We forgot what Jones told us about the dampers, and she kept a biling. The only thing we could do was to go to bed, and leave the thing to burn the house up if it wanted to. We stood off with a pole and turned the damper every way, and at every turn she just sent out heat enough to roast an ox. We went to bed, supposing that the coal would eventually burn out, but about 12 o'clock the whole family had to get up and sit on the fence.
Finally a man came along who had been brought up among coal stoves, and he put a wet blanket over him and crept up to the stove and turned the proper dingus, and she cooled off, and since that time has been just as comfortable as possible. If you buy a coal stove you want to learn how to engineer it, or you may get roasted.
A COLD, CHEERLESS RIDE.
Probably the most cold-blooded affair that ever occurred took place at a certain summer resort a couple of weeks ago. There was going to be a picnic, and a young man and the girl he was engaged to be married to started in a row-boat to cross the lake, taking an ice cream freezer full of frozen ice cream for the picnic. Just before arriving at the picnic the boat capsized. The boat was bottom side up, and the young man helped the girl on to the ice cream freezer, and he got on the boat, and after floating for half an hour they were rescued.
The girl did not complain at the time she was put on the freezer, as she was glad enough to get on anything that would float, but after they got ashore, and she had a chance to reflect on the matter, and talk with the other girls, she concluded that his getting on the boat, which was nice and warm, and putting her aboard the ice cream freezer, which was so cold and cheerless, was a breach of etiquette that would stamp any man as being a selfish, heartless villain, and she refuses to speak to him, and has declared the engagement off.
He is very much mortified over the affair, and tries to explain that he was more accustomed to a boat than she was, while he reasoned that she would naturally be more familiar with an ice cream freezer. It certainly looks to us to have been a cold-blooded transaction, and while the young man might have been rattled, and powerless to grasp the situation as he would if he had it to do over again, the girl is certainly justified in being indignant.
An ice cream freezer is a cold and cheerless companion even when empty, but filled with congealed cream and pounded ice, and in water, it cannot but have been an Arctic exploration on a small scale. Besides the ice, it is a notorious fact that ice cream freezers are made of zinc, the coldest metal in the world, if we bar women's feet.
"Sheridan's Ride" has been spoken of in poetry and in song, but it pales into insignificance by the side of this girl's ride on the ice cream freezer. If the young man had exhibited foresight, and had a side saddle buckled on to the ice cream freezer, the experience would have been robbed of much of its frigidity, or if there had been a thick blanket under the saddle, but he failed to take even that precaution.
As it is we do not blame the girl for breaking off the engagement. In addition, we think any court would decide that he should pay for the ginger tea and cough lozenges that she had to take to cure her cold.
SOME TALK ABOUT MONOPOLIES.
We know it is fashionable for people to talk about the great monopolies, the railroads, and show how they are sapping the life-blood from the farmers by arranging facilities for transporting wheat worth forty cents a bushel in store pay, without railroads, to a market where the farmer realizes nearly a dollar a bushel in cash.
Demagogues ring the changes on these monopolies, tell how the directors ride in palace cars and drink wine, from the proceeds of the millions of dollars invested in railroads, though they never mention the fact that the railroads have made it possible for farmers to give up driving ox teams and ride after horses that can trot in 2:40.
We presume that railroad managers like to get a pretty good dividend on their investments, but do they get a better dividend than farmers do on some of their investments? Do you know of any farmer that ever complained that his produce was selling too high? If you complain at paying eight dollars for a jag of crow's nest wood during a snow blockade, does he argue with, you, to show that he is a monopoly, or does he tell you that if you don't want the wood you needn't have it?
Now, talking of railroad men manipulating stock, and taking advantage of a raise, how is it about eggs? Within the last two months there has been the worst corner on eggs that the world has ever seen, and the dividends that farmers have received on their investments have been so enormous that they must blush for shame, unless they are a soulless corporation.
Now, for instance, a farmer paid twenty-five cents for a good average hen the 1st of December. Before the 1st of February that hen has laid five dozen eggs, which are worth two dollars and a half. Take out five cents for feed, two cents for the society that the hen has enjoyed, and there is a clear profit of two dollars and forty-three cents, and the farmer has got the hen left. Did any railroad wrecker ever make a greater percentage than that? Talk about watering stock, is it any worse than feeding a hen, to make her lay four-shilling eggs?
We have it from good authority that some farmers have actually gone so far as to bribe legislators with eggs, to prevent their passing any law fixing a rate for the sale of eggs. This is a serious charge, and we do not vouch for it. It is probable that farmers who are sharp enough to get a corner on eggs, by which they can be run up to a fictitious value, are sharp enough not to lay themselves liable for bribery by giving eggs directly to the members, but there are ways to avoid that. They can send them to the residences of the members, where they are worth their weight in gold almost.
Rich railroad owners have submitted to this soulless monopoly of the egg business as long as they can, and we learn that they have organized a state grange, with grips and passwords, and will institute subordinate lodges all over the State to try and break up this vile business that is sapping their life-blood.
Already a bill has been prepared for introduction into the legislature to prohibit any manipulation of the egg market in the future. "Shall the farmers of the State be allowed to combine with hens and roosters and create a famine in eggs, an article of food on which so many people rely to keep soul and body together?" they ask.
Our heart has bled, in the last sixty days, as well as our pocket-book, while studying this question. We have seen men of wealth going about the streets crying for an egg to cool their parched tongues, and they have been turned away eggless, and gone to their palatial homes only to suffer untold agonies, the result of those unholy alliances between farmers and hens. They have tossed sleeplessly on their downy beds, wondering if there was no balm in Gilead, no rooster there. They have looked in vain for compassion on the part of the farmers, who haye only laughed at their sufferings, and put up the price of eggs.
The time has arrived for action on the part of the wealthy consumers of eggs, and we are glad the State grange has been formed. Let a few determined men get together in every community, and swear by the bald-headed profit that they will put down this hen monopoly or die, and after they have sworn, let them send to us for a charter for a lodge—enclosing two dollars in advance—and we will forward to them the ritual of the order.
If this thing is allowed to go on for five years these farmers will be beyond the power of the government to control. This is a grave question, and if the wealthy people do not get relief we might as well bid farewell to our American institutions, as the liberty for which our forefathers fought will not be worth paying taxes for.
There is no person in the world who is easier to overlook the inconsistencies that show themselves on the stage at theatres than we are, but once in a while there is something so glaring that it pains us. We have seen actors fight a duel in a piece of woods far away from any town, on the stage, and when one of them fell, pierced to the heart with a sword, we have noticed that he fell on a Brussels carpet. That is all wrong, but we have stood it manfully.
We have seen a woman, on the stage who was so beautiful that we could be easily mashed if we had any heart left to spare. Her eyes were of that heavenly color that has been written about heretofore, and her smile as sweet as ever was seen, but behind the scenes, through the wings, we have seen her trying to dig the cork out of a beer bottle with a pair of shears, and ask a supe, in harsh tones, where the cork-screw was, while she spread mustard on a piece of cheese, and finally drank the beer from the bottle, and spit the pieces of cork out on the floor, sitting astride of a stage chair, and her boot heels up on the top round, her trail rolled up into a ball, wrong side out, showing dirt from forty different stage floors.
These things hurt. But the worst thing that has ever occurred to knock the romance out of us, was to see a girl in the second act, after "twelve years is supposed to elapse," with the same pair of red stockings on that she wore in the first act, twelve years before. Now, what kind of a way is that? It does not stand to reason that a girl would wear the same pair of stockings twelve years. Even if she had them washed once in six months, they would be worn out. People notice these things.
What the actresses of this country need is to change their stockings. To wear them twelve years, even in their minds, shows an inattention to the details and probabilities of a play, that must do the actresses an injury, if not give them corns. Let theatre-goers insist that the stockings be changed oftener, in these plays that sometimes cover half a century, and the stockings will not become moth-eaten. Girls, look to the little details. Look to the stockings, as your audiences do, and you will see how it is yourselves.
A BALD-HEADED MAN MOST CRAZY.
Last Wednesday the bell to our telephone rung violently at 8 o'clock in the morning, and when we put our ear to the earaphone, and our mouth to the mouthaphone, and asked what was the matter, a still small voice, evidently that of a lady, said, "Julia has got worms, doctor."
We were somewhat taken back, but supposing Julia was going fishing, we were just going to tell her not to forget to spit on her bait, when a male voice said, "O, go to the devil, will you?" We couldn't tell whose voice it was, but it sounded like the clerk at the Plankinton House, and we sat down.
There is no man who will go further to accommodate a friend than we will, but by the great ethereal there are some things we will not do to please anybody. As we sat and meditated, the bell rung once more, and then we knew the wires had got tangled, and that we were going to have trouble all day. It was a busy day, too, and to have a bell ringing beside one's ear all day is no fun.
