Samantha at the World's Fair
by Marietta Holley
Previous Part     1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8     Next Part
Home - Random Browse

Bringin' men into the world, nurturin' 'em, comfortin' 'em through life, and weepin' over their tomb.

Yes, she has led the horse, but walked afoot, and the stuns have been sharp and cold under her bare feet, and the dust from the chariot has riz up and blinded her sad eyes time and agin, so's that she couldn't look off any distance. The horses have been hard bitted; their high huffs and heads drawed dretful hard at the bit held in her weak grasp, and she has been kicked a good deal by their sharp huffs.

On the two off horses there wuz two figgers a-holdin' up high gorgeous banners; of course they wuz men, and of course they wuz ridin'.

Three men a-ridin' and two wimmen a-walkin' afoot; it didn't seem right.

Not that I begretched Columbus—that noble creeter—the ease he had; if I'd had my way I'd had a good spring seat fixed onto that chariot, so that he could rid a-settin' down; or, at any rate, I'd laid a board acrost it, with a buffalo robe on't. I wouldn't had him a-standin' up.

It hain't because I've got anything aginst Columbus—no indeed; but I am such a well-wisher of my own sect that I hate to see 'em in such a tryin' place.

But I wuz glad of one thing, and mebby that wuz one thing that made them poor wimmen look so fearless and sort of riz up.

They wuz in the East—they wuz in the past; the sun wuz a-movin' along, they could foller its rays along into the golden day. Why, right before 'em, on the other side of the basin, with only a little water between 'em that would soon be crossed, they could see a woman a-towerin' up a hundred feet, in plain view of all the countries of the assembled world, a-holdin' in her outstretched hand the emblems of Power and Liberty.

But to resoom: Josiah and I had a first-rate time there at that Music Hall, and enjoyed ourselves first rate a-hearin' that most melodious music, though pretty loud, and a-seein' the Musicianers all dressed up in the gayest colors, as if they wuz officers.

And truly they wuz. They marshalled the rank and file of that most powerful army on earth, the grand onseen forces of melody, that vanquishes the civilized and savage alike, and charms the very beast and reptile.

The sweet power that moves the world, and the only earth delight that we know will greet us in the land of the Immortals.

Truly the hour we spent there wuz long, long to be remembered.

And after we reluctantly left the Hall of Melody, the music still swelled out and come to our ears in hauntin' echoes.

Josiah had wandered away to a little distance to see sunthin' or ruther that had attracted his attention, and I stood still, lost in thought, and almost by the side of myself, a-listenin' to the low, sobbin' music of the band.

I wuz almost by the side of myself with my rapt emotions when I hearn a voice that recalled me to myself—

"Drusilla, I'm clean beat out."

"Are you, Deacon Sypher? Wall, it is because you are so smart, and see so much."

Truly, thinkses I, it don't take much smartness to see much in this place.

But instinctively with that idee come the thought—nobody but Drusilla Sypher could or would make that admirin' remark.

And I turned and advanced onto 'em with a calm mean.

But I see in that first look that they looked haggard and wan, as wan agin as I ever see 'em look, and fur, fur haggarder. They looked all broke up, and their clothes looked all rumpled up and seedy, some as if they had slept in 'em for some weeks. But I hain't one to desert old friends under any circumstances, so I advanced onto 'em, and sez, with a mean that looked welcomin' and glad—

"Why, Drusilla and Deacon Sypher," sez I, "how glad I am to see you! When did you come? Have you been here long?"

And they said "they had been in Chicago some five weeks."

"Is that so?" sez I. "And how have you enjoyed the Fair? I spoze you have seen a good deal, if you have been here so long."

Sez Drusilly, "This is the first time we have been on to the Fair ground."

"Why'ee!" sez I, "what wuz the matter?"

She turned round, and see that Deacon Sypher had stopped some distance away to speak to my pardner and to look at sunthin' or ruther, and she told me all about it.

She said that the Deacon had thought that it would be cheaper to live in a tent, and cook over a alcohol lamp; so they had hired a cheap tent, and went to livin' in it.

But a hard wind and rain-storm come up the very first night, and blew the hull tent away; so they had to live under a umbrell the first night in a hard rain.

Wall, she took a awful cold, and by the time they got the tent fastened down agin she wuz down with a sore throat and wuz feverish, and couldn't be left alone a minit, so the doctor said.

So the Deacon had to stay with her night and day, and change poultices, and give medicine, etc., and he had to hire porridges made for her, and things.

There wouldn't any of the campers round 'em do anything for 'em; for he had, accordin' to his own wishes, got right into a perfect nest of Prohibitionists. The Deacon wuz perfectly devoted to the temperance cause himself—wouldn't drink a drop to save his life—and dretful bitter and onforgivin' to them that drinked.

But it happened that bottle of alcohol for their lamp got broke right onto the Deacon's clothes. His vest, and pantaloons, and coat wuz jest soaked with it; so's when he went after help they called him an old soaker, and said if he'd been sober the tent wouldn't have broke loose. They scorfed at him fearful, and wouldn't do a thing to help him.

He told 'em he wuz a strict tetoteler, and hadn't drinked a drop for over forty years.

And they said, "Git out, you wretched old sot! You smell like a saloon!"

And another said, "Don't tell any of your lies to me, when jest one whiff of your breath is enough to make a man reel."

It cut the Deacon up dretful to be accused of drinkin' and lyin'. But they wouldn't one of 'em help a mite, and it kep him boned right down a-waitin' on her.

And they, jest as she got a little better, there come on a drizzlin' rain, and it soaked right down through the tent, and run in under it, so they wuz a-drippin', both on 'em.

But the Deacon took it worse than she did, for he elevated her onto their trunks, made a bed up on top of 'em for her as well as he could.

But he got soaked through and through, and it brung on rumatiz, and he couldn't move for over nine days. And the doctors said that his case wuz critical.

Of course she couldn't leave him, and havin' to cook over a alcohol lamp, it kep her to home every minit, even if he could be left.

So she said they got discouraged, and their bills run up so high for doctors, and medicines, and plasters, etc., that they calculated to break up tent and go and board for a few days, git a look at the Fair, and then go home.

And sez she, "I spoze you have been here every day."

"Yes," sez I; "we would have a nice warm breakfast and supper at our boardin' place, and a good comfortable bed to sleep in, and we would buy our dinner here on the Fair ground, and we have kep real well."

She looked enviously at me out of her pale and haggard face.

Sez she, "We have both ruined our stomachs a-livin' on crackers and cheese. I shall never see a well day agin! And we both have got rumatiz for life, a-layin' round out-doors. It is dangerous at our time of life," sez she.

"What made you do it, Drusilla?" sez I.

"Wall," she said, "the Deacon wanted to; he thought he couldn't afford to board in a house; and you know," sez Drusilla, "that the Deacon is a man of most splendid judgment."

"Not in this case," sez I.

And then, at my request, she told me what they had paid out for doctors and medicines, and it come to five dollars and 63 cents more than Josiah and I had paid for our board, and gate fees, and everything. And that didn't count in the cost of their two dyspeptic boards, or their agony in sickness and sufferin', or their total loss of happiness and instruction at the Fair.

When we reckoned this up Drusilla come the nighest to disapprovin' of the Deacon's management that I ever knew her to. She sez, and it wuz strong language for Drusilla Sypher to use—

Sez she, "If it had been any other man but Deacon Sypher that had done this, I should been mad as a hen. But the Deacon is, as you well know, Josiah Allen's Wife, a wonderful man."

"Yes," sez I, "Drusilla, I know it, and have known it for some time."

She looked real contented, and then I sez—

"Josiah Allen had got his mind all made up to tent out durin' the Fair. But I broke it up," sez I—"I broke it up in time!"

At this very minit Josiah and Deacon Sypher come back to us, the Deacon a-limpin', and a-lookin' ten years older than when we last seen him in Jonesville. And my pardner pert, and upright, and fat, under my management.

Wall, we four stayed together the rest of the day, a-lookin' at one thing and another.

And when we got home that night, lo and behold! Isabelle had come jest before we did.

And supper wuz all ready—or dinner, as they all called it; but I don't know as it makes much difference when you are hungry. The vittles taste jest about the same—awful good, anyway.

We wuz pretty late, so there wuzn't anybody to the table but jest Isabelle and Josiah and me.

And we three had a dretful good visit with each other. She is jest as sweet as a rosey in June.

I make no matches, nor break none. But I couldn't help tellin' Josiah Allen in confidence from time to time that it did seem to me that Isabelle and Mr. Freeman wuz cut out for each other.

Every time I see Isabelle—and Krit and Thomas J. had often made some app'intment where our family party could all meet—and every time I see her, I liked her better and better.

And Maggie, who of course had seen more of her than I had, bein' in the same house with her, she told me in confidence, and in the Mexican Exhibit, that "Isabelle was an angel."

No, I make no matches, nor break none.

But I happened to speak sort of axidently as it were to Mr. Freeman one day, and told him my niece wuz a-comin' to spend a week with me, jest as quick as Miss Planks step-sister's daughter's cousin got away. (Miss Plank, like the rest of Chicago freeholders, had relations back to the 3d and 4th generation come onto 'em like flocks of ravenin' grasshoppers or locusses, durin' the Fair.)

And I sez—though I am the one that hadn't ort to say it, mebby—"She is one of the sweetest girls on earth."

Sez I, "I call her a girl, though I spoze I ort to call her a woman, for she is one in years. But because she hain't never been married," sez I presently, "hain't, no reason that she couldn't be, for she has had offers, and offers, and might be married any day now.

"But," sez I, "she kep single from duty once, and now it seems to be from choice."

He sort of smiled with his eyes. He wuz used to such talk, I spoze. Good land! the wimmen all made perfect fools of themselves about him.

But he sez in his pleasant way, "I shall be very glad to meet your niece. I shall be sure to like her, if she is any like her aunt."

Pretty admirin' talk, that wuz. But good land! Josiah sot right there, and he wuzn't jealous a mite. Mr. Freeman wuz young enough to be my boy, anyway. And then Josiah knew what I had in my mind.

But I told my pardner that night, sez I—

"I hain't mentioned Mr. Freeman's name to Isabelle, and hain't a-goin' to; for one reason, she wouldn't come nigh the house if she knew what I wuz a-thinkin' on, and for another reason, I am a-goin' to try to stop a-thinkin' on't. He took it so beautiful, and he has match-makers a-besettin' him so much, I dare presoom to say he mistrusted what I wuz up to in my own mind. And, like as not, Isabelle wouldn't look at him, or any other man, anyway.

"But I wouldn't have thought on't in the first place," sez I, "if Isabelle hadn't been such a born angel, and seemed cut out a purpose for him by Providence. But I shall try to stop a-thinkin' on't."

And sez Josiah, "You had better have done that in the first place."

