase white peple can't find their way threw the
streets without the gas is lit, there bein such a numerosity of
cullerd pussons in the town.
As I was sayin, I arroved at Oberlin, and called on Perfesser
Peck for the purpuss of skewerin Kolonial Hall to exhibit my
wax works and beests of Pray into. Kolonial Hall is in the
college and is used by the stujents to speak peaces and read
Sez Perfesser Peck, "Mister Ward, I don't know 'bout this
bizniss. What are your sentiments?"
Sez I, "I hain't got any."
"Good God!" cried the Perfesser, "did I understan you to say
you hav no sentiments!"
"Nary a sentiment!" sez I.
"Mister Ward, don't your blud bile at the thawt that three
million and a half of your culled brethren air a clankin their
chains in the South?"
Sez I, "Not a bile! Let 'em clank!"
He was about to continner his flowry speech when I put a
stopper on him. Sez I, "Perfesser Peck, A. Ward is my name &
Americky is my nashun; I'm allers the same, tho' humble is my
station, and I've bin in the show bizniss goin on 22 years.
The pint is, can I hav your Hall by payin a fair price? You
air full of sentiments. That's your lay, while I'm a exhibiter
of startlin curiosities. What d'ye say?"
"Mister Ward, you air endowed with a hily practical mind, and
while I deeply regret that you air devoid of sentiments I'll
let you hav the hall provided your exhibition is of a moral &
Sez I, "Tain't nothin shorter."
So I opened in Kolonial Hall, which was crowded every nite with
stujents, &c. Perfesser Finny gazed for hours at my Kangaroo,
but when that sagashus but onprincipled little cuss set up one
of his onarthly yellins and I proceeded to hosswhip him, the
Perfesser objected. "Suffer not your angry pashums to rise up
at the poor annimil's little excentrissities," said the
"Do you call such conduck as THOSE a little excentrissity?" I
"I do," sed he; sayin which he walked up to the cage and sez
he, "let's try moral swashun upon the poor creeter." So he put
his hand upon the Kangeroo's hed and sed, "poor little fellow--
poor little fellow--your master is very crooil, isn't he, my
untootered frend," when the Kangaroo, with a terrific yell,
grabd the Perfesser by the hand and cum very near chawin it
orf. It was amoozin to see the Perfesser jump up and scream
with pane. Sez I, "that's one of the poor little fellow's
Sez he, "Mister Ward, that's a dangerous quadruped. He's
totally depraved. I will retire and do my lasserated hand up in
a rag, and meanwhile I request you to meat out summery and
severe punishment to the vishus beest," I hosswhipt the little
cuss for upwards of 15 minutes. Guess I licked sum of his
excentrissity out of him.
Oberlin is a grate plase. The College opens with a prayer and
then the New York Tribune is read. A kolleckshun is then taken
up to buy overkoats with red horn buttons onto them for the
indignant cullured people of Kanady. I have to contribit
librally two the glowrius work, as they kawl it hear. I'm
kompelled by the Fackulty to reserve front seets in my show for
the cullered peple. At the Boardin House the cullered peple
sit at the first table. What they leeve is maid into hash for
the white peple. As I don't like the idee of eatin my vittles
with Ethiopians, I sit at the seckind table, and the
konsequence is I've devowered so much hash that my inards is in
a hily mixt up condishun. Fish bones hav maid their appearance
all over my boddy and pertater peelins air a springin up
through my hair. Howsever I don't mind it. I'm gittin along
well in a pecunery pint of view. The College has konfired upon
me the honery title of T.K., of which I'm suffishuntly prowd.
1.11. THE SHOWMAN'S COURTSHIP.
Thare was many affectin ties which made me hanker arter Betsy
Jane. Her father's farm jined our'n; their cows and our'n
squencht their thurst at the same spring; our old mares both
had stars in their forreds; the measles broke out in both
famerlies at nearly the same period; our parients (Betsy's and
mine) slept reglarly every Sunday in the same meetin house, and
the nabers used to obsarve, "How thick the Wards and Peasleys
air!" It was a surblime site, in the Spring of the year, to
see our sevral mothers (Betsy's and mine) with their gowns
pin'd up so thay couldn't sile 'em, affecshuntly Bilin sope
together & aboozin the nabers.
Altho I hankerd intensly arter the objeck of my affecshuns, I
darsunt tell her of the fires which was rajin in my manly
Buzzum. I'd try to do it but my tung would kerwollup up agin
the roof of my mowth & stick thar, like deth to a deseast
Afrikan or a country postmaster to his offiss, while my hart
whanged agin my ribs like a old fashioned wheat Flale agin a
'Twas a carm still nite in Joon. All nater was husht and nary
a zeffer disturbed the sereen silens. I sot with Betsy Jane on
the fense of her farther's pastur. We'd bin rompin threw the
woods, kullin flours & drivin the woodchuck from his Nativ Lair
(so to speak) with long sticks. Wall, we sot thar on the
fense, a swingin our feet two and fro, blushin as red as the
Baldinsville skool house when it was fust painted, and lookin
very simple, I make no doubt. My left arm was ockepied in
ballunsin myself on the fense, while my rite was woundid
luvinly round her waste.
I cleared my throat and tremblin sed, "Betsy, you're a
I thought that air was putty fine. I waitid to see what effeck
it would hav upon her. It evidently didn't fetch her, for she
up and sed,
"You're a sheep!"
Sez I, "Betsy, I think very muchly of you."
"I don't b'leeve a word you say--so there now cum!" with which
obsarvashun she hitched away from me.
"I wish thar was winders to my Sole," sed I, "so that you could
see some of my feelins. There's fire enuff in here," sed I,
strikin my buzzum with my fist, "to bile all the corn beef and
turnips in the naberhood. Versoovius and the Critter ain't a
She bowd her hed down and commenst chawin the strings to her
"Ar could you know the sleeplis nites I worry threw with on
your account, how vittles has seized to be attractiv to me &
how my lims has shrunk up, you wouldn't dowt me. Gase on this
wastin form and these 'ere sunken cheeks"--
I should have continnered on in this strane probly for sum
time, but unfortnitly I lost my ballunse and fell over into the
pastur ker smash, tearin my close and seveerly damagin myself
Betsy Jane sprung to my assistance in dubble quick time and
dragged me 4th. Then drawin herself up to her full hite she
"I won't listen to your noncents no longer. Jes say rite
strate out what you're drivin at. If you mean gettin hitched,
I considered that air enuff for all practicul purpusses, and we
proceeded immejitely to the parson's, & was made 1 that very
(Notiss to the Printer: Put some stars here.)
