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Mr. Dooley's Philosophy by Finley Peter Dunne

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"I wish to hell, Hinnissy," said Mr. Dooley savagely, "ye'd not lean
against that mirror, I don't want to have to tell ye again."

THE EDUCATION OF THE YOUNG

The troubled Mr. Hennessy had been telling Mr. Dooley about the
difficulty of making a choice of schools for Packy Hennessy, who at the
age of six was at the point where the family must decide his career.

"'Tis a big question," said Mr. Dooley, "an' wan that seems to be
worryin' th' people more thin it used to whin ivry boy was designed f'r
th' priesthood, with a full undherstandin' be his parents that th'
chances was in favor iv a brick yard. Nowadays they talk about th'
edycation iv th' child befure they choose th' name. 'Tis: 'Th' kid talks
in his sleep. 'Tis th' fine lawyer he'll make.' Or, 'Did ye notice him
admirin' that photygraph? He'll be a gr-reat journalist.' Or, 'Look at
him fishin' in Uncle Tim's watch pocket. We must thrain him f'r a
banker.' Or, 'I'm afraid he'll niver be sthrong enough to wurruk. He
must go into th' church.' Befure he's baptized too, d'ye mind. 'Twill
not be long befure th' time comes whin th' soggarth'll christen th'
infant: 'Judge Pathrick Aloysius Hinnissy, iv th' Northern District iv
Illinye,' or 'Profissor P. Aloysius Hinnissy, LL.D., S.T.D., P.G.N., iv
th' faculty iv Nothre Dame.' Th' innocent child in his cradle,
wondherin' what ails th' mist iv him an' where he got such funny lookin'
parents fr'm, has thim to blame that brought him into th' wurruld if he
dayvilops into a sicond story man befure he's twinty-wan an' is took up
be th' polis. Why don't you lade Packy down to th' occylist an' have him
fitted with a pair iv eyeglasses? Why don't ye put goloshes on him, give
him a blue umbrelly an' call him a doctor at wanst an' be done with it?"

"To my mind, Hinnissy, we're wastin' too much time thinkin' iv th'
future iv our young, an' thryin' to larn thim early what they oughtn't
to know till they've growed up. We sind th' childher to school as if
'twas a summer garden where they go to be amused instead iv a
pinitinchry where they're sint f'r th' original sin. Whin I was a la-ad
I was put at me ah-bee abs, th' first day I set fut in th' school behind
th' hedge an' me head was sore inside an' out befure I wint home. Now
th' first thing we larn th' future Mark Hannas an' Jawn D. Gateses iv
our naytion is waltzin', singin', an' cuttin' pitchers out iv a book.
We'd be much betther teachin' thim th' sthrangle hold, f'r that's what
they need in life."

"I know what'll happen. Ye'll sind Packy to what th' Germans call a
Kindygartin, an' 'tis a good thing f'r Germany, because all a German
knows is what some wan tells him, an' his grajation papers is a certy-
ficate that he don't need to think anny more. But we've inthrajooced it
into this counthry, an' whin I was down seein' if I cud injooce
Rafferry, th' Janitor iv th' Isaac Muggs Grammar School, f'r to vote f'r
Riordan--an' he's goin' to--I dhropped in on Cassidy's daughter, Mary
Ellen, an' see her kindygartnin'. Th' childher was settin' ar-round on
th' flure an' some was moldin' dachshunds out iv mud an' wipin' their
hands on their hair, an' some was carvin' figures iv a goat out iv
paste-board an' some was singin' an' some was sleepin' an' a few was
dancin' an' wan la-ad was pullin' another la-ad's hair. 'Why don't ye
take th' coal shovel to that little barbaryan, Mary Ellen?' says I. 'We
don't believe in corporeal punishment,' says she. 'School shud be made
pleasant f'r th' childher,' she says. 'Th' child who's hair is bein'
pulled is larnin' patience,' she says, 'an' th' child that's pullin' th'
hair is discovrin' th' footility iv human indeavor,' says she. 'Well,
oh, well,' says I, 'times has changed since I was a boy,' I says. 'Put
thim through their exercises,' says I. 'Tommy,' says I, 'spell cat,' I
says. 'Go to th' divvle,' says th' cheerub. 'Very smartly answered,'
says Mary Ellen. 'Ye shud not ask thim to spell,' she says. 'They don't
larn that till they get to colledge,' she says, 'an'' she says,
'sometimes not even thin,' she says. 'An' what do they larn?' says I.
'Rompin',' she says, 'an' dancin',' she says, 'an' indepindance iv
speech, an' beauty songs, an' sweet thoughts, an' how to make home home-
like,' she says. 'Well,' says I, 'I didn't take anny iv thim things at
colledge, so ye needn't unblanket thim,' I says. 'I won't put thim
through anny exercise today,' I says. 'But whisper, Mary Ellen,' says I,
'Don't ye niver feel like bastin' th' seeraphims?' 'Th' teachin's iv
Freebull and Pitzotly is conthrary to that,' she says. 'But I'm goin' to
be marrid an' lave th' school on Choosdah, th' twinty-sicond iv
Janooary,' she says, 'an' on Mondah, th' twinty-first, I'm goin' to ask
a few iv th' little darlin's to th' house an',' she says, 'stew thim
over a slow fire,' she says. Mary Ellen is not a German, Hinnissy."

