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The Wit and Humor of America, Volume VIII (of X)
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And the strangest sound went up from that big assembly, a mingled sound of groans and smothered outcries, and also what one might have sworn—had it not seemed impossible—was wild hysteric laughter.

Gess and Tell and Eddie Beach, luxuriating in Troy's permission to "holler as much as they pleased," emitted shrieks that would have chilled the blood of any whom this strange spectacle had not already terrified.

For, instead of falling to the ground twenty feet below, as would have been natural, and lying there, a mangled body, Columbia hung to the wire, a mad, fantastic, incredible spectacle, head downward, in a blaze of inverted patriotic splendor!

The wildest confusion ensued. Frosty was beside himself. He simply danced and yelled where he stood. Those who were in the secret shouted themselves hoarse with rapture, capering like dervishes, embracing one another; those who were not, screamed with horror and dismay.

As all gazed fascinated, something drifted down from the hanging figure. A cowboy plunged forward, caught it up, and there broke upon the sudden stillness which had followed this incident, a roar of hearty laughter, as he held high in the blaze of light that came from the pendent figure, Columbia's wooden-seeming countenance—a false face!

Instantly, the shouting and confusion broke out again. The figure began to sway; and the light draperies were ignited by some bit of fire which had been brought into contact with them, by the inversion of Columbia's proper position.

The figure showed that, beyond the streaming golden hair—the beautiful fair hair which Aunt Huldah had cut from Daisy's head, and which Daisy had given with loving generosity—and the stuffed-out waist of Columbia's classic robe, the only anatomy Columbia possessed was an upright post with a wheel at the bottom—a caster indeed!—which had run upon the big wire.

At the top of Columbia's head there had been another wheel, which ran, trolley-like, upon the upper wire; and a slender wire traveling along the lower, or footway wire, had drawn the figure forward.

Some obstacle had been met in the overhead wire; and when the figure was jerked forward, harder and harder, to overcome this, the upper attachment finally gave way entirely and allowed the figure to fall. Only Gilbert's precaution of looping a heavy wire from axle to axle of the lower wheel around the footway wire, had prevented Columbia from falling to the ground.

As the explanation began to spread over the crowd—not in whispers, but in shouts, mingled with roars of laughter—those who had been instructed beforehand pressed round old Frosty and the Signorina in a dense mass.

Threats, complaints, demands, all sorts of outcries filled the air.

"You old fakir!"

"What do you mean by it, Frosty?"

"Do you think you're a-goin' to run a blazer like this on us, and we'll swaller hit like hit was catnip tea?"

"What fer did ye want to fool us thataway?"

"We ain't a-goin' to stand it—we'll——"

"Gentlemen, jest be quiet. Let me out—let me git across the street to the Wagon-Tire—where my daughter is—and I can explain things."

"Explain nothin'!" was the cry; "you'll explain right here! Do you think Blowout is a-goin' to stand this kind o' thing?"

"Who put you up to run this blazer on us? Them fellers at Plain View? Er them scrubs at Cinche? This town ain't a-goin' to stand it!"

"Gentlemen," came Frosty's pipe again, "gentlemen, let me out—jest let me git to my daughter—let me git out o' here before it's too late! This is some o' that scoundrel Kid Barringer's doin's. Let me out, gentlemen!"

But the old man had gone the wrong way about it. Kid was one of them, a good fellow, and much liked. Even those who knew nothing now scented a romance. The big crowd hemmed old Frosty in and held him there with pretended wrath and resentment.

* * * * *

At the back door of the Wagon-Tire House, just before the wooden Columbia appeared to the eyes of Blowout, a meeting had taken place. From that door Aunt Huldah had stepped with Minnie clinging to her arm. In the dense shadow Kid Barringer was waiting with two of the best ponies in Wild Horse County. He came eagerly forward.

"Kid," said Aunt Huldah's heartsome voice, "here's Minnie—I've brung her to you. I b'lieve we're doin' right. You're a good boy, Kid. An' I know you love her an' will take keer o' her. Ef you wasn't to, you'd shore have me to fight!" and she chuckled genially.

"Good-by, honey. Ye needn't to look skeered. We-all have got ye now, an' we'll take keer of ye—the hull kit an' bilin' o' us. Good-by, bless your sweet little heart!"

With the word Minnie was in her saddle, swung there by her lover's strong arms, and away across the levels beside him.

And while, back in Blowout, the Signorina fairly clawed, cat-like, to get through that wall of cowboys and across the street to where (believing Kid Barringer to be as far away as Fort Worth) she had left Minnie scarce half an hour before—while the old man shouted and swore and protested and fairly wept with rage and apprehension; Kid Barringer reached his left hand out to his companion, saying:

"Slack him down a little, honey; we're safe now. Mr. Ferguson, the Presbyterian preacher—he's promised me—I told him—an' he's a-goin' to marry us. His place ain't half a mile further on, an' he's lookin' fer us. We're safe now, my poor little girl."

The cowboys, with roars of delight, fished down the remains of the dangling Columbia, while the original performer, to whom Columbia's figure was understudy, stood in Mr. Ferguson's little parlor, waiting for that gentleman to bring in a second witness. Her little fair head was resting on Kid's broad shoulder; Kid's arm was around her slender figure; and she was saying, between laughter and tears:

"Kid, how do you reckon that old machine Columbia is getting along with my turn, back there at Blowout?"