* * * * * *
I've parst threw many tryin ordeels sins then, but Betsy Jane
has bin troo as steel. By attendin strickly to bizniss I've
amarsed a handsum Pittance. No man on this footstool can rise &
git up & say I ever knowinly injered no man or wimmin folks,
while all agree that my Show is ekalled by few and exceld by
none, embracin as it does a wonderful colleckshun of livin wild
Beests of Pray, snaix in grate profushun, a endliss variety of
life-size wax figgers, & the only traned kangaroo in Ameriky--
the most amoozin little cuss ever introjuced to a discriminatin
1.12. THE CRISIS.
[This Oration was delivered before the commencement of the
On returnin to my humsted in Baldinsville, Injianny, resuntly,
my feller sitterzens extended a invite for me to norate to 'em
on the Krysis. I excepted & on larst Toosday nite I peared be4
a C of upturned faces in the Red Skool House. I spoke nearly
Baldinsvillins: Hearto4, as I hav numerously obsarved, I have
abstrained from having any sentimunts or principles, my
pollertics, like my religion, bein of a exceedin accommodatin
character. But the fack can't be no longer disgised that a
Krysis is onto us, & I feel it's my dooty to accept your invite
for one consecutive nite only. I spose the inflammertory
individooals who assisted in projucing this Krysis know what
good she will do, but I ain't 'shamed to state that I don't
scacely. But the Krysis is hear. She's bin hear for sevral
weeks, & Goodness nose how long she'll stay. But I venter to
assert that she's rippin things. She's knockt trade into a
cockt up hat and chaned Bizness of all kinds tighter nor I ever
chaned any of my livin wild Beests. Alow me to hear dygress &
stait that my Beests at presnt is as harmless as the newborn
Babe. Ladys & gentlemen needn't hav no fears on that pint. To
resoom--Altho I can't exactly see what good this Krysis can do,
I can very quick say what the origernal cawz of her is. The
origernal cawz is Our Afrikan Brother. I was into BARNIM'S
Moozeum down to New York the other day & saw that exsentric
Etheopian, the What Is It. Sez I, "Mister What Is It, you
folks air raisin thunder with this grate country. You're
gettin to be ruther more numeris than interestin. It is a pity
you coodent go orf sumwhares by yourselves, & be a nation of
What Is Its, tho' if you'll excoose me, I shooden't care about
marryin among you. No dowt you're exceedin charmin to hum, but
your stile of luvliness isn't adapted to this cold climit. He
larfed into my face, which rather Riled me, as I had been
perfeckly virtoous and respectable in my observashuns. So sez
I, turnin a leetle red in the face, I spect, "Do you hav the
unblushin impoodents to say you folks haven't raised a big mess
of thunder in this brite land, Mister What Is It?" He larfed
agin, wusser nor be4, whareupon I up and sez, "Go home, Sir, to
Afriky's burnin shores & taik all the other What Is Its along
with you. Don't think we can spair your interestin picters.
You What Is Its air on the pint of smashin up the gratest
Guv'ment ever erected by man, & you actooally hav the owdassity
to larf about it. Go home, you low cuss!"
I was workt up to a high pitch, & I proceeded to a Restorator &
cooled orf with some little fishes biled in ile--I b'leeve thay
call 'em sardeens.
Feller Sitterzuns, the Afrikan may be Our Brother. Sevral hily
respectyble gentlemen, and sum talentid females tell us so, &
fur argyment's sake I mite be injooced to grant it, tho' I
don't beleeve it myself. But the Afrikan isn't our sister &
our wife & our uncle. He isn't sevral of our brothers & all
our fust wife's relashuns. He isn't our grandfather, and our
grate grandfather, and our Aunt in the country. Scacely. &
yit numeris persons would have us think so. It's troo he runs
Congress & sevral other public grosserys, but then he ain't
everybody & everybody else likewise. [Notiss to bizness men of
VANITY FAIR: Extry charg fur this larst remark. It's a goak.
But we've got the Afrikan, or ruther he's got us, & now what
air we going to do about it? He's a orful noosanse. Praps he
isn't to blame fur it. Praps he was creatid fur sum wise
purpuss, like the measles and New Englan Rum, but it's mity
hard to see it. At any rate he's no good here, & as I statid
to Mister What Is It, it's a pity he cooden't go orf sumwhares
quietly by hisself, whare he cood wear red weskits & speckled
neckties, & gratterfy his ambishun in varis interestin wase,
without havin a eternal fuss kickt up about him.
Praps I'm bearin down too hard upon Cuffy. Cum to think on it,
I am. He woodn't be sich a infernal noosanse if white peple
would let him alone. He mite indeed be interestin. And now I
think of it, why can't the white peple let him alone. What's
the good of continnerly stirrin him up with a ten-foot pole?
He isn't the sweetest kind of Perfoomery when in a natral
Feller Sitterzens, the Union's in danger. The black devil
Disunion is trooly here, starein us all squarely in the face!
We must drive him back. Shall we make a 2nd Mexico of
ourselves? Shall we sell our birthrite for a mess of potash?
Shall one brother put the knife to the throat of anuther
brother? Shall we mix our whisky with each other's blud?
Shall the star spangled Banner be cut up into dishcloths?
Standin here in this here Skoolhouse, upon my nativ shor so to
speak, I anser--Nary!
Oh you fellers who air raisin this row, & who in the fust place
startid it, I'm 'shamed of you. The Showman blushes for you,
from his boots to the topmost hair upon his wenerable hed.
Feller Sitterzens: I am in the Sheer & Yeller leaf. I shall
peg out 1 of these dase. But while I do stop here I shall stay
in the Union. I know not what the supervizers of Baldinsville
may conclude to do, but for one, I shall stand by the Stars &
Stripes. Under no circumstances whatsomever will I sesesh.
Let every Stait in the Union sesesh & let Palmetter flags flote
thicker nor shirts on Square Baxter's close line, still will I
stick to the good old flag. The country may go to the devil,
but I won't! And next Summer when I start out on my campane
with my Show, wharever I pitch my little tent, you shall see
floatin prowdly from the center pole thereof the Amerikan Flag,
with nary a star wiped out, nary a stripe less, but the same
old flag that has allers flotid thar! & the price of admishun
will be the same it allers was--15 cents, children half price.
Feller Sitterzens, I am dun. Accordinly I squatted.
1.13. WAX FIGURES VS. SHAKESPEARE.
ONTO THE WING--1859.
I take my Pen in hand to inform yu that I'm in good helth and
trust these few lines will find yu injoyin the same blessins.
I wood also state that I'm now on the summir kampane. As the
ime erflote, ime erflote
On the Swift rollin tied
An the Rovir is free.
