The Complete Works of Artemus Ward, Part 7
Charles Farrar Browne
Artemus Ward (Charles Farrar Browne) Part 7
THE COMPLETE WORKS OF ARTEMUS WARD, PART 7, MISCELLANEOUS
(CHARLES FARRAR BROWNE)
With a biographical sketch by Melville D. Landon, "Eli Perkins"
7.1. The Cruise of the Polly Ann.
7.2. Artemus Ward's Autobiography.
7.3. The Serenade.
7.4. O'Bourcy's "Arrah-na-Pogue."
7.5. Artemus Ward among the Fenians.
7.6. Artemus Ward in Washington.
7.7. Scenes Outside the Fair Grounds.
7.8. The Wife.
7.9. A Juvenile Composition On the Elephant.
7.10. A Poem by the Same.
7.11. East Side Theatricals.
7.12. Soliloquy of a Low Thief.
7.13. The Negro Question.
7.14. Artemus Ward on Health.
7.15. A Fragment.
7.16. Brigham Young's Wives.
7.17. A. Ward's First Umbrella.
7.18. An Affecting Poem.
7.19. Mormon Bill of Fare.
7.20. "The Babes in the Wood."
7.21. Mr. Ward Attends a Graffick (Soiree.)
7.22. A. Ward Among the Mormons.--Reported by Himself--or Somebody Else.
PART VII. MISCELLANEOUS.
7.1. THE CRUISE OF THE POLLY ANN.
In overhaulin one of my old trunks the tother day, I found the
follerin jernal of a vyge on the starnch canawl bote, Polly Ann,
which happened to the subscriber when I was a young man (in the
Brite Lexington of yooth, when thar aint no sich word as fale) on
the Wabash Canawl:
Monday, 2 P.M.--Got under wa. Hosses not remarkable frisky at fust.
Had to bild fires under 'em before they'd start. Started at larst
very suddent, causin the bote for to lurch vilently and knockin me
orf from my pins. (Sailor frase.) Sevral passenjers on bored.
Parst threw deliteful country. Honest farmers was to work sowin
korn, and other projuce in the fields. Surblime scenery. Large
red-heded gal reclinin on the banks of the Canawl, bathin her feet.
Turned in at 15 minits parst eleving.
Toosdy.--Riz at 5 and went up on the poop deck. Took a grown
person's dose of licker with a member of the Injianny legislater,
which he urbanely insisted on allowin me to pay for. Bote tearin
threu the briny waters at the rate of 2 Nots a hour, when the boy
on the leadin hoss shoutid--
"Whar away?" hollered the capting, clearin his glass (a empty black
bottle, with the bottom knockt out) and bringing it to his Eagle
"Bout four rods to the starbud," screamed the boy.
"Jes so," screeched the capting. "What wessel's that air?"
"Kickin Warier of Terry Hawt, and be darned to you!"
"I, I, Sir!" hollered our capting. "Reef your arft hoss, splice
your main jib-boom, and hail your chamber-maid! What's up in Terry
"You know Bill Spikes?" said the capting of the Warier.
"Wall, I reckin. He can eat more fride pork nor any man of his heft
on the Wabash. He's a ornament to his sex!"
"Wall," continued the capting of the Kickin Warier. "Wilyim got a
little owly the tother day, and got to prancin around town on that
old white mare of his'n, and bein in a playful mood, he rid up in
front of the Court 'us whar old Judge Perkins was a holdin Court,
and let drive his rifle at him. The bullet didn't hit the Judge at
all; it only jes whizzed parst his left ear, lodgin in the wall
behind him; but what d'ye spose the old despot did? Why, he
actooally fined Bill ten dollars for contempt of Court! What do
you think of that?" axed the capting of the Warier, as he parst a
long black bottle over to our capting.
"The country is indeed in danger!" said our capting, raisin the
bottle to his lips. The wessels parted. No other incidents that
day. Retired to my chased couch at 5 minits parst 10.
Wensdy.--Riz arly. Wind blowin N.W.E. Hevy sea on, and ship rollin
wildly in consekents of pepper-corns havin been fastened to the
forrerd hoss's tale. "Heave two!" roared the capting to the man at
the rudder, as the Polly giv a friteful toss. I was sick, an sorry
I'd cum. "Heave two!" repeated the capting. I went below. "Heave
two!" I hearn him holler agin, and stickin my hed out of the cabin
winder, I HEV.
The hosses became docile eventually, and I felt better. The sun
bust out in all his splender, disregardless of expense, and lovely
Natur put in her best licks. We parst the beautiful village of
Limy, which lookt sweet indeed, with its neat white cottages,
Institoots of learnin and other evijences of civillizashun,
incloodin a party of bald heded cullered men was playing 3 card
monty on the stoop of the Red Eagle tavern. All, all was food for
my 2 poetic sole. I went below to breakfast, but vittles had lost
their charms. "Take sum of this," said the Capting, shovin a bottle
tords my plate. "It's whisky. A few quarts allers sets me right
when my stummick gits out of order. It's a excellent tonic!" I
declined the seductive flooid.
Thursdy.--Didn't rest well last night on account of a uprore made by
the capting, who stopt the Bote to go ashore and smash in the
windows of a grosery. He was brought back in about a hour, with his
hed dun up in a red handkercher, his eyes bein swelled up orful, and
his nose very much out of jint. He was bro't aboard on a shutter by
his crue, and deposited on the cabin floor, the passenjers all risin
up in their births pushing the red curtains aside & lookin out to
see what the matter was. "Why do you allow your pashuns to run away
with you in this onseemly stile, my misgided frend?" said a sollum
lookin man in a red flannel nite-cap. "Why do you sink yourself to
the Beasts of the field?"
"Wall, the fack is," said the capting, risin hisself on the shutter,
"I've bin a little prejoodiced agin that grosery for some. But I
made it lively for the boys, deacon! Bet yer life!" He larfed a
short, wild larf, and called for his jug. Sippin a few pints, he
smiled gently upon the passengers, sed, "Bless you! Bless you!" and
fell into a sweet sleep.
Eventually we reached our jerny's end. This was in the days of Old
Long Sign, be4 the iron hoss was foaled. This was be4 steembotes
was goin round bustin their bilers & sendin peple higher nor a kite.
Them was happy days, when people was intelligent & wax figgers &
livin wild beests wasn't scoffed at.
"O dase of me boyhood
I'm dreamin on ye now!"
7.2. ARTEMUS WARD'S AUTOBIOGRAPHY.
New York, near Fifth Avenoo Hotel, Org. 31ct.
EDITER OF PLAY BILL.
Dr Sir,--Yrs, into which you ask me to send you sum leadin incidents
in my life so you can write my Bogfry for the papers, cum dooly to
hand. I hav no doubt that a article onto my life, grammattycally
jerked and properly punktooated, would be a addition to the chois
literatoor of the day.
To the youth of Ameriky it would be vallyble as showin how high a
pinnykle of fame a man can reach who commenst his career with a
small canvas tent and a pea-green ox, which he rubbed it off while
scrachin hisself agin the center pole, causin in Rahway, N.Y., a
discriminatin mob to say humbugs would not go down in their village.
The ox resoom'd agricultooral pursoots shortly afterwards.
I next tried my hand at givin Blind-man concerts, appearin as the
poor blind man myself. But the infamus cuss who I hired to lead me
round towns in the day time to excite simpathy drank freely of
spiritoous licker unbeknowns to me one day, & while under their
inflooance he led me into the canal. I had to either tear the green
bandige from my eyes or be drownded. I tho't I'd restore my
In writin about these things, Mr. Editer, kinder smooth em over.
Speak of 'em as eccentrissities of gen'us.
My next ventur would hav bin a success if I hadn't tried to do too
much. I got up a series of wax figgers, and among others one of
Socrates. I tho't a wax figger of old Sock. would be poplar with
eddycated peple, but unfortinitly I put a Brown linen duster and a
U.S. Army regulation cap on him, which peple with classycal
eddycations said it was a farce. This enterprise was onfortnit in
other respecks. At a certin town I advertised a wax figger of the
Hon'ble Amos Perkins, who was a Railroad President, and a great
person in them parts. But it appeared I had shown the same figger
for a Pirut named Gibbs in that town the previs season, which
created a intense toomult, & the audience remarked "shame onto me,"
& other statements of the same similarness. I tried to mollify em.
I told 'em that any family possessin children might have my she
tiger to play with half a day, & I wouldn't charge 'em a cent, but
alars! it was of no avail. I was forced to leave, & I infer from a
article in the "Advertiser" of that town, in which the Editer says,
"Atho' time has silvered this man's hed with its frosts, he still
brazenly wallows in infamy. Still are his snakes stuffed, and his
wax works unrelible. We are glad that he has concluded never to
revisit our town, altho', incredible as it may appear, the fellow
really did contemplate so doing last summer, when, still true to the
craven instincts of his black heart, he wrote the hireling knaves of
the obscure journal across the street to know what they would charge
for 400 small bills, to be done on yellow paper! We shall recur to
this matter again!"
I say, I infer from this article that a prejudiss still exists agin
me in that town.
I will not speak of my once bein in straitend circumstances in a
sertin town, and of my endeaverin to accoomulate welth by lettin
myself to Sabbath School picnics to sing ballads adapted to the
understandins of little children, accompanyin myself on a
claironett--which I forgot where I was one day, singing, instid of
"Oh, how pleasant to be a little child,"
"Rip slap--set em up again,
Right in the middle of a three-cent pie,"
which mistake, added to the fact that I couldn't play onto the
claironett except makin it howl dismal, broke up the picnic, and
children said, in voices choked with sobs and emotions, where was
their home and where was their Pa? and I said, Be quiet, dear
children, I am your Pa, which made a young woman with two twins by
her side say very angryly, "Good heavens forbid you should ever be
the Pa of any of these innocent ones, unless it is much desirable
for them to expire igminyusly upon to a murderer's gallus!"
I say I will not speak of this. Let it be Berrid into Oblivyun.
In your article, Mr. Editer, please tell him what sort of a man I
If you see fit to kriticise my Show speak your mind freely. I do
not object to kriticism. Tell the public, in a candid and graceful
article, that my Show abounds in moral and startlin cooriosities,
any one of whom is wuth dubble the price of admission.
I hav thus far spoke of myself excloosivly as a exhibiter.
I was born in the State of Maine of parents. As a infant I
attracted a great deal of attention. The nabers would stand over my
cradle for hours and say, "How bright that little face looks! How
much it nose!" The young ladies would carry me round in their arms,
sayin I was muzzer's bezzy darlin and a sweety 'eety 'ittle ting.
It was nice, tho' I wasn't old enuf to properly appreciate it. I'm
a healthy old darlin now.
I have allers sustained a good moral character. I was never a
Railroad director in my life.
Altho' in early life I did not inva'bly confine myself to truth in
my small bills, I have been gradoolly growin respectabler and
respectabler ev'ry year. I luv my children, and never mistake
another man's wife for my own. I'm not a member of any meetin house,
but firmly bel'eve in meetin houses, and shouldn't feel safe to take
a dose of laudnum and lay down in the street of a village that
hadn't any, with a thousand dollars in my vest pockets.
My temperament is billious, altho' I don't owe a dollar in the
I am a early riser, but my wife is a Presbyterian. I may add that I
am also bald-heded. I keep two cows.
I live in Baldinsville, Indiany. My next door naber is Old Steve
Billins. I'll tell you a little story about Old Steve that will make
you larf. He jined the Church last spring, and the minister said,
"You must go home now, Brothern Billins, and erect a family altar in
your own house," whereupon the egrejis old ass went home and built a
reg'lar pulpit in his sittin room. He had the jiners in his house
over four days.