And the happy bridegroom made blissful answer: "I don't know—or keer—honey. She can go it on her head for all of us, can't she? She give us our chance to get away, and that was all we wanted. Aunt Huldy is the Lord's own people. I'll never forget her. You wouldn't hardly 'a' thought I was good enough, if Aunt Huldy hadn't a-recommended me, I don't believe. My little girl ain't never a-goin' to get to walk no more wires."



ONE OF THE PALLS

BY DOANE ROBINSON

I were a pall to the burrying, Joe's finally out of the way, Nothing 'special ailing of him, Just old age and gen'ral decay. Hope to the Lord that I'll never be Old and decrepit and useless as he. Cuss to his family the last five year— Monstrous expensive with keep so dear— 'Sides all the fuss and worrying. Terrible trial to get so old; Cur'us a man will continue to hold So on to life, when it's easy to see His chances for living, tho' dreadfully slim, Are better than his family are lotting for him. Joe was that kind of a hanger on; Hadn't no sense of the time to quit; Stunted discretion and stall-fed grit Helped him unbuckle many a cinch, Where a sensible man would have died in the pinch. Kind of tickled to have him gone; Bested for once and laid away, Got him down where he's bound to stay; I were a pall to his burrying.

Knowed him for more than sixty year back— Used to be somewhat older than him Fought him one night to a husking bee; Licked him in manner uncommon complete; Every one said 'twas a beautiful fight; Joe he wa'n't satisfied with it that way, Kept dinging along, and when he got through The worst looking critter that you ever see Were stretched on a bed rigged up in the hay— They carted me home the following day. Got me a sweetheart purty and trim, Told me that I was a heap likelier than Joe; Mittened him twict; he kept on the track, Followed her round every place she would go; Offered to lick him; says she, "It's a treat, Let's watch and find out what the poor critter will do." Watched him, believing the thing was all right— That identical girl is Joe's widow to-night. Run to be justice, then Joe he run, too; Knowed I was pop'lar and he hadn't a friend, So there wa'n't no use of my hurrying. The 'lection came off, we counted the votes; I hadn't enough; Joe had them to lend. Now all the way through I had been taking notes Of his disagreeable way, And it tickles me now to be able to say He's bested for good in the end; Got him down where he's bound to stay; I were a pall to his burrying.



THE V-A-S-E

BY JAMES JEFFREY ROCHE

From the madding crowd they stand apart, The maidens four and the Work of Art;

And none might tell from sight alone In which had Culture ripest grown—

The Gotham Million fair to see, The Philadelphia Pedigree,

The Boston Mind of azure hue, Or the soulful Soul from Kalamazoo—

For all loved Art in a seemly way, With an earnest soul and a capital A.

* * * * *

Long they worshipped; but no one broke The sacred stillness, until upspoke

The Western one from the nameless place, Who, blushing, said: "What a lovely vase!"

Over three faces a sad smile flew, And they edged away from Kalamazoo.

But Gotham's haughty soul was stirred To crush the stranger with one small word.

Deftly hiding reproof in praise, She cries: "'T is, indeed, a lovely vaze!"

But brief her unworthy triumph when The lofty one from the house of Penn,

With the consciousness of two grandpapas, Exclaims: "It is quite a lovely vahs!"

And glances round with an anxious thrill, Awaiting the word of Beacon Hill.

But the Boston maid smiles courteouslee And gently murmurs: "Oh, pardon me!

"I did not catch your remark, because I was so entranced with that charming vaws!"

Dies erit proegelida Sinistra quum Bostonia.



EVE'S DAUGHTER

BY EDWARD ROWLAND SILL

I waited in the little sunny room: The cool breeze waved the window-lace, at play, The white rose on the porch was all in bloom, And out upon the bay I watched the wheeling sea-birds go and come. "Such an old friend,—she would not make me stay While she bound up her hair." I turned, and lo, Danae in her shower! and fit to slay All a man's hoarded prudence at a blow: Gold hair that streamed away As round some nymph a sunlit fountain's flow. "She would not make me wait!"—but well I know She took a good half-hour to loose and lay Those locks in dazzling disarrangement so!



THE DULUTH SPEECH

BY J. PROCTOR KNOTT

The House having under consideration the joint resolution (S. R. No. 11), extending the time to construct a railroad from the St. Croix river or lake to the west end of Lake Superior and to Bayfield—

Mr. Knott said:—

MR. SPEAKER: If I could be actuated by any conceivable inducement to betray the sacred trust reposed in me by those to whose generous confidence I am indebted for the honor of a seat on this floor; if I could be influenced by any possible consideration to become instrumental in giving away, in violation of their known wishes, any portion of their interest in the public domain for the mere promotion of any railroad enterprise whatever, I should certainly feel a strong inclination to give this measure my most earnest and hearty support; for I am assured that its success would materially enhance the pecuniary prosperity of some of the most valued friends I have on earth,—friends for whose accommodation I would be willing to make almost any sacrifice not involving my personal honor or my fidelity as the trustee of an express trust. And that fact of itself would be sufficient to countervail almost any objection I might entertain to the passage of this bill not inspired by an imperative and inexorable sense of public duty.

But, independent of the seductive influences of private friendship, to which I admit I am, perhaps, as susceptible as any of the gentlemen I see around me, the intrinsic merits of the measure itself are of such an extraordinary character as to commend it most strongly to the favorable consideration of every member of this House, myself not excepted, notwithstanding my constituents, in whose behalf alone I am acting here, would not be benefited by its passage one particle more than they would be by a project to cultivate an orange grove on the bleakest summit of Greenland's icy mountains. (Laughter.)