Bizness is scacely middlin, but Sirs I manige to pay for my
foode and raiment puncktooally and without no grumblin. The
barked arrers of slandur has bin leviled at the undersined
moren onct sins heze bin into the show bizness, but I make bold
to say no man on this footstule kan troothfully say I ever
ronged him or eny of his folks. I'm travelin with a tent,
which is better nor hirin hauls. My show konsists of a serious
of wax works, snakes, a paneramy kalled a Grand Movin Diarea of
the War in the Crymear, komic songs and the Cangeroo, which
larst little cuss continners to konduct hisself in the most
outrajus stile. I started out with the idear of makin my show
a grate Moral Entertainment, but I'm kompeled to sware so much
at that air infurnal Kangeroo that I'm frade this desine will
be flustratid to some extent. And while speakin of morrality,
remines me that sum folks turn up their nosis at shows like
mine, sayin they is low and not fit to be patrernized by
peplpeple of high degree. Sirs, I manetane that this is
infernul nonsense. I manetane that wax figgers is more
elevatin than awl the plays ever wroten. Take Shakespeer for
instunse. Peple think heze grate things, but I kontend heze
quite the reverse to the kontrary. What sort of sense is thare
to King Leer, who goze round cussin his darters, chawin hay and
throin straw at folks, and larfin like a silly old koot and
makin a ass of hisself ginerally? Thare's Mrs. Mackbeth--sheze
a nise kind of woomon to have round ain't she, a puttin old
Mack, her husband, up to slayin Dunkan with a cheeze knife,
while heze payin a frendly visit to their house. O its hily
morral, I spoze, when she larfs wildly and sez, "gin me the
daggurs--Ile let his bowels out," or wurds to that effeck--I
say, this is awl, strickly, propper I spoze? That Jack
Fawlstarf is likewise a immoral old cuss, take him how ye may,
and Hamlick is as crazy as a loon. Thare's Richurd the Three,
peple think heze grate things, but I look upon him in the lite
of a monkster. He kills everybody he takes a noshun to in kold
blud, and then goze to sleep in his tent. Bimeby he wakes up
and yells for a hoss so he kan go orf and kill some more peple.
If he isent a fit spesserman for the gallers then I shood like
to know whare you find um. Thare's Iargo who is more ornery
nor pizun. See how shameful he treated that hily respecterble
injun gentlemun, Mister Otheller, makin him for to beleeve his
wife was too thick with Casheo. Obsarve how Iargo got Casheo
drunk as a biled owl on corn whiskey in order to karry out his
sneekin desines. See how he wurks Mister Otheller's feelins up
so that he goze and makes poor Desdemony swaller a piller which
cawses her deth. But I must stop. At sum futur time I shall
continner my remarks on the drammer in which I shall show the
varst supeeriority of wax figgers and snakes over theater
plays, in a interlectooal pint of view.
Very Respectively yures,
A WARD, T.K.
1.14. AMONG THE FREE LOVERS. (Some queer people, calling
themselves "Free Lovers," and possessing very original ideas
about life and morality, established themselves at Berlin
Heights, in Ohio, a few years since. Public opinion was
resistlessly against them, however, and the association was
Some years ago I pitched my tent and onfurled my banner to the
breeze, in Berlin Hites, Ohio. I had hearn that Berlin Hites
was ockepied by a extensive seck called Free Lovers, who
beleeved in affinertys and sich, goin back on their domestic
ties without no hesitation whatsomever. They was likewise
spirit rappers and high presher reformers on gineral
principles. If I can improve these 'ere misgided peple by
showin them my onparalleld show at the usual low price of
admitants, methunk, I shell not hav lived in vane. But
bitterly did I cuss the day I ever sot foot in the retchid
place. I sot up my tent in a field near the Love Cure, as they
called it, and bimeby the free lovers begun for to congregate
around the door. A onreer set I have never sawn. The men's
faces was all covered with hare and they lookt half-starved to
deth. They didn't wear no weskuts for the purpose (as they
sed) of allowin the free air of hevun to blow onto their
boozums. Their pockets was filled with tracks and pamplits and
they was bare-footed. They sed the Postles didn't wear boots,
& why should they? That was their stile of argyment. The
wimin was wuss than the men. They wore trowsis, short gownds,
straw hats with green ribbins, and all carried bloo cotton
Presently a perfeckly orful lookin female presented herself at
the door. Her gownd was skanderlusly short and her trowsis was
shameful to behold.
She eyed me over very sharp, and then startin back she sed, in
a wild voice:
"Ah, can it be?"
"Which?" sed I.
"Yes, 'tis troo, O 'tis troo!"
"15 cents, marm," I anserd.
She bust out a cryin & sed:
"And so I hav found you at larst--at larst, O at larst!"
"Yes," I anserd, "you hav found me at larst, and you would hav
found me at fust, if you had cum sooner."
She grabd me vilently by the coat collar, and brandishin her
umbreller wildly round, exclaimed:
"Air you a man?"
Sez I, "I think I air, but if you doubt it, you can address
Mrs. A. Ward, Baldinsville, Injianny, postage pade, & she will
probly giv you the desired informashun."
"Then thou ist what the cold world calls marrid?"
"Madam, I istest!"
The exsentric female then clutched me franticly by the arm and
"You air mine, O you air mine!"
"Scacely," I sed, endeverin to git loose from her. But she
clung to me and sed:
"You air my Affinerty!"
"What upon arth is that?" I shouted.
"Dost thou not know?"
"No, I dostent!"
"Listin man, & I'll tell ye!" sed the strange female; "for
years I hav yearned for thee. I knowd thou wast in the world,
sumwhares, tho I didn't know whare. My hart sed he would cum
and I took courage. He HAS cum--he's here--you air him--you
air my Affinerty! O 'tis too mutch! too mutch!" and she sobbed
"Yes," I anserd, "I think it is a darn site too mutch!"
"Hast thou not yearned for me?" she yelled, ringin her hands
like a female play acter.
"Not a yearn!" I bellerd at the top of my voice, throwin her
away from me.
The free lovers who was standin round obsarvin the scene
commenst for to holler "shame" "beast," etsettery, etsettery.
I was very mutch riled, and fortifyin myself with a spare tent
stake, I addrest them as follers: "You pussylanermus critters,
go way from me and take this retchid woman with you. I'm a
law-abidin man, and beleeve in good, old-fashioned institutions.
I am marrid & my orfsprings resemble me if I am a showman! I
think your Affinity bizniss is cussed noncents, besides bein
outrajusly wicked. Why don't you behave desunt like other
folks? Go to work and earn a honist livin and not stay round
here in this lazy, shiftless way, pizenin the moral atmosphere
with your pestifrous ideas! You wimin folks go back to your
lawful husbands if you've got any, and take orf them skanderlous
gownds and trowsis, and dress respectful like other wimin. You
men folks, cut orf them pirattercal whiskers, burn up them
infurnel pamplits, put sum weskuts on, go to work choppin wood,
splittin fence rales, or tillin the sile." I pored 4th my
indignashun in this way till I got out of breth, when I stopt.
