ARTEMUS WARD (CHARLES FARRAR BROWNE) PART 2
THE COMPLETE WORKS OF ARTEMUS WARD PART 2, WAR.
(CHARLES FARRAR BROWNE)
With a biographical sketch by Melville D. Landon, "Eli Perkins"
2.1. The Show is Confiscated.
2.2. Thrilling Scenes in Dixie.
2.3. Fourth of July Oration.
2.4. The War Fever in Baldinsville.
2.5. A War Meeting.
2.6. The Draft in Baldinsville.
2.7. Surrender of Cornwallis.
2.8. Things in New York.
2.9. Touching Letter from a Gory Member Of The Home Guard
2.10. In Canada.
2.11. The Noble Red Man.
2.12. Artemus Ward in Richmond.
2.13. Artemus Ward to the Prince of Wales.
PART II. WAR.
2.1. THE SHOW IS CONFISCATED.
You hav perhaps wondered wharebouts I was for these many dase
gone and past. Perchans you sposed I'd gone to the Tomb of
the Cappylets, tho I don't know what those is. It's a popler
Listen to my tail, and be silent that ye may here I've been
among the Seseshers, a earnin my daily peck by my legitimit
perfeshun, and havn't had no time to weeld my facile quill for
"the Grate Komick paper," if you'll allow me to kote from your
My success was skaly, and I likewise had a narrer scape of my
life. If what I've bin threw is "Suthren hosspitality," 'bout
which we've hearn so much, then I feel bound to obsarve that
they made two much of me. They was altogether two lavish with
I went amung the Seseshers with no feelins of annermosity. I
went in my perfeshernal capacity. I was actooated by one of
the most Loftiest desires which can swell the human Buzzum,
viz.:--to giv the peeple their money's worth, by showin them
Sagashus Beests, and Wax Statoots, which I venter to say air
onsurpast by any other statoots anywheres. I will not call
that man who sez my statoots is humbugs a lier and a hoss
thief, but bring him be4 me and I'll wither him with one of my
But to proseed with my tail. In my travels threw the Sonny
South I heared a heap of talk about Seceshon and bustin up the
Union, but I didn't think it mounted to nothin. The
politicians in all the villages was swearin that Old Abe
(sometimes called the Prahayrie flower) shouldn't never be
noggerated. They also made fools of theirselves in varis
ways, but as they was used to that I didn't let it worry me
much, and the Stars and Stripes continued for to wave over my
little tent. Moor over, I was a Son of Malty and a member of
several other Temperance Societies, and my wife she was a
Dawter of Malty, an I sposed these fax would secoor me the
infloonz and pertectiun of all the fust families. Alas! I
was dispinted. State arter State seseshed and it growed
hotter and hotter for the undersined. Things came to a
climbmacks in a small town in Alabamy, where I was premtorally
ordered to haul down the Stars & Stripes. A deppytashun of
red-faced men cum up to the door of my tent ware I was standin
takin money (the arternoon exhibishun had commenst, an' my
Italyun organist was jerkin his sole-stirrin chimes.) "We air
cum, Sir," said a millingtary man in a cockt hat, "upon a hi
and holy mishun. The Southern Eagle is screamin threwout this
sunny land--proudly and defiantly screamin, Sir!"
"What's the matter with him?" sez I; "don't his vittles sit
well on his stummick?"
"That Eagle, Sir, will continner to scream all over this Brite
and tremenjus land!"
"Wall, let him SCREAM. If your Eagle can amuse hisself by
screamin, let him went!" The men anoyed me, for I was Bizzy
"We are cum, Sir, upon a matter of dooty--"
"You're right, Capting. It's every man's dooty to visit my
show," said I.
"We air cum--"
"And that's the reason you are here!" sez I, larfin one of my
silvery larfs. I thawt if he wanted to goak I'd giv him sum
of my sparklin eppygrams.
"Sir, you're inserlent. The plain question is, will you haul
down the Star-Spangled Banner, and hist the Southern flag!"
"Nary hist!" Those was my reply.
"Your wax works and beests is then confisticated, & you air
arrested as a Spy!"
Sez I, "My fragrant roses of the Southern clime and Bloomin
daffodils, what's the price of whisky in this town, and how
many cubic feet of that seductive flooid can you individooally
They made no reply to that, but said my wax figgers was
confisticated. I axed them if that was ginerally the stile
among thieves in that country, to which they also made no
reply, but said I was arrested as a Spy, and must go to
Montgomry in iuns. They was by this time jined by a large
crowd of other Southern patrits, who commenst hollerin "Hang
the baldheaded aberlitionist, and bust up his immoral
exhibition!" I was ceased and tied to a stump, and the crowd
went for my tent--that water-proof pavilion, wherein
instruction and amoosment had been so muchly combined, at 15
cents per head--and tore it all to pieces. Meanwhile dirty-
faced boys was throwin stuns and empty beer bottles at my
massiv brow, and takin other improper liberties with my
person. Resistance was useless, for a varity of reasons, as I
The Seseshers confisticated my statoots by smashin them to
attums. They then went to my money box and confisticated all
the loose change therein contaned. They then went and bust in
my cages, lettin all the animils loose, a small but helthy
tiger among the rest. This tiger has a excentric way of
tearin dogs to peaces, and I allers sposed from his gineral
conduck that he'd hav no hesitashun in servin human beins in
the same way if he could get at them. Excuse me if I was
crooil, but I larfed boysterrusly when I see that tiger spring
in among the people. "Go it, my sweet cuss!" I inardly
exclaimed. "I forgive you for bitin off my left thum with all
my heart! Rip 'em up like a bully tiger whose Lare has bin
inwaded by Seseshers!"
I can't say for certain that the tiger serisly injured any of
them, but as he was seen a few days after, sum miles distant,
with a large and well selected assortment of seats of trowsis
in his mouth, and as he lookt as tho he'd been havin sum
vilent exercise, I rayther guess he did. You will therefore
perceive that they didn't confisticate him much.
I was carried to Montgomry in iuns and placed in durans vial.
The jail was a ornery edifiss, but the table was librally
surplied with Bakin an Cabbidge. This was a good variety, for
when I didn't hanker after Bakin I could help myself to the
I had nobody to talk to nor nothin to talk about, howsever,
and I was very lonely, specially on the first day; so when the
jailer parst my lonely sell I put the few stray hairs on the
back part of my hed (I'm bald now, but thare was a time when I
wore sweet auburn ringlets) into as dish-hevild a state as
possible, & rollin my eyes like a manyyuck, I cride: "Stay,
jaler, stay! I am not mad, but soon shall be if you don't
bring me suthin to Talk!" He brung me sum noospapers, for
which I thanked him kindly.
At larst I got a interview with Jefferson Davis, the President
of the Southern Conthieveracy. He was quite perlite, and axed
me to sit down and state my case. I did it, when he larfed
and said his gallunt men had been a little 2 enthoosiastic in
confisticatin my show.
"Yes," sez I, "they confisticated me too muchly. I had sum
hosses confisticated in the same way onct, but the
confisticaters air now poundin stun in the States Prison in
"Wall, wall Mister Ward, you air at liberty to depart; you air
friendly to the South, I know. Even now we hav many frens in
the North, who sympathize with us, and won't mingle with this
"J. Davis, there's your grate mistaik. Many of us was your
sincere frends, and thought certin parties amung us was fussin
about you and meddlin with your consarns intirely too much.
But J. Davis, the minit you fire a gun at the piece of dry-
goods called the Star-Spangled Banner, the North gits up and
rises en massy, in defence of that banner. Not agin you as
individooals,--not agin the South even--but to save the flag.
We should indeed be weak in the knees, unsound in the heart,
milk-white in the liver, and soft in the hed, if we stood
quietly by, and saw this glorus Govyment smashed to pieces,
either by a furrin or a intestine foe. The gentle-harted
mother hates to take her naughty child across her knee, but
she knows it is her dooty to do it. So we shall hate to whip
the naughty South, but we must do it if you don't make back
tracks at onct, and we shall wallup you out of your boots! J.
Davis, it is my decided opinion that the Sonny South is makin
a egrejus mutton-hed of herself!"
"Go on, sir, you're safe enuff. You're two small powder for
me!" sed the President of the Southern Conthieveracy.
"Wait till I go home and start out the Baldinsville Mounted
Hoss Cavalry! I'm Capting of that Corpse, I am, and J. Davis,
beware! Jefferson D., I now leave you! Farewell my gay Saler
Boy! Good-bye, my bold buccaneer! Pirut of the deep blue
sea, adoo! adoo!"
My tower threw the Southern Conthieveracy on my way home was
thrillin enuff for yeller covers. It will form the subjeck of
my next. Betsy Jane and the projeny air well.
2.2. THRILLING SCENES IN DIXIE.
I had a narrer scape from the sonny South. "The swings and
arrers of outrajus fortin," alluded to by Hamlick, warn't
nothin in comparison to my trubles. I come pesky near swearin
sum profane oaths more'n onct, but I hope I didn't do it, for
I've promist she whose name shall be nameless (except that her
initials is Betsy J.) that I'll jine the Meetin House at
Baldinsville, jest as soon as I can scrape money enuff
together so I can 'ford to be piuss in good stile, like my
welthy nabers. But if I'm confisticated agin I'm fraid I
shall continner on in my present benited state for sum time.
I figgered conspicyusly in many thrillin scenes in my tower
from Montgomry to my humsted, and on sevril occasions I
thought "the grate komick paper" wouldn't be inriched no more
with my lubrications. Arter biddin adoo to Jefferson D. I
started for the depot. I saw a nigger sittin on a fence a
playin on a banjo, "My Afrikan Brother," sed I, coting from a
Track I onct red, "you belong to a very interestin race. Your
masters is goin to war excloosively on your account."
"Yes, boss," he replied, "an' I wish 'em honorable graves!"
and he went on playin the banjo, larfin all over and openin
his mouth wide enuff to drive in an old-fashioned 2 wheeled
The train of cars in which I was to trust my wallerable life,
was the scaliest, rickytiest lookin lot of consarns that I
ever saw on wheels afore. "What time does this string of
second-hand coffins leave?" I inquired of the depot master.
He sed direckly, and I went in & sot down. I hadn't more'n
fairly squatted afore a dark lookin man with a swinister
expression onto his countenance entered the cars, and lookin
very sharp at me, he axed what was my principles?
"Secesh!" I ansered. "I'm a Dissoluter. I'm in favor of Jeff
Davis, Bowregard, Pickens, Capt. Kidd, Bloobeard, Munro
Edards, the devil, Mrs. Cunningham and all the rest of 'em."