Wall, I wuz as good as my word. I didn't say another word pro nor con. But I kep up a-thinkin' inside of me, bein' but mortal, and havin' two eyes in my head.

Wall, as I say, finally Gertrude Plank had left her room vacant, and our niece had come to us with a cheerful face and one small trunk full of neccessaries for her week's visit.

I call her our niece, though she wuzn't quite that relationship to us. But it is quite hard sometimes to git the relationship headed right, and marshal 'em out into company before you—specially when they are fifth or sixth cousins.

And I thought, bein' our ages wuz such, and our affections wuz so strong, back and forth, that it would be jest as well to jest use that plain term aunt and uncle and niece—it looked better, anyway, as our ages stood. And I didn't think it wuz anything wrong, for good land! we are called uncle and aunt, my Josiah and me are, by lots of folks that hain't no sort of kin to us, and Isabelle wuz related to us anyway by kin and by soul ties.

Wall, to resoom: the evenin' after Isabelle got there it wuz burnin' warm in my room. And her room wuz still worse, way up on top of the house; but it wuz the best room that we could git for her, and she wuz contented with it for the sake of bein' with her Uncle Josiah and me.

After we got up from the supper-table—Mr. Freeman wuz away that day, but I felt free to take her into that big, cool room, and so we went into that beautiful place.

And then, all of a sudden, as Isabelle stood there in front of that pretty girl down by the medder brook amongst the deep grasses—

All of a sudden it come to me who the girl looked like: it wuz Isabelle.

As she stood in front of it, in her long white dress, with her white hands clasped loose in front of her, and her auburn hair pushed back careless from her beautiful face, I see the girl in the picture, or as she would be if she had grown refined and beautiful by sorrow and a sweet patience and reasonableness, which is the twin of Patience, both on 'em the children of Pain.

As I stood there a-lookin' at her in admiration and surprise, I heard a sound behind me. It wuzn't a cry nor a sithe, but it wuz sunthin' different from both, more eager like, and deadly earnest, and dumbfoundered.

And then it wuz Mr, Freeman's voice I knew that said—

"My God! am I a-dreamin'?"

And then Isabelle turned, and her face filled with a rapturous surprise and joy, and everything.

And sez she—


And he jest rushed forward, and in a secent had her in his arms. And I bust out a-cryin', and turned my back to 'em, and went out.

But it wuzn't more than a few minutes before they rapped at my door, and their faces looked like the faces of two angels who have left the sorrows of earth and got into Heaven at last.

And I cried agin, and Isabelle cried as I held her in my arms silently, and kissed her a dozen times, and I presoom more.

And Mr. Freeman kissed me on my left cheek, and wrung my hand that hard that that right hand ached hard more'n a hour and a half. And I bathed it in arneky and water long enough after Isabelle had gone to her room, and Mr. Freeman to hisen.

For till this mortal has put on immortality folks have to eat and sleep, and if their hands are wrung half off, either through happiness or anger, flesh, while it is corruptible, will ache, and bones will cry out if most crushed down.

But arneky relieved the pain, and the light of the mornin' showed the faces of these reunited lovers, full of such a radiant bliss that it did one's soul good even to look at 'em.

It seems that Isabelle had told him in that long-ago time when they parted that she wouldn't keep up a correspondence with him. She felt that she had ort to leave him free. And he wuz poor, and he would not fetter her with a memory she might perhaps better forgit. Poor things! lovin' and half broken-hearted, and both hampered with duties, and both good as gold.

So they parted, she to take care of her feeble parents, and he to take care of his invalid mother and the two little ones.

But lo and behold! after they had lived in that Western city for a few years, Tom a-workin' hard as he could to keep the wolf from the door, and from devourin' the three helpless ones, his brother returned from California as rich as a Jew, and he took his two little girls back with him and put 'em in school, and give Tom the money to start in business, and he wuz fortunate beyend any tellin'—got independent rich; then his ma wuz took sick and died, he a-waitin' on her devoted to the very last.

Then, heart-hungry and lonesome, he broke through the vow he had made, and writ to Isabelle; but Isabelle had gone from the old place—she didn't git the letters.

Then he writ agin, for his love wuz strong and his pride weak—weak as a cat. True Love will always have that effect on pride and resolve, etc.

But no answer came back to his longin' and waitin' heart.

And then, I spoze, Pride kinder riz up agin, and he said to himself that he wouldn't worry her and weary her with letters that she didn't think enough of to answer.

And he had about made up his mind that all he should ever see of Isabelle would be the shadder of her beauty in the girl by the old medder bars, standin' in the fresh grasses, by the laughin' brook, all lookin' so like the dear old farm when he won her love so long ago.

That dead, mute, irresponsive picture wuz more to him than any livin', breathin' woman could ever be.

So he camped down before it, as you may say, for life—that is, he thought so; but Providence wuz a-watchin' over him, and his thoughtful, unselfish kindness to a stranger, or strangers, wuz to be rewarded with the prize of love and bliss.

Wall, the World's Fair wuz, I spoze, looked on by many a pair of glad eyes. Hearts that throbbed high with happiness beat on through them majestic rooms. But happier hearts and gladder eyes never glowed and rejoiced in 'em than Isabelle's and her handsome lover's.

And wuzn't Krit glad? Wuzn't he glad of soul to see Isabelle's happiness? Yes, indeed! And Maggie and Thomas Jefferson.

Why, of course we wouldn't sing out loud in public, not for anything. We knew it wouldn't do to go along the streets or in the halls and corridors of the World's Fair, a-singin' as loud as we could—

"Joy to the World!"

Or, "What amazin' bliss is this!" or anything else of that kind—no, we wuz too well-bread to attempt it; but inside of us we jest sung for joy, the hull set and caboodle of us.

All but Miss Plank, and a few old maids and widders, and such, who mebby had had hopes. Miss Plank looked and acted as flat and crushed down as one of her favorite cakes, or as if she wuz a-layin' under her own sirname.

She said she hated to lose the profit of such a boarder, and mebby that wuz it—I don't say it wuzn't. But this I know, wimmen will keep up hopes, moles or no moles, and age has no power to keep out expectations.

But I make no insinuations, nor will take none. She said that it wuz money she hated to lose, and mebby it wuz.

But on that question I riz up her hopes agin, for Mr. Freeman wuz bound on bein' married imegatly and to once, and he said that they would remain right there for the remainder of the year at least.

Isabelle hung off, and wanted to go back to Jonesville and be married to our house, as I warmly urged 'em to.

But Mr. Freeman, lookin' decided and firm as anything you ever see, he sez to Isabelle—

"Do you suppose I am ever goin' to lose sight of you agin? No indeed!"

And I sez, "Wall, come right home with us to Jonesville, and keep your eyes on her."

I wuz as happy as a king, and he knew it. And he thinks a sight of me, for it wuz through me, he sez, that their meetin' wuz brought about.

He didn't say he wouldn't do that, so I wuz greatly in hopes that that would be the way it would turn out.

I thought to myself, "Oh, how I would love to have 'em married in my parlor, right back of the hangin' lamp!"

The semi-detatched widder said she got a letter about that time bringin' her bad news, trials, and tribulations, so it wuzn't to be wondered that she looked sad and worried. Mebby she did git such a letter.

But anyway she and Miss Plank made up with each other. They become clost friends. Miss Plank told me, "She loved her like a sister."

And the semi-detatched widder told me, "If she ever see a woman that she thought more on than she did her own mother, it wuz Miss Plank."

Wall, I wuz glad enough to see 'em reconciled, for they had been at such sword's pints, as you may say, that it made it dretful disagreeable to the other boarders.

Miss Piddock acted, and I believe wuz tickled, to see Mr. Freeman's happiness; for he didn't make any secret of it, and couldn't, if he wanted to. For radiant eyes and blissful smiles would have told the story of his joy, if his lips hadn't.

Miss Piddock said that "if Mr. Piddock had been alive that he could say truly that he could sympathize with him in every respect, for that dear departed man had known, if anybody had, true connubial bliss."

And then she brung up such piles of reminiscences of that man, that I felt as if I must sink under 'em.

But I didn't; I managed to keep my head above 'em, and keep on a-breathin' as calm and stiddy as I could.

Even Nony acted a trifle less bitter and austeer when he heard the news, and made the remark, "That he hoped that he would be happy." But there wuz a dark and shudderin' oncertainty and onbelief in his cold eyes as he said that "Hope" that wuz dretful deprestin' to me—not to Mr. Freeman; no, that blessed creeter wuz too happy to be affected by such glacial congratulations as Nony Piddock's.


Of course, feelin' as I did about my Uncle Samuel, it wouldn't have done to not gone to the Government Buildin', where he makes his headquarters, so to say.

Like the other palaces, this is so vast that it seemed as we stepped up to it some like wadin' out into Lake Michigan to examine her.

We couldn't do it—we couldn't do justice to Michigan with one pair of feet and eyes—no, indeed.

Wall, no more we couldn't do justice to these buildin's unless we laid out to live as long as Methusleah did, and hang round here for a hundred years or so.

We had to go by a lot of officers all dressed up in uniforms. But we wuzn't afraid—we knew we hadn't done anything to make us afraid.

Josiah wuz considerable interested in the enormous display of rifles, and all the machinery for makin' 'em, and showin' how and where the destructive instruments used in war are made.

And then there wuz dummy cavalry horses, and men, and ponies, and cattle, showin' the early means for transportation of the mails, compared with the modern way of carryin' it on lightnin' coaches.

But it wuz a treat indeed to me to see the original papers writ by our noble forefathers.

To be sure, they wuz considerable faded out, so that I couldn't read 'em much of any; but it wuz a treat indeed to jest see the paper on which the hands of them good old creeters had rested while they shaped the Destinies of the New World.

They held the pen, but the Almighty held the hands, and guided them over the paper.

When I see with my own two eyes, and my Josiah's eyes, which makes four eyes of my own (for are we two not one? Yes, indeed, we are a good deal of the time)—

Wall, when I see with these four eyes the very paper that Washington, the Immortal Founder of His Country, had rested his own hand on—when I see the very handwritin' of his right hand and the written thoughts of hisen, which made it seem some like lookin' into the inside of that revered and noble head, my feelin's riz up so that they wuz almost beyend my control, and I had to lean back hard on the pillow of megumness that I always carry with me to stiddy myself with.

I had to lean hard, or I should have been perfectly wobblin' and broke up.

And then to see Jefferson's writin', and Hamilton's, and Benjamin Franklin's—he who also discovered a New World, the mystic World that we draw on with such a stiddy and increasin' demand for supplies of light, and heat, and motion, and everything—

When I see the very writin' of that hand that had drawed down the lightnin', and had hitched it to the car of commerce and progress—

Oh, what feelin's I felt, and how many of 'em—it wuz a sight.