I shant go to Berlin Hites agin, not if I live to be as old
1.15. A VISIT TO BRIGHAM YOUNG.
It is now goin on 2 (too) yeres, as I very well remember, since
I crossed the Planes for Kaliforny, the Brite land of Jold.
While crossin the Planes all so bold I fell in with sum noble
red men of the forest (N.B. This is rote Sarcasticul. Injins
is Pizin, whar ever found,) which thay Sed I was their Brother,
& wanted for to smoke the Calomel of Peace with me. Thay then
stole my jerkt beef, blankits, etsettery, skalpt my orgin
grinder & scooted with a Wild Hoop. Durin the Cheaf's techin
speech he sed he shood meet me in the Happy Huntin Grounds. If
he duz thare will be a fite. But enuff of this ere. "Reven
Noose Muttons," as our skoolmaster, who has got Talent into
him, cussycally obsarve.
I arrove at Salt Lake in doo time. At Camp Scott there was a
lot of U.S. sogers, hosstensibly sent out there to smash the
Mormons but really to eat Salt vittles & play poker & other
beautiful but sumwhat onsartin games. I got acquainted with
sum of the officers. Thay lookt putty scrumpshus in their
Bloo coats with brass buttings onto um & ware very talented
drinkers, but so fur as fitin is consarned I'd willingly put my
wax figgers agin the hull party.
My desire was to exhibit my grate show in Salt Lake City, so I
called on Brigham Yung, the grate mogull amung the mormins and
axed his permishun to pitch my tent and onfurl my banner to the
jentle breezis. He lookt at me in a austeer manner for a few
minits, and sed:
"Do you bleeve in Solomon, Saint Paul, the immaculateness of
the Mormin Church and the Latter-day Revelashuns?"
Sez I, "I'm on it!" I make it a pint to git along plesunt, tho
I didn't know what under the Son the old feller was drivin at.
He sed I mite show.
"You air a marrid man, Mister Yung, I bleeve?" sez I, preparin
to rite him sum free parsis.
"I hev eighty wives, Mister Ward. I sertinly am married."
"How do you like it as far as you hev got?" sed I.
He sed "middlin," and axed me wouldn't I like to see his
famerly, to which I replide that I wouldn't mine minglin with
the fair Seck & Barskin in the winnin smiles of his interestin
wives. He accordingly tuk me to his Scareum. The house is
powerful big & in a exceedin large room was his wives &
children, which larst was squawkin and hollerin enuff to take
the roof rite orf the house. The wimin was of all sizes and
ages. Sum was pretty & sum was Plane--sum was helthy and sum
was on the Wayne--which is verses, tho sich was not my
intentions, as I don't 'prove of puttin verses in Proze
rittins, tho ef occashun requires I can Jerk a Poim ekal to any
of them Atlantic Munthly fellers.
"My wives, Mister Ward," sed Yung.
"Your sarvant, marms," sed I, as I sot down in a cheer which a
red-heded female brawt me.
"Besides these wives you see here, Mister Ward," sed Yung, "I
hav eighty more in varis parts of this consecrated land which
air Sealed to me."
"Which?" sez I, gittin up & starin at him.
"Sealed, Sir! sealed."
"Whare bowts?" sez I.
"I sed, Sir, that they was sealed!" He spoke in a traggerdy
"Will they probly continner on in that stile to any grate
extent, Sir?" I axed.
"Sir," sed he, turnin as red as a biled beet, "don't you know
that the rules of our Church is that I, the Profit, may hev as
meny wives as I wants?"
"Jes so," I sed. "You are old pie, ain't you?"
"Them as is Sealed to me--that is to say, to be mine when I
wants um--air at present my sperretooul wives," sed Mister
"Long may thay wave!" sez I, seein I shood git into a scrape ef
I didn't look out.
In a privit conversashun with Brigham I learnt the follerin
fax: It takes him six weeks to kiss his wives. He don't do it
only onct a yere & sez it is wuss nor cleanin house. He don't
pretend to know his children, thare is so many of um, tho they
all know him. He sez about every child he meats call him Par,
& he takes it for grantid it is so. His wives air very
expensiv. Thay allers want suthin & ef he don't buy it for um
thay set the house in a uproar. He sez he don't have a minit's
peace. His wives fite amung their selves so much that he has
bilt a fitin room for thare speshul benefit, & when too of 'em
get into a row he has em turnd loose into that place, whare the
dispoot is settled accordin to the rules of the London prize
ring. Sum times thay abooz hisself individooally. Thay hev
pulled the most of his hair out at the roots & he wares meny a
horrible scar upon his body, inflicted with mop-handles,
broom-sticks, and sich. Occashunly they git mad & scald him
with bilin hot water. When he got eny waze cranky thay'd shut
him up in a dark closit, previsly whippin him arter the stile
of muthers when thare orfsprings git onruly. Sumptimes when he
went in swimmin thay'd go to the banks of the Lake & steal all
his close, thereby compellin him to sneek home by a sircootius
rowt, drest in the Skanderlus stile of the Greek Slaiv. "I
find that the keers of a marrid life way hevy onto me," sed the
Profit, "& sumtimes I wish I'd remaned singel." I left the
Profit and startid for the tavern whare I put up to. On my way
I was overtuk by a lurge krowd of Mormons, which they
surroundid me & statid that they were goin into the Show free.
"Wall," sez I, "ef I find a individooal who is goin round
lettin folks into his show free, I'll let you know."
"We've had a Revelashun biddin us go into A. Wards's Show
without payin nothin!" thay showtid.
"Yes," hollered a lot of femaile Mormonesses, ceasin me by the
cote tales & swingin me round very rapid, "we're all goin in
free! So sez the Revelashun!"
"What's Old Revelashun got to do with my show?" sez I, gittin
putty rily. "Tell Mister Revelashun," sed I, drawin myself up
to my full hite and lookin round upon the ornery krowd with a
prowd & defiant mean, "tell Mister Revelashun to mind his own
bizness, subject only to the Konstitushun of the United
"Oh now let us in, that's a sweet man," sed several femails,
puttin thare arms round me in luvin style. "Become 1 of us.
Becum a Preest & hav wives Sealed to you."
"Not a Seal!" sez I, startin back in horror at the idee.
"Oh stay, Sir, stay," sed a tell, gawnt femaile, ore whoos hed
37 summirs must hev parsd, "stay, & I'll be your Jentle
"Not ef I know it, you won't," sez I. "Awa you skanderlus
femaile, awa! Go & be a Nunnery!" THAT'S WHAT I SED, JES SO.