Now, sir, as to those great trunk lines of railway, spanning the continent from ocean to ocean, I confess my mind has never been fully made up. It is true they may afford some trifling advantages to local traffic, and they may even in time become the channels of a more extended commerce. Yet I have never been thoroughly satisfied either of the necessity or expediency of projects promising such meagre results to the great body of our people. But with regard to the transcendent merits of the gigantic enterprise contemplated in this bill I never entertained the shadow of a doubt. (Laughter.)

Years ago, when I first heard that there was somewhere in the vast terra incognita, somewhere in the bleak regions of the great Northwest, a stream of water known to the nomadic inhabitants of the neighborhood as the river St. Croix, I became satisfied that the construction of a railroad from that raging torrent to some point in the civilized world was essential to the happiness and prosperity of the American people, if not absolutely indispensable to the perpetuity of republican institutions on this continent. (Great laughter.) I felt instinctively that the boundless resources of that prolific region of sand and pine shrubbery would never be fully developed without a railroad constructed and equipped at the expense of the Government, and perhaps not then. (Laughter.) I had an abiding presentiment that, some day or other, the people of this whole country, irrespective of party affiliations, regardless of sectional prejudices, and "without distinction of race, color, or previous condition of servitude," would rise in their majesty, and demand an outlet for the enormous agricultural productions of those vast and fertile pine barrens, drained in the rainy season by the surging waters of the turbid St. Croix. (Great laughter.)

These impressions, derived simply and solely from the "eternal fitness of things," were not only strengthened by the interesting and eloquent debate on this bill, to which I listened with so much pleasure the other day, but intensified, if possible, as I read over this morning the lively colloquy which took place on that occasion, as I find it reported in last Friday's "Globe." I will ask the indulgence of the House while I read a few short passages, which are sufficient, in my judgment, to place the merits of the great enterprise contemplated in the measure now under discussion beyond all possible controversy.

The honorable gentleman from Minnesota (Mr. Wilson), who, I believe, is managing this bill, in speaking of the character of the country through which this railroad is to pass, says this:—

"We want to have the timber brought to us as cheaply as possible. Now, if you tie up the lands in this way, so that no title can be obtained to them,—for no settler will go on these lands, for he can not make a living,—you deprive us of the benefit of that timber."

Now, sir, I would not have it by any means inferred from this that the gentleman from Minnesota would insinuate that the people out in his section desire this timber merely for the purpose of fencing up their farms, so that their stock may not wander off and die of starvation among the bleak hills of the St. Croix. (Laughter.) I read it for no such purpose, sir, and make no such comment on it myself. In corroboration of this statement of the gentleman from Minnesota, I find this testimony given by the honorable gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. Washburn). Speaking of these same lands, he says:

"Under the bill, as amended by my friend from Minnesota, nine tenths of the land is open to actual settlers at $2.50 per acre; the remaining one tenth is pine-timbered land, that is not fit for settlement, and never will be settled upon; but the timber will be cut off. I admit that it is the most valuable portion of the grant, for most of the grant is not valuable. It is quite valueless; and if you put in this amendment of the gentleman from Indiana, you may as well just kill the bill, for no man and no company will take the grant and build the road."

I simply pause here to ask some gentleman better versed in the science of mathematics than I am to tell me, if the timbered lands are in fact the most valuable portion of that section of country, and they would be entirely valueless without the timber that is on them, what the remainder of the land is worth which has no timber on it at all. (Laughter.)

But further on I find a most entertaining and instructive interchange of views between the gentleman from Arkansas (Mr. Rogers), the gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. Washburn), and the gentleman from Maine (Mr. Peters) upon the subject of pine lands generally, which I will tax the patience of the House to read:—

"Mr. Rogers. Will the gentleman allow me to ask him a question?

"Mr. Washburn, of Wisconsin. Certainly.

"Mr. Rogers. Are these pine lands entirely worthless except for timber?

"Mr. Washburn, of Wisconsin. They are generally! worthless for any other purpose. I am perfectly familiar with that subject. These lands are not valuable for purposes of settlement.

"Mr. Farnsworth. They will be after the timber is taken off?

"Mr. Washburn, of Wisconsin. No, sir.

"Mr. Rogers. I want to know the character of these pine lands.

"Mr. Washburn, of Wisconsin. They are generally sandy, barren lands. My friend from the Green Bay district (Mr. Sawyer) is himself perfectly familiar with this question, and he will bear me out in what I say, that these pine-timber lands are not adapted to settlement.

"Mr. Rogers. The pine lands to which I am accustomed are generally very good. What I want to know is, what is the difference between our pine lands and your pine lands?

"Mr. Washburn, of Wisconsin. The pine timber of Wisconsin generally grows upon barren, sandy land. The gentleman from Maine (Mr. Peters), who is familiar with pine lands, will, I have no doubt, say that pine timber grows generally upon the most barren lands.

"Mr. Peters. As a general thing pine lands are not worth much for cultivation."

And further on I find this pregnant question, the joint production of the two gentlemen from Wisconsin:—

"Mr. Paine. Does my friend from Indiana suppose that in any event settlers will occupy and cultivate these pine lands?

"Mr. Washburn, of Wisconsin. Particularly without a railroad?"

Yes, sir, "particularly without a railroad." It will be asked after a while, I am afraid, if settlers will go anywhere unless the Government builds a railroad for them to go on. (Laughter.)