"Well, afther they have larned in school what they ar-re licked f'r
larnin' in th' back yard--that is squashin' mud with their hands--
they're conducted up through a channel iv free an' beautiful thought
till they're r-ready f'r colledge. Mamma packs a few doylies an' tidies
into son's bag, an' some silver to be used in case iv throuble with th'
landlord, an' th' la-ad throts off to th' siminary. If he's not sthrong
enough to look f'r high honors as a middle weight pugilist he goes into
th' thought departmint. Th' prisidint takes him into a Turkish room,
gives him a cigareet an' says: 'Me dear boy, what special branch iv
larnin' wud ye like to have studied f'r ye be our compitint profissors?
We have a chair iv Beauty an' wan iv Puns an' wan iv Pothry on th'
Changin' Hues iv the Settin' Sun, an' wan on Platonic Love, an' wan on
Nonsense Rhymes, an' wan on Sweet Thoughts, an' wan on How Green Grows
th' Grass, an' wan on' th' Relation iv Ice to th' Greek Idee iv God,' he
says. 'This is all ye'll need to equip ye f'r th' perfect life, onless,'
he says, 'ye intind bein' a dintist, in which case,' he says, 'we won't
think much iv ye, but we have a good school where ye can larn that
disgraceful thrade,' he says. An' th' la-ad makes his choice, an' ivry
mornin' whin he's up in time he takes a whiff iv hasheesh an' goes off
to hear Profissor Maryanna tell him that 'if th' dates iv human
knowledge must be rejicted as subjictive, how much more must they be
subjicted as rejictive if, as I think, we keep our thoughts fixed upon
th' inanity iv th' finite in comparison with th' onthinkable truth with
th' ondivided an' onimaginable reality. Boys ar-re ye with me?'"

"That's at wan colledge-Th' Colledge iv Speechless Thought. Thin there's
th' Colledge iv Thoughtless Speech, where th' la-ad is larned that th'
best thing that can happen to annywan is to be prisident iv a railroad
consolidation. Th' head iv this colledge believes in thrainin' young men
f'r th' civic ideel, Father Kelly tells me. Th' on'y thrainin' I know
f'r th' civic ideel is to have an alarm clock in ye'er room on iliction
day. He believes 'young men shud be equipped with Courage, Discipline,
an' Loftiness iv Purpose;' so I suppose Packy, if he wint there, wud
listen to lectures fr'm th' Profissor iv Courage an' Erasmus H. Noddle,
Doctor iv Loftiness iv Purpose. I loft, ye loft, he lofts. I've always
felt we needed some wan to teach our young th' Courage they can't get
walkin' home in th' dark, an' th' loftiness iv purpose that doesn't
start with bein' hungry an' lookin' f'r wurruk. An' in th' colledge
where these studies are taught, its undhershtud that even betther thin
gettin' th' civic ideel is bein' head iv a thrust. Th' on'y trouble with
th' coorse is that whin Packy comes out loaded with loftiness iv
purpose, all th' lofts is full iv men that had to figure it out on th'
farm."

"I don't undherstand a wurrud iv what ye're sayin'," said Mr. Hennesy.

"No more do I," said Mr. Dooley. "But I believe 'tis as Father Kelly
says: 'Childher shudden't be sint to school to larn, but to larn how to
larn. I don't care what ye larn thim so long as 'tis onpleasant to
thim.' 'Tis thrainin' they need, Hinnissy. That's all. I niver cud make
use iv what I larned in colledge about thrigojoomethry an'--an'--
grammar an' th' welts I got on th' skull fr'm the schoolmasther's cane I
have nivver been able to turn to anny account in th' business, but 'twas
th' bein' there and havin' to get things to heart without askin' th'
meanin' iv thim an' goin' to school cold an' comin' home hungry, that
made th' man iv me ye see befure ye."