The telephone is a blessed thing when it is healthy, but when its liver is out of order it is the worst nuisance on record. When it is out of order that way you can hear lots of conversation that you are not entitled to. For instance, we answered the bell after it had rung several times, and a sweet little female voice said, "Are you going to receive to-morrow?" We answered that we were going to receive all the time. Then she asked what made us so hoarse? We told her that we had sat in a draft from the bank, and it made the cold chills run over us to pay it. That seemed to be satisfactory, and then she began to tell us what she was going to wear, and asked if we thought it was going to be too cold to wear a low neck dress and elbow sleeves. We told her that was what we were going to wear, and then she began to complain that her new dress was too tight in various places that she mentioned, and when the boys picked us up off the floor and bathed our temples, and we told them to take her away, they thought we were crazy.
If we have done wrong in talking with a total stranger, who took us for a lady friend, we are willing to die. We couldn't help it. For an hour we would not answer the constant ringing of the bell, but finally the bell fluttered as though a tiny bird had lit upon the wire and was shaking its plumage. It was not a ring, but it was a tune, as though an angel, about eighteen years old, a blonde angel, was handling the other end of the transmitter, and we felt as though it was wrong for us to sit and keep her in suspense, when she was evidently dying to pour into our auricular appendage remarks that we ought to hear.
And still the bell did flut. We went to the cornucopia, put our ear to the toddy stick and said, "What ailest thou darling, why dost thy hand tremble? Whisper all thou feelest to thine old baldy." Then there came over the wire and into our mansard by a side window the following touching remarks: "Matter enough. I have been ringing here till I have blistered my hands. We have got to have ten car loads of hogs by day after to-morrow or shut down." Then there was a stuttering, and then another voice said, "Go over to Loomis' pawn shop. A man shot in"—and another voice broke in, singing, "The sweet by and by, we shall meet on that beautiful"—and another voice said—"girl I ever saw. She was riding with a duffer, and wiped her nose as I drove by in the street car, and I think she is struck after me."
It was evident that the telephone was drunk, and we went out in the hall and wrote on a barrel all the afternoon, and gave it full possession of the office.
Mr. Peck was recently extended an invitation to be present at a meeting of the Iowa Commercial Travelers' Association, at Des Moines, and respond to the toast: "Our Wives and Sweethearts, and Little Ones at Home." He couldn't be present, but he responded all the same, in the following manner:
"That is the sweetest toast that man was ever called upon to respond to. Very few traveling men who have good wives, loving sweethearts, and dear little children at home, sending loving messages to them, often ever stray very far from the straight and narrow path. There is no class of men on earth that has greater temptations and better opportunities to be 'cusses on wheels' than the traveling men of the Northwest; and when I say that they stand up under it a confounded sight better than the same number of ministers or editors would, I don't want you to think I am giving you any confectionery from my sample case.
"Through snows of winter, mud of spring and fall, and heat of summer, the traveling man makes his connections and sends in his orders, and seems to enjoy religion with the best of them. But the happiest days for him and the shortest are those he spends at home with his wife, the children or sweet-heart. There can be more tears brought to the eyes of the traveling man by a little child putting its arms around his neck and saying, 'My dear, precious papa,' than could be brought out by any other press I know of, however powerful.
"I know there is occasionally a traveling man who always has his sign out ready to be mashed, but he never neglects his business for any foolish-ness. He would leave the finest country flirt that ever winked a wink to sell a bill of brown sugar on sixty days' time.
"It is said that the average traveling man will keep a whole seat in a car, and never offer to give half of it to a man, when, if a handsome woman comes in, he will fly around and divide with her. Well, who the deuce wouldn't? That shows that his heart is in the right place. A man can go into the smoking car and sit on the wood box, but a woman has got to sit down, at least that is the way I should explain it.
"Boys, may the trips become shorter each year, and the visits to the dear ones at home be extended, so that in time you may be detailed to stay at home always, with an increase of salary or an interest in the business; and, I am sure, when the time comes you will be the happiest fellows that ever had thousand mile tickets punched, and when your time comes to attend the grand banquet above, and you appear before St. Peter at the gate, and begin to open up your samples, he will simply look at your business card and turn to the clerk and say, 'Give these boys all front rooms, and see that there is a fire escape and plenty of towels, and that the rooms are aired, and then step down to the box office and reserve them some seats for the sacred concert this evening. Pass right in now and get a check for your overshoes.'"
ACCIDENTS AND INCIDENTS AT THEATRES.
Sometimes our heart bleeds for actors and actresses, when we think what they have to go through with. The other night at Watertown, N. Y., Miss Ada Gray was playing "Camille," and in the dying scene, where she breathes her last, to slow music, an accident occurred which broke her all up. She was surrounded by sorrowing friends, who were trying to do everything to make it pleasant for her, when the bed on which she was dying,—an impromptu sort of a bed got up by the stage carpenter,—tipped partly over, and the dying woman rolled over on the stage, tipped over a wash-stand filled with tumblers and bottles of medicine, and raised a deuce of a row. It would have been all right, and she could have propped the bed up and proceeded with her dying, had not the actress got rattled.
Most actresses get lost entirely when anything occurs that is not in the play, and Miss Gray was the scaredest female that ever lived. She thought it was a judgment on her for playing a dying character, and thought the whole theatre had been struck by lightning, and was going to fall down. To save herself was her first thought, so she grabbed her night-dress,—which was embroidered up and down the front, and had point lace on the yoke of the sleeves,—in both hands and started for the orchestra, the wildest corpse that ever lived.
The leader of the orchestra caught her, but not being an undertaker he did not undertake to hold her, and she fell over the bass viol and run one foot through the snare drum, and grasping the fiddle for a life-preserver she jumped into the raging scenery-back of the stage which represented a sea.
They had to pull her out with boat-hooks, and it was half an hour before she could be induced to go to bed again and proceed with her dying.
Actresses are often annoyed at the remarks made by foolish fellows in the audience. A remark by a person in the audience always causes people to laugh, whether the speaker says anything smart or not.
Recently, in the play of "Cinderella at School," a girl came out with a sheet over her, as a ghost, to frighten a young fellow who was "mashed" on her. He looked at the ghost for a moment, and kept on lighting his cigarette, when a galloot up in the gallery said, so everybody could hear it, "He don't scare worth a damn!" and the audience went fairly wild, while the pretty girl stood there and blushed as though her heart would break.
Such things are wrong.
Probably one of the meanest tricks that was ever, played was played on Mary Anderson. It will be remembered that in the play of "Ingomar," Parthenia and the barbarian have several love scenes, where they lop on each other and hug some—that is, not too much hugging, but just hugging enough. Ingomar wears a huge fur garment, made of lion's skin, or something. One day he noticed that the moths were getting into it, and he told his servant to see about the moths, and drive them out. The servant got some insect powder and blowed the hair of the garment full of it, and scrubbed the inside of it with benzine.
Ingomar put it on just before he went on the stage, and thought it didn't smell just right, but he had no time to inquire into it. He had not got fairly in his position, before Parthenia came out on a hop, skip and jump, and threw herself all over him. She got one lung full of insect powder, and the other full of benzine, and as she said, "Wilt always love me, Ingomar?" she dropped her head over his shoulder, and said in an aside, "For the love of heaven, what have you been drinking?" and then sneezed a couple times.
Ingomar held her up the best he could, considering that his nose was full of insect powder, and he answered:
"I wilt ": and then he said to her quietly:
"Damfino what it is that smells so!"
They went on with the play between sneezes, and when the curtain went down she told Ingomar to go out and shake himself, which he did.
It was noticed in the next act that Ingomar had a linen duster on, and Mary snoze no more.
There was another mean trick played on a comedian a short time ago. In one of the plays he comes into a room as a tramp, and asks for something to drink. There is nothing to drink, and he asks if he may drink the kerosene in the lamp, which is on the table unlighted. The lamp has been filled with beer, and when he is told that he can slake his thirst at the lamp, he unscrews the top, takes out the wick, and drinks the contents. Everybody laughs, and the idea is a good one.
At Chicago, recently, some friend took out the beer and filled the lamp with a liquid of the same color, but the most sickish tasting stuff that ever was. The comedian drank about three swallows of the neatsfoot oil before he got onto the joke, and then he flew around like a dog that had been poisoned, and went off the stage saying something like "Noo Yoick."
He has agreed to kill the fellow that loaded that lamp for him.
ALL ABOUT A SANDWICH.
The time for getting to the Michigan Central depot at Chicago was so limited that no regularly prepared supper could be secured, and so it was necessary to take a sandwich at the central depot. There has been great improvement made in the sandwiches furnished in Chicago, in the last ten years. In 1870 it was customary to encase the sandwiches in pressed sole leather. The leather was prepared by a process only known to a Prussian, and the bread and ham were put in by hydraulic pressure, and the hole soldered up.
About four years ago, the Prussian who had the secret said something unkind to a pitcher of a baseball club, and the pitcher took up one of the sandwiches and pitched it curved at the Prussian's eye. His funeral was quite largely attended, considering that he was a man who was retiring, and who made few acquaintances; but the secret of making the soles and uppers of railroad sandwiches died with him.