I desire to call attention to only one more statement, which I think sufficient to settle the question. It is one made by the gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. Paine), who says:—

"These lands will be abandoned for the present. It may be that at some remote period there will spring up in that region a new kind of agriculture, which will cause a demand for these particular lands; and they may then come into use and be valuable for agricultural purposes. But I know, and I can not help thinking that my friend from Indiana understands, that for the present, and for many years to come, these pine lands can have no possible value other than that arising from the pine timber which stands on them."

Now, sir, who, after listening to this emphatic and unequivocal testimony of these intelligent, competent and able-bodied witnesses (laughter), who that is not as incredulous as St. Thomas himself, will doubt for a moment that the Goshen of America is to be found in the sandy valleys and upon the pine-clad hills of St. Croix? (Laughter.) Who will have the hardihood to rise in his seat on this floor and assert that, excepting the pine bushes, the entire region would not produce vegetation enough in ten years to fatten a grasshopper? (Great laughter.) Where is the patriot who is willing that his country shall incur the peril of remaining another day without the amplest railroad connection with such an inexhaustible mine of agricultural wealth? (Laughter.) Who will answer for the consequences of abandoning a great and warlike people, in possession of a country like that, to brood over the indifference and neglect of their Government? (Laughter.) How long would it be before they would take to studying the Declaration of Independence, and hatching out the damnable heresy of secession? How long before the grim demon of civil discord would rear again his horrid head in our midst, "gnash loud his iron fangs, and shake his crest of bristling bayonets"? (Laughter.)

Then, sir, think of the long and painful process of reconstruction that must follow, with its concomitant amendments to the Constitution; the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth articles. The sixteenth, it is of course understood, is to be appropriated to those blushing damsels who are, day after day, beseeching us to let them vote, hold office, drink cock-tails, ride astraddle, and do everything else the men do. (Roars of laughter.) But above all, sir, let me implore you to reflect for a single moment on the deplorable condition of our country in case of a foreign war, with all our ports blockaded, all our cities in a state of siege; the gaunt spectre of famine brooding like a hungry vulture over our starving land; our commissary stores all exhausted, and our famishing armies withering away in the field, a helpless prey to the insatiate demon of hunger; our navy rotting in the docks for want of provisions for our gallant seamen, and we without any railroad communication whatever with the prolific pine thickets of the St. Croix. (Great laughter.)

Ah, sir, I could very well understand why my amiable friends from Pennsylvania (Mr. Myers, Mr. Kelley and Mr. O'Neill) should be so earnest in their support of this bill the other day, and if their honorable colleague, my friend, Mr. Randall, will pardon the remark, I will say I considered his criticism of their action on that occasion as not only unjust, but ungenerous. I knew they were looking forward with the far-reaching ken of enlightened statesmanship to the pitiable condition in which Philadelphia will be left, unless speedily supplied with railroad connection in some way or other with this garden spot of the universe. (Laughter.) And besides, sir, this discussion has relieved my mind of a mystery that has weighed upon it like an incubus for years. I could never understand before why there was so much excitement during the last Congress over the acquisition of Alta Vela. I could never understand why it was that some of our ablest statesmen and most disinterested patriots should entertain such dark forebodings of the untold calamities that were to befall our beloved country unless we should take immediate possession of that desirable island. But I see now that they were laboring under the mistaken impression that the Government would need the guano to manure the public lands on the St. Croix. (Great laughter.)

Now, sir, I repeat I have been satisfied for years that if there was any portion of the inhabited globe absolutely in a suffering condition for want of a railroad it was these teeming pine barrens of the St. Croix. (Laughter.) At what particular point on that noble stream such a road should be commenced I knew was immaterial, and so it seems to have been considered by the draughtsman of this bill. It might be up at the spring or down at the foot-log, or the Watergate, or the fish-dam, or anywhere along the bank, no matter where. (Laughter.) But in what direction should it run, or where should it terminate, were always to my mind questions of the most painful perplexity. I could conceive of no place on "God's green earth" in such straitened circumstances for railroad facilities as to be likely to desire or willing to accept such a connection. (Laughter.) I knew that neither Bayfield nor Superior City would have it, for they both indignantly spurned the munificence of the Government when coupled with such ignominious conditions, and let this very same land grant die on their hands years and years ago, rather than submit to the degradation of a direct communication by railroad with the piny woods of the St. Croix; and I knew that what the enterprising inhabitants of those giant young cities would refuse to take would have few charms for others, whatever their necessities or cupidity might be. (Laughter.)

Hence, as I have said, sir, I was utterly at a loss to determine where the terminus of this great and indispensable road should be, until I accidentally overheard some gentleman the other day mention the name of "Duluth." (Great laughter.) Duluth! The word fell upon my ear with peculiar and indescribable charm, like the gentle murmur of a low fountain stealing forth in the midst of roses, or the soft, sweet accents of an angel's whisper in the bright, joyous dream of sleeping innocence. Duluth! 'Twas the name for which my soul had panted for years, as the hart panteth for the water-brooks. (Renewed laughter.) But where was Duluth? Never, in all my limited reading, had my vision been gladdened by seeing the celestial word in print. (Laughter.) And I felt a profounder humiliation in my ignorance that its dulcet syllables had never before ravished my delighted ear. (Roars of laughter.) I was certain the draughtsman of this bill had never heard of it, or it would have been designated as one of the termini of this road. I asked my friends about it, but they knew nothing of it. I rushed to the library, and examined all the maps I could find. (Laughter.) I discovered in one of them a delicate, hair-like line, diverging from the Mississippi near a place marked Prescott, which I supposed was intended to represent the river St. Croix, but I could nowhere find Duluth.

