"The Flaggalants," by Carl Marr, is a enormous big picter, but fearful to look at.
It made me feel real bad to see how them men wuz a-hurtin' their own selves. They hadn't ort to.
Another picter by the same artist, called "A Summer Afternoon," I liked as well agin; the soul of the pleasant summer-time looked out of that picter, and the faces of the wimmen and children in it.
The little one clingin' to its mother's hand and feedin' the chickens looked cute enough to kiss. She favored Babe a good deal in her looks.
"The Cemetery in Delmatia" and the "Market Scene in Cairo," by Leopold Muller, struck hard blows onto my fancy. And so did three by Madame Weisenger—
"Mornin' by the Sea-shore," "Breakfast in the Country," and "The Laundress of the Mountain."
"Christ and the Children," by Julius Schmid, wuz beautiful as could be.
And so wuz "The Death of Autumn," by Franz Pensinger—they held in 'em all the sadly glorious beauty of the closing year.
"The Three Beggars of Cordova," by Edwin Weeks, wuz dretful interestin'.
Them tramps set there lookin' so sassy, and lazy, nateral as life. Lots of jest such ones have importuned me for food on my Jonesville door-step.
Then he had two Hindoo fakirs that wuz real interestin'. The fur-off Indian city, the river, and the fakir a-layin' in the boat, tired out, I presoom, a-makin' folks stand up in the air, and climb up ladders into Nowhere, and eatin' swords, and eatin' fire, and etcetry.
He wuz beat out, and no wonder. The colorin' of this picter is superb.
And so wuz his "Persian Horse Dealers" and others.
Mr. Melcher's "Sermon" and "Communion" wuz very impressive, as nateral as the meetin'-housen and congregation at Jonesville and Zoar.
In the Holland Exhibit wuz all kinds of clouds painted—
Clouds a-layin' low in sombre piles, and clouds with the sun almost a-shinin' through 'em. Wonderful effects as I ever see.
And I wuz a-lookin' at a picter there so glowin' and beautiful that it seemed to hold in it the very secret of summer. The heart fire and glow of summer shone through its fine atmosphere. And sez I, "Josiah, did you ever see anything like it?"
"Oh, yes," sez he; "it's quite fair."
"Fair!" sez I; "can't you say sunthin' more than that?"
"Wall, from fair to middlin', then," sez he.
"But for real beauty," sez he, "give me them picters made in corn, and oats, and beans. Give me that Dakota cow made out of grain, with a tail of timothy grass, and straw legs, and corn ear horns. There is real beauty," sez he.
"Or that picter in the State Buildin' of the hull farm made in seeds. The old bean farm-house, and barley well-sweep, and the fields bounded with corn twig fences, and horses made of silk-weed, and manes and tales of corn-silk—there is beauty," sez he.
"And as for statutes, I'd ruther see one of them figgers that Miss Brooks of Nebraska makes out of butter than a hull carload of marble figgers."
I sithed a deep, curious sithe, and he went on:
"Why," sez he, "it stands to reason they're more valuable; what good would the stun be to you if a marble statute got smashed? A dead loss on your hands.
"But let one of her Iolanthes git knocked over and broke to pieces, why there you are, good, solid butter, worth 30 cents of any man's money.
"Give me statuary that is ornamental in prosperity, and that you can eat up if reverses come to you," sez he.
"Why," sez he, "there is one hundred kinds of grain in that one model farm of Illinois.
"Now, if that picter should git torn to pieces by a cyclone, what would a ile paintin' be? A dead loss.
"But that grain farm-house, what food for hens that would make—such a variety. Why, the hens would jest pour out eggs fed on the ruins of that farm.
"Give me beauty and economy hitched together in one team."
I sithed, and the sithe wuz deep, almost like a groan, and sez I—
"You tire me, Josiah Allen—you tire me almost to death."
"Wall," sez he, "I'm talkin' good horse sense."
Sez I, "I should think it wuz animal sense of some kind—nothin' spiritual about it and riz up."
"Wall," sez he, "you'll see five hundred folks a-standin' round and praisin' up them seed picters where there is one that gits carried away as you do over Wattses 'Love and Death' and Elihu Vedder's dum picters."
"Wall," sez I, in a tired-out axent, "that don't prove anything, Josiah Allen. The multitude chose Barrabus to the Divine One.
"Not," sez I reasonably, "that I would want to compare the seed picters and the butter females to a robber.
"They're extremely curious and interestin' to look at, and wonderful in their way as anything in the hull Exposition.
"But," sez I, "there is a height and a depth in the soul that them butter figgers can't touch—no, nor the pop-corn trees can't reach that height with their sorghum branches. It lays fur beyond the switchin' timothy tail of that seed horse or the wavin' raisen mane of that prune charger. It is a realm," sez I, "that I fear you will never stand in, Josiah Allen."
"No, indeed," sez he; "and I don't want to. I hain't no desires that way."
Again I sithed, and we walked off into another gallery.
Wall, I might write and keep a-writin' from Fourth of July to Christmas Eve, and then git up Christmas mornin' and say truly that the half hadn't been told of what we see there, and so what is the use of tryin' to relate it in this epistle.
But suffice it to say that we stayed there all day long, and that night we meandered home perfectly wore out, and perfectly riz up in our two minds, or at least I wuz. Josiah's feelin's seemed to be clear fag, jest plain wore out fag.
The nights are always cool in Chicago—that is, if the weather is anyways comfortable durin' the day.
And this night it wuz so cool that a good woollen blanket and bedspread wuz none too much for comfort.
And it wuz with a sithe of contentment that I lay down on my peaceful goose-feather pillow, and drawed the blankets up over my weary frame and sunk to sleep.
I had been to sleep I know not how long when a angry, excited voice wakened me. It said, "Lay down, can't you!"
I hearn it as one in a dream. I couldn't sense where I wuz nor who wuz talkin', when agin I hearn—
"Dum it all! why can't you fall as you ort to?"
Wuz some struggle a-goin' on in my room? The bed wuz in an alcove, and I could not see the place from where the voice proceeded.
I reached my hand out. My worst apprehensions wuz realized. Josiah wuz not there.
Wuz some one a-killin' him, and a-orderin' him to lay still and fall as he ort to?
Wuz such boldness in crime possible?
I raised my head and looked out into the room, and then with a wild shriek I covered up my head. Then I discovered that there wuz only one thin sheet over me.
The sight I had seen had driv' the blood in my veins all back to my heart.
A tall white figger wuz a-standin' before the glass, draped from head to foot in heavy white drapery.
I'd often turned it over in my mind in hours of ease which I'd ruther have appear to me in the night—a burglar or a ghost.
And now in the tumultous beatin's of my heart I owned up that I would ruther a hundred times it would be a burglar.
Anything seemed to me better than to be alone at night with a ghost.
But anon, as I quaked and trembled under that sheet, the voice spoke agin—
"Samantha, are you awake?" And I sprung up in bed agin, and sez I—
"Josiah Allen, where are you? Oh, save me, Josiah! save me!"
The white figger turned. "Save you from what, Samantha? Is there a mouse under the bed, or is it a spider, or what?"
"Who be you?" sez I, almost incoherently. "Be you a ghost? Oh, Josiah, Josiah!" And I sunk back onto the pillow and busted into tears. The relief wuz too great.
But anon Wonder seized the place that Fear had held in my frame, and dried up the tear-drops, and I sprung up agin and sez—
"What be you a-doin', Josiah Allen, rigged up as you be in the middle of the night, with the lights all a-burnin'?"
For every gas jet in the room was a-blazin' high.
Sez he, "I am posin' for a statute, Samantha."
And come to look closter, I see he had took off the blanket and bedspread and had swathed 'em round his form some like a toga.
And I see it wuz them that he wuz apostrofizin' and orderin' to lay down in folds and fall graceful.
And somehow the idee of his takin' the bedclothes offen me seemed to mad me about as much as his foolishness and vanity did.
And sez I, "Do you take off them bedclothes offen you, and put 'em back agin, and come to bed!"
But he didn't heed me, he went on with his vain doin's and actin'.
"I am impersonatin' Apollo!" sez he, a-layin' his head onto one side and a-lookin' at me over his shoulder in a kind of a languishin' way.
Sez he, a-liftin' his heel, and holdin' it up a little ways, "I did think I would be Mercury, but I hadn't any wing handy for my off heel. I would be strikin' as Mercury," sez he, "but I think I would be at my best as Apollo. What do you think I had better be, Samantha?"
"A loonatick would strike me as the right thing, Josiah Allen, or an idiot from birth.
"Or," sez I, speakin' more ironicler as my fear died away, leavin' in its void a great madness and tiredness, "if you'd brung your scythe along you might personate Old Father Time."
I guess this kinder madded him, and sez he, "Don't you want to pose, Samantha?
"Don't you want to be the Witch of Endor?" sez he.
"Yes," sez I, "I'd love to! If I wuz her you'd see sights in this room that would bow your old bald head in horrow, and drive you, vain old creeter that you be, back where you belong."
He wuz afraid he'd gone too fur, and sez he, "Mebby you'd ruther be Venus, Samantha? Mebby you'd ruther appear in the nude?"
Sez I, coldly, "I should think that you'd done your best to make me appear in that way, Josiah Allen. There's only one thin sheet to keep me from it.
"But," sez I, spruntin' up, "if you talk in that way any more to me I'll holler to Miss Plank!
"Pardner or no pardner, I hain't a-goin' to be imposed upon this time of night!"
Sez I, "I should be ashamed if I wuz in your place, the father and grandfather of a family, and the deacon in a meetin'-house, to be up at midnight a-posin' for statutes and actin'."
"But," sez he, "I didn't know but they would want to sculp me while I wuz here in Chicago, and I thought I'd git a attitude all ready. You never know what may happen, and it's always well to be prepared, and attitudes are dretful hard to catch onto at a minute's notice."