It was about this time that corrugated iron shutters were invented, and that material was at once utilized to make lids for sandwiches, while the under jaw of the appetite-destroying substance was made of common building paper, the whole-varnished with neats foot oil, and kiln dried in a lime kiln.
Our object in eating one of the sandwiches, was to transfer, if possible, the headache to the stomach, on the principle that the quack doctor cured a patient of paralysis by throwing him into fits, claiming that he was not much on paralysis, but he was hell on fits. The entrance of the piece of sandwich into the stomach—that is, the small pieces that we were able to blast off with the imperfect appliances at hand in the tool box of a wrecking car—was signaled by the worst rebellion that has been witnessed in this country since 1860. The stomach, liver, lungs, spleen and other patent insides got up an indignation meeting, with the stomach in the chair. In calling the meeting to order the stomach said unaccustumed as it was to public speaking, it felt as though the occasion demanded a protest, and that in no uncertain tone, against the habit the boss had of slinging anything into the stomach that came in his way, without stopping to consider the effect on the internals.
The chair remarked that it had heretofore had a good many hard doses to take, notably, army bacon, and later some black bread that the boss had shoved in while hunting out in Minnesota in 1876, and again last year when a pan full of beans from Bill Wall's Wolf river boom boarding house was sent down without any introduction, the stomach said it had felt like throwing up the "sponge," and drawing out of the game, but it had thought better of it, and had gone on trying to digest things till now. But this last outrage, this Chicago sandwich, was too much.
"See here," says the stomach, holding up a piece of the iron lid of the sandwich so the liver could see it, "what kind of a junk shop does he take this place for?"
The liver got the floor and suggested that the stomach was making a terrible fuss about a little thing, and told the stomach it had evidently forgotten the good things that had been sent down from above in times gone by.
"You seem to forget," says the liver, becoming warmed up, "the banquets the boss never fails to attend, the nice dinners he sometimes gets at home, and the wild canvas-back duck he sends down when he goes to Lake Koshkonong, as well as the Palmer House dinners that occasionally surprise us. I move that the stomach be reprimanded for kicking and trying to get up a muss, and that this meeting adjourn and we all go about our business."
The stomach tried to get in a word edgewise, but it was of no use, and the thing was about to break up in a row, when we went to sleep in one of the elegant Michigan Central sleepers, and in the morning the stomach was coaxing for something more, and didn't seem to care what it was.
No young man should ever take two girls to a picnic. We don't care how attractive the girls are, or how enterprising a boy is, or how expansive or far-reaching a mind he has, he cannot do justice to the subject if he has two girls. There will be a clashing of interests that no young boy in his goslinghood, as most boys are when they take two girls to a picnic, has the diplomacy to prevent.
If we start the youth of the land out right in the first place, they will be all right, but if they start out by taking two girls to a picnic their whole lives are liable to become acidulated, and they will grow up hating themselves.
If a young man is good natured and tries to do the fair thing, and a picnic is got up, there is always some old back number of a girl who has no fellow who wants to go, and the boys, after they all get girls and buggies engaged, will canvass among themselves to see who will take this extra girl, and it always falls to this good natured young man. He says of course there is room for three in the buggy.
Sometimes he thinks maybe this old girl can be utilized to drive the horse, and then he can converse with his own sweet girl with both hands, but in such a moment as ye think not he finds that the extra girl is afraid of horses, dare not drive, and really requires some holding to keep her nerves quiet. He tries to drive with one hand and console his good girl, who is a little cross at the turn affairs have taken, with the other, but it is a failure, and finally his good girl says she will drive, and then he has to put an arm around them both, which gives more or less dissatisfaction the best way you can fix it.
If we had a boy who didn't seem to have any more sense than to make a hat rack of himself to hang girls on in a buggy, we should labor with him and tell him of the agonies we had experienced in youth when the boys palmed off two girls on us to take to a country picnic, and we believe we can do no greater favor to the young men just entering the picnic of life than to impress upon them the importance of doing one thing at a time, and doing it well.
A young couple from Green county stopped at a Janesville hotel on their wedding tour, and when they went to bed they were in a hurry and blew out the gas instead of turning it off. In the night a terrible smell was heard around the house, and suspicion naturally pointed to the bridal chamber. The door was pounded on but there was no response, and the people feared the young folks had gone to heaven, so the door was broken down. They had not gone to heaven, but they were both senseless, and were dragged out into the open air, with little ceremony and less clothes. They were brought out of the stupor, when they looked at each other in a reproachful manner, and as they pulled on their clothes they each acted as though if they had known the horrors of married life they would have remained single all their lives.
GOODWILL AND COMPASSION.
The Duchess of Marlborough, who has charge of the fund that is being distributed to certain portions of Ireland's suffering poor, has issued a circular pitching into Parnell and others for claiming that she is acting in the interest of the English landlords. She closes her circular as follows:
There is nothing that strikes me with more admiration than the generosity of the British nation. I have innumerable letters, all expressing good will and compassion for the calamities which a series of bad seasons have brought to the west of Ireland.
To the family that is suffering for the necessaries of life, that would look upon a large sized potato as a bonanza, there is nothing that is pleasanter than to read a letter from an Englishman expressing compassion. How it tones up the stomach to read of the good will that, by a large majority, occupies the heart of the Briton who writes the letter to the Duchess of Marlborough.
You take two plates, and put on one of them the letters expressing good will and compassion, and on the other plate you put some of the food sent by Americans, and offer the two plates to an Irish mother whose famishing children are tugging at her scanty skirts, and let her take her choice. How her trembling hand would clutch the plate containing the letters of compassion. Eh? She wouldn't take that plate, do you say? She would take the plate with the good, honest, star-spangled food on it, eh? O, you are mistaken. There is so much sustenance and warmth in a letter of compassion, that the famine stricken person would no doubt take it and make soup of it.
But if you think she wouldn't we won't argue the case. However, you will admit that the Irish are very queer, and if they went back on their English benefactors and took the rebellious American food, they would be guilty of treason, of course you will. We are not astonished that there is nothing that Strikes the Duchess with more admiration than the generosity of the British nation. It is the most remarkable thing we ever heard of.
THE FEMALE BURGLAR.
Every day we see that some new avenue has been opened to women, by which they can earn a livelihood. We see by the papers that a woman in Cleveland has been arrested as a burglar. We have no objections to female pickpockets, for if a man must have his pockets picked, it will be much more enjoyable to feel the delicate hand of a beautiful woman fluttering around his pockets than a rough male hand.
Many a man who would object to having his pockets picked by a man, would be willing to lose ten or fifteen dollars just to have a female pickpocket go through him.
There is a field open for women as confidence men. To have a female confidence game played on a man would leave less of a sting than to be bilked by a male. But, as burglars, the idea seems revolting. To think of women going about nights with a jimmy and a dark lantern, and opening doors, or windows, and sneaking about rooms, is degrading. If a male burglar gets in your house, and he is discovered, you can shoot him, if you get the drop on him, or kick him down stairs; but who wants to shoot a female burglar, or kick her over the banisters? It would be unnatural. You would almost rather let her go ahead and burgle, and let her go away with your money, than to shoot her.
Besides, you could not hit her with a bullet from an ordinary pistol in a vital part. The heart and other vital organs are covered with bullet-proof corsets, liver and lung pads and porous plasters. You take a corset and tie it around a sack of flour, and try to fire a bullet through it, and you will find that the bullet will fall to the ground. Try to fire a ball through a bed quilt, and you will discover that the ball becomes wound and twisted in the cotton batting, from the rifling of the barrel of the pistol, and stops as it goes through.
A liver pad is as good as boiler iron to protect the form, so you see there is no place to shoot a female burglar, except in the head and legs. No gentleman would want to shoot a beautiful woman in the face, and with a long dress on he might as well shut his eyes and shoot at a hop-yard, and expect to hit a pole, as to expect to hit a woman's leg.
So it is seen plainly that a female burglar would be perfectly safe from a pistol shot.
Then, again, the natural gallantry of a man would prevent his making much of a fuss if he found a female burglar in his house. If the average man—and most men are average men—should wake up in the night and see a woman burglar feeling in his pants, rifling the pockets, or rummaging in the drawers of the bureau, he would lay still and let her burgle, as long as she would keep still and not wake up his wife. Were it a male burglar, he would jump up, regardless of his nocturnal costume, and tell him to get out of there, but he would hesitate to get up before a female burglar. He would not feel like accosting the female burglar without an introduction. If he spoke to her familiarly, she would be justified in being indignant, and saying, "Sir, I do not remember that we have ever met before," and very likely she would turn her back on him, and say she was insulted.
It places a man of gallantry in a very embarrassing situation to have a female burglar rob his house because he would be no gentleman if he did not offer to see her safe home. No true gentleman would like to see a female burglar go home alone at three or four o'clock in the morning, and while he might feel the loss of his property, it would be courtesy for him to offer to see her home, and help carry the swag.
If women become burglars, there is going to be more or less annoyance.
THE GIRL THAT WAS HUGGED TO DEATH.