"& I," sed a fat chunky femaile, who must hev wade more than
too hundred lbs, "I will be your sweet gidin Star!"
Sez I, "Ile bet two dollers and a half you won't!" Whare ear I
may Rome Ile still be troo 2 thee, Oh Betsy Jane! [N.B. Betsy
Jane is my wife's Sir naime.]
"Wiltist thou not tarry here in the promist Land?" sed several
of the miserabil critters.
"Ile see you all essenshally cussed be4 I wiltist!" roared I,
as mad as I cood be at thare infernul noncents. I girdid up my
Lions & fled the Seen. I packt up my duds & Left Salt Lake,
which is a 2nd Soddum & Germorrer, inhabitid by as theavin &
onprincipled a set of retchis as ever drew Breth in eny spot on
1.16. SCANDALOUS DOINGS AT PITTSBURG.
Hear in the Buzzum of my famerly I am enjoyin myself, at peas
with awl mankind and the wimin folks likewise. I go down to
the villige ockashunly and take a little old Rye fur the
stummuck's sake, but I avoyd spiritus lickers as a ginral
thing. No man evir seen me intossikated but onct, and that air
happind in Pittsburg. A parsel of ornery cusses in that luvly
sity bustid inter the hawl durin the nite and aboosed my wax
works shaimful. I didn't obsarve the outrajus transacshuns
ontil the next evening when the peple begun for to kongregate.
Suddinly they kommensed fur to larf and holler in a boysterious
stile. Sez I good peple what's up? Sez thay them's grate wax
wurks, isn't they, old man. I immejitly looked up ter whare
the wax works was, and my blud biles as I think of the site
which then met my Gase. I hope two be dodrabbertid (Dod-rabit
is an American euphemism for a profane expression which is
quite as common in this country as on the other side of the
Atlantic.) if them afoursed raskals hadent gone and put a old
kaved in hat onter George Washington's hed and shuved a short
black klay pipe inter his mouth. His noze thay had painted red
and his trowsis legs thay had shuved inside his butes. My wax
figger of Napoleon Boneypart was likewise mawltreatid. His
sword wus danglin tween his legs, and his cockd hat was drawn
klean down over his ize, and he was plased in a stoopin
posishun lookin zactly as tho he was as drunk as a biled owl.
Ginral Taylor was a standin on his hed and Wingfield Skott's
koat tales ware pind over his hed and his trowsis ware
kompleetly torn orf frum hisself. My wax works representin the
Lord's Last Supper was likewise aboozed. Three of the Postles
ware under the table and two of um had on old tarpawlin hats
and raggid pee jackits and ware smokin pipes. Judus Iskarriot
had on a cocked hat and was appeerently drinkin, as a Bottle of
whisky sot befour him. This ere specktercal was too much fur
me. I klosed the show and then drowndid my sorrers in the
1.17. THE CENSUS.
The Sences taker in our town bein taken sick, he deppertised me
to go out for him one day, and as he was too ill to giv me
informashun how to perceed, I was consekently compelled to go
it blind. Sittin down by the road side, I drawd up the
follerin list of questions, which I proposed to ax the peple I
Wat's your age?
Whar was you born?
Air you marrid, and if so how do you like it?
How many children hav you, and do they resemble you or your
Did you ever hav the measels, and if so how many?
Hav you a twin brother several years older than yourself?
How many parents hav you?
Do you read Watt's Hims regler?
Do you use boughten tobacker?
(I.e., that which has been bought. A very common word in the
interior of New England and New York. It is applied to
articles purchased from the shops, to distinguish them from
articles of home manufacture. Many farmers make their own
sugar from the maple-tree, and their coffee from barley or rye.
West India sugar or coffee is then called "boughten sugar," &c.
"This is a home-made carpet; that a 'boughten' one," i.e., one
bought at a shop. In the North of England, baker's bread is
called "bought bread."
Wat's your fitin wate?
Air you trubeld with biles?
How does your meresham culler?
State whether you air blind, deaf, idiotic, or got the
Do you know any Opry singers, and if so how much do they owe
What's the average of virtoo on the Ery Canawl?
If 4 barrils of Emptins pored onto a barn floor will kiver
it, how many plase can Dion Bourcicault write in a year?
[Emptyings, pronounced "emptins," the lees of beer, cider, &c.;
yeast or anything by which bread is leavened:-
"'Twill take more emptins, by a long chalk, than this new
To give such heavy cakes as these a start, I tell ye what."
"The Biglow Papers."]
Is Beans a regler article of diet in your family?
How many chickins hav you, on foot and in the shell?
Air you aware that Injianny whisky is used in New York
shootin galrys instid of pistols, and that it shoots furthest?
Was you ever at Niagry Falls?
Was you ever in the Penitentiary?
State how much pork, impendin crysis, Dutch cheeze, popler
suvrinty, standard poetry, children's strainers, slave code,
catnip, red flannel, ancient history, pickled tomaters, old
junk, perfoomery, coal ile, liberty, hoop skirt, &c., you hav
But it didn't work. I got into a row at the fust house I stopt
to, with some old maids. Disbelieven the ansers they giv in
regard to their ages, I endevered to open their mouths and look
at their teeth, same as they do with hosses, but they floo into
a vilent rage and tackled me with brooms and sich. Takin the
sences requires experiunse, like any other bizniss.
1.18. AN HONEST LIVING.
I was on my way from the mines to San Francisco, with a light
puss and a hevy hart. You'd scacely hav recognized my fair
form, so kiverd was I with dust. Bimeby I met Old Poodles, the
all-firdist gambler in the country. He was afoot and in his
shirt-sleeves, and was in a wuss larther nor any race hoss I
ever saw. ("All-fired," enormous, excessive, a low Americanism,
not improbably a puritanical corruption of "hell-fired,"
designed to have the virtue of an oath without offending polite
"Whither goist thow, sweet nimp?" sez I, in a play-actin tone.
"To the mines, Sir," he unto me did say, "to the mines, TO EARN
AN HONEST LIVIN."
Thinks I that air aint very cool, I guess, and druv on.
1.19. THE PRESS.
I want the editers to cum to my Show free as the flours of May,
but I don't want um to ride a free hoss to deth. Thare is
times when Patience seizes to be virtoous. I had "in my mind's
eye, Hurrashio" (cotashun from Hamlick) sum editers in a sertin
town which shall be nameless, who air Both sneakin and ornery.
They cum in krowds to my Show and then axt me ten sents a line
for Puffs. I objectid to payin, but they sed ef I didn't down
with the dust thay'd wipe my Show from the face of the earth!
Thay sed the Press was the Arkymedian Leaver which moved the
wurld. I put up to their extorshuns until thay'd bled me so I
was a meer shadder, and left in disgust.