Sez I, "Do you come back to bed, Josiah Allen. What would they want of you for a statute?"
"Wall," sez he, reluctantly relinquishin' his toga, or, in other words the flannel blanket and bedspread—
"I see many a statute to-day with not half my good looks, and if Chicago wanted me to ornament it, I wanted to be prepared."
I sithed aloud, and sez I—
"Here I be waked up for good, as tired as I wuz, all for your vanity and actin'."
"Wall," sez he, "Samantha, my mind wuz all so stirred up and excited by seein' so many ile paintin's and statutes to-day, that I felt dretful." And as he sez this my madness all died away, as the way of pardners is, and a great pity stole into my heart.
I do spoze he wuz half delirous with seein' too much. Like a man who has oversot himself and come down on the floor.
That man had been led round too much that day, for my own pleasure; to gratify my own esthetik taste I had almost ruined the pardner of my youth and middle age.
His mind had been stretched too fur, for the size on't, so I sez soothin'ly—
"Wall, wall, Josiah, come back to bed and go to sleep, and to-morrow we'll go and see some live stock and some plows and things."
So at last I got him quieted down, though he did murmur once or twice in his sleep—Apollo! Hercules! etc., so I see what his inward state wuz.
But towards mornin' he seemed to git into a good sound sleep, and I did too, and we waked up feelin' quite considerable rested and refreshed.
And it wuzn't till I had a sick-headache bad, and he wuz more than good to me, and I see that he repented deep of it, that I forgive him fully.
But of course it broke up our goin' to fashionable places agin to eat—he come out conqueror, after all—men are deep.
Wall, this mornin'—it bein' kind of a muggy and cloudy one, I proposed that we should go and visit the Fishery Department.
And I d'no why I should a thought on it this mornin' more'n another one—only it wuz jest such a day as Josiah and Thomas Jefferson always took for goin' a-fishin' in the creek back of Jonesville.
And then we had fish for breakfast too—siscoes—mebby that put me in mind on it some.
But anyway, I wuz always interested in the subject of fishin', and the hull world is. For what wuz the Postles? Fishers. For what did the Great Master name His beloved? Fishers of men.
Why, the Bible is full of fishin' and fisherman, clear back to Jonah; and how took up he wuz with a fish, and how full the fish wuz of him!
Fishin' wuz the first industry in the New World.
When our Forefathers landed on Plymouth Rock they found the harbor shaped some like a fish-hook, and then consequently they went to fishin'.
Who got Washington and his army over the Delaware River that bitter cold night in 1777, when the fate of our country wuz a-hangin' over that sea of broken ice—ruin on this side, and possible success on the other, but the impassable gulf of bitter cold water and the crashing masses of ice between—who got 'em acrost? Fisherman.
Our country has always been noted in its interest in fishin'. Why, at the Internatial Exhibition at Berlin in 1880, America won the first prize given by the Emperor for its display.
And I knew when it done so well on a foreign shore, it wuzn't goin' to make any failure of itself here under its own line, and fish tree, so to speak.
Wall, as I said, Josiah expressed a willingness to go, and consequently and subsequently we went.
Wall, we found it wuz a group of buildin's on a beautiful island—in the northern part of the lagoon, joinin' the improved part of Jackson Park.
There wuz three on em' in number. The middle one wuz a long buildin' with a high dome, and some towers in the centre on't, and the arches and the pillows wuz all ornamented off with figgers of fishes, and crabs, and lobsters, and all sorts of water growth. It looked uneek, and first-rate, too.
And when I say it wuz a long buildin', I don't want it understood that I mean length as we call it in Jonesville, but Chicago length—or rather Chicago Jackson Park length, which is fur longer than jest plain Chicago largeness.
In the centre of the big buildin' is a fish-pond all ornamented with rock work, and all sorts of aquatic plants.
And then all joined on to the main buildin', at each end and connected with it by carved arches, handsome as arches wuz ever made in the world, and trimmed off in the uneek way I've mentioned prior to and beforehand, wuz two other buildin's, each one on 'em 135 feet long.
The buildin' to the east is the aquarum, or live fish exhibit, and that to the west is to show off the anglin' exhibit. They wuz round and kinder double-breasted lookin' on both sides.
The shape on 'em is called pollygon—probable named after the man's wife that built it. It had a good many sides to it—mebby Polly had to her. I know wimmen are falsely called seven-sided lots of times.
Wall, in the middle of the buildin' designed for the aquarum is a big pool of water 26 feet in diameter; in the middle of the pool is a risin' up some rocks covered with moss and ferns, from which cool streams of water are a-drippin' and a-drizzlin' down onto the reeds and rushes, where the most gorgeous-colored fishes you ever see are playin' round in the water, as cool and happy in the middle of a meltin' summer-day—not needin' no fans or parasols, jest a-divin' and a-splashin' down in the wet water, and enjoyin' themselves. I bet lots of swelterin' folks jest envied 'em.
Surroundin' this rotunda, under a glass ruff, runs two lines of aquarums, separated by a wide gallery—more'n fifty of 'em in all.
In the fresh water wuz all kinds of fishes from all parts of the country, and the world. Salmons, muskalunges, the great Mississippi cat-fish, alligators, trout, white-fish, sun-fishes, etc., and etcetry.
In the salt water wuz sharks, torpedoes, dog-fishes, goose-fishes, sheeps heads, blue-fishes, weak-fish, and strong ones, too, I should think—why, more'n I could name if I should talk all day.
Why, I shouldn't a been surprised a mite if I had seen a-floatin' up to me that old Leviathan of Job's that "couldn't be pulled out with a hook, or his nose with a cord that wuz let down."
Why, I wouldn't a been surprised at nothin'—I felt a good deal of the time jest like that in all of the buildin's, and I said so to my Josiah when he'd try to surprise me by lookin' at some strange thing. "No, Josiah," I would say, "I can't be surprised no more, the time for that has gone by—gone by, a long time ago."
And then there wuz gobys, sticklebacks, sea-horses, devil-fishes, and I believe there wuz a jell fish, though I didn't see it.
Though so fur as jell goes, as I told Josiah, I would ruther make my own jell out of my own berries and crab-apples, and then I know how it's made.
But, howsumever, there wuz all the fishes that ever swum in America, Mexico, South America, Europe, and Asia, and I d'no but what there wuz a few from Africa. And to see on the bottom of them aquarums shells a-walkin' round, with the owners of them shells inside of 'em, wuz a sight to see.
Why, any one here would have 60 or 70 emotions a minute right along—a-seein' these, and a-meditatin' on the wonders of the deep.
And then there wuz the rainbow fish, which is found both on the Pacific and Atlantic coasts—it has all the colors the rainbow ever had, and more too.
And then to see our own magnificent water-lilies a-floatin' on top of the water, and then to see 'em down under the water, with fishes a-floatin' all amongst 'em—oh, what a sight! what a sight it wuz!
Outside of the buildin', when at last we did tear ourselves away from that seen of enchantment, and went outside, I upheld by my motive to see everything I could, and Josiah by the idee that we would step into a restaurant that wuzn't fur away.
When outside we see a lot of ponds all illustratin' the best way of pond culture, and all sorts of aquatic plants.
Wall, at Josiah's request, we went to the nighest place and had a cup of tea and a good little lunch.
And then we went back to see the fish-hooks and things that is in the west buildin' of the group.
Josiah said mebby he could git his eye on some new kind of a fish-hook. He said he'd love to go beyend Deacon Henzy and Sime Yerden if he could—they boasted so over their tackle.
And truly I should have thought he might have gone ahead of anything, or anybody, if he could have carried 'em home. There wuz everything that could be thought on, or that ever wuz seen in the form of fishin' apparatus—every kind of hook, and spear, and rod, and queer-lookin' baskets and pots, and tackle to catch eels and lobsters, and then there wuz models of fishin' boats and vessels, and everything else under the sun that any fisherman ever sot eyes on, from Josiah back to the Postles, and from the Postles down to any fishin' club in 1893.
Why, if you'll believe it—and I d'no as I would blame you if you wouldn't, it bein' a fish story, as it were—but we did see some fish-hooks from Pompeii that had been buried 2000 years, and come out fish-hooks after all—a good deal like them Josiah uses in Jonesville creek.
And speakin' of old things, we see some fishes that day—the oldest in the world; they come from Colorado—dug out of the rocks of ages ago; they wuz covered with bone instead of scales, which showed that they had had a pretty hard time on't.
And then there wuz a big collection of nets made by the Indians from seal sinew, seal-skin braided, roots of willow tree, and whalebone.
Of these last it took four men three weeks to make one, and two of these wuz gin in exchange for a jug of molasses to make rum with.
A shame and a disgrace! No savage would have cheated so—no, it takes a white man to do that.
And we see artificial flies so nateral that a spider would go to weavin' a net to catch it.
And artificial grasshoppers, and crickets, and frogs, and little artificial minney fish made of metal, glass, pearl, and rubber. Why, if I had seen one of 'em in the brook that runs through our paster, I should have been tempted to have bent a pin, and take some weltin' cord out of my pocket and go to fishin' for it.
And if they fooled me, who am often called very wise, what would you think of their foolin' a fish, who hain't got any bump of wisdom on their heads?
And then there wuz trollin' spoons of all kinds and shapes, in all kinds of metal, and trollin' squids—I'd never hearn of that name before—squid! but they had 'em of all kinds; and tackle boxes, and floats, and landin' nets, and gaff hooks; there is sunthin' else I never hearn on—gaff hooks! and snells, and gimps, and spinners.
Why, I'd never hearn on 'em, and Josiah hadn't either, though he acted dretful knowin', and put on a face of extreme enjoyment and appreciation. And he sez, "How a man duz enjoy seein' such things that he's ust to and knows all about!"
