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- The Complete Works of Artemus Ward, Part 7 - 10/12 -
BROILED. Domestic Broils (Family style)
ENTREES. Little Deers.
COLD. Raw Dog (a la Injun). Tongue (lots of it).
VEGETABLES. Cabbage-head, Some Pumpkins, &c.
DESSERT. Apples of Discord, a great many Pairs; Mormon Sweet-Hearts, Jumbles, &c.
7.20. "THE BABES IN THE WOOD."
[The following amusing critique or report of Artemus Ward's favourite lecture entitled "The Babes in the wood" was written the day after its first delivery in San Francisco, California, by one of the contributors to the Golden Era. As an imitation of A. Ward's burlesque orthography it is somewhat overdone; but it has, nevertheless, certain touches of humour which will amuse the English reader. Why the lecture is called "The Babes in the Wood" is not known, unless it is because they are WARDS. -- ED.]
Nite befoar larst was an Erer in the annals of Sand Francisco; yis, an Erer; I sa it, and I guess I know what a Erer is! I gess I do! It's something like this noosepaper, for instance; something that's gut a big Injin onto it; though the Big Injin Fryday Nite had his close on, which this moril Jernal's Injin hasn't, bein intended to represent that nobil read man of the forrist, of hoom the poet sweetly sings:
"Low, the poor Injin! hoose untootered mind Clothes him in frunt--Butt leaves him bare behind!"
However, let that parse.
I hearn thare was to be a show up to Mr Platt's Haul on the occashun allewded to; so I took Maria An an' the children--with the excepshun of the smollest wun, which, under the inflewence of tired Nachure's sweet restorer, Missis Winslow's Soothin Syrup, was rapped in barmy slumbers--up to prayer meetin; and after havin excoosed myself to the pardner of my boosom, on the plee of havin swallered a boks of Bristol's Sugar-Coated Pills, I slipt out and went down to the Haul, thinkin I would have a little relaxation. Prubably Mariar An thought so too. (That are a double entender, but I didn't intend it.) Although I arrove quite airly, I found a few Individools I mean to sa I found but few who ware not--already in the Haul. I would not on no account whatsumdever, no how you can fix it, deceeve nobody nor nothin', for I am a pieus man, and send my wife to church, and addhere to the trooth; and yit, I ventoor to assurt, that I never in all my born dase beheld so menny fokes befoar--stop, I er slitely-- I had a seat in the rear.
It seemed as tho the hole populashun had turned out en massy to welcum the gratist wit of his age.--He is older than me.
The curtin roze--no, I do not desire to misrepresent fax--there was no curtin--I think thare should have bin!
The lectoor commenced at a few minutes past ate--precisely. The gay and gifted Artemus stepped to his place, and after acknowledging my presence by a polite bow, prooeeded to define the platform on which he stood--Oregon pine. The papers, with thare usuil fidelity to fax, had stated that the entertainment would consist only of a lectoor, & that the kangaroo & wax-figgers would not be introdooced--"dooced queer," thinks I, and I soon discovered the telegram; for Mr. Ward used a number of figgers--of speech.
Thare ware also severeil animils thare, thare was, tho I don't know whether they belonged to him, as they was scattered thro the ordgunce, and was boysterous to a degre--yis, two degrese.
Some of the funniest of the fundymentall principles of the lectoor escaped me--rather I escaped them--partly owin to the fokes squeeging in at the dore, and partly owin to a pretty but frail gurl wayin all the way from 200 up to 250 lbs. avoirdoopois, which sot herself rite onto my lap.
Mr Ward statid that he would not give a fillosoffical lectoor--nor an astronomical lectoor--nor--did he say what kind of lectoor he would give. The subjec was, however, the "Babes in the Wood." He has had the Babes in the Wood sum time. Mr. Ward is not rich--but is doin-- as well as could be expected.
It is one of the lectoors you read about, you know--here. Yis, I sa it's a great moril lectoor; I sa it boldly, because I've heerd--of it.