And then I see the Proclamation of the President; and though I always made a practice of skippin' 'em when I see 'em in the newspaper, somehow they looked different to me here.

And then there wuz agreements with Foreign Powers, and some of them Powers' own handwritin' photographed; and lots of treaties made by Uncle Sam—some of 'em, especially them with the Injuns, I guess the least said about the soonest mended, but the biggest heft on 'em I guess he has kept—

Treaties of peace and alliance, pardon of Louisiana and Florida, Alaska, etc., all in Uncle Sam's own handwritin'.

And then there wuz the arms of the United States—and hain't it a sight how fur them arms reach out north and south, east and west—protectin' and fosterin' arms a good deal of the time they are, and then how strong they can hit when they feel like it!

And then there wuz the big seal of the United States.

I had read a description of it to Josiah that mornin', and had explained it all out to him—all about the Argant, and Jules, and the breast of the American Eagle displayed proper.

I sez, "That means that it is proper for a bird to display its breast in public places; and," sez I, "though it don't speak right out, it probable means to gin a strong hint to fashionable wimmen.

"And then," says I, "it holds in its dexter talons a olive branch. That means that it is so dextrous in wavin' that branch round and gittin' holt of what it wants.

"And holdin' in its sinister talons a bunch of arrows." Sez I, "That means that in war it is so awful sinister, and lets them arrows fly onto its enemies where they are needed most."

And then the Eagle holds in its beak a strip of paper with "E. Pluribus Unum" on it, which means "One formed out of many."

And how many countries will wheel into the procession and become part of the great one as the centuries go on? I don't believe Uncle Sam has the least idee; I know I hain't, nor Josiah.

For on the back part is a pyramiad unfinished; no knowin' how many bricks will yet be laid on top of that pyramiad, or how high it will shoot up into the heavens.

And then there is a big eye surrounded with a Glory.

The eye of the United States most likely, and I spozed mebby it meant big I and little You.

I didn't know exactly what it did mean till I catched sight of the words above, meanin' "The eye of Providence is favorable to our undertakin's."

And then I felt better, and hoped it wuz so.

Down under the pyramiad is words meanin' "A New Order of Centuries."

That riz me up still more, for I knew it wuz true. Yes; when Columbus pinted the prow of that caraval of hisen towards the New World, the water broke on each side of it, a-washin' back towards the Old World the decayin' creeds and orders of the Old World, and the ripples that danced ahead on't, clear acrost the Atlantic, wuz a-carryin' new laws, new governments; and hoverin' over the prow as it swept on in the darkness and the dawn, onseen to any eye, not even the prophetic eye of the discoverer, hovered the great angels Liberty, Equal Rights, and Human Brotherhood.

For them angels could see further than we can; they could see clear ahead when the iron chains should fall from black wrists, and as mighty chains, though wrought with gold, mebby, should fall from the delicate white wrists of mother, and wife, and sister.

It could see that this indeed wuz "A New Order of Centuries."

And then we see—kep jest as careful as though it wuz pure gold and diamonds—the petition of the Colonies to the King of England. And I'll bet England has been sorry enuff to think it didn't hear to 'em, and act a little more lenient to 'em.

And then there wuz the old Constitution of the United States, in the very handwritin' of its immortal framer.

And then there wuz the Declaration of Independence.

Good, likely old document as ever wuz made. I know I hain't felt towards it as I'd ort to time and agin, when I've hearn it read Fourth of Julys by a long-winded orator, in muggy and sultry dog-days in Jonesville.

But though, as I ort to own up, I've turned my back onto it at sech times, I've allers respected it deeply, and it wuz indeed a treat to see it now—

The very paper, writ in the darkness of oncertainty, and hopelessness, and despair of our forefathers, and which them four old fathers wuz willin' to seal with their blood.

Oh, if that piece of yeller, faded old paper could jest speak out and tell what emotions wuz a-rackin' the hearts, and what wild dreams and despairs wuz a-hantin' the brains of the ones that bent over it in that dark day, 1776—

Why, the World's Fair would be thrilled to its inmost depths; Chicago would tremble from its ground floor up to its 20th and 30th story, and Josiah and I would be perfectly browbeat and stunted.

But it wuzn't to be; only the old yeller paper remained writ over with them immortal words. Their wild emotions, their dreams, their despairs, and their raptures have passed away, bloomin' out agin in the nation's glory and grandeur.

And then we see amongst the treaties with foreign powers friendship tokens from semi-barbarous tribes and nations—

Poor little gifts that didn't always buy friendship and justice, and I'd told Uncle Sam so right to his old face if I'd've met him there as I wuz a-lookin' at 'em. I'd a done it if he had turned me right out of the Government Buildin' the next minit.

And then there wuz the first cannon ever brought to America, and the first church-bell ever rung in America, and picters of every place that Columbus ever had anything to do with, and a hull set of photographs of hisen. Good creeter! it is a shame and a disgrace that there is so many on 'em, and all lookin' so different—as different as Josiah and Queen Elizabeth.

And then there wuz everything relatin' to conquest—conquest of Mexico and etc., and everything about the food and occupations of men—all sorts of food, savage and civilized, and all sorts of occupations, from makin' molasses to gatherin' tea.

And there wuz the most perfect collection of coins and medals ever made—7500 coins and 2300 medals. There wuz some kinder stern-lookin' guards a-watchin' over these, but they had no need to be afraid; I wouldn't have meddled with one of 'em no more'n I'd've torn out the Book of Job out of the family Bible.

There wuz everything under the sun that could be seen in South America, from a mule to a orchid.

And in the centre of the buildin' wuz a section of the great Sequois tree from California. The tree is twenty-five feet in diameter, and has been hollowed out, and a stairway built up inside of it. Stairs inside of a tree! Good land!

But what is the use, I have only waded out a few steps. The deep lake lays before us.

I hain't gin much idee of all there is to see in that buildin', and I hain't in any on 'em.

You have got to swim out for yourself, and then you may have some idee of the vastness on't. But you can't describe 'em, I don't believe—nobody can't.

In front of that buildin' we see one of the two largest guns ever made in the world.

It wuz made in Essen, Germany. It weighs two hundred and seventy thousand pounds, and is forty-seven feet long.

It will hit anything sixteen miles off, and with perfect accuracy and effect at a distance of twelve miles.

Good land! further than from Zoar to Shackville.

It costs one thousand two hundred and fifty dollars to discharge it once. As Josiah looked at it, sez he—

"Oh, how I do wish I had sech a gun! How I could rake off the crows with it in plantin' time! Why," sez he, "by shootin' it off once or twice I could clear the hull country of 'em from Jonesville to Loontown."

"Yes," sez I; "and have you got a thousand dollars to pay for every batch of crows you kill, besides damages—heavy damages—for killin' human bein's, and horses, and cows, and sech?"

And he gin in that it wouldn't be feasible to own one. And I sez, "I wouldn't have one on the premises if Mr. Krupp should give me one."

So we wended onwards.

Wall, about the most interestin' and surprisin' hours I enjoyed at Columbuses doin's wuz to the stately house set apart for that great wizard of the 19th century—Electricity.

As wuz befittin', most the first thing that our eyes fell on wuz a big, noble statute of Benjamin Franklin. He stands with his kite in his hand, a-lookin' up with a rapt look as if waitin' for instructions from on high.

He seemed to be guardin' the entrance to this temple, and he looked as if he wuz glad to be there, and I truly wuz glad to have him there.

For he ort to be put side by side with Christopher Columbus. Both sailed out on the onknown, both discovered a new world.

Columbuses world we have got the lay on now considerable, and we have mapped it out and counted the inhabitants.

But who—who shall map out this vast realm that Benjamin F. discovered?

We stand jest by the sea-shore. We have jest landed from our boats. The onbroken forest lays before us, and beyend is deep valleys, and high, sun-kissed mountains, and rushin' rivers.

A few trees have been felled by Morse, Edison, Field and others, so that we can git glimpses into the forest depths, but not enough to even give us a glimpse of the mountains or the seas. The realm as a whole is onexplored; nobody knows or can dream of the grandeur and glory that awaits the advance guard that shall march in and take the country.

This beautiful house built in its honor is 690 feet long and 345 feet wide.

The main entrance, which is in the south side, has a magnificently decorated open vestibule covered by a half dome, capable of the most brilliant illumination.

Indeed, you can judge whether this buildin' has advantages for bein' lit up, when I tell you that it has 20,000 incandescent and 3000 ark lights.

I hearn a bystander a-tellin' this, and sez Josiah, "I can't imagine what a ark light is—Noah couldn't had a light so bright as that is. But," he sez, "mebby the light shines out as big as the ark did over the big water."

And I spoze mebby that is it.

Why, they say the big light on top of the buildin'—the biggest in the world—why, they do say that that throws such a big light way off—way off over Lake Michigan, that the very white fishes think it is mornin', and git up and go to doin' up their mornin's work.

There wuz everything in the buildin' that has been hearn on up to the present time in connection with electricity—everything that we know about, that that Magician uses to show off his magic powers, from a search-light of 60,000 candle power down to a engine and dynamo combined, that can be packed in a box no bigger than a pea.

Josiah looked at the immense display with a wise eye, and pretended to understand all about it, and he even went to explainin' it to me.

But I sez, "You needn't tire yourself, Josiah Allen; I should know jest as much after you got through as I do now.

"And," sez I, "you can explain to me jest as well how the hoe and the planter cause the seed to spring up in the loosened ground. You put the seed in the ground, Josiah Allen, and the hoe loosens the soil round it. You may assist the plant some, but there is a secret back of it all, Josiah Allen, that you can't explain to me.

"No, nor Edison couldn't, nor Benjamin Franklin himself couldn't with his kite."

Sez Josiah, "I could explain it all out to you if you would listen—all about my winter rye, and all about electricity."

But agin I sez considerately, "Don't tire yourself, Josiah Allen; it is a pretty hot day, and you hain't over and above well to-day."

He didn't like it at all; he wanted to talk about electric currents to me, and magnets, and dynamos, but I wouldn't listen to it. I felt that we wuz in the palace of the Great Enchanter, the King of Wonders of the 19th century, and I knew that orr and silence wuz befittin' mantillys to wrop ourselves in as we entered his court, and stood in his imperial presence. And I told Josiah so.

And he sez, "You won't catch me with a mantilly on."

He is dretful fraid to wear wimmen's clothes. I can't git a apron or a sun-bunnet on him in churnin' time or berryin' in dog-days—he is sot.

But I sez, "Josiah, I spoke in metafor."

And he sez, "I would ruther you would use pantaloons and vests, if you are a-goin' to allegore about me."

But to resoom. France, England, Germany, all have wonderful exhibits, and as for our own country, there wuz no end seemin'ly to the marvellous sight.

Why, to give you a idee of the size and splendor of 'em, one electrical company alone spent 350,000 dollars on its exhibit.