And I sez, "What do you do with squids, anyway, or gaffs, or snells?"
"Why," sez he, "I should snell with 'em, and gaff, and squid. What do you spoze?"
"How do you do it?" sez I. "How do you snell?"
And then he had to own up that he didn't know how it wuz done.
Truly it has been said that three questions will floor the biggest philosopher. But it only took two to take the pride and vainglory out of Josiah Allen.
Wall, the information gathered together here from all parts of the world, and disseminated out to individuals of the collected world, will probable make a great difference in the enjoyment and practical benefit of the fisherman, and tell hard on the fishes of 1894.
Wall, we stayed round here a-lookin' at 'em different buildin's till dark, and then we didn't see a thousandth nor a millionth part of what wuz to be seen there.
And I hain't half described its wonders and glories as I'd ort to, and one reason is, nobody can describe any of the buildin's—no, not if they had the tongue of men and angels.
No, they are too stupendous to describe.
And then, agin, I have had a kind of a feelin' of delicacy that has kind of held me back—I have been hampered.
For I have kep such a tight grip holt of my principle all the while I've been describin' it, that it has weakened the grasp of my good right hand on my steel pen.
I knew well how hard, how almost impossible it wuz to talk about fishin' for any length of time without lyin'.
But I know I have told Josiah time and agin that it wuz possible to do it, if you kep a firm holt of the hellum, and leaned heavy on principle.
I have done it, and I am proud and happy in the thought.
Unless, mebby, I have lied the other way. Good land! I didn't think of that; I wuz so determined to keep within bounds, that I am actually afraid that I've lied that way; in order not to tell the fish story too big, I hain't told it big enough.
Good land! I guess I won't boast any more.
Wall, seein' that I am in sunthin' of a hurry, I will let it go, and mebby if I should go over it agin I should lie the other way.
Good land! good land! what a world this is, and with all your care and watchfulness, how hard it is to keep walkin' right along, in Injun file, along the narrer rope walk of megumness and exact truth.
But I am a-eppisodin', and to resoom.
Wall, as I said, we didn't git home till pitch dark, and then I drempt of fish all night, and eels, and alligators, and such. It wuz tegus.
The next mornin' Josiah Allen met me all riz up with a new idee.
He had been out to buy a new pair of suspenders, his havin' gin out the day before; and he come to our room, where I wuz calmly settin' a-bastin' in some clean cotton lace into the sleeves of my alpaca dress.
And sez he right out abrup, with no preamble, "Samantha, less go down to the Fair Ground in a whale."
"In a whale?" sez I; "are you a loonatick, or what duz ail you, to try to make a pair of Jonahses of us at our age?"
"Wall," sez he, "they have 'em here to carry folks down to the Fair, I know, for I hearn it straight, and I should think we wuz jest the right age to go as easy as possible, and try experiments."
"Wall," sez I firmly, "I hain't a-goin' to try no such experiment as that. If the Lord called me to tackle a whale, I would tackle it, but I hain't had no callin', and I hain't goin' to try to ride out in no whale."
"I'm a-callin' you," sez he.
"Wall," sez I dryly, "you hain't the Deity—no, indeed, fur from it."
"Wall," sez he, "I'd love to go, Samantha. What a glorious piece of news to carry back to Jonesville, that we rid out in a whale. In the old Jonesville meetin'-house now, when Elder Minkley is a-preachin' on Jonah—and you know he trots him out a dozen times a year as a warnin'—how you and I could lift up our heads and tost 'em, and how the necks of the Jonesvillians would be craned round to look at us—we two, who had rid out in a whale—we had been right there, and knew how it wuz."
"I don't want to show off," sez I, "and I don't want any necks craned or tosted on account of my gettin' into a whale and ridin' it;" and then I sez, "Good land! what won't Chicago do next?"
And I added, "It don't surprise me a mite; it hain't no more of a wonder than lots of things I have seen here. I might a known if Chicago had sot its mind on havin' a whale to transport folks to the World's Fair she'd a done it, but I won't tackle the job."
"There it is," sez he gloomily, "I never make arrangements to distinguish myself and make a name, but you must break it up. I had lotted on this, Samantha," sez he.
He looked sad and deprested, and though I was bound not to give in and go, yet I made some inquiries.
"How many does the whale carry? What makes you think we could both git into it?"
Sez Josiah, "It carries 5000 at a time."
I felt weak as a cat, jest as I had felt time and agin sence I had come to Chicago.
"Wall," sez I in weak axents, and dumbfoundered, "any whale story I could hear about Chicago wouldn't surprise me a mite."
And I wiped my brow on my white linen handkerchief, for though the idee didn't surprise me none, it started the sweat.
Sez Josiah, "It is 225 feet long, and has a fountain in it, and a skylight 138 feet long."
But jest at that minute, before I could frame a reply, even if I could have found a frame queer-shaped enough to hold my curious—curious feelin's—
Miss Plank knocked at the door and said she wuz ready to go—we had made arrangements to go together that mornin'—and Josiah tackled her about the whale; and sez she briskly—
"Oh, yes; the whaleback Christopher Columbus! It would be a good idee to go to the grounds in it; you can go down in it in half an hour—it is only seven or eight milds."
So we fell in with her idee; and bein' ust to the place, she took the lead, and also the street cars, and we soon found ourselves on board the biggest floatin' ship I ever laid eyes on. And I couldn't see as it looked much like a whale, unless it wuz that it wuz long, and kinder pinted, and turned up at both ends, some the shape of a whale.
Wall, I guess the hull five thousand folks wuz on board, and had brung their relations on both sides. It looked like it, and we steamed along by the shore for quite a spell, the city a-layin' in plain view for mild after mild—or that is, in as plain view as it could be under its envelopin' curtain of smoke.
But bimeby the smoke all cleared away, the air wuz clear and pure, and the lake lay fair and placid fur off as we could see. It might a been the ocean, for all we could tell, for you can't see no further than you can, anyway, and you can't see no further than that on the Atlantic or the Pacific.
Way beyend what you can't see might stretch thousands and thousands of milds and a new continent; or it might be a loggin' camp, or Kalamazoo. It don't make no difference to your feelin's, it has all the illimitable expanse, the vastness of the great ocean.
So it wuz with the outlook on the flashin' blue waters on that magic mornin'.
And pretty soon the White City riz up like a city of bewilderin' beauty and enchantment, with the sun a-lookin' down from a blue sky, and lightin' up the tall, white walls, and gilded domes, and towers, and minarets. And as we floated along by Jackson Park, and could git a plain view of the perfect buildin's—the lagoons with fairy boats a-skimmin' over the sparklin' surface—in fact, in plain view of the hull vast, bewilderin' seen of matchless splendor—why, I declare I felt almost as if I wuz took back clear into the Arabian Nights Entertainments, and magic seens wuz bein' unfolded before my enraptured vision.
Why, I almost felt that my Josiah wuz a genii, and Miss Plank a geniess. I wouldn't a wondered a mite any minute if a carpet had dropped down for us to git onto, and we floated off into Bagdad. I felt queer—extremely.
But Bagdad nor no other Dad wuz ever so enchantin'ly lovely as the seen outspread before our eyes. As surpassin'ly beautiful as the Exposition is from every side, hind side and fore side, and from top to bottom, it is, I do believe, most radiantly lovely from the water approach.
You needn't be a mite afraid of gittin' your idees too riz up about the onspeakable beauty of the seen. No matter if they wuz riz up higher than you ever drempt of rizin' 'em up, instead of fallin', they will, so to speak, find themselves on the ground floor—in the suller, as you may say—so fur up beyend your highest imagination is the reality of that wonderful White City of the West—
Magic city that has sprung up there amidst the blue waters and green forests like a dream of enchantment, a hymn of glory, with not one false, harsh note in it to mar the glory and perfectness of the song.
Now, I have had my idees riz up lots of times—they have riz and fell so much that my muse has fairly lamed herself time and agin, and went round limpin' for some time.
And Josiah had told me time and agin, as I would go on about the beauty I expected to see at the World's Fair, "Samantha, you expect too much; you will get dissapinted; tain't Heaven you are goin' to; anybody would most expect, to hear you go on, that you expected to see the New Jerusalem—you are goin' to be dissapinted."
Wall, sure enough I wuz, but the dissapintment wuz on the other side—I hadn't expected half nor a quarter nor a millionth part enough. My muse instead of comin' down from the heights that I spozed she wuz on a-cungerin' up that seen—to use metafor—she had always, as you may say, sot down flat on the ground.
Why, I couldn't do justice to it in words, nor Josiah couldn't, nor Miss Plank couldn't, not if we all on us had a dictionary in one hand and a English reader in the other, and had travelled down there that beautiful mornin' with a brass band.
I wuz so wropped up in my bewildered and extatic admiration that my companions wuz entirely lost from sight, when Miss Plank sez—
"Here we are, ready to land." And indeed I see on comin' to myself that the hull 5000, and their relations on both sides, wuz on the move, and it wuz time for me to disembark myself, which I proceeded to do, a-follered by the forms of my Josiah and Miss Plank. She stepped out quite briskly over her namesake, and so did Josiah. They didn't take in the full beauty and grandeur of the seen as I did—no, indeed.
They could think of vittles even at that time, for I heard Josiah say—
"We will settle on some place to go that is handy to a restaurant."
And Miss Plank picked one where the biled corned beef wuz delicious, and the pies and coffee—
Corned beef! oh, my heart, in such a time as this! Beef corned in such a hour! But I forgive 'em and pitied 'em, for it wuz my duty.
Wall, we told Josiah he should have his way that mornin', and go where he wanted to—and he wanted to tackle Machinery Hall; consequently we tackled it.