I am 56 (56) years of age. Time, with its relentless scythe, is
ever busy. The Old Sexton gathers them in, he gathers them in! I
keep a pig this year.
I don't think of anything more, Mr Ed'ter.
If you should giv my portrait in connection with my Bogfry, please
have me ingraved in a languishin attitood, learnin on a marble
pillar, leavin my back hair as it is now.--Trooly yours.
7.3. THE SERENADE.
Things in our town is workin. The canal boat "Lucy Ann" called in
here the other day and reported all quiet on the Wabash. The "Lucy
Ann" has adopted a new style of Binnakle light, in the shape of a
red-headed girl, who sits up over the compass. It works well.
The artist I spoke about in my larst has returned to Philadelphy.
Before he left I took his lily-white hand in mine. I suggested to
him that if he could induce the citizens of Philadelphy to believe
it would be a good idea to have white winder-shutters on their
houses and white door-stones, he might make a fortin. "It's a
novelty," I added, "and may startle 'em at fust, but they may
conclood to adopt it.
As several of our public men are constantly being surprised with
serenades, I concluded I'd be surprised in the same way, so I made
arrangements accordin. I asked the Brass Band how much they'd take
to take me entirely by surprise with a serenade. They said they'd
overwhelm me with a unexpected honor for seven dollars, which I
I wrote out my impromptoo speech severil days beforehand bein very
careful to expunge all ingramatticisms and payin particuler
attention to the punktooation. It was, if I may say it without
egitism, a manly effort; but, alars! I never delivered it, as the
sekel will show you. I paced up and down the kitchin speakin my
piece over so as to be entirely perfeck. My bloomin young daughter,
Sarah Ann, bothered me summut by singin, "Why do summer roses fade?"
"Because," said I, arter hearin her sing it about fourteen times,
"because it's their biz! Let 'em fade!"
"Betsy," said I, pausin in the middle of the room and letting my
eagle eye wander from the manuscrip--"Betsy, on the night of this
here serenade, I desires you to appear at the winder dressed in
white, and wave a lily-white handkercher. D'ye hear?"
"If I appear," said that remarkable female, "I shall wave a
lily-white bucket of bilin hot water, and somebody will be scalded.
One bald-headed old fool will get HIS share."
She refer'd to her husband. No doubt about it in my mind. But for
fear she might exasperate me I said nothin.
The expected night cum. At nine o'clock precisely there was sounds
of footsteps in the yard, and the Band struck up a lively air, which
when they did finish it, there was cries of "Ward! Ward!" I stept
out onto the portico. A brief glance showed me that the assemblage
was summut mixed. There was a great many ragged boys, and there was
quite a number of grown-up persons evigently under the affluence of
the intoxicatin bole. The Band was also drunk. Dr. Schwazey, who
was holdin up a post, seemed to be partic'ly drunk--so much so that
it had got into his spectacles, which were staggerin wildly over his
nose. But I was in for it, and I commenced:--
"Feller Citizens,--For this onexpected honor--"
LEADER OF THE BAND.--Will you give us our money now, or wait till
you git through?"
To this painful and disgustin interruption I paid no attention.
"--for this onexpected honor, I thank you."
LEADER OF THE BAND.--"But you said you'd give us seven dollars if
we'd play two choons."
Again I didn't notice him, but resumed as follows:--
"I say, I thank you warmly. When I look at this crowd of true
Americans, my heart swells--"
DR. SCHWAZEY.--"So do I!"
A VOICE.--"We all do!"
"--my heart swells--"
A VOICE.--"Three cheers for the swells."
"We live," said I, "in troublous times, but I hope we shall again
resume our former proud position, and go on in our glorious career!"
DR. SCHWAZEY.--I'm willin for one to go on in a glorious career!
Will you join me, fellow-citizens, in a glorious career? What wages
does a man git for a glorious career, when he finds himself?"
"Dr, Schwazey," said I, sternly, "you are drunk. You're disturbin
DR. S.--Have you a banquet spread in the house? I should like a
rhunossyross on the half shell, or a hippopotamus on toast, or a
horse and wagon roasted whole. Anything that's handy. Don't put
yourself out on me account.
At this point the Band begun to make hidyous noises with their brass
horns, and an exceedingly ragged boy wanted to know if there wasn't
to be some wittles afore the concern broke up? I didn't exactly
know what to do, and was just on the point of doin it, when a upper
winder suddenly opened, and a stream of hot water was bro't to bear
on the disorderly crowd, who took the hint and retired at once.
When I am taken by surprise with another serenade, I shall, among
other arrangements, have a respectful company on hand. So no more
from me to-day. When this you see, remember me.
7.4. O'BOURCY'S "ARRAH-NA-POGUE."
You axe me, sir, to sling sum ink for your paper in regards to the
new Irish dramy at Niblo's Garding. I will do it, sir.
I knew your grandfather well, sir. Sum 16 years ago, while I was
amoosin and instructin the intellectoal peple of Cape Cod with my
justly pop'lar Show, I saw your grandfather. He was then between
96 years of age, but his mind was very clear. He told me I looked
like George Washington. He said I had a massiv intellect. Your
grandfather was a highly-intelligent man, and I made up my mind then
that if I could ever help his family in any way, I'd do so. Your
grandfather gave me sum clams and a Testament. He charged me for
the clams but threw in the Testament. He was a very fine man.
I therefore rite for you, which insures your respectability at once.
It gives you a moral tone at the word go.
I found myself the other night at Niblo's Garding, which is now, by
the way, Wheatley's Garding. (I don't know what's bcum of Nib.) I
couldn't see much of a garding, however, and it struck me if Mr.
Wheatley depended on it as regards raisin things, he'd run short of
gardin sass. [N.B.--These remarks is yoomerous. The older I gro,
the more I want to goak.]
I walked down the isle in my usual dignified stile, politely tellin
the people as I parsed along to keep their seats. "Don't git up for
me," I sed. One of the prettiest young men I ever saw in my life
showed me into a seat, and I proceeded to while away the spare time
by reading Thompson's "Bank Note Reporter" and the comic papers.
The ordinance was large.
I tho't, from a cursiry view, that the Finnigan Brotherhood was well
There was no end of bootiful wimin, and a heap of good clothes.
There was a good deal of hair present that belonged on the heds of
peple who didn't cum with it--but this is a ticklish subjeck for me.
I larfed at my wife's waterfall, which indoosed that superior woman
to take it off and heave it at me rather vilently; and as there was
about a half bushil of it, it knockt me over, and give me pains in
my body which I hain't got over yit.
The orkistry struck up a toon, & I asked the Usher to nudge me when
Mr. Pogue cum on the stage to act.
I wanted to see Pogue; but, strange to say, he didn't act during the
entire evenin. I reckin he has left Niblo's, and gone over to
Very industrious pepl are the actors at Barnum's. They play all
day, and in the evenin likewise. I meet'm every mornin, at five
o'clock, going to their work with their tin dinner-pails. It's a
sublime site. Many of them sleep on the premises.
Arrah-na-Pogue was writ by Dion O'Bourcicolt & Edward McHouse. They
writ it well. O'Bourcy has writ a cartload of plays himself, the
most of which is fust-rate.
I understand there is a large number of O'gen'tlmen of this city who
can rite better plays than O'Bourcy does, but somehow they don't
seem to do it. When they do, I'll take a Box of them.
As I remarked to the Boy who squirted peppersass through a tin
dinner-horn at my trained Bear (which it caused that feroshus animal
to kick up his legs and howl dismal, which fond mothers fell into
swoons and children cride to go home because fearin the Bear would
leave his jungle and tear them from limb to limb), and then excoosed
himself (this Boy did) by sayin he had done so while labourin under
a attack of Moral Insanity--as I sed to that thrifty youth, "I allus
incurridge geenyus, whenever I see it."
It's the same with Dan Bryant. I am informed there are better Irish
actors than he is, but somhow I'm allus out of town when they act, &
so is other folks, which is what's the matter.
ACK THE 1.--Glendalo by moonlite.
Irishmen with clubs.
This is in 1798, the year of your birth, Mr. Editor.
It appears a patriotic person named McCool has bin raisin a
insurrection in the mountain districts, and is now goin to leave the
land of his nativity for a tower in France. Previsly to doin so he
picks the pockit of Mr. Michael Feeny, a gov'ment detectiv, which
pleases the gallery very much indeed, and they joyfully remark, "hi,
He meets also at this time a young woman who luvs him dearer than
life, and who is, of course, related to the gov'ment; and just as
the gov'ment goes agin him she goes for him. This is nat'ral, but
not grateful. She sez, "And can it be so? Ar, tell me it is not so
thusly as this thusness wouldst seem!" or words to that effect.
He sez it isn't any other way, and they go off.
Irish moosic by the Band.
Mr. McCool goes and gives the money to his foster-sister, Miss Arrah
Meelish, who is goin to shortly marry Shaun, the Lamp Post. Mac
then alters his mind about goin over to France, and thinks he'll go
up-stairs and lie down in the straw. This is in Arrah's cabin.
Arrah says it's all right, me darlint, och hone, and shure, and
other pop'lar remarks, and Mac goes to his straw.
The wedding of Shaun and Arrah comes off.
Great excitement. Immense demonstration on the part of the
peasantry. Barn-door jigs, and rebelyus song by McHouse, called
"The Drinkin of the Gin." Ha, what is this? Soldiers cum in.
Moosic by the band. "Arrah," sez the Major, "you have those money."
She sez, "Oh no, I guess not." He sez, "Oh yes, I guess you have."
"It is my own," sez she, and exhibits it. "It is mine," says Mr.
Feeny, and identifies it.
Coat is prodoosed from up-stairs.
"Whose coat is this?" sez the Major. "Is it the coat of a young man
secreted in this here cabin?"
Now this is rough on Shaun. His wife accoosed of theft, the
circumstances bein very much agin her, and also accoosed of havin a
hansum young man hid in her house. But does this bold young
Hibernian forsake her? Not much, he dont. But he takes it all on
himself, sez he is the guilty wretch, and is marcht off to prison.
This is a new idea. It is gin'rally the wife who suffers, in the
play, for her husband; but here's a noble young feller who shuts
both his eyes to the apparent sinfulness of his new young wife, and
takes her right square to his bosom. It was bootiful to me, who
love my wife, and believe in her, and would put on my meetin clothes
and go to the gallus for her cheerfully, ruther than believe she was
capable of taking anybody's money but mine. My marrid friends,
listen to me: If you treat your wives as though' they were perfeck
gentlemen--if you show 'em that you have entire confidence in them--
believe me, they will be troo to you most always.
I was so pleased with this conduct of Shaun that I hollered out,
"Good boy! Come and see me!"
"Silence!" sum people said.
"Put him out!" said a sweet-scented young man, with all his new
clothes on, and in company with a splendid waterfall, "put this old
"My young friend," said I, in a loud voice, "whose store do you sell
tape in? I might want to buy a yard before I go hum."
Shaun is tried by a Military Commission. Colonel O'Grady, although
a member of the Commission, shows he sympathizes with Shaun, and
twits Feeny, the Gov'ment witness, with being a knock-kneed thief,
&c., &c. Mr. Stanton's grandfather was Sec'y of War in Ireland at
that time, so this was entirely proper.
Shaun is convicted and goes to jail. Hears Arrah singin outside.