Among the German exhibits wuz a wonderful search-light—jest as searchin' as any light ever could be—it wuz sunthin' like the day of judgment in lightin' up and showin' forth.

One of the strange things long to be remembered wuz to set down alone beside of a big horn in Chicago and hear a melodious orkestry in New York, hundreds and hundreds of miles away, a-discoursin' the sweetest melody.

Wall, what took up Josiah's mind most of anything wuz a house all fitted up from basement to attic with electricity.

You come home (say you come in the evenin' and bring company with you); you press a button at the door, the door opens; touch another button, and the hall will be all lighted up, and so with every other room in the house. Some of these lights will be rosettes of light let into the wall, and some on 'em lamps behind white, and rose-tinted, and amber porcelain.

When you go upstairs to put on another coat, you touch a button, the electric elevator takes you to your room; and when you open the closet door, that lights the lamp in the closet; when you have found your coat and vest, shuttin' the door puts the light out.

In the mean time, your visitors down below are entertained by a selection from operatic or sacred music or comic songs from a phonograph on the parlor table. Or if they want to hear Gladstone debate, or Chauncey Depew joke, or Ingersoll lecture, or no matter what their tastes are, they can be gratified. The phonograph don't care; it will bring to 'em anything they call for.

Then, when they have got ready for dinner, a button is touched; the dinner comes down from the kitchen in the attic, where it wuz all cooked by electricity, baked, roasted, or biled, whatever it is.

When the vittles are put on the table, they are kept warm by electric warmin' furnaces.

They start up a rousin' fire in the open fireplace by pressin' a button, and if they git kinder warm, electric fans cool the air agin, though there hain't much chance of gittin' too warm, for electric thermostats regulate the atmosphere. But in the summer the fans come handy.

When dinner is over the dishes mount upstairs agin, and are washed by a electric automatic dish washer, and dried by a electric dish drier.

The ice for dinner is made by a miniature ammonia ice plant, which keeps the hull house cool in hot days and nights.

On washin' days the woman of the house throws the dirty clothes and a piece of soap into a tub, and electricity heats the water, rubs and cleanses the clothes, shoves 'em along and rings 'em through an electric ringer, and dries 'em in a electric dryin' oven, and then irons 'em by an electric ironin' machine.

If the female of the house wants to sew a little, she don't have to wear out her own vital powers a-runnin' that sewin' machine—no; electricity jest runs it for her smooth as a dollar.

If she wants to sweep her floor, does she have to wear out her own elbows? No, indeed; electricity jest sweeps it for her clean as a pin.

Oh, what a house! what a house!

Josiah of course wuz rampant with idees of havin' our house run jest like it.

He thought mebby he could run it by horse power or by wind.

"But," I sez, "I guess the old mair has enough on her hands without washin' dishes and cookin'."

He see it wuzn't feasible.

"But," sez he, "I believe I could run it by wind. Don't you know what wind storms we have in Jonesville?"

And I sez, "You won't catch me a-sewin' by it, a-blowin' me away one minute, and then stoppin' stun-still the next;" and sez I, "How could we be elevated by it? blow us half way upstairs, and then go down, and drop us. We shouldn't live through it a week, even if you could git the machinery a-runnin'."

"Wall," sez he, with a wise, shrewd look, "as fur as the elevator is concerned, I believe I could fix that on a endless chain—keep it a-runnin' all the time, sunthin' like perpetual motion."

"How could we git on it?" sez I coldly.

"Catch on," sez he; "it would be worth everything to both on us to make us spry and limber-jinted."

"Oh, shaw!" sez I; "your idees are luny—luny as can be; it has got to go by electricity."

"Wall," sez he, "I never see any sharper lightnin' than we have to Jonesville. I believe I could git the machinery all rigged up, and catch lightnin' enough to run it. I mean to try, anyway."

"Wall," sez I, "I guess that you won't want to be elevated by lightnin' more'n once; I guess that that would be pretty apt to end your experiments."

"Oh, wall," sez he, "break it up! I never in my hull life tried to do sunthin' remarkable and noteworthy but what you put a drag on to me."

Sez I, "I have saved your life, Josiah Allen, time and agin, to say nothin' of my own."

He wuz mad, but I drawed his attention off onto a ocean cable, and asked him to explain it to me how the news went; and he wuz happy once more—happier than I wuz by fur. I wuz wretched, and had got myself into a job of weariness onspeakable and confusion, etc., and so forth.

But to such immense sacrifices will a woman's love lead her.

I could not brook his dallyin' with lightnin' at his age or to have it brung into our house in a raw state.

Josiah wuz dretful impressed with a big post completely covered with red, white, and blue globes, and all other colors, and at the top it branched out into four posts, extendin' towards the corners of the ceilin'.

A spark of electricity starts at the base of the post, and steadily works its way up. It lights the red, then the white, and then the blue, and etc., and then it goes on and lights the four branches until it gits to the end, and then it lights up a big ball.

And then it goes back to the beginnin' agin, and so it goes on—flash! flash! flash! sparkle! sparkle! sparkle! in glowin' colors. It is a sight to see it.

But what impressed me beyend anything wuz what seemed a mighty onseen hand a-risin' up out of Nowhere, and a-holdin' a pencil, and a-writin' on the wall in letters of flame. And then that same onseen hand will wipe out what has been writ, and write sunthin' else. Why, it all makes folks feel a good deal like Belschazarses, only more riz up like. He felt guilty as a dog, which must hendered his lofty emotions from playin' free; but folks that see this awsome and magestick spectacle don't have nothin' to drag down their soarin' emotions.

Why, I'll bet that I had more emotions durin' that sight than Belschazar had when he see his writin' on the wall, only different. I guess that mine wuz more like Daniel's, though I can't tell, havin' never talked it over with Daniel. But to resoom.

When we left the Electrical Buildin', it wuz so nigh at hand we jest stepped acrost into the Hall of Mines and Minin'. And it wuz dretful curious, wuzn't it?

Here we two wuz on the surface of the Earth, and we had jest been a-studyin' in a entranced way the workin's of a mighty sperit, who wuz, in the first place, brung down from above the Earth, and now, lo and behold! we wuz on our way to see what wuz below the Earth.

Curious and coincidin', very.

Wall, as I walked acrost them few steps I thought of a good many things. One thing I thought on wuz the path I wuz a-walkin' on.

I d'no as I've mentioned it before, but them foot-paths at the World's Fair are as worthy of attention as anything as there is there.

I'll bet Columbus would have been glad to had such paths to walk on when he wuz foot-sore, and tired out.

They are made of a compound of granite and cement, and are as smooth as a board, and as durable as adamant.

What a boon sech roads would be in the Spring and the Fall! How it would lessen profanity, and broken wagons, and broken-backed horses! Folks say that they will be used throughout the World. Jonesville waits for it with longin'.

Its name is Medusaline. I wuz real glad it had such a pretty name—it deserves it.

Josiah wuz dretful took with the name. He said that he wuz a-goin' to name his nephew's twins Maryline and Medusaline. But mebby he'll forgit it.

Wall, the Hall of Mines and Minin' is a immense, gorgeous palace, jest as all the rest on 'em be, and, like 'em all, it has more'n enough orniments, and domes, and banners, and so forth to make it comfortable.

As we advanced up the magestick portal the figgers of miners, with hammers and pans in their hands, seemed to welcome us, and tell us what they had to do with the big show inside; they seemed to be a-sayin' with their still lips, "If it hadn't been for us—for the great Army of Labor, this show would have been a pretty slim one." Yes; the great vanguard of Labor leads the van, and cuts down the trees, so's that Old Civilization and Progress can walk along, and swing their arms, and spread themselves, as they have a way of doin'.

Wall, to anybody that loves to look on every side of a idee from top to bottom, and had had sech experiences on top of the Earth as I had, it wuz a great treat to see what wuz inside of the Old World.

And wuzn't it a sight! Sech heaps of glitterin' golden and silver ore, sech slabs of shinin' marble, and sech precious stuns I never expect to see agin till I git where the gates are Pearl and the streets paved with Pure Gold.

On the west side are the exhibits from Foreign mineral-producin' countries, beginnin' with the Central and South American States.

These Mines, worked way back before history begins, that furnished the gold that Cortez loaded his returnin' galleons with, still keep right on a-yieldin' their rich treasures, provin' that there is no end to 'em, as you may say.

On the opposite side of the avenue are the treasures of our own country. Each State and Territory has tried, seemin'ly, to make the richest and most dazzlin' exhibition.

Here New England shows in a way that can't be disputed her solid granite and marble foundation—vast and beautiful and glossy exhibit.

Then the immense coal exhibit of the great States of the Appalachian range, and the Ohio valley, shows forth its wealth in shinin' black masses.

Pyramiads and arches of glitterin' iron and steel, statutes in brass, bronze, and copper, supported on pedestals of elaborate wrought metals.

Then there are pillows and statutes and pyramiads of salt so blindin'ly brilliant that you almost have to shet your eyes when you look at 'em.

The South shows up her mineral fertilizers, and paints, and her precious ores. The gold of North Carolina, the phosphates of Florida, and the iron ores of Alabama are here in plain sight.

California, Montana, Colorado, Idaho, shows a gorgeous exhibit of gold and other precious ores.

In the large porch in the centre of the buildin' is a high tower, made at the bottom of all sorts of minerals, and trimmed off handsome and appropriate; and the tower that shoots up from this foundation is made of all sorts of machines employed in minin'.

From this centre aisles and avenues branch off in every direction.

Great Britain and Germany and our own greatest mineral States are here facin' this centre.

And you can walk down every avenue, and have your eyes most blinded by the splendor of the exhibit.

You can see jest how they extract the gold from the ore from the minute it is dug out of the earth till it is wrought into the shinin' dollar or beautiful orniment.

You can see how Electricity, the Wizard, plays his part here, as everywhere else, in drivin' drills, and workin' huge minin' pumps and hoistin' appliances.

You can see how this Wizard gives the signals, fires the blast, and does everything he is told to do, and does it better than anybody else could, and easier.

Then there are figgers in groups representin' the old laborious way of minin', old crushin' mortars and mills of ancient Mexico, propelled by mules, compared with the automatic tramways and hydraulic transmission of coal by a liquid medium, and all the other swift and modern ways.

South Africa shows off her diamond fields. The machinery picks up the blue clay right before our eyes, the native Kaffirs pick out the precious pebbles and sort 'em out, and a diamond-cutter right here, with his chisel and wheel, cuts and polishes 'em till they are turned out a flashin' gem to adorn a queen.

Then, if you git tired of roamin' round on the first floor, you can go up into the broad gallery and look down in the vast halls and avenues, full of dazzle and glitter.

Dretful interestin' them wuz to look at—dretful.

And up here are the offices of Geoligists, Minin' Engineers, and Scientists, and a big library under charge of a librarian.