Nevertheless, I was confident it existed somewhere, and that its discovery would constitute the crowning-glory of the present century, if not of all modern times. (Laughter.) I knew it was bound to exist in the very nature of things; that the symmetry and perfection of our planetary system would be incomplete without it (renewed laughter); that the elements of material nature would long since have resolved themselves back into original chaos, if there had been such a hiatus in creation as would have resulted from leaving out Duluth. (Roars of laughter.) In fact, sir, I was overwhelmed with the conviction that Duluth not only existed somewhere, but that, wherever it was, it was a great and glorious place. I was convinced that the greatest calamity that ever befell the benighted nations of the ancient world was in their having passed away without a knowledge of the actual existence of Duluth; that their fabled Atlantis, never seen save by the hallowed vision of inspired poesy, was, in fact, but another name for Duluth; that the golden orchard of the Hesperides was but a poetical synonym for the beer gardens in the vicinity of Duluth. (Great laughter.) I was certain that Herodotus had died a miserable death because in all his travels and with all his geographical research he had never heard pf Duluth. (Laughter,) I knew that if the immortal spirit of Homer could look down from another heaven than that created by his own celestial genius upon the long lines of pilgrims from every nation of the earth to the gushing fountain of poesy opened by the touch of his magic wand; if he could be permitted to behold the vast assemblage of grand and glorious productions of the lyric art called into being by his own inspired strains, he would weep tears of bitter anguish that, instead of lavishing all the stores of his mighty genius upon the fall of Ilion, it had not been his more blessed lot to crystallize in deathless song the rising glories of Duluth. (Great and continued laughter.) Yet, sir, had it not been for this map, kindly furnished me by the Legislature of Minnesota, I might have gone down to my obscure and humble grave in an agony of despair, because I could nowhere find Duluth. (Renewed laughter.) Had such been my melancholy fate, I have no doubt that, with the last feeble pulsation of my breaking heart, with the last faint exhalation of my fleeting breath, I should have whispered, "Where is Duluth?" (Roars of laughter.)

But, thanks to the beneficence of that band of ministering angels who have their bright abodes in the far-off capital of Minnesota, just as the agony of my anxiety was about to culminate in the frenzy of despair, this blessed map was placed in my hands; and as I unfolded it a resplendent scene of ineffable glory opened before me, such as I imagine burst upon the enraptured vision of the wandering peri through the opening gates of paradise. (Renewed laughter.) There, there for the first time, my enchanted eye rested upon the ravishing word "Duluth."

This map, sir, is intended, as it appears from its title, to illustrate the position of Duluth in the United States; but if gentlemen will examine it, I think they will concur with me in the opinion that it is far too modest in its pretensions. It not only illustrates the position of Duluth in the United States, but exhibits its relations with all created things. It even goes farther than this. It lifts the shadowy veil of futurity, and affords us a view of the golden prospects of Duluth far along the dim vista of ages yet to come.

If gentlemen will examine it, they will find Duluth not only in the centre of the map, but represented in the centre of a series of concentric circles, one hundred miles apart, and some of them as much as four thousand miles in diameter, embracing alike in their tremendous sweep the fragrant savannas of the sun-lit South and the eternal solitudes of snow that mantle the ice-bound North. (Laughter.) How these circles were produced is perhaps one of those primordial mysteries that the most skillful paleologist will never be able to explain. (Renewed laughter.) But the fact is, sir, Duluth is preeminently a central place, for I am told by gentlemen who have been so reckless of their own personal safety as to venture away into those awful regions where Duluth is supposed to be that it is so exactly in the centre of the visible universe that the sky comes down at precisely the same distance all around it. (Roars of laughter.)

I find by reference to this map that Duluth is situated somewhere near the western end of Lake Superior; but as there is no dot or other mark indicating its exact location, I am unable to say whether it is actually confined to any particular spot, or whether "it is just lying around there loose." (Renewed laughter.) I really can not tell whether it is one of those ethereal creations of intellectual frostwork, more intangible than the rose-tinted clouds of a summer sunset,—one of those airy exhalations of the speculator's brain, which I am told are ever flitting in the form of towns and cities along those lines of railroad, built with Government subsidies, luring the unwary settlers as the mirage of the desert lures the famishing traveler on, and ever on, until it fades away in the darkening horizon,—or whether it is a real bona fide, substantial city, all "staked off," with the lots marked with their owners' names, like that proud commercial metropolis recently discovered on the desirable shores of San Domingo. (Laughter.) But, however that may be, I am satisfied Duluth is there, or thereabout, for I see it stated here on this map that it is exactly thirty-nine hundred and ninety miles from Liverpool (laughter), though I have no doubt, for the sake of convenience, it will be moved back ten miles, so as to make the distance an even four thousand. (Renewed laughter.)