It was in a surtin town in Virginny, the Muther of Presidents &
things, that I was shaimfully aboozed by a editor in human
form. He set my Show up steep & kalled me the urbane &
gentlemunly manajer, but when I, fur the purpuss of showin fair
play all around, went to anuther offiss to git my hanbills
printed, what duz this pussillanermus editer do but change his
toon & abooze me like a Injun. He sed my wax wurks was a
humbug & called me a horey-heded itinerent vagabone. I thort
at fust Ide pollish him orf ar-lar the Beneshy Boy, but on
reflectin that he cood pollish me much wuss in his paper, I giv
it up. & I wood here take occashun to advise peple when thay
run agin, as thay sumtimes will, these miserable papers, to not
pay no attenshun to um. Abuv all, don't assault a editer of
this kind. It only gives him a notorosity, which is jest what
he wants, & don't do you no more good than it wood to jump into
enny other mud puddle. Editers are generally fine men, but
there must be black sheep in every flock.
1.20. EDWIN FOREST AS OTHELLO.
Durin a recent visit to New York the undersined went to see
Edwin Forrest. As I'm into the moral show bizness myself, I
ginrally go to Barnum's moral Museum, where only moral peple
air admitted, pertickly on Wednesday arternoons. But this time
I thot I'd go & see Ed. Ed has bin actin out on the stage for
many years. There is varis 'pinions about his actin,
Englishmen ginrally bleevin that he is far superior to Mister
Macready; but on one pint all agree, & that is that Ed draws
like a six ox team. Ed was actin at Niblo's Garding, which
looks considerable more like a parster, than a garding, but let
that pars. I sot down in the pit, took out my spectacles &
commenced peroosin the evenin's bill. The awjince was all-fired
large & the boxes was full of the elitty of New York. Several
opery glasses was leveld at me by Gothum's farest darters, but
I didn't let on as tho I noticed it, tho mebby I did take out
my sixteen-dollar silver watch & brandish it round more than was
necessary. But the best of us has our weaknesses & if a man has
gewelry let him show it. As I was peroosin the bill a grave
young man who sot near me axed me if I'd ever seen Forrest dance
the Essence of Old Virginny? "He's immense in that," sed the
young man. "He also does a fair champion jig," the young man
continnerd, "but his Big Thing is the Essence of Old Virginny."
Sez I, "Fair youth, do you know what I'd do with you if you was
"No," sez he.
"Wall," sez I, "I'd appint your funeral tomorrow arternoon, &
the KORPS SHOULD BE READY! You're too smart to live on this
yearth." He didn't try any more of his capers on me. But
another pussylanermus individooul, in a red vest & patent
lether boots, told me his name was Bill Astor & axed me to lend
him 50 cents till early in the mornin. I told him I'd probly
send it round to him before he retired to his virtoous couch,
but if I didn't he might look for it next fall, as soon as I
cut my corn. The Orchestry was now fiddling with all their
might, & as the peple didn't understan anything about it they
applaudid versifrussly. Presently, Old Ed cum out. The play
was Otheller or More of Veniss. Otheller was writ by Wm.
Shakspeer. The scene is laid in Veniss. Otheller was a likely
man & was a ginral in the Veniss army. He eloped with Desdemony,
a darter of the Hon. Mister Brabantio, who represented one of
the back districks in the Veneshun legislater. Old Brabantio
was as mad as thunder at this & tore round considerable, but
finally cooled down, tellin Otheller, howsever, that Desdemony
had come it over her Par, & that he had better look out or
she'd come it over him likewise. Mr. & Mrs. Otheller git along
very comfortable like for a spell. She is sweet-tempered and
luvin--a nice, sensible female, never goin in for he-female
conventions, green cotton umbrellers, and pickled beats.
Otheller is a good provider and thinks all the world of his
wife. She has a lazy time of it, the hired girl doin all the
cookin and washin. Desdemony, in fact, don't have to git the
water to wash her own hands with. But a low cuss named Iago,
who I bleeve wants to git Otheller out of his snug government
birth, now goes to work & upsets the Otheller family in the
most outrajus stile. Iago falls in with a brainless youth
named Roderigo & wins all his money at poker. (Iago allers
played foul.) He thus got money enuff to carry out his
onprincipled skeem. Mike Cassio, a Irishman, is selected as a
tool by Iago. Mike was a clever feller & orficer in Otheller's
army. He liked his tods too well, howsever, & they floored
him, as they have many other promisin young men. Iago injuces
Mike to drink with him, Iago slyly throwin his whiskey over his
shoulder. Mike gits as drunk as a biled owl & allows that he
can lick a yard full of the Veneshun fancy before breakfast,
without sweatin a hair. He meets Roderigo & proceeds for to
smash him. A feller named Montano undertakes to slap Cassio,
when that infatooated person runs his sword into him. That
miserble man, Iago, pretents to be very sorry to see Mike
conduck hisself in this way & undertakes to smooth the thing
over to Otheller, who rushes in with a drawn sword & wants to
know what's up. Iago cunningly tells his story, & Otheller
tells Mike that he thinks a good deal of him, but he can't
train no more in his regiment. Desdemony sympathizes with poor
Mike & interceeds for him with Otheller. Iago makes him bleeve
she does this because she thinks more of Mike than she does of
hisself. Otheller swallers Iago's lyin tail & goes to makin a
noosence of hisself ginrally. He worries poor Desdemony
terrible by his vile insinuations, & finally smothers her to
deth with a piller. Mrs. Iago cums in just as Otheller has
finished the fowl deed & givs him fits right & left, showin him
that he has bin orfully gulled by her miserble cuss of a
husband. Iago cums in, & his wife commences rakin him down
also, when he stabs her. Otheller jaws him a spell & then cuts
a small hole in his stummick with his sword. Iago pints to
Desdemony's deth bed & goes orf with a sardonic smile onto his
countenance. Otheller tells the peple that he has dun the
state sum service & they know it; axes them to do as fair a
thing as they can for him under the circumstances, & kills
hisself with a fish-knife, which is the most sensible thing he
can do. This is a breef skedule of the synopsis of the play.
Edwin Forrest is a grate acter. I thot I saw Otheller before
me all the time he was actin, & when the curtin fell, I found
my spectacles was still mistened with salt-water, which had run
from my eyes while poor Desdemony was dyin. Betsy Jane--Betsy
Jane! let us pray that our domestic bliss may never be busted
up by a Iago!
Edwin Forrest makes money actin out on the stage. He gits
five-hundred dollars a nite & his board & washin. I wish I had
such a Forrest in my Garding!