"That's why th' good woman's throubled about Packy," said Hennessy.

"Go home," said Mr. Dooley.

"L'AIGLON"

"Hogan's been tellin' me iv a new play he r-read th' other day," said
Mr. Dooley. "'Tis be th' same la-ad that wrote th' piece they played
down in th' Christyan Brothers' school last year about the man with th'
big nose, that wud dhraw a soord or a pome on e'er a man alive. This wan
is called 'The Little Eagle,' an' 'tis about th' son iv Napolyon th'
Impror iv th' Fr-rinch, th' first wan, not th' wan I had th' fight about
in Schwartzmeister's in eighteen hundhred an' siventy. Bad cess to that
man, he was no good. I often wondher why I shtud up f'r him whin he had
hardly wan frind in th' counthry. But I did, an' ye might say I'm a
vethran iv th' Napolyonic Wars. I am so.

"But th' first Napolyon was a diff'rent man, an' whin he died he left a
son that th' coorts tur-rned over to th' custody iv his mother, th' ol'
man bein' on th' island--th' same place where Gin'ral Crownjoy is now.
Tis about this la-ad th' play's written. He don't look to be much
account havin' a hackin' cough all through the piece, but down
undherneath he wants to be impror iv th' Fr-rinch like his father befure
him, d'ye mind, on'y he don't dare to go out f'r it f'r fear iv catchin'
a bad cold on his chist. Th' Austhreeches that has charge iv him don't
like th' idee iv havin' him know what kind iv man his father was. Whin
he asks: 'Where's pah?' They say: 'He died in jail.' 'What happened in
1805?' says th' boy. 'In 1805,' says th' Austhreeches, 'th' bar-rn blew
down.' 'In 1806?' says th' boy. 'In 1806 th' chimney smoked.' 'Not so,'
says th' prince. 'In 1806 me father crossed th' Rhine an' up,' he says,
'th' ar-rmed camps he marched to Augaspiel, to Lieberneck, to Donnervet.
He changed his boots at Mikelstraus an' down th' eagle swooped on
Marcobrun,' he says. 'Me gran'dad fled as flees th' hen befure th' hawk,
but dad stayed not till gran'pa, treed, besought f'r peace. That's what
me father done unto me gran'dad in eighteen six.' At this p'int he
coughs but ye sees he knew what was goin' on, bein' taught in secret be
a lady iv th' stage fr'm whom manny a la-ad cud larn th' truth about his
father.

"Still he can't be persuaded f'r to apply f'r th' vacant improrship on
account iv his lungs, till wan day a tailor shows up to measure him f'r
some clothes. Th' tailor d'ye mind is a rivolutionist in disguise, an'
has come down fr'm Paris f'r to injooce th' young man to take th'
vacancy. 'Fourteen, six, thirty-three. How'll ye have th' pants made,
Impror?' says th' tailor. 'Wan or two hip pockets?' says he.

"'Two hips,' says young Napolyon. 'What do ye mean be that"?' he says.

"'Thirty-eight, siventeen, two sides, wan watch, buckle behind. All
Paris awaits ye, sire.'"

"'Make th' sleeves a little longer thin this,' says th' boy. 'An' fill
out th' shouldhers. What proof have I?'"

"'Wan or two inside pockets?' says th' tailor. 'Two insides. Hankerchief
pocket? Wan hankerchief. Th' pants is warn much fuller this year. Make
that twinty-eight instid iv twinty-siven,' he says. 'Paris shrieks f'r
ye,' he says.

"'Proof,' says th' la-ad.

"'They've named a perfume afther ye, a shirt waist, a paper collar, a
five cint seegar, a lot iv childer. Nay more, a breakfast dish
christened f'r ye is on ivry lip. Will I forward th' soot collect?' he
says.

"'No, sind th' bill to me mother,' says th' boy. 'An' meet me in th'
park at tin,' he says.

"So 'tis planned to seize th' throne, but it comes to nawthin'."

"Why's that?" asked Mr. Hennessy.