And how many acres big do you suppose this buildin' wuz? Seventeen acres and a half is the size of the floor—
Jest half a acre more than Silenas Bobbetses farm, that he broke old Squire Bobbetses will to git, and he and his twin brother Zebulin come to hands and blows about, in front of the Jonesville post-office.
Zebulin said it wuz too much land to give to one of the children—they wuz leven of 'em—and the farm didn't go round—the others didn't have only fifteen acres apiece.
Yes; this one buildin' covered as much ground as Silenas Bobbet gits a good livin' from, a-raisin' cabbage and spinach.
And the buildin' wuz seemin'ly all wrought of white marble, with statutes, and colonnades, and towers, and everything else for its comfort, and inside wuz every machine that wuz ever made or thought on, from a sassage-cutter and apple-parer to a steam engine in full blast.
I believe they tuned up higher and louder when I went in—it wouldn't be nothin' surprisin' if they did, some as the brass band strikes up as the hero enters.
This song wuz the loud, strong chorus of Labor, that echoes all over the world, grand chorus that is played by the full orkestry of the sons and daughters of toil.
Oh, how many notes there is in this strong, ail-pervadin' anthem! Genius, and Patience, and Ambition, and Enterprise, and Ardent Endeavor—high notes, and low ones, all blent together, all tuned to the hauntin' key. It is a sam that shakes the hull earth with its might.
As I entered this palace, sacred to its song, how its echoes rolled through my ear pans, how them pans seemed to fairly shiver under the mighty strokes of the song, and its weird, painful accompaniment of boilers a-boilin', rollin' mills a-rollin'!
Water wheels, freight elevators—cranes a-cranin', derricks a-derrickin', divin' apparatus, fire-extinguishin' apparatus—
Machines of all sorts and kinds to manufacture all sorts of goods, and all hands to work at it—silk, cotton, wool, linen, ingy-rubber, ropes, and paper.
Saw-mills, wind-mills, printin'-presses a-pressin'. All sorts of tools to make all sorts of picters—engravin's, color printin'—picters from the 16th century up to 1893—they wuz relief engravin's.
I spoze they are called so because it is such a relief to think we don't have to look at them old picters now.
And there wuz half-tone processes, mechanical and medicinal processes, and every other process you ever hearn on, and didn't ever hear on, right there in a procession in front of me, and all a-processin'.
And there wuz machines for makin' clocks, and watches, and jewelry, and buttons, and pins, and all kinds of appliances ever used in machinery, and stun, sawin', and glass-grindin' machinery a-grindin' and makin' bricks and pottery, and used in makin' artificial stun—the idee!
You'd a thought the stun wuz all made before the Lord rested.
And there wuz rollin' mills a-rollin', and forges a-forgin', and rollin' trains, and harnesses, and squeezers a-squeezin'—and every machine that wuz ever made to shape metals and tire mills, and mills that wuzn't tired, I guess—I didn't see any, but I spoze they wuz there. But they all looked tired to me—tired as a dog, but I spoze it wuz my feelin's.
I see all through this buildin' that there wuz more wimmen than men there—which shows what interest wimmen takes in solid things as well as ornimental.
Wall, we hung around there till I wuz fearfully wore out—with the sights I see and the noise I hearn—and it wuz a relief to my eyes and ears (and I believe them ear pans never will be the pans they wuz before I went in there)—it wuz a relief when my companion begun to feel the nawin's of hunger. And after we went through Machinery Hall we went through the machine shops, at a pretty good jog, and the power-house, where there is the biggest engine in the world—24,000 horse power.
Good land! and in Jonesville we consider 4 horses hitched to a load very powerful; but jest think of it, twenty-four thousand horses jest hitched along in front of each other—why, they would reach from our house clear to Zoar—the idee!
But Josiah's inward state grew worse and worse, and finally sez he, in pitiful axents—
"Samantha, I am in a starvin' state," and Miss Plank looked quite bad.
So at their request we went a little further south to the White Horse Inn.
This inn is a exact reproduction of the famous White Horse Inn in England. Thinkin' so much of Dickens as I do (introduced to him by Thomas Jefferson), it wuz a comfort to see over the mantlery-piece the well-known form of "Sam Weller," the old maid, and others of Dickenses characters, that seem jest as real to me as Thomas Jefferson, or Tirzah Ann.
Over the main entrance is a statute of a white horse, lookin' considerable like our old mair, only more high-headed.
The original inn had a open court, where stage-coaches drove in to unload, and from which Mr. Pickwick and his faithful Sam Weller often alighted.
But instead of using it for horses now, they use it for a smokin'-room for men; they can't use it for both of 'em, for horses don't want to go in there—horses don't smoke; tobacco makes 'em sick—sick as a snipe.
Man is the only animal, so fur as I know, who can have tobacco in any shape put into his mouth without resentin' it, it is so nasty.
Wall, we got a good clean meal there at a reasonable price, though Miss Plank thought there wuzn't enough emptin' in the bread, and the sponge cake lacked sugar. But I think they know how to cook there—that inn is the headquarters of the Pickwick Club. Lots of English folks go there, as is nateral.
Wall, after we had a lunch and rested for a spell, Josiah proposed that we should go and see the Transportation Buildin'.
Miss Plank had to leave us now to go home and see about her cookin'. And we wended on alone.
On our way there we met Thomas J. and Maggie and Isabelle. They wuz jest a-goin' to Machinery Hall. Maggie and Isabelle looked sweet as two new-blown roses, and Thomas J. smart and handsome.
We stopped and visited quite a spell, real affectionate and agreeable.
Oh, what a interestin' couple our son and his wife are! and Isabelle is a girl of a thousand.
Krit had gone on to Dakota, on business, they said, but wuz comin' back anon—or mebby before.
Truly, if anybody had kep track of their pride and self-conceit, and counted how many times it fell, and fell hard, too, durin' the World's Fair, it would have been a lesson to 'em on the vanity of earthly things, and a good lesson in rithmetic, too.
Why, they couldn't tell the number of times unless they could go up into millions, and I d'no but trillions.
Why, it would keep a-fallin' and a-fallin' the hull durin' time you wuz there, if you kep watch on it to see; but truly you didn't have no time to, no more'n you did your breathin', only when it took a little deeper fall than common, and then as it lay prostrate and wounded, it drawed your attention to it.
Now, at Jonesville, the neighborin' wimmen had envied and looked up to my transportation facilities.
Miss Gowdy and she that wuz Submit Tewksbury would often say to me—
"Oh, if I had your way of gittin' round—if I could only have your way of goin' jest where you want to and when you want to!"
Such remarks had fed my vanity and pride.
And I will own right up, like a righteous sinner, that I had ofttimes, though I had on the outside a becomin' appearance of modesty—
Yet on the inside I wuz all puffed up by a feelin' of my superior advantages—
As I would set up easy on the back seat of the democrat, and the old mair would bear me on gloriously, and admired by the neighborin' wimmen who walked along the side of the road afoot, and anon the old mair a-leavin' 'em fur behind.
And, like all high stations, that back seat in the democrat and that noble old mair had brung down envy onto me and mean remarks.
It come straight back to me—Miss Lyman Tarbox told she that wuz Sally Ann Mayhew, and she that wuz Sally Ann told the minister's wife, and she told her aunt, and her aunt told my son-in-law's mother, and Miss Minkley told Tirzah Ann, and she told me—it come straight—
"That Josiah Allen's wife looked like a fool, and acted like one, a-settin' up a-ridin' whenever she went anywhere, while them that wuz full as likely walked afoot!"
I took them remarks as a tribute to my greatness—a plain acknowledgement of my superior means of locomotion and transportation.
They didn't break the puff ball of my vanity and pride, and let the wind out—no, indeed!
But alas! alas! as I entered the Transportation Buildin', and looked round me, there wuz no gentle prick to that overgrown puff ball to let the gas out drizzlin'ly and gradual—no, there wuz a sudden smash, a wild collapse, a flat and total squshiness—the puff ball wuz broke into a thousand pieces, and the wind it contained, where wuz it? Ask the breezes that wafted away Caesar's last groans, that blowed up the dust over buried Pompeii.
The buildin' itself wuz a sight—why, it is 960 feet long, and the cupola in the centre 166 feet high, with eight elevators to take you up to it; the great main entrance wuz all overlaid with gold—looked full as good as Solomon's temple, I do believe—and broad enough and big enough for a hull army of giants to walk through abreast, and then room enough for Josiah and me besides.
But it wuz on the inside of it that my pride fell and broke all to pieces, as I looked round me and down the long distance behind and before me.
I knew—for I had been told—that one fourth of all the savin's of civilized man is invested in railroads, and when I thought of how dretful rich some men and countries are, and kings and emperors, etc., I felt prepared to do homage to a undertakin' that had swallowed up one fourth of all that accumulated wealth.
But sence the world begun, never had there been a exhibition before showin' all the railroad systems of the world side by side, all the big American railroads, and great Britain, and France, and Germany.
The Baltimore and Ohio exhibit shows how the railroads of the world have been thought out gradual, and come up from nothin' to what they are—grew up from a little steam carriage that wuz shut up in Paris in 1760 as bein' disordely.
"Disordely!" Good land! there never wuz a new idee worth anything in this world but has been called "disordely" by fools.
You can see that very little carriage here at the Fair; after bein' shut up for two hundred years, it comes out triumphant, just as Columbus has.
Stevensonses first engine is here—an exact reproduction—and the hull caboodle of the first attempts leadin' up to the engines of to-day.
Dretful interestin' to look at these rough little inventions and to speculate on what prophetic strivin's, and yearnin's, and heartaches, and despairs, and triumphs went into every one on 'em.
For every one on 'em wuz follered, as a man is by his black shadder, by the cold, evil spirits of unbelief, malice, envy, and cheatin'.
