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- The Complete Works of Artemus Ward, Part 7 - 5/12 -
both sides agree--that's the Funs. They're willin, them chaps in New York, to receive all the Funs you'll send 'em. You send a puss tonight to Mahony, and another puss to Roberts. Both will receive 'em. You bet. And with other pusses it will be sim'lar.
"I went into Mr. Delmonico's eatin-house the other night, and I saw my fren Mr. Terence McFadden, who is a elekent and enterprisin deputy Centre. He was sittin at a table, eatin a canvas-back duck. Poultry of that kind, as you know, is rather high just now. I think about five dollars per Poult. And a bottle of green seal stood before him.
"'How are you, Mr. McFadden?' I said.
"'Oh, Mr. Ward! I am miserable--miserable! The wrongs we Irishmen suffers! Oh, Ireland! Will a troo history of your sufferins ever be written? Must we be ever ground under by the iron heel of despotic Briton? But, Mr. Ward, won't you eat suthin?'
"'Well,' I said 'if there's another caanvas-back and a spare bottle of that green seal in the house, I wouldn't mind jinin you in bein ground under by Briton's iron heel.'
"'Green turtle soup, first?' he said.
"'Well, yes. If I'm to share the wrongs of Ireland with you, I don't care if I do have a bowl of soup. Put a bean into it,' I said to the waiter. 'It will remind me of my childhood days, when we had 'em baked in conjunction with pork every Sunday mornin, and then all went up to the village church, and had a refreshin nap in the fam'ly pew.'
"Mr. McFadden, who was sufferin so thurily for Ireland, was of the Mahony wing. I've no doubt that some ekally patriotic member of the Roberts wing was sufferin in the same way over to the Mason-Dory eatin-house.
"They say, feller-citizens, soon you will see a Blow struck for Irish liberty! We hain't seen nothin BUT a Blow, so far--it's bin all blow, and the blowers in New York won't git out of Bellusses as long as our Irish frens in the rooral districks send 'em money.
"Let the Green float above the red, if that'll make it feel any better, but don't you be the Green. Don't never go into anything till you know whereabouts you're goin to.
"This is a very good country here where you are. You Irish hav enjoyed our boons, held your share in our offices, and you certainly have done your share of our votin. Then why this hulla-balloo about freein Ireland? You do your frens in Ireland a great injoory, too; because they b'lieve you're comin sure enuff, and they fly off the handle and git into jail. My Irish frens, ponder these things a little. 'Zamine 'em closely, and above all find out where the pusses go to."
I sot down. There was no applaws, but they listened to me kindly. They know'd I was honest, however wrong I might be; and they know'd too, that there was no peple on arth whose generosity and gallantry I had a higher respect for than the Irish, excep when they fly off the handle. So, my feller citizens, let me toot my horn.
But Squire Thaxter put his hand onto my hed and said, in a mournful tone of vois, "Mr. Ward, your mind is failin. Your intellect totters! You are only about sixty years of age, yet you will soon be a drivelin dotard, and hav no control over yourself."
"I have no control over my arms now," I replied, drivin my elbows suddenly into the Squire's stomack, which caused that corpulent magistrate to fall vilently off the stage into the fiddlers' box, where he stuck his vener'ble hed into a base drum, and stated "Murder" twice, in a very loud vois.
It was late when I got home. The children and my wife was all abed. But a candle--a candle made from taller of our own raisin--gleamed in Betsy's room; it gleamed for I! All was still. The sweet silver moon was a shinin bright, and the beautiful stars was up to their usual doins! I felt a sentymental mood so gently ore me stealin, and I pawsed before Betsy's window, and sung, in a kind of op'ratic vois, as follers, impromtoo, to wit:
Wake, Bessy, wake, My sweet galoot! Rise up, fair lady, While I touch my lute!
The winder--I regret to say that the winder went up with a vi'lent crash, and a form robed in spotless white exclaimed, "Cum into the house, you old fool. To-morrer you'll be goin round complainin about your liver!"
