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- The Complete Works of Artemus Ward, Part 7 - 4/12 -
curiosity of literature, worthy of being preserved for the amusement of posterity, a leading article on the Fenians, extracted from a New York paper of most extensive circulation, is given below. Such another "leader" as the one here given could not be met with in the press of any land in the world, except in that of the United States.
"THE FENIAN TROUBLES AT AN END--THE HEAD CENTRE VICTORIOUS.
"The unmitigated blackguards and miserable spalpeens who raised the standard of revolt against the brave and gallant O'Mahony are knocked into the most infinitesimal smithereens, and chawed up until there is not as much left of them as remained after the tooth-and-nail conflict of the Kilkenny cats. The blessed and holy St Patrick (may the heavens be his bed in glory!) never more thoroughly extinguished the toads, snakes, bedbugs, mosquitoes, and varmint in general, which he drove out of Ould Ireland, than O'Mahony, the gallant Head Centre, squelched, exterminated, crushed out, and extinguished the cantankerous Senators and rebellious disciples of the brotherhood who thought to clutch the evergreen laurels and verdant greenbacks with which a patriotic and confiding people have encircled his brow and lined his wallet. As the blessed St Patrick afore said compelled the varmints to betake themselves to the swamps and morasses, and `chased the frogs into the bogs,' so the redoubtable 0'Mahony has compelled the rebellious Fenians to hide their diminished heads and betake themselves to the recesses of oblivion, where their contortions will be watched by the observer of futurity, as the visitors of Blarney Castle are edified by the gambols of the 'comely eels in the verdant mud.' The brave 0'Mahony has come forth from the contest like gold from the crucible, or whisky from the still, purified, etherealised, and elevated, while his antagonists have shrunk away like dross or swill, never more to mingle with the Olympian deliberation, and Jove-like councils of the Moffatt Mansion. Instead of participating in these august deliberations, they will go back to their shanties, and there behold the glories they are unworthy to share. As if the O'Mahony bludgeon had not knocked the breath completely out of the revolters, the idolised Stephens, who, like the Roman Curtius, jumped into the gulf of Irish nationality, published a letter and a proclamation which must satisfy the public that the recreants 'kilt intirely,' and may as well give their neighbours a pleasant wake and a decent burial as expect to survive the period of their inevitable dissolution. His proclamation comes down on them like a shillaly in Donnybrook; and if it does not ventilate their skulls, it is because those cranial envelopes are as impervious to physical force as to the gentle influence of reason or patriotism. Having demolished the rebellious Senate and their backers, the next thing 0'Mahony has to do is to wipe out the bloody Saxon and re-establish the nationality of the Emerald Isle as it existed in the days of Brian Boru. As Queen Victoria is a woman, we do not expect to see her locked up like Jeff. Davis, but she will be allowed to emigrate to New York, and open a boarding-school or a dry-goods store, where she will remain unmolested as long as she behaves herself."
JOHN CAMDEN HOTTEN, Piccadilly, W. Jan. 30, 1865.
To Home, April 1866.
The Finians conveened in our town the other night, and took steps toord freein Ireland. They met into the Town Hall, and by the kind invite of my naber, Mr. Mulrooney O'Shaughnessy, whose ancestors at least must have Irish blood in their veins, I went over.
You may not be awair, by the way, that I've been a invalid here to home for sev'ril weeks. And it's all owin to my own improodens. Not feelin like eating a full meal when the cars stopt for dinner, in the South, where I lately was, I went into a Resterater and et 20 hard biled eggs. I think they effected my Liver.
My wife says, Po, po. She says I've got a splendid liver for a man of my time of life. I've heard of men's livers gradooally wastin' away till they hadn't none. It's a dreadful thing when a man's liver gives him the shake.
Two years ago comin this May, I had a 'tack of fever-'n-ager, and by the advice of Miss Peasley who continues single and is correspondinly unhappy in the same ratios I consulted a Spiritul mejum--a writin' mejum. I got a letter from a cel'brated Injin chief, who writ me, accordin to the mejum, that he'd been ded two hundred and seventeen (217) years, and liked it. He then said, let the Pale face drink sum yarb tea. I drinkt it, and it really helpt me. I've writ to this talented savige this time thro' the same mejum, but as yet I hain't got any answer. Perhaps he's in a spear where they haint' got any postage stamps.
But thanks to careful nussin, I'm improvin rapid.