Wants to see her a good deal. A lucky thought strikes him; he opens
the window and gets out. Struggles with ivy and things on the
outside of the jail, and finally reaches her just as Mr. Feeny is
about to dash a large wooden stone onto his head. He throws Mr. F.
into the river. Pardon arrives. Fond embraces. Tears of joy and
kisses a la Pogue. Everybody much happy.
This is a very harty outline of a splendid play. Go and see it--
Yours till then,
7.5. ARTEMUS WARD AMONG THE FENIANS.
Sparkling with genuine fun and bristling with pungent satire,
this is an epitome of Artemus Ward's most genial humour and of
his keenly sarcastic truth. The doings of the Fenians have
hitherto been sufficiently ludicrous to merit the ridicule
which Artemus has added to the stock they have liberally
provided for themselves. To use the periphrasis of Senator
Sumner, they have hitherto been "the muscipular abortion of
the parturient mountain," whatever their folly may yet lead
them to effect of a more serious nature in time to come. As a
curiosity of literature, worthy of being preserved for the
amusement of posterity, a leading article on the Fenians,
extracted from a New York paper of most extensive circulation, is
given below. Such another "leader" as the one here given could
not be met with in the press of any land in the world, except in
that of the United States.
"THE FENIAN TROUBLES AT AN END--THE HEAD CENTRE VICTORIOUS.
"The unmitigated blackguards and miserable spalpeens who
raised the standard of revolt against the brave and gallant
O'Mahony are knocked into the most infinitesimal
smithereens, and chawed up until there is not as much left
of them as remained after the tooth-and-nail conflict of the
Kilkenny cats. The blessed and holy St Patrick (may the
heavens be his bed in glory!) never more thoroughly
extinguished the toads, snakes, bedbugs, mosquitoes, and
varmint in general, which he drove out of Ould Ireland, than
O'Mahony, the gallant Head Centre, squelched, exterminated,
crushed out, and extinguished the cantankerous Senators and
rebellious disciples of the brotherhood who thought to
clutch the evergreen laurels and verdant greenbacks with
which a patriotic and confiding people have encircled his
brow and lined his wallet. As the blessed St Patrick afore
said compelled the varmints to betake themselves to the
swamps and morasses, and `chased the frogs into the bogs,'
so the redoubtable 0'Mahony has compelled the rebellious
Fenians to hide their diminished heads and betake themselves
to the recesses of oblivion, where their contortions will be
watched by the observer of futurity, as the visitors of
Blarney Castle are edified by the gambols of the 'comely
eels in the verdant mud.' The brave 0'Mahony has come forth
from the contest like gold from the crucible, or whisky from
the still, purified, etherealised, and elevated, while his
antagonists have shrunk away like dross or swill, never more
to mingle with the Olympian deliberation, and Jove-like
councils of the Moffatt Mansion. Instead of participating
in these august deliberations, they will go back to their
shanties, and there behold the glories they are unworthy to
share. As if the O'Mahony bludgeon had not knocked the
breath completely out of the revolters, the idolised
Stephens, who, like the Roman Curtius, jumped into the gulf
of Irish nationality, published a letter and a proclamation
which must satisfy the public that the recreants 'kilt
intirely,' and may as well give their neighbours a pleasant
wake and a decent burial as expect to survive the period of
their inevitable dissolution. His proclamation comes down
on them like a shillaly in Donnybrook; and if it does not
ventilate their skulls, it is because those cranial
envelopes are as impervious to physical force as to the
gentle influence of reason or patriotism. Having demolished
the rebellious Senate and their backers, the next thing
0'Mahony has to do is to wipe out the bloody Saxon and
re-establish the nationality of the Emerald Isle as it
existed in the days of Brian Boru. As Queen Victoria is a
woman, we do not expect to see her locked up like Jeff.
Davis, but she will be allowed to emigrate to New York, and
open a boarding-school or a dry-goods store, where she will
remain unmolested as long as she behaves herself."
JOHN CAMDEN HOTTEN, Piccadilly, W. Jan. 30, 1865.
To Home, April 1866.
The Finians conveened in our town the other night, and took steps
toord freein Ireland. They met into the Town Hall, and by the kind
invite of my naber, Mr. Mulrooney O'Shaughnessy, whose ancestors at
least must have Irish blood in their veins, I went over.
You may not be awair, by the way, that I've been a invalid here to
home for sev'ril weeks. And it's all owin to my own improodens.
Not feelin like eating a full meal when the cars stopt for dinner,
in the South, where I lately was, I went into a Resterater and et 20
hard biled eggs. I think they effected my Liver.
My wife says, Po, po. She says I've got a splendid liver for a man
of my time of life. I've heard of men's livers gradooally wastin'
away till they hadn't none. It's a dreadful thing when a man's
liver gives him the shake.
Two years ago comin this May, I had a 'tack of fever-'n-ager, and by
the advice of Miss Peasley who continues single and is
correspondinly unhappy in the same ratios I consulted a Spiritul
mejum--a writin' mejum. I got a letter from a cel'brated Injin
chief, who writ me, accordin to the mejum, that he'd been ded two
hundred and seventeen (217) years, and liked it. He then said, let
the Pale face drink sum yarb tea. I drinkt it, and it really helpt
me. I've writ to this talented savige this time thro' the same
mejum, but as yet I hain't got any answer. Perhaps he's in a spear
where they haint' got any postage stamps.
But thanks to careful nussin, I'm improvin rapid.
The Town Hall was jam-full of peple, mostly Irish citizens, and the
enthusiasm was immense. They cheer'd everybody and everything.
They cheer'd me.
"Hurroo for Ward! Hurroo!"
They was all good nabers of mine, and I ansered in a pleasant voice,
"All right, boys, all right. Mavoorneen, och hone, aroon, Cooshla
These Irish remarks bein' received with great applaus, I added,
"Good! good!" cried Captain Spingler, who desires the Irish vote for
country clerk; "that's fus' rate."
"You see what I'm drivin at, don't you, Cap?" I said.
"Well," I ansered, "I'm very glad you do, becaus I don't."
This made the Finians larf, and they said, "Walk up onto the
speaker's platform sir."
The speeches was red hot agin England, and hir iron heel, and it was
resolved to free Ireland at onct. But it was much desirable before
freein her that a large quantity of funds should be raised. And,
like the gen'rous souls as they was, funs was lib'rally
contribooted. Then arose a excitin discussion as to which head
center they should send 'em to--O'Mahony or McRoberts. There was
grate excitement over this, but it was finally resolved to send half
to one and half to 'tother.
Then Mr. Finnigan rose and said, "We have here to-night sum citizens
of American birth, whom we should be glad to hear. It would fill
our harts with speechless joy to hear from a man whose name towers
high in the zoological and wax-figger world--from whose pearly
Says I, "Go slow, Finny, go slow."
"We wish to hear," continued Mr. Finnigan, moderatin his stile
summut, "from our townsman, Mr. Ward."
I beg'd to be declined, but it wan't no use. I rose amid a perfeck
uproar of applause.
I said we had convened there in a meetin, as I understood it, or
rather in a body, as it were, in reference to Ireland. If I knew my
own hart, every one of us there, both grate and small had an impulse
flowin in his boosum, "and consequentially," I added, we "will stick
to it similar and in accordance therewith, as long as a spark of
manhood, or the peple at large. That's the kind of man I be!"
Squire Thaxter interrupted me. The Squire feels the wrongs of
Ireland deeply, on accounts of havin onct courted the widder of a
Irish gentleman who had lingered in a loathsum dunjin in Dublin,
placed there by a English tarvern-keeper, who despotically wanted
him to pay for a quantity of chops and beer he had consoom'd.
Besides, the Squire wants to be re-elected Justice of the Peace.
"Mr. Ward," he said, "you've bin drinkin. You're under the
infloo'nce of licker, sir!"
Says I, "Squire, not a drop of good licker has passed my lips in
[Cries of "Oh, here now, that won't do."]
"It is troo," I said. "Not a drop of good licker has passed my lips
in all that time. I don't let it pass 'em. I reach for it while
it's goin by!" says I. "Squire, harness me sum more!"
"I beg pardon," said the Squire, "for the remark; you are sober; but
what on airth are you drivin at?"
"Yes!" I said, "that's just it. That's what I've bin axin myself
during the entire evenin. What is this grate meetin drivin at?
What's all the grate Finian meetins drivin at all over the country?
"My Irish frens, you know me well enuff to know that I didn't come
here to disturb this meetin. Nobody but a loafer will disturb any
kind of a meetin. And if you'll notice it, them as are up to this
sort of thing, allers come to a bad end. There was a young man--I
will not mention his name--who disturb'd my show in a certain town,
two years ago, by makin remarks disrespectful of my animals,
accompanied by a allosan to the front part of my hed, which, as you
see, it is Bald--sayin,-- says this young man, 'You sandpaper it too
much, but you've got a beautiful head of hair in the back of your
neck, old man.' This made a few ignent and low-mindid persons larf;
but what was the fate of that young man? In less than a month his
aunt died and left him a farm in Oxford county, Maine! The human
mind can pictur no grater misfortun than this.
"No, my Irish frens, I am here as your naber and fren. I know YOU
are honest in this Finian matter.
"But let us look at them Head Centers. Let us look at them
rip-roarin orators in New York, who've bin tearin round for up'ards
a year, swearin Ireland shall be free.
"There's two parties--O'McMahoneys and McO'Roberts. One thinks the
best way is to go over to Canady and establish a Irish Republic
there, kindly permittin the Canadians to pay the expenses of that
sweet Boon; and the other wants to sail direck for Dublin Bay, where
young McRoy and his fair young bride went down and was drownded,
accordin to a ballad I onct heard. But there's one pint on which
both sides agree--that's the Funs. They're willin, them chaps in
New York, to receive all the Funs you'll send 'em. You send a puss
tonight to Mahony, and another puss to Roberts. Both will receive
'em. You bet. And with other pusses it will be sim'lar.
"I went into Mr. Delmonico's eatin-house the other night, and I saw
my fren Mr. Terence McFadden, who is a elekent and enterprisin
deputy Centre. He was sittin at a table, eatin a canvas-back duck.
Poultry of that kind, as you know, is rather high just now. I think
about five dollars per Poult. And a bottle of green seal stood
"'How are you, Mr. McFadden?' I said.
"'Oh, Mr. Ward! I am miserable--miserable! The wrongs we Irishmen
suffers! Oh, Ireland! Will a troo history of your sufferins ever
be written? Must we be ever ground under by the iron heel of
despotic Briton? But, Mr. Ward, won't you eat suthin?'
"'Well,' I said 'if there's another caanvas-back and a spare bottle
of that green seal in the house, I wouldn't mind jinin you in bein
ground under by Briton's iron heel.'
"'Green turtle soup, first?' he said.
"'Well, yes. If I'm to share the wrongs of Ireland with you, I
don't care if I do have a bowl of soup. Put a bean into it,' I said
to the waiter. 'It will remind me of my childhood days, when we had
'em baked in conjunction with pork every Sunday mornin, and then all
went up to the village church, and had a refreshin nap in the fam'ly
"Mr. McFadden, who was sufferin so thurily for Ireland, was of the
Mahony wing. I've no doubt that some ekally patriotic member of the
Roberts wing was sufferin in the same way over to the Mason-Dory
"They say, feller-citizens, soon you will see a Blow struck for
Irish liberty! We hain't seen nothin BUT a Blow, so far--it's bin
all blow, and the blowers in New York won't git out of Bellusses as
long as our Irish frens in the rooral districks send 'em money.
"Let the Green float above the red, if that'll make it feel any
better, but don't you be the Green. Don't never go into anything
till you know whereabouts you're goin to.