Then, sir, there is the climate of Duluth, unquestionably the most salubrious and delightful to be found anywhere on the Lord's earth. Now, I have always been under the impression, as I presume other gentlemen have, that in the region around Lake Superior it was cold enough for at least nine months in the year to freeze the smokestack off a locomotive. (Great laughter.) But I see it represented on this map that Duluth is situated exactly halfway between the latitudes of Paris and Venice, so that gentlemen who have inhaled the exhilarating airs of the one or basked in the golden sunlight of the other may see at a glance that Duluth must be a place of untold delights (laughter), a terrestrial paradise, fanned by the balmy zephyrs of an eternal spring, clothed in the gorgeous sheen of ever-blooming flowers, and vocal with the silvery melody of nature's choicest songsters. (Laughter.) In fact, sir, since I have seen this map I have no doubt that Byron was vainly endeavoring to convey some faint conception of the delicious charms of Duluth when his poetic soul gushed forth in the rippling strains of that beautiful rhapsody:

"Know ye the land of the cedar and vine, Where the flowers ever blossom, the beams ever shine; Where the light wings of Zephyr, oppressed with perfume, Wax faint o'er the gardens of Gul in her bloom; Where the citron and olive are fairest of fruit, And the voice of the nightingale never is mute; Where the tints of the earth and the hues of the sky, In color though varied, in beauty may vie?"

(Laughter.)

As to the commercial resources of Duluth, sir, they are simply illimitable and inexhaustible, as is shown by this map. I see it stated here that there is a vast scope of territory, embracing an area of over two million square miles, rich in every element of material wealth and commercial prosperity, all tributary to Duluth. Look at it, sir (pointing to the map). Here are inexhaustible mines of gold, immeasurable veins of silver, impenetrable depths of boundless forest, vast coal-measures, wide, extended plains of richest pasturage, all, all embraced in this vast territory, which must, in the very nature of things, empty the untold treasures of its commerce into the lap of Duluth. (Laughter.)

Look at it, sir! (Pointing to the map.) Do not you see from these broad, brown lines drawn around this immense territory that the enterprising inhabitants of Duluth intend some day to inclose it all in one vast corral, so that its commerce will be bound to go there, whether it would or not? (Great laughter.) And here, sir (still pointing to the map), I find within a convenient distance the Piegan Indians, which, of all the many accessories to the glory of Duluth, I consider by far the most inestimable. For, sir, I have been told that when the small-pox breaks out among the women and children of that famous tribe, as it sometimes does, they afford the finest subjects in the world for the strategical experiments of any enterprising military hero who desires to improve himself in the noble art of war (laughter); especially for any valiant lieutenant general, whose

"Trenchant blade, Toledo trusty, For want of fighting has grown rusty, And eats into itself for lack Of somebody to hew and hack."

(Great laughter.)

Sir, the great conflict now raging in the Old World has presented a phenomenon in military science unprecedented in the annals of mankind—a phenomenon that has reversed all the traditions of the past as it has disappointed all the expectations of the present. A great and warlike people, renowned alike for their skill and valor, have been swept away before the triumphant advance of an inferior foe, like autumn stubble before a hurricane of fire. For aught I know, the next flash of electric fire that shimmers along the ocean cable may tell us that Paris, with every fibre quivering with the agony of impotent despair, writhes beneath the conquering heel of her loathed invader. Ere another moon shall wax and wane the brightest star in the galaxy of nations may fall from the zenith of her glory never to rise again. Ere the modest violets of early spring shall ope their beauteous eyes, the genius of civilization may chant the wailing requiem of the proudest nationality the world has ever seen, as she scatters her withered and tear-moistened lilies o'er the bloody tomb of butchered France. But, sir, I wish to ask if you honestly and candidly believe that the Dutch would have ever overrun the French in that kind of style if General Sheridan had not gone over there and told King William and Von Moltke how he had managed to whip the Piegan Indians. (Great laughter.)

And here, sir, recurring to this map, I find in the immediate vicinity of the Piegans "vast herds of buffalo" and "immense fields of rich wheat lands."

(Here the hammer fell.)

(Many cries: "Go on!" "Go on!")

The Speaker. Is there objection to the gentleman from Kentucky continuing his remarks? The Chair hears none. The gentleman will proceed.

Mr. Knott. I was remarking, sir, upon these vast "wheat fields" represented on this map as in the immediate neighborhood of the buffaloes and the Piegans, and was about to say that the idea of there being these immense wheat fields in the very heart of a wilderness, hundreds and hundreds of miles beyond the utmost verge of civilization, may appear to some gentlemen as rather incongruous, as rather too great a strain on the "blankets" of veracity. But to my mind there is no difficulty in the matter whatever. The phenomenon is very easily accounted for. It is evident, sir, that the Piegans sowed that wheat there and plowed it with buffalo bulls. (Great laughter.) Now, sir, this fortunate combination of buffaloes and Piegans, considering their relative positions to each other and to Duluth, as they are arranged on this map, satisfies me that Duluth is destined to be the beef market of the world.

Here, you will observe (pointing to the map), are the buffaloes, directly between the Piegans and Duluth; and here, right on the road to Duluth, are the Creeks. Now, sir, when the buffaloes are sufficiently fat from grazing on these immense wheat fields, you see it will be the easiest thing in the world for the Piegans to drive them on down, stay all night with their friends, the Creeks, and go into Duluth in the morning. (Great laughter.) I think I see them now, sir, a vast herd of buffaloes, with their heads down, their eyes glaring, their nostrils dilated, their tongues out, and their tails curled over their backs, tearing along toward Duluth, with about a thousand Piegans on their grass-bellied ponies yelling at their heels! (Great laughter.) On they come! And as they sweep past the Creeks, they join in the chase, and away they all go, yelling, bellowing, ripping, and tearing along, amid clouds of dust, until the last buffalo is safely penned in the stockyards of Duluth! (Shouts of laughter.)