The sun the inventors walked under—the glowin' sun of prophecy and foreknowledge—always casts such shadders, some as our sun duz, only blacker.
And every one of them old engines by the help of machinery is moved and turned, just as if Old Time himself had laid his hour-glass offen his head, and wuz a-puttin' his old shoulders under their iron shafts, and a-settin' them to goin' agin, after so long a time.
How I wished as I looked at 'em that Stevenson and the rest of them men who lived, and worked, and suffered ahead of their time, could a been there to see the fruit of their glowin' fancies blow out in full bloom!
But then I thought, as I looked out of a winder into the clear, blue depths of sky overhead, Like as not they are here now, their souls havin' wrought out some finer existence, so etheral that our coarser senses couldn't recognize 'em—mebby they wuz right here round the old home of their thoughts, as men's dreams will hang round the homes of their boyhood.
Who knows now? I don't, nor Josiah.
The New York Central exhibit shows the old Mohawk and Hudson train, a model of the first locomotive sot a-goin' on the Hudson in 1807 with a boundin' heart and a tremblin' hand by Robert Fulton, and which wuz pushed off from the pier and propelled onwards by the sneerin', mockin', unbelievin' laughs of the spectators as much as from the breezes that swept up from the south.
I would gin a cent freely and willin'ly if I could a seen Robert stand there side by side with that old locomotive and the fastest lightin' express of to-day—like seed and harvest—with Josiah and me for a verdant and sympathizin' background.
Oh, what a sight it would a been, if his emotions could a been laid bare, and mine, too!
It would a been a sight long to remember.
But to resoom.
The first locomotive ever seen in Chicago wuz there a-puffin' out its own steam. It must felt proud-sperited in all of its old jints, but it acted well and snorted with the best on 'em. The 999, the fastest engine in the world, wuz by the side of the Clinton, the first engine ever made. I opened the coach door and got in. It looked jest like a common two-seated buggy of to-day, with seats on top, and water and wood to run it with kep in barrels behind the engine.
And England and Germany, not to be outdone, brung over some of their finest railroads. Why, Wales brought over some of the actual stun ties and iron rails of the first railway in Great Britain; and as for the splendor of the coaches, they go beyend anything that wuz ever seen in the world. Side by side with the finest passenger coaches that London sends stands the Canadian Pacific, with its dinin' and sleepin' cars, and you can form an idee about the richness on 'em when I tell you that the woodwork of 'em is pure mahogany.
And then the other big railroads, not to be outdone, they have their finest and most elegant cars on show—
The Pullman and Wagner and the Empire State, with its lightnin' speed, and post-office and newspaper cars, and freight, and express, and private cars.
There is a German exhibit of some of them likely ambulance cars used by the Red Cross Society in war time—cars that angels bend over as the poor dyin' ones are carried from the battle-field—angels of Healin' and of Pain.
Then the Belgians have a full exhibit of the light, handy vehicles of all shapes, from a barrel to a basket, that they make to run on rails. Platforms movin' by the instantaneous action of the Westinghouse brake on a train of one hundred cars is a sight to see.
There are railroads for goin' like lightin' over level roads, and goin' up and down, and all sorts of street cars, a-goin' by horses, or mules, or lightnin', as the case might be. President Polk's old carriage looked jest like Grandpa Smedly's great-grandfather's buggy, that stands in this old stun carriage house, and has stood there for 100 years and more.
And all sorts of gorgeous carriages that wuz ever seen or hearn on, and carts, and wagons, and buggies, from a tallyho coach to a invalid's chair and a wheelbarrow, and from a toboggan to a bicycle, and palanquins of Japan, China, India, and Africa.
Howdahs for elephants, saddles for camels, donkey exhibits from South America and Egypt, the rig of the water-carriers of Cairo, the milk-sellers of South America, and the cargados, or human pack-horses, of both sexes of that country—models that show the human and brute forms of labor.
Models of ox-carts, used in Jacob's time, and in which, I dare presoom to say, Old Miss Jacob ust to go a-visitin' to old Miss Abraham and Isaac, and mebby stay all day, she and the children.
And pneumatic tubes that I spoze will be used fur more in the future, and for more various uses, and all kinds of balloons and air-ships.
Balloon transportation—ridin' through the air swift as the wind—what idees that riz up under my fore-top, of takin' breakfast to home, and a-eatin' supper with the Widder Albert, or some of her folks, and spendin' the night with the Sphynx, a-settin' out by moonlight on the pyramids—a-settin' on the top stun, my feet on another one, and my chin in my hand, a-meditatin' on queer things, and a-neighborin' with 'em. From Jonesville to the Desert of Sarah, in a flash, as it were.
Where wuz the old democrat—where, oh, where wuz she? Ask the ocean waves as they break in thunder on the cliff, and hain't heard from no more—ask 'em, and if they answer you, you may hear from the old democrat.
And then there wuz all kinds of vessels, and boats, and steamships, and canal-boats, and yachts, and elevators, and water railways.
Why, right there in plain sight wuz a section sixty feet long of one of the new Atlantic steamers, cut out of the ship, some as you cut a quarter out of an orange, or cut off a stick of candy.
You can see the hull of the ship in that one piece, from the hold to the upper deck—it looks like a structure five stories high—it shows the state-room, saloon, music-room, and so forth, fitted up exactly as they are at sea, gorgeous and comogeous in the extreme.
And here is the reproduction of the Viking ship, nine hundred years old—dug up in a sand-hill in Norway, in 1880. It is fitted up exactly as the Storm Kings of one thousand years ago used 'em—thirty-two oars, each seventeen feet long. Mebby that same ship brung over some Vikings here when the old Newport Mill wuz new.
The English exhibit has a model of H.M.S. Victoria, three hundred and sixty feet long; there is a immense lookin'-glass behind this model, so as to make it look complete, and it is a sight to behold—a sight.
Why, the U.S. has models of their great steamships, the Etruria and the Umbria, and there are every kind of vessels that wuz ever hearn on, for trade, pleasure, or war, and all kinds of Oriental ships, and all kinds of craft that ever floated in every ocean and river of the known world.
From a miniature Egyptian canoe, found in a tomb, to the sheep-skin rafts of the Euphrates and the dugouts of Africa, with sails, to the gorgeous sail-boats of the Adriatic and the most ancient vessels in the world.
What a sight! what a sight! It would take weeks to jest count 'em, let alone studyin' 'em as you ort.
And every machine in the known world for propellin' boats and railways, from steam to lightnin'.
Where wuz my old mair in such a seen? Oh, ask my droopin' sperits where wuz she?
And there wuz everything about protection of life and property, communication at sea, protection against storms and fire, and all kinds of light-houses and divin' apparatus, and pontoons for raisin' sunken vessels out of the depths of the sea.
And relics of Arctic explorations, every one on 'em weighted down with memories of cold, and hunger, and frozen death.
And then there wuz movin' platforms and sidewalks. The idee! What would Submit and Miss Henzy say—to go out from our house and stand stun-still on the side of the road and be moved over to Miss Solomon Corkses!
Oh, my soul, oh, my soul, think on't!
And there wuz what they called a gravity road.
And I asked Josiah "what he spozed that wuz?" and he said,
"He guessed it meant our country roads in the spring or fall."
Sez he, "If them roads won't make a man feel grave to drive over 'em, or a horse feel grave, too, as they are a-wadin' up to their knees in the mud, and a-draggin' a wagon stuck half way up over the hub in slush and thick mud"—
Sez he, "If a man won't feel grave under such circumstances, and a horse, too, then I don't know what will make him."
"Wall," sez I, "if I wuz in Uncle Sam's place I wouldn't try to display 'em to foreign nations." Sez I, "They are disgraces to our country, and I would hush 'em up."
"Yes," sez Josiah; "that is a woman's first idee to cover up sunthin'."
Sez he, "I honor the old man a-comin' right out and ownin' up his weaknesses. The country roads are shameful, and he knew it, and he knew that we knew it; so why not come right out open and show 'em up?"
"Wall," sez I, "it would look as well agin in him to show a good road—a good country road, that one could go over in the spring of the year without wishin' to do as Job did—curse God and die."
Sez Josiah, "Job didn't do that; his wife wanted him to, and he refused; men hain't profane naterally."
"Josiah Allen," sez I, "the language you have used over that Jonesville road in muddy times has been enough to chill the blood in my veins. Tell me that men hain't profane!"
"Not naterally, I said; biles and country roads is enough to make Job and me swear." And he looked gloomy as he thought of the stretch from Grout Hozletons to Jonesville, and how it looked from March till June.
"Wall," sez I, "less get our minds off on't," and I hurried him on to look at the Austrian exhibit, and the Alps seemed to git his mind off some.
There they wuz. There was the Alps, with a railroad in the foreground; then the ship of the Invincible Armada, in the Madrid exhibit, seemed to take up his mind; and all of the guns, from the fifteenth century on to our day; and the Spanish collection of models of block-houses, forts, castles, towers, and so forth.
In the middle of the main buildin' stood two big masts fifty feet high—one of our own day, with every modern convenience; the other like them masts on them ships of Columbus.
I hope our sails will waft on the ship of our country to as great a success as Columbuses did. Mebby it will; I hope so.
Wall, after we left the Transportation Buildin', sez Josiah, "I am dead sick of grandeur, and palaces 30 and 40 acres big, and gildin', and arches, and pillars, and iron."
Sez he, "I would give a cent this minute to see our sugar house, and if I could see Sam Widrig's hovel, where he keeps his sheep, and our old log milk house, I'd be willin' to give a dollar bill."
"Wall," sez I, in a kinder low voice, for I didn't want it to git out—I felt that I would ruther lose no end of comfort than to hurt the Christopher Columbus World's Fair's feelin's—
I whispered, "I feel jest exactly as you do. And," sez I, "less go and find a cabin and some huts if we can, and a board."