"This is a very good country here where you are. You Irish hav
enjoyed our boons, held your share in our offices, and you certainly
have done your share of our votin. Then why this hulla-balloo about
freein Ireland? You do your frens in Ireland a great injoory, too;
because they b'lieve you're comin sure enuff, and they fly off the
handle and git into jail. My Irish frens, ponder these things a
little. 'Zamine 'em closely, and above all find out where the
pusses go to."
I sot down. There was no applaws, but they listened to me kindly.
They know'd I was honest, however wrong I might be; and they know'd
too, that there was no peple on arth whose generosity and gallantry
I had a higher respect for than the Irish, excep when they fly off
the handle. So, my feller citizens, let me toot my horn.
But Squire Thaxter put his hand onto my hed and said, in a mournful
tone of vois, "Mr. Ward, your mind is failin. Your intellect
totters! You are only about sixty years of age, yet you will soon
be a drivelin dotard, and hav no control over yourself."
"I have no control over my arms now," I replied, drivin my elbows
suddenly into the Squire's stomack, which caused that corpulent
magistrate to fall vilently off the stage into the fiddlers' box,
where he stuck his vener'ble hed into a base drum, and stated
"Murder" twice, in a very loud vois.
It was late when I got home. The children and my wife was all abed.
But a candle--a candle made from taller of our own raisin--gleamed
in Betsy's room; it gleamed for I! All was still. The sweet silver
moon was a shinin bright, and the beautiful stars was up to their
usual doins! I felt a sentymental mood so gently ore me stealin,
and I pawsed before Betsy's window, and sung, in a kind of op'ratic
vois, as follers, impromtoo, to wit:
Wake, Bessy, wake,
My sweet galoot!
Rise up, fair lady,
While I touch my lute!
The winder--I regret to say that the winder went up with a vi'lent
crash, and a form robed in spotless white exclaimed, "Cum into the
house, you old fool. To-morrer you'll be goin round complainin
about your liver!"
I sot up a spell by the kitchen fire readin Lewis Napoleon's "Life
of Julius Caesar." What a reckless old cuss he was! Yit Lewis
picturs him in glowin cullers. Caesar made it lively for the boys
in Gaul, didn't he? He slewd one million of citizens, male and
female--Gauls and Gaulusses--and then he sold another million of 'em
into slavery. He continnered this cheerful stile of thing for sum
time, when one day he was 'sassinated in Rome by sum high-toned
Roman gen'lmen, led on by Mr. Brutus. When old Bruty inserted his
knife into him, Caesar admitted that he was gone up. His funeral
was a great success, the house bein crowded to its utmost capacity.
Ten minutes after the doors were opened, the Ushers had to put up
cards on which was prntd, "Standin Room Only."
I went to bed at last. "And so," I said, "thou hast no ear for
A silvery snore was my only answer.
7.6. ARTEMUS WARD IN WASHINGTON.
[The following paper was contributed by Mr. Browne to "Vanity Fair,"
the New York "Punch," which terminated its career during the late
war. Some of the allusions are, of course, to matters long past;
but the old fun and genuine humour of the showman are as enjoyable
now as when first written.]
Washington, April 17, 1863.
My wife stood before the lookin-glass, a fussin up her hair.
"What you doin, Betsy?" I inquired.
"Doin up my back hair," she replied.
"Betsy," said I, with a stern air, "Betsy, you're too old to think
about such frivolities as back hair."
"Too old? TOO OLD?" she screamed, "too old, you bald-heded idiot!
You ain't got hair enuff onto YOUR hed to make a decent wig for a
The Rebook was severe, but merited. Hens4th I shall let my wife's
back hair alone. You heard me!
My little dawter is growin quite rapid, and begins to scrootinize
clothin, with young men inside of it, puthy clost. I obsarve, too,
that she twists pieces of paper round her hair at nights, and won't
let me put my arms round her any more for fair I'll muss her. "Your
mother wasn't 'fraid I'd muss HER when she was your age, my child,"
sed I one day, with a sly twinkle into my dark bay eye.
"No," replied my little dawter, "she probly liked it."
You ain't going to fool female Young America much. You may gamble
But all this, which happened in Baldinsville a week ago, hain't
nothin to do with Washington, from whither I now write you, hopin
the iterms I hereby sends will be exceptable to the Gin-Cocktail of
America--I mean the "Punch" thereof. [A mild wittikism.--A.W.]
Washington, D.C., is the Capital of "our once happy country"--if I
may be allowed to koin a frase! The D.C. stands for Desprit Cusses,
a numerosity which abounds here, the most of whom persess a Romantic
pashun for gratooitous drinks. And in this conjunction I will
relate an incident. I notist for several days a large Hearse
standin in front of the principal tavern on Pennsylvany Avenoo.
"Can you tell me, my fair Castillian," sed I this mornin, to a young
Spaniard from Tipperary, who was blackin boots in the washroom--"can
you tell me what those Hearse is kept standin out there for?"
"Well, you see our Bar bisness is great. You've no idee of the
number of People who drink at our Bar durin a day. You see those
Hearse is necessary."
Standin in front of the tarvuns of Pennsylvany Avenoo is a lot of
miserbul wretches,--black, white and ring-strickid, and freckled--
with long whips in their hands, who frowns upon you like the wulture
upon the turtle-dove the minit you dismerge from hotel. They own
yonder four-wheeled startlin curiositys, which were used years and
years ago by the fust settlers of Virginny to carry live hogs to
market in. The best carriage I saw in the entire collection was
used by Pockyhontas, sum two hundred years ago, as a goat-pen.
Becumin so used up that it couldn't hold goats, that fair and gentle
savage put it up at auction. Subsekently it was used as a hospital
for sick calves, then as a hencoop, and finally it was put on wheels
and is now doin duty as a hack.
I called on Secretary Welles, of the Navy. You know he is quite a
mariner himself, havin once owned a Raft of logs on the Connethycut
river. So I put on saler stile and hollered: "Ahoy, shipmet! Tip
us yer grapplin irons!"
"Yes, yes!" he sed, nervously, "but mercy on us, don't be so noisy."
"Ay, ay, my heart! But let me sing about how Jack Stokes lost his
'The reason why he couldn't gain her,
Was becoz he's drunken saler!'
"That's very good, indeed," said the Secky, "but this is hardly the
place to sing songs in, my frend."
"Let me write the songs of a nashun," sed I, "and I don't care a
cuss who goes to the legislater! But I ax your pardon--how's
"Comfortable, I thank you. I have here," he added, "a copy of the
Middletown "Weekly Clarion" of February the 15, containin a report
that there isn't much Union sentiment in South Caroliny, but I
hardly credit it."
"Air you well, Mr. Secky," sed I. "Is your liver all right? How's
"God bless me!" sed the Secky, risin hastily and glarin wildly at
me, "what do you mean?"
"Oh, nothin partickler. Only it is one of the beauties of a
Republican form of gov'ment that a Cabnet offisser can pack up his
trunk and go home whenever he's sick. Sure nothin don't ail your
liver?" sed I, pokin him putty vilent in the stummick.
I called on Abe. He received me kindly. I handed him my umbreller,
and told him I'd have a check for it if he pleased. "That," sed he,
"puts me in mind of a little story. There was a man, out in our
parts who was so mean that he took his wife's coffin out of the back
winder for fear he would rub the paint off the doorway. Wall, about
this time there was a man in a adjacent town who had a green cotton
"Did it fit him well? Was it custom made? Was he measured for it?"
"Measured for what?" said Abe.
"Wall, as I was sayin," continnered the President, treatin the
interruption with apparent comtempt, "this man sed he'd known that
there umbreller ever since it was a pyrasol. Ha, ha, ha!"
"Yes," said I, larfin in a respectful manner, "but what has this man
with the umbreller to do with the man who took his wife's coffin out
of the back winder?"
"To be sure," said Abe--"what was it? I must have got two stories
mixed together, which puts me in mind of another lit--"
"Never mind, Your Excellency. I called to congratulate you on your
career, which has been a honest and a good one--unscared and unmoved
by Secesh in front of you and Abbolish at the back of you--each one
of which is a little wuss than the other if possible!
"Tell E. Stanton that his boldness, honesty, and vigger merits all
praise, but to keep his under-garments on. E. Stanton has
appeerently only one weakness, which it is, he can't allus keep his
under-garments from flyin up over his hed. I mean that he
occasionally dances in a peck-measure, and he don't look graceful at
I took my departer. "Good-bye, old sweetness!" sed Abe, shakin me
cordgully by the hand.
"Adoo, my Prahayrie flower!" I replied, and made my exit.
"Twenty-five thousand dollars a year and found," I soliloquized, as
I walked down the street, "is putty good wages for a man with a
modist appytite, but I reckon that it is wuth it to run the White
"What you bowt, sah? What the debble you doin, sah?"
It was the voice of an Afrikin Brother which thus spoke to me.
There was a cullud procession before me which was escortin a elderly
bald-hedded Afrikin to his home in Bates Alley. This distinguished
Afrikin Brother had just returned from Lybery, and in turnin a
corner puty suddent I hed stumbled and placed my hed agin his
stummick in a rather strengthy manner.
"Do you wish to impede the progress of this procession, sah?"
"Certainly not, by all means! Procesh!"
And they went on.
I'm reconstructing my show. I've bo't a collection of life size wax
figgers of our prominent Revolutionary forefathers. I bo't 'em at
auction, and got 'em cheap. They stand me about two dollars and
fifty cents (2 dols. 50 cents) per Revolutionary forefather.
Ever as always yours,
7.7. SCENES OUTSIDE THE FAIR GROUNDS.
There is some fun outside the Fair Ground. Any number of
mountebanks have pitched their tents there, and are exhibiting all
sorts of monstrosities to large and enthusiastic audiences. There
are some eloquent men among the showmen. Some of them are
Demosthenic. We looked around among them during the last day we
honored the Fair with our brilliant presence, and were rather
pleased at some things we heard and witnessed.
The man with the fat woman and the little woman and the little man
"'Ere's a show, now," said he, "worth seeing. 'Ere's a
entertainment that improves the morals. P.T. Barnum--you've all
hearn o' him. What did he say to me? Sez he to me, sez P.T.
Barnum, 'Sir, you have the all-firedest best show travelin!'--and
all to be seen for the small sum of fifteen cents!"
The man with the blue hog was there. Says he, "Gentle-MEN, this
beast can't turn round in a crockery crate ten feet square, and is
of a bright indigo blue. Over five hundred persons have seen this
wonderful BEING this mornin, and they said as they come out, 'What
can these 'ere things be? Is it alive? Doth it breathe and have a
being? Ah yes,' they say, 'it is true, and we have saw a
entertainment as we never saw afore. 'Tis nature's [only fifteen
cents--'ere's your change, sir] own sublime hand-works'--and walk
The man with the wild mare was there.
"Now, then, my friends, is your time to see the gerratist
queeriosity in the livin' world--a wild mare without no hair--
captered on the roarin wild prahayries of the far distant West by
sixteen Injuns. Don't fail to see this gerrate exhibition. Only
fifteen cents. Don't go hum without seein the State Fair, an' you
won't see the State Fair without you see my show. Gerratist
exhibition in the known world, an' all for the small sum of fifteen
Two gentlemen connected with the press here walked up and asked the
showman, in a still small voice, if he extended the usual courtesies
to editors. He said he did, and requested them to go in. While
they were in some sly dog told him their names. When they came out
the showman pretended to talk with them, though he didn't say a
word. They were evidently in a hurry.
"There, gentleMEN, what do you think them gentlemen say? They air
editors--editors, gentleMEN--Mr. ---, of the Cleveland ---, and Mr.