We are sorry to see so many of the humorous papers find any fun in the incident of the girl at Keokuk who was hugged to death by her lover. He had proposed to her, in her father's parlor, and she had accepted him, and in a moment of ecstacy he hugged her to his breast, and she died at once. The young man was horror stricken, and called her parents. It is supposed that she died of heart disease. The case was very sad, indeed, and papers should not make fun of an occurrence that brings so much sadness.
However, while this case is fresh in the minds of old and young, we will embrace the opportunity, and embrace it gently, for fear we will kill it, to again impress upon young people what we have so often advised, and that is to be unusually careful about how they hug girls. Many a young man hugs a girl almost to death, and he never knows how near he comes to being a murderer.
Girls now-a-days are not what they used to be when you and I were young, Maggie. They cannot stand as much grief now as girls did twenty years ago. Somehow, they don't seem to be put up for hugging. If a man puts his arm around a seven-teen-year-old girl of the present day, and sort of closes in on the belt, he expects to hear something break. Many a humane man lets go before he has got a girl half hugged because the girl looks so frail that he is afraid he will break her in two.
Of course there are exceptions to the frail girls, but the majority are too much like a bundle of asparagus. Some of the girls of the present day are robust, and seem to be offended if a person lets up on the hugging on their account, and it is said they hug back with a vigor which reminds a man of the days of long ago, but they are few and far between.
Too much care cannot be exercised in putting arms around the young girls of to-day, and we would wish to impress this fact upon the minds of the young men who are just coming upon the stage of action. Of course, men along in years do not need advice. The boys are apt to put more force into the right arm than they are aware of, a hundred per cent, more than they would be apt to do in sawing wood, or in carrying up a scuttle of coal.
They should bear in mind that girls are too valuable to be used in developing the muscles, as you would a gymnasium. You don't have to squeeze a girl till her liver is forced from its normal position, and she chokes and catches her breath, to show her that you love her. A gentle squeeze of the hand, the stealing of the arm around her waist when she is not looking, and the least pressure upon her belt is all that the law requires.
She can tell by your face whether you love her, as you sit there in the twilight looking into the guiding star eyes, as well as though you grabbed her as you would a sack of wheat, and hung on like a dog to a root.
Anna Dickinson is going upon the stage again and is to play male characters, such as "Hamlet," "Macbeth," and "Claude Melnotte." We have insisted for years that Anna Dickinson was a man, and we dare anybody to prove to the contrary.
There is one way to settle this matter, and that is when she plays Hamlet. Let the stage manager put a large spider in the skull of Yorick, and when Hamlet takes up the skull and says, "Alas, poor Yorick, I was pretty solid with him," let the spider crawl out of one of the eye holes onto Hamlet's hand, and proceed to walk up Miss Dickinson's sleeve. If Hamlet simply shakes the spider off, and goes on with the funeral, unconcerned, then Miss Dickinson is a man. But if Hamlet screams bloody murder, throws the skull at the grave digger, falls over into the grave, tears his shirt, jumps out of the grave and shakes his imaginary skirts, gathers them all up in his hands and begins to climb up the scenes like a Samantha cat chased by a dog, and gets on top of the first fly and raises Hamlet's back and spits, then Miss Dickinson is a woman. The country will watch eagerly for the result of the test, which we trust will be made at the Boston Theatre next week.
OUR CHRISTIAN NEIGHBORS HAVE GONE.
It pains us to announce that the Young Men's Christian Association, which has had rooms on two sides of our office for more than a year, has moved away. We do not know why they moved, as we have tried to do everything that it was possible to do for their comfort, and to cheer them in their lonely life. That their proximity to the Sun office has been beneficial to them we are assured, and the closeness has not done us any hurt as we know of. Many times when something has happened that, had it happened in La Crosse, might have caused us to be semi-profane, instead of giving way to the fiery spirit within us, and whooping it up, we have thought of our neighbors who were truly good, and have turned the matter over to our business manager, who would do the subject justice or burst a flue.
When the young Christians have given a sociable, we have always put on a resigned and pious expression and gone amongst them about the time the good bald-headed brother brought up the pail full of coffee, and the cheerful sister cut the cake.
No one has been more punctual at these free feeds than we have, though we have often noticed that we never got a fair divide of the cake that was left, when they were dividing it up to carry home for the poor. We have been as little annoyed by our neighbors as we could have been by anybody that might have occupied the rooms.
It is true that at times the singing of a church tune in there when we were writing a worldly editorial has caused us to get tangled, but the piety that we have smuggled into our readers through the church music will more than atone for the wrath we have felt at the discordant music, and we have hopes the good brothers will not be averse to saying a good word for us when they feel like it.
When we lent the young Christians our sanctum as a reception room for the ladies when they gave the winter picnic to the dry goods clerks, we did feel a little hurt at finding so many different kinds of hair pins on the carpet the next morning, and the different colors of long hair on our plush chairs and raw silk ottoman would have been a dead give away on any other occasion, but for this, even, we have forgiven the young Christians, though if we ever do so again they have got to agree to comb the lounge and the chairs before we shall ever occupy the rooms again.
There is nothing that is so hard to explain as a long hair of another color, or hair pins and blue bows, and pieces of switch. They are gone, and we miss them. No more shall we hear the young Christian slip up on the golden stairs and roll down with his boot heel pointing heavenward, while the wail of a soul in anguish comes over the banisters, and the brother puts his hand on his pistol pocket and goes out the front door muttering a silent prayer, with blood in his eyes.
No more will the young Christian faint by the wayside as he brings back our borrowed chairs and finds a bottle and six glasses on our center table, when he has been importuning us to deliver a temperance speech in his lecture room. Never again shall we witness the look of agony on the face of the good brother when we refuse to give five dollars towards helping discharged criminals to get a soft thing, while poor people who never committed a crime and have never been supported by the State are amongst us feeling the pangs of hunger. No more shall we be compelled to watch the hard looking citizens who frequent the reading room of the association for fear they will enter our office in the still watches of the night and sleep on the carpet with their boots on.
They are all gone. They have gone across the beautiful river, and have camped near the Christian Statesman office, where all is pure and good except the houses over on Second street, beyond the livery stable, where they never will be molested if they do not go there.
Will they be treated any better in their new home than they have been with us? Will they have that confidence in their new neighbors that they have always seemed to have in us? Well, we hope they may be always happy, and continue to do good, and when they come to die and go to St. Peter's gate, if there is any back talk, and they have any trouble about getting in, the good old doorkeeper is hereby assured that we will vouch for the true goodness and self-sacrificing devotion of the Milwaukee Young Men's Christian association, and he is asked to pass them in and charge it up to the Sun.
THE SUDDEN FIRE-WORKS AT RACINE.
One of those Fourth of July accidents that are always looked for but seldom occur, happened at Racine, Monday night, which struck terror to the hearts and other portions of the bodies of many eminent citizens, and that none were killed we can all thank Providence, who tempers the fire-works to the sweaty citizen in his shirt sleeves. The enterprising citizens had contributed a large sum of money, which had been judiciously expended in all kinds of fire-works, and one side of the public square was given up to the display.
Thousands of citizens had gathered there, from city and country, and bright Roman candles shone o'er fair men and brave women, and sixteen thousand nine hundred and twelve hearts beat happy, while music arose with its voluptuous swell, and soft eyes looked love to eyes which spake again, or words to that effect. At least that was what a young fellow from Racine told us, who was there to see a specialist to have a splinter from a rocket stick removed from his ear.
A few pieces had been shot off, a few bunches of crackers had had their tails tied together and been hung over a wire clothes line, like cats, to fight it out, and the crowd was holding its breath for the next boom, when there was an explosion; the earth seemed to tremble, and the air was full of all kinds of fire-works. The whole supply of fire-works had become ignited, and were blowing off where they listeth, without regard to anybody's feelings.
The crowd became panic stricken, and there never was another such a scene, and never will be until the last great day, when a few thousand people suddenly find that they have got into hell, by mistake, when they thought they were ticketed through to the other place. It was perfectly awful. Prominent citizens who usually display great pluck, became fearfully rattled.
A man named Martindale, a railroad man who weighs over two hundred pounds, was standing near a telegraph pole, and as the firing commenced he climbed up the pole as easy as a squirrel would climb a tree, and when it was over they had to get a fire ladder to get him down, as his pants had got caught over the glass telegraph knob, and he had forgotten the combination, and besides he said he didn't want to take off his clothes up there and come down, even if it was dark, because it would be just his luck to have some one fire off a Roman candle when he got down.
The Hon. Norton J. Field was another man who lost his nerve. He was explaining to some ladies one of the pieces that was to be fired off, which was an allegorical picture representing the revolution, when the whole business blew up. He thought at the time, that the explosion was in the programme, and was just reassuring the ladies, by telling them it reminded him of battle scenes he had witnessed when he was on the military committee in the assembly, when he noticed a girl near him whose polonaise had caught fire, and he rushed up to her, caught her by the dress, intending, with his cool hands, to put out the fire.