Sir, I might stand here for hours and hours, and expatiate with rapture upon the gorgeous prospects of Duluth, as depicted upon this map. But human life is too short and the time of this House far too valuable to allow me to linger longer upon the delightful theme, (Laughter.) I think every gentleman on this floor is as well satisfied as I am that Duluth is destined to become the commercial metropolis of the universe, and that this road should be built at once. I am fully persuaded that no patriotic representative of the American people, who has a proper appreciation of the associated glories of Duluth and the St. Croix, will hesitate a moment to say that every able-bodied female in the land, between the ages of eighteen and forty-five, who is in favor of "women's rights" should be drafted and set to work upon this great work without delay. (Roars of laughter.) Nevertheless, sir, it grieves my very soul to be compelled to say that I can not vote for the grant of lands provided for in this bill.

Ah, sir, you can have no conception of the poignancy of my anguish that I am deprived of that blessed privilege! (Laughter.) There are two insuperable obstacles in the way. In the first place, my constituents, for whom I am acting here, have no more interest in this road than they have in the great question of culinary taste now perhaps agitating the public mind of Dominica, as to whether the illustrious commissioners who recently left this capital for that free and enlightened republic would be better fricasseed, boiled, or roasted (great laughter); and, in the second place, these lands which I am asked to give away, alas, are not mine to bestow! My relation to them is simply that of trustee to an express trust. And shall I ever betray that trust? Never, sir! Rather perish Duluth! (Shouts of laughter.) Perish the paragon of cities! Rather let the freezing cyclones of the bleak Northwest bury it forever beneath the eddying sands of the raging St. Croix! (Great laughter.)



DICTUM SAPIENTI

BY JOHN PAUL

That 'tis well to be off with the old love Before one is on with the new Has somehow passed into a proverb,— But I never have found it true.

No love can be quite like the old love, Whate'er may be said for the new— And if you dismiss me, my darling, You may come to this thinking, too.

Were the proverb not wiser if mended, And the fickle and wavering told To be sure they're on with the new love Before they are off with the old?



HARD[10]

BY TOM MASSON

I wrote some foolish verses once On love. Unhappy churl! The metre makes me shudder still, I sent them to a girl.

I know that girl, and if I should, Like Byron, wake some day To find Fame written on my brow, She'd give those lines away.

So now I have to watch myself Each hour. Oh, hapless plight! For if I should be great, of course, Those lines would come to light.

FOOTNOTES:

[10] By permission of Life Publishing Company.



THE SCEPTICS

BY BLISS CARMAN

It was the little leaves beside the road.

Said Grass, "What is that sound So dismally profound, That detonates and desolates the air?" "That is St. Peter's bell," Said rain-wise Pimpernel; "He is music to the godly, Though to us he sounds so oddly, And he terrifies the faithful unto prayer."

Then something very like a groan Escaped the naughty little leaves.

Said Grass, "And whither track These creatures all in black, So woebegone and penitent and meek?" "They're mortals bound for church," Said the little Silver Birch; "They hope to get to heaven And have their sins forgiven, If they talk to God about it once a week."

And something very like a smile Ran through the naughty little leaves.

Said Grass, "What is that noise That startles and destroys Our blessed summer brooding when we're tired?" "That's folk a-praising God," Said the tough old cynic Clod; "They do it every Sunday, They'll be all right on Monday; It's just a little habit they've acquired."

And laughter spread among the little leaves.



"THE DAY IS DONE"

BY PHOEBE CARY

The day is done, and darkness From the wing of night is loosed, As a feather is wafted downward, From a chicken going to roost.

I see the lights of the baker, Gleam through the rain and mist, And a feeling of sadness comes o'er me That I can not well resist.

A feeling of sadness and longing That is not like being sick, And resembles sorrow only As a brickbat resembles a brick.

Come, get for me some supper,— A good and regular meal— That shall soothe this restless feeling, And banish the pain I feel.

Not from the pastry bakers, Not from the shops for cake; I wouldn't give a farthing For all that they can make.

For, like the soup at dinner, Such things would but suggest Some dishes more substantial, And to-night I want the best.

Go to some honest butcher, Whose beef is fresh and nice, As any they have in the city, And get a liberal slice.

Such things through days of labor, And nights devoid of ease, For sad and desperate feelings, Are wonderful remedies.

They have an astonishing power To aid and reinforce, And come like the "finally, brethren," That follows a long discourse.

Then get me a tender sirloin From off the bench or hook. And lend to its sterling goodness The science of the cook.

And the night shall be filled with comfort, And the cares with which it begun Shall fold up their blankets like Indians, And silently cut and run.



MR. DOOLEY ON GOLF

BY FINLEY PETER DUNNE

"An' what's this game iv goluf like, I dinnaw?" said Mr. Hennessy, lighting his pipe with much unnecessary noise. "Ye're a good deal iv a spoort, Jawnny: did ye iver thry it?"

"No," said Mr. McKenna. "I used to roll a hoop onct upon a time, but I'm out of condition now."

"It ain't like base-ball," said Mr. Hennessy, "an' it ain't like shinny, an' it ain't like lawn-teenis, an' it ain't like forty-fives, an' it ain't"—

"Like canvas-back duck or anny other game ye know," said Mr. Dooley.

"Thin what is it like?" said Mr. Hennessy. "I see be th' pa-aper that Hobart What-d'ye-call-him is wan iv th' best at it. Th' other day he made a scoor iv wan hundherd an' sixty-eight, but whether 'twas miles or stitches I cudden't make out fr'm th' raypoorts."