---, of the Detroit ---, and they say it is the gerratist show they
ever seed in their born days!"
[Nothing but the tip ends of the editors' coat-tails could be seen
when the showman concluded this speech.]
A smart-looking chap was doing a brisk business with a gambling
contrivance. Seeing two policemen approach, he rapidly and
ingeniously covered the dice up, mounted his table, and shouted:
"Ere's the only great show on the grounds! The highly trained and
performing Mud Turtle with nine heads and seventeen tails, captured
in a well-fortified hencoop, after a desperate struggle, in the
lowlands of the Wabash!"
The facetious wretch escaped.
A grave, ministerial-looking and elderly man in a white choker had a
gift-enterprise concern. "My friends," he solemnly said, "you will
observe that this jewellery is elegant indeed, but I can afford to
give it away, as I have a twin brother seven years older than I am,
in New York City, who steals it a great deal faster than I can give
it away. No blanks, my friends--all prizes--and only fifty cents a
chance. I don't make anything myself, my friends--all I get goes to
aid a sick woman--my aunt in the country, gentlemen--and besides I
like to see folks enjoy themselves!"
The old scamp said all this with a perfectly grave countenance.
The man with the "wonderful calf with five legs and a huming head,"
and "the philosophical lung-tester," were there. Then there was the
Flying Circus and any number of other ingenious contrivances to
relieve young ladies and gentlemen from the rural districts of their
A young man was bitterly bewailing the loss of his watch, which had
been cut from his pocket by some thief.
"You ain't smart," said a middle-aged individual in a dingy Kossuth
hat with a feather in it, and who had a very you-can't-fool-me look.
"I've been to the State Fair before, I want yer to understan, and
knows my bizniss aboard a propeller. Here's MY money," he
exultingly cried, slapping his pantaloons' pocket.
About half an hour after this we saw this smart individual rushing
frantically around after a policeman. Somebody had adroitly
relieved him of HIS money. In his search for a policeman he
encountered the young man who wasn't smart.
"Haw, haw, haw," violently laughed the latter; "by G--, I thought
you was smart--I thought you'd been to the State Fair before."
The smart man looked sad for a moment, but a knowing smile soon
crossed his face, and drawing the young man who wasn't smart
confidentially toward him, said--
"There wasn't only fifteen cents in coppers in my pocket--my MONEY
is in my boot--they can't fool me--I'VE BEEN TO THE STATE FAIR
7.8. THE WIFE.
"Home they brought her warrior dead:
She nor swooned, nor uttered cry.
All her maidens, watching, said,
'She must weep, or she will die.'"
The propriety of introducing a sad story like the following, in a
book intended to be rather cheerful in its character, may be
questioned; but it so beautifully illustrates the firmness of woman
when grief and despair have taken possession of "the chambers of her
heart," that we cannot refrain from relating it.
Lucy M-- loved with all the ardor of a fond and faithful wife, and
when he upon whom she had so confidingly leaned was stolen from her
by death, her friends and companions said Lucy would go mad. Ah,
how little they knew her!
Gazing for the last time upon the clay-cold features of her departed
husband, this young widow--beautiful even in her grief; so ethereal
to look upon, and yet so firm!--looking for the last time upon the
dear familiar face, now cold and still in death--oh, looking for the
last, last time--she rapidly put on her bonnet, and thus addressed
the sobbing gentlemen who were to act as pall-bearers:--"You
pall-bearers, just go into the buttery and get some rum, and we'll
start this man right along!"
7.9. A JUVENILE COMPOSITION.
ON THE ELEPHANT.
The Elephant is the most largest Annymile in the whole world. He
eats hay and kakes. You must not giv the Elephant Tobacker, becoz
if you do he will stamp his grate big feet upon to you and kill you
fatally Ded. Some folks thinks the Elephant is the most noblest
Annymile in the world; but as for Me, giv Me the American Egil and
the Stars & Stripes. Alexander Pottles, his Peace.
7.10. A POEM BY THE SAME.
SOME VERSES SUGGESTID BY 2 OF MY UNCLES.
Uncle Simon he
Clum up a tree
To see what he could see
Clum beside of him
And squatted down by he.
7.11. EAST SIDE THEATRICALS.
The Broadway houses have given the public immense quantities of
Central Park, Seven Sisters, Nancy Sykes, and J. Cade. I suppose
the Broadway houses have done this chiefly because it has paid them,
and so I mean no disrespect when I state that to me the thing became
rather stale. I sighed for novelty. A man may stand stewed veal
for several years, but banquets consisting exclusively of stewed
veal would become uninteresting after a century or so. A man would
want something else. The least particular man, it seems to me,
would desire to have his veal "biled," by way of a change. So I,
tired of the threadbare pieces at the Broadway houses, went to the
East Side for something fresh. I wanted to see some libertines and
brigands. I wanted to see some cheerful persons identified with the
blacksmith and sewing-machine interests triumph over those
libertines and brigands in the most signal manner. I wanted, in
short, to see the Downfall of Vice and Triumph of Virtue. That was
what ailed me. And so I went to the East Side.
Poor Jack Scott is gone, and Jo. Kirby dies no more on the East
Side. They've got the blood and things over there, but, alas!
they're deficient in lungs. The tragedians in the Bowery and
Chatham Street of to-day don't start the shingles on the roof as
their predecessors, now cold and stiff in death, used to when they
threw themselves upon their knees at the footlights and roared a
red-hot curse after the lord who had carried Susan away, swearing to
never more eat nor drink until the lord's vile heart was torn from
his body and ther-rown to the dorgs--rattling their knives against
the tin lamps and glaring upon the third tier most fearfully the
Glancing at the spot where it is said Senator Benjamin used to vend
second-hand clothes, and regretting that he had not continued in
that comparatively honorable vocation instead of sinking to his
present position--wondering if Jo. Kirby would ever consent, if he
were alive, to die wrapped up in a Secession flag!--gazing
admiringly upon the unostentatious signboard which is suspended in
front of the Hon. Izzy Lazarus's tavern--glancing, wondering, and
gazing thus, I enter the old Chatham theatre. The pit is full, but
people fight shy of the boxes.
The play is about a servant girl, who comes to the metropolis from
the agricultural districts in short skirts, speckled hose, and a
dashing little white hat, gaily decked with pretty pink ribbons--
that being the style of dress invariably worn by servant girls
from the interior. She is accompanied by a chaste young man in a
short-tailed red coat, who, being very desirous of protecting her
from the temptations of a large city, naturally leaves her in the
street and goes off somewhere. Servant girl encounters an elderly
female, who seems to be a very nice sort of person indeed, but the
young man in a short-tailed coat comes in and thrusts the elderly
female aside, calling her "a vile hag." This pleases the pit,
which is ever true to virtue, and it accordingly cries "Hi! hi! hi!"
A robber appears. The idea of a robber in times like these is
rather absurd. The most adroit robber would eke out a miserable
subsistence if he attempted to follow his profession now-a-days. I
should prefer to publish a daily paper in Chelsea. Nevertheless,
here is a robber. He has been playing poker with his "dupe," but
singularly enough the dupe has won all the money. This displeases
the robber, and it occurs to him that he will kill the dupe. He
accordingly sticks him. The dupe staggers, falls, says "Dearest
Eliza!" and dies. Cries of "Hi! hi! hi!" in the pit, while a
gentleman with a weed on his hat, in the boxes, states that the
price of green smelts is five cents a quart. This announcement is
not favorably received by the pit, several members of which come
back at the weeded individual with some advice in regard to
liquidating a long-standing account for beans and other refreshments
at an adjacent restaurant.
The robber is seized with remorse, and says the money which he has
taken from the dupe's pockets "scorches" him. Robber seeks refuge
in a miser's drawing-room, where he stays for "seven days." There
is a long chest full of money and diamonds in the room. The chest
is unlocked, but misers very frequently go off and leave long chests
full of money unlocked in their drawing-rooms for seven days, and
this robber was too much of a gentleman to take advantage of this
particular miser's absence. By and by the miser returns, when the
robber quietly kills him and chucks him in the chest. "Sleep with
your gold, old man!" says the bold robber, as he melodramatically
retreats--retreats to a cellar, where the servant girl resides.
Finds that she was formerly his gal when he resided in the rural
districts, and regrets having killed so many persons, for if so be
he hadn't he might marry her and settle down, whereas now he can't
do it, as he says he is "unhappy." But he gives her a ring--a ring
he has stolen from the dupe--and flies. Presently the dupe, who has
come to life in a singular but eminently theatrical manner, is
brought into the cellar. He discovers the ring upon the servant
girl's finger--servant girl states that she is innocent, and the
dupe, with the remark that he sees his mother, dies, this time
positively without reserve. Servant girl is taken to Newgate,
whither goes the robber and gains admission by informing the turnkey
that he is her uncle. Throws off his disguise, and, like a robber
bold and gay, says he is the guilty party and will save the servant
girl. He drinks a vial of poison, says he sees HIS mother, and dies
to slow fiddling. Servant girl throws herself upon him wildly, and
the virtuous young party in a short-tailed coat comes in and assists
in the tableau. Robber tells the servant girl to take the party in
the short-tailed coat and be happy, repeats that he sees his mother
(they always do), and dies again. Cries of "Hi! hi! hi!" and the
weeded gentleman reiterates the price of green smelts.
Not a remarkably heavy plot, but quite as bulky as the plots of the
Broadway sensation pieces.
7.12. SOLILOQUY OF A LOW THIEF.
My name is Jim Griggins. I'm a low thief. My parients was ignorant
folks, and as poor as the shadder of a bean pole. My advantages for
gettin' a eddycation was exceedin' limited. I growed up in the
street, quite loose and permiskis, you see, and took to vice because
I had nothing else to take to, and because nobody had never given me
a sight at virtue.
I'm in the penitentiary. I was sent here onct before for priggin' a
watch. I served out my time, and now I'm here agin, this time for
stealin' a few insignificant clothes.
I shall always blame my parients for not eddycatin' me. Had I been
liberally eddycated I could, with my brilliant native talents, have
bin a big thief--I b'leeve they call 'em defaulters. Instead of
confinin' myself to priggin' clothes, watches, spoons, and sich
like, I could have plundered princely sums--thousands and hundreds
of thousands of dollars--and that old humbug, the Law, wouldn't have
harmed a hair of my head! For, you see, I should be smart enough to
get elected State Treasurer, or have something to do with Banks or
Railroads, and perhaps a little of both. Then, you see, I could
ride in my carriage, live in a big house with a free stun frunt,
drive a fast team, and drink as much gin and sugar as I wanted. A
inwestigation might be made, and some of the noospapers might come
down on me heavy, but what the d----l would I care about that,
havin' previously taken precious good care of the stolen money?
Besides, my "party" would swear stout that I was as innersunt as the
new-born babe, and a great many people would wink very pleasant, and
say, "Well, Griggins understands what HE'S 'bout, HE does.!"
But havin' no eddycation, I'm only a low thief--a stealer of watches
and spoons and sich--a low wretch, anyhow--and the Law puts me
through without mercy.
It's all right, I spose, and yet I sometimes think it's wery hard to
be shut up here, a wearin' checkered clothes, a livin' on cold
vittles, a sleepin' on iron beds, a lookin' out upon the world
through iron muskeeter bars, and poundin' stun like a galley slave,
day after day, week after week, and year after year, while my
brother thieves (for to speak candid, there's no difference between
a thief and a defaulter, except that the latter is forty times
wuss), who have stolen thousands of dollars to my one cent, are
walkin' out there in the bright sunshine--dressed up to kill, new
clothes upon their backs and piles of gold in their pockets! But
the Law don't tech 'em. They are too big game for the Law to shoot
at. It's as much as the Law can do to take care of us ignorant
Who said there was no difference 'tween tweedledum and tweedledee?