And here, too, is a laboratory where experiments are a-bein' conducted all the time.

Wall, it wuz a sight—a sight what we see there.

But the thing that impressed me the most in the hull buildin', and I thought on't all the time I wuz there, and thought on't goin' home, and waked up and thought on't—

It wuz a statute of woman named Justice—a female big as life, made of solid silver from her head to her heels, and a-standin' on a gold world—

Jest as they do in the streets of the New Jerusalem. Oh, my heart, think on't!

Yes, it tickled me to a extraordinary degree, for sech a thing must mean sunthin'! The world borne on the outspread wings of an eagle is under her feet, and under that is a foundation of solid gold.

First, the riches of the earth to the bottom; then the eagle Ambition, and wavin' wings of power and conquest, carryin' the hull round world, and then, above 'em all, Woman.

Yes, Justice in the form of woman stood jest where she ort to stand—right on top of the world.

Justice and Woman has too long been crumpled down, and trod on. But she has got on top now, and I believe will stay there for some time.

She holds a septer in her right hand, and in her left a pair of scales.

She holds her scales evenly balanced—that is jest as it ort to be; they have always tipped up on the side of man (which has been the side of Might).

But now they are held even, and Right will determine how the notches stand, not Might.

I don't believe that the Nation would make a statute of woman out of solid silver, and stand it on top of the world, if it didn't lay out to give her sect a little mite of what she symbolizes.

They hain't a-goin' to make a silver woman and call it Justice, if they lay out to keep their idee of wimmen in the future, as they have in the past, the holler pewter image stuffed full of all sorts of injustices, and meannesses, and downtroddenness.

They hain't a-goin' to stand the figger of woman and Justice on top of the world, and then let woman herself grope along in the deepest and darkest swamps and morasses of injustice and oppression, taxed without representation, condemned and hung by laws they have no voice in makin'.

Goin' on in the future as in the past—bringin' children into the world, dearer to 'em than their heart's blood, and then have their hearts torn out of 'em to see these children go to ruin before 'em through the foolishness and wickedness of laws they have no power to prevent—nay, if they are rich, to see their loved ones helped to their doom by their own wealth; taxed to extend and perpetuate these means of death and Hell, and they with their hands bound by the chains of Slavery and old Custom.

But things are a-goin' to be different. I see it plain. And I looked on that figger with big emotions in my heart, and my umbrell in my hand.

I knew the Nation wuzn't a-goin' to depicter woman with the hull earth at her feet, and then deny her the rights of the poorest dog that walks that globe. No; that would be makin' too light of her, and makin' perfect fools of themselves.

They wouldn't of their own accord put a septer in her hand, if they laid out to keep her where she is now—under the rule of the lowest criminal landed on our shores, and beneath niggers, and Injuns, and a-settin' on the same bench in a even row with idiots, lunaticks, and criminals.

No; I think better of 'em; they are a-goin' to carry out the idee of that silver image in the gold of practical justice, I believe.

If I hadn't thought so, I would a-histed up my umbrell and hit that septer of hern, and knocked that globe out from under her feet.

And them four mountaineers, a-guardin' her with rifles in their hands, might have led me off to prison for it if they had wanted too—I would a done it anyway.

But, as I sez, I hope for better things, and what give me the most courage of anything about it wuz that Justice had got her bandages off.

That is jest what I have wanted her to do for a long time. I had advised Justice jest as if she had been my own Mother-in-law. I had argued with her time and agin to take that bandage offen her eyes.

And when I see that she had took my advice, and meditated on what happiness and freedom wuz ahead for my sect, and realized plain that it wuz probable all my doin's—why, the proud and happy emotions that swelled my breast most broke off four buttons offen my bask waist. And onbeknown to me I carried myself in that proud and stately way that Josiah asked me anxiously—

"If I had got a crick in my back?"

I told him, "No, I hadn't got any crick, but I had proud and lofty emotions on the inside of my soul that no man could give or take away."

"Wall," sez he, "you walked considerable like our old peacock when she wants to show off."

I pitied him for his short-sightedness, but unconsciously I did, I dare presoom to say, onbend a little in my proud gait.

And we proceeded onwards.

Wall, on our way home we heard a bystander a-speakin' about the beautiful vistas, and the other one replied, and said how wonderful and beautiful he considered 'em.

And Josiah sez to me, "Where be them 'Vistas,' anyway? I've hearn more talk about 'em than a little—do they keep 'em in cases, or be they rolled up in rolls? I want to see 'em, anyway," and he turned and went to go into one of the big palaces. Sez he, "He seemed to be a-pintin' this way; we must have missed 'em the day we wuz here."

But I took holt of his arm and drawed him back, and I pinted down the long, beautiful distance, the glorious view bounded by the snowy sculptured heights of palaces—long, green, flower-gemmed avenues of beauty—with the blue waters a-shinin' calm behind towerin' statutes of marvellous conception, and sez I—

"Behold a vista!"

He put on his specs and looked clost, and sez he—

"I don't see nothin' out of the common."

"No," sez I; "spiritual things are spiritually discerned. The wind bloweth where it listeth," sez I.

"Oh, bring up the Bible," sez he; "there is a time for all things."

He acted real pudgiky.

But I at last got him to understand what a vista wuz, and I told him that Mr. Burnham and the others who had charge of buildin' this marvellous city took no end of pains to design these marvellous picters—more lovely than wuz ever painted on canvas sence the world begun.

And sez I, as I looked round me once more, some as Moses did on Pisga's height, "and viewed the landscape o'er"—

Sez I, "I must thank the head one here—I must thank Director-General Davis in my own name, and in the name of Jonesville, and the world, for gittin' up this incomparable spectacle, the like of which will never be seen agin by livin' eyes."

And if you'll believe it, I hadn't hardly finished speakin' when who should come towards us but General Davis himself. I knew him in a minute, for his picter had been printed in papers as many as two or three times since the Fair begun—it wuz a real good-lookin' face, anyway, in a paper or out of it.

And I gathered up the folds of my cotton umbrell more gracefully in my left hand, and kinder shook out the drapery of my alpaca skirt, and wuz jest advancin' to accost him, when Josiah laid holt of my arm and whispered in a sharp axent—

"I won't have it. You hain't a-goin' to stop and visit with that man."

I faced him with dignity and with some madness in my liniment, and sez I, "Why?"

Sez he, "Do you ask why?"

"Yes," sez I, with that same noble, riz-up look on my eyebrow—"why?"

"Wall," sez he, a-lookin' kinder meachin', "I want sunthin' to eat, and you'd probable talk a hour with him by the way you've praised up his doin's here."

By this time General Davis wuz fur away.

And I sithed, when I thought on't, what he'd lost by not receivin' my eloquent and heartfelt thanks, and what I'd lost in not givin' 'em.

I d'no as Josiah was jealous—mebby he wuzn't. But General Davis is considerable handsome, and Josiah can't bear to have me praise up any man, livin' or dead. Sometimes I have almost mistrusted that he didn't like to have me praise up St. Paul too much, or David, or Job—or he don't seem to care so much about Job. But, as I say, mebby it wuzn't jealousy—his appetite is good; mebby it was hunger.


Wall, this mornin', on our way to the grounds, I sez to Josiah—

"There is one thing that I want you to do the first thing to-day, and that is for you to see that good creeter, Senator Palmer."

Sez I, "I jest happened to read this mornin' how he's takin' up a subscription to help the Duke of Veragua, and we must see him and help the cause along." Sez I, "I can't bear to think of Columbuses folks a-sufferin' for things."

Sez Josiah, "Let Columbuses folks nip in and work jest as I do, and they'll git along."

"They hain't been brung up to it," sez I; "I don't spoze he ever ploughed a acre of land in his life, or sheared a sheep. And I don't spoze she knows what it is to pick a goose, or do a two weeks' washin'."

I'm sorry for 'em as I can be. And to think that that villain of a Manager should have run away with that money while they wuz over here a-helpin' their forefathers birthday!

Sez I, "It makes me feel like death."

"It makes me feel," sez Josiah gloomily, "that no knowin' but the Old Harry will git into Ury while we are away."

But I sez, "Don't worry, Josiah—Ury and Philura are pure gold."

"Wall, dum it all, pure gold can be melted if the fire is hot enough."

But I went back to the old subject—"We must give sunthin' to the cause; it will be expected of us, and it is right that we should."

"But," sez Josiah, with a gloomy and fierce look, "if I can git out of Chicago with a hull shirt on my back it's all I expect to do. I hain't no money to spend on Dukes, and you'll say so when we come to pay our bills."

Sez I, "You needn't send any money, Josiah Allen; but," sez I, "we might send 'em a tub of butter and a kag of cowcumber pickles jest as well as not, and a ham, to help 'em along through the winter, and I'd gladly send him and her yarn enough for a good pair of socks and stockin's. She might knit 'em," sez I, "or I would. I'll send him a pair of fringe mittens anyway," sez I; "it hain't noways likely that she knows how to make them. They take intellect and practice to knit."

And sez I, "I want you to be sure and see Senator Palmer without fail, and tell him to be sure and let us know when he sends things, so's we can put in and add our two mites."

Sez he, "The money has gone."

"Wall," sez I, "I am a disap'inted creeter. I wanted to do my part towards gittin' them good, noble folks enough to live on till Spring."

Sez Josiah (and mebby it wuz to git my attention off from the subject, which he felt wuz perilous to his pocket—he is clost)—sez he, "There is one man here, Samantha, that I'd give a cent to see."

Sez I, "Who is it that you are willin' to make such a extraordinary outlay for?"

"The Rager," sez he.

"The Rager," sez I dreamily; "who's that?"

"Why, the Rager from India. I spoze," sez he, "that he is one of the raginest men that you ever see. He took his name from that, most likely, and to intimidate his subjects. Now, King or Emperor don't strike the same breathless terror; but Rager—why, jest the name is enough to make 'em behave."

"Wall," sez I, "if the Monarch of Ingy is here I must see him, and git him not to burn any more widders with their dead pardners." Sez I, "It's a clear waste of widders, besides bein' wicked as wicked can be. Widders is handy," sez I, "now to keep boardin'-housen, or to go round as agents. Old maids hain't nothin' by the side of 'em, and they look so sort o' respectable behind their black veils, and then they are needed so for the widdower supply—and that market is always full." Sez I, "I don't want 'em wasted, and I want the wickedness to be stopped.

"And then to insist on marryin' so many wimmen. I'd love to labor with him, and convince him that one's enough."

"It seems to me," sez Josiah, "that I could make him know that one's enough. It seems as if any married man might. Heaven knows, it seems so!" sez he.

I didn't like his axent. There seemed to be some iron in it, but I wouldn't dane to parley.