The girl felt some one feeling, as she supposed, for her pocket-book, and she started to run, yelling, "pickpocket," and left the burning polonaise in Mr. Field's hands. He blushed, and was about to explain to his lady friends how the best of us are liable to have our motives misconstrued, when somebody threw a box of four dozen of those large firecrackers right at his feet, and they were all on fire. Ten of them exploded at once, and he grabbed the polonaise in one hand and his burning coat tail in the other, and started West on a run.
The steward of the Gideon's Band Club House, at Burlington, said he arrived there at daylight on the morning of the 5th, and he still held the pieces of dress, but the whole back of his coat was burned off, and his suspenders just held by a thread. He said the comet struck the earth at Racine, at 9:30 the night before, and knocked the town into the lake, and he and another fellow were all that escaped.
The narrowest escape was that of young Mr. Oberman. He is a small man, all except his heart and feet, and when the air began to fill with patriotic missiles, he started to run. On passing the News office he had to jump over the old coal stove that stood there, and while he was in the air, six feet from the sidewalk, a sky rocket stick passed through his coat tail and pinned him to the building, where he hung suspended, while other rocket sticks were striking all around him, Roman candle colored balls were falling on his unprotected head, etc., and one of these nigger chasers, that run all over the ground, climbed up the side of the building and tried to get in his pants pocket.
Mr. Oberman begged Mr. Wright, the postmaster, to cut him down, but Mr. Wright, who was using both hands and his voice trying to disengage a package of pin-wheels from the back portion of his coat, which were on fire and throwing out colored sparks, said he hadn't got time, as he was going down to the river to take a sitz bath for his health.
The man that keeps the hotel next door to the News office came out with a pail of water, yelled "fire," and threw the water on Mr. Curt Treat's head. Mr. Treat was very much vexed, and told the hotel man if he couldn't tell the difference between an auburn haired young man and a pin-wheel, he'd better go and hire somebody that could. Friends of Mr. Treat say that he would be justified in going into the hotel and ordering a bottle of pop, and then refusing to pay for it, as the water took all the starch out of his shirt.
Those who saw the explosion say it was one of the most magnificent, yet awful and terrible sights ever witnessed, and the only wonder is that somebody was not hurt. What added to the terror of the scene was when they went to the artesian well to get water to put out the fire and found that the well had ceased flowing. On investigation they found that Mr. Sage, the Assemblyman, had crawled into the pipe.
By the way, Mr. Oberman finally got down from his terrible position by the aid of the editor of the Journal, to whom Mr. Oberman promised coal enough to run his engine for a year. Very few men displayed any coolness except Mr. Treat and Mr. Sage.
YOUNG FOOLS WHO MARRY.
An exchange has the following item which may seem all right, but it will get some young fellow's back broke yet:
"An Illinois justice has decided that courting is a public necessity, and must not be interrupted; therefore, if a young man wanted to kiss a girl he might put her father out of the room first if he liked."
The publication of the above may cause some smart youth to do something he will regret. The lame, sickly-looking father of a girl may come into the parlor some night and find the warm-haired youth on the sofa with the girl, and when the old man speaks of it being time to stop such nonsense, the young man, with this judicial decision in his mind, will tell his prospective father-in-law to wipe off his vest and go to bed.
The old man will spit on his hands and grasp the warm-haired young man by the county seat and tie him up in a double bow knot, and pin a scarf on him, and throw him out on the path to the gate, and then he will turn and slap the girl across where the dress is plaited, and she will go up stairs with her hand on her heart, as it were, and the old man will jump up and say "Whoop?"
The young men of this country have got gall enough about visiting girls in the evening at their homes without filling their heads with any such ideas in regard to their legal rights. There are very few fathers who would quietly submit to being told to go away by a youth with a striped neck tie and pants too short at the bottom.
These sparkers are looked upon by parents generally as a nuisance, and often they are right. Nine-tenths of the sparking is done by boys who haven't got their growth, and they look so green that it is laughable for old folks to look at them. They haven't generally got a second shirt, and they are no more qualified to get married than a steer is to preach. And yet marrying is about the first thing they think of.
A green boy, without a dollar, present or prospective, sparking a girl regularly and talking of marrying is a spectacle for gods and men. He should be reasoned with, and if he will not quit it until he is able to support a wife, and to know who he loves, and the difference between love and passion, he should be quarantined or put in a convent erected on purpose for such cases.
Nine-tenths of the unhappy marriages are the result of green human calves being allowed to run at large in the society pasture without any pokes on them. They marry and have children before they do moustaches; they are fathers of twins before they are proprietors of two pairs of pants, and the little girls they marry are old women before they are twenty years old. Occasionally one of these gosling marriages turns out all right, but it is a clear case of luck.
If there was a law against young galoots sparking and marrying before they have all their teeth cut, we suppose the little cusses would evade it some way, but there ought to be a sentiment against it. It is time enough for these bantams to think of finding a pullet when they have raised money enough by their own work to buy a bundle of laths to build a hen house. But they see a girl who looks cunning, and they are afraid there is not going to be girls enough to go around, and they begin their work real spry; and before they are aware of the sanctity of the marriage relation, they are hitched for life, and before they own a cook-stove or a bedstead they have to get up in the night and go for a doctor, so frightened that they run themselves out of breath and abuse the doctor because he does not run too; and when the doctor gets there he finds that there is not enough linen in the house to wrap up a doll baby.
It is about this time that a young man begins to realize that he has been a colossal fool, as he flies around to heat water and bring in the bath tub, and as he goes whooping after his mother or her mother, he turns pale around the gills, his hair turns red in a single night, and he calls high heaven to witness that if he lives till morning, which he has doubts about, he will turn over a new leaf and never get married again until he is older. And in the morning the green-looking "father" is around before a drug store is open, with no collar on, his hair sticking every way, his eyes blood-shot and his frame nervous, waiting for the clerk to open the door so he can get some saffron to make tea of.
Less than a year ago he thought he was the greatest man there was anywhere, but he sits there in the house that morning, with his wedding coat rusty and shiny, his pants frayed at the bottom and patched in the seat, and the nurse puts in his arm a little bundle of flannel with a baby hid in it, and he holds it as he would a banana, and as he looks at his girl wife on the bed, nearly dead from pain and exhaustion, and he thinks that there are not provisions enough in the house to feed a canary, a lump comes in his throat and he says to himself that if he had it to do over again he would leave that little girl at home with her mother; and he would, till he had six dollars to buy baby flannel and ten dollars to pay the doctor.
LARGE MOUTHS ARE FASHIONABLE.
The fashion papers, which are authority on the styles, claim that ladies with large mouths are all the fashion now, and that those whose mouths are small and rosebud-like are all out of style. It is singular the freaks that are taken by fashion. Years ago a red-headed girl, with a mouth like a slice cut out of a muskmelon, would have been laughed at, and now such a girl is worth going miles to see.
It is easier to color the hair red, and be in fashion, than it is to enlarge the mouth, though a mouth that has any give to it can be helped by the constant application of a glove stretcher during the day, and by holding the cover to a tin blacking box while sleeping. What in the world the leaders of fashion wanted to declare large mouths the style for, the heavens only can tell.
Take a pretty face and mortise about a third of it for mouth, and it seems to us as though it is a great waste of raw material. There is no use that a large mouth can be put to that a small mouth would not do better, unless it is used for a pigeon hole to file away old sets of false teeth. They can't, certainly, be any better for kissing.
You all remember the traveling man who attended the church fair at Kalamazoo, where one of the sisters would give a kiss for ten cents. He went up and paid his ten cents, and was about to kiss her when he noticed that her mouth was one of those large, open face, cylinder escapement, to be continued mouths. It commenced at the chin and went about four chains and three links in a northwesterly direction, then around by her ear, across under the nose and back by the other ear to the place of beginning, and containing twelve acres, more or less.
The traveling man said he was only a poor orphan, and had a family to support, and if he never came out alive it would be a great hardship upon those dependent upon him for support, and he asked her as a special favor that she take her hand and take a reef in one side of the mouth so it would be smaller. She consented, and puckered in a handful of what would have been cheek, had it not been mouth. He looked at her again and found that the mouth had become a very one-sided affair, and he said he had just one more favor to ask.
He was not a man that was counted hard to suit when he was at home in Chicago, but he would always feel as though he had got his money's worth, and go away with pleasanter recollections of Kalamazoo, if she would kindly take her other hand and draw the other side of her mouth together, and he would be content to take his ten cents' worth out of what was left unemployed.
This was too much, and she gave him a terrible look, and returned him his ten cents, saying, "Do you think, sir, because you are a Chicago drummer, that for ten cents you can take a kiss right out of the best part of it? Go! Get thee to a nunnery," and he went and bought a lemonade with the money.
We would not advise any lady whose mouth is small to worry about this new fashion, and try to enlarge the one nature has given her. Large mouths will have their run in a few brief months and will be much sought after by the followers of fashion, but in a short time the little ones that pout, and look cunning, will come to the front and the large ones will be for rent. The best kind of a mouth to have is a middling sized one, that has a dimple by its sides, which is always in style.