So we, havin' been told before where we should find these, wended our way to the Esquimo village, and lo! there wuz a big board fence round it.
And Josiah went up and laid his hand on them good hemlock boards lovin'ly, and sez he, "It looks good enough to eat." I could hardly withdraw him from it—he clung to it like a brother.
Wall, inside that board fence wuz a number of cabins or huts, containin' some of 'em a hide bag or a bed, a dog sled with some strips of tin for a harness, and some plain tables, white as snow in some huts, and in some as black as dirt could make 'em.
There wuz about fifty or sixty males and females and children there, and one on 'em, a little bit of a baby, born right there on the Fair ground.
She wuz about as big as a little toy doll. She wuz a-swingin' there in a little hammock, and she didn't seem to care a mite whether she wuz born up to the Arctic Pole or in Chicago. Good land! what did she care about the pole? Mother love wuz the hull equatorial circle to her, and it wuz a-bendin' right over her.
The little mother had pantaloons on, and didn't seem to like it; she had a long jacket and some moccasins.
Right there inside of that board fence is as good a object lesson as you'll find of the cleansin' and elevatin' power of the Christian religion. There wuz two heathen families, and their cabins wuz dirty and squalid, while the Christianized homes are as clean and pure as hands can make 'em.
First godliness, and then cleanliness.
The way the Esquimos tell their age is to have a bag with stuns in it for years. Every year in the middle of summer they drop a stun in. How handy that would be for them who want to act young—why jest let the summer run by without droppin' the stun in, or let a hole come sort o' axidental in the bag, and let a few drop out. But, then, what good would it do?
Sence Old Time himself is a-storin' up the stunny years in his bag that can't be dickered with, or deceived.
And he will jest hit you over the head with them stuns; they will hit your head and make it gray—hit your eyes, and they will lose their bright light—hit your strong young limbs and make 'em weak and sort o' wobblin'.
What use is there a-tryin' to drop 'em out of your own private collection of stuns?
But to resoom. The Esquimos show forth some traits that are dretful interestin' to a philosopher and a investigator.
They do well with what they have to do with.
Now, no sewin' machine ever made finer stitches than they take on their sleepin' bags and their rain coats, etc.
But the thread they use is only reindeer sinews split fine with their teeth.
What would they do with sewin' silk and No. 70 thread?
I believe they would do wonders if they had things to do with.
There wuz one young boy who they said wuz fifteen, but he didn't look more'n seven or eight. He looked out from his little cap that come right up from his coat, or whatever you call it; it looks some like the loose frock that Josiah sometimes wears on the farm, only of course Josiah's don't have a hood to it.
No, indeed; I never can make him wear a hood in our wildest storms, nor a sun-bunnet.
But this little Esquimo, whose name is Pomyak, he looked out on the world as if he wuz a-drinkin' in knowledge in every pore; he looked kinder cross, too, and morbid. I guess lookin' at ice-suckles so much had made his nater kinder cold.
And who knows what changes it will make in his future up there in the frozen north—his summer spent here in Chicago?
Anyway, durin' the long, long night, he will always have sunthin' besides the northern lights to light up its darkness.
What must memory do for him as he sits by the low fire durin' the six months night?
Cold and blackness outside, and in his mind the warm breath of summer lands, the gay crowds, the throng of motley dressed foreigners, the marvellous city of white palaces by the blue waters.
Wall, Josiah got real rested and sort o' sot up agin. And he laid his hand agin lovin'ly on the boards as we left the seen.
Wall, on our way home I had an awful trial with Josiah Allen. Mebby what he had seen that day had made him feel kind o' riz up, and want to act.
He and I wuz a-wendin' our way along the lagoon, when all of a sudden he sez—
"Samantha, I want to go out sailin' in a gondola—I want to swing out and be romantic," sez he.
Sez he, "I always wanted to be romantic, and I always wanted to be a gondolier, but it never come handy before, and now I will! I will be romantic, and sail round with you in a gondola. I'd love to go by moonlight, but sunlight is better than nothin'."
I looked down pityin'ly on him as he stood a few steps below me on the flight o' stairs a-leadin' down to the water's edge.
I leaned hard on my faithful old umbrell, for I had a touch of rumatiz that day.
And sez I, "Romance, Josiah, should be looked at with the bright eyes of youth, not through spectacles No. 12." Sez I, "The glowin' mist that wrops her round fades away under the magnifyin' lights of them specs, Josiah Allen."
He had took his hat off to cool his forward, and I sez further—
"Romance and bald heads don't go together worth a cent, and rumatiz and azmy are perfect strangers to her. Romance locks arms with young souls, Josiah Allen, and walks off with 'em."
"Oh, shaw!" sez Josiah, "we hain't so very old. Old Uncle Smedly would call us young, and we be, compared to him."
"Wall," sez I, "through the purblind gaze of ninety winters we may look younger, but bald heads and spectacles, Josiah Allen, tell their own silent story. We are not young, Josiah Allen, and all our lyin' and pretendin' won't make us so."
"Wall, dum it all! I never shall be any younger. You can't dispute that."
"No," sez I; "I don't spoze you will, in this spear."
"Wall, I am bound to go out in a gondola, I am bound to be a gondolier before I die. So you may as well make up your mind first as last, and the sooner I go, the younger I shall go. Hain't that so?"
With a deep sithe I answered, "I spoze so."
And he continued on, "There is such wild, free pleasure on the deep, Samantha."
But, sez I, layin' down the sword of common sense, and takin' up the weepons of affection,
"Think of the dangers, Josiah. The water is damp and cold, and your rumatiz is fearful."
"Dum it all! I hain't a-goin' in the water, am I?"
"I don't know," sez I sadly, "I don't know, Josiah, and anyway the winds sweep down the lagoons, and azmy lingers on its wings. Pause, Josiah Allen, for my sake, for liniments and poultices as well as clouds have their dark linin's, and they turn 'em out to me as I ponder on your course." Sez I, "Your danger appauls me, and also the idee of bein' up nights with you."
"But," sez he firmly, "I will be a gondolier, I'm bound on't. And," sez he, "I want one of them gorgeous silk dresses that they wear. I'd love to appear in a red and yeller suit, Samantha, or a green and purple, or a blue and maroon, with a pink sash made of thin glitterin' silk, but I spoze that you will break that up in a minute. So, I spoze that I shall have to dwindle down onto a silk scarf, or some plumes in my hat, mebby—you never are willin' for me to soar out and spread myself, but you probable wouldn't break up a few feathers."
I groaned aloud, and mentally groped round for aid, and instinctively ketched holt of religion.
Sez I, "Elder Minkley is here, Josiah Allen, and Deacon Henzy—Jonesville church is languishin' in debt. Is this a time for feathers? What will they think on't? If you can spend money for silk scarfs and plumes, they'll expect you, and with good reason, too, to raise the debt on the meetin'-house."
He paused. Economy prevailed; what love couldn't effect or common sense, closeness did.
His brow cleared from its anxious, ambitious creases, and sez he, "Wall, do come on and less be goin."
It rained some in the mornin', and Josiah said, "That it wuz presumptious for any one to go out onto the Fair ground in such a time."
So he settled down with the last Sunday's World, which he hadn't had time to read before, and looked and acted as if he wuzn't goin' to stir out of his tracks in some time.
But I went out onto the stoop and kinder put my hand out and looked up into the clouds clost, and I see that it didn't do no more than to mist some, and I felt as if it wuz a-goin' to clear off before long.
So I said that I wuz a-goin' to venter out.
Josiah opposed me warmly, and brung up the dangers that might befall me with no pardner to protect me.
He brung up a hull heap on 'em and laid 'em down in front of me, but I calmly walked past 'em, and took down my second-best dress and bunnet, and a good deep water-proof cape, and sot off.
Wall, I got to the Fair ground with no casualities worth mentionin', and I sauntered round there with my faithful umbrell as my only gardeen, and see a sight, and took considerable comfort.
I had a good honorable lunch at noon, and I wuz a-standin' on the steps of one of the noble palaces, when I see a sedan chair approachin' shaped jest like them in my old Gography, borne by two of the men who carry such chairs. Curius-lookin' creeters they be, with their gay turbans and sashes, and long colored robes lookin' some like my long night-gowns, only much gayer-lookin'.
As it approached nearer I see a pretty girlish face a-lookin' out of the side from the curtains that wuz drawed away, a sweet face with a smile on it.
And I sez to myself, "There is a good, wholesome-lookin' girl, who don't care for the rain no more than I do," when I heard a man behind me say in a awe-strucken voice, "That is the Princess! that is the Infanty!"
And I sez to myself, here is a chance to put yourself right in her eyes. For I wuz afraid that she would think that I hadn't done right by her sence she come over from Spain to see us.
And I didn't want her to go back with any false impressions. I wanted Spain to know jest where I stood in matters of etiquette and politeness.
So it happened jest right—she descended from her chair and stood waitin' on the steps for the rest of her folks, I guess.
And I approached with good nater in my mean, and my umbrell in my hand.
And sez I, a-holdin' out my hand horsepitably, sez I, "Ulaley, I am dretful glad of a chance to see you." Sez I, "You have had so much company ever sence you come to America, that I hain't had no chance to pay attention to you before.
"And I wanted to see you the worst kind, and tell you jest the reason I hain't invited you to my house to visit." Sez I, a-bowin' deep, "I am Josiah Allen's Wife, of Jonesville."
"Of Jonesville?" sez she, in a silver voice.
"Yes," sez I; "Jonesville, in the town of Lyme."
Sez I, "You have probable read my books, Ulaley." Sez I, "I spoze they are devoured all over the World as eager as Ruger's Arithmetic, or the English Reader."
She made a real polite bow here, and I most knew from her looks that she wuz familiar with 'em.