"You're in favor of the war?"
"Certingly. By all means. I'm in favor of this war and also
of the next war. I've been in favor of the next war for over
"War to the knife!" sed the man.
"Blud, Eargo, Blud!" sed I, tho them words isn't orrigernal
with me, them words was rit by Shakspeare, who is ded. His
mantle fell onto the author of "The Seven Sisters," who's goin
to hav a Spring overcoat made out of it.
We got under way at larst, an' proceeded on our jerney at
about the rate of speed which is ginrally obsarved by
properly-conducted funeral processions. A hansum yung gal,
with a red musketer bar on the back side of her hed, and a
sassy little black hat tipt over her forrerd, sot in the seat
with me. She wore a little Sesesh flag pin'd onto her hat,
and she was a goin for to see her troo love, who had jined the
Southern army, all so bold and gay. So she told me. She was
chilly and I offered her my blanket.
"Father livin?" I axed.
"Got any Uncles?"
"A heap. Uncle Thomas is ded, tho."
"Peace to Uncle Thomas's ashes, and success to him! I will be
your Uncle Thomas! Lean on me, my pretty Secesher, and linger
in Blissful repose!" She slept as secoorly as in her own
housen, and didn't disturb the sollum stillness of the night
with 'ary snore!
At the first station a troop of Sojers entered the cars and
inquired if "Old Wax Works" was on bored. That was the
disrespectiv stile in which they referred to me. "Becawz if
Old Wax Works is on bored," sez a man with a face like a
double-breasted lobster, "we're going to hang Old Wax Works!"
"My illustrious and patriotic Bummers!" sez I, a gittin up and
takin orf my Shappo, "if you allude to A. Ward, it's my
pleasin dooty to inform you that he's ded. He saw the error
of his ways at 15 minutes parst 2 yesterday, and stabbed
hisself with a stuffed sled-stake, dyin in five beautiful
tabloos to slow moosic! His last words was: 'My perfeshernal
career is over! I jerk no more!'"
"And who be you?"
"I'm a stoodent in Senator Benjamin's law offiss. I'm going
up North to steal some spoons and things for the Southern
This was satisfactory and the intossicated troopers went orf.
At the next station the pretty little Secessher awoke and sed
she must git out there. I bid her a kind adoo and giv her sum
pervisions. "Accept my blessin and this hunk of ginger bred!"
I sed. She thankt me muchly and tript galy away. There's
considerable human nater in a man, and I'm afraid I shall
allers giv aid and comfort to the enemy if he cums to me in
the shape of a nice young gal.
At the next station I didn't get orf so easy. I was dragged
out of the cars and rolled in the mud for several minits, for
the purpose of "takin the conseet out of me," as a Secesher
I was let up finally, when a powerful large Secesher came up
and embraced me, and to show that he had no hard feelins agin
me, put his nose into my mouth. I returned the compliment by
placin my stummick suddenly agin his right foot, when he
kindly made a spittoon of his able-bodied face. Actooated by
a desire to see whether the Secesher had bin vaxinated I then
fastened my teeth onto his left coat-sleeve and tore it to the
shoulder. We then vilently bunted out heads together for a
few minutes, danced around a little, and sot down in a
mudpuddle. We riz to our feet agin and by a sudden and adroit
movement I placed my left eye agin the Secesher's fist. We
then rushed into each other's arms and fell under a two-hoss
wagon. I was very much exhaustid and didn't care about gettin
up agin, but the man sed he reckoned I'd better, and I
conclooded I would. He pulled me up, but I hadn't bin on my
feet more'n two seconds afore the ground flew up and hit me in
the hed. The crowd sed it was high old sport, but I couldn't
zackly see where the lafture come in. I riz and we embraced
agin. We careered madly to a steep bank, when I got the upper
hands of my antaggernist and threw him into the raveen. He
fell about forty feet, striking a grindstone pretty hard. I
understood he was injured. I haven't heard from the
A man in a cockt hat cum up and sed he felt as though a
apology was doo me. There was a mistake. The crowd had taken
me for another man! I told him not to mention it, and axed
him if his wife and little ones was so as to be about, and got
on bored the train, which had stopped at that station "20
minits for refreshments." I got all I wantid. It was the
hartiest meal I ever et.
I was rid on a rale the next day, a bunch of blazin fire
crackers bein tied to my coat tales. It was a fine spectycal
in a dramatic pint of view, but I didn't enjoy it. I had
other adventers of a startlin kind, but why continner? Why
lasserate the Public Boozum with these here things? Suffysit
to say I got across Mason & Dixie's line safe at last. I made
tracks for my humsted, but she to whom I'm harnist for life
failed to recognize, in the emashiated bein who stood before
her, the gushin youth of forty-six summers who had left her
only a few months afore. But I went into the pantry, and
brought out a certin black bottle. Raisin it to my lips, I
sed "Here's to you, old gal!" I did it so natral that she
knowed me at once. "Those form! Them voice! That natral
stile of doin things! 'Tis he!" she cried, and rushed into my
arms. It was too much for her & she fell into a swoon. I cum
very near swoundin myself.
No more to-day from yours for the Pepetration of the Union,
and the bringin of the Goddess of Liberty out of her present
2.3. FOURTH OF JULY ORATION.
Delivered July 4th, at Weathersfield, Connecticut, 1859.
[I delivered the follerin, about two years ago, to a large and
discriminating awjince. I was 96 minits passin a givin pint.
I have revised the orashun, and added sum things which makes
it approposser to the times than it otherwise would be. I
have also corrected the grammers and punktooated it. I do my
own punktooatin now days. The Printers in "Vanity Fair"
offiss can't punktooate worth a cent.]
FELLER CITIZENS: I've bin honored with a invite to norate
before you to-day; and when I say that I skurcely feel ekal to
the task, I'm sure you will believe me.
Weathersfield is justly celebrated for her onyins and
patritism the world over, and to be axed to paws and address
you on this my fust perfeshernal tower threw New Englan,
causes me to feel--to feel--I may say it causes me to FEEL.
(Grate applaws. They thought this was one of my
eccentricities, while the fact is I was stuck. This between
you and I.)
I'm a plane man. I don't know nothin about no ded languages
and am a little shaky on livin ones. There4, expect no flowry
talk from me. What I shall say will be to the pint, right
I'm not a politician and my other habits air good. I've no
enemys to reward, nor friends to sponge. But I'm a Union man.
I luv the Union--it is a Big thing--and it makes my hart bleed
to see a lot of ornery peple a-movin heaven--no, not heaven,
but the other place--and earth, to bust it up. Toe much good
blud was spilt in courtin and marryin that hily respectable
female the Goddess of Liberty, to git a divorce from her now.
My own State of Injianny is celebrated for unhitchin marrid
peple with neatness and dispatch, but you can't get a divorce
from the Goddess up there. Not by no means. The old gal has
behaved herself too well to cast her off now. I'm sorry the
picters don't give her no shoes or stockins, but the band of
stars upon her hed must continner to shine undimd, forever.
I'm for the Union as she air, and withered be the arm of every
ornery cuss who attempts to bust her up. That's me. I hav
sed! [It was a very sweaty day, and at this pint of the
orashun a man fell down with sunstroke. I told the awjince
that considerin the large number of putty gals present I was
more afraid of a DAWTER STROKE. This was impromptoo, and
seemed to amoose them very much.]
Feller Citizens--I hain't got time to notis the growth of
Ameriky frum the time when the Mayflowers cum over in the
Pilgrim and brawt Plymouth Rock with them, but every skool boy
nose our kareer has been tremenjis. You will excuse me if I
don't prase the erly settlers of the Kolonies. Peple which
hung idiotic old wimin for witches, burnt holes in Quakers'
tongues and consined their feller critters to the tredmill and
pillery on the slitest provocashun may hav bin very nice folks
in their way, but I must confess I don't admire their stile,
and will pass them by. I spose they ment well, and so, in the
novel and techin langwidge of the nusepapers, "peas to their
ashis." Thare was no diskount, however, on them brave men who
fit, bled and died in the American Revolushun. We needn't be
afraid of setting 'em up two steep. Like my show, they will
stand any amount of prase. G. Washington was abowt the best
man this world ever sot eyes on. He was a clear-heded,
warm-harted, and stiddy goin man. He never slopt over! The
prevailin weakness of most public men is to SLOP OVER! [Put
them words in large letters--A. W.] They git filled up and
slop. They Rush Things. They travel too much on the high
presher principle. They git on to the fust poplar hobbyhoss
whitch trots along, not carin a sent whether the beest is even
goin, clear sited and sound or spavined, blind and bawky. Of
course they git throwed eventooally, if not sooner. When they
see the multitood goin it blind they go Pel Mel with it,
instid of exerting theirselves to set it right. They can't
see that the crowd which is now bearin them triumfantly on its
shoulders will soon diskiver its error and cast them into the
hoss pond of Oblivyun, without the slitest hesitashun.
Washington never slopt over. That wasn't George's stile. He
luved his country dearly. He wasn't after the spiles. He was
a human angil in a 3 kornerd hat and knee britches, and we
shan't see his like right away. My frends, we can't all be
Washingtons but we kin all be patrits & behave ourselves in a
human and a Christian manner. When we see a brother goin down
hill to Ruin let us not give him a push, but let us seeze rite
hold of his coat tails and draw him back to Morality.
Imagine G. Washington and P. Henry in the character of
seseshers! As well fancy John Bunyan and Dr. Watts in
spangled tites, doin the trapeze in a one-horse circus!
I tell you, feller-citizens, it would have bin ten dollars in
Jeff Davis's pocket if he'd never bin born!
* * * * * * * *
Be shure and vote at leest once at all elecshuns. Buckle on
yer armer and go to the Poles. See two it that your naber is
there. See that the kripples air provided with carriages. Go
to the poles and stay all day. Bewair of the infamous lise
whitch the Opposishun will be sartin to git up fur perlitical
effek on the eve of eleckshun. To the poles and when you git
there vote jest as you darn please. This is a privilege we
all persess, and it is 1 of the booties of this grate and free
I see mutch to admire in New Englan. Your gals in partickular
air abowt as snug bilt peaces of Calliker as I ever saw. They
air fully equal to the corn fed gals of Ohio and Injianny and
will make the bestest kind of wives. It sets my Buzzum on
fire to look at 'em.
Be still, my sole, be still,
& you, Hart, stop cuttin up!