LOOKING FOR A MOOLEY COW.
It is painful to read the remarks made by some of the papers in regard to the wicked stories told about a minister named Atwater, up in Dunn county, who was walking in the woods with a young lady. Some editors would believe anything that was told of a minister, if they knew it was untrue.
The truth of the matter seems to be that the elder called to visit a Miss Northrop, a member of his church, who taught school at Knapp. She seemed to have something on her mind, which she wanted to unfold to him, and as there were other people in the house where she boarded, it was suggested that they walk up a hill, into a piece of woods, where they could talk more freely.
They started out, and a lot of saw mill hands saw them, and immediately concluded that something was wrong, and after the truly good people had got into the brush the men followed. How natural it is for bad men to think there is something wrong, where two persons of the opposite sex are congregated together. The elder and the schoolma'am went in the grubs and sat down on a log, and there she unfolded to him her tale of woe.
It appears that she had violated one of the rules of the church by dancing, and she felt that she ought to confess, and did confess. She cried like a child, and seemed to be weak, and the elder put his arm around her to keep her from falling off the log. Everybody knows how easy it is to roll off a log, if they are not looking, and any man that wouldn't put his arm around a girl, to keep her from falling off a log, would be a fool whom it would be base flattery to call another.
She continued to weep—even the girl admits that—and he put his hand up to her forehead and stroked her hair, and told her to be calm, and her head may have fallen upon his breast. The number of heads that wouldn't, under the circumstances, are mighty few. She was overcome with grief and he with pity, and he tried to show her that if she braced up and tried to lead a different life, and shook the dancing hall and the wicked people who would put their arms around her, she might yet be saved.
One can imagine that he was displeased at her going into a giddy throng, to be hugged in plain sight, to the music of a band, and pointed out to her how much more beautiful it would be to go into the woods, on a log.
He had, it is alleged, got through soothing her, and she was about to wipe her nose on her handkerchief, and he was about to remove his arm from about her waist, when those wicked and perverse men from the saw mill came whooping into the thicket where they sat, looking for a mooley cow with one horn broke.
Now, the elder and the girl knew in a moment that they were not looking for a mooley cow, but that they were scoffers, and when they asked the elder if he had seen such an animal, he rose up with much dignity, buttoned up his coat, and in a pious manner said that he had not seen the cow. He did not upbraid them for breaking into the solitude of the sacred confessional, looking for a mooley cow, but seemed to act the perfect gentleman all the way through.
Nothing had transpired that might not have transpired in a parlor, if there had not been so many people in the house, and yet these illiterate and ungodly saw mill hands went off and told a story that would make angels blush. It is possible that the elder did wrong in not offering to go with them and look for the mooley cow, but we should not chide him for that. He probably had not time to take up a collection of his thoughts, and no doubt after he thought it over he was sorry he did not offer his services to them as a herder of mooley cows, but it was then everlastingly too late.
They had gone and told the old, old story, and nothing remained to be done but to call a church meeting, which was done, and the elder and the girl were acquitted of any wrong doing. This was right. If men are to be deposed from the ministry for sitting down on a log and consoling a female parishioner, what is to become of the world?
We don't believe the elder had any wrong motive, or that a thought entered his head that might not have entered any man's head under the circumstances. And yet it was unfortunate, it is so confounded hard to explain what they walked a mile for to get into the woods where there was a log.
THE HARMFUL HAMMOCK.
Geo. W. Peck, of Peck's Sun, knows more about the harmful hammock, both by experience and observation, than any other man in America. His testimony runs as follows:
A young couple who were sitting in a hammock at one of the watering places in this State were severely injured by tipping over backwards and striking on the cheek of a head waiter. There is something about a hammock that is indescribable, and there is no rule that can be made that will insure safety while sitting in one of the queer things. There are people who believe that a hammock understands what is going on, and occasionally indulges in a joke.
It is certain that an old person with a lame back can swing in a hammock half the day and it will never kick up. Servant girls and children can get in a hammock as thick as three in a bed and there is no danger, but let a spoony young couple sit down in a hammock ever so carefully and it seems as though the confounded thing was alive, and had taken a contract to spill them out on the ground in all sorts of embarrassing shapes. What it is that causes the commotion will, perhaps, never be known, without an investigation by some middle aged person, and if the season was not so near over we would investigate the blasted thing ourself, in the interest of our young readers who are in the full blush of hammockhood.
There can be nothing much more annoying to a young couple than to be sitting side by side or facing each other in a hammock, looking into each other's eyes, and allowing the love they dare not speak to show itself in those orbs, and just as they are feeling as though they couldn't live a minute unless they clasped each other to each other's heaving bosoms, or at least one heaving bosom and one boiled shirt, and then have the hammock turn bottom side up and land them on the back of their necks, on the ground, with legs pointed towards the crab apples on the trees to which the hammock is hitched, arms flinging wildly to pull down pantaloon legs, and hands convulsively clawing gravel and muslin and delaine, while blushes suffuse faces that but a moment before were a background for the picture of love's young dream, and a crowd of spectators on the hotel verandah laughing and saying, "Set 'em up again." The hammock shakes itself and turns right side up for other victims, as though it knew what it had been doing, and enjoyed it.
There are young men all over the land who have been through such experiences, and had to walk backwards all the way to the house, owing to fissure veins being discovered in the wearing apparel below the suspenders, while the number of girls that have been mortified by having to go to the house with their back hair in one hand, their skirts in the other, while six places between the polonaise and the ear-rings were aching like the toothache from contact with the gravel path, are legion, and we call upon the authorities to suppress the hammock as a nuisance.
More matches have been broken up by hammocks than by all the Sunday schools in the world, and no girl who is bow-legged, or has an ankle like a rutabaga, should ever trust herself in a hammock, even though it is held by half a dozen friends, as the hammock will shy at a piece of paper as quick as a skittish horse, and in such a moment as ye think not you are on all fours, your head dizzy, and if there is a hole in your stocking as small as a Democrat's hope of election, it will look to outsiders as big as the gate to a fair ground. O, a hammock is worse than a bicycle.
BOYS AND CIRCUSES.
There is one thing the American people have got to learn, and that is to give scholars in schools a half holiday when there is a circus in town. We know that we are in advance of many of the prominent educators of the country when we advocate such a policy, but sooner or later the people whose duty it is to superintend schools will learn that we are right, and they will have to catch up with us or resign.
In the first place, a boy is going to attend a circus, if there is one in town, and the question before teachers and superintendents should be, not how to prevent him from going to the circus, but how to keep his mind on his books the day before the circus and the day after. There have been several million boys made into liars by school officials attempting to prevent their going to circuses, and we contend that it is the duty of teachers to place as few temptations to lie as possible in the way of boys.
If a boy knows that there will be no school on the afternoon of circus day, he will study like a whitehead all the forenoon, and learn twice as much as he will in all day if he can't go. If he knows that there is a conspiracy on foot between his parents and the teachers to keep him from the circus, he begins to think of some lie to get out of school. He will be sick, or run away, or something.
He will get there, if possible. And after the first lie succeeds in getting him out of school, he is a liar from the word go. There is something, some sort of electricity that runs from a boy to a circus, and all the teachers in the world cannot break the connection. A circus is the boys' heaven.
You may talk to him about the beautiful gates ajar, and the angel band in heaven that plays around the great white throne, and he can't understand it, but the least hint about the circus tent, with the flap pulled to one side to get in, and the band wagon, and the girls jumping through hoops, and the clown, and he is onto your racket at a jump.
You may try to paralyze him by the story of Daniel in the den of lions, and how he was saved by his faith in a power above, and the boy's mind will revert to the circus, where a man in tights and spangles goes in and bosses the lions and tigers around, and he will wonder if Daniel had a rawhide, and backed out of the cage with his eye on the boss lion.
At a certain age a circus can hold over heaven or anything else, in a boy's mind, and as long as the circus does not hurt him, why not shut up shop a half a day and let him go? If you keep him in school he won't learn anything, and he will go to the circus in the evening, and be up half the night seeing the canvas men tear down the tent and load up, and the next day he is all played out and not worth a continental. To some it would look foolish to dismiss school for a circus, but it will cement a friendship between teachers and scholars that nothing else could.
Suppose, a day or two before a circus arrives, the teacher should say to the school: "Now I want you kids to go through your studies like a tramp through a boiled dinner, and when the circus comes we will close up this ranch and all go the circus, and if any of you can't raise the money to go, leave your names on my desk and I will see you inside the tent if I have to pawn my shirt."
Of course it is a male teacher we are supposing said this. Well, don't you suppose those boys and girls would study? They would fairly whoop it up. And then suppose the teacher found forty boys that hadn't any money to go, and he had no school funds to be used for such a purpose.
How long would it take him to collect the money by going around among business men who had been boys themselves? He would go into a store and say he was trying to raise money to take some of the poor children to the circus, and a dozen hands would go down into a dozen pockets in two jerks of a continued story, and they would all chip in.