"And then," sez I, "their makin' their wimmen wear veils all the time. What a foolish habit! What's the use on't? Smotherin' 'em half to death, and wearin' out their veils for nothin'.

"And then I'd make him educate 'em—gin 'em a chance," sez I; "but whether he gives it or not the bell of Freedom is a-echoin' clear from Wyomin' to Ingy, and it sounds clear under them veils. They will be throwed off whether he is willin' or not, and I'd love to tell him so."

Sez Josiah, "I guess it will be as the Rager sez."

"No," sez I solemnly; "it will be as the Lord sez, and He is callin' to wimmen all over the earth, and they are answerin' the call."

But we hearn afterwards that Josiah had got it wrong—it wuz Ragah—R-a-g-a-h—instead of Rager—and he wuz one of the most sensiblest fellers that ever stepped on our shores in royal shoes. He paid his own bills, wuz modest, and intelligent, wanted to git information instead of idolatry from the American people. He didn't want no ball, no bowin' and backin' off—no escort. No chance at all here for the Ward McAllisters to show off, and act.

He acted like a good sensible American man, some as our son Thomas Jefferson would act if he should go over to his neighborhood on business.

He wanted to see for himself the life of the Americans, the way the common people lived—he wanted to git information to help his own people.

And he wanted to see Edison the most of all. That in itself would make him congenial to me. I myself think of Edison side by side with Christopher Columbus, and I guess the high chair he sets on up in my mind, with his lap full of his marvellous discoveries, is a little higher than Columbuses high chair.

Oh, how congenial the Ragah of Kahurthalia would be! How I wish we could have visited together! But it wuzn't to be, for Josiah said that he'd gone the night before, so we wended on.

Wall, we hadn't more than got into the grounds this mornin' when Josiah hearn a bystander a-standin' near tell another one about the Ferris Wheel.

"Why," sez he, "you jest git into one of them cars, and you are carried up so that it seems as if you can see the hull world at your feet."

Josiah turned right round in his tracts, and sez he, "Where can I find that wheel?"

And the man sez, "On the Midway Plaisance."

And Josiah sez, "Where is that?"

And the man pinted out the nearest way, and nothin' to do but what we must set out to find that wheel, and go up in one.

I counselled caution and delay, but to no effect. That wheel had got to be found to once, and both on us took up in it.

I dreaded the job.

Wall, the Plaisance begins not fur back of the Woman's Buildin'. It is a strip of land about six hundred feet wide and a mild in length, connecting Washington Park with Jackson Park, where Columbus has his doin's, and it comes out at the Fair Ground right behind the Woman's Buildin'.

Josiah jest wanted to rush along, clamorin' for the wheel, and not lookin' for nothin' on either side till he found it.

But I wuz firm in this as a rock, that if I went at all I would go megum actin' and quiet, and look at everything we come to.

And wuzn't there enough to look at jest in the street? Folks of all nations under the earth. They seemed like the leaves of a forest, or the sands of the sea, if them sands and leaves wuz turned into men, wimmen, and children—high hats, bunnets, umbrells, fans, canes, parasols, turbans, long robes, and short ones, gay ones, bright ones, feathers, sedan chairs, bijous, rollin' chairs, Shacks—or that is how Josiah pronounced it. I told him that they wuz spelt S-h-e-i-k-s.

But he sez that you could tell that they wuz Shacks by the looks on 'em.

Truly it wuz a sight—a sight what we see in that street. Why, it wuz like payin' out some thousand dollars, and with two trunks, and onmeasured fatigue, spend years and years travellin' over the world.

Why, we seemed to be a-journeyin' through foreign countries, a-carryin' the thought with us that we took our breakfast in our own hum, and that we should sleep there that night, but for all that we wuz in Turkey, and Japan, and Dahomey, and Lapland, etc., etc., etc.

Wall, the first thing we come to as we begun on the right side—and anybody with my solid principles wouldn't begin on any other side but the sheep's side—we wouldn't begin on the goats—no, indeed!

The first thing we come to wuz the Match Company. Here you could see everything about makin' matches, and when you consider how hard it would be to go back to the old way of strikin' light with a flint, and traipsin' off to the neighbors to borrow a few coals on a January mornin', you will know how interestin' that exhibit wuz.

And then come the International Dress and Costume Company—all the different countries of the globe show their home life and costumes.

And I sez to Josiah, "If this Fair had been put off ten years, or even five, I believe the American wimmen would show a costume less adapted to squeezin' the life out of 'em, and scrapin' up all the filth and disease in the streets, and rakin' it hum."

And Josiah sez, "Oh, do come along! we shan't git to that wheel to-day if you dally so, and begin to talk about wimmen and their doin's."

Then come the Workin' Man's Home in Philadelphia. Then the Libby Glass Works, and when Josiah discovered it wuz free, he willin'ly accedded to my request to walk in and look round. He told me from the first on't that he wuzn't goin' to pay out a cent of money there. Sez he, "We can see enough—Heaven knows we can—without payin' for any sights."

Wall, here we see all kinds of American glass manufactured, from goblets and butter-dishes up to glass draperies, dresses, laces, neckties, and all sorts of orniments.

Josiah sez, "Samantha, oh, how I would like a glass necktie—it would be so uneek; how I could show off to Deacon Gowdy!"

"Wall," sez I, "we can try to buy one, and at the same time I will order a glass polenay."

"Oh, no," sez he, "it would be too resky; glass is so brittle it would make you restive."

And he tried to hurry me along, but I would look round a little; and we see there right before our face and eyes a man take a long tube and dip it into melted glass, and blow out cups and flower-vases, and trim 'em all off with flowers of glass of all colors, and sech cut glass as we see there I never see before; why, one little piece takes a man a month to cut it out into its diamond glitter.

And I would stop to see that glass dress all finished off for the Princess Eulaly. There it wuz in plain sight in Mr. Libby's factory draped on a wax figger of Eulaly. Mr. Libby made it and presented it to the Princess.

It took ten million feet of glass thread; it wuz wove into twelve yards of cloth, and sent to a dressmaker in New York, who fitted it to the Princess on her last days in the city. It is low neck and short sleeves, and has a row of glass fringe round the bottom, and soft glass ruching round the neck and sleeves. It looks some like pure white satin, and some different. It is as beautiful as any dress ever could be, and Eulaly will look real sweet in it. She'll be sorry to not have me see her in it, I hain't a doubt.

And oh, how I did wish, as I looked at it, that her ancestor could have seen it, and meditated how pert and forwards the land wuz that he'd discovered!

Glass dresses—the idee!

But Josiah looked kinder oneasy all the time that I wuz a-lookin' at it; he wuz afraid of what thoughts I might be entertainin' in my mind onbeknown to him, and he hurried me onwards.

But the very next place we come to be wuz still more anxious to proceed rapidly, for this wuz the Irish Village, where native wimmen make the famous Irish laces.

It wuz a perfect Irish village, lackin' the dirt, and broken winders, and the neighborly pigs, and etc.

At one end of it is the exact reproduction of the ancient castle Donegal, famed in song and story. In the rooms of this castle the lace wuz exhibited—beautiful laces as I ever see, or want to see, and piles and piles of it, and of every beautiful pattern.

I did hanker for some of it to trim a night-cap. As I told Josiah, "I wouldn't give a cent for any of the white lace dresses, not if I had to wear 'em, or white lace cloaks." Sez I, "I'd feel like a fool a-goin' to meetin' or to the store to carry off butter with a white lace dress on, or a white lace mantilly, but I would love dearly to own some of that narrer lace for a night-cap border."

But his anxiety wuz extreme to go on that very instant.

He wanted to see the Blarney stun on top of the tower of the castle. It is a stun about as big as Josiah's hat, let down below the floor, so's you have to stoop way down to even see it, let alone kissin' it.

Josiah wuz very anxious to kiss it, but I frowned on the needless expense.

Sez I, "Men don't need to kiss it; Blarney is born in 'em, as you may say, and is nateral nater to 'em."

Sez he, "But it is so stylish to embrace it, Samantha, and it only costs ten cents."

"But," I sez firmly, "you hain't a-goin' to kiss no chunk of Chicago stun, Josiah Allen, or pay out your money for demeanin' yourself."

Sez I, "The original Blarney stun is right there in its place in the tower of Blarney Castle in Ireland. It hain't been touched, and couldn't be."

"I don't believe that Lady Aberdeen would allow no sech works to go on," sez he.

Sez I, "Lady Aberdeen can't help herself. How can a minister keep the hull of his congregation from lyin'?"

Sez I, "She is one of the nicest wimmen in the world—one of the few noble ones that reach down from high places, and lift up the lowly, and help the world. I don't spoze she knows about the Blarney stun. And don't you go to tellin' her," sez I severely, "and hurt her feelin's."

Sez he, in a morbid tone, "We hain't been in the habit of visitin' back and forth, and probable if we wuz, you'd tell her before I could if you got a chance. Wimmen have sech long tongues."

He wuz mad, as I could see, about my breakin' up his fashionable performance with that Chicago rock, but I didn't care.

I merely sez, "If you want to do anything to remember the place, you can buy me a yard and a half of linen lace to trim that night-cap, or a under-clothe, Josiah." But he acted agitated here, and sez he, "I presoom that it is cotton lace."

Sez I, "I wish you'd be megum, Josiah Allen. This lace is perfectly beautiful, and it is jest what they say it is.

"And what a noble thing it wuz," sez I, "for Lady Aberdeen to do to gin these poor Irish lace-makers a start that mebby will lift 'em right up into prosperity; and spozen," sez I, "that you buy me a yard or two?"

But he fairly tore me away from the spot. He acted fearful agitated.

But alas! for him, he found the next place we entered also exceedin'ly full of dangers to his pocket-book, for this wuz a Japanese Bazaar, where every kind of queer, beautiful manufactures can be bought—

Rugs, bronzes, lacquer work, bamboo work, fans, screens, more tea-cups than you ever see before, and little silk napkins of all colors, where you can have your name wove right in it before your eyes, and etcetry, etcetry. Here also the peculiar fire department of the Japanese is kept.

The next large place is occupied by the Javanese; this concession and the one right acrost the road south of it is called the "Dutch Settlement," because the villages wuz got up by a lot of Dutch merchants.

But the people are from the Figi, Philippine, and Solomon Islands, Samoa, Java, Borneo, New Zealand, and the Polnesian Archipelagoes.

Jest think on't! there Josiah Allen and I wuz a-travellin' way off to places too fur to be reached only by our strainin' fancy—places that we never expected or drempt that we could see with our mortal eyes only in a gography.

Here I wuz a-walkin' right through their country villages with my faithful pardner by my side, and my old cotton umbrell in my hand, a-seemin' to anchor me to the present while I floated off into strange realms.

All these different countries show their native industries.

We went into the Japanese Village, under a high arch, all fixed off with towers, and wreaths, and swords—dretful ornimental.