The Town Hall was jam-full of peple, mostly Irish citizens, and the enthusiasm was immense. They cheer'd everybody and everything. They cheer'd me.
"Hurroo for Ward! Hurroo!"
They was all good nabers of mine, and I ansered in a pleasant voice, "All right, boys, all right. Mavoorneen, och hone, aroon, Cooshla macree!"
These Irish remarks bein' received with great applaus, I added, "Mushler! mushler!"
"Good! good!" cried Captain Spingler, who desires the Irish vote for country clerk; "that's fus' rate."
"You see what I'm drivin at, don't you, Cap?" I said.
"Well," I ansered, "I'm very glad you do, becaus I don't."
This made the Finians larf, and they said, "Walk up onto the speaker's platform sir."
The speeches was red hot agin England, and hir iron heel, and it was resolved to free Ireland at onct. But it was much desirable before freein her that a large quantity of funds should be raised. And, like the gen'rous souls as they was, funs was lib'rally contribooted. Then arose a excitin discussion as to which head center they should send 'em to--O'Mahony or McRoberts. There was grate excitement over this, but it was finally resolved to send half to one and half to 'tother.
Then Mr. Finnigan rose and said, "We have here to-night sum citizens of American birth, whom we should be glad to hear. It would fill our harts with speechless joy to hear from a man whose name towers high in the zoological and wax-figger world--from whose pearly lips--
Says I, "Go slow, Finny, go slow."
"We wish to hear," continued Mr. Finnigan, moderatin his stile summut, "from our townsman, Mr. Ward."
I beg'd to be declined, but it wan't no use. I rose amid a perfeck uproar of applause.
I said we had convened there in a meetin, as I understood it, or rather in a body, as it were, in reference to Ireland. If I knew my own hart, every one of us there, both grate and small had an impulse flowin in his boosum, "and consequentially," I added, we "will stick to it similar and in accordance therewith, as long as a spark of manhood, or the peple at large. That's the kind of man I be!"
Squire Thaxter interrupted me. The Squire feels the wrongs of Ireland deeply, on accounts of havin onct courted the widder of a Irish gentleman who had lingered in a loathsum dunjin in Dublin, placed there by a English tarvern-keeper, who despotically wanted him to pay for a quantity of chops and beer he had consoom'd. Besides, the Squire wants to be re-elected Justice of the Peace. "Mr. Ward," he said, "you've bin drinkin. You're under the infloo'nce of licker, sir!"
Says I, "Squire, not a drop of good licker has passed my lips in fifteen years.
[Cries of "Oh, here now, that won't do."]
"It is troo," I said. "Not a drop of good licker has passed my lips in all that time. I don't let it pass 'em. I reach for it while it's goin by!" says I. "Squire, harness me sum more!"
"I beg pardon," said the Squire, "for the remark; you are sober; but what on airth are you drivin at?"
"Yes!" I said, "that's just it. That's what I've bin axin myself during the entire evenin. What is this grate meetin drivin at? What's all the grate Finian meetins drivin at all over the country?
"My Irish frens, you know me well enuff to know that I didn't come here to disturb this meetin. Nobody but a loafer will disturb any kind of a meetin. And if you'll notice it, them as are up to this sort of thing, allers come to a bad end. There was a young man--I will not mention his name--who disturb'd my show in a certain town, two years ago, by makin remarks disrespectful of my animals, accompanied by a allosan to the front part of my hed, which, as you see, it is Bald--sayin,-- says this young man, 'You sandpaper it too much, but you've got a beautiful head of hair in the back of your neck, old man.' This made a few ignent and low-mindid persons larf; but what was the fate of that young man? In less than a month his aunt died and left him a farm in Oxford county, Maine! The human mind can pictur no grater misfortun than this.
"No, my Irish frens, I am here as your naber and fren. I know YOU are honest in this Finian matter.
"But let us look at them Head Centers. Let us look at them rip-roarin orators in New York, who've bin tearin round for up'ards a year, swearin Ireland shall be free.
"There's two parties--O'McMahoneys and McO'Roberts. One thinks the best way is to go over to Canady and establish a Irish Republic there, kindly permittin the Canadians to pay the expenses of that sweet Boon; and the other wants to sail direck for Dublin Bay, where young McRoy and his fair young bride went down and was drownded, accordin to a ballad I onct heard. But there's one pint on which
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