O, we are too smart. We are trying to fire education into boys with a shotgun, when we ought to get it into them inside of sugar coated pills. Let us turn over a new leaf now, and show these boys that we have got souls in us, and that we want them to have a good time if we don't lay up a cent.
A TRYING SITUATION.
It was along in the winter, and the prominent church members were having a business meeting in the basement of the church to devise ways and means to pay for the pulpit furniture. The question of an oyster sociable had been decided, and they got to talking about oysters, and one old deaconess asked a deacon if he didn't think raw oysters would go further, at a sociable, than stewed oysters.
He said he thought raw oysters would go further but they wouldn't be as satisfying. And then he went on to tell how far a raw oyster went once with him. He said he was at a swell dinner party, with a lady on each side of him, and he was trying to talk to both of them, or carry on two conversations, on two different subjects, at the same time.
They had some shell oysters, and he took up one on a fork—a large, fat one—and was about to put it in his mouth, when the lady on his left called his attention, and when the cold fork struck his teeth, and no oyster on it, he felt as though it had escaped, but he made no sign. He went on talking with the lady as though nothing had happened. He glanced down at his shirt bosom, and was at once on the trail of the oyster, though the insect had got about two minutes start of him. It had gone down his vest, under the waistband of his clothing, and he was powerless to arrest its progress.
He said he never felt how powerless he was until he tried to grab that oyster by placing his hand on his person, outside his clothes; then, as the oyster slipped around from one place to another, he felt that man was only a poor, weak creature.
The oyster, he observed, had very cold feet, and the more he tried to be calm and collected, the more the oyster seemed to walk around among his vitals.
He says he does not know whether the ladies noticed the oyster when it started on its travels, or not, but he thought as he leaned back and tried to loosen up his clothing, so it would hurry down towards his shoes, that they winked at each other, though they might have been winking at something else.
The oyster seemed to be real spry until it got out of reach, and then it got to going slow, as the slickery covering wore off, and by the time it had worked into his trousers leg, it was going very slow, though it remained cold to the last, and he hailed the arrival of that oyster into the heel of his stocking with more delight than he did the raising of the American flag over Vicksburg, after the long siege.
The sleeping car companies are discussing the idea advanced by the Sun, of placing safes in the cars, or iron drawers with locks, into which passengers can place their watches and money. We trust the iron drawers will be adopted, as the flannel drawers now used are not safe by any means. It is true they are sometimes tied with a string in the small of the back, but the combination is not difficult for even a stranger to unlock, unless it is tied in a hard knot. Give us iron drawers in a sleeping car by all means. To be sure they will be cold; but everything is cold in a sleeping car except the colored porter.
Several proprietors of eastern resorts have announced that only adults will be entertained, and that no children will be admitted as guests on any terms. At first we would be inclined to say that a hotel proprietor who would make such a distinction could have no soul, but when we reflect that the proprietor is catering to the pleasure of a majority of his guests, then we conclude that the guests are devoid of souls.
What kind of a place would a summer resort be without happy children? It would be a hospital for decayed roues, very old maids, women who hated children, smart Alecks who were mashers, dead beats and sour curmudgeons. The day would be put in in gossiping, exercising old flirts with stiff joints, drinking at somebody's expense, and fishing for rich husbands with graveyard coughs, and angling for women who wanted to be caught and didn't care a continental who caught them.
The atmosphere about such a place would be a blizzard of heat and cold, filled with fine sand, and would make a person with a heart, who loved children, think he or she was in hell looking for an artesian well.
A hotel proprietor who will thus insult the better part of the human race, should be ignored entirely by all who love children, and he should be compelled to stand on his deserted verandah all the season and see his rival across the way, who entertains children, surrounded by the richest and best guests, and the soulless creature, and the few soulless, dyspeptic boarders that he has, should be obliged to listen to the laughter of thousands of happy children running races and playing tag up and down the lawn of the man who has a soul.
No one who would patronize a summer hotel that refuses little children a breath of God's fresh air should enjoy a moment's pleasure. Mosquitoes should bore them, and country dogs should bark all night and keep them awake. Be they male or female resorters, we pray for ants to crawl up them, for bugs and worms to go down them, for snakes to frighten them out of their boots or gaiters, for country cows to run them out of pastures, and fleas to get inside their night gowns and practice the lancers all night. May their food disagree with them, their clothes fail to come back from the laundry, and their bandoline lose its staying qualities.
And may those at the house where children are welcome have health and happiness, and may they get to heaven, eventually, with the children, and while on the way up there may they throw a bundle of prepared kindling wood into the pit below where the child haters are sighing for zinc ulsters.
THE KIND OF A DOCTOR TO HAVE.
A dispatch from Long Branch announces that "Dr. Bliss goes to New York for a few hours today." That is encouraging. If the doctors had kept away from the President more he would have been better. He has had from one to six doctors in sight, night and day, for over ten weeks. Take a man here at home that is sick, and let a doctor go and stay with him night and day, and how long do you suppose the man would live?
What a sick man wants is to have a doctor go around practicing on other people, and come in once or twice a day, blow off a little steam, slap the patient on the leg and say, "Well, boss, how's your liver?" A sick man wants to have a doctor forget to come some time when he is expected, and get nervous about it, instead of getting nervous because the pill-bags is there all the time, smelling of everything.
Let a doctor that is due at the bedside at 4 o'clock, say, stay away till 6, and then come in and tell about being down on the South Side to see about somebody's having a sick baby, or to sew up a man that has been to a circus, and the cross patient that has been waiting for the doctor till he got mad, is better at once. It cheers him to know that somebody else has a baby or had a gash cut in him in a fight, and changes his mind about swearing at the doctor, and feels better.
Why, some of our best doctors never think of curing a man until they get him mad a few times. It braces a man up to get mad and think, "Now that confounded old pill-bags has forgotten all about me, and I'll bet he is in a saloon somewhere shaking the dice for the drinks." A sick man gains strength, actually, lying in bed and thinking how he would like to kick the stuffin' out of a doctor.
A doctor who has only one patient is a damage to the patient, and Garfield has suffered more by having those doctors around when he ought to have been left alone till he yearned for them, than anybody imagines. Why, the feeling of a man's pulse for half an hour, and timing it as you would a trotting horse, is enough to make a well man sick. What a doctor wants to do is to feel of a man's pulse about one second, and then throw the patient's hand down and say: "O, you are all right. We will have you entered in a walking match next week."
He wants to say something of this kind if the man is dying. A doctor has got to be a good deal of a liar, to succeed. We do not mean to say Bliss is not a liar, but somehow he does not seem to display judgment. He is too much of a stayer. Bliss is too frequent.
THEY DON'T KNOW WHAT THEY ABE TALKING ABOUT.
A celebrated writer on the state of the country, has an article in a magazine, in which occurs the following paragraph:
"The defects of the New England girl may be done away with by giving less prominence to the purely intellectual or purely practical side of her education."
In the first place, we do not admit that there are any defects in the Boston girl, but if there are defects, as is alleged by the writer above, and by other scientific persons, we do not see how giving less prominence to her intellectuality is going to do away with them. For instance, there is a defect in the girl whereby she has a shin on both sides of her lower limb, or an indentation where there should be the customary calf—we say calf advisedly, because it is a calf, and no person need be ashamed of it, even if it is terrible slim—we don't see how that defect can be done away with by giving less prominence to the purely practical side of her education. It does not stand to reason. Sawdust, or bran would be worth two of it.
Or, again, suppose the New England girl has no hips to speak of, or her stomach is caved in where there should be a fullness, is the giving of less prominence to the purely intellectual side of her education going to do away with these defects, or fill up the waste places and make them glad? Not much! A sack of canary seed, or a rubber air cushion, or a bale of cotton, beats the Boston idea all hollow, and we will leave it to anybody that knows anything.
Now, as to hair. Suppose the Boston girl has no more natural hair than one of these Mexican dogs, is education going to raise a crop of hair? Not by any means—she has got to buy it.
No, you Boston magazine critters can theoretically take a plain, unvarnished New England girl with these defects, and give all the prominence you want to to the practical side of her education, and you may imagine you can do away with these defects and make her pass muster in a crowd, but when you get all through she will be homely as a stone fence, and some western girl, with no defects at all, just a natural born jolly girl, with not too much education and intellectuality, will come along there, and all Boston will go crazy after her.
You fellows don't seem to know what you are talking about. Well, we don't know what we are talking about either, but we had to write something to fill up with, and girls are the easiest things in the world to write about.
A KANSAS CYCLONE.
The little town of Clyde, Kansas, is mighty full of vinegar for a place of its size. The principal amusement the boys have is to scare the daylights out of visitors from the States by telling big stories about cyclones.
There are two young fellows in business there named Will May and Charley Armstrong. They have a store where they buy butter, and eggs, and things, and pack them for the Eastern market. Last June, Uncle Armstrong, father of Charley, and a young fellow named Charley Farmer, were out there visiting. The hosts entertained the guests to the most hair-standing stories about cyclones, until they were so nervous they couldn't sleep at night.