I like your skool houses, your meetin houses, your enterprise,
gumpshun &c., but your favorit Bevridge I disgust. I allude
to New England Rum. It is wuss nor the korn whisky of
Injianny, which eats threw stone jugs & will turn the stummuck
of the most shiftliss Hog. I seldom seek consolashun in the
flowin Bole, but tother day I wurrid down some of your Rum.
The fust glass indused me to sware like a infooriated trooper.
On takin the secund glass I was seezed with a desire to break
winders, & arter imbibin the third glass I knockt a small boy
down, pickt his pocket of a New York Ledger, and wildly
commenced readin Sylvanus Kobb's last Tail. Its drefful
stuff--a sort of lickwid litenin, gut up under the personal
supervishun of the devil--tears men's inards all to peaces and
makes their noses blossum as the Lobster. Shun it as you
would a wild hyeny with a firebrand tied to his tale, and
while you air abowt it you will do a first-rate thing for
yourself and everybody abowt you by shunnin all kinds of
intoxicatin lickers. You don't need 'em no more'n a cat needs
2 tales, sayin nothin abowt the trubble and sufferin they
cawse. But unless your inards air cast iron, avoid New
England's favorite Bevrige.
My frends, I'm dun. I tear myself away from you with tears in
my eyes & a pleasant oder of Onyins abowt my close. In the
langwidge of Mister Catterline to the Rummuns, I go, but
perhaps I shall cum back agin. Adoo, people of Weathersfield.
Be virtoous & you'll be happy!
2.4. THE WAR FEVER IN BALDINSVILLE.
As soon as I'd recooperated my physikil system, I went over
into the village. The peasantry was glad to see me. The
skoolmaster sed it was cheerin to see that gigantic intelleck
among 'em onct more. That's what he called me. I like the
skoolmaster, and allers send him tobacker when I'm off on a
travelin campane. Besides, he is a very sensible man. Such
men must be encouraged.
They don't git news very fast in Baldinsville, as nothin but a
plank road runs in there twice a week, and that's very much
out of repair. So my nabers wasn't much posted up in regard
to the wars. 'Squire Baxter sed he'd voted the dimicratic
ticket for goin on forty year, and the war was a dam black
republican lie. Jo. Stackpole, who kills hogs for the Squire,
and has got a powerful muscle into his arms, sed he'd bet 5
dollars he could lick the Crisis in a fair stand-up fight, if
he wouldn't draw a knife on him. So it went--sum was for war,
and sum was for peace. The skoolmaster, however, sed the
Slave Oligarky must cower at the feet of the North ere a year
had flowed by, or pass over his dead corpse. "Esto perpetua!"
he added! "And sine qua non also!" sed I, sternly, wishing to
make a impression onto the villagers. "Requiescat in pace!"
sed the skoolmaster, "Too troo, too troo!" I anserd, "it's a
The newspapers got along at last, chock full of war, and the
patriotic fever fairly bust out in Baldinsville. 'Squire
Baxter sed he didn't b'lieve in Coercion, not one of 'em, and
could prove by a file of "Eagles of Liberty" in his garrit,
that it was all a Whig lie, got up to raise the price of
whisky and destroy our other liberties. But the old 'Squire
got putty riley, when he heard how the rebels was cuttin up,
and he sed he reckoned he should skour up his old muskit and
do a little square fitin for the Old Flag, which had allers
bin on the ticket HE'D voted, and he was too old to Bolt now.
The 'Squire is all right at heart, but it takes longer for him
to fill his venerable Biler with steam than it used to when he
was young and frisky. As I previously informed you, I am
Captin of the Baldinsville Company. I riz gradooally but
majestically from drummer's Secretary to my present position.
But I found the ranks wasn't full by no means, and commenced
for to recroot. Havin notist a gineral desire on the part of
young men who are into the crisis to wear eppylits, I
detarmined to have my company composed excloosviely of
offissers, everybody to rank as Brigadeer-Ginral. The
follerin was among the varis questions which I put to
Do you know a masked battery from a hunk of gingerbread?
Do you know a eppylit from a piece of chalk?
If I trust you with a real gun, how many men of your own
company do you speck you can manage to kill durin the war?
Hav you ever heard of Ginral Price of Missouri, and can you
avoid simler accidents in case of a battle?
Have you ever had the measles, and if so, how many?
How air you now?
Show me your tongue, &c., &c. Sum of the questions was
The company filled up rapid, and last Sunday we went to the
meetin house in full uniform. I had a seris time gittin into
my military harness, as it was bilt for me many years ago; but
I finally got inside of it, tho' it fitted me putty clost.
Howsever, onct into it, I lookt fine--in fact, aw-inspirin.
"Do you know me, Mrs. Ward?" sed I, walking into the kitchin.
"Know you, you old fool? Of course I do."
I saw at once she did.
I started for the meetin house, and I'm afraid I tried to walk
too strate, for I cum very near fallin over backards; and in
attemptin to recover myself, my sword got mixed up with my
legs, and I fell in among a choice collection of young ladies,
who was standin near the church door a-seein the sojer boys
come up. My cockt hat fell off, and sumhow my coat tales got
twisted round my neck. The young ladies put their
handkerchers to their mouths and remarked: "Te he," while my
ancient female single friend, Sary Peasley, bust out in a loud
larf. She exercised her mouth so vilently that her new false
teeth fell out onto the ground.
"Miss Peaseley," sed I, gittin up and dustin myself, "you must
be more careful with them store teeth of your'n or you'll have
to gum it agin!"
Methinks I had her.
I'd bin to work hard all the week, and I felt rather snoozy.
I'm 'fraid I did git half asleep, for on hearin the minister
ask, "Why was man made to mourn?" I sed, "I giv it up," havin
a vague idee that it was a condrum. It was a onfortnit
remark, for the whole meetin house lookt at me with mingled
surprise and indignation. I was about risin to a pint of
order, when it suddenly occurd to me whare I was, and I kept
my seat, blushin like the red, red rose--so to speak.
The next mornin I 'rose with the lark (N.B.--I don't sleep
with the lark, tho.' A goak).
My little dawter was execootin ballids, accompanyin herself
with the Akordeon, and she wisht me to linger and hear her
sing: "Hark I hear a angel singin, a angel now is onto the
"Let him fly, my child!" sed I, a-bucklin on my armer; "I must
forth to my Biz."
We air progressin pretty well with our drill. As all air
commandin offissers, there ain't no jelusy, and as we air all
exceedin smart, it t'aint worth while to try to outstrip each
other. The idee of a company composed excloosively of
Commanders-in-Chiefs, orriggernated, I spose I skurcely need
say, in these Brane. Considered AS a idee, I flatter myself
it is putty hefty. We've got all the tackticks at our tongs'
ends, but what we particly excel in is restin muskits. We can
rest muskits with anybody.
Our corpse will do its dooty. We go to the aid of Columby--we
fight for the stars!
We'll be chopt into sassige meat before we'll exhibit our
cote-tales to the foe.
We'll fight till there's nothin left of us but our little toes
and even they shall defiantly wiggle!
"Ever of thee,"
2.5. A WAR MEETING.
Our complaint just now is war meetin's. They've bin havin 'em
bad in varis parts of our cheerful Republic, and nat'rally we
caught 'em here in Baldinsville. They broke out all over us.
They're better attended than the Eclipse was.
I remember how people poured into our town last Spring to see
the Eclipse. They labored into a impression that they
couldn't see it to home, and so they cum up to our place. I
cleared a very handsome amount of money by exhibitin' the
Eclipse to 'em, in an open-top tent. But the crowds is bigger
now. Posey County is aroused. I may say, indeed, that the
pra-hay-ories of Injianny is on fire.
Our big meetin' came off the other night, and our old friend
of the "Bugle" was elected Cheerman.
The "Bugle-Horn of Liberty" is one of Baldinsville's most
eminentest institootions. The advertisements are well-
written, and the deaths and marriages are conducted with
signal ability. The editor, MR. SLINKERS, is a polish'd,
skarcastic writer. Folks in these parts will not soon forgit
how he used up the "Eagle of Freedom," a family journal
published at Snootville, near here. The controversy was about
a plank road. "The road may be, as our cotemporary says, a
humbug; but OUR aunt isn't bald-heded, and WE haven't got a
one-eyed sister Sal! Wonder if the Editor of the "Eagle of
Freedom" sees it?" This used up the "Eagle of Freedom"
feller, because his aunt's head does present a skinn'd
appearance, and his sister SARAH is very much one-eyed. For a
genteel home-thrust, MR. SLINKERS has few ekals. He is a man
of great pluck likewise. He has a fierce nostril, and I
believe upon my soul that if it wasn't absolootly necessary
for him to remain here and announce in his paper, from week to
week, that "our Gov'ment is about to take vig'rous measures to
put down the rebellion"--I b'lieve, upon my soul, this
illustris man would enlist as a Brigadier Gin'ral, and git his
. . . .
I was fixin myself up to attend the great war meetin', when my
daughter entered with a young man who was evijently from the
city, and who wore long hair, and had a wild expression into
his eye. In one hand he carried a port-folio, and his other
paw claspt a bunch of small brushes. My daughter introduced
him as MR. SWEIBIER, the distinguished landscape painter from
"He is a artist, papa. Here is one of his master-pieces--a
young mother gazin' admirin'ly upon her first-born," and my
daughter showed me a really pretty picter, done in ile. "Is
it not beautiful, papa? He throws so much soul into his
"Does he? does he?" said I--"well, I reckon I'd better hire
him to whitewash our fence. It needs it. What will you
charge, sir," I continued, "to throw some soul into my fence?"
My daughter went out of the room in very short meeter, takin'
the artist with her, and from the emphatical manner in which
the door slam'd, I concluded she was summat disgusted at my
remarks. She closed the door, I may say, in ITALICS. I went
into the closet and larfed all alone by myself for over half
an hour. I larfed so vi'lently that the preserve jars rattled
like a cavalry offisser's sword and things, which it aroused
my BETSY, who came and opened the door pretty suddent. She
seized me by the few lonely hairs that still linger sadly upon
my bare-footed hed, and dragged me out of the closet,
incidentally obsarving that she didn't exactly see why she
should be compelled, at her advanced stage of life, to open a
assylum for sooperanooated idiots.
My wife is one of the best wimin on this continent, altho' she
isn't always gentle as a lamb, with mint sauce. No, not
But to return to the war meetin'. It was largely attended.
The Editor of the "Bugle" arose and got up and said the fact
could no longer be disguised that we were involved in a war.
"Human gore," said he, "is flowin'. All able-bodied men
should seize a musket and march to the tented field. I repeat
it sir, to the tented field."