The structoor of the lectoor was as they sa in architectoor of the compost like ordoor; first a stratter of this, then a stratter of that; that is to sa--kinder mixed, you know. It was on the aneckdotale plan, and speakin of aneckdotes reminds me of a little story--it is wun of Mr Ward's, by the way; it will bare repitition-- it lass, so far, stood it very well. It is of a young made, hoose name it was Mehitabull--some of it, at least--enuff--for the present porpussus--and of a nobil and galyunt lovyier, which his naim it was John Jones. This young man was a patrut, tho oppoged to coershun. The enrolin officer going his rounds was beheld by this young man wile yit he was afar off, the site was not a welcum wun to John, and it propelled him to seek proteekshun of his plited wun, in hoose hous he was at that critical moment. Time was preshus. What was too be dun? The enemy was now neer at hand. "Git under my hoops," sez Mehitabull. The heroick youth obade.
After a pause the offisser hentered the manshun.
"Is thare any men in this 'ere hous?" sez he.
"Not as I nose--on," replied the damsell.
"Then," sez the offisser, "I gess I'll stop awhile myself."
He stopped a our. After witch he stopped anuther our; after witch he continuood to stop.
During this time John Jones was garspin for breath. At last he felt he cood endoor it no longer, without--ingoory to his helth. He put his hed out of his strong hold and sed to the amazed offisser, "I think the draft will doo me good--I mean the draft of are."
"You air in favor of the Proclamashun!" red the offisser.
"Yis, and of ventilation."
The young man was not drafted, but he is still single--single-ar to say.
The abov is a correct report of the story as I heern it--I only heern the naims, fancy has supplide the rest.
P.S.--I larfed all the wa home; observin witch severil peple gave me the hole walk, evidently taking me for a hilarious loonatic.
A. Ward will shortly lecshoor on Asstronmy, I heer, partickly upon the Konstlashun ov the Suthern Cross, which he portends he found out to be a MULATTO.
7.21. MR. WARD ATTENDS A GRAFFICK (SOIREE.)
[Shortly after the publication in this country of "Artemus Ward His Book," I received from a friend the following article, purporting to have been written by Mr. W. during a stay in Bristol. The sketch appeared in the "Bristol Record,"* and upon writing to the editor for further information concerning it, I received from that gentleman such a cautious reply as confirmed a previous suspicion that "the showman" had not visited the great western city, and that the article was either a concoction in Mr. Ward's style, or one of the papers of Josh Billings, an imitator of Mr. W., slightly altered to suit the locality of its republication. Whether these conjectures are correct or not, the article is here given for the English reader's criticism, and, although not equal in humour to A. Ward's more successful pieces, certain pleasantries of expression and droll extravagances observable in it will, at least, repay perusal.]
Prefixed to the article in the Record was the following:-" A letter has just been shown to us, of which we subjoin a portion, from which it will appear that Mr. -- (we suppress the name for obvious reasons) is not the only illustrious American who is sojourning at present at Clifton. Artemus Ward has retired for the present from his professional duties, in consequence of the rough treatment which he lately received in the Southern States. His admirers have sent him to England to recruit, and he was last week at Clifton, and dined with Mr. --. We are violating no literary confidence in mentioning the above, as Mr. Ward is combining business with pleasure, and his letters will appear in the New York Tribune, to which journal he has temporarily attached himself as special European correspondent.--Ed. B. R.
WALL, we had a just sittled down to our wine, when sez the Squire soddenlick, "Mr. W., would you like to go to a Graffick?"
"What's a Graffick?" sed I.
"A Pictur-shew," sed he, "with a swoiree between, and all the fashionables of this interestin location there."
"Don't care if I duz," sed I, "perwided u go the Ticket."
"Sertingly," sed he. "Mr. Ward, you are my guest for the evening."
So we put on our go-to-meetings, and yaller kid-skins, and sot off. There was a purty tidy fixin of shrubs and statooary as we went in (but nuthin ekal to the Bowery Saloon, New York!), and stairs up and stairs down, and gals in opera clokes ascendin and D-scendin.
First we go up into a big room with a blaze o' lite and a crowd of cumpany. The Squire whispers to me, and sez he'll pint out the lokial celebrities. At the end of the room is a great pictur, representin a stout femail on a tarnation dark back-ground. The critters scrowded up to it, and looked on in hor. Presently I feels the Squire nudging me.
"Do you see that individooal," sed he, "with Hyacinthian curls, and his eye in a fine frenzy rollin! That's the great art critic, who lays down the lor for Bristol and ets vicinity."
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