He lied in his throat, like a villain as he was! I tell ye there's
a tremendous difference.
Oh that I had been liberally eddycated!
7.13. THE NEGRO QUESTION.
I was sitting in the bar, quietly smokin a frugal pipe, when two
middle-aged and stern-looking females and a young and pretty female
suddenly entered the room. They were accompanied by two umberellers
and a negro gentleman.
"Do you feel for the down-trodden?" said one of the females, a
thin-faced and sharp-voiced person in green spectacles.
"Do I feel for it?" ansered the lan'lord, in a puzzled voice--" do
I feel for it?"
"Yes; for the oppressed, the benighted?"
"Inasmuch as to which?" said the lan'lord.
"You see this man?" said the female, pintin her umbreller at the
"Yes, marm, I see him."
"Yes!" said the female, raisin her voice to a exceedin high pitch,
"you see him, and he's your brother!"
"No, I'm darned if he is!" said the lan'lord, hastily retreating to
"And yours!" shouted the excited female, addressing me. "He is also
"No, I think not, marm," I pleasantly replied. "The nearest we come
to that color in our family was the case of my brother John. He had
the janders for sev'ral years, but they finally left him. I am
happy to state that, at the present time, he hasn't a solitary
"Look at this man!" screamed the female.
I looked at him. He was an able-bodied, well-dressed,
comfortable-looking negro. He looked as though he might heave three
or four good meals a day into him without a murmur.
"Look a that down-trodden man!" cried the female.
"Who trod on him?" I inquired.
"Well," said the lan'lord, "why don't you go to the willins about
it? Why do you come here tellin us niggers is our brothers, and
brandishin your umbrellers round us like a lot of lunytics? You're
wuss than the sperrit-rappers!"
"Have you," said middle-aged female No. 2, who was a quieter sort of
person, "have you no sentiment--no poetry in your soul--no love for
the beautiful? Dost never go into the green fields to cull the
"I not only never dost," said the landlord, in an angry voice, "but
I'll bet you five pound you can't bring a man as dares say I durst."
"The little birds," continued the female, "dost not love to gaze
"I would I were a bird, that I might fly to thou!" I humorously
sung, casting a sweet glance at the pretty young woman.
"Don't you look in that way at my dawter!" said female No. 1., in a
violent voice; "you're old enough to be her father."
"'Twas an innocent look, dear madam," I softly said. "You behold in
me an emblem of innocence and purity. In fact, I start for Rome by
the first train to-morrow to sit as a model to a celebrated artist
who is about to sculp a statue to be called Sweet Innocence. Do you
s'pose a sculper would send for me for that purpose onless he knowd
I was overflowing with innocency? Don't make a error about me."
"It is my opinyn," said the leading female, "that you're a scoffer
and a wretch! Your mind is in a wusser beclouded state than the
poor nergoes' we are seeking to aid. You are a groper in the dark
cellar of sin. O sinful man!
'There is a sparkling fount
Come, O come, and drink.'
No! you will not come and drink."
"Yes, he will," said the landlord, "if you'll treat. Jest try him."
"As for you," said the enraged female to the landlord, "you're a
degraded bein, too low and wulgar to talk to."
"This is the sparklin fount for me, dear sister!" cried the
lan'lord, drawin and drinkin a mug of beer. Having uttered which
goak, he gave a low rumblin larf, and relapsed into silence.
"My colored fren," I said to the negro, kindly, "what is it all
He said they was trying to raise money to send missionaries to the
Southern States in America to preach to the vast numbers of negroes
recently made free there. He said they were without the gospel.
They were without tracts.
I said, "My fren," this is a seris matter. I admire you for trying
to help the race to which you belong, and far be it from me to say
anything again carrying the gospel among the blacks of the South.
Let them go to them by all means. But I happen to individually know
that there are some thousands of liberated blacks in the South who
are starvin. I don't blame anybody for this, but it is a very sad
fact. Some are really too ill to work, some can't get work to do,
and others are too foolish to see any necessity for workin. I was
down there last winter and I observed that this class had plenty of
preachin for their souls, but skurce any vittles for their stummux.
Now, if it is proposed to send flour and bacon along with the
gospel, the idea is really an excellent one. If, on t'other hand,
it is proposed to send preachin alone, all I can say is that it's a
hard case for the niggers. If you expect a colored person to get
deeply interested in a tract when his stummuck is empty, you expect
I gave the negro as much as I could afford, and the kind-hearted
lan'lord did the same. I said:
"Farewell, my colored fren, I wish you well, certainly. You are now
as free as the eagle. Be like him and soar. But don't attempt to
convert a Ethiopian person while his stummuck yearns for vittles.
And you, ladies--I hope you are ready to help the poor and
unfortunate at home, as you seem to help the poor and unfortunate
When they had gone, the lan'lord said, "Come into the garden, Ward."
And we went and culled some carrots for dinner.
7.14. ARTEMUS WARD ON HEALTH.
[The following fragment from the pen of Artemus Ward was written in
the last days of his illness, and was found amongst the loose papers
on the table beside his bed. It contains the last written jests of
the dying jester, and is illustrative of that strong spirit of humor
which even extreme exhaustion and the near approach of death itself
could not wholly destroy.
There is an anecdote related of Thomas Hood to the effect that when
he was just upon the point of dying, his friend, Mr. F.O. WARD,
visited him, and, to amuse him, related some of his adventures in
the low parts of the metropolis in his capacity as a sanitary
commissioner. "Pray desist," said Hood; "your anecdote gives me the
back-slum-bago." The proximity of death could no more deprive poor
Artemus of his power to jest than it could Thomas Hood. When
nothing else was left him to joke upon, when he could no longer seek
fun in the city streets, or visit the Tower of London and call it "a
sweet boon," his own shattered self suggested a theme for jesting.
He commenced this paper "On Health." The purport of it, I believe,
was to ridicule doctors generally; for Artemus was bitterly
sarcastic on his medical attendants, and he had some good reasons
for being so. A few weeks before he died, a German physician
examined his throat with a laryngoscope, and told him that nothing
was the matter with him except a slight inflammation of the larynx.
Another physician told him that he had heart disease, and a third
assured him that he merely required his throat to be sponged two or
three times a day, and take a preparation of tortoise shell for
medicine, to perfectly recover! Every doctor made a different
diagnosis, and each had a different specific. One alone of the many
physicians to whom Artemus applied seemed to be fully aware that the
poor patient was dying of consumption in its most formidable form.
Not merely phthisis, but a cessation of functions and a wasting away
of the organs most concerned in the vital processes. Artemus saw
how much the doctors were at fault, and used to smile at them with a
sadly scornful smile as they left the sick room. "I must write a
paper," said he, "about health and doctors." The few paragraphs
which follow are, I believe, all that he wrote on the subject.
Whether the matter became too serious to him for further jesting, or
whether his hand became too weak to hold the pen, I cannot say. The
article terminates as abruptly as did the life of its gentle, kind,
Ontil quite recent, I've bin a helthy individooal. I'm near 60, and
yit I've got a muskle into my arms which don't make my fists
resemble the tread of a canary bird when they fly out and hit a man.
Only a few weeks ago I was exhibitin in East Skowhegan, in a b'ildin
which had form'ly bin ockepyied by a pugylist--one of them fellers
which hits from the shoulder, and teaches the manly art of self
defens. And he cum and said he was goin in free, in consekence of
previ'sly ockepyin sed b'ildin, with a large yeller dog. I sed, "To
be sure, sir, but not with those yeller dogs." He sed, "Oh, yes."
I sed, "Oh, no." He sed, "Do you want to be ground to powder?" I
sed, "Yes, I do, if there is a powder-grindist handy." When he
struck me a disgustin blow in my left eye, which caused that concern
to at once close for repairs; but he didn't hurt me any more. I
went for him. I went for him energet'cally. His parents live near
by, and I will simply state that 15 minits after I'd gone for him,
his mother, seein the prostrate form of her son approachin the house
on to a shutter carrid by four men, run out doors, keerfully looked
him over, and sed, "My son, you've been foolin round a thrashin
masheen. You went in at the end where they put the grain in, come
out with the straw, and then got up in the thingumajig and let the
hosses tred on you, didn't you, my son?"
You can jedge by this what a disagreeable person I am when I'm
But to resoom about helth. I cum of a helthy fam'ly.
The Wards has allus been noted for helthiness.
The fust of my ancestors that I know anything about was Abijah Ward
and his wife, Abygil Ward who came over with the Pilgrims in the
"Mayflower." Most of the Pilgrims was sick on the passige, but my
ancestor wasn't. Even when the tempist raged and the billers
howled, he sold another Pilgrim a kag of apple sass. The Pilgrim
who bo't it was angry when he found that under a few layers of sass
the rest was sawdust, and my ancestor sed he wouldn't have b'leeved
such wickedness could exist, when he ascertained that the bill sed
Pilgrim gave him was onto a broken bank, and wasn't wuth the price
of a glass of new gin. It will be thus seen that my fust ancestor
had a commercial mind.
My ancestors has all bin helthy people, tho' their pursoots in life
has been vari's.
* * * * *
* * * * *
7.15. A FRAGMENT.
[Among the papers, letters and miscellanea left on the table of poor
Ward was found the fragment which follows. Diligent search failed
to discover any beginning or end to it. The probability is that it
consists of part of a paper intended to describe a comic trip round
England. To write a comic itinerary of an English tour was one of
the author's favorite ideas; and another favorite one was to travel
on the Continent and compile a comic "Murray's Guide." No interest
attaches to this mere scrap other than that it exemplifies what the
writer would have attempted had his life been longer.]
* * * * *
At North Berwick there was a maniacal stampede toward the little
house by the railside, where they sell such immense quantities of
sponge-cake, which is very sweet and very yellow, but which lies
rather more heavily on the stomach than raw turnips, as I
ascertained one day from actual experience. This is not stated
because I have any spite against this little house by the railside.
Their mince-pies are nobly made, and their apple-pies are
unsurpassed. Some years ago there used to be a very pretty girl at
this house, and one day, while I was struggling rapidly with a piece
of mince-pie, I was so unfortunate as to wink slightly at her. The
rash act was discovered by a yellow-haired party, who stated that
she was to be his wife ere long, and that he "expected" he could
lick any party who winked at her. A cursory examination of his
frame convinced me that he could lick me with disgustin ease, so I
told him it was a complaint of the eyes. "They are both so," I
added, "and they have been so from infancy's hour. See here!" And
I commenced winking in a frightful manner. I escaped, but it was
inconvenient for me for some time afterwards, because whenever I
passed over the road I naturally visited the refreshment house, and
was compelled to wink in a manner which took away the appetites of
other travellers, and one day caused a very old lady to state, with
her mouth full of sponge-cake, that she had cripples and drunkards
in her family, but thanks to the heavens above, no idiots without
any control over their eyes, looking sternly at me as she spoke.
That was years ago. Besides, the wink was a pure accident. I trust
that my unblemished character--but I will not detain you further
with this sad affair.
* * * * *
There have been several editions of the Works of Artemus Ward.
The Following appeared in THE COMPLETE WORKS OF ARTEMUS WARD, A New
Impression; Chatto & Windus, London 1922
Additional short pieces by A. Ward.