1.21. THE SHOW BUSINESS AND POPULAR LECTURES.
I feel that the Show Bizniss, which Ive stroven to ornyment, is
bein usurpt by Poplar Lecturs, as thay air kalled, tho in my
pinion thay air poplar humbugs. Individoouls, who git hard up,
embark in the lecturin biznis. They cram theirselves with
hi-sounding frazis, frizzle up their hare, git trustid for a soot
of black close & cum out to lectur at 50 dollers a pop. Thay
aint over stockt with branes, but thay hav brass enuff to make
suffishunt kittles to bile all the sope that will be required
by the ensooin sixteen ginerashuns. Peple flock to heer um in
krowds. The men go becawz its poplar & the wimin folks go to
see what other wimin folks have on. When its over the lecturer
goze & ragales hisself with oysters and sich, while the peple
say, "What a charmin lectur that air was," etsettery,
etsettery, when 9 out of 10 of um don't have no moore idee of
what the lecturer sed than my kangeroo has of the sevunth speer
of hevun. Thare's moore infurmashun to be gut out of a well
conductid noospaper--price 3 sents--than thare is out of ten
poplar lectures at 25 or 50 dollers a pop, as the kase may be.
These same peple, bare in mind, stick up their nosis at moral
wax figgers & sagashus beests. Thay say these things is low.
Gents, it greeves my hart in my old age, when I'm in "the Sheer
& yeller leef" (to cote frum my Irish frend Mister McBeth) to
see that the Show biznis is pritty much plade out; howsomever I
shall chance it agane in the Spring.
1.22. WOMAN'S RIGHTS.
I pitcht my tent in a small town in Injianny one day last
seeson, & while I was standin at the dore takin money, a
deppytashun of ladies came up & sed they wos members of the
Bunkumville Female Moral Reformin & Wimin's Rite's Associashun,
and thay axed me if they cood go in without payin.
"Not exactly," sez I, "but you can pay without goin in."
"Dew you know who we air?" sed one of the wimin--a tall and
feroshus lookin critter, with a blew kotton umbreller under her
arm--"do you know who we air, Sir?"
"My impreshun is," sed I, "from a kersery view, that you air
"We air, Sur," sed the feroshus woman--"we belong to a Society
whitch beleeves wimin has rites--whitch beleeves in razin her
to her proper speer--whitch beleeves she is indowed with as
much intelleck as man is--whitch beleeves she is trampled on
and aboozed--& who will resist henso4th & forever the
incroachments of proud & domineering men."
Durin her discourse, the exsentric female grabed me by the
coat-kollor & was swinging her umbreller wildly over my hed.
"I hope, marm," sez I, starting back, "that your intensions is
honorable! I'm a lone man hear in a strange place. Besides,
I've a wife to hum."
"Yes," cried the female, "& she's a slave! Doth she never
dream of freedom--doth she never think of throwin off the yoke
of tyrrinny & thinkin & votin for herself?--Doth she never
think of these here things?"
"Not bein a natral born fool," sed I, by this time a little
riled, "I kin safely say that she dothunt."
"Oh whot--whot!" screamed the female, swingin her umbreller in
the air.--"O, what is the price that woman pays for her
"I don't know," sez I; "the price of my show is 15 cents pur
"& can't our Soisety go in free?" asked the female.
"Not if I know it," sed I.
"Crooil, crooil man!" she cried, & bust into teers.
"Won't you let my darter in?" sed anuther of the exsentric
wimin, taken me afeckshunitely by the hand. "O, please let my
darter in,--shee's a sweet gushin child of natur."
"Let her gush!" roared I, as mad as I cood stick at their
tarnal nonsense; "let her gush!" Where upon they all sprung
back with the simultanious observashun that I was a Beest.
"My female friends," sed I, "be4 you leeve, I've a few remarks
to remark; wa them well. The female woman is one of the
greatest institooshuns of which this land can boste. Its
onpossible to get along without her. Had there bin no female
wimin in the world, I should scarcely be here with my
unparalleld show on this very occashun. She is good in
sickness--good in wellness--good all the time. O woman,
woman!" I cried, my feelins worked up to a hi poetick pitch,
"you air a angle when you behave yourself; but when you take
off your proper appairel & (mettyforically speaken)--get into
pantyloons--when you desert your firesides, & with your heds
full of wimin's rites noshuns go round like roarin lions,
seekin whom you may devour someboddy--in short, when you
undertake to play the man, you play the devil and air an
emfatic noosance. My female friends," I continnered, as they
were indignantly departin, "wa well what A. Ward has sed!"
1.23. WOULD-BE SEA DOGS.
Sum of the captings on the Upper Ohio River put on a heep of
airs. To hear 'em git orf saler lingo you'd spose they'd bin
on the briny Deep for a lifetime, when the fact is they haint
tasted salt water since they was infants, when they had to take
it for WORMS. Still they air good natered fellers, and when
they drink they take a dose big enuff for a grown person.
1.24. THE PRINCE OF WALES.
To my friends of the Editorial Corpse:
I rite these lines on British sile. I've bin follerin Mrs.
Victory's hopeful sun Albert Edward threw Kanady with my
onparaleled Show, and tho I haint made much in a pecoonary pint
of vew, I've lernt sumthin new, over hear on British Sile,
whare they bleeve in Saint George and the Dragoon. Previs to
cumin over hear I tawt my organist how to grind Rule Brittany
and other airs which is poplar on British Sile. I likewise
fixt a wax figger up to represent Sir Edmun Hed the Govner
Ginral. The statoot I fixt up is the most versytile wax
statoot I ever saw. I've showd it as Wm. Penn, Napoleon
Bonypart, Juke of Wellington, the Beneker Boy, Mrs. Cunningham
& varis other notid persons, and also for a sertin pirut named
Hix. I've bin so long amung wax statoots that I can fix 'em up
to soot the tastes of folks, & with sum paints I hav I kin giv
their facis a beneverlent or fiendish look as the kase
requires. I giv Sir Edmun Hed a beneverlent look, & when sum
folks who thawt they was smart sed it didn't look like Sir
Edmun Hed anymore than it did anybody else, I sed, "That's the
pint. That's the beauty of the Statoot. It looks like Sir
Edmun Hed or any other man. You may kall it what you pleese.
Ef it don't look like anybody that ever lived, then it's
sertinly a remarkable Statoot & well worth seein. _I_ kall it
Sir Edmun Hed. YOU may kall it what you pleese!" [I had 'em
At larst I've had a interview with the Prince, tho it putty
nigh cost me my vallerble life. I cawt a glimpse of him as he
sot on the Pizarro of the hotel in Sarnia, & elbowd myself
threw a crowd of wimin, children, sojers & Injins that was
hangin round the tavern. I was drawin near to the Prince when
a red-faced man in Millingtery close grabd holt of me and axed
me whare I was goin all so bold?