A voice--"Why don't you go yourself, you old blowhard?"
"I am identified, young man, with a Arkymedian leaver which
moves the world," said the Editor, wiping his auburn brow with
his left coat-tail; "I allude, young man, to the press:
Terms, two dollars a year, invariably in advance. Job
printing executed with neatness and dispatch!" And with this
brilliant bust of elekance the Editor introduced Mr. J. Brutus
Hinkins, who is suffering from an attack of College in a
naberin' place. Mr. Hinkins said Washington was not safe.
Who can save our national capeetle?
"DAN SETCHELL," I said. "He can do it afternoons. Let him
plant his light and airy form onto the Long Bridge, make faces
at the hirelin' foe, and they'll skedaddle! Old SETCH can do
"I call the Napoleon of Showmen," said the Editor of the
"Bugle,"--"I call that Napoleonic man, whose life is adorned
with so many noble virtues, and whose giant mind lights up
this warlike scene--I call him to order."
I will remark, in this connection, that the Editor of the
"Bugle" does my job printing.
"You," said Mr. Hinkins, "who live away from the busy haunts
of men do not comprehend the magnitood of the crisis. The
busy haunts of men is where people comprehend this crisis. We
who live in the busy haunts of men--that is to say, we dwell,
as it were, in the busy haunts of men."
"I really trust that the gen'l'man will not fail to say
suthin' about the busy haunts of men before he sits down,"
"I claim the right to express my sentiments here," said Mr.
Hinkins, in a slightly indignant tone, "and I shall brook no
interruption, if I am a Softmore."
"You couldn't be MORE SOFT, my young friend," I observed,
whereupon there was cries of Order! order!"
"I regret I can't mingle in this strife personally," said the
"You might inlist as a liberty-pole," said I, in a silvery
"But," he added, "I have a voice, and that voice is for war."
The young man then closed his speech with some strikin and
orginal remarks in relation to the star-spangled banner. He
was followed by the village minister, a very worthy man
indeed, but whose sermons have a tendency to make people sleep
"I am willin' to inlist for one," he said.
"What's your weight, parson?" I asked.
"A hundred and sixty pounds," he said.
"Well, you can inlist as a hundred and sixty pounds of
morphine, your dooty bein' to stand in the hospitals arter a
battle, and preach while the surgical operations is bein'
performed! Think how much you'd save the Gov'ment in
He didn't seem to see it; but he made a good speech, and the
editor of the "Bugle" rose to read the resolutions, commencin'
RESOLVED, That we view with anxiety the fact that there is now
a war goin' on, and
RESOLVED, That we believe Stonewall Jackson sympathizes with
the secession movement, and that we hope the nine-months men--
At this point he was interrupted by the sounds of silvery
footsteps on the stairs, and a party of wimin, carryin' guns
and led by BETSY JANE, who brandish'd a loud and rattlin'
umbereller, burst into the room.
"Here," cried I, "are some nine-months wimin!"
"Mrs. Ward," said the editor of the "Bugle"--"Mrs. WARD and
ladies, what means this extr'ord'n'ry demonstration?"
"It means," said that remarkable female "that you men air
makin' fools of yourselves. You air willin' to talk and urge
others to go to the wars, but you don't go to the wars
yourselves. War meetin's is very nice in their way, but they
don't keep STONEWALL JACKSON from comin' over to Maryland and
helpin' himself to the fattest beef critters. What we want is
more cider and less talk. We want you able-bodied men to stop
speechifying, which don't 'mount to the wiggle of a sick cat's
tail, and to go fi'tin'; otherwise you can stay to home and
take keer of the children, while we wimin will go to the
"Gentl'man," said I, "that's my wife! Go in, old gal!" and I
throw'd up my ancient white hat in perfeck rapters.
"Is this roll-book to be filled up with the names of men or
wimin?" she cried.
"With men--with men!" and our quoty was made up that very
There is a great deal of gas about these war meetin's. A war
meetin', in fact, without gas, would be suthin' like the play
of HAMLET with the part of OTHELLO omitted.
Still believin' that the Goddess of Liberty is about as well
sot up with as any young lady in distress could expect to be,
Yours more'n anybody else's,
2.6. THE DRAFT IN BALDINSVILLE.
If I'm drafted I shall RESIGN.
Deeply grateful for the onexpected honor thus confered upon me
I shall feel compeld to resign the position in favor of sum
more worthy person. Modesty is what ails me. That's what's
kept me under.
I meanter-say, I shall hav to resign if I'm drafted
everywheres I've bin inrold. I must now, furrinstuns, be
inrold in upards of 200 different towns. If I'd kept on
travelin' I should hav eventooaly becum a Brigade, in which
case I could have held a meetin' and elected myself Brigadeer-
ginral quite unanimiss. I hadn't no idea there was so many of
me before. But, serisly, I concluded to stop exhibitin', and
made tracks for Baldinsville.
My only daughter threw herself onto my boosum, and said, "It
is me fayther! I thank the gods!"
She reads the "Ledger."
"Tip us yer bunch of fives, old faker!" said ARTEMUS, Jr. He
reads the "Clipper."
My wife was to the sowin' circle. I knew she and the wimin
folks was havin' a pleasant time slanderin' the females of the
OTHER sowin' circle (which likewise met that arternoon, and
was doubtless enjoyin' theirselves ekally well in slanderin'
the fust-named circle), and I didn't send for her. I allus
like to see people enjoy theirselves.
My son ORGUSTUS was playin' onto a floot.
ORGUSTUS is a ethereal cuss. The twins was bildin' cob-houses
in a corner of the kitchin'.
It'll cost some postage-stamps to raise this fam'ly, and yet
it 'ud go hard with the old man to lose any lamb of the flock.
An old bachelor is a poor critter. He may have hearn the
skylark or (what's nearly the same thing) MISS KELLOGG and
CARLOTTY PATTI sing; he may have hearn OLE BULL fiddle, and
all the DODWORTHS toot, an' yet he don't know nothin' about
music--the real, ginuine thing--the music of the laughter of
happy, well-fed children! And you may ax the father of sich
children home to dinner, feelin werry sure there'll be no
spoons missin' when he goes away. Sich fathers never drop tin
five-cent pieces into the contribution box, nor palm shoe-pegs
off onto blind hosses for oats, nor skedaddle to British sile
when their country's in danger--nor do anything which is
really mean. I don't mean to intimate that the old bachelor
is up to little games of this sort--not at all--but I repeat,
he's a poor critter. He don't live here; only stays. He
ought to 'pologize on behalf of his parients, for bein' here
at all. The happy marrid man dies in good stile at home,
surrounded by his weeping wife and children. The old bachelor
don't die at all--he sort of rots away, like a pollywog's
. . . .
My townsmen were sort o' demoralized. There was a evident
desine to ewade the Draft, as I obsarved with sorrer, and
patritism was below Par--and MAR, too. [A jew desprit.] I
hadn't no sooner sot down on the piazzy of the tavoun than I
saw sixteen solitary hossmen, ridin' four abreast, wendin'
their way up the street.
"What's them? Is it cavilry?"
"That," said the landlord, "is the stage. Sixteen able-bodied
citizens has literally bo't the stage line 'tween here and
Scotsburg. That's them. They're Stage-drivers. Stage-
drivers is exempt!"
I saw that each stage-driver carried a letter in his left
"The mail is hevy, to-day," said the landlord. "Gin'rally
they don't have more'n half a dozen letters 'tween 'em. To-
day they're got one a piece! Bile my lights and liver!"
"And the passengers?"
"There ain't any, skacely, now-days," said the landlord, "and
what few ther is very much prefer to walk, the roads is so
"And how ist with you?" I inquired of the editor of the
"Bugle-Horn of Liberty," who sot near me.
"I can't go," he said, shakin' his head in a wise way.
"Ordinarily I should delight to wade in gore, but my bleedin'
country bids me stay at home. It is imperatively necessary
that I remain here for the purpose of announcin', from week to
week, that OUR GOV'MENT IS ABOUT TO TAKE VIGOROUS MEASURES TO
PUT DOWN THE REBELLION!"
I strolled into the village oyster-saloon, where I found Dr.
SCHWAZEY, a leadin' citizen in a state of mind which showed
that he'd bin histin' in more'n his share of pizen.
"Hello, old Beeswax," he bellered; "how's yer grandmams? When
you goin' to feed your stuffed animils?"
"What's the matter with the eminent physician?" I pleasantly
"This," he said; "this is what's the matter. I'm a habit-ooal
drunkard! I'm exempt!"
"Do you see them beans, old man?" and he pinted to a plate
before him. "Do you see 'em?"
"I do. They are a cheerful fruit when used tempritly."
"Well," said he, "I hadn't eat anything since last week. I
eat beans now BECAUSE I eat beans THEN. I never mix my
"It's quite proper you should eat a little suthin' once in a
while," I said. "It's a good idee to occasionally instruct
the stummick that it mustn't depend excloosively on licker for
"A blessin'," he cried; "a blessin' onto the hed of the man
what invented beans. A blessin' onto his hed!"
"Which his name is GILSON! He's a first family of Bostin,"
. . . .
This is a speciment of how things was goin' in my place of
. . . .
A few was true blue. The schoolmaster was among 'em. He
greeted me warmly. He said I was welkim to those shores. He
said I had a massiv mind. It was gratifyin', he said, to see
the great intelleck stalkin' in their midst onct more. I have
before had occasion to notice this schoolmaster. He is
evidently a young man of far more than ord'nary talents.
The schoolmaster proposed we should git up a mass meetin'.
The meetin' was largely attended. We held it in the open air
round a roarin' bonfire.
The schoolmaster was the first orator. He's pretty good on
the speak. He also writes well, his composition bein' seldom
marred by ingrammatticisms. He said this inactivity surprised
him. "What do you expect will come of this kind of doin's?
"Hooray for Nihil!" I interrupted. "Fellow-citizens, let's
giv three cheers for Nihil, the man who fit!"
The schoolmaster turned a little red, but repeated--"Nihil
"Exactly," I said. "Nihil FIT. He wasn't a strategy feller."
"Our venerable friend," said the schoolmaster, smilin'
pleasantly, "isn't posted in Virgil."
"No, I don't know him. But if he's a able-bodied man he must
stand his little draft."
The schoolmaster wound up in eloquent style, and the
subscriber took the stand.
I said the crisis had not only cum itself, but it had brought
all its relations. It has cum, I said, with a evident
intention of makin' us a good long visit. It's goin' to take
off its things and stop with us. My wife says so too. This
is a good war. For those who like this war, it's just such a
kind of war as they like. I'll bet ye. My wife says so too.