And I kep right on, and sez I—
"From everything that I have hearn on you ever sence you come here I have took to you, jest as the hull of the rest of America has. We think a sight on you—you have shown a pattern of sweetness, and grace, and true politeness, that is long to be remembered.
"And I want you to know that the only reason that I hain't invited you to Jonesville to visit me is that you have had such sights and sights of company and invitations here and there, that I told Josiah that I wouldn't put another effort onto you.
"I sez to him, sez I, 'There are times when it is greater kindness to kinder slight anybody than it is to make on 'em.' And I told Josiah that though I would be tickled enough to have you come and stay a week right along, and though, as I sez to him,
"'The Infanty may feel real hurt to not have me pay no attention to her,' still I felt that I had Right on my side.
"Sez I, 'It is enough to kill a young woman to have to be on the go all the time, as she has had to.' Sez I, 'The American Eagle has jest driv her about from pillar to post. And Uncle Sam has most wore his old legs out a-escortin' her about "from pleasure to palaces," as the Him reads.'
"And then, sez I, 'She has had considerable to do with Ward McAllister, and he's dretful wearin'.'
"He's well-meanin', no doubt, and I have a good deal of sympathy for him. For, as I told Josiah, he's gittin' along in years, and I don't know what pervision eternity would give to him in the way of entertainment and use. He can't expect to go on there to all eternity a-samplin' wine, and tyin' neckties, and makin' button-hole bokays.
"And I don't suppose that he will be allowed to sort out the angels, and learn 'em to bow and walk backwards, and brand some on 'em four hundred, and pick out a few and brand 'em one hundred, and keep some on 'em back, and let some on 'em in, and act.
"I d'no what is a-goin' to be done in the next world, the home of eternal Truth and Realities, with a man who has spent his hull life a-smoothin' out and varnishin' the husks of life, and hain't paid no attention to the kernel.
"He tires America dretful, Ward duz, and I spoze like as not he'd be still more tuckerin' to Spain, not bein' used to him, and then, too, she's smaller, Spain is, and mebby can't stand so much countin' and actin'. So, as I said to Josiah, 'The Infanty is a-havin' a hard time on't with the Ward McAllisters of society;' for, sez I, 'Though she has set 'em a pattern of simple courtesy and good manners every time she's had a chance, I knew them four hundred well enough to know that it wouldn't be took.' I knew that the American Republic, as showed out by Ward McAllister and his 'postles, wouldn't be contented to use the simple, quiet courtesy of a Royal Princess.
"No; I knew America and Jonesville would have to see 'em a-goin' on, and actin', and a-plannin' which foot ort to be advanced first, and how many long breaths and how many short ones could be genteelly drawed by 'em durin' a introduction, and how many buttons their gloves must have, and how many inches the tops of their heads ort to come from the floor when they bowed, and whether their little fingers ort to be held still, or allowed to move a little.
"And while Ward and his 'postles was drawed up in a line on one side of the ball-room, and not dastin' to move hand or foot for fear they wouldn't be moved genteel, you got dead tired a-waitin' for 'em to make a move of some kind.
"It wuz a weary, tuckerin' sight to America and me, and must have been dretful for you to gone through.
"And I sez to Josiah, 'It is no wonder that the Infanty got so tired of them performances that she had to set down and rest.
"It tired America so a-seein' 'em a-pilotin' the party that she would have been glad to have sot down and rested.
"Now if I'd invited you, Ulaley, as I wanted to, I wuzn't a-calculatin' to draw up Josiah and the boys and Ury on one side of the room, and the girls and myself in a line on the other side, and not dastin' to advance and welcome you for fear I wouldn't put the right foot out first, or wouldn't put in the right number of breaths a second I ort to.
"No; I should have forgot myself in the pleasure of welcomin' you. I should have advanced to once with pride and welcome in every line of my liniment, and held out my hand in a respectful and joyful greetin', and let you know in every move I made how proud and glad I wuz to see you, and how proud and glad I wuz you could see me, and then I should have introduced Josiah and the children, who would have showed in their happy faces how truly welcome you wuz to Jonesville. You'd've enjoyed it first rate, Ulaley, and if there had been any difference in our manners from what you'd been used to, and we might have made a bow or two less than you wuz accustomed to, why, your good sense would have told you that manners in Jonesville wuz different from Madrid, and you'd expect it and enjoy the difference, mebby.
"Of course, I knew that we couldn't do by you exactly as they do in Spain in the way of amusement—we couldn't git up no bull fight, not havin' the two materials.
"But Josiah has got a old pair of steers down in our back medder that was always touchy and kinder quarrelsome. They are gittin' along in years, but mebby there is some fight left in 'em yet.
"I think like as not that Josiah and Ury could have got 'em to kinder backin' up and kickin' at each other, and actin'.
"I wouldn't gin a cent to seen it go on, but it would have been interesting I hain't a doubt on't, to them that wuz gin to that sort o' things.
"But, as I sez, I wouldn't put it on you, Ulaley."
The Infanty looked real pleasant here—she almost laughed, she looked so amiable at me; she realized well that she wuz a-meetin' one of the first wimmen of the nation, and that woman wuz a-doin' well by her.
"But, as I say, Ulaley, I knew that it wuz too hard for you. I knew that between them Ward McAllisters of society, and the hosts of your honest admirers, from Uncle Sam down to Commander Davis and Miss Mayor Gilroy, you wuz fairly beat out. And I wouldn't put you to the extra effort of comin' to Jonesville. I hated to give it up, but Duty made me, and I want you to understand it and to explain it all out to Spain jest how it wuz."
She smiled real sweet, and said she would, and she said "that she appreciated my thoughtful kindness."
She wuz too much of a lady to talk about them that had entertained her.
And I spoze she had been entertained through them New York parties. She's quite a case for fun, and we got to feelin' real well acquainted with each other, and congenial.
She looked dretful pretty as she looked out sideways at me and smiled. She's as pretty as a pink.
And sez she, "You are very kind, madam; I highly appreciate your goodness."
"Yes," sez I, "it wuz nothin' but goodness that kep me back, for Josiah and I both think our eyes on you, both as a smart, pretty woman, and a representative of that country that wuz the means of discoverin' us."
And sez I with a shudder, and a skairful look onto me, "I can't bear to think of the contingency to not had Jonesville and Chicago discovered, to say nothin' of the rest of the World.
"But," sez I, "my anxiety to put myself right in your eyes has runaway with my politeness." Sez I, "How is all your folks?" Sez I, "How is little Alphonso? We think a sight of that boy here, and his Ma. She's a-bringin' him up first rate, and you tell her that I think so. It will encourage her.
"And how is your Ma?" sez I; and then I kinder backed out polite from that subject, and sez I, "I dare presoom to say that she has her good qualities; and mebby, like all the rest of the world, she has her drawbacks."
And then a thought come onto me that made me blush with shame and mortification, and sez I, "I hain't said a word about your husband." Sez I, "I have said that I would pay particular attention to that man if I come in sight on him, and here I be, jest like the rest of America, not payin' him the attention that I ort, and leavin' him a-standin' up behind you, as usual.
"How is Antoine?" sez I.
She said that "He was very well."
"Wall," sez I, "I am glad on't; from everything that America and I can learn of him he is a good feller—a manly, good-appearin', good-actin' young man.
"And America and I wish you both dretful well—you and Spain. We think dretful well of all of you; and now," sez I, with some stateliness, "I am a-goin' to withdraw myself, and not tire you out any more."
And so we shook hands cordial, and said good-bye, and I proceeded to withdraw myself, and I wuz jest a-backin' off, as I make a practice of doin' in my interviews with Royalty, when Duty gin me a sharp hunch in my left side, and I had to lock arms with her, and approach the Infanty agin on a delicate subject.
I hated to, but I had to.
Sez I, "Ulaley, I want you to forgive me for it if you feel hurt, but there is one subject that I feel as if I want to tackle you on."
Sez I, "You've acted like a perfect lady, and a sampler of all womanly and royal graces, ever sence you come over here a-visitin', good enough to frame," sez I, "and hang up in our heart of hearts.
"And there hain't but one fault that I have got to find with you, and I want to tell you plain and serious, jest as I'd love to have your folks tell Tirzah Ann if she should go over to Spain to represent Jonesville—
"I want to say, jest as kind as I can say, that if I wuz in your place I wouldn't smoke so much.
"I want to tell you that if my girl, Tirzah Ann, should ever go to Spain under the circumstances I speak on, and should light up her pipe in the Escurial, I should want you to put it out for her.
"I hate to have you smoke, Ulaley—I hate to like a dog. Of course," sez I, in reasonable axents, "if you wanted to smoke a little mullen or catnip for the tizik, I wouldn't mind it; but cigaretts are dretful onhealthy, and I'm afraid that they will undermind your constitution. And I think too much on you, Ulaley, to want you underminded."
She smiled, and said sunthin' about its bein' the custom of her country.
And I looked real pleasant at her, but firm, and sez I, "Customs has to be gone aginst by true Reformers, and Prophets, Ulaley." Sez I, "Four hundred years ago it wuzn't the custom of the countries to discover new worlds.
"But your illustrious countryman branched out and stemmed the tide of popular disfavor, and found a grand New Land.
"New Worlds lay before all on us, Ulaley—we can sail by 'em on the winds of popular favor and old custom, or we can stem the tide and row aginst the stream, and, 'Go in and take the country.'
"You don't know what good lays in your power to do, Ulaley, you sweet young creeter you, and now God bless you, and good-bye."
There wuz a tear standin' in every one of my eyes as I said it, for a hull tide of emotions from four hundred years past to the present swashed up aginst me as I grasped holt of her pretty hand, and we parted.
She looked real tender-hearted and good at me, as if she liked me, and as if her heart leaned up aginst my heart real clost.
(What duz Ward McAllister and his 'postles know of such rapt moments?)