"To see Albert Edard the Prince of Wales," sez I; "who are
He sed he was Kurnel of the Seventy Fust Regiment, Her
Magisty's troops. I told him I hoped the Seventy Onesters was
in good helth, and was passin by when he ceased hold of me
agin, and sed in a tone of indigent cirprise:
"What? Impossible! It kannot be! Blarst my hize, sir, did I
understan you to say that you was actooally goin into the
presents of his Royal Iniss?"
"That's what's the matter with me," I replide.
"But blarst my hize, sir, its onprecedented. It's orful, sir.
Nothin' like it hain't happened sins the Gun Powder Plot of Guy
Forks. Owdashus man, who air you?"
"Sir," sez I, drawin myself up & puttin on a defiant air, "I'm
a Amerycan sitterzen. My name is Ward. I'm a husband & the
father of twins, which I'm happy to state thay look like me.
By perfeshun I'm a exhibiter of wax works & sich."
"Good God!" yelled the Kurnal, "the idee of a exhibiter of wax
figgers goin into the presents of Royalty! The British Lion
may well roar with raje at the thawt!"
Sez I, "Speakin of the British Lion, Kurnal, I'd like to make a
bargin with you fur that beast fur a few weeks to add to my
Show." I didn't meen nothin by this. I was only gettin orf a
goak, but you roter hev seen the Old Kurnal jump up & howl. He
actooally fomed at the mowth.
"This can't be real," he showtid. "No, no. It's a horrid
dream. Sir, you air not a human bein--you hav no existents--
yure a Myth!"
"Wall," sez I, "old hoss, yule find me a ruther onkomfortable
Myth ef you punch my inards in that way agin." I began to git
a little riled, fur when he called me a Myth he puncht me putty
hard. The Kurnal now commenst showtin fur the Seventy Onesters.
I at fust thawt I'd stay & becum a Marter to British Outraje,
as sich a course mite git my name up & be a good advertisement
fur my Show, but it occurred to me that ef enny of the Seventy
Onesters shood happen to insert a barronet into my stummick it
mite be onplesunt, & I was on the pint of runnin orf when the
Prince hisself kum up & axed me what the matter was. Sez I,
"Albert Edard, is that you?" & he smilt & sed it was. Sez I,
"Albert Edard, hears my keerd. I cum to pay my respecks to
the futer King of Ingland. The Kurnal of the Seventy Onesters
hear is ruther smawl pertaters, but of course you ain't to blame
fur that. He puts on as many airs as tho he was the Bully Boy
with the glass eye."
"Never mind," sez Albert Edard, "I'm glad to see you, Mister
Ward, at all events," & he tuk my hand so plesunt like & larfed
so sweet that I fell in love with him to onct. He handid me a
segar & we sot down on the Pizarro & commenst smokin rite
cheerful. "Wall," sez I, "Albert Edard, how's the old folks?"
"Her Majesty & the Prince are well," he sed.
"Duz the old man take his Lager beer reglar?" I inquired.
The Prince larfed & intermatid that the old man didn't let many
kegs of that bevridge spile in the sellar in the coarse of a
year. We sot & tawked there sum time abowt matters & things, &
bimeby I axed him how he liked bein Prince as fur as he'd got.
"To speak plain, Mister Ward," he sed, "I don't much like it.
I'm sick of all this bowin & scrapin & crawlin & hurrain over a
boy like me. I would rather go through the country quietly &
enjoy myself in my own way, with the other boys, & not be made
a Show of to be garped at by everybody. When the PEPLE cheer me
I feel pleesed, fur I know they meen it; but if these one-horse
offishuls cood know how I see threw all their moves & understan
exackly what they air after, & knowd how I larft at 'em in
private, thayd stop kissin my hands & fawnin over me as thay now
do. But you know, Mr. Ward, I can't help bein a Prince, & I
must do all I kin to fit myself fur the persishun I must sumtime
"That's troo," sez I; "sickness and the docters will carry the
Queen orf one of these dase, sure's yer born."
The time hevin arove fur me to take my departer I rose up &
sed: "Albert Edard, I must go, but previs to doin so I will
obsarve that you soot me. Yure a good feller, Albert Edard, &
tho I'm agin Princes as a gineral thing, I must say I like the
cut of your Gib. When you git to be King try and be as good a
man as yure muther has bin! Be just & be Jenerus, espeshully
to showmen, who hav allers bin aboozed sins the dase of Noah,
who was the fust man to go into the Menagery bizniss, & ef the
daily papers of his time air to be beleeved Noah's colleckshun
of livin wild beests beet ennything ever seen sins, tho I make
bold to dowt ef his snaiks was ahead of mine. Albert Edard,
adoo!" I tuk his hand which he shook warmly, & givin him a
perpetooal free pars to my show, & also parses to take hum for
the Queen & old Albert, I put on my hat and walkt away.
"Mrs. Ward," I solilerquized, as I walkt along, "Mrs. Ward, ef
you could see your husband now, just as he prowdly emerjis from
the presunts of the futur King of Ingland, you'd be sorry you
called him a Beest jest becaws he cum home tired 1 nite and
wantid to go to bed without takin orf his boots. You'd be
sorry for tryin to deprive yure husband of the priceliss Boon
of liberty, Betsy Jane!"
Jest then I met a long perseshun of men with gownds onto 'em.
The leader was on horseback, & ridin up to me he sed, "Air you
Sez I, "Which?"
"Air you a Orangeman?" he repeated, sternly.
"I used to peddle lemins," sed I, "but I never delt in oranges.
They are apt to spile on yure hands. What particler Loonatic
Asylum hev you & yure frends escaped frum, ef I may be so
bold?" Just then a suddent thawt struck me & I sed, "Oh yure
the fellers who air worryin the Prince so & givin the Juke of
Noocastle cold sweats at nite, by yure infernal catawalins, air
you? Wall, take the advice of a Amerykin sitterzen, take orf
them gownds & don't try to get up a religious fite, which is 40
times wuss nor a prize fite, over Albert Edard, who wants to
receive you all on a ekal footin, not keerin a tinker's cuss
what meetin house you sleep in Sundays. Go home & mind yure
bisness & not make noosenses of yourselves." With which
observashuns I left 'em.
I shall leeve British sile 4thwith.
Gents,--I arroved in Cleveland on Saturday P.M. from
Baldinsville jest in time to fix myself up and put on a clean
biled rag to attend Miss Picklehomony's grate musical sorry at
the Melodeon. The krowds which pored into the hall augured
well for the show bizniss, & with cheerful sperrets I jined the
enthoosiastic throng. I asked Mr. Strakhosh at the door if he
parst the perfession, and he sed not much he didn't, whereupon
I bawt a preserved seat in the pit, & obsarving to Mr.
Strakhosh that he needn't put on so many French airs becawz he
Back to Full Books