If the Federal army succeeds in takin' Washington, and they
seem to be advancin' that way pretty often, I shall say it is
strategy, and Washington will be safe. And that noble banner,
as it were--that banner, as it were--will be a emblem, or
rather, I should say, that noble banner--AS IT WERE. My wife
says so too. [I got a little mixed up here, but they didn't
notice it. Keep mum.] Feller citizens, it will be a proud
day for this Republic when Washington is safe. My wife says
The editor of the "Bugle-Horn of Liberty" here arose and said:
"I do not wish to interrupt the gentleman, but a impertant
despatch has just bin received at the telegraph office here.
I will read it. It is as follows: GOV'MENT IS ABOUT TO TAKE
VIGOROUS MEASURES TO PUT DOWN THE REBELLION! [Loud applause.]
That, said I, is cheering. That's soothing. And Washington
will be safe. [Sensation.] Philadelphia is safe. Gen.
PATTERSON'S in Philadelphia. But my heart bleeds partic'ly
for Washington. My wife says so too.
There's money enough. No trouble about MONEY. They've got a
lot of first-class bank-note engravers at Washington (which
place, I regret to say, is by no means safe) who turn out two
or three cords of money a day--good money, too. Goes well.
These bank-note engravers made good wages. I expect they lay
up property. They are full of Union sentiment. There is
considerable Union sentiment in Virginny, more especially
among the honest farmers of the Shenandoah valley. My wife
says so too.
Then it isn't money we want. But we do want MEN, and we must
have them. We must carry a whirlwind of fire among the foe.
We must crush the ungrateful rebels who are poundin' the
Goddess of Liberty over the head with slung-shots, and
stabbin' her with stolen knives! We must lick 'em quick. We
must introduce a large number of first-class funerals among
the people of the South. Betsy says so too.
This war hain't been too well managed. We all know that.
What then? We are all in the same boat--if the boat goes
down, we go down with her. Hence we must all fight. It ain't
no use to talk now about who CAUSED the war. That's played
out. The war is upon us--upon us all--and we must all fight.
We can't "reason" the matter with the foe. When, in the broad
glare of the noonday sun, a speckled jackass boldly and
maliciously kicks over a peanut-stand, do we "reason" with
him? I guess not. And why "reason" with those other Southern
people who are trying to kick over the Republic! Betsy, my
wife, says so too.
The meeting broke up with enthusiasm.
We shan't draft in Baldinsville if we can help it.
2.7. SURRENDER OF CORNWALLIS.
It was customary in many of the inland towns of New England,
some thirty years ago, to celebrate the anniversary of the
surrender of Lord Cornwallis by a sham representation of that
important event in the history of the Revolutionary War. A
town meeting would be called, at which a company of men would
be detailed as British, and a company as Americans--two
leading citizens being selected to represent Washington and
Cornwallis in mimic surrender.
The pleasant little town of W--, in whose schools the writer
has been repeatedly "corrected," upon whose ponds he has often
skated, upon whose richest orchards he has, with other
juvenile bandits, many times dashed in the silent midnight;
the town of W--, where it was popularly believed these bandits
would "come to a bad end," resolved to celebrate the
surrender. Rival towns had celebrated, and W-- determined to
eclipse them in the most signal manner. It is my privilege to
tell how W-- succeeded in this determination.
The great day came. It was ushered in by the roar of
musketry, the ringing of the village church bell, the
squeaking of fifes, and the rattling of drums.
People poured into the village from all over the county.
Never had W-- experienced such a jam. Never had there been
such an onslaught upon gingerbread carts. Never had New
England rum (for this was before Neal Dow's day) flowed so
freely. And W--'s fair daughters, who mounted the house-tops
to see the surrender, had never looked fairer. The old folks
came, too, and among them were several war-scarred heroes, who
had fought gallantly at Monmouth and Yorktown. These brave
sons of '76 took no part in the demonstration, but an honored
bench was set apart for their exclusive use on the piazza of
Sile Smith's store. When they were dry all they had to do was
to sing out to Sile's boy, Jerry, "a leetle New Englan' this
way, if YOU please." It was brought forthwith.
At precisely 9 o'clock, by the schoolmaster's new "Lepeen"
watch, the American and British forces marched on to the
village green and placed themselves in battle array, reminding
the spectator of the time when
"Brave Wolfe drew up his men
In a style most pretty,
On the Plains of Abraham
Before the city."
The character of Washington had been assigned to 'Squire Wood,
a well-to-do and influential farmer, while that of Cornwallis
had been given to the village lawyer, a kind-hearted but
rather pompous person, whose name was Caleb Jones.
'Squire Wood, the Washington of the occasion, had met with
many unexpected difficulties in preparing his forces, and in
his perplexity he had emptied not only his own canteen but
those of most of his aids. The consequence was--mortifying as
it must be to all true Americans--blushing as I do to tell it,
Washington at the commencement of the mimic struggle was most
The sham fight commenced. Bang! bang! bang! from the
Americans--bang! bang! bang! from the British. The bangs were
kept hotly up until the powder gave out, and then came the
order to charge. Hundreds of wooden bayonets flashed fiercely
in the sunlight, each soldier taking very good care not to hit
"Thaz (hic) right," shouted Washington, who during the
shooting had been racing his horse wildly up and down the
line, "thaz right! GIN it to 'em! Cut their tarnal heads
"On, Romans!" shrieked Cornwallis, who had once seen a
theatrical performance and remembered the heroic appeals of
the Thespian belligerents, "on to the fray! No sleep till
"Let eout all their bowels," yelled Washington, "and down with
taxation on tea!"
The fighting now ceased, the opposing forces were properly
arranged, and Cornwallis, dismounting, prepared to present his
sword to Washington according to programme. As he walked
slowly towards the Father of His Country he rehearsed the
little speech he had committed for the occasion, while the
illustrious being who was to hear it was making desperate
efforts to keep in his saddle. Now he would wildly brandish
his sword and narrowly escape cutting off his horse's ears,
and then he would fall suddenly forward on to the steed's
neck, grasping the mane as drowning men seize hold of straws.
He was giving an inimitable representation of Toodles on
horseback. All idea of the magnitude of the occasion had left
him, and when he saw Cornwallis approaching, with slow and
stately step, and sword-hilt extended toward him, he inquired,
"What'n devil YOU want, any (hic) how!"
"General Washington," said Cornwallis, in dignified and
impressive tones, "I tender you my sword. I need not inform
you, Sir, how deeply--"
The speech was here suddenly cut short by Washington, who,
driving the spurs into his horse, playfully attempted to ride
over the commander of the British forces. He was not
permitted to do this, for his aids, seeing his unfortunate
condition, seized the horse by the bridle, straightened
Washington up in his saddle, and requested Cornwallis to
proceed with his remarks.
"General Washington," said Cornwallis, "the British Lion
prostrates himself at the feet of the American Eagle!"
"EAGLE? EAGLE!" yelled the infuriated Washington, rolling off
his horse and hitting Cornwallis a frightful blow on the head
with the flat of his sword, "do you call me a EAGLE, you mean,
sneakin' cuss?" He struck him again, sending him to the
ground, and said, "I'll learn you to call me a Eagle, you
Cornwallis remained upon the ground only a moment. Smarting
from the blows he had received, he arose with an entirely
unlooked for recuperation on the part of the fallen, and in
direct defiance of historical example; in spite of the men of
both nations, indeed, he whipped the Immortal Washington until
he roared for mercy.
The Americans, at first mortified and indignant at the conduct
of their chief, now began to sympathize with him, and resolved
to whip their mock foes in earnest. They rushed fiercely upon
them, but the British were really the stronger party and drove
the Americans back. Not content with this they charged madly
upon them and drove them from the field--from the village, in
fact. There were many heads damaged, eyes draped in mourning,
noses fractured and legs lamed--it is a wonder that no one was
Washington was confined to his house for several weeks, but he
recovered at last. For a time there was a coolness between
himself and Cornwallis, but they finally concluded to join the
whole county in laughing about the surrender.
They live now. Time, the "artist," has thoroughly whitewashed
their heads, but they are very jolly still. On town meeting
days the old 'Squire always rides down to the village. In the
hind part of his venerable yellow wagon is always a bunch of
hay, ostensibly for the old white horse, but really to hide a
glass bottle from the vulgar gaze. This bottle has on one
side a likeness of Lafayette, and upon the other may be seen
the Goddess of Liberty. What the bottle contains inside I
cannot positively say, but it is true that 'Squire Wood and
Lawyer Jones visit that bottle very frequently on town-meeting
days and come back looking quite red in the face. When this
redness in the face becomes of the blazing kind, as it
generally does by the time the polls close, a short dialogue
like this may be heard.
"We shall never play surrender again, Lawyer Jones."
"Them days is over, 'Squire Wood!"
2.8. THINGS IN NEW YORK.
The stoodent and connyseer must have noticed and admired in
varis parts of the United States of America large yeller
hanbills, which not only air gems of art in theirselves, but
they troothfully sit forth the attractions of my show--a show,
let me here obsarve, that contains many livin' wild animils,
every one of which has got a Beautiful Moral.
Them hanbills is sculpt in New York.
& I annoolly repair here to git some more on 'um;
&, bein' here, I tho't I'd issoo a Adress to the public on
matters and things.
Since last I meyandered these streets, I have bin all over the
Pacific Slopes and Utah. I cum back now, with my virtoo
unimpaired; but I've got to git some new clothes.
Many changes has taken place, even durin' my short absence, &
sum on um is Sollum to contempulate. The house in Varick
street, where I used to Board, is bein' torn down. That
house, which was rendered memoriable by my livin' into it, is
"parsin' away! parsin' away!" But some of the timbers will be
made into canes, which will be sold to my admirers at the low
price of one dollar each. Thus is changes goin' on
continerly. In the New World it is war--in the Old World
Empires is totterin' & Dysentaries is crumblin'. These canes
is cheap at a dollar.
Sammy Booth, Duane street, sculps my hanbills, & he's artist.
He studid in Rome--State of New York.
I'm here to read the proof-sheets of my hanbils as fast as
they're sculpt. You have to watch these ere printers pretty
close, for they're jest as apt to spel a wurd rong as anyhow.
But I have time to look around sum & how do I find things? I
return to the Atlantic States after a absence of ten months, &
what State do I find the country in? Why I don't know what
State I find it in. Suffice it to say, that I do not find it
in the State of New Jersey.
