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- The Complete Works of Artemus Ward, Part 3 - 2/8 -


I loved her at first sight--devotedly, madly.

She dashed past me in her coupe. I saw her but a moment--perhaps only an instant--but she took me captive then and there, forevermore.

Forevermore!

I followed her, after that, wherever she went. At length she came to notice, to smile upon me. My motto was en avant! That is a French word. I got it out of the back part of Worcester's Dictionary.

III.

She wrote me that I might come and see her at her own house. Oh, joy, joy unutterable, to see her at her own house!

I went to see her after nightfall, in the soft moonlight.

She came down the graveled walk to meet me, on this beautiful midsummer night--came to me in pure white, her golden hair in splendid disorder--strangely beautiful, yet in tears!

She told me her fresh grievances.

The Marquis, always a despot, had latterly misused her most vilely.

That very morning, at breakfast, he had cursed the fishballs and sneered at the pickled onions.

She is a good cook. The neighbors will tell you so. And to be told by the base Marquis--a man who, previous to his marriage, had lived at the cheap eating-houses--to be told by him that her manner of frying fishballs was a failure--it was too much.

Her tears fell fast. I too wept. I mixed my sobs with her'n. "Fly with me!" I cried.

Her lips met mine. I held her in my arms. I felt her breath upon my cheek! It was Hunkey.

"Fly with me. To New York! I will write romances for the Sunday papers--real French romances, with morals to them. My style will be appreciated. Shop girls and young mercantile persons will adore it, and I will amass wealth with my ready pen."

Ere she could reply--ere she could articulate her ecstasy, her husband, the Marquis, crept snake-like upon me.

Shall I write it? He kicked me out of the garden--he kicked me into the street.

I did not return. How could I? I, so ethereal, so full of soul, of sentiment, of sparkling originality! He, so gross, so practical, so lop-eared!

Had I returned, the creature would have kicked me again.

So I left Paris for this place--this place, so lonely, so dismal.

Ah me!

Oh dear!

3.3. A ROMANCE.--WILLIAM BARKER, THE YOUNG PATRIOT.

I.

"No, William Barker, you cannot have my daughter's hand in marriage until you are her equal in wealth and social position."

The speaker was a haughty old man of some sixty years, and the person whom he addressed was a fine-looking young man of twenty-five.

With a sad aspect the young man withdrew from the stately mansion.

II.

Six months later the young man stood in the presence of the haughty old man.

"What! YOU here again?" angrily cried the old man.

"Ay, old man," proudly exclaimed William Barker. "I am here, your daughter's equal and yours?"

The old man's lips curled with scorn. A derisive smile lit up his cold features; when, casting violently upon the marble center table an enormous roll of greenbacks, William Barker cried--

"See! Look on this wealth. And I've tenfold more! Listen, old man! You spurned me from your door. But I did not despair. I secured a contract for furnishing the Army of the -- with beef--"

"Yes, yes!" eagerly exclaimed the old man.

"--and I bought up all the disabled cavalry horses I could find--"

"I see! I see!" cried the old man. "And good beef they make, too."

"They do! they do! and the profits are immense."

"I should say so!"

"And now, sir, I claim your daughter's fair hand!"

"Boy, she is yours. But hold! Look me in the eye. Throughout all this have you been loyal?"

"To the core!" cried William Barker.

"And," continued the old man, in a voice husky with emotion, "are you in favor of a vigorous prosecution of the war?"

"I am, I am!"

"Then, boy take her! Maria, child, come hither. Your William claims thee. Be happy, my children! And whatever our lot in life may be, LET US ALL SUPPORT THE GOVERNMENT!"

3.4. A ROMANCE--THE CONSCRIPT.

[Which may bother the reader a little unless he is familiar with the music of the day.]

CHAPTER I.

Philander Reed struggled with spool-thread and tape in a dry- goods store at Ogdensburg, on the St. Lawrence River, State of New York. He Rallied Round the Flag, Boys, and HAILED Columbia every time she passed that way. One day a regiment returning from the war Came Marching Along, bringing An Intelligent Contraband with them, who left the South about the time Babylon was a-Fallin', and when it was apparent to all well-ordered minds that the Kingdom was Coming, accompanied by the Day of Jubilee. Philander left his spool-thread and tape, rushed into the street, and by his Long-Tail Blue, sed, "Let me kiss him for his Mother." Then, with patriotic jocularity, he inquired, "How is your High Daddy in the Morning?" to which Pomp of Cudjo's Cave replied, "That poor Old Slave has gone to rest, we ne'er shall see him more! But U.S.G. is the man for me, or Any other Man." Then he Walked Round.

"And your Master," sed Philander, "where is he?"

"Massa's in the cold, cold ground--at least I hope so!" sed the gay contraband.

"March on, March on! all hearts rejoice!" cried the Colonel, who was mounted on a Bob-tailed nag--on which, in times of Peace, my soul, O Peace! he had betted his money.

"Yaw," sed a German Bold Sojer Boy, "we don't-fights-mit-Segel as much as we did."

The regiment marched on, and Philander betook himself to his mother's Cottage Near the Banks of that Lone River, and rehearsed the stirring speech he was to make that night at a war meeting.

"It's just before the battle, Mother," he said, "and I want to say something that will encourage Grant."

CHAPTER II.--MABEL.

Mabel Tucker was an orphan. Her father, Dan Tucker, was run over one day by a train of cars though he needn't have been, for the kind-hearted engineer told him to Git out of the Way.

Mabel early manifested a marked inclination for the milinery business, and at the time we introduce her to our readers she was Chief Engineer of a Millinery Shop and Boss of a Sewing Machine.

Philander Reed loved Mabel Tucker, and Ever of her was Fondly Dreaming; and she used to say, "Will you love me Then as Now?" to which he would answer that he would, and WITHOUT the written consent of his parents.

She sat in the parlor of the Cot where she was Born, one Summer's eve, with pensive thought, when Somebody came Knocking at the Door. It was Philander. Fond Embrace and things. Thrilling emotions. P. very pale and shaky in the legs. Also, sweaty.

"Where hast thou been?" she sed. "Hast been gathering shells from youth to age, and then leaving them like a che-eild? Why this tremors? Why these Sadfulness?"

"Mabeyuel!" he cried. "Mabeyuel! They've Drafted me into the Army!"

An orderly Surgeant now appears and says, "Come, Philander, let's be a-marching;" And he tore her from his embrace (P.'s) and marched the conscript to the Examining Surgeon's office.

Mabel fainted in two places. It was worse than Brother's Fainting at the Door.


The Complete Works of Artemus Ward, Part 3 - 2/8

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