One night the guests had retired, and the zephyr was pretty loud. Will and Charley got into the room adjoining that occupied by the guests, and began to talk about funnel-shaped clouds, trees torn up by the roots, horses flying through the air, and wagons being taken up bodily and carried away—talking so the guests could hear them. Then they prayed for strength to pull them through the fearful ordeal; and, pretending that a cyclone was upon them, they started down stairs head over appetite, to get into the refrigerator, in the cellar, for safety, yelling to the guests to fly for their lives.
Uncle Armstrong is getting pretty well along in years, but he got down to the cellar about ten stairs ahead of young Farmer, and asked to be allowed to get into the refrigerator first. It seemed a little cruel to the boys to let the guests get in there with nothing on but their undershirts, but they were going to have some fun, so they put them in among the cakes of ice, and Uncle Armstrong sat down on the zinc floor and allowed that if his life was spared till morning, he would never set foot in Kansas again.
Young Farmer sat on a firkin of butter, and leaned against the zinc lined side of the refrigerator, and tried to pray, but he had forgotten the combination; and couldn't make a first payment.
Will and Charley went up stairs ostensibly to lock the safe, but really to go on with the programme. The first thing they did was to fire off a shotgun, and roll a keg of shingle-nails down the cellar stairs, and yell to the guests in the refrigerator to look out for God's sake, as the house was struck by lightning.
Young Farmer got down off the firkin, and got on his knees, and tried to repeat some Sunday school lesson, but all he could think of was, "Evil communications corrupt two in the bush." The old gentleman, who was struck in the small of the back by a piece of ice that fell off some butter, thought he was struck by lightning; so he began to sing, "A charge to keep I have."
The boys up stairs got a bag of buckshot, and opened it, and every little while would throw a handful onto the outside cellar door, right above the heads of the freezing occupants of the refrigerator, at the same time pounding a piece of sheet iron to make thunder. They kept this up for an hour, and then got a barrel and filled it with broken glass and pieces of crockery, and they would roll it across the floor above, while one would take an ax and pound on some bar iron that was leaning against the wall, making a most hideous noise.
Charley Farmer said he supposed he was as well prepared to die as he ever would be, but he said he would give ten dollars if he had his pants down there.
Uncle Armstrong asked him what difference it made whether he had his pants on or not, and Charley said he didn't want to be ushered into the New Jerusalem with all his sins on his head, before the angels, and nothing on but a knit undershirt.
They were discussing this question when they gave vent to a dying groan, closed their eyes, and then all was still.
The prisoners thought it was all over, and they didn't stir for about ten minutes. They thought the house had blown away, and left them alive, and they were inclined to be thankful even for that; when Charley and Will came down and opened the refrigerator, and told them the storm was over, but that it was the almightiest cyclone that ever passed over Kansas.
HOW JEFF DAVIS WAS CAPTURED.
The accounts of the capture of Jeff Davis, in his wife's clothes, which have been published ever since the war, have caused many to laugh, and has surrounded the last days of the confederacy with a halo of ludicrousness that has caused much hard feeling between Mr. Davis and the American people. His friends would have been much better pleased if he had bared his breast to the cavalryman who captured him, and been run through with a sabre, and died with some proud last words on his lips, such as, "Who will care for mother now," or "The cause is lost. Send out a search warrant to find it."
It was a terribly ridiculous ending to a great struggle, the way we have been in the habit of reading the story, but now we have a new light on the subject. Mr. Davis has written a book on the war, and in it he gives the following particulars of his capture and the bravery he displayed. Instead of sneaking off in his wife's petticoat, after a pail of spring water, Mr. Davis describes that escape as being almost a bloody encounter. He says:
"I had gone perhaps fifteen or twenty yards when a trooper galloped up and ordered me to halt and surrender, to which I gave a defiant answer, and, dropping the shawl and raglan from my shoulders, advanced toward him. He leveled his carbine at me, but I expected if he fired he would miss me, and my intention was, in that event, to put my hand under his foot, tumble him off on the other side, spring into his saddle and attempt to escape. My wife, who had been watching, when she saw the soldier aim his carbine at me, ran forward and threw her arms around me. Success depended on instantaneous action, and, recognizing that the opportunity had been lost, I turned back, and, the morning being damp and chilly, passed on to a fire beyond the tent."
This puts an entirely different face on the affair, and instead of being a childish coward, he represents himself to have been an arch conspirator, who disguised himself as a female to get a good chance to throw a boy off his horse and steal the horse. We can only admire the calm determination of the man, as he stood there waiting for the boy to shoot, so he could rush up, unarmed, put his hand under the soldier's foot, tip him off the horse, get on himself, without receipting to the government for the horse, and skedaddle.
It is not necessary to inquire what the boy would have been doing all the time Jeff was pulling him off the horse. We all know how easy it is for an unarmed old man to spill a healthy soldier off a horse. We can readily see that the soldier could not have whacked the old fellow over the head with the empty carbine, or drawn his sabre and run him through, or given him a few shots out of a revolver.
Jeff had, no doubt, arranged in his own mind to chloroform the bold Michigan cavalryman, but his wife broke it all up by throwing her arms around him at an inopportune moment, thus pinioning the President of the Confederacy so he could not whip the Union army. And so, like Adam, Jeff lays the whole business to the woman. What would we do without women to lay everything to?
And while Jeff must ever doubt the judgment of his wife in breaking up his plans at that trying moment, when so much was at stake, how that soldier, whose life was saved by her act, must revere her, memory! Had the woman not held Jeff the soldier must have been pitched off his horse, and striking on his head, he must have been killed.
Mr. Davis does not say so, but we have no doubt his plan was to have the soldier strike on his head on a projecting root or stone, so he would be killed. If there should be another war, we should never join the cavalry branch of the service unless there was an understanding that no old men, armed with petticoats and tin water pails, should be allowed to charge on cavalrymen and throw them off their horses.
It is said that during the late war no man ever saw a dead cavalryman, but if the tactics of Mr. Davis had been adopted early in the war, the mortality must have been fearful, and perhaps the result of the war would have been different. We cannot be too thankful that Jeff didn't think of that way of demoralizing cavalry before.
THOSE BOLD, BAD DRUMMERS.
About seventy-five traveling men were snowed in at Green Bay during a late blockade, and they were pretty lively around the hotels, having quiet fun Friday and Saturday, and passing away the time the best they could, some playing seven up, others playing billiards, and others looking on. Some of the truly good people in town thought the boys were pretty tough, and they wore long faces and prayed for the blockade to raise so the spruce looking chaps could go away.
The boys noticed that occasionally a lantern-jawed fellow would look pious at them, as though afraid he would be contaminated, so Sunday morning they decided to go to church in a body. Seventy-five of them slicked up and marched to the Rev. Dr. Morgan's church, where the reverend gentleman was going to deliver a sermon on temperance. No minister ever had a more attentive audience, or a more intelligent one, and when the collection plate was passed every last one of the travelers chipped in a silver dollar.
When the sexton had received the first ten dollars the perspiration stood out on his forehead as though he had been caught in something. It was getting heavy, something that never occurred before in the history of church collections at the Bay. As he passed by the boys, and dollar after dollar was added to his burden, he felt like he was at a picnic, and when twenty-five dollars had accumulated on the plate he had to hold it with both hands, and finally the plate was full, and he had to go and empty it on the table in front of the pulpit, though he was careful to remember where he left off, so he wouldn't go twice to the same drummer.
As he poured the shekels out on the table, as still as he could, every person in the audience almost raised up to look at the pile, and there was a smile on every face, and every eye turned to the part of the church where sat the seventy-five solemn looking traveling men, who never smole a smile. The sexton looked up to the minister, who was picking out a hymn, as much as to say, "Boss, we have struck it rich, and I am going back to work the lead some more." The minister looked at the boys, and then at the sexton as though saying, "Verily, I would rather preach to seventy-five Milwaukee and Chicago drummers than to own a brewery. Go, thou, and reap some more trade dollars in my vineyard."
The sexton went back and commenced where he left off. He had his misgivings, thinking maybe some of the boys would glide out in his absence, or think better of the affair and only put in nickels on the second heat, but the first man the sexton held out the platter to planked down his dollar, and all the boys followed suit, not a man "passed" or "ra nigged," and when the last drummer had been interviewed the sexton carried the biggest load of silver back to the table that he ever saw.
Some of the silver dollars rolled off on the floor, and he had to put some in his coat pockets, but he got them all, and looked around at the congregation with a smile and wiped the perspiration off his forehead with a bandanna handkerchief and winked, as much as to say, "The first man that speaks disrespectfully of a traveling man in my presence will get thumped, and don't you forget it."
The minister rose up in the pulpit, looked at the wealth on the table, and read the hymn, "A charge to keep I have," and the congregation joined, the travelers swelling the glad anthem as though they belonged to a Pinafore chorus. They all bowed their heads while the minister, with one eye on the dollars, pronounced the benediction, and the services were over.