I find sum things that is cheerin', particly the resolve on
the part of the wimin of America to stop wearin' furrin goods.
I never meddle with my wife's things. She may wear muslin
from Greenland's icy mountains, and bombazeen from Injy's
coral strands, if she wants to; but I'm glad to state that
that superior woman has peeled off all her furrin clothes and
jumpt into fabrics of domestic manufactur.
But, says sum folks, if you stop importin' things you stop the
revenoo. That's all right. We can stand it if the Revenoo
can. On the same principle young men should continer to get
drunk on French brandy and to smoke their livers as dry as a
corn-cob with Cuby cigars because 4-sooth if they don't, it
will hurt the Revenoo! This talk 'bout the Revenoo is of the
bosh boshy. One thing is tol'bly certin--if we don't send
gold out of the country we shall have the consolation of
knowing that it is in the country. So I say great credit is
doo the wimin for this patriotic move--and to tell the trooth,
the wimin genrally know what they're bout. Of all the
blessins they're the soothinist. If there'd never bin any
wimin, where would my children be to-day?
But I hope this move will lead to other moves that air just as
much needed, one of which is a genral and therrer curtainment
of expenses all round. The fact is we air gettin' ter'bly
extravgant, and onless we paws in our mad career in less than
two years the Goddess of Liberty will be seen dodgin' into a
Pawn Broker's shop with the other gown done up in a bundle,
even if she don't have to Spout the gold stars in her
head-band. Let us all take hold jintly, and live and dress
centsibly, like our forefathers who know'd moren we do, if
they warnt quite so honest! (Suttle goaketh.)
There air other cheerin' signs for Ameriky. We don't, for
instuns, lack great Gen'rals, and we certinly don't brave
sojers--but there's one thing I wish we did lack, and that is
our present Congress.
I venture to say that if you sarch the earth all over with a
ten-hoss power mikriscope, you won't be able to find such
another pack of poppycock gabblers as the present Congress of
the United States of America would be able to find--find among
Gentleman of the Senit & of the House, you've sot there and
draw'd your pay and made summer-complaint speeches long enuff.
The country at large, incloodin' the undersined, is disgusted
with you. Why don't you show us a statesman--sumbody who can
make a speech that will hit the pop'lar hart right under the
great Public weskit? Why don't you show us a statesman who
can rise up to the Emergency, and cave in the Emergency's
Congress, you won't do. Go home, you mizzerable devils--go
At a special Congressional 'lection in my district the other
day I delib'ritly voted for Henry Clay. I admit that Henry is
dead, but inasmuch as we don't seem to have a live statesman
in our National Congress, let us by all means have a first-
Them who think that a cane made from the timbers of the house
I once boarded in is essenshall to their happiness, should not
delay about sendin' the money right on for one.
My reported captur by the North American savijis of Utah, led
my wide circle of friends and creditors to think that I had
bid adoo to earthly things and was a angel playin' on a golden
harp. Hents my rival home was on expected.
It was 11, P.M., when I reached my homestid and knockt a
healthy knock on the door thereof.
A nightcap thrusted itself out of the front chamber winder.
(It was my Betsy's nightcap.) And a voice said:
"Who is it?"
"It is a Man!" I answered, in a gruff vois.
"I don't b'lieve it!" she sed.
"Then come down and search me," I replied.
Then resumin' my nat'ral voice, I said, "It is your own A. W.,
Betsy! Sweet lady, wake! Ever of thou!"
"Oh," she said, "it's you, is it? I thought I smelt
But the old girl was glad to see me.
In the mornin' I found that my family were entertainin' a
artist from Philadelphy, who was there paintin' some startlin
water-falls and mountains, and I morin suspected he had a
hankerin' for my oldest dauter.
"Mr. Skimmerhorn, father," sed my dauter.
"Glad to see you, Sir!" I replied in a hospittle vois--"Glad
to see you."
"He is an artist, father," sed my child.
"An artist. A painter."
"And glazier," I askt. "Air you a painter and glazier, sir?"
My dauter and wife was mad, but I couldn't help it; I felt in
a comikil mood.
"It is a wonder to me, Sir," sed the artist, "considerin what
a widespread reputation you have, that some of our Eastern
managers don't secure you."
"It's a wonder to me," said I to my wife, "that somebody don't
secure him with a chain."
After breakfast I went over to town to see my old friends.
The editor of the "Bugle" greeted me cordyully, and showed me
the follerin' article he'd just written about the paper on the
other side of the street:
"We have recently put up in our office an entirely new sink,
of unique construction--with two holes through which the
soiled water may pass to the new bucket underneath. What will
the hell-hounds of "The Advertiser" say to this! We shall
continue to make improvements as fast as our rapidly
increasing business may warrant. Wonder whether a certain
editor's wife thinks she can palm off a brass watch-chain on
this community for a gold one?"
"That," says the Editor, "hits him whar he lives. That will
close him up as bad as it did when I wrote an article
ridicooling his sister, who's got a cock-eye."
A few days after my return I was shown a young man, who says
he'll be Dam if he goes to the war. He was settin' on a
barrel, and was indeed a Loathsum objeck.
Last Sunday I heard Parson Batkins preach, and the good old
man preached well, too, tho' his prayer was ruther lengthy.
The Editor of the "Bugle," who was with me, sed that prayer
would make fifteen squares, solid nonparil.
I don't think of nothin' more to write about. So, "B'leeve me
if all those endearing young charms," &c., &c.
2.9. TOUCHING LETTER FROM A GORY MEMBER OF THE HOME GUARD.
Broadway, Dec. 10, '61.
Dear Father and Mother,--We are all getting along very well.
We mess at Delmonico's. Do not repine for your son. Some
must suffer for the glorious Stars and Stripes, and dear
parents, why shouldn't I? Tell Mrs. Skuller that we do not
need the blankets she so kindly sent to us, as we bunk at the
St. Nicholas and Metropolitan. What our brave lads stand most
in need of now is Fruit Cake and Waffles. Do not weep for me.
2.10. IN CANADA.
I'm at present existin' under a monikal form of Gov'ment. In
other words I'm travellin' among the crowned heds of Canady.
They ain't pretty bad people. On the cont'ry, they air
exceedin' good people.
Troo, they air deprived of many blessins. They don't enjoy
for instans, the priceless boon of a war. They haven't any
American Egil to onchain, and they hain't got a Fourth of July
to their backs.
Altho' this is a monikal form of Gov'ment, I am onable to
perceeve much moniky. I tried to git a piece in Toronto, but
failed to succeed.
Mrs. VICTORIA, who is Queen of England, and has all the
luxuries of the markets, includin' game in its season, don't
bother herself much about Canady, but lets her do 'bout as
she's mighter. She, however, gin'rally keeps her supplied
with a lord, who's called a Gov'ner Gin'ral. Sometimes the
politicians of Canady make it lively for this lord--for Canady
has politicians, and I expect they don't differ from our
politicians, some of 'em bein' gifted and talented liars, no
The present Gov'ner Gin'ral of Canady is Lord MONK. I saw him
review some volunteers at Montreal. He was accompanied by
some other lords and dukes and generals and those sort of
things. He rode a little bay horse, and his close wasn't any
better than mine. You'll always notiss, by the way, that the
higher up in the world a man is, the less good harness he puts
on. Hence Gin'ral HALLECK walks the streets in plain
citizen's dress, while the second lieutenant of a volunteer
regiment piles all the brass things he can find onto his back,
and drags a forty-pound sword after him.
Monk has been in the lord bisniss some time, and I understand
it pays, tho' I don't know what a lord's wages is. The wages
of sin is death and postage stamps. But this has nothing to
do with MONK.
One of Lord MONK'S daughters rode with him on the field. She
has golden hair, a kind, good face, and wore a red hat. I
should be very happy to have her pay me and my family a visit
at Baldinsville. Come and bring your knittin', Miss MONK.
Mrs. WARD will do the fair thing by you. She makes the best
slap-jacks in America. As a slap-jackist, she has no ekal.
She wears the Belt.
What the review was all about, I don't know. I haven't a
gigantic intelleck, which can grasp great questions at onct.
I am not a WEBSTER or a SEYMOUR. I am not a WASHINGTON or a
OLD ABE. Fur from it. I am not as gifted a man as HENRY WARD
BEECHER. Even the congregation of Plymouth Meetin'-House in
Brooklyn will admit that. Yes, I should think so. But while
I don't have the slitest idee as to what the review was fur, I
will state that the sojers looked pooty scrumptious in their
red and green close.
Come with me, jentle reader, to Quebeck. Quebeck was surveyed
and laid out by a gentleman who had been afflicted with the
delirium tremens from childhood, and hence his idees of things
was a little irreg'ler. The streets don't lead anywheres in
partic'ler, but everywheres in gin'ral. The city is bilt on a
variety of perpendicler hills, each hill bein' a trifle wuss
nor t'other one. Quebeck is full of stone walls, and arches,
and citadels and things. It is said no foe could ever git
into Quebeck, and I guess they couldn't. And I don't see what
they'd WANT to get in there for.
Quebeck has seen lively times in a warlike way. The French
and Britishers had a set-to there in 1759. JIM WOLFE
commanded the latters, and JO. MONTCALM the formers. Both
were hunky boys, and fit nobly. But WOLFE was too many
measles for MONTCALM, and the French was slew'd. WOLFE and
MONTCALM was both killed. In arter years a common monyment
was erected by the gen'rous people of Quebeck, aided by a
bully Earl named GEORGE DALHOUSIE, to these noble fellows.
That was well done.
Durin' the Revolutionary War B. ARNOLD made his way, through
dense woods and thick snows, from Maine to Quebeck, which it
was one of the hunkiest things ever done in the military line.
It would have been better if B. ARNOLD'S funeral had come off
immeditly on his arrival there.
On the Plains of Abraham there was onct some tall fitin', and
ever since then there has been a great demand for the bones of
the slew'd on that there occasion. But the real ginooine
bones was long ago carried off, and now the boys make a hansum
thing by cartin' the bones of hosses and sheep out there, and
sellin' 'em to intelligent American towerists. Takin' a
perfessional view of this dodge, I must say that it betrays
genius of a lorfty character.
It reminded me of a inspired feet of my own. I used to
exhibit a wax figger of HENRY WILKINS, the Boy Murderer.