7.16. BRIGHAM YOUNG'S WIVES.
7.17. A. WARD'S FIRST UMBRELLA.
7.18. AN AFFECTING POEM.
7.19. MORMON BILL OF FARE.
A comtemporary review
7.20. "THE BABES IN THE WOOD."
7.21. MR. WARD ATTENDS A GRAFFICK (SOIREE.)
7.22. A. WARD AMONG THE MORMONS.--REPORTED BY HIMSELF
--OR SOMEBODY ELSE.
7.16. BRIGHAM YOUNG'S WIVES.
Frends and Feller Passingers.--I'm e'en a most tiard ov statin my
convicshuns regarden them Mormoness plooralyties, which sits
theirselves round Mister Yung's grate table when the dinner-bell
booms merryly thruout the long and short ov this ere land.
Heavy figgerin isn't my berthrite; it's the nobil contemplativ what's
the pecoolar offshute of these massiv brane.
"But how many wives has he?"
Wall, all A. W. nose abowt it is thet his luvly contemplativ wun day
used up the MulteplyKashun tabul in kountin the long Stockins on a
close line in Brigham's back yard--and he soddingly had to leave, fer
the site made him dizzy. It was too mutch for him.
-- Yures abstractid,
7.17. A. WARD'S FIRST UMBRELLA.
[A friend of Artemus Ward's sends the following, with the request
that it may be included in the present edition.]
The solumncholies hev bin on-to A. W. now and agin, as it dus to most
ov the four-lorned human naturs in this Vayl of Tares. She's tickled
me considerabull sumtims--only it was the wrong wa. Most human
naturs git tickled the wrong wa sumtims.
She was heviest onter me the fust yeer I ever owned a Umbrellar. I
was going on 18 yeer old then, and praid for rane as bad as any
dride-up farmer. I wantid to show that umBrellar--I wantid to mak
sum persnul apeerents with that brellar--I desirud Jim parker and
Hiram Goss to witness the site--I felt my birthWrite was bowned up in
that brellar--I wantid to be a MAN!
I'd un-hook'd frum Betsy Jain fur a spell--(canfidenshal, leastways,
I hadn't commenced cortin up to her rite down in ernest then)--and
kum evenin I went over to the Widder Blakes. I'd the umBrellar
along, and opun'd it outside the door--pretendin I couldn't klose it
like, so that the dawter could hev a good Luke at my property. But
it wuz no use; the new Brellar didn't take, and Sally sed she thort I
"needn't cum agin !"
I hev bin many wheres, and seen sum few in this erthly Tavernknuckle,
but ov all the solum hours I ever speeriunsed the 1 ockepied in going
hum that partickler nite frum the Widders was the most solumm.
I'd a mind to throw awa that Brellar more'n onct as I went along.
7.18. AN AFFECTING POEM.
"POOR Jonathan Snow
Away did go
All on the ragen mane,
With other males,
All for to ketch wales,
& nere come back agen.
The wind bloo high,
The billers tost,
All hands were lost,
And he was one,
A spritely lad,
7.19. MORMON BILL OF FARE
BRIGHAM YOUNG'S HOUSES.
BRIGHAM'S Wives live in these houses. They live well at Brigham's,
the following being the usual
BILL OF FARE.
Matrimonial Stews (with pretty Pickles).
Salt Lake Gudgeon.
Brigham's Lambs (Sauce piquante).
Minced Heart (Mormon style).
Domestic Broils (Family style)
Raw Dog (a la Injun).
Tongue (lots of it).
Cabbage-head, Some Pumpkins, &c.
Apples of Discord, a great many Pairs;
Mormon Sweet-Hearts, Jumbles, &c.
7.20. "THE BABES IN THE WOOD."
[The following amusing critique or report of Artemus Ward's favourite
lecture entitled "The Babes in the wood" was written the day after
its first delivery in San Francisco, California, by one of the
contributors to the Golden Era. As an imitation of A. Ward's
burlesque orthography it is somewhat overdone; but it has,
nevertheless, certain touches of humour which will amuse the English
reader. Why the lecture is called "The Babes in the Wood" is not
known, unless it is because they are WARDS. -- ED.]
Nite befoar larst was an Erer in the annals of Sand Francisco; yis,
an Erer; I sa it, and I guess I know what a Erer is! I gess I do!
It's something like this noosepaper, for instance; something that's
gut a big Injin onto it; though the Big Injin Fryday Nite had his
close on, which this moril Jernal's Injin hasn't, bein intended to
represent that nobil read man of the forrist, of hoom the poet
"Low, the poor Injin! hoose untootered mind
Clothes him in frunt--Butt leaves him bare behind!"
However, let that parse.
I hearn thare was to be a show up to Mr Platt's Haul on the occashun
allewded to; so I took Maria An an' the children--with the excepshun
of the smollest wun, which, under the inflewence of tired Nachure's
sweet restorer, Missis Winslow's Soothin Syrup, was rapped in barmy
slumbers--up to prayer meetin; and after havin excoosed myself to the
pardner of my boosom, on the plee of havin swallered a boks of
Bristol's Sugar-Coated Pills, I slipt out and went down to the Haul,
thinkin I would have a little relaxation. Prubably Mariar An thought
so too. (That are a double entender, but I didn't intend it.)
Although I arrove quite airly, I found a few Individools I mean to sa
I found but few who ware not--already in the Haul. I would not on no
account whatsumdever, no how you can fix it, deceeve nobody nor
nothin', for I am a pieus man, and send my wife to church, and
addhere to the trooth; and yit, I ventoor to assurt, that I never in
all my born dase beheld so menny fokes befoar--stop, I er slitely-- I
had a seat in the rear.
It seemed as tho the hole populashun had turned out en massy to
welcum the gratist wit of his age.--He is older than me.
The curtin roze--no, I do not desire to misrepresent fax--there was
no curtin--I think thare should have bin!
The lectoor commenced at a few minutes past ate--precisely. The gay
and gifted Artemus stepped to his place, and after acknowledging my
presence by a polite bow, prooeeded to define the platform on which
he stood--Oregon pine. The papers, with thare usuil fidelity to fax,
had stated that the entertainment would consist only of a lectoor, &
that the kangaroo & wax-figgers would not be introdooced--"dooced
queer," thinks I, and I soon discovered the telegram; for Mr. Ward
used a number of figgers--of speech.
Thare ware also severeil animils thare, thare was, tho I don't know
whether they belonged to him, as they was scattered thro the
ordgunce, and was boysterous to a degre--yis, two degrese.
Some of the funniest of the fundymentall principles of the lectoor
escaped me--rather I escaped them--partly owin to the fokes squeeging
in at the dore, and partly owin to a pretty but frail gurl wayin all
the way from 200 up to 250 lbs. avoirdoopois, which sot herself rite
onto my lap.
Mr Ward statid that he would not give a fillosoffical lectoor--nor an
astronomical lectoor--nor--did he say what kind of lectoor he would
give. The subjec was, however, the "Babes in the Wood." He has had
the Babes in the Wood sum time. Mr. Ward is not rich--but is doin--
as well as could be expected.
It is one of the lectoors you read about, you know--here. Yis, I sa
it's a great moril lectoor; I sa it boldly, because I've heerd--of
The structoor of the lectoor was as they sa in architectoor of the
compost like ordoor; first a stratter of this, then a stratter of
that; that is to sa--kinder mixed, you know. It was on the
aneckdotale plan, and speakin of aneckdotes reminds me of a little
story--it is wun of Mr Ward's, by the way; it will bare repitition--
it lass, so far, stood it very well. It is of a young made, hoose
name it was Mehitabull--some of it, at least--enuff--for the present
porpussus--and of a nobil and galyunt lovyier, which his naim it was
John Jones. This young man was a patrut, tho oppoged to coershun.
The enrolin officer going his rounds was beheld by this young man
wile yit he was afar off, the site was not a welcum wun to John, and
it propelled him to seek proteekshun of his plited wun, in hoose hous
he was at that critical moment. Time was preshus. What was too be
dun? The enemy was now neer at hand. "Git under my hoops," sez
Mehitabull. The heroick youth obade.
After a pause the offisser hentered the manshun.
"Is thare any men in this 'ere hous?" sez he.
"Not as I nose--on," replied the damsell.
"Then," sez the offisser, "I gess I'll stop awhile myself."
He stopped a our. After witch he stopped anuther our; after witch he
continuood to stop.
During this time John Jones was garspin for breath. At last he felt
he cood endoor it no longer, without--ingoory to his helth. He put
his hed out of his strong hold and sed to the amazed offisser, "I
think the draft will doo me good--I mean the draft of are."
"You air in favor of the Proclamashun!" red the offisser.
"Yis, and of ventilation."
The young man was not drafted, but he is still single--single-ar to
The abov is a correct report of the story as I heern it--I only heern
the naims, fancy has supplide the rest.
P.S.--I larfed all the wa home; observin witch severil peple gave me
the hole walk, evidently taking me for a hilarious loonatic.
A. Ward will shortly lecshoor on Asstronmy, I heer, partickly upon
the Konstlashun ov the Suthern Cross, which he portends he found out
to be a MULATTO.
7.21. MR. WARD ATTENDS A GRAFFICK (SOIREE.)
[Shortly after the publication in this country of "Artemus Ward His
Book," I received from a friend the following article, purporting to
have been written by Mr. W. during a stay in Bristol. The sketch
appeared in the "Bristol Record,"* and upon writing to the editor for
further information concerning it, I received from that gentleman
such a cautious reply as confirmed a previous suspicion that "the
showman" had not visited the great western city, and that the article
was either a concoction in Mr. Ward's style, or one of the papers of
Josh Billings, an imitator of Mr. W., slightly altered to suit the
locality of its republication. Whether these conjectures are correct
or not, the article is here given for the English reader's criticism,
and, although not equal in humour to A. Ward's more successful
pieces, certain pleasantries of expression and droll extravagances
observable in it will, at least, repay perusal.]
Prefixed to the article in the Record was the following:-" A letter
has just been shown to us, of which we subjoin a portion, from which
it will appear that Mr. -- (we suppress the name for obvious reasons)
is not the only illustrious American who is sojourning at present at
Clifton. Artemus Ward has retired for the present from his
professional duties, in consequence of the rough treatment which he
lately received in the Southern States. His admirers have sent him
to England to recruit, and he was last week at Clifton, and dined
with Mr. --. We are violating no literary confidence in mentioning
the above, as Mr. Ward is combining business with pleasure, and his
letters will appear in the New York Tribune, to which journal he has
temporarily attached himself as special European correspondent.--Ed.
WALL, we had a just sittled down to our wine, when sez the Squire
soddenlick, "Mr. W., would you like to go to a Graffick?"
"What's a Graffick?" sed I.
"A Pictur-shew," sed he, "with a swoiree between, and all the
fashionables of this interestin location there."
"Don't care if I duz," sed I, "perwided u go the Ticket."
"Sertingly," sed he. "Mr. Ward, you are my guest for the evening."
So we put on our go-to-meetings, and yaller kid-skins, and sot off.
There was a purty tidy fixin of shrubs and statooary as we went in
(but nuthin ekal to the Bowery Saloon, New York!), and stairs up and
stairs down, and gals in opera clokes ascendin and D-scendin.
First we go up into a big room with a blaze o' lite and a crowd of
cumpany. The Squire whispers to me, and sez he'll pint out the
lokial celebrities. At the end of the room is a great pictur,
representin a stout femail on a tarnation dark back-ground. The
critters scrowded up to it, and looked on in hor. Presently I feels
the Squire nudging me.
"Do you see that individooal," sed he, "with Hyacinthian curls, and
his eye in a fine frenzy rollin! That's the great art critic, who
lays down the lor for Bristol and ets vicinity."