I sot up a spell by the kitchen fire readin Lewis Napoleon's "Life of Julius Caesar." What a reckless old cuss he was! Yit Lewis picturs him in glowin cullers. Caesar made it lively for the boys in Gaul, didn't he? He slewd one million of citizens, male and female--Gauls and Gaulusses--and then he sold another million of 'em into slavery. He continnered this cheerful stile of thing for sum time, when one day he was 'sassinated in Rome by sum high-toned Roman gen'lmen, led on by Mr. Brutus. When old Bruty inserted his knife into him, Caesar admitted that he was gone up. His funeral was a great success, the house bein crowded to its utmost capacity. Ten minutes after the doors were opened, the Ushers had to put up cards on which was prntd, "Standin Room Only."
I went to bed at last. "And so," I said, "thou hast no ear for sweet melody?"
A silvery snore was my only answer.
7.6. ARTEMUS WARD IN WASHINGTON.
[The following paper was contributed by Mr. Browne to "Vanity Fair," the New York "Punch," which terminated its career during the late war. Some of the allusions are, of course, to matters long past; but the old fun and genuine humour of the showman are as enjoyable now as when first written.]
Washington, April 17, 1863.
My wife stood before the lookin-glass, a fussin up her hair.
"What you doin, Betsy?" I inquired.
"Doin up my back hair," she replied.
"Betsy," said I, with a stern air, "Betsy, you're too old to think about such frivolities as back hair."
"Too old? TOO OLD?" she screamed, "too old, you bald-heded idiot! You ain't got hair enuff onto YOUR hed to make a decent wig for a single-brested grasshopper!"
The Rebook was severe, but merited. Hens4th I shall let my wife's back hair alone. You heard me!
My little dawter is growin quite rapid, and begins to scrootinize clothin, with young men inside of it, puthy clost. I obsarve, too, that she twists pieces of paper round her hair at nights, and won't let me put my arms round her any more for fair I'll muss her. "Your mother wasn't 'fraid I'd muss HER when she was your age, my child," sed I one day, with a sly twinkle into my dark bay eye.
"No," replied my little dawter, "she probly liked it."
You ain't going to fool female Young America much. You may gamble on THAT.
But all this, which happened in Baldinsville a week ago, hain't nothin to do with Washington, from whither I now write you, hopin the iterms I hereby sends will be exceptable to the Gin-Cocktail of America--I mean the "Punch" thereof. [A mild wittikism.--A.W.]
Washington, D.C., is the Capital of "our once happy country"--if I may be allowed to koin a frase! The D.C. stands for Desprit Cusses, a numerosity which abounds here, the most of whom persess a Romantic pashun for gratooitous drinks. And in this conjunction I will relate an incident. I notist for several days a large Hearse standin in front of the principal tavern on Pennsylvany Avenoo. "Can you tell me, my fair Castillian," sed I this mornin, to a young Spaniard from Tipperary, who was blackin boots in the washroom--"can you tell me what those Hearse is kept standin out there for?"
"Well, you see our Bar bisness is great. You've no idee of the number of People who drink at our Bar durin a day. You see those Hearse is necessary."
Standin in front of the tarvuns of Pennsylvany Avenoo is a lot of miserbul wretches,--black, white and ring-strickid, and freckled-- with long whips in their hands, who frowns upon you like the wulture upon the turtle-dove the minit you dismerge from hotel. They own yonder four-wheeled startlin curiositys, which were used years and years ago by the fust settlers of Virginny to carry live hogs to market in. The best carriage I saw in the entire collection was used by Pockyhontas, sum two hundred years ago, as a goat-pen. Becumin so used up that it couldn't hold goats, that fair and gentle savage put it up at auction. Subsekently it was used as a hospital for sick calves, then as a hencoop, and finally it was put on wheels and is now doin duty as a hack.
I called on Secretary Welles, of the Navy. You know he is quite a mariner himself, havin once owned a Raft of logs on the Connethycut river. So I put on saler stile and hollered: "Ahoy, shipmet! Tip us yer grapplin irons!"
"Yes, yes!" he sed, nervously, "but mercy on us, don't be so noisy."
"Ay, ay, my heart! But let me sing about how Jack Stokes lost his gal:--
'The reason why he couldn't gain her, Was becoz he's drunken saler!'
"That's very good, indeed," said the Secky, "but this is hardly the place to sing songs in, my frend."
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