HENRY had, in a moment of inadvertence, killed his Uncle
EPHRAM and walked off with the old man's money. Well, this
stattoo was lost somehow, and not sposin' it would make any
particler difference I substitooted the full-grown stattoo of
one of my distinguished piruts for the Boy Murderer. One
night I exhibited to a poor but honest audience in the town of
Stoneham, Maine. "This, ladies and gentlemen," said I,
pointing my umbrella (that weapon which is indispensable to
every troo American) to the stattoo, "this is a life-like wax
figger of the notorious HENRY WILKINS, who in the dead of
night murdered his Uncle EPHRAM in cold blood. A sad warning
to all uncles havin' murderers for nephews. When a mere child
this HENRY WILKINS was compelled to go to the Sunday-school.
He carried no Sunday-school book. The teacher told him to go
home and bring one. He went and returned with a comic song-
book. A depraved proceedin'."
"But," says a man in the audience, "when you was here before
your wax figger represented HENRY WILKINS as a boy. Now,
HENRY was hung, and yet you show him to us now as a full-grown
man! How's that?"
"The figger has growd, sir--it has growd," I said.
I was angry. If it had been in these times I think I should
have informed agin him as a traitor to his flag, and had him
put in Fort Lafayette.
I say adoo to Quebeck with regret. It is old-fogyish, but
chock-full of interest. Young gentlemen of a romantic turn of
mind, who air botherin' their heads as to how they can spend
their father's money, had better see Quebeck.
Altogether I like Canady. Good people and lots of pretty
girls. I wouldn't mind comin' over here to live in the
capacity of a Duke, provided a vacancy occurs, and provided
further I could be allowed a few star-spangled banners, a
eagle, a boon of liberty, etc.
Don't think I've skedaddled. Not at all. I'm coming home in
Let's have the Union restored as it was, if we can; but if we
can't, I'M IN FAVOR OF THE UNION AS IT WASN'T. But the Union,
Gentlemen of the editorial corpse, if you would be happy be
virtoous! I who am the emblem of virtoo, tell you so.
(Signed,) "A Ward."
2.11. THE NOBLE RED MAN.
The red man of the forest was form'ly a very respectful
person. Justice to the noble aboorygine warrants me in sayin'
that orrigernerly he was a majestic cuss.
At the time CHRIS. arrove on these shores (I allood to CHRIS.
COLUMBUS), the savajis was virtoous and happy. They were
innocent of secession, rum, draw-poker, and sinfulness
gin'rally. They didn't discuss the slavery question as a
custom. They had no Congress, faro banks, delirium tremens,
or Associated Press. Their habits was consequently good.
Late suppers, dyspepsy, gas companies, thieves, ward
politicians, pretty waiter-girls, and other metropolitan
refinements, were unknown among them. No savage in good
standing would take postage-stamps. You couldn't have bo't a
coonskin with a barrel of 'em. The female Aboorygine never
died of consumption, because she didn't tie her waist up in
whale-bone things; but in loose and flowin' garments she
bounded, with naked feet, over hills and plains, like the wild
and frisky antelope. It was a onlucky moment for us when
CHRIS. sot his foot onto these 'ere shores. It would have
been better for us of the present day if the injins had given
him a warm meal and sent him home ore the ragin' billers. For
the savages owned the country, and COLUMBUS was a fillibuster.
CORTEZ, PIZARRO, and WALKER were one-horse fillibusters--
COLUMBUS was a four-horse team fillibuster, and a large yaller
dog under the waggin. I say, in view of the mess we are
makin' of things, it would have been better for us if cOLUMBUS
had staid to home. It would have been better for the show
bisniss. The circulation of "Vanity Fair" would be larger,
and the proprietors would all have boozum pins! Yes, sir, and
perhaps a ten-pin alley.
By which I don't wish to be understood as intimatin' that the
scalpin' wretches who are in the injin bisness at the present
day are of any account, or calculated to make home happy,
specially the Sioxes of Minnesoty, who desarve to be murdered
in the first degree, and if POPE will only stay in St. Paul
and not go near 'em HIMSELF, I reckon they will be.
2.12. ARTEMUS WARD IN RICHMOND.
Richmond, Va.--May, 18 & 65.
Afore I comments this letter from the late rebil capitol I
desire to cimply say that I hav seen a low and skurrilus noat
in the paper from a certin purson who singes hisself Olonzo
Ward, & sez he is my berruther. I did ONCE hav a berruther of
that name, but I do not recugnize him now. To me he is wuss
than ded! I took him from collige sum 16 years ago and gave
him a good situation as the Bearded Woman in my Show. How did
he repay me for this kindness? He basely undertook (one day
while in a Backynalian mood on rum & right in sight of the
aujience in the tent) to stand upon his hed, whareby he
betray'd his sex on account of his boots & his Beard fallin'
off his face, thus rooinin' my prospecks in that town, &
likewise incurrin' the seris displeasure of the Press, which
sed boldly I was triflin with the feelin's of a intelligent
public. I know no such man as Olonzo Ward. I do not even
wish his name breathed in my presents. I do not recognize
him. I perfectly disgust him.
The old man finds hisself once more in a Sunny climb. I cum
here a few days arter the city catterpillertulated.
My naburs seemed surprised & astonisht at this darin' bravery
onto the part of a man at my time of life, but our family was
never know'd to quale in danger's stormy hour.
My father was a sutler in the Revolootion War. My father once
had a intervoo with Gin'ral La Fayette.
He asked La Fayette to lend him five dollars, promisin' to pay
him in the Fall; but Lafy said "he couldn't see it in those
lamps." Lafy was French, and his knowledge of our langwidge
was a little shaky.
Immejutly on my 'rival here I perceeded to the Spotswood
House, and callin' to my assistans a young man from our town
who writes a good runnin' hand, I put my ortograph on the
Register, and handin' my umbrella to a baldheded man behind
the counter, who I s'posed was Mr. Spotswood, I said, "Spotsy,
how does she run?"
He called a cullud purson, and said,
"Show the gen'lman to the cowyard, and giv' him cart number
"Isn't Grant here?" I said. "Perhaps Ulyssis wouldn't mind my
turnin' in with him."
"Do you know the Gin'ral?" inquired Mr. Spotswood.
"Wall, no, not 'zacky; but he'll remember me. His
brother-in-law's Aunt bought her rye meal of my uncle Levi
all one winter. My uncle Levi's rye meal was--"
"Pooh! pooh!" said Spotsy, "don't bother me," and he shuv'd
my umbrella onto the floor. Obsravin' to him not to be so
keerless with that wepin, I accompanid the African to my
"My brother," I sed, "air you aware that you've bin
mancipated? Do you realize how glorus it is to be free? Tell
me, my dear brother, does it not seem like some dreams, or do
you realize the great fact in all its livin' and holy
He sed he would take some gin.
I was show'd to the cowyard and laid down under a one-mule
cart. The hotel was orful crowded, and I was sorry I hadn't
gone to the Libby Prison. Tho' I should hav' slept comf'ble
enuff if the bed-clothes hadn't bin pulled off me durin' the
night, by a scoundrul who cum and hitched a mule to the cart
and druv it off. I thus lost my cuverin', and my throat feels
a little husky this mornin'.
Gin'ral Hulleck offers me the hospitality of the city, givin
me my choice of hospitals.
He has also very kindly placed at my disposal a smallpox
There is raly a great deal of Union sentiment in this city. I
see it on ev'ry hand.
I met a man to-day--I am not at liberty to tell his name, but
he is a old and inflooentooial citizen of Richmond, and sez
he, "Why! We've bin fightin' agin the Old Flag! Lor' bless
me, how sing'lar!" He then borrer'd five dollars of me and
bust into a flood of teers.
Sed another (a man of standin' and formerly a bitter rebuel),
"Let us at once stop this effooshun of Blud! The Old Flag is
good enuff for me. Sir," he added, "you air from the North!
Have you a doughnut or a piece of custard pie about you?"
I told him no, but I knew a man from Vermont who had just
organized a sort of restaurant, where he could go and make a
very comfortable breakfast on New England rum and cheese. He
borrowed fifty cents of me, and askin' me to send him Wm.
Lloyd Garrison's ambrotype as soon as I got home, he walked
Said another, "There's bin a tremendous Union feelin here from
the fust. But we was kept down by a rain of terror. Have you
a dagerretype of Wendell Phillips about your person? and will
you lend me four dollars for a few days till we air once more
a happy and united people."
Jeff. Davis is not pop'lar here. She is regarded as a
Southern sympathizer. & yit I'm told he was kind to his
Parents. She ran away from 'em many years ago, and has never
bin back. This was showin' 'em a good deal of consideration
when we refleck what his conduck has been. Her captur in
female apparel confooses me in regard to his sex, & you see I
speak of him as a her as frekent as otherwise, & I guess he
feels so hisself.
Robert Lee is regarded as a noble feller.
He was opposed to the war at the fust, and draw'd his sword
very reluctant. In fact, he wouldn't hav' drawd his sword at
all, only he had a large stock of military clothes on hand,
which he didn't want to waste. He sez the colored man is
right, and he will at once go to New York and open a Sabbath
School for negro minstrels.
THE CONFEDERATE ARMY.
The surrender of R. Lee, J. Johnston and others leaves the
Confedrit Army in a ruther shattered state. That army now
consists of Kirby Smith, four mules and a Bass drum, and is
movin' rapidly to'rds Texis.
A PROUD AND HAWTY SUTHENER.
Feelin' a little peckish, I went into a eatin' house to-day
and encountered a young man with long black hair and slender
frame. He didn't wear much clothes, and them as he did wear
looked onhealthy. He frowned on me, and sed, kinder scornful,
"So, Sir--you come here to taunt us in our hour of trouble, do
"No," said I, "I cum here for hash!"
"Pish-haw!" he sed sneerinly, "I mean you air in this city for
the purposes of gloating over a fallen people. Others may
basely succumb, but as for me, I will never yield--NEVER,
"Hav' suthin' to eat!" I pleasantly suggested.
"Tripe and onions!" he sed furcely; then he added, "I eat with
you, but I hate you. You're a low-lived Yankee!"
To which I pleasantly replied, "How'l you have your tripe?"
"Fried, mudsill! with plenty of ham-fat!"
He et very ravenus. Poor feller! He had lived on odds and
ends for several days, eatin' crackers that had bin turned
over by revelers in the bread tray at the bar.
He got full at last, and his hart softened a little to'ards
me. "After all," he sed, "you have sum people at the North
who air not wholly loathsum beasts?"
"Well, yes," I sed, "we hav' now and then a man among us who
isn't a cold-bluded scoundril. Young man," I mildly but
gravely sed, "this crooil war is over, and you're lickt! It's
rather necessary for sumbody to lick in a good square, lively
fite, and in this 'ere case it happens to be the United States
of America. You fit splendid, but we was too many for you.