Her escort driv up in two carriages jest then, and I left her, and as I went down the steps on the other side I heard her talkin' volubly to 'em—a-describin' the great seen that had took place between us, I dare say.
They wuz pleased with it, I could see they wuz fairly a-laughin', they wuz so edified and highly tickled. Yes, Spain realizes it, my makin' so much on't.
Wall, I didn't stay much longer, for weariness, and also the cords of affection, wuz a-drawin' me back to Miss Planks.
Wall, the days and weeks wuz a-wearin' away, and Josiah and I wuz a-enjoyin' ourselves first rate.
The children, and Isabelle, and Krit wuz a-havin' jest as good a time, too, as four smart young folks can have.
Their minds wuz naterally, all four on 'em, as bright as a new dollar, and they had been enriched and disciplined by culture and education, so there wuz good soil indeed for the marvellous seed sowed here to spring up in a bountiful harvest.
They, all four on 'em, enjoyed more than anything else the Congresses, and meetin's of the different societies of the world, for noble, and humane, and philanthropic interests.
And as for me, if I wuz to be made to tell at the pint of the sword what I thought wuz the very best and most glorious product of the World's Columbian Fair, I would say I thought it wuz these orations, and debates, by the brightest men and wimmen on earth, congregated at Columbuses doin's.
They wuz the wreaths of the very finest, sweetest blossoms that crowned Uncle Sam's old brow this glorious summer of 1893.
The most advanced thought on religion, art, science, philanthropy, and every branch of these noble and riz-up subjects wuz listened to there by my own rapt and orstruck ears. And not only the good and eloquent of my own Christian race, but Moslem, Buddhist, and Hindoo. Teachers of every religious and philosophical system wuz heard, givin' friendly idees, and dretful riz-up ones, on every subject designed to increase progress, prosperity, and the peace of mankind.
What subjects could be bigger than these, and more important to the World and Jonesville? Not any; not one.
And what solid comfort I took through the hull caboodle of 'em—Peace Societies, Temperance, Wimmen's Rights, Sabbath Schools, Kindergarten, Christian Science, Woman's protective union, Improvement in dress, etc., etc., and etcetry.
I sot happy as a queen through 'em all, and so did the girls, a-listenin' to every topic hearn on the great subject of makin' the old world happier and better behaved.
Josiah didn't seem to care so much about it.
He would often excuse himself—sometimes he would have a headache, but most always his headaches would improve so that he could git out into the city somewhere or onto the Fair ground. He would most always recooperate pretty soon after we started to the Congress, or Lecture Hall, or wherever our intellectual treat wuz.
And when I'd come home I'd find him pretty chipper.
And then often the children would come after us in a carriage and take us all over the city and out into the suburbs, and display all the strange sights to us, or they would take us to the beautiful parks, through the long, smooth, beautiful boulevards.
And no city in the world can go ahead of Chicago in this, or so it seems to me—the number and beauty of their parks, and the approaches to them. There wuz a considerable number of railroads to cross, and I wuz afraid of bein' killed time and agin a-crossin' of 'em, and would mention the fact anon, if not oftener; but I didn't git killed, not once.
Wall, so Time run along; roses and ripe fruit wreathed his old hour-glass, and we didn't hardly realize how fast he wuz a-swingin' his old scythe, and how rapid he was a-walkin'.
Isabelle had promised to come and stay a week with me jest as soon as a room was vacant.
And so the day that Gertrude Plank left I writ a affectionate note to her, and reminded her of her promise, and that I should expect her that evenin' without fail.
I sent the note in the mornin', and at my pardner's request, and also agreeable to my own wishes, we meandered out into the Fair grounds agin.
There wuz a number of things that we hadn't seen yet, and so there would have been if we had stayed there a hull year.
But that day we thought we would tackle the Battle Ship, so we went straight to it the nearest way.
Wall, as I looked off and got a plain view of the Illinois, it was headed towards me jest right, and I thought it wuz shaped some like my biggest flat-iron, or sad-iron, as some call 'em.
And I don't know why, I am sure, unless it is because wimmen are middlin' sad when they git a big ironin' in the clothes-basket, and only one pair of hands to do it, and mebby green wood, or like as not have to pick up their wood, only jest them arms to do it all, them and their sad-irons.
Wall, as I say, it wuz headed jest right, so it did look shaped for all the world like that old flat-iron that fell on to me from Mother Allen.
Of course it wuz bigger, fur bigger, and had a hull string of flags hitched from each end on't to the middle. Wall, it wuz a high, good-lookin' banner a-risin' out and perched on top of a curius-lookin' smoke-stack.
And for all the world, if that line of flags didn't look some like a line of calico clothes a-hangin' out to dry, hitched up in the middle to the top of the cherry-tree, and then dwindlin' down each end to the corner of the house, and the horse barn.
But I wouldn't have that Battle-Ship git wind on't that I compared it to clothes-lines, and flat-irons, not for a dollar bill; for battle-ships are naterally ferocious, and git mad easy.
There wuz sights of good-lookin' flags histed up at one end on't, besides the clothes-line full, and lots of men a-standin' round on't.
They didn't seem to act a mite afraid, and I don't spoze I ort to be.
But lo and behold! come to pry into things, and look about and find out, as the poet sez, that wuzn't a real ship a-sailin' round, as it looked like, but it wuz built up on what they call pilin'—jest as if Josiah should stick sticks up on the edge of the creek, and build a hen-house on 'em, or anything.
It is a exact full-sized model, three hundred and forty-eight feet long, of one of the new coast-line battle-ships now a-bein' built for the safety and protection of our country, at a cost of about three million dollars each.
The imitation ship is built on the lake front at the northeastern point of Jackson Park. It is all surrounded with water, and has all the appearance of bein' moored to the wharf.
It has all the fittin's that belong to the actual ship, and all the appliances for workin' it.
Officers, seamen, marines, mechanics, are sent there by the navy department, and the discipline and way of life on a naval vessel is fully shown.
I wuz glad to see that it had a woman for a figger-head.
I guess that the nation thought, after seein' how Miss Palmer went ahead and overcome the difficulties in her path, and kep her beautiful face serene, and above the swashin' waves of opposition all the time—they thought that they wuzn't afraid to let a woman be riz up on their ship, a-lookin' fur out over the waters, and a-takin' the lead.
It looked quite well. There wuz lots of lace-work and ornaments about her, but she carried herself first rate.
Wall, the ship as a hull is dretful interestin' to warriors and such, and mariners.
As for me, I thought more of statutes, and pictures, and posies, and Josiah didn't take to it so much as he did to steers, and horse-rakes, and so forth.
But good land! in such a time as this, when there is everything on the face of the earth, and under it, and above the earth to see, everybody has a perfect right to suit themselves in sights, and side shows.
Wall, we stayed there for some time a-lookin' round, and a-meditatin' on how useful this ship and others like it would be in case another war should break out, and how them ships and what is contained in 'em would be the means of savin' America and Jonesville.
And I had quite a number of emotions, and I guess Josiah did too.
And then we kinder sauntered along on that broad, smooth path by the side of Lake Michigan, and kinder looked off onto her with a affectionate look, and neighbored some with her.
Her waters looked dretful peaceful and calm, after seein' everybody in the hull world, and hearin' every voice that ever wuz hearn, a-talkin' in every language, and seein' every strange costume that wuz ever worn, and etc., etc., etc.
And so we sauntered along till we got to the Casino, and Music Hall a-risin' up at the eastern end of the grand basin.
We had laid out to come here before, and should, most probable, if the hull of music had been shet up inside of that tall, impressive-lookin' buildin'; but truly music had cheered our souls frequent on our daily pilgrimages, so we had neglected to pay attention to the Music Hall and Casino till now.
Josiah wuz anxious to attend to it.
And I myself felt that Duty drawed me, bein' quite a case for music.
And havin' led the choir for years before my marriage to Josiah Allen, and havin' married a man that sez he can sing.
But if the noise he makes is singin', then I would be willin' to say that I never had riz the eight notes, or fell 'em neither.
But he sez that he loves music; and he had talked quite a good deal to me about the Music Hall and Casino.
That Casino didn't sound quite right; it sounded sunthin' like "Seven-Up" and "Pedro," and I told him so.
But he said that "it wuz all right;" he said "that it wuz took from the Hebrew."
But I believe he said that to blind my eyes. Wall, when we hove in sight of it we see the high towers that riz up above it some distance off, with flags a-comin' kinder out of it on both sides, some like a stupendious pump, with handles on both sides and red table-cloths a-hangin' over 'em, but immense—immense in height.
Wall, I spozed it would look as well agin there as the Jonesville Singin' School, and be fur bigger.
But good land! and good land!
Why, jest the entrance to them buildin's is enough to strike the most careless beholder with or. Such pillows, and such arches, and such ornaments, I never expected to see till I got through with this planet anyway.
But there wuz one piece of sculpture there that when I see it I instinctively stopped stun still and gazed up at it with mingled feelin's of pride and sorrow.
It wuz a chariot in which stood the Discoverer, a-lookin' off, fur-sighted, and determined, and prophetic, and everything else that could be expected of that noble Prophet and Martyr, Columbus.
The chariot wuz drawn by four high-headed and likely horses as I ever see. But alas! for my own sect.
Two noble and beautiful wimmen stood a-walkin' afoot, barefoot too—stood right there between the horses, each one a-holdin' the bits of two of them high-headed beasts, and their huffs ready to kick at 'em. They didn't look afraid a mite, so I don't know as I need to worry about 'em.
But I couldn't help thinkin'—that is the way that it has always been, men a-ridin' the chariots of Power, drawed by satisfied ambition, and enterprise, and social and legal powers, and the wimmen a-walkin' along afoot by the side of the chariot, and a-leadin' the horses.