"F'r th' same reason that the Irish rivolution failed, th' polis stopped
it. Th' con-spirators met in th' park an' were nailed be a park
polisman. They didn't run in th' boy, but left him alone in th' place
which was where his father wanst fought a battle. As he shtands there
coughin' he begins to hear voices iv soops that followed th' ol' Impror.
'Comrade' says wan. 'Give me ye'er hand.' 'I can't,' says another. 'I
haven't wan left.' 'Where's me leg?' 'Sarch me.' 'I've lost me voice.'
'Me mind is shot away.' 'Reach me some wather.' 'Pass th' can.' 'A horse
is settin' on me chest.' 'What's that? They'se a batthry iv artillery on
me.' 'I've broke something. What is it?' 'I cannot move me leg.' 'Curses
on the Cavalry.' 'Have ye got th' time?' 'Oh me knee, how it aches me.'
'Ha ha. Ha ha. Ha ha. Ha ha.' 'Veev, th' Impror.' 'Right about face,
shouldher ar-rms, right shouldher shift arms. March.' A harsh, metallic
voice in the distance: 'Gin-rals, leftnant Gin'rals, officers, sooz-
officers, an' men--.' 'Tis th' boy's father. Th' boy pulls out his soord
an' says he: 'Come on, let's fight. Play away there band. Blow fife and
banners wave. Lave me at thim. Come on, come on!' an' he rushes out an'
makes a stab at an Austhreech regimint that's come up to be dhrilled.
Thin he undherstands 'twas all a dhream with him an' he raysumes his ol'
job. In th' next act he dies."

"That's a good act," said Mr. Hennessy.

"'Tis fine. In Austhree where this happened whin a man dies ivrybody
comes in to see him. Ye meet a frind on th' sthreet an' he says: 'Come
on over an see Harrigan jump off.' So whin th' la-ad is r-ready f'r to
go out ivry body gathers in his room. 'Tis a fash'nable ivint, like th'
Horse Show. Among those prisint is his mother. She's a frivolous ol'
loon, this Marie Louisa, that was Napolyon's sicond wife, though between
you an' me, Father Kelly has niver reconized her as such, th' Impror
havin' a wife livin' that was as tough as they make thim. But annyhow
she was there. She hadn't done much f'r her son, but she come to see him
off with siv'ral ladies that loved him an' others. Bein' a busy an'
fashn'able woman she cudden't raymimber his name. At times she called
him 'Frank' an' thin 'Fronzwah' an' 'Fritz' an' 'Ferdynand'--'twas a
name beginnin' with 'f' she knew that--but he f'rgive her an' ast
somewan to r-read to him. 'What shall it be?' says a gin'ral. 'R-read
about th' time I was christened,' says th' boy. An' th' gin'ral r-reads:
'At iliven o'clock at th' church iv Nothre Dame in th' prisince iv th'
followin' princes--,' 'Cut out th' princes,' says th' la-ad. 'An' kings
--' 'F'rget th' kings,' says th' lad. 'Th' son iv th' Impror--' 'He's
dead,' says th' doctor. 'Put on his white soot,' says th' Main Thing
among th' Austhreeches that was again him fr'm th' beginnin'. An' there
ye ar-re."

"Is that all?" asked Mr. Hennessy.

"That's all," said Mr. Dooley.

"He died?"

"He did."

"But he was sthrong r-right up to th' end."

"He was that. None sthronger."

"An' what?" asked Mr. Hennessy, "did they do with th' soot iv clothes he
ordhered fr'm th' tailor?"

CASUAL OBSERVATIONS

To most people a savage nation is wan that doesn't wear oncomf'rtable
clothes.

* * * * *

Manny people'd rather be kilt at Newport thin at Bunker Hill.

* * * * *

If ye live enough befure thirty ye won't care to live at all afther
fifty.

* * * * *

As Shakespere says, be thrue to ye'ersilf an' ye will not thin be false
to ivry man.

* * * * *

Play actors, orators an' women ar-re a class be thimsilves.

* * * * *

Among men, Hinnissy, wet eye manes dhry heart.

* * * * *

Th' nearest anny man comes to a con-ciption iv his own death is lyin'
back in a comfortable coffin with his ears cocked f'r th' flatthrin'
remarks iv th' mourners.

* * * * *

A fanatic is a man that does what he thinks th' Lord wud do if He knew
th' facts iv th' case.

* * * * *

A millionyaire--or man out iv debt--wanst tol' me his dhreams always
took place in th' farm-house where he was bor-rn. He said th' dhreamin'
iv his life was th' on'y part that seemed real.

* * * * *

'Tis no job to find out who wrote an anonymous letter. Jus' look out iv
th' window whin ye get it. 'Tis harder to do evil thin good be stealth.