Then make the best of it, & let us all give in and put the
Republic on a firmer basis nor ever.
"I don't gloat over your misfortuns, my young fren'. Fur from
it. I'm a old man now, & my hart is softer nor it once was.
You see my spectacles is misten'd with suthin' very like
tears. I'm thinkin' of the sea of good rich Blud that has
been spilt on both sides in this dredful war! I'm thinkin' of
our widders and orfuns North, and of your'n in the South. I
kin cry for both. B'leeve me, my young fren', I kin place my
old hands tenderly on the fair yung hed of the Virginny maid
whose lover was laid low in the battle dust by a fed'ral
bullet, and say, as fervently and piously as a vener'ble
sinner like me kin say anythin', God be good to you, my poor
dear, my poor dear."
I riz up to go, & takin' my young Southern fren' kindly by the
hand, I sed, "Yung man, adoo! You Southern fellers is probly
my brothers, tho' you've occasionally had a cussed queer way
of showin' it! It's over now. Let us all line in and make a
country on this continent that shall giv' all Europe the cramp
in the stummuck ev'ry time they look at us! Adoo, adoo!"
And as I am through, I likewise say adoo to you, jentle
reader, merely remarkin' that the Star-Spangled Banner is
wavin' round loose agin, and that there don't seem to be
anything the matter with the Goddess of Liberty beyond a slite
2.13. ARTEMUS WARD TO THE PRINCE OF WALES.
FRIEND WALES,--You remember me. I saw you in Canady a few
years ago. I remember you too. I seldim forget a person.
I hearn of your marriage to the Printcis Alexandry, & ment ter
writ you a congratoolatory letter at the time, but I've bin
bildin a barn this summer, & hain't had no time to write
letters to folks. Excoose me.
Numeris changes has tooken place since we met in the body
politic. The body politic, in fack, is sick. I sometimes
think it has got biles, friend Wales.
In my country we've got war, while your country, in
conjunktion with Cap'n Sems of the "Alobarmy," manetanes a
I'm afraid I can't write goaks when I sit about it. Oh no, I
Yes, Sir, we've got a war, and the troo Patrit has to make
sacrifisses, you bet.
I have alreddy given two cousins to the war, & I stand reddy
to sacrifiss my wife's brother ruther'n not see the rebelyin
krusht. And if wuss cums to wuss I'll shed ev'ry drop of blud
my able-bodied relations has got to prosekoot the war. I
think sumbody oughter be prosekooted, & it may as well be the
war as any body else. When I git a goakin fit onto me it's no
use to try ter stop me.
You hearn about the draft, friend Wales, no doubt. It caused
sum squirmin', but it was fairly conducted, I think, for it
hit all classes. It is troo that Wendill Phillips, who is a
American citizen of African scent, 'scaped, but so did
Vallandiggum, who is Conservativ, and who wus resuntly sent
South, tho' he would have bin sent to the Dry Tortoogus if Abe
had 'sposed for a minit that the Tortoogusses would keep him.
We hain't got any daily paper in our town, but we've got a
female sewin' circle, which ansers the same purpuss, and we
wasn't long in suspents as to who was drafted.
One young man who was drawd claimed to be exemp because he was
the only son of a widow'd mother who supported him. A few
able-bodid dead men was drafted, but whether their heirs will
have to pay 3 hundrid dollars a peace for 'em is a question
for Whitin', who 'pears to be tinkerin' up this draft bizniss
right smart. I hope he makes good wages.
I think most of the conscrips in this place will go. A few
will go to Canady, stopping on their way at Concord, N.H.,
where I understan there is a Muslum of Harts.
You see I'm sassy, friend Wales, hittin' all sides; but no
offense is ment. You know I ain't a politician, and never
was. I vote for Mr. Union--that's the only candidate I've
got. I claim, howsever, to have a well-balanced mind; tho' my
idees of a well-balanced mind differs from the idees of a
partner I once had, whose name it was Billson. Billson and me
orjanized a strollin' dramatic company, & we played The
Drunkard, or the Falling Saved, with a real drunkard. The
play didn't take particlarly, and says Billson to me, Let's
giv 'em some immoral dramy. We had a large troop onto our
hands, consisting of eight tragedians and a bass drum, but I
says, No, Billson; and then says I, Billson, you hain't got a
well-balanced mind. Says he, Yes, I have, old hoss-fly (he
was a low cuss)--yes, I have. I have a mind, says he, that
balances in any direction that the public rekires. That's wot
I call a well-balanced mind. I sold out and bid adoo to
Billson. He is now an outcast in the State of Vermont. The
miser'ble man once played Hamlet. There wasn't any orchestry,
and wishin' to expire to slow moosic, he died playin' on a
claironett himself, interspersed with hart-rendin' groans, &
such is the world! Alars! alars! how onthankful we air to
that Providence which kindly allows us to live and borrow
money, and fail und do bizniss!
But to return to our subjeck. With our resunt grate triumps
on the Mississippi, the Father of Waters (and them is waters
no Father need feel 'shamed of--twig the wittikism?) and the
cheerin' look of things in other places, I reckon we shan't
want any Muslum of Harts. And what upon airth do the people
of Concord, N.H., want a Muslum of Harts for? Hain't you got
the State House now? & what more do you want?
But all this is furrin to the purpuss of this note, arter all.
My objeck in now addressin' you is to giv you sum advice,
friend Wales, about managin' your wife, a bizniss I've had
over thirty years experience in.
You had a good weddin. The papers have a good deal to say
about "vikins" in connexion thare with. Not knowings what
that air, and so I frankly tells you, my noble lord dook of
the throne, I can't zackly say whether we hab 'em or not. We
was both very much flustrated. But I never injoyed myself
better in my life.
Dowtless, your supper was ahead of our'n. As regards eatin'
uses, Baldinsville was allers shaky. But you can git a good
meal in New York, & cheap to. You can git half a mackril at
Delmonico's or Mr. Mason Dory's for six dollars, and biled
pertaters throw'd in.
As I sed, I manige my wife without any particler trouble.
When I fust commenst trainin' her I institooted a series of
experiments, and them as didn't work I abanding'd. You'd
better do similer. Your wife may objeck to gittin' up and
bildin' the fire in the mornin', but if you commence with her
at once you may be able to overkum this prejoodiss. I regret
to obsarve that I didn't commence arly enuff. I wouldn't have
you s'pose I was ever kicked out of bed. Not at all. I
simply say, in regard to bildin' fires, that, I didn't
commence arly enuff. It was a ruther cold mornin' when I fust
proposed the idee to Betsy. It wasn't well received, and I
found myself layin' on the floor putty suddent. I thought I'd
git up and bild the fire myself.
Of course now you're marrid you can eat onions. _I_ allus
did, and if I know my own hart, I allus will. My daughter,
who is goin' on 17 and is frisky, says they's disgustin. And
speaking of my daughter reminds me that quite a number of
young men have suddenly discovered that I'm a very
entertainin' old feller, and they visit us frekently,
specially on Sunday evenins. One young chap--a lawyer by
habit--don't cum as much as he did. My wife's father lives
with us. His intelleck totters a little, and he saves the
papers containin' the proceedins of our State Legislater. The
old gen'l'man likes to read out loud, and he reads tol'ble
well. He eats hash freely, which makes his voice clear; but
as he onfortnitly has to spell the most of his words, I may
say he reads slow. Wall, whenever this lawyer made his
appearance I would set the old man a-reading the Legislativ'
reports. I kept the young lawyer up one night till 12 o'clock
listenin to a lot of acts in regard to a drawbridge away orf
in the east part of the State, havin' sent my daughter to bed
at half-past 8. He hasn't bin there since, and I understan'
he says I go round swindlin' the Public.
I never attempted to reorganize my wife but onct. I shall
never attempt agin. I'd bin to a public dinner, and had
allowed myself to be betrayed into drinkin' several people's
healths; and wishin' to make 'em as robust as possible, I
continnerd drinkin' their healths until my own became
affected. Consekens was, I presented myself at Betsy's
bedside late at night with consid'ble licker concealed about
my person. I had sumhow got perseshun of a hosswhip on my way
home, and rememberin' sum cranky observations of Mrs. Ward's
in the mornin', I snapt the whip putty lively, and in a very
loud woice, I sed, "Betsy, you need reorganizin'! I have cum,
Betsy," I continued--crackin the whip over the bed--"I have
cum to reorganize you! Haave you per-ayed tonight?"
* * * * * * * *
I dream'd that sumbody had laid a hosswhip over me sev'ril
conseckootiv times; and when I woke up I found she had. I
hain't drank much of anythin' since, and if I ever have
another reorganizin' job on hand I shall let it out.
My wife is 52 years old, and has allus sustained a good
character. She's a good cook. Her mother lived to a
vener'ble age, and died while in the act of frying slapjacks
for the County Commissioners. And may no rood hand pluk a
flour from her toomstun! We hain't got any picter of the old
lady, because she'd never stand for her ambrotipe, and
therefore I can't giv her likeness to the world through the
meejum of the illusterated papers; but as she wasn't a
brigadier-gin'ral, particlerly, I don't s'pose they'd publish
it, any how.
It's best to give a woman considerable lee-way. But not too
much. A naber of mine, Mr. Roofus Minkins, was once very sick
with the fever, but his wife moved his bed into the door-yard
while she was cleanin' house. I toald Roofus this wasn't the
thing, 'specially as it was rainin' vi'lently; but he said he
wanted to giv his wife "a little lee-way." That was 2 mutch.
I told Mrs. Minkins that her Roofus would die if he staid out
there into the rain much longer; when she said, "It shan't be
my fault if he dies unprepared," at the same time tossin' him
his mother's Bible. It was orful! I stood by, however, and
nussed him as well's I could, but I was a putty wet-nuss, I
There's varis ways of managin' a wife, friend Wales, but the
best and only safe way is to let her do jist about as she
wants to. I 'dopted that there plan sum time ago, and it
works like a charm.
Remember me kindly to Mrs. Wales, and good luck to you both!
And as years roll by, and accidents begin to happen to you--
among which I hope there'll be Twins--you will agree with me
that family joys air the only ones a man can bet on with any
certinty of winnin'.
It may interest you to know that I'm prosperin' in a pecoonery
pint of view. I make 'bout as much in the course of a year as
a cab'net offisser does, & I understand my business a good
deal better than some of them do.
Respecks to St. George & the Dragon.
Ever be 'appy.