There wuz more than a hundred natives here. Their housen are back in the inclosure, and their work-shops in front, and in these shops and porticos are carried on right before your eyes every trade known in Japan, and jest as they do it at home—carvers, carpenters, spinners, weavers, dyers, musicians, etc., etc. The colorin' they do is a sight to see, and takes almost a lifetime to learn.

The housen of this village are mostly made of bamboo—not a nail used in the place. Why, sometimes one hull side of their housen would be made of a mat of braided bamboo. Bamboo is used by them for food, shelter, war implements, medicine, musical instruments, and everything else. Their housen wuz made in Japan, and brung over here and set up by native workmen. They have thatched ruffs and kinder open-work sides, dretful curious-lookin', and on the wide porticos of these housen little native wimmen set and embroider, and wind skeins of gay-colored cotton, and play with their little brown black-eyed babies.

The costumes of the Japanese look dretful curious to us; their loose gay-colored robes and turbans, and sandals, etc., look jest as strange as Josiah's pantaloons and hat, and my bask waist duz to them, I spoze.

They're a pleasant little brown people, always polite—that is learnt 'em as regular as any other lesson. Then there is another thing that our civilized race could learn of the heathen ones.

Missionaries that we send out to teach the heathen let their own children sass 'em and run over 'em. That is the reason that they act so sassy when they're growed up. Politeness ort to be learnt young, even if it has to be stomped in with spanks.

The Japanese are a child-like people easily pleased, easily grieved—laughin' and cryin' jest like children.

They work all day, not fast enough to hurt 'em, and at nightfall they go out and play all sorts of native games.

That's a good idee. I wish that Jonesvillians would foller it. You'd much better be shootin' arrers from blowpipes than to blow round and jaw your household. And you'd much better be runnin' a foot race than runnin' your neighbors.

They've got a theatre where they perform their native dances and plays, and one man sets behind a curtain and duz all the conversation for all the actors. I spoze he changes his voice some for the different folks.

Wall, I led Josiah off towards the church, where all the articles of furniture is a big bamboo chair, where the priest sets and meditates when he thinks his people needs his thought.

I d'no but it helps 'em some, if he thinks hard enough—thoughts are dretful curious things, anyway.

Josiah and I took considerable comfort a-wanderin' round and seein' all we could, and noticin' how kind o' turned round things wuz from Jonesville idees.

Now, they had some queer-lookin' little store-housen, and for all the world they opened at the top instead of the sides, to keep the snakes out of the rice in their native land, so they said.

Josiah wuz jest crazy to have one made like it.

"Why," sez he, "think of the safety on't, Samantha! Who'd ever think of goin' into a corn house on top if they wanted to steal some corn?"

But I sez, "Foreign customs have got to be adopted with megumness, Josiah Allen." Sez I, "With your rumatiz, how would you climb up on't a dozen times a day?"

He hadn't thought of that, and he gin up the idee.

Then the ideal figger of the Japanese wimmen is narrer shoulders and big waist.

And though I hailed the big waist joyfully, I drawed the line at the narrer shoulders.

They have long poles about their housen, with holes bored in 'em, through which the wind blows with a mournful sort of a voice, and they think that that noise skairs away evil sperits.

When they come here each of their little verandas had a cage with a sacred bird in it to coax the good sperits; they all died off, and now they've got some pigens for 'em, and made 'em think that they wuz sacred birds.

And Josiah, as he see 'em, instinctively sez, "Dum 'em, I'd ruther have the evil sperits themselves round than them pigens, any time."

He hates 'em, and I spoze they do pull up seeds considerable.

Them Japanese wimmen are dretful cheerful-lookin', and Josiah and I talked about it considerable.

Sez Josiah, "It's queer when, accordin' to their belief, a man's horse can go to Heaven, but their wives can't; but the minute they leave this world another celestial wife meets him, and he and his earth wife parts forever. It is queer," sez he, "how under them circumstances that the wimmen can look so happy."

And I sez, "It can't be that they hail anhialation as a welcome rest from married life, can it?"

Josiah acted mad, and sez he, "I'd be a fool if I wuz in your place!"

And bein' kinder mad, he snapped out, "Them wimmen don't look as if they knew much more than monkeys; compared to American wimmen, it's a sight."

But I sez, "You can't always tell by looks, Josiah Allen." Sez I, "As small as they be, they've showed some of the greatest qualities since they've been here—Constancy, Fidelity, Love."

Now one of them females lost a baby while she wuz here. Did she act as some of our fashionable American wimmen do? No. They own twenty Saritoga trunks, and wear their entire contents, but they do, as is well known, commit crime to evade the cares of motherhood.

But this little woman right here in Chicago, she jest laid down broken-hearted and died because her baby died. Her true heart broke.

Little and humbly, no doubt, and not many clothes on, but from a upper view I wonder if her soul don't look better than the civilized, fashionably dressed murderess?

There wuz theatres here with dancin' girls goin' as fur ahead, they said, of Louie Fuller and Carmenciti as them two go ahead of Josiah and Deacon Sypher as skirt-dancers.

I guess that Josiah Allen would have gone in, regardless of price, to see this sight, so onbecomin' to a deacon and a grandfather, but I broke it up at the first hint he gin. Sez I, "What would your pasture say to your ondertakin' such a enterprise? What would be the opinion of Jonesville?"

"Dum it all," sez he; "David danced before the Ark."

"Wall," sez I, "I hain't seen no ark, and I hain't seen no David." Sez I reasonably, "I wouldn't object to your seein' David dance if he wuz here and I wouldn't object to your seein' the Ark."

"Oh, wall, have your own way," sez he, and we wandered into the German Village.

The German Village represents housen in the upper Bavarian Mountains.

There are thirty-six different buildin's. Inside the village is a Country Fair, the German Concert Garden, a Water Tower, and two Restaurants, Tyrolese dancers, Beer Hall, etc.

In the centre is a 16th century castle, with moat round it, and palisades.

Josiah wuz all took up with this, and said "how he would love to have a moat round our house." Sez he, "Jest let some folks that I know try to git in, wouldn't I jest hist up the drawbridge and drop 'em outside?"

And I sez, "Heaven knows, Josiah, that sech a thing would be convenient ofttimes, but," sez I, "anxieties and annoyances have a way of swimmin' moats, you can't keep 'em out."

But he said "that he believed that he and Ury could dig a moat, and rig up a drawbridge." And to git his mind off on't I hurried him on.

Inside the castle is a dretful war-like-lookin' group of iron men, all dressed up in full uniform, and there wuz all kinds of weepons and armor of Germany.

The Town Hall of this village is a museum.

In the village market-place is sold all kinds of German goods. Two bands of music pipe up, and everybody is a-talkin' German. It made it considerable lively to look at, but not so edifyin' to us as if we knew a word they said.

And then come the Street of Cairo, a exact representation of one of the most picturesque streets in old Cairo, with queer-lookin' kinder square housen, and some of the winders stood open, through which we got lovely views of a inner court, with green shrubs, and flowers, and fountains.

On both sides of this street are dance halls, mosques, and shops filled with manufactures from Arabia and the Soudan. In the Museum are many curious curiosities from Cairo and Alexandria.

And the street is filled with dogs, and donkeys, and children and fortune-tellers, and dromedaries, and sedan chairs, with their bearers, and camels, and birds, and wimmen with long veils on coverin' most of their faces, jest their eyes a-peerin' out as if they would love to git acquainted with the strange Eastern world, where wimmen walk with faces uncovered, and swung out into effort and achievement.

I guess they wuz real good-lookin'. I know that the men with their turbans and long robes looked quite well, though odd. In the shops wuz the most beautiful jewelry and precious stuns, and queer-lookin' but magnificent silk goods, and cotton, and lamps, and leather goods, and weepons, etc., etc., etc.

Wall, right there, as we wuz a-wanderin' through that street, from the handsomest of the residences streamed forth a bridal procession. The bride wuz dressed in gorgeous array of the beautiful fabrics of the East.

And the bridegroom, with a train of haughty-lookin' Arabs follerin' him, all swept down the streets towards the Mosque, with music a-soundin' out, and flowers a-bein' throwed at 'em, and boys a-yellin', and dogs a-barkin', etc., etc.

I drew my pardner out of the way, for he stood open-mouthed with admiration a-starin' at the bride, and almost rooted to the spot.

But I drawed him back, and sez I, "If you've got to be killed here, Josiah Allen, I don't want you killed by a Arab."

And he sez, "I d'no but I'd jest as lieves be killed by a Arab as a Turkey.

"But," sez he, "you tend to yourself, and I'll tend to myself. I wuz jest a-studyin' human nater, Samantha."

And that wuz all the thanks I got for rescuin' him.

It wuz jest as interestin' to walk through that village as it would be to go to Egypt, and more so—for we felt considerable safer right under Uncle Sam's right arm, as it wuz—for here we wuz way off in Africa, amongst their minarets and shops, and tents, men, wimmen, and children in their strange garbs, dancin', playin' music, cookin' and servin' their food, jest as though they wuz to hum, and we wuz neighborin' with 'em, jest as nateral as we neighbor to hum with Sister Henzy or she that wuz Submit Tewksbury.

Then there wuz some native Arabs with 'em who wuz a-eatin' scorpions, and a-luggin' round snakes, and a-cuttin' and piercin' themselves with wicked-lookin' weepons, and eatin' glass; I wuz glad enough to git out of there. I hate daggers, and abominate snakes, and always did.

And then I knew what a case Josiah Allen is to imitate and foller new-fangled idees, and I didn't want my new glass butter dish and cream pitcher to fall a victim to his experiments.

Wall, next come Algeria and Tunis, and then Tunicks showed jest how they lived and moved in their own Barbery's state.

Their housen are beautiful, truly Oriental—white, with decorations of pale green, blue, and vermilion.

One is a theatre that will hold 600 folks.

Then comes the panorama of the big volcano Kilauana.

They couldn't bring the volcano with 'em, as volcanoes can't be histed round and lifted up on camels, or packed with sawdust, specially when they're twenty-seven milds acrost.

So they brung this great picter of it. I spoze it is a sight to see it.

But Josiah felt that he couldn't afford to go in and see the sight, and he sez, "It is only a hole with some fire and ashes comin' out of the top of it."

I sez ironically, "Some like our leech barrel, hain't it, with a few cinders on top?"

"Why, yes; sunthin' like that," sez he. "It wouldn't pay to throw away money on ashes and fire that we can see any day to hum."

I didn't argue with him, for I never took to volcanoes much—I never loved to git intimate with 'em. But it wuz a sight to behold, so Miss Plank said—she went in to see it. She said, "It took her breath away the sight on't, but she's got it back agin (the breath); she talked real diffuse about it. But to resoom. The Chinese Village wuz jest like goin' through China or bein' dropped down onbeknown to you into a China village.