* * * * *

A German's idee iv Hivin is painted blue an' has cast-iron dogs on th'
lawn.

* * * * *

No man was iver so low as to have rayspict f'r his brother-in-law.

* * * * *

Th' modhren idee iv governmint is 'Snub th' people, buy th' people, jaw
th' people.'

* * * * *

I wisht I was a German an' believed in machinery.

* * * * *

A vote on th' tallysheet is worth two in the box.

* * * * *

I care not who makes th' laws iv a nation if I can get out an injunction.

* * * * *

An Englishman appears resarved because he can't talk.

* * * * *

What China needs is a Chinese exclusion act.

* * * * *

All th' wurruld loves a lover--excipt sometimes th' wan that's all th'
wurruld to him.

* * * * *

A nation with colonies is kept busy. Look at England! She's like wan iv
th' Swiss bell-ringers.

* * * * *

Th' paramount issue f'r our side is th' wan th' other side doesn't like
to have mintioned.

* * * * *

If ye put a beggar on horseback ye'll walk ye'ersilf.

* * * * *

It takes a sthrong man to be mean. A mean man is wan that has th'
courage not to be gin'rous. Whin I give a tip 'tis not because I want to
but because I'm afraid iv what th' waiter'll think. Russell Sage is wan
iv Nature's noblemen.

* * * * *

An autocrat's a ruler that does what th' people wants an' takes th'
blame f'r it. A constitootional ixicutive, Hinnissy, is a ruler that
does as he dam pleases an' blames th' people.

* * * * *

'Tis as hard f'r a rich man to enther th' kingdom iv Hiven as it is f'r
a poor man to get out iv Purgatory.

* * * * *

Evil communications corrupt good Ph'lippeens.

* * * * *

Ivry man has his superstitions. If I look at a new moon over me shoulder
I get a crick in me neck.

* * * * *

Thrust ivrybody--but cut th' ca-ards.

* * * * *

If Rooshia wud shave we'd not be afraid iv her.

* * * * *

Some day th' Ph'lippeens 'll be known as th' Standard Isles iv th'
Passyfic.

* * * * *

A woman's sinse iv humor is in her husband's name.

* * * * *

Most women ought niver to look back if they want a following.

* * * * *

If ye dhrink befure siven ye'll cry befure iliven.

* * * * *

A man that'd expict to thrain lobsters to fly in a year is called a
loonytic; but a man that thinks men can be tur-rned into angels be an
iliction is called a rayformer an' remains at large.

* * * * *

Th' throuble with most iv us, Hinnissy, is we swallow pollytical idees
befure they're ripe an' they don't agree with us.

* * * * *

Dhressmakers' bills sinds women into lithrachoor an' men into an early
decline.

* * * * *

A bur-rd undher a bonnet is worth two on th' crown.

* * * * *

People tell me to be frank, but how can I be whin I don't dare to know
mesilf?

* * * * *

People that talk loud an' offind ye with their insolence are usu'lly shy
men thryin' to get over their shyness. 'Tis th' quite, resarved, ca'm
spoken man that's mashed on himsilf.

* * * * *

If men cud on'y enjye th' wealth an' position th' newspapers give thim
whin they're undher arrest! Don't anny but prominent clubman iver elope
or embezzle?

* * * * *

Miditation is a gift con-fined to unknown philosophers an' cows. Others
don't begin to think till they begin to talk or write.

* * * * *

A good manny people r-read th' ol' sayin' "Larceny is th' sincerest form
iv flatthry."

* * * * *

Tis a good thing th' fun'ral sermons ar-re not composed in th'
confissional.

* * * * *

Most vigitaryans I iver see looked enough like their food to be classed
as cannybals.

* * * * *

I don't see why anny man who believes in medicine wud shy at th' faith
cure.

* * * * *

Miracles are laughed at be a nation that r-reads thirty millyon
newspapers a day an' supports Wall sthreet.

* * * * *

All men are br-rave in comp'ny an' cow'rds alone, but some shows it
clearer thin others.

* * * * *

I'd like to tell me frind Tiddy that they'se a strenuse life an' a
sthrenuseless life.

* * * * *

I'd like to've been ar-round in th' times th' historical novelists
writes about--but I wudden't like to be in th' life insurance business.

* * * * *

I wondher why porthrait painters look down on phrenologists.

* * * * *

Di-plomacy is a continyual game iv duck on th' rock--with France th'
duck.

* * * * *

Whin we think we're makin' a gr-reat hit with th' wurruld we don't know
what our own wives thinks iv us.

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