So I pushed up cloas, and sed I to the creteck, "Wall, Mister, what
dew think of that air piece of canvas staining?"
At first he Ide me loftily, and made no reply. At last he spoak
(with grate deliberashun). "Not yet have I mastered the pictur. I'm
a studyin of the onperfectly-seen vizionoimies behind. Them guards
is a phernomenon. The soul of the painter has projected itself
thrugh the august glooms."
"Don't see it," sez I. "Them shadders want glazin--and the
middletints is no whur. Guess if Hiram Applesquash (our 'domestic
decorator' to hum) had pertrayed them guards, he would hev slicked
off their Uniforms as bright as a New England tulip."
The creteck regarded me With Contemptoous indignashun.
"Hullo!" sed I next, "whose been and stolen a signboard, and stuck
it up in this refined society?"
"To what do you defer?" sez he, still very fridgid.
"To that corpulent figgur," sez I, "in military fixins."
"That, sair," sez he, with severity, "is a portrait of his Majusty
the King of Denmark, lately disEased."
"A portraickt of his cloze, you mean," sez I. "Is that sprorling
pictur a work of art? (N.B.--This I sed sarcasticul.) Hiram A.
touched off a new Sign for the Tavern at Baldinsville jest before
I saled, and his 'President's Head' would bete this by a long chalk
any day." With that I scowled at the Creteck, and left him looking
considerable smawl pertaters.
Arter this we went down into the Cole-hole, wich they had cleaned
out for the night and white-washed. Here I own was buties of natur.
I always had a liken for water-colar paintin, and sometimes take a
sketcht in that way myself. Me and Squire tried to get a good look,
but was engulphed in an oshun of hot galls, who kinder steamed again.
The gas, close over our heads, nigh made our brains bile over, so
sez I, "Let's make tracks out of this, Squire. It ain't civet
(Schakspar) here. This parfume of humanity is horrid unhandsome."
"Let's have a cup of corfy," says he, "to repare exhorsted natur."
"A sherry cobbler would be more to the purpose," says I, "but if they
hev none of them coolin drinks at art sworricks, here goes for the
Moky." (N.B.--This I sed ironical. Korfy at sworricks is usually
So we med our way into another room, with 2 bar-counters, and a crowd
of people pushin and drivin to get forrerd. They knocked and elbered
me about till I felt my dander riz. "Come on, Squire," sez I,
setting my arms a kimber; "take care, my old coons, of your tendur
Korns and Bunyans. Look out for your ribs, for I've crooked my
elbers," and forrerd I goes with Squire follerin' in my wake. Bimeby
a woman's long skirt gets between my legs, and I spins round and goes
kerslash into the stumuck of a fat old gentleman, who was just blowin
his third cup. He med a spaired his breath though! kerslap I goes
into his wastecote, and kesouse goes his coffy over his shoulders
onto hed and neck of a bony old made with a bird of Pardice in her
"Beg your pardon, marm," sez I, as soon as I could speak.
She looked imprekashuns, and turned away ortily, mopping herself down
with a laced nose-rag.
The Old gentleman was more cholerick. "Cuss your clumsiness," says
he, "can't you come to a graffick without punching your ugly hed Into
other people's stumucks?"
"I didn't go for to do it," sez I, "and jest put the Sadll on the
right hoss, mister," I continerred. "If this femail behind didn't
carry so much slack foresail, she wuddn't hev entangled my spars and
careened me over."
Arter this I would try no more of their all-fired corfy. Squire--
had had enough of the Sworrick, so we made tracks for the Ho-tell.
"Bring-up a quart of brandy," sez the Squire, "and a bilin o' lemons
and sugar. Mr. W.," sez he, "there's not much of me left. Let's
liquor up! Let's have a smoke and a cocktail." So we mixes, and
had an entertaining discorse on polite literatoor. "Dod-rabbit the
sworrick," says Squire. "Say no more about it. I was a fool, Mr
Ward, to prefare it to your amusin an inshstructive conversashun."
After a while we got cheerful and sung "ale Columby" (it's a fine
voice the Squire has for a doo-et). Respect for the soshul Borde
makes me now cave in and klose my commoonication. Squire -- is a
grate filantherpist, but he's not grate at stowing away his lick-er.
I tuk him to bed after the 3d tumbler, that the cuss of a british
Waiter might not see one of us free & enlightened citizens onable to
walk strate. He said it was a wet night, and demanded his umburella.
Likewise he wouldn't hev his boots off, for fere of catchin cold. I
put the candle in the wash-basan that the critter mightn't set
hisself on fire, and left him in bed with his umburella up, singing
Arter that I went down and finished the mahogany. (Brandy and water,
the ruddy appearance of which indicates that very little of the
latter has been used in its composition. Spanish is the stronger,
and Honduras the milder mixture.)
7.22. A. WARD AMONG THE MORMONS.--REPORTED BY HIMSELF--OR SOMEBODY
(The following rough report of Artemus Ward's Lecture in California
Appeared in the "San Francisco Era," during the lecturer's visit to
that city. It has been thought worthy of preservation in the form
of a supplementary paper to the present little volume.
FELLER-CITIZENS AND FELLER-CITIZENESSES,--I feel truly glad to see
you here to-night, more especially those who have paid, although I am
too polite to say how many are here who have not paid, but who take a
base advantage of the good-nature of my friend and manager, Hingston,
bothering him to give them free tickets, gratis, and also for
nothing; and my former friend and manager, Rosenberg, assures me that
the best way to prevent a person from enjoying any entertainment is
to admit them without the equivalent spondulics. What a man gets for
nothing he don't care for.
Talking of free tickets, my first lecture was a wonderful success--
house so full that everybody who could pay turned from the doors. It
Walking about Salt Lake City on the morning before the lecture, I met
Elder Kimball. Well, I most imprudently gave him a family ticket.
That ticket filled the house, and left about a dozen of the young
Kimballs howling in the cold. After that I limited my family tickets
to "Admit Elder Jones, ten wives, and thirty children."
You may perhaps be astonished that I, a rather fascinating bachelor,
escaped from Salt Lake City without the loss of my innocence. Well I
will confess, confidentially, that was only by the skin of my teeth,
and thanks to the virtuous lecturing of my friend Hingston, whose
British prejudices amainst Bigamy, Trigamy, and Brighamy, saying
nothing of Ninnygavigamy, could not be overcome.
My narrowest escape was this:
About six hours before I arrived an elder died. I think his name
was Smith. You may have heard that name before; but it isn't the
Smith you know--it is quite another Smith. Well, this defunct elder
left a small assortment of wives behind him--I think there were
seventeen--of all ages, from seventeen to seventy. This miscellaneous
gathering included three grandmothers, a fact which lent a venerable
sanctity to the affair. I received an invitation--I went--and was
introduced to the whole seventeen widows at once. Sam Weller or Dr.
Shelton Mackenzie--I forget which--says, "One widow is dangerous;"
but, perhaps, there is safety in a multitude of them. All I know is,
that they made the tenderest appeals to me, as a man and a brother;
but I threw myself upon their mercy--I told them I was far away from
my parents and my Sainted Maria, and that I was a good young man;
and finally, I begged to know if their intentions were honourable?
"Young man, dash not the cup of happiness from your life!"
"I have no objection to a cup, but I cannot stand an entire
They grew more and more tender--two put their arms around me and
pinioned me, while the other fifteen drew large shears from their
pockets, and, under pretence of getting a lock of hair for each,
they left me as bare as a goose-egg. Indians couldn't have scalped
me closer. I made Samson-like my escape from these Delilahs by
stratagem. I assured them that I was sickening for the measles,
which, like love, is always the more fatal the later it comes in
life. I also told them that my friend Hingston was a much better
looking man than I was; also that he was an Englishman, and that,
according to that nation's creed, every Englishman is equal to five
Americans and five hundred Frenchmen: consequently there would be
some to spare of him. This happy thought saved me. I was let off
upon solemnly promising to deliver Hingston into their arms, bound,
Laocoon-like, by the serpent spells of their charms, or, like
Regulus, potted and preserved in a barrel of fingernails, for their
Hingston, little dreaming of the sale I had made of him, went on the
pretended errand of conveying to these seventeen beauties a farewell
bouquet. Poor fellow! that is the last I ever saw of him--he was
never heard of again.
The gentleman who acts as my manager is somebody else. I must ask
the indulgence of the audience for twenty minutes, while I drop a few
tears to his memory. (Here Artemus holds his head over a barrel, and
the distinct dripping of a copious shower is heard.)
As I feel a little better, I will recommence my lecture--I don't mean
to defend Mormonism--indeed, I have no hesitation in affirming, and I
affirm it boldly, and I would repeat the observation to my own wife's
face, if I had one, but as I haven't one, I'll say it boldly to every
other man's wife, that I don't think it wise to marry more than one
wife at a time, without it is done to oblige the ladies, and then it
should be done sparingly, and not oftener than three times a day, for
the marriage ceremony isn't lightly to be repeated. But I want to
tell you what Brigham Young observed to me.
"Artemus, my boy," said he, "you don't know how often a man marries
against his will. Let me recite one case out of a hundred that has
happened to myself. About three months ago a family arrived here--
they were from Hoboken--everybody knows how beautiful the Jersey
girls are--with the exception of applejack, they are the nicest
things Jersey produces. Well, this family consisted of four
daughters, a mother and two grandmothers, one with teeth, the other
without. I took a fancy to the youngest of the girls, and proposed.
After considerable reflection she said: 'I can't think of marrying
you without you marry my three sisters as well.'
"After some considerable hesitation I agreed, and went to the girl's
mother for her consent: 'No objection to your marrying my four girls,
but you'll have to take me as well.' After a little reflection, I
consented, and went to the two grandmothers for their consent:--'No
objection,' said the old dames in a breath, 'but you'll have to marry
us as well. We cannot think of separating the family.' After a
little cosy hesitation on my part, I finally agreed to swallow the
two old venerable antiquities as a sort of sauce to the other five."
Under these circumstances, who can wonder at Brigham Young being the
most highly married man in the Republic? In a word, he is too much
married--indeed, if I were he, I should say two hundred and too much
As I see my esteemed friend Joe Whitton, of Niblo's Garden, sitting
right before me, I will give him an anecdote which he will
appreciate. There is considerable barter in Salt Lake City--horses
and cows are good for hundred-dollar greenbacks, while pigs, dogs,
cats, babies, and pickaxes are the fractional currency. I dare say
my friend Joe Whitton would be as much astonished as I was after my
first lecture. Seeing a splendid house I naturally began to reckon
my spondulics. Full of this Pactolean vision, I went into my
"Now, Hingston, my boy, let us see what the proceeds are! We shall
soon make a fortune at this rate."
Hingston with the solemnity of a cashier, then read the proceeds of
"Three cows, one with horns, and two without, but not a stumptail;
fourteen pigs, alive and grunting; seventeen hams, sugar cured; three
babies in arms, two of them cutting their teeth, and the other
sickening with the chicken-coop, or some such disease." There were
no end of old hats, ladies' hoops, corsets, and another article of
clothing, generally stolen from the husband. There was also a
secondhand coffin, three barrels of turnips, and a peck of coals;
there was likewise a footless pair of stockings without the legs, and
a pair of embroidered gaiters, a little worn. If I could find the
legs belonging to them--well, I won't say what I'd do now--but leave
all ladies in that pleasing state of expectation which is true
happiness. Ladies and gentlemen, my lecture is done--if you refuse
to leave the hall, you'll be forcibly ejected.
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