"'Tis little ye know," said Mr. Dooley. "Th' game iv goluf is as old as th' hills. Me father had goluf links all over his place, an', whin I was a kid, 'twas wan iv th' principal spoorts iv me life, afther I'd dug the turf f'r th' avenin', to go out and putt"—

"Poot, ye mean," said Mr. Hennessy. "They'se no such wurrud in th' English language as putt. Belinda called me down ha-ard on it no more thin las' night."

"There ye go!" said Mr. Dooley, angrily. "There ye go! D'ye think this here game iv goluf is a spellin' match? 'Tis like ye, Hinnissy, to be refereein' a twinty-round glove contest be th' rule iv three. I tell ye I used to go out in th' avenin' an' putt me mashie like hell-an'-all, till I was knowed fr'm wan end iv th' county to th' other as th' champeen putter. I putted two men fr'm Roscommon in wan day, an' they had to be took home on a dure.

"In America th' ga-ame is played more ginteel, an' is more like cigareet-smokin', though less onhealthy f'r th' lungs. 'Tis a good game to play in a hammick whin ye're all tired out fr'm social duties or shovellin' coke. Out-iv-dure golf is played be th' followin' rules. If ye bring ye'er wife f'r to see th' game, an' she has her name in th' paper, that counts ye wan. So th' first thing ye do is to find th' raypoorter, an' tell him ye're there. Thin ye ordher a bottle iv brown pop, an' have ye'er second fan ye with a towel. Afther this ye'd dhress, an' here ye've got to be dam particklar or ye'll be stuck f'r th' dhrinks. If ye'er necktie is not on sthraight, that counts ye'er opponent wan. If both ye an' ye'er opponent have ye'er neckties on crooked, th' first man that sees it gets th' stakes. Thin ye ordher a carredge"—

"Order what?" demanded Mr. McKenna.

"A carredge."

"What for?"

"F'r to take ye 'round th' links. Ye have a little boy followin' ye, carryin' ye'er clubs. Th' man that has th' smallest little boy it counts him two. If th' little boy has th' rickets, it counts th' man in th' carredge three. The little boys is called caddies; but Clarence Heaney that tol' me all this—he belongs to th' Foorth Wa-ard Goluf an' McKinley Club—said what th' little boys calls th' players'd not be fit f'r to repeat.

"Well, whin ye dhrive up to th' tea grounds"—

"Th' what?" demanded Mr. Hennessy.

"Th' tea grounds, that's like th' home-plate in base-ball or ordherin' a piece iv chalk in a game iv spoil five. It's th' be-ginnin' iv ivrything. Whin ye get to th' tea grounds, ye step out, an' have ye'er hat irned be th' caddie. Thin ye'er man that ye're goin' aginst comes up, an' he asks ye, 'Do you know Potther Pammer?' Well, if ye don't know Potther Pammer, it's all up with ye: ye lose two points. But ye come right back at him with an upper cut: 'Do ye live on th' Lake Shore dhrive?' If he doesn't, ye have him in th' nine hole. Ye needn't play with him anny more. But, if ye do play with him, he has to spot three balls. If he's a good man an' shifty on his feet, he'll counter be askin' ye where ye spend th' summer. Now ye can't tell him that ye spent th' summer with wan hook on th' free lunch an' another on th' ticker tape, an' so ye go back three. That needn't discourage ye at all, at all. Here's yer chance to mix up, an' ye ask him if he was iver in Scotland. If he wasn't, it counts ye five. Thin ye tell him that ye had an aunt wanst that heerd th' Jook iv Argyle talk in a phonograph; an', onless he comes back an' shoots it into ye that he was wanst run over be th' Prince iv Wales, ye have him groggy. I don't know whether th' Jook iv Argyle or th' Prince iv Wales counts f'r most. They're like th' right an' left bower iv thrumps. Th' best players is called scratch-men."

"What's that f'r?" Mr. Hennessy asked.

"It's a Scotch game," said Mr. Dooley, with a wave of his hand. "I wonder how it come out to-day. Here's th' pa-aper. Let me see. McKinley at Canton. Still there. He niver cared to wandher fr'm his own fireside. Collar-button men f'r th' goold standard. Statues iv Heidelback, Ickleheimer an' Company to be erected in Washington. Another Vanderbilt weddin'. That sounds like goluf, but it ain't. Newport society livin' in Mrs. Potther Pammer's cellar. Green-goods men declare f'r honest money. Anson in foorth place some more. Pianny tuners f'r McKinley. Li Hung Chang smells a rat. Abner McKinley supports th' goold standard. Wait a minyit. Here it is: 'Goluf in gay attire.' Let me see. H'm. 'Foozled his aproach,'—nasty thing. 'Topped th' ball.' 'Three up an' two to play.' Ah, here's the scoor. 'Among those prisint were Messrs. an' Mesdames'"—

"Hol' on!" cried Mr. Hennessy, grabbing the paper out of his friend's hands. "That's thim that was there."

"Well," said Mr. Dooley, decisively, "that's th' goluf scoor."



WHEN THE SIRUP'S ON THE FLAPJACK

BY BERT LESTON TAYLOR

When the sirup's on the flapjack and the coffee's in the pot; When the fly is in the butter—where he'd rather be than not; When the cloth is on the table, and the plates are on the cloth; When the salt is in the shaker and the chicken's in the broth; When the cream is in the pitcher and the pitcher's on the tray, And the tray is on the sideboard when it isn't on the way; When the rind is on the bacon, and likewise upon the cheese, Then I somehow feel inspired to do a lot of rhymes like these.



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