Two hundred Chinamen are here by a special dispensation of Uncle Sam.

And next to China is the Captive Balloon. I had wondered a sight what that meant.

Josiah thought that somebody had catched a young balloon, and wuz bringin' it up by hand, but I knew better than that. I knew that balloons didn't grow indigenious.

And it wuz jest as I'd mistrusted—they had a big balloon here all tied up ready to start off at a minute's notice.

You jest paid your money, and you could go on a trip up in it through the blue fields of air. I told Josiah "that it wouldn't be but a few years before folks would ride round in 'em jest as common as they do in wagons." Sez I, "Mebby we shall have a couple of our own stanchled up in our own barn."

"You mean tied up," sez he, and I do spoze I did mean that.

But now to look up at the great deep overhead, and consider the vastness of space, and consider the smallness of the ropes a-holdin' the balloon down, I said to myself, "Mebby it wuz jest as well not to tackle the job of ridin' out in it that day."

Jest as I wuz a-meditatin' this Josiah spoke up, and sez, "I won't pay out no two dollars apiece to ride in it."

And I sez, "I kinder want to go up in it, and I kinder don't want to."

And he sez, "That is jest like wimmen—whifflin', onstabled, weak-livered."

Sez I, "I believe you're afraid to go up in it."

"Afraid!" sez he; "I wouldn't be afraid a mite if it broke loose and sailed off free into space."

"Why don't you try it, then?" I urged. "Wall," he sez, a-lookin' round as if mebby he could find some excuse a-layin' round on the ground, or sailin' round in the air, "if I wuz," sez he—"if I had another vest on. I hain't dressed up exactly as I'd want to be to go a-balloon ridin'.

"And then," sez he, a-brightenin' up, "I don't want to skair you. You'd most probable be skairt into a fit if it should break loose and start off independent into space. And it would take away all my enjoyment of such a pleasure excursion to see you a-layin' on the earth in a fit."

Sez I, "It hain't vests or affection that holds you back, Josiah Allen—it's fear."

"Fear!" sez he; "I don't know the meanin' of that word only from what I've read about it in the dictionary. Men don't know what it is to be afraid, and that is why," sez he, "that I've always been so anxious to have wimmen keep in her own spear, where men could watch over her, humble, domestic, grateful.

"Nater plotted it so," sez he; "nater designs the male of creation to branch out, to venter, to labor, to dare, while the female stays to hum and tends to her children and the housework." Sez he, "In all the works of nater the females stay to hum, and the males soar out free.

"It is a sweet and solemn truth," sez he, "and female wimmen ort to lay it to heart. In these latter days," sez he, "too many females are a-risin' up, and vainly a-tryin' to kick aginst this great law. But they can't knock it over," sez he—"the female foot hain't strong enough."

He wuz a-goin' on in this remarkably eloquent way on his congenial theme, but I kinder drawed him in by remindin' him of Miss Sheldon's tent we see in the Transportation Buildin'—the one she used in her lonely journeyin' a-explorin' the Dark Continent. Sez I, "There is a woman that has kinder branched out."

"Yes," sez he, "but men had to carry her." Sez he, "Samantha, the Lord designed it that females should stay to hum and tend to their babies, and wash the dishes. And when you go aginst that idee you are goin' aginst the everlastin' forces of nater. Nater has always had laws sot and immovable, and always will have 'em, and a passel of wimmen managers or lecturers hain't a-goin' to turn 'em round.

"Nater made wimmen and sot 'em apart for domestic duties—some of which I have enumerated," sez he.

"Whilst the males, from creation down, have been left free to skirmish round and git a livin' for themselves and the females secreted in the holy privacy of the hum life."

Jest as he reached this climax we come in front of the Ostrich Farm, where thirty of the long-legged, humbly creeters are kept, and we hearn the keeper a-describin' the habits of the ostriches to some folks that stood round him.

And Josiah, feelin' dretful good-natered and kinder patronizin' towards wimmen, and thinkin' that he wuz a-goin' to be strengthened in his talk by what the man wuz a-sayin', sez to me in a dretful, overbearin', patronizin' way, and some with the air as if he owned a few of the ostriches, and me, too, he kinder stood up straight and crooked his forefinger and bagoned to me.

"Samantha," sez he, "draw near and hear these interestin' remarks. I always love," sez he, "to have females hear about the works of nater. It has a tendency," sez he, "to keep her in her place."

Sez the man as we drew near, a-goin' on with his remarks—he wuz addressin' some big man—but we hearn him say, sez he—

"The ostrich lays about a dozen and a half eggs in the layin' season—one every other day—and then she sets on the eggs about six hours out of the twenty-four, the male bird takin' her place for eighteen hours to her six.

"The male bird, as you see, stays to hum and sets on the eggs three times as long as she duz, and takes the entire care of the young ostriches, while the female roams round free, as you may say."

I turned round and sez to Josiah, "How interestin' the works of Nater are, Josiah Allen. How it puts woman in her proper spear, and men, too!"

He looked real meachin' for most a minute, and then a look of madness and dark revenge come over his liniment. A tall, humbly male bird stood nigh him, as tall agin most as he wuz.

And as I looked at Josiah he muttered, "I'll learn him—I'll learn the cussed fool to keep in his own spear."

I laid holt of his vest, and sez I, "What, do you mean, Josiah Allen, by them dark threats? Tell me instantly," sez I, for I feared the worst.

"Seein' this dum fool is so willin' to take work on him that don't belong for males to do, I'll give him a job at it. I'll see if I can't ride some of the consarned foolishness out of him."

Sez I, "Be calm, Josiah; don't throw away your own precious life through madness and revenge. The ostrich hain't to blame, he's only actin' out Nater."

"Nater!" sez Josiah scornfully—"Nater for males to stay to hum and set on eggs, and hatch 'em, and brood young ones? Don't talk to me!"

He wuz almost by the side of himself.

And in spite of my almost frenzied appeals to restrain him, he lanched upon him.

You could ride 'em by payin' so much, and money seemed to Josiah like so much water then, so wild with wrath and revenge wuz he.

I see he would go, and I reached my hand up, and sez I, "Dear Josiah, farewell!"

But he only nodded to me, and I hearn him murmurin' darkly—

"Seein' he's so dum accommodatin' that he's took wimmen's work on him that they ort to do themselves, I'll give him a pull that will be apt to teach him his own place."

And he started off at a fearful rate; round and round that inclosure they went, Josiah layin' his cane over the sides of the bird, and the keeper a-yellin' at him that he'd be killed.

And when they come round by us the first time I heard him a-aposthrofizin' the bird—

"Don't you want to set on some more eggs? don't you want to brood a spell?" and then he would kick him, and the ostrich would jump, and leap, and rare round. But the third time he come round I see a change—I see deadly fear depictered in his mean, and sez he wildly—

"Samantha, save me! save me! I am lost!" sez he.

I wuz now in tears, and I sez wildly—

"I will save that dear man, or perish!" and I wuz jest a-rushin' into the inclosure when they come a-tearin' round for the fourth time, and jest a little ways from us the ostrich give a wild yell and leap, and Josiah wuz thrown almost onto our feet.

As the keeper rushed in to pick him up, we see he held a feather in his hand.

He thought it wuz tore out by excitement, and Josiah clinched the feathers to save himself.

But Josiah owned up to me afterwards that he gin up that he wuz a-goin' to be killed, and that his last thought wuz as he swooned away—wuz how much ostrich feathers cost, and how sweet it would be to give me a last gift of dyin' love, by pickin' a feather off for nothin'.

I groaned and sithed when he told me, and sez I, "What won't you do next, Josiah Allen?"

But this wuz hereafter, and to pick up the thread of my story agin.

Wall, Josiah wuzn't killed, he wuz only stunted, and he soon recovered his conscientousness.

And before half a hour passed away he wuz a-talkin' as pert as you please, a-boastin' of how he would tell it in Jonesville. Sez he, "I wonder what Deacon Henzy will say when I tell him that I rode a bird while I wuz here?" Sez he, "He never rode a crow or a sparrer."

"Nor you, nuther," sez I; "how could you ride a crow?"

"Wall," sez he, "I've rid a ostrich, and the news will cause great excitement in Jonesville, and probable up as fur as Zoar and Loontown."

Then come Solomon's Temple. Josiah and I both felt that that wuz a good scriptural sight, worthy of a deacon and a deaconess, for some say that that is the proper way to address a deacon's wife.

But come to find out, the Temple wuz inside of a house, and you had to pay to go in.

And I sez, "Less pay, Josiah Allen, and go in."

And he said that "it wuzn't scriptural. Solomon's Temple in Bible times never had a house built round it. And he wuzn't a-goin' to encourage folks to go on and build meetin'-housen inside of other housen.

"Why," sez he, "if that idee is encouraged, they will be for buildin' a house round the Jonesville meetin'-house, and we will have to pay to go in."

Sez he, "Less show our colors for the right, Samantha."

The argument wuz a middlin' good one, though I felt that there wuzn't no danger.

But he went on ahead, and I had to foller on after him, like two old ducks goin' to water.

I guess that if it had been free he wouldn't have insisted on our showin' our colors.

Wall, the end of the Plaisance wuz devoted to soldiers, military displays, and camps and drill grounds.

Quite a spacious place, as big as two city blocks, and it must have been very interestin' for war-like people to look on and see 'em in their handsome uniforms, a-marchin', and a-counter-marchin', and a-haltin', and a-presentin' arms, etc., etc.

And there wuz gardens and orange groves nigh by, too, where you could see ripe oranges and green ones hangin' to the same trees—dretful interestin' sight.

Wall, if you would turn back agin and go towards the Fair ground on the south side, a Hungarian Orpheum is seen first. This is a dance hall, theatre, and restaurant all combined.

Folks can dance here all the time from mornin' till night, if they want to, but we didn't want to dance—no, indeed! nor see it; our legs wuz too wore out, and so wuz our eyes, so we wended on to the Lapland Village.

The main buildin' in this is a hundred feet long, with a square tower in the centre.

Above the main entrance is a large paintin' representin' a scene in Lapland. Inside the inclosure are the huts of a Lapland Village, with the Laps all there to work at their own work.

What a marvellous change for them! Transported from a country where there is eight months of total darkness, and four months of twilight or midnight sun, and so cold that no instrument has ever been invented to tell how cold it is.

When the frozen seas and ice and snow is all they can see from birth till death.

I wonder what they think of the change to this dazzlin' daylight, and the grandeur and bloom of 1893!

But still they seem to weather it out a considerable time in their own icy home.

King Bull, who is in Chicago, is one hundred and twelve years old, and is a five great-grandpa.

And most of the five generations of children is with him here. But marryin' as they do at ten or twelve, they can be grandpa a good many times in a hundred years, as well as not.

Previous Part     1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8     Next Part
Home - Random Browse